Monday, August 14, 2006

The Hummingbird Festival

Gillen's birthday, last Fri., was the same day as the Hummingbird Festival (only 10 min. away!) so we met our playgroup friends there for the morning and then they came back here to visit. Gillen had saved up to buy some plants at the festival for his bird garden. His friend Shannon (who turned 11 two days later) helped him to plant them in the sunnyest part of our yard. We have so many trees that there isn't much full time sun. But we are radically assuming that his garden will thrive on the sun it does get! Already, the last few days, it has attracted so many hummingbirds. He got Agastache (smells like licorice), Pineapple Sage, Hibiscus (which I learned today from Alton Brown at the farm is a lot like okra - more on him later!), Crocosmia, and Stonecrop ("Autumn joy"). He planted them in a circle, inspired by the much bigger circular hummingbird garden we walked in,surrounded by tiny hummingbirds, at the festival. I tried for a picture of them. I was too slow.

Afterwards, here at home, everyone swam and ate and then somehow all ended up at the coffee table, doing art! From age 2- 11, one after another left the game cube,the pool or the toys in the bedroom to squeeze into the tiny art station,ignoring my offer of a much bigger table in the other room. It was my favorite part of the visit!

Gillen had his first sleeepover party the next night. He had four friends, all of whom only knew Gillen and then a friend who is Jesse's age to play with him (Gillen's idea). They all got along great. The older kids ended up playing with Jesse and "his" friend much of the time! There was swimming; a long,dark walk in the woods at the farm; and a spontaneous talent show at dinner (including many really creative burping displays as well as bird calls) and a movie - Jimmy Neutron, watched amidst paper airplane making and a few guys playing a Pokemon board game.

Cole gave Gillen a pocket knife. This was the dramatic unveiling of his present. Gillen also got a canteen and a sling shot, among aother things. All exactly what he would want and to which I have adjusted my initial unspoken flashback to "Lord of the Flies". I do love that he also wanted Playmobil. I was very glad to get him more for his farm set. He got to compare his pocket knife today to those of Alton Brown and his crew, all of whom are very into their knives. Who knew there was such a love of pocket knives among TV chefs, or maybe it's just on "Good Eats".

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