A Week, Briefly (In Which the Sun Peeks from Behind the Clouds)

I apologize in advance for sounding glum and sorry for myself.  There's something off inside me--perhaps I need my meds adjusted, or perhaps I just need my attitude adjusted--that has been making my whole world gray.

I am blessed.  I know God loves me.  I know He is actively involved in guiding my family life.

Somehow I'm feeling kind of whiny, though, and that has a tendency to come through in my voice when I write.

So, I apologize.

And I'll try to focus on the blessings that I might rejoice.

Rose Red and Pixie returned to seminary after the previous week's spring break.  8 or so weeks left of these early mornings.  Pixie says, "I'm tired of getting up, and I loved not having seminary, but there's something about going that I miss even if I do get to sleep in."

I think what she misses is the power of youth gathering in Christ's name.

It's worth the early mornings.

Little Princess was emotional and off-balance all day, so she couldn't do any school work--and believe me, we did try!  I don't believe in fighting littles into doing school, so I just pushed the books away and excused her to find her center again.

Which she did by reading library books, doing chores, and playing with Lola and Baymax.

Super Star slept in because she was sick over the weekend, but eventually she joined the land of the living and did her schoolwork.  She also did some extra chores to earn the price of her homeschool prom ticket.

Pixie finished her grammar book for the year!  She's going to be receiving an IEW writing intensive as a review product to try out, and she's working hard to clear out room in her daily schedule for this new adventure.

Rose Red didn't get much school work done, but she learned hard life lessons about procrastination and budgeting.  Through her, Sir Walter Scott and I are learning ever harder parenting lessons.

Belle skipped Latin in favor of conducting extra training sessions for Theo.  He's a darling puppy, but he's getting bigger, stronger, and into constant trouble.   His schooling will take precedence over all else until he becomes a well-behaved family dog.

He is making progress.

He got a new bed this week--the old one was too big for him when he first arrived, weighing barely 3 lbs. :)

Nature Angel is considered officially healed of her broken arm.  She's to wear her splint at night if she feels worried about sleeping on it wrong, but otherwise it's time to get that hand and arm back to work again.  She's happy . . . but she wishes she had a reason to not start back on regular math lessons. :)

I feel confident that she's truly healed because before she even saw the doctor she sat for several hours doing a series of Creating a Masterpiece lessons on sculpture.  It took both hands . . .

No Academy for the littles (I was exhausted from dealing with Little Princess, Little Brother, Rose Red, and Baymax), but Symposium went well.  We worked some more on Spanish interrogatives, began studying Claude Monet, and read/watched totally opposing views of Eleanor of Acquitaine/Henry II/Thomas a Beckett.

History is fascinating.

So much so that Rose Red said, "I want to be a history teacher!"


The preschool story of the week is The Bremen Town Musicians; we're still reading Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star-Namer; the little kids and I finished reading Seabird; we spied two eastern bluebirds on the power line outside our dining room window; and we added Ephesians 4:11-14 to our scripture memorization line up.

We're watching an episode a week of Drive-Thru History: The Gospels for Family Home Evening.

And just as we thought everyone might be healthy (Lola is now smiling more than she cries!), Little Brother broke out with a high fever.

We'll see if this ends soon.

We ate leftover soup for breakfast and then had homemade granola bars and milk for lunch.  The kids thought it was funny to eat "backwards."

I did it simply because I forgot to start the granola bars early enough to have them baked in time for breakfast. :)

We had a reasonable school morning--everyone was able to do think clearly and get individual work done.

Super Star finished her science book, and we debated whether to invest in more science for her (it's a true love) or call it good for the year.  She decided she'd rather double up on math lessons.

That's cool.

Nature Angel and Little Princess did another Creating a Masterpiece sculpture project.  We didn't have the special paints required to truly finish the project, but they were happy to just do the sculpting part.  For the internal structure, they were quite clever about substituting what was recommended with what we actually had in the house.

I have never had as hard a time with toddlers and homeschooling as I am right now.

Is it because there are two of them?

I am an experienced mother, and I have successfully entertained/redirected/educated/trained/given attention to toddlers for over a decade and a half.

These two will respond to nothing that has ever worked before.

At any rate, I've finally given in and installed some toddler/preschool apps on my phone for them to play with when they get just too whiny/rambunctious/demanding.  That is a challenge in and of itself because I have 1 phone and 2 toddlers.

But they are (kind of) learning to take turns and how to share.

For Symposium we finished up our unit on Spanish interrogatives, we continued to talk about Monet, and we read about Richard the Lionhearted, Saladin,and Robin Hood.

I think that the stories and history surrounding Robin Hood are my favorite.

Rose Red got her food-handling permit.  I laughed out loud when she read me one of the (inane) questions on her test and said, "Mom, I've been answering questions like this for hours!"

It's pretty clear that test is set for the lowest common denominator.

The littles and I started The Tale of Despereaux together.

I love this book.

*Dreamy sigh*

The kids seem to like it, too.

Mister Man is quite terrified of the foreshadowing about the rats, but he's also really, really, really wanting to know what happens, so he's committed.

I prayed for the sun to peek through the clouds for at least a few moments.  I thanked Heavenly Father for the rain and the clouds, too.  Then I geared up for the forecast of 10 more days of gloom before there is any predicted sun.

Nature Angel looked out the window and sighed happily, "I love how the trees and plants are so beautiful when it rains."

Precious girl.

She helped me remember just how beautiful it is outside.

And I smiled.

The rain drizzled and poured in alternating waves.

We moved through our usual work--preschool stories, chores, Morning Meeting, individual school, therapy for Brother and Ladybug, lunch, Signing Time, Symposium, quiet time.

And then I sent my wiggly, energetic kids out into the mud and muck to get some outside play time.

Nature Angel's clean bill of health meant she resumed her usual math work in Saxon 5/4.  It took some effort to remember her previous skills after 5 weeks away.  She's not returned to her Good and Beautiful work because she's so enjoying reading and narrating from the books I collected for her.  She's daily typing up her own narrations, so I'm not fussing about changing back.

Belle couldn't find a sister to help her take Theo on a walk, so I assigned Pixie and Super Star to watch the littles while I went with Belle.

And the sun peeked out for 1 full minute before hiding again.


I felt my spirits lift as the wind blew and the rain fell and the clouds parted for just long enough to know that God heard and answered my prayer.

The big girls had youth night at the church, so the very littles and I continued reading Despereaux, and the medium littles and I read another chapter of Mary Poppins Comes Back before heading to bed.

It was a hard night--Baymax didn't sleep well--but I remember that break in the clouds, and I feel so gratefully happy anyway.

Show day!  It was a "black and white" show (meaning the kids wore just their basic white shirts and black pants with varying accessories instead of full costumes), so it was just a simple joy to do.

We got in a full morning of individual school work, a nice lunch, and then left the toddlers in Rose Red's care for the afternoon,

Our assigned performance area in the nursing home was lovely in many ways, but there was no place for the littles to play except a hallway, and it needed to be kept clear for residents to move safely.  They're only in 3 dances out of 18, so they had a lot of sitting around time.  I lined them up against the wall and gave my story-telling skills a work out.

It was a little rough at first because they were all wound up with show day excitement, but pretty soon their eyes were big, their mouths hung open, and their bodies were still as they watched and listened to me perform Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Rumplestiltskin for them.  We also did some silly finger play songs together.

They were safe and happy; the residents were safe and happy; the show was great!

More than one resident wept with gratitude, and one funny lady passed out handfuls of popcorn to as many children as she could to thank them for the show.  We moms kind of shrugged and are hoping that no one gets sick!

Show days are just hard on my littles--Little Brother had a screaming melt down after dinner, and Ladybug was mean, mean, mean to the other littles. 

Nature Angel was her usual kind self, but I caught her falling asleep on the couch shortly after 7:00 pm.

It was early to bed for us all!

Another gray day kept us productively inside doing school, school, school.

But that includes lots of creative playtime for the littles. :)

For Symposium we did an ArtAchieve lesson.

And Pixie learned about the agonies of putting off an essay to the last day.  She was still writing as I put dinner on the table, and I had to kick her out.

But she got it done!

Some of the girls tried to go to the movies with friends and found out that the theater won't let anyone in under 18 without someone over the age of 21.


I guess teens are famous for causing problems, but now they're not allowed to go out to the movies without an adult?

Poor teens--another door to independence slammed in their faces.

Today we're gearing up for a weekend of General Conference.

I love General Conference.

*dreamy sigh*

And the homeschool prom is tonight.  I've got 4 teens with beautiful dresses, jewelry, and shoes who plan to be doing each other's hair during the afternoon session of conference.

We'll see how much they get out of the meeting. :)

(linking here)


  1. You did a great job of showing many positives in your life. I think it is a blessing but exhausting to be the glue of a family 24/7 ~ and that you.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Can't wait to see the pictures of the prom teens!
    Today was a beautiful day for conference, but I have not been out at all because I am sick, sick, sick... And I don't trust the sunshine and blue sky because it only lasts a moment... another storm coming in tomorrow. It's just snow and rain, rain, rain, then more snow and rain, rain, rain. All the reservoirs are full--that's good. But my mood remains gray and unhopeful of the sun ever staying... I empathize.

  3. Love the photo of BabyMax and Lola. The look adorable - but I can also imagine they could make focussed homeschooling a bit of a challenge. As always I admire the realism of your blog - how you share the good as well as the not-so-good. I love the line about you and Sir Walter Scott learning ever harder parenting lessons via Rose Red. I've got one that seems to be at the root of many of my parenting lessons. Hope this coming week is easier for you. With any luck the weather will be nice, the kids will be healthy and you'll feel better.

  4. The photos you included are simply fabulous. I hope this means that a way has been found to replace/fix the broken camera. I didn't hear any whine and was joyful reading about the rich blessing of your week. I hope Conference has helped to heal your lingering sadness. I read Judy's comments, and I hope she feels better soon. I love you and your sweet family.

  5. I'm sorry you are feeling a bit grey at the moment. You had such a great attitude and it sounds like your week was just lovely :)


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