Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Plan for Summer Fun

So. I was looking on Pinterest at all the summer fun ideas I pinned weeks ago. There are tons of lists like "100 Free Things to Do This Summer", etc. When I actually started reading the lists, it made me sad. There were SO many things on there that Sweetheart has just flat outgrown. Gone are the fun days we had several years ago with our Summer Theme-A-Weeks.

Pirate Little Bit, age 4. Sniff. 

Sweetheart, age 8, after our Pirate treasure hunt. Sniff. 

The girls with their cousins acting out Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Sniff. Sniff. 
Oh it makes me sad. No more playing dress up, or blowing bubbles, or wading pools or sidewalk chalk being enough to keep them happy and entertained. And I also had a memory. When the girls were little and we had our very first ever costume day, I remember standing there watching the girls doing an impromptu rain dance...

 and I vividly remember saying to Sister, "You know, when the little girls are the age of the big girls (8), the big girls will be 12 and they won't want to do stuff like this anymore."

We're there. 

But instead of sitting around being very sad, I thought and thought about how to redeem the summer. There MUST be something fun that a 12 year old and an 8 year old can do together. I mean, the 8 year old deserves to have fun. It's not her fault she has a fuddy-duddy older sister! (Just kidding. Sweetheart actually still plays a lot. But she isn't "little" anymore and I have to respect that too.) And it's not their fault there is a newborn in the house keeping us from doing a lot of running around town.

My answer?


I knew they would both enjoy art projects and I even thought of a way to make it a "theme" for Little Bit. Who is, after all, only 8. Let's say I chose "ballerinas" as the theme. Well, we do ballerina art projects (which Sweetheart could also do), check out some books about ballerinas, an Angelina Ballerina video, and make a tutu for her dolls. There. A theme for the 8 year old. And the 12 year old could participate in the art and anything else she felt like participating in.

I know I have a newborn in the house so I'm not sure how much of the theme business will happen, but what I'm saying's doable.

So in my research on Pinterest, I stumbled on a great art site. From there, I began to learn about something called "art journals." Honestly, I had never heard of these. Hmm. A way to do art projects AND keep them contained within a journal instead of littering my fridge, spilling off the kitchen counters, or stacking up on the girls' dressers? Sounds like a winner to me!

The site kept referring to "Strathmore Art Journals." I didn't know what that meant exactly but then at Hobby Lobby, I figured it out.

Oh! It's a brand name for these art books! This is the one I chose. They are pretty big.

So yesterday I had the girls take inventory of the art cabinet. We have enough stuff to get started. The only initial investment was these journals, which were $13 each (with my 40% off coupon!).

First I had them decorate inside the front cover.

Then we started our first project. Directions are here.

Concentrating means the tongue goes out. :)

Cutting out the sunglasses (from images on the computer).

We just used pencil, Sharpie, and crayons. Nothing fancy.

Adding details...

The caption says, "I love summer." I had just finished telling them "you can't mess up on art journals" so I let the lowercase "i" go. 

Love these self-portraits. Can't wait to do more projects!
The site we got this idea from has tons of art journal ideas, but there are others online too. That site is just very kid-friendly. Once you really start looking at all of them, you will come up with ideas of your own. The fun part is using all kinds of media. Apparently your art journal will be very thick at the end and may not close well. Not every project will be flat.

So that's my plan. Lots and lots of art! I know there will be days when we are busy running errands, and swimming, and cleaning house. But there are plenty of other days when there is nothing on Netflix to watch, and it's raining or terribly hot, and our art journals will be just the ticket to fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

While I Have Time to Type

No one is in my arms right now so I'm going to jump on here and spew out an update in random fashion. You with me?

Baby Bee is what...11 or 12 days old? She is adorable and I am so in love. Things are already getting easier. She sleeps for longer stretches at night (if she hadn't done that "every 2 hours" thing for so many days, I probably wouldn't be appreciating things right now!), she's content in between, and she is just really easy. She doesn't cry that much or that hard.

Saturday we go for her 2 week appointment and I'm curious to see how much she weighs. Certainly seems she is eating enough to me! And she does seem to be plumping up. :)

*We made our big decision and S quit his second job. Oh dear. Kind of scary to lose that extra income, but we decided that having him home more was more important. As things were, for the last few years, he would walk in the door around 5:30, change clothes, and walk out the door to go mow. He would get home around 8:30 at night, eat supper, and the girls would go to bed. We didn't see much of him. Also, he mowed on Saturdays. We took lunch to him so we got to see him then, but still. I cannot even conceive of having him home every evening and getting to spend the weekends as family. I am so grateful. Now we just have to figure out how to live on less. Again. We've done it before and the Lord has always provided.

Reasons why it will be good:

1. Sweetheart will be 13 this summer. (!) We don't have that many more years with her. She's growing up fast.
2. Daddy needs to be home to instruct the girls in God's Word. Now he'll have more time for that.
3. Mama is grateful to be able to hand the baby to someone else for a bit in the evenings. You know you've been holding the baby a lot when you are excited to get up and go sweep or wash the dishes!
4. We don't want him to miss their childhoods. Poor or not--THIS is important.

I was making a pro/con list before we made the decision and S walked by and said, "The ONLY con is "less money." Hmm. He was right.

*I've taken meals to families over the years but I had truly forgotten how WONDERFUL it is to know someone is bringing you a meal. Wow. Next week there are no meals planned but S is able to go grocery shopping with me now, and the girls are VERY helpful both with cooking and with baby, so I know we can do it. Oh, and I wasn't a blubbery, crying mess the day S went back to work! THAT is a first for me. The day actually went quite well.

*We're taking a few more weeks off before we start back to school to wrap up last year, but we already started our summer reading. I know I already told you our plan on that, but may I just say that I am really enjoying the books I'm pre-reading for Sweetheart? Man. Maybe I just haven't read for pleasure in so many years, but I'm loving these books!

*I don't know how much weight I've lost, but I feel really skinny. Until I pull out "regular" clothes to try on. I think we'll just avoid those for a while longer and thus revel in my perceived skinniness. Sound like a plan?

*Still need to tell you about my summer plan for fun....maybe later today? Who knows?

You may now return to your regularly scheduled, orderly day---there's enough random here to last a lifetime.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Reading

One thing we always do with our summers is read. We have participated in the summer reading program at our library every year since Sweetheart was 3. Our goal is always for each girl to read/listen to 100 books. At the end of the summer they get a certificate, an ice cream and a free book. It's one of their favorite things.

Last summer a librarian had told us that the "teen" program began at age 12 so we assumed Sweetheart would have to do the teen program this year. But...I noticed that the children's program runs from 0-12 years. So, it looks like she can pick. Honestly, the children's program is way cooler and I'm going to encourage her to take advantage of it one last year. We'll see.

Choosing books for Sweetheart has been a struggle. Since we were using Sonlight this year, we didn't have to worry about it too much. She had plenty to read during the school year! But the juvenile section is so different. On the one hand, she has outgrown a lot of books. The ones she used to love: the Hank the Cowdog series, Cam Jansen, the American Girl books....they are all too easy for her and she's read them all. Others are too weird and inappropriate. I can't possibly pre-read everything.

So she ends up reading things that don't challenge her at all. She reads from our shelves--like Magic Tree House books that she's read 100 times each. No challenge at all. At the library she gets things like BabyMouse books. Now BabyMouse is funny. I know because she pestered me until I read them with her. But she can tear through 2 BabyMouse books on the way home from the library!

The answer for this summer came in the form of an e-mail from Sonlight. They had put together "Summer Reading Packages" for elementary, middle, and high school--separated by boys and girls. You can buy the packages, but we need to save our money for next year's curriculum. So, I'm hitting up the library for these titles.

I trust Sonlight, but I still wanted to pre-read these titles. I just don't fully trust "big kid" books. They delve into bigger problems than say, the Berenstain Bears do. You know? The first title I read was Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters. I LOVED it. Sweetheart is reading it now. She found out over the weekend that her cousin is reading the same book and her good friend just finished it. Extra motivation!

So then something happened that really, really encouraged me and made me realize that my child is truly  becoming LITERATE. I don't mean "literate" as in "can read", but "literate" as in "well read." I'm pre-reading the next title, Penny From Heaven. The book was lying next to where I was sitting. As usual, the annoying library bar code covers up important information on the front of the book. This time, the author's first name. But Sweetheart noticed the author's middle initial and last name: L. Holm.

Sweetheart: Is that Jennifer L. Holm?

Me: I have no idea.

Sweetheart: (flipping to inside the book) Because if it is, she's the one who writes BabyMouse.

Me: *thinking: really? Wow. Those two books are really different from each other!* Well, go look inside the BabyMouse book and see if it lists this one.

It did. My child recognizes authors! That is so cool!! And now she's excited to read the next book because it's by an author she likes. The other day she asked me who my favorite authors were and I was all...Duuuuhhhh. Then she proceeded to list her favorite three.

Very cool.

So that is our plan for summer reading. And Little Bit will be reading to me this year! (And I'll be reading to her as well.) Tomorrow I'll share my other plans for our summer. I think I've found a unifying way for a 12 year old and an 8 year old to do some fun things together.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Revisions, Revisions

When you pray for the Lord to transform your family to the way He wants you to be.... get a lot of revisions. That's what this whole blog was about when I started. How we went from being a "Christian" family (who looked just like any family in the world) of 2 working parents and some drop-'em-off-at-daycare kiddos, to a one income, stay at home mom, homeschooling, faith-filled family of four.

Now make that five. *smile*

And if that last one isn't revision enough for you, today we are making a decision that will affect our finances, our family, and the future of our kiddos in a very real way. I'm not being dramatic--if feels that far-reaching to me. Such a small decision, really. But with big consequences. And absolutely requiring faith.

So I picked up my Daily Bible and flipped to May 23. It's a section where the Proverbs are listed in categories such as "quarreling" or "truthfulness" and all the Proverbs on those topics are listed together.

Today's category? In the Bible I have not looked at in months?

"Economic Well-Being: Wealth and Poverty."

God is so amazing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

In Other Train Wrecks...My Birth Story

I had several reasons why I thought this birth would be good. Little Bit's birth was really good, and the 2 seemingly had many things in common.

1. I was dilated to 2 with both of them going in.
2. I was induced with Pitocin both times.
3. I went in early in the morning and each were born within 10 minutes of noon.
4. I knew Baby Bee was sunny side up and was expecting back labor--again. I'm 3 for 3.

I had such a good experience being induced last time. Although it certainly was NOT my first choice to be induced, I still felt positive about the experience as things had gone so well last time.

Me at 5am. Ignorance is bliss. 

In spite of having several major things in common, this birth went NOTHING like the last one!!! We started the morning off blowing out two veins trying to get an IV started. That hurt VERY much. Ouch. The nurse was very nice and swore she hadn't had that happen in 10 years. Lucky me. After the second blow out she went and got the head nurse who successfully started my IV in the other hand.

So there. As they said in Apollo 13...we just hit our snag for the mission. Right?

They started the Pitocin and were SO fussy about those dang monitors strapped around my stomach. It's no big news that Baby Bee moved in the womb more than any baby in history (breech, not breech, over here, over there) so they kept having to chase her around. I bet they adjusted those stupid monitor belts 35 times in the next few hours. They kept saying, "Because of the medicine you are on (Pitocin) we HAVE to keep the baby well monitored." Well, it turns out they were upping the Pitocin dose every 15 minutes!  I mean, looking back at when I realized that...I should have known something was amiss. That is way too much pushing of the Pitocin. I do not remember that happening with Little Bit. They just got my contractions going and let labor progress last time. I seem to remember them upping it at least once during Little Bit's labor, but every 15 minutes? So, this time my labor progressed because it was forced to. Big difference.

The doctor also came in and broke my water very early in the game. I had hesitations about him doing it so early because I knew it would really speed things up but I thought...well, I DO want to get this show on the road. Didn't really put the whole "breaking the water" and "Pitocin every 15 minutes" together in my mind. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

I started having to actually pay attention to the contractions. Then I started needing to breathe through them. Then I was really uncomfortable and then I was in pain. So I wanted the nurse to check me. Shoot--still a 2. Can't have the epidural yet. Back labor started. I got on my hands and knees to help. They wouldn't let me out of bed for anything. THAT was what I did not want. At one point I told S, "THIS is why I wanted to go into labor at home" indicating all the tubes and wires and monitors all over my person. I know I keep saying it, but with Little Bit, I was up and down, on the birthing ball, in a chair..all sorts of things. I was allowed to labor with her.

Different hospital. Different day. Right?

I wasn't doing very well staying "on top of the pain." I've been in labor twice now. Both times I carefully considered before getting my epidural. Can I still handle this? Yes, I can. I'll wait. This time, there wasn't even time to consider anything. Before I could think, I was in over my head. I was NOT dealing with the contractions well at all and they were nothing like any contraction I've ever felt. These artificially forced contractions were above and beyond the pain of normal labor. The next time they checked me I was a 5. Out loud I thanked God. S said the nurse RAN out of the door to get the anesthesiologist. Here is where things really sped up. I don't think a single person came in or out of that room the rest of my labor that they weren't running. Everything was a blur. And I have no time frame to give you. All I know is my Pitocin started at around 7am and Baby Bee was born at 11:50am.

So my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes at least. The anesthesiologist made a remark about "this is not like trying to hit a moving target, this is like trying to hit a running target!" She kept asking me to sit still. I kept thinking, "Lady--when my contraction is over, you've got 2 minutes--get on it!!!" It seemed to take forever to get the epidural in. I think I had at least 10 contractions while she was working on it. The worst part is, they had asked S to leave the room for this part. He did not want to and asked me several times if that was what I wanted before he left. Honestly, I heard him but I was not able to communicate at all at this point because of the pain. I could not answer or advocate or anything. So my poor little 5' 3" tall nurse got the brunt of my contractions. Pretty sure I bruised her arm. I was in desperate pain, people. Desperate.

When the epidural got into place, I was already an 8. A few minutes later I felt the need to push. Oh, S came back in the room to find me drenched in sweat, shaking uncontrollably, and with an oxygen mask strapped on my face. Quite loudly, he asked what had happened? It really was like he had walked on to the scene of some horrible accident. I was really glad he was back.

Of course they told me not to push while they rushed around calling the doctor. I pushed a few minutes and she was here. And it was like everything just slowed down to a crawl all at once. And there was peace.

She was born not crying. I asked if she was breathing as they laid her on me. Yes, I was assured. She was fine. She just looked around so calmly. They put her on the table to clean her up and check her out. Just looking around. Interested in her surroundings. All the horrible pain and panic and rushing around was over. Just. Like. That.

S with Baby Bee. 

S told me the next day that our little mover and shaker was not without consequence: the cord had been wrapped around her neck four times. Oh dear me.

So at the end of the day I have this to say: My labor was not what I wanted or expected. BUT, I am thankful to God for the blessing at the end of it all. And I have felt great since. So mostly, I am just thankful. It's amazing what you can forget.

And how much none of it matters when they get here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

She's Here!

I'll share my birth story with you on Monday. I believe my exact words to S during the whole thing were, "This birth sucks." Sorry. It's what I said. And it did.

But it had a beautiful result:

Baby Bee and me right after birth.

We come home tomorrow and the big sisters will be so glad. They are absolutely in love with her. And so are Mom and Dad. Thank you all so much for the prayers--they were NEEDED! You'll find out more why on Monday. Anyway, thank you!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What a Difference 3 Days Makes!

Well Monday, when I was 40 weeks + 1 day....I was not dilated at all. Therefore not really a good candidate for induction.

Today, three measly days later, I was 2-3 centimeters dilated! All those little contractions yesterday did their job. I am very glad. I get to skip the (questionable, to me) insert to prep my cervix and go straight to Pitocin, which I have already had with Little Bit.

I had Little Bit by noon and I can only hope for such great results again. So...we will be off during a horrible hour of the morning to go have this baby. Thank you all so much for your prayers. It is very humbling that folks I don't even know in real life would take the time to pray for me. I appreciate it very much!

"Talk" with you when I'm the Mom of three beautiful daughters!!

The Last Day?

Am sitting here on the couch listening to the sound of birds as the sun finishes rising in the sky and the cool breeze from the backyard blows gently in from the open patio door.

 Full disclosure: I BADLY burned the toast this morning and the door is open to get the smoke out of here.

Idyllic, no?

So...I have a doc appointment this afternoon. I had a contraction every hour all day long yesterday until the evening. They never picked up, but hopefully (?) they did something in the way of progress? I'll find out today.

Best case scenario (in my opinion): I go into labor myself before 5am tomorrow.

Next best case: I go to doctor today and find out I am totally favorable for induction and we proceed Friday morning at 5am.

Next, next best case: We decide to induce anyway and it works.

I think you can see the options go downhill from there. Failed induction...waiting until Monday...these things do not appeal to me.

Well, we find out later. Until then, I have my totally fabricated-just-to-make-myself-feel-better list of things to do today. It mostly involves being really OCD about the house. The girls love me right now. Of course, after the doctor's appointment there may be other things to do like last minute packing of bags and stuff like that.

I'm going to eat lunch with S today. It could be one of my last times out and about in public for a while. Not sure where we are going to go, but I predict it will be good because it will be somewhere that does NOT smell like burnt toast or that makes me feel like cleaning. That should be relaxing.

I'll update you after the doctor's appointment!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thankfulness and Hope

You know, I think I am actually thankful for these last few days. I'm glad I didn't go into labor right about my due date. It's causing me to really lean on the Lord and trust Him. That's always a good thing. I have to admit--it is all in His hands. Not mine.

So I have felt very thankful for the last few days instead of desperate like I was feeling last week. I feel thankful to be home with my girls. Thankful to be able to tie up every loose end in the world. Thankful that I am not on bed rest. Thankful that I am still able to take care of my family and cook supper. Thankful that I feel as good as I do at my age! :) Thankful that baby Bee is healthy and doing well.

I'm also full of hope. Hopeful that this could be the day! Hopeful that our prayers will be answered. Hopeful that everything will work out for good.

I have a list of things to do today. Remember, I have to make one every night so I'll have something to do! I'm going to prioritize today like I might not have all day. Make sure I get the really important things done first in case I am in labor later and can't finish. I've prayed to go into labor on my own before Friday morning and well...I'm going to prepare my fields for rain!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday is as Good a Day as Any, Don't You Think? the doctor yesterday everything looked good. And doc and I decided there was no medical reason to induce at this point. (I was 40 weeks, 1 day yesterday) But, we "penciled in" an induction for Friday morning. He will re-check me on Thursday (whew! I didn't want to go a whole week more without being checked) and if things look favorable, we'll go ahead with Friday's plan.

I would really, really, really rather go into labor myself before then. That's the request I've been giving the Lord. But He knows when baby will come and has it all worked out ahead of me, I know. Still, Tuesday seems good, don't you think?

39 weeks...

I was so tired last night I was dizzy. I suppose that comes from being awake from 2-6am the night before and no nap AND that being the 3rd of 4th night of insomnia in a row. So last night--(angels singing) I SLEPT. It certainly felt good.

Every day on my Teux Deux app, I have nothing scheduled. Then the night before I think of all kinds of random things to put on the to do list. Just trying to keep busy I suppose. Today's list?

*find a notepad for recording feedings/diapers (necessary for me in those first few sleep-deprived weeks)
*boil pacifiers
*get a "baby's first year" calendar
*empty bottom rack of dishwasher
*buy ant poison

Doesn't that list just thrill? Of course, I'll do some laundry too. And randomly walk around wiping things down. Oh! And take the trash out!!! Boy--this day is really looking up!

Oh. I forgot one other thing:

*have contractions


Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Letter to My Third Daughter

Dear Bee,

I was really, really hoping you'd be here by now. In fact, I spent the end of the week and a lot of this weekend feeling upset and sad and discouraged. What a waste of time. This morning when I woke up and realized I had slept again through another night (well, besides all the getting up) with no labor...I prayed. I prayed for strength. I prayed for the strength I would need to get through this day--either strength for labor, or strength to wait.

Turns out I needed the latter.

But tonight as everyone is sleeping, I feel very, very grateful. We have had a good weekend. Friday night Mama needed to get out of the house really badly. So Daddy took us all bowling. Only there were no lanes so we played glow in the dark putt putt instead and ate ice cream. It was fun.

Today Daddy didn't have to work so we spent the whole day together, just our little family of 4. I know things are about to change (and I'm excited about that!) but it was nice just spending the day together. We went out to eat. We washed the truck together.

And I'm very thankful that I'm probably going to get to spend Mother's Day with my girls. Well, 2 of them anyway! I'm thankful I get to go to church tomorrow. (Although I'm not looking forward to all the comments!) Monday I go back to see the doctor and I expect we'll be seeing you next week. Which is really soon. I can't wait. I'm ready to hold you and feed you and see what you look like. I'm ready to bring you home and love on you.

I've been going crazy around here getting everything ready that I can think of Bee. We are all ready for you to join us. I know God has picked the perfect time for you to arrive and I trust Him.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Keepers of the Home

Not really sure where I first heard about the Keepers of the Faith clubs, but I'm sure it was from blogs. A good friend was also aware of them, having some real life friends in another state who had participated in them. This last fall we decided to start a club for our (collective) 6 girls.

The boys' club is called "Contenders of the Faith" and the girls' club is called "Keepers at Home." The different thing about these clubs is they are parent-run. There is no national or local organization over you. They are completely autonomous. Very appealing to me! You know we did homeschool Girl Scouts for one year. Shudder. And thought seriously about doing American Heritage Girls. While I was a fan of the IDEA of AHG, we weren't a fan of sending our 4th grader (at the time) off on multiple camping trips away from us. Families, just like in GS, were not invited and I have a problem with that.

We kicked our club off in October. There are SO many badges the girls can earn. And that was Sweetheart's favorite part of GS--earning those badges! The great thing about Keepers is that it is for girls ages 4-18. So everyone can participate together. We decided since our families were going camping anyway, we might as well have the girls earn their camping badges.

We had them meet the requirements (setting up a tent, planning meals, helping pack, unpack, and clean up camp) and they were having so much fun it didn't even seem like work. (the 6th child was only 1 1/2 on this trip so she isn't an "official" club member. But try telling her that!)

From there, the other mom and I just got together periodically and planned badges that the girls could meet requirements for quickly. I'm pregnant and we didn't have a lot of time to plan before we started so we were all about getting them some easy badges this year! We found a few they had already met requirements for (hers, because they participate in a music co-op and ours for pet care) and presented all their earned badges in December at a special ceremony.

We mostly worked on crafty-type badges this year (plastic canvas, rubber stamping, etc.) but there are SO MANY other kinds of badges I want to explore next year. There are personal goal badges like organization, Bible study badges, skills (first aid, etc.)...all kinds of things!

We ordered the sashes this year and presented them with their year end badges last week at a restaurant. It was really neat to have the Dads there to pray over them and affirm how hard they have worked on learning skills that will help them as wives and mothers.

I'm excited about next year with this club. We will most likely have some new members. We will definitely be better planned. We did a good job this year, but we learned a lot along the way. These clubs have so much potential and you can just take them in any direction you want to--focusing on what is most needed for your children and family.

Here is the website if you are interested!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Regret and Success

This year did not really work out as planned. I had GREAT plans for our homeschool year. I just LOVE planning the year. Back to school planning is "the most wonderful time of the year" to me. (Are you singing it?) Actually DOING what I planned is not really as fun.

Anyway, when I planned, I did not know I was pregnant. Hmm. That sort of threw a kink in the plans. A really, really happy kink, mind you.

I was gagging through the first trimester and sleeping. A lot. Then I felt better. Then I didn't. And somewhere along the way, I dropped a few subjects in favor of doing a GOOD job with what we were doing instead of a crappy job on everything.

We have 3 days left of school. I mean, we have to come back over the summer and finish some things up, but still....this is a milestone. Three more days. I was thinking about all the things I planned that we didn't get to. Some of them I regret.

For example, we had 2 science curriculums and I was really excited about them. But we only made it part-way through the books. Oh well.

And our Bible memory started off really, really good but somewhere along the way, it stopped. Oh well.

Those are just 2 examples. If I looked through my homeschool cabinet right now, I would find a lot of other things that just didn't happen as planned.'s OK. And I know that.

So I was thinking about the successes of this year instead:

Little Bit became a reader!

That alone makes the whole year a success!

Sweetheart became more independent!

I give her the assignment sheet, but she orders her days. She does things without having to be reminded (NOT ALL THINGS BUT IT'S GETTING BETTER). She works at her desk in her room. She comes to me when she needs help. She's really grown up this year.

And in spite of all the things-that-didn't-happen...I think we had a really good school year.

Tomorrow I'll share about our Keepers Club that we started this year. Off to get these last 3 days over with!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Everything Is In Pencil

Every Monday I have my weekly doctor visit and every Monday I come home and realize that I can, indeed, go ahead and plan my week.

Dear Cervix, 

Please go ahead and feel free to change. Really. It's time.


I keep writing everything in pencil (figuratively). Well, I'll see you on Tuesday if I don't have the baby before then. Yes, we'll be there on Friday if I'm not in labor. Let's just say I haven't missed an appointment or scheduled event yet.

I have many, many things on my to do list. In fact, I'm not really sure how much school I'll squeeze in this week. This is our last week of school no matter what as that's what I promised the girls. We'll finish up the rest of the year after Mama has a maternity leave. Not sure how long I'll take off and I'm not going to put a date on it--but there will be time this summer to wrap up the year, I know. So...I feel good knowing that no matter what we get done this week, these ARE the last 5 days of school for now. Happy sigh.

I have created a laundry system that is going to work rather nicely, I think. It involves 5 laundry baskets. Yes, five. S and I have one, Little Bit has her own, and Sweetheart has her own. I need to go buy one for towels, rags, napkins, etc. and one small one for baby. Each girl does her own laundry from start to finish when her basket is full. That's a load. I do our laundry and we'll all help get the towels done. I'll cut baby a break this summer and do hers too. Sweetheart's basket is always the first one full because of a method I like to call "cleaning-my-room-by-throwing-everything-in-the-dirty-clothes." She'll soon figure out she's doing twice the work of the rest of us, right?

I've also got to find a place for the girls to hang up their towels. Now that it's getting hot and they are bathing every day, they are going through too many towels. Towels need to be used more than once but I kid you not, there is no place in their bathroom to hang a hook. I think we'll make it the back of their bedroom doors. They both have a 3M hook there that will probably work. I may need to sew loops on the towels to help. Then, we will significantly cut back on laundry.

Bigger family really does = more organization. It's needed!

I mentioned that our dishwasher broke. Well, our awesome home warranty (that I'm so glad we got) is going to replace it. Should be sometime this week. In the meantime, I have to hand-wash the dishes in the sink and all the ones that were loaded in the dishwasher when it decided to die. I think I will have to do that in stages as standing sideways at the sink is not top of the list of my favorite activities right now.

So...I'm just going to plan to go on about my business and do all these things that need doing. Hopefully in the midst of all this, my cervix will decide to cooperate, right?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Two Things

1. I woke up with a leg cramp last night. Oh my word! I sat straight up in bed and hollered something along the lines of
OOOOWWWW!!! CALF!..................CRAMP!................AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

S woke up immediately and helped me. But the rest of the night it hurt. I got an ice pack and slept with that. Every time I walked through the house (which seemed to be a lot last night) I was limping. I can still feel the sore spot this morning. Ridiculous!

2. I'm keeping a friend's girls this evening while they attend a funeral. They have 4 girls. The dishwasher repairman is slated to come during the same hours they will be here. I cannot WAIT to see his face when I open the door and seemingly have 6 kids and am 9 months pregnant. Think he'll have compassion? :)

Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Since I've Got Nothing Better To Do...

I'm kind of planning for next year. I mean, I DO have important things to do like:

*wait for the dishwasher repair guy to call.
*wait for the kitchen floor to dry. (I mopped!)
*get the girls going on school work.
*supervise them doing their laundry.
*catch the checkbook up to date.
*sit on the couch and wish I was in labor.

But other than those things, I totally am planning for next year.

So...this year was our first year with Sonlight. We like it. We love it. We want some more of it. Sweetheart will be in 7th grade next year and doing Core F.  This year we used a binder system. Really, I did it just like this. 

Only...I don't know if we really like the binders. I like the archive binder, and the binder to keep the Sonlight stuff in...I just don't like the binder for Sweetheart. There's a lot of flipping and it seems full and it's falling apart. It's OK....but.....

Hmm. So, for next year I'm thinking of this. I will buy colored folders. The kind with brads and pockets. Each subject will have it's own color. And a nifty label on the front. These will be stored in a magazine holder on Sweetheart's desk.

Every weekend I will make the necessary copies for the week. Her math pages, her Language Arts pages, maps from Sonlight, etc. Then on Mondays we will have a morning meeting and distribute the copies. I will help/teach her where to put each copy. (In the proper folder.) Like this, though not necessarily with those kind of folders:

picture source
Then, when it's time for a particular subject, she pulls that folder out, does the work, and returns the folder to the magazine holder. It seems so simple and neat. And separate. Like you are really accomplishing something.

Of course, some subject don't have copies. That's OK. Her spelling folder can just contain notebook paper in the brads. Every subject will have a folder even if it's just used every now and then.

Her weekly assignment sheet will probably go on a clipboard. We've been using clipboards for the last month or so and they are working well.

Most of Sweetheart's work is done at her desk in her room. That's why this system seems workable to me.

Veteran Sonlight users...can you think of any potential problems with this system? Am I forgetting something? She has a locker next to her desk where her books are kept. (Theoretically.)

It's the cutest little thing.

Oh! And I'd kind of like these.


And these:

to keep her supplies up off her desk. Don't really want to put huge holes in the wall though. We'll see. That would give her more room to work and keep her more organized, I think.

That's my plan for 7th grade Sweetheart next year. What a change from our homeschool room with whole shelves of construction paper!! Sniff. They are growing up too fast! But surprisingly, I have rather enjoyed not having a homeschool room. I never would have thought that!

OK--anyone have any feedback on my plan? What have you learned that might help me?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Today I Am....

...not going to piano lessons or the library.
...stocking up on stuff at Wal-Mart. To avoid store runs after baby.
...washing dishes. Very much. No picture needed. Trust me.
...making sure the house is picked up--notice I did not say I would be picking up the house. off the changing table. I just can't have horizontal surfaces.
See my new purple skirt S bought me? It's for after baby. :)

...finishing the mother's day gift for my mom.

...supervising a little bit of school.
Hmm. But not upside down!