Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Day in the Life--September

Linking up with Tristan at Our busy Homeschool.

The month is nearly over.  I've meant to chronicle one day of this month since the month began, but somehow the days simply got away from me.  It's now or never!

I wake before my alarm goes off at 5:10 am.  That's nice; I find it so much more pleasant to wake on my own than to the sound of loud beeping.  It's my turn to drive the seminary carpool.  I pull on the clothes I laid out the night before, comb my hair, and head to the kitchen for a snack.  I hear the shower turn off and a door open and close, so I know E14 is up and getting ready for the day.

I spread some peanut butter and honey on a couple of graham crackers, pour some milk and sit down to eat in front of the computer as I check my email.  In a few minutes it is 5:25 am--time to leave.  I grab my scripture bag, call E14, wake M12 so she can climb into my bed to be available to I2 when he wakes while I'm gone, and climb into our van.

In a few minutes we've picked up the brother/sister duo with whom we share rides.  We pull into the church parking lot at 5:55 am.  The teens head off to their classes, and I settle on a couch in the foyer with my scriptures and journal for my own private study session.

The mornings are too dark for me to go walking alone this early, so when I conclude my studies, I stay indoors, reading Christy for the umpteenth time.  It is a sweet, inspiring book that is comfortable in my tired, pregnant state.

Class lets out at 6:50, and by 7:30 E14 and I are home.  M12 has taken care of I2 and H5 and gotten her chores done for the morning.  S12 is almost finished with hers.  J10 is working on hers.  I find A7 still deeply asleep, and though I hate to wake a sleeping child I do so to give her time to get started on her chores this morning.

A7 climbs onto the countertops in order to put the dishes away as she empties the dishwasher.
 I pull out supplies for breakfast and get online to look up some Letter C activities I can do with I2 this week.  While I'm thinking I realize that our devotional theme for the week should be prophets because of General Conference this coming weekend.  I look up an appropriate song and starting scripture.   I start to fill in my plan book.

We gather around the table for breakfast just after 8:00 am.  Our devotional discussion is good, and I am grateful for the small inspiration that Heavenly Father blessed me with to help me prepare my children for the coming conference.

E14 and I get to work on her grammar lesson while M12, S12, and J10 start their schoolwork in their rooms.  The littles are free to play for a brief time.  After her lesson, E14 and sit down to hash out the details of her daily schedule.  We manage to compromise successfully, and she takes off downstairs to work independently for the next several hours.

In the mean time, Dad has come home from work, had breakfast, showered, changed I2's messy diaper, and found the beloved orange toy car that I2 cannot live without today.  He finally heads off to bed--as always, he's my hero.

For I2's preschool we read about Captain Moroni and make a letter C out of popcorn.

All three littles are captivated by Captain Moroni's picture,

and all of the swords around him, so on the spur of the moment I make some flimsy little swords out of a cereal box, duct tape, and aluminum foil.  The little guys run around killing bad guys for the next little while.  Though this would normally be H5's school time, their play session is a blessing because E14 has some math questions, and we have undisturbed time to work together (as long as small people running and shouting, "Slice!  Slice!  Kill!  Die!" is undisturbed. :) )

J10 comes upstairs to me with some math questions of her own.  I help her find her mistakes, and the little guys are done with their sword play.  H5 and I settle into her book work.  A7 and I have a chance to get through her book work as well, but interruptions from the older kids are many--it seems today is a hard math day for all.

Lunch is simple--bagels with cream cheese and carrot sticks with dip.  J10 is done with her school work, so she quietly retreats to a corner of the couch with a library book.  During lunch S12 and I discuss her geography project; once we realize she needs to make some adjustments for it to be done correctly, she goes back to work (but not without an argument). 

After I spend half an hour with M12 and her math book it is time for the littles to have kid school.  I find the girls playing with dollies.

They've set up whole households for each of them in their bedroom.  I ask if they'd rather keep playing, but they jump up, happy to join me in the kitchen for Bible stories, a song, and a chapter of Plants and Their Children.  We also study a painting together--just looking at and talking about it together.  We are delighted to discover circles all throughout the painting.  (We also get a little timeline lesson because they ask me how old I was 400 years ago when this painting was new!)

Dad wakes up and gets to work on the bathroom floor.  He's still stealing whatever moments he can for the demolition work, but at least he's starting to be able to think about when he'll start on the rebuilding.

The afternoon passes terribly quickly.  I work on a triple batch of banana bread (to freeze now and then eat after the baby is born) while E14 and M12 continue with their school work.  Both have had a very, very difficult math day.  J10 finishes her geography report, then joins me in the kitchen with H5 to mash bananas.  S12, A7, and I2 spend time outside with sidewalk chalk.

My kitchen crew and I get the banana bread into the basement oven, and then we switch over to scrubbing potatoes for baking in the main floor oven.  Dad runs off to the grocery store for Family Home Evening treat supplies.  I slice apples for a late afternoon snack because dinner will be later than we're used to.  Inspired by the science chapter we read today, A7 and H5 spend time with their dollies in the apple tree.  I sit, watching.  I consider getting up to take a picture of their feet dangling from the branches but opt to just sit and enjoy them in the moment.  J10 comes out to help I2 into the tree.

I come into the house to check on the banana bread timer and find M12 working on her geography report.  E14 is holed up in her room, still working on math.  I work on checking kids' school work until the banana bread and baked potatoes are done.

Things get blurry for a little while, but eventually we gather at the table to eat.  I remember that we did some general tidying up before hand, though, to make the house tolerable again.  We go through our usual routine of dinner, prayers, and scripture study.

After dinner I assign kids to various chores while Dad and I fold 2 loads of laundry.  In short order we're ready to have Family Night.  We've had lessons for several weeks in a row, so it's about time we have a game night.  We choose Uno.

It's well past I2's bedtime, so I tell the kids we get one hand only.  The game comes close to ending several times, but over and over again near-wins never turn into real ones.  Finally I'm close, and Dad thinks he can stump me by playing a skip card.  Perfect.  I'm skipped, but I2 has only one card in his hand, and it is a skip card.

He wins!

The win is glorious. :)

We eat ice cream cones.

We get ready for bed.

Dad reads to I2.  I read to H5.  They are tucked in.  Then I read to the older ones.  We start The Mysterious Benedict Society.  The older ones have all read it, but they're thrilled to listen again so that A7 can have a turn.  She's giddy with excitement because the older ones have prepped her for how great this book is going to be.  The older ones are giddy on her behalf.

Dad's home, so he does the tucking in while I crash into bed.

Hooray for Dad!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Week, Briefly (#6)

Our adoption homestudy was approved, and the final copy was accepted by the licensing agency.  We're now waiting for the invitation to join the adoption placement email list.

H5 spun in circles in the kitchen, fell, hit her head on the kitchen floor and has been listless and pale for 3 hours.  She threw up and is now sleeping it off.  She had a concussion last fall, so I remember what the instructions were for keeping her home versus seeking medical care.  She's still okay to keep home, but I'm tense and watchful.

I2 is becoming quite the little brother; he has discovered significant joy in hearing his sisters scream.  He actually says with a big grin after they squawk at him, "I wuv dat!"

I saw my midwife on Monday and had a nice, normal, boring appointment.  Baby's heart rate is good, and I'm measuring textbook perfectly.

We found out that we have to update the electrical hookup to our old house (the one we're renting under a lease-purchase contract) to keep our insurance.  We have one month to get the work done.  Dad spent a couple of days up at the old house getting bids from electricians.

We have a rhythm to our days.  We just get up and get to work each day.  Kids are growing and learning.  Some are fighting and fussing, but not much more than I might expect at their ages and stages.

We finished our study of the ocean and put our lapbooks together.  We're happy to be done and getting to do other things, but we're also looking forward to doing another unit in a few weeks.
This was "B" week for preschool.  B is for bugs was a fun way to start.
A7 created this little workstation one morning.
H5 found an old dry erase board that had been hiding for quite some time.  It was lots of fun for several days this week.

While I was at my appointment with the midwife, and Dad was meeting with electricians, E14 had some fun with the camera.
Pictures she took of herself.

Pictures of fancy hair she did for M12.

Pictures of little sisters who'd been playing in the wading pool.

And pictures of natural scenes near our house.

I2's hair was too long, so I helped return him to the dapper fellow I love him to be.

Tuesday was B is for Baseball day, and between sessions of taking apart and putting back together a clogged bathroom drain, Dad gave some pitching lessons.

And Sisters were happy to get in on the catching action.  As it turns out, A7 seems to be a baseball natural.  She's continued to play catch all week long.

After snapping a few pictures I put the camera away and put on a glove, so I could play, too.

We had peanut butter playdough for lunch.  I2 was proud of his creation.

"Dis is how I wear my hat when I draw, Mom."

J10 spent some time at the piano, playing and singing.

One of our post ocean study activities was to start Artistic Pursuits.  A7 really enjoyed the first lesson and looks forward to more.

One evening I couldn't find the littles.  Eventually I did--making mud and mud pies.  They were dirty, happy kids. :)

Caught M12 practicing the violin.

We did B is for Bubbles, too.  Our bubble solution didn't work so well with the wands, but we had a blast making giant bubbles with our hands.  We all cheered when one of them--at least 12 inches across--successfully broke free and rose into the blue sky.

We sewed our "B" quilt squares.  I don't have a picture of I2 because I'm helping him every step of the way when he works, but I was so impressed with how much more coordinated and focused he was this week as compared to last.  The two girls worked almost independently, both of them successfully tying their own knots, even.

Keeping little brother busy while big sisters get some attention from Mom.

Someone (not me) snapped this shot of M12 working on math.

A7 pulled out a little loom and some loops on Friday afternoon.  The kids were completely absorbed for hours.

E14 and her history work--this year is a hard one for her.

But she did finish, and she was such a sweet big sister, helping little brother with the marble run.

Almost finished . . .

And done!!   H5 got to make one next.

Saturday morning it was our turn to help clean the church.  The older kids asked me for a treat afterward, and I said yes.  I2 thought his first doughnut was great!

J10 helped I2 start his own potholder.  She's a good teacher--so patient and willing to help.

Two other highlights of the week are that we had our first real meeting of our science club.  The theme was bird migration.  The club is suddenly a young one, so the older girls are switching from being regular participants to assistant teachers.  They did a really good job helping the little ones play the migration game that day's leader had prepared.  I'm proud of them for being flexible and willing to help.

J10 also started her creative writing work.  She's writing a chapter a day of a story about a villain who is trying to destroy Gladom--a happy, peaceful kingdom.  I so look forward to reading each new installment.  She seems to be enjoying the work, and I'm happy to see her writing regularly.

That's the week . . . I'm off to check on H5, who has now been sleeping for nearly 3 hours after her head injury.  I'm getting rather worried.