Monday, July 30, 2012

Prayer Request

Just a little while ago Bryan received word that the father of one of Madeline's soccer teammates died today of a brain anuerism. If you can, please offer up some prayers for him, his wife and their three young children. My heart aches for his wife and children. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And Let the perpetual light shine upon him.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Looking Good!

I took Katie and Ellie to the pediatrician this morning for their well visits.  Both girls came out with a clean bill of health, but that doesn't mean that we didn't pick up any germs while we were at the office.  We almost always pick up something when we're there for a well visit.

Ellie only grew an inch and a half over the past year, but she's hit the 50lb mark.  I can't believe she's that heavy already.  She has a bit of growing to do if she hopes to get on any rides with a height requirement of 46 inches.  Hopefully she will be able to get on plenty of big kid rides when we go to Disney World in November.  He gave me his opinion on Ellie and the letter reversal concern.  He says it's very likely that the problem will correct itself by this time next year.  Apparently it's common up to age 8.  I'm hopeful that it's not the sign of a larger problem.

Katie is now 19lbs 12oz!  She's huge!  She's now 29 inches tall, too.  He tells me she's in the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight.  Compared to her big sisters she's the size they were at a year old.  She's hitting all the milestones she should be according to the doctor.  It's nice to hear that since I haven't exactly been worried about whether or not she's hitting milestones these days.  I'm more in the mindset of making sure everyone is clean and fed, and that we're meeting all the obligations and appointments on our schedule.

I managed to save myself a phone call while I was over there and got Madeline's well check lined up for next month.  I needed to make sure I got that taken care of because she needs a booster shot for school or else I'll have the school nurse sending home letters or calling me.

If all goes well I won't see the inside of the pediatrician's office until late September when it's time for Madeline's appointment.  Here's hoping we didn't pick up any icky germs while we were there today!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Three Quarters of a Year!

A week ago Katie turned nine months old.  In just two more weeks she will officially have spent as much time on the outside as she did on the inside!  She's a total joy to have around and our days are filled with many fun and exciting times with this cute squishy little girl.
Kitty Katkins is doing all sorts of things to show that she's moving up in the world.  Two weeks ago she figured out how to pull herself up on the couch so she can stand and look around.  Once in a while she will be a bit daring and take a few steps along the couch.  She's clearly more comfortable cruising along me or her daddy if we're laying on the floor.  

She even has a thing for sorting toys.  She's our first baby to actually show an interest in taking blocks out of the sorting toy and dropping them back in.  Most of the time she just tosses the blocks, but she will try to put them back from time to time.
Not long ago she discovered that she can crawl over people to save herself a few extra crawling steps.  Now obstacles are just minor speed bumps to the Kitty Kat.  I'd say at this point she has mastered crawling.  She can move across a room with relative ease.  Gone are the days when I can put her down in one room and expect to find her in that room a few minutes later.  She will happily crawl around the main level of the house exploring and tearing things apart.  
She now has four teeth.  The top two teeth are rapidly coming in while the bottom ones are only slightly above the gum line.  Fortunately for me, she's only interested in biting her spoon when we're I'm feeding her.  She's quickly growing bored with pureed foods and has recently begun to refuse to eat off a spoon for anyone but me.  It seems that Katie wants me and me only to be the one who feeds her.
Her current favorite foods at the moment are cheerios, pieces of bread and puffs.  She's very interested in what we have on our plates, but she's really not ready to try eating most table foods.  I have been mashing up some of the fruits and veggies.  We've tried pastas, but she doesn't quite understand the concept of chewing just yet.  We are making a move towards texture.

She still has very little interest in taking a bottle or a sippy cup.  She can drink water from a glass if we hold it for her.  If I need her to take a bottle occasionally she will take it, but she makes it clear that she's not thrilled about it.
Sleeping is a bit of an issue these days.  She had about three weeks where she didn't sleep well at all during the night.  Now she has developed a habit where she doesn't want to go to sleep until she has been held and rocked for a good while.  Some night it takes close to an hour to lull her to sleep.  While I love holding this little chunk of a girl as she goes to sleep, I do wish she could go down for the night as easily as she goes down for her morning and afternoon naps.  I just worry that her nighttime routine will be a hard habit to break a little further down the line.

Katie is trying to talk a bit more.  She will say "Hi Dada!" when Bryan says hi to her.  She says Mama and Madeline and Ellie are convinced that she says yeah and ok among other things.

Two weeks ago when she had an ear infection they weighed her at the doctor's office.  She was already over 19lbs at that visit.  I can't believe she's that big already.  I knew she was heavy, but I didn't think she weighed that much.

A Birthday Girl!

I'm over a week late in writing this, but Ellie is now seven.  Her birthday and the last day of VBS had the misfortune of falling on the same day which made for a very busy long day for me and not as much time celebrating our birthday girl as I would have liked.  We made up for it by celebrating her birthday that afternoon, the following day and a week later when she finally had her Lego/pool birthday party.

My parents took Madeline and Ellie to Chick-Fil-A while Bryan and I stayed at the school getting things back to the way we found them the week before.  It was cow appreciation day, so my parents and the girls dressed up as cows and had a free chicken birthday lunch.  I'll have to post a picture of them dressed as cows later.

Once we came home from the school we celebrated her birthday with ice cream cone shaped cupcakes that my mom made.  Ellie then got to open her presents.  On opening the cards from us, my parents and my brother we discovered that we all brought the exact same card!  Once in a while she'll get a few doubles but this was the first time she got three of the same card in a row!  My parents noted that she hit the jackpot and told me that we needed to line them up and take the picture you see above.

She was thrilled with her girly Lego housethat her Uncle Mark had sent up for her.  She and Madeline got to work building it the very next day.

She later discovered that she really likes the Zita the Spacegirlbook that we gave her.  She's been reading it ever since.  I think she likes that it's a graphic novel.  She was excited when I told her there's a new Zita bookcoming out soon.  Maybe she'll find it in her stocking on Christmas morning.

Pictures of her Lego/pool party will be coming soon, I hope!  Life has been moving so fast these days that sometimes weeks get away from me before I can blog the things I want to share.

Our Ellie is Seven!

I'm about a week an a half late, but two Fridays ago our Ellie celebrated her seventh birthday.  Seven just seems like such a big number for such a little girl.

I'm just amazed that Ellie is seven years old already.  Honestly, where did the past seven years go?  I think she left me in the dust about five or six years ago.  
It seems like yesterday that Ellie was this tiny little not even ten hours old newborn in my arms.  

 I scarcely blinked and the was suddenly one.
And then, out of nowhere she was two!
She quickly turned three while my back was turned for just a moment.
She was four for barely an hour I'm sure!
How she came to be five is beyond me, but I have the hardest time believing it was two years ago.
She turned six so quick that even the cupcakes stayed the same!
And now, somehow she is seven.  Seven adventure filled years have quickly slipped by.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Full Out, No Brakes

Bryan has been taking the girls on bike rides a lot lately.  Ellie sticks to riding around the neighborhood with him, while Madeline has recently starting riding a ten mile bike trail with him.  For the most part they're all enjoying their biking expeditions.

We've had a couple incidents with Ellie who isn't very interested in utilizing the brakes on her bike.  She has a coaster brake and a hand one, so it's not an issue of her not knowing how to stop the bike.  A few weeks ago she managed to plow into the pole for our street sign.  She hit it so hard that it was knocked loose and was visibly crooked.  Later that week two city maintenance workers came out and fixed the sign.  Tonight she somehow managed to run into someone's mailbox.  Bryan came home and asked me to write a note to the people who own it and ask them to please assess whether or not it is damaged.  I walked over to their house with Bryan hoping that the mailbox wouldn't look too bad.  Instead I find that it's leaning and is one of those nice heavy duty metal ones that appear to be screwed down into a slab of concrete.  I think she may have knocked another concrete block loose.

Bryan and I are amazed that Ellie has managed to plow into these things and come away with little more than a couple small cuts.  We're still not sure how she's managed to hit either of these things or why she won't use the brakes.  Just last week she nearly plowed into a woman who was walking on the sidewalk.

She's a bit scary when it comes to riding a bike, but it's adding to our list of funny stories we'll get to tell for years to come.  It's not everyday you get to tape a note to someone's front door telling them that your child crashed into their mailbox.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Small Successes- July 19th

Celebrating the little things in life that add up.

1. In what could possibly be the laziest success I've ever claimed, I have remembered to press the button on both Roomba vacseach day for the past three days.  That means my floors have been effortlessly cleaned for the past few days.  The Roombasmake me feel like I'm on the Jestons.*

2.  Slowly but surely we're getting the things we need for Ellie's birthday party tomorrow.  Her party was delayed a week due to VBS and my forgetting to send out the invitations when I was supposed to.

3.  I ordered uniform shirts for the girls a few days ago.  I'm impatiently waiting until next Wednesday for the school's uniform exchange to see if I can score some skorts, and sweater vests for Madeline and another jumper and a sweater for Ellie.  We were already given some uniform pieces for Ellie, but most of it is pretty big on her.

4. I'm working my way through the laundry.

*So you don't think I'm insane and spending oodles of money on robot vacuums.  I received both of them as review products.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dyslexia and Education

Ever have those moments where it feels like a lot of things converge and suddenly you feel like you have a bit of a problem on your hands?  That's sort of how I'm feeling right now.

Last fall when we sat down with Ellie's teacher she mentioned that she thought Ellie might have very mild dyslexia.  She confuses b and d and p and 9.  This creates spelling and math errors as well as some pronunciation issues when she's reading.  At the time the teacher brought this up, I was only aware of the b and d confusion.

The teacher told me it was something we'd have to keep an eye on.  She was watching, too.  This morning as I checked Ellie's copy work and journal writing I saw numerous b and d mix ups.  I'm beginning to feel like she should have been evaluated by the school last year.

I asked the teacher about having Ellie evaluated, and she told us it was something we should wait on and that she'd have it done if she didn't improve.  Well, she didn't improve and she wasn't evaluated.

I'm suddenly feeling very uneasy about our educational plans for this upcoming school year.  She's going to a Catholic school next year and I'm worried that  if she is, indeed, dyslexic that they won't be able to help her there.  I know people who have had to remove their children from Catholic schools because they didn't have the resources available to help a child with dyslexia.  Am I dooming Ellie?  This year will mark school number three in three years of school [the school she went to for K only went from preschool to K, then she attended the local K-4 for 1st last year].  I'm already a bit ill at ease with the school hopping.  I want the school front to be settled so she can settle in, make friends and learn with consistency.

I still feel pulled/called to homeschool the girls and I don't know what recourse, if any we will have with the local school district to receive help for Ellie if she needs it if we homeschool her instead.  I'm feeling overwhelmed and I seriously don't know what we should be doing for her at this point.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rapid Fire Teething

Katie's teething has me amazed.  Three weeks ago she didn't have any teeth, and now she has four that have cut their way through!

Her top left tooth looks like it's getting bigger and bigger with each passing day.  A tiny corner of it's neighbor cut through a day or two ago.  Two days ago we discovered that the top of her bottom left tooth was through, and today the right one was above the gums.

If you had told me a few months ago that I'd still be nursing Katie when she had teeth I would have laughed at you.  But here I am doing what I thought would be impossible.  Both Madeline and Ellie bit me very hard as soon as their first tooth was in.  By the time Madeline bit me she was almost weaned, so her biting ended her nursing days.  I tried to nurse Ellie when she got her teeth, but I weaned her almost immediately when she bit me and left a nice bleeding gash.  OUCH!

So far Katie has been pretty responsible with her little sharp teeth.  I keep asking Bryan if he thinks this is because she dislikes bottles and sippy cups so much.  When she does start to nibble, I've just been popping her off and setting her down.  I'm hopeful that doing this will teach her that biting means she's not eating.  So far the only times she has tried biting is when she's done or nearly done eating.

If she does start chomping down on me I don't know what we're going to do.  I don't think she'll stand for moving over to a bottle or cup.  For the moment I'm just taking things a day at a time and praying that she doesn't try to test out those new teeth each time I sit down to feed her.

The past week was really rough with her waking up cranky either from teething or the ear infection.  That coupled with the stress of VBS was almost more "fun" than I ought to have most days.  Four out of five of the nights during VBS left me feeling VERY sleep deprived the next day.  I was wiped out enough that I never took the older girls out to the pool during the week because I was worried that I might fall asleep while we were out there.

What a busy week!

I'm exhausted after the past nine days!  This past week was VBS so I was incredibly busy first with preparing for VBS and then making sure everything went smoothly for all of the volunteers.  As the week drew to a close yesterday I felt incredibly relived.  Now I have fifty-one weeks to plan for next year.

I learned some things this year.  It's good to take notes to make improvements in the future.  I discovered that it's pretty time consuming to try and reinvent the wheel each year.  It was something that I kept realizing over and over as I prepared for this past week.  Armed with my notes, I will be sitting down next week and writing up procedures and guidelines for next year.  I'm also going to come up with a basic time line so I can have an even better handle on things.

I feel so blessed that I had such amazing people to help me out along the way.  I'm convinced that I could not have found better volunteers to teach the classes if I had tried.  These people were all amazing.  My lackluster hall decorations ended up being ok simply because the teachers had amazingly creative room decorations.

So another year of directing VBS is behind me.  I'm pretty confident that next year's program will run even smoother than this year.  It's my hope that all of the things for which I am responsible will come together quickly and run like a well-oiled machine.  Time will only tell.

I'm also kicking around the idea of writing my own VBS program for 2014.  I had a student volunteer suggest an amazing theme that created quite a buzz among some of the other people involved with VBS.  I even have a teacher who said she'd be willing to collaborate with me on the project.  I'm excited about the prospect and hope we can make it happen.

Bryan has been coming up with lots of suggestions for me to streamline the registration process and speed it up, as well.  I'm going to be passing these suggestions along to our DRE and see which of them can be implemented for next year.  One of them will bring the registration process into the digital realm, and the other might potentially help VBS get the bulk of it's registrations in one weekend.

I'm truly exhausted after this past week, but I can't help but feel a bit energized about planning for next year.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Katie Update

One of the things I like about blogging is sometimes I get a commenter who offers a suggestion or a perspective that I hadn't considered or simply haven't had the clarity of mind to think of on my own.  A few days ago I blogged about Katie's teething and how she was miserable.

A commenter, Mrs. Poole, made a friendly suggestion that perhaps she might need to see a doctor to get her ears checked.  I mentioned it to Bryan yesterday, but he was convinced that it was just teething.  I had a busy day ahead of me with VBS preparations, so my choices were to throw the day into upheaval on the off chance that she had more than a cold/teething.  By around 6:30 last night I began to reconsider my decision to wait and see.

Things started clicking into place.  She was coughing, sticking her hands into her throat trying to make herself vomit, and kept sticking her hands behind her head and screaming.  Some of what she was doing was making me think she either had something going on with her ears or her throat.

This morning I called the pediatrician and got her an early appointment.  I told Bryan that essentially this was a now or never thing.  She cried for about two hours last night between 3 and 5am.  I need to be available from Sunday through Friday this week for VBS so I knew I needed to know one way or another if she was sick or not, now.  We brought her in to the doctor's office and it turns out she has an ear infection and possibly pink eye.  So now she's on antibiotics and eye drops.  The doctor also thinks with the cough she has that it's possible that it may turn into Croup.  I'm praying that it doesn't come to that.  Croup in a week when I need to have my wits about me is not a good thing.

So thank you Mrs. Poole for your comment.  If it wasn't for your friendly suggestion, I may not have taken her to the doctor for a few more days.  Now Katie will be on the mend rather than suffering through this.

I always welcome comments.  Even if you think I might not like what you have to say, comment anyway.  I don't mind if you step on my toes a bit or light a fire under me as long as it's not done with the intent to be unkind.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Takes Volume 41

I'm almost ready for VBS to happen next week.  I have a short to do list of things that still have to be done.  

This morning I plan to get as much of the school gym and hallways decorated as I can.  I have realized that I'm really not feeling the national park theme.  I couldn't even bring myself to try to make decorations.

I realized last week that because I didn't write down what I did last year, in some ways I had to once again by trial and error figure out the best way to do certain things for VBS.  This year I decided to create a document that I can reference next year.

I've decided that next year, I need to be more on top of things in terms of paperwork for VBS.  I'm discovering that I didn't necessarily enter all of my student volunteers' names into my database.  I guess this is what happens when you use post it notes to take notes or answer emails with the phone while on the go.  Next year I think I'm only going to handle VBS emails at home on my computer.  Using the phone, the iPad and the laptop isn't the best way to handle this since emails seem to vanish between the three.  Better to stick with just one device for this, I think.

I took Madeline and Ellie out to the pool yesterday.  While they played, I read my book. I didn't realize it was very hot out there [I thought it was just very nice out, but it was high 90s].  I realized later in the day when my legs were a cross between hot pink and red that the sun wasn't just making my legs feel warm in the pool, it was burning me.  Sigh.  This is what I get when I decide I need a little break from teething and VBS.

Anyone have a good link to a rosary how-to printable that is geared to children?  I need something that I can send home with the VBS campers the day they make rosaries in arts and crafts.

Ellie's birthday is in just one week.  Eek!  I still need to plan her party and send out invitations for her party that I hope to have next Saturday.  Oh, how I wish that her birthday and VBS didn't collide!   She wants a Lego party so I'm going to try and put something together using the posts on this topic from Shower of Roses and Waltzing Matilda as my inspiration.  Speaking of Ellie, did I mention that she's toothless?  She lost her other top front tooth on the 4th of July.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teething is Tough

The past week and a half here have been pretty rough.  Katie is cutting several teeth and that translates into a lot of screaming.  When the house is completely quiet [which is rare] Bryan and I still think we hear Katie crying.

I'm exhausted.  Katie has been waking up in the middle of the night because of the teeth and the icky cold she seems to have developed.  Why are teeth and yucky snotty colds so prone to happening at the same time?  So back to her waking in the middle of the night.  Most nights this happens minutes after I fall asleep in our bed.  This isn't just cranky baby waking up and crying.  No this is screaming at the top of her lungs baby.  No crying, just screams.  Screams that I bet you can hear a few houses away at 2am if you happen to be awake.

I feel like I'm dragging.  Katie is usually a very happy baby, but this teething business has made her quite crabby.  A few days ago tooth number one cut all the way through.  Now tooth number two is partially in, and the bottom teeth look like they'll be breaking through pretty soon.  The timing for all of this is, of course, most inopportune.  Teething while Bryan was in Nashville was a big drain on me.  I had hoped things would get better once he was home but they haven't. The drool turned into snot and the snot turned into a cold which is now in both eyes.  She's cranky and I'm thinking about how it might be nice and Bryan and I had the ability to go somewhere for a weekend.  I'm already seriously considering going on a retreat next spring.

The screaming, crying, snotting and sleep deprivation are making it hard for me to think straight.  VBS starts on Monday and the last minute things I need to to are taking me quite a while to do because I need to tend to Katie.  This is turn is stressing me out.   I can't tell 150+ people that I've got a teething, sick baby and need to push VBS to the back burner.  I'm inching towards having everything done, but like most things over the past year, it's not following my control freak time line.  Alas, I'm still learning that I'm really not the one in control.

Tomorrow I'll take Katie over to the school to start doing what I originally had planned for Sunday.  Madeline has to altar serve for a funeral in the morning and a wedding later in the afternoon.  My plan is to work on decorating the parts of the school that are my job and to get all of the materials distributed to the classrooms for the teachers.  If all goes well, I may be able to finish decorating tomorrow, but only God knows what tomorrow will have in store for me.  I'm praying that Katie will kick this yucky cold and that I will be able to do everything I need to do with no difficulty.

Outsmarting Mr. Furkins

For as often as I refer to Oscar as a dumb dog or "stupid Mr. Furkins" he's really not a dumb dog in terms of intellect.  He is a stupid dog that does dumb dog things that irritate me, but he's a smart stupid dog.

I don't wear shoes in the house, so when he sees me put shoes on he knows I must be leaving and will go into his crate so someone can lock him in.  Same scenario if I pull out the keys to my car.  He just knows the drill and saves me the trouble of having to yell "Crate!"

I can tell him to "go to the bathroom," and he will run out into the back yard and take care of business.  If I tell him he smells, he will walk away from me.  He will also leave the room if I sternly say "out."

Bryan, who has lived with dogs his whole life, says he's amazed at how many words and phrases he understands.  He's even more amazed by the dogs ability to distinguish between regular clothing and bathing suits.

Oscar is a nervous Nellie and pain in the rear when it comes to the pool.  If he sees us in bathing suits he's instantly excited and wants to go out to the pool, too.  When he's denied access, he will bark and carry on from the moment we head out until we're back inside.  It's annoying and it makes the prospect of going swimming while Katie naps impossible.

Last week I decided that I would start spelling pool since he knows the word and what it means.  I told the girls that we were going to go in the P-O-O-L while Katie napped and we would have to take Oscar down to Bryan's office in the basement.  Spelling worked, and he was content to hang with Bryan in the office while we swam.

This past weekend we realized that spelling it out didn't do much when he started barking right away as soon as we took he down to an empty office.  Then Bryan got the genius idea of telling the girls that we were going to the store.  Oscar knows what that means--time to go in his crate!  I didn't think it would work since he would still see us in bathing suits so Bryan tossed a blanket over the front of his crate so he couldn't see us.  To further convince the dog that we were really going out, we exited through the garage and closed the garage door behind us.

I'll be honest, I never thought Oscar would buy it, but he has.  What amazes me is the dog is aware that we're "leaving Katie behind" and doesn't seem to find that very odd.  He was whimpering one afternoon when Bryan came back in the house for something, but not enough to disturb Katie's nap.

We don't want him to catch on to the "going to the store" ruse, so we changed it to "going to the library" a couple days ago.  The problem with "going to the store" is Madeline and Ellie have gotten confused a few times.  They know we almost never go to the library, so it's easier to convey the message that we mean "let's go swimming" and not what we're actually saying.

When I think about it, it's actually quite comical the lengths we have to go to in order to trick the dog.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: Saint Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions edited by Friar Jack Wintz is a collection of articles on this popular saint.  The most of articles came from past issues of St. Anthony Messenger magazine and a few chapters were written specifically for this book.  This volume is actually an expanded revision of Saint Anthony of Padua: The Story of his Life and Popular Devotions.

St. Anthony is one of those saints who I frequently am asking for his intercession, but I really knew very little about him outside the fact that he's the patron saint of finding lost things.  After reading this book I feel like I know this old friend of mine much better.

This book is separated into five parts:  A portrait of St. Anthony, which covers his life.  The Legends of St. Anthony, which takes a look at some of the legends surrounding him and the reasons for the symbolism frequently depicted in paintings and statues of him.  St. Anthony, the Contemplative which discusses his hideaways and contemplative life. Praying to St. Anthony, which looks at popular devotions, tracing his footsteps and a lovely novena. And finally, a section on the shrines of St. Anthony.

I enjoyed this book and felt like I really got to know so much more about St. Anthony from reading this book.  I learned things about St. Anthony that I never thought much about before.  I feel like I met my sainted friend for the first time after having read this book.

Now because this book is a compilation of articles on St. Anthony from various authors, there is a bit of redundancy here and there.  In one chapter you may read about an aspect of his life only to find another blurb about it in a later chapter.  If the book wasn't a compilation of articles, I'd think the author was a bit scatterbrained at times, but given the nature of the book, I don't think it's much of an issue.  It's just something that caught my attention here and there while I read the book.

Overall, I'd say this is a pretty good book for getting to know this popular saint.

I was provided with a review copy of this book by the publisher, St. Anthony Messenger Press, in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Book Review: The Catholics Next Door

A few months ago I became aware that Greg and Jennifer Willits, The Catholics Next Door, had written a book.  It was one of those books that I had on my list of books I had hoped to read.  I like to listen to their pod casts from their radio show so I was fairly certain that I'd like their book, too.

When a review copy of this book showed up in my mail box I was pretty excited.  That day I started reading it and had a hard time putting it down.  The following day I spent a lazy afternoon engrossed in the book and finished it.  The book is a great mix of sound advice and humor.

Several of the "adventures in imperfect living" shared in this book are expanded versions of what I've heard on a few of their podcasts.  So I think it's safe to say if you enjoy listening to Greg and Jennifer on Sirius XM radio or via their podcasts, you'll probably like this book as much as I did.  If you've never listened to them [and you're not anti-humor--seriously, there are people out there who don't want any humor mixed in their Catholicism] and you're in the trenches raising kids you'll likely enjoy this book.

While this book is actually quite humorous, that doesn't mean that Greg and Jennifer don't cover any serious topics.  They talk about some of the tough topics that are tough for some Catholic couples to swallow, such as being open to life and practicing NFP [Natural Family Planning].  They are very candid about these topics and are pretty transparent about how at one point in time they bought into a more secular view of these issues.  They share how they put their marriage first, before their kids, and why that's a good thing for both them and their children.  They even discuss their experiences with homeschooling and public education.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it if your looking for something good to read this summer.

I was provided with a review copy of The Catholics Next Door Adventures in Imperfect Living by the publisher, Servant Books in exchange for my honest review.  You can take a peek inside this book here.
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