A Sentimental Sap

The saddest part for me about the kids having the stomach flu over Christmas was having to get rid of George's blanket.  Poor guy got sick all over it and it just Had. To. Go.  He has had that blanket for his entire six and a half years of his life.  Every single day of his life.   It has been with him every single night to help him fall asleep.  When TJ asked him if it would be alright to toss the disgusting thing George immediately said, "sure, if I can get another one."  It was I who begged TJ not to throw it away.  But alas, I knew it had to go and honestly I did NOT want to clean it, so the blanket that has been with George every day of his life is now gone.  We did go to the store and I let him pick out new fleece with the promise of making him a new one.  Good by red blanket.


Snow! Snow! Snow!

The first snow was awesome!  We played out in it all day.  I went for a run and everything was so quiet and still.  The kids were out sledding and making snowballs.  And so began the snow gear on five minutes, off five minutes ritual.

TJ also figured out that blowing the snow off works really well!!

Gingerbread Men Baking



Feeling like Forest Gump

In one year I have run 1,035 miles!  To put that into perspective, it's 1000 miles from Lincoln to Atlanta Georgia.  Pretty cool.


My little Helper

Pete, I love EVERY time I sweep the kitchen floor, I hear you finding the dust pan and delivering it to me as I finish sweeping.  You also are my first child who pushes in the kitchen drawers, and the placing trash in the garbage can.  My favorite is when I see you walk past a drawer that is open, stop and shut it, then move on your merry way!

Celebrating St. Nicholas

I love the feast of St. Nicholas. 
This is the second year that we have "acted" somewhat like St. Nick.  Being that he is the patron saint of children, we put together a basket of Christmas sugar cookies, frosting, and sprinkles and tied them up.  We placed a St. Nicholas holy card in the basket and dropped it off at Cedars Children's Home.  When asked if we would like to leave our names, we said no...trying to be secretive like St. Nicholas!!


Fall Fun



Cheers to 37

My Time With Pete

My favorite time of the day is when I go to morning Mass with Pete.  It doesn't matter how rushed or chaotic our morning was with getting everyone fed, dressed and ready for school.  The moment I kiss them goodbye and shut the door to Sherman, I look forward to my time with Pete.    We watch the kids walk over to church and then head in ourselves to sit in the side front pews.  Two and sometimes three times a week it's just he and I.  As I hold him, I feel like I've stepped back in time when I used to take baby Thomas to morning mass.  There is no one else to watch or keep still.  Just him and me.  I don't even mind when he wants down or plays on the kneeler.  For some reason whatever he does is cute in my mind and I find myself smiling all through Mass! 
We have our rituals as every morning is pretty much the same.  We sit in the same spot every day.  He loves to sit on the pew by himself.  Every day I take out the misalettes, and hymnals and set them in the pew in front of us so as to cause less of a distraction.  I keep one hymnal for him and he points to it each day.  I take it out, give it to him and he sits and looks at the songs!  Usually by the homily we are standing behind the pew where we sit.  We point to the gigantic picture of Jesus hanging on the wall.  There is a sword in one of the stain glass windows that he points to every day.  As we move by the door he has to touch the stain glass window and when I say "where's red" he points to the red pieces.  Then there are the fliers pinned up on the little bulletin board right there.  We point to the clock and he says some version of "tick tock."  I ask him where is the picture of the baby and he says "baby" over and over.  My favorite is when I point to the poster of our Bishops and Holy Fathers he says with his little lips pursed together, "pope."
Believe it or not, I still am able to listen to Father and follow along with Mass!  We can head back to the pew after Holy Communion because he will sit so still watching the children walk past him.  The minute the line is gone, we are up and moving to the back again! 
 But I think my favorite thing Pete does is when I walk up to receive Holy Communion, when I am right there receiving the host, Pete waves to Father or Monsignor. 
Oh how I love these blessed moments with my child. 


Our Prayer

Heavenly Father,
We pray for each one of our children.  For their purity of mind, body, heart and soul.  That they will always love you Lord and the Catholic Church.  For their protection from all evil and harm.  Protect them from those seeking destruction in the world. 
 We pray for their health, please keep them healthy and growing strong, that they will always use the gifts and talents you have blessed them with.  We pray they will have a positive self body image as they grow and mature, especially for our girls. 
 We pray for their relationship with one another, that they may be kind, loving, compassionate towards one another.  For our relationship with each one of them.  Help us to be open with them and to take the time to build strong relationships with each one.  May we always be ready to listen and guide them. 
We pray for the decisions that they will make, that they will always choose what is right, and not fall into the temptations of peer pressure.  
 That they each will have a good, holy group of friends.  That they will have courage to stand up for what is right.  That they will be leaders.  For their teachers at school and for anyone who will influence their lives, that they may be for the better. 
We pray for their vocations, that they will listen to you Lord, and follow the plan You have set for them.  That we will encourage them to discern what You are calling them to be.  If You call them to marriage, we pray that their spouse is growing up in a holy home with the same values as our children. 
For their sexuality, that it is right and ordered.  Especially as they are growing up in an age where the roles of men and women are so unclear.  For our boys to be gentlemen and our girls to be ladies.
But above all Lord, we beg for the grace to know each one of them, to spend time investing in their souls, for it is Heaven that we are all striving for. 
 Thank you for the gift of each one of their lives.


My Little Monkey

The theme for Evelyn's preschool class is Monkeys. 
They have a Monkey folder that they bring home each day which stands for:
My Organizational Notebook Keeping Everyone informed for the Year.
Their classroom is decked out in monkeys.  So when it was her first turn to bring snack for the class, I thought it should be something monkey....of course.
I found these monkey cake pops and so I stayed up way too late one night making them for her to take for snack.  She didn't help.  The kids most likely won't know what they are even eating.  But I had to make them to fulfill my creative what-ever-you-want-to-call-it!  And they did turn out pretty cute!!

A Marathon of a Day

I never want to forget this morning with Thomas. 
 He wanted to get up early and go grocery shopping with me one Friday morning.  I usually go about 5:45am, but THIS morning I had to go even earlier since Thomas and Joe were serving 6:30 am Mass.  So, we got up at 4:30 and left for the store at 4:45 IN THE MORNING.  He helped me shop for food, which was actually very helpful.  I will never forget how cute he was in the store.  As soon as we walked into the produce department he runs over to the coconuts and begs to bring one home.  Sure.  Why not?  Then he sees the section of speciality snacks and just HAD to have one.  He kept saying as we wandered through the empty store "this is SO COOL," or "I've always wanted this, can I get it?"  We got home, put the grocery sacks in the fridge and then took off to pick up Joe for Mass.  I sat there in the pew feeling so proud of my son, up there on the altar so reverent!  I also noticed that I had forgotten to buy him new Mass shoes since his other ones were too small as his bright green tennis shoes were peeking out from under his alb.
We brought Joe home with us after Mass and the boys and the other kids had doughnuts for breakfast.  As the kids got ready for school, Thomas and Joe grabbed the drill and went outside to work on the coconut!  They had opened it, tried the milk and were saving the coconut shavings to bake with.  I finally had to stop them as it was time to leave for school.  By this point I felt like I had been up forever, but it was only 7:45! 
At the end of the day I looked back at the amount of time Thomas spent in church, in ONE day.  Serving Mass at 6:30, going to 8:15 Mass at school, Benediction at 2:45, and then the boys choir was singing for a holy hour at the Pink Sisters at 7:00 pm.
The kicker was that he never seemed tired, grumpy or cranky after having started his day at 4:30am!  I love his love for life and for making ordinary things, like grocery shopping, "SO FUN...."
in his words.