**We have a windowsill full of cacti and succulents. Most belong to Goldie – who tends them with great care. At one point, in transferring one particular cactus to a larger pot, she added dirt from outside (I had a Botany professor who would take issue with the term “dirt” being used here, but that’s a discussion for another day . . . or perhaps never). Apparently what she added wasn’t completely free of life because a little something extra began growing next to her cactus. In all Goldie’s goodness, she has let it thrive – rather than casting it out as the intruder it is. Bless her heart – today it became clear to me that she has been tenderly cultivating a puncture weed plant.
**Our little Arianne came to visit a few weeks ago. She’s an adventurous girl. And I should like one of her visits to coincide with a trip to Bear Lake where there might be wave runnering and game playing or something a bit exciting. During this visit, however, most of the kids were in school. I made her pick up groceries from Wal-Mart with me. And then I made her help me tackle peeling and cutting the giant banana squash that had been waiting patiently on my counter for months. (She was completely naive about banana squash . . . and I greatly regret not having made her eat some . . . even though all signs [not liking Thanksgiving sweet potatoes or yams, etc.] pointed to her not liking it.)
But I suppose that is one of the very reasons one loves an Arianne so well – she leaves one feeling quite convinced that she has found just as much of fascination and enjoyment in an afternoon of cutting banana squash as in a week of touring Italy. And she’s just the sort of person who . . . probably truly has. (But if not, there were the pork tacos and mini Cadbury eggs Mike brought us for lunch . . . so, that’s something.)
**Every now and then we invite Mike’s parents for dinner so the kids can have them all to themselves.
**Mike and I got to go to a breakfast at the school where Abe was honored as one of the students of the month. Each teacher only gets to choose one student a year, so it’s no small thing, particularly in a high school his size, being chosen. It was kind of fun too that the teacher who chose him was a gym coach. Abe does so well academically that one would naturally expect praise from a math or science or history teacher (and he does get plenty of that), but Abe’s work ethic and good nature impress all. (And we got to have an interesting conversation with said coach over the rather awful experience of losing part of his finger a year ago.)
**I have been wishing for Daisy to grow one shoe size – so the two of us might more freely borrow and share. I wished it even more when, after taking her to a doctor’s appointment the other day, Mike up and bought her not one, but TWO rather spectacular pair of boots! Speaking of Daisy, lately, if she is not playing music from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, she is playing music from The Greatest Showman (and occasionally Penny sneaks in and tries out Daisy’s music as well). Also, we have been working hard to catch her up on her driving hours so she can get her license in April. It’s almost too dreamy for her (and her younger sisters) to imagine that, this summer, they can just go to all the places I don’t usually have the energy to drive them (mostly Michaels and Target) of their own accord. It will be glorious. Unless, of course, Daisy tires of it. Heaven forbid.
**Mornings are so split into two parts. The part where we are getting everyone ready for school – backpacks and coats, breakfast and signed notes, lunches made and hair done. And then there is this other part with just these three little people.
**This cute shirt was a gift from my sister-in-law. A good reminder to keep my mothering expectations reasonable. :)
**In theory I would be on the ball enough to plan meals and make use of cool things like shopping online and then picking up my order at local grocery stores. And I have done that a few times. But in practice, I am forever needing this or being out of that. And when older kids are home from school and could actually tend, there is usually far too much going on – homework, dinner prep, etc. to be running errands. So . . . most of the time my grocery trips look more like this.
**I adore Calico Critters. They are one of the few toys that I imagine keeping around to pull out special for grandkids, etc. (Of course perhaps my girls will take their respective critters and leave me with none.)
**It really is the strangest thing that now, with March around the corner, the temperatures around here are freezing and snow is in the forecast as far ahead as one can see. January and February were so warm that I laughed at the groundhog’s prediction of more winter. “More winter? What winter?” I scoffed. Well, fools mock . . . . But here were a few pictures from a day at the park. Penny made everyone lunches to take complete with tiny sweet notes in each lunchbox.
**We watched the old long Pride and Prejudice not long ago. Penny adored it and has since plastered her walls with pictures from the movie. She’s most smitten with pleasant Mr. Bingley, but we still all thought it was funny when Mike gave her a Valentine with a taciturn looking Mr. Darcy saying “Hey, Valentine . . . You are tolerable enough . . . I suppose.”
**And now I am so caught up on things that perhaps I can write all sorts of new and delightful posts of whatever I like. But perhaps I can not. After all . . . the very things that inspire me to write (these nine humans I’m raising) also make it . . . mostly impossible to write.