Thursday, December 29, 2011

she's a clever one, that one

No. 1 bought the family all six Star Wars movies for Christmas.  She was so excited about them and planned out when we would watch each one over the Christmas break from school. 
No. 5 came up with a clever twist to a current song:

"Hans Solo Cup.
I'll fill you up.
Let's have a party,
let's have a party!"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

can't outwit the logical one

So one of my very brave friends invited our whole family (plus my mom) over for dinner tonight.  She asked us to bring a dessert.  I decided a trifle is something I had not had in a long time and that it would be mighty tasty.  No. 1 helped me make it. 
I was teasing her, "Trifle means 'smash it down' in Italian."
She quickly retorted, "No, I think it must get its name from the British word meaning, 'I'd like a Trifle more, please'... sort of like in America we have S'mores."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

it's gingerbread house-making day!

King says mine is a little Frank Lloyd Wrightish.

No. 5 says hers is a castle. And before you even think to ask, yes she did put on each of those m&ms all by "herselth."
This is the church that my sweet No. 4 (future priest?) made.

No. 2 thought for a moment that he actually liked the taste of Gum Drops.  Blech.

No. 3 was the only one who was expecting a blizzard.  Clever girl.


No. 1, who cannot eat wheat, made this mitten using her special wheat-free bread.  She is learning to decoratively ice cookies as she has been working for a friend of mine who recently opened a cookie shop.

And these are the elf donuts I made to put out with Santa's cookies and the Reindeer food on Christmas Eve! 
I hope a dozen will be enough.

insert diabolical laughter [here]

If someone was looking from the outside in, it would seem as though King and I took complete leave of our senses. 

We fed the kids sugar
We did not insist that they take a rest and their behavior spiraled up and out of control most of the afternoon.
After a whole day with a constant diet of high fructose corn sweeteners, we loaded them into the car, drove straight to Chick-Fil-A, and spiked their blood sugar again by getting each of them Chocolate Chip Peppermint Milkshakes.  We then proceeded to buckle them into their car seats and drove around to look at Christmas lights.

Because the Department of Child Protective Services did not shut us down, we then drove to Target and let our little science experiences walk through every aisle of the toy section twice!  Every time one of them would say "Buy me this!" or "OOOh, I want that!" we would calmly say, "Naaaah, let's keep looking."  They were getting frustrated, whiny, and fed up with our efforts to dash their every hope.

Finally, about 10 pm, the Monty Python-esque Spanish Inquisition was at an end and we paid for our purchases and went home. 

The problem is that King and I were so exhausted that we couldn't sit back and laugh at our diabolical selves over a cup of French Roast decaf because we were completely wiped out.

Ahhh, the joys of Christmas break!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

why loving someone fully and completely is so important

A quote from a Very. Holy. Man.  A man I shall call Fr. Charlie (mostly because that's his name)

"Our love for others is made holy and fulfilled in our total love for God. If our love for God is not total, our love for others is diminished and incomplete."

Say that second sentence aloud to yourself:  "If our love for God is not total, our love for others is diminished and incomplete."

A vast statement.  True on so many different levels.

Is there someone who you have a diminished love for?  A love that perhaps was once complete, but now is not? 

What do you need to let go of (grudge) and what do you need to hold onto (Christ's mercy) in order to have a more total love for that person ....and thereby God?

We are called to be humble.  Most of the time that's not going to be fun.. like shopping on Rodeo with a bottomless bank account.  Especially in the case where we were


And we feel justified.

Holding onto grudges.

Waving our proud banners.

Stoically standing in the same room.
ignoring, refusing to forgive.

After all, they didn't apologize.


"I was right."

I suppose Christ could have felt like that.           
Cause what did He ever do to deserve what He got?          

What if you can't get into Heaven because of that one person


You gonna be ok with that?

A tough challenge~

Now say this out loud:
"I love God so much, that I am going to drop this grudge I have.  I am going to forgive, even though I want to feed this anger.  It is mine.  It takes a lot of energy from me.  I don't want to own it anymore.  I will let it go.  And in doing so, I can know what it feels like to love God with a total, holy, love."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

lessons from a wise girl

Today is the feast day of St. Lucia, patron saint of blindness.  This young girl was martyred for her Christian faith.  One particular part of her story should be resonated, especially during Advent, which is naturally a season of almsgiving. 

Though her mother had betrothed her to a pagan man, Lucia refused to marry because she had vowed her life to Christ.  In addition, she challenged her mother give her dowry to the poor rather than waiting to give it away on her deathbed, "...whatever you give away at death for the Lord's sake you give because you cannot take it with you. Give now to the true Savior, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death."

When I read that quote attributed to St. Lucia, I thought of a friend of mine who after raising her three boys and at the age of forty, went back to college to get a teaching degree.  She and her husband were able to set aside money that they did not need for normal household expenses.  Recognizing the fact that not everyone who decides to return to college after raising children might be as fortunate to be able to afford it, my friend has taken steps to set up a trust fund for future adult students majoring in education at her alma mater.  She will set aside part of the paycheck she earns from teaching for the next five years to pad the trust fund.  Once established, it will be a perpetual gift for generations. 

No doubt the money someone would give away on their deathbed could bring aide to many people, but being charitable throughout life is a self-sacrificing way to die to the flesh and not focus on worldly goods.  It keeps us humble.  It helps us to rely on God and to see that everything we have is a gift.

Monday, December 12, 2011

a rant

I cannot stand the new primary colored LED Christmas lights.  They are hideous and that blue... yuck!  Makes me want to claw my own eyes out. 

And don't even get me started on how they have absolutely ruined plain white lights. 


eavesdropping on a conversation between two 4 year olds

#5:  "You should have seen the footprints we saw when we went on our walk.  They were hugh-normous!"

have you had yours?

I don't love it either, but it's necessary to keep tabs on the girls, y'know?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

the one we didn't choose.....

.....but probably should've!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results

Each year I look forward to getting the kids all put together and walking around the yard taking potential pictures for our yearly Christmas cards.  As much as I look forward to it, the kids dread it that much more.  I took ninety four pictures yesterday.  One turned out well enough to get everyone's stamp of approval. 

The picture above, aside from making me giggle every time I look at it, was my first choice as our Noel greeting, but since No 2 looks like he has an appendix that is about to rupture, and No 5 looks like her name should be Wednesday Addams, I had to put the icksnay on this otophay.

As a point of reference, the series of pictures below were taken using a continuous shooting mode.  Note the many faces of No 4. 

It's like watching Ace Ventura in slo-mo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

shopping cart pirates

No 5, her wee little friend, and I were at the dollar store the other day.  There is SO much to look at and touch, especially for the wee'uns, so I decided they would ride in the shopping cart (or "buggy" for all of y'all below the Mason Dixon Line). 

Trying to see the bright side of being contained in a small space, No 5 says, "Hey, why don't we be pirates?  I'll be the Captain." 

Her friend agreed and added, "That's a great idea!  I can be the Land Ho'er!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

so. stinkin'. cute.

Elf Donuts!
credit for picture:  Laura Winslow Photography, Scottsdale, AZ

We are SO making these this year to leave out with Santa's cookies!  Way cuter than all that reindeer food we always littered the front yard with!  I giggle a little every time I look at the ones with sprinkles. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

when in truth we have perfectly lovely grass in our own yard

Why do I sometimes focus more on what my kids "aren't" rather than what they "are"?

Monday, November 21, 2011

a literary classic?

Dear William Faulkner,
I know you are dead and all, and probably don't read my blog, but As I Lay Dying was the freakiest book I have ever read.  And I love me some "odd" as evidenced by the fact that I was a huge fan of Twin Peaks.  Hell, I even grew up in rural North Carolina, and I've witnessed some real backwoods events, but the stuff in AILD takes the cake, man.  Furthermore, while I am playing the part of a literary critic, I am not a fan of the strange sentence structure you used, either - just sayin'.

I thought reading along with my daughter's 11th grade AP Lit class was going to be funzies, y'know, sorta like a little mother-daughter mini book club.  Blech.  We both felt like we needed to shower when we got finished reading it.

K, well, that's all.
:o) mg

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


No 5 cannot stand to have her hair "did".  This morning I cringed when I said, "Ok, come here, let's get your hair brushed."  She surprised me with her enthusiasm when she saw the two hair bands on the table in front of me. 

"Oh goody, do I get to have pinkie tails today?"

Friday, November 11, 2011


Why is it that in cold weather, when your hands are like frozen ice cubes, that when you bump your finger on something it hurts a million times more than normal and feels like it is pouring blood?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

to my dear friend who must not be named lest she fall down the garage step(s)

I bought a puh-puh-puh.....

I bought a puh-puh-puh...


 I bought a purple shirt today.
And I don't hate it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

re-entering the atmosphere

The following pictures are the result of a lot of hard work from a handful of people.  Being the co-chair of such a big event kept me from doing much else since the middle of June - such as blogging, laundry, spending time with my children.
Upside: I had this event completely covered in prayer and I was blessed to witness some pretty amazing moments where I KNOW the hand of the Lord was at work.  They say "God works in mysterious ways."  But sometimes He is downright in-your-face-obvious!

It was an amazing night and hopefully, after all the numbers are run, we will find that it brought in a lot of money for the school.  The proceeds from the Auction go straight toward tuition assistance.  Our family was the recipient of some of last year's Auction money when #2 was awarded a Leadership Scholarship.

"To whom much is given much is required." ... and that's why I said yes to do this thing two years in a row.

I'd love to see how successful it would be if everyone understood Luke 12:48.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

a fact

Wearing Western boots makes me feel like a badass.

when you have been a very good girl can reward yourself with this.
And trust me, I am minding my p's and q's like never before!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pleading for canonization

I hope I won't be guilty of sacrilege in saying this, but if you were to ask me, this is a picture of someone who should at least be beatified.  Though, I sometimes refer to him as
St. George Washington Carver.

I just wonder how many people besides me thank God for him every single day of their lives?  If you do not know about this man, you should.

Not only was he a genius in the realm of agriculture, and a devoted educator, he was also a Christian who was concerned about the moral character of his students.  He is credited with writing these 8 virtues:
  • Be clean both inside and out. 
  • Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor. 
  • Lose, if need be, without squealing. 
  • Win without bragging. 
  • Always be considerate of women, children, and older people. 
  • Be too brave to lie. 
  • Be too generous to cheat. 
  • Take your share of the world and let others take theirs
I also love this quote of his:

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."

You know how sometimes you get asked the question, "If you could meet anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be?"  George Washington Carver is in my top ten.

Oh, yeah he also invented peanut butter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


"I was yanking it and pulling it and twisting it and I pulled it out all by myself and you can see the new one coming in!"

Thursday, October 13, 2011

is it just me?

.... or is anyone else in the house ready for Thanksgiving? 

I just..

for the brown.  And the orange.  The crunch.  The pigskin in the front yard.  Leaves in pigtails from rolling down hills.  Or from jumping in raked piles.  The cold, red noses.  The warm, yummy smells.  The being together.

I close my eyes and imagine it all and I am already thankful for everything that is "Thanksgiving."  It is truly my favorite holiday.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

don't start any rumors!

Do any of you other moms ever find it strange that a "gas bubble" feels just. like. the kicks of a baby in utero?


This is homecoming week at the high school.  Each day has had a different theme:
Monday was Childhood Dream Day.
Tuesday was Pop Culture Day.
Wednesday was Out of This World Day.
Friday will be Spirit Day.

But today, my two oldest dressed up in their best Western garb.  #1 was frantically looking around for a belt she just knew we had somewhere (Could it possibly be under one of the mountains of clothes on every surface of her room?  Just askin') but had no luck in finding it.

The youngest sister of all was piled up in the bed with me being very wise to stay out of everyone's way.  Then she "uddered" (note pun) these words and I found it very hard to be serious in a seemingly flammable situation:

"Mad. Cow. Girl."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

just a minute

You know that 1970's gospel song...

Yeah, well, sometimes I find that I have to inquire about smaller increments of time.

Friday, September 30, 2011

facing reality

The best part about having a snack of apples and peanut butter
is the peanut butter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just something I've noticed.....

..... there is a beautiful patina of the souls of the people who have been through the Refiner's Fire.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

tee hee hee

I don't even know why, but it makes me chuckle when I hear someone who says

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Sits.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Don't mean to turn this into a book review blog, but I also recently read Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, the true account of his son's trip to Heaven and back.
Whether or not you believe Colton Burpo's story, I can tell you that this book brought me a lot of grace during a time I needed it.


My 90 year old grandfather had been in the hospital for three weeks after he underwent a triple bypass open heart surgery.  He had ups and he had downs.  Last Friday night about 10 p.m. or so, my sister called to tell me that she had just talked to one of my aunts and that PawPaw had taken a turn for the worse. 
I grabbed my Rosary beads and headed upstairs to get King to pray with me.  On Fridays, when the Rosary is prayed, one contemplates the Sorrowful Mysteries (Read more about the four Mysteries of the Rosary here). 

1.The Agony in the Garden: Contrition for our sins
2.The Scourging at the Pillar: Mortification of our senses
3.The Crowning with Thorns: Interior mortification
4.The Carrying of the Cross: Patience under crosses
5.The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord: That we may die to ourselves

As I prayed, I could see some parallels in my grandfather's life, especially the last few weeks, and the last few hours of the life of Christ.  My aunt had sent an email out that Friday morning saying that PawPaw had been so thirsty but that he was not allowed to drink anything.  "I thirst." John 19:28
King and I got to the last Mystery.  "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Luke 23:46
We then prayed a Divine Mercy Chaplet and a personal prayer for my grandfather.  God's will, not our own.

Redemption in suffering.

A couple of minutes after King and I prayed, my sister called back.  My aunt had just called. 
"It is finished." John 19:30


Recently I went to my local library to pick up an "on hold" book up for #2.  I happened to pass by the recent release shelf.  Two books jumped out at me and begged for me to bring them home to read.

Bossypants by Tina Fey and Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden.

Bossypants had a great first chapter where I laughed until I nearly wet myself.  The rest of the book was lame.  In case she follows my blog, my message to Tina is this, "Yes, you should have another baby.  You will never regret having a child, but you will certainly regret not having a child."

Jeannie Out of the Bottle meh... I can't really tell you how the entire book was because I decided to return it to the library after reading the first couple of chapters.  Despite the great reviews it has gotten, I grew weary from the fact that she kept stressing that Larry Hagman was a jealous, womanizing drunk.  Yawn. 
My message to Barbara: "IDOJ was one of my favorite tv shows as a child. Let me live in that jeweled bottle where I've always wanted to live anyway. Let me remember it with its magical, pink, cerebral and physical humor. I don't want to know the ugly "real life" details, but thanks anyway." 

Hrm... wonder how the book that #2 got is?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

just wondering

Why is it that when a four year old comes to you in the middle of the night not feeling too good and who sits there so sweetly, with her adorable and puffy "just-woke-up" face, while you fumble around for the Liquid Advil is so much sweeter and cuddlier than that same child was just hours before that?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

quite quiet in here then... moreso than yesterday

Just because I think the world needs a refresher course:

quiet = shhhh; not loud

quite = almost; very nearly

then = a particular time; opposite of now

than =  word used to compare


Correct: She isn't as pretty now as she was then.

Incorrect: She is prettier then she was in high school.

Correct: Hmm, it sure is quiet in here.

Incorrect: Without the kids in a million activities, things sure were quite this summer.

more "love of the game"

As promised: Pictures of my awesome middle child playing softball!

Alert in left field!

Batter up!

Made it to first and waiting to steal second!

Sweet, sweaty smile in the dugout!

She is truly enjoying the game and, though my opinion is biased, she's a great little athlete!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Today marks a special countdown:

King has exactly one year
to plan
what we will do to celebrate our
20th wedding anniversary!

The traditional gift for a 20th Anniversary celebration is bone china.
Um, am I alone in thinking that is dumb?  Oh wait, I know... it's because in the past 19 years, your children have smashed all your dishes to pieces.

Well, the tradition of giving china was probably thought up before Corelle was invented. 

So, let's move on to the contemporary gift: platinummmm...  Much better!

Oh, and what about the really, really, really contemporary, (as in I-just-made-this-up) gift idea: trip to New England.

Now, see, those are ideas I can really get excited about.

Bone china?  Hmmmff, please!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It's not that I am not proud to be American.
It's not that I don't value all the beautiful lives that were snuffed out that day.
It's not that I don't know that there were countless heroes born that day.

I will never forget any of it:
The second plane hitting.
The voice of the newsman.
The image of people falling to their deaths.

It's that I just can't revisit the pain, the fear, the panic.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


We had some green and gold balloons left over from one of the ballgames.  The kids were having a blast playing with them.  A friend of #5's came over to play.  Since my last born is such an "organized" and "in charge" kind of gal (read: OCD), she told her friend,

"Here, you can have this yellow one since your name is Gabriella."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

please tattoo this on my forehead

Funny, I needed to be reminded of this.
How 'bout you?

(Mary Wannabe)


"...He asks it soft, “Been a long time since I’ve heard you talking like that.” His hand finds the nape of my neck, strokes me kind. “You just fallen sick with perfectionism again?”

I don’t open my eyes…. To my dust and my smudges and my grime and my love-smeared mess. Why can’t I remember: the state of my space doesn’t reflect the state of my soul........."
“...God doesn’t ask me to be perfect; He asks me to praise.”

Ann Voskamp

Saturday, September 3, 2011

more braggin'

Pardon me while I brag just a little more.
Guess who's team is 5 and 0?

Numero Uno at bat.

AND, as if all this high school football and softball wasn't enough to put me into orbit, my exactly-in-the-middle child is on her school's softball team!
First game next week!
Expect pictures.

guess who's getting some playing time?

Warming up to go in JV game

Gorgeous snap!

I love my son!

My freshman football player who rocks center position came off the field Friday night after the coach put him in the last of the 3rd qtr and all of the 4th.  His awesome snaps helped the team get a touchdown! (not that they needed it to win, since our team had 40 some odd points and the opposing team had zero)

So he climbs in the car all sweaty and smelly and adorable and says, "Wow.  Playing in a Varsity game is a lot different than playing in a JV game.  The guys are HUGE!  And they hit HARD!"

I am in football heaven.  Not only did I get to see my second-born play in the JV game Thursday night, the Varsity game Friday night, I got to watch Auburn beat Utah State today in the last 2 minutes of the game!