Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Daybook :: May 31, 2014

Outside my window... 
We have had contractors working outside again this week.  Our garage is on hold while we work on getting permits, but we have made progress on the patio outside of the dining room addition! We have been putting this project off for the past 3-4 years and it's so nice to finally have it started.  Part of this project includes building a permanent shed and enclosing our water pumps, pressure tank, etc, to hopefully help prevent them from freezing again this next winter.


I am thankful... 
that we were able to overcome the "Concrete Emergency" that happened sometime between 12-1pm on Friday… It was "Pour Day" and the contractors had arrived at 6am to prepare for the concrete arriving at 7am.  Everything was going beautifully until the concrete started to dry. It was time to start hosing off the top to finish the "Exposed Aggregate" patio.  The contractor turned on the hose and nothing came out. I found the key to the lid on the holding tank and sure enough it was empty. I had no water in the house and the deep well wasn't pumping any water into the holding tank.   The contractor yelled "I need THOUSANDS OF GALLONS OF WATER. NOW!"

I pretty much had a panic attack right then and there, and I am still trying to recover from the stress! It never occurred to us that he was going to need so much water and that we were going to have a problem. He knew we had a holding tank. Anyways, I ran back behind the house and flipped the breaker to the well which got the well pumping again, then I tricked the restricter float into thinking the tank had more water left than it did so the hoses would work again, but that only lasted 5 minutes, at best.  I got on the phone with our the pump guys to try and figure out why the deep well wasn't producing water (they headed out immediately), called every water delivery service in the area (not one could bring us emergency water), and ultimately was able to contact my neighbors for permission to run hoses from their well! (We live on a few acres, but were able to make it work with five long hoses. Thank you Don & Bev!) Catastrophe avoided.  Barely.

I am thinking... 
If yesterday was any indication, we are really going to need to work on conserving water this summer.  Our well is a low producing well, which is why we have a holding tank, but the reason the water kept stopping was that it wasn't producing enough for even a steady stream to flow into the holding tank.  We usually have problems with running out of water towards the end of summer, but never in May. Everything is so dry already this year.

Learning all the time...
In addition to learning all about concrete this week, the children all started swimming lessons on Tuesday!  All seven are taking classes and we've been at the pool from 3-7pm each day.  This is actually the first year that I have not had to get in the pool with the little ones for the "Mom & Baby" classes!  Ranger has been learning how to teach Bud to swim, and Twinkle Toes has been working with Rose.

Just before the first class  - Bud wasn't too sure what to think! 

Celebrating the liturgical year...
This week we celebrated Ascension Thursday (which has been transferred to Sunday/tomorrow in our diocese), the feast of St. Joan of Arc, and the traditional feast of the Queenship of Mary.  I had big plans, but ended up having to keep our celebrations extra simple this year.  We decided to save our Ascension Picnic for Sunday so that Sean would be able to join us.  He has been working long days and lots of extra hours due to an upcoming deadline he has at work.

From the kitchen... 
The big boys took over the kitchen recently while working on an optional Chemistry experiment from the lesson about "Mixtures" --- Baking a Chocolate Cake!  I'm still avoiding all dairy so I didn't get to taste it, but they got an A+ for cleaning the kitchen and washing all the dishes.

I am working on... 
finding ways to control the nauseousness. I've been so sick!  I keep reminding myself that this is a good sign, and trying my best to offer it up.

I am creating...
a Chemistry Study Folder with Snuggles as we review all of the lessons we've completed so far this year in Focus on Elementary Chemistry.  He has really been enjoying this unit study and it's the first thing he wants to work on when he wakes up in the morning!

I am going...
to sleep so early each night...  I can't seem to stay awake much past 9pm, which is crazy! I'm falling behind on all the things I usually get done late at night, after the children are asleep, like blogging and answering emails.  I know I need the extra sleep. Snuggles keeps reminding me that I'm "Growing a Baby!"

I am hoping...
to have a chance to post Chiquita's birthday pictures. She keeps asking when they will be on the blog.  Soon!

I am praying...
that baby is healthy and growing, and that all will look good at my ultrasound next Friday.

I am reading...
The time at the pool has finally given me a chance to start reading some of the books that have been piling up on my nightstand beginning with Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler! Next up is The Little Oratory and Teaching From a State of Rest (or Kindle version here).

I've also been reading Hittite Warrior aloud after lunch while the children work on various projects.

Pondering these words...
from today's Quiet Moment in Catholic Digest:

"One of the most beautiful moments in history was that when pregnancy met pregnancy when child bearers became the first heralds of the King of Kings." Ven. Fulton Sheen

I am listening... 
to the Andy Griffith Show.  The children are watching an episode with their Dad.

Around the house...
I keep finding little Bible Story illustrations that Chiquita has been creating inspired by her Great Adventure Kids Bible Story Coloring Book. We will have to add these to her timeline.

One of my favorite things...  
watching Rose with her big brothers.  She sure has them wrapped around that little finger of hers.

This week's plans...
  • Sunday: Mass for the Feast of Ascension 
  • Monday-Thursday: Swimming Lessons
  • Tuesday: Final Lessons with Tutor before Summer Break
  • Friday: Dating Ultrasound!

A little peek at my day...
My husband had to work again today so I took the children to the annual Young Hunters Day.  They had a blast shooting arrows, throwing tomahawks, and so much more!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

On Easter Morning {Our 2014 Easter Baskets!}

I have already shared Pictures from Easter Sunday and Our Annual Easter Sunday Egg Hunt. Before I move on to the pictures from the Chiquita's birthday I have Easter Baskets to share, following morning Mass on Easter Sunday.  You can find my past post where I listed the various books and gifts I purchased for this Easter here, but I will include the links in this post as well. (Note: As you already know, all Amazon links are affiliate links.)

It is always so much fun to watch the littlest ones with their baskets! The first thing Bud pulled out of his basket was the Hollow Chocolate Egg with a White Chocolate Chick inside from See's. He immediately unwrapped his candy and took a bite. We all watched and waited to see him discover the chick inside. So cute!  We saved his chocolate cross and lamb for later.

After he finished his egg he sat back down to see what else there was to discover inside that basket of his.  Bud read through (at least once) each and every new book he found in his Easter basket.  

Bud immediately fell in love with his handmade St. Andrew Pillow Doll from his godmother

And then went right back to reading his new books! 

In addition to a pink chocolate Hello Kitty bunny, Hollow Egg, and Chocolate Lamb, Rose received the following books in her basket: Saints for Girls: A First Book for Little Catholic Girls, All Creatures Great and Small, Quiet Time With Cassatt, Sharing with Renoir and Painting with Picaso, Sense and Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer, My First Pictures of Mary, and Easter Bunny's Amazing Day.

She also was given a beautiful St. Therese Pillow Doll... 

… along with a pink headband with little roses and a darling apron covered with cupcakes from Sew Sweet by Shannon

Snuggles reactions to all his books were so cute. I just love how excited he was to discover books about St. George, St. Michael, Blessed Miguel Pro, and the Holy Father! His older brothers couldn't wait to get their hands on his new illustrated version of The Hobbit too and plan to start reading it to him soon. His books included: Heroes of God: Saints for Boys, Jorge from Argentina, The Hobbit: Illustrated Edition, Saint George and the Dragon , Saint for Boys: Sticker Book, A Little Book About Confession for Children. I also included The Saint who Fought the Dragon: The Story of St. George.

He also found a See's Hollow Egg, a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, Chocolate Lamb, St. Michael Pillow Saint, Paper Chalk, a set of 12 Soft Pastels, and buried at the bottom a little lego set

Yes, Mom is sneaky like that!  I took all the legos out of the boxes and used them as filler for the bottom of the boy's baskets this year.  As soon as Snuggles discovered his the big boys checked the bottom of their baskets and sure enough they found lego sets too! ;)


Chiquita received the following books in her Easter Basket: Book of Saints for Catholic Children: 96 Illustrated StoriesHeroines of God: Saints for GirlsA Story of St. ClareThe Queen and the Cross: The Story of Saint HelenSaints for Girls: Sticker Book and Saint Bernadette: The Miracle of Lourdes.

Chiquita also received a Saints 'N Stiches Kit of her Patron Saint, a green headband and Purple Tote from Sew Sweet by Shannon, a Cake Batter Filled Easter Egg (it was her birthday after all), a Chocolate See's Egg, a Chocolate Lamb, 12 Soft PastelsLyra Aquacolor CrayonPentel Oil Pastels, Passion Fruit EOS Lip Balm in a Purple "Egg", and a new jump rope!

I usually fill a "Family Easter Basket" with gifts representing the various Easter Symbols.  This year the basket was filled with extra gifts for the Birthday Girl:

Twinkle Toes' Easter Basket was filled with Saints & HeroesSaint Joan of Arc: Quest for PeaceSisters of the Last StrawStout Hearts & Whizzing Biscuits: A Patria Story (Volume 1) and (Volume 2), and The Story of Saint John Paul II, A Boy Who Became Pope.

She also received a Saints 'N Stiches Kit of her Patron Saint, a blue headband and Pink Tote from Sew Sweet by Shannon (she LOVES this tote!), a Chocolate Easter Egg wrapped in pink foil, a Chocolate See's Egg, a Chocolate Lamb, 12 Soft PastelsLyra Aquacolor Crayon, Sakura Oil PastelsPaper ChalkStrawberry Sorbet EOS Lip Balm in a Pink "Egg", and a new pink jump rope


Ranger loved the personalized St. Joseph Prayer Pillowcase he found in his Easter Basket, along with his Twix Egg, Chocolate Hollow Chick Egg, and Chocolate Lamb.  He has also already built the Metal Earth Parthenon.  His new craft supplies (to go along with our upcoming Meet the Masters lessons) included Lyra Aquacolor CrayonsPaper Chalk24 Soft Pastels and Oil Pastels from Pentel.  He also loved the lego set he found buried in the bottom of his basket. 

Captain also recieved a personalized Prayer Pillowcase, with St. Patrick pictured. He also has a love of Peeps (which I just do not understand) and was thrilled to discover a Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg with a PEEP inside.  His basket also included the See's Chocolate Egg, Chocolate Lamb, Art Supplies (Lyra Aquacolor CrayonsPaper Chalk24 Soft Pastels, and Oil Pastels from Pentel), the Metal Earth Brandenburg Gate, and a lego set (my boys have been enjoying the Great Vehicles legos lately, ever since our trip to the hospital). 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pictures from Easter Sunday

Easter 2014 Paschal Candle and flowers replacing the thorns

After Mass on Easter Sunday my parents and a few of my siblings (Kevin, David, Brian and his family) joined us for Easter Dinner, our annual Egg Hunt, and Chiquita's 9th Birthday! It was such a beautiful day.

An overflowing jar of Jelly Beans (replacing the Lenten Sacrifice Beans) for all the sacrifices and acts of kindness made during Lent…A little reminder that God always gives us abundant graces and blessings - much more than we deserve!

Rose was so excited and couldn't wait to taste a few handfuls Jelly Beans.

Twinkle Toes was so happy to see that they were all naturally colored with fruit and vegetable sources and she could have some of them this year - she is allergic to some food colorings.

Rose discovered the darling pink headband (from Sew Sweet by Shannon) in her Easter Basket.

Decorating our Easter Egg cakes with some of the Jelly Beans. My mom also made a cross shaped cake, but I skipped the lamb cake this year and made a Secret Garden birthday cake instead.

We decorated eggs, but it doesn't look like I ever got a picture of them all completed. . .

Sorting and Trading Candy after the Easter Egg Hunt

This years menu included Ham, Sweet Rolls, Potato Salad, Fruit Salad, Glazed Carrots, Roasted Asparagus, Appetizers and Desserts. It was simple but delicious.

I'll be back with some pictures of the children's Easter Baskets and Chiquita's birthday!