Thursday, July 28, 2011

Adding It All Up

20 teen boys + 4 seminarians + 1 amazing priest = A really great Vocations Camp

If the cooks are tired after meal planning and prep for two days, I think there was even a hint of exhaustion from the campers yesterday as well.

Fit all of this into two days and I would be too:

- Swimming, football, Frisbee, capture the flag, water balloon fight

- Daily Mass, rosary, morning & evening prayer, an evening of praise & worship, adoration, confession, quiet prayer

- Food!

- Daily talks and testimonials from the seminarians and Fr. G, including the lives of the Saints

- Mandatory rest/quiet times

- Camping overnight (including one late night due to seeking shelter during a potentially dangerous storm)

I'm guessing we all slept pretty good last night and some of those boys are maybe dragging a little today, but it's worth it.

**Lest you think our efforts were heroic in nature, I must admit that I had my parents here to help with the kids and the camp where needed. We also had help from others as well and it made the task so much more manageable. Not to mention, we had breakfast help from two of the seminarians each morning too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Simply Irresistible

If kisses could earn this girl money toward her college education, she'd be filling out applications next week.

We just can't get enough of those cheeks and the overwhelming love we have for her.

Too bad she couldn't get a full ride 'Most Kissable' scholarship. She'd definitely be over-qualified.

**I realize I'm completely biased and there are seriously a ton of other worthy contendors out there. Here's to our beautiful babies!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just Call Me 'Cook'

It's that time again when I trade in (to some extent) my mom gear and get out the apron to become camp cook for a couple days.

It's Vocations Camp time! We've enjoyed it so much in the past and honestly, while it's a lot of work and preparation, it has become a favorite part of our summer.

As in the past, I'm not in the kitchen alone. Reed helps me IMMENSELY (or do I help him??), family lends a hand and a few members of our parish help too.

It's sure to be a good time, but it also looks like we may have to contend with that hot, humid and stormy weather. That may not be so fun.

Our count is at 17 young men, 4 seminarians and 1 priest. Our biggest group yet!

So, if you can spare a prayer or two, they would be appreciated!

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Can't We Just Go Back To Rabbit Ears?

Isn't that what they used to call those antenna on the top of the T.V.? Wasn't television just simpler then? Not that I'd know. Most of my life I've had the privilege of cable or satellite t.v.

Is there any way to keep it simple these days? AND not pay an outrageous amount of money each month?

This is my new quest.

Here's the deal: Soon after moving in here, we put an eye sore antenna on top of our already tall, two story house here in this geographic oddity of land. (read: what some may call 'in the boonies')Being that we are nowhere near even the local affiliates of the mainstream networks, the reception is less than clear even under the best circumstances.

We have had satellite for most of the time we've lived here because the lack of reception drove me nuts. Fine and dandy until the monthly bill keeps creeping higher and higher and took a $6 jump earlier this year. And we're just paying for the most basic package!

With the realization recently that we're spending nearly $600/year on television of all things, we're re-hashing new ideas to simplify and save money.

We already have wireless internet, so that improves video gazing online. There's got to be some way to get t.v. through there, even if we have to boost up to the next level for the internet. We'd still be saving money.

I know there is a cable to purchase and connect the laptop to the t.v. and watch that way, but can we get regular ABC, CBS, NBC channels? I've heard of things like Hulu, does that work? What else is out there?

I hate to be a bother and ask for your help AGAIN....but....I just had to throw it out there.

I thought I'd test my readers' technical knowledge (or perhaps even your tech-savvy husbands) and implore your assistance. What's the easiest way to still watch my beloved Biggest Loser and Dancing With The Stars AND save our budget?

Our pocketbook (and my husband) will thank you if we can figure out a good transition that will work for us.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Is For Adventure

We are having a couple days reprieve from the heat and boy am I grateful. Seriously, that is NOT my kind of weather and it was wearing on me. Throw in a teething four month old and it was a recipe for lots of crabbiness all around.

Thankfully we all start each day anew and hopefully refreshed.

The breeze and sunshine gently beckoned us outdoors for the entire afternoon yesterday. That was just enough to get my kids' imaginations going again and with a little help from branches, sticks and lots of mosquito repellent, they returned to their beloved spot, the enchanted forest. Due to the mosquito invasion they endure, it's not often in the summer that they can go to that small grove of trees next to the driveway, but when they can it is where their ideas soar.

Yesterday they were building their habitat (that's what they kept calling it) and were Native Americans trying to survive. They rigged up their 'pot' over the 'fire' and filled it with fresh rhubarb (see photo of Jonah above)to cook. They also used the big rhubarb stems and leaves to make their place to sleep. They acquired more branches and made a 'trap' for intruders and as a way to disguise their habitat.

What a blessing to have a sibling to enjoy a lazy summer day alongside of you. What a blessing to be at home with my children and watch them play and imagine endlessly.

These are the days that go on file in my Mommy brain. These are the days I'll miss one day. These are the days that my children will reminisce about when they are older. These are the days to treasure.

There's nothing quite like getting grubby, dirty and making memories.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chocolate How I Love Thee

While I am not a self proclaimed chocoholic (I am however the child of one), I do enjoy most every piece of chocolate I have. Unless of course it has a lot of nuts in it.

Imagine my delight when Lily pulled this off the shelf at the store and chose it for her treat:

I nearly squealed when she shared (albeit just a bite or two) with me. The fluffy, airy taste of the Three Musketeers bar combined with the crunch and the look of my favorite, Twix. I was hooked. *yum*

See, doesn't that look yummy? It's the first time I've seen the Three Musketeers Truffle Crisp in the store in my area, but maybe it's already been out for a bit. So maybe you've already tried it. If not, I highly recommend this little number.

Thank You, Mars Inc. for creating yet another fine piece of chocolate for me to enjoy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

This is my first time to {pretty, happy, funny, real} and I couldn't wait to finally join in!


My gardens around the yard are almost at their peak and full of blooms. They have taken nine years to cultivate and grow, but now I am able to enjoy them from my window. It's the beauty that I envisioned for our yard so long ago when we built our house and I love it!


Rarely captured in a photo together, my boy and my baby.


Isn't that new crop of fuzz on Gianna just cute? The light hit it perfectly and highlighted its static growth.

Bubbles, she's got lots of 'em! Never have we had a more bubble-icious baby. This one was caught by one of my resident junior photographers.


How could I have forgotten this stage? Teething is in full force and if she can grab it, Gianna's got it in her mouth (including the Stewardship bulletin insert). We have to be careful now though because her first little toofer is sharp and poking out already. Yikes!

Be sure and visit Like Mother, Like Daughter to see this week's other entries.

round button chicken

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Help! Calling All Homeschooling Moms!

With the hazy, lazy days of summer brings its own share of mommy brain shut-down. Right now mine is on daily living and not as much on the months ahead. That's a good thing, especially in the summer months where it's all about fun, sun, gardening, swimming and lots of stuff to fill the blocks on the calendar.

But then, suddenly, it's July and my 'teacher' brain reminds me that another homeschooling year will begin before I know it. I stop and think about what I've ordered for the year ahead. And then I panic. I've got nothing. Seriously, not.a.thing. lined up yet. Since we did not attend the homeschool conference this year where we usually do a lot of our perusing and buying, there are no boxes of books waiting on my porch.

Oh sure, I've got time, but being that I'm a meticulous planner I really should get to work. The catalogs will come out and the Internet scouting will once again resume. After three years of homeschooling I do have the courses I really like and work for us, so those aren't a problem. But, there are some areas that we just haven't found the right fit yet.

Homeschool Moms to the rescue!!

Please share or pass along any and ALL information you can about curricula in the following areas: History, Geography, Social Studies and maybe even Science. Keep in mind that Lily will be in 3rd grade and Jonah in 1st grade.

Let me know what you've enjoyed and what's really worked for you. I'm counting on you!

My kids will also thank you come February when school days seem to drag on.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Favorites

aka 'We've been busy this week and I haven't had time to blog, so here's some photos instead'

Last Friday, the circus

Jonah enjoyed his Sno-Cone most of all

We took a mini vacation Sunday-Tuesday and hit the trails and gardens at an arboretum near our hotel.

Daddy and the kids

Mommy and the girls (photo credit: Jonah)

A round of mini-golf

Content little nap for Gianna at the waterpark

Gianna's first time at the pool

Lots of geocaching this week while on vacation and with friends Tuesday evening

Finally, a bluegrass/christian music concert outdoors last night.

It's summertime here and we are enjoying every day to its fullest!

Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

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