Friday, October 15, 2021

7QT: Riding a Bike, a Fr. Mike Schmitz Sighting, and A Fake Yeti

 Happy Friday in October that still feels like summer, but I'm not complaining!  Linking up with Kelly for Seven Quick Takes :)


I keep forgetting to write about Brendan's big milestone - he can ride a bike!  Right after he turned five, Phil decided to teach him and it took a few days of practice (honestly he was so shaky in the beginning that I thought he was too young) before he could do it on his own.  

Then each day was something new - he learned to brake, he learned how to start pedaling on his own without a push, he rode in circles, etc.  Now he is a crazy daredevil who likes to ride on ramps and perform tricks like lifting up his feet as he goes flying by or putting his feet up on the handlebars. 

 Being a boy mom means walking a fine line between forbidding all the potentially dangerous things and letting them live and learn, growing confident and independent.  Yikes!  This is why I have gray hairs!! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Phil, This Week's Birthday Guy

Mr. Martin Family Moments turned 41 this week!  

His actual birthday was on Monday, but since Andrew had to work a double shift, and Eamon had a soccer game on Monday, we celebrated on Sunday night instead.

I saw this pie on a tv show and had to recreate it.  Coffee Heath Bar Caramel Ice Cream Pie.  Mmmmm, so easy and so good!  I'll make it for you if you come over :)

Friday, October 8, 2021

7QT: A Wheelbarrow, E. Coli, and A New Saint

 Happy Friday of a looooong weekend!  Linking up with Kelly and friends for a look back at the week...


I did something crafty!  I was picking up the million balls in our backyard and saw our rusty old wheelbarrow out of the corner of my eye.  It was tipped over in the back of our yard, behind the swingset.  I went over to move it somehere more hidden, and it was filled with cobwebs and dirt, so I decided to hose it off first.  Once it was cleaned, I thought "This would look cute with a fall display in it!" and texted Phil to pick up some mums on his way home from piano with Xander.  A few minutes later and voila!  

I feel like this tale could be turned into a children's book, "Give Colleen a Messy Backyard".


If any of you have college students, just a reminder that the FAFSA is now available.  

It's a lot easier to complete the second time around, only took me about 20 minutes and a lot of that time was spent figuring out passwords ;)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Andrew, This Week's Birthday Boy

Our handsome Andrew Pauric turned 17!!  

We celebrated his birthday a day early, so it could coincide with lots of football watching and include Andrew's aunt, Sister Denise, who was visiting us for a short while (too short!).  Andrew also was inducted into the National Honor Society on the same afternoon, and we are so proud of his hard work because he does indeed work hard to get good grades and pushes himself to the best of his ability.  

We realized that the jacket he wore for his Confirmation last year was too small on him, so he had to borrow Phil's suit jacket and it wasn't toooooo big which makes me want to shrink Andrew back down to his four-year-old self.

Don't blink.

Andrew has a nice group of friends from school and is involved as the Junior Class Treasurer, plays Varsity soccer, basketball, and helps out in Campus Ministry and Peer Ministry as well as altar serves at our parish and works at the ice cream store and grocery store.  The kid is busy!


That's better :)

Friday, October 1, 2021

7QT: October, St. Therese, Pajamas, Soccer and the Rosary

 It's Friday and I actually posted two other times this week.  An Autumn Miracle!  Linking up with Kelly and away we go...


It's October 1st!  Wow!  

Today is the feast day of one of my favorite saints, St. Therese "the little flower" who has been known to send a rose or the scent of roses to someone praying to her for an intercession.  When I heard this as a young child, I told St. Therese that I wanted the man I was supposed to marry to bring me one white rose.  I was a romantic girl with dreams of marriage and lots of babies (dreams come true!) and I continued to pray for that "sign" until the day I finally had it answered.  Phil left a white rose and a teddy bear for me to find one day with a note that said it was just because he loved me.  Thanks be to God, because I already loved Phil so much that I was questioning holding out for that white rose!  So thank you St. Therese for answering that little girl's prayer and sending her a saint of a husband.  And a daughter with Rose in her name.


I need to put away my beloved summer pajamas and find a new pair to wear for the fall.  I have some great winter pajamas, but I need an in-between pair.  If they could help me stay asleep for the whole night, then I don't care what they cost :)  Any suggestions?  These look cute and have a lot of good reviews...

Sometimes when I look at clothes, I get confused whether I want the outfit or I want to look like the girl in the outfit.

Wow Colleen, that's like a really deep shallow thought.

I aim to please.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Apple Picking at Tougas Farm

 Is it even Autumn in New England if you don't go apple picking?  

Not in my book!

Last weekend, we drove just over an hour to go to a great orchard called Tougas Farm.  We had been there about six years prior, and it is a huge orchard with lots of varieties of apples, very clean, and lots of fun things to do.

We got there right when the place opened, and it was a beautiful sunny day.  The air was just starting to feel like fall, perfect!  Grandpa and Phil picked up some apple cider donuts for the tractor ride and off we went.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Eamon, This Week's Birthday Boy

Eamon Philip turned 15 this weekend, and he remains my favorite Eamon ever (no offense to my cousin out in CA but he doesn't give me hugs daily).

{P.S. For anyone new here, Eamon rhymes with Damon, just don't pronounce the D}

He chose Maple Chicken, rice pilaf, and green beans for dinner (I added a yummy salad with honeycrisp apples, candied walnuts and feta - so good!)

Haley gets hugs too - and not only because she just supplied him with enough sugar for a month or two. 

Time for presents!

Friday, September 24, 2021

7QT: The Last Friday in September

 Happy Friday!  I've been told it's officially fall but it's still summer weather up here in Massachusetts.  Here's a look back at the week.


If you want to run a successful youth group at your parish like our friend Jay does (husband of Michelle), just make sure to plan the messiest, silliest activities you can think of...and they will want to go!  This past month's high school youth group included a Color War and next month will be Pumpkin Launching.  I was going to write how I love to see my kids participate in good, clean fun...and then I remembered the laundry pile after this meeting.  Still worth it :)

Eamon with the perfect teeth

Andrew with the curls for days

Even our new pastor got involved!


I've been following Ernie's adoption story over on her blog, and you should too.  It's full of twists and turns and real feelings and raw emotions and drama.  It makes me long for the blogging days of yore.

Friday, September 17, 2021

7QT: Mother's Ring, Soccer is King, Retirement Planning, and Multi Level Marketing

Happy Friday once again!  When will I ever find time to write more meaningful substance?  I don't know but for now, it's a look back at the week in Seven Quick Takes.


For the longest time, I have wanted a Mother's Ring but also wanted to be sure that I wasn't going to buy one only to realize later that I needed to add a new stone. 


Side note: Did I ever tell you about the time I bought a cheap ring with the kids names on it when I was pregnant with Brendan?  We knew he was a boy and were planning on naming him Charlie so I have a ring with all of my kids' names on it but the last one is wrong.  I mean, the ring was only $40 but I totally jumped the gun on that one.  Sorry Brendan!  You don't even look like a Charlie!  

Anyway, now that I'm 42 and a half and couldn't wait any longer, I designed this ring online and I am so happy with it!  I originally had the ring with each of my kid's birthstones in it, but each of my kids has a different birthstone (seven kids born in seven different months) and it looked a bit too colorful and discombobulated for me.  Then I thought to myself "Self...what if you had blue sapphires for the boys and a pink sapphire for the girl and it would look all symmetrical and not so clownish?"  Voila!  The finished product:


Soccer is well underway.  Five kids, five different teams (I should have had twins!) and they are all so adorable...well the big guys are handsome but you'll just have to trust me since they won't let me take their picture easily, I'll have to bring my big camera to their games to get some.

Declan is way too nice on the field - we are working on being more aggressive.

Maggie does not have any issues with being aggressive - the girl has grown up with 6 brothers.

Brendan scored four goals but clarified that it's only practice for him, not real games.

Friday, September 10, 2021

7QT: The Difference Between


The difference between boys and girls can easily be seen in the letters some of my kids wrote to their big brother...


The difference between moms and dads can easily be found in the items I sent to JP in college after talking to him on the phone about how sore he is from working out a lot...

With love from Mom:

A heating pad and some magnesium with a note saying how much I miss him.

From Dad: 

A discussion on how sore he used to get when playing sports and working out but he never once used a heating pad or took magnesium and he turned out fine.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

7QT: Late Summer Memories for the Books

Life has been so busy - but I'm not complaining - just trying to play catch up which is why these 7 Quick Takes are a wee bit late.


After returning from bringing JP to college, I started my new job!  I actually had to start a day late because we had to delay our return trip home due to Hurricane Henri.  How embarrassing to ask for a day off on your first day.  Luckily my new boss is awesome and understanding and had just dropped his oldest off at college far away as well.

Last morning heading to old job
First day at new job

I used to work (for ten years) as the Business Manager at a Catholic high school and now I work as the District Accountant for public schools in a nearby town.  It's very different except for the accounting part :)

I walk on my lunch break either to the beautiful town on the water, or around the huge cemetery next door.  I miss walking with Phil at lunch, and will be listening to a lot of audiobooks now - send me any good recs.

The kids were very sweet and made me cards, Phil got me flowers, and Andrew brought me home some ice cream to celebrate the big transition.

Friday, September 3, 2021

First Day of School 2021

Today was the first day of school for all of my little lovies!  They all had different start dates this week, but today was the first time they all went out to school together.  Even though the uniform color schemes are similar - we have two in high school and four in elementary school this year (and let's not forget one in college!).  Everyone's at great Catholic schools, thanks be to God!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Goodbye Summer, Hello College!!

As always happens, this summer has flown by, and this year I had the added mom-guilt of trying to squeeze in enough family time before our eldest headed off to college.  We managed to go to the "big wave beach" in Rhode Island as one last family event before JP left.  It was a cloudy day, but fun, nonetheless!

On JP's last day of work at the ice cream store, we went to visit him.  This shop was such a great summer job for him (and Andrew).  He made lots of tip money that paid for his portion of his first semester of college, and the owner and manager were so so nice to him.  The owner shook my hand on JP's last day to thank me for raising good kids, which made me tear up.  I hope all of my kids work here for a very long time!

Friday, August 6, 2021

7QT: A New Restaurant, A New Recipe and A New Job

 Thank God it's Friday!  And thank God that Friday's motivate me to come write here so I can join up with Kelly and the others for some Quick Takes...


Phil and I went away to the Caribbean for a much needed getaway!


We went to a new restaurant in the city next to us.  Can you believe this view and vibe?  It was so fun!

The place is right on the water, with sand and a stage for music.  We played cornhole and went for a walk while we waited for our table and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.  Cisco Brewers, we will be back!


I found a great recipe for Chicken Shawarma Salad (the kids ate it on naan) and it's the first time we all ate chicken thighs and liked it!