A Week, Briefly (#34)

Monday was a dreadful start to our week--complete with temper tantrums by the children (both younger and older!) and a lack of self control on my part.  The better part of the morning was spent dealing with Little Brother's behaviors and dealing with my own inadequacies, faults, and character flaws.

However, I eventually took Little Brother into my lap in the blue rocking chair and just held him until he, at least, felt better.

For my part, I am praying hard and putting together an anger-management-for-mom study program.  I've already got this book, and I've ordered this one.  I also have the scriptures.  I've been working on this life skill for well over a decade now.  It seems it is a much harder skill to learn than canning pickles or teaching a child to read.

We did get through school with an hour to spare before dinner, so I left the older girls in charge of slicing bread, warming up soup, and watching the babies while I took the 6 middle-littles to the park to play in the pouring rain.

Once the kids were good and wet, the slides were like water slides--sending Little Brother airborne off the end every time!  It was hilarious!  Ladybug explored an 8 inch deep puddle; we got slightly acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who were resting in the park stream; and the kids played Polar Bears and Penguins all over the playground.

I guess we'll have to have a geography lesson about the North and South Poles, but for now the game was terribly fun.

We came home wet to the skin in spite of our many layers protecting us against the unseasonable cold, and we ate freshly popped popcorn, warm soup, and buttered french bread in our jammies.

The day that did not start lovingly at least ended lovingly.

Sometime during the day, we had some academic lessons--here is Nature Angel exploring the concept of hemispheres and seasons of the earth.

Little Princess has been on a Beatrix Potter kick.
 We finally got to the library on Tuesday afternoon (it was closed last Tuesday), but we'd lost many of our books that were on hold.  It was a disappointment.  The books we did get are a joy, and everyone from little to big spent quite a bit of time reading a little bit of everything from science to science fiction.

Grocery shopping, therapy appointments, and caring for grumpy babies dominated the rest of that day.  We did have our Morning Meeting, and 3 of the big girls completed some math, but that was it for school until bedtime when Ladybug and Mister Man each got a turn to read for me.

Oh!  I forgot!  Actually Ladybug and Mister Man had a reading session in the afternoon, too.  They pulled out A Fly Went By and Ladybug tried to read it while Mister Man sat next to her and helped her.  I was enchanted to watch their interaction.  My favorite moment was when Ladybug reached the word "with" for the second time, and got stuck.  Mister Man sweetly pointed out, "It's the same as that word right there," as he pointed to the first word "with" he'd already helped her read on the page.

I hope I never forget their cute cooperation.

The littles discovered and observed a ladybug.  I give our Ladybug, Brother, and Little Brother a lot of credit for not stomping on it--they wanted to, badly.  It is clear that they were taught, in their life before joining our family, that all insects are pests.  Notice how Brother is hanging back--he's quite nervous around animals and insects, but he, and the others, are learning that nature observations are very interesting.
In the evening Dad took the 4 oldest off to the temple along with other youth from our ward to do temple baptisms.  One of the ward members provided many of her own family names, and one of the names was exactly Rose Red's real name.  She made sure that Rose Red got to stand in for that particular ancestor.

Sir Walter Scott said it caused more than one person to look up in surprise.

Wednesday and Thursday were two of a kind--kind of long, dragging days with behavior challenges with Ladybug, Brother, and Little Brother, but also good days filled with acts of kindness by various family members . . . especially Pixie, who has been my right-hand-"man" almost constantly.

(I'd like very much to give her a break and a reward.) 

We maintained our routines of Morning Meeting, double math, outdoor play, storytime for preschoolers, and evening reading.

The babies keep us on our toes.
 We were also flexible about school because I brought home from the library a book about sewing monsters.  Coupled with the fabric that a church member gave to us, Nature Angel and Little Princess have been in heaven.  Between the reading, the measuring, the cutting, the sewing, the following of directions, the designing, and the focus, I couldn't ask for a better educational experience for them.  They've made a dozen monsters so far--for themselves, for their siblings, and for their friends.  Belle even spent much of Thursday afternoon with Ladybug on her lap, helping Ladybug sew a monster of her own . . . such a therapeutic activity!

Pixie continues to develop as our resident Occupational Therapist.  She researches ideas with me and then implements them.  We spent some time together on Thursday figuring out just what was reasonable and what was not reasonable for a 4-year-old to be able to do by giving various OT tasks to the other littles in our home and recording our findings.

One day for preschool we made rainbows.
I learned a lot about how Brother's brain works, and I will strive to help him overcome his academic weaknesses by teaching to his strengths.

Oh!  And we filled out our homeschool yearbook questionnaires.  It took quite a while to get 10 questionnaires filled out and submitted, but some of the answers were hilarious--quite worthy of appearing in the yearbook.  Pixie spent time looking up pictures that can serve as portraits, and I now have 8 days left to upload photos and design our personal pages.

Guess I'll be rather busy for a while.

Friday and Saturday were the homeschool campout!!!!!

The majority of the day Friday was spent cleaning and packing.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Have you ever taken 14 people camping?

It's not something I'll be in a hurry to do again any time soon.

But I'm glad we went because I learned that we can successfully take the new children away from their home routines . . . at least for overnight.

We climbed trees, kayaked, swam in the lake, dug in the sand, sculpted with kid-harvested clay, followed bugs, explored hiking trails, made new friends, and listened to night sounds.

I didn't take a single picture because my hands were busy every single minute.  But some friends did:

They found a frog!
I hope to receive a few more photos in the coming weeks.

Until then, Belle is doing triple and quadruple math every day, and estimates that our school year will officially end on Tuesday of next week.  As a result I've been working on a summer routine that will allow our littles to feel safely ensconced in familiarity, but allow us the freedom to breathe and explore and enjoy a summer that feels like summer.

(Linking here)


  1. What a great week with all of your wonderful kiddos! I can't imagine taking 14 people camping. Wow, I bet you had your hands full! But the kayaking and sculpting sound like such fun. #weeklywrapup

  2. My favorite parts are the outing in the rain and Mister Man helping Ladybug read! The monster toys are amazingly adorable! And can't you just picture Belle with her doctorate someday, continuing to do research?--that's how I see her. I can't even wrap my brain around the camping bit!, so I'm choosing not to think about it...

    1. I feel foolish for putting Belle's name where Pixie's should have been. Belle teaches math. Pixie does OT. I fixed it in the original post.

      I'll show Belle your comment about her and the research and the PhD--just to drop a pebble in the ocean. Just the other day she voiced a concern that she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. She was telling Pixie she's so lucky to have goals and focus. Now Belle is only 12, so there's lots of time for finding a focus, but I can see her happily ensconced in a university ivory tower someday. :)

  3. What a great glimpse into your world! Busy mama! Sewing little monsters looks like fun. I'd love to take my crew camping someday (I think?) but I worry about how my little girls would do with their prosthetic legs and all the dirt and uneven terrain.


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