Monday, July 28, 2008

I Guess the Party's Over

Yup, the kids are home again! They had a good time, mostly, and are very glad to be home. Nothing like a long trip away from home to make the kids appreciate home and parents all the more. I have not received so many hugs in a long time! Of course, the fighting has started again. Although, they probably fought the whole time they were gone!

Yesterday was their first whole day back home. We skipped church, yup, SKIPPED, and spent time doing family things. In the morning, we did laundry and sat around talking and cuddling, then in the afternoon, we went for a long walk down a bike trail and took the kids to the lake to swim a couple of hours. The swiming thing was cool cause we were there the same time a baptismal was going on. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay for it since it was getting later and later and the kids were hungry. It's been a long time since I've seen a lake baptismal. I was baptized in a lake at the age of seven. So, it brought out some pleasent memories. When we got home, we made a pizza and the kids took showers. Oh, to have clean smelling, clean looking kids again! What a joy to have cleanness going on!

Today, they have had a chance to cuddle with Ginger and get caught up on that! That cat is going to be very spoiled. It has only to meow, and someone runs out to comfort it. Of course, what it really wants is cat food, but that is not to be! So, hugs will have to do! That cat follows people around like a dog and makes sure that you pay attention to it! Crazy Cat!

Today, too, we are going to resume our 'summer school' and get back on schedule. These kids thrive on routine and it helps the time to pass more quickly. School will start again in five weeks and hopefully, they will be more ready for it and there won't be so much catch up. Calico Kid is doing better in his reading, so that should help for 5th grade and starting next week, we are going to really drill hard on the times tables. He seems to be okay with that, and he REALLY needs the practice. In fact, the teachers sent home a list of things to work on this summer, and that was one of them. I just really want him to be better prepared this year and to not be so far behind when school starts. My goal is to have him at grade level by 6th grade. He made great strides this last year and if he works hard, he can do it. Mystery Girl is finally close to grade level, and actually, if she could only decide to write her answers without waiting for me to tell her that the answer is right, she would be done much faster with her work and be much closer to grade level.

So, I've been thinking a lot about family traditions, vacations, and holidays lately. The last two years of holidays has been really hard for me and I have been depressed a lot during the holidays. I think that the moving and being away from family and the lack of funds has really been a big part of it. I have always loved Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, and lately, the whole things has been disenchanting for me. So, I resolved that this year is going to make up for all the past years and be something special. We are going to make our own traditions and do something REAL this year. I am making homemade gifts. I think that spending time making them makes them more special and personal to give. I have come to hate Christmas shopping, when you have to spend money and get tired and cranky from trying to find the 'perfect gift' the fits your budget. I have been really excited the last couple of weeks and I finished making some of the gifts and I can hardly wait for Christmas so I can give them. There is some sort of personal satisfaction in accomplishing the work and having it turn out. We are going to do a lot of baking and I was even thinking of getting involved with a soup kitchen. It would be nice for the family to feel that they are helping others. Anyway, we shall see.

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