September 29, 2011

A Trip to the Zoo

Wrapping up the summer by visiting the zoo with our dear friend Claudia was big on the Leone popularity meter.  Of course, the tortoises made the day all the more memorable.

Claudia graces us with her presence during our end-of-summer visit to the zoo. 
What girl should be so lucky as to have Mrs. Daniel carry her around the zoo?
Anna Marie (sporting cute, new glasses) was so sweet to Marguerite,
helping her along whenever she could.
Kathleen (and Therese) at the zoo.
Four of the Leone kids enjoy a last summer outing at the zoo.

Teach Your Children Well

Let it never be said that homeschoolers skimp on teaching the facts of life.

This was part of our Henry Vilas Zoo outing today.

September 28, 2011

Anna Marie is 15!

The end of summer means... Anna Marie's birthday!

Happy birthday, my beautiful 15-year-old!
Birthdays make Marguerite smile! 
Anna Marie enjoys a new scarf and a new movie while Marguerite enjoys being part of the birthday mix. 
Marguerite isn't the only happy camper on birthdays.
Happy birthday, lovely Anna Marie. We all love you!


So proud of our triathletes.

Talk about working hard and kicking it in.

Anna Marie and Kathleen did great, and enjoyed a challenging day of athletics with friends.

Kathleen and Anna Marie arrive, ready to race.
Anna Marie and her great pal, ready for the swim. 
Ready, set, go!
Anna Marie has become a much faster swimmer this year,
with all the cross training for cross country in the pool. 
Kathleen hits the water.
Out of the water, Kathleen runs to the transition area.
Go Anna Marie! The finish line is within sight!
All that cross-country training is paying off!
Kathleen finishes a very hard race with grace and determination.
Just a little tired.

September 27, 2011

April Fool's in August

Kathleen decided to play a trick on the younger kids.

She served up a delicious breakfast of "eggs and toast."

The boys and Therese were temporarily fooled.

Look closely.

The yolk is a peach. The white is yogurt. The toast is pound cake.

While they figured out the pound cake right away, they were pretty stumped on the egg—trying to figure out why it looked "so big."

A great way to start off a summer morning, thanks to crafty Kathleen.

Baby In a Basket

Are there words for such cuteness?

Look, Mom! Baby in a basket!

This is my desktop photo at the moment. 

Cub Scout Camp

For William, there is nothing much better than annual Cub Scout camp.

This year, William was an old pro, having been to camp the year before. He ended up being the big man on campus too when he showed up with a walkie-talkie (to quell his nerves about being slightly separated from Joe).

It was a great experience for William. School is a challenge for our ten-year-old, so Cub Scouts lends a nice physical reprieve for a boy who really excels in the physical.

Be Still My Beating Heart

When the kids decide to work, they can do a great job.

The "great job" part is not always predictable, and the emphasis is on can. But my heart races pitter-pat when it happens.

I've been known to bribe. (Act all surprised now.)

So bring on the joyful workers. (Because we're always joyful around here. Yeah. Uh-huh.)

Handsome car detailers.
Beautiful laundry folder.

The Leones Sleep (and not always in beds)

I guess we are nappers around here.

(We don't necessarily make it to our beds.)

Came across this cute scene on a Sunday afternoon...
Bring on the beauty rest!
And then, on a Saturday morning, when Therese offered to hold Lucia so I could make breakfast,
I came around the corner to this scene. Out cold! Glad Lucia didn't wriggle free.


Boys love bugs.

Boys love big bugs.

Boys love scaring their sisters with bugs.

Boys love eliciting the "Get that bug out of the house!" response from mom, calmly stated, of course.

Still, the large-bug-come-visiting is an improvement over The Snake.

Andrew admiring Big Bug.
William threatening with Big Bug?

Too Cute to Resist

Cutie Marguerite Jane
Marguerite & big sister, Therese Genevieve
Nothing like the Very Hungry Caterpillar to get you geared up for Saturday morning breakfast.
Beautiful Lucia!
Lucia Rose
Hanging out in an empty planter. Why not?

September 26, 2011

The Leones Do Hair

Not a lot of time goes by around here, it seems, without hair styling marathon or two.

Daddy does hair.
(Yes, that's a head-lamp on his head.
And, yes, he has his essentials always within reach—detangling spray and beer.)
Mommy does hair.
(Yes, Mommy looks like she hasn't gotten enough sleep.)
Anna Marie does hair—curly hair for Kathleen's "Big River" performance.
She did this seven times, for seven shows.
(Oh, and when you cornrow all rows except the middle, you get Mohawk Baby.)

Big River

The Leone kids decided to re-enter the musical theatre world this summer after a two-summer hiatus.

Kathleen, William, and Andrew had great fun, reestablished old friendships, and made new friends. We spent the summer listening to the lilting country-styled tunes of Big River, the Broadway musical adaption of the Huckleberry Finn story.

It made for a busy summer with a new baby in the house, but the kids auditioned and accepted roles. Kathleen was an old hat and thrived on the whole experience. William and Andrew got their first experience in a full-scale production and did extremely well.

Thank goodness for good friends who helped with carpooling; this exhausted mom needed the reinforcements.

The kids are already talking about next summer's musical. With Joe now on the board of our local community theatre, it's looking like more community theatre is in the works for this family.

Andrew hangs out in the props room before a rehearsal.
Kathleen (right) makes a great new friend at rehearsals. 
William and Andrew, front and center, during one of many rehearsals.
Andrew (left), Kathleen (center), and William (right) with great friend, fellow castmate, and carpooling buddy, in costume after one of the performances.
Andrew and William, post-show.
Kathleen & friends after a show.
The Leones with their old pal, Nathan.
Kathleen has never been in a show  in which she didn't share the stage with Nathan.
College-bound in the spring, he will be missed.