I have blogged a lot recently about our sons, but this evening, I just have a bunch of notes I've jotted down over the past week or two to remind me about little stories involving one of our daughters, J.
Before I get into those, though, I wanted to celebrate the happy news that S called me about from school today. She got four quizzes back today and on one, she missed two, on another, she missed one and on two of them she got 100%! We are just so pleased with her hard work and success in school this year. I told you she was working her buns off!
S is the reason we started homeschooling at all. Back when she was going into sixth grade and having nearly failed out of fifth grade because she was just so far behind in school due to the low priority it became in her early childhood, we thought homeschooling would be a great way to catch her up in the main subjects and then we could put her back in public school after a year or so. But we loved it too much! Homeschooling fits our family.
And look at the good it has done S. She is a dynamo when it comes to memorizing stuff for class and studying for her quizzes. But these scores even shocked me! I'm a proud mama for sure. I looked at the questions on the quizzes and there is no way I could have gotten even half those questions right. She's learning some pretty crazy cool stuff at SOM.
Anyway, way to go, S! I love you, Girl, and I'm so proud of you. Woohoo!
Now back to the always entertaining J.
We have always said that J is a bit of a flower child or a free spirit. She can be pretty driven when she sets her mind to something, but for the most part, she is our most laid back kid. She sleeps in late, she mostly dresses in loose-flowing clothing with bare feet more often than not and she doesn't really put a lot of stock in what other people think about her (even though she has pretty high expectations for herself). She's artistic and creative though she can really surprise us at times with her good logic.
This evening, I had to run over to Target to pick up some prescriptions and nearby there is a Hobby Lobby. I had J and O with me and J said, "We haven't gotten to go to Hobby Lobby very much lately -- well, we went to get specific stuff for E's birthday party, but we haven't gotten to browse around for fun. We should really go while we're over here."
I chuckled first because her specificity about why to go to Hobby Lobby was just funny to me. We all like Hobby Lobby and of course our most artistic child loves it there.
I said, "Well, let's see how long it takes at Target before we make a decision."
Picking up prescriptions and a couple other items we needed for the house, didn't take too long. So I said, "Okay, we can go to Hobby Lobby if you guys still want to do that."
Both J and O agreed that they wanted to go.
As we drove from Target to Hobby Lobby, the sky opened up and we were suddenly caught in a downpour. I said, "Well, maybe we won't go to Hobby Lobby ... I don't really want to get out of the car in this. Do you?"
J thought about it for a moment and said, "Well, why don't we just drive up there and see if there is any close parking. That way we can get out and run really fast and not get very wet."
I said, "Well, okay, that's true. We can try that." I only halfheartedly hoped there would be a close parking spot because it's Friday and I'm tired from our busy week and I really did not feel like running through the rain -- even though I do enjoy a visit to Hobby Lobby -- but her logic made sense and I didn't want to discourage her unnecessarily.
Sure enough, there was an open spot pretty close to the entrance. We parked and I said, "Well, this is close, but it seems to be raining even harder now."
J, in her abundant wisdom, said, "Why don't we just sit in the car for a couple minutes and see if the rain eases up before we go in."
So we sat. Of course, all the time we sat, O was anxious to just go out there and run around in the rain. He's such a boy! He kept begging to go, but I wasn't feeling very playful at the moment.
Finally after about ten minutes, the rain did lighten up, so we made a dash for the store.
I asked where J wanted to go in the store and she said that first, she wanted to visit the picture frame section to pick out a frame so I can print her a picture of our friends who just moved away to Arizona. She spent her own money on this and I just thought about how sweet it is of her to want to put a picture of our family friends in her room.
O wanted to go to the "kid's section," where he picked out Silly Putty to buy with his own money.
Finally, J found the faux flower aisle and she just loved slowly and carefully admiring all the colors and textures and even the roses with the fake dew drops on them. She didn't want to buy any because -- I think -- she couldn't have bought the joy she found from just wandering the aisles of blossoms.
It brings me great joy to see how easily she finds joy. And getting a little wet in the rain was totally worth it.
On Tuesday night, we went to a little Mexican restaurant and all the kids ordered their meals and C ordered tacos (on special) for he and I. Wondering if the tacos would be filling enough, he ordered us a little basket of chips and salsa to go with them. This was an order at the counter place and after he brought out the basket of chips, he went back to pick up our drinks. He got delayed because they were having an issue with their fountain.
Meanwhile, all the kids started digging into the basket of chips and it wasn't long before there weren't many left. J kept asking for more and more and finally, I gave her a few more and then cut her off and said, "J, Daddy actually ordered the chips for himself and me ... I want to make sure he gets some when he comes to the table."
She stared at me for about half a second before shoving the last of the chips from her napkin into her mouth.
When C got to the table, she reached for another chip from the basket and said to her brother, "H, quick! Give Daddy some of your chips!"
What a stinker!
That same evening, she was eating her order of beans and cheese and she looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Mama ... these beans taste like angels."
Of course I busted up at the comment. I said, "Since when have you been eating angels?!"
On our first day of school, I like to do pictures of the kids. First, I did pictures of H and Z individually and together because they share class time. Then I did pictures of J and O individually and together.
When it came time to pose for the together shots, J took it upon herself to straighten up O's clothes and to pose him where and how she wanted. He was a little reluctant to be fussed with so much by his sister (who's only two months older, but who acts like she's 15 years older) and he kind of shrugged her hands off his shoulders and wriggled around while she adjusted him.
She said, "Stand still! I know you don't really like it ... but now you know how I felt getting my dance portraits done."
I'm still not sure why she thought it was necessary for him to understand the feelings she had during that photo shoot, but I guess it's one more way he can relate to her now?
About a week ago, the boys came down to tell me that J was sleep-crawling in the hallway in just her underpants. H had helped her back to her bed and she ended up sleeping another hour or so after that.
When she came down, I told her what had happened and she said, "Well, I do remember having a dream that I was a puppy..."
J has taken her sweet time learning to read, for sure. But this week, I can happily say that she is now officially a reader! She has just really astounded me with her ability to pick up any random book and read pretty fluidly the small words and pretty successfully sound out the bigger words.
We were reading our devotional verses in school each day and she was thrilled to pick up the Bible and read most of a verse without my help!
I guess she's been really working at it over the summer -- I hate to say it, but I didn't pay much attention to that. She's always been one to teach herself stuff better than anyone else can teach her. So maybe she just finally gets it.
But after reading one of the Bible verses, I noticed a tear slowly leaving her eye. I asked if she was okay and she said, "A couple Sundays ago, they asked me to read a Bible verse in kids' church, but I couldn't do it. And those kids laughed at me. I was never mean to them and they laughed at me! Why would they do that?"
I said, "Oh, Sweetie, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. But look at you now! You are reading Bible verses and one day soon, you'll be able to read what they want you to read at kids' church."
She said, "But why did it take me so long to learn?"
I said, "You know, everyone learns at different speeds. When you were just a baby, you could climb out of anything, get into anything -- even the stuff with baby locks. I called you Houdini because you were like a famous 'magician' by that name who was really good at getting in and out of things."
She said, "Yeah, I used to have a good working brain... but now, not so much."
I said, "Your brain works great now! I'm so proud of you for learning to read. I can't wait to see what you can do next with that awesome brain of yours."
Wiping tears from her face she said, "Well, Mom, I just learned to read. Let's just focus on that for now."