Saturday, April 30, 2011

Her big day has come!

©2011 Lerin Photography (

Please pray for Mary Clare today as she receives her First Holy Communion!
We are enjoying watching the coverage of Pope John Paul II's Beatification on and are asking for special graces on Divine Mercy Sunday! What a special day!

©2011 Lerin Photography (

Friday, April 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

We have a Mockingbird nest in the little oak tree in our front yard.
The 3 babies are so cute and we're having some good science lessons watching the nest each day!

This: not so cute in our garage last weekend.
It was really big. Resident Animal Scientist says it's a skink.

This is the construction going on at the end of our street.
In a few months, it will be going on in front of our house, yikes!

But an advantage was that we got some free dirt to level out some of our backyard, and the kids had fun playing on the dirt hill in the driveway, and now in the dirt mounds in the backyard!

Boys' room now has (used, cheap, Craigslist) bunk beds! Steven Joseph has actually slept in his own room all night a few times! It's fun to be decorating this room for brothers :)

Facebook friends have seen these last two...
This is Thomas hanging out in his laundry basket at the dance school!
He's now starting to pull up, so I can't use this basket for baby containment much longer.

And some directions for the tooth "farey" after she forgot to visit one night.
There's a spot for the dollar and an obvious spot for her to find the tooth!

See more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ballet videos

Here are my ballerinas at their exam practice a few weekends ago for Pre-Primary and Grade 1. It's interesting to watch Ellie and then Mary Clare do similar movements, but a little more advanced for MC's class. They are both doing beautifully and I'm sure will do excellent on their exams. I'm so proud of them!

Ellie's sautes, interrupted by a fussy Thomas!

Mary Clare's changements

Ellie's gallops

Mary Clare's pas de chevals and polkas

I sure love ballet music. It all makes me smile! I love that through their ballet training the girls are getting exercise, discipline, body control, as well as exposure to such beautiful classical (and Christian) music. It uplifts your soul and your body!

Easter Hats

Mary Clare's girls' club met at the park last week to decorate Easter hats. Ellie and some of the other little sisters got to join in the fun! They hot-glued ribbon, flowers, birds, and other accessories to their hats and also practiced some traditional country dancing for the upcoming Daddy Daughter Dance.

It was hot, but Tommy still had fun watching the big girls when he wasn't napping. SJ slept half the time in the stroller, and then spent the rest of the time trying to steal a ball from his little friends.

All the girls. Aren't they adorable?

Here are the girls with their close friends, H and H, who are getting ready to move out of state. We are going to miss them!

Trying to soak up all the springtime outdoor fun before it's too hot!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where I left off, Park Photos

Happy Easter! We had a glorious weekend and are basking in the Easter joy, anticipating Divine Mercy Sunday in a few days, when Mary Clare will receive her First Holy Communion and our Beloved John Paul II will be beatified! This year I don't have a nice Easter family photo, or any photos after the morning treats in PJs, because we had a little "situation" with the Easter attire (read: someone who didn't appreciate his 3yr son being dressed in an adorable turquoise John-John romper). Hopefully we'll get some good photos at the Mass next weekend.

So I'll start with some park photos from the past few weeks and then try to go through the ~150 images from Ellie's birthday and Easter morning! You'd think with our new internet connection, I'd be blogging more, but life is just moving so quickly...I need a pause button!

Here are the kids with my mom and me at the park in my parents' neighborhood, and then a few from outside a local restaurant. I was working on manual settings. Let me know if you think they look any better than my normal "auto" shots!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter week!

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Good Friday

for a big SIX year-old! Thanks be to Our Lord who on this day gave his life for us, and who on this day six years ago gave this new life to our family! We are so blessed by our sweet Ellie-girl!

©2011 Lerin Photography (

Thursday, April 21, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}


Ellie at the park last weekend. (I'm working on using manual settings on the camera!)
Today is her last day to be FIVE!


Mr. Tomtom in his new play location. I think this is brilliant. He can sit unassisted but still falls over sometimes and also loses his toys. The basket gives him support, keeps his toys contained, and keeps him off a dirty floor. I think I'm going to start bringing a laundry basket to places like the park and the ballet school!


Mary Clare trying to get coins out of the "wishing well" at a restaurant last weekend.


Steven Joseph fell asleep sitting in this chair (after I'd tried to lie down with him in the bed for over an hour!) and then moved over to this position for awhile before finally dropping to the floor! Gotta love the boots and shorts combo!

I have lots of photos, lots to say, but lots of kids and things that need my attention this week.

Quote of the week by my father-in-law after I told him that I couldn't seem to find the lamp that is supposed to go in the boys' room where he's staying...BopBop (a father of 7 mind-you) responds, "You have so many kids running around here, you're lucky you remember your name!"

Have a blessed Triduum to you all!

See more of {pretty, happy, funny, and real} here:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Camping Day 3

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3 would be our last at Inks Lake. We'd considered adding a 3rd night to our stay, but camping with small kids is pretty exhausting and we had a lot to do at home during Daddy's vacation week. We were able to move back our check-out time a few hours so we could enjoy the morning at the park!

When Steven initially checked in, they told him there would be a field trip taking place on Tuesday morning at 9am, and that we could join the group. What a fun morning!

We had another bacon breakfast, with many volunteers and cars buzzing around the area, getting ready for the students to arrive. They had 5 stations set up and split the large group of children from a local public school. We tagged along with one class of 1st graders.

First, they listened to a talk about predators and prey, and got to check out a bunch of skins and real stuffed animals (I missed this one). Then they went to the station about Native American life, where a man was dressed in Traditional Native American clothing, they had more skins and antlers and discussed how those were used, and the kids got to go in the tipi!

Next was the lake station. They brought in a huge net of fish and let the kids take a fish from the net to put in the tanks (of course my kids had no interest in that).

This man was talking about the lake habitat and different kinds of fish.

Then someone brought out an alligator for the kids to see and touch!
(Why do my kids have no interest in touching wildlife? Their Daddy studied Animal Science!)

The last 2 stations were about birds and plants/trees. It was really informative and a nice long field trip (2 1/2 hours!). I think the girls learned a lot and it was a great way to finish out our time at Inks Lake!

The only negative part of this field trip was experiencing a little bit of what it can be like in a school classroom with a teacher who isn't a very encouraging and positive person. We felt so bad the way many of the children were treated and talked down-to. It definitely made us grateful that we currently have the ability to homeschool. I know that most teachers aren't like this (I did spend much of 22 years of my life in a classroom!), and it challenged me to be aware of my own attitude as I'm schooling my children each day. I'm sure many days I sound just as bad!

Steven Joseph sure loves his baby brother!

and he loves fishing!

Girls standing by Cabin 4 before we left

And a shot of the inside of our clean cabin!

We had a wonderful lunch at the "Country Cafe" down the road. The owner served us and doted on all the kids. Steven Joseph was pouting about wanting lemonade, and she joked that he would be so cute in a commercial for the restaurant! We had a great lunch, complete with cake for dessert, and then took the scenic route they had recommended.

There is a REAL castle up in the hills! From what I read, it appears it's only used for weddings.

We stopped at the scenic spot for some photos but the boys were asleep, so again no family photo for us...maybe at Easter?

The view of the countryside and lakes in the distance

The girls took a few pics of the happy couple :) Can you believe I'm wearing orange? I've never bought an orange shirt before (Aggies just don't), but it was on clearance and will be a good reminder for me of little Cooper whose favorite color was orange and many wore orange at his funeral. A challenge to live each of these precious moments with my kids to the fullest!

(and yeah, half my body is hidden behind my husband, if you're wondering)

We survived the long drive home with iPhone, candy, and crazy screaming the last half hour!
Here's what our truck looked like, filled to the brim!

I love this one with little Tommy in the grass looking back at me.

It was an exhausting, but fun 3 days! I think after a couple months we'll be ready to camp again. It's not my favorite kind of trip, but it's great for us all to be outdoors, it's relatively inexpensive, and can be very educational. I'm thinking I'll need to stick with the places with cabins, though, and I'd sure love one with our own bathroom!

Overall, a fun little getaway. Hope to go back with some friends and/or family some time soon!
Related Posts with Thumbnails
site design by designer blogs