Tuesday, January 27, 2015


have you played this game? hopefully you cannot relate at all. sometimes i am convinced that i am on some sort of catholic punked hidden camera show. i look around thinking come on. this has got to be a joke. but ashton never appears & i have to believe that this is my temporary reality... for now anyway.

   this past saturday we visited another church due to Mass times. we had been at the soccer fields all day & paul was going to be in california all day sunday. the kids had a choir concert sunday night & i just could't bear the thought of sitting through an extra long chaldean rite Mass and then a 2 hour concert with all 6 kids by myself. so we went to a 5pm, mostly elderly, saturday night service at a different church. and then i took the kids sunday night to the choir concert. here are some of the precious moments that i endured...

 1. coming in late & having to occupy a pew up front. overhearing people counting heads and then finally overhearing them in a quiet/not so quiet astonished voice proclaim six! six kids!

2. music from a late 70's sitcom along with the head boppers... too much distraction for my poor peripheral eyeballs

3. handing the baby anything to keep him quiet including my brand new 3 hr. old $15 sunglasses. big smile while ripping off the sides. why didn't i just give him 15 dollar bills to rip to shreds?

4. baby fascinated with the texture of the sweater worn by the grumpy old lady in front of us.

5. after previously explaining the specific and very detailed planned out seating arrangements, having your spouse completely taken aback and looking at you like he has no idea why you are giving him a death glare as you are getting bumped for the 10th time sitting next to the one that was to be sitting next to him this week. i'm talking absolutely. no. idea. 

6. wrestling a squirmy baby & watching him demonstrate his developing balancing skills on the wobbly kneeler & raising his little chin just above the wooden pew. BAM! very time. chin comes down. crying occurs.

7. the non-catholic refusing to kneel in front of me. i get it, but you are causing a whole wave of awkwardness behind you. i don't want to put my face right in the nape of your neck, so i half kneel for some space. however the person behind me doesn't mind spooning with me... ugh. claustrophobia. when in rome...just kneel when everyone else kneels.

8. the 4 and under crowd love to sprawl out & lay down in the pew when everyone else is standing. the 4 & up crowd love to sit back down on them. crying occurs.

9. that thrill the baby gets when escaping 14 hands & darts towards the altar. mommy's crying occurs.

10. the our father- hand war. who can grab the other's hand the hardest? who can release their shoulders for the most dramatic fall to the floor?  who can yank the other and cause the next few people in line to lose their balance? and an all time favorite of raising your arms as high as they can go at the end, maybe hoping to rip off an entire arm. crying occurs. good times.

11. the scent of hand sanitizer coming from the surrounding rows in the air after shaking hands with my kids following the sign of peace.

12. the amazing origami figurines made out of their tithing bills that are tossed into the basket each week are a favorite as well.

13. the delicate dance of "pass the baby" during the Communion line.

14. half of the kids REALLY want the kneeler up & half of the kids REALLY want the kneeler down. good luck. they'll find a resolution to israeli & palestinian conflict before this crisis gets solved.
 the honorable woman. anyone? anyone?

15. sometimes having to explain the island accent of the priest to the children after words like "focus."

16. watching the 12 yr. old sulk in humiliation at having to wear the horrible (in her opinion) children's choir robes and at the same time watching the 8 & 9 year old twirl and beam with pride at wearing such important garments.

17. during a devotion, being instructed to not only open our eyes, but our inner eyes as well. and then having the 14yr old. lean over in a very sarcastic voice "uuuuhhhhhh.... okaaaaay. what does that even mean?"

18. having said 14 year old repeatedly elbow and raise eyebrows at me when the words of the song are "will you take the risk if your life attracts or causes hostile stare?"

19. the freedom the children feel when sitting together as a choir with no adult dictating their every move. i saw one of my children get up to go to the bathroom at least 5 times. in a 15 minute period.

20. being amazed at the drastic roller coaster ride my emotions can take in 1 hour, from steam coming out of my ears type of severe irritation to intense euphoria, weeping with gratefulness for the blessing of my six beautiful children.

Friday, January 9, 2015

my guys

i was talking to R about behaving and being a gentleman at the fine eating establishment at where we (he) were (was) eating (Taco Bell).

he asked: what's a gentleman?

i answered: a boy that's kind, uses good manners, handsome, strong, protective, generous, calm in restaurants ;), polite and funny.

he thought about it.

and then said: like daddy?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year's Eve 2014

Well darn, I loaded these photos backwards. I'll have to work my way thru the end of the night up to the beginning of our magical family New Year's Eve celebration.
I was talking with my friend about how fun our thanksgivings were & all the delicious food & recipes and we decided it was a shame we didn't experience it all together. So we decided to have a New Year's Eve family-friends feast. 
We arrived in the afternoon with our ingredients & chopped & sipped & sliced & sipped & sautéed & sipped & finally around 8 pm sat everyone down & sipped & served the amazing meal. 

Fast forward to the end: a fantastic firework show, sparklers for all.

Everyone was thrilled with the festive decorations. It was supposed to be casual, but my crafty friend couldn't help herself. Confetti, balloons, champagne glasses for the kids... Filled with sparkling cider of course. It was beautiful.

We of course had a big kids table & a little kids table....

The prime rib....

The juiciest turkey I've ever had...

Kids chillaxin while the moms slaved away.

Ok, I guess we might have enjoyed our time while slaving away...

Me & my newborn (who just turned 18 months) by the ginormous tree.

We had such a great time with our friends I almost forgot that Paul was at a football game with friends all day. He arrived just as we were about to serve dinner. It makes such a difference when the kids are entertained by other kids & I am cooking with other people. Community life is the way to go! Who wants to go in on a compound???

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A few (10 actually) of my favorite things:

1. A good old fashioned GNO. 

    A friend from highschool was in town so we made a few calls & planned a little dinner. What is more fun than giggling & transforming back into your 16 yr old self for an evening? Not many things imo. The stories, oh the stories these little liars told... I would never...

2. A guy with 4 older sisters. 

    All he wanted was to help eat the cookies. But his sisters pulled a whole "little red hen" theme and had him all wrapped up in an apron & mixing & singing along to Broadway musical songs. He looks like a wet cat to me. But he did enjoy the cookie after enduring the torture. He's gonna make a great understanding, well-rounded hubby someday, I'm sure of it.

3. Cabbage patch kids. 
     I mean, I still get a thrill when I see that logo. I can't help but smile. One of the main sources of joy from my childhood. I'm sure there were other sources, but this one is way up there. Anywho, baby J got a boy colored baby doll stroller from Santa so I thought he needed a boy baby doll to go with it. He did too. I wasn't that into it, but he was thrilled. No, he doesn't violently shake the baby out of the stroller when I gently buckle him (Dario Robert) in. That's silly.

4. Organization. 

     Well I like the idea anyway, the follow through, that's a different story. I got this idea from my friend with 7 kids and completely copied it. In order to cut down on 150 water glasses in the sink at the end of the day, we instituted the "water bottle" method. Each kid has their own specific color, which they picked, and drinks from that all day. They are to stay at home & on this particular countertop. They can be moved to the table or bedrooms, but they have to try to keep them in their spot. So far so good. And don't the colors look pretty?

5. Essential oils. 

     I got this vitamin E oil, recommended from a friend who swears by it, to get poor S's eczema under control. It's so flared up right now all over her arms. I can't wait to see if it helps. I got it on 
amazon prime.

6. Hors d'oeuvres.

     I'm afraid I'm turning into the mom on the movie Mermaids. I think I need to watch that again, it's been awhile but she may have had some other weird issues going on... Ok well like her only in the respect of liking to make hors d'oeuvres for her famy in lieu of meals. During this winter break, I found myself setting out trays of finger foods throughout the day... dips, pita chips, sliced peppers, apples, cheese plates, mini cheese crisps... If my kids are eating fruits and veggies throughout the day I'm happy :)

7. New sheets. 

    I am crazy about these new jersey sheets I got at target. They are these exact sheets however, when I bought them a few days ago, they rang up at $13! For a king set! I like the color & they are so cozy & I'm a big sucker for a deal.

8. Candy cane Chapstick. 

    It's seasonal, so I went a little crazy. I've gone thru 6 sticks. I even bought some for my advent angel recipient because I love them so. 

9. Telestrations.

     A fun family game everyone can play that can read & draw. We played New Year's Eve at our friends house & went right out and got it at target with Christmas money the next day. It's on sale for $14.99 right now :) I just wish we would have got the party pack with 12 books, 6 just isn't enough for us, especially if playing with friends.

10. After party hair product.

     I love this stuff. My friend Liz told me about it. I just love the way it softens & accentuates curls. I put it in after curling with a curling iron. I think it helps preserve style for at least 3 days :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas 2014

In no particular order, here are mostly warm & fuzzy moments from our Christmas break. Other than the fighting that occurs when the children are home nonstop on break, I'd say this was a pretty perfect Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my dads house with our cousins, had a beautiful Mass that night, S did a fabulous job on the first reading & the other 3 girls sang in the choir. Even with the repeated threats of vomit and several bathroom trips, it was still special enough to choke back tears of thankfulness. Especially when my mom & sis & her kids showed up. We all sat together with friends in the very front of the church. I loved it. 
We had lots of family time, a fancy prime rib dinner at my mom's, a quick trip up north for a few days and then a fabulous evening at a friends house to ring in the new year.
I'm going easy on myself this year and my only New Years resolution is to hike more this year. That shouldn't be hard since I only hiked twice last year.
So good luck with all of your resolutions and Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of you! That's to you mom & Sarah :)

I never did catch the stinker that originally did this. Once they knew that I thought it was funny, they all claimed to be the clever one. Except for little S, she stayed appalled at the idea.

We started a Yule log, or buche de Noel if you will, tradition on the 3rd Sunday in advent. We were all pretty pumped to dive into that thing.

This guy couldn't be happier with his gifts. 

Enjoying the glow & warmth from a fire.

My schmoopies all dressed up.