Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday May 27 2011


Life has been crazy around here but I wanted to try and put together a few tidbits since I haven't been a very active blogger lately. (and yes, this is a lame 1st quick takes!  sorry :)


Friends of ours decided at one time that "gluteous maximus" sounded like the name of a Roman soldier.  Of course this struck a cord with some of my children and so now they refer to their backside as their Roman soldier.  The other day we were driving over some rather bumpy rail road tracks when Mr. 7 yo yelped, "Wow, my Roman soldier un-touched my booster seat!"  Gotta love the grammar and thought processes of those young uns!


Yesterday, I had the four youngest children with me when we ran some errands.  One of our destinations involved parallel parking, which is something I try to avoid at all costs because I'm usually driving a 15 passenger van.  This day, however, we had the small car so I said, "I can do this.  This will be easy!"  Sure enough, I zipped right into the spot in no time at all.  When the children got out of the car, they were all happy to announce that both of my tires were up on the sidewalk (mind you, it was a LOW sidewalk, which is why I didn't feel the car going up)!  Ms. 12 yo, trying to make me feel better said, "Well, at least it felt easy, right mom?"


Since we've been taking Reliv and feeling A LOT better and more energetic, my husband and I have taken up exercising.  He, in fact, has taken up running for the first time in his life!  Many a morning I wake up to the "thud, thud, thud" of him running on the treadmill downstairs beneath the bedrooms.  I'm proud to say that he will be running in his first 5K race on Monday!  My goal is  to walk in one sometime this summer...I'm not quite ready, yet :)


I'm taking some pictures today for the rehearsals of "The King of the Golden City".  There is one shot in particular that I am trying to capture. And here it is:

Here it is in "creepy" mode:


Our school year is pretty much over.  Just a few minor details to finish up for some of the kids that we'll get to after the play.  I have to say that this was a pretty good year.  We had some great learning experiences while we worked our way through our two unit studies this past year.  I'm convinced that unit studies are a great way to learn, especially with multiple grades.  If you've never done one, consider one for over the summer or next year. 


A big thanks this coming weekend to all of the people who have and who continue to defend our country and our freedom!  Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Day at a Time!

We have been utterly consumed with preparations for a production that most of my family will be in the first weekend in June.  If you've been around here before, you've seen pictures from two of our other performances, "The Seven Last Words of Christ" and "A Silent Nativity".  

Our girls are part of The Little Flowers Catholic Dance and Theatre Troupe, although occasionally the male members of our family have been known to get up on stage, too.  This year the Troupe decided to go back to a play where they had speaking parts.  It had been four years since we've done a play with speaking parts, and this time around our director, Simonetta, adapted the book "The King of the Golden City" for the stage.

If you've never read the book, you need to find it and read it with your family (or better yet, wait until I let you know how you can order a CD of the story :).  It is a wonderful book written in the 1920's by Mother Mary Loyola.  The story is really an allegory about our journey to Heaven, but tells of a young girl and the King she meets as well as the temptations she encounters along the way.

We are SO looking forward to doing this play.  It has drama, excitement and even dancing!  All the families have been working so hard that I find it is very easy to be consumed by all that we have to do.  There is very little free time, and the to do list is a mile long.  The temptation to become very focused on "self" is great.

However, it is when I see things going on around the country that are horrific, things like the horrible destruction brought about by these super-tornadoes, that I have to stop and put all of the stress and busyness into perspective.  Heck, we live in the Midwest...all of this could come to naught if a tornado ripped through our area like they've been ripping through all these other areas.

Early this morning, as the thunder and lighting were building in intensity and the sky was getting darker and darker, I sat around a table with five of my friends in our formation group and we read about abandoning ourselves to God's Will. 

As I was walking on the treadmill later today and reading a book (a great book called "The Priesthood of the Heart" by Jo Croissant), I was reading a chapter about abandoning ourselves to God's Will.  

Now my first inclination is to become fearful because I'm always afraid when I get the same message multiple times in a day that God is trying to warn me that something horrible is about to happen in my life.  And maybe it is, I don't know.  Instead of worrying, however, what I need to do in all things - whether it is in regards to my family, my life, this play and all that needs to be done - is to turn them over to God and trust that all will work out the way that He intends it to.

Over the next week and half, as I strive to keep up the pace of our schedule, I will also strive to keep everything in perspective and to keep it all turned over to the glorious Will of God!

PS.  I'm taking pictures for the performances, so even though it is not a substitute for seeing the play, I'll be sure to share them here for your viewing pleasure :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Pregnancy School Part IX

We went along adjusting to our new home and our new baby girl.  The next summer I got the exercise bug again (something that comes and goes on a random basis in my life) and I began to try to get back into shape.  As always, I was just getting on a roll when something happened.  I had had a hernia around my navel area that had previously only been noticeable at the end of my last couple of pregnancies.  Unfortunately this time, the darn thing decided to act up when I wasn't pregnant!  Not only that, but after about a week, it became incarcerated and needed to be operated on immediately.

Later that day, as I was being prepared for surgery, I casually mentioned that they should probably do a pregnancy test because there was always a chance that I could be pregnant. Right before surgery, the doctor called to tell me the test was positive.  I was both elated and scared.  I got the talk about how, because the baby was so "new", there was a good chance that I would miscarry.  With an even heavier heart, I went into surgery, praying that this new life would be okay.

Well, we waited and waited, but as I healed, the baby continued to thrive.  No miscarriage, no complications; at least not with the baby.  My internal incisions, however, were another story. Obviously the surgeon new I was pregnant and that there was a good chance the hernia would "reappear", but he did what he could and used heavy-duty whatever-they-use to sew me up.  As the baby grew, however, I noticed that there was this distinct point that was appearing in the area of my incision.  Eventually, a hole wore through and out popped the end of the "wire".  It was very interesting, and needless to say, quite uncomfortable.  I then knew that the hernia was going to need to be repaired again.

About six months into the pregnancy, we were watching a Father Corapi video.  He was telling us about how we needed to be heroic soldiers for Christ, how we needed to be willing to suffer for the conversion of our world.  AMEN was my enthusiastic response.  Bring it on!  Okay, another lesson...don't say that unless you are really ready to accept what God is going to give you.  Within one hour of that moment I was in tremendous abdominal pain.  The baby had been doing a somersault to get into the "head down" position and ripped another hole in my abdominal wall!  Hernia number two!

Well, time went on.  Pope John Paul II died, I passed up my due date, none of my clothes fit because I was soooooo huge I thought I was having twins, and everyone was worried about how I was going to birth this baby without blowing apart my abdomen. 

We had just returned from a prayer service at our church for the passing of the Pope when I went into labor.  I was preparing to have a home birth with a wonderful midwife.  She came out a little later and she was so calm and confident that it truly was the best birth out of all of them.  Bouncing, baby boy #2 was born during the hour of mercy and he was...well, huge!  In fact, the midwife had us get a bag of flour from the kitchen so she could test the accuracy of her scale.  Our newest baby weighed in at 11 pounds 10 ounces.  No wonder my clothes weren't fitting!  The most incredible thing happened next.  As we lay there, my new son and I, he looked into my eyes for the longest time...I mean REALLY looked into them, like he was looking into my soul.  "This boy is destined for something great", I thought.

After eight weeks I went in and had both my hernias repaired with much better success this time.  We successfully kept nursing throughout the experience, with only a short break for surgery and recovery. 

I learned a lot about trust during this pregnancy!  Trust in God that everything would turn out okay, no matter what.  And God was faithful, as He always is.  The grace was there when we needed it.

So that is our journey.  I have learned so much throughout my pregnancies.  What a blessing they have been.  What an educational that has produced 7 fabulous gifts.  God is good.  All the time!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A B See - I is for...

Illinois...toast style!  Thanks to the creativity of Mr 10 yo whose teeth fashioned this masterpiece!

Click on the image below to join in the fun!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Pregnancy School Part VIII

About 13 or so months later we were ready to try again.  Since conception had been so easy the last 5 times, who would have thought that it would have taken us 7 months to conceive baby #6.  I tell ya, just when you think you have things all figured out, God throws you a curve ball.  Looking back I can see how His timing was PERFECT, but after the third month of trying, I was getting a little upset.  I finally was able to turn it over to God's timing and I got pregnant (not that I'm saying that those two thoughts are connected :)

This time around we got ourselves into the middle of a very lengthy and stressful battle over buying a new house.  The story is long and actually involved three other houses plus the buyer of our house...and it is not something that I hope to ever go through again.

About the time I was due things with the houses were coming to a head.  We had a buyer for our house and we were just trying to come to an agreement on the third house we had been trying to buy (the first two having fallen through).  Now I had never gone past my due date so I thought it was safe to pray the following, "God, please let us have an agreement on this third house before the baby comes."

Of course you see the flaw in my prayer.  I see it now, too, but I didn't back then.  I naturally assumed that the baby would come on time, like all my other ones had, and that the house deal would fall into place before then.  God, on the other hand, needed once again to show me that my timing isn't His timing!  Instead baby #6 was 10 days late.  I did find it interesting, however, that we signed the papers for the house at 2:00 in the afternoon and I went into labor at 3:00. Trust!

The next day our 6th child was born at home...another bouncing, baby girl (that's her in the white dress in the previous post :).  She was wonderful and perfect, but our struggles weren't over.  The next week she decided to go on a nursing strike.  I've never had that happen before, and boy am I glad.  That was very stressful.  

A month later we had to move out of our house because the people who were buying it needed to close before we could move into our new house.  People we knew from church were going to be out of town for two weeks, so they let us live in their house.  The plan was that by the end of those two weeks, we would be able to close on our new house and move in.

Unfortunately, the people buying our house got denied at the VERY last minute and couldn't buy our house.  We had already moved everything out and I just couldn't face moving back in again and our time was up in the house we were living in. Did I mention that I had a 6 week old baby and 5 other children??

We ended up moving in with my parents for a week while we somehow (miraculously??) got things all figured out.  We were able to move into our new house in less than two weeks and within the next month we sold and closed on our old house.

I have definitely learned that when God wants something done, there are no delays and no glitches and things move very quickly.  It is when He wants us to learn something from an experience that He drags it out or makes sure we notice the bumps in the road.  This was such a trying time for all of us, but we were certainly glad to be settled in to a nice house with a lot of space around us.  A great place for our growing family...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A B See - H is for

Holy!  Congratulations Ms. 7 yo!  

Join in the fun at:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Here's wishing all of you fellow mothers a very Happy Mother's Day

What a weekend...First Holy Communion, our anniversary and Mother's Day!  It can't get much better than that!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Pregnancy School Part VII

This post will be brief.  Not because this child is any less special, but because the pregnancy and birth were pretty uneventful and the lessons learned were very "to the point"!  

When baby number 5 was born, the whole house rejoiced because this baby was different...this baby was a BOY!  Wow, after four girls in a row, what a change of pace.  Bring out the blue!  The girls were thrilled that it wasn't another girl.  My husband was ecstatic.  NOT that he didn't love his girls, but...well, you know, 

Lesson #1:  It is very important for a man to have a son.

Another important thing I learned was:

Lesson #2:   Sons are different than daughters.

I remember during my babysitting years as a teen that I always seemed to get called by families with three boys.  I remember on many occasions telling God in no uncertain terms that He better not give me three boys in a row when I had my children. Because of this, I learned

Lesson #3:  God does indeed have a sense of humor.

I know now that He honored my "request" not to have three boys in a row, and instead, in all of His infinite wisdom, He sent me four girls in a row, which I believe have been more challenging to raise than any three boys would have been!  I know He has been chuckling ever since :)

Now that we had "our boy" people naturally assumed we were done.  I always had to chuckle at that one because every time I would have a baby, very shortly thereafter I would "know" that there was at least one more coming!  True to form, I new there was another one in the wings.  The question was...when?