Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wrapping Up The 7: WIWS

I'm wrapping up my Seven Posts in Seven Days challenge with Jen today. I We made it!

You may not be any smarter by reading my posts every day, but at least I completed the challenge.
Now that we all survived, I'll take a little blogging break this week and give your aching heads a rest. That will give me a chance to come up with some new material and rest MY aching head.

Jumping in with the beauty over at Fine Linen And Purple for WIWS.

Quickly taken while the kids were screaming at one another while piling in the van contently buckling up in their car seats before Mass.

A little closer.

Do you see how I totally am not made to be a model? AWKWARD. I just don't know how to pose without children in the photo.

Skirt: new find at T.J. Maxx; Shirt: Merona from Target; Necklace: consignment shop; Shoes: Payless Shoes this year, but clearance markdown from last year (Haircolor: in need of a touch up).

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to jump into August. 

As for me, I can breathe a sigh of relief after buying homeschool curriculum yesterday. I'll be eagerly awaiting the man in the brown uniform from here on out.

**ps...If any of you are or happen to know the Potty Training Fairy, please come or send her to my house. I'd happily welcome you with open arms. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Boy Speaks

 Sometime last fall I had Lily guest post and answer a few questions. Somewhere in the shuffle of time, Jonah never had his chance to share his answers. While working on seven posts in seven days, I thought this would be the perfect time to hear from him.

Use three words to describe yourself:

Confident, Energetic and Funny

If you could have a day where you do anything you want, what would you do?

I would go to the store and buy anything I wanted.

What is your favorite meal?


Who is your favorite Saint and why?

St. Anthony because he helps me find things I've lost.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

My favorite prayer is the Our Father because it's a way to say thanks to our Father in Heaven.

What kind of work do you want to do when you grow up? Why?

I want to be a Deacon, but also an actor. I would like to follow the path of faith and also be in movies. (Watch for me in the movies in a few years!)

What is your favorite season? Why?

Probably winter because we don't usually get blizzards. I don't like storms in the other seasons and tornadoes make me nervous.

What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?

I usually go to my 'boy cave'/bedroom for alone time. I like to play with my trains, cars or Lego figures and sets. I am pretty imaginative, so I spend a lot of time creating.

And that, my friends, is Jonah in a nutshell. I just love that boy.

Friday, July 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Royalty, Sleep And Toes


There's new royalty, a little Prince! George Alexander Louis

Isn't that just the cutest name? I think so.

Did you see William and Kate when they came out of the hospital to show the world that little boy? They are so cute, those two.

Guess what else I noticed? Kate wasn't ashamed to show the world that she had a postpartum belly. She didn't try to disguise the fact that just 27 hours earlier she had given birth. Good for you Kate!

That just put you at the top of my Bravest Woman of the Week list. You go, girl!


In other royalty news, MN Twins catcher, Joe Mauer is a new dad.

To TWIN girls, Emily and Maren.

Not that it matters to me a whole lot, but in this state he's kind of like royalty so he deserves the publicity.


In order to be in solidarity with the royals, the two year old decided that sleepless nights this week would help us out We are not impressed and essentially almost feel like we have a newborn in the house. This may or may not make some of us grumpy and sluggish. - Sorry you're not getting enough sleep but be glad you don't have to stay up all night to avoid being eaten by predators.


Above mentioned toddler is has also been attempting some potty training. Last week she insisted she was 'poopy' (which means she's wet) when she was even the slightest bit damp. We were going through WAY too many diapers so figured we'd give undies a whirl. I still have the thick training ones that you put the plastic liner over from back in the day with Lily, so we're using those. I'm trying to be more laid back in my approach since both kids took nearly forever and were over three years old when they were finally successful. 
Some success and some misses this week. I think this would be easier if God had chosen not to give me three (so far) stubborn children.


We've been taking Jonah to speech therapy this summer after a recommendation and then some testing this spring. He's making good progress and working on self correcting when we are practicing at home. The therapist is also suggesting now that he see another therapist because he doesn't always have the proper breath support when talking. I was feeling a bit defeated the other week when she was pointing this out and potentially more work/sessions for him. Then he came home the other day and the therapist suggests that he is perhaps straining his vocal chords when talking. This would mean issues in the future and we should maybe take him to an ENT doctor to check for nodules on his vocal chords. *sigh* 

I know this is all 'preventative' and she's just making suggestions, but I can't help but be concerned. And then feel like I was a neglectful mom when we dismissed his speech over the years because we were told he was young and it would work itself out. 

Prayers for guidance would be appreciated.


Yesterday was Jonah's name day, the feast of St. James (his middle name). We try to honor each of our children on their name day or do something at least a little special on that day. Jonah's is a little extra special because he gets to celebrate with my dad, James, too.

We met my parents and went to a local Mary Garden to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet. The garden was beautiful and so peaceful since it was just after a little rain shower.

We followed up with treats at the Dairy Queen. We make sure name days are like birthdays and always involve sugar  a treat of some sort.

Gianna has become a huge fan of nail polish this summer. She has a big sister who likes to change her toenail polish color on a regular basis, so she's always up for a new color too.
This week's choice was neon green.

 It's an interesting color on little toddler feet, but add in her amazing top of the foot tan line and it totally works.

Stop at Jen's for even more Quick Takes to get your Friday rolling.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Theme Thursday: ASKEW

I tried to come up with something that was ASKEW.

Then I looked up from my computer and saw the scene that is my living room.

I realize this photo could clearly just fit under the theme of CLUTTER. Or perhaps TODDLERS.

But if you know this OCD-freak-out-cuz-this-place-is-a-pigsty mama, then you know that this scene is definitely ASKEW.

You'd also know that this is a common scene these days and I've grown as a mama. I actually tolerate and live in this state of existence. We're talking major breakthrough from child #1 and #2 to the mom of the talking toddlers, children #3 and #4.

Never mind that the moppet toddler doesn't care a wink that she (or anyone in the household for that matter) steps on toys and stuff everywhere.

We've grown used to it and it adds character to our home. I've learned to realize that sometimes things just get a bit askew when God fills your life with little blessings.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vocations Camp: Year Five

 Clickety Click Wednesday!

It's that time of the summer again. We just finished up our Fifth Annual Vocations Camp yesterday afternoon. While these normally in the past have been two days of crazy, busy cooking frenzy for us, due to the small number this year (only 5 young men) it was cut down to one day. Even so, it still was a day and overnight of fun activity and spending time visiting with a few of our diocese's seminarians as well as the new-ish (just starting his second year) Vocations Director, Fr. Scott.

Feel like reminiscing or seeing where it all began? Here's the links to past years:

Year One: 2009

Year Two: 2010

Year Three: 2011

Year Four: 2012 (The Bus Tour!)

As always, Mass is celebrated each day. 

There's cooking to be done and plenty of help needed and provided by many.

This year's theme follows the new era of Pope Francis and was 
'Go, Rebuild My Church'. 

I think Pope Francis would be honored.

Seminarians, Fr. Scott, our parish priest Fr. Michael and the campers.

Another good camp and another highlight of our summer, as always.

Summer keeps on rolling by....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sands Of Time

My baby is almost 18 months and in the last two weeks she has grown by leaps and bounds in the language department.

How in the world did she suddenly take a ginormous step of epic proportions when I turned by back?!

It's a fourth child thing, I'm sure of it. She's got to be a big girl in order to keep up with the masses, you know. She's got words to speak in order to be heard since gone are the days when someone responds to her every cry.

I smile and respond to every new word: raisins, Jesus, mess, splash, baby, hat, eye, puppy, horse, cow and so many more.

Of course my favorite is Mommy. She graduated herself from Mama to calling me Mommy. She's growing up fast, she is, and she knows it.

Part of me breathes a sigh of relief that we made it this far all in one piece, because there was that day that I cried wondering if we'd all get here at all. The other part of me clings to what has passed and the present that flashes by with eager persistence.

Every few months we do this dance, Time and I. We reminisce and I pull back looking for what has been, but in the end we cling together and sail along. I wish to be more like Mary in my Martha world, but the dear Martha in me sees so much to be done around me that I haven't the time to take in each moment.

One day, I'll learn. I hope so any way. You'd think that by baby four all that I needed to know and learn about parenthood and the passage of time I would have done already.

'And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.'
Luke 2:19

I kiss the cheeks of the toddlers and grab one more faint glance. I desperately try to sear the image somewhere in the toddler files of my heart. I then turn to the Tween and the Boy and in a flash recall their toddler days as I struggle to embrace the new motherhood that their ages now call me into being.

I only hope and pray I can figure it out before I'm shoved right into the throws of Teenagers.

Time waits for no one. And neither do gray hairs.

Both of these things I know to be true based on experience.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7 In 7: It's Going To Be Epic!

What happens when the blogosphere goes wild and the great link up of all link ups is announced?

You either A) hop on in and think how this is going to be the best.linkup.EVER or B) read the post several times that explains the link up and fret about if you really should join in 'cuz whose really gonna want to read from you seven days straight any way.

I chose B and then waited until this morning to sign up for the link up and just jump in with both feet. Or, both hands as is the case.

It's not that I don't think it's going to be awesome to read from so many of you each and every day, it's the feeling that I may lack the material for you to enjoy reading from me each and every day this week.

Oh well, why not give it a try? So,with trepidation, I'm in for the week and you're stuck reading (or not reading if you wish) from me every day from today through next Sunday.

Are you ready?

I've decided to start the blogging week with Mindless Monday

Yes, something that is a bit of a fluff post, but if you are like me (please tell me you are) Monday is a fluff kind of day. Don't you agree? 

It seems that no matter what kind of spin I put on Monday and no matter how fun I dress it, Monday is just kind of a downer and crazy. I'm finding that it doesn't matter how prepared I am, whether school is in session or it's summer time, Monday whirls and swirls.

Alrighty, so here's the fluff. And evidence that while I am quite busy, I still find time for silly things that give me way to much satisfaction for their small worth.

My new leisure time/click as I pass the computer activity: Swagbucks!

Do you do Swagbucks? Oh no, you don't? Well, you should/could. 

(Insert shameless referral plug here) Hint: you can click on my link in the sidebar and I'll earn some credit if you do sign up and use it.

While I've been using Swagbucks for several years, I've been revamping my game and turning it up a notch for the last year or more. Recently, I've been doing even more. Why, you may ask? 

One word: CHRISTMAS.

Currently, I'm working each day to accumulate swag to redeem for gift cards. I'll be able to get gift cards for my favorite places like Amazon, Walmart and Target to help out with our Christmas gift giving. Will this cover all of our Christmas? Certainly not, but it's really going to help us out. 

How do I earn? Well, I mostly earn doing searches, clicking/watching videos (movie trailers, etc) and taking advantage of special offers Swagbucks posts. They even have daily goals set for you and if you reach them, they accrue through the month and you get bonus swagbucks. Sounds nice, huh?

Of course, the more you do, the more you earn. While Swagbucks isn't always flawless or ideal, it is pretty easy and  my SIL and I are admittedly slightly addicted a little obsessed about it.

Do you use Swagbucks? What is your favorite way to earn? 

And that, my friends, is Mindless Monday. That wasn't too painful and it was quite mindless.

See, I told you this week was going to be epic, didn't I?

Find far more mindful/thoughtful posts at many of the other contributors at Jen's.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Is For...


"Bappa" and "Mayma"


Fun in the Sun

And in the Shade

Waiting for candy

At the hometown parade

How's your summer going? I'm finding that mine is rapidly fleeting and losing ground on any type of productivity. There are toddlers to run after and much needed naps not to skip; gardens to weed and beans to be picked; lunch to be made and supper to be thrown together; day camps to get to and Vocations Camp to prepare for no matter the weather; big kids to keep on task lest they fritter the summer away and somehow just maintaining life each and every day.

Enjoy these days now, my mind tells me. Tomorrow is for tomorrow and everything will have to be. 

One cold day in winter I'll wish I'd savored these days more, so for today I will and head out the door.

School planning will get done in August for sure.

Friday, July 12, 2013

From The Toddler Files

Ever eat your own words? Or ask, "Where in the WORLD did she hear that from?" and then realize it came from your mouth?

You must have a toddler (or two) in your home.

They have a way of picking up on our least favorite phrases that spew out of our mouth without a thought. Sometimes the words they declare are pure genius and other times they are the utterance of our ignorance to the small ears that hear around every corner.

The are wise beyond their toddler years.

They are the tugging at our conscience and the reminder that our adult annoyance sometimes floweth forth from our mouth. Shame on me us, but yet sometimes it is really rather cute. 

And worth a blog post.

While hoarding her toys from her younger sister:

"Go play with Lily. She's fun."

(We've often used this tactic on Gianna to get her sidetracked while we're in the midst of something and trying to get it done without her underfoot.)

Washing her hands in the bathroom sink and I ask her to leave so I can use the bathroom:

"Don't blug (bug) me. I busy washing my hands."

After the parade, while laying in bed avoiding her nap time:

"Where the music princesses go?"

Me: "They probably went home to rest."

"No they not. They go home for lunch!"

Again, at nap time:

Me: "Gianna, you need to take a nap so we can go to church later. If you nap, we can go see 
Fr. Michael."

"NO. I not go see him."

Me: "Why not? He's your buddy."

"I don't like his dress."

"He wear his pants."

And that, my friends are some of the sounds going on at my house. I can barely imagine all the insightful conversation we'll be having in a few months or so when both little girls have a lot more to say!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Five Favorites


About a month ago I purchased a Food Network silicone spoon at Kohls. I was up for a new kitchen tool and thought I'd see if I liked the silicone. And I do! I bought the yellow colored one on sale and with my $10 Kohls cash I had that day it was FREE. It makes me enjoy this spoon even more.


How about some more nail polish, shall we? My new color for my piggies is Pure Ice in Jack Pot. It's the perfect compliment to those flip-flop tan line feet. (not pictured)

(Also not my fingernails)


The girls got a Step 2 water table for Christmas and they've been thoroughly enjoying it this summer. It is a great distraction on those hot summer days when I don't want to pull out the pool. 
I highly recommend them for the toddlers.


My chocolate of choice has become Twix. Preferably, peanut butter Twix, but I'm finding they are a rare commodity. Instead of grabbing a checkout aisle Twix when I get the urge, instead I've been getting 10 pks of fun size for $1.00. They are just enough candy for me to be satisfied with just one (with a little self control) and I only eat them a few times a week at most. Good for my caloric intake and my budget.


This spring I bought a couple of Target's Mossimo short sleeve cardigans
I consider them more like a bollero jacket, but lightweight enough to still wear when it's cool in the summer. I like to pair mine with a tank top underneath and they work for casual or even throw them on over a summery dress.

Find all the latest Favorites over at Hallie's!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Can She Build It? Yes She Can!

A couple week ago I found this great deal on some patio chairs at Target. On sale they were $16 and that seemed like a good deal since they sat comfy, stacked, were durable and I'd been on the hunt for some new chairs. I bought six of them, three khaki and three aqua. I'm so stylish and fashionable like that. Or, I just didn't want to commit to one of the colors and Lily agreed that mixing it up would look really cool too.

My new quest came for a reasonably priced (read $100 or less) patio table to sit our whole family. It seemed that a oblong/rectangle one would be the way to go.

To my delight apparently some stores consider the end of June to be the approach of the end of the summer season, so a lot of tables were already marked down. I had several options to choose from at a couple different local stores.

In the end, I scored a $125 table for $70. Not bad.

Well, when I see an unopened box and it's early in the week and clearly hubby won't have time to tackle said item in the box until the weekend, I get a little idea.

Heck, let's just open it up and see what I can mess up do to get this thing put together.

And that's exactly what I did.

Don't let a few pieces, some screws, hex bolts, nuts and bolt covers scare ya.

You can do this.

(It helps if at least one little girl is napping and the other is content to play around in the garage)

Get your big, strong kids to give you a hand to get it over to the deck on the complete opposite side of the house....

Shazam! Project complete!

Total project time from taking out of the box to placing it on our deck:

43 minutes 

That just may be my personal best project time EVER.

*Insert pat on the back here*

Even better, I just crossed something off my husband's to do list, so his weekend just opened up. 

Stop on over for a glass of lemonade, won't you?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Simple Saturday {Link-Up}

I have yet to meet a link up I didn't like and when it's something simple like Simple Saturday, how could I not join in? Surely you've noticed my blog has been filled to overflowing with link ups, photos of family randoms we're up to and really not a whole lot else. 

I blame summer. And mommy brain. I've got nothin'.

Normally hosted by Iris at Country Girl's Daybook (a new read for me), but this weekend is hosted by Dwija, Simple Saturday is sharing whatever you'd like with clear words, simple speech and maybe a photo (or several). Keep it simple, because that's what Saturday's all about.

I'm joining in!

A simple Saturday at home playing catch up, mowing the lawn and then off to our small town parade in the afternoon. It's a simple life sometimes, but it's a full life. 

The tiniest princess in her royal baby stroller carriage. A stroller made for dolls and she's a DOLL, so why not? The fourth child really does get to have all the fun ya know. I wouldn't have EVER let this fly with the first two.

Pre-parade game face. Actually, Margaret with one of our littlest great-nieces. I think she was just starting to think how she'd like to be a big sister....and then the parade started.

Parade time!

Post-parade and this is the best we got. A simple shot of life as we know it on a daily basis. Not always paying attention, not always ready, not always together, but just the way we are.

Simple Family on a Simple Saturday.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rolo Cupcakes

For all you Chocolate Lovers (Hello, Patty), this one's for you!

I ran across a recipe on Pinterest the other day for Rolo Brownies and while it sounded good, it looked a bit involved. Later that day I was at the store and spotted a bag of Rolo minis and got to thinking. What about Rolo Cupcakes? I figured I'd even cheat and use box cake mix as well.

Thankfully, my brother's family was coming for supper the next day and it would be the perfect time to try them for dessert.

Mix them up according to chocolate (I used Devil's Food) cake mix directions and put in liners. Place a Rolo mini in the center of each and push down a bit.

Bake according to directions on box.

About half way through I took a peek in the oven and saw that the Rolos were rising to the top. I decided to take a knife and squish them down a bit, which caused them to melt more inside.

While waiting for them to bake some more, watch your toddler do a fun little dance.

Although they look quite tempting, be patient and let them cool.

Whip up a batch of Creamy Cocoa Frosting. I use Betty Crocker Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, but substitute 1/3 cup baking cocoa for the chocolate. 

Now doesn't that look de.lic.ious?

The Toddler Taste Testers on location most definitely agreed.

And so did everyone else in attendance.

I hope you enjoy them too!

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