Monday, December 31, 2007

A Motley Crew

What a sweet, docile group of young boys,
upstanding in character and conduct.

Yet I give you the Motley Crew of 2007...

To have seen my parents' home last night--one boy in the tub, splashing and crying; another running laps around the house, pantless in naked glory; another singing an Irish football fight song at the top of his lungs; and still another, dodging his mother for a fifth handful of chocolatey treats.

Oh boys! Oh grandparents! Oh great-grandparents! What have we subjected you to????

Cheers for a blessed end to your 2007 and gleeful start to 2008!

What is it I love so much about even years? Just something about them that makes me especially joyful--not to mention this is a leap year! What fun! I'm such a dork--take joy in the little things, right?!

Blessings from G-Ville! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Round #2

Well, we made it. Again.

Here to Ohio to celebrate Christmas with my family...
I didn't mention we were driving again because I've worried you all too much with all our recent trips! Thankfully GG and I shared the driving yesterday, which made ALL the difference!No hay problema!!

Today marks a continuing Christmas for the Gasperinis--I think I even heard Gramz telling M last night that Santa was going to visit again! Now we've totally confused him. :)

My sister and her family arrive any minute before we'll share a warm "Christmas" breakfast and gift-opening. If one thing's for certain, craziness will undoubtedly ensue! Praise God for family--the crazier, the better.

Enjoy your crazy families today! God bless.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our Budding Photographer

One of M's favorite gifts this year was a digital Fisher Price camera--a far cry from my own youth FP camera with roll film and attached flash (incidentally one of the best cameras in our household for a long time!:)

Let's just say the little man has "taken" to his new toy. Initially, he was quite insistent on looking through the front shutter and taking shots (only of his face). After wading through much ridiculous toddler stubbornness, Mom and Dad finally convinced the guy that a real photographer looks through the viewfinder and *lo and behold* the pictures come out showing what you're looking at!! Oh my goodness... What glory for a 2-year-old (and for his parents)!

Now, it's not unusual to see little M running around with a camera to his face. It's really adorable! Here are a few of his first shots, including some of his pics from time at a local farm today. Too cute!

God bless you in this Christmastide.

One of the first eye shots--pretty artistic!

Capturing Daddy being silly

Cow shots

Loves to take pics of Uncle C, taking pics

A donkey, from a 2-year-old's perspective.

Peacock rear shot

The group from afar...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Joy to the World!

What an enjoyable day it was yesterday...

Just reveling in warm time with family was fabulous, but to also add the kids' excitement, wonderful gifts, and beautiful brunch was enough to make it a perfect day. M was Santa's helper, sure to give everyone his appropriate gifts (while simultaneously unwrapping/playing with his own!) T-baby was sweet as pie, drinking in the craziness of the morning and adding his own enthusiasm and delight. What fun to share in the joy of kids during the holidays!

An early nap was enough to hold T-baby over as we headed out to dine at The Jefferson for Christmas brunch. Oh boy--how soon can New Year's resolutions begin??? We indulged trip after trip through the line. Best part of the afternoon--the boys were extremely well-behaved and made the event so fun. They wore their new red sweaters and navy cords, Christmas compliments of Mimi and Papa. Alas, if only the family photo in front of the Jefferson tree would have turned out... But you know how Gasperini-Ville and Christmas shots go. :)

And then the day would have been truly perfect. And does that really happen anyway? Oh and if only I would have brought three diapers to brunch! M went through two, leaving me with *none* for poor, stinky T-babe. Never far from drama in Gasperini-Ville. Thankfully, all were in good spirits and willing to tolerate the "situation"!! lol. ;)

Above all, my morning run yesterday in the wee hours of Christmas revealed to me what I envision to be my future Christmas "perfect." It will be a driveway full of cars, indicating that all have "come home" to be with family for the holiday. It will be a time of warmth and togetherness; laughter and tears (the happy kind). It will be a fireplace-centered, afghan-covered, and pine-scented dream. It will be full of love, encouragement, support, and well-wishes. It will be Christ-filled. It will be perfect (or as close to it as we can get.:)

Cheers to Christmas 2007 and all joyful ones to come.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Gasperini-Ville to you.
God bless.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dancing with the Reindeer.

A Christmas greeting just for you, dear friends.

God bless as you prepare your hearts in anticipation of the Savior!

*Also, special praises today for baby L, born to friends of ours on GG's birthday! Another reason to celebrate December 22nd! Congratulations family of SEVEN! :) How exciting!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Birthday GG and Mimi!!!!!

To my dear hubby and mother-in-law, happiest of birthdays!
GG, you are my everything and my soulmate--I love you! Thank you for your devotion and love!
Mimi, you are such a wonderful, dynamic individual, friend, mimi, and mother to me! Thank you for enriching our lives so!

How lucky to have a baby on one's birthday--and how joyous for the rest of us to celebrate!
Tonight = a babysitter for the boys while the rest of us head to a fancy steak dinner. Love it!

Blessings to you all today!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

In the spirit...

Nothing says Christmas like a snowy, yummy, candy-clad gingerbread house, built with love. After all the hands that touched this creation, however, I'm not so sure it will be devoured post-holiday. Oh well, at least it looks nice... Blessings and love! :)
Ginger elves

M inspecting the beginning work--more inspired to eat than build.

T, sampling the decorations

Almost done...

COMPLETE--great work, Gasperinis!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Having Too Much Fun

B-mama: Is Papa a boy or a girl?

M: GIRL! (laughter from the peanut gallery, including Papa)

B-mama: Are you a boy or girl?

M: GIRL! (more laughter)

B-mama: What about mommy, is she a boy or a girl?


That's right and that's all that counts :)
God bless you today!

[Gingerbread house-making pictures on the way (in my incredible packing, I forgot the downloading device for our camera--oops!)]

Monday, December 17, 2007

Last-minute gift idea?

If only I could bottle the giggles and laughs coming from my boys' mouths...

I would cap them and sell them and be a millionaire. :)

Today we heard wonderful belly giggles coming from T-baby while Mimi tickled him on the way home from lunch. The sweet thing was falling asleep and we were desperately trying to keep him awake. Picture a small, cute baby with eyes closed and sides splitting with the cutest giggles you've ever heard. Priceless.

Now, if I could just find a way to capture and sell it!
God bless you today.
T-8 days...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reflections and ramblings

How great it is to be here in Virginia with family...
a warm home, the approaching holidays, loved children--few things could be better.
But we're definitely missing something... a very important something, or someone, for that matter.

Our sweet GG.
The poor guy is slaving away back in the midwest, conquering final by final amidst the 7+ inches of snow. What an amazing husband and father we have, working so hard in order to provide for his family as a lawyer.
Blessings, blessings.

So we are recovering and settling. Quite happily, I might add.
The boys are back to their usual bedtime tonight (thank goodness--the 9pm and later was killing them!)
I achieved an afternoon nap today, which was just the medicine for my fatigued self.

And I think what's nicest about this whole pre-Christmas venture is that we're now HERE and DONE with most of our Christmas preparatory plans. While last week was a blur-- (quick aside: new equation for readying one's family for a big trip-- # of kids=# of days necessary for advanced packing +2), it was AWESOME to hop in the car on Friday and feel READY to get it done. Really ready. So now we're able to truly drink in the holiday. Wonderful!!

So there's the latest from transplanted Gasperini-Ville (temporarily minus GG).
Thank you for your prayers and well wishes during our drive. Praises for my friend, Leah, and her companionship on the trip. Couldn't have made it without her!! And did I mention we took 3 LONG breaks and still made it in 11 hours! FANTASTIC!

Hope this finds you well and cozy and loved.
Warm hugs from Gasperini-Ville to you and yours.
God bless.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


we made it. hallelujah. thanks for the prayers. more tomorrow... :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Run Over By A Reindeer?

Or perhaps a long haul of a drive tomorrow?

Yes, tomorrow evening you'll find me sacked out on the couch, praising God for His provision on the long drive.

It begins tomorrow at 8am... and ends at 8pm (hopefully!)

Yet the blessing of it has been the addition of my friend, Leah, and her two young girls, who will be caravaning with us through to DC. Hallelujah! As I said to friends tonight, "Can I get a hallelujah for having another adult along to watch my kids in the car while I run in and go pee?"

Taking joy in the little things.
That's what we do best in Gasperini-Ville.
Can't wait to check in again tomorrow night. Your prayers would be awesome! God bless.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gearing Up

Wednesday and Thursday To-do's:
-pack mama and boys' clothes
-do remainder of laundry
-visit friend's kittens for our kitten smitten M
-make buckeye candies (let M help with the chocolate dipping)
-cool candies and wrap with Christmas flair
-hot glue advent wreath piece that has already fallen off (so maybe it wasn't so high quality!)
-begin creating meals for GG's time alone next week
-continue cleaning dirty, dirty home
-nag GG to pack what he *thinks* he will need 2 weeks from now
-wrap gifts for Ohio family

-fold and pack remaining clothes
-gather misc. and assundry items for car
-begin placing items in appropriate spots in car
-figure out where the dog will sit (help?!) lol.
-deliver Christmas items to teachers
-finish meals for GG (stuffed shells, enchiladas, ... I'm thinking--whatever happened to mac and cheese? How much we adore our GG!)

Wondering why we're in such a rush? In the capriciousness of this Christmastide, I am sweeping my children into our car and heading out early to VA for the holidays! In doing so, we're leaving our poor, exam-and-paper-laden GG home to battle out the remainder of finals and then fly into VA to meet us!! I am pumped for the trip, but have to admit a little sheepishness when facing our 12+ hour drive Saturday! Whew! My goal is to start early and end early. Your prayers for a safe and well-behaved journey would be awesome. Thank you. (Yes, the snacks and portable DVD player are already packed.)

Alas, bear with me over the coming days...
I'm bound to have my arms elbow-deep in something.
No more than what you all are up to during this busy season.
stop. breathe. pray.
God bless!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dear Santa

Dear Santa Clause,

I'm just now beginning to acknowledge your (feigned) existence and I hear that you're the guy I need to ask for particular Christmas wishes. It must be pretty cool to be the one who gets to give everybody what they ask for (I do this to my little brother often.)

My mommy will attest to my constant pleading desires for "James", the Thomas the Tank Engine red engine #5. I love him and he's my very favorite Thomas character. I've even learned the number five faster than all the rest because I love James so... Could you please bring him to me for Christmas (and lead-free please)? You would make me the happiest little (yet well-written :) boy on the planet.

I've been a very good boy this year, with only a few (cough cough) infractions of which to speak. I help my mommy feed the dog every morning and night. I guide my little brother on the straight and narrow (and usually push him in the right direction.) I had my first successful day today in big boy underwear (with James on it, worth mentioning) and only had one accident while playing at the mall (what was my mommy thinking taking me there on my first day in underpants? I claim complete innocence.) Overall, despite my occasional lapses, I think I'm a pretty good kid (and my parents usually agree, also worth mentioning.)

On a side note, my little brother is pretty naughty. You should think twice before granting his Christmas wishes... Today, for example, he poured an entire canister of Comet on his lap (while my mommy was right there!) and made a huge mess. I thought my mommy was going to spring a leak, she was so angry. Definitely think twice about that little boy...

I digress. Please consider my wish, dear Santa Clause, and I would be ever so grateful if you decided to grant it.

Thanks a lot,
(way ahead of the curve in letter composition and sentence construction:)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Holiday Sprites

A missing red ball... a disassembled needlepoint ornament... a strewn, metallic "Peace"...
All evidence of one, perhaps, two little ornament sprites, who descend upon my tree daily and play tricks on this mama. For the first time ever, our tree has a new display of ornaments depending on the hour. No matter what I do to try to hide, secure, maintain, etc., down the ornaments come and back they go, usually in a different spot than before.

So I guess you could say we have a rotating Christmas tree. My sprites are just making sure nothing becomes "stale" or expected in this season of Advent. Which is a good lesson for me as well--to renew my heart daily to the wonder of Christ in our midst; to anticipate with wonder (and with less expectation) the joyful event of His birth; to welcome Him at all times and in all different ways into my heart this holiday season.

Happy second Sunday of Advent. Our second purple candle shines tonight... God bless.

Friday, December 7, 2007

In Case You Needed Reminding

Visit here to remind yourself (freak yourself out) of the ample (ridiculously small) amount of time there exists between now and the blessed (crazy) holiday.

*Meanwhile, a wonderfully insightful conversation continues in the posting below. Check it out! I'm definitely motivated! Thank you and God bless.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

T.V. or not T.V.

That is definitely the question.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been enjoying the wonderfully whimsical book Mitten Strings For God by Katrina Kenison and have been enraptured by her ideas of simplicity and novelty. She is an inspiring person, which makes her writing all the more insightful and provocative.

And when she mentions that her family no longer watches T.V.; that "it has lost its power over all of us," I have to say, I'm definitely intrigued. A life without T.V.? What does one do with his idle time?

Kenison relates with stories of walks around the neighborhood at night with one of her sons, daydreaming about travels to faraway worlds. She talks of sadness when seeing the bluish glow coming from the windows of every home on the block...
"As I rounded the block and headed toward home tonight, I could not help but feel a bit sad, discouraged to think how easily we have come to accept the pervasiveness of the media in our lives. The world we live in is a world of our own making, the sum of all our collective choices. Yet so many parents feel powerless to make good choices... How can any of us protect our children from the relentless display of violence, sex, noise, inappropriate humor, and advertising in a media-driven world that is already saturated with these sounds and images? How will our children resist such influences if we can't manage to resist them ourselves? How is it that, in a society in which most of us feel starved for time, we are willing to hand over the time we do have to our TV sets?"

I have been floored reading this, as if she's written every one of those questions for my eyes to read and my heart to take seriously.

GG and I have actually given up T.V. for Lent for the past few years and will vouch as to the rewards of greater time for prayer, conversation, reading, and just about anything. How amazing would it be to have all of that time? Yet how difficult it would be, I admit, to forego our precious LOST and The Amazing Race, which spurn togetherness (I suppose) and hobby-esque conversation. I also hate to mention a certain Saturday activity during the fall, which would have to disappear altogether. Possible for GG? I don't even know!

Overall, though, I am beginning to see a familiar "boob tube" obsession emerging in a certain toddler in Gasperini-Ville. Are we ruining him with too much media exposure, fueling his desire for more? I just really don't know.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Is cutting out T.V. a ludicrous idea?
Or should we pull the plug permanently?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Prayers for you during this season of Advent.
God bless.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

About Right

What The Holidays Mean to You
For you, the holidays are a very spiritual time. You have as much holiday fun as everyone else - but you never forget what you're celebrating.
You celebrate the holidays in a minimalist style. You are likely to only give one great present and decorate your house with a few special items.
During the holidays, you like to feel cozy and comfortable. You're happy to stay inside with a roaring fire and a warm drink.
You think the holidays should be nostalgic and sweet. The holidays bring out your inner child.
Your best holiday memories are warm and intimate. You remember special moments more than gifts or parties.

Isn't it wonderful to sit down after a long (did I say LONG?) day and enjoy mindless Christmas thoughts?
I loved taking this little quiz tonight. I think it paints my holiday vision perfectly.

And how equally as wonderful to meditate on such a vision after a harried afternoon with my boys.

Note to self: never, ever attempt evening errands with children in tow. They were at their wits end and this mama was at hers as well... Picture two screaming children in the kids' section, one refusing to take off the snowpants he was trying on and the other demanding the juice he just threw at his feet. Oh Lord! Two fits and one spanking later, we finally made it to the checkout aisle where the cashier looked at the kids pathetically, at me with disdain, and at my credit card (left in the machine) with disgust.

'Tis the season to be jolly, right?! :)

Hope you're enjoying being tucked in for the evening as much as I am.
Blessings and warmth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Quick Christmas-y Bit

Here's the cutest quick story from a friend of mine...

Friend to her 2-year-old daughter: "Evie, what is this hanging on the wall?" pointing to a newly hung Christmas wreath.

Evie: "Mommy, that's a Christmas hole."

LOL!! A Christmas hole!
If only I could be that creative. :) This just cracked me up.

Hope you had a fantastic day, ending with a good chuckle.
Warm blessings and fireside hugs.

Monday, December 3, 2007

MISSION: Christmas Card Photo

Failed Miserably. lol.

But some of the outtakes are pretty hysterical.
I'm almost glad things didn't go our way--these extra shots are worth it for the memory books!

I'm tempted to choose one and send it off in the Christmas card with the caption, "Peace on Earth."
No Christmas facades in Gasperini-Ville. haha :)

:) Enjoy and God bless.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Slowing Down

"Yes, I could continue to struggle against cold weather and short days as I race from one holiday chore to the next. Or I could take my cue from nature and accept the earth's invitation to slow down. I could choose to do less out in the world and to spend more time sequestered inside, nestled in with my children, hot cocoa and books, mail-order catalogs and afghans."
-Mitten Strings for God, Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison

Sounds good, doesn't it?
I have been taking in this wonderful book, cozied up on the couch in front of the Christmas tree. Ahh... peace.
Hot cocoa and warm snuggling with my boys once they awaken? Yes yes!

Gasperini-Ville, along with much of the Midwest, is gearing up for a wintery storm, bringing freezing temps and Old Man Frost to the world around us. GG marveled at the cold this morning, "How did the pioneers survive?" "Well, many didn't," I smartly responded, "And thank goodness we're not pioneers." (so academic, I tell you :) Don't think I could part from the balmy 67F our furnace is cranking out here... We're much happier when warm.

Cheers to cozy times at your place.
Wish we could share a chat together over cocoa...
Lilypie First Birthday tickers