Friday, March 27, 2015


We are so busy.  Sometimes I feel like we are too busy.  Sometimes I know we are too busy.  There seems to be an endless stream of noise, unproductive clatterings.  It drives me nuts.  The boys make weird noises for no reason.  Their jibber jabber with each other quickly descends into fighting.  Or whining.  Or both.  Piano lessons every evening, with notes right and wrong.  I listen to kids read words all morning.  Or not read them, depending on the circumstances.

"sssssss........uuuuuuuu.......nnnnnnnn.....THIS!  - BUT! - ummm - DUH! - B?"

Nope.  Try again.

I always used to have music playing.  Anymore, I seldom do.  It's rare that I turn the music on in the car.  When I do, or I let the kids, I'm terribly picky about what we listen to.  So much just sounds like more noise and it hurts my ears.

I must have dozens of things I want to share about the kids, our family and our days.  But very little time to sit down and make it happen.  Then, when I have a little time before running off to scrub the bathrooms, I can't remember any of it.  I just know my ears hurt for want of quiet, my neck and back hurt from whatever I did to abuse them this week, and I want to share a picture of our Lenten ornaments but have no way of doing it quickly or easily....

It was slow and took more clicks that seems necessary.

We do a reading and place an ornament every evening.  Or a couple at a time if we've missed a day or two because bedtime sneaks up on us and it's after 9 and the boys need to be in bed and we've just had enough.  It took over 2 years for me to make all of them, with felt, needle, thread and hot glue.  Now you can buy things just like them on Etsy.  My favorite shop is Jesse Tree Treasures.

Josh continues to try to attend Reconciliation weekly.  I go with him because I should.  Last week, none of the priests were available after Mass.  I told him it was no big deal, we'd catch them next weekend.  I felt it that afternoon, a difference.  It didn't feel good.

We had blueberry parFIATs for the Feast of the Annunciation.  Last week, we celebrated both St. Patrick's day and St. Joseph's day.  I made cream puffs.  Real honest to goodness cream puffs.

Matthew is finally conceding to getting his haircut.  I'm glad.  The hair flipping is excessive.  I can't restrain myself much longer.  When he's sleeping the clippers call to me.  He does have pretty hair though.  I probably wouldn't want him to cut it so badly if he stopped flipping it.  Or combed it.

Matthew finally learned how to knit.  Josh finished Hunny Bear's scarf and knit him a hat on a round loom.

Matthew is getting ready for PSSAs.  Josh finally broke the minute mark on his timed math facts.

Matt repainted the laundry room closet.  It was hot pink.  I don't know why.  I also don't know why a freshly painted and clean closet makes me so happy.

My steam mop died.  And a kitchen cupboard almost feel off the wall.  The one with all of the dishes.

We got a new to us piano last fall.  It's a beautiful instrument.  It's younger than our old piano, which Faith now has - she calls it hers.  But it's a spinnet.  I did not know this.  I also did not know the difference.  It will need to be tuned twice a year because it's so much more sensitive to temperature fluctuations.  The keys are not weighted, so the hammers and keys return to their position after playing by gravity alone.  Under most normal, skilled playing this doesn't cause a problem.  Poor technic leads to keys that just sort of hang there and don't repeat.  I can now easily point out which of my students are not using curly piano fingers.  It's also been well loved and played over it's years.  The hammers are worn and the buck skin pieces are worn.  All in all, this makes the keys more finicky and it exaggerates the natural vibrato you hear in a spinnet with its short sound board and strings.  .... I've learned a lot..... It was a proactive move.  My old piano was nearing the end of its serviceable life.  The opportunity presented itself and we made a strategic move to protect ourselves from being stuck with an irreparable piano and no means of replacing it.  We can't be without a piano.  Me.  The kids.  My business.  But it's not perfect.  I don't think - I hope - it's not my forever piano.  I've never had a truly good piano, the kind that has such good sound that it gives you goosebumps, that has the perfect feel to the keys and the pedal, the kind that you don't have to worry about becoming too old and broken to play before you become too old and broken to play.

I taught my friend to knit.  She comes over and we knit on Sundays sometimes.  It's great.  I screwed up a baby sock.  I forgot to knit the toe.  Cast on and apparently went straight to the foot.  I didn't realize it until I started knitting its mate.  I need a few more hours in the evening.  To knit.

I'm suddenly aware of the clicking of the clock behind me.  And that it's late.  And I still have bathrooms to scrub.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Soup, Salad and Breadsticks?

Random selections from our recent days...

Josh's Faith and Life chapter was about the Agony in the Garden.  They called it the Garden of Olives.  In his workbook, when answering the question, "Where did Jesus go after the Last Supper?" he wrote, "The Olive Garden."

Matthew has added yet another instrument to his wish list.  In addition to picking up saxophone next year, he plans to pick up clarinet highschool.  His teacher has told us on a few occasions that he is going to be an expensive child.  We've had to alter Dave Ramsey's catch phrase, "Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else" to "Live like no one else, so you can support your children's musical ambitions."

The boys are playing Minecraft.  They only play on creative mode because they just like to build stuff.  Josh built a pen and gathered up all his sheep.  The he noticed that his sheep suddenly had lambs.  5 of them.  "I made babies!" he shouted.  *sigh* Not what Mom wants to overhear.

Last weekend, Joshua made his First Reconciliation.  He worked hard to prepare for it, was pretty freaked out but when the day was over said he felt lighter and warm inside.  He also said he wants to go every week.  During Lent, our priests are offering the sacrament after every Mass.  Today we sat in line after 7:30 Mass and he had his second Reconciliation.  Matthew said, "Nah, I'm good."  I raised my eyebrows and swallowed a snort of derision. Judge not, lest ye be judged, Mom.

Banshee is shedding.  We are vacuuming daily.  Brushing her weekly.  I'd shave her but that would be cruel.  Right?

It appears my role at work will be changing next year.  I volunteered for it.  It's always good to show you're flexible and will diversify my experience.  In a position, dependent on government funding, that can only be a good idea.  But Little Matthew laughs every time I mention it.  I'll be working primarily with math next year.  It's only third grade math, so I should be ok.  If not....I'm the grown up, I get the answer key.

We are slowly chipping away at our spring cleaning checklist.  I start that after the holidays because when the rest of the world starts spring cleaning, I want to be out in the yard starting my garden and preparing my flower beds.  Last week, I nearly finished all the window treatments.  I have one more set of drapes to iron.  As a side, the severe burn I received a couple weeks ago when ironing other curtains has healed well.  It's only a shiny pink scar now.  I narrowly escaped another last week.  There's a reason I prefer to leave the ironing to Matt.

Matthew is growing out his hair.  I hate it.  But I'm trying to pick my battles.  Is it clean?  Is it combed?  Yes and yes.  That doesn't mean I have to like it.  He does this annoying hair flip thing.  He also sweeps his hair off his forehead and gives the ends a tweak so it curls up like a wing sticking out of the side of his head.  I would like to sneak in at night and cut it off.  There is a chance though that I've channeled Mrs. Mullen in a way that turns the tables in my favor when it comes to his longer hair.  I'm still hoping that the heat of baseball season and summer will inspire the return of his crew cut.

I'm still reading Rome Sweet Home.  I finished Little Women and have started Little Men, trying to keep my reading happy and relaxing for this bleary, dreary winter days.  Matt has a couple books on the nightstand, including a biography on Andre the Giant I borrowed from the library for him.  I'm not sure where he is with any of them though.  Matthew is still working on Battle of the Labyrinth.  He reads in fits and spurts, but has come such a long way in his independent reading - both in the time it takes, the material and his comprehension.  We're very pleased with his efforts.  After completing the entire Sisters Grimm series in a week and a half, Josh has moved on to The Chronicles of Narnia.  He read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in about 2 days, moved on to The Magician's Nephew and his now on The Horse and His Boy.   My intent was to introduce him to the stories as stories.  Assuming later he'd reread them and appreciate them on a whole different level, much as Matt and I have.   Unsurprisingly, the allegory, allusions and metaphors are not entirely lost on him.  Today, over his religious ed work he announced that Aslan is like Christ.  He gave his life willingly because he had to, but he knew he'd rise again.  

Moses has turned 1.  I can't figure out how that happened.  I also can't figure out how to get that kid to laugh.  Faith is going to attend another play with us this spring.  She has requested another dress.  I expect I'll need a trip to the fabric store and have to lock myself in the guest room for awhile if I have hopes of finishing it.  

Matt will be attending preschool next week.  It's Grandparents (Or if none are available bring an Aunt or Uncle) Day at Faith's school.  I don't have any more personal days left.  Matt has more flexibility with his work schedule for these sort of once and awhile special things.  He's going to be that awesome uncle/godfather who goes to preschool for the morning.  I love that man so much.

Mimi is watching the boys play a racing game on the x-box.  She is laughing at the boys' driving and counting the tires they lose, while warning them that boys who drive like that in real life lose their licenses.  

Dinner is just about done and the cheesy potatoes need their cheese for melting.