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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sorry!

I'll try to post soon :) I miss you guys!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ahoy Maties!

We have been having a lot of fun on vacation!! Nana and Gramps (Phil's parents) took John-Paul, Andrew, and Eamon to a Pirate Adventure yesterday. They had a blast!

They learned how to speak "pirate", shot the bad pirate with a water canon, and got their faces painted and tattoos on their arms. They also learned that if you see a mermaid, you have to cover one eye or else you might fall in love and try to jump in the ocean to be with her ;) The Captain of the boat even found a buried treasure chest that they pulled up and distributed amongst the kids on board.

While the boys were being entertained, Phil and I took Maggie on a walk and then my friend Karen came over with her two cutie pies. I met Karen when she lived temporarily in my town a few years ago. She now lives far, far away in PA :( So it was so nice to hang out and catch up.

Enjoy the pictures of the Pirate Adventure!!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gratituesday: June 23rd

Today I am thankful for vacations, friends with pools and trampolines, and family time!




Monday, June 22, 2009

The Stella Awards

The Stella Awards® were inspired by Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages. Ever since, the name "Stella Award" has been applied to any wild, outrageous, or ridiculous lawsuits.

7TH PLACE :
Kathleen Robertson of Austin , Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store.
The store owners were understandably
surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.
6TH PLACE :
Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord.
Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

5TH PLACE :
Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania , was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage.
Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get
the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut.
Forced to live for eight, count 'em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the home owner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish.
Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.
4TH PLACE :
Jerry Williams, of Little Rock , Arkansas , garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard.
Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite since Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

3RD PLACE :
Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone.
The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
2ND PLACE :
Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth.
Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying
the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.
1ST PLACE :
This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma , who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home.
On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway,
crashed and overturned.
Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set . The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home.
Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.
All I can say is....WOW!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In their own words

Happy Father's Day Daddy!!! We love our Dad the best because:



John-Paul: "He's funny and also because he has a bit more money than you. Because he teaches about God."


Andrew: " He has hard work to do and because he loves me and because he's not bad."


Eamon: "Babar (he means when you brought him to the library and got the Babar DVD) and he's a tickle monster!"




Maggie: "I know no...in da car...a la la la la"



Thanks for all you do for me and our children. We love you the mostest :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hi Lo: June 19th


HI's:
1) Fr. Dave (Maggie's godfather) who has been studying in Rome, has returned to the USA! We are so excited to have him around for the summer, and we get to see him soon :)


2) OK, since I've been trying to eat better/less and increase the exercise more (over the past 6 weeks or so), I have lost about 12 pounds!


3) We are going away next week to visit my in laws while our house is being painted. We are planning on doing lots of fun things with the kids: DC Zoo, sleeping over their cousins house, swimming in the neighbor's pool, a Pirate adventure, a Discovery museum, etc. They will have lots of fun, and it will be so exciting to come back to a brand new house :)

4) At the beginning of every school year, we join the 35 Week Club...and we just got a check in the mail that we won the big prize: $500!! Wow, God is so good (and super cool)! That money will help paint our house :)



LO's:

1) Speaking of painting, we have been rethinking the paint colors, and it has me so stressed out. The painters need our answer today, you all will have to wait for the finished product!
What were your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Award


Liz at Sugarplum Creations sent this award my way. I am sooooo bad about receiving and passing on awards, but I do truly appreciate it when people think of me. Thanks Liz!!!

To accept this award, I must list 7 personality traits about myself and I must pass this award onto 7 other blogs that deserve such fine recognition for the personalities that they share with the blogging world.

Seven Personality Traits about Moi:

1) I am a very sensitive person. If people are whispering/laughing around me, I assume they are making fun of me. I get my feelings hurt very easily. I guess it's an insecure girl thing.

2) Because of my own sensitivity, I try to be very aware of how others are feeling. I am empathetic to their struggles, and rejoice in their happiness. I can always see the other person's point of view and I'll fight for the underdog.

3) I am an open book. I am not a private person, and once you are in my circle of trust, I will talk to you about anything. This can lead to many awkward moments :)

4) I used to be such a shy kid, and have tried so hard to overcome this. I am still generally shy by nature, but have realized people think I'm snobby if I'm not outwardly friendly, so I have made some improvements in this area.

5) I am extremely competitive! Anything you can do, I can do better (just kidding!). I am actually the most competitive with myself, always trying to work faster, harder, and better than the last time. This has been good (always been top of my class) and bad (I'm hard on myself).

6) I think and act fast. I make impulse decisions and purchases (much to my hubby's chagrin), and always want things to happen yesterday. If I get something in my head (a new car, a project)...you better get out of my way :)

7) I am a Mama Bear since having kids. Don't even think of messing with them, or I'll be messing with your face ;) I'm protective of my precious family unit and want to keep them all safe, happy, and secure.

I pass this award on to:

1) Laura at Life is an Adventure

2) Jen at Harried Mom of Four

3) Aubrey at Laughing All the Way

4) Modern Mom at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

5) Annie at Oh Baby!

6) Busy Bee Suz at Day by Day

7) Sarah at With a Hopeful Heart

(And everyone else who wants to play....I don't like being limited to only 7)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Way Back When-sday: June 17th

This picture is from November 2006.
Eamon was 2 months old, Andrew was 2, and John-Paul was almost 4.
I used to love to dress them alike (who am I kidding, I still love to do that!).
When I was pregnant with Eamon, and we found out he was a boy, I was honestly a little disappointed (just for a split second). Another boy??? But this brotherly love makes my heart melt. There is something so endearing about little boys, and I'm so glad God has blessed me with three amazing little men :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gratituesday: June 16th


Today I am thankful for places that offer family fun for free (what a great use of alliteration that was!)


The National Park System is offering free entrance into 100 parks across the country the weekends of June 20-21, July 18-19 and August 15-16.


Here's the link to check out which parks are near you :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Race Day (sort of)

Today I ran in my town's annual 10K race!
(Well, the race is actually next Sunday, but we won't be around, so I decided to run the race route today instead.)
And even though it wasn't my fastest time, I came in FIRST place!
(I also came in last place, but let's focus on the positives, shall we?)
There were a lot of spectators watching and waving.
(Or maybe they were just doing yard work and swatting away flies?)
All traffic stopped to allow me to safely cross the streets.
(Well, they did come to a stop eventually after I waited a while and then decided to make a mad dash for it.)
I even got some high fives!
(From the overgrowth of bushes that kept whacking me in the face.)
All in all, it was a great race and I'm proud to have run it.
(Maybe next year, more people will join me!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

John-Paul Graduates from Kindergarten

On Wednesday night, J-P's Kindergarten class had their graduation/celebration show. It was so well done! His teacher, Sister M. choreographed the whole thing - there were songs, dance numbers, and each child introduced a different part of the show and they all memorized their lines!
John-Paul had to introduce the class cheer, and said:
Some schools don't even give a class yell,
The reason for this, they say,
Is yelling won't be quite proper,
But our principal says it's okay!

So now we'll stand and give our cheer
And give it loud and strong.
Kindergarten, are you ready?

(All the students shouted "YEAH" and then began their cheer)

They also told the story of Creation, and a tale about Blessed Father Damien. You just can't beat a great Catholic education! At the end of the performance, the Kindergarteners dressed up and sang "First Grade, First Grade" to the tune of "New York, New York". It was awesome! (and a little emotional!)

Congratulations to our big John-Paul, our handsome and brilliant first grader :)


Friday, June 12, 2009

Hi Lo: June 12th

HI's:
1) John-Paul and Andrew graduated from Kindergarten and Preschool this past week. My little ones are getting so big!
2) Last Friday night, we had Girl's Night In at my house while the guys of our group went out. It was fun - lots of food and talking :) The older I get, the more I appreciate my female friends.
3) Maggie has been talking so much more and more clearly since getting the ear tubes. She now says everyone's name, and has started stringing two words together. Amazing what can happen when you can hear!
4) Phil begins his last week of school - it's a week full of finals and half days and then he's done for the summer!
LO's:
1) I got a bad cold that sent me to the doctor's office. They prescribed antibiotics, and I felt better in two days.
2) We have so much work to do in the house (organizing, clearing walls, rolling up rugs, removing wallpaper, etc) before the painter's arrive on June 20th - it's overwhelming!!
What are your highs and lows this week?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Andrew Graduates from P-3

On Monday night, our little Andrew (age 4) had his end of year celebration show with his preschool class. It was adorable!

They showed us what they had learned through the year (prayers, songs, weather, months, etc) and then acted out "The Grouchy Ladybug" book. Andrew played the role of the Friendly Ladybug. He did a great job, but at the end said he didn't like it when everybody laughed at him. I tried to explain we weren't laughing AT him, we were all laughing because he was so cute and silly and fun. He's my sensitive one :)

Congratulations my handsome and brilliant Andrew Pauric, we love you so much!!!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wanna be truly organic??

A lot of people are so concerned these days about saving the environment. There is a huge trend amongst companies to "go green" or reduce the waste of our planet's energy and resources.
Organic products are showing up everywhere, from food to candles to clothing. Cars are becoming more environmentally friendly and people are installing solar panels in their homes. We are all being encouraged to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, grow our own fruits and veggies, and reduce pollution by carpooling or riding our bike.


These are all wonderful ideas...this is the only planet we have, after all, and we should take care of it. Future generations deserve to have clean water, fresh air, and green grass. But there is something missing from all of this environmental talk - the effect that contraceptives are having on our planet.


When women use the birth control pill, the estrogen hormones are eliminated in their urine and then make their way into our water supply. This is causing many problems, including the feminization of male fish, the onset of early puberty, the increase in men having female characteristics. Please read more about it here.


Also, what happens to all of the used condoms being dumped into our landfills? I did a little research to find that:


Unfortunately, condoms made of polyurethane, a plastic material, do not break down at all.


Latex condoms are biodegradable, however, lubricant and/or spermicide coated on and/or added to latex and lambskin condoms may alter their decomposition potential. And, no one has studied how long it takes condoms — lubricated or not — to break down. Regardless of condom biodegradability, most landfills are over-capacity and do not provide the ideal environment nor the main ingredient, air, necessary for effective decomposition.


Another thing to think about is condom packaging. You can recycle the paperboard boxes that condoms come in with mixed paper, but individual condoms are usually wrapped in plastic or foil. You cannot recycle either of these materials, and neither will break down in a landfill.


On an ironic note, I know so many women who swear by organic foods. They would never want to expose themselves or their family to any pesticides in the produce. However, they see nothing wrong with pumping hormones and chemicals into their own bodies in order to prevent pregnancy.


And how about all those vegetarians out there who get so worked up over the treatment of animals that they couldn't bear to murder a chicken, but then have no issues when it comes to the killing of an innocent human life??

I think if you want to be truly organic, truly green, and 100% natural, there is only one solution: Natural Family Planning. NFP provides a way of life that doesn't alter God's natural intended uses for our bodies, doesn't require us to use chemicals or barriers to "protect" ourselves, and keeps our planet clean and healthy.
So save the planet, your marriage and your soul by going Natural (Family Planning, that is!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hope you all don't mind...

...if I take a sick day. I think I am on the upswing of this cold, so I should be feeling less foggy-headed soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hi Lo: June 5th


HI's:


1) As I posted yesterday, Maggie's surgery went awesome!


2) Robby, my friend Laura's son (and possibly Maggie's future hubby) turned one on Thursday!


3) Sue, my biggest sister, is celebrating her ## birthday today!! (See, I can keep a secret!)


4) Today is Andrew's (age 4) last day of preschool, his "Celebration" (end-of-the-year show) will be on Monday, we can't wait!


5) Coach Hubby reports that John-Paul (age 6) was incredible in his last tee ball game. He played first base, and actually caught the balls that were thrown at him ;)


LO's:


1) We found out that if we buy the condo we are currently renting, we will not qualify for a mortgage with anything less that a 10% down payment.

Ouch!! There's no WAY we have that type of money laying around :(

We're trying to strategize and figure out a plan that may include some creative accounting and tax evasion - JUST KIDDING! I'm an accountant after all, and a Catholic :)


What were your highs and lows this week?


Or better yet....join in on this fun Friday theme with me!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thanks Be to God!

Maggie had her ear tube surgery yesterday (Wed) morning.
All went well...great in fact!
The doctor said a LOT of fluid came out of her ears, and she had some "glue" (I know, I'm really throwing around the big medical terms...try and keep up!) that they had to suck out.
When she came home, the only thing different about her was that she had "sea-legs" for a few minutes. That, and her ear lobes were earring-free which my mother was VERY EXCITED about. I still haven't put them back in yet....can't decide if I should.
So thanks for your prayers. Even though she is our third child to go through this, it's still nerve wracking to put your baby under anesthesia.
Thank you God!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Way Back When-sday

John-Paul around 10 months old (he's now 6).
He was watching me fold laundry, and he tried to put this on, so of course I helped him.
Gotta have pictures like this to show his future wife!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This makes sense to me!

Who is this doctor, and how can I thank him for his wisdom???

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!
Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
And remember:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

And For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION
Eat and drink whatever you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"My name is Colleen, and I am an Exercise-aholic"


It's no secret that I LOVE to exercise.



I have been active my whole life for as long as I can remember. I have always played sports in school, ran in the off-seasons, joined gyms whenever I could afford to, etc.



Currently I am exercising about an hour every day, whether it be a kickboxing or toning class at the gym, or running outside. Now the problem is that I feel like I am at a standstill. In order to change my body, I think I need to increase the amount of time I exercise (maybe to 90 minutes a day?).



I am suffering from the curse of long-distance runners which is once you start running long miles at a time, even a 5 mile run seems too short. I feel guilty/lazy if I don't run more than that. It's kinda crazy actually, maybe I should go to therapy for it ;)



Being a wife and mom to my four babies leaves me little time to get everything done as it is. Right now, I go to the gym when they are in bed (or close to it) and on the weekends Phil and I take turns exercising in the morning or during nap time. But finding the time to add another half hour would be very hard. At what point do you sacrifice time from your children/spouse just to get more in shape? And why am I so addicted to exercise anyway? It's not like I want to wear a bikini (Lord have mercy!) or start weight competitions.



So what's the solution? If anyone has some good advice, I would love to hear it. I need to find a happy balance because right now I either feel like I am doing too much or too little.