The past week has felt like a marathon! Mr. M has been working a lot on Dancing With The Stars – as of Tuesday, he had worked 18 days in a row with no breaks, often coming home after midnight, (or in some cases at 3 in the morning) and leaving again for work at 6 am. I have to remind myself that this is what happens, so I should be used to it by now! He loves his job, and I am very thankful for that!
This means it’s just me and the girls – no breaks, of course. With four kids, and homeschooling – it means I’m responsible and present for everything. That is a lot of fun, and also can make a mama a little cuckoo after awhile. 🙂 I have to be very careful about balance, and scheduling downtime for all of us. That keeps us all happy and healthy. But how to have downtime when you’re with your kids 24/7?
When we start to go stir-crazy, we go to the park, of course! It’s our happy place:
The girls run and play, and get out lots of energy. Ginger (6) and Violet (3) are the very best of friends – they never get tired of each other. It’s like they are one person split into two. They are most happy when they are together:
Violet has LOTS of energy. At the park, she leaps from one picnic table to the next, and then flips off to cartwheel across the grass.
Most of the time at this park is spent in the trees, not the playground! I actually love this park because of its wonderful trees:
Whenever Ginger sees a tree, she must climb it as high as she can go.
If Ginger starts to get cranky, I’ll say: Go climb a tree!
And then she’s all better. It works like magic. 🙂
Our “selfie” at the park on Sunday. Or, as I like to call it: The “mom stays in the picture” picture! Otherwise they might grow up and wonder, “Who took all those photos of me and my sisters?” Ha!
We haven’t spent all our time at the park, of course!
One day, we spent the day over at our friends’ house. They are a homeschooling family we met through our homeschool group, and they’ve become dear friends of ours. How great is it to have a friend you love and your kids love their kids? I barely saw the girls – they played the day away so happily while Mama got some grown-up conversation.
Usually, at the end of every day I have over a hundred new pictures on my phone. On this day, I had just one picture! This one:
I call that: Living in the moment!
The big girls had piano lessons on Monday. Ginger (6) loves piano and will practice on her own, and often. She loves to play!
Paprika (9) is in her third year of playing, and it’s getting harder! I love that she’s developing discipline to stick with it and figure things out, even when it’s not easy.
It’s only a matter of time before Violet (3) starts playing piano. Okay, 2 or 3 more years. In the meantime, she’s happy to listen to her sisters and play dress-up:
This week we said goodbye to our old gymnastics studio’s location. Our gym moved closer to us, which makes my days more simple. Before, I was driving 60 minutes (or more) each way – and now I’m about 20-25 minutes in traffic.
Farewell, Old Gym:
Violet (3) and Ginger (6) are going 2x/week in 90 minute classes together. So, it’s still not enough time for me to drop off and go home – but I’ll take less time in the van any day of the week! Ha!
The “Middles” are CRAZY about gymnastics – they live and breathe it. It’s definitely the highlight of their week.
Yesterday was the first day at the new gym – it is big and beautiful! You can’t see them, but Ginger and Violet are back there stretching. I almost had to get my binoculars to see them! LOL
This is the observation area where I hang out with Paprika (9) and Baby Ellie (7 months). We were there for about two hours yesterday waiting – I brought Paprika’s school work and we did some of her lessons together. Yesterday we did math drills and music theory, and then she read a book for an hour before she went off to explore. I kept Baby Ellie entertained- and then I got yelled at by the cranky office manager for nursing Ellie. I set that lady straight, don’t worry. 🙂
A lot of people think I’m very sweet like a Golden Retriever. If you really get to know me, my spirit animal is a German Shepherd. Patient, loyal, and fiercely protective when you mess with my people. Ha.
In other news, I had to laugh at this picture. Violet had been asking for new Play-Doh for weeks, and I finally bought some. When it came in the mail, it was like Christmas! She was so happy she just about burst!
It’s the little things, right?!
Paprika bought a new video game this week with her birthday money (Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy). I let her play it before bed, and she was so immersed in the story, she could barely sleep for days. She gets so involved in the world, she can hardly think of anything else!
Thankfully, Baby Ellie is a good friend and will listen to Paprika talk on and on about Nancy Drew. Ellie just listens patiently:
And, last but not least – we went to the LA County Fair and saw the one and only beautiful Mermaid Linden! I am going to do a whole blog post about our day at the Fair – it was long, it was hot, it was AMAZING!
Here is a sneak peek of Mermaid Linden at the Fair with my four mermaids-in-training:
Paprika (9) said it was the second best day of her life – the first best day being when she swam with Mermaid Linden, of course!
Until next time, have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back soon with more to share, especially about the County Fair and maybe I’ll tell you about my secret passion project I’ve been working on…if I can get up the courage, that is! 🙂
Right now, I have a few girls who need snuggling. Although they do a pretty good job of that on their own, too:
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