morning workout

On Sunday afternoon I went out to Russell Mill Pond for a ride. I was looking forward to getting some time on the trails by myself—and I did, seven miles worth!—but the reason I drove out that way rather than stay closer to home was that I saw on a friends' Strava that the pump track was open. The pump track is what draws the kids to Russell Mill, but when we went earlier this spring our expectations were cruelly dashed: it was closed for the winter. But that red line snaking through it on a Strava map on Saturday let me know that it was maybe open again—and indeed it proved to be! I was excited to tell the boys and they were excited to hear about it, so when Leah suggested we go Monday morning we were enthusiastic. Of course, if we want to ride somewhere 20 minutes away and get back in time for breakfast we have to get up pretty early! So I made hot chocolate and brought it along in a thermos. I always wanted to tailgate at a trailhead!

the boys drinking hot chocolate in the parking lot at Russell Mill Pond

warmth and energy

The waking up process completed, we got right over to the track to start doing laps. Harvey was a little tentative at first, having not ridden jumps all winter; Elijah was not tentative at all on his new bike and almost did a forward somersault on his second go around. Everybody soon settled in to an appropriate level, and we rode around and around for over an hour. We all got better, and then we got tired and got worse, but I think overall we all pushed our skills forward. And the best part is we were back home for breakfast not much after 7:30! Now to get some friends to come out riding with us...

Harvey jumping his bike on the pump track

jump!

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happy birthday Zion

Having three kids is hard. When you have four or five nobody could fault you for forgetting a birthday or two; there are so many! With three kids there's maybe no excuse, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. That's not to say that I forgot that Zion's birthday was today... only that, in the weeks leading up to May 4th, the importance of the day wasn't always at the forefront of my mind. Can I still blame pandemic brain? With all that said, though, I don't think we did all that badly in showing him a good day today. Good thing: turning ten is a big deal!

the boys at the birthday breakfast table

giant box of honey bunches? looks like a party!

Leah managed to get out last night to pick up some presents, and I stayed up late to wrap them, make a card, and hang up the birthday banners (the most important part of the whole celebration). He asked for cereal for his birthday breakfast, and since you can't put a candle in cereal Leah also brought home some donut holes (you can stick a candle in a donut hole about as well as you can in a pancake, our most common birthday choice). Then in the middle of the day the boys went to my parents' house for a celebratory lunch; this evening we're sharing socially-distanced cake with the group of friends who gather every Tuesday evening for what we're still calling Bible study. Then on Thursday he's going out for ice cream with the other grandparents. Not too bad! Parties with friends—online and in-person—will be along in good time.

Happy Birthday Zion!

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Waldorf phone

Are you a crunchy-granola parent disappointed with your child's obsession with technology, because you want them to be building stick forts and playing in the dirt like the books say? Do you wish that phones and tablets had never been invented (except for yours, when you're in the bathroom or really tired because everyone keeps talking to you)? Well I have the answer for you! Introducing: the Waldorf phone!

a wooden phone on the picnic table

wPhone

Lovingly crafted from reclaimed lumber, the Waldorf phone offers a blank canvas for your child to play out all their technology-related imaginative games without compromising your carefully cultivated hippy homeschooling persona. Available today!

I was motivated to make this delightful object last Thursday when Zion and Elijah were playing a game that involved each of them having an old dead phone. I budgeted ten minutes for its creation—that's how long there was until our morning meeting time when I started—and, while it actually took twelve, I think it was still worth it! When Leah saw it on the table a little later she knew right away what it was, based on the model of Waldorf dolls. Natural materials, "intentionally simple in order to allow the child playing with it to develop the imagination and creative play"... it ticks all the boxes. Now I need to make one for myself to try and curb my online checkers addiction...

Elijah watching something on his wooden phone

see how he loves it

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moments from the week

the boys playing in the wind-whipped water of the Concord

a windy day at the river

Moments from the past week.

Zion and Elijah sliding head-first down a halfpipe

skate park penguins

the sun shining through new maple leaves

the shade is growing

Harvey and Zion toasting marshmallows over the fire

cookout days are here again

Zion and Elijah playing in the sandbox

the sandbox hasn't fallen apart yet..

Harvey drawing a stop-motion animation in a box setup we built for the purpose

stop motion animating

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entertainment

I was going to write something this evening after everyone else went to bed, but instead I just watched all the other videos from the Marsh Family. My mom clued me in about them a couple months ago, but aside from watching one on her phone I didn't get into them... my loss, because they're all really delightful! We spent some today working on our own rendition of "Have the New Jab"... we've got a way to go to reach their level of talent, but Zion can belt it out like Tess and Ella and in Harvey we've got a banjo-bass double threat. Is viral video stardom in our future? Well, probably not, because none of the boys actually want to be on camera. But we're looking forward to lots more fun listening to, and playing, these songs!