Saturday, February 28, 2009

Neena's last day with us...

On Thursday Neena attacked a purple Pompom - much to our amusement. Inspired with a possible post I grabbed my camera to take some photos. I almost video taped it as it was so funny to watch. Little did I know this would be Neena's last day with us. Later that night I scooped her up off my rocking chair and plunked her down on my lap while we prepared to say our evening prayers that we are trying to re-institute as part of our Lenten contract. She stayed but a moment and then hopped down and stretched before leaving the room and that is the last time I remember seeing her.

This morning we received a phone call. Unfortunately it was 12 yr old Benjamin, who especially loves cats, who answered the phone. Our neighbour who was distraught and thought she was talking to me and informed him that Neena had been hit by a vehicle during the night but that someone had already kindly removed her from the road. Neena was an indoor cat but of late she had begun to sit by the door waiting her moment to escape and she was lightening fast. Nosey, a stray that has adopted Benjamin and consequently us, typically would chase her and pin her down so we could bring her back in - much to her chagrin. We think she slipped out last night when my husband took a forgotten bag of garbage out to the curbside for Friday's pick up.

The children were devastated as you can well imagine by the sad news, each mourning in their own way. One child tried to occupy herself with her math lesson and failed, finally succumbing to her tears. I reminded her as she resisted the tears that God had designed us to cry and even Jesus had cried when Lazarus died, even though he knew he would be bringing him back to life. Another child could not eat all day even though he was hungry - he just choked on each bite and gave up until evening when he was finally able to eat his supper.

Here are the pictures of Neena enjoying "killing" the pompom she had just hunted down.


Almost finished!

Abandoned kill!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Abstinence isn't realistic - say WHAT?

Enjoy a good read on abstinence and one mother's response to Bristol Palin's statement that abstinence isn't realistic. To read Brigid at Redemptive Diapering click here.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small Successes...


1) Got my hair CUT this week after wanting to do it for about three months! LOVE IT! And probably shed a few pounds as a result! Seriously - we cut so much off I bet I lost at least a pound! :-)

2) FINALLY called the repair guy for my under warranty BRAND NEW dishwasher that is grinding and groaning! He will be here Monday - praying my beloved dish washer lives until then.

3) Did a dry run of my first ESL class to see how long it would go - should take a solid hour to go through it all. My kids played the part of ESL students. Benjamin practiced his Spanish accent and Bethany pretended to need the work sheets to answer! Noah was the wise guy and Gabriela the perfect student who always got it right! Cecilia played the cute and silent student while the three little ones watched a cartoon or two!

This is the first week I felt I had some small successes since they started this! Guess my post partum tears have finally passed! Looking forward to posting more!

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Sunday night Anna wandered into the kitchen and asked permission to make a delicious chocolate pie she has recently made for her sister, but we were missing a key ingredient. Could she call her Dad while he was at the store to pick it up.

Spying two cell phones on the counter she picked one up, noted it was her fathers and tossed it back on the counter declaring "Ugh, I don't like Daddy's cell phone, I'll call him with yours!" In so saying she grabbed mine and flipped it open to dial her dad's phone.

I chuckled and picked up her father's cell phone and waved it in front of her face - waiting for the groan of comprehension! It came quite quickly broadening my grin even more. But maybe I should have just let her dad's phone ring...

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten Prepartions

Have you, either as a family or as an individual, decided what you will strive to achieve in terms of spiritual growth this Lent? Three days ago we sat down as a family this morning and came up with what one child has termed our Lenten Contract. But as we worked on this spiritual exercise I kept this following quote that was included in Holly Pierlot's workbook from her book; A Mother's Rule of Life.

"We should not want to practice many [spiritual] exercises at the same time or all of a sudden. The enemy often tries to make us attempt and start many projects so that we will be overwhelmed with too many tasks, and therefore achieve nothing and leave everything unfinished. Sometimes he even suggests the wish to undertake some excellent work that he foresees we will never accomplish. This is to distract us from the prosecution of some less excellent work that we would have easily completed. He does not care how many plans and beginnings we make, provided nothing is finished...

St Jerome says "Among Christians it is not so much the beginning as the end that counts."

(St. Francis de Sales, "Finding God's Will for You", New Hampshire, Sophia Institute Press, 1998, p 52-53 )

It can be very tempting to strive so high that you are almost destined to fail. While it is good to have challenging goals, they must be reasonably attainable. I cannot tell you how many Lents we have had goals set too high to accomplish for where we were (spiritually) as a family and so when we kept failing to meet the daily goals set out - we gave up. At the end of Lent we felt more guilt than joy. I am determined that this shall not be the case this year and so we kept revisiting this premise as we set out our family goals.

Finally when we finished we had 4 goals set out. Some will require sacrifice, some are additional activities and they all intertwine nicely with each other. They will not necessarily be easy to achieve but they are attainable - allowing us, as a family and as individuals, to travel further in our spiritual journey.

I pray for a spiritually successful Lent for all of you!


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lesson Learned... a stroll down memory lane.

I have always loved chocolate though it was not until I was an adult that I learned to appreciate the finer qualities of dark chocolate. So it was that at the ripe old age of seven I was fully in love with milk chocolate and happy to consume it in whatever form it appeared in. And it just so happened that there was usually a bag or two of chocolate chips hidden in one of the kitchen cupboards, waiting for baking day.

I am ashamed to admit that it was not beyond me to sometimes slide a chair across the shiny kitchen floor, clamber up on it and rustle a small fistful of chocolate chips that I would smuggle into my room. There I would savour the tiny morsels of chocolate one at a time while I read. It is hard to say what I loved more those days, the taste of chocolate or reading. I still find today that the two go well together.

Apparently I was a very stealthy thief as I do not recall ever being caught, but I came very close to it one night when I hit upon, what seemed to me a most ingenious plan. It was choir practice that night and I thought being able to nibble on a piece of chocolate throughout practice would be just divine. "Icing on the cake" so to speak as I especially enjoyed gathering with my friends in the church to practice singing.

With my usual covertness, I clambered up into the cupboards and filled a sheet of paper towel with more than my usual bounty of chocolate chips. After all I might be called upon to share these luscious treats with the singers to my left and right. Then I was faced with a problem - how to get my larger than normal treat into my bedroom where I needed to dress for practice. I solved the problem quickly by wrapping the chocolate chips up tight and placing the paper package beneath my undershirt. I padded quietly to my bedroom and got changed for the evenings activities.

Once dressed in good clothes, I headed to the hallway where my father was patiently waiting for me to prepare for the cold drive to the church. On went my skidoo pants, followed by my parka, hat, scarf, mitts and finally snow boots. As far north as we lived one did not venture out with any less than that on - at my age at any rate. Sufficiently wrapped up, my dad and I got into the car and left for practice. I jumped out as we stopped in front of the church door and I carelessly waved good bye before dashing up the stairs and into the church without even taking time to enjoy the smoke curling out of my mouth into the cold icy air.

Most of the choir was already there and the pile of boots by the door was growing quickly as we peeled off our winter wear. Like the rest of the students, I left on my bibbed snow pants and quietly followed the Choir Mistress down to the front of the church. Somehow Miss Johnson managed to get us all quiet and arranged in the pews, more by age than by ability I think. The books were pulled out of the shelves and the correct page found with much rustling. We giggled and teased each other through the hour long practice, severely testing Miss Johnson's patience, I am sure! The hour in the warm, cozy church passed by all too quickly and before we knew it - it was time to envelop ourselves once more within our jackets, scarves and mitts. We had all already saved a step by keeping our snow pants on. The drive was quickly filling up with cars as parents slowly eased up by the steps to pick up their young, lively cargo. I was keen to get outside and hopefully a few snow balls thrown with everyone else, before my dad's car was next to pull up. All too soon it was my turn to crawl into the front passenger side of a car and share with my father the details of practice. What songs had we covered, who sang best, had I had fun. I pulled one of my mittens off and blew on the window so as to try and compete with Jack Frost by creating elegant designs on the window. As I pulled a quickly chilled fingertip across the icy glass, I suddenly remembered my ill gotten treat safely tucked beneath my undershirt. I grinned in the dark thinking of the delicious treat I would now have all to myself over the next few days. With having forgotten my larger than usual spoils, I would not have to risk pilfering through the kitchen cupboards for several days. Now I was more than anxious to be home and was quick to retreat to my bedroom once we had left the cold frosty car behind.

I quickly undressed and tossed my clothes into a pile. Once I got to my undershirt I tugged on the white bit of paper towel peeping out. It did not slide out as quickly as it had slid in. In fact, it seemed stuck. I tugged harder and finally a very dark piece of paper slid out of my shirt. Smeared on the inside of my undershirt were streaks of brown that were quick to attach to the streaks of brown slathered on my chest. Horrified, it dawned on me what had happened but what was not so quick to come to mind was the solution. What to do with this incriminating evidence - the chocolate streaked undershirt? A facecloth was easily going to erase the evidence smeared on my body, but the undershirt? It posed a larger problem. The solution I came to was to simply dispose of it in the garbage. For some reason I chose the bathroom garbage can and given it smallness in size - I still wonder to this day how my mother never discovered the shirt. Or did she?

Lesson learned - never hide chocolate chips inside your undershirt!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Pay Back!

How many of us have heard this question and winced: "You mean you had (fill in the blank) when YOU were a kid? Wow - I had no idea (fill in the blank) was so old!" or the other version "Did you have TV/ PHONES/ DVDs when you were a kid?" I still remember when my children found a rotary dial phone amongst a lot of surplus equipment and brought it to me to ask how to use it. (To read original post click here)

Well, last Friday was pay back time! My current teens were listening to Weird Al and enjoying one of his newest songs - Moo Moo Moo - who let the cows out? and I commented to them; "You know when Aimee, Jenny, Jonathan and Miguel were teenagers, they used to listen to Weird All too."

Noah (13) gasped; "You mean HE is that old?"

Yes - you better believe I called as many of the four oldest as I could and enjoyed the gasps and peals of laughter that rolled through the phone!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

I don't want to be one of those...

A talk show radio program was playing in the back ground the other day and a commercial came and went after which Emma and I had the following conversation:

Emma: "I don't want to be one of those. I am afraid of heights."
Mummy: (After a significant pause as I thought about the commercial...) "What don't you want to be, Emma?"
Emma: "I don't want to be a millionaire."
Mummy: (after another significant pause while I tried to connect being a millionaire with heights, or to be more exact - fear of heights) "Why not Emma?"
Emma: " Cause I am afraid of heights and they said you have to be way up there to be a millionaire."
Mummy: "Do you know what a millionaire is, Emma?"
Emma: "Nope"
Mummy: "It's someone who is very, very rich and has a lot of money."
Emma: "OH! I want to be one of those! Don't you Mummy? "

I guess at the tender age of six Emma has indeed realized that money makes the world go round! And for those curious as to how I answered Emma - I simply said I wouldn't mind having a little more money than we do, Emma.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Calling all writers...

Young and Old - Here is a nifty website I discovered through a post left at Beyond Pearls.
Click here to check it out. I will follow it for awhile and then probably add it to my favourite links on the side bar! Sounds like a fun place to hang out if you like writing or have kids you are trying to encourage at writing!

(Credit for picture: Christopher Stott)

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How Stupid is Stupid?

Scribbit asks; "Is stupid a bad word now?"
I have to agree with how Scribbit answers this question.
Read her post see what you think.


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Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Bakers doz is leading...

... as the possible name change for my blog and my 79 % of my readers have declared that I need to change my blog's name.

If you haven't voted yet - do so soon, as I will be making my decision in the next few days and taking tentative steps towards a name change. Has anyone else done that without accidentally deleting their blog???

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Testing testing... 1 2 3

Testing to see if my dad and step mum are following the blog. If you are - we are ALMOST out of TETLEY tea! Hugo has been enjoying it immensely. I had been too until Cecilia had a caffeine meltdown and I had to cut it out of my diet.

Still... we would all love some more...

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Emma up close

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sleep, oh elusive sleep...

Cecilia rarely sleeps from 9 pm to 1 am. I should get her a third shift somewhere. The other day, she was quiet and an opportunity arose for me to be able to take a nap in preparation for her owl shift from 9 to 1. As tired as I was - I desperately wanted to spend that time working on either my curriculum, or an article I have been asked to write for a Catholic Magazine. As much as I knew I needed to sleep - I so wanted to work on one of these two things. However, common sense won out and to bed I went. These newborn upside down days will pass all too quickly and I must need follow her routine and enjoy every precious, cuddly, soft cheek to my cheek moment with her. Even those fussy, tummy ache can't sleep moments. The clock is ticking and the pages on the calendar are flipping too quickly. Before I know it she will be crawling, then walking and one day, all too soon, I will be looking at colleges with her, trying to decide which one is the best fit.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

A great game idea

... for the cold rainy days we sometimes experience here in the south and for those still freezing in the north. This game suggestion comes from about far North as you can go and still be in the States. Want to know what it is - click here and then have a rousing game of ooops - almost gave it away. Sorry - you have to go check it out over at Scribbits!

Say just had a grand idea! Anyone who engages in this game- take a picture of the family enjoying a break and then post it on your blog, come back here and leave a comment with your blog's url so we can all check out your home team having a blast. Could be really fun traveling the globe together.

Or if you have another game you play inside to get out the energy that builds up during cabin fever -do the same. Take a picture and send us a comment with a link to your blog.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

Remember my post earlier this week about the red envelope campaign? Well, what better Valentine gift could we give to the world than to make a huge impact on Obama with this Red Envelope Campaign?

Here are three sites that are promoting it. One of them, as of 5:30 pm EST Friday, had a record of 96000 envelopes mailed. Come on - we can MAKE IT 50 MILLION if we try hard enough to get the word out!

Just click here for the address again if you want to do this without visiting the above sites. Once there scroll down my previous post and you will have the address and the message to write on the envelope.

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Here comes those dogs...

Elsa is not sure what to think of these dogs... they are kind of cute but...

Oh oh.. they are coming closer!

Get them off! Get them off!!

WHEW!!! They're gone!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sweet 35...

Days that is. Or five weeks.

We were heading out to the play ground and I dressed her in this adorable pink velour snowsuit. - it was our first chance to use this absolutely adorable snow suit that was a gift from Peggy on the occasion of Cecilia's welcome party, which we had while her oldest sister was here from Ireland.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sometimes... just comes to a stand still when you have a newborn in your life! I have some scheduled posts for the next few days while I focus on getting our life with a newborn into a new groove.

Never mind trying to get school work completed, groceries bought, meals planned and keep moving forward with the new business going while the savings we have been living on d w i n d l e... we have to make life flow with the needs of this tiny fragile blessing that God has entrusted to us. It does not help that she suffers from reflux and is often in pain, There is nothing worse than watching a child, especially such a tiny one, suffer.

Please keep Cecilia in your prayers as well as our new business.

We REALLY need this business to take off. The next two months will be very, very stressful. I will try to keep posting, but it might just be a lot of pictures. I know I LOVE picture snaps of other bloggers' lives. I hope you enjoy the future ones I will be posting.

mum2twelve aka mum2abakersdoz

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How long does a new born last...

This is what the Temples are asking over at Blessed Among Men and my answer is...


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Monday, February 09, 2009

Please Share this idea with as many people as possible...

A friend from the Raleigh area shared this with me this afternoon and I am hoping that hundreds of thousands, if not more, will do this. It would be an incredible feat if we actually managed to get 50 million red envelopes mailed... This idea was generated John Otto, a prolife advocate. Read on to learn more about what I am talking about.

Dear Friends and Intercessors:

This afternoon I was praying about a number of things, and my mind began to wander. I was deeply distressed at the symbolic actions that President Obama took as he began his presidency. Namely, that he signed executive orders releasing funds to pay for abortions, permission to fund human stem cell research, and federal funding for contraception. I have been involved in the pro-life movement for nearly 20 years, and it pained my heart to see a man and a political party committed to the shedding of innocent blood. This man, and this party lead our country, but they do not represent me or the 54% of Americans who believe that abortion is wrong and should no longer be legal..

As I was praying, I believe that God gave me an interesting idea. Out in the garage I have a box of red envelopes. Like the powerful image of the red LIFE tape, an empty red envelope will send a message to Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue. It will be quiet, but clear.

Here is what I would like you to do:

Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.

This envelope represents one child who died in abortion.
It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world.
Responsibility begins with conception.

Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this email to every one of your friends who you think would send one too.. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.


John Otto

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Easily my favourite music artist these days...

Cecilia loves him too. We can usually calm her down by playing his music if she is upset for any reason, from a bad tummy ache to being tired but too agitated to sleep. I think it is partly because for the last two weeks of the Christmas season - while she was still in utero - most of our Christmas music that we listened to was sung by Josh. So it must sound a little like "home" to her.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

The shower...

One of the many decorations the shower crew made for the shower.

Elsa enjoying a ride at the shower.

One of Lydia's last chances to lean with her elbow on her aunt... something she did almost every time she sat on my lap while I was pregnant. Her aunt Emma is bestowing a kiss on her - something Emma does every chance she gets!

Enjoying a delicious drink.
Coffee punch! What else do you serve at a shower in a cafe?! And it was scrumptious!

Playing a fun game - filling in a calendar with guests ideas of what to do while waiting for baby. The calendar is still on my wall beside my computer in my bedroom.

As you can see, it was a full house and a really fun party! Thanks again Peggy, as well as everyone who came to share in the special occasion.

I was blissfully unaware that a young artist had been busy creating a shower hat for me with the bows from Cecilia's gifts...

But it was so pretty that I just had to model it for posterity sake!

The Shower Hat Artist....

Sisters passing out the party favours as the shower drew to a close. It was a wonderful afternoon and I enjoyed it very much.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Just a reminder!

Don't forget to contact your members of congress and senators regarding FOCA. While you are at it - make sure you inform them as to how to you feel about the PORK Bill they are trying to pass off as a Stimulus bill - which is literally 75% pork and 25 % stimulus and will have your children's children in hock to the government to pay for it.

Oh, and then there is the little matter of the gentleman Obama has nominated to the position of deputy attorney general of the United States. The hearings for the nomination of David Ogden were yesterday - but it is not to late to contact your government reps. Remember, you can locate them here. HSLDA is strongly suggesting that parents protect their parental rights by opposing this nomination. To read about this click here.
(Who is HSLDA? click here)

To refresh your memory about FOCA and the post card campaign click here.

When you are finished clicking, start dialing, writing, emailing or combination thereof!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bye Bye...

One last group photo of Aimee and Feidlhim with the kids still at home.
Even the baby made it into this photo!
Excuse the outfits, we woke up to no heat on the main floor (and no hot water in the bathrooms) so we were sporting the layered look.

One last photo of my oldest baby... just before they pulled out of the drive. It never gets easy saying good bye - no matter how often you have to say it. And the larger the family, the more often it seems that you have to say it. Excuse me now while I go fetch my hankie... again!

Not sure how to distract myself now. I have cleaned the kitchen and dining room spotless!!

Heat came back on @ 2:30 - third time the furnace has done this since the New Year. We are waiting for a repairman to show up. Hot water came back at about 4:45, filled with rust... Yet we had hot water all along in the kitchen, so clearly we need that seen as well. Know of any good plumbers we can suggest to our land lady?

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Danielle Bean » Please help spread the word

Danielle Bean » Please help spread the word

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I might be away for a few days...

We have enjoyed a really nice, but all too short visit with our eldest daughter and child, along with her boyfriend. I'm glad I took so many photos of our day at the park. I caught so many joy filled moments as Aimee played with her little siblings.

Now it is time to say good bye and I am not ready. We watched the calendar flip by day by day as we counted first the weeks, then the days and finally the hours until she would be here with us again and now it is gone. It was much easier to say good bye this summer as we knew another trip was planned with a lot of wonderful dates to celebrate in between. When next we will see her again is unknown. Hopefully not too long in the future, but possibly not for another whole year.

It is very, very hard to say goodbye. Possibly I will be just too sad the next few days to share anythign but some pictures from the past week. I do have the shower post almost ready - just another picture or two I want to add, but it is scheduled to post whether I get them added or not.

Keep our family in your prayers please as we have a few hard weeks ahead. I am not the only one who will be sad for the next little while - but somehow despite my sadness I must help my younger children deal with the hole they will each feel in their hearts with the departure of their sister, who has been so much fun to visit with this past week. And her boy friend, Feidlhim, will be very much missed as well.

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It is with shock and dismay that I learned today

...that author Amy Welborn lost her husband, Micheal Dubruiel yesterday. He collapsed suddenly at the gym and could not be revived. Please keep her and her young children in your prayers.


For any who would like to help in a tangible way, Amy Welborn and her children Faith and Family has set up a Pay Pal donation button which you can reach by clicking here.

A spiritual bouquet is being created here for Amy and her family.
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A little Snow...

Yesterday afternoon we were at a local park, hiking around the lake, playing a little soccer and swinging on the swings.

By late evening... this is what our yard looked like.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Virus update...

Hello everyone! I can not decide whether Cecilia is fighting a cold, as I know I am... You see when she nurses - it is not unusual for her to snort milk up her nose and then she has difficulties with a build up of mucus. Noah, now 13, had a similar problem as a new born. It is hard not to feel anxious when things are not just quite normal with your wee baby - isn't it?

Our eldest daughter is here from Ireland and, sadly, with so many of the adult children working and/or in school we have not been able to organize a night when all 13 children can be home so that we can take a family picture of them all. However I do have some lovely pictures from a trip to the park with ten of them together. I will post some later and possibly a video of them all on the swings - well Cecilia is not on the swing, but if you peer really closely you can see her stroller in the back ground!

I might be a bit of a tease - and just post a few pics a day to give myself a little breathing space and still be able to entertain you all a little bit each day or at least every other day! Still planning on getting the shower pics up - there are some really great pictures from that day.

I have to say - that I feel that my blog has become really humdrum and not too inspiring. I apologize if that is the case. There is is much going on and I am s l o w l y preparing to begin teaching ESL classes three nights a week. I have fallen into the trap of judging my blog with others and thinking - oh they are so clever, so sweet, so funny, so thoughtful... and I am just ... boring! I so do not want to be boring! I want to be inspiring and helpful and don't feel I am quite cutting that grade right now! It feels as though my brain is too tired to be witty, funny, entertaining and most especially - inspiring! Many funny cute things happen almost daily here that I could post to give folks a little laugh but by the time I find a moment to blog - I have fogotten them all. I need to start carrying around a tape recorder! Oh well - the pictures will have to do for now.

Blessings to you all!

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