Monday, March 27, 2017

March Mumblings

March has turned into one of those months that fly by.  I thought February was short, but I seem to have missed March.  So, here are some happenings in this month!
My Patrick is taking Latin I this year.  He had a certamen (quiz) game at the school at the beginning of the month.  The kids had to get a team together, give them a Latin name (it means something on fire?  I am a little rusty on my definitions), and compete.  I decided to come along and watch and I was so happy I did!  These 3 boys did amazing.  They came in 2nd place overall in the competition.  The boys were polite, worked well as a team, and just made my heart swell with pride.  It was a joy to watch them play, and I know they were disappointed to lose to a team they had beat earlier, but it was a joy to watch.

We also got some new goodies in my kitchen!  My ovens were not working, and I was just pushing through and learning to deal with the things that gave it character.  (though the double oven is not in this photo, I couldn't resist how stinkin cute Lucy is) Tommy and his brother, the electrician, squeezed a new double oven into the wall.  I say squeezed, because the space was designed for an oven 3" smaller than what we bought.  They had to cut walls, cabinets, and work it in to the space.  But, oh, it's WONDERFUL!  27" is REALLY small, even times 2 ovens, so it's a joy to know that I can fit LARGE pans, 2 side by side.  Oh, and the fact that it works?  No hot spots, no more 3 hours to cook a whole chicken?  Bliss, I tell you.

We also got a new dishwasher.  It's quieter and has way more space!  I feel so spoiled!!!  And, our appliances match!

We finally got a snowstorm!  I was prepared for this one: boots AND snowpants!  Usually I have to give mine to Emma, so we made sure we both had our own.  So I actually went outside!  Lucy and I had some fun sledding, though she was not a fan of the snow to walk in, so I happily pulled her along behind me.  We used to have a great sledding hill until our neighbors behind us put in a fence to keep their kids and dog in the yard.  So it's a little harder to enjoy, but we managed to have fun.  William even made a snowman, though I think it reminds me of a duck.

James got to spend the weekend with the class pet, Biscuit, and gets to be "Top Dog" this week.  He is just a bit excited. :)

Part of the weekend included a 5K at the school called Running with the Saints.  He had the best seat in the house, and loved his ride.  Lucy kept telling Tommy that everyone was faster than they were. 

Patrick was on a Confirmation retreat so he wasn't there, but these stinkers got to run!

And, I did not run either, as I was away.  AWAY!  My sisters and I (4 of the 5) got to go away for a weekend together.  We have never done this, and I have never left the 5 children.  It was a wonderful time, and all made possible by a sweet and generous friend who offered us a cabin to stay in.  My sister also turned 50 so we used that as our excuse.  We stayed up late talking into the nights, and just enjoyed the company and lack of interruptions.  We have 16 kids among us, so it was a big deal.
My sisters made the weekend so special, and walking down the memory lane.  Though some memories were new to me, as the youngest girl. 


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Walking with Purpose

"Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others."
                                                                                          ~ Colossians 3:23

I have to make a confession.  I am not good about reading the Bible.  I love that you will hear the whole Bible on a 3 year cycle at Mass, but I have not been able to get to Mass on a regular enough basis to hear all of it since I was a child.  And I have not made the time to actually sit and read it.  It doesn't read like a book and it takes a lot to focus for me, lately. It is very humbling to admit this, and I wish I was better.   

But I have taken the plunge and joined a Bible study at a nearby parish. I decided at the start of the new year that I needed some help getting my prayer life in order, and I knew this group had begun in the fall, so I was a bit late.  But determined.  I found the "Walking With Purpose" Bible study for women.  And I LOVE it.  I love that it takes a beautiful perspective, sending you to some Bible verses, and it includes the teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  I have found so many things to hold in my heart and help me in my struggles (though some days the struggle is to actually get to the study, but I know that even without attending the group study, I am getting so much with the short "lessons" during the week). It is a great group of encouraging women and prayerful atmosphere, so as long as Lucy will go to the nursery and let me pray, I appreciate the time. 

I am not the most self-motivated person when it comes to things (just look around my house, or at my round mid-section), so knowing that about myself should tell me that I need to find outside encouragement.  This has done that very well.  (Though the introvert side of me screams when I need to talk.)

Next step is to find some good books for Lenten reading.  Any suggestions?  I am not great when they are heavy.  Or for smart people.

Friday, January 27, 2017

7 Quick Takes: Sickness, Birthday, DC visits, and Derby

1). It's been a long time!  Happy New Year!  I'm glad I didn't make any kind of resolutions to blog more or anything like that.  We are back in the school swing, though some days, I think James would prefer to be on vacation.  He asked me on the first day back if he had to go to school again tomorrow?  Yep. You do, kid.  My Patrick has mid-terms, and decided this would be the perfect time for the flu.  Seriously, kid?  We were due for our Epiphany house blessing and visit with our priest who married us, but had to cancel.  I am so bummed!  I am currently spraying all surfaces with thieves, diffusing my VERY last bit and praying.  The stomach bug went through the house around Christmas, and unfortunately it is still around at school.  I am wishing we didn't have to worry about the sickness during this time of year. We have had crazy Virginia weather (in other words, totally unpredictable hot and cold) so it hasn't helped with the germs. Praying that I am doing the best for my kids and getting them healthy. 
2). On New Year's Eve, we went to DC to meet up with my sister and her family in for the Congressional swearing in.  We enjoyed a quick visit to the Botanic Gardens.  My first time there.  I can't wait to go back!  We also were able to go with my brother in law to some special places in the Capital, and I was actually able to hear the whispering in the whisper chamber!  Dinner at Union Station, and a beautiful walk in DC and time with family was one of the best gifts our family could have!


3) My Emma had a birthday, and though I am not doing a whole blog post, I wanted to mention that my very tall, very sweet, and loving daughter has turned 12.  Twelve!  She has bigger feet than me, and is determined to be taller than me. I'm not sure I will allow it, but I am so thrilled with her joy of reading, coloring, and joy of singing for the Lord.

4) So, to piggyback above, the rest of my kids decided to get sick.  I knew there was something amiss with James, and Patrick had the flu, but when James tested positive for strep, I tried to make sure that we didn't have any others, especially when Patrick's fever spiked super high after he was feeling better, and he threw up (classic Patrick strep symptom).  Well, the odds were against me.  5 for 5 tested positive!  I find medicine amazing.  They were better almost immediately!
5) The annual Pinewood Derby happened this month, and my boys did quite well.  My big boys (Tommy and Patrick) worked the track, and the cars.  The little guys raced their cars.  William's den was the fastest den of all.  Super proud!
James won this race.  His car is lane 1.

6) Our diocese has a new bishop!  I am so excited to say that I we went to a Mass at our parish and were able to meet him.  I forgot about asking for a blessing, and didn't quite say everything I wanted to say, but it was special to be there.  His secretary asked my kids, "What do you call a bishop?"  Patrick's response was "your Holiness" which I knew wasn't correct.  Father Wagner got a twinkle in his eye and left us to our own resources, so we had to talk to him to be sure we knew the correct answer. 

7) Today is the March For Life in DC.  My husband decided to take the oldest 3 with him today.  Cold weather, extra security with the Vice President speaking, and shorter legs than his made for a very long day, but I know they will come home feeling good.  Prayerful and joyful experience is my goal. 
That's all for now.  As I am limited to 7 on this blustery day.  Go visit Kelly to see more!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Family Photo Goodness

I got to meet Rachel Cupps at the CWBN blogging conference, and I was so excited that she was a local talent for taking family photos.  We had a wonderful time with her, and the kids were so good.


We had the best photo for our Christmas card, and I need to get it up on my wall! 

Merry Christmas 2016!

Our first Christmas at home.  No running around to different houses, carting presents back and forth, making appetizers and desserts, and just staying home.  Lovely thought, except when it comes with the stomach bug.  4 of the 7 of us were sick, and 3 on Christmas Eve.  It was unusual for us, but the joys of Christmas were wonderful. 

No family photo this year, maybe we will do it for New Year's.  But I have to admit that it was lovely to be home.  Merry Christmas to our sweet bloggers who are still coming to visit, even though it has been way to long since I blogged.  I am grateful for this community, and the joys and support that comes from this little corner. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

7 Quick Takes: Birthday, Halloween, and When The Saints Go Marching In

Linking up with Kelly for my sporadic blogging of 7 quick takes.

1).  Tommy's birthday was a busy day, but we managed to have cake and sing to him about 7:45 at night.  Great time for extra dose of sugar.  We love our Daddy so much!  

2). Halloween at school gives the kids a Penny Bazaar.  It's an hour of games, cupcakes, prizes (win or lose the game) and fun.  James went around with his 4th grade "buddy" to help him navigate the games, and I had only Lucy, and helped run the game for James' class, being one of the room liaisons.

3). Halloween was an extra special event this year.  Emma invited a new girl from school to come out with us along with her cousin.  One of them had never been Trick or Treating before, so it was a treat for us to be part of the excitement that the girls had.

We had Captain America, a sweet Bumble Bee, Linus and Charlie Brown and 3 cowgirls. We got a little bit of a late start since I always insist on taking pictures.  I decided to go around the neighborhood until the little guys got tired (and I got too cold).
Lucy was fully aware of the joys of candy in the bucket, and held on tightly to the pink bucket she got from her favorite Miss Marjorie.  She is still holding the bucket.  And, when she took a break in the stroller her sweet William kept putting candy in her pumpkin to be sure she had some as well.

4).  The next day was one of my favorite traditions at All Saints: the Parade of Saints by the 3rd grade at Mass.  Though all through the school are presentations on saints. 

William was Saint Stephen, the first martyr.  He chose the Deacon garb, and my talented mother made the costume.  Really, the whole group had some amazing costumes, and it was so impressive to see the details that each child focused on for their saint.  Most were immediately identifiable!
5).  As we have begun the month of the poor souls ("Pray for the dead, and the dead will pray for you" sung to the tune of the funeral march) we have taken time to go visit our big cemetery nearby.  This is the Confederate Cemetery, though I have been visiting it for 30 years and never realized that it had this in the back.  I love the peace of a graveyard, and I love sharing the traditions of the All Saints, All Souls feasts. 
My sister Jenn has a great post to help us remember why and what to do, because I forget every year.

6). We try very hard to say a daily rosary.  Some days are easier than others, but I love the phase that we have begun.  We have 5 children and I couldn't wait until all the kids could lead a decade on their own.  I was one of 7, but one of the younger ones, so I was always more willing to lead and did quite often as I was young.  It's a silly milestone, but one I was eager to reach.
All the kids can pray a decade alone.  Lucy volunteers (Me! ME! Me!!!) each time I announce a new mystery and she can say all the prayers.  It's adorable, and just makes my heart melt. 
7). I am going to admit something, of which you probably could already figure out because I am not a patient person.  I don't like museums.  They are not fun to go to with a gaggle of kids.  All of the kids are at different stages, all enjoy different things, and all seem to go in all different directions when we get there.  It's the stress of stopping, hurrying, counting, and when we leave, I often feel like I haven't seen anything except the backs of my kid's heads, so when Tommy suggests a museum, I usually put up a bit of a fight.
But I think this one changed my views.
We stopped at the Marine Corps Museum the other day, all dressed up after going to Mass.  I wasn't sure how it would go, but I just want to say that this place is AWESOME.  Each kid had fun, and each section had something that would capture each child's attention. 

I don't often say this, but I would like to go back to that museum.