Phoebe survived the entire day in a single outfit, which has to be a new record for her (so I was glad I picked a cute one)! We did our morning work fairly quickly today and then headed to the park for a picnic and PE (after we finished lunch I made the kids run 1.5 miles before letting them play, or, in the case of Rachel and Miriam, do more schoolwork).
Here's Benjamin helping Phoebe go down some teeny slides at the park:
I know the stats about children and broken legs on slides, specifically when going down slides on laps. I know that...and yet I still let my kids go down the slide on laps. I just make sure to remind the holder about keeping the rider's legs inside their lap (not to either side) and on top of their legs (not in between). And then I take a deep breath and tell my anxiety to take a chill pill.
Because—here's the thing—I'm actively anxious about...most things...so taking a few calculated risks is like...exposure therapy...right? Sure.
Phoebe is a bit of an anxious person, herself, but here's a fairly happy going-down-the-slide pictures (but still with her fists clenched and drawn tight to her body):
Is it over?
It's over! What a relief!
She's still not the biggest fan of changes in altitude. Zoë, meanwhile was a little tree-climber today:
Here's Miriam holding Phoebe in the pavilion, while taking a break from her math work:
Here's Phoebe being too interested in all the stuff in front of her to give sitting up a good try (she's really getting pretty good at it):
Here she is whining because she doesn't actually like the grass that much:
Here she is whining because she doesn't like the swing that much:
Just kidding! She actually doesn't mind the swing (as long as she doesn't get pushed too high). In fact, she quite enjoys the swing. But what she really wanted was milk and a nap. I had already nursed her and put her down for a nap in her stroller, but a couple of my kids couldn't keep from screaming while they were playing (which, they were outside so...fair...but still). So Phoebe woke up and wanted to nurse back to sleep, but her tummy was so sloshy that I didn't want to add anything else inside.
She survived being put into the swing and decided that she could actually have fun in there.
Until her brothers decided that even though Mommy said, "Phoebe doesn't need very many pushes," they should both push Phoebe. And even though they were only going to do it "very gently" it ended up being rougher than she wanted so she started crying again and I eventually pulled her out and risked putting even more milk in her already sloshy tummy.
Miraculously, she managed to not be very spitty-uppy today! Here she is resting in her stroller after her little meal for a minute (and looking quite a bit happier).
So we tried sitting up again and we did a much better job (though she still wasn't the fondest of the grass):
Those little yellow flowers looked pretty interesting though...
Too bad she doesn't do pincher-grasp yet or she would have been all over those delicate blossoms.
Here are all six of my kids on the swings, just about using up the entire swing set (there are two accessibility swings beside Phoebe, which we didn't use):
Alexander is a little big for the baby swing these days, but there are only four big-kid swings, so for the sake of this picture he rode in the baby swing. Look at how gangly his legs are!
These kids juts won't stop growing! Benjamin's feet are as big as mine now, and Miriam's are bigger!! I honestly thought that—of all my children—she might be the one to not outgrow my shoe-size. Evidently I was wrong about that. We'll see if Zoë or Phoebe end up with my-size feet.
Here's a few more of Phoebe grinning every time she gets close to Momma:
She doesn't reach out to anyone yet and she doesn't call my name, but tonight she was looking and me and squawking while Grandpa was holding her, so I took her from him and she calmed down a bit, so I think she might be starting to express her opinions.
Here's Miriam and Phoebe by some beautiful azalea bushes:
And here's Benjamin with what I believe is some blue toadflax:
Back at home, I had a meeting with my advisor, so Phoebe hung out downstairs while I was Zooming. When I came downstairs I was surprised to find her happily playing in her little exersaucer:
We've tried her out in there a few times, but she hasn't really been interested in playing (or keeping her balance) so she never lasted very long. This afternoon she was actively grabbing and manipulating toys, which was fun to see!
Here's the last couple of pictures of Phoebe before she switched into jammies:
Rachel made enchiladas for dinner (with Andrew's help) and invited Grandpa over for FHE. Alexander was in charge of the lesson. He passed around some pictures from the Gospel Art Kit and then had everyone tell the story of the picture he'd handed out. This was because, Andrew said, we need to teach Phoebe the scriptures because she doesn't know anything yet.
"Ask Phoebe how many scripture stories she knows," Andrew prompted Alexander.
"Phoebe, how many scripture stories do you know?" Alexander said, and then hid his face shyly behind Andrew's back before darting across the room to stand behind Phoebe's head and say, "None!" in a sweet little baby voice.
If she had been paying attention during family scripture study she might know a couple by this point in her life, but she's a notorious trouble-maker during scriptures, always asking for snacks instead of listening quietly.
Alexander's sense of humour has been developing, which is fun to see.
We're using a number of translations in our bible study, which has been so illuminating that we're doing it with Pushkin as well. The kids will "call" dibs on certain translations when it's time to sit down to study, which is pretty funny. Rachel prefers Robert Alter's The Five Books of Moses. Miriam prefers Friedman, which shows the different narratives in various fonts/colours so you can see how multiple stories have been merged into a single account.
I think a lot of our new favourite lines to quote come from Alter's, honestly.
One line we like to quote is Genesis 25:29, where Esau says to Jacob, "Let me gulp down some of this red red stuff, for I am famished."
Yesterday when we were filling our plates just before conference (which happens right at lunch time and again at dinner time for us), Alexander was struggling to get his words right. He asked for "ranch" for his fruit, when what he really meant was "fruit dip." Then instead of asking for cauliflower, he said, "Let me have some of that white white broccoli, for I am famished!"
It was hilarious, in part because of his choice to quote a scripture like that and in part because I legitimately do not think he fully knows the word cauliflower. In his mind, it's literally just white broccoli.
Another line the kids like to quote, which I thought might also come from Alter, but which actually comes from Friedman's translation is Genesis 6:17, where God says, "I'm bringing the flood..."
One of the scriptures we're memorizing this year is Joshua 25:15, which goes (according the the King James Version, which is where we pull scriptures to memorize): "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Alexander was saying this today, but right in the middle he goes "...whether the gods which your fathers serve that were on the other side of...I'm bringin' the flood...or the gods of the Amorites..."
It was, again, hilarious, in part because the kids have this Specific Intonation for this line that is irreverently delicious. It cracks me up every time!
Speaking of memorizing scriptures, we're also working on is Genesis 2:24, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
When Andrew first introduced that scripture to us as one we'd be memorizing (we have a list; he just happens to have the list handy on his phone...or brain...or something...whereas I can't remember a scripture reference to save my soul), he was impressed when I immediately began spouting it off (probably because I can't remember a scripture reference to save my soul; the scripture itself, no problem...but its reference...oh, boy).
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one..." I said, trailing off. "One...one...one...being?"
"Not being..." Andrew said, well aware I was drawing a blank, but baiting me to take another guess. "One..."
"I don't know..." I said.
"Flesh," Andrew said, just as I (sillily) guessed "Lump!"
So now our kids end this scripture with "and they shall be one flesh-lump."
And they absolutely can't wait until next year (when we'll memorize some New Testament scriptures). They're all hoping James 1:5–6 will make the list because when we were working on that scripture seven years ago, Benjamin tacked on the phrased "into a volcano" at the end and...now we're known to announce "that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed...into a volcano."
Speaking of Benjamin...
The picture Alexander assigned me to talk about was of Mary Magdalene and the Resurrected Lord. So I told the story and then some (we had to discuss running to tell the apostles and how some of them wouldn't believe Mary, and then how the Lord appeared to the apostles, except Thomas wasn't there and he continued to doubt, and how the Lord never condemned him for doubting, suggesting that we won't be condemned for our doubts either). And then Benjamin goes, "Didn't Mary Magdalene have glasses?"
"Glasses?!" we scoffed. "No! What on earth made you think she had glasses?"
"She wore contacts," Grandpa joked.
"They didn't have glasses back then," we said.
And the conversation moved on. Someone asked how it was possible that Mary Magdalene wouldn't recognize Jesus. How could she possibly have mistaken him for a gardener?!
"Well, she had just been crying," I said. "And, besides, maybe she forgot her...glasses..."
And, in a moment of clarity, I remembered making this same joke a while back. When? I don't know. Years ago, perhaps. And apparently Benjamin internalized that little tidbit as Fact. Oops.
We talked about other reasons she might not have recognized him (not having her glasses with her would not be one of those reasons, though it's still possible she had poor eyesight; glasses were invented to solve poor eyesight...they didn't cause it, after all). Grandpa suggested that she simply wasn't expecting it to be Him because...he was supposed to be dead (and even though they knew about the resurrection, they didn't fully understand what it meant, which...is fair...because Big Same). I suggested that she was blinded by grief—like, when you're freshly in the throes of grieving you feel all sorts of out of sorts. You're angry and sad and tired and desperate, not at all prepared to be thinking or seeing clearly.
It's a good thing there are no, like, trophies or anything handed out for being the best at-home gospel-doctrine instructors because...I'm not sure we'd win anything. But we have a good time (and it sure makes these scriptures memorable)!