Julia and Xander have been wanting to sleep together at night. So I let them. I love how all three kids are in the same room. I put all the toys, a big art table, and all the clothes in one room and all the beds in another. The room with the beds is above Sammy's bedroom which is in the basement. Since my house is old and loud and the wood floors through the house is the sub floor- it sounds like a herd of elephants whenever someone is jumping around or just moving upstairs. The kids never go into the bedroom where the beds are during the day, which makes nap time beautiful and possible for Sam downstairs. I think it was an ingenious idea if I so say so myself. :)
My neighbor gave me a huge old church 8 foot table. It is pretty beat up but I put it in the play room against a wall and put #10 cans all along the table filled with the essentials. I am so Mormon. Cans filled with Markers, crayons, tape, glue, scissors, rulers, stapler. There is a shelf with scrap paper and drawing pads. They sit at that table for hours creating and doing whatever. Julia loves to draw and color right now. She loves to spend time alone doing her thing. Coloring, drawing, building. She is safe with herself and loves alone time. But she also loves to play with her toys with Kenzie. Julia is just a hands on play player. She loves toys and loves to play with them. Loves to go over to people houses and see what toys they have.
Mckenzie has been growing up lately. She isn't into playing with imaginative play as much with Julia. It makes me so sad at times to see her move on to older things. Julia is right behind her but seems to still love love love to play with dolls and animals. So Julia asked and asked Kenzie one day to play with her and she kept saying no. So from that day on, Xander and Julia have become very close playmates. They have been going at it for 2 whole days. When I tell them to stop playing so we can leave or eat, they get upset. They build houses and all types of things out of Trios and K'nex and then play with them with horses and dolls. I love that Xander and Julia are so close. Trust me they have their moments where they are ready to kill each other but this summer has been so good for those two.
Yesterday I picked apricots. Our friend invited us over to pick her tree. It was an old tree and the apricots were at least 20 feet high. I got on an old rickety ladder and held a garden hoe in my hand and tried not to fall. I was so determined to get all the apricots I could. It reminded me of the summer before when Cynthia and I got free Cherries and I was climbing all over the tree way up high trying to get as many cherries as I could. I love it- it's the riskiest thing I've done for a long time. Mom's with small children don't get out much. Ha. The apricots were past good eating and were ready to be made into jam. That kind of stuff overwhelms me and ideally I wished I could have froze the apricots fresh but they were smooshy. And since I'm in a constant battle with trying to eliminate food loaded with sugar from my life, I can never fully commit to making homemade jam. Sorry kids. I know, I am weird. I will buy jam at the store for your peanut butter sandwiches but I will probably never slave over a hot stove in the middle of a scorching summer to make and can homemade jam. Not worth it to me. But I absolutely love being physical and picking apricots and whatever fruit from a tree. Now that is fun to me. So I gave all my apricots to my neighbor Cynthia and she gave me a jar of apricot jam. Worked out great.
During Family Home Evening I asked Xander what he thought the word fortify meant? He responded by counting 4,5,6? So cute. We built a wall out of mega blocks and talked about Captain Moroni's command to protect the cities by fortifying the walls. We explained how bad choices made our walls weak and righteous choices make them strong. Sam was Satan supposedly because he destroyed our wall in 2 minutes when we weren't looking!
The Lord really listens and cares about the small things. People probably thought I was crazy as I kept moving Kenzie around from piano teacher to piano teacher. I must have appeared to Kenzie as weak and indecisive as I kept giving up on her teachers and moving her around. For some reason her piano playing isn't taken lightly and I just feel this outside force to keep her going in the right direction with piano. If there was something that didn't feel right, I looked elsewhere. She is now taking Piano Lessons from Bravo Academy. It feels right. She has a teacher named Mr. Ferrington. He is so wonderful and I love him. He praises Kenzie all the time and sees everything good she does. The other day he told her, "I am honored to be your teacher. You amaze me." Love it! The academy is organized and gives her the perfect amount of incentive to keep her pushing along. Granted, we work hard together at home too. Kenzie always gets a little intimidated by her new assignments. The first few days I have to push push push to get her to attack the song with confidence. Then the rest of the week she practices like crazy all on her own and masters her song. Sometimes I have to sit by the piano with her for an hour or more encouraging and helping her figure out the songs. She can do hard things!!! She is learning the keys and what sounds good together and she is starting to make up her own music. My heart rejoices when I hear her creating. I feel like we have both worked so hard on her piano, that I rejoice in her successes and her growth right along with her!