Thursday, May 31, 2012

From the Mind of Madeline

When Madeline starts talking you never know what is going to come out of her mouth.  Sometimes, when she's thinking "deep thoughts" she comes out with some funny things that simply must be recorded for posterity.  Last weekend was filled with several such moments.

On Friday morning Madeline excitedly asked me about the "bread balls" that Bryan had made the night before while the girls were in bed.  "What?" I asked her.  The bread balls of which she spoke were what the rest of us call rolls.  Bryan made rolls from a pizza dough that he made a few days before that we hadn't used.  We were hungry and thought homemade rolls would hit the spot.

The funny thing about the "bread balls" is she knows what rolls are, and the rolls Bryan made looked just like the ones we eat at Bertucci's.

Friday was clearly Madeline's day for astounding comments.  For the past six months Bryan and I have been talking about buying a freezer.  Four of those six months were filled with weekends where the freezer was getting ordered THIS. WEEKEND.  This past weekend was finally the weekend where we actually ordered it.  Over half of our freezer is filled with little bags of breast milk which no one is drinking since a certain little person only takes a bottle a few times a month.

Anyway, I've digressed a bit.  So we're in Lowes on Friday night looking at freezers, again.  Madeline runs over to me and tells me I have to see this fridge.  I explained that we're not looking for a fridge since ours is just fine.  She's persistent.  This fridge needs to be looked at.  Want to know why?  If you're drinking something, swallow it right now.  Ok, the fridge LIGHTS. UP.  Yup.  You read that right.  So I told her all of them do.  "No, they don't! This one even has a switch to turn it on and off!"  At this point I need to call Bryan over.  "Our's lights up," I tell her.  "But this one has a switch! " she insists.  I then had to explain that our's has one, too.  She didn't believe me, because you know, I lie about things like lightbulbs in refrigerators.  The next day I proved that our light up fridge has a switch and that it really goes dark when you close the door.  How is this child ten and a half and just discovering this?

Saturday night at dinner Madeline tells us she's been thinking.  "Daddy, you should grow a handlebar mustache!"  I wish we had a video of our reaction.  Why she even thought this would be a good look for Bryan is beyond me.  We're not even sure where she came up with this.  We all had a good laugh over that one, but Madeline seemed pretty confident that Bryan should really give it a try.

To round out the goofy musings of Madeline we have a little gem about Indian Burn.  For those of you who don't know what this is, it's when someone has a sunburn and another person goes up to that person, grabs their arm with both hands and twists them in opposite directions.  A classmate was kind enough to do this to me when I had a very bad burn when I was a senior in high school.  Quite painful. Anyway, Madeline's friend who is Indian (not sure if she's India Indian or Native American Indian--hard to get an accurate ethnic description from a ten year old) told her that Indians don't feel Indian Burn.  So Madeline was wondering why they don't feel it.  I had to explain that everyone has nerve endings in their skin and the color of your skin or your ethnicity doesn't change that.

Now I don't want to leave Ellie out since she also had a memorable statement on Saturday night.  We got take out from Bertucci's for dinner.  While Ellie, Katie and I waited in the car, Ellie scanned the parking lot.  "Hmm...I don't see any candy-capped spaces here."  I asked for clarification since I never heard of parking spots with candy in them.  "You know, the candy-capped spots for cars," Ellie stated as if I've lost it.  No, I don't know.  "They're the ones for the candy-capped people with the little wheelchair sign."  Oh!  Now I get it.  She was talking about the handicapped spots.  Here I am thinking she's talking about parking spaces with candy in them and she was concerned that there weren't any spaces for the people in wheel chairs.

These girls keep us laughing and they give me plenty of blog material.  I look forward to the day when we can tell these stories over and over years from now.

Small Successes May 31st


Celebrating the little things in life that add up.

1.  It's been seven months since the drywall was finished around the new master bath shower, so this weekend I finally got around to priming and painting it.  I've looked at white spackel on brown walls for so long that it looks a little funny to see the bathroom complete once again.

2.  Bryan sanded the peeling paint on the wood trim around the garage doors and I painted them.  It looks much nicer now that it has a fresh coat of paint.  We attempted to redo the wood posts on the porch but after I painted the first post that Bryan sanded we discovered that  one of the posts rotted.  So now we're going to have to replace all of them.

3.  Sorting through the girls' outgrown clothing is a daunting task, but I'm slowly making progress.  I have weeded out another few bags of clothes we can live without.

4.  I have the laundry under control.

5.  I ordered the rest of the arts and crafts supplies that I needed to get for VBS.  Now I just need to work on getting decorations and the snack portion of the program.  Things are falling into place nicely.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.


Bryan hacked apart cut down a tree on the side of our house that he's been battling ever since we had a bad snow storm about a year and a half ago that made the tree partially uproot itself.  While he was tearing down the tree limb by limb, this amazing little nest fell out.  I picked it up and I'd say it must have weighed at least two pounds.  I was amazed at how well it was put together.  While examining the nest, we noticed that it contained parts of a peat pot, and even a juice box straw wrapper.  I do hope it was an abandoned nest.  I'd hate to think that we made some poor bird homeless.


I love how happy Katie is when she plays with her daddy.  Bryan was playing airplane with her when I took this picture.  On Friday, I was a very happy mommy when I scored the cute little outfit Katie is wearing for $5.48 at Gymboree.


Despite the annoyed look on her face, Katie really enjoyed her first time in the pool.  For some reason her new thing is to turn her back to me or scowl at the camera whenever I try to take pictures of her.

Doesn't Ellie look like she's flying in this picture?  She calls this jump the Patrick Star.  She and Madeline also do another jump that they call the Squidward where they wiggle their arms and legs.  It's a goofy jump.

Madeline is doing a cannonball in this picture but it just looks like she crouching down on the top of the water.  I love when I get pictures of the girls in mid air or just as they are starting to make impact with the water.

Oscar is a nervous Nellie when we go in the pool.  He will either run around the pool deck until his nails and paws are bloody (Which is why he usually finds himself locked in his crate when we go out to the pool.), or he'll race around the yard barking and acting like we're under attack while he's on the outside of the pool enclosure.  On Sunday he wore himself out to the point that he crawled into the house when we got out of the pool.  I thought he was hurt, but it turned out he was just completely worn out.  This is him laying on the grass exhausted once we all got out of the water. 


I love this picture.  Katie is just so content in Bryan's arms as she plays with the water.  

See what I mean about Katie not being an fan of me taking her picture.  She was happy and smiling until I turned on the camera.  As you can see, she's not on board with my plan to get a cute picture.

About thirty seconds later when I propped the camera up in the cabinet and used the remote to take this picture she was back to being a happy baby.  I think my camera needs a disguise.
round button chicken

Baby on a Budget Guest Blogging

Today I'm guest blogging over at Catholic Newlywed about hand-me-downs for her Baby on a Budget series.
Eleven years ago I was pregnant with my first child.  Taken in by the aura of new baby products, I simply had to have everything new for our new baby.  I had been offered hand-me-downs of almost all the essential baby gear [bassinet, crib, swing, baby bedding, infant car seat, electric breast pump] by my cousin, but I was stubborn and wanted new items.  It didn't help that my mom and several other relatives also weighed in that I should have new baby items for my first baby.  I won't say that I wasn't happy to have all new baby gear and clothing for our first child, but financially it was a big mistake.
 Visit her blog to read the rest.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Quick Takes Volume 37

Will you laugh if I tell you that I'm just getting around to compiling my quick takes post from last week?  After setting up the numbers last Friday morning, I got distracted with other things and the post I wanted to do last week was never written.

I've spent the past week trying to organize the girls' outgrown clothing.  I think it's possible that this task will take another week or two.  Madeline and Ellie are not pleased that I took over the basement playroom so that I could go through all of the clothes.
As sad as this sounds, I have spent the past week mourning and bemoaning the fact that I gave away the majority of the girls clothes in sizes 0-3T years ago.  I realized last Saturday that I had saved only a few outfits for 18 months through 3T and that many of my favorites were given away.  For several years we were "done" having kids and then I had one of those smacked upside the head by the Holy Spirit moments three years ago at Mass, and life has been very different ever since.  I guess to put it all in a proper perspective, I'd rather be without the cute outfits and have that adorable baby girl than have the cute outfits and have no one to wear them.
To console myself about the cute outfits that I'll never see again for Katie, I did a little retail therapy this week.  Yesterday I brought two darling dresses on clearance for next year from Janie and Jack, and today I dragged all three girls to Gymboree and bought four more dresses for Katie for next spring and summer along with an outfit for her to wear now.  I'm thrilled that I got five outfits at Gymboree for under $40.  
It looks like we might get to swim in our pool this weekend.  The warm temperatures we've had these past few days combined with our awesome solar ringshas raised our water temperature up to 80 degrees!  If we can get to 82 I won't complain that it's too cold to swim.  
Madeline and Ellie spent most of today bickering.  These girls will bicker about anything and everything.  I was mortified when Ellie started yelling at Madeline in the Carter's store this morning.  I made the situation so much better [<-insert sarcasm here] when I loudly told her that if she did it again I was going to leave her at the store and never come back.  Moms with children under age three will look at you like you're a monster when you say such things because they simply haven't had to live with two children who think they know it all.  Ellie and Madeline just looked at me with that look that says they know I can't leave them at the store.  I think they like to push me to the brink of insanity.  Only fourteen more days of school until summer vacation.  It's going to be grand!
I'm in the process of reviewing two Roomba vacuums.  I wasn't sure I was going to like them, but so far I'm loving them.  I have onecleaning the main level of the house every morning and the otheris taking care of the upstairs.  I typically vacuum the main level of the house regularly, but I hardly ever get upstairs with the vacuum.  I love that I can just press a button and have the bedroom floors taken care of.  I feel like I'm on the Jestons with these little robots cleaning the floors for me.  Best of all the girls are now picking up all the little choking hazards they like to leave on their floors because they don't want the robot to get them.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.

{pretty big mess}

I'm going through the painful process of organizing and slimming down Madeline and Ellie's outgrown clothing.  I simply can't save everything for Ellie and Katie.  The clothes were starting to take over my bedroom.  So far I've managed to reduce the clothing by about two totes.  Since the girls will be wearing uniforms come September, I've determined that we simply have way too much clothing.


Madeline loves hanging out with Katie and making her smile.  Madeline decided to sit Katie on the steps to wait for Ellie to come home from school.  To keep her happy, she made funny sounds to entertain Katie.


Katie always falls asleep in the funniest positions on her daddy.  I love how her cubby arms and legs are just draping around Bryan's belly. (Ignore my messy couch, I was busy with VBS stuff before Bryan sat in my seat with Katie who promptly fell asleep.)

Ellie is such a goofball sometimes.  She found these bunny slippers [which she outgrew years ago] in the hand me down explosion in my basement and kept posing with them for silly pictures.  Sometimes you just have to go with it.

Madeline and Ellie went in the yard on Sunday to practice some soccer skills.  Minutes later both came in the house freaking out that we had a snake in the yard.  Madeline kicked her ball at what she thought was a piece of rope only to find out that the rope was a little snake who wasn't too happy to be beaned with a ball.  Bryan and I ran out to check it out since Madeline's description had this little guy made out to be rattle snake sized.  I chased him all over the yard trying to get a few pictures of him.  I named him Snakey and now the girls keep asking if Snakey has come out from his hiding spot under the shed.  Either they're scared of him, or the cute name now has them interested in our newest backyard pet.
round button chicken

Small Successes May 24th

Celebrating the little things in life that add up.

1.  I'm almost done with VBS registration.  The deadline for registration was set for June 30th.  I only have four more spaces left in the program as of yesterday.  Last year the program wasn't full until a few days after the registration deadline.  I'm shocked at how quickly it filled up this year.  If all goes well it will be completely full before the end of May.

2.  I am getting serious about slimming down the clothes in the hand me down closet.  On Saturday I asked Bryan to carry all of the totes to the basement so I could sort them.  The girls aren't exactly thrilled that I took over the couches down there to sort through the clothes.  I discovered a few things.  I have almost no clothing for Katie in sizes 18-24 through 3.  I realized that I gave away many of my favorite outfits in those sizes, too.  On the bright side, I have more size four dresses than you can imagine.

3.  Spring soccer is officially over.  I'm going to enjoy these next few months where soccer doesn't take over any of our weekends with games.  I don't think I've mentioned it here on the blog, but the board decided that the coach we love will be the travel coach for Madeline's team starting in the fall.  We're very happy with the board's decision.  He will get the girls back on track after a terrible year with a lackluster coach.

4.  Bryan planted my tomato and basil plants in the gardens this past weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Katie Edition

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life.

Katie turned seven months old yesterday so this week's {p,h,f,r} is all about Kitty Katkins.

Don't I look like a pretty caterpillar?
Hola! Kitty Katkins is awake and ready to take on a new day!  Katie has such a sweet disposition when she wakes up in the morning or after a nap.  She always greets me with a pretty smile and bright eyes when I come to get her.  She's beginning to make sounds that sound a lot like words.  It sounds like she can say bye bye, but it's more of a "buh-bye" when she says it.  Bryan is surprised that she's not saying "hola" since I'm always saying it to her and when I narrate for her.  Yes, Bryan and I narrate for our children until they can talk for themselves.  In my narration for Katie, hola means both hello and goodbye.  It's just one of the goofy little things we do.  I asked Bryan if Katie would be considered ESL if her first words are in Spanish.  

Hola, Mommy's blog readers!

Katie is beginning to branch out into exploring ways to move.  She's perfectly content to just sit and take in her surroundings, but lately she's been working on turning herself around while sitting and at times going from sitting upright to laying on her belly.  From the looks of it, she's getting close to crawling.  You can tell she certainly wants to be able to move from place to place on her own.  When I snapped this picture I was just so excited that I once again had a little one that I could play with under the dining room table.


This goofy little one loves chewing on her toys, particularly Princess Sophie's satiny purple shoes.  Katie will happily sit for close to an hour just playing with her toys.  It absolutely fascinates me that this child will happily play by herself.  

Hola!  Ellie's hair is fun to pull.
I wonder why my sister is so fluffy.
As you can see from the two pictures above, one of Katie's favorite playthings is Ellie's hair.  Put her anywhere within arms reach of Ellie's hair and she's ready to start tugging on it.  Poor Ellie has been a good sport about it, but she prefers that Katie not yank on her hair.

Katie loves to stand.  When she gets tired of sitting she cries until we stand her up and then she's happy again.  If you put her close enough to a couch, she will start reaching for it like she wants to pull herself up.  

It's so hard to believe that seven months have flown by so quickly.  She'll be turning one before I know it!  I guess it's a good thing I'm already thinking about her party.
round button chicken

Small Successes May 17th


Celebrating the little things in life that add up.

1. Early in Advent last year I went into the basement playroom and pretty much tossed anything that wasn't put where it belonged in trash bags.  Most of it was donated within days of me picking it up, but I had a Rubbermaid tote that was filled with some items that were mostly items that I didn't want to toss or donate.  Earlier this week I finally got sick of seeing it every time I passed by it on my way into the laundry room and sorted it.  Most of it is now bagged up to be donated and a small container has the items we're keeping.  They still need to be put back where they belong, but I'm not incredibly motivated to sort it at the moment.

2.  I'm close to having all the volunteers I need for this year's VBS.  Even better, the program is nearly at max capacity.  There are about 16 spaces left before I will have to close registration.

3.  I managed to remember that I bought an outfit for Katie back in December that she can wear now.  Somehow it got mixed up with the winter clothes I bought for this up coming fall/winter.  I'm not sure how I forgot I had bought the outfit for her, but I'm glad I remembered because I'm not sure how much longer she's going to fit in 6-12 month clothes.  She's already too big for 9 month clothes and some of her 6-12 month outfits are getting snug.  I wish she'd slow down!  She's only seven months old and already she's about the same size that Madeline was at a year old.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: Douay Rheims First Communion Bible

The Douay-Rheims First Communion Bible from Saint Benedict Press is a lovely gift idea for a first communicant.  This hard cover bible is packaged in a nice box that is suitable for gift giving.  With it's gold embossing, gold page edges and ribbon marker, this bible will certainly become a treasured keepsake.

The bible contains several features that make this an excellent bible to commemorate a first holy communion.  There is a presentation page where the gift giver may record the child's name and date of first holy communion.  Then there are saint stories for Blessed Imelda and St. Tarcisius that will inspire the recipient.  There are also full color inserts that offer descriptions of all seven sacraments as well as the Mass.  Also included in these inserts is a collection of daily Catholic prayers and a section explaining the rosary and how to pray it.  I found the full color inserts, which are printed on nice thick semi-gloss pages ,to be very nicely done.   The illustrations on these pages look like beautiful stained glass windows and complement the accompanying text perfectly.  In addition to the prayers in the full color insert pages, there are for additional pages of "Beloved Prayers" to know by heart and a list of the succession of popes.

Because this is a Douay-Rheims version of the bible, young children may struggle with the style of the language.  Where as a NAB bible is more modern in terms of language, thereby making it easier to read, the Douay-Rheims translation is Elizabethan English.  That may deter some from wanting to give this to a young child, but I think children can easily become accustomed to reading this translation.  Having come from a Protestant background where the King James bible was what I read growing up, I don't see much difference in terms of the language [the translations themselves, of course, are obviously different] which leads me to believe that it's not impossible for a child to read and understand this beautiful translation.  Given the accuracy and beauty of the Douay-Rheims translation, I think it's worth giving this version to a child.

Overall, I think this First Communion Edition Bible is an excellent and fitting gift for a first communicant.  It's beautifully done and is perfect for gift giving.

I wrote this review of Douay-Rheims First Communion Bible for the Tiber River free Catholic book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.


Top Ten Ways to Ruin a Morning

I had originally intended to do a top ten post on gardening, but after this morning I decided that a top ten on ways to ruin a morning would be more appropriate.  Unfortunately the events chronicled in this post were the bits and pieces that made up this morning.  On the bright side, I'm looking forward to an awesome afternoon.  The day simply has to improve.

1. Spend approximately two minutes fumbling for the alarm remote that your husband has decided to hide under his pillow all while listening to the grating sound of the alarm clock.

2. Greet happy baby with explosive poopy diaper.  Happy baby is good, explosive poopy diaper not so much.  Take a moment and wonder how someone with such a messy diaper can be so happy.

3. Walk into kitchen to find ten year old decked out in what we will now refer to as middle school fashion.  Sorry, but in mid-May a dark denim mini-skirt (Did I seriously buy that for her?  It had to have been a good two to three inches longer on her when I bought it a year or two ago.), peach top (the top was actually quite nice) and black patent leather sling back dress shoes do not make an appropriate outfit for the school band and chorus concert unless you want a bunch of adolescent boys looking up your skirt.

4. Help ten year old find an appropriate outfit while she laments that she doesn't have anything good to wear.  You've only been up for seven minutes at this point so pace yourself and take a moment to thank God that both of your school aged children will be attending Catholic school next year.  My children aren't wearing uniforms yet and already I am grateful that these morning battles over clothes will not exist next year.  Praise God!

5.  Rouse grumpy seven year old* and inform her that she needs to get up and eat breakfast.   Spend the next ten minutes reminding her to eat and drink.

6. Discover that your seven year old* has decided not to wet or wash all of her hair in the shower.  Send her back to wash her hair only to have her return wearing a now soaked shirt and hair that still smells and is partially dry.  Accept the fact that there is not enough time for her to take a third shower and arrive at school on time.  Opt to send said child to school as the smelly child for the day.

7.  Choose to wear sandals on a rainy day in 65 degree weather, because it's 65.

8.  Arrive at first store on the list of errands just as a massive downpour begins.  Promptly step in large puddle wearing sandals that you brilliantly chose because it was 65.  Never mind that it was raining.  It's OK.  Don't most people like to run errands in soaked shoes?  No?  Oh.

9.  Buy cute pajamas for the baby, go back out in the pouring rain to get to the car.  Wait until you are at the gas station to discover that the pajama pants never made it into the bag.  Call the store while baby screams in the background, explain the situation and be told the pants are not there.  Search van and find nothing but trash the kids claimed they threw away.  Call unsympathetic husband.

10. Go back to the store in the pouring rain, exchange pajamas for a complete set.  Marvel that the rain has let up upon exiting the store.  Change baby's diaper, place screaming, cranky, tired baby in car seat and discover that it is now 10:45.  Sigh audibly and realize that the rest of the errands on the list are not going to happen until the sun comes out.

*Oh, dear me!  I must be losing it!  Ellie isn't seven yet.  I guess after celebrating a birthday for me on Friday I tacked another year onto Ellie's age.  How funny is that?  In my defense, if you can defend being a mother and forgetting your child's age, Ellie will actually turn seven in less than two months.  So I suppose I was close.  Feel free to laugh at my total lack of brain function today.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Quick Takes Volume 36

Today is my dad's 75th birthday.  To torture me on my birthday celebrate we're all going down to the beach later today to take an awkward family photo a family picture.  Then we're heading over to my brother's house for dinner and cake.
Today is my 34th birthday.  Dad and I share a birthday, so that usually means that my mom dictates what I'm doing on my birthday.  A few days ago mom called to ask what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday.  I said I wanted a cookie cake.  That idea was promptly shut down because she didn't want one. I'll be blowing out the candles of a chocolate cake tonight.   I'll make myself that cookie cake I've been thinking about for a few weeks for Mother's Day.
I told Bryan that next year I want to go away for my birthday/Mother's Day weekend. The goal for my 35th birthday is to eat what I want (diner plans for tonight are not of my choosing), go where I want and simply enjoy the day with my husband and children.
I ordered my birthday/Mother's Day present this morning.  Bryan gave me a very odd dollar amount to spend on myself down to 98 cents (he factored in the cost of the greeting cards he's not buying that I really don't want).  I'm looking forward to shooting pictures with my new camera lens.
I've been tearing up the house looking for my favorite blue shirt.  It has disappeared and St. Anthony is once again toying with me and making me wait forever before he'll help me find it.  With stupid things he's right on it and I find the lost item within minutes.  But when it's something I'm a bit more attached to it can take weeks, months or years before the item will turn up.  So I'll have to wear another blue shirt for the family picture today.  Sigh.

When I was going through my drawers the other day I came across this picture from my 4th birthday.
Bryan, Katie and I went out for a nice lunch to celebrate my birthday.  It was a nice change from our usual take out lunches on Fridays.

Head on over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Story of Two Baths

Bathing babies is high on my list of things I'd rather not do.  Up until Katie was able to sit up on her own I did my best to avoid bathing her at all.  I'd ask Bryan to do it while pretending it was his turn.  A few months into this little ruse Bryan asked when I last bathed her.  He wasn't happy to hear that it had been more than a few days.  Of my three kids, Katie has been the toughest baby to wash for some unknown reason.

Now that she sits up very nicely, I don't mind washing her all that much.  I've got a convenient little set up going with the garden tub in my bathroom.  Katie's happy with her kiddie pool sized bath, Bryan's happy that I'm not hitting him up to wash the baby, and I'm happy that I'm not getting saturated like I was when she was in the baby tub.

This morning I was determined to get her washed as soon as we came home from dropping Ellie off at school.  My plan was to get it done and out of the way so I wouldn't have to wash her on my birthday tomorrow.  Everything went swimmingly and I spent the better portion of the day quite pleased with myself and my sweet smelling baby.

A hectic afternoon of running here and there to pick the girls up from school put an end to that nice smelling baby.  Katie napped while I spent about 45 minutes doing kid retrieval.  In that short amount of time she decided to do some multitasking.  Pooping while buckled into a car seat is apparently a recipe for  for a huge mess which ultimately required a second bath less than seven hours after the first.

I was blindsided by the mess.   I changed Katie in the family room and discovered as I was wiping her that we had one of those up the back messes.  At that point I realized that I needed to run her upstairs for a bath.  I sent Madeline outside to toss the diaper, and explicitly told Ellie to keep the dog out of the family room.  I suspected that he would be very interested in the poopy clothes.

In my haste, I placed Katie in the tub and then started the water.  As soon as the cold water hit her she freaked out and looked at me like I had lost my mind.  So I placed the wet baby on the floor and brought the water to a reasonable temperature.  The bath went well after that.

Once we got back downstairs, Ellie proudly tells me that she's keeping the dog away from the clothes.  This statement is quickly followed up by her telling me that she wasn't watching the dog at first, but decided to do so after he had licked Katie's poo-covered onesie a bit.  Eww!  This is precisely why the dog is not allowed to lick us. Ick!

It's amazing how quickly an afternoon can descend into chaos.  On the bright side, I still managed to get Madeline's dinner together in enough time for her to eat and get to her soccer tryout on time.  It's amazing what you can get done with under an hour of turnaround time.

An ATC Swap for Mary

Kimberlee at Pondered in My Heart is once again graciously hosting another Marian ATC swap.  We missed out on both ATC swaps she hosted last year between me being pregnant and then subsequently having a newborn in the house.  Ellie was really disappointed that we didn't get to join in last year.

Over the past week or so Ellie has been running around with a little note pad sketching her ideas for a Mary card swap, and asking me several times a day if the family that hosted it before would be doing so again.  She's going to be one happy girl when she gets home from school today and finds out she can start designing her cards!

These little cards are only 2x3 inches so they're not intimidating pieces of artwork.  I'm no great artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I still manage to come up with five cards that look like they were drawn by a five year old.  What can I say, I have to work with what I've got.

Why not draw a few little cards to honor our Blessed Mother and join in on all the fun.  Not only do my girls love to get cards in the mail, they also like to see if they can find their artwork on other blogs and see who drew the cards they receive.  It's a lot of fun.  

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Capturing the context of contentment in every day life...


This past Sunday was my last religious education class of the school year.  One of the sweet little boys in my class gave me these pretty flowers.  The lilly just bloomed today.  

On Monday Ellie came home from school with this adorable picture she drew for me of the Blessed Mother.  I think it goes without saying that Ellie doesn't check her faith at the door when she enters the public school.


I've been a bit busy this week with organizing things around the house and working on things for vacation bible school.   I was pleasantly surprised to see that my african violet had really blossomed.  Look at all of those happy little flowers.


This little one makes me laugh when she tries to scoot herself around on the kitchen floor.

Sometimes I think Katie is tired of seeing that big black thing in front of Mommy's face and so she decides that she'll just make funny faces at the camera instead of smiling.


Katie finally showed me that she can roll over from her back to her belly.

My kitchen is a real mess.  Bryan and I got some of it cleaned after I took this picture.  I will have to take care of the rest of it in the morning once the girls are off to school.  This is what happens on days where we have an after school activity followed by a band concert for school.  Aren't the daisies on my  kitchen table pretty?  Another sweet boy from my kindergarten class gave them to me on Sunday.
round button chicken
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