Life is constantly changing around here. And as the start of school approaches, there are even more changes to the schedule and lifestyle.
First there was the matter of trying to figure the best school for each child this year. I don't like changing schools, but sometimes it's the best thing. Remember that last fall I took Adam out of a large public school where he was constantly in trouble to a small charter school where the teachers could keep a close eye on him. It got his attention and I would just as soon leave him there his last two years, but they don't have sports. To me, behavior is more important than sports, but he feels ready to go back to the public school this year and concentrate on sports and studies. I'm giving him the chance. He's been out running--between rains--to get ready for cross county. He already has tumbling and gymnastics on Thursday, and works four days a week (my limit for him) so he'll have to shuffle his schedule to accommodate cross country and homework.
Jasmine got a place in the charter school for fall, 5th grade. It's challenging academically as they tend to load on the homework and this is not a good thing for Jasmine, but the behavioral standards are much higher and that is a good thing. Many children from our church and dance attend so she'll have friends there. She would be okay in public for 5th but then she'd be off to middle school and there are a lot of bad attitudes, addictions and other things she'd be exposed to there. Those of you who know her background know that would not be a good thing. She needs to decide if she's going to join band in 5th or 6th grade. She is limited on instruments due to the missing bones in her left hand, but the director (who attends our church and plays in orchestra with Jessica) thinks she would do well on trumpet but would really like her on french horn.
I got the fall dance schedule yesterday and am trying to juggle it to get the classes everyone most want. The main class for the twins is tumbling 1 at 2:45 Wednesdays, and it's going to be a real challenge to get them there on time. I'll have to pick them up at the bus stop and go straight there having them change once they get there. I'll need to find someone to bring Jasmine from the school to the dance building by 3:30 for her jazz and then tap class. She will go on the church choir from there so will leave the house at 6:10 a.m. (transfer bus) and not get home until 8:30 p.m. on Weds. If it's too much for her, we'll have to rework things. Last year she went to dance and on to church choir and missions, but she had an hour at the house between school and dance.
On Thursdays Kayla can take jazz/tap combined while Jasmine has tumbling 2 and then Jessica has tumbling 3 right after them so they can work on homework during that hour together. Thankfully all the dance classes are on Wed & Thurs for us unless the girls add ballet or lyrical. Jasmine wanted musical theater but it meets too early to get her there.
We are not sure about soccer at this point. I need to talk to the girls when they get back Aug 6. Jessica also will have Explorers and she'll probably try out for Explorer's SWAT and color guard. She is going into her sophomore year of college as a criminology major so the Explorers programs are good experiences for her. She's just so busy between college, work and activities.
The good thing is, if any child gets stressed from the schedule, things can be dropped. I make up a big wall calendar of everyone's schedule and make sure that there is plenty of time for homework, family activities and just plain free time. For my crew, free time has to be structured though or we end up with behavioral issues. Those of you who brought children from the O. with us have probably found the same thing to be true.
I'm a teamKid coach now, and Jasmine will return to teamKid once she's back from her trip. Jessica has been invited to help with teamKid too once she's back. That is our church's Sunday night program for kids up through 5th grade.
We were planning to move Tyler to the college Aug 19 but found out we have mandatory new student orientation at Jasmine's school, and it's also the twins first grade orientation day. Rick could take Tyler, but Ty wants all of us to go. And I want to be there too. But Rick could always take Ty Friday and Jessica and I could take the rest of his stuff on Saturday. We'll have to see what works out best.
Jeff has finished the first part of basic training and is going to paratrooper school! Really interesting since he's not too thrilled with heights. He hasn't contacted us, but he left a message on Adam's facebook wall.
It's been pretty rainy the last three weeks so we've been entertaining ourselves here.
Kayla helping the boys with push ups.
After meeting the Duggars and getting a copy of their book signed by all the kids, I decided to try some of the recipes. The directions aren't detailed so there is some guess work. I looked the recipes up on their website and they are the same, so if you want to try any of them, go to their website. The broccoli soup is broccoli and lots of whipping cream plus velveeta. A little too healthy for some of my kids : )
The apple dumplings were really good. They are made with crescent rolls, apples, gobs of sugar and even a can of Mountain Dew. How could you go wrong with that? We cut 15 minutes off the cooking time or the rolls would have been burnt. (Maybe they completely cover their in sauce and then they wouldn't get brown so quickly)
This soup is made with beans, diced tomatoes, chicken breast and fresh chopped cilantro and lime juice. I used 1/3 of the cilantro that it called for. Found out I'm not really a cilantro fan, but the others ate it.
Rick and I? Well, our activities consist of holding things together and getting everyone where they need to go when they need to go. Rick is really good about that. Driving around and running errands drives me crazy, but it doesn't faze him. He's also really good about being involved in their activities. He coached both the twins' soccer team and basketball team. Part of the reason was bonding and attachment issues of course, but the other part is just that he's a good dad :)
I have a new update on the girl's mission team, but I'll save it for another day since this post is already so long.