As some of you know, Stephen has been contracting and working out of town every Monday through Thursday for the past 11 months. It was a well-paying gig that grew his resume substantially, but as you can imagine, it was very difficult on the entire family.
Well, as of yesterday, Stephen is back to working a job where he leaves in the morning and comes back home to his adoring family every night. The new position is a solid job with a reputable company. Plus, Daddy gets to work downtown in a big building, which is another major perk for the boys.
Honestly, this career move seemed to fall into Stephen’s lap right out of the blue. We totally give this one up to God and praise Him for opening up yet another door. Amazing that just when you least expect it, He does that for us.
So, thank you, Lord, for putting Daddy back in the saddle where he is needed most. And thanks, Stephen, for listening to God’s call and not questioning His infinite wisdom.
Time off for “the last radicals”
Back in October, National Review published a poignant article, describing homeschooling as “the one radically social movement of any real significance” in America. Just as all good radicals should do, “homeschoolers drive the establishment bats.”Â It’s an interesting story and a pretty short read, so check it out if you can.
Our clan of radicals is already enjoying the official CC Christmas break. The last meeting was on 11/20 and our next community isn’t until January.
Yep, that’s a whopping seven weeks off from mandatory studies.Â I’m taking advantage of the hiatus to catch up to speed on any weak areas, solidify all the strong areas, and continue to do memory-work drills, math and phonics.
I’m also using the extra time to foster the twins’ growing interest in all the subject matter Houston has been learning this fall. Gabriel and Zeke have already picked us so much of the material and knowledge by pure osmosis. Children’s brains are truly remarkable.
On a related note, check outÂ Tim Hawkins: A Homeschool Family. He’s a family-friendly, Christian comedian and homeschool dad who is actually quite funny — yeah, I was surprised, too — but the short video is sure to make you laugh. Let me know what you think.
Move it or lose it
Of course, our days are not filled solely with academics.Â Gabriel had his first basketball practice on 11/17. Overall, he did well. But there was a brief period in the middle when Gabe hurt another playerÂ by accident.
The kid immediatelyÂ forgave him, but our sensitive boy felt compelled to stress and cry a bit over the incident.Â Eventually, Gabe regained his composure and the little guys were best buds by the end of practice. The blossoming of this insti-friendship was adorable to witness.
Zeke, who opted not to play ball, handled Gabe’s practice with surprising grace. I hope that his and Houston’s show of maturity continues at the Wildcats first game tomorrow. My guess is the eventÂ is sure to offer up a healthy does of madcap entertainment, both on and off the court.
In an effort to get this old body moving a bit more, Stephen and I took the boys to a family karate class on Wednesday. Unfortunately, it was canceled, but we plan to try it out again next week.
My hope is that it will be it an hour and a half of fun exercise for the whole clan in a disciplined environment, especially since I haven’t even done my pitiful once-a-week trip to the Y since homeschooling began. Plus, karate’s just a cool skill to know and the class is cost-effective as far as martial arts go.
Music’s in the air
I’m also taking advantage of the CC hiatus to focus more on engaging the kids in hands-on music. Houston loves his tin whistle, which is part of CC’s introduction to musical foundations. Surprisingly, we don’t practice it that much, so we will definitely be doing more of that over the holidays.
I also color-coded our piano in three different keys so the boys could teach themselves Jingle Bells. This consists of stickers in different colors on each of the fives notes of the Christmas classic. My “code” is actually working because Houston almost knows the ditty and the twins aren’t far behind.
The boys and I plan on going caroling again, but we’re urging Christie and company to take part in the zaniness with usÂ this year. Not certain of our set list yet, but with tin whistles, recorders, lots of different percussive shakers, a guitar andÂ a drum at our disposal, and vocals galore, it’s sure to beÂ cacophony of merriment!
Sweet baby Aurora’s baptism
On 11/18, the family attended Rorie’s baptism in Winston-Salem. She’s the adorable 6-month-old daughter of our dear friends, Greg and Meredith (also known as Uncle Greg and Auntie Merdy).
The Moravian church requires sponsors for a child’s baptism (similar to godparents) and Stephen and I, along with our pals Beth and Alan, were asked to fill this role. Wow, what an honor! TheÂ ceremony was lovely and the luncheon that followed was a great opportunity to catch up with our busy buddies.
Thanksgiving over yonder
We spent four days up in the mountains at Granny’s for Thanksgiving. It was a small affair, but that gave us all more time to spend with Granny and an increasingly and amazingly recovering Grumps.
The day after Turkey Day, we made our annual pilgrimage to Sugar Plum Farm. Well, I suppose fourth time’s the charm for us ’cause this year’s outing was spectacular from beginning to end (unlike year’s past, if you recall).
The dudes got to see Santa while waiting in line to ride up the mountain. Dutifully, Zeke asked for cowboy boots, Houston a camera (a Canon, no less) and Gabe aÂ 100-piece puzzle of the solar system. Luckily, Santa has already scored said items, minus the Canon label.
The steep hayride to the choose-and-cut trees went off without a hitch, so we tooled around on the mountaintop for a while before heading back down, including some extreme vertical rolling on the boys’ part.
The stimulating hiking, tree picking, massive presence of dogs, campfire/marshmallow feast and duck pond all helped keep the dudes’ interest at the farm, making for a day of wonderment for the 3 Amigos and a worthwhile venture (finally!) for Mommy and Daddy.
Once we dropped off our grungy kids back at the the creek house (thanks a million, Granny!), Stephen and I treated ourselves to an impromptu date night in town. You can’t go wrong with organic hippie pizza, handcrafted beer made by Dry County Brewing Company and good conversation with your best friend.
First the bad news, then the good
Our beloved Woolly died back earlier this month. We gave him a proper backyard burial and said a prayer, which prompted a few tears on my part. I know you think I’m nuts, but that adorable critter had become part of the family.
Luckily, the kids found another woolly worm on Liberty Loop a couple days ago. He’s small, but cute and spritely. And yes, I’m already attached to that fuzzy little bugger.
One more piece of good news: my guy Dan Forest was finally declared the victor in the NC lieutenant governor’s race. This is indeed a positive thing for the Tar Heel State.
Now if we could just get the UN and other busy-body bureaucrats to stop trying to tell the world how to parent, and the intelligentsia and no-doubtedly the class-warfare chieftains in Washington out of wanting our retirement savings, things would be even brighter.
Oh well, these days, I’ll take what I can get.