We attended a pancake breakfast by the lake with our church congregation. In spite of drizzling weather we all had a good time. The littles collected cicadas with their friends. The teen/teen-at-heart crowd play played ultimate frisbee. There was more than enough food for all, and we were blessed with a tray full of leftover pancakes and 2 gallons of leftover milk. What a treat for us!
A8 was invited to spend the day with one of her friends. They took her to another lake where she was able to go out on a boat, swim, and play the day away. She was in good company and in good hands. I missed her--I'm used to the older kids coming and going, but I felt the absence of my little/big girl.
The older kids and I had school in the afternoon--nature study, reading from Crossing America on an Emigrant Train, reading from A Girl of the Limberlost, and individual math pursuits.
|Cicadas--originally they had 123 of them in this jar, which only filled it halfway up. When I told them to get the jar out of the house, they went outside to release them one at a time.|
|They released them from the deck, counting each one as it flew away. That's how we know there were 123 of them. That's a lot of cicadas!|
We had school for the big kids (same as described above). In the afternoon we spent a brief time at a park. It was going to be just the littles and me, but somehow all 4 big girls ended up coming, too. No complaints from me! It was fun to run around in the sunshine.
J11 and I lay on our backs and found pictures in the clouds. As vertigo overcame me I leaned into it and found joy in sharing a heavenly moment with my quiet girl.
After dinner I bribed the crew into making some nature drawings (a church friend had brought over some brownies for us). I think it was the loveliest evening this week--sitting outside in the late sunshine, studying my children as they studied the world God made.
I went to bed with a more-thankful-than-usual heart.
|I3 loves his letter cards.|
|Baby L--photo credit goes to H5|
|This week sewing, knitting, and finger knitting has been all the rage. Here is H5 with her handmade purse and sleeping mask.|
|Close up of the purse she designed, cut, and sewed herself. She finger-knitted the strap.|
It got hot, so after a morning of school all of the kids went out to play in the wading pool. :)
E15 went to work at a snack stand at a local ballpark. It was her first day at her first "real job." She did well. She came home glowy and happy from the success and even said to me, "I'm so glad you taught me how to do dishes because I was able to do good work when it was time to clean up."
How's that for a mother-treat? :)
I took J11 to the church for her youth activity. I kept Baby L with me, but left the rest of the kids at home to watch a movie and go to bed on time. I had church meetings, too. J11 did yoga. She loved it. "I especially liked the meditating part at the end, Mom."
That's my quiet, thoughtful girl.
After school in the morning, Dad and I went out on a date. Baby L went with us and drew many admiring comments because he's so deliciously fat these days. Dad and I talked about homeschooling decisions and work decisions and about life in general. It wasn't a glamorous date, and it ended with running to Wal-Mart for hair conditioner ("Please stop and get some! We're completely out!" cried our older girls) and diapers. But it was so satisfying to spend time together.
I truly love him.
We were supposed to head north to the homeschool spring camp out, but it was pouring rain both at home and at the camp site. The camp out coordinator said the site was still ours, but it was every man for himself, and most of us chose to stay home.
We had a regular school morning. This time, though, we did our nature studies online, looking up endangered animal species for our state.
The rained out camp out left the older girls free to join their youth group at the church to clean it for the week and then stay for games and pizza in the gym. The littles and I read stories and went to bed early.
|Dad and I3 are best buddies.|
|M13 is such a sweet big sister.|
The rain stopped, so it was time to head up to the camp site to be day campers. Dad and I talked it over and decided it would be best for me to stay home with our fussy, teething Baby L while he took the rest of the kids out to play for the day.
I was so relieved. He's a home body on a good day, and I was dreading a 12 hour day in the chilly damp with my littlest fellow. We stayed in our jammies while I packed lunch, dinner and snacks, gathered up jackets and multiple clothing changes, and sent the family on their way.
The camp site was soaked, but the gang still managed to play soccer, climb trees, explore the outdoors, make s'mores and have a great day.
|M13 and S12 taking selfies on the way up to the camp site.|
|The water level was high, high, high! Usually there's a good sized beach off to the left, and the entire fishing pier is underwater.|
|In a hurry from one activity to another . . . either that or just enjoying the freedom to run.|
|It's just fun to wander with friends.|
I folded laundry when Baby L was in the mood to lie on the floor and play; I nursed him as much as he wanted; I studied when he slept.
We had plenty of energy to welcome our tired, happy crew when they arrived home.
Dad and I spent quite a bit of time nurturing damaged pre-teen and teen hearts in the late hours of the night, though. It took many silent prayers to listen carefully and respond gently to the aches and pains of our growing girls as they try to navigate the challenges of growing up.
How grateful I am that they are willing to counsel with us!