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Monday, October 31, 2011

All Saints Day

Today is an important holy day for our faith. Normally the family goes to mass and then takes a moment or two to remember those that have departed. We also celebrate the saints and their lives they lived for God. I used to find this day so gloomy and sad. Who wants to think about death or mourning the loss of a loved one or thinking about ones own mortality. These are not things a young family wants to ponder. Last year Julia made a prayer list of family members that she may or may not have met that have passed on. My mother in law was crucial in helping me compile a complete list, for Tony has a much larger family. With each name we added we tried to tell her something special about that person. Today I plan on periodically reminding her and myself and anyone else about that special someone. With death comes new life. Looking at Benedict reminds me of that every day.

Ghoulish games

Pin tail on kitty....hide the fly....cookie contest
Scary antics!


Dracula bunny!
Bug in a shoe!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween

Did I really think we would get any school done today? The girls woke up with visions of candy corn dancing in their heads! We have been working since beginning of August so it didn't bother me too much to call off studies and have some fun. Sometimes learning comes in the shape of teamwork as they play a ghastly scavenger hunt game. Exercise is had by all as they run around the house playing attack of the bat and gross science experiments become the rage! For lunch the cafeteria is serving sliced fingertips (hotdogs) bloody veins(dyed spaghetti noodles) and eyeballs (hardboiled eggs) for dessert.....blood red velvet cake and spooky punch! We will attempt to construct a Halloween village made out of Graham crackers and play pin the tail on kitty! The library is having a spooky time tea party and then it is off to trick or treating. My trick for Tony is not the fake mouse in his shoe like last year....but something far more spookier! My treat for him will be that I will take the kids and their friends out tonight and he can sit at home in the toasty warm house with some cider. Here's something funny...one of our neighbors is also our dentist! He gives out large candy bars...job security he says!

Flu Shot

Well the kids sure enjoyed watching mommy and daddy getting their flu shots. With a baby in the house I really didn't want to risk bringing the flu into the house. This was our first time getting them. Tony found it odd getting his shot at same place he buys his pop and candy and vitamins! I am just glad to have an ounce of prevention!

Pumpkin Prayer

Dear Jesus,
As I carve my pumpkin help me pray this prayer:
Open my mind so I can learn about You. (cut top off of pumpkin)
Take all my sin and forgive the wrong that I do. (clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so your love I will see. (cut eyes shaped like hearts)
I'm sorry for times I turned up my nose at what you've given me. (cut nose in shape of cross)
Open my ears so your Word I will hear. (cut ears shaped like bible)
Open my mouth to tell others your near. (cut mouth in shape of fish)
Let your light shine in all I say and do!
(place candle inside and light it)
This prayer compliments of Julia and Emerson's religious Ed. Director

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day of Rest

Well we made it to Sunday. After mass Tony and I are getting flu shots while the kids enjoy some donuts. I am hoping to get those four pumpkins carved with the kids and get a little baking done for the week. Tony gently reminds me it is a day of rest. I try to refrain from the normal hustle and bustle of life and just enjoy the time with hubby and kids. It is our memory making time. When I find myself obsessing about the chores or school planning I need to get done I just look to my husband to remind me what it means to rest!

Rice and Beans

Ok so this morning was the dreaded grocery shopping day. Tony is working so all four munchkins were loaded in van and away we went. Now back in the day I never used coupons but now I am what you call a coupon junkie. I used to think it a waste of time to clip coupons and I was almost embarrassed to use them. Four kids later I am now a bona fide extreme couponer. Oh I don't buy fifty tubes of toothpaste or items I don't need. God has definitely humbled me though and Tony and I are trying to be more conscientious with our dollars. So I grabbed my coupon caddy, my ads, my kids and away we went. I felt proud to hear Emerson belt out loud "no potato chips for daddy, unless we have a coupon!" By the way I bought 69 items saved 50 dollars in coupons and they had great sale on rice and beans! Yummy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Birthday

Alright get ready folks for a walk down memory lane. Today is a special day for someone very dear and special to me. He is someone you can depend on to drop everything and rescue you on the freeway when your tire blows out and your kids are crying. He is the guy that understands which tool to use to fix whatever is broken in your house. He puts the needs of others first and never complains about being last. He is a proud papa and loves his grandchildren. He has been firm, fair, and kind even when others have not. He is my father and has always been there for life's biggest moments. I will always be a daddy's girl. Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!


Well the mystery of the hunger strike and late night visits to our room has been solved. Blaise has the sniffles. Much like Tony or any other man for that matter, the entire world is coming to an end right now. The male species does not perform well when ill. He asked Tony to put his arm around him last night to make him feel better. It reminded me of how often I have asked our Creator for a hug to get thru the day. Today he will lounge around in his pjs, drink his juice, watch his favorite shows and be waited on by the girls and I. It isn't like he has the plague but we all need a day like this once in awhile.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Awhile back my mom had given me my grandma's sugar cookie recipe. I have fond memories of taking the kids out to see her weekly and her cookie jar was always full of these sweet treats. Well the kids and I tried in vain to recreate the same taste and we failed miserably. Grandma really can no longer bake those cookies anymore and I wonder if I will ever eat them just like she used to make. The kids are lucky as my other grandma is living as well. Although she is all the way up in Trout Creek she still maintains a relationship via phone, cards, and even skype! I love my grandmothers. My kids love their great grandmothers! No one can cook like them, hug you the right way, listen to your woes, gently encourage you, laugh at your jokes, or embrace your dreams like the two of these ladies! They are the glue that has held their families together. I will probably never master that sugar cookie recipe but I will never lose the memory of sitting at your table grandma with a cup of tea and a plate of cookies as I pour my heart out to you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Creative Moment

Today was Juice's art class. That is what Julia has requested that we call her by from now on. She loves this class and even though it is 3 hours long she always jumps for joy when she gets to go. Today was extra special as she got to invite her BFF Jenna to the class. I remember when I was her soul playmate. I spent hours at tummy time and story hour. She used to light up at spending every moment with mommy and daddy. As with all things time changes. She now bounces off to play dates and sleep overs without a glance back. I know this is natural and she is growing into a lovely young girl but I ache as time passes. I squeeze her harder and tell her to stop growing but it doesn't help. So for now I must accept that I am no longer her BFF. People have told me it gets easier with each one to cut the apron strings, but I keep telling them I own a dull pair of scissors.


I just realized this morning that every one of my children is having an issue with teeth this week! My sweet baby Benedict is a cranky drooly mess. He is cutting his first tooth and is not a happy boy! It makes nursing a real joy let me tell you! Blaise is not using his teeth! He is on a hunger strike. I asked him what his cause was, for all good protests need a purpose and he said "better food"! Well I did ask didn't I. Emerson lost her first tooth and is on the verge of losing her second one. I often find her tugging on it while doing her chores and school. None of our kids have bought into myth of tooth fairy so she just sweetly reminds Tony it is almost falling out. He has a special thing he does where he writes the kids letters after teeth fall out. Then I saved the best one for last. Honey if you are reading this at work when I took Julia to dentist last week he said she is a green light for braces! Cha-ching $$

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hi. My name is Julia and I own a hamster named Charlotte. People may ask why I like animals so much and why I would want to keep a destructive rodent for a pet? For one thing, God made them and people should appreciate these creatures. For another, Charlotte and I have shared a special bond together. Why, who couldn't resist such a cute, lovable, smart, and loyal animal in a pocket sized form? Charlotte has brought me great joy, when I am sad, happy, or just in need of one of God's great creations. Charlotte has also "trained" me in many ways. Either when she plays the "come and get me" game or is learning a new trick, Charlotte has made me be a better person. Even when people says she looks like a mouse, that doesn't seem to stop her. She holds her head high and goes on her way. I love my little furball of energy, and I've only had her for a couple weeks!!
Editors note: Julia's mother still thinks Charlotte looks like a rat with red eyes but a promise was a promise and Chatlotte remains a permanent resident on Laura Lane

Mother Hen

I have discovered in larger families one particular child takes on the role as mother hen. Ours is no exception. Today I watched Emerson lovingly look after Blaise. When his tractor died in the backyard she pushed him all the way to the front yard so he would be safe. When he got on his bike she fastened his helmet for him. When he forgot his gloves and hat she willingly ran back to get them. And when he looked like he may go past the sidewalk she cocked her head, put her hand On her hip and said "don't you dare go past the safety area!" I chuckled at how similar she sounded to me. They have a very tight relationship these two and often Tony and I refer to them as Bonnie and Clyde. When it was time to read stories tonight the two of them snuggled together side by side. Just like a Mother Hen and her baby chick. I hope in the future they remain as close for there is nothing like the love and support of a sibling.

My little flickers of light

This past Sunday in mass we had two baptisms. Benedict recently had his baptism. During the lighting of the baptism candles our priest spoke about keeping their light of faith burning bright. I realized what a responsibility that is to keep their faith burning until they are old enough to make their own choices about life. Tony and I have four little flickers of light glowing over here and a mere gust of wind could extinguish it at any moment. When I look at the young ladies my girls are becoming or the gentlemen we will have in our home soon enough the magnitude of these blessings God has given us hits me. There are no gray areas here concerning our faith. I want to protect these little lights so that they can shine forever. Blaise loves to belt out in church "this little light of mine I'm gonna let it shine..." and I think inside my mind sing it boy and never stop!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away...

Rainy days are especially hard for homeschooling mommies. What do you do with the kiddies during break time? I don't have a gymnasium for dodgeball and TV is a minimally earned privilege. Time to put on my creative cap...old atlases become treasure maps and the treasure is hidden in an old shoebox. Forts are made out of sheets and library books become the ultimate escape from boredom. Oh sure my son wants to romp around in mud puddles and look for worms. Emerson loves to twirl around in the rain with her Tinkerbell umbrella and pretend she is a fairy. I suppose rainy days can be fun, I certainly don't mind as I sip on a cup of hot chai and wait for my own break time to end. Ahh I spoke too soon my daughter is calling for me to tell me that centipedes eat cockroaches! Not that we have either in our house!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Desperate housewife

Ha! I am not really a desperate housewife but I do have a scandalous secret to share. I have a boyfriend and his name is Howard. I met him a few years ago but we have gotten closer this past year. He lives up the street in a brick ranch that he built himself. He is predictable and kind although a little forgetful and blind in one eye. I never tire of his visits. He walks by my house twice a day and sometimes brings me presents of squash and fresh herbs. Tony has met him and doesn't mind his visits either. He is an inspiring 86 year old neighbor and I look forward to his conversation. Not to mention the kids get to practice respecting their elders and acts of patience. There will come a morning when I may not see him walking down the sidewalk. As a cancer survivor he told me he takes it one day at a time and is thankful for that....he teaches me thankfulness for my health and contentment with life. I need his visits to quiet the chaos of my day. We sit on the porch and rock and talk about things. Not rocket science but stuff like where he met his wife, how he got into masonry and his trip to Europe. One day he told me I looked pretty and even though he can't see out of one eye this desperate housewife will take what she can get!

Day in the life of me

Everyone asks me what's it like to homeschool and are you crazy? Well the answer is it is a wonderful, challenging experience that benefits the whole family and yes I am crazy! I am crazy. In between geography and math I have the pleasure of witnessing the little things like my daughter chasing a monarch butterfly or my son learning to read. Of course all parents learn and witness these simple things regardless if they homeschool or not! But Tony and i feel especially lucky to be able to be the ones guiding and teaching our children. My 7 year old is making her first communion this year and has been practicing her act of contrition. I personally had the joy of watching her master it and recite it. I felt her joy at the moment she did it and I realized it is moments like this that I treasure being home with my kids. Now the laundry and cleaning and cooking......that's a whole other thing!


I was so excited to share with the kids that we are officially a blogging family now. My eldest loves to write so I assumed she would be most proud. Yet her greatest concern was that I had not properly introduced the family and the pets! So here goes: my oldest is 9 going on 90! She is a wise soul that would rather be drawing and playing with her bunny daisy and hamster Charlotte then shopping or playing with dolls. Then the firecracker of our family! I know this sounds odd and all parents do this but she is striking to look at. I ask myself how did two ugly folks like Tony and myself produce such a child? Then there is her black rabbit Lilly who we found out is really a Lyle! Oh well! My boys are how shall I say it!?! Boys! Blaise is full of zest and energy like a tornado he sneaks in and destroys everything then becomes a rainbow after the storm. He is kind to his baby brother and protective! The baby eats sleeps and poops like all babies do but he holds a special place in my heart as he is truly our last gift from God! until grandchildren of course!
My hubby...the man I married almost 15 years ago! He is dapper and sooo hard working! A little too hardworking at times! He is hilariously funny at just the right moment then rushing in to make us feel better when one of us is heartbroken. Ok I think I covered it! Oh yeah me...ha moms always leave themselves last! I am a stay at home homeschooling mommy that loves to be with her kids and hubby !?!Ok Julia hope that is up to your Standards

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The death of my hydrangea bush

Hi, this is my first time ever blogging so bear with me. I simply wanted to start this blog so my time with my family during the precious years would be forever remembered. Today was a typical Sunday for the Taratuta clan. We went to mass we had a donut after (yes Blaise was good enough for that donut)! Then it was chore time. Normally Sunday is a no work day but we had some family time on Saturday and the yard work was overtaking us. So what do I do? I turned yard work into a fun family activity. I witnessed my husband jamming to his tunes as he attacked the bushes with a pruner, my 9 yr. Old Julia skipped up and down the sidewalk pushing the baby stroller in her converse shoes she HAD to have! Then there was Emerson and Blaise the two worker bees that loaded ten loads of dead hydrangeas and drove them to the back yard on the little John Deere tractor. At one point I was bending over yanking some dead flowers out of the beds asking myself why do we do this crazy fall yard work every year! I detest getting dirty and it is tiresome. Then I see the satisfied look on my 7 yr. Olds face as she completes her job and gets paid. (10cents a load) and I realize what a treasure this moment is. I stood in the dirt and looked at my dead bushes and thought to myself isn't fall wonderful!
God has made a beautiful thing, we watch it grow all summer into the most beautiful flower and then it dies. Yet that is not the end of it as next season it rebirths again.