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Archive for August, 2007

I have inherited some European Montessori Files/Folders that I have been going through to see how they are put together.  I want to create other continents files WITH my older children for them to prepare for the younger ones.  I want to do this over the course of the year…NOT all at once.  I am placing all of my files in a new 2 drawer file cabinet.  I have these files in the top drawer of said cabinet and I am storing some go-alongs behind the files stacked on the bottom of the drawer.  The other drawer is for the files we will be making.  I can see how simple this all can be…more about that at the end of the post…here is what I am looking at with the Europe Continent Files in front of me:

Each file is in an expandable file folder and it labeled with the country name.

  • Inside the file are pictures that are backed with red poster board covered with thin laminate.  (Red being the Montessori color for Europe.)  I can see that clear contact paper would work well for this laminating purpose due to the weight of each item. 
  • The pictures vary in size from 2×2 to 8×10.  I can see that keeping the size under 8×10 would be good for storage purposes.
  • There is a piece of sandpaper that is cut to the shape of the continent and is mounted to a piece of red poster board.  The total size of the poster board varies in size depending on the country represented.
  • There is a map mounted to red poster board and laminated. This is not folded and fits neatly into the file as well as the other pieces. 
  • There is a travel brochure in many of the files.
  • The back of each piece of poster board is labeled with the country name and the continent name. Some of the pics are labeled with the city name as well.
  • There are black and white (mostly hand drawn) copies of that country’s flag to color.
  • There is the same sized colored Flag made from poster board and laminated to use as a coloring reference

There are some "extras" in some of the files:

  • In Scotland, there are 8 sets of  5×5 squares of plaid to match.
  • In Netherlands, there is a hand written note listing: Holland, Gouda, cheddar, cheese tasting, buttermilk, Science-make pinwheels,  Netherlands, Monkey Bread, Dance with wooden shoes, Art (Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer)
  • In France:  It is loaded with pictures.  There is a French child magazine, a activity book from a French Mc Donald’s, there is a zip loc bag filled with labels for the months of the year in French.
  • In Italy: lots of travel postcards
  • In Spain:  a zip lock bag filled with labels for the months of the yearin Spanish.  The pics are mostly pics of Madrid.
  • In England: The Biggest file! 
  1. Homes of England…a pink poster board type envelope filled with pics of types of homes and definitions and labels, clearly labled on front of poster board envelope: Homes of England
  2. Towns of England…Hand labeled map with major town names with England printed on the bottom of the map in on primary ruled lines.
  3. "Picture Map of the City of London"   a pink poster board book bound with chicken rings and covered with laminate.   A hand made "book" that has typewritten pages and maps that are laminated to the poster board pages that discuss the history of London very briefly.
  4. "London Capital City" a pink poster board book bound with chicken rings and covered with laminate.  Inside, there are pics cut from magazines on the left and typewritten text that was glued to the page.  Included are Port of London, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders, The City, The Bank, Fleet Street, St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Houses of Parliment, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace
  5. "The Geography of England" a pink poster board book bound with chicken rings and covered with laminate.  Inside there is a hand colored map of Great Britain and Ireland showing all the land and water forms.  Simply labeled (lake, strait, island, etc..)  The opposite page includes the Land and water forms listed as on the map (for example: Peninsula- the southwest peninsula of England) and Names of waters surrounding the British Isles and names listed (total 4)  Geographical Regions of England with map, Rivers of England (with  labeled map), The Economy of England (with hand drawn labeled map)
  6. Big foldout map of England (similar to a National Geographic type map)

Phew!  Some of my go-alongs that I will be using will be behind these files inside the cabinet.  I  have a small bag of coins in a velvet crown royal drawstring bag and I am looking for a book to go with it to help identify the coins.  I have continents and countries of the world card games….just to name a few.   

Continents_map_2
I would love to amass art and travel postcards to include, too!  Wouldn’t it be nice to have groups of various items…like toob animals or art cards or even saints cards or medals that can be placed on a  large  felt  map that can be unfurled on the floor…I was even thinking that I could do this with a roller shade…it is durable and washable!!  I want to make an "landform" map too filled withLandformmatlarge
landforms!  They can be stored rolled up with some of our other maps and charts …all stored in a wooden looking wastebasket used for this purpose (thanks to Home Goods and Marshals ;)…ooh and some command cards to go with these items…ok, ok…I am going off on a tangent.  But at least it all goes together, somehow….to be continued with my Geography post coming up soon!

So back to the files.  When preparing future continent files I can see that the use of any construction paper would be bad because of fading…I want this to be something we can pull out for more than the course of one year.  Clear contact paper for laminating is a very good option…there is a lot to be covered and because all of the pics are mounted on poster board they are stiff enough without getting thick laminate for durability.  Besides, it would save some of the budget for more books!!  When the pics are mounted it is as though the poster board is a frame of color around each of them and they are labeled on the back. 

I see that National Geographic is an excellent source of pics and even the captions under the pictures can be mounted on these poster board cards.  We get whole stacks of National Geographic every January from the town library for a $1. donation per stack.  (it pays to ask around for discards!  Don’t forget to ask for any magazines …especially nature and science ones…or even seed catalogs from family members.  They have sooo many uses!) 

The pictures in each file include, national monuments, geographical features, people eating, city streets and attractions, churches…think about what would be included in a travel brochure.  I would also include pics of saints and Catholic shrines and the like.   These cards would be great for viewing with children of all ages…they would stimulate good conversations, I am sure! And I am sure that my 12yo ds will make up some kind of fun game with them that will help us to look critically at the pics and retain learned information.

I would love to include some recipe cards in the files and have a discussion about ethnic foods.  Also, local customs, festivals, dress, animals, housing, music, fine art,….oh, the list goes on and on….I am thinking a lapbook on each country or continent would be wonderful for this!  A great re-telling tool for when grandma comes to visit!

Anything made for these files must be kept to the same size or smaller than a piece of paper or it will be very awkward to store.   Some of the  poster board representations of the European flags are pushing the size limit.  They have to sit just right in the file folder or they will be crushed when the file drawer closes.  It pays to think ahead.

I am still working on a post about how we are going to do our Geography studies this year….including some of the books that we will be using.  I am concentrating on how to incorporate all ages of my dc at once.  I really want Montessori-type geography to be more prevalent throughout the year than it has been in the past.  I can do so much more now that my baby is 2.5 and my eldest(s) are going on 14 (*sniff*…mixed blessing??) I am doing aaallll of this of course while re-organizing my school spaces, cleaning, cooking, laundry, bargain shopping, and actually watching the dc too….so I do hope it is ready sooner rather than later ;o)

God bless you as you prepare for your school year!
God love you!
~Donna Marie

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As I sit here with many windows open on my computer…searching sites, organizing bookmarks andLesson_planning_2

trying to jot my many thoughts into Word documents from my scribble books (spiral bound Mommy inspiration books gathered from the far corners of the house where they are strewed).   I am looking for inspiration as to how to piece this upcoming school year together.  I kinda feel like I am putting a 1000 piece puzzle together and sometimes even using a pair of scissors, a large mallet,  and some super-glue for the stubborn parts that I think should fit and won’t.  (I guess you could call that building an original…LOL)  I struggle a bit to make the big picture clear.  I don’t want it to be ME that gets in the way of success.  If I got in the way I would create a distorted picture like my 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  I need to use God’s spectacles on this project.  I gotta have a plan….a framework.  I need the proper tools and a good work ethic (including being open to use inspiration to the point of having a  willingness for perspiration..hey!  It is good exercise for the heart and that is a GOOD thing😉 ahem… and the ability to sit on my hands and bite my tongue if necessary)  and I want to build in many of the attributes of the divine builder.  I LIVE to be creative and I want to include a kind of thrill into learning….a sense of wonder.  I ask myself so much about each subject, each book, each idea… so many questions really.. like…

  • can I do this with more than one child at a time so we can involve as many of them in idea sharing and meaningful discussion and/or projects as I can?
  • is any idea or goal set for any of the children… beautiful… in some way?…
  • is it dry and boring or does it open the mind up to want to explore and learn more?
  • is it a real or just an ideal?
  • can I really do this in real time even with distractions and demands being made of me
  • will it make me a successful multi-tasker because it has an extra steering wheel built into it that helps the child to be self motivated and drive on his own at times so I am not steering allll of the time and he thinks the work is HIS and not just something I am making him do….
  • can this child find inspiration in this ?
  • can this child learn this abstract subject or can we build something that will lead them from 3D work into abstraction with seemingly difficult obstacles like math for the learning challenged…ala Montessori?

Yes, my thoughts run all over the place.  I wanted to have so many of my plans done already, but the Holy Spirit is directing me in a whole new way this time and I am trying to catch hold of that whisper He has placed on my heart.  It is like I have to keep sketching away until I can see the common thread that makes all the points come together in a usable format.  I am feeling like an evolving homeschooler…more seasoned…becoming more perfected at finding much practical living in all seasons…sickness and health.  I want to be successful in God’s terms if not in my own as well.  This is His deal anyway…He the playright and I am chief steward of the whole shebang…
No pressure ;o)…ah! to hear the words…"Well done my good and faithful servant…"

Little_red_schoolhouse_zoom_2
I want to see the potential of each child and help him fill himself with so much of life…living books, living ideas…a real learning environment.  I want him to own the information, to retain information given  and take what we have learned to new levels of understanding, new applications.  If they learn it they should be able to teach it and make it understandable to others…right?  I want them to teach me and each other.  I want to "share the love"…for any kind of discovery they make, I really want it to be contagious.  I want them to share the treasure they have found.

It reminds me of the game that my almost 12yo ds likes to play with his
siblings.  He likes to create treasure maps and leads his eager and
giggling siblings on rabbit trails finding clues to the ultimate hiding
place…He is selfless in his efforts and is very eager to see each
person delighting in the connections he sets up for each of them…He
makes it very personal and yet something for the whole of them at the
same time.  This game is played again and again…and as it is
practiced it becomes even more crafty and involved.  It reminds me also
of what every day of a good school day has been for us.

I even want the older ones to learn some Montessori presentations and like a well trained magician or actor, whichever you prefer, with a well trained eye and heart, share something AWESOME with the younger set.  I want them to learn the art of mentoring.  I also want the older ones to glean that there is a concrete reality to many of the abstract things they do now.  I want them to SEE with more than one sense how simply ordered subjects like math are so they can handle the abstract work with more finesse.  I have mentioned in the past that this technique works very well with my one dd who has some math and spelling issues.  Working with the younger ones is ironing out the kinks in some of her understanding.  She uses the natural strength and gift she has of leading the young ones effortlessly to aid her with her struggle with mastery of the order of numbers and letters.  She is looking at the whole thing from a different perspective now that she is older and it makes deeper sense to her.

I want to include training for all the senses..things to see, hear, touch, taste….Montessori presentations do this so well!…oh the fun games we could make from this idea!

I want to prepare the teacher in myself and yet want to prepare the inner teacher in each of my children using the budget God gave me, whether it be my time, money or talent. (oh the DREAMS I have for an unlimited budget…but much is to be learned by thrift too…God makes mountains out of what I perceive as my molehills….He has shown me that time and again if I have the eyes to see it.)   I have high dreams of doing more…God is giving me "sufficient" tools to build awesome structures…He must trust me a lot.  I am not overwhelmed with the prospect, quite the opposite…I see this as His great work and I am a player in it…I am awed by His way of doing things..making connections.  I can remember of a few occasions ..ok more than a few occasions… when God made a common thread appear throughout many of the subjects we were studying and it excited us to learn more…we kinda felt like we were on God’s rabbit trail…getting to know him in the beauty of nature, poetry, hear Him whispering throughout history and see His fingerprints all over this wonderful world that He created…

So I prayerfully discern…
I  want to work on development of habits and challenge ourselves with many subjects to train our minds toward good…giving each child a taste of great thoughts, ideas and art etc…I want to build in the beautiful.

  lol…I really don’t think there is a label for who we are, how we learn, or even proof of a perfectly checked off planning sheet to show we are perfect or admirable in our ideas or follow-through.  I know we could never be perfect anything, just the willing participants during  this grand time together..all be it all too short…to learn as a family…to grow and mature in grace and wisdom before both God and man.  We need a mission statement…maybe we should build that one together, too…

So then enters the time of my discernment as to how to put the pieces together and form a curriculum…I am praying about it…a novena for discernment.  At any time during the year, when inspiration hits, I hurry to type into a ready made word document or a spiral bound notebook…  Now I am taking that information and running with it.  I bookmark sites that I want us to explore together…print out booklists, pull books from shelves or  out of curricula catalogs and compile many lists for the library and then I turn around and look at the house…our learning places… and I want all my ideas and ideals compiled into  a full experience in a prepared environment.

Ok…so THAT must mean … the house needs planning too…(hmmm need to work more on that).

Constantly tweaking, I am ideally striving for chores that run themselves…like at a seasoned toothbrushing stage(you do it well without too much mental effort).

The end result, or the reality of all of this is more of a framework set in such a way that we can fall back on something when things get too interrupted by life’s events and build on something for future learning experiences.  So a framework building we go… ok lets see….to check it all off…
a framework that in addition to curricula and chores and habits training, must also include meal planning so menus are easy to prepare (and note to self…. that also includes a clean fridge) and never forgetting a deep prayer life full of meaningful encounters with God in the Liturgical year. 

I want a  stage set for success…and when this or any other of the stages I am preparing needs a good broom and a proper airing we will take the time off to set things to rights again.    So I really don’t want to have to use a pair of scissors any glue or a mallet to form my work of art.  I just want a good picture to focus on and enjoy.  I want it to be something that each child as well as myself can recognize and enjoy TOGETHER.  Am I reaching for perfection or just simplicity…just simplicity, at least I am pretty sure of this…so we can "simply live" and live fully.  Simplicity takes tweaking and work…I am up for that.  And as for live fully part, I want to live fully the liturgical year…and as a natural consequence I want us to be living our school year in the classroom of The Holy Family in a God-centered, family centered existence.

Read Full Post »

As I sit here with many windows open on my computer…searching sites, organizing bookmarks andLesson_planning_2

trying to jot my many thoughts into Word documents from my scribble books (spiral bound Mommy inspiration books gathered from the far corners of the house where they are strewed).   I am looking for inspiration as to how to piece this upcoming school year together.  I kinda feel like I am putting a 1000 piece puzzle together and sometimes even using a pair of scissors, a large mallet,  and some super-glue for the stubborn parts that I think should fit and won’t.  (I guess you could call that building an original…LOL)  I struggle a bit to make the big picture clear.  I don’t want it to be ME that gets in the way of success.  If I got in the way I would create a distorted picture like my 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  I need to use God’s spectacles on this project.  I gotta have a plan….a framework.  I need the proper tools and a good work ethic (including being open to use inspiration to the point of having a  willingness for perspiration..hey!  It is good exercise for the heart and that is a GOOD thing😉 ahem… and the ability to sit on my hands and bite my tongue if necessary)  and I want to build in many of the attributes of the divine builder.  I LIVE to be creative and I want to include a kind of thrill into learning….a sense of wonder.  I ask myself so much about each subject, each book, each idea… so many questions really.. like…

  • can I do this with more than one child at a time so we can involve as many of them in idea sharing and meaningful discussion and/or projects as I can?
  • is any idea or goal set for any of the children… beautiful… in some way?…
  • is it dry and boring or does it open the mind up to want to explore and learn more?
  • is it a real or just an ideal?
  • can I really do this in real time even with distractions and demands being made of me
  • will it make me a successful multi-tasker because it has an extra steering wheel built into it that helps the child to be self motivated and drive on his own at times so I am not steering allll of the time and he thinks the work is HIS and not just something I am making him do….
  • can this child find inspiration in this ?
  • can this child learn this abstract subject or can we build something that will lead them from 3D work into abstraction with seemingly difficult obstacles like math for the learning challenged…ala Montessori?

Yes, my thoughts run all over the place.  I wanted to have so many of my plans done already, but the Holy Spirit is directing me in a whole new way this time and I am trying to catch hold of that whisper He has placed on my heart.  It is like I have to keep sketching away until I can see the common thread that makes all the points come together in a usable format.  I am feeling like an evolving homeschooler…more seasoned…becoming more perfected at finding much practical living in all seasons…sickness and health.  I want to be successful in God’s terms if not in my own as well.  This is His deal anyway…He the playright and I am chief steward of the whole shebang…
No pressure ;o)…ah! to hear the words…"Well done my good and faithful servant…"

Little_red_schoolhouse_zoom_2
I want to see the potential of each child and help him fill himself with so much of life…living books, living ideas…a real learning environment.  I want him to own the information, to retain information given  and take what we have learned to new levels of understanding, new applications.  If they learn it they should be able to teach it and make it understandable to others…right?  I want them to teach me and each other.  I want to "share the love"…for any kind of discovery they make, I really want it to be contagious.  I want them to share the treasure they have found.

It reminds me of the game that my almost 12yo ds likes to play with his
siblings.  He likes to create treasure maps and leads his eager and
giggling siblings on rabbit trails finding clues to the ultimate hiding
place…He is selfless in his efforts and is very eager to see each
person delighting in the connections he sets up for each of them…He
makes it very personal and yet something for the whole of them at the
same time.  This game is played again and again…and as it is
practiced it becomes even more crafty and involved.  It reminds me also
of what every day of a good school day has been for us.

I even want the older ones to learn some Montessori presentations and like a well trained magician or actor, whichever you prefer, with a well trained eye and heart, share something AWESOME with the younger set.  I want them to learn the art of mentoring.  I also want the older ones to glean that there is a concrete reality to many of the abstract things they do now.  I want them to SEE with more than one sense how simply ordered subjects like math are so they can handle the abstract work with more finesse.  I have mentioned in the past that this technique works very well with my one dd who has some math and spelling issues.  Working with the younger ones is ironing out the kinks in some of her understanding.  She uses the natural strength and gift she has of leading the young ones effortlessly to aid her with her struggle with mastery of the order of numbers and letters.  She is looking at the whole thing from a different perspective now that she is older and it makes deeper sense to her.

I want to include training for all the senses..things to see, hear, touch, taste….Montessori presentations do this so well!…oh the fun games we could make from this idea!

I want to prepare the teacher in myself and yet want to prepare the inner teacher in each of my children using the budget God gave me, whether it be my time, money or talent. (oh the DREAMS I have for an unlimited budget…but much is to be learned by thrift too…God makes mountains out of what I perceive as my molehills….He has shown me that time and again if I have the eyes to see it.)   I have high dreams of doing more…God is giving me "sufficient" tools to build awesome structures…He must trust me a lot.  I am not overwhelmed with the prospect, quite the opposite…I see this as His great work and I am a player in it…I am awed by His way of doing things..making connections.  I can remember of a few occasions ..ok more than a few occasions… when God made a common thread appear throughout many of the subjects we were studying and it excited us to learn more…we kinda felt like we were on God’s rabbit trail…getting to know him in the beauty of nature, poetry, hear Him whispering throughout history and see His fingerprints all over this wonderful world that He created…

So I prayerfully discern…
I  want to work on development of habits and challenge ourselves with many subjects to train our minds toward good…giving each child a taste of great thoughts, ideas and art etc…I want to build in the beautiful.

  lol…I really don’t think there is a label for who we are, how we learn, or even proof of a perfectly checked off planning sheet to show we are perfect or admirable in our ideas or follow-through.  I know we could never be perfect anything, just the willing participants during  this grand time together..all be it all too short…to learn as a family…to grow and mature in grace and wisdom before both God and man.  We need a mission statement…maybe we should build that one together, too…

So then enters the time of my discernment as to how to put the pieces together and form a curriculum…I am praying about it…a novena for discernment.  At any time during the year, when inspiration hits, I hurry to type into a ready made word document or a spiral bound notebook…  Now I am taking that information and running with it.  I bookmark sites that I want us to explore together…print out booklists, pull books from shelves or  out of curricula catalogs and compile many lists for the library and then I turn around and look at the house…our learning places… and I want all my ideas and ideals compiled into  a full experience in a prepared environment.

Ok…so THAT must mean … the house needs planning too…(hmmm need to work more on that).

Constantly tweaking, I am ideally striving for chores that run themselves…like at a seasoned toothbrushing stage(you do it well without too much mental effort).

The end result, or the reality of all of this is more of a framework set in such a way that we can fall back on something when things get too interrupted by life’s events and build on something for future learning experiences.  So a framework building we go… ok lets see….to check it all off…
a framework that in addition to curricula and chores and habits training, must also include meal planning so menus are easy to prepare (and note to self…. that also includes a clean fridge) and never forgetting a deep prayer life full of meaningful encounters with God in the Liturgical year. 

I want a  stage set for success…and when this or any other of the stages I am preparing needs a good broom and a proper airing we will take the time off to set things to rights again.    So I really don’t want to have to use a pair of scissors any glue or a mallet to form my work of art.  I just want a good picture to focus on and enjoy.  I want it to be something that each child as well as myself can recognize and enjoy TOGETHER.  Am I reaching for perfection or just simplicity…just simplicity, at least I am pretty sure of this…so we can "simply live" and live fully.  Simplicity takes tweaking and work…I am up for that.  And as for live fully part, I want to live fully the liturgical year…and as a natural consequence I want us to be living our school year in the classroom of The Holy Family in a God-centered, family centered existence.

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It has been waaay too long…I have been decluttering the house for the past….SIX weeks?!  No, it can’t be THAT long…I am not done yet!  Wait!  I have to finish that first before I do anything else!…or do I?

It has been waaaay too long… I just KNEW it…but I kept putting the whole thing off…well, truth be told…a LOT of things have been put off for waaay too long.
Why do I always think things have to be perfect before I even try it…whatever the IT may be?

I got away from blogging for awhile. 
I decided I have to do this a lot more often for me
The reason? …I went to confession recently.  I knew what was coming before the priest said it…

Do you remember that saying …do unto others…

gulp…of course…here we go….

as you would have them do unto you…

snagged….guilty as charged

don’t you think it is time that you did unto your self the good you are doing for others?

wha?  Ok, I wasn’t expecting it to go this way….

Take time for yourself, mamma so that you can serve.  Get your sleep!  Take a walk ALONE if you must.  Find time for just you and God.

that was a pleasant surprise…and I was berating myself interiorly all that week.  My problem with serving was that I forgot to serve myself too.  Why was I not feeling peace with all the hard work I was doing…even though the kids do undo a certain percent of that..(an accepted given)…surely I must be able to feel totally awesome at this point for what I am accomplishing….yeah, plenty of "I" and not enough of "I AM" …don’t you think so, Moses?

I felt like it was that admonition you hear on the airplane to put the mask over your own mouth before you place it on the child…the reason for this of course is that you can’t help them if you can’t breathe.

Then I began to realize other things that I was forgetting to do.  Not big things like the bills…the little things that don’t amount to much, but matter to …someone

so yes, I was putting off too much for too long…lots of little.  Lots of little that we were missing.  As a result…

I have sculpey under my fingernails…and I think it  would have been nice if it was a more jazzy color because I think it will be under there forever.

There are tiny seed beads all over the dining room table…and in the carpet and under the secretary desk and in between the floorboards and those 3 cracks that run along the leaves in the table. 

The toddler (who if you ask me, is growing waaay too fast than is comfortable to bear) has pasted her whole body with shiny glitter glue with a tiny paint brush.  There are some shiny hearts, stars and moons in there….she thinks she is beautiful and prefers this to be the only garment worn..LOL…and oh yeah, she did this while sitting in the middle of said table, never missing an opportunity to share all she does in full view of everyone.

Why today?…
I woke up and realized that if I don’t make time to be messy, we will never do anything really fun. What was I going to do…just leave my perfectly organized art cabinet to grow dust…until "the RIGHT MOMENT"…maybe get ready for the grandchildren, perhaps??   I realized that my 2.5yo dd didn’t know how to roll out clay with a play rolling pin…that hit me right HERE…a pang of regret, perhaps? 

Today I was so excited to find that my 4yo ds loved to create…I was almost more excited than he to find what was lurking in that mottled piece of clay and the tens of thousands of ways he could uncover that greatness.  I found out that making  snakes and using feathers and Popsicle sticks on said snake was a pretty good thing.  And that just two googly eyes can open up a whole world to a little one.  I found out that  seed beads can make glorious fashions for so many people and are great for fine motor work for an almost 7 year-old…even if they are hard to clean up.  But, the 8yo made a great invention of a bead-picker-upper with an old pair of stockings and the vacuum cleaner hose and made it all well…even if he didn’t finish the job…what did that matter?  He made something brilliant and he felt it all the way to the tips of his happy toes.

What was that I said before??…live deliberately or you will deliberately forget to actually LIVE….
so I deliberately made a mess
or art, whichever you prefer
Was it an art in creating, or opening ourselves up to learning more about what we could actually accomplish or maybe an art in cooperative work….oh, what does it matter?…there are many arts and they have to start somewhere.  You just have to do it sometimes.  You just have to be willing to make a mess…a brilliant mess.

We were filled will expectation and celebration yesterday for our parish feast day.  We participated in a wonderful mass and potluck supper so no dishes got done yesterday.
I decided…not today either…nope…except maybe for a quick dishwasher run.   I figured that  all the decluttering in the world will never make things perfect in this house and I have to be flexible enough to make a mess with the kids and let my hair down a little.  As a wise mother of a friend of mine once said:

the dishes will always wait for you…the kids won’t…

AND I sit here …totally happy…observing that the children are so happy and are so at a contented peace that you can actually feel it in the air…I sit here with with sculpey under my fingernails…mostly that mottled color that happens when you mix every color you have into a little ball…sorta like that everything Easter egg dyed brown…I think it suits me…and my rug..and my dining room table and my dd’s hair. 

Yes, it suits us just fine…*deep contented sigh*
…just fine ;o)
tomorrow is another day.  I know what a washrag  and a vacuum cleaner is and how to use it..no worries! Welcome to our home. The kids are fed and happy…and oh yes, the over-dirt is clean ;o)

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It has been waaay too long…I have been decluttering the house for the past….SIX weeks?!  No, it can’t be THAT long…I am not done yet!  Wait!  I have to finish that first before I do anything else!…or do I?

It has been waaaay too long… I just KNEW it…but I kept putting the whole thing off…well, truth be told…a LOT of things have been put off for waaay too long.
Why do I always think things have to be perfect before I even try it…whatever the IT may be?

I got away from blogging for awhile. 
I decided I have to do this a lot more often for me
The reason? …I went to confession recently.  I knew what was coming before the priest said it…

Do you remember that saying …do unto others…

gulp…of course…here we go….

as you would have them do unto you…

snagged….guilty as charged

don’t you think it is time that you did unto your self the good you are doing for others?

wha?  Ok, I wasn’t expecting it to go this way….

Take time for yourself, mamma so that you can serve.  Get your sleep!  Take a walk ALONE if you must.  Find time for just you and God.

that was a pleasant surprise…and I was berating myself interiorly all that week.  My problem with serving was that I forgot to serve myself too.  Why was I not feeling peace with all the hard work I was doing…even though the kids do undo a certain percent of that..(an accepted given)…surely I must be able to feel totally awesome at this point for what I am accomplishing….yeah, plenty of "I" and not enough of "I AM" …don’t you think so, Moses?

I felt like it was that admonition you hear on the airplane to put the mask over your own mouth before you place it on the child…the reason for this of course is that you can’t help them if you can’t breathe.

Then I began to realize other things that I was forgetting to do.  Not big things like the bills…the little things that don’t amount to much, but matter to …someone

so yes, I was putting off too much for too long…lots of little.  Lots of little that we were missing.  As a result…

I have sculpey under my fingernails…and I think it  would have been nice if it was a more jazzy color because I think it will be under there forever.

There are tiny seed beads all over the dining room table…and in the carpet and under the secretary desk and in between the floorboards and those 3 cracks that run along the leaves in the table. 

The toddler (who if you ask me, is growing waaay too fast than is comfortable to bear) has pasted her whole body with shiny glitter glue with a tiny paint brush.  There are some shiny hearts, stars and moons in there….she thinks she is beautiful and prefers this to be the only garment worn..LOL…and oh yeah, she did this while sitting in the middle of said table, never missing an opportunity to share all she does in full view of everyone.

Why today?…
I woke up and realized that if I don’t make time to be messy, we will never do anything really fun. What was I going to do…just leave my perfectly organized art cabinet to grow dust…until "the RIGHT MOMENT"…maybe get ready for the grandchildren, perhaps??   I realized that my 2.5yo dd didn’t know how to roll out clay with a play rolling pin…that hit me right HERE…a pang of regret, perhaps? 

Today I was so excited to find that my 4yo ds loved to create…I was almost more excited than he to find what was lurking in that mottled piece of clay and the tens of thousands of ways he could uncover that greatness.  I found out that making  snakes and using feathers and Popsicle sticks on said snake was a pretty good thing.  And that just two googly eyes can open up a whole world to a little one.  I found out that  seed beads can make glorious fashions for so many people and are great for fine motor work for an almost 7 year-old…even if they are hard to clean up.  But, the 8yo made a great invention of a bead-picker-upper with an old pair of stockings and the vacuum cleaner hose and made it all well…even if he didn’t finish the job…what did that matter?  He made something brilliant and he felt it all the way to the tips of his happy toes.

What was that I said before??…live deliberately or you will deliberately forget to actually LIVE….
so I deliberately made a mess
or art, whichever you prefer
Was it an art in creating, or opening ourselves up to learning more about what we could actually accomplish or maybe an art in cooperative work….oh, what does it matter?…there are many arts and they have to start somewhere.  You just have to do it sometimes.  You just have to be willing to make a mess…a brilliant mess.

We were filled will expectation and celebration yesterday for our parish feast day.  We participated in a wonderful mass and potluck supper so no dishes got done yesterday.
I decided…not today either…nope…except maybe for a quick dishwasher run.   I figured that  all the decluttering in the world will never make things perfect in this house and I have to be flexible enough to make a mess with the kids and let my hair down a little.  As a wise mother of a friend of mine once said:

the dishes will always wait for you…the kids won’t…

AND I sit here …totally happy…observing that the children are so happy and are so at a contented peace that you can actually feel it in the air…I sit here with with sculpey under my fingernails…mostly that mottled color that happens when you mix every color you have into a little ball…sorta like that everything Easter egg dyed brown…I think it suits me…and my rug..and my dining room table and my dd’s hair. 

Yes, it suits us just fine…*deep contented sigh*
…just fine ;o)
tomorrow is another day.  I know what a washrag  and a vacuum cleaner is and how to use it..no worries! Welcome to our home. The kids are fed and happy…and oh yes, the over-dirt is clean ;o)

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