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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