Friday, January 31, 2014

7 QTs bragging edition

1.  Tonight is opening night of the first main stage show that Jonathan is stage managing.  This is a pretty big deal!!  The show is called Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know.

2.  Jake got all As for the second 9 weeks of 5th grade.

3.  Jonathan's "official homeschool high school" transcript is in an envelope ready to be sent to the University of Central Florida, his GPA is 3.82 unweighted and 4.02 weighted.  We toured UCF on Tuesday.

4.  I didn't take any pictures at UCF and none of Jake's A Honor Roll certificate, but I did take this pic this morning of the two of them watching dirt get delivered.
5. Madi is on a team to host a high school retreat next month.  She has been attending very late meetings every Monday for the last few weeks, working hard to make this upcoming retreat life-changing for some fellow high school students. 
6. Madi is also part of Jonathan's tech crew for the main stage show, as well as playing the female lead in the upcoming young people's production of Music Man, she continues to work at the Eustis Rec after school program, she babysat four different times this week, and is trying to fit in a little school around all that!
7. Jake is hoping to read at least 15 of the sunshine state books before the end of the school year.  I think he's read 3 or 4 so far.  I'm so glad he's going to homeschool again next year, and I really hope he brings home some of the motivation he has at school.
Go here to read some more quick takes from the winner of the best link up in the Sheenazing awards.

for when I'm looking for this again

Monday, January 27, 2014


While I'm sitting here aimlessly clicking through blogs, I found a link up where tons of people linked to list of the best books they've read this year (last year actually), and I'm going to want to go back to it again and again.  While I am sometimes the type to reread Judy Blume books or blog posts over and over again, I am always on the look out for other good books to read.  Sometimes I almost fall into that category that I detest which is spending more time looking for books to read than actually reading books, but anyway.  Without further ado (I googled that, I thought it might be's not!)  here is the link of links.

And speaking of books and reading in an hour I am going to Jake's school to help a third grader that I don't know yet practice their reading.  Maybe I can give the child a little help in the run-on sentence department because I see to be a pro at that!

Friday, January 24, 2014


1. I wasn't going to do this today, but it's becoming sort of a routine and it's lazier than vacuuming so here I am.

2.  I'm currently not even sure if Mary is home or not.  My afternoon involved riding with Madi to St Patrick's (she drove), driving from there to Jake's school, driving from the school home to drop Jake and the neighbor off, driving back to St Pat's to get Madi, she then drove to the theatre.  I ran in to talk to Jonathan for a sec then drove back home to get Jake.  This time I came in the house for about 5 minutes, then I drove Jake back to the theatre.  (Then I came home.)  In less than an hour I will drive back to the theatre to pick up Jake as well as another boy that we need to drive home.  Then I will drop Jake off at a bon fire/ pizza / s'mores gathering that he is going to with friends from school, THEN Mike and I are using our $20 off at OUTBACK!!  Yay!  Not sure why I found the need to relive all of that, it was almost as exhausting the second time as the first.
This is not a picture of Jake's event, I just saw it on fb and stole it!

3.  Mike took my car to work today which means with all of the driving I was missing my Catholic channel on satellite radio and my seat warmer (the temp has gotten no where near 60 today).  In exchange I did have Barry Manilow blaring when I was alone, and kids to chat with when I wasn't.

4.  Jake had his school spelling bee yesterday.  In spite of not being a natural speller, he did well.  I noticed that being comfortable on the stage with a microphone in hand goes a long way.   He got out the round before the winner, so he made it respectable.

5.  Some thing else on fb that caught my eye today was a post about cooking meatballs.  A lot of people find it unfathomable to put raw meatballs in the sauce and cook it that way.  REALLY??!!  That is how you make meatballs.  It's certainly how we make them around here and YUM!!  The other day Jonathan commented that frozen meatballs should not even be a thing.  I agree that frozen Italian meatballs and instant mashed potatoes are unnecessary in society and not worth eating.  This in no way implies that we don't eat more than our share of convenience foods, just that I'd rather go without than eat those two.  Interestingly enough, I'm a big fan of frozen meatballs in the crockpot with cranberry sauce and chili sauce AKA sweet and sour meatballs.  Those I love and I don't see that working so well with homemade, but for Italian meatballs, homemade cooked in the sauce all the way!!

6.  Ok driving all over creation, meatballs, seems like I've covered just about everything.

7.  I spent most of Wednesday watching EWTN's coverage of the March for Life.  I've never really been a huge activist, but I think I'm getting there.  Madi and I are hoping to go to the march next year.  And speaking of activism, I'm starting it with this comment.

Julie Trahan Scaringella I've been thinking about this all night. Sadly there are Catholics / prolifers who are hateful, and the stereotype is even worse. That is not the teaching of the church though, nor does it describe most people. I spent most of yesterday watching the coverage of the march on EWTN, and have my car tuned to Catholic Radio. It is said that abortion leaves one dead and one (or more) wounded. It is our job to love the wounded, we are called to compassion, mercy, and prayer. We shouldn't be quiet about our beliefs. This is how we dislike the sin and love the sinner. The amount of youths at the march was awesome, Madi and I are hoping to go next year.
The cat is officially out of the bag as far as my not using our last names on here, not sure who I was trying to hide from anyway.
For more interesting quick takes go here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Seven Quick Takes afterall

Maybe this will end up as a Friday quick takes post and maybe it'll just be a little train of thought.  Jake's school picks two kids from each class for the school wide spelling bee.  The winners go to the county spelling bee, then I guess regionals, state, etc... Well I will be the first to admit that Jake is really smart.  Spelling however is generally not his thing.  As in 2 years ago when he took the California Achievement Test he scored in the 33rd percentile.  Guess who got picked to represent his class?!  That same day he also came home with the PE award.  Jake can dance and can play a little bit of basketball or baseball, but when naming his many many strengths, usually spelling and physical fitness are absent from the list.  This has me thinking.  Did he get these things because he's so well behaved?  Here's the thing, "well behaved" isn't necessarily his thing either (but I know he is very well behaved in school).  Ask anyone who knows Jake, he's smart, funny, can sing like crazy, can name all the presidents, is good at math, is a picky eater, can recite every episode of Seinfeld, can do amazing card tricks, and lots of other things.  Spelling, behaving, and PE are not in his top 10 (or top 50).  He is thriving in school, there's no doubt about that.  Is he thriving to the extent that he should continue in public school next year?  (as of now that is not the plan)  Is he thriving because he was homeschooled all these years?  Am I reading too much into this?

2. I think I will make this into a quick takes post and since take #1 was almost a post of it's own, the rest of them can and will be totally lame.  For example, I think I might make a cake this afternoon.

3. I've accomplished almost nothing today, and I'm pretty happy about it. 

4. Yesterday I successfully registered Jonathan for his big high school graduation celebration.  That took a lot of compiling of pictures and information.  Not to mention all of the time and energy it's taken over the last 18 years to get us to this point.  So yes, I am taking it easy today (or this week or this year...)
Baby picture that took a long time to find... how did we do it in the nondigital age?

5. Jake and Madi both got the parts that they wanted in the upcoming show, Music Man.  Madi is Marion and Jake is Marcelus.  It's going to be a good one!  Music Man was Madi's first show when she was six.  I'll dig up some old pictures eventually.  In the mean time, keeping in mind Music Man was over two years earlier than the start of this blog and when I started this blog this was Madi...
and now this is Madi...

6. My car is currently at the Honda place.  It's been acting like a real butt all week.  Apparently spark plugs will do the trick.  I feel like we've already replaced the spark plugs more in this vehicle than in any other one we've ever had.  I'm getting a little tired of this car.  I was the one who has felt for years that we need to be able to transport so many people and thus the 8 passenger vehicle has been a necessity.  Now I'm thinking if I couldn't babysit 2 little boys and transport 4 Chinese students at the same time, then I would be forced to say no to those things.  Kind of fits into my New Year's resolutions to do less.  Not that we are getting rid of the Pilot anytime soon, just thinking that if I couldn't drive tons of people all over the place, then I wouldn't have to.

7. And we'll end with a little bit of crazy stress that is three teenagers ready to go to theatre (one of whom is driving) and one 11 year old who has been outside playing all day in yesterday's clothes, never even had lunch, and now is scrambling to change, eat, and get out the door in a timely fashion. 

Bonus take...the crazy stress isn't too bad because I have completely taken myself out of it (no car and all) and the three teenagers are being extremely patient while the 11 year old gulps down his macaroni and cheese.  If I were the one driving, I'm sure I'd be screaming like a madwoman about how the others want to get there and blah blah blah, but the others, just waited calmly and everyone drove off peacefully.

For more quick takes go here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Can you Believe it is Friday Already?" quick takes

1. I'm not feeling terribly inspired, but let's see where this leads anyway.

2. Jonathan is in the process of finishing up a college application.  There's so much more to say about that, but for now I'm going to let it stand on it's own.

3. I've had a fairly slow week and I'm hoping to carry that out throughout the weekend...and for the entirety of the year!  I went out for coffee with friends one night, went out for coffee with another friend another night, and forgoed (for went?)   skipped the coffee one morning (I don't really drink actual coffee anyway) and chatted with another friend over water in my front room.  I think I'm officially a grown up.  The laundry is mostly caught up (except for Jake's clean laundry that is still on the table), the dishes are mostly done, candles have been lit every day, and piles of games and puzzles that we took on our trip are still where we plopped them when we got home last week.  If the word LESS doesn't work for me this year, maybe SLOW will!

4. Three years ago I taught 5th grade Religious Ed at our church (I generally call it CCD), and it provided much fodder for my blog.  This year I'm doing that again, and I've been relatively tight-lipped about it.  I'm not sure if I've just learned more in these last three years or if these kids just know so much less.  It's daunting to say the least.  Jake is in my class.  He and the handful of girls in the group know at least as much as you would expect from the average 5th grade Catholic (and probably the average Catholic adult -- "Are you smarter than a 5th grader" and all that), but the boys in the class... ho boy!!  It's not pretty!  I fluctuate between, "why do their parents even bring them here, they don't even go to Mass?"  and "what a privilege to be able to shape these young minds" and there's a lot of "is it almost time to go home??" thrown in there too!  I got a facebook message after class this week from a mom who said her boys really enjoyed class that night.  I'm not sure if they got anything of out it, but I'll keep plugging along and we'll see.  It's a challenge not to bore the kids who are ready for more and at the same time get the beginners up to speed.  I guess this is the lot for teachers everywhere, it just takes on a little more significance when your talking eternity.

5. I facebooked yesterday about the fishy smell coming from Mary's room.  It was wrappers from this  Chinese delicacy
Madi's favorite way to do school, she's embracing the out for coffee thing too!
7.Jake and the other talent show winners.

For more quick takes from real bloggers see Jen

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fragile Hearts

This article/ blog post which has been shared all over facebook (and was only written two days ago), is exactly why I find blogging with teenagers so difficult.  I actually cried reading the article.  I'm fairly certain I've never humiliated my kids in public or on social media, but I have said things to them  harshly enough in private to bring tears to their eyes, and just thinking about it hurts me.  I'm actually working hard to not be crying my head off right now.  It's the "my oldest is a senior I could cry any minute" thing that I have going on.  Next week I will register him for his big statewide graduation, but that's a post for another time.  In the meantime, I'm talking about kids and feelings.  If you're lost, please read the article before continuing.  I personally have never thought badly about those "we need to get along" shirts that are posted on facebook with two less than thrilled kids in them, and if you post that your toddler pooped in the tub I won't think less of you. (If you do it in a humiliating to your kid way I might though.)  Recently I was somewhere where a mom was criticizing her teenager in front of me and my teenager to the point that it became uncomfortable.  That's no fun for anybody.  I've spent enough time on here and in real life discussing how the "sunshine and roses" blogs and facebook pages that show how perfect your family is, are not really most people's idea of enjoyable reading either, so once again we have a fine line to walk.  I love my kids and I'm very proud of all of the amazing things they do, so sometimes I err a little bit on that side.  Just this week Jake won first place in a talent show (video on facebook and will be on here someday) and was named student of the month in his class.  These are great things, they make me proud.  Sometimes I like to brag about my kids.  On the other hand I never want to brag about them to the point that it makes other people frustrated with their own kids or envious or jealous OR wanting to see my kids fail.  Most of the time I balance the line ok (Jake has left his clean laundry on the table for days in spite of my telling him multiple times to put it away, and yesterday he wore the exact same clothes as the day before... yes he slept in them too... and he's not a homeschooler this year so everyone at school saw him both days; AND lets not even talk about how he fell asleep before brushing his teeth last night and his ride came this morning while he was still eating breakfast (so no teeth brushing again)... this is not an terribly unusual occurrence. )

I have hundreds of more thoughts on this particular subject, but duty calls (and by duty I mean I'm hungry and I want to eat lunch).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

February 2014

February is the shortest month, but you'd never know that from all the pictures.  We had a visit from Grandpa Sal and Miss Carole for Valentine's Day, the theatre did a great and hugely inappropriate show (Avenue Q), Madi went on a retreat and had her second major allergic reaction, we celebrated Mardi Gras at St Pat's and Mike and Jake both spent time in the dunking booth.  We babysat, had mother daughter bookclub, Jonathan and Madi were in the George Washington's birthday parade the same day that Jake and the children's choir attended the big deal choir festival in Orlando.  That was also the first day that Jonathan and Madi drove around with friends shopping and getting dinner while we were at the choir festival.  It was also the day before my birthday and Madi and a friend made my cake.  On my birthday we attempted a trip to the beach, but it was windy and cold, so we went out for pizza instead, then Jake and I came back and rode on the ferris wheel (continuation of Georgefest).  Jake played basketball and Madi painted her room, and a bunch more stuff.  How am I ever going to do this for the every month of the year?  I'm exhausted just thinking about it!