What we’ve been up to

I was AWOL for a few days recently.  Here’s what I’ve been up to…

(1) Surviving (and recovering from) my husband’s 5 day work trip last week…we are so happy to have you back!  Thanks for working so hard for our family.

(2) E was bumblebee of the week at school this week!  Everyone in her class gets a turn, and she loved hers.  Every day there was something special (her favorite toys to school one day, her favorite outfit the next, etc.) that we were able to help her prepare.  One day she was encouraged to invite her whole family into the classroom to share a family tradition.  While our favorite family tradition (making a gingerbread house) was a little too complicated for our half hour slot, we had a great time showing a picture of E with a past house and helping the kids make the faces of gingerbread men on big round cookies.  Cue the icing and the facial features made out of m&m’s!  (Nothing like getting the whole class on a sugar high then saying goodbye and wishing the teachers good luck :  )  Thanks to E’s teachers for making her feel so special this week and for letting all of us visit. And thanks to dad, S & T for helping share our family tradition with the class!

(3)  Helping S through a tough week.  Though S had plenty of special stuff going on this week and I promise you we have had lots of fun (her regular preschool one day, attending the “grand opening” of a kid’s playplace with all of us – dressed in our dress up finest – another day, hosting playgroup at our house another day…), it can still be hard when your sibling is having such a special week at school.  We are working hard to teach celebrating others (I struggle with when it is the right time to make the spotlight equal and when to help the girls take turns having their special moments…more on this later)  But this week for E – with a new report on how they made her special that day at school each afternoon – was a little hard on S, despite my determination to give S a special thing each day to report too…

Anyway, S is such a wonderful, wonderful sister, and the reality is that she just wanted to be in Kindergarten with E this week with all those special things going on at school.  We figured it out when an initially cute moment for S during E’s special day at school turned sad.  The story: S was there to help us share our family tradition.  At the beginning of the activity, the Kindergarten teacher told each child to sit on the mat while we gave our talk/demonstration and to stay there until their name was called to go sit at the table and begin work on their cookie.  This rule didn’t apply to E or to S, who were both a part of the demonstration.  Well, after the last name was called, we realized there was one patient little person still sitting on the mat.  It was S (who – again – had been part of the demonstration, but apparently plopped down as soon as we were done with that because she remembered the teacher saying that kids would be called from a seat on the mat to go make their cookies)  Anyway, when we saw S, my husband immediately told her, “You can go make your cookie!  There’s a chair for you at E’s table!  E is already there.”  S replied, “Ms. H told everyone NOT to move from the mat until she called their name, dad!”  We actually had to get Ms. H to come over and officially release S to go to her chair.  The sad end to the story is that we later realized that three year old S was actually trying to demonstrate that she was ready for Kindergarten too…there were lots of tears from her when our activity ended (almost an hour of tears in the school hallway, the parking lot, the car and then at home…they started the moment she realized she was leaving with us instead of staying with E at school.  So sorry, S!  We love you, and if it makes you feel better, you will be in Kindergarten before you know it.  You are such a great kid and such a wonderful sister and we did our very best to give you an extra special week at home, which you did love, by the way :  ).

Then, later in the week, S got sick.  I will spare you the details, and just say, “poor S!”  She has received lots of TLC and been made to feel very special on her own.  Now we are simply at the point of being grateful that she is feeling better (and that overall, our family is very healthy…thank you God).

(4)  Marking milestones for T.  He has learned to say the word “no!”, heaven help me.  Also, just yesterday, when S had the blocks out, T walked over and used three of them to build a tower.  He pointed at it, laughed, then promptly kicked it down.  We did that for about half an hour yesterday afternoon!  T made a gingerbread face at school too, by the way :  )

(5)  Creating a cleaning schedule for our house.  I pride myself on being a “homemaker” for the family, but I might be the worst “housekeeper” in the universe.  I finally made a schedule for getting things done (i.e. designating times during the day for basic stuff (e.g. created a revised chore chart – our last one was too complicated – and setting a daily time to review it), designating a day each week for larger stuff (e.g. putting laundry away), and creating a 5 week rotation for things I just haven’t been doing (e.g. vacuuming the whole upstairs one week, cleaning porch toys another week, etc.).  I know the schedule is not completely realistic (and that the chore chart is going to be the death of me…more on this later too…are the ages of 5 & 3 too young for this?), but it at least gives me something to shoot for.

(6)  Prepping for Thanksgiving: a poster of things we are thankful for is growing on our wall, our grocery list is being made (all those family favorites, mmmmmm….) , and family is preparing to visit.  Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday : )

(7)  Christmas shopping!  We are *trying* to get an early start on our holiday “to do” list this year so we can focus more on Christ, family and friends during the wonderful season.  More Christmas details coming later!

I woke up early today and have been typing in a quiet house.  But it’s 6:30, which means the kids will be up any minute (I can’t believe T is still asleep…maybe he’s tired from our 4:30am playdate, which is why I was up so early today…love you T!).  Anyway, I’m off to start our day!

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