Saturday, September 3, 2011

Summer Discoveries...

1) Rose Marie successfully conquered her fear of the water. I feel so proud watching her jump off the side of the swimming pool now, because I know how much she had to overcome to find that courage within herself. She is proud of herself. I could sit all day and watch her happily jumping in and out of the water.

2) Samuel has zero fear of the water. None. Therefore, he also throws himself off the side of the swimming pool, but the emotion that arises in me is a mix of panic and then frustration. No matter how many times he goes completely underwater and comes up sputtering and spitting, he continues to launch himself off of the highest point and into the water. Oh well...maybe next year we will learn how to swim and then I won't have to worry as much. But he is incredibly cute and manly when he jumps.

3) Sometimes a day in the swimming pool, totally counts as a bath.

4) Samuel has discovered his inner hunter instinct. I have never seen a child carefully stalk a grasshopper/spider/beatle the way Sam does. He follows the bug closely, waits for his moment to pouce and then scoops it up in his pudgey little hands (without squashing it!) and releases it back to its Mommy and Daddy. If the bug looks too big to be captured in his hands, he will get a cup from the kitchen and scoop it into the cup and take the bug outside. It is nice to be able to retire from getting rid of unwated bugs in our house. I will happily pass the baton to Samuel.

5) Drinking my cup of coffee outside in the summer sunshine, somehow doubles the caffine effect, which is wonderful!

6) I am fairly sure that I could eat fresh tomatoes with mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil every night.

7) The kids found out what happens when you pour water into dirt. Needless to say, this provided hours of entertainment.

8) Clouds really can look like something other than a cloud. Furthermore, each person is entitled to his/her own opinion as to what that cloud looks like. While you may see a bunny, it is perfectly acceptable that someone else may see a sword killing a dragon. Or perhaps Mommy is just going to call this whole thing off and from now on they are simply clouds!

9) Pretty much any occassion is "s'more worthy." If we are up past bedtime and the sun is getting sleepy, then it must be time to break out the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers.

10) Summer is time of lingering. Cuddles, kisses, and moments linger and hopefully stay a little longer. We have a few more weeks left, and I hope to make them last as long as I can. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday Rose Marie!

This year, my eldest presented me with a whole new challenge for her birthday.

Since Rose Marie was about 2 years old, I began telling her stories at night about a little penguin who lives in Alaska. These stories have taken many fantastical turns over the years, and she has completely fallen in love with, Pierre the penguin, the hero of her stories.

So this year, she asked for a penguin birthday party. At first I was completely stumped. How was I going to pull off a penguin party in the middle of the summer? With some thought, and much input from Rose, we came up with ideas. In the end, I think it turned out much better than I expected. Most importantly, she loved it!

I printed off penguin coloring pages for the little ones to color as they came. Then, they were able to make little bracelets that had penguin charms on them. We set up the pool outside and the kids were able to cool off in the "icy Alaskan waters." We had water balloons for a "waddle like a penguin," game...but the water balloons ended up being more fun to toss (uncles are always brillant examples for this!)

Of course, I did my best with a Pierre the Penguin cake and was able to make a five little construction paper penguins for decorations.

I still can't believe she is five years old! This year, I truly feel her being more grown up. She is going to be an amazing big sister, for the second time around. :) Although she doesn't lay in my arms anymore, or need me as much, I hope she still sees how deeply I love her and cherish her. I am trying to learn now, how to show my big girl how much she means to me. She is still my comfort and my little companion. Right now, I feel closest to her when she comes into the kitchen asking to help me make dinner. We cook and we talk. She is especially open when she cooking and I love it. Now I keep carrotts on hand just in case she wants to come in and "cook," then I set her up with the peeler and carrotts and listen to her talk about whatever is on her heart. I hope she knows just how much that means to me.

Happy Birthday, Rose Marie!!!

1) The Birthday Girl approving of her cake. :)

2) The cake! I was just happy that she was able to identify it as a penguin!

3) These little guys were waiting for her in the stairway when she woke up. There were two more pointing the way to the pool.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big News!

We are so thrilled to be able to announce that we are expecting baby #3, in early March of next year!

What a difference it is to be able to tell Rose Marie that she will be big sister again, and to truly have her understand. She, as always, is so helpful and careful to "take care of the baby." I love how attentive she is! We start our morning by talking about how big the baby is now and how many more days it will be until she is here (Rose is really wanting a sister.)

Samuel, has been surprisingly loving as well. He is always grabing me around the waist as I pass by and squashing his face into my belly and talking to the baby. I think the baby hears more, "I love yous" from his/her brother than I do. :)

As for my part, I am thrilled and terrified all at the same time. I wonder if I will be able to do this again. Will I remember what to do? What if I don't remember anything at all? But then, I do remember the sweet smell of a newborn. I can't wait to curl up in bed with the baby and doze while listening to his/her sweet little breathing. I can't wait to breastfeed again...that is always something I cherish. I can't wait to see which new personality we will be blest with this time! I am curious to see the changes in my first two children as they learn to make room in their little hearts for their new sibling. How will this little one change me? Who will I learn to become with this new life? These are the thoughts and questions that fill my mind on a daily basis.

I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to bear life within my womb again. Thank you Lord, for this gift...I pray that I may hold this life with the kind of love that leads this child closer to You.

Hello World!

I am feeling more than a little overwhelmed at the prospect of picking up this blog again. So much time has past and I feel like I have so much to catch up on...but I miss this more than I thought I would. Blogging truly helps me to set my thoughts, keep a postive attitude and keeps me more observant to the little things that do make a difference in my life.

So, after many months of silence, here I go, picking this up again. :) I guess the best way to start is just to jump right in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New York City: From Rose Marie's Perspective

We recently had the incredible honor of attending a dear friend's ordination to the priesthood, in New York City! I was so nervous about taking my children running around the Big Apple. But, as God would have it, the weekend was so grace-filled! In the end, I cannot imagine that trip WITHOUT my children! We had more fun as a family, then we have had in a long time! We were blessed by how good they were during the ordination itself, and then, how wonderful they were as we went exploring through the city.

Since we have been home, Rose Marie has been drawing pictures of the things she saw while we were there. So instead of boring you with details, I thought I would share with you, her pictures. I find them absolutely priceless! :)

1) The "Big Apple."

2) The Subway: notice the "smoke" rising from the top and Rose Marie and Samuel smiling out of the windows (the smilely faces are the parts that look like the train wheels)

3) St. Patrick's Cathedral: This is the big steeple and the "biggest door in the world!"

4) The Statue of Liberty: This is my favorite! Above the big smile is the "crown" that Liberty wears and then in her hand is the torch and next to her the water.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!!!

I finally have my blog up and running again! Yay! For some reason I was unable to upload photos or write on the blog for a while. It is still acting up as far as formatting goes, but at least I can write a little something. :)

We had an AMAZING Easter this year! I hope you all did as well! We were so incredibly blessed to be able to enter into the Triduum this year with the kids. Those last few days were so beautiful.

Beginning on Wednesday night, our little family went into a kind of cell phones, computers, generally no outside distractions. On Thursday the kids and I read through the Passion in the Bible and then we did a craft about Holy Week. Before dinner, Daddy washed all of the little feet in the was really beautiful! Rose and Sam were absolutely fascinated by Holy Thursday service. Sam was very upset by the stripping of the altar and by the statues being covered up.

Good Friday was spent remembering Our Lord's Passion. We ended up keeping it fairly low key, but we did manage to have a beautiful Stations of the Cross in our home that night. Rose Marie loves doing Stations at our house, so it was a real treat to her. We turn off all of the lights in the house, and light fourteen candles instead, for each of the Stations. After we pray each Station, one of the children extinguishes the candle so the room gets progressively darker. Rose and Sam are always very touched by this and Rose Marie really made the connection that on Easter, we will "feel the light" again. :) It was beautiful. I also thought it was interesting that Sam's favorite Station is when Jesus meets His mother...he always says that it makes Jesus feel "all better." I think he may be right.

Saturday was relatively quiet for us, but this year we made it to the Vigil! I was so excited for us and for the kids! They were so good at the long Mass. I will never forget Sam's expression when the lights were turned on in the Church when the "Gloria," was sung. He was so happy! He was especially happy to see that the statues were uncovered again and that there were flowers back on the altar. :) Rose Marie kept saying, "Alleluia," rather loudly...but I am sure Jesus didn't mind. :)

Easter Sunday was full of fun and celebration! We had a wonderful Easter Brunch at my parent's house, which ended with a fun Easter Egg hunt in the backyard. That night, my family came over to our home for Easter Dinner. There was a lot of laughter and joy through the entire day, and we couldn't have asked for more. My younger siblings played hard with our kids, so by bedtime that night, Rose and Sam were exhausted and fell into bed saying, "I love Easter!" I do too. :)

1) Jake and I after Easter Dinner.

2) Waiting to go hunt for those eggs!

3) Enjoying a moment of peace at my parent's house, while the kids are scrambling to find the hidden eggs.

4) Drinking sparkling apple cider after the Easter Vigil!

5) Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where I Come From

In case anyone is wondering:

I am a daughter of man who served his country well for twenty years in the Armed Forces.

I come from a family who values and respects one other's uniquness and difference of opinion.

I was raised in a family that spoke truth...even in uncomfortable circumstances.

Dinner conversations were regularly full of intelligent debate, followed by hugs and laughter.

I was taught to stand firm against things I viewed as unjust or untrue.

I was reminded that evil runs free, when good men do nothing.

Defending those you love, is not an option, it is your duty.

And yes, I plan on raising my daughter the same way. I will expect her to differ from me in opinions. I expect her to challenge authority when she senses that something may be unjust or untrue. I want her to know that she is valued for the unique way in which she thinks, feels and expresses herself. I will guide her to the very best of my ability, but I do not intend to shun my children for making choices that they feel they are being called upon to make. I am working on giving her roots in the Catholic Faith and in Catholic Tradition, and then, I have to let her go and let God work on her little heart in the way that He sees fit. I have to trust her and even more, I have to trust Him. All the while, I have to remember that she is God's gift to me. I have to remember that in order for her to respect me as her mother, she also needs to know that I respect and love her, just as she was created to be. I do not rule her, it is not a mother's place to demand unwavering submission. These little ones entrusted to us by God, deserve respect for the little people they are, and for the grown-up men and women they will become. I pray that one day, my daughter will grow into a confident, God-fearing, truth speaking little woman and that she will have a passionate love for those in her life and for the principles she has been taught. And I hope, that if any of those things are challenged, she will be graced with the strength to make a stand and fight for the ones she loves...knowing full well that her Mama would be proud. :) Thank you Mom and Dad!!