Monday, July 16, 2012

Wow! What a trip!

Two family reunions in two states in two weeks. After hurrying home to get to a fiddle performance, we're still digesting all the fun we had on our trip. While we're restarting school and preparing for another fiddle performance tomorrow night, I'll leave you with a bit of silliness from our adventure.

"Calvleen" at Grammy & Grampy's 50th wedding anniversary

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kathleen's Uni-ride

She recently graduated... to a larger unicycle, because she's going against her mother's wishes ...and getting bigger.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Last Day of School at the Park :: Mom learns a lesson

I love the idea of sketching and painting outdoors. The kids also thought going to the park to do a little art sounded fun.

So, off we went.
The last day of our school year.


My view

Boating pooch

My quick sharpie sketch

Cool morning in the shade

Nothing better

...for me, that is.

The kids provided a few quick outputs with little focus and detail.

They really just wanted to enjoy the outdoors, catch guppies, untangle fishing lines, watch heron, and run through the wildflowers.
It was their last day of school after all!

We wrapped up the art session quickly, then simply enjoyed being at the park and lake.
My final piece also shows distraction. The busload of kids playing in the park behind us didn't help either.

Lesson learned: Next time we paint en plein air, we'll start somewhere less distracting--our yard, neighborhood walking trail. When we take a nature hike somewhere more novel, I'll have the kids bring their camera and snap their favorite shots of something they can sketch and paint later when they'll be more likely to focus on the task and concentrate on details.

We've had better success bringing nature indoors for art.
MK's work from earlier in the year

Now, time to start planning for next school year.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More of Mike's Mechanics...

This time, it's homemade sling shots... with harvested branches, drilled holes, rubber bands, duct tape, and various screws.

Just one wouldn't do.

He made three different sizes.
He's been testing them all for accuracy and range.
The least conspicuous--the finger sling shot.
I don't think he likes when I call it the finger puppet sling!

This little DIY has been contagious.

The other three kids have also made sling shots. I figure it won't be long before another 10-15 kids on the block have made their own weapons.

It could get very dangerous around here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something Joe is making in his spare time...

It's been five years so far since Joe joined Fr. Danny's Dream Team our parish building committee to start planning for our new sanctuary.

After looking like this about 10 months ago...

...the 1200-seat shell is up!

Street view -- chapel side

As the only structural engineer on the building committee, Joe walks these grounds frequently, meets with contract engineers weekly, and reviews materials test reports repeatedly.

He's been very fortunate to be a part of this process with such a well-rounded and competent team. Although time-consuming, it's been a very gratifying experience, especially now that parishioners can begin to see the fruits of their labors.


View from narthex

Above the altar

From the tabernacle (reservation chapel)

The stonework is now going up...and will be a big improvement to cover all that black exterior.

Side view

We're hoping it's finished by the dedication ceremony, October 27. Otherwise, I guess we'll have to play Tiddlywinks with the bishop who is scheduled to celebrate with us!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's been kinda nice finishing up most of our activities for the year.

A couple of weeks ago, the kids ended their violin group lessons with a recital.

Last weekend (Mother's Day) they had their individual recitals in both violin and piano.

I really slacked off by the time we got to the piano recital--this is all I got!



Hooray!!! We've finished the season!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mike's recent tinkering

He was fed up with either having to rely on me to turn on/off his ceiling fan...or having to climb down from the top bunk to do it himself.

Out came some wires, tape, gears, and other plastic thingies.
Voila!--a new bed-mounted switch!
Necessity (...or, perhaps, laziness) is the mother of invention.