Monday, June 30, 2008

Smiles and Tears

Let's start with the smiles!

That sweet early morning boy I was mentioning

The new water park nearby had a grand opening on Saturday, complete with free food (Chic-fil-a) and goodies! Here's Steven with the girls floating down the "lazy river"

Ellie with her balloon kitty from the clown at the water park (the girls are apparently no longer scared of clowns!)

Those 10 cent magazines from the library are helping me out. Fun reading, a contest offer I'm hoping to win (for a new kitchen!), and a half hour of entertainment for the baby. But he just looks so old here, I'm having visions of that "little boy" face I'll be seeing in the future.

Other big smiles for:
~My friend K who fully entered the Catholic church last night, receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist! She's our friend who has been through a whole lot of trials recently, including cancer. We love you K and were so happy to share the beautiful evening with you!
~My new free haircut, see post below
~A Friday nature club about sand and pool outing with our homeschool friends
~Spending the afternoon with friends making and baking treats for tomorrow morning's tea for Mary Clare's last Miss Manners Class

~The O family in our homeschool group whose 17 year-old son Hayden passed away after a swimming accident this weekend (they are the ones who host our "farm" activities--All Saints' Day party and berry picking)
~The G family who I knew in collegetown...I just found out their 6 year-old son has gone through 9 months of treatment for brain cancer (but is in remission, praise God!)
~Another little boy, H, in my church circles who is undergoing treatment for a relapse of his cancer. They came to K's party last night and the priest prayed over him with everyone. It was really moving.
~Another friend who has been very sick.

Thank you God for the smiles, and please be with all those who are sick and grieving. May the soul of H rest in peace.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Locks of Love...

received some new hair today!

(thanks to Mary Clare, the photographer and P salons who gave free cuts today!)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

You have to read this story...

and watch the videos here:
from the Washington Post
(Fr. Brendan, a priest we know, mentioned it in his homily a few weeks ago)

One of the most famous violinists, Joshua Bell, claimed to be the most famous classical musician in America, plays his Stradivarius violin in the DC subway station. Over 1000 people walk by and only a few stop to listen, dropping in pennies! I hope I would've been one of the few to stop!

Good food for thought...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dear Stevie,

Just about a week ago, you hit the half-year mark! How did my baby boy turn into a big boy already? Wasn't it yesterday I was laboring that night before the c-section? Or nursing my newborn on the couch on Christmas morning? Or welcoming our newest little Christian in Baptism? How these months have flown by!

Your babyhood has been so different from the girls' in so many ways. First of all, it was such a blessing to bring you home to our house and feel like we were welcoming you into a settled family life. You don't get quite as antsy at home like the girls did in our apartments, and you enjoy just hanging around watching everyone, no matter where we are! Last weekend you sat for maybe half an hour in your high chair at the kitchen table just watching your sisters and their friends play and color. I also love being able to let you roll around the living room since we try to keep small toys out, and the carpet is nice and clean thanks to Daddy the vacuumer! I'm sure you'll be crawling soon, but for now I'm happy to contain you in the exersaucer or Johnny Jump Up which you love!

You are such a boy! You spit up more than the girls did, although that's finally slowing down. You make those cute high-pitched screaming noises when you get excited and you love just babbling at us in your sweet baby voice. You like chewing on balls and cars and animals. You are about 18 pounds and are difficult for us all to lift! You've got more "rolls" than the girls did and less hair. It's finally making some spikes at the top, and I'm convinced that those teeth are going to come in any day now! You are so miserable biting your hands and other things all day long...poor baby! You don't care much for the carseat or the stroller (though you still love the Moby wrap), and you are a very light sleeper, which is a bit hard with the loudmouths around here!

You are crazy about food! We're not so crazy about the kinds of diapers that food produces, but it's hard for us to deny you those sweet joys of these first licks and tastes of foods off our plates, you get so giddy! But of course you are getting all your nourishment from Mama right now, although it's getting harder to nurse you because you are so distracted! The only place I can count on you nursing peacefully to sleep is in bed. But I treasure those quiet moments in my peaceful room with you...stroking your soft face and chubby arms and knowing it will be over all too fast.

I am having so much fun being Mommy to my little boy and dressing you in blue. Baseball hats, stripes and overalls are fun, as are those cute swim trunks! I look forward to watching you and your sisters grow up together and I enjoy spending each and every day with each of you. I am so blessed to be your Mommy, Stevie Joe (I know Daddy hates that nickname), and I can't wait to spend each sunny morning next to my happy cooing baby boy. I love you, Steven Joseph! Happy 6 months!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And a video...

of my swimming girls at a playdate today! Mary Clare swims across the pool, I turn to video Ellie, and then she heads across the side of the pool at the end. Way to swim, MC!

Long time, no "see"

Thank you, Megan. She let me borrow her camera until my "new one" arrives from overseas, thanks to another generous friend :)

Here's what we've been up to...

A little of this

And a little of that

A little of this

And a little of that (yeah, that's the old swim teacher/lifeguard who helps us out at the pool...we're so lucky!)

A little of this

And a little of that (what the boys do when we're shopping in Kohl's!)

Hope you're having a fun week too!

A Happy Sight

Thank you, HEB.
And after that there was another happy sight...a regular shopping cart (not a giant "car" cart) with 2 spaces up front for tired girls to sit after an exhausting jaunt to the library!
And thank you, Jackie, my friend who let me know that magazines are only 10 cents at the library! Woohoo! Some mommy magazines for me :)

Signed, a happy mama

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What I love

about my house...

I love how you walk inside to see the giant playhouse and messy playroom when you first walk in the door.

I love the jump rope in the hallway and the Johnny Jump Up hanging in the doorway.

I love the little baby toys all over the living room.

I love the stroller and shopping cart in the bathroom.

I love the Juicy Juice in the fridge and the Pop-Ice in the freezer.

I love the overgrown garden and the corn stalks with bean plants wrapped around them.

I love the smell of sunscreen, the swimsuits strewn about the house, and the beach towels drying on the fence.

I love the cute little cloth diaper wrapped around the dimply, rolly belly.

I love the tap shoes worn all around the house.

I love the little voice crying "I don't have a spot" in the middle of the night.

I love the tears and concern when the dog escapes from the backyard, again.

I love the letters with invented spelling found on the floor "PLEZ HELP ME"

I love the giggles that come from the baby as he watches his sisters dance around the room.

I love the snoring children while I eat ice cream and surf the net!

And I really love the beeping of the alarm when Daddy comes in the back door. Because even if I didn't love all those things very well today, he makes it all better.

I love my house. I love my life. I love my husband and children. Thank you, God :)

Nothing to say, no pictures to post.

Hopefully we'll have the camera thing sorted out in the next few days! Our week has been rather uneventful...

The girls wrapped up anything they could think of for Steven for Father's Day...his tie, toys, markers, etc. It was really cute!

We've gone swimming almost every evening. Mary Clare can now take breaths in the deep end (Praise God! Now it's not so scary to watch her swim!), and Ellie is getting confident swimming to us in her floaties. Stevie loves the water too!

Steven is doing a bathroom project this weekend, so hopefully I'll have some pictures to post of that.

Oh, and we had a fun grocery store trip yesterday! The Kroger that is close to our church (where we had science class) has kid-sized shopping carts! The girls pushed the carts while I just held SJ in the Moby wrap. They had a blast and I didn't have to push a!

Someone on one of my message boards asked us yesterday...what is SO you? Her example was a diaper bag that had a print she loved, but I found some art prints that are SO me:

Since I love the beach and this looks like my little family! (I need to buy this print!)

And I love the colors of these flowers!

So...what is SO you? Post a link in the comments!

Now I've got to go clean my house for my lay group coming over in less than 2 hours! Hope you have a great Thursday!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fabulous Family

This week has been all about the family! Here's our little family after the baptism. I am still sometimes in shock that we have 3 kids. We're like a real family. And my baby brother...he has a baby! Then there's my own little baby, who I distinctly remember delivering about a week ago...but no, he's almost 6 months old and is rolling all over the place! The other day I couldn't find him and was blaming MC for taking him somewhere. He'd actually rolled under the coffee table and was hanging out trying to grab it!

Didn't do much around the house this week. Laundry is still stacked on the couch. At least it's washed. Instead of cleaning, I ventured with all 3 kids to the pool today (Eeks, yesterday. I'm doing the late night thing again!). I met some neighbors and somehow kept all the kids from getting hurt or sunburned. I even let the girls ride their bikes there and back! Mary Clare is swimming really well, taking breaths and all. I was looking into some lessons for the girls at a nice swim school...$500!!! Can you believe that?

We spent tonight at the Symphony (the zoo one night and symphony the next...what a cultured family!). I bought diapers afterwards and a Gatorade on clearance (and a few other things. Steven knows I can't go into the grocery store without buying a few bag's worth of stuff!). I was so proud to spend 50 cents on that Gatorade, instead of the ~$4 they cost at the symphony! Tomorrow we'll hopefully have a last visit with my brother and family before they head back to California, and then maybe have a quick visit with 2 of Steven's aunts here from out-of-town. No big plans for Daddy's Day...I think he's going to want to take a break after this busy week!

Well, back to looking at cameras online (any recommendations?) and I better go join my family in bed...after I move one or two kids so I have a place to sleep! Good night and have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sweet Stevie

Another pic from my parents' camera. I got him his 2nd new outfit for the baptism! He has received so much clothing from family that this is only the 2nd time I've bought him something to wear! This is the "picture chair" and I'll have to find some of me and of the girls as babies sitting in this chair :) It's been a busy week and we had a fun zoo visit last night (sans camera), but we've got another day at home before the busy weekend begins! Hope you all have a great one!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A New Creation!

Welcome to the Church, Addison! We love you!
(thanks to NeNe and PaPa's camera :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Last Pics for Awhile

Now I've broken my camera...*sigh*. It fell for the upteenth time, but this time on the *carpet*! I think it's officially gone. But here are pictures from yesterday! Please pray for our precious niece and Goddaughter who will be baptized this afternoon! Isn't she a doll?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Visiting Family!

My aunt Marilyn (aka Mrs. Santa Claus) came with presents for all!

Their first Cabbage Patch babies that aren't hand-me-downs from my childhood!

Thanks, Aunt Marilyn!

Looking at NeNe's wedding album

New swimsuits!

We finally met our niece Addison yesterday! They are visiting from California where my brother is stationed with the Navy. Here's Mary Clare with Stevie and Allison with Addison eating at our favorite Sunday eatery on the Waterway...

Super big sis!

NeNe with 2 of her grandgirls :)

Sweet Sisters

Brice (my brother) with Addison and Steven squared! I can't believe my brother is a daddy!

Tomorrow my cousin and her two girls come into town and then Tuesday is the big Baptism Day for Addison! Should be a fun family week!

Friday, June 06, 2008


Since I haven't already posted enough tonight and since I should totally be awake uploading videos instead of sleeping at 1 am, for your viewing enjoyment....

Stevie starting to sit up, for a few seconds at least!

While all the other children were looking at books at the BOOKstore, Ellie found the books that played music and was performing and having dance class on the stage. Here's one of her performances before she got her little boy friend over there on stage left (yes I had to Google to remember which were stage right and left!) to take pictures of her with a book shaped like a camera and tell her what dance steps to do. So funny! Although the older Barnes & Noble employee did not find her antics as funny as the rest of us and we had to make a quick exit with two crying girls! That might not be the best place for a dancing princess with no nap ;-)

Please excuse the short shirt--I guess that one is ready for the storage bin!

And finally, Mary Clare did this little video today. I just watched it for the first time and got a huge chuckle. I'm sure you will too!

And she did make another video after that using some books to hold the camera, but she never got around to dancing or performing, so I'll spare you that one today (since my large rear-end appears in it too)!

Have a fabulous Friday, everyone!


but I'm going to have to start the word verification thing on comments. I'm getting those nice lottery links once a week or so, where they leave a comment on every post of my first page. Annoying! We'll see if this helps. Has it helped those of you who use it?

And while we're talking blog details, do you like my little ditty on the "About Me"? Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Science Class

One of the homeschool moms is teaching a science class using the Real Science 4 Kids series. We had the first one this week and the kids really enjoyed it! Some of it went above their heads, but overall it was a great class and they enjoyed having their books and backpacks, notebooks and "real" school!

K teaching about atoms and molecules

MC making observations

Not sure if Ellie was eating or observing these! Actually I was really impressed she stayed in her seat and listened for the whole hour! She was supposed to be in the toddler playdough area at the back, but there was no keeping her away from the class!

Now when she started teaching about the periodic table (there were older kids who needed some higher-level stuff) this is what MC and her friend were doing...making observations of the floor?

Where's the house?

Aren't these beautiful?
Thanks, Lillian :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

Ellie found the camera in her bedroom ;-)
Guess I can stop gazing at the Nikon D40!
But I'm still missing my swimsuit and some goggles from Sunday's adventures...
St. Anthony?

EDITED: Thanks, St. A! My swimsuit showed up in the stroller basket :) But as for the goggles, I think they were left by the side of the pool. And our friends have officially moved out of state. Oh well. Speedo will get some more of my money...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Foto Frustrations

So I think I mentioned that our camera is lost. And if you haven't noticed, we lose things a lot around here. A few weeks ago, it was the wallet, found by a kind stranger in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Today I locked the keys in the car while spending about 2 hours at Wal-Mart (Maybe I need to stay away from Wally World?). My heart was racing as we walked to the car with all the groceries and I was warning the girls that we might not be able to get in the car. Thanks be to God--the sliding door didn't lock and we found the keys on the floor, right where Ellie dropped them after taking them away from Steven Joseph! I'd given the keys to him to play with while I put on the Moby wrap...bad idea.

So anyway, my camera is missing and I'm hopeful that Ellie has stashed it somewhere around the house. But I'm also eying some nice new expensive cameras that we can't afford. Thankfully my parents had a camera at the dance recital. But I was really missing my Easyshare yesterday when we had another wonderful lunch on the waterway, complete with live music! I told Steven to go request a song...but who would we request? Of course he answered Johnny Cash. The guy was talking all about my little dancing princesses and then said he'd sing a song for them. What was it? "Ring of Fire!" And Steven hadn't even requested Johnny Cash yet! We got a great laugh. They also sang some songs for my parents. We'll be headed back there for lunch on Father's Day...hopefully with my camera!!!

So I would've loved to have had some photos and video of the girls dancing. And I would've loved even more to have had the camera last night at the lake when we gave a farewell to some friends moving out of state. The kids swam their hearts out and we ended the night with a BANG (fireworks)! Oh and today was Mary Clare's 2nd "Little Miss Manners" class. One of the homeschool moms is teaching this class at her house. The kids were so precious I would've loved to have had pictures of all the little girls in their finest dresses sitting for tea! Speaking of fineries, I also found a great deal on my online classifieds for 5 beautiful skirts for $10! I'd like to get a picture of those too. Ah, and my co-sleeping children...they're just so cute these days, even if they keep our bed way too crowded! One of these days I'll get a picture of one of my favorite times of the quiet night with the kids and hubby all cuddled up snoring :)

But alas, I've had to recount these days in words. And I'm up one minute past my bedtime! I'm trying to do better with my schedule and prayer this week. We'll see how I do! I was proud to accomplish this Monday...morning baths, the manners class, Wal-Mart fiasco, laundry washing (not folding), dishes, dinner, new chore charts for the girls, set-up of new backyard baby pool and sprinkler, several pages of 100 Easy Lessons with MC (I found a way to motivate her), starting a work project for my parents, and this long blog post. Good night!
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