Friday bullets, Nov. 9, 2017

I have a lot of pictures for you this week.

  • Many children have discovered that it is possible for them to walk over to the forest preserve and go walk around. They love the feeling of freedom, and since it is basically our backyard, I love they can go explore without undue worry. Here are a few pictures of L. on one of her exploring trips.

  • Olive no longer fits on her favorite chair for her naps. She is sound asleep here, though I have no idea how.
  • Today we packed a box for an elder in an nursing home without any family. A new friend was organizing this, and it seemed like a good, tangible thing to do for Christmas this year. Everyone made cards to include, and some children included some clay creations to go along with our bigger gifts.
  • Clay has been the activity of choice around her for the past couple of days, though I don't think it can continue much longer, as the supplies of bake-able clay are running low. Here are some of the current creations.

  • My sewing area is now completely finished. I have enough counter space for both the sewing machine and serger, good lighting, and space for all my supplies. I feel so spoiled having a dedicated studio, plus table to work on. No more cleaning off the dining room table to cut things out, and then having to put everything away before I'm done because it's time to eat. I've cut out a new dress for G. (whom we discovered had no long sleeve dresses), and I hope to have it done before Sunday. (Really, I do have good, bright light. I just didn't bother to plug it in for this picture.)
  • We left Brazil today, and on Monday we'll head to Peru. At the end of a visit to a country, I'm having everyone dictate to me what they have learned and what we did. Last time, with Mexico, this proved difficult to many people. I'm happy to report that this time around, the exercise went better. I imagine that by the time we finish with England and Scotland, they will all be old pros at it. The immigration line to have their passports stamped continues to entertain. This time, G. and L. came into my room first thing in the morning to show me the souvenirs they had bought and would be taking on the plane with them. Have I mentioned that their line between reality and play is very, very fuzzy?
  • TM is learning to play Mary Did You Know? on the piano (by ear, and his own arrangement), and has been working with Y. on it a bit. She is avidly copying everything he shows her.
  • Our Sharpie marker collection is rather worse for wear. I didn't realize quite how bad they were until I sat down with everyone to make the cards I mentioned earlier. I could find only a few that had sufficient amounts of ink in them. I feel as though I just bought these. Why can't markers last indefinitely?
  • Even among special needs parents, I'm an oddity, it seems. My new church has a once-a-month special needs parents' support group, but due to both family size and the fact that I homeschool, my world is just very different. It's great to have such a group, but I, more often than not, feel as though I'm Hermie from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (If you know me at all well personally, you will be laughing at the fact that I have compared myself, even in passing, with someone who wants to be a dentist.)
  • K. had an appointment with the bone graft doctor earlier this week. He's scheduled for a bone graft at the end of January. I've been kind of dreading this particular surgery, mainly because of the need to keep the child still and calm for such a long time afterward. I'm just not sure how, exactly, we will be able to keep K. still and calm for the time needed.
  • I stopped and counted. This will be our 12th family surgery, 15th procedure under anesthetic, and since we'll be at a different hospital, the fourth hospital to have a child have surgery in. That sounds like a lot, but I have friends for whom these numbers are nothing.
  • The younger crew are quickly becoming readers. More often than not, I see one or more of them reading a book. L. is working her way through Boxcar Children (and Genesis), G. prefers the shorter stories in graded readers because she can finish an entire book in less than an hour, and Y. is reading Magic Tree House. They are all at the stage where I'm not entirely sure they are really reading much of it, but yet they sit and stare at the pages for quite some time. Plus, they have been able to tell me about what they are reading. They may not be getting all of the words, but they are certainly getting something. K. reads well, but would much prefer building with Lego and playing with cars. He reads quite well, and does so when I ask him to, but it is not his default activity. It's why I have reading time for each of them built into our school morning.


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