Monday, November 30, 2009

Our First Advent Meal

Yup. We are bad Catholics. Although we attend church regularly and teach our children to sit in the "big" church rather than the cry room, we have ignored some of the family traditions that go along with the Catholic Faith. This year we are doing homestudy for Lainy Ann's religious education as she prepares for her First Holy Communion. As a result we have been looking for more ways to integrate her religious education into our everyday life.

Tonight we ate a meal together and lit the Advent wreaths the children made at church last week. We lit a single candle and talked about how we could remember God in our lives by helping our family. William will help by giving mommy hugs. Connor will help by doing chores. Lainy Ann will help by cleaning the living room. Then we prayed. Lainy Ann asked if she could say the prayer and she choose to say the "Our Father". Connor also wanted to pray. He said, "Dear God. Thank you for the flowers and gardens. Thank you for letting us know about you."

[caption id="attachment_568" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Making Advent Wreaths"]Making Advent Wreaths[/caption]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reagan Library

On Veteran's Day we ventured out to the Reagan Library for a celebration. It was an outing akin to the kind I used to take with my friend when we each only had one or two kids. Now when we go somewhere we take the big van; 2 adults and 7 kids aged 6-15 months.

The main purpose of the event was a ceremony honoring veterans and quite a few speakers and a performance of patriotic songs. Although I would have liked seeing the ceremony I think the audience enjoyed it more without our brood present.

Instead we visited the booths set up outside the library with authentic gear from the Civil War and other wars. There were canons from different times in history, and a sewing demonstration. A C-17 flew 1500 feet over our heads while a Civil War canon was shot to welcome it. Later a helicopter landed on the south lawn throwing dirt and grass in the air. Then the boys climbed in and got to aim the machine gun.

A group of 4 Blackhawk helicopters flew over head in perfect formation.

My favorite part of the day was just before we went home. We visited Reagan's memorial to pay respects to one of our greatest presidents, after all we had a namesake in our presence. Although little Reagan is still too young to know who she was named after, we started her education on that day.

Connor read aloud the words written on Reagan's memorial. "I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life". ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan

♥ ♥ ♥ There is something truly magical and inspiring about hearing a 5 year old boy speak such wise words. ♥ ♥ ♥

X-Ray Eyes

Connor has x-ray eyes. For weeks he has been telling me he can see all the blood and bones inside of me. I try and trick him and say, "oh yeah, then what did I have for lunch?" knowing full well he say what I ate. He smirks pretty big and pretty proud of himself as he answers me correctly.

Last night Santa visited to give the kids a little encouragement on good behavior for the next few weeks. He left letters, glitter (now being called freezy-eazy snow because it doesn't melt) and a jingle bell. We all marveled about how he got into our house with no one noticing. Then Connor say, "I saw Santa last night". So we asked him questions about Santa so he could play expert and tell us what his super x-ray eyes saw. Then he says, "I can see everything in the whole world". I said, "Really? What is Grandma doing right now?"

Connor replies, "Uh oh. They just shut off. My x-ray eyes aren't working anymore. They do that, turn on and off like that whenever they want."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Adventure

Caskey is always telling me to relax and be more spontaneous. He tells me its not about the destination, but about getting there. I have a hard time with that concept, so I plan everything to the last detail. My spontaneous trips are when the departure time is in a 2 hour window. But even when I plan the littlest detail an adventure can still happen.

Last weekend we set out to attend a Civil War Reenactment in Moorpark at Tierra Rejada Ranch. We planned it for almost 2 weeks, including looking up the schedule online, accounting for snacks, travel time and clothing. We decided to take the Big Van (Monster Van) and go with my mom and step-dad. My step-dad even has some of the reenactment clothing so he was going to bring his gear so he could "play" too.

Everything was according to schedule, well for us, we were 10 minutes late. I pottied everyone before getting in the car and snacked them. But 30 minutes into our drive William tells me he needs to use the restroom. Well, there is no telling a 3 year old bladder to simply hold it. So we started our adventure. We got off the freeway and started looking for a bathroom. We found a Jack-in-the-Box and headed inside where I realized William was just bored riding in the car and did NOT have to potty. *sigh* We were going to be late to the event and the baby had been woken up, all for nothing.

But things were much worse than that. The Monster Van chose that exit to blow a fuse. Our car no longer started. Connor kept trying to suggest ways to fix the car, God love him. Thanks goodness for Google Phone because I was able to find a local dealership and ask him why it wouldn't start. Thanks goodness for grandparents because they could entertain the kids while Caskey fiddled under the hood and I read the manual. So there we were stuck at Jack-in-the-Box until we could fix the problem or even figure out the problem to fix.

While we waited the boys got their haircut, professionally, and even got a lollipop afterward. Since we were stranded we ended up walking to 3 different hair salons ranging in price from $12 to $40 for a simple haircut. The kids played in the outdoor seating area while we waited for the other grandma to drive out an extra key and try to save us. The extra key didn't work either, so it was time to call in the big guns, AAA. The kids got to see the Monster Van lifted and towed away. The boys (all 5 of them - Caskey and Tom) were fascinated. Then we got to drive 3 miles all squished into the little van to drop the car at the dealership.

Eventually we headed on our way to the Civil War Reenactment. We were a few hours late, but had fun nonetheless. We saw tents and campfires, rifles and cannons, ladies in period dress and horses ready for battle. We listened to President Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg address. We watched a cannon demonstration and saw the Wilderness, Day 2 Battle. Papa fought for the North and won. Then we ended the evening with dinner out.

But at the end of the day we asked the kids what their favorite part of the day was. It was a toss up between tow truck and cannons.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Science Lesson

Connor loves me. A lot. He must tell me about 20 times a day how much he loves me. He tells me many different ways too. "I love you the most, mommy" "I love you more than any other person in this family" "I love you more than Daddy."

But my favorite is, "I love you more than the whole Universe. What is a Universe anyway?"

Mommy's Little Girl

My planner girl. Boy do I love her. A few weeks ago I lost my Driver's License at Disneyland. We spent a bit of time retracing our steps and visiting lost and found. Ultimately we threw in the towel and just headed home. We had many discussion about the importance of having my driver's license and how it was required to drive.

Bright and early Monday morning Lainy Ann tells me her plan. If I get pulled over while driving her to school I should leave the cell phone in the car. That way if I am arrested she can call Daddy to come pick up her and her brothers. But if that doesn't work she will be sure to walk them home for me. *giggle*

She is such a sweet innocent child, always planning and taking care of the family. I assured her that I wouldn't be arrested for simply not having my license, but if I was pulled over it was possible I would get a ticket for not having it. I also assured her that she would not have to walk her brother's home. But I certainly am proud of her for planning and problem solving, even before the need arises. She certainly is her mommy's little girl.