February 26, 2007

3-D Passion Coloring Kit & Centerpiece

The kids were thrilled to get this in the mail today... from Illuminated Ink. Our plan is to have each of the kids color a section and use it is a table centerpiece during Holy Week.

After the Blizzard

The blizzard of 2007 came and went with much excitement in the Leone household. Weather junkie Elizabeth watched the radar loop intently while Joe and the kids went for a nighttime walk in whiteout conditions. Our windswept acreage made that more than a challenge, and they got only partway down the driveway. Our neighbor noticed a car in the ditch at the base of our county highway about two hours into the blizzard and, thanks to his snowmobile, was able to access them and get them to safety. When morning arrived and the wind died, we found breathtaking views of enormously drifted snow. We also noticed our neighbor's truck stuck in his very long driveway. This photo shows Joe and Anna Marie, standing on the neighbor's driveway (which runs between the two tree lines). The truck is completely stuck (and he subsequently got a Bobcat and a front loader stuck on the same driveway the same morning), and as you can see from where Anna Marie is standing, the drifting left nothing more than a footpath between the 4' drift and the embankment on the other side of the driveway. (Yes, there is a plow on the front of that truck, completely hidden by the snow.)

It's Behind Us!

I can officially say that we, as a family, have never been so sick for so long! But the flu appears to be behind us (and the supposed second virus we also passed around). Here are a few shots of the way we spent our last couple weeks. Pardon the droopy eyes, messy noses, and blotchy faces, not to mention the snooze-where-you-fall locale of these photos. I've never been so grateful for the normal routine around here!

February 14, 2007

Angels on our Doorstep (risking the flu)

My dear Mom, the Hansons, our friends Barb and Caroline... These were our angels these last few days as our family has been so sick with the flu.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse on Monday (all seven of us sick with the flu), our friend, Barb, showed up with an enormous bag of classic toons videos for our sick kids.

And just when I was feeling terrible that I've been too sick and feverish to get out and get Valentine goodies for my kids, cookies arrived from my mom and from Barb, and Valentine treat bags arrived on our doorstep from the Hansons. I almost cried. The kids can have Valentines Day after all, despite missing their party and despite Mom being unprepared.

I can't thank Barb enough for the therapeutic hot-and-sour soup (and the second batch of movies), and Caroline for taking over my Father-Daughter Dance preparation duties.

I don't know what this sick mom would have done without all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

P.S. I highly recommend Hot & Sour soup to cure what ails you. Mmmm...

February 11, 2007

St. Valentine Door Hanger

We said a prayer to St. Valentine as we crafted this little bit of liturgical decor for our front door. The kids decided to put it on the front door, rather than in the school room, so that "even the UPS man" would have a chance to think about St. Valentine.


The annual Valentine card-making extravaganza ensued yesterday (after a break last year, due to the birth of sweet Therese Genevieve).

We wimped on the homeschool support group exchange cards, and went the store-bought route. The 97 required cards pretty much cinched that for this mom.

However, for the grandparents, we broke out the doilies, the stickers, the ribbon, and the tissue paper. Alas, sweet Kathleen missed the fun, due to the flu.

Grandparents, check your mailboxes soon!

February 5, 2007

Why Blog, You Ask?

Why have I recently jumped into the blogging fray, you ask?

The answer is in the Leone Homefront newsletters (or lack thereof) that were lovingly compiled for grandparents in September 2003, December 2003 - Part I and Part II, and Summer 2004. And there they stopped. Let's just say I got a little caught up in having babies, building a house, and doing this thing called homeschooling.

This blog is my new attempt at a Leone family newsletter of sorts. It is intended for the much-loved grandparents, all of whom live out of state and would presumably like to see how the Leone Munchkins are doing. It is intended for our little nuclear family as well, as a journal of sorts, chronicling our days during this homeschooling period of our life. And perhaps, just perhaps, it will bring a smile to the face of a random passer-by.

So, full steam ahead, I am forging into the blogging world. I ask the patron saints of blogging, multimedia, and procrastination --whomever you may be -- to come to my aid.

Da Bears

It started as a lively family football-watching party. Andrew, our two year old, attended wearing his green and gold Packer gear. God love that boy; he is his mother's son. Some would call him disloyal, but he also sported a blue and orange crown (seen here around his neck). Okay, so he is also his father's son.

After feasting on a yummy array of finger foods, and watching the spectacular (according to Joe) opening play, the Leone family settled in to watch Chicago-Boy (aka: Dad, Hubby, Joe) go from smugly optimistic to yelling-at-the-TV crazy. Being the dutiful wife that I am, I even rooted for my husband's team. (Don't beat me up Packer fans.)

Apparently, the Bears Super Bowl title wasn't meant to be, and I'm already looking forward to Brett Favre making sure that it's not just my little Andrew sporting the green and gold for the Super Bowl next year. (I can dream.)

The Feast of the Purification

I'm a wanna-be. Yep, I admit it. I wanted the kids to make candles for The Feast of the Purification of Mary (also known as the Presentation in the Temple or Candlemas). And yes, I wanna be like Andrea or Elizabeth or Dawn. But what it all boiled down to over here was lack of organization. Didn't make it to the store. Didn't have the candle supplies. But, I did have chocolate -- white chocolate at that. So, in honor of the feast of the Purification (purity = white, right?), we dipped pretzels in white chocolate and settled in for a reading about the feast while (ahem) feasting. We followed that up with a dinner of pasta with white clam sauce.

The moral of the story: If all else fails, pull out the chocolate. And do keep white chocolate on hand. In a pinch, it works for a number of liturgical feasts.

While I am posting this entry a bit late, I hope all of you had a wonderful Candlemas!

February 3, 2007

Oh my Gosh!!! Ewwwwwwwwww!!!

These are the cries I hear coming from the master bathroom this morning. I dash upstairs to see what is wrong. William, my six-year-old, is sputtering, "I -- I -- I got yucky girl stuff on meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Upon examination, he had the slightest drop of makeup on the palm of his hand (due to his rummaging through my makeup drawer).

This boy is bound for manly manhood.

Typical Saturday Morning

On this very typical Saturday morning, you can catch Therese sitting by my side as I check emails...

William, Kathleen, & Andrew (still mostly in PJs and with uncombed hair)...

And big sister, Anna Marie, still in bed reading.

There will be no photos of Mom still in PJs.

Meanwhile, hubby Joe is off at a Knights of Divine Mercy retreat.

Just snapshot of our morning.

We can't be happy all the time

A friend asked me if I had any photos of my children crying or fussy. (Who, MY children?) Her husband was giving some sort of Power Point presentation and needed a photograph of a small child crying to make a point.

Though I didn't have any such photo at my fingertips, it was only a matter of time. With my camera at the ready, I watched for the opportune moment and snapped this photographic series of poor, dear, flu-bitten Andrew. Some mom I am.

Here is Andrew, fresh(?) out of bed after a rough night. His sisters tried to change him for me, but only got as far as getting the PJs off...

Poor guy is wondering why his mom is snapping photos instead of providing the necessary TLC.

Oh, for goodness sake, he's crossing his arms at me. Time to lose the camera.

Okay, so Andrew is clearly fed up with Mrs. Camera-Happy. I'll make it up to him by re-reading Caps for Sale for the gazillionth time and giving him the primo spot on my lap while his sibs gather around for a favorite tale.

February 1, 2007

Do you know your Baltimore Catechism?

Take this handy little quiz to find out.

Oh yes, here are my results (and yes, I did grow up with the Baltimore Catechism):
You are a 100% traditional Catholic!

Congratulations! You are more knowlegeable than most modern theologians! You have achieved mastery over the most important doctrines of the Catholic Faith! You should share your incredible understanding with others!

Do You Know Your Baltimore Catechism?
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