I’ve been busy this week looking into local high school options for ds13 for the coming year (private schools – the local public schools are some of the worst in the country), wanting to know what the options were without summarily dismissing them in favor of homeschooling. After all of my research, homeschooling has never looked better! It’s taken a good amount of time and emotional energy, but I feel even more committed to educating our children at home after considering all of the input and feedback with an open mind.
On the home front, after two weeks of dh not really working on our attic, I realized he was very understandably feeling a bit overwhelmed at how much work there was to do, especially in light of how little time he had at home to do it in. I was planning to do a bunch of work, too, but was waiting for him to finish some preliminary things that needed to be done before I could do my part. To take the pressure off of my wonderful husband, I asked my ds13 if he felt comfortable doing some of the work, to which he agreed.
I really think teenagers need and appreciate meaningful outlets for their energies, and this project has been very satisfying and gratifying for my son. He can really see a visible difference before and after he does work, and he knows what a huge help it is to dh and I that he’s getting so involved. I just wanted ds to hang some drywall, but he went well beyond that. After drywalling the knee wall on one side of the attic, he decided to frame the inner concrete wall himself, which was more complicated than a typical wall framing project because of the slant of the roof on each side. Then he went on to begin hanging dry wall on that same wall, which also was a lot more work because of the drywall needing to be cut at an exact slant to fit the interior roofline. And, it’s right next to the stairs so he had to build a kind of scaffold with dh so he would have a place to get the footing for sufficient leverage to drill. The attic is actually beginning to look like it will be a really nice living space – reality is starting to show glimpses of matching the vision in my mind’s eye. I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel. The plumbing and electric work for the bathroom has been done, so a lot of that work is in place. We need to build a custom shower stall, cover all the walls, lay a tile floor, and put the door in for the bathroom, and then the plumber will be back to put in the fixtures, and the electricians will be back to put in the light and venting fan. Though there’s still lots of work to do, both for the bathroom and the attic itself, it’s exciting to see it all come together.
Well, after working together with dh most of Friday on the attic, they were both ready for a break, when we discovered the sewer main had backed up and the contents of my garbage disposal from the kitchen sink were coming up in my utility sink in the basement. We quickly called the plumber, who told us to call a sewer service. Unfortunately, it was 5:30 and they were closed, so there was no help on that end. Feeling a very real sense of urgency and not having any professionals available to come out and take care of it, dh ran out to Home Depot (which is beginning to feel like our second home) and rented an electric snake. He did a fantastic job of snaking out the sewer line (there’s a first time for everything – the joys of home ownership!), and took a quick shower while ds put the pipes back together.
Then in the middle of the night, I woke up to the sounds of crying, and found my two middle sons throwing up. My dds (10 and 12) were taking care of them, and said they hadn’t wanted to wake me up, but fortunately I heard them anyway. There must be a virus going around, since the baby was sick on Thursday and Friday, also the same kinds of symptoms – lethargy and vomiting. The 4 yo seemed to be feeling fine when he woke up, but ds8 still isn’t over it. I hope in the morning when he wakes up it will have worked its way out of his system.
Our guests today were wonderful, just filled with a positive energy and upbeat attitude that I especially love and appreciate. I had considered canceling when we had the sewer main problem because I wasn’t sure what the state of the house would be like, but I’m so glad I didn’t, especially since we made plans with them over a month ago. They are a couple in their sixties, and we had a marvelous lunch conversation that went on for three hours and spanned a wide variety of topics. The older three kids were all interested in the conversation, and participated as well, and the younger kids flitted from the table to their games during the meal.
My older two dds started a baking business several weeks ago, and just got a few large orders. It’s really exciting for them, since they didn’t know what kind of response they would get (and there may still be orders that will come in, since customers have until Monday to place their orders). So I’m organizing my time so that the kitchen will be available exclusively for their use for Tues/Weds/Thurs, and then again on Sunday. I feel it’s really a wonderful project that they’ve taken on, and though I won’t do the work for them, and willing to support them in whatever way I can. Basically, this has meant taking them shopping for supplies and to distribute their flyers. I really feel that nothing builds self-confidence like success, and regardless of how much money they make, this has already been a very good experience for them.