We're midway through our second week of school, and things are going much better. I don't mind getting up early to hustle the girls off to school, and then for three blissful hours peace and quiet reigns.
They are both loving school. When we sit around the table at night, each girl gets to take a turn, telling about her day. Lucy's classroom has a clock that sounds like a loon calling, and that's when they know it's time to eat lunch. They have a math problem of the day. They're learning beginning Latin, and in a week, they'll start Mandarin Chinese. By this time Elaine can't contain herself and bellows, "We've got Miss Norman for Spanish and we say 'adios amigos' and we're learning ENGLISH, too!" (Well, that's a relief.)
"That kid needs volume control on her voice," Darren mutters.
Last night Lucy asked me, "Mom, will I go to college where you did?"
You will be proud of me--I did not immediately shout "Yes!" and burst into "God bless the school that D.L. Moody founded..." I told her, "Well, it depends on what God wants you to do with your life and where the best place for you to go to college is."
She said, "Well, I feel it in my heart that God is telling me to go to your college" (as I am wiping away the joy tears).
"It's a great place to go if you want to be a missionary or if you want to be a teacher," I told her, "Have you thought about either of those things?"
"Actually then, I better go to cooking school first," she replied. "Because you know I've always wanted to be a cook. And when I have my own cooking show, you can have a guest appearance on it and making sponge cake."
Sorry, Moody. I lost you an enrollment 10 years early. Better you add a culinary major.
I've also been working on the seasonal clothes changeover, not that I really feel like it in this 90-degree weather, but it's a huge job and the sale is coming up on the 11th and I need to see what we've got already. I had Elaine try on a possible fall outfit, a hand-me-down of Lucy's. She got it all on and looked in the mirror.
"I look groovy," she told me. "But this whole thing would be a lot cuter if I had some red boots to go with it."
And we've been reading a lot: a book by Mary Stolz called "Cider Days" for Lucy and a big, old book called "The Gateway to Storyland" for Elaine. I'd forgotten how fun it is to read "Little Black Sambo." I just revise the racist character names, and we're good to go. Frankly, there's more tigerism than racism in that story anyway, in my opinion.
I also bought them both new devotional books, which I can't recommend highly enough. They're called "God & Me," written by Lynn Klammer and published by Legacy Press. They're broken down by age: 2 to 5, 6-9, 10-12, and they have them for both boys and girls, with unique themes to each. On every left hand page, there is a verse, a small story or meditation, several questions, and a prayer. On each right hand page, there is a fun application activity. Elaine and I do hers together, but it has been so cool to see Lucy doing her devotions in the morning by herself.
Let's see, what else? Oh, I'm sure you've been dying to know about Miss Cleo Marple the Cat and how she is settling in. The day we adopted her, the lady from the shelter said something along the lines of, "She isn't really a cat I'd recommend for first-time cat owners, what with her social issues and all. Good luck!"
We've had her three weeks now though, and she has greatly improved. At first she would hide under our dusty, dark dresser and not make a sound. More often than not, she would hiss if you tried to get near her. But now she is quite loving, letting us pet and brush her almost as much as we want. She talks to us, particularly if we've forgotten to fill her food bowl. She doesn't play much because I think no one ever played with her, so she doesn't know how (which kind of breaks my heart).
Lucy said, "Cleo loves Dad the best because he's so magic with animals. Then she likes me, because I give her nice massages. She likes you third, Mom, because you're kind of like a servant--you know, you feed her and empty her litter box and stuff. She likes Elaine last because she's kind of rowdy still."
And Elaine says, "I love Cleo even though she's bited me two times."
When it all gets too much for the poor creature (usually around 3:15 when both girls are home from school), we can find her in a corner behind the guestroom bed, where I have some [more] bags of the girls' clothes.
Girl, I can sympathize. Sometimes I just feel like crawling into a Nordstrom's bag, too.
So, that's us lately. This weekend, as I mentioned before, we're getting ready for our annual Memphis road trip/family reunion, code name: FISH FRY. As Darren always says, "Strap on the feed bag."
Cleo will be alternately cared for by Emily the Wonder Babysitter and my good friend and neighbor, Kay Lynne, who has four cats of her own. The girls call her Miss Kittie ("as long as they don't call me 'The Cat Lady,' she says).
Maybe by the time we get back, I'll get bumped up from third-class servant into maybe second place cat masseuse. I can only hope.