You know, when I started this blog in December of 2006, I began it to chronicle our homeschool journey and stay in touch with family and friends. I’ve drifted a bit and have really lost a lot of the personal touches here, and I’d really like to get back to that. So with that in mind, I thought I’d post a whirlwind view of what’s going on with the family and myself lately.
Can you believe when I started my blog I only had three children? My family has doubled in size! That’s pretty amazing in itself.
All of us at my husband’s goodbye reception
Michael is turning 13 this week. I can’t believe I’ll have a teenager! He is looking forward to getting a facebook account, something that makes my blood pressure rise and my eyes twitch. I’m sure it will be fine. He’s in seventh grade and homeschooled, but goes to the middle school down the street daily for orchestra, chamber orchestra, and chorus. He plays cello and takes piano lessons as well. He’s also doing a play right now, The Grasshopper and the Ant. He’s in Boy Scouts and plays footsal and is also going through Confirmation this year. Right now he’s doing a main lesson block on the Renaissance. He uses Saxon for math and Catholic Heritage Curricula for grammar. In our co-op he takes gym.
Katie Grace is 10 and will turn 11 in May. She is such an incredible blessing to me. She is in fifth grade and also participates in the public school orchestra program playing violin. She and Michael were in the civic chorus’s youth choir in the fall and hope to participate again in the spring. She takes homeschool ballet and is taking classes through two different co-ops right now! She is doing an American Girls class with the Catholic co-op and gym and sign language with the other. She LOVES to cook and bake and we all enjoy her efforts. Right now she’s doing a main lesson block on American geography through tall tales. She is using Progress in Mathematics for math and Catholic Heritage workbooks to support her handwriting, spelling, and grammar.
Nicholas turned 8 at the end of September and is in second grade. He’s my sweet little late bloomer and has really just taken off with reading. It took a while and I won’t lie– I was getting worried! But it was like flipping a switch and now he sees and reads words everywhere. It’s definitely a magic all its own. Nicholas enjoys cub scouts and has participated in various programs at the library. Lego Club was his favorite. At c0-op he’ll be taking German and gym, and at home he’s in the middle of a Celtic saints main lesson blocks. Nick uses Progress in Mathematics for math and supports his learning with spelling and language arts from Catholic Heritage Curricula. Handwriting is A Reason for Handwriting, and it’s so sweet to see him decide who to give his Bible verse sheets to each week.
Daniel is four and will turning five in May. I can’t believe he starts kindergarten next year! We play it cool with him during school hours. Each week I fill 8 workboxes (I love how Kara called them wonder boxes!) and let him explore them while the older kids are doing school. If I notice there’s one he isn’t engaged with, I might change it out midweek. I try to fit them in with our seasonal or nursery rhyme theme. We also have circle time every morning. Right now our circle theme is winter light and we’re reciting lots of songs and rhymes about light, candles, and the moon. We’re also doing some winter-themed activities.
My dear sweet Twinkies are almost 15-months-old! I can’t believe it. They’re walking. Running, actually. It’s nuts around here. They giggle and babble at each other and give wonderful kisses. Matthew and Molly adore circle time. When I start singing they rush into the living room with their chubby little arms up, ready to hold hands and dance in the circle. It makes my heart so happy. They love to play with the play kitchen and seem intent on liberating all the pot holders from the basket. Being a mother of twins is such an amazing blessing. On the one hand, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It is hard, hard, hard. But on the other hand, it’s indescribable joy. And now they’re starting to talk! Eat, “na na” (which means nurse or banana, depending on context), bye bye, uh oh, mama, daddy. It’s all so sweet.
My husband resigned his call of almost ten years and is currently in a five-point full-time interim position while he seeks a full-time call. We’re praying for a new call soon. He’s having an amazing time with these new churches, and we enjoyed seeing his churches and meeting some of the members.
At my last cardiologist appointment, I received the news that my heart function has recovered. Normal EF is from 55-60% and mine was around 57%. When I was diagnosed it was at 5-10%. When I left the hospital it was around 25%. At my last echocardiogram, it had been around 50%, so 57% is pretty amazing. My heart is still somewhat enlarged. However, it has shrunk since the last time and I hoping next visit we’ll find it closer to normal size. I feel pretty good. I’m tired a lot, but I’m nursing twins all night, so I think that’s to be expected. My blood pressure is good and I’m praying to eventually be off the medications.
What happened to me when the babies were born has affected me profoundly. I am no longer at the point where peripartum cardiomyopathy hangs over me like a cloud, but it’s definitely a life changer. The other day a study popped up on my google alerts, and out of the 24 participants with PPCM, 6 died. That sort of thing shakes me and reminds me of how incredible blessed I am. The fact that I walked out of this alive with two babies is nothing short of a miracle, and I can’t experience a miracle head on like this and not be changed.
So that’s where we’re at. I’m still working on finding my joy, getting my rhythms and routines in order, and rediscovering my Waldorf roots. I’m working on balance and being gentle with myself, although I’m beginning to suspect those two will be a lifetime quest. One thing I am getting right is loving my family. I don’t think I have ever appreciated and loved them as much as I do now.