November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I am finally, quite later than usual, finalizing our Thanksgiving menu. We will be graced on Thursday by the presence of the Daniel family and my Uncle Larry.

As is our tradition, we will have the day off (home)school on Wednesday, and we will spend that day cooking, baking, and prepping.

I'd better make haste to the market.

Break out the aprons, kids!

November 21, 2009

When Animals Wed

Joe and I received a beautiful wedding invitation in the "mail" last week. The invitation informed us that a wedding was to take place upstairs, in Therese's bedroom. No gifts necessary.

At the designated time and date, we arrived to the sights and sounds of this elegant wedding scene—a "church" full of animals, dolls and assorted people, ready to witness the nuptials. Appropriate violin music wafted from Therese's CD player choir loft.

The poodle bride wore a lovely gown of white and a veil which covered her furry face.
The tiger groom wore a sophisticated construction paper top hat, setting off his dashing stripes.

The view from the altar was equally impressive with animals and dolls alike, gathered for the ceremony.

Since the bride's father was nowhere to be found, Therese gently removed Poodle's veil at the altar.

And at the appropriate time, Therese stepped forward to help the newlyweds kiss.

A lovely and memorable affair.

Handsome Little Men

Do you know how hard it is to get two super-charged boys to hold still long enough to take a posed photo, much less two?


It was well worth the gray hairs. Look at these charmers.

[Trivia question: What is the yellow color around the edge of William's smile? Answer below.]

[Answer: The yellow stain around William's lips is the result of an afternoon of massive carrot-eating. Dead serious.]

Just Me and My Girl (incorrect grammar, and all)


When the Leone kids are tired of building ordinary block masterpieces, they kick it up a notch, turn out the lights, and illuminate their creations.

Say it with me now, ooooh, aaaah....

Camp Randall

What could be better than a November Holy Family Homeschoolers field trip to Camp Randall, home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers?*

*If you answered "nothing," then you and William and Andrew are three peas in one football-lovin' pod.


The Leones were out in full-force trick-or-treating with the best of them this chilly Wisconsin Halloween.

Who could resist this alternately loveable and frightening crew?

*Disclaimer: William is not the devil. He is Darth Maul from Star Wars. Now that we have that cleared up...

Air Violin

Ever seen air pencil violin?

A Day in the Life of the Leone Kids

Anna Marie sings karaoke:

Kathleen reads in her normal position:

William gets dressed for Cub Scouts:

Andrew feeds the chickens:

Therese plays football with the boys and tries to avoid injury.
(Better luck next time, Sweetie.)


Therese may not always have her hair combed.

But this little cheesehead IS learning to spell her name.

Priorities, priorities.

Rain Gutter Regatta

William, with Andrew along for company, attended his first Cub Scout rain gutter regatta. William did well in the competition leaving a little room for improvement next year, Andrew thrilled to the whole pirate theme, and both boys gobbled up the ice cream. This Cub Scout thing is a hit!

Therese's Baby

Therese came up to me last night, her baby doll nestled in her arms, and said, "Look at my little adopted baby!"

"Oh, you adopted that baby, Honey?" I asked.

"Yes," Therese responded, "Her mother touched a dead mouse, so now the mother can't come near the baby. So I have to take care of her."


And then, the light bulb moment for yours truly: We recently had a dead mouse in the garage, and we told Therese not to touch it or she could get sick.

Without in any way making light of the important and selfless reasons that women choose to place their babies for adoption, Therese's simple interpretation made me smile.

Hosting a Party, Leone-Style

In honor of Grandma Leone's 85th birthday and in recognition of the need for a Leone family reunion, Joe and I hosted an all-weekend shindig at our house. The assorted Leones and Kay cousins brought food, tents, and plenty of hilarity with them. With giggle snorts and head-stands the apparent theme of the weekend, here are some highlights:

A Girl and a Gun

Joe is starting the clay pigeon training young.

(Anna Marie, age 13)

But What About Socialization?

For those who ask me the "what about socialization?" question of our homeschool decision, I direct them to this photo. This is a snapshot of my kids and their classmates at homeschool co-op which meets every Friday afternoon. We gather with these 120 homeschooled students every Friday for Science Lab, Art Class, Gym Class, Computer Programming, and Workshops (and, for the high schoolers, Public Speaking and Shakespeare as well). And these are the friends with whom our children have play dates and other extracurricular activities all week long.

Socialization? I'm pretty sure we're okay on that count. ;)

Bonus points for anyone who can find Anna Marie, Kathleen, William and Andrew in this photo. (Therese is not pictured, as this is only school-age children.)