Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our School Year 2012-2013

 I was wanting to hold out till July 30th to start our school year, but the since the girls were begging to start we went ahead and started our school year Monday the 16th. I know that July seems early to start school but since we do 6 six-week sessions with a week off in between starting early allows for us to have our off periods during Christmas and Easter. I like this format because it not only gives us mini-breaks throughout the school year but keeps summer to only 8 weeks (you know the saying about idle hands!)

This year Brianna is in the 3rd grade and Emma is entering 1st. And of course there is Victoria who is in tot-school. In fact, I'm pretty sure Victoria RUNS tot-school!!

Here is our curriculum for this school year:

Brianna:

*Spelling & Memorization:
                 CHC My Catholic Speller B
                 Scripture Memorization  

*Language Arts:
                CHC Language of God B
                Dictation                         
                Nature Journal

 *Mathematics:
                Modern Curriculum Press (MCP) Book C

*Religion:
                Faith and Life 3
                Living the Liturgical Year

*Handwriting:
               CHC Handwriting 3

*Reading Comprehension:
              Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls
              The Little Apostle on Crutches
              More Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls

*Literature & Composition:
                Charlotte's Web
                Little House on the Prairie
                Wizard of Oz
                The Moffatts
                Cricket in Times Square
                Mary Poppins
               
*Physical Education:
               Ballet
               Golf

Emma:

*Spelling & Phonics:
             CHC My First Catholic Speller
             Dictation

*Mathematics:
            MCP Book A

*Religion:
            Faith and Life 1
            Living the Liturgical Year

*Handwriting:
           CHC Handwriting 1

*Reading & Literature:
          CHC Little Stories for Little Folks
          Aesop's Fables
          Read Alouds

*Physical Education:
          Ballet

Together:


*Science: 
           Apologia Astronomy
           Astronomy Notebook
           Various Projects

*Social Studies: 
           CHC Tour a Country
           
*History: 
           Old Testament/Ancient World History

*Spanish: 
           La Clase Divertida 1

*Fine Arts (Architecture, Drama, Art/Music Appreciation):
           Handle on the Arts Time Traveler Volume 1 

Victoria:

*Read Aloud Books

*Puzzles

*Coloring 

*Songs ~ Wiggles

*Finger Play


This seems like a lot when I write it all out! However, this is a VERY LIGHT year. I omitted Latin & Shakespeare from last year, and I combined the girls together for Science, History, and Social Studies. Just those few changes and the fact that Brianna can do most of her schoolwork without my help has made the past two weeks flow smoother than previous years. Now if I can just get Victoria to nap in her crib we will be on a ROLL!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Count your blessings!



I think there is a tendency in America today to focus on all the negatives in one's life instead of looking at and appreciating the many blessings that God has graciously given. Well, at least I have a tendency to do that! In order to counteract this tendency, I am going to post about all the many blessings I have in my life. Now I may not post daily or even weekly. However, since my goal is to become consciously aware of God's gifts I do want to post relatively frequently to accomplish this goal. Now these are in no way in order of importance. They will simply be as I think of them.

With that in mind, my first blessing God has given me is an easy one. God has blessed me with 3 beautiful and HEALTHY girls! (He has also blessed me with 2 wonderful sons, but that is for another post.)

It is so easy to take for granted that my girls are healthy. When pregnant there was always the fear that something may be physically wrong with the baby (especially during the 1st trimester),  but I don't think I ever believed the baby would be anything but perfect. However, so many babies are born with health issues that it truly is a blessing from God that my girls are healthy! I thank God everyday for this gift, but I know that at times (especially when they are not in the best of moods) I forget what a gift this really is. I get to watch my daughters grow in knowledge of God and the world around them. I get to watch them learn to walk, talk, pray, read, spell, & (eventually) drive a car. By the grace of God, I get to one day watch them graduate high school and college and hopefully be there when they walk down the aisle to get married! What a wonderful gift God has given me!

Now I understand that many of these gifts are in the future and I have no control over what happens tomorrow or the next day. However, there are many parents who don't even have the blessing of these dreams. I do! That in itself is a gift!

I remember before Brianna was born a friend of mine telling me something her grandmother told her. My friend was lamenting to her grandmother how FAST her son's first year of life had gone by and how she was sad that he was growing up! Her grandmother replied with "Yes, but wouldn't it be sad if he couldn't grow up." All I can say is AMEN!

Father in Heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege –to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven.
Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary, I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your Service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of you kingdom in heaven. Amen





Monday, July 16, 2012

I am NOT a country girl!

I have to admit I really, REALLY wanted to be a country girl. Out in my garden, collecting eggs from my chickens, milking my cow. It seems all so quaint and carefree. But alas, I am NOT a country girl. I hate nature. Yes I know hate is a very strong word but dislike is not strong enough.

I do not like digging in dirt - my hands and nails get dirty. I do not like handling animals - they smell. I do not like being outside - its too hot/cold/buggy/etc.

Also, there are too many critters in the country. Just today I had ants in the laundry room and this guy outside our garage.(see pic below)

I know he was only a baby but you know what that means! Where is his MOTHER?!?!

Ugh! I am tired of living in the country. I know I told Andrew I wanted a house with some acreage so I could have a garden and we could be self-sufficient, and Andrew being the great husband that he is gave me what I wanted. However, after these last couple of months of dealing with frogs, snakes, stray dogs, donkeys, & hawks (at my front door mind you) I am about TIRED of the country give me some concrete and a high rise!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dog days of summer

Things have been crazy around here! But that is good because it means that I have LOTS of people who love me!! We have been swimming ALOT and getting ready for our back to school. I was planning on holding out till the last week in July but the girls are ready to get started and I have everything ready so we will probably start in the next week or two.

Hopefully things will have calmed down and I will have more time to blog. So I will leave you a picture of a cute kid to tie you over till the next time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pondering these words

"Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you."

~ St. Augustine

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Anniversary

Today is mine and Andrew's anniversary! I am truly blessed that God chose to bring him into my life! Things sometimes happen in your life that question what God's ultimate plan for your life is. Then something wonderful comes along and the picture is made complete! We have been blessed with two wonderful sons and three beautiful daughters! I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him experiencing all that the future holds! He is such a wonderful man and father and the girls and I are blessed to have him! Happy Anniversary Hubby!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I am so tired.

I don't know why but somehow God has chosen to give me three babies that do not like to sleep. I remember with Brianna being in tears because I couldn't get her to sleep longer than 45 minutes in her bassinet. I then discovered that if I put her in the bed with me she would sleep for 3 hours!! So began the cycle of co-sleeping.

Brianna would wake up every 2-3 hours to nurse. At that time, I thought she would outgrow it but she never did until I weaned her at 18 months!

Along came Emma who has been my best sleeper by far! She did not need to be nursed to sleep and she would want to go to bed early and take multiple naps during the day. But she too would wake up every 2-3 hours until I weaned her at 16 months!

And now we have Victoria. The child has been a horrible sleeper from day one!! Well, that isn't entirely true. She would give me one five hour stretch the first couple of months but that was after she would cry for two hours!!! A good night with Victoria is every two hours she is up. Those nights happen about every four days! The rest of the time she is up every one to two hours!

I know, I know. I created this myself. I shouldn't have let her sleep with us, I shouldn't have let her nurse to sleep, etc, etc, etc. But, in my defense I am OLD! This pregnancy, babyhood, and toddlerhood seem SO much harder this time around. I am too tired to fight the battles that need to be fought and I give into the easiest route. Which brings me back to the beginning. I am SO tired!

It's a vicious circle.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spring Showcase 2012

This past Sunday the girls has their Spring Showcase for Dance. I thought I had posted Brianna's dance from last year, but I can't seem to find it. Oh well. Anyway, she has definitely improved. In fact, she has been chosen to start the pre-pointe class in the fall. This is kinda a big deal since they usually don't start pre-pointe until 10 and she will only be 8 next month! Not that she is the FIRST or ONLY girl that has or will start pre-pointe at 8 but it is not the norm.  I was a little worried when we moved in January that starting her half-way through the year into a new class that she would be behind. However, that has not been the case. In fact, all I have heard since we started was how GOOD Brianna is! Now I always thought she was good but I thought maybe I was (a lot) biased. However, Andrew danced for 15 years and he said that she is really THAT good. Makes me smile. Anyway, here is her video: (Just a side note, this video was taken during dress rehearsal and you can hear the teacher talking in the background. Also, Brianna keeps looking around! It drove me CRAZY but I think it was nerves. She did much better during the actual performance. When I asked her why she kept looking at her friends she said that she just wanted to see how they were doing. That's Brianna always worried about what others are feeling!)

video

This was Emma's first year dancing on stage. Last year at this time she had quit dance because she didn't like marching (her words exactly). WOW! What a difference a year can make! Not only did she LOVE dance (her class included tap and ballet) she LOVED being on stage! She was in the 4 year old class and with her January birthday she was probably the oldest little girls in the class! I have been told how she "has the dancing genes" as well and she really enjoyed doing tap as well. Next, year her class will include acrobatics which should be a lot of fun for her. So, here's Emma!

video

Did you see Emma MARCHING!!! She is so funny that one! I asked her if she was nervous dancing in front of all those people and she casually said "nope." If y'all could have only seen how shy this little girl was even 6 months ago! She has really come a long way. I couldn't be prouder of my girls and can't wait to see what the next year holds!



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Today has been a mixture of emotion. It is always a fun day to celebrate with my wonderful children here on earth. The girls are always so anxious to wish me a happy Mother's day and to take extra care to help out in whatever way then can. I also look forward to phone calls from our boys and well wishes from family miles away.

However,this year mother's day holds some sadness in that I am not awaiting the arrival of a new little one. I have more than once today thought of my sweet Micah and how far along I would be had I not miscarried. I have morned the thought that there will be no Mother's Days with him or her on this side of Heaven. Because of this, I know Mother's Day will always be bittersweet until we are all reunited in heaven. Until that day I will continue to hug my babies here on earth and thank God for the many many blessings He has given me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One down...four more to go.

This past weekend we drove 9 LONG hours to Chattanooga, Tennessee for our oldest son Daniel's college graduation. It was so nice to see family and friends and to go to Mass at our old church. It made me really miss Tennessee even more than I did. However,  I know God brought us to Florida for a reason and that his ways are always perfect.

 Anyway, here are a couple of the photos from Saturday:

Andrew, Daniel, & William (I do not know why 
William insisted on wearing those silly glasses!)

Daniel & Emma

Andrew, Daniel, & Me

Daniel & Victoria (she had just woken up 
and didn't really remember Daniel)

Daniel & Brianna

Daniel & William

We are very proud of Daniel and this accomplishment in his life! He graduated with a Political Science degree and is currently working with a US Senator in hopes of getting a job/internship in Washington DC! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

On the Road Again

We are heading up to Chattanooga, Tennessee for our oldest son Daniel's college graduation! It will be a LONG nine hour drive but it will be worth it to see everybody. I brought the camera so hopefully I will be able to post pictures.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birthday Month



When Andrew and I got married there were a couple of things that I felt I needed to tell him about me that were of utmost importance. These were not necessarily negative aspects about my personality or life but they WERE make it break issues on MY part!

The first issue was that I HATED washing dishes! Now don't get me wrong I will wash a dish or two but it may take me a while to actually get to the sink full of dishes. Usually this will happen when the dishes have been sitting in the sink for a couple days. By this time,  the food is stuck and probably needs a good soaking in very hot water (which can buy me another hour of NOT doing dishes!) When faced with this not so lovely aspect of my psyche, Andrew simply stated that HE would do the dishes at night and if I could simple wash them out after using and pile them on the counter he would be fine!

The second issue was even more important than the first and non-compliance would DEFINITELY be a red flag in the relationship! I get a birthday month! My birthday falls at the end of the month, May 28th to be exact, so it was fairly easy to celebrate once May 1st rolled around! Again, my wonderful husband didn't bat an eye! He said he LOVED giving my gifts and this just gave him another reason to shower me with little lovelies. The only request he made was instead of starting Birthday Month on May 1st could I start on May 3rd since his son William's birthday is the 2nd. Well, since we were at the beginning of our courtship, I didn't want to appear greedy and selfish and insist I on the WHOLE month so I graciously agreed.

So, there you go. The story of Birthday month. And it is right around the corner!!!! I am SO excited! *sigh* I "heart" Birthday Month!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My story


Than you for your thoughts and prayers. I had never experienced a miscarriage before and nothing could have prepared me for the event. As I had posted earlier I was having some issues with the pregnancy before I miscarried, and I was mentally preparing myself for what could happen. However, it was still a very emotional and traumatic experience.  For those of you who have miscarried you know how traumatic the process is. For those of you who have not I pray that you will never have to go through it. I am so very thankful that Andrew was home. I do not know what i would of done if he wasn't.

Andrew conditionally baptized the baby and we called the priest in the morning. Our priest said there wasn't a protocol for a miscarried baby. We decided to bury our baby in the backyard under one of our beautiful oak trees with hanging moss.

When we moved into our house in January we found a shoe box sized pine box in the shed. I do not know what it was from but told Andrew to keep it because we might use it in the future. I believe it was providential that God placed that perfect sized box. We had a small ceremony and buried our little Micah.

My emotions are still raw and I know it will take time to heal but in the mean time I am hugging my babies that God has allowed me to care for here on earth and praying to our families new little saint in heaven for peace. My sister Emily told me something that has given me much comfort during this ordeal. She said: "As Christian parents our main goal is to get our children to heaven. You have already accomplished that with this baby." How true and how wonderful that I can say this!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Heartbroken



My Lord, the baby is dead!

Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity. 

-- Mother M. Angelica

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Prayers Please

I am having some issues with this pregnancy that I have not had with my other ones. I am debating about weaning Victoria. It is such a hard decision. On one hand if it will keep me from loosing the baby I will and on the other hand if I wean her and than lose the baby (or I already have lost the baby) I will feel bad for weaning her so soon. Pray for wisdom for me as I make a decision. Thanks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!



I wasn't able to get a family picture that I liked! The baby will only stand still and smile for 3 pictures TOPS! Especially when there are fun Easter baskets behind her! But this one turned out cute of the girls. They look SO big in this picture. I wish they would stop growing so fast!

Crown of thorns

Before:


After:


The girls worked really really hard during Lent to take thorns out of Jesus' Crown. I even had to add MORE thorns half-way through Lent. I told them that if all the thorns got pulled out then there would be a special surprise come Easter. Well wouldn't you know I FORGOT about putting the flowers in the crown until 6 am Easter morning! Thankfully, the girls were not awake yet and I already had the flowers. They were VERY surprised, even if they both knew I bought those flowers the day before!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Palm of palms

I have seen this cute craft over at Shower of Roses for years but for some reason I never got around to doing it. It is super easy and it turned out adorable! Can't wait to see it next year with an extra pair of hands! ;)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

They think they're just swimmin'

Here are some pictures I took today of the girls. They spent most of the afternoon outside in the pool. I love seeing them get along! I know that these years of playing together is cementing their relationship. They are not just swimming and having fun but becoming best friends!




Friday, March 30, 2012

Victoria's First Birthday.

Since we actually were moving on December 28th (Victoria's Birthday), I decided to celebrate her First Birthday a little early on December 26th. Her older brothers were able to be there for one last celebration before we moved 9 hours away! We opted for a Pooh birthday since Victoria LOVES Pooh! I have one My Friends Tigger and Pooh show on my cell phone and she watches it over and over and over and over! The older girls (as well as Hubby and I) can quote it from memory! Here are some pictures of the "party." Ignore the boxes in the background!