A Week, Briefly (2/5/18)

A fairly typical school week for us--with the exception of the arrival of Uncle S- and Cousin R- to visit for the weekend.

We're glad they're here.

I could do without the tantrums from not being able to cope with excitement . . . but we're glad they're here.

Most of my thoughts for this week are concerns, though truly I know we are deeply and abundantly blessed:

*Rose Red's behaviors settle and escalate in alarming ways.  She's incredibly charming and fun when she's on, and I love her so very much.  I do not have any desire to dictate the person she is or will become--I only want to see her safe and happy.

*Brother is convinced that everyone in our family is out to get him.  He's quite happy 95% of the time, and he's really doing quite well . . . but then a trigger will set him off in crazed tantrums and he'll tell me that I'm teasing/ignoring/tormenting/hurting him on purpose when it is utterly untrue.  It's not a typical kid's complaining about how unfair life is--I've seen plenty of that, and I know the difference; he's really scary when he's accusing us (me) of harm.

*Ladybug is regressing in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is watching Lola be potty trained.  And there's still Baymax to train, so there's not much hope of her snapping out of her regressions any time soon.  Her prayers for help are so touching though.  I just melt inside each time I listen to her petition the Lord to heal her heart.

*Mister Man is so crazy smart that he's getting into trouble out of boredom.  I'm pro-boredom for kids because boredom drives them to get creative, but Mister Man is becoming quite a stinker.  I've long felt he needs more school each day, but part of me is resisting that feeling because he's only a 6 year old boy, and I want him to grow in other than academic ways, and I'm afraid of school becoming drudgery.  But still, that feeling persists that academic focus will help direct that brain of his to develop healthier habits than teasing siblings to tears.

*Pixie is working herself to the bone.

*Little Princess is hungering for some mom-time that she's not getting.

But then I stop and see:

*Super Star is writing, writing, writing.  She's turning in her essays ahead of schedule, and she's listening to the advice I'm giving her about how to develop her formal writing skills.  She's approaching 40,000 words in her novel, and she's been inspired to start a second simultaneously.  Earlier this week, Pixie said, "[Super Star] has such a knack for writing!"  I had to stop to correct her because Super Star does not "have a knack."  She's just worked so long and so hard and with such dedication that she has developed skills that are turning into talent.  I compared her to Belle who actually does "have a knack"--who has shown a talent for the written word since her earliest days of holding a pencil--but who doesn't care about developing it.  I'm amazed by Super Star's hard work and how it is paying off.  I don't want to throw her blood, sweat, and tears away by claiming it's been easy by calling it a "knack for writing."

*Nature Angel is crafting and creating constantly.  Her doll designs are darling, and even though her first attempt to crochet a winter cap for a person didn't work out, I'm positive she'll get over it and go on to do great things with human clothing.  She gets up and does all of her chores without any reminders; she sits down to her independent school and works faithfully; she participates in Academy, and she's so sweet to her siblings and to me and Sir Walter Scott.  She just knocks my socks off every day with her kindness, obedience, and good nature.

After taking this picture I joked that it looked like it was time to turn from sewing doll clothes to doll hair care.  Nature Angel got right on it, and she's been asking me questions about doll restoration.

*Ladybug is reading better and better every day!

*Brother is reading more and more, too, but math is is true love.

*Beowulf is showing slow but steady progression in his ability to control his hands and body and  mind.

He finished this preschool book!

*Lola stays dry about 90% of the time during the day, and she's voluntarily using the potty when she needs to! (Though I must admit that I did laugh when we used to find her wet and she'd shrug her shoulders and say, "But you didn't take me."  As if it were all on us.)

*Baymax and Lola have figured out how to get out their own workbooks and crayons and settle themselves at the table near me when they are determined to "do school" with the bigger  kids.  The fact that they are self-directed in this small thing makes for a big difference in the peacefulness of our days.

"I'm a pirate!"

*Rose Red did come to Sir Walter Scott for some help in controlling her spending.  So far it hasn't worked, but the very act of asking shows a humility and a sense of responsibility that has long been missing in our girl.  I'm counting every small step as a big blessing.

*Pixie is so beloved of her various dance teachers, and she's so happy dancing, dancing, dancing.

*Little Princess has been grabbing the camera and photographing sunrises lately.  She seemed quite intrigued when I called her a photographer.  She's voiced some concerns that she doesn't have or know what her talents are, and I think she's realizing that she might be able to develop this penchant for taking pictures into a talent.

*Mister Man may be a terrible tease, but he's also a loving brother, and he is happy to be a helper.

* Belle met a boy at a church dance.  He lives far enough away that they'll only see each other a few times a year, but they text incessantly.  He's homeschooled, too.  They're both a couple of years away from being allowed to date, but there is something almost unbearably sweet and innocent about this little long-distance romance.

*Academy and Symposium have settled well into good winter rhythms.  Our days are structured without being stifling, and we're having interesting learning experiences all of the time.

So much is good!

My worries probably have a lot to do with a succession of gray, cold winter days, and they will probably melt away into joys when the sun comes back again.

(linking here)


  1. I too, miss the sun. The blue ridge mountains are so black and grey during the winter. You did a lovely job of stating concerns and wrapping up with the positives. There are so much of both when raising kids.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I think worries are part-and-parcel of having kids. There's always something to worry about, but there is also plenty of good stuff to notice too. Hope the coming week brings plenty of good stuff your way.

  3. Those doll clothes are lovely! Your kids have some talent, that's for sure. You're doing great, mama!

  4. The sun heals all things for me--especially taking a warm, cozy catnap as it shines through my bedroom window... Ahhh...

  5. So much of my worry is for things that haven’t happened yet—and might not happen! But I think I see foreshadowings, so I worry. But you are right. The sun and the morning light has a way of making everything seem a little less oppressive. I love your efforts to balance bad with good!

  6. I could take some lessons from superstar! I’m working on my book The Child Advocate, and it is very hard. One sentence at a time is success, and one paragraph at a time is major. It’s based on my own life, so there are a lot of dark feelings. I watched the series finale of Judging Amy on YouTube, and it brought out the extreme sobs I think I needed to move forward.

  7. Best wishes finding ways to channel Mister Man's creativity and extra time! With Eli, I got him an EEME subscription, and he loved that, but I think it's for slightly older kids. MM is probably still at the Snap Circuits level. Maybe you could have him write a "report" on something that interests him? Or start assigning non fiction reading, like a library book about a different animal each week?

    Love seeing your daughter's clothing creations! I don't have the patience for doll clothes. Too much effort for something so tiny, lol. I did a "suitcase" full for Brianna when she was little, but ugh. Not my favorite sewing. And Katie brought me the doll clothes bucket yesterday and said, "I don't want these any more, can we get rid of them?" :( She's not a stuff person. I am. It's hard not to get my feelings hurt sometimes.


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