December 30, 2008

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

An on-line friend sent this nifty recipe. I haven't tried it but it looks pretty worthy for a date!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (This can serve 2 if you feel like sharing).
I kinda doubt it, I'd think a 2nd mug will work very nicely :)

Wholesomewear Swimwear

Wholesomewear is having their annual sale on modest swimwear. They are well worth the price and they last for more than 1 season if you can keep your girls from growing, but that's what large families are for, for passing down quality clothing :)
I had to google a bit to find a picture I could smuggle off the internet and the place I smuggled this one from had the funniest article. I had to stop reading lest I bust a gut laughing at people's ignorace. The author of the article described these swimsuits as "terrifying and just plain weird". Of course I saw the swimsuits for the first time last year and thought "Oh how cute." But of course I'm pretty far off the fashion meter. :)
As far as weird, we are a large family, we are weird by our very nature. It is very unlikely anyone will be staring at our swimsuits as they will be very busy trying to count to 9 children. You'd be surprised how few people can count 9 children. And of course you put 9 children in a lake bobbing up and down there might as well be 20. It is so fun to just to see their faces.

December 28, 2008


Waiting, waiting, waiting...... for Midnight Mass.

Our Church has got to have one of the most beautiful Nativity Scene. I'm not a very good guesstimator but I'd guess the statues are about 4 feet tall and just exquisite. The stable is large enough to house the little children's pageant on Christmas Eve.

The Three Kings have their place on the other side of the Sanctuary until Epiphany

The Holy Family
The Highlight of our Christmas this year was the magnificent Traditional Latin Solemn High Mass at Midnight.
All 4 of our wonderful, dedicated priests from the order of the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest were there as Celebrant, Master of Ceremony, Deacon and Sub-Deacon. Their vestments were absolutely beautiful, their singing was superb and the whole Mass went on without a hitch. It was so truly one of the most beautiful Masses I have ever attended. When the DVD comes out I will post some pictures. I had the very blessed opportunity to sing in the choir and 2 of my boys served. After Mass we celebrated with cookies and cocoa and finally got to sleep at 4am. I could have stopped right there with gifts, as the gift of such a beautiful Mass simply couldn't be beat!
The children slept in until 7:45 or so *yawn*. And proceeded to bounce around in eager anticipation of opening gifts from their grandparents. In our household we celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas spreading out all the Christmas presents throughout the 12 Days. So Christmas Day is Grandparent gifts. For breakfast we had Eggs Benedict which the older children made.
For Lunch we Oil-less fried up another turkey. Now, if you want to cook a turkey this is the way to do it! It is SOOOOOOOO unbelievably juicy and whatever spices you put on the ouside are absorbed into the turkey. It is very good. I can't recommend this contraption high enough! It's the Char-broil Oiless Fryer. Or something like that.
We spent the afternoon lazing around until about 4 when we got ready to go over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house.

The middle boys eagerly awaiting dinner.

I guess Frodo guards the cookie table and what an expanse of cookies indeed.

The two littlest cousins Bilbo and X.

Now THIS is a real dinner table. All 31 of the members of Aragorn's Family sat at one big long "L" shaped table. This is the Alpha.

This is the Omega. Notice the grand array of food. I counted easily 25 different courses not including dessert :) I believe it was 35 minutes later I received the very last item of food, the necessary "bait" (herring) *snicker*
After the absolutely delicious meal, served on their beautiful China, some of us were on kitchen duty enjoying chatting and laughing while the others were busy getting the children ready for the Christmas Pageant. I believe that although the dishes were heaped from floor to ceiling we had the better lot and portion! :)
This year's show was "Christmas at the Castle" (see the narration at the bottom of this post) Thank you to Aragorn's sister who is the best at orchestrating these fine events!
Seems some of these photos are out of order.... mea culpa.

Mary and Joseph, skipping on their way to the Stable.

At the King's Castle. Sam was the King, Galadriel was the Queen. Notice the wee king, our nephew N who decided he needed to be on stage.... I love the sippy cup!

In comes the priest.

Nor room in the Inn (see above, Mary and Joseph were delighted to go skipping to the stable) Now mind you this play was of serious nature but I never laughed so hard in my life I think!
It got a little crowded at the stable in Bethlehem.

Here you can see the baker, our neice L; the drummer boy, Pippin; the jester, Bilbo... of course; one of the wee kings, nephew X.

Mary, our neice and God Daughter V and Joseph, our nephew A.

The Jester, Bilbo of course. And quite a jester he was. He thoroughly enjoyed his part entertaining anyone who would give him 1/2 and ounce of attention.

Frodo was a shepherd and Eowyn was an angel and narrator.

Joseph, the Baker and another character, our neice B.

After the pageant was the recital. Nephew A and Neice L sang "Joy, Joy, Joy" which was so utterly precious.

The king, Merry, brought the gift of kerosene, I thought that was a very practical gift indeed!

Pippin the Drummer Boy

After the play was over the little girlies couldn't help but have a tea party, or rather a wine and cheese tasting party at the castle.

Still jesting

Newphew A playing the piano

Pippin playing with someone's lego castle with his cousin L.

Baby Mozart

Sam playing the Angel Glockenspiel.

Baby Beethoven

Galadriel, err... Queen Galadriel

He's not heavy, he's my brother, sucking his thumb with his blankie.

Check out those curls!

I did it, I stooped to the utmost silly level when I bought a Christmas pickle. I thought it sounded so fun to have the children search for the Christmas pickle hidden in the tree and well.... it ended up with a battle royal looking for this and many down casts faces when someone found it and got a prize. who comes up with these things?!

I cannot begin to comment on the lovely gifts we received. They were too numerous and generous and thoughtful. But this one deserves a bit of a spotlight. This was a dinner and for a mother of 9.... errr.... 10 to have a dinner ready to go, well, let's just say there aren't words enough! And to top it off it was *Italian* which I have a special fondness for. Adorable little gingerbread and reindeer shaped pasta, breadstix, sauce and homemade meatballs (and if you are reading this "o giver of the delicious dinner", do email me that recipe) all this packed up in a bowl she decorated. It was terrific!

And Bilbo *loved* his Aunt M's chocolate cheese cake with cherries on top. The big discussion during dessert was "do you like the chocolate or the cherries better".

Christmas at the Castle
c 2008 Dintwannabee Publications
Once upon a time in a castle in a far away land, there lived a king and a queen. They were kind rulers but they were a little too proud and a little bit vain.It was Christmas Eve and sadly, they had long since forgotten the meaning of Christmas. They thought only of the great feast they were to have and therich new clothes they would wear, of the games and merriment that would go on all night. They were just about to sit down to their great feast when a loudknocking came at the castle door."what now?" fretted the Queen." who could be at our door so late on such a cold night?""Perhaps it is a traveler who has lost his way?" said the king. "We must open the door and bid them welcome."Gust of snow blew into the warm cheery hall when the door was opened. An old man in a tattered cloak stood shivering there."I beg shelter from the cold, good king. I am but a poor traveler and have no money to pay my way. Please if I could just warm myself by your fire?"The king had a kind heart and would not leave man or beast out in the cold on such a night."Enter friend and be welcome" the king said kindly.The queen also had a soft heart, for all her vanity, and offered the man a chair "we would be happy if you would join us at our feast" she said "you look bothcold and weary""Thank you your highness, I am grateful" said the old man as he looked around and saw a rich feast laid upon the table, but no sign of Christmas cheer. "Whereare the decorations? The holly branches and the Yule log?" Where is your crèche to remind us of this Holy Night?""Ah!" said the king," we have entertainment after the feast and music to welcome the new year""no! no!" said the old man." do you not celebrate the Christ child's birth?""Who is this child that kings and queens should have festivities for his birth?" asked the queen "is he of royal blood?'"oh yes!' said the old man, "but that is not why king and queens celebrate. Poor and lowly and rich men alike celebrate this holy day. Perhaps you will let me tell you a story?"The king and queen were both quite fond of stories and clapped their hands eagerly. "a story teller! how grand!" they exclaimed.The old man sat down and took off his tattered cloak and they saw he was dressed as a priest.The king and queen looked at each other in consternation. "will this be a sermon Father? We did knowknow you were a man of the cloth. Perhaps it could wait until after the games and entertainment?""nay" said the priest "now is the time for this story, hush now." and he began....It was a cold night just such as this many years past. A man traveled with his wife to the town of Bethlehem to be counted for the census. It was a long journey and they were bothcold, hungry and very tired. When they reached the town, they found it filled to overflowing because of the census and there was no place for them to rest. At last a kindly innkeeperoffered them his poor stable to take shelter form the bitter cold. They were humble people and not too proud to stay with the animals. That night when the innkeeper went to tendto his animals, he saw a warm bright glow that seemed to come from his stable. A brilliant star rested over the stable and shone with a curious bright light, far brighter than anyother star in the sky. As he walked toward the stable, he saw many people coming through the darkness all going to his stable. "what can this mean?" he said aloud. Then, he sawa figure in white standing at the stable door as if guarding it. A glow that that from the star came from the figure and a voice musical and clear said "the time is now at hand' Theglowing figure threw wide the stable door and the innkeeper saw the man and lady he had given room to and in the cattle's manger, a new baby lay. He hurried forward and the man and lady smiled and pulled back the swaddling blankets. The innkeeper looked into the face of the infant an fell to his knees. The stable was filled with glorious song. Hosts ofangels were bowing and giving praise to the infant. As the innkeeper knelt there visitors came and one by one laid gifts at the baby's feet. Three majestic kings came and brought richgifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they bowed humbly at the feet of the tiny baby.A shepherd brought a new lamb, a baker some bread, a tailor cloth of finest gold. a small boy came with empty hands and played for the child on his drum and the infant smiled. A jestercame and juggled and danced and the infant laughed. An old woman, bent and lame, came and laid a penny at his feet and a tear slid down the infant's rosy cheek. The innkeeper sawthat each brought his most precious possession and all that they had to give. A great longing filled him and he bent his head and said miserably "I have no gift" and the sweet mothersmiled and said "you gave Him room when there was no place for him to lay His head. He is well pleased"The old priest paused and took from his pack figures of St.Joseph, the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child. The vain and proud king and queen looked long at them. Slowly they rose andtook off their rich golden crowns and laid them at the Christ Child's feet. With tears in their eyes, they turned to the old priest. We have become vain and proud and full of self-importance.We had forgotten what we were taught as children, that Christmas is not for us, but to celebrate the birth of that tiny infant, God our king, who became man this day to die for our sins andsave our souls. Good priest, let us have Mass this Christmas Eve and sing Non Nobis and Te Deum- Not to us, not to us, but to His name give glory."the end.

December 27, 2008


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Ok, so I like taking these silly quizzes but I'd say this one pretty much summarizes me! :) Though I was really hoping to be a Lily of the Valley but that really wouldn't fit now, would it!

(If you decide to take the quiz beware of a few off-color questions.)

December 24, 2008

A Blessed Christmas to You and Yours

And she brought forth her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
No room for the Son of God. May His Humility be ours.

Merry Christmas with love from our family!

Bishop's Christmas Dinner

I am not sure of all the ins and outs of the Bishop's Christmas Dinner. I do know that he cooks a delicious meal in support of a local small Catholic High School. He cooks with some of the children and the children serve appetizers and food.

This year at the very last minute a dear friend of mine called to ask if I might like to go to the Bishop's Christmas Dinner. A doctor had bought a whole table and his tablemates had cancelled leaving open nearly an entire table. So they were going out to the Highways and Biways to invite people to the dinner.

You just never know when you will be the raggedy taggedy soul invited to fulfill some Biblical Parable!

This is a very poor quality picture of our Bishop in an apron! I loved it!

Christmas Tree

We have always gotten our Christmas Tree on the 4th Sunday of Advent (or that Saturday). This year we had 18 inches of snow within just a few days prior followed by windchill factors of 30 degrees below zero! Finally Aragorn and I went out in search of a Christmas tree and opted for a 12 foot fake tree *majoy blush* And no we did not opt for the upside down fake tree or the red fake tree or the white fake tree or the all metal no needles "tree". When you buy your fake tree at that time of year the savings are pretty impressive!

In our home the children do all the decorating. Needless to say Martha Stewart would flee in terror. The tree is generally heavily decorated for the bottom 3 feet ... did I mention that this fake tree is 12 feet tall?
Galadriel did make an attempt to decorate a bit further up.

I was not taking the pictures or I would have fainted. I didn't see this balancing act of Sam until I was resizing these pictures!

This year we opted to put our tree up in our loft and I think we are satisfied, at least our living room is still liveable!