|Lots of the questions had the kids look up and read scriptures that were quoted during conference.|
|This shot of I2--showing his efforts to participate in the game--makes me smile every time I see it.|
|Seat work is actually not usual for my 2 year old boy, but he was thrilled when I printed out the wrong sheet for H5 and gave it to him.|
|She took a break from her pretend play with big sister to do a little bit of handwriting practice.|
. . . while Dad worked on putting in the subfloor to the bathroom. In the afternoon I remembered my plans to get the kids (and myself) out of doors each day, so I packed up the littles and S12 (no one else was done with school) and headed off for a walk in the rain at a near by nature trail. We looked at the fish pond and collected damp, jewel-bright autumn leaves. We probably walked only half a mile total, but we walked slowly, savoring the day.
Tuesday was bright and shiny after the rain. The littles and I watched a BBC documentary about elephants for I2's "E is for elephant" day. H5 cried when one baby elephant died after a premature birth. She was deeply affected by the film. Serendipitously, we have a library book about a baby elephant right now, and she has me read it each day. Later in the week she confided to me, "I still cry over the baby elephant that died in that movie, Mom." I think the joyfulness of the library book is helping her deal with the harsh facts of life presented in the documentary.
We went to a local park to play that afternoon. This time S12 and J10 both joined us in the sunshine. We easily spent 2 hours outside and could have spent more, but Dad was at home waiting for me to take me to a movie.
After settling the kids at home with pizza and permission to watch Studio C while we were gone, Dad and I headed out to choose flooring for the kids' bathroom and then see Meet the Mormons. I was a bit disappointed--it wasn't as professional as I expected it to be. But the stories of the 6 people highlighted in the movie were compelling.
And it was nice to go out with my favorite fellow.
We took the day off on Wednesday. We drove 41 miles north to meet some friends at our favorite pumpkin patch--a.k.a "The Kitten Farm." We spent over 4 hours in the sunshine. The kids needed nothing more than kittens, friends, hay bales, and space to have a glorious day.
|My 7 plus our 4 friends|
That night was our church activity night--it was hard to go out again after being out all day, and my meeting that night ran long. We fell into bed exhausted at the end of it all.
On Thursday we all woke up tired. It would have been a slow day except that we had dance rehearsals in the afternoon.
For I2's "Little Kid School" I compiled a couple of ideas into one:
I got the Elmo template here, and I got the envelope idea here. In going back I found that both ideas were listed here.
I2 loved giving Elmo his "E" mail. H5 played with him, too, so that doubled the fun.
The big girls came home from rehearsals and went right back to academic work. They emerged from their studying hidey-holes just in time for dinner. We saw Dad off to work and collapsed in the living room for read-aloud time.
E14 had to make a treat to take to seminary in the morning as the final responsibility for her week of leading morning devotionals. She made a beautiful batch of giant gingersnaps while I read aloud from our Landmark American History book and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Even the very oldest kids said, "Mom, can we go to bed early tonight?" I happily cut off reading just as E14 pulled the last pan of cookies out of the oven and tucked everyone in--including myself.
On Friday the kids woke up happily to left over gingersnaps. Through the day I saw the happy reward of my efforts to get outside more often--the kids sought the outdoors on their own. A7 worked on jumping rope; H5, I2 and I raked leaves so they could jump into the pile; the older ones were stuck doing their regular school work, but once they were done, they, too, headed out into the fresh air.
M12 chose, as a personal progress goal, to learn how to operate our new, computerized sewing machine that was an anonymous gift from friends.
She spent a happy 2+ hours immersed in the manual, and learned how to operate the machine quite well. She's planning several fun projects!
It was another early night to bed for us all.
We filled Saturday with chores, errands (We got a new vacuum that actually sucks up dirt! The kids fought for the right to vacuum various rooms, emptying the dirt-catcher, marveling that we could collect so much dirt in such a short time!), and a birthday party for our 9-year-old cousin. That night E14 attended her first church dance--actually a dinner/devotional/concert/dance event rolled into one. She came home glowing.
Time for a new week to begin!