1. The Triptych of Holy Days for the Dead
Obviously, if you missed them, head on over to my blog posts about the Feast of Christ the King (click here), the party we hosted on Halloween (All Hallow's Eve--click here), the funeral we attended on the Feast of All Saints (click here), and the praying at the cemetery on the Feast of All Souls (click here).
I was so busy, with every moment scheduled going into this week, that I felt completely overwhelmed.
I am finding more and more as the years go by that if you want to establish habits in your children, just start small and do it consistently. Do it, do it, do it, don't give up right away.
I got to see a sweet habit this week: For years, we've prayed the Morning Offering at the breakfast table along with the Prayer Before Meals. However, I've been trying to get my older children (5 and up) to embrace the Morning Offering as a personal prayer that they pray on their owns, in hopes that one day they'd be in the habit of praying it as soon as their feet hit the floor. So, those kids pray the Morning Offering when they wander downstairs and I direct them to do their holy reading and mental prayer time (see here).
Well, this new habit leaves out entirely my Joseph, who is 3-3/4. I decided that I would commit to drawing him to me to pray the Morning Offering when he wakes up every morning. Usually, I am praying my prayers and I call him over to me, and I pray the Morning Offering out loud, and he may join me or not. Often he would balk and complain because he was in the middle of playing.
But I kept on, kept on, kept on being consistent.
And one day this week, it was morning and he came to find me and asked, "What about our prayer, Mama?"
I gave him big hugs and smiles, and then we prayed our Morning Offering together.
3. Random Moments
|BB gun with Daddy|
|BB gun with Daddy|
|Three- and five-year-olds folding the wash cloths and napkins|
|Catching-and-releasing a lizard|
When I left Thomas home with Daddy while I went for an exercise walk at 6:00 a.m., I returned home at seven, light barely dawning, to my weeping toddler standing at the (locked safely) door, waiting for my return.
4. Joseph is CuteSweet Josey got a fat lip on Wednesday when he did a face plant off his bike, causing three teeth to cut into (but not through) his lip. It is healing well a couple of days later.
Joseph gives us many cute moments.
One morning, he asked for a particular toy his cousins gave us and which I had hidden because it was inciting so many fights between the two little boys. I replied, "No, that toy causes the baby to have avarice."
Joseph said, "That means he wants it!"
Ten points for good receptive vocabulary!
Also, Joseph doesn't have an Imaginary Friend, but he does have Imaginary Kids. He speaks with a grown-up tone of voice, chuckling, about "my kids, you know."
"My kids, sometimes they drive me crazy!"
Or he told me one day, "My kids were playing in the street, but then I told them no, and now they play in the playground where they're safe."
Joseph also likes to show me parenting manuals that he says help him know how to raise "his kids."
5. Scholastic Scenes
John turns 10 in a month and is so interested in politics these days, a development which has been fascinating for Chris and I to observe. We have actually talked little about politics over the kitchen table--because we know who we're voting for, and what is there to say after the primaries?--but John began asking questions. He picked up a flier off our car one day and wanted us to explain all the issues listed and, boy, is it hard to boil down such mammoth and nuanced issues as immigration, debt, taxes, and so forth. John isn't satisfied with a little kid answer, but has many follow-up questions!
We've let him watch the presidential debates; as always, we'll take the children with us when we vote; and we're planning to sit up together to watch the election results rolling in next Tuesday. He's already talking about how he wants to volunteer at the GOP headquarters (stuffing envelopes and such) at the next presidential election in four years.
So, on Thursday I took the kids to the local GOP headquarters for a mini-field trip, which was a nice diversion. Our tour guide was also named John, which was an added bonus.
Margaret (5) is currently going through the Very Steep Learning Curve about learning to practice the piano daily, even when one doesn't want to (which is always). When John and Mary went through these battles and standoffs with me, I wept and felt hopeless, but now I see how kids come out the other side if the parents are resolute, so I feel calm (if exhausted and irritated) as I journey with Margaret through this valley.
One new thing we're trying is hiring Mary to sit with Margaret during her practices and help her through the rough patches of songs, and encourage her to keep going. It's not all roses and sunshine, but lessons are being learned by all parties . . . and it is sometimes very cute to watch.
6. Family Books of the Week (in progress or completed)
- "Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints" (Loreto Publications, originally published 1894)
- "The Cabin that Faced West"
- "Divine Intimacy" (1963)--current daily holy reading
- "Joan of Arc" by Mark Twain
- book about Marian apparitions
- For Connecting with History:
- "Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison" by Lois Lenski
- "Struggle for a Continent" by Maestro
- "St. John Bosco"
- "Young Faces of Holiness"--Mary's daily saint book
- "Lost in Peter's Tomb" by Diane Ahern
- "Break-in at the Basilica" by Diane Ahern"
- "Curse of the Coins" by Diane Ahern"
7. MealsIn case you missed it, check out my first Kids Cook Real Food class (click here)! It was so great!
- HoneyBaked brand ham, crustless asparagus bacon mushroom quiche, HoneyBaked Ham brand baked apples, pasta
- Leftover ham, spicy corn chowder, take-and-bake cookies
- Monday: All Hallow's Eve
- Pizza party with friends
- Tuesday: The Feast of All Saints, Chris and two kids out of town
- take-and-baked pizza, green salad
- Wednesday: The Feast of All Souls
- Leftover pizza, I think
- kielbasa, roasted sweet potatoes
- Friday--cooked entirely by my children!
- chicken soup with rice, macaroni and cheese, crudites with Ranch, salad with Italian dressing, toast
Thomas (15 months) has graduated to desiring his own little bowl or plate of food, instead of my putting bits of food on his tray, like he is some uncivilized savage.
|Who is this big kid?!|
In addition to the word "wow," Thomas now says "yum!," which is how he requests food.
For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.