And so ends the first mad-dash week (of two). Despite the multi-coloured notes in my agenda and needing to be two places at once, it worked out.

We started with dentist appointments. Zahra and I went first for our cleanings, and when I told the dentist that I would be right back—I just needed to drop Zahra off at knitting while the other two were in the chair—she gave a half-laugh, but I went anyway. When I got back, both kids’ cleanings were finished and both were in the waiting room grimacing and whining about the taste of the toothpaste.

colorado balletQuick stop at the grocery store for last-minute party food and then we picked up Zahra from knitting. Home again for lunch and then it was crunch time to get ready for Noah’s birthday party at 4:00. Luckily, I had obtained a link so that we could live stream The Nutcracker performed by the Colorado Ballet. This was great for two reasons: 1. It was a mesmerizing performance and held their attention for over two hours while I made a cake, cleaned a bathroom, swept, prepared the treasure hunt, cleaned the work room, etc., and 2. We’re going to do a SQUILT unit this month on The Nutcracker. We followed a year-long SQUILT curriculum our first year of homeschooling and have used it again for specific things I wanted the kids to study since. But I’ve also been curious about the SQUILT Live program—which is the curriculum taught during live classes by the woman who wrote the curriculum. So, twice this month, my kids will connect with her during a live, online class, and we’ll also be studying some of the music from The Nutcracker in more detail.

Cue in Zahra and I who are learning “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” as a violin and piano duet. (Squeal!)

So when Noah’s guests started arriving, we were ready. The kids came in and immediately started collecting Nerf weapons and staking out the house. Once everyone was there, I redirected them to making shields. Simple dollar store supplies made for great shields. We’d done this same activity at Noah’s party last year, but it hasn’t lost its attraction yet. I made them pause for a photo before they put their shields to use deflecting Nerf bullets. And the party, well—it was pretty much hours of that (some brief intermissions of piano playing). I did collect everyone to make their own mini pizzas, and then once again to do a flashlight-lit treasure hunt outside. But all the time in between was spent in battle. Except for me and Zahra; we continued to practise our duet, only occasionally interrupted by flying bullets.

And presents. Noah got some very thoughtful gifts, and I loved listening as the boys gushed about why they chose a particular gift and Noah’s enthusiastic replies.















And cake. The boy wanted an explosion cake. I think my lopsided layers add to that effect.

After some more battling (oh, yes, it seemed there was always more in them…), the guests started trickling out. There were hugs and thank-you’s and loving threats of chopping off a limb or two, as only boys can do.

Jordan spent the night, and after I got beds set up, drinks of water and pillows fluffed, I told them: May the force be with you. I’m going to bed.