Monday, December 31, 2012

Rescue Mission

Today's project was to rescue jeans with holes in the knees.  Having seven kids can get expensive when it comes to clothing them, so my kids do wear jeans with patches.  They don't mind. For the fraction of the cost of a new pair of jeans they can have a super cool looking old pair decorated with patches.  I picked up a pack of assorted patches at Michael's for about $5 and they had a grand time choosing appliqu├ęs to accessorize their damaged pants.

Two pairs for Special K.  Cute, no?

And two pairs for Wingnut Jr.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

The Hobbit: Movie Review

My family has been so excited for this movie to come out.  Our children went to see it and loved it, so it was with great anticipation Wingnut and I went on Monday evening.  Unfortunately we were both sorely disappointed.  Wingnut, so much so, he likely will not see the next two installments.  He's definitely more of a purist than I am, and I would like to believe the films can be redeemed in the end.  We shall see.

Let's begin with what I loved about the film, as it wasn't all bad.  The film is very well cast, especially the roles of Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield.  Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage as Thorin, both did formidably well bringing their characters to life and I'm looking forward to seeing them develop in the future films.  I love that Peter Jackson is once again on board.  His vision of Middle Earth is glorious and it was a joy to have that consistency between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Howard Shore is also back scoring the music which means the familiar themes we came to love in the trilogy as well as new themes, especially for the dwarves.  I'm enjoying the build up to the final introduction of Smaug the Dragon.  His full appearance is scheduled for the second film, I believe--thus the sub-title The Desolation of Smaug.  I was also impressed with the use of many of the back story elements one might find in the appendices--including scenes regarding the Necromancer, Radagast, and the White Council.

Unfortunately there were some very glaring missteps that we felt ruined the movie.  The CGI did not work at all, especially for the goblins.  In the original trilogy many of the orcs and goblins were played by actors and were not completely enhanced by CGI which made them more real and much more frightening.  The overuse of CGI characters in The Hobbit left too much of the characterization flat and comical.  I completely hated the added back story of Azog the Defiler and his company of orcs and wargs who are on the hunt for Thorin through much of the film.   I don't mind a little tweaking of plot now and again, but this was so over the top and so unneeded.  The Hobbit is a lovely tale without all the extraneous, overly-violent battles that weren't part of the story to begin with. Along the same line, why are the wargs more like service animals to the orcs rather than the independently acting wargs of the books who have an evil alliance with the goblins and who accidentally stumble upon Thorin's company? My final beef with this movie was the prolonged battle and escape from the goblins of the Misty Mountains.  It felt like a video game and I am NOT a video game fan.

I still wait in expectant anticipation for the rest of this trilogy.  I so want a successful rendering of this beloved book.  Have you seen the film?  What were your impressions? Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It was always a tradition in my family to make lefse in the days leading up to Christmas.  Lefse is a Scandinavian flatbread made from riced potatoes.  When rolled out it is very similar to a tortilla in appearance and we use it very much like a tortilla to hold roast pork, butter, cinnamon and sugar, and honey.  My favorite combination of filling is the roast pork and honey with plenty of real butter.  Since beginning our family, Wingnut and I have carried on the tradition and our children very much look forward to lefse day.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Cutting Our Losses

My girls are home, hooray!  Oleander flew in last night.  We are all under one roof for the first time since the beginning of August.

With Lil' Lamb having the flu, and Wingnut chomping at the bit to get the kids out on the slopes, we have suspended school a couple days early.  It's quite alright.  We were ahead in most subjects anyway so rather than sweat it, we cut our loses and threw in the towel for a little more than two weeks.  I could feel the tension and stress drain away the moment I made the decision.

I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be doing the next couple weeks.  I may just take a blogging break and enjoy my family.  I may pop in from time to time to post photos.  In the meantime, I hope everyone has a very blessed, holy, and happy Christmas! Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just Trying to Get By

Lil' Lamb is still struggling with a stomach bug.  Diaper changes have finally decreased in frequency and he's eating some real food again (not that he ever eats that much "real" food to begin with).  His poor little bum is raw and sore.  This child that usually fights tooth and nail every. single. ding. dang. diaper. change. has begun begging for a diaper change before the explosive episode.  It is breaking my heart.  He is even begging for Tea Tree Oil, which is what I use to treat his raw bum.  It must really sooth the pain, because he cries until the ointment hits the spot.

So far, no one else seems to have caught the bug.  I'm praying no one does.  It's tough having illness in the house.  In order to get by there has been way too much video consumption.  I keep telling myself it's only temporary. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 17, 2012

Because There is Sickness in the House Today. . .

Lil' Lamb began projectile vomiting yesterday just after Wingnut dropped our older children off at the theater to see The Hobbit.  Unfortunately, Wingnut was on his way to fly so 3 hours later a towel swaddled sick toddler was strapped into the van to pick up his older siblings once the movie let out.  There wasn't much else I could do except to pray and hope the little guy made it there and back without throwing up in the van.  He didn't make it, but thankfully the strategically placed towels caught it.

We haven't done much school today.  Lil' Lamb is still struggling with nausea and other stomach related stuff and he is not a peacefully sick type kiddo.  I'm not feeling too well myself.  Hopefully this bug travels through the family quickly--if it must travel through at all.

In the meantime, check out this beautifully written post by Rebecca Frech, especially if you are a homeschool mom and ever feel overwhelmed.  It really hit home today.  If nothing else, at least we prayed with our kids today! Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Virtual Open House

aka the Mom is hosting a virtual open house so that we can take a gander at festive decor from around the web.  Normally, we don't do much decorating until Gaudete Sunday, but as I mentioned in a previous post we brought home our Christmas tree quite early in December and I went ahead and let the kids have at it.  Funny, when I began photographing, I realized we really don't do much in the way of Christmas decor to begin with.  It's quite alright.  The decorations we have I love and it would not feel all that Christmasy without them.

I discovered this wreath idea on Pinterest.  I bought the cookie cutters and ribbon for half price at Michael's.  The pair cost just under $20.

Wingnut bought our pewter nativity in Korea.  As you can see, baby Jesus is missing.  We'll find him on Christmas morn and lay him in his manger.  It's one of the children's favorite traditions.

Our big beautiful tree.  It smells luscious and is every bit as bushy as it appears.  Unfortunately we haven't been able to find a topper branch for our star, so we are starless this year.

My cornhusk angels join Special K's lovely Lennox nativity lumiere.

The girls adopted this lovely little fir as their own and made bird treats to hang upon it.  I love this idea and think we'll add it as part of our traditional decor.

We have a few more little knick-knacks that I haven't photographed and the two Christmas quilts my mom has made haven't found homes in the decor just yet.  As we continue to settle in our Utah home, I'm sure the decorating will expand until I feel it is just right.

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Please remember my friend Joyce in your prayers.  She has been battling a recurrent battle with cancer .  She left for Lourdes yesterday morning with the help of a friend who managed airline tickets for them both to and from Paris.  Joyce is the devoted mother of nine lovely children, one of whom is studying for the priesthood in Rome.  Her youngest is 5 years old and only remembers his mommy as being ill.  She and her family are lovely witnesses to the faith and are filled with hope.  It certainly makes our problems look insignificant in comparison.

We are asking for complete healing, of course, a nd what a wonderful witness that would be to her oncologist who is a lapsed Catholic.  Joyce is also seeking spiritual healing and all the graces that might come with it.  God's Will be done! Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


What is it they say about bad things coming in threes?  I'm really hoping that idiom is false!  Last week our tenants gave notice, but it wasn't a big deal as it appeared they had found replacements for us.  Unfortunately, the prospective tenants fell through.  His employment is not very stable and they are playing it safe and staying put until his position becomes officially permanent.  I certainly can't blame them!

You've got to love when financial burdens fall at Christmas time!  Oh well, we are hopeful everything will stabilize.  We are praying a novena to Saint Joseph.  We are hoping to sell the house this time around, but we'll take good tenants if that is God's Will. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lil' Lamb 22 Months

The quality of this photo is not the best, but I just had to capture Lil' Lamb's favorite spot in the house.  He loves to hide under the table, especially when we are trying to get him dressed.  At times he will sit and play under the table, singing to himself or calling out to us.  His personality is really emerging.  Most of the time he is quite cute, and he knows it. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 10, 2012

Photo Featured

Just tooting my own horn again today.  My photo was featured on the MCP Actions blog on Saturday for their weekly photo challenge.  The theme was favorite Christmas decor.  These are my corn husk angels.  They were given to me by a lovely neighbor lady when I was a little girl.  To me, my halls are not decked until my angels have found their spot.  My children have come to love these little angels too, making them our family's favorite decorations. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 7, 2012

Will We Survive our Teenagers?

I mentioned yesterday was a rough one.  We received one of those phone calls.  You know the calls that are too early to be anything but a wrong number or bad news.  It was the JayP.  He lost control of the car and skidded off the road into a hillside in the canyon on the way to school.  The car was nearly, if not completely, totaled.  Thank God the boy was completely unscathed.  I credit his guardian angel and the intercession of Saint Joseph.

Many of our dear friends with larger families do not give their children cars to drive, nor provide their insurance or gas.  We've just not been able to do that. Having spare drivers in the family has been a great convenience and living as we do in the country, the JayP did not get a job this last summer as I didn't want to be stuck driving him 40 miles or more roundtrip to and from work.  We did that all last winter for him to go to school.  So, out of convenience, we have provided our teens with a family car, insurance and fuel once they have their license.

This great privilege does not come without strict guidelines.  They have to act responsibly and wisely when driving. We have told our teens that if they receive a speeding ticket, they are grounded from driving anywhere other than school or work.  We have also told them a single accident will result in complete revocation of driving privileges.  We cannot afford an increase in our insurance premiums and we cannot afford to pay a $1000 deductible every time one of our vehicles is wrecked.

What this means then is the JayP now owes us $1000.  He is banned from driving until he can buy his own car and pay his own insurance.  He will have to get a job, and unfortunately that means we will be providing transportation to and from said job.  The poor guy is really in the hole right now.

This also means we are shackled to his schedule and will be driving him to and from school for the rest of the year.  Once I had recovered from the worry of the accident itself I found myself completely ticked off at the boy.  Is he trying to kill me?  He's certainly driving us to the poor house.  Ugh.  Good for him he was in school all day yesterday giving us time to cool off and let go of the anger.  Good thing for him too, it seems he actually gets most of the gravity of his and our situation.  He mentioned he needs to find a job fairly close to home.  Hopefully one can be found.

Thank God for protecting our son.  It really could have been so much worse. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catholic Funnies

Phew, had a rough day today.  I'll write about it tomorrow.  For now I need to laugh.  Have you seen  Go there now and tell me if you don't find something that makes you guffaw out loud.  The following meme made me choke, especially since it relates to my last post.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Fail

Not even a full two days into Advent and I've already failed miserably.  This year we do not have an Advent wreath.  I forgot to order candles and apparently Mormons do not celebrate Advent as there isn't a purple nor rose colored candle in any local Michael's, Target, or Walmart to be found.  No matter, we found our pewter Advent wreath in pieces while unpacking our traditional decorations.  I guess there is always next year.

Wingnut talked me into getting our tree from our parish's Knights of Columbus.  The trees were delivered on Saturday.  I let the kids decorate the tree yesterday.  We haven't decorated a tree before Gaudete Sunday since our conversion years ago.  Lil' Lamb and the cat are tearing the thing apart with abandon.

The girls want to be bakers.  I've allowed them to bake Christmas cookies; a different recipe each night for the last three nights.  We usually reserve Christmas baking for the week before Christmas.  We'll see  if they can keep it up for 25 days.

I'm breaking many of our Advent traditions, and I'm completely ok with that.  I'm sure there isn't any harm in observing Advent with joyful anticipation, imbibing in some of the fun usually reserved for Christmas.

May you have a lovely, prayerful Advent. Print Friendly and PDF