Sunday, May 31, 2009

on "sleeping in"

In the wee morning hours (around 1:30am to be more exact) I held young Charlie as he breathed in yet another nebulizer treatment for the tightness and wheezing in his chest. (allergies? not sure, he has the episodes just once or twice a year) Anyhow, as I was putting him back to bed I mentioned he should try to "sleep in" in the morning.
"Sleep in what, mom?" he asked curiously.
I laughed deliriously.

(guess it doesn't sound as funny now.)

BTW~ he's doing much better today already. Think we nipped it in the bud with those few treatments.

apologies for my absence...

Where does the time go?! We are embracing the summer break here...swimming, bike-riding, parks and picnics, baseball, softball, tee-ball, and any other outdoor activity we can scheme up. The kids are staying up long past there 8:30-9:00 school night bedtime, and sleeping in a little too. While I'm loving this break from school schedules and homework, it has turned our happy little organized routine upside down. Gone is my "quiet time" while the younger kids nap and older ones are at school. Gone too is my evening routine of cleaning up the house, and spending a little time on the computer after the kids turn in for the night. (I used to have about 3 hours from when the kids went to bed, till John got home from work.) I'm struggling to find time to get everything done...but it will come, I'm sure. It must!
Since John has been on evening shift, I've been doing all the cleaning, laundry, etc myself. No complaints really...I've had that time slot open to get it all done. The kids have not had chores or "Saturday: Cleaning Days" in a long time. This week, that's all going to change again. Nothing's set in stone, but in order to maintain some sense of, well, ORDER...the chore charts will resurface. Kids will be helping with things like dusting, vaccuming, emptying the dishwasher, evening "pick up" of toys and shoes and things, etc. Oh, they'll buck it at first. Who wouldn't. But it will work out. I'm looking forward to the help, and when things are getting done, I can free my mind to thnk of more things to do outside the house. We've started listing all the parks and other free/cheap things to do and visit this summer. Time to start mapping it all out!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A few years (and a few kids) ago, John's dad shared this cartoon clip with us. I think it best explains how we "manage" with all these kids.

dropping like flies

(the training wheels that is.)

Both John and Charlie found they could ride without them, after taking off on their sisters' 2-wheel bikes down the driveway, to the neighbors and back without batting an eye. I'm not sure they even realized what they'd done until they returned and saw the dumb-founded looks on mom and dad's faces. It was a matter of minutes till Dad grabbed a wrench from his tool box and removed the training wheels from the boys' bikes. They've stopped riding only to eat and sleep...I'm sure they'll be back out there peddling first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

summer means...

...picnic lunches in the back yard, as often as possible (who enjoys cleaning up the kitchen while everyone else is outside?!) and of course, watermelon!! mmmmmm. Yummy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

wonder what I'd be worth as a trade-in

A few weeks back, I got a little sad when Charlie told his dad that he wanted to "trade in mommy on a new one, because she got an ouchy on her leg." While I didn't take it too seriously, I was surprised at how easily he was willing to "trade-up." Geesh. Am I that expendible?
Today though, as we were loading into carseats in the van, I heard him mention "Mom, time to trade in our Charlie for a new one, cause I got ouchies all over my legs!"
I laughed this time, understanding that he really didn't want to get rid of me (yet), just wanted me to be "good as new" again. I think that would be nice sometimes too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

workin' at the carwash...

good clean summer fun! Can you believe my kids BEG to do this?! If only they'll be that excited as teenagers.

(BTW~ don't you just love Frank's droopy drawers..."cracks" me up!!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

a strange quiet

It's a strange phenomenon called "sleep-overs" that has taken not one, but SEVEN of my kids from me tonight. Nothing like this has ever happened before on such a grand scale. Alice, Emma and Sam were invited for the weekend to visit their Aunt and Uncle in Sandusky...gone till Sunday. This afternoon we watched my neice for an hour, and when her parents came to pick her up, they snatched up Grace and Mary as well for a sleepover tonight. And Grandma and Grandpa called to see if John and Charlie might want to spend the night there. (They try to rotate having the kids stay overnight in pairs, this is Charlie's first outing.)
John's at work, so that leaves me here this evening with just the 3 youngest. We went to McDonalds (ate there, even...not drive-thru) and ordered Happy Meals (a major splurge!) What a fun evening. Frank and Rose and I enjoyed snuggling on the couch a bit after Lucy was asleep. They usually don't get much lap time with mom at bedtime anymore. What a rare treat, indeed!

transitioning into summer

First day of summer break, and where are my kids? Downstairs at there desks, playing school of course.
An offer to turn on the sprinkler, and play in the water quickly sends them scurrying for swimsuits and towels though. Yah. That's more like it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009



It's time to celebrate here at our house. Today was the last day of school. No more alarm clocks, no more homework. No more spelling lists, math facts, mad minutes, or diaromas to build.

Instead, after school today it was water balloons, bean bags, dodgeball, ice cream treats, and weather warm enough to have everyone splashing in the sprinkler. The neighbor kids and a few other friends helped us to ring in the season. Summer break is here.

I repeat...Woooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooo!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

feeling fluffy?

A friend and fellow blogger has been sharing her personal struggles with weightloss for a few months now. She's feeling like she's hit a wall, so to speak, and has asked myself and another friend to share our struggles, advice, support, etc. I'll be posting occasionally with her at Our Weight Loss Adventure.
If muffin-top, spare-tire, thunder thighs, jelly belly, seem to be your hang-up, or if you have great advice, support, tips to share, give us a shout-out in the comment box. We'd love to hear from you!
I still have 16# to lose to meet my goal from last May of losing 50# total. Maybe you can help get me there!! (without cutting off my hands, which are constantly feeding my face)

Anyhow, join us if you like. We're worth it!

planting season

Okay, I'm later than most people in getting my garden out...but it's coming. I just love this time of year when the yard is coming alive with beauty. All the trees are thick with green now, the Clematis and Irises are in full bloom, even the miniature roses are close to opening up. The grape vine and Knock-Out roses are fairing well, and the daisies and other perennials are all showing hope of returning to full glory later in the summer. I planted some zinnias and sunflower seeds yesterday...two of my favorite fun, colorful (low-maintenance) flowers. I hope they come in as well as last year.
And now...the garden. I sliced up a tomato (if one could call it that) from the store yesterday. It was flavorless, and more like eating cardboard than anything delicious. It left me longing for August when real, juicy tomatoes and other wonderful garden goodies are ready for picking. This year we're planting 6 tomato plants (of 2 varieties), 3 pepper varieties, red onions, yellow onions, lettuce, zucchini, pumpkins, and small green onions to start. My garden space isn't big enough for sweet corn, so I typically buy that in large quantities from a local farmer for freezing. (Last year it was 14 dozen ears I think).
Prayers to St. Isadore (patron of farmers), who's feast day was last week, for another bounteous growing season!

Deo Gratias!

Praise be to God!
I can't think of her without spilling tears of joy. Prayers for baby Magdalena have been heard, and answered as she is home with her family after 3 months in the hospital!

Her story (in short): Magdalena Lucia is the 11th child born to a wonderful couple here in our hometown. Suspected to have Downs Syndrome, and diagnosed with a rare heart condition at birth, she was able to come home for just a few short days, when it was discovered she needed abdominal surgery (for a previously undetected intestinal blockage?) Anyhow, she spent 3 months in 2 different hospitals each more than an hour from home, with her mom remaining at her side. This left the rest of the siblings and papa at home, praying for miracles. The graces and love that outpoured have been inspiring to say the least. Our family here, joined many others each night at 9:oo pm (Magdalena's siblings' bedtime) in prayer, and asking our guardian angels to join with hers. Prayers for healing, and for their family to be together at home have been answered! We are so grateful for the gift of Magdalena and the goodness God has allowed so many to witness through her and her family. I am also grateful for her family sharing their struggles and successes with others through an online hospital website.
God is good! God is good!

Monday, May 18, 2009

God is Love.

I'm still chewing on yesterday's readings. John and I went to separate masses yesterday, allowing me to fully participate, pay attention and enjoy. I was particularly moved by the second reading.

1 John 4: 7-10
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves
is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for
God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son
into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we
have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

As Alice, Sam, Grace and I headed out for church, we left the house frustrated and yelling about running late and kids dawdling. It certainly was not the tone I wanted set as we headed for mass. The days readings and theme of love moved me to tears as I recognized the simple and complete message...God is Love. Our love for others is a reflection of His love for us. Lord, thank you for this gentle reminder to mirror your love in our actions and words.

my little princesses

having a ball!

Rosie enjoying the dance time with her ribbon wand.

Grace, Mary and Rose posing with Pocahantas, Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White.

all smiles after getting make-up and nails done by the teenaged princess helpers.

This fundraiser event was the brainchild of a friend of mine from the local mom's group I'm in. She had access to the Disney princess outfits (teenage girls sized) after someone in her family purchased them for a birthday party. She decided to host a princess party for little girls in the mom's group, and others as a fundraiser for a teenage girl in our parish to attend a mission/retreat out of state. The teenager and a couple friends donned the princess outfits and greeted little princesses, posed for pictures, painted nails and did makeup. It was a fun event for everyone that included donated doorprizes and raffles for larger princess-themed gifts. The girls in attendance gave a free-will offering to help raise money for the mission trip. It was such a success, that she offered the party a second year, and now this third year, our parish got involved offering our parish education center as the venue, with dozens of teenagers (boys and girls) helping to organize/run it. As little princesses arrived they were assigned small groups with a teenaged "Princess" leader, who escorted them room to room for various activities from story time, make-up and nail polishing, photos, dancing, snacks, etc. It was such fun, and even more enjoyable knowing that the donations raised will be helping a dozen or so kids from our parish attend a retreat at Notre Dame this summer.
Now, my boys just wanna know when there will be a "Bob the Builder" party :')

what did you do this weekend?

end of the year choir party
picnic at the lake
playing at the park
softball practice
princess party for little girls
family picnic for Sam's Conquest club
date-night dinner with friends
local "Bock and Rock" beer tasting event
graduation party for 2 neices
4H meeting

oh, and then the usual fun stuff like late-night laundry folding, end of year school paper sorting, meals and cleaning and much, much more.

Is it monday yet?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

rockin' and rollin'

These two cuties enjoy some time atop the rock that just landed in our front yard. If you look closely, you'd see the rock is engraved "Jamie 1981."
This darn thing has been following me for 27 years now. When I was just nine years old, this rock sat in the front yard of my parents home. Each time dad would mow, he'd elect one of us kids to trim the grass around the rock. After much arguing, he etched my name and the year proclaiming "It's your rock, now you trim around it." (How lucky is that?!)
Anyhow, when John and I bought our first home, the rock showed up in our yard one day thanks to my brother and a fork-lift he'd borrowed from work. My parents had long since moved away from the home with the rock, but my brother had talked with the new owner, who agreed to part with it.
Once again, three years after living in this home, the rock finds it's way back into my life.
I have 2 nine-year-olds now. I'm wondering if I should flip a coin to see who's is the next name to be carved in the rock, and who will earn the title of official weed-trimmer around the rock. And heaven forbid, it should land in their yard one day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

and another "big girl"

Grace Elizabeth graduated from Kindergarten today. She's growing up faster than I'd like. I must admit, she appeared to be made for the stage as her class of 15 entertained us with a handful of cute songs and skits.

Here she is, entering the gymnasium to receive her diploma...

...and later at home. It's official. The diploma is signed!

...and with classmate and cousin Phil

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fátima is the title given to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children at Fátima Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May.

"O Most Holy Virgin Mary,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
you were pleased to appear to the children of Fatima
and reveal a glorious message.
We implore you,
inspire in our hearts a fervent love
for the recitation of the Rosary.
By meditating on the mysteries of the redemption
that are recalled therein
may we obtain the graces and virtues that we ask,
through the merits of Jesus Christ,
our Lord and Redeemer."

my other little "big girl"

Baby Lucy is growing up too fast! Her hair is finally long enough for piggy tails, she got her little toe nails painted today like big sisters...oh my. Where does the time go!?

more potty talk

I thought I may have been opening a can of worms when I brought up potty training yesterday. It involves our children, we want to do it right, and we all have opinions about what works and what doesn't. When our first two were "ready" I tried just about any rational suggestion given to me. We started on their 2nd birthday (exactly) and it seemed they were both very interested, and at times lucky, but it was really stressful trying to maintain sanity amidst the accidents, floor scrubbing, additional laundry, etc. Little Sam had just turned one so just keeping him out of it all was another factor. Anyhow, I gave up after a couple weeks, thinking I was a complete failure, but later learned that when a child is truly "ready," complete potty training takes just days, not weeks or months. When I say complete, I mean dry most nights, no accidents during the day, and able to go without constant reminders (i.e. putting them on the pot every 1-2 hours.) There seems to be a "window" of curiosity/interest at a younger age (nearer to 2 than 3) but it all boils down to how much time and energy we as parents want to expend on the training. Does waiting longer, or starting early make us better parents, or mean our kids are smarter, probably not. When done with a sense of charity, humility and love the timing is always right. My point is, we do what works for our family in any given situation. In most cases, all my kids were potty-trained with nursing newborns at home, so an every-hour potty schedule just wasn't in the cards even though I am a stay-at-home mom. Instead, we opted here to wait till closer to three when things just click a little faster. I'll admit, for the boys (all of them, and probably Frank too) it was right at their 3rd birthday. I literally made the transition by explaining that they would not be wearing diapers anymore, and I quit buying them. (Period.) We had a day or two of accidents, and by day three all of them were nearly trained, with no more accidents by weeks end. We've only used pull-ups with one of the kids who after several months of being a "big-kid" started having accidents again at night. We kept the pull-ups on at night for a couple months, at which point he was managing to wake up on his own and go without accidents. I did however, use up leftover diapers at night during first nights of training, by putting diapers on top of underwear. This allowed the kids to know they needed to stay dry (and could feel if they'd wet) but also kept beds dry, to prevent middle of the night linen changes. This never lasted more than the first week or so. The girls were all closer to 2 1/2, but otherwise no major differences.
Overall we've been incredibly blessed with "easy" potty experiences. I know whatever age, or whatever techniques you've used for your kids were right for you, and you'd probably recommend them to your best friend (or at least share with them what didn't work for you.) But again, it's all about doing what works within your situation, and providing a loving healthy atmosphere while doing so. In hind sight, it always seems easier than when we were in the trenches, washing out dirty panties and sitting on the edge of the tub, just begging them to "pee a little bit."
I have found myself to be much more laid back with #'s 8 and 9, and think that rather than giving advice, I'll just cast aunderstanding glance to mom's with toddlers racing thru Walmart aisles looking for the potty, and nod an "I've been there, I can appreciate what your feeling" your direction. Honestly, we will look back on this and laugh one day. It's all good, and led by God. Many prayers...many prayers.

this is why I'll never be skinny.

(I have mentioned before, I love to bake, not?!) Oh, and then I like to eat too. Bummer, how that works.

Today the youngest 4 helped me to make a double batch of Monster Cookies. (For those less familiar, a single batch calls for 1/2 pound butter, 1 pound brown sugar, 1 1/2 pounds of peanut butter, 1 pound choco chips, 1 pound M&M's, 9 cups name a few.) It's not for the weak-armed. It's quite a workout just to stir the dough, which I'm certain makes me feel less guilty about indulging in a few.

Anyhow, I'll be busy through nap-time, but hoping to freeze a bunch for next week's end-of-school year treats, etc. But don't worry, we'll have plenty to eat here too!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

potty time!

At nearly 3 years old, it's time to give potty training some serious thought for twins Frank and Rosie. We've talked about it a lot, and they've given indicators that they're ready, but I've not really pushed either of them yet. That is, until today. They both wore big-kid underwear from breakfast on. Rosie took to the idea right away, and by afternoon, had peed 3 times, and even pooped on the potty without accidents. We have several little potties in the bathroom, one in the kitchen (they tend to sit longer, if they are where the action is) and one out on the patio (cause sometimes it's a long way in to the bathroom!) I was cleaning up the kitchen after lunch when I heard Rose hollar from the back yard "Mom, I pooooooooped!!!" I peeked out the kitchen window to find her sitting proud as a peacock on her little pink potty chair...right in the middle of the patio for God and everyone to see. Little turkey had snuck outside for some "private" time and did her business just like a big girl. Our backyard neighbors got an eyeful for sure, but what the heck...we were all little once, right? It went down hill from there, with several accidents throughout the afternoon and evening, but never-the-less a thrilling first day I think. She ended on a good note by climbing on the big potty and peeing all by herself at bedtime. Frank...well, lets just say he was back in diapers by noon. He had 3 or 4 accidents by then, that didn't even bother him. He's still perfectly content to sit around wet all day if I'd let him. Oblivious...all boy. He still enjoys sitting on the pot every time Rose does, but has had no luck just yet. We'll see what tomorrow brings. We made a trip to Dollar General this morning as reward for Rosie's first success, she picked out Dora panties. I should have been able to predict the day for Frank when he put his Spiderman's back on the shelf and said "No thank you." (At least he was polite about it.)
All of the twins in this house trained at their own rate...I had wished there would have been some friendly competition to encourage each other on, but that never happened. So, who knows, I may just leave Frank in diapers for another month, till Rosie's a pro. I've been known to tell a few other boys in this house that "They don't make diapers for boys who've had their third birthday." August is still a couple months away. I can be patient. In the mean time, I'll be cheering Rose along, and praying for another successful day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

care to know what your child's been up to lately?

...grab a baseball and mitt, and prepare to get an earfull!
Sam was complaining after school today, that he'd have to wait till Saturday to play pitch and catch again with Dad. True, with John's evening schedule, weekends are his only time with the school kids. Sam continued on about needing practice, so I interrupted him with a "What am I? Chopped liver?" He smiled reluctantly and headed outside to find something to do. I popped supper into the oven, and found 15 minutes free. I followed him out, threw him his mitt, and started tossing the ball with him. I learned several things...his baseball skills have improved immensely since last season, mine have declined, and that boy can talk! I learned more about what's going on in his world in 15 minutes of pitch-and-catch than I've heard him discuss in months. It was wonderful. The rest of the kids were playing outside anyways, and even Frank put a little mitt on and tried to participate. Sam was a good sport about sharing his time. The best spent 15 minutes of the day, I must say.
Thank you Lord, for allowing us those moments in time.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

beautiful memories of this day, 10 years ago.

I hope you all had a blessed Mothers Day. It certainly was nice here. We started the day with mass at which Alice and Emma sang in the choir, and Sam donned his First Communion suit once more and participated in the May Crowning. I couldn't help but get more than a little teary-eyed in the pew reflecting on how far we've come.
It was Mother's Day 1999...10 years ago exactly, that the real story of our family begins. I hope you don't mind if I share a bit of it.
At that time, John and I had been married over 4 years, and had been trying desperately, to have children. We'd sought treatment with fertility specialists that led us to try various surgeries and procedures, including several failed attempts at artificial insemination. (At that time, we just couldn't understand our Catholic church's teachings...wanting desperately to have children anyway we could.) Anyhow, this particular Mother's Day, 2 of John's sisters were having their babies baptized, and we were invited to celebrate with them (John being Godfather for little Ben.) I struggled a lot with my emotions then, finding it painful to see other families grow, while I seemed to be losing hope of ever having any children of our own. In church this day, as we gathered around the baptismal font, the combination of Mothers Day, babies, baptisms, etc just got to be too much for me, and I snuck away to the back of church to try to gather myself. It was this very moment, that I prayed to our Lord for peace. I didn't want to hurt anymore. I wasn't certain that He intended for me to be a mother, so I begged Him to help me find peace in what He wanted for me to be. I remember clearly asking Him to help me to be a good Godmother, a good wife, a good friend...whatever it was He wanted me to be, but to help me release my desires to be a mother, if it was not His will. I just wanted to accept it, and to not feel pain every time I was near a newborn that was not my own. I was given the grace to compose myself, and enjoy the day for what it was, a beautiful celebration of new life.
But more amazingly, within a few weeks of that day, we'd learned that I was pregnant. On Father's Day we shared our early news that we were expecting, and just days later learned it was to be twins. We managed to concieve on our own, although I had been started on a trial of Clomid which is likely what helped us to see double. We have visited our fertility doctor on several occasions since, only for social calls. He's now since retired, and we enjoy sending Christmas cards updating him of our growing family from year to year.
Certainly God has been kind and merciful. Often I'm reminded, although on Mothers Day in particular, of the goodness and graces that come from trusting completely in Him. How beautiful are His plans for our lives, if only we place ourselves in His loving hands. Ten children, plus one in heaven in 10 years time. God is good, indeed!

BTW~ Happy anniversary of your baptism Jenny and Ben. I said a prayer for you both today, thanking God for reminding me through your baptism, of the gift of His grace.

Happy Mothers Day 2009

A few years back, a woman from our church delivered a hot meal to our home after the arrival of our first children, twins Alice and Emma. Included with the meal was the following "Mother's Mission" statement. This tattered paper has traveled with us as we've moved, and remains taped to my refrigerator as a beautiful reminder of the gift and responsiblity we call motherhood. I didn't know her well at the time, except by name, but funny that over the years we've come to be good friends. Thanks Amy. Do you remember?

A Mothers Mission

A mother's job is special
And carries strong demands.
With the molding of the little life
God places in her hands.

Though her life may not be glamorous,
The world will see her worth,
For 'tis true "The hands that rock the cradle
Are the hands that rule the earth."

To bring her children up in Christ,
Indeed is very much,
For the years will show her value
By the lives, their lives, will touch.
~R.K. Cecil

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I smell gas...

I could take that title in a lot of different directions, but I'll get straight to the point. There was a gas leak in our home last evening, and it wasn't Sam this time. Upon returning from 4 Seasons park where Alice and Emma had softball practice and I had the other kids to play, I thought I could smell something funny in our home. (I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I first thought it was my new deoderant...maybe it didn't work as well as my old tried-and-true.) So I didn't react right away. The older kids took showers, younger ones got hands/feet baths at the edge of the tub, and everyone was in pajamas ready for a movie we'd just rented (A Tale of Despereaux). As I passed through the tv room, the scent was stronger (I ruled out deoderant malfunction.) and as I headed out the front door to check the porch for toys, and close up shop for the night, I smelled gas even stronger. Great. I called my dad first, and asked if he'd come sniff around and confirm. Sure enough, we had a gas leak, and the entire house was filled with the heavy smell. I cleared all the pajama'd kids out to the van and over to mom and dad's for the evening while my dad stayed back and called the fire department to shut off the gas and clear the fumes out of the house. At one point, as the kids had settled down a bit, I drove back home to check on things, and found the Fire Dept's heavy equipment truck lit up in front of our house, and several neighbor kids checking things out. How my kids would have loved to watch this (happening somewhere else of course.) But the fact that it was at our house, was a bit frightening to some, and I was glad they weren't there to watch. Sam said it just right when little John asked about going back in for something..."Everything we need most, is right here John!" (Amen!)
Our gas company technician made it out about 10p, found the leak (right out front in our flower bed) and repaired it. The house was all clear to return around 11pm, but by that time more than half of the kids had fallen asleep at grandma's, so we just camped there for the night. I wish I'd had a camera to capture the image of bodies sleeping everywhere. Grace, Mary, Frank and Rose slept sideways in the full-size spare bed with Lucy in a pack-n-play in that same room. John and Charlie fell asleep on grandma and grandpa's bed, but later were moved to camp on the living room floor with the 3 oldest. I got the couch. And John...well with a little forewarning of course, arrived home from work after midnight to a very quiet empty house, and slept like a baby, I'm sure.
Today is Opening Day for the little league teams in our community so Sam had to be at the ball diamond at 8am this morning for team pictures, Alice and Emma at 9, and games starting at 10. We woke at 7, piled in the van and headed for home for a quick breakfast...and another day/adventure begins.

Friday, May 8, 2009

when's something's good...

you should say so. (no, we're not related, but yes, we thought he treated us right.)

window work, wearing me out!

3 days of window crew workers in my home....wearing me out!!! It was fun and exciting for about the first hour, which is when I posted last. Beyond that, not so much fun. I spent much of the days trying to keep young boys off the trailers and out of the saw dust, away from power tools and down from ladders. We've worn out our welcome (I think) at Grandma's house, and I was so glad to wake up this morning and stand at my kitchen sink without handing a hammer or other tool sto the worker standing in my window. Yikes. I'd never survive a reality show with crews around 24-7. John and Kate can have their fame...but at what price.
I ran into a good friend at the park last embarassed I was to realize I'd not showered in a couple days, and was wearing sweat pants I'd worn to bed the night before. All the chaos has thrown me into "schlepp" mode. I'm not even sure what that means, but a shower and leg-shaving was good for the soul last night! Today, I'm baking brownies, and watching the sun shine, still working my way out of the funk I've been in all week.
The windows are fabulous, clean (whew, that was another full-time job) and did I say fabulous already?! So, enough complaining. I must move on and enjoy the day!
Peace and blessings to you all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's nobody's fault...

(this time.)

The "workers" are here, and we're getting some new (much needed!) windows. For the past couple years we've been able to enjoy nice breezes...year open or closed. And with a nice wind, the windows shake like a freight train is coming through. There are much nicer "fun" things on my wish-list, but this year's tax return was most wisely spent towards windows, at least on the main floor for now. The upstairs, perhaps next year, they appear to have been replaced once already.

Anyhow, the kids here are going nuts over all the excitement, tools, workers, etc. Wooohoooo!

Monday, May 4, 2009

just another day in paradise

Sometimes, I just gotta' sit back and smile.
This evening was just an ordinary day with nothing on the schedule. Boring? Not a chance. After our picnic supper in the back yard, we stayed out to play. Mind you, nearly every toy is pulled out of the garage by the toddlers who try something for 5 minutes, then move on. So the neighbor kids know, we're out, and we're ready to play. At one point we had 18 kids in the back yard; one teenager (who lasted only moments), the rest ages 12 and under. What on earth do they all do to stay entertained? Well pull up a patio chair with me, sit back and take it all in. It's a hoot!
There are 4 of the older ones back near the alley playing a mean game of basketball, 2 youngest in a swing with an older girl pushing. 3 boys in the fort swinging plastic rakes and other "weapons" at would-be invaders, 3 others rolling balls down the slide~then back up again, and 4 or 5 girls sitting around a much too small toddler-size picninc table reading jokes to each other, and laughing hysterically. I can't help but just take a break, sit back and watch. This is what all neighborhoods should be like growing up, not?! I love that some kids come over to hang out with kids their age, while others come over just to hold and play with the "babies." Everyone's happy and entertained. And this mom, just thrilled to have read a newspaper cover-to-cover for the first time in ages!
Is it any wonder walkers and joggers passing by nearly break their necks to check out all the action at this house? I'd have to look long and hard too, just to see what kinda party's going on! No party....just another day in paradise!

simple supper

The weather's warming, John's working evenings, and the kids want to be outside as much as possible. Factor in my inablity to decide on "what's for dinner?" and it all boils down to this...simple supper. I'm almost embarassed to admit what we had for dinner tonight...but I will. Simple supper: this translates into non-heated, hardly any dishes required, finger-food. Tonight it was peanut butter on saltine crackers, raisins, cantaloupe wedges, granola bars; eaten on paper plates at the picnic table where the birds and ants will happily finish what's left behind in the grass. Everyone's happy, I'm thrilled. (For a late snack, leftover cake from yesterday's festivities.)
Fear not, I'm putting a bit more thought into lunch for tomorrow, when John will be here to enjoy it.

a couple more pics from the day...

God Bless Sam

...on his First Holy Communion.
There's something about a young man in a suit that melts a mom's heart. Hidden are the scraped knees, and bruised elbows. Hands and fingernails washed clean, made worthy to hold the most Sacred Body of Christ. Even his hair slicked just a little, like my Grandma did for all the boys on special occasions (without the Dippity-Do gel.) I still get a little misty-eyed just thinking about it again. We learned much in this past year, preparing for this special day, and all the Communions to come. I'm so proud and grateful that he's finally able to participate fully in the mass. Now, Sam...go forth, to love and serve the Lord!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

celebrating small successes


Okay, it's not Thursday (which happens to be the day over at Faith and Family on which they ask readers to share in small successes) but I'm working hard here, the results never last long, so I just wanted to do my little happy dance with you all! I'm high-fiving myself over the fact that I've just scrubbed my kitchen top to bottom...even behind/under/around major appliances!! Yeah me. Like I said though, it never lasts just wanted to gloat.
Tomorrow's Sam's First Communion, and the kids know if mom's cleaning like this, there must be something special going on. What could be more special than receiving Jesus?! Fr. Kyle (of Called By Name) has a neice receiving her First Communion here as well, and we're glad to be having him concelebrate the mass along side our own parish priest, Fr. Rick. It looks as if the rain is going to hold off, and sun will indeed shine, so we're planning a nice barbecue outside...didn't even need to clean my kitchen! (oh, but I did.)
Have a lovely weekend everyone!