Wednesday, April 11, 2018

It's Musical Time!

Seton puts on a musical every spring.  I spent many years with my siblings in the plays, and always enjoyed the fun.  My kids decided to join the list of cast members for "7 Brides for 7 Brothers."
The play was SO good, so fun, and we are so proud of our Lumberjack and Chorus member!

Lucy enjoyed every minute, and has been quoting and singing all the songs.   I am so happy to see the kids get involved and spend time with such great kids. 

(I had to add this one.  My son isn't doing his "turtle" smile.  I actually got him to laugh.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Happy Easter! Alleluia!

This is the day the Lord has made, Alleluia!
Let us rejoice and be glad in it, Alleluia!
Our family was all healthy! We all made it to the Easter Vigil, helped each other hold candles, and enjoyed every minute!

We call this one the "turtle smile" pose.  We have one child who never smiles with his teeth.  LOL

Celebrations at my mom's house this year. 

And the newest Golden Jacket Winner!

Family.  This is just some of our family.  We were missing our far away family, but so grateful for the time we had. 

Tires, Minivans, and Wind

Virginia has had some crazy weather this year.  Little to no snow in the winter, snow in mid to late March, and some odd days off for cold, threat of snow, and high winds.  Crazy weather.  But.  A gift nonetheless.
I came out to this on a Thursday morning.  We are no strangers to car troubles, which used to always happen as we were trying to leave for school, and we are so grateful that we have family nearby to help!  My van, the tires, the transmission - all on it's last leg, and now this.  It is done.  Not only was the tire done, the spare was too.  So, we decided it was time.  We knew it was coming, we just weren't sure when.  And when the government and schools closed the next day, we knew it was time. 
We said Goodbye to our van with over 160K miles, the van that brought home 4 of my kids as babies and got us where we needed to be, many times.

But, we traded it in for a new to us van.  Lucy says it is "dark buhlue" and we all fit.  Comfortably.  And the perks are just amazing.  Saint Anthony really helped us to find what we needed that day.

(As I write this, I am realizing I don't have a ta-daa photo of the van alone)

We did get it blessed!  Father Noah paid special attention to the engine.
And of course, we all got a treat!

As I told my sisters, I am like the cool kids now.  A Honda.  :)
But.  In true fashion, we have had an adventure.  The new van has automatic doors and so many safety features that we are trying to figure out and some that are so safe they are annoying.  (The kids call it R2D2 with all the beeps it says)  I used to leave the keys in my old van as it was always in the garage.  It was easier, and they weren't in the ignition.  But, I did this just one time accidently in the new van.  And Lucy got into the garage, and into the van.  And OH!  It's a toddler's paradise!  Buttons!  Doors!  Open!  Close!  Oh yes.  She did.  She locked herself in my van with my keys.  And the lock buttons are too tough for her.  And. as I am trying to get her out, she sets off the car alarm. 
Horn.  Blaring.  In the garage.  Oh oh oh my ears!  I admit.  I did some freaking out.  And maybe even a curse word or 2.  But, I am grateful my keys were there, as I yelled at her to push the buttons (between honks) on the key fob and she was able to turn off the alarm and unlock it!  Whew.  It was awful.  My ears were ringing for days!  And, lest you worry, I don't leave my keys in there anymore.  And yes, there IS a child safety handle on the garage door.  Oy.

Birthday for Me

I had a birthday.  I am very late in telling you about it, but it happened.  And I am now two-more-years-to-40 years old. 

My sweet husband tried satisfy my sweet tooth with a suuuuper chocolate cake and bought me a HUGE camping chair.  He's trying to give me a hint.  LOL  I'm not sure it will be used on an actual camping trip, but it is an awesome chair.  My kids made cards, and spent the day with me.  And my Emma. Oh my Emma.
She made this.  MADE this for me.  My patron saint and his prayer. Sweet girl has taught herself to write calligraphy.  Isn't this lovely?!?  The most precious gift this year!
My brother Joe told me that I needed to get back into blogging. 
My husband told me I should be blogging.

And they are very right.

I miss coming here, dumping some photos, some news, and even some ramblings of my thoughts get put down.  To be honest, I miss a lot of things this year.  And you, dear reader, can keep reading to see some of my (mostly internal) struggles.

In the summertime, my trainer/friend/caterer decided that she was no longer going to offer exercise classes at her studio anymore.  Her family was moving to a new home, and moving into busier times with her (DELICIOUS) catering business.  She has even asked me to work with her at events and I really enjoy the time (the money AND good food).  But, when she stopped classes, I didn't realize how much I would not be motivated to exercise on my own.  I HATE making decisions.  I hate big gyms, strangers, and I am not confident enough to find a place and set myself in the middle of everyone and not feel super uncomfortable.  I miss my friends.  I have retreated into my self-absorbed shell (or introvert cocoon, take your pick) and I have not come out yet.  It is VERY difficult for me to send a text (and calling is out of the question!) to invite anyone, or even plan something.  And the less I do it, the less I feel the need to keep doing it.  Especially if I get a negative response.  I feel like I am forgotten since I am not seen, and it makes me wonder.  Was I really such a good friend?  Did they really enjoy time with me?  So, you see, I am still here.

We are in the throes of teenagers in the house.  I feel so inadequate to this task.  And in confession, I am very often told that I need to get rid of some of my stress.  Sometimes, they say, I may find that teens can be "delightful."  Well.  Maybe by the next few kids.  (Y'all.  Pray for me)

Y'all know I have to talk about my brother.  His story is not mine to tell, but I do want to put down some of the things that I feel I want to remember. 

Joe and I grew up together. Being just 2 years apart, we had lots of fun growing up, and we homeschooled together for many years.  Some days we never even did any school.  But, Joe has always been the one that I would look up to.  He could charm a room of people at no bigger than 2 feet high.  He would go around the room and find the person who needed that smile, hug, or cheering up and he would make that happen.  Always giving.  And right now, as we see him going through this incredibly awful disease, he is still giving.  Still thinking of others.  And this selfish big sister has no words.  Not the right words to say, not enough hands, not enough hours, and not even an ounce of that joy, that giving to share, with anyone, but most especially with him. 

I'm going to admit that I was not prepared for the amount of leaking that comes from my eyes.  All.the.time.  Like I don't even realize it is happening until my vision gets blurry (Mass is a really big one).  My friend described it as "the gift of tears" but I am not so sure I would call this a gift.  And, since my skin screams at me when I cry too much (vanity, thy name is Fuzzy), it is quite a frustrating gift.  Some days I would like to return it.  Then I think of the beautiful gift that my brother has been given, and I cry more since I see my shortcomings.  Maybe I should just say that if you see me, I won't be offended if you offer me some Kleenex.  I usually need it. 

So I will admit, I have lots to work through in my head, and I am sure this won't be the last post about what is near and dear to my heart: family.    I do apologize that this seems to be a Debbie downer post, but I will add some goodness and some cute kids.  Promise.  Please keep praying for us all!