Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #387 (August 29- September 4)-- Finding Our School Structure and Falling in Love with the McClean Center

Cookie and Conrad recently moved and they did some major purging. Conrad gave P some really nice dress shirts and a bathrobe from some fancy store in Oxford. He's obsessed with it. Of the three(?!?) he owns it's the only one he'll wear to the mailbox. No shame in our secondhand game!

 This was around the time we got back on our normal routine a bit more with homeschooling and I started my every other Monday nights at the grief center.

Monday was a fun, busy day. I got up after Peyton and the kids and helped the big kids find the remote and start their media time and fed, bathed, and dressed the baby while Peyton ran to the library. I took my bath and started school with Annie. She did her math and writing. While she did that, I looked at my reader and sent several emails and FB messages. We had lunch and then headed to science day with the homeschool group.

I love her heart shorts. I love her Nike's. I love her brown legs. I love how big she is. I love that she's holding a skunk. I love Age Seven. I just love her so much.

We got home a couple of hours later and regrouped and then I did reading and grammar with Annie and got ready to got volunteer at McClean Fletcher.

  It was a wonderful first night. And these guys clearly loved having a Silly String fight!

When I got home I visited with Peyton and the big kids and pumped. Sallie woke up and I fed her and just snuggled with her. I straightened a bunch around the house and started some laundry and Peyton went to do the recycling. I wrote a blog post, ate something, and read some blogs. I looked over school for the next day and fed Sallie again and changed her. I went to bed late.

I slept until about nine on Tuesday. Graves had woke up in the night with a nosebleed and I was kind of tired.
Graves often makes his way to our bed in the early morning hours before dawn has broken. And Sarah Lamar likes to cuddle after she eats breakfast around seven or eight. That spot between them is all mine. This soft, still hour is one of my favorites and one where they both feel like babies to me. 
Peyton made me a smoothie and I pumped another bottle and fed Sallie when she got up. I straightened in the kitchen and did a few dishes, started laundry, got on the computer, and made the kids' beds. I took my bath and then did school with Annie. We got her critical thinking done and did part of her math. I also worked on organizing the study closet. Peyton vacuumed under the couch cushions. I made up our bed, dressed and fed Sallie, and finished getting ready and then we all headed to the park to meet Elizabeth and the cousins.

We had a really fun visit and ate lunch there and then came home. The kids were so hot and dirty so they had baths and I read a few blogs and then Annie and I started back school while Peyton and Graves read and did dishes. We did language, writing, and an English assessment. After that, I had a bowl of cereal and took a bath. I straightened the office a bit which was a total disaster and fed Sallie and got her settled. Peyton took the big kids swimming and Sallie kept waking up. It took me quite a few tries but I finally got her settled for more than a few minutes and I got a good bit done. I put up some dishes in the kitchen and straightened in there and organized some stuff in the study and then I folded up the shower curtain Graves had yanked down and took the rod outside for Peyton to fix. I emptied the bathroom and study trash and took out the recycling and swept in the study and bathrooms. I scrubbed the sinks, toilets, and floors and both bathrooms and the tub in the master since it's the only one we use regularly. I even had time to email a friend.

Peyton and the big kids got back and they ate supper and I started more laundry and did a few other things. I cleaned up the kitchen after they ate- did dishes and swept and such. Peyton got them settled, I fed Sallie, and we discussed school for the next day. I went to the attic to get some bigger pjs for SL, the bumbo, and a binder and then I read a few blogs, put pictures on Facebook, and started a post.

Wednesday was kind of a weird day. I got up at my usual time but we had decided the kids would clean up several "houses" they had built in their room- in other words, it was going to be a big process beyond our normal straightening routine. I helped them a bit- making beds, putting up books, and hanging up clothes and that had us all getting a latter start than usual. Peyton had made them pancakes and they had media time and I had a bowl of cereal and got my bath. Sallie had a leaky diaper so Peyton stripped our sheets and I changed, bathed, and fed her. We finally got started on school and I did a math lesson with Annie and then she did a worksheet and her mental math. I worked on putting together a binder for her and made a list for the day, went through my reader, and started planning school for the next day. We did her writing work as well.

When we finished that, we took a break and all had lunch and the kids played a bit. Peyton and I talked and I sent a couple of messages I needed to and checked on if the consignment store was accepting Fall stuff. I did math with Graves while Peyton ran to the grocery store and Sallie started fussing. He got home as we finished up and he and Graves went outside to do yardwork and Annie and I did a ton of school. We did phonics, spelling, grammar, more copy work, vocabulary, and reading. After we finished up, I visited with Peyton and then the kids and I cooked fish together. I folded some towels and put up dishes and dusted in their room while it was cooking. We steamed some broccoli and all had dinner. After that, Peyton read to them and I vacuumed their room and our room and did dishes and swept the kitchen. I took out the recycling and trash and then got on the computer. I sent several emails and messages and wrote a post and read some blogs. I put fresh sheets on our bed and ate a snack and went to bed.
I felt like we were finally finding our flow again with homeschooling.  I feel MUCH better if I have a very bare bones lesson plan sketched out the night before.
Peyton was meeting a friend for coffee on Thursday and he got up and headed out. Graves had breakfast and I slept a bit more (the baby had been up several times and both big kids woke up?!?). I got up and straightened in our room and the den and then worked on helping the kids with theirs. Annie had gotten dressed and brushed her hair and said they had cleaned up a lot the night before. I was pretty impressed! I helped Graves pick out some clothes and he and Annie had media time. I got on the computer and looked at my reader and email and then hopped in the tub. Peyton got home and I dried my hair and we both tried Sallie in the Tula that had come in.

Peyton and Graves left to run errands and I researched some on how to wear an infant in a structured carrier and then messaged a friend while Annie worked on math. I sent a couple of emails and she did her mental math and then we did critical thinking. I decided to do a sewing project with her and we worked on that for a bit and then we drafted a thank you letter and she wrote it on her handwriting paper. Sallie just kind of hung out with us and I fed her a couple of times. She was so low key and easy that day! I started some laundry and we did phonics, reading, grammar, and spelling and then she had a snack and I read to her and she worked on narration.

We did school literally that whole time they were gone. Annie did math with no complaining and even started a worksheet on a lesson I hadn't taught yet (and was pretty successful with it). I told her she could have a break between math and English and she begged to keep going. I was so glad we made time to do a sewing project I've been putting off and write a thankyou note.  I think a LOT of her good attitude is that we're being much more consistent with her. Which, duh, structure and routine and met expectations make her momma much happier, too. And really, most people. Graves and P could care less and they can fly by the seat of their pants if they want, but I think we all benefit.

Peyton and Graves got home and I started cooking super and fed Sallie. I changed over laundry, put up dishes, and washed some. We all ate and I fed and changed Sallie and got her in some pjs. I dusted in the den and sunroom and cleaned the fan, did the supper dishes, and scrubbed the counter. Peyton got the big kids settled and worked in the yard and cleaned up the carport before it got dark. I folded some clothes the kids had thrown out of their dresser and put fresh sheets on our bed and then read to the big kids. Sallie was fussing a lot so I got her settled and read some blogs and worked on a post. I vacuumed the den, kitchen, and sunroom and mopped the kitchen and sunroom and then folded some clothes. I fed and changed Sallie and went to bed late.

Apparently Luke Skywalker had some sort of injury during the night party.

Peyton got up early Friday and left for work and I fed the baby and went back to sleep until nine. I hopped up and got the big kids breakfast. I straightened their room a bit, and changed and fed Sallie, glanced at the computer, and then took my bath. I got the kids to finish their room, put on my make-up, dried my hair, made the bed, and collected laundry. I organized some stuff on the buffet and had my breakfast and then Carrie and her kids got here.

We had kind of a rough start because Graves was super grumpy. It ended up being a really fun visit, though, and the kids had a great time seeing some of their best little friends.

 Bud and Aubrey getting their baby fixes. Because they don't maul/tote around (respectively, obs) their own sister babies enough. And Graves has a long history of helping me reevaluate arbitrary rules because it's so exhausting just to enforce the important ones. I decided to let go of our "no shirt, no service" when guests are here policy in an effort to focus all my energies on making sure Babes (and everyone else) stayed safe from light saber attacks.

The Howies left and we straightened a bit and then I let the kids have media time. Annie got hers taken away about halfway through she was so rude and Sallie was SO upset. I nursed her several times and she finally settled down. I called Peyton and my mom. I had a snack and read some blogs, sent a couple of emails, and took a short nap. After that, I did a bit of school with Annie. We played a verb game and she finished up a math sheet from the day before. Peyton got home as I was fixing them supper. They ate and we played and talked and then got them to bed. He grilled some hamburgers and I fixed potatoes and we ate and watched TV and folded laundry. I got on the computer, did dishes, folded some laundry, and went to bed.

The kids and I all slept late on Saturday morning. Annie got up and cleaned up her room (including Graves's part) herself and then they had breakfast and media time. I got on the computer and looked at my reader, made the bed, ate lunch, and took my bath. I feed Sallie, put up clean clothes from the night before and collected dirty laundry. I talked to Peyton, started Annie on some copy work, and packed up stuff to go to my parents' later. I organized a bit of a big pile of stuff in our room and then swept in their and in the study. I bathed Sarah Lamar and dressed her and got Annie going on a spelling activity. I did some English with Graves and then they did a craft that went with a Bible story we've been talking about. The craft was a centurian's helmet and it was a bit of a fail but they had fun. I did some dishes, folded more clothes, straightened, uploaded pictures from the big camera, had a snack, and put on make-up.

Minnie came over and picked us up and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening visiting with Cookie and Conrad. We had a great time. We got sushi and Peyton came over when he got off work. We bathed the big kids and headed home. I got stuff unpacked and put up and then folded laundry and watched TV. I got out our clothes and packed the breakfast and activity bags for church and went to bed.

We got up early on Sunday and all got ready for church and then dropped Peyton off. Sallie was a little fussy and I ended up nursing her in the car. The big kids and I ate breakfast and I did my make up and we got gas. Sunday school and church were nice and the kids did really well again during the service! We came home and I regrouped and had lunch while they had media time. I worked on a blog post, fed Sallie, and unpacked our bags and repacked to go to my parents'.

We got ready and headed over there. It was a nice afternoon. Mickey grilled and we just relaxed. Sallie and I picked up Peyton from work and the big kids hung out with Cookie and Conrad and Mickey and Minnie. We dropped off a carseat at Peyton's parents' house on the way back and then ate supper at my parents' and visited some more. We came home around ten thirty and I texted with a friend. I tried to work on a post but I was so tired and went on to bed after I made a list for the next day. 

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