"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Tuesday, May 31

Memorial Day

We had a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend ...  Uncle Joe came home on Sunday.

No more beautiful moment could be found to remember those who have given their life for our own, than to welcome home some who fought beside them and in memory of them. 


Please continue to pray for our soldiers, and their families, as they lay down their lives daily so that we may live ours.

Monday, May 23

A Low Week

Definitely a good thing!  After much running around with baseball and horse back riding lessons along with a Confirmation and doctors appointments thrown in, we have about a week of rest.

Our oldest was Confirmed on Monday, May 16th.  The class was huge...and only about half of this year's class.  Some were Confirmed this past Fall and some were Confirmed this Spring.  The other night there were 141 teens!  To put it in perspective - imagine 141 teens + 141 sponsor (give or take a couple of them who sponsored 2 teens) + parents (for 141 teens) + siblings, grandparents, godparents, etc.  Oh my!  : ) it was a full house!  We thought - we'll sit in the cry room (where we NEVER sit), it should be less populated considering its 6:30 at night and most parents will want to be as close as they can....Now i remember why i really dislike sitting in the cry room.  And we had never been in the one at this church so we were in for a few surprises!  But all in all, we had a beautiful Mass, the Teens worked hard to prepare for this amazing sacrament, and we are so proud of our son! 

One thing the teens do while preparing for Confirmation is choose a saint to take the name of.  They research and write a report on that saint and explain why they chose him or her.  Our son chose St. Ambrose.  You can find out a bit about this amazing man from my brother's blog as he too had chosen St. Ambrose for his Confirmation saint and discusses why on his blog.  There is more there than B. was even able to find.  Very interesting information.  Funny, B. Chose St. Ambrose forgetting that his uncle had too...and then he asked his aunt (Joe's wife) to be his sponsor!  Ah, well .... just one of those things.

Baseball is finishing up in the next few weeks.  Riding lessons are over.  We have been slowly going through boxes, one at a time from the garage.  School is getting back to normal.

On the subject of school, once the new catalogs come out, the conferences start, etc don't you find yourself looking more toward next year than focusing on finishing this year?  I do. I need to remind myself that yes, they do need to finish the science, math, whatever in order to start the next year's materials.  yikes! 

Right now i am trying to focus on materials for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as opposed to next year's stuff hoping that will keep me focused on the finishing of the year. 

B. is flying through things now...we were so far behind but he will end up finishing by the end of June.  Once he found what worked best for him school has progressed quickly.  The next two in line after him need to finish math definitely and well, i'll make them keep working at the other stuff until B. is done -  i'm mean like that. : )
Bear is working only on math and reading right now.  When they are learning to read, that is always the most important, greatest focal point of their year.  But for him, math is a favorite and he is already halfway through next year's book.  I am getting ready to add in science and geography for him in a more montessori style as well as Catechesis of the Good Shepherd  (CGS) for religion.  The funny thing about religion is that they are surrounded by it and so daily they are learning and living their faith...but there is more to learn and CGS is by far the most wonderful way to present the Truths of our faith. 

My brother is slowly making his way home from Afghanistan - thank God for his safe return!  We hope to see him and his family sometime in the next few weeks.

And last, one more bit of news!  Wee dunphy #6 is due to arrive around the 16th of September!  We are all very excited about his arrival.  Yes - this is really late to be handing out the news but so what.  I am about 23 weeks! 

Well i best run as the kids will be making their way downstairs soon and i have yet to do much of what i really should be doing!  (that translates into cleaning, cooking, going through boxes...etc)

Have a beautiful afternoon!

Friday, May 13

Catching up...again

Wow, 10 days without a post - well, we have been busy.  Our biggest time taker is baseball.  This weekend we have a 9am game, a 10:30 game, and a 11am game ... all in different locations.  Maybe the weather will help us out a bit. :  ) 

The kids are back to doing some school work, i am still pondering what else we really need besides finding the griddle cord and the crock pot, Cory is working hard as usual. 

We just celebrated Cory's birthday - i won't say how old he is because then you'll know how old i already am!   We managed to put a little aside through this move so we could get him a new grill for birthday/father's day. For mother's day i got a new, movable garden .... actually 2, but due to the cost of the 'dirt mixture' i opted to only use the larger one.  I have seeds for most things, i just need to purchase a few tomato and pepper plants and we will be good to go. 

Gardening is one of those things i have really missed these past 2 years.  Being homeless really puts a stop to gardening. : )  The kids have put in their requests for carrots and cherry tomatoes.  I am looking forward to the snow peas and fresh herbs...if they will actually grow.  
Over the years i have done quite a bit of research on gardening and have recently found Square Foot Gardening, which pulls together many of the things i have learned since we started our garden adventure about 5  years ago.   Our last neighbor used to give me a hard time about my gardening methods of raised beds and spacing.  She owns a farm and everything is done in rows.... the garden we had was huge and i could have gotten a lot more out of it than we did, i just never got all my ducks in a row.  She would be amazed now if she knew how much we are about to grow in 24 sq ft.  Its a little absurd. 

Gardening always amazes me, as the kids are willing to help plan and sometimes work, knowing they will have the joy of pulling cherry tomatoes and snow peas from the vine and just popping  them in their mouth.  The coolness of knowing something is hiding under the dirt that is nothing like the plant on top has them excited about the carrots.... they loved the years we did potatoes (with several other families)... such a treasure hunt is hard to beat.  Kids and dirt go hand in hand ....even with those kids who prefer to stay clean.  We have several of those and well, its totally my fault. : )  Even as a toddler i would make mud pies but cry and ask to be washed off if i got any on my clothes. 
I have always hated being dirty, which cracks me up because i am the one who threw pots through most of high school (a V-E-R-Y dirty activity) and i love to garden.  But then we must wash.  ah, to be clean.  I will be the first to jump in and get my hands dirty but don't ever stand in my way when it comes to cleaning up! :  )

I will try to get pictures up soon.  We have confirmation coming up for B. and pictures of the new house, baseball, new montessori materials, projects and the garden, which i am sure you all are dying to see. 
As always, please bear with me as things are crazy right now.... i'm looking forward to the middle of June!...when it all comes to an end - for the moment.  Geesh! : )

Tuesday, May 3

Quick Resource Note - Montessori

For anyone interested - Oriental Trading has plastic activity trays on sale, 6 for $7.99.

14.5" x 10.75" in size.  Perfect for little hands!

Here is the Plastic Cool Craft Trays link!

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 1

Hello!

Well, here i am, its 5:44am.  Are you up? Probably not! How lucky for you.

Sorry it has been so long since i've posted!

We are 'moved in' but far from moved in.  Over Easter Weekend (i know, don't even say it) we unloaded the 23' truck of many of our possessions that have not been seen in 2 years.  This was after spending the week (through all the rain!!!) retrieving our belongings from NJ and 2 locations in PA.  We still have things in both PA places!

So now we wonder, as we sit here in our new (rental) home...how much of this STUFF do we really need? 

Have you ever really tried to separate yourself from your belongings?  We did some prior to leaving the farm house almost 2 years ago...but not much.  And note to self - when you live in a huge house people give you things you a)don't necessarily need, and b)don't necessarily want.  (the same is true when you have children - this problem has been following us for over 14 years now! : )  ) But people are so generous and for that we are truly thankful.  What is an extra, occasional trip to goodwill or the St.Vincent De Paul society...nothing.

So currently i am wading through boxes, trying to make myself be reasonable - how many colanders does one family really need???  Holy smokes!  : )

Now the ultimate goal is to get as little extra stuff into the house as possible...not easy with children  -especially when all the toys are in clear buckets!  Thankfully, we have weeded through those numerous times over the years and honestly, only the best (for the most part) are in the buckets... see how that mentions nothing about all the gift from the past two years?  We have a ways to go yet.

On to other news....
My computer is still out of commission.  Its not a huge problem as you can see from the fact that i am currently writing you : ) but still - photos and addresses would be nice to retrieve.  I may be able to salvage some of it but if i tell you how you will laugh so i'll save that for AFTER i try.  Fair?

No sewing, crocheting, etc has been done in way too long....and no i never got the Easter dresses done by Easter.  We were lucky to make it to Mass as we were all exhausted by then!  But my husband and i pulled ourselves together enough to hold on to our family traditions even through the mess of a Lent we have had. (but only for Easter, Lent is a whole other ball of melting wax!)

School is on hold (and the children are SO upset - teeheeehee!) They can't seem to find their books!  I, of course, know where they are, but i'm not talkin'!  ...ok, we start back monday,whether i like it or not.

In other school news - our oldest has taken it upon himself the task to teach himself computer programing. I am very impressed.  So i went online to see about online classes at the local community college but you have to take 2 real life classes before you can enroll in the online stuff...and  you have to be 16 to enroll in the college.  SO, i started looking online and found (quite unintentionally) a site that has several free computer programing courses.  One set is through MIT.  I looked at it a bit and i think we'll add that to his daily schedule after his actual school work is done...if he wants.  Or he can continue on as is, but with the blessing of an hour of extra computer time just for teaching himself something he seems to really enjoy.  I love homeschooling!

Well, that about sums it up for now... i promise eventually i will get back to blogging about school and home in a more beneficial to you sort of way, with photos etc as well.

But please, bear with me as the stress is high and the tasks many - and most are not part of our normal life.  Moving can be both a joy and a stress at the same time .... much like life in general. : )

So i will try to get back here more often than not from here on out...but please say a prayer for us as we try to decide what is really necessary to keep and what we can drop, to better follow Him....

Have a Blessed Sunday!