Sunday, March 12, 2017

School and Books and Learning/Empathy

This is how school gets done most days:

Littles does math on one side, Tiny reads to me on the other, Twinkle does her best to distract us with her cuteness, and somewhere upstairs the Tornado Twins wreak havoc while Mommy dearest is otherwise occupied. I'm telling you this because I have a feeling inquiring minds want to know why the truant officer hasn't swung by yet to trot my children off to public school. Side note: no judging the plaid with stripes as seen above. Twink is still learning how to pair her patterns. Unfortunately, since that isn't yet covered by either of her big brothers' curriculums, she's not likely to learn any time soon.

Moving on, other than minimal amounts of effort to keep up with our school work, mostly the kids have been playing outside (because that makes everyone smarter and happier and healthier) and reading. I asked a homeschooling mom of six how she survived homeschooling with a newborn, and she told me that she just did a lot of reading and let that cover things. So basically, I've been taking a page out of her book and spending a lot of time reading out loud to the Bigs (especially Littles) and discussing what we read. 

This month we read The Good Master by Kate Seredy and are now plowing our way through its sequel, The Singing Tree, which is set in Hungary during WWI. It's been a great chance to discuss big topics (war, terrorism, racism, discrimination, loss, growing up) within the framework of a story. My hope as my children read these books and others like them is for them to be able to see the world through different sets of eyes, developing empathy as they go along. I also want them to see modeled in other ways some of the virtues the Man and I try to instill in them: responsibility, respect, hard work, honesty.

At any rate: we're reading a lot these days so hopefully my kids will one day make it to college and, if not, at the very least be semi-decent people, and man, that baby sure is cute. The End. More mostly incomprehensible blog posts to come at a later date, I'm sure.

Sorry. I ran out of steam at the end. Now I want to take a nap.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Flourish to our Family

Sometimes, when you have your hands full with a loud and proud fire team of four, God decides to give you one little flourish of extra happiness, just because he loves you.

Ours arrived on February 2nd, at exactly 22:22, and is possibly the most kissed baby in the history of ever.

I'm not going to write long or include twenty thousand pictures (although I'm really having trouble deciding which ones to include here), but we are incredibly grateful for our Bonus Baby. She has been mellow and sweet and snuggly and wonderful, and I'm sure we will spoil her silly. Even the dog likes her.

In the meantime, we are adjusting to being a family of seven, by which I mean, some days I feel like the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe and other days I imagine children dripping out of the pores of our home the way sap sometimes oozes out of a tree.  Good thing they're cute and we mostly like them. But we are starting to see progress: today I got in my first postpartum run and now I'm miraculously getting a blog up. This week we even managed to get a little school work done.  Last but not least, the Man and I have finally agreed on a blog nickname.

Ink Blots, meet Twinkle:

Here's to one month and some change of loving on this beautiful addition to our family. Wow, February went by fast...