February 21, 2016


I've been laughing all day over that one!

Happy Birthday Eleanor!

Happy 13th birthday Eleanor!

I now have 6, yes, SIX, teens living in my house, all under one roof. 19, 18, 17, 16, 14, 13. Seriously, it's true.  This birthday  puts 1/2 my children as teens and half 11 and under. It makes life a constant adventure! A blessed adventure!

I'm not sure how the topic of "Boston Cream Pie" (that isn't actually a pie) came up but it was near Eleanor's birthday.  So the girls attempted to make one.  It pretty much fell apart during the part where we take the 2nd layer out of the 2nd pan.  But we aren't about pretty... we are about tasty, and indeed it was tasty!  We also failed to have 13 candles and so the girls decided to put toothpicks in.  Creative measure.  I thought it seemed appropriate for a Lent birthday cake!  Kind of a crown of thorns cake.

We took Eleanor out to the Cheesecake Factory for her birthday dinner.  We even had coupons for 3 free slices of cheesecake which we brought home to share (if we couldn't eat them all ourselves... haha)  

More February Skating and Projects

 A dear friend gave me a luxurious cap to match the equally luxurious muff she gave last year. Glorious sheepskin softness.  Here Kili is sporting it as Thing 12. (That's thing #12, vs Thing 1 and 2)
 Kili has a fascinating for drawing on a screen and he always draws the same thing, "Egg". What enters into the minds of 2 year olds is always interesting.
 We finished 2 of the counters, in our kitchen/dining area.  This is what is hidden underneath the concrete.
In our house, our kitchen counters get used excessively. We are a family that eats together at every meal, unless someone is working or happens to be out. So our counters get a fair amount of abuse... ok, more than a "fair" amount.

 Then they used some kind of etching solution to create some kind of unusual pattern
 Then it was topped with a two-part epoxy sealer.
 I thought they turned out really nicely!  It should last until the children get a sledge hammer...
 We were back out skating this past week.  It's really quite a huge skating rink and beyond the barricade is another side for hockey.
 I went back to the St. Vincent's with the plethora of skates and bought some for the girls and a tiny pair for Kili.
 Is are double bladed. Kili did very well on them but more of a "shuffle-shuffle" than a "skate-skate"

Hopefully after the warm spell and now it's chilly again it will re-freeze and we can skate some more. I didn't bother as I would surely break my neck. I always wanted to be a skater, a great skater, and olympic skater, but I never got much past pushing around a skate aid.  I'm fine skating on my boots!

February 20, 2016

Risen Movie

We really enjoyed this movie which is in theaters now.  It was very well done!  

February 14, 2016

St. Valentine's Day

 Happy Feast of St. Valentine, bishop & martyr
From The Golden Legend
     Valentine comes from valorem tenens, one who perseveres in holiness, or from valens tiro, a strong warrior, one who fights for Christ. A warrior is strong only when he remains unconquered, bravely attacks, defends himself valiantly, and carries off victory. And so Valentine was never conquered, for he never fled martyrdom; he attacked the idols in exterminating them; he defended the faith in that he strengthened it; he carried off victory in that he suffered.
     Valentine was a priest whose holiness was known to all. The Emperor Claudius summoned him and said to him: “Valentine, why dost thou not earn our good will by adoring our gods and putting away thy vain superstitions?”
     Valentine answered: “Didst thou but know the grace of God, thou wouldst not say these things; and thou thyself wouldst turn away from these idols, and wouldst adore the God of Heaven!”
     The one of the emperor’s retainers said to Valentine: “Dost thou dare to disparage the sanctity of our gods?”
     And Valentine replied: “Your gods are but the wretched fabrications of men, and are sodden with uncleanness!”
     Claudius then said: “If thy Christ is the true God, tell me the truth!”
     And Valentine made answer: “The truth is this: that Christ is the only God, and that if thou believest in Him thy soul shall be saved, thy power increased, thine enemies put to rout!”
     Claudius, turning to those around him said: “Romans, do you hear how well and wisely this man speaks?”
     But the prefect protested: “The emperor is being deluded! Must we therefore renounce what we have believed since we were children?”
     These words hardened the heart of Claudius and he committed Valentine to a prince of his court, to be guarded as a prisoner in his house. When he had come into the prince’s house, Valentine cried out: “Lord Jesus, Thou Who art the one and only Light, shed Thy light upon this house, that those who dwell herein may know Thee for the true God!”
     Whereupon the prince said to him: “Since thou proclaimest that thy Christ is Light, ask Him to restore sight to my daughter who is blind! And if He does this, I shall do all that thou biddest.”
     Valentine prayed; from that hour the blind girl saw, and the whole household was 
     But the emperor was not deterred, and ordered him beheaded. His martyrdom took place in the year of the Lord 280 A.D.

February goings On

 Merry got his first squirrel. Sam got a rabbit.... not his first, of course.
 Lovin' the snow

 Putting on  the littles rendition of The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe.
Kili, of course, is Charlie Brown.
You did know he spent time in Narnia, right?

 Working on re-doing the counter tops... this time in concrete.

 Kili with his sword and sheath.

 Back to our regularly scheduled performance.

 We started the day out with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then a great brunch in the church basement. We proceeded to have "group 1" go straight to the bakery for cupcake decorating.

 The other children went to the local community center, just blocks from the bakery, for fun. Since I have the largest vehicle, I was the designated driver.
 The older girls in group 1 did a great job decorating. Then again, I have never been able to decorate even the simplest frosted cake so I thought everyone did great.

 We swapped out children between running in the gym and decorating and eating goodies.

 Friend lends a helping hand.  

 Kili in a sugar stupor.

 In the evening we attended a Mardi Gras dinner with the Bishop.
 The food was absolutely amazing. It was such an honor to have our family of 14 invited to such a lovely, elegant affair.  We all had a lovely time.

 The Bishop gave a little talk.  We are so very blessed with our Bishop.

 One of our priests carving the suckling pig.
 About this point in the photo shoot, Kili says, "My PIG!"

 The delicious paella! The pan was enormous.  I cannot remember but I thought Kili might be able to lie down in it, should he so desire.
 Frodo participated in the solo and ensemble.  He did a great job and received some great pointers to improve his playing.
 We decided to try out the local outdoor skating "rink", which is basically just watered-down-and-frozen field in town here.
 I cant' skate to save my life but some of my children did pretty well.  First place being Sam and Frodo tied, followed by Poppy.
 Some spent quit a bit of time sitting down and getting up again.  The 3 stooges improved immensely as time went on.

 Kili loved sliding.....................
 ..... and flopping down.
 I'll be back to St. Vincent's to look for some more gently used skates for those who don't have them.  We had a great time.
The bigger girls were able to share for now.

Eowyn busy writing yet another one of her books. Have pencil and paper, will travel.