I am filled with joy, gratitude and love as we celebrate the anniversary of my parents.
We had a Mass offered by a priest family friend. My siblings all joined together to help make a lovely celebration after the dinner.
A beautiful vow renewal celebration.
Our mother's request, we sang "Panis Angelicus" in 4 part harmony, accompanied by our sister Jenn.
A small celebration afterward included 6 children and 20 of the 31 grandchildren, just a few priests and some dear friends.
The oldest grandchild, Joseph, got a small message from each grand kid, and he made a video for the grandparents. It was perfect! I needed way more tissues than I anticipated.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life from my parents. That room would have been empty except for the face that my parents came together in marriage. Thank you for the gift of our faith and the joys that family brings. Thank you for showing us the power of prayer, sacrifice, and your graces!
I know this is silly, but I just got excited as I went to write a blog post. It just told me that my readers in Europe need to know something about cookies.
I realized I should know what it is telling me about cookies, or something, but I couldn't get past the phrase "readers in Europe." I have readers. In Europe. No. Way! I am not one for checking out my stats, or where they are from. But, I sure did when it told me I had readers across the pond!
My heart is almost a teenager! My oldest, the one who gave me the name "Mommy." The ever-reader. The very happy camper. Always ready for a conversation, quick to get the jokes with a contagious laugh. I love how quickly he inserts movie quotes (makes me so happy!) and even enjoys the old movies with me. I love your big heart, and your sense of duty and following the rules, even in small things shows me that his love of God is deep in his heart. I am so proud of his efforts and achievements in his grades, in Boy scouts, and in the example set to his siblings is a joy. God bless my sweet Patrick as he begins at a new school!
The main reason we went to Baltimore is to visit the National Aquarium. I have always wanted to go, and we found a half price night after 5PM! Hooray!
It's amazing to go through the aquarium, as you can see the fish from above, below, on the sides, and just get all the perspectives. Just the first room was incredible. But I will admit, I was a bit distracted.
They don't allow strollers. Nope. No strollers. They will offer a carrier for you, and I knew it wouldn't fit Tommy, and I wanted him to help me with the bigger kids. But, I wasn't prepared. I would have packed differently. And not had to carry so much. Or even just have packed my own carrier. Grr. I was *this* close to putting it at the bottom of the stroller. I knew I should have listened to my angel. She got very heavy!
I loved seeing Patrick and Emma touch the horseshoe crabs, sting rays, and even jelly fish!
It says, "Please don't flash the octopus." :)
In order to see everything, most of the rooms are quite dark. With my arms full, it was so tough to watch all the little guys and make sure they weren't running off! Even with the light up shoes, it was stressful.
We loved the dolphin show, and the all but Mommy sat in the splash zone. And were disappointed that they didn't get wet.
We had a wonderful time, and I am so glad we got to have a fun family outing. We don't do big vacations as often, so a day like this is wonderful!
We were so happy to have Tommy take off on William's birthday so our family could have a bit of a "staycation" in our summer months. We started our day with Mass and breakfast, then traveled to Baltimore, Maryland. It was a beautiful day spent walking around the harbor, and just enjoying the sites, sounds and smells.
We stopped at a Children's Museum called Port Discovery, which, in hindsight, we could have done without. But, the kids seemed to love it, and they had a huge Lego display to enjoy, and mysteries to solve.
It wasn't super stroller friendly, and I should have taken a smaller one, but Lucy still enjoyed herself, just being with everyone. It's a really nice stroller, and since it is a double jogging stroller, all the kids (even the big ones) tried to get in it at one time or another.
I loved the dress up area. It all was exactly like the Lego toys.
The Birthday boy enjoyed himself. In the center of the 3 floors was a HUGE playground. The kids immediately wanted to go on there as soon as we entered. This Nervous Nelly had a heart attack every time they would get on and off at different levels! There was one elevator, and it made it so difficult to be sure I could see them all. My sweet husband was very patient, but I think I earned a few more gray hairs that day!
Mommy and Daddy are usually behind the camera, so I love that the "selfie" ensures that we are seen in the photos. Together, even!
I love all the ships, boats, submarines, and hear the old cannons being shot.
This is the Taney, the last ship that survived Pearl Harbor.
William wanted to wear the special pin. Yet when everyone wished him a Happy Birthday, he didn't know what to do. LOL
The World Trade Center in Baltimore had pieces from the WTC in New York.
It said we will remember the ones from Maryland that died there.
The day was absolutely perfect! It helps to be by the water, and have a breeze to keep you cool.
I got an email that said your child has entered the "loveable sevens." My sweet William is officially in that stage!
He asked for a "winter" themed party and asked for a snowman. Chocolate cake with vanilla icing sounds easy, until the crumbs get into the icing, but I think he's kind of cute.
William is entering 2nd grade, and with it the age of reason and confession and First Communion. We love you, our #2 son, and are very proud of your accomplishments in the Cub Scouts and at school. I love your fashion sense and your love of your siblings is beyond sweet. Here's to another great year, filled with Superheroes and many more adventures!
Oh, this month has brought some really exciting things for my girl! She is sleeping in another room (hooray!), and will put herself to sleep for naps and bedtime!
This walker has been so perfect for our busy household. She can get all around our main level and keep up with all the kids in each area. And she can fit around the island in the kitchen to get underfoot and nip my ankles and toes while I cook. This is our first child to use one, since we used to have mostly carpet and open staircases. I just love it!
And she has started to reach out for things, and start to point towards things and people that she wants. She will still smile at strangers, and turn her head down shyly when the moment catches her.
Can you see the adorable little pony tail/almost whale spout? Putting the hair out of her face makes her look so old!
Her noises are still "dadada" and a little bit with the "mm" sound. She loves her siblings, and lights up when they are near.
I found a baby picture of me that is just so Lucy, and I just love when I can see the resemblance in my children! Though, when I post photos to Facebook of my Emma, it automatically tags me when it sees her. Not quite sure how I feel about that yet!