Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Week by Week, 20/52: Bike Rides, Strawberries, and CT Scans

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 55: There's a Dog in the Church!

A very somber Sunday to you and yours, apparently?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Week by Week, 19/52: Make the World More Beautiful

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 54: Motherhood and Strawberry Plants

We​ were picking strawberries from our little patch yesterday when Elizabeth accidentally pulled up a whole plant! Whoops. It looks like a baby plant from last year that was already trying to send out runners AND fruit at the same time, so it didn't develop the roots it needed.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Pregnant Twins and How to Get Rid of Your Tummy {7 Quick Takes}

It's been ages since I last wrote Quick Takes, and the kids are magically playing nicely together upstairs... Let's see if this'll last! Edit: It lasted approximately 3 minutes after I started writing this. Of course!

Affiliate links included - thanks for your support!

--1--

I told you ages ago that I was exercising for Lent - I've been slooooowly making my way through the MuTu System and it's actually been amazing! I'll do a full review soon, I hope, but my Diastasis Recti is healed (those pesky separated abdominal muscles), I'm MUCH stronger (I can get into the giant van without having to grab the handles with both hands and heave myself in), and I have greatly increased energy levels, despite fairly terrible sleep from the baby. I *think* the program will be going on sale for Memorial Day, but if you know you NEED it now, it's 20% off this weekend (12:01 AM Saturday, ET to 11:59 PM Sunday, ET) with the code MOM20. Because your Mother's Day gift should totally be a healthy body! (This is my affiliate link if you decide to purchase it - I get a little bit of a kickback, so thank you!).

--2--

Library fines. Do you pay them? Do you make your kids pay them? I've been paying ours, because 100% of the time the fault is mine (don't want to drag everyone to the library, forgot to renew books, couldn't renew books because too many fines have accrued...). But right now there's a missing book (from this series, which is really fun!) and that's NOT my fault! And I really want to read it! So we'll see how I deal with those fines whenever it's located... Off to clear our account of wrongdoing today!

--3--

But I'm renewing this gem of a book, and adding it to my wish list! And it convinced me that we need to make the switch to raw milk, whenever I actually get my act together and fill out the forms...

--4--

Oh gosh, these two recent conversations with the twins? Amazing.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Week by Week, 18/52: Livestock and Sacraments





















 









Earlier this year Andrew and I talked about getting ducks, and how it would probably have to wait until next year because we had a lot going on. Well, then he decided we might as well not wait - I thought we were getting 3 or 4 ducks for the pond, but he ordered 15... And the hatchery sent 19, so evidently I'll need to learn how to cook duck!

We also got an order of 50 meat chicks (Actually 52, Cornish Cross, which Andrew doesn't want to try again because of all his research about them being "Franken-birds" but we'll see...) and they're adorable but we're obviously not getting attached, since they'll be filling our freezers in a couple of months! They'll be pastured once they're a bit bigger, and then we'll try our hand at butchering. Or rather, Andrew will and I'll keep the little kids out of the way?

The irises my mom planted last year and this year are blooming and are so, so lovely! And now I'm remembering that I also meant to plant coneflower along the front walk so that there's always something blooming out there - once the irises are done, I think that's all for the year? Unless we don't weed again and the goldenrod blooms... Actually, now I'm remembering how much the sparrows loved the weed seeds last year when we let it go, so maybe we just won't worry about it. It was so fun watching them hop around eating the seeds!

John Paul received his First Holy Communion on Sunday, and his second communion the next day. He's over the moon with excitement! We tried to get a family picture, and you can see how that went... I actually didn't get to see him receive - I was out getting Edith to sleep in the carrier, and tried to get up to the front when it was time for communion but there were people everywhere and I couldn't navigate quickly enough. Ah well, my presence wasn't the important part! Meanwhile Peter was remarkably quiet in the lobby with my mom, and the twins were complete terrors. And they wonder why they're not allowed to go to Mass together...

We celebrated at home with John Paul's requested menu of burgers, brats, and hot dogs. He wanted a white cake, and for some reason my attempt was a TOTAL failure - the cake pans overflowed and then the cake FELL! I've never had that happen before!! And I've made the same cake without any issues... My only guess is that maybe the fact that the eggs were fresh from the hens made the whites whip up too high? In any case, it tasted absolutely delicious, but I had to make changes... I made a pastry cream to go in the middle, filled it with berries, and covered it with whipped cream (which was *supposed* to be pipeable, but ended up too runny, so we just went with it). The day before, I had made a ton of tiny meringues and some meringue crosses to decorate both cakes (the other was a sourdough chocolate cake, with which I had no issues!), and the kids begged for me to let them decorate, so I relinquished control and let them. Both cakes were delicious! I think meringues might be my go-to decoration from now on - so easy and beautiful!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week by Week, 17/52: Planting, Pastures, and Plums

 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 53: First Holy Communion!!!

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 2017 Stitch Fix: My Best Box Ever!

Well hey there! It's been ages since I did a Stitch Fix review, and I just got myself a box as a birthday present and had to share because my stylist, Alexandra, nailed it.


Affiliate links included below

Loveappella Junniper Knit Maxi Dress (size small, $74, similar, similar, similar)

You saw me in this dress already, but here it is again! I was skeptical right out of the box because maxi dresses are generally too long on me, but this was perfect. I'm a shorty (5'2") and hiked it up a little to tie it higher around my waist, which helped with the length - I think it would still work on someone as tall as 5'6" or 5'7" as well. SO comfy, belly-hiding, nursing-friendly (stretchy neckline), and sleeves? Sold!

Verdict: Keep

Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Sunday Best, Vol. 52: A New Family Member

Well hey there! Happy Sunday from the whole family, including the newest member!

Nope, not a pregnancy announcement. That's a goat.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Week by Week, 16/52: Little Artists

Time and again, I've tried to entice John Paul into some sort of artistic venture. He sometimes enjoys drawing circuits, maps, architecture... But nature journaling? Not. His. Thing. And really, drawing anything was like pulling teeth.

Well.

That has changed, and rather abruptly!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 51: Divine Mercy = Chocolate

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! And Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Week by Week, 15/52: Tools, Tulips, and Fairies
















Affiliate links included in this post

After spending most of a week helping Andrew build the chickens' new coop, John Paul has apparently decided he needs projects of his own to do - he's been sawing and drilling various pieces of scrap lumber, and everyone is fascinated by the process, despite the fact that they don't quite have the coordination to imitate him. He's been kneeling on the ground, sawing wood between two cinder blocks, and it looks so pitiful that I think we're going to need to find a space in one of the outbuildings to set up a little workshop for him!

We got a small greenhouse to go on the porch and the seedlings are already much happier than they were in the bathroom - even though there's plenty of light in there, they just weren't getting as much as they needed... The kids love it. Peter has been dragging chairs in there so that he can look at everything, and thankfully he's been very gentle and hasn't killed a single seedling, which is more than I can say for myself! 

Then, of course, the greenhouse became their real house, and Peter had a bed and Cecilia asked him if he wanted her to put him to bed. "Yes, and a story and a song and a pwayer!!!" So she told him a story, and prayed with him, and sang him a song, and then I asked him if he wanted her to put him down for his real nap later in the day.

AND HE DID.

Game changer.

So when nap time rolled around, I changed his diaper and she got him down without a problem! Sure, he didn't sleep, but I didn't have to put him down for a nap! It was the sweetest, sweetest thing, and I love how close they are right now.

I'm not sure what inspired it, but they started coloring hickory nuts and acorns for "the fairy easter egg hunt." The girls all like to pretend that fairies are real, and they'll make fairy houses and put out food for the fairies and the like. But Peter is so confused. He keeps asking me, "But where are da fairies? Where are dey? Mom, do you know???" No, Peter, I don't. The fairies are pretend. Even though their "easter eggs" are real...
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