Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Which We're "Official"

Our deposit is in with a Classical Conversations group.  We are officially homeschoolers for 2011-2012.  As I put the money in the leader's hand, I couldn't help but think "oh my gosh we're crazy".

But I'm also crazy excited :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Which We Survey the Wonderous Cross

Easter is pretty fantastic at our house.  We start with observing Passover (hooray for my 7 year old who can expound on the foreshadowing in Exodus of Christ's sacrifice....he definitely doesn't have a religion major for a mother...) and then observe several rather somber holy days including Maundy Thursday (this year with 100% more Catholic as we were able to attend a Stations of the Cross, which was awesome!) and Good Friday, which I typically attend alone because I cry.

Sometimes I forget about Jesus altogether.  I can admit that.  There are days when I am overwhelmed by all the junk in my day and I forget that my actions are supposed to reflect Him.  I'm not proud of it, but it's true.  Knowing that is why His sacrifice, in spite of my complete and utter failure to ever get things right, is so overwhelming.

One of the rectors at the service I attended talked from the perspective of Simon the Cyrene, the man who was forced to help Jesus carry the cross when He, after being brutally beaten, could no longer manage to drag it.  The rector, speaking as Simon, recounted Jesus falling and silently wishing that He would just stay down, that the suffering would end, but Jesus would pull himself up with eyes resolute, fixed on the end, on the suffering, on the death that He knew He must endure for each of us.  Riley asked me for the first time this year why Jesus didn't get down off the cross.  He's God, after all.  He healed the sick and rose the dead, so it seems rather simple to get off a cross.  I've been waiting to tell him the answer to that question his whole little life.  "He chose to stay, Riley.  The nails didn't hold Jesus to the cross.  Jesus Held himself because He knew that for all of us to be forgiven, so that we could have eternal life with Him in Heaven, He had to die as a sacrifice.  Love for you held Him there, not metal."  Riley cried, too.  He's very like me sometimes, that little boy. 

How amazing to be loved so much.  In the Simon monologue, the rector then recounted "I'd come to Jerusalem on pilgrimage to celebrate the passover, and now, touching Jesus as He died, I was unclean, ceremonially unfit to observe the seder.  But as I thought about it, the blood of the lamb would not be on my doorposts that night, because it was already on me, it covered me." 

I hope that I have taught my children to observe Easter and the holy mystery that it represents with both joy and reverence.  This CS Lewis quote has always spoken to me about our observance of holidays.  I want our children to know that beyond the eggs and the candy, there is so much more happening.  With God's grace, I hope that I can succeed.

There is a stage in a child’s life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter. I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition which began ‘Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen.’ This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer seem sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. They will have taken on an independent, and therefore a soon withering, life.” ~C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Which My Sweet Baby Turns 5

We have 3 children.  Of those, we successfully planned to conceive one.  Riley was a massive surprise, Savannah came out of nowhere, but Logan- Logan was the one we ordered :) (Disclaimer: We love all 3 of our children dearly)

 Logan is such a sweet little boy.  He's content with a show and a snack any day of the week.  He doesn't need other people's approval to be happy- in fact, I have to laugh when we're around other kids because he's going to play what he wants and if you want to join him, that's cool, but if not, that's cool, too.  The picture above is Logan on his last day of being 4.  It was his "Mama Day" where he gets me all to himself every Tuesday.  He always wants to spend it the same way, snuggling on the couch in our jammies watching Ice Age 3 and eating Nutella.  Well, the Nutella isn't always the snack of choice, but you get the idea.  The boy is happy with simple things and I love that about him :)
When Logan grows up he wants to be a bunnyninjachef (so hence the bunny ninja drawn hastily on his ice cream cake.  I'd already made 3 cakes this week so I was super happy he wanted an ice cream cake but didn't realize until the last minute he also wanted it decorated.  Yay for leftover frosting!!) 
Logan is sensitive and kind, and a quietly fierce competitor.  He is so proud right now that he can read small sentences and likes to rub it in his brother's face share his new skills with other members of our family because it is coming so easily for him.  He is an awesome kid and we're so lucky to have him

Monday, April 11, 2011

In Which We Hang With Our Buddies!!

On Friday, Savannah and I attended a Mommy and Me Yoga Class at a new yoga studio in Occoquan.  My friend Jeni and her little girl Abigail were there, and while Abigail was actually attempting the poses, Savannah was quite happy laying on the mat and laughing at me :)  It was cute.

After that, we had our friends Mia, Katalina, and Isabella over for a little while while their mommy went to the doctor.  Mia and Savannah are "best friends"
and Kat seems to have quite the thing for my Logan.  It's not that I can blame her, he's pretty cute.  The two of them played "house" for awhile with baby Bella.  I managed to snap a family picture:

 We've been watching our friend John David every other weekend while his mom works, which has been such a treat for Riley.  This weekend we got to have his sister join us, too, and Savannah was on cloud 9. 

We started our weekend off at a fundraiser for Rich Anderson who is a local politician that Riley just loves to death.  John David and Riley were pretty happy for all of 10 minutes while they got to nosh on a huge pile of bacon and meet Sheriff Glen Hill who had on his "ACTUAL! SHINY! GOLD! BADGE!"  He seemed really tickled that the kids were so excited to meet him.  John David loves his DSi (I think that's what it is!) and before we got there he was actually playing a game where he was a sheriff- so I think that helped up the cool quotient.

The boys started getting bored before we even got to meet the governor, and being a huge believer that all politics is local (okay, and also that you should dance with the one that brung ya) we left early.  I can meet the governor some other time....or never...but that's okay!

We headed over to the Lowe's for their free build for kids they host every other Saturday.  It was actually really fun!  The boys got an apron to collect patches on and goggles to wear that are just like Bill Nye.  Oh how I love Bill Nye.
We took it easy the rest of the weekend with the kids playing together outside for a little while in the seemingly endless fog that has permeated northern Virginia for weeks.  Today, Monday, it was actually nice outside and the kids spend a good hour enjoying the sun after school and then had some homemade lemonade when we got home.

(Oh, and Savannah got to try on her recital outfit.  I'll leave you with the cuteness!)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In Which We Go to the Circus

Austin likes to make fun of me for the amount of my "free" time (read: between 1-2 in the afternoon if I'm lucky and from 1-3am) I spend on my website and facebook group.

He has to stop now :)

I've been working on a website for about a year now, maybe a year and a half and hadn't really taken it very seriously, although once I'm done with PTA I have an actual business plan for it.  It's been really fun because I get to interact with other moms and meet lots of fun people, and I've gotten a few fun free things for our family.  (All of my "featured" businesses have given me a sample product to try.  It's been great so far because they've all been good- I'm nervous about the first time I have to say I didn't like something!!)  My website has enabled us to go to plays, Smuckers Stars on Ice, Madame Tussauds, and more. We've gotten free books, a bracelet for me that was awesome, and passes to kids in motion.  It doesn't really make up in any way shape or form for me not working, but it tosses in some fun extras for our family.

The circus, though, was amazing.
We actually got invited to go to the media party.  There was food and stuff for the kids, they got to meet the ringmaster, acrobats and dancers, and, there were also clowns.  True story, I suffer hardcore from Coulrophobia. The world would be a better place without clowns.  The kids, however, seemed to love them.

This was such a fun experience.  I loved seeing how excited the kids got, and I had fun meeting some awesome moms who are way better at what I do than I am :)  And really, at the end of the day, that's what it's all about- being able to give my kids awesome meeting the circus cast.

The circus itself was awesome, too. It was absolutely nothing like the "3 Ring Circus" that I remember.  It was way more artsy and there was a story.  The focus was way more on performance artists and less on animals, which is fine with me.  Riley was so thrilled with the motorcycle acts, too.  There was one with 9 of them in a giant metal ball and another that rode up a tightrope.  Logan seemed to like the acrobats the best.  He got a little sleepy part of the way through (so I had them out until 10pm on a school night.....add it to my mother of the year application) but I was impressed with how well he did!!

It was a super fun date night with our boys- and I really loved every minute!! (Next time I'll take the real camera and not just the cell phone, though!!)