Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Glimpses of Life and the Kids

Without even factoring in the feel of the humidity, it's registering 108F outside, a record tie in local history. Jason just installed a friend's extra window unit since it's 85F inside. I am melting! I was actually told that I looked small for 7mo pregnant. Still feels like I'm wearing a down vest with a (heavy) heater tucked under it. With each new baby I've taken up a new hobby or research topic while awake at odd quite hours: breastfeeding, adoptive breastfeeding, smocking, cloth diapering, healthy food, and now babywearing (venturing into the world of woven wrap, mei tai and non-padded ring sling). As steamy as it is right now, I wouldn't be voluntarily wearing anyone even though I really want to fully enjoy the experience with this baby. Thus I'm glad to wait a few more weeks. To be exact, I will be 31 weeks tomorrow and my babies have been evenly spaced from 36 to 39 weeks.

I am sluggish as can be this week but my long silence has been because my drive is back. It has even trumped limited endurance and hip pain that ensues if I don't find some time to be horizontal each afternoon. It feels so good to be nesting and productive after such a long season of not caring. I have plenty to say and record but don't want to sit down at the computer! I'm either actively doing something or on my side in the bed.

We finished up the school year and rolled straight into mornings of more math, handwriting and history lessons, naps then afternoons at the pool. I am catching up or going ahead for the three older kids, in hopes of a lighter beginning of the year, since I'll be sleep deprived and all. Jason and Amelia are the only two whose school choice is made at this point. Homeschooling this year has worked well for Amelia, I'm seeing the benefits outweighing the challenges to the point that I'd love to bring more of the kids home eventually. A baby buffer would be very nice though! Jason, after years of consideration, is leaving the public school system from which we both graduated. In August he will start at the private school affiliated with our church, still teaching High School Math. Sophie and Caleb will be tested by Jason's new school next week, then we'll see if there's any way their financial aid can make the option of sending them with Jason fit in our budget.

Sophie lost academic motivation when Lydia died and we somewhat checked out. Her grades swung dramatically and she's become comfortable being grouped with the "lower expectation kids", even though her standardized tests and reading skills remain strong. After two years of this it's time to pull her out of the hole if at all possible. We'd welcome the help of a new setting with more pressure to apply herself, so she's first on the list if we can only afford one. Caleb is doing great, so while consolidation and a smaller class size is ideal, we could leave him at public for now. Why not live on the wild side and embrace public, private and homeschool all at one time? We don't do spring break trips anyways. The only way we can even consider such is that we'd still have less carpooling than a family at one school: home, walking distance and with Daddy.

Before school starts we have some more fun planned for the kids and some torture planned for Jason. Monday Jason will have his tonsils removed, deviated septum straightened and uvula shortened. It amazes me how many people immediately tell him how miserable recovery will be, as if your first response to learning someone is pregnant would be describing the details of labor pains. Yes, we're looking at 10-14 days with pain meds, lots of fluids and little else but hopefully this will be the means to a man who can breathe through his nose, smell and actually taste! CPAP has helped tremendously and this has additional promise. I have to keep offering that the trade off, of these benefits for likely half of his life, sounds well worth it. I think his anxiety lessened a little when he saw the grocery store stockpile intended for his pampering.

So that's roughly where we are now and below are some pictures from where we've been the past few months.

Caleb had a Birthday:

As did Amelia:

This puts the kids at the ages they will be when baby is born: 9, 9, 6 and 3 (Lydia's 12th Birthday is shortly thereafter). One might think we were on an intentional 3 year plan or something!

We are proud of Sophie receiving an award for her accumulated Accelerated Reading points (one area that was pulled up in 3rd grade, from pitiful first grading period more than made up for by the end of the year!)

Then you had the 5k awards given to each child, self-esteem style.

"Most Cheerful"

Birthday gifts from extended family included Taekwondo lessons. My first impression was delight at the tell-it-like-it-is, earned feedback and military-style respect demanded for authority. Josiah wants to take to so he can yell "Yes, Sir!". It wears one of them out. Guess who.

One perk of Amelia's once weekly school away from home is that she was able to participate in her own field day and class birthday party.

Naturally Sophie and Caleb also had field days. I was so glad they were across the street so I could easily come home to rest as needed and go right back.

Josiah is beloved by all the students and the only downside to his presence is all of the "You look like twins" comments bothering Caleb. "But I'm 6 and he's 3!" I don't have the heart to explain that the mere 6lbs separating them won't last much longer and they'll indeed be the same size as well as having "the same face".

As I was choosing which pics to post I realized I never even looked at or downloaded those from Easter. There were some good ones too.

I found strawberry patch 5k field trip pictures on the camera at the same time, fun day with my boys.