May 23, 2009

Just Call Me Lola...

...Lola Granola.

We've gotten earthy and taken a step toward better health.

We're growing our own sprouts out here on the ol' Leone homestead. We decided that we'd kick up the health quotient a notch (so that we can be spared excessive guilt while eating greasy fries at McDonald's).

Our sprout-grower comes from this cool little business. And let me tell you how much fun we're having, growing a variety of healthy greens...

Leaner-Beaner Turns Eleven!

Our Kathleen, fondly nick-named Leener (or Beaner, or Leener-Beaner) turned a whopping eleven years old today. She quite-seriously informed us that she's now officially a tween. Indeed, Kathleen is currently part of a girls' band called The Tweeners. (They will be playing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"—Kathleen on keyboard—before the Verona Hometown Days parade on June 14th.)

But I digress...

Kathleen invited friends, Frannie & Flavi, to play for the afternoon of her birthday. After squishing goo into molds to make bouncy balls with friends, the birthday girl set off with family to Laredo's for some Mexican birthday dinner. We came home to Kathleen's birthday dessert: homemade cherry cheesecake—her special request. I wasn't so sure the peanut butter ice cream was the perfect accompaniment to the cherry cheesecake, but who am I to argue with a birthday girl?

This was the year of the camera. Kathleen had been wanting a nice camera for a long time, and her wish was finally granted in the form of a very cool birthday gift.

If you don't find our eleven-year-old reading, she's probably sneaking up on you snapping photos.

Happy birthday, Leener!

May 22, 2009

Missing Grammy

Last week, on the way home from Mass, little Therese asked,

"Can we go see Grammy?"

A bittersweet moment to be sure.

Grammy passed away two months ago. And yet the old pattern of visiting Grammy on Sundays after Mass hasn't passed, least of all for sweet Therese.

Therese misses you, Grammy! We all do!

May 1, 2009

A Few Reasons I Love Homeschooling

Our kids have received some great opportunities that would likely not have been afforded them if they were in a traditional school setting. Our kids have real science lab with a top-notch teacher through our high school co-op. My understanding is that many of the best high schools no longer allow a real lab experience, due to concerns about injury and litigation. Our middle school kids have learned HTML and PHP computer programming through one of the moms in our homeschool group. Our kids have attended modesty and chivalry workshops and had the opportunity to become friends with priests.

One awesome experience has been an invitation to Anna Marie and some of her homeschooled friends--all middle schoolers--to join in the creation of a weekly podcast through Relevant Radio, our local Catholic radio station. The kids are three weeks into the process and did their first demo podcast on Wednesday. It is looking like the podcast is likely to get picked up for a Saturday morning slot. If that goes well, there is even a chance it could be carried live on a weekly basis. Now how many middle schoolers do you know who get to create a "by kids for kids" podcast that may become a live radio show?

Here are Anna Marie (in light blue sweater with white short sleeves) and friends in the Relevant Radio studio where they are getting to try their hand at everything from production, to audio, to DJ'ing... You've gotta love homeschooling!