Thursday, August 25, 2016

Are people thinking about you? What are they saying?

People don't think about you as much as you think they do.
People think about you more than you think they do.

Those two are completely contradictory.  But both completely true.  Some clarification is in order.

People don't think negatively about you as much as you think they do.
That giant pimple that you're so embarrassed about?  No one notices.
That stupid thing you just said?  Everyone forgot about it.

You can't assume that every flaw you feel you have is being scrutinized by everyone you come in contact with.  Because the fact is, that's not happening.  That's not reality. Everyone's too busy spending their mental energy on more important things. And the small handful of people that do talk about you behind your back for having a ketchup splotch on your t-shirt are not worth your energy!

I wish I had realized this sooner when I was a teenager!  It's so freeing to live your life for yourself the best you can and not spend even one minute worrying about what others think of you.

People think positively about you more than you think they do.
Recently I ran into a girl from my Stake growing up.  (In my church, each individual congregation is called a Ward.  Several Wards are grouped together to form a Stake.  Most activities and church services are done in individual Wards.  But often the Stake will join together.)

She's a couple years younger than me, we were from different Wards, and had different groups of friends.  I knew her name, but we never really interacted.  I assumed she would have no reason to remember me.

But she did remember me!  She didn't share any specific memory, just that she loved girls camp and she always knew I would be there.  For whatever reason, I was a positive part of her teenage memories.

If you are just living your life, trying to be a nice and good person, people will notice you.  People are drawn to good people.  Even just a quick smile to someone in the halls can be enough for that person to tell her friends, "Do you know so-and-so?  Yeah, she seems nice."  If you're trying to be your best self, you can't help but radiate a light.

If you feel alone and without any friends, don't assume you're invisible or being purposefully shunned.  It's hard for all of us to go outside our comfort zones and reach out to new friends.  So be that person.  Be proactive.  Assume that others noticed you for the good and would like to get to know you better.  Be the one to reach out first.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Screen Time Points and Behavior Chart

We've been using the following motivation method for over a year now. It's working out great.

The kids earn screen time by doing extra chores.  (Some chores they are just expected to do as a member of the family-put away your own laundry, clean up your toys, keep your room clean, help set the table, etc.)  Also, on school days they get a point once all of their schoolwork is done.  These are written up on a whiteboard where it's easily reached.  One point equals half an hour of screen time.

We also have this colored behavior chart hanging in the kitchen. Every morning their personal clip starts in the middle (white.)  Good choices move you up.  Bad choices move you down.  If you reach the bottom, you're "busted" which means you lose some privilege or get extra chores.  If you reach the top and are still there at bedtime, then you earn a bonus screen-time point.

Now that Quartus is 3 and a half, he is on the behavior chart and point system, too.  Though, we are less strict with him about it still.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Are you going to have any more children?

I really like blogs like this,  this , and this about having big families and how to respond when people ask you about them.  Some women get very annoyed and defensive when they hear questions like,

"You have your hands full, don't you?"
"Are you going to have any more?"
"Why do you have so many?"
"You know what causes that, right?"

Those types of questions just don't bother me.  Maybe it's because I'm naive or have just been lucky to not have rude encounters with strangers, but I think every time I've been asked about my family size, I've personally seen it as an innocent way to start conversation.  And while I value privacy, I also enjoy open conversation.

Anyway, the following is my usual response (or rather, the long version if the other party is interested in listening) to the question, "Do you think you'll have more children?"

My husband and I have always wanted a "big family."  My husband was an only child and feels like he missed out on some experiences he wishes he could have had.  So he's dreamed of having 8 daughters.  And I came from a big family, 9 children, so having a lot of kids seems very doable and not scary at all.

But our financial situation is awful.  When we decided to conceive #3, my husband had just been given notice that his company was leaving the state.  But we were not worried because they gave us an awesome severance package and job search training and assured us that companies would be knocking down our door wanting to hire him and his colleagues.

But then we got pregnant with Tertius six months earlier than we expected and Hubby wasn't having an easy time getting hired.  It was also really hard being pregnant when Secundus was still so young.  But it was a blessing that Tertius came early because if God had waited even one month to send him, our medical insurance would have run out before he arrived.  

After that, financially things were only getting worse.  I still felt like Heavenly Father wanted me to have my "big family," (and stay home to raise them) but I got comfortable with the idea of not having anymore for a while.  I thought it might be fun to have three close together now, and then another group of three later on.

But once again, Heavenly Father had other plans.  We were surprised to be blessed with a fourth pregnancy.

I really struggled this time because we've had to rely so much on our family and government assistance to get by.  I HATE being dependent!  I babysat starting at age 12, worked from age 16 until I had Primus, was a part-time nanny until I had Secundus, and I had saved every penny.  After our marriage and as our family grew, I remained incredibly frugal.  This allowed us to build quite a large savings, even on only one income.  But now all that savings was getting used up.

But for some reason, Heavenly Father really wanted Quartus to come to our family. That's why he's here.  I was even blessed with a miraculously "easy" pregnancy.

Now Quartus is three-and-a-half.  That's older than Tertius was when he was born.  Our littlest is not so little anymore.  This is the longest time that we have been without an infant in the house.  I miss having a tiny baby to snuggle on my chest.

"So, are you going to have any more children?"  

We have close friends that have a two year old and a 4 month old and we have thoroughly enjoyed loving on them.  But even still, we're starting to feel "baby-hungry."  No matter how sweet it is to hold someone else's little one, it's not the same as snuggling my own.  My own infants just fit in my arms perfectly.  We feel (or hope?) that Heavenly Father probably has more to send us.

But it would still be irresponsible of us to try to have a fifth child right now.  Hubby has one more semester of school before he can get a full time teaching job.  Further, some health issues are making it so that we have infertility to deal with, too.

Will we have more?  Maybe.  How many more?  I don't know.

Something my mom always told me that has stuck is, "Take and love as many babies as God will send you."  We're going to joyfully welcome all the children that Heavenly Father will entrust us with.  And we're going to love and cherish all of them.  

Maybe that means learning to be content with four.  Maybe that means we'll miraculously be blessed with 4 more (and the means to provide for them).  God often seems to have different plans than we do.  So we just have to wait patiently with faith to find out what His plan is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Student ID Cards

I found two cool sites for making FREE homeschool student ID cards:

This is the third year that I have made student ID's for the kids.  I put them on lanyards with the idea that they would wear them when we go out on field trips.  The kids love them and are always so excited to see how they turn out!  

But then the novelty always wears off and they get lost or forgotten.  Oh well.  It's fun for a little while.  Maybe we'll keep better track of them this year.

Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016

Even though we all stayed up really late last night, these three were awake before 6:30 am and playing card games, waiting for me to get up.  They were just too excited for the first day of school!  

I'm so glad to be able to say that every year they look forward to the first day of school and their schultuten just like Christmas morning and stockings.

Primus, 5th Grade
Secundus, 3rd Grade

Quartus, Preschool

Tertius, 1st Grade
This year in their school cones they got sugar cereal, Carnation Instant Breakfast, chocolate pudding, apple sauce squeeze pouch, a pencil sharpener, and an Angry Bird Yowie.

We spent some of the first day of school decorating our new school baskets with stickers.  I got these plastics baskets at the 99 cent store for about 2 bucks each.  I had to use Mod Podge to make sure some of the stickers stayed stuck.

Then we put together our wooden Thor toys.  Lowes Hardward Store puts on free kids' workshops a couple times per month.  I noticed last Saturday the project was a Black Widow (Avenger) toy.  We love the Avengers so we all went.  And then we found out that they had been doing a different Avenger each time for the past several weeks.  We had missed 4 Avengers and if you have all six, they link together in a cool way.  So sad!  Thankfully, they happened to have left over Thor kits from the last workshop.  So today we built them and at the end of the month we'll be able to do Hulk.

Today we also did some little mazes, word searches, and educational games.

 Our first day of school 2016 was capped off with a surprise field trip to get frozen yogurt.  I love starting the school year fun and laid back!

What's your favorite first day of school tradition?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Homeschooling Means...#22 kids don't get to participate in the typical low-budget school plays that are put on by dedicated volunteers.  For many years I played the piano for second grade plays for a teacher friend of mine.  It was fun and kids love to be on stage!  

Peter Pan, 2015
Raccoon Twin, Rosetta, and Hop

Instead, we have the pleasure of participating in a children's theater workshop for homeschoolers put on by knowledgeable, talented people who are in the local theater community.  The kids audition and then have 3 hour rehearsal classes every week for 3 months where they learn to act, sing, and dance.  The result is a quality production that truly is a pleasure to see.

This year is Disney's Mulan Jr and we cannot wait to see what parts the kids get!

(This series is meant to be mostly lighthearted and fun.  Some may be serious, but most will be silly, braggy, or of the keepin'-it-real variety.  Not every homeschool is the same.  And some of these things could be said by public school parents.  This is just to highlight MY experience with MY homeschool and MY children.  Enjoy these little insights into our life and feel free to share your own "Homeschooling means..." in the comments!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Brag Time: Reading Levels

This summer I was reading the chapter books that Primus has chosen to study this year for literature and started to get worried that one was going to be too difficult for her.  According to Scholastic Book Wizard, it's rated as a 6.9 reading level.  She's only entering the 5th grade this year. 

So I figured it was about time that I tested all the kids so I could have a more accurate view of their reading ability.  Our charter school tests them twice a year on several Language Arts and Math skills, but for various reasons, I always take those results with a grain of salt.

The first test I administered was the SORT (Slosson Oral Reading Test).  It's several leveled vocab word lists and you count up how many the student can read correctly.  It's important to note that this test does not care whether the student understands what the word means or if they can use it correctly in a sentence.  It's only assessing if the student can read the word out loud properly.  

According to the SORT, Primus (going into 5th) is at a 7.4 grade level, Secundus (going into 3rd) is a 4.8 grade level, and Tertius (going into 1st) is a 2.1 grade level.  

Next, I wanted to test the kids' oral reading speed.  I used the leveled reading passages and scoring method found in Evan Moor's Building Fluency books (I have free access to all of them because of my membership with their Teacher File Box site.)  There's also an explanation on how to test using any reading passage here.

Again, this assessment did not test for comprehension, only reading speed and accuracy.

Primus: Using the 5th grade passage, she read 168 words per minute, 90th percentile
Using the 6th grade passage, she read 150 words per minute, 75th percentile.  
Using the 7th grade passage, she read 141 words per minute, 60th percentile.

Secundus: Using the 3rd grade passage, she read 129 words per minute, 90th percentile
Using the 5th grade passage, she read 127 words per minute, 65th percentile.

Tertius: Using the 1st grade passage, he read 70 words per minute. No percentile is assigned for 1st graders at the beginning of the year because it's not supposed to be administered until later.  However, this word speed is equivalent to 85th percentile for a mid-year 1st grader.
Using the 2nd grade passage, he read 56 words per minute, 55th percentile.

In summation, all three kids are 1-2 grade levels above where they "should" be. One proud homeschooling Mama over here! It's always nice to see that I'm not screwing up my kids! Yay! lol ;)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cooking Lessons

Last school year the kids got really interested in watching Master Chef Junior and Man vs. Child.  It really opened their eyes to the fact that they're not too young to cook.

It opened my eyes, too.  I always say that I value independence in my children and that the sign of a good mother is one who works herself out of a job.  But I have never really enjoyed having the kids help me in the kitchen.  I'd rather just do it myself and get it over with rather than deal with the slow pace, frustration, imperfection, and mess that is cooking with kids.  

And yet, the oldest three are now 10, 8, 6, and more capable than I give them credit for.  And they're going to have to learn how to cook sometime if I expect them to grow up to be productive, independent adults!  

My perspective has shifted.  When I thought of cooking with the kids as a way to "have fun and play" with them, I hated it and it was not an enjoyable experience.  But now that I see it as "teaching and raising capable adults,"  I love it!  

And it turns out we really are having fun and "playing" together.  I don't care as much about the mess and am being more hands off and letting them do the measurements themselves even if they mess up a little.  The end goal isn't to have a delicious dish.  Rather, the goal is the teaching of an important skill and seeing the pride in their faces when they can declare, "I made this!"

In talking with friends last school year, a cool monthly subscription service for kids was discovered called Raddish.  One friend ended up ordering it for her kids so I got to see first-hand how cool it was.  Seriously.  Check it out.  It's neat.  

I internally debated back and forth for a long time, trying to decide if I wanted to spend my school budget on it or not.  But then it hit me.  I already have enough cookbooks!  Furthermore, I have a binder full of recipes that our family uses regularly, plus enough knowledge myself on how to execute them.  It would be more beneficial at this time for the kids to learn how to make the recipes they already like to eat.  And so, my plan was born.

The oldest three each have their own binder.  By the time they grow up and leave the house, it will be full of all the recipes they've learned to do.  

In the front they have this table of contents.  When they learn a new recipe, they write down the name of it and then they have three boxes where they write the dates they do it.  They need to do it at least twice with my help/supervision before they get to attempt it completely alone.  

This one belongs to Primus.  As you can see, the first three recipes are just easy, silly little things she found in a kids' "cookbook."  Then she has listed: cake mix cookies, drop biscuits, cornbread, chicken-tastic, baked chicken (seasoned with a McCormick rub), macaroni salad, cheesecake strawberries, and homemade corndogs.  This had all been done between the start of June and mid July.

One thing that is very important to me is that I don't just photocopy the recipes for them.  Before they begin, the kids must copy it out by hand in their binder.  This forces them to get acquainted with the whole recipe before starting.  (Since Tertius is still young and not a good writer yet, I just have him write the name at the top of the page, and then I do the rest for him. But we read the whole thing out loud together.)

I also encourage the kids to rewrite things in a way that makes sense to them.  I personally HATE the way standard recipes are written.  It drives me crazy to look back and forth from the instructions to the ingredient list, especially when it's all written so small and in full paragraphs.  I prefer large letters, liberal line spacing, bullet organization, and ingredients with quantities integrated in the directions.  So I always have to rewrite my recipes if I plan on making it more than once.

So far, it is going wonderfully!  The kids don't ask to make dinner every night, but when they do feel like doing it, they are so proud of themselves!  In fact, last night Secundus wandered into the kitchen and thought she saw me making "Sausage and Apples" (I was actually roasting some red potatoes.)  She got upset and said, "Hey, why didn't you tell me you were making that!  I know how to do Sausage and Apples!  I would have done it!"

Have you started teaching your kids to cook?  What age did you start learning kitchen skills?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Morning Routine Flip Charts

By the end of last school year, I was pretty sick of getting up in the morning and sounding like a broken record.  Come on, kids!  You know what you're supposed to do every morning before school starts or we can go somewhere!  It never changes!  I shouldn't have to say it anymore!

So I came up with a solution.  These flip charts.

They were made with manilla folders, construction paper for individuality, and clipart found on Google.  Velcro holds the pieces up when the tasks are completed.  Now that they've been used for a few months, I see that I need to go back and reinforce them with some clear contact paper.

Each kid has their own hanging on the kitchen wall and they're expected to help the younger ones when they're done with their own. At night I flip everything back down so it's ready for them the next morning.  It has been working beautifully!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Homeschooling Means...#21

...My heart excitedly skips a beat when the Lakeshore sales flyer arrives in the mail.  Even though I've already submitted all my school orders for the semester.

(This series is meant to be mostly lighthearted and fun.  Some may be serious, but most will be silly, braggy, or of the keepin'-it-real variety.  Not every homeschool is the same.  And some of these things could be said by public school parents.  This is just to highlight MY experience with MY homeschool and MY children.  Enjoy these little insights into our life and feel free to share your own "Homeschooling means..." in the comments!)

Friday, July 29, 2016

What "Lesson Planning" Looks Like For a Homeschooler

We have about 2 weeks left until school starts again.  While I'm sad for the lazy days of summer to come to an end, I'm totally prepared.  I spent a ton of time lesson planning and organizing in June so that I could get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of vacation without having that on my mind.

However, as I talk to fellow homeschooling moms and public school teacher friends, it occurred to me that when I talk about lesson planning for our homeschool year, it's almost nothing like the Lesson Plans that public school teachers have to make.  Before having a gaggle of children, I was going to college with the goal of earning a credential and teaching elementary school.  Plus, Hubby is almost done attending a three-semester teaching credential program.  With that background, I have an idea of what a "lesson plan" looks like for a public school teacher in California.  What follows is what I mean in this current phase of my life when I refer to lesson planning.

I got a standard Teacher's Plan Book for free during a promotion from Lakeshore.  Instead of using it to record what we plan to do on each day, I record what we actually accomplish as a group.  The great thing about homeschool is that we don't have to do certain things on certain weeks.  We don't have to complete any textbooks in a set amount of time.  We just go at our own pace and I write down what we have learned as we go.

Stapled to an inside page of that book is this list of all the workbooks/textbooks that the kids will be using this year.

Stapled to another page in the Plan Book is this list for our Physics curriculum.  I have written here each chapter from the text book, each lab, and any supplies I need to collect ahead of time for the labs so I can easily see what's coming next.

Following that is History.  We use Story of the World so I have listed here every chapter title and all supplemental activities we plan to do, with supply lists.

My Teacher Plan Book is for all the learning that we do together as a family.  For the subjects that the kids do individually, they each have their own clipboard.  On their clipboard they have these assignment sheets.  It lists all the things that they should be able to accomplish in a week.  As you can see, there are no page numbers.  Again, we write down what they actually do, not what I hope they will do.  Each day, they just open up their workbooks and do whatever the next lesson is.

On the back of their clipboards, they have these three handy lists.  On the left is "Writing Ideas."  Each week, they do 3 writing activities (in addition to their writing curriculum).  Unless I need them to do something specific, the kids get to choose for themselves what to do.  This list helps them remember what their options are.

On the right is a list of educational board or card games they can do with their free choice time.  On the bottom is more "Fun Choice" activities.  These are all the fun, educational things that they get to pick from at least 3 times per week.

Finally, something that took up a lot of my lesson planning time this summer was Literature for each of the kids.  The girls will each study three chapter books.  And Tertius and Quartus will be doing comprehension activities and crafts for picture books using some curriculum from Evan Moor.  There was an awful lot of photocopying and assignment sheets to be made!

They each have their own construction paper book where all the writing assignments, crafts, and activities will be glued for presentation upon completion.

 This is what an assignment sheet for one of Secundus' novels looks like.  While I'm working with the boys, the girls will be able to do their literature study independently.  They just have to follow the list.

What does your homeschool lesson planning/organization look like?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The 3 D's of Kindergarten

Don't judge him for his Jar Jar shirt.  He's a smart boy, I promise.
This year I promoted my third Kindergartner.  I believe Kindergartners need to still be doing most of their learning through play and exploration.  They should not be sitting at a desk for several hours, staring at a whiteboard.

But also, if your child is ready and capable for more academic school work, by all means, let them have it!  When it comes to language arts, there are three things that I always do with my kinders.  And conveniently, they all start with D's.  So here are my 3 D's of Kindergarten

This is a reading program also known as "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons."  I've written several times before about why I love this reading program.

Some children are just not ready to read in Kindergarten.  They may not start until 7 or so.  And that's fine too.  I've read enough studies that show these kids are not behind academically for the rest of their lives.  But for me and my kids so far, starting to learn to read at 4 works for us.  And Distar is a fabulous way to do it.

My personal philosophy is that if a child can read, then they can learn anything!  Independence is very important to me in our family and especially in our homeschool.  Being able to read the instructions on your math page by yourself makes it possible for you to teach yourself many things while Mom is occupied elsewhere.

Once my child completes Distar, then we move onto phonics readers and Dolch to further their reading skills.

Dolch is a group of 11 lists of sightwords.  I expect my kids to be able to read each word properly on three separate occasions (without sounding out) before they get the word passed off.  That link I shared has free printable flash cards, record sheets, and games.

When it comes to handwriting, I still think it's important to learn cursive.  I hated cursive writing as a child and only use it today to sign my signature and to help the girls practice their own cursive.  But I'm still glad that I learned it.

I think it's easier to learn cursive if you learn D'Nealian Manuscript first.  This is the type of writing where all the letters have little "kicks" or "monkey tails" at the ends.

We do only a little bit of writing standard block letters in preschool.  In Kindergarten is when I finally give formal instruction on how to form letters on paper.  And we start immediately with D'Nealian.  By the end of second grade, my girls were both eager and ready to learn true cursive.  It has been a smooth transition for them because they already see how each letter can easily link to the next because of those little kicks.

What are your favorite curriculum choices for Kindergarten?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Speech Therapy

Secundus is a talker.  Always has been.  She started talking early and would just babble on and on.  The problem was, none of it was coherent.  As her mom and dad, we were usually able to understand enough of her but others needed us to translate.

 By the time she was 3, it was very clear that she needed speech therapy.  That fall, she kept telling us something about a "gay-go."  For days we could not figure it out.  Finally we realized she was talking about the scarecrow out on the porch.  She was a scarecrow for Halloween that year.

She got evaluated and we were told that she had the articulation of a less-than-18 month old.  Ouch.  She started speech and loved it.  She made awesome improvement quite quickly and was released from the program after a year (I think?)

The beginning of last school year she was 7, starting second grade, and our supervising teacher suggested we have her evaluated again.  Clearly some things (like her r's) are still a struggle and she's reaching the age where that should have corrected itself by now.  Her bad articulation is also effecting her spelling.

I started the process but procrastination happened and she didn't start going to appointments until the last month of school.  But now we'll be all set up to start again immediately after school starts.  The therapist revealed to me that one of her underlying problems is that she does all her sounds in the back of her mouth.  But sounds like "sh," "r," and "ch," need to be brought forward with lips in an O shape.

I'm so glad Secundus has such a good attitude about needing speech help.  She never complains when I stop her (even mid sentence) to help her correct a word.  And she thinks therapy is fun.

One thing she used to constantly say wrong was "breakfast."  She used to call it "bref-kist."  Many hours were spent teasing her about that one.  She now says it right.  The new one that's funny to us is "character."  She says, "care-up-ter"  I don't understand why she puts that p in there!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I'm still here!

It really annoys me when bloggers blog about blogging.  They'll post interesting stuff for a few weeks, disappear for a month, and then come back to blog about why they haven't been blogging and promise to blog more frequently.  Repeat.

And yet, despite how dumb I think it is, here I am...blogging about blogging.  Being real (hypocritical.)  I just feel like I need to write after such a dry spell and I don't have anything else on my mind.  So here goes...

I haven't posted since February.  Five long months ago.  It's not because we haven't been homeschooling or making cool discoveries.  Like most moms, I've just been super busy.

I maintain a household, with all the chores and responsibilities that entails.  This year I homeschooled 3 students (plus a preschooler), with all the work and driving around to classes that entails.  I host a weekly park group.  I frequently help with a weekly mommy-and-me music class.  I'm in charge of a 2-hour Nursery (Sunday School for babies 18 months to 3 years) every Sunday.  I facilitate a weekly support group for those that have loved ones in addiction.  I own my own home business.  Many weekends are filled with hosting family and friends for dinner and games.  And I maintain a homeschooling blog.

Schedules fill up and there aren't enough hours in the day.  Priorities have to be set and some things get neglected.  That's life.

Lately at the end of a long day, I've tended to curl up with the computer and vege out watching Netflix.  It's not a very productive use of my time, especially since there's always more dishes or laundry to do.  But sometimes you just don't feel like it, ya know?  Sometimes I just want mindless entertainment in place of busy-ness.

 And I definitely haven't felt like blogging!  But I want to get back in the saddle. I've never considered myself a "writer" but I do like to share our adventures and joys and struggles with the world.

So hopefully I'll get motivated and get a few more good posts up before the start of the new school year.  If there is anything specific you would like me to blog about, or a question you'd like me to answer, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We postponed school by 3 1/2 hours today...

Today was a really rough day.  I was battling bad attitudes (and I'm not just talking about the kids) all morning.  I finally called school off for the morning!  It was very clear that no learning of any value was going to take place so we needed a different plan.  School was postponed a few hours.

The morning was spent doing a few errands because Mommy would have gone crazy in the house trying to get things done with a bunch of disobedient children.  Getting outside and driving around was a good "reset" for all of us.

Then when we got home chores needed to be done, followed by lunch.  After lunch we finally gathered around and did our typical morning scripture memorization and prayer.  Then from about 1pm to 5pm (with a short snack break in the middle) we did almost all our normal school work.  The amazing thing was that it was actually a productive afternoon with teachable children.  It was blessedly different than the aggravating morning.

It was sad to have to skip our typical afternoon park playdate (I only miss once in a blue moon!)  But this was necessary today.  Kids needed consequences for poor behavior and schoolwork still needed to get done.  I'm thankful that we had that flexibility.