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August 2013

Happy Friday!

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My friends, I'm sorry I've been away so long ... as you might suspect my days (and nights) are pretty busy right now, and we're getting Bookworm ready to leave for college next week ... so I'll be wrapped up in all that for a while.

All is well though ~ Little Bear's getting big as you can see, we're gearing up for a new homeschool year and still organizing ourselves into this new house. 

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I will try to post whenever I get the chance ... please don't think I'm closing up shop ... I would never! I do in fact, itch to post, because I have so much to talk about and a back-log of photos and thoughts to share ... 

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Like precious little moments like these!

So please stay tuned and thanks so much for checking in!


Doe a Deer ...

A female deer ...


.. and her fawn.


This mama deer actually has two fawns - we saw all of them earlier this crisp and glorious morning. (Such a gorgeous August day ~ there's a hint of fall in this rereshing air ...)  The deer have been visiting our yard everyday and though it's hard to get a clear shot - the mama's quite (wisely) skittish - I had to share this slightly blurry one with you all. My friends, I am falling in love with our new backyard ... so many discoveries to come, I'm sure. Can't wait to start our new nature logs!

Just wanted to pop in quickly to share this happy photo ... hope your week's going well!


A Milestone and a Menu Plan

First the milestone: Little Bear laughed for the very first time today! And I mean, full-on, eye-crinkling, belly-laughed! I have no idea what set him off, other than my face, lol. I had him in the Baby Bjorn and was making a cheese quesadilla for Earlybird (one handed, mind) when he just started cracking up! Oh my goodness, was he ever so cute!


Now, for the menu plan ... it's very simple but at least it's a plan!


crockpot chicken cacciatore with linguine, crusty bread


(Crackerjack's Birthday *and* Braces-Off Day!)

popcorn, corn-on-the-cob, salad, take out pizza, Nana's fudge-topped birthday cake


taco beef-topped baked potatoes


(Assumption Day)

roasted turkey kielbasa and summer vegetables, rice pilaf, berry crisp w/whipped cream


(CJ's "Friends Sleepover" Party)

grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, macaroni & cheese, veggies & dip, assorted chips, birthday cake & ice cream from a local stand




homemade pizzas or panini sandwiches


Well, my friends, hope your week's off to a great start! Thanks so much for stopping by ... I'll be back here again very soon!

New Routines & Other Things

Owen in baby bjorn

Remembering how much I *love* the baby bjorn - he sleeps well/I get stuff done!

Thinking about new routines these days - finding ways to get things done with one hand or in tiny pockets of time when baby sleeps ... OR with baby in tow, such as shown above.


So this week I'm trying to iron out the back-to-school/off-to-college shopping and packing lists as well as the educational plans for the upcoming academic year. How strange not to be planning out Bookworm's curriculum! (Though he does have all his classes chosen and I'll be eager to hear how he likes them ...)

And then I have a whole stack of file folders (52 to be exact) sitting on my desk ... just waiting to be dated and assembled ... and weekly planning sheets to print out and attach ... for next week a new year begins!

(Note: all those old folders will be looked through and used as I write up a "year-end report" for the school system. The old school system, that is - this year we'll be introducing ourselves to a brand new town. Hoping that all goes smoothly!)

(And side note, a few of you have asked if we moved so far we had to switch parishes and I'm happy to report that no, we did not have to switch to a new parish. We only moved about 20 minutes away from our old house, and as it happens, our new town does not have a Catholic church of its own ... it's actually part of the parish to which we already belong! So that was a very happy happenstance - Crackerjack, especially, was so pleased to know we could stay at our old church!)

So there's where I'm at right now ... but oh, there's also food shopping and dinner menus! I am SO off the wagon with the menu planning it's not even a bit funny. And have been for months, since the end of my pregnancy really. I'm trying very hard to get back into the groove - I was really good about it for a while there - but I'm so challenged by a lack of energy and time these days ...

I'm trying to take things slow, because that's the only way it's going to happen ... so as soon as I post this post I will be writing out a simple - very simple - dinner plan for next week. I'll let you know how it goes ... and maybe I'll have a "Menu Monday" to share next week!

 Final note - and this is just a little random thing, but I wanted to share - I ordered this adorable book this morning as a treat for myself and my Little Bear:

Ol' Mama Squirrel

Y'all know how I feel about squirrels!


Well, I hope your week has been a good one, and I thank you all for stopping by ... as always, take care of yourselves and your loved ones ...

I'll be back here again very soon!


A Baptism & a Graduation Party! (BIG post ahead!)

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Happy Monday, my friends!

My apologies that I've been away so long, but we've been quite busy here - settling into the house, relishing our babymoon, and preparing for a very special day in our family ... a day on which Little Bear received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism! A day on which we celebrated not just this one very blessed event, but also, Bookworm's graduation from (homeschool) high school and his college acceptance!

So on Saturday, after the ceremony at our parish church, we hosted a "double party" back at our new home - and I'd love to share some pictures with you all, but there are a LOT of them, so I'll (try to) keep my comments (somewhat) brief.


First off, here we are just before the ceremony with Little Bear's godparents ~ his big brother Bookworm and my dear cousin Kate.

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I love this photo - a random shot of all our family milling about, waiting for the ceremony to begin. Such an exciting day!

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Bill's brother Greg was able to make it out from Chicago - it was so good to see him! Here he is with our Crackerjack. (Who turns 14 next week!)

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The Baptismal Font ...

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Little Bear was baptized by Father Tom, a wonderful new priest to our parish ...

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And I must tell you all that LB barely made a peep! He didn't even cry when the holy water was poured - three shells-full, mind you - over his head. He just gave Father Tom a sharp glance and that "furrowed little brow" he's become famous for. 

I didn't get any close up shots of Little Bear in his Baptism outfit, so here it is laid out back at home:

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LB is a bit bigger than his brothers were at their Baptism so we ordered a new outfit for his special day. This is a lovely short romper with matching bonnet, a soft cable knit blanket and a tiny pair of socks embroidered with a white cross. The wooden rosary bracelet was a gift from a dear family friend.

(Truth be told, LB scoffed at the bonnet so to keep the peace, we left it off ... and the socks, while darling, turned his legs blue so off they came as well.)

Back at home we had the house set up for a big celebration! Below is the cake and coffee table arranged in the living room ...

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We had two cakes ~ one decorated in blue and white for Little Bear and one frosted in maroon and gold for Bookworm. :)

Beneath the front window we had a table set up for punch and appetizers - the deep windowsill held presents and cards. 

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We had four balloon colors: blue, white, maroon and gold ...

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(The balloons were eventually dispersed throughout the house and all around outside.)

The table in the breakfast nook held more food and a vase full of flowers from our yard, artfully arranged by my mother.

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These gorgeous hydrangeas are also from our yard and they look so pretty in this copper pot! (Also my mother's doing!)

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This is yet another table in our dining room that would be filled up with even more food (we were expecting 50 people!).

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Entertaining tip: we used wide-mouth mason jars for holding the flatware. 

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Canopies kept the sunny patio in comfortable shade ...

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My brother's bocce ball set was a big hit with kids of all ages!

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My cousin Kara and brother Matt - love the enthusiasm!

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Some more photos of friends and family ...

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And lastly, me and my Little Bear ...

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How I love this little guy!

Well my friends, I hope you all have a lovely week, though honestly - how can it be August already?! This summer is flying by ... now that our party has come and gone, I will be concentrating on organizing Bookworm's college supplies and writing up my education plans for the new year (and the new town). Also, setting up the new learning room and getting myself back on the "organized" track - new routine, new file folders, new planner, new desk!

So we've got lots to talk about, and I'll be back again soon to get around to just that!