Sunday, June 26, 2016

Week 26 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 

It was vacation week with Dad so we took some fun day trips to explore Vermont.  We checked out the Shelburne Farms pass from the Library and had a fun "on the farm" experience.  
Among many other fun activities, the kids each got to milk a cow.  
William tried out this tractor. 
The kids got to play with the goat kids, brush a rabbit and see baby pigs also.  
All in all, everyone enjoyed their time on the farm!

We took another day trip to Bingham Falls in Smugglers Notch. 
It's a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole that is a bit of a hike down the mountain.

 It was well worth the hike! 

 Phil added an outdoor run to our chicken coop this week.
Then on Saturday we headed to Stowe for the Renaissance Faire.
 The kids enjoyed trying on armor.  And checking out the Viking tents.

The highlight of the day was the full armor battle and the jousting match.  

Miriam even chose the flag of the winning jouster.  

 I just had to share these cute pictures from a trip to Lowes to purchase wood for a project for the school room. 
We also went strawberry picking and made some freezer jam.  

Today's beautiful weather was perfect for the pool.

It was a great week with Phil home on vacation! This week William, Miriam and Luke have Totus Tuus from 9am-3pm every day.  The days are flying by and we are really enjoying the beauty of our new home and the joys of being together as a family.  Praise the Lord for His many blessings!  Our prayers are with you - please remember us in yours!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Weeks 24 and 25 In Review

The Weeks in Pictures: 
Thomas caught a frog in the woods. 
After the rains the weeds took over the garden, but we reclaimed it!
The after picture :-)
Fun times in the four wheeler at "Grandpa John & Grandma Fern's" house. 

The kids each got to ride a horse at a local horse riding school open house. 

They also got a grooming lesson. 
Luke celebrated his Baptism Day on June 12th. 
I got a couple more saints painted - I'm still working on saints for all of my nieces :-) Above is St. Agnes and below, St. Michael.

 This is the reason last week's post didn't get posted - Phil left on Monday for a conference in Baltimore to learn how to be the Diocesan Representative for CRS.  His flight home on Thursday got cancelled so he got a bonus night in the "Crystal City" Arlington, VA before flying home from Washington DC on Friday.  We were quite happy to have him home!
 While Phil was gone we spent some more time at John and Fern Rainville's - the kids got to help with a big bonfire.

 William also discovered the home of a  mama racoon inside a hollow tree while we were there,
 This is a huge Maple tree that William climbed. 
 We were blessed to attend a holy hour for the soon to be ordained seminarians on Friday evening.  When we got home, Thomas had his own benediction.  
It was beautiful to be able to attend the ordination with the children.  Since I was in back with John, I got this great picture of the laying on of hands as well as a couple others that I'll use with the kids to talk about the Sacrament of Holy Orders since it is likely they will be witnessing their father's ordination to the Diaconate in the not too distant future.  

 We had a wonderful Father's day with Phil - all the more special because we were so happy to have him home again!
 Phil helped the kids set up camp in our woods.  They picked out a great site!
 The chickens are getting bigger!

 Here's a picture of some of the painting on the play ground - we're still working on it but the kids had fun putting their hand prints on the playground.

 Enjoying a warm chocolate cookie with ice cream topping and M&M's before heading out to the campsite.  
 The Lawson campground express - taking camping gear and kids to their campsite.
The view of the sunset from the woods.  Our campground is officially open - all friends and family members are welcome!!

Praise the Lord for His many blessings!  What a beautiful and amazing gift Fatherhood is - I am so grateful for my father, my grandfathers and for all those who have been fathers to me - teachers, priests, and those who have been there to teach and guide and love unconditionally, mercifully.  I am also so very grateful for my husband and the father of my children - I couldn't ask for a more wonderful, thoughtful and loving husband and father.  God has truly blessed us!   May our Heavenly Father watch over you and guide you tonight and always!  Our prayers are with you, please pray for us as well!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Week 23 In Review

The Week in Pictures: 
 Now that John can walk, he can use a light saber.  He was excited to battle with Thomas.
 On Tuesday this week, we went to spend an afternoon at the St. Anne's Shrine in Isle La Motte which was where the first Mass in Vermont was said and was Vermont's first settlement.  It was beautiful!

 This beautiful Statue of Our Lady used to be on top of the Cathedral in Burlington before it burned down in 1972.
Here is Thomas posing with his middle name patron saint - St. Ignatius.  
There are many life-sized saints spread about the Shrine.  
 Miriam with St. Anne and the child Virgin Mary
The children were really excited to find this nest of newborn baby robins in a bush.

Here's a picture of the newly painted back deck and our new swimming pool.  On Monday we took advantage of the hot weather and a Memorial day sale to get a swimming pool.  The kids have loved swimming in the pool almost every day this week.  

Here's a picture of the newly painted front porch.

The Libraries in Vermont have passes to various museums in the state that you can check out.  To satisfy our Vermont history homeschool requirement, we checked out a family pass to the Lake Champlain Maritime MuseumThe museum had lots of boats on display including birch bark canoes travelled in by Native Americans in this area, and many of the early explorers such as Samuel Champlain and missionaries such as St.Isaac Jogues and  Jean de Brebeuf.  We recently read a great biography on Saint Isaac and the Indians that mentioned their travels in boats like these.  
The best part of our trip was going on board a replica of a revolutionary war gunboat and learning what it would be like to sail on one.  The kids even got to be crew and work together to move the main sail.
John was ready to fire the cannon if needed.  
On our way home from the Vermont Maritime Museum, we were able to make a quick visit to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
 Luke turned 6 years old on June 2nd!
For Luke's birthday, Phil and the older kids slept out in tents.

Here is a picture of the completed chicken coop - the baby chicks moved in this week. 
Phil and William built a fire pit for us in the back yard so we could have pudgy pies for dinner on Friday and roast marshmallows for dessert. 

We went fishing on the river Saturday - we didn't catch any fish this time but considering there were 5 kids present and we were there for less than an hour, it wasn't too surprising.

Getting ready for a bike ride with dad!

 Phil cleared the path in the woods and mowed it so that the kids can ride their bikes through the woods.  Thomas is a dare-devil down the path - hopefully he won't follow in his father's footsteps and try to drive that big-wheel up a tree.  

The cleared path is great for a hike in the woods.

Highlights from the week:
Phil was on vacation for most of the week and we all really enjoyed the family time together and a fun "free week" with no formal schedule,  The weather was beautiful and it was great to be outside and work on outdoor projects. I was able to start painting the kids play ground (look for pictures next week).

I spent most of Saturday putting together homeschooling paperwork to send into the Vermont State department of Home Education and I'm super relieved to have it all done and almost ready to be sent in.  Next year it should take a lot less time since I'll be able to prepare ahead of time and know what to expect. 

This week begins our "Summer Schedule."  For the past few years I've found it helpful to have a check-off list for summer activities to help our days go smoothly and continue learning in fun ways over the summer.  We'll be keeping Nature Journals, reading about and doing some fun activities about the Ancient Greeks, reading "Life of Fred" math books and participating in fun activities with the Library's Summer Reading program.  The checklist helps the kids know what to do/expect/ look forward to and helps me give them something to do if I hear "I'm Bored."

  We also have "Responsibility checklists" posted which are basically chore charts.  Hopefully we'll get back into a routine with keeping the house running smoothly!

May God bless you and your families!  Our prayers are with you, please continue to pray for us!