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Friday, November 2, 2012

We have a Reader!

Yep, that's right, Carolyn read her first book today.  And she actually read the words!  Last week I wrote about her being interested in Reading Eggs.  Well, she continues to enjoy this website and has completed levels 11-30 in the past week!  Only 10 pre-reading levels left and she might just get through those in the next 3-4 days, depending on how much time we allow her to play.  I don't think I'll be purchasing a subscription since she got through so much and I don't like her sitting in front of the computer all the time.  But it really is a great program and she truly enjoys it.  She's learning so many sight words from the program that today she read one of her Tag books.  We were just hanging out and she picked up her book and started reading it.  I helped her by pointing to the words and helped with 1 or 2.  But she sounded words out and read the whole story.  We definitely celebrated and she read the book to Jon when he got home.  James is trying to get in on the action too and pretended to read me a book later in the day, too cute.  I'm excited to see her start branching out and trying to read more things now.  She's such a perfectionist that she shys away from sounding out words and prefers to just memorize them all.  But I have a feeling she's really going to take off now that she's had some success.

I feel like we always hear about how kids have no imagination these days and that they don't have enough free play.  Of course, we also hear about how families eat a lot of convenience foods.  And my jaw drops when I see statistics on the amount of television that kids supposedly watch.  My children watched 0 television this week M-F (football weekends).  And the weather is cold too, so we didn't spend a on of time outside.  What we did do, though, was use imaginations.  Carolyn and James have become awesome at entertaining themselves.  Early in the week while I was slicing onions and potatoes for our baked potato soup dinner, they pretended they were camping.  Carolyn has named her stuffed animals Mary, Laura and baby Carrie.  Anyone want to guess what chapter books we're reading right now?  We've never been camping, but it's awesome to see Carolyn taking books and acting them out.  Watching my kids play this past week I now understand why I don't know what toys to get rid of.  We didn't clean much up in the basement this week as they played.  Partially because I'm trying to see what we might weed out. And honestly, they played with nearly every toy down there!  They love to bake and play kitchen, we played Go Fish, Ants in the Pants, and Cooties.  We found old school Sesame Street figurines and I demanded cookies as Cookie Monster.  They pretend to workout with me, and spend time shooting baskets off the trampoline.  It's amazing the variety of play accomplished by 2 small people in a week's time.  But I get out of their way and participate as asked, because I realize their play is their job and important stuff is being worked out.  I'm looking forward to how dynamics will change once we're in the new house as well.

We had a scare with my grandfather this past week, but he appears to be out of the woods at this time.  He is home and the physical therapist has said she doesn't feel needed.  So I'm very glad that God has smiled down upon us once again and allowed us to keep this member of our family with us a little longer.  Carolyn is super excited about going to visit him next month.  Realizing it might be the last time I see him, I am looking forward to just being there and soaking in as much as possible.  Time with family is so precious, and we need to slow down just a bit to be sure we're spending as much time with each other as possible.

Time and balancing work and family has been a big struggle for me mentally lately.  I want to help provide for the family as much as I can.  With the move and large outlays of money, I feel like I should take on as many opportunities as possible.  But, alas, there are only so many hours in a day.  My hours with are expanding and I truly enjoy the work I do for the company.  I feel connected to my mentors and many of my tutors, and I have a boss that is great to work with.  I billed over $1k from the company last month!  K12 continues to be hit or miss, with expectations every changing.  I don't enjoy the work, but the paycheck is certainly nice.  I'm conflicted as to how long I should try to hold on to this position because I've never quit a job in such a short time frame.  I'm also slightly nervous about the move and how all the numbers will shake out, so I feel like I should hold on until we move.  I'm not looking forward to the prospect of having to take my computer with to Arizona to check-in on my classes while we're gone though.  Did I mention I'm not enjoying the hassling of kids to do their work, last minute meeting anouncements, and completely pointless "professional development"?  On top of these jobs is also my in-person tutoring.  I expect to retain 2 of my current clients as I move.  And gaining more could be easy if I so desire.  And so I struggle with deciding when enough is enough and when making money is interfering with enjoying my family.  I feel like if I can keep my contribution around $1k/month I should be happy.  After all, our mortgage is going down with the move.  We'd be comfortable at that level with plenty of extras.  And considering I'm at over $100 on my time sheets already this month, there's no doubt I'll make it there.  So I just have to make the tough decision of whether to cut and run now or wait until after the move.  I've trusted God so far, I just want to be sure I'm reading Him right as I do feel more and more at peace with leaving k12 behind.

Time to go spend some quality time with Jon before family pictures tomorrow!

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