this moment

lots of kids eating lunch at and around a picnic table

community garden lunch

my Lijah time

All our little ones are Mama's boys: it takes them a couple years to appreciate the finer things Dada has to offer (like lego-building help and board game playing). But while Lijah would much prefer to spend time with Leah, at least around the house, he does occasionally deign to hang out with me. And am I ever glad of that, because he's about the cutest!

Lijah amongst the chickens by the chicken coop, in a 'bad to the bone' t-shirt

not really bad

He needed some more t-shirts, and a friend providentially provided: a whole load of little boy shirts with all the sorts of messages marketers want for our male youths. But I love how this outfit gives him the look of a real farm kid! We don't have dirt bikes, but he makes up for it by being daring on the slide.

Lijah standing on top of the toddler slide in our yard

adventurous

Yup, as long as I let him get wet or dirty or take something apart, he's happy enough to be with me... for at least 20 minutes. Aren't I a lucky father!

a slightly blurry closeup of Lijah's face

sweet boy

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day camp 2015

Our family day camp started yesterday. We had 21 kids—26 if you count the babies and toddlers who came along—and it was a little overwhelming.

many backpacks lined up along the edge of the porch

lots of stuff for lots of kids

Despite a little blood, a few tears, and a lot of asking about when we were going to eat next, I think everyone had a fine enough time. I expect most of them will be back again, so we'd better start planning for what we're going to have them do next!

There were lots of similarities between this year and last year. The main difference, besides having about three times more campers, was in Harvey and Zion's energy level afterwards. Instead of taking a mid-afternoon nap the boys powered through three more hours of playing with the next-door neighbors, and then we finished the day by biking up to the library after supper and hanging out there until 8:00.

Harvey and Agricola in the kids room at the library

board gaming at the library

I guess those boys are growing up!

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pond days

Harvey and Zion swimming with friends

in the deeper water

Thursday and Friday we spent some serious time at the pond.

The air was hot but the water still has that spring chill so we spent some time out of the water as well—grown-ups and littler kids especially.

Zion and Lijah and the hole we dug; Zion spitting out sand

sand out of the hole and into the mouth

Lijah loved digging a hole with me and Zion, especially once we hit water.

the view from above of Lijah in the water-filled hole

his own little pool

Thursday we were there with the Stevenses and another homeschooling family, and the kids all found plenty to do together.

the boys watch friends at work on a sand castle

friendly crowd

(Since it was a homeschooling group they also did their best to start a fire on the beach with a magnifying glass and a pile of leaves; miraculously, no one objected.)

We went later on Friday and spent the evening, sharing a picnic supper with friends. It was chillier yet as the day moved on, but Harvey still spent all the time he could in the water.

Harvey in the water

evening swim

Yesterday was cold and rainy, and today is shaping up no warmer, so we're not thinking of swimming right now—but I'm sure we'll be back before too long. At one point on Thursday I overheard a couple of moms talking about the weather and how this was the best day they could find to schedule their beach trip... which sounded strange to me. Because us, we don't "schedule" time at the pond, it just happens. And hooray for that!

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this moment

Zion, wrapped in a towel, sitting by an impressive sand castle

admiring another's work

A moment from the week.