moments from the week

Harvey resting on his handlebars at the top of a hill

mountain biking on our "mountain"

Moments from the past week.

Elijah atop the roots of a fallen tree

he always has to climb these

Zion digging dirt to transplant his bean plant

transplanting his school project

Elijah and a friend watercoloring at the kitchen table

rainy day painting

Elijah on a tree hanging over the Concord River

always climbing

the boys riding on a trail

it's blurry because we were moving

snow falling on the forsythia bush

unexpected snow

Elijah working at the coffee table in the dark snowy-day house

quiet work time

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foraging in the garden

It's starting to look like garden season around here. The office—the warmest spot in the house—is filling up with seedlings, the raspberries and blueberries are leafing out, and the kids' breath is heavily scented by chives and spring onions. But besides those alliums there's not a whole lot to eat out of the garden yet. But it's not nothing! I didn't pull the kale stalks in the fall (which the rabbits really appreciated, feeding on the insect-riddled leaves we left all winter long) and now the hard-working plants are putting out new bunches of leaves. And the paths between the beds, where I didn't cultivate in the fall, are popping up with volunteer arugula plants in between the weeds. Between those two things there were enough greens to make a little salad last night. Only, it was maybe a bit too little: Zion ate it all up himself. No worries: Harvey doesn't care for vinegar (balsamic is the only dressing for a baby kale and arugula salad!), and Elijah had a leaf or two which was all he wanted. As for me, I'll just keep on doing what I have been the last few days and browse straight off the plants!

can you miss people you see three times a week?

One thing that helped us survive a week without our bubble school friends was a chance to hang out with different friends for the first time in over a year. While we see lots of them over Zoom—the kids do things together online three or four times a week!—they have an immunocompromised family member so they've been quarantining hard since February 2020. But now the vaccine has opened their horizons a little bit and we were able to take an expedition with them on Thursday afternoon. We drove to their house and then biked all together to Great Brook Farm: a short ride for the sake of the youngest cyclist, new to her own two wheels, but one that gave us a new sort of challenge as we navigated the high speed auto traffic of Concord Road in Chelmsford. We survived! And then we were glad to take to the trails at Great Brook.

It wasn't all cycling though. We spent lots of time watching and chasing the bullfrog tadpoles in the pond and comparing notes with another aspiring zoologist, a boy who approached the kids looking to play—and who turned out to be a long-ago member of our church community group. That was like six or seven years ago and he's only eight, so it didn't really matter to their interaction, but it was still a fun coincidence. We also jumped onto and over some horse jumps for a surprisingly long time; and, most importantly, the nine-year-olds had time to wrestle a little bit. You can't do that over Zoom! We were masked up of course, but it was still a wonderful opportunity for connection that we were missing. The only problem was that it was so much fun I didn't take any pictures of the kids playing together! Oh well, we'll have to do it again soon.

Holy Week and Easter week

We've had some times over the last couple weeks. Way back on the Thursday before Easter Leah asked me how I was doing; drowning in late-night work editing Holy Week videos I had only one answer: "This is my body, broken for you." Of course that was a little over-dramatic, but that was how I felt. We did some good work to make Holy Week a meaningful experience even in the pandemic, but it was hard work! Then on Friday before Easter something happened in our bubble school that caused an emotional blowup and ended the group for the foreseeable future. That was obviously tough: getting to see those wonderful people has been super important for us over the past few months (just look back at the pictures I've posted!). I still think they're wonderful and we'll still get to see them, but missing the regularity and consistency of school is hard.

an Easter egg in the lawn

this one looks findable

Even with that stress Easter itself was lovely. We had an egg hunt; Harvey found the golden egg, which only had one dollar in it because Leah doesn't deal with cash (and she didn't ask me). He really only wanted it for the glory, anyways, so he gave the dollar to Elijah who appreciates it more. We were able to have a few friends join us, which made the day feel more festive than last year, and also meant there was enough food to make everyone sick. Sick in a good, holiday way of course! Then over the past week we tried to figure out what a school-less schedule looks like, with mixed results. There were some good days, but they were not days that left me with time to write. We're still working on it this week. I'm meant to not be staying up late, but if I don't blog in over a week I start to get twitchy. So here we are.

moments from the week

Zion jumping through the sprinkler in front of forsythia

it's above freezing!

Moments from the past week.

the boys unpacking their Easter baskets

Easter morning

Elijah beginning to cross a narrow log over a stream

balance beam

Elijah looking across the pond at Great Brook Farm

farm pond

Elijah riding up doubletrack through a sunny pine woods

the best light for riding

Harvey pausing in a ride to wade in a tiny stream

pausing to cool feet

Elijah digging in the dirt

gardening

sitting around Grandma and Grandpa's deck table

dinner our at grandparents'!

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