Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weeks 33 & 34 In Review

August 10- August 21st in Pictures: 
We were able to have our shrine blessed this weekend!  Our Pastor Fr. Henry Furman came over to bless it and friends Jean and Fern Rainville were also present for the blessing since most of the rocks Phil used to build the shrine came from their home.  

 A travelling exhibit/ movie about the red tail squadron was at our local Air Force base - so we were able to go on base to watch the movie and see the exhibit.  

 A few of the kids made it into our local paper in pictures of the mini-renaissane faire at the library.
 Fun with magnets
 Luke's Lego creations have been getting more detailed.  Here's a super hero play ground.
 Hanging out in the tent with Dad.  Luke made a tent "academy" for Thomas where he taught Thomas to write and sword fight with Dad's help.
 John's been having a rough couple of weeks due to teething.  Mass isn't his favorite part of the day.
 Marshmallow creations
 Some of our gladiolas bloomed this week!
 A picture of the completed shrine.  Phil built the shrine, I added the rock rosary. 
We had a fun summer play date/ picnic with some of the local homeschooling families on Friday.  
I preserved some of our harvest of zucchini in baked goods and shredded for the freezer.  

 
Our friends the Gebeaus arrived for a visit!  They traveled all the way from WI with a 5 week old and now we have 10 children in our home all having a great time!
 A group shot of all 10 children.   Angel used to teach 6th grade religious ed at the parish Phil worked at for 11 years in Steven Point.  
 We are ready for school to begin this week - the classroom is ready.  
The lesson plans are done.  Watch for 1st day of pictures in our next update!

Praise the Lord for His many blessings!  Our prayers are with you, please remember us in yours!



Monday, August 8, 2016

Weeks 31 & 32 In Review

July 25th to August 8th in Pictures:
One of the things we enjoy most about summer is time at the park!

While William finished up his second week of woodworking we spent a few mornings at the park in Essex Junction.  The kids had fun trying out the skate park on their scooters.

On  July 25th 2004, Phil asked me to marry him and in honor of the 12 anniversary of that special day he gave me a dozen roses. :-)
Our family pictures are hung!

 Our Library had a mini, kid-friendly Renaissance fair.  The kids loved it!
 The children were able to practice jousting and sword fighting.

 We said good bye to our Chinese exchange students.  We miss them already!
 The library had its grand finale for the summer reading program with a musical puppet show, raffle drawing and cake.
 Thomas won a Curious George book and stuffed animal.
William won a brand new bike - the grand prize!
Luke won a free ice cream cone.  It was a fun day!

 Miriam was able to participate in a young producers workshop where she got to participate in the making of a game show.  
Each of the children had a turn as game participant, show host and camera person as well.
 Luke and Thomas enjoyed a game of chess while we waited for Miriam.
John loves the kids area at the library especially the lady bug pillow and puppet theater.
The sandbox is worth it's weight in gold to me for the many happy hours our children have spent digging happily.
Luke using our new peg doll Mass kit - we participated in a swap on-line to get all the pieces.  He loves it!

The kids did the "Fairfax Egg Run"
Phil is working on our family shrine for the Holy Family - this time we are building it using stones from the area.
I just finished another group of saints - they are going to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in time for the Assumption Day Mass and Procession.

Father Harlow came over for dinner on Sunday - one reason this post is a day late. 

Family News: 
The past two weeks have flown by in a whirlwind.  We had a wonderful time with our Chinese exchange students and were sad to say goodbye - yet they are in our family's prayers!

Phil is getting ready to do a number of presentations all throughout the diocese beginning tomorrow on "Starting the conversation on the New Evangelization."  He's also been working hard on our family shrine - it takes a lot of rocks to build a shrine & some are quite heavy!  

We have 12 meat chickens which are growing quite well.    

The garden is doing well - my kitchen is being taken over by zucchini...now I just need some more time to shred it and freeze the amazing broccoli crop we have as well.  

Luke is our first child to learn to ride a two-wheeler in 1 day.  Phil took him to practice on Saturday and he was off and riding after 1 short lesson.  Thomas is our first 3 year-old to be able to pedal on a large two-wheeler with training wheels so we are now enjoying some family bike rides.

William began soccer tonight, Miriam begins next Tuesday and Luke the following Saturday. We will then have one child at practicing every night of the week until mid-October with games on Saturdays. This is a first for us and it's a little intimidating.  We'll see how it goes.  

We have really enjoyed the benefits of our local public libraries this summer.  While each small town has their own independent Library and programs, 26 of them have joined together to allow people on a "home card" system to check out books from any of these libraries.  Every library has it's own set of passes to Vermont museums, and state Parks that you can check out for the day and so get in for free. They have some really neat summer programs including chess club, Lego club, a gymnastics workshop, a young producer's workshop, archaeology, a summer kid-friendly Mini-Renaissance Faire and other really fun summer science workshops.  The summer reading program was great as well and every child got a t-shirt for reading 10 books as well as other small prizes and 3 of our 5 children won grand prizes including a really great bike for William.  We are so grateful for this great community resource!

William finished his final "Stern Center" tutoring session and is doing well.  We will be continuing his instruction at home with the Barton program, using the Stern Center as a resource as necessary. 

On the school front, the lesson plans are almost ready, our classroom is almost ready and we are slated for a start date of August 22nd.  We are looking forward to the next school year!

The tickets to San Diego are purchased - we'll be there from September 30th to October 8th.  Now we just need to work out all of the details.  :-)

John Paul has an almost complete set of toddler teeth as he has his molars and is finishing up with his canines.  We'll be grateful when the teeth are fully in and he an sleep a bit better at night. Between the teeth and an ear infection sleep hasn't been as plentiful as we'd like it to be. 

Praise the Lord for His many blessings!  The days are full with joy and the challenges inherent in raising five little people with their own ideas and personalities.  We are so grateful for this time even as we pray for wisdom and strength and maybe a bit more sleep.  Our prayers are with you - may God bless you and your families abundantly as we seek to grow ever closer to Our Lord.  Please keep us in your prayers!





Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weeks 29 & 30 In Review

 The Past Two Weeks in Pictures:

First Broccoli and Zucchini from the garden - we have a great harvest this year!

My Mother's Day rose bush bloomed.  

Luke completed a bridge building Lego challenge at the Library.  

 He also designed a boat and dock for display at the Library as well.  
 The children were able to attend some neat programs at our local Library -
 this one was on archaeology.
Miriam and William also got to design their own arcade game.  

 A nice action shot of Dad wrestling with the boys - 
they call it "tornado" in honor of Phil's storm chasing days.

William loved his wood working camp.  He completed 4 projects in 5 days and he's now saving up to buy his own wood working tools.  
 William is showing off the birdhouse he build in his wood working class. 


Fun at the park!


 For Father's Day, each of the kids made a stepping stone for dad with either their hand or foot prints but I didn't take a picture until now.
Phil camped out again with the kids and the evening  was beautiful.  The tent passed the rain test keeping everyone dry through the early morning shower that came down. 

Every now and then this little blue monster shows up on my porch. 

We were able to go to St. Anne's Shrine for the Jubilee of Families for our diocese's celebration of the Year of Mercy.
The day was perfect and the kids had a great time swimming in Lake Champlain.  

William had a driving lesson on Grandpa John's 4 wheeler.  
We welcomed our Chinese Exchange Students, "Irene" and "Elsa" to our family and it has been such a blessing to have them here this week!
Thomas is doing a great job with riding his bike.  He's my first 3 year old to get the hang of pedaling.  
We got to ride the bus to a Lake Monsters Game with the Chinese Exchange Students group.


Here's another of Luke's creations.
Elsa and Irene invited friends over to cook for us - we had a delicious Chinese meal.

We also enjoyed "open gym" with the Exchange students and our kids loved it and are already asking to go again sometime.



Today we went to New Hampshire for a Magdalen Alumni Mass and gathering in honor of St. Mary Magdalen's feast day on Friday.  It was wonderful to see some old friends and meet some new ones!  After Mass we stopped by the SEE Science Center with the kids since we still have a free pass to various museums around the country.  One of the demonstrations was to experience "walking on the moon." and the kids really enjoyed our visit.

video

On our way home we stopped for a quick visit to the Magdalen College Campus where I gave Phil and the awake children a brief tour of campus.  I have so many joyful memories from this beautiful college campus!  It was a joyful day!

In other news:
The past two weeks have been so full and the time is flying by quickly!    
              
Since William enjoyed his wood working so much, we decided to enroll him in a second week which is next week. 
           
Our Exchange Students will be with us until next Sunday and we'll have a few more special activities with them.  

May God bless your families our prayers are with you - please pray for us!