The days have gotten noticeably shorter, much to the chagrin of the big kids, who treasure their special post-bedtime reading by what little light crept in through the blinds & blackout curtains. The garden is winding down and drying up (no more cucumbers! Unless the ones I planted at the beginning of August actually end up producing...) and school has not only started here, but we're in the full swing of things! Let me tell you, the second year of homeschooling? ONE THOUSAND MILLION TIMES EASIER than the first year. At least for us.
After way too many days straight of million-degree heat, it's finally cooled down enough for us to want to be outdoors again, particularly after dinner. Much of the garden has been overtaken by weeds, and the girls are always thrilled to find these super-long "Magic Dusters" to play with. I'm not entirely sure how one plays with them, aside from carrying one around and bopping someone with it occasionally, though...
The corn that we were so anxious about planting late ended up producing pretty early! It was so delicious, what we got that didn't end up cross-pollinating with someone else's field corn or Indian corn. I think next year we'll have to do successive plantings to prolong the season a little more - sweet corn is just so tasty, and the kids LOVE playing among the stalks. I planted a bunch of pole beans with them, in theory because it helps stabilize the stalks. In practice, I just ended up forgetting about the beans once the corn was done, so it's just a random jungle of dried up corn and overgrown beans that only the twins are willing to eat (and only raw. It's SO weird.).
For some reason every time Andrew mows the lawn, the girls all spend long periods of time making nests out of the grass clippings and rolling around in them. Apparently this time their game was called "Boxcar Children" (one of Cecilia's favorite books) and even Peter got in on it! He was very concerned about brushing the grass off after sprinkling it on different people, though. It didn't work well... I can't imagine an itchier game, but it occupied them for a while!
Cecilia's name tag says "Baby_Holder" - the underscore is there so that nobody thinks it says "Babyh older" or anything silly like that. Of course. She'll be making a pretty solid living as a babysitter once she hits driving age, I'm fairly certain.
John Paul at 7 has, I think, hit his stride as "awesome human being" - he lets the chickens out in the morning, takes out the compost, collects eggs, generally doesn't fuss about doing schoolwork, is finally getting the hang of narrations (he does them best while doing headstands, go figure), and just finds all sorts of interesting and non-destructive ways to occupy himself.
He heard that some friends of ours are going to a 3 day/week homeschool co-op this year and was so jealous and I can't figure out how to adequately explain to him that he would hate it. Truthfully, it's the kind of program that Cecilia would probably love but I'd much rather have her home with me (and she tends to be slow to acclimate anyway, and stressed out by change, so it would be a big struggle for a while). Him, though? Sitting at a desk filling in the blanks in a bunch of workbooks and not being able to run out the door and ride his scooter whenever he wanted to? Oh goodness, he would be such trouble. I had way too many of those students when I was teaching - boys who were CRAZY-smart but could not be catered to in a formal school setting because it was just impossible, so they got in trouble all the time. And gradually learned to make trouble, because at least that was interesting.
Peter is getting to be such a big kid. He latches on to whatever game they've invented, and it's adorable watching him try to keep up!
He's barely smaller than Cecilia, but she still totes him all over the place, much to his delight! Baby_Holder, indeed.