Monday, June 29, 2015

Father's Day Goodness

Mark the calendars, kids.  Your mom was READY this year!  Father's Day did NOT sneak up on me.  I decided that we needed to do some updated photos of the kids for Daddy's work (since Lucy has not made it in photo form yet) and for the Grandpas.  Originality, thy name is not Fuzzy, but, I don't care.  Our wonderful friend who helped us at Christmas and for Lucy's 6 month was more than happy to help us again! 

I know, for a fact, that it is very difficult to get 5 kids all looking, smiling, and paying attention at once.  Especially when there is one particular child that, no matter how many times you prep that child, will always be moving, giving a baby a kiss, giving some silly face, and just not cooperating.  That child, bless their heart, is the one that we just struggle with when we try to do this.  Though you can't tell from this shot. 
And, this was his ONLY bad one.  But, I love this stinker.  Bless him, he was not the culprit.  But, despite these comedy of errors, we had a cute photo and even a chalkboard for Grandpa.  We used my favorite go-to for family photos, calendars and gifts,, for some table top panels and a wall panel for the photos.  They turned out Uh-MAZING, and I love that there is no glass to worry about, and the quality was perfect.  My FIL was extra happy because it could go in his new RV.  :)

I am determined to put photos on the walls, and promise some bloggy photos to show my progress.  Perhaps you could help me?  Oh, that is an idea!  Future blog post of some walls to fill!!!!  Tell me how!  Send me ideas!  Let's conquer it together!

This and That, June Edition

  • School ended, hopes were high, and our family got sick.  Well, Mommy got sick and had to readjust some things.  It made my "get ready for summer" intentions go to the wayside and just be patient with God's plan.  Summertime is tough, and we all need to do better, together.
  • At the beginning of the month, James, Tommy and William camped together with the Cub Scouts.  James was absolutely beside himself with excitement, and though there was S'mores, campfire, games, and other activities during the day, he just wanted to hang out in the tent in his spot, ready to camp. 

  • That was also the Pack Graduation day, when William received his new Wolf ranking! 
     He was also joined by the Class pet, Quackers, for the very last person in the class to be the "Lucky Duck."
  • The next day we attended our very first Corpus Christi Procession.  The happy camper fell asleep in the stroller during the procession.  We said the Rosary and sang songs (mostly in Spanish) and I was very moved.  I kind of insisted the kids all come along, and I was so happy we did.

  • Lucy is 8 months old!  She is learning some new tricks.  She says "dadadadada" and blows raspberries, and pbtt's with with her lower lip over and over again.  It's so cute.  She sits up on her own, and will roll over to a sitting up position.  I did catch her pulling herself across the floor yesterday!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Last Day of the School Year 2015

 I think the kids were excited, as they were all up at 5:45! For the last day.  Here is the first day of school, which shows children that are a little smaller, no green glasses, and a missing little Lucy.

 On to a new year!  After outstanding report cards, we have a new 2nd grader, a new 7th grader (as well as a new school) and a new 5th grader. 
So proud of these kids and how hard they worked.  Emma and Patrick received Second Honors for the whole year.  They had one B that put them in that category.  The rest were A's!  William progressed very well under a really challenging teacher, and really excelled. We are so grateful for all the wonderful teachers and staff for this year.  SO much support during this year of adjustments, but especially with our health struggles with Lucy and the adjusting to middle school. 

Happy 4th Birthday to My Sweet James!

James is finally 4!  We were so happy to have his birthday on a Sunday, after Daddy and Patrick had camped so we could celebrate all together.
Captain America got a new shield to go with his costume.  We had hoped to celebrate with the family and cousins, but we had some sickness go through the house.  Folks usually stay away when you say somebody threw up.  But, to be honest, the kids were all fine.  They were just excited about the birthday, and the last few days of school.

 I'm the most creative mommy ever: Avengers cake you want? 

 Avengers cake you get! 
 It was a first, but we did a Bill Cosby and had chocolate cake for dinner.  We had a very large and late lunch at Red Robin because they do the "clapping song" and sing Happy Birthday, which was all James could talk about.

 He has been waiting to be 4, and was so happy to have a birthday!
Happy Birthday to my sweet James, always with a smile, a hug, and a willingness to listen and help make things easy.  His newest thing is to come up to me and say, "You know what, mommy?" "What?" I say. 
"I love you, Mommy."  Followed by a hug and kiss. 
His desire for Jesus is so strong, that he asks at Communion time when he can "eat Jesus."
He always has a song on his lips, and is always the first one to say, "Yes, Mommy!"  I love this boy so much, and the love that he is always giving to Lucy and the family. We have been abundantly blessed!

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Special Scout Award

Our Diocese of Arlington has a special Scout award that my boys have worked hard to get as a Tiger Scout called the Guardian Angel Award.  My husband is in charge of the Religious Emblem program for the Cub Scouts, and we love the program.
 It was a lovely Mass with our Parish, said by our wonderful parish priest Father Melmer.  He has been the chaplain for our scouts for 5 years.  He does all the interviews for these awards, and shares such lovely stories and laughter with them.  Every year, Tommy is thrilled to sit with these boys and help them along in their spiritual life.

 I thought for sure I had some old Patrick and Fr. Melmer photos, but I must not have blogged them.  *gasp*  How dreadful! 

William and Grandma.  Papa and Mani were there but did not wait for cake after the (very hot) ceremony.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Better Than Eating Out!

I tried something out of my element this week: I ordered meals from a home delivery service!   One of my favorite bloggers, Ana, used this for her adorable family, and offered a special of the first 2 meals free!  Well, who am I to say no?  Blue Apron it is!
Arrive it did!  2 meals, and 2 new experimentations for this very boring chef.  Look at all the fresh produce!  Some things (rhubarb?) I would NEVER even consider purchasing from the store (um, what does it look like?) and the spices I was happy to not have to buy a whole container.
Meals were 5 spice meatballs with jasmine rice and snow peas, and Chicken "Under a Brick" with quinoa and rhubarb compote.
We decided that our first meal would be the meatballs (partially because I don't like them myself).  And. for full disclosure, I made it way too early.  *blush* I got excited and couldn't wait.  Now, I don't know if you all know this about my sweet husband, but he will eat anything.  Anything.  He may say, "well, I don't think we need to make this again," but he is not really one to complain.  Unless I say things and he agrees with me.
Well, 5 spice is NOT something I want again, and it was not enough meatballs for us all.  They didn't even give us a full pound of meat, and they said smaller than golf ball (and yes, I golf all the time so I totally know how big that should be) size balls.  The bigger kids tried them, didn't mind it, and Tommy enjoyed it, but it was WAY. TOO. MUCH. GARLIC.  Whooo.  I was worried about the smell for days.  I thought I had reduced it, but I didn't do it right.  We wasted a lot.  I am not a fan.

So, we won't make that again. 

So, the next day, I knew we would be okay, because it was a WHOLE chicken.  They had halved it for us, and I was to make it "under a brick" but use a pot of water instead.  Well, cast iron skillets are handy for camping, and for a makeshift brick!
The sizzle on the chicken was incredible, and the smell was fantastic.  The kids and I were all excited.  I don't think I have ever made quinoa, and I just loved watching it boil in the water!  It was dancing and made me happy.
The quinoa had red onions, asparagus, almonds, and spinach.  It.was.delicious!  I loved it.  The compote (for those of you, like me, who don't know what that is, let me fill you in. I figured it out about part way that a compote is sweet.  It was rhubarb and sugar and balsamic vinegar. don't put your face too close to that pot!) was a nice compliment to the meal, but it wasn't necessary.  We definitely had enough food, and leftovers for my lunch.  I think I might be able to do this meal again!  (Honesty time: Tommy didn't like the compote, or the quinoa (WHAT?), but he ate it!  And we had to google what quinoa actually is.  Still not quite sure.

All in all, I think I paid for a couple more meals, so we will try again.  I love that it comes to me.  I don't have to decide what to cook.  I don't have to measure anything but water, and everything just comes.  Ingredients were very fresh (except the spinach, I have to say) and I was impressed.  The only downside I could see is that I can't really give them a headcount so we have enough food.  I hope we don't have trouble the next time.