We’ve been on a mission to learn how to ride a bike this week, a mission that Sam wasn’t completely on board with. Sam got his bike two years ago and loved it at first. We went on several family bike rides (with training wheels), but on one of those, Sam fell down and got spooked. After that, he rode only in slow motion and we eventually moved on from bike riding. I’ve brought the bike out now and then, and at some point we decided that the training wheels were causing some problems. We took the training wheels off in September and promised Sam that he could get a new helmet once he learned to ride without the training wheels. Riding without the training wheels was hard. He really couldn’t stay up at all. Next, we removed his pedals and let him use it as a balance bike. Sam was into this for awhile, and it helped him get some balance. Interest was lost again, and eventually we put the pedals back on. We’ve started and stopped several times since then, but Sam never forgot the promise of a new helmet. Every time I let go of his seat and he stayed up for a few seconds, he’d ask, “can I get a new helmet now?”. Last Sunday I told him that we’d get him a new helmet on Saturday if he rode his bike every day this week. He didn’t always want to, but he did it.
Sticking to our original promise that he could get a new helmet once he learned to ride, we went out and let Sam choose a new helmet yesterday. He chose one that came with dry erase markers and stencils. He can draw on it and change the look when ever he wants. Here it is:
School is out, and we’re enjoying summer to the fullest. Friday, our first day of summer vacation, found us at a new park with some friends followed by our first farm day of the season. Sam and I both loved the farm last summer, and we enjoyed spending time there again. There weren’t enough berries to take home, but we were invited to pick and eat as many strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries as we wanted. Walking back to the car from the raspberry bushes, Sam said, “I think I ate too many berries. I feel like my whole body is made out of berries. My feet are strawberries, and my fingers are blackberries, and my belly is raspberries!” A couple of hours later, as we were coloring at home, I asked if Sam still felt like he was made of berries. His response was, “No, now I feel like I’m made of happiness! It’s a really good feeling.”
Getting produce from the farm has been great for us. We don’t get to choose what we get, so we end up trying all kinds of veggies. Some of these have become unexpected favorites. Sam has discovered that he loves artichokes (he ate two of them last night), and I’ve grown to like cabbage. It’s challenging to go through all of the produce we get each week, and we all end up eating a lot more vegetables. There is one vegetable that tends to sit in the back of our crisper, though, and that is beets. We’d been getting boxes of vegetables from the farm throughout the winter and spring, and those boxes contained a lot of beets. We’ve tried roasted beets, beet hummus, beet noodles, and beet chips, but we still don’t like them. I generally try to unload our beets on other people. My friends must think I love beets because I’m always bringing beet salad to potlucks. As of this morning, we had two bags of beets that needed to be dealt with. I searched for beet recipes for people who hate beets, and came upon a recipe for chocolate beet cupcakes. Poor Dave thought I was making regular chocolate cupcakes. I’ve never seen him look as disappointed as he did when he saw the blender full of pureed beets ready to go into the cupcake batter. So how are they? Pretty good! They don’t taste like beets at all. If you’re going to eat beets, this is a good way to go. I’m sure they will be a big hit at our next potluck!
It’s hard to believe that today is Sam’s last day of kindergarten. Here are two pictures–one taken today and one taken on his first day of kindergarten. Same jacket, longer hair, bigger boy.
Last Day of Kindergarten
First Day of Kindergarten
A conversation from a playdate today:
6-Year-Old Dino-Geek 1, pointing at the above picture in a dinosaur book: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that is a dinosaur.”
Me: “I think that’s a dimetrodon” (du-MEE-tru-don) (I should say that the book was written in Chinese)
6-Year-Old Dino-Geek 1, correcting my pronunciation: “Yes, that’s a dimetrodon” (du-MEH-tru-don)
6-Year-Old Dino-Geek 2, running up to take a look: “That’s not a dinosaur. The dimetrodon lived before the dinosaurs.”
Several hours later, I decided to look it up, and here’s what I found on Wikipedia:
“Dimetrodon is often mistaken for a dinosaur or as a contemporary of dinosaurs in popular culture, but it became extinct some 40 million years before the first appearance of dinosaurs”
How do they know this stuff?
Sam loves to wear this pair of Dave’s pajama pants. At night, he’ll ask his dad what he’s planning to wear to bed. If Dave isn’t planning to wear these pants, Sam wants them!
Here is our beautiful strawberry rhubarb pie. Sam is calling it a Christmas pie since it is red and white like Santa’s suit.
This is today’s delicious project! We had a lot of fun making this pie. Sam did just about everything–he cut the rhubarb and strawberries (with a real knife!), he mixed up the dough, he helped me roll it out, and he pinched the edges of crust together. Here he is sprinkling some sugar on top:
The unbaked pie
As I took these pictures, I told Sam that I was documenting his most recent masterpiece. He said, “yeah, and there will surely be many more masterpieces!”
Last year, this peony plant was pretty sad looking and I felt like a big failure of a gardener. This year, they are perfect!