Here's what's new around our camp.
Justin's trying out some of his newfound Project Management knowledge on me and the boys. He and I have started meeting weekly....without the kids....he is in charge of providing the coffee or snacks....ensuring I will actually show up at the meeting, ha! We sit for an hour or two with all of our lists and discuss all of the nooks and crannies of Family Life. Kids stuff, the family calendar, financial goals, weekly menus, home improvements. Etcetera. So far, so good; I'm finding it's helpful to have one assigned weekly appointment to dump out all of the random facts, ideas and problems I have accumulating inside my head. It takes a lot of the emotion out of it when you can come to a meeting and talk about missed expectations and miscommunications instead of letting it build up and eventually explode. Plus, we're both noticing that a lot more is getting done around the house--since it's clear who is responsible for what, and what the timelines are. Hurrah for that!
The boys are good--loving the (warmer) weather. Reuben's favorite thing is to hop out of bed in the morning, jump into his boots (over his jammies), run out into the backyard and wake up while saying Good Morning to the chickens. Cole knows that he earns a quarter for letting the chickens out in the morning--but he also knows that Justin leaves quite early and will do it on his way out to the truck--so he's in a constant race against the clock to be the first one up and outside. It's a tiny bit insane. Even on the weekend, we often wake up to the backdoor slamming right around 6am! Which is, of course always followed by the standard 6-year-old-at-the-side-of-our-bed routine, stage-whispering, "When are we going to have breakfast?!" and "I'm bored!"
I'm thinking about making some changes to our school schedule--again. It seems things are always changing--but I keep reminding myself that this is why we chose to homeschool--so that we could continually tailor the program to each child's needs. Reese wakes up slowly but is at his prime at about 8pm (bedtime). Cole starts the day strong and slowly wears down until he falls into bed exhausted at night. I've been having them do their schoolwork together mid-morning, but it's not ideal. Cole is too easily distracted and Reese plays Class Clown. So, for now, it's working better to have one-on-one time with Cole while Reese and Reuben nap, since he can zip right through his work when there are no distractions. And Reese is thriving on the special "Mom and Dad time" after his big brother is in bed for the night, and is so proud when he reads a word or solves a math problem that it seems as though he might burst right out of his skin. They're able to both forge ahead at their own speeds without worry of where their sibling is at--and yet still come together a few times a week for science projects or art lessons.
Sean is getting bigger and stronger and all the brothers pitch in and help him whenever a toy or binks is out of reach. He's developed rashy little red cheeks and it seems to be a food allergy, which isn't surprising since all the other boys and I are sensitive to dairy. So for now, I'm trying my darndest to avoid dairy and wheat, which means that I'm starving (read: grouchy) ALL THE TIME. The good news is that my scale is finally starting to budge again with this strict diet....if I can just manage to stick to it....
Wednesday we entered into Kids Dental Work for the first time. Back in March Cole's dentist discovered a cavity in one of his back molars sort of underneath the tooth. Making arrangements to get it filled took a bit of running around. I wanted to do some research on mercury/silver fillings, and we also took Cole to the hospital to have an echo done to check the status of the VSD (hole in his heart) that he was diagnosed with at 11 days old. The cardiologist from Children's Hospital that did our consult (via live video) confirmed that the hole has indeed closed, so we no longer have to have any concern about random infection finding its way into his bloodstream and lodging in his heart. After all of this, we finally had the tooth filled Wednesday...which of course turned into a bigger deal, as the cavity was so low it was in the root and the dentist decided to do a root canal and put a crown on the molar, ensuring it will stay strong enough to last the next 6-odd years he'll need it before a permanent one comes in. Cole, despite all of his apprehension, was a CHAMP, and is so proud of his "silver pirate tooth." Everyone? All together, in your best pirate voice? "ARRRRRR!"
IN OTHER NEWS
Our landlord, Nancy, decided to put in a fence this year and graciously offered to put one in for us, too. Justin's been out the last couple of days working on it. He still has a ways to go, but it's great to think that the boys can have more freedom outside this summer. None of the three ever go near the street, but there are SO MANY people that use our sidewalks because of the close proximity to the elementary school and technical college that we feel better about having them playing in a semi-enclosed space.
And the final news....we took advantage of the electronics stores' Memorial Day sales this week and bought a new camera! I'm thrilled and overwhelmed all at once. There are things I could do on my 35mm Canon that I haven't figured out how to do on this one....and then, of course, there are SO MANY things that this one does that my other one couldn't. It will be a bit of a learning process, I suppose. I'm trying to take some time each day and play around with it. I got a handful of decent shots the other day, and went to upload them, and the SOFTWARE doesn't work (remember the demon computer virus we had a while back?). Ugh. We do have a friend in IT who might be able to find the glitch and repair it, so we'll see. For now, no new photographs. Stay tuned!