Friday, August 31, 2007

Montgomery

Montgomery City
(pop., 2000: 201,568), capital of Alabama, U.S. The site was inhabited by Indian mound builders in prehistoric times. About 1717 the French built Fort Toulouse on the river above the present site of Montgomery. The city was founded in 1819 and named for Gen. Richard Montgomery; it became the state capital in 1846. In 1861, during the
American Civil War, it served briefly as the capital of the Confederacy; it was captured by Union troops in 1865. It was a centre of the civil rights movement, notably the protests organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. Located southeast of Birmingham, it serves as the commercial centre of an agricultural region, trading in cotton and livestock and producing fertilizer. It is the seat of Alabama State University and several other institutions of higher education.


Me and my sister on the trolley when she came to visit.


This is the Capital.

This is Dexter Ave. Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached at.

This is a monument to the legendary Hank Williams.This is the Tucker Pecan Company where we purchased some yummy chocolate covered pecans and other goodies. The children loved the old fashioned Coke machine and paid $1 for small glass bottles of Coke. Go figure!This is the trolley that we rode through the city.
The trolley was air-conditioned and only costs a quarter to ride. There is a narrator that told us about the sites we were seeing.

Peter and Cloth Diapers


Peter is now four months old and is showing off his personality. He makes all kinds of noises, now that he figured out he has a voice. He ohhh's and ahhh's and occasionally growls. It is so adorable.
Nicolas and Anthony are really enjoying him too. They wake up in the mornings and check to see if Peter is awake yet so they can say hello.
I had to graduate Peter to larger cloth diapers now that he has pretty much outgrown all his smaller diapers.
I had also made Peter some cute homemade diapers and saved money. The ones I just bought are called Motherease and they are super easy to use and wash and dry. These diapers should fit until he is potty trained. In fact they can be used from about 8lbs. to 35 lbs. Check out http://www.motherease.com/ or http://www.babycottonbottoms.com/cloth_vs_disposable.htm for more information on them. You will spend about $10 a diaper on this kind, but in the end you will save alot of money in comparison to what you will spend for disposables in 2-3 yrs.
Let's figure that for 2 dozen diapers it would be about $240 and about 8 covers in different sizes another $60-$80. You wash a load every other day and they are fresh to reuse. Or you can purchase less expensive cloth diapers, like the ones your mother or grandmother used, that you pin on, for as little as $30 a dozen! Disposables will run you about $2,000-$4,000 depending on brand and how long the child takes to potty train. You add more garbage to the landfills, hence you are throwing your money away :) Baby is also exposed to dangerous, rash causing chemicals. Disposables were created for convenience, like paper plates and disposable cups, so I do use them when we are going on a trip or will be gone for the day. The cloth that is sold in department stores is not as absorbent as what you will buy from a company that specializes in diapering products. And you will be turned off to cloth with that kind. Another good brand that Walmart sells online is Kushies. These are very similar to disposables and are washable and re-usable. You can view them at http://www.kushies.com/.
I keep the diapers in a diaper pail until wash day. To wash all you do is throw the diapers in for a rinse then do a heavy duty wash with hot water and a mild detergent, I use All Free and Clear. Then do an extra rinse. Dry for an hour or hang in sun to dry. Then you are ready to reuse them!
All you new and experienced moms out there who want to try this, don't be afraid. It's super easy and your baby will love the soft feel of cotton against his skin!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Homeschooling

We are two weeks into another homeschooling year. It is going very well considering we have baby Peter now who needs mommy's attention and food frequently.

Tom is happily back to teaching at the Catholic High School and he is loving it. I am so glad he loves his job.

Everyone is very busy with reading, writing, math, grammar, latin, history, art, music and nature study, just to name a few! We will be having a group of children join us monthly for a special musical composer and artist class in our home. That should be fun! Luther is a boys scout working hard to reach his merit badge goals and hopes to reach Eagle by his Senior year. He is currently a high school freshman. Our graduate is enjoying her time off from school. But she has been very busy helping mom with the home and the baby. She also keeps herself busy with reading, painting, making movies out of digital pictures and helping with some of the school lessons. She truly is a blessing!

We will be attending weekly mass on Fridays. Luther will be in training to be an altar boy! I know he is older but he is new to the Catholic faith and embracing it. Sara was recieved last year. We are blessed that our older children joined us in our return to the Church. For those of you who were raised Catholic but left the faith or are protestant and curious about the Catholic Church, I highly recommend the books "Not By Scripture Alone", "Not By Faith Alone", and "Not by Bread Alone", all written by Robert Sungenis. Also the "Roots of the Reformation" by Karl Adam.

We love nature walks but it's been too hot to do any walking outdoors lately. We had a thunderstorm today and we are hopeful that this will be the beginning of cooler weather, perhaps in the mid 80's to 90's. It's too soon to expect or hope for anything cooler than that.

Here is our littlest blessing Peter at two and a half months old. He turned 4 months on the 21st of August. Yes those are cloth diapers!



video

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Trip to Callaway Gardens

We went on a little trip last week to GA. It was only about an hour and a half away. We went to Callaway Gardens. It was so much fun. The only difficulty about the trip was the heat. It was well over a hundred degrees each day. But we saw some really neat things.
We went to a butterfly garden and here is what we saw.
We also saw a flying circus. They have students from Fl. come every summer and perform. It was so hot that we poured bottled water on our heads to stay cool. I don't know how the performers could handle the heat but they did great.
Here are some of the beautiful flowers we saw. We also saw some turtles, snakes and many fish in the ponds and lakes at Callaway.


Dining room looks better

The first of many of our projects is done. My dear husband Tom painted the dining room with a little help from Sara and Luther. I wasn't allowed in the room because I tend to nitpick about how to paint without leaving brush strokes. It turned out great! Here are the before and after pictures:


Before:


After:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Peter's Baptism

On May 13, we had Peter baptised. Sara was the godmother and Ken was the godfather. My sister Marisol flew in for the special occasion. Here are some pictures of the blessed event.




Peter has been washed away of all "Original Sin".



Monday, August 6, 2007

Back from vacation



Here is the view from the deck of our beach house.








Here is Tom with his father. We had a wonderful time visiting our families up north. First we drove about 20 hours(due to traffic and rain) to see Tom's family in NY. After a few days of visiting we drove down to the beach, which took about 6 hours to get to. Thankfully Tom's parents and two of his brother's were able to come and visit for a couple of days. We had a wonderful time, although it ended much too soon. We did manage to go to the beach. Richie came along and enjoyed getting some sun. Tom and Ken got in the water and fought the waves! The kids also swam and made sand castles. I watched and fed the baby. And Mom and Dad took naps :)

Here is grandma, loving up her grandbaby. Peter just loves all those hugs and kisses. It was so hard to say goodbye.






After Tom's family left, we spent the next day at the beach. Then in the afternoon we went to visit Lynn at their place and she made us a feast for lunch. We also saw my sister in law Lori, her family, and Aunt Sara. The children played together and then went swimming and the next day we went to the beach again. That evening Lynn and the family came over to our place and we had dinner there. It was a lovely time and it went by much too quickly.
The next day my sister, her husband and children came to meet us at the beach.(I'll have pictures of them when she emails me some). The children collected sand crabs, built sand forts and castles, they caught waves with their boogie boards, and got some much needed sunshine. The grown ups enjoyed watching the children play on the beach and occasionally joined in the water and got knocked down by some waves. It was much cooler at the beach than in the south and we loved that break from the heat and humidity. Tom and Brian took the younger children crabbing one day and they caught a few crabs. Unfortunately, only one of the crabs was big enough to keep and eat. Anthony had a crying fit at the thought of killing the crab. So we all waited until he was distracted playing upstairs and then the crab was cooked quickly. When Anthony came downstairs he saw some of the children eating crab and he just joined right in and had a taste!
We walked on the Board Walk one evening and had some delicious fresh hot fries, enjoyed the sites and did some shopping. We ate chocolate and caramels from the Candy Kitchen. Before we knew it, it was our last night there. We had a last short visit with Lynn and Lori, and the rest of the family and our day was sadly over.
The last day there we had a big pancake breakfast and began our 15 hour trip back home. The day we left it was very sunny and beautiful. We stopped in N.C. for some rest and started back on the road the next morning. We were home by 4 p.m. and were able to make it to Sunday evening Mass. It was a great and exhausting time. The children and baby did very well with all the travel. And we couldn't ask for better weather on our way home.
The only downside to our trip was that we weren't able to see all our loved ones up north, and we were unable to take many pictures because our batteries died and we kept forgetting to buy some.



We sure miss you all and hope to see you soon!