We read quite a bit of The Adventures of Robin Hood this year.  That might have planted the seed.  The Palomar Mtn. retreat center we visit in the winter has and archery range - this too has sparked interest.  Then there is the weapon obsession on our street.  We capitalized on all three and invited Joe's baseball team over for eats and archery.
 Making their arrows identifiable.

 Mini archer-ess
 A little tutorial/"please don't injury anyone; we have a game tomorrow"
Enlarge this to see Avery's arrow.  She missed the pie plate, but hit the poster bull's eye dead on!

 The dads were really hands on.

Coach Manny!
Avery, again, in case you missed her get-up. Party dress complete with "up hills" (silver high heels).

 Sweet boys.  Sweet boy.

Now We Are Six

It takes a long time to get to know your kid.  I am guessing most of their lives and yours.  I never realized how many presumptions I would make about their likes and dislikes, emotions, fears tendencies.  When they are born it feels like everyone else's presumption is that you know.  He cries and everyone glances your way - presuming you know the problem and how best to solve it.  It took 3 kids before I was comfortable glancing back and saying, "Heck if I know!?"  We mothers don't always know.  I don't always know.  Only problem is, I've spent my life being a know-it-all.  Having kids has really messed up my reputation.

Joe turned 6 this year.  And I am still getting to know him.  In a journal I keep about our babies (that's right, a journal just for details on pregnancy, delivery, development - you know my issue with journals), I wrote of weeks old Joseph, "He seems more emotional than Olivia..."  This has certainly remained true.  He feels life.  He is IN the moment, whatever the moment is and it may not be the moment the rest of us are in, but he is in it...and when it changes, if he isn't ready, he feels it.  He is good for me and Olivia this way.  She and I are often in the next moment and need the reminding to be present and appreciate.

We have some kids on our block who are really into weapons.  In effort to maintain some control over the ever growing arsenal and keep them from shooting eat others eyes out, we've taken up archery - as a sport, not a free for all.  We found a tutorial for how to make bows and arrows on line and with surprising little help the kids made them.  We function under the Lieuwen model of teaching our children to use tools rather than banning them and risking a curiosity experiment that results in a lost finger.  So, here they are hard at work.  Measuring, marking, sawing...

 They cut pvc pipe for the bows, then spray painted them.  They cut slits in the ends and filed to smooth.  String was tided tightly enough to cause the pipe to bow.  Then they cut dowels for the arrows and jammed wine corks on the ends for the "point."  (Pictures of finished project in next post.)
 Then we celebrated, just us.  (These are the tickets, Mom.  He's figuring it out.)
 Big sisters know just what to get.

 Then his "real" set.

 Not a bad shot
 Then he followed the arrows to his last gift.
 You notice he is the only one dressed.  He was up and ready for his birthday!
 Already showing signs of "too cool"ness.  He had to wear the birthday crown backwards.
 An intervention
 And spit all over the cinnamon rolls
 An evening celebration with friends like family.  Six.  Gee Whiz.