I haven't really posted much about our current activities, so this post is for those family members (and friends) whom we don't get to talk with very often but who care about the little details of our days!
Last Thursday after Bible study I took the kids to lunch at McDonald's. There's one close to church with a Terrible's service station, and I dropped the van off to get an oil change while we headed inside for lunch and play time at their amazing Play Place. (Those things are so much more exciting than the McDonald's playgrounds of my youth!) Last week was extremely cold and windy, so it was nice to hang out inside while the kids got some exercise. I bumped into a friend from our home schooling group, and we enjoyed chatting awhile as the kids played. When we picked the van up later, we went through the car wash--Terrible's gives a free car wash with oil change. The kids LOVE going through the car wash, so this was another treat for them. Then it was off to the library, our first visit after returning from Florida, so we stocked up on lots of chapter books and other reading materials especially for Tobin and Charis, though Arden did pick out a few on his own. I actually got NO books for home school this time around...oh, well.
On Friday we had another fun day planned. I took the kids to Home School Skate Day, their first time at a skating ring. They had been anticipating this day all week. My friend Sarah had told me that she was planning to take her kids for the first time also...her girls had had a blast at a skating party, and she thought it would be good to get out and let them skate again, though Sarah herself wasn't feeling well. (She found out later she had strep--yuck! I'm amazed she made it through the morning and very thankful that she wouldn't let my kids hold her hands!!)
After 20 minutes I was questioning the wisdom of bringing my children to Skate Day. The boys wanted nothing to do with their skates. Tobin was happily "playing" the video games at the other end of the room, and Arden was crying and clinging to me. Charis, meanwhile, had her little skates on and was dutifully circling the ring, shuffling her feet forward and backward so that she "skated" along at a snail's pace, but she was having more fun! We tried to teach her how to push off with her skates, to spread her legs a little bit farther apart and go in more of a side to side fashion, but she continued with her straight-legged shuffling and seemed perfectly content. As more and more people came, it was comical to watch her out in the middle (she orbited the very center of the ring rather than going around the outside and hanging onto the wall) being passed by so many bigger kids. It didn't seem to phase her that she was one of the littlest people out there!
After awhile, thankfully, Arden allowed me to get out and skate with him again. Tobin decided that if I was out with Arden, then he should come too, so we'd circle around the outside, with Arden holding the wall, me in the middle, and Tobin on the other side, and make our way slowly around. Then we'd come to the beginning, and the boys would be ready to stop. They'd take off their skates (thank the Lord for velcro), tear off to the video area where their friend T.J. was playing, then come back for another lap around the ring.
In this fashion, we passed 2 1/2 hours! By the end of the morning, I could see some definite improvement in the boys' balance. We were able to skate a bit faster, and I wasn't having to pull them or keep them upright nearly as much. Charis proudly announced that she had completed 20 laps. She counted and kept updating me on what number she was at. That girl was focused! She chafed at having to stop lapping when they took a break for the Hokey Pokey, the limbo, and some races, and she headed out as soon as she could after the breaks.
All in all, it was a fun morning, and as this is a monthly home school activity, I believe we'll try to make an effort to get there every month.
Let's see...not too much to report on the next few days. Saturday we shopped for a baby shower and an upcoming birthday party, and I had a scrap club meeting in the evening. Sunday afternoon I attended the baby shower while the kids played at a friend's house. Monday was a blissful day here at home with no other obligations. We had a great home school morning, and Charis and I started her pine needle basket project, which I explained a bit about in the last post. I also read lots and lots and have noticed how irritating it is getting to sit with a child on my lap for long periods of time. They can't help that I'm getting so big, and it's not their fault that I get a numb spot towards the top right side of my swollen belly. But it's frustrating to feel like I just don't want to sit for long, because I love reading when we're all piled on the couch.
Tuesday was another good home school day. After lunch, we went to my friend Cindey's house. Every Tuesday Cindey opens her home for ladies to bring their kids and scrapbook. I haven't actually gone to scrapbook ever, but Cindey has graciously allowed me to drop the kids off there on the Tuesdays when I do stamp workshops for the Silver Belles (my deaf friends). So, this Tuesday, I decided that it would be a good opportunity to get the kids out of the house after the very cold, windy weather we had been having. Tuesday afternoon was sunny and fairly warm, and the kids enjoyed about an hour and a half of play time while I chatted with the moms and stamped some cards. That evening I presented a devotional at our monthly home school group's parent meeting. (You can read my speech that I posted on the blog. It's titled "Rest.") The kids were in child care for the evening, and as the meeting isn't officially over until 9 p.m., that meant that they didn't get into bed until after 9:30.
The kids did sleep in a bit on Wednesday--Charis didn't wake up until about 9:30 or 9:45 a.m.! She was a reluctant student that morning, and we didn't do everything we normally would have. I had done some school activities with Tobin before she woke up, so by the time she was ready for school, the boys were playing and making tents in the living room (which is right by the school room), and I could tell she did NOT want to work...she wanted to play! But we actually did get some work done, and then the kids played quite awhile, even going outside for a bit.
Charis took a break from playing, believe it or not, to help me with some chores! I had gotten the broom out to sweep the crud out from under the table, and she insisted on getting the little broom and sweeping herself. So she did, and Arden helped by holding the dustpan. Then Charis decided she wanted to be Cinderella. She donned her Strawberry Shortcake doll's hat, wrapped a baby blanket around her for an apron, and told me she was Cinderella doing all the chores. (I did note that Charis never has to do ALL the chores, but she was happily pretending!) Thus, she wanted to dust!! My house has not been dusted in literally 2 months at LEAST. Dusting is just not a priority in my schedule anymore, even though it technically does have a spot on our weekly chore chart. However, as it was Charis's idea, and I didn't have anything pressing to do, we both grabbed dust cloths and our Shaklee cleaning bottles and went to town dusting! My friend Debi had called about this time, so I put the headset on and enjoyed visiting with her awhile as I dusted and organized some of the clutter piles in the family room.
Then Sarah called and said it was too nice of a day to stay home, so she was taking her kids to the Dinosaur Park! What a great plan. After lunch we met her and her kids at the park and had some time to catch up. It was great to see all the kids AND Sarah healthy again and fun to visit awhile. The kids always have such a great time together.
Late in the afternoon, I realized just how big of a day it had been...Arden fell asleep in his bed at 5 p.m.! Since we had AWANA that evening, I decided to just let him sleep. After all, we had had a very late night on Tuesday with the home school meeting, and he had been up early Wednesday morning coughing, plus all the activity of the day. I ended up taking Charis and Tobin to AWANA, leaving my pagers with Sarah, and taking Arden with me to Walmart. He hadn't wanted to eat anything, as I had awakened him shortly before we had to leave the house and he was in that grumpy, I-just-woke-up-and-don't-want-to-socialize mood. But by the time we got to Walmart, he was quite agreeable and happy to spend some time just with Mommy. I got him a Happy Meal at the McDonald's in the store and watched him as he ate his fries bit by ketchup-soaked bit. Fries, for Arden, are more a means of transporting ketchup to his mouth than anything else. It was fun to just spend time with him...we don't often get many alone moments together.
We grabbed a few groceries before heading back to church to get the kids. Wednesday nights are always late nights. (I'm realizing that I keep saying "late," when I know some parents don't get their kids in bed until 9 or later on a regular basis. However, since our kids are ALWAYS in bed anywhere from 7 - 8 p.m., depending on how the day has gone, getting to bed between 9 and 9:30 is simply shocking to their systems AND to our well-laid plans! :-)
So, we ended the day with the kids getting in bed around 9:15ish--two "late" nights in a row for them. But as they slept in this morning (see the last post), it has all worked out. Hopefully we can get back to our normal routine!