"When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven" -- Saint Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, canonized October 18, 2015 along with her husband St. Louis Martin.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


If you search, you can find this girl's 9th and 10th Birthday cakes on this blog.  She's got a thing going in terms of decorating her own cake.

Always out to beat the year before, this one was a home made angel food cake with pudding frosting, decorated with vanilla piping and...Skittles!

She requested an afternoon out with just her mom.  We got manicures, and the lady designed Galadriel's special at no extra charge!

And we ate lunch out on a patio at a little restaurant we had never tried before.

It's been a long, wild and crazy week, but I had to get a little post up just for my perfect, eleven
year old daughter!

Happy Birthday Galadriel!

Friday, August 18, 2017

7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Kelly.

1) Legolas.  Can I just record that his most recent hobby is making little "fairy houses" with leaves and flowers and whatever else he finds around the yard?  Today he was making one, stopped to go fetch his new school supplies (a pencil box filled with fresh markers), and began coloring on the leaves.

Why do I record this?  Well, it strikes me as remarkably artistic of him.  For those who know Legolas as something of a wild crazy active little fellow, the artistic element might be a surprise.  Of course, I am delighted to encourage this in him!  It must be getting close to school time!


2) Dog-sitting.

 When you own a 50 lb. labradoodle, watching a little sheltie is like getting a chance to hold a baby when your kids are grown up.

My kids loved on this fluffy guy one morning this week.  But you know what?  He sheds.

This is why everyone should have a labradoodle.  No shedding.  Large, galumphing, and slobbery, yes.  But no shedding.

So I say, go labradoodle.  Unless you're into the incredibly darling, fluffy mini-lassie look.  And shedding.

3) my garden. Ok, so, my garden is just a fail.  My tomato plants must not have been disease resistant, because one of them got "wilt".  I have gotten one (1) zucchini so far.  But, I'm loving my eggplants! They look really cool growing.  No peppers yet.  Everything else is pretty much dead or just over.  So, next year!  Just wait.  It's going to be way better!

 4) State fair!  Unfortunately my camera died (of course) after just a couple pictures.  I sooo wish I had been able to capture my husband on the little kiddie rides that he had to go on with Eowyn.

My husband hates roller coasters.  I almost died laughing when he went on a mini roller coaster with Eowyn.  She was clutching the guard rail in horror and my husband was holding on (not to her) with his eyes shut.  Both were pretty negative on that experience.  Next year, we're hitting the baby bunnies, chicks and lambs!

5)  Movie nights.  We have decided to implement age-segregated movie nights in our home.  As of December, I will have three teens in my house.  I will have three more between the ages of 7 and 11.  And I will have three between the ages of 1 and 5.  Trying to choose appropriate movies that satisfy all of my children is increasingly difficult.  Often we'll put a movie on and let Eowyn watch Cinderella (or the equivalent) on our laptop.  Eowyn, I remind you, was traumatized for a week when she watched Charlotte's Web ("The spider died").   So, Friday is group A, the older kids, Saturday is group B, the middles, and Sunday is group C, the littles.  I'm listening to some Lord of the Rings movie as I type.

 6 and 7) I am gearing up for the school year, but  (7) savoring every moment of summer.  I'd flesh those thoughts out for you, but I'm too tired to verbalize (in writing) what goes into contemplating another year of schooling for each child.  My hopes for them, academically or otherwise, and my plans.  But that's the "gearing up".

The savoring?  It's taking pictures of things like my window box.  Because as a mother of 9 children, I really shouldn't be taking pictures of my window box.  So I do.

To slow myself down.  To take stock in the beauty.  To give thanks.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Still Summer

The longer I homeschool, the more children I homeschool, the more I love, savor and cling to summer!

We've been swimming a lot this summer (more than usual).  I am SO grateful that Miss Rosie has learned how to do the front and back crawl, and overcame her fear of the diving board and has become a diving board Queen! 

 I love this girl's smile!  And her giggle and waves.  She is most definitely the "middle child" in this family, and that puts her "Front and Center" for me.  

It was on my bucket list to hit this water park before the end of the summer.  Yesterday, we did it!

We were here two years ago celebrating the recovery of Galadriel from her tonsil surgery.  In just a bit over a week, she'll have her 11th birthday.  Let me know if anyone figures out how to hold time still.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Early this summer Galadriel and Bilbo decided to earn a tandem bike.  They had lemonade stands, babysat and dog-watched.  They asked me if they could do work for me to earn money.  I wrote out itemized lists with prices per job.  They cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed the stairs, organized the toy room.

They cleaned bedrooms and bathrooms and washed windows.

They picked up and dusted and did laundry.  When I ran out of things for them to do, they did it all again the next week.  And the next.

The bike arrived last week.  It took a little getting used to, a couple of spills and some bruises, but they've been on the road ever since!

I am proud of them, my "middle children," and I hope they remember the "summer of the tandem bike" for the rest of their lives!