Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas.  Ours was lovely.  This year Christmas Eve was pretty much like any other day because Charlie was out doing some shopping for the house.  What shopping you may ask?  More about that later.

Christmas day was so nice.  By 6:00am we relented and let the children get up.  They had been up multiple times starting at (go ahead guess-- 5:00?  no. 4:00?  Not even close. ) 2:00 am.  Needless to say Mommy was a bit tired.  We all saw what Santa brought us and then got ready for church.  By 11:00 we were back at home, but brunch in the oven, and opened the rest of our Christmas gifts. 

It was pretty exciting.  This was the first year we have given the children gifts.  In the past Santa has brought all the gifts for the kids, but this year they wanted gifts from us with the understanding that Santa would not want them to be spoiled so they would get less from him. 

All the gift were well received.  Actually that is a huge understatement.  There was much hooting, hollering, and screams of joy.  Model Magic has been swished.  Games have been played.  Tents have been pitched.  Science experiments have been performed.  Dolls have been put to bed.  It was great!

Hope your Christmas was equally blessed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Both Charlie and Wonder Boy started breaking [boards] in Tae Kwan Do last month.  I missed Wonder Boy's first break, but I caught his second and Charlie's first.  It was so cool.  I burst into spontaneous cheers when they did it.

All Souls Day

Today is the day that we remember those who have died, but not yet attained Heaven.  These are the souls in Purgatory undergoing purification before entering Heaven.

Today I pray for:
my father-in-law
my aunt
my two grandfathers
my grandmother
my great grandmother
those who died alone and forgotten

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.

Moving Soon

We just bought our dream home.  Wanna see it? 

Hey it reenacts, too!  It's really a modern suburban colonial pretending to be Victorian.  It was built in 1954 and totally remodeled a few years ago.  We should move right around Thanksgiving.

you never know

Little Bear has frequent outbursts.  Some days it is fine, but when he is tired, hungry, or overstimulated things can get ugly.  What follows can be maniacal laughter, shouting, biting, spitting, or hitting.  I have actually been overhauling our daily routine to reduce the possibility of problems.

The other day I was at gymnastics and this kid, who was about 9-10, was having a complete fit.  Yelling, threatening, demanding.  He was totally out of control.  One part of me thought, "Boy, have I been here.  My son acts just like this sometimes."  The other part of me wanted to get up and shake this child and tell him that he should be ashamed of his behaviour and how he was treating his mother.  Then it struck me that you just never know some one's situation.  This child could be autistic,  He could could be a foster child from a traumatic home.  He could be moving from one parent to another one.  He could be newly adopted.

I was quick to judge and I know better.  So I just want to remind everyone that when when you see a child acting out in public, he could be a brat or he could have suffered a life time abuse. 

You just never know.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My new shoes

Pookie: Mommy, those are ugly shoes.  Why did you buy ugly shoes?
 By the way, those are the shoes in question.  I think that they are cute.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tucked petticoats

Pookie has also acquired two tucked petticoats.  I am thrilled with how they turned out.  They give great "poof" to her dresses. 

Blue Dress

Pookie's blue dress is mostly complete, but here is a sneak preview.  It is based on a CDV (carte de visite) from the Civil War period.  It has box pleats, a smooth bodice and tulip sleeves.  Her little chemise sleeves peek out from the dress.  I am especially excited about the sleeves because they are the first thing that I have drafted all on my own.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ramona and Beezus

Our older boys really like Beverly Clearly's Ramona series of books.  I am happy to report that they really liked the new movie too.  It was sweet, the music was happy and the changes to the story line didn't bother them. 

Sunday Post

The rosary is such a powerful prayer.  Every time I say it I feel as though my soul is strengthened.  Unfortunately, I frequently forget part of it.  I just found a beautiful Rosary "cheat sheet" that has all the prayers on it in one easy page.

My mind wanders when I try to pray the rosary and I found that this link helps me to stay focused on meditating on each mystery.  (On the top of the page each mystery is listed. )

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gearing Up

I am on a mission.  I am preparing for the reenacting season to begin.  We continue to do some events on lesser scale during the winter, but we really get moving in late spring when it is warm enough to camp.  This year I am determined that we will have enough clothes for each day of our longest event which is at Greenfield Village over Memorial Day.  In order to get this done we will need:
3 drawers
1 chemises
2 petticoats
2 dresses
alter one dress
3 pairs stockings

Little Bear
2 drawers
3 under-dresses
2 dresses
3 stockings

Wonder Boy
1 shirt altered
1 pants
3 pairs socks

2 shirts
2 pants
3 pairs socks

2 shirts
civilian pants- we are doing an even where soldiers enlist and receive their uniforms.  We also decided that it would be nice for Charlie to be able to change into cooler clothes after a day on the battlefield.

1 dress
2 drawers

Eek!  There is more of course, but these are the most important pieces. After that we can move onto important, but not necessary things like pinafores, caps and jackets.  After that is done we will get to the flourishes like slippers.

Sometime in early February I took out all of our 19th century clothes and made everyone try everything on, taking notes.  I boxed the things that were worn out, too big or too small.  I made piles of the things that had to be mended or altered.  The I looked though the fabric we got for Christmas and I assigned or let the children pick what they wanted.  I sketched the dresses I wanted to make for the little guys and  made detailed notes about petticoat and skirt length etc.

I have been sewing like crazy since then.  My sewing list now looks like this:

3 drawers
1 chemises
2 petticoats
2 dresses
1 altered dress
3 pairs stockings

Little Bear
2 drawers
3 under-dresses
2 dresses
3 stockings

Wonder Boy
1 shirt altered
1 pants
3 pairs socks

2 shirts
2 pants
3 pairs socks

2 shirts
civilian pants- we are doing an even where soldiers enlist and receive their uniforms. We also decided that it would be nice for Charlie to be able to change into cooler clothes after a day on the battlefield.

1 dress
2 drawers

I am making progress.  I do still have all the hand finishing to do, but I am going to a sewing day at a friend's house and will complete the last bits there.  When things are completely done I will be posting pictures.  I am very pleased with how things have turned out.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wonder Boy earned his orange belt last week.  Congrats, sweet boy!

Impared Relations

God meant for us to live in families.  He made man and then woman and then they made babies.  That is just the way He designed it, and my experience is that when you don't follow God's plan you always pay for it in some way.

This is demonstrated so clearly by Little Bear's difficulties in adjusting to family life.  He is relentless in getting what he sees as his needs met.  Of course, frequently his "needs" are things like food whenever he feel like it.  (Note: many children living in orphanages come to their new families are severely undernourished.  This is not Little Bear's case.  He is at the 50 percentile for weight even though he is not on the chats in height due to his fibular hemimelia.  He have been told to watch his weight closely so that he does not get overweight and strain his joints.)  Other needs are decimating the competition and being the only child in Mom and Dad's affections- the competition being his little sister.

The severity of his maladjustment is really only beginning to become clear as he begins to really master the language and become more expressive.  He is also beginning to trust us more and act less like a threatened animal.  Little Bear has mild food hording impulses.  He does not want to throw away food or give food he does not want to anyone else.  He lashes out, usually verbally, at the other children when he does not like what i am telling him, and he has a very hard time admitting when he did something wrong. 

I worry that he does not understand the limits that we have to put on his actions.  Pookie has many more privileges than he does but she has earned them.  For example, Pookie sat with her brothers at a tae kwan doe demonstration the other night, but Little Bear had to sit with one us.  But Pookie is going to stay where she is.  Little Bear would start with the older boys, but then begin to roll around kicking other and eventually try to walk into a black belt demonstration.  I worry that he will think it is because he is adopted, not because she is more mature than him. 

On the other hand the biting and spitting have all but disappeared and these challenges are working themselves out.  Bear clearly favors us above others come to us for comfort and support and that show a good attachment.  I feel like I am climbing Everest:  it's hard, slow and sometimes it's hard to breathe, but I can see we are moving in the right direction.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fits and Starts

It's so amazing when you see your children begin to mature.  Wonder Boy is not the easiest child.  He is funny, creative,and is confident in his own interests, but he struggles to control his temper and wants good enough to be good enough.  I have been struggling as a parent to continue to gently but firmly guide him to maturity without giving in to my frustrations.  (Aren't we supposed to be past this?!  Why haven't we got this already?!  No, for goodness sakes.  The bare minimum is not good enough.)  Some days I succeed, some days I don't.

Over the past week or two some of what we have been trying to teach him seems to be sinking in.  He even got his second stripe in tae kwon doe after several months of being stalled in yellow belt.  His schoolwork is improving and we have been dealing with fewer and fewer temper fits. 

I am so proud of him.  What a joy to see and recognize that your child is making a milestone. 

Ode to My Beloved

I have the best husband in the world.  He is not perfect.  He has his faults, his foibles, and his moments-- but so do I.  The thing is that with him I am complete.  I am more than I could ever be by myself.  He smooths out my rough edges.  He fills the places where I am lacking.  He cchallenges mt to be better than I ever thought I could be.  He is my cheerleader, my confidant, my sounding board, my best friend.  He is everything to me and more.

I love you, Charlie.

Monkey in the tree

My mom is on a cruise right now.  Check out how she passes the time.

I bet she never sends me another picture.  Love you,Mom!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Updated Page

I have just updated "Our Favorite Books" to include picture books and chapter books for ages 4-8.  We love to read around here and trying to find good books can be a challenge.  We have been blessed to have great book recommendations from our curriculum provider and I wanted to share.  Check it out!

Good News

On Wednesday Little Bear and I went over to the hospital for a follow up to his surgery.  After his x-rays (I swear if Bear is x-rayed any more he will glow.) our doctor was happy to inform us that his hip is in the socket.  I was so worried because on the x-rays the femur didn't look in the socket to me, but what do I know.  We will take a little break and  get some physical  therapy in.  After that we will begin to tackle the feet.
More good news!  Our doctor want to work on his feet surgically.  At this time she does not want to amputate his left foot, which was a possibility.  I hope that the foot surgery will be successful and that will remain the case.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Little Bear Update

Little Bear has been out of his second spica cast for almost four weeks.  This time he started to walk after only a week.  He is still not very strong and his gait is very awkward.  I think that his body works differently and he is struggling to figure it out.  He also seems to be having more trouble with his feet.  He doesn't seem to have enough "foot" to balance on.  I don't remember his having such trouble before.  All in all, I am very pleased with his progress

More Potty News

Pookie is now officially potty trained!!!! 

Now I have to focus on Little Bear.  It's pretty hard because of he is still not totally mobile.

My Delicate Flower

Pookie:  Butt, butt, butt.  I'm amused by the word butt.

I'm so proud.  She's the only one of my kids that is amused by potty humor.


I went to LensCrafters to last week to have Wonder Boy's glasses straightened out.  (That happens about every other month.)  The young lady who worked there took her tiny little pliers and promptly broke Wonder Boy's frames.  After we all recovered from the shock, we were able to choose new frames and they made a new pair of glasses right away.