First, we pause to ooh and ahhhh at the growing calves down the bikepath...aren't they sweet? Yes, they are one of the Little Things.
Another Little Thing is that our oven was not at all difficult to fix - they merely replaced the element, while casually telling me that "oh, yeah, this happens all the time, to the stovetop elements as well". JIMINY!!! So here is a celebratory picture of...well, breakfast. Popovers, scrambled eggs, and the chard Eliza requested to go with her eggs. Very tasty.
Here are some other Truly Little Things - we had our coop class at Waterloo today, and I led a class on birds. Well, I organized a class on birds with my friend who is an ornithologist and the person who runs the Aquatic Center there, but she had a conflict so I ended up teaching most of the class. Here are some itty bitty bluebird babies right outside the center...
It was a bit of a frustrating day - we were in a different location from the one we usually meet in and I'd scheduled the class a bit earlier than usual, hoping that we'd catch more bird activity, and that was all just a mistake. One family was on time, 2 others came 45 minutes late and a fourth was over an hour late, while three families didn't come (I knew about one of them). All happy to be there and jump in, but I must be getting less flexible with age, because it really bothered me to have put the time in planning the class and then have such a hard time reorganizing it on the fly to accommodate a different and fluctuating class size. But there was much to salvage the day. As we took a walk around the smaller of the two ponds there I was commenting that if we were a little quiet (ha!) we might hear not only birds but frogs. One boy said "I thought we were looking for birds" and I told him I am always looking for frogs. Here are three of the beauties we saw, and I'm guessing they are a green frog and two bullfrogs. Anyone know? We also saw a small brown frog with a pointier nose in the grasses near the pond - I'm wondering if it might be a Mountain Chorus Frog? In looking these guys up in my field guide, I read that bullfrog tadpoles can take 2-3 years to complete their metamorphosis. Wow!! I had no idea.
Last but not at all the least, after we got home and the girls quite happily played quietly while I closed my eyes for a bit (being frustrated and resentful just takes too much out of you, don't you think? I need to work on that...), we went to the girls' first swim lessons. Eliza was apprehensive but game and Anika was just happy about it and I watched E buck herself up and put on a good face for Ani and what do you know - they had a ball. It was so much fun to watch them figure it all out - Eliza figuring out how she felt about this undertaking, and figuring out how she might connect with her teacher; Ani figuring out how to be a part of a class (I realized this is her first official class, without me or anyone she knows.) and how to say yes. She is not a joiner and I wasn't sure how she would do, but she negotiated her way nicely - I could see both girls talking a blue streak, which I knew meant they were feeling their way and were not afraid to let the teachers know what they were and were not comfortable with. As a homeschooling mom (or really just a mom) I do a lot of observing my kids, but this was different, observing them from the outside, just there to cheer from behind the window! It was good for me, it reminded me of their wholeness, their total person-ness, when sometimes I am tempted to just interact with them part by part. They were so pleased with themselves, and during our late supper they kept telling each other how great the other had done, how proud they were.
(The Dan update for those of you who are worried is that he is now slogging through a heinous cold, but it does not seem to be the dreaded flu du swine. He is overworked and overtired, none of which is helping, and I'm not sure the end is in sight. I think we're in week 6 of the quarter, but there is another conference next week and I'm starting work - another post! - so...send him your extra zzzzzzzzzzz's for a while, would you?)