A Week, Briefly (9/7/20)

Every day this week has something special that interrupted our usual schedule . . . except Friday, because that's a Wild Day anyway, and we can define it as we choose.

We kept up with everyone's individual core subjects--reading, math, writing.

We had to adapt a bit for the shared lessons, and poor Belle didn't get a single Ancient Literature reading session with me all week long!

Good things:

As of 10 minutes ago, Pixie is now back in her college apartment and ready to start classes on Monday.

Belle was in a Zoom seminary class, Super Star was asleep (?), and Rose Red was out and about, so we never got a photo with all of the kids together.

We said goodbye to her on Wednesday, and she got to spend a couple of days with some beloved extended family before they drove her the last hop, skip, and jump to Rexburg.

Super Star completed her first week of phlebotomy training, and she's loving it so far.  

Most of the littles are really, really enjoying Spanish.  We read poetry, watch Muzzy, use flashcards, and have practice dialogues.  The lessons are highly energetic, and it often feels (to me) as if our productivity is less than desired, but then the kids talk to each other and strangers, and they do remember!

Brother has an honest-to-goodness in-home RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) from his ABA provider.  Mr. S-- comes to our house 4 days a week for 2 hours at a time and works to support Brother in his efforts to cooperate and control his temper. 

All of the kids LOVE him.

He's outstanding--always watching Brother's and my cues (intentional or otherwise) and following them brilliantly.  This man knows how to help people.  It's really, really, really weird to have an "outsider" present, but I have the feeling that he won't feel like an outsider for long.

Brother finished book #3 of 5 in Rod and Staff Grade 2 Arithmetic!

He may have hidden his face from the camera, but he is very proud of himself, and can hardly wait to start his new book.

Baymax has found his Kindergarten groove.  He pulls out his books, and he works diligently.  Then he happily high-fives my hand and heads off to play.  

After trying innumerable reading practice books and book sets, I finally remembered Progressive Phonics.  Mister Man learned to read with these little books, and both of my Kinders like them.  They take turns sitting on my lap and reading several little stories.  

How grateful I am to finally feel that we're finding our way (though Lola . . . that girl is a whole circus by herself!)

Lola is upside down more often than she's right side up . . . at least it feels that way!

 Nature Angel is still working on her flexibility goal, and she's making incredible progress.  

One evening she was practicing some stretches, when Mister Man decided to see if he could copy her.

Then Sir Walter Scott tried.  The picture is blurry because every one was laughing so hard than no one could hold a camera steady.

Ladybug is beginning to learn how to spell.  


She's working on spelling in several ways this year, and this work coupled with the work of the past 2 years is starting to bear fruit.

It's exciting!

I think spelling will always be very hard for her, but I also think that she's learning enough that she'll be able to get by with a good spell-checking program later in her life.

We had a Morning Walk 4 times this week, and then we took 2 hikes on Friday.

We picked up 4 bags of trash . . .

Looked at crawdads in our creek . . .

And completed  Hike #29 of 52 Hikes.
60.36 miles + 2.47 = 62.83 miles.

I'm working on brightening up our front entryway.  It will be a project a long time in finishing because I squeeze in 10 minutes here and 5 minutes there as I can.  One afternoon, I was able to start painting the walls; Lola found the paint can and stuck her little fingers in the wet paint.  Finding the sensation to her liking, she began finger-painting on the walls.

"Get your fingers out of Mommy's paint!" I scolded.

Lola walked away.

The next thing I knew, Lola had an art paintbrush in her hand and was happily "helping" Mommy.

Lots of the kids have been crocheting and/or finger-knitting in quiet moments this week.

The young ones and I finished reading The Wizard of Oz during Evening Reading.

The middle ones and I finished Across Five Aprils and began The Perilous Road.

Friday morning was our third straight day of rain, but we bundled up and went to Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area.  

We started on The Wildlife Habitat Trail.

Hike #30 of 52 Hikes:  Burr Oak Woods, Wildlife Habitat Trail 
62.83 miles + 1.5 = 64.33 miles

Next, we found a picnic area to rest and have lunch . . . and do gymnastics!

(Oh my goodness!  Ladybug came out of a back walkover and had the most astonishing face plant--right into the muddy ground!  Sir Walter Scott and I heard it happen and turned in alarm to see what had happened.  She got up smiling--nothing wrong with her other than muddy knees.  It turns out that Little Princess caught it on video.  The kids can all watch it and laugh themselves sick, but I can't watch her face hit the ground like that!)

Then we hiked the Bethany Falls Trail.

Nature Angel liked how the raindrops sparkled on the spider web.


I don't know if this is Nature Angel's or Little Princess' photo--they were both working on capturing water droplets.

Hike #31 of 52 Hikes:  Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area, Bethany Falls Trail
64.33 miles + 1.33 =  65.66 miles

Little Princess helps a lot in the kitchen.  The other night she needed to put some leftover hardboiled eggs away.  She made sure we'd know what they are!



  1. Such amazing pictures. I am amazed at Nature Angels flexibility and Lola’s ability. You do such amazing things. And Yea for Brother’s Mr. S.

  2. I wish I could be that flexible!! Beautiful pictures of your hikes! I hope college goes well for Pixie. Have a great week!

  3. Congratulations on the in home help with Brother! And finishing the math book, woo hoo! I love all your outdoor time. Our air is down to yellow today, so I'm thinking we might hit a trail tomorrow.

  4. Nature Angel is amazingly flexible! Sir Walter not so much. :)


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