July 29, 2007


Only my friend Hausmutti would have a pocket-puppy! This is when Tillie was 7 weeks old.

Tillie at 3 months old now enjoys the swing.

Beat the Heat

When we built our home we opted to *not* get air conditioning. *gasp* One of the big things we hear quite often is sympathy that we must be near death in the summer. Having a home with an open floor plan, large windows and high ceilings keeps the place comfortable. Few are the irritably-hot days in northern USA... one would be surprised that people can actually get used to warmth! We do however take full advantage of a gas grill. We grill year around and nearly daily in the summer. I grill anything from the usual burgers and steaks to leftovers. I have not tried baking a dessert in there yet! I cannot remember how many (new) grills we have gone through since we were married 12 years ago...

This year we opted for yet an even larger version... not quite *the* largest but pretty big. Here are 3 generations, father, son and grandson, removing the pieces. I only added this one because I don't think I've ever had a picture with all 3 in it! :D

Isn't she a beauty?

May latest experiment has been bread on the grill. The buns turned out pretty good!

Nothing like a smoothie for a cool treat.

When one buys from a food co-op every 8 weeks for 10 people, on occasion there is either shortage or over-abundance of yogurt. So this particular month we tossed many cans into this blender/smoothie maker.

The leftovers we froze, which was a big hit.

However, I might add, that at our old house, we cranked the AC on to about 55 and kept the house nicely frigid all summer long. This is our second summer without AC and it's been only a handful of warm nights and hot-hot days. I still have not decided if I prefer the hot-hot days or the cold-cold days we experience in the winter.... I think I'd take about 70 degrees all the time if I could!

College Alumni Reunion

I was a bit shocked to realize 2007 marks my 20th reunion from high school! I wasn't able to attend that reunion in NY for obvious distance issues! However, the college I attended bought a former retreat center locally. This year they hosted the alumni reunion here which was nice as it was only 1/2 hour from our home! (probably only 15 minutes if we had wings).

I failed to get more than a group picture for both days of the reunion so here are some pictures of the place from back in the spring when we visited.

The buildings are really quite nice and quaint!
There is a lovely pond.
Trails that go through the woods, everyone enjoyed the bridge of course!
This is one of many outdoor shrines.

There is a lovely outdoor Stations of the Cross
The old chapel

Close up at the foot of the Cross
The old historical cemetary.

There is always something neat about a cemetary with very old headstones.... may they rest in Peace.
Of course the reunion was in summer and it was gorgeous all lush and green. Saturday we enjoyed the campus and Sunday was spent at a local state park.

July 25, 2007

A Trip to the Zoo

July 17th brought us to the zoo again. I made one mistake.... I didn't dress the children in matchies!! It is much easier to count to 8 when looking for all 1 color! Red of course is usually my favorite pick!

First things first... a ride on the carousel!

We met up with a handful of fellow homeschooling internet families. The average size family was 7.

Galadriel and Eowyn met their penpals! The day turned out beautiful... and warm! After walking through 1/2 the zoo we had a picnic in the park then finished up our zoo walk. It was a lovely day!

St. Mary's Northern Picnic

Our dear priest contacted me several months ago asking about helping to organize a "northern" picnic for those who travel quite a ways to attend Mass at our church. I, of course, thought it was a wonderful idea. As is my little "custom" before any big gatherings, I say a little novena to St. Therese the Little Flower. It's such a lovely sweet little novena and she has never failed me! As the week of the picnic was upon us, I watched the weather treaten from 20% to 30% to 40% chance of thunderstorms. We were due to have about 100 people to our home so nice weather would be... umm...nice! It was such a lovely surprise when my MIL and SIL brought over a lovely vase full of beautiful ROSES! The day of the picnic brought lovely weather, a bit breezy but a few bricks on the tables kept the table coverings in place! Thank you St. Therese the Little Flower!

Our guest of honor of course was our priest! Such a blessing to have a priest to our home.

This was only a short line of all the desserts! Notice Rosie is in line piling her plate with her *dinner* of brownies and cookies galore!

More desserts and many delicious side dishes to go with the Hoffman Hotdogs and Coneys (Red Hots and White Hots)... well, the hostess was from upstate NY, what can you expect!

We placed the snackies, condiments and plasticware outside along with the drinks to keep the buffet line moving. Worked well as far as I could tell!

Those of you who are familiar with Sam's "Flintstone mobile" will see that it is not only for blazing through the snow. The big boys at the picnic gave many rides to the smaller folk! Is there anything cuter than that?

The littler folk also broke a pinata... of course 1/2 the little children had left before I remembered the poor little horsie!

Just a sampling of the 15 cars (mostly vans!) at the picnic.

I have to say I actually did have a lovely time!

July 21, 2007

Home Atrium

The idea of Home Atriums came up on a list I'm on and I found it very fascinating. This is the beginnings of our Home Atrium. We have started out with a Traditional Catholic Altar to which I hope to add this year the Monstrance and Incensor. Our Father's House has lovely miniature pieces that are sturdy yet beautiful.

Here is a beautiful Home Atrium! Here is another one, which gives a general idea of how one could be set up. In simple terms, it's a room or area which centers on the Faith, set up in a way for hands-on learning.

Rosie Turns 6

Rosie is our July baby. On July 7th she turned 6, weighing in at 48 pounds and measuring 3'10". Apparently the "naughty" cake from Merry's birthday was a big hit as Rosie requested a jello cake in purple.... grape cake... interesting concoction!


We had a lovely full arch of rainbow after a lovely rain. (I didnt' quite get the side lined up but close enough!) It was actually a double rainbow as a 2nd one was faintly above this one.

4th of July

The 4th of July began with the Baptism of our new nephew followed by a fun (and delicious!) picnic with friends and family.

Later the children are eagerly awaiting Daddy's mini-fireworks display.

This is our little annual Father's Day Gift... fun toys for Daddy.

Everyone was a bit unsure about the sparklers.

It obviously didn't last long til everyone was zinging them around... Pippin sat on my lap at a safe distance!

Merry Turns Three

Merry turned 3 on June 30th weighing in at 36 pounds a full 3 feet 3 inches tall.

Merry wanted a "bwack" (black) cake for celebrating with Grandma, Grandpa and his Aunt. So we opted for chocolate with chocolate frosting and crushed oreos accompanied with Blue Bunny Tracks ice cream. No one complained about the ugly cake decorating... it tasted just fine! Merry was tickled with the tractor and barn animals.

On his birthday at home he wanted a "boo" (blue) cake. I wandered down the cake aisle (feeling naughty and I will admit that although I prefer home-made-from-scratch food I do like boxed cake mixes). Another lady was pondering the choices so I took the liberty to ask her if there is such a thing as a blue cake. She didn't think so but then snapped her fingers and said she had a recipe at home.... (My thought was I was going to have an email penpal I met in the grocery store!) and she mentioned something about adding jello. Then I remember the cake one of my SILs made for my birthday, it was a very yummy jello cake. So since one naughty food item always leads to another I bought a box of blue jello (ewwww!) But I will admit it did make a mighty tasty "boo" cake. We just added some white cool whip (it was a very naughty cake), blue sugar sprinkles and blue m&m's.

Note: To make a jello cake all you do is mix and bake your favorite white cake. Let it cool completely. Take a small box of your desired flavor/color jello and dissolve in 1 cup of hot water. Poke little holes with a fork all over the cake and gently pour the jello mixture over the top. Be sure to let this cook again completely before adding cool whip on top. If you make this out of strawberry jello you can get strawberry cool whip... if you are feeling naughty this is the way to go! YUM!

More Bricks

We ended up liking our brick walkway so we decided to put bricks in front of the garage instead of concrete. This pictures shows about 1/2 done, guess I never did get a picture of what all we completed this year. We hope to extend it even wider and larger next summer.

Swimming Fashions

Here we have Merry and Pippin sporting their swimming fashions. Floating swim suits.

Incidentally, it is entirely possible to put one of these fine fashion statements on backwards. The effect is a quick dip face down into the water! Woops!
Happily enjoying the water.
What would be any outing without scouting what one can find under an old chunk of wood?

Deer Twinkies

The Mama Deer we watched back a while hatched her babies! She must have had twins as we saw these two frolicking off in the distance. They were so doggone cute as they jumped around!