Friday, June 26, 2009

Ramping Up Our Schedule

Each week I'm adding a little bit more to our workload knowing we'll be taking time off at the beginning of 2010.

This week I added our corresponding Read Alouds to history. I started reading Beowulf a few days ago. The kids are enjoying it. While, much to my husband's chagrin, it is not the Seamus Heaney translation - a truly fabulous translation, I might add - it is a condensed, more child-friendly version with beautiful illustrations. I've been reading at mealtime - now, there's a way to experience the destructive powers of Grendel, his mother, and Beowulf... while eating!

We're also adding memorization back into our plans. This week (and maybe next week, too - it takes my four year old a bit longer to memorize than my six year old and Tricky's trying to learn it, too) we are commiting Christina Rossetti's How Many Seconds to memory.

Also, since we're studying astronomy, our new telescope (Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian reflecting telescope) is coming in quite handy. We've seen Saturn, its rings, and its moon, Titan; a globular cluster (M13), and the two stars at the curve of the handle in the Big Dipper (with my naked eye, I can only make out one star). Hopefully we can go out tonight, if we get a break in the clouds, to stargaze some more!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Living a Beautiful Life

When I was about 15 years old, I discovered a lovely magazine called Victoria. It was everything I wanted my adult life to look like - beautiful dresses, lace everywhere, rose bushes in flower gardens, white furniture.

Alas, that is far from what my adult life is like. For one, I'm a practicing attorney. That, in and of itself, somehow seems to brush some of the soft focus from my form. I don't litigate, but I work for a litigator and I'm married to a litigator; and being in the midst of that world, I fear, makes me a bit more harsh than I would otherwise be.

My home is not covered in lace. Well, actually, my dresser is, but that lace is covered because my dresser is my clutter spot - the area that cleaning gurus such as FlyLady warn me I need to spend 5 minutes decluttering each day, or something to that effect.

I also don't have white furniture in every room. I have cherry - I love cherry now that I've grown up. White furniture is still something of an object of beauty for me. It's so clean, if it's kept that way. My daughters' furniture is white - and, for now, barely nicked. As a matter of fact, their room is probably the closest thing to my teenage-version of the ideal adult setting for me than anything else in my home.

I don't have time for gardening - and I'm also coming to realize that I may not even have the desire. I would LOVE to have beautiful gardens and clip blossoms to place around my cherry furniture laden home, but it takes time and patience - two things on which I'm quite short.

But there are beautiful things in my life. I have beautiful children and another on the way. I'm so thankful for them and I am making a conscious effort to thank God for them each day. I have a wonderful, supportive, hard-working, loving husband - someone who loves me and respects me and who has real conversations with me, beyond the normal "what did you do to day" banter some married couples share.

I have a home filled with things that, as an adult, I find beautiful. My cherry furniture and large mirrors with touches of floral patterns throughout my home. And I have a piano - the piano that my grandparents purchased and my mother learned to play - I have it tuned every year, and should have it tuned every 6 months, but it's mine and it brings me much joy.

Earlier, I mentioned my job. I'm actually quite happy at my job. While I do miss being with my children full-time, I am fortunate in the fact that I can work part-time as a lawyer - with very little stress. Being an attorney is not what I ever imagined myself doing (until I was about 25), but here I am! I'm not career-driven by any stretch of the imagination. I just do my work to the best of my ability, I enjoy the company of my coworkers, and then I come home...

To the beautiful life I have been blessed with!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Letter to My Wardrobe

Dear Beloved Clothes:

I put you away last night. It will be a while before I see your beautiful colors and fabrics again. You will have a long, lonely summer, fall, and winter (and maybe spring) down in the basement, but I'll pull you out as soon as I possibly can - believe me.

That said, I must tell you my fear. Please don't worry, but there is a chance I may not be able to wear some of you again. It's happened before (three times before), so I feel it's only fair to warn you. I'm sure many of you will come back, but some of you may not. Either your waist line (and mine) just won't give as much as before or you may become a victim of the Fashion Police. Either way, if you don't make it back to the closet, know that you were once loved and I'll try to find you a good home.

Until then, I'll be basking in the comfort of below-the-belly waist bands, somewhat tent-like blouses, and flowing dresses.

Hopefully, I'll see you next year, regular clothes!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Mommy, Don't I Look Silly?"

Those were Tricky's words when I was reaching to get her out of the car once we were at church this morning. Yes, she looked very silly. Why? During our drive, she had managed to get into my diaper bag, into my lipstick pouch, and smear 5 various pink and brown shades on her face (and dress, incidentally).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Well, kid, we made it this far!

Second trimester, baby! We've come this far... just 28 (or maybe one or two less if you're kind to your little mommy) more weeks to go. I've already started feeling you twist, shake and spin. You must be having a blast in there!

Your brother and sisters are very excited about meeting you - wanting to know if you're a boy or a girl - but I keep reminding them that you're our Christmas present and we're not having a peek! I don't want to ruin this surprise.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Puppet Workshop

Our local library had a Puppet Workshop this morning. [Finally, an activity I could take the kids to on one of my days off - usually, they're scheduled on the days I work.] We had SO MUCH FUN!

A man from the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta brought all kinds of puppets (shadow, hand, string, rod) from around the world - including a couple he'd made himself. After his hilarious puppet presentation, we then made our own puppets. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodbye First Grade!

Casey (finally) finished first grade last weekend. Math was our hold up, but we finished. I think we're both relieved.

Now we're moving on to second grade. I was hoping to take it easy this summer, but because I'll be taking off some time in January once the baby arrives, we're going to do a full curriculum. So much for Summer Break, eh?

Not only will Casey be starting her second grade year this summer, but Will is beginning Kindergarten at home. Each will be doing their own language arts and math work, but together, we'll be continuing with our religious studies and studying the Middle Ages, astronomy, weather, and various other earth science subjects, and P.E. I'm sure I've left out something.

For now, we're off to the park! It's only 69 degrees at the moment and I think I'll take advantage of the relatively cool temp to let the kids play outside.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I used to like email, but now I dread it.

* I get too many emails every day - well, I only get around 20, which is probably nothing to some of you, but it's a lot for me. Actually, let me rephrase that... I get 20 on my main email address. My email address linked to Facebook gets about 90 a day - due to my FB activity. My inner-office email gets 40 or so a day, but that's because our IT guy took off the filters and now I get advertisements for certain products I don't want, need or otherwise require. I also have a couple of email addresses I never even bother to check any longer.

* Many of the emails I receive at my main email address I don't want. I get emails from various Bar Associations, which in turn causes me to get email from other law-related outlets (attorneys running for office, continuing legal education courses, law book publishers). I get emails from online companies I've ordered from or have requested catalogs from.

* I have developed the terrible habit of reading emails I need to respond to, but then forgetting to respond. Oh the guilt I feel when I realize that I haven't responded!

*I don't delete enough emails. I'm afraid I'll need it later on. Stupid, I know.

* I have too many email addresses. I can't/don't check them all. Well, actually, I only have 5, but that's about 4 too many. But, I need one for junk, one for FB notices, one for work, one for homeschool stuff (which is actually one I don't really check any longer), and my main email address.

So, I've started unsubscribing to things. Unsubscribing to newsfeeds I no longer care about. Unsubscribing to the sales advertisements and legal publications. Unsubscribing to groups. Unsubscribing to Facebook notifications. I'm trying to simplify. No, it's nothing huge, but every little bit helps!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another Precious Little One

A few days ago, I put a new widget on my blog. If you scroll down a bit, and look to the right, beneath Tricky's photo, you'll see it...

We're expecting our fourth child and we're so very excited. Richard and I took the kids on a hike Sunday afternoon. About halfway around the lake trail we were hiking, we found a lovely dock, overlooking the lake, away from the myriad of others hiking or fishing, and we told the children that around Christmastime, we will have a new baby. Wanting to know if it is a boy or girl, what we would name the baby, and if they could see the baby, it was obvious the children were excited about having a new sibling. I'm so happy that I can help give them such an amazing gift - the gift of someone else to grow up with and to love.

Each day I'm thankful for my swelling belly, waking during the night, and even the bouts of nausea. I'm grateful that I've been given this most precious of gifts. Given my experience six months ago, I'm honored that God has smiled upon me yet again.

My midwife came to my home yesterday. I believe the kids thought her purpose for visiting was so they could entertain her, which I let them do for a few minutes. Soon, however, it was time to get to work on writing up my medical history - even detailing the pregnancies and deliveries of each of my children. My finger was pricked and we learned my hemoglobin is lower than what my midwife would like to see - so I'll be eating sunflower seeds, making tea sweetened with molasses, and cooking in my (new) cast iron skillet. My midwife does house calls because it is good for her to become familiar with the place where the baby will be born! [I'll post about my decision to home birth another day.]

The best part of the visit was the anticipation of hearing the baby's heartbeat. Casey was with me as the midwife gelled up the doppler and rolled it around on my belly. She said that it may be too early to hear anything, then... I heard it! I heard my baby! That most precious of sounds... the sound I never heard last year. The sound I gleefully explained to my daughter was the heartbeat of her littlest brother or sister.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your goodness and generosity in giving this child to us.
In Your mercy please watch over this child within my womb.
Please let my child develop in a normal and healthy way.
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and anoint my precious little one with Your grace and Peace.