7 Quick Takes: If I Homeschooled and Wore Dresses All Day…

24 Days or Sooner Baby!
Had my 36 week OB appointment today and my favorite Catholic doctor, Dr. Kirkwood, scheduled me for a 39 week induction of Natalie Faustina, due to her size and my age.  Oh darn!  Apparently, being old does have its benefits.  Anyways, So, so excited!
For those of you who don’t know my birthing record, this will be my 6th induction and probably my 6th epidural.  This will also be my third child receiving antibiotics due to me being a carrier of Strep B, didn’t even know what that was with the first three, but I guess lots and lots of pregnant ladies have it with some pregnancies and not others.  Also, the first three were born in the same room at Ft. Irwin, CA and these next three here with Dr. Kirkwood and probably Nurse Diane at the same hospital. It’s always so comforting knowing who and what you are dealing with.  I know it’s not natural, per say, but clearly it’s natural for me and all my kids have normal lives despite all the meds.
Also, it appears my obsession with ice chips may be a sign that I am anemic.  I eat these little kid’s cups all day long.  The family is tired of me flicking them with water and hearing me crunch, but I am being serious when I say I can’t live without them.  They taste better to me than a chocolate chip cookie…uh, and it’s ice.  Weird!  So, I had my blood drawn to see what’s up.  Pray for us and Natalie!  OK?

Book Club Update
This past Tuesday we had our book club meeting at my friend Karen’s house.  She always makes the best coffee, BTW.  Yum!  Our gathering was a little smaller than the last one but not small on conversation.  We went over Chapters 6-11 in Rediscover Catholicism by Mathew Kelley. Wow!  This book just gets more and more amazing.  I really want to get my hands on everything this guy has ever authored.  Here are a few of my take-aways—some new, some just affirming:
“When are we most fully alive?  When we embrace a life of discipline. 
The human person thrives on discipline.  Are you thriving?  Or are you just surviving?”
When I read this, my mind went right to children, not in the ‘discipline’ sense of ‘you’re in trouble, here’s your punishment,’ though there is that component of course, but more how Children most definitely thrive on structure, boundaries, discipline, and restrictions because it teaches them that true freedom is not self-indulgence in all the world has to offer.
{My husband can attest to all the brats out there whose parents gave them everything but ‘discipline,’ as he is often called by a parent whose teen won’t get out of bed and go to school or who threw punches at a parent when a parent finally tried to wield some authority and boldly tried to take away a cell phone…sadly, a little to late.  Seriously, he gets these calls!}
Friday Lenten Dinner Plans
Kitchen pass today folks.  The children’s school will be hosting a soup supper and I am all over that, especially with 2 hours of sleep last night.  It will be good for fellowship as well.
I really want to do ‘The Stations of the Cross’ right after but I am thinking it would be much with the two littles and me.  Maybe next Friday when The Chief is off!
Preschool At Home

Yes, Brown Eyes is only 2 but we (The Chief does it with her too)are already beginning some weekly Preschool time with her.  Since I most likely will be homeschooling these three little girls in a row (it’s too ideal to pass up), might as well get a jump start.  Which really it isn’t!  I mean I am not cramming Aristotle down her throat… yet.  Actually, we just take out her puzzles, which by the way she requests to not only do her ‘Pussles’ but to do ‘Peesool,’ too.  All I do is have her put the letters into color groups telling her the colors along the way.  She can more color coordinate them then actually say ‘this is yellow’ so I more prompt her as to ‘where should yellow go? This pile or this pile?’  Then she puts all the puzzle pieces in the board, pointing out whose letter belongs to which family member.  That’s so cute to watch! ‘This Oren’s letta.’

After, the ABC puzzle, we sing Incy Wincy Spider {or something other Nursery Rhyme} and do the hand motions, then we read ‘Go Train Go’ or some other favorite book that she knows by heart.  I love to let her finish the last word or two of every paragraph.  Next, we pound out some music on the piano.  Just trying to get her comfortable around it, and what 2 year old doesn’t love to pound a piano.  I also let her blow on the older kids’ recorder—even Goldilocks loves to do that.  We finish up with some Flash Cards.  I show her ‘horse’ she says the name, then I give her the card.  If she doesn’t know the name of a picture I hold it back and continue to review it with her till she gets it.  She ends up getting about 50% of the cards from the ‘I don’t know’ pile.  She loves doing this!
Simple stuff, but it is scheduled.  Just about 30-45 mins a couple days a week and that makes me feel good, especially when days get away from us, at least I know we are logging in some ‘academic’ hours, which are free of course.  And she likes the structure and being with Mommy or Daddy one-on-one during those learning times.
In the next few months though, I plan to really get more of a Montessori classroom established.  The older three went through a Montessori school and I loved watching them use all the hands-on, practical life stuff.  You do know Maria Montessori was a Catholic Educator, right?  Too cool!
Hard Work
The kids have been logging in a lot of manual labor hours this last month.  I love seeing my boys, especially, sweat out in the yard.  The value of hard work is hard to teach, you really just have to make them do it.
Skirting-up Lenten Challenge
I am currently writing a blog post entitled, ‘The Dress,’ where I talk about how the dress is the perfect compliment to a man both literally and figuratively, naturally and divinely.  I am writing it using symbolism of course, because I am sitting here enjoying the comfort and utility of my pants; but I thought it worth writing as femininity in it’s truest form (not dresses but what they represent) is a thing of the past…it would seem. Miley Cyrus, if you are reading this, I am talking about you!
Anyways, I just discovered this new site called Feminine Genius, Inc , where they put up a Lenten Challenge to lose the comfort of pants for 40 days (or once a week, whatever you like) and put something pretty on…a skirt or a dress!  I like it.  Maybe next year though cause I seriously can’t manage without my pants while I am pregnant!  But if you think I am not up for the challenge any other time just look at my Pinterest Board: My Fashion Style.  It’s really a fantasy board of femininity, because to me it seems pretty impractical to wear skirts and dresses all day, especially if you have little ones.  But I do think they are soooooooooooooooooo pretty!  A girl can dream!

Follow Graceful Living’s board My Fashion Style on Pinterest.

What’s ‘The Fam’ Reading?
Even though the Roku just came in—neat, neat!  And we looking forward to some family Karaoke and Angry Bird Wars, we are always trying to stay close to God by knowing him and of course just learning about important stuff too like fairy tales and Civil War Heroes.
That’s why we read!  To know! So here’s what’s being read around the house:
At night as a family, we are reading Lumen Fidei: The Light of Faith’  by Pope Francis. We have only read one page but it seems real good and we can’t wait to read more tonight.  Our goal is to read it together as a family.
The Chief is reading  Jesus of Nazareth —he admits, though a good read, it does kinda put him to sleep!  Just being honest here!
Addy Cakes (11) is reading The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns—she reports that it is action-packed, very engaging, and a good plot.  She would love to write some full book reviews for you all, but mommy put that on hold for a later date, and just asked her for the shortest possible blurb.
Bruiser (10) is reading—The Red Badge of Courage from the Great Illustrated Classics Series we scored for pennies at our library’s monthly sale—all I keep hearing from him is that it’s a little gross and bloody.  Now, this is a boy mind you and not quite at that age of finding the deeper meaning, but when he shows me a picture or talks to me about it, it means he finds it interesting, and since he’s always been a reluctant reader, I will take what I get!
War Dog (8) is reading—The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes also from the Great Illustrated Classics Series—he finds it mysterious but he hasn’t been as engrossed in the book as the last one he read: Roald Dahl’s, The BFG.  That one he couldn’t stop talking about.  I mean c’mon it had monsters and dragons and stuff…  He loved it!
So not Quick but Done!  Off to nap!