Friday Five: 5/31/19

Happy Friday, Happy last day of May, and Happy last day of school for my kiddos!

  1. Where do I spend most of my time you ask? In the kitchen. That’s a serious answer. Where is the 2nd most popular place that I spend my time? The ballpark. This year Amelia is in tball, Lucy is in coach-pitch, and Gabriel is in minors. We have games 3 nights (or more) each week, often doubled up and in different places. Sometimes we even like to throw in a tball practice or other evening commitment into the mix. I keep a plethora of snacks in the van, try to plan a portable dinner of some sort, and we do the best that we can with keeping everyone happy and dry at the ball games. Sometimes we are successful, other times we fail miserably. Sometimes we just cut our losses and stop for 50 cent Frosty’s on the way home and call it a win.
  2. I bought a new swing for the kids. It’s from ALDI. Never underestimate the power of Aldi and their special finds aisle. The swing holds up to 330 lbs, which means there has been 5 kids on it at once, and they’d put more on it, but it’s full. The neighborhood has pretty much been using it constantly for 2 weeks straight now. It’s big. It’s super fun. Seriously worth the $50. Go buy it.20190523_191122.jpg
  3. Over Memorial Day weekend we had a 3 night camping trip planned at Bellevue State Park. The intense rains and severe nightly storms deterred us from camping (in tents with 5 kids…), but we did a day trip to the park instead. It was a futile attempt as the GNATS WERE INCREDIBLE. I have never experienced bugs like that. Talk about being miserable on a beautiful day. We cooked lunch and stood in the smoke to try to get away from the bugs, then hiked 1 trail and called it a day. It was so, so bad. We did watch a barge go through the lock and dam, got a few good bluff lookouts, and snapped a quick picture. 581_1558894750338.jpeg
  4. Kateri is 10 months old on Saturday. That has seriously gone so fast! She’s basically weaned herself (that’s a lot of mixed emotions and could take another whole blog post) but fear not, I’ve got a freezer stash. 😉 I have not succeeded in getting her to take a cup, however, and she prefers to just smash it against the table/floor and make a gigantic wet mess. She eats everything. And a lot of it. Bark from the sticks in our yard is really her favorite thing to eat, or it seems. She crawls everywhere and pulls up on everything. We are working on her falling asleep on her own because sleeping in the same room with 3 other girls requires everyone to cooperate so we all can be somewhat sane! She’s a curious little gal and has the cutest dimples!! She says ‘da da da’ all day long and that pleases Jeremiah to no end.  She has started protesting the nap so falling asleep in her highchair is sometimes happening. She’s always been so easy, so I guess I should have expected some of this!518_1558657509107.jpeg
  5. And just to keep things interesting, we seem to have quite the abundance of wildlife around the House lately. Nevermind the chickens (which have become large, no longer cute, ill-tempered teenage girls, and are leaving soon), and the bunnies (Rose and Thomas, always a crowd favorite) but we have also been graced with the presence of a baby bluejay that fell out of it’s nest, a neighborhood bat that apparently fell out of a tree (bats are so weird-looking up close, BTW), a toad that is the size of my palm, a frog that Lucy snagged from the water ditch near our house, and the usual neighborhood wild rabbits and crazy squirrels that scale our stucco house and window screens. It’s like they all congregate here and want to join the craziness!


    Baby bluejay

Oh, Ruth

Ruth is now 2 years and {almost} 8 months old. She continues on with her shenanigans, but has toned it down a little bit, thank goodness. She seems to have come out of the haze, but there are definite days when she returns to her old ways and I see fire in her eyes. It’s kind of scary. It’s kind of exciting because she is going to be a go-er and a do-er!


Whenever one of the other kids is talking about their birthday, Ruth chimes in with ‘When I get big, I PARTY’. Ahem. I hope she means a cute party at the park and not the dancing on tables kind of partying.

Ruth recently decided that she needed a haircut. So she took it upon herself to do just that. She cut off about 5 or 6 inches of her bobbed cut to make some very very short sprizles of bangs, all in about 2 minutes time. She stole scissors from the kitchen and I found her in front of the mirror in the bathroom trimming away. She’s absolutely the first of our kids to cut their own hair. Yes, it’ll definitely grow back.


Yesterday, Ruth was hitting her crazy wall, which is what we refer to when Ruth needs to desperately go to bed and she is OFF. THE. CHAIN. Her responses vary and some times are better than others. This was about 4pm, so we had a lot of daylight left. She had stripped herself down naked because she had a potty accident, and was shaking her little butt in the living room while spinning her dress overhead. That’s quite a visual.

The kid has no fear. She climbs, jumps, rolls, swings, wrestles, fights and bounces like there’s no tomorrow. I’m not sure she feels a lot of pain. She would never wear shoes if she wasn’t made to. Right now she is sporting about 25 quarter sized bruises on her shins and a giant purple and green bruise on her left side jaw due to her roughness. And they don’t bother her one bit.


Tonight, as a motorcyle passes by and we are eating dinner, Ruth proclaims “When I grow up, I ride mota’cyco. I go VVVROOOOOM VRROOOOM!’  as her eyes twinkle. The crazy thing is, I’m pretty sure that will be a reality. Just not for her first ride.


Last week I bought a new roll of USPS stamps. As I was carrying in groceries, Ruth was quiet and entertained in the van, which I thought was a plus at the time. I didn’t think much of it until I found her in the front seat sticking each individual stamp to the apple she supposedly had eaten on the way to the grocery store.

Ruth is definitely a girl who likes to have a good time and is very curious and determined. I believe ‘strong willed’ is the PC term. She’s kind of equivalent to an energetic squirrel, with a lot more intellect.  The girl can sing the ABC’s with pretty good accuracy and can count to 11. We are trying to harness her energy and intentions for good and lead her in a good direction. Pray for us!!




April 2019 Book Review

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

  1. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. 4 stars. Not sure why I didn’t give this one 5 stars as I LOVED it. I’ve read a lot of spiritual/religious mothering books and this is one of my favorites. I loved the real world stories and their application to scripture as well as diving deeper into the story of Mary and Martha. I had picked this book up at Goodwill an
    d proceeded to pass it on to some other mama friends to enjoy. So happy I found it!

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha by Lillian M. Fisher

2. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha by Lillian Fisher. 5 stars. This was a great biography of Saint Kateri, whom is our little Kateri’s namesake! Kateri was a young Native American girl who had a deep love of Catholicism, brought to her tribe by missionaries. However, as you might imagine, Catholicism was not a popular religion during her time and she was persecuted for her faith. Kateri actually changed her name to Kateri ( a form of Catherine) when she converted to Catholicism. Kateri died at a young age and was canonized as a saint in 2012.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

3. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. 5 stars. This book was tremendous. It was a bit long, but I found it fascinating and horrifying at the same time. This is based on the true story of the tragedy of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and Georgia Tann, the ring leader of several orphanages within the society. Basically, in the 1930’s children were ‘bought’ from poor families (ie tricked into signing over custody papers) and were then thrown into horrendous orphanages where they were mistreated and were poorly cared for until they were sold to rich families for a ‘forever home’. The rich families had no idea that these children had been ripped from their birth families and most only had the best intentions. Georgia Tann was in it all for the money and she was a prominent community member. This story follow 5 fictitious siblings through their journey of living on a shanty boat on the river, through the orphanage, getting split up, and adopted out. The children do find their siblings later on the book. Over and over again I could not believe that this kind of thing actually happened in the 1930s in the USA. Incredible. Great book.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

4. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. 4 stars. I realize I like to read about a lot of different cultures…..Now onto reading about Chinese parenting. Amy Chua chronicles the way in which she raised her 2 daughters according to Chinese parenting vs Western parenting. From 3 years old, the girls are learning an instrument, practicing no less than 3 hours per day and getting nothing less than straight A’s—no exceptions. The girls are not allowed to do anything ‘fun’. But by the age of 14 her eldest daughter played piano at Carnegie Hall and her younger daughter was a violin prodigy, coached by Juilliard professors privately. But that’s besides the point, the story is all about how the actual act of parenting is very different between Westerners and Chinese. Very interesting read, although I did not agree with all of the principles she adheres to!

Death by Minivan by Heather Anderson Renshaw

5. Death by Minivan by Heather Anderson Renshaw. 5 stars. This was great! I laughed through much of it, but found the entire book wonderful. The author likens her journey through motherhood as that of a road trip and how when she first test drove a minivan she thought her life was over(!). She intertwines quotes of saints, scripture, psalms, and real stories of her mothering of 5 children. Chapters revolve around things like goodness, humility, and grace. Her stories are hilarious!!!! This is definitely one I will pass on to other mom friends for a huge source of encouragement!

Currently I am working on these (I have a few too many going at once right now):

  • Paper Towns by John Green
  • Story of a Soul by St Terese Liseux
  • The Catholic All Year Compendium by Kendra Tierney
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

Any great suggestions?!