Friday, April 10, 2015

7 Quick Takes Happy Easter Edition!:)

Happy Easter!  Sharing some Easter Pics for 7 Quick Takes Friday!

1.  Easter Outfits!



#2:  Family Pic
My good friend, Colleen, always gets these great family pics near the alter of all her kids color coordinated!  So I begged asked my kids for just one quick family pic!(no matching required!)  Everyone cooperated EXCEPT Luke!  He was upset because he wanted to wear his "homemade" Luke Skywalker costume..... 


...Yep.....that's it! Oh the joys!

#3:  Egg Hunt
It was cold but sunny on Easter so we were able to have our annual Egg Hunt with my in-laws!  The littles looked like pros!:)

Luke and my nephew, Brayden


My niece, Mya
 #4:  Cousin Pic!

#5:  Sisters

#6:  Daddy with Older Daughters....

....And Sons!

 #7:  And Then There Were Two!



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On Giving and Receiving

I'm sorry...I totally cannot get back into a blogging rhythm!  Life feels like it's running at warp speed and I'm in a ship without a hyper drive!

(In case anyone is wondering, that was a Star Wars reference...which Luke is STILL obsessed about! He walks around the house re-enacting Star Wars scenes and "pew-pewing" everything!  It is super cute!  His favorite scene to enact right now is when Luke Skywalker is captured by the Wampa and hung upside down in its cave.  Then Luke Skywalker  has to use the force to get his lightsaber and cut himself free.  OUR Luke hangs over the back of the love seat and places the light saber just out of reach.  Then he pretends to stumble out of the cave!  He is such a cutie!)

Lent has felt REALLY long this year!  I'm glad we have almost made it to Easter!  I can't say I have been perfect with my Lenten Penances or the added prayer.  I'd say I was 60% successful, 40% lazy.  I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a little disappointed in myself....I just didn't feel the 'oomph' this year!

I have enjoyed the Dynamic Catholic Lenten series that arrives in my inbox most days. The short inspiring videos and quotes were really good.(I'd say I was 80% successful at watching all the videos!)  Today's video was especially good! It was about using all the little everyday things as ways to lead us to holiness.  He gave some really good ideas that I had never heard before.  It's only 6 minutes so check it out:)... http://pages.dynamiccatholic.com/index.php/email/emailWebview?ftf=true&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonuqTLd%2B%2FhmjTEU5z16uUuUaG0lMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4DRMFrI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFSLnMMaho1bgOXBY%3D

One other Lenten idea that came through Dynamic Catholic stuck with me the last couple of weeks!  We hear all the time that life is about "give and take".  Their challenge was to think about life as opportunities to "give and receive".  Even saying the words "give and take" vs. "give and receive" gives me a totally different feeling inside.  "Give and take" implies that I am in control of what I get.  It is harsher word...a selfish word.

If I think of Life as opportunities to "give and receive" it feels much more peaceful.  It reminds me that I'm not in control...which I'm not anyway even though some days I like to pretend that I am!

Thinking about "give and receive" takes a lot of pressure off of me.  It reminds me that I just have to do my job and let God do His....which is a good thing bc when I try to do His job everything gets screwed up!  It's actually a relief to remind myself that everything does not depend on me!  When things get too crazy and out of balance I tend to forget that!

Thankfully, this very moment is an opportunity to practice the concept of "give and receive". God willing....there will be many more days to work on letting go and letting God!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throw Back Thursday!

Throw Back Thursday!

I found an old picture of Jay from when he was a young teen!  He definitely had the 80's look going on!:)

Jon saw me scanning the pic...

Jon:  Is that Dad?!?
Me:  Yes...look at that hair!
Jon:  (chuckling)  Look at that everything!

Lol:)


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Throw back Thursday!  Look how cute these little ones are!  Ellie was 2 and Sarah was 6.  It's hard to remember how little they were....especially since Ellie is a few weeks away from turning 12 and Sarah will be 16(!) in May and both of them are almost as tall as I am!  

Seeing these pictures make me appreciate Kate's littleness even more!(and the picture makes my heart ache just a little!)  The days are long, but the years are short!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seeking Perspective

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I've blogged! Well....I can believe it because last week felt like it lasted a month!

Last Monday, Kate woke up at 4am vomiting.  She vomited about 10 times Monday, had no vomiting during the day on Tuesday.  Then, just as I went to bed on Tuesday at 10:30, vomited every 20 minutes to half hour until 2:45.  It.was.awful! On Wednesday we took her to the doctor hoping for Zophran for the stomach bug we assumed she had.  Turns out...she had strep!  She never even complained about her throat and barely had a fever!  I have never had a child vomit that much with strep!

See...after 8 kids I'm still learning!

It took her the rest of the week and the weekend to seem back to herself!  Poor Kate!  I'm still recovering from the extreme sleep deprivation!  It's been a rough couple of weeks!

Things with my Jamberry Nails business have been very busy, too!  Which is great!  It was just tough to try and stay organized with Kate being so sick.(and no sleep...did I mention that yet!?!)

It's still Lent!

I have to be honest.  I'm still feeling discombobulated with life!  Everything seems a little upside down and overwhelming. I feel like I can give all that I can give every waking hour of each day...and then several times during the nightly wake-up times my lovely cherubs provide....and I just can't get ahead in any facet of my life!

Too much busyness with Jay's schedule, too many bills, too much on the to-do list, and too little time....it all makes me feel like giving up!  I know I'm looking through dirty lenses because it's been a rough couple of weeks health wise....and a rough couple of months weather wise!  Things will get better...Spring and warmer weather are coming!

Sometimes, hope seems a little elusive lately!  It's definitely an opportunity to focus on staying in the moment and on the blessings we have each day.  Somehow it always works out.....eventually!

I've really been enjoying Dynamic Catholic's Lenten series:  "Best Lent Ever".  If you haven't looked into it, there's still 2.5 weeks of Lent left!  It's not too late:)

Yesterday, Dynamic Catholic shared a prayer that St. Francis suggested we pray:
"Holy Spirit, may my heart be open to the Word of God,
may my heart be open to good,
may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day."

I love it!  I want to work on memorizing Philippians 4:8, too.(I'm terrible at memorizing verses!)
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, 
whatever is honorable,whatever is just, whatever is pure, 
whatever is pleasing,whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Sometimes...all I need is a change in perspective!:)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Winter's Last Hurrah...Hopefully!

It is FINALLY Friday!!!!  This week felt soooo long !  We made it everyone!:)  Here's a quick weekly wrap-up!

#1:  And the Snow Just Keeps Coming!
So the 1-3 inches of snow that was forecasted for us yesterday turned into about 10 inches!!!  That's a big difference...especially since schools based their decision to have class on the original forecast! Halfway through the morning, the forecast changed and some schools dismissed early.  The roads were awful!  The city right next to where we live reported 36 accidents in only 3 hours!  Buses were getting stuck all over the place in our town when they tried to get kids home!  Once of the high school buses actually had the kids call their parents to come and get them because the buses couldn't enter their neighborhood!  Just crazy!!!

 Let's hope that yesterday was Winter's Last Hurrah!

#2:  Heatwave!

I saw this pic on Facebook!  It is so true!


Starting on Sunday, temperatures are supposed to be in the 40's and may even get into the 50's by the end of the week!  (Like my friend, Laura, said..."It's time to shave our legs and find our capris!)
It seems too good to be true!  This winter has felt endless!

#3:  NOT a Winter Wonderland Anymore!
view of our front walk with walls of snow on either side that are taller than Luke!




Reminds me of horror films!



View of our walkway from the house

Even the trees have had enough!

On the way to the grocery store today, Kate was singing to herself, "Snow, snow go away, come again another day."  Or next year, or never...that works too!


#4:  Time Change
As much as I dislike losing yet another hour of sleep....I am soooo ready for an extra hour of daylight!  
Extra hour of daylight=more melting snow!
Yes, please!


#5:  Bring on Spring
Yesterday, Jay read my post and thought I needed a little Spring!  So he came home with these...
 

Who knew that when you quote Lord of the Rings your husband brings you flowers and chocolate!?!
(take note ladies!:)

And continuing the Spring Theme.....

This morning, Andrew, Kate and I headed to Kohl's for a few things.  As soon as I walked in I was like a bug towards light saw all the pretty spring dresses everywhere!  Andrew saw what was happening and feared that the "quick" run into Kohls was going to turn into a boring shopping trip with mom trying on all kinds of things!  He dragged me away reminded me several times about my list!  He needed new jeans, I needed an outfit for my goddaughter's birthday present, some underpants for Kate to try and encourage potty training, and a couple of new pillows!  Did I mention the dresses were so pretty?!?  I managed to not buy any cute Frozen clothes for Kate.  I may have grabbed a dress or two for Sarah.(Ellie is in that in-between stage when everything needs to be tried on!  We will have to go shopping soon....I wouldn't want to be unfair;)

All the Easter colors and  Easter Baskets were so pretty and I am so ready to move on from this incredibly dreary winter and start trying to create some fun surprise baskets for the kids!


#6:  Spring Break Minus the Spring!
On a side note:  Andrew has been home on spring break this week and it has been so nice spending time with him!  It's also great to have one of my drivers back....he has run errands, checked on my grandfather, played lots and lots of hours of Legos with Luke, and picked up Luke at school a couple of days!  

I'm going to miss having him around:(...and not just bc he's been my minion;)! :)



#7:  He Said
We were watching the newish Nyquil commercials:  when moms and dads are sick but aren't able to call in sick for parenthood!

Ever notice that in the "dad" commercial, the dads take Nyquil....buy in the "mom" commercial the moms take Dayquil?

Andrew:  Wow, Nyquil made an accidentally sexist commercial!

(although I don't think it was accidental....moms just never really get sick time!;)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

This Day We Fight!

Caution:  whining alert!

I'm sorry...this winter is just kicking my New England butt!(and I know I'm not the only one!)  We woke up to more snow falling and, even though it isn't supposed to amount to much, the snow is making everything slippery and still needs to be shoveled.

It's depressing!  We've been buried under white stuff since the end of January and it feels like it will NEVER end!

Ok...rant over!

This has been a long week for me.  You know when you feel like it should be Friday already and it's only Monday that you're in trouble!  This week has been busy and sleep deprived...which never helps anything!  Just last night, Kate was awake from 3:30 to almost 5!  Oh the joys of parenting!

Between the weather, the sleep deprivation, and anxiety I was ready to just wave the white flag and give up!  (I mean, seriously, do you know that it still isn't Friday yet!?!?!)
  



Then I took a deep breath and tried to shrug off the shawl of discouragement that seems to have wrapped itself around me.  A short plea for strength("Please, God, help me to do what needs to be done today!"), a timely blog article entitled "Keeping A Vibrant Spirit in Your Home{When Your Body is Bone-Tired}, and an unexpected compliment have already started to fill my encouragement tank!

Last night and this morning I have been thinking that we need a Braveheart/Lord of the Rings pre-battle type speech to help get us through the rest of this winter!  Aragorn's seemed fairly appropriate!


I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of Men fails
When we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship
But it is not this day
An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Man comes crashing down
But it is not this day!
This day we fight!
By all that you hold dear on this good earth
I bid you stand, Men of the West!

(Except in this case it would be "People of the East"!....and our enemies are discouragement, depression, and hopelessness!)

Spring will come....the snow won't last forever(even though it feels it will)!  Hold onto hope....Easter is coming!  (and next week we are forecasted to have 4 days over 40 degrees!!!  Heatwave!!!;)  We will make it!  I'm pretty sure that Spring will be appreciated in an entirely new way this year in New England!

"Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off."
-Proverbs 23:18