Katherine’s First Communion

Breaking blogging silence to bring you…. a photo dump…

Yesterday Katherine made her first communion! Honestly, up until day of it didn’t hit me exactly how HUGE of a deal this is. 1st communion

She had a lot of fun picking out her dress and veil. And she seemed to enjoy going to the class, most of the time. I had pretty much just been caught up in the details of getting things done for the past few weeks…

 

But…. Somewhere between wrangling little ones and finding seats in a super full Mass

{Seriously, guys, I didn’t know there were about 45 kids making their first communion!!!..}1st communion-4

and grabbing a few pictures of Kat and a special friend…

I managed to settle into the beauty and the solemnity of the moment.

Seeing Katherine receive Jesus for the first time, was…. I don’t even know how to describe it. And, if it’s possible, I felt even more emotional today when she received right in front of me. I think it had to do with her being not only the first of our kids to receive, but also the first in our extended family as well (as neither Jared or I grew up Catholic).

It was just beautiful. A beautiful moment.

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Quick Takes {January Edition}

1. Ice Skating

Early in January, right before my sister returned to school in CA, she and my brother and their significant others, did the very auntie uncle task of taking the big kids Ice Skating.

I video chatted with them while they were there. My quick observations were: Katherine seems to be ok (definitely better than last year), Johny at least doesn’t fall too much, and Karl just goes for the outing.

Anyway, they had fun.

Here’s a pretty long video, but if you’re interested 🙂

2. Sick

The day after they went skating, Karl got sick. Then the babies. Then the big kids.

Oh. It. Was. Fun.

That continued for well over a week.

Then they passed it to me.

Blah.

It was just a bad cold and not a stomach bug, but still…..

Fortunately Jared didn’t get hit with it too hard, but he did manage to have a nice serious foot/ankle/gout flareup which kept him out of work for a few days.

3. My birthday is coming down!

Karl turned 5!

{Birth Story if you’re into that sort of thing: Here it is!}

He had been counting down his birthday since the bigger kids had their birthday last September and seemed to be getting the whole timing of things a little more this time around; at least in the general sense. For example, he finally got the concept that it was my birthday then Christmas then January then… still a few days till his birthday. He  basically asked every day since January began “what day it is?” {what date} and “how many days till my birthday?” He was in one of his frequent “talking all the time about the most random things” modes and “My birthday is coming down” came out of his mouth.

We managed to get just well enough from being sick to have a birthday party. He was thrilled. Had two cakes and everything 🙂

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{And also blew out candles on pancakes on his actual birthday breakfast}

4. Lack of Teeth

Nicki is now 10 months!

Crawling upstairs and onto low beds, however he has yet to master getting down, so that’s been a slight problem. We’re working on it, but he’s not really grasping the concept yet.

Attempting to let go of furniture and “fall-walk” towards another piece of furniture.

Pretty sure he says something like “Cahhhhh” and it means “Cat”, otherwise he doesn’t say much.

Weighed just over 20lbs (or maybe it was 21? I don’t remember) at his last appointment.

Pretty much will eat everything that’s given him. He especially seems to love finishing off Z’s juice/milk cups. So… yeah, he’s had real milk a full two months “early”.

Loves the vacuum.

No teeth. Poor guy needs to get them in ASAP because I think they’re making him super duper cranky and that’s just no fun.

5. New Hobby

I took up embroidery a few weeks back. I’m slowly working on a small sampler with a grand total of seven (that’s right 7) different stitches. But because I have so many hobbies it’s not moving very fast.

It has turned out to be simpler than I thought it would. I mean, I’m not sure exactly why I thought it would be complicated, but… I did.

Anyways, it’s nice to grab some thread and do a row of stitches. I just don’t pick it up very often.

6 Football

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Don’t know if I blog-introduced our kitty. But, in case I didn’t, we got a kitty for Christmas. Her name is Eowyn (from Lord of the Rings).

Apparently she likes football.

Johny really got into it too. He had to go to bed during the Patriots game last Sunday and first thing he did Monday morning (like, literally first thing – I heard him jump out of bed and run immediately downstairs) was ask who won the game.

Now contemplating letting his stay up and watch the Super Bowl.

7. 

Signing off now because I just realized I have exactly 13 minutes left of “nap time” and I had a few more things I kinda needed to get done before the chaos starts again.
You know, all that lovely stuff…

Order books from the library…
Pay bills…
Check in with a linkup I joined last week, but haven’t participated in…

Yeah, that’s so not happening in 13 minutes 😉 Oh well, life 🙂

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Linking with Kelly for Quick Takes

Coffee Beans

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One of my favorites that I took this week. I used it for this week’s #thebethadilly52 prompt which was “My Style”. Briefly: I haven’t ever really thought about my style of photography. I mean, I like to take pictures of my kids. Mostly of the snapshot variety. Because mostly I love to show just everyday life.
But, occasionally I can convince one of them to pose for me and that opens up my “artsy” photo taking just a little bit more. 🙂
Overall, I think my style leans towards “dark and moody”. I like a little grit in my photos. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those nice crisp, white, clean, lifestyle photos that are so popular, but…. it’s not me.
As a bonus we were able to talk about where coffee comes from (these particular beans are from my uncle’s farm in Costa Rica). And could we plant it in our garden? (no… sadly). I’d like to feel I made her world just a little bit bigger.
(Don’t forget, you can follow along with the rest of my 365 Project on Instagram)
~~~
Photalife

12 photos for 2016

I started looking through pictures, trying to get an idea of what I’d like to post… But… Man! Having to chose just ONE photo from each month?!?!?!?! I’ve made it through my January photos in the last 15 minutes and, really, just can’t decide…

January

Week 4 366-6

We did a quick trip to the DC/Baltimore area to visit Jared’s brother and family who were there for a temporary job. It was right after that huge blizzard that hit the area. And it was cold. Nice to see them, but next time we’re definitely going to pick a warmer month to traipse around DC.

Other happenings:
The kids saw their first movie in theaters (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) on Jan 1 (significant because of when they saw the most recent one). Karl turned 4!

February

12in122016

We had a snowstorm I guess. They all kinda blur together after a while. But I remember I went to take photos of the snow at a park (which I almost never do).

Other happenings:
One of my grandpas passed away on Ash Wednesday. We went to see the Americana LEGO expo at the mall (totally worth it, if there’s ever a LEGO show in your area!). And apparently the rest of February was warm because I have photos of kids running around outside without coats on…

MarchN birth story pics-2

Clearly, THIS is the event of Our Year! Baby Nicholas joined the family on March 13. (Birth story over here if you’re interested)

Other happenings:
We went with my family on a mini-vacation literally just before Nicholas was born.

April

366 Project Week 13-7

Wildflower bouquet from the kids. Love the spring time 🙂

Other happenings:
Nicholas was baptized, April 16 (that post here if you want to see)

May

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Apparently I let my kids play in the mud 🙂

June

Project 366 - Week 25-2

We grew roses! About the only thing that survived this year. We also picked the roses and nursed the baby, if my photos are any indication of the year! 🙂

July

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I guess you could just say: we do the same things over and over…. This time they happened to name the game “Orcs”. My guess is this was pretty soon after watching LOTR. We also managed to make it to the beach. It was, sadly, the only time we went this summer.

August

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We went for a “hike” in the woods. Quite possibly the first and only time we do that. I was glad to do it for the kids, but not so glad to carry Nicholas. We also started harvesting our grapes (oops, I lied above, about the roses, we also got grapes) and made grape juice.

September

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Jared and I went on vacation (with Nicki 🙂 ). The kids missed *him* more than us. {shrugs shoulders} Katherine started ballet and first communion class. And Kat and Johny had their annual ginormous double birthday party. (Someone PLEASE remind me that next year WE DO NOT want to do this… again…)

October

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We blew bubbles. We went to The Beach House. Flew Kites… took a very cold rainy walk on the beach (oops, sorry, lied again about the beach… but technically, we weren’t able to swim here… ). Zachary turned 2! And I spent a solid two weeks of the month making an Ahsoka Tano costume for Katherine for Halloween. (Link to that photo on IG if you’re interested). Oh… and Karl swallowed two pennies. {Face Palm}

November

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Katherine lost her first tooth, we went to visit an airplane (but not to fly in) and we played in the leaves. And also got in some quality candle blowing practice. 😉

December

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Made ourselves some cookies. Celebrated {myBirthdayChristmasPartiesNewYears}.

~~~

This is very likely the only “year in review” type post I’ll be doing. We had a very low key year overall. We basically just did life. Or, I heard this term from another blogger at one point: This was a Baby Year (meaning: a year when a new baby joined the family). Which for us translates into: staying home as much as possible and just doing the normal old everyday stuff: Laundry, dishes, cleaning, playing in the yard, reading books, doing school.. repeat, repeat, repeat.

I know it was a crazy, rough year for the rest of the world, but for us, at home: It was GOOD.

~~~

Bobbi at Revolution of Love is hosting the link up for “12 in 2016” if you’re interested in adding your own. Or if nothing else, take a few minutes and go through your photos for the year. It was really fun to just see those pictures again. 🙂

Happy New Year!

 

Religious Education… in the home {mostly} // {a JEI post}

re

The ladies from The Zelie Group are chatting about religious education today, and I thought I’d join in.

First off, let me state: my background in RE? Absolutely none. I wasn’t raised Catholic, didn’t go to Catholic school, nada. So, the whole teach your child your religion thing was a little intimidating when it first appeared on my radar.

I have found though, that it’s gotten easier. When we first joined the Church (my really, super, long winded Conversion story starts here if you want to read…) our oldest was 3 1/2. At the time there were tons and tons (and tons) of Catholic mommy blogs sharing “ways to bring your faith into the home” sorts of posts. Now, I’m not saying they were bad, no, by all means they were great. But… I wasn’t ready for them. I was still trying to wrap my head around what  was supposed to be/do/say/etc.. and I had no idea how I was supposed to teach ALL THAT to these little kids, and I ended up just very overwhelmed.

{Here’s where I start answering this week’s questions…}

1. Do your children attend your parish’s religious education program? 

Yes and No

Katherine is in 2nd Year First Communion with the parish. So, in that sense, obviously “Yes, we DO use the parish’s RE program”.

But, so far, only for the “Sacrament” Years. The parish offers RE from Kinder through Confirmation (which I think is 10th grade for them). And while it’s highly recommended (and I can totally see the reasoning), we decided not to attend when we started first grade (homeschool) last year. Jared graduated from Seton (Catholic homeschool) and loved their religion program, so I thought, how hard could it be? And we ended up going with that. The other reasons we didn’t go were time commitment and cost.

I have been glad for Katherine to be going this year. Not so much for “new content”, but I’m noticing that she’s picking up on things in a new way from her teacher there. She’s been way more chatty about topics of Faith – maybe to the extent of showing off to her younger brothers – but that’s opened up times of discussion.

We’re still doing a partial religion program at home this year, and I’ve noticed a lot of progress in her understanding (we’re still in the basics here, but still… progress!) Maybe it’s just her age, maybe that whole “Age of Reason” thing really does play into it. But regardless, she’s starting to remember stuff, she’s starting to think things through, and she’s asking SOOOOO MANY QUESTIONS (ohmygoodness… so many questions). But, it’s all good. It’s helping me too 😉

2. Do you or have you ever taught religious education? Tell us about it.

Only with the kiddos at home.
I still feel like too much of a baby Catholic, although it’s been nearly four years, so I guess I’m not so much “baby” any more. Maybe pre-schooler… I don’t know how comfortable I’d be teaching other people’s children.

3. What are your favourite religious education resources for kids?
For the little kiddos (maybe 5 and under?) I think the best thing you can do is just to live your faith. Attend Mass. Pray together. Read Bible stories.

I linked to this post the other day, but this book list is a picture book list for the Jesse Tree, which, in a nutshell, gives an overview of history of Jesus, from creation to his birth. Anyway, she has some really great picture book recommendations for Bible stories, and my kids love listening to them.

For parts of our school work we’re using the resources from Mater Amabilis (we’re in Level 1A). This link is to the General Lesson plans for that level, but the religion section is the first item (after the “General Instruction” section). We have substituted their catechism for the Seton Religion program (it’s there, on that link, that’s just the entire 2nd grade curriculum), but other than that I’ve really been enjoying the book recommendations they’ve put up (on the M.A. site).

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I think that’s all for this evening folks. It’s suddenly than I thought. And I’ve been really REALLY trying to be off electronics for at least a little while before bed. Also, books won’t read themselves 😉

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