A Week

My project this week was to improve the kids’ and my time outside. Well, all kids but Herbie. He gets enough time and exercise outside with Woo. I wasn’t worried about him. 

I came up with the plan during family scriptures while I was supposed to be looking for answers to the question: how can I be less selfish? So I felt kind of guilty when I had nothing, but had spent all the time working out my own problem.

However, I now feel like the prayer for our question was answered. I had to merge my own exercise time and the kids’ outside time in an effort for us both to get more, so in the end I had to be less selfish.

I wasn’t really excited for the plan. I wasn’t sure it would work for me, and I braced myself for a lot of arguing from the kids.

But by Friday it seemed certain this was going to be good for me. Also, the kids gave me no trouble at all, in fact they were awesome. Even Herbie, who is already getting plenty of exercise, did great.

I was reminded of the revelation I’d gotten way back last spring when I’d set up a homeschool plan for the kids that this would be “the last battle.”

And it really was. The kids have very agreeably gone along with anything I’ve come up with since then. It’s kind of amazing.

That first day, Moses told me that my workout was much harder than what they do in PE, but that was it. All the kids did excellent lunges, push ups, sit-ups. They have learned great form in PE, even Archie.

We were all sore that first day, but they did the next workout again without complaining, and by Friday, a few kids told me it was their favorite thing of the day. What?!?

Saturday was game day, which was our worst day. It was raining so we had to go down to the basement. Also, games bring out a lot of arguing, and Archie and Penelope often get frustrated when they can’t compete with the older kids.

Ruby was less frustrated with class this week, but she had two days where her zoom meetings were not working. She thought she was in the meeting, but just couldn’t hear, and she wasn’t too upset. I think she was happy for the break. Woo helped her, then answered an inquiry from her DT (head teacher).

Herbie is trying hard to be grateful all the time. He says, “Thank you, Mom! All the thank yous!” whenever he remembers, which is a few times a day.

Moses was happy to get his packet this week. He has 9-11am blocked off for packet and assigned a subject for each day as soon as he got it. He had a test for one class, so he blocked the first half of packet time for studying for the test, and the second half for taking the test.

Linus finally started the original Hardy Boys books he got for his birthday and he loves them. He’s already planning on getting more for Christmas. These are about the only books Woo remembers fondly from his childhood. There were seemingly hundreds of Hardy Boys books in his school library, and here the only English books the kids read are those we’ve hand picked for them as gifts. Quite a different situation.

During one workout Penelope started crying because she’d gone too fast and felt a little sick. She didn’t cry for long, and she didn’t stop running, but she also wouldn’t tell me why she was crying until after we were done. I had thought she was frustrated with another kid.

That night on her repentance list she wrote that she hadn’t mourned with those who mourn. When I asked what she meant by that, she said she’d cried during her workout and forgotten that there are people with much worse problems than that, and she shouldn’t have cried about hers. I nodded solemnly and gave her a hug, but later Woo and I laughed as Penelope is really polishing herself beyond what we would’ve asked of her.

Archie’s teacher gave him more work than last year, which was good for him. He still had to do reading, writing, classes, chores and workout for me. He is steadily becoming a better worker and less of a shirker, which has been one of our concerns for him.

I can’t remember if I already wrote that I started holding a short quiz after all of our reading subjects? Anyway, this has really motivated the kids, and it’s most amazing in Archie, who is trying to hear and remember everything he can from things like straight Shakespeare.

Woo found an old bike by the garbage that was extremely frustrating to fix, but he eventually got to where it was rideable. He rode it with us on our Tuesday bike ride (part of the workout plan).

I found a jar of milk on our window sill, and when I bent closer to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing, Woo smiled sheepishly. He was experimenting with making his own sour cream.

He made a baked potato on Saturday to try it out. It looked like sour cream to me. He said it tasted like “slightly lemony whipped cream without sugar,” which is close enough?

A few weeks ago Woo had a few dreams about earthquakes. Last week he felt one in the night. It woke him up, but the rest of us slept through it. This week he thought he felt another one, but we think it was that I was sitting close to Woo, and Archie was sitting close to me, and Archie was wiggling all over the place.

Somehow we found ourselves without bread or a tortilla or anything for the sacrament, so Herbie whipped us up a pancake. This is likely to be one the sacraments that lives in everyone's memories for the rest of our lives.    

And that’s it for our week. Hope yours was great!