Monday, February 27, 2017

Birthday Buddies

You know how some years your birthday is just so nice and perfect and other years it just annoys you?  I tend to get my expectations pretty high for life events which of course always sets myself up for disappointment.  Why do I do that? Major personality flaw.  Anyhoo, this year I was just so happy that it was on a Saturday and John-Paul, my birthday buddy, would be home all day with me.  Even better, it wasn't during Lent!  We've had our bday on Ash Wednesday before, so this was a major plus.  We woke up to Phil making hash browns as part of a huge breakfast.

See that handy dandy contraption?  My brother and sister-in-law told us about it last week and we amazon-primed one right up.  It's amazing!

The kids showered us both with homemade cards which just happen to be my very favorite kind.

We gave JP his big gift in the morning..a Fitbit Flex!  Now Phil and I and the three oldest boys all have activity trackers.  We are such a weird family.  Even Declan gets in the car after picking up everyone at school/daycare and says "How was school?  How many steps?" to everyone.  It cracks me up.

Friday, February 24, 2017

7QT: The Week Off


We had the week off!  Well, at least Phil and the kids did.  I've been working a couple shorter days so it's not too bad.  I used to work 60 hours a week during February break when I was a tax accountant, so only having to work 10 hours is totally a treat!


So we drove down to Maryland to see family and friends.  God blessed us with some gorgeous weather.  It was sunny and 70 degrees!  In February!!

The boys played football with their cousins and chose to be skins.  Andrew nicknamed them The Skinny Skins :)

Maggie in heaven with girl cousins!

Lucy came with us and loved running around all the acres at Nana and Gramps' house.  

Finn the Skin

Rory showing off her gymnastics moves

We celebrated JP and my birthday while we were there.  This is the first birthday he's taller than me.  The nerve!

Friday, February 17, 2017

7QT: Treadmill Running Tips and Tricks

Yesterday I was running on the treadmill at the gym and realized I totally have a method to dealing with treadmill training because I kinda hate it.  I think I'll make it my Seven Quick Takes Tips today (linking up with Kelly as usual).


I always try and pick a treadmill that is on the end of a row or at least one that is in between two empty treadmills.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I'm slaving away on the dreadmill and someone occupies the one when there are others available.  I don't want to feel your sweat on me or hear you panting in my ear!  Move along little doggy.


If for some reason I must be right next to another treadmill runner, then guess what?

That's probably only a helpful tip for competitive peeps but it's fun for me!  I sneak a peek at what the person next to me is doing and try to do it just a little bit faster.  

(Click Read More to well, read more...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DIY Parenting

DIY, or Do It Yourself, is such a popular option when it comes to most things right now.  Meals are healthier when made from scratch, decorations are more meaningful when you can personalize them, home remodels are cheaper when you put your own sweat into the mix.  With the aid of the Internet, YouTube videos, and Pinterest, you can easily look up how to do almost anything and then try and do it yourself.  But no matter how much money can be saved or how much healthier a lifestyle it will bring, there is something bigger that is gained from doing things yourself.

By DIY, you  gain a deeper relationship and satisfaction in your handiwork.

Now that craft that you just poured your heart into becomes a prized possession to the person receiving it, and the bedroom you just repainted makes you happy every time you pass by.  It's not just a bedroom now, it's your bedroom.  Sure it takes work, but isn't that where the satisfaction is found?  Isn't that how relationships are formed?

Parenting works the same way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It's Raining Men on Valentine's Day


Had to get that one out of my system.  It seems like it is raining men, or little men, in the Martin house.   Sometimes I hear myself tell people that I have six sons and I actually have to pause because I shock myself.  Like wait, that can't be right, can it?  We need to find a family of six little ladies all around my boys' ages and betrothe them all.  Then we can just skip all the future dates and broken hearts and drama.  Sounds good.

Anyhoo, when it comes to Valentine's Day and I dream of how to show my main man how much I love him, I can't help but plan on giving all my boys something to let them feel loved and cherished.  Not to fret!  Maggie gets doted on by her Dad, and we hope to show them a glimpse of what a future relationship should look like.  Just not with us....with their pre-determined spouse as previously discussed.  Hee hee.

My big boys, who are almost 14, 12, and 10, feel so loved when they are fed a huge meal of something they like.  One of the best treats I can give them is just to let them pick a meal.  Easy peasy.  These big boys also let me hug them whenever I want, so I take advantage of that and pray it never changes.  We don't do kisses much, I'm just not into kissing my kids once they are past the toddler stage.  Is that weird?

For my littlest men, aged 5 and 2, a little gift makes them feel very special, especially when it's something their big brothers think is cool.  A special treat works for them too,  maybe some chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert, and we will find a cute Valentine's show for them to watch on Netflix. while we are driving the basketball boys to all their games.

All the school kids will be getting a package of Nutella with pretzel sticks in their lunchboxes, a treat that they always look at longingly in the checkout line but I always refuse to buy.  And they will each get a bracelet that I ordered for their stockings but didn't arrive until January.  Valentine's Day gifts for the win!

Some years we just give them a card saying we will take them to a certain movie on the weekend, or sometimes it's a new Valentine's shirt to wear to school, or even just strawberry syrup in their milk at dinner to make it pink.  Whatever it actually is doesn't matter, it truly is the thought behind it, that they are important and loved.  Boys respond so well to these little acts of love and I can't stop myself from showing them who loved them first, before I get happily replaced with all of my future daughters-in-law.

As for that amazing husband of mine, well he's getting a gift he hasn't stopped talking about since he first saw it on TV!  After all the basketball games, we are hoping to grab some takeout and enjoy some homemade creme brulee.  He may actually get a kiss from me too, as he's the only one I want to smooch.

Have fun showing all your loved ones just how much they mean to you!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

7QT: Snow, Lego, Reno and Jojo

It's Friday but it feels like Sunday because....


It snowed a bunch yesterday!  School was cancelled yesterday AND today so it's a four day weekend :)

Lucy is 6 months old today!  Woof!


Since playing in the snow doesn't last too long, I need to find something indoors for these kids to do.  I'm thinking the Lego Batman movie?  

Have you seen it?  Is it everything I hope it will be?


Every day Declan asks for his "bite-a-min and ball":

I don't know why but it brings me such joy to give them each a gummy bear vitamin holding a probiotic "ball".  Isn't it cute?


Phil and I were trying to plan a romantic Valentine's date and then, due in part to all the snow and cancellations, we now have three basketball games scheduled for Valentine's Day evening.  I mean, come on!  Watching my kids play basketball is one of my favorite activities, but on Valentine's Day I would rather be eating dinner somewhere fancy without seeing their sweet little faces.   We are thinking of ordering our favorite boneless chicken wings after the kids go to bed and getting to know each other better.  With a questionnaire... geesh, this is a family-friendly blog ;)


We have a small room off of our family room that we have always used as a toy room.  

I feel like it's a waste of space now because even though we still have little kids, they barely are home playing with toys (which is sad but true) and we have a piece of furniture that I think can hold all of our favorite toys.  So if I can move the kids' bookshelf upstairs to the little boys room and put the piece of furniture with toys in this little room, what else could we do with this space?  I was thinking either office/homework space or a little den with a small couch, another tv and the kids games.  Any advice?


I'm reading this book (I got it for a penny!) about getting in shape, and so far it's pretty good advice, nothing new but sometimes you just need a motivating reminder to do what you already know.  You know?  Her ease into it approach has me hooked, as do her cheat meals.  I also recently finished Chip & Jojo's book and it was good, also motivating in a sense of chasing your dreams and putting family first.  It kinda makes me want to go open a family business.


My kids and I are kind of obsessed with this video from the Patriots parade in Boston this week.  Even if you hate them (cuz you ain't them) you will like this video :)

Have a great snow-blowing, shoveling, snowman-building weekend everybody!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tidbit Tuesday, February Edition

How is it February already?  This winter is flying by, thank God, but I do love February!!  It's a short but fun month with Superbowl Sunday, Valentine's Day, my birthday, my firstborn's birthday, February vacation week, and this year Lent doesn't even start until March!

Last week we had First Friday Adoration in our school's chapel plus throat blessings for the feast of St. Blaise, and their was actually a line of kids waiting to get in the chapel.

It may have something to do with missing class, but I'll accept it :)


On the same note, it was Catholic School's Week and my kids had lots of fun events and dress-down days.  On Monday they celebrated 100 days of school and had to dress like they were 100:

JP was an old guy who watches tv in a nursing home, Maggie had glasses and a bun, and the rest were well-dressed gents.  Eamon cracks me up with his suspender pose...what a ham.


John-Paul got accepted into high school!  I took a video of him opening his letter, it was so cute.  He acted like he didn't think he would be accepted...ummm both your parents work there and you're a great kid!  He totally surprised us all by placing in the top ten on the entrance exam and earning a scholarship that will help pay for his books and uniforms.  He's also getting a new phone from us because we told him we would replace his broken one if he placed in the top ten...never thinking he would actually do it!  Parents of the year right here ;)


We also registered Declan for preschool next year, so my oldest will be leaving our catholic elementary school, but a new Martin will be starting.  They just can't seem to shake us.  Once JP is in high school, we will have at least one high schooler from 2017-2035 (if I did my math right).  How crazy does that sound?


Alexander is Student of the Week in Kindergarten, and got to take home the class pet (George, the stuffed monkey) for a week.  George has been having lots of fun:

He helped us pick out a new pet fish...

....and he watched the Superbowl with us in his Patriots shirt!  Big fan, that George.

That's it from this neck of the woods, don't forget to enter the Magic Sleepsuit giveaway!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Only the Patriots!

I fell asleep in the fourth quarter because I thought the Falcons had the game in a bag.  But boy was I wrong!  I'm so happy my boys got to see this big win for the first Superbowl we let them stay awake for!