Friday, July 18, 2014

Quick Takes: More life updates....


So many life changes lately (you're going to want to read #4), but one that has left me heartbroken is the closing of my younger kids' little Catholic school. We were like family, and now we will all be scattered. I can't even really talk about it.

Surveying all my options, I've decided that beginning next month I will be doing what I said I'd never do again...homeschooling! And you know what? I'm actually getting pretty excited about it! I always say, I can do anything for a year. So, one year at a time, and we'll see what God has in store as we go along.

I will be using Catholic Heritage Curricula, if anyone wants to know. It is clean and simple, which is just my style.


This fall was to be the first time in 23 years that I would have had no one in the house during the day. I'm not gonna lie; I was looking forward to those many hours alone. Instead, I will have more people in the house than I did last year, and right as I am starting a masters degree program! I dreamed of a quiet, empty house to get my work done and papers written (instead of typing away at night, like I'm doing now, and never getting quite enough sleep). I even dreamed I'd have tons more time for blogging. Ha ha, I am just laughing at God's funny ways. Okay, God, I am sure you know what you are doing! Jesus, I trust in you.


About five months ago now, my daughter's fiancé (now husband) injured his back. It's been a terrible ordeal, which brought with it a change in his Navy orders among other things. He was able to get through the wedding last month with grit and grace and a transcendent joy, but soon he will be undergoing back surgery to relieve his pain, as months of physical therapy has not done the trick. Would you wonderful people offer a quick prayer for him, his surgeons, and his new bride? We would be most appreciative!


Aaaaaaaand, since it's already Facebook official, I am ecstatic to announce that the newlyweds are... drum roll, drum roll, can you guess?? ...expecting a baby!!!!!!

YES, I am over the moon, and so are they! And yes it was very quick, just like her older sister, who also conceived a honeymoon baby! I guess it's a tag team thing? Older daughter gets married; nine months later, younger daughter gets married. Older daughter has a baby; nine months later younger daughter has a baby. Thank you for prayers, and for sharing in our joy! It's been a whirlwind of emotions and I am still trying to catch my breath! Thanks be to God for all of it. Including...



Here's what I said on Facebook:
The girls' room now stands stripped and mostly empty. Soon to be transformed into a guestroom. My feelings alternate between melancholy and anticipation. It occurs to me that that is the state of every soul as we work our way through this world to the next, no?
In the end, everything really is theological. And it all has meaning at the level of our souls. I am going to miss my daughters terribly. Neither one will be living within driving distance. But there can be found great joy in suffering. It's what we know as Catholics, it's what the saints have taught us, and it makes everything okay.


Johanne requested more pictures of my adorable and perfect granddaughter Felicity, so here are a few....

She was still pretty skinny and new here, Little Miss Frog Legs, 
being held by one of her many proud uncles!

"Back off, paparazzi!" 
(She was actually sleeping in this suspended animation. Or else she is a mime.)

Hey, what's wrong with a cardigan in July in Phoenix? 
She'll outgrow it by fall, and it's just too cute not to wear.

Wait... you wanted a photo with her eyes open? 
It's tough to get, but here you go. 
She's at her first girls' lunch! 

Isn't she a sweetie pie and the best baby in the world??????? Grandma thinks so!!!


As many of you know, I reserve Quick Take #7 for the promotion of adoption, mostly special needs and international adoption. Today I want to share with you an amazing series of blog posts by a huge friend of the Bubble (and now a personal friend), Annie, who is in China adopting two precious babies. 

She writes beautifully, her descriptions of the regions are riveting, and her photographs are so good that I will be using them with my children for homeschooling. Check it out, and praise God! Infertility is a heartbreak beyond words, and yet look at what the Lord has done for this beautiful family of (now) seven:

(You didn't miss the centipedes on a stick, did you??)


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my first on-time Friday Quick Takes in I don't know how long! Have a great weekend, and thanks to Jen for hosting! 


  1. Best wishes on your revisited Homeschooling journey! Your children are so blessed to have their Mama all day and you may find you will have more time for papers and blogging than you think. Hey, if I can homeschool and blog (and lose sleep) with 5 kids at home 24/7, I'm sure you can do it and so much more!!!

    Sorry to hear about your son-in-laws back issues. I will pray for his healing.

    I can't imagine all the emotions you must be feeling with empty rooms, but at the same time your heart is full with joy and blessings. Precious pictures of Felicity!

    And I'll be clicking over to your friend's blog soon! What an adorable picture of her holding those precious children!

    Have a blessed weekend Leila! I haven't done a QT for several weeks, but it was nice to get back on board with the one I published for today AND it was on time :)

  2. I have been following Annie's blog since I heard about it through my SIL. She had been talking a lot about how a good friend of hers is going to China to adopt two more children and I had no idea she was also a friend of the Bubble! As you said, she writes beautifully, and the pictures are amazing. It's as though you are really there!

    I had no idea that Felicity (still love this name!) has such big eyes! What a beauty! Love the mime act as well--I love the newborn stage, can you tell?

    Prayers for you as you encounter this new chapter in your life--it's so exciting to see what God has in store for us!

  3. Homeschooling plus a new baby in the family! Life is never dull around your house, it seems! Congratulations to the expecting parents!

  4. Remember I said you'd have a great excuse for a road trip next year, especially if Felicity had a cousin? ;-) I called it first! Congratulations on grandbaby #2! Oh, I will pray for P.'s husband! Back surgery is always especially grueling, which made me terrified of the possibility a few months back.

    I am so sorry about your Catholic school closing, much more so if it were one of the few faithful schools left. Indeed, God has a great sense of humor at times when it comes to our own plans. I'll pray for your peace of heart, mind and soul as you wade through these many changes in your life. What a couple of years for the Miller family!

  5. Congratulations on the newest grandbaby, and prayers for your son-in-law!

    Felicity is adorable!

  6. Congratulations on the new grandbaby! How exciting!

    Prayers for your son-in-law and his health!

    It sounds like you are going to have a very exciting fall!

  7. Just filthy rich! Congrats again Leila. Felicity and…Perpetua??? Come on, just imagine the Catholic Cred if you introduced your granddaughters as “ Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes…..)
    And the “mime” picture looks like someone just tried to pitch a Sola-Scriptura argument to her. She is your granddaughter after all.
    Homeschooling is great Leila. Although you may need to drink more. The kids will really bond and you must begin your own “jr Toastmasters” for your homeschooling pals in the area. Have the boys drape a bed sheet over their shoulders, turn sideways and recite Fulton Sheen talks. At least until they come up with their own material. Quiet House? Not! God is a riot!
    And back surgeries are inherently sooooooo tricky. Prayers for the surgeons’ hands. And the new babies, and all the Millers and Annie the Adopter. Amazing.

  8. Chris, can you come to my house and be my court jester? You keep me laughing and entertained! Your wife is a blessed gal, ha ha!! And thank you to all! My grandbaby is one month old today, wheeee!

  9. Oooh, back pain is awful! You'd never know your son-in-law was suffering from those wedding pics. I will definitely pray for unbelievably successful surgery.

    Congrats on grandchild #2 and best wishes with homeschooling. CHC is wonderful!

  10. Hi Leila, Yes, God just laughs at our plans. I imagine a deep voice chuckling, "Ha, Ha, Ha!"

    When the school year starts, will you have any babysitters living in your home? Well, I guess you'll be setting a good example when your young ones see you doing your school work.

    I'm amazed that these days a woman can almost instantly detect a pregnancy so soon after conception (the natural way).

    I was wondering how the new bride was doing with moving far away from her friends and family and being responsible for her own household. I was hoping she was enjoying a newlywed glow. I do hope the newlywed glow lasts through back surgery and beyond for both of them. How exciting to be expecting a new grandbaby. And best wishes for the back surgery of your son-in-law and that he'll be pain free and back to his Navy duties. When is the surgery? Yes, I have several questions for you.

    Finally, a cardigan is always appropriate in Phoenix in July due to the a/c blasting!
    : )

    Have a good Saturday.

  11. Poorly written sentence:
    I'm amazed that these days a woman can almost instantly detect a pregnancy so soon after conception (the natural way).

    Better: I'm amazed these days that a woman can detect a pregnancy so very soon after conception.

  12. Having a cousin with serious back issues (surgeries never helped him, unfortunately), perhaps your son-in-law could look into Prolotherapy and/or TPI (Trigger point injection). Both have helped me in the past with tailbone and elbow pain. Prayers being sent!

  13. Our little Catholic school closed last year, and we are still broken hearted about it. It's difficult when family is forced to scatter.

  14. Congrats on another grandbaby, and I'm sorry to hear about your school closing.

    General questions on this particular homeschooling curricula and your experience:

    How do you create an advanced program and tailored materials for the year (ie., accelerated math texts and materials)?

    Do you pool all resources from this one curricula or do you supplement from various sites or other programs/materials?

    I notice the website doesn't say much in the way of pre-testing for grade placement determination, because they obviously assume the parent knows best the academic level, learning style, and character of the child.

    But do you evaluate your child's aptitude to determine grade level placement against state standards or a national standard; and, if so, do you find that translates pretty accurately for this curricula?

    Do you find this curricula offers a lot of hands on learning for kinesthetic learners?

    Do you supplement it often? Or is it rigorous enough on its own?

    Any general info of your exp is appreciated. I haven't perused the site in depth, yet. Thanksalot

  15. Nubby, I have done eclectic (tailored to each child) before, and this time, knowing myself, I am keeping it very simple (the beautiful hallmark of CHC), but getting the Core Curricula for the two grades I'm teaching, plus lesson plans. I will only be supplementing with the cursive program, and also having one of my boys (the math brain) supplement on Kahn Academy (free, wonderful, online). My mantra is simple, simple, simple, no busy work, no busy work, no busy work. The science texts have hands on learning and experiments, and we will go shopping for our stuff each week, if it's needed. :)

    I'm not worried about the testing on any state or national level, as anything that is in either the Catholic homeschools (or private or the charter schools my older kids attend) far outperform the regular public schools here. We've made so many transitions (from parochial, to homeschool, to charter, to university, etc.) that I'm comfortable at this point knowing they will be fine no matter what.

    So yes, while I've tailored things before and drawn from different curricula, this time I'm keeping it streamlined. And simple. There are some other great programs out there, such as Mother of Divine Grace, and the Angelicum. Are you thinking of homeschooling? You'd rock it, sista.

  16. Thx- just gathering info at this point. I'm very pleased with the education given at the present, but I'll file away the info here, just in case... ty!

  17. * one curriculum and these curricula - hello, plural

    Another quick question- how often do you administer tests? I see Mother of DG suggests giving one standardized test a yr. What's your take on the frequency of tests and the type (full battery, skills, survey testing for elem.level, etc.?) I'll prob be picking ur brain with several schooling questions - ...please stand by ... ;)


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