Thursday, January 30, 2014

A thank you note

I think awards of any kind are generally awkward to accept for a variety of reasons.   Our blog was awarded the "Most Inspiring Blog" over at A Knotted Life's 2nd Annual Sheenazing Awards.  I am not trying to be humble of any sorts, but after reading through many of the blogs that were nominated, I wish could tell them personally how they have inspired me by living out their lives so beautifully.  Anyway, thank you to those who nominated our blog. 

Bonnie, the author of A Knotted Life, gives readers such a beautiful gift by introducing so many of us to each other for the first time.  She has her own full plate especially as of late with her son James.  What a beautiful gift she gives to those of us who blog and to those who read blogs.  We are all so grateful for the time she puts into organizing this event.  What a wonderful way to unite ourselves as we are all a part of the body of Christ.  I read through numerous blogs that were nominated in each category and felt such a unity between us mothers.  Thank you, Bonnie.

I tend to spiritualize everything.  That is how I find meaning in the many things that don't make sense in this world. I have to find God's hand in everything otherwise life can be too overwhelming for me.  John and I love the movie The Gladiator. One of our favorite scenes is set in the Coliseum.  It is the first time the gladiators are together and are left frantically trying to defend themselves alone.

In a courageous attempt to unite the gladiators Maximus states,

 "Whatever comes out of these gates, we've got a better chance at survival if we work together.  Do you understand?  If we work together, we survive!"
You can help me. Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together we survive.
You can help me. Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together we survive.

That is how I see these awards.  I see them as all of us working together to survive. We are each in our homes day in and day out really leading as Matthew Kelly says, "Quiet lives of desperation."  How wonderful it is to know "others" are out there fighting the good fight each day.  May God bless all of you.  Every blogger has their unique gift and talent they bring to the table helping each other along the way.  It really is a beautiful thing!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The head meets the fireplace

Last Saturday, we were all sitting in the living room watching Damaris be adorable.  She was performing and we were delighting in her singing "Do you hear the people sing?" and "That's what makes you beautiful."  (Thanks, Aunt Damaris).

I was watching her wildly run back and forth and said to John, "Somebody is going to trip and hit their head on the fireplace."  Aren't we mothers always predicting the future?

NOT TEN MINUTES LATER, it happened.  I even had the kids pick up what few objects were on the floor just in case.  Nope.  She tripped on her own feet and smashed and I mean smashed her head into the fireplace so hard that I shutter at remembering it.  We all saw it happen and all gasped at the same time.

 I mean seriously.  Have you ever seen a billiard ball attached to a child's forehead?  YES, I was freaking out.  John grabbed her and it was instantly huge and kept getting bigger.  I only have this picture because I sent it to my mom because I've never seen ANYTHING like it my career thus far.  She wanted me to call my uncle who works in the ER.  Poor Poor baby.  She cried so hard.  I think I cried harder.  THANK GOODNESS John is calm.  He held ice on her head, checked her eyes, and watched her like a hawk for a couple hours.

I wish I were better at these things.  She swelled really bad the next couple days, but it is almost completely gone now.  I HATE accidents of all sorts.  I told my sister if a sledge hammer would have been near the fireplace I would have been tempted to smash the fireplace into a thousand pieces for hurting my baby. 

Thank God that she was fine.  Prayers for her mother would be appreciated.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

March for Life 2014

Our March for Life crew. 

I think unless I am in the hospital having a baby I could never miss this event.  It was a chilly one, but we marched. John works every weekend in January and February because of other scheduled events.  Which means, we go to the march without him.  He hates missing it as we share the same intense passion of defending the rights of the unborn and the war being waged against women.

It is so amazing to see so many families with small children and older people marching for the cause.  It is so hopeful.

 I want them to know how important it is.  I want them to know that no matter how cold it is, we remember all those babies who died.  I hope this will always be important to them as they get older.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Look What I can do

Wanna see my new trick?

First, put your right leg this

Careful, this part is a little hard at first.

Then, put your left leg up. 


Even if you are transferred to the floor, you can still hold onto your feet in the process.

WHY in the world is this cute every baby?  I love it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Do you hear the people sing?"by Clairvaux and a sitting baby

The performer performs on. John calls her "A Horse of a different color." She is so bright she scares me especially since she is crafty with her brightness. If you meet her, you would think she is quiet and shy. Don't fall for it one tiny bit! Bursting with personality beyond belief. We are still working on staying dry at night and she walked out of her bedroom yesterday, hung her head dramatically and stated, "I did NOT do well." John and I hit the floor like two laughing hyenas. Self-correction. John introduced me to the music of Les Miserables when we were dating. We play it often when we are cleaning up from dinner. The kids all know the songs, but this song is there favorite. Damaris even sings it. If you've not heard the original song, this is it.

Damaris saw me getting the trash ready to take outside and ran into the drawing room to watch.  I grabbed my camera to take a picture of her from the outside because seeing her perched in the window waiting was just too cute.

K.J. is learning to sit.  BIG stuff.

Is this a big deal?

I wish I had two cameras.  One to capture him and the other to capture his cheerleaders behind me delighting in their little brother sitting up.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First time at the Rink

Once a month, our homeschooling community rents out the roller rink. Since roller skating has become the thing around our home, we decided to take the whole family for a spin. Oh my. What have we been missing?
Memories of my childhood x 1000.  I remember hoping, praying, bleating for the roller rink to be open on the weekends.  My parents loved to take us.  John and I laugh about how we hoped the "cute" person at school was there.  Giggle.

Vianney had little trouble learning the ropes.  After a few falls at the beginning, she improved greatly by the end of the night.

John does the limbo in his work clothes.  Isn't he the best x 1000?  He called me multiple times throughout the day with eager excitement to roller skate.  He received He Man roller skates when he was little and had such fond memories of skating with his grandfather. I knew he was excited to go when he didn't even change his work clothes after he got home from work so we could just hop in the car.  cute x 1000.

See that smile.

Ever-Cautious Dominic.  He wasn't too sure at first, but a couple of his friends so sweetly helped him learn.  At one point, I saw one of his buddies, Kevin, holding onto his arm trying to help him around the rink.  I thought it was sweet that they were unaware that they were holding onto each other's arm in public.

Of course, Rose needed no adjustment.  Skates on and Go.  That is all she needed to understand the whole scenario.  She went around and around one million times.  I never saw her fall.

Lillie picked it up quickly too.  She took a few nasty falls, but did awesome.

Last but certainly not least, Social butterfly Zellie.  Zellie is the perfect 1980s girl.  She loves big hair, bubblegum and gabbing with friends. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baby goes to the Sheldon Art Museum

Damaris desired greatly today to tour the Sheldon Art Museum. So, we complied. I found her quietly examining each painting with an inquisitive eye and her thumb.

The kids really enjoyed our first tour of the Sheldon Art Museum today.  I plan to return when the weather is warmer as the outside displays several unique sculptures.  The temperatures were in the negatives so we barely made it inside the Sheldon without freezing on the way.

Rose's favorite piece

Dominic's favorite piece

Several of our friends were in attendance also which made the tour twice as fun.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

1000 Apprenticeships

I once heard the statement "Life should be a 1,000 apprenticeships."  We just saw "Lone Survivor" and among the many quotes I could pull from that, one of my favorites is "Been around the world twice and talked to everybody once." Those statements coupled with viewing the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" gave us the inspiration and motivation for our ever developing homeschool theory.  If you've not seen Slumdog Millionaire the general theme of the movie is about one boy raised in the slums of India and how he was able to win one million dollars by answering all the questions on their version "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" show from all of his numerous life experiences. 

This theory, along with my general interest in the hows and whys of everything, propel us to take and show our children to so many different outings, speakers, events, and places.  I constantly am looking up anything and everything.  I do believe that the practical life skills of the home and making of the home are as important (if not more important) than their textbook education we hope to offer them.

I have said it before, but there truly doesn't seem to be enough time for us to show them all the wonders of God's great world, even if that wonder comes from a book.  I am naturally a very inquisitive person so finding the origins of the red Solo cup I am holding is very intriguing to me.  I get a great kick out of Dominic as he knows how much I love facts and trivia.  He throws one my way most days.  "Hey Mom, Do you know why pencils are yellow.?"  He tells me that one often as he knows I love it.

He is my child through and through.  He told me that the weeks before we first flew on an airplane together he read over and over how to land an airplane in case of emergency.  He told me he practiced over and over in his bed at night. I couldn't decide if I should laugh or cry how cute he was telling me the whole gig. 

Anyway, I(we) hope that our children's lives will be filled with 1,000 apprenticeships big and small.  I have begun a list of things I hope to teach and show them.   I have my BIG things.  I want to travel to Washington, DC as a family to the March for Life.  I hope to visit all 50 states with them in their lifetime.  Dominic and I want to go to New Zealand to see where "The Hobbit" was filmed. I hope to work our way through all the old Disney movies.  I hope they all learn how to make my mother's cinnamon rolls.  I want them to have tried as many different ethnic cuisines as possible.  I want them to know where every soup kitchen or literacy center is so they are able to offer their time back.   I am teaching the older four how to do a back flip. We will learn how to change a tire, how to bake a wedding cake from scratch, how to write your congressman, and how to properly make a phone call.

My small list is as long.  I want them all to know CPR.  I have taught them how to turn off the water to our home.  We learned last week how to plunge a toilet and turn off the water if it is overflowing.  On Fridays, we started a new tradition of "Potties and Popcorn."  The older four children and myself cleaned all of bathrooms Friday night.  Dominic did showers and tubs.  Lillie did the sinks.  Rose did mirrors and soap refills.  Zellie and I did toilets and floors.  I told them next week we will do all of our toilets then watch a movie and eat popcorn. Potties and Popcorn (after we wash our hands.)  I want them all to have taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class before they leave home. 

I found a great tutorial on pinterest to help children learn to tie their shoes and also a double knot.  Often, I can get so focused on teaching them the BIG things that I realize I have forgotten to teach the small things.

The tutorial recommended teaching them first with a jump rope and then move forward from there.

The demonstrator

Teach them each step with precise instructions and don't move on until they've conquered each step.