Monday, February 28, 2011

A Day in the Life of the Christy's Part 1

I get asked often about homeschooling. People want to know how I can teach High School and how I include the toddlers and baby. These are very good questions. I usually shrug with some dumbfounded look on my face when I'm asked. Thank God for blogs! I can sit quietly and think about it. What exactly do I do?
Let me start with the first day of the week, Sunday. After Mass, 1/2 my kids are hauled off to Taco Bell by Mary Kate's idol and Josie's Godmother, Mary Seura. My parents come over to play games after their Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel. They take Mary Kate home with them to spend the next day at the Fransiscan Center volunteering with the Sisters. Later in the day  I try to find about 2 hours to sit down with the cutest and tiniest laptop ever (thanks Nana) and work on putting the kids homework in my Homeschool Tracker. It is a software program for homeschoolers to keep track of homework, grades, hours, test scores, transcripts, etc. I can't think of anything this program can not do.  I copy all of their assignments and put them in their personal report cover that carries all the previous assignments for the year. The little kids have one page per week. Nick has 3 pages per week that has detailed explanations about each assignment, which is why it is so long.
Sunday night, after quiet time, prayer time and bedtime, I sit at my computer and study the next 3 lessons of Algebra .  I then prepare a preschool curriculum which usually begins with me slapping myself for not ordering the much needed library books for the little kids. Now I have to come up with something else! Fear not, my house is full of preschool stuff. By about midnight, I'm ready for bed.
Monday morning, we leave the house at 8:30, drop off Theresa at school (she's in 2nd grade at the public school...another blog subject), then we are headed to another homeschool family's home who is next in the rotation of our 4 families. Class #1 Speech for High School, Spotlight on the Saints with the middle children (cute modern day play's based on a Saints virtue), and preschooler's with me and another mom, Carol. Class #2 is Algebra with the High School (ME!), Life Science with the middle ones and Science with the preschoolers. Class #3 is PE for everyone. The host of the home makes lunch for the moms.  Every 4 weeks, we watch the middle kids perform their play after lunch. This co-op is simple, small, cozy and fun. All the kids enjoy it. I feel like I'm with the finest families in the world, each with their own special gifts. The Defeo's have 9 children (8 girls and 1 boy...LOL...I know, right?) The Samsons have 7 children (the 7th due in 2 months). The Hilboldts have 8 children (6 grown. Its important to note that I was 5 years old when they got married. I'm sure Carol wants everyone to know this. LOL). Then there is me that only hits the average in number of children.  We go home and finish the school day with learning about the artist of the week, usually by video while open books of the artists famous paintings lie open on my bed.  Mary Kate has arrived back home by then and Theresa will arriving home by dinner. Yes, dinner! She has tutoring after school twice a week. She is going to be a genius when I start homeschooling her next year.  Currently, I am picking up Theresa from school and taking the 3 kids to their King & I rehearsals at Red Bridge Bible Church. That lasts throughout the evening. School of Religion and Boy Scouts are put on the back burner until this is finished in a couple weeks. They are having SO much fun. Roy and Nick play volleyball at the Shawnee Mission Civic Center and I am listening to small crashes, a few screams and shooing little people off my lap while I type this. 
The preschoolers doing their Nativity play. That 45 seconds said it all.

This is the practical life of our first 2 days. Add in some laughing and smooching and you just lived 2 days of my amazing and blessed life.  Honestly, I don't know why people care. I just know that I'm asked frequently about what I do and how I have time. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to pick up all the important documents the toddlers climbed up the bookshelves to dump on the floor for no reason. Then  I have a load of diapers to wash (useless fact...I can complete this task in 34 seconds; the amount of time it takes me to hold my breath). And maybe, while I clean relentlessly, I might find the phone thats been off the hook for hours. Until Part 2.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cub Scouts

Well, its over. We graduated my Webelos den to Boy Scouts on Saturday. I spent the last couple weeks thinking about what I wanted to say in my good-bye speech. Every time I thought about it, I would tear up. The last 4 and a half years with these boys have been wonderful. I have so many memories. Most of them involved calming them down from all their excitement. That is what I loved most about these boys. They all seemed so happy to be with me and each other. It didn't matter what we were doing, they were happy to be there. We could be scooping up piles of poop and they would be happy to do it just because they were together. That is what I will miss the most. Geez! I'm tearing up again!!

Sam Hoffman
 The red head! He loves to fish and do anything outdoors. He is an only child but was supplemented with land and nature and all the animals Mom would bring home from work. He studied acting as his extra-curricular activity. He was such a joy to have in the den meetings.

Nicholas Mott
He comes from a home of little people. LOL. They are such a cute family.  He loves to read and is always the first to volunteer when reading was involved. If I were faced with something important that needed to be done, I went to him first because I knew he would do a good job. 

Jacob Mincey
His mind seemed to be on other things a lot. This is an adorable feature. I could see his little mind in a complete other world. When others thought he was being rude, I could clearly see that his mind was just occupied. I loved being able to match my den meetings with his active imagination.

Davey Merchant
He came to us just a couple years ago from Oklahoma. He is full of stories, most of them disgusting. Haha. We loved to hear them though. He is great at building little, and sometimes not-so-little, projects. One project was a cub mobile! One day, he will teach my kids how to turn a real live cow into dinner on the kitchen of his other gifts:) He chased me with a dead mouse once and I haven't  forgiven him yet.

Joshua Valdez
 Ahhh. My most dedicated scout. He would come early and stay late to all the den meetings. And his sister, Alicia, was close behind. She comes in and grabs whatever baby I had just had.  Joshua was so happy to be here even if my 4 year old beat him up. He always walked in my front door with the same smile. I'm going to miss that smile.

Austin Vaughn
 The studious scout. This is the scout that listened and paid attention and truly did his best with every project or assignment he was given. If I asked him to write a few words about something, he wrote 2 pages. If I asked him to draw me the layers of a forest, I would get all the creatures, and details that made it come alive.

Max Christy
This is the boy that had to take a back seat to everyone else. Sometimes he would miss the back seat altogether when his parents would completely forget to take him to a Pack Meeting or den meeting. He would sit at home with his uniform on, wondering where we went. Whenever I, the awards chairman, was one award short, I would pull it off his uniform. If the den leader, me, was one project short, he would get left out. Thank goodness he has such a good sense of humor.

These are my scouts. I love them all. I love their aggressiveness, their laughter, their disgusting jokes, their choke holds (on each other, not me), their manners when guests were around and their dedication to living the scout oath and law. I miss them so much. Why did God have to make time so fleeting? I hope they remember me when they are old with kids of their own. As their childhood memories fade, I pray they will all have fond memories of their den mother, Mrs. Christy. I love you boys!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sounds like I'm running out of things to blog about doesn't it. No, no. Farmville is actually just an example of a bigger subject that I want to blog about today. It is no surprise to anyone who knows me that I really enjoy playing Farmville. There are two big reasons for this.  #1 I can play with my friends and family and, in turn, builds up our relationship even more. That is the purpose of playing a game around the kitchen table right? It bonds the family closer. Is it a waste of time to play Monopoly with the family? I can hear your head rattling so that must be a "no". Then, neither is playing Farmville. The only difference is that I can play with my Mom, the kids, my niece and nephew and friends continuously whenever I am able. I'm not bound to a certain time and place. Kids can interrupt me and it is ok.  I can choose to play a lot or a little or even skipping a few days without bothering anyone (except Mom).  The game is designed to play with one another through gifting and helping others. It does not take away from the gifting and helping in real life. I still make a real meal for my friend who has just has a baby instead of just offering her a virtual fruitcake for her farm:)  And I will always drop what I'm doing to sit at the table to play a game with the family...not a puzzle though. Thats Dad's thing.  
#2 It is a stress reliever. It is simple, enjoyable, calming and a small piece of my life that I can have control over. (Except when the 3 year old sells my stuff!!!! I keep setting her on the corner when she sells my swimming pool, train, mansion, etc. but she keeps running back home. LOL. I'm only partially joking).  I am not one that is under stress but I think there is a reason for this and no, its not drugs:) All of us need to have an avenue to calm ourselves when life gets a little busy. For some that could be a power nap  or scrapbooking, writing in a journal or reading.  Ice cream, jogging, etc. You get the idea.  I like to do a little of each but Farmville is on the top of my list. The more upset I get, the more farming  I do.  If there is anyone reading this who does not have a meaningless relaxer to bring yourself back down to Earth, I hope you will consider acquiring one soon.  Farmville is mine:)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm Not Feelin' It

The first few years of our marriage  I asked my husband, Roy,  if he would take the reigns as the spiritual head of our household. I'm old fashion and believe that husbands and fathers should be the head of the household.  I asked him to have talks with the kids (mainly just the oldest at the time) about God and Faith. I asked if he would take the RCIA classes and join my Catholic Faith.  His objections were simple and I think they reflect the objections a lot of men have. "I'm not qualified" and, "I'm not feeling it." I completely understand that, especially the "I'm not qualified" excuse. A few years back, our Cub Scout pack was in need of a good leader. Roy did not want to take on the position because he was "unqualified" but he did it anyway because he had the energy, discipline, attitude and drive. I remember sitting on the committee when a couple "seasoned" scouters were talking about the pancakes they were going to eat on a camp out. Roy interjected and offered to buy the pancake mix at the store. The 2 men snickered because all qualified scouters know that you make everything from scratch. My body started to heat up as I saw Roys head bow down in embarrassment. I was ready to jump onto the table and throw myself on those men who snickered. It was going to be just like what you see in the movies...the chairs go flying, some strangling, heads knocking together, people pulling me off... That would make a good story but I stayed put. Roys head rose up and he continued taking part in the conversation.  My body temperature eventually went down and his scouting career has taken off. We will be attending a dinner where he will receive the District Award of Merit. It is well deserved.

 When Roy began teaching Theology of the Body for Teens, he felt like he was the most unqualified person out there. Thanks to the desperation of having a 15 year old in dire need of this class with no one to teach it, he made the leap. On his first day of class, he was nervous, his eyes were tearing up, he was anxious and jumpy and just down right scared to death. It is true that he would be considered "unqualified" but he moved forward and learned right along side the kids. His assistant, the beautiful young Jackie Wild, was a cradle Catholic who has spent at least 20 years learning more and more about her Faith. I admire my husband for working side by side with someone a normal "unqualified" person would be intimidated by. Lucky for him, Jackie is a humble and forgiving assistant:)
I really wanted to write this blog because I know that some of you reading this might have a husband sitting at home while you and the kids go to church. Or you have a husband that is just waiting to have that loving feeling for God before he acts on it. Or he is waiting around to be "qualified".  This is one of those situations where decisions are made in spite of what and how we are feeling. One thing I love about my Faith is that I can and want to be obedient whether I understand it or not because I trust my faith. My Catholic Faith is my foundation and I trust it more then I trust the foundation of my home that I entrust my life and my kids life to every day and night. The understanding will come later, either in this life or the next. For now, if I remain obedient, I will reap what I sow and it will be good. My darling husband is just like that. He tells himself that he's going to do the right thing whether he's feeling it or not. He can pray that God will gift him with the feelings to blast him forward with great zeal. If your husband is waiting for some magic wand to put these feelings in him before he acts, he will be waiting longer then it takes for his kids to grow up and out. We are given free will so we can freely love him. Love is an action and a choice. We need to be open and act. If he isn't "feeling it", encourage him to go someplace where he CAN feel it....adoration, Familia, a Bible Study, a training class for TOB, revivals during Lent, etc.
I have been blessed with a very humble man. This is not the opposite of pride. It is the fulfillment of it.  He is what I call a "REAL" man. A man that protects, provides and cares for his family while falling to his knee's as a weak sinner in the presence of our Lord. He has inspired me to take the leap of faith too. Pardon my constant repitition of the TOB class for adults that I am facilitating but it is important to note that this is the first time that I've ever stuck my neck out so far. I too am nervous and unqualified. I am going for it anyway! Why? For two reasons #1 TOB is the next sexual revolution and #2 My husband has inspired me to do so.
Bottom line... a good, humble, loving and faithful  husband of pride and values can empower the entire family. And I have it. I love you Roy. I am very blessed to have you.