Archive for August, 2014

God and Coffee

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(Traduccion mas abajo)

“God and Coffee” are the two words that sum up my first week of the school year.

I was pretty nervous about handling things, what with the four children and all. But I did at least two things right each day this week.

#1 – I prayed. A lot.

#2 – I drank. A lot. Coffee, silly!

I am the sort of person that messes up a lot, but all the same I am able to realize how much I depend on God to help me muddle through. So that was my strategy this week. We started each day off with a “Pleeeeaaaase, God, HELP ME!!!!!”, as well as taking time to express our gratitude for the blessings we have already been bestowed with. We read about the saint of the day, and then we did the Mass readings. While we prayed I was guzzling copious amounts of black gold, natch.

And by the time we were done, I actually felt a little bit normal. I could almost see us getting through the day and being ok! So then, feeling ready to face the day, I put on some music and we all danced together! Wooohoooo! Let’s get our groove on!

I read about study that found that kids were nicer to people they had danced with. I figured that I really needed them to be nice to me during school hours. But lo and behold, I actually found that I myself was also being nicer to them! Hoist by my own petard. But totally in a good way. Like, if my petard were actually made of something neat (instead of explosives), let’s say….. red velvet cupcakes…..then being hoist by that would be BRILLIANT. I’d be covered in ooey gooey red velvet deliciousness. That is basically how it went down with the dancing.

The rest of our days this week were very busy, but a lot of advance planning with our daily schedule helped us stay on track and be realistic about what we could accomplish. And any time I felt myself tempted to whimper and wave the white flag, I would bolster myself with another cup of java, another internal prayer for Divine Assistance, and forge ahead with the day.

One of the other things that helped us stay on track was a game that we made up for the girls. It is called “The Great Yeti Escape” and it basically consists of a Yeti that chases the girls up a mountain. The only way for them to move their game pieces is to finish all their assigned tasks for the day. The Yeti moves once a week based on the roll of a die. It’s actually more involved that that and includes things like snow shoes, Yeti bait, and Yeti dollars, but this post is starting to get too lengthy to get into all that.

See their game pieces at the bottom? There’s the Yeti, poised to enter the game this Sunday (they got a head start this week).

So that, in a nutshell was our week. I expect more God and Coffee next week. Lots of both. I am also feeling very hopeful about the rest of the year. As long as I keep our priorities straight I kinda think we might not only get through it, but actually enjoy it! Scroll down past the translation for a few more pictures of our week.


“Dios y Cafe” son las dos palabras que contienen el total de mi primera semana del anyo escolar.

(Traduccion de la foto: Bebe super avanzado/Si, estan descalzas pero por lo menos no estan en pijamas!/Cafe)

Me estaba sintiendo bastante nerviosa de como hiba a controlar todo, con los cuatro chicos. Pero yo hize dos cosas bien esta semana.

#1 – Rece. Mucho.

#2 – Tome. Mucho. Cafe, malpensados!

Soy una persona que se equivoca mucho, pero aun me doy cuenta cuanto necesito a Dios para ayudarme a superar. Asi que esa fue mi estrategia esta semana. Empezamos cada dia con una oracion: “Por favoooooor, Dios, AUXILIO!!!!!” Tambien expresamos nuestro agradecimiento por las bendiciones que ya hems recibido. Leimos a cerca del santo festejado de cada dia, y tambien leimos las lecturas y Evangelio de la Misa de cada dia. Mientras que hiciamos eso, yo estaba tragando grandes cantidades de oro negro (cafe).

Y ya para cuando terminamos, me sentia mas bien normal. Entonces, sintiendo me lista para empezar el dia, puse musica y bailamos todas juntas! A mover el esqueleto, como decia mi Abuelita Magdalena!

Mi mama me habia mandado un articulo sobre chicos, que cuando bailan con alguien son mas buenos y agradables con esa persona. Decidi que yo necesitaba que ellos sean mas agradables con me durante las horas de escuela. Pero, que sorpresa me di! Termino siendo que descubri que yo misma estaba mas agradable con las chicas!  Fue una linda sorpresa.

El resto de la semana estuvimos muy ocupadas, pero con mucho planeamento en avance hizo que nos pudieramos mantener bien con las lecciones y saber bien cuanto podiamos terminar cada dia. Y cuando yo me empezaba a sentir tirada, me fortalizaba con otro cafe, otra oracion para asistencia Divina, y continue con el dia.

Una de las cosas que nos ayudo mantenernos bien con el orario de lecciones fue un juego que nos inventamos para las chicas. Se llama “El gran escape del yeti” y basicamente hay un yeti que esta persiguiendo a las chicas. Solo puede mover su ficha si terminan todas las lecciones y trabajo del dia.El yeti se mueve una vez a la semana, tiramos un dado para ver cuantos espacios se debe mover el yeti.

Ven las fichas abajo? Ahi esta el yeti, listo para empezar el juego (le dimos una semana a las chicas para avanzar antes de soltar al yeti)

Y eso, basicamente, fue nuestra semana. Espero mas Dios y Cafe la semana que viene. Bastante de cada uno. Me siento bien con todo y tengo la esperanza de que el resto del anyo nos va a ir bien. Con tal que mantenga las prioridades correctas creo que no solo lo vamos a sobrevivir, pero tambien lo vamos a disfrutar!

Aqui hay unas fotos mas de nuestra semana.


Doesn’t Rose look like Gretyl from Sound of Music with her hair like that??
No se parece Rosa a la menor hija en la Novicia Rebelde con el pelo asi??


Violet ready for ballet class
Violeta lista para clase de ballet



Ivy and Violet in formal uniforms, Rose in Violet’s casual uniform from last year
Ivy y Violeta en sus uniformes formales, Rosa en el uniforme informal de Violeta del anyo pasado


Ivy working on her Astronomy lesson
Ivy haciendo la leccion de astronomia




Voila! My children DO have shoes!
Voila! Mis hijas SI tienen zapatos!

And lest we forget little P.J., here he is.

Y para que no se olviden del menor, aqui esta P.J. (le decimos P.J. por Phillip Junior – se traduce a “Felipe el menor”, aunque en realidad su nombre completo es Felipe Samuel…un poco complicado, no?)


Fascinated by a toy
Fascinado por un juguete



Gussied up for church
Bien vestido para Misa

Getting Ready!

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(Traduccion mas abajo)

School is starting next week! Monday will be our first day back. Ivy is starting 3rd grade and Violet is starting 1st grade. Its hard to believe they are already at those grade levels!

Curriculum has been selected, books have been purchased, uniforms have been ordered and laundered (they are a good visual reminder that helps us stay disciplined). I made our schedule, and though I am a little nervous about being able to complete everything each day when I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old, but I am going to give it my all!

Ah, the beauty of new school books all lined up!


My hope for this school year is just that we stay on schedule with all the work they have to do.

Phillip and I came up with a game they can play which may help them keep up with their work. We aren’t sure what we will call it yet, but it involves a Yeti that chases them up a mountain. The object of the game is to stay ahead of the Yeti so it won’t catch them. The only way to move up the mountain is to complete all of the day’s tasks, which moves you up one space. There will also be opportunities to do extra work and earn things like Yeti Bait to slow him down and Snowshoes to move faster up the mountain. I am working on the game now, but I will post a picture of it once its done.

Although we were using Mother of Divine Grace for curriculum these past two years, we have branched out and are using Seton for the grammar and reading comprehension, and Classical Memoria Press for a few others. Math will be Singapore, and Phillip is going to teach them math in the mornings before he leaves for work to get some of the work off my plate. It will be a huge help!

We are retaining the poetry component from Mother of Divine Grace¬† – that was my favorite part of it! Both Ivy and Violet will be tackling Latin this year and Ivy will be starting on Astronomy for science. That should dovetail neatly with the Greek Mythology she’ll be learning.

The other thing that I am doing this year is filing our intent to homeschool. I don’t like to have to file anything with the government, because really, it’s none of their beeswax. But its the law and I have to comply. At least I can be comforted knowing that Nevada is one of the more hands-off states out there. It’s still the wild, wild West out here in a lot of ways.


So that’s all the news for now. I’m sure there will be lots to update you on when I blog again next week after our first week back.

Please pray for us to have a fruitful year of learning!


Primero de todo me van a tener que disculpar por no poner los acentos donde corresponden, pero no tengo ni idea como se hacen en my teclado! En ingles no se usan. Y tambien disculpenme cualquier falta de ortografia. :)

Estamos alistandonos para empezar de nuevo con la escuela el lunes. Ivy va a empezar tercer grado y Violet va a estar en primer grado. Por si no saben, hacemos la escuela en casa, no van a una escuela publica. El sistema de educacion en Las Vegas no es bueno, y las escuelas privadas son demasiadas caras, asi la educacion mejor que van a recibir va a ser en casa.

Ya compramos los libros, ordenamos los uniformes (los uniformes nos ayudan tener un recuerdo visual que nos ayuda mantener la disciplina), hice el horario, y aunque me pone un poco nerviosa ensenar con un bebe de 3 meses y una nina de 2 anyos, voy a hacer el esfuerzo mejor que pueda.

Aqui estan los libros, todos nuevitos y lindos!


La otra cosa que tengo que hacer esta anyo es proveer un documento al gobierno que dice que vamos a ensenar en la casa. No me gusta tener que hacer eso porque al gobierno no le pertenece saber de mi vida personal. Pero asi es la lei y lo tengo que hacer. Lo que si es bueno es que el estado de Nevada es uno de los estado que menos se meten en la vida de la gente. En alguna manera todavia es el “wild West” aqui.


Basicamente, estos son todas las noticias por ahora. Por favor rezen por nosotros que tengamos un buen anyo escolar!

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Please Admire

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I went to the baby shower of an awesome son-to-be mother of 8 lovely children. I had to leave early, but one of the activities was to paint a onesie, which I was able to finish just before leaving. However, since I left I was unable to receive the applause, praise, and admiration that I deserve. So I am going to post my creation here so that it may be properly admired by you, my dear family and friends.