Saturday, November 24, 2018

7QTs - Gobbling all the way! Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Linking up with Kelly ... post China, much turkey edition


So I made it back from China without much ado... though there was a medical emergency on the flight from Detroit back to RDU and I am pretty sure that the would have been diverted had there not been a doctor and a nurse on board. I hope Delta gives those medical professionals a free flight if they have to step in and help like that. Anyhow.... Saturday Lee took E and R to a swim meet early Saturday morning. E swam the 100 fly and didn't DQ which was the goal - not her time. R did well and she DQed in breast and IM - not surprisingly but it was her second meet ever and she's really only been swimming for about a month. 

Saturday evening we did our week one Advent activity - Operation Christmas Child in an exhausted state but it had to be done. 

Sunday we FINALLY celebrated M's 5th birthday. 

This is the cake that my mom worked tirelessly on and then sat in the freezer for 2 weeks but it was still yummy.

It was massive. M was thrilled to finally celebrate her birthday and I was thrilled to be able to take the HB decorations down. 

Monday kicked off the (seemingly) endless Thanksgiving celebrations at school - so I am thankful for all the kids that we have been so generously blessed with to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. I am thankful for both their sweet little schools and their amazingly great and dedicated teachers (and staff) who make the schools go round. And I'm thankful for my jobs that allow me the time and the space to shoot off to the parties mid-work day and go and come as I need to enjoy these special moments with the kids. 

First up was R and her Thanksgiving play - there were a few cute songs and I've caught R singing them to herself over the long weekend. I really enjoy this celebration because the kids write notes to their families inviting them so it is a nice time to see all the parents in the class and catch up because sometime life can get so busy. The meal was coordinated and easy for parents and a hit with kids and adults. 


The next day it was M's turn for a party...

which only means one thing. Turkey cookies. I think I've owned turkey cookies since E was in the same class that A is in now - though I had to put my turkey game face on when I couldn't find the pre-made, pre-cut turkey cookies - and honestly I'm kind of glad because this is one thing I think I've got down to a science in the cute/crafty/cooking department. 

I spotted a 2 yr old parade going on and look who I found!

I usually make a point and don't go to a number of the class parties unless I'm in charge of it or I know that it is really important (because honestly, I can watch my kids eat food at home) BUT I knew M had to make a little presentation so Thanksgiving parties all around this year. 

M presenting her "Wild Turkey" to her class

She and I whipped up the Wild Turkey the day before I left for China because Lee probably would never let me leave again had I left him with an art project to do. Glitter glue, feathers, jewels - thankful for a hot glue gun and all the little gun sticks to go in it. 


Then after a quick lunch break it was off to the races for E's class party which turkey cookies were requested so....

I made it a bit more interesting for the 3rd graders by giving them naked turkeys that they had to put the feather on. I think they liked it : ) 

They asked for a picture

Future turkey cookie baker and maker!


And last but not least was A!


and the final round of turkey cookies. I did enjoy sitting next to him while he feasted on his snack. 

Then it was onward and upward to our Thanksgiving Thursday...


C disappointed when she realized she couldn't go outside and play in the massive leave pile with the other kids. 

This picture really doesn't do the leave pile justice or Uncle Kev who made it happen. Lee and Grammy worked in the kitchen while Uncle Kev worked on blowing the leave to entertain the kids. 

A winter hat and shoe were lost to the leave pile and we are hoping they'll surface before Lee takes a flame to them. 

On this day we are Thankful for our family and friends who descended on our house. Thankful for fun times and good food and great company. I'm especially thankful for a husband who loves to cook - because if I had to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving that would not be nearly has fun as just having to eat it. 


Finally, Friday brought another Thanksgiving feast...

This time it was off to Jibbe's house. On this day we are thankful for Jibbe who has been letting us have Thanksgiving on the Friday for a while now. Which means that out families can enjoy one Thanksgiving meal two days in a row rather than stuffing ourselves with two Thanksgiving meal in eight hours. Friday was a great day filled with more great food and friends and fun times especially with cousins. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thoughts on 10 Years in

'Crown them with Glory and Honor O Lord'

Ten years on the marriage train.

Take a moment to read that again.

Ten years.

Nearly one third of my life I have been married.

That makes me sounds old. And if all my gray hair doesn't give me away, I guess I am getting older. Older and wiser.

When Lee and I got married ten years ago, most people thought we were absolutely crazy. I mean really, it was a lot. Fresh out of college about to move somewhere where I'd never seemingly use my degree and get married to a guy I had known for a little more than three years. We were different but our appreciation for Eastern Catholicism brought us together and our faith united us. I guess you could say we've happily proved the naysayers wrong for ten years. Love is a funny thing.

I suppose we should have known that marriage was going to be difficult as six months before we were married we had to make a serious decision - one that required a whole lot of soul searching, conversations and tears, It felt like it was the first real decision we made as a couple and it forever changed us for the better - ultimately it opened the door for Lee to be ordained a deacon which is in itself truly amazing.

Ten years ago family and friends filled up the church - which on the day of seemed huge - but when we go back and visit it is really quite small - it was the smallest cathedral until the new one was constructed last year. Everything on the day fell right into place and I think back on that day and how good it was. It was a good day.

There have been so many good days over the past ten years - there are too many to count - I can think of five right off hand. That's not to say marriage has been a cake walk. Marriage is a challenge, but a worthy challenge that at the end of the day is a redeeming challenge that helps us on our way, and hopefully on our way to heaven. Take two people who have never lived together and then let them figure out life for a while and then start to throw in a few kids and it can get interesting. But it can get fulfilling too. More fulfilling then I could ever imagine. I mean, the daily grind of being a wife and mother is no joke but went I sit down and snuggle up with my husband or one of my kids, I cannot imagine my life any better. I love my life, I really do and a huge part of that is allowing God to work in me and through me. Saying, not me God but you. Not me Lee, but you. Not me kids, but y'all.

If you are not completely willing to sacrifice - and cheerfully sacrifice and generously sacrifice - then I would gander to say at best you will be super miserable in marriage and at worst the marriage will not last.

Let me tell you, as a deacon's wife - and a very active deacon, I have learned this the hard way over the past ten years. I have mentioned on several occasions that the Holy Spirit and I were probably in cahoots ten years ago when this whole discerning the diaconate came about - but it also goes back to that tough decision we made about changing churches too. Anyhow, over the years one of the biggest lessons I have learned through these ten years of marriage is how to give cheerfully to support my husband's vocation. That means a varierty of things but includes CHEERFULLY parenting kids through church on Sundays, CHEERFULLY doing the nightly routine without an extra set of hands when those hands are out teaching at Bible Study, CHEERFULLY not keeping score about well you did XYZ so now it is my turn. I'll be the first one to tell you, God is still working on my cheerfulness through it all. But I will say when I am cheerful and generous about something it is reciprocated, that is something we both must practice so that our kids will see us living out a cheerful sacrifice.

So what will the next ten years hold? The Lord for sure only knows. But I can bet it is going to be great. Full of love, full of learning, full of laughs, full of firsts, full of fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

7QTs - Yay no pictures!

Linking up with Kelly ... without pics but they will be added  they've been added!


For some reason I cannot access my Google account while in China so it makes trying to post pictures complicated because it just does.

Now M's birthday was last week and she still has yet to eat her cake. Her cake is sitting in the freezer due to an unforeseen bout with two stomach bugs it will stay there until this weekend. Basically what happened was M went to visit Grammy and Grandpa Joe and got a stomach bug and stayed an extra night so that she wouldn't share it with everyone at home. I picked her up on Tuesday morning - she had zero contact with E and R - wait for it, wait for it - you know what is next... Yes! E and R got a stomach bug. And I was pretty sure E was just being dramatic and the hypochondriac that she is, but it turns out she wasn't and then I felt terrible.

Soooo.... M was getting antsy to open her presents so we let her open her family gifts - Barbies - sigh. And sang her Happy Birthday. We will have a party for her soon and there WILL be pics of the cake as it is epic.


Sometimes, sometimes I find myself doing some of the things I took for granted doing with the big girls. Like visiting the horses and cows near our house. The girls used to love going to the moo cows and we'd get out and check them out. Now they resist and whine so when it is just me and A and C I take A because he loves it - for now. He kept asking where the turtle was - because we found one along the moo-cow road once before. I wish the horses were a little closer but we just said hi from far away.  and I step in ant hills : (


I don't think I documented the time we went to the Post Office with the kids and applied for passports - during rest time.

It was an epically terrible idea but we were running out of time - or so we thought because look what showed up 2 months before our departure date! Now to keep our secret from the kids for another few months and we'll be good to go. Though my mind is wandering and wondering how to pack 7 people up for 6 days without anyone noticing.


E and R's school had a Thanksgiving food drive last week...


For E is was a good lesson in budgeting as I gave each of them $20 to buy whatever food was on the list. E stuck with the corn since it gave her the most cans for her buck. R was not nearly as concerned.


Put this on the list of things I'd never do in my younger mom years...


I needed to put C down to pay so it was either the conveyor belt or the mini cart without the kids strap... I think I wheeled her out there too and she survived - imagine that!

We had to stock up on essentials since we has a few dinner guests that night. 7 egg eating kids = a dozen eggs,  7 pieces of toast, lots of butter and 7 peach-chia smoothies.

Finally, tis the turkey season...

M will present her decorated turkey for everyone on Tuesday.

Next week should prove to be interesting... 4 Thanksgiving parties and 3 of them require turkey cookies.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

7QTs - Costumes, Teeth, Swings

Linking up with Kelly ... 10 years and counting


First and most important... 

Ten years with this guy!

No the restaurant we went to did not have that Snoopy mug. That is mine. That is what Lee thinks I look like every morning in the van. Every. Morning. 

Cheers to ten more (more on that later?)


On our anniversary I often thought about what I was doing on this day 10 years ago versus what I was doing now... in reality. Like dropping a boat load of peeps off at school, going to work, going to a teacher conference that I NEARLY forgot about (like was about to drive off in a different direction with different plan and then did a 180 and was like.....GAHHHHHHH must get to school in nine minutes), and taking this little person to the pediatrician: 

When asked if how brushing her teeth was going? I kind of laughed. I hadn't brushed her teeth. Why? Because no one told me I HAD to. Well we left with a new toothbrush and a prescription for brushing. Which I have charged E with reminding me/overseeing because.... well, you know. 


The 15 hour, 2 costume change up

Followed by All Saints Day. Parents have to be on point with one one costume for trick or treating but two and then we get to leave them at school for a sugar-high parade and Mass. Sweeeeeeeet. Don't know which is more difficult, being a Catholic school parent the day after Halloween or a Catholic school teacher the day after Halloween. Let's take a vote. 

Me with St. Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (who looks alot like a certain cousin named Mary but if Mary wore it at the time, St. Elizabeth probably wore something similar?) and St. Rebekah wife  of Isaac. I had zero idea what to get so I went with a basic wiseman costume and a headcovering and rolled with it. 


R is actually reading with some good proficiency 

Which is helpful when you want to try and read The Foot Book. 


Holding down the fort today... 


Oh yes I did. 

Today was M's bday and she wanted banana chocolate chip muffins... and gracious, there was no all purpose flour at 6 AM without another adult in the house to go and pick up more so I FRANTICALLY texted several people - including Lee who was the brains behind the lack of all purpose flour. I used bread flour. We survived. 

Then I made a bunch of other stuff and I think I ran the dishwasher 3 times this morning. 



On the swings!

E and R were at swim practice so we patronized the park 

It was fun! 


Last weekend I sorted through the mountain of clothes

The girls were happy with some of their 'new' cooler weather clothes

We said good bye to A's birthday balloon which was hilarious and then super traumatic 

A had fun with his shadow!