Thursday, December 29, 2011

Packed Out

So, what had been estimated to take three days only took one. Our house is completely packed. The crew was very fast and claimed they never have to return for a second day of packing. It seemed they did a good job, too, although we shall see once our goods arrive in Utah for unpacking.

We tried to set things aside we thought we really needed. It's funny how little we actually need, but also how much we could really use. I told Wingnut, as I tried to wrangle some kind of breakfast this morning, that I feel squatters camping out in our home. LOL!

Today, Wingnut is finishing some painting and I'm keeping the kids out of the way. Tomorrow the movers come to load. Things continue toove right along. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Do You Say Goodbye?

This has been a very difficult month.  We have had quite a few lasts; last CCD classes, last ballet classes, last co-op class, last Oritory with the nuns, last parties.  I'm not good at lasts.  Most of these were lasts for my children and I was the one that got choked up over saying goodbye. I'm a cryer and having to say goodbye breaks my heart.

How do you say goodbye to those who have shared in your very personal and often private tribulations and triumphs?  These dear friends have been with us through losses and additions.  They have been with us through pregnancies, births, baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations. At some point, friends become family.  How do you say goodbye to family you know you may never see again?  Let's not kid ourselves, Utah is a world away, and as much as our friends here love us, coming that far to visit is just not a reality.

I hope each and every one of our "family" here knows how much we love them; how much we've appreciated their friendship; how much we will miss them.  May God Bless each and everyone of our dear friends here in Maryland.

Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again.  ~William Shakespeare

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The movers come tomorrow!  Where did the time go?  Saint Anne, pray for us! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 23, 2011

Subdued Preparations

With the impending move just days after Christmas, our Advent and preparations for Christmas have been, to say the least, very subdued.  You know what?  I've been fine with that.  In fact, this has probably been the least stressful Advent I've ever had since becoming a mother 19 years ago.

We did not deck the halls and we didn't get a Christmas tree.  It just didn't make sense decorating for Christmas and then having to pull it all down 2 days later so the movers can pack us out.  We set up the nativity and hung our stockings.  Saint Nicholas visited on his feast day and we had Mexican fare on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That has been the sum of our celebrations.  We've quietly observed Advent and believe it or not we are nearly ready for Christmas to arrive.  Even with the stress of the move, it has been a very peaceful 4 weeks.

I'm hoping I recall this sense of peace next year. While I'd like to do more to observe Advent next year, I need to remember sometimes less is more. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It never ceases to fail, on mornings we manage to get the trash and recycling out to the curb before 7:30 am, the collectors do not come until the late afternoon.  This leaves our trash to the mercy of the monsterous turkey vultures, who then strew our garbage across the neighborhood.  Of course, this morning I awoke to the unmistakable sounds of the trash men coming down the street before 7:30.  Wouldn't you know it, Wingnut and my biggest helper are out of town for a basketball game, and we certainly couldn't expect my teenagers to stir.  I threw on a jacket and with Lil' Lamb on one arm, we dragged both cans and the recycling to the curb just in the nick of time, in such a comical fashion I'm sure we provided some wonderful morning entertainment for the neighbors. I really do believe the refuse industry is in a conspiracy against me. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, December 15, 2011

{P,H,F,R} 12/15

round button chicken


Our pretty ballerina pensively stretching before class.

She has a pretty little ballet foot, just like her ballerina sisters before her.


Happy little feet peeking out from beneath the drapes.

Peek . . . 



Our lil' one is a stair climber.  We've tried (without much success) to keep him from climbing the stairs.  He's already had several tumbles down our smaller flights of stairs (three stairs).  He is none too happy about the new blockade in front of the main stairway.


This was our last visit at the Aspirancy.  It may be four years before we get to visit again. Oleander will get to visit us several times a year, but it was so comforting knowing we could just pick up and visit every other weekend if we wished.  It was a real reminder that our sweet Oleander will be leading a very separate life from us.  I'm not liking this reality at all! :(

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No Magic Formula

Don't get me wrong, we love, love, love Lil' Lamb.  He's cute, chubby, and funny.  He's also a handful!  He's into everything, especially trouble. We spend most of his waking hours chasing after him, protecting him from falling down stairs and sweeping his mouth for choking hazards.  Yesterday alone, we swept his mouth for a bead, a lego, a nerf dart tip, and a raw carrot.  He has us on constant alert.

He's also a horrible sleeper; one of my worst.  I can't seem to figure out his schedule.  He does have a definite morning alarm clock that goes off at 7:00 am every day, but I have no idea when he will nap, or for how long.  We also can't seem to figure out what time he will go down for the night, and when he finally does settle down, it's never for long.  He tosses and turns, kicks and scratches all night long.  I've probably had only a handful of good night's rest since before my second trimester with him.  I'm too old for this.

I thought I had this baby thing all figured out with Lil' Wingnut.  I exclusively breastfed, practiced attachment parenting, took a nap with him every day, and we shared a family bed at night.  He was the best little sleeper and always happy and content.  I always knew what time he'd take a nap and for how long.  His bedtime was very consistent every night and he slept mostly peacefully through it. After six kids I believed I had finally found the magic formula for nurturing a happy baby.

Lil' Lamb is God's little reminder that each and every one of us is a precious and unique human being.  There isn't a formula for the perfect baby, child, teenager, or adult.  Each one of us needs to be loved for who we are as individuals.

And off he goes.  My ramblings will have to stop here for now. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 12, 2011

Move Update

Things are moving right along.  Wingnut will have his "Fini-flight" this week and his distinguished Air Force career will come to its close.  We are hoping to skip the traditional retirement ceremony in favor of a nice luncheon with little to no fanfare.  Wingnut's service was never about the recognition and a big ceremony would be completely out of character for him.

We close on our home in Utah on the 28th of December and the military has scheduled the movers to pack us out beginning December 28th through the 30th.  We'll clean and finish up around here on the 31st and hope to be on the road on the 1st of January.  4 long days on the road with Lil' Lamb trapped in a carseat is NOT something I am looking forward to.  It will be a relief to spend a couple days in Colorado with dear friends and decompress before pressing on to Utah.

A nice family came to look at our home yesterday and they have decided it is perfect for them and have put in the application to rent.  They are willing to do some of the work on the house themselves and if all works out, they may buy the house in the future.  Saint Joseph has interceded for us, big time! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 9, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Back by popular demand:  Dominic Makes Me Angry

We actually know Dominic and he has friends with very wicked senses of humor who write almost daily posts venting their frustrations regarding Dominic ;)

Check it out for a laugh, but beware, some humor is a touch ribald and not for children. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, December 8, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 12/8

round button chicken


My mother-in-law gave us a lovely telephoto lens for Christmas.  I'm learning to use it.  I love how bright and cheery the holly bushes look this time of year with their festive red berries.


 We had some lovely warm days this week.  Lil' Lamb loves to be outside.  In fact, nothing makes him happier than a nice walk to the park and a little push in the swings.  Can't you tell by that face? LOL!


Wingnut was demonstrating one-armed pull-ups to the children at the park.  Special K climbed right up to the monkey bars and showed her daddy that she is the one-armed pull-up queen!


I used to resist the whole breakfast for dinner idea until Wingnut won me over.  It's now one of my favorite goto-dinner-in-a-pinch meals.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lil' Lamb at 10 Months

Lil' Lamb turned 10 months on Sunday.  One of the reasons I cannot blog as often as I'd like is I don't get much computer time because I'm constantly chasing the curious guy around.  He's never satisfied staying in one place and will wriggle off my lap and crawl away within seconds. He loves to climb stairs, get into cupboards, and pull things off the tables.  He's a handful, but we are having so much fun watching his active little mind and active little body motoring all over the house.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Feast of Saint Nicholas

In our attempt to keep Christ in Christmas, we have implemented several strategies that help us tone down the frenzy by spreading out the celebration and gift giving throughout the season.  Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas.   Below you will find a post I wrote for a series entitled: 

How to Make Advent More Like Advent and Less Like Christmas 

Celebrating Advent Saints

Some of our family's favorite Saints' feast days fall during Advent.  I am not always on top of celebrating Saint's feast days during the rest of the year but I'm pretty good about it during Advent.

December 6

Our children hang their stockings the night before December 6th, in anticipation of a visit from Saint Nicholas who will leave trinkets and treats in their stockings if they've been good little children all year.  Santa does not visit our house on Christmas Eve, but Saint Nicholas visits on his Feast day instead. Celebrating this feast has helped take much of the focus off gifts on Christmas.

December 8

Catholics take a break from the stress and press of the commercial Christmas season and head to Mass on this Holy Day of obligation.  This is a beautiful Church feast celebrating the conception of the Blessed Virgin.  

December 12

Our family has a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We have a lovely "pilgrim" image given to us by our friends from our time in Oklahoma.  This is another beautiful Marian feast. In the Southwest there are often elaborate celebrations with plays, Southwest American Indian costume and dance; all culminating in a special celebration of the Mass in honor of Our Lady. One website I came across suggested serving Mexican food in honor of this feast.  Hopefully we'll be able to do that one year.  This year we will be at a Nutcracker performance and I won't be able to make Mexican food, but I'm sure we'll celebrate this wonderful feast in other ways.

December 13

My family is of Scandinavian descent and my girls are fascinated with this feast day. They have all dreamed of getting up early, dressing in a white dress with red ribbons and a wreath candelabrum, while serving the rest of the family breakfast in bed.  Somehow this plan falls flat with the getting up early part.  I think I recall Karate Kid helping her younger sisters do this one year, but none of us really likes to get up that early.  Instead, this is the night we have breakfast for dinner to celebrate Saint Lucy.  Nothing is better than pancakes, sausage, bacon and orange juice for dinner.

Does your family have favorite Advent Saints? What traditions do you use to celebrate? We are always looking for more ways to celebrate the Saints in our home.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

iPad Dreaming

Wingnut was on his way out the door to take the girls to the Apple Store.  Skoshi A needed a new charging cord for her iPod and the girls wanted to buy an iPod for one of the needy children from our parish Angel Tree for Christmas.  Lil' Wingnut decided he would like to go along, because Daddy usually makes a stop at our favorite little coffee shop on trips to the Apple Store, which means Lil' Wingnut could possibly score a treat if he went along.

As he was putting on his shoes, the little guy dreamed aloud of the iPad his Daddy should buy him at the Apple Store.  I put a stop to that by letting him know the only iPad he would be getting would be one he bought himself.  At $500+ it really is just a pipe dream for a 5 year old who's monthly allowance is only $5-10 a month, depending on how well he does his assigned chores.  Lil' Wingnut was convinced he had enough money in his piggy bank to purchase an iPad.

"I've got 50 cents!" He exclaimed.

"You'd need 1000 of those 50 cents to have enough for an iPad", Wingnut explained.

"I've got 1000 of those!"

"No, you don't," I said, "You don't have anything close to that amount.  Why don't you come here and I can show you exactly how much you have in your savings account."

I showed him the money I'd put into savings, months and months of allowance built up to $245.

"See, you only have enough for half and iPad," I told him.

"Ok, I'll just get half an iPad!" He declared happily.

For now, I'm thankful Apple doesn't sell half an iPad.  When he has finally saved enough for that elusive object du jour we'll have to resort to the old fashioned, "No, you aren't buying that."

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} December 1, 2011

round button chicken


 I managed to capture some great photos of the kids while shooting for our Christmas card.  I don't blog very much about Karate Kid, but this photo was so stunningly pretty of her, I had to post it.


This happy little guy just makes me smile.  You've got to love that hair!


Lil' Wingnut is such a little ham for the camera.


This is the reality for our mobile and very curious Lil' Lamb.  Life behind bars :(
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