A Week, Briefly (1/1/18)

I like that the New Year began on a Monday.

Makes the year feel so official somehow.

Even though nothing changed.

We're still just doing what we do.

Nature Angel finished Weave Your Word in Me part 1 and the first half of Analytical Grammar, Jr.  (Which reminds me that I need to retrieve the second half from the shelf downstairs--I printed it in two parts so it wasn't so overwhelming.)

And she's sewing some more--she made this outfit for her doll all by herself.

She counted up her math lessons and found that she only has 45 left to finish her book (Saxon 6/5).  She walked around the house with a grin on her face all day after that discovery.

It's amazing how inspiring a little self-assessment can be.

Super Star finished module 7 in her Apologia Marine Biology course.  She's feeling really good about that.

So good, in fact, that she and Pixie had a little silly sparring match over individual knowledge.

Apparently Super Star asked Pixie some obscure fact about whales that Pixie could not answer, so Pixie challenged Super Star to do a dance step.  Super Star retaliated with another marine biology question, and Pixie was up to the challenge.

The match ended in giggles and acknowledgment that each girl can respect the other for knowing cool stuff.

Mister Man has been reading, reading, reading!  He read The Indian in the Cupboard, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Twits this week, and he's already casting about for more awesome reading material.

He sped through the Carolyn Hayward books about Eddie that he got for Christmas, so he'll need more of those, but I'm thinking we need to take the reading challenge up a notch and and find something really challenging (but innocent enough for a 6-year-old) that we can read together.

Little Princess and I are reading Little Women together--one chapter at a time.  We both cry every time we read.

It's been quite the bonding experience. :)

I'm glad it's a long book, so we'll get to do this for a long time.

The teens and I are reading Huck Finn, but honestly, it is not holding my interest, and I'm tired of the n-word in front of my face on every single page.  I don't say it aloud, but historically accurate or not, there's power in that word that echoes through my body.

Our book club book is Go Tell it on the Mountain--so dropping Huck Finn to read that feels like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire . . . as far as issues of racial injustice are concerned.


Kids are playing with playdough and doing puzzles every day.

And they're going outside to "skate" on our frozen creek.  They make up games and rules and play so hard in the below-freezing temperatures.  Then they come inside all pink-cheeked and pink-nosed (yes, that's true for all of them--even the very brownest of their faces flushes pink with cold) and ready for a bowl of warm soup and a science documentary.

Academy is fun.

Symposium is not working.

The teens are simply too much a part of the world beyond our home for us to manage Symposium.  We all feel sad, but we all feel the need to change our routine.

So we're working on that.

Old Navy is not giving Rose Red any hours . . . she's not fired, but they cancel her shifts 1 hour before she's supposed to report to work every time she's scheduled.  She's not quitting (after all 50% off clothes is still 50% off!), but she's gone back to Freddie's where she's being offered a ton of hours.

Her 18th birthday is very soon, and she'll be eligible to apply to many, many places, and with her retail and register work experience, she should be quite hireable somewhere more pleasant than Freddie's.

At least we're hoping so. :)

Rose Red and I spent a great deal of time this week researching humanitarian work opportunities around the world.  She wants to travel, and she's willing to work to do so.  Sir Walter Scott and I fully support her in that (at least emotionally--financially she's on her own).  Getting her out and about feels like what she needs right now.

Pixie's dance dreams keep getting the boosts they need to stay alive.  Just this week she was put on the schedule as a desk monitor at her dance school.  By working 2 shifts a month, she receives half-tuition discounts on all of the classes she wants to take!  We're all so happy for her!

She's paying her own way through her classes by working two jobs already.  These two little 4-hour volunteer shifts will maximize the cash she earns elsewhere.

The toddlers/pre-schoolers are demanding school time with me each day.  It complicates things, but they love sitting by me practicing cutting and pasting or "writing" with a pencil.  Honestly, it is both horrendously crazy (because they only want to do school if someone else is already having a turn) and the sweetest of the sweet time to share with them.

Seminary started up again.  The good part about Old Navy being so gross about Rose Red's schedule is that she's attending seminary full-time.

There's a silver lining in every cloud.

Little Princess admits that she's kind of bored each day as it only takes her an hour or two to complete all of her individual school.  She's asked me to help her find a new challenge.  So far I've bookmarked a page of online times tables drills for her to work on, and she's loving that.

Ladybug and Brother continue to develop their reading skills.

Oh!  Beowulf is holding scissors and a pencil correctly these days!  He made some sort of cognitive leap, and it is so exciting to see him pick up these essential tools by himself and use them successfully!

And we're working on potty-training with Lola. 

Here she is asleep on the potty one night when Rose Red was NOT leaving that bathroom until Lola went.
She's pretty determined not to be potty-trained, but we're pretty determined she will be.  We're not fussing about it.  We're just not putting diapers on her except at night.  I put a stack of pants and underwear on the kitchen island every morning, and we take her potty every hour and a half or so.  If she wets herself, we change her.  This may last for months, as she's a very determined small person, but there are more of us (at least 8 of us are working together) than there are of her, so we hope to win by love and smiles and persistence.

Today is Friday.

Sir Walter Scott  and I went to the temple after lunch.  The teens were awesome about babysitting (again--they let Sir Walter Scott and me go on a date on Monday!), and he and I had a fabulous spiritual recharge.  Pixie led the kids in an awesome dance party, so we came home to a mellow household. 

Tonight Rose Red is headed to a self-reliance devotional to see if she can take the personal finance class.  I hope she can.

The rest of us are having a quiet Friday night in.

But tomorrow is busy!


  1. Way to go Mister Man! Little Eddie was beloved my my eldest. I'm glad you got to the temple. We also did over the break and it was so nice. I hope Rose Red gets into the finance class. I took one last summer and it was so, so good. Everyone there was wishing they could have taken it earlier in life.

  2. Lots of good stuff this week. Yay for Beowolf, and lots of reading, and seeing the end in sight with Saxon and Pixie getting the breaks she needs with dance. Here's hoping Old Navy gets better with hours (one of the reasons Miss 17 left the gym was they were constantly switching hours) or that a new better job is just over the horizon for Rose Red. I'm smiling at the image of a determined Lola versus at least 8 persistent others. Love the look of concentration on her face in the photo with the scissors.

  3. Everyone is doing awesone. I do think you will succeed with miss Lola. You do have her outnumbered. Congrats on the half price dance classes.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. Would Rose Red consider being an Au-pair in one of European lands? In Germany Au-pairs work only 30 hours a week and traveling to other lands can be very affordable. Plus host families tend to keep an eye on their Au-pairs. Not that exciting for girls themselves, but nice for their moms ;) I can even ask my friends back there if some church members are looking for an Au-pair.

    1. I thought her answer would be a resounding "No!" but it is "Yes!" instead. :) She says, "I think I have enough experience taking care of kids to do a good job." However, she is not living church standards, so working for a member might not be a good match. We'll check out some au-pair agencies. Thanks for the suggestion!!!

  5. Love to hear about everyone. I was not so nice during potty training. I’m glad you can all be so pleasant. Smiles and loves will win the day, no doubt. Happy New Year!

  6. After she finishes reading Little Women, I highly recommend the movie of it where Winona Ryder plays Jo.

  7. Have you noticed how Nature Angel actually looks like an American Girl doll?

  8. Oh, I read Little Women with my daughter, Marissa, and it was such a sweet time for us both. It took us a while to get through it, and we also read A Princess Bride the same year. I don't blame you for feeling the way you do about Huck Finn. I haven't ventured there yet with my son. We will be starting King Henry IV part 1 soon, for his English class. That should be interesting. My daughter, Darcie would be able to relate to Rose Red's work issues. She's had that happen to her at Kohl's. I'll be happy when the day comes that she doesn't need to work retail. Sounds like your new year is off to a great start on the homeschool front!


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