Saturday, September 23, 2017

Visiting Granddad and Pat

The last time they got to see the baby, he was only a few weeks old.  Next week he’ll be 10 months old!

He was his usual pleasant, charming self during the visit!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Equestrian Vaulting

Regina is the stretchiest, most flexible little thing imaginable.  More than once I've thought that she should take gymnastics, but the closest school is 25 miles away, and it isn't cheap.  

Theresa has been working since July at a nearby stable, helping take care of the barn and horses.  She loves horses and seems to take to them very naturally.  She'd love to learn to ride, but the owner won't teach anyone to ride unless they've had at least a year of vaulting lessons. 

I've known for 10 years about the equestrian vaulting team there, but I neither had any kids who were interested nor did I have any interest in getting involved in another sport, especially one that involves travel to competitions.

So combining Regina's gymnastic inclinations with Theresa's desire to ride, I was led to seriously contemplate signing them up for the vaulting team. 

Regina had her first practice about a month ago. She vaulted on the practice barrel the first time, but was on a real horse by the second practice.

Theresa took a bit longer, maybe two weeks, to be convinced to give it a try.  Inclement weather (and the solar eclipse, which made the animals restless and unpredictable) kept them practicing in the barn for the next few practices, but Theresa had her first experience vaulting on horseback on Sunday the 10th.

Of course, she would be the one to fall off during her second move. But she got back on, finished the practice, and went back a few days later for the next one.

Sometimes I think it's growing on her; other times I think she's really not into it and she'll drop out.  Regina, on the other hand, says she's going to stay on this team until the owner says she's too old and kicks her out.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Scott & Scarlett

She'll be five at the end of the year.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Clare on her 16th

I can't believe she's sixteen already!  We kicked off the day with a visit to the DMV, followed by her maiden voyage behind the wheel.

Later we celebrated at her grandparents' house with a homemade Red Velvet Cake, thanks to Alton Brown.


A Clean Room is a Beautiful Thing

It never fails.  They let their stuff lie around until the floor is impassable, and the cleaning job is overwhelming.  Then I have to step in and direct them until it's put back together.

However, there's nothing like a newly clean room to inspire them.  They played quietly in there for over an hour once the carpet was visible again!


Philip loves to be outside, weather notwithstanding.  However, he can't be trusted to go outside by himself, and more often than not there are no willing volunteers to chaperone him.

This afternoon he asked for his raincoat so he could go out in the rain.  We couldn't find the raincoat, but he was content with his jean jacket.  I was in the kitchen, finishing a meal, but every so often I'd step out of the front door and call his name, Marco-Polo style.

The last time I just peeked in the yard instead of calling  him.  There he was, flat on his belly on a slab of flagstone, directly under the rain spout.  I watched as he reached down into a puddle and fished around until he had a rock.  Then he put the rock in the bucket of his dump truck, backed it down the slab, and dumped the rock on a pile with the others.  Then he drdove back up to the top and started over.

As soon as he noticed me, he started hamming for the camera, then announced, "I'm done," and headed off to his next adventure.


He has also been very interested in the crayon maker the kids received a few years ago from their grandparents.  Twice a day he asks if he can make new crayons.  Here he is eagerly watching them melt.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Pictures

 Philip and I painting. His idea of painting is to cover an entire sheet with red and then ask for another sheet. Repeat ad nauseam.

Regina and her new school book.  She was so proud when she completed the last one. 

Opening day at Knoebels! 


Theresa and Scarlett in front, Natalie and Philip second, Scott and Regina third.
That is not a smile on Philip's face!


Godfather and godson getting some quality time together.

We spent a weekend at the Kalahari indoor water resort, but we were too busy to take any pictures except this one.

The scene of the crime – the place in the lobby of the Kalahari where the twins lost track of Philip for 10 heart-stopping minutes.

The kids went to sit on the couches in front of a massive fireplace in  front of those windows while I got our hotel wristbands.  I specifically asked them not to take their eyes off him.   Nevertheless they got distracted, and Philip wandered away from them unnoticed.  He ended up sitting on that little step, where a member of housekeeping happened upon him and asked where his parents were.  He said he didn't know, and he wasn't yet wearing his wristband for ID, so they took him behind the front desk, where I went a few minutes later after I realized they'd lost him.  

Setting out flags for deceased veterans for Memorial Day.

A special visitor at the Memorial Day festival.  

Maverick's Sixth Month

This month he's gotten so grabby and talkative! He's eating solid foods – cereal, sweet potatoes, mango, etc. – and is sitting up almost independently.


Happy Birthday BD!

Somebody is finally legal!


So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu.

I wrote this post three years ago, but for some reason I never published it. Here goes nothing:

On May 11, 2014, while everyone else was celebrating Mother's Day, we hosted a party.  It was huge.  We cooked and baked and cleaned and landscaped. We rented a bounce castle. 80 people came to our house to eat and drink and have fun...and to say goodbye to BD. 

BD enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, and after a prolonged Delayed Entry, the day finally arrived.  So on the day before he left, we held a huge send-off. 

The party preparations kept me so busy that I didn't have time to dwell on the fact that he was leaving soon.  We were kept so busy that nobody even thought to take any pictures. The only remembrances we have were taken with a flip phone camera as the last guests were leaving at 11 PM.

We drove him to the recruiter's office on the following day.  I think I held it together fairly well when we said our goodbyes, but for the rest of that day I cried every 15 minutes, whether I needed to or not.  The next day, too. 

The recruiter drove him to the nearest processing center, and he was supposed to go through the final processing on Tuesday morning, and if everything was in order, get on a plane and fly to boot camp.  That was the plan.

However, that was the day that a bathroom vent fan overheated in the radar tower that serviced the Chicago airports, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights, of which BD's was one.  Not an auspicious beginning.  He was able to fly out the following day, and arrived at the boot camp sometime on Wednesday afternoon.  He called me just after his plane landed, but I was visiting a friend, and since my phone battery was almost dead I had left it in the car to charge.  

Missing his "last" phone call didn't upset me at all, let me tell you.

I saved that phone message for two years. I would have it still except that the phone malfunctioned and died before I could export anything from it.

By the end of the first week, I was only tearing up every half hour or so.  Now we are in the middle of the second week, and the tears have stopped, although he's in my prayers day and night.

My birthday arrived 10 days later.  He'd been "gone" forever not even two weeks.  I opened the mailbox that morning, only to find a letter postmarked from boot camp, addressed in BD's hand.  My heart leapt while I simultaneously burst into joyful tears.   My first letter from BD ... on my birthday!  

Eagerly I tore open the envelope to find...

...a form letter and a brochure.

That'll teach me.  I fully expect that most, if not all, of his phone calls and letters will go to his girlfriend.  Only time will tell if I shall be pleasantly surprised.

It really was an awesome party, though.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April pictures

We've been trying to go roller skating once a week.  Regina is really gaining confidence!  I've tried to get pictures of the other kids and Andy, but it's usually too dark and they're moving so fast.  They all do really well, though.

I showed the kids how to make monkey bread, and it was a mind-blowing experience!
Step 1: cut bread dough into chunks, roll in cinnamon sugar.  Bake.
Step 2: remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, then invert on a dish.
Step 3: Marvel at what you have made, then try to get a piece before it disappears.
This is what Philip thinks the donut hole is for.
Coloring Easter eggs on Good Friday before noon.  :-)
Theresa, Michele, Natalie, Regina, Philip, Andy & Noelle on Easter morning


Daisypath Anniversary tickers

All for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with Saint Joseph