My deepest apologies, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted. We are actually doing very well, which is why I haven't had time to post. I am directing our homeschool group's weekly co-op this year. And, while it's been fun, it has also eaten up a lot of my free time. The kids go to swimming lessons twice weekly now, and they were doing gymnastics/dance once a week for a while there (we're taking a break from this until after the holidays). The house is basically unpacked and quite liveable, we have even entertained friends, parties etc. I really don't mean for this to sound like an "I'm sooooo busy, pity me, and get off my back about not posting". We've just been having so much fun...
let's see, what else? There was Thanksgiving! Tim's mom and step-dad and niece, plus his brother with his pregnant wife and two kids all came for "sleep-over", as the kids put it. We managed to seat and feed them all plus a co-worker of Tim's with his wife and toddler. It was beautiful weather, so we were grateful to have this huge deck outside, which kind of extended the living space out there. Two turkeys, which Tim cooked, both of them awesome, lots of lovingly prepared vegetables, potatoes, bread, pies, and everything else you could think of. Tim's brother et al. stayed on through the weekend (again, so grateful for the abundant space we have here) and we all made quick work of the leftovers. Oh and there was lots of shopping - I just love getting together with my sister-in-law. Tim and his brother keep saying they must be doing something wrong because my sister-in-law and I keep trusting them with all five kids.
Other major events here...
We made a field trip into the city with our homeschool group this morning - one of the more adventurous stunts I've pulled in my life. My dear girlfriend and I left my house at 7 am this morning with four boys ages 5, 6, 7, and 8, plus 3yo princess, and hauled them from the closest parking space we could find, across the surface lot through the parking deck, trudged through rush hour on the metro, transferring at L'Enfant Station in said rush hour frenzy, then down several blocks of heavy gusting winds and
to get to the White House Christmas tour! No strollers allowed, so Mia hoofed it when I wasn't willing to carry her anymore. They had a grand time though. And even though we have no photographic evidence (no cameras allowed either), I am sure they won't soon forget it. Massive Christmas trees everywhere, the theme this year is National Parks, so lots of nature themed decorations.
We are expecting an inch or two of snow tomorrow afternoon. About the time it is expected to start coming down, we'll be over at another homeschool friend's house doing a Christmas book exchange and ornament craft party. I am so excited for these kids to have such cool memories.
The swimming lessons I mentioned are in the mornings at the indoor pool on the base about 2 miles away and are especially for homeschool kids. The instructor is a homeschool mom and does such an amazing job. She'll tell you that she doesn't do anything special. She just encourages them, makes suggestions and makes it fun. They truly do move at their own pace and at their own comfort level. Some move slower, others are flying through the steps. After only 6 weeks (twice a week) Chas can swim forward and backward and goes under water without "manually" plugging his nose. In the same amount of time, Simon is now able to put his face in the water without plugging his nose, and is working on kicking with a kick board out in the area where he can't touch the bottom. The instructor's method is very tailored to a homeschool child. None of this sit on the wall and take instruction, or model then imitate. It's more relaxed and yet they are excelling remarkably fast. Mia takes a little instruction every now and then but we don't pay for her lesson, the instructor kind of informally trades off with me, because I am already in the water and help her out by keeping an eye on the kids.
I'll try to do better posting these next few weeks!