Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let them sleep!

Everyone has a say in whether or not to let your children sleep in or wake them up to keep on schedule.  For years, we have always woke them up to keep everyone together on schedule.  Most days, most of them were already up anyway.  But what we noticed is how much of a bad mood and cranky and whiny the kids were that we woke up.  Not putting much into this, we just dealt with it.

Fast forward many years later, and we are letting them sleep.

Along with our switchover to all natural/organic foods (which by the way, we LOVE), this has made sleeping actually happen. 

We have always had few good sleepers but I can say that sleep has always been a struggle for us.  My heart would sink when I heard other moms tell me or overhear them say that they have good sleepers or that they have slept through the night ( a whole whopping 8 hours+!).  Granted, there was usually a little baby around that would keep me up and that is not what I am talking about.  I mean all the other kids ages 1+. 

Our bedtime radically got later and later as the kids got second winds and my hubby and I were at our wits end.  We never had time together to talk or read or just watch a little movie.  It was at the moment the last kido fell asleep that our own bedroom light went off too.  Then first thing in the morning, our early birds would be awake needing us.  Where did we get to spend some 'we' time? 

We implemented our family night prayer time by around 7:30ish and put our energy into getting them to sleep and in there beds by 8-8:15pm.   All of them.  That's it.  They get to read till 8:30pm and then LIGHTS OUT for all kids.  If they come out of their rooms or keep their bedroom buddy awake, the consequence is that they get cold yucky oatmeal.  Seriously.  Hey, I am feeding them at least!!!  They decided it they want to eat it and if not, then go hungry.  There is always snack time and lunch.   And this also applies to waking up in the morning, if they wake up their siblings, they still get yucky cold oatmeal.  We have stuck with this and so far, so good.

We decided that it was worth the sacrifices we'd make to put our marriage needs first.  That's that.

With an earlier bedtime, they are sleeping in later.  Weird concept, huh?  My oldest still does not need a lot of sleep (never did!) and that is just his makeup.  He is up early and has always done that, and no way can we change it.  But now, we work with it.

I know it has been studied that kids under 12 need 12 hours of sleep at night.  How many of our kids actually get it?  Mine sure weren't and we were ALL paying the price.

Food and sleep are necessary to live and thrive and we wanted to live well, not just survive.

My oldest is 11 and I wish that I did this sooner, years sooner.  My hope is that a young mom or a mom with youn ones will read this and see the hope :)

Kids need sleep.  Did you hear me?--Kids need sleep!  12 hours is worth the sleep.  Most have an average of only 9 hours of sleep.  No wonder they were cranky and sassy.  Oh my.  I am not attributing all that crankiness  to just sleeping but in my own experience, it has a lot to do with it.  Of course, to everything-there is always exceptions but I would recommend always try to get the sleeping in order and then evaluate.

Hope you have a good nights sleep!
God bless,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Quick Takes Memorial Wknd Edition

1.  A bag full of cheesy old style non-Nerf guns for $1 goes a loooooooooooong way to make little people very giddy and happy! 

2.  Went for the 1st time to a Farmers Market and it was awesome!  Why oh why have I not done this before?  And I know our food will be depleted very in less than 3 or 4 days but oh well!  This food is delicious- we can totally taste the difference. 

3.  My amazing hubby and boys are making some bird houses for me :)  It was supposed to be more of a late mothers day gift and I am so thankful.  So very blessed.  Have I told you how much I love birds?

4.  At that farmers market I bought my first tomato plant of the season.  Should I have bought more?  Not sure! :)  So far, the kidos are liking it a lot and only pulled off ONE tomato.  I told them HANDS OFF MY BOB!

5.   Yes, I said Bob.  I named my fellow plant, BOB.  After Bob the Tomato from Veggie tales :) 

6.  Hand me down clothes are great.  We waited  a very very long time to get a few bags (as in almost over a year, I think) and in those bags was a Bob the Tomato red t-shirt for my 5 yr old teddy bear!!! He loves it and so do I.  Reason why I named my plant  Bob.  Heee heee

7.  I made eggplant Parmesan for dinner tonight and it smells soooooooooo good in here!  My hubby came back from Home depot buying the wood and supplies needed for the bird houses and he was quite happy w/that smell too!  I love to make my man happy with the food I make!!! A little joy for me b/c I love to cook and I made it and for him too  b/c he gets to eat it!

8.  Last year this time we were back in our old stomping grounds up North, spending time w/family and getting ready to run the 20 K for my hubby and my oldest ran the 4K while all my little kidos ran the kids run.  They just don't have a lot of them down here.   Bummmer.... In fact, my hubby was thinking of signing up for a marathon again (tried 3 yrs ago and was up to 22 miles in training w/3 weeks left and hurt both his knees ---poor guy).  They were sold out!  Can you imagine that?!?!?  Only living down here with  this population would a marathon sold out.  gee wiz.

9.  We finished those CAT TESTS!!!!!  Yes!  But I am such a mean mom...b/c I am still making them do school work.  Low key school work and reading but still some to do! :)  Lots of fun ways to learn-games, card games, board games, computer games- all w/ a style of learning and having gun while doing it.  Lots of reading too.  Lots of read alouds and I am going to make some type of a reading worm and have a little competition on who can read the most books in their age group!!! :)
10.    Biggest goal of this summer:  Learn how to SEW!  Sewing machine SEW!!!  I am pretty excited and pretty nervous!  My dream would be to make a quilt with some clothes that my kids out grew that I am sentimental about.  We'll see.

11.  Not sure about joining the pool.  So much immodesty there!!!  But SO hot here!!! HUMID HOT!!!  Praying on that one.  Maybe I'll just buy a big ol TROUGH.  Whatta think? ha! :)  But I am pretty serious.  Kinda.  Yeah.

12.  I gave my kids an end of the school year home school questionnaire and that was totally an inspiration from the Holy Spirit.  It was SO cool!!!  I thought that I knew what they would answer and I think for the most part, I was right on but it was awesome to find out some things that were so surprising!  I loved this!  I am so going to do this every year! :)

Best go now~!!!
God bless, Mary

Friday, May 25, 2012

Those stinkin' squirrels!

Have you ever heard of squirrels getting into the engine of your car/van through some wires.....then have to bring it into the shop and spend over $600 b/c of those darn squirrels?!?!

Me either till it happened to us.

2 days ago.

I started up my van and it shook and it smelt and it rumbled.  Loud.

The mister and I knew something was wrong.

Into the dealer shop it went.  Since the other shops around here that cost a fraction less don't have the capabilities strong enough to hold up our lovely 15 passenger machine massive truck....we have to bring it to the big dogs.

Then we pay.  Pay big!

So it is over and done with.  It is fixed.

But now what to do?

How do I possibly keep those squirrels (or chipmunks or whatever else it could be) away from my van?

God bless,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It has begun!

We couldn't take it any longer....

We started our CAT tests today!  (We ordered them from Seton-click HERE).  So far the kids are doing wonderfully (proud kido, proud momma!) and I think we'll be done with them by tomorrow!

My big kids know that this means the end of their school year officially and my littles get to watch movies all day.  And Momma is done too!!! :)

So, everyone is HAPPY!!!

God bless,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Have you ever teared up or even broke down crying b/c you realized that you, as a Momma, have not loved your children the way they deserve simply b/c you could not do what you wanted to do and knew that would help but could not physcially do it b/c of the many demands of children? 

Have you ever cried so hard that your heart literally ached b/c you have not loved your children enough and it was in your power to do so but selfishly chose not to?

Have you ever?  Have you?

I come to you, in this post, and ask you to pray for me and for all mothers who feel this way. 

So heavy on my heart, these feelings, as I cling to the hope I have in Jesus Christ.  He is my rock.  He is my strength.  He is the One I turn to in hopes of mercy and grace.  He may be the only one to understand this power and deep love.  These thoughts can be quite overwhelming, yet I turn to the Cross.  In the Cross is where I can see the LOVE and the Forgiveness and the Hope.  It is only there that I can begin to understand the depth of sacrificial Love that He shed for me and how I am to LOVE those He gave to me to take care of. 

God bless,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love is...

a call from my wonderful husband to tell me he made it into work OK. 

God knows.

I know.

It's the little things.

Thank You, heavenly Father for the gift of my husband.  May I never take him for granted.

God bless your day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is it me? people just not get together much anymore? 

I have noticed over the past 4-5 years a decline in "play dates" and get togethers for not only mom and tots(which are the most popular) but also for arranging play dates for older kids too.  I also do not mean just the drop off play dates but the "mom comes along too so mom can have some adult interaction and adult talk" play dates.  It makes me wonder if the technology spree has taken over the relationships that people NEED.  We all need people and relationships in our lives, outside of our own family.  Especially the moms, right Moms?   I am tending to think that the Internet, texting, emails, twitter, face book, blogs, forums, IPhones, IPad's and whatever else is out there that I don't know about has taken the place of real live people.   I remember how weird it was when emails came about.  I still would rather talk on the phone than email someone about something. 

It saddens me that our society is okay with this and has let the real human relationship, the sense of community, go by the wayside.   

We (my family and I) are living in a very populated area and there are many very valid reasons to why other moms and kidos don't want to venture out.  Traffic, schooling, clubs/activities and certainly the stress, stress, stress that congestion brings.   Besides the traffic, this would be applicable to any other part of our country too.  Wouldn't you agree that if someone really wants to see another or get their kids together to play and moms to chat, that they would seek them out?  But I wonder if that desire is being fulfilled electronically.

At times, I feel like I have the plague or something!  I had this conversation with a dear friend that lives 8 hours away from me and she feels the same way.  It has to be this electronic world we are living in and not so much the actual location/state we live in.  I have noticed lots of moms feel this way, all in different parts of our country. 

I am not so keen on how this society and world is evolving.  It truly saddens me.

I don't mean to complain but it is something that has been heavy on my heart lately and wanted to share.  I am not sure even how to deal with it or try to change it or if it is possible to change it.  How do I go along with this and enjoy the ride when I feel like I missed the boat?

God bless,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Next year plans

Just writing that title makes me feel a bit uneasy.

Well, it's that time of the year once again when I shutter to think about next year all the while not being done with this year.  I need a break to rest my mind!  But, I am forced to think about it-homeschool circles and friends are all talking about it and reading about it.

I need to seriously examine what worked this year and what did not.
I need to figure out if I am going to stay with my current curriculum/books that we used this year or change completely over to something different, something new.

All these questions and thoughts are not simple!

I could just say... "Well, my kids are passing their CAT tests each year and thats good so if it's not broken, why fix it?"  I could say that, right?  They are learning but I can't agree that is enough. 

That is not being a proactive and pro-thinking teacher...right???

I not only want my children to learn but to LOVE LEARNING.

Each year is different.  Each child is different.  Each child is going into a different school year. 

So, things ARE different so I have to adapt.

More to come on this.....

God bless, Mary

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I can never read this enough times

A mortification in the morning

St. Josemaría Escrivá, the Father and Founder of Opus Dei, tells us:

“The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and ... up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish.” (cf. The Way 206)
Hope you all have a wonderful day glorifying  God with your life!
God bless,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Homeschool Science class for today

Yes, it is as large as my 5 yr old! haa!!!

A few of my kids did such a great job assembling it and learning about the bones.  It's really aimed at the older kidos but my younger ones helped find a few pieces too!  There were 100 pieces so it wasn't that easy.  On the other side of this skeletal system is the other systems:  circulatory, respiratory, digestive etc...

This is my grrrrrrreat find at the thrift store-UNOPENED!- for only $2.90!!! :)

God bless,

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quick Takes May 2012

Not sure where to, it'll be more a 'quick takes' about our life recently.
1.  Just got back from an eye dr. appt for one of my children.  The appt was at 2:35 and we got home by 5:45.  Lovely.  Trying hard not to complain! :)

2.  As for complaining-it's been a bit rampant around here lately.  So, I have instituted a little reminder.  When someone does (me and Daddy included) and if someone else notices, we squeeze our noses b/c....let's face it-COMPLAINING STINKS! haa haaa.  Seriously!

3.  As for the eye dr. appt-they were not too happy with us.  What is up w/that?!?? I mean, it IS a pediatric stinkin' eye doctors-aren't they used to a bit of noise and play?  argh.  The appt went fine.  No glasses needed and all is ok.  (for now, at least!)

4.  We are going green.  As in natural-baby.  Yup, all organic and natural and no preservatives or additives ..yadda yadda yadda.  More $?  You bet.   But not too much more and the GREAT thing is that my kidos are really liking the taste of the new food deal!  Yeah.

5.  Why are we going granola?  Well, for a number of reasons.  The nasty bad food really does affect kids' in bad behavior.  We all feel better and we (as in MOMMMA AND DADDY!) have MORE energy.  And we'll take any extra energy we can get to keep up w/the kids!  They are sleeping!  did you hear me???? SLEEEEEEPING! woohoo!!
6.    We only have 20 more days of school.  we are in the stretch and the kids are lovin' it!  we have made a cute little countdown calender and they are finishing up books as each day passes.  Granted our break will probably only last about 3 weeks (always does!) till the 'free for all' wears off and then they start asking to do school.  Oh, yes, we homeschool.  Another great joy-they ASK to do schoolwork!!!

7.  The kids are all asking God for another baby.  How sweet!!! He has not found that it is in His timing but we are waiting and waiting to see what God has in store for us.  His will be done.

8.  I have some grand plans for the summer. Stay tuned.

9.  I have a "new look" and my hubby loves it.  As in LOVES it!!! :)  My hair is down almost every day and it is straight!! :)  Thank God for those FLAT IRONS!!! :)  I never used one before and now I think I'll never go without it!

10.  I am still trying to keep up w/exercise and walking a few times a week.  We had some nasty humid days so I didn't even venture out.  But now it has been so lovely-I don't want to come in!

11.   I was at a new store last week w/ ALL THE KIDS (remember I hate to go food shopping w/the kids!?!? yeah...) I went with them and we literally had a caravan.  Just about all the customers stopped and looked and looked and looked.  I am pretty used to a look, a glance, a smile and the shocked looks but this was WAY over the top!  Some of the people were literally like yelling.  It was so embarrassing.  My kids all looked at me with bugged out eyes like "What's the big deal?" haaaahaa

12.  This past weekend, 2 of my kids made their 1st Holy Communion.  It was beautiful.  Amazing and sweet.  I loved this weekend.  We had both sets of grandparents here to join us.  Couldn't get better than that.  Now they are gone and we're all a bit sad.  Being so far from family is SO hard....

God bless you and your families,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

1st Holy Communion prep

Yes, I am still here :)
We are in the midst of preparing for 1st Holy Communion for 2 of my kids this Saturday! :)

It is a great time, albeit a bit overwhelming, but so wonderful.

Thanks to Minnesota Mom for the super First Holy Communion Novena that we are praying in preparation for the big day.

My oldest will also be an altar server which he is elated about.  This innocent joy they all exude is so contagious!

Lord, help me prepare their hearts to receive you in such a special way in only a few days!  Help us not to be wrapped up in all the exterior things that go along w/celebrations (clean house, good food etc...) and help me to focus again on receiving You in a special way..each time I receive You.  All our patron saints, pray for us!  All our guardian angels, pray for us!
God bless,