I am too overwhelmed to begin. I'm so far behind!!! I want to blog so much, but just don't have time. =S
Well...Mitch's homecoming first. It was so fun the night he came home. He misled me to believe that he was an hour further away than he actually was. So the kids and I were hanging out, and the doorbell rang. I didn't hear it, but they answered. They came running and said, "Mom, someone rang the doorbell and left two pirate costumes and a race car!" I went upstairs to check it out (who is the generous neighbor?), and of course it was their daddy. He said, "How rude of my kids to just take the stuff and run!" LOL Of course, that's what he expected them to do. He got up and made breakfast on Sunday morning. It was sooooo nice to not have to do it all myself. We were still late to Sunday School, though. =P It has felt so strange to have him home. First off, he had this really, really LONG hair. He looked strange. In a way it felt like he had never left. I get so confused trying to put everything together. Today I shaved his head, and he looks much more like himself. But there's this huge memory gap there--yes, he was really gone.
He has really gotten the kids into shape as far as homeschooling goes. They are doing excellent for him. I can't believe it. Well, yes I can. He is a wonderful teacher, there's no doubt. The kids were all done with their work by 1 pm today!! I am hoping that I can learn some of his secrets. He has set up a discipline and rewards system. There are three basic rules: 1) I must respect authority. 2) I must respect others. 3) I must do what I am told. He made a chart with a bunch of boxes for each kid. They get a "strike" when the break a rule, and one strike equals 5 min. Next, he got a membership to the YMCA (more details to follow). The kids are like fish--they love to swim. But each strike they receive means they have to sit on the side of the pool for 5 min before they can swim. For now, this is huge motivation (obviously, since they got their work done so fast). So far it's working well.
Mitch really wanted a gym membership so that he can work on getting in shape. (Though Steph G assures me that the FedEx job will certainly be quite an exercise for him!) He wanted a family membership so we could spend time together. He also knows that exercise will help him battle depression. We researched the Y and the scholarship program. He went down and applied this week and was accepted. We are SO grateful for this--our family membership is only costing us $15/month!!!! God has met another important need for our family.
I've really got to run, but a couple more things:
The van situation is good. We have a reasonable offer from our insurance company. We are not liable for the accident, though the other ins. may try to paste us with 10% or something stupid like that. We were traveling down a 4-lane highway--Mitch in the van with 4 kids and me following in the car with 2. We were in the left-hand lane. Traffic in the right hand lane was backed up (it typically is), but our lane was mostly empty. We were headed towards a green light (but did not get to the light)--so cars way in front of us were moving, and there was no reason for us to be slowing. We were traveling under the posted speed limit. Suddenly a car darted out from behind a stop sign to make a left turn across our lane of traffic. The traffic in the lane next to her was stopped, and she did not check carefully to see how quickly we were moving. I was far enough behind Mitch to stop reasonably, and I also saw her dart. He had almost no reaction time, though, and could not avoid t-boning her even though he slammed on the brakes. She was not seriously injured, though they did have to cut her door off and transported her to the hospital. I didn't even think. I threw my car into park and bolted for the van to start unloading kids. People jumped out of their cars and came to help. Many were reassuring--I could hear one on the phone with 911 describing the scene. Another said to me, "someone's already on the way!" They helped me carry kids, and I stuffed them all into the back seat of the car. They were crying, but ok. Josh bit his tongue and it was bleeding a small bit. Since this happened on the way home from church, there was a church family who saw the accident and stopped to assist us. We called a couple other families who were still at church and they came too to help us get everyone home. Mitch was even able to drive the van home. The insurance co says it is a total loss--yay--and we have been looking at vans all week. We know that God will provide the right vehicle for us. Maybe it will even be something a little larger. It has all been a big hassle, but we are so thankful for God's protection. I am amazed that it was not me who was driving the van (normally it would have been), and so thankful that Micah was not sitting up front as he had been doing all the weeks that Mitch was gone.
Eden is a "new woman" in her words. Daddy's coming home gift to her was letting her get her ears pierced. =) (I love how she's got a grip on her Daddy's hand--this is the girl who screamed through a flu shot recently!)
Malachi had his first rice cereal recently. While he did really well as far as being able to eat it, I don't think his tummy has tolerated it well. I am not sure if it's related, but he always seems to do a bit of back-arching and screaming later after eating. =S I haven't had time to do much research. But he's still really cute....