A Week, Briefly (#20)

This was a solidly productive week for us with many organizational improvements for my mental health.

Morning Meeting:
We completed 5 out of 5 this week!  I feel a grateful sense of accomplishment.  The littles memorized Baa Baa Black Sheep and recited it at our Poetry and Pie event on Wednesday.  The rest of our songs and memorization work are the same as last week and will remain the same for the rest of January.  I'm glad to report that everyone over the age of 5 has memorized the first part of The Family Proclamation; the littles are still working on it. :)

Bedtime Math is a fun addition to our day.  We've touched on everything from simple counting for the littles to advanced algebra for the bigs.

We didn't do much formal work, but we did watch a few letter "D" videos and a D is for doghouse craft.  The weather was too pretty on Thursday to stay inside (it's bitter cold now), so I sent everyone outside to play and play and play while we could.

Reading with Mister Man:
 Last week the site we're growing to love was down, but it was back up and running this week, so Mister Man and I read several Alphabetti books together.  He's really loving his reading.

Little Princess:
She was neglected a lot this week.  I'm not sure how to fix that.  I tried to knit with her, but she was usually playing when I was free, so she didn't want to sit and knit with me.  She did bring her knitting to me several times when I was either nursing or fixing a meal or helping another child, so our timing was off.  She read aloud to younger siblings a lot, and she participated in our morning meeting and evening reading.  

Nature Angel:
She worked independently all week, reading her nature books and writing down what was interesting to her.  She quite enjoys the Bedtime Math questions and stays up to listen to Pride and Prejudice even when she can barely keep her eyes open.  I wanted so badly to get in a couple of days of The Good and Beautiful with her--mostly just to spend time with her--but too many meetings/appointments kept that from happening.

LDS Family School:
We completed 3 art lessons focused on Ancient Egypt.  The girls produced some cool Egypt-inspired projects.  After the lesson content was finished, and they girls worked on their art, I read aloud from Herodotus.  Boring geographical descriptions and genealogies alternate with very interesting stories, and we're having fun with it!

Carving cartouches out of potatoes.

Rose Red's Egyptian inspired portrait (not of herself)
Super Star's
Making preliminary sketches for the metal relief project

Pixie's metal relief Egyptian god

Rose Red's
Super Star's
No lessons done as a family.

Rose Red:
She got her act together and completed Math, Spelling, Vocabulary, Chemistry, and History work on her own this week in addition to the family school lessons that I lead.  She even did 2 days' worth of work in one on Thursday so that she could have the privilege of going out with some girlfriends on Friday.  And she cleaned out the van from top to bottom in preparation for an activity on Saturday.  She impressed herself with her own abilities to work and stay focused.

I hope the sense of accomplishment stays with her and keeps her going.

Family Reading:
We finished An Elephant in the Garden--oh! we did love this book!  And we both started and finished Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Roald Dahl is forever and always a winner for us. :)

The older kids only ran once--on Monday.  Colds got them down the rest of the week.  I went ahead and ran two more times alone. 

**Monday is now our library and getting organized for the week day.  I've finally admitted that going to the library and sitting around for the rest of the day reading/browsing/perusing the books we've brought home is just as educational for the older kids as it is for the littles.  It is not lost time--it is the best time.

It is also good learning for the littles to practice being in public.  One little boy threw a book within minutes of being there and had to sit on a chair for the duration.  Another stepped on a book and threw a tantrum when I told him to pick it up.  I hurried him out to the vestibule to finish his tantrum, and when he was done, he picked up the book and sat in a chair, too.  After a few minutes I called them both over to a couch and read them a story.

I laughed when the librarian complimented me on having such well-behaved children!

We brought home 63 new books on Monday.  It has been a happy week of reading for us all.

**We also went to the zoo Monday afternoon.  Dad was with us!  He kept the littles while the older girls and I did a C25K workout, and then we all enjoyed the zoo for another hour together.  Taking Mondays for organizing and getting out is a blessing so far!

**I conducted our first round of interviews for the older girls' assignments for self-directed learning.  They made lists of potential study topics, and I helped them set some goals.  My goal is to interview them each Monday to review what they've learned and set new goals each week.

Pixie is learning to do fancy manicures.
 **Our first Poetry and Pie event was Wednesday.  We spent the morning baking 3 pies and getting the house company ready.  In the afternoon, 5 of our teen friends and their moms came over, bringing their own pies and their poems.  We all took turns reciting our poems (youngest to oldest), then we ate!  A lot!  I had some paper bag books, glue sticks, poetry clip art, and copies of all of the poems out on the kitchen table for the kids to make their own poetry books with the day's poems.  Though the teen boys didn't make any, they happily gathered in the kitchen to talk with the girls while they made books, and the older girls helped the little ones make books.   When all of that was done, the older kids played board games while the littles just played and the moms chatted.

It was a lovely day.

The babies like poetry, too
 **On Thursday night Nature Angel and I went to the ballet.  The Russian National Ballet was in town performing Cinderella.  When a half-price ticket deal appeared in my inbox in early December, I knew it was the perfect gift for my 8 year old girl.  In spite of lots of challenges in the day, we did leave together and had a joyful mother-daughter date.  We rarely see theater performances of this caliber, and it knocked our socks off!  She's been leading her little sisters in ballerina play ever since. :)

**Rose Red spent a long time organizing her girlfriends into a surprise party to get dressed together for the big church formal dance.  The party was for one of the girls who had recently turned 16.  In spite of several positive RSVPs, no one showed. :(  Rose Red and her birthday friend had a grand time getting ready together though--make up, hair, dresses, the works.  And the dance turned out to be really fun!  (A number of boys had planned not to attend--organizing their own counter-dance activity, but I guess their parents squashed the rebellion, and the boys attended the dance after all.)

**We had therapy sessions, trips to the pharmacy to pick up meds (we have pink eye--again!), a WIC appointment (how I wish I could afford to skip these!  The nutritionist told me that Little Brother is overweight.  I said, "But look at him!  He's not at all!"  She answered, "I know how he looks, but he's overweight.  Even very thin people can be overweight."  Aaargh!!!!), a visit from the CASAs, emails from the social worker, and a number of sleepless nights with sick babies.  I was shaking with exhaustion by the end of the week, and couldn't function on Sunday.

I had to take a sick day. (It was just as well--we couldn't take the sick kids to church anyway.)

It's Monday again.  I'm better than I was this weekend and I think we can take this week ahead!


  1. Wow! I enjoy reading your weekly posts on how all is going. What a strength you are to so many(likely a lot more than you realize). I appreciate your honesty at the tough points and giggle at your rebounds back to it all again. Keep up the awesome work!

    1. Thank you, Melanie. I appreciate your encouragement!!

  2. I love the art work. The metal reliefs are so brilliant with color. The fingernails are gorgous. I know the nutritionist is a highly trained professional, but I think she is crazy. Little kids chunk out before they sprout inches. You do plenty of physical activity.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! I know you've always got my back. :)

  3. The metal-relief art and the fingernails - AWESOME!! (and all the other stuff is awesome too!). Cute picture of the babies...

  4. Hi! I've been reading your blog for some time now and just want to tell you how much you inspire me!! I am blown away by your perseverance homeschooling with a newborn of your own as well as several foster/adopted children with special needs AND a large family of varying ages. Wow!!! I feel like you accomplish twice as much as I do and I have half as many challenges--I mean blessings. ;) (I homeschool 5 children and we have a baby on the way.) We also use LDL's Family School curriculum and are on year 3, so it's fun to be reminded of past lessons on your blog.

    You truly inspire me to keep on going--even through sickness and toddlers acting out, etc etc--and to have faith that the Lord will strengthen and help me to do the seemingly impossible. You must be a very special, amazing woman. Thank you for your blog and a peek into the life of a very tremendous family.

    --Stephanie from Florida

    1. Wow! Thanks for the words of encouragement. I clicked on your name to see if you blog about your schooling so that I could look ahead. :) It looks like you don't, but that's okay! I'm surely wishing you well with your pregnancy and the arrival of baby #6.


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