Sunday, March 30, 2014

Meal Plan

I have a feeling we just might end up having a busy week.  The kids all seem to be healthy again but I still have a lingering cough which is starting to rather annoy me just a bit. Ok, more than a bit. The hinge on the van door broke so we need to get it into the shop and fixed before the door falls off.  Because that is never fun when the door falls off. Yes, I speak from experience.  So this means the van just might be in the shop for a while and the kids and I might be stuck at home. Hoping it will be a quick fix since Alan works out of town Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But there could be worse things in life. Anyway, onto the meal plan.

M: leftover cake (B), sloppy joes and coleslaw (D)
T: yogurt and granola, fruit (B), sweet-n-sour pork (D)
W: crockpot western omelet (B),  pasta and Italian sausage (D)
T: baked oatmeal (B), pot roast and potatoes (D)
F: eggs and toast (B), potato soup (D)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sick, Sick, Sick

We are back from vacation but all the pictures are on Alan's computer.  It was an interesting trip.  We spent most of the week with at least part of the family sick so we didn't do a lot of touristy things. Instead we just hung out at the resort and took whichever kids were healthy at the time swimming or mini golfing or to play racket ball. The kids watched lots of food network and everyone caught up on some rest. Since we were there with a large family retreat, there were plenty of kids around for everyone to play with which might be why we got sick again the second half of the week and brought it home.

So I've been mostly in bed since Sunday afternoon. I got up briefly and moved to the couch on Monday when we had visitors drop in but as soon as they left I went back to bed. Alan had to go back to work today so I'm now camped out on the couch and I'm sure the children will watch way too many movies today but I'm ok with that.  My entire body still hurts and I'd love to be back in bed. No wonder the kids did nothing but sleep for 4 or 5 days straight when they were sick.

It does look like we'll be healthy enough to host the expo this weekend and have our nerf party but until then, I plan to do a lot of resting. So there will be no pictures, no meal plan, no creative stories until then.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Vacation Adventures

Most of the kids are currently sick. We're talking call in for new sheets and towels sick.  Seems to be a short lived thing and a few of the kids seem to have so far avoided it.  I am totally hiding in the bedroom to avoid the sick kids while Alan is taking care of everything because, well, the last thing we need is for me to get sick. But here's hoping everyone is back to normal tomorrow.
Before the middle ones got sick we stopped for lunch. Now we just need to fit in a stop at Sonic for a cherry limeade and my vacation will be complete.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning

Simcha Fisher recently published the book The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning.  I've been hearing nothing but good things about this book for a while so I was interested in reading it. It promised  a real life view of natural family planning that takes off those rose colored glasses so often worn by nfp promoters.  And yet, I must say, I felt the book feel flat on it's proverbial face.

The first sign to me that things were not quite as they seemed with this book was the three pages of glowing reviews immediately in the beginning of the book. These reviews were all written by the same group of Catholic Mommy Bloggers who all tend to review each other's work and always write about the same things each of the other bloggers are writing about.  It's as if they are all sitting around in a big circle and patting each other on the back all the time, telling each other how wonderful they are all the time. I've noticed that none of these ladies ever have anything negative or critical to say about each other's work.  It's as if they all realize that each of their careers depend on continuing to support and say wonderful things about each other and encouraging each of their readers to purchase books published by the rest of this group.  I will admit that anytime I see a huge group of glowing reviews written by this group of ladies, I immediately find myself becoming critical of the actual work.  And with this particular book, one of the glowing reviews was written by a blogger who was then quoted later in the book.  Sorry but when you do that, you lose all credibility in my eyes.

I realized part way through this book that it was mostly a bunch of Simcha's blog posts put together into a book format.  This is a complete turn off for me. If I wanted to read the blog posts, I would do so.  But I bought the book because I was hoping for something new and unique.  Not something I found in the book at all.

The overall tone of the book was rather irreverent and casual.  I know this was an attempt to make the subject more human.  However, I found that as the book progressed, the tone was so irreverent that it became incredibly off putting and somewhat insulting.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I really think that most books for adults that are not comedies should be written in a slightly more formal tone. Especially when discussing a topic such as this one.

The title of this book was rather misleading. This book was written essentially to women only.  Not to all "sinner's" as the title suggests.  I am of the mindset that NFP needs to be discussed, used, and interpreted by both parters in a couple. Not only the wife.  Yes, all of the charting must be done by the wife because it is her cycle that is changing. But every husband really needs to learn how to interpret the charts himself so that he's not just being a big gigantic jerk and constantly asking what the chart says. But then again, maybe that is just the difference in the way our method teaches (teaching to the couple the entire time) vs the way many other organizations teach (focusing the teaching exclusively on the wife).  It shows much more respect and consideration when a husband takes the time to learn how to read the charts and just does it himself rather than leaving it all to his wife.

So there's my opinion on the book. I know it won't be popular in many circles but I frankly felt let down, almost lied to by the reviews and constant shouting about the book being a wonderful realistic view of NFP.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Baby #11 is on the Way

We got to take a peek at our newest little one this morning. A wonderful sight to see.
This is our first pregnancy to make it this far since Isabel was born (we've lost 3 other little ones in the past 8 months or so) so we are more than a little nervous and anxious.  Asking for prayers for a healthy pregnancy.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Doing the Hula

The girls made grass skirts and learned the hula at book club last week. Then they came home and taught their little sister.

Fixing the Ceiling

There was a leak in an upstairs bathroom. Ok, not a leak. The pipes under the sink kind of, well, disintegrated.  Something to do with years of well water.  I am so looking forward to when that happens to all the rest of the pipes. One at a time.  Seriously. We're talking fun.  So anyway.  I hear the kids telling me it is raining in the kitchen. Obviously not something you want to happen in your kitchen.  Repairs took a while and we lived with a big hole in the kitchen ceiling for a while. Then Alan and the older boys put up the new drywall.  This afternoon he and Kieran gave a stab at applying the texture to the ceiling. This is more difficult than it looks and will take another pass at it but just think of the things the boys are learning.

 Yes, this was a messy task.  Dust and spackle everywhere.  Lots of fun.

Meal Plan

I'm totally making this up on the fly.  We have to start clearing all the extra bread, bagels, soup bones, suet, zucchini, pumpkin, and pie filling out of the freezers so that we have room for the side of beef and pig soon. And I'm thinking we need to cook at least one of the 3 turkeys that are in residence as well.

M: bagels and fruit (B), something with a beef roast (D)
T: egg sandwiches (B), sweet and sour pork (D)
W: crockpot breakfast casserole (B), taco soup (D)
T: baked oatmeal (B), chicken in the crockpot in some fashion (D)
F: bagels or eggs (B) fish sticks and no you are not allowed to judge me for that one (D)

Whatcha Reading?

I know I can't be the only person who often is reading multiple books at once.  I really need to update my book feed. And I'm always looking for good suggestions so if you have something in mind, send it my way.

Anyway, here's what is currently being read in my world:

Growing Up Duggar.  Ok, in reality I just might have read the entire book in one sitting last night. Yup, I do that at times.  Not a challenging read but I love reading about this family.  I may not agree with all of the choices this family makes with how they run their family but I truly admire their dedication to their faith, willingness to share it, and refusal to back down just to please the crowd.  That is IMO something to be greatly admired.
Separation of Power.  Yes, I've long been a fan of Vince Flynn's books about Mitch Rapp. I do believe my father-in-law might have gotten me hooked on this author when the books were included in the boxes my mother-in-law would send every so often with stuff for the kids. The benefits of relatives who travel a lot and take books with them to read is they often are willing to share the wealth when they are done reading.  And, yes, I am totally annoyed that Tom Cruise was cast as Mitch Rapp in that movie. Totally ruins the idea of even watching it for me and, seriously, if you've read the books you know he looks nothing like the guy described in the book.
The Wives of Los Alamos.  Just starting this one. Even though it is a work of fiction, I know it is based in reality as well. A reality that makes me say modern day military spouses who complain about the stuff they lack need to buck up and deal.  Not saying there aren't times that it's worth complaining about something but seriously, for the most part we have it incredibly wonderful.
The Gargoyle Code. Just started this one as well and I think it is a must read for this Lenten season.  Bonus points if you are an amazon prime member since it is available for free through the kindle owners lending library.  Written in the style of the Screwtape Letters, it's been  a wonderful walk through the world of taking your religious rituals too seriously and failing to explore the deeper aspects of your faith (the important stuff).

And here is what is waiting in line to be read:

The Sinner's Guide to NFP.  It's gotten great reviews and both Alan and I were wanting to read it so we took advantage of the buy the paperback, get the kindle version for free deal.  Alan prefers books on his kindle lately and I prefer a mix but this type of book, I really want the hard copy in my hands. Looking forward to reading a realistic book about NFP in the real world or the reasons why we need to quit lying to newlyweds and saying NFP is awesome and a walk in the park. Because it isn't and I hate having to field the phone calls from couples who were sold a pack of lies.
Theft of the Star Tracker.  This a young adult book by a local author that I promised to review.  I keep forgetting to start it but am looking forward to sharing it with the kids.
Dark Night of the Soul.  A friend sent me a copy of this book when I said I was interested in reading it and I'm hoping to dive into it soon.  As soon as I figure out where the kids put it when they cleared the kitchen table.  Sigh. St. Anthony, I need your help again.  As my Grandfather would say, "If the walls could move, they'd be missing."

I Will Carry You.  This is on my list and has been for a while. I must order it when we get back from vacation.  I have a feeling it's something I need to read.