Two days of back to back minor crises and spinning my wheels. You know the kind of day. Yesterday at 5:00 pm, I realized we had to make a grocery run. I loaded up the baby and two helpers. It should have taken 15 minutes to get to the store, but we couldn't get into town. All the railroad crossings were closed except one. And it was rush hour so that crossing was backed up for miles. The baby was crying, she had been in the carseat a lot already. One of my helpers was rapidly fading as cold symptoms overcame her. We had been in the van 45 minutes and gotten nowhere.
As I was finagling the big van into a place I could turn around and head home, Kevin called. He was at the Costco exit and did he need to stop there for anything?
Not only did he load up on groceries but he cooked dinner as well. Cooked dinner!! My husband is my hero.
Did you know that the cheap shoe stores do not carry size 14 men's shoes? My 14 year old is in a size 14 shoe. I can see what most of the birthday and Christmas gifts in his future will be...shoes and clothes for tall men.
One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is teaching reading. I have used the same reading program with all my children so far and they are usually reading for fluency by the end of second grade. I don't think this indicates anything about my teaching skills or the reading program, just that it works for us and that particular time frame is when it all 'clicks' for my kids.
So far, they have all stalled at the same points too. We work on the letter sounds and we're cruising along, they know the sounds... then we get to blending the sounds to make words. There is probably a proper educational term for it, but I call it the blending stall. They can't make the leap from 'a' and 't' to 'am' or 'at'.
So we take a break from the reader and practice. We use letter tiles, 'at' words practice worksheets from Enchanted Learning, and writing short lists of word families. In writing the lists we use colored pencils to define the first letter sound of the word and the rhyming endings. Like this.
After a break from the reader, anywhere from a week to a month, they get it and we move on. The next stall is with the introduction of the next short vowel sound but that is usually a quicker break.
Another common hump is 'b' and 'd' confusion. This self corrects by 3rd grade but I try to help it along with the little 'bed' image as a reminder.
My readers have had some frustrating days but mostly they enjoy reading lessons and it is a joyful day when they complete the series of readers and move on to chapter books. (Of course there is some overlap with that.) Book discussions happen frequently, loudly and spontaneously around here so each child is glad when they get to be 'in the loop'.
We have a new kitten. (I think his name is Mr. Tumnus, but it has changed a few times so I can't be sure what it is at the moment. :)
Lydia has her first tooth
I have drawn a line in the dust and clutter sand, and I am purging, cleaning and reorganizing like a mad woman. However we are the stage where things look worse before they get better. It looks like 20 people live here, not 10. But re-reading the Flylady website has been a huge motivation.
I was at the post office and there was a young engaged couple there to get their passport, I guess for their honeymoon. The PO employee was teasing them about having a dozen kids. The employee at my window and another customer started in too. The engaged girl was adamant that she wasn't having many children, she didn't want to get old and tired before her time, etc., etc. They were all in laughing agreement.
I didn't want to say anything because I had had no sleep, was dressed about as frumpily as could be... I was the poster child for what she didn't want to become. I couldn't very well reassure her that she wouldn't age from having many children. It would have been too much to explain how worth it the children are inspite of feeling utterly exhausted some days. She wouldn't have believed me if I tried to tell her how happy my life is. So I was silent.
Later I wished I had said anything encouraging. Maybe 'congratulations and I'm sure you will be wonderful parents to however many children God blesses you with.'
Next time, and I'm sure there will be a next time, I will try to focus on saying something encouraging instead of feeling defensive and inadequate.
I have no idea if hierarchy is a big deal in other families, but it seems to be here. I've had people crack up in the pew behind us at Mass because my kids automatically file into the pew by order of age. It's not like we walk in or arrange them that way.
When Alex started to get taller than Kevin J. everyone was in denial for a while because it interrupts the stair step look of the hierarchy. (As everyone but their dad looks up to Alex now, there is no longer any denying it. LOL)
We have strict rubrics for deciding who is in which category. You are an older kid when you turn 10. You are a middle when you begin formal schooling. (About age 6 at our house.) Anyone under that is a little. Right now I have 3 big boys and 1 middle boy. No little boys. Very sad. (I cried when I gave away the clip- on ties that Dominic does not wear anymore.) 1 big girl, 1 middle girl and 2 little girls.
Being on the bottom of the hierarchy really isn't a bad thing.
Everyone dotes on and cares for the younger group. The middles hold
their own and are amazingly flexible. The olders rule the kingdom and
Kevin J. is the ruler of them all.
That makes Kevin and I king and queen! Except some days I feel more like the scullery maid.
I sent the younger children downstairs to the playroom so I could get a project done in relative quiet. I have no idea what they were playing or discussing. Maria (4) came up to the kitchen where I was working, looked wordlessly at me then spun around and ran back downstairs. As she was hurrying back to the others, I heard her exclaim, "Mom's not dead, I checked."
I have no aspirations of being a political blog. There are folks far more astute and articulate than I am. But I am afraid of what the current administration is going to do to the freedom, health and welfare of my family.