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.
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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!
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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...

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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


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


...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!