We have just finished eating a hearty beef stew for dinner. The girls clear the table while Joel retreats into the bedroom with his computer to study scores.
It's too chilly to read in the living room, so I join him on the bed with my book.
Soon, Sophia has cuddled up next to me with her own book, and I open the flaps with her while we practice counting and naming colors.
Then, Bria and Chloe come, too. They each have a stack of magazines: The Friend. Bria finds a comfortable spot on the king-sized bed and begins to devour them. Chloe manages to squeeze in between Joel and me, and begins to search for the hidden CTR rings, letting out a joyful little yelp each time she discovers one.
Slowly, I begin to forget about the undone dishes in the kitchen, the unfolded laundry sitting next to the bed and the mess of art supplies in the living room. The stresses of life melt away as I giggle with Sophia, who is trying to count the apples: "One, two, firteen, sisteen, five!" she says. I turn to help Chloe sound out a big word, and Bria has now taken to finding the CTR rings. She is looking right at one, but cannot see it until I point it out to her.
Haydn is playing softly from Joel's computer, and we all laugh together.