Friday, May 30, 2008

Things I Want

Lately, I've been seeing things I would love to have, but don't really need. I get in these moods sometimes where I wish I could go on huge shopping sprees and buy whatever I wanted.
Phil thinks this is the reason that we are not rich. His theory is that if we had a lot of money, I would turn into a worse person because I would lose sight of trusting in God's providence, and become too materialistic. Sad thing is, he's totally right!
But, like every grandmother says, "This too shall pass" and in a couple weeks, I will hopefully realize that life does go on even if I don't have the things that I want. Because in reality, it's the people and the moments that matter in life.

But here's my list anyway:

This is a cordless electric broom. I hate sweeping the kitchen floor, and this would make it so much easier and faster to clean.

Wii Fit. We have the Wii system (thanks Fr. Dave!) which the boys love, but now I want my turn to use it regularly and maybe this will actually help with my weight loss goal.

I love to ski, but due to the high cost and all of the little kiddos, I haven't been since college. This looks like a fun way to satisfy the winter sport lover in me.

This is the new, updated, more scientifically advanced NFP book that CCL is selling. It's supposed to be much more clear with rules, easier to understand, and includes updated medical terminology. Sounds great!

This is a program to keep all my NFP charts on the computer instead of on paper. It also helps interpret the signs and makes it easy to email a CCL instructor if I need help determining my cycle.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Wedding

On May 24th, my sister-in-law, Kelly, married T.J. and I have plenty of pictures to prove it...This was taken after the rehearsal, their last night of the single life!
My boys getting ready to drive to the Church
Me and Maggie all dressed up and ready to go
My father-in-law walking Kelly down the aisle, she looks gorgeous!
My first-born son was the Ringbearer, or "ringbarrier" as he called it, and his cousin Maura was the most adorable flower girl
The view from the pew
The wedding party right before they said the vows
Glad he's all done "working"

Andrew at the reception...he danced like crazy!

The first dance

What a beautiful couple!

Mmmm, the cake was yummy. My sister-in-law, Larisa, made it!
Okay, enough of that, it's almost time for your honeymoon!
Eamon loved the cake so much he even licked his plate clean!

How we all felt at the end of the reception because we danced the whole time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

After a week like this...

...I seriously think about moving to some great Catholic community (like Ave Maria, FL) and homeschooling the kids.

I got a call from the preschool on Tuesday that Andrew's mouth was bleeding and he had a fat lip (nobody's fault, just an accidental bumping of heads). I was at work and so was Phil, so nobody could go pick him up and take him home. I felt so bad that when he was hurting and sad, he had to stay at school. His teacher and our friend was wonderful, and gave him popsicles to help the swelling and took great care of him, but still it was one of those guilty-working-mom-moments.

That same day, John-Paul got a note from one of his teachers saying that he had lied. The story, from his mouth, was that he dropped a paperclip on the floor and when the teacher asked him if he dropped it, he said no. Oh boy, lying is not tolerated around here, and the school is likewise intolerant of it, so he got into trouble.

In the middle of the week, John-Paul and I went to the store to pick up some things we needed for our trip to Maryland this weekend. And he started telling me that he really really wanted Sketchers sneakers because they were the coolest. Also, he was humming a song and when I asked what he was humming, he said "It's the Hannah Montana song". I asked him how he knew that song and he replied "Everybody knows that song Mom, it's so cool". Aaaarrrgghhh!!! How can I protect him from the things I don't want him to know about yet? Granted right now it's merely Hannah Montana, but soon he will hear about all sorts of stuff that he will be too young to properly understand.

So, what am I supposed to do? Well, I think the answer is prayer, and lots of it. Phil and I are trying to discern what is best for the kids, the sanity level in the household, and what is financially do-able. SO please join us in praying for the right decision to be made clear. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This video is very funny, at least for all of us who went to Franciscan University of Steubenville. Although I am guilty of being a "typical Steubie grad" because I met my husband at FUS, got married right after I finished my MBA, and have 4 little ones in 6 years of marriage, this song still makes me laugh.
Check it out:

This next video gives me all those warm fuzzy feelings about my Alma Mater:

The Pinning

Last night, my sister, Maura graduated from nursing school and had a pinning ceremony. We are all so proud of her because this was a two-year process, and very difficult, but she stuck it out. I was able to babysit Lilly while she went to class and clinical (with my Mom helping out as well) so we feel like part of the whole process as well! Congratulations, Nurse Maura! Now go study for your Boards :-)

Maura holding the bouquet from Will after receiving her pin.

Maura and Will glad it's all over and they can now focus on their new house, Lilly, and Baby # 2 (in utero!)

Maura with her study-buddy, Molly. They kept each other sane through it all!

Maura and my Mom, who coincidentally both graduated from nursing school at the age of 27!

My brother, Brian "the Doctor" making Maura "the Nurse" bow down before him. After she graduated he told her she was now able to wipe his brow at work!! It's all in good fun, people!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May 17th 2002

Six years ago today, Phil and I got married. It was one of the best days of my life, and I thought I could never love him anymore than I did that day. But I was wrong, because six years and four children later, I love him more than ever. You are my knight in shining armor, and I thank God for you every day!

H is for Helping with housework and childraising

A is for Allowing me to receive Jesus first at Mass

P is for being my real-life Prince Charming

P is for Paying attention to all the trivial things I have to say

Y is for not Yelling at our kids, but trying to calmly discipline them

A is for Accepting me just the way I am, stretch marks and all

N is for Never going to bed angry

N is for making me feel safe at Night

I is for satisfying all the pregnancy Ice cream cravings

V is for being Very handsome

E is for Eating my cooking and liking it

R is for teaching me how to Relax a little

S is for Staying at home as much as possible to help out with the kids

A is for being Athletic, there's nothing like watching you play sports

R is for reminding us to say the family Rosary and other prayers

Y is for You

I love you, Bay, Happy 6th Anniversary, and many more!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Prayer Request from a Five-Year-Old

Yesterday morning I gave John-Paul and Andrew some money to go to the snack counter after school since Phil would be a little later than usual picking them up. The following conversation then took place between John-Paul, Phil and I:

John-Paul: Daddy, can I buy Gatorade with my money?

Phil: (passing the buck) Colleen, can John-Paul buy gatorade with his money?

Me: No, buy something healthy. (I don't believe in drinking gatorade unless you're running a marathon or something similar)

Then, a few minutes later in the car on the way to school, as Phil and the boys were finishing up their morning prayers:

Phil: John-Paul, what do you want to pray for today?

John-Paul: I want to pray for all the kids whose mommies won't let them get gatorade.

Phil: That's not very nice, John-Paul.

John-Paul: No, not for me, for all the other kids.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Babies

This picture totally captures each of their personalities, especially Eamon!!!

Judge not lest ye be judged...

I have a confession to make...I'm a judger. Ow, it hurts me to even type that especially since I hate to be judged by others. Besides, there's that whole sin factor...

Anyways, there's this girl at my gym (let's call her Shaniqua) that usually takes the same kickboxing classes that I do, and I had her totally figured out. Shaniqua's tall and beautiful with a body that looks like she never needs to exercise. I looked at her and assumed she was vain, self-centered, and snobby. Just because of the way she looks! I bet she's one of those girls that other girls hate for no particular reason except that all the boys like her.

Well tonight, the class was stacked, and I looked around to see only a smidgeon of space next to Shaniqua, the one person I already knew I didn't like (how immature of me). So I stood next to her and she smiled. I asked her if she minded me standing so close to her and she said "Nope, not at all" and even moved over a little to give me more room. How nice!

I feel so bad that I wasn't even gonna give her a chance, and she turned out to be friendly and nice. It must be tough to be that good-looking and a nice person...ah, but there I go judging again!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Living the Dream

When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. On different occasions I would add artist, doctor, genetic engineer, accountant, or PA to that list, but wanting to be a Mom was something that never changed.

Perhaps it was because I had such an incredible mother. A mother who stayed at home to raise us 6 kids most of the year, turned every house into a home, and cooked amazing dinners and desserts. She would then work extremely hard all summer long at her homemade ice cream shop in order to provide us with private Catholic school tuition, college tuition, and everything else we needed. My Mum was always ready with a smile and a hug (and still is!) and now helps us raise our own children, whether it be through babysitting, or imparting her motherly wisdom.

Perhaps I wanted to be a mother because I wanted to be a wife. I'm probably the most hopeless romantic I know. I just love love!! I couldn't wait to find the man of my dreams (and did I ever!) and get married. God has blessed me tremendously with a spouse who is here to protect us, provide for us, and partner with me in raising our family. He is dreamy in every way possible!

But I think I wanted to be a mom the most because I love kids. I was always the girl who wanted to babysit, found myself choosing to sit at the kid tables, and working at a daycare just to be around kids. I have been so lucky to be able to have four beautiful, healthy, funny, and smart children who make me happy everyday. Now, don't get me wrong, their have been many moments of mothering despair, but the majority of this whole motherhood thing is wonderful.

So, all in all, I can really say that I am living the dream, and I thank God for it, as well as for sending us the perfect role model of motherhood, Mary. Blessed be all the moms today, and Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

What a deal!

On Saturday night, Phil and I decided to order in dinner after the kids went to bed. I had a $5 off coupon for Pizzaria Uno's if we spent $15 or more. So I went online to order (technology nowadays!) and both Phil and I wanted the same thing, a cheeseburger. The total was just about $20 so I placed the order and he left about 15 minutes later to pick it up.

When he arrived at Uno's, they had read the internet order incorrectly and only made one burger. So they looked at the order again, apologized, and started to make the second burger.
In the meantime, the cashier rang him up at the register and only charged him for one burger ($10) due to her mistake. Then he showed her the coupon and she said she would let him use it even though we now hadn't spent the $15 we were supposed to. Phil happily paid $5 for both burgers and continued to wait for the rest of the order to cook.

When the food was ready, the manager came over and apologized again to Phil for the misunderstanding, and handed him a $10 gift certificate for his trouble.

Wow, so we paid $5 for two dinners, and then they paid us $10!! At the end of the night we got paid $5 to eat two free cheeseburgers!

God works in mysterious ways!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

This makes me crack up every single time!

Kid Sayings

There are quite a few words my children mispronounce or use incorrectly. Every time they do, I'm torn between correcting their grammar or not. Now I know as a good mother in the role of teacher, I should gently correct their mistakes and let them know how to properly pronounce the words they are trying to say. But the other side of me, the they're-just-little-kids-who-are-growing-up-so-fast-and-won't-be-this-cute-and-innocent-for-much-longer side wants to let them keep using words improperly because every time they use one of these cute phrases, my heart just melts. Oh, a mother's dilemma! Here are some examples of their verbal blunders:

John Paul:
"nickel" = freckle or nipple
"near" = mirror
"naybe" = maybe
"curvy" = curly (example, "That girl has curvy hair")
"blond" = fair-skinned and "brown" = dark-skinned (example, "My cousin Bridget is blond, but my friend Jayce is brown).

"pupcake" = cupcake
Almost all of his L's sound like W's due to a small speech problem, so a typical sentence sounds like "I weally, weally want a wowipop".
He also adds -ed to the end of a word to make it past tense, even when it's not correct (example, "Today we wented to the playground and I runded and fallded and hurted my knee").

This kid is bi-lingual, instead of saying water, he says "agua".
For one of his favorite shows, Peep, he just sticks his tongue in between his lips and blows.
He also says the second half of lots of words; "imee" = slimy, "uk" = work, "ot" = hot, and so on.

May the Good Lord allow these cute and innocent times to continue for a good while longer!

Friday, May 2, 2008

It Pays to be Poor

Woo-Hoo!! I just checked my online bank account, and we got our Federal Refund today! It's for $2400!!!! That's $600 for Phil, $600 for moi, and $300 for each of our kiddos. I think I will start a savings account for the kids with their $300 each. The money Phil and I receive will come in very handy paying for the 3 trips to MD we've taken or are about to take, and also for car expenses. Thanks America!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

NFP: It's a Love/Hate Relationship

If you're unsure about what NFP is, click on the title link above. If you know what it is, read on.

5 Reasons Why I Hate NFP:

1) It's a bit complicated. There are so many rules to follow, temperatures to take, observations to make and charts to be completed, you'd think mastering the art of NFP should be worth some college credits.

2) It's tough to live out. God made us to procreate after all, and when you have waited until marriage to "perform the conjugal act" with your spouse, you would think it would be a free-for-all. Think again.

3) It feels as though it's the woman's "chore". Sure, they taught us in class that the husband should take his wife's temp in the morning and it should be an open discussion between spouses. But when you boil it down, it's really up to the woman to note all the changes in her body, piece them all together and then let her husband know if it's a fertile time or not.

4) Men are amorous. This is something my mom told me before I got married, and boy was she right! So when trying to postpone the birth of another child, it feels like the woman is being a mean wife and not fulfilling her marital debt. (Note, Phil has never made me feel that way, it's just how I see it) I, personally, like to put the blame on the male species because at least we as women were created with a cycle. This means that we are infertile as well as fertile during different times in the month. A man however is always just fertile. So there!

4) The whole grave reason clause. If a Catholic couple is using NFP to postpone another child, the couple must have grave reasons to do so. But just what does that mean? The Church teaches that you are supposed to look in the areas of emotional, physical and mental health of the mother, the financial state of the household, as well as think about the well-being of the children you already have. So if I'm just tired from 5 years of nights without uninterrupted sleep, does that count? How about the fact that my husband is a Catholic High School teacher, and I need to at some point work full-time or close to it just to make ends meet? But where does trust come into that equation? Shouldn't I trust that God will make it work out for us in the future as He has so generously in the past? I wish He would just give me a definitive number of children to have. I am much better at following rules than interpreting guidelines.

5) My husband is a hottie. Enough said!

Now, 5 Reasons Why I Love NFP:

1) I am able to live in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church without any feelings of guilt.

2) I am working with the natural rythyms of my cycle without having to put any chemicals into my body.

3) There are no barriers between my huband and I. We are giving of ourselves totally, including our fertility.

4) We are being open to life and pro-life.

5) Here's the best reason why I love NFP; it was through being open to life that we conceived our four beautiful children:

An early Mother's Day post

When God Created Mothers by Erma Bombeck

When the good Lord was creating mothers He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic; Have 180 moveable parts... all replaceable; Run on black coffee and leftovers; Have a lap that disappears when she stands up; A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; And six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands... no way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks,"What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know,and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, "I understand and I Love You" without so much as uttering a word."

"Lord", said the angel, toughing His sleeve gently, "Come to bed.Tomorrow..."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick... can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger... and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.

"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure."

"Can it think?"

"Not only think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You. You were trying to put too much into this model."

"It's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear."

"What's it for?"

"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."

"You are a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber.

"I didn't put it there."

(Happy Mother's Day)