Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

We had lots of fun tonight carving our jack-o-lanterns! It was great to have Dad and Mary here to share in the fun.

Tale of two boys -
One who loved playing with the "guts"
And one who wouldn't touch it!
Almost 8 year-old Ray insisted on doing the carving himself.
Such concentration!
Pappy did a great job as assistant and fortunately there were no injuries!

Of course our Mario-obsessed Adam insisted on a Mario pumpkin, complete with carved mustache.

I turned the little pumpkin into a "holey" pumpkin....
the light shines through and it looks really cool!
(A Pinterest idea of course!)

Toasted pumpkin seeds! Yummy!

Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage

October 26, 2002
I'm finding it hard to believe that we've been married for ten years. That feels like a big number. A "perfect" number. Do we get a medal or something?
Our marriage has not been perfect, of course, but it's been really, really good. I feel as if I should have something profound and sappy to say about ten years of married life. After all, we've been through a lot together. But what strikes me on this "anniversary eve" is that one of the greatest things about marriage is just every day life together. Being here for and with each other. Unloading the dishwasher and talking about the plans for the day. Touching base on the phone and saying "I love you." Playing a board game with the kids. Sitting down after the children are in bed and watching a stupid TV show. 82.6% of life (my own totally random, non-documented-in-any-way statistic) is just ordinary, everyday stuff. Of course the great celebrations and surprises are awesome. And the challenges and hardships bond us together. But feeling comfortable, happy, loved, understood, at peace, and holy as we go through everyday life together.... that's priceless.
I'm so happy - so blessed - to have found such a good, trustworthy, hard-working, loving, fun, patient, caring man to be my partner in this life. Thank you God! I hope that we'll have many, many more years of love, health, and everyday life to live together.
I loved you ten years ago, Jon, and I love you even more today! Can't wait for all that is to come!

Tonight my Dad and Mary came over. We enjoyed a lovely "anniversary eve" dinner. They presented us with a gift (saved from our wedding reception) appropriately wrapped in aluminum foil. (The traditional gift for 10th anniversary is tin or aluminum.)

And tomorrow morning Jon and I are going to leave the ordinary, every day life behind as we're headed for a fun anniversary adventure... to Niagara Falls! Soon I'll be posting pictures from across the border! ;) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

80 Degrees in October?!?!

What do you do when it's sunny and 80 degrees on October 24th?

Get school DONE before lunch and then head to the pumpkin farm! We enjoyed a lovely afternoon with some friends at Circle*S*Farm today. Since we got there at 1:00, the school tours were gone and we had the place to ourselves. It was great fun!


After dinner the boys helped Jon do some raking. I had to drag them all in for showers way after dark!

These warm autumn days are such sweet treats! Thank you God!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simple Machines

My Dad and Mary recently completed another awesome unit study with the boys. This time it was all about simple machines. Wedges. Screws. Gears. Inclined Planes. Axles. Catapults. Pulleys. Propellers. And I'm not even sure what else! It was all stuff that I'm not very well-versed in and would not have had nearly as much fun teaching as they did. And I got to check it off the curriculum list! Fortunately, Dad and Mary were in town and able to do this unit with the boys while I helped my mom transition from the hospital to the rehab center and then home. It was so great to know that the boys were learning and having fun even when I couldn't be there with them.

This unit was so awesomely hands-on! They did lots of experiments and then wrote about them in their folders. Here's a peek at the simple machines action ---

Thanks so much Dad and Mary!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven new saints!

Among them was Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint! My friend's husband has a beautiful blog post here that includes a brief synopsis of Kateri's life. She is truly a model of piety and perseverance for us all.

Last summer we visited The National Shrine of Cross in the Woods in Indian River, Michigan. We enjoyed seeing these two beautiful statues of Kateri ---

Aren't the turtles cool around the statue pictured above? Kateri was raised by her uncle who was chief of the Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Indians.

My friend who has a daughter named Kateri hosted a great party to celebrate the canonization!

Two beautiful young ladies named "Kateri."
How cool is it to be able to celebrate the canonization of your patron saint?

We played Native American games.

A Native American wannabe!
As her father pointed out, there probably aren't many red-headed Native Americans!

It is said that Kateri used to hide simple crosses in the woods.
Whenever she came upon them she would be reminded to pray.
The girls had fun finding crosses all around the yard.


It was so interesting to watch the canonization on EWTN. What an awesome Church we have. Thank you God for all of the holy men and women who inspire and encourage us on this journey to you.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Perfect Autumn Day

This past Wednesday was a perfect, beautiful, warm, sunny Autumn day. We did our schoolwork in the morning and then met our friends at a park for a great afternoon. We all needed some recreation time. Soaking up some sunshine and enjoying the Autumn beauty was good for our bodies, minds, and spirits.

This giant leaf pile was awesome!
All of us --- littlest to biggest --
enjoyed tromping around and playing in the leaves.

After lots of running around and playground time, the kids were ready for an Autumn scavenger hunt.

 We also did some leaf collecting and leaf art.

Next, we all set out on a nature hike.

What a fun afternoon! Praise God for the beauty of Autumn and for awesome friends with whom we can enjoy it!