Saturday, June 30, 2007

Simeon's Bad Jokes Make me Laugh

Simeon: Mama, where do gentlemen get their ties?

Me: Where?

Simeon: From Thailand, of course.

When Values Differ

Finding bread crumbs on the sunroom floor...

Thinking to myself: Hmmm...I'd better pick this mess up now before it attracts ants.

Jacob: Hey, don't take that away. Alex put it there so that the ants will come.

Lockdown

If you read about older homes in the real estate ads, "charming" is the word you'll find. This is code for "impractical." One of the many charms in our house is that every bedroom and closet door is locked with a skeleton key. Charming isn't it?

Yes, in the sense that it is impractical-- especially when there are more than eight different skeleton keys that each work only on one door, except sometimes...like when middle child gets a hold of one (blames littler brother for giving it to him) locks my linen closet and his own closet and then "drops? the key somewhere... outside? in the grass?"

Middle child roamed the yard yesterday for hours under orders to find that key. I didn't have much hope he'd find it. He couldn't even remember what he was out there for and was more often seen chasing butterflies than looking at the ground.

We're hoping to find that key today when the lawn is mowed. In the meantime, I hope nobody needs a fresh pillowcase and middle child will have to get by on what little clothes and underwear we found for him in the dryer.

St. Anthony, pray for us.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

ER and IA

Well folks I'm still in recovery mode from an all day trip to the Emergency Room I made yesterday with all five boys alone. Everybody is just fine, but when we found Nicholas with an empty bottle of medication I had to call poison control. The assistant recommended we get him to ER ASAP. She even suggested I call an ambulance if I didn't think I could get everybody out the door in less than 10 minutes.

So, much to his delight, Nicholas rode in an ambulance surrounded by cooing emergency personnel and was the envy of every other boy. Six hours of Nickelodeon, infinite hospital snacks and many tests later, they gave us the all clear and sent us home. I had a feeling that that was the way it would end, but I wasn't going to take any chances.

When my husband arrived at the hospital after work, Zachary explained the situation this way, "Papa, Nicholas got into medicine and so the police came and got him." And let that be a warning to little boys everywhere.

In other news, the boys have built themselves "work benches" out in the garage out of an old train table I was throwing away. They've been hard at work for hours upon hours...

...building things like this....thing...


...and these really great...uh..um...things.

Ah yes, and this highly practical "binoculars holder."
I don't know about you, but I can't ever seem to have enough of these around.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Strawberry Festival


Going on now at The Virtual Kitchen
* * * UPDATED * * *
Now with two new savory recipes. Scroll down to the bottom.

The Ten Second Rule

While uploading my pictures to the web, I ran across this video clip my husband captured on July 4th, 2005. This is Zachary at 16 months. Be sure you have the volume up for this one.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Babysat

Nicholas is usually the first one up in the morning. He jumps out of his crib, comes into our room, and climbs into bed with me. I wake up to Nicholas' cuddles and gentle little voice saying "More-Ning-Ma-ma." Sometimes his cuddling resembles something more like wrestling, but I have appreciated being his first thought of every morning.

This morning was different. This morning the older boys were up earlier than Nicholas and by the time he was up, a game of Hide and Go Seek was in full swing. Who can bother with his mother when his brothers are up? But at least he thought of me. Nicholas went back to his room and returned with his doll, Joey. Guess who I got to cuddle with this morning.


"Good morning, Suzanne. You've been dumped."

Alex's Photography Studeo

Sure Alex, you can use my camera to take a few pictures...

Thirsty?

Oo... Sorry, didn't mean to elbow you in the eye.

Hey, is that one of those recall trains?


Goofy Self Portrait

Monday, June 25, 2007

Are these parents 4Real?

Well this is good to know. Any of you in the Real Learning web ring who might have thought this would make a good name should think again.

I'm glad this couple realized they were going to have a baby, but was this fact all that surprising considering they already knew they were pregnant?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Best

As we were getting ready to paint the fence...

Me: Put on junky clothes, boys.

Alex: Like what?

Me: Clothes we don't really like...stuff we don't like wearing... or things that don't fit quite right.

Alex: We're going to paint the fence in our church clothes?

He may be articulate and hilarious...

...but he's still just a three year old.

Yesterday, my husband was gone all day with the three oldest boys here. I got to spend the entire day with the two littlest boys and remember how difficult and lonely it can sometimes be to have only very small children. I did a great deal of "thinking out loud" to fill the gap but Zachary had a different expression for it,

"Are you talking to yourself again?"

"Uh, yea."

"Don't talk to yourself. Talk to me."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Little Shop Horrors

This is "Chops" our new pet Venus Flytrap. If you can't have a dog, a carnivorous plant is the next best thing. Chops won't catch a frisbee, but is a dog a living death trap for small insects? I don't think so.

Chops is a pretty neat pet both in the sense that he's fun to have around and that he doesn't need to be house trained. He isn't our first pet Flytrap though-- our first met with an untimely and unfortunate demise a few years back when the boys fed it ham and cheese. The pieces were too large and so they stuck out of the plant's "mouths." Outside the air tight traps, the ham was susceptible to bacteria and mold. Eventually, the rot spread to the plant itself and turned it black.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don't bite off more than you can hermetically seal.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ain't That Work?

Jacob enjoying the second day of summer.

“What do you call work?”

“Why, ain’t that work?”

Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:

“Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain’t. All I know it suits Tom Sawyer.”

“Oh, come now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”

The brush continued to move.

“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”
From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain,
written in Hartford, CT

Rubber Bands


...THAT's what little boys are made of.

One of the older boys accidentally closed his younger brother's arm in the van door when we were heading out to the pool today. The door closed completely-- it latched. The older boy was horrified when he saw what he had done. I felt sick.

The one who had closed the door opened it again as I ran around the van from the driver's side. The injured boy was stunned for a moment, but then his face showed the pain he felt. The older brother was mortified and stepped away, covered his face with his hands and I heard him say, "All I ever do is cause trouble."

While comforting the injured son I said to the other, "That's not true-- you were trying to help." That one sentence was enough to give him back his courage. He reached out to his younger brother. I stepped out of the way and as the two brothers held each other, the injured one seemed to feel better. Relieved, the other bounced back to good humor as well and it appeared as though we wouldn't be heading to the ER as I had been imagining.

I watched the arm closely, but after a full day at the pool it still seems strong. Closed in a van door, and all he has to show for it is a slight indentation and some scraped skin.

Made out of rubber bands, I tell you.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Space

Space. It is a precious commodity around here. There just isn't much of it. Every corner counts when a house has reached the limits of comfortable capacity and children zip about like sub atomic particles. Space is a precious thing.

The people who sold us this house were moving out, they told us, because they had three boys and the house just wasn't large enough for them. Perhaps it wasn't. Living here with five sons has been an exercise in domestic creativity. The perennial question: How do I use every inch of this home and design every room to serve us with purpose, simplicity, and hopefully a little style? I've had some great successes....

...like the time I fit two toddler beds AND a crib into a nursery-sized bedroom and managed to not only find places for everything, but to do so with a certain simple and clean-looking style that prevents the feeling of congestion you might expect...





...and I've had some great failures,

but on the whole we have done quite well and the trials we've faced on account of limited space have only made us feel the hand of Providence more appreciably.

Take, for example, the space beneath the dormer in our bedroom. It is the perfect size for our baby bassinet. We were expecting our fourth son when we moved into this house and so the bassinet took it's rightful place immediately. It wasn't long after Zachary moved out of it that Nicholas was born and so the bassinet graced that space for some time.

When Nicholas moved on to a crib later, we moved the bassinet to the basement and my nightstand into the empty space beneath the dormer. With a hat box on top the look was fine, but I missed my nightstand. We've moved it back beside the bed where I can use it, leaving the space beneath the dormer empty. Obviously empty. It is something of a focal point for the room and so the lack of anything there is pronounced.

Space is a precious thing around here and shouldn't be wasted. My husband has talked about buying a chair and a lamp to put there for reading. That seems like a good enough idea, but I won't do it. I haven't looked at chairs or even planned to find a lamp we'd like because though we aren't expecting now and though this longer time since Nicholas' birth has been a good thing for our family, every time I walk into this room and see that bassinet-shaped space I cannot help but feel glad for it because it mirrors a similar space in my heart.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mug Shots

This is my mug.

This is my mug on the yummy coffee Cheryl sent me.

Any questions?

Thank you, Cheryl!

P.S. Cheryl, the boys were crazy about the gummy dinosaurs you sent as well. They thank you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Remains of the Day

After the children are in bed, I often find buildings and structures they have worked on throughout the day. The sight of their constructive efforts, discovered only once they are quietly sleeping, refreshes this mother's soul and promises peace in the new day.

A Living room Marble Run

A Sun room Train Track

A Play room Castle

Choke!

Alex choked on water he was drinking too quickly.

Me: Alex, are you OK? Did you swallow wrong?

Alex: No, (croak)...I swallowed right (gasp)...the water just went down the wrong froat*.

Me: (laughing) (choking on my water) (gasp)

Alex: Are you OK? Did you swallow wrong?

* throat

+ + +

This incident reminded me of the time years ago when my father was showing Simeon a magic trick where he would make it appear as though he could switch his wedding ring from one finger to the next with just a slap of his hand on a table. Simeon liked the trick, but wanted more...

"Now, can you make your tie switch to your other neck?" He requested.

That would be a nifty trick.

Compromise

Trainee: Can you hand me a pull up?

Me: You've been doing so well. Why don't you try wearing underwear today. Hmmm?

Trainee: But...but...I want a pull up.

Me: Don't you want to wear your Thomas the Tank Engine underwear?

Trainee: OK... how 'bout a Thomas the Tank Engine pull up?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Strawberry Festival

Wednesday, June 27th, we will be hosting the first ever food festival over at The Virtual Kitchen, Strawberry Festival.

Now that I have more than ten pounds of strawberries, I need some inspiration. Please send me your strawberry recipes-- pies, shortcakes, muffins, truffles, or scones. What's your favorite way to enjoy strawberries? Send me your recipes by email, or post them to your cooking blog or main blog and send me the link by email or in this combox.

Join the fun, contribute a recipe, then pull up a virtual chair at the virtual table next Wednesday to sample everyone else's great ideas. Spread the word and feel free to use my photograph in your posts. Here's a small version for your convenience.

34T

Zachary checks his pants every morning to be sure the tag in the back reads, "3." That's his age, his size, his number, and if it isn't there, those aren't his pants.

"Papa's age is on his tags, too." Zachary told me this morning holding up his father's shorts.

I was about to correct him when I realized that, at this point in time, my husband's age does in fact match his waist size.

I shared this amusing coincidence with him later and he said that's all fine and good for now, but he's really hoping it isn't still true in ten or fifteen years from now.

Strawberry Fields Forever

We spent father's day picking strawberries in a very, very hot field. Sweat tickled as it pooled and dripped down my back. I swatted and scratched because I couldn't be sure if this time the tickle weren't an insect in my shirt.

My head began to spin in the extreme heat whenever I stooped for berries. I had to move into the shade where I stood trying not to touch my own skin feeling hot, sticky and yes-- quite crabby.

Though pictured clean here, the children thoroughly stained their shirts with strawberry juice. The layers of grime and goop became much, much worse at our pic nic after where drinks were spilled and shirts were used like napkins. After dinner, we walked to a pollen dusted lake where we watched fat polly wogs squat on stumpy frog's legs and wave their fish-like tails. The smell of algae hung heavy in the humid air. The mosquitoes came out.

This, friends, is why I love my camera so. Because now that I am home, showered, changed, cool, dry, inside and away from the bugs...I can upload my photos and finally enjoy my day.


Title from the Beatles 1967 hit song by the same name.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

You're the one.

We love you.
signed,
All Five Arrows in your Quiver

Happy Father's Day to all fathers everywhere. Today, you are all in our prayers.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bee Careful

Beekeeper Boy: You shouldn't worry. We have our techniques.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Needs+No+Words

This deeply moving photograph of young Christian Golczynski accepting the American flag from Marine Lt. Col. Ric Thompson at the funeral for his father, Staff Sgt. Marcus Golczynski originally appeared in a Nashville paper, The Tennesean. The caption for this photograph is "needs+no+words" and, indeed, it does not. I pass this on because here at Blessed Among Men we consider ourselves something of an advocate for young men and we are only glad to find examples in society of worthy young men to hold up for all to see. The expression on young Christian's face shows incredible strength through deep sorrow. I can only imagine his father would be proud. Let us remember this father and this son in our prayers this father's day weekend.

HT: Fumare

Potty Sharks

The way it works around here is that the trainee gets potty treats whenever he uses the potty and anyone else who happens to be about gets a treat or two as well. I refuse, however, to head back to the cupboards and dig out potty treats for a nine year old brother who wasn't there, but later saw the others with treats.

Not gunnu do it.

If you want the treats, you have to be there when I'm handing them out. As a result, I see some of the older ones circling the trainee and encouraging him to keep his pants dry by frequenting the candy machine--I mean potty.

Bzzzz

There are advantages to putting off mowing the lawn--I mean besides getting to not mow for a time. And there are advantages to having a "bad" patch of lawn over the place where the oil tank was once buried. The overgrown clover attracts bees with its nectar and bees attract little boys with their buzzing, I suppose, and overall insecty appeal.

While the boys spend hours, and I do mean hours, collecting bees, you can dig your sewing machine out of the depths of your closet and blow the dust off the top. You might need to tune the machine up a bit and perhaps even use the iron, but if you do, you can make a simple, but lovely curtain for the half bath--all while the bees babysit the boys just outside the window where you're working.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Celebrating Cilantro

...over at The Virtual Kitchen today. Simple recipes. Good summer stuff. If you have a great Cilantro recipe and would like to share, please email it to me and I'll add it to the Celebration of Cilantro at the Virtual Kitchen with or without your name, as you prefer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting From Here to There

I've heard it said that New England doesn't have four seasons, but rather two: winter and construction. There is a lot of truth to that and these days, as all the construction is happening around my house, I find myself taking a great many detours.

Unfortunately, my sense of direction is about as bad as this foolish fellow's.

Fortunately, my husband was born with what seems to me an internal and biological Global Positioning System.

Also fortunately (?) my oldest son was born with the same. Ever since he was very, very small he's been shouting orders from the back seat, telling me when I've made a wrong turn. For a long time he kept a compass with him in the car-- just in case-- and whenever he fell asleep while I was driving the first thing he would ask when he awoke was always, "Do you know where you are?"

"Yes, I know where I am."

When we first moved here, he and his father had all sorts of "secret" short cuts around town and when I happened upon one of these myself one day, he had to call his father at work when we got home to tell him that they had been discovered.

But it isn't all bad. He's navigated me out of many a jam and directed our course sure and true to more than one birthday party. He's also proved very adept at directing others who are driving him home. And now that there is paving all around us, I rely upon him.

Just today, we took some back roads trying to get out of our neighborhood. I had never been down those roads. Suddenly they opened up to a familiar intersection, but we approached it from an entirely unfamiliar angle. It was like meeting up with your mailman in the deli line of an out of town grocery store. You know the face, but you can't... quite... place... it.

"Ahhh, here we are," Simeon said from the back.

Yes, but where exactly?

"I want to go this way?" I asked trying to gain my bearings.

"You could go that way if you want to," he replied,"but you'll end up on the wrong side of town if you do."

I turned the opposite way and, sure enough, he was right.

Summer Love

I'd like you to meet my new mug. We haven't been going together very long, but I think this is serious. I think this is the one-- the one I want to wake up to every morning. At least until the fall, anyway.

(The vase behind is filled with sherbet colored roses my husband gave to me.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lost and Found

For a little while there, I thought I had lost my car keys at the pool. When I discovered them in an unlikely place I cheered for myself.

"Funny how a simple thing like keys can make you so happy," Simeon observed.

Ha! Yes, I'm like a toddler that way.

Mother, is this Heaven?



The road in front of our house is being repaved this morning. There are street sweepers and pavers and rollers, dump trucks and mixers and more. All the boys are excited, but these two....these two are glued, absolutely glu-ued to this window. They are watching quietly, but every once in a while they exhale with profound awe or chatter oo...oo...a big one...a red one, look, look...a truck.

A Streetcar Named Disaster

It was the craziest time of day-- just before dinner time-- and we had decided to eat outside. There was a good deal of traffic going in and out of the house and a great deal of noise--the dinner time din. The boys were everywhere and nowhere and always underfoot. Alex reported at one point that Nicholas had removed his clothing and was running about outdoors in a diaper. Jeremy found him and dressed him while I finished cooking fajitas and asked children to bring napkins and forks outside.

I carried a hot and heavy pot with mitts through the house toward the deck where we were eating. As I was filling the plates, I became aware of a strange noise. It was something like barking or yelping, but the longer it went on the more I realized that the voice was human. But why, and who was making such a dreadful sound? Through the twin screens of the sunroom, I made out a figure near the front of the house-- a woman with an angry face and she seemed to be yelling at me.

"Excuse me... excuse me... excuse me" I finally understood her wrathful tone to signify. My husband appeared on the front lawn and she addressed him instead, "There are two children in this car out on the street!" she screamed in anger at my poor husband.

She was right.

Nicholas and Zachary had somehow given us the slip and done something they have never done before and that I would never have thought them likely to do. They snuck away unnoticed (It seemed to me impossible that they had gotten away. Wasn't Zachary on the potty? Wasn't Nicholas with Jeremy upstairs? ) and went into the street where Jeremy's car had been parked and climbed into it.

It was the crazy sort of flukish thing that kids do from time to time-- the unexpected that we should all expect. The sort of thing that degausses our nervous systems and reminds us that we aren't really in complete control and that more time spent praying to guardian angels would be time very well spent. It happens. It happens to good parents, to caring parents, to parents who are very attentive. This woman's anger was unjustified.

"Thank you. I will take care of it." I heard my husband reply in a tone that was calm, though not friendly.

"If you don't get these children this instant, I will call the police," she threatened.

At this point, I was in the sunroom and spoke through a single screen, "Excuse me, Ma'm, but why are you yelling at us?" I asked in as calm a tone as I could manage. I sounded good to myself, though I felt as though I might faint.

"Because you have children out here in the street in a dangerous situation," she yelled at me.

"Yes," I replied, "but we were unaware of the situation. You could have just told us. You didn't have to yell."

At that point, she walked away in feigned disgust. Jeremy retrieved the little imps and brought them around back for dinner. We let our blood cool as we ate silently thinking over what had just happened. It was alarming that the babies had snuck off into the street and we were grateful that this woman had called our attention to it. Her tone and her threat, however, indicated that she judged us negligent or incompetent and that simply was not justified. Every parent knows that these misadventures can happen in an instant and this one certainly did.

We took the occasion to emphasize to the little ones that they must never, never go into the street or into the cars without us and we resolved to lock the doors on each of the vehicles at all times, even when they are parked in the street. We also took the occasion to reflect on the feelings of anger that can so easily arise when we feel we are falsely accused and how hard it can be to extend charity to those we believe misjudge us. So, the event wasn't all just a waste of our emotional energies. I hope that woman, whoever she was, can say the same.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer Reading

Catching fish and being caught by books, it's a great way to spend the summer. For now, Simeon's hooked on The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. When I snapped the picture, he looked up just long enough to inform me that he plans to read all day, taking breaks for food only and possibly the bathroom.

Thank you Grandma, for this terrific book/hook!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Corpus Christi

O Sacrament most Holy,
O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving
be every moment Thine.

Our local Corpus Christi procession traverses several blocks and includes readings, hymns, prayers and worship in three separate churches. Though this was Simeon's second year serving at this procession, this was my first year attending. It was a beautiful and deeply meaningful ceremony.

Talk about taking your faith out on the streets; the public display of love and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ present in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist was truly inspiring. Police closed off the streets but pedestrians and people in shops stared as we passed.

The fact that three churches participated also reminded us of the Unity and Universality of the Church. We are One Church, though we worship in different buildings, and we share One Faith.

"The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being (CCC 1325)."

It was an honor to serve.

If You Haven't Already...

...be sure to enter the raffle to win one of 53 fabulous prizes by making a donation to a powerfully pro-life cause, St Gianna Maternity Home. Your chances of winning something are quite good and, even if you don't, 100% of your generosity is going to support mothers and babies in need.

You can't lose. Donate today.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Our Lady of the Kitchen Sink in June


Remember all the fun we had sharing the views from our kitchen sink with Margaret back in January? Remember Our Lady of the Kitchen Sink from September? Well, I thought I'd share Our Lady of June. In June, the climbing roses along our sunroom walls begin to bloom. They grow right over the screens and when a June breeze blows, the main floor of my home smells like these lovely roses. Tonight, Jeremy clipped the first few of the year and each boy carried one in for his mother. Naturally, I passed them along.

Our Lady of the Kitchen Sink everywhere,
Pray for us and the little ones in our care.


Since last September, I received many, many emails concerning this statue and so I hope to save myself some time by saying here that this statue was a gift to us from Simeon's godparents. We do not know the manufacturer, only that it was made in Italy.

***UPDATE***

Thanks to Jennie C. for leaving this link in the combox. It looks like Leaflet Missal carries this statue in two sizes. Thanks Jennie!

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Caterpillar

Caterpillar
Calapitter, Capalitter, Clapaliller,

No matter how you say his name,
His response is just the same.

From cradle to chrysalis
He is voiceless and whistle-less.

(Last stanza is an adaptation from Ogden Nash's The Caterpillar)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Application for the Mother of the Year Award

It's simple, really, but I think you will agree. My husband and sons are going fishing early in the morning with my brother in law and some nephews. I am so happy they are going. It is such a good thing for them and they enjoy it so much. I'm very supportive. Very. Tonight, as I was on my way out the door to run a few errands my husband had a request,

"Will you pick up some wax worms for us?"

My eyebrows pinched themselves.

Some what? Where do I buy worms? (Oh, yuck)

"At the pet store."

How many? (wince) What do they look like? (wince, wince)

"They'll know, and just get a small deli container. You know, like the size of a hummus container."

Hummus?

"Mama's getting the worms?" Simeon asked in disbelief.

I got those worms--in their little deli container thingie. I am even hosting them overnight in my fridge. (wince, wince) My eyebrows are still pinched.

Why don't they ever ask me to pick up flowers?

Love Notes in Hieroglyph

Since summer has arrived, Simeon has been "teaching" a class on all things Egyptian in his bedroom every morning. Jacob is his most dedicated student and I have been impressed with his progress. Just this morning I received a secret mummy box with "I love you" written inside in Hieroglyphics.

This morning, I'm feeling like Cleopatra.

Eight Things Meme

Tagged by Donna-Marie and Jen, I am supposed to list eight facts about myself or habits I have. Let's see...

1. Fact: I don't floss. I never have and don't think I ever will. How bad is that? My teeth are like stone. I've never had a cavity and I don't expect I ever will.

2. Habit. When afraid or distressed in any way I automatically recite the "Hail Holy Queen." Sometimes I realize that I am upset only because I notice that I am repeating the words to this prayer in my mind over and over again. There is something about the "To thee do we cry, poor, banished, children of Eve" that strikes a chord with me. When "mourning and weeping in this vale of tears," there is no better language to use and no better place to turn than to "life," "sweetness" and "hope."

3. Fact: I can still turn cartwheels. Despite my husband's less than sensitive plea to "not hurt myself," I proved this the other day.

4. Habit: I love to throw things away. Come here real close and I'll tell you a secret...I almost like it more than shopping... It's true, because when you throw stuff out you get something new (empty space) but unlike shopping, you don't have to pay for it. It feels so good to clear my home of broken or useless items that I sometimes get carried away and throw away things I shouldn't. Consequently, I can't understand the appeal of the Fly Lady. Why would I need some some lady who mysteriously calls herself a "fly" telling me to throw things out? I've often wished for some "Clutter-bug lady" to help me keep things or encourage me to buy things that seem so useless to me and burdensome, but might add warmth to my home or serve some purpose for others that live here.

5. Fact: I would like more children.

6. Habit: I pray in the shower.

7. Fact: I have recently realized that I walk through life in fear, as though the bottom will suddenly drop out from under me. I have no reason to think this way. We've had our share of challenges in life and I have often felt less than adequate for the tasks that God has asked of me, but we have always landed on what seemed a distant shore and, when there, I look back and feel silly for all my fear. I am like St Peter walking on the water and I need to keep my eyes on Christ and stop looking at my feet so much.

8. Habit: I have eaten a burger for dinner every Saturday night for as long as I can remember. Sometimes beef, sometimes a ground chicken burger with sage and garlic, sometimes with chips or fries or salad, but always a burger. Always on Saturday. Always.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thankth!

Thanks a million to our mystery "tooth fairy" from Santa Clarita, CA that sent Alex this two dollar bill for losing his lost tooth! All the boys were thrilled to see a two dollar bill with "Jefferson on it," and Alex was especially proud to learn that the "tooth fairy" reads his mother's blog! Perhaps it's all those pictures of smiles we post that keeps her reading?

Honestly, dear fairy, I have wracked my brain and haven't figured you out yet. Feel free to let me know and until then I will rest easy with the happy thought that the world is full of kind and generous people and you never know what joys the mail might bring. Thanks again, you made our day.

Dining With Dinosaurs


Does this ever happen in your house?

Boys Will be Boys

I don't know if I ever mentioned that I have five brothers. I know I've said before that my parents had nine children all together, but it is not insignificant to me that five of those children were boys.

Five brothers: Five sons. There is a certain symmetry to it-- if no rhyme or reason. And if I didn't mention that I have five brothers, then I probably did not mention what wonderful people they are or what excellent uncles they are to my sons. Just today, after a memorable visit with another one of my brothers and his lovely wife, this package came in the mail...



The boys ran off with it and I haven't seen them since. Do you think I should be concerned at all? Thank you, Uncle David!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Mind-bloggling

It's a little cold in here. I really need to fold that laundry. What is that smell? I think it might be coming from the hall rug. Thank you, humidity. Boy, it was nice to get out today and see some people I haven't seen in a while. We got to go to Mass, I got to have lunch across from Father at the gathering afterward... He is such a sweet and gentle priest, seems so much to appreciate families. What a blessing. We should invite him over. It would be good for the boys. I will do that. The pencil sharpener. I need to pick that up. When? And a baby gift. She had a girl, I think. Yes, yes, a girl...Sigh...a girl. Baseball: tomorrow. Do we have coffee creamer for the morning? Those toys the boys were given today were cute. What a hail storm when we got home! Ha! The deli line today was hilarious. Perfect. I had them all dressed for Mass and their hair neatly combed. Sure, we always look like this when we're picking up meatloaf-- no wonder ALL those women turned to admire them. They were sooo good, too, answering the questions politely and not straying from me. What a show! I must have looked like Mrs. Mom of the Universe. We can really impress sometimes. That's good. I've had my share of humiliation...and then some. Yes, indeedy I have. This is good balance...

Hey, did you hear all of that?

Me too.

That was me thinking. Jeremy took ALL the boys out to eat by HIMSELF and I'm alone in the house. Strange. I can hear myself think. Nothing brilliant, for sure, but hey... one step at a time.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Thirty-Nine Years Today


Happy Anniversary to my parents, whose perfect combination of love and intelligence planted my faith firmly in good soil and watered and fed it all these years!

The charity and example of these two so convinced my heart that God is good. And their ability to answer my every question regarding any tenet of the Faith so completely to satisfaction convinced me that the Faith they chose for me at my Baptism was the most reasonable way to live as well. And so at Confirmation, I chose it again for myself.

My parents have given me life, love, support, guidance and encouragement all my life but of all the gifts they have given me, it is my Faith and my family that I treasure most.

Together they raised nine children and all nine still hold the same Faith and encourage one another in it daily.
Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Happy Anniversary!

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