hardly hearing

The weather was perfect for swimming yesterday, and of course I spent a lot of time in the water. Under the water, even. Super fun! But the problem is that every time I swim I get water in my ears and the water does something to block them up. So now I can't hear out of one ear. I was going to write "I'm suffering a bit because..." but then, on reflection, I realized that wasn't entirely true: I'm actually not minding it that much. Sure, it's annoying to not be able to have a conversation with Leah unless I've got my good ear turned towards her. But so much of my time is spent with children who produce a constant stream of noise, so it's actually not the worst thing to have it abstracted away a little bit. At least for now. If it lasts any time I might start to get frustrated. Plus there's the concern that it will happen again next time I go in the water. Which for sure I will this summer! Swimming is the best.

these kids can swim

A fun thing about parenting is seeing the kids grow and develop, and a fun thing about being kind of unschooly is getting to be surprised by some of that progress! Like, now that it's turned conclusively summery, I can see that I don't have to worry nearly as much as I did at the beginning of last summer about any of the boys drowning if they fall into deep water. Harvey was already totally there, of course, but I don't remember Zion being such a confident swimmer out of his depth without a life jacket. Now he doesn't seem to have any concerns. And while Elijah isn't going to be swimming across the lake any time soon he's very interested in jumping out of the boat into water just a little bit over his head. And, comfortable splashing around with the big kids.

Elijah swimming, goggles pushed up on his head

yay water!

Of course, there's still plenty of room for improvement. Elijah is so dense he hardly floats, so he needs to work some on his technique. And none of them swim as well as their cousin, who's on a swim team, or Elijah's friend who at seven is such a natural in the water she looks like a seal as she flips and dives. But they're in great shape to enjoy a summer in the water! And six hours of swimming over the past two days seems like a good start.

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pollen nation

The last few days everybody's been talking about the pollen. I don't know that it's been worse than any other year, but for sure there's a lot of it; and a few days ago there were "massive pollen clouds sweep[ing] through Massachusetts", which is something you kind of notice. Some people are keeping all their windows closed, but we can't do that. Sure, yesterday I could write my name in the pollen on the kitchen table, but the fresh air is worth the price. None of us are allergic, necessarily, but with as much pollen as there is we've been sneezing and coughing just from all the particles assailing noses and throats. The news keeps saying that the season of visible pollen is about over, but last night with the fan on there was enough that it was keeping me awake in the middle of the night, I know you have to reproduce, plants, but could you please do it without involving the rest of us quite as much?

outdoor birds

The chicks are growing up. We've been weighing and drawing them every Monday, and today we did it for maybe the last time—it was almost impossible to keep them on the scale. They've got real feathers and tails and everything, and it's about time for them to be living outside. Our brooder is very small, and as rambunctious young things they need to be moving around way more than they're able to when stuck inside it. So yesterday I fixed them up a little mini run, and closed the "chick coop" off from the main coop so that they could have a place to hang out without being bothered by the main hens. I finished that all up at about 4, and brought them out thinking that I'd leave them to make their home there overnight. But as the temperature dipped into the 50s and I heard their concerned cheeping drifting in the windows I felt sorry for them and, as dark fell, bundled them back into the brooder for one more night indoors. Today they were out first thing in the morning, and it's supposed to be a lot warmer, so I'm leaving them no matter how hard they cheep. They'll get used to it, right?

moments from the week

Elijah running across a little stream on stepping stones

running stepping stones

Moments from the past week.

the boys and a friend having fun singing at church

kids come to big church

the boys eating rolls at the Farmers Market

opening day at the market

Freeman Lake in the rain, with some kids swimming and others playing on the beach

rainy day lake

Blue sitting on a trail watching Zion, Elijah, and Scout running up

adventuring with dogs

grandparents and cousins around our picnic table with lots of food

family cookout

kids playing dodgeball

anniversary party entertainment

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