Friday, June 07, 2013

St. Florian, Pray for Us!

St. Florian is the patron saint of Firefighters, and although we've only had one encounter this year  that required calling firefighters, we've had three fires since the first of the year.

First, came the New Year's Day fire, when I noticed smoke curling out from around the edges of the hearth. After ripping out all the cement board, insulation, et al. it was cooled down. It is still more or less as we left it that night, though now we are just waiting for our tile to come in, so we can finish it. 

Then came the electrical fire. My husband and oldest son were on a camping trip. I was rushing around on a Sunday morning getting everyone ready, when I heard someone calling me. It didn't sound urgent, so I kept doing other things. Until my six year old came up and said, "Mom, the tea kettle is smoking." The ten year old had had the presence of mind to unplug it, but it hadn't occurred to her to open the door and let out the smoke, so the kitchen was pretty unpleasant.  But there were no casualties other than the electric tea kettle.  We suspect, it got bumped on with no water in it one too many times.

However, the doozy fire of the year was when my husband was pumping gas, and the guy at the next pump said, "Hey, your car is smoking." And then there were flames licking up around the hood. And then the hood was engulfed.  Though, the firemen did say cars hardly ever actually explode like you see in the movies, that thought is not all that comforting while your car burns at the gas pump. We have no idea of the cause, though we suspect either the wiring harness or the battery.  Either way, as one can guess, the car was a loss and my husband has a new vehicle now.

No more fires of interest have occurred since then. I'd like to hope no more will. Since all of these ended safely and nothing terrible happened, I am considering taking up more prayers to St. Florian. Apparently, he's been looking out for us.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

School's Out!

The last few months have been consumed by finishing this year's schooling and planning for next year, when I will be educating five! kids and have both a Kindergartner and a freshman in high school.

But finally we "finished" our school year on the last day of May. I put quotation marks around that word finished for several reasons. First, the oldest isn't quite done with math or history. Second, I want all the kids to do a little math during the summer to keep their hand in, and third, I haven't finished grading or recording yet. However, I do feel like a bit of a weight is off my shoulders and the pressure has slacked a little.

It really is not enough slacking from my point of view though. This week and next, the oldest three are taking golf lessons through First Tee. The oldest started in the spring and enjoyed it, so we signed up the girls as well for the summer. You can't beat the price for lessons, and the kids are provided with equipment and can golf for free at the course closest to my house.

In the midst of that, my almost three year old also started speech therapy, which is no where near my house. We've long suspected that his frequent failure to say consonants, leading to speech that somewhat resembled Hawaiian, was not typical. When we had his evaluated and found he was two standard deviations off the norm, I knew my suspicions were correct. So now we start speech therapy.  In the fall, we may have our first encounters ever with the public school and try to do therapy through their special services. My tax dollars at work.

However, now that our school year is mostly over, I am going to work on planning for next year. I have a teetering stack of books and lots of ideas of how to put things together. If I can only just make it all work.

Gratuitous standing, but not quite walking, cute baby picture
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