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!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I know this is silly, but I just got excited as I went to write a blog post.  It just told me that my readers in Europe need to know something about cookies.


I realized I should know what it is telling me about cookies, or something, but I couldn't get past the phrase "readers in Europe."  I have readers.  In Europe.  No. Way!  I am not one for checking out my stats, or where they are from.  But, I sure did when it told me I had readers across the pond!

Waving!!!  Thank you for visiting! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Patrick is 12!

My heart is almost a teenager!  My oldest, the one who gave me the name "Mommy."  The ever-reader.  The very happy camper.  Always ready for a conversation, quick to get the jokes with a contagious laugh.  I love how quickly he inserts movie quotes (makes me so happy!) and even enjoys the old movies with me.  I love your big heart, and your sense of duty and following the rules, even in small things shows me that his love of God is deep in his heart.  I am so proud of  his efforts and achievements in his grades, in Boy scouts, and in the example set to his siblings is a joy.  God bless my sweet Patrick as he begins at a new school! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Inner Harbor, Baltimore Part 2

The main reason we went to Baltimore is to visit the National Aquarium.  I have always wanted to go, and we found a half price night after 5PM!  Hooray!

 It's amazing to go through the aquarium, as you can see the fish from above, below, on the sides, and just get all the perspectives.  Just the first room was incredible.  But I will admit, I was a bit distracted.
 They don't allow strollers.  Nope.  No strollers.  They will offer a carrier for you, and I knew it wouldn't fit Tommy, and I wanted him to help me with the bigger kids.  But, I wasn't prepared.  I would have packed differently.  And not had to carry so much.  Or even just have packed my own carrier.  Grr.  I was *this* close to putting it at the bottom of the stroller.  I knew I should have listened to my angel.  She got very heavy!
 I loved seeing Patrick and Emma touch the horseshoe crabs, sting rays, and even jelly fish!
 It says, "Please don't flash the octopus."  :)
 In order to see everything, most of the rooms are quite dark.  With my arms full, it was so tough to watch all the little guys and make sure they weren't running off!  Even with the light up shoes, it was stressful.
 We loved the dolphin show, and the all but Mommy sat in the splash zone.  And were disappointed that they didn't get wet. 

We had a wonderful time, and I am so glad we got to have a fun family outing.  We don't do big vacations as often, so a day like this is wonderful!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Inner Harbor, Baltimore Part 1

We were so happy to have Tommy take off on William's birthday so our family could have a bit of a "staycation" in our summer months.  We started our day with Mass and breakfast, then traveled to Baltimore, Maryland.  It was a beautiful day spent walking around the harbor, and just enjoying the sites, sounds and smells.
 We stopped at a Children's Museum called Port Discovery, which, in hindsight, we could have done without.  But, the kids seemed to love it, and they had a huge Lego display to enjoy, and mysteries to solve.
 It wasn't super stroller friendly, and I should have taken a smaller one, but Lucy still enjoyed herself, just being with everyone.  It's a really nice stroller, and since it is a double jogging stroller, all the kids (even the big ones) tried to get in it at one time or another.

I loved the dress up area.  It all was exactly like the Lego toys.
The Birthday boy enjoyed himself.  In the center of the 3 floors was a HUGE playground.  The kids immediately wanted to go on there as soon as we entered.  This Nervous Nelly had a heart attack every time they would get on and off at different levels!  There was one elevator, and it made it so difficult to be sure I could see them all.  My sweet husband was very patient, but I think I earned a few more gray hairs that day!
 Mommy and Daddy are usually behind the camera, so I love that the "selfie" ensures that we are seen in the photos.  Together, even!
I love all the ships, boats, submarines, and hear the old cannons being shot.
 This is the Taney, the last ship that survived Pearl Harbor.
 William wanted to wear the special pin.  Yet when everyone wished him a Happy Birthday, he didn't know what to do.  LOL
 The World Trade Center in Baltimore had pieces from the WTC in New York. 
 It said we will remember the ones from Maryland that died there.
 The day was absolutely perfect!  It helps to be by the water, and have a breeze to keep you cool.

William is 7!

I got an email that said your child has entered the "loveable sevens."  My sweet William is officially in that stage!
 He asked for a "winter" themed party and asked for a snowman.  Chocolate cake with vanilla icing sounds easy, until the crumbs get into the icing, but I think he's kind of cute.

William is entering 2nd grade, and with it the age of reason and confession and First Communion. We love you, our #2 son, and are very proud of your accomplishments in the Cub Scouts and at school.  I love your fashion sense and your love of your siblings is beyond sweet.  Here's to another great year, filled with Superheroes and many more adventures!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lucy at 10 months!

 Oh, this month has brought some really exciting things for my girl!  She is sleeping in another room (hooray!), and will put herself to sleep for naps and bedtime! 
 This walker has been so perfect for our busy household.  She can get all around our main level and keep up with all the kids in each area.  And she can fit around the island in the kitchen to get underfoot and nip my ankles and toes while I cook.  This is our first child to use one, since we used to have mostly carpet and open staircases.  I just love it!
And she has started to reach out for things, and start to point towards things and people that she wants.  She will still smile at strangers, and turn her head down shyly when the moment catches her.

 Can you see the adorable little pony tail/almost whale spout?  Putting the hair out of her face makes her look so old!
 Her noises are still "dadada" and a little bit with the "mm" sound.  She loves her siblings, and lights up when they are near.
I found a baby picture of me that is just so Lucy, and I just love when I can see the resemblance in my children!  Though, when I post photos to Facebook of my Emma, it automatically tags me when it sees her.  Not quite sure how I feel about that yet!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Answer Me This: Last of the Summer Fun

So, I came to the game late, and am so disappointed that this is the last "Answer Me This" of summer.  I think we can forgive our sweet Kendra at Catholic All Year. She just had her baby: number 8!  And it is a beautiful girl!

In this edition, we will learn how little I listen to the radio, and how often I get to the store.  (HA!)

1. What's your favorite grocery store splurge?

Oh, the grocery store.  I still have young children, so the grocery store is a tough trip.  Very often, it's a quick trip for all the things Tommy doesn't buy at Costco.  The ULTIMATE store for him.  He loves that place, and though I know it can be dangerous (ask me about the time his brother went to BJ's and came home with a rented UHaul for all his purchases! it runs in the family), our family needs those bulk items, and I have come to depend on that stash of cereal, paper towels, and TP always in the garage. 

My husband loves to explore new stores, try new things.  Me?  I like familiarity.  We have so.many.grocery stores near us.  But, if I am not sure where things are, or if I will be able to find what I am looking for, it get a little anxious, and if I have kids with me (like, always) it makes it even harder for me.  I have yet to master the Peapod delivery, or the drive through pickup after ordering online.  Someday.  Maybe that's why I enjoyed the Blue Apron deliveries. 

But, I am distracted.  Splurge?  There's never one thing that I splurge on.  It usually is something that I see at the time (almost always involving chocolate).  Maybe cottonelle wipes?  I'm not sure what my splurges would be. Now, if you said Target, which I don't consider a grocery store, that would be a longer list.

 2. How's your penmanship?

I will never be hired to write anything.  I needs help.

 3. Do you have a "Summer Bucket List?"

Keep the kids alive.
Try to maintain peace in the home.
Stay safe.
Try not to stress about school.
Have the kids do their summer school work.

So, yes, if you look at that, it's a bucket list.  Important things to do during the summer.  Super exciting, huh?

 4. What's the best thing on the radio right now?

We try to listen to books in the car (we are working through the Narnia books, again) so we don't usually have the radio on.  I don't often put on music, and when I do it's at home with the CD's or Pandora.  If you call that the radio, the best ones are the stand-up comics like Jerry Seinfeld who make my kids laugh.  (It's Bill Cosby mostly, but Patrick gets the giggles at Seinfeld and his Olympic skit, or the one about Fat Albert's car engine.)

 5. Ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Yes, please.