Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kiddo Updates!

It's been said about parenthood that the days are long, but the years are short.

I'm finding that SO true. First of all, my little bitty baby Maria who I swear was just born last week is CRAWLING! She's eight months old and babbles and claps and now...she's mobile. Paper, small toys--nothing is safe. But it sure is cute.

Joey. Almost almost almost potty trained. Except when he's not. We go through a lot of underpants around here. Good thing he's so cute.

John Paul. He's learning more every day, not as a result of much effort on my part! He loves sounding out words and tries to read anything he can get his hands on. Unfortunately, that also means the supermarket magazines are fair game. So I've been on a mini crusade (inspired by my friend Katie) to get certain magazines out of child's eye level or covered. I think the Pick'n'Save people are tired of me, but they're finally getting covers! Woo-hoo!

And as for me, I'm enjoying life, trying to follow my order, trying to pray more, trying to love better, and all in all--trying. A work in progress. :) That's me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Family Rosary

First, I'd like to start with a disclaimer. I really love praying the rosary. By myself. Or with other adults.

A few months ago, I was chatting with a friend about wanting to do a family Rosary. Well, actually, about NOT wanting to do a family rosary. My reasons:

  1. I have too many little kids.
  2. My kids are seriously rambunctious.
  3. We're pressed for time in the evenings.

So while I'm chatting with this friend, I start to realize a few things.

  1. She has just as many little kids as me (about the same ages, in fact)
  2. Her kids are seriously rambunctious.
  3. She's even more pressed for time in the evenings than I am.

So my excuses were nil, and I begrudgingly brought it up to my husband. He, of course, was REALLY excited about it. (Not kidding.) We made a firm resolution to start it that very night right before bed.

So we are on month three of the Family Rosary. I have to admit, we don't do it EVERY night--we reduce to a decade when we have been out or it simply gets too late. But for the most part, we pray an entire rosary each night.

Here are some things I've learned:

  1. Provide religious books to look at. Most kids DO NOT have a long attention span for listening, but if they have a book they can flip through, the Rosary becomes much easier for them to pray.
  2. (I got this one from a friend) Do the rosary right before bed, after teeth brushing and pajamas. That way, their choices are "Go to sleep" or "Pray the rosary." Every kid I've ever met would rather get the extra 20 minutes with Mom and Dad instead of going to sleep. (Note: We don't actually verbalize this choice...but some day, a rebellion may arise, and that would be our solution)
  3. Try to relax. I've found myself in this scenario: "Hail Mary, full of grace, JOHN PAUL, SIT DOWN! The Lord is with thee. Blessed--JOHN PAUL, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU??--art thou among women, and blessed is the--JOHN PAUL, DO YOU NEED A SPANKING?--fruit of thy womb Jesus. You get the idea. Don't be that Mom.
  4. Pray! Sometimes, it's the most obvious thing, and you forget anyway. You might be focused on a little guy sneaking a Winnie the Pooh book instead of his Blessed Mother book, or trying to make sure that the baby doesn't eat the broken arm of a football action figure. But offer those little inconveniences up to God and ask Him to give you the grace to handle them like our Lady would have. And when things are melting down, skip a few Hail Mary's and say them later!!
  5. Just do it. It's half the battle.
  6. Get ready to see some FRUIT. Our Lady always delivers. Stay tuned for part 2 of this post to see how it's worked for us!

Wordless Wednesday--The Sweetest Thing...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some things I've learned...and need to remember

Some things I've learned in the first two months of homeschooling...just randomly putting my thoughts into words!

1) I love to be creative.
2) I don't have time to be creative.
3) When I don't have time to be creative, I do nothing at all.
4) So next year, I think I'll be buying a curriculum so I don't have to be creative EVERY DAY. Because it's hard. And I don't want to. (I mean, I think God may be calling my energy elsewhere--yeah, that's it)
5) BUT. I still love to be creative, so I'm thinking of doing my own science or art or history or something, like unit studies or something great like that.
6) Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to start my curriculum research early. I need to fit the needs of an energetic, scientifically minded choleric little boy. Let me know what you've got!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Overheard--John Paul

After a well-deserved time out in his bedroom.

Me: How are you, bud?
John Paul: I have no God.
Me: What?! What do you mean? (It wasn't THAT long of a time out)
John Paul: My feelings are broken. When you're crying alone in your bedroom, you feel like you have no God.

Seriously? Dark night during time out? ;)

This one never ceases to surprise me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Painting with Yogurt

I saw this on several blogs and thought I'd give it a try. We used a bit of plain unflavored yogurt and food coloring and went to work on our paper plates. It was really fun! The boys love plain yogurt, so they did a lot of licking. I intended to have them work on forming some letters with their 'finger paint' to work on how a letter is made. After a couple frustrating encounters with my firstborn, I just let them have fun.

Of course, the little scientist he is, John Paul mixed the colors together gleefully and told me all about what new colors were appearing. Easy to make, easy clean up, and good pre-writing practice (in theory).

Friday, October 2, 2009

Saying No

Recently, after a church event, my husband and I decided to take a little drive through the city. It was a weekend night, and the streets were filled with couples and groups of people, all dressed up and going out to eat at the cute little restaurants with outdoor seating, fancy menus, and what looks to be great atmosphere. I stared (a little wistfully) out the window of our 13 year old van and wondered aloud, "I wonder what that life is like." My wonderful husband smiled and looked at me and said, "You know, that's the life we said "no" to..."

I looked at him, and then at our three little ones buckled into car seats in the back. And I smiled. Because the life we said "yes" to....is so much better. Thanks for reminding me, God.