Tuesday, March 31, 2015

7 Quick Takes: January, February and March

Well hell-O, dear blog readers!  My dear, sweet readers that will be patient with me.  I am so excited to put my fingers to the keyboard tonight and give you a snippet of the happenings here in my world.

1. I'm sure you are all checking in to see the latest Lucy sweetness, and I won't disappoint.  Lucy is still smiling and loving to each person she meets, and has not decided to roll over yet.  She will, however, do crunches. Long, long crunches.  She will lie on the floor while I am exercising and do this.  Almost the whole time.  This is a moment in time, but it is not untrue!
 Five months have flown by, and she is the first baby that is actually in clothes that are near her size.  Little dainty flower we have. 
2. Scouts!  William just received his Tiger badge (one thing I figured out, the boys get the badge after the year is over.  Go figure.  They gotta earn it first).
We also had the Blue and Gold Banquet and I tried my hand at some creative cake decorating.  It was Space themed, and I attempted the moon.  I am not trying to start a business anytime soon. 

3. Sensory bins.  I have always wanted to have something like this for the kids to play with, and I threw some things in a bin, and apparently it seems that all the kids enjoy it.  ALL  On the deck, in the house, I love it.  It keeps them so occupied, and the sound of the scooping and digging is so fun.

4. Bubble machine.  Best $8 ever spent.  I love bubbles, but I can't ever blow enough to make it fun.  We have been taking care of Tommy's nephew about 2 days a week.  He is about a year and a half, and the cutest little stinker.  James loves having him here and it's so special to get to have this time.
5.  Baby's first Ash Wednesday!  Lent has come, and gone, since I am tardy to the party, but we had our Lucy's first ashes, and our first protest of the ashes from James.  I was NOT prepared for the screaming at Mass that we have had with James.  I am grateful that my arms are strong enough to carry the both of them in those moments.

I love firsts!  This boy pulled out his own tooth in the morning, as you can see he is all packed and ready to go to school.  He pulled it out all on his own.  The earliest teether in the house, so he is the youngest to start losing his teeth.  Very exciting!  Now, if only the tooth fairy can get on her game to be sure he doesn't lose the tooth fairy excitement.  They were just learning about the tooth fairy at school too.  According to William, she leaves a toy (!!) in place of the tooth.  Nope, sorry.  This fairy doesn't take the teeth and leaves a dollar. These kids are rich, in my opinion. 
7.  Snow! Our January, February, AND some of March has had snow.  We had about 13 snow (some not so snowy) days, and thankfully don't need to make up any days for the year. 

 There was one really big snowfall which gave us a 4 day weekend with Daddy, and was so needed!  Sledding, movies, and family time are always nice to have.  The kids all enjoyed hot chocolate after the sledding and shoveling, and I was happy to oblige.  Too cold for Lucy (and me!  Emma wears my boots, and I don't have any pants to go out in either.  Pretty soon she will be taking my coats and gloves.)

Our Start To Holy Week

 When your Saturday starts with a breakfast with the Easter Bunny and a freezing egg hunt (like 25 degrees with wind chill freezing), you are never sure what the Lord has in store.
Tommy decided we should all join him to go back to his office in the City, since he forgot his wallet.  Kind of an important thing, so we all went.  The groanings, moanings, and grumblings from the back seat were just so frustrating.  I was feeling overwhelmed, thinking we had failed in our Lent.  It just wasn't feeling very "lent-ish."  Pizza picnic in a deserted office on a weekend, in DC, and Tommy says we should make some kind of pilgrimage.  You know, to help us in our journey to Easter.  I have to admit that I was not too keen.  He mentioned 2 options, and I was trying really hard to stay quiet and not complain about the one he chose.

We arrived at the John Paul II Institute, and Tommy asks the receptionist if there is a museum, etc.  I overhear her (as I am across the room, ready for flight since I am not sure this is the place to be with 5 kids) say that yes, there is, but you should go upstairs to see the Relics first. 

Um, what?

We get upstairs, and are late, sitting in the back of a long room, and they are in the middle of a meditation.  I look at the booklet and see that there are 8 relics - mostly FIRST class - all from the Passion of Jesus.  I start to melt, and just can't believe how the Lord has drawn us here.  I am thanking Tommy's angel who helped get us here, and my angel who nudged me not to fight.  It was unbelievable.  There aren't that many people, but we are able to sit in the back, I get my heavy zoom on the camera, and tell Tommy to help us out.
This lady has a stack of Holy Cards, and has given some to Patrick and told him (gave him a mission, more like) that if he touches the cards to the relics, his card would become a 3rd class relic.  He is ready and more focused on that than anything else, but I am so pleased that the kids are behaving.
The 8 relics were:
A piece of the table from the Last Supper
A piece from the pillar where He was scourged
A piece of the thorns from the crown of thorns
A piece of the True Cross
A bone of Saint Longinus
A piece of a cloth that touched the Shroud/burial cloth
A Picture that was touched to the St. Veronica Veil
A piece of one of the nails
Unbelievable.  They tell us it's time to venerate the relics, and I see a lady come all the way to the back, look at Tommy, and say, "Would you like to hold a relic?"  Just like Simon, pulled from the crowd to help.  He got to hold the thorn relic while everyone was venerating it, as well as the picture.  I was thrilled for him, but nervous how I would manage all the kids and the lines, but I look up and Patrick and WIlliam are on their mission with the holy cards, and I have the stroller and Lucy.  I start to worry a bit while I look for a way to get around the columns and chairs, and I pick a spot that I can do, and it turns out to be perfect. I get Emma and James in the line with me, and we are able to venerate the first 7, and go around to the True Cross in the middle.

I am a blubbering mess by this time, and James keep asking me why I am crying.  I am so overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness, and I just can't believe we are here.  God is so good!
We get to the middle, and James decides he wants to do what the big kids are doing, and put his holy card on the relic.  I just caught that moment, and then I told him to give Jesus a kiss.  He reached up and kissed it no hesitation.  I'm not sure any of my other kids kissed or touched the relics, but they had their mission with the holy cards. 

I still can't believe we were able to start our week on such a beautiful note.  Not only that, but we got to do a little exploring in the museum, which will need a trip back, definitely. 
And, the way home?  Questions about the Shroud of Turin, saints, miracles, and my heart just expanded so much the more.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

January Highlights

I am well aware that I hoped I would be blogging more often with the new machine in the house, but I didn't count on the learning curve, and when someone else gives you a computer that is not of your choosing (IOW a type that you are not familiar), it will take some getting used to.  Including the fact that I can't just put my memory card from my camera in the side and upload my pictures for the blog.  Curses.  So, I will give you some highlights of our month, through the eyes of my phone. 

  • In Patrick's world, we finished our first Science Fair project.  (whew) No awards, but we are super proud of his hard work.  He ended up with a good grade in that class for the quarter, and was aware of the things he needed to work on the next time around.  It.was.so.stressful.  I am grateful we had a great set of teachers to walk the kids through each step.  We are waiting to hear back from my high school to see if he was accepted, so we can decide if we will send him at 7th grade or defer to 9th.  I think he has his heart set on going to Seton, especially since his cousins will be there.  I pray we have the path set for us so we can follow the best one for our Patrick! 
  • Much to my and Emma's excitement, we made a trip to the American Girl Store in our area, with some of her cousins.  It was a really fun girls day out, and she was able to buy some new items for her doll, and start her wish list of more dolls and dreams! 

    She is also doing basketball again, and enjoying the time with Tommy as assistant coach.  Emma also became a Squire Rose this month!  I was so impressed with all the young ladies that were there to join, and I loved the symbolism and words of the ceremony, which, of course, I can't tell you about. 
    And, as you can see in this picture, she got her braces off! We get a little break for her teeth.
  • William excelled in Pinewood Derby for the scouts this year.  He was second in his den, and 10th overall in the pack.  His is the red "Flash" car.  He did very well! (My other pictures are on my camera.)
He is progressing really well in school, and has told me that he "is the smartest in the whole class" and I don't doubt it.  I also think he has been told that by his teacher, who wants to encourage him to work harder, and challenge himself more.  He did spend a time in the desk next to the teacher, all by himself, which didn't seem to bother him too much.  But I did see that his new years' resolution was to get out of that particular "lane" in his classroom.  I am glad he realized it wasn't a privilege!  He reads everything he can get, and is at that awesome stage of soaking it all up.  We just need to work on his temper with his siblings, and to learn NOT to touch the baby when she is sleeping!
  • We took the kids to a handbell concert at our parish, where they got to see the largest handbells in the world be played.  It was a phenomenal concert, and even James just about jumped out of his seat when they played the big bells.
The kids got to experience the big bells, and poor William was a little too excited and hit his lip when he tried to play it.  It's not nearly as heavy as it looks, but he did have a little blood on his lip.
  • Lucy is just a sweetheart, giggling, smiling and giving and receiving lots of love!
  • James is still enjoying the time with Mommy, being a superhero, growing pains, and still not potty-trained.  He will say, "Sorry, Mommy, I went stinky in my diaper."  Sigh.  The fact that it is winter time makes it harder, as I can't just leave his diaper off and run around the house.  I can't MAKE him go, as he has come out with a super stubborn streak.  He is ALMOST 4, so I know it will be soon.  All my boys have gone on the potty closer to 4, and only when they are ready.  Still makes me feel like I am a failure. 
  • Tommy is super busy with all the Boy/cub scouts, and will be the new Scoutmaster for the troop come next month.  Can you see the extra gray hairs on my head from all this?  He has also begun working out with my friend in a class in the evenings.  I am SO excited for him, and so proud!  He will be sore, but he will love it. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lucy Goosey is 4 Months!

Giggles abound, first ear infection (a double whammy!!), and so many smiles.  She has started to crunch up her legs and do some sit ups, and fits right in when she comes to exercise class with me.  She loves to coo and "talk" to us, and even the people behind us at church.  We love our Lucy! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Sweet Lucy

 This sweet girl is 3 1/2 months old.  She smiles, coos, holds her head up, and stays awake until midnight with Mommy when she goes out with the ladies.  She is so happy when her brothers get VERY close to her face for hugs and kisses, and even will smile and encourage such behavior, though Mommy tries desperately to get them to give her space.  She can almost hold a toy, loves playing with her hands and even eating them.  There is not much crying from her, but so many smiles, and so much sweetness.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No, I Haven't Forgotten How To Blog

But my computer, well, let's just say it has forgotten who is boss around here, and it apparently is not me. It is sick. Oh very sick. The internet is not working!!  And I am just trying this whole blogging on my new tablet thingy today. Not sure I like it so much, but I miss blogging and sharing my photos of my super cute kids.   But I can share some of the super cute things they say.

James is so excited to tell me what time it is, but he isn't quite sure how to read the clock face.
''It's five o'clock somewhere!''

From the playroom, playing superheroes, ''I'm Flash Drive!"  (William)
"Hey!  You can't copy my powers!" (Patrick)

We are almost done with our very first science fair with Patrick. I have not heard the word "dense/density" and the like so much!!  It is quite stressful, on my part, and I wish I was as calm as he is, but it has been going on since October!  They walk him through all the steps, but it just seems like so much!  Here's hoping he will do a good job.  We are also trying to decide what we will be doing for school for him and high school!! so we would love some prayers. We know God is taking care of us, and we just want to follow His will.

I have a new little joy right now called Jamberry. Have you heard of it?  I am hosting a party right now for my friend who is a new consultant (and considering it myself) and I am so enjoying this! Look at how pretty!
Care to join in?  The party closes on Saturday, January 31! 
Ta-DA!!! Thanks to the generosity and amazing sweet Father-in-Law, we have a NEW, NEW laptop!  I am able to finish this post with a real keyboard, and on the internet.  Our poor laptop is officially done for, as it may cost more to repair.  Sigh.  On the plus side, we can let the kids write papers and whatnot without the fear of the internet being a distraction.  Until they need to look something up.  Well, not everything is perfect.
But, I am hoping I am back up and running.  Promise for more blog and sweet baby pictures to come very soon.   

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! 12 in 2014

Happy 2015!  Joining up (late) with Dwija at House Unseen for the 12 in 2014 photo goodness.  I can't promise only 12, but I do love me some photos and a good link up.  Let's begin, shall we?


During a crazy, snow-filled month, we had a new fad show up.  Superheroes.  Lots of them. My boys were adorable with the capes and shirts.
This month is always full of Scouting activities, including Patrick's last Pinewood Derby where he raced a car, and William won 2nd place in the siblings division!  He was absolutely thrilled.  The highlight in the tug-at-my-hearstrings moment was the sweet story-telling by my William to James


Dear blogger fans, yes, I knew I was pregnant in February, but was not ready to tell everyone yet.  So during this month, I was a blubbering mess in the corners of my house with the crazy amount of snow that fell for Valentine's day

and for my Patrick's Arrow of Light Ceremony, which kept emphasizing how your young man is growing up.  The Winter Olympics were on TV, and James kept asking if we were going to watch the "Lipsticks" every night.


The blogging was slow in the early months of the year, as I spent most of my days in bed with some insane nausea, so I decided it was time to "make it official" on the blog.  And my Patrick officially became a BOY scout!
With Boy scouting, comes more camping.  And with more camping, means Tommy spends more time away from home.  We had 2 catastrophes while Tommy was away, and we have the reminders on our kitchen ceiling and William's lip.
The passing of the Golden Jacket finally went to one of my kids, and our spring break zoo trip was just perfect.
While trudging through my pregnancy with diabetes issues, the day of the sonogram was a great goal to make things more exciting.  We watched my Superman spend time with his siblings as they ran a race at school, and I was struck once again with the impact of the love and support from our community as they all kept an eye our for my little guy.

Then the day came: We found out our bundle of sweetness was to be PINK!
Ah, June.  Last days of school, but especially of my William's Kindergarten year.  First year at school, and I am so proud of how well he did!

My James turned 3, and I started to join in and give you too much information about "me" in the fun "Answer Me This" posts.  More than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure. 
With the kids home, and mommy's belly getting larger, I had time for more quick, sum up everything at once posts.  Patrick planned and decorated for our World Cup party, including the menu!
Lots of camping, inside and out.
Dear August, how I wish we could have skipped you. I did not take many photos this month.  This had hospital stays, a nephrostomy tube/bag, ER visits, 2 birthdays that I missed, more doctors, more stress, tears, and the start of school for the kids, and one very terrible IR visit.  I try to look back and understand all of that is part of God's plan for us, and there is always a good reason, but I hope that some of my purgatory was spent here on earth.
With all that said about August, September brought an overwhelming amount of blessings.  With equal amounts of emotion I write about both of these months.  God provided blessings 50 and 100 fold in these months, and I feel guilty for complaining about so much. 
My William went camping for the first time!  Welcome to the cub scouts, little man! 
My baby girl and I were "sprinkled" with love and such sweet generous gifts.
  It was very special to spend time with those close to me, and the love, prayers, support and uplifting from everyone this month will ALWAYS make me cry, and just feel so humbled by God's love and gifts through so many.  Our last gift of the month was dinner made by Father Juan


We made it!!!  Our Lucy Margaret arrived safe and sound.

William is officially a cub scout,

and I spent the month trying to recover, and keep up with 5 kids. Tommy had a birthday, and our hearts are so full.
I round up the Halloween post in November, and my kids impressed me, by not begging for new costumes and being crafty enough to use and enjoy what we have in the house.

 For your (non) enjoyment purposes, Lucy's birth story was put to the blog, for a sufficient amount of embarrassment and oh-my-goodness-hormones-are-nuts.
 Lucy was baptized, and is finally without the stain of original sin. 


Well, we have reached the end of 2014.  A year of surprises, blessings, love and God showing us that we need to trust.  In everything.  God is always in charge. 

 St. Nicholas cookies,
Christmas, and a new post, which I neglected to add before.  Christmas pageant, when my Patrick made his singing debut.
 My Emma turned 10, and was adorned with some new jewels.
 Thank you for the prayers, support, love and most of all, reading with us this year.  We are so blessed, in so many ways.  I can't begin to see all the things that God has in store for us this year, but we are so happy to share it with so many of you.  Thank you, Lord!