I didn't mean to take a blogging break for the rest of Lent, but I did.
I didn't intend to interrupt the blogging break once it began, but I am.
Why? Because life changes so very quickly. For the last four years, this blog is where I have gone to document my family's milestones.
My baby turns two this week. TWO! Here he is pictured disassembling his birthday ring. I let him do this until he starts throwing the figures on the floor, which is a sure sign he's ready for a nap.
My other baby (almost 12) had her first babysitting job! She managed four children (one of whom is 9 and was a great help) and their parents enjoyed a well deserved break.
Winter turned to spring. The snow is gone.
I have an uneasy feeling that it will snow at least one more time. This would be bad for the flowers and birds, but my children would love another snowball fight like this one they had in February.
We took a hike by the river. Normally, the Mississippi is climbing it's banks this time of year.
The urge I had a month ago to enroll my daughter for kindergarten next year - it passed. February is a cruel, cruel month for home schooling mothers; a month in which decisions regarding your children's education should never be made.
School is going much better these days, especially when I wake up on time and stay faithful to my role throughout the day. I find that I must present clear expectations to my preschooler regarding the transition time from school-with-mom to independent work time. Activities arranged on her shelf, along with a timer and reward of snack-time when it beeps works like a charm. Most days.
I learned two cool new things lately: one is that the Funiculi, Funicula song was written for the opening of the funicular railway that climbs Mt. Vesuvius - the very same volcano that destroyed Pompeii. The other is that there is a saint named Deo Gratius. What a great name!
St. Patrick's Day was celebrated with plenty of Irish stew, soda bread, and celtic music. For some reason I have no photos of this day, just memories to cherish in my heart.
Sunshine fractured her foot after jumping off the swing and landing funny. She hopped around on one foot for over a week.
Group violin concerts were presented. Dancer performed the Bach Gavotte in D with her Book 3/4 class. Sunshine did not perform that day since she was still hopping on one foot.
The girls attended Suzuki graduations at Orchestra Hall. Now I understand why moms and teachers get goosebumps at the sight of Twinkles through seniors crammed on stage performing together. Just think of how many hours of loving and dedicated practice this group represents.
Sunshine performed half of Suzuki Piano Volume 2 in a home recital with her Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Aron in attendance. She's looking forward to moving on. Here's Mozart's Arietta.
She also won $20 in an art contest sponsored by the city water department. Pretty exciting stuff in the life of a ten year old!
Three more poems from the MODG curriculum have been memorized, copied, illustrated, and recited. I remember memorizing the Jabberwocky in middle school. I think my 6th grader enjoyed it as much as I did at that age.
Catalogs and flyers for summer camp opportunities are stuffing the pretty pink file folder that sits on my desk, blank forms just waiting to be completed and returned before the looming deadlines. Decisions regarding who can do what and how much it will all cost and how we will ever pay for it all await an answer. With artistic endeavors, summer maintenance is crucial; intensive day camps are ideal.
But - the van needs new brakes, the play set area needs fresh wood chips this year, the oldest child needs new (or used) and bigger clothes, the gasoline and grocery bills are rising, and homeschooling curriculum costs are around the corner.
So, if you have tips on cutting your grocery bill in half (while still eating healthy, unprocessed, preferably organic, high in protein and low-carb) please share! Our ideal amount for the grocery budget happens to be just a smidgen over the $30/week per person that an average Minnesotan would receive in food support - another interesting tidbit I learned recently. Our mayor recently undertook the "Hunger Challenge" and had a difficult time eating for just $30 a week. No wonder I am having trouble meeting this goal with a family of seven.
Well, Holy Week is upon us, just a few days away. We are utilizing the Lingua Angelica program to brush up on the Tantum Ergo and Stabat Mater. Next week we will take a few days off to clean, pray, and attend services. Here are some magnificent musical selections on CD to set the mood around the house for the Triduum.
Before I sign off on this catch-up post I want to share with you this post at the new Mom-Heart Blog - The Myth of a Perfect Life. Let Sally's soothing voice encourage you today as you meet the multitude of responsibilities of raising a family.