Despite my previously mentioned post-holiday blues, I really have to say that this year has been off to an excellent start! Many little happy surprises have been surfacing in our lives, including Darren being made temporary Director of the WSMR museum following his predecessor's retirement at the end of December. (Prayers that this becomes a permanent position would be very welcome!) I've finally narrowed down my curriculum selections for this Spring but was worried about the cost of our new materials...and then remembered that my annual performance evaluation at work was due this week! Usually this would entail a small merit increase in pay, but since I'm at my max rate I will instead receive a nice little bonus check in the mail. Not a huge sum, mind you (the figure is based on the number of hours worked during the course of the previous year), but it should be enough to cover the expense of our new supplies and registration fees for another term at Gym Magic for both Dylan and Caitlyn! I'm struck by how God's timing is always perfect...and humbled by the fact that I am so not in control of His plan.
Today I really tried to implement some practices in my daily routine which I'm hoping will, with time, become more of a habit. They are things which I've tried with little success to stick to in the past, but the feeling of satisfaction I gained from today's experiences will hopefully sustain me as I continue in the days ahead. I'm not talking about big changes here, either, just simple little modifications that made a world of difference in my day: rising early (a little before six) to spend time with Darren before he left for work; coffee and prayers before computer time; morning chores completed quickly, in short bursts, as the opportunities presented themselves (making beds while the kids had breakfast, for example), rather than trying to do everything at once and feeling utterly overwhelmed by it all; dinner in the crock pot by 11, as opposed to my more typical 4 o'clock mad dash to see what's available to be thrown together; and quality time spent with my kids!
I wanted to get back on track with lessons today, but Meghan was so needy that I had to make her my first priority. It wasn't until after she was down for a nap that I was able to do any work with Dylan, but I was okay with that! We completed Lesson 1 in My Catholic Speller Level A, he practiced writing and solving simple math equations on our new dry erase board (which, for him, was much more fun than his old workbooks), and we reinstated our Tuesday Tea Time with some delicious oatmeal fruit bars and rich hot cocoa! We snuggled together on the couch and (finally!) read some more from Little House on the Prairie. I played dolls with Caitlyn and Meghan, helped Dylan make a ZOOMerang booklet, and still managed to actually serve hot meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (unheard of for me!), run the dishwasher twice, complete three loads of laundry, and make major headway on the mountain of paperwork and other stuff that threatens to overrun my bedroom dresser.
I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow and we are bravely taking all three kids along with us. Because guess what? I'm scheduled to have an ultrasound and, with a change of heart that still has my head spinning, Darren announced on our way home from church on Sunday that, if possible, he would like to find out the baby's gender! Whether or not baby will cooperate remains to be seen, but at any rate, we agree that the opportunity for the kids to see their newest little sibling on screen just should not be missed! So, boy or girl...will we find out tomorrow? You'll just have to stay tuned... :)