I got up early--5:00 am--to get some schoolwork checking done, but while I ate a bite of breakfast I thought I'd quickly check my email and read a blog post or two first, and I got distracted by a new-to-me blog. I can't say I regret getting lost in the story of this mother's recent life.
It gave me a lot to think about.
Seminary is always an hour later on Wednesday mornings, due to the local high school's schedule, so when I looked up from my reading at 6:12 am it wasn't too late to throw on my clothes and take my turn at driving the seminary carpool.
While the youth were in class I studied the scriptures. I've been exploring the subject of covenants lately.
When we got home, shortly after 8 am, I found I2 happily settled in the arms of a big sister who was reading to him and other kids doing their various morning chores. E14 had mentioned that eggs and english muffins sounded good for breakfast, so I dug a pound of bacon out of the freezer, chopped it up, fried it, and mixed up a batch of bacon-scrambled-eggs. M12 helped me get all of the english muffins toasted and buttered.
During breakfast we continued exploring the topic of citizenship that has been our theme of the week.
Then I invited the kids to come on an outing with me.
I've been slowly, but surely, coming to the conclusion that I've had my priorities wrong this school year. I've been focused on getting academics done so that we can take time off when the baby comes, but the baby's coming in January! There's nothing else to do here but academics at that time. The older kids are trained to do work independently, so there's no real strain on me to keep school going with a new baby. Cold, dark days are perfect for snuggling up with books and paper and pencil, but these clear, bright autumn days are not to be wasted indoors.
The kids jumped at the chance to get out and about.
|M12 and S12 make pb&j sandwiches while J10 washes cookie sheets in preparation for baking cookies for our picnic.|
|H5 looked at me and said joyfully, "Today is my 2nd day of first grade!!!" So before we left we did a little bit of book work. I2 can never resist watching and (sort of) participating.|
|A7 used a quiet moment to choose a new poem for next week's poetry night.|
First stop, the new park just outside the zoo.
|Most of the kids raced to conquer the new climbing "web."|
|The talk that E14 and I had the other day has rather deeply affected her. She brought her history work with her to complete a section so that she can keep up with the goals she has set.|
|None of us can figure out why S12 is making this scared face! :)|
|The rock is fake! It's awaiting permanent installation at the park, but as there was no one around to say she couldn't E14 loved lounging on it.|
|We paused for lunch and drinks of water all around.|
|And we played a little bit more.|
|Eating cookies on the top of the world.|
|Then we walked . . . and jogged . . . over to the zoo entrance.|
|First stop, the carousel.|
|Then it was lorikeet feeding time.|
|A lorikeet or two pooped on S12, so we headed over to visit the bathrooms in the penguin exhibit, and we stopped to watch the penguins for a little while.|
|The squirrel monkeys are our absolute favorites.|
|Then it was time to play in the baobab tree park.|
|The kids brought their own quarters to buy treats for the goats.|
|Then we stopped to play again! The zoo has been putting a lot of effort into new upgrades.|
|But we were getting tired by this time . . .|
|So we headed toward the van . . . but we did stop to spend another quarter or two on the fallow deer.|
|Then we saw that the polar bear was out! He'd been hiding in the morning, but now he was busy playing and playing . . .|
|. . . and climbing.|
4:20 pm--we pulled into our driveway, and I handed out assignments all around, after I'd asked for volunteers and gotten only one.
So J10 got to help me make pear cobbler while the other kids got cleaning assignments. During the day we found out that youth activities were cancelled, and that affected my Relief Society assignment that night, too. The interviews I was going to do at the church got moved to my house, so we had some "company clean" tidying up to do.
The little guys got to watch videos at pbskids.org because they were so exhausted they couldn't think.
We got Daddy up and had family dinner (vegetable soup and pear cobbler with whipped cream), prayers, and scripture study. Then we saw him off to work, and everyone pitched in to get the kitchen cleaned, the front walkway swept (the littles have used that location for their mud pie factory lately), and the little guys bathed and pajama-ed.
I read stories to and tucked in I2 just in time for my church sisters to arrive shortly after 7:00 pm.
The 6 girls watched Studio C videos while I had my meeting, and by 8:15 pm I was free to tuck in my smallest girls. They were so tired they were almost asleep as they walked down the hallway.
I read aloud to the older 4 from The Landmark History of the American People and The Mysterious Benedict Society. Then I tucked them in at 9:00 pm.
By 9:10 pm the house was closed up, the alarm on, my teeth brushed, and everyone--including me--was in bed.
I am grateful that we spent the day together this way.