Curled up in bed, lights out, kids hogging all the covers, watching Jurassic Park— it’s family movie night.  This was Isaac’s pick for our evening together, and it’s perfect.  It’s been pretty quiet here on the blog while we have been on the go, go, go.  A movie night is just what we needed most.

Isaac sound asleep in his tent this morning.  Cub Scouts are hard-core. 

Since my last post, I have gone with fifty-one10th graders to Charleston, SC; Harper Lee began soccer; Isaac made it to Regionals in the Pinewood Derby; we finished our 8th season of G-Force and graduated eight sixth graders, most of whom have been with us since the very beginning when they were third graders; we raced the Habitat Hammer 5K; Rob traveled to Florida; Harper Lee and I saw the American Girl Fashion Show with friends; and Isaac and Rob went to Raven Knob for a Cub Scout camp-out.  In between, we’ve had school and work and music lessons and the day to day business of laundry and dirty dishes.  Plus, lots of papers to grade.  Whew.

It’s been wild. 

And speaking of wild– this is what Isaac’s feet looked like when he got home today. 
Nothing a little soap and elbow grease can’t take care of. 
The bathtub afterward required a little more effort.

One of the highlights of the 10th grade trip to Charleston (besides our awesome students and faculty) was the behind the scenes tour we got at the sea turtle hospital and rehab center at the Aquarium.  I could totally see Isaac working in a place like this someday. 
It was wonderful!

Our carriage tour horse in Charleston.

And as we whirled through activity after activity, spring finally came.  Hallelujah!

Rob has tilled the garden, and the kids and I plan to begin planting later this week. (Someone told me today that one more freeze is expected for Wednesday night, so I’m a little bit glad I was too busy to plant this week as I had originally planned.)  The trees are full of blooms and the bees are buzzing.  I even saw a snake yesterday and pulled the first tick of the season from Freckle’s back.  Snakes and ticks are probably not the best part of warm weather, but I’m so happy to say good-bye to winter, a little part of me is happy to see even them.
Sometimes things collide in ways I can’t really control, and for a couple of weeks, we lived the harried, haggard life I generally try to avoid at all costs.  It was a little more running around than I like, but it was all good stuff, and since it only lasted a couple of weeks, it made the insanity bearable.  It also made me appreciate my time at home even more than I already did, which is saying a lot.  One of the things I like about going away is the opportunity to come back.
And when we weren’t driving from place to place, I tried to keep things at home simple. Light and easy– that’s my motto.  Our meals have been particularly so.  Warm weather always  affects my eating habits, but we’ve consciously taken a lighter approach to family meal time recently.  I grew up with a full meal served each night, and that’s been a hard habit to break, but over time, we have begun to make lunch our biggest meal of the day while keeping supper light and simple.  This has been good for us in multiple ways.  For one thing, we are eating lighter and making better choices.  I used to eat a really light lunch, but by 3:00, I was starving, head-achy and cranky, which led to less than healthy snack choices.  For another thing, it makes life so much easier in the evening.  
Now we eat a solid breakfast and lunch, skip the afternoon snack completely, and eat a smaller dinner.  The kids particularly enjoy fresh fruits and veggies, homemade bread, and cheese or hummus.  They call it “having a smorgasbord”.  It’s fast, easy, and good for us– why didn’t I do this earlier?
And another awesome thing about having older kids?  They can help with mealtimes so much more than they did before.  We have always enjoyed cooking together, and their culinary skills are paying off now that I need more help around the house after work.  
One of their favorite television shows is Chopped, so the other night, they begged me to judge their creations in a homestyle Chopped competition.  I took several fresh ingredients from the the fridge, added a few things from the pantry that I thought might make palatable combinations, poured myself a glass of wine, and set the timer.  “Chefs,” I said, “you have 30 minutes on the clock.  Good luck.”  Then I sat down to read.  Glorious.
Thirty minutes later, I had placed before me, not one, but two lovely dinners.  It’s amazing what one can create with cucumber slices and leftover cheesy bread.  Seriously, both meals were very good.  Harper Lee made a killer salad with a creamy poppy seed dressing, and Isaac constructed an unusual but surprisingly delicious turkey and cheese sandwich.  It was awesome.  We ate, and they (sort of) cleaned the kitchen.  Not a bad deal at all.

Happy Spring, everyone!  It’s good to be home.