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.