Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jesse Tree - Fourth Thursday in Advent

Reading: Matthew1:18-25
Todays' reading is about Joseph learning that Mary is with child and the dream he receives from the Lord encouraging him to marry Mary.

22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:


(Mathew 1:22- 23)

Symbol is a hammer and saw - representing Joseph's part in the story as a carpenter.

The link to the symbols for the fourth week is here.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

three birthdays...

...and we managed to cram them all in the shortest month of the year.

The twins... four years apart!

Well okay - this is not a picture of one of my February birthday girls but rather of her beautiful daughter - Lydia... just couldn't resist posting such a cute face! Her mum is on my banner dancing with Nathaniel on the occasion of her marriage! But if I had Jenny's baby pictures on my computer... I think we would see a lot of resemblance. Same blond hair, chubby cheeks and blue eyes!

Tomorrow brings an important announcement that you will NOT want to miss. See you then and I promise you will not be disappointed. Surprised, yes, but not disappointed!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

credit card heaven

Four year old Elsa carefully adjusting a full deck of playing cards into the waist of her skirt asked Emma if she liked them. Before Emma could answer I asked Elsa if she knew what they were. "Yes", she said "they are my credit cards!"

A little taken aback I asked her if she knew what credit cards are.

"Oh yes" she said, "they help you do things - like drive."

"Well" I said, "you must be planning on doing a lot of driving then." She just grinned and patted them tenderly.

7 yr old Emma piped up and said proudly: "I KNOW what credit cards are."

"So what are they?" I asked.

"Well," she said, taking in a deep breath; "They have money on them and they help you not waste your dollars when you buy stuff..." (I wish that was so - don't you?!)

Elsa then walked out of the room admiring her wad of credit cards still tucked in her waist band.
"I just love, love, love my credit cards. I just have a TON of them!"

I hope her husband is very, very, very rich or he is going to have a very difficult life keeping her in the "style" she seems to be acquiring!!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

What's roast pork without potatoes...

or "Where can 10 lbs of Potatoes Hide?

It was four pm and time to prepare the meat if I wanted the roast pork ready for our Sunday dinner. I ambled into the kitchen where all was quiet because a friend had borrowed most of the kids and taken them back to her house. Hugo opened the roast and placed it in the roaster while I assembled the chief ingredients for the roast and side dishes.
Apples & onions - check
Spices from the spice drawer - check
corn - check, but will take the bags out of the freezer later

Here is where I ran into a problem. The 10 lb bag of potatoes was not in the pantry nor in the storage area on the other side of the pantry... A little concerned I began to retrace the path from the van to the kitchen wondering if the potatoes had been deposited somewhere along the route and forgotten before their handler could put them away. Nope, a few shoes were found along the route but nothing resembling 10 lbs of potatoes.

Retraced the route checking for deviations - had the person charged with bringing in the potatoes left them in the school room, under the dining room table or even perhaps the bathroom? All are areas along the possible paths traversed from the van to the kitchen. Nope - nary a potato to be seen. Not even a peel. Went out and scouted out the van and porch praying that with the sub zero temps we have been having of late that the potatoes had not been left in either spot.

Nada... somewhat relieved but very frustrated by this mysterious disappearance I returned to the house where the air was beginning to be perfumed by the odor of apples and onions baking in the oven. Time was running out to have these potatoes peeled and boiled in time to whip them into buttery mashed potatoes and what's pork roast without potatoes?

Now Hugo and began to search our memories... had we actually remembered to put them in the van? I had no memory of them save putting them originally in my cart. Hugo was 98 % sure he'd put them in the van. Listening to our puzzled voices Emma suddenly piped up and said "Tanny and I were trying to decide who would bring them in and HE said he would, so he picked them up - I saw him bring them inside..."

Well, that was comforting to know BUT where had he hid put them. I went to the front door and stood there while I asked myself if I were a nine year old boy, possibly distracted, where might I put the potatoes? From the front door I spied the stairs and sent Emma to check Nathaniel's bedroom. She was back in seconds dragging the 10 lb bag of spuds behind her.

Mystery solved.... dinner prep resumed. And, yes, the pork roast WAS fabulous and the potatoes even better!

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Monday, February 08, 2010

50 rules...

that the schools won't teach your kids and here are thirteen of the rules as found on Larger Family Life – a blog I discovered today via Happy Housewife.
Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it!
Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called any chance to work an opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you’re out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That’s what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for “expressing yourself” with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Rule 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young, and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

(Although often attributed to Bill Gates, the above rules were written by Charles J Sykes in his book “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School“.)

PS Larger Family Life is having a contest where you can win this book but you don’t really want to know about that now do you – because the more of you who do… the smaller chance I have of winning what sounds like a great AND funny book!

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Morning Offering

found in Conversations With God

"May the whole of our day, our prayer and our work take their strength from you and always begin with you O Lord, and may all that we have begun through you reach a happy conclusion."

A Lenten activity I am planning on doing this year. Only thing left to decide is whether we will do it only on Friday or throughout all of Lent... (Thank you M.T. for sharing this with me!)

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

another great post...

... if I must say so myself! Ever thought of an onion as an inspiration? Well, apparently Mothering Sunshine has. Click here to read all about it.

(And no, I have not had time to edit and post the graduation pictures. Hopefully soon!)

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Saturday, February 06, 2010


Mothering Sunshine and company is suffering from cabin fever and asking for Boredom Busters. To help her out click here and leave a comment with your favorites things to do on a rainy day when you are 18 months old and tired of all your toys and even mummy is getting a bit... umm stir crazy with cabin fever! Read more!

what is it...

...about babies feet that cause us to kiss them and eat them all up?
They are just so irresistible, are they not?

(Photo credit: This image was found here.) Read more!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Can I go to bed yet???

or : A break down of my day and it's not one yet...

1) try to secure my seat belt this morning by inserting my car keys into the receptor for the seat buckle
(good point - I did not break the receptor or whatever it's called)

2) Realizing my error I reach back and to grab seat belt and put it on... and then immediately reach back to try to put it on a second time...

3) Got ready to back up by shifting gear and looking backwards, Lift foot from brake peddle and pause before applying gas as van typically backs up a bit by itself once in reverse. Van does not do so. Check emergency brake (with foot still lightly resting on gas peddle)
Yup - emergency break already released. Seriously confused I look at gear - I'm in drive and about 3 feet from a store window. I'll leave the possibilities I narrowly avoided to your imagination.

4) Get home from dropping Hugo off at work and checked email discovering:
a) bank account overdrawn and pay cheque NOT deposited????
b) ezfile is rejecting my tax return because someone in the tax department has spelled our last name wrong for two of the children...

5) while following Turbo tax's directions to remedy situation I receive phone call from Hugo - paycheque is lost in cyber space and new ETA is NEXT TUESDAY! Any other week this would not have been a problem as I typically have a cushion in my checking and $$$ in my savings... this week I had zip due to the expences of our trip to Kentucky! Was planning to rebuffer every thing this pay period....

6) Mozilla crashes and as I attempt to open my picture folder - multiple software programs open simultaniously. Lose my temper big time and work very hard not to yell at kids for something they have not done. Tell little ones it's better to stay away from mummy as possible as I'm very upset and liable to yell at them for absolutely nothing. They listen and leave the room... quickly.

7) Trying to ressurect the day I go to grocery store to buy a few groceries and forget a few essentials even while thinking about their necessity.

8) Pay for groceries and leave store calling a friend to gripe about my miserable day. Look for my cell phone while talking on it - with intention of unlocking van with it. Don't know about you - but my cell phone does NOT actually unlock my van. (Maybe some day ... but not yet!)

9) Fish out keys in pouring rain, unlock van and throw keys onto drivers seat. While still griping to sympathetic friend, load the meagre load of groceries and put wallet on front passenger seat, hit the auto lock and close van door and head (still in poring rain and -1 c temps) over to drivers side of van and grab door handle...

10) reread # 9 if you haven't yet realized my current problem.

11) Tell my friend about the new problem facing me. She offers (good friend that she is) to come out in freezing rain to get spare key from kids and bring it to me.

12) Think about buying coffee to keep warm and remember wallet is in van

13) call kids to tell them to get spare key from my dresser.... they don't answer. Send them text threatening to cancel their phone line and I get a return call within seconds.

14) Friend pulls up in front of store and tells me she has my van key BUT is holding it hostage... unless I let her buy me a coffee... Given my options how could I refuse? We each get a hot mocha and chat in parking lot for forever. Someone who was looking into a mess up with some scheduled payments calls me with some good news about them and I feel like - "okay hot mocha AND good news: my day is getting better".

15) Get home, kids put away groceries and laugh with me over the stupid things I have done all day.

16) Check my email.... ezfile has refused my return AGAIN... Turbo tax wants me to refile... I ask "helpful Tina" in the chat box what I should do - only to realize I am talking to a computer and not a real person. Decide to print and mail my return and just accept the incredible delay that means....

17) Printer prints two pages of my return and decides its going to Tahiti for a vacation and will not print the rest of my return. (By now I'm feeling someone in cyber space is holding my return HOSTAGE... but unlike my good friend is not willing to buy ME a coffee for its release!)

18) Its only 1 pm.... and I am dreading the rest of the day. Seriously considering going back to bed and calling it a day before I do something else stupid.... or something else goes wrong!

UPDATE was finally able to convince printer that it could indeed print while in Tahiti. But only if I sent it one page at a time....

Final Tally: Murphy's law 15 Christi 3

(looking for Lawyer to sue pants off of Mr Murphy for pain and suffering as well as financial damages!)
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Formal Pictures from the dinner...

Close up of Miguel, in the middle, in the back row.

First Platoon... can you find Miguel?

By this time Hugo and I have been up since 6:30 Tuesday morning and it was now about 8:30 pm Wednesday. The same more or less applied to all the kids as they had not rested very well in the van.

(Remember that you can click on the photos and they will open up in a seperate tab or window allowing you to see them in a larger format and see more detail.)

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Relaxing with Miguel at the dinner

Miguel and Emma shortly after we arrived at the dinner.

Listening to Miguel's stories...

Hugo and Miguel talking about the last days before graduating.

Miguel and I talking about his future orders and training while he eats!
(Best pic of us together... sadly he is swallowing so as to answer me)

Meltdown... one of a few during the evening.
It had been a very long day for the poor baby.
But she did enjoy most of the evening - between her meltdowns.

Chatting with a fellow graduate.

Bethany Rose

Ashley and Anna with Anna's twin shadow... Elsa

Emma and Ashley

Elsa Marie Bernadette

Cardsharks in the Leaders Club!

Tomorrow - pictures from the graduation!

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Happy to be out of her carseat!

Playing some tunes on her portable radio

Notices the camera...

and waves off the paparazzi ...

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How teenagers appease a cranky baby...

...while both parents are in the Leader's Club trying to learn when, where and if we can see Miguel...

Feed her chocolate covered cookies - one per hand thank you very much!

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Breakfast on the Road continued (And Cecilia's mystery gift is revealed)

Jennie had piping hot coffee ready and before we knew it there were coffee cups on the table and sugar and milk ready for our use. Several of our children were ready for another meal snack after the meager healthy meal that had recently been consumed so we had brought in with us a basket filled with homemade cininamon rolls and peanut butter cookies. A few of the childen from each family enjoyed helpings of both.

While Jennie, Hugo and I swaped farming stories and I plied Jennie with oodles of question about their future farming plans the kids visited. Bethany and Delany hit it off really well and there were several brunnet heads flashing by and more than once I caught myself almost calling one of Jennie's girls by Emma's name as Emma could have easily been one of her brood; most of whom had Jenny's gentle features clearly stamped on thier faces. There was little doubt they were her daughters!

Hugo was very tired and, I could tell, impatient to get back on the road as he hoped the hotel, still an hour away, might allow us to check in early. As we stood to gather up our crew I noticed a rather large smudge of brown on the floor. Cecilia was beside it. It looked like it could possibly have come off of a person's shoe - if they had recently stepped in a cow pie. Near by was a small print of the same colour - close in size and shape of Cecilia's foot. Inside I groaned. Oh, please let that be melted chocolate and not a gift from Cecilia's diaper. Closer inspection of her diaper revealed the answer. Blshing inwardly I apologized and several people jumped into action as we tracked down Cecilia's previous journeys, wiping up as we went along. While people wiped under Jennie's directions, I quickly wrestled Cecilia to the ground and placed a clean diaper on the offending culprit. Jennie was an absolute angel about it! All I can say about it all is... "I was soooo embarrassed!"

Jennie gave us directions on how to get to Louisville and we waved goodbye and after cramming helping the kids back into the van (snatching wet and muddy shoes off of people's feet as they entered in vain hopes of keeping mud off the pillows and blankets) we waved good bye to Jennie and the kids and headed back down the long drive. I wanted to get my own picture of Maybelle and Daisy but was not quic enough! Ahh well, I'll just have to depend on the inner pictures of my memories. If anyone is heading through Kentucky near Fort Knox be sure to look up the Coopers and, if Maybelle isn't nursing a calf you just might get fresh cream with your coffee! Read more!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Breakfast on the Road

We finally left the house around 9:30 pm and realized as we maneuvered towards the highway that Ashley did not have her ID as she had left her wallet in her parents' car the last time she had gone out with them. So we quickly deviated from the printed driving directions and headed for a nearby town to meet her father and get her wallet. No id - no admission to the base! We were so grateful that we realized this when we did or it would have been a catastrophe.We prayed a decade of Rosary to help Cecilia settle in her carseat and I also gave her some teething tablets to help calm her as she was very agitated due to her ear infection and teething! Thankfully the nurse practitioner had prescribed a decongestant for her to help combat the pressure we expected her to feel in her ears as we hit the quickly changing altitudes through the Appalachians in West Virgina. Sadly she did wake as we hit that area and screamed while pathetically stretching her arms out to me; signing that she wanted me to pick her up. We had to stop for a while to help calm her. Once she was calmer we headed back onto the highway again, and when we hit Kentucky pulled into a truck stop and parked in what felt like full sunlight. Hugo laid down on the bed that was made up behind the front seats to try and get an hour or two of rest. Unfortunately all of the children woke and there was almost constant murmuring as they tried to rearrange themselves and get comfortable. Cecilia cuddled gratefully in my arms - ecstatic to be free of her car seat. I sat in the front passenger seat with my coat over her and tried to sleep... with little success. After an hour of this constant fidgeting, Hugo gave up and before hitting the highway again we stopped by MacDonalds and grabbed some coffees. A few hours later we drove into the daybreak and sighed in relief. Kids were now fully awake so I passed out the yogurts, muffins and juice boxes.

We reached the base at about 8:30 am only to learn that Miguel would not be available to his family until after 4 pm. (They were preparing for graduation and going through the various stages of it!) We could not check into the hotel until 3 pm.... By now Hugo and I were pretty desperate for another caffeine fix.

Jennie had emailed me a few times and told me to call her once we were at Fort Knox so I did.

"Hi Jennie! We are here! We are in desperate need of some coffee so do you know of a coffee shop or can we swing by for one at your place?" Her warm laugh filled my ear as she explained that she does not go out for coffee so the only solution she could offer was coffee at her place. She gave wonderfully detailed directions that were so easy to follow! Little did I know she was having serious back pain and she also hid it well while we were there! We enjoyed meeting Daisy and Maybelle but only Maybelle greeted us as soon as we parked. It was a cold day and soft wisps of breath blew from her soft black nose while some of us rubbed it. Her calf remained lazily curled up in her warm pile of hay watching curiously as we greeted her mama.

Once the whole crew had disembarked from our now very disordered vehicle, with the occasional pillow or toy tumbling out, we headed over towards the back door of the house. It was a good guess as to which door to approach because it opened before we were all across the wide driveway. There in real life was Jenny holding Thomas and the other children gathered behind peering at the rest of us. There was some to be expected shyness on both sides but Jenny greeted us like old lost friends and we immediately felt at home in a way we would never have felt in a coffee shop!

More later...

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Monday, February 01, 2010

We interrupt the previsously scheduled posts to...

bring you an update from the front!

Both sides dug in while peace aids desperately tried to get the stalled peace talks jump started.

Determined to make the best of the current conditions (loads of snow and sun in the enemies' eyes) a first shot was fired at about 1:15 pm EST

Return fire was immediately volleyed into the opposites' camp!

Both enemy camps continued fire until Peace Negotiator,
Tanny Paul, unleashed his secret weapon.

the Mega Snow Ball

After a demonstration of its lobbying capabilities a truce was called and it was determined that no casualties had occurred and fun had been had by all!

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Stay Tuned This Week...

... as I will be posting pictures through out the week.. shamelessly blackmailing into you coming back daily for another little peek at our quick but pack filled jaunt into Kentucky. There will be peeks into what it is like to travel with a van load of kids while we breakfast on the road, peeks into the Leaders club at Fort Knox, juicy details about our visit with the Coopers and just what little gift did Cecilia leave them? Then we will share pictures of the actual graduation of of the 5-15 Calvary Squadron E troop of January 2010. This ceremony was entertaining and inspiring - if only we could share our videos of it. If you ever have the opportunity to attend such a graduation - don't miss it.

So stay tuned and be entertained in the days to come this week! (Yes, I know, I am shameless! But, as a busy mum I really need to draw these pictures out so as to keep up with my kids busy schedule, countless doctor appointments, dentist appointments whilst squeezing in a few hours of schooling and still have something new for you to look at each day this week!!)

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mothering Sunshine a new blog that has been launched. It only has a couple of posts on it thus far but the most recent one is quite lovely and belies the author's assertion that she is not a good writer. Now to be quite honest... the author is my daughter. Still I think that, despite the obvious prejudice that that implies, most of you will agree that "A Silly Little Thing Called Love" is quite a beautiful post! I am looking forward to more.

Welcome, Jenny, to the world of blogging!

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Friday, January 29, 2010

We are HOME...

...and under the gun to clean up from the trip as a severe snowstorm is bearing down on us. And while it would problem be a punny little storm to the experienced northern States - even just a little sleet or snow can really create a serious problem for those of us in the South because our State and County dollars are not relegated to serious snow cleaning equipment. With snow typically being rare - it makes sense. This time of year state and county workmen are typically blowing leaves or cleaning the roads of debris - not snow and ice!

So today there will be LONG lines of people in the stores gathering up last minute supplies such as milk and bread. By now I imagine most bread shelves are empty in all but the largest stores. read Walmart So I'm not sure there is even any point in even trying to get some. I think I will just bake some rolls and breads. However - first I have to find my kitchen table as it is buried under items carried in from the van. This is the second time we will be digging it out today as Noah unburied it earlier from all the pantry items that were placed there by the repair guys who were here removing the part of the pantry ceiling that didn't fall on Monday! They swept and washed the pantry floor so I am NOT complaining - just saying its the second time today we are digging out the table. Personally I think it was very considerate of them to remove all of these items - otherwise I would be washing all of this stuff....

Time to make lunch, start the baking and if at all possible reward myself for a job well done by taking the time to post pictures from the dinner and graduation! And if any of you have time in your busy day to say a prayer for Noah - please do. He is suffering from a severe allergic reaction in the form of a raised itchy and burning rash covering most of his body. His appointment with the Doctor can not come fast enough for him!

Hopefully I will see you all later this afternoon with some graduation posts and pictures!
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Thursday, January 28, 2010


Our newest craze and night time entertainment is Survivorman. Watch this youtube clip below for a taste of what we have been enjoying these evenings. We watch it on Netflix because we do not have cable or even an antenna to watch tv through. This is by preference as in this way the children (and Hugo and I for that matter) are not exposed to the often xrated commercials.

So while we are (hopefully) enjoying Kentucky and the wonders it has to offer - Check out Survivorman. And if you don't have Netflix instant watch - there is always youtube!

See you soon when we get back to NC.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not quite the Crocodile Hunter

found via Danielle Bean where you can follow a link to a wonderful article about how much praise the dads and husbands in our lives deserve for the wonderful things they do for their families. Like catching nasty insects for us.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

posting from the road.

Havingsome some trouble with it so please forgive an y errors in this post. We left just a tad after 9 and prayed Cecilia asleep with a decade of the Rosary. Kids have all munched down the first of many snacks and the littlest are now all asleep so the oldest children are listening to Dracula.

Will try posting again in the am when we are closer to or actually in Kentucky as I'm afraid the story is distracting me. See you in the morning.

ss="fullpost">And here is the rest of it. Read more!

And we are off...

Van packed.

Kids impatient and chomping at the bit.

Prescriptions packed and waiting to be double checked.

Maps printed, Rush Limbaugh downloaded on memory stick so we can listen to it in the wee hours of the morning accompanied by the (gentle) snores of those sleeping...

And we are off to KENTUCKY! Jennie put the coffee on - we will be calling when we get there! (Although since my hubby is predicting we will arrive around 3 or 4 am - we won't call THAT early! I am guessing it might be later than that - depending on how often we have to stop for me to nurse Cecilia!!!)
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Its 6:59

and we're still packing the van and I have yet to eat supper... ARGH! Hubby suggesting we wait until nine so that kids will fall asleep more easily....

Oh my - we are out of 'travel shape'... been a year since we have done this. Did we actually do this monthly and even bi-weekly for seven years?
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The estimated time of departure is seven pm and it is now five and I have literally spent the day on the road. Was up by 5:30 am with a cranky baby and at Walmart by 7:30 am. Was promised the van would be ready in an hour and at 1/4 to 10 they told me there was a problem... Cecilia's Doctors appointment was at 10:15. Called the girls and asked them to walk her over... As the boys (13 and 14) were then going to be in charge I spoke to the 14 yr old and begged told him to please make sure there were no fights between him and his brother while they were in charge. (Given their age and testosterone levels verbal disputes can rapidly become physical!)

Finally got off the phone with the kids and called Drs to tell them they were walking and did not know the neighborhood that well and might be a bit late... by then it was 10:20. Drs office said if they are one minute past 10:30 they would not be seen... so rescheduled for 2:15 and called girls back and told them to turn around and head back home.... This was answered by some rather heavy groans.

Meanwhile technician, cashier and manager were sorting out the problem with the tires. Seems the tire we bought for our van in December was not "legal" for a 15 passenger van and the technician who sold the tire to Hugo had fudged the paper work to get around it. Yet all he had to really do was report the tire as a 'walk in' - which is what it actually was! Hugo had walked it in as the van was sitting in our driveway sans the very, very flat tire he was rolling along beside him that day.

Solution: Replace the tire sold in December with an upgrade @ no charge, sell me three more tires of the same grade at the lower price. Over all: saved eighty dollars but lost three precious hours of my day!

Just barely got Cecilia into the office in time for new appointment, walked out with three prescriptions and headed over to school to pick up Hugo and go back to OUR doctor as we suspected he had a sinus infection. Left with three prescriptions for him and while we were in the parking lot of our pharmacy the car next to our van was robbed with the driver sitting there in the front seat.... The gentleman was rather ill and his wife was inside picking up his prescription. He was dozing and the culprit simply walked up to the car, opened the front passenger door, grabbed the wife's purse and ran!

Now I am about to head back to pharmacy to pick up the scripts and I am seriously doubting that E.T.D. will be met. If I have time I'll let you know just how off of it we are before we hit the road!

God Bless and feel free to heap the prayers on, eh?

BETH! Oh how I wish we could have made a little detour to visit... but hubby has to be back to work by Friday! Still hoping we can meet up in February though???
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Calling it a night...

...there is still a lot left on the 'to do' list - more than I care to admit but the baby is begging to nurse, Elsa wants to cuddle, Emma needs something for a toothache and I am poofed. Has to be the meds 'cause I sure don't feel like I actually did much! Praying that tonight Cecilia will sleep better than last night, no more ceiling plaster will fall and that I can tear through that list tomorrow!

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A few kids are complaining of tummy aches. It couldn't be because I have lost track of time and haven't started dinner yet could it? Still printing up activity pages... I'm stupid from all the meds so I'm not to be trusted near the stove right now so have assigned the stir fry to Anna. At least I knew what was for supper even if I forgot to make it!

Emmm - delicious smells issuing from the oven.. cinnamon rolls - thank you Hugo!

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Printing up activites for the little ones to do in the van


Connect the Dots

Colour by Number

colouring pages etc

Hidden pictures

Word Puzzles

Hoping to keep the younger crew busy... for a few minutes anyway!
(These are for section of my crew that are 9 and under.)

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Update 6:10 pm

My bed is covered in clothes... on top of the knapsacks. Progress is s l o w l y being made. Oven preheated for ... cinnamon rolls... that are not yet mixed. But the hotel room is reserved. Oh yeah. That was already done by my last post... Well you all can check off clothes have been gathered. Soon we can all check off PACKED!

Wait, wait - I can at least brag that the first aid bag is packed complete with current prescriptions! (Whew - was wondering where the afternoon went!)

I'll be back again later - hopefully with more a completed check list!

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One hotel room booked. Here is where we are staying. Here is who we might get to meet while in Kentucky. We will be staying an hour away from the base where the dinner and graduation takes place but I am happy to be staying in one of our favorite hotels and we got the military discount! (Yes with all the business traveling we have done the previous 7 years - we have found a favorite hotel!)

Baked: one batch of pumpkin (Texas sized) muffins. Still to be baked - too much to list here!
Packed: nothing... but we have the knapsacks found and all on my bed.

Van: cleaned but not inspected....

Trip to library (completed by Anna and Emma) - several books on CD chosen. (Thank you Bekah for the suggestion!)Some of the titles are:
Five Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (for the under 7 crowd) though I am being regaled the song as I type by the 4 yr old so this might be old before we even play it in the van!
Ramona Quimby, age 8 read by Stockard Channing (will let you know on our return who well that one went down though we have read just about all of Cleary's books and love them! Have most of them on our shelves.)
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke read by Lynn Redgrave
(Focus on the family Radio Theater) Father Gilbert Mysteries (this is a first for us, really curious how they will be!)
Charles Dickens "Hard Times" read by Frederick Davidson
and a few others that I don't remember and are already packed by Anna.

Still to do: too much!
review clothing picked by kids to wear and most likely have to revise and then actually pack... assuming nothing needs to be washed.
Get new tires on the van and an oil change.
More baking....
Freeze water bottles
Clean up ceiling that fell on the floor in pantry this morning (seriously, this is not a test to see if you are paying attention)
Locate all the various medicines we need to bring which includes several prescriptions.
Locate Camera and pack it, making sure I have sufficient batteries and that my card is empty.
(was not that long ago one would have said 'make sure I have sufficient film'... now its 'making sure I have enough megabites free')
Restock diaper bag with diapers and wipes!
Get off the computer and start turning this to do list into a finished list!

I'll check in later and let you know how its going...

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Prayers for Perseverance and Safety

Praying for perseverance as we begin our preparations for our trip to Kentucky for Miguel's graduation and safety for our drive there and back. We are trying to be as economical as possible for this trip as the budget is very tight this month - thanks to a very large heating bill. (It was almost equivalent to our rent!) I have a little money saved but am hoping we won't need to break into that account!

Baking List:

Mrs Ryan's pumpkin Loaf (thinking of baking this as muffins)
Pineapple Bread (again - planning to make them as muffins)
Biscuits (possibly bacon biscuits)
Cookies - molasses and/or peanut butter ones.

Current plan is to drive through the night (please pray for Cecilia who is teething and really NOT coping well with it) Tuesday night and arrive Wednesday morning in time for the family activities that culminates with a large dinner on base. Graduation is Thursday morning and we plan on driving home through the day as Hugo needs to be back to work on Friday. (Again - may I request for prayers for Cecilia - did I mention she is teething and Is. Not. Dealing. Well. With. It! This could be a recipe for the longest, most tortuous road trip we have ever made. Did I mention that Cecilia does not like her car seat... Could I ask you all for prayers yet again!

Now I am off to rest my back before starting our baking marathon...
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Saturday, January 23, 2010


Anyone using Facebook? Want to read a really interesting interview that 'tells all' about privacy, faster page loading and tracking users eye movements? Than just click here!


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Friday, January 22, 2010


As I suspected it is proving easier to hold my breath than to not use my right arm for an extended period of time...

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So this morning I woke up to a burning pain in the right side of my chest that went right through to my shoulder blade. Way back in November I fell and HARD! I landed on my right side and ever since then have been having trouble with my right shoulder with the pain sometimes extending into my chest. But it was a sharp, stabbing pain made worse with movement or breathing... Finally had x-rays in December. Nothing broken...

Pain started to get better - until yesterday.

Diagnosis: sprained shoulder
Prescription: steroid for the inflammation and was told to try not to use that arm for a few days...

Hmmm - might as well try not to breath, eh?

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A One Minute Day

I'm having a bad day, You know one of those ones when you really feel sorry for yourself. And unhappy with yourself. A day when everyone else seems a hundred times better than you. A better mum. A better homescooling parent. Better organized...

One of those kinds of days when you know if that darn dog whines one more time - you. will. kill. him. Just absolutely murdilize him because your nerves are thread bare - at best. Any argument between the kids causes the same reaction as nails on a chalkboard and you physically wince and pray, pray, pray for God's graces not to lose it. That kind of day... and its raining outside. So even the weather seems to be feeling like me - dreary.

What do you do on that kind of day? How do you get yourself out of that kind of funk? I have to get through the day ONE MINUTE at a time. I can't let myself think too far ahead. I have to pick a job to focus on and pray, pray, pray. "Jesus have mercy!" Jesus give me the grace to keep it together for another minute. Just one minute Jesus!" Sometimes I sit down and write... and write myself out of my depression. But some days even that is not enough and as soon as I stand up from my desk the walls close in again and I feel the stress rapidly rising. Sometimes my husband can talk me out of this mood, sometimes one of my good friends is the saviour of the moment.

And some days its just me and Jesus - all day. One minute at a time I am begging Him to help me. I think that is what today is going to be; a one minute at time with Jesus day. And those days really bring home to me the meaning of the quote that it is in 'being weak that we are strong' because it is in my weakness that Christ gives me the strength to go on. Read more!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Defining Decade

As in Decades old stove! Way back in November while we were stumbling through the month as well as back and forth between the Doctor's office and the pharmacy I remember almost crying when Margaret referred to her broken oven as a decades old stove in THIS post!

Why, you ask, would I do that?

Because this is how I define a DECADES old stove...

and this

was what I was trying to cook on for a minimum of twelve. In addition to being avocado green and almost certainly the original double oven, only ONE burner was working and at it's best took over thirty minutes to bring a pot of water to boil. Since we had moved I had yet to produce a cake that was not at least singed around the corners. Don't even start me on the batches of ruined cookies. So, yes, even Margaret's BROKEN stove turned me avocado with envy!

But fast forward to Christmas and Miguel's Christmas gift to me. Rosetta Stone for Spanish. But unbeknown to him I already had one. He suggested I return it for hte next level. My husband suggested that, as much as I complain about my computer, perhaps I could exchange it for a PC. I said no to both ideas and used the refund along with some savings and a Lowes gift card (Thank you Hugo!) to buy this:

Is she not gorgeous? Almost as gorgeous as Margaret's new darling. Mine is not gas ( I held my breath when we checked behind our stove in case I would get lucky and find a hidden gas line!) And no - it does not have a convection oven - I love convection ovens. I have had them in the past, they are in deed awesome! But I am in LOVE with my stove and wash it lovingly (almost) every day! My kids are loving the baked goods issuing forth from it and my husband, I am sure, will love the lower electric bills! And when we move - it will move with us and the green monster, as we affectionately refer to the old stove, will remain here.

Thank Miguel and Hugo for making this dream come true!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A very bad no good week.... how I started the early part of the New Year. And this is what one very good friend shared with me to help cheer me up. Thank you Peg! Read more!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A little ray of light

in a very dark tragedy.
(Link working at time of posting but link may break over time)

(Photo credit Mailonline ~ World News)

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Last Night Home

On Miguel's last night home he took the family and a few good friends out for dinner. We all met up at Olive Garden. With Ashley's family joining us there were 18 of us at the looooooong table they set up for us. And we didn't even have all of our family there! It was a lot of fun though. Then we split up for a while. I took the kids to a New Years youth group party while Hugo stayed home and worked on lesson plans. Miguel, Ashely and Anna went bowling with Anthony and Don - old friends of the family. Then we all got back together again and after Miguel changed out of his civies into his uniform we took a number of photos. Here is one of my favorites.

I think Miguel looks great in his uniform. He's holding Emma and Elsa - one in each arm. Anna is holding Cecilia who is looking away so you can't see her. Unfortunately in the other photo of them all together - Miguel's eyes are closed! Those ten days at Christmas just flew by but in a few more days we head to Kentucky, God willing, to attend his graduation. (Remember if you click on the photo it will open up in a larger screen and you can see more details.) BTW Miguel is at least 6 ' 4" and look at that tree we were blessed with for Christmas. I think it was one of my favorite trees of all the ones we have had over the years. I was actually sad when it was time to take it down and wished I had had more quiet time to just sit and enjoy it in the dark. My goal for next year is to have 'Christmas' ready BEFORE Advent even starts so that we can actually focus on Advent no matter what happens. (Keep your fingers crossed for me, eh!) Read more!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our family

Here is the whole family sans Aimee, John, and Alicia! Perhaps this October we will manage to think of getting a photo of everyone. I have heard a rumour that Aimee's boyfriend might come over with her so we will REALLY have all of the family in the picture then!

Thanks Peggy for snapping this one for us! Read more!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Need I say more?
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Abortion and the pill...

Are they connected to breast cancer? Is the National Cancer Institute (NCI) doing a disservice to women and their families by not making the results of this study more known? I learned about this study here. Why are articles like this one not being shouted from the roof tops? (That's a rhetorical question.)

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Has it really been 10 days...

Since my last post?

Today my husband called me from work to ask me who had brought in the manila envelope for our priest with all the hand made thank you cards our children had made for generous gift we had received anonymously. Our priest had dropped by his classroom to ask him if it was ready.

"But I gave it to you!" I exclaimed. "Don't you remember?"

"No - I thought you took it in. Something about going in for RCIA or something? "

RCIA??? Why would I have been going by the office to drop off something for RCIA classes... Truth be known I had NO clue as to who had really taken it in! But that it had been delivered - I was quite certain. I felt in a fog trying to even remember the month of December, never mind this envelope? There had been Christmas... I vaguely recalled that. Our son had visited from from Fort Knox and that was about all I could recall... It was like December had never been. So much has happened. Our DIL so very ill and still ill. So many appointments. All the children sick. Hugo and I sick... and now more children ill with sinus infections and one child with a mysterious rash and fever of 104... also being treated for sinusitis...

I could not remember what had happened to a brown manila envelope .... that one of us had dropped off sometime in December.

So it is no surprise that it has been ten days since I last posted and it feels like it was yesterday.

And yes.. we did finally learn what happened to the envelope. I had indeed0 dropped by the office to bring Miguel to meet with the priest and left the envelope with the Secretary.

She gave it to the priest.





By accident while cleaning his office. Its been a long fall and winter for him too!
So sometime this week we will remake all of those thank you notes... that we thought had already been delivered and enjoyed. One of them included an embroidered ornament hand crafted by Gabriela. Ah well... C'est la Vie!

I have many, many wonderful pictures I am impatient to share... but I know you will understand when I say I have not a clue when I will get them up. But if you all pray for me - perhaps I will somehow find the time and energy to do so! (And yes - that's a bribe!!!)

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Years

Here, to help usher in the New Year, are some pictures taken last week on Cecilia's first birthday. We postponed her first birthday cake until today and it is smelling delicious right now as it bakes in the oven. (Thank you Bethany!) However, we could not forgo the official first taste of chocolate on the actual day...

"Hello - don't you wish I had shared that dark chocolate pretzel stick with you? Please join me below in seeing how I rescued my sister from some very strange things that were on her face!"

"What are those silly things on your face?"

"Here let me relieve you of these silly things! "

"Here - take these someone..."

"Look forward to pictures of the actual face down of my first cake!
It should be...

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