Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve Prep

  • Gifts Wrapped and locked in St Nick's work shop... check
  • Clothes laid out and ready for Mass... Check
  • Last minute mad dash to get ready for Mass... Check
  • Hot chocolate and cookies before bed - forgotten in their haste to get to sleep so St Nick could get busy.
  • Gifts now under the tree... check
  • Stockings filled by St Nick... Check
  • Snacks prepared to be left in bedrooms to help keep kidos busy and happy until 9 am, expected arrival of older siblings... check
  • Coffee machine set up and cider warming in crock pot... check
  • Ready for hot drinks for fifteen in the morning...

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Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!!!

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Note to self...

...next year do NOT buy cap guns for Saint Nickolas to leave in the stockings. And when I leave instructions for where and when to put out the stockings remember to tell St Nick that Hugo does not want the stockings put out before 7 am in hopes of avoiding the 3 am wakeup call we had this year.
Read more!

NO more till Dawn!!!


The Western style shoot out that was played out in the upstairs hallway around 4 am prompted my announcement that no more cap guns were to be heard until dawn. By midmorning at least one of the felons involved appeared to be regretting it. Read more!

More Christmas Pictures to come...

... I promise!
Read more!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Are you READY???


Are you READY!? Are we ever really ready though for the birth of Christ? I know I always feel somewhat unprepared, no matter how well stocked my cupboards are, or if all the gifts are wrapped and ready for Baby Jesus and St Nick to put under the tree. And I think this has a lot to do with the hecticness that I allow to creep into my last week of Advent. Every year I swear it will be different. But this year I think I feel a little more prepared than normal because I have worked hard to be able to relax today. Today I plan to do a little baking with the children. Originally, before so many were felled by a virus, I had planned on this baking to be done sooner. But one must roll with the flow, eh?

To help the children get through the day without busting a seam, I am posting a list of to dos over the Baby's creche so that they may make it just a little softer by adding yarn as they do these things. In doing so, they will be more focused on Baby Jesus rather than what might be under the tree tomorrow. (Well, sort of! They are kids after all and even I am looking forward to the tree and all of those expectant glowing eyes!)

(This awesome picture was found HERE.) Read more!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

KNOCK on wood!!!


Since the baby had a fever that peaked somewhere over 103 - no one else has fallen ill. KNOCK ON WOOD!! (And a little prayer never hurt either!) We had some head aches, tummy aches but no more fevers or woofing of cookies!!

In fact as we drove to Mass this morning, with 13 of the 14 of us all in the van, Emma's little voice could be heard wavering over all the cheerful babble as she sang in the typical falsetto of most five year olds. She was rendering us her own Christmas carol.

"Christmas is Wonderful!
Christmas is better than eating breakfast!
Christmas is better than dolls!
Christmas is better than putting on socks!
Christmas is better than, ummm, Christmas is better than puppppppy dooooooogs!!!"

And she is right! Christmas is better than all these things - when we remember what Christmas really is!

"... in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2: 11-14




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Where is MY iron???

I hope to post a few times more over the next couple of days, but I never quite know how my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will go - no matter how much I plan ahead. However, I will brag just a little. I actually know what everyone is going to wear and I think all of it is clean. I have one more outfit to double check before I can I know for sure everything is clean!

Unfortunately as I was preparing some of these outfits, I was slowly building up into a full blown hissy fit because I could not find my IRON and I was all set to iron several white shirts so that they would be nice and crisp
under each of my sons' sweaters... suddenly the ludicrousness of it all jumped in my face. I was about to blow a gasket, causing everyone near me untold stress and, as such, committing a venial sin by inflecting my mal temper on all around me. For what? So that I, and only I, could know that my sons' shirts were freshly ironed under their sweaters. Surely it was more important that I contribute to a peaceful atmosphere so that we could continue to prepare our hearts for coming of Christ, whose special Mass I was preparing these clothes for.

So, I think I would have made Danielle proud. I put away all foolish ideas of ironing and made myself a cup of tea, had a snack and then tackled the last two gifts that I needed to wrap.

So hopefully I will be popping in and out, especially as my camera has returned home so I hope to be able to share pictorially again. AND I have an announcement to make after Christmas. (No, mum2twelve has not have to create a new blog called mum2thirteen!!) So stay tuned and find out just what piece of exciting news I have to share with my readers.


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Thursday, December 20, 2007

fevers abound...

of the 102 variety... so posts will be rare for a few days. Prayers gratefully accepted!!! Read more!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dis bear needs surgery!

Last night I was tidying my room while 2 year old Elsa reigned from my bed. I came across my very old Teddy bear who had lost his nose to a puppy ever so many years ago. Sadly he was losing his head too as the stitching around his neck was loose. Quite some time ago, Gabriela had promised to repair him and now he badly needed even more repair than he had the day she promised this. I picked him up and watched as his head flipped backward and his gaping wound exposed his internal stuffing.

Mournfully I showed him to Elsa and commented on how Gabriela, her God Mother, had not yet made good on her promise. I placed him gently on my pillow and Elsa stared at him for a moment before carefully picking him off. She slipped off my bed with the bear cradled in her arms and quietly disappeared. I wondered what she intended to do with my almost decapitated bear.

I shrugged my shoulders and leaned back into the task at hand. Getting the coal off of my stocking on the dining room wall, and until my room was clean - there it would remain with all of my children's stockings bearing brightly coloured candy canes that marked how many days their rooms had been clean. A few moments later I heard the patter of Elsa's feet on the stairs and when I stepped into the hallway to stuff used paper into garbage the bag there, I greeted her as she entered. She looked at me and with the bear still clasped to her bosom she announced solemnly; "Dis bear needs surgery!"

"Oh!" I replied, hiding a smile. " "Who says?" I asked.

"Me!" She paused a second or two and then added, "and Gabiela!"

She marched into her older sister's bedroom and I watched her expecting the bear to be lovingly placed on her sister's bed, to await his much needed surgery. To my shock she carelessly flung the bear onto the bed and swung around to return to her throne in my room. Surgery had been promised and there was little doubt in her mind that her God Mother would follow through so therefor, I guess, the bear no longer required her assistance and her job was complete.

And she was right, later that evening neck firmly stitched up, nose still missing, my Teddy was gently placed back on his throne - my pillow. Elsa inspected him and was content. Mummy's bear was well again. Read more!

...and the door clicked behind me!

I stepped outside for a moment. We were still enjoying weather in the 20's (Celsius) and I needed something from the van. Click. I heard the front door lock behind me. Before I could turn around I heard the mail slot clatter and a voice, somewhat hollow sounding, called through it.
"If you tell me I can go into the classroom (aka St Nick's Work shop) I'll let you back in." Remembering that the side porch door was not locked I tore off around the corner and clambered over the fencing we have put up to protect Elsa, but before I could reach the door knob the culprit was standing there grinning at me as he twisted the lock in the knob. However one of the panes is missing so I simply reached in and unlocked the door. Much to his dismay - and my pleasure. St Nick's workshop is STILL off limits and I did not have to climb through a window to keep it so either! (I think I might leave that pane like that until after the 25th!) Read more!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Almost got me with this one!

Still trying to trick me into giving permission to enter the classroom aka St Nick's workshop my 12 year old son commented to me while I worked on the computer;
"Hmmm, I have been thinking about the classroom. I have thought of a better way to arrange the desks, want me to show you?"
I started to agree that I would be interested when I caught view of the HUGE grin on his face and caught myself just in the nick of time! Read more!

offer to clean...

"Mummy, could you find me a cloth and some tough and tender?" (This got my attention) "You know, those gifts might be dirty, I could clean them for you!" Read more!

running gag continues

"You know - some of those gifts could be bobby trapped. I better double check them for you to keep you safe mummy!" Read more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Cheer Challenge

Click HERE to learn what this Christmas Cheer Challenge is.

We too have been the blessed recipients of a raffle of sorts. A friend from our parish noticed one of the prizes for their Christmas raffle was a basket of games and toys. She immediately thought of our family and said to herself, I need to win this for Hugo and Christi's family. So she prayed to God to allow her to win this prize for our children. And she did!!

So I owe a thank you note to Jesus as well as my wonderful friend who thought to pray for such a thoughtful thing. I think it is so cool to get a gift from GOD.

So if you want to share a little Christmas Cheer too click here. And just maybe you will win a lovely gift too. Read more!

Awesome Alternative...

Read more!

Tomorrow is...

... the feast day of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. And we are having a fiesta! The first with our friends from our new parish. The kids are excited. If all of our guests come there will be 8 boys, not including my own three here at home. There will be an additional four girls to my five plus a toddler in addition to mine and a NEW BORN! We are all drooling to get our hands on this new born! The grand total will 22 children in all - from five families and not all their children are expected due to schedule conflicts. It should be good fun.

We intend to meet here and then head off to a really nice local park for an hour so that the eleven or so boys can burn off some steam. Then we will come back here for treats and maybe a Christmas movie on the big screen. (One of the benefits of selling surplus equipment - big toys for small prices.)

If I have time between the organizing, cleaning and baking still to do, I will try to post a few of the recipes we hope to share tomorrow with our new friends. Tonight I will need to call my MIL in Argentina because it has been a few years since I have made empanadas from scratch, and I am hoping to make them for the party. However, my sanity might need to come first and we have to settle for chips, crackers and cheese! Read more!

Can I help?

Son to mother:
"You know, I was thinking about the gifts hidden in the classroom. Well - you know they could have gotten broken by people going in and out of the room, so maybe I could, uh, check them out for you, eh? Make sure they are safe and sound and all. Whadaya think?"

I smiled and thanked this child's kind offer but declined it.

2 hours later...

"You know - I was thinking again - it's always possible a few gifts might have gone missing, gotten stolen on somethin' eh? So maybe I could - like check them out, give you a count. Hmm?"

I thanked him again, and declined - again.

I am waiting for his next excuse for helping me out with a gift count or gift check. I'll let you know if he comes up with another one. Read more!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A favor for Mummy!

Emma: "Mummy - there was an uncovered chocolate on the table and I didn't want it to get wasted so I put it in my mouth."

Mummy: "Well, thank you Emma."

Emma: "You are most certainly welcome!" Read more!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Confessions

I have a confession to make. My children are not perfect. And if their father and I were not already aware of this, it was made very evident the other day when we left the crew waiting in the van as we ran into a local store to run an errand after attending daily Mass.

Errand finished, we returned to find the the two boys, Noah and Benjamin, cowering under any cover they could find while women's panties flew through the air amidst chuckles from the girls who had started the undie war. A few of them were also singing the lyrics of "The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen." (Search for under R for Restroom Door Said Gentlemen, to hear the sung version.)

Where had these undies come from? Apparently an unopened package had fallen out of a box of gifts recently received.

I guess that will teach us to leave such unruly children unattended in a public parking lot again. No doubt, despite the tinted windows, more than a few people had to have noticed the shrieks of laughter, screams for help and the general shaking of the van as the boys ducked and dove in wild attempts to avoid being pelted with womens underwear!



Read Lyrics Below:

Restroom Door Said, "Gentlemen", The

(Parody of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)


The restroom door said gentlemen
So I just walked inside
I took two steps and realized
I'd been taken for a ride
I heard high voices turned and found
The place was occupied
By two nuns, three old ladies and a nurse
What could be worse
Than two nuns, three old ladies and a nurse?

The restroom door said gentlemen
It must have been a gag
As soon as I walked in there
I ran into some old hag
She sprayed me with a can of mace
And smacked me with her bag
I could tell this just wouldn't be my day
What can I say?
It just wasn't turning out to be my day

The restroom door said gentlemen
And I would like to find
The crummy little creep who had the nerve
To switch the signs
'Cause I got two black eyes
And one high heel up my behind
Now I can't sit with comfort and joy
Boy oh boy
No I'll never sit with comfort and joy

(Nope - my children are definitely not perfect - just human!)
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Friday, December 07, 2007

Such and appropiate thought for Advent

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world."

Mother Theresa
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Thursday, December 06, 2007

An A.P.P. HAS BEEN ISSUED...

...For my brain. The last time it had a clear thought - unknown. It is sorely missed so if anyone has seen it - please direct back towards NC where it will put to good use.

In the meantime I will use this opportunity to apologize for the lack of intelligent, amusing or even any posting these days. It is not for lack of material - simply brain cells. Through out the day amusing and sometimes hilarious things happen that would amuse and delight my readers but once I have time to sit down to type them - my mind is blank, much to my dismay.

Perhaps it is the accumulated stress of the past year and especially of the last weeks. In fact most years I am doing much more to celebrate Advent. However, for now I am focusing on being. Simply being. After all, while having activities to help my children focus on the meaning of Advent is a great goal - if it means that I become so frazzled that I am tense, grumpy and irritable what have we gained?

But there lies beyond all of this calm reason the temptation to succumb to guilt. Guilt that the advent candles are not being lit every night, that I do not have little foot prints cut out and waiting to be gummed to a wall or poster so as to show one's path to the manger as children earn them through good deeds. Nor is the empty manger set up with yarn beside it waiting to be lined in the sweet Jesus' bed, again through good deeds done in silence and disguise.

Instead, we are quietly being together as we sort out the violence we experienced on our own front door step. We are praying for our friend who was shot. We are attending Mass as often we can and offering up our Communion for the healing of our friend as he goes through various operations in order to be put whole, as whole as one can be after such an assault. We are praying for his spiritual needs. We are also learning how hard it is to pray for someone who has harmed someone we care for.

So while I struggle with the guilt of not being busy; baking, cleaning or focusing on Advent activities before Christmas I ask for the prayers I need to gain the graces I need so as to be aware of what my children need while they heal. I pray for the graces to be calm when I do not feel calm. I pray to not feel anxious when, in truth, anxiety is surrounding me like a heavy blanket.

So for us right now, for the next weeks, the best thing my family can do to prepare for the rebirth of the baby Jesus on His birthday is to simply love each other and to be kind to each other - in Christ's name.

And in the meantime if anyone does happen to see my brain, while it vacations somewhere else, tell it to come home - I really need it! Read more!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

prayer requests

Please pray for our neighbour, a fellow Canadian whose family originates in Egypt. For many reasons I will keep this post simple and brief. Our friend works in the convenience store across from us.

Two days ago he was shot through the front door of the store. Two of our children heard the shooting and several saw the after effects of it. Our friend is now in intensive care and expected to recover.

Please pray for our friend. He has had surgery and needs more. He does not have any family on this continent and we were just able to see him today. We will go back tomorrow.

We will be seeking counseling for the children who saw this, so we would appreciate prayers for them as well. Read more!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The pressure is on...

December second, the first Sunday is Advent is lying in wait for me - just around the corner. And I am determined to be ready for it. Yesterday I slipped out a couple of times and hit a few stores. In one I loaded up with candles for the Advent Wreath along with sewing materials for my advent tablecloths, and in another I stocked up on items to fill my Advent store that will open its doors come this Sunday.

Store, you ask? Advent store? Mum2twelve has finally succumbed to commercialism, you say. Not quite so. Allow me to elaborate before you lose all faith in me.

Long time readers, as well as family friends, may recall that come Thanksgiving we exchange names in preparation for Christmas and Advent. Throughout Advent the children are "secret angels" to the sibling whose name they have pulled from the basket. In addition to offering up prayers and doing little chores for them in secret, like making a bed, they like to earn little treats for them. So my little shop is ready to open, the buyers and future recipients have all seen the various offerings to be found. All that is left to do is for me to add to each item the numbers of points that must be earned in order to "buy" an item for sibling to whom one is the angel to. Extra chores have been written out with their value, in points, added at the bottom of the jobs description.

The angels are keen to begin and I am dreaming of a well cleaned sparkling home as my Advent Cupboard slowly empties.

Come this Sunday, my job is to have the white material for the base tablecloth washed, dried, sewn and ironed. Then I need to hem the purple sheet that will adorn the white cloth as a runner. Then I have some light weight plastic sheeting to use as a protective cover as my little ones are still messy eaters and given my dryer's terminal illness, I dare not count on it for the daily laundering of tablecloths. Later the plan is to replace the rose pink cloth that was lost in a move so that we can announce Gaudette Sunday by adorning the dining room table with a pink runner over the white cloth on the third Sunday of Advent. Sadly the beautiful St Nicolas tablecloth also disappeared in the same move and has yet to be replaced for use on December 6th, Saint Nicolas Day, and ultimately on Christmas day and the rest of the Christmas Season. In the meantime I hope to find some red material to create a a bright and colorful runner for announcing those special feast days.

This idea of announcing the Liturgical changes in the calender with table cloths or runners was shared at a homeschooling meeting I attended ever so many years ago while still living in Canada. We did this for many years until some of the cloths disappeared and this year I was determined to start this beautiful tradition once more. Now all this is left to purchase is some plasticine (modeling clay) to create holders for the candles for the Advent wreath.

I have a full 34 hours within which to wash, dry and sew the base table cloth and prepare the purple one as well. No worries. None at all. Nope - totally calm, got it all under control. I am definitely prepared, the second of December cannot possibly sneak up on me and catch me of guard. Not this year! Read more!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WRITERS BLOCK...

Despite accidentally sending in my letter of application and portfolio from my rather unprofessional mum2twelve email address I received a fairly quick response to my application...

"Hi Christi,

Thank you for applying to our Expert Tea Blogger position.

Due to the response we've received for this position, we are asking each qualified candidate to remit 2 sample articles for the Tea blog. The topics are to be as follows:

· Sample article 1 – the history of tea with a focus on blended tea

· Sample article 2 – health benefits of tea"

And this was concluded with more details as to what they were looking for. So I have begun my research. Do you have any idea of the sheer number of websites dealing with tea, tea pots, tea parties, Victorian tea parties and on and on? At least there will no end of shortage of material, should I bag this job.

Note the line stating qualified candidate. I am hoping this was not just a form letter emailed to all applicants. It would be nice to think I am actually one of the qualified. And I not just a little cowed by this requested assignment, so I again I ask for everyones' prayers... it will be a loooong night.

Thank you to one and all who have been praying for me so far. I have truly felt them. THANK YOU. Read more!

"God does not call us to be successful, but to be faithful."
Mother Theresa


There is a story behind the reason for posting this quote. Tune in later.

Read more!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

looking for material

Sometimes I have no idea what to write about. I look around and everything seems so mundane.

The leaves are falling.
My double kitchen sink is plugged. No matter what my husband and oldest son do - it refuses to drain like a normal sink.
The children are overtired as their young bodies work with the antibiotics to fight off a possible infection of whooping cough.
My dryer is dying a slow and tortuous death.
My mouse is sticky and driving me mad....

And I look around and can not think of a single thing to write about that I think would be inspiring and/or entertaining. Where are the cute things my little ones do and say all the time? What has happened to my enlightening light bulb moments...

And then it happened.

You will not believe what I did... it was a brainless day. And I did a stupid thing. But it is something that my readers will enjoy a laugh at with me.

As you know from the previous post, I applied to a blogging job that will pay a regular monthly salary for 3 - 5 posts a week about.. tea. (I love TEA but I would have applied even if I didn't!) I forwarded the draft of it to my mum2twelve email address so that I could make sure the links I was using to direct the editor to some of my online publications would work after emailing it.

I reminded myself a few times as I edited and worked on the letter until I was happy with it - that I was now working in my mum2twelve email account. I said to myself;
"Don't forget to email it from the clg......s account, Christi!!"

Mum2twelve just does not sound very professional - you know. And MUM2TWELVE... how could a mother of 12... children... have time to write professionally, eh?

Well - I am sure you know by now what I did...

I worked on it, got others to read it, worked some more, read it one last time, gave a sigh of content and clicked... SEND from mum2twelve..... and watched it whoosh out of sight and then slapped my forehead, before banging it on my desk.

"Dummy! Dummy! Dummy!" I groaned while my children stared at me in confused amazement.

"What's the matter?", one of them ventured to ask me.

"Nothing." I groaned. "Nothing!"

But then I thought... 'Well, nothing is without its silver lining - now I have something not so mundane to write about on my blog!' Read more!

Please pray...

... on occasion I have very, very difficult days - spiritually. I humbly ask for all of your prayers as today is just such one of those days.

Please also keep in prayers an application I will submit today for a writing job that would pay regularly.

Bless you all and thank you for your prayers.

Christi aka mum2twelve Read more!
"It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start."
Mother Theresa
Read more!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Seeking prayers...

...for my oldest baby is so very sick - for a funny description of her misery - click here. Read more!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Did you know...

that "although whooping cough can occur at any age, it's most severe in unimmunized children and in infants under 1 year of age (early immunization can usually prevent this serious disease in babies). But more cases have been reported in teens and adults, because their immunity has faded since their original vaccination. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently recommended that kids who are 11-18 years old get a booster shot that includes a pertussis vaccine, preferably when they are 11 to 12 years old." (Read the rest of the article HERE.)

Now how would I have become aware of this little known fact, at least little known to ME before this past week??

Last week our oldest daughter Amanda, who lives in Boston, came home for a four day visit. Despite a rather severe cold, she prepared all of Thanksgiving dinner which I was too sick to enjoy as much as usual, but was very happy for regardless. The rest of the family tucked in and enjoyed every morsel. I enjoyed several turkey sandwiches the following two days as Amanda had thoughtfully bought and cooked TWO turkeys to ensure left overs for us to enjoy, even after she had gone. I also ate most of the left over Apple Crisp my second oldest daughter, Jennifer had contributed to the dinner.

Dinner over, followed by two hours of washing dishes on Sunday and it was almost time for Amanda to depart for the airport. Sadly, we all grouped around and hugged her and I said a prayer of protection for her flights back to Boston. To keep tears away from little ones - I kept reminding them that Amanda would be back in just a few weeks for Christmas.

But I digress. My apologies.

A few days later Amanda called to tell us the results of her Doctor's visit for what we all assumed was a bad cold complicated with a sinus infection. Our daughter has somehow picked up WHOOPING COUGH also known as Pertussis.

So eleven z-packs later and waiting to see who needs boosters; I am calmly handing out pills to those eleven and older and dosing the younger ones with yummy sticky syrup that they all hate.

For those of you who may not have known that this greatly needed vaccination is possibly wearing out as the clock ticks away the minutes and years in your adolescent's life - now you know. So call your child's doctor today and see if your adolescents need a booster. I believe we will be needing about four of these boosters, unless Elsa missed hers. In which case we will be getting five. But with one child with severe asthma and another with a heart condition - I am very grateful for the antibiotics, the vaccinations and the co-operation of all of the medical offices that were involved in treating our family. They made what could have been a very complicated situation go very smoothly. Read more!

clean hands, clean hearts

As we drove to Thanksgiving Mass yesterday, I was informed that someone had failed inspection and had dirty nails. Jonathan and I switched places and I inspected the culprit's nails. Two year old Elsa's nails were indeed very dirty! I quickly cleaned them, and as I worked on them, she and I chatted about the importance of being clean, especially in God's house. 'We want when Jesus smiles down on us from His little house behind the Alter - we want all of us to be clean for him," I told her. She nodded soberly with her quick short nods as only she can do.

I suddenly realized that a great teaching moment had been awakened for me to share with five year old Emma who was sitting behind Elsa, in her car seat.

"Emma?" I said as I turned around to look at her. "Let me see your nails please." She quickly showed me her clean little hands and smiled when I pronounced them clean. Very clean!!

"Now, how about your heart?" I asked. "Is your heart clean?"

She thought quietly for a second, her right hand resting just about where her heart should be.

The slowly she nodded. "Yes Mummy, my heart is clean. I hasn't eaten anything since supper last night. Just a little drink of water at bedtime. " Read more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The answers... finally!

But what I really don't understand is how parents manage all those kids!

Well, I can not speak for all parents but I can say that in our home we use a combination of means to keep order. I have a huge schedule that is about 4 feet wide and three feet long. Across the top are the days of the week and down the side are the chores and under each day of the week is the name of the person who is responsible for that job. Some parents prefer to just ask whomever is around to do the job that is needed but I found that when I did it like that, that I often ended up asking the same kids over and over. It seemed as if a few of my children were born with extra sensitive antennae that allowed them to figure out when I was about to look for someone to was dishes, change the garbage or a diaper, and they would simply vanish.

So I came up with a schedule that offers variety, but is rarely changed. As children get older and can handle more chores, than I take the time to update the chart but as it is a very large chart - it is not a chore I am eager to tackle. (Even mums can be lazy too!)

I also have competitions that allow kids to earn movie nights by winning chore races. If you earn a movie night – you get to select the movie we watch as well as what treats we have. We also can earn points with clean rooms that allow us to have a special treat on Friday nights.

As we are coming up to Advent, many of the children are doing extra chores to earn extra points so that they can buy treats from my treat box with their points to give to the sibling that they are the secret angel to.

Every Thanksgiving we draw names from a bag or basket and we keep drawing until everyone has pulled a name that is not theirs out of the basket. So if the oldest daughter, Amanda, pulls the baby’s name, Elsa, from the basket she is then the secret angel to that child and will leave little treats and gifts though out the weeks of Advent for Elsa to find – usually on Elsa’s pillow. She also prays for that child and does acts of charity for her. For example a secret angel might slip into their person’s room and make their bed in secret.

Then for Christmas, Amanda will buy a gift only for Elsa and Elsa will give a gift to the person she is secret angel to. (As she is the baby, I will do this for her.)

But even with all of these schemes to keep order in our home, we still experience chaos on a fairly regular basis. Have any of you watched the Home Alone movies? Well, the general bedlam that you see as the two families rush out the door to leave for the airport is the typical morning scene at our home as we zero into the last minutes before take off time in our 15 passenger van for daily 7 am Mass. We try to go to daily Mass as it really helps to have these additional graces but, to be honest, we do not always make it every day of the week


I wonder what the house sounds like, because in mine it’s not the quietest.

Some families on TV don’t fight and that is so weird to me because my families always fight, I sometimes wish that my house could be very quiet.

When we first moved to this house – I thought I would lose my mind. I even considered looking for a different house because this house has plaster walls that echo and echo and echo and echo…. But we adjusted to it.

Something that I do from time to time is enforce a quiet time, especially when the baby is napping. At that time each child is asked to take a book to their room and read or look at the pictures if they are not reading yet. Other times we put a movie on and sit quietly together to watch it and the baby will nurse and eventually fall asleep in my arms. It is very peaceful when we do this and we all enjoy it.

But typically there is always a back ground hum going on. Someone will be practicing on the piano, someone else will be listening (at the same time) to their favourite artist on Rhapsody while another person is playing a computer game what is bleeping and dinging. Occasionally a little one’s voice rises in an argument with another sibling over all of this music. Sometimes I put headphones on and listen to a radio program while I work at the computer so that I can concentrate. And sometimes it is very, very quiet. And that usually means trouble is brewing somewhere. (And yes I agree, families that don’t fight, argue or have disagreements on TV are not normal! Learning how to settle differences of opinion is an important skill to learn in life.)


What kind of job does your husband have to support 12 kids? I think that the amount of grace God has given your family is amazing.

My husband used to work for a very large telecommunications company, NORTEL. Then the high tech bubble collapsed and many people were laid off. My husband was one of the last to be laid off from his company so by then – there were no jobs left in his area of expertise. So he took a hobby of his and turned it into a business. We lost our home and our van and we have had to build our life completely back up from scratch. We are still struggling. We only have eight children still at home but it is still a lot of people to support. Our oldest sons have made a lot of sacrifice to help the family. Our son who is 20 has stayed home and not pursued further education so as to help his father with the business. Recently we learned that he has a serious heart condition which was very hard for him as his dream was to eventually join the army. Now he might not be ever able to do this. Still, he works hard to help us and is trying to discern what is God’s will in his life. Hopefully he will completely recover from this heart condition. Our oldest son has taken two semesters off from his University studies to help with the business and is hoping to be able to continue to help us with the bills next semester with a part time job while he finishes his last semester at college. Our oldest girls have helped whenever they can in little ways and they have certainly prayed a lot for us.

The past six years of our life has been a very long test of faith and we have been blessed with the opportunity to actually see ourselves grow in faith. It has not been easy and sometimes we have felt that our faith has failed us greatly - only to be given the graces we needed to get up, dust ourselves off and start yet again. And each time it has been just a little bit easier. What has kept us going is that we have tried to remember that God never gives us more than we can handle. And sometimes – it is ok to get angry with God and demand more graces. Just two weeks ago – I cried out to God that He must absolutely give me more graces if He wanted me to carry this cross any further because I was falling! Never be afraid to call on God for help, never be afraid to tell Him “I can’t do it, YOU must carry me now!” I have had to do this a lot the past six years and I have realized that I will have to keep doing this the rest of my life. I simply can not do this alone – Jesus and Mary are my partners. Mary prays for me and Jesus gives me the graces through her prayers.


Is it a hassle to have that many kids??? But I bet it’s a blessing to have so many kids.

Is this many kids a hassle? Not really, but making 30 or more sandwiches can be a hassle. Keeping track of the number of socks we need – can be a hassle. Trying not to lose any of them (the children, not the socks) at the zoo – can be a hassle. Settling the numerous arguments can be a really big hassle. But every single hassle is more than worth it for we are paid over and over in love and blessings. I am almost 46 but I feel as though I am still in my late twenties or early thirties. I am so very, very blessed. There is always someone nearby me to hug and kiss or to hug and kiss me, or to remind me in no small way of God’s love for me.


Now if I was this mom I would really want a couple of priests and nuns out of such a big family.

We are praying that we have a few vocations out of our family. My husband and I think it would be very strange if we did not. Besides if ALL of them got married and even only had four children each, we would have 48 grandchildren, and if the average number was 5 than we would have 60 grandchildren - and I am not sure I could remember that many names. Whatever happens, I think I will be needing a very large calendar to be able to record all of the special dates and occasions that we will be able to look forward to as grand parents, and hopefully also as the parents of some members of the religious.



I sometimes feel like my moms only paying attention to my sisters or my brothers. With your family that would be super hard.

I think that this is super hard, even when you only have four children as each child is an individual and brings his and her own needs to the family. These can greatly vary. When we still only had four children our youngest had serious food allergies that were affecting his behavior that required us to focus a lot on him. Sometimes the other children felt very jealous and did not understand why the family rules did not always apply to him. As adults now, they understand but then – it was very difficult. It was also very difficult for us.

Still we made an effort to compensate and have from time to time, we have made the effort to take one child at a time out once a week, so that each child had an opportunity to spend time alone with one of their parents. We have not done this as much lately, because with the family business there has often been the occasion to take children, in small numbers, on business trips. Sometimes they have even been able to go alone with their father on long trips or short day trips. We are continuously adapting and changing how we do things based on where and what we perceive the greatest needs to be. Again – this is where our need for God’s graces comes in. We are able to gain the graces we need through attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion and also through Confession. We try to take advantage of these sacraments as much as possible.

But in addition to this, we have also told the children that it is important to tell us when they are feeling alone and ignored. We have told them – “We are only human and sometimes we are not aware of what you are feeling so please, please tell us when you feel you need sometime alone with us.” This has helped because sometimes a child has done this and occasionally – it has been an adult child who has come and said – “I need to talk, there is something wrong between us and I want to fix it.”

I don’t know if they would have been able to do that if we had not made them, when they were children, partly responsible for the relationship between them and ourselves.

I think I have covered all of the questions that came up in the comments. And I want to thank you all again for the wonderful comments you shared about your thoughts about my article on family life and discerning family size.

I hope and pray that all of you have a peaceful Advent season and a wonderful Christmas.

God Bless

mum2twelve aka Christi

Read more!

Share and Share alike...

We all like to teach our children to share and typically when they are not willing to share we are not very happy with them. On occasion though, their devious means of getting out of sharing something is so funny that we can not help but laugh.

Jonathan (22) seeing an opportunity to teach a sharing moment with 2 year old Elsa asked her for a taste of her "bug juice' that she has been proudly announcing to one and all as her spider juice!

Elsa, normally willing to share was not so inclined to do so that night. Perhaps she was still offended by the fact that so many others had legitimately not been willing to share drinks with her earlier this week as several of them had active cold sores. She clung to her little bottle of blue juice protectively and shyly said no to his repeated requests.

Suddenly her face brightened as we all insisted that she share just a little taste with her big brother. Boldly she pronounced:

"No, I can't share wit you. I has a cold sore!!" and she slapped her hand over one side of her mouth and with the other she clasped her little bottle close to her chest and beat a hasty retreat out of the dining room.

Happily she later decided to share her bug juice with her oldest brother who bravely strove to hide his shudder of distaste for the sickly sweet blue juice. There is no end of sacrifice these siblings are willing to make for each other! Read more!

Missing Person here in NC

I have received this poster through a prayer line that I belong to. I hope to be able to add a photo later today. Please share this information with as many people as you can and please pray that this young man is reunited with his family and that this missing person case, has a happy ending - in contrast to the normal very sad outcome that most cases have.

POLICE Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

601 East Trade Street

Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

Missing Person

Date: November 13, 2007

(First) (Last)

Name: Kyle Fleischmann

Race: White Gender: Male

Height: 6'0" Weight: 180 pounds

DOB: 9-24-83 NIC Number: M826970506

Eyes: Green Hair: Blond

Date of Last Contact: 11-09-2007

Last Known Location: 201 E. 5th St.

Complaint Number: 20071109-201500

CCHS CLASS OF 2002

Additional Information:

Kyle was last seen leaving the Buckhead Saloon at the corner of 5th St. and College St. at 02:20 AM on

November 9, 2007. Kyle was wearing a dark colored shirt and blue jeans.

The cell phone activity on Kyle's phone is in the uptown area and mainly in the 1st Ward area. The

activity on the cell phone concludes around 04:00 AM.

Anyone with information about Kyle, Please call

Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600 or 911

Detective J. L. Tuttle (704) 336-3949

Read more!

A Man's viewpoint....

While I suspect the majority of my readers are women, I think all of us will all enjoy these rules. Please feel free to copy and post them on your blogs if you wish to. Anything we can do to help our men get their point of view help I am sure will be appreciated. (Please note I have tried to make the font unified through out the post but as this was a cut and paste from an email, in some spots the size is varied and I could not fix it. My energy is severely limited at this time so I did not waste a lot of it in trying to make it perfect.)


The Man Rules­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down


Finally
, the guys' side of the story. (I must admit, it's pretty good.)

We always hear " the rules " From the female side.

Now here are the rules from the male side.

These are our rules!
Please note.. these are all numbered "1 " ON PURPOSE!


1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon
or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:

Subtle hints do not work!

Strong hints do not work!

Obvious hints do not work!

Just say it!


1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.


1. Come to us with a problem
only if you want help solving it. That's what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.



1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.



1. If you think you're fat, you probably are.
Don't ask us.


1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the
other one .

1. You can either ask us to do something
Or tell us how you want it done.
Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.


1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..


1. Christopher Columbus did
NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have
no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it
will be scratched.
We do that.


1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," We will act like nothing's wrong.
We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.


1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.


1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...
Really .

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball
or golf.


1. You have enough clothes.


1. You have too many shoes.


1. I am in shape.
Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;


But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.


Thank you to Dorry who shared these rules with me.
Great timing Dorry, I really needed a good smile!

Read more!

Monday, November 19, 2007

still working on those answers...

I began working on responses to the questions and started with the intention of responding to each comment personally but soon realized that I have not the energy at this time to answer so many comments, as wonderful as each comment was. So I will begin again tomorrow and confine myself to the questions only. Thank you again to all of your wonderful students for the awesome thoughts you each shared.

Blessings
mum2twelve aka Christi Read more!

My apologies to my readers...

for my long silence. I have been ill. Not bed ridden can't get around ill. But too ill to do more than the necessary and I am not well yet. Tomorrow I have an appointment and I hope to get to the crux of the problem - but it does not help that my regular doctor is out for a week. Please join me in praying that the Doctor that I will meet for the first time will be able to sort out the cause of my symptoms.

As well, one of the older children suffered a somewhat serious burn last week (1st and 2nd degree combo) and is recovering from this, so we are short a pair of hands. And we had a pseudo Thanksgiving last week as our eldest daughter was only able to come home last week. So lucky us - we will have two dinners! We never miss a chance to celebrate. I hope to share a few of the pics my daughter took with her cell phone. Our family camera has been pressed into service for the business as the two business cameras gave up the ghost at the same time.

And now I leave you all to go back and read all those lovely comments and questions from the grade seven class so that I can finally answer the questions as I had promised ever so long ago.
Beware though, I am on pain medication that makes me dizzy so the type os might be a bit on the heavy side. Read more!

Monday, November 05, 2007

WOW!

I am so humbled. A teacher to a Catholic Seventh Grade class asked her students to read my post In Response and to comment on the article. Their comments which can be read here - have really humbled me. It is wonderful to see so many young children wanting to live their faith and feeling inspired by our family.

They had many questions about family life in such a large family - I will try to answer these questions later, in another post. Today though I have an article due so I have to work on that.

Thank you Soutenus for sharing your students' comments with me! Read more!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Child of God...

Emma, who is five now, said to me as she passed by me in the dining room earlier this week.

"Mummy - I love you"

I love you too Emma" I replied.

She paused and looked at me and said "But of course, you know that I love Jesus more."

I smiled at her and said "Yes, and that is HOW it is supposed to be Emma. That is how it is supposed to be."

She smiled again and continued on her merry way.

Today, while discussing with Hugo, our future, I told him about this little happening and added: "By todays' standards, this child should never have been born. In fact, BY THE WORLD'S STANDARDS, none of our children, after the first two or three, should have been born .
If we had listened to society, we would never have been privileged to bring into this world this beautiful child of God, who knows who she is supposed to love the most... what a beautiful gift we have given to God. And that God has given to us.... "

It is good for Hugo and I to remember this now and then, when we are struggling with where we are by the world's standards and where we are by God's measurements. Read more!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

As most of you know...

...we are often struggling with financial problems and can feel quite overwhelmed by them. And then we learn of someone else's problems and feel quite humbled by them. I have recently joined an email prayer line. I get daily emails updating me on the needs of others. One of them is a young couple expecting their second child, while their first, a two year old is in the PICU suffering from numerous health problems. Their biggest goal at this time is to get their 2 year old home.

Then today a friend emailed me this prayer request. Click here to read it.

I don't think I need to say more... except if you have a moment today to stop and say a prayer - even just a Hail Mary, please think of these two young families as they struggle with their very large crosses. Read more!

Economics 101

If only it were this easy...

Emma: Mummy, can you buy me some new slippers Pleeease!

Mummy: Perhaps, but not today. I don't have any money today.

Emma: Oh, well let's go to the money store then.

Mummy: (With arched eyebrow) And do what? Buy some more money?

Emma: (With big grin) Yes, lets just buy some more money.... Read more!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A post to dwell on...

...when we are feeling sorry for ourselves, invisible or unappreciated. CLICK HERE Read more!

A novena...

...and an incredibly interesting piece of history. I was unaware of this fact. To read about it click here. Read more!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just need to brag...

Neck muscles are aching. The hand and elbow injured in my fall two weeks ago are throbbing afresh. My joints are stiff. Elsa, fatigued from watching me hard at work, is asleep in my arms...
And I have fourteen, yes count them, fourteen pages of my doula questionnaire completed. This weekend is the megathon course!

If I were not so tired I would dance a jig in celebration. Instead I will drag my weary body (and brain) to bed and pray Elsa does not waken once we hit the sheets.

Oh... no... GROAN!! Just remembered the laundry that is still waiting for the dryer. Hmmm, maybe I will find an angel somewhere in this bunch of kids of mine! Read more!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On my, err her, hmmm, our best behaviour....

Today when we stood up during daily Mass to listen to the Gospel, Emma clambered up onto the pew beside me. When I glanced at her, she leaned towards me and whispered; "I am pretending to be you!"

I am proud to announce that "I" behaved very well.
Read more!

In Response...

... to Danielle Bean's post today, I thought that today would be a good time to share the article I wrote for the Couple to Couple League's magazine: Family Foundation for their June 2007 issue. (To subscribe to CCL and receive this great publication click here.) Danielle apparently gets asked often if she always knew she wanted a large family, or how to discern if a family should be open to a new life... My article deals with both questions.


One at a Time...

As the mother of a large family, I am often faced with a barrage of questions when someone learns that by large we mean we have twelve children in our family. They range from;

’Did you birth them all”

Yes.

“Did you always know you wanted a large family?”

No.

“What is their age range?”

2 years up to 24.

“Any twins?”

No.

And finally; “How DO you DO it?” to which I usually respond: “One at a time.” And that is the secret, one at a time. I am mother to twelve individual children, each with their own personality who each brings their own brand of blessings and challenges to our family. Just as I gave birth to each child, one at a time, I also minister to their needs one at a time. It is difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but it did not happen over night so there has been time to adjust to the increasing demands on one’s time and energy. I think this is what most people have a hard time wrapping their minds around, that while an even dozen children is a large number to parent, our family evolved over the years and did not erupt overnight into the large crew of children they see me with. As our family grew God blessed my husband and I with the insight, the energy and the resources to care for us all. It has not been all roses, but I would not change one iota of the past 24 years.

When my husband and I married we, like most newlyweds, dreamed of a family. We even had a few names already hand picked and waiting for the right child. Did we “plan” to have a large family from the start? I would have to say no. Initially when my husband and I talked about family size I naively dreamed of two baby girls followed by two baby brothers, close enough in age to be good playmates. Little did I know that God would bless us with that, times two with the added bonus of yet another four blessings. How did we determine if, or when, we should say no to being open to more life in our family?

Initially we simply felt called to be parents to as many children as God was willing to bless us with. My husband had a well paying job, we were both healthy and our children were all healthy, even if a few had rocky starts in life. Over time as we matured in our faith and began to study the teachings of the church regarding birth control, giving particular attention to Humane Vitae, we came to realize how instinctively aligned we had been with the teachings of the church and we felt encouraged to maintain our stance of being open to God’s will in our life. This, of course, was one pregnancy at a time. With the addition of each child we needed to review how we were meeting the needs of our family and if another child would take us to the breaking point spiritually, emotionally or financially. We are called, by the church, to responsible parenthood.

It was hard though sometimes when we saw how counter cultural being parents to a large family called us to be. It required my staying home as opposed to the popular concept that a woman must be fulfilled by being a career woman and only in doing so was she worthily contributing to society. It meant that instead of expensive cars, exotic vacations and up the minute fashions hung in our closets, we are content not with last year’s car model, but rather with models from the previous decade, camping vacations and Good Will often has lovely fashions that adorn the hangers in our closets.

Still, as difficult as it can be to be counter cultural in many ways, family size is not about what we want, but rather what is God’s plan for us. How open are we to His will? Some couples are given the cross of infertility and are lead down the path to parenthood through adoption or fostering, or even called to live a life without children. Others are called to have children and of a varying number. We can only know what the right size is for our own family by aligning ourselves with God’s will and honestly seeking to know God and what He is asking of us. Our mother church has offered us wonderful and clear guidelines to help us discern the family size God is calling us to. It is up to us to make use of these wonderful writings and teachings.

As well as becoming familiar with these teachings, I have had to become knowledgeable of my own abilities and limits. This self knowledge has helped me recognize how much I need God’s graces in order to parent the children He has blessed me with. Being the mother of such a large family is a very humbling experience that is filled with joy, challenges and much love.


(photo that accompanied the artcle, eldest child missing from photo)
(photo credit Paul Tomas, to see his work click here. ) Read more!

Monday, October 15, 2007

What does a shy two year old do…

…when faced within a three week period with the following;

A tour of the local YMCA which included a visit to the nursery and all its cool toys, play ground equipment and lots of strangers.

Begin attending daily Mass with lots of strangers.

Meeting a new family with eight kids and their six cousins…. then has breakfast at the home of the eight kids.

Whilst visiting the above mentioned family you discover they have a ten month old puppy… that is the same height as a two year old.

Join a new home schooling co-op… filled with more strangers.

Begin attending Friday Classes and hang out with a bunch of other preschoolers we no longer remember from last year.

Attend a Eucharistic Congress with Mummy and Daddy and a HUGE amount of strangers.

So how does a shy two year old deal with this?

Why she behaves like a typical two year old while in public but then comes home and has a complete melt down, refusing to leave Mummy’s side for more than a moment. Wakes frequently at night and is in such tune with Mummy’s movements that she even sits up from a sound sleep if said Mummy leaves the bed for a call of nature. She naps in Mummy’s arms… and eats her meals on Mummy’s lap. But hey, she is at least carrying on in a normal fashion while in public.

Read more!

Friday, October 12, 2007

hmmm...

I am staring at my computer screen - left eye brow arched... as I wonder how it is possible that one can purchase a new, never written in textbook from the publisher for 16 dollars whilst several people are attempting to sell used copies of same text, same edition and yes, also soft bound for a mere EIGHT FIVE DOLLARS.... But then the majority of the used texts are going for about 24 dollars... Am I missing something here. Aren't used texts typically sold for less than the new price?

Perhaps these books were used by a movie star who signed it? Or they were the personal property of Prince Harry?? Or.. maybe these people just are out of touch with reality and hoping someone else, even more out of touch, will buy their used text book for e i g h t y - f i v e dollars!!! Read more!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hungry Daddy

Anyone who has had a tooth pulled, or suffered the agonies of the extraction of wisdom teeth knows the challenge of finding food soft enough to eat and still be filling. Make it eight teeth removed surgically and it becomes an even larger challenge.

These days the children often hear their dad suggest a menu idea only to remember he can't partake of that particular item. So when I catch them wistfully glancing at a chocolate pudding cup or a tub of yogurt, I need only say, 'it's Daddy's' and they immediately turn away without a word or a sigh.

Now Hugo has discovered that he can actually get a piece of soft cheese pizza down if he is careful enough. So tonight Emma, noting that I had reminded the children several times to make sure that a soft piece of the cheese pizza be saved for Daddy decided to make sure herself that one was put aside. She took a piece of the pizza, found a bowl, squeezed the piece of pizza into it and then stood guard over it. Whilst standing guard over the pizza, she also manned the front door with a watchful eye for Daddy's return from work.

The moment she spied him, she grabbed the bowl and raced to and out the front door clutching the bowl to her chest calling:

"Daddy, Daddy, I saved you a piece of the pizza! HERE!!"

Truly there is nothing so sweet as the love of a little princess for her Daddy! Read more!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Round and round the mulberry bush...

Tonight as I was gathering Emma and Elsa up to take upstairs to bed, Emma discovered that 2 year old Elsa was decorated with the beautiful locket that Anna had recently given Emma on her fifth birthday. Needless to day Emma was not terribly pleased. Not only is the locket pretty - it is a very fresh possession and, as such, still very highly prized!

She made to snatch it from Elsa and Elsa ,seeing the hand forthcoming, danced out of reach singing; "Mine!" Instinctively she knew what Emma was after. I saw a disaster about to unfold. Should Emma make contact with the necklace and Elsa manage to shimmy away at that moment - the locket would break and two hearts with it.

Quickly I whispered to Emma: "Its your locket! Don't worry. I know it is your locket. Just let Elsa borrow it and in a while she will give it back." I held my breath...

Emma's lips were formed to call "Mine." but the word died away and she glanced at me quickly and then smiled.

She pranced away and tucked her hand in mine and we turned towards the stairs. She called over her shoulder to Elsa; "Okay Elsa, it's mine but you can borrow it."

Elsa's face lit up as she made to follow us. "Thank you Emma, for letting me to wear it on mine neck!"

'You're welcome!" called Emma in return.

And all was peaceful... until we got to the bathroom...

"Mine", they called in unison reaching for the same pink tooth brush.

(Still, I was right about one thing... Elsa cheerfully gave the locket back shortly after the last tussle over tooth brushes!) Read more!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Life is just so darn busy

...and my brain is just so darn empty these days that I have not been online much. Add to that the fact that typing has been somewhat painful given the injured tendons on my right hand that I have been somewhat judicious about just what I will use that hand for. Given that just lifting Elsa was painful and she was particularly clingy last week... she got the bigger share of my time. It seems that I not only injured my hand but stirred up some old injuries as well, so my back and neck have been complaining. A lot!

Now, I can take a couple of Advils to help relieve the inflammation, and I can rest to help the whiplash headaches, but I have not yet found a solution for the empty brain despite Emma's playful offer to lend me hers.

While preparing supper, a few nights ago, and continuously forgetting why I was standing in front of the fridge, I suddenly called out: "Could someone bring me a brain?", in much the same tone as if I were asking if someone could take out the garbage. Emma was the only one to respond to my bizarre request with a generous offer to lend me hers. I thanked her and went on attempting to prepare the meal despite the lack of co-operation from my brain cells and she stood there watching me with a little smile on her face. Then she looked at me very seriously and said; "Hey Mummy, I'm still THINKING with my brain!" She then giggled and left the room.

Well, at least she can say she is thinking... I'm not sure I can say the same! Read more!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A nomination from a fellow blogger

Mum2twelve for her complete faith in God's providence during struggles in her daily life. Her posts are funny, warm and lovely.

Thank you Child of Mary for this lovely nomination. Here is the definition of this award:

Mathetes is greek for disciple and the role of the disciple to make more disciples by spreading the Good News. Winners of the Mathetes Award should choose five other bloggers who exemplify 'disciple' in their own way. As you bestow this award you should:
  1. Mention and provide links for this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God).
  2. the person who awarded it to you and,
  3. name and sites of the five that you find are living the role as a disciple of Christ.
Hmmm...

Well, first off, I would have to say that Danielle is certainly helping others live the life of Christ through her example, as is Holly Pierlot with her book and its supportive blog. Sadly a few of the blogs I would have liked to nominate have closed their blogs to the public so as to avoid negative comments.

But here are some great blogs where the writers are indeed good examples of following Christ and so... leading others into being disciples of Christ. One is a British blogger and she is: Catholic Mom of Ten. (Blush, it has been a little while since I have visited her site and apparently she has already been awarded this... well, now she has been awarded it twice!) And I am going to also nominate my own daughter. (Another blush) But truly her blog is filled with her faith.

Oh my, there are so many wonderful God Filled writers out there, how to choose. I guess I will add Regina Doman. I simply love the simplicity of her site and the way she shares how to spread God's peace in your home. We truly do need order in our lives so that we can experience and share God's peace.

Thank you again Child of Mary for such a humbling nomination. I often struggle with how much to share about our difficulties. Sometimes I worry that sharing too much of the difficult times will turn people away. Largely it is my hope that it is helpful because so many others suffer and have difficult times and it can be so depressing to read over and over how perfect someone's life appears - through a blog... And then we begin to wonder what is wrong with our life, that this week we could not pay the hydro bill on time, or a child broke his arm for the third time and the Doctor is starting to look at you in a funny way... (BTW, not our situation!) So I am glad to know that some people are drawing strength from our life examples, the good and the bad! Read more!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

ANNOUNCING...

... the completion of a project that went underway back in March of this year. I hinted at this project a few weeks ago and it gives me great pleasure to announce Holly Pierlot's workshop that is a supplement to her book; A Mother's Rule of Life. (Her book can be purchased here. )

To see the Table of Contents of the workshop - click here. If you think you might find it useful you can click here to go to the link where you can buy it.

I enjoyed this challenge of helping Holly to convert her workbook to an e-book and I have to thank my husband who often stopped what he was doing to answer what must have been to him such simple questions, but were for me difficult obstacles!!! Thank you Hugo, without you... I would be still struggling to figure out how to create a URL that takes one to where you want to be. Totally amazing!

Slowly, but surely I am building up a lovely little repertoire of paid writing jobs. Thanks be to God. I already have another project on the go and I am looking forward to visiting Raleigh where I am being sent to do my research.

I also believe enough time has passed since my last paid article was published so I will share that article later this week with you.

Our family has also been featured recently in another magazine. I was not the author of this article, but rather one of the senior editors, Susie Loyd, of Faith and Family wrote it. I am suppose to get a copy of this article shortly. However, I do not have the rights to share this article with you so those who wish to read it will have to subscribe to the magazine. I will let you know exactly which issue it is/was in when I receive my copy.

Thank You to All the Holy Angels and Saints who kept us going through the trials and tribulations that we went through to achieve the accomplishment of publishing of this eBook. I think it is no small co-incidence that everything fell in place on the feast day of the arch angels. Read more!

What do you do...

...when it is your daughter's fifth birthday and you stop at the local Wal-mart to pick up a small gift to add the pile hidden at home and you slip in a little puddle of water and fall and wreck your right hand?

You know, the one that you need to fashion the eatable flowers for the cake you were going to bake when you got home. The same hand you needed to stir the batter with, that hand you need to cut the hair of three handsome young men whose eyes are disappearing under their bangs....

So what do you do?

You call your 23 year old daughter and ask if she might be willing to cut your boys' hair and when she hears why you need her to do this; not only does she say yes, but she also tells you that she will bake and decorate the cake and asks if you would like to come to her place for the party so you can relax a little....

And you realize what a great daughter you have and thank God for His wonderful blessings. Read more!