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.
(Again...so 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....

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I'm back!

Hello again, internet!  I'm back!

Well, this has been by far the longest break I've taken from blogging.  And I do have my reasons!  I'll share some of them now:

One reason I haven't been blogging, at least in the spring, was because school took up SO MUCH of my time!  And this is a good thing: I'm happy to be able to homeschool my children because of all the fantastic benefits it provides to them and to the whole family. (Here and here are two good articles that address some of the many benefits.)  

I think I mentioned in a past post my schedule: I would wake up and immediately start with kid care/breakfast/housework before diving into our schooling morning, which lasted until lunch.  Lunch, dishes, family meeting, chores, and nap time next.  Which puts us at 2pm and more school until either a) we have to leave for lessons or b) I have to make dinner.  In the evenings ~could~ be a good time to post, but I usually had more housework and teacher work, then by 9pm my poor husband :o) would want to see me.  Whew!  That makes for a full day...every day.

Another reason I haven't been blogging is this:

I was pregnant...then I wasn't.  Angelica May was born on May 27th at 18 weeks gestation.  She was a sweet Trisomy 13 baby. 

During those 4 months of pregnancy, I was SO tired!  I would sleep in one extra hour each morning, and take a 1-hour nap in the afternoon.  As you can see from my daily schedule above, I didn't really have two extra hours to spare.  So while I did keep up with school and meals, I didn't take time on the internet.  And that's OK.

Then after Angelica was born, I was tired again, but a different kind of tired.  And that's OK too.  But I feel like I have my energy back and every time I take a snapshot of the kids or of a pretty flower or of a funny moment, I think, "I want to post this!"  So even though I'm in the midst of school planning, and school starts in less than a month, I'm going to see if I can fit blogging in.

It feels good to be back!

:o) Becky