My Sunday Best, Vol. 18

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Happy Sunday! After a few days of gloriously perfect weather, it's hot and sticky again here in Virginia... I'm hoping for breezy fall-ish (Virginia fall-ish, so upper 70s/low 80s) weather again soon, but for now we're dealing with a little bit more summer weather!

Peter lasted approximately 5 minutes into Mass before Andrew had to take him out, COMPLETELY out, and they never made it back in. We found them in the car afterwards so... Thankful that I wasn't the one who had to deal with that!

33/52: First Day of School

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I just can't. I can NOT. The series of pictures at the bottom of this post is KILLING ME. 

Last year I didn't bother with a "first day of school" post beyond this one (in which I recounted how horrible our first day was!), but this year I decided to do "school pictures" out by one of the maple trees in the yard, and the kids were ALL excited, even Peter!

Name: Peter Damian
Age: 21 months
Grade: Toddler
Most excited to: Color with crayons and NOT eat them
Future occupation: "Dive Dada car! Dive TUCK!" So... Truck driver? Chauffeur?

My Sunday Best, Vol. 17: John Paul Fashion Show

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Happy Sunday! The weather has cooled down a teeeeny bit here, and we're sort of beginning to think about fall but not really... Summer lasts until October in Virginia, so I cringe every time I start seeing "pumpkin spice" on social media!

32/52: THEIR Sunday Best

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Every week I take a picture of myself for the linkup I host, My Sunday Best. And every week their Sunday Best totally beats mine!

Peter really, really, really loves wearing his hand-me-down seersucker blazer. And since it's almost fall, we probably need to get all the use out of it that we can before it becomes seasonally inappropriate! Although it's size 2T so it should fit in the spring as well.

Our Homeschool Plans 2016-2017

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ah yes, the last-minute homeschool prep. The part of the summer where I finally make peace with the fact that even though it's CRAZY HOT, it's time to actually get back to the "school" part of our lives. 

Because we just kind of... petered out. And never really "ended" things last year. Not that I'm super-concerned, because we started out ahead of the game, and I'm pretty sure we're still ahead of the game starting out this year (in terms of math & reading and the like).

The school books have been trickling in through the mail, and the kids are so excited about EVERYTHING that we've basically started already. Just without "officially" starting. I'll call it a soft start, because I was planning on easing back into things once we officially start on Monday anyway.

So what's the plan this year? Read on!

My Sunday Best, Volume 16

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Happy Sunday! We're off for a busy day of back-to-back parties, so I'll try to make this quick!

31/52: Pickles and Pigs

Friday, August 12, 2016

Some of the garden has been disappointing this year, but we've been getting a LOT of cucumbers from just one successful plant (Straight Eight variety - it's the BEST!). So we make refrigerator pickles every day or two, and the kids get to eat all that they want. It's basically a dream come true for them, because they adore pickles.

They didn't even make it into clothes before I let them at the jar the other day... I just set them out in a bowl and let them get to it so that I could eat my second breakfast in peace!

30/52: Banana Chips

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The kids are bottomless pits these days. It doesn't help that I'm constantly eating, so they feel like they should be as well...

Banana chips (or "Bunna Tsips" according to Peter) are generally an okay "whenever" snack in my book - they can each have a few and it's impossible to make a mess with them. Apparently princess dresses are the best attire to wear while snacking.

Second Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

Monday, August 8, 2016

 This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Tyson Foods, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #JDgreatdays

I'm not one to be controlled by my constant appetite but... Wait, I totally am. Y'all, especially when I'm pregnant, I'm SO prone to get completely and totally hangry if I don't get enough to eat. I've found that the best way to control this is to put myself on a fairly strict schedule of what to eat when, particularly when it comes to the first two meals of the day.

That's right: Breakfast and Second Breakfast.

My Sunday Best, Volume 15

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Happy Sunday!

The boys magically slept until past 8 today, and since Andrew's off from his usual church job, we got to go to a later Mass and have a nice relaxed morning. But we only just got home, which is why this post is late!

It was a rather trying morning when it came to hairstyles... The twins each decided they HAD to have three bows in their hair, and they couldn't have two on one side and one on the other. Nope. Left, Right, Middle. 

They both ended up pulling them out of their hair by the end of Mass though, so the style was short-lived. Meanwhile everybody had to scream about who got what bow, because Cecilia really wanted to wear one of Mary Claire's and Mary Claire REALLY DID NOT WANT TO SHARE! Eventually she decided that since she had three bows in her hair already, Cecilia could have one of her others.

Because if you have four bows, the fourth bow is your neighbor's, right?

Blogging Conference News, Garden Updates, What I'm Reading {7 Quick Takes}

Friday, August 5, 2016


Hey you! If you're in the Southeast/Midatlantic area, you should come join us for a conference in Virginia on Saturday, September 3! Tickets are only $30 (purchase here) and you can find more info on our website here. Kelly Mantoan is our emcee, Mary LenaburgElizabeth Foss, Jenny Ryan, and Ginny from Small Things will all be there, and you can check out the schedule here. You should come!


We're finally starting to reach that "abundance" season where the garden is really producing a decent amount - tons of sweet corn (which has been hit-or-miss, some of it too gummy to enjoy, maybe because of cross-pollination?), tomatoes galore, basil out my ears, a decent amount of okra and beans, all the cucumbers we can eat, and the sunflowers are making me so happy!

Nope, My Kids Aren't My Prison

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

In a very adult move on our part, we bought our first appliance the other day. Well, I spent hours researching online, only to be paralyzed with indecision, and Andrew went to Lowe's to buy the dishwasher that was closest to the one we had at our old house, which had such features as "actually gets dishes clean" and "doesn't have plastic parts that snap off on a daily basis" so that's a win.

Anyway, the appliance man came to install it this morning and was greeted at the screen door by the three littlest (ex-utero, at least) of our crew. I peeled them away from the glass and welcomed him in.

He glanced around, muttering, "Prison. Glad mine are all grown..."

The Worst Thing About Teaching (and How YOU Can Help)

Monday, August 1, 2016

When I went through my education program in college, we talked pedagogy. We talked philosophy. We talked big dreams and goals for changing lives.

But do you know what we didn't talk about?

Classroom budgets.

Or lack thereof.

It was a rude awakening for me to get my classroom budget my first year teaching and find out I had $100 to spend on every single thing I might need for 4 general music classes (2 per semester) and 4 choir classes. It wasn't even enough to cover music for one concert! Not to mention pencils, folders, replacement keyboards and headphones, etc... Over the years, I don't even want to think about how much of my personal money I spent on extra pencils, paper, and other general supplies. It was one of the worst things about teaching, the fact that I had to spend so much energy searching for good deals on school supplies and figuring out how to fundraise to cover the rest, when I should have been able to focus that energy on my students!
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