Thursday, April 8, 2021

Pascha 2021

We made it thru Lent to Pascha! The kids have been enjoying chocolate milk from a local-ish (90 min away?) dairy. I used to keep the frig stocked with it in college. Also extra desserts and no shortage of candy and other sweets.

Holy Week was strange but leaps and bounds better than 2020. Because we are borrowing space we actually had Pascha matins and liturgy Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. Such is the life of a mission church but next year we should be in our own space as the domes were placed on the roof this week.

I found these dresses last year and they didn’t disappoint. They were waaaaay longer than I imagined so I’m glad I didn’t go a size up for M. I compromised with E who’s initial dress reaction was repulsion by get her some heels to go with it. That was a curious shopping experience. For someone who doesn’t love shoe shopping (but I do love a fun pair of shoes) E was trying on 4 and 6 in peg heels - as her first pair - we agreed on a slightly smaller height wedge sandal. She was thrilled and can be caught checking them out on herself. Next time I’m sending her shoe shopping with her godmother. I found the boys shirts to coordinate with the pink print on the dresses and for bow ties from Etsy. I will say I think I’m going to have to sew (gasp) a stitch in the back of each dress because the opening in the opening is waaaaaaay more than I would have imagined. 

Probably one of the last marching girls pics because E cannot bear it. I’ve had to include her in festive dress selections and the ones we are eyeing for the next year - they are being given coordinating options so they can’t say they totally hate them (looking at you Christmas 2020).

I hid baskets this year since we were home Pascha morning. It was like Christmas in one really intense 5 minutes of screaming over new socks, chalk, frisbees, junky cereal and candy - and of course the tradition peg dolls. A and C got one and I ordered a Shining Light doll for them and J but I ordered too late - shock! I think I did a pretty good job on cereal and everyone’s favorites. Apparently they aren’t sharing boxes - except with those who have created a pact with. I can’t say I totally blame them because I see they have to share lots of things in a bigger family so I’m trying not to force this sharing and respect their favorite foods - even if they hoard it.

Also during our night prayer we start with singing Christ is Risen from the dead... which we sung (to seemingly no end at Matins and liturgy) and it’s such a fun song to sing and I really appreciate it bringing attention to liturgical season we are in and how Pascha just isn’t one day - it’s a season to celebrate just like we prepared for it during the Lenten season.

Linking up with Rosie... just because

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Just Because - Swim Wrap and Recap

Short course - which is actually a longer length of time than long course swim - wrapped up a few weeks ago. Short course is yards; long course is meters - who knew? It’s been a great season especially given covid. Meets with distancing and fewer swimmer for warm ups have been successfully pulled off and kids have put lots of time and effort into swim.

The season wrapped up with the state wide (but divided into three regional Y meets) Y meets. Last year the big Y meet was the weekend before everything changed. So it was good but weird.

Weird because times were stacked against kids who weren’t swimming right next to each other. Weird because there weren’t a few hundred cheering parents. Weird but no complaints.

Es overall season was marked by coming up literally seconds short of her goal of getting to Age Group champs. It was frustrating to watch but also interesting because I think she really finally ‘got’ sprinting in a race. She had a great last meet and being top of her age group helped her cause.

R saw lots of time improvements over the season. The only event she didn’t do super great in was 200 IM and I probably wouldn’t do so great in it either. Breaststroke is still her favorite. She’d probably rather be playing soccer to swim and claims she daydreams during practice some days - I think mostly she has a good time. I was so happy that her (and Es) relay won 3rd so she wasn’t the only Kibbe without a medal. She’s got a bad bday for short course and ages up 6 weeks before the season ends so she’s one of the youngest swimmers by the end of the season but proved she can hold her own.

M. M. What can I say? She’s probably the funnest of the kids to watch race. She was not at the top of the 7-8 age group but raced like it. She had to race against another 7 yr old who was definitely taller than her and usually didn’t beat her but ended up talking to her and decided they were friends. She is crazy determined and her 50 fly time rivals her oldest sister - but we try not to compare times amongst family members because it just leads to feuding. 

Since masking WAS required for spring soccer up until last week we will likely be sticking through long course unless major developments happen in summer league. 

We are so appreciative of the countless hours and energy and effort our coaches have poured into our team and kids.

Linking up with Rosie... just because

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Quick Takes - Stomach Bug, Green and Pascha

Linking up with Kelly ... for almost Holy Week


I believe I left off with the stomach bug. Ultimately everyone got it - including Lee. It hit him Friday night late and he didn’t get out of bed until Sunday morning. So the Stomach Bug of 2021 will go down in the books as something that got us all - not even Lee’s Flu of 2019 and the 2017 Flu can say that. So contagious you’d think it might be covid - I’ve been dared to get an antibody test but I’m not convinced.

But the Stomach Bug of 2021 didn’t end with Lee. It had the final word with R - a full week after she had been sick and four days after she was seemingly over it. She had been to school and swim all week but she wasn’t right. She was tired and her position of one of the better eaters in the house had been moved. Thursday when I got home from work - they had a half day - Lee said she would eat and she was in bed. We were ready to have R back to normal so I called the dr and went there and then we got sent to the ER to check for stomach ulcer or appendicitis - which it was neither. After a bag and a half of fluid and and ultrasound and MRI - and no I haven’t seen the hospital bill yet - we were on our way home. Not without a stop for milkshakes and chicken nuggets at 11:30 pm. Thankful it was dehydration but amazed what that can do to a kid and tucking this experience away in the I wonder what I could have done differently file.

St Patrick’s Day came and went. A won the kid who was totally into all the green possible. Lee cooked an Irish feast for take away fundraiser meal for the girls school which was a big success. 

The kids got the scraps of a few leftovers desserts - which was a Lent treat - and Lee picked up burgers because he won’t eat what he spent days and hours prepping. We also splurged and did burger pick up this week for Annunciation so that was a treat after we did vespers here. 

It’s hard to believe Holy Week is upon us. Covid kept us from all church services last year and this year I wish we were returning to our pre covid church arrangements but we aren’t for a variety of reasons

It will be strange but not a weird as last year I assume. 


Somehow J turned 18 months yesterday 

Two boys who need Pascha haircuts...

And if he keeps up not walking he won’t own a pair of jeans without holes in the knees


Progress on the house is going well. February it seemed liked nothing would be done because it was perpetually wet and we could do anything to keep the pier holes free from water. 

Sand pile fun pre nails

They ended up pouring them late on Friday afternoon after a day of sun and then it rained again that weekend but the concrete held of course. 

On the slate for next week is removing the wall between the existing mud room/laundry room and the addition. Fortunately we should be able to use the washer and dryer in the new laundry room because I told them I can’t be without for several weeks and fortunately we only do wash on the weekends and fortunately we’ve been through the stomach three weeks ago so we shouldn’t need to wash unexpected laundry at all days and hours of the night.

It’s neat walk through and it’s finally feeling more real. I’m excited for the kids library/study room the most I think. We added a bay window at the last minute and it’s going to be a quiet hideaway space for reading and homeworking and entrance will not be open to everyone : ) 


A and C have been entertained by the geese in the pond by school. They feed them whatever snacks scraps they can find and scream with delight as the stale goldfish and crackers are eaten. It provides just enough entertainment to pass the minutes between big school drop off and preschool drop off.



Lee and I have been rewatching Downton Abbey on prime on the weekends. We are nearing the end of season three which I when I gave up on the show when it was airing. Hopefully I’ll power through to four. We aren’t much show enthusiasts - he’ll watch Chopped or Lydia with the girls and we watch Bringing up Bates with the kids - but past that we really don’t tune in or record anything. Summer is upon us so I doubt we will get into a new show because he’ll be getting home later and later and be less inclined to stay up to watch anything.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Just Because - car seats

Two weeks ago when we were driving to get the girls from school the stomach bug reared it’s ugly head - in the van, via people strapped in carseats. 


Carseats normally collect tons of crumbs, dirt, rocks, treasures and trash but when you are trying to clean up from someone getting sick in them, if you are like me you probably just wish you had the money in the budget to toss them and start fresh.

But if are like me you probably don’t have the disposable income to just trash 250 car seats so we are stuck unstrapping them, fighting with the padding and tossing them in the washer - but that probably voids the manufacturer warranty- but it’s pretty much nearly impossible to spot clean so VOID away.

Then there’s the straps which are impossible to clean. And they are the place that I have found is center stage in the stomach illness department. The straps are made into the seats so you cannot take them out and wash them so spot clean it is and clean they’ll never get.

And the icing on the cake is that you probably forget there’s no padding on the seats until you are ready to brave the world again post stomach bug and then you’ll be late as you fight to get the padding back in place and the seats back in position.

Linking up with Rosie just because 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

7QTs - Lent and the Last Man Standing

Linking up with Kelly ... for Lent


Lent started... 

So we had BIG DESSERT night the Sunday before. We did not have any ice cream so it was anything and everything you wanted from the treat box

A is the boy after his mama's heart and pulled out as many chocolate candy as he could find. He can C lasted the longest at the table and finally we told them enough was enough after about 20 minutes because they might have gotten sick. 

C loves a DumDum and of course was double fisting them. 

Now the constant topic of conversation is when is it going to be pasta? Pascha - I ask - so you can have dessert? It will be a little be longer : ) 


Backtracking to January... 

On theophany/ January 6, we blessed the house. Or I guess Papa did. Prayers, chalk, holy water.

Kibbe Swimmers - The Next Generation!

I've taken A and C to the rec pool while the bigs have swim practice a few times. J hangs in the stroller so I don't want to push my luck. Since masking is required for soccer they won't be playing this spring so maybe I can suit up J for the pool and we can all go. 


How we Roomba...

With big siblings entertaining him.

J has to be contained when Roomba runs around. Sometimes he’s in his chair and other times he’s in a basket 


Valentine's Day, so you know what that means...  

Flowers for the girls, balloons for the boys, heart shaped muffins and a swim meet for E 


With the girls I did lots of matching pics...

So here's one of the boys who desperately need haircuts. I think I'm going to have to breakdown and trim up Js. 


We are in the throw of the stomach bug. I thought just half the kids had it because we had a pretty quiet day at home but this afternoon me and R succumbed to it and then E and A weren't far behind. Papa appears to be the last man standing. We'll see if that holds. Praying he does.  

We've been battling it since Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately the weather has been nice so the non sickies can go out. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Just Because - kids and cups

Raise your hand if you love plastic cups. 

Raise your hand if you love all the dishwasher space they take up.

Raise your hand if your kid(s) ask/want/need a new plastic cup for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and outside 

We finally kicked the can on all the plastic cups a while back. I couldn’t stand it. Everyone needed a cup every meal and some people - Lady C looking at you - would take them outside and they’d get buried in the sandbox and put in the dishwasher 25 days later and there’d be dirt and sand in the dishwasher. People would lobby for pink or green or orange and they took up gobs of dishwasher space and cabinet space.

I asked for 10 oz Yeti tumblers for MY bday because I was totally fed up with the cup situation. 

It was one of the most practical gifts I’ve asked for in my 30+ years of gift receiving.

I had someone cut out each kid’s initial in their favorite color. Each kid has one cup and one lid. It is glorious. I wished I had done it years ago. Cups are rinsed or washed after each meal depending on the contents and there’s no fighting and if you can’t find you cup - you better go remember where you left it.

Now we only use the plastic cups for friends or to get ice to pour into water bottles for school or sports.

If you have frequent plastic cup users and it bugs the mess out of you like it did me and Lee - save your pennies, get each kid a Yeti, put their name on it and BAM. Once less annoying thing in your life : )

Friday, February 19, 2021

It’s a great day to be NINE

A few days ago R turned nine!

She requested pizza for her party because we had eaten tons of spaghetti the week before and mac and cheese for her actual bday because well it was Cheesefare week.  

E made her cake and it was great! They are working on the cake decorating badge in AHG so E was thrilled to put those skills to the test! She almost spelled Rs name wrong but did a few little corrections and it was good to go.

R was super hard to shop for because she never really said he wanted anything other than headphones. The siblings sparked more American Girl playing with there gift and she FINALLY got some books to read from us - as well some other neat things from friends and family. 

R is still the most laid back - except when she’s not and whatever it is means the world is ending. She is sweet with her younger siblings and probably tolerates Cs antics better than the rest of us. She is often the last one up on the weekends and marches the the beat of her own drum in the mornings - very particular about how and when things are done. Rs nose can often be found in a book and she is completely zoned into the book and zoned out of everything else. She has taken to swimming and I’ve heard lots of hard work praise from her coaches.

She is our pink-loving, second child who is just what our family needs.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Thoughts on 2020

45 days into 2021 here goes on how I think 2020 shook out.


Who would have thunk this time last year we would have had the year we did. Yeah definitely didn’t see that coming.

I think 2020 forced me and Lee to dig deeper and be more flexible and more present for each other and our kids.

We tag teamed parented from mid- March until May that looked like us working six days and working from home and facilitating school work while keeping A, C and J at bay. It was no small feat but I’m quite sure other families had it way more difficult than us.

A and C probably had the best, dirtiest, free-est time of their lives 

Lee master planned and executed a garden - which seemed small considering the one we had at our old house. I think it’s going to be an herb garden this year and we FINALLY may have convinced him to till a few rows in the way back so we can have a proper garden - I’m looking at you broccoli and okra.

Pascha weekend we finally saw family for more than a honk and a wave. All the uncertainty - I have come to loathe that word - and distancing was just so weird. We also had some outdoor dinners with neighbors. Our kids who are used to being busy with swim, school, soccer and scouts were definitely going through withdrawal since all those things ended in an instant. We definitely leaned into our neighbors for socializing and our kids were even caught exercising together too.

Summer came along and our sitter came back - PRAISE. They didn’t have the summer that imagined but there was lots of crafting and activity and visiting the pool. We survived a full day at the pool just to prove to ourselves we could hack a whole day there - that was fun and hopefully a tradition. There was swim team - kinda. A and C took lessons. C went from chatting her way out of doing anything because she was scared to belly flopping in the shallow end - success!

The Y swim team also started back in June - PRAISE!!!! It was smack dab in the middle of rest but I knew we needed to make it work. So we did. A and C and J and me spent may afternoons at the parks within walking distance of the Y. At first they didn’t love it but they we discovered the pond and the heron and the secret museum playground - the one that’s further away. We got our exercise in daily and patronized the hot roped off playgrounds. A usually could be found with his shirt off running ahead to check out any wildlife. Sometimes we’d hit Nash Rec after Y practice and other times we’d just come home and anxiously wait for Papa who couldn’t have been busier. It is a blessing for him to be busy, no doubt, but it is definitely something our whole family feels the weight of.

My tan-legged boy

Speaking of work, we sent E to work with Papa a few Saturdays to clean pools. I think she just enjoyed the lunches but she did manage to make a few dollars. She took a dip in one pool by accident... ehem - a little dog was out. Lee built a pool close to our house so that was great because I got to take him to visit on more than several occasions. A brought his own digger just for good measure.

E and R got to go to sleep away camp twice. It was a shortened version but I think they were ready to do just about anything. They had a great time and are hoping to go back this year. 

We trekked to the beach with my family for a few days and got really sandy and tired and lots of sun and good food and great memories - including Grammy and J having bonding time at 2 am on the porch because the kid would not go to sleep and with a house full of sleepers a screaming J just wasn’t an option.

Summer came to a slow close - sometimes it’s more like a screeching halt. School and preschool started back - PRAISE. Obviously it was way different from year past but at this point everyone was thrilled to go back. Since school has started there have been 2 of 6 kids who have had to quarantine because of exposures but at this point we will take them for the sense of normalcy that is gained.

There was a shortened fall soccer season that we let the big girls do concurrently with swim. Not something we typically do but it was worth it. A and C had a blast. It will go down as one of my more interesting coaching seasons. Coaching a team that only wins a few games is tough. Also, forever known as the season we didn’t lose a game but weren’t winners - with M and Rs team. Par the course 2020, par the course.

As for some personal reflection maybe my single biggest (I jest) accomplishment would be camping with the big girls. I can now check camping off my list of things I haven’t done. I can say it wasn’t bad and I’d probably be caught doing it again.

Also a ran two half marathons in 2020. One before covid changed everything and one virtually. The pre covid run was a great race and it would be one I’d do again. The virtual run was awesome. A friend and I decided to form the mom- running-once-a-week club and we ‘trained’ for our half marathon by only running once a week. Not because that’s something we wanted to tout but because we really only had one day a week to give. We only almost got hit by a few cars running on the country roads and jumped over a few dead animals. It was the best running plan ever and I’d totally do it again and the $50 entry fee may have gotten us a hoodie but really kept us honest - especially on the 10+ mile runs.

Pretty prerace sun rise pic

Post race beverages. It was neat our girls cheered us on a few times 

Not going to church on a regular basis had been bizarre. Especially  since growing up we went to Mass every single week rain or shine. Covid started right in the middle of Lent so that meant no presanctified liturgies - which might be one of my favorite things. We did do stations of the cross in our chapel. I think I have grown increasing grateful that we have a dedicated prayer space in our house. It probably could and should be patronized more often but when we have done church at home on more occasions than we’d all like - it is great.

Looking to this year or the eleven months that are left of it, I’d like to be hopeful that things will go back to some sort of normal. I’d like to hope that I don’t completely lose it when A starts Kindergarten in the fall. There are so many things that were different about 2020 but so many more things we all learned about each other. I imagine we will continue to learn and cling to hope knowing that God has got our backs.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Seven Quick Takes - Jumping into 2021

Linking up with Kelly ... first time in 2021


The Christmas tree finally came down... 

I hate to see it go but it was time and we were home for the Snow Day so we had some extra time on our hands. I would like to say it was my favorite tree and maybe it is in some ways. But it was really stressful getting it, we didn't have a fun family story - but we still have a good story, and it was definitely broke the cheap-tree bank. 


C is packed and ready to go... 

She is forever talking about going to her friend's house and having a sleepover so every so often she packs her treasures in anticipation of a sleepover that will never happen. Though we have promised them a playdate at the park when the weather decides to get warm and not monsoon!


Wacky Day!

A's class had wacky day and he loves going all out for it. He decided he didn't want his hair in pigtails like last year so we borrowed some gel from our neighbors (gag!) and spiked it. Wacky Days from years past... 2020 - which I never posted I guess because it was the week COVID hit but now I'll have to go back and find the pics, 2019, 20192018, 20172015, 2014, 2014,  2013



Lee made homemade pizzas before Lent started. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD. We are so spoiled. 

E (and Papa) made R's bday cake. It was also a huge hit. 


Sunday is Valentine's Day, so you know what that means...  

I can't say doing Valentine's is my favorite activity. Actually it is one that tries all my motherly patience especially because we do the pencil ones which easily break when stuffing the pencils in the slots. 

A had to write his name on all the Valentines for practice. He only got a little frustrated...  

I think he got progressively more frustrated as the writing continued. But I can see all 6 letters : ) 


A set up this during rest...

I'm still finding army guys in my room - some broken and some still in good working order. 


This guy...  

He's so cute. He got a few molar teeth this week and them woke up at 3 am one morning ready to play. He and Papa were watching This Old House by 4 and A wasn't far behind!