Behavior Boot Camp

I am starting to plan the rest of the semester and home school year. In looking over what I what to accomplish I realize the children’s behaviors and attitudes have slowly been changing over the past couple of months. The cleaning is not being done to our standards. The children are becoming more disrespectful toward Richard and I and each other. They have started up with more backtalk when asked questions or told to do something.

Another area I have noticed is lack of first time obedience. I have slacked off on the enforcement of this. I think is my lack of enforcement is contributing to the back talk and disrespect.

I am planning on taking the first week or two of January after our break and having a “life skills” crash course. I will be re-instructing the children on the correct ways to clean things like the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. I will be reassigning chores. I will be enforcing first time, positive obedience. I will also be enforcing positive interactions with parents and each other, no more sassy talk or negative comments will be made toward each other. And I want them to hold me accountable too.

So the new year will be ushering in Behavior Boot Camp. I foresee interesting times ahead in the coming weeks.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Fantastic Friday

Another laid back day at the zoo. Our holiday week is winding down. I am working on planning the rest of the school year and noticing a a few things that need to be worked on with the children.

We will be playing more games today and just having fun as a family and having some family bonding time. I hope this will carry us through the next couple of weeks. I will have a post tomorrow about what will be happening around the zoo in January.

Enjoy your day!

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Holiday week around the zoo

All the presents were opened, and now we are spending the days playing with the games. We are having fun playing rounds of Sorry, Uno, Candyland, Dominoes and Connect 4. We still have to play Jenga, Scrabble and some of the little girls games.  We also have a few more DVDs to watch.  Next up will be the Smurfs movie.  They can’t wait to see it, but we will probably watch it on New Year’s Eve.  I am heading out to visit with Mom for a couple of days.

We did have one “disaster.” The fudge we was made was attacked by the mutt. I had placed it on the picnic table outside to cool and Biscuit decided she need to try some. Thankfully it was noticed as she was starting and not after she ate the two pans full, but she did get into both pans. So sometime this weekend I will make some another pan or two.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday week and have an enjoyable time with your family and friends!

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

PrepWise Wednesday: A reason

When you start on your preparedness journey, you see or hear something on the news and you think, what if that happens to us. For me it was when Hurricane Isabelle blew through the area in September 2002. We were one of the lucky ones and by the grace of God did not lose power like the millions of other people in the mid-Atlantic area.

That particular event left stores without power, fast food restaurants without power, and no delivery of food or other supplies to areas for a week or more. I realized that while I had some food stores in the house I was not prepared for something prolonged. So it was after Isabelle I decided to build up my food stores, water stores and emergency medical supplies.

There are many sites you can use to help figure out what you need for your family.  Here are a couple I have used in the past, and use now.

For a VERY basic calculator you check out the Latter Day Saints area on  With this one you plug in the number of people by ages and it gives you a rough number of pounds or items you need to have in the house to provide for a year.  This will allow to have an estimate of what you would need.  Then you can break it down and budget for building up your stores.

A more in-depth food storage calculator can be found over at Millennium Ark.  It is the Deyo Calculator and is spreadsheet based.  I like using this one since I can customize it more for my family.  Millennium Ark Long Term Food Storage area is a great resource to browse when you have time.  It has a lot of basic information on preparing you and your family for any emergency.  Some of the rest of the site is little too tin foil hatish for me, but the preparedness area has some wonderful information.

Remember to take into account any food allergies or sensitives when you are planning your food storage for your family.  We only have 2 allergies we need to be concerned about: coconut and latex.  Not as extensive as some, but it complicates things in others

The new year is coming.  Check out some of these food calculators and start making your plan for beefing up your food and other emergency stores for your family.

 Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

The day after the day after Christmas

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Our family thoroughly enjoyed ours, although I was ready to hang a couple of the monkeys from a tree about 5AM. My almost 12 year olds and my 13 year old were the worst ones about sleeping on Christmas Eve. One was up at 3 AM and had the rest of the middle four awake shortly thereafter. It was a party in the boys room for the rest of the night for them. At 5AM the 20 year old came in to complain (her room is right next party central).

Thankfully the 5 year olds were not involved and we were able to have them sleep in until 6:30 (if you call that sleeping in!) After that all bets were off and two tired parents threw in the towel and let everyone get up. We all came downstairs around 7:30 and opened presents. All the gifts were opened in under an hour and the living room was a mass of toys, clothes and paper.

While Richard was helping to clean the mess, open all the toys and remove the twenty zillion twist ties that hold the little pieces in the boxes, I heated up the oven.  Our family tradition is to have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas Morning. We all ate, then finished getting dressed and headed out to the 11AM Mass.  Not my first choice, but Douglas had been asked to alter serve by our pastor for that service.
It was hard telling the 5 year olds, that the new fun Leap Pad Explorers and LaLaLoopsy dolls had to stay home while we go to Mass. There were tears while they headed to the van. Everyone finally settled down, just in time for Mass to be over. Yes it was one of those days for mom at Mass.

We came home, ate lunch and then played with the toys and games for the rest of the afternoon. We had a wonderful dinner and then watched a movie from Netflix together as a family. Gnomio and Juliet. Yes, a very corny movie that was panned by the critics, but hey the kids all laughed and we had a good time together as a family and that is all that mattered to me.

After the movie the children all went to bed and Richard and I collapsed on the couch for a few minutes and enjoyed the sound of silence. Something that hasn’t been heard around the zoo in a few weeks.

The rest of the week is going to be quiet, but busy if that makes any sense. I know more games will be played since we all enjoy board and card games and with several new ones in the house people can’t seem to stop playing. We will also watch a couple more of family movies that we have been wanting to see.  We will also try out the new Hot Air Popper that Liz purchased for the family during one of these movies.

I hope you take time and enjoy the rest of the week (and year) with your family!

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Menu Planning Monday Holiday Week 2

So Christmas is past and now we look forward to the New Year. Everyone is home and we have a few days were we are running around, so things will be relatively laid back. I hope you are enjoying this week with your family.

Breakfasts — Cereal and Waffles
Lunches — Sandwiches or leftover

Christmas leftovers

Baked Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts/Green Beans

Garlic Bread

Fish Sticks
Macaroni and Cheese


Soup and Sandwiches
We have snacks later on in the evening for the New Year Celebration

Pork Roast
Seasoned Rice

Have a flavorful week.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Another Christmas Tune

I remember watching this in 1977 on TV and thinking Bing Crosy and David Bowie REALLY?!?!?!  But the song was lovely and I fell in love it and look forward to hearing it every year now.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome