Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sister Shots

Hair.  Always doing hair.

Drawing and conversing in the drawing room like all good little women do.  Norman Rockwell who?

This was the best.  Our new neighbor gave the kids a karaoke machine.  Oh my.  Zellie was singing the National Anthem and Clairvaux appropriately covered her heart.  Also pictured:  Solemn Clairvaux in observance.
Now pictured:  Proud American Clairvaux.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dominic's Book Club

Dominic joined his first book club this year. I was so thrilled when Renee suggested it as I have been wanting him to be able to delve into a variety of literary works with the ability to discuss them in depth with other boys. I think we should come up with some great title like "The Philosopher's Club." I was cracking up at their amazing analysis of the book and their ability to understand the author's intent.

We hosted book club today at our home and chose "Gone-Away Lake"  by Elizabeth Enright as the featured work.  All the boys in attendance were eager learners. 

Of course, we started with Legos while the boys arrived and moved onto introductions with each boy stating his favorite cuisine.  They liked that part.  Next, we moved onto discussion and trivia about the book with salt water taffy as a reward for each answered question.  It was the only treat that I could think of that related to the title.  They loved it. 
pg. 76
"And then we'll go back to my house and have a little refreshment.  I've baked a cake." Julian restrained himself from asking what kind of cake, but in his heart was the passionate hope that it was chocolate."~ requested by Dominic to surprise the boys.

We also bought a jug of Green Machine juice and made a new label stating "A.P. Decoction" which stood for the Anti-Pest Decoction the grumpy Mrs. Brace-Gideon used on her cats.  
We live around the corner from Pine Lake so after a lively game of Wounded Dead, we decided to adventure on to our very own Gone-Away Lake and get a little exercise in.

Where did the lake go?

Rosie loves to run.  She always has.

This age of boy is really fun.  They are up for any adventure and are developing such hysterical personalities.  I really enjoyed each of these great boys.

We also took a few moments at the park. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Little Sister Chat

These two together are a wild rodeo. John and I cannot help but giggle at the often heard comments regarding the assumed calmness of having a bunch of girls in a row.  In all honesty, Dominic is the easiest going out of all of our children and these two little girls are like having two frisky puppies pouncing around the house and wreaking complete havoc on any attempted project.  They feed off each other, but mostly we all do blame Damaris.  Even though she is younger, she runs the show.  Clairvaux is the brains of the group while Damaris is the go and get the job done portion of the show.

This scene was particularly precious as they spend most of their time outside together.  We haven't installed a fence that goes all around the back yard, but thankfully Damaris hasn't figured that out yet so for now, she stays in the back yard with Clairvaux.  I had to take the pictures from behind the door as to not interrupt the conversion.  Damaris talked the whole time while Clairvaux listened.  Damaris kept cracking up at what she was telling Clairvaux.  It was precious.

Thelma and Louise

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Forrest Gump is loved

Getting bigger by the day. We all sure adore this boy.  I say it about every baby we have, but it really is true how the baby is the center of the family.  Dominic always says, "Even when our boy is very fussy, we still love our boy very much."
First time in cargo shorts. 

It was darling to watch this from a distance.  They both were entertaining him with stuffed animals. 

Truman Maher

This was awesome to behold. The kids do things all day that make me laugh my head off. There are so many times my camera lens misses something completely hysterical, so incredibly funny, or something so absolutely precious. I wasn't meant to capture everything on film or video. I often take pictures with my eyes, literally. I will forever regret not capturing the original version of Clairvaux singing this song. I walked by the room to find her KNEELING, strumming her blow-up guitar and BELTING Matt Maher's "Lord, I Need You." It was so awesome. I quickly retrieved my camera and had her sing it again. I wish, oh how I wish, I had captured the organic version.
In case you aren't familiar with the song, here is the original that she has watched over and over. I had no idea how she had studied the video right down to him kneeling while playing and my favorite at 2:54 (girl with outstretched arms). Lillie took over being Matt Maher and Clairvaux took on the role of girl kneeling with outstretched arms worshiping Jesus in the Eucharist. (I have no picture of that jazz.)  I am still recovering. She has also been seen playing the role of the man in 3:04. (No picture of that either.)
Girl in the video at 2:54.  Nut.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Listen...Listen..Try to hear their SONG.

It is 11:43 in the PM. Our day was filled with all the usual happenings. We never left the house today. I love those days. Don't get me wrong, I am always up for an adventure, but I crave home most as our daily routine is best kept when we just stay put.  I have a good friend who recently sent his daughter off to New York to pursue her dream of singing on Broadway.  Her angelic voice filled their home daily.  He told me that she woke up singing, left the house singing, and walked in the door singing.  When she left for college, he shared that he went through a depression.  The void of her and her voice left their home so incredibly empty.  I think of that story often.  My days are filled with their "singing" all day long.  I don't mean their actual singing.  I mean their ordinary gifts that fill my day with such a presence that I am terribly afraid that when they are gone, I will be like my friend Rob.  I have grown so accustomed to their variety shows that I pray I don't miss the songs that fill the whole day. 

Lillie's constant Riverdance.  She loves Irish Step dance.  She dances and taps all day.  She stands across from me on the opposite of the counter and taps all day long.  I see just her body, but I hear her feet going. 
They practiced and practiced.

I already get a lump in my throat with this child.  His presence is a beautiful song in our home.  He spends hours at the piano filling our home with Mozart and Beethoven.  I wake up each morning to him practicing the piano.  His beautiful spirit, helpfulness, and generous heart inspires us all.  He delights in cleaning the kitchen for me during nap time and is back to baking since giving it up for Lent.  I love his constant scribbling on random scrap papers regarding Hobbit tidbits.  I love seeing his green notebook that contains the story he is writing. 
The only thing that would make this picture more fun is about 8 more baskets.  My brother-in-law has 16 children in his family.  I love looking at our 8 baskets...imagine 8 more.  I couldn't stand the fun of it all.  We delight in the fun of surprising each child with the special touches that make them feel important to us.  I love Easter baskets. 
Does he look like he needs anything else to eat? 
Chubby Bunny contestant.

I love the view from the kitchen.  I love seeing a little body playing on the carpet.  He stills seems like a newborn so why is he now sitting in the family room mouthing all the toys within reach?
No amount of wording with suffice in trying to explain how funny this is.  She rides this horse like  a real horse and if she has been taking lessons for about 5 years now.  I wish I could tell you how quickly she moves about the house on her horse.  Her legs go so fast and that poor horse tries to sustain her body weight. It is so awesome.  My only daily regret is that I don't see her do it every time.  When I see that horse somewhere in the house, I am sad that I missed a daily ride by Chancho.  It makes me giggle at night.  
This child.  She is something else.  John jokingly calls her FTJ. (Full-Time Job).  She needs someone watching her 48/7.  She loves mischief, but with her adorable eyebrows it is just a pleasure to find what she occupies herself with. We never find her doing anything normal.  She loves raiding the pantry.  Her current favorite is to grab and sprint into the piano room with a pudding.  She knows she has to move quickly so she hides by the piano and jabs the top of the pudding with a pencil and eats the pudding with her quick jabs.  We find her coveting the pudding which now sports several holes poked in the top.

Oh Clairvaux.  This was her best smile.  Her llama teeth are clenched so tight from trying to smile pretty. She is such a comedian.  She really can outwit John and I.  She belts it all day long. 
Sometimes, she doesn't even hold on.