Gaudete!

Happy 3rd week of Advent! We’re on the home stretch now!

I have recently become a fan of Scotch. I never thought I’d write a sentence like that before. But I did write it. And it’s true.

For Andy’s birthday this year, my mum gifted him a Scotch tasting event at a local liquor store. Since Darryl (the Scotch-loving friend) wasn’t in town, Andy invited me along. Now, before this event, I could say that I might have been able to tolerate it, but I definitely didn’t enjoy Scotch. However, I was open to learning more about it and changing my opinion if the circumstances warranted it.

To back up a bit, I have learned to drink hard liquors. Indeed, I was taught/encouraged by my Grandad (who passed away this summer). That man had a collection of liquors in his cupboard that would rival many, so he encouraged me to try his Benedictine and Brandy (commonly called B&B). That, my friends, is a fun introduction to the harder stuff. From there I found I could enjoy even a rum without a mixer, and a few other things. So this was my background going into the Scotch tasting. But Scotch, dearest people, is not so fun and flamboyant as B&B or even as rum can be. I’d say that compared to Mardi Gras, Scotch is more like Lent. But don’t go deep with that analogy, cause I’m sure it’ll break apart somewhere.

2014-10-18 13.55.54So, we went to the Scotch tasting. 7 different Scotchs from two different distilleries. We started with the Glenmorangie, from the Highland part of Scotland. Then we had the Ardbeg, from the small island in the south west called Islay. Mostly what I learned was this: Highland can be sophisticated and elegant. Ardbeg is more like the dirt floor of a pub from over a century ago. Andy likes the dirt, I like the elegant.

The man who gave the tasting is from the Ardbeg distillary, one of the few whose family had been a part of it for over 20 (50?) years. He gave a ton of history about Scotch and particularly about the island of Islay, which apparently is a God-forsaken island in which Scotch is its only redemptive feature.

It was a fun date we had. I learned a lot about Scotch that I never would have sought out to know on my own. And then we came home and I tried some of Andy’s that he has here. And I mostly enjoyed it. Then the Glenlivet Scotch went on sale, so we bought it, and I tasted it, and I liked it. And then. AND THEN. I saw that J&D made a Scotch & Bacon soap. Everything in my world went *click*. Angels. They started their singing. The dark bulb above my head, a light came out of it.

Scotch and bacon.

Scotch.

And.

Bacon.

Therefore, in spirit of such awesomeness, we are going to have a party in celebration of Scotch and bacon before Christmas with a few close friends. One friend has not started her journey into Scotch tasting, so she will be taking her maiden voyage with us and our four Scotchs (that we own between the rest of us).

This, dear people, is how I get through the tough times of parenting three little ones. The little jems in life that turn into awesome parties and make mighty good memories in and amidst the day-to-day. This is what contributes to Gaudete in life!

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The Advent of it All…

Happy new year to all you our there who follow the liturgical calendar! Hope you brought it in with style! We did – we watched a couple Star Trek: The Next Generations and went to bed. Without a ton of kidlet interruptions. It. Was. Awesome.

We are a happy house of little workers here, currently. We have been having a lot more fun in our house the past couple of weeks. The simplest way to describe how? Crafts. I am determined to increase our art experiences in this house, and this time, I’m super planning it, and they haven’t been complete disasters. I know, eh? Who knew?

2014-12-01 14.10.25 2014-12-01 14.31.11We did Alligator A (capital) and apple a (lower-case) for some crafties.

This past week I also started doing homeschool preschool with Spencer. We do it 3 half-days per week, and we’re testing the waters to see how things go. I’m fairly determined to make it work, but I won’t do so to the point of stressing our family beyond a breaking point. If it really doesn’t work, then it’s not for us. HOWEVER, we had great success this past week. The theme of the week was letter A, and most activities we did were about the letter A. Spencer looks forward to doing his school each time, which tells me we are going in a good direction.

2014-12-01 15.29.422014-12-01 16.20.49

Counting with beads and pipe cleaners. He loved it.

We are using the Catholic ABCs as a basis for what we do. The author has a plan and activities for basically doing one half-day per week, so I’ve had to fill things out so we can do two more half-days per week. Every day has a craft of some type, so I’ve upped my ante in this area by one-hundred-fold. Cassia gets to participate in the last craft/activity of the session and enjoys what she can do in these times. Our place is now filling up with the kids’ crafts, which is really as it should be. I love displaying their crafts and artwork, and I know that they are proud of what they do too.

2014-12-01 15.31.58Cause she’s a cutie.

We are eagerly anticipating Christmas here. Two more weeks of lovely preparation for us before we celebrate the feast of Christ entering into our human lives!

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The Sweetest Things…

…come from the most innocent of us all: children. I mean…look at them.

IMG_3425He’s so serious about being a Jedi.
IMG_3433Most of the night she preferred to hold the gun towards herself…
2014-10-30 15.37.33Luke Skywalker, alias Spencer.
2014-10-30 15.09.58Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.
2014-10-30 15.42.40Rebellion for the win!
2014-10-26 15.48.22Corn mazing
IMG_3423So this happened.
2014-10-24 16.50.52And this, within a month of each other. For the record, our children are not usually the type who fall asleep in any place at any time.

The sweetest things.

We have been living life fully since my last post, which feels like eons ago. Felicity was diagnosed with tongue-tie and has had it clipped. So she now takes a bottle and we have finished (forever) syringe-feeding her milk. She is still having some issues gaining weight, but she is being followed by the hospital pediatrician now, whom we’re waiting to hear back from on our next move currently. Felicity has definitely proven how much we can still learn as parents, even by the third child.

The other two are doing great. Spencer has been listening non-stop to Cat.Chat, which has influenced his prayer life significantly. Just tonight Andy was saying that after regular prayer time, he wanted to say his own little prayer. It went like this,

“God, I ask you (blah blah blah) Syria (blah blah blah)…and I ask the Virgin Mary to go and stop the fighting [in Syria]”

Crazy, eh? This boy just inspires me (when I take the time to reflect).

Cassia is in her independent ‘I DO IT’ streak, which is cute. She ends up with a lot of shirts half-on and socks thrown away randomly in frustration. Such is life, eh?

Andy and I are managing this household…I can’t say we keep it clean (and quite far away from immaculate), but everyone is fed, clothed, and loved. Cassia discovered in late September that she can climb out of her crib, and since then, we haven’t had much sleep at night anymore (she used to go to sleep like an angel). Since then, we have been more sleep deprived than normal, but we are enjoying this life and everything in it.

I’m looking forward to a couple things coming up: I’m going to re-start some homeschool stuff with Spencer come Advent. I think we just didn’t have a way of scheduling things that worked well, so I’m reworking it to see if something else might work. And also, in January, we are going to attempt to potty train Cassia. I found a mom’s method for doing it in 3 days. Here’s hoping it works for us. If not, it’ll be another couple months before trying again.

And I’m looking forward to updating a little more frequently too!

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7 Quick Takes Friday #7qt

7_quick_takes_sm11.

Are you having a bad day? Quick, take a look at these photos:

2014-08-28 21.39.41mess on defunct dishwasher, and those are weeks-old eggshells in that bowl, in case you need to know
2014-08-28 21.39.48our counter space
2014-08-28 21.39.58cleanest area

Does your kitchen look like this? No? Then feel better about yourself, my friend. You’re not that bad. Let these pictures serve you to think, ‘well, at least my kitchen isn’t as bad as this one lady’s I saw on the internets today. I’m actually doing pretty good’ I will be that lady for you. Am I proud of it? Nope. Am I stressed about it? Nope. In fact, I just finished a bag of chipotle ranch chips and am going to head to bed after this post. It’s just one of those days.

2.

Ever feel like things are going a little too swimmingly? Then you get a missed bill slapped in your face and all you can think is ‘craaaaaaaaaapppppppppps’. Hypothetically? Thankfully they don’t disconnect my internets after just 1 missed. I would cry.

3.

I successfully left the house with three kidlets by myself on foot. We ventured to the new subdivision beside us (used to be a field) that has show homes open for viewing. I was curious enough to risk it with three kids.

Time was my friend, friends. We went when most normal people are still working, so there was no one else around looking. This made my time there much less stressful. And it was by blessed coincidence that it occurred this way. On our way out of the second last house a van pulled up and a party of people jumped out and rushed in the doors as we slid out of them. Near miss.

My favourite was this layout:

2014-08-28 21.40.35and it’s not because there was free keurig coffee with real cream for the freebs in this house2014-08-28 21.40.42The house has no garage on the front like it’s mooning the street. It’s a keeper!

4.

We just had some friends visiting last night whom are from Ottawa. My, how I miss spending quality time with friends. We stayed up wayyyyyyy too late talking with them about everything that could pop into our heads. It has been much too long since we last conversed with friends in a meaningful way for longer than 1 hour. I am definitely looking forward to one day doing this on more occasions than once every 4 years…(does it happen when the kids get older? I don’t know…)

5.

Is it wrong to want to stay up all night because it’s so silent? Andy’s gone to bed early because we stayed up too late last night, so I’ve had blessed silence for about 2 hours now. I have this urge to just stay up late and do nothing. Or bake. If my kitchen didn’t look like above, I’d probably make myself something nice, big, and chocolate. silence is golden.

6.

Felicity is growing. The breastfeeding issues have largely subsided, but it’s not because we started using the bottle for her, like I last posted. Cause she said to us, in no uncertain terms, ‘no-effing-way’ to that sucker.

2014-08-20 20.00.26our little Goo Baby (so named by Cassia)

We tried everything to get her to take to the bottle. I didn’t know refusal on this level was possible. But I will tell you, it is stressful when you think she’s going to end up being hospitalized for not growing because she’s not a) breastfeeding enough b) bottle feeding any c) nor finger feeding (thank-you-very-much-no-thanks, she said).

She’s got a very little bit of chubs on her now, which is becoming of a baby. She’s growing longer (which was never the issue). I think the domperidone (or however that stuff is spelled) is finally working its magic and the fenugreek and blessed thistle aren’t hurting either. I’m so thankful that she seems to be gaining her weight now. Our doctor said to come back in a month cause she thinks it’s going better too, so yay. Very yay.

7.

5k run. This year, will be a walk. Cause that run occurs the first weekend in September, which is apparently 9 days away now.

2014-08-21 15.29.46

inevitably, when Spencer grabs my phone to play with the camera, he always takes a picture of his feet. these feet will not be running..

Have I done any training? Well, I went for that walk through the show homes…(read: nope). What was I thinking? I was thinking I could totally train with a newborn. Well, even if people told me it wouldn’t happen, I now have the experience to back up their claims. Granted, if I hadn’t had 2 other kids running around, but had the experience to know how awesome that would have been, I might have.

memeShame: none. I will walk that 5k with pride in my spit-upped shirt. Though I might run through the colour spraying portions so that I can breathe. We’ll see.

 

Be sure to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

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Answer Me This

This is to be the last one, so it would be unfortunate not to participate!!

Answer Me This31. What is your your favourite picture book?

Any of the books by Leslie Patricelli, but especially Potty:

pottyThey are short, to the point, and entertaining. My kids love this book.

We also love the majority of Tomie de Paola‘s books, too. Spencer especially likes The Song of Francis (though I admit the angels are a little creepy):

francisHe writes a lot of children’s Christian books in addition to non-Christian books.

2. Are you a boycotter?

Not really. When I was much younger, I used to be, but I don’t so much anymore. I do weigh my decisions and make ethical choices based on my beliefs, but I don’t so much boycott. The only thing I retain from my younger days is not shopping at Walmart. Generally speaking, I don’t like shopping at big industrial stores and this place seems to epitomize our materialistic tendencies in my mind, so I avoid it.

3. How do you feel about cheese?

*melt*

Does that explain it? No? Well, I think I’m clever :). I love it so much that we make our own cheese at home, most recently venturing into mozzarella-making. And, believe you-me, it’s delicious.

2014-06-30 22.53.39Making the mozza balls :)
2014-07-13 22.18.07Fresh cheese and beer, no better combo (this may only hold true occasionally).

While visiting family in Cincinnati a few years ago, I apparently made a statement along the lines of, if I could do with only one type of food, it would be cheese. I went back there with the kids in January and, of course, one of the foods I bought was cheese (cause, yum). My aunt repeated what I had said on the previous visit about cheese and, though I had no recollection of saying it, I could easily verify that it’s something I would have said. Easily.

4. How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?

More than I need, that is certain. Maybe 4 or 5? My problem has always been that they get scratched. But I don’t thrown them out when they get scratched. They hang around. For no good reason. I should clarify that they aren’t expensive – they’re the cheap kind that are no pricier than $10 (usually). Except my prescription sunglasses, which broke and are likely fixable, but I need to check warranty information before I see if I can fix them myself.

5. How long has it been since you went to the dentist?

Goodness, this is a poke in the eye kind of question. Not in a long time. And it’s only due to laziness. There is no good reason. I can’t go into more detail because I find it embarrassing that I still haven’t done anything about it.

6. If you could visit any religious site in the world, where would you go?

I would love to take a tour of Paul’s journeys. I love the history of the new testament and it would be absolutely amazing to experience the places and communities he visited. paul

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