Quick Takes: Summer 2017 check in

Jared has packed up the kiddos and taken them to the park this AM. Which leaves me with an undetermined amount of time to do…. something…. ? I don’t know about you, but anytime I find myself with a few unexpected minutes in the middle of the day, I can never think of what would be the BEST thing to do sans kids. Something productive? Laundry? Picture editing?

Well, anyways, here we are.

How’s about a few quick takes since I’ve been meaning to do this for a few weeks now.

Baby X. is doing well. Measuring right on as of last appointment. I’m feeling some discomfort, but not anywhere near as bad as with Nicholas, so that’s a plus. I am however, ready to be done being pregnant. But, I have had a few NICU babies, and those are not fun either, so I think I’ll grit my teeth and deal with the last 7-ish weeks.

Speaking of baby. I mentioned on FB a few weeks ago that I’ve had requests for things that we need. Mostly I’m finding that we just need some things updated. So, I made a small registry on Amazon. (Link is here or I think you can search my name?).

We have plans to officially start our homeschool next week. Normally I wouldn’t start this early, but on account of X. coming near the beginning of October, I wanted to be sure and get in six weeks of school before he comes. Then we’ll be taking off for a few weeks, maybe four? I think that worked well when Nicki was born.

Katherine will be starting 3rd, Johny will be finishing up 1st, starting 2nd, with the goal of reaching 3rd grade level by next year. Karl wants to be doing school, so I found a few workbooks that he’ll do as long as interest permits. I’d love to teach him how to read, but everytime I try to start that he looses interest and/or gets frustrated by the sounds, so…. I think we’ll wait a few more months to try again.

Our plans in a nutshell include using the Charlotte Mason curriculum at Mater Amabilis as our base. A few substitutions here and there. We’ll be doing Connecting With History/RC History (Volume 1- ancient world) for our “Ancient History” portion. Saxon for Math, because of course, what else? 😉 And we’ll probably end up skipping the foreign language portion (although Kat is currently super interested in saying words in Spanish, French, and German…???) And a very dubbed down Art and Music “study” – by that I mean, it’ll happen if it happens, using whatever material I have on hand.

And, total side note, my state doesn’t require me to teach Science in any form at any level (that I can tell). Is that normal?


We’ve had precious few “pool” days this summer (or so it seems). We’ll have a random hot or humid day, but they haven’t exactly been the norm. I’d still love to try and make it to an actual beach, since, you know we do live fairly close. But, that requires at least one more adult and a bit more planning than “just go turn on the hose and jump in the water”. So we’ll see. Hopefully.

What else this summer?
Katherine did a short ballet summer session. It was with her regular teacher from last season. She really enjoys it. From what I’ve been told (I, honestly, am no expert), she’s been doing well and improving. Thanks mom and dad for funding this expedition!

We’ve all been doing tons of reading. I currently have too many books checked out from the library, and I’m not sure I’ll actually finish them before they’re due.
Katherine just checked out 21 books. There were a few picture books, but the majority were chapter books. She’s been blowing through books now at least since the beginning of the year. Having a hard time keeping her in things to read.
{Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated!}

Johny also has picked up his reading ability. It may have been in part due to the reward of a book of his choice if he finished a certain number. So he worked really hard to do that. Then they figured out they could get prizes from the library if they completed certain summer reading goals, so he’s been working towards getting his paper filled in for that as well (by reading). I was having him read all the books out loud to me, but he started picking them up on his own. Honestly, I’m glad for that. Not that I don’t want to listen to him reading, however I could tell he was able to move on to slightly longer books, but he was hesitant (I feel like he has a slight “fear of failure”, like, if he doesn’t think he can do it, he won’t even try). So, I’m glad he’s moved over that bump. 🙂

Ok, how bout some pictures? Since I know some of the grandmas and other family aren’t on instagram (where I post the majority of my pictures).

{Also, I’ve tried to link my IG and FB accounts and they just won’t stay linked. Any thoughts?}

There are a few captions if you click through the pictures.


Happy rest of your weekend!
Linking with Kelly for Quick Takes

Katherine’s First Communion

Breaking blogging silence to bring you…. a photo dump…

Yesterday Katherine made her first communion! Honestly, up until day of it didn’t hit me exactly how HUGE of a deal this is. 1st communion

She had a lot of fun picking out her dress and veil. And she seemed to enjoy going to the class, most of the time. I had pretty much just been caught up in the details of getting things done for the past few weeks…


But…. Somewhere between wrangling little ones and finding seats in a super full Mass

{Seriously, guys, I didn’t know there were about 45 kids making their first communion!!!..}1st communion-4

and grabbing a few pictures of Kat and a special friend…

I managed to settle into the beauty and the solemnity of the moment.

Seeing Katherine receive Jesus for the first time, was…. I don’t even know how to describe it. And, if it’s possible, I felt even more emotional today when she received right in front of me. I think it had to do with her being not only the first of our kids to receive, but also the first in our extended family as well (as neither Jared or I grew up Catholic).

It was just beautiful. A beautiful moment.

1st communion-10

Quick Takes {January Edition}

1. Ice Skating

Early in January, right before my sister returned to school in CA, she and my brother and their significant others, did the very auntie uncle task of taking the big kids Ice Skating.

I video chatted with them while they were there. My quick observations were: Katherine seems to be ok (definitely better than last year), Johny at least doesn’t fall too much, and Karl just goes for the outing.

Anyway, they had fun.

Here’s a pretty long video, but if you’re interested 🙂

2. Sick

The day after they went skating, Karl got sick. Then the babies. Then the big kids.

Oh. It. Was. Fun.

That continued for well over a week.

Then they passed it to me.


It was just a bad cold and not a stomach bug, but still…..

Fortunately Jared didn’t get hit with it too hard, but he did manage to have a nice serious foot/ankle/gout flareup which kept him out of work for a few days.

3. My birthday is coming down!

Karl turned 5!

{Birth Story if you’re into that sort of thing: Here it is!}

He had been counting down his birthday since the bigger kids had their birthday last September and seemed to be getting the whole timing of things a little more this time around; at least in the general sense. For example, he finally got the concept that it was my birthday then Christmas then January then… still a few days till his birthday. He  basically asked every day since January began “what day it is?” {what date} and “how many days till my birthday?” He was in one of his frequent “talking all the time about the most random things” modes and “My birthday is coming down” came out of his mouth.

We managed to get just well enough from being sick to have a birthday party. He was thrilled. Had two cakes and everything 🙂


{And also blew out candles on pancakes on his actual birthday breakfast}

4. Lack of Teeth

Nicki is now 10 months!

Crawling upstairs and onto low beds, however he has yet to master getting down, so that’s been a slight problem. We’re working on it, but he’s not really grasping the concept yet.

Attempting to let go of furniture and “fall-walk” towards another piece of furniture.

Pretty sure he says something like “Cahhhhh” and it means “Cat”, otherwise he doesn’t say much.

Weighed just over 20lbs (or maybe it was 21? I don’t remember) at his last appointment.

Pretty much will eat everything that’s given him. He especially seems to love finishing off Z’s juice/milk cups. So… yeah, he’s had real milk a full two months “early”.

Loves the vacuum.

No teeth. Poor guy needs to get them in ASAP because I think they’re making him super duper cranky and that’s just no fun.

5. New Hobby

I took up embroidery a few weeks back. I’m slowly working on a small sampler with a grand total of seven (that’s right 7) different stitches. But because I have so many hobbies it’s not moving very fast.

It has turned out to be simpler than I thought it would. I mean, I’m not sure exactly why I thought it would be complicated, but… I did.

Anyways, it’s nice to grab some thread and do a row of stitches. I just don’t pick it up very often.

6 Football


Don’t know if I blog-introduced our kitty. But, in case I didn’t, we got a kitty for Christmas. Her name is Eowyn (from Lord of the Rings).

Apparently she likes football.

Johny really got into it too. He had to go to bed during the Patriots game last Sunday and first thing he did Monday morning (like, literally first thing – I heard him jump out of bed and run immediately downstairs) was ask who won the game.

Now contemplating letting his stay up and watch the Super Bowl.


Signing off now because I just realized I have exactly 13 minutes left of “nap time” and I had a few more things I kinda needed to get done before the chaos starts again.
You know, all that lovely stuff…

Order books from the library…
Pay bills…
Check in with a linkup I joined last week, but haven’t participated in…

Yeah, that’s so not happening in 13 minutes 😉 Oh well, life 🙂

Linking with Kelly for Quick Takes

Coffee Beans

One of my favorites that I took this week. I used it for this week’s #thebethadilly52 prompt which was “My Style”. Briefly: I haven’t ever really thought about my style of photography. I mean, I like to take pictures of my kids. Mostly of the snapshot variety. Because mostly I love to show just everyday life.
But, occasionally I can convince one of them to pose for me and that opens up my “artsy” photo taking just a little bit more. 🙂
Overall, I think my style leans towards “dark and moody”. I like a little grit in my photos. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those nice crisp, white, clean, lifestyle photos that are so popular, but…. it’s not me.
As a bonus we were able to talk about where coffee comes from (these particular beans are from my uncle’s farm in Costa Rica). And could we plant it in our garden? (no… sadly). I’d like to feel I made her world just a little bit bigger.
(Don’t forget, you can follow along with the rest of my 365 Project on Instagram)

Documentary {1/52}

I’m trying a new photo project this year (I know, I know… all these projects I keep attempting… but, hey! This one is a once-a-week thing, so totally doable right?). Anyway, it’s a 52Project or a Project52 not sure on the terminology, but the idea is to take one photo a week. I’m following along with the Bethadilly prompt list, so each week is a different theme.

This week… sorry, *LAST* week’s prompt was Documentary. I feel like most of the photos I take are documentary. I mean, the majority reason I take pictures is to remember the daily parts of life. I guess we’re supposed to just have these be a little more focused? Maybe one event?

Anyways. I chose to “document” the kids going outside and playing in the snow. This was the first snow we got last week, not the big snow we got over the weekend.

So this is really what a trip outside involves. {Jackets, snowsuits, hats, gloves} x 5. All to have gloves fall off (Z, age 2) and snow get on your hands (go figure). Tears flowed. I’m afraid he didn’t really like the snow. Although, he DID enjoy being outside, and he really wasn’t happy unless he had the shovel.

In other photography news, I’m not going to be putting my weekly photos of 365 Project up here on the blog. The majority of those pictures I take with my phone, and the process of getting them off my phone, tweaked, and back up online just hasn’t really been happening (it’s a bit time consuming). So I decided I’m just going to be putting them up on Instagram. I even have a specific hashtag so you can search that if you’d like to see them #365hfn2017. Or you know, you could just follow me over there and see ALL the photos ;). {For folks that don’t have a smartphone, you can still sign up for an instagram account, and login on the computer. You can view, like and comment on photos. The only thing is you can’t actually upload a photo from the computer… well, technically, you can, but it requires another separate program to work around that…}. {Click Here for my account over there or use the button on the sidebar}.




I’ll probably be linking up with Country Kids later in the week. {Check back for link}