"Do not yield to discouragement in the face of difficulties and do not abandon yourselves to false solutions which often seem the easiest way to overcome problems. Do not be afraid to make a commitment, to face hard work and sacrifice, to choose the paths that demand fidelity and constancy, humility and dedication. Be confident in your youth and its profound desires for happiness, truth, beauty and genuine love! Live fully this time in your life so rich and so full of enthusiasm."
"Let us look with greater hope to the future; let us encourage one another on our journey."
~ Papa Benedict XVI

Friday, December 30

The Camera Died...

maybe for good this time.  And all our Christmas photos are on either Aunt Jen's camera or Uncle Kevin's phone, depending on the day. I'll post some photos soon!

Merry Christmas dear friends!  And a special hello and hugs for Aunt Monkia in Ireland and Uncle Brian in Antarctica!  We love you two!

Tuesday, December 6

Holiday Mail for Heroes

So.... yet again, i am a bit behind on things these days.  Even though there are only a few days left to participate i would like share this with you.  If every one of us wrote and sent one note, can you imagine how many more soldiers and their families would receive a Christmas card this year? 
"For a fifth year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season."
"All cards must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9th. Cards postmarked after this date will unfortunately be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays."

Send cards to the address below:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Card Guidelines

•All cards being sent in for 2011 Holiday Mail For Heroes program should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9, 2011.

•Ensure that all cards are signed.

•Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.

•Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.

•Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

•Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

•Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient’s recovery.

•We encourage participants to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can check out the Red Cross Blog to find out more about this worthwhile program.

Tuesday, November 29

Yes, we have been doing other things....

besides FLL!
Sooo, where were we....since September....
nuff said!

getting bigger!

After Mass and Baptism with some new, dear friends. 
The person that held the camera decided to take a video so
we have no other pictures of our own! : )
I am getting some from Godparents and Aunt and Uncle!

One of our Goddaughters!  Come to visit from PA...
Her parents are A's Godparents!

 Science Experiment!

We just can't be left out!

State Fair entry

This really is her favorite ride ... just not a good picture!

Not real interested in the fair...or much else - sleep calls!

The rest of the crew...ready for the bumper cars!

Beware!  1st time driver!

A little funnel cake...

2nd Place!

B's Lego entry
(yep, they have a rather large lego building contest!)

Bear's football scene

B's NC Themed entry
The state is as close to proportionally correct as you can get with Legos.
His is just the NCSU piece.

T's baseball scene
(not the best angle but it was pretty high up...and i am not!)

Sibling love

Or rivalry!

Another experiment

Cat's handy work...

Look mom! Water wings!
Hahaha! Very funny guys!

Considering All Saints' Day costumes

Yes, other people spend time with him too!

See, here's someone else!
...and Bear defying gravity in the background!

No baby here...

Guess again! He was hiding! : )

Our motley crew of ...ahem...Saints

Loving the poses!

Saint Nicholas...tossing around that extra gold again!


A murdered queen.
Don't you mean a Martyred Queen?
yes, that too!
(Ladybug's -not pictured- comment on her sister's costume to a friend's mom)

And that my friends, was just October! 
As you can tell, we are a bit exhausted....

Thursday, November 17

Another Give Away!

Check out Deb's very generous give away!

Stop by  Living Montessori Now   for the Giveaway – Alison’s Montessori Land & Water Form Cabinet

Monday, November 14

We're off to State!

Connor C, Megan D, Sean K, Sean J, Thomas D,
Ben D, Noah K, Ryler D (Jeffrey T is missing!) 


                                         Lego Lightning Black

Great Job Team! 

Wednesday, November 9

FIRST Lego League team project request

Dear friends,

Our First Lego League team, Lego Lightning Black, is doing a research project and we need your input. Please visit our blog, read about our project, and participate in our one-question poll. To give you a brief idea of what we are doing, we have designed an in-home flour purifier so that you do not have unknown things in your flour.

Again, please visit our blog, participate in our poll and forward this email to as many people as possible. Thank You!
Lego Lightning Black,

Megan D., Sean J., Jeffrey T.
Connor C., Sean K., Thomas D.
Ryler D., Noah K., Ben D.

Wednesday, November 2

FIRST Lego League

This is our 4th year in FLL.  Each year we head into season excited, challenged, and full of hope.  As the season progresses, none of that changes ...i would probably add stressed to my own list but over all its a wonderful experience. 
This year we have a completely new challenge, 2 teams, with lots of wonderful new friends!  And i have to give the kids a lot of credit, with myself being out for about 5 weeks with baby and then illness, our own kids being out for a couple of weeks due to illness, and then multiple families taking vacations (gotta love homeschooling!) in October, things have been crazy but the kids continue on! I'm very proud of all of them! 

We have 15 FLL kids and 4 JrFLLers for a total of 3 teams.  The 'veteran' team and the Junior team head to regionals Saturday, Nov 12th while our 'rookie' team competes on the 19th.  From each regional event in our area, 8 teams will be heading to State.  We'll keep you posted!

On monday several of our kids participated in a local scrimmage with 6 other FLL teams.  There were 4 Veteran teams and 4 Rookie teams in attendance.  Both of our teams did a wonderful job.  Our Veteran team came in 2nd and our Rookie team tied for 4th out of 8 teams. 
We learned a lot.  And some of those things could only be learned while competing.  For example, the stress of the run.  Until you are under the clock with people talking, teammates 'coaching', refs watching, and you trying to remember marks, program order, attachments, etc you really have NO idea.

We coaches saw kids step up and try, kids inviting teammates to participate.  We saw them realize they need to practice, and just how much we need to teach file management ; )  We saw things click as to why something wasn't working, or how they could better improve something.  And yes, we saw stress, and fear, and thoughts of failure, but gracious professionalism ran its course as well.  We were so very proud of all of them on Monday... can't wait to see how they do at Regionals!