-Landmark cards are back (as per the kids' request).
-breakfast helpers. Even though one child didn't show up, and another was there, but really just stood there talking the whole time and telling me about the dream he/she had. ;) I am still thrilled, help or no help. :)
-introducing (and implementing) our "Wednesday Walk", where we take a walk every Wednesday after breakfast. We packed up our nature journals, pencils, bags for collecting nature-y things, a blanket and our history read-aloud, and headed for a nearby park. We collected treasures along the way: pinecones, fall leaves, and little helicopters, mostly. When we got to the park, I let the kids play for about an hour (along with the preschool class that showed up. Probably twenty preschoolers with two teachers, who promptly sat down on the bench and supervised from afar. Since we were actually playing, most of the preschool class gravitated towards us, and we got to entertain them for most of the hour. (Delight! I'm serious. I mean, phooey on those teachers for missing out on all the fun!) We learned all their names and ages and Ella thought she'd died and gone to heaven because they were all so cute and now she wants to be a preschool teacher, as well as a mommy, a missionary, a mail carrier, a babysitter, and a nurse. (Yes. Those are all actual things she's recently told me she'd like to be when she grows up.) Anyway, then I called my kids over to the blanket and we sat and drew while I read aloud and after about 20 minutes, they played again for about 15 minutes until we had to leave.
-getting dinners on the table each night we schooled (M-Th, this week). Success!
-one-on-one English time with the kids
-buddy times (I had forgotten how much the little girls love this time!) I'm more organized with buddy time activities this year and that is helping. I now have a list:
So now it's not up to the older child to find *just the right thing* that their little buddy wants to play/do. I have a schedule. And they do the next thing on that schedule. Period.
-new books! (assigned reading shelves + our history book bin + our new read-alouds)
-kitchen chores in the evenings. Mark is in the process of making a *kitchen clean-up playlist*, and we all sing and enjoy working alongside each other. Favorite songs, so far:
Ho Hey (The Lumineers)
We Are Family (Sister Sledge. I only know the artist because I just looked it up.)
Farther Along (Josh Garrels)
The Sweetest Song I Know (Russ Taff)
Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Extreme Party Animals- seriously? Is that truly the name?)
In The Light (Charlie Peacock)
* * *
One night Mark got home early enough for me to go for a jog. And that was good for me. (Note to self: exercise is important.) While I was running, I was reminded of these verses:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (italics mine)
This dying to self is difficult. I find that I go through my days holding out for quiet times- some peace, for me! finally! And if I don't get it, I get cranky. I need to remember that God has me covered. He knows what I truly need. The best thing I can do is lay it before Him in prayer- "Lord, please give me rest." And then trust Him. He will provide the rest I need as He sees fit. In the meantime, He will strengthen me to keep going.
And I love it. I do. I don't wish it any other way. What a privilege and honor it is to be with these dear little people each day. I am so blessed!