We wrote letters on Sunday. A6's was the sweetest of all--composed ever so laboriously, all by herself.
We also had Family Home Evening. It was my turn to present a lesson. My children know how to work, but they so often choose not to. We had a lesson on stewardship--how taking care of our home and environment show respect for ourselves and our Father in Heaven. I told them how pleased I am with their abilities and how I hope they choose to do good work in the future.
My favorite part of the lesson was when I had H4 give her favorite stuffed animal to E13 for safe-keeping. E13 has a history of taking stuffed animals apart for whatever reasons that the rest of us cannot understand. Her little eyes got so very round, and she clutched that orange bear close to her heart!
Point made. We don't want to entrust our belongings to those who will not take care of them.
My second favorite moment was when I had E13 give her favorite earrings to I1. I thought she'd squeal and clutch them to herself, but she handed them off without a word of protest. I1's face lit up and he immediately began to do the very damage any toddler would do to a pair of silver hoop earrings. I rescued them as quickly as I could, and while I1 ran off to his room to cry (I did feel badly for him!), E13 received her earrings thankfully back into her own possession.
Point made again.
I don't see any difference in their approach to their chores, but perhaps the idea will percolate for some years and come to life when the time is right.
We went grocery shopping on Monday. It was so necessary that we skipped school in the morning. Usually the kids complain and complain about helping to put groceries away, but on this day they worked like a well-oiled machine, and the job was done so quickly that I literally stumbled about for several minutes looking for what we must have forgotten.
We'd forgotten nothing. I was glad I'd splurged on a couple of take-and-bake pizzas for lunch.
S11 and E13 did school in the afternoon while M11 went to violin.
J9 watched the littles while I was gone with M11.
We were going to go with S11 to choir and play outdoors on the school athletic field, but we'd forgotten that I1 needed his stitches taken out, so after Daddy ran S9 to choir, he came home to do the removing (he's an RN). It was much harder than we thought it was going to be, and we were prepared for it to be pretty hard. All of the kids who were home watched under strict instructions that any tears or grossed-out faces were grounds for dismissal.
They did a great job.
The first 3 stitches came out with very few tears. Because he was at home, he wasn't frightened. He was able to sit by me and listen to stories while Daddy did the fine work. But it did hurt a little bit and as he got tired of us messing with his head and tired of the irritating little hurts, he got done before we were. There was just one stitch to go. First Daddy tried it. Then I tried. Then Daddy got it out--with me holding poor I1 tightly in my arms while I looked hard into his eyes and sang his favorite songs. E13 held his head still.
His owie looks quite good. I still look at it and remember the horror of the day it happened, but I can tell it is going to fade into nothing more than a good story.
The kids really want him to be Harry Potter for Halloween--after all, he has the scar!
We began reading Mathematicians are People, Too by Luetta and Wilbert Reimer. I'm going to read one chapter each week in addition to our regular stories. The kids moaned and groaned a lot when I pulled it out, but spontaneous discussions exploded several times as I read--predictions, problem solving, and what-if queries--those are signs of genuine interest.
We began Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan on Sunday night. The kids were so engrossed that we read 5 chapters last night, and I closed the book to disappointed groans.
Today all of the kids did their regular schoolwork in the morning.
J9 is gone with Daddy to work at the horse barn and have a riding lesson. She's pretty tickled that she gets to teach him how to do the work. Her riding instructor said she has some boots that might fit J9; I was asking around about anyone selling used boots, and the instructor said, "Don't buy anything. Let me see what I have at home." We've offered a fair price, but I have the hunch that J9 is going to come home with boots that were just tucked into her arms with a nonchalant wave of the instructor's arms and a quiet, "Don't worry about it."
H4 got to make lemonade because it was "L is for lemons" day. S11 helped her because I1 had a massively poopy diaper that couldn't be ignored while I helped. I am thankful for helpful older children.
E13, M11, and S11 are hoping to be allowed to walk 2 miles to The Salvation Army store this afternoon. They cleaned up the family room in order to butter me up. I want to say yes, but it looks like rain, and the 4 mile round trip is rather long . . . but it is on quiet back streets, and the exercise will do them all good, and a little rain never hurt anyone . . . perhaps yes is a good answer.
My body is healed. My heart is rather a mess. I've begun running again. I pray for a little as I run; then I leave my mind empty to allow God to speak to me. I haven't heard much, but I'm reminded that Abraham had to wait an awfully long time for Isaac, and Elder Holland gave a mighty fine conference talk in April of this year.
Patience seems to be my never-endingly necessary lesson.