Friday, May 25, 2012


A while ago, one of the kids came rushing inside to tell me they saw a snake.  So I dutifully went outside to look and brought the camera.  Anthony was jumping up and down, screaming and dancing in his excitement.  He is fascinated by snakes.  It was in our backyard and was a little garter snake.  It was also dead!  So here it is:

About a week ago, one of the kids found a turtle.  I went to see and there it was, stuck in the fence.  The shell was a little too big to fit through, but it couldn't back up either.  So after I took a picture, I put a stick by its head to see if it was a snapping turtle and then I lifted it up by one side until I could pull the shell through.  Crazy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Joseph Is Five!

Yesterday, we celebrated Joseph's fifth birthday!  How exciting to be five!  Joseph chose cinnamon rolls for breakfast and one of his friends came over to play.  Daddy grilled hot dogs for dinner and we had kale chips and steamed snow peas. 

Joseph with his birthday cake.

Green Lantern!  Hal Jordan, to be exact.  Until I had boys, I never knew there was more than one Green Lantern.  There's a whole Green Lantern Corps, you know!

Anthony was excited to see Daddy light the candles.

Everyone sang Happy Birthday.

Green Lantern action figure. 

A new superhero cape and mask.

And a cement mixer.

Joseph had a great birthday.  Can you tell he is really into superheroes these days? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Crowning

Back on May 4th, our homeschool group had a May Crowning after the First Friday Mass.  The First Communicants of 2012 wore their First Communion clothing, and the choir sang a few Marian hymns.  Catherine's name was drawn to crown Mary, so she was very excited.  Dan was able to meet us there on his lunch break, which was nice.

Catherine with her wreath of flowers.

The two chosen First Communicants.

Catherine was ready to bring up her flowers. 

Time to honor Mary, the Mother of God.

Father helped Catherine with her flowers, as the Mary statue was up high.

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today...

Then all the kids got to bring up flowers to put in the vases.  Here are Dominic and Anne.

We had a lovely May Crowning ceremony, followed by a potluck lunch, where we got to spend time with many friends.  It was a great day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spring Garden

I'm catching up on some garden pictures, so these are from March and April.

Anthony watched Joseph prep the containers with dirt.

Dan showed Dominic and Joseph how to transplant the little tomato seedlings that he started in the cold frame.

Dirt is fun!

Dominic carefully transplanted the little plants.

Dan said he could hardly watch them, as he didn't want to see this: the little plants in the hands of a 4 yr. old!

In early April the kids watched Dan transplant the Kale and Swiss Chard, which we have lately been harvesting.

Anthony with his chives.  The boys all love to go out to the garden and pick a handful of chives and eat them. 

In mid-April, the tomatoes had outgrown their little containers and were ready for bigger containers, so Dan showed them how to do it.

Anne and Dominic got to work.

Catherine's turn.

Dominic even got to snip off the lower shoots.

Look at all those tomato plants!  The boys did great in the earlier transplanting, didn't they?  There are now 30 tomato plants in our garden, the rest were given away.

We've been eating lots of asparagus.

As well as lettuce and spinach.

The rhubarb plants still aren't that big, but we've harvested some and made a pie.

The radishes didn't do so well and the potatoes all died, due to too much rain, but that's how it goes.  We've been getting some strawberries(which don't usually make it into the house) and lots of mulberries.  We have also been picking snow peas.  We even have pears, peaches, and a few cherries growing on our fruit trees! 

Garden List for 2012:  Radishes, Potatoes, Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard, Carrots, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Snow Peas, Green Beans, Corn, Cucumbers, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Pumpkins, Squash, Zucchini, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Dill, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Chives, Mint.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Grotto

A recent photo of our grotto with irises and roses blooming. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Book Review: The Picture Bible

Catherine received this book as a gift for her First Holy Communion.  Nearly 800 pages, it presents much of the Bible in comic book fashion.  She loved it and read the entire book in about a week!  Now she wants to start over and read it again.  Now, it is not a Catholic version, so there are 7 books of the Bible not included, but I don't think that makes much difference in this kind of Bible.  I have read online that there are a couple of easily explained discrepancies in this Bible version, but so far we have not found them.  The cheapest places to find this Bible are at Amazon, reached by clicking on the image above (I'll receive a small commission by anyone going that route.), or at Sacred Heart Books and Gifts, one of my favorite websites for Catholic shopping. 

Choir Concert

Last Sunday, the homeschool choir held their Spring Concert.  This was our third year participating in the choir and the kids get better each time. 

The little kids' choir sang first.

This was the first time Joseph sang on stage.  I was so proud of him!  Anne is there on the left and Dominic is just behind Joseph.

Catherine was a pro by this time!

The combined choirs.

After a while Joseph forgot what to do with his arms, but he remembered all the words to the songs.

It was another successful choir performance!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fun With Friends

Last Friday at noon, 3 moms and 13 children met for some feasting and fun.  We met in a town in between the three of us so the kids could use their Pizza Hut Book-It rewards.   It was a pizza feast!  Then we went to a nearby playground.  And oh, did they play!

Fun at the playground.

Dominic, Joseph, and their friend, Rafe, were all smiles.

Kids love to spin around.

This thing spins around fast!  Anthony liked it.

Evelyn went down the big spiral slide all by herself.

Anthony climbed up high and hollered Hi, Mommy! over and over and over again.

Dominic showed Aloysius how to hang from the monkey bars.

A lot of kids can fit on the spider web!

After the kids burned off enough energy, we all went to Braums to use their Braums' Book Buddies coupons.  Read books, get free pizza and ice cream.  Woo-hoo!

Digging into those ice cream cones.

Could not even get all of the kids in one picture.  They sure had fun!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Day At The Botanica Gardens

Last Thursday the kids and I went to Homeschool Day at the Botanica Gardens.  It was a lovely time.  Everything was green and the flowers were blooming.  No butterflies in the Butterfly House yet, but the new Children's Garden was open.  It was amazing to see how many homeschool families were there.  The parking lot was packed!  I knew a few from our Catholic homeschool group.

Who doesn't like a curvy path through the woods?

Pausing for a short rest.

Heading to the Children's Garden.

We started off following the Rainbow Path.  Even Anthony in the stroller fit through.

The girls on the butterfly seat.

What fun sculptures of a caterpillar and ladybugs. 

Part of the Musical Maze.

The very cool tree house!

Anthony and the ants.

More winding paths, and fun little bridges, too.

Painting the cave with water.

There were some tall seats to spin around in.


Time to fill up some watering cans...

...and water the flowers.

The little cottage had all kinds of fun things to play with.

Joseph goes over a walkway through a pond.

One last stop to smell the roses!