Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Bedroom Project

The Situation

When we moved into this house, we went from four bedrooms to three.  When you have seven children, that can be quite a difference.  We ended up having to put all 5 girls in the master bedroom.  

Now, 5 boys in one room, no problem.  Just give them their couple of outfits and a bed to sleep on and they're good to go.  Condensing two rooms full of furniture and girl stuff into one big room, while not an easy task, was at least accomplished by creating this "island" in the center of the room:

The island consists of two dressers and a bookshelf.  For the past 1 1/2 years it has fact it has worked well in hiding one of our daughter's habits of messiness from the hallway view.

The Problem

The problem now is that this island is driving us all nuts!  It takes up all the floorspace except for enough to get from furniture piece to furniture piece.  I think we've all reached our limit of confined spaces in that room!  

The next problem is where to put all of the stuff that is contained in and on those items that make up the island.  If you look at the next picture, you'll see the state of one of the closets.

This is to be the first order of business.  There are a couple of bookshelves in that closet that have to be addressed, as well as all of the stuff shoved behind the clothing and on the shelf.  

The two younger girls have their own closest which doesn't have near as many clothes, but more toys.  
In the next post, I'll let you know what their plan of action was and whether or not they were successful in finding a place for everything!


A B See - K is for...

Kneel!  We were out on an archery trail while on vacation and I took this picture of my hubby and his awesome hunting pose. You have to look hard to see his bow since it is a camo bow and blends in nicely with the trees behind him. I can't remember what type of animal he was shooting at, but at this stop it suggested that you kneel down to take the shot, thus providing me with a great "K" shot for this week's entry.

Right before this I had taken another "K" shot and it was so cute, I decided to include it here for your viewing pleasure:

As always, click on the link below to join in the fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Love of Water

After spending time this past week driving past a lot of water, I spent some more time pondering the awesomeness of it!  To me, water is the thing in creation that I can most associate with God.  Water can be gentle and soothing or it can be loud and mighty.  Water can bring things to life but it can also destroy.  Whenever I'm near a body of water, I find it very easy to put myself in the presence of the Lord.

Last Friday was a bit of a stressful afternoon, but we finally got out for our bike ride and at one point we crossed a bridge over a small stream coming out of a lake.  I stopped because the sound of the waves lapping against the shoreline were so very soothing.  I could have stood there for a very long time just relaxing to that sound.  

A bit farther down the trail we had to stop because the river flooded over the bike path.  There, the water was loud and moving very quickly over the rocks, but strangely enough, it was just as soothing.  

Again, I could have sat there for quite some time just watching it flow past me, except for the fact that it was dinner time and we were all very hungry :)

The most fun vacations for me usually have something to do with water, whether it involves an ocean, a lake or a log ride!  I would also be quite content to move one more time to a nice Victorian style house on a lake just so that I could spend my morning prayer time out on my screened in porch enjoying the soft, lapping sounds of the waves on the shore.  Ahhh, heaven on earth.

Oh well, for now I will just have to be content with the occasional river that runs through our yard after heavy rainfalls!   


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Land of 10,000 Lakes

We have returned home from our vacation in Minnesota.  While the weather wasn't the greatest (rain and cold), we had a very nice time.  When we go camping we usually try to pick some far-off, not too populated campground.  There's a lot of us and we just like space around us; not to mention the fact that we can be quite loud at times!  Unbeknownst to us, we picked a campground in a county park right in the suburbs of Minneapolis.  Okay, so we knew we were near the city, but we did not expect to have subdivisions surrounding the park.

Much to our delight, it turned out to be a BIG county park with a lot of space around it so that you felt as if you were in the middle of nowhere.  Not to mention the fact that the weather kept a lot of people away so we pretty much had our section of the campground to ourselves.

When it wasn't raining, we took advantage of some outdoorsy type activities.  We tried geo-caching for the first time.  It was pretty cool, but they never told us that the boxes we were looking for at each sight wouldn't always be boxes.  My team only found one because it was actually a box.  The other ones were small pill bottles and other such things.  

One day was so cold and rainy that we (okay, read "I") just couldn't stand the thought of being outside so I talked my hubby into going to the Mall of America.  After all, I said, everyone says we just HAVE to see it.  Neither one of us are really shoppers, but we went for three things:  the amusement park, the Lego store and the American Girl store.

We had a great time at the amusement park because our kids have never been on rides like that so we got Mr 10 yo to go on the roller coaster and Ms 8 yo, Mr 10 yo and Ms 12 yo to go on the log ride.  Then my husband and son went on this climbing thing that is way up above the floor.  I was so proud of my son that he went up that high.  I know I wouldn't do it!!!!!

As the weather improved, we also did an archery trail and some biking along one of the many rivers/lakes in Minnesota.  

It is a blessing to be able to escape for a week into God's creation and just enjoy the outdoors and beautiful scenery that He has created.  I know this sounds kind of funny seeing as the only pictures I've put up are of a huge man-made building, but I think you know what I mean :) It is nice to see your children push themselves to try things they've never tried before - and to see the pride on their faces when they've done it and enjoyed it!

During this time, our older girls also had the joy of participating in the Fairy Tale Novels Get Together hosted in a town not far from the Twin Cities.  If you've never read the Fairy Tale Novels written by Regina Doman, I would highly recommend them.  We love them, and getting to spend the weekend with Regina, her husband Andrew and other devoted "fans" is a definite highlight of the year for the girls. 

On Thursday, we went to the premiere of the movie directed by one of the fans of "The Shadow of the Bear".  For a no-budget film, it was very good.  What we saw wasn't the final version, but I was impressed by the quality of the movie and definitely by the actors themselves.  Rose and Bear were my favorites, but everyone did a great job!  The movie was very faithful to the book (which I always love) and with a little bit more work, the DVD should be great to watch over and over again.  What fun to be part of a movie premiere!

As always happens at the end of a vacation, we headed home with great memories and a heavy heart.  It's back to reality; back to all of the cares and concerns of the every-day world.  I think I need some kind of decompression chamber to transition me from vacation mode to reality mode.  Maybe our adoration hour this evening will help!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A B See - J is for...

Jump!  Okay, so I know I had this picture up here already, but I haven't put it in the A B See meme yet.  It is such a good "J" picture that I couldn't resist!

If you're interested in the alphabet and photography, click on the button below and add your picture!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

In today's bulletin, our pastor put the following message:

We should all be grateful for fathers who have these qualities:  respect and love for their wives, putting her needs before his, teaching his kids how to be faithful Catholics, leading by example, by being primarily their father and not their friend, trying to be a man of virtue and getting rid of vices, seeking and living the truth in all things especially at work, and having joy and hope in all things - even in difficult moments.
How blessed I am to be married to a man like this!  Thank you, God, for giving me such a wonderful husband and father to our children.  

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday June 10 2011


I think we have finally all recuperated from exhaustion and from the cold most of us got from being involved in a week of long hours and little sleep.  It is nice to feel human again :)

However, life does not slow down, which I suppose could be a good thing.  Next week we are heading up to the land of 10,000 lakes!  We found a nice campground (I hope) near two of those 10,000 lakes and we hope to spend some time biking, hiking, swimming (or at least sunning as I'm sure the water will still be quite chilly) and other camping type things.  It will be good to get away.  

It is always good to have a backup plan, however, and in case of rain (which is what the 10 day forecast is showing) we aren't going to be all that far from the Mall of America.  Sounds like a great rainy day opportunity to me and I'm sure the kids would love it.


Our three oldest children will be participating in the "Fairy Tale Novel Forum Get-Together" while we are up there.  What is that, you ask?  Well, essentially it is an opportunity for fans of Regina Doman's Fairy Tale novels to get together, do fun things, learn from Regina and others and have a great time.  This year there will be an additional event.  One very talented young lady has produced a movie of Regina's first book "The Shadow of the Bear".  The premiere for the movie will be next week and we are all very excited to be attending.


We still have a bit of unfinished schooling to attend to and I keep telling myself that we will finish it up after we get back from vacation.  It sounds good now, I just hope that when I do get back, I can stick to my resolve to get it done. I truly am horrible at doing book work in the summertime!  Two of the kids, however, are attending a summer writing workshop and some of them are attending a speech workshop so I am consoling myself with that.


I took over 1,000 pictures during our performance of "The King of the Golden City" and I'd like to share some but can't decide if I should pick pictures I like because of their color and overall effect or if I should pick pictures that represent the story?  Maybe a little of both:
 The King visiting Dilecta for the first time in her hut.

 The King giving Dilecta her Prince Guardian and her lamp

 A pretty picture of the dancing trees

 Fun at the fair

 Malignus tempting the children at the fair

 Dilecta using her telescope

Dilecta heading off to the Golden City
In conjunction with "The King of the Golden City", I'm involved in an exciting project which will bring this play to life in the form of a coloring book.  We have a very talented young lady who will be sketching the images from the play so that when you read the story or listen to the CD, you and your kids will have a coloring book to go along with it.  As soon as it is done, I will give you all of the ordering information.  Please pray that we can finish it in a timely fashion.
7 1/2 
Have a great Father's Day!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It is Finished!

We have survived!  "The King of the Golden City" performances were awesome!  The crowds loved it - 3 out of 4 sold out shows!  This week was supposed to be catch up week:  you know, the mail, the bills, the laundry, the food shopping. All of that stuff that doesn't get done when all you do for a week is run in late at night, sleep, get up, pack your food for the day and run out the door.

I guess all of that will still get done, but life doesn't stop so that you can do it, does it?  Life goes on!  Two of the kids start a summer writing class that a friend of ours is teaching and today we bring Ms 19 yo home from college, which means more stuff piled up in the house till we find room for all of it!

Tonight is our homeschool graduation Mass.  Thankfully I don't have a graduate this year, but I get to take pictures of the ones who are graduating! Very exciting.

Speaking of pictures, I have about 1000 of them from this past weekend.  Many of them will be deleted because of how blurry they are (it is VERY difficult to take pictures of moving and dancing people in low light!!) but there certainly are enough keepers.  The pictures of Malignus and the creatures are very creepy looking.  When I get some done, I'll be sure to post them. (If you've never read the book, you must.  It is a very good read for any age!)

So now we are off to start the usual and finish up the unfinished and thank God that our air conditioning works because we have a couple of 90+ degrees and humid days this week.