Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Breaking with Tradition

This year has been anything but traditional, including how we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Usually we are on our way to my parent's house right after we open presents. But today, we stayed home. We opened presents, we had a lovely breakfast, we played with all the new things, we made cookies, we are having a nice steak dinner (I am waiting for the potatoes to finish roasting). I am thankful for this Christmas Day with my family before we head overseas. Next week all sorts of craziness and chaos will be the norm, but for today, we have enjoyed the relative quiet of our little family of eight.

She wanted this specific kitchen. Never mind the pink model was A LOT cheaper.

He has wanted this for a long time! A metal detector.


The perfect seat to practice playing your new accordion.

Homemade cinnamon rolls that don't take forever. Made with biscuit dough.

His first "treasure" found with the metal detector! I always wonder what happens to all our spoons!


Merry Christmas from our family to you!






ok, so this is not from Christmas Eve, but he was not cooperating yesterday!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Coal for Christmas?

As I tie up all the loose ends preparing for Christmas morning, I decided to pop in for a minute. After spending a week at my parent's house taking care of their dog and my grandmother, I am home with my family. My dad had his surgery and is recovering very well. I really appreciate all the prayers that were said for him.

Last night, I stayed up way too late assembling toys and wrapping gifts, watching old movies and drinking lots of hot tea to try and keep at bay a cold that is threatening to make me feel miserable. The big girls and Tony started out helping, but one by one, they got tired, or rocked a baby back to sleep, until it was just Sophie and me.

This afternoon we will go to Christmas Eve Mass, where Anna and Jack will be in the children's choir. They have been rehearsing for an entire month. I have tried to let go this Advent and really enjoy the time with my family. Believe me when I say that this has taken much grace from God. I do not recommend trying to move overseas at this time of year. There are other kinks in our plans too. Trust. Trust that He knows what He is doing. Rest. Rest in His arms. I repeat that a lot lately.

Which brings me to the title of my post. Instead of getting upset when I saw what I saw, I laughed and grabbed the camera. One determined toddler can make many messes, but when he is trying to clean, how can you get mad?

Sweet little boy wanted to help wash his bottles.
But how did he get up there without any help?

Tony found him already washing the dishes.

Therese offers a clue as she tries to see what is going on.

Up and over is how he did it!

He is not naughty, right? He was just trying to be helpful.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Kid Creativity

The kids have been impressing me with their art skills lately. I am very, very thankful for the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure. Our mornings have been so much fun! This morning we started some gingerbread houses too. The buildings are pretty much ready to decorate now and that will be our afternoon activity.

We forgot to inform Sophie, who arrived home for Christmas break last night, that it is a St. Lucy feast day tradition for the oldest daughter to get up early to make cinnamon rolls and coffee for everyone. Cinnamon toast was an acceptable substitute, though she was not up early, so the mom had to make it!

Coloring page from Holy Heroes

Not creative, but he has learned 2 new things: to say 'cheese' and to stay back long enough for me to snap a picture.

lego Nativity Christmas tree ornament by Jack

Therese brought me this drawing today as a present. I love it!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent with kids

I am not good at planning. You would think that I might be, given we homeschool and all, but that is not the case. So planning liturgical celebrations is not my forte. I want to give my kids a love for their faith and celebrating feasts and saints and seasons seems like the perfect way to build that love. So when I stumbled upon this website last night, I was so excited. And this morning, when the kids and I checked out the activities for the day, we were not disappointed. We have had fun and they are learning! 

I may be the only Catholic mama who had not heard of this, but for those of you who are like me and are not good planners, here it is, all sent to your inbox daily! Holy Heroes Advent Adventures!


**I forgot to add that today you can get the CD of St. Juan Diego for free, just pay the shipping!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday was one of those days. If one more person had told me one more thing that was even slightly unpleasant, well, let's just say it was a good thing they didn't! But then I read Jamie's blog and I realized that I needed to find the little things and just be thankful. There is so much to be thankful for!

  • First, I am thankful for Jamie, who helped me to remember where my heart should be.
  • I am thankful that my husband has a job that provides food, shelter, and clothing for us all with some left over for those unexpected bills and maybe even a treat now and then.
  • I am thankful for unseasonably warm days in December, so the kids can play outdoors without having to get bundled up.
  • I am thankful for little boys who like to snuggle in my arms to fall asleep. 
  •  Thankful for a spunky, sassy, full of life 3 year old little girl.

  • Thankful for creative little boys whose Christmas list includes a metal detector and an accordion.

  • Thankful for Caribou coffee, which was on sale at the Commissary.
  • Thankful for the Commissary, where my dollar definitely goes further.
  • Thankful for wonderful friends, near and far, that have made my life much richer.
  • Thankful that God blessed me most abundantly with seven children.
  •  Thankful for Amazon, so I do not have to shop in the crowded stores for Christmas gifts.
  •  Thankful for the satellite radio in my car which allows me to listen to EWTN or maybe a little bluegrass music while I drive. There is something about a good banjo lick that makes my heart happy.
  • Thankful for banjos!
  • Thankful for the ability to knit. I love to create those neat little rows. I love the feel of the soft yarn. I love the pretty colors.
  • Most of all, I am thankful for a new day, a better spirit, and my Catholic faith that sustains me!