This has been an odd summer, far busier than I expected. I thought we were going to have peaceful days with the toddler in the baby pool, knitting, making dinner... eating dinner as a family. The activities and obligations of my older children have kept us going pretty much nonstop since school ended. It's all been very good just not how I envisioned. There have been moments like the ones above, picking peaches as a family and baking cobbler after cobbler with my teenage daughter. Gathering around to watch the butterflies emerge and stretch their wings - the baby's first time. And even a day or two spent in the garden knitting by the baby pool.
I'm just beginning to plan our next school year. It will be different. Our oldest daughter is enrolled in a formal homeschooling program because I have no confidence in my ability to secure for her a proper transcript. My son will be in the 5th grade and I hope to concentrate on him a bit more this year. His early elementary school years were not exactly what I hoped they would be. I know some people are able to have new babies and toddlers and keep moving along just fine, but it has not been that way for us. And only after people meet our little toddler and, with big eyes, refer to her as a "free spirit" do I feel less like a failure about that.
One success last year that I do hope to continue is our folders/morning time. It ended up being a cherished part of the week - cherished and frustrating. It was hard going through it with a demanding toddler and I often felt we should just not bother, but in the long run, it was wonderful. My children ended the year with a folder overflowing with artwork and beautifully poetry they had memorized.
My time here is up. I promised my son monkey bread for his sleepover breakfast. My sisters are both in town and it has been almost two weeks of almost non-stop fun and parties. One of the highlights of the year.
All the best, friends!