::Every now and then I browse through my recent pictures and wonder, "Hm. Where's Zosia?" And the answer is exactly the same as when we ask that question in our own house, which is "Probably reading a book." This child of mine is a voracious reader (if she were still up I could ask her how many pages she's read in the last year, but I think it's three million? Four million?). Ben and I are more than sympathetic to her cause, and I admire her ability to discreetly duck out and find a cosy place to read. Can you think of a better way to spend summer vacation? She found some Nancy Drew books at a yard sale this weekend, and has been reading them one by one.
::The retreat center I went to the other week had a cubby system to keep track of napkins, and it was such an effortless way to keep track of nearly 30 women's napkins from one meal to the next. We have tried having unique napkin rings in the past, but it just has never quite worked from meal to meal, so I knew this was a system I would have to attempt at home, and it is a success! Numbered according to birth order, starting from Ben, who is the oldest in the family.
::Josephine is five months old, and she is in the most perfect stage of babyhood. Smiley and curious and yet still snuggly and... immobile. I love it.
::Our big kids and their neighborhood friends put on a full fledged lemonade stand last weekend and those kids made some M O N E Y. Granted, it was "dance on the street day" (You know you live in California when your whole town, including all of the streets, close down for a whole day to enable dancing on the street. These Californians have some joie de vivre), so there was a lot of foot traffic. Those kids juiced hundreds of lemons from our neighbor's yard, manned the stand for hours, and helped me bake all of the cookies and brownies. I was definitely proud of them, and when they walked down to town all by themselves the next day to go shopping at the candy store I think they felt some gratification.
::These children of mine have weathered feet and sun on their faces all day long.
::Dinner is outside most evenings, weather permitting. We have been working on more peaceful dinnertimes. Doesn't that sound like it would be nice? Those of you who have eaten with us know that our family grace is a verse of "Dona Nobis Pacem" which is a traditional latin hymn meaning "Grant Us Peace." And there are definitely nights when dinner feels like a peaceful occasion, although there are also definitely nights when it feels like there are five hungry lion cubs trying to make sure they get their part of the kill (or perhaps even worse, the night when our lion cubs have full tummies and get bored about two minutes into the conversation, begging to be allowed to go and play).
::Our resident little mommy, doing things like voluntarily giving the twins swimming lessons and humming as she spontaneously tidies the house. This one was made to have little siblings, and I am so glad that she has not one but four!
::Gratuitous clothes line picture. This thing still makes me so happy. I filled it three times today, and the clothing was dry in less than an hour. I am amazed. I actually happened to have an especially large load of laundry the other day which didn't all fit on the line, so I split it in half, and put half in the dryer and half out on the line as a race. And the result was..... drumroll........ a tie! But of course not as far as our electric bill is concerned. I'm totally a convert.
::It is in my nature to always be scurrying around and picking things up, or preparing meals, or whatever other housework is at hand, but if I am sitting down, I am probably reading aloud to the kids. I love that when Ben or I start reading a book, one by one the children start gathering around from whatever they might be doing to listen.
::The farmer's market that's right up the street from our house just started back up for the summer, and although there are several year round farmer's markets around, there's something about an event being right underfoot that makes us so much more likely to attend. This week's haul included bread, tomatoes, stone fruit, mandatory flowers, and a bunch of veggies, which Ben decided weren't pretty enough to include in the picture.
It is really starting to feel like summer, and I love it! How is your summer going?