Making Her Own Algae and Other Such Things

Swings made with dog leashes and ropes dangle from the makeshift bar that came with the house. 

An Amelia project that included great forethought and special knots to secure the collection.  The three -- side by side swinging and talking and singing in the sun. And chalk divides the trampoline in to rooms and chairs and living quarters for stuffed animals and brothers and rays of sunlight. 

I watch for a moment at the backdoor and holler for dinner -- chicken pot pie. She'd been asking for it. A favorite for the girl that jumps at the dinner call and encourages William to "obey quickly!" He does and smiles. 

 He's just been miserable trying to figure that part out. He'll play so sweetly and one request or one redirection and he's down the drain swirling in madness and unsure of how to bounce back to reality. He whines and can't figure out the way back to us. But today, it clicked. After rounds of redirection and happy chairs and discipline, and helping clean up the mess he'd just made, he figured out the joy of obedience and just can't stop. He jumped out of the tub after supper thrilled that he didn't have to cry to get out! He didn't have to hold on to another tub game and fight. He could just get out because it was time!

George Wilder wants to read all of the Magic Tree House books tomorrow. There are over 20. He's figured out the order and how to work through it and how to aquire a copy of the ones he doesn't have. We've only got seven. He didn't stop reading when it was time and it felt strange to redirect a child reading for too long, but it was 10 a.m. and he was still in his p.j.s and there were hungry chickens to feed and a few other chores and some things we do together each day that needed attending.

 So redirected and moving along, we read about a spider that created a decoy of itself to trick predators. Decoy became the afternoon word. Then we found a fascinating video at about the Giant Chinese Salamander. The rather grumpy looking six foot creature that sucks in unsuspecting fish, sucked the kids right in and they drew pictures while I wrote a silly poem.

And Amelia connects the Salamander to pigs because they both can't see very well. She's always looking for what to figure out and create next. Just today she explained that she knows how to make her own algae.

She's been dancing around with her handmade Aztec headdress. She dances and sings and writes songs and tells stories and tries to explain to George Wilder how money works or time or measurement. . . She takes William for rides in the wagon and jumps with him on the trampoline.

We stop for a bath. Warm weather equals dirty toes. And we fall into bed to start all over again tomorrow. I've learned from them that there is joy everywhere. I am easily swirled down the drain into grumpiness and can't find my way back when there is too much of this or that or I'm afraid I'm failing, but really, if I just look around, there is something to create -- tangible or not--that will bring joy!


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