Friday, June 29, 2012

My Daybook :: June 29, 2012

Outside my window...
we have been enjoying watching these little twins.  Aren't they just the cutest?!?

I am thankful...        
for fun summer activities, and multiple child discounts!

I am thinking... 
about ways to simplify.  So much for the "lazy days" of summer!   I've still been feeling overwhelmed lately, but it's getting a little better and I (thankfully) haven't had another panic attack.

Learning all the time... 
This week has been all about golf, but the big kids have all managed to complete a few math, spelling, and writing lessons as well.   My IEW order arrived and we couldn't wait to dig in and watch the first lesson of the Student Writing Intensive.   The kids LOVED it and I am confident that this will be a perfect fit for our family this coming year!

* Rascal was awarded a Golden Putter for being the "Overall Camp Champion!"

Celebrating the liturgical year... 
with today's feast of Sts. Peter and Paul!  Since it's Friday, I think I'll have Hubby grill some fish in honor of these great "Fishers of Men." I might also whip up some sort of fish themed treat or cupcakes for the kids to enjoy while we play The Journeys of Paul Board Game after dinner!

From the kitchen... 
My new fave... Chipotle Black Bean Burgers topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese, guacamole, red onion, tomato and lettuce.  Oh. My. Goodness. are they DELICIOUS!  (Oh, and they are on sale/coupon at Costco right now... I stocked up!)   

I am creating... 
a unit study for this summer based on the Olympics!  I just ordered a copy of G is for Gold Medal: An Olympic Alphabet and downloaded this lapbook to start.

I am working on... 
making a few changes to our curriculum and ordering our schoolbooks for this coming school year.

I am going... 
through the piles that have accumulated in our schoolroom and filling a box with the books we no longer need or use for this year's Online Curriculum Sale Blog Hop.  I'm planning on hosting the link-up here at Shower of Roses from July 16th-31st this year for all of you that are interested in participating.

I am hoping... 
that we will have some warm and sunny days over the next two weeks, especially since we begin swimming lessons on Monday.   It is raining again today and it just doesn't feel like summer if our corner of the country.

I am reading... 
lots of books to the little ones for the library Summer Reading Program!  I also just received these two new-to-us books in the mail...  I just LOVE Paperback Swap!  Now I just need to find some summer reading for myself, especially for during our time at the pool these next couple weeks... Any suggestions?

I am praying... 
that the Lyme infested tick that bit my Hubby didn't pass along the disease.  Not the best news to receive this past Monday, on his first day back at work after a week of vacation.  He has already started a round of antibiotics, and we are waiting on the results from his blood test.

Pondering these words...
from Through the Year with Fulton Sheen.  Doesn't it make you so happy to hear that he was just declared venerable!  He has so many wonderful quotes, but this is my one of my favorites:

"Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them."

I am listening...  
to The Four Language Arts by Andrew Pudewa.  Love it!

Around the house... 
lots of golf tees.  I keep finding them everywhere!

One of my favorite things...  
themed birthday parties!  We have a couple more birthdays coming up in July and August that I need to start planning.  Oh, speaking of which, I never did show you all the awesome little cars that Rascal made out of modeling wax for his little brother's 5th birthday.  Didn't he do such a great job?!?  I was impressed!

A few plans for the week... {and next}
  • 2nd week of Golf Camp for the 5 oldest
  • A 20th Anniversary Party {It was so much fun, and everyone brought International themed main dishes and appetizers to share! Yum}
  • Parade on Saturday morning, followed by BBQ
  • Mass on Sunday 
  • Swimming lessons begin Monday morning
  • 4th of July party and fireworks
  • Try and respond to at least a few emails...  I'm so behind and just haven't had much time to spend online, as usual!  

A little peek at my day...

Bud is trying so hard to crawl.   It won't be long!  In the meantime he keeps frustrating himself, by just backing up off of his soft blankets and away from his toys...

{this moment}

At first I was speechless, after returning to the dinner table the other night to discover the little ones giving themselves facials with greek yogurt!   Completely frustrated I said, "Oh, Rose, you even got it in your hair!!!"  Snuggles quietly replied, "I didn't get any in my hair..."  lol, sigh...  Those little stinkers!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life. ~


It was absolutely gorgeous at the golf course this morning!  It's a long drive each morning and afternoon, but the kids are all really enjoying their 2nd week of summer golf camp.


Snuggles was extremely happy to be able to join the big kids for this week's golf camp, which was open to 5 year olds as well.  He is the smallest guy out there and is so fun to watch!   I am pretty sure just about every coach came up to me today to tell me just how cute he is.  I couldn't agree more!


Today was "Team Day" and all the kids were ask to come dressed in support of their favorite instate college team.   It was at last year's golf camp where my kids learned of the state teams (and the rivalry between them) and choose favorites.  At that time our kids were split down the middle, half for one team and half for the other.  It cracked my husband & I up, especially since we don't really watch any sports (other than NHL online).   However, this year, a few of the kids changed their minds on their favorite team, and all have the same... I'm thinking it might have something to do with their aunt attending one of the schools in the fall, or the fact that their uncle will be attending in 2013 on a full athletic scholarship?   We went shopping for a few new clothing items yesterday afternoon.  Even Rose had to dress up and bring along the baby's new (rejected) pacifier her accessories! They all really stuck out (what else is new?! lol) in their bright orange and black amidst all the green and yellow (apparently the other team is much more popular in our area)...  It was great!   The coach cracked me up when he said he was "happy to see all the black and orange!  And if anyone happens to be wearing green, I can't see you... You just blend in with the grass!"  


Every day the head coach announces the winners in various categories.   Each day this week one of our kids has won a prize!  On Monday Rascal won a prize for the "best greeter", Tuesday Twinkle Toes won a prize for "hardest worker," and yesterday Captain won a prize for "best listener." Snuggles started thinking he was "just too little" to win a prize, and you should have seen him jump up, totally excited, when they announced that he had won today's prize for "best listener."   He was one very proud little boy with his big box of candy! 

Visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more pictures of contentment

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Golf Camp

I mentioned last week that our four oldest were participating in a summer golf camp.  Last year just our three oldest attended, since Chiquita had to miss since she wasn't feeling well.  This year she was very excited to be able to attend.  The kids headed to the golf course each morning from 9-12, they were able to golf 9 holes afterwards on a few of the days, and on Friday they participated in their very first "golf tournament!"

For the tournament the 70+ children attending the camp were broken into three groups:  Advanced (9 holes), Intermediate (6 holes), and Beginner (3 holes).

Our girls played in the beginner group, and the boys played with the advanced (they had been moved up from intermediate early in the week).    Hubby had signed up as a volunteer (or rather I signed him up), and was assigned to keep score for the team that our girls played with, including one other cute little girl.  They were so fun to watch!

The forecast was predicting rain, but thankfully the downpour waited until the kids were finished and it just sprinkled here and there while we were out on the course.

Surprisingly, especially since my parents and so many of my brothers and sisters now play golf (one brother is headed to college in a year on a golf scholarship), this was my very first time walking a golf course!   One of these years I'd love to learn how to play too.  In the meantime it was sure fun to watch and snuggle with my little Bud.


I was amazed at how much the kids had learned over the week.  Our godson won first place in the tournament for the beginner group, Rascal was very excited about his 3 shot par, and Captain won the prize for the Most Improved and Inspirational Player for the week!

They all had such a great time that we decided to enroll them in a second week of golf camp, which began this morning at a different golf course.  This week's camp is for children ages 5-16, so even our little Snuggles is now old enough to join the "big kids."   Hubby was able to take them all this morning, and I stayed home with the two babies. (I'll head to town in a little while to pick everyone up.) Rose just woke up and is eating her breakfast and Bud is still sleeping... (I'm sure he is extra tired after fussing most of the night... poor baby!)  It is so quiet around here I hardly know what to do with myself!  ;)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Cars Themed Birthday Party

On Thursday our little Snuggles turned 5 years old!  He still loves his Woody and Buzz toys, and they are the ones that will always stick out in my mind when I think of his childhood, but this past year he has really been enjoying race cars (especially the "Cars" and "Cars 2" themed race cars), so he asked if he could please have a "Race Car Birthday."   I went back and forth on whether I wanted to go with a  "Cars/Lightning McQueen" theme, or just stick with a "Classic" racing theme, but after looking though all the fun ideas online I couldn't resist going with the movie theme.

I had all sorts of ideas that I wanted to try, but since his birthday fell right after Family Camp, and in the middle of Golf Camp, I had to keep it somewhat simple.   I decided to skip all the extra games and activities and just stick with making some fun foods for the party and purchasing a pinata.   It was perfect!   A few friends joined us, Snuggle's best friend along with three of his brothers (who came home with my kids from golf camp to spend the night) and my dear friend Janet and her two children (who just arrived home from Virginia for the summer). We all enjoyed the company and Hubby even set up a tent in the back yard so the boys could "camp."  Nevertheless, Friday morning was just a little crazy trying to get all the kids to the golf course by 8:30 for their last day of camp and "golf tournament!"

Here are a few pictures from the party! 

~ Cars and Cars 2 Themed Party Foods ~

I had so much fun creating a menu for this party.   The birthday boy requested Race Day Hot Dogs, which Daddy grilled, and I set up a table with all the sides and drinks. 

Piston Cup Pasta Salad 
(my favorite pasta salad recipe made with wheel shaped pasta)
Dinoco Oil Dipsticks (Pretzel Rods) • Cheese Cubes with Race Flags

Mater's Tow Cables (red licorice) • Luigi's Casa Della Tires (mini donuts)
Rust-eze (applesauce) • Mater's Taters (potato chips)

Motor Oil (root beer) • Allinol (sprite)
Radiator Springs Stop Lights
(for these I mixed peanut butter with ground cocoa for on top of the graham crackers with the m&m's)
...and of course we had to have some Pistachio Ice Cream

I ran across this fun tub at our grocery store for a couple dollars and decided to make a drink bin with a homemade sign for Flo's Cafe inspired by this party.   It only took a few minutes to quickly make the sign the morning of the party!  

~ Lightning McQueen's Crash Test ~ 

Some of the boys mentioned that it was really sad that they were going to hit poor Lightning McQueen with a bat, so I told them that they were just going to give him a "crash test!"  lol  Lightning didn't pass the test, but the kids all loved all the goodies he had hidden inside.  :)

Eventually we had to make a few modifications to the pinata/rope... 
But even this "scene" reminded the boys of some part of the movie! 

~ The Birthday Cake ~ 

I already posted a couple pictures of the cake in this post.   If I had it to do over, I would probably do a couple things differently.  Since I used two box mixes, I made the 6" cakes on top with a gluten free cake mix which ended up being much heavier than the 9" triple chocolate cake on the bottom.   I decorated the cake the night before, so by the time we were ready for cake the top had started sinking/tipping into the bottom cake.  Only I noticed, the kids didn't care one bit! :)

~ Birthday Gifts ~ 

The birthday boy had so much fun opening his gifts!  He received a new bike and a Playmobil Royal Ship of Egypt (which has been discontinued, but will be great to have for studying Ancient Egypt) from us, a few Car themed toys from his little friends, and Janet's family found him the perfect Playmobil Soldier Boat!  

My friends know me well... Janet was able to find a toy that I loved just as much as the birthday boy, combining favorite toys with CATHOLIC SYMBOLISM!!!   

*See the Fluer-di-lis on the back of the boat?!  How perfect is that!?

~ Backyard Camping ~ 

Despite the excitement with "camping" outback, the birthday boy and his  5year old friend ended up sleeping inside, and even the big kids were nervous about sleeping "by themselves in the woods." (Apparently our home is considered in the woods/mountains to our friends that live in town!)  All the wind rustling through the leaves on the trees didn't help, so Hubby grabbed his sleeping bag and slept in the tent too.

Happy Birthday Snuggles! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ka-chow! A Lightning McQueen Birthday Cake

Our little Snuggles is five years old today!   He requested a "Cars" themed cake, which I was extremely tempted to just order from the store, but I ended up deciding to give it a shot using this cake as inspiration.   It is far from perfect, but I thought it turned out pretty good, especially considering that I was decorating it late last night (or should I say really early this morning) while juggling a cranky six month old.  The birthday boy was super excited and absolutely LOVED his cake when he discovered it as soon as he woke up this morning.   It was totally worth the extra effort, as usual!

His little best friend is here to celebrate with us, whose three older brothers will be coming over as well.  Hubby will pick them up at golf camp, along with our big kids, in about an hour, so I better get back into the kitchen to finish up the rest of the goodies I am making to go along with the cake.   I'm sure I will be back with a more pictures!  It's going to be another fun day!

 Happy 5th Birthday Snuggles!