Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stand Up and Cheer

Its Thursday, and we all know what that means: Small Successes at Faith and Family Live. Go check it out and leave a list of your own accomplishments.

I really got a ton done this week. We are having a fairly big party to celebrate our eldest son's confirmation tonight and so I've been flying about doing everything that needs to be done. I could list a dozen accomplishments this week, but that is not how I normally roll around here and getting the house clean top to bottom doesn't seem to be in the spirit of "small" successes so I have racked my brain and come up with the three accomplishments I am most proud of for this week.

1. Special K has been having a rough patch and I've been butting heads with her pretty frequently. I decided she might just need a little special alone time with Mom. I took her out one afternoon this week and we got her ears pierced, went clothes shopping, stopped at Dairy Queen for a sundae, and picked up a bottle of sweet smelling lotion at Bath and Body Works. She was beaming from ear to ear all day long. When she's cute, she's really, really cute.

2. I've really scaled back the amount of time I spent on the internet this week. That may be due the extra chores or the fact that the weather has been so nice, but I am trying to spend less time here and more time with my family.

3. I was able to get out for several walks this past week. I'm still trying to work in a more consistent workout. Hopefully that will come as the school year draws to a close and I'm not always running a taxi service.

Stat Boy is being Confirmed tonight. If you stop by here today, we'd really appreciate if you'd say a little prayer for him. We are so proud of him and can not wait to watch him continue to grow and mature in his Faith!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Dreamed of India

I am often surprised at what a cultural Mecca our little community can be. This last weekend we met our friends at the local performing arts center to enjoy an afternoon of traditional Indian dance and music. Our generous friend brought outfits for all of my girls to wear to help get them in the spirit. They were so excited to be able to wear traditional dress. They looked like Indian princesses.

The dancers were truly amazing. It was a shame they only performed two dances. I was floored by the movements they had to have memorized. Every step, hand gesture, finger position, head turn, facial expression and eye movement is intricately choreographed and must be performed meticulously. One of the dances was nearly 30 minutes long!

The second portion of the program was performed by a master sitar player, accompanied by a tabla and another instrument that I did not catch the name of, but looked similar to a sitar. The instrumentalists were incredible, but after about 40 minutes of sitar music the little girls got a bit restless. Thankfully there was plenty for them to look at and admire in the vestibule while the rest of our party enjoyed the end of the program.

Oleander, Special J, Special K, Skoshi A and Karate Kid all decked out.

Waiting patiently for the program to begin. Just like little princesses should.

Special K and Special J had had enough of sitting still. I took several shots of the two admiring the Sari display.
I'm not sure little princesses should be running around like maniacs, but it was a beautiful sight watching the two of them in their revelry.

Special buds hamming it up for the camera.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun with Nuns in the Sun

On Saturday mornings my three younger girls head over to the formation house just a few miles from our house to hang out with the young nuns known around here as the "blue nuns" or the Sister Servants. Their formal name is actually Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara but that tends to be too much of a mouthful for folks around here. As part of the Order's mission, the Sisters hold what is commonly called Oratory for girls in their various formation houses and convents in the DC area. My girls look forward to these Saturday events every week. The Sisters take them on hikes, play games with them, bake goodies with them, teach them about various Saints and Christian Virtues, and pray with them.

This last Saturday moms were invited to join in the fun with an afternoon of tea, talent, and prayer. We had truly gorgeous weather for the day; I'm sure the Sisters arranged that! We began in the Adoration Chapel with prayers and singing. We then headed outside for a tea party spread across two long tables under the shade of huge budding trees. After refreshments the girls put on a show displaying their various talents. As a finale, the girls were armed with roses and made a procession back into the chapel to honor the Blessed Mother with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

I am so incredibly thankful for this group of young nuns. They have become such a wonderful example to my girls of beauty, piety and joyful love and service to Christ.

Special K with her friend Special J enjoying the tea party.

Oleander and Skoshi A played a duet during the talent show.

Special J's incredibly cute baby sister. She was playing "Peek-a-boo" with me over her mother's shoulder.

I took about a dozen photos of this sister. This is Sister Aparthenos (a derivative of "virgin" in Greek). She is always smiling and laughing. She makes everyone smile. She absolutely radiates joy.

Here she is again with that infectious smile. She's with her partner in crime, Sister Porta Caeli (door of Heaven). Yep, these are the kind of young women I love for my girls to hang out with.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Dandelions for Jesus

Special K and Baby Wingnut were gathering dandelions to place at the feet of the Sacred Heart statue outside our parish on Saturday. It's sweet how they know Jesus would love their offering of dandelions. I love how the statue of Jesus appears to be extending his arms in a blessing over the children. Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Legend of the Dogwood Tree

The Dogwoods are blooming in Maryland.  I just love these trees.  It's probably because of the legend oft attributed to the trees and the blossoms they bear.

An old and beautiful legend has it that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it: "Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross -- two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints -- brown with rust and stained with red -- and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember."
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Why the 'Burbs are NOT for ME

I grew up in the country on what one might call a small farm. We had chickens, rabbits, turkeys, a 1/2 acre garden, and cats, lots and lots of cats; but that's a different post. Since being married we have owned two houses; one in the suburbs of Oklahoma City and the other here in the DC area.

One aspect of living in one of these "communities" is the home owners association you are required to belong to and pay dues to. The one we currently belong to normally isn't too bad. Our dues are only $35 a month and they have been that price for the last 8 years or so. $35 is really very good considering the beautiful landscaping of the communal property as well as the well maintained playgrounds, stocked ponds, and groomed walking paths.

Recently our association went all tyrannical. We got a nasty gram regarding the discoloration of our siding and were ordered to have it cleaned within 30 days and then contact the association president once our home was once again in compliance. Now, don't get me wrong. We are out of compliance, but we just recently noticed the "green growth" ourselves and were waiting for nicer weather to have it cleaned. It has been winter here recently and lately we've had more rainy days than sunny. Really I would have expected a nasty gram possibly in May at the earliest. Anyway, now I'm stressing over what other violations we may have. Do we have too many weeds? Is our grass too long? Do we need to trim the bushes?

I need a place where I can get away; far, far away from the suburbs.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just Because He is so Cute

I could not resist taking a picture of Baby Wingnut this morning. Just remember, he asked his sister to fix his hair like this. Print Friendly and PDF

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Are you keeping track of your small successes each week? Leave your list or your link at Faith & Family Live!

1) It's bedroom week if you fly. This is by far my favorite week of chores. Our bedroom is a sanctuary and it doesn't take much to de-clutter and pick it up. It also give me a good excuse to hide out more in my room :-). Because I do keep on top of this room regularly, it is one of two rooms in our house that eventually get vacuumed AND dusted top to bottom.

2) For the third week in a row, I've kept on top of the laundry. It was iffy there on Monday when the washer and dryer were tasked with nearly eight loads in one day. We had an extremely busy weekend so all the laundry was left until Monday. We are currently caught up. Whoo-hoo!

3) Friday will be our last co-op meeting for the year. I printed out portfolio pages for the photography class and wrote an Astronomy Jeopardy game to play with the Astronomy class. We should have a grand time.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Can Think of Few Sounds More Annoying . . .

. . . than the sound of a child "playing" the recorder. Possibly cymbals might be a tad more annoying. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stunting their Growth

Wingnut is notorious around here for misplacing his things. Usually important things like his phone, his wallet, his various id badges that gain him access to whatever it is he needs access to. I honestly can't believe they allow the man to fly billion dollar planes. I hope and believe his absentmindedness must only occur at home. I suppose I should be satisfied he has never misplaced one of the children.

Anyhoo, as he came in the door last evening he asked if I had seen "such and such" badge laying around. Of course, I hadn't. He and I spent some time during the evening searching in the usual places: drawers, baskets, jackets, cupboards, the car, to no avail. He reassured me he could just get a new "such and such" badge and that it wasn't any big deal, but I think it was a bit of a deal. After all, who likes to look like an absentminded idiot who needs to ask for a new "such and such" badge?

About 10 minutes after leaving the house this morning, he called. He'd found his "such and such" badge between the seats in the car. "Everyone gets coffee this morning!" He cheered. That's how Wingnut celebrates his victories. Everyone gets coffee. Of course he is off to work for the day leaving me to enjoy the effects of caffeine pumped into the systems of the two and six year olds. Oh, joy!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

What's at the End of the Tunnel

We are entering into my favorite time of the school year; the count down to the end. We have two weeks until CCD classes wrap-up, with our oldest son being Confirmed on April 30th. We have two more weeks of creative writing classes, six more weeks of ballet, and one more co-op class. I've divided the remaining lessons in the children's school work into 24 days worth of work, so they will finish up just before Memorial Day. Thankfully we'll have a little more than two weeks before the storm of summer activities begin -- swim lessons, tennis lessons, summer ballet, basketball camp for Stat Boy, driver's ed for Karate Kid, and a two week trip to Spokane for us all. Hooray for count downs! Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Getting the Lead Out

As I wrote in a post earlier this year, I don't do winter. I enter into serious hibernation mode and have a very difficult time rousing myself from bed in the morning and off the couch the rest of the day. Followers of my blog may remember my journey last summer in my effort to slim down and get into better shape. I lost a grand total of 29 pounds and managed to workout about 4 or 5 times a week. I felt great! Then the Nutcracker madness began, and later on winter was my excuse. Workouts dwindled from 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 day a week. The last 3 months I was lucky to get out once a month! The good news is I didn't gain an ounce back. I maintained what I lost over the summer and I am pretty proud of myself. I am so thankful the good weather is back and I've been able to get out and move much more frequently. I'm hoping to lose a few more pounds this spring and summer and then I'll have reached my goal. Its amazing how taking off a few pounds and getting more active gives you more energy to tackle everyday life! Keep an eye on my tracker at the bottom of the blog and cheer me on! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 17, 2009

What's the Angle?

After a lovely break from school and co-op we are back to the grind. This week the assignment was to take photos from unusual angles. I left my class notes at home prior to teaching this lesson, but I was able to wing it. Surprisingly, with very little instruction, this weeks photos are looking pretty good and are on course to be the best of the year.This is Oleander's submission, a photo of Special K taken from above. Special K is incredibly photogenic and this photo turned out spectacular.

I gave Stat Boy the idea for this photo, although he added the basketball part to the idea. I think this turned out really cool. He was very pleased with his photo.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Whoa! The World has Gone Crazy!

*Um, anyone else think the fact that we are worrying about pirates is a little weird? I always thought pirates were relegated to the realm of imaginary play. Supposedly the pirates are all in their teens and untrained. I think they may have come from Neverland. Of course having unarmed body guards that jump ship at the first sign of trouble won't help ships under attack much.

*I had planned on taking the kids to our local Tax Day Tea Party. Unfortunately, the rain and cold chased us away. Our country has taken a trip down crazy lane and Americans are now returning to their revolutionary roots and dumping tea into the bay--if only figuratively--in protest of the bailout/porkulus bill. We had some awesome signs planned: "The Robbed Generation" with an arrow pointing down to one of our children;"Don't Tread on Me" bearing a snake with a photo of Obama's face on the snake (although does that one really work? Are we saying don't tread on the snake or Obama the snake don't tread on us? I'm still working on that idea); "What ever happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness?"; "Welcome to the U.S.S.A." with pictures of Pelosi, Obama, Biden, and the other criminals pushing communism on us. Well, maybe one of these days we'll get to join in the new revolution.

*Have you all made your Radical Right Wing Extremist checklists yet? Here's mine:
Pro-gun ownership--check
Anti-illegal immigration--check
Iraq war veteran--can't check that one off, but they may consider a fed up military wife a potential terrorist in time. Here's to hoping :-)

*At one of the several Tea Parties he attended, Texas Governor Rick Perry promoted the idea that Texas can leave the Union if so desired. He was cheered on by chants of "Secede! Secede!" I've always loved Texas.
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Go Mom, Go!

Have a small success to cheer about? Leave your list at Faith and Family Live!

1) The FlyLady is in the bathroom this week. Ours is sparkling clean and I'm ready for a nice long soak in a steamy bubble bath!

2) I kept the laundry monster at bay this week and kept on top of folding and putting it all away.

3) I made reservations at our favorite Spanish eatery for Wingnut and I to have a romantic night out. I'm dreaming of ceviche, paella, Spanish wine, bread pudding and a trip to our favorite coffee shop afterwards. I love date night!
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It Ain't the Stork

This is a bit tongue in cheek, but I now know where babies come from. You see, you have this beautiful, sweet little baby that you love on all the time and this baby smiles at you and coos at you and can do no wrong. Then something very disconcerting happens, that baby becomes a toddler and begins asserting himself and has the gall to tell you "NO!" He wreaks havoc in the house, refuses to go to sleep at night, refuses to eat what is set before him at the table, and stomps around like he owns the place until you begin to wonder, whatever happened to that sweet baby boy. The wondering turns into longing for those sweet, innocent baby smiles, and you begin to think of replacing that rebellious, rambunctious toddler with a newer, more compliant model. And that is where new babies come from. Just a little bit of wisdom I've picked up. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Our Easter Sunday was a lovely day. Busy, but really subdued and happy. Yesterday, not so much. Could it be the massive amounts of sugar, artificial colors, and flavors consumed in Easter revelry? What goes up must come down! Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Jubilation

As Oleander described the day to her grandparents:

"We filled eggs, we hid eggs, we hunted for eggs, we dyed eggs, we ate eggs."

What a Glorious day! What a Glorious season!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Thursday

Jesus Washing Peter's Feet by Ford Madox Brown

As a convert, the Triduum(three special services beginning on Holy Thursday and continuing through Good Friday and culminating with the Saturday Easter Vigil) has special significance to me and I love being able to participate in the entire three day services. Today, what makes my heart especially glad, was overhearing my children excitedly discussing their favorite parts of the Triduum. In our parish, Holy Thursday is celebrated so beautifully. New altar boys will be vested by our pastor for the first time. Twelve cross bearers will represent the twelve apostles and have their feet washed. At the end of the service the entire congregation processes out with the Blessed Sacrament in a loving and unique tradition in our parish. The Blessed Sacrament is carried up the steps to our historic chapel for adoration until midnight. The chapel will be filled with Easter Lilies, candlelight and adorers. The scent of those newly blooming Easter Lilies is one of the sweetest in my memory. Have a Blessed evening!
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Every Little Thing

What are your Small Successes? Come share in the communal "high five" over at Faith and Family Live.

1) It's kitchen week, if you fly with the FlyLady. This week I emptied, vacuumed out, and reorganized all the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen. I wonder how long they'll stay that way?

2) I supervised the children washing the 12 passenger van this weekend. It hadn't been washed since Labor Day. Gotta love dark gray for a vehicle color, dirt does not show at all!

3) In anticipation of staying away from my blog the rest of Holy Week, I wrote and set up times for auto-posting readings and reflections on the Triduum. Have a Blessed Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Not to be Outdone by Her Baby Brother

Special K in the back of the van, "School is for chunks!"

Um, I think she meant "chumps."
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Baby Wingnut-isms

This child has no self image problem, whatsoever! I was dressing him for the day and while shirtless he declared, "I'm awesome!" While he flexed his non-existent muscles. As I pulled his shirt over his head, he proclaimed, "Oh boy, it's Thomas! I am the champion!"

Baby Wingnut has learned the value of the dollar. He will ask, "Mama, can I play the Wii?" When I tell him, "No." He'll use his manners and ask, "Please?" Once again his request will be denied. He then resorts to his new last ditch effort, "I'll give you money!"

Baby Wingnut has taken to introducing himself "Hi, I'm 2!" and then he will say, "I'm turning 3" as he holds up the appropriate number of fingers. His unsuspecting victim will then ask, "Oh, when is your birthday?" He will then proudly announce, "June 27th!" I remember trying to coach my other children to recite their birthdate to no avail. Baby Wingnut was probably told only one time and has committed that date to memory. Obviously he has seen enough birthdays around here to realize they are pretty desirable events ;-)

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Fear No More, O Daughter Zion

Procession With Palms
When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out:
"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel."
Jesus found an ass and sat upon it, as is written:
Fear no more, O daughter Zion;
see, your king comes, seated upon an ass's colt.
His disciples did not understand this at first,
but when Jesus had been glorified
they remembered that these things were written about him
and that they had done this for him.
John 12:12-16
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Baby Could Run Circles Around Your President

Much has been made of Obama's NCAA bracket. He made a big deal about going on ESPN and making his picks publicly, wagging his finger at North Carolina, admonishing the team to win it all, and not embarrass him. The media has fawned over his astute basketball mind and coined a new term for his brilliance: "Baracketology". Let me tell you, Stat Boy has been keeping track, and if Obama had been betting in our family pool, Baby Wingnut would be beating the pants off him. Pfttt! Obama's not so brilliant after all. Print Friendly and PDF

If a Toddler Sees a Mud Puddle. . .

. . . he's going to jump in. These socks were white before he went outside. Print Friendly and PDF

Lenten Traditions for The Domestic Church

With Wingnut out of town and my needing to run children all over town we were not able to make it to Stations of the Cross at our parish last night. No worries, here though. When we aren't able to go to Stations we erect our own at home using this book from The Domestic Church. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 3, 2009

Soup for Supper

Last week we tried the Red Bean and Rice Soup again from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups, but used more beans and less rice. It was much better. We also tried a new bread recipe from the current issue of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. Although the ciabatta bread takes some planning( the starter must be made the night before) it is a pretty simple recipe and produced two wonderful loaves of bread.

Tonight we are trying Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup from the same recipe book paired with some rolls I have in the freezer. Wingnut is out of town this week and I am too wiped out to make homemade bread. Just a note on the cookbook I've been using for our Lenten Soup Suppers. I have grown to love the simplicity and frugality of the recipes. Most of the recipes have fewer than ten inexpensive ingredients and the preparations are incredibly simple. This is a book I would highly recommend for any home cook from new cooks to well-seasoned chefs.

This will be our last week of Lenten Soup Suppers. On Good Friday we'll continue our tradition of having Hot Cross Buns (we use a fairly straightforward recipe from Cook's Country), deviled eggs with horseradish, and fresh fruit for our one main meal. Hope you all have a Blessed Holy Week.
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A Walk on the Wild Side

This week my photography students took shots of their pets and wildlife. Their instructions for the assignment were as follows:

-Get your pet's personality
-Think about context. Put your pet in a natural setting that will be familiar and comforting.
-Get in close and personal
-Get down on your pet’s level
-Mix up your framing. Don't feel like you must get your whole pet in the shot. Try just getting your pet's face.
-Natural lighting is best. If you use flash you may get some very strange effects in your pet's eyes.
-Include people, especially if your pet has a favorite person that could make them more at ease.
-Freeze the action
-Be playful
-Catch them unaware

Oleander loved this shot of one of our insufferable cats, grooming himself.
JP caught our other insufferable cats liking her chops. The kids all thought it was a creepy shot, but love it nonetheless. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Little is Much

I have to admit I am a bit disappointed with my list this week. I had a hard time coming up with much of anything. In the grander scheme of things #1 is what mattered most. What are your Small Successes this week?

1) We got the whole brood to confession on Saturday. We are ready and raring to go for Holy Week!

2) I stayed on top of the laundry this week, even folded and put it all away.

3) I sorted through the enormous basket of ironing. Wingnut does all the ironing in this house but sometimes he gets so bogged down by it he just doesn't know where to start. To help him out I pulled out anything the children have grown out of and as a special service to him I ironed all of my contributions to the mountain and what was left of children's clothes, too. He will be so surprised when he gets home from his trip to find the ironing has shrunk to a much more manageable pile.
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Tell Me, Should I Worry?

Stat Boy and Oleander have been taking a creative writing course.  Stat Boy has always been a reluctant writer and this course, being taught by an outside instructor, seemed like a perfect solution.  Once a week I drop the two of them off at a friend's home and then pick them up again an hour and a half later.  They actually seem to really be enjoying the class, as they talk of nothing else on the drive home. The instructor has had them working on poetry this semester, and when my two got into the van this week they were breathless with mirth over their poetry submissions.  

Dark Cabinet 
by JP

My heart is a dark cabinet
Its interior locked and dark
Cobwebs sit in the pointy corners
Organized slots from A to Z

The corners are pointy
The inside is musty and hollow
Small, boring, and ugly.
Its outside is gray and drab.

It feels hard and rusty
Smelling metallic and old
When you talk into it
All you get is your own echoes.

Worried yet?  How about this one:

A Beautiful Morning
by OJ

A beautiful morning starts with muffins and hot cocoa.
A morning like this should not be wasted with playing.
A beautiful morning must have rain.
On a beautiful morning, 
Kill a pig for breakfast.

Now tell me, if your children wrote poetry like this, would you be worried? Or would you be glad they are enjoying themselves and enjoying writing so much?
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring is in the Air

One of my very favorite scents is the smell of little children that have spent the day out in the sun and fresh air. Their baby hair is warm and smells all toasty and their little hands and faces smell like freshly tilled earth. Between rainy days, we are getting some good outdoor time around here. Since he was an infant, Baby Wingnut's favorite place to be has been outside. I love spring.
Special K is spring personified.

Skoshi A could live outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

Don't ask about the hood. We had the same problem with Stat Boy. We solved it by never buying jackets with hoods.

We can't get OJ outside when she has a new book to read. This is the solution for a bookworm.
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Spring Progress Report

I can definitively say spring has sprung. That being said, it is time for spring progress reports. We've had a pretty good semester so far and the year is beginning to wind down as the children finish certain subject work.

Karate Kid has done extremely well, especially since Dad has taken over teaching chemistry and advanced mathematics. She has two 5 page papers she is working on now. One is for her co-op Church history class and is on the history of Christianity in Norway. The second is for history of medieval Europe and is on the effects of the reformation on Europe. She has taken her first SAT and we should have her scores later this week, and she has begun searching out potential colleges. I can't believe we are only two years from that transition!

Stat Boy is doing much better this semester. I read Gender Matters and Boys Adrift by Dr. Leo Sax and had some heart to heart talks with the boy. I think he sees I really am trying to fit an education program to his needs and talents and he has put forth a much stronger effort in his studies. We did finally discard Teaching Textbooks Geometry. By lesson 70 the material was well beyond his ability (he is only an 8th grader). For the remainder of the year he will be reviewing Algebra I material, preparing for Algebra II next year. I found an Algebra I worksheet generator online and he is doing very well on those. He is also approaching his Confirmation and I honestly believe that has had an impact on his attitude. He just seems more mature and trustworthy in every area lately, with the exception of getting along with his little sister, but we can't expect it to be all songs and roses, can we?

OJ is always dependable. She's been struggling a bit in math, but it has more to do with not being careful in her work than not understanding the material. All of our children seem to suffer from rushing and not being systematic enough in doing their work, especially math. I can't express enough to them to be more careful and to slow down.

Skoshi A continues to struggle in math, but once again it is more a problem with sloppiness than with understanding. Sadly the sloppiness is carrying over into her other work and so I've begun having her sit with me and Special K at the kitchen table so that I may supervise her more carefully. Thankfully she is a very resilient and happy-go-lucky child, so the constant correction does not seem to bother her. Hopefully the lessons will finally sink-in and she will slow down a bit.

Special K is doing wonderfully. She is excelling at math and really enjoys it. She is finally reading more fluidly and is beginning to read things on her own. She is a bit behind her siblings in this regard, but I am very happy with her continued progress.

Baby Wingnut continues to become easier to handle and entertain as time goes on. We find ourselves resorting less and less to videos to keep him occupied and he loves to come sit with us and "do school" on a white board or out of his shoe box of activities.

As the year finally draws to a close I feel it may have been our most challenging to date, but will likely end on an up note. I couldn't hope for anything better. Thanks be to God!
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