Friday, October 31, 2008

When Pumpkins Drink...

thanks to my SiL for emailing this to me :-)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spooky Halloween Picture

Okay, so for my job, we had to get a professional picture taken. Mine is below...what do you think?

Personally, on a bad day, I can see about a zillion flaws (crooked front tooth, freckles galore, chubby, etc.) but then on a good day, I think maybe it's not so bad.

Aaahhhh, girls are so emotional, no wonder why guys have such a hard time figuring us out!

Halloween: To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate?

That is the question, but what is the answer?

What we should really be celebrating is All Saints Day on Nov. 1, but does that mean I shouldn't let my kids do anything "Halloweenish" tomorrow? Phil keeps saying that it is a pagan holiday, yet he used to go trick-or-treating (as did I) when he was younger. Should we just look at it as a fun activity to have the kids dress up and get free candy, and then make sure to tell them that we are really celebrating All Saints Day?

Normally, at the boys' school, all of the children dress up as Saints for All Saints Day, but because it falls on a Saturday, the boys don't get to do that this year. I really liked having them dress up as saints because it made Halloween seem so much less important.

Since John-Paul is only 5, and Andrew is 4, they don't really KNOW what Halloween is about yet, so we usually just skip the trick-or-treating, and let them march in a Parade a couple towns away from here. They think it's a blast! Then we got invited to go to a hayride on Halloween night, which they will also love.

So I think we have made a good compromise this year, a parade and a hayride instead of normal Halloween stuff. But I know I will question what to do next year...we need answers.

Here's pictures of the boys from last year. John-Paul is Pope John Paul II and Andrew is Saint Francis:

Ahhh, if only they were really that saintly!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cranberry Festival Photos

We went to the Cranberry Festival a few weeks ago, and here are some of the pictures. John-Paul got to ride a horse for the second time in his life, and Andrew experienced it for his first time ever! They also got their face painted with little pumpkins...which took an incredibly long time...still not sure why, you know artists!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Projects

After Phil, John-Paul & Andrew made the beautiful jack-o-lanterns, we did two more projects. The first was getting all the pumpkin seeds cleaned off and left out to dry (they will be roasted tonight!)

Then we made these "Silly Sticks" as the boys called them. Just pretzel rods dipped in melted white chocolate (made orange with food coloring) and rolled in mini chocolate easy and soooooo yummy!

And what was Miss Maggie doing while the boys were busy helping/eating in the kitchen? Getting into the pantry, of course!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumn Tablescape

Too Funny:

(thanks to my MiL for sending this my way!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

God must have a sense of humor

At bedtime, we ask the boys individually who or what they would like to pray for. Here's last night's responses:

John-Paul: I would like to pray for all the people who have no food.

Andrew: I'm gonna pray for Gammy and Grandpa.

Eamon: Me pray for...ummmmmmmm....ummmmmm...At-ban (Batman), Veggie Tales and da Wiggles.

At which point the older boys crack up.

I would love to say this is not the typical prayer request from Eamon, but it usually is. He always pauses like he's going to pray for something really important, and then comes out with a superhero or cartoon character.

I guess there's one in every family :-)

We go through these like crazy

Aaaahhhh, behold the mystical powers of the puffs. In my opinion, these snacks are the absolute best thing that has happened to the baby food industry since I have had kids.

Actually, I don't think they were around 6 years ago when John-Paul was a baby, but Andrew, Eamon, and Maggie have all been able to participate in Puff-liciousness.

These are great especially for moms like me who are overly scared of their baby choking, because they dissolve in the baby's mouth. They are the perfect first finger food; easy to pick up, not messy, and they have vitamins/minerals.

Whenever I need to get something accomplished, like cooking dinner for example, I just stick the baby in the highchair and throw a few puffs on the tray. They keep her busy and happy so that Mommy can get busy and Daddy can be happy when he walks in to a home-cooked meal!

Yesterday in the car, Maggie & Eamon were being whiny, so I handed back the puffs container to Eamon and he would eat some and then give one to Maggie. She would peek around her car seat and smile and giggle at him, then he would giggle back at was beautiful I tell ya.

Yup, these things are so good that they promote if only I could figure out a way to help promote world-peace so easily...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's no secret who I'm gonna vote for

Okay, so I am not into politics...but I can not understand why anyone would vote for a man who votes against the Born Alive Act. Read below if you have no clue what I'm talking about...

In 1999 a gruesome discovery was made that an Illinois hospital was shelving babies to die in a soiled utility room who had survived their abortions.

The Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act was introduced in 2001 to provide legal protection to all born babies, wanted or not, including the right to medical care.

Then-state Senator Barack Obama voted against Born Alive 4 times in 3 years and was the sole senator to speak against it on the Senate floor in 2001 and 2002.

In 2002, the Federal version of Born Alive passed unanimously in the US Senate and by overwhelming voice vote in the House. The pro-abortion group NARAL even went neutral on the bill.

But In 2003, Barack Obama voted against the identical version of Born Alive in Illinois. Then, for the next 4 years he repeatedly misrepresented his vote until it was recently discovered in the IL General Assembly archives.

Now, please read this woman's story:

If Barack Obama had his way I would not be here.

Can you imagine not giving babies their basic human rights, no matter how they entered our world? My name is Gianna Jessen, born 31 years ago after a failed abortion. I’m a survivor, as are many others…but if Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn’t be here.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama voted four times against affording these babies their most basic human right. I have serious concerns about Senator Obama’s record and views on this issue, given he voted against these protections four times as a state Senator. Just as abuse victims share their stories to educate the public, fight for the common good and hope that as a result politicians do what’s right, I felt it was important to come forward and give these new born babies a voice.

I am living proof these babies have a right to live, and I invite you to learn more about Senator Obama’s record on this important issue.

-Abortion Survivor Gianna Jessen

And don't even get me started on Sen. Obama's following statement:

''if that fetus, or child - however way you want to describe it - is now outside the mother's womb and the doctor continues to think that it's nonviable but there's, let's say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they're not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.''
-Barack Obama, from page 32 of IL state senate official transcript

What??? Let's "make sure that this is not a live child"??? You mean the child who is moving and alive???? The one who is not, as he so eloquently put it, "coming out limp and dead"???

This is just pure evil, it disgusts me, and reminds me to pray for God's mercy. God help us all...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A BIG equation

What do you get when you take this young bride:

And add this little guy:

Plus another pregnancy:

Plus a third pregnancy:

And finally my fourth pregnancy in 5 years:

You get this:

(A happy but chubby mommy)

So, I'm on a mission to lose weight healthfully (is that a word?). I just want to change my diet and eat healthy since I already work out a lot. Feel free to leave me any advice on tips and tricks that work for you. Thanks!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Santa came early...

and he left this...

(Samsung 46" LCD HDTV)

and we love it!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

These pictures are awesome...I thank God that my boys are not quite as troublesome as these kids. But, then again, they are not even close to being grown up yet!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Siblings Rule

Okay, so as most of you already know, I have 4 kids. While that may seem like nothing in the Large Catholic Family world (have you met this guy with 11 kids, or this lady with 8?) It does seem to shock people in the "normal world".

What shocks them even more is when I tell them we would like to add some more kids to the mix someday.

One of the most frequent questions I get is "How do you do it?" My answers vary between, "I do the best I can", "I take it one day at a time", or "It's getting easier than it used to be".

Usually the moms that ask this question have one child. I tell them that it is honestly easier with more than one kiddo. They hardly ever believe me...but wait, I should know since I used to have only one kid too, and they've never had more than one. Makes sense, right?

Don't get me wrong, the infant months are hard no matter how many kids you have...but I've learned that they do grow up, even though those sleepless nights are almost too much to bear ;)

The thing is, having one kid is life changing. Everything has a different meaning, a different purpose. All of your actions now affect somebody else, it's a tremendous responsibility. After you adjust to all of that, adding another baby doesn't double the work or responsibility, it just adds a little to it.

Yes, it can be challenging when everyone needs Mommy at the same time, or when there are a few sick kids in the house at once. But the benefits FAR outweigh the hard times.

Having more than one kid means an instant playmate . This is great for the child, but even better for the mom! You are no longer your child's sole source of entertainment/fun/ideas. They now have a partner in crime, someone to play tag with, a friend with unconditional love.

Are they gonna fight? Of course!! Don't we all sometimes disagree with the people we love? But they learn from the fighting that they can work out their problems.

They learn that even when they don't see eye-to-eye, they still love each other.

They learn respect, patience, tolerance, and selflessness.

I couldn't have put it any better than the wonderful Pope John Paul II when he said "The greatest gift you can give your child is another sibling".

What a wise man, and what a true statement. So, Mom and Dad, thank you for my siblings...and to my kids, you're welcome (I know you'll thank me one day)!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Phil!

My honey turned 28 today! Wow, he's getting so old ;-)

In the morning, I let Phil sleep in and tried to keep the kids quiet while I got them dressed and packed them in the car to go get donuts from our favorite donut shop. I'm not sure which he appreciated more...the donuts or the sleeping-in!?!?

Then, we went to a Cranberry Festival and the kids bounced in the Bounce House, rode horses, got their faces painted, made necklaces, and got balloon animals. Needless to say they had a bunch of fun.

This evening, we went to Mass and then to a dinner at our parish celebrating 100 years. We had to leave early to get the kids home to bed, and then Phil and I went out on a date!

Wow, what a fun and busy day. So Happy Happy Birthday Phil, you have 5 people in this house who adore you no matter how old and wrinkly you become!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Kids for Life

One of the sacrifices we made as a family for the 40 Days for Life was to drive to the last remaining abortion clinic in our Diocese. We traveled an hour each way to stand outside and pray with some faithful priests from our diocese, as well as other wonderful "Pro-Lifers".

I think it was uplifting for people to see young kids holding a pro-life sign. Of course, we didn't tell our boys about abortion, we just told them we were going to pray for the babies in their mommy's belly's. They don't need to know about the horrors of abortion just yet.

Going to pray outside of this abortion clinic was so peaceful, no protesters were there. Back when I was a student at Franciscan University of Steubenviile, we used to go pray outside an abortion clinic in Pittsburgh, and boy was the scene completely different.

In Pittsburgh, they had these women (escorts) who would stand outside the doors and pull the scared, vulnerable girls inside before they had a chance to listen to what we would try to tell them. These same women would yell at us, telling us to respect "choice"...of course they only meant the "choice" of the women choosing abortions, not the "choice" of the babies being murdered.

Even with these pro-abortion escorts, many babies were saved through the prayers and gentle words of us pro-lifers. Thanks be to God!

Praying outside an abortion clinic is definitely outside my comfort zone, not something I would normally choose to do. However, back when I was at FUS, there were all these signs that were hung around the dorms urging students to pray at the abortion clinic on Saturday mornings.

The most effective one I ever read said "If a mother can wake up at 5am to murder her baby, then you can wake up to pray for them." Powerful stuff!!

Here's your daily devotional...keep praying to end abortion!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kid Talk

Yesterday, both John-Paul and Andrew cracked me up with what they had to say. So here goes;

John-Paul: (showing me a sentence he had written that said "I am a little boy") See my sentence, Mommy? I used popcorn words.

Me: What are 'popcorn words'?

John-Paul: They are little words that help make a sentence, you know, like 'I, am, a, the'.

Me: Wow, John-Paul, you are learning things in school that Mommy never learned before.

John-Paul: Well, that's because my teachers go to teacher school and learn new things to teach us.

Wow, that made me feel old!

And now for Andrew;

Andrew: (coming up to me and picking his nose, then licking his finger, then touching his lips) Mommy, do you know how to make chapstick?

Me: No, how?

Andrew: You put boogies and water together and you get chapstick.

Eeeewwww, boys are so gross!

Here's your devotional for today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apple Picking 2008

We went apple picking on Andrew's birthday with my brother "S" and his wife "L" and their three blondies.

Enjoy the slideshow towards the bottom of the screen!

Daily Devotional for the 40 Days for Life (I know I'm behind...sorry)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Andrew turns 4 years old today! He is so excited about this birthday because it's his golden birthday. What, you don't know what a golden birthday is? It's when your birthday age is the same number as your birthday date. So, today Andrew turns 4 on October 4th...get it?

This morning, Phil made him his favorite breakfast: scrambled eggs and "french fry potatoes" or as normal people call then, hashbrowns.

Right now he is out at Toys R' Us picking out a birthday present. We got him a toy to open later, but I really didn't know what to get him this year, so we let him go pick something out at the store, which he thought was really cool!

This afternoon, we will be going apple picking with some friends and family, and then head back to our house for dinner (pizza, his choice) and cake (a blue Power Rangers cake).

So my handsome, sweet, brave, yet emotional, always-ready-with-a-compliment Andrew, Happy Birthday honey! We love you so much!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm Excited

I am about to leave to chaperone Andrew's fieldtrip to a farm. They get to pet the animals, go on a hayride, pick a pumpkin, and eat apples.

I'm really excited to be able to go with him, this is my first time chaperoning in the 3 years I have had a child at the school. I know, I'm a slacker, but it's hard to get someone to babysit the little ones so that I can go.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures tomorrow.

Here's your devotional for today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Doctor's Visit Stats

Maggie had her 9-month physical and Eamon had his two-year physical on Monday. Here are their stats:

Eamon: 33 inches tall & 29 pounds

Maggie: 30 inches long & 25 pounds

I actually thought Maggie was going to weigh more than Eamon because she feels so heavy when I pick her up.

And I can't believe Eamon is only 33 inches tall. John-Paul and Andrew were both 36 inches tall (3 ft.) when they turned 2. Eamon's gonna be my little shortie!

Can you believe that Maggie is only 3 inches shorter and 4 pounds lighter than her 14-months-older-brother? What is going on?? Hopefully she'll thin out when she starts walking, which she is very close to doing already. Maybe she'll end up being a supermodel with her height, or an awesome volleyball player. Just as long as she doesn't play beach volleyball wearing a skimpy bikini!!

Here's the devotionals:
September 30 & October 1

Happy Feast Day to St. Therese!