Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bluebirds, recovery, and other odds and ends...

Wow! Can't believe I didn't write at all last week! The cold I had just really knocked me down, hard, for almost a full month! I am finally feeling better, though I'm still not 100%. I did manage to keep up my "minimums" in school and housework, but that was about all I could do last week.

This weekend I cut all the boys' hair. We went out to lunch after church, and as we're walking in, a lady who held the door for us glanced at the boys and started to say to her friend, "Wow, do you think they're all hers?" then looked at them again, startled, and said to me, "My word, you can definitely tell they're brothers!" Yeah, you really can! Here's a picture - try to look at those cute smiles and not my falling-apart couch, lol!

School type stuff is going pretty well. A2 is still really struggling with the reading thing, though. I'm frustrated - we were going along quite well in 100EZ Lessons, and then along about L 54, he just ran into a wall. He says there's "too many words", and we both are frustrated. I've tried to use different books with him, step back a little bit. The tough thing is - he's basically functionally literate - he can read enough to get by quite well, it's not that he *can't* read. He's just not fluent enough to read books, and that's obviously where we want to go. He's getting on towards his 9th birthday now, and I'll admit it's starting to be tougher to say "he just needs more time". S3 actually reads a bit better than A2, though he is also not fluent. The frustrating thing about him is I think he *could* read books if he wanted to - but if I have him read out loud to me, after about 2.5 minutes he'll tell me his "mouth is tired." Considering how much he talks throughout the day, I'm definitely not buying *that* excuse! So, reading is a bit of a struggle for my middle two. I'm still really happy with the Math U See math program for them, they're both coming along quite well with their math. Catechism - A2 will have his First Confession in less than a month now, and I'm really not feeling like he's as ready as he could be. His CCD class really focuses on rote memorization, and that's definitely not my teaching style. We're spending so much energy helping him memorize that I feel like his heart is left neglected. Dh thinks I worry too much, though, and says he's doing just fine. Since he has the theology degree and teaches in the CCD program, I suppose I should listen to him, lol! Handwriting is coming along for both of them. I will say that IS a subject where physical maturity has made a big difference for my boys. Believe it or not, though, J1 is still struggling. I'm not entirely sure how to help him - his handwriting is barely legible. Any ideas? J1's doing great, other than handwriting which has pretty much always been the bane of his existence. Oh, and we're still looking for a good grammar program for him. If anyone has any great suggestions, let me know! And I lost my Latin teacher's manual for J1's latin program, which is really irritating me. I have suffered from a decided lack of large-scale organization this year (ie, my lesson planning and binders are great, but the books, bookshelves and desk type stuff is not), and let me tell you - it won't continue into next year!

Speaking of which - I am definitely feeling a wee bit overwhelmed. There is a small, but definite chance we will be moving to Arizona, as soon as 8 weeks from now. The thought of moving cross country in 2 months is daunting. Especially because we won't know for sure for about 5 more weeks (we might know in mid-March, we might not now till the end of June, we'll just have to wait and see...) Thankfully, the relocation package dh would get includes the purchase of our current house and reimbursement for all moving expenses, so we don't have to worry about getting the house ready to sell or anything like that. But, I mentioned my lack of large-scale organization for school? True throughout my entire life! So, I pretty much have (potentially) 8 weeks to figure out what is worth keeping, what would go into long-term storage (we would live in a fully furnished and equipped corporate house while we look for a home to purchase out there) and what we would need right away. I figure it's a good project regardless. If it's not worth keeping if we move, why in the world is it taking up space in my house right now? Especially with our space needs, given our small-ish house and 24/7 presence here. At any rate, we definitely have our work cut out for us. I can't decide if it's good to have a deadline or not - on the one hand, it's a good motivator, but quite honestly, when I think about it, I feel sort of like a deer in headlights!

Oh - and one of the many reasons why I hope we *don't* move? My bluebirds came back! Remember, I saw them about a month ago? Yesterday they hung around our house most of the afternoon, eating the dried mealworms I'd set out, and even visiting the suet. I did get a couple of pictures, but they were through my windows so they didn't turn out well enough to put up here. Dh even said he saw one of them coming out from my bluebird house. Oh, I'm SO hoping they'll decide to nest at my house! At any rate, I'm just happy they're still coming around.


Sarah Faith said...

I absolutely despise reading aloud and it DOES make my mouth tired, and dry after only a few minutes as well! And, I can talk a blue streak when I get going... so I totally relate to the selective tiredness. :-)
(luckily for my kids, my husband reads to them every day!)

Vicki said...

I saw a bluebird today at my old house - I think it's the first one I've seen.

Oh, don't tell me you guys will be moving - maybe even before we get to be neighbors! I just hope that you guys do whatever is best for you.

Finally, I have tagged you for a little meme.

Megan said...

WHAT!!!!!!! I never made it past the part where is says "we might be moving to Arizona"

It's a great place, nice and warm, my old stomping grounds. I'm sure you'll love it there, but if you move you sure are going to be missed! Keep us posted, you'll be in my prayers.

Kelly said...

Wow - I didn't realize the possibility of moving to Arizona was coming together! yikes!

Hey, would S3 be more likely to want to read to himself if he had some star wars books? We got some "last of the Jedi" books for my 6yo boy, and while he can't read them himself yet [we are reading them aloud together], they have him quite motivated to learn! [Though we have also stalled out with 100 Easy Lessons - it got to be too much for him too!]