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It's kind of hard to believe that Rodney's surgery was 2 months ago! In some ways, it feels like it's been FOREVER . . . in other ways it doesn't seem possible that it's been 2 months already . . . I am soo thankful that Rodney is, for the most part "back to normal", and a "better than before" normal!
For the last few years, his heart problems have kept him from being able to breath when lying flat in bed for any length of time, so he's been sleeping in a recliner. Now that his heart valve has been repaired, he can lay flat again YAY!!!
He's stopped taking most of his pain meds, only taking one at bedtime and if he anticipates extra pain (such as when he went for an echocardiogram this week).
During our "travels" last week, he did quite abit of the driving, and this week has started driving by himself again, going to his medical appointments and such. The girls are very thankful to not have to be dragged along, and have their routines disrupted by those appointments, and I think he's happy to have abit more "freedom". He's also started working again, the bits that he can do over the phone, from home.
Rodney and the girls had planned to go out after the 4th, and buy some fireworks on clearance to set off here at home a few days late, but by the time they had a chance to go hunting, there were none to be found. We had some sparklers and snakes leftover from some previous year, so they contented themselves with that. Little Bit wasn't at all sure about the sparklers at first, but by the second night we did them, she had decided she was brave enough to try them, and LOVED them :)
One evening our neighbors brought over a luna moth they had "hatched". They found a caterpillar a week or 2 ago, and when they realized it was a luna moth caterpillar they kept it in their butterfly "house" until it made a chrysalis. It emerged this week, so they brought it over for the girls to see before they let it go.
Another day, when Little Bit was picking berries, the neighbors walked by on their way to the bridge. They'd discovered that if they caught little bugs and took them to the bridge they could throw them down into the water and the minnows would eat them. So they invited us to go along. Little Bit discovered that the minnows also like red clover (if you tear the blossom up into the little individual pieces) so she had fun feed the minnows those too.
Otherwise we had a quiet week. Working on the habit of "orderliness" has sparked an interest in general decluttering, so we've been working on sorting through some of the boxes of toys stored in the attic behind the girls' room. Little Bit's having fun finding "treasures" but we're also managing to throw out some of the junk that her sisters thought were treasures 2 years ago, and sorting through things in general.
I'm being spoiled with how little "teaching" I have to do right now. We're still using What On Earth Can I Do? for Bible and Lexie is happy to read the lessons to Little Bit and Ashlyn at least half the time, which means I just get to listen (and write blog posts, and lesson plan) while she reads. The big girls are still LOVING, and flying through, Veritas Press Self-Paced History, so that's a subject they can do completely independently. Little Bit is enjoying the stories in the Burgess Bird Book for Children. I discovered the audiobook is available on librivox, so I let it "read" to us while she colors a coloring page of one of that chapter's birds. We also usually look up the bird(s) online to see pictures of them, and hear what they sound like.
The one subject that IS teacher intensive is WriteShop with Ashlyn, but with so much else being independent, I can't really complain. AND last week we received another grammar-related curriculum to review, Grammar of Poetry, so some days she does that, which is a video course. I was thinking that, since Grammar of Poetry is designed to be used 3 days a week, she could do that 3 days a week, and WriteShop the other 3, so we did that this past week, but after talking about it, she'd rather focus on one, then the other, so she's going to finish up her current lesson of WriteShop the first part of this week, and then, do Grammar of Poetry every day until it's done (there are only 30 lessons (a lesson = 1 day) so doing it 5ish days a week, it shouldn't take long), then go back to WriteShop, so that means that for the next month or so, her Grammar will be pretty independent as well!
I've been using all my "free time" to do lesson planning for this fall. We'll be wrapping up Bible soon, and diving back into Bible Road Trip, so I've been planning that out for the first few weeks. And, with the girls moving so quickly through history, we'll be ready for Story of the World Volume 2, the Middle Ages in another couple months, so I've been working on pulling together additional "living books", and videos and hands-on projects to go along with it.
The girls were excited to get to music lessons this past week and find that their teacher had some new books for them to try out. She's having them borrow hers for a week or two to make sure she knows what level they need before I order them, but she feels she's found a series that will be a better fit for Ashlyn, now that she's ready to focus more on reading. And Lexie is very excited to have a book with actual SONGS to use to practice reading, instead of the book of rhythms that she'd been using. Getting to read and play a "real" son from the Laura Ingalls Wilder book has sparked her interest in being able to read songs she knows, so the timing was great for this!
So we've been staying out of trouble!