One of the things that I recall every time I feel a little guilty about not blogging often is that since the big kids have started going away to school, 2 hours of every day is now spent in the car. That is 2 hours I previously spent quilting, reading, blogging, cleaning, and playing with the kids. Every day now is as regimented as a new Army recruit: wake up, get ready, get kids ready, drive to school, come home, homeschool the boys, run, shower, get big kids from school, ferry some kid to piano, make dinner, bathe little kids, read aloud, say prayers, and finally put the kids to bed.
So, what has our family been doing for the past few weeks? Well, Timmy, Charlie, and I did the Flattop race. The boys did great in the mile (Charlie 7 min, Timmy 8 min) and I did terrible in the 5K. The weightlifting I had been doing to improve my strength left my muscles so worn out, despite a 4 day break, that I could only barely manage to stay on my feet. Yesterday I did run the Bridge the Gap 10 mile race and did quite well: 1hr 20 min. I ran the first 8 miles with my friend Lisa at a 8:30 pace and felt as fresh ending it as I did starting. I've been going out way too fast and crashing at mile 2, so this was a good learning experience. It was much more fun to pass people, especially on the hills, than to get passed while gasping for breath.
I've been quilting up a storm since I finished all my obligation projects: a tshirt quilt for an online friend and a brown bag exchange in our guild. I applied to submit this quilt in the state quilt show for judging and have until the middle of June to get it finished. After several weeks, I've now finished all the colored strips and have to connect it all with white sashing next. I'm not really looking forward to working with 34 floppy strips, all 2" wide, but now I have to get it done, and do it well, since I don't want to look foolish next to all the really talented quilters in our state.
Will was accepted to the fancy high school so I can release the breath I was holding for several weeks. Our other option was to bring Will home for 9th grade and send Charlie to Catholic school a year earlier than anticipated. Now it is unlikely that I will be spending the next year in prison for killing my child because Will and I are at odds so often these days and the little boys will have each other to be best friends with for another year. I didn't think I could go back to more than 3 kids at home during the day, Timmy has made such progress this year without the drama of trying to get the older ones to do their work. I've actually had, despite the loss of 2 hours a day, more time this year to work with him on his studies.
Julia Ellen is now officially potty trained, or housebroken as my Grandmother calls it. I am happily doling out m&ms as reward for not having to daily wipe a yucky bottom for the first time in 15 years.
What is next? More quilting, more races, the arrival of our first batch of Buff Orpington chicks in a few weeks, and planting my garden. Spring is late in arriving to northern Maine, the ground is still frozen 4 inches down and there are still patches of snow here and there, but today there is a warmth in the air that hasn't been there before and the snowdrops in front of the library were blooming this morning. Happy Spring!