Monday, September 28, 2015

Babysitting Spaghetti Sauce and Another Redneck Swimming Pool #FamilyFun #Books

Today is Monday. I love Mondays. Used to HATE Mondays. Then I quit the cubicle life and joined the stay-at-home mom ranks over 14 years ago and never looked back. I love working from home, being a mom, homeschooling, taking care of my home and cooking. Okay, I don't ALWAYS love these things ALL THE TIME ... but some days it all comes together in a beautiful symphony of family life and those days make everything worth it.

Today we got a lot of homeschooling done, my writer friend who I never get to see anymore since we started doing coop came over with her daughter, I got to go for a long walk while listening to inspirational podcasts (love-based marketing versus selling in an obnoxious way) and dictating book and blog ideas, the kids got to play with the neighbors a lot, I got some writing done, and I got to babysit spaghetti sauce ... some of which then turned into a manicotti dinner, which is Mr. Kerrie's fave.

Here's the recipe for my husband's spaghetti sauce, plus what to do with tomatoes when you aren't ready to can them or process them yet.

Two big pots for babysittin' and stirrin' ... Goodfellas style

At one point I did wonder if it was too early to drink my Trader Joe's moscato with the foil lid instead of cork.

My struggling reader girl read a book to her brother so I could shave my legs. TMI?

Samuel got creative and made our cooler into a redneck swimming pool. Wheelbarrows, truck beds and now coolers.
The sauce made this manicotti!

And the laundry did not get put away because you just can't do everything every day ... it's just the way it is.
Oh, and I got to order my anniversary gift early ... a book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic. You may know her from Eat Pray Love fame, but she has written more since then and it's always amazing. I also want to check out The Signature of All Things ... being made into a multi-part movie as you read this. Here are some book covers and I also follow her on Twitter and Pinterest and YouTube and Facebook because I am super in love with her and her writing.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Powell Gardens Kansas City ... Made Our Hearts Sing ... Thanks, Tutu! #HalloweenGift

We got to go to Powell Gardens last week and it was AMAHZING! My mom gave us the money for it in lieu of Halloween candy and stuff she used to get for the kids when they were younger. Now they have plenty of toys and candy so she gives me money for some holidays so I can take the kids somewhere cool. Brilliant!

Here are some pics from our wonderful day out in nature. We could have pitched a tent and slept there; it's gorgeous! It's a bit of a trek from our house (45 minutes) but we packed up snacks in a backpack, grabbed some water bottles and headed out. We love going places during the week when nobody else is around. We are so spoiled by homeschooling ... hardly anybody else was there that day so we could just be our crazy selves.

Friday, September 25, 2015

How Can Everyone Do What Makes Their Heart Sing ... in a Big Family?

I hear all the time that you are supposed to do what makes your soul happy, do what makes your heart sing, but  how do you do that when you are, say, the homeschooling mom of 5 working from home? Or a parent who works outside the home 40+ hours a week and you have a bunch of kids at home as well?

Let's start with you. You probably know what makes your heart sing. For me it's spending time with my family in nature, walking while multitasking (listening to music, listening to helpful podcasts, dictating books and articles) and also homeschooling, proofreading, reading, blogging, writing and Younique ... and watching trashy TV from time to time. Oh, and travel. And that's all I need. There, I'm all done. I mean, done as far as finding time to do stuff I enjoy. So I get up early and do some stuff I love.

For Mr. Kerrie it's riding his bike to the moon and back, creating and building stuff, fishing, camping reading, nature and travel with his family.

Okay, now for the kids. Now, I suggest ASKING the kids what they enjoy. Like I assumed Callie wanted to do Upward Cheer cheerleading again since she did it once and TALKED ABOUT doing it again. I did all the legwork to set it up and then found out she didn't really care about it. She hung out for a while and then recently said she wanted to play volleyball with her friend, our neighbor.

I moved heaven and earth to make it happen. Weekly practice, weekly games -- some early -- shoes, socks, shorts, uniform clean and locatable, ponytail holder, volleyball to practice with. Oh, and the cost of the program and attending an early Saturday morning thing at Bishop Miego for CYO on how to not be a douchey parent who yells at coaches.

BAM. A shining moment in my parenting journey.

Michael really just wants to go to the monthly LEGO minibuild so I dang well make that happen. And when he mentions he wants to make pretzels, we do that.

Joel and Callie begged to do homeschool co-op, and that affects us all and not everyone loves it, but we all do it for the greater good. Joel also wants to do soccer in the spring so there will be a new world I get to inhabit.

Joel does Scouts and wants to do Youth Group, so those go into the schedule and things are done around them.

Sam will enjoy soccer soon, I assume. For now he just kicks around with us. Soon he will be able to vocalize all the things he wants to pop into our schedule.

I asked Eva if she wanted to do dance or anything because once she did but it just wasn't working out time-wise and with the ages of everyone else ... and I had flashbacks to when Callie did it and the cost and the recital and and and ... anyway, now she just wants to play with friends and so I make that happen as much as I can.

If you are like me, after reading this, you are like HOW CAN YOU EVEN HEAR YOUR HEART'S SONG WITH ALL THIS CHAOS????

You do the best you can.

You find out what they REALLY want to do and what they can live without. You make sure you are doing something for yourself and for your marriage (even a monthly date is something!). My heart GRUMPS if I don't get my walks in and we all grump if we don't plan DOWN TIME IN NATURE.

Oh, that brings me to DO THINGS YOU ENJOY IN COMMON. Like we all love packing up snacks and heading to the park for the whole day with a ball and a book. Maybe we even grab a friend or 5 so the social kids are also happy. Sometimes you CAN make everyone happy, but they have to realize that most of the time it won't be that way.

And that is how life works. And it's a rockin' lesson for kids in a big family to learn now. Heck, it was a good lesson for only-child me to learn!

Ask for and accept help. If Joel wants to hit his friend's football game but we are doing other stuff that day, I ask if he can ride with people to where they are going. I send him with some water and a few bucks and I say some prayers that all will be well and there you go.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#HiltonHotels No More #Porn in Rooms ... FINALLY!

As of August 17, 2015, Hilton Hotels will no longer offer pornography on TVs in rooms.

I mean, sorry if you enjoyed your porn at a hotel but you can always whip out your Porn in Your Pocket cell phone, most likely, and do it there if you are just dying for it. Or skip a day. Sheesh.

As for me, I'm glad my kids don't have to turn on the TV in the hotel room anymore and see boobs in their faces. Don't get me wrong ... I breastfed for a million years so boobs are not a taboo topic in my home. We are certainly not a house of prudes and we use real names for body parts (and we also call testicles KIWIS, but that's just because we have a huge sense of humor around here).

But I think there's a difference between normal sexual education and skanky stuff, setting up our kids for an unrealistic life. And those images don't go away ... they stay in our heads and make us think we need to treat each other's bodies disrespectfully in order to be sexually satisfied. (I'm not coming at you from my lovely current married life but from being married to someone in my wayback past who was addicted to porn and mistreated all the women in his life and all women around him and is now actually in jail for venturing into underage sexual relations. Fun stuff, right?! Wrong.)

And I also think it sets up our kids to look for things in a marital partner that they are likely not going to get. This is also something I love about Natural Family Planning, conversely ... that my husband realizes I am a HUMAN BEING and not just a sexual object. He is aware of when I am fertile and OH MY FREAKING GOSH we ABSTAIN FROM SEX during those times if we don't want to get pregnant.

SAY WHAT? Having control over one's body without condoms and pills and shots and creams and all sorts of other nasty crap? What is this insanity I am professing?

Anyway, I wish all hotels would get on board with this. It's just not something necessary to your hotel stay, friends. Food, water, shelter, porn? Nope.

Monday, September 14, 2015

#KrispyKreme #TalkLikeAPirateDay 2015 = #FreeDonuts

This year Talk Like a Pirate Day is Saturday, September 19 and you can bet your butt I'll be there after volleyball with 4 kids and will be acquiring enough donuts to freeze for the 5th kid and husband, who will be at a campout! Check out the full list of rules and non-participating locations here!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Vaccine Hysteria in Archdiocese of KCK: Vaccinate or Leave School

It's easy for me to sit here as a Catholic homeschooling mom of five with a husband with a good job and a few side careers of my own. It's easy for me to pick and choose the vaccine cocktail for my kids. Mr. Kerrie handed me that responsibility long ago and I did my best.

We do vaccine but I won't do Gardisil and we don't do chicken pox, among others. We do the regular ones we are all supposed to be frightened of ... Polio, Pertussis, Tetanus. I did the Tetanus shot since my kids like to go barefoot and I keep them up to date on that one, but do we REALLY need the others I give them? I doubt it. I think we are all freaked out. But I do it anyway and I respect my friends who do not.

Yes, people die of chicken pox. Yes, horrible things happen. I have not personally done the research on how many Polio or Whooping Cough cases have been happening but apparently there is about to be an epidemic and Catholics are at fault for refusing the vaccines. I thought maybe my unschooling hippie friends would be at fault for this one but nope, it's us danged Catholics.

So my husband and I were shocked tonight when I heard from a friend what was going down in my hometown and beyond. I posted on Facebook:

I just heard that if your kid goes to Catholic school in the KCK Archdiocese (yes, this affects many of my peeps) and is not vaccinated within 45 days (with the vaccines that use aborted fetal cells) your kid won't be able to attend school. I also heard the Archbishop and Superintendent are not meeting with anyone on this. Thoughts?

So it gets better! It sounds from this letter that you are okay if your kid is, say, allergic to eggs and eggs are used to make a certain vaccine. But if you just don't want to inject vaccines made with aborted fetal cells into your CATHOLIC kid, you have to suck it up and do it anyway. Oh, and this letter comes AFTER school started. They could not even give the courtesy of pulling this crap at the start of summer to give parents time to figure it all out and make other choices. Sounds like a great way to RESPECT LIFE, Archdiocese of KCK. What are you thinking?

AND, they are urging you to write the vaccine manufacturers, LIKE THAT HAS EVER DONE ANY GOOD! Laughable!

Check out this letter below, and sorry for the poor screenshot quality. One is the letter to write to vaccine companies and the other is the letter to parents about the situation. I am not calling out St. James Academy on this one because it is all Catholic schools who are having to deal with this. I actually feel sorry for them.

And I close with this that I posted on Facebook also:
Can I ask the parents at St. James something? And other Catholic high schools? So mandatory drug testing of your kids is okay but this is not? It all starts somewhere, with those little things that they stick their faces into that they should not (they are to educate, not drug test). At what point will you start to say NO?

I just think we need to wake up and that's why I get fired up and post things like this. Nazi Germany was not created in a day, people. It took a long time to gear up and happen and a lot of complicit people ... this is ridiculous and I am wondering what is going to happen in 45 days. The countdown is on.

P.S. I apologize if you are having trouble leaving me comments. I welcome all comments, even those from depressed and angry trolls trying to mess with my day. Good luck with that one. I installed Intense Debate on my blog a few years ago and could never get it off.


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