Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Turkey

I just love this guy. Isn't he adorable? He is the product of our shared creative effort: Darren drew his body, I cut out all his feathers and hat, the girls colored his face and feet, we all brainstormed things for which we are thankful, and Dylan carefully transcribed them for us onto the colorful feathers. Love him. Do I have to take him down for Advent? :)

A Morning Prayer

"O God, our Father, we thank you for waking us to see the light of this new day. Grant that we may waste none of its hours; soil none of its moments; neglect none of its opportunities; fail in none of its duties. And bring us to the evening time undefeated by any temptation, at peace with ourselves, and with you. This we ask for your love's sake." Amen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Random Photos

I was just sorting through my drafts folders and found this eclectic mix of photos that I somehow never posted. They're pretty cute, though, and I know I'll want to see them again someday down the road. And I'm sure the grandparents would like to see them, too. :)

These were actually taken the first weekend of November, right after Halloween. I love this first one, in which Dylan is hard at work excavating the pyramid we bought for him at the Renaissance Fair. Protective eyewear came included with the kit! I just love the sweet look of concentration evident on his happy face, and that hammering hand in motion!

These next few are a photo documentation of Kristen's first taste of "real" food: rice cereal! The lighting was horrible, because it was night time, but I was able to sort of salvage these through photoshop. I particularly love the second one. :)

And finally, because they're so pretty that I've yet to take them down, here are the Halloween mosaics the children made for our craft cabinet doors. I like that they fill the panes perfectly, resembling stained glass windows. We intentionally made them vaguely fall-ish rather than overtly Halloween, because I knew I'd never want to remove them. They're still hanging proudly in our learning room. :)

We've been slow to transition to Thanksgiving preparations, but we're excited now to finally be getting started. Darren has actually worked with the children on some cute Turkey crafts, and I've got a few ideas we might try today. Yesterday for our History lesson, Dylan read The First Thanksgiving to Caitlyn while she snuggled against him on the couch. There are days when I seriously question our decision to homeschool, but moments like these come along sweetly, unexpectedly, that make it all worthwhile. We are so blessed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

While left unattended...

Late Saturday afternoon, I instructed the children that Daddy and I needed a few minutes of private time and ushered Darren into our bedroom. Seating myself at the computer, I began navigating through page after page of excellent Christmas gift ideas that I wanted to show him, but had to keep stopping due to numerous interruptions. Finally, exasperated, I admonished a stern warning: "Listen carefully! Mommy and Daddy have closed this door for a reason! Don't even knock...we will not let you in unless there is an absolute emergency! Do you all understand?!" I then locked the door, just for good measure. (Sometimes, I can be really mean that way.) Moments later, though, a rustling sound is heard and we turn to see a sheet of paper being slid beneath our door:

Oh sweet Jesus! I should have known better than to lock that dang door. Never fear, though: turns out it was just a superficial scrape to the knuckle of his left thumb when the apple peeler he was trying to use didn't quite cooperate. And actually, the first thing he said was, "Wait! Don't put a band-aid on it yet, Mom! Can I look at some blood under the microscope?" That boy. He is just like his mother. :)

Later (because we just never learn), the children were working on assorted crafts at the kitchen table while Darren was getting dinner ready and I was getting Kristen to sleep in our bedroom. Darren had momentarily left the room, and when he walked back in he was startled to discover a clump of hair laying on the floor! I wanted to cry when I saw that Meghan had very neatly snipped about two inches from the hair surrounding her face! I was so distraught, in fact, that Darren wouldn't even let me do anything to it right then...he wisely made me wait until after returning home from work yesterday morning to attempt a repair. And by then, of course, I'd had time to reflect on the fact that it's just hair! It will grow back. It wasn't even like she had taken a chunk from the top of her head, either. Just a few dainty snips that significantly impacted the overall length of her hair. I knew a short little bob would be the only remedy, but oh, I was sad! I had really, really grown to love her long, beautiful locks. But still...just hair. Here are some before and after photos.

(And I think it's only fair to say that Darren and I are already finding her new 'do to be quite darling. I never would have done it myself had her handiwork not necessitated it...but now I have to admit that I think it really suits her!) :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Babies

My apologies for the less-than-superb quality of this video (I do much better with still photography), but the absolute cuteness of my girls this morning made it impossible to not post this! Kristen really is this happy most of the time, and I love that Meghan can also be heard talking in this clip. She thought it was so silly that Kristen kept trying to eat Pooh Bear!

This just makes me happy:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Recent Events

No, this isn't a post about the sickening results of yesterday's election. I can't talk about that disgusting disappointment yet without feeling physically ill, so instead I'm posting some long overdue photos of recent family happenings. I came dangerously close to deleting my entire blog a couple of nights ago, but Darren talked me out of it. He says he loves to click over to it while he's at work to see the kids and page through my archives. It makes him happy to see us while he's apart from us. And even if that remained the sole purpose of this blog, it would be reason enough for me.

We visited the pumpkin patch on a warm weekend in mid-October, where my sweet children endured the discomfort of too-warm clothing selected by Mommy dearest. (When I had returned home from work much earlier that morning, it was cold! I never thought to recheck the temperature before departing.) They still had a blast though, despite the flushed faces. Sadly, however, we never did get around to actually carving our pumpkins. But it's never too late! I'm thinking a turkey, perhaps? Or some falling leaves. Who says jack o'lanterns need scary faces? :)

Halloween was extra special this year because my brother and his family were here to celebrate with us! I only regret that I didn't get more pictures. I did take a few of my own children in their Halloween shirts before the cousins came to visit, and a partial view of the party food we arranged, but by the time they were dressed in costumes they were just ready to GO! Meghan was the least cooperative, but I picked the best of the bad shots I did get as photographic evidence for my mom of the cute trick-or-treaters we had this year: Indiana Jones, Little Red Riding Hood, and Dorothy!

The day after Halloween was also the first day of the Renaissance Fair, which we've been looking forward to since last year! (It was also a primary reason for my brother's visit...he hasn't been in many years, and was eager to finally share the fun with his bride and children!) Caitlyn had received some money for her birthday a few weeks ago, and was so excited to buy a new dress to wear to the park! She picked a beautiful gown from the Halloween costumes at Target, and Dylan was able to buy a new knight costume with the money he had left over from his birthday, too. (Meghan got a new dress just because she's so darn cute. :) ) We had a great time. After unhurriedly strolling along the path to the food court, we decided to get lunch while there were no lines to speak of. (Typically, they get very long around noon, and it was already 11:30.) The timing was perfect, because Clan Tynker was just about to begin their first performance! We spread our picnic blanket on the lawn and enjoyed watching while we ate. Such fun! We also enjoyed the jumping tents and, my favorite (and I think Dylan's, too): the Usborne book booth! We had to really restrain ourselves from buying up everything in sight, but we were so happy with the books we did purchase: the Complete Book of Art Ideas, How to Draw Cats, the Children's Book of Art, 50 Christmas Things to Make and Do, See Inside Math, and a really cool Pyramid Excavation Adventure Kit. I took the children on a canoe ride around the lake again this year and even Meghan rode this time! She was actually photographed by a newspaper photographer as we waited in line donned in our bright orange flotation devices, but as I'm sort of weird about revealing our last name here on the blog, I'm not linking to the online album that features her. Sorry! She was a doll, though. "Pretty as a picture"! :) We were awfully tired out by the time we came home five hours later, but we ended up joining the gang at my dad's house for margaritas and a few rounds of pool. Just like old times! I really hated to see the weekend end. We had such a good time. The best part was that I didn't have to work at all that weekend! It was my first weekend off in many weeks, and it felt so good to have a normal weekend for pure pleasure!

This week has been spent mostly in recovery mode: nursing colds (Cailtyn and Meghan), catching up on laundry, and catching up on school work (My Catholic Speller Level A and Language of God Level A: finished! Yay Dylan!). Kristen had her very first taste of rice cereal a few nights ago, and was not too impressed. Such a fun milestone, though! The older children thought it was hilarious. Perhaps I'll eventually get around to posting photos. I'm counting the days until my mom is home for a Christmas visit. It will be here before we know it! Where did October go?