Yes, we have begun the 2011-2012 School Year and let me tell you....it's been CRAZY!
First, we were supposed to start on Tuesday, August 2nd. Why, you may be asking? Because the kids are bored and it is HOT! They can't play outside all that much because of the heat/humidity (and I know we are blessed NOT to have the 105 degree weather they are having down south but still too yucky outside for the kids). I can't tell you how many times a day I was hearing "Mom, I'm bored, what can I do?" So, I decided to start school so that when the weather actually becomes nicer they can have a fall break and enjoy the outside weather. Plus, if we start school earlier, we can take more breaks each month and hopefully the kids won't get so burnt out on school - like so many kids do. AND, Lord forbid, if we have any unexpected issues come up, we still have lots of time to get caught up and not be dragging school into the summer months.
(On a side note, I have actually been thinking of a more year-round approach so that we more utilize the hot days of summer and the cold days of winter when everyone wants to be inside and are free for those more mild days when everyone wants to be outside...this is my attempt to start working us towards that.)
Anyway, SO...for our last bash before school started (and to help take Cousin E back home from the farm trip he had for his birthday), we had planned to head to Salina and go to the waterpark with Cousins B and E. Unfortunately, our E started running a fever on Saturday and we called it off. Little did we know that this 100.8 fever would be a FOUR DAY ordeal! YEP! On Sunday, E spiked a 104.0 temperature and stayed above 102 until Tuesday morning where we were thrilled when he woke up with a 101.6! (I told Marion I thought it was a bit demented that we were so excited about a 101.6 but we still were.) After calling the doctor and reporting Tuesday morning (we had gone in on Monday and they didn't really know what was going on so we did a wait, see, and report kind of thing) they called back and said they wanted to do more blood work and a chest x-ray. So for the second morning in a row (and majorly disrupting the school plans which seemed utterly unimportant at the time) we headed into to Smith Center. This time E was showing more signs of sickness (a gunky eye, higher blood cell count, diarrhea, and slight fluid on his lungs). So they gave us an antibiotic and said to keep watching and see what happened. PRAISE GOD E woke up this morning with a normal temp after sleeping all night long for the first time since Friday. He still had a gunky eye but he was my normal, rambunctious, running 16 month old and you could tell he felt way better!
One would think then that we would have a normal day today, but other unfortunate circumstances led us to attend a funeral today so that we were gone most of the morning. The death was very sudden and totally unexpected and the woman was a wonderful, loving, and very faithful woman of God whom will be greatly missed not only by her family but by many in our community and church. I don't usually attend funerals for the simple reason that kids and funerals don't usually mix well and most of the time I'd rather stay home so that the rest of the family can go, but this time, Grandma and Grandpa went to the visitation service last night so that Marion and I could go this morning. We are very appreciative for that.
All that to say that this afternoon we tried VERY hard to get some type of normalcy in our routine and to get started on some of our school stuff. Nathan is very excited this year to be starting Kindergarten and very anxious to start reading...he wants to do it NOW! Jonathan wants to be like the other big kids so he begs for school too and though I am doing a very informal and simple introductory pre-school with him, he is almost always wanting to do more! Abi fortunately can do many of the subjects via independent study and then when I am done with Nathan I review them and go over anything that needs corrected or discussed. There are two subjects that are more interaction for us and those two we will be waiting for the afternoon session when the boys are resting. Though we didn't have a normal routine today, Nathan and Jonny are caught up and where they would have been had we had a normal start to the school year. Abi is one lesson behind on the two afternoon courses, but those will quickly be made up by the end of the week (one of them we only have four days a week...so it won't be too hard).
Overall, the kids are thoroughly excited. They loved going to the store and picking out 'special' stuff for school. They each got to pick out their school folder which this year has puppies and kittens on them. And they were ALL excited about the new crayons/markers that they got to put into their OWN pencil boxes!
I'll try to keep you posted and share any special events that we do throughout the year. (I know we are supposed to be going to the Smith County History Day next week, so that should be fun.)