I am still around. Life has just been keeping me hopping. I have been busy living. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things and find time to blog on a more regular basis. For now, I can offer up a little bit of what has been keeping our family busy.
My oldest daughter will turn eleven in less than two weeks! Where has the time gone? I can still vividly remember when she was holding my hand and trudging through the park. Now she runs off on her own and is just so independent. I suppose that's a good thing though. I don't want her to cling to me. I want her to be confident and explore the world. Speaking of which, she will be heading off to summer camp in June. It will be her first time away from home for such a length of time. She will be gone four days and four nights. I'm going to miss her so I am a bit sad about the whole thing. However, she is beyond excited! She talks about it almost every day and it's a struggle to keep her from packing her bag already! Annie is still my bookworm. She reads so many books that it's quite a task to get them all recorded in her reading log. Her current passion is birds. She has spent many hours looking into the backyard with binoculars and sketching the birds she has seen.
Megan has been doing better with her reading skills. It's been a struggle to get her to read on a daily basis, but I keep at it. I keep hoping she will stumble upon a series that will suck her in and give her a love of reading...so far it hasn't happened. She is still my most athletic/outdoorsy child. If the temps are above freezing then there is a good chance she is outside. She spends her days rollerblading, bike riding and drawing on the driveway with chalk. We didn't do American Heritage Girls this year and I can see that she is missing the social interaction with other girls her age. She and Annie are great buddies, but I know she longs for a buddy who is just like her. Annie is more or a tom boy and a stay indoors kind of girl. Meg wants a buddy who would be happy playing outside for hours on end or just as happy playing Barbies/My Little Pony inside. I am thinking of doing the P31 Princess study with her next year. It's a year long program through our church where mothers/daughters/grandmothers study Proverbs 31 together. We recently attended a meeting with some friends of ours and Megan really enjoyed it. The only kicker is that it meets weekly the entire school year. I'm not 100% sure that I am ready to add it to our already busy lives. I will continue to pray about it.
Lily is about to finish up kindergarten and she has really thrived. Next year, she will begin homeschooling with Annie and Megan. She is quite excited about it. I know she enjoys spending time with her friends at school each day, however, I think she misses her sisters when she is at school. I am happy to say that she is reading and loving it and I am thrilled that I wasn't the one who had to teach her! My nightmares of teaching Megan to read are too fresh in my mind. Lily, however, seems to be a book lover like Annie and myself. She loves to grab a stack of books and curl up in bed and read through them. The other day I went into my bedroom and found Lily and Annie curled up in my bed with a stack of books next to them. It was sweet.
My little guy is a mix of joy and frustration for me. He is still struggling with his speech. We pulled him out of weekly therapy in September so that he could attend preschool. Our insurance does not cover speech therapy so we were paying $400 a month out of pocket and doing that while paying for preschool for him and then private school for Lily was just not going to be possible. So, we opted for preschool. We figured his social skills needed to be improved and that his speech would grow from spending time with his peers. His speech has improved but it's so slow that it's frustrating for me. I can tell that he is frustrated as well. I am pretty sure that we will put him back in speech therapy once May rolls around and we aren't saddled with monthly school tuition payments. We have been blessed though because his teachers are so patient with him. His classmates have been great as well. Nobody really seems to notice his speech delay and it hasn't hampered his ability to make friends. At least that's one less worry on my mind. I am happy to say that he is fully day potty trained! I can't even remember the last time I had to clean up an accident! Of course, we are still working on staying dry at night but "Rome wasn't built in a day". For now, I am enjoying only having one child toddling around my house in diapers!
Claire is certainly the baby of the family. She is spoiled rotten. Everyone dotes on her every action. She hardly ever gets reprimanded and she is kissed and hugged a ridiculous amount each day. She has a very strong personality and isn't afraid to tell you what she wants! She is talking more and more each day, which has done a lot to soothe my fears about having another child with major language delays. She will turn two in July. I am thinking cupcakes at home with the family. I went over the top for her 1st birthday and I just don't have the energy to do that every year for every child. So, this year will be laid back and relaxed. She is really enjoying playing outside these days. I imagine she will be an outdoorsy girl just like Megan.
My husband is doing well and keeping busy. He started grad school in the Fall and has been working and studying constantly. He finished with an "A" in his first course and is on track for another "A" in his second course. We are all quite proud of him. He is also getting started on realizing a dream of his! Last week he purchased a beat up 1966 Airstream travel trailer. The plan is to restore it over the next two years. It will be a lot of work but it's something he is passionate about doing. It's nice to see him so excited about it and I am looking forward to when it is finished and we can all jump in and head off into the wild blue yonder! I see vacations to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Alaska, Maine, etc... in our future!
I have been doing great! I am enjoying my life. Carlos and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary in August. In the first of those ten years I had five children that I was pregnant with, gave birth to and nursed for a year each! So, for the first time in a long time I am not pregnant or nursing a baby! It is so freeing! I spent hours outside weeding the flower beds this past weekend. Carlos asked me if I was sore and tired on Monday morning. I was a bit sore and a bit tired but overall I felt great! It was so nice to do something and have the energy to complete the task! All those sleepless nights during pregnancy and the early years of a baby's life really wear a person down. It's so nice to get a full night of sleep each night without waking to nurse a baby or use the bathroom. I have been debating getting back into running. I was a runner in high school and college so it's something that I used to enjoy. I downloaded the Couch to 5k app for my phone and I am hoping to start it in the next week or so. I would love to eventually get to the point that I could run a 5k or even a half marathon. I'll keep you posted!
Ok, that's enough rambling for the time being. I plan to post about our homeschool year next. I am hoping it's sometime in the next few days and not the next few months! :)