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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Advent!



Our Advent Tree, with Jesse Tree ornaments and Saint ornaments from Catholic Icing
I know this posting is late, as I should have posted before Advent, but better late than never!  We are having a low-stress Advent here.  I prepped for it . . . a little.  I pulled out the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure:  Jesse Tree DVD and printed the ornaments off on purple construction paper.  I had also ordered the Christmas Mosaic from Amazon.  I couldn't find it available on Hillside Education, so it must be out of print now, but Amazon had it.  I completely took advantage of the library and got out every book that I could from our library and requesting those that were at other libraries to be sent.  For the most part, I was able to find the selections in Catholic Mosaic.  In addition, I purchased the printable saint ornaments from Lacy over at Catholic Icing.  They are well worth the small price.  If you are pressed for time or have small children, print them in color and put them together ahead of time.  While we forget to light the Advent wreath (owing to the fact that we are not home altogether in the evenings as often as we used to be now that I and two more of my children are employed), we have been able to keep up with our Advent tree and readings. 

We've also been able to celebrate some of the feast days - - stockings for St. Nicholas, Taco Night for St. Juan Diego, Lusekatters for St. Lucy . . . As we head into the last week before Christmas, I look forward Our Lord's birth and for the New Year!

(Note:  Okay - - so about the Juan Diego on top of the tree . . . Daniel thought the tree needed a topper and thought his Juan Diego paper doll from Paper Dali would work.  Be sure to check out their great line of coloring pages!)



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's been . . . . .

Virginia Beach, September 2014
I cannot believe it has been over two years since I posted here!  Much has happened in those two years. 

My oldest, Jeremy, has graduated from Seton Home Study and has gone on to study at our local community college.  He is now in his second year there and will probably spend another full year there, going on to a four year school in the spring of 2015.  He is undecided as of yet.

Andrea, my oldest daughter, and her twin, Alexander, are now 16.  Andrea is still studying at home full time and working a local fast food restaurant.  She continues in dance and is an assistant.  Alexander is taking a couple of courses up at the community college this semester and next.  He will go full time next year.  He is looking for a job - - St. Joseph, pray for us.

Girls Dance Recital, May 2014
Jenna has started high school.  The last of the oldest to do so.  I am using mostly Mother of Divine Grace lesson plans.  I love the creativity they employ with regards to writing.  I also enjoy the flexibility of not being enrolled in any particular "school." 

Daniel is now five, and has started kindergarten at home.  He is doing well learning his letter sounds and numbers.  We are working on blending sounds to make words.  Patience is my mantra these days. 

Sophia is now two years old and cute as a button.  She joins Daniel in some of his school day.  One of her favorite activities is the toddler story time at the library. 

Hopefully, I can post a little more now.  May God Bless you!

In Christ,
Jennifer

Williamsburg, September 2014

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nursing cover and baby nighties

I loved this fabric!

I need something for nursing Sophia while at Church and other public places.  My dear sister-in-law had a really cool cover that she uses and I have seen other ladies at church with them.  I found this great tutorial at Sew-Much-Ado to make my own nursing cover.  This way I could pick the fabric and add conveniences - - like a pocket for items that I may need - - prayer cards, a rosary, a burp rag, whatever.   I have enough fabric left over that I may make Sophia a pair of soft shoes, using Michelle's pattern and tutorial found here.


I have also found that nothing quite beats those newborn gowns for nighttime diaper changes.  Unfortunately, they only come in newborn, 0-3 month sizes (as far as I can tell!).  I found some suggestions on line for making these or similar ones.  I decided that I would use a onesie as the base for the nightie.  I cut off the bottom portion (who wants to deal with snaps in the middle of the night?) and serged the bottom edge.


I cut a piece of baby jersey material (about 32 inches x 18 inches - - you may need more for larger babies) and serged what would be the top edge and down the side seam (matching the two short edges together). 
I put in a basting stitch along the serged edge so that I could gather the material to make it match the onesie. 








Matching the side seam with one of the side seams on the onesie, I pinned the sides and then gathered, evening the gathers out on front and back and pinning as I went. 







Then I sewed around , flipped the garment right side out and stitched along the bottom of the onesie part, catching both fabrics.  Then I stitched a casing for elastic at the bottom.  Lastly, I threaded the elastic through the casing, stitched the elastic, and casing closed.  Done! 

It's not perfect, but okay enough for sleepwear and my first one.  I want to find long-sleeved onesies and do some more for colder weather.  I will also make the jersey skirt longer, as Sophia has only a few inches until her feet stick out.
Sophia in the new nightie!

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I, too, can do all things in Christ . . .

In the Glory Story CD of St. Joan, she often repeats, "I can do all things in Christ who stregnthens me."  Today, I was meditating on the passage of storing up treasures in Heaven, rather than here on earth.  Often, as with probably most home schooling families, I am asked by moms, "How do you manage all that you do and still have energy?"  In my meditation, I thanked God - - because the truth is that alone, I cannot do it.  There are days when I lean heavily on God, asking Him for the graces to persevere in this vocation He has called me to.  And, there are other days, when we are smoothly sailing along that I again thank Him for that grace as well - - reminding me of why we do what we do.  You see, that is the thing, without God, I am sure that I would not be equipped to handle six children, home schooling and home management all at the same time.  But with Him, I am able to see what is important.  And, I know that the sacrifices I make today will store up great treasures in Heaven.  I also know that there are things that I would love to be doing that are not part of His plan for me right now.  I would love to spend my day sewing or crocheting or visiting a museum.  This, of course, does not happen often!  I asked my mother-in-law what kind of garden she had when the kids were younger and whether she had time for it.  She didn't have the roses and flowers she has today, but she said that came later, after the kids where raised.  It reminded me that sure I don't have time for all of the things I'd like to do, but that may come later, after I've completed the work God has given me to do right now - - rearing and home schooling six children.  Which brings me back to St. Joan - - "I, too, can do all things in Christ who stregnthens me!"  And with the help of Christ, I can see God's will, rather than my own, and set myself for the task He has given me.  Storing up treasures in Heaven rather than lamenting on what I cannot have at this time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blessing Abound!!!

I awoke this morning and sat nursing Sophia in the glider.  As I was nursing her, I heard what sounded like canonshot off in the distance.  You see, we live near Antietam Battlefield and this weekend was the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest day of the Civil War (that is bloodshed in a single day, not the bloodiest battle of the war.)  In hearing the canonshot, I wondered at the people who lived in the nearby homes that day many, many years ago.  How they must have wondered if their homes would be overrun that day or the next.  If they would lose all they had.  I could not imagine what that would be like having never had to experience war first hand on American soil.  I thank God for that blessing.  Today, there are many around the world who are not so fortunate.  I offer my prayers for them and for the soldiers who fought bravely so long ago on both sides of the battle, that they may rest in peace and know that we have not forgotten the sacrifices made by them and their families.
 

Father James with Dave, myself, Judy and Tom, the godparents.
While the anniversary of Antietam was being celebrated in town, on Saturday, we celebrated Sophia's baptism into the Church.  The day promised to be gorgeous:  one of sunshine and good weather.  After morning Mass, Father James celebrated the baptism, which was absolutely perfect.  Sophia, while not entirely quiet, did very well.  When the baptism was over, we held a little "brunch" with family and friends in the parish center. I have included some pictures below:



Sophia in her dress!
Father James with the kids.





Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcome Sophia Regina & Updates

Sophia in a side snap tee that her sisters had tie-dyed.
 We are blessed to welcome Sophia Regina to our family.  She was born on August 2, 2012, weighing in at 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19-1/2 inches long.  We spent three days at Fair Oaks Medical Center before coming home on Sunday, August 5th.  She has been with us for almost 6 weeks now, and what a blessing.  Again, it is interesting and fun to see how the older kids are around her.  They all claim her as "theirs" and love her to pieces - - from the 17 year old down to Daniel, who turned three this past Saturday.   (Can you believe it???  Where did the time go???) 

We are into our third week of school and it is going well so far.  The younger kids are adjusting to Seton Home Study pretty well and it has helped me to be more prepared without having to do it all by myself.  (Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed picking curriculum and getting it all ready, but with Daniel and now another little one, and college looming in the near future for my high schoolers, this was the best decision for our family at this time.  I am enjoying working a little here and there with Daniel and still get to pick the materials for him.)  The writing is probably the hardest, as I didn't require as much as Seton does, but it will be good for them.

Dave has been back to work after a few weeks off with Sophia's birth.  He got a lot accomplished around here while he was off - - like those pesky car and house things that get passed by until you have time.  It is fun having him off for a good bit of time! 

We are looking forward to Sophia's baptism this weekend.  I am in the process of finishing up a dress that I have sewed for it.  I have done several projects, mostly crafty type or costumes for the kids.  Very seldom do I actually sew things for people to wear!  Sewing the baptismal dress has been educational as I take time to sew buttons and buttonholes and make sure my seams are right.  I am not quite done, but promise to post pictures after the baptism.  It is a rather simple dress, but I think it will work out well. 

Hope you all have an amazing rest of the week and sorry for the deluge of posts - - I was a bit behind!

God Bless,
Jennifer

Creation


(*Note:  This post was started July, 2012. I've edited it and tweeked it a bit and added the photo of the Creation Story set to the posting.  I also added an epilogue.)

We are now into our third week of school.  The older kids are enrolled in Seton this year in an effort to keep things rolling and simple as we welcome our newest addition in the next few weeks.  I've been trying to gather items for Daniel for preschool. 

I will be using Moira Farrell's Home Catechisis Manual (Ages 3-6) for religion.  Rather than start at the very beginning, I will be starting with the lesson on creation (which is at the back of the manual).  I am making the felt pieces for presenting the lesson and will get a box (I was thinking a scrapbooking box) for storage at JoAnn's.  I also need to get a couple pieces of felt to finish it up.  I found these creation sequencing cards and timeline cards.

For early literacy, I will be mixing a bit of Montessori with some add-ons - - primarily Seton's Early Literacy for Young Catholics.  This will introduce colors, letters and more.  I am also piggybacking Lacy's (from Catholic Icing) Catholic A,B,C's preschool curriculum, as well as adding in some BFIAR and the Catholic Little Saints programs.  It will be fun to see what we get done!

Epilogue:  I have introduced this wonderful to Daniel and he absolutely loves to play with it.  He will get it out and while he doesn't tell the story, he will recreate it in sequence and then play with the little animals.  How cool is that!  Soon, I will be introducing the Mini Mass Set we have along with the Liturgical Year - - showing him how to change the alb on Father Oak to match the color on the calendar.

I am also impressed with the Montessori Pink Tower I had gotten him.  He knows how to put the blocks in order from smallest to largest and he will match the blocks to the Pink Tower cards.  I will have to look for extension activities for the Pink Tower.  It is one of his favorite learning toys.

The neatest thing about all of it is that he actually knows that these items are special and get treated in a special way - - not like his other toys that get strewn throughout the house!