As I've dealt with my broken heart, I've written faithfully on my private blog trying to find the good, exercise faith, and record my hurts . . . I have had nothing left over for this one.
I had a turning point at the Relief Society General Broadcast.
I feel as if I were a convalescing invalid, which I imagine I am. I'm over the worst, but there's still a long road of recovery ahead.
Through it all, I've continued to prepare meals, run errands, cuddle small people, encourage and correct larger ones, oversee school, participate in family prayers, scripture study, and devotionals . . . in general I've continued managing our home and family through this season of living death. Every step was hard. Every step felt like swimming in jello. I'd often find myself in the middle of the living room wondering what I should, could, or might do next. Everything seemed too hard.
Along the way we finished Snow Treasure. It based on a possibly true story (there's no evidence to support it, though the story had circulated for 60 years before anyone fussed about documentation) about the courage of Norwegian children when the German army invaded during WWII. It was a thriller that left H4's eyes as wide as saucers and even brought E13 out of her bed after she'd been awake literally all night the night before.
We participated in our Explorer's Club. I led the Little Stars in making simple books about themselves. I am not a fan of coloring pages or directed art, so the kids chose what would be on each page. I posted a list of suggested ideas on the wall near the art supplies for the parents, but I noticed that a lot of original work was going on. The only direction I gave was how to bind the pages and providing a table and supplies with which to make tempera paint handprints . . . if they so desired.
The older kids had a great science session about water pollution and conservation. There were lots of action stations set up for the kids to do experiments, and E13 got to be an assistant leader. I think she half liked it, and half missed being just one of the kids.
The older girls and I are working our way through the New Testament story by story, jumping through the gospels as needed to follow the life of Christ chronologically. I'm amazed at what I assumed they knew and don't. We've read the stories to many times through their lives, but this experience of reading, discussing, and writing is giving us powerful opportunities to ask questions and explore the scriptures for answers.
Already they are starting to remember and recite Moroni 7:45-48. I still need to follow it visually, but I'm noticing the girls staring off into space as their mouths keep moving. We're discussing the idea of having a memorization show down next week, but I'm not so sure about having more competition than we need in our home!
A6 reads so very well. She's working her little tail off trying to read a 300 page novel that J9 recommended to her (from the Warriors series). I'm not a big fan of the series, but my girls sure are! I hate to make A6 sit with our little Sonlight readers, but I love the language arts lessons in the 1st grade curriculum. I may just put the readers away and read great books with her instead. Who cares if our spelling words and copywork correspond exactly to what we're reading? The little readers are darling, and serve a valuable purpose for a season, but they start to feel insipid when a child is ready to move on. I find that reading progress and writing progress do not go hand-in-hand in my family. All of my kids have seemed to read more readily than they write.
Preschool has suffered in this season of crisis, but we've at least read together each day. Today we really dove into a fun monkey craft (M is for monkey), spending quite a bit of time tracing, cutting, coloring, folding, and gluing. I1 joins us, adding his bit of chaos to the mix. He's still all about process over product, so as long as he had a glue stick and a bunch of paper available, he's a pretty happy camper.
My favorite preschool moment was when H4 asked, "Mom, can we just read Beatrix Potter for preschool today?"
That's my kind of preschool!
*E13 loves gymnastics and is gaining skills rapidly.
*M11's violin progress is a delight.
*S11 loves her choir. I don't her her singing much, but she says she's going to sing at her little church talent show this week. I need to find out if parents are invited.
*J9 finished the much hated book The Borrowers and has happily begun The Indian in the Cupboard. I don't know why she didn't choose that one first, but I'm thrilled to have a happy reader again.
*A6 has moved on from loving paper airplanes to tracing. Her hand-eye coordination is getting quite a workout.
*H4 cries a lot these days. I'm not sure why. I'm trying to love, love, love her a lot, keeping her close to me. She's asking for reading lessons!
*I1 is so very close to being I2. He's putting 2 word sentences together more and more often, and his vocabulary is growing so fast it's more like an explosion. My favorite is how he says, "Kenk 'oo Mommy," when I offer to read a story or give him a drink of water or put him in the bath.
Autumn days are here, and I've closed the computer to games and play time. The days are too lovely to waste. There are plenty of winter days ahead for playing on the computer in the afternoons. Right now we're trying ever so hard to get out and love our Heavenly Father's creations.
On that note . . .