Adele's 10th Birthday

It's her tenth birthday, but Adele made us the cards. Her big sisters helped with spelling.

After a quick breakfast, Dwayne and I started the day with grocery shopping. We needed the spaghetti noodles for Adele's birthday dinner, among other things. 

When we got home from grocery shopping, we honked from inside the garage, something we always do, and the girls always come running down to help unload. They like to see what we've bought. 

Norah and her dad went back out a little later. She has to practice driving in preparation for taking her driving test.  So they took the truck and got several bags of mulch. It's that time of year. 

After cleaning while also doing laundry while also listening to some of The Literary Life's Annual Conference, Adele and I went out for a walk. We took her Foundations Memory Work (on little flashcards and one trivium table.) We walked 2.5 miles down our street and around our nearby Putnam Park, drilling her memory work to the rhythm of our steps. We sat on a picnic table by the pond to do the geography and work with the maps. 

We let ourselves get properly distracted at least one hundred times by all the lovely things around us. The pictures show three views of the same tree as I got closer and closer and closer. 

Our very long driveway is lined with rocks and mosses.  Honestly, it's one of my favorite places in the entire world. The girls like to pretend there's a throne in the middle of this particular group of rocks. Do you see it? 

Adele and I picked this dead branch up off the road and the beauty of it flamed out at me like "shining from hook fool" in the words of Hopkins. Isn't it gorgeous covered in various fungi and mold? I really need to get my field guides out and start learning how to identify these beautiful, tiny things. 

I love walking with Adele, because her young eyes see tiny blooms I'd never see otherwise. 

We said these flowers look like they are still wrapped up in their winter fleeces. It is lovely to come out and bask in the spring sunshine, but it is definitely still a bit chilly. We, too, had to have our fleeces on. 

We admired a blue bird on one of the trees along our driveway for a long time. We gazed up at him, and naturally, couldn't help but sing His praises. The blue on his head matched the sky behind him, the white on his face and belly matched the puffy clouds blowing by in the sky, and the brown on his neck matched all the tree branches under and around him; He made a perfect picture. We've never had a blue bird in our yard, so we asked him outright and out loud to stay. 

With the flowers are braving the still-cold to come out into the sun, and birds flitting and singing all around us, and smells of thawing ground everywhere, it all goes right along with CS Lewis's "Love's as warm as tears" that was in today's reading for Malcolm Guite's Waiting on the Word:

Love's as fresh as spring,
    Love is spring:
Bird-song in the air, 
Cool smells in a wood, 
Whispering 'Dare! Dare!'
To sap, to blood, 
Telling, 'Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.'

The daffodils in our yard are blooming. I'm always so thankful that the previous owner took the trouble to plant them along the front walkways. 

For her birthday meal, Adele wanted spaghetti; It's her favorite. And she asked to help make it. She's my "kitchen helper," and I just love working with her in the kitchen.  

Dwayne made the cookies we needed for Adele's special birthday dessert. 

The girls spent some of their free time cross-stitching, drawing, and watching a "how-to croquet" video. Avril came upstairs after attempting to croquet and said, "I admit defeat," throwing a ball of yarn and her hooks down on the kitchen table. We shared a laugh. 

Adele wanted Smores on chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers, so Dwayne made a fire with the last of our wood for the season, and we put down an old quilt to protect my rug on the floor from embers and melted chocolate. We toasted marshmallows right in the fire place. (We never, ever eat in the living room!) But it felt properly celebratory to throw off propriety in order to Adele's vision happen. 

Adele got the idea for this special dessert from a book she picked up at the annual library book sale. She's actually got several desserts in this book marked, and I find her studying this book intently often, which just makes me laugh to myself. So it was rewarding to finally let her make one of the desserts in it. 



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