Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up

Oh, boy, it's almost the weekend!  Unfortunately, it is still winter and we are supposedly getting more snow on Sunday night into Monday.  sigh:(

1.  Winter Colds
Unfortunately, a winter cold has swept through our house again. least it's just a cold!  Kate and Luke had a couple of tough nights this week and I'm battling some painful canker sores on my tongue!  Not so much fun....bring on spring, please!

2.  Birthday Boy
Jon's actual birthday was on Monday, but after the surprise party on Friday and the family party on Saturday, it was a little anticlimactic!  My parents were supposed to take him out for dinner at the restaurant of his choice but he ended up coming home from school because of the nasty sinus cold I just mentioned above.  So, the poor guy ended up with soup and chicken nuggets for his birthday meal!

3.  Surprise, Surprise
Speaking of Jon's surprise party last Friday....I was so happy that his friends actually kept it a secret!  I chose a Lego theme since Jon loves Legos!  I kept it simple, though, because I didn't want him to feel it was too babyish!  Sarah and I made marshmallows covered in yellow chocolate and drew faces on them with an edible marker to look like Lego heads.  We made brownies and decorated them with frosting and mini m&m's to look like Lego bricks.  Jon isn't a huge cake fan, so the kids made their own sundaes and I separated m&m's by color for visual effect!

4.  Getting it Done
Since it was vacation week last week and Jon's basketball season ended on Wednesday, making and decorating the food for his party was tricky.  Thankfully, some of his friends had a sleepover on Thursday night so that's when Sarah and I made the marshmallows and separated the m&m's and baked the brownies.  We hid everything in Mike's room!  
Since Jon got very little sleep that night, Sarah and I waited until he took his daily nap and made all the frosting and decorated the brownies.  Everything was out everywhere, but thankfully Jon slept through the clean up, too!(and slept through the pic I snapped:)

(of course, when Mike came home on Friday afternoon I had to tell him to stop eating the m&m's and threaten him not to touch the brownies!)

5.  The Surprise Photo
Since Mike ended up coming home for the party, he and Jon's friend, Kenny, got Jon out of the house so that Sarah, Ellie and I could decorate and set up. The are the pics when he walked into a few more than a dozen friends!  Unfortunately, they are all fuzzy!!!!  Argh...and this is why I decided to buy the new camera I mentioned 10 days ago.  It arrives here on Monday:)

6.  Lego Movie
I mentioned earlier in the week that we saw the Lego Movie last weekend.  I cannot tell you what a hit it was with the older kids!  Every night at dinner all they do is talk about the movie...and quote lines from the movie!  Andrew even got one of his friends to go with him yesterday so that he could see it again!

7.  He said/She said
This morning, I remembered that it was Friday and Show and Tell day for Luke.  Today he needed something that starts with the letter P.
Me:  Hey, guys, Luke needs something that starts with the letter 'P'.  What starts with the letter 'P' around here?
Kate:  Poop!
Jay:  Boy, she's pretty smart!
Me:  But, 'poop', really!?! proud...
Kate after "eating" a bagel....really all she does is lick off the cream cheese!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What's In A Name?

Kathryn over at Team Whitaker is hosting a little link up about baby names as she and her husband debate that all important job of naming a new little blessing!

We've had a little experience ourselves at the whole Name Game!  I actually wrote a little about it quite a while ago and decided to update/expand and join in the fun over at Kathryn's blog.

(btw...I love the way her name is spelled!  Just like our Kathryn:)...Andrew still tells me I spelled her name wrong!

Michael Dennis 

With our first born, we had read through the baby name book countless times and had narrowed the list down to two names that we both liked: Michael and Benjamin.  In our heads, we pictured a Benjamin to be calm and laid back...and a Michael to be not quite so calm and laid back.  When the day arrived, our baby boy was born with a healthy wail.  The doctor moved him to the warming bassinet where he proceeded to......pee all over the nurse!  Jay looked at me with a smile and said, "He's a Michael!"  And he definitely is!

His middle name is also my dad's name, pictured above with a 10 month old Michael.  We didn't tell him until Michael was born what his middle name was and, 21 years later, I still remember how much he beamed and how proud he was when we told him in the hospital as they met Michael for the first time!:)

Andrew Jason
We went into the delivery room for Andrew in fierce debate over our list of favorite names.  Jay wanted Daniel or Jonathan.  I wanted Jarrod or Evan.  Neither of us wanted the other's was a stalemate.  Andrew was a rather large baby at 9lbs 8oz and he had a really big head.(When his head came out the nurse looked at me and said, "Wow, he has a really big head."  And I thought(sarcastically), "Thanks so much, the rest of him isn't even out yet!")  After he was out completely(did I mention I had him without any drugs?), Jay looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Honey, you can name him anything you want!"  Thank-you very much for a husband that acknowledged, and was in awe, of what I just went through!  I did the fair thing and chose the third name on my list....which was also the third name on Jay's list.  Andrew was not either of our favorite names, but it was a compromise...and it was a good fit!  Jason is after daddy...who was super proud to have fathered 2 sons:)

Jonathan Francis

Jonathan was come by with a little more angst.  He was our third child...and our third boy.  But I was convinced he was a girl.  I never knew for sure before he was born because he was always "shy" in the ultrasounds!  So we only had a girl's name picked out....Abigail Caroline.  Obviously that didn't work for a boy.  Jon was born at 9:30 in the morning and we tried out several different names during that first day...Sean, Daniel, Benjamin, etc.  Jay was leaving the hospital that night and refused to leave until we had a name.  He didn't want to call extended family and friends and say "Baby Boy was born today."  So, we settled on Jonathan.  Jay actually wanted just John, but I liked the way Jonathan sounded with our last name better.  As he got older, most people call him Jon and he always complains, in a good natured way, to me that it is my fault that they always spell it wrong...j.o.h.n.  Francis is after Jay's dad.

Therese Elizabeth

Therese's short life certainly left a big impact on us.  We had a huge devotion to St. Therese at the time.  Therese was conceived after I prayed a halfhearted prayer on a picture of her on our mantle while I was dusting.  (and a couple weeks later, shortly before I discovered I was pregnant, a dead rosebush outside our house bloomed with an abundance of beautiful yellow roses!)  During problems with the pregnancy, a level II ultrasound put her date of conception as October 1(St. Therese's feast day).  It seemed fitting to name her after such a gentle, heavy hitter of a saint....and roses abounded during our Therese's 16 days on earth with us.  Elizabeth is a name I love and it sounded so pretty with Therese and our last name.  

Sarah Therese

Sarah was a name we picked before we even conceived her.  We love it's meaning...princess...and that she is to our family.  Sarah was born 364 days after Therese, and she brought lots of joy to our hurting family.  Sarah has always been a loving and very easy going person, and Jay and I always say that she is almost always 'too easy' to parent!(Don't worry, some of her brothers more than make up for it!)
Sarah is a special, not so little anymore, young woman who, like her sisters, has her daddy wrapped around her finger!  Her middle name, Therese, was obviously after her sister.  I wanted Sarah to have a part of her sister even though they will never meet this side of Heaven.

Are you still with me?!?...sorry, we have lots of names!

Peter Joseph
Oh, my Peter!  Peter was Jay's pick and I didn't fight him on it!(for once:)  Jay has always had a big devotion to St. Joseph and it also happens to be the middle name of my maternal grandfather and my paternal great-grandfather, so, win-win we keep the tradition of our sons' middle names being after family.

Ellen Elizabeth

Our beautiful blue eyed beauty was named Ellen for two reasons...
the short reason:  we liked the name that means 'light'.
the long reason:  I had a huge devotion to St. Faustina at the time and, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't name her Faustina because that would be a tough name for a little kid to have.  St. Faustina's birth name was Helen, which I wasn't crazy about.  Ellen is a derivative of Helen so, in a really round-about way, Ellie was named after St. Faustina.
Confused, yet?  
Elizabeth was our choice so that she shared Therese's middle name.  

(Ironically, Ellen Elizabeth was one of the names we considered for Andrew...Kathryn Elizabeth for Michael.  Funny how sometimes names come back around!)

Almost done:)

Luke Arthur
Luke was a name that both Jay and I liked from the start.  Honestly, after going through the baby names so.many.times, everything seems a little 'old hat'.  Add to the mix that Jay only likes the more traditional names and it is actually really hard to name babies after you have had a bunch!

Sorry, I'm about to get confusing again, but Arthur is my mother's 'dad'.  I say 'dad' because her biological father died when she was 17 from a heart attack.  My Pepere married my grandmother 2 years before I was born and he loves us all as if we were related by blood!  In fact, it wasn't until I was probably around 10 that I knew that my "real" grandfather had died.  So, Luke's middle name is for my grandfather, Pepere, who was completely honored and cried when my mom told him Luke's name when he was born...and cried when he thanked us for naming Luke after him...and anytime someone mentioned Luke's full name for several months.  My Pepere is a gentle man who knows a little bit of everything....and I'm glad that we were able to honor him in a special way!

And....last but not least...
Kathryn Marie
I always loved the name I mentioned before that would have been Mike's name if he was a girl.  I also really love the name Kate, but I wanted her to be named after a saint and have the option, when she is a grown up, to have a more 'formal' sounding name if she wants.  Jay really, really(!) wanted to name Kate...Abigail.  Abigail is another beautiful name and Jay loved the meaning, 'a father's joy', but I just wasn't feeling it!  Jay kept trying and praying, but it wasn't clicking for me.  I offered to use Abigail as the middle name, but ultimately Jay decided to hold out "just in case we have another girl!"
(OY...I keep telling him that maybe we will have a granddaughter named Abigail someday!)
We decided that we wanted a name to honor Our Blessed Mother, and I liked the way Marie sounded with her name. 

Thanks for taking a (long) stroll down memory lane with me!  Naming a new little life is so exciting!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Favorites

I'm doing something I haven't done for a while and linking up with Moxie Wife for Five Favorites!
So, without further ado,(don't you just love that word!), I give you

Five Favorite Quotes
(and most of them I only found this morning...which inspired me to do this link up:)

The love, loyalty, and dedication of Mary and Joseph are an example for all Christian couples, who are neither the friends nor masters of their children’s lives, but the guardians of this incomparable gift from God.
~Pope Benedict XVI
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.  

(Yikes...that one is deep and hits a little close to home too often!)


(This is the only one I had to search for...and after the last couple nights, I need all the energy I can get!
little ones + colds= lousy sleep for mom

(I hope I did that Roman Numeral right!  I still remember failing that test in 5th grade!)
Happiness is being in the moment Happiness Is... Being in the Moment
I read this today on the blog Mom of 6.  It's a subject that I have addressed a lot in my own blog.(There's 190 posts under my 'Living in the Moment' label!)  Trying to live in the moment is really important to me...and something I always need to work on and be aware of!  These kids grow up so fast.  Even though I feel that the daily avalanche of dishes, laundry and paperwork is endless, the reality is "Don't blink!", because this....
Mike at 5ish months

becomes this.....

Mike's 21st birthday earlier in the month
  way faster then you think!

This quote is from Lisa Jo Baker's new book, Surprised by Motherhood.  
....and you know that I am all about chaos!

Happy hump day everyone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lent is Coming!

I find myself in the very rare occasion of being home completely by myself!  I know this rare phenomenon will be quite brief!  Typing uninterrupted is very welcome...especially since whenever Kate sees me sit down at the computer she thinks it is an open invitation to nurse!

Yeah..the whole weaning process with my beautiful, and very head strong daughter, is not going so well!

Anyway, so Lent begins next Wednesday!  I find myself with mixed emotions at its approach.  On the one hand, I'm looking forward to it being a time of some much needed inner reflection and an opportunity to work on bringing order to a couple of areas in my life that are feeling pretty sloppy and overdone, namely issues with food and the downfall of having an iphone and the easy access of the internet at my fingertips. (I will call it the 'Too Quick to Click" syndrome!  Seriously, I'm not famous or interesting enough to need to check my emails and facebook that many times per day!  That bad habit needs to go...and Lent is a great aid in getting rid of bad habits!)

Of course, giving up things is only part of Lent.  I also need to add in a thing or two to help Lent be a time of spiritual growth.  I'm thinking I'm going to pick an extra day a week and bring senorita difficult pants to church.  I also want to schedule in some solo adoration time to work on the previously mentioned inner reflection.

I always find that God provides me with extra opportunities to grow in grace and virtue during Lent!  Hence my mixed feelings on Lent.  So often, life gets wild and crazy during Lent...sometimes for my family and sometimes for those close to me.  My answer is always the same...."It's Lent."  It's usually those involuntary penances that stretch us the most!

Checking out what I wrote last year at the beginning of Lent here and here, I'm finding my prayer focus is similar.  Adoration was on my to-do list last year, too, and it never happened.  This year, I'm determined to do better!

Well, the kiddos are home and Kate has jumped in my lap like I knew she would!  Any tips on weaning toddlers that aren't interested in being weaned?

Any plans for Lent 2014, yet?  I would love to hear them!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Happy Birthday Monday

Happy Monday!

February vacation has ended and we are back into our normal routine.  I think that the week went well....although I did enjoy the morning with just Kate.  So quiet!

This weekend was busy.  We had lots of fun....with two parties for Jon.  Friday night was a surprise birthday party for Jon with his friends.  To my great surprise, he actually knew nothing about it!  (I will share some pics later in the week:)

On Saturday night, we had a family birthday party.  Jon's dinner choice...cheeseburgers with a side of homemade mac and cheese.  I got him an ice cream cake because Jon is an ice cream fiend, but Jay's mom still made a birthday cake so that Peter...and the rest of the kids...wouldn't be disappointed.

We also saw the Lego Movie this weekend.  We have been trying to coordinate a time that we could all go and it finally worked out.  Andrew and Jon loved it!  So did the girls.  It was Luke's very first movie at a movie theater.  He was very excited!  

He liked the movie, but about 2/3 of the way through he said, "Can we go home now?  I want to build with Legos!"

When we did get home, Andrew, Jon and Luke all started going through the Legos.  Legos have been such a huge part of Andrew and Jon's childhood....and now they are getting Luke into Legos, too!  I love it:)

Which leads to today....Jon's official 18th birthday!  I cannot believe that he is 18...and a senior!  I still remember meeting him for the very first time!  He arrived 2 weeks early....probably the only time in his life that he wasn't a procrastinator!;)

Happy Birthday, Jon!  Dad and I are so proud of the young man you are becoming!  Love you!
Another 'adult' in the house!  Sigh...."The days are long but the years are short!"-Gretchen Rubin 

p.s. A very happy first birthday to my beautiful Goddaughter, Evie!:)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kidbits from the Week

I am soooo glad it is Friday and we have a jam-packed weekend!  Let's jump right in....because time is not my friend today in regards with my to-do list!

#1:  Wintah!
Today there is so much fog because of the warmer temperatures and all the snow still on the ground!  With temperatures hitting the 50's today and tomorrow, it makes me hopeful that this winter truly will end someday!  (Of course, then someone mentioned that the temps were dipping back down again next week but I'm going to live in my magical thinking land and focus on spring!)

#2:  Valentine's Day
I got a few cute pictures of Luke and Kate on Valentine's Day. (And, just in case you were wondering, I still couldn't get Kate into the cute heart dress I had bought her!  I did attempt to put it on, and as soon as she saw it she said, "No....not that dress!")
love the hug

cute and coy

Looks of adoration!

I love the way he is squeezing her shoulder!:)
#3:  Quotable Quote
I love this quote one of my FB friends shared today!  It's easy to get discouraged in this crazy world!  A message of hope is like....spring after a long winter!:)

Although the life of a person is in a land filled with thorns and weeds,
there is always a space in which the good seed can grow.
You have to trust God.
-Pope Francis

#4:  He Said/She Said

Sarah loves lasagna and always tried to sneak sticks of butter when she was little.
Sarah: Remember when we found out Luke liked lasagna and to eat sticks of butter?... I was so proud. 

#5:  Speaking of Spring...
. this!

#6:  The End of an Era
Last Saturday, Jon played his last high school basketball game.  Senior year is filled with so many lasts, but this was a big one for him!(and for us!sniff)  
Look at that intensity!

This is why I want to buy a new camera!

Lucky #13:)
 #7:  Senior Night
We made a sign for Jon for the basketball team's senior night last week.  We are always teasing him that he looks like Emperor Kuzco from the Emperor's New Groove.  Jon will jokingly walk into a room and "kick" open the door proclaiming, "Boom Baby!", just like in the movie.  So, we made a sign to embarrass surprise him..and wave it around whenever he was involved in a play during the game!  

There's definitely a resemblance:)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Winter's Last Hurrah(I Hope!)

I have to say that, for me, this vacation week is just speeding by!  I can't believe that we are almost through Thursday already!

Last weekend's snow fall is still hanging around, but the warmer temperatures are starting to make a dent in it!(And lots of mud, too!)

Today, Luke, Kate, Ellie, Sarah and I ventured out for a while just in case(please, oh, please!) this past snow fall was winter's last hurrah!  Sarah and Ellie spent a long time outside making their "creations".
up to mischief!

fun in the snow

snowman fun

Too big to push

pretty girl:)

snowman gone wrong

hamming it up!

goofy shot

more goofiness

proud of their hard work

The only "man" the girls will kiss....for a long time!
At least if daddy(and 3 protective big brothers) have anything to do with it!