Answers to *those* questions {FF}

5faves answers

And by *those* questions, I mean the ones that larger than average families tend to get asked on a regular basis.

Disclaimers before I start:
1) I don’t think most of these questions are really anyone’s business except for the husband, wife and God. So why am I going to bother to answer them? Because people are curious (I know I am), and I genuinely think most people (note: I said “most” not “all”) aren’t asking to be mean or rude.
2) These aren’t going to be “snarky replies”, I’m really not that kind of person, so these are my in-real-life answers.

1 ~ Are you done yet? / Is this the last one? / Plans for more? / {things like that}

Real life answer: I dunno.
{I find this totally throws people for a loop. Like, they know what they’d answer if I said “yes” or “no”, but indecision… they get nothing!}

I don’t answer that way because I’m undecided about whether or not to have more kids (well, I am undecided… depends on the day). But I answer that way because I honest and truly don’t know if I will have more children. After this baby is born, I will be a grand total of 30 years and 3 months old. That leaves me with approximately 15 years (???) of potential fertility. Guys, thats a long time. That’s a long time to never “accidentally” get pregnant. A long time to chart perfectly. To me, especially, it seems a long time to never get pregnant.

But, I’ve also seen the other side (albeit on a shorter time line). I could try every month of those 15 years and never conceive again. The fact is, whether we have another baby or not is not totally up to me; I have my husband to consider as well. But ultimately it’s not up to us. We can make plans, but God can open and close wombs at will.

Why not just use birth control? Read on…

2 ~ So, why not just use birth control?

This is a multilayered answer.

First, non-religious answer: I don’t like it. The two times I was on it, it totally screwed up my cycles. I’m not 100% sure, but I also think it did something to my body which made it have a harder time getting pregnant (with Zachary). I also don’t believe it’s is good for a woman’s body.

Second, Jared didn’t like me using it (completely for religious reasons). The combined five months I was on it, we argued almost daily about whether or not I should be. That gets old. And at one point I realized I needed to make a choice between what was better for our marriage. Combine that with my first point and I quit.

Third, religious answer: I belong to a Church that clearly says “no birth control”. I’ve made a choice to live by these teachings. Usually if I just say something like “I’m Catholic” they say “Oh” (like, she’s one of those guys… And yeah, I am, but it’s also the reasons above.)

{Side note: complete strangers have never asked me this, but plenty of doctors, nurses, midwives, etc… have}

3 ~ Are they all yours? / You’ve got your hands full.

Real life answer: Yup, they are. / Yup, I do.

I mean, my kids all look pretty alike. And I’m told they look like me, but I don’t always see that. So…… what do want me to say?

This is especially where I want to reiterate my point from the opening that most people aren’t asking to be mean. I’ve never gotten this question asked in any way except wonder and awe and genuine happiness over the fact. Surprise maybe, but nothing negative.

4 ~ Are you trying for a girl?

Real life answer: No. {I like to beat around the bush, can you tell?}

I believe children are a gift. All of my pregnancies I’ve been truly thankful for the blessing of another child, long before I knew the gender. I think it was after Karl, where I was wishing a little more for another girl, that I realized “who am I to tell God what I need to have”. I’m not God. I didn’t designate the gender of my children. Doing something {trying} so that you can get a specific thing {gender} from God starts bordering on territory where you, as the human being, are trying to dictate to God how the world will work. Not a place I’m willing to venture.

Someone asked me with Z. if I was hoping for a girl. I respond “If God wants to ask me what gender I’d like, I’ll be more than happy to tell him I think I’d like a girl, but God hasn’t come asking, so I’m fine with him making the decision.

5 ~ Do you have a TV? / You do know how this happens, right? / {that particular list can go on and on…}

Real life answer: Yes. I have a degree in Biology.

Like, a real live university degree in Biological Sciences, not like a Univ. of Hard Knocks degree in Bio. Well, actually I may have that one too by this point… But… really. Yes. I know how it works. You can’t get through a biology degree without studying the reproductive cycle of every single organism on the planet (that includes human beings… and those weird little microscopic things at the bottom of the ocean, because really, knowing that will change your world.)


If I could just keep asking for prayers for Z. he’s having some sort of reaction to something/skin breakout of unknown origin. Its weird. Like bumps all over his face. We’re seeing a dermatologist tomorrow.

Linking with Jenna for #5faves

P.S. Sorry for the length… thanks for reading to the end! ❤

Five Favorite indoor activities for the kiddos (no TV or Crafts!)

I’ve been thinking of doing a post like this for over a year. I know because last year around this time I was struggling with “what-to-do-with-the-last-few-weeks-of-cold-weather”.. And I didn’t write it because it was right at the end of the cold weather, so I figured it wouldn’t be useful (and that theoretically I’d get it written at the beginning of the next cold weather time and have it be useful for someone…) But clearly I did not remember that little bit of advice to self, because here I am again at the end  (I hope) of cold weather and I still didn’t write that post….

So, I gonna just write it now and ya’ll can file it away in the back of your minds for next cold weather time, K? K.

Sometimes during winter it’s just too cold to venture outside. Or maybe it’s just too cold to be out for a long time. You know, like more than 15 minutes.

Now, I don’t mind doing the normal stuff like reading books to the kids and such, but I have a limit to how many read alouds I can actually do (I know,I know, you should always read to your kids, but sometimes my voice needs a little break…)

I *try* to keep Netflix for times when I REALLY need it, like when it’s been four days and I realize I’m not going to get a shower unless I take drastic measures -OR- the day has just completely unraveled and it’s still over an hour until daddy comes home -OR- something along those lines…

And, another mommy confession: I really DON’T like crafts… so…. I don’t do them. I will let the kids have at ’em, but sometimes the mess or the fights over who gets which pair of scissors or who cut up someones special green paper (that had the interpretive “drawing” of the the big polar bear sitting on the Christmas Tree….), just gets to be too much.

But, that can leave us with plenty of “free” time. Kiddos are pretty good at inventing their own games (#1 and #2), sometimes they need a little inspiration.

So, here’s a few things you can do (or let the kids do) when you’re needing to be indoors for extended periods of time.

Pillow Down

pillow down

Now, I realize this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for reference, my kiddos have been doing this for over a year and we’ve only lost one pillow case… They’ve also used cardboard boxes… and blankets…

Making Chair Forts/Pirate Ships/Trains


The key here is to not get too worked up about the mess….

phfr (1 of 1)


My guys love, allow me to repeat that: LOVE doing chores. Especially washing the dishes

They also get pretty excited about sweeping the floor… and mopping, definitely mopping. Oh, and using the squirt bottle (with homemade cleaner)! That’s always a fun activity 🙂

Cooking/Meal Prep


Always with parental supervision of course!


{Princess crown optional}

Reorganize bookshelves

One of my go-to activities when we all need something to break up the monotony is to reorganize a shelf. Bookshelf. School shelf. Or simply put away all accumulated junk on one of the many shelves around here.

The kids really don’t mind doing the running up and down stairs that is usually required, especially for bookshelf moves. They also especially enjoy if they are allowed to run stuff up to the 3rd-floor/attic.

Yesterday we started moving contents of the overflowing school “closet” to a bookshelf in the basement (right near their play room). Not everything, just some of the boxed puzzle/learning-games. They didn’t mind the running up and down, but I’ve already found an added benefit to having those items shelved there. It used to be they were so buried in the school shelf that we never got them out (too hard to reach and too much stuff to dig through), but since they’ve been visible for the last 24 hours, the kids have repeatedly gotten something down and used it. Usually they bring it up to the dining room table, play with it, then bring it back down and put it away. I noticed the same thing when I moved the games out into the open onto reachable shelves.

Kids occupied! Wins all around 🙂


Linking with 5 Favorites at Jenna’s 

Last five favorite Christmas Books

Ok, so I know the Christmas Season officially ended yesterday, but… there’s those side notes that some places celebrate Christmas until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (next Sunday) or even the Presentation of the Lord (Feb 2)…. so counting by those dates, I’ve still got a little time. 😉

Anyways, I wanted to share a few new-to-us (except the first, it was from the library) Christmas books this year.

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

This was such a cute library find (am hoping to procure it sometime in the next year to add to our collection). It’s about a little mouse, Mortimer, who, unhappy with his dark, cold, mouse hole, goes in search of a better house. He eventually spots a perfect mouse-sized house in the family crèche, the only problem is the miniature figures who live there and must be removed daily…

Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas

A sweet story where in the forest animals find Santa asleep, and are nervous that there won’t be Christmas he’s tired… Santa goes on to tell the real Christmas story and how it has nothing to do with him. And yet, he still gives gifts in memory of the real gift: Christmas itself.

Love was the gift God gave to us on the first Christmas, and it still is, you know. And this love is far better than any presents I can ever deliver.

silk diapers
A Dozen Silk Diapers

A mother spider and her children help out around the stable where they live. Things such as giving the lamb a cast, mending the roof… When a woman arrives and gives birth the children want to go down and meet the baby (like they do every other animal that is born). One brave little spider does and falls into the manger, Mary rescues him and sends him on home. When the mother spider sees that some men came and left gifts she decides to give a gift too. Working all night, her and her children make twelve diapers. (Such a practical gift).


Christmas Lullaby

This is a super simple book. Not a lot of words, beautiful pictures. Tells the story of all the animals bringing something as a gift for the Baby Jesus.

advent calendar
The Story of Christmas with Its Own Advent Calendar

I saw this at Savers and bought it without reading it through very closely, so I missed the fact that there is a calendar that accompanies it. But this is still very usable with out a calendar. (I also put it up on a shelf and promptly forgot about it until half way through Advent, so we’ll do this one next year). Clearly my brain was fully functioning…

Anyways, this book tells the Christmas story in little short narrations (a few paragraphs). One bit of the story every day of December. It starts with a few selections about Isaiah the prophet, moves on to Mary, Joseph, jumps over to the wise men, seeing the star, beginning their journey, and it continues.

I thought it was well organized. A bit more than an Advent Calendar where you just open the windows. Short enough sections you could read it at the breakfast table.


Linking with Jenna for FiveFavorites
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Five Favorites {mantillas/veils}

Going to do my second ever Five Favorites. In light of the recent post about veiling at Mass, I decided to share a few, mind you, just a few of the gorgeous veils I’ve found that…. um…. if anyone wanted to get me for my birthday (next week) or Christmas or really, just because… then that would be fine with me! But in all seriousness veils are beautiful.


St Aleydis black

St. Aleydis’ Black Mantilla

I love the fullness of this one. I tend to gravitate to veils that have more pattern. Not necessarily more busy, but I like the pattern filled in as opposed to tulle with a one or two flower motifs.


black Saint Afra

Black Mantilla in honor of Saint Afra

I absolutely LOVE the little flowers. I couldn’t make out from the picture, and the description didn’t provide many clues, but I think they may be light blue? Anyway, lovely, lovely, lovely.


Spanish rectangle - no fringe

Spanish – rectangle (no fringe)

When I first saw a rectangle veil, I thought that it was just a little too much, but after sitting on the image for a few days, I’ve decided that I love how they drape! It reminds me of the head coverings of the East, which I find beautiful.


Spanish medallion

Spanish Medallion

Classic veil I think. I love the Spanish style. This picture shows the gold veil, the black one would be more my style, but must get this post done and posted since little ones are stirring!


La Mexicana

La Mexicana

There were several veils shown on this page link. This one I liked the best. Another rectangle, a bit more flowery. But I did like another of the ones listed there too, La Latina.

Linking up over at Moxie Wife for Five Favorites! Head there to check out more!

Five Favorite {1}: Library Finds this week

Thought I’d share a few library finds of the last week or so. We tend to grab tons of books every time we go, and I really wanted to remember a couple. These definitely fall into the pre-school category. In no particular order of favorites:


a feast for 10

A Feast for 10 – Cathryn Falwell

This is a counting book. I have a weakness for counting books, maybe it’s just my unfinished math degree talking, but I do love counting books. This one I enjoyed because there is a little more “story” to it. It follows a family as they go on a shopping trip for their feast, and it goes through the numbers 1-10. It also keeps following them as they return home, and prepare food for their feast, also going through the numbers 1-10. It ends with all the family gathered around the table enjoying a meal together. I really enjoyed the family aspect: the entire family shops, the entire family cooks, the entire family eats.


A gift of gracias

A Gift of Gracias – Julia Alvarez

A poor farming family, on the brink of having to close their farm and move to the city when they receive a vision to plant an orange grove in a specific location on the farm. They do, giving thanks to the Lady of Altagracia as they’re doing so. She blesses their planting, the harvest is abundant and almost more than the family can keep up with. I enjoyed this story because it was one of Our Lady, but also because it’s about trust, hard work and in giving thanks.


construction countdown

Construction Countdown – K.C. Olson

While I didn’t mind reading this to my 3-year-old son over and over again, there wasn’t any story line. The reason it makes my list this week is because it’s a “countdown” book, and I used it as a jumping off point to start backwards counting with the kids.


the curious garden

The Curious Garden – Peter Brown

This book is set in an urban jungle where no one likes to go outdoors, except for a boy named Liam. On his “adventures” he discovers a dying garden on top of the abandoned railroad tracks and starts to care for it. The garden responds to his care and begins to “explore” more of the railroad tracks with Liam. After three months of winter, Liam helps his garden to awaken, and the garden decides to explore the rest of the city. It expands further and further, eventually changing people’s minds about being outdoors. Cute little book with great illustrations.


winniethepooh abc

Winnie-the-Pooh’s ABC – A.A. Milne

Did I also mention I have a weakness for ABC books? No? Well, I do. There isn’t some half-completed English degree to blame this one on though. Anyways, I enjoyed this one mostly for the illustrations. They’re done by the original illustrator for W-the-P. They’re very simple illustrations. I also liked the fact that most of the words were done with the lowercase letter (a few exceptions were with proper nouns).

Linking up with Houswife Spice (What we’re Reading Wednesday) and Moxie Wife (Five Favorites)