I should have looked ahead when, on Day 1, I decided to change the “activity” to “Remembrance” because here we are on Day 24 and it is a long-held traditional day of remembrance in many ethnicities and cultures and in many ways.
I don’t think we can remember too much. So I will keep it here as well. Generally, we light candles on this day for those who have passed. Papa’s family used to have a rather overwhelming 7-course dinner of mostly seafood for many years on Christmas Eve and in remembrance of that, I usually find him some octopus salad to eat with our own dinner.
This year, we will be hoping to make it home to our beds before midnight. We won’t rush, but we will try our best.
Let me know how you usually spend Christmas Eve or Nochabuena or whatever your family calls this day. In fact, let me know what you call this day!
As you read this, we are en route to Memphis. But today’s task is to bake something together. Needless to say, that will not be happening for this family.
But I invite you to bake SOMEthing together today. And it’s a weekend day so YOU HAVE TIME! It doesn’t have to be something complicated, either: slice and bake cookies doctored up with some colored sugar or sprinkles are going to be a big hit here so don’t overthink it.
Talk about Divine Intervention: we have friends coming over! Our friends live in Spain most of the year and come over the U.S. for a few weeks or months for work. Tonight, they are coming over for dinner—yayyyy!!! So why does this activity fall on this day? Continue reading Day 17: Invite people over–kids pick the menu→
On a local forum, a mom asked us to share the reasons we homeschool and she was particularly interested in hearing from parents of kids old enough to be in the public schools. My post was apparently too long for Facebook… Continue reading Someone asked why we homeschool→
This weekend, I feel like the torch was officially passed to my husband on the Scouting front. He and BigGuy left early Saturday morning for the first of what will be many Scout camping outings. This one was very short, but they banged out all of the requirements to get him his “Scout” badge (the very first rank in Boy Scouts).
Last night, our BigGuy went off to his second performance with his boys choir; and his first in full regalia. I broke down and got his hair cut so he didn’t ACTUALLY look like that. I don’t care what other people think of his hair. It causes me physical eyestrain pain to see it hang in his eyes. Nobody’s ever said anything about his long hair (and dude–it’s been WAY longer than this. I’m not sure how I got through this stage when he grew it longer).
BigGuy woke up very late and I heard him sneeze twice. They were deep, chesty sneezes that may have hurt him in his chest. We’ve been skirting illness for a few weeks now; and honestly–I could not be more thankful that we haven’t been sick. The last two years (almost to the week) have been EXTREMELY hard on my family and a lot of the things we had in place that kept my kids (and the parents) healthy went largely out the window as we worked on other things that took the front seat.
Someone actually said that to me today about Girly. I went on to say that she plays in two places and before I could finish the sentence, this other parents said “Oh! You’re working with her outside of practice!” I had to correct her and explain that in fact, we had no idea she could play like this because the other place she plays, she literally “plays” with her friends–lots of hugging and ring around the rosy… some scrimmages. It’s not like this league where they’re getting more formal and aggressive instruction. I don’t care either way, but yeah–we don’t really do anything with her outside of either place. Continue reading “She plays so aggressively!”→
Yeah… I think this is going to work out–not being part of the Young Philosopher’s group that was meeting on Fridays from 11:30am-1pm. I mean, that’s lunchtime. Seriously? And it’s kind of far. And it falls on the day that BigGuy and I are supposed to hold our big Socratic white-elephant-in-my-head discussions… which might be too much heavy conversation for a day.
But Fridays are really, really open now and I think that’s going to work well for us. For one, it’s the day we prepare for the weekend. We do our “weekly home blessing” (thank you, stronghold of The Fly Lady) which is a set of two chores per family member that help get the house cleaned up before the weekend. This started long ago when we hosted “Wine Night” at our house every Friday night for nearly a year before relocating. Taking care of cleaning up the house before the weekend set in meant that we enjoyed a clean house all weekend and company dropping by wasn’t an issue. We could just relax.
Well, we are returning to that. And I think having the review of the week’s work and the Socratic discussions on Friday are going to dovetail nicely into preparing for the weekend. Because we can also have these discussions WHILE we work on stuff.
So each day the kids have all kinds of responsibilities…
Make their bed
Put their laundry in the hall basket and one of them takes the basket down to the laundry room (or one of the adults do)
Pick up toys in their room (which usually happens twice/day–once before going down to breakfast and once before bed… but we’ve removed a lot of toys from their rooms)
Pick up whatever toys they were playing with all day before getting their screen time or going out to any cool play dates
Set the table and get drinks. Honestly, I have no idea who does what part of this now except that at a prior family meeting, Girly wanted to put out the plates. That meant someone had to get them for her. Apparently, not anymore. She’s pushed her kid chair to the cabinet, stood up on it, got down four large dinner plates, and put four forks on them and then carries it all to the table. Whaaaaa…..???
Clear the table after every meal
BigGuy has to clean his bathroom and the master bathroom–and doing that is broken down so that he does a different part each day. He often forgets this chore or forgets to include my bathroom… but this is a new one.
At the end of the week, it goes like this (or rather, IT. IS. PLANNED. to go like this):
BigGuy vacuums the entire first floor and upstairs hallway. With his complete failure to master vacuuming, we are now sweeping.
Girly is supposed to dust and put away whatever toys are left out.
Papa is supposed to empty EVERY. GARBAGE CAN. IN THE HOUSE. including the laundry room and powder room; and mop the first floor
Mama is supposed to clear ALL of the horizontal surfaces–desk, kitchen island, counters; and sort/purge all papers–bringing the keepers to the office.
Honestly, the kids are the only ones being held to this right now and BigGuy bears the brunt of it. So add this to the list of “things mom should really get better at”. To be fair, Girly is WAY more helpful in general than BigGuy so I kind of don’t feel all that horrible about it. At 5, she tap dances rings around him in the helpful category. I love my son and he has his amazing qualities. I’m just saying that being helpful isn’t one of them.
And then there’s the general keeping things in their place crap. Shoes go in the closet, not out and about. Pencils have a place. Library books have a place. Board games have a place. My core sense of self is only at rest when “everything has a place and everything in it’s place”. With this house presumably the final place (until retirement), sh*t’s gotta get put in it’s place and that needs to become a habit.
Friday is also farm share day. So if we can get the rest of the house clean, by the time we get our farm food later in the day, we really don’t have anything standing in our way to deal with the vegetables. We get two shares from a farm in town; but then another farm uses our house as a drop-off point (it’s complicated–they started using us mid-season when we were already midway through a full season share with the other farm. Although to be fair, last year we did 4 shares total–two from each of these farms; and we’re likely to go back to that next year since we will not yet have our own gardens to the point of supporting us. Wait-wait-wait… I digress..
I’m looking forward to Fridays. Especially if they’re sunny. And clean.
The skylight installer arrived around 8am to install what we hope will be the cure to my Seasonal Affect Disorder (which we have known about forever, but didn’t realize this master bedroom was the cave it turned out to be). We have tried the special lights and the extra Vitamin D dosing, but my body needs the real deal. But this also meant I had to get OUT of bed before I was ready.
The boy slept “late”. Yesterday, Husbeau woke the boy and that process woke up everyone else. I noted to the man that 1) we homeschool so that our kids don’t have to be woken up regularly; 2) that waking the boy from a sleep has NEVER. EVER. gone well; and 3) that the boy has shown multiple signs of fighting off an illness. I then suggested that he not wake the boy again.
Girly watched a lot of Carmen Sandiego.
BigGuy got all of his assigned work done except for reading “Science in Ancient Egypt“–a library book that disappeared the second we found the previously missing ($30 to replace) book “The Ancient Egyptians“. Seriously, people… we FUND a library employee.
We went to a friend’s house to play chess and that went quick so the bunch of us walked to a nearby park.
On the way home from that adventure, we stopped at ANOTHER friend’s house where the mommies did a peer accountability session and the kids played. And by “played” I mean that we HEARD Britney Spears singing “Toxic” from the back patio, but we didn’t realize they were watching the video. When all was set right in the world and they were left only with music, I saw all three small girls jiggle in ways I didn’t know they had ever SEEN before. Girly has gone on to fake-sing the refrain over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And explain how 1) she knew it was just pretend; and 2) she wore poisonous lipstick… multiple times to multiple people.
We said goodbye to our beloved babysitter, who is off to Sicily. Wow are we going to miss him. He was such a good friend, not just someone who watched our kids. We love that guy and hope he is safe in his travels.
Things that completely sucked today:
Saying goodbye to someone we love.
Not being able to sleep in our bed tonight because the very last tiny bit of sanding and painting couldn’t be done on the skylight in the master bedroom today (the joint compound wouldn’t dry fast enough)
BigGuy ate an apple, which means he will wet the bed tonight and I will have sheets to wash tomorrow.
Things that need to happen:
I seriously need to get to Socratic discussions with BigGuy. Especially now that he’s been asked to leave the Young Philosopher’s group (which is content for an entirely other post that I wrote, but then had more stuff happen related to it and need to rework that post).
We need to prepare this house for the winter. Get the fireplaces operable and a generator for the freezers and I think we should get a snowblower, but who am I, really?
Get that which is still packed UNpacked and organized. E-f#%!ing-nough already. We moved in MAY, people. There is no longer the excuse that this house is temporary or that this house isn’t ours and therefore we don’t want to put systems into place that may not work wherever we land. We have landed. (notice I’m banking on that skylight doing the trick).
We all need to get on our game with our supplements and eating habits. I’m the fattest I have ever been and I understand that my trauma therapy for the last year has contributed to that, but dude… let’s go.
I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print over here. It’s been a day.