Sunday, December 23, 2012

In the days before Christmas

I want to thank everyone who has been praying for Peter. His EEG was normal and for now we will just keep a close eye on him. I hope to write more about this later, but I really need to keep a light heart today.

A few nights ago, the kids were begging to do some kind of Christmas craft. Clearly, they do not see all that needs to be done and figure that I have nothing better to do than to create a lot of mess. But that is exactly what we did. We made gingerbread house cookies. I was surprised when my husband sat down and grabbed a cookie of his own. Usually he finds some task that cannot possibly wait one more second when he sees us "crafting". Turns out he has fond memories of decorating cookies with one of his childhood friends every Christmas.

cookies baked and cut into house shapes

Those m&m's are hard to open.

Little fingers having fun.

Lots of icing never made it on the cookies. It went straight in their mouths.

Dad helping his son.

A lot of toppings never made it on the cookies either!

More candy not going on the cookies!

They turned out cute.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of the silly things that I have found around here these last few days. I did not take a picture, but Anna decided to cut a troublesome section of hair last night. It is right in the front and there is a nice little tuft of hair sticking out. Almost all of my kids have cut their own hair at least one time.

That would be Peter's outfit she somehow squeezed into. She is quite pleased with her accomplishment.

Why bother with a spoon or even opening the yogurt? Just put a straw in it.

The kids figured out that the fridge magnets will also work on the van.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Prayer Request

We think Peter had a seizure on Sunday. He will have an EEG in the morning and will be seen by the neurologist. Will you please keep him in your prayers?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

These did not make the final cut....

...for our Christmas card picture.







Sunday, December 9, 2012

Young Whippersnapper

Before the rest of the house was stirring, Peter and I were sitting together when we heard sleepy footsteps on the stairs. Anna came padding into the room, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Groggily, she asked, "Mom? Tell me more about your gumball machine." Wondering if she had had a funny dream, I asked her what she was talking about, for I did not have a clue. She continued, "You know, the kind you and dad had when you were young." No, in fact, I do not know, I am thinking. I was trying hard to figure out what she was talking about. I asked her when she had heard about my gumball machine. "We were walking back from the park at Grandma's house, and you were talking about the game you and dad used to play." Suddenly, I knew! I told her, "Pinball. Not gumball! Dad and I used to play pinball machines." Sheesh! The youngsters these days!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

First Days of Advent

This year I am hoping to have a quiet little Advent where we can grow closer to one another and Our Lord.

The manger sits empty, awaiting Mary and Joseph, who are on a long journey... 

There will be some traditions from the past and some new ideas as well. Several years ago, I read about having Mary and Joseph move a little closer to the manger each day. The kids look forward to helping them on their journey...

They travel across the ledge separating the kitchen and den. See all those dishes? They can wait. It is 75 degrees outside today.
We have two Advent calendars. One of the chocolate variety and one made of felt. They take turns adding pieces to the felt one. So far, so good. No fights as to whose turn it is.


Our new thing this year is a Jesse Tree. Oh, I have tried before, but we have never completed one. The ornaments were too much for us. Fortunately, Charlotte posted these that we can just color and cut out. That is exactly what we need this year. Maybe we will be more crafty next year. Maybe not.



We light the candles on our Advent wreath each night at dinner and read from a book that our Church handed out long ago. We try and have discussions, but it is still a little too much for the little ones.

We end our day by reading "Destination: Bethlehem". We read this last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The rest of the pictures are from our lovely day outside...





Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sincerest Form of Flattery

I knew the minute I saw the pictures on Jamie's blog that my kids would love the idea. In less than a minute, they raced up the stairs for their books and Polly Pocket dolls. At the moment, they are designing a 6 level hotel on the fireplace hearth. The phrase "this is so awesome" has been uttered by Jack no less than 10 times in the last 10 minutes. I think it is awesome too. A big thank-you to Jamie and her kids!

Complete with a helicopter landing pad on the roof.



Jack's creativity is not limited to dollhouse building. Look at his fire boat.


The funny thing is that this morning I was having an actual panic attack about the clutter in the house. Mere hours later, here I am, encouraging all kinds of clutter and mess. They are happy, though we really do need to do some schoolwork. I needed a little perspective and Jamie provided it. For that I am truly thankful.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Morning Musings

Outside my window...

a brilliantly blue sky and crisp cool temperatures. The trees are nearly bare, with the last lonely leaves hanging on, the wind trying its best to shake them from their branches. The day looks just like the lovely ones from this weekend, when we spent our Thanksgiving with Tony's family. All his siblings excepting his oldest sister were able to gather at his mother's house. The cousins all took advantage of the mild breezy days and ventured up to the park. Having not seen each other for quite some time, they quickly bonded and had a wonderful time. Therese formed quite an attachment to her 12 year old cousin Luke, whom she affectionately called "Alley-Oop". He tolerated it quite well.

 I am thinking... 

about outward appearances and the truths that are often hidden. Not that I want anyone to suffer, yet it is somehow comforting to know that you are not the only one.

 I am thankful for....

 ...my family.

...for answered prayers. I get goosebumps and a happy feeling every time I remember that my friend who has struggled with infertility for years has a little one on the way at last. Won't you pray with me for them both?

 ...the ability to nurse Peter. With the added supplements, he is gaining weight. How do I know? I bought a kitchen scale. He sits in the popcorn bowl. Today's weight: 11 lbs. 5 oz.

 ...caller ID. Sorry "card services", I will not be answering your call. I am also thankful I am not Kenneth Sykes, whom had this number before us. He seems to be in a bit of hot water from his spending habits.

 From the lesson plans...

 Week number 8, look out. I plan to knock you out and keep moving along at a faster clip now that I am getting used to having a baby in tow.

 From the kitchen... 

Bare cupboards. I will be planning our weekly menu and heading to the commissary this afternoon. After watching how much food 30+ people eat in a weekend, I am thankful that I will only be buying for 6 today.

I am wearing... 

blue jeans, my favorite green sweater, and warm socks.

 I am creating... 

leg warmers for Anna and a knitted boat for Jack. I hope to add more to that list as these are to be stocking stuffers for the kids.

 I am planning... 

a small update in the foyer. It only involves paint and maybe an accent pillow, which is all the budget will allow. I think I can get a lot of bang for my buck.

 I am reading... 

 to the kids "Winding Valley Farm" by Anne Pellowski. The series is one of my favorites. It is a Catholic "Little House on the Prairie".

I am hoping... 

to be a better example for my kids.

 I am hearing... 

 ...legos being swirled through, looking for just the right piece.

 ...Anna reading to Therese.

 ...Peter's soft breathing as he drifts off to sleep in my arms.

 Around the house...

 the typical post-trip clean-up.

 I am going...

 ...to find our Advent things in the attic.

...to a better example for my kids. 

I am praying for...

 ...all those on my list of intentions.

...the ability to be a better example for my kids.

 Picture of the Day... 


The only picture I took the whole weekend. I am really hoping my SIL will share her pics.
I think he is looking plumper.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Take 2

We went back to Williamsburg today. Today was another extraordinary day, with temperatures in the 70's. Tomorrow's forecast is rainy and the temperature won't reach much more than 50 degrees. I figure that we should enjoy a last hurrah before the cooler weather settles in. Never mind that the washing machine decided to stop working this morning. Tomorrow seems like the perfect day to call a repairman. I promise there are not nearly so many photos.

Waiting for dad to finish talking with the gunsmith.

Still waiting, in black and white.

How many kids can you fit in one stroller?

I love fall.

Fall Foliage and Family Fun

After Mass with our new priest from East Africa (I think I am really gonna like him!), and a quick stop at a quick-food joint (my kids could not believe we stopped there), we drove the short distance to Colonial Williamsburg to spend the day honoring all Veterans.


What do they see? Why is Anna pulling Jack's shirt protectively?

It is a bull with some of the most impressive horns I have ever seen.

Of course I had to show you the chickens. I love chickens!

The man they are listening to was one of my favorites of the day. He got you thinking and guessing about how the farm operated.




He has found his hands and loves to chew on his fist. He was a perfect angel yesterday.

The tobacco leaves smelled so good! The man was showing us how they dried it and the smell was earthy and delicious. All that wood you see are shingles they use on the buildings there.

Anna took this one. I need to show her how to focus and zoom in on your subject.




I could look at the trees all day they are just so beautiful.



I made that sweater for her a couple of years ago. Look how short the sleeves are!

The best seat in the house.

My kids touch everything! They had to try out every gadget they found.

She kept picking up leaves and holding them in her teeth like a long-stemmed rose.

The parade for the Veterans was led by the fife and drum corps. All the Veterans walked behind them. The crowd of onlookers cheered and cheered.