Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Holy Night!!!



God bless you all,
God bless your Christmas Eve,
God bless your Christmas,
Mary

Monday, December 19, 2011

"CHARGE!!!"

There is something quite comical about little girls dressed in girly pink and purple, wearing skirts and being lined up for teams to be chosen.  Then to hear those sweet innocent high pitched, squealey girly voices yell out "CHARGE! AHH!!! ARRRR!!!"

With brothers, all things are possible.

Haaaa haaaaa

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Horse Hair Teeth

Weird title of this post, huh?

On Friday, one of my sons came up from the playroom to tell me something and all I heard was "Blah...blah...blah...horse hair...so I'm gonna brush my teeth."

My curiosity was peeked and I asked him again...this time I heard right:

"Sister said my breath smells like horse hair so I'm gonna brush my teeth."

HAA HAAA!!!

Now that's what I call motivation!!! HAAA HAAA!!!

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Joy- 'Tis Thursday!

How did that happen?

Funny how during these past 3 days, they went really really slow... and I was wondering how I was able to make it through the next 30 minutes type of slow.  You know what I mean, right?

My parents are coming in from out of state later today and that makes me so very happy ;)  I am dying to have a few extra hands around here.  It's been a bit tough lately.  And it is comforting to know it is not just me.  Not that I want others to feel in a puddle of tears like me....but it is comfort.

Joy.

Last Sunday was Guadete Sunday and pink and rose third candle ...and joy.  JOY!  Guadete means REJOICE in Latin.


Joy has been missing a bit from my motherly loving lately.  (so not proud of this)

You too? 

How could that be since it is Advent?  We are preparing for the birth of a baby, a very important baby and our priests have said at Masses lately, how does one prepare?  Surely not in darkness and black and sadness.  But quite the opposite with lots of baby showers and well wishes and joy and pink or blue or yellow dazzled around the house and nursery. 

Finding the joy in anticipation of The Baby's birth (once again in our hearts...how will it be different this year for me, for you?)

This year I decided that I would not wait to put up my Christmas tree and decorations till Christmas Eve.  We had our bit of penitential season not too long ago and I was ready to instill joy once again.

Yet it is not happening as quick as I'd like it.  All in God's timing...His timing is always right.  Right?

So, joy it is.  The Bible states lots of joyful verses.  Here are a few that came to mind:

Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

"Be joyful always"1 Thessalonians 5:16

"The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing." Proverbs 10:28
"A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." Proverbs 15:30


"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds " James 1:2

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Joy.



Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

Got Joy?

(like that logo 'Got Milk?'")

God bless,
Mary

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quote of the Day from my 11 yr old

"Hey Dad, you look like your about to faint 'cause you are so in love with Mom."*

*Actually this is from this weekend, not from today but it was way too cute to pass up!

Love this!!!
Too cute.

God bless,
Mary

Friday, December 9, 2011

Did I scare you off?

or are you still laughing after my LAST post?

Seriously, it is not always like that but it happens much more than I wish for. 

This Advent God is really trying to reach me by helping me to realize how important patience is.

  • Patient in waiting for Christmas day.
  • Patient in not hurrying my children out the door.
  • Patient in teaching my children to read.
  • Patient in letting my children 'clean' up their messes.
  • Patient in trying to laugh more and cry less.
  • Patient in listening to my children and all their questions that take a long time to get out.
  • Patient in letting my children destroy...uh, I mean mess up (ha ha) our house with all their many hideouts and tents b/c what else is there to do when it is so cold outside that they only last a mere 10-15 mins?
  • Patient in packing my husbands' lunch to take for work.
  • Patient in not blurting out all the things I really really want to say at that moment.
  • Patient in going to my baby's whims in the middle of the night...when not so long ago she was actually sleeping through the night!!! (argh!)
  • Patient in guiding my children in what they want to say and how they need to explain more to get their point across. (No, I do not read minds! ha haaa)
  • Patient in teaching my children for the 100th time that food is not allowed downstairs and then spend the following hour cleaning and vacuuming.
  • Patient in walking a certain 3 yr old back to his room as a punishment (more times than I want!!! argh)
  • Patient in listening to God speaking to me, even amongst the noise level.

Patient in knowing and wanting to believe in even a deeper level than it is more important to give than to receive.  To give to my family unconditionally.  To give and knowing that there is a great gift waiting for me in Eternal Life. To give until it hurts, as Mother Teresa says.  To give  and to get get totally depleted b/c I know where to get filled back up again~Jesus~prayers, adoration, Mass, Confession.  To give and knowing that my wonderful husband has my back.  To give b/c there is nothing else more important than to give of myself to others, and who more important than my family?  To give and let Jesus give back to me.  To give and allow Jesus to love me.  To give and depend on Jesus.  Give and be patient.

God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A glimpse into a 5 minute segment of my days....

Finally got a chance to talk on an important phone call for a few minutes....kids playing play dough in the kitchen so quietly and nicely...
get ready....

kids asked if they could have peanut butter and marshmallows...I said yes.
I finish up phone call and walk into kitchen smothered in peanut butter and marshmallows bag 1/2 eaten...2 kinds of jellies with jelly chunks spread around the counter...I am stepping on gooey jelly and pb on the floor and mixed up with old homemade play dough pieces all over...table covered in play dough toys so kids eat elsewhere their sandwiches....i knock into the refrig and a toy soldier on top of it falls off into the area that is our water jug area where kids have their cups filled up to the highest part of their cup (why?! i have no idea since the jug of water is RIGHT THERE!>?!? argh....) and 2 tall plastic cups of water fall over from the falling knight...water everywhere on counter into our pile of napkins...all over counter and all over floor...baby crying and screaming....kids fighting over who knows what....kids out on the deck in the pouring rain screaming...or is it dancing and singing? not so sure!....I pull out the hand towels (there goes my supply) and soak up all water...child #5 asking me the 150th question of the morning/day from the deck (window open b/c I am sweating at this point) and baby still whining....I pull another hand towel off another part of the counter only to topple over my tall glass of milk (why milk?  I have not had milk and a PB&J in SO long!) and goes all over my counter and under my coffee maker (no! not my coffee!!!) and child #5 STILL asking me questions..even more loudly at this point....children coloring with crayon on the screens and shades, or maybe I just hope it is just a a chunky chalk...oh, pllllleeeeeeelease let it be just chalk...baby still whining....kids having running race throughout house.....water boiling for the noodles for tuna casserole dinner tonight.

OK. 
Phew...

I am tired...are you after reading that?

oh my.

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My day full of Blessings

Today was a day full of a mix of feelings and emotions.

It was (is) my husband's birthday.  Happy Birthday to you!  I am so happy to be a part of your life and so thankful that God blessed me with you and the fruit of our love....our 8 beautiful children.  You truly are my helper, my true companion on this journey of life heading for our final destination.  Your life blesses me and I thank God for that.  Happy Birthday!

It is also my oldest sons' Baptism day...11 yrs ago!  Happy Baptism day!!!

Lastly, this morning, we added yet another memorable experience....

We buried Therese's remains.

It was harder than I thought it would be.  You see, I had hoped with all my heart that I could go through this miscarriage naturally, not needing a D&C, unless I absolutely needed one.  God granted me this prayer request and I did naturally.  It was much more than just a 'bad period' as some say.  Way more.  In fact, these past 3 weeks have been very tough on me emotionally, physically and spiritually. 

I was a wreck thinking of how and where I would put my baby's remains and what to do with them.  It really concerned me and upset me.  I thought about going to a Michael's store and buy a sweet little box that we could decorate somehow, to make it very personal to our family.  I had visions of my children all helping out and making it a family affair.   But, I thought time was not on my side.  I hate to say that.  How could I NOT make time for this important ordeal?  I realized afterwards that time was not really the issue, it was more about investing even more of me and more of my kids, more of my heart into this child that was mine for 10 weeks.  I was so sore, physically but my heart was what ached and is aching even more.  I ache to hold my child more.  I asked God "why?" and sure, I was a bit upset at God.  But thankfully, that did not last long.  I have some days when life just unravels and then I think of Therese or see something that would remind me of her and the tears would drop a little here and a little there, sometimes even turning into a flowing river!  This grief is not over, it is better, but not over yet. 

About 2 days before I had the actual miscarriage-the major part of it- in one day and has continued to linger on, it occurred to me that I have had this most beautiful box that was engraved with gold flowers and vines on the top.

It reminds me of Psalm 128:3:
"Your wife should be like a fruitful vine within your house,
your children like olive plants around your table."

It could be considered a sweet keepsake box.  It is red velvet inside and made of the best solid wood.  That would be it!  I was so relieved to know that I already had this tiny little coffin already in my own room, in my drawers, for the past 3 or 4 years.  Could it be that God has this all planned?  That is my belief.  He knew way before I did that that teeny tiny box would be something special.  In fact, it was given to me and I did not know what to use it for so I put in these really tiny saint statues in it so that they would be secure and not break.   Little did I know that our sweet teeny tiny Therese would be our real live Saint in there now.

The wonderful priest said some beautiful prayers as I held out the box near my husband and our children huddled around us.  I did not show or tell the children that this box carried their baby sister's remains until afterward.  I thought it to be too much of a distraction with so many questions and maybe that was not the right thing to do but I thought so at the time.  I was so caught up in holding my child for the last time, that at the time that I had to hand over this tiny wooden coffin to Father, that it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do...to really let go of my baby.  My eyes filled up with tears.  My husband noticed my pain, my sorrow...some of my children did as well.

It was closure.  It was over.  It is finished. 

Our little Saint Therese Avila, pray for your family here on earth to be holy and get to Heaven to finally meet you, God, Mary and all our patron Saints and Guardian Angels.  We love you!

God bless,
Mary

Friday, December 2, 2011

Amongst the pots and pans

My Lil' Lady has found the pots and pans and what joy it brings her!

I am sure she would have found them earlier than 10 and 1/2 months old but she has been busy with all her siblings that aren't always that excited about those big metal pots and pans as she would be.

The funny thing is that even though it is quite annoying to have to tippy toe through the mess of pots and pans, I love it.  It does not get old at the least.  This is the 7th time it has happened.  Each of my kids have entered this stage around the same age and this is the 7th time for us.  The surprise and joy of a baby's face enjoying it brings such joy and smiles to my own face.  That, my friend, I would not trade for anything.

Indeed, I will 'find God in the pots and pans' as St. Theresa of Avila says.

I did take a picture of Lil' Lady and her pots and pans but will have to post it over the weekend b/c I have not downloaded them yet! :)

God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Think happy thoughts

It is so easy to get caught up in the discipline and punishments and re-do-overs with 3 years olds, huh?  They are so very predictable but yet at the same time very unpredictable.

My certain 3 yr old has brought the 'terrible twos' and the 'trying threes' to a whole new level.  This little guy is easily the most challenging child so far.  He is all of my children COMBINED.  Seriously.

I am not asking for a pity party (well....if you want to give me one, I'll take it!:) ha haaa) but this is the real deal.  He is unbelievable.  I cannot turn my back on him.  I need to know exactly where he is at all times.   I am not kiddin' you.  You'd think I know a thing or 2 about parenting a strong willed child or one that is oh...a bit,uh...defiant.   Yeah, well I thought I knew a thing or 2 too...before he came along! haaa haaa

I bet you can only imagine how trying our school year has been for a year or 2.  Yeah, it has been interesting...oh yeah.

God sure has a sense of humor at times.

Anyway, Instead of mulling around on these negative "help me!" thoughts, I thought I'd pour out all the positive HAPPY THOUGHTS on this little 3 yr old guy of mine!

Here we go:

1.  I love the way he says "Da-Momma" and I automatically answer him! :) (or when he says "Ma-Daddy" and Daddy answers him!
2.  How he puts on his pants backwards and is so proud he did it himself
3.  The way he answers that he did not do it...with the look of guilt on his face, wondering if he be believed.
4.  I love what a shrimp he is.  He saves us on buying him new clothes!  He can still fit into some 18month and 2T clothes!
5.  I love how his smallness makes him so deliciously cute and his siblings all agree
6.  I love how he can win over his siblings by being so cute even when he messes up their stuff or wrecks their Lego creations (after a little while, that is...once the upsetness settles down!)
7.  I love how talkative and articulate he is.  He can converse with just about anyone
8.  I love how he really REALLY tries to be nice to his baby sister, Lil' Lady.  I know, as his Momma, that he truly is trying at times, even though others think otherwise.
9.  I love how he holds his pencils, markers and colored pencils with the correct grip and acts so much like a little student at the table while his older siblings do their work (even if only for 3.5 minutes!)
10. I love how he forces his giggles and laughter that makes others laugh and smile
11.  Lastly, I love how he still needs him Momma.  I wonder in amazement how other parents can send their children off to daycare or school at this age thinking that it is time for them to go, when they are still SO much in need of motherly love that ONLY a mother can give
NO ONE can replace a mother.  No one can love as a mother loves.  I am only saying this from my experience of having 7 kids and of my kids.  I know that some parents have no choice or do what they think it best for their family but I still wonder if there was still another way before choosing daycare.

Anyway, this kid is a riot.  He makes me laugh, he keeps me young, he keeps those pounds off since I am always up and about running after him or running for him!  He keeps teaching me patience and creativity and teaching me how to love unconditionally.  He is just right for our family.  He is loved and he loves us....no matter how long this 2 or 3 yr old trying stage will last.  (Please Lord, not much longer, please!)

God bless your days,
Mary

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What do you think he said?

This morning, I had an early run to the food market to buy one of my little big people who is becoming a bigger person tomorrow items for his requested birthday cake...my oldest is turning 11! (wow...how'd that happen?!?!)

A special part of my kids' birthdays is that they get to request any birthday cake they want.  This year, my 'going to be 11' year old son has requested a really really chocolate-y mousse cake.  This is the first for this Momma.  Usually they ask for a train or a bear or the like.  The young man that he is turning into is requesting MOUSSE!  (Just like his Daddy-loves mousse!)

I never ever made mousse before but got a recipe...hopefully an EASY recipe....off the Internet.  I did not have the ingredients so off I went shopping.

At the checkout line, a man that works there, who has a speech impediment with big metal front teeth, apparently thought I was someone else and said to me:

"I watched you walk in and I thought 'Wow!  Now, that is MY merchandise!"

At least that is what I thought he said but thinking that was a bit odd, I asked him again what he said and he said the same thing.  Then he went over to the cashier and told her that too.  He smiled, she smiled and both laughed a little and that was that.

I think I was hit on.  HA!  Don't you?  That sure is a lousy way to hit on someone if he was.  Then again, he could have told me something completely different but I swear that is what he said! ha ha!

I mean, c'mon-here I am :  sleepless, coffee breath, without any of my 7 children, wearing my wedding and engagement rings, (mind you...but then again I guess that does not matter to many people anymore...sad but true, huh?), wearing the best of junk clothes-jeans and sweatshirt, hair pulled back and.... whoops, dare I say again..coffee breath, yeah...I forgot to brush my teeth!

HA!  But still....I think I was sorta kinda hit on!  Funny.  Very funny. 
Smiling is good therapy.

God bless your weekend,
Mary
p.s  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Recovering

I just wanted to let you know that I am feeling a lot better both physically and emotionally.  It was a long tough week and we are so grateful to God for the gift of life He sent our way, even if it was only for 10 weeks.

Thank you for praying.  I cannot find the words to explain how uplifted and supported I felt during all of this through the praying of family & friends.  Thank you, thank you so much.

  Life is short, pray hard!

I entered our little Therese's name into the "Book of Life" at the Church of the Holy Innocents Shrine in NYC.  I vaguely remember going to it in my very early 20's and here is where our sweet Therese's name is where others can know of her short 10 week life and to pray to her.  It is so special.  They even sent me a certificate with her name on it.  (I wish I could figure out how to print it!  It is with some diff. format than what we have.)

Sometimes when it rains, it pours...doesn't it?

Not only was this week 'the week' for releasing our baby, but my oldest also fell on a super sharp rock and ended up with 5/6 stitches on his leg, then he ran a fairly high fever that we thought was associated w/the wound but thanks be to God, it was just a virus, then my husband had a sinus infection...and on and on and on.

And then on the forecast, it is calling for 5 straight days of RAIN-Mon-Fri.  Oh my goodness.  I do not look forward to that with 7 kids inside (4 of them boys!) but I am so happy that it is sunny right now and finally we are all feeling better.

The great news is that ....Tomorrow is our 12th Wedding Anniversary!!!

God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Therese & her Roses

You do know about St. Therese, right? 

(If not, that is a.o.k....but check out THIS link and you will find out! :)

"I will send from Heaven a shower of Roses."

And you do remember that we named our sweet little precious baby, Therese....right?

Ok, so here is the very COOL thing that happened yesterday...a friend who heard of our loss arrived at our home at 9:30am with...

...A DOZEN PINK ROSES!!!

(DO KNOW that She DID NOT KNOW we named our baby Therese or that we thought the baby to be a girl!)

YES!  Roses for Therese and from St. Therese (the little flower) and PINK for our baby GIRL!

I thought that was the greatest thing.  These things you cannot explain but believe through faith. 

Thank you for all this support and prayers...we are in need of them...thank you so much.

God bless,
Mary

Monday, November 7, 2011

Miscarriage

I haven't been able to blog lately...not been able to focus on anything. 
I don't even know what to say.
I am so sad.
I am crying and in a daze most of the days, while everyone around me keeps moving on.

I told God that I could not let go of this baby.
Then I told God that now I can, that I believe it is His Will.

I went through all those different feelings of doubt, anger, sadness, emptiness...and I am still visiting them frequently.
I have never had a miscarriage before and I wonder how women deal with this?  How dare I not take it as seriously and be more compassionate to these dear families.  I really just never knew.
But now I do.

I feel so pregnant, still.
I have the jelly belly still.
I feel morning sickness, rather, for me, it is after 12noon till I fall asleep at night.
How can I feel so pregnant but not be?

I have shown some signs that the baby will be released soon.  This cramping is like a mini-labor but the end prize is not a happy one.  I told God that I am ready to let go.  But I am still waiting on Him.  This is so sad to wait for this to happen.  To know I am carrying a little one that I can never hold in my arms...but that God is allowing me to 'hold' a little longer till I am apart from her.

Yes, I said 'her'.

My children wanted to name her Therese Avila and so we did.  We have our own little patron saint from our family praying for us.  We have our own real flesh and blood in Heaven with God, Mary and all the Saints. 

She is much happier now than I could ever give her.

St. Therese Avila, pray for us.

God bless,
Mary

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sad.............

I am so sad to say that at our ultrasound appt this morning, the baby had no heartbeat.

It appears the baby was barely 6 weeks along even though I measured 8 weeks.

I have not 'officially' miscarried yet and never had one before.

If anyone has any support they can offer me, I welcome it.

Please pray for our strength and trust in God's Divine Will.

Thank you.

God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let's get real...

Excuse my absence from this blog lately....I am feeling quite a bit discouraged over several things lately. 

Questions of whether I am doing the right thing of homeschooling my children right now at his time is overtaking my thoughts....wondering how I am able to continue on with feeling overwhelmed with life...realizing where my parenting is compared to where I want it to be and where God wants it to be.  Feeling alone even amidst a super homeschooling group.  Not having family and our dear friends around makes me so sad...and all their help is so needed and so missed.  It is just not the same help from other friends.  No one can replace family.

My spiritual journey has taken a bit of a dry-ness lately....I am fighting against the evil one on a daily basis.  I continue on praying and offering and trying.  But yet I do not see the fruits of what I am working so hard on with my family. 

I struggle with seeing my children as what they truly are...wonderful gifts from God.  Instead, I have failed in letting them know my immense love but letting them see my frustrations, my freak outs, my tender heart just hurting. 

My hope is there...my peace in Christ Jesus is present, although not felt most of the time.  I am remembering that love is not a feeling but an act. 

With the constant bitterness felt during this battle going on, I humbly ask for prayers. This is not their problem or fault.  "This too shall pass"...this I know but loose sight of ever so easily.
Thank you.

God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best advice ever!=NAPS

Everyday around 1 till about 3-give or take 30mins on either side is our 'Family quite time'. 

This is time for the kids to try to settle down to rest-little ones take naps-sometimes if its a super great day, 4 of them nap at the same time~!!! wooohooo!   Usually it is Lil' Lady , my 3 yr old adrenaline running boy, and 4 yr old 'too big for a daily nap but still needs a few naps a week" boy. 

The others rest by looking at books, listening to books on CD, drawing, or they (try) to play quietly downstairs. 

This is also my time to regroup and rest. I overlook the toys and clothes strewn throughout the house.  I overlook the left out lunch on the counters and on the kitchen floor and the overflowing trash.  I make time for me.  I have to.  This is my survival and thrival technique.  I close my bedroom door over a little and just plop down exhausted, sometimes even  in a big pile of clean laundry.  I close my eyes in hopes to actually catch a few zzzz's if possible.  Then if I can, with a cup of tea in hand, I try to catch up on emails, blogs, phone calls.   Before the little ones wake, I begin to make dinner or at least have the idea of what I will make. 

When I share this, many moms and others look at me in awe that I can do this. 

For me, it has ALWAYS been this way.  With my first child was almost one yrs old, another seasoned mom of 6 told me that I had to do this. For me to try not to give up his nap too early and if he did (which he as 2 when he did), to continue to put him in his room or crib with tons of books for quiet time.  This was the BEST ADVICE that I ever got!!!

This nap time was crucial.  And boy, is she right.  It is~!

 I really wonder how moms do it these days without down time.  With a busy life, in order to keep an energy level at a decent (not always top notch!) level, this is so necessary for me. 

This is not all the quiet beautiful time of rest everyday.  Many times in a day, I may come out of my room or off the couch to remind them how and what "QUIET" is supposed to be like!  Many days, they get so wrapped up in playing (since they are schooling most of the morning)  that their level of quiet certainly is NOT the same as mine. 

During this time, my oldest son, who is in 5th grade,  has to be constantly reminded to do his school work and how much he can accomplish when the little ones are not around him, bothering him, or being loud.  This quiet time is the best he has to get focused...yet, it is so tough for him.  Poor kid.  It's hard to see his younger siblings playing or reading or drawing-just what he really wants to do. 

Any advice:  How do YOU get the point across to a kid
that he is older so ...he has more school work expected?

Anyway, long story short.... today after I got up after a little rest, I called for my oldest in which he did not respond.  He was not in the extra room doing school work or doing his science lab experiment or his reading comprehension.  Nope.  His sisters told me he was in the backyard.  When he came in, I ask him where he was and how he got out there, since he did not exit and re-enter through the deck door. 

Head tilted and quietly, he glanced at me and said "Uh....through the basement bathroom window..."

"Why?"  I questioned him.

"Uh....Because I am a boy?"

Best explanation.  Good reason.  But still....

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!

Today I am so thankful to have been able to get to Mass this morning.  To my surprise, it was the FIRST ever Mass in honor of Blessed John Paul II.  What a beautiful Mass, as I felt his presence so strongly.  He was and is so amazing.  I am so thankful to have been able to live while he was alive!

He exemplified Christ in how he lived and shared his life with others.



Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!!!
God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some funnies and heart warming moments have been happening around here and I am so glad that I took notice~!  It is easy to look past and not stop and be thankful. 

1.  My oldest daughter, age 9, was watching our Lil' Lady and said, "Oh Mom, my heart is bursting with love for her!"

2.  My oldest son, age 10, and I were looking through cook books on what to make for dinner last night.  After a while, he commented, "Looking through these cook books when I am so hungry is like looking through a really good piano book with all the music that I love".  (We decided on making homemade chicken alfredo and it was SO good and the first time I ever made it homemade!!! :) and we have tons left~ I forgot how filling just a little bit is~!!!)

Thanks God for letting me notice and take note of these precious moments.

God bless,
Mary

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quote of the Day and prayer request

A lot of things have been going on around here....we just got back from a trip up north due to my husband's grandfather who died a week ago tomorrow. 

Lil' Lady was on 2 diff types of antibiotics due to ear infection.  She finished her second one the day we left on our trip.  She started again w/runny nose 2 days ago and not sleeping.  I bet that ear infection is back.  This will be the 3rd one in under 2 months.  They may discuss tubes for her ears.  ALthough I know it is pretty routine for most youngsters, none of mine ever had them.  My lil lady is only 8 1/2 months old and this scares me that she would have to endure those tubes.  But, if it is God's Will to have them, I ask for prayers for my Lil' Lady.   Thanks.

Since we suddenly stopped schooling to travel (Thank God for homeschooling and our ability to do that!), we have strugged these last 2 days trying to get back into the mode of school work.  There is quite a lot of rebellion going on and that charity needs to be much more apparent too!

The funeral was as nice as one can be.   It was such a learning experience for my kids.   This year we have been talking a lot about soul vs. body and this experience made it not so abstract but so real to them.  We are so thankful to God to have the chance to go to the funeral, see family and see our missed friends....we miss you guys so much!

Lastly, a quote that is on my heart today from my favorite MOTHER THERESA:

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish He didn't trust me so much."
God bless,
Mary

Friday, October 7, 2011

Joys of Motherhood

Last night, as I was tucking my girls into bed, one of them declared that they wanted to be a 'Mommy'. 

"How sweet!",  I thought.

She proceeded on to tell me that she wanted to be one "at this very moment!"

...so that she could have a big bowl of ice cream!  And my other daughter said "Yeah! and a smoothie anytime I want one!"

HA!! HA!!!
The joys of motherhood!!! :)

God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kitchens...love it, love it not...

I have a love-hate relationship w/my kitchen.  

I love the fact that my whole family likes to hang out in this specific room in the house. 

I love how the kids all coral around a little kitchen table squeezing in 6 chairs where only 3 would be most comfortable.

I love how they bring their books in and lay on the kitchen floor just b/c the others are in this room and Momma is in the room too.

I love how when I am cooking or cleaning (about 70% of my day), how drawn my kids are to be around me.  Whatever they are doing, they bring it in this room and plop themselves down....near me. 

I love how eating and talking go hand in hand.  Some of our best conversations have been in the kitchen.   Some of the best moments of parenting happen in the kitchen.

Learning math while cooking.  Painting tons of pics.  Spelling tests while Momma cooks.  Social Studies--learning about generosity and patience while waiting for dinner and setting the table in the dining room.   The list goes on and on. 

What a wonderful feeling.  (Thank you God :))

I love this room.

I love kitchens.  Don't you?

But do you know what I do not love about it?  Actually I really really don't like it?  OK, I admit...I pretty much hate it.  Period.

The size of this kitchen.  It is 1/3 the size of our last kitchen.  Not a big deal if a family is not that big or does not truly "LIVE" all day in the house, right?  No.  But, for us?  This does not work. 

I guess you can say our kitchen is a work in kitchen with very limited counter space.  Barely enough room for those chairs I mentioned above.  It is really tight.  Then throw in a highchair, and it's quite the maze to get around.  Seriously. 

I dream of a big kitchen where we all can be around comfortably.  A big long farm style table.  We've got the benches already (thanks to Daddy and the boys!!! You rock!)

Kitchens.

Love them and hate this one.

God bless,
Mary

Happy Feast of St. Francis!!!



My kids and I love this Saint and love celebrating this feast day.

First, I printed off a bunch of great St. Francis coloring pages. 

This one HERE from Catholic Heritage Cirriculum is, by far, our favorite!

Today's snack is going to...
ANIMAL CRACKERS!!!

Another idea I had was to make those easy bird feeders-pine cone, PB and bird seed....we'll see since that would require me to actually go out to buy the bird seed!  Maybe I'll have an adrenaline rush to actually do it!!! HA :O

The other idea I had was to go on a little trip to the pet store!   Maybe...


St. Franics, pray for us!!!

God bless,
Mary

Monday, October 3, 2011

Snowsuits already???

We went from hot and muggy humid weather directly into very cold days of 50* for the past number of days.  Add that into the mix of 3 weeks of rainy cloudy days and this Momma is going a bit crrrrazy!!!

I also don't have the guts to turn ON the heat...just yet.  So, our house has been lingering around 60* throughout the day and it is quite chilly.  Not too bad, but enough that we have the massive amounts of clothes that have escaped from storage bins-the changing of seasons always brings out mega amounts of laundry and clothes galore, right?! :)

So, that leads me to allow the kids to let them put on their snow suits (well, they have to stay warm somehow, right?) and sleeping bags (warmth, OK?) and "sledding" down our staircases all dolled up in these particular super FUNNY outfits!

And I will add in that those kids are my boys.  Not my girls-ha ha!!! :)  Those girls just finished their math assignments and are off to play dolls for a little bit.

OK, so I have noted quite a lot of things my boys have been up to lately.   It is just that they are so peculiar and so well...boy-ish!  They just crack me up.  Totally.

Boys need to be boys---that is how I also "just do it"---having let them be just who they are w/out stopping their creativity. Schoolwork had to take a little recess break....and I needed to blog :)   Mind you, the little boys are totally loving every minute of it too!!!

I might even make some hot cocoa for us :)

Best go now.

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dinner at 6 tonight

Only in my house full of little curious backyard boys will I find a taped together skin shell of a snake in front of my dinner plate!

How lovely and totally true.

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bugs and Insects and Reptiles...oh my!


It's a good thing that I don't mind bugs and insects and anything else my kids seem to find and catch and run up to me in great wonder and amazement and with great confidence and joy! 
I was looking through my pics on my computer to send some overdue pics of the kids and their bday parties to my family members and came across TONS (and I really do mean tons!) of pics of all the little creatures my kids (girls included, thank you!) that they found

One of my favorite...praying mantis' are sooooooo cool!!!!  Yes, it is one of my favorites...if there is such a thing? 
I guess so...for this momma!: )

Look at this little guy!  We have found about 5 or 6 over the summer and they are always a huge hit.  Here is one enjoying our little baby pool (and we were done using it!) so it became his little home for the day.

WOnder and amazement of God's creations...

Looking at his every move--close ups!  My 4 yr old loved to see him pop his head out and then quickly in when he raised his voice at the poor little guy.  It was quite funny, though!

Our little habitat for a friendly toad

Can't get enough of these creatures...


Mr. Praying Mantis-see this one is brown?  The other one in the top pic is green.  They are really cool! :)


God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quote of the day-homeschool edition

I could not pass the opportunity to post this quote that I just found!

We are learning about mice and one of our all time favorite autors, Beatrix Potter, had a super cool quote:

"Thank goodness I was not sent to school;
it would have rubbed off some of the originality."

How great is that?!?!

LOVE it!

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let me introduce you to...kid #4-Sunshine girl


She is so studious, huh?  HA HA!!!

Here is my sunshine girl, kid #4, that just turned 6 last month.  She is working hard on the computer learning all her phonics.  She is an excellent reader!!! :)

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Let me introduce you to my kid #7- Lil' Lady

Haa haa haaa!
(Yes, she does have a bunch of brothers doing this to her!!!)

Isn't she just lovely?!?  Such a lady, huh?!? :)

Do you see the trend here with all my kids pics as I introduce them to you?!?! :)

Lil Lady is 8 months old now.  She is pure love.  She brings out the BEST in all of us!  Thanks God for lil' Lady-we just adore her!

God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Funny Faces

Ha ha ha!!! :LOL!!! :)

This is my 3rd child, age 7. 
I will be introducing you to my kids in pics over the next few days!
Stay tuned.

God bless,
Mary

How I school with toddlers!!!

Over the last few days, a few moms have asked me how I school the 'bigger' kids with 3 little ones around.  That's a really great question!  Let me assure you that everyday is something new and life is never dull around here.  My kids are all young (7 of them aged 8 months to 10 yrs).  It is never easy and requires much creativity to get a school day in.

First off, my little ones are 2 boys in a row age 4 and 2(almost 3~on Friday!!!), which in itself is a handful!!! and then there is my sweet lil' lady who is now 8 months old (uhm...how did THAT happen?!?).

A biggie is, for me at least, is to let go and allow them to get messy, be messy and let it be.  That schedule that I was talking about HERE?  That has been a tremendous help.  At least now I know WHAT room they will mess up and WITH WHOM they will mess it up with! haaa haaa lol!

We have clean up times throughout the day in which we put the house back together (LOL!). 

Teaching my littles to clean up after playing with a toy or making a mess with graham crackers takes time some time and  sometimes I just wait till I have a few minutes free for that 'teachable moment', instead of reacting quickly right then and there and distracting my bigger kids away from schoolwork.  It depends on what the mess is, I guess!  If it can wait, then it waits. 

I am a huge tag sale/yard sale/garage sale and thrift store junky! lol!  :P 

With shopping at those places for super dirt cheap prices for toys and items to keep them busy has helped with my sanity and getting alll the school work done for the day.  Seriously :). 

We have a "Toy of the Day" and I buy tons  of that specific toy.  Even if I see just one or two toys that would add to the amount, then I get it.  Such things as farms, little people, play dough parts, big lego blocks etc...  I put all of the same item in a big Rubbermaid container bin and only take out that bin on the morning of that specific day.  That toy stays on the train table that adorns our beautiful living room (haaa haaa!).  For example; today is matchbox cars day and the bin holds tons of cars and trucks, a car ramp with the handle on top,blue trak, a big dump truck and a big John Deer tractor.  That's it for the toy of the day.  I have to have enough items for ALL of my kids to play with.  There are 7 of them!!!

I guess that saying "Less is More" is true. 

Since my kids all LOVE to be near Momma, we rarely use our downstairs family room/den/play room.  We do have toys down there but those toys usually stay down there most of the time.  We school mostly at the dining room table for 3 of my kids and my 10 yr old does school in our 'guest room' or 'extra room' as we call it.  It is the next room from us, so I can keep an eye on him if he runs out or gets distracted away from that room.  It is a simple room of a desk and chair and that's it in hopes to minimize distractions for him. 

I love having my kids all around me.  I love the camaraderie that it brings.  I love the closeness we are creating and the bond that we all have.  Thank you God for this gift of schooling at home.  They are all hard workers at school and we have to constantly teach them to focus and pay attention.  Their intentions are so pure and desire is to do their school work and learn (well, most of the time!)  There is constantly a whole lot going on and many distractions, but they are learning so many things!!!

This is God's Will for our family and we all know it,
no matter how many times we are tempted to think otherwise. 

On our schedule, I have each of the 4 'bigger kids' assigned a 30 minute time block to play and read to "The Littles" (as we call them).  That frees up 2 hours of wanting Momma "Mommy this and...Mommy that...." is not that apparent anymore.  That is totally amazing, huh?  2 hours!  That is A LOT of time!!!  Lil' Lady still takes 2 naps-1 in the Am and 1 in the afternoon and sometimes a little quick dinner nap if she is cranky. 

Those 'bigger kids' are pretty helpful.  At times, they complain and don't want to play w/the littles but then, for the most part, they realize it's not so bad since they are PLAYING and NOT doing school work!!!

Also, for this school year, something that is very different is that I am not trying to squish in a WHOLE school day to end at that 2 or 3pm mark and then it's over.  This year, I decided that I needed the 'bigger kids' help with the littles so much and that since we home school, we could just do those least intensive school subjects at other times that do not require full focus or major attention, such as handwriting, art, history and/or science.  I have sort of made our whole day a learning day.  I think this change has been great for our family.  A good choice of rearranging our day, if I say so!!! :)

Hope that helps out.

Have a great day!
God bless,
Mary

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fun @ the Farm



Look at thos piglet!!!

We had such a great time at this farm park that I have wanted to bring my kidos to for over  a year!  Finally we decided it was perfect to go since my parents were here to visit.  It was well worth the effort!

I love the Farm!!!
God bless,
mary

Monday, September 12, 2011

How we do it~ Sundays~Part 3

Le'ts go fly a kite!

You can do it, Daddy!!!

And there Daddy goes! Awesome!

Girls give their pink kite a try-they did great too!!!

See?  It was UP in the air at one point! :)

My 2 yr old on the go, go, go!  He is always up to something!!!
Without shoes, of course!!!
My little monkey...


So, how do you spend your Sundays? 

We really enjoy spending our Sundays FIRST early at 8am Mass, then our after Mass special chocolate chip scones...then naps..then OUT and About!!! This day we went to a park  or it could be a museum, hike, park, playground or the pool (for the summer!). 

We started this almost 12 yrs ago and it has such been a blessing in our family.

How do YOU spend your Sundays???

God bless,
Mary

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 yrs post 9-11

For the sake of His sorrowful passion,
have mercy on us and on the whole world.

So many other blogs and people and homilies have so much to say about this 10 year anniversary.  I, too, have memories way too vivid ...still. 
I can't seem to wrap up my thoughts on this day, enough to put it on this post.
It's just too much to say, too many feelings, not enough computer time to do it.

May we all remember this day and pray for the lives lost
and the families and friends who mourn them. 

Have mercy on us and on the whole world.

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday to my Sunshine-kid #5!

I failed to mention that my sweet sunshine girl turned a big 6 years old about a week a half ago!!! :)

All she wanted for her birthday were twin tiny little baby dolls and a baby highchair. How Cute!  That request I could manage!

Off I went to the store to buy her the twin dollies.  But the ones I saw, I just knew, were not going to be to her liking.  Until I found these tiny little dolls-they were only $1~ and I was not at a tag sale!!! They really were that cheap~ and I could not resist so I bought her sextuplets-there were 6 different kinds so I picked one out of each.  She was so excited~the joy was priceless.  Her face lit up as she laid out her 6 teeny tiny babies on the table. 

She quickly began to name these babies:  Avila, Hannah, Johanna, Rose, Felicity and Theresa.  

Then her big brother wrote their names on their tags.  It became quite the family event!  In fact, by the end of her bday-day, she generously gave the pink teeny tiny baby to her big sister so she could 'keep her forever'.  This sunshine birthday girl has such a gentle, loving and kind spirit, unlike anyone I have ever met for her age.  She is only 6 and yet she is teaching us all how to live unselfishly.  She did not let those teeny tiny baby dollies out of her sight for the many days following.  She motherly wrapped them each in a little blanket, swaddled them, cuddled them, fed them and carried them everywhere.  I also came across a 'look-alike' Vera bag and so I picked it up b/c they could fit the dollies in each of its' 6 compartments inside the bag.

Sweetness is seeing my sunshine, with her easy going phlegmatic spirit, so content and full of joy on her birthday.  She did not need or want much and yet so content.  How we can all learn from her! :)

She did request a "My little Pony" birthday cake.  We had such fun with decorating it.  I can't seem to upload pics right now but I will try sometime over this weekend again. 

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moms of boys should never boast

Seasoned Moms just know things...

I think I may just be starting to be one!!! :)

A minute ago, my 4 yr old son came upstairs asking for duct tape that my oldest son needed to tape up a box.  (All 4 boys were downstairs.)

I ripped off 2 feet long of duct tape and handed it to him.

But as I handed it to him...I asked, a bit cautiously, "No one is in that box...right?"

"No, Mom, no one is in it."

Phew.  Good.

See?  I NEVER would have thought to ask that question a few years ago.  Then again, I did not have 4 ACTIVE and CREATIVE BOYS either back then either! haa haa

Life is full of lessons!
_________________________________________________________________________________
God is always teaching me things. 

OKAY, did I mention I have BOYS?!?! HA!!! HA!!!
I was just about to post this above and then my oldest son ran up asking for more duct tape and told me with great excitement that he was boxing up the 2 yr old boy but that he also put in '2 breathing holes so don't get worry, Mom".  (WHAT?!!?!)

I guess I may never understand boys and that they will ALWAYS have something brewing that will make me shake my head, wrinkle my forehead in disbelief.  Boys!!! :)  Gotta love them.

Gd bless,
Mary

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Faithfulness in little things is a big thing. "
-- St. John Chrysostom

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lil' Lady LOVES water!


Have you ever had a baby that absolutely LOVES water?!?!?

I have some children that really enjoy it and we call them little fishes but never have I had a baby that really really loves water!:)

Changing diapers is always a test of my strength, as the changing pad is right next to the sink on the vanity.  She is so strong and turning this way and that way to get to the water faucet.  Just this past week she has learned to use her strength to pick her body up and plop it down.  Not quite the crawl that I am used to, it sort of reminds me of an inch worm in which its' back part of body does not move. Ha!!! It is quite funny as she inches her way over to the faucet where I am washing my hands post diaper change.  If in a rare moon that she is crying (like this morning while I was out having coffee mulling over my schedule plans for school this year-I'll post that later in the week :)), we bring her right over to the kitchen sink and VOILA!  she stops! haa haa :)

She so loved the pool this summer and the baby pool on our back deck.  We were all so sad that our last pool day of the summer was this past Saturday ;(

She loves splashing all about in the water.  Water on face?  No problemo!  She is even happier if its on her face!  SO FUNNY!

My kid #5 was so anti-water, it took him to 1 1/2 yrs old to take a bath without screaming and crying.  It was awful-I felt like it was the worst thing I could do to him, and I think it was.  For that year and a 1/2, he only had maybe one bath a week.  I just could not muster up enough courage and patience to put him through the pain of a bath.  It really was that bad.  Then, one night at bath time, I put him in and he did not scream.  He did not cry.  He was not overly happy, but just content.  And that was that.  Weird to say the least~!

So, to have my Lil' Lady loving water is such a delight!!!

God bless,
Mary
p.s.  Happy labor day!  Now, go rest and have a cup of coffee ! LOL! :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How we do it-Bulk and Buy on Sale-Part 3

I wonder how many parts I will end up writing!!! haa haaa!!! :)
Not sure but once a thought comes that stands out in my mind as "Aha!  That is the way we do it with big families! :)", then I jot it down.

Here is Part 1

Here is Part 2


So, here we go with "How we do it-Part 3"

Buy in BULK and buy what is ON SALE.

CHALK:   We do not have the cute colored chalk that holds 8 chalk.  No, we have 52 sticks of colored chalk.  Yup!  My kids LOVE chalk-you should see all over our driveway, walkway, sidewalk and the road...and even our back deck!  It is quite hilarious!!! :)

ART SUPPLIES:  20 glue sticks, 10 paints, 72 pencils, case of printing/copy paper, 20 boxes of crayons, 20 cases of markers, 5 huge piles of construction paper, 20 cent composition books and 1cent staples notebooks.  Found LOTS at Walmart and Staples. 
I usually go through almost ALL Of this before Christmas so then I ask for arts and crafts supplies as the main need for presents!

CLOTHES FOR MY KIDS:  FREE! from generous and awesome friends-we are so thankful!!!

If I cannot find things on sale-then I look for it at the thrift and goodwill stores.  If not there, I can usually find it at tag sales!  God SO provides, all we need to do is be open to HOW God wants to provide for us!!! :)

THere are so many other things that I know I forgot so I will add them as time permits.

God bless your Sunday,
Mary


Friday, September 2, 2011

Warmth

You know what warms my heart?

When one of my children compliments one of their siblings....without prompting them to!!!

I just heard "That's a nice picture!" from my 4 yr old little man to his 9 yr old sister after showing off her painting of a rainbow.

So sweet.

This is just one of many....Lord, let me relish in this and think of these moments often.  It is truly THESE moments that I know you are honored and glorified.  Thank you for my children.  Amen.

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Super Dad!

*Warning:  This post is ALL about my husband!*

I warned you.  See above?

Yes, this is all about my wonderful husband.  Okay, ladies...he has his quirks but don't we all?  But I can't help but post on what my husband has felt called to do lately.  I don't intend for this to be a bragging post, and I apologize up front if it is coming off that way.  That is not my intention.  Frankly b/c I am in complete awe of this man God has given to me and our family.

You see, a few weeks ago, he felt that he was called by God to go weekly food shopping for our family, so it is one less thing that I have to do.  Not by himself, mind you.  He is taking ALL 7 OF OUR KIDS WITH HIM while he goes food shopping!!!

This is NOT something I would ever venture to do, unless I was in dire need.  NOWAY would I do this.  So, this is why I am in utter AWE of this man!!!

He even takes the 7 month old baby!!!

He straps on the hiking baby backpack with baby in it and hands off a walkie talkie to our oldest son.  He hands out the list to the oldest 2 kids and they are off with one shopping cart while he pushes the other cart with other kids in tow.

He is my hero. 

Every Wednesday night he is off doing this.

I am on strict orders to take a hot bath and relax.  Just so that I can relax and have a little down time to do whatever.  What ?!??  I think I manage that.  It is so hard to comply with these orders! haa haaa

Now you see why I love this man?!?! 

He continues to amaze me.  I bet you too, right?

This is a completely selfless generous act on his part ...for me.  What an act of love.

He is always willing to improve, willing to figure out ways to make things work for the better for our family.  Thank you God for this man I married.  I never would have guessed he would be the person he is today.  Thank you God for him in my life and our family.

God bless this man of mine.

God bless you too!!!,
Mary

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Faithfulness

"God is so faithful."

Those words are echoing in my heart this morning.  About 2 months ago, I added in walking to our family schedule.  What a joy this has been.  It has also its share of trials, as I am not a morning person (have I ever mentioned that?!?!? haa haaa!!!).  Overall it is a real blessing. 

God is faithful.

Fresh air. 

Birds singing. 

Time for me to soften my many thoughts and worries and place myself at ease.  I envisioned myself walking with rosary in hand, praying devoutly.  But I realized very quickly that my early morning walking is me just trying to wake up!!! :)  I sort am in a haze for the first 10 mins.  THen the next 10 mins are pretty good and I am awake to tackle the day, kids at the door and husband awaiting my return. 

God is faithful.

A great early 20 mins of my day. 

Lately my neighbor has joined me.  A God-fearing- Bible talking- Jesus loving -Southern Christian homeschooling mom.  Yes, that is right-another homeschooling mom!  She has 6 children of her own-much more spaced out than mine, but lovely just the same.  What delight to have someone to walk with!!!  I am so thankful.  My wish of accountability of getting some exercise has come finally.

God is faithful. 

It is not everyday that we walk together, only 2 or 3 times a week.  I enjoy it so much.

My hopes is have this walking and talking time to be a time of honoring God.  Not a time for complaints, although it is very hard not to fall into that trap.  Here is another Mom with many kids who homeschools and is a neighbor of mine and understands this lifestyle?  Wow.

Today she reminded me of spending time "in the Word" and  she repeated to me that God is so faithful.  No doubt that God used her to get His point across.

God is faithful.  Yes, He is. God is faithful.

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, August 27, 2011

St. Monica, pray for us!

St. Monica, pray for us!
St. Monica

My oldest and I were able to get to daily Mass this morning and what a glorious day to go!!!  The feast of St. Monica-yet another one of my all time favorite Saints.  We also have a little girl having a name day too today!!! :)  Her middle name, but nonetheless wonderful! 


My children like learning about this Saint and how she had such virtue of perseverance in praying for YEARS AND YEARS for her husband (who was full of such temper and violent) and her wayward son (you may know as St. Augustine!: )  Yes, her terrible son turned Saint ~her son!!!

Her life gives mothers such hope! 

Thank you St. Monica for never giving up, for living a life of joy in the midst of turmoil.
Thank you for praying for us, mothers. 
Help us to do all for the Glory of God~ remind us to live a life of selflessness and of great love,
being the heart of our home.
God bless,
Mary

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rain

Finally it is raining!!! :)  We were in desperate need of rain around here.   My biggest boyovertuned the kiddie pool and used it as a super duper 'sombrero'!

We had an earthquake a few days ago-it sure was something!  It was my first 'big' quake since last summer we had a smallish one-and I remember that one so vividly too.

And now we are preparing for Hurricane Irene.
Never a dull momet, huh?

Since it is raining, these days call for some homemade chocolate chip cookies! ;)

God bless,
Mary

Quote of the Day

"Prayer is the oxygen of the soul."
--Padre Pio

One of my favorite Saints ever!!!

God bless,
Mary

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Labour without stopping;
do all the good works you can
while you still have the time."
- St John of God

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How we do it-Chores-Part 2

The main comment or question that I get when I am out with all my kids is...
you guessed it.

"How do you DO it?"
...and... 
"There is noway I could do what you do."

First off, let me tell you something. 

You are right.  Absolutely right. 

There is noway I do it and noway I can do it.  The ONLY way and I mean it, the ONLY way I can do this is with the grace of God.  He is the one that helps me.  He is the one that gives me strength.  He is the one that keeps me forging ahead. 

How does HE do it? 

B/c I ask Him.  I beg Him.  And most of all, I allow HIM to help me.  I pray and I pray some more.

Yes, I fail.  I mess up.  Everyday. 

But yet, I wipe my tears and beg God to give me the graces to get up and try again.

How can I not mention my wonderful husband?  He is always willing to help out and do whatever needs to be done.  He is a super example of a father to our children.

He is always looking for ways to lessen my load.  I could not ask for better!!! He spoils me in his generosity.  I just wish I make him feel as loved and as important as he makes me feel.  He is so awesome.  I thank God for him everyday.
Now, the practical side of how exactly we do it.  And since I am not exactly sure what is meant by "it" but nonetheless, I will try to answer that persistent question. I think it means keeping house.  If not, please let me know.  I will try to answer that in another post.

"It"...=Chores.

Our family is a team.

Everyday we all have our daily chores to accomplish.  There is noway that I could be the housekeeper and tend to this house all by myself and be a calm wife and mom!!!

They each have their own morning chores and then the family's afernoon and evening chores.  The boys also have their outside chore work once a day.

Since you have asked, here are their family afternoon and evening chores... roughly:

10 yr old: Take trash outside -2 cans of trash; sweep kitchen and foyer; empty dishwasher; outside work
9 yr old:  Fold laundry; put dirty dishes into dishwasher; clean up play room and living room
7 yr old:  Laundry switchover, vacuum under dining room table; wipe down walls and doorways w/magic eraser; outside work
5 yr old:  Fold laundry; clear off table after meals
4 yr old:  Put clean utensils away; help fold laundry and help clear off table after meals
2 yr old:  Help other siblings as needed or be w/Momma
6 month old BABY:  Nurse and nap!!! :)

They do these jobs mid afternoon right before or after snack and evening chores right after dinner.
My husband makes sure these are done after dinner too! He is an awesome motivator to our children! :)  He really has that gift and I am always learning so much from him.
I hope that helps clear things up. 

They certainly do not do the best job ever but they sure do a great job for their age! :)  Having a big family helps me to accept their jobs doen to the best of their ability and let go of perfection.  I am just glad I have the help!!!

God bless your weekend,
Mary

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How we do it-- Part 1 *updated*

Oh, yeah, did I tell you that we ditched all TV/Movies? 

Oh, I didn't?

Surprise!!!

Yup, we surely are making this a family lifestyle MAKEOVER lately! :)

I know...I know....don't start.  I know it is odd.  I know we may be missing out on the news.   I know we are missing out on a helper per se..a 'babysitter' of sorts.  I know I might be missing out on some good movies or shows out there.  Can we be any more 'wierd' in the sight of the world, other than having 7 children that make us stand out?
But do you know what else?

Our children are worth it.
We felt compelled to do this. 
We felt God leading us to this decision.
We felt God calling us to this radical decision and who are we to disobey His Will?

It truly has been a radical change in our family.  It is a lot of hard work.  Constantly.  But our children are worth it.  Their souls are worth it.

The big motivator for this decision was the trash all over movies and tv, which is awful.  There is not much uplifting of family life& marriage & children but just the opposite.  If this marriage and family and children is what God upholds as wonderful and beautiful, why would I subject myself or my children to watching those things that are the opposite of what God desires?  When we need to tell our children about something on the news or something that we feel is necessary to, then we will.  We, as parents, will pick the right time to tell them.  We  are their parents, afterall.

The other BIG motivator for this decision for our family was realizing how much time is plainly wasted by watching tv/movies.  When we decided to forge ahead on making this schedule, we were in awe of how much we wanted to accomplish with our God-given time.  Seriously.  We did not want to waste this precious time with our children on this sort of entertainment. 

It is so evident that we made the RIGHT decision.

Since the TV/movies have been off and gone, we have been so much more resourceful.  My kids have shown great growth in creativity.  Some of my kids have really matured in so many ways.  We have instituted "Books on CD" and quiet time in those times that I would have put on a movie, daily.  One of my children, my 4 yr old sweet guy, has been talking so much better, using better words than what I have seen.  We have been spending, and I mean really spending TIME with our children-being present with them.  Not one eye on the tv and one eye on them.  Not the "wait a minute" and I'll be there b/c I really want to see what happens with so and so in this show.  We have found our children focusing on us as much as we are on them.  They are happier b/c we are giving as much as we can to them.  I really think they are feeling better about themselves and feeling the value of themselves in our family b/c God put them here in our family.  B/c we are present to them.  We truly believe it is b/c of no more TV/movies.

(FYI---Of course, if they are sick or if we deem it is necessary, then we are not totally opposed to it.  IF it is educational, then we may feel it is okay.  There are some grey areas for this decision.)

Well, best go now...time to get back to my kids.  We are all enjoying a most beautiful day outside.  My kids are using some boxes on our front lawn making them into air space shuttles and whatever else!  It is quite amusing for my little lady and I to watch.  To the rest of the neighborhood, it looks as if we are having a yard sale!!! haa haa!!! LOL

Go summer!!!!
God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Schedule Thoughts-Part 1

This summer has been flying by so quickly!

 
It is HOT HOT HOT and sunny most days :)  If it rains, it is only a passing shower and it gives me some hope that we can get back outside or to the pool.  This weather is amazing! 

 
The blog, however...uh, as you have noticed probably has been placed on the back burner. 

 
I sure hope you don't mind and hope you are having a fulfilling and fruitful summer as we are! :)

 
I have been super busy with that schedule that I mentioned HERE.

 
It is a super duper, heavy duty, 30 minute time increments of our day.  I hope to, God willing, post in detail about our days and how we are working with it.  That will come with time. 

 
However, I will post today on my overall thoughts on it.

 
Prior to implementing our family schedule, I had some issues at the end of my day.

The biggest things for me were:
  • Why didn't I start my day with prayer?  How did I forget?!
  • Why was I ending my day and wondering what did I accomplish? 
  • Why didn't I get to the things I really wanted or needed to do? 
  • Why didn't my kids get around to doing the things I knew were best for them?

 
I was living in a total reactive mode of parenting

 
I could not get one step ahead of my children and their want/needs/desires.  I could not figure out how to tend to each of our 7 blessings in a way to 'fill up thier love tank' and be the Momma they needed me to be for them and the Momma and wife that God was calling me to be.  Daily. 

 
Days would go by. 

 
Weeks would zoom by. 

 
Months were disappearing in a snap of my finger. 
There was a mental list of things I thought that if I accomplished then it was a good day.  If I didn't get to them, than it was not such a good day. 

 
This way of thinking was not healthy, b/c we know children have their wits about them and God's Will was very prominent. 

The deal was, I was fighting God's will for me and my family. 

It was apparent that I needed to change a diaper (or 2!) or fold the laundry but I was doing this task lacking the much love that it needed and deserved.  I was grudgingly doing these things.  I was wishing that I was off doing something else.  I believe St. Teresa said to 'find God in the pots and pans'.  And that is so true.  In my vocation to motherhood, though, I was not seeing it.  I wanted to, oh, how my desire was to.  BUT, I was kissing this boo-boo, disciplining this child, vacuuming when I should have been reading to my son, or answering my emails or phone eradically when I should have been playing w/ my 2 yr old b/c he wanted me to and on and on and on.  Living in a reactive mode of parenting set me up for a disaster of sorts. 

 
30 minutes is what we have per scheduled activity throughout the day, minus lunch and dinner which is 1 hour each.

 
30 minutes is a very short amount of time. I like that. It is short enough that fights and squabbles may not errupt too badly and long enough to be able to get some stuff done. What I have to get used to is that a little each day goes a long way-we may not finish the whole page of Math for the day and may need to come back to it the following day. This is not how I have ever really done school-it was always to finish a whole page and then Math was done. Not now, it is done at that 30 minute stopping time. That's it. It is growing on me, for I see how excited they are to be done with that subject. They can visualize the 30 mins and they know it is not that long. They opt to get to the scheduled work quicker than me nagging at them to do it (most of the time! :)

 
Now, this 30 minute schedule really freaked me out the first few weeks-thoughts rushed around my head and doubts that it would really work for our family. But, once into practice for a while, it has helped us all tremendously.

 
It makes me think of what Blessed Mother Teresa said:

 
"Do small things with great love."

 
Making a list of things that I wanted and needed to do that entire day was uplifting.  It gave me hope that I could get to reading to my children that I so badly wanted to and all those other things as well, but could not 'find the time' to do it!  Now, when my kids are interested in me reading to them, I tell them that I absolutely will and what time it will be at.  And it gets done.  Period.

 
That's all I have time for today!
God bless your day,
Mary

Monday, August 1, 2011

Afterall, guess I am ok.

This morning was chaotic and hectic, loud and crudeness erupted everywhere! 

Mondays are sometimes like that, right?

That's just to make me feel better, saying that, ya know.  (or maybe not! ha lol). 

If I jotted down (which I was terribly tempted to do) every single crazy and outlandish thing that had happened this morning, I may frighten away any woman out there from having children!!! lol!

Seriously.

I am not kidding, at all.  Nope.

I waited to call my hubby to tell him all my life horror stories from a single morning, a measly 4 hours.  I waited and I was so in dire need of venting.  But I waited.  B/c if your hubby is anything like my hubby, he cares so much and loves so tenderly, that when hearing upon my venting words, he wants to come home, fix whatever needs fixing, and that's that.  And, of course, he is focused on home, --me, and the kids.  Not bad-he's a keeper, for sure.  BUT he is at work.  It is not good to be focused on HOME when he is at WORK.  Someone is making the bread $, and it surely is not me, of course! :)

Anyway, so I finally got him 10 mins before I knew he was heading to noon Mass.  (Good and holy hubby! Love him!)  When I did talk to him, by that time, I was cooled off, recollected, and ready to tackle at least lunch time.  He was proud of how I was handling my self & in control.  Hey, I was too! :)  It was surely God working through me to get me that cooled off place and definitely not me, by myself.  Noway.  (Thank You, God!)

So, now lunch is officially over, and some kidos are napping.  My sweet little lady is napping for the 2nd time IN HER OWN CRIB and NOT IN MY ROOM but the girls room!!! :)  I hope it lasts longer than the 20 min nap this morning (when she usually naps a good 1-2 hours).

My big kids are 'playing school'-I even got them some 'real school books'!!! Phonics for this upcoming year and I am hearing my oldest being the teacher for the 9, 7 and 5yr olds.  They are so cute.  They don't mind starting school already-they are excited to get going-and since we take a longer Advent and Christmas break, this seems to be perfect :)  I was not going to start school till after Labor Day (as in the past 7 yrs) but this year, if they are ready and I have the books, then so am I! :)  By the way, I have had them doing some math manipulates and reading the past 4 plus weeks since we got back from our vacation back in June.  We stopped school at the end of May, took 3 weeks off, then we went on vacation for a week.   I have noticed with my kids that 3 weeks is enough for them of dwadling and having a break.  Their souls, minds, and bodies are ready to be scheduled again. 

Since we have been working diligently on our very strict and quick changing family schedule, we have instituted FAMILY PRAYER TIME 2x a day!  How about that?  I love it!!!  It was always what I wanted to do but could never 'find the time to do it'.  That was my excuse and is was rampant around here.  Not now.  Things have changed.  For the better, I might add.

Feeling it was necessary to show and teach the kids about praying and how God answers our prayers, we began a Family Prayer of Intentions Book.  One of my kids jotted down at lunch, today:

1.  A family member to go to confession
2.  Mom
3.  New Baby

What was that?
 #3???

Nope, we are not expecting (at least not yet that I am aware of !) but I found it so touching that this child would ask for another sibling after a morning this today.  After a morning that held too many regrets on my part of saying too much too flippantly to this child.  Yet, he is asking God for a sibling. 

Wow, this absolutely amazes me. 

I guess I am not so bad of a momma, after all.

All Praise and honor be to God alone.  This is not my doing.

God bless your day!