November 21, 2014


Here is some fun stop motion videos by the kids for your Friday entertainment.  Or not.

Stop motion by Nathan:

Stop motion by Patrick:

Patrick's PB&J stop motion:
I love seeing their creations and storylines.  It has been awhile (I know...summer) since they've created anything.  So, these are a little bit of inside fun.

November 19, 2014


Happy 14th Birthday, Nathan!  You are a joy in our lives!  I love your determination, your spirit, your love of your younger siblings and that you can be counted on to get things done.  14 years has come and gone in a flash.  I see the young man that you are becoming and I am proud of you!  I pray that you hold strong to faith and your values.  That you see how loved you are by all of us.  May God bless you this year with His Grace and Mercy and Love.

Happy birthday, our oldest son!

(It won't be long before I'm sending you to the store for milk.  :)  )

Trying on a present from his brothers.
With Grandparents and Godmother.

November 18, 2014

First Snow.

We had our first snow of the year yesterday!  Amazing!  Broke records, the last record for that date was 3 inches of snow in 1920 and we hit 5 inches.  We started yesterday out at a lovely 32 degress and ended in the teens.  Today, we are breaking low temperature records that go back to 1880.  Wild and crazy.  So, while we try to stay warm.... here come the cold pictures.  
Caroline isn't sure what to think about all that white stuff.


Caroline loved her sled ride with Nathan.  She didn't like coming back up so much.
She prefers if that white stuff didn't touch her.

In fact, she really just wanted to do her normal driveway activities.
Bellies full on hot chocolate makes for cozy boy fun.

My psychadelic see-through ruler shows the snow on our deck at just over 5 inches.

November 11, 2014


I got overzealous at Costco one day.  In my excitement over great produce, I bought a 5lb package of grapes.  We love grapes.  Eat them nearly every day.
Do you see what is the problem with these grapes?  I'll give you a minute.

Times up.  They are seeded.  And no one would eat them.  We are so spoiled in the land of seedless grapes.  I really wanted to make lanterns for Martinmas however, I had no supplies.  Also after many days of a crappy cold--tired.  I think St. Martin was speaking to me himself....he whispered...grapes.  Wikipedia confirmed that Martinmas is associated with the beginning of the wine making season.  Want me to give you a minute to read that too?  No?  
 I really hate wasting food.  Which doesn't happen much here.  Whatever doesn't get eaten either goes to the dogs or the chickens.  I hated the thought of dumping a whole 5lb thing of grapes to the chickens.
 While the kids plucked grapes, I read about St. Martin.  I also read the aforementioned Wikipedia page.
 We discovered we didn't really have any great tools for mashing.  We tried many.  Including an ice cream scoop (that I also use for meat tenderizing...haha!).  So, yes, we mashed to the best of our ability and cooked on medium high for 10 minutes.
Then strained and we got almost 3 cups.  I think we could have gotten almost 4 but those grapes were still hot hot hot!
 Looks more like punch?  Tasted more like punch too.  Keep in mind, they weren't concord grapes so we weren't quite sure how they would come out.
 Elizabeth said, "It tastes like grapes.   (pause)   It tastes like HORRIBLE grapes!"
Patrick is just making a face for effect.  Or maybe not.  The success rate of the juice was about 50/50 if you rate it on who drank theirs or who spit it out.   Though, some members admitted that they didn't like "regular" grape juice either.  There you have it.

The chickens still get the grape mash for the win.

St. Martin, pray for us!

November 10, 2014


I think that writing blog posts about events from over a week ago is a good idea, don't you?

It is just that it takes me that long to get pictures off of Ken's phone.  Belated is becoming my middle name.  Which is good, since I don't have one.  Drives people nuts that I don't fill something in that spot on forms.  They are sure I am just embarrassed by my middle name or something.  Nope.

I also like to go on tangents.  So maybe I should just call myself Hope Belated Tangent.  Has a lovely ring to it.

Anyway anyway anyway.  Trick or treat pics are what I've got.  Belatedly.  (Which is better than last year when I posted....nothing).
Just before takeoff, I seriously think my crew was experiencing low blood sugar right about now.  Barely smiles.  Barely looking at the camera.  Good thing the sugar rush was on the way.  Elizabeth opted to keep on her St. Elizabeth of Hungary costume, Jacob switched out St. Joe for Jedi, Nicholas is a safari guy, Nathan and Patrick were Bengals fans, Caroline is Caroline and Peter is....probably playing with his cousin's cars in the house.
Speaking of cousins... sure my kids look forward to the candy.  But they look forward to time with these guys even more.  Candy + Cousins = Awesome!  We are thankful to have share the fun with them.
The only house Carrie walked up to, and the only one she would wear a mask.  Two pieces of candy were enough--she was done!  Peter didn't go to any, which was fine...he didn't exactly miss out on the sugar.

The queen counts her candy.  I'd say it was a success in spite of the rain and the cold temps!  (And there is still a big bowl on top of the fridge of what hasn't been eaten yet!).

November 7, 2014


The recent tradition has been for us to carve our Jack-o-lanterns after Halloween.  This year, our first opportunity to carve fell on All Souls Day, which seemed appropriate considering the tale of Jack--a soul not able to get into Heaven or Hell.

We have no trick-or-treaters to light a path for anyway so mostly, it is just a fun tradition of gathering around the table to come up with some funny faces.
Hard at work.
Nicholas and I worked together.

Ken and Elizabeth worked together.
Jacob did his on his own.
Patrick also did his own.
Nathan and Peter worked together on a pumpkin.  And because I totally flubbed up with two wonderfully blurry photos--we had to do a retake.

November 5, 2014

All my Saints.

Better late than saintly kids are up on the blog.  We had a big, fun, All Saints party at our co-op last friday and I wish I'd had a camera with me because the grainy ones from my phone's selfie camera are just no good.  It was amazing to see so many kids dressed up as saints, really just a wonderful time!

Clockwise we have:

  1. Nathan as St. Augustine "Doctor of the Church", with Caroline.  
  2. Caroline as a Guardian Angel, or as we called her, "St. Caroline, patron of toothbrushers!"  Which fits, because she brushes her teeth any time we let her.  
  3. Up next, Jacob as St. Joseph (thank goodness I made those Jedi robes all those years ago) then...
  4. Patrick as St. Patrick.  
  5. Jacob is standing in for Peter as St. Peter with Caroline.  Peter refused to wear his costume, so maybe we'll bring it back next year.  
  6. Nicholas as St. Nicholas and oh boy, was he proud of his costume!  So fun.  Again, there's Caroline.  Chewing on her dog.
  7. Last but not least, Elizabeth as St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
So, do you think Caroline has a photobombing problem?  Should we seek help?  Lol!

Want to see them again?  Sure, why not?  Well... go check us out and some of the other AH-MAZE-ING (seriously, totally amazing) costumes over with Kendra at Catholic All Year.  And no one paid me to say that.

As a totally unrelated aside: the treat I brought for the All Saints Party.
Someone labeled them "St. Isidores Pumpkin Patch"  Cute, huh?