Despite It All

Despite our turn of ill health, we had our own version of high tea here yesterday. The kids ate crustless sandwiches, drank tea from fancy cups (I only had two), and enjoyed crumpets with jam and whipped cream for dessert. They loved it. And they learned all about manners. High Tea manners. To which they promptly disregarded mostly, but still, it was there. We had a great time and I think it should become a Nana tradition to have “High Tea” whenever she comes (yes, mum?). Will need to find a better source of bread and crumpets, though. Or perhaps make scones.

And in the health department, we are still struggling. Somehow everyone but me has contracted a second virus, one that causes a high fever. Cassia seems to be taking the brunt of it right now – hoping it will clear up very soon. Poor girl ūüôĀ Though it seems to be affecting Spencer’s sleep and he’s waking up in night terrors again, which is no fun for anyone. The kids are definitely getting many opportunities to watch their new Cat.Chat shows during the day, at any rate.

And in other news, tomorrow is a very merry Christmas for Andy and I…


On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

My Little Pony and #7QT

 

1.

It’s totally the rage. With my kids. And did you know that they even have a Christmas album? Please, ask me how I know.

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2.

I finally,¬†finally have entered into a rhythm of school work with Spencer that seems to be working. I cannot even tell you how much stress this has relieved. And now that it is established, he’s getting more efficient, which means more time for play. He’s usually able to finish his work within about an hour. Now that essentials are covered, we are going to delve into some more things in the new year. And get back into doing art. I miss doing art.¬†2016-11-30-09-49-49-edit

3.

I have a dilemma that is not really a dilemma. There is a turkey in my freezer, but it’s not the turkey I want. The one that I want is the Butterball stuffed turkey, ’cause we had one years ago and my tastes have nearly completely been won over (in terms of cheaper store-bought turkeys that we can afford). Andy told me I can’t buy the Butterball (even though it was ON SALE) because we have a turkey already. I say he’s wrong, but due to smaller freezer and no occasion yet to eat it, his opinion won out. This time.

4.

I just spent $30 on chocolate for our Advent calendar. Did I just shoot myself in the foot? 2016-11-22-11-57-15-edit

5.

A friend of mine and I planned a quick pick-up of an item from my house last night, and we both got to our respective homes and forgot. Is this normal? Does life mostly consist of forgetting things and remembering at later times from this point on? Experience is sure indicating so…

6. 

We bought a van. Anyone looking for a great reliable Pontiac Vibe? It’s name is The Blue Pearl. Nickname: Bloops. I’m so very much going to miss this car. Every time I sit in it I’m¬†just as happy as I was when we first took it home. And in case you’re unfamiliar with this beauty, she’s basically a Toyota Matrix (likely even made at the same facility), but costs less because of the Pontiac brand. So total win.

And we now have a van. Though we’re totally using both while we have the capability. It’s costing more, but we’re doing it, gosh darn it.¬†2016-11-23-11-26-07-edit

7.

Saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.¬†I really really enjoyed it. The only main critique I have of it is that the main character is hardly endearing. He’s overly standoffish and it’s hard to feel any sort of passion towards his character. But I enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the next one. I hope it’s not too predictable. I think many Potter fans would be willing to say that it’s light years better than The Cursed Child book.

Linking up with Kelly.

Oh, and if you want a good look at how kids’ play Hide and Seek, definitely check out this video

Adulting As A Parent

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Spud getting his baby teeth pulled to make room for his first big adult tooth.

Andy and I have hit a new level of adulting – busy with kids’ activities level. Last year felt comfortably busy – nothing too stressful or demanding. This year? We leveled up. Unavoidably.¬†This is a first for the level of busy-ness for our family, though I know others experience this a lot more than us.2016-11-03-14-58-22-edit

2016-11-03-14-59-51-edit2016-11-03-15-00-01-editWhen Andy and I play StarCraft (computer game) with our friend Fr. Darryl, the game checks our ability to play and based on how many wins we have, it levels us up against a harder challenge in the next game. The bonus of this is that we gain new skills when we play a harder opponent. Then, when we fail the game a couple of times, it levels us down again. It is a constant dance between playing (usually) too hard of an opponent and playing comfortably knowing that we’ll win when we’re at a lower level.¬†2016-11-03-15-09-47-edit

In real life, we don’t have to fail, necessarily, to level down. We can make a conscious choice to do so before it escalates to (completely) failing. However, the benefit to upping a level is that we can grow immensely from the experience, even though it might not look perfect. And there are seasons where upping the level might be unavoidable as well.

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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program

This season is one of them – it is unavoidable. I started a children’s program that is two hours long, twice a week, Cassia started soccer and swim lessons, Spencer has¬†Beavers and started Confirmation and First Communion preparation (a hybrid of sorts between two parishes), and Andy has his crazy schedule like always. Oh, and we are starting karate for Spencer twice a week next week. In and amidst all this is homeschool as well, which I’ve also started with Cassia this year. Though her little sister lost one of her workbooks a week ago and I haven’t yet found it.

There is a thrill to it – exciting endeavors and experimenting, opportunities for growth and lots of fun. But it is also tiring. Quite tiring. And we haven’t yet figured out how to recoup completely at this level of activity. This is where adulting gets a bad reputation. It’s hard to blame people. Though I’d still take this adulting over elementary or high school again.

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All saints day party – Michael the Archangel, St. Queen Elizabeth of Portugal, and (mostly hidden) Mary, the New Eve (she had a snake and apple with her costume).

And here’s hoping that it’s a season. Here’s hoping that we figure something out that makes it feel more¬†rhythm than chaos. I’m not always sure that it will turn into rhythm, and if it doesn’t then we’ll have to take a good look at everything and see what might need adjusting so that we can achieve that normalcy we crave.

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Dig dig digging. And, yes, that is an air conditioner still in our window. Testing our luck, perhaps.

2016-11-03-15-07-40-editEveryone is busy. Few have the time to call or get together outside of regularly scheduled family activities. Busy is also lonesome business. Busy also means that the majority of my time is spent around my children and other too-busy moms. No one has it together, but no one wants to share the journey either. Too much to do. Too much to stress about. I don’t want to share your stressful journey either, thank-you-very-much. It is all too understandable. I understand. And I understand the lonely bit too.

Adulting – leveling up. It’s hard, it’s tiring, and at the same time I am looking forward to our adventures: who knows what great things may happen? Who knows what fun we might have or new things we might learn? ¬†The lower level offers comfort and less stress; familiarity. It is definitely an inviting offer to level down, but¬†I’m not there yet. I just wish it wasn’t so lonesome and easier to share the journey with others, and I’d be honoured¬†to share in their journey too.

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At Spencer’s Confirmation & First Eucharist preparation.

I am unsure what this phase of our life will bring, but we will keep trucking. It’s vulnerable and uncomfortable often, but it’s where we are being called currently. Called to be vulnerable. I am called¬†to be exposed to the elements a little. It’s not always pretty, but it is what it is, and there’s beauty in that. And beyond any of it, God is with us. Especially in our vulnerability.

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.

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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!

New fence. Day 4 & 5.

Habemus fencum! We have a fence!

Well, mostly. The fence part is done, but we haven’t touched the gate yet. I must say, it looks pretty spiffy. I can’t really pretend that I did it all, but at least I didn’t injure myself (yet).

Work in progress:
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Spencer supervising like a boss. He did the buckle up by himself:
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And the result:
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It still lacks a gate. That’s the next step. Jane is reviewing designs. Hopefully it will be done within a couple days (the gate, not just looking at designs).