Monday, March 31, 2008

Blue skies?

While it is an overcast, thunderstruck day here in Gasperini-Ville, I have a few sunshine-y details to report:

1) T-baby is on the mend! After a wonderful bout of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (a common childhood virus), T's fever has broken and he's eating again! Hallelujah! The Gasperini-Ville cupboards will, once again, be empty. Our little human vacuum is back! (Though I must profess battling his fearful post-illness temper! Yikes!! Nothing that won't pass...)

2) After listing our beloved Jetta yesterday on Craiglist, we've already had 2 inquiries! Someone is coming out this week to take a look at it! We are hoping to have it sold by the end of April before the move. We'd love your prayers!!

3) I am feeling great heading into week 23 of the pregnancy! While my belly button is faring a little worse, I have tons of energy and often forget I'm prego. I'll take it! :) Will have to get some pregnancy shots up here soon enough.

Blessings to you all and prayers for a sunny day for you--inside and outside! Hugs!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Too cute not to share!

If only the rest of us had such gusto--enjoy and happy Feast of the Divine Mercy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Well, I have to say, I never thought it possible... but Leapfrog has done it again! In the span of one week, our little M has gone from knowing a few letters with little interest to being a regular ABC guy, spouting letters and letter sounds right and left! The Leapster Leap Pad is the cutest hand-me-down we've received from our cousins. They passed it on last weekend and M loves it! Each of the pages is interactive, allowing the kiddos to touch and learn. T-baby has even gotten into it (when available and not snatched from his reach!) There are three levels available, the second of which is perfect for T's age. Pretty cool! I never saw it coming, but I think I like the Leap Pad.

Now we're onto successfully spelling out M's name--and he's doing pretty darn well, if I do say so myself. This is really just me pointing to the letters of his name and him shouting them out. He is so proud when all is done and I just love to see him learn and excel. Oh the teacher in me! Just had to share. :)

Hope you are all enjoying a blessed weekend!
GG and I purged a trunkload of "stuff" today at Salvation Army. What an awesome feeling! Moving is the best! We are thinking of faking a move every few years in the future just to purge our excess. The closet packrat in me is feeling quite liberated. I totally recommend it!

God bless!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Toddler To-Do's

M coaxed me into playing a music game with him today.
In this game, he would run over to the lights/music infant toy we have, push a button, and then backtrack quickly to begin drumming to the beat of the music on his toy drum. I was then to follow, sometimes being allowed to drum on the drum with him and other times encouraged to drum on some metal bells. It was all pretty cute. We were our own little music band. Quickly, though, the music would end and M would abandon his drumsticks, head back over to push another button, and the fun would ensue again and again--"work" in a toddler world. He was having a ball.

For the next task, he dropped his drumsticks, but this time headed over to the computer, where in a "manly" little boy's voice said, "I have to get to work. Work on the computer." He bent in half while attempting to mount the computer chair (a beautiful sign that he is *thankfully* still too little for our big people's world). After he finally made it up, he busied himself "typing" away on the keyboard. His first order of business he told me was to "check out Thomas (the Train)". Oh yes, important things to do in his big little world.

All this got me thinking... Here is our precious little boy, already enslaving himself to some imaginary task; already committing a precious moment in time to the dreaded four-letter word--work. Have we conditioned him to assume that's "what big people do" or has he been hard-wired like the rest of us to want to accomplish a mission or task, anything that will bring him self-satisfaction and reward? And will his future work be really satisfying in the end? I pray so! How much I pray this for all of my children--the they find their life's passion and ultimately, their God-given happiness upon pursuing it!!

Yet my precious little boy, don't go to work yet.
You'll have plenty of that when you're older.
Stay young with your mama a little while longer...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter reflection

As promised, here are glimpses of our Easter celebration this past weekend. In addition to these festivities, we also enjoyed a birthday party for our twin, 4-year-old cousins. M was beside himself with excitement to be heading to the b-day celebration on Saturday. What a little boy he's become...

GG and I had the chance to attend Easter Vigil Mass Saturday night thanks to the generous babysitting efforts of my parents (thank you!) All of us headed to my parents' church Sunday to rejoice in the Risen Savior! What a blessed time it was... we are still reveling in it!

Is it really Wednesday already? Boy has this week flown--we must be truly busy! God bless!
Egg dying--family style!

M takes a turn--oh boy!

The finished product--don't they vaguely look impressionistic ala Monet?

In pursuit of more candy!

The sweetest egg hunter, don't you think?

Baby J's Easter gift--Gramz never leaves anyone out!
Can't wait for him to wear this come August!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Moving On Up

This morning GG and I spent over two hours cleaning the whirlwind we call "home"! :)

Why such an endeavor? The moving coordinator was coming to estimate our moving lb'age. Hallelujah!! We treated it as if Christ, Himself, was coming to visit our place. What a great motivator toward cleanliness.

Here are a few thoughts I had during the process:
1. Yuck. The amount of dustbunnies, clutter, and excessive things I encountered was almost nauseating!
2. Children are messy. End of story. Before GG and I had kids, our place was spotless. What has happened? :)
3. We are SPOILED and have too much of everything. It's time to hit Goodwill and bigtime!
4. This move is going to be SO good for our family, helping us to streamline in every respect. Thank the good Lord for that!
5. What have I been doing with my time to cause my house to end up in such a state? I don't feel like I slack on a day-to-day basis, but I'm obviously overlooking chores and details that desperately need to be done! Any suggestions? My Flylady daily chore reminder has merely become another email I delete! Help!
6. When it's all said and done, cleanliness is close to godliness. No question. The feeling of our tidy home right now is worth a million bucks.
7. Due to #6, I'm tempted to budget a cleaning lady once we move to Virginia!! She'd be worth her weight in gold.

Hope you all enjoyed a blessed Easter!
Weekend pics to come!
God bless!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blessed Triduum

A blessed Holy Thursday (yesterday), Good Friday, and Easter to all of you!

Shelter me, O God,
beyond my wants,
beyond my fears,
from death into life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Updating Prayers

As I know you all walk along this prayer journey with me, thank you for your steadfastness! I have recently updated Gasperini-Ville's prayer requests and wanted to take the opportunity to praise our Good Lord for his Mighty Hand lately...

*praises for the health and growth of little Frederick (1lb. 13oz.), a twin born at 25 weeks to two of GG's high school friends. While sister, Delaney (1lb. 8oz.), sadly passed away in January, baby Freddy has done remarkably well and has grown in strength and stature. He was recently taken off the ventilator(!) and was transferred from Virginia to his new hospital home in Charleston via helicopter (covered by insurance--praises!) His parents, Lee and Jay, were having to be separated during his hospital stay in Virginia while also mourning the loss of their baby daughter. The saddest! We are so glad they are now reunited and continue to pray for the strength of baby Freddy. As of a recent update, he is almost weighing 6lbs! They are waiting for him to master simultaneous sucking, swallowing, and breathing before he will be allowed to go officially home.

*praises for other friends of ours, who just learned that their husband and daddy won't have to return to the Army! Former Army friends, Sarah and Dan, were notified that he was granted a year-long exception to allow him to finish the Police Academy and start work as a police officer! The Army will re-evaluate their need for him a year from now, but for the time being, we are all thrilled! Dan was also recently assigned to their neighborhood's precinct, another amazing blessing! On top of all this, the family has welcomed precious baby boy #2, Max, into the world in the last week. What joy all around!!

*and not to forget our personal praises for another healthy baby boy! While we continue to remember sweet baby Jude, we praise God for His Will and Purpose with our new baby J! Thanks be to God for this rich blessing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stepping Out

As the semesters would draw to a close and students would hustle to cram for pending exams, Princeton would grow quiet, almost drawing its own breath before such an output of mental calories and intellectual gymnastics. I would be swept along in this pre-exam lull, finding the *perfect* study spot in Firestone Library and hunkering down for 15+ hours to prepare for an individual exam. Whether or not I was really ready when the time came, I hastened to McCosh 10 or 50 (large lecture halls) and paid homage to the exam gods. Fun? No. An adventure? Every time. 3+ hours of grueling labor... all for the beloved grade. I can remember one final of mine having a student average of 45. And that wasn't 45/50, but 45%. Ouch.

But no question, when the time came to take the test, one would always find me seated, dressed in my best duds and awaiting the challenge. I would usually wear nothing short of church attire, convincing myself that even if I wasn't mentally ready, I would surely look good! Of course! There was definitely something psychological to it all. If you feel at your best, you'll perform at your best, right?!

I find this idea pervasive in my little world today. Take, for example, this morning.

The boys and I awoke after a hasty return from a quick trip to my parents'. We battled rain, snow, and sleet on the drive and made it back just in time to see GG and plop into bed. We were greeted this morning by a pot-strewn kitchen sink, empty cupboards (does the grocery store exist in Gasperini-Ville? Apparently not), dirty laundry from our trip, bags and assundry items strewn everywhere... I could really go on. Yuck.

I felt awful--my back hurt, belly ached, and eyes squinted from lack of sleep. We were in NO shape for a successful Tuesday morning and I made GG keenly aware of this with my negative attitude and quick barks... (Lord, have mercy on me during this blessed Holy Week!) We were definitely headed for disaster.

I decided to take a shower.
Then dress in something other than sweats.
Then brush my teeth.
Then dry my hair... with a round brush (this takes effort and rarely happens.)
Then dab on a little make-up.

Oh, mama, I looked a million times better. And I felt like I could take on the world.
Grocery store? No problem. Dishwasher needs emptying? No problem.
Life needs tackling? No hay problema.

If you feel at your best, you'll perform at your best.
Nothing short of a miracle here in Gasperini-Ville today... Just thought I'd share.

God bless you today--take some time to look good, especially you, hot mamas, out there!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An old shot of our Papa and baby M!

Happy Birthday Papa!

Don't worry, we won't tell everyone how old you are, just that we love you 60 fold! :) Blessings for a wonderful day!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Forgetting Something

It is a beautiful day here in Gasperini-Ville as we rejoice in the new life of our "sweet baby J"! You'll have to ask me in person about his precious new name!

The sun is shining and the temperatures promise to boast near 60F. Pinch me, are we still in the midwest? The Lord is definitely showing us His mercy!

To celebrate the beauty of the day, I promised the boys a trip to feed the ducks, which soon turned into a trip down the street to our neighborhood park. It was all I could muster while also toting our large yellow lab.
We busied ourselves getting ready...
*2 boys dressed
*2 pairs of socks/2 pairs of shoes, tied
*2 pb & j sandwiches
*2 drink cups with juice and water
*1 apple cut up and placed in a tupperware
*1 diaper changed/1 toddler to the potty
*2 coats and 2 zippers
*2 boys in the wagon with two strap snaps
*1 dog with 2 collars
*1 set of car keys
*1 jacket for mom, laden with cell phone for emergency
*1 lock on the door...
And we were off.

Only for us to get about 200 yards down the street when this prego mama realized she had forgotten something.
A big something.
What about mom's trip to the bathroom? Oops!
Don't worry, I just have a baby sitting on my bladder.
I am happy to report, though, I made it... to the playground and back; just in time.

PARENTING: one of the most selfless ventures a person can take in life-- even sometimes requiring the denial of bladder. :) lol.

God bless you today!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hanging by a string

You poor folks!

I've left you hanging by a string all day... Imagine my fear when GG said that he'd like to wait to open the gender envelope until tonight! Are you kidding me?! :) I am WAY too impatient to wait all day for such news!! Thankfully, I was able to convince him to a lunch out and celebration of the news with the boys in tow.

We headed to McDonald's of all places (lol), grateful for the boys' distraction and merriment while GG and I talked over the blessing of our HEALTHY baby! Thanks be to God for the blessing of another healthy child. I cannot say how much this news relieves my motherly heart! Whew!! :) The ultrasound revealed a precious baby, complete with all parts and lounging with its feet crossed and hands behind its head. We laughed at the image--already kicking back! :)

Then came the time to open the envelope... where we discovered... we're having...
another boy!

We are absolutely thrilled by this news, knowing our boys will be so blessed to have one another and be so close in age! Hallelujah! Mimi also brought up that with three little guys so close in age, we could actually have all of them share a room--bunk beds and a twin bed. Now that's space efficiency! lol.

After sharing in the joy of our friend, Graeme's, wedding this past weekend, we are especially joyful in learning of our third little man. Graeme is one of four amazing boys, his relationship with his brothers such a testament of God's love and brotherly affection emanating from his parents. I know many all-boy families, who are equally as inspiring! What fun to join their ranks... :) In the words of Graeme, "GG, you only produce men." How cute! :) lol.

And don't you just love how I typed this whole post in pink, just to throw you off?!
So sorry to play with your perceptions. :)

From a male-dominated Gasperini-Ville (4 vs. 1 with a male dog!), I write with complete satisfaction.
Thanks be to God for the blessing of His Love and Provision.
God bless you today!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh Baby!

By a stroke of luck, we had our midway ultrasound moved to--TOMORROW morning!

I spent a majority of my morning today on the phone with the insurance company, getting to the bottom of a physician assignment threatening to postpone my appointments for two weeks! Thankfully, after calling my midwife's office, they were kind enough to work me in early, avoiding all sorts of future problems. Now we're good to go and can't believe we'll be meeting our little baby so soon!

One of the traditions I've kept with both boys has been writing letters to them throughout the pregnancy, the first written before the first ultrasound. Guess I'm going to have to squeeze that one in tonight before bedtime. "Dearest little one..." What's fun is that the next letter then addresses the baby by name. We just love to name our little ones while they're in utero. The sooner we can "get to know" the baby, the better. The blessing of time in pregnancy is never to be re-gained

Another of our traditions is to have the ultrasound tech write the gender of the baby on a card and seal it tightly! We will then take it out to a restaurant, open it, and celebrate the new life together!! This is such a fun pastime, introduced to us through friends of ours in Colorado. We've really enjoyed it with both boys. I can keenly remember sitting at dinner with GG before opening our little M's envelope. GG said, "What's in this envelope is the difference between football practices and ballet lessons." I think we were both relieved upon learning M was a little boy! Whew! :) I can also remember GG telling his brother soon after that we had decided to name the baby "Nigel" and Uncle C responding with, "Oh, really?" We cracked up immediately and shared with him M's real name. Too funny! Don't worry, I won't pull any fast ones on you all!

I will write again with news as soon as we know more...
God bless and thanks for your prayers for this little one!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Travels 'n Such

Graeme, GG, and Pete (deploying Thursday and soon to be in my "prayer requests"!)

While going to and fro is an exciting way to live... I don't think I'm cut out for it as much as I used to be! Travels to and from Virginia and to and from Texas were just about enough to wear this mama out over the past week! Add in house-hunting, finalizing our mortgage, entering into contract, and having the inspection and I'm about plum pooped! lol :)

The Texas wedding was such fun, though my packing was less than appropriate. When I see a forecast of 60-70's during the day, I assume it's warm all the time. Not so much! The wedding was outdoors and was extremely chilly (~40's) for bare legs and arms!! By the time the big event rolled around, though, some of the girls and I had become savvy enough to bring along pants (for under our dresses) and covers (though I did not have a coat!) We made do huddling around kerosene space heaters and drinking hot coffee. In the end, it was such a treat to convene with old friends and see our dear buddy, Graeme, tie the knot with his dreamgirl!

Trip highlights were GG's go at skeet shooting "out on the range" (he hit more than a few!!), my morning with "222W" (a group of wives brought together by a brotherhood of Princeton men. These girls are fabulous!), Hampton Inn continental breakfasts (the biscuits were amazing), Mass and brunch with our nearest and dearest friend Max on Sunday, communing with GG's godfather at the Austin airport, and (of course!) seeing our precious, sleeping babies when we returned. They were so well-cared for!!

My studly man in action!

Low points included the LONG drive back today at 3am sharp! GG and I were able to grab a few hours of sleep before hitting the road to get back for an evening class of his. Oh boy! Praise God for his Sustenance and Provision. Had we not forced the wedding, we would have driven through the midwestern blizzard this past weekend... We viewed the aftermath along 80/90--3 semis were completely overturned and still being hauled out of the snow!

Fortunately, we made it home safely and are now ready to hit the hay! Also, prego update--my belly is beginning to grow! We set the ultrasound for next Tuesday! Keep your eyes peeled for our gender announcement...God bless your week!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Home To-be

While we never like to get too ahead of ourselves here in Gasperini-Ville...
I just had to share a photo of our *hopeful* new digs in Virginia!

We are absolutely over the moon about this place, loving every inch of it!
The home inspection today went really well and we are confidently heading toward closing at April's end!! Pinch us, we're so excited!

I spent my run today imagining growing old in this home, filled to the brim with our family and its daily adventures. It was such a warm train of thought as I pictured bringing home a new baby there, inviting friends and family for visits, celebrating holidays with loved ones... God has surely blessed us to have found such a wonderful place to call "home"! All Glory and Honor to Him! :)

Now it's a matter of finishing off GG's final months of school. Poor guy. With the home in check, he is SO not wanting to hit the books and devote himself to graduating. Isn't decorating and home planning so much more fun? Indeed, yes... Only two more months, my love.

To live up a little more fun, though, before we head back to the Midwest, GG and I fly out tomorrow for a friend's wedding in Texas. This should be a wonderful chance to reunite with many dear Princeton friends and give the boys a chance to truly enjoy time with their grandparents here (and vice versa, I think!) I have a feeling our return Sunday will bring about a great sigh of relief from a burned-out Mimi and Papa! Thank you, M and P, in advance!

Adieu, dear ones. I promise to write as soon as we're back Monday.
Until then, stay blessed and keep shining!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Amidst all the craziness of house-hunting, we feel so blessed to have found *peace* while visiting this week in Virginia. And when it's all said and done, I do feel that this trip has been especially graced with the Peace That Passes Understanding which can only come from The Man Upstairs. Thanks be to God! :)

We've relished ample family time together in all different combinations--GG and me, GG and the boys, the boys and grandparents, the whole gang, etc.. The neighbors here are wonderful to allow us the use of their swingset, which seems to occupy two little boys with the greatest of forces. As I type, Papa and Daddy read bedtime stories to the kids... There is definitely a peace and calm about the household.

And all this is without mentioning the amazing Providence we've experienced in this house hunt. As of tonight we are in contract for a new home!! WOOHOO! After close to a year of searching, keeping our eyes on the market, deciding where we wanted to "plant", zeroing in on our home favorites... we found one! And can I say that we love it? Right down to the very first step in the front door. This is IT! :)

I can't begin tell you how many small blessings there have been throughout the process... GG and I are just thrilled to have had little stress so far (all right, maybe a little bit more than a little, but not too much! :). We are even planning on having the inspection here before we leave. How incredible too that we really like the people from whom we are buying--a blessing beyond blessings!

Thanks for your journey with us. When we sit back and count our truest blessings, we end up praising God for our family and friends like you.

God bless you and yours tonight. Have a great one on us. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Our precious cargo, who were wonderful on the big trip!

Though it was looking questionable on Friday morning as we drove through an Ohio blizzard (almost!)... we're here! And we're abuzz with house-hunting ventures galore. Praise God for the hope of some beautiful homes we've toured already. I hope to write this week with news that we've entered into contract for a great place!! We'll see!

In the meantime, we're still having fun with our wonderful Mimi and Papa. M opened his 3rd birthday trike yesterday--a gleaming red Schwinn with handlebar streamers and a bell! Can you guess who was the most excited boy today upon waking? He was down the stairs in a flash, begging to get outside to ride his new wheels! I'll be sure to post some peddling pics in the coming days.

The weather report for tomorrow through Tuesday is 60-70's and sunny, truly glorious for us, midwestern snowbirds. It's amazing to walk outside and not immediately shiver. Haven't felt that for a few months! :)

Have a glorious weekend, yourselves, okay? You deserve it.
God bless.
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