Wednesday, September 2, 2015

may happiness

Amid a lot of sad things that happened for us in May, we managed to have some good times as well. 
I am going to dedicate this post to only those things.
...
We got to go to a fun Mickey birthday party for two friends...
 We celebrated May the Forth with some dress up..
May the Forth Be With You.
We watched the Princess Bride for the first time and the kids were all pretty much enthralled..
 Gus thought he was going to like Wesley the best, but by the end he realized that Inigo Montoya was the coolest.  Jimmy actually got to dress up like a good guy this time (he is usually a good sport about being the bad guys since Gus refuses to ever be a bad guy).
 Princess Buttercup hung out at the sword fight for awhile like a good sport, but then she opted for a tea party in her room with all her babies...
 We went to the May Crowing at our church...
I thought that Mass would count as having a productive day, but Gus insisted on a craft.
We made cardboard crowns on our porch on a nice rainy day...
Nora decorated hers with stickers of Mary and flowers.  
Gus modeled his after Edmund from the Chronicles of Narnia, but made it green instead of silver.
(They are modeling them a nice sunny day when they were finished)
We got some good Dot and Nora time in while the boys were off golfing with Dad one morning...
 We had a visit from Aunt Nat...
 And who wouldn't be happy about that?
Perhaps most exciting of all we got a new cousin!
My sister, Erin, and her husband, Gene, had their first baby.  We sure love baby Helen!
 Thank you God for all our blessings!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

gabriella

I wish this was a post to share happy news about my most recent pregnancy, but it is not.  In February when we found out we were pregnant we were thrilled.  We had been trying for a little while and were excited to see things going as planned.  But our plans were not God's plans.  I had a miscarriage.
 We found out on May 5 and I had to go to the hospital to deliver on May 12.  It was a girl and we named her Gabriella.  
Gabriella in utero at 7 weeks.
She had passed at 15 weeks.  We got to hold her for awhile and we even took some pictures to remember her.  God did answer my prayers and made the laboring very easy.  It went well physically, but was very difficult emotionally.  Her funeral was on May 29 at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Mesa.  The burial is a free service funded by Knights of Columbus and we were very grateful.  She was placed on a hill with the statue of the Holy Family.   She will be with at least 3 other babies of families that we know.  It was a beautiful ceremony with just a few of our close family and friends.
 It has been quite an emotional journey for us.   Everyone wants to know how we are doing and we say that we are good because it is the truth, but we will always be sad about it.  That will never go away.  I wish we didn't have to go through it, but I know it has made us stronger in some ways and even more grateful (if that is possible) for the three beautiful children we have already been given.  Once you go through something like this you suddenly hear everyone else's stories that they never told you about before.  I was overwhelmed by the number of women who have also been in my situation.  Whether it was an early miscarriage or later like mine, it has a huge impact on us as mothers.  It is a real child and, no matter their age, we love them.  I am now part of a club that I never wanted to be in, but in many ways it made me closer to my friends than I have been there before.  I pray I don't have to go through it again.  I am doing well and grateful for the overwhelming amount of support I had from friends and family.  Cards, meals, gift cards, and shoulders to cry on were there when I needed them.  Zach is doing well, but it was rough on him, too.  Certainly he went through a different experience than me and it was hard in different ways.  I am grateful that I had him by my side through it all.  I am grateful for our faith because we know Gabriella is with God.  We are not sad for her at all, but we are sad we never got to really meet her.  The kids know about her and talk about her.  I never want them to forget about her so we pray for her at night and ask her to pray for us.  We trust in God's mercy and we pray for another brother or sister for Gabriella to pray for.  Please send your prayers our way.

Friday, August 21, 2015

homeschool preschool: zoo field trip

For our last day of homeschool preschool we took a field trip to the Phoenix Zoo.
We made a A to Z Scavenger Hunt of things at the zoo for the kids to find throughout the trip.
From the moment we walked in they were ready and excited to check off their lists.
We got to stop by Sting Ray Bay...
And ride the train...
We were lucky to have Nano join us.
Also, I might have let Jimmy play hookie...
Jimmy took pictures of every animal he could find so here is a brief selection...
Then we stopped by the Splash Pad to cool down...
We stayed in our swim suits and headed to the squirrel monkeys...
Except for a few tricky ones, the kids completed their zoo scavenger hunt.
A great ending to a great year of Homeschool Preschool.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

homeschool preschool: letters n thru z

N was for St. Nicholas and nuns.
O was for Octopus' and St. Olga...
P was for Painting and St. Patrick
Q was for St. Quintin...
(I guess I didn't take any pictures that day... Sorry Letter Q)
R was for Rosary (of Raisins) and St. Rosa of Lima.
Also for lots of running and racing...
S was for Stations of the Cross and St. Sebastian.
T was for the Trinity and St. Theresa...
We made up this Trinity craft since it was close to St. Patrick's Day...
U was for Umbrellas and St. Ursula...
V was Vatican City and St. Veronica...
W was for watermelon, the world, and St. William...
(some days we dress up during school)
Here the kids are singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"...
X, Y, and Z got joined together in one day (because gosh they are hard)
Gus made a St. Xavier spoon puppet and JoJo made a St. Zita
(and we still made our toilet roll Saints that included St. Yves for Y).
We told them letter Z got a surprise field trip for the last day.
Here is our complete set of Saints...
Now I just need to figure out what to do with them... and all the many crafts we have collected over the year.  I was hoping taking pictures of them all would be enough, but the kids don't seem to want to part with any of it.  I guess we will keep it all for now.  It was such a fun year and I am so glad we did it.  I feel blessed that I got to do it with such a great friend who was just as laid back/lazy as me about it.  Even with planning most things the night before or morning of, we managed to do a pretty great job and the kids loved it all.  It also helps that Gus and Josephine are such good kids and such good buddies.  We couldn't have asked for better students.  After it was all over, Suzanne and I went through a little bit of withdrawl on Thursdays.  I don't know what my plans are for Gus next year yet, but this will be hard to compete with.  More to come on our last day field trip!