"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.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Reprise

30 pound turkey

My dad at work with his electric carving knife.

my sweet (toothed) sister's cool dozen pies of assorted variety.

Remember this from last year's hunting season?  (Aragorn's first buck).

The morning after thanksgiving my husband and brothers once again took my oldest three to the woods.  My sweet oldest girl shot a yearling buck right through the heart!  Broke it into about 4 pieces.  Nice shot babe!   

Not so big, but we've got 30 pounds of venison at the butcher's coming our way.

I am the mother of the original butterball turkey!

Do you put marshmallows on your yams?  Galadriel peeled 9 pounds of yams for me this year!

Just a little flash back from last week's birthday girl:

And...just because I can't resist, a couple more of Sam:

Monday, November 21, 2016

November Daybook

Outside my window:  Distant shouts from a basketball game going on in my neighbor's backyard.  Thanksgiving break has begun for the local school.  Not for us yet, but school is out and the fun has begun this afternoon.

The cold weather finally arrived.  Bilbo has been building fires since the first snow flurries fell.  It's good for him, learning lessons like "is the flue open?!!!"  

I'm not minding the cold yet.  It has still been sunny.   When I lose my sun, prepare to hear whining.

What I'm wearing: my North Face fleece, indoors.  I might not be complaining, but it really is chilly!

(On that note) From the kitchen:  we discovered hot chocolate for the Keurig.  By "we," I mean the children.  'Nuff said.

Also, leftover birthday cake.  Today is the feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.  We'll use that as a nice excuse to re-do last night's dessert!:)

Towards living the liturgy:  The Feast of Christ the King is the final Sunday of the Church year.  We celebrated by reconsecrating our family to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.  We also celebrated someone's birthday!

Next Sunday will be the first Sunday in Advent!  (Ready or not...) I found a beautiful new Advent Wreath this year.  I'm not even really sure what happened to our old one.  Other than that, I always do the St. Andrew's Novena.  Beyond that I'm not sure what I'll get to this year.  I'm all about simple these days.  Simple.

Plans for the week:  Basketball has begun!  Three kids and three practice schedules.  Then I had to go and let Galadriel join choir!  She loves it so much.  She's such a sweetie.  I always wanted to do choir; my sisters did.  I always thought I was tone deaf (maybe I am) but I am happy to encourage my daughter to do something I didn't take the opportunity to try.

And yes, Thanksgiving.  I'm hosting.  I'm in charge of potatoes and yams.  Easy.  Except that we usually have about 30 people.  Given that our family is 11 in itself, 30 isn't that many.  Right? ;)

(And on that note) I am Thankful for:  

My neighbors.  Especially the ones with my dog's littermate brother who comes over to let the dogs run and play most afternoons.  We chat while the dogs romp and it has become something I look forward to as a little break in my mom-day.

My youngest sister's TWIN baby shower coming up!  Well, I'm mostly thankful for the twins!! But also looking forward to a party with my friends and sisters and Mom!  I can't believe I'm an aunt of twins!  As many children as I have, I simply cannot wrap my mind around having two babies at the same time!!

Excuse the random old photos.  I was just scrolling around and picked some that looked fun.

Now I need to stop procrastinating and do something productive...with Sam on my shoulder.  He's sleeping.:)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Someone's Three!!

Three years ago there was a nasty rain storm.  You know me, pregnancy, and dropping barometers!  I'll never forget that drive in the cold rain, racing on the highway and telling my husband to please let the semi trucks merge!  He wasn't going to have another Legolas delivery on his hands (pun intended)!

As I laid in the hospital room I looked at a modern art picture with three women in it.  I was trying to finalize a name for my daughter.  I knew that patron saints I wanted to honor: St. Clare, St. Therese, and Mary.  I can't remember exactly what it was, but each woman in the picture reminded me of one of these saints.  I think one held flowers.  At one point I thought this little girl would have to have three names (two middles).  I always want to use Victoria for Our Lady of Victory (whose statue smiled at St. Therese and cured her).  But Eowyn (blog name, of course) was named for the "Rose Queen",  Therese, and for the "Mystical Rose," Our Lady.  And St. Clare.  

In my crazy postpartum insanity I called my parish priest and requested a baptism on the vigil of Christ the King.  I have a thing about feast days... little did I consider that that would land me in church the next night!  Sure enough (and thanks be to God) I was discharged the afternoon following Eowyn's birth and apparently I felt up to getting her baptized the next day.  I did not throw a party--my heroic mother did that for me!  We did head home pretty early that night, and I hopped right back into bed where I stayed for at least a few more days!

The thing about the baby in the family is that they are always the cutest.  It's very handy when other babies follow quickly enough that the older child doesn't become completely spoiled.  Sam gave Eowyn a full 32 months of queenship in our home before he came to threaten her throne.  Eowyn is girly enough to adore her little, chubby brother.  But she was spoiled enough to not love the fact that I am not 100% at her beck and call anymore.  And now she's old enough to learn that she cannot point and demand (or scream) until she gets the action she wants out of everyone in the household.  So, this year is going to be a big year for Miss Eowyn.  Lots to learn.  Luckily, she's so darn cute that our hearts are still very warm towards her as she is disciplined for her fits.  She has to learn to be a good girl, but let's face it, we all are pretty happy to acquiesce to her decrees!

Being  the 8th child, I am seeing, doesn't relegate you to a second class citizenship in a big family.  Quite the opposite.  It's a bit like in God's kingdom where the last shall be first.  It seems to me that the younger children are spoiled and doted on if not more than our prized first children, then at least by more, because all of those older siblings join in on the doting.  Here's to big families!  Lucky little ones!

Happy Birthday my little 3-year-old!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Teen, again

"Arwen, you have a new chore".

I put her on folding laundry.  She has failed to do the dishes for days upon end unless I remind her.  She was previously booted from actually doing the laundry.  I thought I'd try her hand at folding.

"How about I don't have a chore" she replied.

"What?" ask I.

"There are enough other siblings to do things.  How about I just don't have one."

Nice.  Try.

My Teen, Keeping' it Real

Arwen sprinted out the last 20 yards or so on our morning jog.  She turned and watched me jog it in.

"How do I look?  Eye-catchingly awkward?" I asked.  I always wonder how I look running, since I can't really see myself.  I admit, it's vanity, but still--what do I look like?

"No", she replied.  "You look like a good runner who's working on her form."  "You look like a good runner, just going 0.1 miles per hour."

I laugh.  She kept searching for words to describe me.  Finally, she hit upon the right ones:

"You look like a good runner in slow motion."

And I am TOTALLY fine with that!

Friday, November 11, 2016

November Posting

It is nearly impossible for me to get this--or any--post up!  I just don't have the a) brain power or b) time.  (sigh)  Here's another try, and if it fizzles I might just hit "publish" and let it be what it is!

I've been a bit absent in this little corner of cyber space. With postpartum anxiety as my new sidekick in life, I do a bit better when I stay off of electronics.  Especially away from pre-election hullabaloo.  But now, thank God, that is behind us.  About a million Hail Marys later!  Our Lady of Victory.  This isn't a political blog or a political post.  I'm going to keep on praying for our country.  But Sean Hannity called it a "modern miracle" and who am I to nay say?

Since last time...

Someone turned 4 months old.

Is he wearing red, white, and blue?  I don't do it on purpose, but somehow this boy is always patriotic looking to me!  Mr. 4th of July!

Football season ended for Aragorn and I thanked all of our patron saints of athletes that he made it through a season of full tackle football without injury or concussion!

 Do you know how much I love seeing Legolas out there playing with his brothers?  I don't know if it's because we homeschool or if he just makes for even teams, but I LOVE that my 4 1/2 year old is accepted into the fun by his older brothers.  Now for Sam to join the ranks!

This has been the most gorgeous fall!  I can't believe how sunny it has been.  I've been trying to be dedicated to a cardio routine to ease my anxiety, and outdoor exercise is SUCH a gift!  What do I do?  I try to jog.  If I don't get a run in early in the day (i.e. when Sam is still asleep), then I take a long walk with Sam in his stroller.  A power walk.  I've got a 15-year old, a 13-year old and my husband around to hold down the fort so I can go.  I'm not in my 20's and 40 is looking me in the eye: I'm learning long hard lessons about "self-care".  It's hard to break out of the habit of being tied to your children all day every day, at their constant beck and call, but I am learning that I really need to take care of myself or I can't serve them.  Same goes for the spiritual life.  Must carve out that time.   If possible, I prioritize time in the adoration chapel.  Anyway, I'm learning.

must love

I was at the dentist getting a cleaning for the first time in a decade.  (Told you I needed to learn lessons in self-care). I was explaining that the reason it had been so long is that I'm always pregnant and they typically don't recommend going to the dentist when pregnant.  They followed that disclosure with the logical question of "how many kids do you have?"  Nine.


Yes, I have nine children.

You know what everyone always wants to know?  How do I do that?  I try to give some sort of understanding, like, #1, I don't work outside of the home, so it's sort of "what I do".  Then I explain that it's not like having 9 three-year-olds.  I tell them my oldest is 15.  I explain that the older kids can do things like dishes.

Then I get the second most-asked question: "so are you done?"  Or are you going for 10?

This one stumps me.  I mean really, has no one ever heard of someone who is morally opposed to artificial contraception?  It really relegates you to the land of the kooky religious fanatic to suggest that you do not "plan" your children.

The truth is that at 4 months postpartum I'm not hoping to "go for" any number of children.  I'm just recovering from this little one's arrival.  We are all growing, learning, and loving our way into being a family with nine children.  It's beautiful.  And I'm not really thinking about future babies because that isn't really where my body is at for the moment.

Do I explain that my fertility hasn't returned yet?  Do I talk about the path of Natural Family Planning that is open to Catholics in case of need?

I mumbled something about "Just hanging in there" right now.  In better moments I let my light shine a bit more and try to speak about how much I love my life and my family.  That morning, I just put a smile on and proceeded to answer questions about how old you had to be to be considered a "high risk" pregnancy and other fun topics.  Sheesh!

Well, God bless that sweet 22 year old hygienist.

This weekend is all about leaf removal.  We've got about 30 bags down and maybe 50 to go.  A good start!

My girls are visiting their cousins out-of-state.  I can't wait for them to come home!  It feels positively empty with only 7 kids in the house!  I did take the opportunity to take Miss Rosie on a "special day".  Just her and I on a little trip to buy a new Lego set.  It's hard being a middle child, and I think she felt left behind.  Tonight we're watching "Chicken Run", which I love, minus the dramatic and violent ending....

And that's the end of these ramblings!  I hear Sam.:)