As always, life is full. Full of working, learning, loving, laughing, and yes, because we are real, grumping, too. Right now, I am more in my groove as a homeschool teacher and I have been focused on the planning for the school year's end. (How have we gotten here so quickly?!)
Mike has had a crazy busy work schedule the past several weeks. He leaves the house around 7:30 or so, works all day, arrives home at or after the kids' bedtime, and then is on two different conference calls until nearly midnight. It is ridiculously unhealthy and unsustainable and I hope for his sake (and ours) it ends soon. He has been managing fairly well, even sneaking in an evening out with his brother and friends (skipping the calls), although he is very tired. I, on the other hand, have had bouts of grumpiness. He and I are doing well, connecting when we can, checking in during the day via 'phone. He's still present with the kids when he is with them. My grumps have had to do with staying up too late with him and due to my needing some breaks from the kids and not getting any.
My brother was here for a bit, but is now off on the boat again. My parents are adventuring on the other side of the globe. I am missing all of them.
Here's a glimpse of our recent days...
Lala learned about habitats and a bit about identifying and differing animals (vertebrate/invertebrate, warm/cold blooded, etc.). We went more in depth about the rain forest and the sloth. Here is a cork sloth she made.
I just wanted a photo of our dining room in school room mode, so I snapped this one day. I am standing on the stairs and the chalkboard (which Mike made and has been fabulous!) is to my left.
Isn't Finn Luca a cutie with his ear protection? He's wearing it with the blender my brother bought us when our old one died. We share a love of smoothies and fruit coolers with my brother and I must have mentioned in passing that ours was dying, because one day last week, a couple days after the old one finally died, a blender arrived in the mail. :)
Remember that I mentioned Lala taught Mike how to knit? Well, he hasn't stopped. He has knit all sorts of stuff. He has gotten really good. And he takes it everywhere!
In fact, below are dishcloths that he and Lala made me for Mother's Day. Aren't they gorgeous? They work beautifully, too!
We have really been loving being outside, learning a lot about different plants, eating from our garden, and more. So much enthusiasm there. I gave each child domain over a planter box in our back garden. Lala has taken much pride and care. I hope their boxes produce beautifully to show them what can come from such care!
Lala is almost done with the doll she's been knitting. I bought wool for stuffing, then went and checked out my mom's stash of supplies, left from when she owned her own weaving business. The kids have been mildly obsessed with carding wool ever since I borrowed her carders. Above, Lala is instructing Finnian on how to change his hold of the carders.
Above, we visited our favorite kids art studio several times in a short stretch this month, because they are closing for the summer to move. Along with the move, it sounds like there are business changes that mean the place will be very different to us when it re-opens. It feels a bit like the end of an era...
Our bigger monkey seems to be needing more space. (I am not surprised...homeschooling certainly shifts the time we all spend together.) As a solution, we bought hardware and curtains at IKEA. Mike installed the curtain wires while I chopped the curtains in half, finished the cut edges, and made two sets from the one, so each kid could have curtains around their bed bunk.