A Week Briefly (In Which We Play with Helium Balloons)

On our way to church Nature Angel said, "My friends all went back to school, and the all say they hate school."

(These are 8- and 9-year-olds.)

I said, "Oh!  How sad!  I'm glad that you love school!"

"I do?" Nature Angel asked.

"Well, you spent all weekend working on your book, and when I told you to put it away to do something else you were disappointed," I answered.  "That was school."

"It was?"

"Yes.  School is writing, reading, drawing, thinking, building, learning--all kinds of stuff that you do every day without even being told to do it."

"Oh . . . I love writing and drawing and reading . . . and I can't wait to go home and write some more . . . yeah, I do love school," she said musingly.

I let the conversation rest there, but when we got home that Sunday afternoon, Nature Angel spent all of her free time drawing illustrations for her story.  I'm going to help her make it into a "real" book.

On Saturday afternoon, Belle helped Little Princess sew a bag like Nature Angel's (but I never got a picture of it even though I tried 4 times).

Our babies are getting two baths a day of late, as they are playing in the mud every chance they get!
Monday morning brought with it the start of seminary.  Two girls this year--Rose Red and Pixie--were up and dressed and out the door before 5:30 am.

Our morning routine continued to work well, and it wasn't long before we'd finished morning meeting, seen Rose Red off to her Spanish class at the local community college and started math lessons all around.

Ladybug is having a hard time with ordinal numbers, so I took over her lessons, dumping the textbook exercises in favor of sorting rocks into tin cans outside.  We just worked on first, second, and third.  It was quite the challenge for her, so we'll just go very slowly and let it all be a game.

The little boys all wanted turns to do Ladybug's math, but I didn't let them. :)  It was all intentional to build up Ladybug's sense of privilege and to make the boys hungry for math, too.  They watched every move we made, and I'll bet that by later this week they'll understand ordinal numbers through and through.

The littles played outside all morning while I organized and printed materials for us to memorize The Living Christ.

After lunch the littles enjoyed creative and construction play during quiet hour.

The older girls and I listened to Ether 1-9 for day 28 of our 30 day Book of Mormon challenge.

Rose Red kept herself awake and focused by playing with toys as we listened. :)
I took the littles to our favorite nature park where we spent a happy 2 hours.  We observed 3 different types of spider webs, collected cicada wings (the owners of the wings were already dead), and walked as far as our babies could stand to walk.

They found and watched an inchworm crawling over the blocks in the sand pit.

A butterfly hitched a ride on Nature Angel's shoulder blade.
When I got home, I found that Rose Red had completed all of her Spanish homework, and the other 3 teens had spent a happy afternoon doing the practical math involved in calculating the cost of thrift store clothing marked at 50% and 75% off while they spent birthday and/or babysitting money on new (to them) clothes.

Tuesday was much the same as Monday except Rose Red didn't have her Spanish class, and I went shopping for birthday supplies in the afternoon instead of taking the kids out for nature studies.

On Wednesday the older girls and I finished The Book of Mormon!

When will Belle finish the teddy bear she's been knitting now that we're not sitting for an hour or more listening to the scriptures?

I miss it already.

We study it daily in our morning meeting, and I study it daily for my personal devotional time, but I'll miss it anyway.  It's been a good month.

However, the end of this month-long focus is the beginning of our school year.  I set it up that way on purpose, so it's time to get serious about school.

No math for Ladybug as Wednesday is now therapy day, and she was gone with brother for the latter half of the morning and into the afternoon.

But we did still have breakfast at the park!

Pixie was in charge of a baby shower for one of the youth leaders at church, so she was busy all afternoon with last minute details, and she came grocery shopping with me in the afternoon.  She'd sewed a darling flag bunting out of various shades of blue and white from our fabric scrap boxes, purchased blue balloons, and made an "It's a Boy!" banner from construction paper out of our craft cupboard.  She'd been given a $10 budget to work with, so after the balloons, she had $8.23 left.  She borrowed tablecloths and arranged for the other girls and some of the leaders to contribute treats, ice, and a punch bowl.  She organized shower games and delegated any printing (bingo sheets, etc.) to one of the girls.  She purchased candy bars as game prizes, chocolate to melt in our chocolate fountain, toothpicks to use as dipping skewers, and a lemon to dress up the ice water in the punch bowl.  She and her sisters left for youth night early in order to set up, and by the time the guest of honor arrived, the room was decorated and the treats were ready.

Cutting out the flag pieces
The baby shower was a success.  How fortunate that the tornado sirens didn't go off until they were all cleaning up, so they got to have their party first and then be trapped in the church gym for 45 minutes while they waited out the duration of the storm.

Everyone played basketball and had a good time.

No one was hurt, and I was barely aware that there was any more danger than a rainstorm.

Thursday was dominated by behavior issues.  It was a yucky day.

We started our dance practices up again, and though all of the children cheered, Ladybug, Brother, and Little Brother were terrors.  I think that going back to our rehearsal site and returning to our dance day home routines triggered old memories of old behaviors and they simply couldn't resist them.

Part of me wants to purge it all out with a blow-by-blow description, but another part of me wants to let it rest.

I'm going to try to let it rest.

But trust me; it was BAD.

Friday was better.  We got relatively peacefully through our morning routine and math.  In the afternoon I ran some errands that included purchasing 15 helium balloons to do our first activity of the school year from A Year of Playing Skillfully.

It was a flop.

It would have taken over twice as many balloons as we had to make the basket float, and even more to lift a toy.  In the end we got one small stuffed gorilla to float, and then we flew kites until we were too hot and sticky to run around the field any more.

Really, really tired
Little Princess's math book arrived.

She loves it. 

Today is Saturday.  We have too much on the calendar to actually do today, so we're going to have to have a breakfast council and decide what's most important.

We'll see what gets chosen!

(Linking here)


  1. It is such fun to read your weeks and realize we're not the only ones balancing lots of needs and learning. I'm always in awe of how you juggle the needs of your newest four one day at a time. Carry on!

  2. I love that conversation you opened with! Good job, mom!

  3. Yeah, I like the opening conversation with Nature Angel too--so glad she loves school! I also like the idea of having the boys observe (yearningly) the math exercises--and learn what they need to learn in the process! So much learning going on at your house!


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