Our 2 months summer break has come to an end, and we were back to homeschooling this week. So what did I do all summer to occupy my copious amounts of time? In no particular order, here’s what I did on my summer vacation:
- Attended the San Antonio Catholic Homeschool Conference
- Took the kids and my parents to the Texas Folklife Festival
- Took the oldest 3 to swimming lessons twice a week for 4 weeks
- Took several kids to the doctor for check-ups
- Celebrated the 30th anniversary to the diaconate with a long-time family friend
- Helped plan the upcoming school year for the Catholic homeschool group we belong to
- Rearranged the classroom for the next school year
- Hosted dinner for a priest friend of ours who was visiting from out of town
- Dusted all the blinds and washed all the windows in the house (with the awesome assistance of my husband)
- Attended a wedding in Dallas for one of my dear college friends
- Visited Medieval Times and In-n-Out while in Dallas
- Delivered meals to two friend in our homeschool group
- Took the oldest 2 to vacation bible school for a week
- Took the kids to the children’s museum
- Got my haircut with the girls (since I only go about once a year, this is worth mentioning!)
- Went peach picking, made 2 peach pies, 2 peach crisps, peach ice cream, and numerous jars of peach jam
- Took the family on our annual anniversary beach weekend trip to Corpus Christi
- Made birthday cakes for 2 of the kids, and of course celebrated their birthdays
- Made a month’s worth of lesson plans for a 2nd grader and 1st grader
and finally, my favorite
- Read all 7 Harry Potter books
Whew, I need a break from all that vacation!
This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness week. Simcha Fisher, one of my favorite bloggers is offering free giveaways all week. Check out her give away today, and read the rest of her posts. She also has a great new book, The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning. As they used to say on Reading Rainbow, “you don’t have to take my word for it” go read it for yourself here!
I recently read a blog post entitled 10 Things Guys Married to Crunchy Moms Understand and while I found it amusing, I found that there are at least 4 of them that I don’t do. Though I don’t use the title “crunchy” when I describe myself I would probably be classified as such. So I’ve created my own list of 10 things that make me a crunchy wife and mama.
- I make my own sourdough bread. I learned from a friend how to make my own sourdough starter. It is homemade, with no preservatives, very simple ingredients, and it is so delicious!
- I make my own yogurt. It started out as a money saving thing, and now I also enjoy it because again, it’s simply milk with no added sugar and other weird ingredients. I let the fruit I put into it be the natural sweetener.
- I make my own laundry soap. Yes, I make my own. It keeps the clothes clean and costs pennies compared to what I used to buy at the store.
- Most of my cleaning is done with vinegar. I do still have some cleaning products, but I am trying to finish them up before switching mostly to vinegar.
- I make my own granola. It’s so good!
- “Don’t throw that away, put it in the recycle!” I’m constantly taking things out of my husband’s hands that he’s about to throw away and insist they go in the recycle bin.
- I grow my own vegetables. I admit my vegetable garden is nothing compared to my sister’s or my parent’s but still, we get a good amount of produce from it. This past week we have enjoyed green beans, okra, tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers from the garden.
- I can’t stand wastefulness. This has more to do with being a good steward of God’s creation, and not wasting the gifts He has given us.
- I think it would be fun to raise chickens. Yes, my husband thinks I’m crazy on this one, and I’m sure our HOA wouldn’t approve, but I think it would be awesome!
- We don’t use birth control. My husband and I practice Natural Family Planning, specifically the sympto-thermal method. This one, again, is more for faithful religious reasons rather than crunchy reasons, but hey, it’s also non-hormonal and natural!
My husband and i are in what we like to call “survival mode.” A basic description of survival mode is we just do the bare minimum to get by. With 5 kids under the age of seven, one of whom is 5 1/2 week old, we are just trying to get by. This means we eat a lot of freezer meals made before our son was born. We use paper plates to minimize dishes. Laundry is still done but ironing is not. Basic chores such as bathroom cleaning and vacuuming get accomplished, but we only do what is absolutely necessary. Many things get left undone. And still we lay down in our beds at night completely exhausted. As our baby grows and begins to sleep longer at night, we will graduate from survival mode into chaos mode. Since we started having children I don’t think we’ve ever been out of chaos mode. Sometimes getting 5 small children organized and out the door is like herding cats!
But none of this is meant to be a complaint. We are grateful and happy for these blessings. So while the day-to-day survival can be frustrating and exhausting, we wouldn’t trade it for anything. One day our babies will be all grown up and we will look back on these days with happy memories and wish we had them back!