2009-03-16housetop

"The Conference Room"

School begins tomorrow. We had a full two weeks of Spring Break. I stupidly looked forward to it as a time to get a few extra things done. I did not schedule any stamping activity during that time and thought at the very least I could clean out my closet or something.

But there was a wedding in the middle. The first week of Spring Break was a little bit of playing and projects with my girls, an endoscopy and making lots and lots of breadsticks. The wedding was that first weekend. The next week my niece and nephew stayed with me while the Bride and Groom (my brother) had their honeymoon in a nearby town. I had projects galore planned. We did not get to half of them. I am amazed at how much more effort it is to supervise four children than it is two children. (And I am amazed that people purposely have that many children!) The kids were definitely good kids, but twice as many is just completely different.

The two biggest problems, or annoyances, or something were:

1)  I was astounded at how much dirtier boys get and  how much more quickly. My girls are pretty “girly” in a lot of ways, but I always think of them as “Tomboy Princesses.” They are not afraid to play outside and jump and climb. (They scare Prince  Charming to death with their climbing and walking on the walls that are used as fences here.) But apparently they are CLEAN Tomby Princesses.  Or else they are just a lot more prissy than I thought. Their 7-year-old cousin who is a boy got himself more dirty than five girls could, I think.

2009-03-16binwater

Apparently it feels good to get one's winter pajamas drenched in the sprinkler.

2009-03-16chickletswimsuit

Chicklet decided instead of pajamas to put on a swimsuit to run through the sprinkler when it was 48 degrees outside.

2)  Chic (age 7) has a beautiful laugh. I love to hear her laugh. But when she is with her 7-year-old-boy cousin, she has a giggle that makes me want to shoot her. I know this giggle. I hear it from a couple of the 7th and 8th grade girls in art class. It is a giggle that happens only when boys are around. I call it “smart-girl-pretending-to-be-stupid giggle.” Chic has adopted it when around her cousin. THIS. MUST. STOP.

The bride and groom and the cousins left our house from their house around 6:30 this morning. I was up  until midnight last night and actually up very late the past two weeks. I went back to bed and stayed for another 2-1/2 hours. Call me lazy, I do not care! But now things will get back to normal. School starts again tomorrow. (Yuk for me.) I will have art class this week. I have two stamping  workshops this week. I will be getting behind in the regular ways instead of the vacation ways. But routine always has a way of feeling good even when the schedule of it drives me into the ground.

But before I start to catch up on all the things I was not doing, I will remind myself of some of the activities of the last week…

The photo at the top and directly below are a playhouse we inherited from the neighbors that are moving. It was the most common meeting place of the week. I must tell you that my niece, who will be 13 in a week, jumped on it each time with one giant hurdle-leap. She is a track star in the making.

2009-03-16fullhouseThe next photo shows the results of the first craft project. They all decorated hats on Monday (and wore them the rest of the week.) Aunt/Mommy gave no direction here–just helped them attach with a hot glue gun, so the designs were very personal.

2009-03-16hatsAnother craft project was weaving. This shows my nephew’s finished project. This was a great project because they could not finish it quickly, so they worked on it all week when they had nothing better to do. We went around the yard and gathered nature materials to weave into the project. They all loved this.

2009-03-21weaving1

One day I had some errands to run, so I took them to the Climbing Tree when I was finished. I thought this would be such a fun thing for all of them to do. But as children do, they completely did something other than I planned. There is an irrigation canal next to the climbing tree. It is dry a lot of the time, but it was not that day. They climbed for a few minutes, then spent the next hour throwing rocks, dirt, sticks and leaves into the canal.

The climbing tree has had a branch removed since I posted its picture last autumn. Sad, but there are lots of other branches to climb.

The climbing tree has had a branch removed since I posted its picture last autumn. Sad, but there are lots of other branches to climb.

2009-03-17canal

The water was less-than-clean, and I was SURE I was going to have to go in after one or more of them, but no one fell (or slid-because the sides were very loose dirt and quite steep) in.  I think this was the day they all got a little sunburn because Mommy/Aunt did not think of slathering sunscreen all over them.

2009-03-17leafonwater

The 4 children were outside continually. Our yard is small tiny. My niece and nephew live on ten acres, so I thought they might feel a little trapped (as I did when I first moved here), but they seemed to adapt. They even figured out to bat a giant ball instead of a softball so it wouldn’t fly too far away.

2009-03-19backyardbaseball

Prince Charming took a day off work so we could go hiking at our favorite spot (which I think I will feature tomorrow for My World Tuesday) and look for a letterbox. We did not find a letterbox, but we had a terrific time on this climbing hike.

2009-03-19tentrocks

So now my crazy life is back to normal, and I did not even get a single closet cleaned out, but I would not have traded the craziness of the last week for anything. (Now if I could only get the other cousins to come for a long visit!)

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