Friday, June 23, 2017

"Retreat" week

This week was VBS. This year, because I'm taking a hiatus from driving (mostly), we stayed local and went to our home parish. Having a 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11-year-old, all attending, left me in an odd situation. I was alone for almost 3 hours every morning.

We started our week with Mass, just before VBS, so that we could attempt to get into good place to learn about God for the next 3 hours. The Gospel was MT 5:38-42,
Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."
Don't you love it when the Holy Spirit gives you homework before you even know the assignment? I appreciate that God is always pushing me to grow and connect with dh to lead our kids. Sometimes I'm kind of lazy about it though.

We are only friends with a few non-homeschooling families. It's not that we have anything deeply against them; it's just that sometimes it's easier to be with people who think like you do on the majority of things. One of these families has a girl the same age as our dd. When they are together with the families, all is wonderful. When she is among her school friends, we (not just dd; all of us) are invisible. How wonderful that God would speak to us prior to a particularly rude that we would have much to discuss at dinner about offering no resistance and turning your cheek. It is a difficult lesson to learn, about friends and what makes them so, but so important in today's society.

The second part just kind of makes me smile. I took a long walk while I was kid-less (my foot is very tender so jogging, even slowly, is not going to happen). On my last mile, as I was coming through town, I stopped to commend a young lady, about 8, who waited for the walk sign and crossed properly. As we walked on, she told me all about her schedule; swimming, visit dad, go home; and we discussed the topography of the area...what is best for walking, what for biking. Yes, we covered a lot in two blocks!

About 1/2 way through the first block, I realized she was going to talk a lot and I felt the strong urge to cut her off, say, "have a great day," and walk at a faster rate. Just about that time I had passed "the chain gang" (a terrible name dh and I have for the daycare kids that walk together on a always makes me really, really sad). Looking at those little ones and listening to this bigger one, it was pretty clear that the girl just wanted an adult to share this part of her day. So, for those two blocks, I did. Going one block with her instead of two was not a trial and perhaps it made her day a bit better.


I often wonder what stay-at-home-moms-with-most-of-their-kids-in-school do all day. I don't really know but this week is showing me what I would do...

positive - Pray the rosary, take long walks, listen to EWTN while I'm doing my work (I am a Benedictine at heart!)

negative - I would find all sorts of fantastic recipes and I would COOK. I know this because, after resigning my job in Philly and getting married, but before babies, that's what I did. DH and I also weighed even more than we do now! Not a long-term proposition but definitely fun for the week...homemade dessert that doesn't come from Grammy!

Sorry, I can't make that go straight. I think, by the end of the week, I will try this. A good excuse to clean the kitchen after and, who knows, if it works, it can be a good nutrition/science/math lesson for the fall!

 So, now it's Friday and I'm tired of this blog too ;0) Suffice it to say, there were really good things about this week (I went to they gym when it was pouring rain and ran two miles...alone! Yes, ran. I decided I was either being lazy or my foot was broken. Clearly it's the former) and some not so great (mostly really tired little people and all.this.rain). Ultimately, what I found is the reassurance that, again, we are choosing correctly for our family. We are responding to God's great gift of parenthood by doing our very best to raise our children to know and be centered in the faith. We don't lock them in the house (obviously...they were at vbs with brick-and-mortar but we do choose to educate them at home to avoid excessive influence from the outside. There is influence and it's not good. The day will come to send them out but that's a discussion for another time. For now, here are some pictures from the closing day...and our leg in the Global Rosary Relay for Priests that followed.

We are blessed.
#2 (goof) was reunited with his buddies from 4-year-old preschool. Why can guys do that so easily?

He didn't realize it wasn't Slovak dance and kept moving to the center of the stage. Cutie.

Music girl on the right. I was so happy she got to help out with the other big kids.

Not from the closing day but too cute not to share. Three homeschoolers in a row!
His Sacred Heart devotion (also a way to skip some of the rosary)

It was beautiful to see so many families show up with their kids. I definitely see the shift of participation taking a decidedly younger turn and, even in this time of uncertainty, it gives great hope.

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