Friday, August 15, 2014

An Unexpected Treat

Thursday was a beautiful, sunny, pleasant day.  We were doing our thing around the house (I was knee deep in the middle of planning high school schedules for two of the kids) when a stranger knocked on our door.

I was greeted by a nice lady from down the road a piece who was wondering if she could park her truck and horse trailer on our driveway so that she could ride her horse down the tree-lined road next to our house.

Sure!  Why not?  Cars are in and out of here all the time and our yard has been used as a parking lot on many occasions.  A few hours later she pulled up and brought out a beauty of a horse.  She told us that he is a retired competitive jumper and show horse and that he is about 18 years old.  

As she rode away, she told the kids that when she came back they could get up on him if they wanted to and walk around the yard.  A few hours later, that is exactly what they did. 

Ms 11 yo remembers our horse and remembers riding on him, but Mr 9 yo was a bit young back then so he only has a recollection of seeing a picture of him up on the horse with me holding him.  Boy were they excited.

Our new friend told me to ask you what is wrong with these pictures?  I'll give you a second and see if you can guess.


Okay, well,  look at who is wearing the helmet.  Is it the person ON the horse?  No, it isn't.  Oh well, she had just come back from riding and didn't remember to take it off so it looks kind of humorous with her wearing it.

What a nice surprise for a stay-at-home day.  The kids who weren't home were sad that they missed it!  She said she'll be back sometime so hopefully they'll be here then.

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Celebrating St. Clare

For the past 13 or so years, we've been going to Adoration on Monday evenings at the local Poor Clare Monastery.  Yesterday being the feast of St. Clare, the nuns were in their festive mode (as much as cloistered nuns can be, of course).  

I love special days when they bring out the extra fancy monstrance.
I apologize for the quality, I am clearly not good with point and shoot cameras!

For certain feasts, they usually have a statue or some small shrine area set up to commemorate what they are celebrating.

For this feast, according to legend, St. Clare was entertaining a bishop for dinner when he asked her to say the blessing over the food.  She was reluctant but obedient, and when she blessed the food, a cross appeared on the bread.  In that spirit, the nuns put out baskets of blessed buns.

We decided to wait until we left Adoration to indulge in our holy morsels.

I know I'm a day late, but...Happy Feast Day, sisters.

God Bless!


Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes about bikes and a lot of water

Well I've been meaning to write a post all week and here it is, Friday already.  We were on a stay/vacation (a little bit of stay and a little bit of away) last week and this week has been all about catching up and moving onward.  Anyhow, here's some pics from last week.

The first day we went on a family bike ride (it was a bit chilly which is why we're all kind of scrunchy here).  We had 2 1/2 hours to ride 16 miles so that Ms 18 yo could still make it to work on time.  It went well until the last 1/4 of the trip.  That part of the trail went through a rather scary unattractive part of town then down a gravel path past the smelly canal and ended up on the side of a busy road where we had to cross multiple on and off ramp entrances for the highway!  Unbelievable.  I just kept praying the entire time that no one would get hit by a truck.  Next time we'll just do the nice, pretty west 1/2 of the trail and turn around and come back instead of making the entire loop.  Thankfully she was only 10 minutes late for work :)

I tried water skiing again last week.  I figured it had been 17 years since I'd skied.  The first day I went for broke and tried to get up on one ski like I used to.  That didn't work, so I added another ski and this is as far as I got.  By then I was sore and tired.  The next day, my husband suggested I try a set of skis about as big as surf boards.  He assured me I'd have no problem with those.  

Guess what?  He was right.  Got right up and didn't even get my hair wet.  

No one was in the boat with a camera, so this is the only proof I have
I decided to take it conservatively and just went around for a bit and then let go.  Not bad after a 17 year break.  Next summer...slalom!

 It's always exciting when you can see your children do something that you enjoy so much.  It took him a few tries, but he was successful and happy. 

Ms 15 yo was the photographer at this point.  This one cracks me up.
 These two pictures crack me up, too.  Mr 9 yo (in the middle) wanted to go tubing but didn't want to go alone so his brother and sister said they'd go with him.  The top picture is when they were getting ready to go.  The bottom picture is approximately 5 seconds later, when he decided he really didn't want to go tubing.
Since then it's been back to real life.  I've made a list of all the things I still want/need to accomplish before school starts and am trying to pick my way through it.  School.  Ugh.  The older girls start in two weeks and I'm just not ready for that again.  The rest of us are aiming to start the week after that.  Oh glorious summer (and it truly has been a good one!), I shall miss thee.

Have a great weekend!
God Bless!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

River Weaving by John

This is John.

He is:  an artist, a professor, the dean of a department at a university in Iowa, my husband's cousin.

This is his art display called "River Weaving" in the I & M Canal in our area.  

He gave a presentation today and we went out on this beautiful day to enjoy his art as well as the gorgeous weather that God had provided for the occasion.

Here is my gang:

And this is a luna moth.  Apparently these aren't that easy to find as they only live a few days.  They have no mouth so they cannot eat and therefore live only long enough to mate.  God sure makes some incredible creatures!

While I may have a hard time really enjoying modern art, I did enjoy this display as well as the pleasant afternoon.  Hope you had a good one, too.

God Bless!

Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes about a boy, a girl and a homeschooling conference

I'm off with my load of books to the used book sale at the IHM conference this weekend.  I decided to weed through my books and get rid of books that are from the "early years" or books we haven't ever looked at.  I'm hoping to score some good books at the sale, too.  You know, now that I have room on my shelves.

This young man is always asking me if he can concoct something in the kitchen.  Problem is, he's never really sure what he wants to do.  Today's creation was milk and ice cream mixed with the hand blender.  I don't know, there's something about letting a 9 year old loose in my kitchen that is just hard for me to do!  This adventure, thankfully, was short and sweet and didn't taste that bad.

9 yo boy vs mosquito:  I think the mosquito won!  (we think it must have been in his bedroom because this is how he woke up!!)

A rare day at home for Ms 22 yo.  Crafting, coffee, Batman and ice cream - this girl has her priorities straight!

I have a plan for our upcoming school year and I'm excited about it.  The two high schoolers will be doing their high school stuff, but the two littlest (4th and 6th) will still be working with me.  I've come up with a looping schedule for some subjects and I'll detail it out for y'all in the coming weeks.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Math, you are the bane of my existence!"  I'm off to the conference to check out Teaching Textbooks - Algebra for the two in high school.  Ms 15 yo doesn't do well with Fred and Mr 13 yo did Beginning Algebra but isn't quite ready to move on so I'm hoping this program will work for the both of them.  If anyone would like to let me know what they think of TT (good or bad) that would be great!

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  The temps are perfect, the humidity is non-existent (if that's possible!) and it really does energize me!  Here's to a beautiful summer after such a long and trying winter.  Have a great weekend everyone.  Hope there's sunshine where you are.

God Bless! 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Theme Thursday - Trails

This week's theme is trails, and while I haven't been on any exciting trails yet this year, I have some nice pictures from a short trip my hubby and I took last October in Wisconsin.  Unfortunately the trip was cut short, but the time we had there was beautiful.

Join in over at Clan Donaldson for more Trail pictures!.

 God Bless!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Youthful Bonfire

A few weeks ago, Ms 18 yo, my first social butterfly, decided she wanted to throw a summer bonfire party (apple doesn't fall far from the tree, no siree).  Unfortunately for her, she ended up picking the hottest and most humid day of the year thus-far.  Oh well, it didn't seem to deter the guests and I could go inside where the a/c was keeping things much more reasonable, so it seems things were good all around.

 While there isn't a raging fire at this point, I'd like to point out the mutli-tasking effort put on by our couches.  These were two of the couches that had recently gotten ousted from our home and had been in the garage awaiting their final destination - either the end of the driveway with a big FREE sign on them, in the burn pile (not my first choice) or crushed by my hubby and his skid-loader and put in a dumpster.

When we were planning the logistics of this event, Ms 18 yo and I had a revelation:  Why not take our couches-in-waiting and put them on the driveway for bonfire seating??!!  What a great idea, and everyone seems to agree!

So the merriment is still going on as I telling when it will end.  My eyes will droop, but a good mother waits till all the guests are gone before going to bed, doesn't she?  I guess my fear is that I'll get in my jammies and fall asleep and then someone will need something.  Oh well, here's one last photo of the fire to send you on your way. 

Have a good night :) 

Update:  They put the couches back in the garage, got all the food put away, the last people got in their cars and within five minutes (about midnight) the skies let loose and the rain came down!

God Bless!