The peaches are finally ripe on our tree and the boys have been enjoying them every day for the past week. We trimmed our tree back pretty hard last year and we have some curly leaf problems that we’ve been battling, so our yield was fairly small, but man oh man are those peaches juicy and delicious. Levi says they’re “sweet as summer” and Calvin just reaches his arms up to the tree and says, “more peaches!!” Guess I won’t be getting any cobblers made any time soon. Just below the peach tree are our three strawberry beds, which are overflowing with fruit. Every morning we go out and pick them for breakfast to have with our yogurt or cereal. I had grand illusions of making beautiful little pots of strawberry jam, but I can never seem to get enough berries after the boys have eaten their fill by the end of the day. I really don’t mind, as it is such a pleasure to watch them pick their own strawberries, their faces and hand smeared with red juice, their bellies full of fruit. The last of our pole beans were picked today…boohoo. But there are plenty of peppers and tomatoes to be had still, as well as a few more zucchini, some of which snuck up on us and grew to gargantuan proportions! Zucchinis picked too late and tomatoes picked too early, thanks to some little hands. Tomorrow I’m going to start freezing some zucchini as well as making a few loaves of banana zucchini bread to put in the freezer. Foccacia with baby tomatoes, peppers and basil sounds good too!We went to a birthday party this morning at the park for one of Levi’s friends. It struck me when I took these pictures of Calvin just how big and independant he is becoming. My fearless little Scorpio who is so full of energy and fire, going up and down the slides like a champ and now swinging on the “big boy” swings. Where did my baby go?Last year, Michael picked up an old Honda Z50 from a woman who was cleaning out her barn. He got it for free, because at the time it didn’t work and was just an old rusty piece of junk that looked like this…Being the gear head that he is, Michael looked at it and saw a diamond in the rough, knowing that he’d be able to fix it up and sell it off. Of course Levi was thrilled to bits to have a “motorcycle” at our house. For the past year, it’s been such a delight to see Michael tinker around on this bike, with his trusty and knowledgeable assistant at his side. They have had some really great father/son moments together and I know how much Michael loves teaching Levi all about the mechanics of an engine and the design of a machine. Levi is just like his dad in so many ways, but mostly in that he is totally mechanically minded and has a passion for building things. This weekend they finished the bike and the final product got the two thumbs up rating.Currently, half of our raised bed is just dirt, as we had some horrible luck with all of our crops in it this summer. The kale, the lettuces, the beets…ahh, too long of a story to lament about. Anyways, the boys are extremely happy that this large patch of dirt is all theirs for the digging…for now. In between the bed and our fence is a small strip of gravelly dirt that Levi likes to explore in. The other day, I heard, “Mom, I found a BONE!!!!” A what? “A bone!!!!” Why yes he did, and more than just one. He excavated the bones of a small bird. It was like his paleontologist dreams came to life. When he was a little bit younger, he would go out into the garden with a bucket, shovel and brush and pretend to be looking for dinosaur bones. He was over the moon about this discovery and even let Calvin help him. It was amazing to watch my little guys unearth this buried treasure in our own yard. Levi, so meticulously laid out all the bones they had found, inspecting each one with his magnifying glass. It is such a gift to watch my kids learn about their world through play as they are so eager to explore and create their own magic and sense of wonder. I think the greatest tool we can give them on their path of learning is the freedom to go at their own pace and let them lead the way.