Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tick Tock, Time For School

 Several weeks back, Patty talked about how she schedules her homeschool year and that she usually starts prior to Labor Day. While we don't have the Texas heat to contend with, we do tend to get those winter *blahs* mid-school year.

Following the knowledgeable Patty, I started to work through our calendar tweaking this way and that so that our school calendar allowed for more 'give'. Still allowing for our full 180 days, I found that starting even just a bit earlier allowed us to still take off when daddy's home (government holidays), Holy Days (if on a school day), Christmas break and a couple quarter breaks as well. And really, we were all kind of ready to get started any way.

A starting date and ending date were declared and I worked feverishly to complete the lesson plans for the days and weeks in between. Mission accomplished last week allowed me to realize that our first day of school on August 21st was achievable.

We began our SIXTH homeschooling year yesterday. Somehow that seems like a lot of years.

Each student received a book and a snack with a little note on their brand new desks.

While we started early, I thankfully learned last year that a 'soft start' made for an easier start for student and teacher. We'll again be slowly settling into schooling over the next several weeks and gradually adding in more subjects as the weeks go on.

The schoolroom helpers kept entertained with new books and long forgotten toys near the schoolroom.

My FIFTH grader:

My THIRD Grader:

My, how time flies! I keep thinking that I've got lots of time yet before the little girls start up, but in reality I'll be there before I know it.

Keep on enjoying these summer days. I know that we still will, even with the mix of schooling thrown in.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Last Minute, Eleventh Hour Wife

At the strike of roughly 4:00 pm my wifely instincts kicked in.

I hadn't baked in near a week and to delight the palettes of husband (and kids), I should whip something up.

Totally doable if my pantry is well stocked. But it wasn't.

A quick click over to Pinterest led me to a couple recipes that inspired me to just make it up as I went along. 

I had a box cake mix, a few eggs and peanut butter.  What can't be done with those three, I ask you? 

I used the cake mix, the water called for in the package directions and only 2 eggs (it called for 3). I then added about 1 cup crunchy peanut butter.

Next, whip it. Whip it good.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Then sprinkle about 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips all over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until toothpick  comes out clean.

This is getting good, don't you think?

And looking good, right?

Lastly, enjoy the chocolate/peanut butter smell of your home as hubby enters the door and pretend you've been slaving over that stove all day long.

You did it! And now it's only 5:02 pm. You are Super Wife.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's That I Hear?.

Christmas Music!!

Last week began Week One of roughly four more months of hearing my kids practicing their Christmas recital pieces. Uh huh, I will be hearing O Come, O Come Emmanuel in my sleep, people.

And, if history repeats itself, Jonah will still be practicing DAILY his piece well into next April.

I better keep working on my Swagbucks toward Christmas gifts now that I'll be reminded each day how swiftly it's coming. Or not coming.

Maybe I'll even splurge and get a pair of earplugs. Not that their playing is bad, but the repetition of Christmas tunes in the August heat gets old pretty fast.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

At My Door Unexpected

 Pope Francis arrived at our house last week.


Well, we have this really nice seminarian who became transitional Deacon this June.  He studies at the PNAC in Rome and via email this spring I happened to mention how the girls are infatuated with Pope Francis. In his spare time, he went on a quest in Rome to find a children's book that had the new Pope in it. No such luck. Although he did find that they are in the works and should be out soon, so be advised!

Any who, he thought the girls needed a picture of the Pope for their very own.

I can't tell you how excited they were when I pulled it out of the package.

Seriously, I wish I had a camera handy. They grinned from ear to ear and simultaneously shouted


They love that guy.....

And tell him goodnight and blow him kisses at naptime and bedtime since the picture is hung in their bedroom. 

The cutest.thing.ever.

I sure hope he feels the love from our home to Rome.

Friday, August 9, 2013

When Blogville Meets Real World

You know when bloggers meet we have to tell you all about it, right? It's because we're bloggers and we blog about this kind of stuff.

Well, as I mentioned, I had a little blogger meet up planned this week.

Mrs. B and I met a few years ago when our blogging and infertility paths crossed via the internet. We connected in many ways, but our MN roots also interwove our bond.

Then, in 2011, my family prayed the St. Andrew Christmas novena specifically for Mr. & Mrs. B. A few months later, pregnancy news was revealed and we joyfully celebrated and waited for their little Elizabeth to arrive. 

Fast forward to recently when Mrs. B became an Usborne Books consultant and emailed a few friends. I sent a quick reply letting her know that if she was willing to make the drive, I'd gladly host a show at my home. 
It was kind of my ploy to actually get to meet in person, but the book show would be great too.

With that, we've been planning on her and Elizabeth making the two hour drive, coming to play, having the book party and just plain old visiting. 

It couldn't have worked out any better!

Yes, IRL, Mrs. B is exactly as she comes off in her written blog: fun, a bit spunky, a good conversationalist, smiling, a faith filled woman with a generous heart and a wonderful mom.

Here we are, unedited:

The girls enjoyed the new playmate and she even stayed overnight, double bonus!

It came morning time and a couple of the girls were less than eager to sit still for photos.

And the cat next door kind of lured them together for this shot.

Again, Jonah is the only boy, but he doesn't mind it too much.

A very good visit indeed. Thanks Mrs. B and Elizabeth for visiting our humble abode!

It's always amazing to me how we all bond through a computer and our blogs. Friends of the heart whose lives are intertwined together through technology.

Now if we could only all live in some little blogging bubble so that we wouldn't have to wait so long to meet.

Happy Weekend Friends!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Theme Thursday: STATUES

 There's always just enough time to join Cari for Theme Thursday, isn't there?

 Popping in with some STATUES today.

Unbeknowst to me when I took this photo Sunday morning that this week's theme was statues. There's nothing quite like some girls with their Mary, right?

Taken with my little point and shoot, so not the greatest.

These two were taken recently at a local Mary Garden. Again, nothing like Mama Mary and beautiful vines and flowers to surround her.

Hopefully you are having a great week and enjoying the summer beauty around you. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pardon The Interruption

Anyone else just groovin' through summer at rapid speed? 

Right now blogging is taking a backseat to real life living. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to document, let alone LIVE these days that fill my calendar. 

With many days at home, but still busy and other days with obligations and fun, August is sure to pass by quickly. 

A quick check in to let you know what we've been up to and that all is well here at the homestead.

Last weekend we headed to a small town zoo/petting zoo on our way to a parish festival. It proved to be perfect weather and a great day for a short family outing.

A certain almost eleven year old is suddenly quite smitten with cattle. She's begging for a small cow of some sort for her birthday. Not sure how we'll fulfill that birthday request.

Last week was VBS for the big kids and they had a blast at Kingdom Rocks VBS. I'm so glad we signed them up, despite Lily's insisting she wasn't going.

This past Saturday the boys (Reed and Jonah) spend the day up in Duluth. They hit a number of fun spots (not documenting any of them since Reed is not the photographer in the family) and most importantly, Day out with Thomas. This was probably Jonah's last hurrah with Thomas and since he's been wanting to go for years, we finally broke down. It proved to be the perfect day for father and son to just do stuff together.

While the boys were away, the girls and I hit up one of the local county fairs. A couple hours walking around smelling the smells of the fair, seeing the animals and I let Lily pick one ride. She chose the bungee one.

In almost all of the buildings full of animals, Miss Margaret sat in her stroller and let out a loud 'MOOOO'.  I guess the cows were her favorite and easiest to imitate.

We finished off the fair with ice cream shakes and Miss Independent insisted on feeding herself the chocolate shake. I was glad we waited to do that just before leaving the fair.

This week isn't too busy, but I'll perhaps continue the frustrating task of potty training. While Gianna seemed ready, she now just doesn't even seem eager or willing. It's a bit frustrating for me because this is my third child that has made potty training the worst task of motherhood for me. Is there a potty training for dummies book? Al of the other ones I've ever read on potty training haven't ever worked. *sigh* This paying for two girls in diapers thing just isn't working out. It doesn't help when Gianna says she's wet and knows she is (even a little bit) and demands a new diaper. The diaper supply runs out pretty quickly, that's for sure.

I'm also planning on meeting up with Mrs. B who will be staying with us overnight, along with her little Elizabeth later this week. She's a new Usborne Books consultant and I'm hosting a home show with her. It should be fun to meet another blogger IRL again. By the way, if you'd like to order any books from my eshow online, send me an email and I'll get you the link. 

In other news, have you read from Colleen? You might want to stop over at my buddy's place and see what's new with her crew

Have a great week and I hope to stop back in soon!

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