A Week, Briefly (In Which We Eat Too Much Pie)

We sat down together on Sunday night for Family Home Evening and wrote thank you letters--one each--to any person we felt inclined to thank.

On Monday Sir Walter Scott bought stamps and mailed them off.

Hopefully those dozen envelopes brightened the Thanksgiving celebration for a dozen people.

And if they didn't, at least our hearts were brightened as we counted our blessings and expressed our personal gratitude for part of them.

No formal school for any of us this week.

Baymax continued to explode in his language development.  Emerging talkers are some of my favorite people in the world.  My current favorite word on his list is "motorcycle" because it sounds exactly like "water bottle."

Lola's language explosion started this week.  In each of her developmental milestones (other than gross motor) she waits just until I start to worry that she's not going to get there, and then she does.  All of a sudden instead of pointing and crying, she's trying words first to express her desires.  She's tickled pink that they work.  And we're delighted that there's so much less crying in our world.

Little Brother continues to refuse to be potty-trained enough to get out of a diaper.  He uses the toilet 6-8 times a day but still has a soaking wet diaper by dinnertime (how???).  We're trying to be patient.  The awesome news is that he figured out how to put on his own coat.  His jacket still confuses him, but he can get his arms in his coat all by himself.  He's terribly proud. 

On our nature walk this week, he found an interesting hole in the ground.  He had a grand time investigating it--especially poking into it with a stick to see if anything would come out.

Nothing did. :)

Brother suddenly made a new cognitive leap.  Just a few weeks ago our ball-and-stick toys still stumped him utterly, but this very week he chose them as his quiet time toy, and he was able to build a house with an attached "porch" and "deck."  Somehow he now sees how the pieces work together, and he can make his fingers do what he asks them to.  It's wonderful to see.

Mister Man continues to learn almost faster than I can teach him.  The world is a marvelous place, and he enjoys each new revelation.

Ladybug especially enjoyed rolling out leftover pie crust dough and cutting out cookie shapes that I sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked up for the kids to eat.

Little Princess joined Nature  Angel in repurposing our Zingo game into a creative writing prompt.  They'd take all of the tiles, arrange them in an order that made them laugh and add verbs and prepositional phrases to create funny stories.  I think they stayed engaged in this activity for close to 3 hours.

And that's Little Princess in blue on the left, running happily across the swale on our nature walk.
Nature Angel designed, embroidered, and sewed a pillow for Mister Man.  He loves airplanes!  She manages the sewing machine all by herself these days.

She also helped make (along with the other littles who did lots of mashing) the bucket of strawberry freezer jam that we enjoyed on homemade rolls on Thanksgiving.

She also found this giant leaf.  Our internet was down most of the week, but now that it is back up and running we'll look up what kind of tree it came from.
 Belle worked almost constantly on her embroidery project.  She has to have the embroidery done in the next few days because she then has to sew the blocks together and complete the decorative quilt art piece she's making for YW in Excellence.  She paused a few times to make cranberry bread, cranberry sauce, and many Thanksgiving pies.

Checking out the recipe for the cranberry sauce
She didn't make ALL of the pies by herself, but she did work hard at pie making.
Super Star created an Oreo pie to die for.  Otherwise she rested, read, and rested some more.

Oh!  She and I finished the cookbook she's been working on for over a year now.  It was a Personal Progress Knowledge value project, and it has been such hard, focused, dedicated work on her part.  The finished book will arrive next Wednesday--just in time for YW in Excellence!

(And we finished it maybe an hour before our internet was knocked out!  What a blessing!)

Pixie completed some spelling exercises and made the most beautiful deep dish apple pie I've ever seen . . . and it was delicious.

She also made this lovely, tasty coconut cream pie!

She spent hours and hours reading library books--mostly fluffy teen romance stories that are helping her to rest from her usual hard work.

Rose Red read a lot this week.  I challenged her to finish reading and narrating Till We Have Faces.  It is now late Friday afternoon, and she's not done yet, but she's curled up on the couch with a mug of herbal tea reading luxuriously.  She's also the creator of that gorgeous cherry pie in the pie photo, and she baked up a truly decadent pumpkin cheesecake, too.

Our Thanksgiving day was filled with family, food, and gratitude.  We took a 2 mile hike before settling down to eat the sumptuous feast that will continue to feed us for another couple of days.

And here is the love of my life carving the turkey.  He's far better looking in person. :)  He just hates having his picture taken. (And I can hardly wait for No-Shave-November to be over!)
The "triplet" cousins were to-die-for cute!
All three of them were born within 7 weeks of one another.
On Wednesday night we traveled north to see Uncle M-- in a play called The Savior of the World.  All of us but Rose Red went (she had to work).  It was quite enjoyable, but also quite long.  I had 3 sleeping boys on my lap by the end of the show, Little Princess fell asleep on top of Cousin E--, and Lola was asleep in Pixie's arms.

Then Baymax sat up and vomited all over me and the theater floor.

But he was fine on Thanksgiving.

On Friday I conducted school interviews with each of the teens.

Belle and I agreed that she will need a new project to challenge her starting in January.  We decided to pray and ponder until simultaneously we realized that she could take control of next year's garden!  She'll use The Encyclopedia of Country Living as a reference, and she'll study planting times, decide what we'll grow, and design how the garden will be planted.

Super Star committed to working more faithfully at her math assignments.  She and I also spent at least an hour making plans for her to complete her Personal Progress by this coming spring.  She's feeling highly motivated.  She asked me to provide her with some creative writing prompts to inspire her daily writing.

Pixie proved how focused and dedicated she is.  I did find that she could be a little bit more thorough in her science answers, and she agreed to work on them.  She also forgot to print out the final drafts of her essays (I read them on the computer), so I asked her to do that and save them in her binder for future portfolio purposes.  Recently she needed to revamp her geography studies (she works with us during Symposium, but that's not high school level work), so we pulled out Mapping the World by Heart, and she's been working through a few of the "appetizer" exercises so far.

Rose Red and I have been talking  a lot about school lately, so we just firmed up what we'd already been talking about--mainly to complete more math each week and read with scholarly dedication.

While I was busy with the interviews, I gave the babies each a roll of toilet paper to play with.  I thought they'd have a grand time unrolling and shredding to their hearts' content, but it turned out that the big kids got in on the action!


  1. What a wonderful week. I love the pie picture!
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I literally had a happy sigh just reading your week's updates. It is so encouraging to see a peek at each of your kiddos and your Thanksgiving week.

    We're still slogging through illness. The oldest son (age 12) has pneumonia now and spent last night finally joining the kids who threw up for hours this week. That only leaves 1 of the 9 kids who hasn't gotten this particular stomach virus. Surely we'll recover by Christmas... or maybe New Years? Ha!
    Have a lovely weekend and new week. December here we come!

  3. Wow, what pies! What generous descriptions of gifts/talents/abilities! Love Nature Angel's pillow. Wish I could have watched the littles with toilet paper! The picture of the Three Babies is precious!

  4. p.s. Sir Walter Scott's changed face is dark and sinister. I like the old face better.

  5. I loved seeing what everyone has been up to. But can you ever eat too much pie?


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