Merging the holiday traditions of two families after you're married is always interesting. Phillip grew up with his parents hiding his Easter basket so he does the same for our kids. Is that even a thing, though?
Because Easter baskets are huge. They don't "hide" anywhere very well. I really don't think that's a thing.
With a small house and 6 kids, we are running out of places to put them. Every year, the oven is the only hiding place we can think of.
This year we got a little creative and hung one from the ceiling fan in the two-story living room and that was fun. But seriously, next year we've got nothing.
Whenever my 3-year-old's nursery leaders at church give him a coloring page and stickers, he always puts the stickers directly over any faces in the picture.
Every week, he brings home something like this:
The fact that this week's stickers were smiley faces only makes this better.
This week has been the kids' spring break from school. To loosely plagiarize a famous novel: it was the funnest of times, it was the lamest of times.
It was the lamest because my mom was going to come for the break, which the kids were looking forward to like Christmas, their birthdays, and a trip to Disneyworld combined. But she had to cancel her trip at the last minute, when she broke her wrist and the doctor advised against traveling (and more likely, against 10 days of having small- to medium-sized children yanking on it and demanding to be picked up.)
Suddenly the most exciting event of the week was going to be Wednesday's orthodontist appointment.
So it hasn't exactly been the Christmas/birthday/Disneyworld they'd been looking forward to, but we've been managing to have a really good time, anyway.
We made cookies, watched some movies, and went hiking. The kids have been exploring the woods behind our house and having some good old 1970s-style fun.
The other day they found an abandoned campfire in the woods and got the idea to mix the ashes with water (which they got from the swamp and transported by soaking it up with chunks of moss) to paint designs on rocks.
On an unrelated note, they also brought home this message they found from our paleolithic ancestors:
|Love you! -The Cavemen|
Not the most convincing forgery I've ever seen, but at least they are using teamwork.
My 5-year-old is learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Yesterday we went to the church parking lot to practice while everyone else rode around on their bikes or scooters.
I noticed this warning on my son's scooter and really appreciated its faith in humanity's ability to use good judgment:
|What? Use common sense, you say? I love that idea.|
This is in contrast to our plastic Elmo potty which warns us to "NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED."
|Ever. Sounds totally reasonable.|
Of course the scooters are several years old and they've probably already had to change the warnings to something more specific. I'm sure it wasn't long before they were sued by someone saying "Well how was I supposed to know 'common sense' meant not riding this on the treadmill?!"
With the weather getting warmer, I'm in the process of getting out the seasonal clothes. I'm not exaggerating when I say we have an entire children's department worth of clothes stacked in boxes in the attic labeled with their size and gender.
I was hefting the right boxes down from the attic when my pre-teen asked, "Mom, where do normal people get clothes?"
I knew this day would come. This is the same kid who used to lavish praise on me for my keen fashion sense when I brought down a new box of clothes that she just couldn't wait to try on.
I happened to catch this sweet scene between my 5- and 3-year-old in the front yard:
About two seconds after I snapped the picture, though, I realized what they were doing: digging a big hole in the yard with a garden trowel.
Nothing brings siblings closer together than collaborative destruction.
In all fairness, they were only imitating Phillip, who was at that moment digging up a small garden bed on the other side of the lawn.
However, I doubt we can even grow anything in our yard without importing dirt and building some raised beds. We have so many acorns on the ground that our soil is basically sulfuric acid.
If nothing else, at least it's good for the kids' microbiomes (they were all covered in dirt after helping and at least two of them looked like they'd been consuming it.)
I'm reading a book right now called Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World and so far, I really like it.
My favorite part is how I can now see my toddler doing something gross, and instead of dousing the house in Purell and lighting it on fire, I can just pat him on the head and chuckle, "Way to add diversity to your microbiota, son."