A Week, Briefly (8/20/18)

I just found him like this!

It was a week of beginnings and endings.

The teens began seminary--a full week of it--and they are enthusiastic, energetic, and faithful thus far.

Pixie began her World Geography class at the local community college.  She came home laughing, "The first assignment is to fill in a world map with all of the countries!  I couldn't stop smiling as the teacher passed out the maps."  Pixie has long since already memorized the names and locations of every country in the world, so it was an easy and encouraging start for her.

This is Nature Angel and Little Princess helping me choreograph "Cooties" from Hairspray.  Our theme this year is American Musicals, and we're having a lot of fun!
We all began a new year of dance.  After hours and hours and hours of choreography, we were ready to gather, and we doubled our numbers with 45 committed dancers ages 3-16!  It was a delightful start to the year with smiling kids who worked hard . . . I even was able to teach my class of 13 "Little Stars" (ages 3-6) their entire first dance!

And that is a segue to the first ending; Pixie is not a full-time dancer with this group anymore.  Last year's craziness of teaching during rehearsals and trying to catch up on learning the routines outside of normal rehearsal hours was too much, so she's simply a full-time teacher now.  It's a bittersweet change.

The students and mothers simply love her.  She's a gifted teacher.  One of her students has moderate-severe special needs, and Pixie just worked and worked to meet her where she was.  One of the mothers came to me to tell me just how grateful she is for how sweetly Pixie met this girl's needs and took care of the rest of the class, too.

This picture is actually from last week, but I found it this morning and can't help including it.  It's Lola and Baymax in the doctor's office waiting for Lola's immunization boosters.

Another ending is that I finished the entire Old Testament!  I set out to take a full calendar year, but I found myself just diving in so enthusiastically in places that I got way ahead of my schedule, and I finished in 8 1/2 months instead.  It's a perfect place to end, because it lets me begin a new course of  personal study as we as a family begin a new school year.

I'm taking with me a profound sense of how much God loves us and wants us to both love Him and love one another.

photo credit

We finally finished turning our 7 bedroom house into a 9 bedroom house.  This sounds ridiculous, but our kids' needs are powerful, and 5 of the kids cannot share rooms with anyone else--for both serious and minor reasons. 

We dismantled our music room, moving that furniture both downstairs to the basement kitchen to create a study nook and into the living room (The blessing is that the piano in the living room means it is played constantly; that's also the drawback.) 

The music room is now Lola's bedroom and a playroom to share with Baymax.

Then we dismantled Ladybug's room and divided it in two with curtains and and wire hanging system from IKEA.  We moved Brother and Beowulf into those two "rooms" and moved Ladybug upstairs into what had previously been Brother's and Beowulf's room (but Brother couldn't sleep in it because he bothers Beowulf too much--he'd been sleeping on the music room couch for months.) 

The two boys are not separated by much, and their rooms are cozy 6'x10' hidey-holes, but each of them has a box fan for white noise, and as they aren't sharing a bunk bed anymore, they can't feel each other's movements. Thus far the arrangement is working.

Ladybug is in a room with a bed and a dresser . . . and an alarm on the door.

The teen's book club chose Little Women as the first book of the school year.  After a careful discussion with Little Princess, she agreed to let me switch from reading with just her, to reading to her, the teens, Nature Angel, and Mister Man in a group setting.  We had to start the book again, but we're flying through it because it is a joyful read aloud and the kids don't want me to stop.

Her influence in our home is both terrible and wonderful.  "When she is good, she is very, very good!"

Rose Red has had an interesting week.  Her phone broke, so she's been unable to be glued to it, and she's been less able to fly away with different people.  Stuck at home more often and with that screen broken, she's turned to the family computer screens.  But she just had to drop her Netflix account because she's too broke, and I've been better about tracking when she slips a computer off to her room.  The rule is she can use the family computers for school or job hunting.  When she tries to use them for other purposes I take them away. 

Between the broken phone, the cancelled Netflix, and my upgraded level of policing, she's actually been watching some OYC lectures, and her graduation check-off boxes are filling.  As she's seen some of her own progress, she's expressed an interest in accepting my offer to attend Symposium with the other teens.

However, her new phone (purchased on her own--we are trying not to enable her addiction [that's why she's too broke to pay for Netflix]) is due to arrive on Monday, so she may slip away again.

I may be a fool, but I can't help hoping she'll follow through.

We took Friday to go to the lake--kind of a "goodbye summer" outing.  It was a challenge as the beach we usually love was infected with E. coli, and we had to scramble to find a safe location, but we did, and once we got settled, it was a day of peace and joy.

11 kids seems so few outside . . .

After lunch, the kids had the fun surprise of being joined by their homeschooled cousins, who though they already started school, were willing to put aside their afternoon studies to join us for a few hours.

That added a new level of joy to the day, and we stayed until the preschoolers were drooping with fatigue.

The teens (including cousins) spent a long time making a hilarious music video that I'm not including here because I've told them they may not share on the internet videos of themselves dancing in swimsuits. :)

When we got home, Pixie kept her promise to Little Princess to let Little Princess do her make up once.   Little Princess thinks Pixie is perfectly, perfectly beautiful:

Other work this week included getting everyone signed up for homeschool co-op, organizing schoolbooks (and ordering another new-to-us copy of Saxon Math 7/6 because the answer key to our old one died a terrible death, and our edition was too old to find another living answer key), and trying to set up a workable school storage system for the year without spending any money.

I'm still working on that last one.

And it is fun to have Grandma and Grandpa living only an hour away!  After reading a review of the Christopher Robin movie, I texted Grandma, "Want to take a couple of my kids to the movies?"  She replied, "Yes!" in seconds, and within a couple of hours, Grandma and Grandpa showed up to take Nature Angel and Little Princes out to lunch and see the movie. 

It sounds so commonplace an event, but it is a privilege we've not had before, and my girls have talked happily of their "date" ever since.  Grandparents are a blessing!


  1. Oh how lovely to have a date with the grandparents. I am sure that was a lovely, lovely treat. I am so glad you have ladybug behind an alarm now. That will hopefully give you so rest now. I totally get the need for tons of extra rooms with high end special needs. Blessings, Dawn

  2. I wanted to take the children to see Christopher Robin but they preferred Hotel Transylvania 3 (I wasn’t impressed) how nice to have grandparents close! All of ours are at least 18 hours away. I hope the new room assignments works better then the last. Have a great week!

  3. I'm so impressed you read the Old Testament! I've been reading/studying it from cover to cover for two years now, but I've slacked off many times. 🙄 I'm now back on track and almost finished with Isaiah. I use the time I'm waiting for Marcus at seminary every morning. And how cool to have homeschooling cousins! I wish! Pixie is amazing!


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