Monday, April 27, 2009

Look Who's 4 today!

Happy birthday to Sammy! We love you!

Daybook-The Last Week of April

I haven't done one of these daybook entries in a long time. Actually I may have only done one. I don't know why I didn't keep up with this, but I am hoping to make this a weekly update again after a long lapse.

Outside my Window

I woke up this morning to about five or six inches of snow. From my bed, I could see out the window and I saw steady snow and an overcast sky. I wasn't too happy about it, but now it's noon and the sun is out and snow is melting quickly! If we have to have snow in April and even May, at least it melts quickly!

I am listening to

Dennis Prager on the radio, but I'm about to turn it off to put Tess down for a nap.

From the Learning Room

Our school year is winding down and I'm gearing up for summer learning. Last year, I gave Luke a traditional summer break. We listened to lots of books and he read, but other than that, his days were wide open. I've discovered that Luke has better days when they're more structured. So, I've been toying with the idea of a light summer term. I want to do new things that will distinguish summer learning from the regular school term. He told me that he would like to learn French. So, I ordered a French course from Memoria Press. We've been pleased with their Latin courses so I'm sure that I'll like the French. I think we'll continue reviewing math as well. I don't want to have to spend so much time reviewing from the previous year. He finished his math book early this year and to keep the math review fun, I ordered both this and this. I want to grow sunflowers and pumpkins and fill all of the bird feeders and draw pictures of birds and well, have lots of nature study. My little boy Sam turned 4 today and I'm thinking about beginning Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons soon. We'll take it easy and slow, but I'm thinking that he needs more mommy time and this may be just the ticket. I'm thinking about Shakespeare stories for summer read alouds and maybe a little Botany. I know that I want to find a typing program for Luke as well. Now that he's getting older and starting to use the computer more, I want him to know how to type properly...too much??

I am thankful
that the snow melted quickly.

From the kitchen
Today, not much. I'm clearing out the fridge and freezer. The boys are eating leftover spaghetti and Paul and I are eating fish sticks with salad. I did bake two cakes for Sammy's birthday over the weekend. I did make the Changing Hearts and Minds chocolate cake from Molly Wizenberg's book, A Homemade Life and an orange bundt. They were both good, but I do have to say that the chocolate cake was more like a really moist brownie. Orange and chocolate do go very well together I must say.

I am wearing
jeans, a light pink t-shirt, brown wool sweater..yes, wool at the end of April!

I am reading
The Mirror Effect by Dr. Drew Pinsky. This is a really interesting book about celebrity narcissism. I've learned that narcissism is not extreme self-love, but actually the opposite, self-loathing. It's actually very sad.

Holiness in the every day
I just pre-ordered Karen Edmisten's new book for inspiration!

I am Creating
Oh, lots of things. I'm knitting a second sock to make my first pair ever. I'm working on a couple of quilts and I'm crocheting a baby blanket. There was definitely a learning curve with the crocheting! I am also thinking about how to decorate our learning room and give it some flair.

Home Comforts
I'm relaxing and trying to enjoy my home right now instead of seeing all the things that need to be done.

One of my favorite things
We always read to Sammy at bedtime. We recently discovered that he can read Big Dog Little Dog. I get tears in my eyes as he "reads" the book, complete with inflection. Of course, he just memorized what we'd been reading to him, but he has the sweetest little voice.

plans for the rest of the week
I'm getting ready for a trip to Virginia for a friend's wedding. I've got a lot to do before Thursday morning and I'm nervous about traveling with the baby without my husband.

Be sure to visit Peggy for all the daybook entries!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Deeply Saddened

I was deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the death of Dr. Dillon, president of Thomas Aquinas College. He died today in a car accident in Ireland. I attended Thomas Aquinas College for a short time as part of the class of 1996 along with fellow classmates Kristen and Suzanne. It's a truly wonderful college and although I was there only briefly, I have no doubt that the college is responsible for who I am today. While I was there, I took on many odd jobs to earn money and one of those jobs included babysitting for Dr. Dillon's youngest son on occasion. He will surely be missed. May he rest in peace.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's so Monet!

Remember the movie Clueless? Clueless was one of those movies that made phrases like "as if" popular. After I sewed my latest quilt topper, I thought of this exchange in Clueless.

Tai: Do you think she's pretty?

Cher: No, she's a full-on Monet.

Tai: What's a Monet?

Cher: It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess. Let's ask a guy. Christian, what do you think of Amber?

Christian: Hagsville.

Cher: See?

Well, that's how I feel about my quilt. From far away, it looks pretty good, but up close it's a total mess. Things started out well, but then I put it away for a while and when I started up again, I had to cut more squares. I think I tried to cut the squares more efficiently and then things went bad. Nothing was lining up anymore when I sewed the columns together. After a while, I just decided to let it be. There was no fixing it since the squares weren't the right size. I just kept sewing despite the mess. It's too bad. I really like these bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics and I know I ruined this quilt, but nevertheless I'm going to continue on and think of Clueless every time I look at it. Who doesn't like Impressionist art?

Easter Weekend in Review

I'm not really sure that this picture is from Easter weekend, but I'm sure I took this during Holy Week. I love Tess's expression!

Okay, this picture is out of order, but this is what I got from the Easter Bunny. After a long Lent with no new yarn, I was overjoyed to find new skeins Easter morning.
We went to the Easter egg hunt at our Parish which has become an annual tradition. This year, we were joined by my sister Kat, my niece Cecilia, nephew Mateo, The Allbrittons and the Seevers family. This is the first year that Sammy sat willingly with the Easter Bunny. In years past, Sam has either been in tears or Luke has sat without his brother in the photo. I'm glad to have all three this year.

Later, the boys put on very appropriate t-shirts for the egg coloring.

Here's little friend Ella joining in the egg-dying fun!

I boiled four dozen eggs this past weekend for coloring, potato salad and two dozen deviled eggs!

My niece Cecilia particularly joyful dying eggs
The kids are done with the eggs and Paul is surrounded!
Luke, Sammy, Tess, Ella and Evelyn

Here's Tessie with her bunny lovey from her first Easter basket!

Sam's already changed out of his matching shirt and put on his cape!

It usually snows on Easter and this Easter was no different. It was overcast when we took these pictures after mass.

Paul with the kiddos

Me with the kiddos- Look! Tess is smiling! Unfortunately, I'm wearing wool. It's never warm enough for Spring clothes on Easter. That's all! Have a wonderful Easter Week!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

The 4x10 Reading Challenge Update #4

I've tweaked my list a little bit. I dumped a couple of titles and added new ones. What I've read is highlighted in blue and those in progress are highlighted in pink. I just wanted to see how I'm doing and it's easier to see all typed up instead of written on a scrap of paper.

Children's Literature- ages 6-10

1. In.Grandma's Attic-Arleta Richardson
2. Betsy-Tacy- Maud Hart Lovelace
3. Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook- Joyce Lankester Brisley

4. A Day on Skates- Hilda Von Stockum

Children's Literature- ages 10-14

1. Twilight-Stephenie Meyer
2. Princess Academy- Shannon Hale (in progress- reading to Luke)
3. City of Ember- Jeanne DuPrau
4. Princess of the Midnight Ball- Jessica Day George

Adult Fiction

1. The Ten Year Nap- Meg Wolitzer
2. Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict-Laurie Viera Rigler
3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society-Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
4. A Woman's Place- Lynn Austin

Adult Classics

1. The Bird in the Tree- Elizabeth Goudge (in progress)
2. Northanger Abbey-Jane Austen
3. The Lord of the Rings- JRR Tolkien
4. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
5. A Reader's Delight- Noel Perrin (essays on adult fiction)


1. The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How They Do It
-Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
2. The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections- Amanda Blake Soule
3. The Surprising Power of Family Meals- Miriam Weinstein
4. Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater- Matthew Amster-Burton


1. Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better- John Holt
2. Laying Down the Rails
3. The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature- Elizabeth Kantor
4. Christian Unschooling - Teri J. Brown with Elissa M. Wahl


1. Jack's Life: The Life Story of C. S. Lewis- Douglas Gresham (in progress)
2. Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau- Jean Bernard
3. A Walk with Jane Austen- Lori Smith
4. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature- Linda Lear

Politics, Current Events and Religion

1. Three Cups of Tea- Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
2. What's So Great About Christianity- Dinesh D'Souza
3. The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America- Drew Pinsky and S. Mark Young
4. ?


1. It's So You! Fitting Fashion to Your Life- Mary Sheehan Warren (in progress)
2. Misplacing God: And Finding Him Again- Joanne Heim (in Progress)
3. Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods- Nina Planck
4. Grace Cafe: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering- Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle


1. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time- Dava Sobel

2. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady- Edith Holden
3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life- Barbara Kingsolver (in progress)
4. The Last Child in the Woods

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Look Who's 4 Months Already!

Here she is checking in at 12 pounds 12 ounces. Oh, why can't she stay this small forever?

Crochet Progress

Here's the blanket I'm crocheting.
Obviously, mine is already looking like something totally different and not on purpose! I know my crochet stitches are all uneven, but I'm actually having fun learning how to do this. I've already come to terms with the fact that it won't be even on the sides either. I just hope with every color change that I improve! I hope by the time I get to the last row that it won't look anything like the first row!

Small Successes #3

I think I got the hang of the double crochet. I saw this fun little blanket on the Lion Brand website that I wanted to make for Tess. I taught myself how to knit and I figured that I could teach myself to crochet with some help. I found it very difficult and frustrating at first, but I persevered and I'm 15 rows in on a 60 row blanket and although my blanket doesn't seem to quite have the chevron pattern of the picture, mine has definite curving waves. I even learned how to alternate colors. It's not going to be anywhere near perfect and I'm okay with that.

I had more brown bananas and decided to whip up another loaf of banana bread which makes the boys happy.

In the last two weeks, I've pieced two quilt toppers. I intend to add a couple of borders to one of them, but for now they are done until I make time for the next phase of the quilting process of layering the batting and backing.

Most of the time, I feel like I'm working all day seeing little progress, but when I start to write it down, I realize that I'm more productive than I realize. Share your small successes at Faith and Family Live!