Whew! We had a very good but very full morning. School went perfectly this morning, and I got us all on task for chores as well. I began by telling the kids that from now on I will expect them to be dressed and have beds made either right before or right after breakfast. Tobin always changes immediately after waking, and he's pleased as punch that he can make his own bed now. Charis opted to eat breakfast in her jammies but it worked perfectly for her to change and make her bed while I got Arden settled in room time. I set a timer for 40 minutes for Tobin, giving him 5 minutes to clean the play area before his school time, and set a timer for Charis and me downstairs for 45 minutes. During that time we did a new math lesson (adding with 9!), a handwriting practice page (second to last page in her book!), and phonics (reading exercise followed by dictation, which I let her do on the white board for the first time, and I had to make her quit because she was having too much fun!).
Then Charis went to play in Arden's room, and I re-set the timer for 20 minutes for Tobin's school time. He did two pages in his Rod & Staff pre-school workbook, and then we did "Zac the Rat" and a couple of reading games on starfall.com. I let him keep playing on it while I went upstairs to put my contacts in, do a ponytail, and get my shoes and socks. Then I helped Arden and Charis clean the boys' room, which was pretty much trashed, but they did a good job, and we were soon on the couch reading Sonlight stories.
After that we went out to the front yard, and I took some sacks next door and pulled weeds for our neighbors! Their front yard is all rocks with one lone tree, but TONS of weeds! (I filled two paper grocery sacks plus one plastic sack!) I decided it would be a good opportunity to put Sunday's sermon on kindness into action, and I had talked to the kids about how we could help our neighbors, as the mom and dad both work and their one son is in day care (where she works, I believe).
I totally did not expect their garage door to open and the husband to come out while I was working!! I think he must have just woke up, because it didn't seem to phase him that I was hunched over his front yard with a weed in my hand! I said, "We're just pulling a few weeds for you, if that's all right!"
He mumbled, "Sure," grabbed the newspaper, and went back inside...I'm not sure he will even remember seeing me out there!! I almost quit then, feeling very silly, but I kept at it. The kids helped by bringing more sacks and entertaining me as they looked for ladybugs, but then they abandoned me to go play in the garage. I was at it for an hour and 15 minutes and finally got every weed pulled!! I took the opportunity to pray for their family while I was working. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I hope it was a blessing to them--they have surely received some kind of letter from the HOA with as bad as their yard was. Some of those weeds were 2 feet tall!!! I don't know why, but I just felt like the Lord laid it on my heart to do that for them, and it was a good lesson for me in sacrificial giving. I also hope it was a good lesson for the kids, even though they played practically the whole time. We prayed for the family when we thanked God for our lunch.
After we ate, we put sun block on and headed out again for a walk. We went on our usual route, and Charis and Tobin got pretty tired. I guess we need to go more regularly...it's been awhile since we've gone, and I think they "lost" a bit kind of like I "lost" a lot after not running for awhile! The wind kicked up towards the end and was blowing dust, so that was not fun. But we had a good story time together when we got home and cooled off, and Arden went right to bed. I let Tobin stay up to color, and I told him I would take a nap with him when I finished some work on the computer. He enjoys that, and it helps us both get some rest. Would you believe he and I slept for 2 hours?! I woke him and Arden up, the kids enjoyed some fruit snacks, and now they are playing quietly in the school room. Tobin was begging for me to read one of his favorite stories, "The Tub People," so I will quit here and go do just that!