Friday, March 31, 2023

Week in Review: Goodbye March, Happy Birthday Gammy and Shop Talk

 Happy last day of March!  March has always been a hardish month for me, full of typically bad weather and sickness and no days off from work or school.  I am happy to welcome April tomorrow.

We have had strep going through our house for a couple weeks, and it's been presenting in weird ways.  The kids have complained about headaches and stomachaches more than sore throats.  They have fevers for days, and even when they start the course of antibiotics, they seem to take awhile to feel better.  Poor little babies.  I am hoping we are through the worst of it and I'll be washing sheets and opening bedroom windows this weekend for a fresh start.

I can't help but sing "shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots" as I pour these out.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

It's All in the Family: From Maggie's Ice Cream to The Ice Cream Cottage

Back in the summer of 1986, Maggie and John Sweeney opened up a tiny homemade ice cream shop in the village of Osterville on Cape Cod.  John was a custom builder and Maggie was a nurse, but they traded in their hammers and stethoscopes for scoops and took the leap of faith in starting their own family business.  Their six children, aged 19, 16, 15, 13, 7, and 5 at the time, were either working as the crew or happy to be taste testers until they were old enough to work.  It didn't take long to realize that even a 5 and 7 year old could wipe down a table and fill napkins and spoon holders.  Maggie's Ice Cream was born!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Week in Review: Dinner for Eight, Shop Talk and Trips with Friends

Thank you all so much on your kind and encouraging comments on my last post!!

Favorite dinner of the week was a Southwestern Chicken Salad with a loaf of store-bought french bread:

Phil just sprinkled some rotisserie chicken seasoning on top of the chicken breast and grilled them (above was only the first batch of chicken).  I set up a salad bar with lettuce, black beans (made the kids take their ages in beans), corn, cheese, scallions, fritos, bacon, and I added some smoked paprika and chili powder to a Peppercorn Ranch dressing to make it a little more southwesterny.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Big News!!

We have been keeping a secret...

Coming this May....

Friday, March 17, 2023

Week in Review: St. Patty's Celebrating, Almost Dating, Game Winning and Grateful Healing

Happy St. Patty's Day to ye!  Our Bishop gave a dispensation to allow us to eat meat on this Friday in Lent and while I think that says a lot about how weak we are, I will indeed be indulging in the meats to celebrate my Irish heritage.  But not corned beef, nope, blech, ick.  

I wore my lucky sneakers to work today (dress down day!) that I wore when I ran my last half-marathon on St. Patty's Day.

We will be having homemade Shamrock Shakes for dessert, following this recipe:

And remember, even if you're not 100% Irish like me:

We are known for our hospitality after all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Laundry Talk

One would think that a girl who grew up in a house with eight people in her family, then went on to marry a boy who grew up with eight people in his family, and together created a family of nine would have a good handle on How to Do Laundry in a Big Family.

Surprise!  It alludes us.  Still.  After *almost* 21 years of marriage and 20 years of child-rearing, we have yet to get our act together about the laundry.

Over the years, we've tried many things.  In the beginning, I would do the laundry (located in our scary basement) and fold and put away everybody's clothes.  When I was pregnant, Phil would take over laundry duty because going up and down two to three sets of stairs, holding a big hamper of clothes while pregnant is not the best idea.

Now you know why I kept myself pregnant for all those years ;)

We finally moved the laundry upstairs to the second floor, where all the kids bedrooms are located.  This was much better than the scary basement, and Phil and I continued doing the laundry in the same fashion - everything that was dirty from the day gets thrown in together.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Week in Review: Squishy, Jumpy and Broke

Last Friday I left work and headed to get my yearly mammogram, which came back fine, thanks be to God.  Also this photo made me remember to schedule a haircut, which is also an annual appointment!

Guys, there are so many funny mammogram memes, not all super appropriate for this blog but here's a few to tickle your Friday funny bone:

Smashing :)

Fun fact - my brothers went to high school with two of the New Kids on the Block!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Ask Me Anything: Altar Servers and Two-Family Homes

Life seems particularly heavy lately and I felt like I had nothing to write about, but then I remembered I still have lots of unanswered questions from you guys! 

 Tricia asks "Can you talk more about the summer Altar Server Bootcamp? Hoping to do something at our parish and looking for more ideas how to fill the days. Thanks!"

Sure Tricia, we love our parish's altar server program.  I will give you the breakdown below from last summer's ABBC and I hope that helps!  I think it is very important to note that only boys can be altar servers at our parish, and there is a similar program for only girls who become sacristans.  A place for everyone and I think it's a reason why it's so successful.  Many parishes who use boys and girls for the same roles are desperate to find servers, and yet our parish is overflowing with these boys and girls clubs.  It builds a sense of comradery and ownership in their roles and has proven success.  

Bootcamp is held at the end of June after school gets out and is open to anyone who has received First Communion.  Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided and the kids have a LOT of fun.  The pastor runs the program, and though we have had three different pastors during our time at this parish, they have all continued the program with help from seminarians and older altar servers.  Once the new kids are trained to be servers and sacristans, they are put on the schedule for masses.  At first the new altar servers don't do much, they just learn from the big guys until they are comfortable, which doesn't take long.

Altar Boy Boot Camp Schedule:

Day One
9:00am Holy Mass 
9:30am Breakfast & Talk 
10:00am Serving Practicum 
11:00am Sports activity 
12:00pm Lunch Break 
1:00pm Serving Practicum 
2:00pm Sports activity 
3:00pm End of Day 

Day Two
 9:00am Holy Mass
 9:30am Breakfast & Talk
10:00am Game: Running with Bells
11:00am Game: Fainting Servers
12:00pm Lunch Break
1:00pm Serving Practicum
2:00pm Sports activity
3:00pm End of Day

Day Three

This field trip always starts with something spiritual, like a tour of a beautiful cathedral, and then something really fun - trampoline park, go-carts, etc.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Week in Review: Forty-Four, A Snow Day and Violin Twins

Let me just start out with a big THANK YOU for the prayers and shares and donations for my brother-in-law, Will.  He is still in the hospital but they are hoping to get him into a rehab hospital soon, once he's stable enough for therapy.  Will and Maura (my sister) have been together their whole lives.  We all grew up in the same little village on the Cape, and I was friends with Will's sister since elementary school.  Maura and Will officially started dating in high school but he kissed her in preschool, so he's truly more than just my brother-in-law...he is family since way back.  He WILL get through this and you are all making a difference that they feel and appreciate so much.  Thank you.

Last Saturday I turned the big FOUR FOUR which is really not a big deal at all, since I can never remember my age anyway and oftentimes rely on Phil to tell me how old I am.  It's partly because of old age and partly because I still try to lie about my age (29 forever!) that gets me all confused.  Do you not just love Brendan's MOM poem he made for me, with "O" standing for Oldest?  Good thing he's cute.

Birthday Irish Coffees

Phil made me the most delicious pastrami sandwich for lunch.