Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend! (aka seven quick takes a day late)

1)  I love weekends.  The first thing I love about them is that I get to go for a long run with a few girlfriends from 6-8 am.  This might sound crazy, but it has become MY TIME.  Which is so important!

2)  I can't wait to post pictures of the boys in their Indiana Jones costumes, and Kathleen in her pumpkin costume that I wore as a child and my brother and my boys.  It's become a tradition, and my little girl gets her turn -- I'm sad that though -- she's growing too fast.  But it's so fun to see them grow, such a tug-of-war in my heart!

3)  Get to share parenting duties with my darling husband!

4) Kids get a little TV time, which they really enjoy now that we don't leave it on all the time.

5)  Time to prep for school next week.

6)  Might be having Chili for dinner tonight with friends.  Maybe even s'mores over the fire afterward!

7)  Mass on Sunday, MCCW, CCD and down time with the family to cap off the fun!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The project that refuses to come to an end.

Look at those pictures in yesterday's post.  See those baskets on the bookshelf behind the boys?  If that bookcase and shelves are not finished this weekend I might implode.  Which would be preferable to exploding since I wouldn't be around to clean up THAT mess!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

 What cute, sweet little boys: peacefully entertaining themselves by looking at books after dinner...
Oh no, bad little sister has to come disturb the peace.  See that plastic NERF gun in her hot little hand?  She whacked brother square on the head with it.  Big brother is scolding while middle brother is... well, you can see for yourself.  It was not quiet.  And it was quite the bump.  She started to cry right after I took this picture -- I think she was really sorry!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Storm in the Night

Much of the country is getting this crazy low-pressure front yesterday and today.  Well.  For us it has meant very strong winds both yesterday and today as well as a fierce storm last night that wreaked havoc on our sleep.  There's just nothing like being woken at 2 am by screaming wind (which was saying something because it was so windy when we went to bed, it had to be quite the increase to wake us up!).  Shelly and I literally jumped out of bed with Shelly racing to close the window on his side.  As soon as his window was closed, rain pelted the panes through the screen.  David came running into our room, as he is PETRIFIED of storms.  Side story: We had three tornado warnings the first week we lived in Missouri, and he was forever ruined for enjoying storms.  He didn't even want to go outside on cloudless sunny days that summer we moved here (which was fine by me in my state of advanced pregnancy), but sadly, he hasn't improved that much -- he WANTS to watch the weather channel.  It's weird. 

Anyway, back to last night.  The weather station informed us that we would be under a tornado watch for the next FOUR HOURS.  Really!?!?  We felt like we had to move everyone to the basement to be truly responsible parents.  Dude.  We should have been negligent.  We set up the pack'n'play in the guest room in the basement, got blankets for the couches for the boys and moved both boys and Kathleen down.  Big mistake.  Kathleen fussed off and on for a good 10 minutes while I shushed her from the guest bed, three feet away.  Then the water softener, located just the other side of the guest room wall began its recharging cycle it does each night, and it's LOUD.  I need to change that -- my poor guests for the last year...  So, needless to say, not much sleeping occurred.  Finally about quarter after three, Kathleen stood up in the pack'n'play and started babbling.  Shelly and I decided it was time to move back upstairs as the wind was still fierce, but had calmed down considerably since the rain stopped.

Back upstairs, I put Kathleen back in her bed (we had left the boys on the basement couches), and Shelly and I climbed back in bed.  After being up for over an hour, it took me quite some time to fall back asleep.  Then at some point David showed up again.  I promptly told him to get into his bed and go back to sleep, and that there weren't going to be any more storms (I had no idea if this was true, but OMG, PLEASE LEAVE ME BE!!!!!).  After that, I kept having these crazy dreams that I was in labor.  Yes, like, I was having a baby.  About 5 am I was bolt awake wondering why I was dreaming something so weird when I wasn't even pregnant, when I realized: I have HORRIBLE, AWFUL menstrual cramps.  I traipsed back to our kitchen for some 800 mg Ibuprofen leftover from the birth of one of my children.  By this point I actually considered getting up and going running and abandoning all hopes of sleep, but I couldn't bear the thought of no more sleep, so I climbed back in bed for the third time.  I have better nights of sleep with a newborn baby.  Around 6 am, I woke up to Shelly kissing me goodbye and telling me that he never did really get back to sleep when we came upstairs after the storm.  I lay there feeling a bit sorry for him since he's on call today, and will potentially be up all night tonight wrestling epidurals and emergency appendectomies, then called it quits for sleep and got up for the day at 6:20 am.  The kids will be going to bed EXTRA early tonight. 

Moral of the story:  unless it's a tornado warning, don't wake anyone up. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm sure all children do this finger to the mouth thing, but mine especially do -- it's pretty funny!  I guess in the second one Jack looks like he's going to pick his nose, but if we caught him the second before or after, I think it would have looked just like the top photo of Kathleen.

Their little fingers and noses are so SIMILAR!  I think it's striking how alike Jack and Kathleen look despite their drastic differences in coloring.
Beautiful lazy day!

The local school district is off school today, but we did school anyway on a much relaxed schedule.  We went on a nature hike that was a bit boring since we had planned to look for animal tracks and owl pellets, but the leaves got in the way -- DUH to me!  Our hike was awesome for weather -- slightly overcast and breezy.  The three kids and I trekked down into the woods behind the house and enjoyed the crunch of leaves beneath our feet.  We did see several nuts foraged by squirrels (probably).  I'm always impressed that those little animals can get those tough shells off.   Then we made a bird feeder out of three milk cartons.  Tomorrow we'll finish it off with some paint and seed, then hang it somewhere David determines.  I'll post pics.  We're enjoying the Fall section of Mr. Crinkleroot's Almanac.  Tomorrow we'll also be working on a leaf book.

This weekend was relaxing -- we didn't go anywhere interesting AT ALL.  The hubby and a friend have been working on a built in bookcase to help manage the many toys and books that accumulate on our family room floor, hopefully we'll be painting that by next weekend -- I've been planning this project for almost a year, so I'm ready for some completion!  If I'm lucky there will even be a shelf for all David's school books!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Look!  I wrote again!

David (age 6) and I are homeschooling this year, and yesterday we were able to attend the second "Fun Friday" event that our local homeschool support group holds.  All three kids and I went bowling and we took a neighbor friend who was off school for the day.  Fun was had by all, despite the fact that it took TWO HOURS for seven children eight and under to bowl ONE GAME on our lane (thank Heaven for bumpers!).  I was able to meet a couple of other homeschooling moms who just started this year.  We were able to compare notes and balk at some of the same things and share some of the same struggles.  One woman has two sons, 8 and 6, with whom David is quite eager to become friends.

One question I asked both the women I had talked to was whether their children liked homeschooling as much as mine.  I have been truly surprised by how much David enjoys homeschooling and how upset he becomes if I threaten to re-enroll him at his previous school!  They both told me that they were having the same experience -- their children truly like being homeschooled, and even MORE amazing -- they're actually DOING more.  They're writing more, they're doing more math, reading, spelling than their counterparts in the local elementary school and we're taking LOTS more field trips which means more hands on learning.  It turns out all the fears I had about homeschooling were WAY overblown.  In usual fashion, I had made mountains out of molehills when it came to guessing what the challenges of homeschooling would be.  To be fair, I was essentially told this by my son's previous school.

It turns out this was a shared reaction.  These other two mothers had also gotten what I term the "nasty-gram" about homeschooling from our school district.  This letter basically says that we're irresponsible parents and a burden on the school system when we take our children out.  That when we decide to re-enroll them (which obviously they assume we will), the district will have to do testing because the child will most certainly be behind a couple of grades.  I kid you not.  They also say some things about how homeschooling is so much harder than we think it will be, and we will have no free time and no resources.

To be honest, until I received that letter at the end of the school year last year, I didn't think any of those things.  I WAS homeschooled.  I had a FULL TUITION scholarship to attend a PRIVATE university -- obviously I wasn't behind...  I still have a great relationship with my mother and she didn't say that I'd experience any of what they wrote.  I read four different books about educational methods and homeschooling over the summer, and didn't really think that any of the things in that "nasty-gram" were addressed, or, to be honest, they seemed to be dismissed!  So I began to think that maybe they WERE going to be huge problems.  I was a little scared when we started easing into schoolwork in July.

Fortunately, and MUCH to my surprise, I found that David and I moved forward quite quickly at first, clearly we were covering at least the ground the school district would expect.  We also ENJOY our school time.  I get to spend one on one time with David, since Jack is in preschool.  David gets to have his religion class during school time, which I know he prefers to the after school attempts I made last year.  AND we're done around lunchtime.  Sometimes David has schoolwork to do on his own in the afternoon, but for the most part, he gets to free-play with his brother.

Yesterday was a great day -- my friend in the hospital is doing much better (miraculously so, it turns out -- more on that later).  AND I met other mothers who have SONS!!! my son's age who also truly enjoy homeschooling.  Life is good!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well it's been ages since I posted on here, but I think I will try to make a better habit of it... again.

Life has been good. Funny that I haven't posted since October TWO YEARS ago. We have a whole other human being added to our family since then. And we've moved to Missouri. And husband is no longer a resident (thank GOD!). And I've begun homeschooling David after one year in public school Kindergarten. SO, basically I'm starting this all over with a new title.

I was inspired to write here today by the many Christian women whose blogs I read. In particular, there are a couple things they do on their blogs, that I think would add to my family life and prayer life.

Right now I am in an "easy" phase of life. No major crises, not expecting babies, husband with an ordinary schedule. Many of those around me are not. I feel like I'm praying for so many of my friends right now, and by that I am saddened. I wish for these friends, that which I have in abundance right now: PEACE, LOVE and JOY!

In particular, one especially close girlfriend has just had a year and a half of thinking that things cannot possibly get worse, and then they do. Yesterday, after giving birth to her fourth child, a beautiful, healthy baby girl, my friend had a pulmonary embolism. I worried that I had not received word that the baby had been born, and knew as soon as I heard her voice that something was wrong. I thought maybe she'd had a surgical birth. I wish it had been only that.

She had a vaginal birth, they put her baby on her chest then she coded. As in HER HEART STOPPED BEATING. The doctors were able to resuscitate her, but she will be in the hospital for a while. I'm crying as I write this because this woman is amazing. Her life has had so many struggles recently. One of the most beautiful things about this though, is that when she called me from the ICU today to tell me what had happened, she told me that the last thing that happened to her before she coded was that they gave her her baby as soon as she was born. That's never happened with her previous children. All three were whisked away for one reason or another. Through all the craziness of a prolonged labor and near death experience, she can still marvel that she was able to hold her precious baby as soon as she was born. I can't think of a more beautiful example of a person finding a bright spot in a bleak event.

So, I can pray for her life to get easier and to heal, and I will. However, I will also pray that when she does have difficult events in life to deal with, that she talks about them the same way she did today. Relating the awful truth, but focusing on the shining moments that happen, no matter how brief.