"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Goodbye February Daybook

Outside my window
My bulbs are starting to bloom. Our miniature irises have come and gone. The crocuses (the penitent's rose) and hyacinths (lily-among-thorns) are blossoming. The daffodils (Mary's star) have buds, and our tulips (Mary's prayer) and Easter lily are sprouting. Our Lenten Roses are also in full bloom. I need to set aside more time for gardening. Spring must be just around the corner.

Photo by Bernadette

I am wearing
a khaki skirt, a red shirt, and a fleur-de-lis flexi clip.

In the kitchen
My girls are making Kimberlee's delicious spinach lasagna. This lasagna tastes so good that I sometimes feel guilty about eating it during Lent. Don't just take my word for it, try it.

I am hearing
one of my daughter's playing the piano. I am also hearing one of my sons singing.

I am praying for
my dad. I spoke with him yesterday, and he told me that the doctor told him that the left ventricle of his heart is only operating at 20%. The doctor wants to fly him to another island to run some tests. It is so hard to be so far away from my dad, when I know that he is suffering so much. It is hard for him to speak, etc.

I am thankful for
Facetime. My brother gave our oldest daughter an iPad shortly before the birth of our eighth child's birth, saying that it would allow us to share the joy of our baby's birth with my dad. At the time, I had no idea what an incredible gift he was giving. Facetime has allowed my dad to see our last two little boys right after they were born. It has also allowed my children to see and speak with their grandfather.

We are learning
We have had an amazing February. The children are focused and learning. I have been spending a lot of my time working on math with my older children. One day, as I lay on the living room floor with Patrick, explaining his math to him, my two youngest were playing quietly behind me. Wondering how Kieran was keeping his baby brother occupied, I turned around and gasped, "Oh no, what are you doing?" Kieran responded, "I am cutting his hair. It looks good. Huh?" My little boy's hair is now shorter than it was when he was born.

Our Happy Little Boy
The top picture shows our happy little boy on February 9. The bottom picture shows him on February 11 (you can't really see the damage). The large picture shows him after I cut his hair. I would have needed to cut it even shorter, practically bald, to erase all evidence of his brother's hair cut. Thankfully, our little guy is so easy going. He sat still in his little chair while I buzzed his hair.

How did Kieran get the scissors? Well we did the Our Lady of Lourdes art project again from Seton's Art 1 for Young Catholics. When the children were finished, we cleaned up, but one pair of scissors must have remained out.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grottoes

I am reading

Uniformity with God's Will by St. Alphonsus Liguori. I have read this little booklet numerous times, and I love it. I think that every Catholic should read it and reread it. St. Alphonsus Liguori's advice in this inexpensive little gem has helped me when I am crying in the car as I drive home, thinking how can I possibly do this? I don't have enough hours in my day to do all that I need to do. Then I remember St. Alphonsus' words, and I pray and remind myself that I cannot do this alone. I can only do it by the grace of God. If you haven't read this little booklet, I highly recommend that you get a copy and read and reread it.

Each morning, I am reading First Communion Days to the children. Since Elizabeth will be receiving her First Holy Communion this year, I thought that we should pull this little book off our bookshelf again. She is enjoying hearing the stories about the children and their First Communions.

I am listening to
Last weekend, as I worked on laundry and ironing, I decided to listen to this 2008 Lenten Mission again. I want to listen to bits and pieces of it again this weekend.

I love my husband
On St. Valentine's Day, he surprised me with this beautiful little rose bush and a card.

A few anecdotes
About a week ago, Kieran was saying that his diaper was wet and that it was disgusting. I told him that he could go on the big boy toilet next time (he does occasionally). He responded, "That would be hilarious. People would laugh at me." Say what?

Earlier this week, I was speaking with another mother after our children's choir class, Kieran came up to me and asked, "Can I have the keys?"

Kilian really likes music. Yesterday, he heard a couple of notes from "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and he started to sing, "Rock a bye, Rock a bye." He doesn't say, "Rock", but he does sing whatever he says to the correct tune.

Last night, the little children were listening to Gi'Me Elbow Room. Some of my older children think that the singing could use improvement, but Catherine, my younger children, and I enjoy the music. Anyway, I came into the living room and found Kilian waving a plastic stick in the air and banging it on the ground to the rhythm of the music. Bernadette and I were both impressed.

I hope that everyone is having a blessed and fruitful Lent.

God bless you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!

Immaculate Mary
(The Hymn that is sung each night in Lourdes)

Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing.
You reign now in Heaven with Jesus our King.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

In Heaven the blessed your glory proclaim;
On earth we your children invoke your sweet name.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

We pray for our Mother, the Church upon earth,
And bless, Holy Mary, the land of our birth.

Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave, Maria!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Daily Homeschool Schedule

As our family grew and I started homeschooling more and more of our children, I realized that we needed a schedule to keep both my children and me on track. Recently, a friend asked me what our daily homeschool schedule looked like. I told her, but I thought that a visual might be better. With this in mind, I am sharing a slightly modified version of our homeschool schedule below (no need to share when we are out and about). We use the schedule as a guide and allow for the fact that family life can be messy. In other words, the schedule is flexible.

This same friend also asked how I homeschool seven children with a toddler and baby in tow. I have already shared that I homeschool by the grace of God. What she wanted to know was what I do with my baby and toddler when I am working with my older children. So, I told her. Several years ago, at a local Catholic homeschooling conference, the same question was asked of another mother of nine children. She responded that when the little ones weren't with her, taking a nap, or occupied with an activity close by, she had her older children take turns watching the little ones. I knew when I heard Julie's response that I needed to follow her lead. Each day, when needed, my children are told to play with their youngest brothers for half an hour. I set the timer for half an hour and one of the children plays with the little ones. When that half hour is up, I set the timer again, and the next child plays with the little ones. This is done throughout the day as necessary. It's a win-win situation for everyone. My little boys are entertained, my older children get a relaxing break, and I can homeschool knowing that my little ones are being supervised. In a way, it's what we have always done.

Monday, February 02, 2015

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That Daybook

Outside my window
It's mating season for the moles and they have been wreaking havoc in our backyard. Those patches of dirt in our lawn are mole mounds. I think that it might be time for our resident mole ranger to take care of the problem.
I am wearing
a black skirt and a Marian blue shirt.

In the kitchen
We are hoping to make some cookies for our new neighbors who moved in around Christmas. We have been meaning to do this for the past few weeks, but haven't gotten around to it. I felt really terrible on Saturday when the father knocked on our door and introduced himself as our new neighbor. My children are excited to have some children living next door, and I am excited that our neighbors are fixing up their new yard. The dad works for or owns a landscaping company. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that I thoroughly enjoy gardening. I'm happy that our neighbors do too.

I am thankful for
My husband and all that he does to help. I am also thankful for my oldest daughter who does so much to help with her siblings and around the house. I am truly blessed.

I am hearing
quiet. Everyone is downstairs, save for my oldest daughter and my baby. My little boy is sleeping peacefully next to me.

I am praying for
my dad. His health took a turn for the worse during Advent. It is so hard to live so far away from him, knowing that he is suffering.

We are learning
Our youngest daughter is very excited to be preparing for her First Holy Communion this year. She is enjoying learning her catechism and is happy to share what she has done in her class with me.

My oldest son and I have been working on Latin Mass responses with Patrick and Finnian. Kieran is usually in the room when I am doing so, and he has started saying some of the words, like "fortitudo mea." This is homeschooling at its best.

I am reading

Treasure and Tradition. Our pastor recommended this book to everyone in our parish during Advent. My husband and oldest daughter each received a copy of the book for the Feast of Epiphany. I am planning on using it as part of my children's religion lessons after I have finished reading it. Several of the families at our parish are already using Treasure and Tradition for their children's religion classes. It is a truly wonderful book.

I am listening to
Holy Families Don't Just Happen. I have listened to this sermon a few times over the years. Recently, I decided to share it with my oldest daughter. We listened to it while working on laundry together. The following day was Sunday and as usual we went to Mass. We were both very surprised to hear our pastor give an equally good sermon on the same topic. If you have teens or young adults living at home, I highly recommend that you have them listen to this sermon. I wish that I could share Fr. S.'s sermon too.

I love my husband
He took a long Christmas vacation, and we enjoyed relaxing at home with him. He returned to work on Tuesday, January 13. I miss having him at home, but am thankful that he has a job. A couple of my friends' husbands have lost their jobs and are having a hard time finding new ones. I am praying that they will do so soon.

I am pondering

how Candlemas could have arrived so quickly. I have had so much that I have wanted to share from Christmas, but somehow I haven't had the time to do so. These photos and little anecdotes will have to suffice.

Our little boy's shirt says, "All Mommy wants for Christmas is a Silent Night." People who read the shirt during Advent were amused, but it really is all that I want for Christmas each year.

Our baby received a pelican bib, socks, and The Saving Name of God the Son for his first Christmas presents. My mom used pelican bibs with my siblings and me when we were young. I can't believe that I waited until my ninth child to get one of these bibs. It is so easy to clean and it catches almost all of the food that our little boy drops when he is eating.

Due to illnesses (high fevers, coughs, and a rash) in our house during Advent, we took our annual family photo on the second day of Christmas this year. Doing so meant that my husband could join us and take the photo. We all enjoyed our little outing with Daddy; however, Patrick and I did not enjoy having some birds deposit their droppings on us. Watching a couple of bald eagles, flying over the water and perching in some trees, did make up for it somewhat. We had no idea that the location that we chose for this year's photo was a bird haven. We're looking forward to returning and doing a little bit more bird watching. When we do, I think that I will wear a hat.

Happy Feast of Candlemas!

Our Lady of the Candles

I have seen a candle lit.
I have watched the slow
Consuming of the strength of it
That a light may glow.

And I have thought upon a maid
That to the temple came
And offered all herself to be
Wax - to feed a flame.

~ Sr. Mary Catherine, O.S.U. ~
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...