Thursday, August 31, 2017

First Day(s) Of School!

With 2 schools, we have 2 different start days.  Seton starts first!  Emma was thrilled to put on a new uniform.  She came to us and told us she said about 10 rosaries to help herself fall asleep (unsuccessfully). She was a bit excited!
 
7th grade, with the 2yo and her bed head.
 
Patrick.  The Freshman!  Here he comes!  He had just gotten full braces on, a couple days before.  But he refuses to smile showing his teeth.  We call it the turtle smile. 


James just wanted to be part of this photo shoot.  Can you find him?  Dejected, sad and unloved.

 
Round 2!  James is off to 1st grade!  He was so excited, and has Penguin Power this year!

 
William lost a tooth the night before to give himself a good "buck teeth" smile, in his worlds.
4th grade!  He will be a F.R.O.G.
(Fully rely on God)


 

 

 
Oh, and this stinker?  So 2.  So cute.  And So sweet.

 
Here's the crew!  All ready to go!  God bless all the teachers and their hard work.  Keep their joy and passion the whole year.  Please bless all their studies, and may they do them all for the greater honor and glory of God.  Always.


Here's to an amazing year!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Solar Eclipse!

The excitement was everywhere.  But especially online with all the things you were supposed to do, not supposed to do,  where to find the eclipse glasses, and how to use them.  Keep your eyes safe!  We were in the path of the partial eclipse, and chose not to drive to "totality" (which sounds eerily like an occult).  But, we were able to get glasses from a NASA visitor to the scout Pack meeting (score!), and we made some viewing boxes.

August 21, 2017!  We got excited, ran to have our teeth cleaned, and came home ready for the fun!

 
We tried really hard to view the eclipse, and see as much as we could, but the clouds were not cooperative.  The view in the box was the best, as I couldn't figure out hot to take a pic through my glasses.  It was an adventure!
 My husband was able to see it all, even the cool half moon shadows on the ground through the trees.  But, we had rain.
 
And though we kept trying, it was not really as exciting as we had hoped.

 
But, we will have another in 2024, and we will save our boxes and glasses for the next one! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August Birthday Boys, and An Incident

These boys will probably always have a shared post for their day(s) and especially this year after big family events and a party.  I am a bit partied out.

First: William is 9!  Mass, breakfast, rain, lots of rain, time with family, and cake and minions. Lots of minions.

 
And, the big 4-0 was my big brother Glenn!
 
(On a side note, I found this awesome banner maker, and I went a little crazy!)
 
Next is my big Freshman: Patrick is 14!
 
 
We had a quick visit from our priest friend, who gave us a beautiful Franciscan blessing and got us ready for the feast of the Annunciation, or Patrick's birthday. 

 
 By the way, do you see the bandaid on James' eyebrow?  He fell, while dressed as Batman, and hit his face.  The glasses broke the skin and he needed 3 stitches.  Poor thing was an amazing trooper!  After getting an expander this same week.  What a brave boy!
 
 


 

 
 


It's Hard to Know Where to Start

When you have taken a "blogging break" albeit unintended, but nonetheless, a break.  Life happened a lot this summer, but not quite in the ways that I thought it would.  I struggle to come back to the blog, as there are a few "events" that I *gasp* didn't blog about, and I hate to make those kids feel unloved.  I am all about chronology, and putting things in the way they happened, so sometimes blogging for me is tough.  But, I need an outlet.  And, my dear readers, all 5 of you, don't have to come along, but I am happy to have you.

Our families have had some issues that has changed quite a lot of what we are focused on, and I guess that when it came to blogging, it took a very far back seat.  My mother-in-law has had such a hard time with back pain that she decided to have back surgery.  Her recovery has been slower than we hoped, and it is such a stress to see her in pain, and struggle to walk.  The surgery went well, and she is finally without her walker or cane, but it is still a while before she will be fully recovered.  She has an incentive to keep going, as she has all her children in the same country this year, and wants to make a road trip to visit them.


My mother decided to have a full knee replacement in June.  That was a tough surgery, complicated with some infections in the skin, but it went very well.  We are so impressed with how well she is walking!  And, mom knows she will need to do the other one at a later date, and will feel more herself when she can walk.  We are so blessed that our family is close, as we all rallied to help after her surgery.  My sisters My sisters were amazing nurses.  My dad had to work, as he is his own boss, so the big sisters kept the pain pills, therapy, meals, and running of the household, as well as their own homes, running so smoothly. We also were able to have all the family together to see her, which is the best therapy around for my mom. 

But the biggest reason for the quietness here, is my younger brother.  Around the end of school, the Best Gregory of all, was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gerhig's disease.  It was a long time of testing until it was official, and we were hoping and praying that it was not.  But this has made our family all feel the need to come close, to be here, to see him, to try not to wear him out too much, but to pray and be here.  With all those feelings, we have had visits from the out of town families.  Joe is such an example of how love and suffering go together.  He has always touched lives, even as a little guy, and everyone wants to pray for him.  The grace and acceptance with which he has had with this diagnosis has been so beautiful.  Please pray for him and his family.  It has been quite a lot to process, and the kids seem to ask me if I am crying all the time, because I am. 

But, before any of this happened, our family had already made plans to celebrate an extremely special lady. My mom turns 70 this year (we also have 50 and 40 in our family).  We decided to do a party at my house, and it was another occasion where we could be together.  We were missing some cousins and in-laws, but all 7 kids again!  Longtime friends and family came, and everyone had a wonderful time.  I was a bit stressed out to plan the party, but my wonderful friend Lucia catered, and it was delicious.  The whole family pitched in to help make the day wonderful, with decorations, seating, a slide show, a special cheesecake (who knew that was my mom's favorite?), music, a punch that will knock the bad mood out of anyone, especially Sherman, and support for me each time I called in a panic. 


 
The best joy for me, was that my brother and 3 of his girls came to stay with us.  My kids were so happy to have them, and it filled my heart so much to hear them all together.  One of the girls actually brought a special toy from Vermont for Lucy to play with, as they remembered that she loved it during our visit.  And they left it here for her to have.  What sweetness!
 

 
We also had some birthdays, and a VERY long scout camping trip, as well as a family funeral.  It was a very full summer.  But not the kind that most think of when you say "we were busy." 
 
 
Friends: if you would like to join us in praying for the intercession of Fr. Al Schwartz for my brother, we would appreciate it! 
 


 

Monday, June 19, 2017

End of School Photos

Well of course I took photos on the last days of school!  We had 3 different "last days" but we got them!

First was Patrick, and his trusty sidekick for the next 2 weeks. 

 
He.is.going.to.High School!

 
Then we did all 3 kids on the last day for James.  He had a graduation so he looked extra sharp.

 
4th grade, are you ready for this boy's fashion sense?

 
First Grade, here he comes!

 
Emma's last time in this uniform. She is off to Seton next year!  7th grade.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Some News

Our family is working through some big issues at this moment, and I am struggling to find the proper words.  So, I will let my sister's words speak for me.

God's way are not our ways.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Some Travel Sights

In true Tommy fashion, we made the most of our trip home from Vermont.  We stopped at some sights on the way home.  First stop was in Whitehall, New York.  Apparently, in the middle of land with no water in sight is the Birthplace of the US Navy. 

 
Next stop was Steamtown, Pennsylvania!  There is a really cool museum there with an actual Round House, with a turn table.
 




 
The kids loved all the train cars to explore.  Lucy even found an interesting elevator to go down without anyone else.  Thankfully, there was no one else in the building so we were able to find her quickly. 

 

 
 
Everyone rang the bell on an old steam train,

we could have stayed a very long time in the different parts of the museum.  But, we were traveling and needed to get back on the road, so we enjoyed the highlights.
 
Next stop: HERSHEY!
 
We went on the free ride of how Chocolate is made, and enjoyed some samples and goodies.

 
When you ask the kids what their favorite part was, they all said Hershey.  I think we sweetened that deal with the chocolate bribes. 
 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Be Sealed With the Holy Spirit

Our First Confirmation!  My Patrick Dominic is confirmed!
 

 He chose my Godson, Michael to be his Sponsor.
 This is Patrick and my parents, and his Godfather (would you add a prayer for him?  He's got some health issues that we are praying for good news.  Thank you!).

 This is our AWESOME new bishop.  Bishop Burbidge set up the Confirmation to have a Mass (YES!) and he came and did 2 nights in a row at our parish. 

 
And of course, we had our priests there as well!