Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year in Photos 2009!

1) January

2) February
3) April (Blogger is not letting me organize these correctly!)

4) March

5) May

6) July (I know misplaced...Blogger won't let me change it!)

7) October (Again, blogger is being a pain!)

8) June

9) August

10) September

11) November

What a fantastic year of growth, changes and adventure! Thank you, Lord! I can't wait to see what this new year will hold for us! I have some New Year's resolutions that I will post later. For now, thank you Lord for such amazing memories!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I have so many thoughts going through my head as I sit to write this post. I think I need to work through them all before I attempt to write them down. For now, I was so grateful for such an amazing Christmas! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were such grace-filled, joyful and fulfilling celebrations! I think I am still letting it all sink in. The kids loved everything and they allowed us to enjoy it. One of the most special moments was that we actually sat through the entire Christmas Vigil together as a family! I was so absolutely certain that Sam and I would be doing our usual dance in the back of the Church, but not that night. It was all beautiful and I pray that yours was as well! Merry Christmas!

1) After Mass reading the Christmas bedtime story:

2) Before the Vigil:

3) So excited!

4) Himself:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Favorite Things:

1) Listening to Rose Marie sing, "Flunkity, flunk, flunk, Flunkity, flunk, flunk, Look at Frosty go..."

2) Seeing Sam's excitement and surprise to see geese swimming in the pond outside our kitchen window! He stood there all day, pointing at them and blowing them kisses. :)

3) Dancing like crazy with the kids to Christmas songs, in between wrapping presents and baking cookies.

4) Spending evenings with my husband curled up near the fireplace, sipping St. Brendan's Irish Creme, and watching Christmas movies.

Favorite Christmas pictures, so far:
1) Our romantic weekend getaway!

2) Sam in his fort, pointing to the decorations that bring him so much joy!

3) Making Christmas cookies, with "sparkles!"

4) The Christmas bunny???

5) Sam in his Church outfit! Such a handsome little man!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Presentations Week 4!

Christmas is almost here! We are so excited! We pray that you are having a very fruitful Advent Season as you begin those final preparations to welcome the Christ Child.

The past Sunday, Rose Marie expressed her excitement in Church! We were on our way back to our pew, after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, when the Church's Advent wreath came into view. She got so excited that she started skipping (instead of quietly walking!) and "whispered" loudly, "Mommy, ALL of the candles are lit! Christmas is almost here!!!" People around us, began giggling and I tried to keep a straight face as I corralled her back to the pew. I am grateful to learn that she is understanding what has been taking place over these last four weeks. She understands that we have been preparing and that the wait is almost over.

So, here are our final photos from our presentations. I hope to have a presentation with her on Christmas Eve and if we do, I will be sure to put pictures of that up as well. This week we focused on the Visitation. This story seemed to mean much more to Rose Marie than the Annunciation, which I thought was interesting. She was much quieter and more attentive with this story. After this, she wasn't so interested in using the works again, but she played being pregnant all day! She talked about her baby moving in her tummy because the baby was happy.
1) Mary visiting Elizabeth!
2) Notice Elizabeth's pregnant tummy?

3) Our Week 4 Card and Rose Marie's coloring page with the matching picture.

4) Up close:

Cute Book!

I realize that we are in the final days before Christmas, but I had to share this. If you have any little ones on your list and are looking for a good book about Christmas, this one is charming! My Mom gave it to us last week and it has now become our bedtime story for the rest of the Advent Season! It is called, "Hurry! Hurry! Have you Heard?" Thank you, Mom! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Wonderful Day!

1) A very long bath with Rose Marie and a cup of coffee. We practiced holding our breath under water and helped wash one another's hair. She hasn't stopped talking about it all day!

2) Finally laying my work aside and giving in to wrestling/snuggling with Samuel. He giggled and laughs so hard! :) I didn't finish my work, but I figured that spending time to make his already huge smile even bigger, was worth it. He is such a fun-loving little man!

3) Finally getting through a book reading session with BOTH kids on either side of me, "listening" to the story. Sam is getting better at it.

4) My favorite part of the day...skipping normal bedtime and bundling both of the kids up in snow gear and running outside to play in the snow! Snow is always magical, but particularly so when it is dark. It was so peaceful and the Christmas lights looked so amazing covered with the snow! Rose Marie was obsessed with making snow angels and she was thrilled about running down the middle of the snow covered street, screaming/singing Christmas Carols and laughing till her sides ached! Her little cheeks were bright red and her hair was covered in tiny snow flakes...the perfection of beauty! George Bailey would have been proud! :)

5) After our late night snow escapade we got snuggled under a blanket and cuddled by the fireplace until Rose decided that her toes were finally warm enough for jammies. :)

Thank you Lord, how could I ask for more!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent Presentations Week #3!

Gaudete Sunday! This is the week when we focus on the joy that we have as we continue to prepare for the coming of the Christ Child! I think that most of the "joy" in this house came from the lighting of the pink candle...but that is okay! :)

This week our presentation focused on the Annunciation! I felt so blessed to be able to share this with Rose. I don't know how much she understood, but I do know that she sat so still and quiet as I read the story to her. She was really absorbing every word I said and watching very intently as I used the figures of Mary and the angel Gabriel. I think that we are going to revisit this presentation a few more times this week. I think it was a new concept for her to see Mary without Joseph. I think it was the first time she really saw Mary as a girl, apart from the nativity scene. The one-on-one communication with the angel seemed to really intrigue her and I wonder what she was thinking about that. I think this next week will hold a few questions that may leave Mommy searching for answers. :) Here are a few photos:

1) The angel Gabriel and Mary in "Mary's House." I cut this out of cardboard this year. I hope that next year I may have the resources to make something out of wood, but for now, this worked to get the point across. :)

2) A close-up of Mary and the Angel. I used the figures from the Playmobil set, which was my "investment" piece this year. All of the figures are movable, simple and separate (so the gifts from the Three Kings can be moved out of their hands and the baby Jesus can be moved out of the manager.) This is the set I will use for the actual Christmas presentation.

3) Our pink candle and our Week 3 card.

4) Close up of our Week 3 Card with scripture verse.

5) Rose Marie's coloring Advent wreath. She LOVES this! She was a little overzealous this week and already colored in the last candle. :) She loves seeing how her coloring page continues to look just like our Advent wreath on the table. I keep our Advent wreath on the dinning room table along with the cards for the week. This has been really beneficial for her and keeps it always present in her mind.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good Book Alert!

Reading is a very bad habit for me. I really do try to limit my reading. On occasion, a book will fall into my hands which causes me to lose the power to ever put it down. Consequently, my house looks like a disaster and whatever chores I do accomplish are done in haste so that I can pick the book up again. I is terrible. There really needs to be a self-help group for people like me. I am forbidden to go into bookstores because my otherwise thrifty self, spares no expense on reading material. My poor little library card has seen better days. Oh well!

This latest little gem is one that I had to share! If I had the money, all of my family and friends would be receiving this as a Christmas present! :) It was a sheer delight and absolutely enchanting! If you are looking for the laugh, cry and heavy sigh book, this is the one for you! It is the book you think of when you want to curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket, fuzzy socks and good cup of tea.

So here it is: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Wonder!

I have been looking forward to this Advent season, since last Christmas. I was so certain that this year, everything would be peaceful, calm, prayerful and joyful. As life would have it, that has not been exactly the case. There has been much suffering, baby sickness, 3-year old emotional issues and a general feeling of disorder.

However, a few nights ago, we took our children out and hunted down a Christmas tree. We sang, we laughed, we played, we all gave our stamp of approval on the beautiful tree. We decided to give up on dinner, eat sugar cookies, turn on Christmas music and decorate our tree. We had such a glorious, fun-filled night!

Then, after Samuel was snug in his bed, I gathered up my little Rose Marie and we padded down the stairs, shutting off every light as we went. We shut off all of the lights except for the Christmas tree lights. Her eyes were so wide and so bright! We laid down beneath our beautiful tree and admired the lights. We spoke in soft whispers and snuggled close. I whispered to her the story of Our Lord's birth. She was so thrilled! We prayed and asked blessings of the Christ Child.

Here is my Advent. Thank you little daughter for bringing me down to the manager once again. Thank you for helping me to see the wonder in this season! Thank you for reminding me that no matter what storms are raging around me, Jesus always has the power to calm them...and more importantly He always does. I just need to go and snuggle close to Him and ask Him to hold me. Thank you Rose Marie for being Jesus' special gift to Mommy! I love you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanks Mom!

After a tearful conversation with my incredibly wise mother, she tipped me off to this wonderful article by Elizabeth Foss. I read it and re-read, because it was exactly what I needed today. In case I am not the only mother out there feeling like a completely imperfect human being right now, I thought I would share it. It is so difficult when something arises that steals away our sense of self worth. I begin to look to "things I do," to fill my sense of identity and worth. In reality, I need to find Our Lord and realize that it is my love and His that matters. I need to find myself in the stable, kneeling at the cradle of Our Lord and asking Him the questions my heart so desperately seeks.

Thank you, know me well. :)

Arlington Catholic Herald - Give up on being perfect -

Advent Presentation Week 2!

This week, we discussed the prophet, Micah and his prophecy concerning, Bethlehem. Rose Marie especially liked the fact that, "Bethlehem," means, "House of Bread." She has not made the broader connection that this has to the Eucharist, but she sees it as a very interesting fact. Here are a few photos of this week's presentation:

1) Our "Micah Card," with a picture of Bethlehem and his prophecy beneath. She now likes the song, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," because she sees that it goes with what we have been talking about...and that it actually makes sense as a Christmas song. :)
2) Micah!

Monday, December 7, 2009


There is several giveaways going on over at Faith and Family! Check out the giveaways and look through their fun site! I love getting their e-mail updates.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent Presentations Week 1!

I have promised several people that I would upload photos of our Advent Presentations, and I am finally getting around to it. :) I am a week behind, but hopefully by Monday or Tuesday of this week I will be up to speed.

I am using Moira Farrell's Home Catechesis Manuel for 3-6 as a basis for these presentations, along with the inspiration and practical application from the moms over at CGS MOMS. This is my first year with this, so I am still in the process of investing in better quality materials, but for now, I am working with what I have and can afford. :) These first presentations have already sparked wonderful discussions between Rose and I! I love seeing how God moves her little heart and learning what speaks to her the most.

1) This first week of Advent, we focus on the prophet Isaiah. Here is a photo of our Advent wreath, our purple drape, our card with a picture of "light" and Isaiah's prophecy written beneath it and our little figure of Isaiah himself.

2) After the general presentation of the Advent wreath, we took "Isaiah's Candle" from the wreath and went to Rose Marie's work space and we discussed who Isaiah was and we read his words from the Bible. After this we discussed various parts of his message, focusing primarily on darkness and light.

3) Here is an up-close photo of Isaiah, whom I am very proud of! Rose Marie loves him. Our Advent wreath sits in the center of our table, and now Isaiah stands in front of his candle, so he is a constant source of discussion these days. :) Thanks to the moms over at CGS MOMS for the wonderful inspiration!

4) Here is an up-close of Rose Marie's Advent wreath for coloring. After the presentation, she colored one purple candle with orange for a flame, and then taped a smaller image of the light which is on our large purple card.

5) The Purple card with our image of the light and Isaiah's prophecy:

I hope you all have a wonderful beginning of Advent! God bless!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Her View vs. His View

Rose Marie: "Mommy, he keeps making my spoons be swords, and I need to feed my dolly!"

Rose Marie: "Mommy, he keeps making my princess carriage make car noises, but it is NOT a car!!!"

Rose Marie again: "Mommy, he is making my pots and pans be drums, but they are for cooking."

In utter frustration: "Mommy, he is using my brush for a sword, but it is to make my hair soft!!!"

With a heavy sigh, "Mommy, he doesn't understand my things."

Welcome, little daughter, to the fundamental differences between men and women!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Picture Update! :)

Blogger is giving me picture difficulties today, so these are not in proper order. :( But I still hope you enjoy them.

1) Sam's first taste of "sweets"...his First Birthday Cake! He LOVED it!

2) After Sam's first haircut...

3) The haircut

4) Second (or third) piece of gooey-delicious cake...

5) Happy Birthday Sam!

6) Rose Marie and her Aunt and Uncle performing the Thanksgiving Play! Rose Marie played the part of a "girl pilgrim." :)

7) Sam's Birthday cake. (I had to put a turkey on don't have a birthday on Thanksgiving Day every year!) Rose Marie helped make it more colorful around the edges.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thank You Lord!

This year I am thankful for:

1) My husband! His friendship and his ability to keep us constantly in the "honeymoon phase," is incredible. He is truly my very best friend and my protector. Thank you, Lord, you picked the You always do!

2) Rose Marie, I love her companionship and her nurturing nature. I am excited about experiencing Advent with her this season and seeing what God has in store for us both.

3) Samuel, my little knight in puppy pj's! He is a one-year old version of his Daddy, and that just absolutely melts my heart!

4) My family! This year my parents have been our family's "safe haven," on more than one occasion and never seemed to bat an eye! They just scoop us all up and shelter us under their wing and I will never forget that! They are the most loving and supportive family I could ever ask for!

5) For my children's ability to remind me that dancing is more important than laundry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Victories #2

1) Finally got the biggest part of the Advent presentations made!! Yay!

2) Individual quality time with both babies!!! :)

3) Two successful trips to the YMCA, thanks to the cooperation of Sam and Rose!

Goals for the week:

1) To get Rose Marie to brush those little teeth twice a day. (Somehow that seems to be falling behind.)

2) To make a batch of oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies with Rose Marie.

3) To finish reading my book. A book just for Mommy, which requires taking some time out for Mommy time. I need to get better at that. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oh, Bother!

Samuel's list of accomplishments (all within a single afternoon!)

1) Leaped over the side of his crib in a single bound! Luckily, no injuries, only frightened and then quickly elated by his new skill.

2) Crawled half-way up the stairs when Mommy wasn't looking.

3) Pulled himself up to a standing position using the coffee table for the first time to reach a snack.

4) Pulled himself up to a standing position using the couch, just because he can.

5) Pulled himself up to look inside of a box and then narrowly escaped falling head first into said box.

I feel like my life has changed in the course of a few hours. Up until nap time, Sam hadn't even bothered to pull himself up to a standing position and he still only crawls (wounded soldier crawl). So all of these new found standing skills feel extremely sudden and out of the blue! These brave "jumping over things" skills are things that his sister never did, so I am feeling like a rookie Mom again. Oh well, it keeps things interesting and lively! :) Now if he will just reach his first birthday bruise-less, that would wonderful!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Hero, Brave and Strong!

Samuel's adoration of Mama, has reached new heights! He has become protective of me...and I must confess that I find it absolutely adorable.

Thanks to his uncles, Sam has learned to "shoot" at people using his little pointer finger and making a "shooting" noise. He shoots at everyone, and thinks it is funny when other people join his one man army. However, Mommy is strictly off limits for being shot at. If one breaks this cardinal rule, the fun is abruptly stopped and Nazgul-like screaming ensues.

Similarly, when playing the "hide and tickle game" with the kids, everything is fun and laughable, until Mama gets tickled. This is interpreted as the desecrating-of-all-that-is-sacred and again, end of game and lots of screaming.

The remedy when such an offense has taken place, is cuddling and I get showered by kisses until he has made sure that I am unscathed. I know, it is obsessive, but I find it really charming. :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009


1) A well planned out dinner menu for the whole week that stayed in budget and was wholesome! :) I love knowing what is for dinner ahead of time.

2) Despite a difficult week with Sam, I was able to press through and maintain my composure most of the time. I am trying to keep calmer when his little temper tantrums escalate and I did a better job than usual.

3) I felt like I have been reaching out to Our Lord again in more concrete ways. I find myself "looking to heaven" as St. Therese would say and knowing that I am in prayer in those moments.

For this upcoming week, my goals would be:

1) Another dynamite dinner planning week!
2) Shopping trip to Michaels for our Advent Presentations. :) I can't wait!!!
3) Individual quality time with both of the little ones.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just to Review:

Last year:

This year:

Funny how things change. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From my View

I went for a jog the other day, and looked down to find Rose Marie's arm around Samuel...they stayed snuggled like this the whole time. I am so glad for the sibling love that is shown in these random moments.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I thought this might be an interesting point of discussion. We have not yet done the "Trick-or Treat" thing with Rose Marie, but we are revisiting the topic this year. We are still in the process of discovering what our family will do during these holy days of All Saints and All Souls. What are your thoughts on Halloween? Do you participate? What traditions do you have for these Feast Days?

Here is an interesting link that I thought I would share:

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today was one of those wonderful, productive kinds of days. Sam and Rose Marie were both introduced to new works today, and they LOVE them! Both are simple, but I think for their ages, they were introduced at a time when they could be enjoyed to the fullest. Hopefully, later this week I will put up a few pictures of some of the other works that have been keeping us busy, but these are the two newest:

1) Rose Marie was given the "open and close" work today. I was afraid that it would be boring to her, but instead I was given hugs and kisses with exclamations of, "Mommy, I love this work so much!" I think she had so much fun trying all of the different closures. She went back to it several times throughout the day. I think the key was that each top is different: magnets, buttons, zips, screw tops, ones that pop off and two that you pinch to open. Some were fairly challenging, so she was very proud of herself for eventually getting the hang of it. I am so grateful that she loves it as much as she does!

2) Sam was introduced to his very first "work," today and I was literally amazed. This was an old one of Rose's that had been given to me by my Mom. Sam transfers the wooden blocks from the glass bowl into the wooden box. He repeated this work for a solid half hour! He was so proud of himself for getting them all in the box! I thought it was fascinating that when he would misplace a block, or drop one, he would first return it to the glass bowl and then to the wooden box. It was very important to him that the blocks went straight from the glass bowl into the box. I think I was also amazed at his ability to grasp what the object of the work was, after I had presented it to him. I am excited to see what he will be drawn to next!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I realize this one is going around, but it really touched me and I wanted to share. Enjoy!

Feast of St. Therese!

Rose Marie was so excited to go choose flowers for St. Therese! She picked one color for each member of the family. For our afternoon treat we will have tea and petits fours (our line of thinking was: little cakes with flowers on top remind us of St. Therese and her little way) :) Happy Feast Day!