Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Last Few Days

Thursday:  Bill and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.

***pausing for claps and cheers***

The Day Before Thursday: I cried.  I cried because as I looked back on the last 15 years I felt as if I haven't accomplished much.  Oh sure, I gave birth to five children.  Big whoop.  If you only knew how grumpy I was in the early years  the first 10 or 11 years of our marriage, you would cry, too.  I thought about how nice Bill has been every day of the last 15 years and I felt guilty and unworthy.

Thursday Night: Bill gives me my gift.  It was gooooood.  Like, "bling" good.  (now would be a good time to mention that I am not usually materialistic, but I am a girl and all girls like bling.  Ok, moving on.)

Saturday: I was able to forget about my self-loathing feelings for a while until I watched an interview on Fox and Friends Weekend that drudged up what I think has been bothering me a lot lately.  The woman being interviewed said she was regretful for not keeping her hands in the corporate world while she stayed at home raising her children.  She is now an empty nester and has lost her ability to easily get back into the work force.

I completely understood where she was coming from.  I had a career I enjoyed once B.K. (before kids)and it may be impossible for me to go back to it; but that wasn't what bothered me.  I couldn't quite figure it out because she seemed nice and I felt bad for her predicament.  I couldn't get her out of my mind.

Sunday: "Take up your cross" was the message of the mass.  I sat there with tears in my eyes as I looked at my good friend a few pews in front of me.  The very friend who spent the last 15 months getting diagnosed and treated for cancer all while being pregnant, mothering her other two boys, and delivering a healthy baby.  None of that was in her plan when she left the teaching world to get married and start a family.

After Bill's mass (we went separately) he mentions that the choir sang the song "You Alone" and makes me listen to it on Youtube.

Sunday Afternoon: Flipped through a book a friend of mine left at my house.  The book is called, The Domestic Church: Room by Room by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle.  I hope I am not breaking any copyright laws by writing the following lines, but I had to share these beautiful words from the page I stopped on.

It would be a lie to convey that a mother's daily life is only one of blissful loving embraces and constant "warm fuzzies."  Motherhood is intrinsically beautiful, but while she is in the trenches with whiny demands, diapers, overflowing hampers of dirty laundry, and the constant refilling kitchen sink, a mother knows that the feeling of love for her family may not always emerge easily in every circumstance.  It will, at times, come through the sacrafice of giving of herself and her decision to remain faithful to her vocation.  A mother decides to love and to continue to love her family in God's plan for her salvation and the salvation of her family.   Through a mother's loving service, God is at work sanctifying her soul when she thoroughly surrenders her heart to his holy will.

Monday: That lady is on Fox and Friends again!!  She looked sadder this time.  Maybe it was because this time another woman was alongside of her also being interview and patting herself on the back for staying at home and starting her own business while doing it.  I'm sure that made the first woman feel just great.

I googled this first woman and read her post where she listed 9 reasons why she had remorse on staying home and losing herself.  It was then that I realized what bothered me.  All the reasons were selfish. You can find it here.  I wish I could paste the above book excerpt next to each one of her reasons.  Maybe she would feel better.  I should send her the book.

I was trying to formulate some kind of cohesive post relating all of this and get a good "meaning of life" lesson in here somewhere, but it didn't come.  It is all over the place and probably doesn't make much sense.
Tomorrow: Change latest blog post title to "Random Thoughts."



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What We've Been Doing

**I talk a good game, especially here on the blog.  We've got our chore chart, to-do lists, and wish lists.  I know how I want it all to play out here in my head; but in real life it doesn't happen that way.

The first week and a half of summer vacation has been called "the worst summer ever" by nearly every kid in the house.  Not sure when I became Julie McCoy...

but apparently I'm expected to fill the social calendar around here.

If you ask me, the summer is going just fine.  In the past week we have visited the library, started journals, played miniature golf, went to the pool, visited 4 different walking paths for our morning outings/exercise, played family kickball, went to the playground, hosted 43 of our friends here for the rosary, slept late, finished up baseball season, ate ice cream and popsicles, each made dinner, cuddled a LOT, and watched movies.

Isn't it funny how they only see the time in between all of these things and claim they're bored.

**On a different note, Billy got his stitches removed and his nose looks pretty good.  I'm very grateful for that.

There is a small notch on the nostril but that might heal and look better in time.  In the next picture you can't even tell it happened.

Love when he smiles!

**Mary Kate made the Silks, meaning she will be in Band Front next year as one of the flag carriers/twirlers.  All year I was rejoicing that she was only in Orchestra because Band seemed to be more of a commitment with parades and such.   Wouldn't you know she wanted to try out for Silks and made it.  Way to be ambitious Mare; you are your father's daughter, for sure!

**Still on the fence about Matthew and Kindergarten.  He is a July birthday and his preschool teachers think he would benefit with a second year of preschool.  Long story short, he can be insecure and shy, but I'm not sure that will ever go away. (I was/am like that) and his fine motor skills are lacking.  On the flip side, he knows a lot of sight words, is interested in math, and says he'd be bored in preschool.  Advice?  Anyone?  Bueller?

**It took me 13 years....

.....but don't you just love mud?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Wish Lists

Last night at dinner we each made our summer wish list.  The rules were that they had to put at least 10 items on their lists and half of them had to take place at home.  I was really impressed with what they came up with.  It warmed my heart that so many had to do with being all together.

We took turns reading our lists out loud.  I made a list as well. (Dad wasn't here so his is missing.) 

Thomas (age 9):
1.Community Center to play tennis or go to the pool.
2.Talent Show (put on their own).
3.Family picnic.
5.Cook of the Day.
6.Family trips (car trips).
7. Five minutes of playtime with each family member one on one.
8.Kickball ( Mom, Billy, and Tommy vs. Dad, Mary, Ann, and Matt).
9.Board games.

 Matthew (age 4):
1.play XBox.
2.Read out loud with the family.
3.Hug our family; group hugs.
4.Amusement park.
5.Take Vader for a walk.
6.Go into sprinkler.
7.Like Mom really much.
8.Play Crazy 8's.
9.Make new best friends.
10.Go to the pool.

Ann (age 8):
1.Camping in backyard.
2.Read with the family.
3.More family cuddling.
4.Go on a family picnic
5.Go to the park.
6.Go on a bike ride.
7.Play Monopoly.
8.Draw a family portrait.
9.Go to a museum.
10. Go to Gran and Gramps' house.
11. Dance together.
12 Have a campfire.

Billy (age 13):
1. Go to Miami (he's been a Miami Heat fan for years).
2.Get dropped off at community center.
3.Play kickball.
4.Have a catch with Dad.
5.Home Run Derby with neighbor friends and Dad and Tommy.
6.Cook dinners.
7.Wall ball.
8.Disney World.
10. Phillies Game.

Mom(age 42):
1.Library visits.
3.organize and clean garage.
4.have a yard sale.
5.visit Dad in D.C.
6.paint the dining room.
7. 9a.m. exercise....all 6 of us....walk, bike, etc. every M, T, Th.
8.Board games.
9. Free movies at the theater.
10. Franklin Institute. (and have lunch with the 2 uncles who work in Philly).

***Mom's wish lists for kids***
1. One book + book report/review a week.
2.Practice piano every day.  (Mary adds in violin too)
3.Call a grandparent or uncle/aunt once a week. (I hope the family members don't mind)
4.Good deed a week (notes to someone, bake for someone, etc.)
5.Playdates with friends
6.Start answering the phone for speaking experience.
7.Learn how to do laundry.
8.Cook a meal once a week.
9. Write in journal every day.
10. School workbooks.
 11. Billy-start a blog.  Mary start a family newspaper. (their ideas)

Mary(age 12):
1.Talent Show
2. Craft Day
3.Movie Night
4.Family newspaper
5.Science experiments/oragami
6.Make an obstacle course.
7.Field Day
8.Amusement Park
9.Water Park
10. Make s'mores

That should keep us busy for a while.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

*Warning* Gruesome Content

Tommy has had a string of bad luck lately.

Last month, it was his bike accident.  Shortly after that, a black eye from a failed catch of a baseball;  and last week a near-drowning in the neighbor's pool.  ( I may be exaggerating a bit on that, but he thought he was going to die, so that's what I'm calling it.).

However, yesterday it was Billy who had the misadventure; and only three hours into his summer vacation.

He was at his friend's house playing basketball.  The hoop they were playing on has a chain for a net rather than the usual rope kind.  Billy tried to dunk.....

(Are you sitting down?  You may want to sit down.)

His nose got caught in the chain.  He tore his nostril completely through, a half inch up his nose.

It was quite a sight.  So, into the car and off to the ER we went. Four hours, a plastic surgeon, and 20 stitches later we were home.  Billy now has a story that can't quite top Tommy getting hit by a car, but it comes close in the "OMG" department, and has definitely left more battle scars.

I must say what a trooper Billy was the entire time.  He wouldn't look at it himself, but he could tell by my skeevish, yet fascinated reaction that it was a serious injury.  He says the worst part was the needle to numb the area but even then he held still and didn't complain once.  He even wanted to go to his baseball game that night.

I love that kid.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Plans Or Not

Today was the last full day of school.  Tomorrow is a half day.  Then summer vacation starts.

I haven't planned a darn thing, except joined the community center pool and signed two of them up for Vacation Bible School.

Not planning anything was partly my way of rebelling against those people who look you square in the eye and ask, "What do you have planned for your kids all summer?"  and lord help you if you don't have weekly camps on the agenda.

I usually scramble with my answer to try to make us sound busier than we will be.  But in actuality, they're going to play.  And read.  And do chores.  And watch TV.  And chill.  And relax.  And learn some new tasks around the house.  And eat me out of house and home, I imagine.

Is that good?

I do think  a schedule is in order for the sole purpose of keeping the peace.  I'm sure I'll fill out my trusty Chore Board.  I also plan to have them continue their meal planning and cooking each week like last summer.  That was fun.

But, did you know we are "The ONLY family in the entire state of Pennsylvania who hasn't been to Dorney Park"?

And because of that statement, I have tasked each of them to make a list of 10 things they'd like to do this summer. 

Those lists alone will make a good blog post and I'll be sure to share it.

 Wish us luck.