Thank you sincerely to everyone who offered their encouraging comments on my lost post. Obviously I've been feeling a wee bit frazzled lately. A teething baby will throw off the schedule in just about any home, I suppose. And Chris has started a new job where he is away for long hours every day. Yet, I am learning to manage this new life with four children. I am learning to pace myself, to take time to recharge myself, and most importantly to engage the children in the work that needs to be done.
I decided to declare a no-school week this week--instead we are having a Life Skills Week. The time I would normally spend "doing school" with the children--about 2 hours per day, usually--I will dedicate to teaching the children how to help me more around the house. Today I worked with the boys for a while ensuring they knew how to put their own laundry away and tidy their room. Later today I will teach Kira how to do laundry. And the week will continue like that. I hope that this will be a good investment of time and that things will go at least a little bit smoother in the future.
Yesterday too, when I planted some garlic in the back yard which I had sprouted, I made sure Owen helped me. (I know, it's rather late to be planting garlic in Canada, but I had a whole bag full that was going to go bad before I could use it so I figured, might as well give it a shot! I put some cloves in a container with wet paper towel, and almost every clove sprouted within 24 hours.)
I pulled out the few straggly chamomile plants I had to make room for the garlic. There were a few blossoms on the chamomile, which strangely were the nicest and largest blossoms I've had so far. But there were only a few, not even enough for a good cup of tea, so out they came. I am sure the chamomile didn't grow very well because of the lack of sun in my back yard--for that same reason, I'm sure the garlic won't grow well either, but it's fun to experiment anyway.
I am going to try my best from now on to involve the children in my daily tasks. There is just no way I can comfortably manage our family business, take proper care of the home, cook all our food from scratch, tend to the baby, and facilitate the children's education besides, all by myself. I need to learn to delegate jobs, and ensure everyone in the house is resposible for their own messes.
But enough about that. I also wanted to mention a small sewing project I did for Halloween. Owen wanted to be Toad, who is character in the Super Mario universe who looks like a toadstool. I was rather proud of myself that I whipped up the right kind of hat at the last minute with some scrap fabric, although since I was making it about 5 pm on Halloween I had to glue on the red dots instead of sewing them by hand. Here is Amy modeling the hat:
In other news, I harvested my humble herb garden a little while ago, and some bunches of sage, lemon balm, rosemary and oregano have been drying on my clothes line in the back hall. It makes me so happy to see bunches of herbs drying! I'm not sure why, but it's just a happy sight. (No basil; my plant was huge, but it all withered away after a light frost we had one night. That's what I get for procrastinating.)
Remember my post on Unplugged Sunday? Well, we have been continuing this, and I must say it has been wonderful. I really enjoy having a day free from electronics. The house is so quiet and peaceful, and we have been doing some really fun activities in place of television and computer. My husband, for example, helped the children make their own board game. It's based on the video game MarioKart, which is ironic I know, but they have all been working hard on the game and it's such a joy to see the whole family work together on a project. (And fun to play together, as well).
Of course, with a seven month old girl around here, a lot of cuddling has been going on. Amy's older siblings all adore her and sometimes fights break out over who gets to cuddle with her! I guess there are worse things children could argue about. And I guess I understand. She's pretty darn cute.
(That's milkweek fluff on her shoulder--we had just gotten back from a walk!)
Life is full and good. :)