Sunday, November 22, 2015

"The Show Must Go On"


Yesterday we woke up to almost 10 inches of snow on the ground.  It was the first snowfall of the season, so it hit all of us in the area REAL fast.  I had to get out and size boots for all these young ones.  Put away all our ball caps and bonnets and replace them with scarves, snow hats, gloves, and snow pants. And, of course, they can't wait to get outside to play and help clear the drive.  So thankful, my big boys actually do an amazing job of clearing the drive!!  The others just "help".  ;)

And, how inconvenient that it came on the day when we all had to be up, dressed, fed, and out the door to be over at our local children's theatre by 9:30am, which at that time, it was still snowing and the roads were in terrible shape.  I was really really really hoping that it would be delayed or rescheduled.  But it wasn't. With 260 kids performing that day, it was nearly impossible to reschedule the day.  So, as the saying goes - "The Show Must Go On"!  And, it was going to!  We had to get our little actors and and actresses to their performances.  Not wanting to chance being out in Big Red with the shape the roads were in and were only going to get worse, I sadly stayed home with the kids who were NOT in the morning showcase performance.  And, Neil braved the roads with our performers in tow.  Thank God Neil was able to record the performance, so at least I got see my Mama Sheep (Ariel) and Monkey (Max) perform.

Then that evening, the snow had ceased, roads were so much better, so we all made it to the performance of our two oldest boys.  Mario was the host, and Fone was the last contestant.  And, the rest of the boys are homeschooling friends of theirs.

This theater thing and interest is still so foreign to me.  Even with Hansel and Gretel performance in October and all the showcase performances that these young ones have taken part in, I'm still in awe at how our kids love to be up on stage and have the confidence to memorize all those lines and act.  So so thankful though!!!  It's such a great experience for them!

7 Quick Takes - our peg doll collection

I have been painting peg dolls since I first saw them on one of my favorite blogs.  It was the perfect time to start creating our own collection because Ariel and Melody were doing the Alphabet Path as well and having a saint to go with every letter was ideal.  Ideal is the word here...  I only got through painting half the alphabet.  It was a great start though and I was such a newbie.  Who knew painting one doll at a time was actually harder than painting multiples?  I've learned now, by being in many peg doll swaps that painting multiple pegs and trading with a group of people doing the same thing is *the* way to go when adding to your peg doll collection!!

Today's quick take is a peek into our peg doll collection - either created by me, collected through swaps, or bought off of Etsy.  Enjoy!

#1 - our first Saint pegs - half of the alphabet - lol!  This is where it all started!  See how plain they were.  My sweet humble peg dolls.  Goes to show that "practice makes perfect".  Well, not even perfect, but much much better.  But still, oh so special, since these guys are where our collection all began.  (St. George was MIA during the "photo shoot")

#2 - Saint peg dolls (some I painted, some I bought, some I swapped)

#3 - super heroes - the big boys and I painted and gifted Max with a set of his own super hero pegs a couple years ago.  And, the next year, St. Nick brought some fancier painted ones (found on Etsy) for Pookey.

#4 - Star Wars pegs - I painted a whole bunch of the Admiral Ackbar pegs and traded in a character peg doll swap.  See close ups of all these guys here.

#5 - Marian pegs - I think out of all the swaps I've done, this is my favorite!!  We love Mama Mary!!  I painted over 20 Our Lady of Mount Carmels and then traded and received so many beautiful Mary peg dolls.  Click on over here to see our whole set and close ups of all our little Mary's.

#6 - Rose received these Disney Princess/Prince/Pair pegs for her birthday this year.  Aren't they adorable?!!! Well, she is too!  I painted Mulan/Shang and traded for the rest through a character peg doll swap on Facebook.

#7 - here are four sets of Nativity pegs that I recently received from a swap - one for us to keep and three to give away as Christmas gifts this year!!

Phew!  I think it's time to take a peg doll painting break, eh?!!

Jump on over to view and/or take part in some more Quick Takes!!  
(click the image below)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Marian peg doll swap

Out of all our peg dolls, these are my favorite.  And, I'm sure you'll see why!  We love our Mother Mary, so having all these peg dolls to help us remember all her various titles, apparitions, and love for us are such a blessing!!!  I painted 25 of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel pegs and swapped with 24 other moms.  (the other two I bought)

(Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of Beauraing, Our Lady of Czestochowa)

Hail Mary, full of grace.
(Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Lady of the Rosary)

The Lord is with thee.
(Mary Mystical Rose, Our Lady of Kibeho, Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Blessed art thou among women!  
(Mother of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Lourdes, Mary Undoer of Knots)

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  
(Madonna of the Streets, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Immaculate Heart of Mary)

Holy Mary, Mother of God, 
(Our Lady of La Vang, Our Lady of Hope, Our Lady of Knock)

pray for us sinners, 
(Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal)

now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.  
(Our Lady of Ngome, Our Lady of Good Help, Our Lady of Snows)

(Our Lady of the Americas, Mary Queen of Heaven, Our Lady of Snows)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Funny Boys Dynamite

Our Funny Boys, Fone and Mario, have taken a break from their video-making, but just came out with a super funny, beyond hilarious, take on Napoleon Dynamite.  Click on the image below to take you to their YouTube channel to view their newest latest greatest hit....

Well done, boys!!  

My biggest "secret" for getting it all done

How do you do it?

A question that I get asked all too often.

People think that because I homeschool.  Because I have a crew of kids.  A crew of happy, sweet, good kids.  Because I seem happy.  And always seem to have a smile on my face.  Because I am joyful.  That I am some sort of super mom, super woman.  Golly, I wish I could take that credit and award!!  But, no such luck.

I have had to learn many things....

You must have limits!!  You must say "no" to many things.  Many good things.  Many amazing educational opportunities.  Many cool field trips.  No.  No.  No.  Because if I say "yes" to it all, then I am saying "no" to something else.

As a mom/homeschooler, my number one priority is to serve God and my family as a wife and a mother.  I have been called to homeschool, so this is also added to my plate.  These things must come first.  Nowhere does it say that I must send my kids to every single education opportunity, go to every field trip, or even leave the house daily to go to daily Mass or adoration.  You see, my biggest "secret" for getting it all done is to STAY HOME.  That's right, if I'm gone every single day, or multiple times a day, who is going to teach my kids?  Who is going to do the grading?  Who is going to do my laundry?  Who is going to do the cleaning?  Who is going to keep things tidy?  Who is going to cook the food?  Who is going to do the dishes? one!!  It is my job to keep things running smoothly on the homefront.  My job to keep up with the house and homeschooling and keep things running running peacefully and smoothly.

So when the world starts spinning and my house is starting to fall apart.  Mountains of laundry. Bellies filled with too much fast food and junk food.  Grading days and days behind.  My head so much in a fog that I don't know up from down, left from right.  Then I know it's time to scale back and STAY HOME more!  My kids need me.  My house needs order.  (not perfection, I must add, but enough of an order where we can all focus clearly without the mess starting to sink into our souls and making our head and hearts spin, and taking away every ounce of peace that once was)

This fall has been the busiest we have ever had.  I am so so so grateful that it is done and the busyness is over.  It was a huge blessing to offer our kids so many great opportunities.  But I quickly realized that this is the busiest I want things to be.  I don't want to go beyond the number of activities we had.  We not only ran almost every day, but we ran multiple directions in the evening.  Barely had one or two family meals during the week.  Laundry and the house, thankfully, didn't fall apart.  But it was enough of a "split" feeling, that I know I want less of that and more simple from here on out.  These kids will grow too fast.  I don't want them to remember all the running and craziness and rushing.  I want them to remember our home.  That haven of peace.  And joy.  And love.  The place where they spend most of their time.  And have the best of memories there.

A very good and holy priest friend of ours encouraged us that staying home and living fully in our Domestic Church is what we need to be doing.  We cannot miss these opportunities for holiness in the most simple of moments.  Eating family dinners and being together is such a grace-filled time. He shared with us that staying home and being together is a lot more important than doing everything and being in every single sport and activity.  Satan wants to rob us of these holy moments by constantly making us be on the run.  Sometimes we just need to say no, and ground ourselves at home.

HOME is where the HEART is!!  
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