My apologies for my recent lack of posting updates. I have just been so busy loving on little Anna, and the rest of the family. Which is about as good a reason to neglect housework, chores, errands, correspondence, and blogging as any reason ever could be.
The little love muffin turned 4 weeks old yesterday. Unbelievable! She is slowly getting more used to life outside the womb, although I continue to feel like a marsupial, what with carrying her around with me in a sling 90% of my waking time. I read somewhere that pregnancy takes 12 months, and it is so true. It does take our babies about 3 months to get to a point where they don't mind being set down alone. I for one certainly prefer carrying a baby in a sling to being 9 months pregnant.
At night, her and I are snuggled up side by side, and I must say it is the favorite part of both of our days. There is nothing sweeter in life than to have a nursing infant with that wonderful newborn scent in my arms all night. This morning, I managed to slip out of bed without her waking up and protesting. It gave me a chance to see my husband out the door, respond to a few emails, and now even blog! We'll see how long that will last. I think part of the reason why she wakes so easily is because she burps and spits up more than any of our other kids did. It always wakes her up. If I am holding her, she quickly glances up to see if she can find my face, and if she does, goes right back to sleep. But if she is lying down on her own, she cries miserably, and of course I can't not pick her up.
No matter whether I am feeding her, holding her, giving her a bath, or talking to her, Anna's eyes are always just fixed on my face, without ever blinking. It makes me feel bad when I look down at her and realize that she has been staring at me for minutes, without me ever looking at her and being equally transfixed. Although I admit to having tried "staring her down" and not blinking, like her - but she always wins. :)
She continues to greatly enjoy taking baths in the kitchen sink
This sweet photo almost makes me sad, because it reminds me of...
... this photo, taken just a couple of weeks ago. Look how much chubbier she is now, and how she seems more mature.
She does like being held by her Daddy and Solomon, too, so that frees up my hands enough to get things done I can't do with her in arms. My goals are all small right now, and I don't plan much beyond each day. So far this week, I have managed to take all the kids to the library, pack up the Christmas decorations, write lesson plans for the four oldest for the next 7 weeks, and keep up with the cooking, laundry, and the most important errands. There is always more left to do, but that's life.
We are starting homeschooling again next Monday. It will be week 12 out of 36, so almost one third done with our current "school year". Since we finished up "Galloping the Globe" last month, we are now on to "Cantering the Country", a state-by-state unit study. We are going from East to West, starting with Connecticut. Besides just learning about the state in general, we will be reading about Noah Webster, Eli Whitney (he invented the cotton gin), DNA/genetics, skunks, praying mantis, colonial Connecticut, and shipbuilding - all subjects which somehow relate to Connecticut. For special activities, we will make hamburgers (the first hamburger served in America was served in Connecticut - hey, it beats making clam chowder!), and read some of the "Boxcar Children" books. I also have some fun worksheets printed out. Solomon and Isaac continue to devour any books they can get their hands on. John is still not reading fluently on his own, in spite of the fact that he has almost finished his phonics program. He just has it in his head that he can't read, so he won't even try, even though when he sits down with me he can sound out/read almost any word. I am hoping that he will have a breakthrough in reading very soon, so I have more time to concentrate on teaching Miriam to read. Becky has taken an interest in learning the letters along with her, and has picked up several of them already. To be honest, teaching a child to read is one of my least favorite homeschooling tasks. It is so tedious, and plain boring. But it is also so important for their future academic success, and of course to be able to read and memorize Scripture on their own. Definitely a labor of love.
Our church had a special "Watchnight Service" on December 31st, which was fun, as always. There was a ping-pong tournament, board games, preaching, singing, communion, and fireworks at midnight. The kids loved every bit of it, and not one of them threw up that night after snacking on all the different goodies and washing them all down with sodas. Although John did turn pretty pale at one point and told me he felt like he needed to throw up. Just in case, I sent each of the kids to bed with a large bowl, and told them to please, please NOT throw up on their pillows and blankets. Thankfully, they didn't need them. Pleasant subject, huh? :) Just keeping it real here.
I bet you didn't know that I am actually the mother of Daniel Boone. Isaac wears this everywhere.
My husband with John and Becky (and two random bellies - sorry, no time to crop photos!)
Solomon and Isaac
Not much else is going on around here. Miriam is going to be the flower girl at a wedding in our church this Saturday, something she has been excited about for weeks. Other than that, we are just trying to enjoy every day and have some fun while keeping up with a family of EIGHT - wow, that does sound like a lot!
Miriam working on her "laptop" with her baby in a sling. Hm, wonder who HER role model is? :)