Monday, June 30, 2014

A Summer Daybook

Outside My Window:

It is gray and very humid, although not too hot just yet.  It's been raining often here, so everything is growing quite green and big.  The few plants in my "garden" are doing quite well, too (well, except for that basil plant; not quite sure what's up with that).

These bins work well for us.  They aren't too big (obviously) so I can manage the weeding and I can keep them close to the house so that I actually remember to water them and harvest whatever grows.  I'm a pathetic gardener, I know.

Inside my house:

The children are slowly waking up as I type this.  Two of them are still asleep and it's 9:30!  We don't usually do this, but we had such a crazy weekend, I let everyone sleep in and then we'll go to noon Mass.  Thank you, Lord, for that option!

We're also hoping to move in our new furniture that we got last week.  Oops, I still haven't told you about that!  Hopefully that will be tomorrows adventure.

Moments of Gratitude:

* We had an entire weekend of visiting with wonderful people.  On Saturday we went to a family reunion and I got to spend the whole day talking to family members, sitting in the sun, swimming and eating a ton of good food.  On Sunday we went to a friend's graduation party and I got to spend a few hours talking with lovely people that I haven't seen in a while.  God is good.

* My husband was on his annual Miles Christi retreat this weekend and he said that it was very fruitful.  These retreats are awesome, people, so if you ever have a chance to go to to it!

* Ms 15 yo spent the weekend at one of the Steubenville Youth Conferences.  It was her first time going, and while she was a bit nervous being away, she said she had a great time.

* Mr 13 yo is on his way, as I type, to the Miles Christi boys summer camp.  He loves this camp (see a pattern here??) and is very happy to be away with 50 or so other boys, Fr. Paul, Brother Andrew and a host of great dads, doing all kinds of boy things, like sports and such, and then getting their fill of good Catholic things, like Mass, adoration, confession and good spiritual talks.  What a blessing these priests are!

* Before Mr 13 yo left, he wanted me to buzz his hair.  "Really?," I asked.  "If I mess it up, you can't get mad at me."  He laughed.  I am grateful that he took it all in stride.  This was phase one.  He decided he didn't want me to leave it like this.

And don't ask how I did this.  His hair grows fast, so he shouldn't have to deal with it for too long!

Praying for:

As usual, so many urgent prayers!

* For my niece as she continues to progress in the healing process, that she will have a complete healing from her asthma.

* For a friend's niece who is 11 and has a rare genetic disorder.  Last I heard, her kidneys were failing and she is on dialysis.

* For a dear friend who is pregnant and is going in for an MRI today because they think one of the baby's kidneys isn't functioning and they couldn't see a stomach on the baby.  Please pray for a miracle for them!

* For a friend of ours who will be delivering her first baby soon; that all goes well for them both.


I've actually been reading quite a bit lately.  It's amazing how much free time one has when one is not teaching four children!  Some of the books have been good.  Some have been bad.  But that is all for another day.

I am still working my way through "Treasures in Clay:  The Autobiography of Fulton John Sheen".  The man was amazing and deserves to be canonized!

In the Schoolroom:

The kids are still keeping up with their summer work (Alleluia!!) and slowly, ever so slowly, I'm beginning to piece together ideas as to what our next year will look like.  I'm still gathering information so that I can make the right choices on our limited budget, but I'm happy that it is moving along.

This Week:

Working for the older girls, summer camp for the boy.  The rest of us will keep up with daily things that need to be done.  Hopefully we can start work on one of the pieces of furniture we bought and I'd like to get in some swimming and sunning this week, too.

Now, off to get started on all that daily stuff that needs to be done.

God Bless!

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Theme Thursday - Swim

Joining in with Clan Donaldson and this week's theme:  Swim. 

See last week.

Thank you.

Yeah, I realize I goofed up last week and used a swim picture (or at least a picture of a small pool with water) for sports.  Well, guess what?  I'm going to use another picture from that same "photo shoot" for this week's picture.

I know, right? Too much brilliance in one place.  Oh well, I hope you enjoy this week's entry.  I know they did :)

God Bless!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Great Read - "The Nesting Place"

I'm not sure where I first came upon this book, "The Nesting Place" by Myquillyn Smith,

but man am I sure glad I did! 

Lately I've been craving beauty in my home but I usually end up like one of the people she describes: I walk into a store and am so totally overwhelmed by all of the choices in front of me that my head starts spinning and I end up walking out emtpy-handed because my brain ceases to function.

After reading this book, I've come to realize this happens to me because 1. I don't have a clear vision in my head of what I am trying to accomplish and 2. I walk into a store and start thinking about EVERY room in my house.  

No, no and NO!  What I need to do is to narrow it down to one room and then walk into a store with a loose vision of what I'd like to see happening.

The subtitle of this book is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful".  That is so empowering.  My favorite passage of this entire book has to be this one, 

"Excellence is working toward an attainable goal that benefits everyone, while perfection comes from a place of great need - usually the need to avoid criticism and gain praise and approval from others.  We like to tell ourselves that we are insisting on perfection for the betterment of those around us.  But really, insisting on perfection is a self-centered act."
I personally don't get stalled out by perfection (which is quite obvious if you saw my home!) but I know people who do, so this quote really sunk in.  I also like the definition of excellence she gives; working on an attainable goal that benefits everyone.  What a great goal to strive for in our life as well as our home!

I've seen this book popping up on various blogs and I have to laugh because it seems to have inspired the same effect in everyone...taking risks and doing something different.  I had Ms 15 yo read the book, too, since she's interested in interior design and she likes to change up a room every now and then.  She's just as excited to get going as I am.

The other day, after having both finished the book, we ventured into a resale shop that I've wanted to check out for awhile now.  When I first walked in, I felt that familiar head spinning feeling coming on but then I reminded myself to calm down and just browse, thinking only of the room that we decided to redo first...mine and the hubby's bedroom.

Hopefully soon I can show you what actually happened by the time we left that store...

If you're searching for ways to spice up your home and make it beautiful, even if you have little or no money, even if you rent, then I would suggest you get this book.  It is a great read and full of helpful and encouraging ideas.

 affiliate links included.

  God Bless!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Where My Head's Been

You blink your eyes and one day turns into four.  I'm always amazed at how fast time is flying by and how little it seems we get done around here.  

A few weeks ago, on the 7th of June, we had a graduation party for Mr 13 yo.  Since Ms 11 yo's birthday is in June, we usually combine her family party with any other celebration we're having.  Here she is, 2nd from the left, all smiles on that day.

I guess it would have even been a better pic for this post if I hadn't cut off Mr 13 yo's head :)
 Now, before I get into telling you a bit about what has kept my brain occupied for the past 2 1/2 weeks, I have to say that this picture serves 2 purposes.  The first is for Ms M, the little girl on the left with the glasses.  She noticed one day that a picture of her baby sister appeared here on my blog and begged me to put one up of her because she's never been on a blog before.  Well, Ms M, here you are.  Happy to oblige :)

The second reason I chose this picture is because of Ms 11 yo's cousin who is the 2nd girl from the right with the light colored hair.  Three days after we took this picture, she landed in the PICU in critical condition due to a severe asthma attack.  She was very sick and was not brought out of sedation for an entire week.  Now it is 1 1/2 weeks after that and she is doing well. She is very weak still and has  a long recovery ahead of her, but she is alive and we all got to witness some miraculous events along the way.

I was particularly praying through the intercession of Archbishop Fulton Sheen for her complete recovery.  After all, the miracle count for his canonization begins from scratch now, so why not have her be his miracle?

Like I said, she's doing better but still has a ways to go to being the vibrant, active girl she was in this picture.  Will you join me in praying, through the intercession of AB Sheen, for her complete recovery?

You can find a suitable prayer here.

God Bless!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Theme Thursday - Sports

Welcome back, Theme Thursday, and join in the fun over at Clan Donaldson!

It's been awhile since I've been here and I'll explain why tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to jump into today's theme - sports.

We aren't huge sports people around here, but one thing we all love is water!  Swimming is a sport, but we like to enjoy it on a much more relaxed level, in whatever amount of water we can. 

Yesterday Ms 11 yo (today is her birthday!!  Happy Birthday Mary Rosebud :)) had a few friends over for some swimming.  They took advantage of the little water we have and had a great time.  Here is my favorite photo from the day:

God Bless!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Smile for a Monday

Today was our first official day of summer vacation (last week didn't count because we were too busy) and I am happy to say that the kids are still doing the minor daily work that I had them start last week!  One week is an accomplishment for us!

Mr 9 yo has a math sheet and some reading sheets to keep up with every day, so when we got home from Mass I set him off to get working on them while the rest of us cleaned up the garage from the weekend festivities.  

After awhile I noticed that he was out and about so I told him to go get his sheets so I could take a look at him.  A few moments later he appeared in the doorway with all of the sheets and blankets off of his bed.  "Here you go," he said to me.  

"Why did you take all of that off your bed?" I asked.

"Because you said you needed to see my sheets."

After we were all done laughing, we washed his sheets and then I graded his "papers". 

"Just call them 'papers' okay??"

"Sure, Son.  Sorry about that!"

God Bless!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Since Last Time...

What a crazy busy week this has been!  Last weekend was the Quinceanera and boy was that a blast.  Lots of good food, good music and hours of dancing.  Let's just say that Sunday wasn't terribly productive - we were just resting in the Lord; kind of like we're supposed to, I guess :)  Oh, and we had a wake to go to.  And we had another wake to go to on Monday evening.  Who else is like me and waiting for that third one to pop up soon??? 

Tuesday evening was our annual home school group graduation.  Mr 13 yo graduated from 8th grade. Quite the character, he is.

He's our first boy graduate and, let me tell you, a lot easier to get ready!  No hair, no makeup, no nails needing to be painted.  He's too young to shave, so just put on some clean clothes, grab the graduation garb and run out the door.  

We had a nice Mass and a reception afterwards with lots of good food and desserts. 

We're like every other family in that we argue and don't always get along, but most of the time my kids like each other and know how to have fun together and that puts a smile on this mama's face.

The rest of this week is devoted to getting ready for his party this weekend and also another 50th anniversary celebration.  

I sure hope summer doesn't go by as fast as this week has!

 God Bless!