This summer has been hot and humid mixed in with some seriously heavy downpours. We have tried to take advantage of it all from spending time outside in the water to being more creative inside.
We often go outside in rain suits but every once in awhile the kids convince me otherwise by saying they just want to go worm hunting. They ALWAYS end up in the puddles. I love watching them.
On days when it isn’t raining it is too hot in the afternoons to do anything that doesn’t involve water. We picked up a little plastic pool and the kids can spend hours playing it. They often turn the hose on and make a sprinkler or fill up buckets. When we were outside one afternoon there was a very bold robin that spent the afternoon watching us and trying to get into the water to cool off too.
After a particularly intense rainstorm during the first week of June, a baby robin was blown out of its nest and into our bushes. I was coming home from an activity and saw it at night but it was still there in the morning. The mother bird was bringing it worms. The kids sat and watched for awhile.
The next morning we found the kids outside our room making birds and worms out of tissues. The blanket was the nest for them all.
We upped our fort building game and constructed a pirate ship. Once it was made Emily took to filling it up with babies and treasures to join in the fun. We had a picnic on the beach for lunch (sitting under our kitchen table) to extend the pirate theme and get them away from the ship long enough to eat.
Emily continues making books. After seeing the play Alice in Wonderland at the local high school, she was thrilled to find story at the library. We rewrote the story to Melanie’s Wonderland with Wicket instead of Dinah as the cat, after her friends and time at the Nicholson’s. She drew the illustrations.
With the HOT weather we spend more time inside with friends. I couldn’t get all six kids in the picture (it was close!) but I had to document this moment because it was the first time Laura was really in on the action. And I was taking care of six kids by myself.
Laura has really started to enjoy toys.
The kids discovered they really can get ANYTHING they want now in the downstairs with their clever kitchen chair stacked on top of the piano bench.
We don’t do this a lot, but when we pull out the wipe boards for writing, Nathan gets especially into it. He spent maybe a half hour to an hour just drawing. The set up here with the boxes and pickler triangle was a tripod so I could record a video of me talking. Emily helped do the recording. We only had one scary moment when the camera toppled off and landed on a wood box and didn’t break.
Emily saw a color mixing example in a Richard Scarry book about school. While I was sleeping she got out the paints with Nathan and was deep in her work when I came down. Nathan was watching patiently. We got them rearranged in a mom approved set up.
I can’t remember if Nathan said this was a car or if he was baby Jesus. I think it was the latter.
This is an elevator. I rode it all morning while I went upstairs to get laundry and back down to put it in the wash. The kids were pretty clever and said the ride took so long that I’d have time to read them a book. We read quite a few that way. Then it turned into a dressing room while Emily tried on lots of clothes. When Laura woke up from her nap they had her join them and added toys for her to play with.
A different day, a different structure. The building efforts have really blossomed this summer. I think this was a stage, but it could have also been a bunk bed, a firetruck, a van, a school bus, and ambulance, a tractor, Grandma and Grandpa Moose’s house, or a store.
If Nathan takes a nap during the day – no matter how short – he stays up for hours at night. When he and Laura have a chance to play just the two of them they are so cute together. Laura loves Nathan’s attention and Nathan is so gentle and thoughtful of Laura.
Emily loves gardening. She harvests expertly and was responsible (because she loves it and is the first out the door, not because we asked her to) for bringing the food in. She always gets absorbed into finding and pulling all the flowers out there too as the different weeds and greens go to seed. One day we will hopefully have a HUGE garden that can accommodate her growing list of plants she wants to grow. I love watching her out there.
Nathan making soup and constructing his own kitchen. He is often cooking something up. Lately lots of hot dog tissues.
Emily said she wanted a shoe rack in her room like the one in ours. She spent the afternoon putting her shoes on our shoe rack, drawing her design, and moving around pieces of scrap wood to figure out how they could go together. I joined her with a measuring tape and we talked through the design constraints (the size of the closet, how many shoes needed to fit, etc.), and came up with a final plan. Andrew took the three kids to the wood shop to cut the wood, and the next day they put it together.
The kids have loved having the little plastic pool in the backyard. Playing in it totally wipes Nathan out and he falls asleep as soon as he sits down.
We’ve been working on cutting out squares for a patchwork quilt Emily wants to make. While we cut, Nathan builds another structure. Lots of gates and blocking areas off.