Thursday, June 30, 2022

When Boredom Strikes in the Summer

It happens every summer, the inevitable "I'm bored!!" and "What are we going to do today??" phrases fly out of the kids' mouths around here.  In our home, you get a job when you're fourteen to help alleviate this and make money for college:

 But for the younger set, we hang up a daily schedule that looks like this:

Daily Duties:

Start, switch and fold a load of laundry
Put away laundry and clean room
30 minutes of quiet reading
20 min of summer packets, Grade books, IXL, or Khan
20 minutes of piano/violin (Xander and Declan) - Brendan and Maggie can color/draw/legos
60 minutes of playing outside and/or exercise
Take Lucy Out (and feed her and give water)
Clean for screens

I bought a journal for boys that ended up in the little boys bedroom, and apparently Brendan (age 5) has been writing in it before bed.  He goes to bed at 7:00 and Declan (age 8) goes to bed at 7:30 ever since he received his First Communion and gained that extra half hour privilege.  I guess Brendan reads and writes in the journal until Declan comes to bed and then they chat for a bit and fall asleep pretty quickly after that.  Maggie took a photo and sent it to me from his Letter to Jesus...

... I'll interpret :)

Dear Jesus,
I often wonder about you.
I want to ask you what is it like to fly.
Please help our family.
I want to tell you how is it to be in Heaven.
I want to thank you for my family.
Some of the things that I like to build or make include legos.
Unprompted: I love you God.

I don't know about you, but I wasn't writing letters to Jesus when I was five years old.  This is why it's so important to have books and journals that lay around the house and give good example for when they are bored enough to pick them up.  

The whiteboards and markers that I bought years ago are still going strong, especially in the summer months.  The kids always pull these out to have drawing contests, play games, or just leave notes to make us laugh.  Eamon was the artist behind this one :)

We also try to do ONE.FUN.THING.A.DAY and if it's for free, that's even better :)  We belong to the YMCA, so we use their outdoor pools in the summer:

We go to the zoo near us (also members there), go for a bike ride, take them to a park and playground, set up plans with cousins/friends, go to the library, get $1 chill zones from Cumby's, go to daily Mass, get ice cream, and of course we go to the beach a lot as well.  Little boys are like puppies; as long as they are fed and ran around, they will stay out of trouble and sleep well.  We are not a family that sits around, as we know that fresh air and activity make us happy.  And I don't feel guilty putting on a movie after dinner when they've been healthy and active all day :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Discovering Bristol By Bike

Last Friday I took a half day from work and Phil and I went on a date to Bristol, Rhode Island.  That town is so cute, and they have a bike path that is about 14 miles long and goes through multiple towns and cities.  We rented electric bikes and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery for two hours.  God outdid Himself when he created New England, it's just so beautiful!!

I can't believe I've lived here for so long and I never rode this bike path.  Now we need to buy a bike rack and bring the kids so they can enjoy with us.  I've heard the Cape Cod Shining Sea Bikeway should be next on our bucket list, and maybe this will be the summer of acting like tourists in our own backyard!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Week in Review: A Strong Start to Summer

Summer is officially here!  The kids have already made lots of trips to the parks, playgrounds, forts, and the beach with friends and cousins...while I sit at my desk and work.  Boo.  We are heading up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a week soon, so I am looking forward to that family vacation.  And there are definitely days when the kids are bored and grumpy that I don't mind going to work while Phil deals with them ;)

But mostly, I just want to be at home with them enjoying our simple life in beautiful southcoast MA:

Vitamin SEA :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Wedding Weekend Whirlwind

Oh wow, this weekend was so fun.  Our goddaughter/former babysitter/eighth child, Haley, got married!! 

On Saturday, we had Haley and Jonathan's wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  All of the kids had a role in the wedding, and everybody took off work for two days and it was just the best family time together.

The wedding took place on Sunday (Father's Day).  Haley had asked the boys to serve the wedding Mass, and since Declan had just received First Communion in May, he was able to serve for the first time at her wedding.  He was so excited!  He was in charge of the "boat" where the incense is kept.  This boy could have walked out of a Norman Rockwell painting...

Five altar servers, what more could a mom ask for?

Sunday, June 19, 2022

That's What He Said: Father's Day Edition

Happy Father's Day to all of the wonderful dads!  My kids are so lucky to have Phil as their father, just as I was lucky to have my dad.  In honor of him, I'd like to share some of his Dad-isms...

"There's no maid that lives here." 

- to get us to help clean the house/stop expecting our mom to clean up after us.

"You would be right, but you could be dead right." 

- teaching us how to drive defensively because even if we had the right of way, we could still end up in an accident if we weren't aware of what the other driver was doing.

"What happened to the other two points?" 

- commenting on a 98% grade on a test.

"It's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man than a poor man" 

- trying to help his four daughters pick a financially good catch.

"You make a better door than a window, even though you are a pane"

- dad jokes, amiright?

"Marriage is hard enough without adding that to the mix" 

- encouraging his children to marry someone from the same faith.

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease" 

- teaching us to speak up for what's right.

"She says more than her prayers" 

- spoken about anyone who talks a lot.

"Your mother could run an army" 

- while completing a Honey Do list.

"How am I supposed to soar like an eagle when I'm surrounded by a bunch of turkeys?" 

- meaning, keep up or get out.

"What's for disaster" 

- spoken after dinner every night, he called dessert "disaster".

"Come on Lady Di!" 

- yelled to one of his daughters who was dawdling, usually me.

"Whoosy Whatsy" 

- in reference to anybody whose name he forgot, which happens quite a bit.

"Don't waste the day away" 

- spoken if we slept in.

"It's only borrowed" 

- responding to a compliment on his talent, meaning it's a gift from God and not about him.

"Can you help me find..." 

- asked of random strangers in the grocery store as he shows them his list so that they will become his personal shopper for free.

Happy Father's Day to the best Irish dad who taught his six children the value of an education he never had, showed them how to work hard to achieve goals, had the perfect blend of humility and pride, gave us the witness of a faithful, holy man who loved his wife and kids more than anything.  Dad, you certainly set the bar high and we are so blessed to have you in our lives.  Thank you for all that you have given to us, and I hope we have many more years with your love and laughter in our lives.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Thursday Tidbits: A Surgery, Some Recipes, and Almost Summer

Today is the last day of school for the rest of the Martin kiddos.  JP finished college back in May, Maggie graduated 8th grade on June 4, and Brendan graduated Kindergarten on June 10.  Andrew and Eamon have their last day of high school finals, and Alexander and Declan have a half day for their last day in 5th and 2nd grades.  To say it's a busy time of year is an understatement and google calendar is my bestie.  Let's go through my phone photos and see what we captured...

Declan's adenoid surgery went great!  He went to Boston Children's Hospital and the surgeon said his adenoids were HUGE and this surgery should definitely help him breathe through his nose and stop snoring.  His roommates were happy to hear that ;)

Maggie was recognized as a Top Ten high school placement exam winner at the high school where she will be attending next year.  She is our second child to do this, following in JP's footsteps, and it means she gets an extra nice laptop for high school since they win $1000.  It pays to be a nerd! :)

Andrew (left) and his buddy with the high school mascot...

And Eamon (blue crocs) with some other freshman and Sparty.

Monday, June 13, 2022

My Baby's Kindergarten Graduation

Alternatively titled: It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Because I thought I would be really upset for this day to baby is graduating from Kindergarten...and yet, I was just so happy for his big day and so thankful for this school and all he's learned and the ways that he has grown, that I forgot to be sad.

A trip down memory lane of our other Kindergarten grads...

JP - 2009

Andrew - 2011

Eamon - 2013

Maggie - 2014

Xander - 2017

Declan - 2020

Brendan - 2022

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Eamon Chooses Joseph

Eamon was confirmed last night and chose the name Joseph, so may I present Eamon Philip Joseph Martin:

He looks so much like my Sweeney side of the family that I'm glad we gave him a Very Irish Name :)

I don't want to embarrass Eamon here, but this young man is very special when it comes to his faith life.  He's a totally normal kid who plays soccer and basketball, loves spikeball and frisbee, works a lot at the ice cream store, puts his all into school, and is friends with everyone.  But beneath all of that there is a holiness that shines through and doesn't go unnoticed.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Maggie Graduates Eighth Grade

Our middle child, our only girl, graduated from 8th grade this weekend and is ready to set the world on fire.

The Baccalaureate Mass was beautiful. Maggie did the first reading and her friend Robby gave his salutatorian speech at the end, all about faith.  Then the graduates walk down to the school for the last time...