It just so happened that we had both an empty Cheerio box and an empty family size graham cracker box from this weekend—so why not make a balalaika?

One of our Music Together songs from the “flute” semester is called “Tum Balalaika” so we put it on our iPod, made some cuts with the scissors, and got out the paints:

Katie painted while I put away a few groceries and made lunch. Our kiddos are on a smoothie kick—today I blended up a soft banana, orange juice, some strawberries from the garden, strawberry Greek yogurt, milk, and ice. Katie and Eric devoured it. I taught Eric to drink through a straw, and he thinks that is quite fun!

We worked on our balalaika throughout the day, letting the paint dry and gathering our other supplies: an old paint stirring stick, rubber bands, and pencils.

Katie plays with the finished balalaika. The balalaika is a Russian instrument first made by peasants centuries ago. I know that real balalaikas are made with three strings, but we put four on ours because…well, because we wanted to. Katie really loved this craft/project, and she played with it throughout the afternoon and evening, showing it to Bill first thing when he got home. She said that it is fun to make instruments.

Katie with her balalaika…

After balalaika-ing, playing a bit outside, and starting dinner prep (ground sirloin burgers stuffed with lemon butter and topped with Havarti, a lemon pepper aioli, and caramelized onions, with sweet potato fries), we all cuddled on the couch, and I sang Katie and Eric to sleep. Rarely do they nap on the same schedule, and it was so cute that they fell asleep like this together. Sweet little babies…

When Katie naps, she earns the privilege to stay up between 20-30 minutes past her bedtime for something special with me. Tonight we shared the rest of some dark chocolate gelato out of the carton and went out briefly to make moonlit shadows on the shed Boppa is building in the backyard.

A joyful day!

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