Saturday, October 12, 2019

Walking Plan OR Planning to Walk

Planning out my walking plan on the boogie board. Figured I'd better take a picture before it got erased and I have to start over again. My goal is to walk 3 miles a day and do the MuTu core everyday.  Our days are so full (it's a good thing!) that adding something new in takes thought and planning. But honestly, our priorities have not been completely in order. Can I really say doing Math takes precedence over daily Mass? Or Morning Time is more important than our health? But this is essentially what I've been saying when I say I can't find time for these things. There has to be a way!

So here's my plan. We've already been working towards daily Mass on Mondays and Tuesdays. We don't manage it every week yet. So many things have to work together for it to happen! Like finding shoes for the three year old. I can't be the only one with this problem!

Shoeless Imp.

Exercising is a problem for me. MuTu says I need to get in at least a 30 minute walk, a 10 minute core, and a 20 minute intensive workout. How?! We've always had a walk in our plan, and I can generally manage the core exercises in the evening. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot figure out how to squeeze the intensive workout in. Honestly, a 20 minute intensive workout is much more than 20 minutes. It requires a change of clothes before, and a shower after. And at some point we do have to do Math and Morning Time (we call it Symposium actually because it never happens in the morning).

So I've decided that what I can do is get in more walking. Walking doesn't require a change of clothes or shower, even if I'm walking fast. We already do a 30 minute walk after lunch. I used Maps to figure out that it's a 1.2 mile walk. If I walk the street in front of my house down and back it's .3 mile. I can do that three times in the afternoon after Tea Time and bring one kid with me for each pass while they narrate their readings from the day. Then if I do an after dinner walk with my hubby (now that we have older kids we are doing this more often!), we can get in another mile. If I do three miles a day plus my core exercises in the evening I think I will feel a difference.

And this is the point. It's not so much appearances that I'm concerned about. I'm not yet even 40 and I ache all.the.time. I have struggled with a diastasis recti since pregnant with Bear, and now my core is a mess. I want to be strong. I need to be strong to keep up with this crew.  So, this is my plan for getting there. I think it's doable. And that's the key.

Thursday, October 3, 2019


I've been thinking a lot about home recently.  My home especially.  My children's home.  Thinking about our family culture, our home's atmosphere.  The memories my children will take with them.  I'm not thinking of the extraordinary memories: the beach vacations, the road trips, the "extra" things; but the ordinary memories: the family dinners, the day to day service to each other, walks, playing in the backyard.  These are the things that will stay with them forever.  When they catch that certain smell that brings back a flood of memories, what will those be?

This morning I sat down to my late breakfast (sick kids and a traveling husband have thrown me off rhythm) and picked up my current "morning" read, Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot.  This is the read along book this month for Simply Convivial.  I'm a few weeks late starting it, as I wanted to finish Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton first (only a year late on that Well Read Mom selection!).  Anyway, I'm only a couple of chapters in, but I know this book is just what I need right now.

Side note: These little cuties were on top of my husband's parent's wedding cake as well as our own.

In this current chapter, Elliot is commenting on an old picture she found of the house she was born in.  Her mother is young and standing on the front porch.  Behind her is the black and white rendition of the house.  Many years later, Elliot and her husband returned to the house and snapped a color picture.  She wanted to ask the current owners if she could go inside and revisit the kitchen and balcony and all those memories she has of her childhood home, but she resisted.
There was something wondrously comforting about knowing, as I stood before that unremembered house, that this is where my parents lived, where they loved, where they welcomed into their small cold-water flat the newborn sister of their son Philip.
What will that look like for my own children?  Will they remember the good times as well as the bad?  Will they have a sense of comfort when they think of their childhood home?  Will they long to revisit it?  Elliot continues:
All of the past, I believe, is a part of God's story of each child of His--a mystery of love and sovereignty, written before the foundation of the world, never a hindrance to the task He has designed for us, but rather the very preparation suited to our particular personality's need. 

It is a comfort to know that this atmosphere is not solely reliant on me.  There is grace at work within these walls.  And when we fall (and we do!  Often!) we can rest in the knowledge that the family is still here.  That there is forgiveness and grace.  We can get up, dust ourselves off, and try again, like a baby learning to walk.  We are learning to walk together.

Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.
It is there, about the child, his natural element, precisely as the atmosphere of the earth is about us.  It is thrown off, as it were, from persons and things, stirred by events, sweetened by love, ventilated, kept in motion, by the regulated action of common sense.  - Charlotte Mason

We live in a culture that disparages home.  That despises family.  But deep within each of our souls is a longing for it.  Perhaps that is why it is attacked so viciously.
The future of the world and the Church passes through the family. - Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio
Destroy the family, destroy the church.  That is the mantra of culture today.  That is why, more than ever, home is so important.  Outside activities can be good and helpful.  Building community with like minded families is important.  But home is foundational.   Nothing can replace it.  No matter how good and worthwhile the activity, it cannot replace home.

So I question myself: How is our home atmosphere?  What can I do to improve it?  Where do I need to trust God to fill in what I lack with His grace?  And I try to always remember (and remind my children) what Peter said to the Church:
Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable to one another without complaining.  As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace.  Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. -1 Peter 4:8-11

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A Day Spent Out of Doors

"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." - Charlotte Mason

A few weekends ago we took this to heart and headed north.  It was still hot here in the Arizona desert, but fall was settling in the high country.  It was exactly the trip our family needed after a stressful summer.  Time to bond.  Time to be.  Time where the only worry was how to keep our hands clean when it was time to eat.

Bear is playing in an ash pit.  Instead of stopping him, I snapped a picture.  

I did eventually clean his face.

Look what we found!

My favorite picture of my bookends.  It shows me how fleeting these days are.

Guess who's taller than mom?!
Let the heavens rejoice, 
let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, 
and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant,
and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
- Psalm 96:11-12

This Year's Staycation - {God's Timing is Perfect}

In August, we took a week off from school and work to have a much needed staycation.  We had decided traveling was just too much with a newborn right now, but we did need time off.  God definitely had a part in this decision.  You see, the very first day of our staycation (Thursday) Ladybug spent in the Emergency Room.  She was scheduled for surgery the following Thursday.  Thankfully everything went well and she is healing well. God's timing is perfect.  He is so so good. And took such good care of my girl. 

So our staycation plans changed a bit, but we were still able to have quite a bit of fun.

Sunflower practiced her embroidery and sewing skills when she made this little Pope St. John Paul II doll for Bear for Christmas (we start our making early around here!).

 We spent lots of time just loving on each other.
 Dan and I took turns taking kids out for some one on one time.

Fritter and I chose to go to the Lego Discovery Center.

St. Mary's Basilica

 Froggy and I went to the Dinosaur Museum.

Dan and Ladybug went to the Butterfly Wonderland.  Hopefully I can get other pictures from this off of Dan's phone and update them here.

 Dan and Sunflower chose ice skating. Again, I need to get other pictures.  (Can I just say... ice skating in the Arizona desert in the summer is the best!)
The highlight of our staycation was renting a boat for the day and having the lake all to ourselves.  Exactly what we needed.  And desert lakes are sort of magical.

 Ladybug recovered well from her surgery and was showered with love from family and friends.  And the most important thing, we were supported by everyone's prayers.

God is good all the time.