Last weekend we got new neighbors! We are so happy to welcome Jonathan and Christen to Happy Valley Road. They not only moved in, but also hosted their wedding and party at their new home all in one weekend! It was fun to be able to host a meal for some of their family and friends Friday evening and then Saturday was a full day of ritual and celebration as they committed themselves to each other and the land and we to our relationships with them. A beautiful and emotional day. We look forward to sharing life together in this place and hopefully growing old together!
I provided farmer's and cheddar cheese for the wedding party. I decided to cut the rind off my cheddar rounds for the occasion as some seem to really like the cheddar rind and some think the rind is not edible and leave it on their plates. I didn't want lots of rinds going to waste so I cut them off ahead of them. Then I had LOTS of cheddar rind so it seemed the time for an experiment: what would happen if I dried all the rind down and then pulverized it? What I hoped was that I would get a very flavorful parmesan-like cheese. I did. Yippee!
So one weekend a wedding and the next weekend a birthday. And our littlest was sure eager to be 4. The numbers lover in me was also eagerly anticipating that we would then have 4, 8 and 16 year old girls. I think it is pretty cute that 4+4 =8 and 8+8=16. Our last fun combination was when Terah was 2, Alida 7 and Kali 14 (2x7=14). I haven't figured out if there are any fun ones coming down the line. More than the numbers, I'm enjoying each of our girls at the unique ages and stages they are at.
We gave Terah one of her presents (her very own pruners and flower trimmers) the day before her birthday as we were pretty sure she'd like to try them out for the final corn and squash harvests of the year. She did! Jason and I marveled at the large winter squashes we pulled out of the patch. After the horrendous start to the season, we were bracing ourselves for very little winter squash. I am once again nothing short of amazed at plants!
As we flipped through pictures, we had this very fun realization: On the eve of Terah's birth, Alida was wearing the exact same footie pajamas that Terah had on at that moment (the eve of her fourth birthday).
So the day was a mix of specific birthday fun and family gardening (which was also fun!). We got our hard and soft neck garlic planted, harvested the ginger and brought in the pineapple and amaryllis. Terah enjoyed her new sewing cards and paints, helped me make the cupcakes for her birthday, savored the extra attentiveness of her big sisters to her every whim and then we welcomed Aunt Christie who joined in time for her birthday dinner and was staying with us for the weekend. It was a good day and her party was not even until the next day! At breakfast we had started eating before she reminded us, "You didn't sing Happy Birthday to me." We fixed that immediately! And lest one questions the picture of her vacuuming below, this gal is EAGER to be grown up and do things she could not do previously so operating the vacuum solo is a sign of her grown-up-ness, as is using sharp knives in the kitchen!
Yesterday was her second day of minikickers and I was able to be with her for this one. She was mostly attached to me for the hour and still would not play freeze tag. On a few of the activities, she got comfortable enough to let go of my hand for a few minutes. I've noticed that she almost always sticks her tongue out when kicking the ball! She seemed to mostly enjoy it but is still hesitant to fully engage. There are a number of things about the set up of the whole thing that I think could easily be tweaked to increase kiddo comfort.
Following soccer for all three girls, the attention turned to party time! Terah along with 21 others who love her dearly celebrated together last evening over a meal of all her favorite foods - though she mostly just ate the boxed macaroni and cheese - and a birthday egg hunt and some pin the tail or bow on the bunny. She was still going strong after 9 p.m. Her mother was not! She seemed to feel loved and celebrated, so I'd say her 4th birthday was a success! Currently, as I write this blog, she is enjoying her new sticker activity books from her aunts!
P.s. And, in case anyone is wondering, the piglets are still cute!