Saturday, July 25, 2015

Everyday Happenings

Billy just returned from a Quo Vadis retreat.  It was a 5 day/4 night vocational camp.  Drop off was Sunday around noon,  but families were invited to stay for mass and lunch.  This was good because I was very anxious about Billy leaving our nest for such a long time.  Drawing out our goodbyes was a good idea.  I managed to leave the place without tears.

Sunday drop off
I sure was happy to see him on Thursday.

He gave the camp an 8 out of 10.  Does this mean he's got an 80% chance of becoming a priest??

Did you happen to see Paula Abdul on the The Late Show with James Corden?  They reenacted her Opposites Attract video from back in the day.  Made my Big 80's-lovin' heart smile.

Ann passed the swim test at the community center pool!  It was so sweet to see her go through the process.  She was all like "I can't do it," and Dad was all like, "Easy Day; Yes, you can,", while teaching her some swim tricks.  She passed with flying colors and was then allowed to use the slide there, which she proceeded to go down 1,202 times.

Pope Francis is coming to our neck of the woods this September.  I'm thinking I need to buy one of these.

Makes me wish I liked football

Bill took the boys to Army Day at Fort Dix.  I'm pretty sure this was their favorite part.

My Dad celebrated his 81st birthday.  For his present he wanted to take his kids and spouses out to dinner.  How can you pass that up?  What a treat.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

I had three goals this summer.  June was to have a yard sale; July was to paint the upstairs hallway; and August was to paint the basement.  Well, my yard sale was mostly a rainout.  Bill even tried to sell this big ticket item, but there were no takers. 

The worst part is that here it is a month later and all the stuff is still in my garage. *sigh*

As for the upstairs hallway, it's been half-primed for almost 2 weeks now.  Must finish....have 5 days left.

It's not looking promising for the basement.

Bill is getting transferred in his job to Philadelphia.  We are excited about this since we are both from the suburbs of Philly.  To get ourselves psyched up about it we started looking at promotional videos about the city and saw the famous one from...yep, the 80's... by Patti LaBelle.  Check this out and then you'll see why we were hysterically laughing at the end.

Ok, so wrong.  Not funny.  Just....untimely.


The kids helped me babysit.  For some it was a play date; for others a labor of love.

 I will end with some random pictures. 

  Happy Weekend, Dudes.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Gentle Mastery Of Christ

I have attempted to start a new blog post a bunch of times over these past two weeks only to come up empty.  There's so much to blog about but for some reason my mind goes totally blank when I try to write anything of substance.

Which, if you've read this blog for any period of time, that last sentence probably sounded like a joke because we all know I rarely post anything of substance here.

My mind has been occupied with some heavy stuff.  You see, my sister in law--Bill's "baby" sister-- was in a serious car accident.  We are so grateful Jenny's alive, but she has a long recovery ahead of her.

So many times over the last two weeks I've had a heavy heart.  When I think of my faith and remember that God is in charge I literally feel the burden taken off of my shoulders.

I feel a little funny saying that....obviously my burden doesn't quite compare to what Jenny's parents,  siblings, and even closest friends are feeling.  Most of my burden just comes from concern about all of them.  It can be so easy to let yourself be overwhelmed with worry.

Then last week at mass, the gospel was a familiar one.  Matthew 11:28

"Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest." 

Sounds good, doesn't it?  It does if we remember the most important part of that verse.

"Come to me."  

Because God always hears those who seek him.

So far I've witnessed blessings come out of Jenny's accident.....a family holding each other up, a relationship healed, more hugs as we walk out the door.  And that is just the stuff we can see.  Imagine all of the hidden work God is doing that we don't know about.

I know some of my blog readers are big time prayer warriors. If you could spare some prayers for Jenny and our family we would be so very grateful.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Ice Cream Cake Recipe

I really love ice cream cake. What I don't love is the high price when you buy them at the store.  The smallest of cakes can cost $15 and that won't be enough to feed our family of 7.

We made an ice cream cake for Matthew's birthday.  I looked online and took ingredient ideas from different websites and came up with the simplest recipe.

-1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
-1/2 gallon of chocolate ice cream
-1 package of Wegman's O's chocolate sandwich cookies (you can use Oreos, but I prefer Wegman's O's)
-1 jar of hot fudge topping.
-Spring-form pan

Let ice cream sit out for about 20 minutes to soften.  Crush cookies in food processor.
Place chocolate ice cream on the bottom half of your spring-form pan.

Microwave hot fudge and pour on top of chocolate ice cream.

Sprinkle a layer of cookie crumbs on top of the layer of fudge. (make the layer thick...we all know this is the best part)

Add the vanilla ice cream to the top and decorate with left over cookie crumbs.

Put in freezer.  I did this overnight, but I'm sure 4 hours would be sufficient.

When you're ready to eat, take it out of the freezer and let is sit for about 10 minutes to soften.
Open up the sides of the spring-form pan and lift up....and reveal your wonderful and delicious creation.     

This probably cost about $10 to make but it fed the 7 of us two times!! 

We're looking forward to trying this again using different flavors.  I think the spring-form pan is my new best friend.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Scenes From A Birthday

The youngest member of the house turned 7!

You know the drill.

Morning doughnuts:

Sweet picture, isn't it? Now, let's back up 10 minutes.  This was the scene.

It started with a disagreement as to who should sit where, then who should stand where for the picture, then someone's foot got stepped on, then fighting contiued, then mom got mad, and then the birthday boy started crying.

But, let's forget about that and get on with the happy stuff, shall we?

Matt chose to head to the park program with Tommy and Ann and hang out with some of his friends.

Matt with his BFF Luke

After lunch, we had a special delivery from Gran and Gramps come in the mail! 

We spent the afternoon at the pool.

Sitting on the edge during Adult Swim.   (Billy's inside playing basketball)

Weeks ago Matthew decided on chicken tacos for dinner.  Before heading out to the pool, I put the ingredients in the crock pot. Our mouths were watering as we drove home hungry for dinner.  Lo and behold, I neglected to turn on the crock pot.  Our next the local pizzeria.  We're going to have chicken tacos tonight.  Fingers crossed that the chicken that stood at room temperature for 3 hours yesterday won't cause us to get Salmonella poisoning today.

Now, back to the happy stuff, shall we?

Since Matthew isn't a big fan of cake, he asked for ice cream.  I found a recipe online for ice cream cake and it turned out delicious.  It was so easy to make, too.

After cake he opened his presents and played his new Jurrassic World Lego Xbox game, giving each of his siblings a turn to play with him.

Bill and I went to bed before the children, leaving them all in their Xbox glory.  I got a little sad that our baby is 7.  I shouted down the stairs telling Matt he was welcome to sleep between the two of us if he wanted to when he came up to bed.

And he did.  He is still such a cuddler, thank goodness.

Happy Birthday, sweet Matthew James.  We love you!