Archive for December, 2011

One of Those Days

December 31, 2011

Today I set out to tell you about all the beauty I found in this year. I pondered the challenges this year had brought and the beautiful people who stepped into my life to help me overcome them. I thought about how far I’d come since last December and all I thought was impossible that now IS. I started to write about it all and then…THEN…A ton of life hit me upside the head and I realized that the year wasn’t quite over. That there were still challenges and friction, speed bumps and  monkey wrenches that hadn’t yet shown themselves in this calendar year and that these challenges weren’t happy to not have gotten their chance. I spent the entire day in shock, awe and challenge. Ick! I see that 2011 isn’t done with me yet.

Ok!

I guess I’ll tell you about all the beauty I’ve encountered after I make it through this current torrent of yuck. The beauty is there. The strength, growth and promise…it’s all there. It’s just not ready to be presented. So, I will spend tonight and tomorrow finishing the undoneness of this year. Then, I’m gonna tell you about some seriously Good Stuff!

Finish it up 2011. Let me know what you’ve got and let’s get it over with. I’m moving forward. Ever forward!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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A Full Family Christmas!

December 26, 2011

It’s been quiet over here on my blog for a few days. I spent all my waking hours entertaining my kids and preparing for Christmas.

Clayton-19, Tristan-12, Mariah-18, Max-9, Arianna-16, Lex-5, Madison-15, Gabi-7, Kateri-22 and Me

Everyone’s been enjoying each other’s company and getting comfortable with the new house. We had a house guest for a few days and spent a day up in the Gold Country visiting my parents and taking in the sights of the shops in Nevada City. Christmas Eve was a day full of finishing errands, finishing wrapping, going to Mass and getting ready for St. Nick’s big arrival. We were very VERY blessed this year by several different Christmas Angels who worked many Christmas miracles. It was all very beautiful and magical!

Christmas Day meant a house full of family and plenty of food. The trampoline that St. Nick brought was assembled and new toys were thoroughly tested. I was the lucky recipient of thoughtful gifts from my older children. It was a great Christmas!

Opening presents on Christmas Eve

Gabi with some of her favorite gifts

Lex in the middle of it all

Now the rotation of traveling kiddos begins. Kateri is on the road to the airport with Mariah who is traveling to Phoenix to spend a few days with her boyfriend’s family. Later this week Madison gets to go visit friends in San Diego (I’m jealous!) and on Sunday, Kateri leaves for a trip to Germany where she will visit with family friends that she nannied for a year ago. The house becomes a revolving door at this point. We are looking forward to visits from friends, as well.

Here’s to the busy, craziness of the holidays and hopes that you each had a wonderful celebration. Eyes on the New Year and all that it will bring!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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A Day Full of Christmas Prep

December 21, 2011

It’s been a long day of really Good Stuff! I had fun maximizing my buying power-I traded in 1, not-so-attactive-sweater for 3 adorable sweaters, 1 winter coat and a belt! Then I headed into a store with a coupon that was good for $10 off of a $10 or more purchase. I walked out with 2 stocking stuffers and did the same at 1 other store. Shopping is never so much as when it’s nearly free!

Now I’m filling up my evening time with whatever I can think to get done so I don’t fall asleep. I need to head out around 11 to start picking up kids at the train station AND the airport. I made some treats with the kids that we will pass out in the next couple of days. I’m not much for baking, but there are some simple treats I like to make and give out.

White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate melts

Old Fashioned Peppermint Sticks

Dip the Peppermints in the melted chocolate (we were using a spatula to get a better coating on each stick)

Add Sprinkles while each stick is still freshly dipped and let dry. Easy!

I’ll add some of these to plates of cookies to give out to friends, neighbors and teachers.

As I’ve written, I’ve realized that I better take a nap until it’s time to go. I’m just too worn out to try to stay up. But I know there will be plenty of energy once I get to the train station and the airport! It’ll be good to have everyone here! Tomorrow JJ will get here in the evening and then we can finally decorate the tree! It’ll finally feel like Christmas is here.

Doing the Dance of the Children-A Little Sleepy, But So Grateful~

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A Milestone-Lex’s Kindergarten Performance

December 17, 2011

I just spent the last hour typing out the story of each of my kiddos Kindergarten Holiday/Christmas programs. In writing it, I realized that only 5 of my 9 have had that experience because of various different schooling places and experiences. Then, I answered a question that Max asked me and my hand slipped on the keyboard and *poof* no more heartfelt blog. Grrrrr!

Instead of each of the stories, I’ll take the time to tell you my favorite performance experience of all the kiddos-Tristan’s preschool Christmas program…He came home and told me he was the star of the program. I’m sure I patted him on the head and said something like, “I’m sure you’ll do a great job”. When the day of the program rolled around, I realized I hadn’t heard of any costumes that needed to be provided or what he should wear. So I put him in his Sunday best and sent him to school. When I arrived for the program, there was my son, indeed the Star of the program. He was decked out in a HUGE foam stat that fit on his head, with his cute lil face framed in glitter and real, working lights. He had a battery pack in each pocket to light up that huge star. I giggled and teared up at the same time. Yes my sweet boy, you ARE the star. I’ve paid closer attention to what words the kids use when describing their parts in performances, since then.

So here it is-My youngest lil guy, Lex just had his Kindergarten performance. As each of my kiddos has passed through Kindergarten, I’ve locked them into my memory at this precious stage. It passes so very quickly and suddenly they’re away at college, planning their own lives. So it was an emotional piece of time for me, yesterday.

Lex chose a white button-down and black tie for his attire. He wore that shirt proudly all day, even to make a gingerbread house in class (red frosting stains to be tackled soon!). I got teary-eyed as the class signed Silent Night and giggled when they sang a song I’d never heard of and on investigating the program, saw that it was the Kwanza song. I had no idea there was a Kwanza song. But it was so cute to here them all singing their lil hearts out!

So now we move forward into the Christmas Break and then into the 2nd half of the school year, that will surely zip right on by.

Grab those little moments and file them away. They pass much too quickly!

Lex after his performance

Santa came to visit and congratulate the kiddos on their performance

Me and my last little kindergartener

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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The Christmas Countdown

December 15, 2011

It’s here, the countdown to Christmas. The final days are in front of me and I’m WAY behind. I’ve found a way to excuse my undecorated tree- I’m telling the kids that we’re going to wait for their older siblings to be here, so we can all do it together. Good job M.O.M! You’ve just bought yourself another week! But what about the gifts? The cards? The rest of the decor? I haven’t quite come up with the proper plan for each of those things, but I’m sure it’ll come.

Truth is-I’m not really sure how it will all fall into place. But I’m confident it will. It might not all be grand and it certainly won’t be overdone. But it’s gonna be good. It has to be! ALL my kids will be here for Christmas. I haven’t had them all together in a year and I refuse to allow this time to be anything BUT good! We will be together. We will decorate our very tall tree. We will cook and bake. We’ll take a least one walk. The older kids can take the lil ones to the park that’s just across from us. We’ll drive through the beautifully lit neighborhoods. We’ll pray together. We’ll laugh. We’ll probably bicker and disagree on things. The little ones won’t like the things the older ones want to impose on them. Someone will likely feel like someone else is in their space. Yep! It’s gonna be good! It’ll be normal family stuff and I can’t wait! So presents and cards and decor…well, we’ll see how that all works out, but the real stuff. The stuff we’ll talk about down the road, that’s a for sure!

Good Stuff!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Name That Noise!

December 7, 2011

After meeting with other Kindergarten parents for coffee and running errands this morning, I came home to get a couple hours of work done before the pick-ups begin. My house decided we would play a game…Name That Noise!

I sat down to get some things started and heard a little beep. It caught my attention, but I quickly forgot about it. After hearing it a few more times I realized it was a familiar sound and had to dig through the archives of my brain to remember what it was. Ah HA! It was the gently, annoying alert that your smoke detector’s battery is dying. Ok! I began the hunt for the offending detector. That one! I went into the hall and stood very still and silent. Nope! It sounded like it was coming from around the corner. Around the corner I went-silent and still, I waited. Wait! It’s coming from the hall, where I first thought I heard it. Again I waited. Seriously?! I moved through 3 other rooms and eliminated them as the offending detectors. Back to the hall. But how the heck am I going to get to it? I have high ceilings and only step ladders. *head scratching* I’ve got it! I pushed my coffee table into the hall and put the step ladder on top of it. Totally safe and sturdy (uh huh!). Up I climbed and again waited in silence. Beep! Are you kidding me?! The sound was NOT coming from above my head! So I took a moment to wipe away cobwebs from the high corners of the hall and climbed down. I decided to give up and wait until the every-60 second-beep turns into a constant alarm that will surely point me to the correct detector. Good plan, right?

So back to my room to begin some work. *whistle* Huh?! What’s that sound? Wait….*whistle* Up from my desk and into the back room, trying to hunt down what sounds like a creaky weathervane. Nothing! *whistle* I made one more lap around the house, decided I don’t have a weathervane or anything else metallic that would be creaking in the wind and made the command decision to ignore whatever it might be.

Again to my desk….waiting….NOTHING! No beeping detector. No whistling metallic sound. No noises at all! Hey house, you win! I was unable to identify the 2 noises you chose to throw at me. Sure was fun playing though.

House-1, M.O.M.-0

I’ll brush up on my listening skills for the next round. For now, I’m getting some work done.

Doing the Dance of the Noisy House~

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Tuesday Catch Up and Happenings

December 6, 2011

It’s Tuesday, December 6th and I’ll knee-deep in the realization that Christmas is speeding my way. Today is St. Nicholas’ Feast Day which means treats and goodies are to have been placed in the kiddos waiting shoes. Just one problem-after a little debate, they didn’t put them out last night and made the decision that it should be done ON the feast day. St Nick and I had a lil chat and we’re fixing the issue by his being gracious enough to fill their shoes while they’re at school today. Back on track we go!

This isn’t the only instance of me being a little off this Holiday Season. Check out my Advent Wreath;

Notice anything wrong?

Yep, that’s my, completely backward Advent Wreath. I’m deciding that my intentions are in all the right places but that my Left-Handed Mommy Brain has taken over and is keeping me slightly off balance. Kinda like the fact that Lex went to school this morning in a blue zip up sweatshirt with the words Old Navy in orange. Only problem-HIS Old Navy zip up is ORANGE with the words in blue. I guess my backward brain is catching. His teacher emailed me to let me know that it appears that Lex is in the missing sweater of a classmate and would I please double-check.

Don’t get me wrong, lots of Good Stuff is going on-I made a delicious breakfast sandwich for myself this morning. :-)

Seriously, there’s lots of Good Stuff going on around here. My oldest 3 kiddos will be starting to arrive in less than 2 weeks. I have awesome friends and neighbors who constantly let me know they’re there for me with all sorts of helpful things. I’ve been having a GREAT time building my Silpada Designs business through home parties and craft fairs. I’ve decorated the inside of the house…mostly. And let’s not forget that my kiddos are always ready to add a little giggle to the day. For instance, this last Sunday, during Mass, Lex reaches into his pants’ pocket and pulls out a handful of sliced mushrooms that he’d tucked away for an emergency snack. All we could do was look at him a stifle our giggles at his practical goofiness.

Alright Tuesday, let’s you and me get back to the busyness of this house and try to get back on track.

Happy St. Nicholas’ Day!

Doing the Dance of the Children With a Little Stumble Every Now and Again~

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Happy 18th Birthday Mariah Rose!

December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter, Mariah! 18! I can’t believe that I am now M.O.M. to 3 official adult children.

I hope it’s been a fabulous day of you feeling well celebrated and loved. We can’t wait to see you for Christmas.

Love,
Mom and the bottom 2/3 of your siblings~

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Oooohhhhh…Ahhhhhh….Look at The Lights!

December 4, 2011

You know I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for cool, FREE, fun for the kids. Being new to the area, I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open and in the last week I kept hearing about the lights on Pebble Creek Dr. Last night, when there was nothing but boredom and bickering at my house, I told the kids to load up and be ready for something great. I managed to convince even the teens to get in the van (a sure sign that extreme boredom had been reached!). Off we went to find the lights. On the way we found some great houses in our own neighborhood and a house not too far away that modeled itself after the famous internet video of a light display playing to Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Wizards of Winter. Good Stuff! Then we found Pebble Creek Dr. Oh MY GOODNESS!!!! House after house of themed light displays. We were in a long line of cars that drove very slowly through the loop. It took us about 20 minutes to creep through the neighborhood and the kids were constantly finding something to shout out about-”Look! Frosty! It’s Charlie…”. We saw many, many favorite characters and amazing decorative feats! There’s even a red wishing well in front of one house that’s playing a video and is a drop-off point for canned food to benefit the hungry. If you’ve never been over there and are local, GO! And if you HAVE gone, go again! We will.

The only problem I can see is that when we were on our way home, we were saying our night prayers and Lex had this prayer, “Dear God, please let my house look like those houses for Christmas.” Yeah, I whole-heartedly believe in the power of prayer, but I am no Christmas light’s genius!

Doing the Dance of the Children to Other People’s Talents~

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Life With Lex-A Few Lexisms

December 1, 2011

It’s a fact that when life gets you down, the quickest cure is the silliness of a kiddo. After the sadness of my last 2 posts, I say it’s time for a few smiles and a giggle or two. Lex is the answer;

Early last week, my parents came to the house and my mom made a stew for dinner. We all sat around the table and started to serve the bowls. When Lex got his bowl, he looked at everyone, wrinkled his nose and said, “Thanksgiving’s weird. It’s just a bowl of soup!”. Poor kiddo thought that since we were are gathered that it was the big holiday we were getting ready for. He was pleasantly surprised to find out otherwise!

Each day he and I have a little bit of time together between when he gets out of school and when it’s time to pick up the other kids. So we usually do something “special” together. Yesterday we went to a local market and he got a smoothie. He happily drank it in his car seat while I drove to errands. After he finished he says, “Mom, I don’t mean to be rude, but that smoothie is way better when I burp it than when I drank it.” Thanks for the manners…

As I continued on my errands, his little mind was working this one out-

Lex-”Mom, I know why Tye is black.”
Me-”I think he’s black because God made him black.”
Lex-”No, it’s cuz ‘Tye…Tye, the black guy. See it rhymes!”
Me-*silent giggles*

Got the blues? Life not feeling the way it should? Go find a kiddo, ask them ANY question or just sit and listen to them tell a story. They are the best cure for what ails us!

Doing the Dance of the Children with a Grin~

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Rest In Peace Matthew Wise

December 1, 2011

Yesterday evening Matthew passed away from heart failure. Please continue to pray for the Wise family as they continue on the painful journey of saying goodbye to him. And may we remember his soul in our thoughts and prayers.

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