Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Someone's Birthday and the Start of Lent!

Guess who turned 3 today?


I can't believe he is 3! He brings us such joy... Every day spent with him is a rumpus adventure, and I mean that in the best possible way. We love you to pieces, Naish! He and his brother will celebrate today with ice cream after dinner. Why not I or Joey, you might ask?

Today is also the start of Lent, a.k.a. Ash Wednesday, which is a day of fasting and abstinence for all Catholics who've reached the appropriate age. There is one other day we fast during the year, and that is Good Friday.

Basically, fasting for Catholics means: 2 small meals + 1 main meal + 0 snacks. Abstinence consists of not eating meat, but eating fish is okay (for a great infograph, check this out). So, this all means... No dessert for Mamma and Daddy tonight! Boo hoo! Just kiddin'. It's really not any more difficult than one day of dieting! We will most certainly survive, and hopefully grow to appreciate what we have as privileged 1st world members of society all the more.

Speaking of Lent, I wanted to do a project with the children so as to help prepare our hearts for Easter. I'm not a very crafty person, but I have a sliver of patience every once and a while! The project is making a crown of thorns out of salt dough and tooth picks. I've actually done this before. I don't think I blogged about it, but if I have pardon my repetitiveness! The idea behind having a crown of thorns with toothpicks is that during the 40 days of Lent, we'll take out a "thorn" every time we do a kind deed or make a sacrifice for love of each other and our Lord. Here's hoping we keep it up, so we have a completely bare crown by Easter!

What would a kiddo project be without a bunch of pictures? 

I tried really hard to let the children do most of everything on their own, but... I couldn't help myself with a few of the steps, like preventing all the salt from pouring onto the table and ground. Ignatius filled the measuring cup halfway and I did the rest. He dumped it on his own, though.

 I keep my flour in an empty oatmeal container, FYI.

Note the bad guy Lego figurines on the side... Julian wanted them to watch him do this in the hopes that some of them would have a change of heart. In the end, he said "Three-headed Bomber and Four-armed Gamboo changed their hearts, but not the others." Haha!

It took several tries to get the pieces for the crown to be the right consistency and thickness, and as you can see I wasn't able to make it as perfectly symmetrical as someone more talented than I. But! I don't care all that much. It's the symbolism that matters more than its pleasing the senses.
 Placing toothpicks into the crown.

 I love this picture, because it shows Julian asking questions about Our Lord's sacrifice. Doing things like this is such a great teaching moment...

 Just before popping it in the oven. 

And now, it's time for the finished product!

I put some purple tulle netting around the crown of thorns as the color for the season is such. I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Signing Off,




Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Long List of What's New:

Y'all ready for this?

So, the last time I wrote we were living in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment far away from the husband's work, sharing one car, and I mostly never drove it. That has all changed, friends. All because of this guy right here:

Well, both this guy and the Child he's holding, that is. St. Joseph is amazing, and I attribute our current wonderful living situation to asking him to help a girl out. We now live closer to Joey's work, closer to our church, and I get the car most days of the week, while the Mister takes public transit. AND it's a three bedroom, roomy, wonderful townhouse, which we are renting from friends of ours. We couldn't be happier here!

The children are growing up so fast, it's hard to keep up! Julian is a sweet, smart, sensitive, story-telling, Lego-loving 5 year old who loves all things Ninjago, Star Wars, Thundercats, and the occasional Super Hero. He has also made up hero/villain worlds about which he will talk to you at length, and these story lines are fantastically imaginative. I will say, though, that they sound vaguely like a combination of some or all of the above fantasy worlds. We'll let his accidental plagiarism slide for now! ;)

Then there's Ignatius. He is a joyful, quick-tempered, strong, athletic, good-humored, adorably cuddly almost 3 year old boy. He is all boy, that Ignatius. He loves everything Julian loves, especially running around and acting out the scenarios Julian proposes. He loves to scale trees and climb all over his parents. His mother is not the biggest fan of this long-living habit of his, and his father thinks it's great and equates it to a free back massage. ???

Together, they are the best of friends and also the most savage enemies. They are a very emotional duo, and react quickly to any and all slight teasing remarks or negative promptings. They make up as quickly as Mommy makes them, though, and move onward the charming way most boys seem to do. My current favorite pictures of the two of them are these ones. They sum up all that I love about them as brothers:

I mustn't forget another person in the lineup, and that is of our angel baby we named Francis Mary. I only knew I was pregnant for 6 days before our baby went safely to the arms of our Father in Heaven (March 30th of 2015), but those 6 days were such happy days. You see, we were "all systems go" for another child for 6 months before Francis Mary came into our lives, and news of being with child was truly a welcome happening. 

These are pictures taken the days prior to miscarrying. We never told the kids about the pregnancy, but still shared the joy by making special memories like taking goofy pictures on our webcam with mommy.
It was right before Holy Week -- the week prior to Easter -- that I miscarried, and living through Our Loss and Heaven's Gain at this time of year was especially transforming. There is so much I could say about it all, but if I were to sum it up in one sentence it would be this: I learned that God loves us, and although He allows sad things to happen in our lives we are given the grace to see meaning through the sadness when we look at life through the lenses of faith, hope, and love. God's grace has carried us through this, and we now have greater reason to find joy in living our lives day-to-day. As I look back and ponder where God has led this family of ours I see the kind, gentle hand of God ever-present and ever-loving. Now with a saint in Heaven I call my child, I ask that child to pray for us and help us -- his mom, dad, and brothers -- on our way to the Eternal Kingdom. 

Overall, we are full of great wonder at our little and incredible life, and thank God every day for the blessings He has given us: we who are most unworthy of our amazing calling.

Easter 2015.

Dusting It Off!

I am really good at blogging. Clearly! Hehe

Okay okay, so I let one year, one month, and two weeks pass by without blogging. I'm glad we all can acknowledge I suck at this, and honestly, I can live with that. I haven't really felt the urge to, and also honestly, my life is pretty blah-zay (is that a word, and is that how it is spelled?).

Don't get me wrong! I love my life a lot. When one's job is to spend time with 2 kids and an incredibly supportive husband as cool as mine, you count one's self lucky. But it's just... every day is much like the day before. I don't want to bore my audience with things I'm posting on Facebook or the Gram, only to repost here to make it extra official that I am, indeed, livin' the stay-at-home mom life.

So what am I doing back? 

I plan to give this space a chance to air out my thoughts and feelings on things. Things which are stewing around in my heart and in my head that need to come out, finally, after years of thinking and feeling them. I have a gut instinct that is telling me: they *need* to be shared, or there really wasn't much point in all the thinking my brain and feeling in my heart's been doing all this time, ya know?

So, come back if you're intrigued! I'd love the company. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wholly Mamma Christmas Endeavors

I work myself up for it. The day finally comes. I have to do a Christmas project with the littles as I promised them I would ("them" being Julian as Ignatius still doesn't know what tomorrow is, Thank Goodness!). As much as I love being lazy, the moment arrives and I have to get everything out and ready for a memory-making morning: Christmas Cookies! As much as it was difficult wrangling the youngin's, saying "don't touch!" way too many times to count, and letting go of my Type-A-in-the-kitchen self, it was entirely worth it. From start to finish, everything went without too much of a hitch and we all got a cookie out of the deal!

 We start with children who haven't been clothed for the day. Jammies are a must when making Christmas cookies, no? Next, we have all the ingredients for our Laura in the Kitchen cut-out sugar cookie recipe. The eggs are next to the bananas in the upper left-hand corner, FYI.

  Pouring the dry ingredients is a group effort in this house. Measuring? Mamma, and Mamma only. My Type A kitchen-style has to show through somehow in this mess!
 I forgot why I needed to distract them with batter on the whisks, but I did and succeeded.
 Sweetest thing ever? Your almost-two-year-old cleaning up afterwards. His sweet goofy expressions kill me!

  A half an hour later (give it a good hour, people! Laura said 30-60 minutes, but the dough was too soft. We couldn't pop it back in the fridge, because kids), and we got to working on our cut-outs!
 Aren't they cute (Har-har)? Our stars always end up looking like washed-up starfish, and some of them non-artistically poked. I'm looking at you, almost-two-year-old!

 Baked and cooling, and most definitely in danger of relentless child-fingers!
 Decorating! Oh, the best part! Wooooo hoooooo!
 Royal icing and sprinkles.
 There you have it! Aren't they gorgeous? hehe
 The verdict?


The end


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blog Much?

Oops! I haven't made this blog a priority, have I? Thanks for reading anyways!

So, what's new around here? Nothing too terribly much. Kids are growing, food prices are hiking, homemakers are chasing and teachers are teaching. It seems laundry is the one consistent deed which never leaves my side. Clothes get dirty a lot! It's pretty astounding!

We do what we can around here to assure mother dear drinks her morning coffee.

We enjoyed our summer vacation in Minnesota. Julian talks most about the swimming experiences, which we only really went to the water a couple of times while there. It left an impression on him though! On Labor Day Weekend we discovered a lake which is 15 minutes away from us, and we were able to go one more time after that. Both of the kids loved it! I hope that next year, we can beach it up as a family more often than we have in the past.

Joey's back to the school grind now. We miss him dearly, but are proud of all his accomplishments. Here's to another school year full of adventure!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June for Us

Let me blow off the dust from this here blog and begin writing. Ahem. So life's been chugging at the speed of "I can't keep up!" lately. I try to get things done and accomplish what I set out to do, and I'm lucky if I get halfway there by the end of the day. Yadda, yadda, yadda. There's nothing new under the sun. So let me make it up to you with some words and pictures, and maybe I can start attending to my blogging project a tad more consistently and timely.

Must have the obligatory picture of the offspring!
June saw us stranded for a car the night before Joey's sister's wedding. Old Reliable broke down on our way back home from the rehearsal dinner. Luckily hubby acted quickly and secured a rental for the rest of the weekend's festivities. To make a long story short, we purchased our new "pre-owned" car by June 10th. It's a 2013 Mazda 5 and we are quite taken by it. She is very zippy, classy looking, and totes up to 6 passengers giving us plenty of room for family expansion (no, I'm not pregnant lol!). It's a pretty funny transition going from having a real beater for a car to owning a pretty sweet ride... You realize that the gas peddle isn't suppose to have a 4 second delay!

The aforementioned wedding was awesome. I'm so happy for these two love birds, and so excited for their new lives together. They are the type of people whom you can't help but love for their integrity, selflessness, and cheerful and kindly hearts. They were truly made for one another.

We also attended my best friend's baby's Baptism on the 21st. It was great to see her, and see how great a mom she is. We text all the time, but it's totally a different thing to be there while she loves on her baby. What a blessed baby he is to have such an amazing mother! Being a mother and seeing motherhood blossom are two of the most glorious gifts this world has to offer...

Joey's kept busy with tutoring and wrestling camp for the remainder of June. The end of June also was eventful in that all four of us came down with a stomach bug. It started with me last Tuesday night, both boys Thursday night, and Joey Saturday night. Yes, last week wasn't fun.

It's July! Can you believe it? Also, on the 11th of this month is our 5th wedding anniversary. Holy buckets! Okay now I have to post a picture from our honeymoon.

Here's to a month full of adventure and fun for all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'm Never Getting Over It

It rained one day this week, and I brought out our basket of crafty things and had no plans. I saw we had some pom-poms, construction paper, and glue. The brilliant idea popped in my head to draw some type of animal, put glue on it, and tell Julian to go crazy with pom-poms. He specifically asked that it be a cow, but I didn't have a picture to use as model for this project. I am TERRIBLE at free-handing anything, so I asked if this yak on a local block would do:

He obliged as you can see.

He really enjoyed this, and honing my skills of copying other people's work is always a fun task for me. Also, it's tons of fun trying to redirect a child that has no desire to be redirected. Not. 

It's no fun being little and having your mom take pom-poms out of your mouth!

Poor second-born one-year-olds that fill this world with the echoing cry of, "BUT ALL I WANT TO DO IS JOIN THE FUN!" Ignatius luckily wasn't like this the entire time. He might have a quick temper, but it comes as quickly as it goes... for the most part. And yes, if you're wondering he was hitting me here. Sigh.

And now we have the finished product. Cute, no?

Cute picture: check. Cute, proud child: check, check.

Then, Julian wanted to do something sweet for Mamma by making flowers out of pipe cleaners. He started crumpling them up and stringing them onto a straight, yellow pipe cleaner which served as the stem. He chose a variety of different colors and carefully placed them together. He thought this all on his own, folks. What a darling boy he is!

He is the sweetest, most wonderful little boy...

I could've gobbled him up I was so proud of him. I told him to take a picture of me smelling the lovely flowers he gave me. I hope my mamma pride comes through to you here; I couldn't get over (and I don't think I ever shall) that big heart and brain of his.