Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Sunday Best: Fall Weather! And, What Happens When I Try To Blog 2 Days in a Row

Cool breezes and temperatures dropping means it's time for jean jackets and boots!

My Sunday best link up with Rosie, who is looking so cute!

I love when I find something that I haven't worn in a while, and makes me feel like a million bucks.  The necklace was in the bottom of my drawer, and just suited this dress perfectly.  Jean jacket is from Old Navy, boots are a staple for Sundays in the fall and winter, and my dress is called Carly, from my new mania, LuLaRoe.  I love the high-low on the dress, and I feel a bit princess-y when the wind catches it. 
(Hardest part of this Sunday link up is feeling comfortable enough to take a picture of my outfit.)

Lucy and her curls.
Daddy is away this weekend so we had Mass with one adult, and it's like the toddler has an extra sense that she needs to act up, and we had to leave Mass multiple times today. Climbing over people each way, since we were in the middle. 
At least I looked good in my Sunday Best!  :)

Donut Sunday made things a little bit better.
Until I tried to write this blog post.  A certain child decided it was the perfect time to use a sharpie. 
Here.  I was working on it for HOURS, and I don't think it will ever come out.  Oh man.  What a day it has been.


Friday, October 7, 2016

7 Quick Takes: Saint Michael, Lucy's Birthday and More Lucy

7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Kelly for this weeks 7 quick takes! 
1).  We had the Archangels feast day on September 29, and I had this desire to wear leggings.  Little did I realize that my longing for comfort was also liturgical in nature!  Apparently, Saint Michael is the patron of leggings.  We don't often celebrate feast days, but both Lucy and I were happy to participate.
2). The newest Reynolds grandbaby had a Baptism, and sweet Joanna is lucky enough to have Tommy as Godfather. 
3). I sent a text to my local family to let them know that we were doing cake on Sunday for Lucy.  I had a small cake, and some ice cream.  I am not one for big parties anymore for little kids.  It's more fun just getting family together if you can to let the grownups talk.  I didn't think more than a handful would come, but was TOTALLY thrilled that ALL of them came!  I have 5 siblings local, and they came with their kids and so much joy to celebrate Lucy.  It was a quick visit, but absolutely perfect. I was so touched that they wanted to come and be together, but especially for my little "Light."
These boys are soo sweet with her. 

We would ask Lucy if she was having a birthday, and her response would be "cake."  She was excited for the cake, but I think in all her joy of the day she wasn't even ready to eat it!  (Walmart was selling cake mixes for a $1!  I didn't stock up, but I should have!)
4).  Lucy loves Barbie.  We watch the Barbie Princess movies, (something I implemented as soon as the kids started to go to school.  Ninjago and Lego Batman were out while I was exercising.  It was time for some girly movies!) and she was so excited with her new gifts. 

This photo is one of my favorites. 
5).  Because it is still Lucy's birthday week, I will give you more Lucy love.

6).  Some James school quotes, which I love.
"I don't like coloring, but I know I have to do it, so I do."  (insert heart emoji!)
"I want to be on K2 Superstar so I don't do anything wrong during the day."
(His teacher told me that he doesn't say ANYTHING in school, so of course he can focus on his work, and is on K2 superstar.  Which will involve a prize so who wouldn't want that??)
He comes home and wants to do homework right away.  I love it.  I know it won't last forever, but that sweet boy has so much joy!
7).  We are back in our busy routine of meetings, camping and workout nights.  My handsome husband works so hard, and I know he could use a pick me up.  We did enjoy the shooting range, but that can get expensive.  I want to be able to do date nights, but it's tough to schedule them, as well as find a good babysitter.  Patrick is technically old enough to watch the little guys, but I don't think I am ready to leave all 5 of them for a few hours.  And, though the older ones are self-sufficient and don't need the sitting, it is still expensive for all 5.  I know.  We are in the trenches and will be for a while, but it's so hard to be sure that we are making time for "us" in this busy life.  

Friday, September 16, 2016

7QT: Ants go Marching, CWBN, Lucy and Honesty

Linking Up with Kelly for a 7 Quick Takes

1) We have survived the first weeks of school!  James has done really well, has come home talking about "my friend" in his class, and learning all the ins and outs of kindergarten.  I am especially excited that he wants to show me all his work!  He was the one I was worried about, since it was his first time in all day school. 

2) Lucy is the only child at home with Mommy and seems to get in more trouble when the kids come home.  She talks so much, complete sentences.  Runs to find exactly what you need her to find.  When you call her name, she says, "Yes?"

On the drive home from school, Lucy gets louder as she tries to make herself heard over all the kids.  So she says my name over and over and over again, and doesn't really have anything to say so she has a phrase: "Yogurt raisins all gone."  Sometimes drawn out, sometimes fast, but she knows it's nonsensical, but she smiles and says it anyways.

She is also THE most polite child. Her "thank yous" come after anyone does anything for her. Including change her diaper!  She says "'scoos me, Mommy!" when she interrupts and will say please more than I ever have to prompt her. Even when she is upset she will scream her polite "pleeeeeeeease!"

Her awesome curls are the talk of everywhere we go, and she has begun to notice what people say.  "Lucy's hair curly?  Lucy's hair curly."   I can't believe she is almost 2! 

3) At the beginning of September, I took a drive into Front Royal to meet some amazing Catholic bloggers at a Conference (CWBN mid Atlantic).  Some of my favorites were there, and kept me a bit tongue-tied.  The extrovert in me wanted to meet everyone, make connections and just be friends with as many as I could.  But the introvert in me won out.  I don't often take the time to do things for "me" including retreats, or even enough going out with Moms to make new friends.  I had an great time listening to the talks (by Elizabeth Foss, Mary Lenaburg, Jenny Ryan, and hosted by the sweet Rosie Hill and emceed by Kelly), but I think I wasn't prepared to learn so much, and all I could think of was that I don't fit in this group.  I struggled a lot that day, and wished I had been better prepared, and really ready to open up in groups, open my heart to new friends, and squelch that dreadful feeling of inferiority.

I have sat down to blog about it many times, but the words don't want to come.  Mary encouraged me to share exactly what I am feeling, and to be more vulnerable, and even share on Facebook.  Baby steps.

 4) Tommy and I celebrated our 14th anniversary on September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  I went to Mass with my little kids' school, and I love hearing the same readings we heard all those years ago.  We didn't celebrate that day, but Tommy took of the next day.  We spent the day just being together, and actually went to a shooting range.  My first experience with a gun, and Tommy's first time shooting a pistol.  I was the flincher in the corner, when we first got into the room, jumping at the (really) loud guns going off.  I have to say once I got past the nervousness, I did okay.  And may even go back!  Who says you need a date night?  Date days are even better!  Especially when you have wonderful friends who will watch Lucy for the morning.

5) James has joined the boys in the house and become a Lion Scout!  The cutest little guy around is doing the pilot program in the local Pack, and he is so excited!  It's a very easy, once a month thing with the little boys, and we had the first meeting at our house.  I loved the joy of all the little boys and their parents who came for the meetings.  I teased Tommy that any parent that offers to help or lead gets first dibs in the small den.  :) 

6) Our ants have died.  They didn't last very long, but absolutely fascinating to see the progression of the ants building the tunnels.  I am still opposed to any more pets, as I can barely keep up with the humans I have in my home already.

7) The beautiful Rachel Cupps was so generous to offer new headshots of the ladies that attended the conference, and it took me some time to get up the noive to put myself in front of the camera.  But, I did, and I am so glad I have a photo that shows me my wrinkles, and the extra layers of age on my face, as well as the new dress and necklace that I just love. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hiking as a Family!

Tommy was the most excited about this outing.  We were going hiking as a family!  It was a very hot day, with a promise of waterfalls and a swim!  It was a long drive, and I am one for keeping my head down so I don't make those dreadful scared noises while my very capable husband drives.  So when my phone says "No service" I knew we were almost there.

The water was cold, and rocky.  The kids enjoyed some slides that were naturally made in the rocks.  Not the most smooth, but I was impressed that the big kids tried it out.

Not my usual habitat, but I was there!

I couldn't believe how well the kids hiked.  Not one complaint, or annoyance uttered, except maybe by myself.  James just wanted to be helpful and carry a backpack with the camelback water.  He wasn't a quick hiker, but was so happy to just be along and chat with Daddy, who slowed his pace to be with his little feet.  

The bigger kids were so fast, and Patrick had the next biggest pack.  All the scouting trips and hikes sure helped his endurance.  The falls we stopped at were the lower ones, as I knew by looking at how steep it was that the kids wouldn't make it.

And, most of all, it was lovely!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Patrick. Teenager. !!!

No, I didn't forget to post about my oldest entering teenage years.  I perhaps was in denial?  Yes.  More than likely.  If I don't document it, it didn't happen?  Right? 

Well, like it or not, my oldest is 13.  He will be confirmed this year, and continue on in his journey at Seton and finding his path towards Heaven.  Some days he even mentions that he will be a priest.  :)  My heart is happy to hear that he even thinks of that as an option, and I pray he finding his vocation in life.
Happy Birthday to the boy who loves to hike, try new foods, and play board games.

My son who doesn't like cake, loves ice cream, and asked for Indian Nut Bars and wings for his birthday celebration.  His cousin joined us to celebrate on is day, and he chose "Hoosiers" for us to watch. 

My Assumption baby, my first born, my big-hearted child, who even asked to learn how to change Lucy's diapers so he could help me more.  He loves games, but especially card games, new ones, and ones that he can take to school to play with his friends at recess, when he's not up for basketball.
We love you, our best Patrick!! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

First day in the 8th, 6th, 3rd, and Kindergarten! (oh my)

School.  It has begun!  And I am still not sure I am ready, but here we go!
8th grade.  His tie has R2D2 on it.  He started last week, on a Wednesday.

He was up, and so ready to go!  My big boy is going to school!  These guys started on Monday.


I have another middle schooler in the house.  Emma is in 6th.  (whaaaa?)

And my ever casual, no big deal William is in 3rd.

Lucy knows the days will be different.  I think that is why she isn't the happiest in the pictures. 
God bless all the teachers, new and old friends, and keep them close to you, Jesus! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Our Own Backyard Fun

We live so close to so many great historical places.  But we don't often get there as I am not up for traveling to DC alone.

Enter my Superman husband.  I am so lucky to have him!

We hopped on the VRE (Virginia Railway Express that my husband takes to work every day) and rode into DC.  James was so excited to ride on the train!

This day was full of firsts for me and the kids.  First up was the Tidal Basin.  I had never walked all the way around and enjoyed the views, or see all the memorials that are there.

It's a beautiful walk, next to the water, with some lovely trees.  I was kind of irritated by the "warning: low growing branches" sign.  Like, really?  We have to have a warning for everything?  But as we walked, I saw that the beautiful cherry blossoms grow at an angle, over the water.  The view is just lovely!

I just might be convinced to come back when they are all in bloom!  Just maybe. 

Around the basin are 3 memorials (I think only 3).  First up is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. My cell phone camera cannot come close to catching the size and awesomeness of this!  In the background, on walls on either side, are many of his famous quotes.

He was such a powerful speaker.  It was a very somber place, big enough to let the kids wander and expend energy, but it kept a reverent attitude. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is the next marker on that walk by the basin, another first for me!

My history is quite rusty, as I didn't realize he was president for so long.  His quotes are practical, and came from a time in history that was a different kind of struggle than MLK Jr.

It's quite a large memorial (with bathrooms at each end of it.  Perhaps it's because they have waterfalls all throughout it.  Rushing water is calming but does give you a certain urgency.) and the kids all loved the noise.  Lucy's exclamations of "WATER!" could almost be heard above the noise.

Our final memorial was Jefferson's. 

This view was from the other side of the Tidal Basin.  It's so lovely across the water.

Now, when we are here reading his words, I am always overcome by his eloquence. I love his quotes, and to see just the contrast of Jefferson to FDR, and many other presidents.  It did make me do a little pause about the upcoming election, and how much I am NOT a fan of either (nope, not getting political) but I have faith that God will always triumph. 

We had lunch on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, as that was the closest place with shade. 

 Our friends included us in a tour of the Bureau of Engraving (the place where the paper money is made).  We learned some pretty neat tidbits:
 * The $100 is the largest bill now made, but there used to be $100,000 bill!
* The ink goes on the back of the money first, and the green color is always first.  Hence the name "green backs."
 * Bills are made of Cotton and Linen. 
* The machines run all the time.  24 hours a day.
* Tommy is $300,000 taller than me.  :)

Next first: The Washington Monument!  All the way to the top!

I loved the beautiful walls and floor as we waited for the elevator.  I didn't expect such prettiness inside, as the monument never looks that special to me.  It's always there, and never seems fancy to me.

Such incredible views from the top of the building!!  The fact that we were over 500 feet in the air didn't bother me, until I looked at the big bolts in the structure, and saw the red lights that flash through the windows at the top.  There is a observation place with all the windows, then you go down a few steps and they have an exhibit about the monument.  It listed all the places that sent a stone to help build it, and when you went down the elevator, the lights inside went off, and they slowed it down so we could look out the windows of the elevator to see some of the plaques that were sent with the stones. 
I can't even imagine tackling this kind of a day on my own.  EVER.  5 kids in tow, super hot day, and no map.  No way.  My husband is the navigator, the planner (albeit spontaneously) and the doer.  This was a great reminder of why God has given me such a spouse!