Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Craft and Opening Night

To reinforce our history lesson on the Pilgrims and Indians, we made the standard Pilgrim and Indian hats. I know, this is definitely not politically correct anymore, but the kids had a blast running around pretending to be Indians. They especially loved pretending to hunt deer with their imaginary bow and arrows. When we attended Mass Thanksgiving morning, Father gave an excellent homily about the history of the first Thanksgiving and the earlier Catholic Thanksgivings. It was an excellent homily that reminded us all of the importance of the Eucharist and that we need to not only be thankful for things, but be thankful to people. He concluded by stating that we especially need to be thankful to God, and therefore should avoid saying "Happy Turkey Day", but instead insist on saying, "Happy Thanksgiving".
Last night was opening night for the play Nuncrackers. M played the little girl named Maria. I know I am a little bias, but she was fantastic and the show was hilarious.

Monday, November 23, 2009

R's B-day

R is going to be 2 tomorrow. We celebrate her birthday last night with Nana, Aunt Olivia, and her great grandparents, Ma and Pa. We ate chili for dinner, opened presents, and had cake and ice cream. Though it was a rather small gathering, she had a great time being the center of attention. She wore her "Birthday Girl" hat all afternoon in anticipation of her party and kept saying "Birday". That is her version of birthday.

R decided on a monkey cake this year. I tried my best to give her what she asked for, but I made the face a little too big to put a body on the cake. Instead, I just made the face and some extra cupcakes to match. Since there were going to be four girls and one boy eating them, I only put pink bows on four of the five cupcakes. The kids thought that was so cool. I'm always amazed at how little things amuse them. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. This party was definitely low key and small, but it went very well. R had a blast and that is all that matters. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recent Photos

Michael Dean, my nephew, being baptized.

The nine grandkids all lined up on the couch the day of Michael's baptism.

Elias and Michael laying next to each other. Elias is 8 weeks and Michael is 3 weeks.

Grammy and R, with the apron and pot holders that Grammy made for R's Birthday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Updates on the Kids

Elias is now 8 weeks old. Here are some recent shots of him.

We've had a bit of bad health over the past three-four days, but also some really good news. First the bad news. We have two kids with ear infections and one with pink eye. I just hope we can contain the pink-eye. It is usually rather contagious. When there are six kids involved, that usually means more than one of them will get it. Of course, R, who touches everything and puts nearly everything in her mouth, has pink eye. Here is a picture of her. She actually looks rather good in these pictures. This was after she started on the medicine.

Now the good news. Everyone else is in really good health. Even I am! My previous tests while pregnant came back that I had some irregular cells. I received a letter in the mail today, saying the most recent tests came back negative. That is a relief. Thank goodness!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Playing, Portraying Saints, and Painted Fish

We've been really busy doing all sorts of field trips and fun activities. Here are a few pictures from some of them.

This one is of the kids with another homeschooling family after a science field trip. We met them at a local pizza/arcade place. The kids had a good time running around and climbing on everything in sight.

These are some of the kids at our All Saints Day party and First Friday activities. B was St. Bridget of Sweden, and C was St. Cecelia (Though, I don't think they had blue plastic flutes back then, lol.)

This one is of our trip with to Mother of the Redeemer Farm near Bloomington, Indiana. We took the whole family and two of our friends with us. We were able to attend the First Saturday Mass, adoration, and confessions. I think the kids enjoyed the hill and the gift shop the most, though. Thank goodness, it was a very warm fall day and they could run around between activities.

Today we were invited by a homeschooling family that lives near us to meet a master fish printer, Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto from Japan. We went to their home to see some of his work. Mr. Yamamoto also taught us how to print a sea scallop. If you want to see more of his work, check out his site It is not everyday that you have an internationally renown advanced gyotaku artist in your neighborhood. It was really neat to see his work! The kids were very impressed and so was I.
To see the other homeschooling family's blog and more pictures of our lesson with Mr. Yamamoto, go to the following site:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kudos for Catholic Cuisine's Blog

For anyone who hasn't seen my previous posts raving about the Catholic Cuisine's blog, I'd like to give my ringing endorsement to them again. Here is the link for the November ideas for Catholic ways to celebrate saints and feast days with food.

I highly recommend you check them out and plan to celebrate some of the feasts in November with these great meal/snack ideas. God bless.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Catholic Conference in Vandalia, Illinois

We attended the annual Catholic Conference, Celebrate the Faith, in Vandalia, Illinois again this year. We've been going every year for at least the last 9 years. It is always a very wonderful experience. I feel like we are visiting family every time we go there... and we are, our Church Family. The speakers are always very orthodox and inspiring, both in what they say and in how they live out their vocations. This year the line up included Msgr. Stuart Swetland, S.T.D., Fr. William Casey, C.P.M., Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P., Chuck Neff, Marc Eckel of the Splat Experience, the Apostles of the Interior Life, Matthew Baute, and Annie Karto. I was very impressed and inspired by all of them.

I wasn't able to get as many pictures as I would have liked to, because I was so busy holding little Elias. He was an attraction in and of himself. Nearly everyone was oohing and aahing over him and asking "how old is your baby?". I think little Elias was able to spread some of his own joy every time I let someone else hold him. There was one lady in a wheelchair who held Elias. She was so thrilled to be holding a newborn that she had a smile on her face from ear to ear. I came to find out later that she was recovering from a liver transplant. You could tell that she was extremely grateful to have "a new lease on life", as they say.

Our Sorrowful Mother's Ministry is a lay apostolate that offers healing retreats throughout the year, as well as, the annual conference. If you or anyone you know is in need of this blessing, check out their website for more information.
During the weekend they also had a benefit lunch and dinner for a wonderful man who is fighting leukemia. He is the father of 8 wonderful children and they have been a staple at the Catholic conference and retreats. Thanks to so many peoples' generosity, they were able to raise $4,000. If you or anyone you know would like to help this very humble family, you can donate through the osmm website. God bless.