Mrs. Easter Bunny arrived rather late at our house tonight, as she was busy giving herself a bit of a pedicure for tomorrow’s festivities. Now that she has come and the moon is high, it is almost certainly bedtime. Yet I cannot let another day pass in this gloriously beautiful week without celebrating the moments for which we are truly thankful.

The moon has been a constant source of joy for us these many evenings. On Tuesday night, all four of us stepped outside before bed to view Mars and Regulus triangulating with the moon. Bill and Katie also located Venus, and we found Jupiter as well. Eric danced around enjoying his shadow, and it was a sweet and happy memory for all of us.

Last night during our rocking chair/reading/singing/cuddle-before-bed-time, we moved Eric’s rocker forward just a tiny bit, and the three of us could view the full moon from one of Eric’s windows. I held my two babies and we sang our lullabies and talked about how long the moon has been there and how beautiful it is. Magic.

We’ve had some awesome schooling sessions this week, too. I haven’t been posting too much about the McGaugh Academy lately because, in truth, we’ve put aside some of our projects for now and are just really focusing on the basics—almost every day. Katie’s reading is improving in leaps and bounds, and we are certainly meeting our goal for the year with respect to this. Very exciting. Her progress is by no means linear, but at 4.5 she can sound out most short vowel words and has started work on words with the “silent e.” She also owns several sight words. I’ll take it. We are doing well with telling time, as well. I never appreciated before how complex it is to explain the nuances of our clock system, but let me tell you, it is. She tends to pick up what I say, but teaching the clock is more of an exercise for me in reevaluating my words, choosing the best way to explain, and reflecting on my teaching. There is no doubt in my mind that, should I ever return to my high school classroom, I will be much more limber in my ability to explain and reexplain hard concepts after having taught my young, young children.

Math is going well, too. Her addition is progressing, and she is doing work with sets. She shows an intuitive feel for the exact number of things in a set, without always having to count them. Very cool—like her daddy with that number sense. We’ve done some subtraction, also, and we are of course working with “zero.” She can now count up to 30, and she is showing signs of seeing the pattern to 100. Just a bit more practice… One day, we were doing “greater than” and “less than” work, and she herself brought up: “What is less than zero?” It was time to bust out the number line and talk about negative numbers, and she seemed to like that quite a bit. We play all kinds of math and thinking games. She likes those.

Science and history are so much a part of everything we talk about and do that we cover so many different aspects of each right now. Katie did explicitly ask me this week, “Can you make a unit about the planets?” So I have started working on that. One part of homeschool I love? She has the chance to direct her own education.

Oh. We’ve also started counting and working with coins. Mainly just pennies, nickels, and dimes for now. She knows what a quarter is, but we can use that much more when she is able to count to 100.

We also had a beautiful visit with Nana this week on Thursday. On Wednesday the kiddos did some fingerpainting artwork to give to her. Toward the end, Katie painted herself all over and called herself the “Paint Monster”:

Yesterday, we had an Easter Eve Eve. The kiddos and I dyed eggs, watched Springtime with Roo, took a walk in the sunshine, saw our first ladybug of the season, cuddled and sang and read The Tale of Peter Rabbit (among others) before bed. We love Beatrix Potter. All of that old English–so lovely to the ears!

And this morning, my beautiful friend Erin Sanchez came over for a breakfast of tea. Oh, I just adore Erin. I so very much celebrate that we are now friends, and that we have had the kind of relationship that has evolved in this way. I first met Erin when she was a student in my 9th grade class many, many years ago. I was, indeed, incredibly fortunate to be her English teacher for three of her four years at TVHS. I could go on and on about her as a scholar (one of the very best I’ve ever met) or as a example of pure character (one I completely trust), but that would sound more like a rec letter at this point than I would want it to sound for a friendship. The truth is that Erin is one of the most genuinely caring and nurturing gentle souls I’ve ever met—at any age—in this world. She is adored by her family and friends, and for good reason. Both Erin and her twin sister Lauren (another person of whom I think very highly) have wanted to be nurses since high school. Now, after four years at Azusa Pacific, both are graduating—on the Dean’s List—and have fulfilled this calling. I am so proud of Erin and of Lauren. I wish everyone could hear, as I heard today, the way that Erin speaks about her nursing and what she perceives in it and what she has learned about people. She is already a fantastic practitioner. She graduates in May.

Anyone who has Erin in his or her life is truly blessed. After a beautiful visit this morning, we realized we had forgotten to exchange two items we meant to exchange (a small gift from me, and her official nursing portrait from her). Erin popped back over on her way to dinner at Pamir (Katie’s favorite Temecula restaurant), and we were able to get a few pictures together. (Disclaimer: Erin always looks pretty, but by this time in the afternoon I was out of my visiting clothes and into my bake-a-bundt-cake-and-play-tickle-monster-and-do-laundry look—so be warned if you spot any orange and chocolate smudges on my shirt in this picture)!

My parents also came over and gave the kiddos Easter presents, and we had a merry time of it. We’ll see my parents tomorrow, too, of course, but it was fun to extend the celebration. We all played in the yard until the sun began to dip. I love these spring afternoons and evenings.

I hope everyone is having a happy weekend!

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