I PASSED! I passed the GACE Pedagogy test! The one that I knew would take a miracle to pass. Do I think that God might have intervened? Oh, yes, I do! I'm thrilled beyond measure and excited to continue in my goal to become a teacher.
The next step is to take the Special Education test and, if I can put it into the schedule, the Social Studies test, to keep as many options open as possible. Everyone keeps telling me that I will have no problem finding a job in Special Ed. So, we'll see.
The kids are all off the entire Thanksgiving week. We've had a fine start to our vacation. The house, while perhaps not passing Martha Stewart's standards, does at least not look like a tornado went through it. I've organized both Kathleen and Kylie's clothes for the cold weather. Their summer clothes are packed away for the next four or five months. I also went through the jackets and coats, saying good-bye to the ones that are too small and can no longer be handed down to the next person. The boys cleaned their room (no small feat), and all the kids pitched in with chores. Keith cleaned out all of the humidifiers and set them up in everyone's rooms. He also replaced air filters for the central heating. Kathleen put yeast in all of the toilets to treat the septic tank. Aren't you all glad to hear all of these interesting details? It's just that I feel very accomplished today!
Keith went into work this afternoon and is still there. He usually has Mondays off, but he has a lot of work to catch up on before the end of the month. The joys of being in management. Then, he works through Wednesday, but will have all the way through next Monday off after that.
We started a new chore system. The kids have their usual weekly assigned chore, but now they earn "chore bucks" for doing them. Each night, I pass out Monopoly money. (I printed the stash from the Internet.) They can earn more chore bucks for extra jobs, like taking Kody out in the early morning hours or cleaning out the car or other such exciting jobs. They can also lose chore bucks when they leave their shoes or anything else out, or even have a bad attitude. So far, the chore bucks have been working their magic. It has been especially good for those repetitive infractions -- leaving dishes at the table, leaving out food prep things, not taking a backpack to their room, etc.
Now the key is what they can buy with their chore bucks. For seven bucks, they can have a friend sleep over, or they can go sleep over at a friend's house. For ten bucks, they can have a chore free day. (No one has gone for this one yet, preferring to hoard their bucks for other things.) For two bucks, they can buy a candy. We're still working on other rewards and tweaking the chore buck system as we go.
Tonight, Kylie has a friend over and Kristofer has a friend over.
I had a shocker the other day when Kathleen suddenly exclaimed, "I'm taller than Keva! This is so weird!" I looked at the two of them standing together and was amazed at their height difference. Keva has always been just a little taller than Kathleen all of their lives, but Kathleen has gone through a growth spurt and shot past Keva by at least two inches! It wasn't something that we were looking for and Kathleen had just noticed it herself when she found that she was looking down at Keva instead of looking up!
Then, I had to do a height test with other significant growing people in the family. Keri Lynn is still just a millimeter taller than Kristofer and Keri Lynn and I are virtually the same height. But Kristofer has been steadily gaining on us both. It won't bother me when he's taller than us, but it sure is going to bother Keri Lynn! She does not want to be shorter than her little brother! His voice continues to change, too. It has all been very gradual for him.
Now it's time for me to go plop myself on the couch and crochet while Keri Lynn and I watch Pride and Prejudice. Soon the younger kids will all be down and we'll watch the second in the Matrix trilogy. Then, we're all planning on sleeping in tomorrow . . . bliss.
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