Monday, September 29, 2014

A Full, Fun Weekend!

Well, I completely missed Quick Take Friday because of a crazy day that continued into a crazy, but fun, weekend!  I think that I will combine this week's wrap up with next week's wrap up and just jump right into our busy, busy weekend!

This past weekend was Family Weekend at Assumption.  On Saturday, we got a babysitter for Peter and the rest of us headed up for a visit with Andrew and Mike.  It was a beautiful day out.  We got to Assumption at lunch time and, surprisingly, the boys did not want to eat at the cafeteria!  Shocking...

So, we picked them up and headed over the Texas Roadhouse.
Jay with his girls

The best pic I could get since they were being goofy!

Luke was too busy to look at the camera!
The school had some activities for the kids....

....a blow up corn maze.  I guess that's how they do corn mazes in the city!
Sarah was nice enough to pose outside since Kate and Luke were already running around like nuts inside!

They also had a corn hole game...

(Mike won)

frisbee

ditto

ice cream sandwich snack

candy apple snack

Me and the "big boys"

+ Luke

Luke climbed every.rock.he.passed

Jay and Andrew, who is sporting his Assumption shirt
Mike took us to see his apartment.  It's small but much bigger than his dorm last year.  Mike and his roommates did a good job cleaning before we got there!  We got to hang out there for a while before heading home.  (We did leave them with homemade chocolate chip cookies that Sarah and I made that morning!:)
 
We headed home mid-afternoon.  All the kids except Luke fell asleep.  Luke does not like driving for long in the car...."Why is it soooooo far away!?!"  It's not that bad really...only a little over an hour.  I guess I have to be more inventive in packing his backpack with things to entertain him!  

We got home and Jay and I had less than an hour to get the kids settled and get dressed for an adults only birthday party we had that night!(We do nothing for weeks on end and then everything lands on the same weekend!)  It was a fun night out...it's nice to feel like a grown-up every once in a while;)

Boy was it hard getting up to get ready for 8am Mass Sunday morning!  Then we got to hang around for a while.  I got to exercise...mostly out of guilt for the day before!  (The roll with that awesome butter at Texas Roadhouse, fresh caramel kettle corn at Assumption, and then drinks and a cupcake at the party!.....but they were worth the calories!)

On Sunday afternoon, I got to go on a girls only shopping trip with some of my 'fashionista' friends...and us fashionista wanna be's!  We had so much fun!  I got a dress for my sister-in-law's rehearsal dinner and some clothes for fall.  Dinner at Pizzeria Uno rounded off the day...no guilt there though!  We ordered the flat bread whole grain pizzas!:) 

...Of course, we did go into the Lindt store because they were giving out free samples!:) 

Free=no calories, right? No?  Well, we walked around a lot so I'm sure it all works out!

A full but fun weekend!  (I can't wait for another shopping day!)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

TBT

We've almost made it to the end of the week!!!

For throw back Thursday, I'm sharing 2 pictures.  The first was from Christmas 2001.  Peter was only 4 months old, Sarah 2 1/2, Jon 5 1/2, Andrew 6 1/2, and Mike 8 1/2!  Kate looks quite a bit like Sarah in this picture...only with eyes of blue! 





This picture is of Ellie when she was 3.  She was our very blonde beauty until her hair darkened around 4.  Her big, bright blue eyes always drew everyone in!  I couldn't shop anywhere without elderly people coming up to us and commenting on her beautiful big blue eyes! (Her eyes are still big and blue and they continue to draw compliments:) 


These pictures feel like they are from so long ago!  How does that happen! sigh.....


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Weekend Round Up

Oops...It's Tuesday already!  Yesterday went by faster than I thought!

This weekend was pretty busy....projects, family time and, of course, football Sunday!

On Saturday, I took the girls with me for a dress fitting.  Sarah, Ellie and I are all in Jay's sister, Julie's, wedding party.  The wedding is at the end of October and it is coming up fast!
Sarah is looking waaaay too grown up!
Jays isn't going to like that!
(There was already a little "incident" when Jay caught a guy checking Sarah out at Papa Ginos last week!
I'll share those details on Friday;)

Ellie looking rather grown-up herself!
Ellie's dress is a little different and more appropriate for an 11 year old.
Ellie being Ellie

Ditto!
Trying clothes on in front of people is a little stressful for me!  I was pleasantly surprised, though, and actually had so much room in the dress that the owner said I should have ordered the smaller size!(Of course, now I have to pay more for alterations!sigh)
...but losing some weight and having it make a difference is a nice feeling! So, I'm going to focus on that until our credit card bill comes in!;)

Kate was feeling left out.  "Where's my pretty dress?"  The shop owner was very kind and let Kate play dress up with Sarah while Ellie and I had our dresses looked at for alterations.

Better shot of the dress....



....better shot of Kate:)

While we were busy with dresses, Jay was at home busy building a pantry cabinet where our old, small fridge used to be.
As Buddy says, "It's ginormous!

One of the three sliding shelves.  Ignore the random piece of wood!

Luke helping Daddy sand the cabinets!
He's a very enthusiastic helper!


This is what Kate thinks the cabinet is for.....
I can't wait until it's done so I can fill it with lots of food items!  Now our chips and bread won't have to live with our plates and bowls....and I will have extra room to buy more bowls and plates!


I had some fun friend time this weekend, too!(#girlsnightout)....


...Don't worry, it wasn't "too" much fun!  I just want my kids to think mom can still be a little wild and crazy! Of course....I was still home by 10:15!(I'm really more crazy than wild, but it's all my kids' fault!)  

Which reminds me of something Andrew said lately.....
We were dropping him off at college and I was very tired and just a wee bit emotional.  I can't exactly remember what we were talking but I made a comment that didn't make sense...
Me:  (said something that didn't make sense about Andrew making something that deaf people could hear...)
Andrew:  Deaf people?!?
Me:  Oops
Andrew:  You should put that on the blog!
Me:  Get your own blog!
Andrew:(looking mischievous)  Yeah...and I'd put it under a caption of 'crap my mom says'.
(gotta love those teenagers!)

This is the view I cam home to.......
Not sure who fell asleep first, but if I had to bet money on it I would say Jay!:)

Sunday was filled with Mass, family time, and food!  Andrew and Mike ended up coming home for the weekend and it was really nice to have everyone under the same roof for 24 hours!  Game fare included chili, chowder, burgers, and steak tips.  My parents came over for the game(they brought the steak tips) and my sister and friend came by, too.  Dessert was apple crisp and ice cream....and brownies(bc Andrew and Jon don't like apple crisp).

Thankfully, the day ended with a walk for me and a friend so I didn't feel so guilty about what I ate!  

And..as Porky says....."That's all folks!"


Friday, September 19, 2014

And It's Friday Again!

This week flew right on by...at least for me!  I'm looking forward to another football weekend with some good food...including a couple of new recipes I'm trying.  There's something about using ingredients that are special for Fall---like pumpkin.  I will let you know how it goes....

Here's the weekly Friday wrap-up.  Special thanks to Jen for hosting!

1.  Sleep Unsuccess
So, last week we had some sleep success and I was mildly hopeful that we were on a new road to better (and more!) solid, straight sleep time.  Well...not so much this week!  Luke and Kate have both been off all week and I'm feeling a little frayed and droopy eyed!  Jay told me yesterday at dinner time that I looked like I was going to bite someone. So, then I had this sign in my head all night...


And on a side note....while I was looking for the image above I came upon the following that I just had to share with you!  I'm glad there aren't any tapirs in our local zoo!  (....but it got me thinking about the numerous signs that could be made about boys that can't aim!;)



2.  Fridge update
I'm still loving my new fridge.  It totally passed the grocery store challenge test!  I got all the groceries in without any stress or stuffing required!(insert angels singing here!)

3. I Cannot Remember A Thing!
Seriously, my brain is fried.  I have no brain cells left.  I forget a thought about a minute and a half after I think it.  I have no ability to focus!  I start in one room....then head to another room for a purpose....get side-tracked multiple times and an hour later I realize that I forgot all about doing the thing I was supposed to do in the first place!  Maybe it's connected to the sleep issue....or the being 40 issue.  Maybe I just need some Ginko Biloba!

4. Where are the spoons?
Anyone else have problems with missing silverware?  I have noticed lately that we are always short on spoons.  I'm not sure where they all went...but I think I need to pick up another set!
5.  Parenting Laziness
I am totally a lazy parent!  We got an email yesterday from Sarah's school that they were having a meeting next week for parents on what to expect for Sarah for sophomore year and what to look forward to next year as juniors.  The following was my thought process after I read the email.....
?What the What?
A whole meeting?  Really?  Can't it just be an email?  There was no "what to expect sophomore year" meeting when Jon and Andrew were in 10th grade?  Seriously?  Ugh...now I have to feel guilt if I don't go and annoyed if I do!

See....lazy parent!  

(I'll probably just send Jay;)  

6.  Weekend Line-up
This weekend will be full.  Sarah had practice Saturday am and when I pick her up, we(me, Ellie and Sarah) will head to a bridesmaid dress fitting for my sil, Julie's, wedding next month.  Then there will hopefully be some cleaning done....strike the hopefully.  There will be some cleaning done in the afternoon because our house has been ignored for way.too.long!  

Mike is coming home on Saturday at some point before dinner.(bc he wants as many home cooked meals as he can get before heading back Sunday night...after dinner I'm sure!)  Mike is doing observation hours for his education courses and needs some dress shirts and ties.  So, he is coming home to raid all his brother's shirts/ties and probably Jay's, too!

We will have football Sunday again with some special food and, hopefully, just some good family time!  We really need that!

7.  And Last But Not Least!.....
Today is a very special day for some our closest friends!  Our friends, Bud and Kim, were open to life and God answered their prayers for children through adoption.  We were blessed to be a part of their lives both times they adopted...both times from China....and both times brought a special little girl that was meant just for them to love and guide!

Today is the anniversary of their Forever Family Day for their 2nd daughter, Catherine.  It's hard to believe that ten years has passed!  I still remember picking them up at their airport and getting to see their older daughter, Colette(who is also our godchild), meet her baby sister for the first time.

As the commercial says.......Priceless!

So...here's a throw back Thursday on a Friday!  This is a pic of the Miller family not too long after they became a family of four!  I hope you guys have an awesome day!

And on that happy note....have a great weekend!  GO PATRIOTS!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throw Back Thursday-Family Style

I was looking through my box o' pictures for some inspiration for today's Throw Back Thursday post.  I have slowly begun the process of trying to organize all those pictures.  I got some manila envelopes and labeled them with different titles:  pre-Ellie, Ellie >2, Ellie before Luke, Luke, and Kate.  I work on it occasionally....and it feels like it will take forever!  But, every little bit counts and I don't want to continue to develop new pics until I sort out all of the old ones.

....and of course I take news pictures multiple times a week so there's LOTS of photos waiting to be developed!  OY!

Well, as I heard in a movie once, "All forward progress counts!"  So, that's what I'm focusing on!

Anyway....


This picture is from a family Disney trip in 2008.  We are very blessed that my parents(especially my mom) are Disney fanatics and enjoy sharing their 'Disney love' with their grandchildren!  For this particular trip my sister and I had t-shirts made for the whole family to surprise my parents with.  

To understand why we wrote on it what we did, you should know that my mom is a redhead and that she is the giant organizer of vacations...especially all things Disney!

On the front of the shirt it says Disney Family Vacation 2008...on the back each shirt had something a little different.  My tshirt says, "Red Leader's Daughter #1", Jay's shirt says "Red Leader's Son-in-law", Andrew's shirt says, "Red Leader's Grandson #2"....and so on.  We got lots of compliments from random people in the park, and my parents loved the surprise.  (Thanks to a washer and dryer in our hotel suite, we got to wear the shirts on multiple days, too!)

Of course, none of the kids wouldn't fit in their shirts from 2008 now!  That was our "little" family of six!(and about 10 months before we would find out that God had more children in mind for us!)

This picture felt like a good fit for this week....seeing all the older boys younger and still an everyday part of family life.  

Jay and I miss that!(sniff)

Happy almost Friday!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Football Sunday Fun!

Feeling very Fall-like today!  There is certainly that crispness in the air...and I have to say I love it!(My apologies to my summer loving friends!)

One of the things I really like about Fall is 'football Sundays'.  We always try to make Patriots games a special family time.  Last weekend was my sil's bridal shower, so Jay just got some takeout wings with Jon.  This weekend, we were back to our regular fall routine.

We had some favorites on the menu....coconut chicken bites, chili, piggies in a blanket, and brownie sundaes for dessert!  The food did not disappoint!  (and neither did the Pats in their win over the Vikings!:)

A huge bonus to the weekend was that Andrew came home for a visit.  His real motivation to come back was to get a book that had gotten mailed here, but it was great to have him home!  The Pat's game even inspired some football play.  (Andrew played with Ellie, too, but I didn't have my camera outside then....)





Monday still showed up right on schedule....I got to go to Mass w/o Kate to see Ellie read the Responsorial Psalms then had a meeting with the principal to discuss a possible book club for moms.(Definitely out of my comfort zone...but exciting, too!)   Then, of course, there was the laundry, dishes, paperwork that needed my attention as well as multiple requests from Kate and Luke to "Play with me, Mommy!" 

Then I blinked and the day went by and here I am trying to squeeze out a quick post!  

Hope your week is starting on a good note!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hooray, It's the Weekend!

I am so excited to arrive at the weekend!  I am soooo looking forward to some down time!

Here's the weekly wrap up...it's been a crazy one!

1.  Me Time
I have been trying to make exercise a more regular part of my life!  I'm also using the Livestrong app to keep an eye on my calorie intake.  I did well for two weeks then backslid a little last week.  This week I was re-determined with my goal to lose some weight before my sil's wedding in six weeks.  I made up all the ground this week that I lost last week so I'm heading in the right direction!

2.  Teeth
Luke is completely fine after his adventures at the oral surgeon on Tuesday!  No more pain!  He was very excited that the tooth fairy visited our house...and I was very excited that it didn't take a week for the tooth fairy to remember to visit our house!

3.  Summer's Last Hurrah
After last week's hot and steamy weather that had the kids feeling like they were being cooked in their classrooms(!), this week brought some beautiful, comfortable sunshine!  Even though it was freezing, Luke still wanted to go in the pool!  (And, of course, whatever Luke wants to do Kate wants to do!) 

I think we will be closing it up this weekend.....  

To our pool:  Thanks for the summer of 2014 memories!  

4.  New Fridge!
Our new fridge, dubbed "the water fridge" by Kate and Luke, arrived yesterday!  It is really big...the delivery guys had to remove our front door and the doors of the fridge to get it in!  I fit all of our fridge items it it with two half shelves to spare!  The real test will be on grocery shopping day!  Hopefully, I will no longer dread trying to figure out how to stuff all our groceries in the fridge!  Ahh...freedom!  (Hey, when you're a SAHM, it's the little things that count!)

Look at all that extra room!
5.  Minor Remodel
With the addition of our new fridge comes some design issues that Jay and I need to conquer.  We need to figure out what type of cabinets will look best around the fridge so it looks like it is part of the kitchen...not just a giant fridge on the wall!  Our former fridge was built into a wall, so Jay is going to turn the empty space into a pantry closet for some much needed space!(Yay!)

 We also need to figure out how we want to extend the island so that the kitchen will feel like one big space...(a garbage cabinet is part of that design!  I.can't.wait!)...but that means we will also need new counter tops.  That will have to wait for tax return season.(Hopefully!)  The lighting will also need to be changed and the plan is also to add a couple of windows for some much needed nature light. Whew....lots on the to do list.  It's going to be a slightly dragged out process.....but hopefully not too long!(famous last words, right!?!)  

6.  Independent Sleeping...Maybe?
So, if you've been around my blog you know that my kiddos are not the best sleepers!(huge understatement!)  Well, lately we have started a bedtime routine with Luke to get him more independent.  After potty and teeth brushing, one of us reads him a book in his "bed"(a mattress on the floor next to our bed), and then he falls asleep by himself in the room.  Luke has done a great job with this...never coming out to wheedle more time!  He had still been waking up around 11...not really awake but crying and disoriented.  Whenever I tried to help him settle, he would just cry off and on in that half awake state for an hour until I just gave up and brought him into my bed.(I'm just desperate for sleep---any sleep---and for him not to wake up the whole house!)

Well....the last two nights he hasn't done the 'half awake fuss' until after midnight and both times I gave him water and he went right back to sleep in his 'bed'.  The first night he slept until 5 and then crawled up into bed with me and went back to sleep until 6:30.  Last night he only lasted in his bed until 3...but that's still progress!  Here's to hoping a "normal" sleep pattern is on the horizon!

7.  Figuring It Out(I Hope)
In case you missed it, last weekend I wrote an emotional post about working through the complex emotions of kids growing up and changing called The Art of Letting Go.  With three young men on the verge of adulthood and close to living independently, it's not always easy figuring out the new ways we relate....(or to let go of the old ways!)  I'm grateful to still have my little ones that are always ready to snuggle...at least for now!  Of course, by the time Luke and Kate aren't interested in spending time cuddling with me, I bet I will have grandbabies to snuggle!
  
#benefitsofhavingalargefamily

Have a great weekend!