Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keeping It Real

As we were driving home the other night, the kids noticed that some houses still have their Christmas lights lit.  The little girls were squealing, "oohing" and "aahing" at each display they saw.  After hearing enough of this, Honey Bunches shouted, "They're just lights people.  They're just lights!"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our Family (According to Honey Bunches)

"Mom, in school we're working on describing things and I want to describe our family to you."

Here are Honey Bunches thoughts.

"Dad is a good drawer.  He plays drums really good.  He can build stuff and he's a really good dad.  Mom, you're a cook.  You do the laundry.  You help people and I think you're a good mom.  Sweet Potato is little whiny.  He's good at football.  He fights with me sometimes, but he's actually a pretty good brother.  Gummi Bear is so good at puzzles that we should call her Puzzle Master.  She plays Just Dance 3 with me and she's a good reader.  She's my favorite First Grader.  Cucumber likes Power Rangers and when she plays with me she doesn't injure herself very often.  She's a good sister.  Sweet Pea is a little cranky and crabby, but she likes to play with me, especially catch outside.  Pumpkin has a really cute smile and she likes to hug me.  I think she's my favorite sister."

There we have it.  Our family according to the insight of our Second Grader, Honey Bunches of Oats.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


On the 39th anniversary of Roe v Wade, I want to share my favorite passage from scripture:  Psalm 139.

LORD, you have searched me and you know me:
you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
You sift through my travels and my rest;
with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
LORD, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
far too lofty for me to reach.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens, you are there;
if I lie down in Sheol, there you are
If I take the wings of dawn
and dwell beyond the sea,
Even there your hand guides me,
your right hand holds me fast.
If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me,
and night shall be my light”
Darkness is not dark for you,
and night shines as the day.
Darkness and light are but one.

You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.
My bones are not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
fashioned in the depths of the earth.

I am grateful to my parents for choosing life for me and my siblings.  From a very young age, we were taught that every life has value.  Through example, we were shown how to defend the rights of the most vulnerable in our world.  By prayer, we were moved to never give up hope that one day, all will come to see the beauty and the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.  Thank you Mom and Dad for being open to the gift of LIFE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dance Craze

Dance Fever has taken command of our home!  Cucumber received Dance Party 3 for her birthday and my children have not stopped dancing since.  Yesterday was a day off from school and they danced for hours - I'm not exaggerating - literally they danced for HOURS.  I "played" with them for about 45 minutes and I had sweat rolling off of me.  I normally do not allow them to play video games at that length, but they were moving the entire time.  During quiet time, while the younger kids are napping, I allow the older ones to stay up and read.  They all wound up falling asleep.  Then after supper, they were back at it, swinging their arms, kicking their legs and shaking their hips.  This morning the older kids were planning their "play lists" for after homework later today.  I'll be putting my own dancing shoes on and joining in on the fun.  It's a great workout and it's a fun way for ALL of us to spend time together.  Bust a Move!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Soggy Bowl of Love

Once again my children surprised me with breakfast this morning.  They had a bowl of cereal, topped with fruit and a glass of milk all set out for me.  They decorated the table with a bouquet of flowers and fashioned the word MOM out of pipe cleaners.  It was very sweet.

My cereal was soggy and I learned that Cucumber had added milk.  Honey Bunches told her that she wasn't suppose to do that, so the kids strained out the milk, added the cereal back into the bowl, and topped it with frozen berries.  I asked where the milk went that they strained out and Honey Bunches told me they did it over the sink.  Oh well.  It was still a very sweet and thoughtful gesture.

While I was eating, one of the kids was playing with a plush, pink puppy, that when you press her belly she recites the prayer, "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep."  After we listened to the prayer a few times, Sweet Potato commented, "that puppy must be Lutheran."  "Why do you say that?" I asked.  He said, "He didn't make the Sign of the Cross."

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Today while riding in the van, Sweet Potato found a button from one of our local festivals.  It said "62nd Annual" on it.  He then informed me, "Hey mom, there's a good chance you'll be around for its 100th celebration.  You'll be old by then, but you should still be around." 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Number 4 Turns 5

Our lives and our home are a bit chaotic these days, as we are undergoing some construction.  Hosting a birthday party simply isn't on our radar, however, I made arrangements to share in some one-on-one time with my sweet Cucumber today.  It was an immensely lovely day!

The first thing Cucumber said to me this morning was, "Today is my birfday and I want to paint my fingernails red."  Wish granted.  Next, I had scheduled her annual pictures.  For the record - this is the first time, EVER, that I have had any of my children's pictures taken by their birthday.  I'm usually a few months behind on this task.  May I just say, that Cucumber is so stinkin' cute!  I normally don't refer to my children as such, but my goodness, the girl can take a good picture.  Normally, the difficulty in portraits is getting the child to cooperate.  In Cucumber's case, it was painstaking to have to decide which poses not to order.

Cucumber asked for a sparkly crown for her birthday.  As we were exiting the portrait studio, she saw a toy that she insisted she needed.  I gave her the choice of either the toy or a crown.  She chose the toy.  Wait for it. . .Wait for it. . . . . .she selected a toy ATM machine.  Of course!  It was difficult to make that purchase, as I prefer toys with intent.  I somehow justified it (it cost $7.50) much to Cucumber's delight.  At this point in our day it was lunchtime.  I rattled off a number of restaurants for Cucumber to select.  I never once mentioned the Golden Arches, however, that is where we ended up, much to my dismay.  I know she is only 5, but I was strongly encouraging her to choose a "sit-down and have someone wait on us" kind of establishment.  I did remind myself that it was HER special day, and so onto the clown eatery we went.

Once inside, Cucumber asked if we could eat in the play area.  Allow me to share that indoor restaurant play areas really gross me out.  I don't want to get into my whole reasoning behind this, but let's just say I was a bit more at ease knowing I had hand sanitizer and wet wipes in my purse.  Cucumber had a great time playing.  At one point, she came over to me and asked if I knew the route to the red slide.  She couldn't find it in the mix of tunnels.  Since adults aren't allowed on the equipment, I told her to try a path she hadn't gone on yet.  Back up she climbed and suddenly I heard her exclaim, "You've gotta be kidding me!"  At this same time I was taking a sip of coffee, which wound up coming out of my nose.  Thankfully it wasn't very hot.

After playing awhile, Cucumber asked if she could have an ice cream cone.  I decided to take her to the DQ, as it was on our way home.  In the van Cucumber said, "Mom.  This is the best birfday ever."  She then gave me a thumbs up.  I loved that this simple outing made her so happy.

At the DQ while eating her ice cream, Cucumber thought she had a piece of the cone stuck in her teeth.  When she opened up for me to take a look, I saw a tooth barely hanging on.  Cucumber had no idea she had a loose tooth.  This bit of information had her so excited that she didn't want to finish her cone.  She wanted to get home so she could show her little sisters her new phenomena.  I thought she may explode with excitement as she waited for Monkey Toes to get home from work.   But wait, it gets even better (I know - it's hard to imagine).  Right before the kids returned home from school, Cucumber's tooth fell out.  Yep - she was wiggling it with her tongue and the little bugger just fell out on the table.  My goodness.  How much excitement can this little body endure?

Our evening ended with singing Happy Birthday and eating cake.  As we were saying our family prayers, Cucumber thanked Jesus for her "great day."  She concluded by saying, "thank you the most for my loose tooth that fell out and for it falling out on my birfday."

Cucumber looks at life as being bigger, better, more glitterier (that is a valid piece of vocab in Cucumber's world) than most.  She lives life with a touch of theatrics which brings laughter into our home each day.  She rarely checks in as undecided on many issues in a 5 year old world.  Her confidence, her girly-ness, and her beautiful smile are a few of the things I love most about her.  Happy Birthday Cucumber.  I love you! (Double thumbs up!!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saintly Resolutions

I usually don't invest much time and effort into New Year's resolutions.  I think it's because I make small resolutions throughout the Liturgical Calendar (Advent, Lent, Christmas).  However, our family has decided to "adopt" a Family Patron Saint for the 2012 year.  I'm really excited for this - actually I'm a bit giddy about it.  I guess you could call me a sort of catechetical nerd.  I LOVE doing religion projects with my kids and this activity will last throughout the year.

First of all, I narrowed down our choosing of saints to about eight.  I picked ones that seemed the most compatible with our family - the ones we had some things in common.  The list included St. Anthony, patron of lost things.  I was pretty certain he would come out on top as we call upon him daily for lost mittens, hats, etc. Also on the list was St. Monica (patience), St. Thomas Aquinas (Catholic schools), St. Nicholas (children), and a few others.  The kids were given a few days to think about their choice and then we voted.   The Patron Saint for our household is. . . . . . . . . . . .St. Cecilia - patron of musicians.  I love this choice!  Gummi is learning piano, Honey Bunches will soon begin guitar lessons, and Monkey Toes is a drummer.  Music is part of our daily lives.  Everyday we listen to it, we sing, and we dance.  I tend to get my groove on when I'm cooking supper and it keeps the little ones entertained so I can complete my task with few interruptions.  One of our favorite family traditions has been attending a local music festival.  So St. Cecilia is a great choice for our family and I'm excited to incorporate her into our daily lives.

The plan is to gradually learn about St. Cecilia - where she was born, how she lived her life, which heroic virtues she displayed, and finally, why God chose her for sainthood.  Every night during our family prayer, we end by saying, "St. Cecilia, pray for us."  I would like to find a small, tabletop statue or an image of St. Cecilia for our home.  Having a visual is important - especially with children.  Then, we will have a special celebration on her Feast Day, which happens to be November 22nd.  This year, it falls on Thanksgiving.  After we stuff ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, we'll have to find a way to make her feast day special. 

My hope with this project is that my kids will get to know the saints - TRUE heroes, and that through their learning, they will view them as important, integral parts of the Body of Christ.  Wherever they find themselves in life, they have the saints who will unceasingly pray for them, especially when we implore their intercession.  So 2012 is off to a great start and we are blessed all the more with St. Cecilia's prayers.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Christmas vacation has kicked our behinds, or rather; the actual return to normal scheduling is taking its toll.  The last two mornings on our drive to school the van has been unusually quiet accompanied by numerous yawns.  I’ve learned that I function much better in routine.  I love vacation days, but I could never live my life in my pajamas 24/7 with no plan for my time.  Schedules and routines are good for my well being AND they’re good for my kids.

A picture of Pumpkin yesterday morning.  This pretty much set the tone for the day.

Here’s a couple of kid-isms I wanted to record.  There were lots more over the past few weeks, but yesterday seemed to be the day of zingers.

As Pumpkin and I were folding the laundry, she commented, “Mommy you got BIG underwear.”  Sigh.

On the way home from school, I made a rather sarcastic comment to Sweet Potato.  I really was just trying to be funny when he scolded, “Mom, that wasn’t necessary.”  Ouch.

Cucumber and I were playing Wii Fit.  When it was her turn she remarked, “Let me show you how it’s done.”  Wow.

As I was making supper, Honey Bunches and Sweet Pea were at the table having an argument.  It resulted in a “no it isn’t” “yes it is” kind of exchange.  Finally, a very exasperated Honey Bunches clearly declared, “I.  Can.  Not.  Talk.  To.  A.  Three.  Year.  Old.  Words of wisdom.