Thursday, March 27, 2014


Throw back Thursday!

I randomly grabbed a handful from my bucket o' pictures and came up with these gems....

The cutie patootie in both is our very own Sarah B'Darah....that's Jay's nickname for her.  In the top pic, Sarah is sitting with Jay's mom.  Don't you love Mike's 'deer in the headlight' face!  I'm sure he will appreciate that I didn't edit him out!;)

The bottom pic is Sarah at StoryLand in New Hampshire.  I think that was our first real family vacation with just us.  Seems like it was just yesterday that she was that small.....but since she will be 15 in less than 2 months I guess that it's been just a tad longer!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Seeking Normal Chaos

I'm hoping to keep my promise from yesterday!  It's been quite the roller coaster here this week!  It's the kind of week where 'normal chaos' would be a very welcome change indeed!

Saturday was a day filled with so many ups and downs that it was ridiculous!

Our house has held a little more stress since Lent started a day early for us this year!  (for anyone not familiar, my husband had been exposed to bedbugs in his job as a home care physical therapist.  Thankfully, he realized it before he got in the house, but the fear that somehow our home could have been exposed has made life extra stressful!)

Luke has had a rash for about a week and a half and it got visibly worse on Saturday.  Because of the whole situation, Jay was freaking out really concerned that they were bedbug bites.  I didn't think they were because of the way they looked, the fact that they weren't at all itchy, and the fact that Luke is in my bed with Kate and I and neither of us had anything on us.

For peace of mind, Jay called up a company that deals with bedbugs and other pests and they just happened to have an opening for someone to come by Saturday around noon.  If there was an issue, we wanted to deal with it sooner than later.

While we were waiting for the inspector to come by, I got a call from my mom telling me that one of my uncles that our family is very close to was just diagnosed with kidney cancer.  That was tough news to hear.  My Uncle Paul is having surgery to remove one kidney next week so if you could say a prayer for him and his family that would be great.  My Aunt Eileen, Paul's wife, is my dad's sister and they just lost my grandmother in December from cancer so this has been an extra tough few months for them.

The inspector arrived right on schedule and Jay walked around the house with him as he thoroughly examined beds and couches for any signs of bed bugs.  Thanks be to God, there was absolutely nothing!  It was the best money that we ever spent!  It took away about 90% of Jay's worry!(because he is so traumatized!)

What a relief that was!  We had lunch and felt almost "normal" for the first time in weeks!

Then, we opened the mail....and Jay had a letter from his per diem employer telling him that they were cutting payments per visit by 30%.  Ouch.

It was such an emotionally exhausting day!

Fear is hard to work through.  The fear has made him re-think staying in home care, wanting to ever go stay at a hotel again, and even fearful about going to the movies since, supposedly, bedbugs has become an issue in some theaters.

And then there is the issue of his car....

Since he noticed the bedbugs on his coat(which was disposed of along with everything else he was wearing that day) and his bag(ditto) when he was in his car, the company he worked for paid to have his car sprayed by a bug company.  They spray 3 times, 2 weeks apart each time, and Jay hasn't been in his car since the day of "the incident".  It makes sense to be 100% sure that the life cycle of the bug is stopped and let the spray kill anything that might have still been in the car.  He has been borrowing Jon's car or my dad's car to work in.  Spray # 3 will be done next week, but I don't know if he will ever feel safe in his car again.

He's already gone pretty OCD on us.  He did go all Chuck Norris on a lady bug the other day...and he is constantly inspecting bits of fuzz on the floor to make sure "it isn't moving".  Sarah and I have threatened him that we are going to squirt him with a water bottle...just like squirting a cat you are trying to keep from scratching!

I have banned him from the laundry room because he throws everything  on the sanitize cycle!  When I was in bed with a migraine on Monday night and Jay was stressing that Luke's rash was caused by flea bites, he took advantage and washed all kinds of blankets and coats(again)!  I took Luke to the doctor's on Tuesday morning to appease Jay...I had read Dr. Sear's and told him I thought it was just a viral thing.....and that's what the diagnosis was!

It's just hard because it isn't easy, or inexpensive, to replace a car.  Jay has done home care for almost 10 years and something like this has never happened before.  I just want the stress in our lives to go back to normal levels.  I worry that if we keep the car, he will spend the next several months(or even a year) constantly stressing about possible exposure.(and lots of extra showering, fear, and use of the sanitizing cycle!

It's not a new is sporting 120,000 miles...but it wasn't ready to be replaced.  And it isn't really in the budget to be replaced!  Heck, I've spent the last couple of months trying to create a real budget to better track our spending!

I don't know...but this has been one doozy of a Lent so far!  I am so ready for Easter!

(I let Jay read this before I posted it and he said it was "very honest but made him sound like a whack job".  Anyone that knows my husband can attest that he is no "whack job"!  He is just going through some PTSD.  Ironically, he is always the calm, level headed one so the fact that I am being (mostly) calm and level headed for this extended period of time is proof of the amount of grace God is giving us as we work through this trial!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Send In The Reinforcements!

It's been a crazy few days....makes me long for the days of "normal chaos"!

Saturday was the biggest roller coaster day of all!  But honestly, I'm just too wiped out to write about it tonight!  I long as nothing completely crazy write about it tomorrow!

And I also promise that this is not a ploy to just peak your curiosity to get you to come back tomorrow, too!


I had a horrible migraine yesterday.  It started late in the afternoon...around 3:30...and by 5 I was curled up in the fetal position with my hands over my eyes praying for the sun to go down!  Daylight savings time was not my friend yesterday!

Ellie had a playoff game that Jay took her to.  Jon and Sarah were home with me and all the younger kids.  They both stepped up so much!  They not only watched the kids, but Sarah cooked the dinner that, thankfully, I had prepped earlier in the afternoon.  Jon and Sarah helped to feed all the little kids.  Jon swept the floors and even swiffered the kitchen floor!

They were super patient with all the little kids, too!  Sarah and Jon kept them safe and occupied and as quiet as they could for me.  Once Jay got home around 7:30, Sarah did the dishes and Jon even folded some clean laundry!

They truly went above and beyond!  I appreciate it so much!

Our house is a ranch, so even though I was in the bedroom, I could still hear everything that was going on!  Despite how awful I was feeling, I was saying prayers of thanksgiving for my family!

I feel a lot better today....but still not my normal self!  My head is foggy and sore and my eyes are really sensitive.  At least I can function today!

This afternoon when Sarah got home from school and saw the mess that Kate and Luke had made during the day, she said, "Jon just swept all that up last night!  What happened?" happen, Sarah!  Welcome to my world!:)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Working My Way Into the Weekend!

Welcome to Friday!  Linking up with Jen and ready to jump into this weekend!  

1.  Spring?
The weather still isn't shouting spring....and neither is the health of our household!  I guess there was a virus that didn't get the memo that winter is OVER because Jon woke up vomiting (multiple times) this morning.  At least he made it to the bathroom.  (Well, once he made it to the bathroom but not the toilet and he threw up in the bucket he was holding.  I had gone grocery shopping and Jon was so sick that Sarah cleaned the bucket out for him!  Such sisterly love!)

2.  Long Weekend
Sarah and Jon have a long weekend.....which is good since Jon won't miss school because he is sick but bad because who wants to be sick on a long weekend!  They actually have today off(professional day) and Monday off(Bishop's day).  Hopefully, Jon will be able to enjoy the tail end....and no one else comes down with it!  (But with our recent track record I'm not holding my breath!)

3.  Quarantined
Since our family is sporting another illness, we are quarantining ourselves!  Again!  Seriously, we have been trying to get together with our friends John and Pam for a month and keep having to reschedule!  Hopefully, we can actually hang out with our friends before summer gets here!

4.  Smartfood
On a different note, my kids went through 4 bags(!) of Smartfood popcorn in 6 days!  One of the bags was consumed when Jon and Andrew had friends over last weekend....but the rest was just eaten by my crew.  The teenagers were the biggest offenders! (Especially Jon....he is addicted!)   That's why I don't buy it very often!

5.  March Madness
While vomit has added a whole new level to our home's 'March Madness', I'm actually talking about the college basketball tournament.  With multiple sons and a husband that enjoys watching basketball, March Madness becomes a bragging rights competition in our house!  The boys are all really serious about it...especially Mike.  Ellie and I just guess and Sarah picked her teams based on which team's location she would rather live in!  (After yesterday, Andrew, Ellie and Sarah were tied for first...and I won last year so knowledge does not = a bracket win!)  

  Even though it is still the afternoon, Duke's loss has already wreaked bracket havoc for lots of people joining in March Madness!  But it is all part of the fun!:)  It's an opportunity for some fun...and bonding so I will take it!

6.  Luke and Kate
Can I just tell you how cute these two can be together?!?  Kate is developing such great pretend play skills from watching her big brother!  (and quite a few bad habits, too, just in case you erroneously thought that I had perfect kids or something!)  Today has been a stellar play day for them, though, and I love just listening to their high pitched little voices as the play together.  Of course, Kate often breaks Luke's Lego creations, but he is quick to forgive!  

Those moments when they are getting along and their pudgy little hands and big eyes just make me want to stop time and keep them like this forever!  

7.  St. Joseph Surprise
I mentioned on Wednesday that I was planning a surprise for Jay for St. Joseph's Day.  15 years ago, Jay's first job was 45 minutes away.  His co-workers introduced him to a really great pastry that a bakery close to work only makes on St. Joseph's day called a zeppole.  It's a pastry filled with yummy cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar.(so good!)
Well, one of Sarah's teachers lives right near the bakery.  I asked Sarah to see if I could give her money to pay for some zeppoles to surprise Jay with and have a special treat for St. Joseph's Day!  It all worked out and Sarah texted me after school to tell me she had "the stuff"!  

Jay was super surprised and we all had a wonderful treat!

Welcome to the weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Catch Up!

I have been neglectful of the ole blog so far this week!  I had things to write in my head, but finding the time to sit at the computer just didn't happen!  (In case you read my weekend post, the vomit incident was just a random, one time event!(Thank-you, God!))

Here's what I would have posted on Monday...
Although I am only the tiniest bit Irish, I still tried to add a little 'food fun' to St. Patrick's Day!
Guinness Shepherd's Pie
This recipe is soooooo good!  I need to make it more often!
The only thing I altered in the recipe was exchanging peas for corn!

Guinness Chocolate Cake
It has a cream cheese frosting, which not all the kids are crazy about,
but the rest of us think it is fantastic!
On Tuesday, Andrew and I took a small road trip so he could take a campus tour at Assumption.  Andrew is not at all happy at his current college and applied to 3 other colleges.  We should be getting answers over the next week or two...and then answers on financial aid a week or two after that.

Seriously...I can't believe I'm doing the college search for 2 kids at the same time again!

This whole young adult parenting thing is not so easy!  

Andrew did like the school quite a bit and, since the starting price before any aid is almost $25,000 less than P.C., it is a real contender!

Ellie had a playoff game last night.  Her team won and they play again tomorrow!  

By the end of the day, I was exhausted and had one of those headaches because I was so tired that only sleep and no amount of Advil will help!  Gotta love that!

Today, I got to go to Mass.  It's a Solemnity, for St. Joseph(Jay's favorite), so every one is in a festive mood!  Someone was helping me with a surprise for Jay...but I can't write about it yet because I won't know if it works until tonight!  I will share tomorrow;)

I guess that's it!  Except...please say a prayer for my friend, Colleen, who is uber pregnant and officially due Sunday but soooo ready to be done!  The poor woman also got the stomach bug on Sunday and was at the doctor's for an ear infection today!  Talk about involuntary penances!  That just isn't right!

So....Happy belated St. Patrick's Day and Happy Solemnity of St. Joseph!  Enjoy the day off from your Lenten penances:)  Special prayers for all the special men in our lives to receive lots of blessings through St. Joseph's intercession!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What A Morning!

What a morning this has been....and there's still a little over an hour left!

Kate was very restless last night which meant lots of broken sleep for me.  At 1 am, Ellie came into my room and told me she "threw up a little bit on her bed".  Since Kate wasn't settled at the moment and I didn't want to wake up Jay because he was leaving early in the morning for a Lenten day retreat, I told Ellie to just change her pajamas and sleep on the couch.  I did ask her twice if she was sure if it was just 'a little bit'....and decided to just wash her bedding in the morning.

Well.....let's just say that this morning's  involuntary penance must mean that Jay is going to have one heck of a retreat!

Jay left before 6:30am and I dragged myself out of bed around 7.  I used the flashlight app on my phone so I didn't wake up Sarah, and I went into the girls' room to grab Ellie's bedding.  

Let's just say that Ellie and I need to have a discussion about the meaning of the phrase, "a little bit"!

At first I did ok.  Her fitted sheet is old so I decided just to throw it out.  I got her bedspread and blanket in a pile to throw in the wash.  Then, I noticed her pillows.  I will save you the details but I went out to get another garbage bag!

Before I re-entered the room, Ellie informed me that she lost her retainer when she threw up.  So...I took a deep breath and searched for the blue retainer in the midst of the 'yuck'.  I used a plastic bag like a rubber glove and cleaned it off with the sheet as best I could and it still sits in the bag by the sink!  (I'm thinking of saving that involuntary penance for Jay!)

I still kept my patience.....until I noticed the vomit all over the floor.(and all over the 'stuff' that is constantly around Ellie's bed no matter how many times she cleans her room!)  I started to get frustrated and ranted a little about the 'slob crisis' that frequently plagues many of my children!

Sarah woke up, which was good, so I could put on the light (and open the window!).  It was then that the scope of the mess was revealed!

The girls have bunk beds.  Ellie is on the bottom.  She not only got vomit all over her bed and pillows....and all over the things on the floor by her bed...but all over her shelf and the things on her shelves.(including a library book that I could not salvage!)  There was also vomit splashed on the bunk bed and on her bureau!

It was just everywhere!

I didn't do so well with that.  I've had worse moments, but I certainly wasn't as patient as I could have been!
The kicker is that Ellie feels just fine now!?!

Last night, my parents generously treated us to fish and chips.  Then, my dad brought the girls to our local ice cream shop that just opened for the season.  I'm thinking the fried food, which we eat very infrequently, mixed with ice cream just upset her stomach.  Unfortunately, she is a sound sleeper and was still half asleep when she got sick!

Yet, Ellie couldn't understand why I refused to let her have french toast and bacon that I had promised to make for Mike.  Really it was closer to being brunch than breakfast after I cleaned up Ellie's mess for over an hour and then showered!  Late breakfasts work for Mike, though, since he enjoys sleeping as late as he can in this crazy house!

Anyway, I'm rambling!

I hope your weekend started out in a much more pleasant way!

Friday, March 14, 2014


Linking up with Jen for the weekly wrap up!

1.  It's Friday!  Hooray!  

Join me in a little T.G.I.F. happy dance!(and a little blast from the past with the Fresh Prince of Belair!)

2.  Winter Sport Wind Down

On Sunday afternoon, Jay and I went to Jon's basketball banquet.  It's always surreal when an event marks another last in this long year of lasts for Jon!  It's definitely bittersweet!  Jon shared the coach's award with another of his senior friends.  Good memories:)

Ellie's CYO season is winding down as well.  Her team lost their first playoff game last night and has one more chance to avoid elimination.  

I'm glad my kids have been involved in sports but it's also nice when we have more nights to just be a family without running here, there, and everywhere!

3.  Lent is your Lent, week 2, going?  How are you managing those involuntary penances?  Jay is still struggling with a lot of stress due to the bed bug scare that happened last week!  I have tried to keep things more organized in the house and keep our schedule as simple as know how when you're dealing with a lot emotionally on the inside it's nice to have a little control on the visual clutter around you!  I'm trying to be patient and supportive to keep him from becoming an OCD mess!(There are moments when he starts examining every little spec to see if it's moving and whoever is around him needs to remind him to stop!  Poor guy!)

'This too shall pass!'  God certainly sent him a doozy of an involuntary penance this year!

4.  Winter, Winter Go Away!
After a few beautiful days of 50 degree weather...(seriously, it doesn't take much to make New Englanders happy!)...yesterday was a snowy, cold mess!  It's March...time for winter to go "buh-bye!"

5.  Outside time!
We did take advantage of the nicer weather while it was here.  The kids spent a lot of time outside and Mike and I took Kate, Luke, and my friend's daughter to the zoo.  They were so happy to be there!  Early spring at the zoo is quite an interesting place!  All of the animals were very active.  The otters were a little too 'active'...and quickly turned our outing from 'G' rated to 'R'!  So we moved on quickly!  Thankfully, the other animals behaved themselves!

6. & 7. He Said/She Said
As a little background, Jon hates to talk about or be around discussions that have to do with body parts or bodily functions.  He gets all embarrassed and grossed out.  Not surprisingly, his siblings take advantage of this all.the.time.(It's their revenge for all of Jon's teasing!  When I was pregnant with Kate, the words "mucus plug" were used frequently by Sarah to make Jon squirm and twitch!)   

Earlier this week, there was some kind of 'body talk' going on......
Jon:   (completely disgusted!) You should have to put up a flag when you talk about gross body a pirate flag!  Or at least a code before you talk to give me warning!  Like #gross body stuff!

Luke and Jay playing with Legos.
Luke:  Look!  I have two guns so that I can shoot bears!  (pause)  Daddy, can you be a bear!

I hope you have a bear free weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

So...What is 'TBT'?

I have always admitted that I am no technology queen....and I rely on my teens to keep me somewhat current in the social media world.

It seems like every week there are new abbreviations in the texting world that I have to figure out what they mean!  (For a long time, I thought that lol meant 'lots of laughs' older sons would just shake their heads at me with that "look".  You know, the 'how can my mom possibly be so ignorant/embarrassing' look!)

Ahh...the joys!

Anyway, lately I noticed a lot of 'tbt' on Facebook, and, again, had to ask my teens what it meant.  Jon promptly informed me it meant 'throw back Thursday'.  Yay....a little less ignorance for me!

Armed with my new found knowledge, but probably already behind a dozen other new abbreviations(!), here is my 'tbt' contribution!

 This is a picture of Sarah and our Goddaughter, Collette!  I'm guesstimating, but I think Collette is about 3 and Sarah is about 5.  I found this picture in my box o' pictures in my room that stares at me every day and makes me feel overwhelmed/guilty/etc.!  One of these days, I will organize them all and get them in albums!  The one thing that is fun about a big box o' pictures, is that you can grab a pile and unearth random treasures of good memories!  (And the pic above is one of them!:)

Collette is the daughter of our very good friends, Bud and Kim.  Despite their best efforts, (and then because of their best efforts!), God chose to grow their family through adoption.  We were blessed to be a part of their lives during their struggles with infertility...which were made even more painful when so many of their Catholic friends that were open to life were blessed with pregnancies all around them.  We were blessed to be a part of the journey of their openness to God's timing in pursuing adoption.  In fact, I was physically pregnant with Peter while Kim was spiritually pregnant with Collette.  We were able to share our time of waiting together for several months.

I still remember Bud and Kim arriving late one evening with the first picture they finally received of their daughter waiting for them in China!  It was all the joy and excitement of a parent's first ultrasound picture...and then some.  The countdown began until their long journey to China to finally hold their baby in their arms!  That's when the real adventure began!

Jay was even blessed to be able to be one of the entourage at the airport to welcome the weary, new parents home!

In just a few days, Collette will join the ranks of a teenager!    I can't believe that our girls are growing up so quickly...and into beautiful young women to boot!  Happy (almost) birthday to our special goddaughter!  We are so blessed that she is able to be a very regular part of our lives! (and btw....please stop growing up so darn fast!

Monday, March 10, 2014

...About A Wish

This weekend wasn't nearly long enough!  Jay was covering the weekend, and he had to work 3/4 of Saturday.  Thankfully, he didn't have to work on Sunday, but with the time change everything felt discombobulated!

Saturday afternoon we did something a little spur of the moment....we went to an open house!  Not that I am looking to move right now, but I do have a little "Wish". 

As a side note.....'Wish' is actually my word of the year.  When I went back in my blog posts to find where I wrote about it, all I found was a place I mentioned it but never really explained why I felt it was such an appropriate word for me. Now I feel like I'm writing a grade school essay, lol!  "Wish is an appropriate word of the year for me because....."

Really, it is a good word for me.  On the brink of entering the next decade of my life, (insert giant 'gulp' here!), I find myself doing quite a bit of soul searching.  Surviving, (not planning and certainly not dreaming) has been my primary m.o.(mode of operation) for the last two decades.  For a while now, Jay and I have worked on changing that.

Having the word 'wish' presented to me in such a way that it felt like my inspired word of the year was kind of like a wink from God that I am heading in the right direction on at least one thing I am working on in my life!

Well that was a long explanation!  One of the kids borrowed my parents' newspaper on Saturday morning and I happened to look at the front page of the section that had the 'Home of the Week' featured.  The home was in our town and was built by the owners, who had 9 children.  I was really curious to see the set up of a house that was built specifically for a large family.  I was extra curious because the way the house set up was described seemed to fit the idea I have in my head for building a large, multi-generational home.  (It's my wish...probably one that has no chance of being realized...but a wish nonetheless)

We were able to get there close to the end of the open house.  There were a lot of really nice features to the home.  The living space was pretty open and there was a lot of room.  Their closet spaces were amazing....and their cellar had high ceilings and was dry!  There were 5 bedrooms that were a great size, with 2 other rooms that could be used as bedroom space....and 4 bathrooms!  The only thing that was a disappointment to me was the in-law set-up.  It was part of a split level space and was too small.  Oh, and it has oil heat which made me shudder!  We just converted to natural gas about 3 years ago and pay 1/3 of what we paid with oil!  I can't imagine the cost of heating a larger home!

Well, it certainly gave me more of a real vision for what my dream home would be!  I find it hard to 'dream' or 'wish'.  I find it really hard to spend time thinking about things that seems so impossible.  It feels like I just let something in my heart that will just be a disappointment.  For me, that tends to drag up feelings of failure.  I've always been much better at just focusing on goals rather than wishes...because they are usually more realistic and do-able!

 Well, this whole wish thing is like anything else that God asks me to work's a process!  (and He always gives me lots of opportunities to practice!)

Friday, March 7, 2014

We Survived to Friday!

Whew...we made it to Friday!  Let's jump right in!

We aren't the only family that has started Lent off with a bang!  The 4 regular members of my book club all had a child that was sick this week, too!  Two had a child with unexplained hives, one had a child with the dreaded stomach bug, and one had a child not feeling well.  Today, Jon is home with a sinus cold he has been fighting for over a week because the cold is winning!  A doctor's visit gave him the diagnosis of a sinus infection and an ear infection!
Ahhh....the joys of Lent's involuntary penances!

2.  Cavity Creeps
I'm showing my age with this one, but how many of you remember the Cavity Creeps?  Well, back in the 80's it was a dental campaign to keep your teeth clean and safe from the Cavity Creeps who want to make holes in teeth. 

I'm not sure how the Cavity Creeps popped into Jay's head, but he showed some of the kids around him the commercial on his phone.  The Cavity creeps have picks and drills and chant, "We make holes in teeth", while the 'Crest team' stops them.  Luke saw it with Jay and, since then, is completely freaked out about getting holes in his teeth!  Oy!

The good thing is he asks us to help him brush now so his teeth are healthier than they have ever been!   But, every once in a while, he gets this worried look on his little face and says, "I don't want to have holes in my teeth."  

Some things should have just stayed in the 80's.....

3.  Dating
I have been giving a lot of thought about dating lately.  Not for me, (haha), but ways to help make it a healthy experience for our kids.  Jay and I were married at 18 and had 3 kids by 21, so our experience is very different than our kids.(Thank God!)

Still, young adults and dating is a new phase for us and I want to help them the best I can.  I need to do some research....and, of course, pray:)  

Last night, I was having a conversation with Andrew and Jon....or at least I was trying to...
Me:  Have you ever read Josh Harris' book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye?
Andrew:  We have read and heard plenty of stuff about chastity!
Jon:  Are you trying to tell us not to date in college?
Jay:  No!  It's a book about courtship.
Andrew:(Mr. Sarcasm) We aren't royalty.
Me:  We are just trying to figure out the best way to help you find your future spouses.
Andrew:  Why?  Are they hiding?  Try the closet!
Me:(slightly exasperated) I don't know why I even try to have a serious conversation with you clowns!
Jon:  Dad...Mom called us clowns!
Jay:  I think you were lucky all she called you were clowns....

4.  Legos!
The kids all loved the Lego Movie we saw a couple of weeks ago!  It has inspired lots of Lego play!

Luke's version of the firetruck robot

So proud!

Jay, Ellie, and Jon(those are his legs) having some Lego fun.
On the couch behind Jay is Luke, who fell asleep on the couch.
That didn't stop the building!
Of course, Jay and Jon were only building  things to surprise Luke with in the morning;)
....or so they say!

5.  On the Way to Sainthood!
Bonnie from A Knotted Life got some exciting news yesterday.  The 7 member board of medical experts who advise the Congregation of the Causes of Saints at the Vatican unanimously approved her son James Fulton's alleged healing through the intercession of Fulton Sheen.  It is another big step on the way of Fulton Sheen to be named a saint!  

6. & 7. He Said/She Said
Jon:  I love you, Luke.
Luke: I like you.
Jon:(incredulously) You like me!!! Don't you love me?
Luke:(nonchalantly) I love you.

Andrew and I were in the living room and Sarah was taking a shower.  Instead of the usual singing....we heard Sarah reciting math equations!
Andrew:  Sarah, are you doing math in the shower?
Sarah:(sounding embarrassed) Shut up....I have a test tomorrow.  Don't judge me!
Andrew:  Nerd alert!

Here's hoping for a math free weekend!;)
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lent...Day 2 2.  Thankfully, it has been less exciting! Although Jay's stress levels are still really high after his difficult day on Tuesday, when he was exposed to bed bugs at a patient's house!

Fear of the 'what if' can be very intense.  It is waking him up early every morning and keeping his stress levels elevated all day long.  (It also didn't help that the new computer work gave him while they clean the one he had didn't work properly.  After spending 2 hours on the phone with the tech company, they determined they couldn't fix it and he needed to trade it in today for another computer!....Involuntary penance strikes again!)

It's one of those situations where only time, (and prayer), will start to heal the anxiety!  He certainly needs a break....and, unfortunately, he is on call this weekend.  Hopefully he won't have too many patients, but just not being able to completely relax and have a real weekend isn't a good thing for him right now.:(

Welcome to Lent!

Worries about Mike and some of the struggles he is having is giving Jay and I a lot of stress and worry.  He comes home for break tomorrow, and I am doing some serious praying for words of wisdom and for guidance on how to help him.  I'm also praying that God opens his heart!  This parenting of young adults is so.not.easy!  It's like being a parent for the very first time all over again!  It's easy to become to discouraged...or worry that because your first child is struggling with certain things that all the rest of them will, too!

These concerns are certainly fueling our prayer lives right now!

Luke is having a hard time at school!  Yesterday, he was misbehaving.  Today was better except when it came to doing his handwriting.  Sitting still and doing fine motor tasks is not his favorite thing!(Well, unless he is building with Legos!)  That was one of the main reasons we decided to keep him in preschool another year.  Hopefully, after a few more months of emotional growth, and he will be better focused!  Meanwhile, I'm trying to not be overwhelmed with guilt that my son is one of the "difficult children" in the class!  His teacher is great...and thankfully very patient.  I'm also thankful that she is a friend!  But still....

More talks with Luke about being obedient and making good choices will be forthcoming!

On a happy note, Peter is having a great week at school.  He came home on Monday with a handwriting page that was much better than his normal work.  I told him how proud I was of him and how happy it made me that he wrote so neatly.

On Tuesday, Peter went to school and was obsessed with making shamrocks.  His teachers had him "work for it"...finding natural motivation for Peter is always a bonus!....and he wrote me a note on the shamrocks:
It says "Peter proud"

smiley face, "Moms happy job"
In Peter speak....he was proud of himself because I was happy that he did a good job on his handwriting.  What a developmental leap for him!  And what a blessing for me to see how a few minutes of praise made him so happy.  Peter's milestones are extra special!

How is 'day 2' going for you!?!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ready....Set....Lent(with a bang!)

As I said yesterday...."And so it begins!"

Little did I know when I posted  yesterday that God decided that our Lent would start a few hours early this year!

Before I get into our "extra chaos" from yesterday....
Last year, I wrote about involuntary penances.  My definition of involuntary penances are those trials that God sends our way giving us the opportunity to work on all sorts of virtues that  we never had any intention of working on   never realized were going to have to work on during Lent.

I don't know about you, but each Lent there seems to be extra "opportunities" that God sends our way to make us stretch and grow whether we wanted to stretch and grow or not!

I mean, really, I was already giving up things for Lent, God, isn't that enough!

Apparently not!

So, while I was planning on spending this Lent working on a few different areas, He sent Jay and I an opportunity to start out Lent with quite a bang yesterday!  Jay called me late yesterday afternoon very, very stressed out because he was in a patient's home, (his job is home care physical therapy), and it turns out the home had bed bugs.  The reason why he knows it has bed bugs is because there were a few bugs on his bag and his coat that he didn't see until he was already in his car!

I think that, at least in his conversations to me, Jay was able to keep his voice fairly calm despite the amount of stress that I know he was feeling! (I think he was just afraid that I would completely freak out, too)  He had the kind of stress that makes you feel like you will just pop!  (or makes you want to crawl into a fetal position and give up!)

To make everything more difficult, the exposure happened with the per diem company he works for so he also had to call his full time company.  Because all his equipment is in the car together, his main job also had to consider him a risk of exposure.  Now he had 2 computers that needed to be cleaned, bags replaced, and, because the exposure was from his per diem job, he will be responsible to replace things like a blood pressure cuff if the company feels it can't be sterilized and saved.

Stress and expense...oh, joy!

The per diem company is paying to have his car fumigated, but the company can't come until Thursday.  He ended up buying some garbage bags and throwing out almost everything in his car.  He probably went a little overboard, but Jay was so concerned about bringing anything into the house!  The thought of a bedbug infestation in our house....with welt bites on our kids and having to destroy our furniture....was threatening to throw him over the edge!

After disposing of the bags, Jay went to the car wash and completely vacuumed out his car.  When he drove home, he went into the garage and undressed completely and put all of his clothes in a garbage bag.   I had all the kids go into their rooms for a minute so Jay could have a shred of dignity getting to the shower!  There he spent 30 minutes...and all the hot water....scrubbing!  (Again, a little overboard, but unfortunately soap does not wash away fear!)

Poor Jay did not sleep well last night!

I know that God's grace was abundant because, despite my fear of what might happen, I had inner peace.  Before he got home, I knew that Jay was trying to figure out what he had to do to insure nothing came into our home, so Ellie, Jon and I started trying to create some peace in our home so that, whenever Jay finally walked in the door, he would at least have the opportunity to feel a little peace!    They helped me 'company clean' the main living area without complaint.

I was supposed to try a new recipe last night, but Ellie said, "Mom, maybe it would make dad feel better if we made him one of his favorite dishes."  Her suggestion was right on!  She is a very thoughtful girl who loves her daddy!  Thankfully, I actually had the ingredients to make Jay's favorite dish, chicken pie!  There's nothing like comfort food, right!

Even though this whole experience isn't very pleasant...I can't help but be thankful that Jay noticed the bugs before he came home.  That was a blessing!

Even though Jay will have to replace some of the clothing he tossed, all of it was pretty old anyway so he could use an update.  Yes there is the expense involved, but thankfully our tax returns came in last week.  After paying some bills off, what was left we were hoping to save for an emergency fund.  (I guess we just didn't think an emergency would come up so soon!)

Even though this trial is our opportunity to practice having a right response in the face of difficulties, it certainly has increased our prayer life over the last 20 hours!  It also gave me practice putting my husband first and trying to console and encourage him.....and watch my children do the same!  Watching their care and concern certainly made me proud of them.  (And when I told Jay what Ellie had said about dinner he may have shed a tear or two:)

Even Peter was aware of Jay's stress and kept repeating, "Dad had a bad day!"  At one point, Peter randomly read the Bible verse on the back of Jay's shirt(which isn't a common occurrence at all)..."With God all things are possible"....which was a good reminder for us Who is in control!  Comfort can come from many places!

A little love can go a long way to build someone up!

Jay had little glimpses of God's love from others as well.  His co-worker in charge of these types of issues was super kind today.  Her encouragement....and agreement that Jay went a little overboard...helped to calm him.  She even told him that the Bible verse on her daily calendar made her think of him this morning and asked to share it with him...(but I can't tell you exactly until tomorrow what it was bc his coworker has it at home:)

In my experience, the greater the trials the greater the blessings!  If yesterday and today were any indication of Lent's flow for us, we must be in for a pretty amazing Easter!(lol)

So....when there are moments of extra craziness in your home during the next several weeks, just remember, it's Lent!  Maybe we can pray for each other to embrace the struggles and grow in virtue...even the ones we would rather avoid!

I plan to share my triumphs and failures with involuntary penances this Lent!  I would love for you to share yours as well in the comments!  We can share ideas and moral support!

Welcome to Lent, 2014!

 I am linking up with the ladies running:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Little of This and A Little of That

It's 'Fat Tuesday'!  Jon came home and said one of his teachers told him to go home and eat ice cream today.
Me:  So are you giving up ice cream for Lent, Jon?
Jon:  No.
Me:  Then you don't really need to eat it....
Jon:  Well, if that's the logic, then I will have to sit on the couch with my computer open to Facebook until midnight....(as he walked away with his bowl of ice cream!  Jon will use any excuse in the world to have ice cream!)

Kate looked super cute today and even let me put her hair up...and the bow is still there 10 hours later!
You can't see them, but she even had on Minnie socks:)

Luke, Kate, and I sitting on the couch...
Luke: We are all wearing jeans today.
Me:  Yeah, we are jean buddies.
An hour later Kate had a "diaper problem" and needed new pants...
Luke: (seeing a diaper clad but pantless Kate) Where are Kate's pants?
Me:  They got poop on them and I have to get her a new pair.
Luke:  But, we were jean buddies!  (After a moment pause) Does she have another pair of jeans?
Me:  Yes!
(and the jean buddies ride again!)

Ash Wednesday tomorrow......"And so it begins!"

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Monday!

Thankfully, we were spared the giant winter storm that the forecasters had been scaring us with last week.  It's freezing...and we have an inch of new snow...but it's March so spring weather can come at any time!


Winter, winter go away.....

I have to say that for the first time in a very.long.time we had a weekend with no plans!  I can't tell you how nice it was on Saturday puttering around the house working on little projects and spending time with each other.  With the Lego Movie still on the kids' minds, Luke, Jon and Ellie spent lots of time on Saturday sorting through our Lego bins creating all kinds of things.  Even Andrew joined in when he got home from work.

Luke thought it was great having so many people playing with him!

We had a family movie night watching The Emperor's New Groove, a gift Jon received from his friend, Amy, at his party.  It was the perfect gift inspired by our Emperor Kuzco references at senior night!  There were a couple of scenes in the movie where Kuzco reminded us of Jon, and Sarah would look over at us and laugh!  I found an even better picture comparison, too!

Sunday, Jay made an awesome chicken dinner for all of us and we had a mostly laid back day.  Hopefully, the restful weekend will help get rid of all the colds that are hanging around!  I can't wait until I can open up the windows and let some fresh air in!

Today, I have an extra kidlet.  My friend, Shelby, is relocating her family to Alaska(!) because of her husband's job.  She just gave birth about a month ago to her fifth child and now faces the monstrous task of getting her house ready to sell!  Her almost 3 year old daughter will be hanging out with us a few days a week for the next month or so to give Shelby time to do all that needs to be the midst of nursing and caring for an infant!  Yikes!

We have only moved once in our 20 years of marriage and it was only a few miles away when we had only 2 kids.  A few times over the years we have considered moving, and the whole process seemed completely overwhelming!

I hope you had a great weekend, too!  Happy Monday!