Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Monday, April 29, 2013

This last week has been, wow, just a little off! Last Sunday was Alex's First Holy Communion, which I already shared about. We had his party in our basement and backyard. After Sunday night, I didn't set foot back down there till Wednesday afternoon.

Alex actually went down to play after school that day, and came running back up to say there was tons of water all over the basement. I expected to go down and see some water backing up out of the drain or something. Oh, no, not even close. There was almost 2 inches of water throughout the entire 1900 sq ft basement! The sump pump went out - the outlet tripped. We got it started and called the insurance. Thankfully, we have water backup coverage, so they sent a cleanup crew Thursday morning. After a couple more mishaps - missed calls and messages, more equipment, sump being unplugged accidentally and additional flooding - the basement is almost completely dry and hopefully only needs a little fixing up. I'm truly grateful we had never put carpet down there.

Friday: Jack and I went grocery shopping, dealt with the cleanup crew for the 2nd time and the insurance claims adjustor and we had Julie's oldest son spend the night. Jason, E, Alex and Jordan all played outside and had a small fire in the BBQ pit. They also shot Alex's bow and arrow and broke a window on the shed! Silly boys. I also had a very important phone call to take care of for my new adventure. More on that soon, hopefully.

Julie and the rest of the boys came over first thing Saturday morning and while we finished up breakfast, poor Jordan shot an arrow at the ground and it bounced up and hurt his eye! Not too badly, thank goodness. Julie and I took the 7 boys to the Detroit Institute of Arts and walked around for a few hours. There were some very interesting pieces of artwork and historical/archaeological pieces too! I think the boys really enjoyed themselves as well as learned something new.

Sunday morning came too early and we didn't make it to Mass, even though we all wanted and planned to. :( I had 4 loads of laundry to do and had to spread it all out day, so I wouldn't trip the circuit breaker. E, Jack and I went to Costco while Alex and Jas worked on his diorama.

Today has proven to be a smooth day and I'm hoping the rest of the week is the same!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Alex's First Communion

Today was a very special day for Alex! It was his First Communion. He woke up very excited.

My parents, my sister Heather, her fiance and their kids came to the house first thing this morning. Everybody except my dad went to Mass and Julie and her boys and nephew met us there. It was a wonderful Mass! Jason and I went with Alex when it was his turn to go up for Communion. He was nervous but excited. He remembered everything he was supposed to say and do. They had us get there a half hour early and the First Communicants went out and came in with the procession at the start of Mass, sat with us, then went back out for the offering - taking a loaf of bread for the food pantry - and then also went up with Father for the Our Father. Each child with their parents went one at a time before the rest of the congregation. My sister was able to snap a couple of pictures for us. :)

After Mass, we came back home and enjoyed sloppy joes, hot chicken sandwiches, veggies, chips, deviled eggs, baked beans, homemade lemonade and pop, and my sister's homemade brownies. Jackson was covered with food by the time he was done. All the big kids went outside and played for awhile and also in the basement after we cleaned up. Jason's family showed up and visited for awhile, before Jason and his dad took back the tables and chairs. It was funny, they accidentally forgot a few chairs, so Julie and I ran them up there. Jack had fallen asleep for a bit, so I made sure Jason's sister was ok with it before we left. We also had to make a quick drive to the library. Can you believe that Alex needs facts about an animal tomorrow for a research report they are writing and they didn't have any books about his animal?? Of course he did pick a stoat, or ermine. Seriously, kiddo? Don't pick anything easier, like, oh I don't know? ANYTHING! Ha!

Now that everybody's gone home, it's so quiet around here! My older boys are off playing video games for a bit and Jackson's building with his blocks, Jas is watching golf and I'm just sitting here.

Thinking about what's for dinner, and knowing I need to run to the store for dish soap and t.p. and not wanting to! I'm just a bit tired. It's almost 6:30 and I really have no desire to move from this couch tonight. I think I'll just stop at the store on the way home from school tomorrow morning. The dishes that can go in the dishwasher will get cleaned tonight, and what can't, well, they can just wait to tomorrow! :)

Thanks again to everybody who was able to make it today! We had a wonderful time sharing this day of joy with you!!

Monday, April 15, 2013


After a couple conversations, and some decision making on my part, I'm making some BIG changes! Not going to disclose all the details right now, but it's all for the better.

On that note, yesterday morning we all got up and made pancakes for breakfast. For the first time in months (years?) I exercised! I have a couple of  "Biggest Loser" work-out DVDs and I decided to do the cardio one. 30 minutes - including warm-up and cool-down - of straight moving. I have to say, my leg muscles are hurting today! In a good way, though.

I really wanted to go to Mass yesterday - we haven't been good about it, but it's a special day this Sunday for Alex and I've been wanting to make more of an effort to go - and so we (the 3 boys and I) got ready and made it on time. At one point, Jackson started getting a little fussy, so I knew he and I would have to step out. The way our church is set up, you can stand in the foyer area and see into the sanctuary through several picture windows, so I decided to leave the older boys sitting there by themselves. After all, E will be 11 in July and Alex 8 in about 6 weeks so truthfully they are old enough to sit there. The highlight, though, and the thing that made me truly feel at home at our parish for probably the first time is what happened next. When Jack and I stepped out, I told the older boys to stay in their seats rather than go up for Communion - a blessing in Alex's case. They were fine with that, but as I watched from the other side of the window, they were trying to remember what exactly they should do. The woman sitting in front of us, who teaches Children's Liturgy of the Word, and helps with Catechism classes, turned and had the boys move up by her. She helped them figure out what to do and took them up with her. :) After they went back to their seats, she turned and smiled to me and I mouthed "thank you". Just before Mass ended, Jack and I went back in. The older lady behind us was so kind and said how well behaved they were and what a nice family we have. Seriously made me happy.

They were doing sign-ups for vacation bible school for K-5, but E is technically 5th grade-age, so I explained to the nice lady, mentioning that he's only 10, has Asperger's and would like to go. She was so helpful, talking to him and explaining since it's his first year, that she would recommend him joining in the activities anyway, rather than helping like the other 6th graders and older. She also mentioned that her 10th grader has Asperger's!

Today, I woke up and my legs and back are sore! LOL. I'm taking the day off, and working out again tomorrow. I know as time goes on it will get easier, and I will get stronger and have better endurance. But I also know that I have to listen to my body, and today it says to just relax a bit.

I've been trying to come up with story ideas, but everything I come up with feels all wrong or I can't get it down on paper right. I need a nice, quiet place to go and write for a couple of days and just let the ideas flow. But if I were to get a couple days alone, I'd probably just sleep and do nothing. ;)

Not sure where this post was going when I started it this morning but here's where it ends. No matter what, follow your dreams. Remember you are loved and even when you make mistakes - because NOBODY is perfect - somebody out there looks up to you, or believes in you. You are the only you, and you're special just the way you are. Be kind to one another, because there is enough bad out there in this world. If everyone just tries a little harder to be nice, the world would be a better place. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


My weekend went a little something like this. Crazy.busy.non-stop. Ha!

Friday morning, Jackson had a 9am dr. appointment which went pretty well. Jack is healthy and strong. He's 21 lbs 10 oz (he actually gained more than 1 1/2 lbs in just under a month! That may be a record for him!) and he's 31 1/4 inches tall! I had to fill out another questionnaire like I did at his 12 month appointment for gross motor, fine motor and speech assessment. He scored a little low on his gross motor again ~ but one of the questions was about climbing/crawling up stairs, which was impossible to assess since we live in a ranch (with a basement, but he doesn't go down there), so that was a "not yet" answer ~ and he was borderline for speech. The pediatrician ~ whom I love, but am a little frustrated with about this ~ is wanting us to call that early childhood place again. Since they said they would follow up in May and the PT gave me her name and number if I had questions before, I will call her directly and see what she thinks. Also, over the weekend, at my sister's, he proved he can crawl up a whole flight of stairs, and he learned a new word or two. Jack says "dog" now and it sounded like he said A's name and a couple of other things too. So honestly, I think it's so hard to follow those assessments. I understand why and that they are probably very helpful and a great tool, but sometimes, it's not a good indicator of skills/milestones. Also, she wants us to sign a form about vaccines, saying we are declining and it goes to the state or county health department. I really want to wait since I know we don't really need to sign anything till school starts (5 more years!) plus the way it reads somewhat worries me. We are not necessarily planning to get him any, but currently we are delaying until at least 2. E and A won't be getting anymore either. It's a personal decision based on lots of research and loads of discussion with Jas. I know it's a controversial choice and people may not agree but it's our choice. Besides, I have to say, he's been our healthiest boy so far... makes you wonder, you know?

OK. So back to the weekend's craziness!

Jas, E, Alex, Jack and I drove to Toledo, and took the older boys to Jason's parents' house for the weekend. Oh and Buddy, our dog. I have to say, my in-laws are pretty wonderful to not only take Ethan and Alex for 3 days but also our dog when they already have 2 of their own! It was super-helpful. After we dropped them off, we went to pick up my mom and visit my dad for a few minutes before heading South to Columbus!

On the way, we stopped at picked up my nieces (my sister's fiance's daughters), A - 10 and M - 12.

Friday night, we ate dinner and then between all of us girls, we got some of the wedding favors taken care of (no details, because I know some family members will be reading this! ;) ) and finally go some sleep.

We all woke up pretty early Saturday, some earlier than others *ahem, Matt!* (<--- he was up and out in the yard both days before us, building stuff!), ate a quick breakfast and headed out to the bridal store to look for dresses for us bridesmaids. Of course, the store had our appointment wrong, made Heather (my sis) pick up her dress that day ~ the wedding is in September... ~ and the first lady we worked with was so rude. We got "assigned" to a different, much nicer lady but we couldn't all agree on one dress. The one we all kind of liked was way over-budget, before alterations (and because I'm fat - hey, I am! - there was an additional $20-40 charge.) so we decided to keep looking.

Heather, the girls, mom, Jack, Chelsea (another bridesmaid) and her daughter and I went to lunch at IHOP in between shopping. I think it was a much needed break and we were able to sit and talk a little about our plans for a bridal shower.

 The next place we went to was not really any better. They were a little more polite, but the selection stunk and anything we did like didn't come in our color (hello, black is a pretty easy color for a dress, people!). No luck.

Off to the mall. Well, most of us. Chelsea and her daughter live about an hour from Heather and it was already after 4, so they had to get home. I feel bad that we wasted their time shopping. :( Chelsea is very nice and between her and her daughter, I was cracking up!

So we checked a few stores at the mall, to see if maybe they had any prom dresses that might work. Ugh. Time to just go home.

Late dinner - pizza which was yum! - and Heather and mom and the girls did some more of the favors while I tried to get Jack down for the night.

Oh by the way, Saturday was also my birthday. Not to mention, I'm not really a fan of clothes shopping but this was somewhat fun. Even when it was stressful, LOL. I got a sweet card from my honey.

Heather did some online searches and found another local bridal shop that opened at 11am Sunday that looked promising.

After a big breakfast, all of us girls and the baby went out to the shop, which is in a 120+ yr old farm house! To be honest, upon first sight, I was a bit nervous about their selection. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by three very sweet ladies who showed us where to look, got us what we needed and helped immensely. We found 5 dresses to try on and since the largest in-store size was a 12, we had M try on the dresses. 2 of them we somewhat liked, 2 we didn't really, and 1 we fell in love with. We can get it in black with ivory, it's much less expensive (by almost $100!!) and comes in every size we need. I tried it on with a corset-type strapless and while I couldn't get the 10 zipped all the way up, it gave me a good idea of the fit and I loved the flowiness (sp?) of it. By the way, Mom got it on, zipped and it was big on her! I think that put a big smile on her face :) She looked beautiful in it - too bad she's not a bridesmaid, LOL. Also the salesgirl didn't charge me the "extra" fee so I got it for the same price even though I needed larger than a 16 (typically they charge $25 per the manufacturer/designer). We put half down on mine, M's and A's. Chelsea and Marcy, the other bridesmaids, got pictures texted to them and they both answered with an affirmative answer :) Thank goodness. I was getting depressed that we were having such a hard time!

By this point it was after 1pm, so we had to get the van loaded so we could head back to Toledo, drop off Mom and go to Jason's parents' house. We didn't get there till 5:30. My MIL had dinner ready almost immediately (thankfully!) and we went out and played for a little while with the boys before cake and ice cream. We never got on the road till after 8, I think. Home around 10pm, boys were in their jammies, so they went straight to bed.

This morning was a little rough because all of us were tired from a long week/weekend and a late night again, and I didn't realize we had finished the juice boxes sometime last week so when I went to pack lunches this morning, I had to dig out $0.30 for each of the boys to buy milk (chocolate for E since he can't stand regular ~ he's got to have something with lunch and I don't have a small thermos for water that fits in their lunch bags :( ). We were late, but neither of them seemed to upset. I didn't remember till I was helping E at his locker, that I forgot snacks for both of them. It's going to be a long day...

Oh. Yeah. The title of the post is 32. I forgot. I turned 32 on Saturday. But apparently I look 17. According to A, at least. LOL. That was a great compliment. I look half my age! Yay! But I also don't look old enough to have kids, she said. Hehehe. Silly, sweet girl.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Daybook #1 - April

FOR TODAY - April 2, 2013

Outside my window...
It's sunny but cold! After such nice weather this weekend (50's Saturday and Sunday!), it's somewhat frustrating that it's cooler today. We've all been looking forward to more spring-like weather. Oh well. The older boys decided to go out and play for a bit this morning and now they are playing video games.

I am thinking...
I should get a particular blog post written that I've been thinking about since last Monday. The ideas have been floating around in my head for a week and I'm not entirely sure where to start. The most important thing: I know there are SEVERAL other parents (not to mention at least one teacher) who agrees with me about some things. Also it's difficult to not say something to people when they are doing things that, at least to me, don't really make sense! At the same time, it's even more difficult to say anything to them about it without worrying about offending them. And to the mom who said to me this week "Well, you probably don't like me then, I'm the mom who sends in a big bag of candy for the class to share!", you're right - while I do like you as a person, I don't appreciate the actions of parents who send junk in to the classroom. The students get parties galore, as well as teachers using it as a motivational tool, not to mention the outside-of-school treats. By the way, NO it does NOT make me feel better that our school is "way healthier than the public schools." Because if this is "way healthier", it just shows what a pitiful state we are in when in comes to our understanding of good food and moderation in regards to treats.

I am thankful...
that my husband is thoughtful. A co-worker and friend passed away tragically and unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago while away for work. Jason has done everything he could to help the man's family and especially his wife during this time, including getting him home. His wife asked Jason to be a pall-bearer and he agreed. While I'm sure this has been hard on everyone at work, I've seen the toll it's taken on Jas and how it's made him see things a little differently.

In the kitchen...
Jas cooked spaghetti for dinner, the dishwasher is running, leftovers are in the fridge and I am trying hard to stay away from the mini p.b. Snickers.

I am wearing...
My favorite jeans, a black tank top and a long-sleeve Harley shirt. Layers are good for nursing ;)

I am creating...
At the moment, nothing. I finished the hat I've been knitting for over a month, my first time following a pattern!! Time for a new project.

I am going...
to bed earlier than last night - 1:00am is way too late :)

I am wondering...
if I should just go and ask for what I want. Also if we should keep considering a move.

I am reading...
currently nothing! Although there are a few new free kindle books I want to start. I can't remember the names right now though!

I am hoping...
this week will bring some nice weather and we can go for some more walks.

I am looking forward to...
maybe taking the boys to the art museum. Also to next weekend!

I am learning
to take things in stride, as much as I can ;) And that E and Alex are growing up.

Around the house...
I've got lots of laundry to fold. I washed it all Friday so we would have clean clothes when we went to Ohio over the weekend but didn't get it folded and put away. Also, I would like to take this week, since the boys are on spring break, to clean and organize their room, the guest room and most importantly their desks! Thinking we they I will clean and go through the basement/playroom if there is a good time.

One of my favorite things...
mini peanut butter snickers. 'Nuff said.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
watch Army Wives x2
go to Ohio to do some wedding planning/dress shopping and of course, spend time with some of my family ;)
who knows what else - Jungle Java? Park?

For more daybook entries or to participate, go here: The Simple Woman's Daybook