"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.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

7QT Happy New Year!


I asked Galadriel to snap a pic through our car window: can you see the red fox eating a rabbit?!
It was super pretty, I'm sorry the picture is too burry to really see.  I have lived in this house for 10 years and I STILL marvel at the wildlife that we get to see, city girl that I am.

Today I hit the local gymnastics gym with my sister and her twins.  This was the first time I have been there this winter, the first time since I was there LAST winter, the day BEFORE the twins were born via emergency c-section.  My sister was having contractions and scaring me to death.  My brother-in-law stopped in to check on his wife during his lunch break.  We were all on pins and needles (all except my sister, who was in denial up to the very moment of c-section!)  And today, watching these little peanuts scoot around on mats on their bellies, it all came back to me.  What an occasion!

Winter sunshine in the schoolroom


Lunch out with my girls. 

Someone decked Reina with holly on Christmas.

 Cute, but hard to catch with the camera!

Bonnets.  Being cooped up for long cold winter days, we get reeeeal creative.  Galadriel discovered that you can create fetching bonnets if you put scarves over baseball caps.


Someone is 18 months!  
I told myself that I'd stop tracking his age in months at 18 months.  Now I'm thinking I'll stop when he's 2.  Can you put up with me until he's 24 months old?  I hope so!

Sammy has a favorite blanket, which I think is the cutest thing in the entire world.  He won't let anyone else use it, and he gives it hugs.

 He also has a favorite hang-out.  It's in the little space in my husband's kneeler.  He loves to crawl into that little hole and play.  I'm out of time or I'd gush more profusely!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Recap

 Reina needed a little lap time this afternoon, after a raucous Christmas Eve party.  I should count how many people were here--lets just call it 30, round numbers.  There was a pageant, presents, FOOD, and a fire incident.  I'll have to save that story for another post.

This tree died two weeks ago.  Stopped taking water, and then it shriveled, withered, and wilted.  But it held it's place dutifully as the presents were placed beneath the tree on Christmas Eve.

The thing about the Christmas tree is the lights!  That gentle glow in the mornings and evenings.

Snuggling in Christmas pj's, reading books, watching Christmas movies.

At the last minute (the 23rd?) we frosted Christmas cookies.  It's really something, frosting cookies, with 9 children!

 Something merry and bright!  (and yes, sticky, messy)

My Christmas present from Galadriel:

I'll have to see if Arwen can find a way to rotate this, but I bought her artist pens for Christmas and she drew this:

This is what my blogging has come to: captions surrounding pictures.  But, I figure it'll hold us over until I have time to write profound thoughts.  I'm not sure I have those anymore.  

And the day after Christmas? Visiting cousins!  What a reunion!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Birthday for Gimli!

Thirteen years ago, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I gave birth to my third child.

We had scheduled an induction and planned my first home birth.  I had heard rumors that having a water birth helped with pain management, and I was very interested in pain management!

You know what?  It worked!  I am not sure if it was just one of those "easy" births, or if the Blessed Mother sent me special graces and blessing on her great Feast Day, but Gimli's birth was...blessed.

I was so happy after I had him.  I felt healed from two very unsatisfying birth experienced with my first two.  And Gimli happened to be a very beautiful baby, who smiled as soon as he was born.  He was an easy baby, and has been a very happy child ever since.

Now I guess he's a happy young teen!   But he has always been a sweet, joyful son, who gives his mom hugs and smiles with the deepest dimples!

I love watching Gimli play sports.  Now, of course, it's basketball season.

I think my favorite thing about watching Gimli play is that he looks up into the stands and gives me "looks"--either smiles, if things are going well, or glares, if he's mad about something.

The thing is, he likes it that I'm there (and the rest of his family too, of course).  Gimli loves his family, and I love that about him.

He's always up for a game, always up for joking.  He makes life sparkle on average days.

What more could a mother ask for?  Happy Birthday Gimli!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

17 Months

I know my baby isn't really young enough to justify tracking his life by months, but I just can't seem to stop.  And when December 4th rolled around, Sam hit seventeen months.  I feel like it's been more like seven.

Where in the world does the time go?  Sam is a joyful, sweet, energetic little toddler who loves to play ball, play outside with his big brothers, loves his siblings, loves Reina our labradoodle.

 At the hotel on our road trip over Thanksgiving, he had a little too much fun sleeping with me in the "not-a-crib".  I think he thought it was a trampoline.  Crazy kid.

One thing that I should probably work on, but find really cute, is that he recently has become totally jealous of me!  If I pick up any other child, he's not happy.  I should probably teach him that he needs to share me, but, usually, I just find a way to hold him too.  He's my baby after all! 

So, not much of a post, but I couldn't hold back from a quick Sam update!  

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pre-Advent Catch-up!

I guess we're due for a little update!  I wonder if I can keep up this blog (not that I really do, but at all!)

Remember the peg doll exchange I joined?  I volunteered to do the "purple wiseman".  I wanted him to look oriental ("from the East") and I wanted him to be ornate as possible (for a wooden peg doll).  Of course, my imagination usually outstrips my talents.  But I did manage a pretty jewel on the turban.

And I had some glitter glue for the turban and cloak, which was given a layer of mod podge along with the rest of the doll.

The way it worked was we made 10, and then at the exchange kept one of our own and got 9 other pieces to the set.

Wanna see them?

I'm pretty in love with the angels!

I'm a little mad at myself for not painting a GIFT like the other two wise men thought to do!  I had actually hoped to find a little chunk of gold rock to super glue to the doll, but hadn't gotten that done.

Anyway, it's been fun to look at pre-Advent without my other nativity sets out yet.


As Thanksgiving approached I knew my husband had a little hankering to head to his home land...  
I think it had been a good 4-5 years since we last had Thanksgiving with my in-laws.  It might have been longer than that!  But there was one week of a break before the basketball season began, the weather looked good, so we decided to try. 

The night before we were supposed to leave, Legolas came down with a bad fever.  My husband was up all night with him and we couldn't leave.  Everyone was in tears (well, the kids).  But that day Legolas woke up feeling much better and as the day progressed, it seemed that the illness was a short one.  We kept open the possibility of going if no one else got sick that night.  The next morning, all seemed well.  Everyone still wanted to give it a try, even though we'd be a day shorter for our visit.

We were off!
I texted this picture to my Mother-in-Law to tell her we were on our way!

First pit stop: cones at Burger King!

My kids have such a great attitude towards traveling.  It is sort of like tagging along with a traveling circus.  They make it easy.

balloons from a dinner at "Red Robin" on the trip home
So, here's a random photo dump to give you an idea of the trip!

My husband always comments on the layers you can see in the rocks...his original plan was to be a geologist.  
A duet on Gramz's amazing grand piano:

Have you ever run into someone from the Southwest who complains of feeling claustrophobic in the Midwest with all of our trees?

That's because it's ALL about the SKY out there!

I bought this Christmas cactus with my Mother-in-Law probably 7 years ago.  She feeds it for me when I'm gone.  I am pretty much in love.  It's huge!

 In the one week we were there, we landed no less than THREE family birthdays and the birth of a great-grandson on Thanksgiving Day!!

So, we had cake

Eowyn celebrated her 4th birthday the Monday before Thanksgiving, my little turkey!

And more cake (and pies)

We headed home on Sunday morning.

Thankfully we had wonderful weather and safe travels!

It was such a joyful visit and I miss my in-laws already.  But...there really is something to being HOME!  

 I got to see these little friends again!  Must have twins in your life!  I'm positively daffy over my niece and nephew.  I should probably dial it back...but I don't really see why.

 And this little guy had been taken care of by my long-suffering mother, dear woman!  Nothing like house sitting a turtle in your spare time!  They're kindof a pain because their lights need to be turned on in the morning and off at night, so, I was grateful!

And finally, the St. Andrew Novena began!! I think this must be my very favorite time of year!