Catch Up Day

Remember when I said the trick for me, for writing every day, was getting up early and just writing? Well, here I am, forty three years old, pregnant with our ninth child, suffering from (mild, thankfully) “morning” sickness all evening long, and sometimes all day…

…and I’ve been sleeping in. Till 5:30, almost every day, which is just not enough time to write. Today, the cricket in the bathroom woke me up early, so here I am.

evie in her makeshift bed

Here’s the current state of affairs, since life does not actually stop just because I don’t feel well:

We should have quotes from our contractors this week! We have two versions of our newish house floating around. One is a big version for the fellow who prefers to work with trusses. It’ll have a rather enormous second floor and a storage area in the truss space. The other is what we’re calling the “skinny” version, which will give us a full second story and, hopefully, a finished attic space that we can move our schooling to. I like both versions, though the children are taking sides. Hopefully, we’ll have a plan and financing soon, so we can get to work. I’ve also heard a rumor that dad is wanting to move out here as soon as possible, construction or not.

The children and I were chatting about that the other day, about how there’s always room for one more, except when that one more is not a member of your immediate family! The rest of us really and truly do enjoy each other’s company, and we tend to live life just kind of piled in on top of each other. Space is meaningless to us. In fact, their favorite feature of the second story floor plan is an open area which is living room sized in the Big House Plan, and sort of a biggish hallway in the Skinny House Plan. They really just want to be together! But Grandpa will undoubtedly want some privacy, so an addition it is.

Still wondering how God plans to pay for it, but I’m sure it’ll work out. Right? Right.

sunflower with dog

We’ve been working hard to get down to our winter weight, livestock-wise. We’ve got two bovines in the freezer, two hogs in another one, and we’ve begun harvesting our chickens. Guess what we need? Another freezer! Davey keeps complaining about my use-it-up mentality regarding the meat. “Stop trying to make soup out of the bones! Just go get more meat!” I can’t do it, though. That roast had a name, and funny, quirky habits, and I consider it a dishonor to waste any nourishment it can provide for my family. So after the roast, I’ll still make soup; we’ll just eat less pasta.

File Sep 15, 5 44 55 AM

I posted this picture on Saturday of my girls working the chickens. Somebody said to me later, “You see those beautiful smiling faces, and then you notice the knives, and then you see the chicken guts all over the table…” The Cooper Family horror show? But this is how you take chickens and turn them into food! And this is actually one of those really great Family Team Building days. (Oh, Army, will you ever not be a part of our lives?) We come together to accomplish this big project, which is not necessarily pleasant, and we are better as a community for having done it. Believe it or not, nobody likes to miss our most challenging days, days like this one, because they weren’t part of the team. The hard days matter in the building of a family’s character much more than the easy ones.

chickory flower

Also, I’m very happy to be a homeschooler this week. A friend posted her daughter’s report card the other day, and I was shocked by the curriculum. This is no discredit to the child, by the way, but to the educational system in my state. She’s an advanced eighth grade student, and these were her courses:

Language Arts
Social Studies
Algebra 1
Enrichment
CCP (stands for College and Career Preparation)
Art/Science/Health/PE

I have never paid the slightest bit of attention to the requirements of whatever states I’ve happened to live in, thankfully, but even if I did, this is not how I read the Kentucky educational requirements. Slamming art, science, health and gym into one slot is baffling to me, and there are two non-courses taking up this child’s valuable time, as well.

I’ve just kind of been basing my children’s educational needs on the college preparatory curriculum I had in high school in New Jersey. I, too, was an advanced student, which meant I got to take high school courses in eighth grade: Algebra, foreign language, and Earth Science, which may or may not be a high school level course now. I graduated with five math and science credits, though I did not persist in Spanish past the two year requirement. I also have to consider my own educational agenda, which is not necessarily compatible with the State’s; I’ve got a pretty strong anti-government bias and believe in questioning authority and challenging the status quo. 🙂

That said, my eighth grader is studying Medieval History, Ancient Greek Literature, math at his skill level, Meteorology (to be followed by Astronomy and Geology), Latin, and a course in Religion. He’s also preparing for Confirmation in the spring and has his own private studies in history and science.

Educational standards vary widely from state to state, and from homeschool to homeschool, but I’m glad to be in the homeschool camp. I chose it for love, but it works out pretty well academically, too.

Time to move on with my day. I’ll be back as my queasy stomach allows!

4 Comment

  1. What the heck is “Enrichment”? It is especially dismal if you have a special needs kiddo. I homeschooled my special needs nephew for six years…he now lives with my parents and has attended public school for three years…he is in 9th grade this year. He is taking algebra. Even though he literally has a second grade math level. Because,,,”everyone has to take algebra”. No child left behind, you know. And he has a B. I said, “How does he have a B in algebra when he does not even know how to multiply?” Why, because he knows how to use a calculator! FWIW, he was in Saxon 65 when he left my house. With no calculator. Sigh.

    The picture with the chickens is a riot. I have a local friend with a small hobby farm, and she talks about learning to butcher chickens from a book years ago…outside with chickens and knives and such, and a book spread open with blood splatters all over it….lol

    1. We’ve butchered many a critter straight out of a book. 🙂

      As far as that Enrichment class, I don’t know. I figure if they need “enrichment”, offer more challenging courses!

  2. I saw that picture on IG and never got around to commenting on how impressive it is that you’re able to do that with morning sickness. Any time I’ve been pregnant, I’ve only had little people who didn’t require leaving the house, and so I spent the first three months lying on the couch basically!! I hope your queasiness passes quickly!

    1. I’m usually mostly okay in the morning, as long as I get enough sleep. It’s the evenings that break me down. And it’s different every time!

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