Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Camping" with pre-schoolers

It began one Friday when I told the kids we'd go camping in our living room because it was cold outside, and I had fond memories of making pretend tents as a kid. Steve bought stuff for s'mores, and little flashlights for the kids. They were so excited! We used a few chairs in our living room, and a couple sheets spread over them. I made popcorn and hot chocolate, and lit some candles to roast our marshmallows over (which didn't work all that well!) We gradually turned off all the lights in the house, and the kids LOVED using their flashlights. We put sleeping bags under the 'tent' and all crammed in there together.

Steve and I told some stories from our childhood, as well as a made-up one, and then I played some folk songs on the guitar. The s'mores were yummy, even though the marshmallows weren't quite cooked enough. We spent a good hour 'camping' in the warmth of our house and then turned the lights back on and went to bed in our beds.

Ever since then, the kids have been hooked on making tents. These pictures are of the first tent they made on our porch. They've made many since then, some more successful then others. All have been tiny, especially when they try to fit all their stuffed animals in with them!

Today was a warm day so they spent pretty much every waking moment outside. They spread a blanket on the grassy hill outside our house, and 'slept' there with their animals (Josiah says 'attimals'). They gathered pinecones. They found quite a big stick -- long and thick -- and Naomi tried to walk the length of it, like a tightrope. They helped me take down my laundry from the clothesline. Only right before dinner did they come inside to watch a video (Josiah says 'wiwo'), and that was because Josiah had gotten a splinter in his finger and needed cheering up. (He got a splinter yesterday, too!)

I love having a big yard for the kids to safely play in. Naomi still calls it a 'garden,' as they call yards in Scotland. And I love Spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Small Joys of Mothering

March 21, 2007

I love the way babies smile with their entire body. When Ethan sees his brother or sister, his mouth opens wide in a huge grin, and his arms and legs move in excitement. It's kind of like a dog wagging his tail, I suppose.

Ethan giggled for the first time today. It wasn't for me, either! It was because Josiah was smiling at him, and for some reason he found that funny. Maybe it's just his joy in being alive and being loved. I'm glad my kids have each other. It's so fun to hear Naomi and Josiah talking together or playing -- building 'tents,' catching ladybugs, gathering sticks, pulling their stuffed animals on 'leads.'

A highlight today was seeing two birds eating the birdseed out of our homemade birdfeeder (an empty cream carton). We've filled the birdfeeder a few times, so we knew someone was eating the food! But we hadn't seen the birds in action until this morning. Naomi and I were sitting in the car for a minute before coming into the house and in our stillness, we saw the two birds. Oh, the small joys of mothering!