Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Advent All

2009 Turkey Bowl Participants

A portion of the Thanksgiving crowd,
out for pizza Friday night?? What were we thinking?! :)

What a brilliant holiday we've had...

So brilliant it's hard to believe we've just commenced the season of Advent today! I wore purple to church by chance and voila! I was in the spirit of the season! How quickly the days pass as if to seem as a blur. A happy blur, indeed, but a blur nonetheless!
All of us with our beloved Auntie Oni

We had a grand Thanksgiving and enjoyed all the precious time spent with family from afar. The boys' Great Grand Aunti Oni was out from California all week and we soaked up her love and kindness. Our time together started with a Chipotle lunch on Wednesday to kick off the few days of eating well and then some! M was instantly smitten with her: "Is she my grandma? I love grandmas!" Adorable. At one point during lunch, Aunt Oni got the biggest kick out of the way M moved his arms--"like a real Italian"--and M thought this was a hoot. They laughed and guffawed for quite a while, especially after M continued to repeat the motion in order to elicit more fun. He is a character, that one. I just love watching him love others and bring about that same love in return. He's a natural.

T and J were also in very scrumptious form. T warmed to Auntie Oni over the course of the meal, stealing shy glances and eventually offering his sweet smiles. Baby J just continued to eat and eat, but always with a smile on his face. We laughed at his noodles strung from table to mouth. As I mentioned before, the kid can eat! Auntie Oni surely walked away from the meal charmed and exhausted (as it seems I end most days!)

Over the next few days, more fun was to be had with additional family arriving from California and DC. Let's just say the boys were a little enamored by all of their amazing, kind, talented, and uber-friendly high school/college-aged cousins. They all were fantastic and the boys had such fun being loved on... Mimi's sisters have done such a wonderful job raising their children. It really is quite a crew!

We ate and ate and ate and the boys even got a special trip to the train store with Papa and cousin Anna. You could say the expression "Over the moon" would be quite apropos in describing their holiday!

And now tomorrow, we are back to the usual, though "usual" with an Advent twist. Everything seems to have a little extra sparkle during Advent and I hope the boys get to share in it this year.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Luke 1:30-33

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

It is a warm night in Gasperini-Ville thanks to the chill in the air, the glow from the lights in our home, and the joy on the faces of the boys who play within.

They roll around with Daddy in the distance.

GG worked through the day today, but was able to get home a little early which is so nice. We sat together and had "breakfast for dinner" a little while ago--something easy to whip up and clean up so as to let Mommy get to Thanksgiving preparations.

I admit, I'm not doing much--just a fruit tray and cornbread casserole. In case you're looking for a last-minute and delicious recipe to enhance your feast, I'll post the casserole recipe below. It is sweet and very much like a creamy cornbread. My mouth is watering just thinking of it!! Can you tell why I repeatedly offered to bring it? Can't wait to feast!

At dinner tonight, we had a "Who wants to eat _______ tomorrow?" and all in favor said, "ME!!" with raised hands. It was adorable to see the boys and their different likes and dislikes emerge. Apparently, M has decided he's going to eat turkey this year--we'll believe it when we see it. We all are in favor of the aforementioned corn casserole, rolls and butter, salad, and pumpkin pie. As for ham, stuffing, and green beans... well, some of us are in and the rest are out. I think Baby J is in for everything. The kid eats more than the others combined and still is in the 25th percentile for weight. I told the doc it must be due to his hollow leg!! He is an eating champ!

We head over to Mimi and Papa's in the morning for a festive time with family; of course with thoughts of our dear ones who are far away and not able to be with us. Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you all for a wonderful holiday! God bless and go eat! :)

Cornbread Casserole
1 stick butter
2 beaten eggs
1 8oz. sour cream (can be lowfat)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
salt and pepper
1 small box Jiffy cornbread mix

Melt butter. Combine with beaten eggs and all other ingredients and mix well. Pour into 1 and 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake 45-55 minutes @ 350F.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Troubles

A friend of mine stopped me today after helping to run the Thanksgiving party in M's preschool class. She just couldn't stop laughing after talking with our guy...

Mrs. J: So M, are you excited for Thanksgiving?

M: Yeah, I'm excited for the turkey. But we have to kill it first.

Mrs. J: (confused) Does your daddy go out and hunt for the turkey?

M: No, he doesn't shoot it. We catch it with a butterfly net.

LOL! Where do kids come up with this stuff?!
Cheers to a 4-year-old's perception of reality!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Day's Highlights

*lazy, rainy, pajamas-all-morning mornings

*A pancake breakfast

*getting the pan to just the right temp. so the 'cakes didn't stick. Perfecto!

*M's recollection of tapping trees to get maple syrup; his excitement at knowing that same syrup was on our kitchen table!

*T's "pancake dance" due to syrup being EVERYWHERE. (really, everywhere.)

*a lunchtime playdate hosted by a local, new, and amazing childcare facility; the boys had a great time. Did I mention it was FREE?!

*seeing baby J enamored with a Cozy Coupe the whole time there. Little does he know, Santa already has that list item checked off! Success!

*delivering a key fob to Daddy downtown (long story); thinking initially it wasn't going to work and dreading another return trip; then finding it WORKED. Hallelujah!

*GG's smile and warmth after his weekend in Green Bay with friends. Daddy's back!

*watching little J perfect his football throw with Daddy later in the evening--the little man is quite the natural already. Pretty darn cute. Also, I might add that this was done after his bath, totally naked. Even cuter.

These are the little joys in our world today... Hopefully your day has been full of them as well!

Friday, November 20, 2009

November Madness

Our sports-fanatic M saw 2 seconds of a basketball game the other day and sure enough, we are now immersed in a world of basketball! That night the hoop came out and all the boys gathered round to try their lot at various shots. M's is an overhead throw that bullets toward the basket and often makes it in. Cute. T lobs them in, but his ball is usually too big and gets stuck, which requires him to fish it out and get pelted in the process. And little J, well, his ball is usually whatever is leftover. In this case, he grabbed the blue football and was happy as pie. He would reach up and stretch to make it to the basket, give one quick pulse, and the ball would go every which way. I think he had more fun just being part of the mix and feeling like a big boy amidst the others...

We've had a busy week, but are well, eagerly anticipating the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. It promises a visit from GG's family out in CA and DC. We can't wait. The real beauty is we'll be there after driving 15 minutes to Mimi and Papa's house. Now THAT is something to celebrate! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turtle In The House

As I worked in the kitchen the other evening, this small creature ventured in... Reports claim it was merely a little boy in a laundry basket, but he thought otherwise. ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

TGIF Movie Night

A few weeks ago we started a new tradition with the boys: Friday Night Family Movie Night. So fun! :) GG signed the boys up to receive their own Netflix movie each week that we'll view as a family on Friday night.

Tonight's showing: The Fox and The Hound.
We snuggled in together on the couch, popcorn in hand. Their reactions were mixed and at one point, M left to watch from another room (this is pretty typical). We ended up stopping it before the final hunting scene--"Mommy, can we please turn it off?" Of course I wouldn't force my boys to watch something they were nervous about! When I asked them if they liked it, I heard two prompt "No's" to seal the deal.

So far we're 0 for 2--no classic Winnie the Pooh or Fox and the Hound. Bummer!!

Two weeks ago GG and I choked through a Thomas the Train movie. I really don't think we can survive another, but that may be our last resort. Heaven forbid we have to sit through Caillou!!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

GG in Fallujah, Iraq @ May 2003

To my GG, my Dad, our Papa and Mimi; our brother, C; our uncles, Tim, Gerard, and John; our cousins, Mike Jr., Mark, John Jr., and Stephen... To our grandfathers, Mickey and Franklin, and late grandfathers, Lester and Silvio... To our many friends and GG's comrades...

THANK YOU today and all days. Your selfless service has come at a great price and we cherish your efforts!!

Thank you to all Veterans today from Gasperini-Ville.

Monday, November 9, 2009

When Grandparents Come to Stay...

We get to dress up for Halloween again... and go "trick-or-treating" in the house!

We get to play with our blue-eyed Pappy (thanks for our recessive baby blues, Pap!)

We all laugh a lot. We're lucky to be so funny and entertaining to our Gramz and Pappy even though we whine and cry a fair amount. :)

And we're loved a whole lot... thank goodness!!

My parents are here and we are blessed. They stayed with the boys this weekend while GG and I co-led our first Engaged Encounter weekend here in town! It was a smashing success, that is until I developed weird abdominal pain and cramping yesterday morning and we had to ditch and head to the ER. I'm glad to report they found nothing of interest and wrote off my pain as "unexplained intestinal symptoms". Perhaps a bug?? Perhaps the retreat food did my body wrong?? Who knows! All I know is that its good to be home and in the care of my wonderful parents. We are always well when they're here...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things Making Me Happy Today

This vaseful of cheer, saved from a wilting wildflower arrangement. Isn't it happy?

Silly, healthy faces on boys who went back to school today!

This great lamp GG found at HomeGoods over the weekend. Bad news: there was just one; we need two! :)

This sweet face, belonging to my nephew-dog, Jackson, who will be staying with us for the next two weeks. He is a dear.

This bag-o-goodies, delivered by our wonderful Mimi to perk a mama's lunch! Godsend. Thank you, Mims!

God bless you today!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Swine Fest

Well, it's official. At least one Gasperini has H1N1.
And that would be ME.

It appears I have contracted a very, very, very mild case from the boys and their vaccinations. Of course. Why wasn't someone warning me of the nasal vaccinations when we got them??? I am really frustrated.

I will venture to say Baby J DID have the flu last week when tested and happened to be one of the 20% testing negative while still sick with swine. (Jules, you were right!) We've all had the same symptoms, so I think its safe to say we all ended up with it. Bummer!!!

The good news is my fever never went higher than 99.8 and I'm already 4 days in with 3 days of contagiousness left to go. Bright side, right?! :) Praise God this is a mild case. Praise God!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Solution to 7pm Boy Wiggles

Our very own "Living Room Bounce House". No sooner had the thought exited my lips than I heard the cheering of boys and saw a flurry of preparation. Thank you, dear Lord!

Halloween Menagerie

Lilypie First Birthday tickers