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?