Sunday, June 30, 2013

June - need I say more?

This was the year for grad parties for us!  Not sure how we did it - but we did!  We made it to most of them.  Sometimes it's just not possible (like when we got 3 invitations for the same day, same time,.  Two were near each other - the other a couple hours away...).  Our oldest graduated last year - so we are simply in that age of knowing graduates!

Throw in a family reunion, a trip to my parent's house for Anna and Nathan, a camping trip with my husband's parents for Nathan and Terese.  There were also a couple events that we really wanted to make it to but just couldn't (tried to wait out sickness...but a nasty cold took the family down...glad we didn't share it with either group!) We missed one friend's combined b-day/anniversary/graduation party as well as another friend's gathering of some great families.

Oh, and did I mention that June seemed to be the perfect time for Nathan and Henry to begin guitar lessons taught by a music major on summer break (read....very inexpensive!) ...and Henry and Wyatt to join a Lego Robotics League?  Terese attended her annual 6 day Quilt Day Camp.  Anna started teaching a writing class that meets at our home.  Catholic Vacation Bible School was a week in June.

I always laugh when people ask if we stick to the one activity per child rule...7/8 activities at a time?  I don't think so!  Each decision to join something is prayerfully considered.  This has been an off month for us.  We generally have far less than one activity per child!  But, if the activity is free or very inexpensive I am fine signing a sibling up - hey - the time commitment is already there!

How does the rest of our summer look?   In a word...peaceful :)  Guitar lessons will continue, Writing class will continue, Lego Robotics will continue, and soccer as a family will continue...I actually have blank spots on my calendar...lots of 'em!  That's my kind of summer!

I have only one child who has really been interested in sports - that helps cut down the time commitment.  We spent a lot of time driving her from point A to point B and watching the games.  It was a sacrifice, but it was worth it.  She loved it.  The other kids are all very active but none have had any interest in joining a team.  If someone else did develop a sort of "passion" for a sport - yes - we would consider it again. 

How about you?  How has your summer been?  How do you balance time spent in activities for you children vs time at home just being kids and spending time with friends and family?  Really?  Do tell.  I am curious?  Although we've been doing this for a number of years I do like to glean ideas from others!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Don't steal my prayer time

My normal prayer time is right after I shower/get dressed.  Some kids are awake, but the younger ones who need me (or who can be loud enough to wake the sleeping/teething baby) are usually still asleep.  This morning things got out of whack.  My prayer time was in danger of being non-existent today - at least 4 people were coming at me needing all kinds of things they don't normally need.   So, I decided a cartoon would be fine for the kids and I would get back to the kids after my prayer time.

I had just started using A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms a week ago.  This is what I opened to today:

Today, Lord, may I extend my arms to all those in need, including my family in need of my love and attention.

I don't regret putting the kids in front of the cartoon so I could get my prayer time, in fact, my prayer time is usually before any kids young enough to need me in the morning NORMALLY wake up.  And, a spiritual director told me long ago that if that's what was needed to be done to make it work daily then that's what should be done.  It's not going to harm them for 20-30 minutes, they will be better off if I get consistent prayer time.  She was right.  

But I do regret getting frustrated that my well laid out plans for the day were going to get all messed up and I wouldn't get to pray and that would make me more frustrated. 

Those words were a good reminder to approach them with love....when my prayer time was over and I was immediately asked 352 urgent questions.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Need book recommendations for teens?

Just a little advertisement here....the following blog is written by my 18 year old daughter and her almost 18 year old friend.  They are both AVID readers. Please check it out, I think you'll be glad you did.  And, feel free to spread the word.  They are getting a lot of hits and would really like this blog to be out there so people can benefit from it.  Did I say they are AVID readers? Bonus:  If you suggest something they will try to read it or watch it so they can review it for you.  They do have a disclaimer though...they will not read or watch something they find morally objectionable (smart girls).

Note:  The name of their blog is Realms of Gold, but the site is named realmofgold