Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What's Fall Without A Halloween Post?

Of course we did Halloween!  We had a hugely busy day, and for the first time, we did not have all the kids together for Trick or Treating.  The older 2 were invited out with friends (super nice families) and we let them go!  I was excited that it meant Patrick has made some new strides at Seton, and new, bigger kid activities are opening to him.  Emma had a birthday celebration to go along with T or T. 

But first, we had a party at the Knights of Columbus.  All but Mommy were dressed in costume!  James asked me who I was dressed as, and the usual response from me is "a Mommy."

 Glinda, Minnie, Christopher Columbus, Baseball player, and Iron Man. 
A prize if you guessed James was "Larry Boy" and his super suction ears!  A friend loaned us this adorable creation by her mother, and James was thrilled to wear it.  Though a mask and glasses don't always go well together.

Now, a little backstory on Emma's costume.  This creation is from my senior year in high school musical, where I was Glinda!  The dress was so pretty, and just a little long (as I had a 5 foot wide hoop skirt when I wore it), so I pulled out my sewing machine and did some stitching! 

Now, if you have a costume on in the morning, and you decide to trick or treat later on, it's only natural that you pick another one, right?  Well, we had 2 fast changes that evening.

William decided to be a "Formal Apology" but he didn't tell folks what he was, so he didn't get as many laughs as I had hoped.  This one gives me the giggles.

The little guys all went out with Daddy, and shorter legs means less candy (thankfully).  Tommy even took sweet Lucy along with him.
 I was alone.  All alone in the house.  I got an itch to do some tidying.  I almost always sit outside and hand out candy.  Almost every year it is me.  And our neighborhood has long wait times in between.  So, I started to clean.  I left a big bowl outside, I had lights on, I would go to the door every now and then and wave at the neighbors.  Then I got distracted, and I look up and see a line of kids at my door, looking at me expectantly.

My bowl was gone. 
My candy was gone. 
GONE!  Not even an hour had gone by.  I was so upset.  Dratted kids.  I liked that bowl too.  But, it was my own fault.  I guess.  "Trick or treat!" 
But, I still had the Cutest Minnie in the world at my house!  Love this cutie patootie! 
Carrot Cake: from the LSU Tiger Bait Cookbook 


 4 eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1-8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
3 cups grated carrots
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and lightly flour two 9” round pans or one 13” x 9” oblong
Combine sugar, flour, soda, salt and cinnamon and stir together.  Combine cream cheese,
eggs, and oil.  Beat well.  Add vanilla and beat again.  Add dry ingredients and mix until
well blended.  Add grated carrots and chopped nuts and mix.  Pour into pan(s) and bake:
45 minutes for round, or 55 minutes for oblong.  Cake is done when toothpick comes out
clean.  Cool and frost. (Recipe follows.)


¼ cup butter (softened)
1-8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
1-1 pound box powdered (Confectioner’s) sugar – sifted
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter and cream cheese until very light.  Add sugar gradually, beating after each
addition.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Enough for top, middle and sides of round cake.

(Note for me: if icing is too thin, continue beating, add more powdered sugar, and/or less milk)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our Best Daddy

Tommy celebrated his 37th birthday this week, though if you asked him, he would tell you he's 34.  That's what happens when you get old.  You forget things.
 I love this picture with all the kids, but especially Lucy's bed head in this shot.  We had to wake her to celebrate with all of us. 
 We tried to use the trick candles on the cake to surprise him, but he knew as soon as they were lit and began sparking.  I made his favorite, usually made by my Mom, carrot cake!  But, I need to whip the cream cheese icing longer and add more powdered sugar to make it thicker.  Next year!
The kids got a kick out of how many breaths it took, and this isn't his first time blowing out those candles!

Our best Daddy.  He sacrifices every day, waking up early to catch a train for about an hour to get to work.  He works in DC, where the pressure is high and sometimes the people are not the nicest.  He takes a train home, to come to a house full of little people - full of noise, full of love, and sometimes (very often times) not so clean.  It's usually a quick dinner, then off to an activity: exercise class, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts (usually bringing one or more children along).  He has added an extra item to help out at Patrick's school.  His evenings are busy, but he always finds time to give each child a slice of himself.  He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Eucharistic Minister, and Jail visitor.

And, if 5 children to love isn't a big job by itself, he has me.  I call with crazy questions, text him incessantly, cry for ridiculous reasons and am always worried.  About everything.  He will answer my calls, laugh at my jokes, hug me when I am at my craziest and help get me on the right path to Heaven.  He has so much love for God and keeps our family together with his love.

My husband works so hard, gives with all of himself, and keeps all of us together.  We love you so much, our Best Daddy, and we thank you for all you do!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Congratulations, Mary and Ryan!

Mary and Ryan (aka #maryan2k15) are married! 
 All my boys cleaned up really nicely, and James was very proud of "his bow." 

 William and the flower girl, Laura.  The two of them are always together when we have a family event.
 Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
 We all had an amazing time, and the kids danced until they told us we had to go home.
I can't get over how grown up Emma looks. 
 We were missing some family members, some far away, and some staying home to care for a sick child, but the weather held for the outdoor reception at the winery, and I was super proud of my family.
 My husband cleans up extra well too.  Isn't he the handsomest in his tux?
This is just one of the many times we had kids on the dance floor, and they were whip nae nae - ing.  I was too.  :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Lucy is 1!

My sweet Lucy turned one on October 3!  Our sweet girl is such a joy, and we are so blessed to have her with us.

Monday, September 28, 2015

September! When did you sneak in?

With the start of school, a new school, and an always worried momma, the computer, pictures, and the blog have sadly been neglected.  It seems like I spend most of my days in the car, driving to and from the 2 drop offs, 2 pick ups and the frequent drive through of the many fast food places nearby.  James starts giving me his order when we pass the golden arches much sooner than I care to admit. 

On that busy note, I keep thinking that I will have more time after this, or this, or just a minute here and I can blog.  Oh, and I should blog about that!  I will definitely have a good post about that.  Maybe even current events?  Hahahaha.  Who am I kidding?!?!  We don't watch TV.  My "current" events seem to come from my blips on Facebook, Instagram, and the occasional conversation with the husband.  I am so not up on the things happening. And I so often forget things even after I write it down. 

But, in overview, we have had a busy month.  Tommy and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary!  We had a quiet evening out, very cheaply, and just talked together.  We don't get to do that much, though we should.  Our anniversary is the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross.  We have learned that marriage is the cross, as Father Mosimann told us those years ago. We had the readings of the day, and have tried to live and love our cross as best as we can.  We have been very blessed in our years together, and I know that the Lord has great things in store for us.

Patrick is really enjoying his time at Seton.  My eyes see fruits in his love of God, and his joy in small things from school.  Dodge ball is his favorite thing right now, and he has already prepared his high school classes and what he wants to take!  He asked me if he could take Chemistry next year!  He has the brain for sciences and math, and this makes me so happy.  He has signed up for clubs, and made some new friends, and continued with old ones.  It is so special to feel like we are home, a place where I spent so many years growing up.

There have also been some camping, and Tommy took the 3 oldest to a family camp.  Once again, the hothouse plant that is also known as his wife stayed home with the baby and James.  They always have a great time, even though Patrick's allergies always act up dreadfully in his eyes when he camps.  Next trip, William and James should be able to go! 
I should add that there have been some lows this month to go along with the highs.  With the van, it made the beginning of school a bit more stressful.  Car trouble is never fun, and when it has a big price tag it hurts a little more.  With a new school comes new stresses, new expenses, and new schedules.  To tell one child "yes" and another "no" to balance the family life is tough.  This momma doesn't do well spending my days in the car, shuttling kids to and fro activities.  It goes well with my mommy-guilt that is in full swing this time of year, when the kids are so thrilled to be where they are and want to do more! more! more!  and I am screaming no!no!No! inside. 

We are excited to start a new month of October, with a birthday for Lucy (!) and feasts galore! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

School Year 2015-16

My kids have been in school a few weeks, and I just realized I never put a first day post!
 Patrick began at Seton for 7th grade on a Wednesday.  That afternoon, our van decided it needed a new alternator and broke down not even a block from school.  Quite the story to tell for the first day.  James kept saying, "And then Mommy's car got dead."  It was a busy afternoon!

William is a big 2nd grader this year! Big sacraments, and a whole new hallway with the bigger kids at school.  He has already found himself a new best friend, and only talks about the girls in his class.
James will be doing preschool at home with Mommy, and we will keep enjoying every second together, and his sweet smile and patience with all our driving and pickups and drop offs.
Emma is a 5th grader this year, almost as tall as Mommy.  She is almost too tall to be wearing a jumper, and her feet are bigger than mine.  I have to keep wearing some shoes with a little heel!
My kids at 2 schools means that some of them get to catch up on the news and fun of the others that they miss. 

God bless all the teachers, students and the parents who make so many sacrifices to get to this point every year.  We love you kids, so much.  Please, Lord, guide their steps, and keep them with you all year.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

50 years, 7 children, 31 grandchildren: One Couple

I am filled with joy, gratitude and love as we celebrate the anniversary of my parents. 
50th anniversary. 
 We had a Mass offered by a priest family friend.  My siblings all joined together to help make a lovely celebration after the dinner.
 A beautiful vow renewal celebration. 
 Our mother's request, we sang "Panis Angelicus" in 4 part harmony, accompanied by our sister Jenn.
A small celebration afterward included 6 children and 20 of the 31 grandchildren, just a few priests and some dear friends.

 The oldest grandchild, Joseph, got a small message from each grand kid, and he made a video for the grandparents.  It was perfect!  I needed way more tissues than I anticipated.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life from my parents.  That room would have been empty except for the face that my parents came together in marriage.  Thank you for the gift of our faith and the joys that family brings.  Thank you for showing us the power of prayer, sacrifice, and your graces!