Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

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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.


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...

Monday, April 17, 2017

4 Mouth-Watering Recipes for Taco Tuesday (plus a shortcut you'll adore!)

With 8 people eating dinner at our place every night, it's not often that I can find a meal that pleases every single person. But tacos? Crowd-pleaser, every time. I've got a whole bunch of recipes at the bottom of this post if you're looking for a little inspiration for Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo, but tacos are good any day of the week, so give these a try soon!

A couple friends recommended these taco boats and they were so adorable I had to make little sails for them, obviously! They were so, so much easier to fill than the regular tortillas I usually use, so I was able to have them assembled for the kids so that they could add any extra toppings they wanted. Such a simple shortcut, but definitely one we'll be coming back to.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 50: Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! He is Risen! Alleluia!!!

Still haven't painted that porch... And didn't exactly choose the best time of day to take a picture, lighting-wise, but look! Family picture!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Week by Week, 14/52: Violets, Bluets, and Elephant Rides

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 49: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday! Woohoo! One week until Easter!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week by Week, 13/52: Poetry, Breadcrumbs, and Paper Scraps

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 48: Spring-ish

Happy Sunday! Only 2 weeks until Easter! Does your parish have the statues shrouded? This Sunday is Passion Sunday, which is traditionally when the sacred images are shrouded until Easter. It's super-easy to do at home if you just get a couple yards of purple fabric that won't fray - no sewing necessary!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Week by Week, 12/52: What They Said

John Paul: What does the Chinese flag look like? Can you look it up?
Me: Not right now, we probably have a book somewhere with a picture of it.
John Paul: PLEASE? I really, really need it!!

I glance over and see him holding a piece of paper on which he's written "Declaration of War"

Me: Are you planning to declare war on China?
John Paul: Hmm... Yes...
Me: Why?
John Paul, grumbling: Well... Communism...

Mary Claire: Mom, I'm wearing socks.
Me: To keep your feet warm?
Mary Claire: Mmmm well, mostly... To cover the pen on my foot.

Peter, walking happily towards me: Mom, I found a piece of candy food!
Me, suspicious: Are you sure that's candy? Can I see?
Peter, grimacing: Mm... No...
Me: So it's not food?
Peter, pulling what looks like a small woodchip out of his mouth: No...

Elizabeth: Mom, Mary Claire said A MEAN THING to me!! She said 'Ha ha ha ha ha!'
Me: ... I'm trying to get Edith down for a nap.
Elizabeth, after leaving and coming back: Mom, Mary Claire KEEPS DOING MEAN THINGS TO ME. She HIT me!!
Me, still nursing Edith in bed: Would you like to come lie in bed with us?
Elizabeth, experiencing a lightbulb moment: I'll tell her to stop!!!

You'd think that would be the first step...

Cecilia: Mom, remember when I found that potato bug and we thought it was a pregnant flea beetle?
Me: Yup, it was pretty gross. Now we know that chickens love them, so when we find them we can feed them to the chickens like we did with the Japanese beetles last year.
Mary Claire: But I *love* the Japanese beetles! I like them to perch on my hand and crawl up my arm!
Elizabeth: We'll just *study* them when we find them, and when the chickens kill them we can bring them inside to study!

Sure. Yes. Because the chickens are always killing bugs and just leaving them there...

Peter: I'm a mouse!
Me: Oh, can you squeak for me?
Peter: *blinks blankly for a few seconds* ... I'm a bunny instead.

Me: Peter, get off of Edith's tummy.
Peter, indignant: I want to LOVE her!!!

Peter: Look at my dinosaur! It's a she!
Me: Oh, is your dinosaur a girl?
Peter: No it's a he!
Mary Claire: Of course, all dinosaurs are boys. Except Maiasaura.
Me: Uh... Well, how would they have babies if they were all boys?
Mary Claire, thinking hard: Well, some dinosaurs were girls, but MOST were boys.
Elizabeth: We don't really know much about dinosaurs...


Cecilia: Guess what my feet smell like?
Me: What?
Cecilia: They smell like feet.

Cecilia, lecturing me: Mom, you need to learn how to embroider before you try to do any embroidery... You tried to embroider a star once, and it really didn't turn out very well because you didn't know how to embroider. So... You should really learn how to embroider before you try to embroider again...
Me: ...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sourdough, Rainbow Eggs, Movies, and a Giveaway: Mid-Week Miscellany

After seeing my instagram feed filled with beautiful loaves of sourdough bread that apparently everyone bakes, I decided to give it a shot - at the very least, trying to make our own starter would be science, right?

Well, we've actually been having a lot of fun! We started by using the starter for a few "cheater" recipes that aren't real sourdough - oatmeal muffins (delicious, though we replaced the raisins with cinnamon chips), chocolate cake (also delicious - not too sweet, and not too crumbly either), and sandwich bread (we were not fans...). Then today I finally took the plunge and made "real" sourdough bread - there are about a million recipes out there on the internet, and I don't think I love the one I used (so fussy! So many steps! Does it have to be this way?), so I'll be trying another next time. Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 47: Laetare Time!

Happy Laetare Sunday! Only 3 more weeks until Easter!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 46: Sick Day

We are sick 😖😖😖

Well, the kids are mostly recovered, and now Edith and I seem to be the ones who are down for the count. If you could pray especially that this doesn't turn serious for her, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Week by Week, 10/52: Roller Skates and Statues

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 45: Still Winter

Well, I knew it was coming back... Winter. Ugh. Despite the daffodils and fruit trees blooming, we're still experiencing frigid temperatures. I get so spoiled by our mild winter weather that when it's actually necessary to wear a coat (<40 degrees), I get annoyed and don't want to leave the house...

Friday, March 10, 2017

What's Working in Our Homeschool {7QT}

I found myself thinking today, "Hmm... You know, I don't really blog much anymore..." I mean, I do my two post minimum every week (because I host a linkup and do a weekly photography post), but spontaneous blogging? That almost never happens! So since the kids are in bed, the baby's asleep, and my husband's gone for the night, I think I'll take a page from Kelly's book and blog about some things that are working for US in homeschooling this year!

That's right Kelly, I'm just gonna go ahead and copy your post. But with my own spin! And really, I've been meaning to write this post anyway...

SO! What's working?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Week by Week: 9/52 - Exercise Fiends

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 44: Sacrament Time!

Guess who's got two thumbs and is in the state of grace right now?


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Week by Week, 8/52: Crocuses and Slingshots

Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 43: Best Weekend Ever?

Happy Sunday!

We're finally out of our stretch of gloriously warm February temperatures, but we took advantage of them while we could!

A playdate at the winery on Friday afternoon...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Week by Week, 7/52: Fountains and Seedlings

 Sweet Edith's hair is growing fastest at the top (but not around her face!), so I couldn't help but put it in a little fountain - you can only see if you look very closely, because it's right by John Paul's face and dwarfed by his unruly hair! I promise I'll give him a nice short cut *very* soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Sunday Best, Volume 42: My Legs are Not This Color

Happy Sunday!

We're enjoying yet another unseasonably warm stretch this weekend, which is lovely but leaves me worried about crops, especially fruit trees... Say a prayer for all farmers, would you? The local peach crop took a serious beating last year because of a late frost, and I'd hate for the same to happen this year! It's an inconvenience for us, but a terrible blow to those whose livelihood depends on good production. St. Isidore the farmer , pray for us!

He insisted on the suspenders and bow tie, and switched out the khaki socks I'd chosen for argyle socks. #winning

Friday, February 17, 2017

Morse Code, Cyrillics, and Baby Bruises {7 Quick Takes}


The very best Valentine I received was made completely unprompted by John Paul:

Nobody has ever said they love me in Morse code before!


I might like the one he made for Andrew better:


I used some thredUp credit to get John Paul a sweater vest to wear to Mass, and the kids were so excited that there were valentines in the package!

Turns out it's a shopping credit - I don't know if you can combine it with the usual $10 credit for first-time customers, but it's worth a shot! Click through here and use the code 20FORPUN - let me know if it lets you use the $10 AND $20 credit? I'm curious...


If you've been waiting to try Stitch Fix, now is the perfect time!! Now they're offering men's clothing AND plus sizes if you have a friend or a husband who's interested! Here's my referral link 😊:


Do you follow Zelie and Co. on Instagram? They're having a craft retreat in April and it looks so, so fun! If you're in the Michigan area (or willing to travel) you've gotta check it out so I can live vicariously through you!


Can you tell that these takes are entirely composed from my phone? Edith is currently sitting on my lap sucking on her fingers and refusing to fall asleep, so I might as well get something done, right?  There's only so much you can just gaze at your adorable baby...

Plus gazing is dangerous! I had her on the floor earlier and Peter tripped over a pillow and whacked her in the forehead with a toy phone! 

So she's sporting a nice large bruise, even though I was literally hovering RIGHT over her while she smiled and cooed at me! We'll just call it a badge of honor...


I'm going to call it quits - check out more takes at Kelly's!

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