Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Resident Artiste

One thing I have learned after having several boys and girls, you cannot make statements like, "Well, you know boys always do this." or "Well, she's a girl so she will like this." Nope. Now there are a few constants per sex, but as it turns out, each child that God brings to us is in fact quite a unique little package.

My first two boys took little to no interest in the business of coloring. I can remember being annoyed when waiters would act as though they had saved my life by bringing me a piece of paper and some crayons for my rowdy, squirming boys. "Great!" I would think to myself, "That will occupy him for all of a milisecond, and only because he will try to eat it." My oldest son is more of a sculptor, with legos. Although there have been a couple of times where he was so passionate about something that he sat down and drew an exact replica of it. Like the dragon, "Toothless", in How to Train Your Dragon.

Then Angel Boy was born.

I have never seen a baby boy, or girl for that matter, be as obsessed with "cuddering" as he calls it, as this boy is.

 He wakes up and eats, he goes to color. 

He wakes up from his nap, he goes to color.

During schooltime, he is SUPER easy to occupy, because all he does is color. Everything.
Including people's schoolwork, but my answer is always, "You can still write on it!"
You see those masterpieces on the floor? Just getting started.

Unfortunately, his works of art are not restricted to just plain old paper. 

We used to be the crayon police. If you leave crayons out for Angel Boy, you die. But he would ALWAYS find that one little quarter of a piece of crayon wedged between the cushions in the couch. So, we let go of all control, as any sane and rational parent would do. 
And when I went to shop at a consignment sale tonight with my mom, guess what outfit I couldn't resist? 

Might as well embrace it to the fullest. 
I don't know, but I believe he gets alot of his ideas and inspirations from quiet time in here.

Shhh. There's an artiste at work in there. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Corporal Works of Mercy in Your Home

Several years ago, (I am losing track of time with each baby so, I have no idea how far back it was, so I figured "several years ago" would be a safe statement), Several years ago I went to a Catholic Women's Conference. There was a speaker by the name of "So-In-So" who really made an impression on me. Really. She started talking about the day to day life of motherhood, the humdrum chores you do every day, and compared them to the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Some moms, not me of course, but some moms make a gourmet breakfast, hopelessly work through piles of laundry, teach, wipe, feed, clean, kiss boo boos, teach, wipe, feed, clean, wait, did I already say that? and then somehow, feel inadequate. Like maybe they are not contributing enough to the Church or to society.

So, I am going to enlighten you, as this dear woman did for me, whose name I can't remember who was a speaker at that conference I can't remember when it was. :)

Drumroll please.....

Feed the Hungry
Feed the Hungry

Give Drink to the Thirsty
Give Drink to the Thirsty

Shelter the Homeless
Shelter the Homeless

Clothe the Naked
Clothe the Naked

Visit the Sick

Visit those in Prison

Wake the Dead

or is that Bury the Dead? oh well.

Don't try to save the world, moms, you are doing just that!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Boy Changes the Whole Experience

Trying to get everything done around here can be maddening at times. Although I have learned to ask for help a lot more often, my husband still gets on to me about delegating chores so I don't lose my mind. I am unable to do a lot of the water chores because of my skin. I was having one of my girls wash most of the dishes while the other loads because frankly, as my grandmother used to say when she wanted to influence someone to do something, "they are just SO GOOD at it!" but it seemed like too big a job for one, even as efficient as the Queen, so my oldest son has been pitching in in the middle of the day. He adds a whole new element to the affair.

I had put a few jars of chicken gravy that had been saved a little too long with no date in the sink and he stops the water and comes in where I am with a big smile on his face. "What?" I ask. "It's almost kind of fun. Like releasing a creature! It comes FLYING out and then bounces on the bottom of the sink!" He's back at the sink and "EW!" with laughter. "It just got all over me!" Who knew washing dishes could be such an adventure eh?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

Clan Donaldson posted this idea in a recent blog from another blogger, Rambling Follower, and while I have spent the last ten minutes thinking, "Oh no! My kids don't know that!" and "My parents don't know that!" this is as revealing as it gets. I borrowed some of these from a Facebook post I made a long time ago and added some new ones. So drumroll, Ahem.

1. I used to wear boots from my bed to the bathroom every night as a child for fear of creepy crawly things. My mom called them "bug boots". In my defense, because my bathroom was connected to the kitchen by vent, bugs seemed to be drawn to it. I also had a whole drawer of "nighttime"socks. Argyle.

2. I played the part of "Ernestina" in Hello Dolly in highschool.

3. I started writing music at 11 or 12 and tried making amateur recordings on my parents Karyoke machine.

4. I am related to Eddie Albert, the guy on "Green Acres".

5. I went to a Christian Athletic camp in the summer for 7 years and majored in Dance, but other than that "sport", have no interest in sports and am not athletically inclined.

6. My son says when ever I tap something like a spoon on a pot, I always do it to a rhythm.

7. I was a rebellious teenager, and my mother is a saint.

8. I am severely allergic to any animal with feathers or fur, but thanks to my neighbor who has more pets than anyone I have ever known, I have had the practice of painting 3 animal portraits now, soon to work on a 4th.

9. I began playing guitar and singing at an early age, but didn't know how to read music until I was forced to in Music School in College. They also required that I learn to play the piano. which I am grateful for now.

10. I pierced my own ears with a needle and some ice cubes when I was 11 or 12 years old. 

We're All in the Same Boat

   I figure, if this is a blog about my family life, occassionally, the "beauty" aspect of it has to be disguised with a teensy bit of ugliness. Because even in the ugliest of ugliness, there is beauty if you look close enough.

  We just got through the worst of a stomach bug, and it may not be over yet so I hear, but for now there are lots of grateful smiling people to be getting a break from the mess, mommy most of all. I promise no gory details, but I had to share a few photos. Come now, be brave. I did promise no gory details right? Trust me.

  After I slept in the playroom with 5 year old boy mainly because as much as his daddy and I repeated instructions about "How to vomit properly" he still didn't pick up on it. Ok, I promise that is the only time I will use the word "vomit", well almost the only time. I did have to use it just then. Anyway, so I came down the stairs and the first thing I saw was this.

Then this.

Then I got a full report from Princess who helped me ALL day as she somehow managed to avoid getting sick altogether. She flitted and floated here and there taking over the household. Because of my oldest son's diabetes, when he gets sick especially this kind, he requires constant surveillance. He also happens to have the most sensitive stomach and when he gets a stomach bug it hits him HARD. Every time I went up the stairs to check on him, test his blood sugar, or bring him water or whatever, I felt more and more sick myself, and would sit on the boys bed for a minute and just rest my head in my hands. I opened my eyes to see this book on the floor right in front of me.
We're All in the Same Boat

Hilarious right?  God has a sense of humor. Except this was nooooo cruiseship.

Someone once told me that children are too young to understand the concept of Redemptive Suffering. Well, I disagree. After Princess watched her suffering siblings and parents all day she made everyone this card.

Now, you all are just going to have to expect a religious analogy out of this. I just can't help myself. Call it a weird addiction. When you are part of a family, you have to go through "good times and bad" together. When one person suffers we all suffer. So it is in the Church. Your sufferings, your baggage, even your sin, is not just yours. In the same token, your joys, your gifts, your blessings are all a part of the Body of Christ.

We are all in the same boat.

I just have one question.

Where the heck is MY sign?!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Little Sacrifices

This is a post I never finished before Christmas but couldn't let it slip away! Enjoy.

We have a great series of books that are honestly my favorite thing we have purchased in my catholic homeschooling years thus far. They are called "Catholic Children's Treasure Box".

Anyway, I love them mainly for the little stories at the beginning. There is a whole series on St. Therése as a little girl and then another series on Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, and stories about their life. I also love them for the art work, very old fashioned, but endearing to children.

Catholic Children's Treasure Box

The series about St. Therése as a little girl tells a story about how her sister made some sacrifice beads for her and explained them to her one day. She said she could offer up little sacrifices, like prayers, for love of God all day, and pull a bead over, making little presents for God. Therése began to practice this often, even as a small child, she would not insist on her way for instance when she wanted something and offer it up. A while back we made these beads and talked about it in a co-op group we are in. But after some time they got put away in a drawer.

Well, one of the girls has rediscovered this little habit and they both started using them today. The ironic thing is, truth be known, I have been letting the stress of Christmas prep get the better of me, a little. The cranky demon has surfaced a few times. I keep finding myself overwhelmed with tasks and piling more on myself. But the kids? "Mom, can I help with that?" "Mom, I want to make lots of presents for baby Jesus!" "Mom, is something wrong? You seem upset." "I'll do that for you mom." Sometimes I feel like I am the child in this house, being taught and that God making me a mother was just the best way for me to learn how to be a big girl. It is a lot easier for me to learn from a child, I think, which is why God gave me 5 teachers. So, I guess I need to go make my own sacrifice beads.

My Kids Are Smarter Than Me. (Shhhhh!)

I have a tendency to try to juggle a teensy bit too much, and sometimes I drop the ball, or lose my marbles, or just my temper, ahem. I am currently experiencing an overwhelming overflow of laundry coinciding with an underwhelming committment from my "efficient" washer to perform efficiently. It has sort of thrown me into a "Must. Get. Done." mode with regards to pretty much everything, sort of a survival mode. Today as we took a break from homeschooling for lunch, I remembered there was a book, Stories of Don Bosco I had been reading to the kids out loud and wanted to work that in. So I announced, "I will be reading to you as I am making eggs!" and my oldest son in his most announcer type voice says, "Coming LIVE from the circus, it's "Mom" who will be reading from a book, cooking eggs, AND jumping on one foot while holding a baloon! Come and see for yourselves!" I guess he pretty much painted a picture of how ridiculous this idea was. Well?! I did have to add a few dramatic pauses, but I got several chapters in! Some unexpected events also occured within the span of our school day. A rather intense conversation regarding the state of our country, and an emergency last minute valentine-making session, that ended up taking 30ish minutes. So when the Queen came to me, looking like a wet puppy saying she had 3 subjects left at 4:30, I expressed a little bit of dislike. Perhaps with a touch of irritable-ness....and my eyes maaaaay have rolled involuntarily as they have been known to do. Not sure. She reminds me of those unexpected events that occured and how they maaaay have affected her ability to finish at a normal time. Still being unreasonable,....I..I mean hard to convince, she repeats one of the main principles of the formation group I belong to (Disciples of Jesus and Mary) "Well, everything that happened today happened for a reason, so what's the big deal?!" Who made her the smarty pants of the day? I hardly EVER get to wear the smarty pants!! It's not fair. Wah.   

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Funny Quotes

I honestly think if I just wrote down what people say in this house every day I would have a hilarious book on my hands, if I ever had the time. Here's just some highlights anyway.

In English I am pulling teeth to get Princess to write a sentence with a proper noun and she says, "you say it doesn't have to be true, right?  JI loves the saints!" (visualize mom's scowling face)

5 yr. old :  "Mom, I hate graham crackers, because I hate graham crackers in our house, they make me NERVOUS."

Princess: "I used to think I wanted the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for my mansion in heaven, but then after I saw the Biltmore mansion, I wanted that instead."

Oldest Son: "Grandmommy knows just how far to go without going over the top."

My Husband to my oldest: "Just so you know, people in this family have a tendency to use permanent markers and then change their minds."

And this is my favorite of the week....

The subject of judgement day came up and as we were discussing what scripture says about it, Princess rolls her eyes a bit and says, "Well, I guess we won't get any snacks!" Me: "What?! What do snacks have to do with Judgement day?" Princess: "Well, I guess there won't be much time for snacks with all that judging going on!"

My husband and I had alot of fun with this one. Can't you just see it? Angels going around with trays of refreshments and drinks on Judgement Day...but I guess only the "sheep" would get them. Unless you could ask for your snack before the judgement was made. Goats better get them while you can! Because pretty soon...NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!
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