Monday, August 28, 2006

The carrot truck

Hey mom... I don't know what happened, all I know is that I was sitting here, minding my own business and this carrot truck came out of nowhere and blew up all over my face!!!
This is how I know I'm loved...

This is how I know they love each other...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Shine II

Only 37 days until our family reunion/vacation in Orlando! The kids are getting excited and the adults even more so.

My brother designed this logo by taking a picture of a few of those of us attending the vacation. These will be transferred to T-shirts to be worn on our trip.

We can't wait to see the Michiganites!! For a more detailed description of our Shine Trip, you can read my sister's post here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Interesting start to the school year

We are already into our third week of school here and despite the evil forces that seem to try to cloud my success as a homeschooling mom, we are moving along nicely.

During the first week, every child in this house, all on the same day, came down with some horrible virus that left each of the children with fever, sore throat, and just a general feeling of yuck. DH and I were able to escape it somewhat, just a lousy bout with allergies.

Our second week, we geared up for making up a few things and moving right along. As I am making up my schedules week to week, it was no problem to just move over the things we were not able to accomplish on week one to week two. (note to self, the planning and preparing I sweated over the last two weeks of summer were worth the effort!)
Week two granted us with a broken wrist, yes, another one. If you are keeping score, that is two in 6 months. This one belongs to Lem and thankfully is a buckle fracture which can be splinted instead of casted and should heal within 4 weeks or so.

Week two also confirmed what we had been thinking about Foo. He needs to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. He is going to have surgery tomorrow, so please keep him in yours prayers. At 11, he is a bit too aware of what is going to happen...

Which brings us to Week 3. We are still catching up a bit here and there, Matthew will have to most to catch up with because of the surgery, but all in all, we are really enjoying the new focus around here. We all are congragating around the kitchen table, starting our day with Latin and Math, and then moving on to other studies throughout the day. We pause frequently to tend to the littler ones, and we capture moments like this

At times, I seem to lose my patience, but then I see images such as this and all is well again

Finally, when the days seem long, and the nights don't offer much rest, I can get pretty frustrated with myself. But once I see this precious smile sent from God, I can only offer thanksgiving that He has chosen me to be the mother of these wonderful children.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Homeschooling Meme

Thanks to Karen Edmisten for tagging me! It's my first tag! I have no idea how this works, so I'll just take a shot at it.

This originated from The Bookworm, (Hi Kathryn!!) and looks like a fun meme.


I would have a very difficult time picking one, but the one I always go back to is A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola.


The support of my husband and other homeschooling moms!


Saxon Math... it still gives me nightmares!! I know it is a wonderful program for many people, but we are true blue Math U See students around here!


The Mater Amabilis curriculum


Drew Campbell's Latin-Centered Curriculum


Catholic Mosaic, by Cay Gibson This gets my vote! I have been dying for a copy!!


Two of me and 10 more hours in each day so that I might actually get to all of those great books just waiting to be read to all of my children.


The Classical Teacher by Memoria Press
Rainbow Resource (also handy as a major paper weight)
Catholic Heritage Curricula


Mater Amabilis
and Ambleside online. I also love looking through the Reading your Way through History website.


Running River Latin School (when you feel better, Drew)
Dog Day Afternoons (come off the hiatus for a day, ok??)
Life in the Two Acre Wood
Danielle Bean

10 months today!

Newest Fishism

Photo taken by Fish himself

Mom: Fish, you need to go up and make your bed. (5th request, daily scenario)

Fish: But Foo needs to help me! (daily answer)

Mom: Where is it written that Foo needs to help you??!! (mom says in an exasperated tone)

Fish: In Chapter 47

who told him about The Book of Cuz...?

The Story of the Book of Cuz will follow soon...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Am I doing enough?

I have spent the past several weeks, months really, refreshing my mind, reading, praying, and at times agonizing over the curriculum choices I needed to be making for the children this school year.

With my husband's help and the input of a few people that I really trust, I was able to finally formulate and execute what I thought to be a wonderful plan for this school year.

Then last night, I felt Him speak to me. I was reading the gospel for today, John 12 24:26, and I couldn't help but wonder to myself, am I doing enough?

Have I become the seed that is willing to die so that I can bear fruit for Him?

Bean has been struggling with a few things of late, not to be unexpected at the age of 15. She is truly an inspiration to me. I only wish I had had half of the insight, faith, and intellect that she has when I was her age. Shoot, I wish I had it now!

But I have to truly ask myself, am I doing enough to encourage her to live for Christ? Am I helping her to replace vices with virtues? Am I relying too much on the knowledge that she is a good kid and is close to her family?

Am I raising her to yearn for Heaven? Am I doing enough? I am not so sure.

The truest way that I can possibly show her any of this, or any of my children for that matter, is to live it. Every day. Constantly. Without fail. I am failing.

I feel as though my spiritual life comes in waves. At times it is at the low tide. Not much going on, not feeling much, not doing much about it. That's where I've been for awhile. Probably since mom passed away. But I feel the undertow. I feel that high tide coming. Am I ready for the next wave?


I just need an attitude adjustment.

This wonderful lady usually gets me straight. Check out this post. Arm yourself with plenty of tissues!

Recap of Celebratory Events

In spite of the previously mentioned virus making his way through my home at present, yesterday was a glorious day.

My first thought upon waking was mom. I heard her voice singing "Happy Birthday" to me. It was always her job to be the first to call and sing loud and off key this traditional song. Even when she felt her worst, she would call. Then the brothers started trying to beat her to the punch, and sometimes they would win, so they all started getting smarter about this impromptu competetion and would call me at o'dark-thirty. I got a bit smarter, remembering to turn the phones off before I would go to bed.

Well, yesterday, even though mom isn't here to call, I still heard her singing. I awoke, glanced at her smiling face which sits upon my dresser and instantly heard her singing and laughing.

After this, I dragged my older, however much wiser, behind down the stairs to beautiful childrens' voices saying, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" (is there anything more wonderful than that??!!)

The phone began to ring. First my brother in Mass. His annual call. We joked about the fact that I never hear from him unless it's his annual birthday call. Then my eldest daughter Alicia showed up and brought these

She wrote a wonderful card which brought tears to my eyes. It would have brought tears to your eyes too, especially if you are a mom...

Not long after she arrived, my dear friend Mary and her daughter stopped by to deliver these

She told me they were her favorite colors. And they are beautiful!

Later in the afternoon, my brother, Kevin stopped by to wish me a Happy day and then asked me if I had received his text message. I had not turned on my cell phone, so I had to run and check it. Sure enough, at 12:00 am exactly, I was text messaged the "Happy Birthday" song... cute, sweet, but mom still wins... I actually heard her singing...

As the day gave way to runny noses, fevers, and sore throats, I was pretty sure the celebration would be quite muted as the children were not up to Red Robining or much more than chicken soup and bed. But they did not give in so quickly.

Fish was so precious as he delivered these

He was so proud that he picked them out himself and suggested that we place them next to our blessed Mother and the image of the Sacred Heart.

Then Foo presented me with these

Not only are they my most favorite flower, they are my favorite color!! Beautiful!

Finally, Lem offered her gift to me and my heart was singing because these were always mom's favorite

My wonderful husband, seen here doing what he loves to do

prepared a wonderful spaghetti dinner, complete with my favorite, GARLIC BREAD, (yummy!), birthday cake, and ice cream. And I abandoned my sugar fast and indulged completely!

His gift was over the top. A 19" flat screen monitor for the computer. Yes, folks, no more 13" screen for me! I can now sit more than 6" away from the screen to do my work and still see it! Thank you sweetie! My eyes really love you right now!

Boo's godmother stopped by on Tuesday and gave me a wonderful gift. I have never read "Jane Eyre", however, it is now adorning my bedside table waiting to be read. (I know, I know, how can it be that I have never read this??!!)

I had several other calls, emails and visits that were so much appreciated. Do I feel loved?? You bet! And my home looks so sweet with all of these beautiful flowers.

Thank you to all for the well wishes, prayers, and happy thoughts. They have been well received!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy Day, sort of!

Well, today was the day I celebrated the big 41... Older than dirt now, I suppose, but really good dirt, ya know...

Unfortunately, as much as the kiddos wanted to celebrate by relieving me of my "teacher" duties, I did not allow them that priviledge, until they started dropping like flies!

One by one each appeared with runny noses, sore throats, and finally fevers. Fun. Even the boo bear has a fever. He was kind enough to pose for this cute picture though!

School began Monday for us here at Holy Oak Catholic Home School. It is going well, despite the illnesses and threats of birthday celebrations.

I am planning to post our curriculum as soon as I can figure out how to post them as a link. I'll be calling in the Bean for help on that one.

For now, I must go, Boo is not happy and actually calling MAMAMAMAMA!!! He must NOT be feeling well!

Monday, August 07, 2006

We did it!

Saturday marked a day of celebration after many months, truly years of hard work and dedication.

The morning began with Fish testing with his Tiger Team and achieving his Cheetah patch! He did a great job and so did his fellow classmates.

The afternoon promised to be full of wonderful moments as my three older children, Foo, Bean, and Lem all tested and then participated in the Black Belt ceremony.

Foo became an official 2nd Degree black belt, Bean and Lem both passed their mid-terms with flying boards, I mean colors, and even my sister and I made the transition from white belts to orange, with our wonderful classmate, Misty! (you go girl!!)

I became extremely nervous about an hour before the testing. It came upon me very suddenly and I suppose it was because I really wasn't thinking about the fact that I was testing, rather I was consumed with making sure that the children all had their things together, uniforms pressed, and snacks in tow.

Once they headed up to the school to help get things started, I began to realize that I was testing and the nerves hit, HARD!

I didn't do as well as I had hoped on my form, but I did have a great time, especially watching all of the other students testing and breaking boards, sparring, etc.

Seeing our friend AW was a wonderful treat and a great source of support. Thanks for coming AW!!

I am so proud of my kids, my sister, my buddy Misty, and all of the great kiddos at the TKD school. It is so wonderful to have such a great sense of extended family.

Congratulations to all who tested. You make all of us so proud!

Since I can't seem to upload pictures tonight for some reason, check out MickeyMiss's blog!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sad News

Nothing life threatening or earth shattering, but I now remember WHY we don't grow tomatoes here...

For the past several weeks, the kids and I have painstakingly watched over and cared for our 4 tomato plants only to produce ONE, I'll say it again, ONE stinkin' tomato.

It was a beautiful ONE, perfectly shaped, great size, and days from becoming ripe.

I have pondered in my mind how, once this lovely specimen was prime for harvesting, I would split it between seven of us. I thought to myself, self, take a picture of it with the kids, you know, for the blog update!

Well, the other day, shortly after noticing that the tomato was on target for harvesting according to our calendar dates, the tomato went missing! AAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Some lowly critter has apparently been eyeballing our fruity attempts and took advantage of our inexperience in gardening swiping the relished reward before we could harvest it ourselves.

We have several disappointed folks around these parts, and inquiring minds as to why out of 4 plants we have only been able to grow one tomato.

On the other hand, the basil is doing well! I guess critters don't like basil...

I am coming out of my self-imposed blog restriction for a brief moment. I want to share with anyone who reads my blog my current music obsession.

Mainstay was discovered quite by circumstance by my daughter and FANTASTIC sister MC a few months ago.

At first, I really didn't "get" the music. They are a Christian band, yet the lyrics didn't really seem to promote Christianity in the way I have been accustomed to. Then my darling husband, (he has no blog, so I can't link to him... HINT) found the lyrics online with an explanation behind them.

Once I read the thoughts behind the words I was blown away. This is hard-core, in your face, accountability laden, Christian music.

It's been in my CD player for about 6 months now and has yet to come out. I doubt it will anytime soon, unless they cut another CD soon!

Check out their music. You won't be sorry!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feeling Buried!

It's been too long since posting, but I have been totally enveloped with planning our school year, set to start on Monday.

I think I finally have our studies set, which leaves me to divide it up week by week.

My brain is really tired, so any posts I would have would most probably be very uninspiring.

Back to scheduling and planning now...

I hope to return full force next week!