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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Game Day

Awhile back Tony and I started this tradition with the kids where we have a game night. We drag out the board games, deck of cards, puzzles and after dinner we sit around playing and snacking until way past a proper bedtime. We have been doing it sporadically since Julia was old enough to play candy land and now with the age differences in our house the range of games varies. Today we have a surprise for the kids! One new game for each of them! Now I usually try to prepare finger foods and snacks that are unique to the theme of the games...these three games have got me stumped....good thing I have all day to ponder this one! What I love best about game time is watching all their little personalities come out.. Emerson is the shark! Watch out she is in it to win it! Much like her dad who never believed in letting the kids win on purpose. Blaise is learning the finer points of sportsmanship and taking turns and Julia is much like me, non competitive and more interested in chatter than strategy. We always make the kids shake each others hands and congratulate the winner, daddy still needs help in that one...especially when he loses to Emerson in chutes and ladders!
Regardless, it is a lot of fun for all. I make one rule and we stick to it: all phones off, only positive talk!
Happy Gaming!

Friday, March 30, 2012

When it rains it pours...

Cold, wet, rainy, and damp! Hail or Sleet not sure what to call it! That describes the actual weather I have witnessed in last few hours. Figuratively speaking it has been one of those days! Woke up to another dead battery! Yes again! On my way out door everyone ready to go and no way to get there. A friend tried to help me jumpstart it but it was no use! Ever see two blondes and six kids try to charge a battery? It was fun while it lasted and I say that sarcastically. I was in despair for about a minute and then got myself busy. Which isn't hard to do.. made some popcorn for the kids, cut up some strawberries for the shortcake tonight, and got the house in order for this weekend. It does look dreary and dismal out there but according to the kids this weather makes for great puddle jumping and worm searching. Hey who knew?!?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An Angel

Tony is always bringing junk or trinkets home from the office. Where he finds this stuff is beyond me...sometimes it goes right in the trash, but last week he brought home this little Lennox Angel ornament. He said it was just laying around and would one of the girls like it? Well one angel and two daughters.. Hmm how does one decide. Then I had a God moment or shall I say The Lord pounded my head with a hammer and said to me... This ornament was not meant for your children but for the little girl across the street that recently lost her daddy suddenly. She needs to know an angel is with her always. The girls are busy drawing pictures and they will take the angel over sometime next week when things have settled down. I am thankful that Tony brings the stuff home you never know what purpose it may serve.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rough Night

Ever pull an all nighter...?oh sure back in the day when we had no kids an all nighter was no biggie. Tony had to pull one last night. Poor guy had to stay at his office all night long while new computers were installed. So after working a full day and picking the girls up from church he came home long enough to eat dinner and go back to work. He was there until 6am. He came home exhausted! Yet, he had to shower and go right back at it. No, he can't take the day off or order someone else to do it. The buck stops with Tony shall I say. He will work another 8 hours and then come home and collapse for sure! Back in the day this would have been no big deal, but my spring chick is almost reaching a milestone in birthdays and I think the all nighter did not agree well with him! Please pray for Tony today that he can make it thru today and safely drive home. As a reminder: Banker's hours no longer exist!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Coffee Date

Today I am doing something for myself. Sometimes I get so self absorbed with teaching, cleaning, cooking, and squashing out fires that I forget I need a moment for myself. An old acquaintance contacted me for coffee. She recently had a baby and wants to get together and have baby playtime and chit chat over coffee. I explained to her that inviting me for coffee also means inviting the gang and she was thrilled to meet them and see how they have grown. I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. So this morning the core curriculum gets packed up, the lap top, reading books, and snacks and we are heading over to a local coffee shop. If she consents I would love to snap a photo of her little girl and Benedict. Who knows maybe they will be pals?!?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Truth Shall Set You Free

Been in a very blue mood today! Our neighborhood received devastating news yesterday about sudden death of a young dad. It has caused me to think about the importance of my own husband/father to my kids! I really wanted to shelter the kids from what was happening but they were questioning all the tears and sadness. Then Tony sent me the mustard seed of the day: "Always tell children the truth. They know when you are lying."
So I told the kids what happened and they gave me the most comforting hug and kisses! Why is it the loss of a person, young or old makes one realize the importance of what they have always had?...something to consider!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Family Trees

Tony and I started a tradition the minute we moved in to our house. For every baptism or communion we planted a special tree for each child. Our yard has become a faith filled story as each child now can point out their special trees. Today we let Emerson pick out a tree for her upcoming communion. It is a Japanese flowering cherry tree and for our baby boy Benedict's baptism a Red Maple. Both neighbors on each side of us love the fact that Tony enjoys landscaping so much! We have pine trees, birch trees, pear trees, maple and oak! It is starting to look like a nursery in our backyard! Most will stay, but if we ever move you can bet their will be a few holes where our "family trees" used to be!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Natural History and Stilton Cheese

One of our favorite places to go is Ann Arbor. Their is a lot of places to take the kiddies too, and really nice restaurants for dad! Today we are surprising the kids and going to the museum of natural history. Blaise has become quite the Dino expert and the girls are interested in bugs right now. Along the way I plan to make a stop at whole foods as I am searching for Stilton cheese. Blaise has been reading a series of books and he claims that there is such a cheese. He wants to taste it and anything I can get him to eat is always a bonus. I will post pictures thru out the day as it seems we always find an extra place to stop and look at. The weather is not supposed to be as friendly today so indoor activities seemed more conducive.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Recently we have befriended some unschoolers. For those of you who may not know the difference, an unschooler is one who is led by the child's own interest and desire to learn, rather than a forced curriculum or schedule. This type a girl could never do that but I have noticed some benefits to this flexible style of teaching. For example, with Tony home these couple of days it seems that no one wants to sit with nose in book and learn. There is an insane curiosity about daddy and what he is doing. I of course encourage the children to bond with Tony and I am trying to "go with the flow" as they say. Yesterday Emerson and Blaise helped Tony do the mulch and in the process he taught them gardening, landscaping, and value of hard work. Today is a lesson in auto mechanics as Tony's car is back in the shop and Blaise is getting first hand knowledge of how to fix a car! And what am I teaching the girls?!? The finer art of shopping for the best deals on tees, ballet shoes, and sandals. I am not so sure if I could ever permanently become an unschooler but it definitely has its pluses!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

All Work and no Play

Tony took some time off of work to get some yard work done before our Summer parties! He has been burning the candle at both ends and landscaping work is therapy for him. Today he is doing new mulch, power washing the deck, house, and front porch and picking a new stain for our deck. His incentive is that when he is done I will cook him a steak on the grill! The way to a man's heart is thru the stomach they say! The kids are pitching in to help as they know a family fun day is in the future after all the work is done!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Science

Once the weather warms up we always move science outside...all the messy, fun, and naturey ( made that up) type stuff starts up and the kids become mad about science. Today Blaise was supposed to be learning about surface tension but like any good mom I let him explore and talk me into adding food coloring to his water and then bubbles and last oil! Hey why not! He did discover a bit about surface tension but I think the funnest part for him was blowing the biggest mountain of colored bubbles! The best part was for me! No messy clean up involved... I dumped it out afterwards ( yes dear on your precious grass) and we went inside to cool off! It is hot today!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday!

The kids and I were going to celebrate my mom's birthday today but unfortunately a change of plans occurred. I didn't want her to think we weren't thinking about her today so the kids and I are sending a technological shout out to Nana!
Happy Birthday Nana, love Benedict
Happy Birthday Nana, I hope you like your presents love Blaise
Happy Birthday Nana I hope you have a special day! Love Emerson
Happy Birthday Nana I really miss you and love you and hope you are having a special birthday week! Love Julia
Happy Birthday love Jenn and Tony

Sandbox Saga

Today began the saga of the sandbox...two years ago we got Blaise a sandbox as all boys love dirt! He loves sitting in it with all his trucks... It became a hot spot for the neighbors too! He was king of the world entertaining his lady friends in the sand box...
This year I think it is changing! When his friends came over they seemed cramped in the box. His construction site became a pool for mermaids and a spot to pretend cook. Blaise was not as keen on the change and then when someone suggested he give away his sandbox to his baby brother he abruptly got up and walked off! He has told me he doesn't mind sharing but he still plans on entertaining his friends in his box and he has big plans this season. It involves water and the biggest monster truck hill imaginable! The saga continues...


Julia and I recently began a mother daughter book club. I let her pick the first "read" and I told her to challenge herself and I. Well, she has become interested in fantasy and a little bit of sci-fi so upon the approval of her dad he has consented to the Narnia Chronicles. Seems Tony had read the Screwtape Letters in college and he mentioned C S Lewis was a Christian studying Catholicism at one point. We are halfway thru the first book and although it isn't my cup of tea necessarily I am starting to get into the plot. Julia loves the time together as we cuddle up and I read aloud the chapters and she listens or last night she read to me as my throat is sore and I was not up to par. Sometimes the baby is still awake so he sits in between us and travels with us to Narnia!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fairy Garden

Last Summer the girls became interested in fairy gardens. All winter they researched in books and collected materials to make one in our backyard...Saturday, Tony took the girls shopping and they collected the supplies to begin this seasonal project. Julia created a fairy pond, chairs, and pretty little flowers for growing. She toiled all the soil and followed her landscaping sketch that she drew herself. Emerson helped select a few decorations and they both will be responsible for the upkeep. As the weather warms they will add appropriate perennials so that next year they can sit and enjoy the fairy garden. They have discovered a mysterious thing though...someone or something has been leaving glitter and sparkles along the path...could it be a fairy? This fairy has left very large footprints behind....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Flying High

Who knew air could be so fun!

Air Zoo

Today after mass we are surprising the kids and going to an air zoo in Kalamazoo. It has all the fixings of an actual space and flight experience. There is also a ferris wheel and 3D movie. I think Tony and I are just as excited to experience this as well. We have pretty much gone to every single museum for kids in the state and this one has been in the back of my mind for some time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shakes and Toys

Tony had some honey-do tasks today while Julia and I went sandal shopping. We agreed to treat the kids to shamrock shakes after dinner if all tasks were completed. The kids had other ideas in mind...it seems the Toy Factory in town was going out of business and they were having a fifty percent off sale! Well with allowance money in hand they all made their way downtown. I love a great sale and I love the fact that they could spend their own money and feel the pride! Julia found a bunch of craft activities, Emerson bought a wooden horse stable, and Blaise bought two bath tub toys! Now our little one doesn't quite earn his keep yet by getting any money but when Daddy saw the cute little stuffy he could not say No! I think he will make it his favorite as he cuddled on it and fell asleep. We did get our shakes and walk by the water and feed ducks and just hang out a laugh. It was a perfect day!

Saint Patrick

At age of 14 he was taken off by raiders to Ireland as a slave. In his captivity he turned to God. By his early 20's he had fled his captors and returned home with a new passion and a desire to become a priest. His preaching of the faith resulted in many converts. Quite often he is shown holding a three leafed clover which is symbolic of the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Today is a celebratory day for many Irish people. Although the focus tends to be on green beer and shamrocks and leprechauns... The origins of today began as one man serving and listening to God's call to convert the Irish back to their faith.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Last night Julia became sick. I knew something was awry as she has been extremely emotional lately and that is normally a sign of an illness to come. Sure enough at almost midnight she tearfully came in my room complaining of s stuffy nose and sore throat... I gave her some medicine but she still was complaining of not feeling up to par. So we snuggled down in the bed a d sipped on some honey tea and rode out the night. Tony was up as well with Blaise who seemed restless and it was quite the pajama party! I am walking in a fog now and wondering what the day will bring. I will say this much I am so appreciative of Benedicts Godmother for giving me the huge jar of honey from their farm. We have used it countless times for all sorts of recipes and illnesses! Nature's cure!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No Excuse

My daughter just reminded me I didn't blog today...I went grocery shopping, I made breakfast, lunch and dinner! I cleaned out the garage and managed to make New England Indian Pudding for a history lesson! I vacuumed and put all the laundry away but forgot to blog! I completed all school assignments with the girls and made it to math club where they ran a mock store and learned about tax and percentages... But I forgot to blog! We said our rosary and angelus today, but according to my Julia there is no excuse! I must blog about something.... Hmmmmm?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Park Day

Today is Lily's birthday/adoption celebration. Rabbits have birthdays too! It also happens to be gorgeous and a Wednesday! All good reasons to plan a park day! Emerson wanted to invite a friend and make a day of it! Lily requested Mac and Cheese for dinner and ice cream sundaes...she has an advanced palate for a rabbit. She will be surprising the guests with Bunny bucks ( chocolate bars in shape of a dollar) and a balloon game! I am excited as this will be Benedicts first time at our local park.... I have recollections of taking each baby here for the last 9 years and now I get to take him. I wonder will he like the slide? Swing? Or monkey bars best? Will he be overwhelmed like Blaise was or a go getter and social butterfly like Julia. Time will tell that of course. For now he is satisfied to sit and watch and take it all in!