(Okay, note here: I cannot figure out for the life of me why these numbers are all messed up. So it looks like more than 7 things, but I guess we'll just have to deal, right?)
As always, Jen is the hostess with the mostest. Thanks for putting this together, Jen!
- We started school on August 2. EARLY!!! Yup, you bet. But we take vacations when it pleases us, and when we do, we leave the school books home. So we build in some extra time by starting early. And sometimes ending late. Or not at all! But I sat down for a few hours in late July and wrote plans for the first nine weeks. I'm not completely on track for everything, but we have a plan for getting back on track soon. And I love the CHC material so much that I'm seriously considering moving Little Girl to the same materials next year when she is in (gulp!) fourth grade. (Oh, I can't think that far ahead right now. I don't like to think of my baby being that old!)
- Because I'm still working from home, the girls each have planners with independent work that they can do while I'm working. It gives them some responsibility and makes them feel good that they have these planners. They are grown-up and important! It works relatively well, though they do need some help getting the hang of looking at Monday for work that is assigned then but due later in the week. They'll get it eventually, though, and I think it'll be much smoother as we go along. I found the perfect planner for Little Girl, but didn't see one for older children and missed the website on the back of hers until after I'd already bought a plain-ol' planner at Wal Mart for Big Girl. Bummer. I'll know better next year!
- Speaking of Big Girl, she is starting Youth Group religious ed. this year. That means that she's with kids who are from grades six through twelve! Yikes! I am nervous, being as she doesn't typically hang with kids that age unless they're homeschooled, and so in an effort to kind of keep an eye on what's happening with her at Sunday school, I have recruited Travel Man to teach her class! Sneaky, huh? Me being there was going to be (a) too obvious, and (2) too stressful. (I don't need another thing to do, honestly.) We'll see how things go. I am VERY nervous, because to me she's still my little girl, not this young woman who keeps showing up every time I turn around. (She is really growing up in every way, and I keep praying for her more and more.) I know I can't shelter her forever, but I do want to protect her, and more importantly, her soul.
- I've been head of the Respect Life Committee at our parish for a few years now. In the past, we've done some little things for Respect Life Weekend (which our diocese officially does on the weekend nearest Roe v. Wade's anniversary). Usually we request the chance to purchase and distribute literature from the USCCB, and we are first to move. Now, I've mentioned that we have a new pastor at our parish. The other day, he called me to see about what Respect Life will do with the materials, which he was excited to have received in the mail this week. When we realized our schedules did not jive this week during regular working hours, I boldly invited Father K. to dinner on Friday night to discuss what we'll order and have out and ready on Respect Life Sunday in October!! (He mentioned October, and I was all set for January!) Holy COW! I about came out of my skin that he even brought it up first! After we hung up, I turned around and looked at my house and thought, "Oh, wow. I guess we'll be cleaning up for our anniversary party a day earlier, huh?" So when I'm done typing this list, I'll be vacumming and washing the kitchen floor. There's a reason why I usually plan my spontaneity, you know.
- Yes, I said I plan my spontaneity. As a matter of fact, I thought to myself recently, "I think I can be more spontaneous next week because my schedule is pretty light." And, no, that is not an anomoly. I think Jen might relate to this whole idea, by the way. (I am starting to think that she is either my twin or God is telling her to write just for me.) But I am really not good with spur-of-the-moment stuff. I like to have a plan, and it's very hard for me to do without. God, on the other hand, is asking me to stretch more and more, and I've been trying. One Sunday recently, Big Girl asked me after Mass if her friend could come over to swim later that day, and I said, "Um...sure!" Dirty house, tons of laundry, no notice. And I said yes. That was a big deal to me, and unless you've got that same "Gotta-Plan-It" attitude, you won't know just how big a deal it is.
- We planted a new garden where we used to have a pond feature in front of our home. It was overgrown with dandelions and grass and the pond was ... well, nasty might not be strong enough. A snake swam in the little pond one day and turned up dead the next. I'm sure you can put two and two together.
So we went to a nursery in town and bough some azalea plants and a crepe myrtle. We had half a scoop of dirt delivered to us, and we went to work. Whew! But it's pretty, and I think it'll be nicer for Mary to sit there. I moved all the bulbs around, and we even took a bunch of our rocks we dug up when we planted another garden (which we'll need to redo next year, I think) to make a little rock border around it. The result is pretty nice, and I can't wait to see how it looks when we get the grape hyacinths and lilies coming up next year!
- Time for a video!