Friday, October 30, 2015

{7QT}: Halloween Happenings, Stupid Store & Baby Bonanza


It's so fun to have Halloween on a weekend this year!  Today we all got to dress down at work and school and tonight is the kid's school's dance/trick-or-treating/haunted stage.

Halloween 2015 - Avengers

Tomorrow is the Halloween parade, followed by a pizza party with my family and trick-or-treating.  On Monday, the kids get to dress up as saints and after Mass they are going to have trunk-or-treating in the school parking lot.  I'm foreseeing tons of candy in my future.


Speaking of candy.  When you have 6 kids times 3 trick-or-treating opportunities, you get wayheyhey too much junk in the house.  We make all the kids dump their loots into a huge family candy bowl, and then we distribute a little each day until I can't stand it anymore and I dump it in the trash one night.  Best parents ever, right?  Don't worry, it's how we've always done it so it's normal to them.  Don't anyone tell them some kids are allowed to keep their own loot to themselves and eat it whenever they want.  I shudder when I think about what they'd do with that intell,  If you were to put all your sweet cherubs to bed on Halloween and sort through their candy bags (checking for poison, of course!) what candy would you taste test first?  Here's my order of delight:


There's something in the water, because three of my favorite bloggers who have six kids are pregnant again!  It's like they are trying to start a Lucky 7 club :) 


If you're wondering what happened in the Kohl's's still ongoing.  Emails have been exchanged numerous times with them apologizing that the particular item (Maggie's costume) sold out and telling me I can keep checking back to order it again when it restocks (like after Halloween?  What's the point?)  Still no answer on why they couldn't just send me one in the next bigger size as I asked.


Some Halloween pasts...

Oh my gosh I love my joyful kids soooooo much!


I'm digging this song right now:


And tonight is the final two soccer practices before the tournament on Sunday.  It's been a long soccer season with five teams, but it's been so fun to watch them develop their skills.  Except Xander who says he's "never, ever, ever gonna play soccer again".  He was not a fan!  We shall see how he feels when he's five.  Up next is basketball season for only two, that will be a breeze!

Haha, have a great Halloween and All Saints kind of weekend everybody!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dear Kohl's

Dear Kohl's,
      I am upset.  Last week, I ordered five Avengers costumes from for my children to wear for Halloween.  I even blogged about the order here, praising Kohl's for their sale prices and promo codes.  In fact, I have blogged often about the great deals I have found at your store.  I was a huge fan.  But not anymore.

Five whole days after I ordered the Halloween costumes, you sent me an email saying that one of them (Maggie's Black Widow costume) was sold out.  I received this email yesterday, the Tuesday of Halloween week!  If an item is sold out, you should have informed me right away, not five days later which gives me barely any time to scramble for a costume for her before her school's Halloween dance on Friday.

I have six kids, and we are living on Catholic school teacher salaries, and buying these group costumes was a very special treat for my kids.  Now my only daughter, who is seven years old, can't be part of the group with her brothers.  As the only girl in a family of boys who already feels left out, she is devastated.

Upon receiving the email from saying there was no Black Widow costume in her size, I emailed you back right away asking you to send one in the next size up.  You emailed back stating that the order was already in transit and couldn't be changed.  I wasn't asking you to change the order.  You already changed the order by not putting her costume in it!  I was asking you to send out a new order to us.

I was really assuming that your costumer service department would offer to ship overnight the bigger costume to make sure we got it in time, or give us a discount on the other 4 costumes we had bought, or something...anything!

I would never be this demanding or upset if it was just an order for clothing, but this was an order for Halloween costumes, and we all know that means they needed to be delivered by Friday, Oct. 30.  You have left me high and dry here,, thank goodness for Amazon prime, my new bff.

   One Very Unhappy Ex-Kohls Shopper

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Finding Your Flaw Diet

Hey everybody, I'm going to be a gazillionnaire!  I finally found the answer to all of our diet and weight loss problems!  

Luckily I've never seriously struggled with my weight, being able to balance healthy eating with exercise for the majority of my life.  There's been times, though, that I've seen the scale fluctuate up and down - in between pregnancies, adjusting to college life, during periods when working out was hard to fit in.  But I'm not one of those people that doesn't have to try.  Staying this size is a constant work in progress.  I'm consistently denying myself foods that aren't healthy, watching my calories, reading the newest diet trends, and fitting in times to exercise.  As Mindy Kaling once said:


So back to my gazillion dollar business idea.  I'm going to write a book titled "Fixing Your Food Flaws".  The first part is going to be a survey where the reader truthfully answers questions such as:

~ At a buffet, what is the first food you put on your plate?

~ When you go to a restaurant, do you look forward to the bread basket more than your entree?

~ Do you meal plan?

~ What time of day do you consume the most calories?

~ Are you a grazer, or do you eat only at meal times?

~ What would your last meal on earth consist of?

Etc, etc, etc.

The answers from this survey would give you an insight as to where your food flaws lie.  For example, you might be an over-eater, or an under-eater, or a carb lover, or a late-night snacker, or a fast food junkie, or an emotional eater, or a scrupulous health nut.  Whatever the case may be, you'll figure out your food personality and pinpoint what poor decisions you are making.

Then you will flip to the chapter in the book that teaches you how to overcome this food flaw.  It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure for dieters!!  So the person who tends to overeat at meal times will be taught how to count calories and control portions.  The person who is ordering out every night will be taught how to meal plan and grocery shop.  The person who emotionally eats chips late at night will learn coping mechanisms with a list of healthy snack options.  

There is no such thing as one diet that fits all.  I may have had success with a plan like Weight Watchers (and I did once) because at that time I needed to learn portion control.  But now that I know that, it isn't my problem anymore.  My problem now is that I under-eat during the day and chow down at night on junk food.  So I need to learn how to meal plan better and balance my caloric intake throughout the day.  After I solve that, I may need to learn to cut back on carbs and sugar - it's all about the journey towards health, not an instant result.  Baby steps to answers that will get you where you want to be, all based on what major food struggle you are having right now.  

So what do you think?  A success in the making?  After this book, I can write one on Working Out Your Weaknesses and then Strengthening Your Spiritual Side.  Now I just need a publisher, and a ghostwriter, and some free time ;)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Boys and Puppies

Guys, Declan is in the running for sweetest baby boy ever.  He is just adorably cute, and since he doesn't have many words, he walks around making thee cutest hand motions and little squeaks and sounds like a minion.  

There are only two times he will be predictably naughty/tantrumy, and they are at church and when it's time to come inside the house.  The boy would play outside all  the live-long day if we could let him.  He jumps, climbs, runs, rolls, throws, digs and never tires, it seems.  He is just like a puppy. In fact, all five of my boys were/are like puppies.

How rude, Colleen, to compare your male children to dogs.  But let's compare the two, shall we?


~ Need to be exercised to get their energy out so they can sleep later.

~ Are always hungry and will eat almost anything.

~ Love to clean their favorite body part.

~ Need to chew on toys, but if toys are unavailable will chew on the next closest and grossest item.

~ Want to be rubbed and scratched and given affection.

~ Will wrestle on the floor with anyone interested.

~ Jump up and down when they're excited.

~ Smell like a wet dog after coming in from the outside.

~ Will adore whomever fills their food and water.

~ Unconditionally love their owners.

~ Love to learn new tricks and show them off.

~ Thrive on praise.

~ Have barks that are worse than their bites.

~ Like to wake up early and find a playmate stat.

~ Feel the need to prove they can hold their own against bigger dogs.

~ Have accidents.

~ Don't recognize their own strength.

~ Will protect the ones they love.

~ Have terrible breath but no concept of personal space.

~ Need boundaries and rules.

~ Are so cute that it's hard to discipline them.


All of the above.

(and that's why we don't have any puppies!)

Friday, October 23, 2015

{7QT} Halloweenies

Let's talk Halloween prep today, shall weeeeeee? (say that really spookily to get you in the mood.)


Most years that I am pregnant or have a little baby, I dial in Halloween.  I tell the kids to go to the costume bin in the upstairs closet and figure out something.  Halloween just isn't that big of a deal for us.  The kids dress up for All Saints Day at school, and their Halloween costumes are usually a secondary thought to those costumes.  Also, our kids have never been "real" trick-or-treating at night, not because I have a problem with it, but because a small town near us has a Halloween parade at 4 that we all march in, then we trick-or-treat at a few surrounding houses right after, and then we go to my sister's house for pizza.  So we are usually home by 7 and that's all they've ever known!  It's awesome, really.

This year, without the pregnancy or newborn excuse, and with Xander's obsession over the Hulk, I decided to surprise them with Avengers costumes.  I got really great deals (on sale plus 30% off with code Spooky30 and another 30% off with code Pumpkin30 - see individual links below) and since I can't sew or craft I have to buy cheap!  Without further ado, here's what the kiddos will be...


Xander will be The Hulk.  Because he thinks he actually is the Hulk.


Eamon will be Captain America. This just suits him so well.


Andrew will be Iron Man.  He wanted to be the funniest one.


John-Paul will be Thor.  He's the tallest, so it worked!  He was hard to find a costume for as he is in between a boy and a man right now (oh the joys of smelly puberty) so we just got him this shirt and this hammer to hold.


Declan will wear this shirt as I couldn't find any other Avengers group costume to fit him.  He doesn't mind.  I asked.


Maggie will be The Black Widow.  We have a red wig that she may or probably won't let me put near her head, but I'll try :)

Now if there was just a way to turn all of these into saints costumes, I'd be all set ;)

St. Joan of Arc, St. Michael, St. Patrick, St. George, and St. Florian, perhaps?????

Have a great Halloween-prepping last-soccer-games kinda weekend everybody!!  And as usual, go see Kelly for more.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Happy Day!

Happy Feast Day to my oldest baby, John-Paul.

You were named after such a wonderful man, Pope, and Saint after I had the privilege of seeing him on three different occasions as a young adult, which is even more incredible now that he's a saint (how often does one come in contact with a canonized saint?).   I just knew my first-born son would be named John-Paul, and luckily, Phil agreed.

You were such a gift to us from the very start, though we were young and poor and scared.  You were my most favorite birthday present ever, and you love that we share that day.  We've grown up with you on this parenting journey, and you've made it way too easy on us.  We are so blessed to have such a kind, smart, funny, and holy boy to take the lead in our crew.  

Pope Saint John Paul, pray for my John-Paul and all of us to live our faith with such love, kindness, and joy as you did.  May God especially bless all the John Paul's today!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekend Phone Dump

What a busy weekend!  Said every mom everywhere, I'm sure :)

On Friday, Maggie and I got haircuts and ended up looking like twins.  Maggie's definitely cuter and blonder, but the summer gave me some nice natural highlights, and surprisingly no gray hairs yet (or at least not enough to make a difference).  Since I have such thin (balding) , flat (lifeless) , straight (can't style it) hair, I'm glad I at least got a nice color on the day God was deciding my hair fate.

Grace of the much-missed Camp Patton blog was so nice to send me this Lily Jade bag.  I think I've entered every Lily Jade giveaway I find online, but have never been lucky enough to win.  Now I have one for my very own! 

On Saturday, between soccer practices, basketball practice, altar serving, a play date with cousins, and a birthday party, Phil and I ended up having only the two little ones for a few hours, and it was amazing!  It's so fun to just do little kid things instead of dragging them to wherever the big kids need to go.  We went to Alexander's favorite playground and they had a blast...

On Sunday morning, we woke up to fuh-reezing weather.  Of course Sunday Funday includes allllll the outdoor soccer games, and I looked like a hobo on the side of the fields.  

We were prepared with lots of layers, hot tea and blankets.  
Go Colts.  Wink.

 On Sunday night, I took the school aged boys to a Mother/Son bowling event through their school.  

It was fun, even though the bowling alley might possibly be the oldest in the whole world.  Seriously - paper and pen scoring, button pushing to clear the pins, and musty smell straight from 1971.  

 While we were bowling, Maggie and Phil had a date of their own:

 Cheers!  Slainte!
Some Martins get canonized, some Martins go bowling and eat pizza.  Here's hoping I'm more like the former, and here's to a rip-ROARING rest of the week!  

Friday, October 16, 2015

{7QT} Leggings, Freckles, Birthdays, and a Future Saint

Joining up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes, and away we gooooooo...

The floors are done!  They look beautiful!  I am waiting for curtains and pillows to arrive to give a finished picture of the room, but here are the floors in all their glory.


White Plum sent me the softest and cutest pair of leggings to try, and I love them!  I honestly need to go buy more pairs.  Ana just reviewed these same leggings (we picked the same print - twinning!) and she was right, they are as soft as buttah.  I was making everybody feel them which is not not weird at all.  You can get 20% off a pair by using code MF20 until 10/20/15, so chop chop!

Also not not weird - taking photos like these in the church parking lot.

How Not to Model Tip #1:
When you put your hands in the pockets of a dress and stretch it out from side to side, it makes you look very, very wide.

How Not to Model Tip #2:
Do not look at the camera at all.

How Not to Model Tip #3:
Have your husband to take the photos, telling him all the while "Make sure you get the leggings in the shot!" to which he hears "Make sure you cut out my face!"


I went to the dermatologist this week, and had a full body check, but it wasn't as bad as I had been dreading.  Apparently I don't have too many moles, just lots and lots of freckles.  

I did have two questionable moles - one is just being observed (measured, photographed, will mark any changes) and the other was biopsied to check for cancer.  Of course, in my need to learn humility, that mole was on my tookus.  Of all the places!  I'm still waiting for the results of the biopsy, so a small prayer would be appreciated, but I'm not too nervous.


Phil turned 35!  

35 is the new 25.

Oh wait, six kids means you are definitely not 25 anymore - sorry honey.

So I've wanted to buy a spiralizer for a while, and figured giving it to Phil for a birthday present could justify the expense.  We all laughed and laughed when he opened it, because what man doesn't want a kitchen tool to make zucchini noodles?

Then I got him some boring pants for work (they are the only kind he likes!)

Then I gave him a book that I forgot I had already given him in the past.  Whoops!

Declan was shocked at my poor gift-giving abilities.

But Xander was very happy with this movie gift!

That's me!  The Hulk!!!!!!!!!

As were all the other boys :)


Sophia Press sent over this book about Chiara Corbello Petrillo, whom I had just recently heard about from my friend who was thinking of girl names for her unborn baby.  

She's a Katie Holmes look-a-like, don'tchathink?
She has an amazing story of joyful suffering, and I can't wait to read it all.  The forward alone, written by her husband is incredibly moving.  She will most likely be canonized, a saint for our modern times.  

People are comparing her to St. Gianna, and I'm wondering why God is allowing this new "crop" of saints it to teach us to be better mothers, more pro-life, more open to life, more joyful in our vocation?  Is He telling us that He holds mother's hearts with special tender care, especially those hearts that have ached over losing a child?  I think Our Lady must be heavily interceding for saints like these, as she knows best what it's like to lose a child.  I have a lot to learn and meditate on from these shining examples.


Just a random car photo of all of my boys, some more hidden than others.


And last but not least, today's Link-toberfest question is "Who is your Favorite Blogger that you discovered through Quick Takes?"  My answer - Jen Fulwiler.  I was reading blogs and kept seeing this 7QT thing pop up, and it led back to her blog (as original hostess).  From there of course there were links of so many great blogs that I've been following for years!

Have a great weekend everybody!!