And i have the tree house to thank. That and the fact that they are together 24/7. They can't escape each other and that's just wonderful. I'm not going to pretend that i don't miss homeschooling. I miss the hours of sitting beside them, teaching them and building relationships. Even when school caused tears and much frustration, and in spite of the times that i had to leave the room so i didn't bite someone's head off, we were always a team. The olders would take turns playing with the littles so that i could work one on one with a struggling student. They recognized that blood is thicker than water. Oh yes, they fought. I mean, hello! We're all human and sometimes i think this family has an extra dose of humanity. Like i said, i had to leave the room sometimes and i must confess that i would lock myself in the bathroom and devour chocolate while reading a book or magazine, hoping that somehow patience would flow into my life through sugar and paper. But i loved it!! They are my heart and my passion (besides my passionate husband) and i will go to the ends of the world to squeeze every drop of life out of this crazy crew. And if that means hiding out in the bathroom for awhile for refreshment, i'm fine with that.
|Emily in her house (top part of the treehouse)|
But for now, homeschooling is not an option, except for Eric and Emily. And we're not sure, after doing a lot of talking, that it's wise to pull them out if the others are still in the schoolroom. The younger ones need their older siblings to watch over them and keep each other walking the line. Still praying about that one.
|Zac at his place of business, in what will be the sandbox.|
Back to the treehouse......i about choked when i found out what that treehouse was costing us. What if we don't stay long term? Is it really worth it? The treehouse is pretty much finished except for the roof, the sandbox lining, and the sand. They have already spent hours playing in it, their creative juices flowing and while i have a feeling that i actually would choke if i could see exactly how my backyard looks right now, i'm going to close my eyes. (update....i told them i'm hiring a landscape crew. They needed to set a price and it will be paid by paper money. Or credit card) There's a time to clean up and there's a time to play. They used to set up businesses all over our huge living room at the farm, with paper money and little offices tucked into every corner and closet. But the hours of entertainment and the hours of their minds and hands busy creating and building was worth it. Sometimes i would hold my head and groan, wondering why in the world i put up with it but somehow i knew that they were learning so many life lessons. It also meant i could eat my chocolate some other place besides the toilet room. And sometimes i just appreciated the hours of quiet happiness coming from the living room. Sometimes it was outside where they would make farms with real boys for cows, chewing on real grass, with a real live electric fence that Eric rigged up. The fence lasted until the shocking began and the father realized what was happening. They built towns outside, using pieces of lumber for tables and farm junk for all kinds of creativity. That was great because the mess was outside and as long as you didn't wander to the back of the shop you didn't even notice the carnage.
|Josh and Caleb's lumber yard and wagon fix it shop.|
The boys are planning on building furniture for the tree house with the left over wood.
|The treehouse that Eric designed and the boys built with a bit of help from dad.|
The plan is to add a tire swing somewhere.
And i want to add that missing homeschooling is not a slam against the teachers here. They are amazing and do a great job. I don't look at them as "stealing our children" but i view them as partners in the teaching of our children. I have learned quite a bit from them and Lord willing, if He grants us the opportunity to go back to homeschooling someday i will use that wisdom to do a better job at teaching math and english.
|Zac and Jonathan's store, altho i'm not sure what they're selling. From the looks of|
Caleb's clothing and feet i'm thinking perhaps some soap.