Thursday, October 31, 2013

5 Little Pumpkins

photos taken at "Uncle Shane's Giant Pumpkin Patch"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Uncle Shane's Giant Pumpkin Patch

Uncle Shane grows the biggest pumpkins in his field!!!  He grows them for the joy of it, and to share the pumpkins with all the family.  We had a great time at his Harvest Party earlier this month:

*The pumpkin really weighed 177#, but I missed the
photo op so Marcus got on the scale.  I took a
 picture of his weight--which was close enough.  :o)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Feast of St. Francis

If you remember, one of my NYRs (New Years Resolutions)* was to celebrate feast days with the kids.  I recall writing "this will be easy!"...hmmm...ok, maybe not so much.  It is October and St. Francis is our first saint we are really celebrating.   So I doubt I will reach my goal of 9, but oh well, a few is better than none!
Mrs. N was gone this particular Friday, so we did school
in the dining room all together (the young ones at least)
St. Francis coloring pages
goldfish crackers (St. Francis loved animals
and all of Creation)
playing with stuffed animals (ok, they would've done that anyway)
howling like wolves
enjoying God's creations
dining room centerpiece (this stayed up all week)
We also read books on St. Francis, studied art (as in, art history and symbolism), and watched a few YouTube videos.  A great success; the kids loved it all.
On Saturday, Fr. Peter had a blessing of animals!  What a
beautiful day for it too.  I took the 4 older kids, and Daisy of course.

* Other NYRs are going very well.  Maybe I'll do an update post sometime soon.  We've had great new recipes, I've enjoyed not one but TWO new personal hobbies, and I've read some good books.  Not so great on sewing but I'll make up ground this coming week (sewing for Halloween).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A lotta pinata fun

A pinata at Emmett's birthday party!!!

a bunch of crazy kids
Sedric LOVED the pinata!

It was hard to restrain him after his turn was done.

Looking none too happy about being in
Fr. Juan's arms.... 
Candy time!
The best part: Seddy could hit the broken pinata ALL he wanted!
Happy Birthday Emmett!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This is what I saw out my window the other morning: 

(look on the frisbee in the pool)
 The kids found "Sally" the day before, while playing in the woods.  Gemma just loved her!  The first thing she did the next morning was go play with Sally.
Sally looks a little nervous in this picture.
Gem was sad when the older kids released her back to her home.  But now they can go hunting for!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

God will provide (mathematical proof)

All this summer, I hemmed and hawed over making a decision on our household electronics situation.  Our school-room PC was as old as Bunny, and was so slow I could hardly even pull up a simple website much less play educational YouTube videos.  My mom convinced me that a laptop would be a good idea, and since a MacBook was kinda overkill for what I needed, we narrowed the search down to a simple PC.  I was scared of Windows 8 so I decided on Windows 7, and Marcus said I should get a good brand from a good store so we chose Costco.  Then in September when it was time to hit the "Buy" button...Marcus said, "So why don't you use move our main computer from the TV room to the school room?"  Duh.  So we saved $680 (plus software costs) just like that.

A month later, I saw in the bulletin that our St. Vincent de Paul food bank needed a laptop. After inquiring, I learned that they needed a simple laptop with WiFi, but without software, and preferably with Windows 7 (given the computer literacy level of the volunteers at the center).  It was obvious to me that God had prepped me to buy them one, and I ran the idea by Marcus.  He gave me the go-ahead.

Now, $680 could go a long way in our home.  We could fund a big field trip.  We could buy a great printer.  We could go on a couple of really fabulous date nights.  But those expenses just aren't as justified as buying a computer for St. Vincent de Paul.  So we went ahead full force and just did it.

Here's the math that followed:

**An unsolicited donor stepped forward to cover half the cost ($340)

**Marcus came back from Las Vegas (business trip) with $200 winnings from the blackjack tables

**We received an unexpected $130 check from the police department for an overpaid speeding ticket (that's a different story)

So...our "stretch" of a donation, initially costing us $680, really only cost us $10.

Dear readers, please let this be a lesson to you as it is to us:  if you are in an opportunity to help someone, just do it.  God will provide to you what you need, and He will repay you (sometimes in a very literal sense).

PS--mom, maybe you can help St.VdP set up their new computer when you are here :o)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Reader Request: Grilled Pork Loin with Apple Cranberry Filling

After receiving an overwhelming amount of interest in the pork loin dinner mentioned in the last post (ok, there was just one reader interested, and it was Joe, surprise surprise), I thought I would take a moment to post some pics:

(Apparently you need either the book or a membership to get the full recipe...I would highly recommend the book, it is awesome!  You can also look for the show on your local PBS station.)

basic ingredients: apples, apple cider, brown sugar, vinegar, dried cranberries, shallot, ginger, mustard seeds...simmered to a chutney then rolled up into the pork loin.  We LOVE chutney with pork (made some yummy plum chutney last year) so we thought this was a great dish!!  Definitely fine-restaurant quality.

Straight off the grill.

Marcus used 2 tenderloins instead of one loin, which gave
it a little bit of a wonky look. Still tasted delish! 
Delish with a glass of good Gewurtz., noodles,
and some roasted beets.  Perfect Sunday dinner!