I know. I know. Again, I've let a month go by without posting. Heck, I haven't even read much in the blogging world over the past month! I have NOT been idle, however.
1. We have survived another round of October birthdays, and may I say that I don't want to see cake ANY time in the foreseeable future. Five of my children have birthdays in October... and three of them have their birthdays in the SAME WEEK. We don't do big parties here -- can anyone blame me? I do want to honor each person with their own special day with their own special cake and their choice of dinner (and presents, of course!), but other than that I really can't picture making October even MORE stressful by adding birthday parties to the mix. Add another 10 days to the mix to factor in the time it takes to shop and plan for each child's birthday, and you can see that 15 of the 24 days that have gone by have involved birthday preparations of some sort.
2. I am still leading a Bible study every other week. This time around we are going through the book Catholicism for Dummies, which is extremely good, despite its title. We realized that a refresher course on the basics would be good for all of us, so off we go! We're also going to be watching the Catholicism series by Fr. Robert Barron. I realize that so many of you good people are getting to watch this on PBS, but for some reason the great state of South Carolina decided that we really didn't need to see it. Not to be deterred, our group decided to just buy it ourselves! Sometimes you just need something beautiful to remind you yet again why you're doing what you're doing and Who you are doing it for...
3. For more of a "pick-me-up," I've been reading conversion stories at the Defenders of the Faith blog. Wow! There are some amazing stories out there, and just seeing all the various ways Our Lord goes about bringing people in just thrills me. It's made me look back at my own life with great thankfulness as well, as I can see all the various twists and turns along the way, and how He has been guiding me the whole time.
4. Homeschooling is going very well, and so far I've managed to make it with God's grace through 13 weeks without feeling burned out or resentful. For those who may not know, I spent 7 years using Mother of Divine Grace as a sort of suggestion, while trying to create this amazing history and science program that would somehow cover ALL my children, so that we could learn together as a family.
It didn't work.
It's a beautiful idea, and one that works well when kids are close in age (like my 3 oldest are). When more kids entered the picture, and the range of ages began to spread further apart, I could no longer hold it together.
When I was (very) pregnant with Joseph, I poured it all out to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I was tired and overwhelmed at the thought of trying to teach 6 children while dealing with a toddler and a newborn. What was I supposed to do? The answer that I believe I got was this: Teach them all separately. I started laughing, and I said, "That's either the craziest idea I've ever had, or that just came from You."
Since I had no other options, I decided to give it a try. We were going to do Mother of Divine Grace by the book (since I was too burned out to try to create anything on my own) and everyone was going to have his own history/catechism/science program to do.
Amazingly, it has worked, and worked WELL. Two years into the "great experiment" and we're still going strong! Praise God!
That's just a quick wrap up of the entire month of October here at Chez Ouiz!