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1. We’ve actually had blue skies and sunshine this week. Often too cold to go outside, but I deliberately did several loads of laundry the other day just so I could soak in the patch of sun that makes the laundry room unbearable in summer, and glorious in winter. Sorry about hogging the machines, neighbors.

2. First grade math, as has been recorded here and elsewhere, and imprinted in my brain to the point where I’ll be a doddering, senile old woman unable to remember my own name but still weeping about math, was A Challenge for Joy. Second grade math, which we started in November … well, she still has to work, it’s not a walk in the park, but she gets it. It makes sense. She’s making connection. She’s understanding concepts. She’s able to figure out problems without me breaking down each step for her every time (still need to break it down occasionally, but not every time). And while it might not be her favorite subject, she’s enjoying it at least a little. I could weep with thankfulness.

3. Gracie made me a Valentine’s Day card that read: “Hav a hppy vallitine day lof me.” I melted. She made a similar one for her daddy, who also melted. I love this stage of beginning reading/writing. It kind of makes me sad to think I’ll never have another one go through it …

4. Speaking of which, TWO of my dearest friends are in the very earliest stages of pregnancy, where you hold your breath every day out of fear and hope. They are also friends with each other, and it makes me ridiculously happy to think not only of adding two more kids to our crazy little bunch, but that they’ll be born so close together. So, so fun. And yet not enough to make me want a third (despite the dream I had last night of having a two-year-old in addition to our two, a little girl with ringlets and a solemn-sweet face, who rarely spoke but used complete sentences when she did, whose name was Elianora and whom we called Ellie. It was so real it completely threw me off when I woke up and remembered we only had two daughters). I’m happy to leave the pregnancy to my friends.

5. Halfway through the rough draft of my historical serial. Last night I took a little time off from writing the story itself to jot down back stories and motivations, personalities and the like, just for my own sake. It was enormous fun, and part of the world-building aspect of story telling that I often neglect.

6. I quit (added) sugar at the end of January, and while I’ve not been as strict about it this past week, I’m still being careful. Not only have I been able to take my belt in a notch, and have the energy to actually start doing some exercises in the mornings, yesterday was the first time in months that I didn’t hit the wall at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It was amazing, and I’m so encouraged.

7. We watched the first two Anne of Green Gables movies (aka the only two) with the girls this month. They fell absolutely in love with them. This week, I found an out-of-print Simplicity costume pattern which I can use to make them some Anne outfits; also an old blouse pattern from my mom which I can adapt to make an Anne top to go along with a 6- or 9-gore skirt for an even simpler Anne outfit. I know I’m trying not to do as much sewing these days, but … how can I resist fostering a love for Anne in my girls?

8. The girls have been building with Legos every day this week. It is such a delight.

9. Things are looking promising for options besides keeping the girls at home OR sending them to public school next year. One part-time Charlotte Mason school, one Christian school which does a partnership with homeschoolers … I am praying that one of these works out.

10. Joy is teaching herself how to play songs out of her piano book on her violin. I am constantly amazed at her connection to music. I try not to speak of it too much to others out of fear of boasting, but holy cow this girl is incredible.

Both my girls are incredible. And I am really looking forward to the prospect of just getting to be mom next year, instead of having to be mom AND full-time teacher. Even mom and part-time teacher will be a wonderful break. I am so ready to just enjoy them. They are a delight.