Thursday, July 27, 2017


Ok, I can officially admit, now that school has restarted (for the most part), I don't do well with the no-schedule-do-what-you-want summer months. We did a lot but, man, it's all a blur. Here's my best shot at a recap.

The month started with America's Birthday! The 4th is always a lot of fun and this year it was packed...birthday party in the am (see below), friend party in the afternoon, and me...all alone...Adoring Jesus in the Eucharist while the fireworks boomed all around. It was a really amazing way to end the day but, you know, I don't take pics at Adoration so you'll have to just imagine :0)
Italian with big bro and the birthday girl :0)

4th of July party - trying to put on a frozen t shirt

and picking up marbles with your toes

fun, fun, fun

This eventually descended into all-out-water-balloon-war
That week, we celebrated birthdays of two ladies I love very much. My mom turned 81 and my sweet Blondie turned 7. There were joyful celebrations to mark both wonderful days that these gifts to us first appeared on Earth.
She requested smores as her "cake"
with great-auntie

birthday girls :0)
The weather was pretty stinky most of the month but we did get a bit of exercise here and there. The older 4 had running camp twice a week for two weeks and I got to run/walk/jog... a 5k every day while they were working out...double bonus!
I was really happy with how well they did...

even this one who would rather be reading


long-distance :0)
We took a lovely break (from the rain, running and other craziness) to gather with friends and celebrate our birthday girls (7/9) and (8/22). There were ten adults and 20 kids. I love that I have pictures to show when someone says "but do homeschool kids have friends?" I also got to talk to a mom of many who has reached the end of her baby days. It is so good to find people with whom I can share the journey. It is certainly different at the end.

A few pictures snapped before everyone headed into the pool.

More running and more rain then camp came to an abrupt stop because of the other athletic event that the five kids have been practicing for every week for months. It went wonderfully and we even got to take advantage of the rides this year. Gotta love Kennywood!
Getting ready under the watchful eye of Our Lady

The whole crew!
He danced this year! Yay!
They had to bounce around in a crouch like that. Luckily 7-year-olds have good knees :0)

Nothing better after a long day of dancing...your own personal rainstorm.

This makes me laugh every single time...
The end of the month is always my favorite time. The vegetables are coming in (if not mine, then those from our local farm) and the sun and heat have begun to burn out the earlier rain (and my thirsty veggies :0(). The best part, though, is the St. Anne Novena at a neighboring parish. The priests (twin brothers) who preach the novena are wonderful and we've gotten to know them the past few years. The turnout is always spectacular and it's good to see familiar faces year after year.

This year we began school the morning of Day 7 so we made sure to take the pictures before Mass, always dedicating our year to Jesus through Mary (and this year, by extension, through St. Anne!). May God bless our efforts in year 6!

He was all about holding that sign this year. Cutie.
The end of the novena falls on the Feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne. That's a really big day around here since it's both our wedding anniversary and Blondie's baptism day. How kind of the people at St. Anne's to throw us a huge reception after the last Mass ;0) Good people, that.
Happy #14!

7 years in the Church family :0)

Seriously, though, it's been a really wonderful month, even when it was crazy-busy. I look forward to school because, as I began this post, we seem to work better with structure of some kind. I'm sure August will be push-and-pull with sun-vs-school but there are ways to do both. Homeschool is a blessing in so many ways.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, end-of-summer. May it be abundant in family time and God time.

We are blessed.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Don't you love it when you're thinking about something for a long time then you read an article that pretty much sums up the whole thing? Me too, especially when I'm bogged down with planning five different things at once. And, yes, my children are watching cartoons. I've not yet reached perfection...but I do wish we lived near Leonard Sax.

Don't ask the kids.

We are blessed.