Friday, April 22, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday: Otherwise known as the Push to Blog

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I have blogged.  I have so many pictures and events that I need to blog about, especially as the  school year is crawling, um coming to a close. 

7QT:

1. All the children are in the last quarter of school.  Officially.  We are in the final stretch, and will have a Kindergarten (whaaaa?) screening for James in the next week.  The kids are really having a great year, and I am very proud of their grades and hard work. 

2. My Patrick did a project on Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy.  His teacher told my sister that he was a "genius" when he did his presentation.  This project has launched a beautiful devotion to this prayer and he has eaten up all the books and cd's he can find.  He even discovered an organization that has the mission to spread the message of Divine Mercy and he has made his plans to be part of them someday.  God willing, maybe as a priest.  But wow!  Grace is abounding in my young man.

3. William has just reached his next rank in scouts, officially.  He is now a Wolf scout. 
Next step for him is First Communion on Mother's Day weekend.  We will do it with his cousin, so the family will all be able to do all of it together.  Now, if I could just take care of his gifts to be sure they come in time. 

4. My days are very busy chasing Lucy, who has decided to climb on everything.  All chairs, tables, and couches are fair game.  She climbs and says, "Gee down!"  As she nods her head.  She is also at the take everything out, drop and keep going.  I am exhausted!  She repeats so many words, understands so much, and is just an all around stinker.  So cute.



5. I want to take a moment to draw your attention to my awesome husband in the photo above.  Notice anything?  My man has been dropping some serious weight.  He is doing incredible in his journey charting in over 50 pounds lost!  That scout shirt used to be much tighter.  He has been working out with my same trainer, and loves it.  It originally began with the 21 day fix, and he has just continued with that lifestyle of salads, fruits and veggies.  Lots of them!  (not to mention the money saved from packing his lunch every day)  To see the difference, at least from badge to badge, take a look at Tommy last March.

This is TRX and it is so much harder than it looks!  Look at that pike!  Lucy loves to join us when go, even though I go in the morning and Tommy goes at night, she is so good.  I don't usually let her roam around, but Tommy did and she loved being part of it all!  Um, but she will go back in her johnny jumper when I am at class. 



6. On a more personal note, April has not been an easy month.  Our family (my own, and my siblings) have had our share of some big crosses to handle.  Some health, financial, emotional, and some maybe they haven't even shared.  At Mass today, I felt the Gospel was aimed directly at me, from John 14: 1-6.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled."
"Master.....how can we know the way?"
"I am the way, the truth and the life."
I need to stop worrying.  I have to trust.  Even when I am going through a darker time when I feel alone, or "put upon" by my family, or overwhelmed in worry, I need to remember who is in charge and who has prepared a place for me in Heaven.  God has given me this life, with 5 children.  He will provide and take care of each one.  His Way.  The Way.

7. Last Saturday, I got the decorating bug.  Now, hold your horses, it wasn't a BIG bug, especially because this lady doesn't like bugs of ANY kind, but the big ones, **shudder**.  I decided to do some picture hanging, changing, and going through some boxes in the basement.  You know, boxes that have artwork in them from the last house that just haven't come out since we moved in, oh,  2 1/2 years ago. 

This is a wall sticker that I found at Target, and thought it was about time I put this up SOMEplace where we would have a good reminder.  The kitchen area above the light switch looked like one of the best places, as we are always there.  It's not super eloquent, but it is a great reminder for me each day.  I moved some other items to different walls, and hung a quote that I was SURE was by Saint Francis of Assisi.  Darn it all if I hung it, and my sister said it is NOT one of his.  Bummer though it is, I still like the quote.  "Preach the gospel always, and when necessary use words."  I found an article about this and I wasn't too keen on the writers take on the quote, even though we don't know who said it.  That's another post, not for a "quick take."

Linking up with Kelly for more SQT.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Joy

Our family has a wonderful reminder during Holy Week, and when we are all together on Easter, we follow Jesus' example of the washing of the feet. 

 I love how serious the kids become at this time, especially since we were just at the Holy Thursday Mass to see this. 
 After the washing comes the egg hunt.  We didn't prep Lucy, and she just woke from a nap, so she wasn't quite ready to go, and all the eggs were gone.  Her sweet brothers gave her some and we "hid" them for her.  I think we may have to practice again.
 Golden Jacket was passed from a Nava to an Angsten.  The Easter Pooka was using tape this year.  I have yet to find the golden/alleluia egg.  I just don't think like that when I am hunting eggs.  And I am chasing a young child.
 Our next round of fun came from Pie Face!  My kids were so excited to play, and I wasn't sure how it would go.  I brought it out, and was the first to get hit in the face with the whipped cream, and some of the kids were so excited.  Some boys would have a cookie ready so they wouldn't waste the whipped cream. 

 The roars of laughter are the best.  The expressions are just great!
 And some aimed it juuuust right.
50 days of celebrating! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Alleluia! He Is Risen!

Our family attended the Easter Vigil, and I loved that we were part of such a beautiful Mass!  70 new Catholics got me very weepy!


 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lucy Sweetness

I am so long overdue with just a sweet Lucy post.  Indulge me in my photo dump!  She is almost 17 months, busy, chatty and just getting into mischief. 




 
 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

On of the Nicest Birthdays I have had in a Long Time!

Lent birthdays are never easy.  Lent birthdays on a Friday are even harder.  Add to that a husband leaving with the oldest and it makes it just another day.  This year, I decided to change it up.  I have discovered a clothing company that does online and home parties.  I LOVE these clothes!  They are modest, cute, and comfy, and have opened up the world of leggings, which, yes, aren't technically pants, but oh, so soft!  The company is called LuLaRoe, and they are known for their unique prints.  I decided to have a home party with some friends to see if they would share the love and fun with me. 

3 racks of clothes: shop and bring home!  I was absolutely thrilled with how many ladies came, and stayed late. 
 My friend Carol made special birthday drinks, and we all socialized until almost midnight. 
I also had a sweet friend (on the left) make my favorite cake for me!  It was DELICIOUS, and one that I would never make just for me. 

Happy 36th to me!  I couldn't believe how many ladies came, enjoyed themselves and even came bearing gifts!  I am so grateful for them all, and I think I may make it a tradition to do this again!  (Should I admit that I will be going to another party in a week? :) 
Emma and I wore our goodies on Sunday.  I loved that even Emma can share in the fun, and be modest and ladylike.
James just wanted to be with everyone, so this is where I found him at the end of the party.  I just feel so blessed! 

Lent and it's sputtering start in our home

 Lent started the week after we had a week off of school and sputtered through the following week.  It was a tough start, as it always is, here, but it began perfectly for my William.  He made his first Confession on Tuesday, February 9.  So excited for May and his First Communion!
 Ash Wednesday was the next day, and James very grudgingly got ashes placed on his head, and Lucy was just totally unsure about the whole thing.  (Yes, I am one of the distracted mommies in church who takes a selfie in Mass).  I found that my ashes stayed quite long this year, just like my mom's used to do.  I never understood how she did that.  I still don't know the secret. 
We have been doing stations of the Cross at home, and we have been trying to get the kids more focused on them.  I have wanted to make the little votive candle holders with the stations on them, but I haven't been able to get my act together enough to prepare for that.  So I tried to just put out some little candles, just to see how the kids would do with the candles.  (It's hard to tell, but there are 14 candles)  I really wanted the mood of the candles, but the kids needed to read the station book, so we didn't manage it as much as I'd like.  But the snuffing and the flip chart are a great tool to get them involved.  We used the stations booklet from my sister Jenn's blog.  I need to make a better copy so we all can have one, and William had a box with props for each station.  All in all, except for the occasional fights over who's turn it was to snuff, and how hard it is to share the books, I think it went okay.
 Our favorite Father Juan had a holy hour for children (I called it for kids, and Patrick was indignant. "I'm not a kid" so I clarified.  "Kids and pre-teens.") and I just love the joy and love of Jesus that he reflects in all that he does, and the sweetness of the time with Jesus.  My favorite was the 3x we days, "Jesus, I want to be a saint." 
I have not put out the beans, as I forgot, but there are still 4 (!!) more weeks of Lent left.  Our newest priest, Father Noah, came to our home the weekend before Lent.  I hope he had a nice time, and I think James hugged him a total of 10 times while he was here.  Father was an eagle scout and we hope he will keep up in spending time with our scouts.  We played a version of Clue, and I don't think the noise of our family of 5 kids was too much, as he is coming from a family of 8 kids!
 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pinewood Derby, Wolf Scout William


After a week at home from school due to the snowstorm, we gathered all the families in the Knight's hall for the annual Pinewood Derby!  James put a car in this year again, and the two boys did very well. 





Monday, January 25, 2016

Snowstorm, Blizzard, Snowzilla - Whatever you called it, there is a LOT of snow!

Greetings!  Winter has finally come to Northern Virginia. 

All at once.

All in one day.

All outside our windows.

Snowstorm Jonas came and dropped snow on us from Friday afternoon to Saturday night.  We received over 2 feet of snow here!  We are on snow day numero 3, with one more (at the very least) tomorrow.  Yep, lots of togetherness.  Lots of shoveling, and movies, video games, science fair, and food.  Oh man.  So much food. 



I am so grateful for my strong husband, who went out to shovel numerous times without a complaint.  He was rewarded in his duties when our generous neighbor used his snow blower to clear the snow the plow had put at the end of the driveway, and then helped us finish the driveway!  I gave that sweet man some cookies!  It didn't seem like enough!

Our little area doesn't see snow this often, and not EVER this much so fast.  We were told to stay home.  Just stay home.  My husband went out in the beginning of the storm, before it got bad, and I texted him to make sure he was okay.  He was taking his time, and I worry, you know.  It's my job.

This was his response.


Yeah, he's a keeper. 

So, here a few more obligatory snow pictures!







Lucy didn't go out in the snow.  She put everything on, went on the deck and promptly fell down and cried.  So, this is all we got.  The boots were too much!