This morning I let the children play in the front yard after Papa left for work. They lined up to kiss him goodbye, and after waving from the front porch, the circus began. At least it did for Ella, Max, and LMark as they flipped, cartwheeled, and spun around all over our hill.
For Margaret, something else was going on. Her arms, in a unmistakably Julie Andrewsesque pose, floated behind her as she ran from one side of the yard to the other, leaping and singing. Her melody was more like something from an Ethiopian Orthodox Choir than a Julie Andrews film, but the words were utterly inspired. "The wind is flowing through my beeyootiful hair as I run through the grass <<get out of my way Max!!>> and the life is beeyootiful and the bushes and when I go up to the sun it's hotter than the earth..." and on and on like that for about 20 minutes.
We came home today from Girl Scouts/Boys Club to find that the concrete men were already digging out the 20'x25' area in which we plan to install the new patio. Mark & I discussed it's placement a couple weeks ago, and we both decided it should be moved out of the middle of the yard, the location of the original compromise, and into the back corner of the yard next to the swing set. There is no place in our yard that doesn't slope, so the men had to dig out a sizable chunk of earth to make it level. But I can imagine landscaping around it with a retaining wall or something else to make it look nice.
Right now we have a nice hill of sand for the children. The difficulty of this (and the gorgeous weather which allows more outside-time) is that they come into the house covered in sand and dust from head to toe. Which means they're thirsty, and they want water or tea, which they spill or slosh, and step in, and on and on, till I might as well not have mopped the floor two days ago, because it looks worse than it did before.
I got a call from Rose today. She described where she's been with a precise enunciation of her consonants. Either this is a result of being around my aunt for several days, or she's picked up a love of the English accent. She told me where she's visited, what she's seen, and how she loves blood sausage and tea with two lumps of brown sugar and clotted cream. She wants to go to Oxford now. She plans to post her journal on a blog she created a few weeks ago. I told her I wasn't going to link to it from my page until her spelling improves.
I went to Nell's house last night for our Church sisterhood meeting. She served pineapple upside down cake, fruit, blueberry muffins, and a chocolate peanut butter pie. The food, the table, and the company was enjoyable, and a nice break from the kids.