Thursday, March 28, 2013

We made it

Our first view of Sunny Astoria ;o) 
Our room was just as cool as we remembered it.  We had
a suite at the end of the hall, with a separate "master" bedroom,
a sleeper sofa, and another queen bed.  Oh, and the view!
Just like at home--we had all that room, but somehow we all
ended up in the same spot.
Dooger's Fish House for dinner (just like last year; we are
creatures of habit, and tradition)
Saturday morning--our first boat!!!
Marcus would look up the ships on the iPad
and see what country they were from
(ok, so we still do "school" on spring break)
Another boat...
...and another!  All before breakfast!
One bonus of the Holiday Inn Express is the free breakfast...
a big money-saver for a family of seven.  Eggs, biscuits,
pancakes, juice, sausage, bagels, cereal, and much more.
The kids loved it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On our way to Astoria

Finally some photos from our fun Astoria trip!

We left Friday afternoon (2 Fridays ago) and made our way down Highway 26.  A little someone who has recently potty-trained needed to use the facilities on the way, and our good fortune! we were near one of my favorite parks.  I walked around with the 4 other kids while Marcus hauled out the tiny plastic potty and helped his little girl relieve herself.
This is the stump of North America's (former)
largest Sitka spruce tree.
It didn't look that impressive until the kids
got closer and you could really see how
wide the trunk was!
It damaged in the big wind storm a few years
ago, and for safety it was cut down.

This guy looks like a dinosaur!!
Gemma joined us soon enough.
A different tree--so cool!

So we made our way to the coast with a fun experience already!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Birthday Party on St. Pat's Day

Ok, I will go backwards here.  The Astoria pictures aren't organized yet, but these are!  

When we got home from Astoria last Sunday, we pretty much went straight to grammae and papa's house for a birthday party.  Yes, Fr. Juan's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day!!  (Do you remember last year, Joe and Steph?  You were here!)  We all deck out in green, which was hard for me since I could only find one greenish t-shirt, and we get to enjoy a fantastic grammae dinner.  :o)
"Fr. Minco" (Fr. Domenico) came too--
Gemma LOVES Fr. Minco!!
getting the dessert ready

opening gifts--Fr. Juan got some DVDs, kitchen ware, and a
pullover...and a hand-made planter box from papa!!!
(time to start working on your green thumb, Fr. Juan!)
I think we sang "Happy Birthday" about 3 times
(and I don't think Fr. Juan got to blow out his candle
any of those times).

Happy Birthday, Father Juan!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break

Our spring break has begun!!

Actually, it started on Friday at 2pm when we left for a Spring Break Beach Trip.  Ok, maybe not exactly a beach trip like most spring-breakers take...this was definitely Oregon-style.  We drove to Astoria for our little get-away (more on that later) and made it back in town for a birthday party yesterday evening.

Today was our first weekday of spring break.  It was nice not having to get straight to our schooling schedule!  We all slept in until Mrs. N arrived at 8am, then we had breakfast and the kids played.  They were SO happy to have time to play basketball (with their mom!), paint, and just play with toys all day.  I think it's funny how, in a 3200 sqft house, they all end up crowded in together:

Well, after our fun and lazy day today, I need to get back to work tomorrow.  Mrs. N is coming again (yay!!) so I will get time to clean, do 4th quarter lesson plans, and hopefully catch up on E-mails.  If you're lucky I will even have time to do the Astoria blog post.  ;o)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cardinal Bergoglio--new pope!

Pope Francis

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina!

Jesuit priest, archbishop

greatly concerned with the poor

lives modestly: cooks his own meals, modest apartment, open heart, rides public transportation

his life will change!!!!  

White Smoke

HABEMVS PAPAM!!   We have never been so excited to see white smoke!!!

Marcus called about 30 minutes ago (from Canada) to tell us to turn on the TV, we have a new pope!  Luckily we had EWTN on the tuner already, so I hit "record," then we turned on channel 2 to see mainstream coverage of the excitement too.  Bunny and James are just eating this up.  We are so excited to be part of this history!!!!

photo from the NYT

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Burby is so helpful

The furry black sibling likes to help Sedric at mealtime, too....

Feeding the little guy

I am usually the one to feed Sedric, but this day, big sis got to.
Do you see anything wrong with Seddy's
sippee cup??
A nice home for a ladybug

Mariposa would feed little guy EVERY time if I let her.
"I love my siblings!!"

Saturday, March 9, 2013

And the Oscar goes to...

The last Saturday in February, we held our annual Oscars party.  I love hosting this, and the best part is making the menu!  For appetizers, we served ARGOat cheese and apricots, the main dishes were FRANKENWEENIEs and ALAN ARKIN-sas barbeque, with SALLY FIELD greens salad and BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD rice pilaf.  For dessert?  LIFE OF blueberry PIe!!

Uncle Brian made these handsome crackers.

We moved the TV into the living room for maximum viewing.
It was easy to do, since there is a hole in the wall (usually behind
our ND painting) to thread the TV cords through.  We also
installed an "eye" so the remote works even though the
electronics are still in the media room.

It was an intense competition, but Uncle Shane
won the whole thing!!  He got a bottle of wine
as a prize.  I think Marcus and I were next, then
Auntie Coley (she was happy--she won dark
chocolate sea salt caramels).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

molten chocolate cakes

Since I received a great number of requests for the Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes recipe (ok, just one request, and it was you, Angela!) I thought I would treat my readers and post the link.

This dessert is made in my household every Valentine's Day.  It is one of Marcus' favorites!  I originally found it in 2007 when looking for a sort of pudding-cake recipe.  The site, Joy of Baking, had this gem.


I almost always melt chocolate in the microwave
instead of in a double-boiler.  Be sure to use a good-
quality chocolate,  like organic dark chips from
New Seasons.  Tollhouse chips would still work but
you wouldn't get quite the same deep rich flavor.
This picture just doesn't do it justice!  They really are very
very very good.  The crunchy sugar coating is my favorite part.  :o)  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Playdate, or school? Both!

We had our friends over for a playdate again last Friday.  The kids and I love having them over!  It is a great excuse to postpone school and just have fun.  Well, actually, we did do "school" but it was fun stuff, and just so we could feel like we accomplished something.  First, since James is studying pond ecosystems, we thought we would collect some pond water and study it under a microscope....
The whole gang (Seddy was on my back)
collecting water samples

The day was SO pleasant, thanks to Mrs. N!!
Tag-teaming works really well....
 After collecting the samples and studying them under the microscope, we moved on to a religion lesson.  My blog friend Jessica at Shower of Roses created an amazing unit study on the pope, and we took just one small piece of it to work on as a group....

 The pop-up books on St. Peter's Basilica turned out great!  We will work on the rest of the lapbook the coming weeks.  All the news with the pope and the conclave is so ~rich~ for Bunny and I, since we can really picture all the places in Vatican City.  As a family, we're watching a DVD on Blessed Pope John XXIII and playing close attention to the voting procedures of the conclave.  This lapbook will help us and the younger kids understand more about the papacy and the historic events of this month.  I hope they can look back at this time and say "I remember when Pope (???) was elected!!"