Thursday, May 31, 2007

Matt Kelty Addresses Campaign Contribution Issue

As many of you know, Jenn & I are avid supporters of Matt Kelty for Fort Wayne Mayor. In the video clip below, Matt addresses the legal and political aspects of campaign contributions he received...

Click here to learn more about Matt and how his architectural vision and principled leadership will provide new direction for our great city.

Swingset Maintance

We have a plain A-frame swingset. The kids are almost too big for it, but they're not growing out of enjoying it. Thankfully, they also have a tree to climb in the back yard, so that extends their play area.

5 months pregnant, I borrowed our neighbor's power washer -- it was a fun toy!! All the neighbors who got a view of my ever-larger rear end while up on the slide platform thought I shouldn't be up there doing it . However, it was serious instant gratification. The swingset was grey from weathering for 8 years. I thought the wood was that color throughout. I washed it for about an hour and it washed away the grey and got that wood color back. The neighbor's was 12 years old and he did his for 4 hours (serious perfectionist). His wood looks brand new. He's going to sand his. I didn't bother (I'm a serious NOT perfectionist). Besides, most of the splinters I saw were on the top bar and the kids aren't supposed to be up there, anyway. So, if they come in with splinters, I'll know where they've been.

Then we bought a gallon of deck sealer and brushed it on. The kids used brushes & I used a small roller. The first coat took about an hour to put on (Ds#3 & I worked on it together - the other kids pooped out after 10 minutes, the wimps). It soaked in right away. So Ds#3 & Dd#1 put on a second coat, that took about 40 minutes. It dried quickly, but not completely in the hour we waited. Then, the girls & I put on the a third coat (over the not dry 2nd coat - you're not supposed to do that) in about 30 minutes - that finished off the gallon. If you don't need to put on that many coats, it would have only taken 1/2 gallon for the first coat.

We were told to seal our swingset every year. We do it every 3rd year or so to keep down the splinters.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Demanding / complaining child

--what would you do?

I've got one of these. It's an incredible emotional drain. This child is a serious the-glass-is-half-empty kind of person.

I use 2 strategies : 1 - swift non-emotional consequences 2 - huge amounts of slathering love & compassion. For a disrespectful tone of voice or words, she gets sent to her room until she shows me a submissive attitude. She's spent whole days up there with me checking every so often to see if she's "ready" - and she's not "ready" for a long time. Some days she doesn't go up at all. Progress is measured in years, not months or weeks. The key with her is that I can't show much emotion at all when I discipline. She considers it a "win" if I loose it either in anger or frustration.

The other key is that I fake compassion. Before she comes down from her room we sit on the stairs and discuss what was the trigger that set her off, what she could have done differently, etc. I express tremendous empathy (weather I feel it or not) for her frustration. We hug and I show her I'm not the enemy, but her advocate. I even sit below her on the stairs to allow her whatever dignity she needs to be able to see things through my eyes. I've told her 137,276 times in a very loving voice, "Sweetie, I love you so much and your maturity in Christ is so important to me that while it puts me in pain to fight you -- you are worth the fight. And until you're willing to fight yourself, I will continue to fight you -- but what I really want is to show you how much I love you."

If she complains, she gets more work. Period. Saturday school for any child who didn't finish their school during the week is a huge punnishment (for me, too) -- but it drives it home that your work won't get done by someone else if you don't do it. It took almost a full year of consistently doing these things until we saw any improvement and she'll still have really bad days (or weeks). I just take heart in the knowledge that this was God's choice for our family so I'll just do the best I can and pray and pray that He'll parent her in the ways that I'm incapable.

Discouragement & being worn down are the tools the enemy uses -- guard yourself from them. And, although it goes without saying, sometimes I still need to remember, to pray constantly for that child and my own heart to be conformed to the heart of Christ.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May is a birthday month

At our house, May is the birthday of both of our sons!! One is at the beginning of the month and the other at the end. This year they turn 5 & 7. It's the simple pleasure they ask for. Pancakes for their birthday dinner. A BIG baby pool. Enough squirt guns for everyone to get one. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOYS!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Normal Life

I lost my voice late last night. I had some wicked sore throat come on pretty suddenly, yesterday. It hurts to rasp any sounds/whispers out at the kids. Even the little ones have been having to sound out words I write down for them.

Ds#4 was sooo excited when I wrote down "shoes" and he read it as "shows".

"Mama said we could watch shows on TV!!"
he ran screaming through the house. I had to grab a kid who could read so they could fix the screaming, excited, frenzy that was occuring with the younger ones.

Dave was shocked that I cancelled hosting a Bunco night & wasn't going at all tonight. He knows I have to feel pretty bad before I cancel a night out with friends.

The Tylenol is helping quite a bit with the pain. My throat just burns & is scratchy & hurts if I try & rasp any talking out. It's so funny not being able to swallow saliva without a lot of effort -- but I can eat anything and it feels good on my throat!

I am soo thankful that my progesterone levels are working for me. I ran out of cream during the weekend (poor planning on my part) and so I had to take one of the older progesterone (the stuff I hated) that I had left. I tore a large hole in the top of it and tried to dump out 1/3 of the powder. I was up much of the night and felt like I had too much caffine (although I'd had none). The cream has been helping me sooo much.

I had to pick up more cream this morning as soon as they opened. Dave told me to stop at Auto Zone and get my battery checked. I printed out my request on a piece of paper. The guy kept yelling at me -- I guess he thought I was hard of hearing. He wasn't supposed to change batteries on my kind of car -- too involved (he had to take part of engine off of it???) He must've felt sorry for me because he spend almost 40 minutes changing my battery. This morning I spent over $200 on car stuff, gas, progesterone & Subway for lunch (I was pooped.)

A local Catholic bookstore e-mailed me that most of my $1,000 of books were in. (I tried sooo hard to find them used, but so many Catholic books just aren't available used.) I'm sure they're clogging up his storage space. He said he'd be in contact this week about my picking them up. After the car repairs, we don't have $1,000 for books.....just all normal life.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Praise God for Progesterone!

And a very responsive midwife! I wanted off of it. She was understanding and was very slowly weaning me off after she checked my levels and they were quite high. GREAT! Except that my body, apparently, really likes Progesterone. So after each decrease I got feeling worse and worse until I was almost as sick as when I found out I was pregnant and thought I had a TERRIBLE flu for days and days. I couldn't get out of bed. I was barely functioning. I couldn't think....

After a long talk with my midwife's nurse who suggested that it's almost like I suffer from post-partum depression during pregnancy (my body is very weird, I guess) and come to find out -- the protocol for post-partum is...progesterone.

So, we bumped me back up (not all the way when I felt blechy on it) -- and I've had several good days!! Thank you, Jesus, for not completely abandoning the needs of my 4 children to have a mother who can actually act like a mother!! The idea that I was letting my other children down was really working on my emotions.

Has anyone else ever experienced anything like that?? Post-partum depression during pregnancy????? My body is such a weird-o.

First Friday Fun

Our Catholic homeschool group gets together once a month to celebrate First Friday Mass and has an activity aferwards. The activity varies, but we try to keep it free, easy & of wide appeal. Some months the activities are the same year to year.
  • June is a highschool graduation ceremony & party.
  • July & August is just a park day after Mass - bring your own picnic.
  • September is some sort of Field Day activities, although last year, it worked out better to do this the following Saturday when the Dads could participate.
  • November is usually an All Saints party.
  • December has been an Advent play.
  • January is caroling at a Catholic nursing home (other places think you're crazy to sing Christmas Carols on January 4th).
  • We usually book a rollerskating rink for a winter month.
  • A local homeschool family opens their gymnastics' facilities to us once a year.
Here are some of the activities we've done in the past in the other months :
Square Dancing Class, Spiritual Bouquet banner, zoomobile, rosary making, Gym Day, Creating craft decorations for an upcoming activity, Advent Art display, Bowling, Pre-lent Carnival, & Winter Olympics coinciding with the President's Physical Fitness Day.

In May, the First Communicants crown Mary, every child has an opportunity to bring her flowers, and this year we did a sidewalk chalk rosary. Sometimes, there are miscommunications, so not very many people stayed...but the girls were dedicated - the boys mostly wrestled in the parkinglot after each doing their own cross or some religous symbol in chalk. The girls' huge creation says "Pray the Rosary."

Dd#1 is on the left squinting because of the sun.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Quick Book Meme

This is SERIOUSLY quick! From Cay Gibson, author of Catholic Mosaics.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth full sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around looking for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

Here's mine (I didn't cheat. This book was the first book at my side):

The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia
When all the steam has evaporated the salt from the solution remains in the base
of the flask that contained the solution.

Well, THAT was seriously BORING! Now, I'll cheat. This book was on my nightstand.
Back to Virtue, by Peter Kreeft
God, too, hungers and thirsts.

That was good enough to expound upon...
What about God? Does he hunger? Yes and no. God has no needs
and therefore no need-loves. The reason is not that God lacks love, but
that God is love. Water can't get wet because it is
wet. God can't "fall" in love because he is love. This love
is agape, gift-love, love based on excess, not defect. God is
like an overflowing fountain, not like a receiving bucket. But this
fountain is not less dynamic, demanding, active and alarming than our most
passionate need-loves. The Hound of Heaven hunts for us more assiduously
than a starving dog hungs for a steak.

God too hungers and thirsts. He told us so, from the
Cross. It was not vinegar he thirsted for, but for people to enter his
Kingdom. Lovers thirst for other selves, not to consume but to give
themselves to.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Trifle of a problem

I'm helping with a baby shower today. Last night, Dd#2 made a trifle for the party. She was sooo proud of it. We put it in a beautiful glass bowl and in the fridge. She spent the night at homeschool friend's house after the poetry recital last night.

She'll be soooo disappointed when she comes home to find that her Daddy ate half of it in the middle of the night......

*Bake a chocolate cake. Don't ice it. Let it cool.
*Cut it up in small squares (1"ish).
*Make up 2 pkgs of pudding (we used chocolate).
*Layer half of the cake squares in the bottom of a glass bowl with half the pudding and 1/2 small tub of whipped cream. Then do another layer of the same using up the whipped cream. *Sprinkle with chopped candy (we used frozen penut butter cup, but the recipe called for Heath. You could also chop up cookie (choc. chip or oreo...).


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Farm Fun

Between baby chicks, baby ducks...

...sheep, chickens, pigs, dogs...
(the girls were sooo excited that they got the chicks to fall asleep on their laps)
and kickball...the kids had a WONDERFUL afternoon last week!! What a joy to homeschool and an even greater blessing to have friends who share their lives with us!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Kelty for Mayor video

Our family is proud to support Matt Kelty for mayor...

(see any familiar faces at the 6-8 seconds mark?)

Matt Kelty for Mayor

Jenn & I submitted the following letter to Fort Wayne Newspapers on Tuesday...

Dear Editor,

We've seen Mr. Peters' TV commercial touting his "experience." While we applaud his commitment to serving the people of Fort Wayne the past 20 years, we can ill-afford more of the same.

Recent actions by those with "experience" have been hostile to area businesses. Harrison Square was passed against the will of the people because those with "experience" assumed they knew better. The Smoking Ordinance cost local businesses untold thousands of dollars. Those with "experience" forced area restaurants to create separate smoking areas, only to change their minds a few years later with more restrictions and regulations. What a waste.

How many more employers must leave our area before we realize the current approach doesn't work? How many more jobs must be lost to better corporate opportunities in other communities? If "experience" means continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results, we believe another word is more appropriate.

Matt Kelty's vision is the prescription for what ails our great city. Fort Wayne will attract new business by streamlining its infrastructure, empowering corporations and new ventures with less regulation and red tape, and most important - getting out of the way. Matt Kelty brings fresh ideas, perspective and leadership to the mayoral office. On May 8th, join our family and vote for Matt Kelty, a True Conservative.

David A. & Jennifer MacDonald

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What a difference a haircut can make!

On Saturday, Dd#1 and I woke up and went to Great Clips to have a change. I'd been letting my hair grow out for 2 years because Ds#3 loves long hair. It's not often it's OK to please a fellow whom I adore (who isn't my husband) just so he can look at me with loving glances. It was sooo sweet. But sweet or not, all that hair was driving me crazy. I finally decided to take my head back and get what I wanted.

Dd#1 has been having a hard time keeping her hair brushed throughout the day. The longer it got, the more she just wore it up to be easy.

Since we got it cut she's told me about 27 times a day "Mama, I LOVE my haircut!!" She says she feels like a different person. It can be so much fun being a girl!!