Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Clean Soul!

On Monday afternoon, Catherine made her First Confession!  Daddy met us at the church and our whole family was there for this important event.

I'm ready!

Her first confession is done.

Praying her first penance.

A happy girl with a clean soul!

Afterwards we went to celebrate with ice cream.  Even though it was Lent, this was a special occasion. 

Catherine got to open a special First Confession/Communion gift from Grandma Brungardt.

A rosary that once belonged to Catherine's great-grandmother.  Now she'll be able to use it to help prepare for her First Holy Communion.

And a new book from Mommy and Daddy, also to help Catherine prepare for her First Communion.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Anniversary To Us!

It is nine years today!  Since it is Ash Wednesday today, we did some celebrating yesterday.  I made Pad Thai for dinner and Creme Brulee for dessert, and Dan brought home a box of candy, which we all shared.  It was Fat Tuesday!  Saturday we are going to go out on a date, thanks to Dan's brother and his wife.  So we get to celebrate twice!

This picture is from our honeymoon in Italy.  We began our trip in Rome, where we were able to receive the newlywed blessing from Pope John Paul II.  You can see the actual picture of him blessing us in the sidebar.  The picture above was taken after that, in front of St. Peter's Cathedral.  I felt like a princess walking around the streets of Rome in my wedding dress.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Exploring Our Little Woods

January was unseasonably warm and dry and the kids and I got into the habit of taking a walk almost every day.  Anthony would ride in the wagon and it became a routine to walk down by our two neighbors' houses and turn around and then whoosh down a little hill into our yard close to the pond.  We would then walk along the pond and the dry creek bed to the little woodsy area shared by us and one of our neighbors.  Then we would set off to explore the woods.  Sometimes all the kids came, but more often it was just the boys and I.

Dominic is ready for an adventure.

Anthony still loves the cat.

Joseph, looking for more bones.  We found what we think are cat bones back in the woods.  They now reside in a box on my desk.

The dry creek bed winds back and forth through the whole area. 

Anthony is a fearless jumper, but sometimes he needs a little help getting back out.

Okay, Mommy, I'm ready to be pulled back to the house!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We Ate The Earth

One of Catherine's science projects this year was making a representation of the layers of the earth out of ice cream.  Well, half the earth anyway. 

Catherine with her model of the earth.  Obviously, it is not an exact replica. 

One slice of the earth showing the inner core, the middle layer of mantle, and the outer layer (the chocolate shell!) of the crust.  The blue frosting represents the oceans and the chocolate chips represent mountain ranges.
At any rate, the kids learned the layers of the earth in a memorable and tasty way!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Winter Project

First Daddy built some shelves.

Then he painted the shelves and put them in the girls' room.  Now nearly all their toys are on these shelves.  I should have taken an "after" picture.  The shelves really help them to keep their room cleaner.  Hooray!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Potato Chili, Anyone?

One day a few weeks ago, I was making some chili.  I opened the can pictured below and prepared to dump it into the pot.

Much to my surprise, when I looked inside, I saw this:

I didn't even know you could buy canned potatoes!  Luckily that was the only can like that or we would have been eating some strange chili!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Friday Adventure

Last Friday afternoon I planned to take the kids to the library.  When we go, we usually spend about an hour there.  The kids play with puzzles, toys, the computer games, and of course, look for and read books.  I always look for and gather books we need for our next week or two of school, while trying to keep track of Anthony at the same time. 

So, we set out for the library, stopping at the bank on the way.  We got to the library, and as I got out of the van, I heard a curious hissing noise.  I quickly realized it was coming from the rear tire on the driver's side.  Bending down, I found a piece of metal stuck in the tire and asked myself, now what do I do?  Taking care of a flat tire is always an inconvenience, but with 5 kids along, this was definitely a challenge. 

First, we hurriedly took our very large stack of books into the library and picked up the three I had on hold.  I called Dan to consult and then, since the tire wasn't all the way flat, I carefully drove 2 miles to the nearest tire place.  Luckily they weren't that busy so they could get us right in.  We went to the customer area and there was a TV with all the channels, there were toys, books, crayons and coloring books, and of course, a candy machine.  I sat down and the kids happily played, read, colored, and watched cartoons.  They each got a quarter to pick out candy.  I even got to read part of a magazine.  In what seemed like a short time, less than 30 minutes, the tire was fixed and we were on our way. 

The best part was when we were driving back home and the kids thanked me for taking them there because they'd had so much fun!  Problem solved and happy kids to boot.  Woo-hoo!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Winter Zoo Trips

With some unseasonably warm weather for winter, we went to the zoo in both December and January.  It is a lot different at the zoo at that time of year, so it was interesting.  In December, we first went to check out animals from South America and Australia, which were the two continents we either had just studied or were in the midst of studying.

We got to see the wallabys right next to the path in the Australia exhibit.

If you look in the back of the picture, you can see a zookeeper.  She explained to the kids that she was feeding this condor from South America a rabbit.  Then she walked around and picked up the leftover pieces of mice scattered around from the previous meal.  The kids were fascinated.

During our December trip we also met some friends at the zoo.

Anthony and his stroller buddy.

This is always a popular spot for the kids to play.

It was chilly that day.  Even Anthony wanted to keep his little gloves on.

I think our kids were the only ones playing at the playground.  Come to think of it, it felt like we almost had the whole zoo to ourselves.  Kind of nice and worth getting a little chilly!

At the beginning of January, the kids and I went to the zoo again. 
The kids did not even want to wear jackets, the weather was so nice.

Dominic got a close-up view of the penguins.  These penguins aren't from Antarctica (which was our continent of study at the time), but we didn't mind.

Anthony was fascinated by the snakes, so we had to look at every single one.  This one was slithering around, which got him really excited.

When we got to the grizzly bears, the zookeeper had just thrown in a bucketful of fruits and vegetables to eat.  We stopped and watched until they ate it all up.  Of course, the kids got hungry watching them!

Is it just me, or is that tiger eyeing Anthony a little too closely? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Learning Is Fun

In January, Catherine studied Antarctica.  So one day, we decided to be a little like Emperor Penguins.

Notice anything funny?

Each child rested a potato on top of his or her feet like an Emperor penguin would do with its egg to keep it warm.  It was so funny watching them try to do this I could not stop laughing, especially when they tried to waddle around the kitchen.  We had potatoes rolling everywhere.

Then, they tried to tried to scoot around the floor using their "flippers."
My little penguins.

Even if it wasn't cold like Antarctica, it was still a lot of fun.  I think it counted as PE class, too!