Do you love introducing your children to things that are special to you? I certainly do! I have very few vivid memories from my childhood, but what I do remember I love to share with my kids. Whether it’s stories of my late grandma hoarding spices in the pantry and always having a “wrinkled, but clean” kleenex in her purse or taking them to the campground in South Haven, Mi where I camped every summer as a child and picked blueberries and met their father, I delight in sharing these experiences with my kids. So I was beyond excited when Jeremie surprised me and the girls with tickets to see the Phantom of the Opera! I have seen this twice in Chicago. Once, as a girl, and once, with him. We couldn’t orchestrate a trip up north, but it was being put on at a concert hall in Birmingham, Al. The girls had never been to Alabama before, either, so that was a fun adventure as well. I tell you, the sky is just bigger and more gorgeous in Alabama! So this performance of the “Phantom” was awesome! The music, the scenery, the music, the costumes, the music!!! We belted out the show tunes on the way home and have been singing them ever since. It’s really fun that I have the piano music so we can play and sing at the same time. I used to do that for hours with my cousins and friends when I was young. It was a long day, but it was filled with great music, lots of loud laughter, sister stories, mom memories, good food and lots of love!
I picked up a playhouse free on Craigslist! It was a bit dirty and moldy. No problem! I’d seen this cleaning hack on Pinterest and tried it out. A drill and a round kitchen scrubbie brush. Works great! Benjamin loved scrubbing this house all up. It’s funny, but Jeremie and I have such different standards of cleanliness. He is a “if you’re going to do it, do it right” kind of guy. I’m a “get-er-done” type of girl. Goodness, this house is going to be played with outside. It’s going to be muddy and dirty again in no time. So we scrubbed for longer than I would’ve liked and less time than he would’ve liked and surprised Ruthie with it on her birthday. It’s been mild enough this January that the girls have played in it numerous times. It’s the perfect little addition to our fabulous mud kitchen set up.
The girls and Jeremie recently attended a Daddy Daughter Tea party. They had so much fun. There was a photo booth with lots of fun accessories. Speakers and singers. Elegant tea party food. And a special keepsake tea cup for all the girls. It’s so important for father’s to “date” their daughters! It really shows them how special they are to him. Special enough for him to travel a distance. Dress up. Stop working. Have fun with them. This bond ties their hearts together until the fateful day they give their heart to another man that we pray will treat it so tenderly as well.
Our kids have started their annual livestock project of raising a show animal for the summer. Katie and Charlotte raise lambs. Ruthie does too, if you ask her. Lambs require a bit more work than the swine that their siblings have chosen to raise. Daily exercise. Muscle training. Attention to diet, parasites and health. Grooming. But is is so fun for them! It’s quickly turning into their favorite thing to do. It’s just about all they talk about. Katie has really taken her big sister roll seriously and is teaching Charlotte all she knows about raising sheep. It’s quite a complicated business. And both of the girls have another apprentice in the form of Ruthie. Roo loves to go out every day and help “work” the lambs. “Come on, lamby” I can hear her say as she leads this animal that weighs 3 times as much as she does around the yard. Charlotte and Katie have participated in a couple showmanship classes, learning about what it takes to be a winner when showcasing your specific animal. Ruthie has been practicing in the show ring as well. We are counting down the days until the events begin. They will be showing these lambs in three different contests before finally selling them to the highest bidder at our local county fair.
Mia pretty much hyperventilates whenever I trim just a couple split ends off her hair. So imagine my surprise when she decides to cut over a foot off her length and add some gorgeous long layers! When she was a baby, Mia had ringlets, but the weight of her long locks pulled them out. After getting the weight of her thick hair off, we were happy to see some wave and body bounce up. It is still pretty “long”, but so healthy and shiny!
No! Gnocci!! A delicious, plump potato-y dumpling. Amazing. And homemade bolognese sauce. Oooooh, it was good, let me tell you. The girls have a friend who is from Brazil. But Ms. Gina also has spent time in France and Italy. Her cooking is out of this world! She spent one afternoon teaching the girls how to make gnocci. It is quite an involved process, but so worth it. Potato, cheese, flour, eggs, rolled together, cut into small pieces, boiled, cooled, covered with warm sauce. Mmmm! All the kids enjoyed it. And they enjoyed her fancy desserts..chocolate mousse cake, coconut pudding with prune sauce. It was like eating at a delicious ethnic restaurant, plus we got to spend time with an amazing friend.
The older girls enjoyed their recent Christmas violin recital! Lots of fun music, played in a group. There was not a lot of nerves shaking because there were no solos this year. It is a joy for them to raise their instruments to bless others and a joy for us to hear the Christmas tunes! And it’s always fun to play duets and quartets!
We girls had the house to ourselves (plus Jack) while the boys enjoyed some outdoor activity at Father Son Camp. So there was some serious crafting going on around here. In addition to horseback riding and baking, of course. Not a second of cooking or cleaning occurred, I”m very sorry to say… This is turning out to be a very cute cardigan for Roo. Susie is making a gift, so I can’t say what it is and Katie picked out fabric for not one, but two quilts. We found a great tutorial online and she couldn’t decide between all the cute fabric choices. Boy, can I relate! So she got them all Love having friends to craft with! Love being a mom to so many crafty girls!