Well, hello there little blog. It has been a while, my friend. No documenting of our lives has occurred in nearly three months and that just has to be ok with me. A quick list of things that have happened in the last few months that should have warranted some mention, but just haven't:
1. Lily had eye surgery to correct her accommodating esotropia in November. The muscle located in the inner corner of each eye was cut and shortened in order for the eyes to stay aligned. Amazing procedure, amazing results. She did great - better than I would have thought. Recovery was a snap and she looks "great" as she says. She will still need glasses, but in time will get wear contacts and later, lasik surgery.
2. Sadie is no longer swimming. She is happy; we are happier. Well, I take that back. I wish she were swimming because she is good at swimming when she cares about it. Actually, she is great at swimming, but it isn't interesting to her anymore. She is thinking about a running club, tennis, soccer, horseback riding, and sewing lessons. Obviously, we are not doing all of that, but it is nice to see that she is curious about many things.
3. We are raising chickens. Yes, chickens. Who would have thought? It was all Sadie's idea, of course. We have 1 crevecoer rooster and 2 hens; 1 polish rooster; 3 silkie hens, 1 silkie rooster and 12 silkie chicks of unknown sex. Jay finally broke down and has purchased a really nice shed to hold the lawnmower, ATV, bikes and I would imagine "chickens and chicken gear." He re purposed the fort to the old playset and the chickens have quite a nice coop. Sadie has been diligent in feeding, watering and putting them up in their coop each night. We are concerned with the amount of predators in the area - hawks, dogs, raccoons, foxes and coyotes. It is an adventure and sometimes one that I do. not. have time for. I also do not like Bob, who loves to crank out the cockle-doodle-doos at 4:15 am some mornings. We haven't gotten any eggs, yet, but are hopeful the girls will start cranking them out soon!
4. In October, we went on a very last minute trip to the Dominican Republic as a family. Ethan and Jay spent most of the time scuba diving. After much coaxing and some freak-out, Lily learned to love snorkeling. I loved it too as soon as I realized that with Lily practically pushing me under water the entire time, I needed a life vest while she was with me. Sadie just took off with the snorkeling and I spent time trying to keep an eye on her. I took the girls horseback riding and now all they want to do is take lessons. Might be a good Christmas idea for them - an intro lesson down the street. The weather was a great while we were there, the rooms wonderful and food decent. It was interesting to see Lily struggle with all of the changes. I thought it would run a little smoother with her, but she didn't quite know how to adjust at times. Her response was that she wanted to go home, but I track much of this up to the need for more sleep and the over stimulation and activity. She fell asleep on the beach, one time literally, three of the afternoons. All in all, a fantastic family trip.
5. The trip to the DR threw us off in our homeschool schedule and routine more than I thought it would. I am not sure that I would choose to take an unplanned week off of school again. It was tough to get the girls back on track and figure out how to rework schedules. We made it through three continents and basic world geography before I realized it was too much in our daily schedule. We stopped it after we returned from our trip. I hope to pick it up over Christmas break...we'll see how that goes. I had to find a new bible book for Lily because the 3-5th grade book we were using was just too heavy in subject matter. I still have to make some decision on science and reading for the second half of the year, but for in general feel quite confident where we are in our studies.
6. I am struggling with how much to push Ethan in school. I feel he is capable of all As, based on teacher feedback and previous test scores. He received all As in the first quarter, but I can see that the attention to math detail is a problem for him. It is stressful to always be teetering at that 92 mark wondering whether he can bring it up in time. I am sure I impart this stress onto him. I finally told him that if he did his best, then ok. What do you do? Push him, or let him find his way. Take away television or screens so he can devote more time in practice, or be satisfied with a B? What am I teaching him? Still in prayer over this one.
7. We are still attending morning swim practices. Ethan and I have adapted quite well, in fact. I get my workout in and he feels extra energetic with morning practices. He has made such strides in his swim times this year. I know he is pleased. I hope the trend continues. Last year, we saw a near complete halt to any drops in time after Christmas. He is working hard, but at times just wants to do noth-ing - no school, no work, no chores, no lego robotics, noth-ing. I have thought about if he is over scheduled, and am considering some changes in the first of the year. In addition, I have completed the requirements to become a Stroke & Turn Judge for USA Swimming. It took some effort and I am pleased to have accomplished it.
8. It is Christmas time. Too many things going on and trying as every year to create the magic of the holidays for the kids. I love traditions and I love seeing my kids get excited to relive our favorite ones, even if it drives me a little batty. We do gingerbread houses, craft Saturday (where we make ornaments), Bags for the Bus Stop, driving to look at Christmas lights with family, our church Christmas performance, and finally hosting a Christmas party. Right now, I don't foresee being able to get it all done, but you never know. Sometimes things just magically fall into place.