Busy, busy week. On Monday, James got himself in trouble by coming home completely naked after a mud fight. I opened the door to call for the kids and James came stalking in, covered in mud but quite obviously naked. Sigh..... Not even any underwear. So much for trying to keep on the good side of our conservative neighbors. :D So since he was in trouble, and Charles was whiny I only took the girls to my group. They were both well behaved and even Kitty finally got up enough gumption to crawl off by herself into the play area. I just wanted to cheer Deedee. We've been impressing that when she wants to draw, she asks for paper instead of going after the walls. She asked for her paper and when I thanked her for using her manners, she started clapping she was so proud of herself. And she said "yes, manners". So I guess something is sinking in. After the group, I ran a few errands. I had to drop off several movies that were due and I wished to go to the library to get The Very Hungry Caterpillar for James. He's doing B and bugs this week. I had some butterfly life cycle cards and I thought it would be a good idea for James to also read a book about it. James' Grandma Sue has a copy of it, but she wasn't home. So instead of being in the library for only about 10 minutes I was there for almost 30 when I discovered none of their copies were available. :( I finally found Sphinx: The Story of a Caterpillar. It's a moth rather than a butterfly but that just added a couple of extra words for James to learn such as pupa and cocoon. James loved sitting down with the book and matching up the cards with the different life cycles.

On Tuesday, I screwed up enough courage to go to a lunch potluck for homeschoolers. I had finally been put in touch with a homeschool group by a friend at Church and I admit that the only reason I finally went was because she would be there. So at least I would have one familiar face. We rode our bikes and it took us over an hour to get there. Bleh, I never thought it would take that long to ride less than three miles. Unfortunately, our route had a lot of gravel and poor James kept getting bogged down in it. :( So he had to keep getting off and walking his bike. Once I had to start looking at my directions to get where I needed to go (I had never been in that area at all), James insisted on looking at them too and then telling me the direction. I'm only glad that he always chose the right way as I don't know what I would have done if he'd wanted to go the other way. But we got there with little mishap and the kids settled right in. There were a lot of people there and I actually knew more than I had realized. There were two other women there that I had previous acquaintance with. But, since we were over an hour late, people were starting to leave. :( However, in the end that gave me more time with my hostess. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she was pagan as well. So while we visited over the next several hours (much longer than I had meant to stay) the kids also had a blast. The hostess had three boys ranging from 5 - 12 and they all got along great. This was quite unusual for James especially. He usually doesn't settle in that quickly but I hardly saw him at all after we got there. The biggest fight was over the trampoline and that's only because my kidlets had never really been on one, and they were frustrated at the "one at a time" rule. I finally rounded the kids up to go home although I would have loved to stay longer. I chose a different route on the way home. Less gravel, and more sidewalk so less dangerous as well. We happened to ride by the mortuary where Carey's grandmother Doris was taken after her death. I was shocked that not only did James recognize the building but he asked about GG Doris and could he see her. So I just stood there and hugged him for a few minutes while he cried.

On Wednesday, we were off along the same route again although this time we didn't go quite as far. We went to the pool. It was free so how could I resist? It was a hot and annoying ride, but well worth it. I had actually planned on catching the bus but this would be the first time I was on it, so I don't think I was at the right stop. :( So, I had to load the kids up and ride our bikes instead. We were already late but we were even later because I decided to stop at the grocery store on the way there. As hot as it was, the kids needed water and they were also hungry so we loaded up with little water bottles, powerade, and a huge sub sandwich that lasted us all afternoon. Once we got there, it was another crazy 20 minutes until I had all the kids dressed and changed myself. The kids loved the water, and I hardly saw James at all after a while. Even Kitty loved splashing around in the water after she got used to it. I think it would be a good idea to sign up the kids for swimming lessons next year, especially Charles. That little water baby kept going out to the rope delineating the "children's section" from the deepest part of the pool. It was above my waist, so of course it was above Charles head. He was always quite happy to be towed back to the shallows and the play structures although every time I turned around, he was right back out there. I finally gave up since there was a lifeguard 3 feet away from him, so I figured he was safe enough. I wound up with a bruise across my forearm when I slipped in the women's shower room and fell against the door. None of the kids got sunburned although I was slightly pink by the time we got home.

I was so proud of James on the route home. He must have been exhausted from not only the ride up there, but then spending so much time in the pool. But he was a little trooper all the way home. In the last two days, we have ridden our bikes almost 10 miles. That's a lot for such a little guy. Yesterday was so hot, and he was so tired by the time we were getting towards home, that he was getting a little whiny. He was mostly wanting water, and I had planned on stopping at a little park that's along the bike trail but we were put on a detour since the trail was being worked on. So it took us longer to get there than I planned. I just wanted a safe, shady spot to stop so the kids could get to run around for a few minutes and I wouldn't have to worry about them getting burned on the hot pavement. So by the time we got home, we were all sweaty and tired and I just wanted a nap. So while I laid down for a while. Carey introduced the kids to The Goonies and they sat totally enthralled through the whole movie, which is something considering their ages. Especially Deedee. So it's one that should be added to our collection soon.

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