Earlier this week I cooked and created 14 freezer-able meals which means for two weeks I don't need to really think too hard about what to have for supper. I take it that day's supper to thaw, put it in the slow cooker or oven and then I'm done. It's been a great way to reduce some of the late afternoon stresses that come when trying to decide what to feed the family. It also comes in handy when I need to play taxi driver and chauffeur my older kids to their various destinations.
Andrea and Arianna are doing very well in their schooling. They are both quite independent and motivated which makes for pleasant days and quick accomplishments of what they need to do. Andrea continues to work part time at a day home and we love that homeschooling allows this flexibility. She is also keeps busy with two worship teams, one of which she is the lead worshiper. Although there are weekends where both teams require her, she does a pretty good job of balancing the two. Arianna loves making videos with her iPod and has become quite good at what she does. She's also begun reading for pleasure which makes me very happy! Like Andrea, Arianna is becoming a good piano player and growing in confidence with her vocal skills.
Joshua finished his first semester of high school and began the second this week. Unfortunately because his core courses are not semestered, only his options changed and he's still pushing through. One of his new choices; German is his most enjoyed at the time. He still works at Wendy's on Saturday afternoons and this part time job has allowed him to purchase his first car.
Sarah continues to do things at her own pace. Because she is homeschooled and there's no extra support for special needs kids, I am required to look for find, find and create my own curriculum for her. This is not always an easy task for a main reason: I don't really know where she is developmentally. If I had to guess, I'd wager around three years old. Although in many areas, she is moving forward, I see other areas that have not really progressed. Her speech is coming along nicely and I'd guess that other people can understand her almost 50% of the time. The rest of the time, I need to interpret and there's also moments where even I don't understand her. Sometimes her brain knows what she wants to say but her mouth can't come up with the words quickly enough. This will lead to stuttering and at times giving up what she wants to say. I had purchased colored craft sticks and really wanted to find something to do with them. I found patterned printables online but the colors didn't match the sticks I had and the sizes didn't match up. So I took my own craft sticks, and using our 3D printer, I set up the sticks in various patterns and printed them out. The sizes and colors match exactly! I then laminated the sheets and they were done.
The other thing that Sarah began this week was her first "school" type book. I wasn't sure how she'd do with it but for the most part, I'm very impressed. She seems to understand that each object gets colored despite her not being able to stay in the lines. In the moment she remembers the color and we talk a lot about it but it doesn't seem to stick with her for very long. The book quickly moves into shorter lines and the alphabet so I'm not totally sure what will happen when we arrive at that junction.
Most of Sarah's learning is still coming through play, iPad apps, and sensory bins. Occasionally I need to step back and take a deep breath to remind myself that what she is doing is okay.
All in all, 2015 is starting out alright. We've managed a few colds (Sarah's lasted 3 weeks) but other than that have stayed quite healthy and I hope to keep it that way.
Enjoy your weekend!