Follow our family as we journey through life.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Slip & Slide Fun!

What do you get when you have a hot humid day, restless kids, and a couple of creative dads? You get some slip and slide fun! I was fully expecting some kind of injury with this one, but no one even got a scratch!The kids actually got air coming off the slide.
Henry is all smiles after his turn.

Sometimes you didn't come off the slide like you were expecting.

Margaret enjoyed watching.

Here's a side view of the slide invention.

Annie always had the best expressions.

Watch out below!

Still just fine on the sidelines.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Joys of Summer (Part 3)


The Closet

Since the children all share one room, they also share one closet. It's a pretty big closet, and lucky for Margaret, the brothers don't have many things that need to hang up.

Crafty Catholic Kids by Ann Ball

This book far exceeded my expectations for a Catholic craft book. It arrived on a rainy afternoon, and so the kids and I decided to dive right in. Since we homeschool, we already had many of the neccessary materials in our schoolroom. There is an index that makes it easy to choose a project based on the ages, interest, or abilities of your children. Full color glossy pictures also help guide the selection process. The suthor also included a craft glossary to help define many uncommon terms used throughout the book.

What makes the book specifically Catholic are not the crafts alone (although there are plenty of included activities that use Catholic images). Ann Ball includes a short teaching with each craft to combine faith teaching and art. The crafts can be done without the teaching when not all the children present are Catholics.
Many of the crafts are easily modified to fit the needs of your children. For example, the first activity my children did was the CD holder frame. The craft is intended for a photo of a new baby, but I let each of my children complete the craft with a photo of themselves. Please excuse the direction of some of the photos, I don't know why blogspot insists on turning them.

Ann Ball encourages the parent to let go of their expectations of the finished product. For the child, the process is much more important than the product. I have no problem doing that with almost everything. The less involved I have to be, the better!

The next craft we completed was Calaveras. This craft is intended to be completed on the Day of the Dead, but my boys adore skeletons (and everything else spooky) and we had all the supplies so we decided to give it a shot.

They really had a great time making spooky skeletons. This is definitely a craft we will repeat!

Many of the crafts seems geared towards older elementary student, but as I stated above, they are easily modified to fit the abilities of almost any child. And given the attractive, user-friendly layout of the book, I would say it is a must-have for every Catholic family with kids!

This reivew was written as part of The Catholic Book reviewer program for The Catholic Company. Click here to find more out about Crafty Catholic Kids.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Picture People is having a promotion for a FREE portrait package. That is one 8x10, two 5x7s, and eight wallets- ALL FOR FREE!

Coupon is only valid until July 25, so act fast!

The Joys of Summer (part 2)

Diapers sunning in the garden.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Isaac's first time backpacking

When you turn five, you get to go backpacking with Michael. This was Isaac upon his return from his first backpacking adventure. He is proudly displaying the best part of backpacking- getting your very own pocket knife! Isaac's pocket knife has several functions, all of which he showed me upon his return.
And true to tradition, he cut himeself almost immediately after receiving his pocket knife.


These pictures are from Idlewild last Monday. I am a little behind on blog posts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dressing With Dignity by Collen Hammond

I approached this book with excitement. I have read other books on immodest fashions and behaviors and have always been facinated by the compelling reasons to dress and behavior in a modest manner. Colleen Hammond attempts to address a Catholic audience in her book Dressing with Dignity.

Some negatives of the book are:
1. The book is intended for too narrow of an audience: Catholic women. But the issue of immodest dress and behavior stretches beyond the realm of religion. Chapter two states that Original Sin is responsible for the decline in human integrity, which in turn causes immodest dress. What about those people who don't believe in Original Sin? Why write a book filled with valuable information and almost immediately make it inaccessible to thousands of women who could benefit from it?

2. The book seems to be laden with stereotypes that Hammond presents in a way to make one believe that these traits are genetically programmed into us by God. Some examples are when she states that women by nature are more receptive and intuitive, whereas men solve problems, provide, and protect. Women are more likely to be emotionally wounded, but men are protected from negative feelings by their analytical nature (p.81). Women care too much about clothing and fashions, men too much about sports and competition (p.83). Now, I am not trying to deny that these assumptions are true; in fact they probably are true to an extent. But it seems like a pretty big generalization when applied to the population as a whole.

Reasons that this book is worth your time:
1. Chapter 3 is appropriately titled, "Corruption of Fashion" and focuses on the evolution of women's dress starting from Adam and Eve and working up to the present. Some interesting topics include: introduction of the bikini, push-up bra, and bell-bottom pants. It also includes a section on the modern transition from favoring voluptous figures like Marilyn Monroe to a straight and boyish figure. This historical part was my favorite section of the book.

2. She writes a lot about feminity and how the feminist movement has pushed for a "new feminist image" that strongly resembles the male image. She encourages women to grasp their true feminine side and express it.

Overall I give the book 2.5 out of 5 stars. Some sections were interesting, but I don't see myself recommending this book to my immodestly dressed gal friends. It just kind of dragged on without ever reaching the peak. There was a lot of build-up, but the book fell short of my expectations. She mentioned many reasons to dress and behave in a "truly" femimine way, but there was not large convincing argument to bring them all together. If you should dress modestly because it is pleasing to God, that is one thing, but I can tell you that people who will be convinced by something as simple as that don't need to read an entire book to begin to dress modestly.

The review was done for The Catholic Company. You can check out more about this book by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2 Questions...

My late-night sewing session was interupted by a child who should have been already in REM sleep.
Boy: "Mama, I have two questions."
Me: "Okay."
Boy: "First, I see a lot of flies. And second, there is this Lego Imperial Fighter and I know why it should be for me if you buy it. It is a small set and so I could do it by myself and it comes with four mini-figs and I only have two , but James already has six mini-figs and so if you get it for me then we will have the same number of Star Wars mini-figs."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Isn't she the cutest?

Go ahead and watch it more than once. You know you want to!