Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vacation is over...yet, it's really only the beginning...

Every year we take a summer trip to visit my parents in Illinois. The last two years we've spent a full week at my mothers and a full week at my father's. It seemed a little long last year for the kids, but they are older and we aren't planning another trip for another year this time. We used to travel a few times a year and always for the holidays, but money is tight and traveling is more difficult with four kids. Here Angelica Pickles and Boo Boo are having some down time looking at a book together. One of the things we can't get away with not packing every trip is a ton of books!

The klan has enjoyed my parents' fenced in back yards these weeks. We have a chain-link fence at home, but it's nothing compared to the lockable 8 foot shaddow box fences around here. I don't even feel like I have to watch the older three play outside, when at home they wouldn't be outside alone for a mear second. They've enjoyed the hummingbirds, four puppies from the neighbor's yard, slugs, pool, moonwalk and slip'n'slide. Boo Boo doesn't like the sun in his eyes, but there have been plenty of days the sun was behind the clouds so he could venture out for a time, too. The weather has been perfect!

MommyK has enjoyed the free entertainment of the children, home-cooked meals made by others, and time away from the daily grind of homelife. I've wandered around a number of days in the afternoon with nothing to do. No laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing. I haven't even wanted to work on all my projects I've brought either, most days. Although, I did do some sewing and homeschool planning. It's been nice to relax and just spend time with the klan without the distraction of the home or the phone. Although, they really like playing on their own and don't care for me to be around most of the time. So, Boo Boo and I have had some great times together. My grandmother stayed with us while at Grandmama's house and the children always enjoy spending time with Grandma Liz. I didn't get pictures this year of them riding the lawnmower with Popie or Grandmama. That's always a treat for them!

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We went to the local zoo in Springfield, IL while we were there. I grew up with this zoo, but now, compared to our local zoo here in IN, it's pretty bleak. It seemed a little better kept this year, though. The klan, of course, enjoy any type of zoo. So, it was well worth our time anyway. Sid the Science Kid enjoyed actually seeing a bald eagle since he just learned it is our nation's bird. And Boo Boo actually got to see more animals than he ever has because the cages were smaller and the animals were a little closer.

We also went to the Chatham Sweet Corn Festival while we were visiting. I grew up in Rochester, IL and Chatham was our rival. My parents both moved to Chatham after I went to college...odd...but now my mom lives in Springfield and my dad in Chatham. The kids were excited to visit the capital of Illinois now that they know what that means. At the festival they played games, ate the best sweet corn there is and Sid the Science Kid went rock climbing for the second time this year! The kids wore there "Big Brother" and "Big Sister" shirts and we all matched. It was fun. The festival was just a small walk from Grammy and PaPaw's house.

Mr. Prince took a small break from vacation and went back to Indiana to interview for teaching positions. He is promised a full-time position next year, but we aren't sure where that will be. He turned down his only job offer last week and now he has to pick his top three positions of whatever is left and they will just place him this week. Hoping for a good position and at good school that is close by home. Not having him work 5 blocks away will be an adjustment. But, of this three pics, there really isn't a bad one. So, I am pleased. They are all about 10-15 min away and good schools.

Homeschooling is planned to take off next week! I have a ton planned, but still feel like I have hours of planning still to do! It would help if I didn't change every curriculum I get my hands on, and if I quit changing my mind on everything! Now I'm debating doing something completely different with my girls than Sid the Science Kid. But I have a feeling Sid will want to do everything they are doing and they will want to do everything he is doing. *sigh* And, I realistically won't have time to do everything I want to with Sid, so I need to just STOP! Sid continues to enjoy his knowledge from Clubhouse and constantly draws pictures of the world and patriotic things. In the first picture here he was playing with our Banangrams game pieces by himself and later he put all the states in alphabetical order. The flag is made out of cuisenaire rods. I really don't have to "teach" the boy anything, do I?

It seems odd to think I only have 9 weeks before the baby arrives. Mr. Prince is thankfully home for 5 more weeks, but that time always flies so fast. I haven't even scheduled out our summer projects yet! I have lots of mind work to do this week...

We have some good friends visiting us this next weekend. They have 3 little ones, so it should be interesting during naps and bedtime. For now we will leave Boo Boo in our room, though we plan to move him into Sid the Science Kid's room as soon as we can. The girls are still frustrating us at night and we still haven't found a remedy for that. Angelica Pickles often ends up in the hallway sleeping, but still gets into mischief in the bathroom or sneaking into Sid's room. Very frustrating. But, I do expect a lot of her being just three years old. She communicates so clearly, so I expect her to act like her almost 5 year old sister, which isn't fair. We did successfully train her to stay in her bedroom until 8am each morning before she turned three, though! That has been wonderful! But, bedtime is still quite difficult. I'm bribing her right now and telling her that her friend won't come visit if she doesn't go to bed at night quietly. The last two nights have been an improvement...

We got a letter from Catholic Charities on our way out of town two weeks ago that implied we were to move forward with our foster parenting. Confused, I contacted the lady who did our homestudy and she investigated further. She found out we were denied a licenses, but the regulations that were stated to us were not correct. The actual state mandate for ages of children is that no foster family can have three children three-years-old and younger, not four children under the age of six like we were told previously. It doesn't sound much different, but in our case it is! We won't have less than four children under the age of six until 2013 or later. By June of 2010, Angelica Pickles will be four and we will only have Boo Boo and BKM under three. So, at least until we deliver baby #6, we should be able to do foster care. I'm really excited to possibly have this opportunity in the next year and hope they will consider us again next summer. We will still be within the four years of our original 30 hours of classes, so we won't have to take any additional courses either. My heart really is to adopt, so we might just do foster-to-adopt at that point since we will be limited in how long we will be able to foster. Once we have six children in this house, we will have no additional room for foster children. So, a more positive ending to our foster care journey for the time being.

Well, off to clean. Lots to do before company comes and school starts!

1 comment:

G.L.H. said...

I like ostridge. Kinda a cross between ostrich and partridge...

but isn't it cool he is connecting letter groups with which he is familiar? :)