Thursday, April 30, 2009

Off the Record

It's the first of the month tomorrow, which means I have to fax in my attendance. As I was checking off our April school days, I found myself stuck on today. Looking back at the day, I realize it has been one of those days where I wrecklessly squandered away the hours.

Yes, we did have Book Club, but we sure didn't prepare for it. And I know...the kids are the ones who were supposed to do the work for their presentations, but it was my responsibility to give them some guidance. I chose instead to teach them how to "wing it". I did this enough in school to not only know how to do it well, but also to appreciate the necessity of such a skill.

And we did visit both a bookstore and a library, which I suppose I could fanagle into some type of field trip or "literary outing", but really, who am I kidding? When you look at the fact that I did little to nothing when we returned home from our bogus educational outings and therefore requested little to nothing of the children...well, it's probably no surprise that I didn't check the little box on April 30.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

P6 Hits the Trail

Clue: Search fruitlessly through each of the Nature Bags for the missing "6". Should the "6" finally be supposed to have been left along the last trail taken, make a stop at Hobby Lobby for a new "6" because, "P6" without the "6" is just...well, P.

Turn right and into the parking lot. Quietly utter half-curse words under your breath upon the sight of 3 big school buses parked by the curb.

Stand at a crossroads while trying to get your bearings. Look right and then left and then stare at the sky because that just might help in some way. Understand what it might be like to be a mama snake trying to herd her baby snakes when none of them will listen because they each think they know where to go. Allow your oldest daughter to overhear you share this feeling with your better half on the phone, whereupon she states, "But snakes are reptiles, and reptiles don't care for their offspring." Vow not to teach her anything else.

Finally find the first trail and skip happily along, down a hill, across a bridge. (Note: This trail would be easy to find for a lone adventurer, one without little people who have opinions. Strong opinions.) Find Peter Parker behind a tree. Smile in delight when the oldest daughter says, "It sure feels satisfying when you find one of these."

Now walk across to the other side of the park to find a second trail. Run smack dab into the huge group of children who came on the 3 big school buses parked by the curb which caused you to half-curse under your breath when you entered the parking lot. Choose the trail which weaves away from all of the children because a nature walk is more fun when bird calls are not mingled with the screams of children.

Take a few steps and have your littlest companion whine, "I'm tired", and another, bigger companion whine, "I'm starving." Tell them to suck it up and start walking. After another whines, "I'm hungry", find a bench, share a bag of Cheez-Its, pass around a bottle of water, and pray that no one needs to pee. Keep walking. Delight in two boys who name the steep path a "rollercoaster".

Bravely and solely take on the The Happy Stamper while the little people watch from the trail. Allow them to look on in awe as you wade through poison ivy and scale a large, rotting, prostrate tree trunk. Don't give in to the little peoples' requests to bring The Happy Stamper back to the trail because that would mean wading through poison ivy and scaling a large, rotting, prostrate tree trunk 4 times.

Keep walking and walking and walking.

Hear more from the Princess about being tired. Tell her to stop the whining and then give her a lecture about what good exercise this is for everyone. Have the oldest inform you that swimming really is much better exercise because a swimmer must use his or her strength to go against the force of the water.

After thinking that there are way too many pairs of trees which stand across the trail from each other, finally spot the two that make you go, "Duh! How did I miss that?", knowing that your 4 little companions probably had something to do with your poor observation skills. After discovering the pair of gigantic trees, once again brave the poison ivy to hike out to the noted tree. Once there, look into the hole at the base of the tree. Poke the cannister. Look back at the expectant faces of the 4 little ones. Would it be terrible to tell the 4 adventurers it's not there just because you're not quite as much of a nature freak as you feign to be and you're afraid to stick your hand into the hole?

Take a deep breath, overcome your fear of spiders and snakes and yank The Growl out of its hiding place. Enjoy leaving your mark.

Continue on the trail, hoping the end is near because the fatigue of the littlest one is growing. And after 4 hours of volleyball almost killed you Sunday night, you're afraid that, should you be forced to carry that littlest one, you might discover you are actually physically unable to.

Wish you could find The Ultrasound, but it appears to be one better left for winter when there is not so much poison ivy through which to wade.

Regrettably leave Peter's Nemesis and X-Men, it's X-Men for another time when tiny feet aren't so tired and rumbly bellies aren't rumbling so loudly.

End: One fun day of Letterboxing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Alex's Baptism

The moment I've been waiting have one of those mother-daughter moments where she is asking my advice, my opinion about a serious topic. Tonight she came to me with a question from a book her Dana gave her, a "What would you do?" question about a moral situation.

She's growing up so quickly...into a young lady. Sunday she made a huge step in her walk with the Lord. Her Papa, the Reverend missionary, baptized her at our church. Many years ago, her Papa baptized his son, her daddy, in a muddy river in Burkina Faso, West Africa. And not quite as many years ago, he baptized me in the church I attended with my then fiance.
Her baptism was an especially poignant moment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It's a dangerous proposition taking me past the city limits of Atlanta. Not that I'm a bad traveler. And I think I'm a pretty awesome companion. It's just that, once I arrive at Whatever Town Outside the City Limits, I've been known to say a few hundred times, "It's so nice here. We should move here." (I think I may have even uttered these words a few months ago about Chicago, though not at the very moment the 20 below wind was working to cut my face in two.)

If it weren't for the commitment our current mortgage forces me to make to Inside the City Limits, I'd be liable to come home from any trip, pack up the kids, and move them to Whatever Town Outside the City Limits. In fact, if this house had sold, I could very well be on my way to Miami with the children and all of my belongings lovingly packed into the biggest U-Haul available. Because that's where I spent this past week.

It was a lovely few days spent without my children. A wonderful break, although I found myself constantly saying, "Oh, the kids would love that!" I'm quite sure I've already made it clear how much I despise cold weather (cold meaning anything below 75 degrees F), so Florida is always a draw for me. The weather and the fact that Florida--especially south Florida--is so much like "home". The bouganvilleas covering each building with brilliant color, the hibiscus dancing in the breeze, the overloaded mango trees...all familiar foliage. The apartment buildings and sometimes not so tidy alleyways, even the pungent odor of garbage and sewers...though not pleasant, a reminder of my "home" across the ocean. These things coupled with the unique and charming architecture stirred up the wanderlust in my soul this past week.

Of course now it's back to reality. Finally spring has returned to Inside the City Limits. And as I look out on my backyard which is bathed in warm sunshine, I try to look at it with new eyes so that perhaps I will be driven to say, "It's so nice here. This is just where I want to be."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Have Barf Bucket, Will Travel

We've all had enough waiting around the house to see if the Princess is going to barf again. So we decided to head out to the lake to look for a letterbox and spend some Nature time. I'm a "sort-of" Classical homeschooler, so Nature Study is "sort of" important to me. By "sort of", I mean that I am a wanna-be Classical homeschooler who often gets sidetracked by my institutional/traditional background and training.

The ramifications this attitude has on Nature Study are that the joys that can be found in venturing into God's beautiful creation are often squelched by worksheets, writing assignments, and assessments. I'm working on it, I really am. In fact, some time ago I purchased the homeschooling Nature Study bible: Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. I have a love/hate relationship with this volume. The book moves around our house a lot; it may spend a month perched on top of the "Things to Sell on Ebay" pile until I decide to give it another shot whereby it moves over to the "Homeschool Materials Bookshelf." I hate to admit that my problem with it is color. I love black and white photos a la Ansel Adams, but the photos in this book are a la photocopier quality, and they are neither inspiring nor helpful. I suspect the publishers wish to preserve the integrity of the Ms. Comstock's book, but a color revision could be offered as a choice at least.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine gets it. Yesterday I downloaded Creative Nature Study. Full color and chock full of great Nature Study ideas and testimonies from moms who have done it. After perusing the articles, I determined that today we would do some Nature Study, puking baby or not.
And we had a great time. No clipboards. No writing assignments. No tests. The kids had just binoculars and their little legs with which to explore the lake shore. Of course I had my camera, and after telling the kids I would photograph whatever they wanted me to, they quickly set me to work taking pictures of every little rock and plant that crossed our path.

We were unsuccessful in uncovering the letterbox, but after leaving our footprints all over the drought-sticken lakeside, we decided to head back to the car--dirty shoes, treasures, and all.

Next stop was Carvel. I made a promise yesterday, prompted by the incredible guilt I felt about canceling all of this week's activities. I told the kids that if Audrey kept everything down today we would go out for ice cream. They kept careful watch on their little sister and her barf bucket, and since she didn't have to use it, they cashed in on my promise. We did, however, eat outside not only to enjoy the beautiful weather, but also just in case...and the little Princess kept down her ice cream.

The Reading Corner Overfloweth

Given my obsession for books, I thought participation in The Happy Housewife's Book Basket would be apropos. Our Reading Corner is still going well; it's turned out to be a motivational place for the kids to read as well as a great way to occupy one child while I school another. Our current library list is 30 books long. Since we just checked them out, I can't offer a lot as far as reviews go...

1. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder - This is the 3rd book of the Little House series we've read. Just finished it yesterday. We enjoyed it, but I think we may take a break from the series. In fact, I have DVRed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which comes on tomorrow evening on Disney. Today I think we'll begin the book as a read-aloud. Maybe finish it in the next couple weeks and then watch the movie (with chocolate, of course!!). Incidentally, this book doesn't come from the library; it is my own, personal childhood copy, so it is nicely aged.

2. Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
3. Nate the Great on the Owl Express by MW Sharmat
4. Another Pet by Trisha Speed Shaskan
5. Get Well, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas
6. Eek! Stories to Make You Shriek by Jane O'Connor
7. Marvin One Too Many by Katherine Paterson
8. Celebrity Cat by Meredith Hooper

#2-8 are all easy readers for the boys.

And for a read-aloud picture book for the Audrey:
9. A Packet of Seeds by Deborah Hopkinson - Also chosen because it's in the plans to plant some herbs. Not sure if that will actually transpire in the next couple weeks or not, but it's penciled in anyway.

10. Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne - We just studied William Shakespeare, so this is an easy read aloud for the boys; Alex informed me she has "already read it several times" (exasperated eyeroll).

11. Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the Life of a Famous Scientist by Peter Sis - We also met Copernicus and Galileo Galilei around the same time we met the Bard of Avon. This was a great book...short enough to hold everyone's attention but informative. It also had interesting illustrations as well as journal excerpts which older kids enjoy.

And for Science, we just finished our study of vertebrates, so the kids each chose a vertebrate to research and study in-depth style.

Alex chose penguins (no surprise):
12. Penguins by Deborah Nuzzolo
13. The World of Penguins by Evelyne Daigle
14. Penguins (original, isn't it?) by Lynn M. Stone
15. Penguins: From Emperors to Macaronis by Erin Pembrey Swan
16. My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal by Sophie Webb (looks interesting!)

Much to my surprise, Michael opted for the delicate, little chickadee (I though he would be all about tigers or bears or anything that goes grrrr):
17. Birds of All Kinds by Rebecca Sjonger
18. Everything Bird: What Kids Really Want to Know About Birds by Cherie Winner
19. Birds in Your Backyard by Barbara Herkert
20. Birds by Gilles Martin
21. Bateman's Backyard Birds by Robert surprise! Bateman
22. The Life Cycle of a Bird by Bobbie Kalman
23. Birds (another original title) by Angels Julivert
24. Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds by George Harrison (not, I think, the George Harrison)

And Jacob chose Lizards:
25. My Pet Lizards by Lee Engfer
26. Incredible Reptiles by John Townsend
27. Reptiles by Claire Llewellyn
28. Life-Size Reptiles by Hannah Wilson
29. and Reptiles again by Allen E. Greer
30. and once more: Reptiles by Simon Holland

I didn't get the pick of the bookshelf for Jacob's topic because apparently someone else in my community is doing the same research, and I really didn't want to have to wait for the coveted books to be transferred from all over the state.

I really did want the lizard identification book, though, because we have a couple of odd lizards that hang around our house that I'd love to ID. There's this one little guy who looks like an ordinary lizard, but when he does his little push-up like lizards do, his neck blows up into a big, red bubble. Anyone know what kind he is?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Not-So-Busy Very Busy Week

The best-laid plans...well, you know what happens to those. This is what I had planned for this week to look like:

school, dentist appointment for all 4 kids at the same time, soccer practice, soccer game, school, Field Day, school, show the house, AWANA, Book Club, school, visiting new Baby Caroline, museum, school

This is what our week has looked like:

school, dentist appointment for 3 of the 4 kids, school

Seems this bug wants to hold on to Audrey for all it's worth. I thought she was in the clear, but as we were getting ready to head to AWANA tonight, she reached for her bucket. So Book Club is out tomorrow. And, while I spent a good part of the day making some goodies to take to our friends who just welcomed a new baby girl, well, I guess now we'll be enjoying some baked goods for the next few days. Additionally, the people who were going to see the house this week decided not to even look. Those baked goodies would have come in handy for them as well!

The funny thing is, I was dreading this week. There was just too much crammed into one week. So I suppose this is God's way of telling me to slow down. All of those appointments on the calendar really don't matter so much as caring for my babies. Of course, I know of 3 "big" babies who are itching to get on with life, so let's just hope the bug looses its slimy, icky talons and lets my baby girl go so we can make it to the science museum Friday.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kathleen and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I woke up with a splitting headache and a drippy nose. I hate allergies and sinus thingys. I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

The baby had woken me up at 4:30 in the morning while my husband got to sleep. I had to go up to her room only to have her tell me I forgot to say "good night" to her the night before. I hadn't forgotten. But that's all she wanted to tell me at 4:30 in the morning.

I think I'll move to New Zealand.

I had lots planned for the day, but Michael said he still didn't feel well, and I wasn't sure I believed him because maybe he was just trying to get out of school. There was a bad storm with lots of wind and lots of rain. No one else offered to try to convince the puppy to go out in the storm to poop. I had to do it.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

During school, no one would pay attention to me. They only paid attention to the storm. I wanted them to pay attention to me, me, me. Why doesn't anyone notice me? I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I could tell because the electricity went out at 10:00. And even though I tried to get everyone excited about living like Almanzo in Farmer Boy, no one was excited. I don't think I was excited either because my laundry stopped mid-cycle, my internet would not work, and our water pump on our well is also electric so there was no water. I bet there's lots of water in New Zealand.

All four kids had dentist appointments today, but we had to cancel Michael's because he was sick. The other three did very well, even the Princess, but I got a referral to an orthdontist for Alex. Braces cost lots of money. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

None of the kids had cavities, and the dentist told me what a good job I'm doing with their teeth. She just doesn't know that it's all luck and nothing I'm doing.

I wonder if I would be a better mommy in New Zealand.

When we got home, Audrey threw up, and there was no water to clean her up. Then the kids wanted to go for a walk to see the cool utility trucks fix the power line, but the dog was a pain, and Michael was whiny so we came home and

Audrey threw up some more. And there was nothing to do, so I tried to read a book, but it was getting too dark to see.

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I told everybody. And actually everyone agreed.

We couldn't make anything for dinner, so we had to order pizza, and I'm sick of pizza.

I had to cancel Field Day at co-op tomorrow because my kids are puking.

There was more vomit and no way to wash the vomit laundry.

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I am a grown-up and know some days are like that.

And there are probably even power outages and throwing up in New Zealand.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Milestone

There is the first smile, the first steps, the first words. All important milestones. But I'm not sure if any milestone is quite as important as the one Michael passed today. We were enjoying fajitas at On the Border after the Easter egg hunt when Michael suddenly bolted from his seat and ran to the bathroom. Mark followed him in and found him tossing his cookies (and probably some Easter candy) into the toilet.

Do you understand what the milestone is?

No longer will Michael just randomly puke wherever he happens to be when it hits him. He can now remove himself from the presence of others and get to a toilet in time!

When Michael returned to the table feeling much better, there was much fanfare. This was a big milestone for which, especially given the public, restaurant setting, Michael was profusely praised.

Unfortunately, the Princess has not yet passed this milestone. Hours after our Michael Milestone Celebration, her Majesty threw up on my shoes. And her royal self. And all over the floor. Right after I had given her a bath. I have since given her a bucket, and she successfully placed her dinner in it. She is also excited to take the bucket to bed with her.

Here's hoping our two cookie tossers rest easy all night. So their parents may also rest easy. And my sincerest apologies to anyone who came in contact with either of them at the Easter eggstravaganza, especially their best buddies who just welcomed a new baby sister into the house. May our prayers protect that family from our bug.

And to hopefully further stop the spread of the bug, we have made the decision to hold our own special Easter service here at home tomorrow morning. It won't be the same as celebrating the Resurrection with our church family, but it will be special all the same.


After our never-ending Valentine's Day, we cut short all but one Easter egg hunt, thus doing less to take the focus off of the significance of this holy day. Our church's children's staff did a fabulous job putting together a fun-filled morning for the kids. Audrey was beside herself all week anticipating the "Easter hunt"; however, the weather did not match her very warm enthusiasm. The forecast looked promising, but they failed to note the lingering winds from yesterday's thunderstorms and tornadoes. It's probably a good thing I didn't know just how cold it was until we got to the park where the "Stonemill Eggstravaganza" took place. If I had known, I probably would have canceled the whole outing, which means the kids would not have had a chance to hunt Easter eggs:

or listen to the preschool director narrate a puppet show:

or "egg" Pastor Chris (with whipped cream and pudding):

or carry an egg with a spoon:

or take part in a 3-"egged" race:

or play on the playground with their friends:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's That Smell?

I have fond childhood memories of decorating Easter eggs...of watching the stark white orbs transform into sparkling swirls of color. And we've had our share of Easter egg decorating sessions since the kids were born. What I don't remember is the stench that can fill a room when a dozen and a half hard-boiled eggs are laid out to dry so they can receive their color treatment. Even the children wrinkled their noses when they came in the kitchen. And during the egg decorating, occasionally one would lift an egg to his or her nose and comment, "This really smells funny." You know what, kids? Truth be told, eggs really don't smell that good. But they sure do look cute all decked out in bright colors and funny faces.

Honestly, they really did have more fun than it looks like they're having in these pictures. Must have been the smell...

Note to self: Don't let these funny little guys hang out too long at home; if we show the house, we need to allow ample time to air the place out.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Conquering Canine Chaos

You've probably had to write an essay on your heroes at some point in school. I know I have. And, in fact, I've assigned such a task to my students before. I don't know why because I always have a difficult time discussing my heroes. I really don't have any. There have been people in my life I've looked up to or admired but never anyone I would label my "hero." Until now. If I were to write such an essay right now, I would talk about Cesar Millan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer.

Even if you don't follow me on Facebook where my status usually revolves around my "psycho puppy", you are probably quite aware of the fact that we have a new member of the family. I've had many second thoughts about this little guy. He has added a whole new dimension of chaos to the family, and this has indeed driven me crazy many times over the last couple of months. The puppy is an absolute delight between the hours of 8pm and 11pm because that is when he just hangs with me while the kids are in bed, theoretically sleeping. So it's obvious the little canine feeds off of the energy of 4 wonderful, sweet, yet very energetic children.

So this dog training is quite a task but one I'm determined to undertake successfully nonetheless. My determination stems from the fact that I do not want to teach my children that when you take on responsibility and don't feel like following through with it, you just get rid of it. I'm afraid we have, through poor example, already taught the kids it's OK to shirk responsibility, so now it's time to re-train them. As many times as I've considered graciously returning Max to the pound, that thought has kept me going. Plus...he's kinda growing on me. I'm starting to like him a little. I mean, just look at the handsome mutt with those quirky ears!
And he is beginning to improve, at least considering he is still a young puppy. Anyway, I'm depending on The Dog Whisperer to get me through this thing. Unfortunately, we don't get the National Geographic channel, so I can't watch him in action. Fortunately, he has lots of books, and I've rented Season 3 from Blockbuster, and it should be in the mail now. Unfortunately, Cesar says the most important thing in dog training and teaching pooch who is Leader of the Pack is The Walk. That part is difficult for us. First of all, it's been raining since I went to the bookstore to pick up the books, which seems like 40 days and 40 nights ago; it just won't stop. Secondly, we live in a rural lake community, and typical for such neighborhoods, there is just a narrow 1 1/2 car width road of sorts that runs to a dead end. And my friendly neighbors go barreling down this road like it's Route 66. Not really a safe option for me and my entourage.

But...The Dog Whisperer suggests another option. I laughed out loud when I read about putting the dog on the treadmill. Yeah, right. Maybe in the circus, I thought. I did try it, though; I took Max in our "gym", placed him on the treadmill, and turned it on. He freaked out. Did I expect any other reaction? No. He's a dog. But then I started hearing about dogs on treadmills from other sources like this is normal, like we might soon see dogs waiting at the local gym for their turn on cardio. So I thought I'd give it another try but approach it a bit differently. I let him sniff around the treadmill a bit (I was a little wary about this because he peed on it once). Then I let him lick peanut butter off my hands while I stealthily lured him on and quietly flipped the switch to ON. And then suddenly there we were, walking side-by-side on the treadmill.

Now, since it really has not stopped raining, this has become a daily activity for us. We are up to 15 minutes now at an almost 3mph pace, and he really enjoys it. In fact, when he's loosed from his crate, he comes running in to the treadmill. Who knew? I have to say, though, I still laugh out loud when I read Cesar's thoughts on a well-trained-dog-on-a-treadmill. According to my newfound hero, after the dog gets used to the treadmill, I may be able to just "leave him on the treadmill while I get ready for work." Hahaha. (Still laughing out loud.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

One Child's Treasure

We've been reading Farmer Boy, one of the books in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series. As much as I would have hated living in the era of hoop skirts and outhouses, I have to say that the kids of the time seemed to be so much more discliplined and polite than today's children. Additionally, they seemed to have a much better work ethic, spending hours a day helping with family chores. Of course, I sound like I'm blaming the times for my children's behavior. I know better than that. On the other hand, these are different times and I don't live on a farm (thank goodness, or we'd have some hungry animals and dying crops), so there are no cows to milk at 5am.

I thought I would have a little fun with the concept, though. Oftentimes, the little farmer boy, Almanzo would get out of school in order to help around the farm. Yesterday, I thought I'd give the lifestyle a whirl, and in an effort to disguise spring cleaning, I told the kids we would get a day off school today to get some things done. I did skip the waking up before dawn part because, well, this mama doesn't do before dawn.

I don't know if they fell for the trick or if they mistakenly assumed their mother would give them extra time on the Wii, but whatever the motivation, the kids began cleaning their rooms before I even asked them to. By the time I got to the boys' room, they had supposedly already accomplished the Big Task: the Toybox Purge. "Did you already empty the toybox?" I asked them.

"Yes," Michael assured me, "and we put it all away already."

"You mean you threw away the trash, put the stuff you want to give away in a pile, and then put the other stuff away, right?" I clarified. He confirmed. And then I looked in the toybox. Really? Are you kidding me? The toybox was full of JUNK. Literally. And trash. And socks and underwear and enough other miscellaneous articles of clothing to clothe another set of boys. (I have a feeling that the influx of random dirty laundry laying around is a direct result of my new Laundry Policy which states that Mom will no longer go on a Dirty Laundry Hunt before doing the laundry; she will only wash what is given to her. If the soccer uniform is still lying on the floor where you took it off, you will wear stinky clothes to the game; if the socks don't make it to the pile, wear flip flops; if you run out of underwear, go commando.)

"Are you SURE you cleaned out the toybox?" I asked again. They were sure. So I did the purge myself, which is actually what usually occurs. I mean, I love the idea of the kids acting responsible and helping out, but when I'm in Purge Mode, it's much easier without the supervision of my 4 little bosses who think they still need all of those broken McDonald's kids' meals toys.

The rest of the room was littered with as much junk as was crammed into the toybox. I was sure I would never finish. Just when I thought I was done, I would open a closet door. More junk. But it was finally done, and the boys actually did help out. Maybe not with as much gusto as little Almanzo who woke up in the middle of the night to help his family save the corn crop. But they helped.

Now if I could just get Audrey to clean her room. When I told her to go clean her room, she said, "I tan't!" Well, of course she can't. She is, after all, a Princess, and princesses certainly should not be expected to clean their rooms. Right?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Not-So-End-of-the-School-Year Celebration

Last night was the End-of-the-Year Celebration at co-op, and, although it was lovely to celebrate the end of co-op, it is certainly not anywhere near the end of the school year for us. We have taken quite a few unplanned days off this year, so I intend to put the year-round in year-round schooling this year; we'll probably be well into June before we get our 180 days. But that's OK. Good in fact. I think there are huge benefits to year-round schooling--more retention and thus less review when we start back.

So even though the party did not signify the end for us, we had a lovely evening. Each of the kids got a certificate, and even little Audrey walked up on stage to receive hers. Refreshments followed the awards, and if I had to venture a guess, the plates full of cookies and cake were probably the highlight of the evening for the kids. The highlight for us grown-ups was seeing what the children had been working on all semester; each class had a table set up to display the kids' artwork, projects, and reports.

Nothing a little glue can't fix!

Our Not-So-End-of-the-Year Celebration turned out so nicely, we may have to plan a real end-of-the-year celebration.