Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"I'm Sorry I Can't Hear You"

One day, when I'm old and gray, I want to look back on this blog and remember what it was like to have my 5 little souls at the ages they are right now.  Trying to talk on the phone with my sister this afternoon reminded me why my life is crazy and so, so good.  I always tell the kids that I love my job and that I'd never trade it for the world.  They need to know how much I love being home with them even if there are moments of total chaos.

My sister called at 3:30 in the thick of our afternoon. M and J were engaged in a light saber battle in the family room, making it hard to hear.  I asked them to quiet down.  MG was painting with watercolors, taking time to dip her fingers in the water and dab them on her face for a little extra cleaning.  She would come up every so often to show me her work, complain about water spilling/dumping onto the floor, grab a towel to clean, and ask for new paper or for my help in getting a darker color.  Little G was pathetically sitting in her feeding chair after vomiting several times (oy vey!) while I tried to make sense of the mess and sanitize the kitchen!  I was feverishly cleaning so that I could get her down for her second nap.  She was a total sad mess, poor baby.

While all this was going on, T was working on his class project kite at the kitchen table.  Part of the assignment was that the kite had to have a tail with repeating units, so it was my job to tie on the tissue paper tail after T set out the tissue paper pattern.  He told me he wanted to make a metal kite, 4 papers large, so instead we took two papers and staggered them, taped them together, and wrapped the paper with aluminum foil.  He then decorated the foil.

Meanwhile M and J were still engaged in a battle and M was supposed to be off doing his homework.  We've been setting him up at a desk in our office to allow him some peace and quiet and he had yet to go to his station.  I hollered at him to head there and in turn, he asked me for a snack and something to drink.  J and T then latched onto that thread and asked for some milk in cups.  MG then chimed in for a snack.  She loves snacks.

I finally broke away to put the baby to bed, said goodnight, and closed the doors to her feeble pre-nap cries.  Then, seeing my chance, I tiptoed across the hall to my room and laid my tired body down on the bed.  No sooner had my head hit the pillow, but M and T joined me on the bed (busted!)--T with a question about the kite and M with a need for a pencil.  From the distance we heard MG shout that she had just successfully used the potty...

All with my sister on the other end of the line.
Poor sister.  I'm so sorry, J!  I promise to lock the door next time!! ;)

God bless,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

So Much to Say, So Little Time

Zoom, zoom, zoom... on we go, along with the rest of the world in this crazy rat race of life.  Sometimes I stop to think, what are we all sprinting for?  What are we gaining?  What is this all about?

And then I come back to my Savior and I know my purpose again.  The Lenten season is upon us and with it we've added more prayer, sacrifice, and almsgiving, all wonderful things to enrich our walk with Him.  Usually by this point we are knee deep in our Lenten Jesus Tree, but frankly, I just never got it going last week and now here we are 8 days in...

No worries, it will all be good.  My kids will not grow up to be hooligans just because we missed a week of the Jesus Tree.  Breathe...  ;)  I recently read a post in which a mother berated herself as a poor mother for the poor-quality Valentines her children passed out at school.  What?!?  Mothers are weak against comparison--it is a sinful spot in every mother's heart.  Stop it, already!!  Motherhood is about loving your kids and helping them to learn to love well.  While their Valentines might not be the best on the street, do your kids know you love 'em?!  Job well done.  Do they know that God loves 'em too?!  Even better.  Enough of my soapbox! :)

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Love this shot of our Lego boys.  M is in clone character, J is sweet, and T is doing some Star Wars move.  This is just about right.
Speaking of loving your kids, we had a fun morning with the boys last weekend at our town's LegoFest.  Mimi watched the girls while GG, Papa, and I took M, T, and J.  It was a fun-filled 3 hours that left us all surprisingly tired!  The boys built legos, played with new lego models, created lego art, and all around had a great time.  Funny enough, we even spent time in the reading area digesting new lego books!  It was all-around a fun experience.  Thank you to Mimi/Papa for gifting it to the boys for Christmas!

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Lego Art, J style.  It is a picture of Luigi (from Mario Bros.) with LUIGI spelled across the top. :)
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Lego Art, M style.  A clone trooper (he is planning his future clone army, no joke)
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Lego Art, T style.  This is Mario (love it!)

Later that night we gathered at Mimi and Papa's for a fun celebration in honor of G's brother, C, and his engagement to the sweetest gal, M!  We are so excited for them!!!  They are in the whirlwind process of planning a September wedding in Williamsburg.  Plans are in full swing all around and the girls and I accompanied Mimi yesterday to W-burg to check out rehearsal dinner sites.  So fun!!  It was a lovely distraction from all the to-do's in my world.  Those 7 loads of laundry didn't really need to get done, did they??  We had a great time.
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Here we are after dinner--so glad C is now stateside.  We are counting the days until M can come home too!!  She is still in Italy, wrapping up a DOD rotation.
And lastly, G-Ville is saying goodbye to a long-time, faithful friend of the family, Big Blue, our trusty minivan.  He was gifted to us from Gramz and Pappy as we awaited J's arrival after law school.  5 years later, he has a lot of '98 quirks, but is still a good guy.  The kids were sentimental picking up our "new" '10 Odyssey minivan on Saturday, but are settling in and enjoying all the perks of the various bells and whistles.  True to their wishes, we will be donating Blue to a "soldier and his family" through the Purple Heart Donation Corporation.  It was the only way we could convince the kids to let him go... They are clearly sentimental saps like their mother! ;)
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Faithful Blue, we'll miss you.

But don't feel sad because this is our new baby and she is pretty!  Black Beauty or Blue's Brother is what we're calling it.  "BB" for short.  Give us a wave when you see us cruising by! ;)

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Hello new friend!

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Mama's new baby ;)
God bless from G-Ville!
Have a brilliant weekend,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Valentine

Happy St. Valentine's Day, friends.

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Happy Valentine's Day crew
We've started our day with a lot of love and togetherness.  All the kids enjoyed finding their candy bags waiting for them at the table this morning.  After, we sat down to a hot breakfast and heart-shaped pancakes (something we rarely do!).  The big boys then shared the Valentine cards they made at school.  T was especially thoughtful making one each for Mommy, Daddy, "Baby", and the whole family.  So cute!  They also enjoyed opening Gramz and Pappy's letters, which included the gift of a Magic Kingdom ticket for each kid when we go to Florida in April!  Thanks G and P!  Fun stuff and smiles all around.

In an attempt to keep things positive, though, I will gloss over the child drama that ensued afterward over a stained shirt and unzipped coat before the boys left for school.  I will also leave out about our Daddy disgruntled over work issues.  Bummer!  I will also pretend that the baby didn't wake up in a pool of vomit, but still full of smiles.  She has since tossed cookies two more times--once in her exersaucer (a special Valentine's gift to her mama) and another after a bath (thankfully projectiled onto the rug).

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Puking and smiling ;)
The girls are currently parked in front of Mickey, thank goodness.  But I am glowing at the thought that we *might* have settled on our future van!!  Exciting!!  :)  Funny how something like a new vehicle can wipe out the din of morning drama. ;)

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This is about how excited I am for a new van! ;)
Hope your Valentine's Day is real and blessed.  Thank you for your love!
Thanks be to God for His goodness,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The best of the week

We've had our share of highs and lows this week.  Among the lows is me feeling like I'm constantly running in circles and that I can't focus or get anything done.  Cabin fever!!  We are going to make a more concerted effort to get out in the coming weeks, especially with February in full swing!

Fortunately, though, in G-Ville we always aim to focus on the positive because there are joys sprinkled amidst every day.  Sometimes we have to squint harder to see them, but they're there.  They are the blessings that remind us of God's goodness and everlasting love for us.  I don't know how we'd make it without Him.

So without further ado, here are a few of our week's bests:

Best Event:  M's laser tag birthday party
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The birthday boy and his buds
This year GG and I surrendered to an outside-the-home party even though M was perfectly happy to have one here.  Home parties are so great, but take a tremendous amount of effort.  Also, M is getting to the age where kids are BIG and needing large spaces and lots of entertainment for a party with substantial numbers.  When GG asked M if he would like to try laser tag, he jumped at the chance (but not without first asking, "but doesn't that cost too much money?" --such a sweet boy.  I love that he was being sensitive to our finances!)  We have now decided that all of our children will get a big party at 8 followed by a smaller party at 9 (with one or two friends).

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Because we had the party elsewhere, we had lots of free time to dote on our loveables.
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It was really neat to get to spend time with M's friends--a nice bunch all around.
Overall, the shindig was a success and everyone had a great time.  8 friends and 2 brother guests rounded out the group.  GG and I joined in for laser tag and had a wonderful time.  I was fortunate to be on a team with M and some of his good buds--what a trip!!  We were strategizing and high-fiving the whole time.  How much I love being a kid with my kids!!!  Cake, presents, and arcade games capped the afternoon.  Happy Birthday to our beloved first boy!

At eight you are becoming more responsible and reliable--we look to you as a leader for the kids in our family.  You are so loving toward all of us, especially toward your younger siblings.  Just the other day, you took special care of MG and got her dressed for bed so the two of you could have a tea party together.  She delights in you and giggles as you play and talk.  You are creative and silly and so very inquisitive.  If I had a penny for all of your questions, I'd be very rich.  You never take things at face value, but have to question and explore in attempt to understand and learn.  You love science and weather and nature and can't learn enough about the natural world.  You love history like your daddy and constantly spout facts and teach your science/math-loving mommy a thing or two daily.  You are finding your way in the world and at school and maybe are a little shy at times amongst your peers.  But you take care of people, especially ones like the special needs friend in your class.  Your teacher told us if she had a son, she would want him to be just like you.  How lucky we are to call you our son. We love you, sweet buddy.  Happy 8th Birthday!!!
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We celebrated with Mommy/Daddy gifts later in the week on his real b-day.  
Best Accomplishment:
MG on the potty!!  Woot woot to our sweet girl who is rocking the potty left and right.  There is always so much going on that she has taken it upon herself to do her business, run to tell us about it (with great celebration all around), and then dump the contents in the toilet on her own.  GG and I can't believe how self-sufficient she is (especially after we've potty trained 3 boys!)  I would say she is about 90% there with an occasional accident and wearing pull-ups for naps and bedtime.  I bought my first pink package of pull-ups this week and was excited for her--Minnie Mouse and Cinderella adorn the covers.  What could be better? :)  Way to go, MG!

Best Guests:
We had such fun hosting Red/Kellie and family Saturday afternoon and night on their way down to Disney for the week.  *Love* that Virginia is such a great stopping point for so many of our friends during their travels!  Lucky us!!!  It was so great to see all of them.  Our 5 on 5 kids matched up beautifully and played happily while the adults had precious moments to chat.  Also, despite a flat tire snafu, both families made it to Mass Saturday evening and back home to sup and enjoy the rest of the evening with one another.  Wine, conversation, and laughter continued well into the wee hours--all the adults are night owls which makes for a dangerous combination! ;)  Kellie and Mr. Red rallied this morning and got on the road before we awoke--my kids were so sad later to see their new friends had gone in the night.  Guess we better plan the next gathering soon!

Best news:
Remember the clandestine happenings that I wrote about a couple weeks ago that I couldn't share with you?  Well now I can!!  We have an engagement to announce in the family!!  GG's brother, C, just got engaged to his girlfriend, M.  They met in Italy and have had a romantic European joyride since then.  Funny enough, her family lives an hour away from all of us!  Small world!  We are ecstatic to welcome M into the family and can't wait to see where their Army adventures lead them.  The wedding will happen sometime this coming fall!  Hooray!!

God bless,