Everything you never wanted to know about our family and various other subjects.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gabriel heard they're forecasting snow!

It actually is snowing this morning, so Gabriel decided to skip breakfast and head outside.  Don't worry Grandma, he's dressed more appropriately than in the picture above.

Yarn Along

Surprise, surprise...I finished the sweater I had been working on for the last few weeks.  So glad I kept at it because I really like everything about it. 

Thinking about making buttons, like the original sweater has. Not sure if I'm really that ambitious though.  Hoping to get pictures and other details on Ravelry soon.

To celebrate finishing one project,  I cast on for the Fleurette jacket.  I know it looks like a doll scarf right now and that might be all the farther I get with it because I'm also starting in on Marianna's Christmas stocking.  Hard to be in the Christmas spirit during Lent, though.

I'm reading Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition for like the third time.  Lots of info about vitamins and general nutrition.  I always have to re-read after I forget that all these things make me feel better... well, the right food and that whole exercise thing.  Did you know that a woman's body loses 1% of its muscle mass every year after she turns 40?  I am seriously considering some weight training, nothing drastic (you know me).  According to my calculations, if this body is going to last long enough to spring 8 more kids into self-sufficiency...I'm gonna need all the help I can get.

Check out more Yarn Along inspiration at Ginny's blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In a desperate moment, I told Matthew and Andrew to take their younger brothers upstairs and find something to keep them busy.  This was the result...

...another big mess to clean up ...and while they're at it.  This needs a little organizational skill as well.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wisdom from Therese

Therese was helping me clean the kitchen yesterday when Clare told her it was time to vaccum their bedroom.  Therese sighed and said,"How come Clare can't do the dirty work for a change?"

Later, Tim was talking about the importance of knowing the difference between fiction and ....fraction, Therese chimed in.  I believe he was going to say non-fiction, sweetie.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Rather Productive Saturday

Lots of projects were in progress yesterday...

I made another bag.  This one is going to be used for the books I take to Adoration on Fridays.  (I thought the last bag I sewed was for that purpose but I didn't check the dimensions and it ended up way too big.)

Clare (with just a tiny bit of my help) cut this fabric for the skirt on the front cover.  I'll have to give her a little nudge but hoping to sew it up later this week.

On a much larger scale,  Timothy and his friend Jim worked with Dan on a wooden box to transport their sound equipment for their band.  I only caught the tail end of their project.  It's really impressive!

Then, of course, in a family this size....there's always a couple of slackers. (Stephen caught them playing video games!  Wonder who's winning....the 3yo or the 20yo).

Well, I gotta run.  We're about to have a Skype meeting with Debbi for the Haiti trip.  This should be a real blast.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Last of Lewis and Clark

We are just wrapping up our study of the Corp of Discovery.  To celebrate, we made jerky out of venison given to us from a coworker of Dan's.  Didn't do it the old fashioned way, we added some extra flavor.  A little soy sauce makes almost anything edible. The boys were big time excited about this activity.  They tell me it was worth the effort!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Favorite Picture

I snapped this picture rather quickly yesterday and didn't realize how sweet it was until it came up on the computer screen.  This is the epitome of what I love about homeschooling.  First of all, let me say that these two siblings have never quite jelled, so to see them working through algebra together is just a beautiful thing to this mama.  For Stephen to be able to share his love of math and be able to help others is really cool, as well.  I like math. I'm not half bad at math but ask any kid in this family past 2nd grade addition and subtraction and they'll take Stephen's tutorials over mine...anyday...hands down.  He should definately go pro.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Apparently the U of M at Morris is pretty cool.  So say Joe and Stephen.  Though, not what Stephen is looking for, he assures me.  On to the next college on the list,  good thing he's only a sophomore. 

He is still P90Xing it, pretty much every weekday. (Gearing up for travel soccer this summer, his team has decided to play tournament only.  It will be interesting to see how he deals with that.) I'm rather impressed with his discipline by now.  I seriously thought the morning exercise routine would be short lived.  He does look a bit crazed when he returns home

It's about how I feel every time he takes the car out for a cruise lately.  He did manage to find his way to SCSU for a soccer double header on Sunday night.  Only got lost once, he announced the next morning.  Not too bad... not too bad at all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining the Yarn Along has done wonders for my sweater.  I'm hoping to finish it by next week.  After getting back into the swing of the pattern, I remembered how much I loved this yarn. It's just exceptionally yummy! So soft and springy and warm, I have been happily knitting everywhere I go. Practically begged Timothy to drive on Monday for grocery shopping so I could keep at it.  Didn't work though.

I've been reading The Captain's Dog out loud to the little people for breakfast.  You'd think we'd be pretty sick of Lewis and Clark by now, but this book has been great fun.  A short journal entry from Captain Lewis for the beginning of each chapter and then the dog's point of view on the same events.  Matthew and Andrew keep begging for more.
Sorry to say I have been so busy knitting that I am not reading a thing for myself right now.  Have to remedy that for next week I guess.
Enjoy more Yarn Along adventures with Ginny.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fixer Update

Thursday night Joseph and Stephen went into town for an apologetics class and a quick stop at Shopko.  They never made it to the class, though.  As they were leaving the Shopko parking lot the Honda died and then started smoking a bunch.  They had to push the car back into the parking lot and send out an SOS (so glad I wasn't the one driving it). Long story short...Honda back in the garage for a fixer upper.  Anyone keeping count on fixits for this vehicle in recent history?  I really should keep a running tally of some sort.  The latest episode in car repairs has everybody on the prowl for a new beater vehicle to add to our existing entourage.  Dave and Nadine have a neighbor's vehicle in their driveway that needs a head gasket.  Guess that just might be the newest victim....we'll see.

On the other side of the garage, we're still in sandblasting mode.  Joe's working on a trailer for a fish house. The VW is still waiting in the wings.

On the home front, Joe gave the basement shower a face lift with all new caulking in the hope that  leaking will come to an end.

And here's another SOS.....time for nap!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Really quick post

Just to give you a bird's eye view of our Monday.  I am taking 6 kids to music lessons this morning.  Joseph and Stephen are heading to Morris to check out the U of M there.  Tim offered to stay home with the littles, so we can Suzuki in peace. Somewhere along the way Johnny and Gabers decided that they MUST go to Linda's with us.  Sooo, I am taking 6 kids to music lessons today.  Did I mention that already? Gotta do the big grocery run this afternoon. Forecast of rain/snow mix.  Not looking forward to this day.  Anyhooo, here's some pictures from the weekend.  Imagine warm sunshine, virtually no snow and a basketball just begging to be used. Beautiful....

White jeans will never be the same.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Diaper Dolly is at it Again!

That's my girl, standing on her tiptoes and opening the basement door.  I tell you, NOTHING is safe around here now.
(On a side note, I have discovered that one of her top teeth is cracked right down the middle.  I watched as it came in over the last few weeks and it was cracked even when it first appeared.  All I can think of is that nasty fall she took down the stairs on Christmas Eve.  Bummer.)

Anyway, now that our sweet Marianna can get to the basement on her own.  Here's what she has to get into look forward to:

Affectionately known as The Swamp, this is how my oldest three live. 

DISCLAIMER:  This would be considered clean by those who claim it as a bedroom.

Timothy's Brudie Ensemble
See those innocent-looking pizza boxes.  They have been residing in the basement with who knows how many crusty leftovers hiding inside.  Could be days, could be weeks.  Everyone around here knows you enter The Swamp at your own risk, everyone except our sweet Marianna.  The solution would be a door....simple, yet effective.  Hmm, which of those three brawny young men is up to the task?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Is science really fun?

I would have said no to that question when I was a kid but I think Matthew and Andrew feel differently.  Check out what they did for their study of Mars:


Cut steel wool into small pieces and mix with sand in two pie tins.

Pour water over one pie tin to wet the sand.

Observe sand with magnifying glass (a visual enlargener according to Stephen).

Here's my only issue with science experiments, now the pie tins have to sit for a week and be watered and observed.  Where is the best place for this?  The kitchen counter, of course.  So appetizing!  Forgot... my other beef with science is how infrequently the experiments pan out, just ask Joseph, Tim and Stephen.  We're talking 13 years of failure! 


This part of our educational post was much more exciting because it involved food... which explains why all the little's came out of the woodwork to join us.

The directions are simple...throw a bunch of candy, frosting and various other junk food on the table with a picture of a Mars rover and tell everybody to get creative.



Friday, February 17, 2012

That's My Boy

Yesterday as I was helping Gabriel into his jeans,  I told him that he was getting to be such a big boy.  He said, "Yep, Dabers IS big.  Dabers is going to drive soon."  Uh-oh!

Eating all the croutons for SNACK
He also doesn't appreciate Dan's co-workers fishing on HIS lake.  He saw two trucks parked down by the water and said, "Dabers don't like people at our house.  Why are there tents on the ice?  Take those tents away!"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Creativity Around Our Home

As we were heading out the door for Mass last Tuesday night, Dan took one look at Therese's shoes and announced that I needed to take her shopping.

OK, maybe they ARE looking a little tough.
Much better!
Andrew needed a new pair as well and then while we were there Clare discovered a totally adorable pair of flats that were on clearance. 

Suddenly we were the proud owners of a lot of shoe boxes.  Before I had time to throw them in the boiler, everyone got busy with their glue and scissors.

Check out the total organization on that table.

Andrew's diorama was the only one that showed up decently in the photos I took.  Here's the outside view

and the view from the inside.

Pretty Cool!
Since I wasn't able to get a decent shot of Matthew's diorama,  here's a little something he made for me while I was at a meeting on Thursday night.

What a sweetheart!
This side says Handle With Care and inside there was a little note that said, "I love you!"  Awww,  please excuse me, where's the kleenex? (Someone's probably turning it into a diorama:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yarn Along

Thought I'd join Ginny's Yarn Along with the hope that I won't give up on this sweater.

I left this project in the dust in order to finish Gabriel's Christmas stocking.  Now I'm having a hard time finding my groove and seriously thinking about ripping the whole thing out.  Timothy and Stephen have a fit whenever they catch me ripping , so I'd have to do it in secret if I really get serious about it.  In the meantime, I've started reading up on Haiti.  Joe and Stephen are just 6 weeks away from their mission trip and I thought it would be a good opportunity for the whole family to learn about where the boys will be for the end of March. 

This book was about more than Haiti.  It's actually about the author's journey from helping people immediately after 9/11 at Ground Zero, to working in Sri Lanka following the tsunami in 2004 and finally heading to Haiti in 2010.  Not necessarily what I was looking for initially, but interesting anyway.  For the younger bunch, I found this selection at the library and we are working through them slowly along with a few more general info type books.

Joseph watched a DVD by Frontline filmed just days after the earthquake.  He described it as "not for the faint of heart".  So glad our guys have this opportunity to serve others and make friends along the way. The stories from this part of the world are so heartbreaking.  Will you please keep everyone involved in this journey in your prayers?