What a busy and not-exactly-wonderful few weeks!
Let's just talk about what's been going on the past four weeks, shall we??
Russell, our dear firstborn son, turned 16 and is now driving. I know. Pray for me! He's doing okay, despite the fact that he's never, ever been behind the wheel of a car, ever. In his life. He's nervous and jumpy, but he did say the other day that he's gaining confidence and feeling more sure of himself. I keep telling him that if I learned how to drive and became a good driver, then yes, he can too. He's been taking Driver's Ed in our hometown since the beginning of May. It's his first time being in a classroom setting. There are other teens there from various schools. I observed a class before we signed him up, and it left me feeling very quizzical and bewildered, and nervous about my son being in contact with such freaky teens, but he has taken that all in stride. He just laughs and shakes his head and has some interesting stories to tell on his way home from class. The teacher really likes him, and I think he's one of two homeschooled kids out of about 13 kids in his class. We like the teacher too. He's forty and I asked him why he decided to teach Driver's Ed to a bunch of crazy, fried, adrenaline craving teens, and I told him he was crazy. He told me he does it because he really loves the kids...and he said, "Yeah, maybe I am crazy too!"
We're also in the midst of potty training LuLu. She's interested, but thinks going to sit on the toiley is just social hour. She just can't get the hang of actually going in the toiley. She has gone twice so far.....and when she does, we always make a great big deal out of it and give her a small treat, but she still doesn't really understand what the toilet is really for, it looks like. She tells us she has to go "bahoom" all the time, but when she gets on there it just doesn't happen. Oh well, at least she isn't afraid of the actual toilet anymore.
We've been really slacking off on our studies inside the house, like the reading, writing and math stuff, in favor of the greenhouse and horticulture and agriculture and things like that. We have a great greenhouse that Husband built and yes, we are using it to its full potential! So, we aren't doing much traditional "schoolwork", but we are doing much, much more. Our goal is to grow most of the stuff we eat, and maybe sell some of it too.
Also, the kids and Daddy decided to go with Square Foot Gardening. So those are built and our seed starts, which we started in the greenhouse, are "in the ground", so to speak, and are doing really well. We have a dizzying array of veggies out there.
We always start to teach our kids to read when they are between four and five years old. We've been trying with Sofia for about a year. We use the Hooked on Phonics curriculum, which we have been using since Russell was 5. We love it. It has always, always worked well for us, no matter the personality or different learning styles of our children. However, it isn't going well with Sofia. And we finally figured out why. She needs her eyes checked! And, she's foolish and stubborn and doesn't want to do it, but we've dealt with kids like that before, and they've always learned how to read. So, we're waiting on the funds to get her eyes checked. I did a little homemade eye test, and it didn't look good. But we think she'll be a great learner as soon as she gets her eyes squared away! My grandpa and mother and brother and myself have all worn glasses, and now Sara wears a very strong prescription with her glasses, so it wouldn't be surprising if Sofia needs glasses too.
Samantha has been sewing with my dear mother in law for a few years now, and she's doing fantastic. She cut her teeth on the hard stuff like medievel gowns and fancy dresses, and she does a really great job. My father in law divorced my mother in law after over 33 years of marriage, but she is one of my top 3 favorite people in the whole world, and we love her soooooo much. Father in law remarried a few months after he dumped her, but we still consider her Grandma, even if she is Husband's step mom. She is one of the most loving and wonderful people I know. So Samantha has been hanging out with her for a few years, and now Samantha has decided to sell her gowns on eBay. We listed her first one a couple days ago.
Let's see......what else.......
Oh! I almost forgot! PENNIE!!!!!
Pennie is three and a half months old now, and we think she's thriving. Here's what the daily schedule looks like with her: She has been sleeping through the night for about a month and half, thank the Good Lord Above!!! She and I typically go to bed between 9:30 and 10. She sleeps from about 10-10:30 to about 6. Praise God. I'm so thankful for more than three hours of sleep!! I get her up and feed her, and she goes down again till about 8-9 o'clock. She is also sleeping in her crib close to our bed in our room now, and she likes it. I get her up again and feed her again around 9 AM and she'll sit in her papasan chair with the music on and look at everyone and smile. She goes in the high chair whenever we're in the kitchen, and she likes to be in the center of the whirlwind here. She usually gets sleepy about 25 minutes after a feeding and wants to take a nap, either in her bed or she'll fall asleep in her papasan chair. She eats about every 2 to 2 and a half hours. She's chunky!! She is really getting big. She can hold her hands up in front of her face now when she's lying on her back, and she spends a lot of the day trying to get her thumb or fingers in her mouth. She still is small, but she's long, and I recently had to bring in the 3-6 month girl clothes, but they're still super big on her. She's still in size 1 diapers, but they're too short and she leaks a lot, so I'm thinking about going up to size 2. We found some Earth's Best Tender Care diapers at our hometown Grocery outlet for 50% off the retail price, and we thought that was a crazy-good deal......but they aren't very good diapers at all! She leaks almost every single time she wets, not to mention poopy accidents too. I have to change her every two hours to keep her clothes dry! At the rate we're going through the packages of diapers, it has turned out to be not a good deal at all! It's a bummer, but I bought them and now I feel like I have to use them all up. She is a bright, smiley baby, and every time I look at her I fall in love with her!! She is doing better at being on the floor on a blankey, but she doesn't really like to be by herself. We don't mind, there is always someone here to hold her or talk to her!!
We've had only one car because Dave's car keeps not starting and so I've had to take him to work in our hometown, 40 minutes for a one-way trip, several days a week so I can have the van to do what I need to do. With Russell needing to be in town three days a week, it has been crazy! We are trying to get Dave's car running again, but it isn't working so far.....
My dad had a very surprising and shocking heart attack three weeks ago and subsequently found out that three of his four arteries were 90% blocked, and so he went to have triple bypass surgery. He's now home for at least 6 weeks and recovering from that. Mom's been a wreck, unfortunately.
So, that's basically what's going on around here. It was a very busy and very frustrating May.
I'll end this epistle now and do another update later, when all of our current pictures are safely downloaded to the computer!