Monday, October 31, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (7th Ed.)

1. Our caterpillars arrived on Monday! We have five and they were all alive when we opened the box. Within a few days, they all starting making crysalids. By Sunday evening they were ready to move to the butterfly garden. Now we just have to wait for them to hatch. It's too bad they'll have to live their whole lives in our house; it's too cold to let them go outside, but we're starting to study butterflies on Tuesday so the timing was good for our curriculum.

2. Tuesday was our last day of soccer practice! On Saturday, we had three games, Second Daughter's last ones until next spring. First Son still has one more next weekend. It's been fun and great for the kids, but I'm glad we're nearing the end.

3. Our goddaughter was born! We met her on Sunday and her sweet parents let me hold her even though she was sleeping in her car seat.

4. Wonderful news from a friend that she's having her first baby!

5. Second Son playing the piano - He loves it! Notice the big bump in the middle of his forehead? That's from him trying to climb down from the piano bench and hitting the futon. It looks worse than it felt, I think. Also notice he's in disposable diapers? I washed his cloth ones and haven't even had time to stuff them! (Well, that, and we had half a package of size three diapers that were really too small for overnight and all the babies I know are bigger or much much smaller.)

6. We celebrated Halloween at story hour this week. All the kids dressed up in their costumes and were able to climb on the table (always a treat) to tell who they were. I dressed Second Son in his lion costume. I was surprised how well he wore it, but I think he scared himself when I put him in front of the mirror.

7. Spending Thursday afternoon at home. We've been running around, going on lots of field trips and visits, so it was nice to spend some time at home. I drank a whole pot of tea and read two short stories while the kids cleaned the living room. (Note I did not finish stuffing those cloth diapers.)

8. On Saturday, Kansas Dad and I each took a turn playing Wii Fit using the balance board. Because I was feeling magnanimous, I let the kids all play a game or two as well. When the Wii and TV were turned off, I found Second Son standing on the Wii balance board slapping his hands just like us. It was so adorable! I would have taken a picture, but he's squarely in the too-fast-for-you phase. Exhibit A:

Fuzzy adorable toddler
9. Second Son toddling to Kansas Dad while he taught the Sunday School class and asking to be picked up. Kansas Dad scooped him up and taught the rest of the class holding him. I love how cute Second Son was. I love how handsome my awesome husband looked. I love how the class just laughed and continued on as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

10. A birthday party today full of building and dirt. I missed most of it because I didn't want to wake Second Son who had cried all through lunch and then fallen asleep in the van. So I sat with him, reading my Kindle, until he woke up -- one and a half hours later! The other kids had a great time at the party and I was lucky enough to see most of the families again later in the day.

11. Last, but not least, our parish hosted an All Saint's Trunk or Treat today. It was wonderful! There was a great turn-out, both of kids dressed as saints (babies through high schoolers) and families with decorated trunks handing out candy. There were games, cookies, coloring pages. Really, it was fun and gave us many more reasons to be thankful for our parish family. My kids dressed at St. George, St. Elizabeth of Hungry (notice her basket of bread), St. Bernadette and St. Juan Diego.

Juan Diego did not want to stay still for a picture, so these are the best I have. Thanks to fabulous family members, I spent $0 on our costumes!

My, it was a full week here on the Range! What did you love last week?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cloth Diaper Review: SwaddleBees One Size Pocket Diaper

I run into this problem often: a desire to write a review of a cloth diapering product that is no longer sold. It either speaks to the dynamic world of cloth diapering, forging ahead to find a better fit and better materials or just results from a busy mama's life with four kids under eight. Or both.

Anyway, I bought this Swaddlebees one size pocket diaper used at a local cloth diaper store. I love buying good condition used cloth diapers. Not only do we extend the environmental benefits of cloth diapering and decrease our financial investment, I'm able to try a wider variety of cloth diapers than I probably would buying only new ones. (Swaddlebees has some fantastic prints!)

This diaper has two levels of snaps to decrease the size. The one I bought wouldn't stay snapped at the top level on one side (and Second Son was too big to try the lower ones), but it still worked just fine in catching everything it was supposed to catch.

It is soft on the inside, and it has stayed soft. (I'm not sure how used it was when I bought it; it was in very good or like new condition.) It came with two bamboo inserts, one large and one small. I was excited to try out bamboo and it has not disappointed, though I do have to use both inserts together. I find this is the case for all of Second Son's diapers. He needs the highest levels of absorption.

The only real problem I've had with this diaper is the velcro. The strip across the front at the top ends up rubbing against Second Son's tummy if he's not wearing pants. (You can see in the picture above how it's very close to the top of the diaper.) Now that it's fall (though still in the 80s), it's not as much as a problem as it was in the summer when I'd often leave him in a shirt and diaper. (The summer was so blistering hot the air conditioner often struggled to keep the house in the mid to high 80s.) Also the tabs are already peeling apart. The diaper still holds together but sometimes it's hard to get a good grip on it to put the diaper on or take the diaper off.

I'm not sharing the name of the local store here on the blog, but if you're local and interested send me an email and I'll tell you were I found it. It's a fantastic store that carries a full selection of new diapers and accessories in addition to some wonderful toys. For those of you farther afield, you can often find a range of gently used diapers (one size diapers and pocket diapers, for example) at Cloth Diaper Outlet.

Model in Motion

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Someday I will do all the laundry and will not have to wash any clothes, diapers or bed linens that someone went to the bathroom in or on.


Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (6th Ed.)

1. Second Son's sixth tooth came in. I was hoping we'd get a break from the grumpiness but he's still chewing on his hands constantly so perhaps more are on the way. Baby teeth are adorable, aren't they?

2. I just love second grade. First Son is a much more diligent, focused child than last year. We don't always finish everything I plan for the day, but we usually do and often with very little whining, once we get started. He even cheerfully told his grandma he couldn't come outside to play because he wasn't done with his lessons yet. (We did finish early so he could play outside with everyone else.)

3. First Son reading along on my Kindle as we've started A First Book in American History. I have a free version downloaded on PDF on my laptop in which the brief definitions of some of the words appear at the end of the chapter. In the Kindle edition, they appear just after the word defined. First Son will often interrupt to interject the definition. This behavior may be frustrating before we finish the book, but now I love it because it shows he's paying attention even when it seems to me that he's not even looking at the Kindle. (As a side note, I'm tying his narrations for this book and the chapters are a bit difficult for him to narrate very well. He did like how the sailors wanted to throw Columbus overboard, though.)

4. Pumpkin patch field trip - everyone should have one every year. Second Son picked a baby pumpkin, but rolled it off the trailer before we made it back to the van. He didn't seem to mind too much.

A very messy Second Son after his cookie snack

The kids and the pumpkins

Second Son and his pumpkin

5. After our faith formation class this week, which only meets once a month, two other moms and I chatted for over an hour while our children played in the wet grass and on the playground. The children were wet and muddy before we left, but it was a beautiful fall day and I loved watching them play and talking with my friends.

6. Watching Second Son walk around outside. He loves to walk and walk and walk. He's fascinated by the borders between sidewalk and grass. He'll often step on and off the sidewalk over and over again.

7. Second Son also loves the slide. He doesn't understand why it ends or why he has to be lifted to the top or has to climb the stairs to the top. He just wants to slide down and down and down. His laugh is wonderful.

8. Parties! A housewarming for Second Son's godparents who have moved near-by and a birthday party for a sweet little girl who has a new baby sister I was able to hold for a while.

9. Second Son's scratched up face. Well, I suppose I don't really love that he fell on his face and got all scratched up (especially as I had been intending to take some 15 month pictures), but I do love how the bumps, bruises and scratches of toddlers speak to their increasing independence and forays into the world beyond Mama's reach.

What did you love about your week?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quote: One Thousand Gifts

Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are:
The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy--before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet? How do you open your eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral? Could I go back to my life and pray with eyes wide open?
Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Catholic Company Review: Francis

Francis: The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo
40th Anniversary Edition with a foreward by John Michael Talbot

Francis: The Journey and the Dream is not a biography of St. Francis of Assisi. Written by a Franciscan priest who is also a poet, the book is more of a series of reflections on the life and inner thoughts of the saint by a modern member of his order. Fr. Bodo had the opportunity to live in Assisi while writing this book, gazing at a country rich in history and perhaps similar to the land Francis himself wandered.

The book allows us to dwell on St. Francis's thoughts and feelings.

God's own Son had spoken to him, had asked him to rebuild his church. He understood now that request meant more than brick and mortar. It meant that he, Francis, was to recreate in his own person the life of Jesus on earth. He was to be obedient to God's Word, chaste in mind and heart, poor in everything. How that was to rebuild God's Church he did not know, but he suspected that it would follow, as his father Pietro always said, from being a good steward.
The chapters tend to be short, just two or three pages. It would be a nice addition to a morning or evening devotion, a brief glimpse into the life of a man devoted to giving everything to Christ, and receiving Him in return.
When Francis passed people on the road or met the on their doorsteps as he begged, he could not hide his delight in them, in their very existence. All people to Francis were good gifts to brighten his day with the mystery of their unique personalities.

We can see how Francis embodied the Gospel and exhortations of Paul.

And he was not worried or anxious about yesterday, today, or tomorrow because Christ is, and all things are in Him and He is in the Father. Francis no longer worried, not because he was a naive optimist, but because he had become in prayer and penance a realist who saw the unimportance of everything but God, and in God and with God and through God, the importance of everything. God was everywhere; the divine presence charged creation with a power and glory that made everything shine with beauty and goodness in Francis's eyes. God's touch on everything inspirited everything that was.

I liked the following quote, because it shows that sharing pain with someone we love, who loves us, truly eases it.

[N]ow, as Francis lay dying, he was comforted by the thought that Leo was there with him. And Leo would suffer with him, so that all the pain was halved by Leo's love.

Writing of the end of Francis's life, Fr. Bodo speaks to those of us who are unable to work despite a great desire because of infirmity or a temporary condition:
Ironically, this non-activity was the hardest work he had ever done. For now nothing remained but love, kept alive by his faith and his hope. He had never been so utterly dependent on others. This was Lady Poverty's last courtship of him, and he realized for the first time that honeymoons do recur to those who persevere in love to the end. He now submitted finally and totally to his Lady, giving up for her even the pride of honest labor. And he was at peace in her arms.

Fr. Bodo imagines Francis's thoughts as he contemplates a common but beautiful mountain flower:
How much more should we human beings be witnesses to the glory of simply existing? We will live forever. Our existence alone is enough, and we are glorious apart from any work we may produce or any life we may engender. But we have to learn that liberating truth by meeting God in the soul's own core. God's love and acceptance of us makes possible our own self-love and self-acceptance.

This is a beautiful hardcover book with thick pages. It would make a lovely gift for someone who loves St. Francis or is interested in what it means to live a life of Poverty.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. I received a free copy of the book in exchange for this honest review. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Francis - The Journey and the Dream. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (5th Ed.)

1. Kansas Dad and I spent the weekend away from home and the kids. My mother and mother-in-law held down the fort, fed the kids and ferried First Daughter to and from her soccer game.

2. For the first time this year, First Son's weather graph for math showed more cool days than warm ones.

3. Kansas Dad and I had two nights without feeding anyone else, making a meal or washing any dishes.

4. My new dryer chirps when the cycle is finished. It makes me foolishly happy.

5. For two days, Kansas Dad and I didn't have to hear anyone say, "What else is there to eat?"

6. Our Fly Trap experiment failed to attract any fruit flies. I know I should be disappointed that the kids have missed out on an exciting observation opportunity, but I'm just happy to learn my kitchen does not harbor a fruit fly population.

7. Did I mention Kansas Dad and I had a lovely weekend all to ourselves full of good food, a museum of art and a luxurious hotel?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quote: Towards a Philosophy of Education

Charlotte Mason in  Towards A Philosophy Of Education:
Our chief concern for the mind or for the body is to supply a well-ordered table with abundant, appetising, nourishing and very varied food, which children deal with in their own way and for themselves. This food must be served au naturel, without the predigestion which deprives it of stimulating and nourishing properties and no sort of forcible feeding or spoon feeding may be practised. Hungry minds sit down to such a diet with the charming greediness of little children; they absorb it, assimilate it and grow thereby in a manner astonishing to those accustomed to the dull profitless ruminating so often practised in schools.


I think Second Son may be becoming nocturnal.

I suppose it's preferable to what we went through with First Daughter at this age. She used to wake from 1 am to 3 am pretty much every night, but whereas Second Son just doesn't want to sleep, she used to scream for two hours.

He only screams if we put him back in his crib...but he won't sleep with us and he's not really safe anywhere else and I'm so tired...

So tired...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review: Write These Laws on Your Children

Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling by Robert Kunzman

This book was fascinating! I first read about it on Milton Gaither's blog. You can read what he thought about it in part 1 and part 2 of his review.

Mr. Kunzman has written a book that reminds me of an in-depth newspaper or magazine article, perhaps a series. He intersperses anecdotes and interview material with research he has done. In an admittedly random way, Mr. Kunzman found six homeschooling families in California, Vermont, Indiana, Oregon, and Tennessee. Given that these families allowed a researcher to come into their homes and observe their homeschooling days, he found a wide range of methods and abilities.

Mr. Kunzman is clear about his concerns regarding conservative Christian homeschoolers. He is mainly worried these parents are teaching their children to be warriors in the political arena to aggressively attack anyone who is not a conservative Christian, unwilling to accept any views other than their own as acceptable. He fears they are growing up without an understanding of a pluralistic society and the need for compromise for a successful democracy.

He says in the first chapter that he hopes to "illuminate some of [homeschooling's] underlying tensions."
I call them tensions not to imply some fundamental flaw in homeschooling, but rather that legitimate priorities often pull against one another. The freedom that homeschooling provides parents to shape teaching and learning, for example, holds both positive and negative possibilities ranging from enrichment to neglect. The desire to impart cherished values to one's children can be in tension with helping them learn to think for themselves. Striving for a society in harmony with one's religious values can clash with a democracy filled with diversity of thought and belief. And regulations aimed at protecting the interests of parents, children, and society can threaten the flexibility that makes homeschooling an effective learning experience for many children. Each of these tensions involves competing visions about the proper aims of education as well as the relationship between faith, freedom, and citizenship.
Given his obvious bias against conservative Christian homeschooling, if not homeschooling in general, Mr. Kunzman is wonderfully empathetic, understanding and even-handed in his descriptions of the families and of their responses to his interview and survey questions. In many cases, he openly admires the teaching skills of the (mainly) mothers and the strengths of homeschooling in general. When the families he is observing fall short (and, oh, some of them fall very short indeed!), he is surprisingly gentle in his discussion of their weaknesses.

The most glaring fault of his book is the lack of footnotes, end notes or any other kind of references. I know I'm biased and like to check sources, but I think it's a serious flaw in a book with as many statements in the text that were obviously researched. Without the references themselves, it's very difficult to say with certainty that they are legitimate though I have no real reason to believe they are not.

In some ways, we have much more in common with the families Mr. Kunzman is interviewing in this book than with the author. He repeatedly discusses his concerns with children being unable to compromise on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Now, not everyone who reads this blog agrees with my feelings on these issues and I don't intend to start a discussion about them. I only want to point out that Mr. Kunzman is missing the point a bit here. On abortion at least, I am certainly not willing to compromise. As far as I'm concerned, this is not analogous to whether we will allow prayer at a flag pole outside a public school. It's more along the lines of a genocide. To expect me to agree to a legal compromise that allows abortion to continue in order to maintain some sort of acceptable order in the public square would be the same as expecting me to agree to a legal compromise that allows a person to be murdered every hour at the courthouse because it will keep the peace.

As I said, I don't want to start a discussion on whether my views of abortion are correct. I am only trying to explain why Mr. Kunzman's expectations in this particular issue are misguided. Compromises on other issues are certainly to be expected and desired in many cases.

I also felt like he was overly concerned with the fears that conservative Christian homeschooling parents would not want their children to learn to think for themselves, that they would not want them exposed to other cultures, thoughts and ideas. Every parent eventually wants children to learn to think for themselves. The struggle to find the right time to introduce new ideas and challenges is one we all face. Even the most protective of homeschooling parents Mr. Kunzman interviewed wanted their children to "choose Christ" rather than follow blindly.

Mr. Kunzman also continually wondered whether homeschooling parents would be willing to sacrifice some of their own freedoms with increased regulation to protect the homeschooled children who are being essentially educationally neglected, either purposely or through parents' ignorance. It seemed like none of the parents he interviewed were willing to accept additional regulation. I know many other homeschooling parents feel the same way. As someone who has worked at a non-profit focused on public education for a decade, I have mixed feelings here. I don't want the hassle of additional regulation for myself or my homeschool and recognize the inherent difficulties in determining what the baseline of necessary educational knowledge would be...however, I can see the validity of asking whether homeschooled children are learning the most basic concepts of reading and arithmetic. I would be most anxious to support legislation that offered assistance to families struggling rather than using tests or other methods to forbid homeschooling.
But the rise of homeschooling also holds implications that extend far beyond the phenomenon itself, raising fundamental questions about the purposes of education and the relationship between families, the state, and the society we share. 
This book is more like a sociological exploration of conservative Christian homeschooling by an outsider than a study. Mr. Kunzman does not make broad generalizations about the absolute need for regulation. He does not decry homeschooling in general or even the method of schooling by the conservative Christian families he visited. He doesn't seem to change his mind about anything after the experiences he had with six families over the course of two years but it also doesn't seem like he's determined to change the reader's mind, either.

I would be very interested in hearing what others have to say about this book.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homeschooling in Real Life

On my counter now stands a quart jar, open, in which ripens a banana in an attempt to lure fruit flies to descend and lay eggs so we can watch the fruit fly life cycle.

This is the state to which homeschooling has brought me and my house. Every time I walk past that jar I wonder what I was thinking.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (4th Ed.)

1. We almost finished lessons before lunch on Tuesday. I made it halfway through First Daughter's reading lesson. Usually we need at least an hour after lunch to finish up.

2. Once last week, First Son got every single one of his math fact sheet problems done correctly in under a minute. He knows those sums of ten facts amazingly well!

3. We had an awesome discussion this week as we started our second unit of Connecting with History volume 2. Without any idea what the answer would be, I asked First Son why he thought Jesus was born as a baby instead of arriving on earth as an adult. He answered, "So he could grow." I thought that was a remarkably good answer from a second grade boy. I really enjoyed our conversation.

4. Hanging clothes outside - Last week our dryer crossed over to the no-longer-worth-fixing-and-broken-again zone. We ordered a new one, one that will not arrive until today. In consequence, I've spent the past week hanging nearly everything out on the line. I tend to use the dryer because finding time around a one-year-old and homeschooling a second grader (not to mention the other two in-between) is a hassle, but I do love a few minutes of sunshine at random times during the day and the sound of slapping clothes as they flap in the wind. I may even try to keep up with the clothesline on our easier days as long as the weather holds up. (Though we do have days of strong Kansas winds! More than once the first clothes I hung were dry before I finished hanging all the clothes in the load.)

5. Second Daughter saying, "I'm growing big, but I'm still little."

6. The near pristine hardcover copy of The Legend of the Poinsettia from a wonderful member of PaperBackSwap which appears to be autographed by the author. I also received a wonderful hardcover copy of Paddle-to-the-Sea. (I waited a long time for that one!)

7. Teaching my first lesson of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

8. A fabulous picture of Second Daughter and a wonderful trip to a living history museum for the fall education day.

9. Wonderful news about a first baby!

10. First Son's narration of the myth of Europa and Cadmus. He finished Europa off in one sentence, dooming her to wander the world riding on a "deer." Cadmus, though, was another story. He went into great detail:

Cadmus was sent away from the castle because he was blamed for the bull that took away his sister. Then he followed a brindled cow and in the spot that he was supposed to build a city he had lots of people following him who he thought would help build the city. He sat down and waited. He sat and he sat and he sat, but they didn’t come. They were eaten by a dragon which he defeated.

He planted the teeth and soldiers grew from them. Then they helped him build the city and he was the king. They called it Thebes.
This is easily the best narration he has ever given. If only every story had a dragon to slay and teeth to plant! (I type his myth narrations from Classic Myths to Read Aloud. Putting the piece of paper into his Mario folder is probably the highlight of the narration for him. I accept that.)

11. Second Daughter's "laughing pumpkin."

How was your week last week? Anything wonderful happen?

** Please note, I am a new affiliate with RC History. If you follow the link above for Connecting with History and make a purchase, I do receive a commission. I love this program and have no qualms about encouraging any Catholic to learn more about it. (Non-Catholics probably want to look elsewhere for a history program.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Love Is Sacrificing an Hour

Earlier this week, Kansas Dad stopped at a home improvement store on his way to work. Walking back out to the car, he noticed Second Son's car seat in the back. (He meets me and brings Second Son home once a week when the older three and I go to Catechesis.) Knowing we were supposed to drive to story hour with snacks for the group and show and tell, he turned the car around and drove thirty minutes home in time to move the car seat (in the rain!) to the van for our day.

That's love.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Color of a Soul

I've been reading Kateri Tekakwitha: Mohawk Maiden (Vision Books) aloud to the kids. First Son, when hearing the child Kateri would dream of a Blessed Mary who looked like a Mohawk, said he usually imagined Mary as white.

I explained that Mary was probably darker than we are because the Hebrew people who lived in Nazareth and Jerusalem at that time were darker.

First Daughter replied, "Mary was darker on the outside, but she was whiter on the inside because her soul was cleaner. She never sinned."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First Daughter Is Five

I don't know quite how it happened, but First Daughter turned five about ten days ago. Could it really be true?
First Daughter, five years ago
Making a wish
She's both a delight and a frustration. This girl doesn't care a fig for any sort of punishment so I often feel like she's running rampant over everything, but she's actually pretty well behaved. It is true she refuses to clean her half of the living on a regular basis, but she does bring the dirty clothes for me to run through the laundry and I think she'd wash all the dishes if I let her. Now that I think about it, I should set her at the sink after lunch every day to wash a few...the unbreakable ones.

After playing in the fountain at the State Fair

When we asked her what she wanted to eat for dinner to celebrate her baptism anniversary, she said, "Ice cream!" She doesn't just want ice cream, either. She wants ice cream with some sprinkles or cookie crumbs or bits of candy on top, doused with chocolate syrup or hot fudge and a dollop of whipped cream (or more). There's a girl after my own heart.

With the obligatory pancake as big as her head for her birthday breakfast

She's learning to read. She started sounding out words last week and even learned her first sight work (the).

She's not always excited to read. She still has trouble mixing up b and d. She also has trouble remembering the sound for n. So I'm not in a big hurry with the lessons. Last week we took a little break to spend some time with the sandpaper letters and sound and picture cards. She enjoyed them so much she asked for another letter.

First Daughter on the first day of school

She often spends our lesson time pretending something elaborate involving babies, sleeping and alarm clocks with Second Daughter, particularly amusing since we don't have any alarm clocks. (Unless you count Second Son.) She's not interested in listening to many of the lessons herself, though she does still like the picture books. She is interested in distracting her brother.

First Daughter in the deer hat she made for our Native American study
 She loves to paint, stamp, cut, tape, staple...basically anything that will make a mess in the kitchen.

She has little fear. At the State Fair she had more fun on the fast dragon ride than First Son or Second Daughter.

For her birthday, she wanted a princess party. She especially requested a princess pinata. So we went to the store and picked out the perfect one with Grammy. It was so full of candy, Kansas Dad said we had to hang it from a doorway instead of the ceiling. The girls didn't complain.

All dressed up in her Pretty Princess game jewelry

Ready for the party guests to arrive
She loves to borrow my camera. Every time she does, I find a picture like this one.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What I Loved About Last Week (3rd Ed.)

Illnesses (kids and mine) kept me from posting anything much last week, but I was determined to get a few pictures up for Monday. Here are a few things I loved about the last week.

1. Kid's Eye Views - While going through the pictures on my camera, I found a few from our trip to Medicine Lodge. I had let the kids take turns with my camera while we waited for the parade to begin. There were about ten pictures of the road.

2. Second Daughter's paten - In Atrium, the children can use tracing paper to trace alter items. Second Daughter doesn't quite understand how it works. She always just colors in the item with markers and then cuts it out. This past week, she also cut it up and glued it onto another piece of paper as a "puzzle." I should take a picture of that because it's adorable.

3. Missing Teeth - First Son lost his sixth tooth last week. He's always so excited. Of course, he doesn't understand that only two more little baby teeth stand between him and orthodontics. Sigh. But he's still cute. (By the way, he's wearing some deer antlers he made while we were learning about how Native American hunting techniques, found in More Than Moccasins. This is the project First Son selected for our unit craft.)

4. Outdoor projects, especially those overseen and documented by Dad. First Son is learning about rivers this year, so he and First Daughter built a mountain then doused it with water to see how the water would change the shape of their mountain.

5. Second Daughter as Doctor to Elmo (sometimes called Baby Felicity)

6. My kids are currently 7, 5, 3, and 1. I just like that. It will only last for a few months before First Son turns...8!! Can it be? 7.

7. Dinner with Grammy and a visit to our children's museum on a members only night to see a new traveling exhibit that included a squid dissection.

8. Second Son waking on Saturday morning and not crying. I could hear him jabbering away to himself in his crib.

9. First Daughter's baptism anniversary - The more we celebrate these, the more I love celebrating them. The birthday celebrations are full of planning, food, friends and craziness. The baptism celebrations are quiet but the kids still look forward to them. They love lighting the candle. Their faces are just as flushed with pleasure when we pray for them as when they are hearing a roomful of friends sing "Happy Birthday." I am also finding I like the little gifts we give. They are (so far) quiet inexpensive, but I feel like they are growing our faith. First Daughter received one of Brother C.S.C Ernest's books newly republished by Mary's Books, A Story of Saint Therese. I think she'll be able to read it herself before too long, with help. St. Therese's feast day is First Daughter's baptism anniversary. She's also a favorite saint here on the Range.

10.  Lion sandwiches to celebrate the feast of St. Jerome, after reading St. Jerome and the Lion.

11. Watching soccer games - First Son has improved tremendously. First Daughter made two goals.

What did you love about last week?