January 30, 2007

Prayers for Amy on January 31st

Please pray for Amy on Wednesday, January 31st as she has surgery for cancer. We will be praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at Noon CST along with a number of other mothers across the globe.

To pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, simply use your Rosary. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
On the Our Father Beads say Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Thy dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Say 5 decades.
To conclude say three times Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

January 29, 2007

Housekeeping Meme

Heather tagged me for this fun meme! I'm tagging Bridget
Aprons – Y/N?
Yes! Got mine from Country Porch, they have huge "pocketsies"!
Baking – Favorite thing to bake:
Good ol' fashioned oatmeal cookies/bars.
Clothesline – Y/N?
Yes! Most definitely!
Donuts – Have you ever made them?
Oddly, never. But my husband makes terrific fritters!
Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day:
Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Yes, in the pantry.
Garbage Disposal – Y/N?
NO WAY! That was one thing I didn't want, scares me to death, I think I heard too many "spoons in the disposal" stories.
Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Fannie Farmer Cookbook!
Ironing – Love it or hate it?
Hate it....... but God is good, my 9 year old loves it!
Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?
We have so much junk we don't have *a* drawer we have an entire cabinet! (it is a small cabinet, I hope that helps!)
Kitchen: Design & Decorating?
We're still working on it but we have a neat island and are going to put some kind of tile backsplash. The cabinets are very tall so lots of room. The only thing I really miss is a window over my kitchen sink. But now that my girls do most of the dishes....... it's not missed over-much! :D
Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Being home with the children and cooking together.
Mop - Y/N?
Yes! Is there an alternative?!
Nylons - Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
Machine. (Naughty! Sorry mom!) Although I'm not into disposables... I think I could really get into disposable nylons for me and disposable socks for the children.
Oven - Do you use the window, or open the door to check?
Door.... Didn't know one could ever see in those windows! (even on a new oven!)
Pizza - What do you put on yours?
Sausage and mushroom for the family, though I prefer to go to my childhood favorite of pepperoni, mushroom and onion.
Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Check my email, read blogs, Browse the 4RealLearning boards or read... after the children are grown I'll pull out the scrapbooking.
Recipe card box - Y/N?
Style of house -
Dunno what it's called. One main floor and a very large loft on 51 acres.
Tablecloths and napkins - Y/N?
Tablecloths for holidays. Napkins always!
Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland?
Organized! But we keep our stainless steel with carbon filter dog and compost pails there so inside those may be considered toxic!
Vacuum - How many times per week?
Vacuum? what's that? No carpets.
Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do a week?
Since we got the new big front loader only about 1 a day.
X's - Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?
Most definitely!
Yard - Who does what?
The children do the lawn ornaments, husband does the grass, I pretend I have a green thumb.
Zzz's - What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Hot Cocoa with husband! (and Flylady's Shiny Sink!)

January 26, 2007

Friday Funday... in the snow

Snow Fort and playing cock-shies....
"Are they aiming at us?" asked Scrubb
"No," said Puddleglum. "We'd be a good deal safer if they were. They're trying to hit that -- that cairn over there to the right (left in this case). They won't hit it, you know. It's safe enough; they're such very bad shots. They play cock-shies most fine mornings (afternoons in this case)...."
The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
A couple snow sulptures...

Snow dog (hmmm, the shadows make it look like a duck...)

Snow Duckie

Lego-Along with Lone Star Rising

Since being invited on a Lego-Along from Lone Star Rising, Samwise couldn't resist at least building a quick battle vehicle or two... appropriate of course for any Narnian battle. It's important to note the fine details....

Like this one with the rear flip-up-thingie... that only a lego/Narnia lover would find necessary for proper battling.
And this monstrosity with....
None other than the retractable canon.

And this of course is a small house run on not only a wind generator but a *double* wind generator... of course!

January 21, 2007

Pippin in the Coal Scuttle

Pippin is by far the biggest climber and int0-everythinger we've ever had. We thought surely he'd have walked in his eighth month when he pulled himself up to standing just after he was 5 months old. But he discovered crawling at great speeds (just like those fast spiders).... to the point he literally has callouses on his knees! I thought we'd never have one so into everything as our first, but Pippin is, this time, literally "into" the coal scuttle or more accurately the corn and pellet scuttle. (or hod if you are a Laura Ingalls fan!)

Because I'm having digital camera issues (one of those banes of my existences) I've discovered coverting the pictures to Black and White can change a nearly impossible to see picture into one that can be viewed at least!

Catholic Mosaic

One of our recent homeschooling purchases was Catholic Mosaic from Hillside Education. Living the Liturgical Year with Literature, An illustrated book study (52 books!) for Catholic children by Cay Gibson. Supplemental Traditional Calendar is also available to download for those who follow the Trad Calendar. There is talk about A Christmas Mosaic at 4Real Forums! Wouldn't that be lovely!

More Snow!

It was hard to believe the snowy forcast for today when we had such a gorgeous sun-shiney day out yesterday. But it's been snowing since we left for Mass very early this morning ... we have about 6 or 7 inches now and it's still snowing. Not exactly Colorado or Buffalo but good enough!
Aragorn plowing the snow...

with a grading leveler thingie.
Fun in the snow. Even I went sledding, it was great!
And of course taste testing!

Frodo turns 7!

Measuring in at 4 feet tall and 55 pounds, Frodo turned 7 yesterday. He still has the goal of being either a Pope or a "payer guy" (cashier). His favorites at the moment includes Narnia figurines and bugs (*shivver*). I think he also enjoys a side-line job of impish pranks. His birthday food choices were Eggs Benedict, Rocky's pizza and taco salad. Being too full yesterday, we celebrated with dessert today with an afternoon tea of Boston Cream Pie (cake!), cream puffs and hot cocoa after sledding and romping in the snow (hence the very rosy cheeks in the picture!).

Yesterday began our family oddity. We have 1 birthday a month from January through September with the exception of March when Daddy shares his birthday with Pippin!

January 15, 2007

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Everyone was excited by today's snow! Even my very determined bike rider!

January 10, 2007

Tea for Two

I think it's important that in our busy lives as mothers that we also remember our dear husbands and put them first. Because our children are all young we don't get out on dates very often. As a result I adopted "tea for two" as our daily date. Each evening after the children are in bed and the farm chores completed, we have a date, which of course centers around a good conversation and of course food and drink! We aren't tea or coffee drinkers but I came across a recipe last year for Hot Cocoa for Two. It's a must-share. Of course having our own cow makes it extra delicious!
Homemade Hot Cocoa
3 Tbl Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
5 Tbl Sugar
3 Tbl Hot Water
Whisk and bring to a boil
Add in
2 cups milk
Whisk and heat through.

Humor is also an important aspect in every family. My husband and I tend to be a bit bazaar in our humor (Right, Heather from Doodle Acres?!). So for Christmas this year (ok, *last* year) I bought us a pair of mugs from one of our hilarious favorites. Despair, Inc. So each evening we now drink our cocoa in our Pessimist Mugs where the glass gets 1/2 empty.


Happy 3rd Birthday to our God Daughter and Niece!
We Love You!

January 9, 2007

Recent Read-Alouds

We are currently reading The Story of the Three Kings by John of Hildesheim (Neumann Press Publishers). It's a real treasure. I've had the book for years but just stumbled across it on our shelf on Epiphany.... how appropriate! This is definitely going to be part of our yearly reading from Christmas to Epiphany from here on out!

Since we drive quite a ways for Mass on Sundays we've gotten into books on tape. I could live on the Lord of the Rings back to back continuously for the rest of my life but for the sake of the children...........! In the last month we've started some shorter classics and overall enjoyed them and it's always great for conversations.

By far the most *interesting* and humorous was Phantom Tollbooth We all got a chuckle out of that one. If you enjoy play on words, this is the book for you.

We just finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH of which we were all very disappointed when it ended... just like that! We did discover that, although not in audio format, there were 2 sequels written but not by the author. They are due in any day now so hopefully they quench our desire for more.

We started reading a rather bazaar book called Here There be Dragons it's a book that I hope comes out on audio because it has been difficult to read out loud! We are still reading that one.

Black Beauty was another recent read though it was quite sad in a depressing kind of way, poor horses! Our favorite recent read was Where the Red Fern Grows Do NOT forget your tissues for that one. I'm still in love with those puppy dawgs! The children were out the other day and decided they found a Red Fern right here on our property (it wasn't even a fern but a tree.. note to self... work on the names of trees in science...). They were disappointed to find out we don't live in the Ozarks and there aren't going to be any puppies buried underneath. I think they were kind of hoping that Billy just might come around the corner!

We are in the midst of loveable Anne of Green Gables. If you have a favorite or two, do let me know what they are! I still think my 2 favorites (next to Lord of the Rings) are Door in the Wall and Bronze Bow.

January 6, 2007

Long Awaited House Pictures

Lesa, this one is for you! I am finally getting a few pictures up. We bought our property (51 acres) almost 4 years ago, by the Grace of God, just before our 6th baby was born. We finally moved into our house 3+ years later, just after our 8th baby was born. Time flies... only thing is that building as house isn't fun! It would have been grand if we could have had an endless supply of money, but that doesn't grow on our trees!

Front Entry. Stairs to the left go up to the loft.

Kitchen. Picture on the left (or top) is from up in the loft. Picture on the right (or bottom) is from in the living room area. As you can see it is a very open floor plan.

This is the living room from the other side of the loft.

Girls Bedroom (normally we don't have garland on the beds or stockings in the windows but tis the season!) I guess I forgot to take one of the boys' room. The girls sleep in trundle beds built by my Father-in-Law who actually did alot of the projects in the house. He's very talented. The boys have bunks.

To the right of the kitchen, the hallway leading to the Master Bedroom.

"Family Room" side of the loft taken from the school side of the loft. Also there is an office area as well.

Master Bedroom consists of bedroom, bathroom and loft (you can see the "in progress" stairway on the right). The master loft goes into the area above the garage and above our closet and bathroom. This is where Tom keeps his "stuff" and I keep my scrapbooking and sewing.

Samwise's First Wind Generator

It may seem odd that a 10 year old boy would pick a wind generator as one of his early debuts but...

Because our land is a corner 51 acre "lot" there were no electrical lines when we bought the place... and there still aren't. Unless we wanted to spend a huge bundle cutting down our trees, digging up the neighbor's yard and/or planting electrical poles through our fields (starting price was $25K and if anyone has ever built a house one knows that starting prices do not include everything!), we had to weigh our options heavily. Long story short, in the end, we decided we'd try to make our own electricity.
We run our home with Solar Panels, Wind Generators and a Generator run on used oil from anywhere we can get it... free... like a mexican restraunt, there may be more things to run the house on out there but that's an area that I leave to my dear husband..... and my 10 year old son.
Thomas was given 2 boards to whittle blades for a Wind Generator he was going to build. Daddy scribbled a few black marks here and there and Sam was off to whittle.

Finished blades.

I cannot say for sure exactly how they made this but I did find that a metal band for one of my canning jars was included in their experimenting! I would describe this as the "spinner-ma-jig".

Sam and Daddy assembling. My flash was having issues so I wasn't able to get very good shots.

Blades attached, painted (Sam likes paint!) and ready to whirl.....

A bit low to the ground but it did indeed work. It was spinning quite fast when I took the picture.

Sam and Frodo helping Daddy put more solar panels on a shed they are putting up. You can see in the background the roof of the garage with solar panels on it. We needed more solar panels facing south, not to mention we also needed something to put bikes, lawn mower and gardening things in so this is our latest project.

Gingerbread Church

For part of our Epiphany celebration we attempted to build a Gingerbread Church. I am not sure whether the littles put more in their mouths or more on the church but either way, they had alot of fun... we we are looking forward to dessert!
Epiphany is the day we give our gifts to the children. For breakfast we had "Kings Muffins" inside one was a hidden M&M, Eleanor is our Queen for the day.

January 2, 2007

Loveliness of Christmas

Inspite of more spring-like than winter-like weather here, we are still celebrating the Christmas Season through Candlemas. Be sure to check out the Loveliness of Christmas Fair at O Night Divine, hosted by Mary Ellen, Bonny Blue House. This is my first participation in a blog fair and though I have a long ways to go in the loveliness category, I am deeply honored to participate!

January 1, 2007

Tea for the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany

Be sure to check out this incredible Tea for the Twelve Days at Alice's Blog! What a lovely way to celebrate!

First Holy Communion


Frodo made his First Holy Communion on January 1st, 2007 at St. Mary's Oratory. (Happy Birthday Great Aunt Susan!)

I'm the most pathetic cake decorator but I managed to attempt a Chalice with a Host. The Host has the Sacred Heart inside.

These were our party favors. There was a holy card of St. Stephen from Trademark Stationery, some candies in cellophane, tied up with a red ribbon and a card attached to the outside that said:
In Remembrance of my First Holy Communion

January 1, 2007
St. Mary’s Oratory

May the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul unto Life Everlasting. Amen

The sad part is that we had to cancel our pizza party at Rocky's because some of the children have a gloppy cold. We managed to forget our camera for Mass but there happened to be a photographer there (a parishioner) and he took one of Frodo's First Communion so I hope to get a copy of that!

Thank you to Aragorn's family who was able to attend the First Communion and to the lovely choir that sang! And especially thank you to our dear priest and one of the seminarians who served. Please keep them in your prayers.