Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - The Lake Johanna Outing Edition

round button chicken

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


When you get an e-mail that says:
Lake there or be square!
you go!  You drop everything....the demolition of the backyard, sewing costumes, planning for the next school year, the Art teacher....we actually rescheduled her for Thursday.  So we took off to the beach to meet with friends.

Big Sister, Maria, slathering sunscreen on the younger kids.

Happy...with friends!


Getting Buried in the Sand


Returning to the water after a safety break.

Grab your's time to go.:(

See more Pretty, Funny, Happy, Real moments at Like Mother, Like Daughter by clicking on the button above.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lunch on the Deck

I love days like this when it's not too hot, not too cold, and we can have the windows open.  The fans are going and there is a nice breeze flowing through the house.  We've been busy taking out a lilac bush and other shrubs to make way for our raised beds.  It's all very exciting...hard work, but very exciting.  We did, however, make time to have lunch on the deck.  The kids love sitting outside under the umbrella and shade with their friends for lunchtime.  I enjoy not having to worry about spilled food and sweeping up afterward.

I hope you are enjoying comfortable weather or are at least making the most of it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Joys of Childhood

There are many joys of childhood that I remember.  I would feel the wind on my face as I closed my eyes and would swing in our backyard for what seemed an endless amount of time until our mom would call me in to eat or to help with something.  I would stargaze on summer nights or listen to the announcer at the baseball field call out plays and names as a game would trail in the distance.  I remember the buzz of the lights from the baseball field and how I would watch all the bugs zoom in and out of those lights in a haze.  I would sit on an old tractor tire that my Dad dug/stuck into the ground upright for us to climb on.  I remember summer rains and how wonderful the smell of moist dirt smelled as I pressed my nose to our front screen door.  I would take in that smell of earth and feel so refreshed.  It was cool air that I would breathe in after sometimes very hot days.  On most evenings around 6PM my parents and I and sometimes my siblings would stand and lean on the hood of our station wagon and just talk.  My parents spoke to each other in Spanish while I would listen to their conversation.  Those were the first Spanish lessons I ever took.  I soaked up all I could mostly because I wanted to know what they were talking about.   Their conversations and our idling was always interrupted by the mosquito spraying truck.  This was a white truck, a city owned truck, manned by two city workers one of whom was our uncle.  The truck hauled a large tank that housed mosquito spray.  Even though it was not eco-friendly and was more closely related to a public gassing, we appreciated the rest of the bug-free evening.

Now we are making our own family memories with our kids.  Ours are a mix of what Daddy remembers as a child and what I remember as a child.  The kids will have very colorful stories to tell...I'm sure.  I love when I see our kids enjoying some of the things I enjoyed as a kid.  Here are a few pictures of some of their summer fun of late.

Making Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice on a Sunday Morning

Quilting with Friends

Playing at a Neighborhood Water Park

Swinging in the Backyard

Breakfast Dinners

Art with Miss Marianne

I hope all of you are enjoying summer, making memories, and keeping cool.  It's been so hot and muggy here that our windows and doors have had steam on them in the afternoons!  

Things to Blog About

I have SO many things to blog about, but I don't know when I'll find the time to sit down and write about all of them so I'll just download my mental bullet points...

  • flood in the isn't covering anything....we are itching to tile all of it and start working on our craft is obviously an issue
We ended up siphoning the water through the vent in the glass block window.
I think we drained app. 50 gallons of water that morning.

The front and backyards were flooded from over 4 inches of rain we received
in less than 2 hours.  Everyone around us and in the neighboring suburb
suffered water damage in basements.

Here's our window well filled to the vent with water.  There's the hose my ingenious husband thought
to poke through the vent and let gravity do the work instead of bailing out the entire
well and backyard.  Ugh, but it worked!!
  • Women's World Cup....I can't believe no one is blogging about this!  I've been wanting to, but we've been too glued to ESPN3 to do it.:(  Yesterday was an exciting and sad day which we spent viewing the World Cup Final at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis.  The theater was packed with soccer teams and fans young and old.  It was incredible to be in a group that large watching a game on a movie theater screen.  I took the top 5 kids and my brother.  It was the best!  Too bad we forgot our vuvuzelas...however, two other guys made up for that.;)
Abby Wambach & Goalie - Hope Solo...
We loved watching these gals!!

  • School plans...working out schedules, looking to host Schoenstatt girls' meeting once a month, new homeschool families to get to know
  • update on costumes for the play
  • new project!!'s so hard to keep it a secret, but I have to.
  • plans for Paul's 50th....can you say, "Los Straightjackets?"

  • green algae growth in the aquarium...I knew our smooth sailing couldn't last forever.:(
Green algae feed on phosphates that come from too much light exposure and over-feeding.
We backed off the feedings to every 2 days and are keeping the lights on only 7 hrs./day.
Hopefully, this will clear up the problem....hopefully!  These bubbles mean that gases are being
emitted from the algae...a sign that decomposition may be occurring.

Friday, July 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes: How to Become a Homeschool Hermit

1.  Find your nearest charter school.

This one is easy.  You just have to make sure your kid gets picked off the waiting list.  Then you send your little cherubs to school making sure they wear their scapulars so everyone knows they are Catholic.  Then you can pull them out of the charter school when they find themselves alone on the playground praying the rosary at the swingset.

2.  Join a homeschool coop.

For this one you have to make sure your kids are an odd number of something...odd number girl or odd number boy in each of the classes or gatherings.  This way the children who are already friends have to split themselves up wanting to be with your kids who are now the "new kids on the block."  This is a sure way to ensure that you've rocked everyone's boat of friends.  You'll be ousted in no time by all the veteran moms.

3.  Pick an intense curriculum.

Once you start saying things like, "We use Seton," or use the acronym "MODG" people will surely leave you to your rigorous, all consuming homeschooling.  If you whisper that you don't use a boxed curriculum because The Well Trained Mind is your guide, you're sure to lose all your friends.

4.  Raise Confident Leaders.

This will ensure that most of the other homeschool kids will want to be friends with your confident leaders, but this will also intimidate all of the other kids.  After you've ruffled everyone's feathers...namely the moms because of boat-rocking with'll be sitting at home not being a part of any organized groups.

5.   Get lice.

There's nothing worse to put the fear of God into a fellow homeschool mom than to drop that bomb in a string of phone calls after having all your kids' friends over for a gathering!

6.  Get a stomach virus.

Same as #5!

7.  Blog.

Nothing wards off friends more than archiving all your achievements and then publishing them on the world wide web.

Bye, World!

See more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary...I'm sure they will be more worthwhile than mine.:)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - Vertical Endeavors, St. Paul

round button chicken

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Anything can be a chance for education.  Today the kids learned a little bit about paying close attention...


They learned how to encourage one another when things get tough.


They were happy to know that when you fall Our Lady can safely hold you in her arms.


They also found that some things can be fun, funny, and challenging all at the same time.


They also learned about the reality of things.  Even though things look easy they aren't always as they seem!  We are also smaller than we think.

See more Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real moments at Like Mother, Like Daughter by clicking on the button at the top of this post.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Cookie Fun!

I just wanted to quickly post our recent cookie creations.  These were fun to make, and the process went rather quickly.  Baking, decorating, and packaging happened on 3 different days so it really broke up the work load.  These will be shipped to Texas for a going away party.:)  I hope they don't melt on the way down!

Thank God for the AC so we didn't bake along with these cookies!;)  Keep cool.

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