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Well it isn’t Friday, but this is a handy meme and I have lots to update about. Happy Sunday! Looking forward to waking up for mass here in a few hours.
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A big date on our calendar this month is August 31st – our son’s baptism day. We are excited for this blessed day as we baptize our third child into the kingdom of God.
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We are remodeling our kitchen. I call it a remodel, but really it’s a kitchen rescue. The entire kitchen was sinking into the earth due to poor worksmanship by a prior owner. Ugh! I have never been so grateful for a handyman husband. He has saved us about ten thousand dollars by my estimates due to his ability and willingness to do the bulk of the work himself. We are also grateful for the help of several friends who have helped us with demolition and rebuilding our floor. Currently, we’re down to the bare joists (which we had to replace) and a dirt crawlspace beneath them. This week we will be completing the new plumbing, laying the subflooring, and hopefully moving our appliances and counters back in. We’re reconfiguring the layout and adding a window above the sink so I can see the kids play in the backyard. We also sprung for ceramic tile flooring and a top-of-the-line garbage disposal, both luxuries we did not have before. We have paid for everything with cash, which was a lofty goal for us. But we did it! Whew.
In the meantime, I’m washing our dishes in the bathtub and the refrigerator hums away in the living room. All of our food is in laundry baskets and quite frankly, I’m ready to wrap this project up. I really hope this will be done in time for the baptism or our guests may find themselves eating out of a crock pot in the bathroom…
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Today I bought new shorts. After each of my three births, I have managed to lose the weight I gained during pregnancy pretty easily through a rigorous program of breastfeeding, forgetting to eat, and almost never sleeping. However, those stupid shorts from my pre-mommy days just never looked right again. They fit, but man…not flattering anymore. So today, after just one too many mornings of stuffing myself into ill-fitting shorts, I marched into Kohls determined to buy whatever shorts would fit, regardless of the size on the tag. As someone who once struggled with a mild eating disorder, I knew this might be hard for me. Sure enough, the shorts that fit were two sizes larger than I wore before. But the shorts looked pretty good! I haven’t felt this comfortable in summer clothing since 2008. Somehow, I weigh the same but I now fit into larger clothing. Just goes to show you that motherhood changes your shape but not necessarily in bad ways. I felt like I conquered a bit of my self-esteem issues that once had a pretty strong hold on me. If you’re in a similar life stage, I recommend ignoring what the tags say and just finding something that fits well. What a difference.
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Enough about shorts. Summer is almost over anyway, which means that its back-t0-school season in this part of the world. My oldest is four (turns five in May) and officially a preschooler. However, we homeschool and have been learning at home for quite a while. When people ask me why I want to homeschool, I say that there are many reasons, but the main and most important reason is that I wish to remain my child’s primary influence for as long as possible. I can’t maintain that role if my kids are going to school for seven (or more) hours per day. It all begins with preschool, so off we go! (By the way, I’m also a state-certified elementary teacher. That’s usually a debate-stopper when someone is confronting me about our decision. Ha!)
We are using a curriculum called “Letter of the Week” by Confessions of a Homeschooler. So far, I’ve found it to be excellent. You have to print, laminate, assemble, and prepare all the materials yourself, but the curriculum was only $10! Of course, teacher that I am, I’m also supplementing the curriculum with a host of other resources. This fall we’ll be learning the geography of the Unites States. Remember the Highlights magazine from your childhood? Well not only are the magazines still around (available for preschoolers AND older children now), but they’ve also just come out with this really cool subscription-based program called “Which Way USA.” It is AWESOME and if you have young kids (homeschooled or not), I really encourage you to check it out. The maps, activity books, and other materials are beautiful and even include online interactive activities for learning about each of the fifty states.
It will be interesting to see how my two year-old picks up this information as she watches and joins in on her older sister’s school time. I imagine she’ll become advanced over the years. I’m really excited for our homeschooling journey to come. Teaching my own kids – does it get any better?
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Speaking of teaching, my percussion program is wrapping up its summer session with a big recital at the studio on August 18th. My students are performing together onstage in a large ensemble. The instruments are ready, the t-shirts have been ordered, and we have just one week of class left to practice (which for my students means one class session). I’m feeling a little nervous, but I’m confident that it will be a great evening.
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Speaking of teaching again, I’m excited to end this post with an announcement. I’ve been asked to teach first grade religious education at my church this year (CCD, for all you cradle Catholics out there)! After talking it over with my husband, we both quickly agreed that this would be an excellent opportunity to serve my church family and use my gifts for the Lord. I am humbled to have a hand in the faith formation of young people. Class begins in September. Can’t wait to get my hands on the curriculum and peruse the Catholic blogosphere for ideas. Pray for me!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.