It's probably past-time for a family and homeschool update. I'm not even sure how long it's been since I posted one. I know I haven't posted much about our homeschool since the school year started, and I probably haven't posted a family update since the summer, too.
As a family, we're all healthy, but busy. Steve works long hours and has a long commute, but even on his weekends he's been incredibly busy. We're still sorting through his mother's belongings since she was moved into the nursing home. This is actually our final week to get the last of her items out of the storage unit we initially rented. In preparation for that, Steve's been working in the basement over the past few weeks, adding shelving and organizing the piles of stuff that were down there. We have been meaning to do this for ages, but knowing we needed to add Mom's stuff finally motivated us to get it done. I say "us" but in reality it is him. For one thing, I think we'd argue a lot if I was down there with him. For another, I wouldn't be able to handle the bleach fumes as he's been mopping the cement floors with bleach as he clears areas.
Speaking of Steve's Mom, things are settling down there, as well. We are now at every-other-month doctor appointments, instead of monthly. We've navigated the world of insurance and medicaid and come through a pile of paperwork successfully. We've found a rhythm that includes us visiting her at the nursing home and also checking her out to take her to church a few times each month. We took her to visit family on Thanksgiving Day, though at the start of the day when we tried to introduce the idea, she couldn't think of any family members she'd like to see, and couldn't remember her Aunt's name at first. Once we reminded her about her sister and Aunt, and prompted her on her Aunt's name, she was very excited, though.
The pregnancy is going well. No problems so far and my aches and pains have been minor. This little one appears to be a boy. Steve and I haven't had many dates that weren't really just errand-running trips lately, but in our moments alone we've been discussing names. Or maybe I should say I've been discussing names and he's been listening. So far he hasn't seemed interested in any of the names on our long list or our short list. We may have finally backed ourselves into a corner. Our 3 syllable, non-repeating initial, unique but not weird, naming pattern has us down to only a handful of options for this baby, and Steve doesn't seem drawn to any of them. But we've resisted dropping syllables so far, so that we don't have one child whose name doesn't fit the pattern. I guess I need to pray for God to inspire us with the right name for this little boy.
The children are all healthy, and I'm getting cabin fever already. They've been acting like Florida wimps about the "cold weather" and I have to keep pointing out to them that most of our weather has only been in the 50s and 60s so far this Fall. We haven't had hardly any days in the 40s and 30s, which is unusual for us. I'm not sure if this will hold once Winter is officially here, but they really should be spending more side outside. Of course, when they do go outside, it's usually in flip flops or Crocs without socks, and their coats. I think it's time to confiscate the flip flops and Crocs.
The teens are staying busy with youth group events, accountability groups, school, work, friends, and community choir. On the few days when they have nothing to do and nowhere to go, they have withdrawal symptoms. Okay, one of them has withdrawal symptoms and the other one enjoys her time at home in her den (room) to re-energize. It doesn't take long, though, before even the introvert is itching to get out and do something again. In 2.5 months, we should have two licensed teen drivers instead of just one.
Homeschool is going well, though I once again changed gears with the youngest ones. As much as I loved using Five In A Row with my older kids when we started homeschooling, I am just not able to implement it while doing other curriculum with the older kids. I know some families do manage it, and do well with it, but I just don't. So we simplified and returned to using Tapestry of Grace with all of the kids, though I'm trying to make a more conscious effort to include 1st grade L in the planning, by finding interesting books for her, as well. We're still using Classic Tapestry of Grace, so I'm working from the original book list. I usually add other books that aren't recommended if they will add interest to the studies. We love the You Wouldn't Want To Be... series for our more reluctant readers, and I try to find a picture book for 1st grade L even if none are on the chart that week. We're in week 16 of our school year, and the kids are definitely dragging their feet about getting their bookwork done each day ... lots of prompting and reminding from Mom each day.
And me, I'm just tired. I'm doing my best to keep up with the family and still get enough rest for baby and me. So far I'm managing that primarily by going back to sleep after I get Steve out the door with his coffee, breakfast, lunch, and vitamins. Occasionally, I do end up napping, but not often.
Kids are waking up, so our school day is about to begin. I'm wishing I'd gone back to bed this morning, instead of staying up, but it's too late for that now. I'll definitely be sleeping in tomorrow.