Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Room For the Holy Spirit

I've been super busy with trip plans...reserving trains from point to point, working out accommodations, and back to the drawing board on accommodations for Jane and Gabe who will be staying behind.  It's difficult work to say the least.  One minute you think you have something nailed down just to have it pop back up the next.  Visits we wanted to make have now gone to the wayside while others we didn't think we would have now come onto our itinerary.  It's amazing how things start to unfold.  I'm definitely feeling crunched for time.  Working on trip plans from here when your destination is a whole day ahead of you, can be grueling.
I decided to quasi-take the day off from trip planning.  I really needed the break, and the kids have been missing me at the school table with them.  Our curriculum has changed this year.  We are concentrating on History and Art because of the trip.  Math, Spelling, Writing, and Grammar are being done independently by each child.  I just check their work to make sure they're on track.  For History we are using Memoria Press's Famous Men of the Middle Ages.  The stories are exciting so I read them aloud to the kids.  Today they wrote essays comparing and contrasting Alaric the Visigoth and Attila the Hun.  In this book, we will be reading about a few popes, Charlemagne, el Cid, and St. Joan of Arc, to name a few.  I'll see if we have time to go back through Famous Men of Rome.
For Art, I pulled all the cards I have from Mommy It's a Renoir from the different museums we'll be visiting:  The Prado, the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, the Uffizi in Florence (possibly the Accademia), and the Vatican Museums. Since the cards I have don't give us many examples of what we'll see, I ordered Masterpiece Cards just this morning so I can continue to put more works of art on the walls.  Daddy commented last evening that he loves the art gallery upstairs.  Monica and I put the art cards up there since those walls seemed to be the only bare walls left in the house!

On another front...male viewers of my blog can stop reading here since they usually comment to me that I get a bit too personal on my blog.  Hey, I thought this was a Catholic family blog!  Well, that's just how real the Catholic family is!!  So...leaving room for the Holy Spirit not only on the homeschool front, but also on the NFP front, I'll continue.

I recently spoke with a friend about my woes regarding my fertility.  I am a fertile myrtle so my cycles come back pretty quickly after my babies are born.  Consequently, I have found myself in the nebulous cycle zone of breastfeeding.  My friend who is currently expecting clued me in to the sympto-thermal method.  Now, I've been using Creighton Model for years.  I know my cycle pretty well, but as far as spacing of children....well, let's just say I have trouble with self-discipline.  My fertility woes have a lot to do with stress, anxiety, and plain-old coping with the realities of a big family.  You find yourself driving these:

That's our 12 passenger van and our X-Large pop up camper since we can't just stay anywhere when we vacation!

And, in my case, you start doing this:

Kitchen Art Class
because it's just easier to teach them at home than to get all the kids out the door in the morning to be on time for school!

Then there's this which always throws a kink into your plans for keeping up "appearances!"

That was 2 babies ago!

But, of course, there are little things like this that just melt your heart and you seem to dig up just when your current baby hits 9 months to a year.

So my dear friend told me about the sympto-thermal method and turned me over to Fertility Friend. This is a very cool site for online charting. What? You mean no more paper charts & stickers! That's right ladies.  Maybe I'm the only dinosaur around here who still get stickers stuck to my fingers and ink from leaky pens. Oh, well! We evolve, people!  Fertility Friend even has an I-phone app. so I can chart anytime online and sync it to my chart on my computer.  I've been measuring my temps. in the morning, I record them on my IPod, and I record observations throughout the day.  How cool is that?  Now I feel a little more relief at giving my body some time to recuperate before seeing if God wishes to bless us again with another addition.  Consequently, my woes turned to hope...hope that I won't become a slave to my hormones, will be able to enjoy all of my children at their various stages of maturity, and that I will be able to do it from my home rather than a mental facility.

Ciao for now.:)


  1. We have used the STM from the beginning and have been really happy with it. It's best to have some cross checking, I think. Every woman has different signs that may be more "pronounced" than in someone else. For us, it is definately temperature. Speaking of which...I should probably start taking mine, huh? Esther is 10 1/2 months old - how does the time go by so quickly?
    The pictures you added were great! Glad to hear all is going well. We'll pray that all your plans go smoothly and you're able to really enjoy yourselves while you're gone!
    God Bless you all!
    Heather :-)

  2. Thanks, Heather. I'll let you know how it goes.:)


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