Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: Another bumpy road, weather wise. Heats up and cools off, all within the same week. There's a fire near us and the air gets very smokey every now and then. I'm looking forward to slightly cooler temperatures so we can spend more time outside without feeling like we're in a skillet.

I am thankful:
:: After Nugget was born, we went to a different Mass time while we adjusted. We finally made it back to our "regular" Mass time yesterday. Everyone was very happy to see us - many people figured out that I had had Nugget and were eagerly awaiting our return. Lots of people offered babysitting (for the entire flock!), and of course; many a Grandma and Grandpa were falling all over Nugget. As I told Greg after Mass, it's nice to go to a place where people all understand the dynamics of our flock, they know who has Autism and roll with it - the greeters keep an eye on our ASD kiddo during stimming (since it's done away from the Sanctuary) while I fed Nugget, etc. There are several other large families who attend, and other kids on the spectrum also attend this Mass. No one bats an eye. :-)

I am thinking:
:: I'm ready for getting the school year underway. I think everyone is ready to get back into the swing of things.

I am working on:
:: cleaning out my recipe binder. It needs a good clean-out. I treated myself to a NICE recipe binder, this one in particular:
I've amassed a large collection of recipes, but for this organizer I only want to put the ones that are smash hits with the family. It should make it much easier when I menu-plan and still leave room for trying new recipes out. 

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
We're borrowing this book from Peanut's friend - it's a nice, light story that Peanut is thoroughly enjoying.
Pondering these words:
:: Sunday's homily was about the difference between humility and being humbled. It was very thought-provoking, and even made an impact on Peanut. One of the questions Father posed to us - are we teaching our kids humility?

Around the house:
:: You guys. We finished the floor and the rooms in the basement - entirely! The kids have their own rooms, the floor is in, the schoolroom is a-maze-ing. The last thing left to do is tile the shower surround in the basement bathroom and then the basement is 100% done. Both Peanut and Moose are loving their new rooms, and the anxiety level in the house has dropped now that that's done. DEO GRATIAS!
Our bright and sunny school room. We're going to put in more shelving where the lumber is standing.
Clicking around on the web:
:: Texas Teacher Defends No-Homework Policy -I'd love to see more schools and teacher adopt this policy.
:: After Death: A Husband's Final Act of Love for his Wife - I cried. A lot.
:: When Your Ten Year Old Can't Read - Something to keep in mind as we begin this lovely new school year.
:: Homeschooling Twice Exceptional Kids - This hit home in a big way.
:: The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher - a little motivation for the school year.

Living the Liturgical Year
:: Greg's name day is this week - he gets to choose a special dinner.

One of my favorite things:
:: Nugget and how much everyone loves him. There's still bouts of sibling rivalry but for the most part; everyone is still smitten with him (who is now 2 pounds over his birth weight).

This week's plans:
:: Speech therapy
:: Doctor appointment for Greg
:: Nugget's Baptism!!
:: Begin our school "year".

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Our 2016-2017 Curriculum

As I mentioned earlier, we're switching gears from Mater Amabilis to Kolbe for our homeschooling needs. We aren't enrolled in Kolbe but we are using a lot of their book recommendations, with the intent to enroll for highschool (or earlier, if needed). 

Peanut, Grade 3

Math - Math Mammoth, Grade 3
Handwriting - Handwriting Without Tears Grade 3
Reading / Phonics - Third Catholic National Reader, MCP Plaid Phonics Level C
Spelling  - Harcourt Trophies Grade 3
Geography - Long's Home Geography
Latin - Prima Latina
Science - Harcourt Science Grade 4
Catechism - God's Truths Help Us Live

(Books for history, Saints, and Bible are further down this post.) 

And if you think it looks like a lot, it breaks down into a schedule roughly like this:

I discovered that if each lesson is 30 minutes long, it will work out to exactly the hours Peanut needs for third grade within the time frame of September - May. Since we have the entire fiscal year to track hours, we have some wiggle room, hooray!

Moose, Grade 1

Math - Math Mammoth, Grade 1
Handwriting - finish Handwriting Without Tears K, continue to HWT Grade 1
Phonics - MCP Plaid Phonics Level A, Progressive Phonics
Science - Behold and See 1
Catechism - My Father and Mother on Earth and In Heaven, Jesus Comes

Moose's schedule will look a lot like Peanut's. I'm still thinking about how the day will look - Peanut in the morning, Moose in the afternoon? A schoolhouse model for the subjects they both are doing (ie, math)?

Peanut and Moose will be combined for History as well as Saints, Liturgical Year, and Bible.We'll use the following books:

History - Story of Civilization
Saints and Liturgical Year - Saint stories, crafts, movies, etc
Bible - New Catholic Picture Bible

I just ordered the books for Story of Civilization this morning, hopefully they get here by the 29th! I'm looking forward to starting, especially with our new and improved homeschool room. There's a possibility the basement will be finished sometime this weekend (please God!) and that will give us a week to purge junk, move everyone into their new rooms, and set up the homeschool room before our school year starts.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: Heat again for the first half of the week, then a lovely cold front moves in to bring cooler temperatures and make Greg's shunt sore. Fall is just around the corner, maybe?

I am thankful:
:: Nugget continues to gain weight at a steady pace. He was over 9 pounds at the doctor's on Friday. I mentioned the initial struggles with getting nursing going to the doctor; she said at his age they just like to see kids at birth-weight and he was almost one pound over - whatever we're doing, keep doing it! :) There is a possibility the suspected tongue tie may become more of a problem as he gets older, so we're keeping our eye on it.

I am thinking:
:: I had one of Those Moments where I realized that our ASD kiddo is really unlike the rest of the kids in their cohort. Simple milestones are major victories around here, but no one outside my immediate family really seems to grasp the significance of these milestones. Except for people in the local ASD support group (which mind you, getting together is harder than one would expect). It just seems like everyone else around us is focused on normal kid things, and over here I'm in tears at the doctor's office while my ASD kid has basically snapped and required a couple nurses to help regain control.

I am working on:
:: as we are moving things around in the basement to make room for the floor installation, I've been purging things left and right.

:: also need to get some posts out of draft and actually to the light of the Internet, such as what we're doing for homeschool this year in terms of books, etc.
I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
We're borrowing this book from Peanut's friend - it's a nice, light story that Peanut is thoroughly enjoying.
I had to shelve this book for the time being, as it is deliciously deep and amazing - but I can't give it the headspace it deserves right now.

I had checked this book out before, and while it was good it didn't really do much for me at the time.  I'm re-reading it, and it's having a much larger impact on me than the first time around.

Pondering these words:

Praise to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Reparation for Blasphemy
Mary, my Immaculate Mother, I desire to offer you reparation for the offenses which your Immaculate Heart receives from the horrible blasphemies which are uttered against you. I offer you these praises to console you for so many ungrateful children who do not love you, and to console the Heart of your Divine Son Who is so deeply offended by the insults offered to you.
Receive, my Purest Mother, this little act of homage. Make me love you more each day and look with pity on those blasphemers that they may not delay to cast themselves into your maternal arms. Amen.
V. Grant that I may praise you, O Holy Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be her Immaculate Heart.
Blessed be her Virginal Purity.
Blessed be her Divine Maternity.
Blessed be her Universal Mediation.
Blessed be her sorrows and her tears.
Blessed be the graces with which the Lord crowned her Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Glory be to Mary, Daughter of the Father,
Glory be to Mary, Mother of the Son,
Glory be to Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
My Mother, I love you for those who do not love you; I praise you for those who blaspheme you; I surrender myself to you for those who will not recognize you as their Mother.
Around the house:
:: Operation Basement kicked off Saturday, in terms of laying the floor. Apparently we are extra motivated as we pretty much have the entire floor installed. We need to finish up the old homeschool room (which is being turned into a rec room) and then we're ready to move on to making walls for the different rooms. It looks like it is entirely possible that O.B. will be finished before our official start of third grade/first grade on the 29th. Peanut and Moose will have bigger rooms, I'll have a bigger homeschool room (yay!), and our pantry will be an entire room. Not a big room but a room nonetheless. SUCH a better use of space than what we had going on.

Clicking around on the web:
:: Sister Madonna Buder's Nike commercial - love it!
:: Mountain Catholic Homilies - here's a great archive of fantastic homilies. Although I could be biased as I have been blessed to hear some of these homilies live and in person. Seriously though, go, read, and be strengthened.

Living the Liturgical Year
:: Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I love Marian feast days, especially this one. We are going to have dinner out tonight.

One of my favorite things:
:: I would like to think that everyone is starting to adjust to having Nugget around. There's still moments of chaos but I think (hope! pray!) we're over the worst of it.

This week's plans:
:: Speech therapy
:: Summer picnic hosted by Greg's work

Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: The heat has turned into something more bearable, as we rapidly progress towards fall. Already we're falling back into the upper 80s/low 90s, which makes all the difference in the world in terms of keeping our house cool. We've had thunderstorms almost every evening - again, much appreciated.

I am thankful:
:: Nugget reached his birth-weight over the weekend, which was a nice sigh of relief. He didn't dip down too much after birth - only about 6 or 7 ounces. The first week was pretty intense, he was tired and had a bad latch so I spent time each day pumping and giving him that. However, he finally figured out that whole latching business (as did I) and we're much happier. No more pumping for the time being.

I am thinking:
:: I'm totally blissed out here, thanks happy hormones!

I am working on:
:: getting back into a routine. We resumed our three R's today (reading, writing, 'rithmetic) today and will add in all the other subjects at the end of the month.

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
We're borrowing this book from Peanut's friend - it's a nice, light story that Peanut is thoroughly enjoying.
And some reading for my own edification.

Pondering these words:
::  “I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.”
~ St. Dominic

Around the house:
:: Another project has cropped up - Operation Basement. Thankfully all that's left down there is flooring and tiling the tub surround. Naturally this all starts on top of our official launch for the next school year; and my homeschool room is full of stuff we couldn't put into storage. :/ We'll be using the fact that all the furniture is moved about to rearrange what is in each room so that we have a better use of the space down there.

Clicking around on the web:
:: The Motherly Art of Rest
:: Special Needs Motherhood is Lonely Work - hear, hear.

Living the Liturgical Year
:: Today is the feast day of St. Dominic. What better way to celebrate than by praying a Rosary? :D

One of my favorite things:
:: Endless cuddles from Nugget while watching the Olympics. Sometimes the Olders join us (some of those commercials though, ugh) and it's a good time had by all.

This week's plans:
:: Doctor appointment for Greg
:: Hearing retest for Nugget
:: Intake appointment for the kids at their new doctor's office

Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: The heat anymore is oppressive. We broke down and borrowed an air-conditioner from Greg's parents, as even with our strategic opening and closing of the house; the heat is just too overpowering. It helps immensely. Once summer passes into fall, Greg's going to install an attic fan so we're not overwhelmed next year.

I am thankful:
:: for Nugget's arrival. The induction went great, except we learned that I don't do very well with an epidural any more (read: I basically wanted to go to sleep and felt like breathing was too much work). Thankfully Nugget was unharmed, and we were surrounded by people who are very, very good at what they do (my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and a plethora of amazing OB nurses). I am so grateful for each one of them.

I am thinking:
:: not a whole lot, just grateful for everything.

I am working on:
:: recovering. Although this has been by far the easiest recovery I've had. I really don't feel like I've had a baby, other than just tired and a little achy. Thanks be to God (and hopefully it will stay that way).

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
:: I need a book to read during my middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. Bonus if it's on Kindle or Google Books so I can read it off my tablet and not have to turn on a lamp (or juggle a book and a baby).

Pondering these words:
:: The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.
~ Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Around the house:
:: Well, I'm doing laundry. Greg is home for two weeks and pulls the majority of the weight right now. So, laundry is about the most of my homemaking duties (and even Greg would get on that if I would let him). :D

Clicking around on the web:
:: Nothing to put here - maybe next week!

Living the Liturgical Year
:: Today is the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, such an important person in my life. May he intercede for us all, especially the scrupulous.

One of my favorite things:
::
*swoon*
This week's plans:
:: Swim class for Peanut
:: Newborn exam for Nugget
:: Checkup for me

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Happy birthday Nugget

Expect a radio silence for a little bit, Nugget has arrived! Our chunky monkey was induced and born sans pain relief for me, weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

He is doing very well, and my recovery has been a breeze. He's a little sleepy but is nursing well. We are all over the moon with him.

Pictures forthcoming once we are a little more settled. Do gratias!!!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Minutes

Outside my window:
:: HOT HOT HOT. I've been receiving "extreme heat warnings" from Mr. Weatherman. We try to stay inside and cool during the hottest part of the day, with playing outside happening early in the morning or in the evening.

I am thankful:
:: 38+6. This is the last full week that Nugget will be on the inside. Hip-hip-hooray!!

I am thinking:
:: Yesterday one of the kids wanted to watch cartoons on PBS. Instead, they (voluntarily) watched a documentary about Autism in our state. I'm sad, because I feel like perhaps kids should be able to watch cartoons and not get sidetracked into an Autism documentary. Especially at their ages. I'm trying to think "perhaps this child will grow up to help people with Autism". I don't know. I guess I'm starting to wake-up to the realization that Autism doesn't happen in a vacuum, that is; everyone really is affected in many ways (good and bad) when a family member is on the spectrum.

I am working on:
:: enjoying this last bit of time before everything changes, even if it's a good change.

I am praying:
:: for my Mom and Dad
:: special intention for Greg
:: for all priests
:: for the souls in Purgatory
:: for my standard litany of regular intentions - conversion of life, several special intentions, etc

I am reading:
:: Nothing right now.

Pondering these words:
:: A giant quote from St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By (nos 29 and 27):
“Listen to your children. Give them your time, even the time that you have reserved for yourselves. Show them your confidence; believe whatever they tell you, even if sometimes they try to deceive you. Don't be afraid when they rebel, because, at their age, you yourselves were more or less rebellious. Go to meet them half-way and pray for them. If you act in this Christian manner, they will come to you with simplicity, instead of trying to satisfy their legitimate curiosity by taking it to some rough or vulgar friend. Your confidence, your friendly dealings with your children, will receive an answer in their sincerity in dealing with you. Then, even if there are quarrels and lack of understanding, they will never amount to much; and this is what peace in the family and a truly Christian life mean. 

“At the same time, they [parents] should help their children to direct their efforts and to carry out their projects properly, teaching them to consider things and to reason them out. It is not a matter of imposing a line of conduct, but rather of showing the human and supernatural motives for it. In a word, parents have to respect their children's freedom, because there is no real education without personal responsibility, and there is no responsibility without freedom.”
Around the house:
:: Finished the Shed Project over the weekend - it's painted and everything. The next-door neighbor came over and was impressed with how it ended up. It actually looks like we intended to have a garden shed as opposed to "hey, there's a shed on this property!". Next up - finish the basement (flooring) and to fence the yard. I'm not sure if they'll happen this year but it's nice that they're finally on the "to-do" list.

Clicking around on the web:
:: Nothing this week!

Living the Liturgical Year
:: I will be doing nothing liturgically beyond Saint Stories until after Nugget is born. :)

One of my favorite things:
:: People are starting to offer their "best guess" for the delivery day. Nugget's Godfather mentioned sometime last week (bless you!), my mom thinks the 28th (which was my brother's due date), and my aunt thinks the 29th (which is her birthday). Should Nugget follow in the footsteps of his siblings; then he should be here the 29th (or the 30th, if it's a long labor for whatever reason).

This week's plans:
:: Speech therapy
:: Prenatal appointment
:: Appointment for Greg
:: Appointment for Little Miss Sunshine