Sunday, August 28, 2011

Update: Summer

Now that I’ve started school with P and E again, I’d better give an update on some of the highlights of this summer.

We’re expecting a fourth little someone! (I'll be calling him/her LS until we find out the gender and decide on a name). The official due date is February 12, 2012 – the other 3 were all early, so we’ll see. B’s 2nd birthday is January 27, so our plan of spacing them about 2 years apart seems to have worked. Thank you, Lord! So far I’m feeling great. I go running for a mile or so about half the mornings each week (if I don’t hear B’s sweet voice first). Every so often I think I feel LS moving; I'm 16 weeks along now so it likely isn't just my imagination.

How many women do you know who get their private pilot license while pregnant with their fourth child? I think I can be justifiably proud of this accomplishment, and of course grateful for all the resources - human and financial and even social (God bless America), all gifts from God - that made it possible. I took my checkride on June 18th, but hit a gust of wind while doing the soft field landing and failed. The second attempt, on June 25th, was successful, and I now have a shiny license with a picture of the Wright Brothers. I took Ari flying on our anniversary, and took the kids up a few weeks later. When my parents visited 2 weeks ago, I flew them to Fredericksburg and back, my longest cross-country ever. I'm so thrilled about being a real pilot!

Ari finished the Epic of Karolan! The final volume, Darkness Gathers Round, is now available from Hopewriter and from Amazon. It seems to be selling quite well although we haven't spent any money advertising - enough people were desperate to find out what happens next at the end of book 3 that they're buying it up at a good rate. We plan on spending our entire annual advertising budget in November, because that time of year generates so many more sales per advertising dollar.

We're still living in Houston. Ari, having finished his publishing project, is now looking anywhere and everywhere for any job in his field. We're open to anything that'll pay the bills and not hinder his chances of a further academic career.

I finally took the plunge and applied for U. S. citizenship. My parents will be spending the coming academic year in Jordan, so of course we're going to visit them after LS is born. The idea of Ari having to herd all 4 kids through one passport line on his own while I waited for another just made me shudder, so that's the main thing that triggered this decision. I had been concerned about the oath of allegiance, but I think seeing "foreign" as referring only to human kingdoms (because the Kingdom of God is for all people in all places) is justifiable. I submitted the paperwork a week ago, so hopefully it'll get processed before LS is born... I don't know how far I trust any bureaucracy...

P is now reading fluently, and attempts to read anything we leave lying around. E seems to feel that the fact that anything she can do, he can't do better, is quite unacceptable. So I started school with him in mid-July after we finished our school year in May, mainly to help him learn to read as quickly as possible. He's made it through the first 5 Level K readers from Sonlight, but is tripped up and intimidated by the difference between "b" and "d" - that's what we'll be working on this coming week. I started P on all subjects and E on Sonlight K core subjects this past Monday, so we're back to a full school schedule now. I'm trying to do school in the mornings, so that afternoons (when B naps) are free for me to relax. It helps to have toys that he can take out, spread all over, and put back again. It also helps to get the older 2 busy with seatwork and give him some undivided attention a few times during the morning, as well, so I'm trying to structure our school time that way. B likes sitting in my lap for a minute or two at a time while I read to the older two, and I'm hoping his attention span will gradually increase. He's started to be interested in looking at books (rather than chewing them or throwing them), so I'm planning on taking advantage of this interest as well. P can already read well enough to help read to him, and E is making steady progress, so I have hopes of eventually being able to ask each older child to read to B while I work with the other one.

In all, I'm glad to be back in a school routine - it's fun to spend the time with the older 2 kids and watch them learn. B takes up so much of my attention no matter what, that it's good to be able to plan to pay more individual attention to P and E as well.