Thursday, May 30, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} and Theme Thursday

round button chicken
~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

Also linking up for Theme Thursday at Clan Donaldson
with the Theme of Self-Portrait this week!

We went to the beach on both Friday and Sunday.  Here are Friday's photos; Sundays will be next to load to the blog!  I think this one is my favorite from Friday.  Looks like they're pointing to a jellyfish.  There were lots of them.  

Some of the pics have different edits because I was shooting in the wrong mode and they were overexposed.  I still like this one of the girls though.

Steven Joseph out there with his trusty life jacket!  This summer will be a treat for me.  At this point Tommy isn't interested in the water very much, so he just plays in the sand and I can focus on SJ.  I love me some babies, but it's nice to have a summer without a nursing baby at the beach!

Oh but the babies are very scrumptious!  Here are my friends' babies.  Not sure how much sand these two ended up eating, or how happy they were about the beach, but they were such cute little beach babies!

I think this is my favorite of Tommy.  Happy Boy!

Happy kids checking out a dead puffer fish or something.

It's funny how serious the kids get when they are making sand castles.  Working so hard at the beach!

For Theme Thursday--Self Portrait
This is from a few weeks ago.  I had Mary Clare take a new profile picture of me.  I think it turned out pretty good.  I'm not crazy about the green grass with my green shirt, but we were short on time and the backyard was our only option for good light.  She was on a chair and I was squatting or sitting on the ground.  Better for double chins, you know!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Five Favorites

Five Favorites, hosted at

Girls' Cape May Cutie Eyelet One Piece Swimsuit 

I was doing some online shopping for swimsuits this weekend.  Isn't this one adorable?  Mary Clare has grown out of all her current suits, and I've been pleased with how these pink Lands End ones they're wearing in the photo below from 2011 have held up.  (They're even having a sale with free shipping for $50 purchase, but I think it ends today, Tuesday.) 
We bought 3 different sizes of the pink ones on clearance at the end of summer 2011, so the bigger ones have gotten lots of use!  Ellie has a long torso, though, so I need to sew her straps back a bit on the biggest size that she's wearing this year (like I needed to on this photo!).  MC didn't pick the cute navy swimsuit above, but two tankinis with skirts which I hope will fit okay and fully cover her belly...I've never bought tankinis for the girls.  I also bought a new swim shirt/rash guard for Steven Joseph.  The ones we have are starting to fall apart they're so thin!  Have you found any good swimsuit deals?


While on the subject of swimming, how about my favorite kids' life vest?  They have these at Academy for a normal price unlike the Amazon link, and we bought ours years ago.  It's one swim item that has stood the test of time.  One of our more recently-bought Puddle Jumper life jackets has already gotten a broken buckle.  But this yellow one has held up to the antics of Steven Joseph, which is saying something.  We require our kids who aren't strong swimmers to wear life jackets when they're in or near the water without an assigned adult right by them, so they get lots of summer use.  We went to the beach twice over the weekend and SJ was a maniac in the water, but I have some sense of peace knowing at least he's wearing a life jacket!  And yeah, it's probably time to go and get him a bigger one!


 Pencil Sharpener

Anyone have a favorite pencil sharpener?  We have a few little ones that keep getting lost, but now the big electric one I was going to buy on Amazon has gotten a huge price hike (from like $25 to $50!).  So I ordered this little manual one tonight.  It has decent reviews. We'll see how it holds up to the roughness of the B family!

Image of It's a Wonderful World 

Is this not the coolest quilt?  I was reading a "living with kids" home tour blog post on Design Mom and clicked to the homeowner's website.  This is what she does.  So amazing!


I've been looking at summer shoes today.  I love clogs, although I've never tried Dansko brand.  I like these, but the price tag is pretty hefty, and the jute on the bottom seems like it wouldn't hold up.  Anyone have some favorite summer shoes to share?  I like my Keen sandals and Merrell flats,
Keen Newport Sandads Red - Women'sProduct Details
but the Keens are more athletic-looking and the Merrells just took a trip in the washer and dryer since they were so grimy, and now there is a seam that is coming undone on one of the straps.  I think I'd like something closed-toed and closed-heeled, but I'm open to any options that are comfy, supportive, cute and not exorbitantly-priced!

Check out more Five Favorites over at Hallie's!!!

Service Project at Ronald McDonald House

The girls finished out their 4-H year with a service project at the local Ronald McDonald House by the children's hospital.  They cooked a full dinner, served the residents, and brought homemade desserts to share.  To say the girls had fun would be an understatement.  They had a blast!  Ellie asked if we could do that every day.  She loved asking the guests what they wanted to eat like a good little waitress.  It was like playing restaurant for real!  Here are some photos from the evening...



Chicken pounders

More salad girls

And the assembly line for stuffed, breaded chicken thighs

Had to bring the boys along until Daddy got off work.  I let him have the iPhone...

Don't take my picture!

And more chicken assembly line...

The whole group together in the kitchen

And with Ronald

4-H has been a wonderful organization for us this year.  I'm glad they were able to participate in this service project and enjoy time together with their 4-H friends.  It's a great group of kids from our homeschooling group, and I hope for many more fun times as they start up again this fall!

Monday, May 27, 2013

End-of-Year Activity Finale

Catching up with photos and some videos of the kids and their end-of-year activity celebrations.

Here is Steven Joseph right after he hit his first homerun at the last game of the season!  I can't remember if I wrote about it here, but he just kept running and running, even when the fielders started chasing him from 2nd base on, and the coaches told him to stop!  The stands were yelling and roaring in laughter and I only wish we would've gotten video of it!

But I do have a video of him playing short stop.  He is constantly out there practicing, pretending he's catching the ball, tagging the runner, spinning in circles, running around.  We all love watching him do this!  He's the one in the middle moving around.

Here he is with his team members at their end-of-year party.  They had a great time playing on the playground, then getting treats and trophies!

Coach Robert with some encouraging words about each player as they got their trophies

Texas Rangers Little League T-Ball Spring 2013, with the coaches.

We had a Show and Tell End-of-Year Party with our homeschooling group that same weekend.  We enjoyed watching all the kids perform their skits and dances and everything.  Ellie played her piano pieces...

Steven happily recited "Happy Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson

And Mary Clare recited "Foreign Lands" by Robert Louis Stevenson, including some cute props that she made, there in the basket!

And Ellie also had her piano recital last weekend!  She played "Hello to the Drum"
(Sorry, videos got focused wrong and are of her back, but I'm just glad MC offered to be my video helper!)

and "Evening at the Ballet"

Receiving her certificate

So proud of our big kids!

It was a whirlwind weekend, but we're glad to have finished their spring activities and have a little break while we decide what we'll be doing this summer!  We were a bit sad to miss out on a ballet recital this year, but glad they got to perform in two full-length ballets.  Hopefully in another week or two, they'll start some lessons at their new ballet school.  Piano will start back up in mid-June.  It looks like we'll be taking a break from swim team this summer, but we should be doing at least one VBS, and hosting lots of friends and family coming to visit.  Should be a great one!

Bring on Summer 2013!

Friday, May 24, 2013

7 Quick Takes

 7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 218)

My 2 favorite new blogs.
My Child I love you
Catholic All Year

Both of these moms are about my age; one even met her husband the same week Steven and I had our first date and they both got married the same summer we did!  But they each have about double the number of children I have right now.  And they have the most amazing advice on parenting and the spiritual life.  Lindsey writes about holiness and treasuring each moment with our children, and Kendra has the most amazing parenting and discipline advice.  I could read their posts over and over again.  And I probably should so that I can soak in their amazing insights on motherhood!

We told the kids.
We're going to Disney World!  I am so very excited about this trip in September.  I think I've finalized our meal reservations (they're offering a free dining plan that month), and we're going to have so much fun planning out the rest of the trip.  The kids were thrilled!  Daddy had a few different ideas about how we should tell them, but in the end I bribed them with a surprise if they finished most of their cleaning jobs today.  We told them tonight, except for Tommy who was asleep during the announcement.  We actually told him a few weeks ago for fun, but he didn't catch on to the whole idea of going to see Mickey Mouse.


I can't stop laughing about this one!  At least I can pretty much sew, and maybe my girls can teach me to quilt and crochet so I don't have to take "What I Wore Sunday" photos as an elderly lady to keep myself busy!  

Summer is here.  Yay!
We finished the bulk of our schoolwork last week and did a couple things this morning.  I think we're going to hit the beach with some friends tomorrow, and then again with some friends coming to stay for Memorial Day weekend!  This will kick off a season of visitors, and I can't wait.  It's a lot of work to host things at our house, but it is so very worth it.  We are so blessed to have this nice home and yard to share with others, it's a shame when we go weeks without having any friends over.  On Friday we had close to 20 friends over for a spur-of-the-moment playdate where we went to play at the church playground only to realize that the church buildings were locked.  No bathrooms equals no go for small kids!  I'm thinking about a party and maybe even a little May crowning next Friday for the Feast of the Visitation.  Any ideas?

I read and shared this on my Facebook wall today:


Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

An Evangelical friend said, "When I go to a doctor I don't want to talk to his mother." That is an interesting analogy. However, this Evangelical talks regularly with his pastor and asks the pastor to pray for him. The pastor doesn't turn him away by saying, "Don't talk to me! Don't ask me to pray for you! Go straight to Jesus!" The pastor has compassion and "intercedes" (stands in the gap) for him. He prays for the congregation and for individuals. He has compassion and wants to assist people in their relationship with Christ. This in no way diminishes Jesus' role as the Lord and Saviour.

Heaven is not a "dead" place. Catholics believe people in heaven are alive. (Mat 19:29, 25:46, 10:17-22, Mk 10:30, Lk 10:25-30, Lk 18:18-30, Jn 3:15-16). Catholics ask Mary to pray to Jesus for us.

Mary is a "born again" Christian who received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and spoke in tongues 2000 years before Pentecostals got the gift (Acts 1:14, 2:3). She knows how to pray - yes, even in tongues! In the Rosary we ask Mary to "Pray for us sinners."

We think Mary is totally alive, and is praying for us the way a faithful pastor would pray for his congregation, except much more so. She's interceding for the unborn, for mothers contemplating abortion, and for many others who are experiencing sorrows in our world, and who need Jesus.

Source: Catholic Bridge


Here is our 4-H Club after making and serving dinner at the Ronald McDonald House last night.  The girls had so much fun doing this.  They couldn't stop smiling!  For me I kept tearing up, thinking of how grateful I was to be the giver after being the recipient of the RMH blessings during our short stay there after Steven Joseph's open heart surgery.  I'll post some more cute photos of this experience soon; those little boys doing the egg wash and the girls breading the raw chicken for the meal was quite interesting to watch!

And I'll be sharing a little more about this guy and his baseball season, but here is the picture from right after he hit his first home run at their last game!  It was absolutely hilarious as he was chased from 2nd to home with 2 fielders right on his tail.  The stands erupted in laughter.  I don't know much about baseball but I know that it was the best play of the season!  That's my boy!

See more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary, and go congratulate Jen on her announcement about being published by Ignatius Press!
Related Posts with Thumbnails
site design by designer blogs