August 20, 2009

Batter Up!

William made his Little League debut this summer.

He loved it!

And he hated it.

He loved being at bat. And he's good at it!

Outfielding... Not so much love. He liked picking the clover out there in the outfield better than watching the ball.

All-in-all though, it was a good season and a fun exposure to the sport of baseball.

Making Art with Mrs. Daniel

This goes down in the Leone family annals as one of the nicest things ever done for our kids...

Our dear friend, Claudia, and her husband John, invited Kathleen to spend two days and two nights at their home (about 40 minutes from us) making art with Artist Claudia and feasting on Chef John's delicious food. The second of five kids, Kathleen reveled in the one-on-one attention she received, delighted in working on art without interruption, and brought home many wonderful stories of her adventures at the Daniel home.

Claudia and John are like family, and they gave Kathleen the thrill of her summer. With a love for creating art and enjoying good food, Kathleen was pretty much in heaven. Thank you, Daniels!!!

The Brothers Leone

From serious to zany, our boys are both one-of-a-kind. Andrew's seriousness can be disarming. And William's wacky streak keeps us laughing!

The Wearer O' the Splint

Andrew, our finger-surgery boy, graduated to a splint in July.

Evenings involved therapeutic finger exercises with Dad--not the highlight of Andrew's summer routine. (The first photo displays Andrew's concern with the removal of the splint. He got pretty good after a while at slipping it on and off himself.) The second photo (complete with black fingernail) shows Joe helping Andrew do the exercises.

Post-surgery, Andrew his developed this great relationship with his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Tueting. The two of them have become buddies, and Dr. Tueting has invited Andrew to bring his plastic light sabers into the office at his next post-op appointment, so they can have a mock duel.

Therese is Growing Up!

Picnic with Padre

At Father Rick's summer picnic (aka "Picnic with Padre")...

Therese announced that when she grows up she's going to get a "yellow truck and a dog like Fr. Rick's"...

Anna Marie and Kathleen entertained the crowd with their duet version of "The Ash Grove"...

Joe sang "Taking Care of Business," karaoke-style...

Anna Marie belted out "Part of Your World" to rave reviews...

And William got hit smack in the middle of his forehead, creating a hematoma-like lump that necessitated a trip to Urgent Care. But we don't have a photo of THAT...

Heading off to Homeschool High School!

In June, our homeschool group, Holy Family Homeschoolers, celebrated the graduation of our biggest 8th grade class yet -- a group of thirteen students.

These students are all planning to continue homeschooling in high school, understanding the value in an education that can be tailored to their strengths and provide them the flexibility to pursue apprenticeships, internships, civic work and more.

Although our oldest, Anna Marie, just finished seventh grade, many of her pals are among this group of graduates. And as one of the HFH leaders, I am so proud of this group of students. They and their families are an inspiration to me, as we homeschool our children and head toward those high school years.

The photos below show eleven of the thirteen graduates, participating in the graduation Mass and blessing with Fr. Eric Sternberg.

Weekend with Hubby

In our fourteen years of marriage, Joe and I had never been away from the kids for more than one night. And that was okay. But by June 2009, it was time to expand our horizons a bit and sneak away for... TWO NIGHTS.

We spent our second honeymoon (yeah, that's what it felt like) vacationing in the exotic tourist hotspot of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In a tribute to our long-gone youth we attended my law school reunion events and painted the town. We headed to an 80's club on Friday night and danced the night away with old law school pals. On Saturday night, I won the official from-the-podium tribute for the law school classmate with the most kids.

Here we are drinking vodka and cheap beer. (Some things haven't changed.)

And here I am with my ol' law school pals:

We arrived home eager to see the kids, but with a rejuvenated relationship. It was a grand getaway.

August 14, 2009

Shirking my Duty?

There are things that I just don't do anymore.

I don't bathe Therese.

And I don't brush, comb, or style her hair.

It's not that I'm neglecting my three-year-old. Really, I'm not. It's just that I have some serious competition from her two older sisters who want nothing more than to mother their younger sister, experiment with her curls (a novelty around here), and have a chance to play with someone in the tub.

Guess what? I'm not complaining.

They say motherhood gets easier once you have a few... I should say so. ;)

The Fights, the Fights

We have fights breaking out in our house left and right.

There seems to be a battle going on all the time.

The battles are fierce and all-consuming.

Perhaps it's just a phase...

On Exhibition

The Holy Family Homeschoolers Spring Exhibition is always a highlight of the year for the Leone family. It provides a chance for the kids to show off a few new, old, or refurbished skills; enjoy the talents of their friends; and have dinner with their gaggle of pals.

In this year's exhibition, the Leone performances were as follows:

Anna Marie sang a solo, "Part of My World" from the "Little Mermaid":

Kathleen and Anna Marie belted out the "Stepsisters' Lament" duet while Therese danced as a munchkin Cinderella onstage:

Kathleen played a piano piece from "Les Miserables":

William and Kathleen both participated in a skit that portrayed the early days of America:

And Andrew, sporting a big, red hand stamp from the library, recited a favorite poem, "Bird Talk":

Let me just say, the vocal Leones are not afraid of the stage or the podium.

The Munchkin Family

A peek at the munchkins seven: