Monday, December 31, 2018

Seasonal Goodness: Christmas 2018

Happy New Year!!  I've been meaning to post all the photos from our past week off and was having too much fun enjoying life to stop to document it.  But today is a no-plans-until-3pm kinda day, and so here I am recapping the end of 2018 for the old blog book.

I had such good intentions of taking the kids somewhere to get into the holiday festivities, but between Winter Track schedule (Phil coaches and JP plays) and the 3 Basketball teams (4 if you count Xander's weekly instructional practice), our time was extremely limited.  On top of all that normal business, our very sharing family passed around the stomach bug and it was like a row of the slowest falling dominoes ever.  Every child got the bug but were recovered in time to head out to a nearby park that decorates for Christmas.  While we were there, they were passing out hot cocoa and candy canes, and ST. Nick even showed up.  God is good and checked all my boxes.

Friday, December 21, 2018

18 Looks Back at 2018

It's so good for this mama's soul to look back over the year and give thanks for all of our blessings and adventures.  

So here's 18 photos to sum up 2018.

For Christmas stocking gifts, we gave each child a coupon for a date with Phil and I, and we spent January cashing in those coupons.  It was so fun!  We went to breakfast with the little boys, lunch with JP, dinner with Andrew and Eamon, and lunch with Maggie.  This is something we kept up with through the year...every kid had 2 or 3 dates with us.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas Card 2018

Lazily linking up with Kelly for Seven Quick Takes with our Christmas card photo of our Seven Wonders.  

Too much prepping and wrapping and partying to write a post lately, but that's a good thing.  

There's also been some puking and coughing and ear-aching lately, which is not a good thing.  

But, 'tis the season!  

I hope you are all staying healthy, happy and sane at this busy time of year!

Have a wonderful weekend and a JOYFUL Gaudete Sunday everyone!!

Friday, December 7, 2018

7QT: Christmas Traditions

When we first got married, there was a little tension on deciding upon Christmas Traditions for our family.  Phil and I each had a few of our own that we wanted to continue, and that caused us to compromise and create a system that worked for us.  So here's the Top 7 Christmas Traditions we have (linking up with Kelly!):


We decorate the (fake) tree and house on Black Friday while drinking cocoa with marshmallows and listening to Christmas music.  It's early to do it, but Thanksgiving has happened (no Christmas before Thanksgiving!!) and it's a day we are all at home from work and school, so it makes it easy to schedule.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Making Memories for Every Martin

Lately I've been reminiscing (and looking back through old photos) of all the wonderful events we used to take our kids to when there were *only* four.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Jacuzzi Baby Turns Eleven

Eleven years ago, against hospital rules (state law?) Maggie was born underwater in the jacuzzi, after the world's fastest labor and my first natural delivery.  And the girl hasn't stopped pushing the boundaries since :)  

3 year old Maggie Moo

Friday, November 30, 2018

7QT: Confessing, Training, Preparing, and Flooring

Happy Last Day of November!  Linking up with Kelly of course...


Alexander Blaise made his First Reconciliation last night! 

As soon as it was over, he said "You're right, it DOES feel so good!"  Then we went and picked out a treat at Cumberland Farms (his choice).  He picked BubbleTape (remember that stuff?!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Screens, Tweens and Teens

Jenny asked me to write this post awhile ago, before summer had even started, but I think having waited this long and made it through another summer (aka screen season) has given me more food for thought to write this now. So I guess procrastination does pay off sometimes!
But not when it comes to family rules about screen times.
It’s never too early to discuss expectations, set rules, and enforce them even if it means being the mean parent. I recently came across this quote:

Read the rest of my article over at Mama Needs Coffee (thanks Jenny for having me guest post!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gift Giving Guide (Lots of links for easy shopping!)

Since it's almost Black Friday, and that means deals, deals, deals, here's a list of tried and true gifts we've bought through the years.  Hope you find something for your special someone :)

(List contains affiliate links, which don't cost you anything extra but help us get a teeny tiny kickback if you shop through my links - thanks in advance!)

Also, I always shop through EBATES to earn extra cash (they send a check!) while I shop.

Big Boys

Pull-up bar (I can't recommend enough!!  Perfect energy burner!)
Kindle fire and case (So cheap right now)
Fitness tracker
Michael Vey series
Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Blitz ball
Knee pads (short) or the longer knee pads
The Great Brain series
Mike Lupica series
Ripley's Believe it or Not books (2018 is out!)
Year in Sports book
Rubik's Cube (Andrew is obsessed!)
Football cards
Pop Socket (for the phone age group)
No Stress Chess game
Basketball and indoor mini hoop
Nike Elite socks (They can't get enough colors!)
Boxer Briefs or Boxer Shorts
Fleece hoodies (for the boys who hate coats)
Under armour winter hat & gloves
NFL hats
Ripstick (seen in photo above)
Water bottles my boys like (with sprayer too)
Joggers (my boys live in these when they're out of uniform
NBA Tees
Football Gloves
Sports/Gym bag
Dude Perfect book
Walkie Talkies
Dude Perfect Bow and extra arrows (you're gonna need them!)
Laser Tag Set (such a winner this year!)
Football Winter Hat
Soccer Ball
Basketball Cards and Binder

Girl's choices
Cute dress
Critter hat for girls (only $5 today!)
Nancy Drew Clue Crew series
American Girl doll (A WellieWisher is a less expensive alternative)
Shining Light Dolls (great Catholic present!)
Tiny Saints Charms
Bernadette Books
Phase 10 and Uno
Dice to play Bolo
String for making bracelets plus a clipboard to help hold bracelet in place
Leap Pad (seen in photo)
Crystal Growing Kit
Collapsible Water Bottle
Football Winter Hat
Gel Pens
Blendy Pens
The Shadow Children series (Maggie is 10 and REALLY into these)

Younger Boys
Scooter (crowd pleaser!)
Pogostick (We make them go out and jump when they're getting underfoot)
Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry DVDs (Huge faves here)
Disgusting Jelly Beans (Fun stocking stuffers)
Bubble Maker
Best water balloons
Pokemon Cards
Ice age DVDs
Boogie Board (re-writable board - great for car trips!)
Joggers (so great for skinny boys)
Easy Bake Oven (bought this for my daughter but the younger boys love it more)
Walkie Talkies
Little People Nativity
Plasma Car (seen in photo above)
Magformers (good price right now)
Baby slippers
Football Winter Hat
Marble Race Track (for our 2 year old this year!)
Monkey finger toy (stocking stuffer)
Mini Trampoline
Marvel Avengers Figurines

Mens Picks
Fitbit (We both wear ours everyday!)
Hair Clippers (for the price of ONE haircut)
Books by Phil's favorite author
Family-sized griddle
Copper Pans (he likes his nonstick!)
Running shoes for him
Ice ball maker
Joggers (the "skinniest" pants he'll wear!)
The Complete Fr. Brown Stories
Cast Iron Skillet
Pizza Stone
Scratch Tickets
Whiskey or Specialty Beer
Fire Stick
Football Winter Hat

Gifts for the Lady
Fitbit Blaze with changeable wristband
Sanitizing toothbrush holder
Cute belt
My favorite tea
My favorite daily water bottle (so easy to clean)
Running water bottle (Handheld and I don't run without it)
Great book for women for the new year
 Running shoes for her
Favorite mom running pants (only $16 right now!)
Garment steamer (For the gal who hates ironing...which is like everybody, yes?)
Fiestaware plates (I'm adding to my collection)
Willowtree Nativity Set
Catholic tees (I'll take any of these :)
Fire Stick
Catholic Journaling Bible
My favorite scented Mrs. Meyers
Instant Pot

Family Gifts

Boxing Gloves for adultskids, and mitts (so fun to spar together)
Krypto (the BEST math game for all ages)
Connect Four
Bose Bluetooth Speaker (how we dance every night!)
Groupons for bowling/ice skating/rockclimbing
Movie tickets (AAA has good prices)
Pajamas for everyone (see photo from Target website above)
Fire Stick
A vacation getaway (even just an overnight with an indoor pool!)
A pet (may I suggest a fish?) or Greenies for your pup :)
Subscription to Covenant Eyes (to keep the internet safe!)

And that's all for now....hit me up with your fave gifts in the combox and I'll try and add them here :)  I'd love some new ideas for what to buy this year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits

So many times I want to share news and family stories in this little space, but then I think that all of the stuff that is keeping us busy would be really boring for other people to read.  So I don't share and then weeks go by and I feel guilty for not recording memories of the kids' lives that move so fast and are so forgettable unless I write it down.  So here's a quick update of what's happening, it's very sports heavy, but you all know I have 6 boys and a tomboy, so that's what you've signed up for.

But Colleen, we didn't sign up for anything.

Well, lucky you!  You get this riveting content for free!

Oh, before I begin, I just need to take a minute to bemoan the fact that I never have my "real" camera at my disposal anymore because JP uses it for Photography Class at school and keeps it there.  Bad phone photos it is!

Friday, November 16, 2018

7QT: Sports, Snow, and SHOPPING!

Joining Kelly with some Friday Seven Quick Takes...


Soccer Season officially ended on Sunday with playoff games for Andrew and Eamon (they both got to finals then lost!)  My cutie patootie forwards played so well this year - lots of goals and assists.  JP ended his JV soccer season recently as well, and played strong in defense.  That boy is fast and strong!  
Eamon's 2nd Place Soccer Team

But there's no rest for the weary...CYO basketball games started this week.  Andrew, Eamon, and Maggie all play.  Xander plays in an instructional league at school and for our town, and JP will run Winter Track again.  


A coworker was telling me a story this week that involved a bodyguard, and I thought, I would love to have a bodyguard.  Not the kind of life that warrants a bodyguard necessarily, but someone to keep me safe and show me where to go sounds wonderful.  And maybe also drive my kids around (see #1).


In age order - Maggie ruins the perfect step effect, such is the life of a supermodel :)

We had Christmas photos taken of the kids at JC Penney with an amazing Groupon I got last year too.  It's for a photo session PLUS 60 Christmas Cards all for under $25.  You can't go wrong!  If you have a JC Penney in your area, check out the deal here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Negative Start. Positive Finish.

My Dad came to America from Ireland when he was 19.  He had $50 in his pocket and went to work with his older brother who had immigrated a couple of years earlier.  Through lots of hard work and sacrifice, he learned how to build houses and was able to start a career and family here.  

I always thought of his story while I was growing up, in awe that he was actually one of those people who came to America looking for better opportunities, having nothing yet making something of himself and all the challenges that come with that.  You hear stories about immigrants just like him in history books and movies, but for it to actually be my father was very inspiring.  I remember thinking that I could NEVER do what he did.  I could never move and start out my adult life with nothing to fall back on.

And so, I became educated to give myself a better start.  Once I graduated with my Masters from Franciscan University, married Phil and became pregnant a month later, I realized we were in an even worse spot than my dad, the poor young immigrant, had been.  Sure, he started out with nothing, but we were starting out $80,000 in debt.  

Suddenly, starting out with nothing actually sounded good!  

Friday, November 2, 2018

7 (Really) Quick Takes

It's a rainy Friday morning - still dark but full of promise because...


I woke up to this beautiful email

Nothing on the calendar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a rare treat!


That means I should be able to check my long run off this week's training plan, but alas, the rain.  SO it's cross training at the gym instead.  Unless I can talk myself into running 9 miles of the dreadmill?  

Me, after mile 6, minus the happy dance.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween and All Saints 2018

We've got a CIA agent & Chase, Mickey & Minnie, Iron Man & Captain America.  Brendan was not letting me put up his hood, which has Mickey's face on it.  I was frustrated and complained the whole way to the pizza shop that I didn't get a good photo...and he would never be 2 again...and I just need a good photo on every holiday...and on and on.  Why does this mean so much to me?  It's like I can just see how fleeting time is, and while I'm pretty ok with my kids growing up and moving along, I need photos from when they are young to cry into.  Moms.  Ya know?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Book of Love (and Respect)

I am currently reading a book, For Women Only, which is designed to help women understand the mind and emotions of men.  There's also a book titled For Men Only, which helps men better understand the female species.  Phil is reading that one.  Don't worry!  Our marriage isn't in trouble!  This stuff just interests us, and since love is knowledge, the more we know about one another, the better.  Much as a physically fit athlete continues to work out, a healthy marriage continues to grow and improve when both spouses put in the work required.  

Friday, October 26, 2018

7QT: Run, Dance, Eat

It's Friday!!!!  We are heading to our kids' school's Halloween dance and Haunted stage tonight.  Andrew and his 8th grade class have been working hard on the stage, and I'm excited to get frightened!  Linking up with Kelly and the other ghouls, mwahahahaha :)


Marathon training has begun!  Guys, I still really, really can't picture myself running 26.2 miles in February.  Realistically, I can see myself running another half-marathon instead.  But!  I will try and follow this training schedule, and see what happens.  So far, so good...I mean it is one of the lowest mileage weeks in the whole plan, and I've had two rest days already ;)  But tonight I'm getting my first long run done before the Nor'easter comes tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Book, Cook, Look - A Review of What I'm Currently Reading, Eating, and Wearing {October Linkup}

This will become a new monthly linkup!  Add your October post of Book ~ Cook ~ Look below.  Thanks!

Happy Feast of the great Pope Saint John-Paul.  Also known as my boyfriend.  I tell my family that IF I ever make it to Heaven, they will know where to find me because I'll be perched next to JP2.  

Is my crazy showing?


I don't know if this will become a regular segment around here, but I have a couple of good books in my stack, some yummy recipes we've been eating, and an outfit inspired by Walmart!  Please feel free to post your own Book ~ Cook~ Look and link up back here!  Can't wait to check you out!

Friday, October 19, 2018

7QT: Spirit Week, Macron Madness, and Crazy Calendars

Happy Friday!  What a week!  (Do I say that every week?  I'm like the girl who cried wolf!)  Linking up with Kelly and the betters...


Phil's birthday was last week and I never mentioned it!  

He's the third birthday within two weeks at our house, so he basically gets nothing even though he deserves EVERYTHING.  Love him so much.  We had swimming and soccer and basketball to drive the kids around to, but did manage to fit in a little homemade pizza and cake.  The kids made him sweet cards, and I got him some gifts (pizza stone, Redskins joggers,  a Catholic Journaling Bible, and a book he wanted) and then we went out to dinner the next night and between the birthday deal from the restaurant and a gift card, we only spent $6.  Talk about a cheap date!!  Happy 38th bae!


#postcardsformacron has been my favorite way to find some awesome ladies on the grams this week.  What was that guy thinking to upset all these well-educated women who are raising a lot of future voters??  Educated women aren't defined by the number of degrees they hold, and Moms aren't defined by the number of kids they have.  If you disagree with Macron's statement, send a virtual postcard.  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Our Daily Bread

We can say the same prayer since childhood, grow so accustomed to its rhythm that we can't hear the words anymore, until one day, it's like a certain phrase is glowing with a message meant just for us.  Today, that message for me is in one of the simplest prayers, the Our Father.

The line that glows for me today?


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Apple Picking 2018

I'll just let the photos do the talking...

Friday, October 5, 2018

7qt: Fourteen, Sleep Apnea, and a Winner!

Happy first Friday in October!!  What a lovely month it is, let's play a little 7 Quick Takes Friday with Kelly, shall we?


Andrew turned 14 on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi...since he was little, we've told him he HAS to pick Francis as his Confirmation name...mostly because I still feel guilty for not using Francis in his name #catholicmomfail.

He asked for pizza and ice cream sundaes for his birthday dinner, which was late because he had soccer practice first and this sports fanatic couldn't skip a practice!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Running After Pregnancy (and Pregnancy After Running)

Do you know what it’s like to get an injury that prevents you from running, sidelines you for months, and once you finally heal, you have to start from level one of your fitness journey?  It’s one of the most frustrating experiences for all athletes. 

Now imagine doing that again, and again, and again.

(and again)

That’s what pregnancy can feel like to the life of a runner.  Although pregnancy is a natural and healthy occurrence, and not an injury, the whole process is very much the same.  I always feel like I get into great running shape, get pregnant, have to start from scratch, rinse and repeat...

Read the rest over at Catholic Women Run :)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Uncommon Goods: A Review and Giveaway!

Over the summer, I went into a little shop with my mother-in-law and could have perused for hours.  The shop was full of little odds and ends from jewelry to household items, apparel, children's toys, to magnets and games and knickknacks galore.  There were so many beautifully crafted handmade items, and I kept thinking about this little shop, wishing there was a way for me to shop all of it's goodies online.  One day out of the blue, I got an email from Tom at UncommonGoods, and I realized this was it!  This was an online collection of handmade items you would find at your local shop or craft fair...all in one place.  I chose a few items to review, and honestly y'all (can a northerner say y'all?) it was hard.  It took me a couple of weeks to choose because I wanted everything!!! I decided to focus on things to make entertaining more fun - and here's what I chose...

Friday, September 28, 2018

7QT: Walmart Groceries, Sins of Others, and Halloween Costumes

Happy (rainy) Friday!!  Linking up with Kelly and the betters...


My sister told me about Walmart Grocery pickup and my life became instantly better.  If you have a Walmart near you that offers this, you must try it.  There is no extra cost or hidden fees and you're not even allowed to tip the workers.  All you have to do is order online or through the app and as long as it's over $30 (isn't it always?!) you just choose a pick up time, and tell the app when you're leaving home. Walmart will know when you pull in and they bring the groceries right out to your car.  It's amazing.  If you use the code Walmart1, you can save $10 on three shopping trips, $30 total.  


The other online shopping tool that has made my life better, in the form of extra cash, is Ebates.  You just sign up and get the app on your phone, and go through that to shop online and they send you a check in the mail every few months.  I just got 20% cash back from Macy's which is huge!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

E-man the Tween

Eamon (rhymes with Damon) Philip Martin turned 12 years old today.

This 6th grader was excited to have gym on his birthday... no uniform!

My heart could just burst with love and pride for this guy.  I asked him if he felt any older this morning, and he said "nope".  I don't think he's any taller than he was on his 11th birthday either, but all good things come in time, and I'm not ready for him to grow up quite yet anyway.  Yesterday, I mused out loud in the car about how it was his last day being eleven, and Andrew claps his hands giddily and says "Called it!"  Apparently, Andrew had bet Eamon that I would make note of his last day being 11 because I "always do that" on the eve of a birthday.  Guilty as charged, I suppose, but a mother is allowed to feel the passing of time of each child at least once a year.  I always feel a twinge of sadness, but then it's immediately replaced with excitement at all that lays ahead for them in this new year.  Twelve is a great age, innocent enough so as not to make a parent worry too much, but grown up enough to be able to participate in fun adult conversations.  Eamon has always had a sweet and mature soul, and although I've started to (shockingly) hear him argue back with his dad from time to time, for the most part, he's still our most obedient and happy-go-lucky kid.  He's probably our easiest, if I had to choose, which is a long departure from how hard he was as a baby!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Maggie's Surgery: Tonsils & Adenoids & Auricular Pit

One morning in August, Maggie started complaining about her "ear hole" which is the auricular pit she's had since birth.  Apparently it's just a part of the ear that never finished closing up during the sixth week of pregnancy when the ear is developing.  It's not super uncommon and it tends to run in families, Brendan has it too.  When a baby is born with one (or two) the doctors test their kidney function as it can be associated with some other abnormalities, but in Maggie's case, it was just a little "ear hole" and they told us not to worry about it unless it became infected.  

Ten years later, it became infected.  

We took her to the doctor after trying warm compresses and draining at home to no avail.  She was immediately placed on antibiotics because an infection that close to the brain is no bueno and two weeks later, we were sent to the ENT from Boston Children's Hospital.  The doctor there explained that once it becomes infected, they like to remove it/close it up, as frequent infections are most likely in her future and that leads to scarring which leads to a tougher surgery.  Upon going through her medical history and discovering how many times Maggie has had strep throat (so many times!) she suggested we have her tonsils removed during the same surgery so as not to make the poor girl have two different surgeries in a couple years.  She said she would look at her adenoids while she was in there to see if they needed to be removed as well.  The surgery was scheduled very quickly for September 20.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Week of Too Much Medical Stuff

I have been dreading this week, and yet, here we are!  

Time slows down for no mom.

I should make that into a sign.

On Wednesday, I will have my yearly physical, and even though I love my doctor and would love any chance to chat with him, nobody likes a physical, right?  I told myself back in August that I would start eating really clean in order to bring the numbers on the scale and on my lipid screen down, but alas, I am still eating ice cream and pizza as of yesterday.   What can I do in the next two days to undo what I’ve done for the last 363?  Lots of water, protein, fruits and veggies and nothing else.  I’m hoping that will somehow make a difference, but I know it doesn’t work like that!

On Thursday, Maggie has her surgery.  Poor girl.  She is getting her auricular pit removed and closed up, and also her tonsils removed and possibly adenoids too.  We are going to Boston Children’s Hospital so she is in grrrreat hands, but surgery is surgery and it’s a 2 hour one with a 2 week recovery.  Maggie is sad to be missing school for two weeks, but we are very hopeful that these surgeries will mean an end to the antibiotic train she has been riding for the past few years with recurring strep and an infection in her “ear hole”.  She mentioned recently that she is going to ask for a new robe for her 11th birthday in December, so I got her a new one now so that she can have as comfy a recovery as possible.  I'm sure her Dad will be getting her some flowers, since flowers make everything better :)

We are grateful that this is an in/out same day surgery and that my parents live downstairs and will be taking over her care starting at Day 5.  Her school will send homework via her brothers, and she will be able to stay up to date that way. We are heading to Confession tonight, Adoration tomorrow night, and therefore I think we have all the spiritual bases covered.  If you could spare a prayer for my Maggie in the Middle, it would be much appreciated.  Kelly’s son, Fulton, could also use some recovery prayers.  Thank you! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In Good Times and In Bad

Growing up, I looooooooved babies.  I was obsessed with babies, always trying to hold any I could get my hands on.  After hearing about my sister's medical school experiences, I dreamed of volunteering in a hospital to hold the babies who were born addicted to substances.  I babysat, worked in a daycare, and talked about how I hoped to have 12 kids one day.  I eventually grew up and met Phil, knew I wanted to have HIS babies, told him about my plans for a dozen kids, which he was cool with (!), and then we got married and started Natural Family Planning. 

Why would we use NFP when we wanted a huge family, you might be asking?  Because I had just graduated with my MBA and didn't have a real job yet and Phil was about to start his Masters Program.  We still knew we wanted lots of babies, but just not quite yet.  It actually bothered me a lot that we couldn't start our family right away, that was the point of marriage, right?  I couldn't wait to become a mom!  We figured we would try to wait a year and then Phil would be finished with his Masters and would be able to get a job. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

If You're Worried About What Your Family is Seeing Online...

...join the club ;)

We don't send our little kids out into the world alone, so why would we send our big kids out into the online world alone?  We have a lot of rules in place in our home for screen time, and make sure screens are only accessible in family living areas, but for every other scenario, we turn to Covenant Eyes for help.  

I've written about why we started using Covenant Eyes here, and it's been an awesome addition for our family safety and holiness goals.  It does cost $15.99 per month for a family subscription, but it buys peace of mind.  Sites that could be dangerous are blocked, and each user's history is tracked and reported weekly to the main account holder(s).  Just knowing that we are all accountable for our online actions is a major win in preventing things like porn addiction.  We are not naive, we read the stats and see the results of teens on screens (we both work in a high school) and we know the dangers.  We have been entrusted these seven souls that we are called to protect and nurture, and Covenant Eyes helps us in this technological world.  

I'll be writing more about this topic later, but for now, if having kids search the internet causes worries for you, just get it.  I really don't think you'll regret it.

Friday, September 7, 2018

It's All About the Children

And since I have seven lovely cherubs, I am linking this family update up with Kelly and her 7 Quick Takes.  Happy Friyay!!

The Catholic School Crew 18-19

Should we go Oldest to Youngest, or Youngest to Oldest?  I'm someone who always lists my kids ages from oldest to youngest (yesterday I heard a mom say her kids were 1, 3 and 4, and thought "I would have said they were 4, 3 and 1") so Oldest to Youngest it is...

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I Feel So Bad!!

Since the beginning of this summer, I have not been getting any comments on my posts.  I don't usually get a lot, but ZERO was a little saddening.  I know that the trend in social media has moved away from blogs and onto Instagram and Snapchat.  The feedback there is instantaneous, there are more people to connect with, and the likes can be addictive.  I see why so many former bloggers have closed up blog shop to have a more instant and faster way to share.  I have thought often about just calling it quits here since I was feeling a bit defeated, but then I pulled up my big girl panties and reminded myself that these posts are my family's scrapbooks and I would be sad not to have any Martin Family Moments recorded here.

I just got an email this week from Blogger asking if I wanted to continue using Comment Moderation (where they email you when a comment is left and you can post it or delete the spam) and I chose yes, and all of a sudden I had tons of comments show up ready for moderation.  I read them ALL and I wish I could respond to you all individually, but alas, my time for this is limited.

So I will just say this:  I LOVE YOU!!  

I love you, my faithful readers over the past 11 years, I love you, any new readers who take time out of your day to check in here, I love you, people that comment to agree and disagree, I love you, people who don't comment but I can make smile.  Even if you just come here to see a cute photo of your nephew or niece or grandkids (hello family!) I'm happy you are here.  It makes my heart sing to have this little corner to call our own. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

So Long, Long Weekend

Hi!  Hello, just checking in from the end of a fun and long weekend.  We had a weird start to school last week, full of half days and non-uniform days due to the heat, and tomorrow is already promising another sweltering one, unfortunately.  JP is taking a photography class this year, and brought my camera to my family's Labor Day/September birthday party yesterday and took some great ones....I'm happy to pass on the photography torch.  The kids actually pose for him, whereas for me, it's lots of bribing and eye-rolling to get a good one. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ask And You Shall Receive

Right after my post about trying to develop new (and grow older) friendships, God gave me the opportunity to do just that!  We were invited to a big party to celebrate a friend's visit from Alaska, and had a wonderful evening with lots of nice people from our parish.  The next day, we brought a meal to our friends who just had their seventh baby, and watched our children run around and play while sharing in the joys and sacrifices required to having a large family.