The children looked at our family calendar on Monday morning and noted, 'Wow, every day for seven days is something special!' (And the whole week with my husband gone on business!)
- Monday: Margaret and Joseph's last swim class until the fall
- Tuesday: John and Mary's Technique test at music lessons
- Wednesday: the reception and television taping for the PBS KIDS Writer's Contest
- Thursday: Auditioning at Guild
- Friday: Football Friday (our first one, it was so fun!)
- Saturday: our whole-neighborhood garage sale
- Sunday: attending the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra at which their friend and fellow student Luis is performing
And, really, it's more than seven special days in a row, given that the prior Saturday was a recital and Sunday was a party, and then the coming Monday is a field trip to a science museum. We're having a good time, but I'm ready for some typical.
|Last day of spring swim class|
|Margaret with her swim report card|
|Joseph with his swim report card|
- Black bean vegetable soup (for Mama)
- Chicken taco night
- Zucchini potato bake (for Mama)
- Chicken strips and pasta
- Wednesday (night of PBS KIDS Writer's Contest reception)
- Cici's Pizza restaurant
- Thursday (day of Guild audition all afternoon)
- Honestly, a friend took pity on me, given that my husband was out of town, and brought us a meal! I am so grateful!
- That's tonight. I have no idea. Cold cereal?
Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)
- "Baltimore Catechism No. 2" (originally published 1885)
- "Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints" (Loreto Publications, originally published 1894)
- "The Apple and the Arrow" (1951) (and studied Rossini's William Tell Overture)
- "Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer retold by Barbara Cohen (1988)
- "Under Angel Wings: The Autobiography of Sr. Maria Antonia" (originally published 1949)
- "Dr. Doolittle" (originally published 1920)
- "The Boxcar Children" (originally published 1924)--reading just to Margaret
- "Holiness for Housewives and Other Working Women"
- "The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom is Good" by Sandi Mann--my Mother's Day gift
- "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (1950)
- "Boy Knight of Reims" (originally published 1927)
- "James and the Giant Peach" (originally published 1961)
- "Mother Teresa" by Demi
- "Alvin's Secret Code" (originally published 1963)
- "Franz Schubert" by Opal Wheeler
- Various books on The Titanic
|A children's version but still introduced some mature topics that needed explanation|
I was tickled to find a bookstore clearing out of the Opal Wheeler composer study sets. They were with teacher's manuals but without CDs, and were marked down to $5 per book-and-manual, so I snapped up the lot (which normally goes for $420), and I'm quite happy simply to find the musical pieces to play on YouTube. We'll be studying composers this summer and my goal is to have the children read one chapter per day, which will get them through one composer every week or two.
I have enjoyed the last few months a tactic to "put on my own air mask first," to borrow a life-saving technique from the airlines. I often eat breakfast and lunch by myself and before I call the children to the table.
Now, we're not one of those families that needs to work on eating several meals together per week in order to build unity. With a homeschooling mother and a work-from-home father, our family generally eats three meals per day seven days per week together! But I'm often so busy serving all the children during the meal that my food is growing cold and my stomach is making me snappish and impatient because this nursing mama is hungry.
Therefore, I began eating first. In the morning, the kids get their own cold cereal while I am exercising. Then I come in the kitchen and make myself a healthy mama breakfast while they are playing and only when I'm done do I cook them their hot breakfast. We're still sitting together for the meal, praying, conversing, becoming unified, but I'm fed and calm, ready to serve them.
|Mama's breakfast and Mama's book, while the children play elsewhere|
That habit bled over to lunch also. We pause school at 11:30 and I send them out to recess while I make myself lunch and get a few minutes of quiet. Then I call them in at noon to eat their lunch.
This has been a really helpful habit for me to have some increased peace, so I share it with my readers.
The tree man had already been scheduled to come out this week to cut down some dangerous, dead limbs when we woke to find this monster had fallen on the climbing dome. I'm glad no children were out there when it happened. Thank you, Guardian Angels!
Maybe if their academic education doesn't work out, the children can grow up to be "tree men" themselves. (Below pictures are from a nice half-hour workout in the back yard in the cool of the morning before sitting down to books.)
I have to keep Thomas' and Joseph's clothing apart very carefully because they are so close in size: one day this week, Thomas wore his brother's 3T shorts all day before I noticed.
As if this week of special days wasn't exciting enough, I finished out the week of my hubby's business trip by taking 5 children grocery shopping by myself (total haul: 13 bags of food) at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday. Turns out that might be a good time to go shopping as the store was practically empty: I guess nobody else thinks it's a good time of the day or week to shop!
For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.