February 27, 2011

Adios Party

Our (in the grand plural form) beautiful Chilean mother was back and is now being whisked back to her other home. Life is always full of holas and adioses.
We had ... of course ... an absolutely delightful and delicious meal.

I don't know why I forgot to take a picture of the array of some 5 desserts that were served later, after of course the main dish, salad and bread (with Butter for Alice:) and.... wine. I was really quite sorely tempted to bring along a pack of wine coolers but I was afraid that might make my dear Spanish friends faint dead away attaching the word "wine" to those tasty bottles of ... juice.

One of my friends made an absolutely lovely memory album as a gift, to which this beautiful mother was tickled. She has such a bubbly laugh.

February 25, 2011

Ski Trip

I grew up as an avid skier. Of course not a sport that a family of 12 gets to enjoy at $40+ a lift ticket alone. But the local Catholic School had a field trip to a ski hill for $10 which included the rentals and lessons and ski pass for the entire day. We were delighted to be invited. The 5 oldest went this year and absolutely loved it. Though I have noticed today that there are alot of groans and moans and talk of aching muscles with things like "Don't I usually use all my muscles?!" (obviously not!) Next year I plan to go and probably add on a few more children to the mix.

Poppy Tellatubbie

Kay who has this endless supply of energy.

The 3 Stooges and their Commander-ette-in-Chief.


Eleanor suffered over not going but 2nd graders and down needed a parent, so next year she can make her debut.
Rosie and the girls' friend Allie.
The only shot I got of Sam was from the window of the ski lodge as Sam, Frodo and their friend were going up the lift.

Energy Work Outs

Work-outs to lessen the over-abundance of pent-up energy. And sorry the videos are side-ways! How did that happen?! Not a problem if you use a laptop!

Twirling Poppy

And lucky me found a whole box of bubble wrap!

Pippin Poppin'

The 3 Stooges Poppin'


What's in your pre-order shopping cart? Here's what's in mine:

Release Date April 8th (guess what we are gettin' for Easter!)

Release Date: June 2011 (Guess what we are getting for.... ummm.... National Potato Day!)

Nostalgic Funny

This came from a friend of mine.... for those born before 1980....

First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps, not helmets, on our heads.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.. Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight.

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were OKAY.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill,
only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..

We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse.

We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and -although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

February 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday Aragorn's parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. There are now 35 of us-to-be-38-come-October. We held the party at a local (favorite) restraunt of ours.
The food was excellent, my favorite being the spicy pork slider and their home-brewed (brewery-brewed?) strawberry soda.
My piece of cake came with an enormous chocolate rose on it which I gave to Poppy. (the cake was delicious and apparently came from Costco... just to put in a little pitch for a delicious cake with mousse filling and frosting that even I approved of) Apparently the frosting put Poppy into some kind of stupor not to mention her pretty face!

No children were harmed in the washing of the faces.

Some of the children got interested in a lacrosse game that was showing on one of the tv's, oddly it was the Irish vs the Blue Devils.

I know, only my kids would find the bathroom signs interesting enough for pictures.

What on earth is that thing?!

Meeting of the Little Minds

Welcome to Wisconsin

We have got to have the weirdest weather. Last week... or maybe the week before last, I got up for Mass and it was -16 (that is minus 16 and that didn't include windchill, if there was one I am not sure). Within a couple/few days it was 50 degrees.
Then today in the morning it was raining snowballs followed by snowing rainballs followed by a complete downpour that left icicles on the trees and power lines.

And now it is sleeting, thundering and lightening-ing. Bizarre.

Totally Hip Baby

Mohawk Baby

This week's surprise off-topic picture is just proof what happens when the girls are gone and I have gone to meet a couple friends for lunch, leaving behind 6 Male-Creatures and Poppy. Yes, that is a gigantic hole in the wall. But, I'm sure they had a good time while I was gone. And don't ask what happened to the stuff that was in the cabinets that were removed... .I didn't take a picture of that part of the room!
In reality, this is one part of our very long project of simply moving our "work kitchen" (do not wait at the edge of your seat for the parade of homes kitchen... we go for unique and one-of-a-kind and practical.) My dream kitchen has a place for the gigantic (ugly) practical mixer that can be wiped down easily, my dream kitchen has a place for bread for a family of 12, my dream kitchen has a place for potatoes and onions (there is nothing worse than the smell of lost potatoes and lost onions...), my dream kitchen comes with a little pixie that lives in my refrigerator and pops out to say "leftovers go on the top shelf, ketchup goes in the door..."
Currently we are using the 2 stoves in the new kitchen, the sink in the old kitchen (without counter space), refrigerator in the old kitchen, mixer in the old kitchen, upper cabinet on the floor with plates and cups.... you get the idea why I've gotten lost in my own kitchen(s). Grocery shopping day is tomorrow, monumental amounts of paper plates, paper napkins and paper cups are on the list! :D

Happy Birthday Bride-y

Happy Birthday to my sister Bride-y soon to be bride :)

Septuagesima Sunday

Brethren, Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery refraineth himself from all things. And they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown: but we an incorruptible one. Cor 9:24-27
Today begins the Penitential Season of the Church Year. This time lasts 2-1/2 weeks before Ash Wednesday. It is a transitional period of time between Christmas and the Great Lenten Fast. I, more practically call it, the time to remember to think what we will do for Lent. I think the Church was very wise to have this time (though dropped at the switch of the calendars) otherwise suddenly it is Ash Wednesday and more suddenly it is Easter and we didn't do a thing but the usual... eat, drink and be merry. So it's time to think how we will go more deeply during the coming season of Lent, start weaning ourselves from the extras .... etc.
I chose the picture above because of Michelangeo's striking imagery of the Evil One. I spent some time trying to blur the naughty bits without any success to which suddenly Pippin says, "Mommy, will you please put some clothes on those people?!" haha But since I was unsuccessful I shrunk it so it was small and just "gives you the idea". But it beautifully summarizes the reason for the penitential season of the Church Year.
So what things do we do for Lent? I have not yet figured out what I will do in addition to what I already do but these are the areas I aim for:
Mind: (more) Spiritual Reading
Body: Bodily Mortification
Soul: Work on a virtue by avoiding the opposite vice
When chosing what to do I try to be realistic and start bit-by-bit. And each week add on a little more. Of course the point isn't to just suffer through Lent and then get our chocolate bunny on Easter, the point of course is to work through these things in a more serious manner, make these ordinary things so that by Easter we have in some way mastered ourselves and have goodness to move forward with and celebrate in a more pure way and a more pure heart. It doesn't mean drop all we have worked on for 40 days and then throw it out the window. It isn't about saving all we didn't do and then indulging in it later (you know.... not saving up Green's and Black's Milk chocolate bars with almonds for 40 days and then eating them all on Easter Sunday!!!)
And because Holy Mother Church is so good to us, the Sundays that fall during Lent fall outside the Great Lenten Fast. In my opinion of course this means in moderation. She also provides for us some very special Feast Days during Lent like Annunciation, St. Joseph, St. Patrick (for those Irish Folk among us :)