Hamlette, I am your father.

The kids have loved riding their bikes this week, but they've all outgrown their own bikes. We need to buy Rea a bigger one, put training wheels on Rea's for Sara, and move Timmy from the trike to Sara's bike with training wheels. Alison also wants to put a handle on the back of the trike so she can push Gideon. The kids are not too excited about the changes. Sara was OK as long as the doll seat moves to the back of her new bike, but Rea was very upset about losing hers. Alison finally had to tell her that she could only keep her old bike if she bought Sara a new one with her own money. Then she started fighting with Sara about the name of the bike. Rea insisted it keep whatever name Rea gave it, and Sara wanted to transfer her old bike's name to her new one. Finally they agreed that if Rea paid Sara $2, Sara would keep the bike's name. So we hope that's all settled, and this week we'll get Rea her first geared bike and another set of training wheels, and then we'll all be set for the summer.

Alison applied to a cool Utah online charter program called MyTechHigh, and Rea and Sara were accepted this week. The program gives each kid $150 per class for Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and two electives per year; the parent writes up a description of the course the kid is going to do and buys the materials and gets reimbursed. Then we have to report a couple of sentences on what we did each week. It seems like a reasonable amount of work for a ton of money (we currently budget $100/month for all the kids' education), so we're now considering all the amazing school things we can buy.

When Mike ordered Alison's birthday presents this week, he accidentally clicked the Amazon Prime free trial, so now we have Prime for a month. The kids are loving all the Wild Kratts movies we can access. If there are any other things we shouldn't miss during the time we have Prime, let us know!

Tuesday Alison, as a member of the ward council, was asked to go to a special stake meeting about the new Ministering. Mike was already planning to present a game at Board Game Design Guild, so the kids got a last-minute babysitter. They enjoyed it, and Mike enjoyed BGDG. Alison's meeting was a meeting.

On Wednesday Gideon had his first Daddy Giddy date. He wanted to have smoothies for his date, and then once we had smoothies, he wanted to wrestle, so we had smoothies and wrestles for his date.

Ever since we got our Thanksgiving Point pass, the kids have wanted to go get pony rides at Farm Country, and we went again on Thursday. They love it. For Alison, half an hour of driving (round trip) is a lot for a 3 minute pony ride, but the kids think it's worth it.

Friday was Mike's first day working from home. Unfortunately, Alison forgot that and accepted an invitation to a workshop on nature learning for the nature group over lunch, so we didn't get to have lunch together. But we love having Mike work from home. The workshop was really interesting and the kids had fun playing with all the other kids (there were dozens), although they all agreed that we never want to live in a house that big. (Alison was really envious of the built-in speaker system, though.)

On Friday night for our date, Mike and Alison went to a local homeschool group's Shakefest. They put on a Shakespeare Shuffle with a jumble of favorite lines by the 7-11 year olds, and abridged and simplified versions of Hamlet and As You Like It by the 12-17 year olds. The little kids were cute, and the older ones were very impressive. Hamlet was in a sort of Star Wars inspired theme and they simplified the language to make it very funny. As You Like It was set in Vegas and Southern Utah in the fifties and used the original language (abridged), which was really impressive. A few of the kids were amazing actors, especially Claudius in Hamlet and Celia and Rosalind in As You Like It. We really enjoyed it.

Saturday for morning movement we worked some more on getting our front yard presentable for the neighbors. We dug up all the dandelions that have sprouted through the woodchips and put on more woodchips in those places. Alison then washed and picked over and processed the dandelions for food; we've discovered that blanching the greens makes them palatable in at least small amounts, and Rea really wanted to dry some roots for medicinal tea. She has been reading all her Herb Fairies books and learning lots of the uses for dandelion and other plants.

Saturday later during the day we went to hunt morels in the gully. We didn't find any, but we did get some wild mint. We are currently drying it. Hopefully it makes a tasty herbal tea.

We also made two cheeses on Saturday - one was a paneer, and the other a failure. We now have more cheese with fine herbs.

Mike also found a truffle hunter in Italy that is willing to take him on a expedition when in Italy. We are getting really excited for our trip in October.


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