Saturday, September 7, 2013

Homeschool Fun Day

Our cousins were able to participate in the first homeschool field trip of the year and came to spend the morning with us beforehand. This was a real treat and so, we all took the day off from studies to be outside together. There was a slight chill in the air so sweatshirts were worn.
The kids played very hard riding bikes, running, jumping, swinging and using their imaginations to the fullest! The weather couldn't have been better!

I also had the little cousins and I was thrilled to get to know them better as one does when one "takes care of someone".

These children have wonderful appetites and really enjoy whatever is served to them. We snacked on fresh apples and  biscuits with honey and then went to the noon Mass together. We  joined our homeschool group at the park for a picnic lunch and then stayed for hours on the playground. What fun! It was a glorious September day!

Archery Class

With hunting season approaching and both of the younger boys planning to bow hunt, we decided to enroll them in an Archery class. This six week class is designed to teach the skills needed for safety and to improve accuracy.
Two gentlemen, who wear the coolest Bow Hunting shirts, co-teach. There is a lot of individual attention.
Both Sam and John have dominant right eyes. They pull the string back with the right hand, squint with the left eye closed and use the right eye to sight the target. The first thing the instructors did after the safety talk, was to determine which eye was dominant for each archer.
There is a an equal number of girls in this class. Archery for women has become immensely popular after "The Hunger Games" book and movie came out.
The boys don't mind that. They spend some class time "flirking" with the pretty girls who are also taking the class!

Basketball Buddy

Greg brought Handsome over for our bi-weekly hike through the woods so we can see what the deer are up to!
"Basketball" is a word that this young fellow can say very clearly. Apparently, he can spot a hoop a mile away as well.
The weather was so lovely and the shadows long as we move slowly from summer to fall.
It started last fall that Greg would come over to hike in the woods to scout deer and Juby and I are always thrilled to join him on a walk through the woods with Handsome.
With busy schedules, we don't get always get to see our little buddy as much as we would like to. I love to see him having fun here so that he will always want to go visit grandma and grandpa!

Heather Feather and Hubby!

Our grand-daughter, Heather, came to visit with her new husband, Arnold, and their very nice husky puppy, Angel. It was great to see what a lovely young lady she has become and how sweet she still is! We all enjoyed meeting her husband who seemed like a very nice guy. We had a nice time hanging out together and catching up.
Heather arrived on the day of John's birthday and that made it a party.!
We spent the evening hours outdoors and were able to witness the G-man ride a two wheeler for the first time!

Another way that we were able to visit was while sitting around a campfire. Greg and Cindi gave us this portable campfire container and we have used it almost everyday since. It is so delightful to smell the smoke and be outside in the evenings.
We are burning our old wood that is too far gone to bring into the house for the woodstove.  This area has become an outdoor living room. It feels very safe to have such a small and well controlled fire in this little pit. It makes us feel like we're camping.

it was great to spend some quality time with this young couple and we look forward to seeing them again!

Dog Sitting at the Pool

Our neighbors were called out of town and asked the boys to care for their dog over the next four days. This was easy as Sam and John are their sons' good friends and know their dog, Maxie well.
They gave us permission to swim in their very nice in-ground pool for taking care of the dog!
Maxie was super sweet, only barking the first time we went over to feed her. The weather was very hot so we swam three days in a row. Maxie hung out with us the for all the hours we were at the pool and that must have been nicer than staying in the house by herself.
This pool has a hot tub connected to it...

...and a basketball hoop.
I never went into the water but soaked up lots of warm sunshine and got a tan. It was truly a pleasure to enjoy this pool and help to take care of a very nice dog.

Baby Shower Extraordinaire

Aunt Nancy was our Hostess for a very fun and imaginative Baby Shower for Kat held in a large, sunny room in a building at the park. The decorations were really awesome and we played many games that none of us had seen before.
Nancy's Homemade Lemonade was absolutely delicious, served with lots of fresh lemon. The recipe she gave us was so easy for such a superior flavored lemonade that you can make great quantities of at home for almost nothing! It is clear water colored but packed with a sweet and sour taste. It was served over the large ice cubes in the bowl made by Mom. Each cube had a tiny baby in it and when the cube melted, releasing the baby, the owner of that drink called "My water broke!"

Apparently, I was having so much fun at the Shower that I neglected to take a picture of the new Mom-To-Be who looked fabulous in a full length summer dress. I hope that she will forgive me for posting these hilarious pictures of both she and her husband COMBINED after we cut and pasted individual face shots of both of them to try to predict what the Little Guy's face will look like!
I was excited to give Kat an afghan that I crocheted for her baby using most of her nursery colors.
We each took home a decorated bag of popcorn in honor of Kat's upcoming delivery.
Speaking of which, let's offer a prayer for her safe Delivery:

O Lord God Almighty, Creator of all things and Giver of knowledge to mankind; Who fashioned the body of man from the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, granting him Your blessings, that he might increase and multiply by means of the birth of children: We fervently entreat You Who loves mankind to bless this Your servant, Kat, who is with child, granting her help and comfort at this trying time. Ease her labor and bring her to a safe delivery. Yes, O Lord, open the treasury of Your mercies and Your compassion to her, and let her give birth to a fruitful vine to be a cause of joy to her all the days of her life. For You are blessed, together with Your Only-begotten Son, and Your Most-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Author unknown.

The Handley Library

John and I had a morning to ourselves and so we went to the Library. I allowed him to do some Parkour for fun because this beautiful stonework will not break (I hope).
This Library is celebrating its 100th year. It is magnificent in every way and we all love it. We used to live up the street from it and  the older kids and I would walk there often.
In the Auditorium of the Library is set up an Art Show, featuring many wonderful paintings and drawings of the library over the last 100 years including photos of when they were building it. John and I perused the exhibit.
After checking out our books, I took a photo of him with the sculpture "Library Lil" which is permanently fixed on a bench. He is getting so much bigger than she is!
I really enjoyed spending this special time with my youngest son which can sometimes be a rarity in a big family.

Shiny Sink

This is what my Corian Sinks looked like AFTER I cleaned them. Not very nice, with all the coffee stains, etc. Fortuitously, the gentleman who sold us our kitchen counters and installed these sinks is a good friend of ours and he came to visit Larry while he was recuperating. He asked me how I cleaned them, and I proceeded to tell him that I used nothing but a soft sponge and dish soap for fear of scratching the surface.
Bob told me that I should use a product with bleach and a Scotch Brite non-scratch pad which is blue. I looked forward to picking one up.
Larry and I both worked on the sinks and a significant difference was achieved. They aren't perfect because they have been getting stained for years from pouring my left-over coffee from the pot down the sink. They are MUCH better though, and now we know what to do. I am thankful that Bob came over to visit and gave us this expert cleaning tip.

Another New Knee

Rah Rah Ree,
Kick him in the Knee.
Rah Rah Rass,
Kick him in the Other Knee!

This used to be one of the cheers hollered out when I was in high school, but nothing I have ever actually done to Larry. Nevertheless, he qualified for another Total Knee Replacement and had that surgery on his right knee, 18 months after having had his left knee done. This picture was taken on Day 3 post-op in the exercise room where he played Wi Bowling.
Four Weeks of Physical Therapy have really helped him to have good mobility and function with his new knee and by God's Grace, he has healed well.
At week 6, he was back to work each day, commuting 80 miles each way. The pain is still intense, especially at nighttime, but he is managing it with over the counter pain relievers.  I am really thrilled about the way he has written down the exact time and dosage of every pain reliever he has taken since the day he got home from the hospital. That took many pages of a notepad.  He still gets very tired and has to try to moderate his activity because too much of that makes for a very long and painful day. His last knee took a full six months to heal and be "normal" so we expect this one to take that long as well.
Just like with his last knee surgery, we absolutely LOVED having him home each day for over four weeks. We had some wonderful family time as this operation was during the summer and the kids had no school!

Wedding Luncheon

The parents of the Bride hosted a delightful luncheon on the day after the wedding. Besides enjoying a fantastic lunch, we were able to discuss the many highlights of the evening and watch the happy couple open their gifts!

It was a lot of fun to see them as a married couple and to wish them well before they left on their fabulous Honeymoon!

Rehearsal Evening

The evening of The Rehearsal Dinner for Jeff and Chelsea arrived and we were very excited! Being parents of the groom, it was our honor and privilege to host the Wedding Party, the immediate families of the Bride and Groom and the Out-of-Town guests.
The rehearsal took place at the venue chosen for the wedding and luckily the downpour happened on this evening but not on the actual wedding day!
Some of the children present found a great place to sit and watch.
We had a wonderful time watching the Wedding Party practice the procession and recessional out with everyone learning what to expect the following evening. The Rehearsal Dinner is traditionally a fabulous time to break the ice with all the folks in the wedding and for the Bride's and Groom's families to get to know each better. That we did over a delicious dinner of homemade lasagne, Caesar salad, garlic bread with tiramisu and coffee for dessert. Dinner was served in the Carriage House next to the Pub and the room was small enough for folks to mingle.
Our evening ended early enough for everyone to get a good rest for the big day!