Friday, December 16, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday: Third Week of Advent

What a week! So much for my intention to make this one last full-time week of book work for school.

The most "book work" we've been doing this week is trying to keep up with our thrice-weekly meditation on "My Path to Heaven," and we're even falling behind on that.

Individual coloring books based on "My Path to Heaven"

Pretty much daily, if it is past 7:00 p.m. and I sit down, I unintentionally fall asleep. This does not bode well for my trying to read aloud to the children in the evenings, and many evenings end as below, with the children shaking me awake regularly when I fall asleep during read-aloud time.

Mama asleep during read-aloud time

1. Joseph

Joseph is one month shy of turning four years old, and these last couple of months have been dreamily sweet with him. He's shown leaps in competency lately, which always makes a mama's job easier. Suddenly, Joseph is doing all aspects of pottying by himself: I don't have to help him with his clothes or anything, and he's washing his hands so well. He will even wake up in the middle of the night, get himself to the potty, and get himself back to bed.

Lately, he has begun dressing himself, including doing that spontaneously upon waking and coming downstairs dressed for the day: he has a flare for dressing in preppy style, which I appreciate.

Joseph's chosen outfit on Friday

Joseph is sleeping better and going entire nights sometimes without waking us up.

On Friday, I was doing my holy reading and prayer time when Joseph (who has newly begun "writing" little notes--just scribbles) brought me five papers, laid them out, and asked me to pick what I wanted. The timing was perfect, given that the last few entries from "Divine Intimacy" this week are about seeing God and God's will in the other people in our lives.

"Furthermore, if we see in creatures only human persons who disturb us with their requests and needs, who often besige us from morning till night, not giving us amoment's rest or peace, who irritate u by their faults--when we see creatures in this manner, our relations with them, although required by our duties, will weary and bore us; and we shall often be tempted to evade them, even under the pretext of defending our interior recollection. when, on the other hand, the soul is fixed in the simple glance of faith, every creature is for it a messanger from God; it brings God to the soul and takes the soul to Him. Thus, through visible creatures, th soul goes to the invisible God and speaks familiarly with Him." (20. Seeking God in Creatures, Divine Intimacy)

2. Gaudete Sunday: Mother-Daughter Christmas Tea

If you missed it, click here to read about our annual mother-daughter Christmas tree, this time at the Latta Plantation. How Southern!

Chris took care of the three boys that afternoon, and it was the longest time yet I've left Thomas (16 months). I don't like leaving my babies for a very long time!

Daddy thought it would be fun to give the baby a bath--in fact, a sink bath, which was his first of that kind.

Daddy commented later that it was kind of a rookie mistake to give Thomas a bath before feeding him lunch.

3. Monday: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Chris' parents finished up their two-day visit to celebrate both John and Mary's birthdays. While they were here, we bought our Christmas tree and went out to lunch at JJ's Red Hots, which was dee-li-cious!

That night we had Taco Night as a nod to the feast day, but I forgot to serve dessert (don't tell the kids).

Reading 'The Bronze Bow' at bedtime

3. Tuesday: Feast of St. Lucia

Having an eight-year-old daughter is increasingly handy! On Monday night, Mary made the cinnamon rolls from scratch (using this recipe) with only my supervision--in contrast to my having always used rolls from a pop can!

If you missed it, click here to read about my Incredibly Busy Feast of St. Lucy, in which (while my husband was out of town on business) I:

  • put on the fancy breakfast
  • prepared 100 Christmas cards for mailing
  • put lights on the Christmas tree
  • took the children to music lessons
  • picked up a grocery order
  • went shopping at Costco
  • tried a homemade pizza dough recipe, and
  • took the kids through the Drive-Through Christmas a local Presbyterian church

4. Wednesday

Photo taken moments before noticing the weeping five-year-old girl

Chris was out of town this week, I was rather overwhelmed, and I assembled 20 food gifts for out-of-town family, boxed them all up, and then took the boxes to the USPS with the five children in tow--a trip which, if not enough in itself, involved an additional hour because while I was arriving, I witnessed a five-year-old get dropped off by her Char-Meck district bus at the adjacent daycare, which was locked and not staffed, so I stayed to help the sobbing girl and I finally had to call the police, having exhausted all options to reach her school or parents. Meanwhile, the workers at the business next door to the daycare center really wanted me to go away, and kept trying to convince the girl to go wait with them, but the girl cried harder, said she didn't know them, and wouldn't go with them. Those business owners kept trying to get me to go away, to which I said I just could not in good conscience leaves this girl till I knew she was safe, and they asked me outright not to call the police, but I finally did. I believe that staff very much wanted to cover for the mistakes of their friend, the owner of the daycare center, in not being there. I left after the police officer arrived, got the girl settled with the daycare staff (who had finally shown up), and he dismissed me from the scene. The girl's school called me the next day and insisted that "everything was fine" and that the girl should have hung out with the dry cleaner business owners next door, even though she had no idea who they were.

I came away sad and shaken, and feeling very blessed that I get to homeschool my children.

6. Thursday: Grampa Neil arrived!

Grampa Neil has arrived for a much-anticipated three-week visit from California. After picking him up from the red eye flight, we went to our traditional diner breakfast, came home to nap, and then went to our Scottish dance lesson.

7. Friday: Santa Bowl

Friday was a Red Letter Day for John, who got to shoot his AirSoft gun with a buddy, and then go to the now annual Santa Bowl, which is a fundraiser football game for the CCE boys. We all pitch in for a charity, and the boys get pizza, cupcakes, and football (even if it is in 37-degree weather!).

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

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