Monday, August 22, 2016

Catholic Women Rejoice!

This past Saturday, Bunny and and I went to the Catholic Women Rejoice! conference. 

This is the first year that Bunny was able to go!  (I think last year the age range was 18 and up, but this year it was 14 and up...she's just a few weeks away from 14 years old, so I let her go.  Do I need to go to confession for this?)  ;o)

The conference was held at St. Anthony in Tigard, which is only 20 minutes away.  A lot better than Vancouver, which is where the conference was held the last few years!

We sat at the Hillsboro table with Auntie Meghan, Lisa F.,
Fanny, Katie R., Stacy W., Monica W., Katie B., etc.
I didn't know Mary Lenaburg before the conference.  OMG
what a hoot she is!!!  She also was the only speaker who made
me go into my "ugly cry." 
We changed rooms and listed to Rebecca Frech.
Bunny said that she reminded her of me...only
in shape.  Thanks, Bun.
 The other two speakers (no photos of them, oops) were Hallie Lord, author, and Jenna Guizar, the founder of Blessed is She.  They were great, too!

It was a fantastic, inspiring, challenging day...and the best part was sharing it with Bunny.  <3

Friday, August 19, 2016

School curriculum haul

A lot of homeschool vlogs and blogs post their "Curriculum Hauls" so I thought I would be cool and post one as well.  :o)

Luckily most of our books are reusable year after year, but I now have to buy all new books for Bunny (before I had a good stock of used books from my friends) and some consumables for the younger grades.

This year I ordered from Amazon,, Rainbow Resource, and Mother of Divine Grace.

Bunny is learning medieval history this year,
and while some of her books are very challenging,
there are also some "picture" books to aid in learning
as well.  The map skills was supposed to be for
Mariposa, but when I opened it, I recognized it as
the workbook she did LAST year...oops!
I couldn't find my math tests for James (Saxon87)
so I had to buy a new copy.  :o(
ABeka math for the younger grades is consumable.
Gemma is working on Grade 2.
Wordly Wise is an EXCELLENT program--Bunny's
vocab has excelled because of this simple workbook.
The Henle Latin is daunting but supposed to be
top-notch.  We'll see....
Good luck with that, Bunny....  ;o)

I have a few shipments not pictured, but these 3 came on one day, so I set them up for the photo shoot.  I have been especially impressed with Mother of Divine Grace's offerings and their prices, too.  To see "He Went With" series in reprint is so inspiring!  (In past years I've had to do an Inter-library loan and get the books from some obscure college down south--ancient copies to boot.)  I have also been impressed with "Preschool Art" which came in hard-back to my surprise, with gorgeous artwork and creative questions that Sedric really enjoys.

The beginning of school is so fun!!  Let's pray we can keep this enthusiasm all year!  :o)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Some August happenings

Marcus' work travel has increased, but at least he gets to
go to some awesome places!  (Lake Tahoe) 
We went to another dollar-movie, and this time
I took 2 cousins as well.  Me and 8 kids--luckily
most of them were old enough to go potty alone.

(we saw Shaun the Sheep, which is probably my new favorite
movie)  ;o)
Got a trip to the dentist in before school started.
I can't believe we are in-and-out in one hour!
(this time they saw all 6 kids, too)

Mariposa can get sad when daddy is gone, but
we are making our way through!
Baby found out she loves My Little Ponies.
Burby loves them, too.
Bunny made Ebleskivers (Danish pancakes) for Sunday brunch.
We were all wondering where Celeste was one afternoon....
I am in HEAVEN during peach season!  And this pie did not
disappoint.  There goes my diet!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

First day of school

Yesterday (August 15th) we had our first day of school!

We follow the umbrella school "Mother of Divine Grace" which provides all levels of assistance from preK through high school.  A mom can choose simply to follow some aspects of their curriculum (which is considered "Classical Education") or a mom can get full support from counsellors and even online classes.

This year, like last, we are fully enrolled, and we do choose to follow the MODG curriculum.  Bunny is now taking 2 high-school level classes and the support from my MODG counsellor has been invaluable!

So here we are at the start of school, and amazingly I was ready this year.  :o)  We will run for 32 weeks with an extended Christmas break, and will be done before May 1st, which is my ultimate goal.  We also take one-week breaks in Fall and Spring, and fit in travel whenever we want.

Here are some pics of our first day:

Seddy is in PreK, which I don't really subscribe to,
but when he sees all his siblings do something, he
wants to do it too!  We just do workbooks etc.
I get most of my materials re-bound.  The people
at Office Depot are now my close friends.  ;o)
Mariposa (gr4) is entering into more writing
and reading.  Her history reading this year will
be very demanding, but I know she can do it!

James is now mostly independent.  I discuss
everything with him, and grade his papers.
I also teach Latin and grammar, neither of which
is independent this year (grade 6).

Gemma is in 1st grade and just loves her work.  She needs a ton of extra worksheets so she feels she is doing just as much independent work as everyone else!  In reality, all her learning is with me, but the worksheets are fun for her.

Bunny is easing into 8th grade since 2 of her online classes don't start for 2 weeks, and I don't yet have books for science.  (I'll get them this week!)  She jumped right back into Algebra and will finish mid-year, then go straight to Algebra II.  She's a looking forward to doing her Art class via FaceTime with grandma!  :o)

The oldest 3 took standardized tests as requested by Oregon law, and I am so proud of their excellent scores.  :o)  Sure, I knew they were awesome...but it means something to know that they are also awesome by public standards as well.  ;o)  I guess this homeschool thing works, who knew!?!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm missing half my kids! (Camp Howard week)

On Sunday we drove the gang to Portland to drop the 3 oldest off for Camp Howard.

Campers (with William, F. who is attending camp for the first
time this year)

This is Bunny's 3rd year of camp, and James and Mariposa's 2nd year.  I think?  Maybe I'm wrong.  It's all a blur.

Campers meet at a downtown parish for pick-up.

Last year I lost 3 kids and gained 3 kids since this was the week baby Clare was born and we watched Clare's 3 older siblings (including William!).

After the busses left for Corbett, Marcus and I drove the rest of the kids to St. Sharbel and their annual Lebanese food festival.  We went there last year after being invited by some friends, and it was great!!!  YUM!  Last year we also attended Holy Mysteries (the Maronite name for Mass) but this year we just got some food to go. 

Figuring that Gemma, Sedric, and Celeste wouldn't want to eat the ethnic food ;o) we made a stop at Burgerville for their yummy American food and...Walla Walla onion rings!

Today is day 3 without Bunny, James, and Mariposa, and I really miss them.  I miss their interactions with me and the younger kids, I miss their zaniness, and I miss their help around the house.  But I know they are having fun and making great memories, so I'm willing to sacrifice for that!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Trail Life USA and Alyssa's grad party

On Saturday, Marcus and James had their first hiking trip with the new Trail Life USA group:

I think they had fun!  The pictures are beautiful and both Marcus and James liked the "guy time" hanging out with friends.  We've never done the whole "Boy Scout" thing, mostly because of the time commitment and the obligations that take the father and brother away from the rest of the family.  But we're going to give "Trail Life" a try now that James is older and wants to spend time with other boys.  I'm not sure what the obligations will be yet, but we're hopeful!

They were home at 3:15pm and at 4pm we left for the hour-long journey to Vancouver and Alyssa's going-away party.  Alyssa was our neighbor before moving, and she helped with dance class at LVSDA.  She is definitely a girlie-girl!  Her mom is my good friend Rosina.  Alyssa will be attending Benedictine College in the fall.  I don't know a lot about the college, but what I do know, it looks awesome!  Family friend Grace (her blog is fantastic!) attended last year for her freshman year.

van-wash on our way to the party
Alyssa with Gemma and friends
Celeste hangin' out with the big kids.  (Most of these "kids"
come from large families, so this was normal to them!)
Bonus: we got to see Hannah!  Hannah was
Gemma's nanny before Mrs. N.  Gemma was
just 2 years old.  I couldn't've made it through
that year without Hannah!!!

Friday, July 22, 2016

this week ~ 3rd week in July

One of the reasons I hadn't posted for so long is that we had a change in the way we stored our photos, and I'm not particularly good with change.  But now our iPhones are sync'd with "the cloud" and all my photos are instantly uploaded and accessible, which is amazing!  I hope to still take shots with my regular camera, but this iPhone method is great for blogging.  So now that I've got THAT all figured out....

Here's a look at what's been going on this week--a pretty normal week full of activity and chaos.  ;o)

Seddy loves picking blackberries with Mrs. N and Celeste!
The kids are always FILTHY which means they are having a
ton of fun with their nanny during the summer.  ;o)
(Mrs. N keeps her 3-mornings-a-week schedule year-round)
On Tuesday I took the kids to a $1 movie in Sherwood.  We
saw "Peanuts" movie, which they had seen before and loved.
Notice Seddy wanted to bring his "Blue Blankie."
To cap off our cheap outing, we were thrilled
to see this deal-io at Burger King.
Tuesday night was a Parish Campout planning
meeting at Tess's house...and they have a POOL!!
On Wednesday I dropped off Bunny and Mariposa at Rowell
Brothers (down the road) to pick berries for an hour.
Only blueberries are left in the fields after our hot start
to the summer.
James cleaned his drawer!!!!
Bunny is quite the chef and loves making these
ham/cheese roll-ups for herself.
Marcus had a trip in San Diego and took this selfie of him at
the race track, which led me to believe maybe these are not
actually "work" trips...
Wednesday night I took some of the kids to
Migrant Ministry.  Marcus wasn't home (see above)
and I did NOT want to take them all, so I left Bunny
to watch Sedric.  It is so great to have a babysitter!
James assisted during the Mass at the camp.
Cellie loved the mini-fiesta!
After his trip, Marcus had a little flex time Thursday afternoon
and he wanted to try out his new pressure-washer (father's day
gift).  He took the whole sport court apart and washed the
concrete under it.  
This baby just paid for itself!  The Sport Court people could
be hired to come to do the work, but now we can do it ourselves!
Thursday night was a late-night date with drinks
at Clark's on Main Street and a fun trip to Walmart.
( great to have a babysitter!  We put the 2
hardest kids to bed to make it easier for Bunny.)
I try to spend my Mrs. N time in the school room but in reality
I am easily distracted.  This morning the older girls wanted to
have breakfast at the South Store.  How could I say NO
to that??  ;o)
We talked about their upcoming week at Camp
Howard and listed some tasks that had to be done.
I am just starting to like coffee after almost 40
years, and my Mexican mocha hit the spot!
Next week will be really strange without my 3 oldest kids.  We take them to camp on Sunday and I won't see them again until Friday night!  Gemma will be the big kid...scary.  ;o)  Without my helpers, I'm anticipating a harder-than-normal week for mama, but also maybe a bit quieter?  We'll see....