Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Beauties

Friday, July 14, 2017

8 GREAT months with our Lady

Yep, look who's eight months old!  Can you believe it?!?!  We cannot!  She's squishy and adorable and loved by all of us so very much.  She's a good little sitter, still a little tippy.  She rolls everywhere and can get to whatever she wants.  No crawling yet.  But that's ok- our babies are always a little bit later for the crawling and walking thing.  I think it's because we hold them TOO much, if there ever is a TOO much baby holding sort of thing.  (I'd say not!)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Berry Fine Day

Last week, my mother-in-law took our two oldest girls out blueberry picking.  After being gone for a few hours, they come home with bellies full of berries and a yummy lunch from Culvers with their Grandma and cousins and 6 pounds of berries to share.  It was a WIN for us all, I'd say.  Our girls love this annual tradition of berry picking!

++Thank you God for time spent with Grandmas and cousins and for all the yummy fresh  blueberries!!++

Saturday, June 24, 2017

New DOs

Rose got her very first haircut just recently.  It was SO long and was getting a little too much for her styling tastes.  She wasn't liking me combing out the tangles every day.  So our rule is - if you are going to have long hair, then you have to take care of it (or at least mommy help you take care of it). I told her that shorter hair would be easier to take care of and wouldn't have as many rats.  So she jumped at the chance of getting it cut to make it more manageable.

And look who else got a haircut too...

Friday, June 23, 2017

You Whittle WOOD...



A hard lesson our son Mario learned this month.  A couple stitches later and he was all sewn up and back to normal.

Thank God it was a pretty minor accident, but it was our first set of stitches in our family nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Totus Tuus Shaving Cream WARS

Monday, June 19, 2017

Playing Betty Crocker

When you have a wonderful big sister who gifts you with cherries from her cherry tree, you need to be creative on how to use them.  

First you must....

Wash 'em

De-stem 'em

Pit 'em

(and it's really nice to pawn those 3 jobs off on your 14 year old son, if you have one)

Cut 'em in half 

And then...

Make a PIE!!!  

So my baby sister and I got together last Saturday morning and made CHERRY pies!  My very first homemade fruit pie with a homemade crust.  Yeah, can you believe it?  And, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that difficult.  What do you think?  

It sure tasted great!!  Next up will be a homemade apple pie.  With a homemade crust again!! I can get used to this Betty Crocker thing!  ;)

What are some of your favorite ways to play Betty Crocker?  
What do you like to bake?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pentecost Sundaes on SUNDAY

Easter came to a close a couple Sundays ago on Pentecost.  And we celebrated Pentecost with a fun dessert....

Pentecost Sundaes!!

Dove Chocolates --------> Holy Spirit

Red Hots --------> Tongues of Fire

Sundaes --------> we ate them on a Sunday (Pentecost Sunday!!)

It's so much fun to celebrate our faith in fun and yummy ways like this!!  :)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

You're A Grand Old Flag

Our new favorite colors are....





You may ask why?  Who oh why?  Because my nephew has joined the military and given of himself to serve our great country.  And it has made us all feel a bit more patriotic.  And what a wonderful thing to turn our hearts and souls to a better appreciation for the USA!!

So, to celebrate, Neil, my dad and my brother-in-law all helped each other install flag poles at each of our houses.  Here are some pictures of the install and some pictures of the ground work/landscaping and of course, the finished area with our new grand old flag.  Our Max even set up some of his army guys in the area under our flag.  Way better than a fairy garden, eh??

And, here's my dad's flag flying high as well...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Hello, Kitties!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A reflection after 17 years of marriage

Ariel messaged Neil and I a belated anniversary picture she created for us today. Three days ago marked 17 years of being married to my sweetie.  Can you believe it?  17 seems like so many years; yet it seems to have gone so fast and I truly do feel so young still!

I look at us here and wonder what we were thinking...

Like the 5 kids I was wanting became 9! Would I think my future self was CrAzY or blessed? Somedays I'm still in awe, like is this our life?  Pinch me; it's too good to be true.  Not that it's been easy or is easy.  Because it's not!  It's far from it - lol!  Large family living is tough.  Homeschooling is tough.

Like our new house that we wanted to build would become buying my brother-in-law's family house that HE grew up in?  No brand new house where we get to pick out and design everything.  Nope.  Nada.  God planted in some very important wisdom that came from my mother-in-law, "Do not consider Katie's salary into your house price.  You know once you start having kids, she won't want to go back to work".  She was right!  And thank God, we listened!!!  (and thank you, Jean, for speaking up!!  You are a great mom!!  Then and still today - we are SO blessed by you!).  Our dream house that we were wanting to build became an older house that has been added onto once and renovated multiple times to accommodate our growing family.  And it's SO close to our families whom we treasure so much!

Like would we have thought I'd quit working after less than a year of teaching.  Even if I hadn't been in an accident in March and forced to quit my first year early, I wouldn't have gone back.  Baby numero uno was on his way!!!  And, my mother-in-law was right - I didn't want to go back to work.  But, WORK is what I did and still do today...  I run a household of 11 people, homeschool 7 of our 9 children, balance being a mom of teens, pre-teens, a toddler, a baby, and a few in-betweens.  There's never much quiet to my job.  There's always some place to run, something to do, someone who needs extra love and snuggles, and on and on.  It's not a job that many brides dream about.  Nothing that seems life-changing and world-altering.  But, man-oh-man, is that stereotype SO wrong!!  I am forming 9 souls for Christ to send out in this world.  The 1+1 (+1 being Christ) = 11 !!  We became a family of 11!  That's great WORK I'd say.  A Magnum Opus, if you know what I mean!  ;)

And then I look at us here.  Two smooching lovers (well, actually 4 smoochers - I had a double wedding with my sister!!  They're pretty cute too, eh?).  And, I think of my own kids...  what will their future hold?  Will they experience the beauty of Holy Matrimony?  Holy Orders?  Only God knows.  Neil and I will continue doing our best to foster all vocations and trusting our children into His hands and the hands of Our Lady.  And then to never never never EVER forget that we did our job.  Our children do have free will.  They may stray.  They may make mistakes.  And if they do, then Neil and I need to let go and trust even more.

++Thank you, Lord, for these last 17 blessed beyond all measure years married to my groom.  Please continue to live in us and through us as we love each other and lead each other to Heaven.++

Monday, May 22, 2017

May Day 2017

This year's May Day was a "grin and bear it" kind, as I was in between surgery #1 and surgery #2 and had the 24/7 uncomfortableness of the stent.  Oy!  The things you do for those you love, even when you are not feeling 100%.  Thank God for His grace and strength.  The kids did 99% of the prep!  They needed a little help with set up  and the idea, but they carried it all out after that.  Ariel rocked the prep this year, since Melody and Fone were busy with their play.  And, for the actual carrying it out, I got to play chauffeur, which was doable for me too.  

(You probably wonder HOW DO YOU DO May Day with a crew of kids and the busyness of a large family living and homeschooling PLUS dealing with health issues.  Come check out my write up over at Cuppa Catholic....  it's "Easy as 1, 2, 3"!)

**the prep**

**ding and dash day**

++Thank you, Lord, for your grace and strength and traditions like this that bond our family together in love and generosity!++
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