Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday morning, 'If you Give Mouse a Cookie' style

If you go with your husband to get his blood drawn at 7 am (because two times ago he passed out, and your 12 year old daughter was there to witness it), you might decide to put your sneakers on on the way out the door because, after all, as long as you're out, you might as well go to the gym. [and you might be late meeting your husband, who left ahead of you to get in line at the lab though because your 8 year old was up already discussing up coming auditions for the next play, so you might not even brush your hair...or your teeth]

You might make it in time to watch your husband do just fine getting his blood drawn (because he lays down now when they do it). And you might get to the quiet, uncrowded gym and make it through the arm and stomach weights and 25 minutes on the elliptical.

But when you start your car you realize the gas light has been on for a while, so you head to the gas station and fill up.

On the way to the gas station, you might notice that it is 8:40 and since you're out anyway, it might be a good day to make it to daily Mass. You call your kids and while none of them has really started on anything productive without you, they sound fine and are eating breakfast, so you tell them you're going to church and will be home in about 45 minutes.

After Mass you chat with friends for another half an hour, solving the problems of the world today.

Back in the car, you check your phone, no missed calls (this is a good thing). While reaching for the phone you notice some very overdue library CDs that you and the kids haven't even listened to (not such a good thing). Now is as good of a time as any to return them to the library.

When you pull into the library parking lot, you see all the voting signs and might even consider early voting except that you have no idea who you are voting for, so you brush that thought away. You do however see an old friend whom you haven't seen in over a year. You oogle enviously over her new baby and catch up on a year's worth of news about her growing family.

Your stomach growls all the way home because it is now after 10:30 and you still haven't eaten breakfast.

You come home to lots of "what took you so long?"s. Throw some kefir, frozen banana, chocolate instant breakfast, and dark chocolate peanutbutter in the blender. Drink it down in 3 seconds flat and find that the computer is empty so you can share your funny story with the one or two people left out there who still read your blog.

Now it's 11:00, time to start the day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I was tagged

Oneblessedmamma tagged me with these questions over a week ago and I'm finally getting around to answering them...

1) Do you have a favorite recipe or meal from when you were a child?

Mugga's chicken soup is what is especially sticking in my mind.

2) On that same thread, are there any meals you HATED growing up?

TUNA...still do! Actually I was never made to eat it and don't ever plan to!

3) I'm on a food kick, but question #1 made me think of this- what is your favorite Christmas cookie or treat?

Jello cookies (Pastel Fruit cookies) are a tradition that I am pretty sure I've made every year of my life since I was about 5. While yummy, they aren't necessarily my FAVORITE cookie, but generally speaking I've never met a Christmas cookie that I didn't like, and my favorite depends on my mood.

4) What is your favorite bit of child rearing/homeschooling wisdom?

Not to stress so much in the early years. As I've said before when we first started homeschooling, I thought of us as "unschoolers". As Jonathan and Madi got older, I began to realize that we fit more into the "delayed academics" camp. Jonathan didn't really learn to read until he was seven or eight (which seemed so old then, but looking back isn't really that old!). We had a life style of learning and always had tons of library books out (still do), we talked and read all the time (still do), and played lots of games (still do). We never did a language arts curriculum, with the exception of a little oral First Language Lessons the year that we lived at the rental house (if and when Jake napped). Jonathan is now taking High School English 1 on he is on pace and has a 98%. On our monthly call the other day the teacher told me he really should plan to do the "Honors" component of the class because she is sure it will be no problem for him and colleges really like that. I was sure to mention to her that we've always homeschooled and pretty much never done "English" before now. So my advice is with your kids, talk to them, play games with them, go on all the fun field trips, spend lots of time with friends, go outside...these are the things that give a real education. I've always given this advice, now I have a little proof to show that it works!

5) What song did you and your spouse dance to at your wedding?

I Swear by John Michael Mongomery then the wedding party joined us for Can You feel the Love Tonight by Elton John

This question was so fitting because I justlast week,was thinking that I didn't know what songs my local friends danced to at their weddings. I was thinking it because I had heard a song that a college friend danced to at her wedding and was thinking how I always think of people when I hear their wedding songs (or other songs that remind me of them).

*there is something weird going on with this computer and I realize I didn't put a space between just and last, but I can't fix it*

6) If you could live anywhere (in the USA), where would you live and why?

Right exactly where I live, but we'd have real grass in our yard and hard wood floors.

7) What is your favorite book SERIES?

Gotta be Harry Potter!

8) What's your favorite book genre, and a surprise favorite from it?

Is Nicholas Sparks a genre? I love his books. The newest one was especially good which was a slight surprise because the Last Song was probably my least favorite of his. I really liked Three Weeks with My Brother which was non-fiction and more of a memoir.

Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes

For more 7 quick takes go here.

1. I never seem to post anymore. I am rarely on the real computer anymore. Between the kids being on here with their virtual school and me with my quick checks on my ipod, it's just not happening.

2. We got a dog this week!! Our dear friends who moved to Kentucky, who we miss terribly, needed to find a new home for their Welsh Crogi, Mickey, and our home was it! We "dogsat" Mickey last winter and fell in love with him then. He seems to be adjusting to us really well. (and us to him, although the picking up of poop is a little adjustment) Mike stayed home from work yesterday and put up considerably more of the fence. His goal is to have it completely done by Thanksgiving (we've got to be realistic).

3. It is show week, last night was opening night for the Wizard of Oz, and I wasn't there to see it. This is strange. The kids are not in this play because we were away in the end of August and beginning of Sept. Jonathan is doing the lights and Madi is the "bench manager" (as she likes to call herself) and the legs of the Wicked Witch of the East (the one that the house falls on). I did my part for opening night though besides the requisite brownie baking, I got to babysit Landon. We had a good night. I will watch the show tonight.

4. Jake turned 8 on Tuesday! We've been celebrating all week, including trips to Disney on Monday with friends, and Wednesday with Meme and Grampa Carlie. He's also having a small, small boy sleepover on the 5th.

5. Meme and Grampa Carlie gave Jake a pogo stick for his birthday. His record is already 225 jumps in a row, and he can also do it with no hands.

6. Generally speaking school is going well this year. Homeschooling high school is a whole new ball of wax and there is a lot to catch up on when a week includes two days at Disney. This is especially true of the virtual school classes. Jonathan is defintely the busiest one in the family. As I am writing this, I am also helping him to correct a Science test. Jake's schoolwork is going pretty well. I am really liking Catholic Heritage second grade for him. In a pinch he can get his core work done in an hour. Then he's free to analyze trivia about the presidents, perform his latest Veggie Tales show, or "pogo", he's nothing if not well rounded. Madi is still enjoying her virtual school classes (art and science) and is liking the CHC 7th grade stuff that she is doing too. The three of them are doing Ancient History together and will be taking a test on Ancient China in a few minutes. I haven't really amped it up for Jonathan's high school credit yet, there are only so many hours in the day. I do plan to have him read a lot of ancient stories, and we do have a collection of Henty books on CD, but we need to be home more to fit all of this stuff in. Less facebook probably wouldn't hurt either of us also!

7. Mike and I are really happy to be hosting a small Catholic group in our home on Monday nights. It is a program called Why Catholic by Renew International. It is a four year study, each "year" consisting of 6 sessions in the fall and 6 in the spring. We were blessed with a really great group, and I know these 6 weeks are going to fly by way too fast!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Major picture catch up

A thousand(+) dollar smile!!

FIFTEEN!! Jonathan's got new glasses, and he's got a thousand(+) dollar smile too!

A visit to Hidden Waters Preserve where OBM's daughter found Jake's shoe that was swallowed up by the quicksand from almost a year and a half ago!!

There's an owl up there somewhere...

The boys watching the fence materials being dropped off in our driveway...

Jonathan on his 15th birthday...

What every little boy does on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom...takes the US Presidents Quiz on mom's ipod!

A visit from our little buddy Aaron from New Hampshire...

More fun with the Doyles...

A night on the beach...

The perfect shirt for Jake!!

Night of Joy...

A delicious meal in "France" (EPCOT)

At the bus stop Disney camping style...

Orlando Rep field trip...

Science Center field trip...

The morning after the sleepover

Also known as the semi-annual "Aren't you worried about socializaton?" post...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Harvest Spice Muffins

I found this recipe when I was "blog hopping" and made these last night. YY--UUMMM!!

We didn't have the baby food so I used apple sauce.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup pear baby food
1 cup squash baby food
3 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients. (I use a giant whisk). In separate bowl, beat eggs; add oil and sugar; cream together. (I do this in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.) Stir in pears and squash and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Spoon into 24 muffin cups (sprayed with Pam or lined with paper cups). Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Test with a toothpick or cake tester.

I just mixed some cream cheese with vanilla, milk and powdered sugar for a little frosting to make them extra yummy. They are good without the frosting too (well, according to Mike they are, I only had them with frosting:)!)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

lots of stuff

Fifteen years ago tonight, right around this time, Mike and I rushed our three day old baby to the ER. He was extremely jaundiced, he had barely woken or nursed all day. We'd been to the pediatrician and the lactation consultant where we finally got him to drink some expressed breastmilk from a bottle. It was a little too late. He began having seizures while we were still there. When we got to the ER, his blood sugar was so low it was undetectable. His bilirubin was very high and he was dehydrated. His hemoglobin was high (which is healthy and normal in newborns), but that combined with the dehyration made his blood very thick and it slowed to a stop in the right rear corner of his brain resulting in a stoke. It's not terribly hard for me to remember this. Both in the sense that I remember it like it was yesterday, and it is not really a painful memory anymore. For one thing, Jonathan is pretty near perfect (in the way that any 15 year old can be) right now. For another, he quickly changed from the tiny infant that he was to a chubby baby and toddler to a preschooler obsessed with the garbage man and so on and so on until he became the (dare I say) man he is today. When I look at his face, I can't even see the baby that he was. In my heart, though, I will never forget. Those early days of parenting made us what we are today, and without those days who knows where we'd be. Those first few weeks, we spent a few days in ICU followed by a few more days in a regular hospital room. We learned how to bond with our brand new baby in the hospital. On the first night back in the hospital I tried to imagine everything turning out OK. I realized we didn't just have a sick baby, we had a baby! While part of me was frantic, I distinctly remember another part of me daring to dream that our baby would grow up. In those days the vision I had of him "grown up" was a toddler running in the waves on the beach. Little did I know he wouldn't stop there, he'd keep growing, I never even dared to imagine how awesome parenting would be. (awesome is not really the word I was looking for, but it seems to be the best I can come up with, I don't mean awesome just as great, as much as I mean full of awe)

Tonight we had a nice family meal (a roast with potatoes and carrots that cooked in the crock pot all day). Then Jake and Madi went outside to play cops and robbers with the neighbors. The sun was setting. I talked to Jonathan about some of his schoolwork, I chatted with Mike while I cleaned up the kitchen. Mike and Jonathan then went to Lowes to order the materials for our future fence (for our future dog). Somewhere in the middle of all this I remembered that night 15 years ago. This life right here is the one I couldn't even dare to imagine back then.

Three years ago we were in the middle of another major health crisis. That memory is still not an easy one for me (even though I remember it like it was yesterday too). That one I still can't write about (go to the beginning of my blog if you don't know what I'm talking about). Even though to this day I want to throw up when I think about it. That experience is also part of who and what we are as a family. On Monday night a small group Catholic faith study will start at our house. Mike and I will be the faciliators. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be happening without that horrific experience. Whatever stuggles you are going through right now, whether they are major or minor, they are forming the future you. It might really stink in the middle of it, but just wait to see what God has in store for you on the other side.

Incidently, October 2nd (Jonathan's birthday and the date that Mike almost died) is the Feast of Guardian Angels. Coincidence? I think not!

Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God, My Guardian Dear
to whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard and rule and guide.


Friday, October 1, 2010

October daybook

For tonight Friday October 1st from a La Quinta Inn near Tampa

Outside My Window...there is a bright spotlight shining right in my eyes.

It is dark out.

I am Listening to...Jake and Madi in the room next door playing with our little friend Aaron (4) who is visiting us from New Hampshire. His dad and Mike are at a Rush concert tonight and Jonathan talking to himself while he does his Geometry.

I am Wearing...jammies that I put on at 6:30. You know you're old when you'd rather put on jammies, read books and catch up on blogs than be out at a concert. (Especially when you have kids old enough to take care of themselves and any extra kids that might be joining you so that you can have time to read and blog.) Incidently, most of the time, I would rather be at a concert, but not tonight.

I am Thankful...for my big strong healthy oldest son who will turn FIFTEEN tomorrow!

I'm Pondering...the fact that I am old enough to have a FIFTEEN year old son.

I am Reading...Take One by Karen Kingsbury still, but I will finish it tonight.

From Netflix...still Family Ties Season 1, we're on disk 4 now. We are also watching a lot of Liberty's Kids which is a "watch instantly".

I am Thinking...about how much I love October in Florida (and November, December, January, etc)

On my iPod...Jonathan's got Fahrenheit 451 downloaded on there for his English class. It is time for him to buy his own ipod!

Towards a Real Education...we didn't do so well at managing real life and taking part in Cindy's Disney vacation simultaneously. Jonathan's online classes suffered the most (because you can't do those in the car or at the pool). Therefore, he is working away here on a Friday night the eve of his FIFTEENTH birthday.

I am Hoping and Praying...for health for my family. Three years ago this week Mike almost died. He looks at it in a positive light, but I still have trouble with it. (and FIFTEEN years ago this week our 3 day old infant suffered a stroke. Despite being behind in his Spanish class, he does really well even if he does only use 3/4 of his brain.)

In the Garden...ugh! We spread some grass seed among the weeds. We have the worst soil (and I use that term loosely) in the world. We are getting ready to put up a fence in preparation for a...wait for it... DOG! Friends of ours who moved away this summer (and we miss them every single day) are giving us their Welsh Corgy (is that how you spell that?) his name is Mickey. He will arrive in a few weeks.

Around the House...the AC is off! (of course we aren't there right now, but I think we are done with it for the year!)

From the Kitchen... I wrote out a meal plan for the upcoming week because for the first time in months, I think we will all (even Mike) be home to eat supper every night this week!! Some of the things on that list are tried and true (tacos), some are new recipes (chipotle chicken sandwiches and sausage soup), and some are fallish things that can come back into circulation now that we're having fallish weather (pot roast with carrots and potatoes).

One of My Favorite Things...when the oppressive heat of the summer subsides and we start the Florida fall. (Cindy, when you plan your return trip in two years, a week or two later will give you considerably cooler weather-- and no lovebugs!)

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...Disney tomorrow for Jonathan's FIFTEENTH birthday, lots of churchy stuff on Sunday and a visit from my parents to celebrate my father and Jonathan's birthdays (did I mention Jonathan is turning FIFTEEN?!)AND...schooling and eating at home the rest of the week...what a novel concept!!

Also, Madi gets her braces off on Wednesday.

I tried to find a picture on Mike's computer and this is the best I could do...