Monday, January 29, 2018

Catholic Schools Week 2018: Will Work for Education

It's Catholic School's Week!  My kids are excited for the fun activities planned at their wonderful Catholic Schools, mostly the dress down days :)  Phil and I are huge supporters of Catholic Education, as we literally work in it to be able to provide it for our kids.  We'll always be poor, but our kids will be well-educated.  We think Catholic schooling is so important at every age.  As parents, we understand that no matter where we send our children to school, we are their primary educators.  If the school is teaching them something that goes against our beliefs or values, we are there to guide our kids back on the right path.  But by putting them in a good Catholic school, we don't even need to worry about this - everyone is on the same page.  The goal is to educate our children to get them to Heaven.  

Catholic Preschool:

Deciding where to send your sweet toddler to preschool can be an excruciating choice.  You want them to be loved and cared for and taught in the same manner that you would teach them.  You want a teacher who scoops them up and gives them a hug instead of worrying about bureaucracy and the rules about touching a child.  When I worked in a daycare in college, we weren't allowed to hug the little children.  It was so sad and I broke the rule daily.  They're sweet little kids who need to feel safe and loved!  Their little minds are being formed, and these years are the best for getting in great theology lessons with simple songs, prayer time, stories, etc.  The preschool kids love their faith (become like little children!) and eat it up with a spoon.  My preschoolers sing songs to Our Lady under their breath as they color a picture of a Cross.  They're going to be singing, they're going to be coloring, they're going to be read to....why not make it faith based?

Friday, January 26, 2018

7 Parenting Memes

Because parenting is hard and some days you just need to laugh!!  

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Letter to My Most Difficult Child

Dear Ye Whom Shall Never Be Named,

(unless you know me in real life and then you probably know exactly which child I'm referring to)

You were such an easy baby, one of our easiest in fact.  We thanked God everyday for the gift of your life.  You grew a little to become a funny toddler and had a crew of siblings ready to laugh at your every move.  And you were (are!) so smart.  You seem to have a deeper understanding of the world than somebody your age should.  You would use this wisdom to make funny remarks or ask sometimes inappropriate questions, anything to get a laugh.  You were our class clown for sure.

This got you in a lot of trouble.  First at home as we tried to teach you right from wrong.  Then in public, as you embarrassed us and we tried to help you make better choices.  Finally at school, where speaking out of turn and trying to get a laugh are not exactly the way to your teacher's heart.  I still remember the day you were sent to the Principal's office for repeating a swear word over and over because your buddy thought it was hilarious. It was one of the first times in my mothering career that I felt a bit hopeless.  What were we doing wrong?  Why were you so incredibly different from the rest?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Send Haley to the Convent!

I've written about our "goddaughter" Haley before, but I am so excited to share that she was just formally accepted to join the Franciscan Sisters TOR out in Toronto, Ohio!!  I've started a GoFundMe page for her so we can help her get there!  Please prayerfully consider a donation to her vocation.  Thanks!!

Haley, the beautiful young lady you see in the picture, needs help in getting to the convent!  Haley was just recently accepted to join the Franciscan Sisters T.O.R. of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother located in Toronto, Ohio.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

7QT: If I Had A Million Dollars

What would YOU buy if you suddenly had a million bucks that you HAD to spend in ONE year (because honestly my first inclination would be to invest it)?  Here's what I would currently spend it on:


Just something simple ;)

A new house, which would probably eat up $700,000 easy since we live in the expensive Northeast and need room for our family of nine plus I'd want an in-law suite for my parents.  I would get a house with 6 bedrooms (Master, two older boys, two middle boys, two little boys, Maggie, and a spare) and 3.5 bathrooms (a Master bath, a boys bathroom, a girl's bathroom, and a downstairs half bath).  I'd want a nice sized yard but not too big because Phil and I aren't the greatest at yardwork.  $700,000 may not even cut it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The 80/20 Rule: How to Not Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

Last week, I had a nearly perfect week of eating and working out.  I'm the type of person who is pretty moderate in how I eat and exercise.  I truly love to workout and I feel so good when I make healthy food choices.  Is it still a decision I have to make every single time I want to put something in my mouth?  Yes!  But practice makes perfect, and eventually good choices lead to good habits lead to a good and healthy lifestyle.

Now, I'm not Mrs. Poster Child for Physical Health at all.  I have probably 20 pounds I could stand to lose, I loooooove chocolate and chips and ice cream and carbs.  I look my age and I look like a mom - both great things - why would I want to look like a child and *not* like a mom, my most cherished role?  As much as Phil and I want to take care of ourselves in a healthy way, we also want to enjoy the heck out of this life God has blessed us with.  Because, YOLO.

Friday, January 12, 2018

7QT: Can I Catch a Break?

Linking up with Kelly for some random 7 moments from the past week.


John-Paul sprained his ankle, so apparently HE can catch a break.  Hehehe, I crack myself up.  Crack.  I did it again.  He had just finished running his second race in the track meet, and was trying to slow himself down, and planted his foot a little on the side.  He is currently on crutches and can't put his weight on it but it seems to be getting a little better each day.  It's so ironic that he threw his back out in soccer and now sprained his ankle in track...too many injuries is my reasoning for not letting my kids play football or hockey.  Oy vey, I think being a mom of six boys, I just need to accept that my life will be full of injuries.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Feeling Like I'm Done

What's the most blasphemous phrase for a Catholic mom to utter?  I used to think it was the answer of "I'm done!" to the question of having more children. 


Unless we physically can't bear any more babies, or have been instructed by medical professionals that we shouldn't try again, we are supposed to be open to the possibility of a new baby.  Even in  our later fertile years.  Even if we already have a gaggle of children.  We might feel like we want to be done, but know that we probably shouldn't say that.  Though we can do our part to try and avoid a pregnancy, the truth is that if we are loving our spouses and not contracepting, we may not be done until the Menopausal Lady sings.

My mom had her 5th baby (me) at age 42 and her 6th baby at age 44.  I am 38.  Do the math and if I'm anything like my mother (and I am) I could still have a couple more pregnancies in this old body.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Back to the Ordinary and How Not to Die

It feels like we have all had a month off from regular life.  With our Christmas break from school/work, then one day back at school, then the rest of the week off for the snow storm, it's hard to believe we are already in the second week of January.  The break was so good, especially the peaceful reprieve from all the sports practices and games.  We were able to get a lot of cleaning and organizing completed in the house (well the cleaning is a neverendingstory) but it feels so good to walk upstairs knowing the kids bedrooms are dusted and vacuumed and drawers all cleared out.  The boys were pulling out lost clothes from under their beds that still had cat hair on them!  The cat has been gone since November!  Eeewww.  I know if I was a stay at home mom everyday, each day wouldn't be so productive, but I really do try and make good use of wintery snow days when they pop up.  I have to!  Our regular lives are just too busy.

And that's where we are now, back to regular life, back to Ordinary Time.  After all the Christmas feasting, we are happy to start some healthy meal plans again (read: no excuse for desserts and treats 24/7).  I am reading How Not to Die and while the first half of the book is a little TMI (not in an inappropriate way, just literally Too Much Info on medical studies) the second half of the book is great on explaining how we should be eating and why.  My brother, who is a doctor, heard I was reading the book and said the author is just trying to convert everyone to veganism.  I can totally see that when I read, but I also truly believe eating a more plant-based diet can't be anything but GOOD for anyone.  I'm certainly not giving up animal products (I'm not sure how to get enough protein without them) but I want to move towards more plant-based meals. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Christmas 2017 and New Years 2018

I just have to post the photos from our Christmas and New Years or else did it really even happen?  This year I was so into Christmas prep, shopping for gifts was fun (I even crafted a couple!) and I listened to Christmas music nonstop from Black Friday through Christmas day on the radio.  Usually I burn out sometime in mid December.  The Spirit was Strong!  The kids had their Christmas Concert at school...

...which is a packed house that can be a little claustrophobic, but in the end, it's a cute performance.  We went to Mass on Christmas Eve at 4 pm, and I think because the Patriots game was still finishing up when people would have had to leave their houses, it wasn't as crowded as years past.  Winner! (As were the Pats!)  We had to take our traditional After Christmas Mass Family Photo,  and I should probably set up a little gallery wall with all these photos through the years, they're my favorites.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Healthy New Year GIVEAWAY!

Over on Instagram, I have teamed up with some friends to bring you a Healthy New Year Giveaway!  We each picked a personal favorite item that helps us achieve our wellness goals - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual - and wanted to share one big package valued at over $200!!  The items are as follows: