Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Varsity Volleyball

I should have blogged about Knights Volleyball by now. We are half-way through the season, and Meggar is one of four seniors on the team. They are winning about half their matches, but they are an inexperienced bunch and can benefit greatly from Joyce's coaching. Meggar loves blocking and spiking. Plus driving herself to practice, giving rides to Kendra and Kaitlin, and bringing M&Ms to share. And her iPod speakers for their warm-up time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Boys Can Cook

We made apple crisp and apple cobbler and apple fritters on Tuesday in honor of Johnny Appleseed's birthday (Sept. 26). I'm teaching an 8-week homeschool class called "Boys Can Cook." Last week, we made shrimp-on-a-stick and learned how to use the grill. Everybody seems to like the part of class when we eat our recipes!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Seeing Double

The Royals beat the Twins today, and Meggar took Andrew to the game for his 18th birthday! My twins wanted to say "Happy Birthday, Wallace!"

They got these shirts at Mall of America this summer when we travelled with Domitille.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jane Austen Tea Party

I am having more than my share of Jane Austen events lately: here's a spread in Bonner Springs and the topic of discussion was "Which of Jane Austen's men do you like best? and least?" We hammered Henry Crawford and Frank Churchill. We honored Rev. Austen, the author's father, and the ever-optimistic Henry Tilney. Our general resolution was that the world hasn't changed much in modern times in terms of corrupt male antagonists.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Soccer Feats

Dorito is enjoying his JV year with the KC Lazers, homeschool soccer team. They have only lost one game, and the varsity remains undefeated. Good weather today for soccer games! (except that Mom got stung by a bee while spectating-was I cheering too loud? just too sweet to resist?)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Defending Yourself

The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation sponsored a free self-defense class at Royals Stadium last weekend. T.A.K.E. is such a superb program, and it's offered in honor of a K-State Pi Phi who was murdered in 2002.
Meggar is shown here practicing her moves with Miss Hannah, who is too pretty to be an evil-stalker-type. Afterwards, we treated our friends to their first Chick-fil-A sandwich, and they introduced us to the Victorian Trading Company's discount shop in Lenexa. That's what girls do!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bake Sale Progress

The twins have a new routine this week--they start their day by making a batch of brownies or zucchini bread. This gives me time to work with Dorito on "The Iliad" and "Herodotus" while they fulfill orders from their online bake sale. It has been a good fundraiser for their travel hockey team. Yesterday, we made four taco pies by assembly-line-style. They also made 4 apple pies last week. They like to say, "Guys can cook!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NHL Game Comes to Sprint Center

Little boys like to watch the big boys play hockey. We cheered for the Kings v. Islanders game at the Sprint Center. They put on quite a show, with a score of 4-2, but there were too many fights. Davis likes to blow the horn and eat M&Ms. Everyone got home kind of late for a school night, but they were SO-ooo happy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Year for Galileo and Astronomy

We are studying Galileo and astronomy since this year is the 400th Anniversary of his invention of the 30x Telescope. In fact, 2009 has been dubbed the International Year of Astronomy. Today, we watched a movie from the "Inventor Series" by Devine Studios called "Galileo: on the Shoulders of Giants." Especially moving is the final scene where the Father of Astronomy denounces all his discoveries and life's work. The movies from this company are too great to miss! Although they are not yet available from NetFlix, used copies can be easily purchased online at or Amazon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Culture in Omaha, Nebraska

Coincidentally, the local Jane Austen Society had its quarterly tea party while I was in Omaha, so I was treated to full high tea and an afternoon concert at the pianoforte. I met lots of lovely ladies, who invited me back any time. Later, our whole family visited the Joslyn Art Museum, my long-time favorite. It had a wonderful exhibit of Retablos, paintings of saints on wood from Mexico that were 250 years old. Everybody loved guessing the saints by the symbols painted with them. We also went to Mass at St. John's Chapel on the campus of Creighton University. Beautiful liturgy, which Meggar loved, and a beautiful church interior.

Shown: Meggar and Mom make a wish at the fountain; Winger standing with St. Joseph; Dorito with St. John the Baptist.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Feast Day That's on My Birthday

Today is my birthday, and the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which began in Spain. By 1683, it was extended to the whole world because John Sobieski, king of Poland, brought his army to the outskirts of Vienna to help Italy stop an advancing Muslim army. After Sobieski entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he and his soldiers thoroughly defeated their enemies. Today, I continue to pray to the Virgin Mary for my vocations and for the safety of my family. To celebrate, we ate with the hockey team at Olive Garden. And Michael-the-Seminarian drove over from Lincoln to join us.

Start of Hockey Weekend

Meggar and Dorito took the ACT early this morning, then we watched the twins play hockey in Omaha against the first two opponents of their Pee Wee AA season. Great tempo, smooth transitions, and successful teamwork. Winger and PolarBear were never short-shifted, both of them took hits for the team, gave assists, and scored! (one goal each) Exciting!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Anniversary of 9/11

The boys have been serving Mass all week, and today we prayed especially for the victims and heroes of Sept. 11, 2001.

On a funny note, however, Polar Bear had an accident at weekday mass this morning. He said later, "I almost face-planted on the altar!" As he was walking back after Communion, the hem of his cassock slid into a crack in the wooden step and STUCK--tightly. Even Father Totton couldn't get it loose at first, and he spoke without realizing his microphone was still on: "Well, that's never happened before!"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Return Performance

The "Fiddlers Three" were glad to return for the 4th time this year to the Savannah Senior Center to do a lunch-time concert. The boys worked hard to add two new fiddle tunes, and Dorito added trills and runs to two more of their regular songs. Impressive and fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mama Mia

April and her friends invited me to Starlight for my birthday to see "Mama Mia!" with them. The musical was spot on! The leading lady had a killer voice that definitely beats out Meryl Streep's (no matter how much I like her), and the two back-up singers stole the show! The only bad part was waiting until the encore to sing along and dance in the aisle. I knew almost all the Abba songs, so I guess I wasn't as sheltered in high school as I thought. (Warning: contains spandex!)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Book Club

We are Austen-lovers, so we lingered a bit long over our discussions of "Just Jane" by Nancy Moser, who lives in Kansas City no less. This fictionalized biography of the Regency period authoress is well-researched and gently Christian in its treatment of the famous Jane. Good read.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Travel to Another Country--in Kansas

Got the day off for Labor Day? Probably need a dose of Francais. Meggar did. She and I escaped to Lawrence so we could visit two European stores: Brits (which sells HobNobs) and Au Marche (which had St. Alban's cheese). We also scored with Italian salami and French Lemonade to go with our lunch on the park bench. It was heavenly weather. We were glad that we dressed up a bit; that always makes a girly outing more fun. Plus Brits had chocolate hedge hogs (*bonus*). Just when the day couldn't get any better, we scavenged more than a dozen $1 hardbacks that we absolutely loved among the shelves at Half-Price Books.

Grandparents Day

Meggar served tea and cookies for her grandparents and Brendan while they looked at her France photos.
We took advantage of the nice weather and went Putt Putt golfing, too. Yes, we lost Meggar's ball in the castle. No, they did not kick us out of Cool Crest for laughing too loudly.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

France Report

Last Sunday, Meggar gave a report of her Photos from Paris. We set up the projector at the Pony Express Museum, and served French cookies and cafe au lait.

Two other world travelers came to listen: Alyx (who helped missionaries in the Dominican Republic this summer) and Hannah (who traveled through Europe with her orchestra this summer).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pastel Class Results

The twins and I took a free online class using pastels and created this river-and-forest landscape. Friday is a good day for doing Art projects in our homeschool. Dorito only finished half of his, then went to bed because of his cold.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dinner in Napa Valley

Since Captain and I have birthdays only 3 weeks apart, we generally celebrate them together. Here's a photo from our trip to Napa Valley on his birthday. I got a new dress for mine. The Brix Restaurant has these cozy tables with a love seat so customers can watch the sun setting over their gardens and vineyard.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Costume Prep

My Scout is working hard on his bustle, and decorating it with 30 dowel rods trimmed in yellow and blue flowers. The Canadian Maple Leaf was chosen after his High Adventure trip to the Boundary Waters. He has managed to keep the expenses down by using Hobby Lobby coupons, and he picks up ideas at Dance Practice.

In the Newspaper

Dorito was featured in the Stewartsville newspaper this week! He was the escort for Nicole Teeter, who won the crown as the Queen of the Fall Festival. Nice job for a gentleman and a Scout!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Friend Gets Hurt

Our neighbor, Brooks (age 9), broke his leg over the weekend on the dunk tank at our church fall festival. Polar Bear and Winger were more than glad to help me babysit yesterday. We made homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch, then taught him how to play "Speed" and our "Shapes Brain Teaser" game. They feel sorry that this ruins his hockey season, and said they want to make him chocolate chip cookies this week.