SNOW!

The girls have been dying for snow and they finally got it. We got about 23 inches, which is the most we had at a single time since we have lived in our house (maybe since we moved to PA) 5.5 years ago. Matt was out in lovely sunny San Diego to teach a course at a conference so I was grateful that the power stayed on and that our neighbors brought their snowblower over to help clear out the driveway. It started snowing on Friday evening and didn’t stop until the middle of Saturday night. There was no school on Monday. Here are a zillion pictures of our many times playing in the snow.

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They all participated for a group photo on Saturday…

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so they didn’t want to take another one on Monday. These little ones have some BIG attitudes many days.

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On Sunday after venturing to church and determining the roads were in satisfactory shape, we decided to go ahead and attempt to go to Disney on Ice as planned. Part of the drive there you could barely tell we got any snow, but then once I got off the main road, apparently the plows had not visited. In the short 1 mile to the the center, I got stuck three times. Thankfully several people stopped or came out to help. We finally arrived about 5 minutes late (a normally 15 minute drive had taken us 55 minutes) and the girls loved it. I looked up a new way home and it was MUCH better. Thanks to Matt’s parents for the tickets to Disney on Ice for Christmas.

Daddy came home before bed on Monday and there was a 2 hour delay this morning, so just enough time to squeeze in some sledding. I attempted to sled with the girls but I’m just not as strong, so they don’t go nearly as far. Felicity wanted nothing to do with sledding and was happy to sit and watch with me.

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Restore

Are you feeling burn out? discouraged? distracted? Last year during Lent, I did this online retreat called Restore. It is written by one of my favorite Catholic blogger/authors, Elizabeth Foss. She knows just how to touch your heart and help you to see all the benefit in doing what you do. While it is written by a Catholic, it isn’t just for Catholic women.

This year she is hosting the retreat again (and it may be the final time). There are two ways to participate this year. 1. For $49 you get the full package, which includes two e-books, the handiwork tutorials, oodles of printables, seven downloadable podcasts with transcripts, and access to the community for all of those doing the retreat. and 2. For $15 you get both the e-books and two podcasts. Either option is an awesome deal and I can’t wait to begin again.

This year Elizabeth is also offering an affiliate link for people and I signed up, which means I get a small percentage of your purchase price for referring you to the retreat. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. Here is my link to purchase: https://gumroad.com/a/234501235 I hope you will join me and many of the other women from around the country (and maybe world).

Thanks!

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fall!

We have lots of fun fall pictures to share. Lots of different costumes for all the different Halloween events.

First up was B’s school parade. She was Sully from Monster’s Inc. (thanks to her cousins for this hand me down).

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Then we had Trunk or Treat at the big girls’ school. Greta was a peacock, Eloise a vet, Beatrice a ninja turtle, and Felicity a dinosaur. I think the only new costume was the peacock and that came from our church’s consignment sale.

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Next up was Canal-o-ween, where there are a bunch of pumpkins available for carving. Then they display them along the canal for a week near Halloween. This was our first year going to the carving event. It was fun, and the girls enjoyed trying their hand at carving.

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Then, we came home and carved our pumpkins.

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Greta and Eloise also had a school parade. Beatrice and Felicity also dressed up to walk with their sisters, but wouldn’t walk and Felicity wouldn’t let me put her down, so no pictures of her (she was a black cat). Eloise was a vet again, Greta was a rocket ship and B was her astronaut.

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On Halloween we had a trunk or treat at our church. New costumes again. Greta was Batgirl, Eloise a sailor, Beatrice Minnie Mouse and Felicity a ladybug. Everyone was over the pictures.

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And lastly we had regular trick or treating. Everyone was the same thing, except Felicity, who got scared of the face paint and refused to be put down. We used a too small monkey costume and she became a monkey on my back. Daddy dressed up this time as well, as a physics professor.

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In order to ensure we didn’t get too much candy, we pretty much bought candy once and then gave away what we collected at each trunk or treat. Then we kept the candy we got on Halloween night. (Well, we are actually donating most of it to the soldiers instead of keeping it).

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Beatrice, Felicity and I went on a walk in the woods last week.

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Matt raked together the few leaves we have in the backyard for the girls to play in.

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and phew, that was a lot of pictures. I’m sure there will be more soon as my sister gets married very soon!

LBI

Back when the Pope came to Philly, the older two had three days off of school since they go to a diocesan school. We decided that taking everyone down to the craziness was too overwhelming for us, so we planned a beach weekend. We didn’t really do much beach time this summer and the girls really wanted to. We were able to get a place on the beach for a decent price and not have to stay an entire week. It turned out the weather was kind of chilly. The wind was crazy and so we didn’t get a whole lot of beach time. The waves were really rough, so we couldn’t go in very far, but when they girls are telling you it is warmer to lay in the water than to be out of the water, you know it is pretty chilly. Each time we went down to the beach we lasted a shorter amount of time. Towards the end Felicity started screaming every time we even attempted, so she mostly didn’t go the last two days. But we had a good time exploring Long Beach Island without the crowds of summer. We ate some yummy seafood, Eloise and Matt climbed to the top of the lighthouse, the older three played mini golf until Beatrice got whacked in the head with a golf club, and got lots of ice cream.

Here are a few pictures.

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soccer

Greta and Eloise are both playing soccer this year. They seem to be having fun, but both say they aren’t playing next year. Of course Greta said the same thing last year and she played again this year, so who knows what next year will hold. We play at our church and it is super low key. For Pre-k through 2nd grade they all play together. For games they put the pre-k and kindergarten kids together and the 1st and 2nd grade kids together. Here are some pictures from the first few games.

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Beatrice is taking dance for the first time, so I made sure to take a picture or two of her before her first class. She loves it and wants to go everyday.

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Greta is taking jazz this year and Eloise is taking tap. They are super disappointed that there aren’t pictures of their first day, but we don’t need first day of dance pictures every single year.

first day of school

School has been in session for over a month and I haven’t posted first day pictures. So here they are. Eloise had gym on the first day, so had to wear her gym uniform.

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Beatrice didn’t start school until about 2 weeks after her sisters. She had a rough first two days, but after that did totally fine and walks in without saying goodbye most of the time.

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new liver!

I’m not sure if there is anyone who reads my blog, but isn’t on facebook, but for those who aren’t. Yesterday my Dad got a new liver! Thanks to the person who died and generously donated his organs, my Dad now has a second chance at life. So far everything is going as planned for recovery. He still has a long road ahead, but we are very grateful that he has this chance. If everything continues to go as planned, he will be able to attend my sister’s wedding in November.

We are continuing to pray that his healing goes well and his body adapts to it’s new organ and of course praying for the family who lost a loved on. Less than 12 hours after the surgery was complete, the nurses had Dad up and out of bed walking the halls.

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garden update

We’ve had an ok garden year. We’ve had some critters eating lots of our tomatoes and beet greens. We got a good initial haul of beets, but then most have been eaten by a critter or the birds ate the seeds. We’ve gotten a steady stream of green beans. I have frozen a bunch and we have eaten a bunch. The kids are getting quite tired of them. We have gotten some okra, but never enough for my liking. We planted more this year, but still have just enough for a serving or two every few days. I would love to have more to freeze, but alas it never produces as much as I want. We planted sunflowers in the actual garden this year, and they have done beautifully. We always have lovely birds coming to eat the seeds. We had a pumpkin plant grow out of our compost bin and it produced a bunch of pumpkins for us. We were hoping not to have to buy pumpkins for the porch, but we had to pick them early since they were starting to rot. I’ve already roasted and frozen almost all of it. We’ve had a few squashes, but not many. We planted some spaghetti squash and some long Italian squash. There are lots of Italian squashes growing right now, so hopefully soon we have a bunch of them!

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Our blueberry bushes had a rough year. Matt expanded our patch this weekend and we are hoping to add a few more bushes this fall and hopefully take better care of them so we can get some more blueberries.

Eloise bikes!

At the start of the summer no one could ride a two wheeler bike. Now both Greta and Eloise can! We hoped that we would get both of them riding this summer and we succeeded! Now we just need to work on Beatrice, although she is pretty happy to ride the tricycle most of the time.

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muddy girl

I’m going to try and get a bit caught up in the next week or two. School starts on Tuesday and then both Greta and Eloise will be gone all day. I’m not really ready for summer to end. The school year gets too busy for my liking. Soccer starts tonight, dance in two weeks, girl scouts sometime. Beatrice doesn’t start school for another two weeks. Anyways, here is the start of some of the summer pictures (they will be in no particular order).

After a rainstorm the other week there was a nice puddle under the swings. Felicity jumped right in and I took a few pictures.

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The other three mostly spent their time mixing mud with sunflowers seeds to create something.

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