Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes - Princess Birthday Edition

1.  March is the birthday season at our house, we have 4 in our immediate family with one in the first week of April.  Princess is first and she asked to celebrate at the local indoor water park.  I included pics, but it's difficult to get a good shot because of the lighting in that place...
Doug with Toddler Boy

Yes, I tried different camera settings and it just wasn't working out.  No, I did not take any of myself in my swimsuit.  It was neat that Game Boy has finally gotten to the point where he doesn't need to wear a life vest and is also big enough to go down the big kids slide.  I am looking forward to this summer, he has been working on mastering swimming for about three seasons now and I'm pretty sure this will be the year he becomes more confident in the water.

2.  Hubby and I have been discussing upcoming Florida vacation, scheduled for this Fall.  We'll be sharing a beach house with my folks, which is always fun (and also practical, since we'll share the costs).  We haven't been down there since 2010 and are really looking forward to it.  The boys really enjoyed going to Sea World last time so we'll probably try to go there too.

3.  We had cake and ice cream for Princess on Sunday.  She chose the princess cake so she could get the crown and "magic wand".  I though I would take the opportunity to try and get a new header photo for my blog (since the current one is almost a year old).  My family's photogenic abilities never cease to amaze me.

Not bad, Doug's head is cut off

Toddler Boy throwing fit, Princess' crown fell off, Doug's
head still not in picture
Toddler Boy still not looking up, Doug's head
finally in shot

Good thing we have four more birthdays to try and get this right!

4.  Speaking of the birthday girl, she surprised me the other day by bringing my Rosary and shawl to me and asking me to teach her how to pray it.  She told me she wanted to wear the veil so "she could be like Jesus' mom"...too cute not to take a photo...

Sometimes when I take her with me to Mass I wonder if she's getting anything out of it.  Sometimes she wants to sit on my lap in the mornings while I pray a Rosary.  Occasionally it's nice to see that my kids are not just picking up all my bad habits, they're picking up some good ones too.

5.  Today is the last day of the older boys' archery class, aka "the day they get to shoot the balloons".  Always a much anticipated event at our house.  I'm not sure if they'll offer another session before the end of the spring semester but if they do I'm sure we'll be there.
Game Boy showing his skills
Firstborn & Soccer Boy in class
Firstborn with bow
What the littles are up to during the hour long class where my job is to keep them occupied while at the same time protecting them from all the fun and dangerous things that abound in an archery store...
Princess climbing around on the targets

Toddler Boy playing with
empty boxes
Occasionally Doug will take off Friday afternoons and then I get to sit and visit with other homeschool moms during the class, which is always a nice social outlet for me.

6.  Did you check out my last post about a day in the life?  I enjoyed writing it, it was neat to just see a snapshot of a typical day in our house.  I'm sure I'll appreciate reading it years from now when life will look totally different.  I have really liked reading the other "day in the life" posts, especially those of moms who have younger kids than mine.  It reminds me of my life before I had the older ones around to help.  Toddler Boy's life and everyday activities look different than Firstborn's or Soccer Boy's because he has older siblings and they didn't.  Doug and I have changed too, sometimes it can be really neat to raise a baby and toddler on this side of things.  We have so much more experience and that makes it more enjoyable and a bit less stressful because we know what to major on and what to minor on (although every child is different so that keeps things interesting)!

7.  We joined the adopt a Cardinal and my family received Cardinal Urosa from Venezuela.  So imagine my surprise when I read this NC Register post about the Catholic Church in Venezuela braces for uncertain times.  What are the odds that the Cardinal our family is praying for ends up in the news?  Now I have more stuff we can add to our prayer list for him.  Continuing to pray for our Church and the soon to be elected Pope.

Got to get my day started...check out more Quick Takes with Jen at Conversion Diary

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Day in the Life

I'm shamelessly copying this idea from other blog posts.  I've truly enjoyed seeing "a day in the life" of other moms out there.  The whole exercise of writing down what happened in one typical, ordinary day in our household was eye opening.  I'm often at a loss to describe to someone what I do with my days, since everything seems so routine (I cook and/or serve at least three meals a day, plus a couple snacks, I do lots of dishes, lots of diaper changes, breastfeed, laundry, schooling, etc...).  Almost everything I do has to be redone just a few hours later.  We will do math homework today and we will be doing math homework again tomorrow too!  So for those of you who care this post is a snapshot of our day from Wednesday, March 6th of this year...

6:45am  I didn't set the alarm because I'm a morning person and typically wake up early.  I got up to have some alone time and pray but Toddler Boy decided to wake up with me.  Wondered about the modesty issues of praying a rosary while nursing at the same time?

7:30am  Woke up husband, but he decided to sleep in and Toddler Boy watched Curious George cartoons on TV while I read e-mails.  Made note I needed to call babysitter for tomorrow morning's bible study, mail in money for upcoming field trip (due in this weekend) and mail reading logs to get free tickets to local amusement park (also due this weekend).

8:00am  Ate breakfast with hubby while two youngest watched cartoons.  Nice couple time, talked about what we had going on that day and coordinated schedules.  Talked a bit about Florida vacation coming up this Fall (Yippee)!!  A week on the beach sounds heavenly.  Doug went to shower and I fed the littles breakfast (waffles).

8:30am  Doug left for work, older kids got up, I went on-line to waste time read blogs, send an e-mail to reserve a spot on field trip and pulled address to mail reading logs.  Printed out kids math homework, took a phone call from a friend and received a response back from field trip coordinator with forms to fill out and mail back to her with check.

10:00am  What, it's 10:00!!  Where has the time gone?!  Tell older kids to watch Toddler Boy and jump in shower.  Give kids math homework, have a cup of tea and snack while making Game Boy some scrambled eggs (Firstborn had made some for himself but didn't make any for younger brother).  In his defense, Firstborn was almost done makings eggs when Game Boy came down.  Did more homeschooling with kids (history, reading, writing).

1:00pm  Get phone call from Doug...he's going out to lunch with a co-worker so he's not coming home.  Realize it's lunchtime (kids had a late breakfast).  We lunch on leftover pasta from night before.

1:30pm  Put fussy baby down for nap, notice he's still in pajamas (all I've done is change diapers).  Dress him in actual clothes, give Princess a cup of milk and let them lay down and watch "The Lion King" movie in my room (note rented movie...needs to go back today).  Use nap time to finish up homeschooling, have a discussion about the moral dilemmas in "The Hunger Games" (11 yr. old is wanting to watch the movie, debating whether he is mature enough to read book / watch movie).  Although he hasn't read it he knows all about the plot from friends who have seen it and pop culture.  Decisions, decisions.

2:30pm  Have another cup of tea while reading over new bible study book ("Courageous Generosity" by Stacy Mitch).  Jump on computer to print out reading logs.  Feeling a bit guilty about randomly assigning dates on the youngest child's log...I mean, I wrote down all the books we read and I know we read them in the time frame (due to paying an $18 overdue fee at our library).  I could have written some of those books down multiple, multiple times.  An hour's worth of "Garfield's Night Before Christmas" alone!  Fill out field trip forms, write check and stuff into two envelopes which I managed to scavenge from desk that looks like a bomb exploded on it.  Mental note to declutter that next weekend.

3:30pm  Baby up from nap and needs to nurse.  Realize I forgot to start crock pot, debate whether or not we'll end up with food poisoning if the chicken only cooks 3 hours on high and decide not to risk it.  Switch menu up and will cook steak and potatoes tonight instead.  Observe Soccer Boy reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See?" to younger siblings.  Remember fondly all the times Doug and I read that same book to him and Firstborn.  Love how the older kids are such wonderful big brothers and think that this is what family unity is all about.

4:30pm  Help oldest son critique and correct a writing assignment he has for Boy Scouts.  Notice it's 4:30 and I've got to get to the post office!  Princess is still in pajama pants...throw her jeans, shoes and coat on...put coat and shoes on Toddler Boy and grab Game Boy (who can put his own coat and shoes on) and rush out the door.  Leave older boys at home.  Grab some steaks out of the freezer and throw in water to thaw and remember to grab movie rentals to return (amazing).  Take quick phone call from Doug, he's closing for a co-worker whose child is sick and so he'll be working late.  No problem since I'm running behind schedule too.  Get to post office 10 minutes late, but I was mailing everything early for a change so I'm not worried about it.  Glad post office has drive-thru boxes so I don't have to drag kiddos out of van.  Swing by video store to drop off movies (happy I remembered to grab returns so Doug or I don't have to make another trip out).  Let Game Boy return videos in slot outside so I don't have to remove everyone from car seats.  Dream about time when Firstborn will have driver's license so he can run all these errands for me and then immediately take it back.  My kids are growing up fast enough as it is and I want to relish and live in the moment as much as possible.

5:45pm  Get home to realize I accidentally thawed a roast instead of steaks, so dinner will take longer to cook (good thing Doug had to work late).  Put dishes from breakfast and lunch in dishwasher and have kids help me pick up and sweep living room.  Take a quick phone call from babysitter to set up schedule for bible study tomorrow.  Assign older kids to keep Toddler Boy out of trouble while I go peel potatoes and finish supper.  Doug walks in at 7:30pm right as dinner is being served (perfect timing)!

9:00pm  Since dinner was so late it's 9:00 before dishes are done.  Settle two youngest down and plan on doing a bible story and family devotion with hubby and three oldest.  Just remembered I was thinking of bringing some cinnamon rolls to the bible study tomorrow morning.  Wondering if I should stay up late or just not worry about it?  Sit down to outline this blog entry in my journal because Doug is on the computer.

10:00pm  Head to bed!  In case you're wondering, I didn't get the rolls made but reasoned it's the Lenten season and Catholics shouldn't be eating them anyway, haha.

WOW, if you made it this far, congrats!  While reading over this entry I was thinking about how blessed I am.  Every day is different and exciting, life with a large family is in constant motion and is always changing.  My life will look completely different next year, the kids will be older, we may be blessed with more kids, etc...  I am sure this was the vocation God made Doug and me for and I am at peace in my soul.  There are seasons in my life that are rough (like the newborn period or when there's a medical crisis).  Times when things are in complete chaos.  That's life, you just figure out how to get back into rhythm and go from there.  This snapshot of a typical day reminds me that we are living life and living it to the fullest and I know of no other way.