Sometimes you just have to ditch the textbooks and do something different. That's what happened today. There was a general attitude of grumpiness around the house and I could feel myself following along in that direction, so I decided to head it off at the pass and do something completely different with our morning.
(An aside, this ability to notice storms of grumpiness brewing, either in myself or in the masses in general, and being able to think constructively about ways of changing the mood of the house is the hallmark of a good and calm parent. I wish I were able to manage it more often. To do so is really a sacrificial exercise because sometimes what I want to do more than anything else is to wallow in my bad mood and make those around me as unhappy as I am. This never works out and only succeeds in ruining the entire family's day. After the fact it never feels as good as it seems it should have to give in to that selfishness. I love the days when I can manage to be the grown-up. The day goes better, I'm in a better mood, and I feel better about myself in general.)
So anyway, back to the change in plans. I have found that allowing my children to create things is a great way to get the attitudes back on track. So the older ones pulled out the art curriculum that we sometimes use and worked on the next lesson, and I created a project for the younger ones... they made construction paper Christmas trees. (Sorry, no pictures yet, I'm still pondering the pay-for-photo-storage-thing.)
One thing about having a large family is that I can forget that my little ones haven't done a lot of things that I did with my older ones. I feel as though we have just done them, and sometimes it doesn't occur to me that it is all brand-new for the younger group. My resolution for this school year has been to try to do some of the more typical preschool things with the littles. I did a quick search on Pinterest and found a simple, cute idea that involved gluing strips of construction paper on a larger sheet to make a tree. (And we got some practice in smaller and larger, to boot.) The three youngest were thrilled and had a great time with glue and paper. And the final products are charming, even if some of them are not really tree-like. They are hanging on our picture wire. Add in some Christmas music and it turned into a fine morning.
We followed it up with a (failed) experiment that was supposed to use a fan and rice to create sand dunes. The fan wasn't strong enough, so our rice didn't blow as it was supposed to, but it did blow the rice enough to make a mess. Just one more item in a long list of experiments that don't work quite the way the book says they're going to. Oh well.
That was the successful morning, now I need to reclaim the afternoon. My plan is to make rye bread for dinner and see if I have enough time to make chocolate chip cookies. That's always good for people's general moods.
And more Christmas music. Because it's after Thanksgiving.
Continuing to advocate for the children in Bulgaria. Their files were sent back which means that they cannot be advocated for on Reese's Rainbow or have any funds donated towards their adoptions. It means they are essentially invisible and unwanted. It tells the government and the agencies that yes, indeed, their initial assumptions were correct. No one wants a child like these. They are not worth it.
But they are! They are created by God in His image and we are called to care for them. They are truly the least of these. I cannot let them go; I think about them in nearly every free moment that I have. I'm going to post one of their pictures here at the bottom of each of my posts each day. Would you join me in praying for each of these children? Pray that a family would come forward who is willing to adopt them. Love them. Pray that they will know they are not forgotten? There is still hope for these little ones as their files can be specially asked for, it just adds time to the process.
This is Harvey. He is 3 years old and is the size of an infant. Harvey is extremely malnourished and also has some cranial-facial issues. This little one also touches my heart since K. was malnourished (at some points in his life, rather extremely) and two of my children have cranial-facial issues. It is something that sounds very scary, I know. But my children are so much more than their diagnoses. This little boy has never known what it is to be loved and cared for. Doesn't he deserve at least that?