Monday, August 31, 2009


Have you seen sculpey oven bake clay before? This just may be the answer to adding more fun art time in for the older children.  It is definitely going on our wish list for sometime this school year.

This One Is for Alan

Ok, this one is totally less serious but hopefully you can appreciate it.

Liked This

You've probably seen this already but I have to say I liked it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Room Schoolhouse

This year we have 5 actual students in 4 grades. Plus a preschooler, toddler and a baby. No wonder I am tired at the end of the day. But we've survived the first 4 days with no disasters so far.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Ok, I suppose my kids would debate that one since I made them keep working on math all summer. But today was the first day of school around here for the new school year. I'm predicting that things will be just a tad chaotic for a few weeks while we figure out a schedule. I have 2 kids who need to do their math on a computer, 2 who need to do phonics on a computer, 2 who need to get in piano practice (um, after I get the hang of the program we are using to teach them so likely I need some practice time as well so I can stay ahead of them), 2 who need the DVD player for Latin, 2 children who need to be entertained so they don't tear the house apart while we work and one little babe who thinks being separated from Mom for even 5 minutes is torture. Yup, my prediction is for chaos since the tv, computers and keyboard are all in the same general area. I believe headphones will become out new best friends this year.

The math programs continue to be a hit with everyone. Liam and Katie are looking forward to getting into their phonics once they watch the Leap Frog movies a few more times for review. Bryan made giant cookies for a back-to-school snack. Now to teach the boy about cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen and to expect that you will be mopping the floor if you spill ginormous amounts of sugar all over it and follow that with spilling liquids. He thinks I am kidding when I say he will be mopping the floor tonight. I think he has a bit to learn but his cookies taste great.

In a few more weeks we will add in gym class, bowling and possibly basketball and swimming lessons. We're hoping to keep busy this winter to pass the time quickly until February. Now to manage all of this and avoid burn out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Smiles

Just a few of my favorite guys sporting their biggest grins.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Yup, you read that right. Bobert. That is how you say Robert's name according to Gabe. Bobert. I'm so hoping this nickname does not actually stick. It does sound a bit cute coming out of a two-year-old but I have a feeling it will get a bit old rather quickly if anyone else starts using it. Perhaps this is a sign that Alan and I really need to figure out a nickname for the poor babe. Robert Michael is just a rather long name for someone so tiny.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Faith Adventure Day 4

Yes, we took a bit of a break while Alan was home for the week. Today we worked on Day 4 of our Summer Faith Adventure. Today the children learned about the sacrament of matrimony and the family. They learned about how it is important to make sacrifices for the other members of your family to keep things running smoothly and how living in a family will help to prepare you for what God is calling you to do later in life. They played this game requiring them to work together to get across the driveway and we made rice crispy treats for a snack. Day 5 will be coming up later this week. Hopefully we can get through that one with more of the fun and less of the "how many ways can we aggravate Mom" issues that we seemed to be having today. But I suppose if we are learning about the family, we should also learn about how things don't go as smoothly if we are all trying to fight and get our own way rather than work together and be patient.

All I Want For Christmas. . .

. . .is my two front teeth.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Darien Lake

We spent the last day of Alan's vacation at Darien Lake. Let me just say that I am really not a theme park fan. They are often very over priced, way too crowded, way too many people who seem to have left half of their attire at home. Honestly, there are so many other things I would prefer to take the kids to see but the older children requested a trip this year and we were able to get a decent discount on the tickets so I figure maybe every few years I can deal with it. Not too many pictures of the older kids since Alan took them on the bigger rides while I stayed with the younger children and the camera. One ride operator got mad at me because I had the crazy idea that a child who is crying before the ride even starts really should be taken off the ride so they aren't totally scared out of their mind. Go figure. We learned that Katie is quite the dare devil and loves to ride the big rides. We saw a Bob the Builder show. Man, I feel for the folks who must wander around in those character costumes in the summer. Guess it could be worse for them if we lived somewhere warmer. But here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Failed Attempt to go Swimming

We tried to take the kids swimming at Lake Ontario this week. I really should have called for beach conditions first. There was a miserable smell hanging over the entire area from an abundance of rotting algae. Quite a horrendous smell and the lake was closed to swimming. So we took a walk to see a light house, had lunch on the beach and tried to play for a while before the smell sent us packing.
The kids played on the playground for a while.
Then we came home and brought out the slip n slide. Gabe refused to get on the slip n slide until everyone else was in the house and the water was turned off. Then he decided it was the best thing in the world to play on.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Camping Out

Alan and the kids camped out in the yard last night. They wanted to make sure they got a chance to see the persied meteor shower. Alan also wanted to make sure he made the experience as real as possible so the kids had to pack everything into their backpacks and carry it out themselves.
Liam says he is ready to get moving.
And Gabe is not.
The dog went with them to keep everyone company at night.
Taking the long path to get to the camp site.
Yup, still walking. It's amazing how long you can make the walk to the back half of our property last.
Just hanging around the camp.
Waiting for Dad to start the fire so they can make dinner.
Watching the meteor shower.
Yup, it was a bit crowded in the tents last night. First Gabe was brought back to the house since he wanted to play in the fire. Then Abby was brought back to the house because she decided she just was not up to sleeping in the tents. It almost looked like the big tent would have lots of extra room. Then the dog got booted out of the big boys' tent and was quickly followed by Kieran who decided he was too scared to sleep in the tent with no grown-up.
But everyone survived and enjoyed fresh peach cobbler for breakfast. Hopefully next year we'll actually be able to find the time to take the crew to a camp site that is a bit further from home. And I predict that in our future we will either have to add a third tent or a camping trailer because the tents are rapidly getting crowded.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Overheard at Our House

Alan was just heard saying "Do not put the babies in the appliances!"

I have to say that he was talking to a group of kids playing in the playroom. We got a couple new toys for the girls' kitchen set downstairs and the smaller children are climbing in them. Which leads the middle children to shutting the doors on them. And Alan's command was quickly followed by a "I can't believe I just said that" but I guess that is just life around this crazy house of ours.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Proof that Homeschooling Works

For all of the doubters or just for the struggling moms who need a shot in the arm, here's a study that proves homeschooling works. Even if the parents lack a college degree. Even if you live in a state with minimal regulations. Even if you can't afford to spend a ton on school books. As long as you are dedicated to providing your child a good education, you can succeed. And to answer the ever popular socialization question, I am simply going to say that with seven brothers and sisters it would be rather hard for any of my children to be lacking in the socialization department. Homeschool Study

A Quick Visit

We were fortunate enough to drop in my Grandparents this afternoon. Robert cooperated and let everyone spend some time snuggling with him.
I'm not sure if I can count the number of children who have had a chance to ride in this swing over the years. Gabe got his chance today. He loved it.

The Falls

We took an unexpected walk today and ended up taking the kids to see something we have been meaning to see ever since we moved here.
We got up close to the action. Or at least as close as I was going to let them get.
Here's the required picture of the crew.
And we can't forget Gabe.
And here's the proof that Robert was there along with the rest of us.
I have to say, I never used to be afraid of rushing water and heights until I gave birth to dare devil children. Ok, maybe the fear of rushing water came on that caving trip that took me through an underwater river that suddenly ended up over my head. Crawling through a nice wet, dark tunnel and all of a sudden you are totally underwater. Not fun. But I digress. Truly seeing a sight like this by yourself is one thing. Seeing it with a group of your own kids who seem to lack common sense regarding proximity to dangerous objects is quite another. But we all survived and the kids rated it a great experience.

Niagara Aquarium

I have to say I was rather disappointed with the Niagara Aquarium. First off, it was super crowded today. Second, it was so small that you could see everything in 10 minutes. Of course, they charge way more than they should for you to get in so folks were walking around and around desperately trying to find something that was worth the money they spent getting in. Fortunately, our admission was free with our zoo membership so at least we did not pay to get in. Thank goodness.
The younger ones seemed to enjoy themselves and liked what they did get to see. Alan told me he heard a lot of "Oh Wow's" coming from Gabe riding in the backpack.
Kieran was rather mesmerized. I think he was watching the sea lions.
Ok, maybe if you caught the sea lion show, the penguin feeding show and the magic show and were in town for something else, it would be worth it. But I don't think we will be visiting this one again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Museum Trip with Dad

We took Alan to the play museum today. Yes, we have lived here this long and Alan has never gone with us to the play museum. This was the perfect time to take him with us since the traveling exhibit is all about arcade games.
It was fairly obvious to me that the kids just had no real clue how to play video games but they all had a great time trying. Gabe was happy to just be near the controls. If it made noise, that was an even better bonus.
Kieran is trying real hard to steer, see the screen and reach the pedal under the game to get things to move.
This is one of Kieran favorite places to play. A tv studio set up for a kitchen show. He loves to cook and pretend to be on Food Network. No, we don't watch that channel frequently or anything.
Katie is just lounging around after listening to a book.
Three of our favorite guys on TV.
Gabe shopping at Wegman's with his own shopping cart. Just his size which makes him very happy.

Yes, I realize I have left of the last 2 days of the Summer Faith Adventure. We still haven't finished it yet since we had a few other things planned last week. We are hoping to finish it off this week with Dad. The weather is supposed to be decidedly wet this week so I have a feeling we will need some inside activities. The fun of doing things at home is that you can adapt the schedule to meet your needs.

Friday, August 7, 2009

At the Park

We spent some time at the park this morning where the older boys decided to torture their poor little brother while I was taking the middle ones to the bathroom. Poor Robert did not enjoy getting wet against his will.
Sean waited patiently for the bucket fountain to turn on so he could stand under it while it dumped on his head.
Liam loved hanging out on the back of the animals where he could spray other people.
Katie got worn out a bit early.
Robert is finally big enough to ride in the stroller for a bit. No, I am not one of those people who haul the carseat around for the baby to sit in because, well, it's a carseat. Call me crazy but I prefer to keep those in the car except on rare occasion in the winter.
We had a good time and are looking forward to actually going to the park this week with Alan.