I am feeling grateful for you, my readers, that is, if you are still checking in. You are perhaps the least demanding visitors among blog hoppers. My last post was nearly two weeks ago and I have not received any complaints or worried inquiries so you must understand how moms can quickly become too busy to blog despite the crushing self-imposed pressure we feel to produce regular posts!
Well, here is a really long mongo post to make up for all the days I skipped.
Busy is what we have become in the last month. I do know many families who have reached the uber-busy status and am thankful that we have yet to reach that rank. For us, successfully shuttling the children to swimming and soccer Sunday - Thursday evenings is busy enough for us. Fortunately, dance has ended for the year and we have a short break from violin.
Regarding dance, I've been in such angst wondering if I should keep the girls in what might be categorized as "Protestant liturgical dance without the liturgy". Yes, I know some Catholic parishes welcome liturgical dance at Mass (like the one here in town) and that's one of many reasons we drive an hour to attend a TLM. But Dancer really wants to be a dancer and I briefly considered enrolling her in a classical ballet school an hour away (which would make three one hour treks a week for us counting violin and Mass) until I took Jamie's post as a sign from God that He wants them in Dancing for Jesus at this time. Prayer answered!
After the final recital for the year the long-awaited dance trophy day arrived and the girls were ready to get in the van in record time. Having Miss Jenni in their lives is priceless - she is an amazing teacher and did you ever see happier ballerinas?
Guess who else won a trophy? My hard working husband! Sunshine asked pestered him every day for six weeks when he was going to receive the award and made him promise to bring it home. As you see here, even though he is garners accolades at work he is still humble enough to help with dishes at home.
What else has been gong on? Two weekends ago my mother and sister came to visit from Oklahoma. Here's a snapshot of my mother who will be 80 in October. Doesn't she look great? She never likes any photograph of herself, so look while you can before she demands I remove it!
The children spent many happy hours with their beloved Aunt Terri who never seems to mind spending her hard-earned vacation time making the 12 hour journey north. She probably wishes the children had never seen her putting mousse in her hair now that "Aunt Terri has a moose in her hair!" has been their inside joke for five years now. Hence the Minnesota Moose in her hair.
The morning they left for Oklahoma I received a call from my California Cousin who was passing through Minneapolis that very day. She and her husband are now veteran homeschoolers and were on their way home from their daughter's college graduation in PA. They invited us into their borrowed motor home for a peek, generously had a bag of books to pass along to me and treated the children to some Ben & Jerry's. Well, treated the baby's dress to some Ben & Jerry's which explains her bare little body in the group photo -
Isn't she beautiful? I hope I turn out so vibrant and happy at the end of my homeschooling career.
After a short week of school we reached the end of another Minnesota May which of course signals the time to plant a garden without too much fear of frost. Last weekend Joe did most of the work required to get our Square Foot Gardens going and I went crazy at the nursery buying annuals and seeds. Honestly I did not feel terribly motivated about getting the yard going this year until I spent a day outside in near perfect weather and experienced near-paradise at my favorite garden center.
Pictures of flowers? I seem to have none. Stay tuned.
I must say that in March and April I am homesick for Oklahoma weather but by May and June I am glad to be a a Minnesotan. There is something about looking out the windows at snow for four months that makes spring intensely stimulating to the senses. Do I dare admit to missing anything at all about winter?
Here's one: using the garage as an extra freezer, especially for whole wheat flour and other items that easily go rancid. And two would be the absence of insects. When the weather warms up the emergence cycle begins. House flies are followed by Asian ladybugs, then the biting gnats and mosquitoes. Wood ticks are common here though I have yet this spring to pull one off our children and I just pulled a deer tick from behind Dancer's ear this morning. Currently we have some ants in the house and those small dark crunchy bugs, whatever they are. I spotted the first deer fly of the season - try to take a walk around the block with those buzzing and circling your head and stay sane!
Reading. I am so behind. The books on my nightstand are two feet high. I did manage to quickly devour Susie Lloyd's hilarious new book, Bless Me Father for I Have Kids. And I picked up a life changer - How to Be a Good Wife Even Though You Home School. I needed this book! Isn't it so easy to put homeschooling first?! This book was written after hearing the regrets of some divorced home schoolers who did put the kids first. Not to spoil the message in case you read it but here are the concepts (also the chapter headings) I wish I had known to practice the last ten years - I hope it's not too late!
- Every husband wants a helper
- Every husband wants to be followed
- Every husband wants an encourager
- Every husband wants to be believed in
- Every husband wants to be admired
- Every husband wants to be desired
- Every husband wants acceptance
- Every husband wants to be #1
- Every husband wants to be told he has big muscles
BTY, Anyone going to the MCHEC this weekend? Do introduce yourself if I don't know who you are! Like many moms, I have already spent enough on curriculum for next year and already went to MACHE so I don't really need to go, but let's face it - it's fun to hear the speakers socialize and see the new crop of cute babies (though the line-up of speakers does look great as usual). Can't wait to see Margaret's new bundle!
Honestly I struggle with a the personality of being mostly melancholic and shy but with a small streak of social butterfly that likes to network and be connected. I love running into people I know and MCHEC is a great place to do that. The good Lord knows it hardly ever happens here in my little corner of the world. This particular just-outside-the-metro area is sparsely populated with Catholic homeschooling moms though I have managed to hunt down a few through blogging and by word of mouth. Lately I have enjoyed the sideline company of a fellow soccer mother-of-many. Another family I recently found (though I have seen them here and there for the last five years and recognized their faces!) lives a mile away as a crow flies and also happens to blog! Her domestic undertakings are chronicled at Laudo Deum Farm and My Farm and Home. The children and I spent a happy afternoon there last Friday partaking in a lovely tea party followed by playtime among kittens, baby rabbits and goats.
Oh, one more thing to end this endless catch-up post:
Please won'tcha be my neighbor?
The house next door is for sale!!!
Those who know me well know that I really really really want to move back to the city but hey, if a great *Catholic homeschooling family moved in next door that would certainly be another sign from God that He wants us way out here. One can always pray. And pray and pray.
Fiat voluntas tua!
*or Waldorf family or virtuous Christian family or nice retired couple or really many other sorts of people would be ideal as well of course - don't want to offend anyone here - I am just praying about the possibilities and praying not to be too jealous that our neighbors get to move back to the city if their house even sells in this market!