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Starting over

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It’s been almost a year since my last post.  Since then we’ve

-began homeschooling our 3 oldest daughters (just finished up for the school year!)

- our son started preschool

-I inheritated a Girl Scout troop so now I’m the leader of 2 troops

-became a 31 consultant http://www.mythirtyone.com/138952

-and we are expecting #6.

With all of this craziness I’ve been doing things other than blogging. I miss it so I think I’m going to try to blog over the summer at least.  It’s nice to get my thoughts and words out.  Also I love sharing my thoughts and ideas about making homemaking more accessible to other moms.

Please come back and read again soon!

Child of the Week

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In our house we do something special each week called “child of the week”. It’s a fun little way to celebrate the uniqueness of each of our children as well as to cut down on the fights about who goes with mom to the store or who gets to choose the story for story time. It’s a great technique that I hope you can implement in your home with success!

 

For us we have 5 kids so we do child of the week through a raffle. We put the names in a hat and one of the parents chooses a name. Now next week there will be only 4 names, then 3, then 2, then 1, and then we start all over again. This lets each child get excited for his or her week and know that there is a chance next week. Each child has been really supportive and understanding when they have not been selected. Thank goodness for us the first week we did it our baby was the winner. The girls were so excited for him to be the first child of the week and he celebrated with ice cream for all!

Child of the week gets to:

help pick the fun activities of the day

sit next to the baby in the car if appropriate (our 2 year old is not allowed to sit near the baby at all!)

go to the store with mom or dad to help shop

helps with the planning of the dinner menu

stay up a little later one night

go out for a special lunch/breakfast date with dad (my husband works 2 jobs so during the school year there are days when he doesn’t get to see the older girls at all)

pick the game for game time

 

The list doesn’t end there. It’s just a springboard for celebrating each child and allowing the family to get to know them a little more. I think child of the week can work in any family- big or small. In a smaller family it could be family member of the week and mom and dad can enjoy the fun too.

It has been such a fun experience to see the kids getting to know each other better. Child of the week has taught each child to be more respectful of each other. It has helped them to know how each member of the family is special and unique and important to our family.

Child of the week is definitely worth a try! I would love to hear your suggestions on how you would celebrate child of the week.

My prayer list…

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Right now my prayer list is a little long.  I’m a part of a large families group even though I have a medium sized family. There has been  a lot of people in need of prayers.  So much heartache right now that I feel so guilty for asking God to answer my simple prayers. I have a list made for liturgy on Sunday so I don’t forget anyone.  One of the moms posted a link to a blog about this adorable little guy named Tripp.

Tripp has “Epidermolysis Bullosa” and it’s a very rare skin disease. I am constantly checking facebook and the blog to see  how he’s doing. I think he is on everyone’s prayer list which I think is just beautiful. Every night God is hearing all of these prayers and seeing how loved this little boy by people who have never met him but have been inspired by him. He’s truly an angel on Earth teaching us all about God’s love.

 

So as you say your prayers tonight pray for Tripp and remember to add him to your prayers at mass on Sunday.

 

Also if you are in need of prayers please email me and I will put you on my list.

Tips on getting to Liturgy on time

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Okay with 5 kids getting to liturgy or anywhere on time can be a little tough. Someone always has to go to the bathroom at the last minute or someone forgets something. We went out of town on a little road trip and we got there and found out one of our girls wasn’t wearing shoes! Luckily a little pair of play time high heels were in the car! We still had fun but oh the horror on our faces when we thought we might have to turn around (or go find some flip flops somewhere!)

In the summer our liturgy starts earlier than the fall. Plus in the summer we don’t have ECF (Eastern Catholic Formation) classes so we get to “sleep in” but oh that 1/2 hour difference seems so HUGE!. For me, preparing for liturgy the night before makes life a lot easier. Here are a few tips for getting out the door on time.

1. Prepare for liturgy on SATURDAY!

I have a church purse that is always stocked with Catholic books, diapers, wipes, and anything else we might need for liturgy. I repack after liturgy on Sunday so on Saturday I just have to add my tithing envelopes. I put it on the counter ready to role in the morning.

Also it’s important to have a go to easy lunch for Sunday so plan that on Saturday. If you can use the crock pot, woot! Pick something easy so that you can enjoy your family after liturgy. I love to use paper products on Sunday so it’s easy and light and less work for mommy.

2. Get the table ready for breakfast!

I get the coffee pot ready and the mugs out for the morning. For the kids, if they are up early enough to eat at home they will have a bowl of cereal. Sometimes I make up “snack bags” of different cereals to snack on in the car on the 30 minute trip to church. If you aren’t eating in the car kind of people, get the table set so in the morning you can eat and go. Use paper if you can so you don’t have to worry about dirty dishes to wash (I HATE dishes in the sink when I leave my house. It totally irks me.) I know a lot of people are anti paper but Sunday is the one day in which we are asked to rest and enjoy our families. Paper products can be bought cheaply and okay for once a week use. If it’s between healthy food and paper or wastefully meals out, go with healthy food and paper!

3. Select clothing down to shoes and socks for the morning.

After evening hygiene time, select everyone’s clothing from head to toe and lay it out so it’s ready to go in the morning. Church clothes do not need to be fancy but they need to be clean, modest, and appropriate. If you select clothes the night before you will have time to mend anything that needs it instead of rushing around in the morning to figure it out.

 

4. Listen to Christian music on the radio and keep the TV and computer off!

I am just as guilty as anyone else in which I will “quickly check my email” and that turns into 10 minutes of wasted time! The Lord is more important than any email. So leave it until you get home or until Monday. The TV also can suck us in and then oops 30 minutes is gone and your littles aren’t dressed! If you need something to hear than you need to turn on some Christian music to get you in the mood for prayer! Also in the car listen to the music that will keep you in the mood. Some of the music on the radio is not appropriate for anytime let alone on Sundays!

5. Do what you can to make your day restful and peaceful!

As a mom it really is too hard to not do anything on Sundays but with good planning you can make it less work! Do whatever laundry you need done for Monday on Saturday. Get your meal plan for the week done early and make Sundays easy and light.  Sunday is the one day in which I try to let go and enjoy the day without freaking out about the mess on the floor. Of course I don’t let spills or dangerous mounds of toys lie about but I clean it up quickly and worry about the deep cleaning for another day.

 

I hope my little list can help you to get to liturgy on time and with peace and love in your heart!

 

 

Workin’ hard for the glory

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Some days are more challenging than others when you have 5 kids and especially one that has special needs. Jason’s issues are behavioral so if we can stay in a schedule or really prep him before we do something it can go reasonably well. However the slightest little bump in our day can cause extreme meltdowns and anxiety.  Today was one of those days. Let’s just say some days it would be wise to wear a helmet around here and to check everything you thought you knew about being a parent at the door because as much as you think you will use it you won’t but you will be learning something about it that you never knew before!

I try to not get too angry when he does something like throwing yogurt all over the floor because he was done with it or he decided to throw every toy in the toy box at his sisters. sigh…I could just feel my body tense up and get frustrated. I just wanted to cry. Instead I focused myself on my job to take care of the needs of my house, husband, and children. Michael is not going to want to come home from work at 3am and find a dirty house or food every where. Part of my job as a housewife is to make our home a safe, beautiful, calm place for him to relax. Part of my job as a mom is to keep my children safe and happy.

Taking care of my family is my way of showing my love for God and to hope that he will shine his glory on me for doing my work for him. Thinking in this way helps me to get my work done with a smile knowing that it’s making God smile on me and my family. Some days I wonder what I did to be blessed with a son with behavior problems and I don’t always look at it as a blessing. But I’m trying to change my attitude because I am blessed. I am so blessed to have a little guy who keeps me on my toes and has taught me that parenting is not one size fits all. He’s taught me that I can’t be selfish. He’s taught me that God trusted me so much with this special little guy that he gave him to me.

So I encourage you to do your daily work for the Lord. Be thankful for every job you have to do! How lucky we are to have clothes to fold or dishes to clean because we had food to eat! Thank God for those clothes and those dirty dishes! Do your very best to give the Lord your best and thank him for it!

The Joy of Daily Mass

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I went to daily Mass today with the baby. He’s such a cute little guy just  sucking on his fingers and listening to the chanting. I feel so much more of the presence of Jesus during daily mass. I don’t know if it’s because I’m able to focus more because there are no distractions (as known as my children!) or because it feels like I’m really apart of things because my voice isn’t lost in the crowd since there are only about 10 people there.

I’ve been trying to go to daily mass once  a week this summer with my husband being home a little more and the stress of getting the kids off to school isn’t there. It is not the most peaceful experience getting there as I’m heading towards downtown with the working people. The drive ends up being a little longer than getting there on Sunday but I try to listen to the local Christian station and pray on my way there.

There is one parishioner who brings her children to daily mass. I’m so in awe of her children sitting there quietly and paying attention to what is happening. My children are still at the stage in which they ask lots of questions (which is AWESOME but they haven’t gotten the idea of ‘church’ voices yet) and require lots of attention to keep their attention. A wise Byzy mom once told me “Don’t fret! Your littles are becoming your bigs and soon enough life will seem a lot easier.”  I’m praying that happens soon. I can’t wait to see their hearts and heads understanding the beauty of the liturgy.

On Thursday I’m going to hit the Daily Mass at the local Roman Rite church. I hope I don’t get too confused. I love my Byzantine rite but it’s nice to have a closer church as a back up. Even if  I spend most of mass trying to figure it out.

So I encourage you to attend a daily mass. It’s a beautiful start to the day!

God Speed

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Normally I am a very pokey driver. Actually I don’t really like straying from the rules. I like rules. They keep me safe and give me parameters to be creative.  I am a big fan of teaching my children to follow the rules as well. Once I forget to pay for something at the Home Depot and I marched right back into the store to pay for it because it was wrong to steal. I didn’t have any kids with me but I knew I couldn’t look them in the face and ask them not to take from each other when I had. Teaching good character and morality is a tough important job for any mom.

Today was the first day of vacation bible school (VBS) for my daughters. We were running late because Stephanie couldn’t find the perfect outfit to wear. Also the normal easy way of getting there was too trafficy as well as 2 other ways of getting there. So that only left one option. I normally don’t drive that way at all.

I was driving a little faster than normal but thought I was in a 35 mph area. I was not. A police officer saw me and clocked my awesome mini van. I was pulled over with flashing lights. The kids were super excited to see the lights. Yeah me not so much. However I put on a smile and grabbed my license and insurance card. I made a mistake and rules are there to keep us safe. I accepted it. The officer asked me a few questions about where I was going and if I knew I was driving too fast (We were going VBS and no I didn’t but I understand).

God was looking out for me and was definitely taught me a lesson in paying attention. But the officer didn’t give me a ticket. Whew! He waved to the kids and got back into his car. The children were super good and not screaming when he pulled us over.

 

I thanked God about a thousand times. I won’t be speeding again. Next time God’s little lesson might be a little different! But what a great way to teach respecting authority, patience, and being thankful!

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