Saturday, February 13, 2016

Blog? What Blog? (7 Quick Takes)

You practically forgot about me didn't you?!?  I admit, it's been a while since I've been here.  If have no good excuses either -- I just didn't feel like blogging.   But I missed the friendships and conversation here and kept thinking about things that maybe one day I'd write about. 

I'm not sure that I'll be cranking out all kinds of new posts now that I've dipped my toes back into the waters, we shall see...  

For now, my fingers could use a little exercise at the keyboard and I thought I'd hit you with a few quick takes on what I've been up to...


Not blogging.


Revamping our homeschool schedule and introducing some new materials.
This has been a really great change for us these past five or six weeks.
Last year James was still a morning napper and we were able to get our work done during his morning nap and then finish up the odds and ends during his afternoon nap.  
This year, no morning napper + only one independent reader = near total implosion of the homeschool.
I got sick of complaining to Russ that everyone needed more individual attention from me in the mornings when all our brains are fresh fresh fresh.  
Apparently Russ got sick of hearing me complain about it too ;)
He offered to keep the three younger kids out of the dining room from 7 - 8am three mornings a week so that I could get in a whole hour's worth of lessons with the boys before he even left for work in the morning!!!
Isn't he the best?!?
Our new routine is: Mondays and Wednesdays, we're up at 6 and Russ and I alternate going to 7am Mass (usually with one or two kids) while the other gets things ready for the big kids to leave the house for tutoring at 8.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, we're up at 6, I have a cup of coffee, take a shower, and do lessons with the boys from 7 to 8 while I have a second cup of coffee.  (They alternate working with me and independently)  Then after Russ leaves for work at 8, I have another cup of coffee (surprise, surprise) and eat my breakfast while I do lessons with Ruth (and James is *hopefully* being supervised by the big boys since they get a break then.)

Here's what it looks like from where I sit and do my thang...

boys have already had breakfast and done morning chores, so after they're done here, they get a break for about 1 or 2 hours!

usually I finish all of Ruth's work with her in the morning (math, reading, and handwriting, as
well as the homework she has for the Study Center)

This new schedule is - to say the least - AWESOME!!  We get so much work done!  And my children get the one on one time they need with me.  It is truly amazing how much work you can do when you're not chasing a two year old around and up and down and over and out and behind and oops!  It's been three hours and we've still only done one math equation........
Now three days a week are crazy productive, important things like reading and spelling are not falling through the cracks like they had been,  and we all still get free time later in the day.  Win - Win - Win.

We've also started using some new books and program after a mid-year review of sorts.  The state of the homeschool was, um, shall we say, lacking.  So it was with much excitement and gusto that I started Aaron on not one, but TWO new grammar books, as well as Wordly Wise for vocabulary.  And Dominic is starting All About Reading this upcoming Monday as our final "push" to get him reading.

So, that wasn't really a quick take, but I really wanted to tell you about it because I think these changes have literally saved us from self destruction :)


This photo is a hint at what I've *really* been up to during my free time.
And it is the sweetest evidence of a "100 Easy Lessons" child in the home <3 <3 
And I've still be crocheting.  Obvi.  That's probably the main reason I don't blog much anymore.  If I could dictate blog posts into some sort of dictaphone-to-blog program while I crocheted, then maybe I could keep the cobwebs from collecting here.  But as it is, I've been busy working on some projects for (maybe) reopening my Etsy shop as well as pieces of Ruth's blanket...

I've got about 30 of these made... 12 left to go.

Life is decidedly better now that I have a pompom maker and can just put perfectly puffy balls of yarn on anything I want.

hats for three sweet new little baby girls :)

And speaking of yarn...

Here was a cute little ornament I made for my sister (and fellow crochet lover) for Christmas :)  I just love it!


James turned 2 last month!  I could just go on and on about how much I love that kid (his singing!!  ohh!!! <3 <3 <3) and about how much of a handful he is (his modern art with diaper cream and baby powder)... but quick takes, I know.  

James thoroughly enjoyed his cake with sprinkles!   And he even got some new toy cars that I "wrapped" by taking them out of their packaging and then putting them back into the brown Amazon box in which they arrived.  It was very... celebratory.  In a kind of distracted mom urban industrial sort of way.

He's still not a talker, by any means, but more and more we know what he's saying, even if everyone else thinks he just said asldkfasldhfjopinrckjsdnfdsfsmcuh.

Man, I love that kid!

This was the first time that we've had a two year old and didn't also have a newborn or a newborn-coming-soon.   It feels... different.  Like maybe he was the last newborn and maybe there won't be any more two year old birthday parties here.  Obviously I don't know for sure.  Some days I'm sad about the prospect of no more babies to come.  And some days I'm loving that prospect.   But mostly James keeps me running so that there's little time for melancholic introspection on any subject, and of course we're open to life and we're planning to keep on loving the family we've got, so it's all good.  (That's the best way to wrap up a topic when there's plenty more to say about it but this is not the time and you just need to shut it down.  It's all good.)


Dominic made his First Holy Communion and started altar serving!!!

The story starts back in early December when we had our pastor and parish seminarian over for dinner.  During the course of the dinner, Father invited Dominic to start altar serving even though he hadn't received his First Communion yet.  So the the Sunday before Christmas, Dominic went to speak to Father after Mass.  Both the priest and I thought he was going to ask about when he could start serving, and instead he said, "Excuse me.  When can I make my First Communion?"  Our pastor said, "How about next week?"  And so he did!  

It truly was blessed circumstances!
(You can read about why I've been so happy that my children have (thus far) received their First Holy Communion at the regular Sunday morning Mass we attend here)

And he's since been altar serving <3


I said that the school changes were the biggest changes around here lately.  Not so, actually.  Russ started a new job the Monday after Christmas.  It's been a huge change.  We had been praying about a change for him for well over two years, and when this new opportunity worked out (when many others hadn't) we thought it was the right move.  It's been a rocky transition, and while we feel certain that we didn't make any changes lightly, it's hard to see that this was the right one while we're trying to navigate what it means for our family.  There really have been so many changes, and most of them don't feel like good changes or "worth it" changes as this point.  If you have a spare prayer to offer for Russ' peace in his new position, I'd truly appreciate it.  I know he would too.  I think the fact that we, along with many other friends and family members, have been praying for this situation for so long, keeps us believing that we made the right decision and now we just have to have faith (and patience!) that it will improve.

I sure do love and appreciate this guy :)
(so do the kids <3)


And finally, a few words about Lent.  Here is my motto for the year:

Who needs a hair shirt when you can wear jeans? (Lent 2016)

One of my Lenten penances this year is to wear jeans at least once a week.*  
 Sheer torture.  
If you know me in real life, and have seen me recently and I was wearing jeans, believe me, I was in appropriate Lenten agony.  I just hid it.  Because I didn't want to be like one of the pharisees and their phylacteries.  Or the fasting hypocrites and their disfigured faces.  Or whatever.  You know.
On Ash Wednesday the reading was "Rend your hearts, not your garments."  Basically, God was talking to me, because if there's anything I want to do to a pair of jeans, it's rend them.

*I'm doing some other things like, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  So, don't worry ;)

*   *   *   *   *   *

Friends, I've missed you!  I hope you had a wonderful and fun-filled January.  
And I pray your have a blessed and transformative Lent.
Hopefully, I'll be back here again soon.  But if you're on Instagram, that might be the best place to stay in touch with me.  Quick and easy Instagram really lends itself to my busy life these days -- and I'm grateful to have that outlet to continue sharing little bits of this blessed and lovely life <3  

Check out what other Quick Takers are chatting about this week over at This Ain't the Lyceum.

Oh, yeah!  And I got to participate in a spiritual reading recommendations post that Kelly shared!  Check that out too!


  1. Yaaaay you posted! Love seeing your crochet/krosha. ;) And I really enjoyed reading about your new homeschool routine. Those days are a ways off still for me but I love reading about how seasoned homeschool mothers do it!

    Prayers for your husband!

  2. Yay for lots of updates! Your projects are all lovely. I especially love the wreath.

    I admire you so much for making the necessary changes in your school routine. What we're doing isn't necessarily working, but I've been too (scared/lazy/tired) to try to come up with an alternative.

    Congratulations to Dominic! That is wonderful! He looks so handsome in his suit and serving.

    1. Take is easy on yourself! Homeschooling during pregnancy is hard!

  3. Gorgeous wreath!! Put those in an Etsy shop for sure! Hilarious ornament! :). Also I loved the A and O with lines, hahaha!! 100 lessons indeed!

  4. Haha, your sweet crochet note reminded me of when Gemma wrote her own "newspaper" of the day and wrote, "I love to croshae, it is the best." Crochet is a tough word to spell!

    1. Oh man... I used to write newspapers all the time! Maybe your daughter has a future in blogging :)

  5. Certainly didn't forget about you, have been missing you, though as you say see snippets on instagram. Well so much happening, each a post in itself, where to start..

    2)Your new schedule sounds fantastic! and suggests to me I probably should do something like this myself. I can just hear your enthusiasm, fantastic!

    4) can hardly believe your baby is 2! though I can cause so is mine. Too fast. Yep and I get the topic, what to say when I'm too busy going around and around myself in my own head

    5) oh, oh, oh!!!! Soo exciting, both events! and love the photos :-) So very thrilled xx

    6) Oh praying for Russ, so good news but transition time {}

    7) Love jeans so I chuckled here.


Like the old song says, "comments are a girl's best friend." Or something like that... So... leave a comment! I love chatting here! Pretend you're on my back porch, kick the broken plastic sandbox toys aside, sip your iced coffee, or beer, or (__fill in the blank with your beverage of choice__) and let's talk about all the things, because back-porch blogging is what I do!

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