Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009 and prayer for SJ

Although it's always somewhat bittersweet to say goodbye to another year, and think about my children entering a year where they will turn 7, 5, and 3 (sounds SO old!)...I have to say that I'm not too upset about leaving 2009 behind.

Whether it be knee surgery for Mary Clare, heart diagnosis for Steven Joseph, hubby being without a job, losing my friend Kelly and my grandmother, and every manner of various illnesses, 2009 has not been the best year ever.

So as we enter into 2010, even though I am dreading the upcoming heart appointment next Friday for Steven Joseph (remember the Heart Campaign!)...I have hopes that it will be a year of new beginnings and newfound joys in our family. Please pray for us!

Some of my goals include: waking before the children, better homeschool planning, better meal planning, making a budget, and spending less time on the internet. That's 5 main goals, maybe I can try to re-evaluate each month.

And my prayer request for tonight (well, this morning since I am up at 2:00am with a sick baby) is for Steven Joseph who has a chest cold/bronchiolitis. We went to the doctor yesterday who prescribed antibiotics and breathing treatments, but his wheezing seems to be getting worse. Please pray that he improves! Thank you!

Here's little man who has been wanting to wear his sister's goggles in the bath!

Funny moment of the day: when your toddler comes to you naked (after being fully clothed, not sure how he got them off) with diaper in hand, saying "Mommy, BIG POOPOO."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Joyeux Noel

Photo Memories from Christmas 2009!

Christ is born!

Our family at Steven's parents house after
Christmas Eve Mass at Steven's high school.

Steven Joseph enjoying the excitement, and reading with BopBop

Girls watching Grampatti make banana bread

Christmas morning at home!
New scooters for all the kids!

A new wooden dollhouse that Mrs. Claus found on Craigslist,
but was a huge headache requiring lots of repairs!

Joe Joe loves his fishing rod and toy tool set

Ellie has been asking for an iron and ironing board for a long time.
She was so excited!

Mary Clare's special "fashion" outfit for her upcoming birthday.
She finally got the glittered zebra flats :)

Also loves her doll with rocking horse from NeNe

Matching aprons I made for my mom and aunt,
out of one denim jumper and fabric scraps!

Other crafted gifts...
I made our family out of peg people last week!

SJ pointing to the leaves on the throw pillow I made for Steven's mom,
representing their 30 children, spouses, and grandchildren.
(Idea from Rachel, tutorial at Cluck Cluck Sew)

and some more crafty gifts that have yet to be given!

riding their new scooters at NeNe and PaPa's

Then over to Grampatti and BopBop's!

Cousins playing "Cocktail Party" kid version!

And playing with toys as the night winds down...

It was a great Christmas and a relaxing weekend. Now we're just dealing with the aftermath of exhausted, coughing kids and messy house. But relishing in this wonderful Christmas season.


Photo courtesy of Steven's cousin Angie who took our family photos in Oklahoma!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Steven Joseph's 2nd Birthday!

"Me two."

Mommy's attempt at a golf ball cake,
and the signs and presents for Joe Joe and NeNe,
who share a birthday!

Happy Birthday to Steven Joseph and NeNe!
Spiderman placemat from Aunt Kathy!
(He is telling everyone this week, "Me two. T-Ball.")

and his own real golf clubs!
Daddy the juggler :-)

Hope everyone is having a fun week, and not stressing too much about Christmas plans! We're pretty much done with our shopping and now I'm having fun crafting new projects with thread and paint! I'll add some photos after Christmas.

May we all open our hearts to the Newborn King this Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Steven Joseph Jr!

just bornone year
two years old!

I pray we share many more years of love and laughter with you, sweet boy! May you grow to know and love the One who made you, the One who holds your heart in the palm of his hand!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kitchen Mishaps

After last week's turkey fiasco, where I prepped the turkey only to find that the pan didn't fit in the oven...we've continued along the kitchen mishap journey...

Tonight we were ready to bake two apple cakes for Steven to take to work tomorrow. As always, something went wrong. We had no vanilla, and not quite enough pecans. So with the kids still running round the house at 9:30 pm after a fun-filled day at my parents'...I raced off to the grocery store alone.

Came back to find kids still running around the house (actually the girls were playing with their new wooden blocks and peg saints, playing "Extreme Home Makeover"--I should've listened longer to hear what kind of house the saints were getting!). Hubby had the batter finished, overflowing the KitchenAid mixer.

He poured it into the bundt pan as I warned..."was it supposed to be greased?" Of course it was, but you So in it went, I cleaned up the kitchen, and set the kids in front of a movie. After finishing most of my cleaning After I finally got tired of the toddler at my feet yelling "Mommy, You!" I went to sit with the kids and relax for a minute. But shortly thereafter I started to smell something...I looked into the kitchen....SMOKE!!!

After cleaning off the filthy mixer, I'd moved it over to the cooktop (ours is a flat range). Apparently I'd knocked one of the burners on, and then set the wooden cutting board on it. The board obviously got a nice big burn mark and our entire house got a nice big smoky haze. After airing it out for awhile the smell is starting to go away, although I'm sure it'll continue to linger.

After finally settling the kids in a less-smoky area, I came back to check on cake #1. Of course it wouldn't come out of the pan, so that one is all in pieces in a plastic container. Here's to hoping that cake #2 turns out good enough for him to take to work....because if it doesn't and I spend nearly 4 hours caring for these cakes and their fiascos...I'm not going to be a happy camper!

Wish me better luck with candy-covered pretzels tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All for the little ones, Christmas joys

These past few weeks have felt a bit gloomy for me. Maybe it's the cold, dark, and muggy weather and feeling like the walls are closing in. Maybe it's grieving the lost loved ones this Christmas. Maybe it's losing my homeschooling steam as we've been plagued with so much death and illness. Maybe it's the household things that all seem to be needing repair. I know my spiritual life needs some repair, that's for sure!

But Christmas is such a happy time for children, I can't help but smile as we belt Christmas carols in the car, as they sing each other quietly to sleep, and as they make the sweetest homemade gifts for each other! So many joys to be found in the expectation that keeps children's hearts alive this time of year!

We've been blessed with many fun activities the past few weeks, and are especially grateful for family visiting this week. My brother Brice is home from his deployment, so he is here to visit and then take his family back home to California. We're going to miss Allison and Addison so much! My aunt is visiting and another uncle and aunt visited over the weekend. We're enjoying this special week with family...

A few of our goings-on...

Art and Nature Club last week. Steven Joseph always joins in!

Mary Clare and Ellie copied the works of Van Gogh

They are starting a Jr Master Gardener program with Nature Club!
Doing a fun activity...where hamburgers come from!

The girls did a make-up ballet class this week, and NeNe and Aunt Marilyn got to watch Mary Clare's little mini-exhibition

Playing at NeNe's this week...
Singing away with the rattle-microphone

Introducing herself for the fashion show

The little fashionista!

Last night I put a few lights outside and we plan to do a little baking later this week as we prepare for some cookie exchanges. We've been taking care of dental appointments and starting to do some Christmas shopping (we're last minute shoppers!). We have abandoned the Alphabet Path until January, when we'll start with letter M and read all about one of our favorite storybook characters, Madeline! Today I spent an hour cleaning out my car, which is looking spiffy with the new wheels! I got out my guitar earlier this week, and listened to poor SJ sob when I put it away. Maybe Santa needs to bring him a baby guitar!

Oh, and I might actually get some Christmas cards ordered this week! Steven's cousin sent the proofs from our Thanksgiving pictures, and I was able to get a digital image of our favorite family photo for some cards. Can't wait to see how they turn out!

And now, off to bed, in hopes that some sugarplum visions will dance in my head (and not cemeteries like last night)...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Video from Christmas Showcase

It's a long video, but includes all the girls' performances...
Mary Clare in Little Flowers/Pickwick singing Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful
Ellie and preschoolers singing The Friendly Beasts
Both girls and ballerina friends doing Nutcracker dance
and everyone singing Angels We Have Heard on High

It was a fantastic evening, we are so thankful for all our precious Bread of Life families. We are so blessed! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Door Gallery

Starting a photo gallery of doors...
Please send me the images or links if you'd like to add yours!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Linking the Heart Campaign

To link to my heart campaign on your Blogger blog, with a button on the sidebar:

1. On your dash, click on Layout
2. Under Page Elements, click on Add a Gadget
3. A new box will open, scroll down and click on Picture
4. In Title box: For Steven Joseph (or whatever you'd like to title it)
5. In the Caption box: and all hearts in need
6. Add this in the Link box:
7. Add this in the Image box titled From the web:
(hopefully it's not too big!)
8. Then save!

Thank you for spreading the word!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Tonight I made our late Thanksgiving turkey.
Tonight the pan wouldn't fit in the oven so I left the oven door cracked.
Tonight the turkey somehow still came out delicious.
Tonight we ate dinner at 8:30pm on my grandmother's china and talked about what we are thankful for.
Tonight my husband claimed it was the best dinner I ever made!
Tonight the dinner dishes still sit on the counter.
Tonight I talked on the phone while my husband went to bed.
Tonight I talked on the phone while my youngest kids got into the sewing supplies and my camera.
Tonight I have 25 comments on my Heart post...1/4 of the way to my goal :-)
Tonight I rescued my battery charger from the bed of the truck.
Tonight the battery charger still works after being rained on and snowed on in the truck bed the past 2 weeks.
Tonight I said I was going to bed early. Really.
Tonight I am brainstorming about all the Christmas gifts I haven't bought.
Tomorrow I must clean the house and do the dishes, and the laundry.
Tomorrow is a dentist appointment for the girls.
Tomorrow is the Christmas program (I hope the batteries charge for the camera!).
Tomorrow is today. I must go join my slumbering family...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Heart Campaign-Open Wide Our Hearts to Christ!

EDIT: Steven Joseph had open heart surgery in September 2011 at age 3.  Surgery successfully closed his ASD and he was only in the hospital for a few days.  His surgery story is HERE. Please continue to pray for hearts in need, and the many children who deal with congenital heart defects.

On January 8th (a month from today) our almost-2 year-old, Steven Joseph, will have a follow-up appointment to check on the status of his heart defect with several scans. In March he was diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect, a hole between the upper chambers of his heart, which is large enough to warrant open heart surgery. We are praying for a miracle, but trusting that God will heal his heart through surgical intervention if need be. They have predicted he will need surgery sometime during his second or third year.

I have encountered many children with heart defects, both strangers and friends, over the past years. I am truly amazed at how many families this affects. Steven's defect is minor when compared to other conditions, but dealing with heart problems and surgery is a scary thing for all families. So in asking your prayers for my son, I'd also like to ask for prayers for all those dealing with heart conditions, in particular for young children.

And in asking for prayers for the physical healing of hearts, I'd also like to offer prayers for the spiritual needs of our hearts, that we might all have hearts that are open to Christ. As we approach the birth of our Savior, may we all find ourselves open and ready to receive His love and let it flow out to others through our own acts of charity. May we also entrust those with broken hearts to the Lord. "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed." Psalm 34:19

Will you join me in this little prayer campaign?

Put a heart near a door in your home. It could be a heart sticker, an ornament, a hanging fabric heart like the one in my photo, or even just a paper heart taped to the door. Whenever you open that door, remember to pray for hearts to be open to Christ. And when you close the door, pray for God to heal hearts in need of repair and closure, both physical and spiritual.

I humbly ask for you to remember our Steven Joseph in your prayers, that his heart would be healed in whatever way God sees fit, and that we would trust in Our Lord's providence. Please spread the word! And please leave a comment on this post if you'll join me in prayer. I'd love to see a hundred or more names here by January 8th! Thank you.

"Open, open wide the doors for Christ!
He alone has the words of eternal life."
Pope John Paul II
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