Friday, August 29, 2008

We Have Hope For Our Nation!

God Bless America!

Couscous

In an effort to celebrate the feasts of St Monica and St Augustine, we decided to of course do the coloring sheets, but also try Couscous. (a second time for my husband and myself, we tried it when first married, and didn't care for it then) My husband does not like tomatoes or zucchini (I do) so we didn't use the recipe on Catholic Cuisine, but followed Charlotte's recommendation for Near East Parmesan Couscous. Couscous is on the food list at a great number of 72! (however after adding the 4 Tbsp of butter it called for on the 2 pkgs we made, not sure how it would rank) I can't say anyone liked it much, except Babycakes, she ate at least a cup of it! It was kind of like a warm bowl of mush, you know from Goodnight Moon. Maybe that is why she liked it? After putting fresh tomato slices on mine and having a tomato in every bite, it wasn't too bad. Can't say I'd overeat on it. (maybe that's why it rates such a good number!) Couscous was very fun to say and talk about at the supper table though.
Ballerina Rosie, after being served couscous for the very first time and being given dessert, (a delicious ice cream sandwich) stated, "but I didn't eat any poshposh!"
That's ok, honey, that's ok.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Food Ratings!

Starting in September, thousands of stores will post numbers by many items rating them 1-100, 100 being the healthiest for you. Developed by Yale University's Griffin Prevention Research Center. The numbers are based on nutrients, vitamins, sugar and salt as well as impact on blood pressure and other health concerns. More stores will adopt the rankings in 2009.


I got this info out of our September issue of National Geographic. If you want more scores, go to onqi.org. (Overall Nutritional Quality Index) The things in parenthesis are my own thoughts!


  • 100 Broccoli
  • 100 Blueberries
  • 100 Orange
  • 100 Green Beans (Oh, good, we just got some from our neighbor!)
  • 99 Pineapple
  • 99 Radish
  • 98 Summer Squash
  • 96 Apple
  • 96 Green Cabbage
  • 96 Tomato
  • 94 Clementine
  • 94 Watermelon
  • 93 Mango
  • 91 Nonfat milk
  • 91 Fresh figs
  • 91 Grapes
  • 91 Banana
  • 89 Avocado
  • 88 Oatmeal
  • 83 Blackberries
  • 82 Sockeye Salmon
  • 82 Raw almonds
  • 82 Raw Pecans
  • 82 Arugula
  • 82 Brown Rice
  • 82 Snapper
  • 81 1% milk (good, this is the kind we buy!)
  • 75 Shrimp
  • 72 Couscous
  • 70 Raw Pistachios
  • 69 Unbuttered, unsalted popcorn (we eat a lot of unbuttered popcorn, but unsalted? that might be hard!)
  • 67 Canned tuna, in oil, drained (that oil surprised me too!)
  • 63 Vegetarian split pea soup mix (oh, yum...just kidding!)
  • 61 Instant oatmeal
  • 60 Canned pineapple packed in juice
  • 57 White rice
  • 55 2% milk
  • 53 Canned kidney beans
  • 52 Whole milk
  • 51 Scallops
  • 50 Pasta (it doesn't say whole grain, which is what we buy, I'm assuming it's normal pasta)
  • 49 Canned peas
  • 45 Prunes
  • 44 NY Strip Steak
  • 43 Vanilla yogurt
  • 39 Orange juice (this is surprising!)
  • 39 Skinless Chicken Breasts (not as healthy as people think)
  • 37 Canned peaches in light syrup
  • 36 Lobster
  • 34 Dried apples
  • 32 Tomato juice
  • 32 Condensed split pea soup with ham (what is it with the peas?)
  • 29 Enriched white bread
  • 28 Whole chicken with skin
  • 26 Raisins (my kids love these, surprising they are low, I thought they were healthy!)
  • 25 Hamburger -75%lean (extra lean has to be much better, right?)
  • 24 Apple chips
  • 24 Green olives
  • 23 Bagel (my hubby is disappointed in this one!)
  • 23 Condensed tomato soup
  • 23 Peanut Butter (not as bad as I thought)
  • 23 Sherbet
  • 22 Reduced fat sour cream (might as well go for the regular if the reduced fat is this low)
  • 21 Condensed cream of broccoli soup
  • 21 Salted dry roasted peanuts
  • 20 Instant chocolate pudding
  • 18 Fried egg
  • 17 Swiss cheese
  • 15 Diet soda (hey, it fares better than the sugar soda)
  • 13 Center cut bacon
  • 11 Pretzel Sticks (they are not as healthy as people think they are!)
  • 10 Dark Chocolate (also not as healthy as people think, darn!)
  • 9 White bread
  • 7 Salami
  • 5 Hot dog
  • 4 Cheese puffs (did anyone think these were healthy?)
  • 3 Milk Chocolate (that's why people think dark chocolate is healthy, it's better than milk chocolate!)
  • 2 Apple pie
  • 2 Reg. cut bacon
  • 2 Saltine crackers (wow, that's too bad)
  • 1 Soda (sugar)
  • 1 Popsicle

I thought this list was very interesting. I hope our store starts this rating system. It sure would make things easy! I figure anything above 50 is pretty good and below, watch it. Some things are surprising, some things are pretty much no brainers. (If you go to the website, the additional list is not long, but strawberries are 100, I'm pretty sure most berries are, which is why I pictured those delicious looking berries at the top!)


World's Largest Sign Outside DNC!

American Right to Life Action displays message on mountain outside DNC.
I watched Obama's wife and Hilary the other night just a few minutes each. It's all I could stand. They both spoke about our children and the future of our children. I guess they only mean the children already born, not any unborn children. I guess they don't consider unborn children our children. Just made me sick to my stomach, seeing people in the audience crying and tearing up to their stupid stories. How misled they are.
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Fast. Fast. Fast.
We need to, We have to.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love Netflix!

A few years ago, we joined Netflix. My husband talked me into it. I have to admit, I love it now. We started by watching the first season of 24 and went on to watch all but the last 2 years...we'll have to catch up!
We went on to watch all seasons of Alias! I love Jennifer Garner and this show had the best/worst cliffhangers every time!!

We are now watching The Closer. I really like this show. I really like the main actress, she is classy, sweet and kind of a female Columbo. Does anyone remember Columbo? I loved that show, he was my favorite. I love to play dumb, when people are playing dumb with me. I know, I'm kind of devious, but that's kind of what Colulmbo is like. (not that I'm like Columbo)
This is a really good show. We like to get the seasons of these kind of television shows through Netflix because we can watch an hour show in 40 minutes, with no commercials. It's great!




Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blogger Tea Party

Tracy over at Pinewood Castle, organized this Blogger's Tea at The Mad Hatter Tea Room.
We all had such a fun time!! As you can imagine, the hostess had to remind us to sit down so she could seat other parties coming in...we were all so busy talking it was hard to sit down!! They served us an elegant lunch and 3 hours later we were finished! The time flew by.

Here are the bloggers: Margaret, Susan, Melissa, Paula, Tracy, Teri, (her husband's blog)
(bottom row) Laura, Me, Erika.

Look at this fancy place! Fancy chairs, tables, table settings, hats, gloves and beads to choose from and wear while eating, and many fancy women chatting!! I have to thank my husband for sacrificing and working extra hard to take off, so I could go without the kids. He really is a sweet, sweet man!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Nag, Nag, Nag!

Ever see this movie? It's such a great line. I remember it from when I was a kid. I loved his movies!

  • Don't forget to bring your towels in!
  • Put your towels and swimsuits on the table, so I can hang them all up!
  • Where is your towel and swimsuit?
  • I said put your towel and swimsuit on the table!
  • Go get your towel and swimsuit!!
  • Pick up your toys!
  • Set the table!
  • Clean up your room!
  • Pick your clothes up!
  • Put them in the wash!
  • Go potty!
  • Who pooped without using toilet paper?
  • You have to use toilet paper!
  • You have to flush!!
  • Find something to do!
  • Leave her alone!
  • Stop bugging him!!
  • Let him play!
  • Clear your table!!
  • Pick that up!

This is all said (by me) within an hour and the rest of the day is very similar! Wow, I'm a nag! I now know why my mom was a nag. Why am I like this? Why can't I just enjoy my children and look lovingly at them and stroke their hair and think only happy thoughts?

Don't get me wrong. I love my children. They are precious gifts from God and I truly love each of them with my whole heart. They are beautiful, smart, healthy and well, just wonderful sometimes! Hey, I'm trying to keep it real here! They fight, bug eachother and they don't listen to me.

I take them swimming, to parks, the library, read to and with them, do art projects and many other cool things. My mom never did any of these things. (which is fine, that's her) SO, I think I get this attitude of "Look at all I do for you!" and expect them to be perfect or something. Deep down, I think it's that I want to be appreciated by them, to feel appreciated by them. No, I didn't walk 5 miles to school up hill and back but I also did not get to do all the fun things they get to do!

I am such a "Martha" wanting to be a "Mary" sitting at our Lords side. Enjoying these beautiful, precious gifts God has given me and that are SO close to Him.

I have a million things on my mind and running through my head. Laundry, supper, (what will I make? When will I start it?), baths, watering flowers, housework, trying to exercise, trying to go to bed early and get up early, trying to follow a schedule, planning school, writing emails back to people, sending packages, my parents, and a ton more! All this is on my mind constantly.

BUT, life is not all about ME!! It's about God. It's about putting Him in the center and loving. Loving all. Doing it all because we Love. Being Love to others. Especially our children. The gifts He's entrusted us with.

Lord, help me to love my children with a pure heart, not a nagging heart. Help me to put my busy-ness aside and be more like Mary instead of Martha.

Lord Make Me A Saint! "Go ahead, make my day" kids, I love you!


Our New Schedule!

5:30 am Mommy up, say prayers and breakfast

6-7am Workout and shower

7-8am Computer time, read blogs, post etc...

8am Everyone up, prayers, breakfast, get dressed (by this time 2 are already up)

9am School starts (no phone, turn off til afternoon)

10:30 Snack and quick break (recess)

12:30 Lunch

1:30 Outside recess

2:30 Finish any school work not done
Chores
Reading time
Nap time for Babycakes

6:00 Supper


This all looks nice on paper, doesn't it? (well, on computer) This is the schedule I want to follow. I do believe it is impossible for a night person to get up this early. I have been practicing the 5:30 am thing, and going to bed no later than 11pm for the past 2 weeks. My alarm goes off every day at 5:30 and then every 9 minutes after that for the next hour. Then, I finally turn my nightstand light on and start my prayers. Leaving my alarm on just in case I doze off while praying. (who me? Yes me!) Then finally getting out of bed and putting my workout clothes on and down to eat breakfast, but by this time, everyone is up and I'm serving breakfast. I finally exercise around 9am, on a good day. Today it was 4pm. Yes 4pm!


My husband can set his alarm and just get out of bed the second it goes off, if he hears it at all, usually he wakes up before it goes off, way before and is out of bed, because he can't sleep. What? How do you people do it? My best sleeping time is from 5am-8am. Well, with the new schedule which will be official September 1st, my morning workout comes before blogging, so my blogging might slow down even more. Because that extra hour of sleep at the time feels so much better than the computer. We will see.


Then comes Thursday nights, I have my holy hour at 10pm and end up staying until usually 11:30 and come home ready to blog. (I'm usually in bed by 1 or 2am) I have a new energy after visiting with our Lord. SO, Friday mornings might have to be our day off, my day to sleep in!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Feast of The Assumption/Consecration Day!

Today is the Feast of The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin, a holy day of obligation.
One of my favorite days of the year!
Today is also our day of Consecration to Jesus through Mary, for those of you who have done this with me this year. I thank you and wish all of God's abundant blessings on you and your families!
How to make your Consecration:
At the end of the 3 weeks, we should go to Confession and Holy Communion with the intention of giving ourselves to Jesus Christ in the quality of slaves of love, by the hands of Mary. After Communion, we should recite the consecration prayer; we ought to write it, or have it written, and sign it the same day the consecration is made. it would be well that on this day, we should pay some tribute to Jesus Christ and our Blessed Lady, either as a penance for our past unfaithfulness to the vows of Baptism, or as a testimony of dependence on the dominion of Jesus and Mary. This tribute should be one in accordance with your fervor, such as a fast, a mortification or an alms, or a candle. If but a pin is given in homage, and given with a good heart, it will be enough for Jesus, Who loves only the good will.
Once a year at least, and on the same day, we should renew this consecration, observing the same practices during the three weeks.
Consecration of oneself to Jesus Christ, Wisdom Incarnate, through the hands of Mary
Eternal and incarnate Wisdom, most lovable and adorable Jesus, true God and true man, only Son of the eternal Father and of Mary always Virgin, I adore you profoundly, dwelling in the splendor of your Father from all eternity, and in the virginal womb of Mary, you most worthy Mother, at the time of you Incarnation.
I thank you for having emptied yourself in assuming the condition of a slave to set me free from the cruel slavery of the evil one.
I praise and glorify you for having willingly chosen to obey Mary, your holy Mother, in all things so that through her I may be your faithful slave of love.
But I must confess that I have not kept the vows and promises which I made to you so solemnly at my baptism. I have not fulfilled my obligations, and I do not deserve to be called your child or even your slave.
Since I cannot lay claim to anything except what merits your rejection and displeasure, I dare no longer approach the holiness of your majesty on my own. That is why I turn to the intercession and the mercy of your holy Mother, whom you yourself have given me to mediate with you. Through her I hope to obtain from you contrition and pardon for my sins and that Wisdom whom I desire to dwell in me always.
I turn to you, then, Mary immaculate, living tabernacle of God, in whom Eternal Wisdom willed to receive the adoration of both men and angels.
I greet you as Queen of heaven and earth, for all that is under God has been made subject to your sovereignty.
I call upon you, the unfailing refuge of sinners confident in your mercy that has never forsaken anyone.
Grant my desire for divine Wisdom and, in support of my petition, accept the promises and offering of myself which I now make, conscious of my unworthiness.
I, an unfaithful sinner, renew and ratify today through you my baptismal promises. I renounce forever Satan, his empty promises, and his evil designs, and I give myself completely to Jesus Christ, the incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after him for the rest of my life, and to be more faithful to him than I have been till now.
This day, with the whole court of heaven as witness, I choose you, Mary, as my Mother and Queen. I surrender and consecrate myself to you, body and soul, as your slave, with all that I possess, both spiritual and material, even including the value of all my good actions, past, present, and to come. I give you the full right to dispose of me and all that belongs to me, without any reservations, in whatever way you please, for the greater glory of God in time and throughout eternity.
Accept, gracious Virgin, this little offering of my slavery to honor and imitate the obedience which Eternal Wisdom willingly chose to have towards you, his Mother. I wish to acknowledge the authority which both of you have over this pitiful sinner. By it, I wish also to thank God for the privileges bestowed on you by the Blessed Trinity. I declare that for the future, I will try to honor and obey you in all things, as your true slave of love.
O admirable Mother, present me to you dear Son as his slave, now and for always, so that he who redeemed me through you will now receive me through you.
Mother of mercy, grant me the favor of obtaining the true Wisdom of God, and so make me one of those whom you love, teach and guide, whom you nourish and protect as your children and slaves.
Virgin most faithful, make me in everything so committed a disciple, imitator, and slave of Jesus, you Son, incarnate Wisdom, that I may become, through your intercession and example, fully mature with the fullness which Jesus possessed on earth, and with the fullness of his glory in heaven. Amen.
Taken from: Preparation for Total Consecration according to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort




Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back to School Soon!

School will be starting soon for us and everyone in the world, I suppose. A lot of homeschoolers have already started their new year. The other day my good friend, Sarah, emailed me about their first day back. She told me about how they took pictures and measured and weighed the kids. We usually do this too. (except the weighing) But, I know if she hadn't have emailed me, I would have forgotten. My mind has been in a million different places lately. I started thinking about how I could make this day special for the kids, their first day back. I'll have to think up a special snack and lunch. Maybe we will get Papa Murphy's Pizza for lunch.
I started preschool for Mary yesterday and she loved it, so did Ballerina Rosie and Babycakes. Jedi was off somewhere reading a book. The girls are really excited for school and can't wait. Jedi, on the other hand, is not. He says he doesn't like school because he wants to play and he can't play as much when we have school. Well...sorry, that's life. This is the kid who reads Science books all the time, every week when we go to the library, he gets 23-28 Science books. Really, I think he could teach me this year.
What do you do to make the first day of school special? As homeschoolers, I feel something needs to be done to make it a little more special. A little more than a day at home with lots of new work to do! A day to celebrate the new things we will learn, the way they've grown, the new things they can do. Give me your ideas!
I'll be here counting down the 18 days left of summer!

Monday, August 11, 2008

NFP

Christine at the Simple Life and Pure Faith mentioned NFP the other day and linked people to this woman at Testosterhome who wrote a very interesting post on her opinion of NFP, the ups and downs. Discussing what is never discussed. She has quite a few comments, although those anonymous comments are a little annoying to say the least. Ladies, thank you for discussing this important subject, among Catholic women. Warning: This might be a little PG-13!


We follow NFP or Natural Family Planning. Yes, it is hard sometimes, well, it is hard every month for about a week. I love it though. I love knowing my body. I love when I do get pregnant I know the due date of my baby before the doctor. I love that I am doing it all natural both in the eyes of the doctor and in the eyes of God. I love that my husband shares in the responsiblity of abstaining if needed to do so. I am reminded how much he loves me every month in a different way than every day. (did that make sense?) It is a sacrifice sometimes. I think I love it mostly because it is God's way. After almost 12 years of marriage, we don't chart, I just know when it's wet, it's fertile, when it's dry, it's not. That's it in a nutshell anyway. Of course, I am regular every month, especially with the "dark factor" (if you darken the room you sleep in, covering all lights, even the digital alarm clock, you can read the signs of your body better). The hard part comes in when trying to not achieve pregnancy, the time the woman is fertile, she desires her husband in a sexual way, when she is not, she usually does not. God makes us women this way. It is a gift.



I have a bone to pick a little with the way NFP is portrayed to couples getting married. It is portrayed as another form of birth control. It is not meant to be used in that way. it is meant to be used in extreme cases of poverty and in matters of health. Am I wrong? I think it is abused. I do realize Health reasons can be many, they could be spacing children with enough time for the mother to care for each child in the way God wants her to, her mental health, her physical health, weight/size, a number of reasons. The father also comes into play, is he healthy? Some men need bigger spaces between children too, for their mental health. Small children are exhausting. I do believe in our society today, with the cost of gas and groceries rising, poverty can be an issue. I'm talking about people who use it to not achieve pregnancy for no reason at all other than they are done, they do not want any more of God's gifts. Isn't this wrong? Yes, it is the acceptable way of the Church, but isn't it abused and not used in the way it was intended?



Babycakes is now 2 and every day she is talking more and more. She is growing and learning new things. She is starting to want to see her poop after every diaper change now, which means potty training is coming soon. She is getting easier. I can understand how people say "we are done" when their youngest gets to this point when they don't have that "open to life" mentality. I guess it's such a gray area and not clear black and white as to the reasons people use NFP. Her getting easier makes me have this desire for more children. I love seeing the new personality that God gives us. I love being completely open to that new gift of life. I want a baby!


I have been a type 1 diabetic since I was 10 years old. It makes for slow weight loss, it makes for tough pregnancies but it is worth it in the long run. I also have had 4 c-sections. Being open to life means being open to hard things, struggles, pains, sacrifices. But it is our duty. For a good and not too long read, please read Humane Vitae . It will describe the beliefs of the Church on this subject.


This is my opinion on this subject. I meant in no way to offend anyone. I probably said too much and at the same time did not say enough. It seemed a good time since other bloggers were giving their opinions on the subject! I also believe it is only up to God to judge and for whatever reason people are using NFP it is between them and God. I just hope it is for the right reasons. I hope it brings them closer to God.

Picky Foods Meme!

I couldn't resist this one!! My friend, Jill, (I cannot link her, because she has a private blog) listed her "picky foods" and I thought it was pretty fun to read and got me to thinking how fun this would be as a meme! SO, if anyone out there wants to list all their picky foods, you are tagged!! If you don't have a blog, and want to vent your picky foods, leave it in my comment box! Here are mine!


  • Mushrooms
  • Egg whites, any way, merange, egg salad, eggs in potato salad, etc.
  • Marshmallows
  • Angel food cake (are you getting it's a texture thing kind of so far? No spongy things for me!)
  • Carmel flavored cereal or granola bars
  • nuts in brownies or cookies or cake or ice cream
  • shrimp/seafood
  • Most fish unless breaded and covered in tarter sauce
  • Tapioca pudding
  • Cinnamon flavored candy or gum
  • Root beer, root beer floats, root beer flavored anything
  • Brats (I like plain old hot dogs, Oscar Mayer, original, to be exact)
  • Any fat on any meat
  • Fruit flavored lotions (I know you don't eat lotion, but it does make me gag)
  • Sugar pop
  • Popsicles/Mr Freezies
  • Chocolate covered cherries
  • Watermelon/melon
Well, that is just about it!! It's quite a lot when you actually write it all down. Maybe the next meme should be Top 20 Foods we DO like? Tag, you are it!

Feast of St Clare

I am so late to post this! We had a busy morning. I took my Clare, (yes, we have a Clare and this is her feast day) to a Chiropractor appointment and we arrived at 10:33, late, but only to find out we were actually a week early!! (minus 3 minutes) SO we went to a grocery store nearby to grab a snack and went and played at a school park instead until Mass at noon.
St Clare is obviously special to me because of one of our daughters but while at Praying for Grace
today, I remembered when she was born a special nun, named Sister Clare in a Poor Clare Convent nearby sent us a plaque with a small picture of St Clare on it and signed it with her blessing on it. That plaque hangs in the girls room and reminds us of her continued prayers. That nun passed away this past year, she was 1 of 3 external nuns. They are amazing women.
St Clare, Pray for us.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our Curriculum Came!!

Wow, I just ordered everything Monday and it all came today!!!
It's so exciting getting our books!!!
I have kind of dreaded posting about what I've picked because everyone else who blogs about their curriculum does such a nice job of linking and posting all their plans. I'm just not that organized.


This year I went with CHC for the main meat of material. I am doing Voyages in English for English and using Saxon math. I am going to try this Little Saints preschool for Mary, it looks like a totally "Jamie" kind of program. With themes and units every week. (thanks to my good friend Sarah)

Last year we got PACE (Program for Achieving Character Education) and Catholic Mosaic. We only did PACE one month, loved it, but nonetheless, only did it one month. Catholic Mosaic, well, I didn't really do it until following Jessica on her blog, so I didn't use our book but Jessica's blog and other resources on the computer. My plan is to be more organized this year and actually plan when we will do these and fit them into a schedule. I REALLY like both of these programs.

I also got Spelling Power last year and it is still sitting on my shelf. I thought it was going to be a book but it is a book with DVD's to watch first and it just seemed like too much to get started. Maybe some year I will use it....


I have lots of Art books of course, I love art and it interests me, so I did order more, in which I probably did not need, but it's a great thing to do in the winter and well, anytime. I didn't really learn about art when I was young so I think my kids are very blessed to learn about artists and different kinds of art.


Saxon Math. I know a lot of people do not like it. Including me. But Jedi LOVED it last year so it is a offering up for him. It is a little time consuming, but in the end, I actually did like how it all came together and learned what to skip and do or not do. Basically it comes with a script to use, well, I skip most of it except the actual lesson of whatever new he is learning. We'll see how it works this year for Ballerina Rosie for 1st grade. I might have to use that script a little more. I am hoping they can do it together at the same time and a lot of the meeting book stuff can be done together, we'll see.


I like color and bright things. Last year I ordered Seton curriculum and felt it was a little dry for me and ended up ordering History, Health and Science from Abeka and supplemented Religion (Confession and First Holy Communion) with CHC. So this year I tried to not supplement as much.


I am excited for Jedi to have an Independent Work chart to follow on his own. I am ready for him to work a little more independently. I like how CHC introduces this in his 3rd grade lesson plans.


I'm not sure how this blog will fit into my schedule once school starts! I will have to sacrifice my reading time a little more (blog reading). I started exercising last week and have only missed 1 day. I plan to keep that up once school starts. I think 6 extra hours per day would suffice all I want to get done. Do you think God will give me 6 extra hours per day? ha! It will all work out, with balance. Balance is the key. Prayer is the key to balance. God brings it all together.


Well, there you have it. I'm sure I've forgot plenty to tell you, but there's my plans as of now.
It's not written down, it's all in my head. (and on the blog now)




It Can't Be!

My September Magnificat came! It can't be almost September, can it?
This Summer has gone too fast. Why can't Summer drag on like Winter does?
Fall is beautiful here in Minnesota and I know soon these beautiful green leaves will turn a beautiful yellow. We have so enjoyed our summer. We have swam in our local pool at least 3 times a week, we have gone to parks, visited friends and played, played, played. We've been to the zoo, we've been on vacation. We do not school in the summer. I figure the kids need a well deserved break and so do I. Summers are so short here in Minnesota so we take advantage of as much as we can. I want the kids to remember their summers as filled with fun! Enjoying this outside world God gave us. The other day when ordering my curriculum, I told Jedi school would be starting in a few weeks and his reply was "What do you mean? September is still summer?" Wouldn't that be nice? Don't you just wish you could freeze time for a year? It would be fun to have a whole year of summer, a whole year of flowers blooming, kids staying the exact same way they are. This morning, when I was on the computer Babycakes was standing on the back of my chair, hugging me and kissing me and playing with my hair. I just wish I could keep her like that forever. Fall brings the promise of kids who have grown 3 inches over the summer months, fading tans, shorter days and time filled with running to soccer, music, dance, Little Crowns and getting up early and hitting the books trying to get as much done as we can. Oh, it's exciting, but kind of sad too. It has it's blessings, blessings of new things to learn, cooler weather, leaf looking, raking and running through leaves, picking apples and pumpkins.


I guess what I'm trying to say is every season has its blessings, we need to love where we are right now. We need to be in the present. Embrace it and love it...even when winter comes.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hydrangea!

These beautiful flowers have become my favorite!! They are so fragrant and amazing.
Nerm, if you lived closer, I'd bring you some for your birthday!

I have given a few people vases of these beautiful flowers and have put them on our table several times this past month, so my bushes are not quite looking like the picture anymore, but I had to share this beauty with you.



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Picking Up Toys!

Picking up Toys. Yuck! This is one of those hard things. Little Mary is the main culprit in taking out all the toys and arranging them like this every day. Babycakes helps her, but she just goes along with Mary. Mary likes to take a little of every container and make her own stuff. Take a little from every container and fill it in purses, houses and her bed. (under the covers) Behind the couches, under the tables.



So when clean up time comes, usually before we leave to go somewhere or for sure every night before bed, she disappears and we are left to pick up. We try to get her to pick up, but she really only helps with a few items and somehow disappears. Oh, we call her back and make her come, but not without tears and screaming. The big kids are the ones who end up picking up the majority of it all. I feel kind of guilty for this, but at the same time, when they were her age, they did the same thing, so what goes around, comes around. Last night we did "everyone helps" This worked pretty good, but it took 4 of us (Babycakes doesn't count, she takes out as we put away) 20 minutes to clean up! My perfectionism just can't let me leave it alone. I want them to clean up, to have the fresh start in the morning. I need it cleaned up, so when they go to bed, I have that feeling of some organization.



This past year, during dance class, I met another mother who had the kids pick up after school (she was not a homeschooler) so the mess was only cleaned up for a few minutes before they played and then it was messy from the time they played until the next day at 3pm when they cleaned up and then played again. (messing it up) Now, this just did not make any sense to me. Why would you clean up and only have it clean for a few minutes? It got me thinking though. How do people clean up toys in other families? I thought most people do what we do. I do know lots of people who never clean up though, I guess, their toyrooms are always a mess, nothing goes together, nothing on shelves. I, personally could not live like that. It would drive me crazy.



We never had a toyroom until we moved here last fall. We had toys wall to wall in every room, our living room was the toyroom. Now we have a toyroom, and you can see Mary is gradually going through those glass doors into the living room to make her house. She takes out all the blankets and sets up everything on the couches and behind the couches and under the side table. Then she will take all our board books and lay them all out accross the floor, kind of like the yellow brick road. Fun, imaginative, yes, but a LOT to pick up!



How do you pick up toys? When do you pick up toys? How can I make it fun? We have tried the clean up music..."I like to move it, move it" That's a great one! Is it fair to make the older kids help with what they did not take out? If I don't, I end up picking up most of it "teaching" the little ones. What do you do?

Good Mail Day!

I just ordered this book and it came SO fast!! I am excited to start reading it, it seems to be one of those books I will not put down til it is done. I "found" it when the author stopped here for a visit, so, I, in return stopped by her blog. Wow, is all I can say. This woman is amazing, yet she is so humble about it. She seems like someone I'd really like to know in real life, but she lives far away. As it is in the Catholic blog world! So many truly amazing people all connected by our faith and our computers! Go check her out! She also has another blog about losing weight and loving ourselves along the way, I, of course, love this blog too! It is called "In God's Image".
Thank you Cathy for signing my book, what a pleasant surprise this morning when I opened it! I will be praying and asking your Celeste's intercession for my Celeste, (Mary's middle name, although Mary is not her real name!) who often needs all the intercession she can get, or at least her mother (myself) does!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Penelope


Well, Tom, my husband is gone fishing in Canada. He called today and caught 76 fish in 5 hours. Mary told him "that's too many shish, daddy!" While he is having fun fishing, I get to watch "Jamie"movies. This was one of them! I loved it! I am going to let the kids watch it this week. It was really good! It was serious, funny and cute too. Kind of a fairy tale, kind of reminded me of Shrek, only not a cartoon. It's a movie about liking yourself, just the way you are. Enough said, now go rent it!

Eggs!

For some reason kids that don't usually even eat eggs, even kids who have never tried eggs, love them if they are cooked in this cute little pan! It's a miracle egg pan I guess! I found it at my grocery store and couldn't resist buying it and it was well worth the $6.97 I paid for it!


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