Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 22 In Review

The Week in Pictures:

 Miriam celebrated her Baptism Day on May 24th!
 It was a beautiful week and we had lots of fun outside with water.  
On Wednesday we had some friends over for a play date.
 John got some new wheels :-)
 We went to visit John and Fern, our adopted grandparent,s and had a lot of fun exploring their pond - here's a picture of tadpoles recently hatched.  
 This is a picture of us out in the woods working in our Nature Journals.  To continue our study of Botany, the children will be keeping a nature journal this summer.

 Phil is extending the play set and making it a bit more sturdy with cement.  All the kids had to take turns getting into the 3+ foot hole Phil dug for the post.  
We had a visit from an old friend from Stevens Point!  Mariah Pehoski is now living in Boston and was in the area so she stopped by with a couple of friends and the kids loved seeing her.  She used to babysit for us many years ago before we moved away from central Wisconsin. 
Luke got a new bike and has been doing a great job riding around - it's time for him to learn to ride without training wheels!
I've neglected to post a picture of the chicken coop that Phil has been hard at work on for the last couple of weeks.  It got a coat of blue paint this weekend along with our front porch.  Phil did a great job painting - watch for pictures of completed projects next week.
On Saturday we celebrated 11 years of Marriage!  As an anniversary gift to Phil I finally got this sketch framed - we had it done in Rome on our honeymoon.  I don't know that we ever quite looked like the picture but it was fun to have someone sketch us.
We celebrated our anniversary with a picnic at the Fairfax falls which are about 5 minutes away from our home- it was beautiful and the kids had fun in the water on this almost 90 degree day!

There were a lot of natural caves for the kids to explore and rocks everywhere.

We also got to celebrate our neighbor's 4th birthday - they threw a great party with this fun water slide.  The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time.  

Highlights from the week:

Phil was in Florida Monday through Thursday and we were happy to have him home safe and sound and we enjoyed having him Friday and all weekend!

With the beautiful weather, water fun and our great sand box, hill and dirt mountain and the various guests who came to visit, I think we've done more laundry this week than over the last month or so!  The kids also had daily baths - it's a good thing we have our own well.

On Friday we wrapped up our school year.  The kids will have the next week off of school as a "free week"  and then we'll switch to our summer schedule.  On Wednesday we're taking one last field trip to the Maritime Museum for our "Vermont History" requirement but otherwise we've wrapped up our formal school year.    If I have time I'll write a post with more detail about what we're planning for the summer - I'm really excited about our summer "fun school."  We've been reading through the "Life of Fred" books at bed time and really enjoy using them as math enrichment.  The kids often ask to do an extra chapter and they want me to buy the Calculus book so they can hear the rest of the story.  I'm learning a lot with them .  For history we're going to be studying the Greeks with some fun activities including learning to write some Greek letters and we'll be taking part in the Summer reading program at the Library.  

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi!   How beautiful to know that Corpus Christi Processions were taking place all over the world today - it was beautiful to be able to follow Christ out into the Community in our Parish of St. Luke's.   What an amazing gift our Catholic faith is and I am so grateful for this Gift of Love through which God transforms us from within and conforms us to Himself!  May the Love of Our Lord in the Eucharist touch your heart today and fill you with His Love.  Our prayers are with you - please pray for us!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 21 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 
 We were blessed to visit the Benedictine Monastery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Miriam met Sr. Myriam - they have been exchanging prayers so it was a joy for them to meet in person!
We got to attend Mass with the Sisters - this is the chapel outside the enclosure where they have daily Mass.

 We had a joyful visit with the Mother of the Community.  We were surprised to learn the Benedictine  Monastery was established in Vermont in 1981. The Nuns were invited by the Bishop to form a foundation from their monastery in Canada which at the time was at capacity with 75 sisters.  The Community belongs to the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes.  
We feel truly blessed to have the prayers of these beautiful Nuns for our family and Phil's work of Catechesis and Evangelization and look forward to visiting them often.   

William and Miriam  participated in a workshop at the Library on how to make a DC battery using household materials.  With salt water, activated charcoal and a paper towel in a metal pan, they were able to power a small motor.  They had a lot of fun.

 Phil and the children planted the garden this week!

 We made thank you flower pots for the children's Catechists.

 The children enjoyed their end of the year Pentecost Celebration and family gathering at our Atrium.
We welcomed 6 new chicks to our home: Goldie, Sunny. Rose, Brownie, Flash and Eggna.

 William, Miriam and Luke have been enjoying their "home school" swim lessons.

 The children and I enjoyed a family end of the year dance/ "Masquerade ball"
 We had fun doing the Virginia Reel.
 William and Miriam did well at their first piano recital.

 Phil got the hammock up.
 Phil left for a conference in Florida today so we went to explore our local school playground and the kids had a ton of fun.

Who needs monkey bars when you have a pine tree? 

 We're thanking the Lord for the beautiful weather on this Trinity Sunday!

Phil's gone until Thursday so it's going to be a busy week!  We praise God for His many blessings especially on this feast of the Most Holy Trinity!  Our prayers are with you - please pray for us too!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weeks 19 & 20 in Review

 Weeks 19 & 20 in Pictures: 
 On Saturday morning we had the perfect conditions to launch our rocket.  

If you look carefully at the speck in the sky you can see how high the rocket went.  Our neighbors joined us for the launch.  
 Unfortunately we weren't able to get far enough from the trees so it landed in the trees.
 Phil helped the kids find a toad.

We've been blessed to make friends at Mass with a retired farmer.  He and his wife have adopted our kids and it's a great blessing since we're so far from family.  He came over with his tractor and prepared our garden for us - he even brought fertilizer - we look forward to our biggest and best garden yet!
"Grandpa John" & "Grandma Fern" kept 100 acres from what was once their 400 acre farm.  Grandpa John likes to take the kids for rides in his 4 wheeled ATV around the property and this was one of the stops - a giant rock.  

 We made cookies to celebrate Pentecost Sunday today.

For Mother's day Phil gave me a new rose bush :-)
 The kids displayed some of their artwork at our end of the year home school talent show.
 The boys enjoyed some time at Lego club at the library.
 The kids' favorite place to play - the dirt hill.  The bathtub and laundry machine are doing double duty as a result. :-)
They got an extra hill from the grass layer that was over the garden plot.  
John turned 13 months old on May 10th. 

Other Highlights: 
We are busy wrapping up our school year and looking forward to enjoying the nice spring and summer weather.  We're scheduled to finish May 27th and I'm working on the children't portfolios to submit to the state and making our summer plans as well as preparing our curriculum for next year.  I'm looking forward to going to a Homeschool conference next Saturday in Montpelier, VT.

The kids have been enjoying weekly "homeschool swim lessons" at a local gym each Friday.   They have a great program where the kids get 50 minute swim lessons for 6 weeks.  We're really enjoying it.  William and Miriam will also have their first piano recital next Saturday!

This Wednesday we get to go visit and have lunch at the monastery of the cloistered Benedictine Sisters in Westfield Vermont - a little over an hour drive away.  Miriam has been praying for a sister Myriam who will soon be making her profession at the end of May as an extern sister there.   

Happy Pentecost and may the Holy Spirit aid us to bring the Gospel and Christ's love to all we meet! Our prayers are with you, please pray for us!