Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gemma's new favorite number

Can you guess what's Gemma's new favorite number?
eating a donut hole for breakfast
 Gem-star turned three on January 18th.  I remember that day, 3 years ago.  It was a late night for me, hugely pregnant, and I had JUST fallen asleep when right at midnight POP my water broke.  I barely made it to the bathroom before calling out to Marcus.  We knew to get going, and by the time I made it to the birth center I was in active labor.  (It was a very stormy and windy night, which now makes Bunny chuckle because my little writer knows about foreshadowing....)  Anyway, Gemma came into this world and like with all my babies, it was love at first site!
Now she is THREE.  Wow.  To celebrate we had donut holes for breakfast (along with oatmeal, I'm not that health-oblivious) and of course marched around the house for her birthday parade.  We had her "party" at dinner, complete with ice cream bars for dessert!

Razor scooter from grandma and grandpa
all my kids make fabulous cards for their sibs
Her haul (light saber from Uncle Joe)
A great birthday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

James' First Reconciliation

One week ago, James had his First Reconciliation!  Wow, he is growing so fast....
James chose to meet with Father Peter
To grammae and papa's for Root Beer Floats,  just like
we did 2 years ago for Bunny
(Eliot and Lukie also had their !st Reconciliation)
best friends

Look who's a big girl!

Someone's using the potty now....
Now I'm down to only 1.5 kids in diapers (Gemma still wears one at night, just in case).  ;o)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

James, published author

Letter-writing is a big part of our homeschool.  I love having the kids write letters because it helps them with their dictation and handwriting, and gets them thinking about what is going on in their lives and about the person they are writing to.  As part of our lessons, Bunny writes one letter a week independently, and James writes one letter a week with me by his side.  Before Christmas he chose to write a "letter" to our local newspaper in answer to a question that was posed in the kid section.  He was chosen to be published!  Here's his answer to "What is a gift you can give that doesn't cost any money?"

Good job, James!

Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year

Some other New Year happenings....
taking down the Christmas tree was not
a top priority (it did come down...eventually)
I got two toy drawers cleaned out--Mariposa's and Gemma's
Bunny and James made a Lego nativity set with what they
had on hand (the 3 Kings' turbans are Ninjago masks, put
on backwards)
I'm big into list-making if you didn't know

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NYR 2013

After taking a year off of New Year's Resolutions (I knew last year would be hard with the "new baby"), I wanted to continue the idea of a "top ten" NYRs for this year.  When I did this in 2011, I found that we really did stretch ourselves to do more, have more fun, improve our family, etc.  Here's what we came up with for this year:

1 new hobby
2 new plants
3 new sewing creations
4 new restaurants for date night
5 new recipes per month
6 new all-family field trips
7 books read
8 boxes in the garage cleaned out
9 feast days celebrated
10 musical contributions for Mass

I'm excited to get started, and the blog will hopefully show some of the things we are working on.  I think the easiest will be the feast days, just because I'm rarin' to go on those (I follow a great blog that has inspired me) and hopefully the recipes (the 2011 goal of 2 per week was a little lofty; this year is more do-able).  The new hobby will be fun because I have an idea of what I want to do and I sure hope it works out.  The hardest ones will be the books (who has time to read?) and the field trips (I take the kids new places, but to do it as a whole family takes planning).

As a recap for 2011:  
1 new activity per month--I think we did pretty good on this one; the blog chronicled a lot of them
2 new recipes per week--definitely did NOT do this! but we did try a ton (just not 104 of them)
3 rosaries per month--didn't to this I am sorry to say.  I guess we are not a rosary family.
4 dates with each child--this went pretty well with some purposeful dates and some casual ones
5 minutes a day outside--easy in the summer, harder in the winter
6 date nights--yes!
7 creations--if you count individual Halloween costumes then yes!
8 books read--yes! thanks to some quick fiction
9 massages per month--Marcus wishes!  (I was going to give him more back rubs with the intent that it meant more time together, watching TV or whatever, but in actuality he was gone so much that this was a really hard resolution to keep and I gave up after a few months)
10 participations in Mass--yes!

So overall I think 2011 was a successful year even if we didn't quite hit the bullseye.  Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades...and new years resolutions!  Any improvement is a good improvement!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mariposa' birthday party

Since I haven't uploaded any January pictures yet, these from "last year" will have to do for now.

Mariposa had her birthday party on Sunday the 30th after Mass.  For those of you who don't know (or haven't caught on after 2 years of blog posts), we don't have kid-friend birthday parties, we just have family parties.  No, it's not because we homeschoolers don't have any friends!  It's because #1, the cousins ARE friends and #2 kid parties are a lot of work for a poor hardworking mom!  Luckily the kids are cool with that.  (And we have their friends over for other occasions so it's just as well).

Bunny ran the bingo game
(bought at Harbor Freight, yay!)

Mariposa was SOOO concerned that the other kids would
blow out her candles
Her concern was well-founded.  Luckily Uncle Brian took
pity on her (he has had many a candle blown out by my
own children) and had them lit again
lots of presents
and lots of dishes, but it was all worth it

Thursday, January 10, 2013

And the Oscar goes to...

Ok, can I just say how super-excited I am about this year's Oscar nominees??

With "Frankenweenie" and "Life of Pi,"  our party menu is set!!  Well, actually I do more ideas other than just hot dogs and pie.  The menu is in development but it is looking good, pretty well balanced.  Having a animated short with the title "Fresh Guacamole" helps.  I'm also working on a special Red Carpet drink for the gala event--yum!

Still looking for a main dish for the adults, preferably a plain-ish meat that I can roast or grill.  Any ideas??

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mariposa's Birthday

Our little orange-haired girl turned 6 on December 27th.  She woke up to a decorated dining room and a festive birthday parade.  This year, her birthday was extra-special because grandma and grandpa were here!!  On our way to the airport (they were leaving for Colorado on a 6:50pm flight) we stopped at Red Robin for a special birthday dinner:

A special card from James
Bunny and James made these for Mariposa
 After dropping grandma and grandpa off at the airport terminal, and after a trip to Target (post-Christmas sales!) we used some Turkey Trot coupons at the YoCream store...all 4 got a treat for less than $2 total!!  And we found a new fun place to go when we need to go to the airport.
I hope Mariposa had a very happy birthday.  A special day for a special girl!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Boxing Day

Our last full day with grandma and grandpa last week (last year!).
A stop at Uwajimaya for lunch
good job with the chopsticks, Posa!
Grandpa was not to impressed...not his type of store
(he likes when the free newspapers are in English)
Of course we had to wear our new Ninjago shirts to the
Asian grocery store....  (thanks Auntie Erica!!)
Gemma was intrigued by the fish
Bunny thought the duck was a little gross
Back at home...putting together a puzzle
new T-shirt...thank you CCs!
As soon as Marcus opened his gift from
Stephanie, he just had to try it out...
(set of chili powders)  Thank you!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas day--the food!

found an awesome recipe in the Oregonian for Brussels
sprouts gratin--my new favorite way to eat B.sprouts!

Casa Ritas = Christmas

"Set it and forget it!"

A good time to open our most expensive
bottle of wine (bought at the St. Matthew
auction...worth about $250+)

We thought it was a red, but actually it was an
interesting dark brown carmel color
(and more of a sipping wine than a dinner wine)

RonCo, you did it again!  Sausage stuffed pork loin, the
same as served at the Fall Festival

We ordered a chocolate mousse tart for
dessert (yes Gemma was still in her pajamas
for dinner... and so was I!!)