Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Night Ramblings

Our Sunday evening is coming to a quiet, calm close tonight.

GG is up readying his work shirts for the week, dapper man.
The boys are still buzzing a bit, but at least from their beds in a darkened room, darling gents.
MG has taken to her crib and is already visiting dreamland, sweet angel.

We've had the best kind of weekend--one with few commitments and a schedule free for play and boy adventure. We capped the night with a family band to two of our recent fave tunes. MG was on tambourine, M was on drums, T was on small piano, and J was on shaker. GG and I played harmonica, tambourine, maraca, drums, etc.--whatever was lacking at the moment. It was a grand way to finish off the weekend.

Among the fruit we're seeing in our world is a real surge in the participation and interest in the life of our parish. This is incredible to witness! Christ is being proclaimed and sought after. Can you imagine that in a Catholic parish? It is really awesome. The ministries are booming; Bible studies and moms' groups and dads' gatherings are springing up all over the place. The church held a retreat on the Eucharist the other weekend... It is all glorious and wonderful to be a part of. We are excited, to say the least. God is good.

GG and I are hoping to take some of that momentum tonight to work on a new set of talks for Engaged Encounter. To say we've been dragging our feet writing these is an understatement. We. have. to. light. the. fire! A November deadline is looming and we have a LOT to do. But my question is--when do we reach the end of our rope and say "we simply can't do it?" We may be getting there. Just maybe.

With that, I will sign off for the evening.
God bless you and yours,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Anti-Galante

Tomorrow is cleaning day in G-Ville.

Awesome, amazing, wonderful, breathe-new-life-into-our-home-and-my-mothering cleaning day.

I love cleaning day. It is the day I return home from the world and find my floors sparkling and shelves dusted... It is the day my shower gets a facelift and so does my cooktop. It is the day GG and I take a deep breath and sigh because life is in order for a split nanosecond; and enjoy it we will.

Our wonderful cleaning team are treasured guests in our home. They are a sweet Brazilian couple, the Galantes, who love my children and ooh and aah at my babies. They were so thrilled the day they came to clean and found me in labor--it was the feast of St. John the Baptist and a big Brazilian holiday. "There is no better day for a baby to be born!" they exclaimed.

I treasure them and their services. I recognize they are a gift and one we might not always be able to afford. But for now, they come and I love them!

Getting ready for the Galantes, though, is another story. It is a major undertaking to get our house in order and ready to be cleaned. The rhetorical, "Why do we have to clean when the cleaning lady is coming?" circles round and round my head as we prepare. As much as I love the effects of the cleaning team, I greatly dislike the preparation process. It is one of a few deadlines in my motherly world and it stresses me out!

So tomorrow is cleaning day and I'm getting ready. You see, the more I do tonight, the better off we'll be in the morning and my stress will be greatly diminished. That is, if I can cage the Anti-Galante--the great undoer of all things done.

Here she is, the fierce, frightening Anti-Galante:
Don't let her cuteness fool you. She wreaks havoc on bookshelves; runs rampant through laundry piles; creates messes where no mess has been left before!

She's the Anti-Galante and she must be quickly dealt with...
especially on cleaning day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

School Days and Soccer Plays

Friends, friends, friends...
Here I am, back at it after a far-too-long hiatus! We are here, growing, thriving. The middle boys started school last Monday (T) and Tuesday (J) and our crew has been off and running since.


Both seem to be doing great. T's teacher already wants to take him home with her (this is usual for him, my sweet boy). She said he's a kind friend and a leader in the class. Go T! We should mention that this teacher happens to be *awesome* with an amazing reputation. We are thrilled to have T with such a great teacher and a nice group of friends this year!!

J has also started school with a bang--he was 2 for 2 until Friday when Papa dropped him off and he balled for the first 10 minutes. He pulled it together for a great day, while I think Papa was rather scarred from the experience. Poor Papa!! Thankfully, by the time I picked J up at lunchtime, he was raring to go and talked about his great day. That's my good boy! We are definitely butting up against the wonderful (heavy sarcasm) 3's with J. He has been an *absolute joy* for the first three years, so I guess I can give him a month or two of extreme will and showing his stripes. According to Mimi we should break out the champagne to celebrate his growing independence. Don't you love the power of positive thinking? :)

M is cruising into first grade. He has homework 4 nights/week, which is more than I gave my high-schoolers back when I taught! All in all, his reading is really becoming more independent and his writing skills have improved tremendously. Both of these improvements seem to be helping him have an easier time on the work they're doing in and out of class. We have his parent night on Thursday and I look forward to peering inside his daily life and seeing all that he's learning and accomplishing. So far, so wonderful!!

MG and I are also plugging through our mornings, not always as productive as possible, but still getting things done. I miss my boys, but appreciate the joy we have being back together at lunch time and beyond. I think they miss each other too, which is why it's so great they can come back home to their brothers and sister, best buddies for life. What a blessing.

Aside from the start of school, the older boys kicked off their fall soccer season Saturday. T had 6 goals and M had 5, so you could say it was a successful beginning! They're still playing for the Y and enjoying it immensely, so for now we will stay put. If they continue to love it, we'll def. be tempted to look into the more competitive leagues in the area. Oh boy! Not sure I'm ready to bite off that commitment as of yet! We'll see...

Signing off from G-Ville! Sending blessings,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wonder Weekend

It was a very at-home-and-wonderful weekend around here. There happened to be no soccer after all because the fields were drenched from a week of rain. We did find out at the eleventh hour, but what a gift it was to be given free time we hadn't planned on having.

So what did we do instead?
Dance, of course.
To this song. And this one. Love my tiny dancers!

What else did we do?
Why, build a pretend house complete with a sink and TV! ;)

One last weekend accomplishment: spaghetti! We bathed in it (or at least one of us did!)
Thank you, dear Lord, for the goodness of a weekend at home.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

G-Ville Quotes of the week

On Tuesday, as M headed to school for his first day...

J: "I just want to go to school with M. I just want to." lol I've never heard him use the word "just" before. Cute!

And yesterday, we received a worksheet from school, where M filled in "I am special because... (written with his own spelling) my Mom and Dad thiegc i em a rile god boy." (translation: I am special because my mom and dad think I am a really good boy.) Okay, heart exploding. Love it!

Fall soccer 2011 starts today! We're off this morning to buy new cleats, shin guards... and milk! Can't be without milk for breakfast. Hope you have a great weekend!

God bless,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our little ladybug

It's confirmed. MG is definitely a little girly girl.

Lately, she's taken to walking around carrying a pair of black velvet bow shoes. Everywhere she goes, so come the shoes. She says "Shs" pretty regularly and also enjoys putting on various shoes in her collection. The lady likes shoes...

She's an organizer too. She loves to take things out of one cabinet and put them in another. She walks away and returns to put everything back where it belongs. Same with her laundry pile. I find her carrying random pieces of dirty laundry all around the upstairs, but eventually find it back in the laundry pile by the end of the day. She's my little retriever! :)


Miss MG also loves Diet Coke. Last week she sat at her high chair and begged for more sips of Mimi's drink. lol. Whenever I open a can of soda, both she and J come running. That's my girl. Chip off the old block, for sure.

Finally, we made brownies this weekend, which she greatly enjoyed. Add chocolate to her girly list.

Shoes, organization, Diet Coke, chocolate... our baby girl is ALL GIRL!
Love you, my sweetness!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School Days

It was M's first day today...

Our big first grader!! Amazing what a difference a year makes!
Some friends arose for the occasion...

(J was still snoozin')

Daddy walked him over in the rain...
And here he is outside his classroom...
We're hoping for an awesome first-day report!
Praying for my little man BIG-time!!! :)

Update later 9/6: M had a really great first day. We sat down to milk and Oreos upon his return home and I heard about various events of the day. He gave me a thumbs-up as to how the day went and seems to like his teacher. He has a few friends in his class from last year and hopefully more in the making. Details are always spotty with these boys! ;) Sky's the limit!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Momentous Days

Our M has had quite the summer of growing up...

He has taken on bigger roles of responsibility in the house and for his things; he is more independent now upon waking and during the bedtime process. I've mentioned before about his 2-wheel ridin' and shoe tyin'. His piano playing has also ramped up and he's mastering new pieces in record time. I've also witnessed countless moments of him helping out his younger brothers and sister, taking great joy in their achievements (e.g. MG walking) and aiding them in tasks about the day. My biggest baby is growing up!
Add to his summer's feats a tremendous amount of reading. M conquered our library's 10-book summer reading list easily, very motivated by the idea that "mom, I might win an iPad!" lol. Hundreds of kids entered the summer reading program and were eligible... but read, he did! I'll take whatever motivates!! After we hit the 10 books, he kept on going. Overall, his reading has made great strides. He is definitely a level 2, emerging level 3 reader. I still need to be in the vicinity to help him through difficult words. His sounding out still needs work, but he is definitely improving which is so rewarding to see. His brothers even stop by now for a listen thanks to his languid, fluid tone. This is a nice change.

Last week he conquered his first-grade reading assignment by reading and reviewing 5 books, drawing a picture of the story, and writing a sentence to accompany the picture. This was the perfect cap to our summer days, helping him to review great skills before entering... 1st grade!!!

Today he and I ventured to school for the "Open House" to meet his teacher and set up his desk and supplies. It was fun to get a sneak peek at his new classroom and get a feel for his year to come! His teacher seems like a very organized, friendly, and enthusiastic lady. I think she is going to be *perfect* for M!!! Let's hope I'm back here writing in a month or two about how well the year is going! :)

Next up: fun MG post about our little girly girl! Check back soon!