Sunday, July 10, 2011


I have to say this ranks right up there with the. most. busiest.spring.ever. for the Vrazo family. Which is probably why I haven't posted on this blog since the end of February! Stunning! (I don't know why these photos are posting in such a funky way....keep scrolling................ Al, the proud, new homeowner. Our nest is emptier by two. ( He took Zak with him :)

Vrazo Family Reunion in St Louis. ( St Louis Science Center)


Union Station

The Vrazo offspring minus a few....

Family bowling in celebration of Jed's FHC.

Everyone having a good time?

Look at that form!

It's a wonder there aren't cracks in the bowling alley lane after Jed whips his ball down it!

Gabi loves to bowl!

Mother's Day ....feel the love.

A confirmation! Jackson Lewis Jerome Vrazo

First Holy Communion

Oh--yes, and there was a prom! Naomi's first. :)

Auntie Em!

The gorgeous girls

The lovely "do", thanks to Gabriella

Lovely spring flowers...a balm to a soul weighed down by winter. ( not mine, of course ;)

Add to all the "events" 5 kids in soccer and 1 in rugby ( I think I made it to all of 3 of his games...he could drive himself :) and me coaching soccer ( don't laugh) for the first time...well, it made for a rip-roaring few months.

Outside my window:

Well, now it is July and very warm. Everything is green and lush and blooming. Garden is in and thriving ( note to self: read pumpkin seed package on how far apart to space plants BEFORE doing so.)

Strawberry rhubarb and raspberry rhubarb jam made.

Outdoor painting projects just about wrapped up! It's funny, I started painting my front door and shutters on St Patrick's day ( we were having a warm spell) . It took until the middle of June to be able to resume that work because it was either too cold, or too rainy!

I am thinking: Well, I am trying out some philosophy. I must admit, reading philosophy is a struggle for me. My lazy brain just doesn't want to do the work to understand their point. :) However, I have stumbled upon Marcus Aurelius "Meditations" ...which is a pretty easy work to get into for me. Marcus Aurielius was a Roman Emperor and premier Stoic philosopher and has a generally good reputation for being a wise and kind Emperor ( except that a lot of Christians were persecuted under his reign, which puzzles many people. I suppose his lofty thoughts didn't translate into tolerance for Christianity :) He has lots of inspiring things to say, but mostly, what he writes has me thinking of lots of other things. I would say it has opened a floodgate of issues to contend with.

From the schoolroom:

I can say with unabashed joy that we are DONE with school and are thoroughly enjoying our summer break. This has been a grueling school year but good in many ways. We are signing back up with K-12 and adding Manny as a student. Jackson will be in high school next year and not sure what program I will use with him, but probably not K-12. Naomi ( GULP) will be graduating!



I discovered Margaret Foster this spring and really enjoy her writing for the most part. I can sniff out some things I knit my brows at....but overall, she is a talented writer and writes about things I am interested in ( ie: historical fiction). Two I've read so far ( and one listened to) "The Bride of Lowther Fell" and "Keeping the World Away " The audio book was "Lady's Maid" about Elizabeth Barrett Browning's beloved ( or not so beloved at times) maid who had many insights into her life.


Some that stand out:

"The September Issue"

This was a film about producing an issue of Vogue magazine with it's focus on Anna Wintour ( the editor in chief). Naomi and I were chuckling about the fact that neither of us are "fashionistas", but the fashion industry has a certain intrique for us. I suppose because it is so exotic and far from our normal lives. It "is" an artform, and I suppose we can appreciate it from that point of view. It gets me thinking about why certain clothing appeals to certain people and why it doesn't to others. Why is someone like Ms Wintour's opinion on such matters so widely held as the final word? For the record, I don't make a habit out of reading "Vogue". I may pick one up at the dr's office on occasion. In the end...I would say it was a little bit of fun to watch, but I couldn't get over the huge sums of $ spent on photo shoots and all that goes along with them just so the general public can have something to drool over. ( I'm sure just the airfare alone to Rome or wherever for all the models and staff could feed a few starving children in Africa. )

A couple regarding the Holocaust...

Rosenstrausse ( A German film about German wives married to Jewish citizens of Berlin, who stood outside the prison their beloveds were held day after day until finally....they were released. One of the brighter stories among the many tragic ones we all know of.

Secret Lives: This one was about Christian ( or otherwise) citizens who hid Jewish children. One thing I appreciated about this very well done documentary is that while it gave credit where credit was due ( of course it was very brave and noble for these individuals and families to take these children in, and I am in no way trying to take away from that) it didn't whitewash some of the difficulties encountered. One daughter felt very angry ( even as an adult) at her parents for putting she and her sister at risk by taking in a Jewish girl. Another (Jewish) girl lived happily with her adoptive family, but had a very hard time going back to her parents. It gave one a lot to think about, not the least being "Could I have been brave enough to do such a thing...especially knowing they would execute whole families if they found out what was going on?"


Dr Findlay A post WW2 drama about a Dr. practicing in a rural town in Scotland. This was a well made and well acted series. They might have been a bit heavy handed on inserting some modern quandries into that time period, but overall, very good.

Listened to:

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Ms Niffenegger is probably more well known for her wildly popular "The Time Travelers Wife". Well, I have never read that one. I did see the movie and didn't care for it. I noticed on one board, this one didn't get many good reviews. I wonder if it is because it is a departure from TTW and therefore a disappointment to those who were expecting something along the same lines. I can only guess. This one certainly stands out as one of the more memorable ones I've "read" via audio book this year. A bit far-fetched at times, perhaps, (especially the end) but she does have great talent at pulling you into her story and making you feel that you exist amongst her characters. Enjoyed.

On my bedside table:

Liberty's Exiles: by Maya

Really, what exactly DID happen to all the pro-British citizens living in America post the Revolution? A fascinating idea for a book as she follows the lives of several individuals and families as they grappled with their lives after the war...if I could only find the time to read it. :)

Comings and goings:

Well, now that life has settled down somewhat, we finally made it to the zoo ( although briefly... the friends that we went with thought it was open later, but alas, we missed that by a week). Today was a trip to the farm ( complete with mom getting lost!) There have been graduation parties and more graduation many that I am seriously considering not attending our own graduation party ( just kidding, of course :) a very beautiful wedding and one to come! Church festival and camping trip will round out the summer. In between I try desperately to clean and organize the many places that were left neglected during the school year and watch the kids swim in our backyard pool ( a never-ending blessing this time of year...I think we have finally found the perfect spot and I am getting the hang of adding the chemicals correctly :) go for walks & bike rides, pick wildflowers, make campfires and grill delicious, warm- weather meals....ahhhhh...summer!

Backtracking. Easter :)

Yum- candy!

Getting close!

More candy.

Cheerful window decor admist the backdrop of barren trees. :)

Even the 20 year old gets in the act.

Noah with Noah ( darling little doll made by cuzin Libby...who made our whole family, which was Gabi's Easter basket gift)


I just had to.

All my Easter eggs ( minus Zak who was with gf)

The littlest Easter girl.

Woo-hoo! MORE candy!

Spring flowers struggling to emerge....

Found it!

It's striking to see how barren our yard was at that time. Everything is so lush and green right now ( july)

Making a run for it!

What a handsome fella!

Ha! Ha! Beat you to it!


All photos by Naomi G. :)

Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.