Monday, June 28, 2010

Drivin' the race car

My younger kids think I'm pretty cool.  I left early this morning with a 12 passenger van and came home in a small car with words on the side, to them that means race car.  I didn't tell them it said, "Miller Chevrolet Courtesy Car", I'd rather let them think I'm cool.

It's very different from driving the 12 passenger (AKA The Bus).  This trips race car is a 2005 Buick La Sabre.  I feel like I am literally inches off the ground, it's unnerving yet fun. 
My 12 passenger is normally one of the tallest vehicles on the road (and if you are in the market for one....they don't fit in many ramps or personal garages due to the height!).  Today I was driving on of the lowest vehicles I've ever been in.  I prefer to see over, rather than under, all the cars in front of me

I expect to be exchanging vehicles later today, maybe tomorrow.  Mine is only in for a transmission flush, nothing major.  But, I have to admit, the fact that they let customers drive a loaner vehicle home for free certainly puts them at the top of my list for any needed repair work, even if it sits on the ground.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Small Successes


For more small successes and inspriations click on the link above.

As for mine this week...

  1. Took our 4 youngest to the community center pool for the first time in years.
  2. Took the same 4 kids on a walk to the lake in the rain.
  3. Made 5 meals for the freezer, and it took almost no time less than 30 extra minutes all together.
    1. 1 Lime Chicken with Rice
    2. 2 different versions of Chicken/Rice Stir Fry
    3. 1 Chicken Fried Rice to pair with egg rolls we already have
    4. 2 dairy free/tomato free homemade pizzas for my allergic family members
At this point in my life I cannot set aside an entire day to do once a month cooking, but I'm trying to do something to make those busy days a little easier at dinner time.  So, I made the pizzas while my kids made homemade pizza for dinner that night.  The Lime Chicken is simply frozen chicken breasts thrown in a Ziploc bag with all the spices and lime, ready to be thrown into a fry pan or crock pot.  For the chicken stir fry I just made extra chicken one night and threw into two different Ziploc bags with different veggies and spices in each.  I made the rice another night and put it in different Ziploc bags after it cooled.  Those bags were then put into the other meal bags keeping the rice separate since it really won't need to cook long now.
My plan is to continue making meals to freezer meals.  For next week I am planning to brown a lot of ground beef (I use my crock pot to brown 3 lbs at a time) and season most of it for tacos/burritos/etc.  I'll keep some unseasoned just to have for last minute sloppy joes/hash/or whatever else it may come in handy for.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We've been flocked

Logan tells everyone about the "mingos" in our yard.  I looked out the window Monday to see 19 Pink Flamingos in our yard.  It's a fundraiser for my sister's church youth group.  Great fundraiser!

It sure does draw the neighbors out.  Everyone comes over to see what the big event is and to read the sign in our yard.  I've never heard of anyone being flocked before.  It is so funny to watch Logan and Elizabeth run amongst the flamingos. 

Wish I could upload a pic but am having difficulty with that right now and my bloggin' dd is camping with her grandparents. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Small Successes

  1. Volunteered at Vacation Bible School this week for the first time. 
  2. Squeezed grocery shopping in and only took 5 year old Elizabeth.  It was really fun for both of us.
  3. Managed to stay relatively calm and peaceful during a very busy week here.  Really, I only let my frustrations get the best of me once.  About 10 things hit simultaneously that all threatened my well thought out plan for the evening, one of those being a crying toddler.  I am not good at this onslaught sort of stuff.  I know other people who handle it all very well.  Me?  I just need 5 minutes of complete silence, alone, to assimilate it all in my head and make a plan. It worked.

Monday, June 14, 2010

On Being RealMom

When we see other people's lives we often don't see the chaos.  We see what they want us to see.  My life is normally very organized, I didn't say perfect, but we are creatures of routine here.  Once in awhile I think God likes to shake things up for us a bit, I think HE thinks it's comical.  (It's thinking like that that keeps me smiling and doing the best I can).  Well, today we had a bizarre day.  This is not incredibly out of the ordinary. My life isn't perfect, and that's OK.  But, looking back on this day we all had to sort of a chuckle.  So, a not quite so ordinary, but not completely infrequent kind of day....
  • Spent half the day working at VBS (my first time). I brought my 2 year old Logan with.  He enjoyed it for the first hour, not the next 3.  Have you ever tied Rosary knot after Rosary knot while holding a 25 lb child?
  • Got home and fed the kids, then took a 20 min. nap.
  • Rushed out to the grocery store with 5 year old Elizabeth.  I'm dealing with an upper back injury and everything was fine until I started loading those groceries.
  • Got home and iced my back while the kids put the groceries away.
  • Realized how late it was and we needed to leave for the soccer field in less than 1 hour.
  • Doled out jobs to make that happen, and took the youngest 4  on a semi-necessary errand.
  • Brought dinner to the game and did my best to get there on time.  I took a wrong turn and we got there 5 minutes late (we were supposed to be there 20 minutes early).  I have to say in my defense, we've been going to Anna's soccer games for years and we have NEVER ever even been close to being late.
  • Park the van and start to dig out dinner in the van since it's pouring rain, and Anna doesn't know anyone on this new team well enough to ask for a ride.  There was certainly the potential that game would be cancelled with the weather we were having.
  • See Anna at the window.  Her team isn't there.  I must have written the time down wrong.  Again, in my defense, in all these years this has never happened.  And, after getting home I double checked all the times, this was the only one I wrote down wrong.
  • Drive home and eat our dinner there.
  • Drive Anna back to soccer, bring Teresa.
  • Drive back home to pick up Logan, and drop off Teresa.
  • Drive back to soccer and get there just in time for half time. 
  • We had the half time snack.
  • Logan and I watched Anna play.  It was a great game, and the kids were obviously having fun in the rain and muck.  It's really fun to see 8-11th grade girls have fun in the rain and muck.
  • My husband was home from work by this time and had everyone in their PJ's.  We said our prayers and sent the kids to bed.  I was tired.  I still needed to change Logan.  I layed him on the bed, and, well, he's a boy, and he hasn't done that since he was a newborn.  This time he found it hilarious!  Need I say more?
  • Follow Logan to the bathroom where he excitedly finishes.   Get him ready for bed, take off our bedspread. 
  • Stay up late waiting for those VBS shirts to get done in the washing machine.  We need them in the morning. 
  • Lament the fact that this is the first day in 2 weeks I didn't go on a bike ride.  I should have ordered my groceries to be delivered like I had planned to do.  I could be doing that right now and I could have taken my bike ride,  And I wouldn't have hurt my back again.
So, that is partly why I use the name RealMom4Life.  I am a real mom.  I have bizarre days, I have great days, I have, well, less than great days...trying to keep those to a minimum.  4Life has a double meaning....I hope to always be real and keep smiling through the less than perfectness of my life.  And, hey, I am pro-life.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Do you have any idea how many things you can find to do when you are procrastinating working on your homeschool portfolios? The possibilities are endless! Right now, I have managed to make myself think it is a near emergency that the outdoor faucets need recaulked.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Small Successes

  1. I've ridden my bike for 1 hour every day this week.  (well, except for twice.....those 30 minute rides were a huge success given circumstances beyond my control).   I LOVE bike riding, always have.  Up until now I haven't made the commitment to carve out the time.
  2. Went to the doc to get a prescription for allergy meds.  I really prefer not to be on meds, but driving doesn't work so well when your eyes are watered shut :)
  3. Finally bought a long overdue birthday gift for someone special.  (see below).  Now I have to get it to her.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


New Year's resolutions never work so well for me.  I find it difficult to implement something new when starting back into the school year after a nice Christmas break.  However, I am setting some summer resolutions.  Our summer seems to get away from us every year.  I don't want to fill up the calendar and feel like we are always running somewhere, thus I don't plan as much as I should.   At the end of the summer we always feel like it was too busy, but busy doing what?  Who knows.  A little planning here will help.  So, here are some things I have planned, please feel free to comment if you have any more suggestions...or if you think I have gone crazy and have set myself up for failure.  I'd like to know now. :)

  1. Get to Mass at least once during the week (in addition to Sundays). 
  2. Plan one day a week at home with no friends here and no driving anywhere. 
  3. Extend our story time.  I always read books that each of the youngest 4 pick out.  I am going to also start reading a book I pick out.  I have a hidden agenda here, I have been requesting some great books at the library after a Lit talk I recently attended and I want them to hear those books AND I want to increase their listening attention span in preparation for school next fall. 
  4. Be more consistent with family nightly read-a-loud time. 
  5. Take a couple weeks off but then start reading/phonics up for my 1st and 3rd graders, plus math for everyone.  I'm thinking of having math 2-3 days per week for only 30 minutes.  For reading/phonics I just want them each to finish the Little Angel Readers volume they are in.
  6. Take advantage of across town appointments and add in some fun stops
  7. Go on a 1 hour power bike ride at least 5 days/week.  (So far so good). 
  8. Involve my kids in the weekly planning process.  I'd like them to have goals for the summer and for the week as well.  I think those will be better accomplished if I have a heads up.
  9. Go to bed on time every night.  Which is why I should quit now.  I should have gone to bed 3 hours ago.  I don't think I can sleep yet, but screen time isn't going to get me there.

Having fun with school

I went to a great talk about playing games for school.  You can find the information here.  I cannot wait to get started!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Small Successes

  1. Attended our Catholic Home school Conference and didn't buy buy buy.  Instead I looked, thought, and went back for only a few items.  It was fabulous!  I came away with a lot of great ideas and intend to be posting them soon.  These are too good not to share.  A little, cooking, and lit.  Those will be my focus for awhile.
  2. Ran a zillion errands yesterday (they piled up) and did my best to keep the tone light and fun for the kids.  Spending hours and hours in the car isn't something anyone here likes to do :)
  3. Did a major 45 minute cleaning/picking up session in the basement with 5 helpers.  We made a major dent, but we still have more to go.   
BONUS:  I did not scream or reprimand one of my kids when he came in the house to show me his tar covered fingers (our street was just repaved and he thought it would be least it wasn't hot).  I simply sent him to the bathroom and said, "That was definitely not smart, good luck getting it off."  OK, I let him try for quite some time to remove it.  I did, however, offer assistance when he and his cohorts realized it wasn't working.  In case you have run into this....both WD-40 and baby oil worked.