Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ooooohhhh, the first snowfall of the winter....

Its' weird to even think's still something like 65 degrees outside right now! But the word on the street is that there is a cold front moving in tonight and we are under a winter storm warning for freezing rain/sleet turning into several inches of snow. The kids are absolutely ecstatic. We don't get a whole lot of snow here most winters....last year we didn't really get any accumulation at all. Best of all, their winter boots from Land's End arrived yesterday, and we finally got around to picking up some snow gloves for Maria today, so they are all set. I do wish I had more "power outage friendly foods" on hand though! We do have plenty of diapers and toilet paper though, so that's something...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

For us, at least. When you have a family full of nurses, you get used to celebrating holidays on the fly. Thanksgiving is one that we always celebrate a little off-calendar. John works Thanksgiving and New Years so that he can have Christmas off. He's not working today, so we are making our turkey dinner today. On the menu---

Turkey, of course, and gravy
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes with fresh cranberries
Green bean casserole
Cranberry sauce
Seven layer salad
Pecan pie
Pumpkin pie

Tomorrow I will travel with the children to have Thanksgiving with my family. My parents are domestic members of Little Portion Hermitage and live practically next door to the monastery . It has become our tradition to join them at the Hermitage for Thanksgiving dinner.

We thank God for our tremendous blessings this year, especially for the gift of having Kain with us.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Maria as St. Kateri

Here, finally, a pic from our All Saints Day party...thank goodness for friends with digital cameras!
Tying all those beads onto that fringe...whoo! What a job! We all worked on it, John, Maria, and me. It was worth it,,,it came out *so* cute. And now it lives upstairs in the dress-up box. The "heavenly" background is courtesy of one of the mom's in my wonderful homeschool group.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

and speaking of being behind

Here's a revealing statement that will chill the hearts of all you curriculum-ites out there. We are only on WEEK 6 of our syllabus. That's right people. Week 6. We are *supposed* to be on week 11. haha! What lofty goals I had over the summer! Week 11 by Thanksgiving, what giddy idealizations! But, here we sit on week 6. No big catastrophes, just countless smaller ones combined with days where mom said ", we have *got* to take the day off and get this house together"...not to mention days taken off to go on fun field trips and play days with friends. Ah's ok, really. This is our 4th year homeschooling, and this happens *every* *year*. We start in September and we finish when we finish. This pretty much means that we school year-round. I had planned on quitting for a long break after week 11, but now we will keep going as best we can until Christmas Eve and take off until after Epiphany.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Who are these people....

that homeschool a dozen kids, bake homemade bread everyday, and are busily knitting exquisitely crafted homemade Christmas gifts????! Am I missing out on some kind of "homeschooling gene", or even "homeschooling drug" here? I have three kids and struggle to make time to SHOWER, ok? My house is ALWAYS a mess, we are ALWAYS behind on school work...we do love baking and crafting but it sure doesn' t happen nearly as often as it seems to happen for these people...and our big Christmas craft last year involved glitter, wax paper, and a lot of Elmer's glue. I was picking glitter out of my children's heads for a month. HOW do these moms manage to do all of these things? It just doesn't seem mathematically possible to fit so much into a day. Well, I figure my appearance on the homeschool-blog scene is to provide the same service that my appearance at the public pool make all of YOU feel better. I am flawed, I struggle mightily to keep all the balls in the air, I am no super-mom...and yet we are all well-fed and in clean clothing. We might have been fed frozen pizza, and our clean clothing might have been dug out of the giant "clean laundry pile" in my bedroom....but we are healthy, happy, and we enjoy each other immensely. And you best of all, you will rarely find this blog to be guilt-inducing for you, dear reader.

Jack's shiner

Jack has a black eye. It is most alarming...and even more alarming is that I'm not quite sure how it happened. He just kind of...fell. I mean, I actually saw him fall, it was one of those stumble-over-your-own-feet kind of things, no doubt brought on by the fact that it is, after all, "co-op day", also known as "no-nap day". He didn't seem to fall especially hard. I was kind of surprised when he started crying as hard as he did, and even more surprised when I picked him up and saw a bloody eye. He cut a nice gash into his right eyelid with...something! I guess he fell against the molding? Or maybe hit that cd case on the floor just so? In any case, it bled quite a while and quickly swelled and turned a lovely shade of purple. It'll definitely be one of those "nasty looks in Walmart" injuries...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kain Amadeus is baptised

I feel like we have accomplished a big hurdle. I am not a real "mystical" person generally, but I really felt like we were fighting the devil to get this far! Now, just 2 years of PSR and he can receive first communion, lol.
Normally baptisms are done during mass, but because of Kain's attention/social behaviors we opted to do it privately with just our family/friends. I was hesitant to do it this way, but I'm very glad we did. Kain was extremely excited...came bounding out of the bedroom this morning, "Hey, Aunt Mel, I'm getting baptized today!" and was wound up tight all day long. He was literally rolling down the ailse while we waited for Fr. Mike, and his romping around the big baptismal font almost got him a baptism by immersion. We tried mightily to keep him as calm as possible. I even took him into the adoration chapel for a little chat/prayer, just the two of us before we got started, to try and settle him a little bit, but he was a wild man anyway. My mom is going to have her pictures put on cd-rom for me so I can post them. They are hysterical! Most of the pictures show me holding Kain by the shoulders tightly while he is obviously trying to pull away, my face alternating between pained expressions and fighting back laughter. Fr. Mike was very patient and had a good sense of humor about it all. No one was bothered too much by his behavior, and that was mostly why I was very glad it was done privately. We surely would have been quite stressed to do this in front of a crowd during mass! Kain was very excited with the little white "garment" and candle given to him as well. ("Aunt Mel, there's a little bird on it!") It will be a long time before I get those from him to put safely away. We came back home to lunch, cake and ice cream, and a few presents too. It was a special day.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Um,,,it's November, right?

We have a high of 84 degrees here today. 84 degrees! How can you do school when it's 84 degrees in November? It's almost HOT outside! And we are enjoying it...because a cold front is moving in tomorrow! And surely, surely there will be no more weather like this before spring!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"let's watch the polls close!"

We are official geeks. We don't watch sports, ever, in our house. No interest from anyone whatsoever. We are usually surprised to find out that it is Superbowl Sunday, and we often have no idea who is playing. Polls closing though, now that's entertainment. John is going to pick up a dessert to eat while we watch the polls close. Go vote, there's still time!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

a tale of two eaters

I have a picky eater. This is most irritating to me. My first child is a fabulous eater...always has been. She loves veggies, she tries new foods willingly...she digs up weird looking stuff in the produce section and asks if she can try it. She whines for me to buy fresh aspargus and artichokes. She loves fresh spinach salads and turnip greens. I *love* that she is such a good eater. My two much-younger brothers were terrible eaters well into their teens. I have irritating memories of them pouting and refusing to eat at any restaurant that didn't have chicken nuggests on the menu. I swore that would never be my child, and I held Maria up as evidence that kids *can* love a variety of foods, and of course I chalked this up to my superb parenting. And then I had Jack. Jack, to my knowledge, has never actually eaten a vegetable...unless you count french fries as a vegetable. A few have crossed his lips when I've managed to sneak them in, but he promptly spews them back out. If you put a vegetable on his high chair tray, he will grab your hand and place it back on your palm. I can list the foods he will eat.

ice cream
mac and cheese
scrambled eggs
peanut butter sandwiches
crackers (of the saltine, tortilla chip, and goldfish variety)

I really think that's it. Oh, and french fries of course. I am at a loss. He seems to be getting more picky instead of less! He used to eat spaghetti, chicken, apples,,,he won't now. No vegetables, ever. I think he ate pureed sweet potatoes a couple of times as a baby, but that's it. He seems to have an especially deep affinity for junk food too. He sniffs at and usually turns down almost anything you offer him, but if the food up for grabs happens to be a cookie or cracker of any kind he will barely glance at it before shoving it in his mouth. It always baffled me when he was a younger toddler that he would regard almost any food I pushed at him as suspicious and usually refuse to eat it, but later that same afternoon while at the park I'd be fishing cigarette butts and bugs out of his mouth. No accounting for taste....