planting & growing

This week, we planted pumpkins, butternut squash and rainbow swiss chard seeds in the garden and admired our rapidly sprouting carrots and less rapidly sprouting but still growing quite nicely kale.

We met up with the local unschoolers again, played hard, and afterward decided to invest in foam swords so we don’t constantly need to borrow them, since they are an essential play item when groups of boys of all ages get together and play outdoors.  Chris and I have been having long conversations about how we deal with toy weapons and weapon play in our household and I think our approach is shifting.  I’ll write more on that soon.

On a Memorial Day adventure with dad the kids noticed some horsetail by the stream, recognizing it from Lilah’s Wildcraft game and told us about its healing properties.  (It’s good for headaches, low energy, etc.)

We went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity where the kids favorites were the bank where there is play money, a teller window complete with vacuum shoot and a back alley where robbers are constantly in action, and the outside play area where they love the cave and spend long periods howling like animals inside the caverns.

We hiked up by Jeremy Ranch, saw wildflowers, deer tracks and droppings, lots of mushrooms and then got rained on and hailed on and headed back down quickly, though not quickly enough to avoid a thorough soaking.

We swam again, working on going underwater, swimming strokes and kicking and propelling ourselves through the water.  Lilah discovered she could somersault in the water and was quite pleased.

All four of us went up to Silver Lake and enjoyed walking on the boardwalk, climbing rocks, spotting a beaver? muskrat? otter?, watching ducks and squirrels and butterflies and maneuvering through areas with snow and areas with spring run-off streams rearranging the landscape.  We spotted a dark colored butterfly with yellow edges on its wings and Gavin wanted to know what kind it was so we looked it up at home and decided it was probably a mourning cloak butterfly.

On all of our drives lately we’ve been listening to the first book in the Brotherband Chronicles: The Outcasts, by John Flanagan.

In between there was lots of building, imagining, reading.  Bedtime and othertime requested stories lately are The Ranger’s Apprentice series (also by John Flanagan) and Castle in the Air by Dianna Wynne Jones. I think Castle in the Air may be one of the first stories the kids have encountered with a genie (and a magic carpet) in it, and they are enthralled.