Monday, November 12, 2007

$10.50 Worth of Pure Fun

Things here have been topsy-turvy since Leah got sick. Yesterday while I was teaching S.S. Steve was taking her to the Emergency Room for her croup attacks. My kids get croup all the time so usually I'm pretty relaxed, take them into the bathroom for a steam, and head on back to bed. But she had me really worried. So Sunday was E.R. day (she got a lovely quilt from Project Linus) and I was completely exhausted. So tired that last night when she had another attack I couldn't figure out how to turn on the shower. :-) Steve had to take over on kid duty for the night. On a more pleasant note, my lesson went well. I had no voice (I've been sick myself) so my students started on their knitting needles and then, while people were sharpening, sanding, and rubbing finish on their needles, each child took a turn reading a story of one of the miracles performed by the two prophets we were studying. Things like parting a river, bringing the dead back to life, and taking the poison out of food. We had a wonderful discussion about how the person himself is not the point, it is God who is working through them, all the power comes from God. And how even if what you are called on to do is something small and not something grand, listen, because you could be part of a miracle for someone. The final story was Naaman and his leprosy. He went to see Elisha who told him to wash himself in the river seven times and his leprosy would be healed. But Naaman was a king and expected something more... more respect, a long glorious ceremony, the prophet to bow down in front of him. Elisha actually didn't even deliver the message, he sent a servant. :-) And Naaman was really pissed off and was basically going to storm away and still have leprosy rather than be humble and do a simple task like dip in a river but the servant said to him, if the prophet had told you to do something glorious to be healed, wouldn't you have done it? And Naaman said yes. So, the servant said, why not do this little thing? What do you have to lose? And he did it and came out with clean skin.

Anyway, today I got up totally worn out but needing to do the lesson for Natalie's class on dipping candles. I took in a book (The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela by Cristina Kessler), a flat sheet of beeswax and a rolled candle, a candle mold and a poured candle, an earth candle (from All Year Round) in a flowerpot, as well as plenty of wick, cans of beeswax pellets, Earthways, and several dipped candles in different stages so they can see how it gets fatter as more layers are put on. The whole process went wonderfully well. The children dipped for an hour and a half! The teacher was amazed at how long they stuck with it, notably, the usually highly energetic, easily distracted, and restless boys. We followed Carol Petrash's directions to the letter and the candles came out beautifully!

Then filled Leah's prescriptions -- an antibiotic and a steroid. YUCK. But sometimes I turn to modern medicine and when my child can't breathe is definitely one of those times.

In the afternoon Leah stayed inside and steamed (vaporizer, small bedroom) and the other children helped spread mulch for the final time and distributed two bales of straw between the beds to form paths. This is where the $10.50 of fun comes in! I could NOT believe it. After they shredded the bales with their bare hands, tearing it, shaking it, tossing it up in the air, kicking it, and having a marvelous time... they began to run and slide on it, fall down in it, and roll all around on the ground. Natalie got permission to eat some straw (she was very adamant about wanting to try it) and decided that it was too scratchy and made her cough. She rolled and rolled and rolled all around. I was amazed at how much fun they had in the straw. I let them go for it because I figured this was the one time it would be quite clean and not damp.

In the evening I moved Natalie officially into Leah's room and Leah officially into Natalie's. N had a small room, easy to steam up, whereas Leah basically had a suite downstairs. I had to take some of Natalie's toys out during the temporary trade -- we wanted to be near Leah for her croup attacks -- because L was playing around and not resting, so I decided just to swap them for good. I set up the downstairs with some special things for Natalie and she was quite pleased. The easel and crayons, her Cinderella lentil work, her flower fairy house and fairies, and -- the best part -- I moved the bed into the blue room (Leah had it in the hallway so she could be near the night light) under the fairy canopy. Natalie absolutely loved being able to sleep under the canopy and went to sleep happy as a clam.

R was the story tonight, by the way. R is for Robber (the straight vertical line is his body, the loop is his bag of loot and the short spoke is one outstretched leg).

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