Monday was full. Makayla went to investigate a job possibility in the morning while I went grocery shopping and errand running. When I got back Daddy worked on his college class until it was time for Oliver and Samuel's dental cleanings. He took them while I fed kids, mixed up the meatloaf for dinner and put it in the fridge, and did afternoon medical care with Mason for 75 minutes. By the end Daddy was back, got Rebekah down for a nap, and ran Joseph to the movie theater. We passed each other as Mason and I headed out for the big city to pick up his new glasses at Children's Hospital. Two and a half hours later, mostly spent driving, we were home and Daddy was again gone picking up Joseph from his movie. I put the meatloaf in the oven, turned on the Instant Pot full of potatoes that daddy had washed and prepped while I was gone, and kept the general pre-dinner activities moving along (chores, more chores, food prep). After dinner the kids made sure their bedrooms were clean and got pajamas on because Daddy's first day back to work was going to be Tuesday and he needed to get to bed at 6pm. That means the upstairs is off limits all evening. The girls headed out to walk a friend's dog, pick up Joseph's epi pens at the pharmacy, and do some shopping of their own. 8pm was the general bedtime and 9pm was lights out.
Tuesday we all survived Daddy's first day of work for 2019. He is not back to full pay, but anything is better than nothing. We missed him a lot and simply kept busy at home until he returned. There were games of war, checkers, and chess. We pulled the Little People collection out of the attic. I read aloud The Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe out of my old 1962 copyright ten volume Collier Junior Classics set. Joseph, Emma, and Daniel loved it. Kids had piano lessons (and some even ate little dried fish and other snacks from Japan our teacher shared). Makayla worked and then got her first semester's college schedule. Southern Virginia University schedules your first semester of classes for you. She's enrolled in a variety of classes including classic Western literature, general psychology, and servant-leadership. It's getting more real every week that she is leaving on a grand adventure.
Wednesday and Thursday I have no notes. I know that Wednesday was the last Cub Scout meeting of the school year. I'm ready for a break! Thursday was spent getting the house and family ready for my absence, and packing.
Friday morning Grandma arrived before 6:30am to take over the house and kid care. Jason was already at work (he had to be there before 4am) and Makayla and I climbed in the car and started driving. A seven-ish hour road trip later through a couple states, hills, mountains, and very winding roads we arrived in the tiny Virginia town of Buena Vista, home of Southern Virginia University. We had appointments with financial aid and academic advising, then a quiet evening exploring the nearby communities.
|SVU Visit - Go Knights!|
Saturday morning was the SVU Open House. We had so many questions answered, met important people and departments, she got to do a mini-class in Psychology (her declared major), then we had a solid tour of campus including the dorms she'll be in. It made everything feel very real. Now that we've seen everything in person, asked questions of both staff, current students, and past students, and felt the spirit on campus, we both know this is the right place for Makayla. It is a fantastic fit.
Sunday she and I climbed back in the car and drove home. It was a beautiful drive and ever so nice to be home again.
Monday was 'get all the things done' day, knowing that I would only have a vehicle that day. There were groceries to pick up, library books to return, library books to pick up, the final dentist appointment, and so on.
Tuesday Daddy was at work and the kids and I started off the day with breakfast and chores. They have not had assigned chores for a while. I simply ask for helpers as needed. Now that our two week total break for summer is over we are beginning to build routines in. This routine is fairly simple - in 30 minutes everyone is given 2 chores to tackle and the entire house ends up clean by the end of the 30 minutes. Yes, that is one perk of a large family, many hands truly make light work.
Wednesday the next routine was introduced: summer reading. My kids are split between solid readers (Oliver, Daniel, Emma, Joseph, Makayla), a solid reader who is finishing All About Reading level 4 because he wants to (Mason), readers still needing regular lessons (Caleb and Samuel), and non-readers (Tobias and Rebekah). This summer we decided to set a basic reading goal with a small incentive (something we don't use during the school year). I printed out a page with 20 black and white graphics (Pokeballs from Pokémon) for Joseph down through Tobias. Each day that they read at least 20 minutes, or have someone read to them, in Tobias' case, they color a ball. When the sheet is filled up they get a small frosty from Wendy's. Makayla elected not to participate as she is busy living her nearly adult summer. If a kid decides not to read I am 100% okay with that, natural consequences will follow. Most of my kids naturally read an hour each evening, plus their personal scripture study time.
It is Wednesday afternoon and I'm hitting publish on this post while I'm thinking about it!