Clint plans to work this weekend and is hoping to find time to put a vent in the pipe going from the downstairs toilet. We've had that toilet closed since fall. It seems nearly everyone believes having a family our size (9 people) with only one working toilet is some great hardship! It isn't! Sometimes there is a line, but more often than not, the toilet is free. No one dilly dallies on the throne, but it really isn't that big of a deal.
Brandon is in the top of his Public Speaking class in college. He is doing this while maintaining his part-time job. He is in an accelerated program which means he does a lot of work in a very short period of time. His homework is often reading several chapters, doing the lesson review questions, writing an essay, and preparing for the bi-weekly tests. As his teacher for PreK-12, I know Brandon's strengths and weaknesses. I know Brandon despises language. He would rather work twice as long in math and science lessons. On top of his college lessons, he is also working on his own game development.
Amanda graduated last year. Her homeschool course work was finished in the summer of 2010. She took a high school course to get a diploma after that. She took the entire four year course in 16 weeks with a straight A average. She graduated that course in early 2011. She is not settled on what she wants to do. She is considering enrolling in the local cosmetology school. She feels that would allow her in the future to make an income from home while raising her children. We are in prayer for God's leading on this.
Joshua is zipping right along in his homeschool course work. He is highly motivated to finish as soon as he can so he can have the summer free of school! He has shot up in height and is such a fun loving young man. Joshua is very sharp and witty, but talking with his siblings (or cutting jokes) often earns him reprimands.
Caleb is an auditory and kinesthetic learner. He is not an academic!! Caleb has to be motivated to keep progressing in his school work, and he often feels frustrated . However, he is the first one to pitch in to help on a difficult project. When I see Caleb wielding a hammer, I think about the long line of Bailey's who have chosen construction for their profession. He does not mind doing difficult work for long periods if he is building or fixing something. I think Caleb's biggest weakness with his schooling right now is his "I can't" attitude, and constantly comparing his performance to everyone else's.
We use bunk beds to save space. We have very specific and strict rules for them. Well, sometimes children do not obey. Bethany was in a sitting position when she swung the upper half of her body over her rail to "surprise" her little sisters. She swung herself over with too much force and fell out of the bed head first on February 1. The mothering intuition had me knowing the thump I heard was a bad one, so I ran to her. She was on the floor crying and checked out OK initially for head injury, but her neck was hurting. She also busted her mouth, bloodied her nose, and bit her tongue. We had her transported by ambulance on a backboard as a precaution for spinal injuries. This was one of those situations where we felt everything was OK, but if we were wrong, the consequences would be horrible. Better safe than sorry! After a x-rays and CT scan, she checked out fine. She learned another lesson about obedience: You may not always understand why God (or a parent) tells you something to do, but there is a reason for it. That is the first bunk bed accident we have ever had. Thank you to those who were praying for her.
Emily was a hit with the EMTs. Our "unsocialized" homeschooled 4 year old held open the door for them each time they went in and out for equipment. She greeted them, introduced herself and her siblings, asked their name, and asked questions about their job. Emily complimented them over and over on their "COOL TRUCK!" She asked me when it was over if they would bring her sister back :-)! She has announced she wants to be a doctor so she can help hurt people. Hannah slept through all of it!
Hannah has developed a fear of the dark, so we are sure to leave the light on for her. She is in that stage between needing a nap and not needing one. Some days she just can't make it to her bedtime. If she falls asleep too early, she wakes up in the middle of the night and gets into the bed with me. I am a light sleeper, so I hold her until she is out and then nudge Clint who carries her back to bed. This week, she has dropped the thing about spiders but now there is an alligator living in our pantry. It eats peanut butter and is missing one leg. It does not have parents and will not eat us. :-) (She is developing her ability to imagine outside of her world. Our imagination allows us to create, solve problems, and set goals and reach for them.)
Emily and Hannah are in a stage of exploration and discovery. They can reach more, do more, and ask better questions. It is such a fun time! They are excited about everything around them. I am looking forward to doing some unit studies with them on different topics. They love to write, draw, color, build, and especially help with anything I am doing. Clint bought them their own set of play tools so they can work beside him on projects. They are also learning more about appropriate behavior and boundaries. Like, they can't push a chair to the pantry and get the Goldfish crackers and eat the whole bag! :-) They can continue to pull every stitch of clothing out of their dressers, but I will continue to insist they fold and put them back.
They share a bed which means we hear a lot of giggling at bedtime! Clint and I don't let them hear us, but their silliness makes us laugh too! Joshua and Caleb can be heard whispering to each other after hours. Sometimes they will put on a Bible adventure story to listen to as they drift off. Bethany tells her little sisters stories from her bunk to help them fall asleep. We love the way our children bond from sharing bedrooms.