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

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

No school this week (QTs #31)


No school this week

There were several reasons for this, but mainly I realized that we were going to have a few too many doctors visits this week, and days when there are doctors visits always mean school is kinda hit or miss. So, I’d like to think I have excellent planning skills and arranged this all to nicely coincide with the holiday on Monday… but… I don’t. All coincidence.

I did however notice that other homeschoolers are taking this week off too (pure chance). And I think I like the reasoning behind this, do six weeks of school, take one week off. Now, I don’t school year round.. well… not intentionally anyway, but I still think this schedule would work well for us.

Mini (mini) vacation

We went away Sunday and Monday. (A few photos of our walk in the rain). It was fun. I tried my hand at Instagram Live… but that idea faltered once I realized we were out of cell phone service (and internet)… So…. yeah, that’s where we were 🙂

But the kids also got to fly their kites which they have been anxiously waiting to do ever since they received them, oh…. six months ago?


Doctors Appointments

I had a routine ultrasound on my thyroid (you’ll all be glad to know every thing came back with no change, which boils down to little concern for anything cancerous to be happening – always a good thing!)

Kat and Johny’s annual physical. They’re healthy. And growing. 🙂


Nicki turned 7 months this week too!14714802_10157519066585627_322769073644610387_o

He’s currently perfecting:

Chewing on Cords to the Point of Breaking

Mommy is still trying to figure out how it’s been seven months. Like, for real guys, I still think it’s the beginning of 2016. It still feels weird to be writing 2016 on my checks…


I’ve been slowly starting on working on cleaning/organizing a space for myself to have an office in the basement. This week I managed to get a few things tossed out courtesy of our friendly neighborhood curbside removal service.

I have ideas folks. But, the implementation is slow.

Working on the company blog

I’ve been logging some serious (for me) computer time trying to figure out how to move websites around for my dad’s company’s blog (which I “manage”).

This is what my brain feels like after I do that

dUyjod038*3&@2)00(4-keweoid9245n13dc%k*djwiq2 !#$$ 9fdjaoknc8ejq0xl9(&4212jdnnnw….

But, I *think* I’ve got it figured out now (famous last words, right?), so just waiting on authorization to make the actual move. 😉

Projects still waiting to be done during this week “off”

Hang windows shades in the big boys room, and Katherine’s room.
Work on the next square of Johny’s unending Star Wars afghan.
Plant more garlic.
Put away excess boxes of kids clothes

Good thing tomorrow is Saturday!


Linking up with Kelly. Happy Weekend to all!


“that moment when…” {7QT #30}


…you go to find one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible and the Bible is laid out  in “order” (instead of all those books in one section in the middle)…

#MightbeaCatholicConvert. Anyone know any catchy kids song to learn the books of the Bible with those books included? (You know, like the ones all the Protestant kids learn in Sunday Schools… I learned one, but it doesn’t include the books…)

…you go to begin a crochet project and your 6yo has been trying to make a blanket with your thread (and some knitting needles)

…you send in your first official Letter of Intent {to homeschool}

{gulp} this is getting real. I mean, we did school this past year, but nothing registered anywhere, so it didn’t feel like we were going against any system. Now that the paperwork’s been sent, I feel like we’re in the system and going against it.

I know. I know. It’ll be fine….

…you must just face the fact that the bouncy seat weight limit (11lbs I think it was?) has long since been exceeded.

Also, I’m pretty sure they aren’t supposed to be able to push their feet on the bottom and get to a nearly straight position…

…you forgot the baby was trying out the bigger jumper and he fell asleep

it only lasted a few minutes. But am hoping he begins to enjoy this piece of equipment soon because the bouncy seat (in take #5) is just not going to last much longer.

…your kids start talking (and talking and talking and talking) and you finally realize it’s about video games

…and you have no idea what they’re talking about. This has seriously happened to me multiple times this week.

Just not cool in that department 😉 But hey, I did agree to learn a card game based on one of these games… Gwent? from The Witcher? I think? {this is from Jared’s games not the kids game}

…you remember its Friday and the kids go to grandma and papa’s and your husband makes dinner. 

#mombreak #datenightin

{Still have the littlest so, still feeding him when he needs to eat and all that…}


Linking with Kelly for Quick Takes

Just things… {7QT #28}


In which I attempt to highlight a few things I meant to highlight over the past week, but then lost energy to do and forgot about…

Siblings February

Siblings Feb

Completely forgot to do this post until I saw another blog’s post on the topic show up in my inbox. Whoops. I really do try to make an effort to get at least one photo of them all together every month.

And, these kids and apples. The bag I bought yesterday morning is gone. All gone.

{This portion of the post is part of a project to take at least one photo a month of them all together. Intro’s here}

dear beautiful
Cardiologist Update
Katherine had her annual cardiologist visit. EKG and ultrasound. All continues to look good. The main thing they are watching now is the aortic valve. Because of the location of the hole (right under the aortic valve) I guess it *could* cause there to be weakening in the valve and cause there to be back flow of blood into the heart. They didn’t see any of that, but that’s what they’re most “concerned” about. {And I use that word only because I can’t find a less scary word to use}. So we’ll just continue with yearly visits to see if it does anything.
For those that like these details the Z value for her hole is just above 2, which from what I understand is just a little above normal.
Katherine did great. She was most excited to watch “Elsa” during the ultrasound and to get stickers after.

Last Week for Me…

So, I posted on FB asking for prayers that I would be able to sleep because Baby’s position was such that it was nearly impossible for me to lay down.

I should have clarified (because many thought that baby was breech) that baby is already head down, and fully engaged. It seemed to be better from this Sunday night through Wednesday/Thursday night, but then last night things started to get uncomfortable again.

So… we’ll see what happens. There isn’t a whole lot that can actually be done at this point. I may try to get another PT appointment if things get really bad again (there was one day last week where I could barely move), but we aren’t there at the moment.

I had decided at the time to offer these all up for your intentions, so leave ’em in the comments or send me and email (address to the right), or find me on FB or somewhere and I’ll add them to my list!

Also last week…

My grandpa (my mom’s dad) passed away. He passed on Ash Wednesday, which really kinda made the entire Ash Wednesday service seem very real and “in your face”.

I was never horribly close to him, but I still feel his loss. I’ve become closer to my grandmother these last few years and I think I feel more for her loss of a husband of 65 years (please forgive me if I’ve gotten the wrong number of years, couldn’t remember what year you were married).

A cousin of mine put together a video slide show of his life. It can be found here. It’s a little lengthy, but was very nicely done. (His name is Aziel for those that are wanting to pray for him.)

Theme Thursday contribution
With Michaela @ California to Korea


exposure-contrast cherries (orig)


Upped exposure a little bit, the contrast just a little less.
Also upped the shadows exposure and must have added just a little vibrance.

exposure-contrast cherries

As I stated in a previous post, I edit nearly all the photos that pass through the blog. Or, actually anywhere on the internet for that matter.

Micaela was talking about Instagram tips over on this week’s TT post. I actually find that if I’m going to be doing almost any editing on my phone I prefer to use a few different apps VSCO and Snapseed are my first choices, and Little Moments and ABM (A Beautiful Mess) are my secondaries. I personally feel they offer more control than IG, and that’s just a personal preference. But, I like editing. If I’m not going to edit a picture too much I’m more likely to just throw it up to IG!

And just because every now and then your kids do something that makes perfectly good sense…. ????

Now I’m off folks to find my second “after dinner” snack.

And, yes, I know. Totally fudging this last take. But, I’m out of words. And hungry. And tired. So to bed after this 🙂


Linking with Kelly for Quick Takes