Monday, March 31, 2008

Job Charts...

We have used job charts for about six years. Mainly because I forget what I had for breakfast more or less who did dishes yesterday...So to remain sane and fair in most respects I have used different job charts. The last couple of years it has become INDUSTRIAL due to the size of our family and house.


My advice about making a JOB chart is to see what bothers you at the end of the day...look around your house...what is a mess? What didn't get done...


The next if not first thing to do is to see what bothers your husband? What would he like done before he gets home? Or what things bother him about your home...or "his castle"?


My list looked something like this to start:

1. upset that I didn't get to read to little ones

2. didn't get to play a game with ...

3. didn't have time to work on...with...during school

4. needed to do this...but, was too busy doing...


So I established jobs like:

1. read to kids

2. play game with kids

3. teacher helper

4. helper


Than I looked at what I wanted accomplished before my sweetie got home, because I knew it would make him happy if...

1. the front yard didn't have 4 bikes, 5 helmets, 2 car seats, 3 balls...

2. when he walked in the front door to coats,clothes, and shoes...

3. someone who greeted him and showed excitement

4. dinner being prepared

5. kitchen not destroyed


So I came up with these jobs to help:

1. Front Yard

2. Front Entrance

3. Greet Daddy

4. Dinner Prep

5. Kitchen Helper, sweep, counters, kitchen check

6. Wife being wrapped up in saran wrap to await lover boy...(that's for you sweetie...now everyone knows why we have ll kids!!!)

So It has worked pretty well the last couple of years, with the key being flexible...


Saturday, March 29, 2008

You have how many kids???

That is a frequent question I get. People just think that because I have 11 children that our home is some kind of day care or crazy house. What they don't know is the more the merrier!!! "They are not all going to be two years old at the same time", as I reminded the woman I worked with 19 years ago when I said I wanted 10 kids she thought I was nuts. I love seeing her today around town and smiling...up to 11 now!!! She just giggles...

Well you would never know today that we have so many lovely blessings. It is Sat afternoon and as I was cleaning I had a grateful moment and smiled...who would of guessed that I am here with just the baby. Two of the kids play quietly (for now) upstairs, my husband is running with the two year old, oldest out shopping, second oldest away at school, next son on a youth group retreat, one daughter out with her grandmother birthday shopping, the other daughter with her aunt and other grandmother, two out to a ANNIE play with a neighbor...Well, that was short lived...here they come. +JMJ+

Thursday, March 27, 2008

EASIEST COOKIE RECIPE IN THE WORLD...


THE EASIEST COOKIE RECIPE IS: 1 Cake mix, 1/2 cup of oil, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup anything (chips, nuts, raisins, etc...) Be creative with mixes and addition. cook 350 for 7-12 min-they will look undercooked but are good and chewy.




COOKIE BARS: 1 carrot cake mix, 1/2 cup oil, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of vanilla chips. Cook for 15-25min on 350.

Todays small accomplishment: exercised for 1/2 hour on treadmill...and 10 minutes of doing Denise Austin's BLAST AWAY the pounds indoor walk, while holding my two year old-wow was that a challenge!!! Does that count extra? I figured it did, so I had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup for a treat!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I did it!!!


It all started with my six year old asking, "mom, where does paper come from?" Remembering my daughter asking that question years ago before I utilized the computer...I had my husband bring home something he found online. This time I was going to answer it all by myself.

Little did I know that we were going to stumble onto many different projects for kids to make paper. Well, it was very easy and fun. When I figure out how to post links and pictures I will show you.

Hug your little ones today!!!

Light for the day: keep becoming interiorly decluttered

Exercise: 45 min on treadmill

Accomplishment: I threw away a half eaten Pb&j today!!! Baby steps to losing weight!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CLEANING...

All of you don't know me...I am totally new to this entire blog stuff...but if you did you would know how much I hate cleaning, especially after my 11 kids. Well, since we aren't doing school this week I decided to do some cleaning. It started with the big bathroom mirror, I hate cleaning windows and mirrors...within seconds one of my sweet children touch them, shake their wet hands on them, kiss them, or decide to touch with their grubby hands. So I usually let them stay that way until company. I remembered I bought some glass wet wipes at the Target $store and thought, "what the heck" it can't hurt to try...so I did the mirror and it turned out great!!! Than the windows in the living room...pretty good-just as good as the other stuff I used. It was well worth the $ I spent.

Then I started wiping down the walls behind the dinner table-yuck! I was using a rag with soap on it and scrubbing away, when I remembered my sister gave me a box of those eraser sponges. I had heard they worked great but never seem to find extra money for stuff like that. Well, I did the walls-worked great, tried the white trim-worked great, why not try the wood floors-wonderful...than off to the cabinets-still worked, than to the dishwashers (both of them) still worked great!!! After getting a new sponge I went to the ovens, than the refrigerators, wow, I couldn't believe it. Then off to the scuffs on the front door-no way they could get that...yep, they did!!! Even the outside shutters!!! OK...I got to go and clean some more...HEY HONEY, can't wait till you see the house!!!

Day 2 with my Brawny eraser sponges...gunk off bottom of dishwasher...kick marks off bathroom door: from siblings in need of a potty-quick...marks off wall where green leather chair hit, Christmas tree scrape marks off new kitchen ceiling..GONE-GONE-GONE...Now off to see if I can do commercials for this product...

http://www.frugalfun.com/cleansers.html

Cleaning tip of the day: Open mail in front of the trash can so you can throw away most of it...

GOALS and CHALLENGES...

SPIRITUAL:To say yes to our Lord and not be afraid of what gifts He has for you.

SPOUSAL:To think of ways to spoil you spouse.

PARENTAL:To be a compassionate mother like Our Lady.

HOMEMAKING:Beg the Holy Spirit to detach from the junk in our homes.

SCHOOL:Enjoy this Easter Week.

EXCERCISE:Got an hour on the tredmill again...yeah!!! Also lost my Easter weight!!! Detach from eating my kids leftovers...

TIP OF THE DAY:So excited, those Target Dollar Store glass wet wipes really worked...clean mirrors too!!!

Feast of the Annunication

Thy Will Be Done...

Luke 1:26-38


The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth , to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Upon arriving, the angel said to her: “Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.”

She was deeply troubled by his words, and wondered what his greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her: “Do not fear, Mary, You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus. Great will be his dignity and he will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end.”

Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I do not know man?”

The angel answered her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God. Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God.”

Mary said: “I am the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say.” With that the angel left her.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Monday...

Christ has risen, He has risen indeed!!!

Lights for the day:
1.Lord please heal my cracks!!!
2.Don't put limits on what Christ can do with you...you can be amazing...be happy with your state in life...don't compare yourself, your husband, your kids, or your home with others!!!
3.We can have an intense spiritual relationship with Christ just keep fostering total trust and confidence in HIM!!!

Exercise: one hour on tread mill(3 lbs Easter Sunday-yikes)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

HOLY SATURDAY...

Today I am pondering the BALANCING ACT we as Catholics, wives, mom's, and homeschoolers must do. How do you keep the seriousness of Good Friday in your mind with the happiness of Easter Sunday just around the corner.

I find my self at a constant state of juggling. As I celebrate yet another Easter, did I accomplish what I set out for this Lent? Is my spirit, family, and home made better by the little sacrifices I made?

I find myself dealing with the daily struggles of being Mary and Martha...I tend to be so much like Mary...just wanting to sit at our Lord's feet and soak in His words...but in the mean time "my domestic church" is crumbling around me with my little saints going crazy.

As with each season in my life the gift of flexibility must reign. I must be able to meet the needs of my apostolic nature as well as my state in life as a wife, mom, and homeschooling housewife of 11 wonderful kids.

That means not being drawn to the computer to just escape the dishes, laundry, or child that needs my attention. That means throwing out that clutter that is taking up too much space in my home. It also means not eating all my kids leftovers and rationalizing that I am doing it not to waist. Because my waist doesn't agree.

It is hard to do all the wonderful things we set our selves up for and still stay sane in the end. As I approach my 40Th birthday I think back to my 19 years of marriage, my 18 years of parenting and homeschooling and I think what is it that makes it all work? Being Balanced and Flexible...

When I think about being balanced I think of my husband. God sent him to me for this as well as many other reasons. If it weren't for him I would be crazy and my poor kids would have no sense of humor. He keeps me laughing and my kids safe from my crazy antics.

I can give people advice on how to be a good Catholic, a better wife, a fun mom, and a creative homeschooler...but I can't give them the initiative or strength to do it. I struggle every day with just doing it. Most of the time I fail greatly. But as I meditate on Christ getting up after each fall I hear HIM cry to me not to give up...keep going...you can do it...baby steps...

RESURRECTION ROLLS:
Preheat Oven to 350 degreesIngredients:Crescent rollsMelted butterLarge marshmallowsCinnamonSugarGive each child a triangle of crescent rolls. The crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in.Read Matthew 27:57-611. Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.2. Have him/her dip the marshmallow in melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming.3. Now dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar which represents the spices used to anoint the body.4. Then wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll (not like a typical crescent roll up, but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside.) This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after death.5. Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. (The oven represents the tomb - pretend like it was three days!)6. Let the rolls cool slightly. The children can open their rolls (cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there, HE IS RISEN!!!! (The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.)Now read Matthew 28:5-8Explain: At the tomb, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw an angel, who told them not to be afraid. No one had taken Jesus' body, but He Had risen from the dead! The angel told the women to go and tell the disciples what they had seen, that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were so excited, they ran all the way home to tell the disciples the good news! He is risen from the dead! Alleluia!After that Jesus appeared in person to Peter, then to the 12 disciples and after that, to more than 500 people. Jesus' appearance to eyewitnesses, those who saw Him with their own eyes, would give support and prove that Jesus rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).By rising from the dead, Jesus proved once and for all that He was the Messiah, the Savior of the World, the Chosen One, and the Lamb of God. By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus did what no other had ever done before. As both God and man, He overcame sin, death, and hell. And now because of what Jesus has done, these things no longer have any power over those who believe in Jesus and allow His Spirit to lead and direct them. Rather than being slaves to sin and death, Christians ( those who love and believe in Jesus) are free to obey God and do good ( Romans 6:17-18). The Bible says in John 8:36, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."However, we will only obey God if we listen to the Holy Spirit our helper. He enables believers in Jesus to do the right thing. It is important that we read the Bible (God's Word) because one of the ways the Holy Spirit helps us obey God is by reminding us of what He says to us in His Word. God's Spirit will never go against his Word. In fact, when we read God's Word, we are listening to the Holy Spirit. Of course, you won't always do the right thing; the Bible says this ) 1 John 1:5-10). But that is why we need to continue to confess our sins knowing that God forgives us, based on what Jesus did on the cross. This is also a reason we need to spend time with other believers in Christ so they can encourage us in our faith.May you have a blessed and meaningful Easter!

And I say to HIM...THY WILL BE DONE LORD!!! +JMJ+

Friday, March 21, 2008

Were You There...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Thursday...

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution." Exodus 12:14

You would think after having dinners as a family for over 18 years we to could accomplish a "memorial feast" it's memorable all right!!! My husband and I have tried and tried to make dinners less hectic...We owned a Christian Bookstore for ten years and used every material possible from family devotions, to memory building, to family readings and devotions. We have tried giving children assigned seats, saying special prayers, saying a decade of the rosary, reading saint stories, etc...None have made a consistent stay in our home...other than grace and "GOD BLESS THE DEAD PEOPLE" which has taken over for our Eternal Rest prayer. (thanks to my sardonic husband)

We have company about once a week and we do tend to serve pretty healthy meals, but the chaos is most of the time out of control. We did have a photographer from our diocesan newspaper take pictures of the kids on year for the March for Life. When he said that he really would like to come and take pictures at dinner one night, my husband and I laughed..."that would be a very uUN-Prolife thing to do!!!"

Well, as long as the generations will continue to come home for dinner...this momma will be happy. May God bless your Triduum.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spy Wednesday...

After having some meditation time this morning, I was pleasently surprised at the Holy Spirit giving me insights on the First Reading from Isaiah 50;4-9. As I pondered the words it reminded me of my prayer as a mother.
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Isaiah 50;4-9
4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary.

Do I do this as a mom? Do I use my words the way Christ expects me to? When my children are sad or weary do I show compassion?

Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

See, God wants me to homeschool...Ok, I am the first to admit that in the morning I am awaken and awaken by different sounds...my baby crying to be nursed, my toddler crying to be taken out of her crib to go potty, my other kids dumping out buckets of toys or listening to tapes way too loud at wee hours in the morning, when the teens are still trying to sleep. Not to mention the fights and yelling that someone hurt them or took their favorite toy!!!

5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward.

Do I listen to the small voice of the Holy Spirit giving me lights on raising this family?

6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

I usually have a kid climbing on me, I don't have a beard-yet...and it isn't a rare occasion I have been spit up on. Do I show shame from having 11 kids am I embarressed when my children act normally instead of the little saints I want them to be?

7 For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

I know for a fact that God helps me with an abundance of Grace to make it through my difficulties.

8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.

I will not be afraid to stand up for what I believe in...especially my faith, children, and home schooling a large family. I will continue to encourage other mothers not to be afraid of trusting God with their family decisions.

9 Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

I will beg for help from the Lord to give me strength to organize my home and declutter and detatch from things that do not matter like all the toys, clothes, junk...


Who would of thought I would find so much inspiration from the First Reading? I am trying to prepare for these holy days with great fervour and devotion that I forget to find Christ in the little things.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Homeschooling for highschool...

My oldest is 18 and we have home schooled her since she was born. It took some reevaluation when she turned 14 and she asked if she could go to the local all girls Catholic high school near by. My husband and I prayed and talked about it. Then my husband reminded me that one of the main reasons we started homeschooling in the first place was because of high school.

We are very blessed to be part of a Catholic Tutor Academy that meets two days a week. This has been in existence for eleven years and has provided parents with an alternative to going to and paying for High school. Parents pay for tutors...it is not a school. Parents are still the primary educators of their children so they are responsible for making sure they do the work and understand the material they are being taught.

We have done something unusual in our family. Due to the great umbrella school we belong to, we have been able to make sure our kids have completed all their high school credits well and on time. Since our county requires three maths, three sciences, three history credits as well as four English credits we have had our two oldest decide if they wanted to work extra hard to finish early and go to the local community college. Most of our other homeschooling friends have used this great community college to send their kids there for high school. We didn't realize at first with our oldest that one of the benefits to graduate, ment we could fill out a FASFA form which made them eligible for scholarships. So not only did they get to attend this great school, they got it all paid for!!!***

I am sure this decision is different for each family due to their children as well as what is available to them for choices. So we will decide with each child whether to have them finish HS early and go to the community college. As with all decisions in this family...seek your husband's advice!!!

***updated on Aug 27th:
Well we dropped off our first baby at college this week...lots of stress...not sure how I feel about living on campus...more on that after we see how it goes.
An interesting thought before you "graduate early" is where your kids are planning on going to college...in our case (one kid) it worked out...but in many cases kids who are freshmen, not transfer students (like my daughter), get MORE MONEY AND OTHER PERKS like housing, and other aide. So watch out for that.

THY WILL BE DONE!!!+JMJ+

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rules for dating my daughter...

RULES FOR DATING MY DAUGHTER…feel free to keep this for your own daughter’s dates someday…(my oldest just turned 18-yikes)
1. KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF.
a)hand holding and friendly hugs acceptable
2. TREAT HER LIKE A PRINCESS
a)hold doors open for her
b)pull out her chair
c)look for opportunities to spoil her
3. GUARD HER PURITY
a)be careful of the movies you watch
b)watch out for the music you listen to
c)don’t put her in an uncomfortable situation
4. SPEND TIME WITH OUR FAMILY
a)we aren’t as bad as we sound
b)we would like to get to know you
5. WATCH WHERE YOU TAKE HER
a)public places are great
b)group dating is better
c)don’t be left alone
6. ENTERTAIN HER CREATIVELY
a)watching movies is fun, but try something different
b)Their are tons of free public activities...if you can't find them I will drive!
c)going for a walk is nice
7. DRIVE CAREFULLY
a)you are driving precious cargo, and I don’t mean your car!
8. BE HER FRIEND FIRST
a)treat her the way you would want your sister or future daughter to be treated!!!
9. SUPPORT HER FAITH
a)you are always welcome to come to church with us
10. DID I MENTION KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF?

For a funny opinion click here

Be a light to the world...

During mass on Sunday I realized that once again time is passing quickly...Lent is almost over...Holy Week is starting...did I accomplish what God was asking me too? Am I the beacon of light He has called me to be? Am I the wife my husband deserves? Have I even touched on the Compassion I so wanted to strive for with my children. Am I raising them to love and serve Jesus as their best friend. Is my home a haven of rest to my family and friends? Have I decluttered even a small portion of my junk? What will I do this Holy week to change the world. The world of my home, my little cloister(noisest in the world). The husband and children that have been in trusted under my care? Lord please help me to be the person you created me to be...the light to the world...especially my little world. St.Patrick Pray for us!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why, oh why did I ever show my wife how to turn on the computer

She now knows just enough to be a danger to the world wide web. Of course now I have to help her with the technical aspects of this here blog. So if anything looks messed up on here that would be my fault. Also be warned that I have her password and can now post on here. I'm no where near as nice as my lovely bride.

Peace out
Rob aka Husband to Cecilia the Fox

Monday, March 10, 2008

Preparing for Holy Week...

I HAVE NOT COME TO CALL THE JUST; I HAVE COME TO CALL SINNERS TO REPENTANCE. Luke 5:32
As we prepare for Holy Week let us prepare our hearts and homes by refining our habits for the Lord. It is a great time to get rid of the things that lead us away from time with Christ, our families, or those that need our love. It is a time to rid our vices whether they are tangible or spiritual. It may be cleaning out our homes from vices that distract us, like drugs, alcohol, and pornography. Or less obvious things like clutter, unnecessary attachments, bitterness, compulsive behaviors, addictions, pride, vanity, or sensuality. Maybe we should be fasting from things that pull away our time like the computer, phone, eating in obsession, or nagging others. The one small vice we can give to God this Easter will clear our minds to grow into the amazing person we were created to be.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG...

Six months ago I never really knew what a blog actually was...my fellow friends and homeschoolers would ask if I saw "so and so's blog on..." I just kinda shrugged and said no, haven't seen that. So as I nursed my baby late one night I attempted going on my first blog. Wow!!! I was instantly hooked!!! The blog that I visited renewed me in many ways...as a wife, mother, homeschooler, and they spiritually ignited my soul. What an amazing way to touch others. As the months went by and I continued to be inspired by many different blogs, I also felt a new spirit of HOPE. To know that there are many other families trying to meet the needs of Christ to the world was inspiring and exciting!!! To hear stories of how others shared their faith,loved their spouses, raised their children, organized their homes, or just plan had fun, was so awesome. I thought wow, I would like to touch others this way. So, I prayed and asked my spiritual director what he thought. "Why not try it out..." So I keep thinking and thinking...there are many types of Blogs. Why would I do it? To inspire? To share advice? Maybe to just make a family scrapbook of our daily grind and what is going on to later share with my kids. So I will continue to discern what Christ is calling me to do. I have a feeling it will be a little of everything...so here I go...THY WILL BE DONE...I will just take baby steps...