Friday, October 31, 2014

Our 2014 Cast of Saints!


I am quite excited to have our costumes done for our party tomorrow and I'm really happy with how they turned out!  Behold our cast of saints for the year (with some costume notes for future reference or in case in can help anyone else out there!).

Saint Anthony of Padua

John Paul picked his favorite saint of late as his saint this year.  This is the first year that he and Michael did not choose a saint with a sword.  I made the habits (don't look too close ;)  John Paul sewed the fish by himself.  He wasn't into carrying a Christ child doll around and there is nary a baby doll in our house anyway.  So he opted to carry the traditional lilies (from Hobby Lobby) and the homemade fish in honor of his favorite story about Saint Anthony preaching to the fish.

St. Francis of Assisi

Again, I made the habit and Michael made his bird.  I love it!  And check out both of their homemade tonsures that John Paul fashioned out of some craft fur!  To my delight, Michael was going to go the real tonsure route.  Today, though, he got a little nervous about the close encounter with the clippers and backed out.  According to Michael, "I look just like him!!  Except for my missing tooth.  But maybe he lost some of his teeth when he was old."

St. George the Martyr

That face!  The tunic is a simple white pillowcase with a red felt cross hot-glued to the front.  The cape and head covering are from the dress up hamper (head covering sewed by Grandma years ago).  The sequinesque "armor" I put together for John Paul a few years ago when he was St. George.  They're just pinned to his clothes.  Sword courtesy of the dollar store and cardboard shield courtesy of John Paul.

St. John Paul the Great (giving you his papal blessing)

This costume is making an appearance yet again and has had such a great run.  It's eight years old.  I made it when John Paul was a toddler!  It just needed an ironing and a new crucifix attached to the crosier.

Happy All Hallow's Eve!
Have a wonderful weekend and may all the holy men and women intercede for us all.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fun Updates, All Saints' Day, and Some Opinions Needed


Outside my window...
A brisk gray fall day

Thankful for...
a healthy bambino!
I had my first appointment with my midwife the other day!  We had a small scare when we couldn't find the heartbeat after looking for about five minutes.  I'm over ten weeks along now and that was unusual for me to not hear it by this point so we were kind of surprised.  I wasn't really worried and felt at peace since I've been so sick but Brian got pretty scared.  So we headed over for an unexpected ultrasound straight from there just to make sure everything was okay.  And baby looks beautiful.  He or she was flipping all around and waving and even had hiccups!  Heartbeat perfect.  It is so so incredible that this wee little one just an inch and a half long had hiccups and all his or her main parts.  Oh, and there was only one.  Not gonna lie, I've had a twin feeling this pregnancy since it's been so intense but nope, just one in there :)

Little kumquat baby is measuring at exactly what my due date guess was.  This was the first time I wasn't exactly sure on the whole conception date so it was nice to have that affirmation that my guess was right!

I do have a small subchorionic bleed that is really common.  A lot of women have them and never even know it and they heal on their own.  But since we happened to have the ultrasound, it showed up.  The tech just said I should avoid lifting really heavy things or exerting myself too much and I was like, "done and done."

Also so thankful for two amazing births I doulaed at this month.  One at home and one a home birth after cesarean.  What a blessing to be there and share in such incredible moments.

Thinking about...
 ah, things have been nuts lately.  Once All Saints' Day is over life should calm down a bit?  I'm looking forward to that.  Settling in for cold weather and preparing for Thanksgiving and Advent and Christmas.  Hot cider or tea in hand, finally having some evenings where both Brian and I are home, hopefully not feeling yucky anymore...that sounds delightful.

 Learning...
how to take help.  It's kinda nice :)

Struggling with...
you know, first trimester stuff.  Grateful for only a few weeks left and (hoping!) to feel much better soon.

From the kitchen...
frozen, gifted, and easy meals.
Two more friends made dinner for us and I was able to use them on days when it was SUCH a blessing.  How nice is it to have a meal made for you???  So nice.  If I had the choice of any sort of luxury, I think it would be having a personal chef.   

A gift of custom-made donuts also arrived on my counter this morning.  Seriously.  Custom-made.  Long story short a friend of ours has to do huge bulk orders at this bakery and the owner offered him some special donuts or something and our friend requested some for me!  Peanut filled with homemade bavarian cream.  Oh my goodness.  The best two donuts combined into one.  Amazing stuff.

Creating...
All Saints' Day costumes!
I even pulled out the sewing machine.  John Paul and Michael's are done and I just need to do some ironing and organizing for the littles.  I should be doing that at this very moment but I haven't popped on here in far too long to share.  Plus, typing means I can lay on the couch :)

Reading...
our group just finished These Beautiful Bones by Emily Stimpson.  REALLY good.  I highly highly recommend it.  On my own I finished My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell which made me cry.  Very good memoir.  Next up is the copy of Edith Stein's collected works that just arrived in yesterday's mail.  A bit headier but I'm looking forward to it.

Going...
 to our All Saints' Day party on Saturday.  It's on the 1st this year so we're not sure what's happening on Friday evening yet.  It's going to be in the forties and rainy (because Buffalo) so that might decide it for us anyway.  Someone really needs to move Halloween or some sort of similar pseudo costume neighbor celebration thing to like, August or September, right fellow Northerners?  I'm not anti-Halloween necessarily but I am anti-walking-around-in-the-freezing-cold-and-rain-with-tired-wet-kids-on-a-darkly-lit-country-road. Maybe it's a better night for hot cider, a warm house, caramel apples, and a good saint movie?

Around the house...
housework has been at a minimum.  It helps so much that Brian has been so on top of things the last few months.

Praying...
for so many who long to conceive.  It's such a fine line sharing our blessing while knowing others suffer and long for the same.  I can't explain it but I do think of that often and try very hard not to take this gift for granted.  

for those who have lost children and are grieving.

for all of you who shared your intentions with me.  Thank you for letting me do that.

Worth a Click...

Tweedle Dee and Twaddle Dum:  Balancing Quality Children's Lit with All the Rest another great one from Molly.  I love her list of requirements for books.  We go by exactly the same model.



Halloween {A Failed Catechesis on Holy Death} by Melody.  Some very thought-provoking stuff.

I used to be good at collecting links to share with you...should I do that again?  Most of what I find share-worthy I've just been sharing on the FB page.  Any opinions on the matter?  What say you?  Do you even care?

Oh!  And opinions on the new headshot photo?  I finally updated that blurry shot from years ago.  I thought it wasn't that bad but when Brian saw it he was all, "why does your face look like that?  Why are you scrunched up?"  (Don't worry, he's the same guy who tells me I'm beautiful - and means it! - when I'm feeling my grossest.  It's just funny that the one time I think I look decent is the one time he disagrees :) )  So, is it awful?  Too scary close?  Do I look scrunched??  

A picture thought to share...



I think this updated pic, however, definitely beats that first one :)





Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Saint JPII Feast Day {phfr}


Yesterday was the first *official* feast day for Saint John Paul the Great.  Though we've celebrated the last few years knowing this would be the feast day, it was even better now that he is officially proclaimed a saint!  I still can't even believe that we got to be there.  Blessed beyond belief.  Our John Paul was pretty psyched about celebrating the feast day, so much so that he took over a lot of the work so that I could do that whole lay on the couch and grow a baby thing.

{pretty}
But first unrelated picture of a sunflowers my mom brought over to congratulate us on our new little one!  Isn't that nice?  It made me cry but then again...yeah.

{happy}
John Paul got all into the tablescape even going so far as to iron (for the first time) the tablecloth?!?  He brought down his special JPII mementos to decorate and made place cards.  I made this polish sausage and cabbage soup (which was surprisingly awesome and super easy) in the crock pot.  (Recipe notes:  I didn't have caraway seeds and added some salt, a touch of ground pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.)  We then inaugurated that gifted Polish pottery tureen on the perfect day to serve it up.  The kids were not interested in the soup as I knew they wouldn't be so we also had our Polish sausage pizza and veggie sticks.

{funny}
The best touch of all were the miter-folded napkins that John Paul looked up online.
Seriously.
You can officially learn how to do anything on Youtube.

{real}
It was delicious even if a bit sloppily decorated :)
There's about a third left in the fridge at this very moment and I'm really not sure how I'm not going to eat it.


Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for some {phfr}!
God bless!



Monday, October 20, 2014

Lord, Why Did I Do This?



"Why did I do this?"
She sounded so tired, so exasperated, a hint of fear in her voice as she worked her way through the contraction.  I was there supporting her as her doula as she worked to birth her second child.  It was clear she was now remembering that there was no way out but through and she knew from her last birth what through meant.  She was scared and she was doubting herself.
I hear those words or words like it at almost every birth.  “I can’t do this.”  You see that spark of fear in their eyes as they near transition and they realize what is being asked of them.  A complete gift of her body, her self, the surrendering of her hopes, her fears, her very body to the work of life.  There are no guarantees, no easy way out....
I was honored to be asked to be a monthly contributor to their blog and I (because I have no other things going on????) said yes.  Please hop on over and follow their ministry and also take the time to follow them on Facebook!  They do beautiful work.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sometimes God Delivers Pizza

Ahhhh, thank you!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your support and excitement over our news.  It means so much.  So so much.   And thank you, too, for sharing your prayer requests with me.  Y'all are on my list.

Not gonna lie, I wasn't in a great place emotionally or any -ly really when I held that positive test in my hand.  It's taken a long while to sink in that we're really doing this again and that there really is a little human being growing inside me.  Another human being.  One that will change our lives and take all of my strength to bring into and up in this world.   Not that we didn't know this could happen or that it was "unplanned" (whatever that means).  I'm not sure why but the shock of it all seems to hit me more with each pregnancy. Maybe because you know what's involved now and the immensity of that gift and the sacrifice.  It blows my mind and it brings me to my knees.

So thank you so much for being happy for us.  It helps so much.  I need the support this time.  Brian has been holding in his thrilledness out of deference to my overwhelmedness but God has been sending me little gifts to remind me to just shush already.  It's all going to be okay.

Like the other day when He delivered pizza.  Well, He didn't, but it was sort of almost definitely in my mind like He did.

I had spent most of the afternoon sick on the couch.  The depths of my energy reserves had been used that morning to do some lessons, clean a bathroom that had been neglected for weeks, and make a batch of ice cream.  (The cream would've soured, guys.  It was necessity.)  But the rest of the afternoon found me barely able to move on the couch, eyes glazing over as I clicked back and forth from my Facebook feed to Pinterest just to distract myself from the sickness, and drinking magnesium water.  (Sidenote:  Natural Calm has been amazing in stopping the torture that are restless legs.)  Then someone on Facebook mentioned pizza.

Oh, that sounds good, I thought.  So, so good.  I would love some pizza.  Ah, pizza.  Okay, time to stop thinking about pizza.  There is no pizza.
(Sidenote:  You can pretty much mention any junk food right now and I will instantly want it with the fire of a thousand suns despite the gag reflex it simultaneously induces.  It's complicated.)

I managed to forget about the idyllic pizza and thought instead about the can't-think-too-much-about-them-or-I'll-gag leftovers in the fridge that I could probably scrap together for dinner.  Must muster energy to get up and heat them.

Then she called.

She called out of the blue about an hour after that dreamy pizza thought and she said, "Hey, I'm going to be around and I'd really like to pick up a pizza for you guys for dinner.  I'll drop it off around 5.  Is that okay?"

I almost said no.  For real.
Because I always say no to help even when I really really want to say yes.

But this time it was like God was offering it right to me through this amazing friend.  A little gift that sounds silly but oh, it was so not.  It struck me in that millisecond of decision then that it was ridiculous to say no because clearly GOD Himself was telling me to have pizza.  Or something.  So I did the next logical thing and burst into tears right over that phone.  And because she's a good friend she wasn't even a little bit freaked out.  I think I mumbled a "yes, that would be so so awesome, thank you so much" in the midst of my blubbering.   

A couple of hours later my friend dropped off the most delicious (and huge!) pizza of my life.  Brian said she was smiling the whole time when she dropped it off because she was so excited that she could do something to help.  I've never had someone just randomly bring dinner to my house like that.  Ever.  It was amazing.  She is amazing.  She was so truly happy to bring it and said that God had placed me on her heart that day and so she called.  Just like that.  She's one of those people who knows how to listen even when it means being God is telling her to deliver pizza.  And I'm learning how to listen and open my mouth and let God shove that delicious pizza in.  I guess this time it was the only way He could shush me again and tell me it's going to be okay.  

source


There's even leftovers so I can heed that delicious reminder again.  



Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Tiny Grape-Sized Addendum


On the feast of Saint Gerard, the patron of expectant mothers and happy childbirth, I thought I should probably let you know that yesterday's post was missing a very important someone :)

Eden Baby 6.0

(Photo currently unavailable so this stand-in will have to do.)

-is about the size of a grape.
-has made us thrilled, humbled, excited, hormonal, blessed, nauseated, exhausted, grateful, and maybe just liiiittle bit overwhelmed.
-is expected to make his or her appearance sometime mid-May.
-was predicted by big brother David a few weeks before he even knew!  (How crazy/creepy is that?!)
-has already been making his or her presence very well known.  (It's been a rough few weeks, y'all.)
-is already exactly who God wants him or her to be so no, we are still not hoping for a girl. :)
-is already very very loved.

I would absolutely love your prayers and if you have any intentions I can use some of this sickness for, I would love to know them!  (It would actually help a lot so please don't be shy!)




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This Month in Boys - October 2014


John Paul


-has been so helpful and considerate lately.  I really really like seeing this kid grow up.
-will read anything.  Even the coupons that come in the mail engross him.  (See above.)
-has been leading his brothers in building a castle out of the concrete and debris pile in the next door lot.
-has a blossoming love for football.
-joins his new friends for lunch at the learning center every week.  It makes my heart so happy to see him developing friendships with some really great kids.
-has been becoming interested in origami.  I was surprised when I came home late the other night to a beautiful lotus flower he spent an hour making.
-says that "airplanes and gliders" are his favorite thing to learn about.

Michael


-admitted out of the blue, "Sometimes I don't let all my strength show.  I sometimes hide it."
I think that might just be the best way to put it, sweet boy.
-has been answering the questions that Father poses during the Mass before their weekly learning center classes with so much enthusiasm.  Father calls them up to answer and Michael's face just beams.
-surprised be with, "Mama?  I think I'm going to fast a lot and pray every day so that I can be like a saint."  Go for it, kiddo.
-if he could turn into any animal would choose to be a golden eagle.  "NOT a bald."
-went to work with Papa today and was all smiles at breakfast.  His most fervent goal for the day is to get a ham sub for lunch.
-says reading is his favorite thing to learn about.

David


-ever the family planning guru, suggested that "we need to move to a new house so then we will have a baby.  You'll get one in your womb.  Actually, I think there is one there now.  One might be JUST MADE."
-loves his preschool class at the learning center.  Any exciting thing that happens he asks if he can tell his teacher and he feels so very big walking down the hallway to his classroom by himself.
-has a recently developed nail biting thing going on.
-was overheard discussing plans in bed with Michael for a new boys' group they're going to create.  "We'll have yellow shirts that we have to wear.  And at the meeting first we'll pray a Rosary then do a craft.  The first week we can make rosaries.  The next week we'll make paper flowers that we can give to the Little Flowers (the girls' group)."  Heart melter.
-declared, "I really want to be a cheetah dragon because then I can breathe fire and protect people and people can ride on me."
-says "the world.  Like what there is and what state and what animals and stuff" is his favorite thing to learn about.  "I am learning some about the world in my science.  There's fish in the arctic.  And whales.  I think."

Luke


-has begun using "hey" whenever he wants my attention.  "Hey Mama, hey Mama, hey Mama.  May I have some water?"
-can sport the cutest scowl face you've ever seen.
-warned Brian several times one morning, "Be careful, Papa, fall is coming."
"Luke, do you know what fall is?"
"Fall.  The things.  They will fall on top of our van."
I would love to know what fall actually looks like in his head.
-sleeps consistently through the night and has been for a few months.  He gets up around 6 but I will take that anyway for a full night's sleep.
-BUT has been fighting naps hardcore.  He can get out of his crib sooo quietly.  Several times recently he has decided to change into pajamas while supposedly napping.  I didn't even know he could pull that off himself.
-entertains us constantly.  Lately he's been putting on random goofy dancing shows just to make us laugh.
-would probably currently choose the ever-favorite Richard Scarry book Cars and Trucks and Things that Go and where Goldbug is on every page as his favorite thing to learn about.  Quite scholarly ;)



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bringing Autumn Home


Welcome!
The lovely Bonnie asked a few of us to invite you all into our homes and share a little bit about how we bring this loveliest of seasons into our homes.  I was excited to say yes! 
We've been having a beautiful fall here this year, with the exception of the last few rainy days.  Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons.  There is something glorious about eking out the last few weeks of enjoying mild weather, the smells, the sounds, the colors.   Maybe it's knowing that winter is fast approaching (and that is quite the daunting prospect for many of us here in the north!) that seems to increase our gratitude for the beautiful days of fall. 

One of the things that drew us to this house five years ago was that we saw it in October.  I think our house (and pretty much everything, amiright?) looks loveliest in autumn.  I'm not sure I would have been as sold if we had seen it in winter or in the early days of spring when the yard is flooded and everything is brown.  But in October?  God decorates our home pretty well, I think.  The other day our home looked like this:


But in just a few short weeks it will look like this:

Seriously.  Who even needs to decorate when you have all these century old trees all over the property?  Don't get me wrong, they put me through all sorts of nonsense with their never ending dropping of all the things -sticks, propellers, leaves, flowers, nuts- and the perpetual shade makes for a mossy roof (bad).  They also keep our house cooler which in my cold-bloodedness means I always have ice feet even in the thick of summer and make inside picture taking maddening.  BUT I still love them.  At least I do for a couple months of the year.  They provide hours of entertainment (and work!) for a house of boys and, I mean, LOOK at them! 

That said, I still have to do a little bit of my own decorating outside.  I so adore decorating for fall. 

Just pretend those mums are in bloom, k?


This guy wins as favorite pumpkin of the year.

So that's our outside.

I've found myself over the past few years getting much simpler in my seasonal decorating.  Partly because of desire to not have to store things and partly, I think, because as life gets more complicated and chaotic as the boys get older, I crave some visual simplicity and order.  In years past, you'd find touches of the season everywhere and in every room - fake leaves on bookshelves, gourds in all the rooms, various seasonally themed trinkets scored at garage sales (when I had time to garage sale!).  Now I'm more apt to not  put something up unless I feel it adds peace to the room and I truly feel it's beautiful.


My other switch in recent years has been to be much more drawn to decor and colors pulled from nature.  I find for me that a neutral back drop lets my eye see a space better and showcases the beauty of elements and can make even the humblest of decorations seem much more elegant and intentional.


Our surrounding-an-imaginary-fireplace mantle (do you know we garbage-picked that?) is my favorite place to decorate.  I had a whole bunch of different arrangements up here but settled on this one.  I'll probably be tweaking it until Advent :)

Once I saw a bundle of sticks being sold at a big box store for $20.  It made me sad for all the people who don't live near sticks.  It also made me think I should go into the stick business.
These ones were curated from a local harvest of dead weeds :)

Geesh.  You'd think if she was inviting people over she would have at least dusted...
I love my chinese lanterns.  They stay forever, provided they are not plucked apart by curious toddler hands.  For several years a house near us had them for sale outside their house super cheap and I would pick up a bundle.  I didn't see any there this year, though, or I probably would gotten some more for the table.

I didn't beeswax these this time.  They were just pressed in the dictionary for a few days and then threaded.  We'll see how long they last!

The shelf in our little oratory - simple but a touch of fall thrown in.
Those flowers were cut from my "autumn joy" sedum outside that the deer didn't get this year!  They are one of my faves.

Simple dining table

This little set up looked way better in my head than it actually turned out.  In November we'll exchange the real leaves for Ann Voskamp's thanksgiving leaves.

And while I do love bringing real nature into our home, I can't part with these sweet wooden pumpkins I picked up at Pier 1 on clearance probably a decade ago.

Or the sweet little touch of fall that was a memento from my brother and sister-in-law's wedding seventeen(?) years ago celebrated in the pumpkin capital of the world (right near Bonnie, actually!).

And a little centerpiece for the kitchen table.  Three of those giant trees outside are chestnut trees and the boys every year spend hours collecting them, shelling them, and turning them into weaponry. 

Bonnie said we could share some past photos as well so here are just a couple little snippets of our autumn home of previous years: 


We were all fancy-like and hosted Thanksgiving one year.



And just because I can...
Remember this cutie??  The two greatest things in life are babies and pumpkins.  I think that's in Scripture somewhere, right?

Please do visit the other stops in the blog tour!  I love seeing other people's personalities and taste in their home and am excited to see how others are relishing this season in their homes!





And thank you for stopping by and to Bonnie for the invitation!





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Of Hedges and Towers and Guarding Your Vineyard


The other day I was taking part in a reflection on the Scriptures for today.  The Gospel was read through several times and we were asked to pick out a part of it that stuck out to us and meditate on what God may be trying to say to us in that word (basically Lectio Divina, right?).  Anyway, the word that hit me was a weird word, a small line tucked away and easily missed in the Lord's set up of the parable, not really even a part of the main story itself.  Everyone else spoke of the fruit and the harvest but the one that jumped out to me?  
tower
After the landowner planted his vineyard he put a hedge around it, built the wine press, planted a hedge, and built a tower.
Why in the world would a vineyard need a tower in the middle of it?

The same tower is mentioned in today's first reading, too:

"My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; 
he spaded it, cleared it of stones,
and planted the choicest vines;
within it he built a watchtower 
and hewed out a winepress."

Why a watchtower?
It hit me then that a tower was built to keep a lookout for enemies or anything that could harm the harvest.  The Scriptures mention several times that apparently a great way to get back at someone who you thought had wronged you or to overrun a competitor was to burn down their crops.  It was also a convenient way just to keep an eye on what was going on throughout the vineyard.

The Gospel today isn't directly using the vineyard as a metaphor for the heart.  Jesus is primarily referencing Israel and their rejection of him as the Christ and Heir and the vineyard is a bit more corporate than personal.  The Responsorial Psalm says this directly, in fact.  But as we know, there are many layers to the Words of God and oftentimes throughout Scripture the vineyard is referred to as a metaphor for our souls.  We also know that through the New Covenant, we are the new Israel.  We are the vines.  We are called to yield a fruitful harvest.  So I don't think it's inappropriate to wonder how that hedge and tower may apply to us personally.

It would have been easy to leave those lines out.  They're so small and easily missed.  But in both passages the hedge and tower are mentioned.  When I heard those words and reflected on them all I could think of was our need to be on guard.  That whenever the Lord is ready and wanting to yield a beautiful harvest in our souls that there will be forces, enemies if you will, opposed to that.  When God is working in our souls, clearing out the stones, tilling the ground, planting His vines, He reminds us that it is prudent to protect His work and to stay alert for those entities be it the evil one himself, other people, or even ourselves and our own darn concupiscence who will threaten the harvest.  

That is not, of course, to say that we should live in a state of fear or that we need to approach everyone and everything from a state of suspicion, peeping out from our watchtowers ready to attack all who approach.  Not at all.  Sometimes, oftentimes, in order for the vineyard to flourish He sends others to tend to it.  But it does mean that we are to have eyes that see the bigger picture.  Eyes that know - and believe - that there is a great spiritual battle and that what we see is not all there is.  Eyes and minds that value ourselves enough to know that there is a fight for our souls and that towers are built to protect what is good.  When the Lord is working, when we know He is planting and doing a great work in our vineyard, it is an honor to that work and to Him to recognize that and to not be surprised or scandalized when it is threatened.

The second reading gives us the perfect plan to balance a prudent defense and the temptation to be overly protective of our hearts (while still reminding us that they do, in fact, need to be guarded):

"Have no anxiety at all
in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

He is our defense.  When we place our trust and desires in Him, He will grant us that clarity and peace.  When we see Him doing a great work we must continually cast our cares upon Him and let His peace in the face of opposition be our defense.  Paul directly after that even gives us specific guidance on how to direct our minds so that this peace will be with us. 

I don't pretend to have all the answers nor do I do this well myself but I do know that when God is doing something beautiful in our lives or is about to, that it will often be met with opposition.  I need that reminder often.  

What is it that God is asking of you right now?  How has He been working in your soul?  Can you identify the things that have been working against that?  Be willing to draw in those who desire to tend the vineyard but don't be afraid to build that tower to protect that beautiful work He so longs to complete in you.  



{Sunday Scripture Snapshots}



Thursday, October 2, 2014

What's a Clever Way to Say Photo Dump?


Welcome to this episode of Squelching Blogger's Guilt, otherwise known as the Photo Dump Post,
wherein I show you some of the many things we've been doing lately.  Maybe I can even try to {phfr} it on up over here.

Brian was gone for another long retreat weekend.  This time he led the retreat and this time rather than hunkering down at home which used to work well, I kept us on the move and busy.  It did work well.  At this point in my parenting career I think hunkering would've been a bad idea.  The weekend flew by but by the time the husband came back I was ready to crawl in bed and sleep for a week forever.

We took a quick "hike"  one day.  By hike I mean we went to the preserve near our house that has a board walk and a short paved path and we walked on it.  


The boys all wanted to wear green that morning.  Not sure why.

Collecting some treasures that later got intentionally stomped on.  Because that's how the Luke rolls.

There was also rolling involved.

Pretty sure we need some remedial rolling up in here.

 I can't even remember what we did Friday.  
And obviously not memorable enough for a photo.

On Saturday, though, we started out bright and early in the morning and went to the local farmer's market for the first time this year.  Oh wait.  But FIRST we found out that 24 of the 25 meat chicks that had just arrived in the mail the previous day had DISAPPEARED.  I had put them out in the brooder and in the morning John Paul went to check on them and all but one were gone!  I'm sick just thinking about it.  There was a small hole and something must've gotten in but there is not a trace of anything.  Why there was only one left, I don't know.  So our day started off really tragically and crummily.  

R.I.P. Chickies.  I'm sorry.

But I tried to shake it off because there wasn't much else to do and I had four kids to get through two more days of weekend.  


Anyway, farmer's market.  I got ten pounds of raw honey to hopefully last us through the winter?  Maybe?  And pumpkins.  We bought a couple pumpkins.

We walked to the park next door to visit the waterfall and ducks and let the climbing energy out.






My boys apparently think that chasing and trying to catch a duck is an acceptable thing to do at a park? 


Then I made mom of the year and took them to a local pizza place because the boys earned some free pizza certificates through baseball.  We got to sit outside on the patio and it was such a treat to eat food that someone else made!  It was so relaxing (read: exhausting and I couldn't move but the boys were pretty good) that I took nary a picture.

Our next stop was supposed to be another local farmer's market but we got there just as they were shutting down.  The boys did get their beloved and much much much anticipated honey sticks, though, because thank the heavens the honey lady was still there.  Who closes at 1 p.m., though?  Really.

So instead I drove the boys past the house I grew up in which is all sorts of weird.  Is that just me?  Then we headed to a local farm to buy more pumpkins.  Because it's fall and we need ALL THE PUMPKINS AND GOURDS.


That face.  That posing goat.


A very neat contraption that feeds the goats

Lesson of the hour:  goats will not eat wood chips.  


This is Luke's big face when he's talking about anything he thinks is big.  He gets this deep voice and his cheeks puff out and it's pretty hilarious.  He felt that this goat was a big goat.

I think the horse touched him?  I don't know.  But he's cute.

Head bandanas are all the rage, fyi.

We then headed over to my sister's house for dinner.  Keep in mind this was all on that same Saturday.  And I had to get them in bed all by myself when we got home.  So, yeah.  That was a long long day.  Sunday there were no pictures but the boys were amazing at Mass, thank you sweet guardian angels!  Then we went to another sister's to watch the football game and eat things.  Then Brian was home!  
Yay!

Now our celebration of Michaelmas/Raphaelmas/Gabrielmas.  Seriously, I love you, St. Michael, but you need to stop taking all the credit.

The boys decided on their own they would dress up as the archangels for most of the day.

Behold Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael

Michael was pretty psyched about his feast day.  He set the table all fancy and brought down his candle and helped with all the dinner and dessert.

Gabriel enjoyed his angel hair pasta :)

This year's cake frosted and decorated by Michael and David and proudly I can say I did NOT pry the spatula out of anyone's hands and let them do it all themselves.

After dinner we had some productions.

Gabriel appearing to Joseph

Raphael and Tobiah

Michael conquering the devil

That's the end.
Happy feast of the guardian angels!  Say thank you to yours today!

Pretty parks, happy boys and goats, funny archangel theatrics, and tragically real dead chickens...I think we got ourselves a {phfr} all covered in here!
Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter.



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