"The primary goal in the education of children is to teach, and to give the example of a virtuous life."

Saint John Chrysostom

In Their Shoes

Posted on Jul 31, 2014 in All Posts, Foster Care & Adoption | 10 comments

In Their Shoes

I’m so cautious about entering a conversation which I know will turn defensive.  I can see it from a mile away and I usually pass right on by without saying a word even if I have a strong opinion about it.

I didn’t stop this time.

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Living in the Land of Baby Gates

Posted on Jul 27, 2014 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 5 comments

Living in the Land of Baby Gates

Between Gabriel and three puppies, this is currently the status of our home.  I don’t think I’ve had a single person yet NOT raise an eyebrow at me when they found out we got THREE puppies.  I have zero doubt, that in their minds, they were saying something along the lines of, “She’s lost it.”

I think after surviving five boys under the age of five with all the obstacles that went with them, I see three puppies as nothing.  Yes, they are more rowdy than just one as they wrestle each other on the floor.  Yes, there’s three times the mess when we don’t get them outside quick enough for their potty break.  But…I’m seeing my family pull together in a way I’ve never seen before to take care of the puppies and all their extra work.  Everyone is rotating the work load and I have not had to tell a single person that it’s their turn to clean up a pee or poo mess when they tried to back out of it.  They just roll up their sleeves, grab the roll of paper towels, a trash bag, and disinfectant and wipe it up.  Done.  I’m so proud of all of them!  (Especially Niki who sets her alarm for 6:00am to potty the puppies!)

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Freedom!

Posted on Jul 26, 2014 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 4 comments

Freedom!

Les fixed my laptop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s no longer on life support being used exclusively as a desktop in the office.  A couple of unfortunate accidents made it so the lid/screen was completely unusable unless hooked up to a monitor.  I’ve been borrowing Niki and Les’ laptops for months now so I could use a computer in the same room as Gabriel and not risk him continuously trying to pull out the power cord with his fingers or toes – which immediately made my laptop shut down.  (I’m serious…it was on life support.)

So, tonight, even though our Internet is out for some mysterious reason, I’m typing up my blog posts while sitting in my bed!  Freedom!!!

Best of all?!  Guess who’s going to be able to finish writing her book now?!  THIS GIRL!

~

We celebrated Justin’s birthday last week.  I can’t believe he’s 9 now.  I remember it like it was yesterday when we got to hold him for the very first time at the playground in the mall.  So much has happened between then and now.  Soooo much.

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One Year Later

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 6 comments

One Year Later

Infertility.  It’s a painful, silent battle.  It lingers in your mind and infiltrates most all of your thoughts. Every. single. day.

I think Les and I had finally accepted that I was not going to give birth to anymore full-term babies. Always longing – but finally accepting the path we were traveling.

A year ago, Les and I welcomed the arrival of our little miracle baby.  Gabriel was born almost nineteen years after Niki.  That’s a terribly long time to wait.  There’s nuances and details attached to this story…that provide the backdrop of the emotional roller coaster we all experienced at the hospital after Gabriel’s birth.

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Growing by Leaps & Bounds

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 11 comments

Growing by Leaps & Bounds

The other night I got a series of texts from Niki. It started out:

OMG Mom!

Niki doesn’t use texting acronyms so I held my phone in my hand knowing I’d get a follow-up text shortly.

I WANT HIM!  HIS NAME IS TUCKER!

I didn’t immediately realize I was missing a text in between these two which would had made it all make sense. Long story short, a college friend needed to find a new home for his dog because he didn’t have time to house train it.  Niki wanted the dog.  The problem was that the dog is a Pomeranian mix. 1) They’re not known to be good with young children.  2) We’re partial to Boxers for many reasons revolving around having a large family.  Losing Lily last summer, just a few weeks before Gabriel was born, was hard on all of us and we still miss her.  She was truly a remarkable dog.

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And…it finally got me

Posted on Jul 13, 2014 in All Posts, Homeschooling, Orthodox Christianity | 9 comments

And…it finally got me

One of my kids came home from camp with a nasty, nasty cold.  It subsequently made its way through the rest of his siblings.  And…this morning, I woke up with it.  Mind crushing headache, scratchy sore throat, and stuffy nose. None of my kids complained of a headache so that might just be a result of a restless night with Gabriel who woke up continuously because he didn’t feel good.

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Baby Proofing for Homeschooling in the Fall

Posted on Jul 9, 2014 in All Posts, Homeschooling | 3 comments

Baby Proofing for Homeschooling in the Fall

I’m in full blown planning, researching, and prepping mode for our new homeschool year.  It’s a little early for me to be this giddy about getting ready for the new year but I can’t help it – I’m just excited!

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Our Summer Camp Tradition

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 in All Posts, Camp, Orthodox Christianity | 1 comment

Our Summer Camp Tradition

After twelve years, we have acquired many family stories associated with going to summer camp – the storm of all storms our first year where lightning was literally striking all around our cabins, the year an ax found its way into my husband’s leg (which also happened to be one of the years I didn’t go), Les was our future son-in-law’s counselor for years, me toting around young boys as I try to help out in anyway possible, and friendships we formed with staff who would later become some of our children’s godparents.

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Square, Triangle, Circle, or Squiggle?

Posted on Jul 5, 2014 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 11 comments

Square, Triangle, Circle, or Squiggle?

I asked everyone in my previous post to leave an answer in the comments for which shape would best represent you – a square, triangle, circle, or squiggle.

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Getting to Know You

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 15 comments

Getting to Know You

We just got back from a wonderful week at summer camp (more on that in another post) and I have a question to ask all of you that was asked of me while at camp.  Presvytera Sophia asked each of us in the main counselors’ cabin, “If you had to choose one of the following shapes to represent you, which would it be?  A square, a triangle, a circle, or a squiggle?”

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