Thursday, May 22, 2014

What my children are learning

*Please pardon the annoying lack of space between the lines. I have no idea what to do about it, and I have neither the time nor the desire to try to fix it.* Since Grandma's accident and subsequent serious back injury, school has taken a back seat. But I'm OK with that, because my children are learning. They are learning how a husband drops everything, even attention to his children at home, to care for his beloved wife. They are learning that God gave us our family so that we can support each other through difficult times. They are learning that cousins are for playing, laughing, learning, tickling, eating popsicles, and watching movies with. They are learning that real love means that we take the focus off of ourselves, our desires, and even our home (my laundry pile is sky-high, and let's not even venture to talk about the mountain of mismatched baby clothes that just lives in our bedroom) when someone we love needs our help. They are learning that a Church community is Christ's way of not only drawing us to Himself through the Sacraments, but is also there to help provide for the needs of others (thank you, Martha Ministry!). They are learning that accidents do happen, bad things occur to those we love, and that we face these things, not alone, but head-on together, drawing strength and love from those around us. Some things you just can't learn in school. “All members of the family, each according to his or her own gift, have the grace and responsibility of building day by day the communion of persons, making the family ‘a school of deeper humanity’ [GS 52]: This happens where there is care and love for the little ones, the sick, the aged; where there is mutual service every day; when there is a sharing of goods, of joys and of sorrows.” ~ St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Herring homeschool

SCIENCE aka: bugs galore. I got over my fear of bees and spiders long enough to capture these buggers and freeze them so the kids could examine them under magnifying glasses.
James's bee:
Clare's bee:
MUSIC... Clare teaching James how to play "Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater"
Making beeswax candles out of chunks of beeswax where we buy our honey. They have an "observation hive" at the beekeeper's. The kids were enthralled watching the bees work to make the honey!
What Andrew does...I swear my house was clean only 2 minutes prior to these pictures.
HISTORY/GEOGRAPHY... We love the American Girl books, Little House on the Prairie, and "Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans". Here we're building a log cabin with Lincoln Logs after reading about how Kirsten's family had to build their own house from logs.
HANDIWORK (what Charlotte Mason would call it). Clare's first sewing project! She even added a little button to keep her "purse" closed. She loved this project, and we had fun sitting on the couch doing our sewing together.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The difference between boys and girls

How Clare rides her bike and cares for her baby at the same time:
How James rides his bike and cares for his giraffe at the same time:
Guns in front, giraffe stuffed in the trunk. Boy's got his priorities, I guess.

Monday, November 5, 2012

God knew what He was doing...

{Forgive the huge run-on paragraph here. I'm having some really frustrating spacing issues with Blogger right now. Imagine this post with lovely spaces between thoughts and paragraphs.} Just some thoughts that have been kicking around my head - and heart - lately... Ten years ago I was living in community with consecrated women, waking early and beginning my day with prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and Mass, spending every minute giving my all for love of Christ and to bring His love to young women and girls. I was sure that God was asking me to give Him my life, setting myself aside for Him alone, and I was prepared and joyful, even if a little fearful, of the sacrifices to come in choosing consecrated life. However, it wasn't His plan. I sadly left my year of service and returned home to finish school and wait to see what He had in mind for me. I thought that maybe God knew I wouldn't be able to cut it in consecrated life; that the Cross would be too heavy for me to carry, so He gave me an "easier" vocation to marriage and family life. Turns out He knew all along what would make me holy, what would make me surrender every moment to Him in ways I never knew possible. If I'd chosen a different path, I wouldn't have been able to unite my prayer with that of Christ, "Let this cup pass from me, but not my will, but Thy will be done," as Tom and I suffered the loss of two babies to miscarriage. If I'd chosen a different path, I wouldn't have been able to have my patience tested (and tested, and tested, and tested) by little people - and big people - who rely on me to show them the love of God our Father. If I'd chosen a different path, I wouldn't have the opportunity to forget myself at every moment of the day and night with nursing babies, sick kids, trips to the ER, and bad dreams in the middle of the night. If I'd chosen a different path, I never would have understood my own powerlessness, or experienced the peace of surrendering someone you love completely to Providence of God. Holding both a 4-year old and an 11-month old in the throes of seizures I was helpless to control has made me realize so clearly that indeed, HE is the One in control, we are in His hands, and that no matter what the outcome, HIS love is what will sustain me. Are these lessons I probably could have learned in another vocation? Sure. But recently it has become so very clear to me (6 years after embarking on this vocation - I'm a slow learner) that God truly does know what is best for me. He alone knows in what ways He is going to test my trust in Him, He alone knows what trials and joys can make me the saint He wants me to become, He alone knows how to stretch my heart, push me out of selfishness, and love Him in my husband and children every day. And in Him alone should I place my trust.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall = Carrie's favorite season

And how could it not be my favorite season, with the wind and rain outside my door, leaves turning brilliant shades of red and gold, jumping in puddles, a cozy warm house for our family, and the holidays quickly approaching? Here are some snapshots from Fall at the Herring house...
All the trick-or-treaters at Grandma & Grandpa's for Halloween.
Our little fairy girl
I can't even begin to say how excited James was to be Spider-Man.
James wanted Andrew to be a "big fat alley-gator," but he said that a little dragon was good enough. And here are a couple of shots of our Fall mantle decorated. I love the warm colors of Fall; they just make me feel warm and cozy by looking at them!
I saw the idea for the "thanks" candle holders on Pinterest. Cost about $6 in glasses from the Dollar Tree, and it's a good reminder that we should be thankful for all that God has given us. This is the wall behind our couch. After we re-painted, we had an enormous empty space, and I had fun filling it. :)
And what would a blog post be without a picture of a recent injury? James was pushing around the lower rack of the dishwasher and tripped and fell on his face -- on the tines that stick up to hold plates. When I saw his eyes bleeding, I immediately thought that we would have a blind child for life, but THANK GOD the wounds are just superficial cuts on his eyelids. His eyes are fine.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Clare Baby!

How did we go from this:
To this:
So quickly??? Happy 5th Birthday to our sweet, smart, beautiful Clare Baby Girl! we love you, sweetheart.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Loooooong overdue pictures from our lovely family trip down to Louisiana and Florida.
Swimming at the Ft. Polk pool. Can you tell which baby is from WA?
Ah, nothing says, "vacation," more than a couple puke bowls and lying on the couch all day. Clare got a nasty bug at Ft. Polk and unfortunately I think we dragged it all the way to Florida with us and poisoned the ENTIRE Herring family (there were 109 of us there!). Puking and diarrhea picked off a couple new people every day for the whole week we were there. Fortunately it was a 24-hour thing for most people. Ick.
Tom's Grandma Herring, upon seeing all the family and friends who had gathered as a surprise for her 90th birthday and celebration of her departed husband's memory. We prayed a family rosary and had a special Mass celebrated at their parish in Panama City for this occasion, then gathered for the rest of the week at the beach.
Grandma and Jamesey Boy
Clare found a hermit crab
Andrew got nicknamed the "Baby Beluga" during our week at the beach. He took many naps under the umbrella on the beach while everyone else played in the water or built sand castles.
Sunset view on the beach right outside our condo
Aunt Monique and baby Trey -- she got to be with us the WHOLE week!
Our wild woman climbing the pier
Grandma in 7th Heaven playing in the sand with her grands. The kids had SO much fun with their cousins!
Grandma and Grandpa Herring with all their grands in one place -- albeit not all happy to be there at the same time.
Taking a walk on the pier
A gator in Thomas and Mary's back yard. Just kidding. It was at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, where we stopped and played for a couple of days on our road trip back from Florida to Louisiana. What an awesome place! We decided that it is somewhere we definitely want to go back and explore more without kids someday.
Best buds Dom and Clare. We miss the Beuschels!