Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A "like father - like son" Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 21, 2014

Answer Me This (my first stab at it!!)

This is my first "Answer Me This" blog link-up at Catholic All Year.  I was supposed to answer six questions to share a little bit about myself.  Easy enough, eh?  Here's my sharing....

1. What’s something you've won and how did you win it?

I won a family Weight Loss Challenge that my sisters, brothers-in-law, and husband took part in a couple years ago - I wish I could say it was because I exercised a ton and lost a lot of weight, BUT I only lost like 6 pounds but I kept it off, unlike others who lost and gained and lost and gained.  

But most importantly, I won this guy's heart and that is all by God's grace and blessings.....  

Out of all the gals in the world, for some strange reason *I* won his heart and have kept it all these years!!   Fourteen years of marriage and going strong!!  Love you, baby!!!  Happy birthday today!!!  

2. Do you save old greeting cards and letters, or throw them all away? Why?
Yeah, I am a saver...  for now, I am keeping birthday cards and bind them together in a very simple way.  Each kiddo has their own plastic tub where a packet of their school stuff and birthday cards go in each year.  Neil and I have one plastic tub for birthday cards and Mother's Day/Father's Day cards the kids give us too.  Everything else gets tossed after it has hung up on a door or hallway for a month of two (or til the next bday).  

3. When you’re at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?
Summer - barefoot
Winter - slippers or socks

4. Who’s the most famous person you have ever met? 
Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle, Johnettte Benkovic, Danielle Bean, Ralph Covert/Ralph's World (sings THE best kids' music!!!), and most importantly, Our Lord Jesus every time I go to Mass and adoration

5. What has been your best work of art?
A work of art is a creation, right??  Two things come to mind - my blog is a creation of our memories and my gift to my family -AND-  I have been blessed as a momma to co-create 7 beautiful children (8 come October).  THEY are my BEST "works of art", I would most definitely say....

6.  What’s your strongest sense?
Hee hee, I am pretty talented and gifted (or as my husband would tease me 'hyper-sensitive")  in three of the senses....  

***I SMELL things first, well before anyone else, and even things that don't exist (in the middle of the night - "honey, I smell smoke")

***the sense of TOUCH is super strong in me too - I can feel the tiniest crumb or sticky spot on my feet and I hate to go barefoot outside

***I am ultra-sensitive to the sense of HEARING as well (again in the middle of the night, I hear every creak or groan or cough or bang, etc.... - especially sounds that don't even exist)


If you wanna take part with this fun link-up, click on the image below....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

37 things we love about you...

You are now officially older than me, dear! And, we love you so much, being an ole man and all!  :)

In honor of your 37th birthday and carrying on the tradition of listing the blessings per year of life, we each took a turn sharing why we love you so much!!

from Rose...
#1 - how you hold me close and snuggle me
#2 - how you wrestle me and use me as your barbell...

from Pookey...
#3 - you let me have granola bars
#4 - you give me candy
#5 - you tuck me in bed
#6 - we both have brown eyes
#7 - when we wrestle together

from Max...
#8 - you take us fishing

#9 - you love us
#10 - and I love you
#11 - you let us play outside
#12 - you let us go on vacations

from Ariel...
#13 - you took me on a First Holy Communion trip
#14 - you wrestles with us
#15 - you love me
#16 - you are my dad
#17 - you care for us

from Melody...
#18 - you cook good food, like spaghetti
#19 - you are lots of fun

#20 - you go on the slip-n-slide with us
#21 - you let us do privilege
#22 - you gave us a trampoline

from Mario...
#23 - taking us to the Brothers of St John camp

#24 - making us pancakes
#25 - you let us do cool things
#26 - you allowed us to have our own room in the basement
#27 - being my dad

from Fone...
#28 - how you take Matt and I out to movies

#29 - takes us to sport games
#30 - you are funny
#31 - letting us go to cool camps
#32 - you make a mean bowl of spaghetti

My turn...
#33 - your touch and warmth
#34 - your giggle - you never hold back and I love how you just let it all out.  I loved going to see comedies with you when we were dating, not to watch the movie, but to hear you laugh
#35 - you are an amazing helper and great teammate of mine - like I have always said, "you can do anything I can except grow, give birth to, and nurse our babies"
#36 - how you give yourself completely to the kids and I every day - willingly and lovingly
#37 - how we get to walk this journey of faith together daily, and most especially the blessings and CrAzInEsS of having a large family with another little blessing on the way.  Thank you for being such a great man of faith, who knows how to put God first and for leading us all to our heavenly home!!

And, I know we already hit #37, but our littlest one wanted to chime in and thank you for being his Daddy and that he can't wait to meet you, be held by you and smooched by you in October...

Happy birthday to my wonderful, handsome husband!  

I love you forever and always!!  

May God continue to bless you and draw you even closer to Him this upcoming year!!  

Max and his new favorite song to play on the piano

Does this song sound familiar?  Max, Mario, and Fone all love to play it over and over and over and over again....

++Thank you, God for the gift of music and kids who can play by ear!!++

Friday, July 18, 2014

Best homemade slip-n-slide EVER - 2014

In June, we were blessed to have spent time with all the special dads in our life for Father's Day weekend.  One of the traditions we have on Neil's side of the family is the Annual Father's Day slip-n-slide.  Neil's dad uses his day to set up and run the slip-n-slide all to provide hours of fun for the grandkids he adores.  It is such a special day for everyone...

How to construct it???  It's easy peasy....   My father-in-law stacks three 4" tiles and binds them, shapes them to create a pool at the bottom (kind of like a big U) and then puts mulch bags on it as a cushion.  On top of all that, a big tarp is laid out and bound down to keep it from moving. Bags of mulch are placed on the sides of the actual slide (big black sheeting) to prevent kids from flying off the slide as they go down.  And the biggest secret of all - baby wash and a hose spraying water.  This provides MANY hours of great fun!

More pics of the fun, slipping and sliding....

++Thank you, God, for fathers, fun outdoors, and the best homemade slip-n-slide ever!!!!++

Thursday, July 17, 2014

VBS Days (part 2)

One of the first activities that the kids took part in this summer was the VBS at our church.  I had posted earlier the videos of the kids singing and dancing to the theme song as well as Fone taking part in the opening skit for Days 1 and 2.  Here are three more videos from the rest of the week....

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

++Thank you, God, for the fun, faith and friends at Son Treasure Island VBS this year!!++

Some berry fun berry picking!!

"One berry 
Two berry
Pick me a blueberry"

"Finger and pawberry
My berry, your berry"

"Mountains and fountains
Rain down on me
Buried in berries
What a jam jamboree!"

On Saturday, Melody went berry picking with one of her grandma's and a sweet cousin her age, as well.  They have done it for a couple years now and love that special time together.  And how wonderful that we get "buried in berries" and have "mountains and fountains" to wash, freeze and eat for many weeks and months to come....  smoothies, blueberry pancakes, blueberry sweet bread, blueberry french toast bake, blueberry muffins, blueberries on our morning oatmeal!!   Yummy yum!!  

Jamberry was one of those first books that we read to Fone when he was a baby.  It has become a favorite in our house with all our young'uns.  Most of us can quote the little rhymes, we have read it or heard it read that much!!  

Mom-ism post #4

My fourth Mom-ism post coming your way....

***   #1   ***

Before the school year ended, I was already looking into camps and classes to get the kids signed up for so that they could continue their school in a fun way outside of the home.  So far, with it being only mid-July, the kids have done two weeks of VBS, Fone and Mario did a Camping/Survival camp, and now this week, the three big kids are taking part in an art camp at our local library!  I prayed for God to open the doors to some sort of art enrichment for the kids and by golly, not only does He provide it, He made it super easy....  just a few minutes away at our local library, fully grant funded (meaning FREE) and they spend 3 hours learning techniques and style in such a great environment every day this week!  And to top that off, they have two of their cousins joining them in the camp all week. It has been a fun busy summer so far with lots of running, but having big kids makes the loading and unloading and transitions more smooth than they ever have.  And my littlest kids have enjoyed getting more mommy-time with their bigger siblings being away, not to mention, they have been such troopers being trucked around from place to place.  (The above pic is just a sampling of what the kids have been making.  After tomorrow, I am hoping to post more details and pictures of what they created)

***   #2   ***

I had to take sweet Melody to the eye doctor yesterday to have her eyes checked.  She has been threatened the last few appointments that she *may* need glasses soon.  Well this appointment was very clear, that she was indeed near-sighted.  Poor thing, we went to pick out glasses at the optical center right after her appointment - with her very blurry dialated eyes - and she couldn't even hardly see the glasses.  So, even though the rest of my crew was at grandma's and it was super convenient to get glasses ordered right then and there, I told her we would come back.  So, Neil and I worked some things out today and squeezed in a time today where I could take her back - with normal eyes - and she was able to look at the sizes and styles and colors and picked out the perfect pair.

***   #3   ***

With a busy day of art camp, play time with some cousins, picking out eyeglasses, we decided to just have a night at home.... our favorite pizza for dinner, playing and running around outside, baths/showers for everyone, and soon our family prayers to end this perfect day.  These times at home are so wonderfully beautiful and peace-filled.  Our kids love each other, love playing with each other and we truly enjoy just the grace-filled simple moments of being at *home*.

++Thank you, God, for the gift of being a mommy and all these 
grace-filled "mommy moments" that you sent my way!!++

Please stop on by Catholic Mom's Cafe by clicking the image below and share what God has been doing in your life as a momma this week...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Goodbye grades K, 2, 4, 5, and 7...

....and welcome in Grades K, 1, 3, 5, 6 and 8!!!

OH BOY!!!!!  

Am I really going to have six kids in school this next year???!!!!


Today our second box of homeschool goodies and curriculum came in the mail for the 2014/2015 schoolyear.  Guess it's time to get this years papers and books put away and start stocking the shelves with fresh books for next year.

I'm making it super easy on myself this year as far as getting things put away and organized....  and have printed the top covers and attached one of their pictures (see above).  The "meat" of the book has a coordinating subject sheet and a few lessons from that subject.  Viola - a year-in-review book for each kid that is doable and easy to create!!!!

And a look at next year...  keep in mind our special delivery coming in October and the need to makes things somewhat simple (not a lot of grading, mostly!), so we are incorporating more online/computer school opportunities.  Here is a peek.....

Throughout the next week or two, I'm sure we'll be getting more boxes in the mail and add to what we already have!!!  My sweet new kindergartener was so excited and already did three of his phonics workbook pages today - and he did fantastic!!  Fun times!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mom-ism post #3

Late again, but nonetheless, here is my third "mom-ism" post, linking up with the lovely Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle....

Our schoolyear for 2014/2015 is planned and items on their way - woo hoo!  We are using more computer/online learning to help make smooth the transition of new baby!  Hopefully once all the books are here, I can share a little more about our plans!!!  For now, rejoice with me that the planning is done!! 

Like I shared in my {pretty, happy, funny, real} post, our kids love to read.   Wanna make them happy, then take them to the library!!  I found Fone reading some of our favorite puzzle books to Max and Pookey the other day.  I think Fone read these books when he was around their age - definitely a favorite in this house!!

Today was the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle!  Our monthly "10 July Activities for Catholic Families" calendar suggested we have the kids create and build something in his memory since he is the patron of architects.  The kids already love build and create, so when I shared with them the reason why today, they were thrilled!  It's so neat to make special connections like this when living the liturgical year!
++St. Thomas, pray for us!!++


Please join in with your "mom-ism" moments and link up your post by clicking on the image below or just stop by to read and see what God is doing in the lives of other momma's....

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