The Long Sick

Being sick over Christmas is no fun! We managed to do many of our traditions, though. Everyone got Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Swaddling Clothes presents. Sara loved her new dolls, Timmy was excited to get a Playmobile nativity set, and Rea can't wait to start horseback riding lessons next month. Alison got a new phone, which prompted weeks of work to get her old phone replaced under warranty and send it to Katie. That should be completed tomorrow, which is exciting. Mike's favorite was his new board game about meteors.

Then we tried to celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas (which, if you recall, were originally after Christmas; that works well for Alison, who is never organized enough to do them before). The first few days we got to spend with the Brown and Poulson grandparents, which was awesome. We did a few activities at home, like making homemade face paints and finger paints, but we mostly watched a lot of movies. It's really hard being too contagious to leave the house for over a month. The kids enjoyed the movies, though.

Two of our twelve days of Christmas activities are a New Year's Eve party and a New Year's Day game day. This year we were too contagious to invite people over, so we did them by ourselves. For New Year's Eve, we got one of the big $60 Lego Elves sets and put it together as a family. It was awesome and will definitely be a tradition. New Year's Day everyone picked a game and we played them all: Tales of the Crystals, Myrmes, Robots on the Line, and Feurio. It was very fun, even without having people over.

On Twelfth Night, we had fish and pasta for dinner, and then made a crown-shaped cinnamon roll cake. It was delicious and Rea found the crown! She had us all go outside and play in the snow and make shadow plays on the wall, and then come in and cuddle by the fire and listen to an audiobook. It was a very nice Twelfth Night, despite being so tired of being sick.

Finally, this week we started to feel better. Alison started up school again for the kids; we did the First Great Lesson, which was very popular, as always, and Rea learned to use the internet to do research. Timmy has been studying woolly mammoths, and Alison has created some activities for him, and Sara is doing a lot of art. For scriptures, Alison is drawing an outline of a symbol of a scripture story in the kids' Book of Mormon, and then the kids color it while she reads the story. They're playing with math blocks for math, which no one wants to start but everyone enjoys once we're into it, and Rea and Sara just did an assessment to start spelling with the Words Their Way program. The kids have really been enjoying school time, and Alison is proud of how well they're concentrating.

In the afternoons, they try to go outside every day. The weather has been ridiculously warm, so it ought to be easy, but when she's sick, Alison really doesn't like getting everyone dressed up in their outdoor gear (it's still wet and windy, so kids need coats and things even if it's warm). But they got a few good days this week, and she hopes they'll get out every day next week.

Mike is still sleeping polyphasicly, and he's using the time to be an online adjunct professor at BYU-I. He's doing this mainly as a service, although if Alison starts teaching English to kids in China when she sleeps polyphasicly, between the two of them they might make enough to travel and support themselves with their online jobs. That would be cool. Mike is finding being a professor really easy, although replying to all the students' introductory posts took a lot of time this week. He expects it to slow down a bit. If it does, maybe he'll teach English for an hour a night too.

Oh, and goals! Mike wants to make $100/month on Patreon and save $100,000 so we can retire, submit 12 games to publishers, 30 minutes/day of scripture study, and exercise every day. Alison's goals are polyphasic sleep, using a prayer journal, creating a Calming Corner for the kids (and herself), and speak French whenever Mike is home. Rea wants to improve her prayers (maybe with a prayer journal), use the calming corner, learn to ride a horse, and do Sudoku puzzles. Sara's goals are to climb a tree, practice positive thinking, draw pictures of 10 scripture stories and tell them, and stop the habit of saying "I can't." Timmy was asleep when we set goals, so we don't have his. We set goals for Gideon: use the potty, go to nursery (May!), stay in sacrament meeting, and not scream at Timmy every time they're together. We'll see how we do this year. In 2017 the boys achieved most of their goals, and the girls mostly did not.

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