Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Finished the chicken coop this weekend. Yeah! Dh and Sam helped me get the siding up, and dh put the roof on, which we then shingled together. He also put the doors on while I trenched the sides of the coop, attaching and burying 2 feet of chicken wire so predators, hopefully, can't dig under. All in all, I think the coop came out great, and the ladies sure seem to like it! I was so grateful to have everyone's help, and I'm sure the kids will have a blast painting it!

We went climbing again yesterday at Carderocks and took the puppy with us this time. She did a great job and even tackled a 3rd class climb with ease! We roped up a couple of new routes this week, which were much higher than last week. The kids did well, though the beginning of the climb was a bit sketchy and threw them off a bit. Julia climbed probably 20-25 feet high and popped at the top. She banged a bit, but shook it off and lowered down like a champ. I don't think she's a bit deterred! Sam did a great job and had fun bouldering around at the bottom, as did Emily. Em got scared on the rock again this week; she's having a tough time with the vertical aspect of climbing. We're going to do more roping up at home to get her more comfortable with lowering down, and I'll probably do a lot more bouldering with her at the crag. She's like me--she likes climbing and testing her body on the rock; it's the vertical that wigs her out. With bouldering, she can practice her technique and gain confidence by moving horizontally over the rock. After climbing, we came home and played in the pool (well, I cleaned out the cars) and then went out to dinner at the Outback. We stopped at Eastern Mountain Sports on the way home and got the kids their own chalk bags. What a great day!

Em's having a great time in the pool and has started swimming in the week that the pool's been up. She can swim breast stroke under water for 3 or 4 strokes until she runs out of breath. Life works out well: as she's struggling with one activity, she can see herself excel and make strong progress in another. It's also nice to see Julia excelling in climbing and not having to watch her older sister always do everything better than she does. Julia's always been such a confident climber, and I have some really great visual memories stored as she and dh walk down to the climbing wall together. Sam's been doing a really great job climbing, too, and I think it's helpful for him to see Em backing down. He gets to see that age doesn't always determine ability.

I find watching the kids grow and discover who they are, defining themselves on their own terms, so wonderful! What great ages they all are and what special times we're having together. I'm impressed by each of them every day and so privileged to be spending my life with them.

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