Monday, June 30, 2014

Hay rack ride, guns, and roller coasters

I think it's a lot of fun to learn new things about people.  "Answer Me This" is a super fun link-up idea.  I hope you'll answer the questions in the comments or on your own blog.

Here's this week's questions and answers:

1.  How often do you take public transportation?
I honestly can't remember the last time I took a bus, hopped an airplane or rode a train.  Hmm.  So I guess the closest thing to public transportation that I've ridden in a time span that seems relevant, was the hay rack ride at the fall weinie roast up at our local park.

Sad? Yes, very sad. 

But our large, white, 15- passenger van almost serves as public transportation!

2.  How many cousins do you have?
On my mother's side I have 6 cousins and on my father's side I have 4 cousins.

3.  Have you ever fired a gun?
Yes, yes I have.  My father and I have a special relationship that started with me being curious about guns and hunting.  I don't do it a lot now, but my dad and I have been slowly training my kiddos to enjoy the art of target shooting.  They enjoy that special time with their granddad and my daughter Gianna just got her very first .22 rifle for her birthday, which she is patiently waiting to take out and try sometime soon.

4.  Do you ride roller coasters?
Well, I used to love roller coasters but I haven't ridden one for more than 10 years so I don't know if I would still find them enjoyable.  Seems like just bending over to tie my shoes can make my head spin, so not sure if this well used body can handle the adventure anymore.  I'm super happy that my son, Toby, got my sense of adventure because now he's the roller coaster, carnival ride maniac and I love his wild abandon about trying things.

5.  What is your favorite flower?
Roses. A simple, long-stemmed red rose with the perfect scent.  Love it!

6.  Are you allergic to anything?
Kids.  Just kidding!!!  No, I don't think I am allergic to anything.  I might be sensitive to certain things, but nothing that stands out.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I miss my help!

Big kids can be super helpful.  I have 4 of them (me considering big 5 and up) and I appreciate all their help very much.

I especially appreciate when I DON'T have it anymore!

This week is the Totus Tuus program for our parish and I'm so excited they get to be immersed in learning more about our faith all week.

However, in just a few short hours, I've realized that do WAY more around the house then they get credit for.

Large families work best when all hands are on board, so I really miss my help.

When I pick my kiddos up this afternoon, I plan to thank them profusely for all that do each and every day.  Then I'm going to bribe at least on of them to stay home and help me the rest of the week - just kidding!

It's not like I haven't done the 3 kids under 4 yrs. old before, it's just that it's been a while!

From holding the baby so I can use the restroom w/o crawling visitors, to making lunch so I can keep schooling, to helping fold laundry or change it over at least - they do so much to make my life as "mom" easier.

If you have big kids and they are your right and left hands - stop and say thank you today.  Make them feel appreciated and help them understand their valuable contribution to the family.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Questions of the Week

I follow this fantastic blog, Catholic All Year.  Kendra is tons of fun to read and very insightful.  She's in the trenches of raising her own quiver of kiddos, homeschooling, living, learning, and growing in faith.

One of my favorite posts to read on her blog, is the "Answer Me This" post on Sundays where random questions are asked and answered.  It's a lot of fun to get to know folks this way.

In the spirit of blog sharing, she invites other bloggers to post the questions/answers and then link back to her website.  That way you can get to know me a little better and meet Kendra, too.  She's a joy to read so I highly recommend stopping at her blog and staying awhile.

So without further ado, here are this week's questions:

1.When's the last time you bought a new bathing suit?
The last time I bought a swimming suit was the summer of 2012, so not that long ago, but it's also the last time I wore one!  We're not big swimmers around here yet, well, the kids aren't.  I used to swim for pleasure all of the time, but I find that trying to keep 7 kiddos under 11 alive and well at the pool, to be a very stressful task for one momma!

2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
My husband called to say hello.

3. If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue?
I receive communion on the tongue.

4. Do you have a tattoo?
Yes.  It's a small rose on my right ankle.  I call it my "Mystical Rose".  It's a reminder to me of who I once was and who I am now.

5. How many dinner plates are in your house?
Actually, in my house right now, I have 12 dinner plates - 3 plastic and 9 chinaware.

6. Do you have an accent?
I don't think that I do, but I suppose if I went to another part of the country or world, that someone might think so.

Ok.  So now it's your turn to answer the questions in the comments below.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Birthday Boy

My #5, Samuel Henry Fulton, turns 4 today.  I can't believe he's been running circles around us for 4 years already.  He's truly one of kind with those big blue eyes and big floppy ears.  He makes me laugh and cry.  I love his zeal and I guarantee God will put it to good use some day.

Happy Birthday my sweet Sam, I love you!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ask, Seek, Knock

One of my favorite Bible verses comes from the Gospel of Matthew:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." 
This piggy backs on my post from last week on prayer and how God answers each and every one of our prayers.  All we have to do is ask.

Really and truthfully...we just need to ask.  We can't expect miracles if we don't take the time to ask God for help.  He's always available.  You can throw Him a prayer request in the middle of making dinner or giving a bath to a toddler - the timing isn't important, it's the asking!

Seek Him in everything you do.  A line from one of my favorite old choir songs says this, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and good will come to you.  For where your treasure lies there your heart will be. Seek first the kingdom, come and follow me."

A deep, loving relationship with Christ requires effort just like any other relationship.  However, we are guaranteed a phenomenal return on our investment with Christ.

Our marriages are important.  The bonds we have with our kids are vital.  Nothing, though, compares to the time and energy we put into seeking Christ.  He has to be our reason for doing what we do AT ALL TIMES. 

When we seek Christ first, everything else just falls into place.  Our search for Christ will lead us directly to his bride, the Church, and there the doors are open wide to endless opportunities and a wealth of grace.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

God ALWAYS answers our prayers

"The Lord hears us more readily than we suspect; it is our listening to God that needs to be improved. When people complain that their prayers are not heard by God, what often has happened is that they did not wait to hear God's answer."   -Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

How true is that insight?

I mean, I can pray all day - for special intentions, decades of the rosary, prayers for grace, but do I actually EVER stop to listen for the answers.

Of course just because I'm not listening doesn't mean God won't answer, however, I might miss the answer or not recognize His providence.

Since prayer is communication with God and communication in any relationship is key, then prayer HAS to be important.  (I'm saying this with emphasis added for my own good!)   Communication is a two-way street, so when I'm done babbling, blubbering and lamenting (I do praise and adore, just not as much) I need be patient and listen for His answer.

God does answer every prayer (contrary to the theology of Garth Brooks!).  The thing I have to remind myself of constantly, is that His answer isn't always what I want, but it will ALWAYS be what is best.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The End is in Sight (I think)

So I've been homeschooling a long time.  Not to say I'm an expert, but more that I started homeschooling with another family well before Grace was school age.  It's been coursing through my blood for the more than 10 years since.

Every year is new and different.  We encounter challenges.  We make changes.  We try new things.  Some years fly by and I feel like I barely had time to blink.  Others, well, let's just say that paint seems to dry faster!

This school year is a paint dries faster kinda year!  It's been going on. for. EVER. 

I'm just being honest here.  Even homeschoolers feel the drag sometimes.

We homeschool year round, so really school is just ongoing for us.  We do have breaks from anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks, but going all year helps keeps us fresh and the kiddos don't forget what they learn from one year to the next. 

So you're probably thinking to yourself, why homeschool year round if you're complaining about wanting to be done?  Good point. 

The difference this year is that we started almost an entire year ago and then took a longer break before/after Alexander was born in September.  When we started, we only took about 2 weeks off from school year to school year.  That was a bit crazy I think!  Instead of finishing our core academic work in the usually 9 months or so, we've been going almost 12 months.

Here we are just trying to plug through to the end.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The kiddos are actually holding up okay.  So really, it's just me.  I need to fight the urge to throw it all to the wind!

I'm already super excited for next year, but first things first - finish this year!  I need to say an extra prayer for the grace to complete was planned for this day without a worry for tomorrow.


How are you holding up? 
Is your school year done? 
What do you do when you feel antsy like me?