Friday, July 13, 2012

Diving Back In

Golly. It's really been almost three months since I last posted anything on this blog! So much for that goal.

Well. It's time to dive back in. Because the longer I've put off blogging, the harder it's been to start again. And the more there is to write about. And the more sheepish I feel. Apologies (where they're needed), and the best of intentions for the future!

This post will be an overview of our lives for the last months – good and bad. Baking highlights can be found here, and crochet projects here.

A Really Hard Month
Around the middle of April, when I last blogged, this family was suddenly snowed under. (No, not literally...we live in California for goodness sake!) We all got a bad cold and were feeling really under the weather. And then we found out that my car (which we thought needed some work) is basically on it's last legs – I'm just biding my time waiting for it to die by the side of the road (prognosis was 3-6 months of driving time left, and it's been three months). So my husband started teaching me to drive his car – it's a stick – so that we could share one car if necessary, and his car died. Fortunately his car was fixable (if expensive) and isn't likely to die at the side of the road any time soon. And then the lawn mower died too. And with one thing after another it was very hard to keep the joy going. And I certainly didn't want to blog about it! But we made it through! And here, on the other side, I have joy that we persevered. [Although, in hindsight, it would probably have been somewhat cathartic (if depressing for any readers) for me to write about it all.]

A Visit from Grandpa Lynn and Grandma Tee
Lance's parents came to visit at the end of May. Judith had fun playing with Grandma and Grandpa, although somehow we managed not to have the camera out very much!
Grandma Tee painting Judith's toenails
Grandpa Lynn reading with Judith
New Skills!
Out of the blue, Judith's fine motor (specifically writing and drawing) skills have blossomed. For Daddy's birthday in early June, I asked Judith to make a card. I was expecting to have it be her customary scribbles (with probably a lot of pink). Instead, I got this:
"That's my Daddy"
It is very important to note that this was the first time Judith had ever drawn a face. For Father's Day a few days later, I asked her to copy the letters (her name) I'd written on his present, expecting, again, that I would need to give her a lot of help. But she copied them beautifully, and has now progressed to writing J-U-D-I-T-H on her own, without anything to copy, or even any help remembering which letter comes next.
writing her name
The letter-copying surprise sort-of threw us into our first real “homeschooling” lessons – I got some dry-erase letter-writing books that Judith's been using for a few letters each day. We've also been playing a lot of pre-reading games using phonics to figure out words that she sees and asks about. I'm continuously amazed by how quickly she catches on when she wants to!

Swimming Lessons!
For the third year in a row we enrolled Judith in swimming lessons through our local rec department. This was the first time, though, that I wasn't in the water too. What fun she had, and so much improvement! She's now able (and willing) to duck her head under the water.
swimming lessons
We also got her a swimming vest (a no-no at swimming lessons, but a huge help in any private pool!), which has enabled her to be independent in the water for the first time. This is, naturally, very freeing for us!

A Night Apart
June 22 was very momentous day in our family. Judith spent the night away from us for the very first time! She stayed with Grandpa Tim and Grandma Sandy for Friday night through Saturday evening while Mama and Daddy had a day together. Apparently it took her awhile to go to sleep, but otherwise she had a fabulous time. (Considering Grandpa and Grandma took her to Fairytale Town, that's not surprising :-) Lance and I went for a hike, and watched a grown up movie, and got a full night of sleep!

July 4th Celebration
Independence Day was HOT here, but we managed to have fun anyway. We started the day with a breakfast of Grandma Sandy's famous Swedish Hotcakes, and then walked to the Roseville parade. We intended to go to the park for some music, but it was hot and crowded, and the line for the bathroom made me extremely nervous. It's possible that people would have would have been understanding of an almost-four-year-old needing to cut to the front of the line, but I decided not to chance it, and we went home. We spent the evening with our good friends Renee, Jessica & Jayden. It's become a tradition for us to do fireworks with them – I think it's been about six years now. This year Judith got to hold a sparkler - which she lit the grass on fire with! Fortunately, I was ready with a bucket for just such an occurrence!

Daddy explains how careful we need to be.
Hand, Foot & Mouth
A week ago, Judith went to bed a little warm, and woke up in the middle of the night so hot that I got into a cool shower with her.  Then she spent the day throwing up if she even drank water, and lying around the house doing absolutely nothing.  Then she broke out in a rash on her feet...yep, she'd caught hand, foot & mouth from a friend's daughter.  After the day of vomiting, she's been extremely cheerful and her normal self, but the rash on her feet has looked pretty nasty.  It's starting to clear up (blister and scab over), and she's well on her way to being completely healthy about it.  The hardest part has been the isolation - because hfm is highly contagious for children under 5.  So we've been at home for a week.  We're definitely looking forward to being let out!

The Joy
God is faithful through good times and bad times.  Yes, that's a cliche, but it's very obvious now, as I look back at the hard(er) times from a few months ago.  We came out the other side - with our faith and our joy intact, strengthened in fact!  Judith brings joy every day - she's full of joy, no matter what she's doing, even when she's sick.  And it is pure joy to watch her developing writing and reading skills!

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