Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Journal: August

Outside: Too hot! My poor rose bush made it all the way through the summer....but it's really struggling with this last little bout of heat.

School: We are on our 2nd week and I think we are finding our groove. In all honesty, I couldn't imagine life any other way with my kids at home learning and me learning right along side them. I hated history in school, but am really loving the way it's laid out in The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. I use these with Hannah, Eli, Benny, and Charlie. Another favorite for Benny and Charlie is the Draw Write Now series of printing and drawing lessons. We enjoy the simple and easy illustrations and I am amazed at how well the kids' drawings turn out. So much fun! I could go on and on about other titles, but will stop for today;) As always, Math is my nemesis....especially high school math! Fortunately, Don is much better. We have also hired a tutor to help Noah occasionally when we all get stuck.

Crafting: I have been so frustrated with my unorganized overstuffed page protector bursting with all my recipes. I didn't want to spend much, so I took a 25 cent binder...(gotta love those back to school sales!!) and I printed out some free printable recipe cards,
grabbed some leftover page protectors from my CGS binder and made my own custom recipe organizer.
Not as cute as the $20 versions, but I am thrilled with the end result....and so is my kitchen!

FREE Summer Recipe Card Printables - cute recipe cards for your favorite summer recipes.
In the Kitchen: trying to keep cool. We've been making lots of crock pot recipes, BBQ Chicken, Chicken and Rice, and Breakfast Casserole. Goodness, we have been making egg dishes at least twice a week. For Hannah's birthday party, she and her friends made pudding parfaits complete with whipped cream.
Out of the Kitchen:  If you are tired of cooking, you have to try Curly's American Diner!
Inside Curly's
Don's brother, David just opened a new restaurant at Harry and Webb. It's honest to goodness homemade tasting comfort food....and I'm not just biased;) Tuesday and Thursday nights kids eat for .99 cents. They have the best Chicken Fried Steak I have EVER had...and the prices are reasonable.Checkout the menu on their Facebook page.
The kids with Uncle David at Curly's

Summer Fun:Hannah, Jonah, and Eli took Hook a Kid on Golf  summer camp. They really had a great time, but didn't ever get to play a round because of all the rain. It's a really great program!
What I'm Reading: No Turning Back A Witness to Mercy by Fr. Donald Calloway. It's a true conversion story. I struggled through the first 10 chapters in absolute disgust, but the remaining chapters of the book really inspired and floored me. You can do a google search and find videos about the story.
I am also reading Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philippe that I borrowed from my brother, Doug. Reading this book just gives me peace....I know it sounds so cliche, but let me give you an example,..."Consider the surface of a lake, above which the sun is shining. If the surface of the lake is peaceful and tranquil, the sun will be reflected in this lake; and the more peaceful the lake, the more perfectly will it be reflected."

What I am Praying/Thinking:I have been visiting a relative who is in prison. It hasn't been easy, and I was really terrified about it at first, but I had been praying for this person and I asked God to show me a sign of how I could help them...2 weeks later, I received a phone call from a prison ministry volunteer from our previous parish. My relative asked that person to call me and tell me that they wanted to see me. So I went. I didn't know what to do or what to say....I didn't even know what door to walk through and set off an alarm! I prayed that the Holy Spirit would give me the words to I told my relative that I loved them and I would walk this journey with them and encourage them through their trials. My relative broke down and cried they were so shocked to see me...they never thought I would actually show up....everyone they knew had given up on them because of the choices they made. They pleaded with me to not leave them and they told me how very sorry they are for their choices and how it has affected the family. My loved one is not bitter toward their family members and they understand their frustrations...even their rejection.
 That was 6 weeks ago. I always wanted to experience prison ministry...I never expected I would be visiting a loved one. Please pray for this person, they are a child of God and they really want to change.....they really NEED to change, their life depends on it. Please pray for me as well, I feel so inept and unqualified, but I do know how to love....and pray.....and I will because my life depends on it.

Video to Share:

Pics to Share:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Above Rubies

I wanted to share one of my favorite freebies: Above Rubies . 
It is a life-giving magazine and it's one that I can never put down once I start reading it. It's a Christian magazine for mothers, it has articles about marriage, kids, homeschooling, and just about everything in between. I have never found it to be anti-Catholic. I always receive so much inspiration and encouragement in a very tough vocation;)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Link To Expotv

Hi Moneysaving Mom Facebook Followers, here's the link to Expotv's Tryology program:

Dollar Tree Deals

Warning: the following products are shipped in from China and China's practices and regulations are different than USA standards.
I wanted to share a few of the really great Dollar tree deals that our family has discovered in the frozen food section. The only ingredients listed are the fruits and veggies. We've been stocking the freezer, I love it when I can find food even cheaper than Aldi prices! I found these at 3 different Dollar tree stores in Wichita.
We have tried both and they make wonderful fajitas and stir fry. Yum!!

We love smoothies and I actually like the taste of this fruit better than Aldi's frozen fruit.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Journal: May-June

Out My Window: Pleasant and sunny today, we have had a few hot days(over 100) but with enough mild summer temps sprinkled to make it all manageable. This has been our most successful flower year(see pics)....I know it's not that impressive, but I have a brown thumb, most everything I have planted has withered. I am especially grateful for my healthy rosebush.

Crafting: Benny and Charlie found some pine cones on a walk and we slathered them with peanut butter and seeds and hung them on the was fun to make, but we are not sure the birds have actually eaten any, I think a renegade squirrel took one down and disappeared with it.

Quick Quip: A new segment...Charlie: "I love you more than I love you forever." This has been his motto for the last few weeks.

In the Kitchen: I have been baking when it's not triple digits, burrito bake and cherry crumble. Gregory tried his first taste of avocado(thanks for the tip, Monica!), he was a little freaked out....doesn't quite know what to do with food in his mouth....I don't get real serious about food until @12 months+.
The Kids: Noah has been riding around on his bike garage saling. He and Don have done a little volunteer work up at church sanding down some windows.

Jonah: Graduated from 8th grade and we had a Mass and ceremony with our homeschool group. His aunt, Flora, bought him a coding book about creating your own video games and he has been working on that everyday since.

Jonah with his godparents.
Hannah: has been enjoying a pottery class at City Arts(THANK YOU AUNT JANET!!!) with her cousin. She also has been reading a few of Betsy Byar's books, Summer of the Swans and Brady.

Eli: has been building card houses, he's up to 2 stories at present and huge 1 story complexes and he has been teaching Benny and Charlie how to build them.

Benny: Can't get enough of the new swing set Don and the big boys built in the backyard.
Charlie: is a funny little...well big... , guy. We went to a Ride-a-Thon fundraiser for his cousin who receives horse therapy to help with her autism. We got to watch her ride her horse, which was a delight! Charlie whispered in my ear, "When do I get to ride a horse, Mom?" I explained that this was only for the kids in the program and we were just there to watch. Later, Charlie discovered a tire horse swing that he really enjoyed riding and said, "See Mom, I did get to ride on a horse!"

Charlie's horse
Watching: We had a free redbox code so we rented, "The Impossible" a true story about a family that survived the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. It's a great story but a little too graphic in my opinion...and definitely not for kids! This spun-off a series of watching video footage of the tsunami on youtube. I truly don't understand human suffering....especially where children are involved.
Praying/Thinking: about friends who are suffering, how important communication is and how sharp and easily I am to snap at the kids and say hateful things I don't mean, but at the moment I feel it's justified and then later I can't believe what I said! We had a really BAD day and I felt like a complete failure and I wanted to quit.....but for real this time! Reflecting on it the next day, though....we learned so much from that day and how I need to deal with a situation before it gets out of hand...instead of ignoring things until I explode...and then everyone else does. Fr. Jerome gave a homily on the importance of mercy in our day to day lives....aaaah mercy....I need it so much from why is it so hard for me to be merciful with my kids?
 Pic to share:

More flowers