Friday, September 30, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday


Friday and the Weekend

A week ago Friday, we had CCE in the morning, football free play afterward, an afternoon of music practice and writing our weekly letters, and then we attended Food Truck Friday at our neighborhood rec club. The girls and Joseph had fun racing around the empty tennis courts, while John played football with the neighborhood boys.

On Saturday was the Parish Carnival which, of course, earned its own post (click here). Before our afternoon riding the Ferris wheel, I took Mary to the consignment store to buy fall clothing, which was fun. (The boys have enough hand-me-downs that I need to buy nothing this fall!)

Two new-to-us jumpers for the girls

I will even give you a sneak peak at Thomas' costume for the upcoming All Saints' Party . . . he is going to be a lobster from Noah's Ark! (My dad collects all things lobsters, so I saw this costume at the consignment store and knew our costume had been found.)

Thomas, the Lobster

On Sunday, we attended Mass, plus I made a meal for a friend whose husband had died the day prior (may he rest in peace). I had two little boys help me make the apple pie.

Can you stand the cuteness? I hardly can!



We are trying to incorporate intermissions of 30 seconds worth of Scottish dance exercises in between school subjects. This gets the children's blood flowing, plus strengthens their muscles!

Margaret reading aloud

In trying to squeeze the last five minutes of patience out of my three-year-old while teaching reading to the five-year-old, I let Joseph put star stickers all over my and his faces (while I was teaching), and then we posed for fun pictures. Whatever it takes!

The children have two music teachers, the wife of whom has really gone the extra mile recently by volunteering her time to record on my iPhone herself playing the piano accompaniment to John and Mary's piano concertos, and the piano accompaniment to all eighteen of Mary's Suzuki violin pieces. This has got to be about two hours of her donated time to us!

The children have been playing to "digital accompaniment" at home for a couple of weeks now and it makes a noticeable, positive difference!

Playing with Miss Keiko via the computer!

On Monday night, I stayed up with Chris to watch the first presidential debate, the remarkable thing being that I was able to stay awake that late.



Having finished studying first the Spanish explorers in America, and then the French, we are now launching into the English explorers in America! This is going to be a really exciting history unit with so many good books! I organized myself to launch this week, placing Post-It Notes in each book indicating who was reading it when and in what order and our goal of how many chapters per day.

A normal school day followed by normal music lessons was the order of the day on Tuesday. The children are having a grand old time at their teachers' house playing on logs from a felled tree so large that it took the workmen two days of labor to get it down.

We came home and did a couple of hours of Family Cleaning Time to catch up on vacuuming floors, cleaning bathrooms, and even scrubbing the walls of the kitchen which were so scuffed with children's markings.

Then, I went out for the evening! Normally I host my Light Weigh meetings in my own home, but that night we L.W. ladies were having a special exercise event at my parish, so I had to leave my baby behind.

Thomas (14 months) has never been laid down for nap or bed by anyone but me, and he still wakes frequently during the night, so I was rightfully nervous. I was able to get him tucked in for the night before I left, but then he woke at 8:20 and Chris couldn't get him back to sleep, so the children stayed up late trying to calm his intermittent crying until I returned at 9:00, and all was right in the world again.



Mid-week marked the kick-off day for the latest 40 Days for Life Campaign, and I decided to take the children to pray peacefully at the abortion clinic.

When the children were tiny tots, I used to make it a priority to pray at the clinic with some regularity. I really don't think I have done this ministry in four years (click here) when I had newly three children and the outings had become all too much for me. So, when a friend of mine emailed that she'd be praying on the sidewalk this Wednesday, I realized that (1) I can now handle five better than I used to handle three and (2) I don't want my children to reach middle school or high school without being accustomed to standing up for what we believe even when it is uncomfortable and inconvenient.

All went well despite the three-year-old tantruming at home for the 90 minutes prior to our departure (who knows why). We prayed peacefully with another mom and five of her children, with the children volunteering to kneel on the hard cement and their fighting over who would get to lead which decade of the rosary.

Afterward, the children began drawing with sticks in the mud.

"Stop killing babies"

"I'm a child, not a choise"

Then, because we are social humans with bodily needs as well, we two moms drove over to a Panthers play area at Freedom Park where the children ate our brown bag lunches and they played for an hour. They had a super fun time!

We came home to my then becoming flustered over a very messy house, only minimal school work and music practice being done that day, and a dinner that turned out poorly. Chris took the two oldest kids to a night Mass, and I hid quietly at home.



Our Scottish dance teachers had a hand-me-down pair of ghillies to give to John, which is such a blessing to us. (Girls, apparently, wear ballet shoes, so Mary already has those.) John and Mary are both really excited about Scottish dancing.

The day had begun with my 6:00 a.m. appointment with my personal trainer, trying to whip this girl back into health, and went long with school. Chris took the children to dance for me so I could spend the afternoon doing my meal planning and placing my grocery order online. (Does it take everyone as long as it takes me?!) I was too fatigued at night to attend the Mothers' Night Out planned by a group of friends of mine.


Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)


Breakfast of only 350 calories, 40 g carbs, and 20 g protein--go, Mama, go!

Meals of the Week 

. . . shared to show that "My career is homeschool mother, not gourmet chef!"
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
    • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Monday
    • Pulled pork sandwiches; vegetable chowder; chips
  • Tuesday
    • Chicken, frozen veggies, pasta with marinara
  • Wednesday
    • Slow Cooker White Bean Soup (did not turn out well), brown rice (weirdly, did not cook in time for dinner), and--for kids--chicken patty sandwiches
  • Thursday
    • Chicken nuggets, homemade macaroni and cheese, wild rice, frozen veggie mix
  • Friday
    • Planned: homemade pizza, Zucchini Pizza Boats

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.


  1. Every change of seasons, we bring out the hand-me-downs and make a list of what needs to still be bought for each child and then we take care of it all in one massive trip to the consignment store where all the kids try on a billion things and I go crazy. I haven't figured out a better system yet, unfortunately. But this year there were three - THREE! - of our children who needed absolutely nothing! It was glorious, indeed.

  2. Stickers. Ugh. You are a patient and kind mother. :)

  3. So fun about being able to handle 5 better than 3 now. I've found this too. It really does get easier! Although I think for me the age of the youngest has a lot to do with it. But some credit must go to mama skills ;) Such a cute photo of you and the kids. Who took it? I must find a way to get myself in more photos ;)