We have a little of this and a little of that going on around here, nothing at all exciting and I also have no photos to share :-( Just haven't done anything all that photo worthy, I guess...not that we ever do, hahaha!
Josh is hanging in there, barely. He was able to sleep a little better last night, but was up 3 times crying, each time falling back to sleep reasonably quickly after dosing him up. The bad thing is that I am not like my husband who can either sleep through it all or who can fall back asleep after waking up within about 3 breaths. For me it is more like 45 minutes each time, as sleep eludes me when my brain starts running. He was doing a little better during the day, but late afternoon he started to crash a little. We took Josh to choir practice tonight with us while the other kids went to TaeKwonDo, and he sat there quietly reading and laying down from time to time. When we got home he started crying again, as it was really starting to hurt a lot more. He is more swollen today than he has been, but he did eat a little pancake tonight and that seemed to help him get a little battery recharge. Right now Wednesday is looking like a long way away...
In other inane news, Kenny and Angela are now on a Princess/King/Prince/King kick. Thanks to our dear friend they watched and fell in love with "Ever After" which is a retelling of the Cinderella story, and have spent hours looking at pictures on Google Images of kings, queens and crowns together. It is so cute to see the two of them huddled together over a screen as they "research" a topic of interest to them both. Then at the library Angela checked out books on Princess Diana, which I read to them, each commenting on her beautiful clothes and tiara. Then Miss Pat, our beloved volunteer tutor brought them a DVD of a Cinderella musical, so I guess I will finally move from Uber Geek mom with The Sound of Music CD blaring from my car stereo to new music of some sort from this latest adventure into musicals.
When I think back to a mere year ago, and how "flat" and disinterested the girls were, it totally cracks me up. I remember asking them what they liked, what they were interested in, and getting the most puzzled looks. They had no interests, no strong likes, nothing at all. Institutional life does not lend itself to self-discovery and exploration. Contrast that with the girls today, and it is remarkable to have witnessed this transformation. Between Amelia Aerhart, anything having to do with animals, Legos, guitar, any musical they can get their hands on, rock polishing and soap making, biographies, princesses, church, TaeKwonDo and any other number of things, these daughters of ours have blossomed in ways I never expected. I would have laughed myself silly thinking of Angela, the jock, loving musicals...and I do mean LOVING them. I would have bet my money on that being Olesya if you had asked me who might eventually like them a year ago. Olesya totally loves working with Dominick and desperately wants to help him detail cars, and she works on ours the best she can all the time. Again, would have tagged Angela for that one possibly if I had been told earlier that one would enjoy it. So funny, our preconceived notions can be totally way off base, and I love that all the kids feel free to explore whatever strikes their fancy.
Get this, all 5 kids are going to be making porcelain dolls in March. I was sorely mistaken when I made assumptions on that one. Our homeschool program is offering a class on making porcelain dolls, and I asked the girls if they thought it was something they might like to do. Kenny jumped up and down and said "Can I do it too? Please mom?" and then Matt and Josh chimed in "We want to make one too!". So, all 5 are going to craft and fire their own dolls, which I think will be a neat experience for them and certainly non-traditional for the boys. Kenny hesitated after showing such enthusiasm immediately, until I asked him "Why are you changing your mind?" and then he said "I don't want anyone to laugh at me, after all, it's sort of a girl thing to do." and that is when Matthew said "So what? None of US are going to laugh and I think it will be awesome to do! You can worry about what others think, but I don't care, I'm gonna do it!" Kenny then said "Hey yea...you guys won't laugh at me! I can't wait to do it!!" Funny how taking away peer pressure opens up the world in ways I never expected.
We are studying history in the coolest way, using the unique curriculum from http://www.connectthethoughts.com/ that I have mentioned in the past. Their lower elementary program is so intense, that there is no way this wouldn't be considered middle school by most folks. Currently we are working on the course "What is History/Religion in History" which is proving to be everyone's favorite course right now. I absolutely love this approach as it is very critical thinking oriented and makes for great discussions, and the author shows deep respect for the student's intellect, regardless of age. We are exploring on a very basic level what role religion has in history, and are spending just one lesson each on the 5 Biggies of religion...Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. I am going to expand upon this and each of the kids is going to take one of the religions and create a display board about it, sharing information they learn about each. We hit the library yesterday, and interestingly, we found good basic books explaining all the faiths with the exception of Christianity. You might ask why in the world we would need a reference for the faith we practice, but I want something that is succinct and clear about our faith. I need to keep looking and see what else I can find. While I did find some good materials, none of them is really good with the kinds of images I was hoping to find that is not as busy as the Eyewitness style books. If anyone has any suggestions out there I'd love to hear them.
As for me, hmmmm....I am just plugging along the best I can, sometimes wondering if I am sinking and others feeling like I am doing ok. The lack of sleep is starting to get to me, as we are moving towards 4 weeks without a full night's sleep due to Josh's sleep issues and now the pain waking him up often. It could be worse though, and has been in the past, so I am very grateful that we are not back to 6 years ago when Josh was awake 10-12 times a night and I literally wanted to throw myself under a bus some days.
I am working on reading a few books that are all laying around in some stage of mid-read...Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, which is our book club selection for church and which is extremely thought provoking and humbling. There is a sharp contrast between the Amish practice of extending grace and our societal lack of grace. Written as a theological exploration of the Amish community's reaction after the murders of Amish school children in 2006 at Nickel Mines, PA, this book presents a difficult to understand opposite reaction to our typical 21st century reaction to such events, which revolves mainly around revenge masquerading as justice.
I am also just beginning a book recommended by a friend as well titled "Infidel" which is another deep read which already grabbed me from the beginning. Then there is "The Pastor as Minor Poet" which I should have completed already but am savoring a few pages at a time because I am enjoying it so much. Let's see, what else is on my reading agenda (Not my nightstand, which is too narrow to hold more than a lamp and my alarm clock, much to my chagrin.), I borrowed a biography on Oprah from the library, and have a brain book sitting here that was just loaned to me by another friend. Then there are the Christian Century and Christian Science Monitor magazines that I am ever so grateful to receive from beloved friends who pass them on to me so I can enjoy them, which I thoroughly do.
Even with all of this waiting for me, I still never seem to have enough reading material around! Hahaha! I get asked "When do you find time to read?" and I guess I just manage to squeeze it in, usually late night read-fests or "Leave me alone I am going to my 'library' " reading time (the bathroom). I am carrying on the family tradition there, as my Dad always had a rich and eclectic collection of books and magazines in his "library". That's what we po' folk do, we don't have elegant rooms stocked floor to ceiling with classic tomes accessible by those cool rolling ladders, surrounded by rich leather chaise lounges and mahogany wood work. Nope, we have porcelain thrones and annoyingly bad lighting from Home Depot's discount section...hahahaha! It's not where you read, but what you read, right?? I am proud to report the Roehrman family tradition lives on, as I caught Matthew spending 45 minutes in there yesterday and I bugged him to get out and he said "5 more minutes Mom, please? I am almost done!" as he was reading "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo". Who ever said biology trumps environment never visited our house! :-)
I had a wonderful surprise invitation recently which I am looking forward to. We are using Nancy Larson's Elementary Science curriculum here at home, and I was offered the opportunity to work at their booth in Memphis, Tennessee in a couple of weeks at a homeschool conference. This is a huge conference, one of the biggest in the US, and I will have fun working at the booth and meeting other homeschoolers, as well as have the chance to scope out many other curriculum providers. I enjoy doing such things, and have done so in the past, and it is even easier when you have used a product and strongly believe in its merits. It is a bit of a treat for me, although I am sure it will be an exhausting weekend. It is also an honor that they would want me to help represent their company in front of thousands. I don't know what I will do with myself, being around adults for an entire 3 days! Hahaha! It's been quite awhile since that has happened.
Not much else to report, I'm afraid. Why is it that when I think I am only going to write a paragraph or two I end up writing a novella?? Sheesh...you guys ought to be sick of me! Night all...here's hoping we make it at least until midnight before Joshie wakes up.