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Showing posts from August, 2008

Those poor unsocialized homeschoolers

As a homeschooling family, we field many questions about homeschooling and all that it entails. Probably the most asked question is along the lines of, "Do they have any friends?" I just know the questioner has an image of us never leaving our home (if only), sitting at desks, doing workbook page after workbook page, and not knowing how to have a conversation with anyone outside the family. I've learned just to laugh at this question because it is so ridiculous. My pat answer is to say that I wish they had fewer friends and social engagements as it would make my life a bit easier.

I am reminded of all this because earlier this week I was part of a homeschool information night at a local public library. One of the very real concerns of some of the attendees was that a homeschooled child wouldn't have any friends. The irony of discussing this concern while trying to survive the week that I've had is a bit amusing.

I will try to condense the past week into a par…

Hip Hip Hooray!

D. has learned to ride his two-wheeler! He has been working on it for several months now, but every time he would try, the falling down part would get the better of him and he'd put the bike away. This was particularly difficult because TM has been able to ride a bike for nearly a year and half. (It was one of the first things he learned to do after he came home.) But yesterday was D's day. Instead of giving up when he didn't get it right away, he kept on trying. And then suddenly he was riding: a two and a half house long ride...pretty good for the first time. That's all it took and he was hooked. By the end of the afternoon he could start and stop with very little difficulty. I wish I had taken a video of his brothers and sisters cheering him on as he worked to master his new skill. D's smile was enormous; I think both due to the bike riding success and to all the cheering.

This, of course, leads to long family discussions about who is now going to ride…

Where everyone knows your name

No, not our local bar...our branch library which is 1/2 a block away. (It was one of the selling points about our house.) I feel somewhat famous whenever we go in. I guess a family with 7 children, who comes during school hours and checks out no less than 70 books a visit is somewhat memorable. I know most of the librarians who work there, but today there were two whom I didn't think I knew, or who knew us. That is until one of them asks me if we're still homeschooling and then in a separate conversation, the other asks how we manage to keep track of all the books we check out each time. It makes me feel badly that I didn't know them.

About the number of books...everyone around here likes, no loves, to read or be read to. (I think the younger ones decide to learn to read as a defensive act. Sometimes when all the bigger types are involved in their own books, the only course for non-readers is to learn to read themselves.) Plus, because the city is always threateni…

Looking for large families in IL

The madness has to stop! I have been in contact with several other women and we want to see what we can do to change how Illinois approves large families to adopt. We are looking for two things right now. The first is anyone who would like to join us and the second is we need stories. If you have a large family and have been adversely affected by IL's way of doing things, please share your story. You can email me at thecurryseven at sbcglobal dot net

Thanks!

I love a productive day

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(Welcome Kelly's Korner readers.  This is our third floor playroom.  If you want to see what laundry for 11 looks like, head here.)

Most of the third floor of our house is a single large room that we use as a play room. Usually this works pretty well. Usually being the key word. If it has been too long between my trips up there, the amount of mess that can be created is somewhat staggering. Staggering describes the mess when we started renovation, so I'm not sure what to call it after renovation. Due to some of the new systems we installed, the worker-men needed access to the play room as well. That means the staggering mess was then pushed to the center of the room and had a plastic sheet draped over it. Come June, children started venturing upstairs again and would burrow under the pile, pull out what they wanted, play with it, and then just leave it strewn across the floor. It looked as though a tornado had passed through. For any of you who thought perhaps I had my act tog…

We need more power, Scotty...

we're trapped in the gravitational field of Children's hospital and we can't break free! OK, that may be an exaggeration, but it's what it feels like. Early in the summer, while we were in Pennsylvania, M hurt her knee. Being the kind and compassionate mother that I am, I ignored her injury (aside from suggesting she stay off of it and giving her a bag of ice) and assumed that given time it would get better. Five weeks later, when it was still swollen and bothering her, I took her into the doctor. After poking and prodding, the doctor ordered an MRI. Armed with the results of the MRI, we now know that she chipped off a piece of cartilage that was attached to her thigh bone. (Not only did she injure her knee, but M. injured it in a very unusual way it seems.) We were then referred to a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Children's. M. is still having pain because the piece of cartilage is floating around in her knee causing trouble and the doctor will have t…

The wrong question?

When we were up in Michigan last week, there was a news magazine lying around at which I happened to glance. One of the articles was titled, "Do children make you happy?" The conclusion of the author, after looking at many studies that were conducted asking people, both with and without children, to rate their happiness, was that, no, indeed children do not make people happier than those without. I've been thinking about this, and I've decided that everyone is asking the wrong question. Happiness is such a fleeting thing and incredibly dependent on circumstance. Do my children make me happy when they are whining, or throwing up in the middle of the night, or waiting too long to get to the bathroom? No, I can honestly say that when any of them behaves poorly or when I must clean up bodily fluids, I am not happy. Sometimes I am about as far from happy as a person can get. I'm also not happy when one of my children is sick, or injured, or sad. How can I be …

More scenes from our vacation this past week

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We had a wonderful week up in Michigan at J's aunt and uncle's home. Here's some other things we enjoyed:

Reading...

Picking blueberries (although some of the shorter family members did more eating than picking)...

"Surfing"...
and shucking corn...


Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Three Men in a Tub

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More accurately, it is two boys in an inner tube, using smash rackets as paddles.



Here is the third "man", left on shore, wishing he could go to sea as well.

Two months....already?!

I know that K has been home for only two months. I mean, I was there in Vietnam when we first met him, for heaven's sake. But even now, with so little time together, I feel as though he has always been in our family. K's transition has been one of those hearts and puppies adoption stories, with everyone falling in love and everything all happy. With our two adoptions, we have experienced two absolute extremes. I'm glad I did the hard one first. I appreciate the easy one that much more. To sum it up, K is a joy.

K also continues to make huge developmental strides...his therapists are all very impressed. We call them the "play ladies". There are too many of them to try and differentiate between them when talking to the children, so if a play lady is coming, a child will ask what toys she brings to identify which one. And since I am something of a compulsive learner, especially if it is one of my favorite areas (raising children), I have found the play lady…