Thursday, May 27, 2010

She Passed!

Catherine has finished her Kindergarten year! I was amazed at how our formal schooling did not take that much time every day. We did Math: Addition, Subtraction, Time, Money, etc. She(and the rest of the kids) learned a lot about her Faith, both formally and by experience. What was really exciting to me was helping Catherine learn how to read. She loves being able to read some books and will read them to the other kids, especially Joseph. I wanted to make learning to read a big deal, so as her reward she got to go to a movie with Daddy, all by herself. They went to see the movie "Oceans," and she loved it.

Since our formal schooling did not take more than 2 hours a day, we got to spend time reading books, going to playgroups, going to the library, learning outside, and having many real-life experiences. They learned some history and science without even realizing it. The three oldest kids were in the homeschool music class/choir all year, which was really good for them.

And, if you look closely at the above picture, you will see that Catherine has lost her second tooth!

On to First Grade!

Zoo Is Spelled Z-O-O

Two weeks ago we went on our first trip to the zoo since Anthony was born. We met up with our homeschooling preschool/Kindergarten playgroup. The kids had great fun seeing their friends and all of the animals, like this peacock.

Anthony slept through much of his first trip to the zoo, out of utero that is.

Four moms, 13 kids and babies, one more in utero, and the oldest child was 6. We had quite the crowd.

You can barely see that little head in there. While looking at the giraffes, we watched one of the adult giraffes sit down and I must say, it looked extremely awkward. Like me when I'm pregnant.

Ah, now he's awake. And very hungry, I might add.

Joseph was entranced by this turtle swimming around.

And for a few days afterward, Catherine and Anne kept telling everyone, "I know how to spell zoo: Z-O-O!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First Pets

These two sweet kittens have won the hearts of the Brungardt children. They arrived at our place on Saturday via Grandma and Grandpa Klingele.

They have already had lots of kidhandling:

Neither of the kittens really has a name yet. So far we've heard Fred, Sweetie Pie, Smokey, Yellow Cat, Grey Cat, Googleheimer.

Oh, this cat is loving all the attention. The grey cat prefers to frisk about and pounce on things.

Be gentle, Joseph!

See, Mom, he likes it!

Cats are a good first pet, I think. They don't require loads of work, especially as they are going to be outside cats (with ready access to the big shed) and they don't scare the kids. Hopefully they will also keep the mice population down, and out of the house!

Joseph's Favorite Number

One hundred fifty thousand ninety-nine.


Don't ask me where that came from. Who can explain the workings of a just-turned 3 year old's mind?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday, Joseph!

There have been a few days of celebration going on here at the Brungardt house. We've been celebrating Joseph's birthday, which was yesterday. Last week, Grandma Brungardt sent Joseph a birthday card with some money in it. So on Friday, Dan visited the toy store on his lunch break. Here you see one excited little boy:

Look, Mommy, a new dump truck!

The dump truck and front loader got put right to work. This was the only day they were played with inside, as these two were slated to be sandbox toys. Since the sandbox was not yet built, wooden blocks had to do. (More on the sandbox(es) later!)

On Saturday my parents came for the day and the birthday extravaganza continued. Do you see Joseph's eyes transfixed by his new tractor and wagon? After seeing those, he was uninterested in anything else and went off to his room to play with them for the next couple hours. The tractor looks like Daddy's tractor, which only adds to the appeal.

I shouldn't have even asked Joseph what kind of birthday cake he wanted, because I already knew the answer. A tractor cake, Mommy! However, since Mommy does not have a tractor cake pan and did not have oodles of spare time, she got creative. Chocolate cake mix, homemade chocolate frosting, crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, and some of Joseph's small John Deere tractors with attachments. All equalling one happy little boy.

Yesterday we had a hamburgers/french fries/shakes and smoothies party. Then Joseph had a few presents from us to open. Being newly 3, he attacked the gifts with glee, rapidly opening all of them, not stopping to examine what was inside until all was revealed. See, he is moving so fast the package is just a blur.

Then our tractor-loving little birthday boy with his new tractor shirt sat down to read his new tractor book.

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Oops is when you are switching your baby from size 1 diapers to size 2 diapers and you go through your purse looking for leftover size 1 diapers and you find a couple of newborn size diapers. You know, the ones that only go up to 10 pounds and have the cutout for the umbilical cord! Yeah, that was 4 pounds and one cord ago.

Hey, girls, guess what? I've got some diapers for your babies! Oh, yeah, now Mom is a hero.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Anthony At Two Months

We have to have a little Anthony picture love fest to celebrate!

Look at that big toothless grin!

He weighs about 14 pounds now. Big boy!

The other kids love to try to get Anthony to smile and they are often rewarded with this:
How cute is that?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Dirt, glorious dirt!

The boys are busily filling up cups with dirt.

Daddy consults his chart to know which seedling is what kind.

Then he shows the boys how he transplants the little seedling into its bigger home.
These pictures were from a few weeks ago.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Best Buddies

When they aren't fighting anyway!

Another New Baby!

Last Sunday, baby Anthony and I drove up to a town near Kansas City for the baptism of my new little niece, Clara. My sister and I had miscarriages within a week of each other, and now our new babies are exactly 2 weeks apart. We each have five children here on earth and one in heaven. It was a joyful occasion.

Here I am with little Clara:

Grandpa is holding Clara and Anthony:

My brother, the priest, got to meet Anthony:
We also got to see my other brother's family, and my sister and her family from Dallas.

Here are the two babies again. Doesn't Anthony look huge next to that petite little Clara? It is hard to believe he is only 2 weeks older than she is!
We are truly blessed!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tractor Boy

Joseph loves to climb up onto Daddy's tractor any chance he gets.

Dan never leaves the key in the ignition, or we might find a little boy "driving" the tractor.

I'm ready to go do some plowing, Daddy!

The Crocodile That Scared Daddy

Catherine spent a long time creating this crocodile one day and right before Dan came home, she put it on the counter, saying she was going to scare Daddy when he came in. I was worried he might not see it right away, so as soon as the door opened, I said loudly in an I'm-telling-you-something-so-look-out kind of voice: "Watch out, Daddy, there's something scary over there!" Spotting the crocodile, he reacted appropriately, much to her delight.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Big Fire!

Last weekend, on Saturday, the wind was low and it had recently rained, so Dan seized the opportunity to set fire to the big pasture and also the big brush pile that he had been collecting ever since we moved in. There was so much dry grass in the pasture that it really was a fire hazard and a controlled fire is definitely the way to go! Dan's brother had done this before so he came over and the two brothers got to work.

Dan had his paths mowed all around the edges of the pasture, so the fire break was all set. Dan's brother started by walking along setting fire to the edge.

It quickly spread to the north.

A view with the house and shed in the background.

The crazy path of fire!

Storm clouds are gathering. Will they beat the rain?

Not a sight you would typically want to see with your house in the background!

Not something I would want to do.

There is a beauty in fire.

Setting fire to the brush pile, which contained within it two Christmas trees.

Look at that blaze!

Smores, anyone?

The brush pile is gone, the fire is out, just smoldering a bit.

The unlucky rabbit that decided to hide in the brush pile.

The fire in the field is also out. It was a success.

A few days later, the kids followed the crazy path through the charred field.

They told me they were singing "Follow The Yellow Brick Road."