happy birthday Zion

Zion turns five today! Seems like just yesterday we were meeting him for the first time. No wait, no it doesn't! Zion, you're pretty awesome; we're lucky to have you in the family.

Zion at a picnic table holding a carrot

our intense, silly boy

struggling with birthdays

We're having a tough enough time around here with the regular requirements of daily life, so celebrating birthdays as they deserve to be celebrated seems a little out of reach. We did manage to get the waffle maker (which the boys and I tested out with some non-paleo waffles this morning—it works great!) and some cards for Leah, but I still owe her a gift or two. And now Zion's birthday is upon us. The beginning of his birthday, anyway: with our lack of forward planning we failed to reserve a day for his party with his friends, so it's been pushed back until the end of the month.

That was a bit of a failure. But at least I managed an outing this morning to pick up a present for him—one I had been thinking about for weeks! I wrapped it and gave it to him this evening. Leah is better at working ahead and she had something all wrapped up, so it was sort festive; marred only by Lijah's general upsetness and further unpleasantness fighting over the new toys. There was no cake.

But the birthday banner is up ahead of the actual day tomorrow, and Zion has ordered his birthday breakfast. And after breakfast he'll be headed off (along with his brothers) to Grandma and Grandpa's for the day, where I'm sure he'll get some solid celebrations in. Then he has a birthday outing scheduled for Thursday, and he'll have a share of a family party Sunday evening... and there's still the kid party to look forward to. So I think we'll do alright by him.

Then next year I'll be more organized, right?

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moments from the week

Harvey and Zion playing with trucks in an unused garden bed

big trucks at work

Moments and images from a cool sunny week.

boys and friends at the little picnic table eating hot dogs

lots of picnics

Harvey working at his desk, Zion and Mama playing a board game

work time

Harvey and Zion playing with legos on the front walk

some new legos

Zion sitting in a pile of marsh hay with a bowl

eating like a bird

Lijah picking violets from a lawn

stopping to smell (or pick) the flowers

Harvey pushing Lijah and Zion on the little train car thing

the little Harvey that could

Harvey and Zion running up the lawn to the William Smith house

more visiting history

Lijah walking on a path eating a watermelon

have watermelon, will travel

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Harvey sharing books

We don't devote much daily time to "school work" here, and pretty much none at all to reading instruction. Our literacy time is all taken up with read-alouds, story-telling, and, this month, poetry. But nevertheless, while I was doing the dishes the other day this is how the boys were occupying themselves in the other room.

Harvey reading to his brothers on the couch

good brother

A couple different things going on. Like me Harvey doesn't want to work on something unless he's good at it, and unless he has a good reason to; he also likes to be helpful, especially when he doesn't have to work too hard. Practicing reading with me is frustrating and annoying to him—totally understandably! But he's spent a couple hours a day with his nose in a book every day for at least a year, slowly figuring things out by himself. So when I ask him to read to his brothers while I do some other work, he doesn't see a pointless difficult task, he sees a chance to be useful while showing off a developing skill—and being the focus of uncritical attention!

Don't tell him, but it's all great practice. He's moving up to comic books now—whether they like it or not!—and apologized to me for not being able to do the voices. I pointed out how well he reads with expression from the books he knows better; I'm sure the comic books will come in time too. His audience is delighted either way.

Of course, remember: he still doesn't know how to read.

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awful waffle birthday

As Harvey planned, we took advantage of Leah's absence to get ready to celebrate her birthday this evening (the 15 minutes she's home before bedtime this week is the perfect length of time for her to think about her birthday). We wrapped the present—a waffle-maker—in brown paper and decorated the wrapping, and water-colored cards (washable tempera for Lijah). Harvey wanted to include clues to the present's contents both in his picture, and in a poem inside the card—he's just that excited about the work we've been doing for National Poetry Month. After he thought for a while he admitted, "this is going to be just a rhyme, not really a poem," but I think it does the job.

Harvey holding the card and the waffle-maker

a poet and he knows it

No, it's not a commentary on the edibility of paleo waffles—that's just where we are in our first grade poetry study. Proud of finding rhymes! (and indifferent to rhythm, mostly).

The present was really from the boys (though I put it on my credit card, and they haven't paid me back yet...). I got my mom a waffle-maker for Christmas one year, and it was the gift that kept on giving—to me! So they're definitely on to something. But they were also very excited to be celebrating Mama, and put a lot of effort into the presentation. Even if she doesn't care so much about her birthday, we care about her and want her to know it!

So happy birthday Mama, and here's to some delicious awful waffles.

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