Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shutterfly Love

Bound and determined to not have a repeat of last year's Christmas photo fiasco, I took the kids down to our local park this morning and snapped photos at the gazebo.  We came home and it took less than half an hour to create this year's Christmas card.  I'm extremely pleased with the results and also thankful for the 25 free cards I won from Katie at Blessed with Full Hands!
5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Email to the Teacher

I'm teaching photography to a group of students in our co-op.  They are a fun group and very excited to learn how to take better photographs.  This last week, their assignment was to take a portrait of a single person and try to convey some sort of emotion or expression in that portrait.  One of my students emailed her photo with a long explanation that absolutely cracked me up and I got her permission to post it here. I did change the names of those involved and didn't post the photo (as much as I'd like to, it is absolutely hysterical).  Kids will say some of the darndest things!

Hey Mrs. Mayerle,
     This is my picture. It's not very good, I know. Its kinda blurry, and out of focus. I'm actually a little disappointed in it. First, my camera broke and it was finally fixed this morning. So that gave me today only to take a picture for photography. My mom was teaching, my dad was working, and my brother and sister were at school, and I didn't have anyone to take picture of. Then, my sister came home first so I asked her if I could take a picture of her. She was really annoyed but said yes. Then I needed to find a back round that would work. Then I needed to fix my lighting like 30 times and my sister was not very cooperative through it all. This pictures "emotion" is "interested" cause "C" said that if I was going to take a picture of her it had to be near the tv so she could still watch her special tv show. She was pretty interested in that! Pretty amazing...yup, shes a keeper! The pictures also took forever to upload. Sorry I didn't get it in till really late. Thanks alot!
P.S. I don't know what a mug shot is and I forgot to ask my sister. So I don't really know what I was supposed to avoid. Sorry.
Your favorite photography student:)

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

We Have a House!

Wingnut put in a bid on a house in Utah on Wednesday and by the evening it had been accepted!  I want to cheer, but I'm also feeling really nervous.  We have two mortgages.  That's a scary, scary thought!  Today we get to work on listing the Maryland house for rent.  I'll feel so much better once we get that going, I'm sure.

So the new house, surprisingly meets many of my Dream House Mauri ideals!

2 full plus 1 3/4 bathrooms--check
Fairly spacious kitchen with walk-in pantry--check and check
A gas range--check
A covered 3 car garage--check although I'm not yet sure the 12 passenger will fit, we shall see
Land--not the 2 to 3 acres, but 1.09 acres will do for now--check
Not just one, but two laundry ROOMS (one will be used as a mud room)--check and check again
6 bedrooms--not only will our girls have a room of their own when they come to visit, but we can have guests staying with us as well!--check
Three living areas that will work as a formal living, a family room, and an exercise room
A walk in master closet--check

The house is convenient to base, school, monastery, and work.  There are 210 acres of community property with running trails, parks, basketball court, and barbeque pavilion.  It should just about suit our family.  God is Good! Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Progress on the Big Move

This is just a quick update on where we stand on our big transition.

Wingnut's start date is January 9th.  We anticipate having the house packed up right after Christmas. Thankfully the military will be doing this for us one last time!  It's just about 36+ hours to Salt Lake City, and we are trying to determine the best route.  It would be nice to find a way to stay with family and friends along the way, or at least stay on military posts, which would save hotel costs.  Yes, Tonya@Life in Our Zoo, we are looking at passing through Colorado :)

We've decided to list our house here for rent rather than try to sell it in this poor market.  We can actually make money doing this as we can feasibly charge more for rent than our current mortgage payment.  We've hired wonderful friends to manage the property for us.  This was a huge load off my mind, as I could not see how in the world I could get this house "show" ready while homeschooling, taking care of our sweet yet demanding baby, and meeting the needs of the rest of the family.  The house will list hopefully later this week.

Wingnut is in Salt Lake City as I type looking at several properties we are interested in.  To answer Natalie's question from yesterday; yes most do meet many of my Dream House Mauri ideas ;) .  Some have asked if I trust Wingnut to make the choice without me and I must emphatically say that I do.  He has chosen every place we've lived except the first one, which I chose and it was an absolute disaster!  He's already driven around the properties and checked out distances and traffic and so far all look good to go.  Today he hopes to get some interior photos for me and we hope to make an offer on a house before he leaves Utah tomorrow.

So that is where we stand.  Things are moving along and I anticipate the pace will only pick up from here on out. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, November 14, 2011

Joy in the Pits of Despair

On a morning when I doubt everything I do and everything I am, it is a relief to have a bit of homeschool humor.  My darling girls provided two separate episodes that lifted me from my wallowing self pity and made me smile.

Sometimes instructions are not crystal clear to 9 year olds.  These are the instructions Special K received:

Change each addition problem to a multiplication problem

a) 3+3+3+3   b) 9+9+9  c) 7+7+7+7+7+7

This is how she interpreted the instructions:

a) 3x3x3x3=81 b) 9x9x9=729 c) 7x7x7x7x7x7=117,649

She did admit to having used a calculator to find her answers. She had to have been thinking, "Holy, cow! Math has sure taken a jump in difficulty!"

Skoshi A is learning to write Haiku in literature and writing.  One of the two she wrote today absolutely cracks me up:

A Haiku has five
Seven and five syllables
Whale, chicken, pie, why?
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 11/11/11

round button chicken


 We attended 1st Profession of Vows for several Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara.  Afterward, there were photo ops with Cardinal McCarrick.  I love this photo from the back with the Sisters' arms entwined around each other.


 Lil' Wingnut could not be happier to be a big brother.  He's so loving and gentle with Lil' Lamb.


 We were able to visit with Oleander on Saturday for family day at the Aspirancy.  Oleander wanted to provide entertainment and convinced her classmates and the Sisters to sing for us.  When going through the photos from the weekend I came across this one with Special K in the back holding the "microphone"(really and ice cream scoop) and the crazed expression on her face and I chuckled out loud.  No one had noticed at the time how silly she was being.


Lil' Lamb is completely mobile and photo shoots with him are becoming more difficult as I try and keep the camera away from his little paws.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cherry Limoncella Cobbler

I made this for a dinner party not too long ago and our hosts asked me to post the recipe.

Cherry Limoncella Cobbler

4 14.5 ounce cans sour cherries packed in water; drained (this is not pie filling, but actual cherries)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Limoncella (freshly squeezed lemon juice may be substituted)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the filling.  Toss together to combine and pour into 9x12 baking dish.

In a small bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together. Set aside. Beat butter approximately 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.  With mixer running, slowly add sugar to the butter, add the lemon zest and beat for another 60 seconds. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the bowl.  Add vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing to just combine.  Spoon the batter over the top of the cherry filling and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lil' Lamb 9 Months

That face takes my breath away.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Do They Give Out Awards for Bad Parenting?

In 19 years of parenting, I've made some mistakes.  No, really, I have.  I also tend to be the type that beats myself up over the mistakes, real or perceived, I've made.  I certainly do not need my 16 year old son to help me out by pointing out some of the stupid parenting he's been the victim of, but he's here to oblige.

Years ago, when my older three were just old enough to tell lies and know they were telling lies I thought I had a very clever solution to their dishonesty.  I used to tell them when they lied I could see the devil dancing on their tongue.  This was particularly effective with our now 16 year old.  He could not stand the thought of Beelzebub jigging for joy in his lying mouth.  In hindsight, this now seems like an incredibly stupid idea, especially when my 16 year old darling boy pointed out that I told a lie to teach him not to lie.  I'm sure I've scarred him for life. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, November 3, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Italy and Paris

round button chicken

Wingnut, Skoshi A, and Special K just returned from their pilgrimage to Rome, Notre Dame, and Rue du Bac.  I'm using Skoshi A's photos from their trip for today's {phfr}.  She did a fantastic job documenting their travels and came home with over 200 wonderful photos.  I'm hoping to post more here over the next couple days.


Love, love, love this shot of the Eiffel Tower.  


 Here are a couple of very happy girls awaiting a Papal Blessing following the Sunday afternoon Angelus.


 Can you pick out the girls from this crowd at Trevi Fountain?


 Real foot bones protruding from their volcanic ash encasing in Pompeii

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bad Theology

Your family doesn't celebrate Hallowe'en? I can respect that.  There are a myriad of reasons to not celebrate it.  All I ask is that when you tell your children why they don't celebrate Hallowe'en, don't teach them bad theology.  Hallowe'en is NOT the devil's birthday.  The devil is a spiritual being created by God, who chose not to serve and became a fallen angel.  The devil was not born and therefore does not have a birthday.

And now for some Hallowe'en cuteness:

 Lil' Wingnut as Jango Fett.  One of these days we will have a halloween costume that is not from the Star Wars universe.  Right?

Lil' Lamb as Obi Wan.  He was supposed to be Yoda, but I couldn't find Yoda's head.  

Lil' Wingnut had practiced his trick-or-treat etiquette all day long.  He aced it.

You may notice our girls are conspicuously absent.  They spent their Hallowe'en eating chocolate in Paris.  Yeah, I don't think they missed being here at all. More on that in a later post. 
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Feast of All Saints

Saturday we got a leg up on celebrating All Saint's with the Sister Servants at their annual All Saint's Party.  It was a cold, damp, rainy day, but that didn't stop the festivities.

 Lil' Wingnut dressed as Saint Benedict.  It's great how many of the Star Wars costumes can be repurposed as saint costumes.  Lil' Lamb was dressed as Saint Dominic in a repurposed Yoda costume.  I don't have any pictures of him because he pretty much clung to me the entire party.  He's terrified of the sea of blue nuns that often baby-nap him on our visits.  He did hang with his godfather for a good period of time, but only if he didn't see me.

 The Sisters organized carnival style party games.   This was pin the sword on Saint Michael, the Archangel.

This game is by far Lil' Wingnut's favorite; Go Fish.  One of the sisters hides behind the sheet and pins treasures (rosaries, holy cards, medals, candy, stickers) on the fishing line.

Lil' Wingnut hung out with Brother Jonathan.  Here they are cheering on their buddies during a rowdy round of musical chairs. Brother Jonathan will be ordained a transitional deacon with the IVE this coming year.
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