tristan is all grown up. he helps how ever he can, he'll play and entertain his sister for hours. he watches her and generally keeps her out of trouble. he can actually grab her and carry her to safety. we nurture his protective big brother side. i fully expect that kassi and tristan will be all but completely autonomous for large portions of their days by the time the new baby comes. this'll be extremely helpful to tabitha having her hands full with the latest omelay.
our friend anna blogged about structured time for kids and the need for unstructured time. i wholly agree, and will take that a step further. i believe that structure is for the adults. it helps them get predictable results on behavior and gives both parties a baseline for productive interaction. having said that and realizing the benefits, we have almost no structured time. we have breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner together and the most structured time we have is movie night and when we pray before meals. there is routine around here, feeding the chickens, the cow, and checking for eggs. this routine is a kind of structure but mostly it's for the animals and in hopes that we don't forget anything. we as parents are predictable and try to offer a consistent position which is a kind of structure. tabitha has read many books on parenting and different methods, i've read a few, but mostly we do what feels right. for us that means our kids have the run of the place, they are by most standards un-ruley. but they are sweet, considerate and generally consider themselves as our peers. not that they question the modicum of authority that we enforce (too much) but they demand respect as much as any other person. this sorta happened this way. maybe this'll bite us in the butt in the future but this is how the experiment is progressing to date.
mike turned our garden yesterday for the final time. kassi and i picked up rocks and roots out of the garden. she is amazingly helpful. i'd point out rocks and she'd say "tanx daddy" and pick it up and put it in the bucket. she twice half filled a five gallon bucket of rocks. i dumped the buckets, picked up the really large ones, took them to the rock ring, and pulled roots. we worked until dark. in the interim I cooked chicken on the grill YUM. it was so tasty--we haven't grilled in a while.
friday I will rent a roto-tiller, the new for-trade-one is a few weeks away. we'll macerate the soil to a fine homogeneous layer. I plan to add cedar shavings, the composted and more fresh cow manure and the leca that ben gave me over the weekend.