{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} The September Catch-Up Edition


I am sorry to have neglected ye Olde Blog, but honestly, if I had to sit and write out my thoughts over this past month in something long enough to count (not a Facebook update, for instance), it’d have gone something like this:

Oh please let this house sale go through. Please let this house sale go through. Please don’t let the house inspector go bonkers because the house is 60yrs old.  Please let the buyer’s FHA appraisal pass. What if none of this happens? Please let this go through.

In other words, I still have much to work in the Faith and Trust Department. By the grace of God and no doubt the intercession of a few saints, the Old Haus will likely close next week.  It could have been tomorrow, but the flood insurance transfer got stuck in paper limbo.  The house inspector was pretty merciful (there were a couple of lines that had Haus Meister and I laughing–like how the railing attached to the house next to the back steps might fall off and hit a car?!). The appraisal passed with no repairs needed.  The buyer still wants the house and didn’t ask for additional repairs beyond a few small things recommended in the inspection. A far cry from the offer we had to reject in 2014– Mr.-You’re-paying-my-closing-but-I-also-want-you-to-pay-15K-in-upgrades-and-while-I’m-at-it-let’s-give-you-4k-less-than-the-previously-agreed-price. I’m sure he has a name, but that’s how I recall him, bless his heart.

I need to work on Charity, too….

So I’m relieved mixed with anxious (we still have six days til closing) mixed with a little sad.  We will never call that place home again now, really. It won’t be ours.  It will be someone else’s cobbled walkway and someone else’s yellow elm tree and someone else’s familiar creaks in the old floor.  On the other hand, it will be someone else’s mortgage. And we can return to fixing up the lovely house we live in now. Not a bad plan, that.



Our pretty little girl on her 7th Birthday.  She picked out the dress, the tiara, and the boots.  It is good to be 7, and a Princess.


Everyone in the family who is kindergarten age on up participated in the Mudstache Run, an obstacle course/race benefiting our Trail Life troop here in the area.  IMG_3601

Princess and Dino were in the first race, a 0.5mile course.  Princess is ahead of Dino, her bright flowered headband blending into the shirt of the person in front of her.  Dino is running in his John Deere boots.  We couldn’t find his sneakers before the race.  Keeping it real, here!

Rascal was too fast for me to take a picture.  He and his best friend ran the 1 mile course.


Here I am, huffing and puffing behind Sunshine who ran the Adaptive Race (also 0.5 mi).  She enjoyed herself so much that she ran the course two and a half more times. I also need some work in the Running Department.


Haus Meister ran with Trooper in the Adaptive Race, too. Trooper and Sunshine both came in first for their groups.  Princess came in second in her age group, and the other two boys did a fine job and are already planning to medal next year. ;)


Ben Hatke’s latest, Little Robot, is a huge hit around here.  I kept finding children reading it at various times in various places.

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Well, we did something bold last month.  We signed up to have our picture taken for the parish directory.  I’m pleased to say it turned out well, and here’s a picture of a picture of the family!


So in this year’s installment, Dino ISN’T wearing a hat, everyone is FACING FORWARD, and mostly smiling.  Miss M did not like the way the photographer was trying to get her to smile and the only way to convince her not to jump on my lap was to hold her as I was doing. Sunshine insisted on bringing her ragged “BabyDoll” inside and we decided not to fight that battle as we didn’t know how she’d do with the picture taking anyway. Fortunately she’s holding the doll’s face against her and that’s good because the week before she’d colored it purple and the last thing I wanted to do in my Christmas letter is to explain that my daughter is not in the habit of asphyxiating her dolls.  Just coloring them.

Still here

Bear with us, dear reader. We’re still around.  It’s (hopefully) less than six days until we close on our Old Haus and (hopefully) say auf wiedersehen to the place where we spent most of the first seven years of our family life.  We’ve spent most spare moments of this past month and last in fixing it up, whilst maintaining our current humble abode, and all the while trying to nourish a great family environment and homeschool. It’s been a crazy month.

Meanwhile, though, a very Happy Birthday to our dearest Princess, who turned 7 last week. When this blog began she was the baby of the family! I presume she had a wonderful birthday as she has yet to tell me otherwise (and she would, believe me!).


{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} at August’s End


Another month hurtles by. They don’t seem to be slowing down much in their passing, do they?  This blog should be renamed “Time Flies.” ;)


A Cinderella birthday leads to dresses and shoes.  I found a charming pair of sparkly pink Mary Janes for her, and a new set of her favorite dress up clothes.

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Links to the dresses, and the tiaras, as well as the shoes that you can’t see. :)


This adorable fellow


turned ten last week.


He’s going (dove) hunting soon, and loves mountain biking and kayaking. I just shake my head and know as I did back then that the elderly ladies in the grocery stores were right when they told me it would go by too fast.


Sniff. Way too fast.

Wait–Why is Dino wearing such huge shorts? What was I thinking?



I didn’t make any cakes “from scratch” this year, but no one seemed to mind.  Here’s what was left of Miss M’s after the party.


Littlest loves piggy-back rides and begs for them from her big siblings…


….who always oblige.  Privilege of being the youngest, as well as adorable. ;)


Our Old Haus went back on the market on the 18th.  We’ve already received an offer and are holding our breath that everything goes smoothly to closing next month. Please pray!


It always was a charming little place, and I don’t like it standing empty. Hopefully in 28 days, it will no longer be so.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


Summer’s over… don’t I wish? Hereabouts we’re still in our summer hibernation.  This is our last week of summer “break” and while some of the kids attended the “Totus Tuus” religious education event at Church this week, I took advantage of the free time to firm up the lesson plans for the first quarter of school that begins Monday.  Oh yes, Monday. I am determined that no matter how flexible homeschooling is, barring any unforeseen colds/croups/coughs/epidemics, I will not be teaching after December 14th until January 5th.  So we start early, as besides, no one really wants to be outside right now, anyway. :)


IMG_3349She’s the unsung beauty of the family, sandwiched between two dynamic redheads.  Hers is the only straight hair of the female side of the family, and she’s not helped it much by intermittently chopping parts of it off in the last two years. ;) She begins her day with a burst and a sparkle and sets off zooming through the rest of it. If she doesn’t often grace the “pretty” part of this page, it’s because she doesn’t often hold still enough to want her picture taken.  She is, and always will be, our Sunshine.

After much reluctance, not the least part of which being Trooper’s negative experience with a much different medication, we agreed to try an ADHD medicine for our impulsive little ball of Sunshine. I confess that the day before her developmental pediatrician appointment, I had been chasing her around the parish hall during Mass–in heels, no less–which made me just that much more receptive to the idea. ;) The good news is that it has already made a huge difference in her life this past month. She sits down to write and draw, which I was barely able to get her to do before.  She plays dolls with Miss M and sits to “read” books.  It’s just been amazing for her and we have all enjoyed watching this blossom of ours branch out just that much more.  On the downside, it’s affecting her sleep habits. Oy vey. Please pray we can help her get that all worked out.

Pretty Happy

Haus Meister was recently way out West on business and while there, had the chance to go hiking on Mt. Hood.


If I wasn’t already planning on going there with him someday, the pictures he got of nighttime at Mt. Timberline Lodge absolutely sold me.  It does not do much justice to the area, he told me.  The glowing lights on the mountainside are the machines out grooming the ski area for the next day. Yes, there is snow.


Someday I will see those stars myself, and with him.  It’s going on the 20yr plan. Like England. And sleeping without toddlers in the bed.


Going back a ways, on the 4th of July we were thrilled to host a number of family members, including my parents, my sister and her family, and Haus Meister’s youngest sister. We did crazy things like have a Sisters’ Morning Out where we amused a Dunkin Donuts employee by my trying to relay three orders at the drive-thru, went thrift store shopping (I got a new leatherish purse for $2!) and then of course went to the grocery store because I almost never go out without getting a gallon of milk. In Americana news, most of the assembled family went to a baseball game intown the night before (I stayed home and after the littles were in bed, watched the last part of Gettysburg with my parents, a pleasure I hadn’t had in a long time.  It’s funny how often we quote that movie in entirely unrelated circumstances).

On Independence Day proper, we attended a cannon firing done by park rangers and volunteers at a nearby Civil War battlefield.  It was incredible.



In the department of “Then and Now…”

July 2014


Grandpa’s little Sweetie, our Posey Pie… who (sniff) looks so small here.

July 2015


Bossing him around (I was just a second too late to get a repeat–she still puts those fingers in her mouth).

July 2014


Miss M doesn’t like the fireworks.

July 2015


Miss M doesn’t like the cannon.

(Oh my, she’s in the same dress, and I have the same expression on my face!)


The baby of the family is GETTING INTO THINGS.


For reasons unexplained, Posey took the tea pitcher out and left it on the floor.  Littlest then decided it was the perfect place to go fishing with a pinecone.

Because every house has pinecones tied to string just lying around, right?

And if that wasn’t bad enough…


Mercy me, she’s climbing.  She got up there all by herself, and wasn’t she proud.  I should have known this phase was coming–she’ll be 15mos on Sunday–but it still took me by surprise.  Littlest now even has a special cry for the times when “Oh help, I’ve gotten myself up here and have no idea how to get myself back down.”

Yarn Along for July

It may be hard to tell from the last post that I did in May, but I’ve gotten several inches further down on the body of the Armas sweater.  I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m pleased to note that I’m nearly done with the current skein of yarn, and am ready get another off the massive pile still on my dresser.

The books and small booklet shown have been my main reading for the summer so far.  Perelandra is one of my husband’s favorites and I confess I had heretofore only read snatches of it.  I promised him I’d read it entirely, and I am glad it did.  I appreciate Lewis’ writing and insights more and more with every book I read (even if I did skim the Great Dance portion a bit).

The Soul Gardening Journal was a blessed arrival in my mailbox.

Wodehouse is also back! Not pictured is If I Were You because it was in my husband’s suitcase at the time the picture was taken two weeks ago (I didn’t make the link-up last Wednesday, but neither project or reading list altered as I was just starting Something Fresh). Wodehouse is a great travel companion.  Most of our collection grew when Haus Meister travelled a lot more; I used to get him a book for every long journey.  Then I’d get to read it, too–or sometimes I’d speed through it before he left. ;) Win-win.