{pretty, happy, funny, real} Co-Sleeping Blankie!!, bellies and prayerfully pondering Homeschooling.

{pretty}

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I did it!  I finally finished my co-sleeping blanket for our newest addition.  Phew.  That only took over a year and a half.  This fabric has been waiting patiently in my closet along with my sweet sewing machine since forever.  I got enough contractions the other day to realize that I better get on the cutting, sewing, finishing ball before baby actually gets here and I no longer have use of all my faculties for a while, including both hands.

I’m a huge fan of the co-sleep situation when baby arrives, and always always fight with my blankets, and thought, hey, I should make one that it cut out just for baby and me.  Voila.  It’s not at all perfect 1st trial, but I want to make more and practice practice and make some for Anyone who wants one!  Give me a shout if you are interested.  Next one I think will be the soft muslin layered version for cooler days in the Anais + Aden style.

My silly models modeling blankie for me.

My silly models modeling blankie for me.

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We were able to get some pre-baby fun pics in.  Despite my embarrassment of showing belly, I’m mustering the courage to put these here.

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Even tho this is posed, they do this all the time so I didn’t feel bad asking them to come kiss baby #3rd belly. They love little brother already.

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It’s a miracle! We remembered to take a photo of our whole family! Go us.

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Where did my feet go!?! Sigh.

{real} in 3 Parts.

Part 1:A couple of things:  Baby prep ain’t no joke.  Going thru boy stuff from 4 years ago, washing, organizing, figuring out where to put all things baby is just taking up all my brian space, and sleep.  Wowzah.

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Bum wash and re-usable cloths for said bum! what an awesome, free, chemical wonder of the parenthood world. Thanks to Team Whitaker for this gem of an idea.

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The closet clean-out. Yikes! But it’s done. Phew.

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Got all boy/girl clothes organized to sell/use, whatever. Done.

Part 2:  Now on a serious and sad really {real} note:  Our son’s St. Anthony’s Catholic School is closing at the end of this school year.

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The cat’s outta the bag so I’m free to talk about it here.  We had a parent meeting this week with our pastor Fr. Robert Wedow who had the great misfortune to announce that he must close the school.  This school is in a very rural area that has been struggling for a long time and even raised over 1 million dollars to keep it open just over 2 years ago- in this community- that was nothing short of a miracle.  We may very well not be here next year, but St. Anthony’s is a beacon of education and will be sorely missed in this small community.  I guess there are a lot of people who are very angry.  Personally, I just feel loss and sadness that this amazing place in the middle of the plains of Colorado will be closing it’s doors after almost 100 years of growing kids in faith and education.  Father Wedow is open to options, but in all seriousness, the budgetary needs far far exceed what is at all reasonable to keep the school open after this school year.

We’re so happy that our son has been able to benefit from the great pre-school here last year and this one.  He loves his school and we do too.  St. Anthony, Pray for us!

This brings me to Part 3 of {real} this week:

Prayerful contemplation of homeschooling.  

Where do I even start?- was my first thought when we heard the news that there was a parent meeting.  Luckily, that very night, as the Holy Spirit would have it, a lovely friend Dianna of The Kennedy Adventures – an Amazing family- homeschooling- Catholic resource blog- posted this wonderful article from Catholic Sistas on homeschooling: 

10 STEPS TO START {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING

“”If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it. I had MANY of those same doubts. I read lots of homeschool and Catholic homeschool books looking for those who had conquered the obstacles I perceived and that combined with prayer fortified me. Am I perfect at it? No, no one is…no education is perfect. Let God work on your fears, it sounds like He IS working on your heart.”

Needless to say, this quote spoke right to my heart, my place, my worry, my doubt, my hope that our children will have the very best education for their individuality and ability to be life-long learners.

There are so many things to think about and now I can begin the prayer, reading and research that I thought I was done with in regard to homeschooling.

So my husband and I embark on the very real notion that we could have a homeschooling home come next fall.  If you have any moment, please pray for us.  We need all the help we can get.

~~~That’s it from casa Falls this week.  That’s quite enough I think. I pray you all are well.

Muchas gracias to Like Mother Like Daughter for hosting this linkup!  Hope to see you all there. And I would love to hear from you on these things friends!

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Much to celebrate.

It’s birthday month for our beautiful little miracle Clare. She’s turning 2 and I just cannot say how much her life has added to our family. I remember crying during prayer with my son before she was born thinking he won’t be our only little guy anymore. The heart has so much more capacity for love than we give it credit.

Happy Birthday Month Bear Bear!

Happy Birthday Month Bear Bear!

Happy International Breastfeeding Week!  In celebration I’m hosting a Big Latch On in my town for the 2nd year in a row tomorrow!  I’m proud to support breastfeeding, meet other Moms and keep the message to normalize breastfeeding going.  Plus, this year, we have some seriously amazing sponsors and gifts for Moms and babies!!!  

Happy Breastfeeding Week!

Happy Breastfeeding Week!

It’s with a sad heart that we say goodbye today to a beautiful mother, wife, Sister in Christ Sarah Harkins and her unborn baby Cecelia.  Please join me in a powerful birthday prayer for Sarah. I have been heartbroken over the past days after finding out about her accident and loss. I feel today a better person for knowing her and her legacy, getting to know her family in this tragic time.  She makes me want to be a better mother, wife, sister and follower of Christ.  Thanks be to God for our enormous Catholic family lifting them up, lifting up our own pain at the loss of someone many of us do not even know.  In celebration of her life and her birthday tomorrow we join in prayer and thanksgiving for her family, her husband Eric and beautiful children.  A special thanks to Ginny at Small Things for all of her generous updates and words of love and encouragement.

This month our son starts back to Catholic pre-school. I’m not all, Yay! he’s going to be out of the house. This is a celebration because he loves it so very much and I am so glad to say that we have finally made a choice to keep him in school instead of homeschooling (possible blog series awaits). This summer I have tried to devote prayer and thought to this.  As long as our government will not intervene in Catholic school education and as far as any diocese we move to in the future will uphold Catholic teaching and reject Common Core I am very happy for our children to be able to embark on this path. I am also so very grateful that we live in an area that we can afford to put our son into a Catholic pre-school right now.  It truly is about 1/3rd the cost of a city Catholic school.  This won’t always be the case and there are already sacrifices, but it’s worth it to us. I am so very grateful too, in no small part that God has given my husband a steady job that allows us the freedom to have our son learn and grow in such a faithful and lovely environment that is his school room. I want our children to have freedom of faith and freedom to practice our Catholic faith in every single part of their lives.  School will be the second biggest after family soon and my prayer is that they come to know and love the Lord in a way I never had as a child.  That they know the Catholic Church is their true home on Earth and that Jesus is our true home in and beyond life. 

Divine-Mercy

Baby #3rd is 31 weeks now!  We’re getting close and I’m so very grateful that our plan to stay here and have the baby in Denver is intact.  This is a really big deal.  With Clare we left for Texas at 36 weeks and I was stuck finding a new location/ob everything who would accept a vbac for “advanced Maternal age” with pretty much zero notice.  Found a great one luckily .  This baby, I’m like, good, you’ll deliver my baby, 2 hours away?  No problem, just give me -the possibility- of what I want- no drugs, access to a tub, people who can deliver a baby and we’re good.  Okey doke?  Great.  I don’t even care if you try to talk to me about birth control, that’s just a conversation starter as far as this Catholic Creighton practicing mama is concerned.  

The best part is I’m finally getting excited to meet our little guy.  Our son comes up to tell me “Mom, I like your baby belly.”  Clare is always coming up singing Doc McStuffins Check-up song and checking for his little baby heartbeat.  I’m going to miss these moments.  But look forward to them being big brother and big sister to a tiny little one now.  And- we’re going to have 3 children!  Wow.  What a terrifying blessing the Lord has bestowed upon my husband and I.  I’m so happy to share parenthood with my husband.  It’s been quite a journey and I’m sure will prove to be.  Holy Spirit, Mother Mary, please be with us!

Happy 31 Weeks Baby Falls!

Happy 31 Weeks Baby Falls!

That’s all for today.  Thank you for stopping by.  Must go prepare for all the fun at the Big Latch On tomorrow!   

Dr. football , Or how I stopped worrying and learned to love the game.

Captive Siberian tigers play-fighting

When I was a youngin I didn’t really care for all the screaming and yelling that went on with Bronco Sunday.  We weren’t Christians, as a family, and really, our religion, if there was one, was football.  So I kinda had a mad on for football for a long, Long time.  I even went to Ohio State , where in Columbus if you are not a football fan you may as well just Move.   Now that I’m not there (thanks be to God) I can appreciate the culture, from afar, a very very far.  Never was cut out to be a Buckeye.

Anyhow, as I’ve gotten older, traveled and lived all over the world, I have come to really appreciate the football season.  And expecially college football season.  Having children, especially a boy has been the game changer I think.  Not to mention of course being married to a native Alabama man and born and raised Bama fanatic.

When our son came I realized that I really want him to love and appreciate football as much as we do.  Not just because it’s the most fun you can have on a Saturday in the Fall, but because there is something, many things special about this game.  I want to flesh those things out for myself and for anyone else interested in Why!? you would ever want to watch a single game with your football loving husband.

Comaradery.  There is just a feeling, maybe inexplicable feeling you get from knowing gameday is here.  It’s like waking up on Christmas morning in October with an unknown present coming.  [Especially if you’re an Alabama fan].  But, only you and millions of other fans are in on the gifting.  You get to come together with all kinds of folks for good, clean competition.  And, this is especially why I love College Football because it’s not the NFL, players are still young and impressionable and learning who they are on and off the field.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that there aren’t big money issues in College ball, too, but still, it’s not the NFL where players are paid gajillions.  That, however is another post entirely my friendly readers.

Americana.  When I was living abroad, one of the things I would miss the most in the Fall was American Football.  It defines us as a nation, whether we like it or not, it’s Our sport.  I began to get homesick living in Korea for my friends and I hanging out in front of the tv watching a game, drinking something cold and eating all kinds of gameday food.  I guess I’m just a ‘Merican at heart.

Team.  I have always found team play really important.  Which is odd considering my personal choice of sports: Tennis and cycling.  Ha!  Those two sports are all about me, me, me.  Looking back I wish I had gone out for the girl’s soccer team, just to be part of a team sport.  And now as a Mom, I really am hoping that our kids get the chance to play, learn and enjoy team sports.  They are character building and enjoyable for so many reasons.

Roughhousing. One of the main reasons I think football in particular as a team sport is great, is because of the idea of roughhousing and learning our  inner and outer strengths.  Playing rough is one of God’s great gifts to human kind, to all animals, and it teaches us trust in ourselves, our bodies and in others.  Especially if we were allowed to roughhouse as kids.  It is practice for the real world for animals, but on many levels for us too. We learn boundaries and how to exceed them, if and where possible, and we learn about the magnificent gifts God has bestowed on us in play, through excertion of our physical bodies, through laughter and frustration, we learn, grow and get stronger.  We learn that we can overcome.  Here’s Mandisa’s gorgeous song and tear jerking video(I’m 3 for 3 in crying while viewing):

Manliness.  I believe it’s extremely important, especially today to define our gender roles.  It is essential for a boy to know that it is not only OKAY to be a boy, but to Act like a boy.  Boys are generally bigger and stronger than girls and it’s important for them to have positive, healthy outlets for being boys.  They are our future Men; future husbands, fathers, military, priests, builders, caretakers.  I want our son to know that he can be himself in a world that may not want Manliness to exist at all.  Men are an amazing, beautiful strength and gift to the human race, I would like for that to be the case forever.  And, in something as simple as playing football, they can learn skills that will carry them into Manhood with grace and love and understanding of proper roles as a beautiful thing, not something to hide or be ashamed of.

Coaching.  This is an amazing gift, this thing called coaching. It’s not parenting, but it is, it’s not teaching, but it totally is, it’s not anything short of helping a person excel at his or her own personal gifts.  I have had the privilege of knowing some wonderful coaches; people who really cared about their teams and sacrificed their own time to help kids get better and be better, on and off the field, or choir room, or theatre stage, or ninjutsu mat.

So these are some reasons I will always root for my team, try to be the best coach a kid can ask for in a parent and pray for players and coaches. And I pray that my kids have as good a coach as Peter Mussett or Nick Saban or Rhonda Fossum or Mary Stevens.  Roll Tide. PPS Coach, please don’t leave Alabama until Blaise can play for you!

Love, Vic.

My letter to Pope Benedict XVI;

Dearest Papa Bene-
It’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to you as our Pontiff.  I was so blessed to watch your final papal mass on Ash Wednesday.  How lovely a gesture that people stood and cheered for you.  As something we don’t do, it spoke volumes to my heart and I hope to you, for they were clapping and cheering for us all.

I want you to know that my fondness for you has grown immensly.  And when I say that it’s with no small amount of love or pride for my faith that this is true. You see, I used to be an anti-Catholic leftist who bought the media’s garbage that you were a Nazi and power hungry prying your way to St. Peter’s seat in Rome.  I used to think that the Catholic Church was only a place for the depraved and of the oppressed.  Especially women.  I thought that God would never deign to love me enough to want me as a part of His church on Earth.  My spirit, as you can tell, had been crushed and dismantled through years of not knowing God, of denying Jesus Christ and so denying any pontiff and his message.

When I met my to-be husband, he was going to enter the Catholic Church and I just thought he was crazy.  I was a professed Buddhist, having completely scrubbed Chrisianity(a four letter word to me then) from my life.  I had coworkers who were Christians and decidedly didn’t like them, I even told them how offensive their “God Bless you” was to me.  But, my boyfriend was a kind person and was going through RCIA.  He kept inviting me to go and I would drop him off for a few weeks thinking there’s no way I am going into a room with a bunch of Catholics who will hate me and whom I will surely hate and disagree with.  I finally decided that if I was going to really invest in this guy I had to find out what on earth he was doing entering the Church.  So I went to an RCIA thinking I was the cool buddhist in the room.  One of the cathecists was telling her story after we saw Dr. Hahn’s conversion disscussion video.  It was that night that I really decided that I could try to open my heart.  When I finally capitulated to the terrifying Candlelight Mass invitation from my husband, we walked into St. Thomas and it was just so beautiful, so mystifying.

Christ’s beauty encompassed me, us.  And “Where have I been that I wasn’t Here all this time?”, was all I could think and feel.  I wept on my knees what seemed for a lifetime.  It all fell out, all the sorrow, all the sin, all the fear, just left in His presence.

The things I did not know about you were inumerable.  I did not know your love and capacity to love.  Your incredible love of our Mother Mary has taught me so much.  How to humble oneself before God.

Papa Bene- thank you for teaching me, for leading the way for me and for Christ’s Church on Earth how to love God and our Mother Church.

Victoria.