Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014, cont.

Our Easter is a 'hopping' one!  (sorry...I couldn't help myself:)  After our own family egg hunt in the early hours of Easter morning, we go to the 8 o'clock Mass.  When we get back from church, we head over to my parent's house for another little egg hunt and a short visit.  I forgot my camera and didn't get any pictures over there:(

Then we head over to have lunch with Jay's family.  The little kids have yet another egg hunt and my mother-in-law has special baskets made up for the kids.  I remembered my camera and got lots of family shots....which makes me feel really bad that I didn't get pics at my parents house!  I will have to do better next year!



Kate and Mya ignoring all the eggs and fighting over a toy!

Luke and Brayden...best buddies:)

Action group shot because getting them to pose wasn't going to happen!

Sarah, Julie, and Jay's mom with a goofy Mike

Couple shot

Dad and his girls

Brayden and my brother in law Robbie

Julie and her fiance, Tom.  Their last "single" Easter!
Wedding date is 10/25/2014:)

The guys

The girls

Mom and Jon

Mom and Mike

Mom and Peter

Mike and Jackie

Love the "duck" face

sister love:)

 After lunch and visiting, we went back to my mom's house.  My dad's side of the family were there and we got to visit.(and some of the teens crashed and napped!)

It was a full....and fun...day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Morning 2014

Easter Morning...our house

Mike's not a morning person.....

Jon thought that maybe the Easter Bunny hid an egg in his favorite ice cream...
he had a spoon in case he had to "dig the egg out".....:)

Sarah's proud egg creation before she exploded it in the microwave tried to eat it.

The older crew getting ready to go out for their special "money egg hunt" 

Kate trying on Sarah's shoes....did I ever mention that she has a shoe 'thing'?....
I think I'm blowing up this pic for her wedding day!

All the kiddos...don't miss Andrew blending into the background!

the boys
the girls

And the mishaps....Luke scraped his back being silly.  All eyes on Luke, except for Jon, who is still ready to snap the picture!  Ahh...the memories:)

Stay tuned for more Easter pics tomorrow!(or Wednesday if tomorrow is too crazy:)
Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Wonderful Holy Saturday

Well, we survived Lent!  It is a beautiful Holy Saturday at our house!  The ovens and mixer has been working since 7am.  The front yard has been raked and mulched thanks to Jay, Jon, Mike and Luke.(It looks so good...no more snow shovels or Christmas wreath in the flower bed!)  Ellie, Mike, and Sarah have also helped my parents clean up their house and yard for Easter.

It's been a busy, productive day!

The last batch of cookies are in the oven.  I have to say..I am completely exhausted and there's still quite a lot of fun(and work) to be done!  Next up is getting together all the hidden surprises all over my room to put together the kids' baskets tonight.

I have some great pics of Luke using a little wheelbarrow to help with the mulch.....and of Kate making sugar cookies with the girls....I will upload them next week:)

 Besides the sugar cookies, Sarah and I made chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and gluten free oatmeal raisin cookies.  Sarah also made two lemon meringue pies.  I also made an apple pie, a coconut cheesecake, and a raspberry cheesecake.  (Yesterday I made a chocolate chip cheesecake and a mocha cheesecake)  My plan is to make a homemade sampler platter...some to keep and some to share:)

I hope that you have a wonderful Easter celebrating with your family!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bring on Easter!

I had every intention of linking in for 7 quick takes Friday....I even had a list going!  Until.....I had a fever Thursday night that made it feel like the.longest.night.ever.  My throat hurt and, when I said "Ahh" to myself in the mirror on Friday morning, my right tonsil was covered with white ick!  (No wonder why the glands on the right side of my neck were swollen and painful!)

A trip to the doctor yielded a diagnosis of acute tonsillitis and I am on another round of antibiotics!  Ugh...this long winter and now Lent...of illness just will not quit!

(A bright note to interject into this whine fest was that Jay took the day off to take care of me which was so sweet because, after a night with very little sleep and feeling so lousy, I was not looking forward to entertaining Kate all day and having to go get Luke at preschool.  I am blessed to have such a caring hubby!)

Saturday I was fever free.  It was a really long and emotional day.  I had to do the grocery shopping that I couldn't do Friday early on Saturday morning.  Then, Sarah and I went to an 11:30 funeral Mass for her 8th grade teacher from last year who passed away unexpectedly.  Jon was one of the pall bearers.  It was a beautiful Mass for a very dedicated and loved teacher.  The whole school is hurting over such a sudden loss.
Everyone at the school did an incredible job.  She passed away on Wed. at 3:30 am, and by 6:30 there was a school reach phone call to every parent to let them know what happened.  Grief counselors were already at the school by the time the kids arrived.  The middle school all went to the 9am Mass to pray for Mrs Morris, her family, and the whole school community.  Grief was placed within the context of our faith, which not only brought comfort and the "peace beyond all understanding", but also taught the children how to grieve.  For many of the kids, it was their first close experience with death.

Posters and memory books were created.  There were lots of talking and lots of tears for the remainder of the week, but everyone made it through.  The middle school students formed an honor guard as Mrs. Morris' casket was brought up the church steps.  She would have been so proud of her students...and I'm sure she was smiling down on all of her students, both past and present, who came to her wake and/or to her funeral to pay their last respects to a woman who meant so much to them!

I am so grateful that my children have been part of a school that has such a living faith!

With another round of young adult struggle hitting our emotional tanks hard this weekend, I have to say that this Lent has truly kicked my butt!  Involuntary penances have been flying in from all angles...and my Wonder Woman reflective wristbands are completely broken!  Watching your children suffer and being unable to fix it is such a hard thing.  I find myself reflecting often today of Mary sitting at the foot of Jesus' cross.   I know what we are going through doesn't in any way come close to the level of Mary's pain over watching her perfect child who is also the Son of God be tortured and killed....but I know she understands.  My own mother's heart is so tired from trying to offer emotional support and so broken over the emotional pain and doubt he is going through.

This Lent has truly been a walk in the desert in so many ways.  I am fervently praying that the power of the Resurrection will send in a flood of graces that wipe out much of what we have been "blessed with" this Lent!

All I can say is....Bring on Easter!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

Throw back Thursday!

Does this look like a daddy that is wrapped, or what!?!  Sarah is 5 and was a flower girl:)
She looked like a princess!
Sarah has always been Daddy's little girl!

This pic is circa 2004...which would make Mike 11, Andrew 9, Jon 8 and Sarah 5.
We were at Story Land in New Hampshire.
The best part about this picture....it is proof that Andrew really does know how to smile;)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Birthday To You.....

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today is a special day!  I'll give you a hint...it starts with Ellie and ends with birthday!

Happy 11th Birthday, Ellie!

She has been excited for this day since she started counting down a month ago!  This morning, I walked out of my room and she was sitting on the couch with a huge Cheshire cat grin:)

Last night we made some chocolate cupcakes for her to take to school today.  Today also happened to be a fundraiser at school...so she got to buy a no uniform pass!  Not to mention, one of her favorite hot lunches was being served(creamed turkey)!  Bonus!

It's not easy being Ellie.  I have mentioned before that it is a challenge to have 4 teenagers/young adult siblings that have forgotten what it was like to not be a teenager!  

Ellie is super sister to Luke and Kate.  She plays with them all the time, inventing all kinds of games to keep them occupied.  She is very patient with them....and loves them as much as they love her!

Ellie has a huge heart...as big as her blue eyes(!)... that she wears on her sleeve.  Sensitive is definitely a good adjective for her....and she is a helper with a tremendous capacity to love.  

She loves to sing and she loves to be a part of everything!

 I can't imagine our lives without her!

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Sunshine!

Yesterday was the most perfect spring day outside!  We took advantage of it!  There were walks, a little yard work, and lots of playing!

A friend of ours, Mr. Reis, brought us some new sand for Luke's sandbox.  Jay, Jon and Andrew took care of filling it.  Luke was so happy!  Luke said, "Where's Mr. Reis?  I want to give him a big hug!":)

It felt so nice being out in the sunshine.  It was one of those days that make you wish the weekend could just go on forever!

But it can't...so we are back to the week and all it's demands!

There's a birthday in the house this week....and Ellie can't wait for tomorrow!  She has been talking about her birthday for a couple of weeks now!  Hopefully the few surprises we planned will make it extra special:)

Here's a few pics from the weekend:)

Luke in a very full sandbox!

Peter and Kate swinging together

bike rides

Trying to be like the big kids!
 All the pics were taken with my new camera!  So far I am loving it....although it will probably take me years to learn all the features!  The best part is that even when people are moving...the shot usually comes out clear.  So, even when Andrew tries to keep me from taking his picture....
..I still get one!:)  Hahahahahahaha....one point for me!