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I don’t remember quite how old I was.  I believe it was late grade school, fourth or fifth grade.  It was the third night in row that she had forgotten and by then, I was pretty upset.  No tears…yet, but very disappointed.  I took the tooth downstairs to my mother and in a slightly broken voice told my mom (thankfully no older brothers were around) that The Tooth Fairy had failed to visit 3 nights in a row, and that I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t sure what was going on.  My mother, bless her, looked both shocked and embarrassed.  Starting with an apology, she told me the truth, that SHE was the elusive Tooth Fairy and that SHE had forgotten my tooth, three nights in a row.

And how, might you ask, did I react?  Tears or shouting?  Sobs or anger?  I remember it quite well: What she said made sense and it kind of “clicked” in my head, and everything was okay.  And that’s what I said, “Oh.  Okay.”  And walked off to throw my tooth in the trash.  I’m not sure why, but that truth really didn’t bother me.  Maybe because I already knew that Santa wasn’t real.  Ah, the wonders and innocence of youth.

Christians have very diverse opinions on the classical mythical characters of Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy.  I know because I have heard and read the gambit; from vehement, total rejection to passionate, total inclusion.  In my home, we have leaned toward inclusion without blatant lying.  Yes, a hybrid of sorts.  For example, we put presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, but don’t say “From: Santa” on the tag.  Just leave it blank.  But I have never been one to blatantly lie to my children.  If they ever asked me point blank if there was a Santa Clause, and they have, I tell them point blank “No.”

Now this may seem shocking, but it has never been shocking to my children.  When my older two girls asked me about Mr. C., and I told them he wasn’t real, they laughed.  Hard.  And said, “Oh Daddy, you’re so funny!”  Yep, I told them the truth and they wouldn’t believe me.  And that routine went on for the next 4 years until they finally asked someone else about it, and they believed them.

When I forgot to get the tooth for my oldest daughter 2 nights in a row, and she was upset, I decided enough was enough, told her the truth and gave her extra money.  Yes, I “bought her off.”  She took the news well.  I’m pretty sure I repeated this financial exchange for my next daughter a year later.

Now years later, we come back to the present.  Last week, to be exact.  I had, not surprisingly, repeated my mother’s error of forgetting a tooth 3 nights in a row for one of my younger two daughters.  To her great credit, she was not as upset as I once was.  But, instead of dreaming up some fancy tale as to why The Tooth Fairy didn’t come, that night I decided it was time to tell them the truth.  I took a quarter and an extra dollar for each of my twins (Couldn’t break the news to one and not compensate the other!) and went to them.  They were upstairs waiting for me to come and say goodnight.  The tooth was under the pillow.  With the lights full on and them watching, I pulled a shiny quarter from my pocket, reached under the pillow, and swapped it for the tooth.  The reaction was immediate.

Shrieks and giggles.

“Daddy, stop!  The Tooth Fairy won’t know where to find it!”

“Daddy, you’re so silly!”

“Daddy, you’re not The Tooth Fairy!”

And more giggles.

“Yes I am.  I am The Tooth Fairy.  I have been The Tooth Fairy for over ten year!”

Even more giggles.

“Daddy!  Ha, ha!  You’re no fairy!”

I was getting absolutely nowhere.  Just like their older sisters, they took my offering of truth as a joke.  I decided to enlist some help.  If they wouldn’t believe me, maybe they’d believe their older sisters.  I called them both upstairs and shortly they stood before me and their younger siblings, who were still giggling.  Can you see the train coming?

Knowing my older daughters penchant for dramatization, I set the stage by stating, “I’m going to ask you a question and I just need a yes or no.”

They looked at me, and then at each other, and started giggling themselves.

“Is the Tooth Fairy real?”

There was much commotion after this question, with laughter by all four girls, so I felt the need to repeat myself.

“I only need a yes or no.”  My oldest is grinning so broadly that I know I’m in trouble.  “Is there a Tooth Fairy?”

Both older daughters loudly say, “Yes!” and emphatically nod their heads.  Oh, the giggles.  I was utterly defeated by 4 young girls.

“Fine.”  I was prepared for tears, prepared to pay, and prepared to cuddle.  I wasn’t prepared to be laughed at.   I sighed, put the tooth back under the pillow, and put the quarter back in my pocket.  I thanked my older two “For nothing!”, kicked them out, finished saying “Goodnight” to the twins, and went downstairs.

A few minutes later, the older two were, between laughs, telling their mother what had happened.  It was a classic set up, and if I was in their position, I probably would have done the same.  It was great situational comedy which they thoroughly enjoyed.  At my expense.

But I couldn’t leave it that way.

“Just remember, you will both grow up, and some day be married, and some day have your own children.  And they’ll ask me, ‘Grandpa is there really a Santa Claus because mommy says there isn’t.’  And I’ll remember this night and how much you helped me and said to your children, ‘Yes, there is a Santa Claus.  Your mommy’s only saying that because she was very naughty when she was young and got mostly coal in her stocking.’”

More giggles.

Oh how I miss the lesson plans being done for me.  Planning out each subject, then fitting it into a schedule that works with teaching two grade levels, and with three subjects that the older two both are doing but can not do at the same time (2 of which need my assistance)….blech.

Okay, now that the mumbling is out of the way this post can continue and in a better manner.  I did finally figure out a schedule where the older two can switch out the subjects when the other is working on them, I can assist when needed, and also with a block of time where they are self-learning so that I can do phonics, handwriting, and math with the twins.  It only took me about a month to sort, sift, and organize it all amongst all the things we wanted to get done this summer. 

I decided to ease into school this year.  The older girls have already started their Teaching Textbooks math and they love it.  It has a good track record, was recommended to me by sources I trust, and is looking to be a good fit for our family.  Next up we will add in a handwriting refresher in cursive for them and beginning printing for the twins.   After that I will probably add in reading.  History will be next since it goes hand in hand with my plans for 5th grade reading.  The girls will all four be doing history together, though at a much deeper level for the older two.  The twins will be enjoying the “story” of it along with a look at the globe and a map.  The older two will be making a timeline along with lists of important people, inventions, etc. 

It is my hope to have us up to full-time by the end of next week so that we can get a couple of weeks full-time in before vacation.  Vacation this year is a light affair. No tromping through theme parks or driving all over creation.  We are going to hop on an airplane, sit by the pool, hit the golf course once or twice, and read.  I am bringing some school with us.   I will not be bringing much with us, enough to keep a bit of momentum, but nothing that will eat into our days. 

On a side note: isn’t my sweet husband lovely when he is on a diet, lol!  I am not having the issues he is having on this diet.   My energy is down, but that is something that I hear is common.  I am getting tired of eggs for breakfast, but not being picky about what I eat, I have had a few no-egg mornings.  I do have to say that come monday I am  not sure which fruit I am going to eat, but I know I am picking fruit over grains or sugar.  While on this diet I canned nearly 50lbs of the sweetest juiciest peaches.  Having the girls test the gel on my preserves was so hard and I slipped up once and stuck the frozen spoon in my mouth without thinking.   The girls are begging my to make a cobbler out of the peaches we canned with honey and spices, but I know my limits.  Jam I can resist, cobbler would be too much smelling so warm and spicy sweet while dishing out.

CHAPTER 15:  Daddy vs. The South Beach Diet

Wait, what…where did chapters 12, 13, and 14 go?!?  And where have I been?  Let me apologize and say that my Daddyhood adventure has been very…consuming.  Like the light-headedness caused by carb-deprivation, those chapters (and others) swam in  and out of my mind, but never made it pen…er, blog.  I hope to go back and include them, but for now I’ve leaped ahead and decided to share about my latest adventure in a day-by-day account.  Or at least try.

The South Beach Diet.  My wife’s idea, really.  Yes, I’m a chubby-hubby.  Yes, I would like to lose weight.  Yes, I do want to grow old with you.  YES, I DO want to see my grandchildren.  NO, I DO NOT want to have a HEART-ATTACK!  FINE…TELL ME ABOUT THIS DIET!!!

For those, such as I until about a week ago, who are not in the know, the South Beach Diet (henceforth referred to as SBC, not the Southern Baptist Convention) has 3 phases.  The first lasts 2 weeks where you essentially cut all sugars and carbs out.  The second phase re-introduces carbs and fruits slowly, and you continue the diet until you reach your target weight.  Phase 3 is the rest of your life after that.  I presently find myself in the lovely Phase 1 stage, about which I must opine.

SBC-Phase 1  (The weeks that will live in Infamy)

Day 1:

I don’t like tomato juice.  V8, no thanks.  But I’ve been informed that I MUST drink a small glass of this…stuff, every morning to get in my required vegetables.  Juice in one hand, glass of water in the other.  The first sip goes down…mixed.  Oh, how the highway of communication between my brain and tongue has become congested with traffic.  Overload!  Stop!  Okay, how much did I get down?  Ugh, only half.  A little water to “cleanse” the palette.  More…nope can’t drink as much.  Ack!  Cough!  Water.

Okay, sips or just go for the Chug?  Nope, starting to feel that sourness in my mouth before I throw up.  Better do sips.  Juice…water.  Juice…water.  JUICE…WATER!  Done.  Why am I panting?  And why is my brain telling me there is something familiar about the taste?

The rest of the day goes pretty good.  I feel full after breakfast, have my morning snack.  Lunch is a taco salad, sans tortilla chips (sniff, sniff).  Doing pretty good.  Hmm…maybe I’ll make it after all.  Afternoon snack.  Finish work and off to the hospital to visit my mom.  She’s in getting some precautionary tests run.  I visit her room.  Floor 5.  I talk to her for about 30 minutes.  And then my bowels let me know its time to pay the piper.  I’m sure my mom didn’t notice me leap to me feet as if I’d been stuck by a cattle prod.  And I’m sure she didn’t notice how I didn’t sit any more, even with the nice comfy chair, just right-there.  She might have noticed my occasional pained look, and my difficulty focusing on what she was saying. She probably did notice my quick summation to the conversation and my near sprint out the door tossing back promises to call later.

Why yes, she did have a bathroom in her room.  But I was not about to have a “come to Jesus moment” in there.  Race down the hall.  There has to be a public rest room on this floor, right.  Elevators…no.  Look for a water fountain… always by the water fountain…except here!  Dang!  There it is!  Oh, NO!  It’s a single-seater with a door right on the hallway.  No better than my mom’s room.  Okay, elevator, elevator.  Gurgle…uhhh.  Not good.  I get in and suddenly find I can’t push a button.  The moment passes and I try to read the directory on the elevator wall to find a floor with the greatest chance of a many stalled, public restroom.  Eyes…watering.  Vision…swimming.  The elevator starts to move!  What?  I didn’t do that!  Quick, re-focus!  Let’s see, let’s see..ah, hah!  Cafeteria!  Ground floor!  Jab the “G” button.  Please Lord, don’t let any else get on…

To sum it all up:  I made it to the restroom, but was in there so long I almost missed supper and coaching soccer practice.  Needless to say, Day 1, I have my doubts.  I think my issue was the change in diet combined with the taco meat and salad.  Oh, what joys may Day 2 bring…

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Day 2:

Tomato juice goes down slightly better…but my brain is still telling me I’ve had this before.  Not a chance!  I don’t feel very hungry after the  juice, and the obligatory glass of water, so I put off my eggs and Canadian bacon until I get to work.  Off I go.

Work passes by smoothly, except we have a staff meeting which is scheduled for 3 hours.  Thank goodness we have a break and I can get back to my desk for the morning snack.  Snacks are important on this diet.  They say if you’re not snacking, you’re not doing it right.  Sounds good, except that a snack is small, like cheese stick or 20 peanuts.  Starving by 11, so the cheese stick snack goes down fast.  Back to the meeting.

The meeting ran past lunch, so we go out to eat.  Great, just great.  Surrounded by others eating any carb and sugar they want.  Can’t wait.  Don’t want to say no because a) I want to be a team player and b) it’s free food.  So I go and find the restaurant had a low carb menu, which was a plus for my sanity.  I had a chopped sirloin covered in cojack, with a salad.  The waitress brings out a plate of garlic bread and guess who she sets it right in front of…no, not him: Me!  So move it as far away as I can, and as quickly as I can.  The meal was surprisingly filling.  I got to the end of the full, but not stuffed, knowing that somehow I was losing weight.  Maybe I can make it 2 weeks.

Abnormally tired at the end of the day.  But the evening went smooth, except for the cravings that swam in and out of my brain like a desert (dessert?) mirage until I fell asleep.

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Day 3:

Hi juice.  I can’t get used to you.  Maybe some day I’ll get you down in one chug.   Oh, look what’s for breakfast…eggs and Canadian bacon.  Didn’t see that one coming.

Work is fine.  Have my snack.  Lunch is the soup I didn’t eat yesterday:  A spicy chicken and bean soup, kind of a cross between a white chili and a tortilla soup.  Very tasty!  No crackers or chips to go with it, though.  Sniff.

Ugh, an hour later and I’m hungry.  20 peanuts ain’t going very far.  By quitting time, I’m starving.  I’ll stop at Wal-Mart on they way home and get some Beef Jerkey.  That’s legal on this diet, right?  It’s just meat.  So I walk into the store, and never before had the chip and cookie aisles looked so…heavenly.  Time seemed to slow a little.  But I kept walking.  Found the jerky…check the ingredients…CRAP!  Sugar!  Awwww, MAN!  Sugar in the meat!  Now I’m weeping on the inside as I stumble out of the store and head home.  I did have some sugar-less gum, which did get consumed like candy on the way home…

I’m a little grumpy when I get home…especially when dinner won’t be ready for a while.  And I’m cross with my wife, which never ends well for me.  (Sorry, dear.)  And to top it off, she is short some ingredients, so guess where I get to go…TO WAL-MART!  I want supper, so I go.  I walk through the store in a zombie like state.  Get home and something weird happens:  I take two steps into the kitchen and suddenly feel my head swim.  My next two steps feel like I’m walking 1 foot off the floor.  It’s a new sensation for me.  I had to grab a chair to steady myself.  I know it’s the diet, but don’t know why.

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Day 4:

Had a bit of a minor melt-down last night with my awesome wife, who has been kind enough to be making all the meals for me.  We were talking about my meals for today, and I said, “Wait, don’t tell me.  Let me guess what breakfast will be.  Hmmm.  Let’s see.  I bet it’ll be eggs and some kind of lean meat.  And the next day, breakfast will be eggs and some kind of meat.  And the day after that it’ll be EGGS and SOME KIND OF MEAT!!!!!!”  She only had to smack me once to snap me out of it.

Tomato juice.  I feel like I’m unfairly punishing myself.  And what’s with that annoying feeling that I’ve tasted this stuff before?  No, way!  Water to wash it down.  And now for my…my…eggs…and some kind of meat.

Lunch is a salad (and tomorrow will be a salad, and the next day will be salad, AND THE DAY AFTER THAT WILL BE………sorry.) with salmon.  Pretty tasty.  But I’m hungry again an hour later.  Kind of annoying.  Plus, I’m light-headed at different points during the day.

Tonight I’m doing research about the caffeine thing.  You’re only allowed to have about 1 cup of a caffeinated beverage.  I like coffee.  I like my coffee in the morning.  I brew a small pot and take it with me in a thermos.  I’ve been doing this for 5 years.  Now I can have only 1 cup, which is about a 1/3 of what I normally have.  I didn’t think that would work, so we made a half-regular, half-decaf mix.  Okay, that gets me 2 cups.  I’d buy decaf at work, but nobody makes it.  So I research, and do find that the reason to limit caffeine is that caffeine causes the liver (?) to produce insulin, which is what you’re trying to get back under control with Phase 1 of the diet.  Bummer for me.  But wait, a short article, including a quote from the good Doctor Agatston.  It basically states that additional research shows that the amount of insulin produced from caffeine is so small, it doesn’t really cause a problem with the diet.  So, if you like coffee (and I do), go ahead and have some more.  Just watch yourself and see how your body reacts.  Check for cravings it might produce.  Awesome!  Thank you Internet!

At the end of the day, I helped my mom move an old couch out of her house and a new one in.  I was a bit concerned over how tired I felt.  And, I wondered if I would be feeling physically weakened by the diet.  We moved the couches without too much issue.  I did feel a bit weaker, and felt more strained than usual, but still survived.  Interesting…probably just all in my head.

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Day 5

I had the work a double-shift yesterday, so I was out and about from 9 PM until after 4 AM.  I was really concerned about hunger and being tired, because I felt exhausted when I started.  So, before heading too far out, I got a large cup of coffee at McDonald’s.  I knew it’d be an hour before it was cool enough to drink, and I made sure to drink a bottle of water before that.  I watched as the lady poured the last of the pot into my cup.  “Oh, no!” I joked, “The bottom of the pot!”  Without the slightest smile, she gave me the cup and mono-toned the obligatory, “Have a nice night.”

At about 1 AM, I was hungry and not sure what to do about it.  Out of desperation, I found a Wal-Mart.  I wandered the aisles in vain, dodging shelf-stalkers.  Sugar-free ice cream treat?  Naw.  Can’t do the Jerky!  I went for the candy aisle and found the sugar-free section.  So much money for half the candy as a regular bag.  I was wondering what to do and happened to turn around and see some sugar-free fudge-stripped cookies.  I stared at the package.  Oh, it looked good and not so good at the same time.  I read the label and saw the warning about over-consumption causing diarrhea.  Well, how many cookies are in a serving?  2!  But I bought them anyway, along with a Coke-zero.  I had the 2 cookies and suddenly wished I hadn’t.  They were okay, but my stomach seem to reject them.  Oh, well.  The Coke didn’t go down any better.  The good news is I wasn’t hungry anymore.

I was awakened the next morning to my wife calling me a cheater.  She found the cookies and because they had flour, they weren’t on our diet.  Oh, well.  The rest of the day was a blur.  Tomato juice, eggs with meat, salad with meat, and vegetable with meat for supper.  Oh, the joy of repitition!

My only problem came when doing some yard work in the sun.  I was moving some rocks around, for about 30 minutes.  My wife came out and was talking to me, so I stopped.  A few minutes later, I was nauseous and light-headed.  I immediately went inside, drank a big glass of water, and lay down.  They say in Phase 1 of this diet you lose mostly water weight.  I think I over-exerted myself without keeping an eye on my water in-take for the day.  Dangerous territory, especially when working outside, building up a heavy sweat.

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Day 6

While drinking my TJ, my brain finally connected the taste on my tongue to the memory in my mind.  Spaghetti sauce.  Yeah, I know, NO DUH!  I don’t know why it took me so long, but I now I know what it feels like to drink spaghetti sauce (meatless, of course!).  Oh, joy.

It was Saturday, so I was a little concerned with cravings and having food around.  But, not to worry, my beautiful filled in the time with canning peaches!  Nothing like canning peaches on a hot day to drive any carb cravings from your mind.

Lunch was huge Portobello stuffed mushrooms.  Very yummy.

The rest of the day went by fairly smoothly until supper.  My wife had to work that evening, so she had me make chicken quesadilla’s for the girls.  I LOVE chicken quesadilla’s.  The smell almost broke me.  So I took some the shredded cheese and fried it up and ate it.  It was good, but not the same.  Oh, well.

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Day 7

Today I learned how grumpy I can get on this diet when I am hungry.  Today was church.  So get all the kids up, drink my juice, eat my eggs and meat, and off to service.  We get home at about 12:30 and don’t eat until after 1 PM.  A grumpy me came out to play that I wasn’t expecting.  I guess it’s one thing to have cravings while you’re full.  You can tell yourself, “Forget those cravings, you fool.  You’re stuffed!”  But when you’re hungry and have cravings…well.  You don’t understand the power of the dark side of the Force!

The day went fairly good.  I even had energy from somewhere to be able to do quite a bit of housework.  Maybe I’m over the “always tired” phase.

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Day 8

‘The days are starting to blend together, as far as food in concerned.  The choices have become so repetitive as to become routine.  Is my body/mind finally accepting the diet?  I doubt it.  I made a full pot of coffee today.  I felt like I needed it.  Monday morning and all.  But about mid-morning, my stomach was getting upset with the coffee.   Tomorrow I’ll keep it down to 2 cups.

Nothing much to report.  I survived it.  Has occasional light-headedness, had cravings.  Tried to satisfy them with cucumber slices.  Oh, I better be losing weight!

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Day 9

The juice went down in 3 gulps.  It only caused a slight headache and one nasty burp.  My brain is finally beginning to accept the taste, but it’s not happy about it.  I now have to force the thoughts “You’re drinking spaghetti sauce!  You’re drinking, DRINKING pizza sauce!” out of my brain while the glass is tilted, though.  Breakfast was quiche, which was yummy, but I’ve now become numb to eggs.  Not wanting them, not hating them, just numb.  Oh, well, only 5 more days to go, right?!?  RIGHT!?!

Went back to the half and half coffee mix, and only took half with me and I did just fine.  Maybe I’m adjusting to that, too.

I was starving by lunch time.  I still can’t figure out if that’s part of it.  Lunch was an awesome soup my wife made, with chicken breast pieces.  But the best part was the broth.  Chicken broth mixed with sautéed onions, minced garlic, cilantro, diced tomatoes, and black beans.  Yummy!  She says it was really easy.  Ask her for the recipe!

Day 10

Nothing much new today.  I could barely choke down the TJ.   That was different.  I must be regressing in that department.  I was hungry most of the afternoon.  And I don’t feel like I’m losing any weight.  Boo!  And I thought hit me that no matter how little weight I’ve lost, I still can’t eat whatever I want at the end of this phase.  Boo-hoo.

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Well, it’s been awhile and in case you couldn’t have guessed, I fell off the SBC wagon.  I simply could not take it anymore.

Bless you, those for whom it works.

I did do a diet, and I did lose 30 pounds.  Simply counting calories and using the My Fitness Pal app/website.  And a lot of exercise.  It really is more about a lifestyle change than a diet.  More of a journey.  What I struggled with most was always feeling hungry.  And I wasn’t always, it just seemed like it.  But I was hungry often and had to mentally battle myself a lot.  It forced me confront self-control issues I didn’t fully realize I had.  I was surprised about how desperate I felt when I allowed myself to feel hungry for a few hours.

But, alas, I’ve gained a lot of it back.  Roughly half.  I had a feeling I would.  It was great having that much weight off, but I was beginning to enter into a zombie state of mind.  I honestly think I ran up against The Law of Diminishing Returns.  I’d like to get back there, but haven’t been able to push myself again.  But I know now that I CAN do it, because I have done it before.

Hello again :)

So, we have been working hard at getting our house ready to sell.  Talk about tough in this economy.  First off, I love my house and I want to move, but  I don’t.  When we purchased it, our house was 600 square feet.  In that 600 square feet were two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, and an “eat in” kitchen (not sure how we even fit a table in there to tell you the truth.)  Since then, we expanded by adding a huge eat in kitchen with a bit of bonus space as well as a master suite and laundry room.  That all brought it up to about 1400 square feet.  The upstairs bedrooms are on the small side, but not so bad as we are looking at other houses for sale.  Then there is the location.  As you have gathered from this blog, my girls swim competitively and one of them plays soccer.  This all is based at out YMCA that is literally down the street from us.  Oh yes, and our street is a tree-lined, quiet street, with little to moderate traffic (rarely noisy trucks, etc.) 

So, why would I want to leave the kitchen I designed and the house that my girls can walk to swim from?  We need more space and we can not add more onto it.  The lot is huge (double deep), but with the slope we have done all we can without going to a second story and our foundation isn’t built for that.  What we really need is a school room.  School takes up so much space that we just can not seem to contain it here.  It’s always getting stacked here and stored there.  There are “wants” too.  I would really like the older two to have their own room (don’t even mention it to the twins, they think that sounds scary.)   With schooling at home, it isn’t as if they don’t see each other all day…they DO see each other all day and at age 10 they would like to have their own space.  Besides one is a messy and the other is a neat-freak.

So, if you live in my area and want to buy a well-loved 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home let me know!  If you know of a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom with a study, extra formal room, or whatever that we could use for school…Let me know!

We are currently working on finding a curriculum for the girls’ school.  The virtual academy we have been with for the last  couple years has been nice, but it is not working.  Too much of the girls’ time is spent preparing for testing, and not enough comprehensive learning is happening.  They are bored, getting their work done so that it is done.  I want my girls to love learning as much as I do.  I want them to look forward to new subjects, to be able to take extra time on that which captures their interest. and to not know the “rules of standardized test taking” better than the rules of handwriting. 

So it is time, we are going to what some would call a “traditional home school” set-up in our home.  The curriculum that our school had was fairly good, I know we will miss much of it.  The cost of purchasing it, however, is out of the question.  Hence, it is the season for curriculum.  What to do for kindergarten?  Has it really been only four years since we last did K?  How does time go so fast and what did we do that worked that first year? Where should I start at with writing (a subject I feel they are weak on) the grade level they will be in (fifth) or the first so that they do not miss out on anything in the earlier levels?  Which math?  Latin would be nice, but how to fit it in with everything else.  So many questions, and that is just the beginning.  We are starting to fine-tune a plan.  It consumes many of my thoughts.

Speaking of thoughts.  We have decided to list our home and move, though we are still staying in the same city.  That plus curriculum and I feel like my brain has been stretched to its limit.  Thankfully, I am wrong and there are still cells firing strong when it comes time to cook dinner, can jelly, or settle a sisterly spat.  More on the house later as it is a post of its own.

Other random thoughts:

  • 12 days until we are on a beach taking in a bit of therapy sunshine after the long winter…us used loosely as it’s just the girls and I on a trip with my mom and her mom (hooray for grandmas!)
  • daylight savings time messes with me something awful, I still feel a bit off
  • between the last post and this we came down with what I call the coughing crud around here.  It was a 2 week-long illness that knocked you flat and when you finally did come out of it a bit, you had a cough that would not stop.  So glad the last one of us is on the tail end of it.
  • we now have a cat with a bum eye to add to our home (and not, the three-legged dog was not fond at first, but they seem to have worked out a peace agreement in the mean time.)
  • God is so good, all the time…even when I do not see it, looking back I see His hand!
  • warm dirt and fresh veggies are in my not too distant future

hello?

tap, tap…

Is this thing on? 

I used to blog here.  I used to work up thoughts and match a photo or two with them.  What happened? 

Life, that’s the short answer.  Since my last postings, life happened.  The girls are still swimming, the twins are still chasing after their older sisters at record pace leaving me both pleased (so much love, so many memories) and sad (time slips between my fingers so swiftly and these days can not be had twice.)  Last summer and fall, I just wasn’t sure I would make it.   Of course, I made it since here I am typing.  I knew then that I would make it, but just didn’t feel it. 

So here is a photo or two for those interested in how my girls have grown.  Hopefully it won’t be months again before the next post.  I’ve blogged since Spring of 2006…no sense in stopping now. 

edited to add that while I would love to take credit for these photos, they aren’t mine.  I can only take credit for the cute kids

Today was the last practice for summer swim.  It was supposed to be the last swim lesson for the twins as well, but they have a make-up lesson on Tuesday.  It has been so hot this week, I am sure the girls loved being in the pool. 

This is how we always enter the pool: holding hands and at least one wedgie

Nice dive!

Once we are done with Champs this weekend (final swim meet for the league) we have a couple weeks break until swim.  I’m looking forward to staying home a few days :)

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