Zoe is my natural athlete. She is such a jumper that her brother has nicknamed her "Kangaroo" because she's been jumping since before she could walk. Sometimes she has to get up from the dinner table just to jump ten or twenty times before she can sit down again and finish her meal. She has so much energy!
Nothing makes Zoe happier than running. As soon as she sets out she gets a giant giggly smile and can't stop laughing with joy. She LOVES to run! She can (and has) run for more than a mile without trouble. Her gait is so beautiful, so smooth and lithe; she looks like a little gazelle. I hope she never stops.
Jed has taken charge of the chicken chores this year. This isn't an easy job for him, especially during the cold winter months, but he has been remarkably diligent for a little guy. Sometimes he complains, but whenever we go outside he always loves talking to the chickens and spending the time outside.
We haven't had an easy run of it this past winter, with almost half our chickens dying in various gruesome manners, but Jed's been a tough cookie and hasn't even winced helping clean up and deal with the aftermath.
I feel tending the chickens teaches some of the greatest lessons a child could learn, and is the primary reasons why I want chickens. Daily work is required. It isn't fun, but it is rewarding collecting the eggs and seeing the flock grow. During hard times, he comes face to face with the realities of death and the natural cycle of life. Realizing his actions have real, lasting, permanent consequences for these helpless animals has opened his eyes. I know if he can learn to understand these lessons now, he will be stronger facing challenges as a teen and an adult.
This past week we had the rainiest day in recorded Evansville history. The previous total rain in 24 hours record was 2.89 inches. We handily smashed that by geting 4.97 inches. It poured and poured and poured and lightninged and thundered for 30 hours straight, for a total of 6 inches of rain. Craziness!
We did get a short break about 18 hours in, and the kids wasted no time in donning their boots and heading out to the newly-formed lake in the backyard.
I wish I had a photo of them in their "boat." I thought it a little ridiculous when they planned to float out in the overturned turtle shell to our little sandbox, but they proved me wrong because it totally worked! Zoe and Zane both sailed out in their little boat, spinning happily with the plastic baseball bat as an oar. These kids are awesome.
The second full night of explosive thunder and lightning wasn't kind to the kids' sleep. Michael and I couldn't sleep either. It was an incessant roar of waterfall off the roof, punctuated by blinding flashes and bombs going off in the front yard. This is how we finally got Zoe to sleep.
Yes, that is ear protection for Michael's rifle, and it works perfectly to protect little girls from nature's artillery.
One of my favorite things about Zoe is how much she loves creepie-crawlies. She's always running to me with a wiggly worm or chirping cricket or some tiny creature clasped in her moist little hand. Last summer she had a cricket collection, which she captured all by herself (at age 3!) I shamelessly encourage her gross bug habit, since I myself worked for an entomologist raising weevils and moths back in the day. We are women who love bugs and creeping things.
Worms are generally her favorite, though. After our big rainstorm this past week (6 inches of rain in 30 hours) we had worms by the handful available, and Zoe Ann was in heaven.
She gently stretched them out on the pavement to compare their lengths.
I am sorry to report that often the worms do not survive her tender attentions. I chalk their deaths up as a sacrifice to science, since I'm quite sure we'll have an accomplished entomologist on our hands someday.
Baby brother wants in on the photo action. "HI DAD!"