January 31, 2011

Baking Challenge Week 11

This week's baking challenge with the Farmer's Wife Baking Cookbook book and Lady Modesty was the Yolk Sponge Cake. I had not tasted the cake when this picture was taken. The hand was a quick nab of the 3 year old while Galadriel snapped a shot. But after I tasted it and saw this picture all I could think of was, "You can have it!" I did not think this tasted good at all. I will admit being persnickety about cake. I like a nice soft cake, never dense. I must be particular because I like my cakes naked. I am not a lover of frosting. As a child my youngest sister was a frosting-aholic so it worked out nicely for me. I digress... This cake was a bit like eating a sponge with a little sugar. I'll rate this as a 1 since it does have sugar in it which must have some redeeming quality. And in one moment (literally one moment) I did have almost a sense that there might be some good in this poor little cake... if.... perchance.... you needed a penitential cake or have been on a Narnian Ship on rations for 8 months or in the desert for 40 days. This might be rather tasty. But given the circumstances and considering I have a lovely bar of Green's and Black's MILK Chocolate with Almonds sitting on my dresser... methinks I will generously and lavishly and with complete relish, leave the cake for the children to consume. I may even play "cool mom" and let them have it for breakfast. (I'm sensing a new verse to Bill Cosby's "Dad is great! Givin' us chocolate cake!")

January 30, 2011

Addedendum to Date Your Husband

(is addedendum a word? I bet Lady Modesty knows... haha)

I woke up this morning and remembered where I got this idea of the daily date. Back when we were preparing for marriage, we had this absolutely wonderful priest, Fr. Kunz (may he rest in Peace). I believe it was during one of our prep classes (which I begrudge not taping!) he mentioned how every evening when his father came home, he and his wife would sit down at the table and discuss the day. Every child in the house knew that this was their time alone and knew that for no reason whatsoever were they to interrupt this time. To me this struck me as so beautiful. Of course back then I was very ideal (whoever this character was who lived in a shoe obviously just didn't have it together.... amazingly... I now live in a shoe!! haha... kidding... sorta). I guess I don't have the same grasp on my children as they did as I can envision a daily date while my children are still awake and it is more like a million interruptions, the baby crawling on the table, nevermind beggers (you know my children are never fed.... but only breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon....etc...)

However, that said, my children do have a true appreciation of our dates. So much so that sometimes they will say "I'd like to buy you a candy bar for your date." and often they make things for our date like a homemade pudding or whatever. If I bring home something from the grocery store special for our date they may look longingly but get this interesting excitement when the see it is for our date. I think children naturally know that moms and dads are meant to be together, stay together and spend time together... alone... and they appreciate that.

January 29, 2011

Date Your Husband

I recently read an article about dating your husband. The idea was to get out with your husband. I have some 2c on this, of course I have some 2c on just about everything if you really want to ask :D The basic idea is how to keep your marriage alive, fresh and... well... working. Raising children isn't exactly the easiest thing to do but it does help when you keep your marriage happy and joyful. It's very easy to get wrapped up in the daily life of raising children and the dog-eat-dog world of business. In the beginning of the married years it was easy to just go out, it's easy to just get someone to watch the children when you have 1 or 2 or 3 children, eventually it happens to most large families, you just end up staying home with the family. That's of course a very good thing, a very nice thing but couples do need time together.... alone.... and awake.

I am trying to think if we started our nightly date at the beginning of our marriage or when. But every night (with few exceptions... like vomiting....) we have a date. It's really very simple and inexpensive. We simply sit at the table with a snack or dessert (anything from big hot pretzels to cookies, bars, ice cream and on occasion pizza or something like that) and talk. Food is a natural social thing, somehow when you start eating you start talking. We do try to get out alone once and a while now that we have built-in babysitters. I am really beginning to like Menards!! If you do not yet have built-in-babysitters, start counting down, I did that for about 8 years!! Built-in-babysitters are wonderful! Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy taking my children places but again, it is very special to go out with your husband, even if it is just a few times a year. My favorite is to go out to eat because there we get to chat... Food is a very social thing. So is a Strawberry Margarita. :D But on occasion a rare movie will come out worth the $25 and we'll go there and discuss it afterwards.

But more importantly are those daily dates. The children of course are in bed or there is no point to calling it a "date" if they are up. But we do have a little time at the end of the day after everyone is in bed. Of course it helps that we have actual bedtimes for the children, the littles 8:30, middle (there is only 1 in this category at the moment) 9:00 and biggers 9:30... except one who helps with the chores who goes to bed at 10:00.

If you have never done this... start. They say that food is a way to a man's heart.... :D

Just because I Nearly Busted a Gut

Rarely do I fwd things on but this is so funny I nearly busted a gut... actually if the truth be told I have a head cold with a bit of a cough so I almost choked to death.....

Every Red Blooded American should jump in line to support the Green Bay Packers! The Packers defeated the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon thus earning them the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl. By doing so, they saved the Hard-Working, Red Blooded, Taxpaying Americans literally several million dollars of tax money. How you say? Simple... We were told that if the Chicago Bears had won that President Obama (and probably his family) would be attending the Super Bowl to cheer on his hometown team. Since the Bears lost...the President won't be attending. The money saved from not using Air Force 1, the limosines, all the additional security, and let's not forget Michelle Obama's entourage, is literally several million dollars! Therefore everyAmerican should cheer on the Green Bay Packers at the Super Bowl to show them our gratitude.


Hamburger Buns

We make our own bread when we aren't too lazy busy. We use the same recipe nearly every day:
Amish Bread Recipe
2 c warm Water
2/3 c white Sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1-1/2 tsp Salt
¼ c Oil
6 c White Flour
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, add in the yeast. Let sit 10 minutes until frothy.
Mix salt and oil into the yeast mixture. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth (3 minutes if using an electric stand mixer). Place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat dough ball. Cover with damp cloth. Let rise 1 hour.
Punch down dough and knead for a few minutes (or 10 seconds if using an electric stand mixer).
Divide dough in half. Shape into loaves in two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

We double this recipe to make 4 large loaves on those bread pans with the little holes in them. It's an excellent recipe. I do lessen the sugar to 1 cup for a doubled recipe (rather than 1-1/3 c). Today we tried out a quick hamburger bun recipe that my cousin mentioned to me.

To avoid any copyrite problems I will refer you directly to the recipe on Raising Olives.
Hamburger Buns in 30 Minutes This is a large recipe which we made in our rather large stand mixer. I don't know how often other families get near lunch or dinner and say, "Oh no, we don't have any bread!" now you can have some good buns quickly. And of course with a large family you have enough people to have someone making lunch while someone else is preparing the buns :) That said, these were nice and soft on the inside not at all dry. We made them only with white flour but they recommend wheat or 1/2 and 1/2 (or whatever).

January 28, 2011


Eowyn reads the science lessons out loud with Frodo and Rosie (not pictured). This particular day I got a laugh as Frodo had perched himself on Eowyn's desk to listen to the lesson. This is not the usual bodily posture in our school. But it does seem to be something a boy would do..... in our house. After I took the picture Frodo sheepishly got off the desk only for me to turn around to find Frodo lying on the rug under the table listening to the lesson. !!!

The children wanted me to add that they were studying reptiles at the time. So at least they got something out of it.

January 27, 2011

Where's Your Wishlist?

I decided I was free to consider a wish list since I just got my last wishlist fulfillment. I really wanted a working door knob on our front door and I really wanted one on the bathroom door. You think I'm joking. I've got 10 kids, door knobs are part of the budget. And we now have the door knobs and as I type Bilbo is trying to teach Poppy how to open a round door knob. He does not seem to understand it's round to keep the baby from getting a drink out of the only water supply she can reach! (ewww) So currently I was wishing again......... and much nicer than door knobs!

Mine is totally at Ergo Baby Carriers! I like my Moby Wrap alot but it is not so convenient for traveling, hiking and things like that when you want something to get on rather quickly to stuff a baby into. I have bad shoulders so slings are out for me (yes, I've tried, ow-eeee) and I do like my baby Bjorn which I've had since #4.... that means 7 babies have been in it. I think it is alright to wish again!

January 24, 2011

Large Family Logistics

I just read that the woman who started "Large Family Logistics" has now written a book. I read this at Our Magnum Opus followed 2 minutes later at Raising Olives (chuckle, isn't that a cute name for a large family blog?) where they are giving away TWO copies! It's worth a shot. The problem I found was this way to enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me what area of your home could use the most help. *A* comment and *most*... indicates the singular... not pural! I wonder if the answer "what area does not need the most help" would qualify? I happen to be one of those who was not born organized but I think that every one around me is entirely born organized. And of course God in His humor sent one baby after another to help me to get more organized... ! Ok, I will confess we do have a fairly good routine for grocery shopping, list making and meal preparation, of course anything centered around food gets top priority ... go figures!

January 23, 2011


If you can believe it, Frodo just turned 11. He's still eagerly awaiting some kind of growth spurt. But being that we have a 14 year old in the house as well, I am not so eagerly awaiting that growth spurt. I kid you not, Sam must have grown 3 inches in 1 week as his Church pants were 3 inches too short and the week before they fit him, not to mention I just bought him size 10-1/2 shoes and now he already needs 11's.

A small portion of our homeschooling group meets every other week for a spiritual talk given by one of our priests. This past week also happened to be Frodo's birthday so we had a little breakfast to make his day a little more special.
One of the mothers so kindly brought a fitting dunce cap birthday hat.

Cupcakes for breakfast, we know who the cool mom is in the group!!

Add Image Frodo received this great sled from some of his absolutely most admired friends.

When I was picking and choosing pictures for this post this one cracked me up. Do I see horns or are my eyes deceiving me?! chuckle

That night I took Sam and Frodo to see True Grit. This is the 2nd time I saw it since I went once with Aragorn a couple weeks ago. This was their first western and they enjoyed it. It is rated PG13 and the reason is that there are some bad words (the usual western bad words as opposed to the other more modern and less appreciated... not that any are appreciated...) and for the shooting. I prepared the boys for this ahead of time. Frodo informed me that he doesn't seem to catch the bad words but he was looking forward to the shooting. I didn't grow up with boys so let me tell you, raising them is verrrrrrrry interesting. Galadriel and Eowyn on the other hand have seen a couple westerns and they don't like them at all. Shooting? Why?! So when I teasingly invited them to go with us they adamently flat out declined. haha

Sam has been experimenting from The Bread Bakers Apprentice bread baking book. These were the cinnamon buns he made. They were good but we both agreed that he should have let them rise after they were formed for a longer period of time.

Because life is funny........ our poor ol' refrigerator has been suffering a slow and painful death and finally after months of problems we finally have a refrigerator (mind you we ordered the original one back in October). Aragorn brought it home last night and you will notice that the fridge is not inside the house. Although it said it fits in a 34" doorway... it doesn't. So it is either tear down the house or take the handles off the fridge... and possibly the doors.
Do these things happen in other homes or are we just special?!

Packers to the Super Bowl

I think I am the only one in the state of Wisconsin who did not watch the Packers and Bears playoff game. I only knew it existed in the first place because I went to the local hardware store and on the door there was a sign that said they would be closed at 2pm for the Packer's playoff game. It struck me so funny, but I guess this is very serious stuff! In my day of being interested in such things.... 20+ years ago... I was a Bears fan. But I am glad that our state is going to the Super Bowl, even if I won't be interested in watching that either. I know many people who are jumping up and down and hollering WOO-HOOOOO at this very minute. I am satisfied with googling "Packers Bears" and finding out they won 21-14.

Collard Greens and Mustard Plaster

Red Onion Greens with Bacon
I have never listened to Zorba Paster before on public radio but I was out the other day with Aragorn and he had him on. What a funny character. Anyway, he posted this recipe. And please excuse to bowl. I said to one of the children, put it in a nice bowl for dinner so he put it in a tupperware...! Anyway we had it for dinner this evening and it was pretty good for green stuff but I splattered it with a little white vinegar and that made it quite good. We substituted regular bacon for turkey bacon. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photo from tipnut

I got this recipe from "tipnut". A mustard plaster is an old time remedy for cold and flu symptoms.
4 Tablespoons of Flour
2 Tablespoons of Ground Mustard
* Mix those together then add enough water to make a paste (not to water but able to spread)
* Then you take the paste and spread it over half a cloth (like a flour sack towel or piece of flannel whatever size you need)
* Then fold the towel in 1/2 as you don't want the paste directly on the skin as it can cause burning and blistering.
You may warm this up slightly (do not get it too hot as you don't want it to scald or turn hard)
Apply to the chest and/or throat for no more than 1/2 hour at a time and every 4-6 hours.
My Experience (which may be different than yours so don't yell at me):
The first time I applied this only to my throat/neck and it felt better for a couple hours after I removed it. The 2nd time I applied it to the chest up and throat/neck. I felt quite a bit better as far as the sharp pain and headache and my sinuses seemed clearer.
I did not warm it up either of those times but I could feel the warmth that the mustard produced and I turned red where it had been. They say to be careful as it can cause blistering if left on too long.
It also said not to use on children under the age of 6 because of their delicate skin. I suppose the strength of the ground mustard used will make a difference. I just used ordinary ground mustard.
* All that said I should add on here that this is meant for respiratory issues to which my ailments haven't floated down that low yet but it sure helped the swollen glands on the left side. Maybe I should try putting one over my entire head! That would make a good picture I'm sure!

Baking Challenge Week 10

For this week's baking challenge from Lady Modesty and the Farmer's Wife Baking Cookbook we made the Frosted Nut Cookies. The main reason for choosing those is that most of the others contained raisins and dates..... smooshy things inside a nice cookie is against my cookie morale. The Cheese Torte sounded interesting but we didn't have everything on hand.

These Frosted Nut Cookies are actually a bar and had a good taste and a nice texture but seemed to me they need a bit of work. Maybe it is because I have a cold and my tastebuds are off. I believe we were suppose to sprinkle the top with nuts but we mixed them in. I'm not a huge fan of nuts in my bars and cookies so I'd like to try them sprinkled on top with the frosting layer. I wonder how they would be with some chocolate chips instead of the nuts. It does seem to me good imported chocolate is always a cure for just about everything that needs work! I also think that most of these recipes we've been doing have alot of sugar! Since these recipes seem to be from the early 1900's I wonder if the Great Depression was caused by an over-use of sugar!!!

Happy Feast of St. Ildephonsus

Today is a very special feast day of a very special and saintly priest way off over the other side of the Great Big Blue. So naturally we need to celebrate. It has absolutely nothing to do with a desire for dessert.

You may read about his life at the Catholic Encyclopedia but this is my favorite section:
"Ildephonsus was the disciple of St. Isidore of Seville, and recalls in particular two marvellous stories, of which the second, a favourite theme of hagiographers, poets, and artists, has been for ages entwined with the memory of the saint. Ildephonsus, it is said, was one day praying before the relics of Saint Leocadia, when the martyr arose from her tomb and thanked the saint for the devotion he showed towards the Mother of God. It was related, further, that on another occasion the Blessed Virgin appeared to him in person and presented him with a priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honouring her. "

I don't know about you but I have a very special fondness for stories that include spiritual friendships where saints knew saints, where saints were taught and trained by saints, where saints had loving, purely spiritual relationships with other saints. Truly those kinds of friendships are the most beautiful.

May God continue to bless Fr. Alfonso on this very special day. And if you would like to hear his wonderful homilies and editorials (well, you have to read those), they are translated into English on his website.

PS: Happy Birthday to Karen in KS :)

The Year of the Plagues

I have heard people say that the government is flying over our heads with airplanes and sprinkling us with something to cause all kinds of diseases and ailments. I don't subscribe to that kind of thing but I'm reconsidering! It's been one thing after another this cold-n-flu seaon, whereas we usually enjoy very good health (if you don't count seizures and brain tumors!!), generally the annual cold. And sometimes the vomits. This year it's been everything one thing after another and of course in our size family one thing runs right into the next thing. I think the hardest part for me is not so much the sickness but missing daily Mass so often. Sigh....

One year many years ago (Merry was a baby, so I guess 6 years ago) we caught the worst cold I have ever seen/felt. It must have been bronchitis or something really nasty. We tried every possible over-the-counter thing to which nothing helped. One of those nights my throat was so bad, totally white all over my tonsils but what can you do in the middle of the night but google? I discovered this little remedy of simply honey and the spice turmeric. It worked like a charm within a few hours I was a whole new person. However that didn't take care of the cough which was deep down and not a single expectorant helped. Google-time. I found this great recipe for a home-made expectorant. Honey and Onions in a double boiler for a couple hours, cool and take a spoonful. Within hours the children had coughed up whatever ailed them and I was fine the next day. You don't want to be around healthy people when you take this as it is not exactly a breath freshener!

The current plague that I am on is this really sore throat and swollen glands, not to mention the ear, and the gunk in the head/nose/throat. Although there are lots of teas out there to help, I can't take any of the ones we have on-hand at this point due to some future hobbit but Emer-gen-C in boiling water was good. So as I sat here bemoaning the fact I would have to miss Sunday Mass, not only did I feel terrible it was 10 below zero and 3 of the children were not feeling well either, my husband told me to google mustard plaster. He heard about it on "chapter a day" in a book they were reading. So as I type I am sitting here experimenting with a mustard plaster around my neck. Need I say why I am not including pictures?! Ok, so I may be a leeeeeeeeeeetle vain.

I do believe in going to the doctor when it is needed but so often it isn't and I won't be able to go to a doctor til tomorrow and I don't think I'm quite emergency room quality. So I'd rather nip this if I can.

January 18, 2011

Lands' End Addiction

If you have a Lands' End clothing addiction like I do, they have an amazing clearance sale must-see. Incidentally this addiction isn't that everyone has lots and lots and lots of clothes, it's because there are lots and lots and lots of us and that makes for lots and lots and lots of clothes. I just wanted to clarify.

January 16, 2011

Baking Challenge Week 9

This week for Lady Modesty's Baking Challenge we made the Gingernut Old English Cookies from the Fannie Farmer Baking Cookbook. We forgot to roll them in sugar but it was entirely unnecessary as these were plenty sweet enough without any extra sugar. We put chopped walnuts inside and did a combination of walnut and pecan halves on top. The cookies had a good, rich, sweet and spicy flavor, maybe just a tad too much ginger.

All in a Week's Work

So the children come up to me with the camera laughing so I take a look and find this. What on earth?! "Oh, we made Bilbo into a mummy." These are the things that happen when anyone in the houshold is studying Ancient Egypt. Those said students are now studying Ancient Greece. I promise there will be no pictures of the Olympics!! Let me re-phrase that.... there will be no Ancient Greek Olympics.

One of our projects this past week was to set up an art station. When you have 10 children and everyone likes to do art projects that makes for alot of supplies not to mention a certain boy is highly distracted by having every sharpie (of every color), every pencil (of every color), every bottle of paint (of every color). Of course after googling and seeing what just an art cart cost I opted to make my own. It is not fancy but it is great. All we did was use 2 short bookshelves, a rolling cart (that in a previous life was someone's tv stand but was our mixer stand). We had a piece of countertop from family who re-did their kitchen and oddly it was short and fit just right in one of our corners. We have the fabric to make a curtain to go along the backside so it looks pleasing from downstairs. and some fabric to make curtains to go over the short bookshelves. We took a couple bar stools for the chairs. (by "took" I mean we brought them up from downstairs we did not steal them... just needed to clarify)
So far Poppy has only taken almost all the stuff out but overall it has kept our supplies in one place.

Another project that was suppose to be done last September was this saint calendar for the little's history class.

I used the Saint stickers from Angelus Press. Because we are not delicate people I first took 2 sheets of the saint stickers back-to-back and put them in a laminating sheet.

Have I ever mentioned my love for a laminator? If I had to recommend a homeschooling necessity, even if not used all that often, it would be a laminator. After the page has cooled you cut a bit off the edges and the 2 sheets fall apart. The next step is to carefully remove the sticker backing and put it on Magnetic Printer Sheets. (I get these supplies from Staples because they deliver them to my door for free. Staples loves me.)

After you have laminated the sheets, cut the edges off, removed each sticker back and aligned it on a magnetic sheet then you simply start cutting it. I am also in love with my paper cutter. Growing up in a Catholic School and being a teacher in a Catholic School my memory of paper cutters is that they are rusty, they don't really cut, etc... One year I got this very paper cutter, in my early homeschooling years, as a birthday gift from Aragorn. We are very romantic as you can see.
I also printed up little numbers on the magnetic sheets and have some foam magnetic mosaic pieces coming. These will be for making a calendar patterns for math classes (those of you who use Saxon know this). My next plan is to make a little weather symbols on the magnetic sheets as well. An all-in-one calendar I guess. To be continued...........
The next couple of pictures were taken with my cell phone-that-doesn't-take-good-pictures.

Sam Frodo started to take trumpet lessons this week from our next door neighbor. Of course our next door neighbor is about 1/2 mile away but how convenient! These are our everyone-should-have-neighbors-like-this neighbors. Sam is absolutely thrilled and did pretty well.

For Christmas we had some lovely ladies at our house for lunch and this little lady had a kitten on her wish list so Frodo sacrificed his kitten, Panther, to a good home. Panther is well taken care of and even has a little wardrobe of sweaters to keep him warm.... On this particular day he was Pink Panther since his sweater was pink. I have seen other colors on other days. I could not stop laughing, it is just a hilarious sight.
And last but not least, I found out I'm a hero! Luann will tell you all about it! I would have like to post this comic strip but with this sue-happy society...................!!

January 10, 2011


My sister Bridy is getting married!! And I have to say it was a very sweet proposal. He told her that St. Joseph had brought her something. Looking around she couldn't see anything unusual. Then she looked in the creche and there on St. Joseph's staff was the ring. Then he went down on his knee and asked her to marry him. Sweet or what?! If you could spare a prayer for them that would be lovely!

Life Is What It Is

So Monday is grocery and errands day. One lucky child gets to go with me as we usually have 2 very full carts oddly, today we only had 1 and not even packed full. I truly am the queen of "green bags". You would not believe how many we have, but they beat "plastic or paper" any day, they have handles that don't fall off and well, they hold stuff! Today we drove the "tiny" car and had great parking spots... I squealed... with room to spare to open the doors without fear of touching the neighboring vehicles. It was a very weird sensation. But as I came out of the first store I noticed my car (I could find it easily because it was next to the cart trolley.) .... it was *big* compared to the cars next to it. I was baffled as I kid you not the thing is "tiny".

As the nice black man came to put the groceries in my car .....
Him: "Are you Amish or Mennonite?"
Me: If you wear a modest skirt you are Amish or Mennonite?! No one else but weirdos like me wear them?! "No.... I'm Catholic." Him: "Are you orthodox?"
Me: "Yes" Wait, I wonder if there is an off-shoot of Catholic that is called orthodox that isn't orthodox? "I'm Roman Catholic."
Him: "Is Roman Catholic different from just plain Catholic? pause Oh... or do some just follow the rules better than others?"

January 9, 2011

Baking Challenge Week 8

For this week's Baking Challenge we made the Sand Tarts. These had a good favor but for some reason ours turned out a little hard on the bottom, maybe that is suppose to be the rocks in the sand. But that didn't take away from it being a pretty good cookie. I would make them again and maybe add a tad more liquid as it was a very dry dough. Rather than sprinkle then with cinnamon sugar we used a cookie scoop, rolled them in the cinnamon sugar and then flattened them by hand.

Car Quandary

I realize my first thoughts of the morning should be entirely on Our Lord and things of Heaven. But a very close second this morning was on cars. CARS! Good grief, I know I need therapy! If there is any topic I wish not to discuss it is cars. But I awoke with a chuckle.
This is(n't) my car... my new tiny car... I'm sure anyone from Europe or California thinks this is like a bus. I was at the grocery store recently and I always seem to have the same young lad load my groceries, he's a funny little chap. Well, this time there was a young lad from England helping him. He hopped up into the 15 passenger stopped looked around and in his strong English accent say, "Woah, this is a big van... chuckle-chuckle... this is really big, I've never seen a van so big...." and both boys proceeded to discuss the amazing size of my van which I think might have been as big as their house from their talk. Anyway, this new car is nice and small and what I thought might fit in those "compact car" spots. When I test drove one I actually got to park it back into a spot the size of, well, it seemed to me, a postage stamp compared to what I usually park in. My first thought was "I can't possible get back into that spot, do I have to park there?!" But my next thought was "How on earth will I ever find my car in a parking lot." I kid you not, I have always found my car by just scoping the lot for the tallest car. I was at the hospital the other day with the 3 seizure-kiddos for their appointments and I get a special spot called Over 6'8" We are a very close 7' ... I know because at the same said hospital I tried to park in the ramp and there was an exasperating scraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaape, now try backing out of a parking ramp.......
That said, one of my deep thoughts this morning upon waking was about a Mini-cooper. Someone I know very well just got one. Incidentally, she did not get the groovy one pictured above but the above just shows the personality of one of these! I can imagine that kind of car is only for lovers, married couples who still like each other or really close friends. My dream mini-cooper is a little red one... yeah.... I have a thing for red. I'm guessing you could fit 2 of these in a compact parking spot.
Well, those are my lofty thoughts for this morning. We start back to school tomorrow after vacation, my thoughts are likely to be a little giddy knowing the intensity of the next 4 months!!!

January 8, 2011

Just Catchin' Up

Something is drastically wrong with this picture.........

And this one.

For New Year's Eve we had a snacky appetizery type dinner....

(sideways again ha-rumph)... and watched a movie. Aragorn had gotten a bunch of movies from a man who does work for him (most no good methinks) but one was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was a hoot. We were all dying laughing. I remember it from when I was a child but it must have been a wee child as all I remembered was the tune and a flying car but not at all the story.
No.... we all did not stay up til Midnight but at nearly 3am we were awakened by Eowyn who was sure she heard something under her bed and that it jumped on her bed (phew no one threw up). After reassuring me it was not just a bad dream I went with her to see what it was (I was not overjoyed with this but I was more awake than Aragorn... I guess) We discovered the door was open. Great scott! Next thing Eowyn screamed so naturally I screamed and I was sure she either said "rat" or "raccoon" but later discovered she had said "cat". All 3 of our kitties had snuck in. Of course they weren't eating a mouse, they were eating cheerios. Happy New Year!!

"Crebain from Dunland!"

Ummmm.... no.... this won't do for Sunday Mass. What is it with boys?

One of our Christmas vacation things was meeting someone at a hotel pool. And yes, how did you guess I left my camera at home ... again. But I have promises of some nice pictures forth-coming.

I don't know about you but I don't care much for the color of that water!

Poppy freaked out as soon as she got in the pool area. I'm not sure why but she did. It was so contrary to her no-fear disposition.
She finally got daring.... a nervous daring.... and stood on the floor.

AFter the 1st swim we stopped for a pizza break in the lobby. I received some nice compliments as.... I kid you not.... about 10 construction workers and staff stared at this family of 10 kids. Although no one spoke to us I knew what they were thinking: "Are they all yours?" "Is this the Duggars?" "Do you have any twins in there?" "Don't you have a TV?" ETCETERA, ETCETERA, ETCETERA!!! One of the shocking moments was that they could not believe the place was not trashed (I couldn't either) and they couldn't believe the kids picked up their plates properly (I couldn't either).
Little Rocky Balboa.
After lunch Poppy got her courage up and so we put on her swim suit. I wondered why after that as any fear she had was obviously just a fluke. Pure show.
Warming up....

Now she's just back to being one of the boys.

Galadriel takes a book break.

I have no idea where she learned to hang on to the edge of the steps, kick her feet up and start kicking away but she did. After this it was a constant game of chase.
Don't ask.

Really, it is just best not to ask.
I just couldn't resist a picture of this really great backpack that was hand decorated by Galadriel's God-Mother-in-law (is that was you call your God Father's wife?)

On Epiphany I got to play priest for the blessing, Sam did the holy water sprinkling. (no, that has not been one of my dreams, just Aragorn was sick in bed and we have yet to kidnap our own private family priest .... no other reason)

20 G + M + B 11
Poppy got one of these bouncy inch worm ride-on toys from her God Parents. I am going to admit why this got a special place on my blog was because I had one of these when I was her age..... Awwwwww....
We give our children their gift for Epiphany (this year we also gave them robes as well since it seemed that the children are getting big the bathtowels are getting small and it was absurd their walking from the shower trying to keep themselves decent and I have seen one too many streaking littles.... time for robes) Anyway, what can I say, I had nothing to give Poppy (she needed nothing) but for $3 at this really great local resale shop she had something so that she can work on being a little girl.... rather than a little boy. But you know, the thing came with sound effects.... including a flushing toilet. That got the little boys attention. Funny, if you put a flusher in a toy it's great but put one on the toilet and .......... nevermind, if you don't have kids you don't want to know.

Frodo got a set of carving tools and a real slingshot. He made a cross bow for Aragorn.

Sam got a beebee gun. First moment both boys were outside trying to hunt some rabbits they wanted to get for the priests. I wondered just how many plastic balls and beebees the priests would be eating if they got such a prize!! Maybe they are good sauteed, I just don't know these things.
Bilbo is the child who always gets everything on inside out and backwards. This takes the cake.
There are 2 cars that I drive a big extended suburban and a huge 15 passenger van. I am truly the woman of the road. I also am the queen of double parking spots. I also never take a parking spot I have to back out of. My very first owned car was a lovely bright red VW Fox. I miss that car. It was the greatest little thing. But it became obsolete after Galadriel was born, 2 carseats was over crowded. I digress.... My big vehicles guzzle gas.... of course they are effecient when driving with 10 children but very inefficient for most of my little trips when I go out pretending I've only got 1 child or 2.
Today we got a new-to-us-old-for-2-other-people car. I can't tell you anything about it but that it says Vue and Hybrid on the back. I don't know what that means I just know I liked driving it. So I sat like a statue as Tom tried to dicker the price down.... he won. I was tickled. You will not believe this but this car fits in a parking spot. Really, truly it does. Of course it only fits 5 people and has room in the trunk for some groceries. Of course my hope is that it will fit 2 grocery carts full as I only go to the store once a week and we always have 2 heaping carts full and yes, incidentally I have been carded twice for spending "over the amount". I told them they will get used to me.
Now if you are one of those car-a-holics (of which I am not) then you are free to complain about this nifty little car (they call it a SUV but I think it would fit right inside the 15 passenger van.) But for the record I think it's the cutest little thing I have driven in forever. The very funniest thing is that when you stop it makes not even a little peep. And best of all it is suppose to get something like 30 mpg. You know.... as opposed to 10 mpg. I got a little chuckle when I filled it up and only had to put 12 gallons in. Cute little gas tank!
I wouldnt' call it the nicest looking thing but it's just so cute, little things are cute. Like babies, even if they look like a little baboon, they really are kinda cute.
See just how little it is? Very little. I couldn't help laughing when I test drove it and Aragorn was in the passenger seat (have I ever mentioned I do not like to drive when he's in the car?) Anyway, we were actually sitting next to each other, not 2 arms lengtha away from each other, that was really kind of neat! We didn't need a megaphone to talk to each other.
The plan is to get rid of the Suburban :*(