Eight is Great!

We celebrated the last of our three June birthdays for this year–custom fit to the specifications of a very special eight-year old boy:




Happy Birthday to a most delightful son!


Conquering New Heights

My husband and our two oldest boys just returned home after being away this week at Boy Scout camp.  One highlight:  our 14-year old took an aviation merit badge class and capped it off with an opportunity to fly a real plane…a Cessna, and hubby got to go along for the ride.  

Boy Scout flew the plane completely on his own for over 20 minutes and logged a total of 42 minutes of fly time, “which counts towards the hours I need to get a pilot’s license”  he says.  

Wha..?  Huh?  

Thankfully, you have to be 17 to get a license, so I can put this on the back burner of my “Things to Worry About”.

New Face in Town

Our five peacocks (actually one peacock and four peahens) somehow lured another friend into the mix.  A beautiful stray male has been hanging around our place for the last couple of weeks.  I’m assuming he’s a stray.  Or are there such things as wild peacocks in our area?

The kids have been feeding him lots of corn and other treats to entice him to stay.  Today as they were feeding him grapes, he decided to reward us by showing off his beautiful feathers.

And if you’re curious…the backside:

Pretty Feet

Oh the delight of having a little girl!  But I debated about this one.  I really did.

I rarely give myself a manicure or pedicure, but the wedding was a special occasion, so I painted my toenails (and a few days later indulged in a manicure with the bridal party).

Little Miss Two, pointing at my feet, noticed right away, “What’s that, Mom?” 

Mother “Oh, I painted my toenails.”

Little Girl “Why?”

Mother “So they’ll look pretty for the wedding.”

Long pause.  Debate with self:  Do I really want to introduce my sweet girl to this kind of pampering at such a young age?  Sure there are much bigger things to worry about (trust me, I worry about those too.), but I really don’t want to encourage vanity.  Oh…it’s a special occasion…why not?

Mother “Do you want me to paint your toenails too?”

Little Girl smiles, “Yes!”

And it was a most heartwarming time for me.

first pedicure

So now the wedding festivities are over, but the female tendency towards beauty remains:

thankfully it’s only water-based paint.

And you should have seen her finger nails too.  She rubbed a lot of it off before I could get a picture.

I’m desperately hoping she doesn’t get any thoughts about cutting her own hair.

My little girl.  I love her so.

Around the Farm Today

My Man of Action took the boys out back where they were schooled…in the caring of trees, that is.  One of our recent farm projects has been planting an orchard of about 35 fruit trees. 

can you spy someone who’d rather sit in the nice cool shade?

A full bucket of water with a pin-prick sized hole should sit next to every tree to keep each one properly watered…or so an internet search tells us.


We rudely interrupted some of our resident fowl, but they didn’t seem to mind too much.

And we found this mother duck hiding in the tall grass where she was protecting her nest of eggs.  Can you spot her?

Two Weddings and a Funeral

In the last year and a half, our family has attended a funeral and been part of two weddings.  They’ve all been real blessings.  Being a part of these special events has renewed and deepened my understanding of married life and the afterlife and has been a great opportunity to teach our boys.

The funeral was for the amazing mother of a friend of ours.  She was mom to nine boys!  Her death made my boys more aware that there will come a day when they will sadly have to say goodbye to their own grandparents, and it brought about an empathy for their friends who were in deep mourning for their beloved grandma. But underlying all the sadness, was Love.

Each of the woman’s nine boys, now grown men, took turns speaking at the wake about the special memories they had of their mother.  They reminisced about how as boys they fought and tested their mother’s patience time and time again.  Now as men, they stood as a testament to their mother’s love and reminders for all parents that our children really are like young olive plants around the table .  The family that was no stranger to a scuffle here and there, now, more than ever, understood the importance of the family bond.

And then we’ve had weddings.  The two recent weddings we’ve attended have been concrete examples for my boys that whether we’re called to marriage or the religious life, we have an obligation to keep ourselves pure for that soulmate/calling.  Love for your spouse, even if you don’t know who that is yet, bears all things.

The significance of all of these events has not been lost on us.  In fact, these occasions have been great for helping us to remember life’s bigger picture:   Our life on earth is not our final destination.  God has a plan for each of us, a special calling for how He wants us to use our life, to how He chooses to call us home.  Death is a part of life.  In our journey as pilgrims, God’s grace abounds.  His grace transforms us and allow us to carry out acts of true love.  And a life well-lived bears great fruit and is hopefully rewarded with a holy death.

The Catholic cycle of life with its sprinkling of sacraments has so beautifully blessed and edified us.

Eight Months Old!

One of our most delightful blessings turned eight months old yesterday.  She spent much of her day being a very good baby for mom and dad (and all the passengers) on a plane ride home from San Diego.  


What’s she been up to lately?

-the cutest baby babble and lip-smacking noises

-She’s teething.  Two bottom teeth that have already broken through.  Today she has the classic runny nose and low-grade temp that come with the territory.

-she’s been trying for months to sit up on her own.  Keep trying, sweet girl!  She can do it when she’s propped up on a pillow.

-she can sit for a few wobbly seconds.

-she has to have something in her hands to play with, or frustration begins.

-she can roll over both ways.

-she reaches over for you if she wants you to hold her.

-so far, she’s tried rice, oatmeal, peas, green beans, and bananas but doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of any.

-and just today…could she be starting to wave “bye bye” already?  She was imitating Daddy a few times, so I think it was a genuine milestone.

Happy Eight Months, sweet baby!  You are pure joy to our family!