13 September 2020

New-New Normal


We so enjoyed our visit with the James family. Reagan brought some make-up for the little girls enjoyment. Charity got hair, nails, and face makeovers thanks to Evelyn. The boys taught Mason how to play 5-Minute Marvel. Mason loved the game! He instigated a game before they left back for Utah. I adore when older cousins solicit their younger cousins to play! The sounds of chaos coming from the boys playing was epic. Dog Vader had a great time sniffing poor Molly's bum and playing with her. He acted like a puppy! Evelyn was super sad all day after the James family left. Lots of tears. We love when folks come and hate when they leave. 

Amelia, Everett, and I started a thing on Tuesday. We are getting up and going to the gym before school each day. I am literally rolling out of bed at 6:50 and peeling my eyes open. TOO EARLY for this mom who finally got to sleep in. It's ok, I was getting to the "way too lazy" stage. I'm glad we can start school at an earlier time with more energy. Everett is hilarious at the gym. He has to exercise next to me, which means he talks my ear off about how many miles he is running, the rate, his heart rate, what percentage, and his plans for the future. I also found a pull-up bar and climbing rope at DI this week. He's busy building those muscles! Several times I've spotted him hanging from the top branches of a tree in the backyard! Amelia and I have a goal to lose weight and better our general health. Mia is tracking her sleep, "steps" per day, and nutrition for her health class. I just want more room on my lap to hold kids! 

Tuesday the kids were really bored so we spent the afternoon swimming at the rec center. I will enjoy that aspect of our family pass. Everett swam 14 laps instead of playing with his siblings. That is one determined kid. 

My Great-Aunt Mary sent us a lovely box with two Pioneer cross-stitches she completed many years ago and an elephant per kid from her collection. The kids had more fun popping the bubble wrap. Evelyn wanted to turn the box from Uncle Mel into something special. Amelia, Evelyn, and I spent an afternoon turning the box into a doll-sized school room! We enjoyed the artsy project. This week started a new crop of piano students. I am teaching 3 of the Ostler kids and possibly another little girl from across the street. 

Friday we met other home-schooling families at the park for show-and-tell. My kids were totally psyched! Everett showed off his special monkey binky (sans binky), Phillip showed 3 Yoda things, Josie showed off a unicorn and her Lil DJ, and Evelyn showed us her make-up box. The best part was running around with lots of other kids for an hour. I spent some time this week setting up my Google Drive to organize the kids saved work in folders so I can easily do the assessments. The kids save their work to their personal Google Drives, I can access their folders and then save them to the correct subject and kid. I got through the first round of submissions in less than 30 minutes! YAY! I have to report on each kid for each subject every two weeks for the school year. It is less daunting than it sounds. The hardest part was Phillip's social studies submission, he was dragging his feet like usual. 

Saturday I spent the afternoon planning the next school week. I'm currently making a document in the kid's Google Drives with links and assignments for the entire week. After their work is done the kids can play the "fun" educational games for an hour. Evelyn took the IRI (Idaho Reading Indicator) Thursday at 3 pm. She was close to having a tantrum, tears, and picking wrong answers on purpose. I was unable to help her so sat close by with a handful of Skittles to reward each page she completed. I was frustrated because she knows the answers simply didn't want to do it. The platform the State uses was quite dorky as well. An annoying Owl leads the kids through a game/test. Just the way the test it set up makes it difficult for kids with learning disadvantages to do their best job. I did find that Evelyn needs spelling work more that I thought, I added that to her weekly work this coming week. Justin had the kids working off and on all day on the yard. I slept in then took a nap. Still felt like a sledge hammer bonked me over the head. Evelyn threw a level 9 tantrum just after I announced a family clean-up inside the house. Working together we can get it cleaned in 30 minutes. That girl screamed for an hour. She was damaging things so I locked her outside on the porch where she ripped grass, flowers, rocks, and poured water. I am at a loss, we mostly ignore her but she gets so violent sometimes she loses reason. 

Amelia is growing way too fast! She looks like a woman but acts like a girl. That must be strange for her too. I found her some cute PJs and workout clothes at the DI. I am always on the lookout for Geronimo Stilton books, this time I found over 12 books! Everett read them ALL before Saturday night. I just need to motivate Phillip to read them now. We are on to the 4th Fablehaven book. The boys and I were gripping our seats as we read the last two chapters of book 3. Riveting!