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Monday, April 30, 2012

Emerson and her stole

I had the pleasure of making a stole with Emerson for her upcoming First Communion. It was a highlight of our weekend, in between the sneezes and coughing going thru the house. As we cut and glued on the symbols she asked me about my first communion. I am a convert, and so I shared with her how at my mid 20's my girlfriend Karen helped me discover what Catholicism was. Many people assumed I only converted because Tony, whom I had just met was Catholic as well. I am sure God placed him in my life at that particular time two weeks after I bought a ticket for a Marcus Grodi conference, but not even Tony could have instituted the miraculous change the Eucharist brought into my life. Emerson asked me what it was like taking communion that Easter vigil in 1995 and I still recall to this day the amazing grace and healing my soul underwent. It was special just her and I sitting at the table sharing our thoughts and I really hope I imparted to her the monumental moment she is about to experience. I know the miraculous gift she will receive is nothing I can give her in words or tangible things, and as my MIL reminds me daily, I must trust in Jesus to do the rest!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wagon Ride

With Julia, it was repetitive car rides back and forth thru downtown until she conked out. Emerson loved her stroller walks and Blaise preferred the baby carrier, I swear the kid lived in that baby carrier! Benedict has proven to be just as unique. His favorite thing to do is ride in his wagon! He likes to be held by a sister or brother, but when he is tired he loves to lay down and just snooze. We just took a lovely Sunday walk around the block, minus Julia who is resting on couch with lap top, phone and iPad nursing her sore throat! She may be milking it a little bit I think! We walked and talked and at one point saw a train passing by...fun times!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hide and Seek

Well we did it! And I don't say this to brag as if I am a supermom or something, but we finished another school year! Remember now I started wayyyyy early due to baby being born and scared out of my wits I would get behind! So yesterday I officially promoted Julia to 7th grade, Emerson to 3rd and even my little Blaise wrapped up his Kindergarten and is on his way to first grade! We had whoops and yells and shouts and hide the books and put away the notebooks! I thought I would feel great inside but then it hit me?!? Now what? What do I fill the days with before Fall? Oh sure we have a vacation and 4h and birthday parties but I am talking about all that down time...when you run as tight a ship as I do any down time is a scary thought. For example, yesterday Blaise flooded the sink during his down time. One thing is for sure I am looking forward to just playing the role of mommy for the next few months. My highlighter and red pen are being hidden away in the cupboard until the Fall! Speaking of hide and seek...Benedict discovered a new favorite hiding spot today...oh I love being a mom!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Art Angel

Yesterday was Julia's art day and I wasn't planning on speaking about her art work, but then I received an email from my MIL that it was also the day Of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Right before that email a girlfriend of mine reminded me she had been completing her novena as well. I know I am rambling but when I get excited I do that so please be patient. For months now I have been in prayer now regarding a major decision that Tony and I have been considering. I must of had cotton in my ears as I could not hear the answer or what to do about my predicament. Then it dawned on me that God does not always wrap the answer up in a pretty little bow and hand it to us. Sometimes heartache, pain, and a dose of discernment are given before clarity. When Julia showed me her art work yesterday she followed with "Mr. West said no two Angels are alike and I envisioned this was what your Guardian Angel looked like. I wanted to draw this for you just because."
It brought me to my knees as I knew God had used my daughter to guide my own stubbornness at accepting what I already knew to be the right thing to do. Following good counsel is not always easy but right. I shared my thoughts with Tony and he agreed that it was time to put some action into our plan and so begins our journey...
To be continued....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Poem in my Pocket

Ok so all credit for today's activity is going straight to my cousin Sarah. She is extremely intelligent and via Facebook, which I am loving by the way she sent a link out about it being a national poetry day! The spinoff was that people were choosing their favorite poems and placing them in their pocket and periodically or randomly thru out the day pulling out said poem and reciting it. Well I could not wait to tell my gang about today's activity and they could not wait to get started. Now they all wanted to copy down their favorite poem and Blaise wanted to make a picture of his. Hey he's only four I had to bend the rules a bit. Benedict had a more culinary approach and found a Shel Silverstein extremely tasty! I would love to be on a campus or library today listening to the recitations of people's favorite poets, but for now I am anxiously waiting to find out what poem is in their pockets! Thank you Sarah!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Purrfect 10

Julia is a t-shirt fanatic...to those who knew her as a baby they may find this funny. For the first three years of her life I only dressed her in dresses. I suppose she became a victim of dress burn out. I am just learning to embrace the notion that God has a great sense of humor. As moms we think we know our kids so well and what is best for them but sometimes they teach us a thing or two...take this t shirt Julia insisted on wearing recently. It's cute and all but I had purposely chose not to wash it for a few weeks in hopes that I would not have to look at it on a daily basis. Recently I discovered it soaking wet laying over the edge of the tub. What happened I exclaimed? Julia replied: you seemed to be getting behind in your laundry so I took it upon myself now that I am 10 to wash it myself, but you will have to wash your own clothes because this was hard work....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wrap Up

This is the last week of school for us. The girls have accomplished quite a lot this year and even Blaise did exceptionally well for all the demands I placed on him. We are always in learning mode, or at least I am... Ha ha but the girls are excited at a break from the routine. We are planning on learning Latin this summer or attempting to I shall say... And they always like to do summer science stuff, Emerson will be improving her book report skills and Julia will be spending some time in the world of pre- algebra...ahh doesn't that sound fun! Ok many will say gee give the kids a break so before anyone judges my perfectionistic ways we also have lots of fun planned to! There is a vacation coming up altho not sure the destination yet hint hint Tony and park days and the beloved 4h fair and the pool and oh yes I believe someone promised a picnic at the park and painting when the weather warmed up. I also want to take advantage of some of the downtime just sitting on the front porch reading some classics to the kids. Blaise has a camp out planned with Tony and the girls and I are wanting to get to Farmers Market to get some seasonal fruit. So in a few more days if you hear shouting and squealing and find textbooks flying in the air it is just my gang celebrating another successful school year!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I feel odd talking about this, as I am not one that likes blabbing about material things. The kids were insistent that I document this only because it shows a true sense of selflessness on Tony's part. He really surprised me Sunday in a way that shocked my socks off! Most that follow this blog know that Tony and I don't really do big gifts for each other. We focus on the kids and come to a mutual agreement on things we need for the home or family. He occasionally surprises me with flowers or a special candy treat and that is sufficient for me. Today was different in a truly unforgettable way. I have really enjoyed my blogging, Facebook and tweets! I have not minded doing it via my phone and I don't label myself an expert it is merely a hobby. The thought of doing it from an iPad was a dream. Today that dream became a reality. Tony surprised me and gave me an iPad so that I could use it as a teaching tool and as a form of entertainment. I don't like indulging myself like this and it was awkward at first, ok it was awkward for a second and then I cried and then I gleefully began to think about all the ways I can use this device. I am really thankful that Tony did this for me. Ok enough about me I feel like I am bragging and I don't like to do that. Anyways, thank you to my hubby!

Celebration Cake

Yesterday was like a twilight zone experience...it began as any other normal day...Tony preparing to power wash deck...he rents a 300 lb commercial size one which he discovers will NOT work..being on a time constraint he rushes in vain to get the thing working so he can stay within his four hour time frame. Three hours later still no luck.. We decide to take it back...alas how does one lift a 300lb washer when all neighbors are gone for day?!? He decides to go to Home Depot to get a board to build a ramp to push said washer into van...as he attempts to move it he clips his Achilles heel and falls in driveway in vain..
It gets better trust me. He attempts to leave our battery in van is dead as he left doors open entire time to work on power washer. He rushes up to store in his car only to realize he left his wallet at home...rushes back home with ramp to put washer back in van...while pushing it I find out pigeons are building a nest in our garage. I'm shooing them out and Tony is quickly putting washer in van... Only few more minutes and he runs out of time!
He did manage to get washer to store in nick of time to which they informed him it was a broken unit! Are you joking me?!? In meantime we managed to get both cars up and functioning and make a cake! A celebration cake really that we survived this wacky weird day! We all sat around table laughing afterwards at chaos and how one thing led to another... Oh and Julia said blame it on the birds. They didn't want their nest under the deck disturbed!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Let me explain to you the power of prayer. I have been praying for several years now for Tony. He is a great guy, a good provider and one of high morals! But I wanted better for him. I knew he could be an excellent father a courageous one not ashamed to say NO to work and yes to his Family and to God. Recently I have been noticing a change... Afraid to even think it was permanent I just held my breath and continued to support him and pray. I didn't doubt God's ability or that He was listening I knew Tony merely had to say YES I want to be a stand up man for my family. Last week the holy spirit put it in his heart to attend a men's meeting where they watched the movie Courageous. I urged him to go thinking he would meet some new pals. Little did I know the change and impact this movie would make on his heart. He came home excited and willing to share with me his desires for our family. I was urged myself to watch the movie. Boy, it was a tear jerker in good and bad ways. I certainly wanted to jump on board with the resolutions that were presented in the movie. I want my children to have the kind of father presented in the movie and Tony wants to be that kind of dad. He has the fun, friend guy down pat! But the discerning, guiding spirit of a father that drops everything and dances with his daughter as if it is his last opportunity to touch and hold his beloved child! That's the man I want and that is the man he desires to become. I am feeling so blessed by God these days and I know life will have it's ups and downs I am just thankful my husband and family have God along for the ride!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day Off

I woke up today ecstatic! No chores, no school, no pressure!
We piled in van and set out to go visit Nana and Papa. It has been ages since all the kids have been there to visit! It was so much fun playing with chalk, colored bubbles, and eating the yummy Amish peanut butter. I mainly wanted my mom to get a lot of exposure to Benedict as I am hoping to leave him and Blaise home with the grandparents as I venture to my next little flower meeting with the girls. Benedict made strange at first, as he does with everyone, but warmed right up to Nana! He's no fool he knows where to go for some spoiling! It was really a nice day of visiting and playing just like our good old Friday fun days used to be!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Swing

Twitter-twit twit go the tweeting birds as they soar thru the air
Like paper airplanes
swish swish swish goes my hair.
Creak squeak creak
Back and forth I go on the old wooden swing.
Rustle! Goes the branches up high.
Back and forth back and forth!
The swing breaks in two like a banana split.
Sssssnap Goes the rope, swooosh!
I fly thru the air...
Puff fluff I land in a bed of flowers as fluffy as a mattress.
My friend and I giggle wiggle roll in the grass like an elephant taking a dust bath.
Swish wish wash woosh
Do the spring swing!
Julia, 10

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

White Poodle

When my mother was clearing out my grandmothers place she generously let the kids and I come and take any of grandma's knick knacks for keepsakes. Grandma had so many unique and unusual things it was amazing. One little trinket that Emerson fell in love with is a white poodle statue. I have no idea where he came from or his story of why my grandma had him, but we love putting him out as part of our spring decor. Recently a friend of mine told me she had seen him before in an antique store?!? I am not interested in if he has value or not, his cheeky little look is enough for us!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dog Sitting

Ok I know yesterday I said I was coming from a place of no, but this obligation was pre-awakening! This is Isabelle! Our neighbors dog that needed a little tlc while her family is away. My dog experts have fed her, walked her and played with her! This is only a 48 hour gig but she is one pampered pet!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Saying No is saying yes to the Kids

A very spiritual friend of mine has written the most beautiful blog recently. I can not get it out of my mind. The summary of it is basically moms need to not feel guilty about saying "no" to certain things... Paring down is how she called it...but I digress let me start at my own beginning. I have done an injustice to my kids. This year in an effort to work on my social anxiety issues I may have gone overboard "yessing" myself to death. I have agreed to just about everything put in front of me, and although the kids have been kept VERY active and busy I have sent myself into a horrible tailspin where I can't come up for air. Many know my situation and I am pretty much flying solo without any direction. Sure people sweetly offer to help, and although I appreciate it, how does one dump their own mess onto another's lap and walk away to relax?
So as not to plagiarize my dear friend Amanda I will be coming from a place of No! I will say it politely and kindly and please don't hold a grudge or be upset....
The kids are almost done with school and the recital and communion and religious Ed will be done at end of May! We will take a break from art class this summer and 4h will be done by end of July! All the other engagements will be placed on hold until further notice as God is telling me I need to say Yes to my family...we need to sit on the grass and look at clouds, collect bugs, make sand pies and take walks. We need to have more time around the table and less time sitting in the van going from point a to point b!
Instead of rushing thru our prayers to get somewhere on time we need to spend more devotional time in prayer. It is going to be like when you go to a store and the clock on the front door says: out to lunch be back later!
That's me! I am finally saying no to the chaos and yes to the kids!
I always say " I am doing it for them!"
Now I need to put my actions into place!
Thank you Mandi!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy: the devotion focuses on the merciful love of God that is based on the writings of St. Faustina Kowalski. God wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we can call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others.
At 3pm we are taking the family to St. Roberts to say the chaplet and confession. God knows we love Him when we keep his commandments. Works of mercy for our family mean bearing each others wrongs, forgiving them, serving others and loving our enemies.
Happy Sunday from our family to yours! God Bless!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Who Knew?!?

My mom likes Hawaii Five O.
My cousin in Calif. posted a cool vegetarian food pyramid.
My aunt and uncle in Trout Creek are monitoring the weather.
My sister in law in Chicago bought a new mop. I learned what a chile could be used for in cuisine..and my sister in law in Wisconsin and I finally found a way to connect and stay in touch! This all happened via Facebook, in one day! Now I have always enjoyed my anonymity and privacy, and unlike most don't care to connect with Joe Smith from twenty years ago! But I did find it fascinating the information, random I will admit, gathered in only a few hours! Will I be able to keep up? Probably not! I prefer to have face to face time with someone! But I did love seeing my adorable nephews collage at 9 months old and viewing some old pictures of family I haven't seen in years! And yes I know my profile is skewed and not detailed, but hey have you seen my hubby's? Tito Widget? Check it out and God Bless!

Friday, April 13, 2012


You want to know a way to make a 4 year old stand still? Have him go outside and watch tree cutters! At approx. 8 this morning we heard chainsaws. Blaise rushed to window only to discover that Old Hickory was coming down! Several large dead trees were here when we all built our homes and each year one or more are taken down, either manually or by the wind!
This particular one the kids loved as it was especially spooky looking on Halloween! The tree cutters informed me they were donating all the wood to an older woman that carves the hickory into furniture?!? Interesting I thought!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nature Versus Nurture

Last night at Emerson's ballet class Julia brought her sketch pad and began drawing some of the girls dancing. Another mom began raving about her "talent" and how great she was. Julia is a humble kid and smiled and kept drawing. The mom began inquiring on my own drawing ability to which I laughed hysterically and showed her my stick figure rendition of drawing. I began pondering the old question is it Nature or Nurture...environment or genes...although I firmly believe all things come from God, He does allow certain things to happen. Every morning when I wake up I see this little cat picture painted by Julia when she was 3. I know her desire to be artistic began at an early age, but was it nature or nurture? I also know Tony has a lot of creative folk on his side and my mom is awfully crafty herself so I do believe part of it is genetic. Recently, Julia began designing prayer cards for people. I found that to be a prime example of using your talents for the greater good. When I look at a beautiful photo or painting I always think how blessed that individual is to have been given that particular gift. I find it sad when people tell me they aren't good at anything. We all have special gifts, a little self exploration will bring them out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bird Watching

Been watching the "birds" too busy to blog today! Happy Wednesday! Love me

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Baby Talk

Our Pediatrician gives out free magazines to just about every parenting magazine available and today I was surprised with an article about music, books and dirt! I knew the importance of music and reading which we do every day! But here's the kicker: a little dirt won't hurt! They actually recommend a little less germ x and a little more play time in dirt! Benedict recently had his first exposure to sand and what you didn't see was me washing his feet and hands after, then
rubbing his hands and feet with sanitizer, putting on new socks and shoes and throwing all his clothes in wash when we got home! Lol! I do this with all my kids! Maybe I will try and relax a little bit but I'm still toting my pocket-bac with me!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bubble Wrap

Ok so this is something that the kids did last week but I have been preoccupied with other important things to gab about so it is delayed! The kids definitely want to remember this in our blog so here goes: you may recall how I mentioned Tony is always bringing stuff home from work! Random things, well last week he brought home approx. 15 feet of the large packing bubblewrap!
I decided to tear it into large strips and let the kids go at it! They jumped, they rolled, they used scooters, bikes, and roller skates on it. I have never seen so much fun with something as ordinary as bubble wrap. Of course it brought out a few curious neighbors wondering? Gunshots? Fireworks? Oh just them homeschooling Taratuta kids! Lol
We received many smiles though and one guy wanted to join in! The only downside was the wind picked up occasionally and blew the bubble wrap down the street whereby three kids went screaming " save it save the bubble wrap!"
My neighbors must love us!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekend Highlights

I'm sitting here eating leftovers thinking about what a great weekend it truly was! My parents came over this afternoon and although I forgot to take pics! I can verbalize that we ALL had a blast! My mom brought some yummy taco dip and pin wheel sandwiches and spinach dip and Tony fired up the George Foreman and cooked bacon, sausage and of course all the sweets too! Lemon cupcakes made by my mom and our orange supreme cake with a cross shape on top! My favorite moment was when I was sitting down at dining table and my girls were there and my mom. The boys were watching some sports show and us gals were gabbing about the past! Isn't that what girls do? We gab and talk over things while we eat and clean up and relax. It was truly a nice day and one that I will recall with my girls! "remember the Easter when Nana and Papa came over..."
Enjoy some highlights I may have missed mentioning....