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Archive for April, 2012

Expired

I just finished a much needed purge of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets.  Perscription medicines, otc pain relief, otc cold meds, lotions, creams, vitamins, pregnancy tests (sorry guys!) and cleaning products collect in those cabinets waiting to be used.  I filled a large trash bag with all sorts of expired materials.  As I finished and gloried in the open space I began to wonder, how much of what we carry around throughout life is expired?  What are we collecting that will never get used?  What do we hold on to even when common sense tells us to throw it away?

I don’t mean just the stuff we carry around.  I know all of us could stand to go through purses and closets and pockets and such.  I mean the non-tangible stuff of life that we continue to bring with us into new years and new relationships.  For example, have you ever felt a particular way about a person or a place for years, just taking for granted that you feel that way?  Then something happens and you are forced to reexamine how you feel.  And you find that what you thought you felt isn’t what you feel at all.  In fact, it is sometimes just the opposite.

Why not take today and find some quiet time to sit and examine your life.  What grudges do you hold?  Is there someone you need to forgive?  Are you the person you need to forgive?  What friendships are you holding on to that do not add (and sometimes greatly subtract) to your quality of life?  Is it time to let old emotions go?  What is holding you back?

What is expired?

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Life marches on…

And blogging once again takes a back seat.

Homeschooling two is interesting because it is at the same time both easier and harder than homeschooling one.  I am enjoying it though. While Jack remains a quick study (provided his frustration doesn’t take over), Rebecca is more willing to try new things and takes correction beautifully.  So far, she is making it easy.  My time management, as always, could use a little help.

Helen has graduated to three half days and two full days of school per week which has been good all around.

All three older kids are enjoying gymnastics and, to the astonishment of both parents, may actually be good at it.  Who would have thought?

Jude continues to menace us all and leave disaster in his wake.  Fortunately he does this with the unstoppable power of cuteness and so manages to end each day with kisses and hugs and not being sold to gypsies.

Confession: I took the idea of the Easter feast to heart and have been eating my way through bars of chocolate and white potato fries and fried plantains and today (HORROR!  But OH SO DELICIOUS HORROR…) salted caramel ice-cream from ColdStone.  Time for a change here.  On May 1st I start a 21-day Sugar Detox to reset myself.  I have also been skipping out on the gym.  That has got to change.  I really wish my gym had babysitting, but so it goes.  Oh, and another thing – I’ve not been getting 8 hours of sleep.  Not. Good.  Focus and discipline.  That’s my mantra for the next month.

More cuteness...just because.

On a Catholic note (it is Sunday, after all), May is fast approaching and what are you doing to honor the Blessed Mother this month?  For my part, I am renewing my Total Consecration.  With the kids, I also hope to do a May Crowning here with our little Mary statue and we will start the devotion of the Three Hail Marys.

That’s it.  See you later!

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As you can imagine, many of my Google searches these days are surrounding natural therapies for ADHD.  One of the more interesting things I have found is the link between ADHD and Magnesium Deficiency.  Some of the symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency include mood swings, anxiety, increased levels of frustration, and increased sensitivities to noise and light.  It is also often a culprit in those suffering from allergies.  The problem is that magnesium as an oral supplement is not well digested and can be inneffective.

So how do you get magnesium into your ADHD child?  Epsom salt baths.  That’s right, the age old remedy for sore muscles is actually Magnesium salt.  Maybe you knew that, but I didn’t.  Apparently, Magnesium absorbs beautifully into the skin and promotes calm and focus.  Very easy.

We have started giving Rebecca a soaking bath with one cup of Epsom salt every other night.  After this week, when her body adjusts, I will up it to two cups of Epsom salts.  I’m not certain the effect it will have, but it certainly cannot hurt.  I will let you know if we have good results.

Here’s the other thing – many adults are also Magnesium Deficient and can benefit from Epsom salt baths.  I know, you have no time to sit in a bath every night.  But maybe for 20 minutes at the end of your day you can manage to put your feet in a little tub of water and salts.  If nothing else it will relax you.  But it might also help your Asthma, Seasonal Allergies, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Heart issues (including high and low blood pressure), Migraines and RLS.

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Have you ever heard that saying, “If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.”?  Well I have.  I live it.  All the time.

If there is one thing my husband and I struggle with it is change.  We like to plan things in advance and curve balls throw us for a loop.  We avoid them like the plague.  So earlier this year, when it became clear that our oldest daughter was struggling in school, we knew just what to do: Stay the course!  Follow the plan!

We had made a good decision two years ago to place her in a local Montessori school.  The environment was delightful and educational and she was welcomed with such love by the teachers.  And for a year and a half it was just perfect for her.  Yes, she was a bit…bouncy…for Montessori, but this particular school is mindful of the needs of active children and is not quite as mellow as some schools I have observed.  She was growing socially, emotionally and educationally.  This year, however, things changed.  Oh, the school remained the same, but something changed for Rebecca.  Suddenly her needs were outpacing what the school could provide and none of us could understand quite why.  We were doing our best as parents and the school was doing their best as educators but instead of getting better, things were getting worse.

There were tears and recriminations and finally quiet reflections.  And in the quiet I finally heard and accepted the answer.  Rebecca is one of the sweetest, most helpful and kind people I know.  She always has a joke on her lips and a hug for anyone whose arms are open.  She also has some pretty serious ADHD.  [You, my dear readers, may have your own opinions of ADHD.  I know that up until this year I had some serious opinions of my own that I have had to shelve.  Got to love those zings to pride.  Thanks, God.]

So we had a decision to make – do we keep Rebecca in an environment that was no longer challenging her to grow, but rather causing her to regress.  Well, you know, that’s not really even a decision.  We have always planned on homeschooling Rebecca beyond kindergarten.  She is home now and she is happy.

I want to say, as well, that I do not think that Montessori cannot work for a child with special needs.  Montessori was designed to reach children with special needs.  Had we known what we were dealing with back in September, accommodations could have been made that might have helped her succeed there.  We did not know (which is no one’s fault – there is no blame in this situation) and we did not accommodate and by the time we figured out what was going  on too much damage had been done.  We are all grateful that Rebecca holds no negative feelings about her time in her Montessori school, but she is happy not to be there and I am ever so happy to have her home.

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…are like Sunshine and Rain.

(Here begins my Sunday musing.  I do not promise any great theological insight, just disconnected thoughts that I’m thinking about this Sunday.)

One of the most basic themes throughout life, throughout humanity, throughout nature is the juxtaposition of joy and sorrow.  We see this played out in literature and movies and popular music.    And yet, modern man does anything he can to run towards the joy and skip the pain.  We use modern medicine to dull the senses so that we can overeat or drink to excess, or just to avoid the natural pains of life.  We avoid taking responsibility through birth control.  We rack up credit to buy things we have not worked for.

There is no Sunday better for teaching us that Joy and Sorrow go hand in hand than Palm Sunday.  We begin the liturgy with a grand procession, waving palms and singing Glory, Honor and Praise.  We have found our King and he shall lead us out of darkness.  And yet at the Gospel, we listen to the singing of the Passion.  We hear the words that condemned Jesus to death.  We walk with Him along the Via Dolorosa and ponder His gruesome death.

And yet.

We know this is not the end.  We know the joy of Easter to come.  But we cannot get there without the pain.  And the joy would not, could not, be as great without it.

“Crying when you’re happy.  Good for you.  That’s so human” – The Eleventh Doctor

Happy Sunday, y’all!

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