Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aren't there limits.........

to how much of a sports fanatic you can be?
This is what my crew came up with to deal with the fact that the Piston's and Red Wing's were on at the same time on the same night.

Memorial Day fun.....

actually I think it was the day before Memorial Day fun! ;)

A- George is always thinking about his homework :)
B/C- Gabriella is really hamming it up for the camera, Manny enjoys bonding with his plastic alligator.

Off my checklist.........

Funny, I just read a great blog post from my very favorite insightful mom of a large family :) Kim @ Starry Sky Ranch http://starryskyranch.typepad.com/starry_sky_ranch/ If you happen to read it you will see why it ties in with this post :) However, I will say that it wasn't kids that were ignored while I was busy as a bee this past weekend as much as the house. (DH decided to take everyone out of the house for several hours again on Monday, for instance :) Ok, Ok, I will learn someday!
Out door chair covered.
Dresser painted ( and while I was on a roll I painted another side table and bench this color. I wasn't too sure of it at first, but then I saw how it picked up the color in the comforter I am trying to make work together. I love when that happens! ( the other piece of fabric is the curtain I am planning on using for the room).

These are two of the pieces I once again fished out of somebodies trash. :) They were a bit too rustic even for me, but I think they look alright with this green paint. The tins I found at the Dollar store and they fit perfectly ( well, almost........good thing tin does bend a bit :). I think they will look lovely with some gerbera daisy plants or the like. I just put some wildflowers from our backyard in them for now ( only had enough for three containers, though :(.

Timeless marital advice....

from 1740 :)

1. Never to contradict my dear Husband without it being quite necessary and then with the greatest good nature I am mistress of.

2. To serve God more sincerely than I have done in the state I am now about to leave and to lead a life suitable to the Blessed calling of my Husband.

3. Never to fret or fall into a Passion about small matters but to have always a cheerful heart, knowing my blessings much exceed any troubles that can possibly befall me, and in all dangers to commit myself and family to an All-Wise Providence, and then to be easy about the event.

4. I likewise resolve to lay aside all fondness for dress but to be always neat and clean.

5. I resolve to be very active and never for the sake of saving myself a walk to neglect anything, though it be never so great a trifle.

6. I resolve to be very frugal and never to put my Husband to any needless expense.

7. I resolve to be very kind to my servants, as well to their souls as to their bodies, and always to give exact orders and never to be in a passion if they not be executed.

8. I resolve to treat my friends kindly, but not extravagantly, and to be full as glad to see his relations as my own.

Mary Christian
28 April 1740
written the night before she was wed
(Taken from: Fragile Paradise; Fletcher Christian of HMS Bounty)

and another...........


The Over Parenting Crisis

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A change of mind....


Great article!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

For this week........

FOR THIS WEEK...5-19 to 5-25
Outside My Window... Looks a rain- free week. Sunny, a bit cool, but very nice.

I am thinking...about how to arrange my days so I can get all the projects I want to get done, done.

I am thankful for... Flowers, I am so glad God created them :).

From the kitchen... I made some home-made crostini this weekend. It was very good and quite simple and felt very nice to use up stale bread and have it turn into something so yummy. I'm also thinking you could chop it up a bit and use it as croutons and I also crunched it up and made breadcrumbs with it. I am also trying a new recipe tonight....slow cooker meatballs. ( Our oven is on the fritz so my crockpot is becoming a new bff.)

I am wearing... jean capri's, a white undershirt and long sleeve blue t-shirt. a baseball cap ( need a shower) no shoes right now :)

I am creating... an appealing yard, I hope. The paintbrush is coming out this week since it looks dry. I found some wooden pieces in the trash that I think will make interesting planters and boxes for a patio garden, but they need a little sprucing up. I am going to try white (green?)washing them with green paint.

I am going... to Jackson's Spring concert tonight. Naomi's on Thursday.

I am reading... mostly Laura Bridgman right now. It is turning into a fascinating book. A lot on how the mind processes language. More on that later.

I am hoping...for a productive Memorial Day weekend.

I am hearing... Gabriella giggling, Jed and Manny shouting ( they are playing together but they are so darn loud!)

Around the house... I finished one couch ( recovering). I did get the laundry room mostly cleaned this am. Otherwise I am trying to ignore inside work to go outside :)

One of my favorite things...one of my favorite things is laying in bed for about a half hour before I fall asleep and reading. It is just a satisfying and peaceful time. I can fully relax and enjoy it. I'm done worrying or thinking about doing anything else. Funny, a good bit of the time I have knocks on the door ( I actually try to leave it open but sometimes I forget after I get into my pj's to reopen it) and visits from a few kids who know they can find me there and not moving :) but that is also a sweet feature of that time of the evening as well.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Sanding and painting my flower boxes. Finish planting my flowers. Finish cleaning up the backyard. Perhaps start on painting the laundry room or Al's room. ( if Noah comes through and tapes/spackles for me :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

A word about the title of this blog

A lot of people comment on it and like it. I have to admit it is not an original *Kris* idea, though. (Are there any?)
I got it from the book "My Spirit Rejoices" by Elizabeth Lessuer. It is her diary. She was such a holy and prayerful woman that her atheist husband became a Catholic priest after her death.

I don't know that I see that happening :) but everyone has someone they look up to and aspire to model what is virtuous in their character. Besides that I think it is a good motto to live by.
Your *spirit* can rejoice no matter what trials and torments are befalling you. I pretty much need that reminder on a daily basis. :)

Sometimes I wonder about myself.......

I just got done watching "Riding the Range" Backyardigans episode. *I* was the one who got it out of the library and was excited to find it!
My kids don't ever watch the show, but one time I happened to catch this particular episode and was hooked. I think it must have been one of those sick days when everyone is camped out in front of the tv and not caring what was on. I tried to find it on Amazon. I tried downloading the songs on Napster ( not the same as watching the little animals sing and dance with them :)
I nearly did a handstand and backflip when I saw it at the library.

I don't know why I am drawn to cheesiness. I mean, my 5 yo won't even watch this show because he thinks it is dumb!

I also like High School Musical 1 and 2. Ok, it took a lot to admit that so please don't throw any tomatoes. Whenever I watch it I feel like hiding up in my room with the curtains drawn. I understand how cheesy it is, I really do, yet I just can't stop myself. Every time it is on and I know about it I tune in. I especially like the baseball scene in HSM 2. I don't think I will be able to bring myself to go to the theater to watch the third episode, though. It will come out on DVD soon enough-right? I could order it online and no one would know the better!
My kids roll their eyes but I know they like it too. HA!

Lately I have been listening to ELO's Greatest Hits. Another thing I WOULD feel a bit squeamish about if it wasn't for the fact that it is Al's CD! He seems pretty hip and cool when it comes to musical taste, so maybe it is just a matter of things coming in vogue. :) Maybe I am ahead of my time. :) Or maybe enjoying cheesiness is just a break from pondering and wrangling with brain stretching issues. I guess everyone needs a vacation from them at times.

Gotta go-maybe I can catch another view of Backyardigans before I have to take it back to the library this afternoon. ;)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lady - like eating.

I don't know if it has been providentially arranged, or that I am just drawn to a certain type of *diet* book, but it struck me that the recurring theme in most of the ones I have been perusing lately is what I would categorize as *lady like* eating.
Smaller portions, eating just little bits of treats, eating more frequently throughout the day so you don't descend upon any meal like a starving refugee, savoring your food instead of reading the Kroger ad, checking e-mail or the worst, shoveling it in while standing at the kitchen island ( something I do for breakfast AND lunch about 75% of the time.....dinner is a bit more civilized.) Making wise food choices instead of mindlessly consuming junky rot.

Yes, one of the books I am reading is "French Women Don't Get Fat", so that has probably influenced how I am thinking about it. (A brief review.....my assessment is French women ( or at least the one writing the book) thinks a bit too highly of the French :), but she has some good advice.)

Still, the idea of "lady like" food consumption is an appealing one. It brings to mind a thin, smartly dressed Englishwoman ( pardon my obsession with English gentility) sitting in her immaculate dining room with cabbage rose curtains, eating bites of chicken salad off lovely china and sipping water with a lemon slice in it out of a glass goblet. If it helps me lose a bit of weight and succeed in changing my eating habits, I will go with it!

Little wonders...........

seeing the joy and excitement on Manny's face when some birds came to our Dollar Store birdfeeder :) We tried to be crafty and make the pinecone type........but those darn squirrels got them. Phooey. :(

A bikeride at dusk. Not the safest time to go bike-riding, I know....but we are blessed with a fairly large neighborhood ( not a sub) that has quite an extensive amount of sidewalk....so I stayed on that.
I love how the neighborhood has a different *vibe* at different times of the day.
Our neighborhood is pretty quiet, generally.....but in the morning you can feel the hustle and bustle as people zoom off to work or school. That is when the most cars go down the street and there is a general buzz in the air.
In the afternoon, when I usually go walking with some of my littles, it is dead quiet. You might see an odd senior lady doing yardwork or another mom ( rarely) out walking with her baby,but otherwise it is very peaceful.
In the evening, it felt sort of like it feels when you are at a campground. There were some kids still out playing, some in the street having a game of hockey. You got the impression everyone was relaxing and chilling. Sitting on their porch or in their backyard and winding down for the night. A few souls had their curtains open, thus giving the world a look inside their living room. Most were perched on the couch chatting with family members or the tv was on.

Gabriella is still interested in nursing. I don't know that I have nursed anyone this long ( not that it is all that long). Most have lost interest at about a year. I have heard other women speak of their experiences nursing a toddler, but it isn't something I knew much about. It is cute how she points to the chair we usually sit in when we nurse when she wants to. She often giggles the sweetest little giggle of joy. She sings the whole time ( and squirms and thrashes and pulls on my nose and sometimes scratches me if it has been too long since her last manicure :).
Still, it is so dear to see her give concrete expressions of her enjoyment of that time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Outside my Window...dusk, but bright green trees. We thought the day would never come! ")

I am thinking...about something I will left unsaid :)

I am thankful for...my husband and children, their health, a roof over our heads, good food to eat, cars to drive. with the two terrible catastrophes in the world in these recent days, there is much pondering on how very thankful I ought to be for the littlest comforts and blessings.

From the kitchen...just chicken nuggets, fries and carrot stix for the kids tonight. gulp.

I am creating...lots of sewing. I did a couch cover and recovered some pillows. I am planning to recover my outside chair pads, and do another couch cover ( we go through these like water....obviously :) I've also got to finish my little sewing/craft room downstairs and carry out my plans to paint and freshen up the laundry room and basement bedroom.

I am going...nowhere else tonight. HOO-RAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am wearing...Brownish khaki's, a red and khaki striped top with a brown undershirt and my brown crocs. I am so colored co-ordinated. ha HA ha

I am reading... Well, I have quite a list these days. What I read last night was some from the "Laura Bridgman" book.

I am hoping...our rebate check will come tomorrow.

I am hearing...Dylan playing with Gabriella, Jed moaning about the owie on his arm, Manny making Buzz Lightyear sounds, some cooking show on Food Network.

Around the house...Phew, what a mess. Did a lot of shopping/ out and about things today and IT SHOWS.

One of my favorite things...a fresh carton of hommous and bag of pita chips from Sam's. Somehow they aren't as appealing once they are opened. :( I got some terrific dill dip from there today too, and those little colored peppers to dip in it.
A new favorite.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...more shopping tomorrow, kids want to go see "Prince Caspian", too ( we'll see). Belated MOther's Day plans with my mom, Naomi and Ella on Saturday.....shopping for a graduation dress for Naomi,too, Winston's first birthday party on Sunday. Lots of baseball games both days of the weekend. I guess cleaning will have to happen next week. darn! :)

A picture worth sharing- I don't think I have any new ones, but I will get some. :)

Mother's Day bonanza

Mom's are good at being guilty. At first I felt guilty for wanting certain things for Mother's Day and now I feel guilty that I got them all AND more! LOL!

Saturday, Tim serendipitously was able to take the 60% of our children that were home with him to the Y and on some errands. That left me alone in the house for a good 3-4 hours! Woo-hoo! I'm not sure I can remember the last time that happened.
I first went on a bike ride on my new favorite path......the Clinton River Spillway. It is about 5 miles there and back all along the river til it spills into the Lake, so a beautiful trail. Most of the way.
When I got back I was able to cut out and pin up, iron, etc. some sewing projects I wanted to get to. That stuff always takes the longest ( as opposed to the actual SEWING), so it was nice to get it out of the way. I was also able to do a good bit of ironing ( a chore I enjoy) while watching "What Not to Wear" reruns. Does it get any better!?!?

Well--- it did. Sunday, my dear son Al actually got up EARLY and invited me to breakfast at my favorite *out to breakfast* restaurant, Cracker Barrel. Did I mention in his birthday post that he is a very thoughtful boy? :) It is always a real treat to spend one on one time with the older ones.
Next, we all went to mass as a family ( well, all but one.....but 99.9% is a pretty good showing.) This is a pretty rare occurence these days.
After that I actually got a bit of a nap and some good one on one time with Tim. We were able to discuss some pertinent issues. On to the pool with Jax and George for a good swim and some fun water play with them. (Tim brought Jed, too, a bit later).
After that I came home to a wonderful dinner prepared by Dyl and Noah. Cream of Mushroom soup ( homemade) Spinach dip, antipasto salad and sliced baquette. Dyl made a terrific" chicken in tomato cream sauce" pasta dish for everyone else ( not too many fans of mushroom soup in the house) which was hard not to sample as well!
I also got some lovely hand made cards and a coupon book from Jax.

Too much!

Probably only a mother would say that! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lessons I don't seem to ever learn.....

not to buy playdough.

thinking I can get away with not vaccuming everyday.

putting lovely throw pillows on our couches and expecting them to stay there.

letting kids eat popcorn in the family room.

caving in and letting jed and manny buy any toy from the dollar store (breaks almost before we get out the door!)

trying to write e-mails while nursing

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sigh ( Happy Birthday Al!)

It's hard not to wax poetically about your oldest son turning 21.
I will try not to, for his sake :) but here is the boy who ushered me into the vocation of motherhood ( with God and Dad's help, of course! ;) turning TWENTY ONE years old.

He was two weeks late. ( The first of many who made a late appearence! ) Of course, I had no clue what real labor felt like so I just assumed I was having bowel troubles ( sorry, not many ways to explain that politely). We finally figured out this *was it* and made our dash to the hospital. Of course, I wasn't very far along, and Tim was hungry.....so off he went to Taco Bell to load up on sustenance. Funny, Al is a huge fan of Taco Bell. We laugh about that.
Not long after he left, REAL labor kicked in and boy did I miss my labor partner. I laugh about that...........now........ but I wasn't very pleased at the time. ;)
At 5:30 am on Friday, May 8th....our Alexander John was born. ( 9 lbs, 1 oz and 22 inches long).
We didn't know he was a boy, but we were thrilled with God's choice!

He was always a good little boy and still is. Not a bad way to get your feet wet for the job of parenting. Of course that made our colicky #2 a real shocker. :)

Now he works full time, goes to Wayne State U.......just bought his third car....a Mustang, no less! ( he saved up for his first car by cleaning the kitchen for us 3x a day when he was a young teen).
Yes, he is well on his way to adulthood, but he is still the boy who scoops up one of his younger siblings after he comes home from work or school and holds and chats with them for awhile. He had a week's vacation this week and I often saw him following his little sister around the backyard or playing *Transformers* or * Geography* game with his little brothers. He is ( of course) strikingly handsome and witty, a brilliant writer and guitar player and and all around interesting person to know.

Happy Birthday, our dear Al. We love you!

This Morning......

My first mistake was not trying harder to get the attention of two little boys engrossed in playing with their Optimus Prime and car.
"Jed and Manny, time to get dressed and do your chores!"

No response.

"Jed and Manny, maybe I'll have to take those toys away so you will get down to business!"

Manny, "You're cute, mom!"

and a few minutes later......

Me, "Manny, I will help you get your clothes on, but you are old enough to take off your pj's"

Manny, "I'm on it!"

My kids are award winners!

Literally :)

Third Quarter Honors

Naomi: Summa Cum Laude ( All A's with no A-'s) and Principal's award. She also won *Student of the Month* this month!

Jackson: Magna Cum Laude ( All A's with some A-'s :) and Principal's award!

George: Honor Roll and he did so well on his reading MAP test that he got a free *Happy Meal* from Mac Donald's :) His teacher said he had *High School* level scores and he is in 4th grade.

Way to go, kids!

Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.