Friday, December 13, 2019

7QT: A Book Giveaway!, Hobby Lobby, and Becoming Saints

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!!  Are you superstitious?  I'm just a little stitious ;)


Every time I sit down to write these takes, I have to do three things:

~ Look at our calendar from the past week
~ Look at the photos on my phone
~ Check my instagram feed

Do you know why I do all these things?  Because otherwise my frazzled, tired mom brain can't remember what we did, which therefore means I have nothing to write about in these weekly updates.  OK, just thought you should know how being me works.  Thank you, next.


Don't forget to enter the giveaway right here to win THREE wonderful books from Sophia Institute (I reviewed them in my last post).

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Catholic Book Reviews - Christmas Edition and a GIVEAWAY!!!!

Giveaway of these great books over on Instagram!

For Saint Nicholas Day, all of my children received pajamas and a book, and a few of those books happened to be from Sophia Institute that I would like to tell you about.  So if you're looking for some Christmas gifts, I highly recommend the following...


This story is very cute for the children, and deep for the adult reading to them :)  I found myself really empathizing with the seed who is afraid to get taken out of the seed drawer and be planted in the yard.  It's hard to leave the comforts of life and step out in faith, not knowing what will happen.  In the seed's case, he becomes a beautiful tree that bears fruit and provides a fun place for families to play on and around.  What might it mean in our own life?  The book is inspiring to step up and face fears, and trust that God has a plan for our lives.  Plus, the book rhymes (my favorite kind of book) and the illustrations are beautiful.

Friday, December 6, 2019

7QT: Snow Day, St. Nick's, and Sickness

Happy Friday!!  Linking up with Kelly and posting photos from Tuesday's snowday intertwined with my quick takes because I'm the boss (of this blog anyway)...


After seeing these photos that Phil took of the youngest four boys playing outside in the snow, I realized I may have a blue winter coat problem?  How do they all have blue coats?  It IS my favorite color, so I guess I gravitate towards it when buying clothes for my kids.  Sorry boys, you've got the winter coat blues.


Today Is St. Nicholas's Day!!!  This is my friendly reminder for you moms to go grab some Christmas pj's or books or candy and fill your kids' stockings.  The littles watched the Veggie Tale Version of St. Nicholas last night, and were very excited to head to school this morning to see what St. Nick left in their paper bag shoes.  The highschoolers get to pay $5 to dress down in red or green today, and receive a Santa hat and cookies at lunch.  I just love Catholic school!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Princess Margaret Rosemary Turns Twelve

I can't even stand how old Maggie is looking in 6th grade this year.  She's taller than her 13 year old brother, shares shoes with me, and is officially out of the children's section at the clothes store.  And now she's 12.  TWELVE!  I still remember her like this:

Actually, that's not true.  When she was born, Eamon was a colicky 14 month old, and the first year of her life was an exhausted blur.  I really remember her like this:

 Oh my goodness, how cute was she?

OK, Colleen, enough reminiscing!  

Pull yourself together, woman!

Maggie's 12th birthday fell on a Sunday, and after Mass, Phil made her crepes with nutella and strawberries and whipped cream.  We added eggs and sausage for protein, and it was a lovely brunch.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Gifts We *Actually* Bought and Received and USED in 2019

In case you need a little Black Friday shopping inspiration, here's some items we've been gifted this past year.  When you purchase through my links, we get a teeny tiny kickback, so I thank you for shopping that way!

The Dad

Scratch Tickets

An overnight getaway or dinner out always makes him happy too!

Teen Boys

phone! With phone case

Tickets for “Things-to-Do” like an Escape Room, Trampoline Park, Lazer Tag, that I usually can grab on Groupon.

Tween Girl

Twinkly lights for her room

(Used but good!) Ice skates

Little Boys

Boogie Boards and extra pens ***most used toy by far***

Marvel Toys


My big huge Gift Guide from years past is here, and my Big Book List is here.  Happy shopping!

Friday, November 22, 2019

7QT: The Theater, Prayer Museum, Basketball Season, Family Feud, and Holiday Shopping

Helllooooo!  What a fun week we had, starting out with tons of weekend activities.  Let's roll...


On Friday night, we went to our high school's performance of Arsenic and Old Lace, which was fantastic.  You can see the set and my boys in their roles over here.  That's right, my sports loving boys are now thespians!  Haha!  They played the roles of dead bodies, and only came up for the bow at the end.  BUT!  They can now truthfully list theater involvement on their college applications :)

Andrew was actually supposed to have a bigger role in the play, still as a dead body, but specifically the dead body that gets thrown in the window seat, and then later buried in the basement.  They figured out a few days before the play started that the boy who was supposed to put Andrew into the window seat couldn't physically lift him out of the box.  Even though Andrew is skinny, it's really hard to reach down into a box and try to lift dead body weight out.  So instead, they just did that whole scene with the lights off and no actual body in the box.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Books (for Boys) Books (for Girls) Books (for Moms)

Thank you to both Rachel Balducci and Jenny Uebbing for allowing me to share and link to their book lists.  Just in time for St. Nicholas Day gifts...happy shopping and reading!

Books for Boys 
(as gathered by Rachel Balducci's Instagram Readers)

Michael Vey series                                  Calvin and Hobbes (my addition, a family fave!)

Blake and Mortimer comics                    Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years (current fave)

Redwall                                                   Tin Tin Comics  

Lord of the Rings                                    Mike Lupica sports books

Narnia                                                      Gary Paulsen books

Percy Jackson                                          Raymond Arroyo's books

Tom Sawyer                                             Eragon series

Mysterious Benedict Society                   Wings of Fire

Freddy the Pig                                          Percy Jackson series

I Survived series                                       Land of Stories

Treasure Island                                         Dragons Love Tacos

Swiss Family Robinson                            Gregor the Overlander

Kidnapped                                                 Rangers Apprentice

Hardy Boys                                               Brotherband

The Green Ember                                      Rising Above

Hatchet                                                    100 Cupboard Series

My Side of the Mountain                         The Sign of the Beaver

Swallows and Amazons                            The Chronicles of Prydain

The Impossible Quest                               Peter Nimble

Books for Girls 

(as gathered by Rachel Balducci's Instagram Readers)

The Penderwicks                                         Boxcar Children

Nancy Drew                                                Thea Stilton

American Girl                                             Happy Hollisters

Trixie Belden                                              Betsy Tacy

The Bernadette Series                                 Lemony Snicket

The Land of Elyon                                      Indian in the Cupboard

Wingfeather Saga                                       Black Stallion

Ella Enchanted                                           Shadow Children series (my addition!)

Green Ember                                             Babysitters Club

Shoe books                                                Little House

Chime Travelers                                        Mary Poppins

Land of Stories                                         Meet the Austins

Doll People                                                The Littles

The Mitchells                                            Dear America Diaries

Ivy + Bean                                                 Mysterious Benedict Society

Ramona                                                      Narnia

Book Scavenger                                         Rising Above

Sisters Grimm                                            Judy Moody

Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place        The Borrowers

All of a Kind Family                                  The Rescuers

The Princess and The Goblin                    E. Nesbit books

The Princess and Curdie                             Marguerite Henry horse books

Friday, November 15, 2019

Beautiful Newport, RI

Last summer, Phil and I made plans to meet with friends on "The Lawn" of the Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island.  It's a gorgeous place overlooking the ocean, where they serve drinks and appetizers to those sitting on the Adirondack chairs outside on the lawn.  We were so excited to spend some time there, but as we approached the parking lot, they were turning cars away because they were over capacity.  Boo.  We vowed we would go back some day.  Then this guy turned 39 in October, and we started planning a birthday getaway...but with kids sports schedules, work, NFP timing, and making sure someone could watch the didn't end up working out until this past weekend!  Better late than never!

Newport was on the last day of their Restaurant Week, where lots of restaurants serve three course meals at a reduced price.  We took advantage and headed to The Safari Room for lunch.  Again, the restaurant was in an inn right on the water, just beautiful.  Phil and I both had the french onion soup and then he had a roast beef sandwich, and I had the fish and chips.

Friday, November 8, 2019

7QT: Soccer, Tooth Fairies, Trees, Exercise, Book Club, John Crist, and Pajamas

Wow, I haven't written anything since last Friday!  I guess that's what two back-to-back days of dressing up 7 kids will do to a mom.  Here's what's been going on in our neck of the woods...


Soccer season is *almost* over.  Maggie and Declan finished their season last Saturday.  I would tell you how their teams placed, if their teams kept score during games.  I mean why would a sports game with two teams competing against one another keep score?  Ugh, don't even get me started.

Eamon plays in a much more competitive league, and his team is in Number One in his division, and heading into playoffs on Sunday.  JP and Andrew's high school teams are finished, Varsity went to playoffs for States this year but lost in the first game.  

Oh, and basketball practices began three weeks ago.

Of course they did.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Halloween and All Saints Day 2019

Umm, Xander?  I think you need to brush your teeth!

I bought the littles new costumes this year, since they always get the hand-me-downs.  Declan was Aladdin and Brendan was Blippi (a really annoying kid show).

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Thoughts During Adoration: Parenting

I know I'm not alone when my mind starts to wander during my Holy Hour in Adoration, I always try to rein it back in and focus, but a lot of times I think these wanderings are God-prompts for some time to ponder life, such as...

Parenting is hard.  While it's less physically demanding having older kids, they are emotionally exhausting if you're doing it right ;)  I am always worried about who they're hanging out with, what they're doing, how they are feeling, what issues they are struggling with, and how they are coping.  Some of my kids open up easier than others, and those quiet ones worry me. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

My Favorite (REALLY Inexpensive) Workout Gear

I don't really have hobbies - but I do workout pretty much everyday - so I believe that qualifies me to suggest the following tested and loved items.

These high-waisted compression crops are my top pick, for sure. 

They have lots of styles on sale for only $12 today!  $12!!  I have quite a few pairs, and order them in Large (size up, as I'm normally a Medium) and they are awesome.  I run in them, do kickboxing classes, PiYo classes, whatever and they stay put!!  They are high enough to cover and hold in my mummy tummy so they are flattering too.

I pair those crops with these tanktops.  

Only $10.50 with code HURRY.  They are slightly loose but still fitted enough to be flattering.  The back has a mesh cut out, which is cute to (barely) show off the next item...

These sports bras are cute and comfortable and get the job done.  No padding, which I love. 

They are only $14 with code HURRY.

Finish it all off with this adorable sweatshirt, and you won't be embarrassed to run to the grocery store right after the gym (story of my life!).  

Also $14 with code HURRY.

Alrighty, now you have NO excuses not to glorify your body through exercise.  And please don't tell me you don't have time, we both know that's not the truth, you just gotta prioritize.   Have fun!