July 26, 2008

Summer Daze

Deep Water

After yet another bout of heavy rainfall a nearby lake is expanding. So much so that I won't even drive on the "road". We have to take the long way around to get to our swimming spot. I just couldn't get myself to drive through it once it was above ankle deep, I could just picture this giant drowned 15 passenger van with 9 children and a lunatic mother making the papers.

These people had to put sandbags along the edge of the water.

Swimming Spot

We added noodles to our swimming needs.

Now, this I highly recommend if you have an active baby who is always into mischief. From One Step Ahead you can get this nifty pop-up cabana that zips right up. It's been a lifesaver for Bilbo. It's really easy to use and folds down easily... just watch their video on their site a couple times if you aren't a handy type person.

Eleanor with her noodle.

The Cracker Jack Kid-to-be

The Cracker Jack Kids

And what do I do while everyone swims or plays in the cabana... what else? Lesson plans on my lap. (no laptop)

Rosie with her noodle and matching goggles... aren't we fashionable?

The other side of our swimming lake is nearly completely underwater still.

Only we would sit and watch a car driving through just to get a picture for our blog.

We sat again as the car went through the High Water back at the other lake.



Nearly 110 in the direct sunlight. Aragorn said this is cheating... *I* say if the thermometer feels like it is 110 then I will feel like it too! :)

Storm Clouds

Will it or won't it hit my laundry?! Once again we were right on the dividing line of a big storm and no storm.

I have such a fascination with clouds! Incidentally the storm did not hit us but hit part of our fields!


Can you find the family of 3 cranes? Poor picture, it was taken through the screen I think!


Neat or what?

What do you like about summer? YUM!

Happy Birthday, A!

Happy Birthday to our nephew!


Aragorn took the children to the other end of our property to go fishing for weeeee little fishies, just for funsies.

It's getting intense!

We'll try not to eat this one all in one bite.

Bilbo 7 months!

7 months old already

Plump and happy just the way we like 'em. Bilbo now is going up the stairs and rolled down 2 and walks bitty steps around holding on to things.


Another double rainbow (the 2nd one is very light)

July 20, 2008

One Word Meme

Some of my dear friends in Long Island have done this Meme and I thought I'd see if I could ever write something with just one word.... those who know me best know that what I do best is digress...... one word answers are nearly impossible!

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocketses
2. Your significant other? Husband
3. Your hair? Ponytail
4. Your mother? Housewife
5. Your father? Doctor
6. Your favorite thing? Mass
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? Shirley Temple
9. Your dream/goal? Heaven
10. The room you’re in? Loft
11. Your church? Catholic
12. Your fear? Hell
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Spain
14. Where were you last night? Home
15. What you’re not? Patient
16. Muffins? Cranberry (no nuts! there I digress)
17. One of your wish list items? Travel
18. Where you grew up? MN & NY
19. The last thing you did? Rosary
20. What are you wearing? Skirt
21. Your TV? None
22. Your pets? Many
23. Your computer? Slooooooooow
24. Your life? Blessed
25. Your mood? Happy
26. Missing someone? Yes
27. Your car? 15 Passenger
28. Something you’re not wearing? Snowsuit
29. Favorite store? Lands' End
30. Your summer? Busy
31. Like (love) someone? Many
32. Your favorite color? Red
33. Last time you laughed? Today
34. Last time you cried? *shrug*
35. Who will re-post this? No-one

July 12, 2008

Homeschooling Article

I'm not a lover of reading articles, but there are some articles that are worth a good read! Thanks to a good friend I read this article SONNY SCOTT:Home-schoolers threaten our cultural comfort I loved the title from the start and particularly liked this part:
Why do we hate (or at least distrust) these people so much?

Methinks American middle-class people are uncomfortable around the home schooled for the same reason the alcoholic is uneasy around the teetotaler.


July 9, 2008

Altar Bread

Yesterday I heard Sam in the kitchen so I asked from another room what he was doing "Oh, just something". He had found a "recipe" for altar breads in one of Frodo's First Communion packets and made a couple so he could have "real" hosts for "Mass".

This day Sam was the priest. (notice the bare feet! *snicker*)

Frodo was the altar boy, later they added Merry but I missed that one. As you can see our "church" needs a bit of cleaning up.

Here is the congregation (I'm not sure what happened to Pippin's pants! He does wear pants to Mass!) I asked Rosie later if Pippin behaved during "Mass" to which she replied, "Yes, but we brought toys so that's why he behaved." (Incidentally, we do not bring toys ... or cheerios... to Mass)

Later Frodo was in the kitchen trying his hand at Altar Breads.

Frodo is in complete awe of our good priest. I had to laugh... not too long ago he told me he wants to "grow his hair out" (that is, not the usual buzz that I give my boys) he said he wants his hair to be just like our priest! (who is going to argue against imitating a good priest, by all means we'll grow your hair out) The next day Frodo sheepishly said "I wish my hair wasn't blond... I'd like it to be brown... like Fr. J's" I had to tell him he'll just have to be satisfied with the hair he has as I'm not dying it brown!

Yes indeed, pan fried altar breads. ?!

Sam is now on his 5th or so batch of altar breads experimenting along the way. Later he said that these altar breads are yellowy and asked why the hosts at church are so white. I suggested that our flour is unbleached and likely whoever makes them uses bleached flour. So up on the grocery list went bleached flour. :)

Happy Birthday Rosie!!

Happy Birthday Rosie! Rosie is our July Baby.

She turned 7 on 7/7. How fun is that? We actually had 3 golden birthdays. 9 on 9/9 and 12 on 5/12. I know, totally silly but we thought it rather entertaining, being easily entertained around here!

One of Rosie's gifts from her God Father was a sprinkler do-hickey.

The children just loved it!

Then there was the troublesome one who kept playing pranks and squeezing off the water supply.

Lesson Planners

During the summer I try to complete all our lesson plans for the following year. This year I will have 6 in school in grades K-7 *phew*.... plus 3 little *boys*. Should be an interesting year!

This is a picture of the lesson planners I make myself, catered to each child (lest you think I'm overly creative, they are just a simple chart/table though someday I'd like to add some nice clipart). We do a 5 day rotation, the 5th day being our "fun" day (but school is always fun, right?!). 5th day can fall on any week day whether it be a Monday or a Friday.

I don't know how to stick in a Word Doc in this blog so if you want a closer look I can email it to you... I just print them up at Kinkos and have them bound with a different color for each child and a plastic overlay. I can't stand those combed bindings as I am forever breaking them so I go with the spiral binding. They end up costing about the same as a lesson planner but they are catered to *my* children and eliminates the extra writing for me.

I know it would be much easier to just buy pre-made lesson plans but I guess that just isn't my style. I have a knack for re-inventing the wheel. But really, I'm not all that creative, I just pick and choose from already existing homeschools: Our Lady of Victory, Seton, Mother of Divine Grace, etc... But they are still learning just fine. They all did pretty well on the Standardized tests we took in May/June so I guess they are learning something... inspite of the teacher.

Christmas in July

A few years back I recall walking through a local WalMart on August 24th to see that they were setting up the special section for *Christmas*... I kid you not. Today, when the children brought in the mail, what beheld my eyes was a *Christmas* catalog from Current. July 9th... Christmas in July. Of course this would have nothing to do with my sheer enjoyment of mail order and most likely being on the top of nearly every catalog mailing across the country... no, definitely not... *however* I never start my Christmas shopping before August so this is abominable!

July 5, 2008

Miscellaneous Memory Makers

Happy 4th of July!

Knee High by the 4th of July (can you see the teensy corn by Pippin's knees?:)

Just a little funsie spread for the table. Since the 4th was a Friday we grilled fish.

The girls made festive lollipops (2 vanilla wafers with peanut butter dipped in melted white chocolate and decorated with mini M&Ms)

Merry received some fun poppers from Aragorn's brother's family.

The kids loved them!

Every year Aragorn had always gotten fireworks but it didn't work out this year somehow so here he is trying to light some of the firecrackers Merry received.

Then we realized they were poppers that you pull the strings on!
And if you are wondering about the striped grass, that isn't for festive purposes but that the spray Aragorn received left both corn and grass brown. :( We still have not solved that mystery!

Rosie pulling a popper.

Dad is great...

Galadriel and Pippin

Sacred Heart Garden rose blooming.

One evening when I went to check the boys before I went to bed, I discovered they had played musical beds. Frodo and Merry were sleeping on the floor....

Sam and Pippin in between the bunks.

Swimming with Bilbo.

December babies don't mind cold water.


My girls just love paperdolls.... even the bigger girls.

GARDEN 2 Months later

Bilbo helping....

Here is the garden 2 months after our first plantings.
I discovered I really like Square Foot Gardening.

The squares we put 2 head lettuce plants in came out much larger than the ones we put the recommended 4 plants. (I recommend only 2 plants per square)

This zucchini plant looks very promising. There are 2 wee zucchini's growing.

Fingerling Potatoes... ready to be hilled.

This is Square 1


Chip and the ol' Block working on a new set of solar panels to add to the 62 we already have.

I came back outside to find Sam just lounging on the roof (I guess he was working on some kind of nut or bolt or something).

And you wonder how I could stand and take pictures of my 12 year old climbing on a roof. If you are married to Aragorn long enough this is just common place!

Sweet Peas

Isn't this too cute for words?


Tis mulberry season!


Sam's 3rd year at the wheel.

Hay raking on a rather ancient tractor.

Climbing the bales is the best!

For anyone who did not grow up on a farm (like I didn't) this is the round baler dumping a big bale.

Eleanor perched on a round bale.


Aragorn, Sam, Frodo, Aragorn's brother, nephew and father went on a fishing trip.

Frodo got sea sick :(

This hilarious picture was the light shining through a mountain dew bottle. I don't believe he was actually *this* green in reality!