With our homeschool schedule (which can be flexible if we need a travel day to see family), Tuesdays and Thursdays are errands/clean/review/play days: days essentially to get caught up on the many other responsibilities of running a household. We had reading time and errands this morning, followed by lunch and nap (for Eric). While Eric napped, Katie worked on review/practice assignments that she could do totally on her own while I vacuumed, tidied up, put away groceries from Costco, and ran around as quickly as possible. Two of her fairy books came in the mail, so she also spent time looking at those. It turned out we even had time to start reading one of the new books before Eric woke up.

Then she made a fairy potion outside while I adjusted the straps on Eric’s car seat. Inside again, we used some oranges from a friend of my dad’s to make freshly squeezed orange juice pops to freeze for tomorrow’s afternoon/afternap/after school recess. We also made our new favorite healthy treat: smoothie granita. It’s not really a true granita, but that’s what we’re calling it because of its consistency and how, when it gets really hard, we fluff it with a fork before eating it. We whizz up the following in our blender: a variety of berries (usually fresh, but today I bought a huge frozen pack of mixed berries from Costco and added my own strawberries), 0% fat Greek yogurt, bananas, 2% fat milk, and a drizzle of honey. That’s it. Not a bunch of sugar, really low in fat. It freezes up  in a big tupperware, and the kiddos think it is ice cream—and are just as excited. I put a few mini chocolate chips on it and a dusting of coconut. They LOVE it. We’ve already made our second big batch, and it is cost effective, too. I discovered this by accident a week ago when making homemade yogurt berry pops. I had extra that wouldn’t fit into my molds, so I just froze it to see if we could make a dessert out of it. Now we’ve got a new springtime treat!

Then when Eric woke up, we made lemonade:

Right as we finished making it, my parents came over. The kiddos wanted a lemonade slushy, so the blender came back out. Blended with ice, the lemonade had the taste and feel of the lemonade slushies we can get at Disneyland. We took them into the back yard and kicked balls, used the swings, and read with Amie. We also played “fairy chase” and had a little water fight. Walking around the yard on a spring afternoon with our lemonade slushies had some magic to it, definitely.

While I finished making dinner (roasted chicken from Costco—so easy!, roasted haricots verts and onions, strawberries cut into hearts, and baked potatoes), Eric and Boppa investigated circuits and Amie and Katie played “library” with one of the spare library pockets that I bought to make that calendar I posted about a few days ago. They used a 3 X 5 to insert in the pocket, and they also made library cards.

Boppa and Eric playing with the circuit. When the switch is thrown, a bell sounds. Boppa made this—awesome. Eric started saying, “Ding! Ding!”

Then Katie helped to set our outdoor table (she decided to wrap forks in her princess napkins and secured them with pipe cleaners—inventive), and she decorated the table with a basket of leaves and got glasses of water for herself and Eric. My parents stayed to visit while we ate outside, watching the twilight and looking at the glow of the sun on the new tree buds. Oh, Spring. I often think of myself as loving the autumn best, but when it really comes down to it, I savor all of the different seasons and the way we are different with them. We know it is springtime when the lemonade comes out, when the days are longer, and the weather is warm enough for dinners outside. Each season has special hallmarks, now, for us as a family, and I just relish fully inhabiting each phase of the year. We know that blueberry picking time is coming, and the month of fairies. Roses are blooming again in the city’s rose garden. Special Mother’s Day Weekend dates with each child one-on-one await us happily in May. We have been enjoying these past few weeks of gardening and watching new life (birds, baby lizards, tree buds) become part of the cycle in our yard. This is a magic time, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.