Hello from the Violas

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    • #362
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Hello everyone,

      My husband Greg and I have been married for 8 years and have 4 kids (ages 5 – boy, almost 4 – girl, almost 2 – boy, and 3 months – boy). We married young, having met the summer after I graduated high school while playing in the orchestra for a music theater program at my alma mater. So far we’ve figured out how to configure all those car seats in the mini van but if God continues to bless us with many small people then I think we will be upgrading to a passenger van sooner rather than later!

      Greg is a computer scientist working for the federal government. He went out on paternity leave right before COVID hit so he has been home (although now working, of course) since #4 was born, which is wonderful. We also accepted an offer on our house days before I had the baby, and then moved mid-pandemic. It’s been an eventful few months.

      My background is chemistry and education but I have been at home since our oldest was born. We “homeschooled” preschool last year to give us some structure and will be starting Mother of Divine Grace Kindergarten in the fall. I also enjoy cooking and (certain) baking, liturgical living, and the kids’ nap/quiet time.

    • #376
      Alicia Hernon
      Participant

      Allegra thanks for posting! I’m sure its been commented upon many times that a musician with the name “Allegra(o)” is quite appropriate? Just curious, were your parents musicians? Any connection with the name?

      Why does it seem that moms always wind up in a move during at least one pregnancy or newborn phase? I have heard of that so often, including with my own daughter in law! No matter how you try to plan, sometimes when it rains, it pours I guess! I love MODG. I have never used it fully, but I am familiar with parts of the curriculum. Homeschooling is an adventure for sure!

    • #430
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      They are/were professional musicians, but my mom just liked the name! And then I went and married a Viola…

      It seems I am now in the season of always-pregnant-or-having-a-little-baby so moving during it was inevitable I guess! Wouldn’t choose to do it again during a pandemic though, hah.

      I am glad to hear you like MODG. I am looking forward to trying it! And thank you for starting this “neighborhood.”

    • #471
      Claire Zugec
      Participant

      Haha, I can totally relate to loving nap / quiet time!! It’s like the biggest parent win when all are napping at the same time!! ๐Ÿ˜ We have a 3yr old, 2 yr old and 2 month old, and also closed on our first house very soon after our first was born…though that’s very different than it being mid-pandemic with 4 kids! How has your homeschool preschool experience been? We might be navigating something similar with our oldest soon. What area do you live in?

    • #474
      Anita Moffett
      Participant

      hello~ Congrats a new house and baby, what a full season in life! I have a science background as well and recently started teaching after working part time in non traditional education while my kiddos were smaller. I too love to be in the kitchen and am trying to up my liturgical living, especially as i start teaching middle school religion.

    • #520

      Nap/quiet time is a treasured time in our household, too! We’ve also been enjoying my husband working from home during this Covid chaos. What kinds of things do you do for Liturgical living? I really upped my game during Lent (with the Messy Family resources!) but haven’t done much since. Although it is so much more important now!

    • #529
      Ann Best
      Participant

      Allegra, I loved that you had a link to some booklists when you replied to Anh’s introduction. I was going to respond to you there but couldn’t figure out how. Ouch. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you ever listened to “The Read Aloud Revival” podcast? If you haven’t, Sarah Mackenzie has some really amazing free resources with booklists for a lot of different ages and topics. I absolutely love listening to her author interviews and getting her insights into what would be great reads for our four kiddos.

      And yes, the kids’ nap time is SO important! As my oldest ones have given it up, we have a “quiet time” instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #532

      Ann, I LOVE the Read Aloud Revival podcast! She’s such a delight to listen to.

    • #541
      Ann Best
      Participant

      Isn’t she??? I love her sense of humor and the way she makes everything so accessible.

    • #568
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Anh –

      I totally took a nap in the middle of the day yesterday because he’s working right upstairs. It was awesome.

      For liturgical living stuff, I’m not terribly creative. We do simple stuff, most or all of which is pulled from the internet, and a lot of it food-related. Kendra Tierney (Catholic All Year) has a book and a lot of online resources. I also like Catholic Cuisine (blog). I’m not artsy so if we do those sorts of things it’s very simple, like we made a Sacred Heart out of construction paper and toothpicks a few days ago. I generally just try to tailor the dinner/dessert to the feast, and we only have dessert on feast days and Sundays (well, and birthdays etc). ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #569
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Claire –

      Sounds like your first three have similar age gaps to mine! (16 months, then 2 years, then 19 months). For preschool we did Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven (Sarah Park) and overall I liked it. Obviously they donโ€™t need to be doing academics yet but it made me be more intentional about doing stuff for my oldest instead of making him fend for himself as much as possible. He also really enjoyed it I think, and it was easy to lump the 3 yo in with whatever she felt like doing.

    • #570
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Anita – middle school religion!! Not my favorite age group, so major props for that. I taught high school and preferred teaching the older boys over the freshmen.

    • #571
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Ann –

      Iโ€™ve heard of RAR and I think at some point I downloaded a booklist but donโ€™t think Iโ€™ve heard the podcast.

      And yes, quiet time will be mandated in my house forever ๐Ÿ˜‚ #2 is in the never ending nap dropping phase right now.

    • #572
      Amanda Engerer
      Participant

      Ann and Anh…. I love the read aloud revival podcast too!!!! SO much! I listened to it for a year before I realized she was Catholic, I loved how she organizes her Saint book-lists haha

    • #579
      Monica Poole
      Participant

      I just added the Read Aloud Revival to my podcast shows. Always looking for great podcast! Welcome to the neighborhood!

    • #585
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Claire, I realized I didnโ€™t answer a question. We are outside Philadelphia.

    • #586
      Allegra Viola
      Participant

      Hi Monica! I have so many podcasts on my phone but not enough listening time. If you donโ€™t already enjoy them, Iโ€™d recommend Word on Fire, Catholic Stuff You Should Know, and Pints with Aquinas. Any other favorites?

    • #587
      Claire Zugec
      Participant

      Allegra,

      Thanks for sharing about the preschool program. I’m not thinking too much about anything yet, but I know having some structure helps me a lot, something I’ve learned a lot about these past months of being home! And yes, similar age gap..15 months and 23 months apart. It’s fun and crazy all at once, but makes it totally worth it to see the relationships that are already being formed among them! And I’m banking on what I’ve heard Mike and Alicia talk about in their podcasts (I think it was the one on family culture) about the flywheel momentum as you have more kiddos! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #588
      Claire Zugec
      Participant

      Monica, to add to what Allegra shared (if you are looking for more podcasts), I love Do Something Beautiful, The Modern Lady podcast (great topics by two Catholic moms from Canada), Coffee & Pearls, Bible Study Evangelista (I’ve learned so much from her!), and I’ve just been starting to check out Called and Caffeinated, and Sinner, Saint, Sister. I love throwing on a podcast while I’m cooking, folding laundry etc., makes the time more intentional.

    • #597
      Ann Best
      Participant

      Allegra, I absolutely love Catholic Stuff You Should Know! Everyone on there is so relatable and I love the banter. ๐Ÿ˜‰ When Jazz Loon came on the scene I had to laugh because I grew up slightly north of that area and hearing loon calls used that way it was pretty hilarious.

      I also enjoy listening to Fr. Mike Schmitz. I appreciate how he can say so much in a short period of time because sometimes I do not have as much time to listen as I’d like.

      One other podcast that I listen to fairly regularly is The Catholic Conversation with Steve and Becky Green. They have a lot of very interesting guests and I’ve learned a lot through what they have shared.

      Really loving the recommendations for podcast. I found myself wondering what other people were listening to as well.

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