Friday, August 31, 2007

prayer request....

To all my faithful readers:

We have won some most excellent auctions but our sales this month have been exceptionally slow. Would you pray for us that we experience a quick turn around in our sales so that we can pay for these auctions? We are praying and working hard. We simply need a little miracle. If anyone of you would like to have an idea of what type of things we sell, you can check us out on eBay;
out_of_thebox is our eBay id.

We have a lovely website that was built for us by a good friend and we have been trying to build up merchandise on this website as one can typically sell items on individual web sites for a significant amount more than on eBay. Please pray for us that we can generate some successful traffic to this website.

If you do check us out, you will see we have quite a variety of merchandise although typically we have more of the higher end items listed but our good stuff is wanning so it is so important that we can pay for these auctions.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

In response to a readers request that I post a link to our items on eBay I have chosen a few items to give you an idea of the variety of the things we sell.

Clark Headsets

Fujitsu Accessories

And I have NO clue what this is, but my husband does...

Plate Maker

We often sell broadcasting type equipment but have pretty much sold out of that this month. We won quite a bit of this type of merchandise in these auctions and my husband is very excited about it so please do pray for our success over the next few days.

One last item to give you a bit more of an idea of the variety that we sell.


From any one of these listing you can jump to our eBay store or other items for sale. Have fun exploring! Read more!

Monday, August 27, 2007

too busy to post...

...but one of my sons, who was away for the weekend came home and shared a new discovery he made over the weekend. To see what or who it is, click here!

To listen to an audio clip that I am currently listening to click here.

Thank you Miguel, for sharing your discovery with me.
Read more!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What has...

photographer, Paul Tomas been up to lately? Check this out!
Read more!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The essentials...

Entering the gates of some Army Bases is very serious business requiring each person to exit the vehicle you are traveling in, while bomb smelling dogs go over the vehicle inch by inch. Typically this will be followed by the inspection of each case that any of the passengers have brought with them. In our case this generally means seven book bags and one diaper bag, assuming I have not packed a bag for my husband and I.

One of our frequent business trips brought us to such a base in Georgia last year and each child obediently crawled out the side door of our 15 passenger van while the young officer dutifully stood to attention, his eyes gradually growing wider as the pile of children by his side grew larger and larger. Finally the 15 year old passed out her 1 year old sister to me before jumping out herself, and the soldier respectfully swallowed back the question I knew he was eager to ask: 'Are all of these yours?'
I answered his silent thoughts with a grin. "Yes, these are all ours, and now may they get back in?"

"Yes, ma'am, as soon as I have inspected their bags!"

Deferentially each child handed him their bag and once it was inspected they hopped back in. Finally we came to the nine year old and his bag. Of all the bags, the contents of this one obviously met the soldier's approval as a grin split his face in half before he zipped it back up and seriously passed it back to my son who nodded and got back into the van.

As we drove away, I was curious as to what might have made the soldiers eyes twinkle like that and I asked Benjamin if I might see what he had brought in his book bag. It seemed curiously light for a three day trip. However inside were what are the obvious essentials for a nine year. A full platoon of soldiers and one bathing suit, size 8. Read more!

Friday, August 24, 2007

while we are at it....

... I thought that I would repost one of my favourite cartoons from the early days of my blog.
Click here to read the original post that went with it.
Read more!

'streaking" down memory lane...

Do any of you remember when so many many months ago, (was it really 24?) and Emma and I were in training? With lots of accidents? Well, it has been quite some time now since I have had to praise Emma for ummm, errr, going in the potty and not in her undies.

Well, that time has rolled around again and not only do I not have two puppies, also in training, but Elsa has decided all on her own that it is time for potty 101 to begin. This has meant a lot of "streaking" around the house, as well as countless costume changes. Diapers are lasting about 20 - 30 seconds as we decide to sit on the toilet and try again, and again, and again. Once worn, of course a diaper can not be reused as it is "tinky' or 'distusting' and simply cannot be re-velcrowed back on.

I thought it would be fun to repost the cartoons Anna created to go with the posts about Emma's toilet training. If you prefer, you can also click on the hyper links above and read the old posts as well. And if you would like to hear the hilarious song, The Streak, I have added it to the top of the play list. So sit back, listen to this really funny song from the eighties and look back over the cartoons. And I will go check for fresh puddles, pick up severalarticles of littered clothing, search out the abandoned yet dry diapers and make sure that we have not run out of toilet paper...

So enjoy the streak, err, stroll down memory lane while I figure out what to with myself after nearly 24 years of diaper changing coming to an end... maybe I can take up knitting??? Read more!


Read more!

Oh yum, a little potty with your tea, Madam?

Read more!

Okay... whose puddle is it this time?

Read more!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Father Rory Pitstick's Daily retreat....

The Lord is with me???

The deeds of Gideon are recounted in chapters 6-8 of the Book of Judges (it will take less than 5 minutes to read those chapters and thereby gain a much clearer picture of the importance of the incident in today’s first reading). Evidently, life was really tough - Gideon had to beat out wheat secretly in the wine press so the ruthless Mideonites wouldn’t confiscate the little bit of food remaining for his family.
Understandably, then, Gideon is skeptical when an angel appears to him with the greeting, “The Lord is with you!” Like you and me at times, Gideon is tempted to see disaster and the hardships of life as “proof” that the Lord is NOT with him and his family. Nonetheless, the angel’s words have become a reality - the Lord IS with Gideon, and insists, and inspires Gideon to make an act of faith - to prepare an offering (from the tiny store of food remaining to Gideon!), which is convincingly accepted by the Lord. Gideon will go on to seek even clearer signs that the Lord is with him, and the Lord will again give those signs convincingly (see 6:36-40).
What proof is there that the Lord is with you? The evil and tribulations which afflict our lives do not disprove the presence of God - rather, our perseverance in the face of adversity is itself only possible because of the presence of God! Gideon is completely aware of his insignificance - he knows his victories can only be attributed to the presence of God. So rather than resigning himself to being an eternal victim of injustice, Gideon allows himself to become the “champion” God wants to transform him into, a champion who will convincingly sing the Psalm that truly the Lord brings justice and “peace to His people, and to His faithful ones, and to those who put in Him their hope!”
As soon as you and I realize that “for God, ALL things are possible," then we will stop being intimidated by evil, and we will offer all we have (however little and insignificant that might seem!) and allow ourselves to become champions of God’s righteousness!

To read Book of Judges chapter six - eight click here.
When one is struggling in a similar manner, this is a mouthful to chew on. We have found daily Mass that is early enough that we can attend and still have a an early start to the school/work day. I am very grateful for that. And each day that I meet Jesus in the Eucharist, like Gideon I am asking for a sign, an indication of the direction he wants us to take.

I am about to write my resume for the first time in quite some while and apply for a part time position as an ESL instructor. Starting wage is 18 dollars an hour. I have experience in this area and I am good at it. Please pray that if it is the Lord's will I will receive the job. I am very nervous about it.

To read Father Rory's daily retreats click here. Read more!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

doing the same thing over...

and over and expecting a different result is the definition of sanity.

Today I typed 'ipod' over and over and over, trying to make it read as iPod but without remembering to hit the shift key each time I had backspaced before typing p. Over and over and over - and feling puzzled as to why the p would not turn into a P.

Yes, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity - or fatigue, your pick. Read more!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday!

(photo credit Paul Tomas)

It is one of my best friends birthday!
Read more!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I have been busy blogging these days as you can see. I will take a break for a day or two now, unless something incredibly funny happens that I simply MUST share with you, or I become aware of a prayer request we need to share. I do have a site I am hoping to share with you that is pro-life so I will be trying to post about that soon. Thanks for the heads up on that Michaela! I hope too to very soon be able to share a project that I have been working on with an author from my beloved homeland, Canada.

In the mean time for the next day or two as I attend to a few things with the business and school that will keep me from the key board, I have a new poll up that I would love to have some input on. The poll reflects that I currently have a music player that launches itself upon opening the blog. My husband wonders if some people find that annoying and I too wonder if some mums settle down to read with a baby nursing who perhaps become distracted by the music so I am contemplating changing the code so that readers can launch the player rather than have it launch itself.

For now I am also changing the songs about and the majority of them are soft songs and the louder ones are lower in the play list. Please so share your opinion so I know how you feel about the player.

God Bless and may you all have a blessed and peaceful Feast Day - the Assumption. BTW, I have been informed by Bethany Rose who was confirmed at her baptism in the Byzantine Rite that as she eventually chose Mary as her confirmation name - this is also HER feast day and she should get to chose dinner. Read more!

Poll Results...

Mummy guilt - looks like we all suffer from it. We had 89 parents participate in the poll and the results are now in!

The largest source of guilt among us is not listening more carefully to that long winded, err rather, that heavily detailed dream. Close on the heels of this source of guilt is the wish to read and cuddle more often at bedtime. And firmly in third place is letting our little kidlets watch too much tv.

Now how easy it would be to ease all of these sources of guilt by making sure that the TV was turned off after dinner and instead of taking in a video or tv show, we all sat around the living room and one of the older members of the family read a chapter each night from a classic story. There are even sources for some of these old books online. Here is one source. A discussion of the story can follow the reading of a chapter or two of your chosen book and then bedtime prayers. Voila - we might not have listened to tales of dreams, but we will have given great fodder to dream upon and wonderful memories for all.

Another fun thing we often do is to listen to the old classic radio shows - via the XM radio in the van. We travel a lot with the business so we felt that having this in the van is a worthwhile expense. We have heard that XM and it's competitor Sirus are combining and an even better rumour is that they will both carry EWTN when they do so.

Now be sure to share with us what story you think your family would most like to read together or any memories you have doing a similar thing as a child. If you are not yet doing something like this and you try - share with us all how it goes. We have done this on and off and writing about this has me eager to do it again. I believe an eye infection on my part left the children hanging with Peter Pan about to face off with Hook. Perhaps that is the story I will start off with again. Read more!

Generous to a fault...

Today Elsa found some nice yummy still fresh in the wrapper gum. Gum that she is not allowed to have. But that did not stop her. She gleefully bite a tiny piece off of one end of the blue stick and offered the rest of it to Gabriela. She placed it carefully in the palm of Lala's hand but when Anna caught a whiff of the peppermint in the air and exclaimed, 'Oh gum, may I have some?' Elsa cheerfully said "Yet!" and took the piece still resting in Gabriela's palm, carefully ripped it in two giving half to Anna and the rest back to Lala.

Yes - Generous to a fault definitely, esp when it is someone else's gum! Read more!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


It seems that Danielle and I have something in common beside a large family and mountains of laundry. It is the Flylady AND a share in the universal dislike of actually putting away the laundry.

Gather up laundry - check
Load washer - check
Remember to turn washer on- check
Mover clothes to dryer - check
Help Elsa clean the lint box - Check
Again - remember to turn dryer on - check
Remove fresh, still warm to touch, clothes from dryer - check
Fold, sort and carefully place clothes in the basket to put away, later - Check

What is this universal paranoia about taking clothes out of the baskets and actually placing them in the correct drawers? Not one of my children like to put clothes away either. I have not met many mums either who, while sharing a break and a cuppa coffee, wax eloquently on the number of baskets of clothes actually put away last week! Attacking Mount Washmore - yes, but actualy putting the tamed mountain away - no! And yet - how much time does it actually take to put a load of laundry in its drawers? To see, click here.

So while turning this problem over my mind this Saturday whilst I caught up on two weeks worth of laundry for myself, Hugo and Elsa and put EACH and every load away and also cleaned out and re-arranged Emma's and Bethany's dressers - I hit upon a very Catholic solution. And by Catholic - I do not mean universal. Although it could be. Universal - I mean.

It is not unusual for me in the run of the week to hear of someone else's sufferings; a baby born premature and very ill, some one in a failing marriage, a friend's adult child lost in the world of drugs or just lost to the way of the world. And I cringe thinking 'so many people to pray for and so little time to pray for them'. Yet we Catholics have an established way to pray without sitting and only praying - we have the practice of offering it up.

We will often offer up our day, offer up the Mass, offer up some small sacrifice or offer up some suffering, whether small or great, as a form of continuous prayer through out the day. So why not offer up each load of laundry that we actually put away as a small offering through out the day?

I challenge each of you to add in the comment section how many offerings of laundry you actually sorted and put away in the dresser drawers or hung in the closet. Feel free to share what the intention was or not. But it would be great if you would share whether giving an intention to a particular load of laundry helped to motivate you to complete all the steps of washing a load of laundry - even that dreaded moment of putting the folded & sorted load in those drawers. Read more!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Decided to drop by Danielle's

...before toddling off to bed. I am so glad I did cause it gave me the amazing opportunity to donate a little cash to a great cause. To read more and maybe decide to donate yourself, click here. Read more!

Emma is away...

She has gone to visit her godmother and second oldest sister, Jenny. Also with her is Bethany. Calm, quiet, dependable Bethany who often quietly slides up beside me leaving a tall glass of ice water by my side.

Today, without Emma, there have been no sudden screams of anger from Nathaniel, piercing the air as she teases him. There have been no loud noisy follow the leader games with Elsa and Nathaniel imitating her piercing yells as they see if it really is possible to explode glass with high pitched notes. There has been no dress up strewn about the house as she and Elsa explore how many outfits they can change into within 20 minutes, and forget to put away. There have only been half as many ice cubes in front of the fridge as usual. Even the cat has been quiet.

Today has been quite peaceful and... boring. Read more!

note to self...

While listening to the play list on the headphones, remember to tape mouth closed so as to avoid the temptation of singing along with the music, to the great amusement of all others in the room. Read more!

Out of the bad must come some good...

We are all familiar with that saying and this past week, I experienced just that. I had written a thoughtful post about prayer and some of the conundrums a few bibles verses cause me due to the difficult past five years that we have experienced.

This post drew a very angry reader out of the woodwork who left an incredibly spiteful and hate filled comment. This person attacked my family on all levels, our faith life, our children, our morality, and s/he especially attacked my spouse directly and in a most hateful way. That was the most hurtful part for me - her attack on my beloved husband who works so hard trying to provide for the beautiful family God has blessed us with.

So what good could possibly come out of such a hate filled attack?

First I got to see my older children and husband band together, in love for me, as they tried to remove the comment in hopes I would not see it and protect me from such ugliness. Sadly, their efforts were in vain as all comments are also emailed me due to the settings I have chosen. Imagine my puzzlement though when I read from Jackie: "Is that comment above for real?" posted just below a very nice comment by Margaret?? By then my 21 year old son had already hacked my blog and removed the comment. He even managed to remove the statement "Comment Deleted" which is always left after I delete something. I need to learn how he did that!

However, checking my emails cleared up the mystery and as I sat in shock - not knowing whether to laugh or cry given that the accusations were so off the wall as to be almost funny, my oldest child, Amanda, IM'd me from Boston to ask in a casual and off hand manner how I was. She was trying to determine if I had seen the comment before Jonathan had deleted it. I explained about the emails and she was very upset for me. However, as I was quite chipper about it all she was very relieved.

Our second oldest daughter did not learn of all of this until the next day when she got the email from me explaining I was considering closing the blog to the public and why. She asked to see the comment. She was horrified when she read it.

So the second good thing came of it when she wrote the following comment in response. I decided to add it as a post because it is such a positive and beautiful statement of her love for her family as well as a testament to the love and support she feels she had received over her 23 years of life.

Jenny said...

As the proud second of this "mum to twelve" it is very hard not to be extremely angry at the person who wrote those horrible and nasty things about my beautiful family. For the sake of the blood of Christ I will give my anger to Him and pray for the conversion of my heart and all.

Whoever wrote those ugly words- I hope that you read what I have to say. I will pray for the conversion of your heart and for simple charity. I have never heard or read anything so hurtful, hateful, or judgmental.

I would not trade out one member of my family for any other person in the world. My life as a whole has been beautiful-even if there have been hard times. I thank God everyday for everything he has blessed me with-and at the top of my list is my husband, father and mother and everyone one of my beautiful siblings. I would not wish that any one of them not be born so that my parents could have bought me a car-or spoiled me with the things of this world.

You need to rethink your view on what is precious in this life.


college graduate with honors, self- sufficient, well brought-up, refined, successful in my non-profit job for the unborn, daughter of this beautiful "mum to twelve"

The third good thing that has come of it is the opportunity to practice Jesus' directive to "Love Thine Enemies". It is a hard thing to practice and it is good to be reminded of its necessity. Only someone is great need of love and compassion could only have written such a hate filled comment. If you have a spare prayer in your heart today, please offer it up for that person. And please pray for me as I have not yet been able to totally forgive them their attack on my husband who, unlike so many of this world today, did not turn his back on a huge weight and challenge when he lost his job five years ago. Instead he put his shoulder even more firmly to the plow and gets up everyday, not knowing what new and difficult challenges this day may bring, and goes back to our very challenging family business. I thank God every day that I married him.
My family, so far, are all of the opinion that we should leave the blog open to the public but that I should continue to moderate the comments. This way any ugliness is seen only by us and not foisted on my readers, rendering such attempts of character assassination as pointless and moot. Read more!

Friday, August 10, 2007

play list...

There is a pause on the play list, it is beside the two arrows that are for forwarding and rewinding. Please hit it if you don't want to listen to the music. I will redo the code later this week to allow people to choose whether to listen to the music list or not.

I have figured out what the prizes will be for the contest. Just need to tweak my idea a bit and then hit the sewing machine. Watch for details... will keep this post at the top for a few days, at least until I have redone the code.

In the meantime, I need to go check on the pumpkin bread. I am not using the Down East Maine recipe, although it is almost exactly like the one I am making. However, I am using my daughter's mother in law's recipe so... I don't feel free to post it without her permission.

Next I am working on oatmeal raisin cookies. Thank Heavens for A/C, eh? Here is the recipe I will be using for the cookies but sans the malt flavour - which is optional. Read more!

Thank you Cath!

Cath left a comment, and as I so often do, I followed her back to her blog to take a peek at what her life is like. And I loved her blog. To my other faithful readers, please do not think because I have not made mention of your blog, after dropping by, that I did not love yours as well . I am mentioning Cath's because she very kindly posted directions as how to add the music play list to one's blog when I left a comment on her blog asking her how she had done that!!!

After going there and signing up - I realized that I am going to be the subject of much ribbing because it became apparent that this very music site is one that my older children have told me about repeatedly.

Slowly, I am creating a play list and will try to add it to the blog today, somewhere between the loads of laundry I am washing, drying, hanging and folding and hopefully actually putting away! Currently the house looks like a Chinese laundry mat while I sort through out grown VS still too big clothes.

I am choosing meaningful songs that have beautiful memories attached to them or in some way remind me of my older children's teen years! In that list will be a song that would have been the song Hugo and I would have chosen as our first dance had we had a big formal wedding, instead of the two informal weddings. Yes, there is a story there but that is for another day! Just as we have lived a life filled with craziness and adventure - so is the story of our weddings!

Hmmm - I have an idea for a contest! Details to follow! Read more!

follow up to HOT!

It is 10:30 am here in the eastern side the States and according to one weather report we have already hit 34C (Sorry, my Canadianism is showing through here, I will look this up in Fahrenheit and translate this below!) Expected high is 38, not counting in the humidex factor. With it - we will feel like 42C again.

Maybe now that I have found, err rather now that Benjamin has found, my camera ( and charged a hefty 3$ finders fee, I might add!) I will see if I can gather enough dimes and quarters in my change drawer and run to the store to buy some batteries so that I might be able to share some photos as to how we are coping with this heat spell. Even these temps are hot for us Southerners, esp we Northern transplants.

Check back later to see the photos!

Celsius to Fahrenheit
34 C is 94 F
38 C is 101.4 F
42C is 108F Read more!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


As we stepped out of our air conditioned van into the 102 temperture (humidex was 108) 2 year old Elsa commented:

"It ... 'mells like HOT!!" to which we all agreed. It did smell hot, face too close to the fire hot!

(For my Canadian readers... that is 38.8 and 42 respectively!) Read more!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

to all my readers...

I am currently considering closing my blog to the public and making it available by invitation only. Some of you may be aware that a person left a very venomous comment in response to my request for prayers while my husband I try to discern what to do with the family business. It was not on the site for long as one of my oldest children saw the comment and arranged for it's removal. She was hoping I would not see the hate filled comment. I, however, receive all of these comments in my email and so I did see it and am certain that I recognize who wrote it.

We all know that when we write publicly we will incur the dislike of some, possibly even the hatred of others but for the most part we will enjoy the company of many who enjoy your writings and will leave pleasant thoughts as comments. Sometimes I have touched a nerve and a few people have left less than pleasant comments, but nothing as hate filled as the one my son deleted today.

Please keep us in your prayers as we think about this as a family and determine what is best to do for our family. If I decide to close the blog, I will let all of you know and try to make it possible for those of you who wish to continue to read it - to do so through private invitation.

God Bless
Christi aka mum2twelve and proud of them all! Read more!

loving life...

To protect the anonymity of this family I have removed the names. But this is such a strong message of hope and love for God and life that I had to share this message. If any recognize the family and leave comments please be careful not to use the family members names.
Let me begin by expressing how much my husband and I appreciate your continued
prayers for our little newborn son . We did not expect to welcome him into the world so
soon; and consequently, it has taken a while to adjust to our new reality.

I, in particular, have been reluctant to discuss the particulars of his
health; and I thank you for respecting that need on my part. Now that he is
four weeks old, however, it is natural for people to wonder about when he
will leave the NICU, how much weight he has gained, and similar 'preemie'kinds of questions. Given your kindness as friends and prayer partners with us, my husband and I would like to share some of the things that we are praying about for our wee son.

(Personal details regarding the baby's prognosis were here... it is expected the little fellow will be in the NICU for a few months.)

Please continue to pray for his healing. We also ask that you pray for
us - for our strength and perseverance.

We believe with everything we are that each day Our Lord chooses to give
our wee son life on this earth is an intentional act of love on His part and a
blessing for us. Regardless of the physical or mental limitations he might
face in the future, we know that our wee son's life has a spiritual power that
cannot be measured.

God Bless...
signed by the mum of this wee baby boy.

Is this not a powerful statement regarding the sanctity of life and respect for God's authority over us?

Please join all of us who know or are acquainted with this family in praying for God's blessings, love, and support be felt daily by this family. Read more!

adorable grammar...

Some of Elsa's adorable turns of phrases:

"Ow! You pulled mine hair!"

"Help button me dress Mummy, pease!"

"Those are mine shoes!"

Me thinks it must be the Irish in her that causes these quaint little sayings. Read more!

Little Miracles...

My regular readers will know that my 20 year old, six foot four soon was diagnosed with Viral Myocarditis last fall. It was a shocking discovery and each test lead to more tests with more surprising results which finally resulted with our son being assigned to a cardiologist's care shortly after his 20th birthday.

We have been praying for his recovery and last week Miguel had an echocardiogram. In addition to this ultrasound of the heart a substance was fed into his heart through an IV in his arm and traced to determine if one of his valves was leaking into the other chamber. It is not.

We then saw the cardiologist today and we received good news indeed. Miguel's heart muscle which was functioning only at 45 % is not up to 56% and while one chamber is slightly enlarged it is in direct correlation with the lack of functioning of his heart muscle and his prognosis is very good. The doctor would like to see his heart muscle functioning at 70% and we are slowly edging up there.

A small miracle and happy news indeed. Thank you Jesus! I pray my son continues to heal and is soon stepped back down to his medical care being provided by his primary care physician. I thank all those who have included Miguel and his health in their prayers and ask that you continue to pray for him. Read more!