Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gearing Up

... for the Birthday month.
I've still got a couple weeks before the 26th and the official start, but it's coming FAST.
Avery will be 10.
Then Papa's birthday four days later.
Ansel will be 1.
Then five days later Miles will be 4.
And eleven days later is my birthday, though who is kidding who here? By then we're all sick of birthday cake....

Speaking of birthday cake- everyone wants carrot cake, but that won't do- it's just too much of a good thing. But everyone deserves to have their choice of cake on their birthday, at least, right? And so I start my subtle campaign to convince the members of the house to change their tastes and minds. Oooh! Look at this picture of a cake! Doesn't THAT look good?! Wow! I'd LOVE to try that kind of cake....
So far... only Ansel has caved. He was chewing on a picture of a banana. Which clearly means he desires banana cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday, don't you think?

And then the parties... Avery always had these big, well organized and attended parties, with hand sewn party hats and homemade pinatas. He's chosen simpler things the last couple of years- a special dinner, a trip to OMSI in Portland. I have no idea what he wants this year, but hopefully it will be in that vein.

Miles has never had a real kid party, and this won't be the year it happens for him. I'm thinking a joint Ansel-Miles birthday party. Abraham Lincoln's birthday is the 12th of February, a Friday, right in the middle between Ansel and Miles. A good day for a party. And Mary Todd Lincoln was well known for making a special sweetheart's cake for old Abe, so that's a logical tie-in.

The problem with combined parties, of course, is that you're really just adding in another cake, since everyone needs a little celebration on their real birthday too.

And so... we're still at four carrot cakes in four weeks, plus a banana cake and a butter cake.

I guess we're all getting elastic pants for our birthdays, there's just no way around it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reasons to Homeschool: Harried to Happy

Morning could be hectic and harried for us- if we had to get everyone washed, dressed, fed, bundled up, out of the house and to school, daycare, work on time. They could be, but they're not, because we don't HAVE to be anywhere but right where we are.
This morning, when I felt obliged to give the baby an impromptu bath to wash the fistfuls of crusting-in mush and browning banana smoosh out of his hair, and the three year old decided to strip naked in the hall and take a running dive into the tub (no one in my house can stand missing out on a bath) I felt just a little put out. This wasn't on the schedule for the morning. But they're so cute, you know, so sweet. How can you stay grumpy with two little ones in the tub? All those bubbles and splashes, soapy clean smells and giggles. When the nine year old decided to join in the fun it just felt perfectly, well... perfect. Two little ones in the tub, warm and shiny, a big one perched in the corner, serenading (guitar practice without threats or shouting, check!) them with his entire play list while they danced and laughed, well, I was just glad to be home, free to enjoy such a lovely unscheduled and unplanned moment.
How many of those moments would be missed if we were caught rushing off to our important days elsewhere? How sad would it be if a baby's 6-grain hairdo were enough to start everyone's day off wrong (too rushed, late for school, late for work)? Those moments, simple and unstaged, are the ones that fill our family memory-bank, easy and quick to pull out on rainy days and hold on to during troublesome times. And so grateful are we, to be present here, filling our bank with memories we share, gathering moments of grace together.