Sunday, December 26, 2010


May you find Joy in the Babe in the manger, Peace in birth of the Savior, and Happiness in your heart and home.
God Bless You and Yours,
Mrs. Smith

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm Sensing a Pattern

-- UPDATE --
The very night of this post, Mr. Smith's brother and his wife (N&L), gave birth to a beautiful baby... GIRL!
only one chance left for now, for our boys to have a boy cousin. my sister and her husband have their ultrasound next week!

Dear Mr. Smith,

It's happening again.
My brother called. We're getting another niece.

In case you've lost track, here's a little chart:

Between us, we have 4 siblings + spouses

----------my side ----------------------------------------- your side--------------

- R&K- = 2 girls - --------------------------------N&L - 1 girl, having ??? any minute
- R&H- = having a GIRL in may
- A&S- = having ??? in may

-------------------------- mr.&mrs. smith = 6 BOYS -----------------------------

I've got ten bucks on what those ??? are going to come out as, what do you think?

Surrounded by Testosterone,
Mrs. Smith

p.s. You know this is all in good fun. I'm thrilled for them and love all my sweet nieces. And I wouldn't trade a single blue blanket or ounce of mischief for all the bows and tights in the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Notes

First notable -- the reason I'm only doing about half of what my heart desires in homemaking, crafting, and baking this Advent: Totally worth it.

In a most prominent place, a reminder:
To be replaced with JOY for the Christmas season. With hopes that our hearts reflect our intentions.

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena--
Last year, I began making 15-beaded chaplets with St. Andrew medals for this novena. We never really got off the ground with it then, and I've since realized that beaded chaplets are not really ideal for us, with as many little hands as we have. This year I was a more determined than ever to say this novena. We decorated and laminated cards with the prayer on them on November 30th, the actual feast of St. Andrew. (I know. can you believe it? we haven't missed a day yet.) As a way to count the prayers, I came up with this:
I had wanted to pick up some wooden fish (since St. Andrew was a fisherman) that the kids could paint, but couldn't find what I was looking for. I grabbed these fish stickers instead and they do the trick (they're just stuck to card stock and trimmed around). We use a glass votive holder that Owen made for me a few Christmases ago. We take turns. One child is in charge each evening. They drop one of the 15 fish stickers into the cup, "on the Amen!". When the fish are gone, our prayers are said. It is truly a beautiful novena. I'm so glad we've finally adopted it into our Advent traditions.

Another work in progress -- Jesse tree ornaments:
I've mentioned before how we came to use our Christmas tree during Advent. I'm excited about these ornaments I started making (sometime I'll get around to doing a separate post on them), even though daily life has gotten in the way of finishing them. We've started switching over to our regular Christmas ornaments, so now I have a whole year to get the rest of them ready for next Advent!

Our Advent wreath, which I forgot I had purchased last year. I was happy to find it tucked away:
It makes a nice centerpiece, and the boys are fully dedicated to lighting it every night during prayers.

Even in this crazy hectic time in our lives, I feel like we're establishing some beautiful Advent traditions, which I hope our boys will carry with them throughout their lives.

Friday, December 10, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama and leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another Year

Dear Mr. Smith,

I would like to take this opportunity to say...

Happy Birthday!

It's weird getting old, isn't it? I know.

Thank you for spending your special day working your pants off for your family.

Thank you for being born on such a beautiful day, and for appreciating that you'll forever celebrate your birthday at Mass.

Thank you for being you, the best husband and father, ever.

I will try my best to keep the children from calling you Old Man when they see you.

No Promises,
Mrs. Smith

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Timeline

1:30 -- Isaac walks in the direction of his bedroom.

1:45 -- I notice he's been quiet for way too long, "Where's Isaac?!" I say, jumping up and running for the hallway.
1:46 -- I open the bathroom door and find Isaac, dental floss in hand, looking like the cat that swallowed the canary. I briefly think to myself, "Two feet of dental floss? That's all the damage he did in that time?", and then let the thought pass and pull him out of the bathroom.

2:10 -- I step into the bathroom to throw a tissue into the garbage. I notice that there's no spare roll of toilet paper where I keep one, where I knew there had been one earlier. I look to the floor, under the sink...nothing. My eyes go to the toilet itself, the lid is closed. My 6th sense kicks in and I know exactly what I'm going to find when I look.
2:11-2:13 -- I plunge my hand into cold water over and over, pulling wads of half-disintegrated toilet paper out and dropping it into the garbage.
2:14 -- I think to myself, "At least he didn't flush."
2:15 -- I realize it requires a special state of mind to be a mom.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

First Words

Dear Mr. Smith,

I was wrong.

When I took Isaac for his first speech therapy session, and came home saying it didn't go well.

When I said Miss E. looked like she was 15, that she wasn't going to be able to get through to him, and I wished we had been assigned another therapist.

I was wrong.

When I told you that we should cancel, and start pursuing other options of treatment for him. When I said that he wasn't ready for this, that it wasn't going to work, he wasn't going to make any progress with this method.

I was so wrong.

When he comes to me now, making the sign for "more", and his little lips form the word, and force his sweet, husky voice out, and he holds out his cup, and the word "more" spills out at me in a rush of joyful progress.... I can hardly stand it. And I realize how wrong I was.

Thank God for nudges from the Holy Spirit, prompts that push us past our rushes to judgement.

Thank God for progress and hope, and guidance when we are wrong.

Mrs. Smith

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank You

Dear Mr. Smith,

I think I'm in love.

From Shoe Heaven,
Mrs. Smith

Friday, November 19, 2010


Dear Mr. Smith,

We have cool kids.
(my, how my definition of cool has changed over the years.)

Right now, they are all at the table playing with play-doh. They're being chefs, talking with Italian accents, and serving up things like spaghetti, bread with olive oil and lemon juice, and coffee with caramel and whipped cream. (where did they ever get that idea?)

None of that is the noteworthy part, though. The thing that I admire about them is how they play together, without a thought or a care of how old (or young) the others are.

There's no talk of things being "babyish", no one making another feel silly because they can't do something as well as someone else. They are serving each other, helping and encouraging one another in their creativity.

It is a testament, I believe, to this life that we lead. And it makes me happy.

Contentedly Yours,
Mrs. Smith

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A How-To Guide

How To Make Haircut Day As Stressful As Possible
(in seven easy steps)

Step #1 -- Choose a Saturday. Everyone else you know is sleeping in, relaxing, or watching college football, you'll question your sanity in taking it on before you even begin.

Step #2 -- Make sure it's a Saturday that your husband is working. Even better if he's clocked 60+ hours for the week, you should be just about at your wits end.

Step #3 -- Start off by announcing what's going to happen to all the children at once. The moans and groans of despair should set the mood quite well.

Step #4 -- Be certain the 2-year-old (who is new to haircuts) is adequately afraid of the hair clippers. Also, give him pretzels for a snack before you begin, to aid in the execution of Step #5.

Step #5 -- Allow 2-year-old to get worked up and crying hard enough that he throws up on you during his haircut. Be sure he then tries to hide his vomit-covered face in your hair-covered pants, let the two mix well.

Step #6 -- Once you have finished cutting the hair of the 2-year-old and the 4-year-old, put them in the bath and begin on the 8-year-old. (For optimum stress, it is best if the 8-year-old has an attitude the size of Manhattan.) Next, make sure the 4-year-old dumps a cupful of water on the floor at your feet, where all the hair clippings are. This will make them nearly impossible to clean up.

Step #7 -- Finally, when everyone is trimmed and presentable, turn away from the mess that is now your bathroom, it'll still be there later. Take and deep breath and admire your work. And remember: Only a few short weeks until you do it all over again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama and leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm Just Sayin'

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you for sending pictures of the big machines that are your job. I know you intended them for the boys, they think that kind of thing is cool after all, but I spotted you in one of them, and just so you know, you're kinda cute.

There's something about a man in his element.

You Can Stop Blushing Now,
Mrs. Smith

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Glimpse

Dear Mr. Smith,

Earlier today:

Me: Owen, go ahead and do your timed worksheet. You have five minutes to complete these problems. I'll start the timer, and we'll go over the lesson when you're finished. Ready? Go!

5:00, 4:59, 4:58....

Me: (sitting quietly, in my head) What should we have for dinner tonight? Tacos? We have lots of ground beef from when we bought into that cow...are we eating too much beef? I could use turkey...were my tacos good the last time? Can't remember if I used a recipe or just threw stuff together...I need to gather some new recipes, getting a bit bored with the same old.... and we might actually have a decent meal here and there now that the baby will sit in his high chair and let me cook once in a while, he's getting so big...should we put the crib up, or will his bassinet suffice a little longer? It's nice to keep the smaller of the two, it hardly takes up any room, although we actually have space for a crib for once...maybe I'll move that pink chair out of our it too pink for the living room?...I wonder where we'll put the Christmas tree in this new house. It would look nice in front of the big window, but I think it's more practical in the corner opposite the piano...the piano really needs to be tuned, I'll have to look up that number and call the guy...I wonder if painting it is a no-no. I'd really like to paint it -- green, is that too much? Although, if I'm going to paint anything, those shelves need to be painted and put up in the boys room, finally...we really have to get them to keep up on their room, it's a mess! I should get into the habit of sending them in there before dinner every night for a quick tidy, then it wouldn't get so bad....dinner! Tacos?...

3:21, 3:20, 3:19...

Welcome to my world, Honey.
It's like this all the time in here,
Mrs. Smith

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making History

Dear Mr. Smith,

This letter is to document an historic day in our lives.

A day for the books, a "Remember when...?" day.

This is the day we found out that nerf footballs are, indeed, flammable.

We know this because Isaac threw ours into the fireplace,
and we all watched it burn.

Write it down, and hope that history doesn't repeat itself.

Someday we'll laugh about these things...right?

The House is Still Standing, But Barely,
Mrs. Smith

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Feast of All Saints

Dear Mr. Smith,
We had a wonderful time celebrating the richness of our Faith today, with all our precious saints.
First, we read the story of St. Martha. We learned about how she was a fantastic baker and housekeeper, and very different from her sister Mary. Then we baked bread, in honor of St. Martha. We played "St. Simon Says" and talked about St. Sebastian. Once the bread was done baking, it was time for lunch. We read a poem about St. John Bread and Water, a little-known saint whose sacrifice for the Lord was to forgo all food and drink but bread and water, for his entire life. We ate our bread and drank our water, imagining how difficult that must have been for St. John. (Then we had a healthy dose of Halloween candy and everyone was better.)
We played games, like this one in honor of St. Nicholas:

We took turns trying to toss as many gold coins as we could into the "chimney".
(Thanks for the idea, Charlotte :o)!)
We made roses while learning about St. Therese, and then presented them to Mary, the Queen of all Saints, via a Saint Trivia game.
Can you spot the objects in the beans?
A sword for St. George, a clover for St. Patrick, and a St. Gerard medal, all *lost* in the beans, to be found with the help of St. Anthony.
"St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down, something is lost and can't be found!"
We read lots of saint stories, did some printable activities, and had a really great day overall. As you know (since you were here by then), we ended the day with a beautiful Litany of the Saints.
All you Holy Saints, pray for us!
In Christ, Through His Blessed Mother,
Your Wife,
Mrs. Smith

Friday, October 29, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama and leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Dear Mr. Smith,

Your son, Isaac, is really something. By "something", I mean a pistol, a firecracker, stinker. A mischief-making, mess-making, headache-inducing child.

So far today, he has:

  • pulled half the items in the fridge out in an effort to reach the orange juice that he knew he wasn't supposed to have
  • drawn with blue hi-liter all over our bedsheets, bed skirt, and himself
  • drawn with yellow hi-liter all over the refrigerator and dining room walls
  • pulled the curtains off the french doors numerous times
  • squeezed a tube of ointment all over the dining room table
  • assaulted Oliver on multiple occasions
  • gone through the junk drawer looking for treasures three times
  • found, unwrapped, and attempted to eat old Easter candy in the basement
  • pulled said candy, as well as plastic eggs and other discarded items, out of the garbage where I put them

That's all I can think of right now, and it's not quite 4 pm yet, so I'll let you know the rest when you get home. Plus, he's way too quiet, better go check...

He's lucky God made him cute...

Clinging To My Sanity,
Mrs. Smith

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Chore

Dear Mr. Smith,

I don't think we should let Blake leave the house anymore. I just had to empty the dishwasher, all by myself.

Your Overworked Wife,
Mrs. Smith

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Babe

Dear Mr. Smith,

Sebastian had his 4 month check-up with the doc today. He's huge chunky hefty perfect, at 17 lbs. Grandma kept the big guys and sugared them up with cinnamon rolls for me.
All is well.

Mrs. Smith

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Field Trip

Dear Mr. Smith,
Today we went to the zoo.
Don't worry, I know there are only four in this picture. The baby was strapped to me, and the, well, other baby, was in the stroller. I didn't lose anybody, promise. Although, you might think I had picked up a few extras when the docent in Amphibiville asked if we were a tour group. I smiled and said no. She reluctantly accepted that they were all mine... and then wanted to know if there was a "holiday from school". Once she seemed satisfied with my answer about being homeschooled and on a field trip, she quietly walked away.....then returned a few minutes later with a docent-friend and proceeded to point at us and whisper. Come to think of it, I probably should have asked them if there was a vacant habitat for us -- we could just hop in and let the rest of the world gawk and gasp... but I digress. Luckily by this time we met up with Mrs. K and the boys and we went on our merry way.

The zoo is decorated for the season. Some of the decorations are less than desirable. As in, so scary and demented that they have no business being where children can see them much less at a zoo. Others were fun though, like this giant pumpkin. Peyton and Oliver wanted me to make sure I got a picture of it "squishing" them.

Then came the polar bears. You know how we hardly ever get to see one swimming around the tunnel? Well this was a rare treat, he was standing right here when we got there, and then spent the next 20 minutes or so swimming back and forth for our entertainment. And then there was this:
I heard a little voice say, "Mommy, he's pooping!" Sure we never see that again. (Is that gross that I took a picture of it? I think I'm becoming de-sensitized, being around all these boys all the time.) Sorry you missed it, honey.
Overall, it was a great trip- beautiful weather and good company. Oh, and now I know what to get our godson for his birthday...
(wink, wink, Mrs. K.) Let's just say, he almost took one home with him.

So, Mr. Smith, that's our day in a nutshell. I think I will hit the hay a little early tonight, because it is positively exhausting taking your children to the zoo. Thanks for working so hard so we can play.
With Love and Yawns,
Mrs. Smith

P.S. I have in my possession a red Netflix envelope. You know what it contains. Can't wait til you get home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Mr. Smith,

There are a million things I should be doing.
Even though we never stopped moving this weekend, and gave nearly constant effort to the cause of organizing our lovely home, it is still a catastrophe. But instead of putting away the folded laundry, finishing the dishes that wouldn't fit in the dishwasher or dish drainer last night, or, hmmmm...seems like there's something else... oh yes, schooling our children, I am messing with my blog.

Do you know that this blog is really for you?

You see, we like you, a lot. But you work, a lot. This weekend I realized just how much you are away when you pointed out to me that Sebastian had rolled over.

Honey, he's been doing that for quite some time.

So in an effort to connect with you even when you aren't here, I am re-dedicating this spot to you.

I hope you enjoy your letters from home.

With Love,
Mrs. Smith

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Could Just Smack Him

I actually liked this guy. I hate it when someone I think is decent turns out not to be, it's very disappointing. I read his wife's book a few years ago and enjoyed it, as I hadn't realized they were a Catholic family. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but unfortunately these things usually turn out to be true.
Just another reason to avoid looking up to high profile people, I guess.

Friday, October 8, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama and leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


There is something truly miraculous about homeschooling on a cool, rainy day in September. I think we'll have pancakes for lunch and bake some bread this afternoon. There is a peacefulness about us on these days that I hope to treasure in my memory forever.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quote of the Day

On the way to soccer practice with Peyton and Sebastian, after dropping the rest of the family off at Owen's baseball game. The game we'd be returning to after soccer. All of which was after we shoveled our dinner down our throats and rushed out the door. Sebastian was fussing in his car seat the whole way:

Peyton: "Mama? I hope you have your nursing cover. You're going to need it."

Friday, August 20, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Hosted by Soulemama.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Months Old, Already

subtitled: How Could I Choose Just One?

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2009

A Year Ago Today... We went to a baseball game. We stayed a night with my sister and brother-in-law, and saw a minor league game for their town's team. That's not their town anymore. They've moved even further away, across the state. We're planning another game with them now, in another town, a whole new adventure.
A Year Ago Today... We lived in our "old-old house". In less than a year's time we've moved twice. The first move was not so pleasant, the second was a dream come true. It's been interesting hearing the kids distinguish between the houses... which old house? :o)
A Year Ago Today... The outfits in these photos fit the children wearing them. They now fit their next younger siblings. How time does fly.

A Year Ago Today... The baby who is sound asleep next to me was not even a whisper in my ear. He wouldn't be conceived until the following month, his presence unknown to us on earth until the night of our first move (to our old house ;o)). And now here he is, a whole little person, a part of our life. I couldn't have known what the coming year would bring. I probably wouldn't have believed it if I did.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Minute

I was just thinking about posting here, wondering where to start, to begin again, after so much change with no documentation, and I read my profile blurb. ...and loving every minute of it! With enthusiasm. When did I write that? Really, every minute? In theory sure, I love my life. The ups and downs, the battles and rewards. But every minute? Not really.
This minute right now for instance, not loving this minute I'm in.
The kids are getting ready for bed. I can't tell you how many times I've said "now go brush your teeth" in the last 10 minutes. Should I even have to say that anymore? I mean, they do it every night. You might think they'd remember and just do it again. It's been a long day. Doors are slamming as I type. Repeatedly. Over and over. Open and close. I don't have the energy to see why. The baby is strapped to me in a sling carrier, finally sleeping after a fussy evening. I smell like spit-up. My hair is a mess. I have on the same clothes as yesterday because a shower wasn't in the cards today, and these stretchy pants and over sized shirt are some of the only things that fit this post-partum frame of mine.
Did I pray today? Not really. I probably started to several times. My brain is a jumbled mess of to-do lists and unfinished thoughts, and somehow prayer, real prayer, has been relegated to a "when I have the time" status. I realize the danger of this, but haven't figured out a way to fix it. I teeter between exhaustion and elation, contentedness and overwhelmedness, sometimes hourly it seems. I live one day at a time, hour by hour, minute by minute, at times just surviving. At the end of the day I can look back and count successes, but many failures. I try not to succumb to guilt over the failures. Tomorrow is a new day.
Do I love my life? Of course. Just maybe not every minute of it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Baptism and a Birthday

In the Name of the Father...
And of the Son...
And of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Blake is 11 today. He's the awkward one in this picture. Oh wait... that could be any of them. He's the one on the left, enjoying a birthday ball game with his best-friend-since-they-were-four and some brothers, and several thousand other people.

Sebastian was baptized on Blake's birthday, wearing the same white garment, 11 years later. We are so blessed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010


this is what it looks like when i type now.
i use one finger. and it takes forever.
the problem is, i cant put this baby down.
i mean, i could.
but i don't want to.
lots of exciting things to write about though.
so i'll be back soon.
two handed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Had to Check

Just got on here to make sure my baby widget isn't growing facial hair yet.

He can't stay in there forever, right? :o)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

The thoughtless adult edition.

Random woman at grocery store: "Is this one a girl?!?"

Me, smiling: "Nope, another boy."

Her: "Oh, you poor woman! My friend had five boys and tried for one more. She got her girl and then got fixed! They were done!"

In front of my five listening sons.
She was quite satisfied that she got to tell me that story. She walked away smiling and all I could do was shake my head. Some people just don't get it.

On a better note, I'll be holding our sweet babe any day! Can. Not. Wait. :o)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

To-Do List

  • Write and send thank you notes for baby shower. check
  • Get through first baseball game. done
  • Stock pantry and freezer. check
  • Prepare menu of simple dinners for babymoon. check
  • Find/use the bathroom at every public place I'm at. double check
  • Wash and put away baby clothes, carriers, blankets, etc. check
  • Figure out how to work new stroller. check
  • Put together swing. done
  • Make children happy with one last trip up north. in the books
  • Wash/assemble infant car seat cover. check
  • Put swollen ankles up often. triple check
  • Eat ice cream while I still can. you know this is checked
  • Build bassinet. done
  • Marvel at the tiny-ness of newborn-sized onesies and diapers. check
  • Prepare 23-month-old for big brotherhood. uncheckable
  • Pray. checked and checked again
  • Deliver healthy baby. next on the list

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Baby Shower

the invitations and favors

I mentioned awhile back that Mr. Smith's brother and his wife had offered to throw us a baby shower. It was something I had mixed feelings over for a long time. I was super excited that they would go to such trouble to bless our baby with new things. It felt strange though, doing the whole thing all over again 11 years after the first time. I kept saying, "I'm too old to go set up a baby registry!" I know darn well I'm not too old, many women my age haven't even thought about kids yet, I just felt awkward doing it. I guess I also have a hard time letting people do things for me, and I really had to let go of that in order for the shower to happen.
Happen it did. It was wonderful. We have such generous friends and family, we got almost everything on our registry and then some. For example:
A beautiful wooden bassinet-- The one we have always used is the one that I slept in as a baby, as did all of my siblings. My oldest brother is 36. My mom had fixed it up for us when Blake was born, but it was still a rickety, wicker, slightly top-heavy bassinet. It made me quite nervous to think of curious little boys trying to peer in over the side of it... enough said.
A "travel system"-- A stroller and car seat set. I don't know if we were trying to register frugally the first time around, or if these things just weren't around 11 years ago, but our first stroller was an inexpensive single stroller and the car seat did not go with it. We used to set the car seat in it when we needed to, but it certainly didn't lock in... you get the picture.
A high chair-- Ours was an original that had been through all five boys. One leg was shorter than the others because the peg/lock system had gone awry years ago, and the straps had been misplaced and never found at least 2 babies ago. It was also clunky and awkward, taking up way too much space; and do you know they make high chairs now with this handy little removable tray cover that you can put in the dishwasher? Well they do, and now we have one.
We also received a second base for the car seat (never had one, always had to unbuckle/rebuckle), a new Boppy pillow (who wants to put a newborn on an 11-year-old pillow? they didn't make them with removable covers back then either), a travel swing/bouncer, a JJ Cole Bundle Me cover for the car seat (no more infant in an impossible-to-manage snowsuit), as well as new clothes, onesies, burp cloths, diapers, blankets and toys, and several gift cards to pick up whatever else we may need.

We could hardly believe how blessed we were. Now we just need a baby to use it all... Soon.

me and my sis

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today was a long, difficult day.
I cried, hugged, and comforted, until I had nothing left to offer.
Today I watched a mother say goodbye to her daughter,
close the casket and walk away.
I am baffled,
by how it is that good people succumb to terrible things.
Today I prayed,
for the soul of a girl we called cousin,
and the ones she left behind.
And I begged the Lord for mercy.
Now mercifully,
Today is over,
and tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Contemplation

I woke this morning to the sound of Ave Maria drifting into my room from the piano. It was Blake, practicing for his part in our May Crowning today after Mass. He set his alarm early and got up on his own to go over it a few more times.

Such self-discipline.

Something I've been pondering lately. If you had asked me a few months ago I would have said I was adequately self-disciplined. I'm a conservative person, no wild tendencies, I give of myself in multiple directions daily. I'm not prone to spending binges, I attend Mass and Confession regularly, and hold my temper fairly well.

Is that enough?

I give of myself, to my husband, my kids, but do I really sacrifice? Do I know the meaning of the word? When was the last time I gave but didn't take? Gave up a comfort for a greater good?

Had Blake not been up and practicing, I would have stayed put in my bed for as long as I could get away with. In fact, staying in bed in the morning has become one of my main goals lately. Even at the expense of a smooth-running morning routine. I acknowledged long ago that I need to be up and functional well before the children in order for the morning to go well. Yet I don't make it a priority. Day after day I drag myself out of bed to find that the older boys are already busy playing a board game, or eating their cereal.

Yes, I am pregnant. Very pregnant.
Is that a worthy excuse?

How many women before me have been this pregnant, with challenges I can't even dream of, and still maintained the discipline of a good Christian woman?

Shall I talk about ice cream? I'm currently testing the limits on daily human consumption of it. Lately it's rainbow sherbet with Vernor's. I just finished off a package of 600 lb. Gorilla ice cream cookie sandwiches the other night. On Sunday, an entire pint of Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone. In. One. Sitting. I've told myself that I would sleep better were I not consuming an entire week's worth of sugar an hour before bedtime. I've told myself I should take a few days off from the ice cream and see how I feel. Then before I know it, I'm talking myself into getting a bowl, knowing that once the baby comes life will be different and ice cream will be off the daily menu.

Does pregnancy legitimize gluttony? Certainly not. So why the desire to constantly over-indulge? Not just a desire, but a giving in to the desire.

It's true that when you know more, more is expected of you. On this Christian journey, there is no perfection. There is no finish line, except the eternal one. Just because I'm a better Christian than I was a year ago, doesn't mean that's good enough.

Eating ice cream and sleeping in are not the greatest evils of this world. Complacency, however, is intolerable. I expect better from myself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

Peyton: "Mama, I can't believe that someone the size of Isaac is going to be a big brother in just a few weeks."

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's May

Go ahead. Ask me when I'm due.

Next month!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Shepherd Garden Party - Week Three

We finally celebrated our third Garden Party tonight. Once again, it was a really great meal that everyone enjoyed. It's so nice to eat something different, and incorporate scripture with it.our poster, after 3 weeks.
thunder and lightning (sort of. I substituted two cans of chicken for the chick peas, wanting to keep some protein in the meal and knowing my family would like that better. they did.)
rainbow fruit kabobs. beautiful AND delicious.
I decided on Sun Chips in place of the sun cupcakes, as we did the Hostess cupcakes for the wind.
the hail and the rain.
Isaac, enjoying his "wind".
Thanks again, Charlotte and Jessica!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Daybook: Post-First-Holy-Communion Edition

Outside my window... it's still on the chilly side, but sunny today. We had been praying for nice weather for the Communion party yesterday, banking on it actually, in order to allow for some overflow of people into the backyard. We invited more than our little house could comfortably hold and almost everyone came. It turned out to be dark, rainy, and chilly the entire day, no chance to be outside. I fretted plenty, but it turned out just fine.
Also, we just spotted a nest in the tree right outside our dining/school room windows. It's too high to see inside. We'll have to watch and see what bird visits it, looks like a robin's nest to me.

I am listening to... my body, it's telling me to slooooowww doooowwwnn. We've been so darn busy lately, and I really pushed myself the last week with Communion preparation, Catechism lessons (I teach Kindergarten and we only have 2 weeks left), soccer, and other things. It's all the good, fulfilling things in this mom's life, but now that some things are winding down it's time for me to try to do the same. Daily life isn't going to get any simpler, but at 33+ weeks pregnant I need to be realistic about what can be done, and take a little time to put my feet up.

I am wearing... comfortable clothes. Still recovering from the skirt I wore yesterday, which was the opposite of comfortable.

I am thinking... that readying the house for the Communion party was exactly what we needed right now. We purged and organized, rearranged and decluttered. It's far from perfect, but so much better than it was. We just needed the motivation to get it done, and apparently 20+ guests is pretty good motivation.

I am looking forward to... this baby. A good friend just delivered her little girl on Tuesday, and I'm starting to realize how close I am to that point. I just can't wait to hold him in my arms.

I am thankful for... good friends. I've got the best one ever. When I told her the theme was Mexican food for the party she offered to make the meat for the tacos. She brought it over ahead of time in a crock pot (it was delicious, by the way), came to Mass with her boys, helped me prep the food when we got back to the house, and then stayed later than anyone and washed my dishes so I wouldn't have to. It doesn't get much better than that.

I am praying... for someone close to me who is removed from the Faith. I pray for grace and wisdom for myself, to understand my place in her life and find a balance between compassion and diligence.

I am creating... plans for next year. Another school year with a new baby in the house. I'm planning to combine studies for some of the children, more so than ever, especially in Science and History. It's going to take careful planning.

I am going... to enjoy watching 24 with Mr. Smith tonight. I feel like I can relax for the first time in a while. The season is winding down (the whole series really, since this is the last season) and it should be an enjoyable episode tonight.

One of my favorite things... a baby's first words. Even if they're more toddler than baby at the time. He's still not talking regularly, but Isaac has picked up a few words that he'll say with prompting. Mama is still the favorite. Especially when he looks right at me with those big blue eyes and says it. He also says Dada, uh-oh, ow, and oof. I count oof as a word, #1 because five words is better than four, and #2 because he says it so purposefully, deliberately, and appropriately, every time. It means "I just stepped down from that chair and hit the ground a little harder than I expected" or "That hotwheels car just jumped off of a table and this is the sound it made when it hit the floor", and also, my favorite, "I'm bumping into one of my brothers on purpose, repeatedly, and this is the sound of the physical toll it's taking on my body". So as you can see, it's a big part of our budding vocabulary, and a perfectly legitimate word.

Around the house... I'm feeling pretty good about it for the first time in quite awhile. Many of the bigger projects have been done. Now it's time to implement a good maintenance routine and stick to it.

From the kitchen... leftovers! I love that Owen wanted Mexican food for his Communion party, as it made for good leftovers that no one will complain about.

From the school room... we're back into a pretty decent routine. This time of year can be hard, especially when I'm already planning for next year. The grass is always greener on the other side of summer, but we're putting our noses to the grindstone to finish up this year's work.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
-two soccer practices and a game
-Owen's first baseball practice
-piano lessons
-homeschool gym
-an OB appointment for me and Baby
-week three of The Good Shepherd's Garden Party (and then week four, I'm hoping)

A picture thought to share... or several. I am so proud of Owen and his faith and excitement over receiving the Holy Eucharist. He was very grateful for his party, received lots of nice gifts, and is already talking about the next time he gets to receive at Mass. It was a beautiful day.

our prayer table, specially geared toward Owen on his special day. the empty corner on the right held his basket of jellybean-filled favors for his guests. we moved it after the third time Isaac pulled it down and stuffed his mouth full of candy.
Owen and Father Joe, our beloved priest, after Mass

a less-than-perfect family photo
Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries.