Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What a Wednesday!

Ok, this is supposed to be a new weekly feature on my blog, but after yesterday's fiasco with it, I'm pretty much over it. It was just a disaster---bits and pieces I had posted all week---and I had to delete the whole thing because the HTML codes were giving me fits. Not that I know HTML, but I'm sufficiently intelligent that I can try to delete the ones causing problems. However, there are a bunch of kids running in and out of my house and talking to me, like they can't see I'm talking to the computer, and it's just really hard to focus on all those stooopid codes when you're constantly distracted. Maybe not you, just me.

So, here goes. Let me know what you think. It should go without saying that this one won't be fancy---like the other hyper-hyper-linked one.

What's Going on Today:
  • We went to the free showing of Happy Feet today. I slept through a lot of it.
  • We're leaving shortly for piano
  • Pipster and LP are out playing with the aforementioned kids. No running in and out at this time.
What I'm Excited About:
  • Planning more school lessons from Serendipity
  • The Oil Cleansing Method ---if you have acne, it does amazing things for your skin. If you don't, it still makes it feel wonderful.
  • Not washing my hair anymore. I'm still "cleaning" it, just not washing it with shampoo, because the alternative is just plain gross! In an effort to cut costs and carcinogens, I'm looking for more natural household solutions. Baking soda and ACV (not mixed! my kids keep telling me my hair is going to catch on fire, or act like a volcano) are a great alternative to shampoo. Not to mention cheap, cheap, cheap. Even KT approved of my "new shampoo" before she knew there was no shampoo to approve of!
What I'm not Excited About:
  • Picking up 2 extremely tired teenagers every day from football practice.
  • Planning more lessons

What I'm Working On:
  • Organizing 22 years worth of photos into boxes for each of the kids so I can find out where the missing pictures are from the photo albums. Then I can start working on a 12-year "baby book" for each of them. Can you say, "Insane"?
  • Did I mention Lesson Plans?
  • Keeping the hotspots decluttered so they'll, God willing, stay that way after school starts.
What I'm Looking Forward too:
  • A trip to Six Flags this week or next. Or does this go in the NOT category? Both, I think!
  • A whole day with M.O.W. celebrating our 22nd anniversary by watching as many movies as we can stand on Saturday!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No more cast!

The Pipster finally got his cast removed today. I was very tempted to take it off myself since he was so miserable the last week. He could tell it was full of sand---and so it was.All the icky grey stuff around his wrist is sand that was embedded in the skin. I scrubbed off a lot, but I'll have to do some exfoliating tonight if it didn't get better in the pool today.

In this picture you can see that there is still a bend in the arm that they say will straighten as he grows over the next year and half.

Physical therapy involves lots of vacuuming, car washing, window washing, and swimming. Yes, it's on the Dr.'s sheet that he gave me! What a good doctor!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh, the wit!

Little Princess: I know what I'm wearing doesn't match, but I just want to wear it.

Mom: Why do you want to wear it if it doesn't match?

LP: Because I look cute.

Then, while I'm painting her nails silver (Don't ask why):

TMax: Pipster, let me see your tongue.

Pipster obliges.

TMax: Mom! He's sticking his tongue out at me!!!

A No Good Very Bad Day

That was Friday. Fortunately, it's over now. I'll give you the short version of the story---you can thank me later.

It all started with the trip to Six Flags that ended in the driveway with 3 very disappointed kids because the power sliding door on my Toyota Sienna broke. As in: would not close no matter what.

We bungeed it in place to drive it to a body shop, though why we bothered I have no idea. It wasn't budging either way.

TMax accompanied me and the body shop said they wouldn't be able to get to it until Monday (and we'd have to pay for a rental all weekend), so we drove a little farther to the evil dealership.

They weren't quite as evil as they had been on my last visit there. Except for the "lady" in the rental office who filled out the paperwork for a Toyota Corolla and got me all set to go without ever asking what my needs might be concerning a rental vehicle. She wasn't very happy to have to do it again. Like it's my fault. Shouldn't she be the one asking if a Corolla is satisfactory?

They had the part in stock for a new motor assembly and fixed it that day. But it came with a price tag that suddenly made me think those power doors aren't worth it. Those suckers go out and you might as well get a new van---without power doors!

They took care of the cost of the luxury Sequoia that we got instead. Saved me $60 bucks! Woohoo!

Maybe the dealership wasn't evil this time, but the kid who returned my car to me was. He turned up the volume on the radio and AC as high as they would go and calmly and politely handed me my keys. I was livid, but I couldn't trust myself to calmly go into the dealership and not sound like a total jerk. But they'll hear about it this week when I take the car back in to get them to put the door back together properly. Sigh.

The best part of the day was that I spent it cleaning house. It's therapeutic, dontcha know. I tackled all the hot spots that had been flaming out of control for weeks: the coffee table, the kitchen counter, the island, the other counter, the stairs (where the kids are supposed to pick up their stuff whenever they go up but never do. What's up with that?), the Green Thing, the computer desk. And, let's face it, the floors. Oh, and TMax helped me make a lot of progress in the (non)school room. So we'll be able to find stuff when we need to, not that we use it for school anymore.

Okay, so I can't tell a short story. Sorry.

But we had a beautiful relaxing weekend with confession and cleaning house. Sunday was very quiet w/ reading and working on photo albums and a couple of very nice hours at the pool. So I'm all ready for Monday with a new attitude and no evil morning demons like the ones that usually torment me and that I read about in this morning's Magnificat:

How many are my foes, O Lord!
How many are rising up against me!
How many are saying about me:
"There is no help for him in God."

But you, Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, who lift up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord.
He answers from his holy mountain.

I lie down to rest and I sleep.
I wake, for the Lord upholds me.
I will not fear even thousands of people
who are ranged on every side against me.

Arise, Lord; save me, my God
O Lord of salvation, bless your people!

Psalm 3
It's a new week and a clean house---physically and spiritually. Time to work on school plans!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Sad Face

I wish I had a picture, but I don't take my camera with me to confession.

We all went to confession this a.m. and the Little Princess brought her little bag of toys to play with while we waited in the long line. As I got closer to the front, she came up to me and asked to go to confession. She's only 6 1/2, going into 1st grade, and First Confessions usually take place in January of 2nd grade. So she has a while to wait!

She's so sad that she has to wait when she knows she does things wrong. On occasion I have let her go in for a quick blessing when there's not a long line, or we're at the end of it. She even writes down her sins and brings the list with her in hopes that she'll get to go. Once, I heard Father asking her what she had done wrong and giving her absolution. I'm pretty sure he knew that she was too young, but I guess she has already had her first confession!

I wish the parish could have more flexibility on things like this. I don't think she's ready for her First Communion because she doesn't participate much in the Mass. She knows that the Jesus is present in the blessed sacrament, but I'm all for waiting on that until there is more active participation. Maybe it comes because kids know they're preparing for Holy Communion, but maybe it is because they're just maturing enough.

I love it when we all get to confession together and we go to Krispy Kreme for donuts and coffee afterwards. It's one of my favorite family times.

Sad News

Randy Pausch, who gained fame after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 3 months to live, died yesterday.

I watched his Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon months ago and found it very inspirational. It has now been made into a book. He also gave a talk on Time Management at the University of Virginia (in Old Cabell Hall where I used to sing in Virginia Belles and the Women's Chorus). You may imagine that he was an expert on time management as he was given so little and he was still out there giving the occasional lecture and spending his last months with his little children. I love how he wanted to spend that time making memories with them, doing spectacular things like swimming with dolphins, so that they would remember him. They are so young to lose their dad.

He was very upbeat and chose not to dwell on the negatives. There was nothing about God in his lectures that I'm aware of, but I pray that he found his way to the Lord. May he rest in peace.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Gospel of Life

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the encyclical letter by Pope Paul VI on the regulation of birth, I re-read it yesterday during my hour of adoration of the blessed sacrament. It was published (promulgated? I always forget where that word applies!) on July 25, 1968.

It's a beautiful little work which I think explains clearly the beauty of marriage and the responsibility of husbands and wives who are "the free and responsible collaborators of God the Creator." God has given us an incredible gift in this ability to share in the act of creation. We are able to create new life, just as He did with Adam and Eve. The love of a man and woman, when expressed physically, creates life, just as the love of the Father and the Son brought forth the Holy Spirit.

God generously gave us this freedom to reproduce, which you can see all around you. What you don't see as often is the "responsible" part. That means treating the gift of sex with the respect it deserves. Reserving it for husbands and wives alone. Those married couples must also cherish it by not tearing apart the 2 integral halves of the marital act: unitive and procreative. The unitive aspect is a way for spouses to renew their marriage vows and show their love for one another. "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its ordination towards man's most high calling to parenthood." Most people are all in favor of the unitive side, but balk at the procreative side.

Most of us would recognize certain disordered behaviors if we saw them. Less serious, perhaps, but disordered. Chewing a mouthful of food for the flavor and then spitting it out because they're on a diet, is one example. Or going so far as to eat an entire meal and then vomit to avoid weight gain. That's what anorexics do----they eat for the comfort of the food, but don't want what comes with it. We know that's an illness. Food has 2 purposes---enjoyment and nutrition. Why is it any less disordered to have sex (with a spouse or not!), but not want to experience the natural fruit of that act?

As it says in Humanae Vitae, it is not necessary for every marital act to result in a child. In fact, God gave women rhythms in their cycles of fertile and infertile periods for this very reason. It is perfectly acceptable to make use of the infertile phases and NOT the fertile phases if there are serious reasons to avoid a pregnancy. But in that way, each marital act remains open to the transmission of new life. Just knowing that a new life could result each time you are with your spouse gives you new respect for that spouse and the beauty of the act. Using any form of contraception deliberately frustrates the procreative side of sex and fundamentally changes it. Believe me, from someone who has seen it from both sides, there is a huge difference!

"The teaching of the Church on the regulations of birth, which promulgates the divine law, will easily appear to many to be difficult or even impossible of actuation. And indeed, like all great beneficent realities, it demands serious engagement and much effort, individual, family and social effort. More than that, it would not be practicable without the help of God, who upholds and strengthens the good will of men. Yet, to anyone who reflect well, it cannot but be clear that such efforts ennoble man and are beneficial to the human community."

Can you imagine if contraception were outlawed (again---it wasn't always legal), and there were greater risks associated with extra-marital sex? There would be more respect for women, not less. Contraception strips us of our very womanhood and makes us simply objects of lust. It doesn't really make us more powerful because we can control our "sexual health". There would be far fewer out-of-wedlock babies where the father is not in the picture. Men would be more inclined to shoulder the responsibility of a family if they knew from the beginning that a family could result!

Men and women are equal in dignity before the Lord, our Creator, but women are special because they are the ones who actually get to carry that new life within them. and nurture it. It makes me sad that so many women are willing to be oppressed by contraception and don't recognize it.

Of course, I recognize that many Catholics don't understand the Church teaching against contraception and how beautiful it is. Non-Catholics just think we're stuck in the dark ages and accept what society teaches without much consideration of the alternatives. When my husband of 4 years said that he had read Humanae Vitae and could no longer use contraception, I was floored. I refused to "have a baby every year just because the Pope said I should!" Ouch. That was hateful and un-informed. OTOH, I had heard about Natural Family Planning and was willing to try it since we were unhappy with all the contraceptives we had tried. Let me tell you, opening the doors to God by respecting His procreative and unitive act changed my life and my marriage. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever done---to say Yes to my husband and the Lord.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mosaic Meme

I found this meme over at Shower of Roses (great name, huh?) and it looked like fun.
I thought it would be neat to see what I look like "in pictures". It was really hard not to steal several of Jessica's answers because great minds think alike and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So, sorry if it looks like I cheated, Jessica, but they really are my favorites!

The Questions (and The Answers):
1. What is your first name? Sara
2. What is your favorite food? Quiche
3. What high school did you go to? Herndon High
4. What is your favorite color? Periwinkle
5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Like Jessica, I don't really have one either, so I'll say...) Colin Firth
6. Favorite drink? Mocha
7. Dream vacation? Rome and the Italian countryside
8. Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? A saint
10. What do you love most in life? Family (Faith should be in there, too, but the pictures were terrible, so I just searched "family".
11. One Word to describe you? Sensitive
12. One hobby of yours? knitting

Here are the instructions if you want to play along:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search. b. Using only the first page, pick an image. c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. d. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger. e. Copy HTML code for flickr photo credits and paste into blogger at the bottom of the post.

1. Sara, 2. Zucchini, Kale and Onion Quiche — Quiche aux courgettes, chou vert et oignons, 3. The Herndon Hornet, 4. After the Rain, 5. Mr. Darcy, 6. It's Red Again!!!!, 7. Quanto sei bbella Romaaaaaa, 8. cheesecake for Lianna!, 9. Madonna della Salute, 10. For you / Para vosotras (Sant Jordi), 11. sensitive beach, 12. ~maive~

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Vacation from H.E.Double Hockeysticks

Maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was a real challenge to relax. First of all, when was the last time you went camping with 6 kids? The amount of stuff you have to take is staggering! We did manage to get it all into and on top of the car thanks to my amazing organizational skills. And I'm really good with spatial relationships.

We had a great drive to Skidaway Island State Park, just south of Tybee Island and Savannah, set up our tents and headed out to the beach.

Oh, and did you know that most people camp in RV's these days? We were seriously outnumbered at this place!

We had to drive farther than expected to get to the beach on Tybee (about 30 mins.), but that's okay. We were having a great time in the waves until it was time to go and we discovered that the tide had come in and soaked all of our clothes and towels. Imagine driving back to the campground with the 6 aforementioned kids---soaking wet, sandy, and hungry. Did I mention it was 30 minutes?

Master of the World had asked me if laundry facilities were a requirement for camping before we went. I said, "No, just electricity to blow up my Aerobed!" Thank goodness MOW supplied a washer and dryer anyway!

Wednesday, we had a beautiful hike through the salt flats and marshes around the campground with a naturalist guide. Then we headed out to the beach after lunch at the site. MOW and I swam a little and watched the dark clouds coming up the coastline, wondering if the storm would stay offshore or not. When the lightning started, we decided to pack up the car to keep our stuff dry and avoid a repeat of the night before. So we headed for the boardwalk. Ice cream and shopping while waiting for the showers to end. The showers that never came.

Finally, with the wind picking up, we went back out to the beach. The kids were psyched to get back in the water. Oh, honey, the flags say the water is hazardous and the beach is closed. The kids promise they'll just stay in the shallowest surf while Mom and Dad watch. Did I mention the wind? It's blowing the sand into us like needles! It's raining north of us, but the wind is blowing the rain to where we are. Kids still want to tough it out. No! We're not going to get soaked! But before we can get to the car, we and every other blessed thing within a mile are completely drenched. It was raining hard!!

You remember the 30 minute drive with 6 soaked, sandy kids? Yeah. Again. To a soaking wet campsite.

Laundry. Yeah. Again.

Thursday---the heck with the beach. It was already raining in the early hours of the morning. Let's try Savannah! We started out at the Visitor's center and then started walking. Our first stop was the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Beautiful. It was lovely, so lovely in fact that we decided to wait around a while and attend Mass at noon. And pray for the rain to end. After Mass and a look around, we started to leave. Wait for it....

It was raining torrents!

After that we spent the afternoon using our 2 umbrellas off and on and ducking into shops when the rain was too much for the unprotected ones. Lots of walking and rain, but on the whole a lovely day. Except for the stores that have signs posted everywhere "No Public Restrooms". Darn them. Don't they know how hard it is to coordinate the bathroom breaks of 8 people? Fortunately, KT remembered that the Starbucks (with facilities, thank you very much!) was closer than the Hospitality Center. She was happy to buy a coffee for the cause and we were all happy to join her. Especially a certain desperate child.

I think that night we went out to dinner (where we waited for a table much longer than it took for 8 hungry people to get their food and eat!) after washing only the towels that had been hanging on the line and getting soaked in the rain.

It rained again in the night, so we left the depressing, wet site and went back to walk along the Savannah river and enjoy the views and the shops.

We also went shopping at a mall, of all things. Madden desperately wanted to go to Bass Pro which was 10 miles from the historic district, so we obliged him. Then we took the older 3 to see The Dark Knight which Hitch had been dying to see. While they were at the movie, the rest of us had 2 glorious hours to enjoy the beach where....

it did NOT rain!

I still did 3 loads of laundry that night (now, I'm keeping it in trash bags, in the car where it will stay dry!), and 2 more the next morning, despite MOW asking why I didn't just wait until we got home. He figured it out when we got home and everyone unloaded and sorted all their dirty, wet and clean, wet clothing. I had 10 more loads to do at home!

Did I say that 8 people take an astounding amount of stuff camping? Even when "packing light"?

After organizing and repacking every blessed, wet thing, including tents, we made a fun trip to Fort Pulaski where we saw (and heard) 2 cannons fired. Despite a specific request that we see NO cannons on this vacation, they all, surprisingly, enjoyed the fort.

But wait, there's more! I know, you're so over this campout already!

The bugs! OMG! The bugs! Poor Madden had 105 mosquito bites after one day. We're all covered in bites, but he's the worst. In spite of my homemade olive oil/citronella oil bug repellent. I thought it worked fine, but bought the real stuff for him.

Oh, and my fabulous, full-sized normal height Aerobed that we lugged along and needed electricity for? It has a leak. A slow leak. By the time morning came we were floundering around trying to get up. If one got up, the other rolled into a hole. When one tried to lie down again, the other flew up into the air as if on a trampoline. I hate the fact that my expensive bed was only used once, a year and a half ago, now has a leak. OTOH, my back didn't bother me at all on this trip, cuz MOW sweetly blew it up again every night. I'm thinking we should actually get a waterbed. Or just put the Aero in our room, which is leakfree, has air-conditioning, and electricity. For now.

Lastly, the humidity. I don't ever want to live in a place where Spanish Moss grows on trees. Which, by the way, didn't come from Spain and isn't moss.

We all had a great time in spite of the rain and the kids were awesome. They didn't start behaving like normal children until we were halfway home. Need I tell you how happy we all were to get home to our waterproof home and beds?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Everyone is home!

Hooray! We were all back together yesterday for the first time in a week. Yeah, dinner was mayhem. But a happy mayhem.

It was also Madden's birthday dinner so we had presents and cake and ice cream. He's 15, handsome, and 6'2" tall. He's just about the sweetest 15 year-old son you could ask for. Cheerful, easy-going, loving. He still gives his mom big hugs. He has the honor of being the baby who changed my life in a lot of ways, all for the best.

Tuesday we're going on a little vacation. A little one because we don't have much time with dh's busy schedule. And little because we're going camping. We've always been camping with groups. Never by ourselves, and never for more than 2 nights. This one is planned for 4 nights. Yikes. I think we'll survive, if only because I insisted on a site with electricity so I can use my Aerobed. I'm sleeping in luxury, baby! Not like our last 1-night camp-out with the American Heritage Girls, where I spent the night wanting to cry, wishing for morning, because my back hurt so badly. We'll be hanging out during the day at the beach and the city of Savannah.

When we get back it will be serious crunch time with lesson plans, ordering books, and shopping with KT for necessaries for her college apartment.

So, if I don't see you before then, pray for us, and have a great week!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Check out my sidebar!

Whoo hoo! Getting proficient at adding stuff to the sidebar!

I joined Catholic Mothers Online and I joined the Serendipity-do-dah blogroll. That is from Elizabeth's homeschooling blog where she posts some great lesson plans.

Last year, as I've said, I used some of her plans, namely the Alphabet Path, to add some fun to our schooldays. I needed something less "schooly" and more enjoyable with my kids. Soon, I'll take some pics and show you our accomplishments which we are extremely proud and fond of!

This year, I'm getting excited about her History Trail and we're thinking of joining in the journey with them.

It's almost over!

The long, long week is almost over! MOW has been gone all week at his trial; he's hardly had a minute to call. Sends me texts messages in the middle of the night that he's going to bed, finally! We're keeping our fingers crossed that it will actually be OVER when he comes home tonight and he won't have to go back on Monday.

T.Max also comes home from Boy Scout camp tomorrow. Hooray! It's been quiet here without him. Kind of weird how the absence of a very quiet child can still make the house quieter. Having 2 people gone all week is very strange.

The upside is that there is a LOT less laundry to do. But there is also less motivation to do much of anything. It's only with great effort that I've made myself mark anything off my long to-do list. Have no fear, though---I haven't gone near my schoolroom. And, the big boys stashed a large, non-working TV in there! That's gonna have to go. Anyone want it?

I think I'll have my work cut out for me this weekend---washing all T.Max's filthy, wet camp clothes, and dh's clothes. Celebrating Madden's birthday tomorrow. And packing clothes and stuff to go camping this week---if we actually get to go on a vacation and not just back to court!

I can't wait to have them home again!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Getting the kids away from the TV

I'm working on breaking the habit we've all gotten into of turning on the TV mindlessly. No one watches TV all day long, or plays on the Wii all day. But it's on all day. The little ones watch a show in the a.m. Then they play Wii, maybe. Then one of the big ones, like Hitch, wants to watch something from his summer viewing list. Yes, he has a big summer reading list that dh made for him, but he has his own summer viewing list of classics.

So, its his list, but lots of us wander in and get sucked into it---if it's appropriate viewing for small people.

Then they want to watch a movie. And so on. Now it's time to break the habit and I'm making them turn off their shows, because they didn't ask, in the middle of the show (gasp!). And how do they repay me?

By taking up sculpting. Not out of clay. Out of trash. The little ones have been sitting in the garage making giant statues out of the recycling bin contents and putting them in their rooms.

They want to have a collection. They even made one for Madden's birthday Saturday.

He'll be thrilled.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sacred Music

I love music, especially sacred music. This post made me appreciate it again. As I type, I'm listening to "Assumpta est Maria" by the Choir of Clare College. It is so beautiful I can hardly describe it. I'm not very intellectual about music; I like music that "moves my soul" as Jennifer puts it. Depending on the location, that can be anything from pop to classic rock, but most often, my soul is moved by sacred music. Music that transcends space and time and lifts the soul to God. Music that gives me chills. In a good way.

Personally, I love singing. My voice is not notable in any way, nice, I think, but not remarkable. I'd never make it past the first auditions on American Idol! When I sat in the pew at St. Bridget's Church in Virginia as a non-catholic-with-no-intention-of-ever-being-Catholic, I had a longing to cantor! Weird. Now that I've been Catholic for 11 years, I've been cantoring at my parish for the past 4 years and singing in the choir for 2. I had to wait until my babies grew up enough to do without me a little bit.

What I long for these days is a Mass that uses sacred music. Really sacred. I'm sorry, but it grates on my nerves to sing some of these post-Vatican 2 songs, not hymns. Especially the ones by notable protestants! Sure, most of them are pleasant enough, but we have a church that is 2000 years old and the music we use is predominantly from the last couple of decades. Our parish has a children's Mass where the 3rd and 4th graders sing (and lector); a Mass where the 5th and up kids sing; 7:30 a.m. Mass with no music; 9 a.m. Mass with a contemporary band; 10:30 with the choir; noon with a cantor; 5:30 Lifeteen with the Lifeteen band (contemporary, again). The Mass with the choir has the best music, but it could be better. Now I'm hearing whispers of a new Mass setting, one that was written for guitar accompaniment. I'm sorry, but it almost moves me to tears, and not in a good way.

I know there are people out there who love the more modern stuff, or love hearing the children's choir and I can understand that. I'm certainly not criticizing anyone else's taste or preferences. But I became Catholic because I want the fullness of the faith. I want the Catholic church in all it's richness and glory. Cathedrals with spires that reach out for the heavens. Priests who put on beautiful, rich vestments that are ornate because they are putting on Christ. Music that stands the test of time and lifts the soul to God. Not only that, but illustrates the universality of the Church. Latin. Give me latin!

I'm not asking for a Traditional Latin Mass, or Tridentine, because that is still too foreign for me, though I have "assisted" at several. I don't have a problem with readings in the vernacular, but Latin should still be part of the Mass, even the Novus Ordo. So, all I ask, is that one Mass out of the 7 our parish celebrates weekly in English be celebrated with all the smells and bells and the most beautiful sacred music, hymns and chants. Is that too much to ask? Maybe it sounds like I'm being selfish, but I really want it for Jesus, not for me. I think He deserves better than what he's getting.

Back to the Pool

Here are some pictures from July 4, Pipster's first day back in the pool after getting his waterproof cast. Oh, happy day! It was a beautiful day and we had a nice time at the pool for a while.
The Little Princess is actually jumping into water 4 feet deep, although it looks as if she's standing in ankle deep water!

MOW was working all weekend long, poor guy, so we had to have water balloon fights and frozen t-shirt races without him. It wasn't much, just a little added interest to an otherwise normal day. He did make it home earlier than expected to grill burgers and see fireworks. We did our own fireworks after the city's. I used to be a fireworks scrooge, getting very annoyed by all the neighbors doing the illegal ones all night long. I haven't exactly made an about-face, but I'm tired of wasting my money on the boooorrrring legal fireworks! The others are so much more exciting and, as long as my life isn't in danger, I don't mind enjoying theirs.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Oh, and how could I forget...

I cleaned off my stairs yesterday! Go me! Go me! Well, mostly. I cleaned off 4 stairs and there are only 3 small books on the last one. Almost done planning those lessons.

Of course, this is completely ignoring the fact that I need to go downstairs and clean up the schoolroom because it's turning into one of those "stash and dash" rooms. You know, you just shove the junk onto any available surface in the room and run away instead of putting it away properly? That is going to be a 15-minutes-at-a-time a la Flylady job.

Happy Fourth of July!!

God bless America, land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her...

M.O.W. has gone to work. :( He has a trial that starts Monday (!) and the team has to work all weekend. Yeah, we love the judge that planned that.

Yesterday turned out to be a busy day and I didn't make the one trip that I wanted to the Dollar Store for fun stuff to play with today. We'll have to scrounge around the house and see how creative we can be. But what's a good substitute for squirt guns?

One of our errands yesterday was to the orthopedist to get a short, waterproof cast put on the Pipster. After the x-rays he was sternly lectured (in a nice way, by a very nice man!) about not using his broken arm, especially for things like, uh, climbing trees. It seems he had actually done more damage to his arm while in the cast, causing the bone to angulate, or bend, 20 degrees. He said that it will take 20 months for that to straighten out! After threatening him with surgery and keeping the long cast on for the rest of the summer, we were both near tears. Well, one of us was actually crying a little. Lots of promises to behave like his arm is broken bought us a short cast, but the casting dude had to put a lot of pressure on the arm to encourage it to grow the other way. That was not a happy time either.

Next stop was Costco where we soothed the pain with fireworks and chocolate calcium chews because the other half of the lecture was addressed to the issue of not getting enough calcium in his diet and his arm hadn't healed as much as it should have. I'm not into the whole milk-drinking thing and I think the stuff that passes for milk in the stores will cause more problems than it solves. I essentially just buy it for the cereal, which I think should be outlawed, too. So if he's going to drink all the milk the doc suggested, it will be Real Milk. And the stupid calcium chews, I found out later, are not the most bioavailable type of calcium. But the suckers sure taste good! They're "sugar-free" too, if you're on a diet. (Aren't we all?)

Anybody have any great plans for the 4th? We'll probably go down the street to a parking garage rooftop to view the city fireworks after we grill some awesome hamburgers filled with herb butter. Yum. Then we'll come home and light our fireworks in the cul-de-sac.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cleaning off the Stairs (Not)

I’ve come to a standstill on my school planning. Some people are almost finished. I have piles of books on my stairs in the front hall, making a lovely display for visitors, not to mention a safety hazard for everyone who goes up or down said stairs.

Last year, after Mom’s death, I wanted an easier, more fun school year. Stuff we could do all together and enjoy. And the Lord sent me Elizabeth Foss, who saved my year and gave me wonderful ideas to use.

We also got tired of and a bit claustrophobic in the schoolroom in the basement, so we came upstairs. Mom’s gift of The Green Thing became our school closet and it worked great to keep everything out of the way and accessible.

Then we took the standardized tests this spring.

Science scores took a nosedive, in spite of the fun we had studying Astronomy all year long. I don't blame that on Elizabeth. I'm sure it is because I've been a science slacker all along.

This year we’re determined to bring up those scores. I’m noticing that there are far more books to put in The Green Thing this year. Especially with those ginormous science texts taking up so much space.

So, now I’m wondering----now that the year is 2/3 planned, with one student left to go---how can I make this more like last year and less like SCHOOL?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Good Part of Summer

Honestly, they have a lot of fun with swim team. Something I never had while growing up. Activities that did not take place at school were not part of my life.

Last night was the annual end-of-the season banquet. Lots of awards were given out and the slide show of all the little (and big) swimmers were adorable. Here are my swimmers with their awards:

The Little Princess with her two buddies. They got the "Inseparable" award.

Next is the Pipster, who broke his arm at the 2nd meet. He got the injured swimmer dogtags as a consolation prize. They should have given him a clue. lol. He still doesn't think his game was dangerous. And he still climbs trees with a broken arm.

Next is Madden who won the Most Valuable Swimmer in his age group (13-14). Whenever people see him on the blocks or with his age group we hear mutterings around us that he can't possibly be so young. He's 6' 2". But it won't be quite so unbelievable when he turns 15 in a week and a half.

Last, but not least, is T Max who won the coveted Jamie Award, the biggest award that the team gives out, to the swimmer who exhibits the best qualities of sportsmanship, service to the team, and a positive attitude. He was there for most of the practices of the other age groups. He didn't just hang out and make a pest of himself, but helped the coaches and the other swimmers the whole time. He's a joy.

I'm so proud of all of them, even the 2 oldest ones who skipped out on the banquet to come home and watch past episodes of Lost. They make life worth living, if a bit messier.

The Trouble with Summer (Reprise)

The Trouble with Summer is that I'm an adult now according to my driver's license, birth certificate, and, possibly, the number of children I have. harrumph. It's not my job to play all day, with or without my kids. My hardworking hubby certainly doesn't see any more daylight this time of year. Only the children are on vacation and I just need to get used to that fact!

Whining over.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...