"When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven" -- Saint Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, canonized October 18, 2015 along with her husband St. Louis Martin.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

7-Quick Takes: November

Pro-Life Poster Contest

October was Respect Life Month, and our parish hosted it's annual Pro-life poster contest.  My only complaint is that there is only one winner per age group, and there are so many beautiful entries that I wish they had at least a first and second place!  In any case, the winners were announced at the Fall Festival, and Galadriel won for Level 3.  


Piano Recital

As soon as we got home from the Fall Festival, we headed over to (another) church where Arwen and Galadriel had their first piano recital!

They were so nervous!  My parents were able to make it, which made it all the more special.  The girls did super!  


My sister was out of town last week and Bilbo was in charge of dog-sitting.  Poor little Cricket was too lonely, even with Bilbo playing in the yard and taking her on walks in the afternoons, so we just brought her to our house for a couple of hours each day.

Sam loved chasing her around--so much smaller than our labradoodle!

She was loved and carried around so much that she had to be happy to go back to her own home to rest!


One of my very favorite times of year is the octave of All Souls, when the Church grants a plenary indulgence to a poor soul in Purgatory each day for nine days, if you visit the cemetery and pray for the dead.

We tried to stop after Mass each morning, but a couple of days we forgot and made a post-dinner dash out in our van in the pitch darkness that is now 5:00pm!  One night I told the kids to get into their pj's after dinner and then told them we were going for a drive to the cemetery.  There's something so exciting about being out at night in the dark, especially if you come home for hot chocolate!


Sam is pretty obsessed with balls.  We rigged up some low hoops for him one afternoon and he was delighted!


Eowyn in the schoolroom

Quite the serious 3K-student!


I'm trying to embrace Daylight Savings "Fall back"...but as much as I tell myself it's cozy and build fires and make hot chocolate, there really is something HARD about it getting dark so early and having such long nights with so many children.  Luckily, the holidays are here and that brings a whole lot of cheer.  It looks like we might be traveling for Thanksgiving if we can all stay healthy and the weather holds!  I'm sure I'll keep you posted! 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

16 Months

Today Sam is 16 months old!  He is starting to talk more, which is incredibly cute and makes me convinced that he's a genius.  What are these advanced words? Well, "up"...and "ball".  Genius, right?

Those words actually really sum up his life right now: he loves me to carry him around, and he loves to chase after a ball.  If my older boys are outside playing, he toddles around near them chasing his own mini ball.  It's a great stage--unless he just runs off toward the street or a huge mud puddle.  In fact, yesterday I had to chase him down in a neighbor's yard where my boys were playing football with a friend.  Sam saw them and took off for the fun.

Teething woes.  My kids always have terrible teething between 1 and 2 years.  They get their teeth late, and then they all come crashing through before the second birthday.  Poor Sam has had a few rough days with teething, and has a big fat new molar to show for it!

And that's about it for this little boy.   What a cutie.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

I've got some rules when it comes to Halloween.  First rule is that every single year I remind my children what All Hallow's E'en is celebrating: the Eve of All Saint's Day.  And we DO celebrate All Saint's Day with (well, Mass, per Holy Day of Obligation) no school, festive food, and usually big parties with a bunch of kids dressed as Saints, but this year, just us, dressed as saints around the dinner table.  We also do Litanies of the Saints by song, singing "pray for us" as we sing the names of ever single saint we can possibly remember!  It takes a long time and is one of my favorite traditions ever!

Rule #2: no scary costumes, and only happy pumpkins.  The happy pumpkins was my Dad's rule, and that's probably just because he's such a sweet man and my Mom also was pretty staunchly opposed to anything yucky/dark/or scary.  I know that some people simply boycott this holiday (I used to skip the trick-or-treating because I hate the ugly stuff too) but I'm personally out to reclaim it as rightfully ours, as we wear fun costumes (if not Saints on trick-or-treating night) and go get candy before the big Feast Day.

I love fall, I love feeling neighborly, and I love kids being able to knock on anyone's door and being greeted with smiles and treats.  I think in our society where we are all isolated in our own little homes and have precious little community, this is a worthy activity.

Rule #3 (it's not a rule): I LOVE it when we can coordinate our costumes as a family!! We have gone as the "Racing Sausages" and as the "Fellowship of the Ring".  This year, we went as playing cards.  Specifically, we were a "Royal Flush", with Joker, and some Clubs thrown in for good measure (and there were too many of us to just go as one hand).

Yes, we were a LARGE group of cards (we had some cousins join in for the fun!) and yes, we received many comments on our costumes.

I thought it was a great success!

Looking forward to All Saint's Day tomorrow!!

Sunday, October 29, 2017


I guess it's legit.

I mean, she's like my one of three blog readers, and definitely my biggest fan.

And I got a complaint: I didn't do a birthday post.

There's a reason for this.  It's a milestone birthday, and she's my oldest.  I KNOW other people don't really want to hear my thoughts on my perfect, beautiful, oldest daughter who just turned sixteen.

They don't want to know that I journaled all night before her birthday, but I didn't blog.  I was remembering the drama that surrounded the birth of my first baby: being overdue, getting mis-scheduled and sent home from the hospital on the morning of my non-induction.  Crying all that day.  Going back the next morning to deliver a 9 pound  1 ounce baby girl in about 2 1/2 hours.

Falling in love with my baby.

Over and again, every day.  Probably making the whole world groan, but...

I told you there was a reason I didn't post.  Now she's asked for one, so this is all I've got.

Mom gush.

Because, she's sassy (and silly)

she has the worlds cutest friends, and she's so cute with them!


She's a complete selfie queen (and I love finding them on my phone--but she's probably going to kill me for this):

 And sometimes, I find artistic still-life's of her breakfast instead:

(Hint: She's a pinterest queen too.)

 More selfies: this time with sisters

Because she's an awesome big sister.  And something of a slave to Eowyn (who she secretly loves to serve).

Those eyes!!
 I love this: she and Aragorn were having a camera war at the apple orchard, trying to get pictures of each other between the rows of apples:

You know she's my photographer.  We wouldn't have any family pictures without her.

And when she makes me crazy, it's only because we are way too much alike, so...she doesn't want to do the things that I ask her to do because I don't want to do them....  (heh heh, sorry babe).

She's my friend.  I love her.

What else can I say?


Ugh.  My heart.

Growing up too fast.  WAyyyyyyy to fast for me.

I've got to go cry myself to sleep now.  I love you Arwen.

Happy belated Birthday, my sweet sweet sixteen (and yes, I can hear you groaning!)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fast October Update

1)  Meet Harry!

Bilbo fell in love with this little guy and came home from the pet shop determined to earn money for him.  I wasn't inclined to follow through on the purchase, but my husband was up for it, so...
how I can I say no to a 9 year old boy who wants a turtle?!

(photo credit: Arwen)
 2) "Miracle of the Sun" cookies.  Of course I have to blog this, because I didn't make them (Bilbo and Galadriel did), but they turned out so cute!  The 13th was miserably dreary, so the fake sun made me very happy!

3) Sneak peek at my "purple wiseman" for a nativity co-op I joined!  I can't wait to see what the other wooden dolls will look like!  These get a coat of Mod Podge, they have faces, and I added a different sparkle to their turban (you can't really see it in this picture, but there is purple glitter on their robes).  I'll try to remember to get a picture when they're all finished!

4) Just because I want to document, Bilbo got chosen to be the Miter bearer for the Bishop's Mass at our parish's 100th Anniversary Mass.  So special!

5) We've got two birthdays this week, and the first one is today: my husband's!  He's sitting with my little girls at ballet right now, but cake is waiting for him when he gets home!

Arwen turns 16 this week!  I hope to have some fun pics to share soon!  

Have a good week!

Friday, October 6, 2017

15 Months

15 Months

6 teeth

23 pounds


It's funny, no one can ever imagine life without one of their children.  Each child is so unique that they are simply irreplaceable.  Not one of my other eight children is "Sam".  His looks, his personality, his scrumptious little self!

Why "Hello"!  Yes, I love you!

I caught Sam on the couch with his brothers watching football last weekend.  Sam really doesn't sit and watch TV, but I thought it was darling while it lasted.

And then, Eowyn.

Ok, Eowyn break.  Because she's my baby too--baby girl!