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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 say....so 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:
http://www.expotv.com/tryology

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 tree....it 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+.
Avo...what??
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 God....so why is it so hard for me to be merciful with my kids?
 Pic to share:

More flowers


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Journal : Confirmation

Recovery Update: I had to briefly mention my little pain in the neck...that hasn't been so little. I ended up in the ER after my last post because I thought I was dying...nope...it was muscle spasms. The doc prescribed cortisone pills, they usually prescribe muscle relaxers, but those are no-no for breastfeeding. After over a month, my pain has lessened and the stiffness has almost completely been reduced....but I am trying to wean myself off of pain med(tylenol & ibuprofin)....I can't believe what a baby I have been about it...I have taken less meds with all 7 of my natural childbirths combined....sheesh...silly sprain!!

Around the House: We have been going through storage tubland which now is in the sunroom, since Noah and Jonah have taken up residence in the storage room. We hope to get the garage organized enough to store all the tubs out there and regain our sunroom/laundry room.

Crafting: Don made "head guards" for Gregory's stroller out of a pool noodle. I thought it was brilliant and now we can walk more than a block without Gregory hitting his head.

The Kitchen: The kids have enjoyed "bird nests", a piece of toast with a hole cut out of the center filled with a fried egg. Don't hate me because I'm boring;)

The Kids:

Noah: Received his Confirmation and chose the name St. Francis of Assisi, he's always had a devotion to him and when he was little, he told me he felt that God wanted him to be a Franciscan priest....I pray he does God's will. He has also been doing a little grunt work for a family members' construction company.

Jonah: New GLASSES with transition lenses....Don and Hannah got them as well. He has been doing weird experiments with them....like covering half the lens and seeing if only the exposed half transitions....YES..it does....so we deduced that standing half in the shade would only turn the half of the lens exposed...so funny!!

Hannah: Has been really into hula hooping and jump roping. She is Gregory's second Mom and he really responds well to all the attention.

Elijah: Just finished Art class for the year and can't wait to go back. I posted a few pics below of both Hannah and Eli's art. Eli is my little prayer warrior...he missed out on family prayer time last night and couldn't go to sleep until Don prayed with him.

Benny: This kid can hula hoop!! See pics below. He has also been enjoying the slip n slide these last few warm/hot days.He is also become quite a big eater...the other night, he polished off 3 bowls of spaghetti....if only I could borrow some of his metabolism.

Charlie: Loves to go to 5 Guys Burgers with us and crack open the peanuts and dip them in ketchup....and completely drenching himself in it.....we do this occasionally after feeding the kids and have a "date night" and chat while Benny and Charlie go nuts. It's amazing how occupied it keeps them.

Gregory: Is almost CRAWLING!! I can't believe it....he has been getting all over the place and rocking back and forth on all fours. It's been baby proofing season here lately. My dear friend, Jan, made a cross-stitch wall hanging for Gregory....she has made one for each child...they are family heirlooms for sure!!!

Bringing Me Joy: Mother's Day....the kids spent their own money and bought me gifts...2 t-shirts, a pot of pink roses and french mints...Don gave me the sweetest card(and the sweetest kids) I was so choked up and tearful we were late to Mass and the boys were serving.....I begged Fr. for his forgiveness after Mass.
Spending time with both Grandmas (My Mom and Don's Mom) we found neat books to personalize and fill in from their memories of growing up...the kids enjoyed hearing about life a long time ago.

Pics to Share:



 





Jan's Beautiful gift to Gregory

Friday, April 19, 2013

Journal: Disappointed



Outside: FINALLY....Spring has arrived!!
Vacation: Didn't happen. The night before we were to leave, the van died on the way home from Mass....was that some kind of message?? Apparently so, our mechanic wasn't open for 2 days and then after it was fixed.... the next day, the price to replace the fuel pump was even more than we had saved up for the vacation.
We were planning on spending 3 nights in Colorado Springs, we hoped to go to Garden of the Gods, Focus on the Family bookstore, Poor Richard's and It'z Pizza and a few local parks. Oh well, as it turned out, the weather for our drive home would have been treacherous. The hardest thing about it was looking at the kids right after coasting to a side street to try and restart the van and telling them we probably won't be able to go to Colorado. Eli hung his head and I could see streams of tears sliding down his cheeks, he tried to wipe them away so I wouldn't see, but it about broke my heart. He's my fellow vacation adventurer, we both LOVE to travel...probably more than we should;)

The Kids: Noah is starting his own Nerf repair company....it won't be super profitable, but I hope he learns some accounting, budgeting, advertising, and entrepreneurial skills.

Jonah: will be graduating from 8th grade and starting high school next year....at home.

Hannah: has been raking in the money for doing online research studies...she's made over $200 in the last year.
 
Eli: We couldn't really afford to have too many fun splurges since the van repairs were so much, but we took the kids out to eat....which is rare. We went to Hometown Buffet on Thursday night which happens to be Kid's Night, they give out balloons and cotton candy. I told Eli to grab a plate and help himself, and he asked me what he could have and I told him anything he wanted, you should have seen his face....he was so happy he started hopping up and down and giggling. I whispered to Don that alone was worth the $57.

Gregory: Has been Mr. grumpy pants, I think he must be harvesting his upper chompers.

My Birthday: I must be some kind of super athlete or something, because, while nursing Gregory, I sprained my neck....my Physical Therapist, called it an "acute sprain", isn't that the sweetest?? I tell you what, it hurts. That is to date, the strangest birthday I have had.

Don's Sleep: Don has been kind of wandering around in a daze from lack of sleep, so the Dr. had him do a home sleep study and guess what??? He has sleep apnea, so he will be fitted for a c-pap machine next week, hopefully, we will ALL get a better night's sleep. It has been confirmed, we are o.l.d.

In the Kitchen: nothing exciting...Don and I have been enjoying Mocha Frappe's.


Praying: For Bishop Jackels and his new appointment and for our future Bishop, for the people of Boston and Texas, for my SIL, for Noah who will be confirmed in May. We received our annual traveling image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, if we would have been on vacation, we would have had to pass her to the next family on the list. I was able to take the blessed image to a friend's house to pray the rosary with her for her mother who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Finding Joy:  in God's providence...even though we didn't get to go on vacation, we were so thankful, the van died before we left...and now it's fixed, our blooming few flowers in the front yard, in my family...for better and worse;)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Photo Panel

Here is the photo panel I ordered online of Gregory's 6 month photos. I love that it's sturdy and unbreakable...which is a necessity in a house with 7 children!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Gregory's 6 Month Picture

Gregory George Rohr 6 Months on April 10th
I don't have a scanner, so I had to take a picture of the picture. There were so many sweet pictures, but we opted for the promotional package only, from Portrait Innovations and later at home, I ordered a photo panel of a different pose online.
 I wish the background wasn't so pink, but I love the pose....especially the praying hands.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Journal: Shirley Temple

Outside my window: partly cloudy, it's been hard having any kind of clothing organization, with winter and summer-like springtime temps bouncing back and forth. Out the back window, we had our dead Birch tree cut down, such a relief!! Some of the large limbs were falling, so the kids were banned from using the backyard until it was safe again.

In the kitchen: Discovering salmon patties, the kids love them and I love they are getting some great Omega nutrients. Dying eggs and our egg shaped sugar cookies...YUM!!

Crafting: We paid Noah and Jonah to strip the wallpaper and paint the little boys room. It's now sporting a black and khaki neutral decor.

The kids: Noah: somehow strained his neck while doing math and can hardly turn his head! He must get his talents of self-injury from me!
The Bible: The Epic Mini Series (Widescreen)
Jonah: is loving the Bible mini epic series(History Channel) we purchased for them as an Easter gift. He has been comparing the episodes with the Bible.


Shirley then
 
Shirley more recently
Hannah: has been into Shirley Temple since reading, Heidi and Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm and then watching the movies on youtube. She found some paperdolls I had purchased years ago in storage and has been spending a great deal of time with them. I purchased a few books off of thriftbooks about Shirley Temple, she is(still alive at 85 years) an amazing person who served as US ambassador for 2 countries and was the Chief of Protocol. Wow!

Eli: along with the other kids, adores his baby brother and is convinced he can talk...Gregory babbles Mama, and Buh-buh(brother...of course!)

Benny: I downloaded a Looney Tunes phonics program that he absolutely loves and it's helping him with his reading. I highly recommend it!

Charlie: was eagerly anticipating Easter and asked me everyday, "How many more days till Easter?" He came up to me the other day and said, " Somebody better be a policeman when they grow up, because I'm going to be a robber when I grow up." I said, "Charlie, being a robber is a big sin." He said, "I know, Mom, I'm actually just going to wear the costume."

Photos to share:
Enjoying the nice weather.



Taking the high chair for test run.
 


Gregory: is growing and changing so much, he will have his first set of pics taken on Friday at Portrait Innovations.

Thinking/Praying about: balancing time for our immediate family and serving others/volunteering commitments. Continue to pray for family members who are suffering so much, Pope Francis, Bishop Jackels intentions...seems like the one for more moisture is being heard, Praise God!

Finding joy: in the Resurrection of our Lord...Alleluia!! In gathering together with family and friends, in anticipation of our impending family trip, savoring the french mints Don bought me for Easter, relishing the sweet comfort of holding a sleeping baby and bitter sweetly watching my older children grow up and up and up!

Monday, March 11, 2013

We've Adopted!!!

Picture of  


Name: Carlos Amigo Vallejo OFM
Country: Spain
Day of birth: 1934-8-23
Cardinal since: 2003-10-21
Function: Archbishop emeritus of Seville, Spain
Now, we have a specific focus for our prayers for the conclave!!

Adopt your own cardinal here: ADOPT A CARDINAL

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring Freshening

 I don't really have anything super fabulously wonderful from the design world to show you, but I spruced up a few areas that have been bugging me.
Before: Bread Basket...P.S. Did you see our new microwave?? We had to throw the old one away, the door cracked and then, it didn't pass the cell phone test.
After: Bread Basket(from Hobby Lobby..40% off!!) In case you are wondering(you probaby already know), if you put your cell phone in the microwave and it rings, you have a leak.

Before: Coffee Station *Note the lovely festive plastic container;)
After: Coffee Station same line of baskets as the bread basket from Hobby Lobby.
Everything fits neatly in the basket, even the coffee bean grinder!!



 Now, I have been meaning to put up curtains over our puny basement windows ever since we moved in....3 years ago!! Finally, it's done!! The curtains were formerly hanging in the family room upstairs, but 2 of my nameless children hung on them while standing on top of the sofa and broke the rod. The lace and sheer panels are still hanging in the family room, so at least there is something in there!  So, while hanging the curtains in their new location on pretty oil rubbed bronze rods, I threatened them with certain death if they even think about reenacting that dastardly event.  It actually makes me giddy to see them(the curtains that is)!! Hello Spring!!

Naked basement window on the South end of the wall.


Sweet picture my talented friend, Jan cross-stitched.
Before: South window

After: South window
After: South wall
Companion pic by Jan.


Before
North end of the wall.

After