Thursday, April 22, 2010

May Madness

There may be March Madness. But in my world, there's May Madness. This year, it happened to begin a little early so it's been April madness as well.
Mike's softball season has begun. Games are on Mondays and Tuesdays and sometimes Thursdays. They are either at 6:30, 7:30 or 8:30. Dinner must be planned accordingly. He loves to have his family there. After all, we are his biggest fans. ;) I love to watch him. I love to hear the kids cheer out, "Go Daddy!!" I love to give them a chance to play outside in this lovely weather.
But there is this nasty finely crushed rock stuff that the kids love to play in which they get covered head to toe. His first two games were this week and both were at 8:30. We went to the first game. Kids got covered. We left the field at 10:15PM. Kids fell asleep on the way home. I had to dust out their shoes, clothes and jackets. (The night air was a bit chilly) Then I had to wake them up so I could bathe them and scrub the little pebbles and dirt out of their hair. It was 11:30 before we got into our beds. The next day, Little Miss Chatterbox missed school because I overslept and couldn't get the kids to wake up in the morning. I could have kept trying. But seeing them sleep so soundly and knowing they needed it, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. (I also wasn't in the mood to try and get all three kids fed and dressed and out the door within 30 minutes). We had a great time watching Mike, especially when he hit TWO home runs! It was also fun to watch his team win. But we did not go to the next game. No more 8:30 games for us. Next week he has a double header on Monday. We'll catch the first game and then go home after that.
Little Miss Chatterbox has started softball. Mike is the assistant coach. Practices are on Wednesday and we still haven't been told when her games will be. But we do know that Saturday is opening day so she will get to play her first game this weekend! We're excited.
Coming up on May 1st, Mike has a cousin who will be receiving his First Holy Communion. Guess who's making the cake? It's incredibly complicated too. His mom wanted something original and awesome. I'm looking forward to the challenge but also wish it would just appear on my kitchen counter when I wake up on May 1st because I have been oh so tired lately.
May 2nd, cook out at parents house. They had a beautiful sun porch built onto their house and we are going to celebrate it's completion. We are also celebrating Mike's 30th birthday which is on May 10th.
May 3rd I have a doctor's appointment. May 7th a Little Flowers meeting. May 8th I want to make Mike a special birthday dinner because he has a game on his actual birthday. May 9th is Mother's day. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get through all this. I'm also behind on Little Miss Chatterbox's Seton school work because we've been having so much fun with our Birds, Buds and Bugs lessons. I need to get this year's school work done before the baby hustle and bustle begins! (I only have 68 days until her due date! Only 68 days to get ready! Ouch. My chest is starting to hurt. Just. A. Little)
This busyness comes at such a bad time of year too. With spring comes the urge to garden and plant flowers and make my yard look beautiful. I've also been battling an urge to buy beautiful fabrics and sew things. I'd like to make Little Miss Sunshine a baby blanket.
Hmmm.... it must be something about spring. It seems I also got eager to work in the yard and sew the same time last year! Remember these projects? Both of which are still not completed, by the way! I better not add any more new projects and perhaps work on finishing those. I have one free week before my Nana's birthday and our Pentecost celebration comes along towards the end of May. Maybe I can work on them then.
I'm so thankful for all these blessings but sometimes wish life was just a bit more.... simple.

How does May look for you? Is this just a busy month for everyone? Does Springtime do crazy things to you too?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Blog Name for the New Babe

Around here, we have already started calling our baby girl by her name. It's one of the things we love about finding out the sex. She really becomes one of the family and the kids get use to hearing her name. It helps them to bond with her before she's even here. It helps them to see that she's a real person. That yes, there really is a baby in there because she even has a name!
It occurred to me that she will also need a blog name. The other names were chosen to suit the kids personalities and obviously it could take some time before we really know our baby. But I decided that since this is my first summer baby, what better name than Little Miss Sunshine?? And so it shall be.


will be here in 70 days!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Morning

When we got home from my parents house, Little Miss Chatterbox and Mr. Funny made flower cupcakes to bring to Mike's parents house the next day.

Then after putting the kids to bed, I went on to make butterfly cupcakes. It was getting late, I was tired and I still had to clean the kitchen and get everything ready for Easter morning, including the baskets for the kids. So, after making three butterflies I decided that it didn't matter how the cupcakes looked because we were just going to eat them anyway. So I just piped frosting on the rest and was done with it. (A big step for me! I usually would sacrifice my sleep to complete a baking project). Here they are at Mike's parents house. I think the kids did a great job on the flower cupcakes!

Before bed I uncovered Jesus and our statues. This is a custom that starts on Passion Sunday. (Since the 3rd Century, Palm Sunday has been known as Passion Sunday. A very powerful way this was demonstrated was the practice of covering or veiling the Crucifix and all statues and holy pictures within the Church with violet/purple cloth. I only had black. This practice originated in Rome, where the images in the papal chapel were veiled immediately after the deacon proclaimed the traditional Gospel passage, which concluded with the words, “Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.” (Jn 8:59) So the focus from today until Easter has traditionally been on the Sacred Passion of our Lord! On Good Friday, the violet cloth is removed from the Crucifix so that the faithful may venerate it while the rest of the sacred images are again seen on Easter)
This is what it looked like on Good Friday:

Then Easter!:

Easter morning came way too fast as we got up early and got ready for the 7AM Mass. We left the house before the sun was even up. There's the moon!

Despite getting pulled out of bed early, the kids were very eager and excited! And my Little Miss Chatterbox looked beautiful!!

The sun was coming up just as we got to our Church.

Mass was very nice and we actually sat in the pews as a family the whole time! It was an Easter miracle! Ha ha. Usually at least one or two of the kids get too loud or get ants in their pants and we have to go in the back of the Church. :)

After Mass we took some family pictures outside:

(Mr. Tickle did NOT want his picture taken!)

After getting home and saying a few family prayers, we went downstairs to find a beautiful set up that Mike did:

We always get Easter Lilies and this year he got a beautiful Hydrangea as well. The kids gifts were set out on either side.

(Mr. Tickle still didn't want his picture taken)

After playing a bit,

the kids went on a basket hunt for their Easter baskets!

Then it was off to Mike's parents house!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter with my Family

Dying Eggs

Double Duty

Egg Hunt

The kids with their Great Grandmother, Our Nana

Little Miss Chatterbox setting the table for our Easter Feast (her favorite new job)

Grandpa unveils the HUGE Easter basket for the kids:

Mr. Tickle found his favorite right away:

And of course bubbles are always a hit!!

We enjoyed the sidewalk chalk too:

Thank you, Mom and Hev! We all had a lot of fun! (And thank you, Uncle Ju, for showing the kids how to fly a kite! Maybe I can figure out how to get your pictures on here?)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Music and Kids....

...go hand and hand, don't you think? At least, that's the way it is in my family. I start playing music to my kids while they're still in the womb. Then they continue to listen to music in our house or in the car everyday. We also sing to each other all day. We'll answer a question or give a command in tune. Or, we'll just sing about what we're doing. "Wash, wash those dishes. Cause we need them to be clean. Lala lala la." Ya' know, things like that. I've always loved music and singing and it is my hope that I pass this on to my kids. It was also something I fell in love with about the Catholic faith when I first started learning about it. They have beautiful music for the different times of the year. Our Church has a phenomenal choir. They're out of this world fantastic. So sharing music with my kids has a lot to do with our faith as well. Music is just part of who we are.
When I graduating from high school, my parents offered to buy me a gift of my choice. I knew it was going to either be a camera or a guitar. Looking back now, I probably should have gone with the camera. (But cameras did end up coming to me in other ways) Yes, I chose a guitar. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to just pull out a guitar and start playing any number of tunes and sing along. Especially after I became a mom. When it's a beautiful day outside, I wish I could lay out a blanket, take my guitar and sing some songs with my kids. Kinda like Maria and the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music. But alas, I have never learned to play my guitar. When I first got it I learned a few chords and even made up my own song. But I have forgotten it all now. But here's that nice weather again and my guitar is calling out to me. The urge especially comes when I listen to my Beatles CD's. You see, if I was ever to learn a few chords, I would make sure they were the chords that I could use to learn a Beatles song. I love the Beatles. I love to sing the Beatles. My kids love the Beatles. I think Beatles music sounds nice when just played by an acoustic guitar and one voice. Yes, kids. One day we WILL sit outside and sing Beatles songs together while I play the guitar. One day....
I think that's why I'm so fond of this YouTube video I came across. First I found this one.

Then I found this one which is two years later and the kids are bigger.

Is that adorable or what?? It makes me smile so big when I watch it. And then my heart aches because I know that I'm missing that in my life!! One day....SOON!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Holy Week


On Holy Thursday, the kids and I did an art project based on Catholic Icing's Last Supper Craft idea. I bought a copy of Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper painting for our discussion and then we made a 3-D version using colored cutouts if Jesus and his disciples and 2 egg cartons. Little Miss Chatterbox really enjoyed this and after studying the picture said, "I can't believe someone painted this! How did he do it? It looks so real!" I could also tell that she enjoyed this because she remembered everything I said about it and told Mike all the details when he got home. It's no surprise that my artistic daughter has an appreciation for art! Mr. Funny did a wonderful job with his coloring. The best I've seen from him. He really took his time and concentrated very hard so that he would stay in the lines. I was so proud of him! They loved the finished project and LMC said, "I want to learn MORE about the Last Supper!"

Last year for dinner, we had wine (sparkling grape juice for the kids), pita bread and lamb for dinner. We all found out that evening that we do not care too much for lamb. SO, this year we had no wine (I'm the only one who likes it and obviously I can't drink it this year!) but enjoyed sparkling raspberry grape juice, circle crackers to look like the unleavened bread, and meatloaf which looks like a piece of lamb when you cut it! We also discussed how we no longer need lamb because Jesus is the Lamb of God. The kids really enjoyed using the fancy wine glasses.

After dinner, Mike went to Mass and the kids and I washed each others feet just like Jesus washed his apostles feet. LMC was very enthusiastic and asked if she could wash all of our feet!


Last year we did two Lenten Teas, created by Alice over at Cottage Blessings. One on Holy Thursday and one on Good Friday. Since Thursday was a bit busy this year, I opted to only do the Good Friday tea. Each item of food represents part of the Easter story and we discussed each afterward as we ate. LMChatterbox did most of the talking since she knows this story pretty well now. Mr. Funny had lots of questions and Mr. Tickle kept busy by shoving all his food in his mouth. I'll have to wait until next year for him to really understand what is going on.
(going clockwise, starting at 12) a cut tortilla to look like a shirt and two pieces of cubed mozzarella (the soldiers who cast lots over Jesus' tunic)
two basil leaves (basil is symbolic for both hatred and good wishes and so this represented to good and the bad thieves who were crucified with Jesus)
a blueberry muffin with the top cut off and hollow on the inside (the tomb)
a strawberry (the centurions helmet)
cracker with peanut butter and broken pieces of pretzel sticks (crown of thorns)
grape jelly (the purple cloak that the soldiers put on Jesus to mock Him as king)
guacamole (to represent the envy that the pharisees felt toward Jesus)
tortilla chip scoop (a kings crown for when Pilate questions Jesus about being a king)

Golgotha (where Jesus was crucified) means "Place of the Skull" so Mike drew this skull on a hard boiled egg

close up of our crown of thorns

From 12-3 we went to Church where they were having different meditations each hour (Mike and I took turns going inside because there was no way our kids would sit quietly for three hours!) and then at 3:00 we all went in for a Solemn Good Friday Service. Then we went home and had tomato soup for dinner and prayed the Stations of the Cross with our newly made Stations Box, another great idea from Lacy at Catholic Icing. There is something inside to represent each of the fourteen stations for the children to look at while we pray.
After prayer I put Mr. Tickle to bed and the rest of us watched The Passion of Christ.


We went to my parent's house to celebrate Easter with them, my Nana and my brother, Justin. We had a great time dying eggs, eating, hunting for eggs, opening baskets, playing with bubbles, coloring with chalk and flying kites! It was a gorgeous day and we were all happy to be able to spend our time outside. (Pictures to follow on another post)


He is risen! Alleluia!
We woke up before the sun did to get ready for Easter Mass. We left the house in darkness and got to Church just as the sun was peaking up over the mountains. It was going to be another beautiful day. The kids were all great at Mass so Mike and I actually got to enjoy it all, together, in the pew! That was certainly a great start to our Easter celebrations! When we got home we blessed our paschal candle and renewed our baptismal vows and then went downstairs to open presents. Mike set up a beautiful display with a statue of Jesus and flowers and a chocolate cross. the kids were VERY excited to find their gifts and then look for their Easter baskets.
Later in the afternoon we headed over to Mike's parents house and the kids had another egg hunt where they all won some goodies and we ate a yummy meal outside. The kids played with their cousins all day and were pretty worn out by the end! They fell asleep on the way home and Mike and I were able to relax a bit before bedtime. We had a lovely and joyful Easter and we are so thankful to be surrounded by so much family whom we love so much!
(Pictures to follow on another post)