Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I've got some good news and bad news
The good news is: The kids had a day off from school today because of the power outages caused by the snowstorm.

The bad news is: The kids had a day off from school today because of the power outages caused by the snowstorm.

Since I had some extra time this morning, I decided to make these:
They're pancakes that are supposed to look like pumpkins, but I think they look like orange Christmas ornaments. The kids were excited when they saw them but then were unexcited when we discovered I didn't cook them long enough and they were gooey inside. Oh well. Here's the "before we realized it" pic:
 We all tackled some jobs today. Tommy and Mary were tasked with organizing my junk drawer. Ann and Billy found mates to all of the un-matched socks.

They did a great job but Billy lost his smile somewhere in those piles!

Even though I don't like the cold weather, I do enjoy one of my favorite parts of my pellet stove fireplace. It's so easy to use and so cozy. I could use some help decorating my mantel though....any suggestions?

And what would a day off from school be without a few episodes of this?

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween too!

(FYI: Our trick or treating was last Friday, shown on my previous post )

Saturday, October 29, 2011


One of the things I found shocking when I moved to this area was the fact that some townships do their trick or treating on whatever the Friday night happens to be. So our trick or treating night was last night. Halloween is fun, but I find putting them in costume second only to the annoyance level of getting them ready to go in the snow! Little did I know that this weekend I'd be doing both!

 So we started the weekend off with Matthew helping me make a new recipe....stromboli! I have never made it before and thought I'd give it a try.
I got a little worried when it cooked up like this:

Not sure what was going on there.

Then the two of us headed up to the school to see the parade...I didn't get any good pictures there. Here is one of Mary before she walks out of view.
Dr. Mary

 After school, we quickly ate some dinner (?) before we headed to piano, then to drop the girls off at a party. Here is my "tablescape":
That's about as close as Sandra Lee as I get.

Here are Darth Vader, Lt. Thomas, and the Grimm Bill before heading out.

  Every Halloween growing up my Grandmother came over to watch us get ready in our costumes and also see the neigborhood kids come to the door. I could never understand why she wanted to be there. I thought  she should be home giving out candy at her own house. Now that I'm older and wiser, I know why she was there and why it must have meant so much to her. My Mom would always serve her these cookies with milk.
 I'm pretty sure my siblings, my Dad, and my Uncle can't look at this box without thinking of Halloween and my Grandmother.

Surprisingly, we have about six  inches of snow here today. And what's even more surprising, I not only got the kids dressed to go out in it, I joined them! I have come a long way.

Even though we had fun, I'm okay if snow doesn't show itself again until December. ( I'd even wait until January).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Craft

  The mother's group I attend did a fall craft yesterday. Here is mine. What do you think?

 I wasn't crazy about the basket, so I did a little rearranging and put it in a ceramic bowl I had. It doesn't look much different does it? Especially since the bowl is a basket weave design!!

I think I'd like it better if it were real flowers. I made this last year for my friend's birthday. I loved how this came out.

I was trying to figure out how to end this post when I heard Matthew start crying from his room. He needed help in the little boys room. When I put him back to bed I said, "I love you" and he said, "I love you more". ( **  insert melting heart here**)

How's that for a crafty ending?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend Happenings

Another great weekend around here. If I had to describe the weekend in one word it would be "beautiful." On Saturday Bill's uncle got married. It was one of the nicest weddings I've ever been to. Of course the bride, the flowers, the dresses, and the banquet hall were all beautiful. But the best part of this wedding was the atmosphere. The spirit of love in the room felt palpable! I know that sounds like an exaggeration or that I drank too much wine, but was!

The couple decided to split the tables....half the groom's side, half the bride's side. It was a great way to meet new people and share in the happiness. That's really the sense I got all night.....that everyone was so happy this couple was together. We never did get a good picture of the two of them, ( I was probably getting more wine!) but this blurry one still shows how happy they looked. I just love how Bill's Uncle Charlie is giving a thumbs up.

Another beautiful event this weekend was for my kids. My brother Jim and sister in law Kathy watched them while Bill and I went to the wedding. If I was my sister in law, I would have gotten pizza, popcorn, and movies and let them "have at it" all night. But as usual she went above and beyond and took my five, two of her kids, plus two friends to their local zoo for Boo at the Zoo!  A huge undertaking if you ask me! They had a ball. Kathy put them all in costume and gave them a great night. ( I'm sure Jim helped too ). Here is a sneak peak at Billy before his final costume was on.

Not beautiful, but pretty scary!

The kids were all dressed up today, so I got out the camera. Expecting to be there for 10 minutes manipulating and forcing them to smile, it was one shot and done! That has never happened.  I was glad it came out so beautifully.
And lastly, I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment on Friday. I just had to have these. Aren't they beautiful?

I hope your weekend was a good one too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Here Today-Gone Tonight

 This morning at breakfast we all heard the distinct cries of Ann when she's bleeding. No worries, it was only her loose tooth. It was hanging by a thread and began to bleed when she started to eat. This is her a few minutes later when I said to her," C'mon, just let me pull it".

She pulled it out herself at school and this is how she looked when she came home:

   Doesn't she look older? *sniff--sniff*

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Slowing Down

Don't you just love the fall? I think it's safe to say it's my favorite time of year. The weather was perfect today.  Matthew and I spent a lot  of time outside just taking it easy. Life is good.

This driver slowed down to order a "coffee cream-a-sugar" from me.

 I slowed down to admire my beautiful back yard.

Matt definitely didn't want to slow down on his swing.

This was Matt hiding when it was time to slow down and take his nap. This is his usual spot when we play hide and seek too. I've tried over and over to explain that I can still see him, but he doesn't get it. Which makes him that much more adorable!
The older I get the more I want to slow down. Is that an old age thing, a laziness thing, or a smart thing? Maybe all of the above. I guess I'm just at the point in life where that wonderful age of babies/toddlers/preschoolers is quickly drifting away and I want to enjoy every detail.

 It got a bit crazy here the other night but in the midst of it something really cool happened. Bill and I were cleaning up from dinner, Matthew was getting pushed on a ride on toy by Ann, and Billy and Tommy were running around. It was loud, but everyone was getting along and having fun. I noticed in the background that Mary Kate was practicing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" on the piano. Anyone get where I'm going with this?? It  was just like a scene from It's a Wonderful Life, but better because we weren't under the stress poor George Bailey was at that part of the movie.

 Life can be crazy, loud, and hectic, but hopefully we can slow down enough to enjoy life's little pleasures.

And just for your information,  this guy below DOES NOT help anyone slow down. In fact, it makes the cars on our street go faster.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend Odds and Ends

   ~Back home: I traveled "back home" this weekend. I stayed at my Dad's house, the place I always lived until I got married. Here is a picture of it.

  My Dad was a wonderful host. He always welcomes me home. This time he had the guest room set up with clean sheets and towels, the fridge with fresh half -n-half ( a must for my coffee ), and he even went out in the morning to buy me a fresh doughnut. Still the spoiled youngest child!

  ~Sister Love

 True BFF's. At least I hope so. I hope they know how lucky they are to have each other.

~Mini Apples: Have you seen these??

  A miracle fruit around here. Billy hadn't touched an apple his entire life. Now that I've found these he's all over them. Go figure!

 ~Soft pillow:

 Ann conked out on her Dad. Too cute.

 There's no place like home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Prayers for Strength

   Sometimes it seems like we are surrounded by sadness. This week in particular many people I know are suffering. Some of my friends and family are dealing with upcoming surgeries, illnesses, and even going through the death of a loved one taken much too early from this life.

  I want to lift them all up in prayer today. I'm asking God to give them strength. I pray that they will see beyond the trials of this life and know there is a reward waiting for those who trust in Him.

  "Of this wisdom it is written, eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man, what God has prepared for those who love Him". 1 Corinthians 2, verse 9.

 The following song is a new favorite of mine. It's about finding strength.

 God Bless the Rush family.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Review

  We had a nice holiday weekend. It started a bit early with Bill being home by 4pm on Friday! He started the weekend right with some goofy-ness.

  Saturday was the big guy's birthday. We started with donuts at breakfast, a tradition he grew up with. Yum!
  The rest of the day was football games and basketball try-outs. We got a sitter that night and went out for a bit with some friends.   Sunday I had some time "back home"  in the Philly area and was able to see a lot of our family. Have I mentioned I have the greatest family EVER?

 The kids and Bill were all off on Monday. At lunch I asked Bill if I could make him a sandwich. He said, "Yes, but could you please put on a lot more mayo than you usually do?". This is what I made:

Aren't I funny?

 Since our October weekends were filling up quickly we decided today was the day to take our annual pumpkin picking trip. We had no idea it would be so hot!! It was fun though. Here are some pictures:
Billy's pumpkin was 35 lbs!

  I hope your weekend was a happy one too! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our Lady Of The Rosary

 About 10 years ago when I was a new mom, two women of my parish started a group called Moms N Tots. We met twice a month in a room at the church. It was a place to meet new friends, both for the moms and the children. Being new to the area and this vocation of  motherhood, it was a small reprieve from the daily grind that sometimes defines our days.

 As a way to enhance our prayer life, we decided to meet occasionally at one of our homes at night ( sans kids) to pray the rosary. As much as I enjoyed it, I was uncomfortable with sharing  intentions aloud as was the custom at these gatherings. Through the years though it has become my favorite part of the week. We no longer meet at night. It was just too difficult to escape from family obligations for most of us. We now call the gatherings "Pray and Play." We still meet at someone's home, but it's in the morning, and the kids play. It is loud and hard to concentrate, but somehow it fill us with much needed peace.

  I still find it hard to share my inner thoughts out loud, but it's easier than it used to be. When you are with a group of  friends sharing their wishes, worries, fears, or just plain gratitude for their loved ones, it's hard not to be completely submissive to the power of prayer. And once you pray with  someone, your relationship is never quite the same.

 There is a line from one of my favorite movies ( Steel Magnolias ) where Truvy says, "Laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions." As you can imagine this rings true plenty as we pray with a room full of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. We can be full of emotions listening to someone's heartfelt intentions, then hear a toddler with a lightsaber say to a friend, "Do you want a beatdown?" Priceless!

  Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Listed here are some of the benefits of reciting the rosary.

Benefits of the Rosary

1. It gradually gives us a perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ.
2. It purifies our souls, washing away sin.
3. It gives us victory over all our enemies.
4. It makes it easy for us to practice virtue.
5. It sets us on fire with love of Our Lord.
6. It enriches us with graces and merits.
7. It supplies us with what is needed to pay all our debts to God and to our fellow men; and finally, it obtains all kinds of graces for us from Almighty God.

Click to enlarge

  I find it helpful to have a guide of some sort so that you are able to read along with the mysteries of Jesus' life. I use one that has the virtue Jesus is displaying so we can imitate that in our own lives. For example, the first Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation. The fruit of this mystery is "Humility".  For the fourth Sorrowful Mystery, Carrying of the Cross, the fruit of this mystery is "Patience".  One I am particularly drawn to is the second Luminous Mystery, Wedding At Cana. The fruit of this mystery is "To Jesus through Mary". Jesus perfomed his first public miracle because of his mother's request. That is why we can feel comfortable in asking Mary to ask her son for the favors we need.

Matthew:  Member since 2008

Thursday, October 6, 2011


 I had two insurance claims-adjuster-appraiser dudes come to my house today to look at the damage in our leaky dining room. They looked on the inside of the house first. As we are standing there one of them is asking me some easy questions about when and where we noticed the leak, etc. Then the conversation continued like this:

Him:  What room is above this?
Me:  The Master Bathroom.
Him:  Can I see it?
Me:  (a long silence, along with my eyes bugged out) and then "Uuuhhhhh, really? Do you really have to?
Him: I sort of do.
Me: Give me 5 minutes.

 I ran up to attend to the piles of laundy, hair and face products everywhere, a weeks worth of Bill's suits hanging on the poster of the bed, not to mention the long overdue scrubbing of certain things.
I did a quick "good enough to not be too embarrassed" clean up. Turns out he didn't need to go up there after all. Whew! Dodged a bullet there. But I did do a proper cleaning once he left.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stepping Back

  My husband was traveling these past 2 weeks. The first week was for school, the second week for work. On his way home from the airport on Thursday he called to tell me he was on his way. He also mentioned ( with trepidation I think) that he had just gotten a call from his boss telling him he had to work on Sunday. Say WHAT????

 The Holy Spirit must have flown into action. I remembered that he was driving with a coworker. Not wanting to sound like "that kind of wife" I quickly got off the phone. Once I did this I paced around my kitchen coming up with all kinds of things to say about his boss, his job, the unfairness of it all, yada, yada. I think I even had one of those talk-in-the-mirror- conversations. Have you ever done that?? That's when you know you're really mad.

 However, I had time to step back and take a few deep breaths. By the time he got home I was over it. It didn't change my day or any plans we had made for Sunday. HE was the one who should have been upset. I didn't have to get up early for mass or drive 2 1/2 hours on Sunday to get to any destination like he did. Why was I complaining?

 It got me to thinking.....I really could have blown up at him and lost my temper so easily for something that didn't really matter. Yes, I missed having him here on Sunday, but in the big picture it was fine for me.  I'm not sure if any of you are like me, but what a great lesson learned. To digest things before you react. Your perspective can change in a few minutes. In this case, I spared poor Bill from my wrath thanks to that guy sitting next to him. Which brings me to another lesson learned....why are we so nice to our loved ones when people are watching?  Why can't we be like that all the time? Maybe you are, but I definitely could use some work in that department.