This and that and some resolutions

As it was pointed out to me, I can sit and rest and write blog posts all at the same time...So, Miss P., here you go...

As much as I didn't want it to, vacation has come to an end and we're back to our schedule. I always dread the first day back. It's hard for everyone to find their rhythm...math inevitably causes tears (especially when it involves long division), and things don't work as easily as they do when we're in practice. But having survived yesterday, today went much more smoothly. Not only did we cover everything I wanted to get to, those parties at war with long division seem to have conquered it.

But it is January, and cabin fever is starting to set in, especially among the 5-to-6-year-old male demographic. They do go outside to play, but it is never for as long or involves quite as much running and jumping as they need. It was great when we had a lot of snow. They would happily play for hours outside and work off their energy, but bare ground and cold winds don't have quite the same appeal. I wouldn't mind the running and jumping inside if they just kept it to that. But often, release of excess energy takes the form of annoying a brother or sister until someone ends up in tears, or in bed, or both. I need to come up with more forms of heavy labor that is doable by young boys, both to occupy them and use up their endless energy. Ideally, it could be harnessed and be converted into electricity...I would never have to pay an electric bill again.

For those keeping track, I'm about 16 weeks into this pregnancy. That means in about another month, we will be able to find out what combination of boys and/or girls we will be having. I'm feeling a bit better than I was in the fall, but I'm still not great. It's not really suprising, since I never feel wonderful, but this twins-thing has magnified how not great I'm feelling. Not only does this make it difficult to manage all the usual day-to-day stuff around here, but I'm also feeling a bit under the gun to get some other projects finished off. If I'm realistic, from May on, I'm probably not going to be doing much of anything. First, because I will be as big as a house (or two) and won't be able to do anything easily, then, after these two babies are born, all I can imagine I will have time for is nursing and changing diapers. So, to all my blog readers, here is my list of things I would like to finish before May (perhaps having a public list will help to motivate me):

1. Finish TM's lifebook. It's started...really, it's just a matter of putting it together.

2. Catch the family photo albums up to date. Don't laugh. I'm usually pretty good about this. Out of 17 1/2 years of marriage, I'm only 2 years behind on the photo albums. A couple of weekends and I should have it done. The bigger issue, really, is paying to have the photos printed.

3. Plan three lectures I've been asked to give. This is really non-negotiable, since if I don't do it, I will look foolish in March standing in front of a group of people with nothing to say. The first two are for part of a homeschool conference and I'm presenting with two good friends. We will do a session on homeschooling co-ops and a session on homeschooling large families. The third one I'm doing is for the moms group at church on meal planning and pantry storage. Things like this always sound like a good idea when they are 8 months away, but never sound quite as good in the two months leading up to them.

4. Spend some time sorting through outgrown clothes and boxing them up. K currently has sizes 9 mos. through 2T in his drawers and no one knows what fits and what doesn't. Managing clothes has got to be one of my least favorite aspects of having more than a couple of children, but it has got to be done...some children are having difficulty putting away clean clothes because there is no room for the ones that fit.

There, four things, that sounds managable, doesn't it? It's not as though I'm trying to knit entire layettes for the babies or anything. I actually wouldn't even consider it. I have difficulty concentrating during pregnancy and there are many things I can't focus on, knitting being one of them.

I will end with a request. We are studying the Civil War this year. Usually I read a book or two of historical fiction to go along with the time period we are studying, but am having trouble with this era. We tried Across Five Aprils, but no one got really excited by it. Do any of you have other suggestions....something that is good literature, is engaging, and can be enjoyed by many ages?


16 MONTHS pregnant??? Are you an elephant??? LOL! ... hopefully you meant weeks :) Hahahaha!
thecurryseven said…
You're the second person to point that out...and I'm going to change it now. I don't even want to imagine what that would be like. Though as the pregnancy progesses the elephant-like I feel!

SueCQ said…
Congratulations on the preganancy and the twins! How very exciting for all of you!!

The first classic novel that comest to mind when I think of the Civil War is "The Red Badge of Courage". I'm not sure how appropriate it might be for the younger kids, but I know it's a classic assigned in most public schools.

I'm looking forward to following along as your pregnancy progresses.
Anonymous said…
After college, I read Thomas Dyja's book, Play for a Kingdom. A Union company and a Confederate company wind up playing baseball against each other. Sounds contrived, but I remember it being pretty compelling. Not the most accurate of Civil War novels, but a well-told tale. Not sure who it's written for, but I think it was pretty accessible.

I'll look/ask around for more.

Jessica James said…
Hello and congratulations on the twins.
I am the author of Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia, which is always confused with Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder (spelling?). When I am at book signings, I always have teachers comment on the "other" Shades of Gray, which is apparently an excellent book for young people. (My novel is geared toward adults, though is suitable for teens).
Hope this helps.
Anonymous said…
Haha! Thank you Mrs. C!

Miss P
Anonymous said…
I have a five year old and he really enjoys the magic tree house series...Magic Tree house--civil war on Sunday-it's geared for 4-8 year I'm not sure it would apply to your clan.
Mairs said…
You know, by the time I've had that many tears and battles over long division I always bring out the calculator. What is the point anyway of doing it without?! Congrats on the twins - better you than me! lol I'm just on the adopt one-birth one
Alison said…
Elizabeth - First of all, congratulations! I remember how you are feeling and want to tell you that this, too, will pass. Try to focus on the wonderful news that you will double your joy soon...the other doubling will come whether you focus on it or not!
As for Civil War books, I love Paul Fleischman's Bull Run. It is set up as Reader's Theatre and tells the story of the first battle at Bull Run/Manassas. Each page is an entry from a witness to the battle. There are entries from Northeners, Southerners, military and civilians, children and adults. My students have really enjoyed it. I would also highly recommend Gary Paulsen's Soldier's Heart. It's a wonderful book to read aloud. The story is about a fictional boy who lies about his age in order to enlist and then sees many of the most famous battles of the Civil War. Paulsen has made the boy appear at more battles than would be realistic, but is true to the historical telling of each. I'll let you know as I think of others.
Good luck with teaching this Spring, and let me know how I can help.

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