Tuesday, September 3, 2019


Wow, talk about neglecting the blog. I haven't updated since last Lent. And, oh my! So much has happened since then!!

So, first some pictures of these crazy growing boys!

Dinner out with Beth Anne and Tom - Christopher is hiding both from the rain and the people

Another night out with Beth Anne and Tome

Started school nice and early this year...read on to find out why!

So in April we found out that we are expecting Spano baby #4, who will make his/her appearance around Christmas time this year! We are so excited!!

This summer I took a 2 week road trip just me and the boys. We drove from Colorado to St. Augustine Florida to visit my friend Beth Anne and see the area. I went there for her wedding a couple years ago and just loved it. This wasn't actually as bad as I'm sure you're thinking it must have been. The boys did relatively well on the drives and loved the hotel stays. Jason was able to work long hours and clean the basement area so well that now we can use the office as a school room! We did find out that while Christopher can handle heat in Lamar, CO just fine...he did not enjoy, nor appreciate, the humidity down south. It was so bad that when we tried to go to the beach the first day in Florida, he flipped out and screamed "no Christopher outside! Christopher car!" So, lesson learned. If we did anything like this again, I think it would be better to do it in the fall. Maybe. Who knows with him!

When we got back from the trip we took a few days rest and started school up, because when I was pregnant with Benedict we ended up taking about 18 weeks off because I couldn't do any upright sitting to teach them without massive contractions. I wanted to be ahead of the game somewhat. So far I'm not on bed rest (Woohoo!!), I'm contracting some so I take it as easy as I can, but we usually manage to get school done at the very least. We're almost done with the first quarter and I'm trying to figure out if I want to take a little break, or go straight into the next one. I'll probably make that decision next week. 

As I mentioned, I'm not on bed rest (I'd already been transported once with Benedict at this point) and I'm not on insulin yet (had started insulin by now with Benedict), so the pregnancy seems to be going slightly smoother so far. I'm on a pretty strict gestational diabetes diet, my after meal sugars are great but my fasting sugars are creeping up. I see the doctor on Friday to see what he wants to do about that. 

I think we'll leave it here for now. I have high hopes to blog more frequently and I have some ideas in the brain! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A Lenten Update

I had big plans this Lent to focus a bit on my blog, but it's been a long time since I've done an update. Sigh, that's how it is sometimes right? I mean, I'm at home all day long, it seems like it should be easy to pop over to my blog and blast out an update. Oh well, it is what it is. 😊

So, how is your Lent going? Fruitful I hope. This Lent has been fruitful and humbling for me. I planned to go to Daily Mass and thought all along that it's been my laziness keeping me from it. The first week the baby got sick. The second week The big boys got sick. The next week I was so tired from being up so much with the baby. I made it a couple days each week and I'm considering that good. That's the humbling part. Even when we are at our best, trying our hardest, sometimes it's not about us. Sometimes we need to remember to live our vocations and that might mean that focusing at Mass is harder because you're trying to keep one child from "punching" out at everything annoying him (the piano, the lights, noisy kids, the priest not being the one he wants). Sometimes living my vocation at this season in my life looks a lot like laziness, it FEELS that way to me, but at the same time I'm feeding a baby at night, or keeping everyone else from catching whatever he has.

The puncher contemplating life--or at least trying to figure out if I'll let him jump down
This Lent has also been fruitful because some of the things I've managed to keep up with nearly 100%. I've done spiritual reading every night but 2 since the beginning of Lent. I'm proud of that because it's often where I struggle the most. There have been many parts that I've read that have really spoken to me and I'm thankful that I've managed to keep up with it. I've also managed to not play my Switch (except for Sundays-don't judge me! 😝) and that has helped me to stay a bit more focused on living in the moment during the day. I've actually managed NOT to just fill that time with other meaningless things and have been more present with the boys, including bike rides, park play time and outside playing. 
 Happy Birthday to me! I got a new bike that is electric assist and it makes pulling this train much easier!
Yes Benedict is wearing a large pull up over his clothes...is that weird?

I think this is actually Jason's picture but that's because I can't manage to touch my phone when we're outside usually because this child is FAST and also fearless! 
So, how has your Lent been? Fruitful I hope!

Monday, March 4, 2019

It's Almost Lent!

This weeks starts Lent! I'm very excited this year for some reason. Dominic is doing kind of an enforced fasting/sacrifice, and by default Christopher is as well. Dominic can understand why he's being asked to sacrifice (he definitely doesn't like it, but he understands!), but Christopher doesn't. I wonder if that means that his sacrifice is more meaningful. Who knows! Anyway, the boys (and also by default-me) are giving up electronics before school is done. We used to always do this anyway, but when I was not getting much sleep I was letting the boys do that so that I could sleep in. Yes, yes, bad momming I know. So, we are getting back to that; in addition we will not have electronics for any meals any more. We do well with dinner, but if we are having lunch at home I often let them eat with their devices, but I'm going to stop that. I'm hoping that at the end of Lent we are better positioned to continue both of those habits.

Since fasting and abstaining is not technically required for the boys (though they abstain when we do anyway, I do enough double cooking, I'm not adding extra for that), I'm going to try to get Dominic to do a small fast weekly. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday these will be bigger, but on Fridays I'm thinking it will be something like only eating main meals, no snacks/dessert. I'm trying to guide him without forcing, but I know that he does need the specific direction as well.

Jason ordered this book, and it's been kind of fun to go through her list of Lenten sacrifice suggestions. I'll be real, some are weirdly intense, and some don't seem intense at all. For example, one that is listed as an advanced sacrifice is to not use your dishwasher, we don't have one anyway; but another one the beginning suggestion is not eating out and the advanced is growing your own food. Ummm, that takes way more planning than I've ever given Lent and I've been known to start thinking about Lent during ADVENT. I mean for real, that would require living in the right place and A LOT of pre-planning. There are some really good suggestions though, and I'm pretty excited to go through the rest of the year with her.

We are very excited that the first Sunday in Lent we will be attending Low Mass at an FSSP parish in Denver. It is 3 hours away, but we are feeling a calling to a more traditional Mass. Bonus is that there is no music at low Mass, so hopefully Christopher will approve! :)

That's it for now! I plan to post some recipes during Lent and some other things about our Lenten sacrifices and how things are going. I will also hopefully be able to post some pictures next week from the FSSP parish we attend!

Thursday, February 21, 2019


I was doing so well with my blog posts, I need to schedule time to get one in! Which seems crazy but the truth is I just forget.

We are just ending week 25 in our homeschool, and prior to this week I've always written out my lesson plans in a notebook or planner. Jason gave me a hard time about not being techy despite having all the technology easily available, so this week I started scanning in the lesson plans to a Google drive file and then scrolling through on computer. This is actually incredibly handy. I can do just the daily portion of the lesson plan (in case this is confusing; Seton provides lesson plans for each course your child is enrolled in, but they come all together. They also offer a way to print out daily or weekly lesson plans but it's not easy to transfer them to another file type and it's a waste of printing), and then I can add several pages. For Dominic this is really great because he does have several lessons, for Christopher I can add a comment and list out his lessons that aren't included in the lesson plans because they are part of his special ed program. We decided not to continue with Time4Learning, not because it wasn't a good program, but because it was a huge fight for Christopher. I'm hoping to get to the city maybe this weekend and get some more workbooks because oddly that seems to be what he does better.

Benedict is ready to have his own desk and important things to do!

I have decided to start Weight Watchers (WW now) again; it seems like I've started and stopped a million different things, Weight Watchers included, but in some ways this feels different. I'm feeling really hopeless with regards to my weight and I need to make some serious changes. Especially because Jason promised me I could order this dress if I drop 25lbs and I desperately want it (with sleeves and past my knees though)! And I really want to be bike riding ready by Spring. I'd like to get a recumbent bike, possibly a tandem one to ride with Dominic, but at my weight it's hard to justify such an expensive purchase if it's at all possible that I could break it. So, wish me luck!

This book is coming to us, Jason doesn't remember if he ordered it or not, but he got a notification that it's on its way so someone did. I'm actually kind of excited because it looks like it will be really good. We are always looking for ways to live more liturgically in our home. I've been trying to have the boys do saint coloring pages and reading to them about the saint as they do, and I think that's been one good way.

Well, that's all the updates for right now! Hopefully I get a schedule going for writing out blog posts! 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Finding the Right Balance

We've been happily using Seton for our Catholic homeschool since Dominic was in pre-school. I do kind of geek out and look at various different programs, but all in all I'm content with what we're doing. I love that everything has the quiet background of our Catholic faith; Dominic's English lessons frequently have stories about saints and his math has beautiful artwork on the pages. Christopher's lessons are a bit different because we are doing special ed for him and he's not using all of the same lessons from Seton. But, there is still that quiet background of faith in most of his stuff.

However, lately I've noticed that Christopher is mostly just watching. I don't have the knowledge to know how to make sure that he's getting everything. He is tested in spelling and phonics, but he is not tested in math or language arts. He does exceptionally well at spelling and phonics and is a really good little reader! On top of that, he's actually only doing 30-45 min of lessons. Then the rest of the day is filled with too much screen time (I know, I know, I'm terrible!). So, I wanted to add something, but there's a reason that I don't design our curriculum. A friend of mine had used Time4Learning for a bit last year and thought that it was pretty good. It was actually also listed in an article i read about good online homeschools for autistic kids so I thought it would be interesting to try.

We are not changing from Seton. We've added this to our day. I'm not super worried about a schedule with it, so if we finish by the end of the year that's great, if not, that's also okay because this is in addition to what we're doing with Seton. We've been doing it for a week and we do "computer school" in the afternoons and it's a little bit of a fight with Christopher, but I'm sticking with it because it's a good addition for us. Wish us luck!

**here's a few unrelated photos because we have cute kids!
We're getting to where everyone loves the library!

This is Dominic when he was 2 I think? Jason found the picture and it reminded him of the inkling girl's face when she loses! So funny!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Sometimes Housekeeper

I am a terrible housekeeper, like really bad. It's weird because I have distinct memories of rules for keeping my room clean as well as Saturdays spent cleaning house. And yet, the sad truth is that I'm a slob. Poor Jason! His borderline OCD has caused him to have to let a lot go in our house to deal with my shortcomings. The problem is that I let things go too long (lazy) and then the idea of getting things back to where they need to be is so overwhelming that I can't begin and then it gets worse and it is a terrible cycle.

I have frequently relied on Jason to help with things, which he is awesome he totally is always willing to do anything I ask of him. Even cleaning bathrooms!!! Well, in doing some spiritual reflection (weird right?), I began to realize that my laziness and my inability to complete these tasks MOST of the time was in fact a spiritual problem. My vocation is as a wife and mom. My primary concern is of course raising good, holy children. But, caring for my home is definitely an important part of this. Caring for our home in a way that provides a safe, relaxing environment is important for us. Not just because nobody wants to be in a messy home, but also because it allows Jason to have that relaxation time that he needs to do the spiritual care of himself that he needs. It all intersects and it's all equally important.

So, I set myself some calendar reminders and gave it a start this week. Jason cleaned the living room really well a few weeks ago and we've been doing a pretty good job of keeping it mostly clean. We have the boys help do a clean up at night before our family Rosary. I cleaned up the kitchen including sweeping and mopping this past weekend and am determined to keep it this clean. It's very convenient to have be able to have Benedict wander the kitchen just a bit while I'm cooking or doing the dishes. You would not believe how convenient! So, I have 2 days a week where I'm going to sweep and mop the kitchen, 1 day for the living room, 1 day for picking up and vaccuming the bedrooms and schoolroom, and 1 day for bathrooms. Laundry interspersed throughout with school every morning. It's a lot, but actually it's not. It only took me about 15 minutes to sweep and mop the kitchen yesterday afternoon because I'd just done it. I anticipate the bedrooms will take a bit longer to do this afternoon but only because it's been so long since they've been cleaned really well. 

It's not perfect, but it's a definite start!

Now for some unrelated photos! 😊

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Homeschool Life

I wanted to chat about where the boys are with school. Last year we actually took about 18 weeks off during my bed rest. Even though Jason moved a desk into the bedroom and would bring the school books in so I could plan, just sitting that much upright was too hard for me. So they didn't get much of vacation for the summer, I think we took a month off or something. So we have Dominic in 2nd grade this year and Christopher in 1st grade.

As you can see a little in this picture and a little bit more in the next, I use the wipe off board to use as a calendar. I write the day and the Litrugical time of year. I think that's super cool, and gets them used to it. We start the school day off with Dominic reading the day and then we say a prayer.
Beth Anne has that printable Liturgical calendar available on her website, I recommend you head over and check it out. She also gave me a link to print out the calendar like what we get from the church. That's nice because we can keep it easy to read and up close. 

After praying together, we have a few lessons we do together. We do an art lesson once a week, it's slightly painful because the boys are not art kids. They don't like drawing or coloring or anything like that. Also, I am a terrible artist. 😐

I've been impressed with the change in Dominic, from not wanting to do it at all to being willing to at least TRY, which is all that I ask of him. The one on the board is mine, and then the one with the chalice that is very clear is what I started for Christopher then he added the rest. 

Religion is mostly just Christopher barely listening, but Dominic is really engaged. The 2nd grade book is set up very cool because it's like the lesson with a few questions to reiterate things. Then the next day it repeats the prior days lesson in a super short version, and adds to it. There are 4 days of lessons with Fridays free or for review. 

Then Christopher has Phonics/Reading, Language Arts, Math, Spelling, and Social Studies. With his special needs counselor we added Handwriting Without Tears which might work for some kids, but for some reason it is a serious misnomer for us. So instead I have done a combination of printing out some handwriting sheets as well as using his spelling for writing. 

Dominic's list of lessons is a bit longer; he has English, Phonics, Reading, Handwriting, Math, Science/History (every other week), and Spelling. Sometimes I even feel like a real teacher with writing on the board and things. 
It's been super fun to see what the boys are good at and what they enjoy. For example, usually for Christopher's spelling tests, he will just tell me the spelling. I mean, sure, he's saying something like "no S no A no T" but he still spelled 'sat' so it's a win. But last week...last week he wanted to spell the words with writing them himself. 😭
He needed help with writing the 'e' and he has a weird habit right now of turning letters into 'H'. So like you can see on number 3 it was  'this' but after writing it he changed the 'i' into an 'H'. He's silly. Number 6 was 'wine' and he did that without any help at all. It was just such a huge change from anything before. 

One other thing that I really love about Seton is that there is religion in everything. Here is some of Dominic's English which is actually the best example. He was learning adjectives, but it tells the story of Tarcisius. He's also learned about Joan of Arc, and most recently St. Bruno. And that's just because of assignments with a story throughout each assignment. 
All in all our lessons seem to be going well and I'm excited to continue on!