Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Daybook

Lately it's been so much easier to share a peek at our day over at Instagram and I feel like I've been neglecting my Daybooks on the blog! Here is some of what we have been up to this October. 

Outside my window...
We had new gravel delivered this month for the new outdoor parking areas that were created during all that excavation earlier this year. My parents came over with their tractor to spread it for us. The patio and shed are nearly completed but the garage project has been on hold since the beginning of summer, when we started reconsidering a move out of the area. In the meantime we are focusing on various little projects "just in case" we end up selling our home next spring.  It's such a hard decision, and there are pros and cons both ways. We haven't made a decision yet (it all depends on a job offer, or transfer opportunity, in the area we are considering) and we are praying (including novenas to St. Therese, St. Rita, and St. Jude) that God will make His will for our family clear.

Ranger even got to climb up into the truck to honk the horn! 

I am thinking...
that I really really really need to dedicate some time to my inbox. As usual I am struggling to keep up with everything and email is always one of the first things to go. I'm so sorry if you've sent me an email and I haven't been able to respond.

I am thankful... 
that there are all sorts of saint costumes for the little ones to choose from in the costume box, and that the older boys have been able to find things that will work for the saints they have chosen as well! We picked up a few supplies at the craft store this weekend and hopefully it will all come together by Friday. 
Learning all the time
Our first quarter is coming to an end this week and I still haven't had a chance to share our plans for the year... I guess the good news is that I'll be able to share what we are actually accomplishing, instead of my original goals! Homeschooling six children this year is just plain HARD, but our year is off to a great start.

Celebrating the liturgical year...
Our annual All Saints' Party is coming up at the end of the week and I've been busy making preparations. We also had a phone call from Father Carmelo last night asking if the boys were available to serve on Sunday. We were so excited to hear that he will be offering Mass at the Cemetery once again for All Souls!

From the kitchen... 
I still have quite a bit of local grass-fed beef in the freezer to use. I've been making Chili & Cornbread, Irish Beef Stew, and tonight we will be having Baked Steak in Tangy Tomato Sauce.

A couple weekends ago I finally made Apple Puff Pancakes which were received with cheers from all the children. It still remains at the top of the list of their fall favorites!

I always have lots of "help" in the kitchen...

If you missed it over at Instagram, these two couldn't wait for the scones to come out of the oven. Apparently the smell coming from the oven vent while the scones were baking was "AHHHMAZING!!!"

I am working on... 
improving my health. The 17 Day Diet was a success before our trip in September, but after I arrived home again (and my husband insisted I go see a doctor) I had to make even more changes to my diet due to some challenges/infections I've been fighting since I miscarried at the beginning of summer. For the first few weeks of October I eliminated all foods except some lean meats, vegetables and nuts/seeds. I'm finally starting to get a little better and am slowly adding some other foods (coffee and a little bit of fruit) back into my diet. As you can see from the pictures above, that hasn't stopped me from baking for my family. . . At least I could enjoy all the "amazing" smells! ;)

Last Thursday I couldn't resist stopping at the drive-thru for a Coconut Milk Latte on the way to piano! Thursdays are just so… full... from (way too early) start to finish!

I am creating...
new labels with additional saints for this year's All Saints Guessing Jars. I'm also working on an activity for each day in November. I'll share pictures (and printables!) soon, but in the meantime here are a couple pictures of the Saints n' Stitches doll that Twinkle Toes has started creating.

I am going...
to look for a Advent Wreath for our dining room table, in addition to the wreath we keep in our living room. The 100% Beeswax Tapers I ordered from The Cloister Shoppe (affiliate link) arrived yesterday and they are so lovely! I also ordered their St. Nick Soap and a couple sweet picture books for children.

I am hoping...
that the appliance repair men will finally be able to fix my wall oven this week. It broke back in August, just before we left to go camping at the lake, and this will be their third attempt. Maybe that old harvest gold oven wasn't so bad after all!  Thankfully this time I have a second oven as a back-up...  Still, it would be really nice to have the microwave again. I have candy to melt for some All Saints Day party treats!

Still not fixed, but at least the kids are entertained. I keep hearing them whisper and giggle about how the repair men look just like Mr. Fredricksen and Charles Muntz from Up!

Update: After three attempts and over $500 in parts (that $269 extended warranty was definitely the way to go!) all it needed was a new fuse! One that didn't show up on their computer instructions to check. . . Thank you to the random tech on the support line for helping them figure it out!

It seems like everything has been breaking lately. Here is another picture from Instagram earlier this month:

My Dad is so awesome! Last month he came to my rescue and repaired/replaced our mailbox since Sean was out of town fighting fires and the post office threatened to suspend our mail service if it wasn't fixed by the weekend... Today, after a very full "Monday," he stopped by to help me with a leaky propane pipe. While he was here he also removed a nail from the blades of my garbage disposal (I'd like to know how that got down there in the first place!) and repaired the outlets in the girls' bedrooms. Thank you, Dad!! What would you do with all your free time if you didn't have twelve kids always needing help of some kind?! ;)

I am praying...
for many intentions and especially for my uncle who is in critical condition following an accident on Sunday night.

I am reading…
I haven't had much time for reading lately, other than reading aloud from Augustus Caesar's World for History, but a certain daughter is just like her mama was as a child and reads whenever she has the opportunity. One afternoon her Dad sent her outside to put away all the bikes and this is what I saw when I looked out the window. It only took her about two days to finish reading Olivia's Gift.

The next morning while I was making Oatmeal she came out to the kitchen to tell me that "the baby that the mom miscarried in Olivia's Gift was named GABRIEL, just like one of our babies!" It was so fun to tell her that the sweet author had actually named the baby in the book after ours and show her the comment from the author. ♥ Speaking of miscarried babies, I just had a note from the cemetery letting us know that the headstone for Gabriel and Anthony has been installed… just in time for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls! We need to take all the children to visit.

Pondering these words…
from St. Philip Neri:

"Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if He wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength." 

I am listening…
One of my favorite things to listen to has always been my Dad singing as he plays guitar.

A couple weekends ago my mom was in Napa watching one of my brother's golf tournaments so I sent my Dad a text message letting him know that I was making Chili for dinner and we'd love to have him join us if he wasn't busy. He texted back "sounds great!" and came over an hour later! He didn't have his guitar with him, but we pulled out the one they had given us years ago and he started playing.  He asked the boys if either of them were interested in learning and Ranger ended up having his first lesson!


My parents stopped by again this Sunday afternoon for a little visit and a second lesson. 

Around the House...
Friday night has turned into movie night this school year! If you have any favorite family friendly movie recomendations to share I'd love to hear them. (You can find a list of my husband's Twenty Favorite Movies here.) Some of the movies we've watched recently include The Perfect Game along with a few that are currently free on Amazon Prime: State Fair, Lassie (2005), and this past Friday we watched Fiddler on the Roof (with a couple skipped scenes and some explanations from Sean and I).  The girls and I are actually taking my mom to see Fiddler on the Roof performed at the theater in December, and we wanted to explain some of it to them beforehand!  I am also hoping to purchase tickets to take the all the older children to see The Christmas Carol in December as well.

It looks like Snuggles is sprouting some antlers! 

One of my favorite things...  
I looked outside the window a couple weeks ago and had to run and grab my camera. After taking the first picture I asked, "Is it hunting season boys?" ... "Nooooo! We're fighting Pannnn!" says the two year old. The seven year old had to translate for me, "It's WWII and we are fighting JA-pan!" I love watching these two play together.

This week's plans
  • Lessons Daily to complete our 1st Quarter
  • Appliance Repair Men Tuesday Morning (3rd Attempt)
  • Tutors on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Piano lessons on Thursday
  • Errands and Groceries, as usual
  • Date night with my husband… even if it's only to run those errands! ;) 
  • Prepare Saint Costumes
  • Carve Saint-O-Lanterns
  • Decorate for Party
  • Host our Annual All Hallows' Eve Party
  • First Saturday Mass and Solemnity of All Saints
  • Sunday Mass at the Cemetery for All Souls 
  • Sleep… perhaps on Sunday afternoon? 

A little peek at my day...
We started carving our pumpkins last night but we didn't get very far. I'm still not sure what happened to all our pumpkin carving supplies… They are all cleaned out and we'll continue tonight!