"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Quick Takes - Volume 8


--- 1 ---

First of all, yes, I am still alive. barely. I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I've posted anything. It's amazing what a sick kid or two can do to one's schedule -- any precious minute of free time I may have had disappeared in a flash. This, combined with a crazy goal I set for myself, and the fact that my DH is working overtime on his dissertation (read, we never see him) and ... well, I'm sure you can figure it out. Right now, The Baby is in bed, the other three are watching a Backyardigans movie (BTW, I LOVE the Backyardigans), and my DH is on a train headed home -- he was in Milwaukee meeting with his director. So, though I have a ton of work to do, and I'd really rather be watching the Backyardigans, I thought I'd catch up here first.

--- 2 ---

Last Friday, after being cooped up in the house all week with a sick son, I was ready to fly the coop. I decided to pack a picnic lunch and head to Wild River State Park for a winter picnic and a walk in the woods. It was in the thirties and perfect weather for getting rid of some major ants in pants around our house. My sister and her three (ages six, two, and three months) joined us. After PB&J at the trail center, near a blazing fire, we headed to the trail head. The ranger at the front gate had suggested a loop trail I'm pretty sure she said was a mile and a quarter in length. Either I heard her wrong, or we did not take that trail. As near as I can tell from the trail map, we ended up walking at least three miles! with seven kids under eight! And we made it back to the vehicles for hot cocoa and cookies with only about fifteen minutes of daylight to spare! At least one husband was getting a little nervous. But I, at least, had a blast. It felt good to get outside and to get some exercise (although my shoulder was pretty achy from carrying The Baby). I love the quiet winter woods (although there wasn't a lot of that with all those kiddos). And my kids said they want to do it again, so they must have had a good time, too. Really, there wasn't very much complaining. until we got to the ginormous hill at the very end. after they had already trekked two and a half miles. And I'm not sure my brother-in-law will be too keen on letting his wife and kiddos join me for a "walk in the woods" again anytime soon. Next time we'll pack a flashlight.

--- 3 ---

My best friend has a son The Boy's age and started a Blue Knights Boys Club for the two of them and two others. They had their first meeting a couple of weeks ago. At the meeting, the boys were "knighted." The Boy couldn't wait to tell us about the sword and the blue cross on his cheek. He learned about St. Peter and made a shield. And I have been quick to remind him these two weeks that he made a promise to be a protector of the true and good!

--- 4 ---

We finished studying Leonardo da Vinci in art and moved on to Michelangelo, but I wanted to share the kids' self-portraits. They worked on these after we studied the Mona Lisa. You can't tell from these pictures, but they texturized the backgrounds by applying salt to the wet watercolors.

The Boy painted himself wearing his pirate costume and his Lightning McQueen T-shirt. What amazed me is that he knew to just draw a little bit from his shirt -- "because you can't see the whole thing."

The Younger Girl

The Older Girl

--- 5 ---

The Kids got a snowman kit for Christmas last year and we never seemed to have the right kind of snow last winter. They finally got to use it for the first time last week. These photos were taken by The Older Girl.

--- 6 ---

What do you do for your sick kiddos that are too little for cold medicine? I've learned that Vicks BabyRub works pretty well. And on the bottoms of their little footsies it appears to help with coughs (don't ask me why). I tried these cold tablets (recommended by a friend) with The Baby, but haven't tried the cough syrup (recommended by my sister) yet. But I'm ready to go when the next round hits. I also bought another humidifier -- what's your opinion -- warm or cold?

--- 7 ----

I long for a vacation. My parents just returned from here and looking at their pictures of warm sand and sun was torture. Two years ago they took us on a Caribbean cruise ... Where's your favorite place to escape the winter cold?

Dreaming ...

For more quick takes, visit here.


  1. Michelle,
    So many things... first, I love the title of your blog and the scripture verse. I need to remember that verse.
    Second, I love the Backyardigans, too! My favorite kids' show, no contest.
    Love your pictures in the snow, your kids are beautiful, their artwork is amazing and impressive, and I love the snowman kit! How awesome is that?
    You have a beautiful family and I'm glad to have found your blog.
    Bless you!

  2. I swear by vapor rub on the feet covered by socks at night! The park pictures were great, it looks like ya'll had a great time; even if it was double the distance!


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