7QT: Stuff We Do

A lot has changed since we were a crazy sports family. We still enjoy and participate in sports... but we are no longer topsy turvy about it. As a result, we have a lot more time to do other stuff. And sometimes, to do nothing much at all...

~1~

Riding. 
Crash and Button are still riding, thanks to the help of familial benefactors. We go once a week to the barn and pretend that we are not city folk through and through. Now that the weather is nicer, the lessons are occasionally outside...


Button is our wannabe farm-girl. She doesn't mind scooping manure and would visit the barn just to pat the horses.

Cantering.

Crash does not wish to live on a farm. He wishes to be a cowboy riding on the open range. They are currently enrolled in English riding lessons because that was the only affordable option. It's still a lot of fun for them but I think he dreams of switching that helmet for a cowboy hat. He would not visit the barn just to pat the horses... but only if he could ride one.

Cantering.

There was a time when we thought the two would have to split up for lessons since she is 3 years younger... but I believe that she willed herself to grow several inches taller and a good deal stronger in one year so that they could stay together.

~2~

Pro-Life.
Professor recently founded the youth arm of the Cleveland Right to Life and is slowly developing community and action plans. This means being busy with good work and getting to know some of the coolest people on the planet.

(It also means an upcoming trip to Ohio Right to Life offices to receive his video contest prize... not that a 15-year old would be that excited about owning an ipad mini... not at all.)

"Tough guy" pose with Bryan Kemper of Stand True, the youth outreach of Priests for Life.

One angle of Bryan's van. Giving new purpose and character to the ubiquitous big white utility van. 

~3~

Volleyball. 
We can't seem to forget how much we enjoy the sport. Now that multiple children are advanced enough to play together with their dad (I just sit on the side looking like I ate the ball), it is much more fun for the family. There are many times when I would love to see them progress to a higher level but we have to constantly keep those desires in check. One way to do that is to observe the lives of their friends who are "all in" with the club scene. If we had continued on that same path, Cookie would have spent Easter in Baltimore and she would be practicing multiple times a week through the Summer for nationals in Texas in late June... immediately after which training and open gyms (and cut-throat competition for coveted spots) begin again. When she was reminded about what her schedule would have been, she expressed her profound gratitude for our lifestyle change in spite of her desire to play.

Instead of bleeding money, time, and energy, we are a much more balanced. That does not completely cure the itch to play however, and they will be enjoying court time this Summer (indoor and beach). Professor has a beach partner and they will be playing in some tournaments this season. Please don't ask me what we plan to do if they earn a national bid. I intend to pretend that I have no clue that this is even a possibility. I'm going to be having a baby in July for crying out loud. Other competing activities do not compute.

Little Cub hanging out at the gym watching his big brother play.

~4~

We cook. 
A lot. I can't lie and say that my dietary changes haven't required a shift in the way things work in my kitchen. If I would have known a few years ago how many hours a day I spend preparing and eating food right now (I am currently homeschooling 6 kids and pregnant with one, you know), I would have found a home with a MUCH larger kitchen. 


Almond Flour pancakes mentioned in my previous post. Delicious. Professor ate 11 of them this morning. And speaking of Professor and his eating habits...

~5~

Household Dietary Changes.
My two biggest kids have taken it upon themselves to improve their diets and implement some of what they have read in Wheat Belly. The biggest surprise of all is Professor's decision and commitment to this change. I assumed he would do it for a week and then quickly slide back into his old ways (being one of the pickiest eaters of all time and preferring pizza to pretty much all other foods). Instead...

...He is happy and feeling good. He has struggled with some stomach issues since he was born (throwing up his meals until he was 6) and has experienced a lot of relief since eliminating wheat. He also has lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks while still eating quite a lot of food. He looks and feels great. His sisters keep teasing him about his "skinny" face and he doesn't seem to mind. I am more than happy to cook real food for him.

He was commenting this morning that perhaps he should make these changes permanent. I told him that I fully support that and will continue to. I did suggest that he start learning how to cook his own food to prepare for when he is out of the house. Additionally, I informed him that if he becomes a priest, I will be happy to cook for his freezer periodically if I am able. If he gets married, I'm afraid I'll have to pass along the job so he'd better work that out with her ahead of time. :)

Cookie is easier to please with food because she is not nearly as picky as her brother. She also loves to cook and has been a tremendous blessing to me in the kitchen.

~6~

Liturgy. 
When we quit crazy-level-youth-sports, we concurrently decided to renew our commitment to the liturgical life. That meant putting daily mass on our schedule at least two times per week and treating it as a priority. This is sad, backwards, and humbling to admit but... I have had to mentally treat our family Mass time as if it were as immovable as a sports practice. That means saying no to other things because we have a prior commitment. It is difficult to publicly admit the state of my mind but also a good reminder of how easily and quickly our priorities can get screwed up.


~7~


Baby Girl. 
This is not our Little Miss but her older brother. I will have new photos of her royal highness next week. But yeah, I pretty much think about her all the time. We are still trying to agree on a name. Ideally, I think it is best to come up with a name asap so that we can witness to the truth and goodness of her pre-born life by using it often with others. But... what can you do with stubborn husbands? 

Some family members are convinced that we are keeping the name a secret because we had early negative backlash from the last choice. I can assure them with a clean conscience that this is not the case. It is simply a case of stubborn husband. 

Joining Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday
Posted on May 3, 2013 and filed under "7 quick takes", "pancakes", "volleyball", "wheat belly".