Saturday, July 29, 2017

It Begins

School for the year, that is.

This week, the children will start a very slow, gentle dive back into the waters of homeschooling.

Now that's poetic, isn't it?

The two youngest studying rocks.  We have lots of educational things around so the kids learn even when we're not in the throes of school, of course.

But yes, this week we will be starting math up as well as a little assigned reading.  That's all. The next week, more.  And more, until we should be up to full schedule by the beginning of September.

Naomi's school this year will mostly be at Clark State, a local community college.  She's studying New Media, which is a series of classes focused on digital media on the internet.  I think.

She has already taken 3 classes at Clark State and has A's in all of them.  She's a hard worker, and smart.  This fall will be the first time she has close to a full load so it'll be challenging but I am sure she'll do fine.

Lydia will take a one credit class this fall and then a freshman English class in the spring.

And everyone else will be taught entirely at home.  This year I have 7 school aged children which amazes me, since Sarah is now legal school age.

Let the homeschool year BEGIN!

The Rose

And just like that, this beautiful little lady is mostly potty trained. She is doing GREAT.  From clueless to an adept in one short month. We're so proud of her!

  She's also calmer and safer than she used to be. I say that because yesterday she had a really bad day, and reverted to her crazy ways, and it made me realize that she is generally wiser and more careful of her personal safety!

I took her to the library with 2 other kids mid afternoon and she was a total terror there, running all over and getting into stuff.  Later in the day, I hid in the bathtub enjoying a long epsom salt bath while our competent older girls took care of her.  In addition to other ballistic behavior, our sweet girl leaped from the top step into Lydia's arms when Lydia was chasing her up the stairs.

But as I said, she's usually calmer now (that kind of behavior was an all day, every day thing 6 months ago.)

Of course, we always love and adore and enjoy her, but I am appreciative of her new maturity in a number of areas.

And yes, we may have purchased our LAST box of diapers from Sam's Club. I just can't even wrap my mind around the wonder of THAT.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Miscellaneous mutterings

         This is our downstairs bathroom.  It is not remarkable in any way except for what is missing in this picture -- namely a diaper changing pad.
         Yes, our sweet Rose is doing very well potty training!  She's not 100% but I decided we could put the changing pad away.  It makes the counter look strange as there has been a changing pad there for most of 12 years!
        I am very glad things are going so well with Rose in the potty department.


Zane wants to be in the circus, riding a horse!  But he's stuck with balancing precariously on a rocking horse. So cute. The three kittens were all neutered this week and are doing very well.  They were a bit groggy for a day or so but are back to their usual crazy antics.

             Kevin went on a work trip this week to Arizona.  He went to an Air Force facility where many out of service airplanes are stored. Some (a few) are airworthy, but most are being kept for parts or research. Obviously that is a picture of a big old cactus. He had a nice trip but it was great when he got home.

             We are still missing Kazuma but I think lots of crying and mourning helped us process his death quickly.  At least it was the obvious right decision.

               We start school in a couple of weeks.  Wow.  I feel like the summer just started in some ways!  We always gradually move into school in August and I try to be at full load by September.  Naomi is planning to take 4 classes at a local community college this fall, which will be a big change for her.  She'll have to manage her time and schedule well.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Good-bye Kazuma

We are very sad today. Last night, our beloved cat Kazuma suddenly couldn't walk straight or steadily. He was staggering around, and this morning he was worse.  We took him to the vet who diagnosed, vaguely, something very serious -- stroke, seizure disorder, blood clot. We could likely find out what with extensive testing, but it wouldn't have changed the fact that he was an old cat with a major problem who was completely miserable.

So we made the very hard call and had him euthanized.  They gave him a sedative and I held him in my arms as the terror left his limbs and he fell asleep in my arms.  He was peaceful as they administered the drug that stopped his heart.

Kevin buried him in our back 3 acres after a little time of reflection as a family. He was a really good cat and this was really hard and we've cried buckets of tears.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Potty Training the Littlest

Potty training is not for cowards.

If that is indeed true, I am a brave mama for training 9 kids thus far.

Of course, it is the children who have done the really hard work.

And it IS hard work.  Yes, some kids just get it all at once and have the whole thing down in a day or two. I have a friend who told me her eldest had one accident total. One.

We have had a couple of potty prodigies, as we call them (though they weren't as amazing as our friend's daughter) but most of our kids have taken awhile to master all the complex issues surrounding using the potty.

There is the actual peeing and pooping. There is getting the underwear off and on. There is dumping the small potty into the big potty. There is washing the hands.

There is recognizing the need to use the bathroom in the middle of an interesting video or game time.

So having said all that, Rose is doing very well. She's consistently able to use the potty and while she has accidents, we're proud of her progress.

AND, she is the last kid. When she is done, we will be done with diapers!  For real!  Wow. Amazing.  17+ years of having kids in diapers and yes, we will be done done done!


Saturday, July 1, 2017

20th Anniversary

Incredibly enough, Kevin and I celebrated 20 years of marriage this week.  It really is hard to believe, hard to FATHOM, that we've been blessed with 20 years together!

Marriage is hard works It is worth it, definitely, but it isn't easy.  I would say our first year was in some ways the most challenging, as we worked out what it was like to live together in marriage together.

On the other hand, back then we didn't have kids waking us up at night. Or fighting.  Or peeing on the floor.  Or falling over and scraping themselves.

In the Princess Bride, Wesley tells Buttercup, "Life is pain, Highness, anyone who tells you anything else is selling something."

It's a funny line in context, but there is a streak of truth. Anyone assuming life will be peaches and cream, all fun, is going to be sorely disappointed.  Our lives are joyful and happy.  Our marriage, our children, our GOD, are a blessing.

Yes, God has carried us through 20 years of marriage.  We are so thankful for His strength, direction and wisdom.

20 years.