Amy Caroline's Daybook ~ August 19, 2013

At least the basil doesn't mind the smoke!
Outside my window... 
  It is not as bad as it was a few weeks ago but it is still hard to breathe when you have to go out and about.  I actually had to leave mass at one point and go into the hall to catch my breath and gulp some water from the fountain yesterday.  I am really looking forward to fall and lots of rain to help our poor beleaguered firefighters.
I am thankful... 
That we are able to homeschool.
  I had a very trying last few weeks and even thought about putting the older girls into public school.  It is hard sometimes, this homeschooling thing.  I am so thankful to have a husband who supports homeschooling unfailingly.  And when last week I threw up my hands and said I can’t do it anymore, he stepped up and said he would do it. 
Isn’t he the best?
He is going to be helping me with the teens for awhile.  Get them back on track and give me a bit of a break.  You already know I am thankful for him!
Homeschooling has brought our family closer together.  When there are large age gaps, little ones and big ones may never get to know each other otherwise.  We know our kids better.  We know their friends.  We know who is teaching them and why.
I am grateful for public schools, because some can’t homeschool and shouldn’t!  But I am glad that homeschooling works for us, even after hard weeks.  And there is nothing better than hearing from your 18 year old, “I am glad I was homeschooled!”
I am thinking...        
So this really fits in the block bellow, but I since a lot of what I am thinking about is homeschooling, it will work!  This year my plans were (and are, lol) to school about 4 or 5 weeks and take a week off.  This should get us around the whole year with big breaks at Advent and summer.  I may have some rethinking to do on this, later, but I am really looking forward to it.  A family this size really works better with some kind of routine.  And the long summer break can really play havoc on us (well maybe me!). 

Learning all the time... 
So a little controversial thought is going to pop in here and I will try to write a post more on these thoughts later, but I am done with even entertaining the idea of unschooling.
  Some bad behaviors have been nurtured during our experiment with it and now we have to work on that.  SO, I have been diligently over the last few months working out kinks with our curriculum plans.  I think I have successfully weaved together Mother of Divine Grace with Mater Ambalis and Ambleside Online. Yeah, I am exhausted.  So I have created high school transcripts that the kids will need to complete in order to graduate and weekly lesson plans crafted by me and these great homeschooling resources I just mentioned.

Blurry but I couldn't resist...
Celebrating the liturgical year... 
This is so terrible, but we haven’t been.
  We go to mass on Sunday or more, and, of course, live our faith, but life has been so busy that anything extra…  Sigh.

I was planning to do blueberries and whip cream, inspired by the post by Jessica for the Assumption, but by the end of that day, with sick kids, it was more than I could do.  I am hoping to really get things going this year with that.  I want my family to have great memories they can pass down to the generations of living our Catholic faith but also celebrating it!

From the kitchen... 
A leaky faucet.
  Sorry I am so sour.  Is it fall yet?  Rose made us brownies yesterday which were incredible after a dinner of roasted chicken and sliced zucchini, with mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
I am working on...
I finished my lesson plans, I think (are we ever done?), so now I need to get back to the gym.
  We got our membership back at the Y, so we need to start taking advantage of it.  SOON.  I am feeling like a slug.  With the summer blues I get and little exercise due to the smoke, I am not a very happy mama bear.  And when mama ain’t happy… you know the drill.

I am creating...
Still working on that sweater and Phoebe doll.
  I better hurry!  Sweet Pea’s birthday is right around the corner.  Lily finished the sweater, but I have been to busy tweaking lesson plans.

I am going...
on errands.
  Blah.  Was feeding the kids cereal this morning when I realized we were out of milk.  Beautiful.

I am hoping...

To get into a normal routine soon!
  This is going to be another crazy week and I am done with crazy.  I want cool crisp autumn days and sweaters and pumpkin everything. 

I am praying... 
Last Friday my husband’s aunt passed away.
  She was very ill with diabetes and kidney problems, but it took a turn fast.  She had fallen and forgot her lifeline to call for help inside.  Her husband who is also has medical issues, had no idea she was in trouble.  The neighbors found her after an hour.  She was taken to the hospital but since uncle could not really take care of himself my mother in law Anita rushed down there on the train.  It was a good thing she did.  They were with her and all looked good.  She told them to go home and make dinner.  Within an hour she was gone.

We will be bringing Uncle David back up here with us and it is going to bring some big changes.  They were married for 54 years and Uncle David has never really lived alone.  So please pray for him and the repose of soul for my husband’s aunt.

I am also praying for this family who is waiting for the birth of twins, one of which will pass away soon after birth.

I am reading... 
I won’t bore you.
  The same thing!  No time!
At the parish picnic by Marc Salvatore

Pondering these words...
"I believe that God wants a personal relationship, an adult friendship, with each of us and that prayer is the best way of engaging in that friendship. By prayer I mean what occurs when I am conscious in some way of God’s presence. So prayer can be as simple as watching a child trying to speak words, looking at sunlight glancing off snow-covered trees, playing with your dog, feeling the wind on your face, hearing birds sing, smelling bacon sizzling in a frying pan, looking at someone you love; all can be prayer if you’re aware of God’s presence as you take in these experiences."

--Excerpted from Praying the Truth by William A. Barry, SJ.

I am listening... 
To The Good Lovlies: Let The Rain Fall Album.
  Have you ever heard them?  LOVE!  Cheerful and upbeat, just what I need.
Around the house...
This cold is still a bit lingering.
  The smoke I think it prolonging it a bit.  So I need to get down to business now that things are on the up and up and clean these germs right out of my house!

One of my favorite things...  
Coffee, as you know, is a deep love.
  Off and on in my life, however, I have not been able to drink it.  Sometimes it makes me very very sick.  This is one of those times.  So I am also going through caffeine withdrawals.  And black tea can have the same effect on my tummy when the coffee does this.  Switching brands doesn’t help, either.  So one of my favorite things does not favor me right now.  So I need to find something else to put a smile on my face in the morning.  Maybe exercise, once these withdrawals are over?

This week's plans...
  • ·      Get over the coffee addiction
  • ·      Go grocery shopping
  • ·      Kick the germ’s behinds
  • ·      A few random appointments
  • ·      Daisy gets back from camp!  Yeah!
  • ·    Help Tony out the door because he has appointments every DAY this week and is leaving for the funeral at the end of the week too.

A Photo Memory...
These two photos were next to each other in my photo feed this morning.  It really struck me how things have changed in what seems so short a time to me.  The photo on the right was once my blog header (I had to update to note that Rogue and Bear are wearing the same shirt!), we were just starting homeschooling and so much was to happen to our family between those two photographs.  Pain and joy.  My children are such a blessing to me.

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