While I haven't felt particularly "bloggy" lately, I've also just been so damned busy. When my children were babies (and I had fewer kids, period), people would tell me, "Just wait until they're older and then things will be really crazy." I didn't get it then. The intensity of having babies and breastfeeding and being sleep deprived and touched out by going through day and night with a babe constantly in arms seemed so overwhelming that I couldn't imagine another phase of parenting that would consume my time in such a manner. BUT, now having three all with schedules and activities of their own and finding myself as the "GODDESS MOTHER of MAKING IT ALL RUN SMOOTHLY" gives me a new appreciation for how hectic family life is.
Fionna continues in public school, in third grade this year. She has drama after school one day a week and is in Taekwondo two afternoons a week. Grady is homeschooling, also doing Taekwondo twice a week, and in soccer (practice twice a week and games on Saturdays). Ainslie tags along for the ride but adds plenty of craziness to the mix, believe me. ;)
I have class on Tuesday nights, 6-8:30. I've gotten into a routine of grocery shopping after class, when the store is a bit less hectic, and I don't have the kids along to complicate things. My other two classes are online, so I do that classwork late at night and at stolen moments, waiting at Taekwondo, at soccer practice, etc. On the one or two days a week that the kiddoes are at Nora's, I do a big library trip (kids are checking out 30-40 books and audiobooks a month these days), hit the coffee shop and run other errands. Then it's home to do homework (and laundry, of course. That's another facet of family life that seems to be increasing exponentially). Three and a half hours alone seems like bliss but it always absolutely whizzes by.
I'm still teaching R.E. (stands for religious education but I find it a bit of a nisnomer, honestly, we don't talk about "religion") at the Unitarian Universalist church we attend on Sundays. I teach the primary class along with sweet LeeAnna who assists me and does childcare (for the very young children). We read books, do lots of arts and crafts and lovely free play with blocks, puppets, dress-up, trucks and cars, and a very nice, oversize dollhouse. I'm also still a La Leche League Leader and leading two meetings a month, one at my home and one in our public location, as well as taking phone calls and answering emails.
The hardest part, personally, is finding time to exercise. I'm trying to make that a priority, both for myself, and as a healthy model of the kids. Another difficulty I'm experiencing recently is, spending all my "free" time studying, I find absolutely no time to read for pleasure. I really miss it. :(
A new pleasure though is spending some time dancing, be it in public or home alone. I find it is a fabulous way to escape and leave my thinking mind and just "be." Fortunately, I have some inimitable women in my life to teach me and share this with. I look forward to developing it as another aspect of life, just as reading, that I can pull out and destress with whenever I choose.
While I haven't had the time to devote to it as I would like, another of my loves, herbalism and essential oils are still a huge part of life for me. While I didn't think of it too much over the summer, with the advent of cooler weather and sick season, I find myself turning more and more often to my herbal cabinet and brewing teas and oiling blends to tend us all.
Time to get off the computer and busy (going to de-germ the house, we've all been sick). In the meantime, I'll leave you with some recent pictures.