Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hello Molly

Its A Girl reveal

(sing to tune of Hello Dolly Song)

Well yes, hello Molly.

Hello Molly 23w2d

(interesting Star-Trek wave, and creepy man licking her hand?)


You're lookin' swell Molly.

Hello Molly 23w2d

(Its A Girl announcement I added a bow, but this ultrasound reveals she already had one!)


You're still glowin'

You're still growin'

You're still going strong.

Hello Molly 23w2d

(1 pound 5 ounces, 23 weeks 2 days old. Just picture perfect! Thank you God.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

More than just playing dressup

Most years we've just tried to raid the costume bin for something fun to dress up in when Oct 31/Nov 1 came along. But now-a-days, we dress up at home a lot, especially as The Avengers. So it has made All Saints Day more special as we represent a particular saint we've learned about.

A Saint is a real person, a real hero, a real role model.

All Saints Day 2013

"You can dress up and pretend to be something else anytime,

but it takes effort to be a Saint!" ~ me


Saintliness to aspire to (L-R):

Mikayla = St. Joan of Arc

Stanley  = St. Thomas the Apostle

Jonathan = St. George

Eddie = St. Edward the King

Sabrina = St. Rose of Lima


We learned a little about each saint that was either for our namesake or a favorite saint. It was a lot of fun, using a chart I made similar to Catholic Icing's All About Saint ? printout. We also made saint puppets, we've played saint games, and used other fun ideas on the web for enriching our faith.


St. Joan of Arc was a cotton dress overlayed with a homemade corset top (basically a sundress top without the skirt), with a tie at the waist.

St. Thomas the Apostle was a cheap white fabric with a hole cut in the center for his head, then a red cloth draped and pinned together in a stole fashion, and carrying an architect/carpenters square tool.

St. George is a Thor costume (a costume he'd agree to wear) paired with a stuffed dragon and sword.

St. Edward is a white karate robe, a red rectangle of fabric with a neck hole and metallic ric-rac cross, and a paper crown.

St. Rose has 2yd purple cotton folded in half with neck hole and tied waist over a long sleeve dress. The red cape is an old tree skirt cut in half, with a snap at the neck.




Here's the last few years at a glance:

Disney Play Costumes

This was our Disney Costume Year, but Mikayla's Pocahontas doubled as St. Kateri, and Stanley's Prince Caspian doubles as St. Michael the Archangel and St. George.


All Saints Party

St. George from a Prince Caspian costume can last a few years and a few kids! Bl. Mother Theresa is a few layers of white cloth with stitched on blue satin ribbon on the edges. St. Teresa was a dress of mine from the 80s along with Sacrifice Beads/Decade rosary and silk roses. And of course St. Joseph was a long green t-shirt with a mini apron and a plastic hammer to hold.


All Saints Party

We've also had some great use of this St. Francis costume passed down from my brother. And I sewed a special dress for Mikayla to be St. Bernadette, layered with a patterned shawl and apron. Halos can be as simple as a ring of yellow paper or pipe cleaner/chenille stems.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Natural Family Plan Worked

Well, not really. I've been doing NFP for years now, but we're still refining it. Apparently I'm more fertile than I thought I'd be early on in the cycle, and not always good at reading the signs. But we're always happy when it comes to adding another family member. Each one is such a delight, and we wouldn't change a thing.

What really "worked" is Our Openness to Life!

Large Family Baby Gender Reveal - Homegrown Catholics

Click on picture to enlarge and read our thoughts!


We are thrilled to announce that our "Brady Bunch" days have arrived [Except for Alice]. We are expecting a GIRL in February and she'll tie us up having 3 girls and 3 boys! We'd be excited either way, as such news is always joyful - after a short adjustment period. I must admit, I was a bit nervous at first - but I'm so giddy. In fact, I told Tom God's will is simply too funny not to smile. This was definitely His plan and not ours, but we're very okay with it!


(Tom is really happy too, the picture is just a joke!)


It should be an interesting year, as we sold ALL our girl clothes sz0-5T just last year. We also sold our bassinet, maya wrap, Breastfriend nursing pillow, playpen, and other baby items. Fortunately, I love to shop, sew and find bargains on Craigslist! I happened to keep the car seat and bottles, though I plan to give breastfeeding a good try again. (Doesn't work out for more than 3-7 months for me.) Our local Just Between Friends (second hand/consignment) Sale is on the calendar. And I'm already to sew up a Ring Sling, Car Seat Cover, Nursing Cover, cloth diapers and Dresses courtesy of my large stock of fabrics for my Modest Mommies home business.


Pray for us, as we are in the midst of deciding whether or not to stay and shift things around, add on, move or build. After buying a new nine-passenger Suburban, we don't have much wiggle room in our budget.


Blessings to all our family friends, be they small or large.

Tom & Melissa


Its A Girl reveal

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Photos that didnt make the cut


These are the pictures during our family photo shoot (by me) that are great but won't make the Christmas Card. They are still too cute to not show anyone. Can't wait to show you the masterpieces! Until then, enjoy!

Who got cut? Jonathan!
dscn3154Jonathan hair cut
A hair cut that is. Only because he begged me to. I hated every minute of it. Missing those luscious locks.
Jonathan hair cut
Loving that big boy smile!

Fall Photo Shoot - Stanley
Fall Photo Shoot
That's Stanley in our side yard.
Fall Photo Shoot
Sabrina in the Mary Garden before the frost hits. She got bored with it really fast, but gives the best smiles.
Fall Photo Shoot
Mommys baby bump
Me at 20 weeks pregnant in the backyard trails. Instead of hiking, you'll usually find me on the hammock just a few steps away.
Fall Photo Shoot - Tom and Jonathan
I said, come take a picture with Daddy. Jonathan said, "take another one!" So we did.
Edward 20 monthsEdward 20 months
Eddie and his cutie-toes! Most snapshots were a blur or him looking at something else that was neat!
Mikayla age 11
Mikayla my reader with her favorite book (Awakening). We pay for her babysitting and helpfulness in books. Can't believe those are my boots she's wearing. (tear) She's all grown up. (almost)
Mikayla age 11Sisters Mikayla and Sabrina
Sisters, Sisters… there were never such devoted sisters… until one wanted the doll clothes the other put on her Barbie, or when she got kicked in the head by the other during a "sleep-over," or as soon as we got back in the truck and they had to sit next to each other for a long period of time…

Other autumn scenes:
A Clean HouseBackyard Beauty
Backyard Beauty
Trampoline Fun

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Homeschool Year #8

Year 8 First Day of Homeschool


We're ready! Bring it on!


Front Door Photos - Ready to go in, not away.

Baby 8Year 8 First Day of Homeschool - EdwardYear 8 First Day of Homeschool - JonathanYear 8 First Day of Homeschool - SabrinaYear 8 First Day of Homeschool - StanleyYear 8 First Day of Homeschool - Mikayla


How do we measure up on our first day of school?

Year 8 First Day of Homeschool - Measurements

In our laundry room is a board that can come with us to any house we live in. It marks our height the same day every year, and sometimes on birthdays too. This year each child grew 2.25-3 inches taller! Sabrina and Stanley are by far going to pass everyone up someday!


Let the school day begin!

Year 8 First Day of Homeschool A really simple setup was the red tablecloth (would prefer it be linen) with the signs they'd hold for their photos. They wrote their name on it. A center piece with our school saint. New books all lined up. New pencils, erasers and some supplies off to the side. Apples for breakfast (with PB).

I added a plastic flip FROG toy. I told them this year we're going to remember to Fully Rely On God = FROG!


Year 8 First Day of HomeschoolYear 8 First Day of Homeschool


and shortly after (done in 2-3 hours), we had our Playtime Adventure! We hope to have many.

First Day of School at park

Extreme Dot2DotYear 8 First Day of Homeschool

Year 8 First Day of HomeschoolJonathan - so many acorns

park day

My BoysEddie 18 months


Year 8 First Day of HomeschoolYear 8 First Day of Homeschool

Year 8 First Day of HomeschoolYear 8 First Day of Homeschool

All will attend a coop using Catholic Schoolhouse for Art, Science and memory work. For extra enrichment, we also have Behold & See Science books and books about artists.



Early Literacy for Young Catholics (Seton)

I Can Find: Letters and Numbers (CHC)

Catholic ABCs (Catholic Icing)

Misc workbooks and manipulatives



Little Stories for Little Folks (CHC)

Writing Our Catholic Faith 1 (Sacred Heart Books & Gifts)

Phonics for Young Catholics (Seton)

My First Spanish Words (Usborne)

Saxon Math K (Seton)


Third Grade:

English 3 (Seton)

Spelling 3 (CHC)

Handwriting with a Purpose, Transition Handwriting/Cursive

Saxon Math 3 (Seton)

Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas (Seton)

Maps book

Gr3 Readers (CHC and Seton)

Mad Libs

Extreme Dot-to-Dot: Around the World


Sixth Grade:

The Language of God E (CHC)

Spelling E (CHC)

Writing Our Catholic Faith 6 (Sacred Heart Books & Gifts)

Saxon Math 6/5, maybe some 7/6 (Seton)

America's Catholic Heritage (Seton)

Write and Draw Through History

Maps book

Write Your Own Story Book (Usborne)

Catholic novels, many mystery


Year 8 First Day of Homeschool - Teacher Melissa

The Teacher's Books:

33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do it Yourself Retreat by Gaitley

Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel

Homegrown Faith: Nurturing Your Catholic Family by Heidi Bratton

The Temperament God Gave Your Kids: Motivate, Discipline and Love Your Children by Bennett

The Homeschool Experiment, a novel by Charity Hawkins


Blessings on your homeschool adventures this year!

Thanks for looking at our first day of many. I know it will get crazier than this week has started, but I'm okay with that. I wouldn't have it any other way, even if many days I say I want to quit. For us, there is no alternative form of education that is good enough for our kids.


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