Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Ahhh- this grape Faygo has a lovely bouquet!
Aunt Nancy always brings a book to study!
The big boys chillin'. Yes, we did two tables this year.
Who gets the last bite?!?!?!?!?!!? ( no, we really had a lot of leftovers!)
If Gabriella ain't happy, ain't no body happy.
Digging in!

The table groans!
Zak getting ready to carve.

We always try to have a festive "brunch" as well on holidays. It serves two purposes, special treats and only have to prepare two meals for the day! :)

All in all a wonderful day!

7 Quick Takes

1. I didn't go shopping yesterday. Well, I did, but I didn't go to any of the stores that offered super deals :). I guess after reading the news, I am glad I didn't. I had a suspicion that things might be worse this year because of the current economic times. I did buy some more dishes at a thrift store. Ok, I AM going to get rid of some others to make room and ease my conscience.

2. I think I might have some sense of what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is like. (Putting on my amateur psychologist hat) I almost cringe when I say that, because I know some people go through REALLY horrific things and have to deal with that, but lately I've had little flashbacks about a gut wrenching situation that was going on last fall/winter. It's sort of like at the time I didn't allow myself to really *feel* what was going on, I just had to become numb to it to be able to deal with it. Now that things are better, I get small glimpses of it to grapple with....and they are also good reminders to thank God for getting us to the other side.

3. My mom sent pictures of our time in Florida, and yes, my observations about my weight were again confirmed. :(

4. It's always an interesting time going out to eat with Tim. Not that it happens all that often, but nine times out of ten, once we get seated, he finds some reason why we need to change seats. Last night the music was too loud ( yes, it was.) Usually, there is some to-do about the drink order. He likes something caffeine free, and he likes root beer. There are, however, only certain brands of root beer that are caffeine free. Generally the waitress isn't sure which brand of root beer they carry, so off she goes to find out. Next comes ordering his entree. Because he has some dietary restrictions there are often many a tweak he needs to make to the dish he chooses. They almost ALWAYS get it wrong. After about the fifth time the waitress comes back to check on us he requests the check. I guess he doesn't like waiting around for this, so he makes sure it gets here before he finishes his last bite.
If nothing else, life is never, ever boring with that man.

5. I found a new blog that I find refreshing. It is called "18 Under One Roof". What made me think about this was being at a social event earlier this week where our family size was being discussed and the *Duggar* family was brought up. I know, in reality, people are just trying to find common ground, but I find it disturbing that all large families are now, by and large, equated with the Duggars. Not that I have anything against them. Far from it. I find much to admire there. Her level of organization is very inspiring. I love the way they all work together as a family. The children all look bright and happy. I do know, however, a good number of large families. Almost none of them is like the Duggar family. The lady in the aforementioned blog has almost the same number of children ( 16) as the Duggars.....she doesn't write snappy organizational tips, ways to homeschool so your child will be accepted into Harvard ( she doesn't even homeschool! ;) or how to raise the next President of the United States ( although maybe that isn't the coveted position it once was :).....she just writes about her family, and her love of her children and of being a mom with lots of kids shines through.
I guess that is how it is in life in general. Whether you have 2 kids or 20 there will always be a small percentage at the top who have it all figured out, a vast majority in the middle who have some of it figured out and some of it not, and a few at the bottom who don't have a clue. :)

6. I really like volunteering and helping. I do. But nothing bugs me more than when a group or organization puts out a call for help and you go and then are left standing around with nothing to do! This happened on Saturday when Naomi's catechism class was supposed to be putting together food baskets for the needy. They wanted all the kids there, of course, but also asked that parents come and help. Of course I love being an armchair my opinion was that if things were organized a bit better, everyone could have been assigned a job and the whole thing could have been done in half the time.
Oh well, God bless them for their efforts. I hate to complain ( I don't think I really hate to complain, but I digress :) when people are trying to do good! It just seems like this has happened more than once, though, in different situations.

7. Is Christmas really less than a month away? It's funny how I can now tolerate listening to Christmas songs at the stores but a week ago, they were driving me NUTS!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 Honest Things about me

1. I have a bump on my right ear that sort of looks like Dr. Spock. Only my grandfather, my dad, myself and now my son, Jed, have it in our family. I wonder what that means? :)

2. I like to be alone. I wonder how I signed up to be the mother of a large family ;0 )? I don't mind being around my family (love it, in fact!), but I dislike being in social situations where I have to chit chat. .....and a cherish any time I have to be just by myself.

3. I have gotten a lot lazier as I have gotten older. I don't see the point in killing myself about certain things anymore, or maybe it is just I don't have the energy. :) Sometimes it bothers me, usually when I see what a state I let the house get in. On one hand, I feel like I am going all day long doing this and that ( usually house- keeping related), on the other, I am ready to put a halt to things at about 8 or 9 pm. I wonder if I was really diligent I would stay up and finish what I know needs to be done even though I am tired?

4. People always seem to want to talk to me at stores, or ask me questions. I'm not sure why that is, maybe I don't look too threatening. ;)

5. I think I have a bit of a *dish* fetish. I love dishes! I have every cabinet, cupboard and any other available spot I can put a dish on view completely filled.

6. I don't like watermelon ( any melon, really) cucumbers or raw onions.

7. I'd really like to go to England before I die.

8. I don't really like homeschooling but I am doing it anyway. :) I do like reading aloud to my kids and doing fun crafty things or art projects, but the rest? I just can't get into it like so many other women I know. I DO love having my kids home with me all day. Isn't there anyway kids can be educated by osmosis?

9. I am a parish hopper. Currently, we go back and forth between three different parishes. Mostly just two. I don't know why that bothers me, but it does.

10. I think Christian Bale is cute. Isn't that a ridiculous thing for an almost 44 year old mother to say? ;)

Weekbook November 23, 2008

For Today....A funeral, laundry, more cleaning.

Outside my Window…drizzling and cold.

I am thinking…..about Thanksgiving and ADVENT, which is this Sunday already. Yikes!

I am thankful for…..for a safe and smooth trip, there and back, and to be home. :) For my kids (and dh) who did a great job keeping the home fires burning while I was away.

From the kitchen…tonight I think we will have beef and noodles. I tried making some skordalia this week. It is a greek garlic dip, made with potatoes as well. I can't seem to get the consistency right, although the flavor is there. Guess I'll have to head down to Greektown. :)

I am creating…..a thanksgiving feast.

I am wearing ......what I will wear today: Grey dress pants, black tunic, black and white print knit shirt under, black boots.

I am reading.... Finished "The Boxer Rebellion". Now reading "The Unredeemed Captive". I also found a cute little book at the thrift store called "Words to Live By". Very inspiring.

I am hoping…..I can get caught up on the laundry at some point. I guess that is one thing that was overlooked while I was gone. :)

I am hearing....mostly just the furnace blasting. I am sitting right by the vent.

Around the house…although the kids did a pretty good job at keeping up with things while I was gone, it did need a little of mom's tlc :) ( not that I am any expert here) I got started on that yesterday morning and actually unpacked my suitcase last night! Hoping to get to that kitchen floor this long weekend.

One of my favorite things: Manny calling me "My Dear".

A few plans for the rest of the week…..Funeral. Thanksgiving. Finish painting. Start on kitchen floor. Get the upstairs cleaned up. Start Christmas shopping.

A picture I am sharing with you......"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!" ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

7 Quick Takes

1. I have a lot to process this year about senior citizens and nursing homes and the like. Both my fil and grandmother have been in them this past year. One was a true nursing home ( fil) and the other was an assisted living apartment. It's not so much my family member being in one, because they had lots of loved ones who are looking out for them, visiting them, etc etc........but what haunts me are the many, many other residents who look so lonely and sad while there. Outcast, discarded....or maybe just didn't have anyone....
it's something I have grappled with before, but not when it hit home so personally.

2. Something about being away made me realize how heavy I am getting. Maybe I didn't have time to think about it as much ( although I do think about it a lot). I just seemed so *jiggly* and matronly whenever I'd catch a glance of myself in the mirror.
I know half the battle is REALLY caring about it. Maybe therein the problem lies. I truly dislike people who have lost weight and go on and on about how healthy they eat now, or watch them endlessly count calories. It could be the little green monster in me. Or the rebel. I think there is way too much emphasis these days in society on looking great all the time. Thin, young, hip, etc. Of course when you are not any of those things it is hard not to jump right in and join the crowd.
The real you, the person inside, is hardly cared about anymore. It's all in how you present.

3. and chucking those lofty thoughts .... I've decided I can't wear my hair up in a clip anymore. It just makes me look SO old. It pains me because it is so easy, but wearing it down helps now that I have lost my youthful bloom. :)

4. I realized again I just want to put people in my *things are either black or white* category box. That is how I view the world, I know. I think I have gotten a little better at not being that way ( and it is interesting to see some of my kids with this worldview :) as I have gotten older, but I still do it by and large. I know I have said it before, but people are a mix of good and bad. You rarely find someone who is all good or all bad. I think I need to tatoo that on my wrist.

5. I'm thinking about New Year's resolutions already and I've decided trying not to complain should be #1. Even if I don't do it audibly ( which I do) I do it with my gestures and demeanor A LOT!
Ugh. Yuck. Poo.

6. I like Michigan's fresh, cold air better than Florida's humid breezes.

7. I am scaring myself. I was looking at a blog I read a lot and the woman ( who is around my age) had just had a baby. Of course she posted lots of pictures of the little cherub. I realized I didn't feel any affinity for having another baby. Gulp. I've always either been pregnant or had a newborn by the time the youngest was two, and ESTATIC about it! I'm usually jonesin' for a new one before the youngest is a year. Gabriella will be two in a month and no signs of a sibling for her....and I'm ok with it! I guess that is a gift from God. There is nothing worse than wanting a baby and not being able to have one. Perhaps time for a new direction in life. :)


There isn't a greater feeling of relief for me ( well, besides delivering a baby :) than those airplane wheels coming in contact with terra firma and knowing I am just an hour away from being with my loved ones again.

Don't get me wrong. It was a nice, relaxing time away.....but nothing makes me happier than to be around my kids and my husband. As much as I *sometimes*( ha ha) crank and complain about the goin's on here, I am truly, truly blessed to have the life I do, the children I do, the husband I do, the home I do, the VOCATION I do.
Thanks be to God.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daybook for November 17th, 2008 ( or should I say "week book" :)

For Today.... It looks like it might be a little warmer. I decided to come to Florida when they are having record low temps. Figures! :) Still, it is much nicer than the northern fare this time of year.

I am thinking…..about my kids and what awaits once I return home!

I am thankful for….. my parents who are so good to me ( us) and my lovely grandmother

I am creating….. well, I made 5 bead bracelets yesterday. Haven't been able to do that in awhile. I picked some little *weeds* :) that look like starfish on my walk yesterday.

I am wearing knit capri's, gray t shirt and brown hoodie

I am reading...."The Boxer Rebellion" gripping. Once again makes me ponder the heroism of humanity and the barbarism.

I am hoping… go shopping SOMEWHERE today. I am going through withdrawl. Yes, I know I have a problem here.

I am and dad rustling the morning paper and sipping coffee. Ella tossing about in bed every now and then.

Around the house… I can only imagine! :) :) :)

One of my favorite things: the sun, after a week or so of gloomy weather at home :) A Sonny's pulled pork sandwich and coleslaw. YUM!

A few plans for the rest of the week…..Tomorrow, I am scheduled to fly home. I think I must attend Naomi's volunteer opportunity on Saturday am. They are assembling Thanksgiving food baskets for the needy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Daybook November 10, 2008

Dyl trying to look tough, but he is just too cute :)

For Today....Mass, and then home to lay around and try to stifle a cold coming on.

Outside my Window… a day that promises to be referred to as "November-ish". Gray, drizzling, a bit of wind, cold.

I am thinking…..about going to Florida a week from today. It's going to take lots of planning, before and while I am gone!

I am thankful for….. we have managed to stay pretty healthy all summer and fall.

From the kitchen….for Sunday dinner, Roast Chicken and all that goes along with it, & apple pie. I am SO proud of myself.....I finally figured out it takes 3 chickens to feed us all and I am prepared! I am even hoping for a few leftovers :)

I am creating…..trying to finish painting the hallway and I think I am getting Tim on board to get the kitchen floor done ( or at least started :)

I am wearing ......what I will wear to mass today :) green, gray and black plaid skirt, black sweater, black boots.

I am reading.... The Last Empress & The Boxer Rebellion. I think I am starting to get least the West's relations with China. :)

I am hoping…..I can nip this cold in the bud. Zicam, apple cider vinegar, Emergencee are all ready and waiting. :)

I am hearing....Jed and Manny bickering over the Walmart toy catalog.

Around the house…The new refrigerator is here! We had the choice of spending 1000$ on one that would fit into the little *spot* in between the cabinets this house designer made or one twice the size ( maybe that's an exaggeration :) for 700$. Pocketing 300$ is always a motivator, as is more space, so we went with plan B......although that meant we had to put it in the laundry room. Perhaps not the smartest move since the laundry room is usually piled ceiling high with dirty and clean clothes. I always think things like this will FORCE me to keep it better organized and cleaned. I can hope.

So- that left me with an empty space in the kitchen that looked like a refrigerator was supposed to be in it. :) A thought came to me to dash over to the Salvation Army and see if I could find anything that might work as a cabinet. ( I tried using something we already had, but NOTHING was that size) There wasn't much. I did find one thing that was really ugly, but might have had some promise with a coat or two of paint...... it was too tall. We were just heading out the door, disappointed, when I spied a lovely antique cabinet sitting by the exit. I took out my trusty measuring tape and lo and behold---the right size! Hurrah!

One of my favorite things: A good book.

A few plans for the rest of the week…..Dragging out warm weather clothes- AGAIN! for my trip south. Will I ever really put them away? :) Packing and trying to come up with a million lists to keep the kids ( and Tim) organized while I am gone. Finish painting the hallway ( almost there!) laundry room, laundry room, laundry room!

Big date last night......

With my three littlest :) We went to see the "Donut Man" at St Gerald's.
I don't know if it was more for me or for them :) The older boys loved the Donut Man when they were little and I have fond memories of jumping around, dancing and singing his songs together.
I'm not sure why, but after the first four we didn't listen much anymore ( if at all?)

Anyway, it was fun. Gabriella was mesmerized, Manny would stop and check it out periodically in between twirling around and weaving in and out of the aisles. Jed, in his usual way, was thoughtfully trying to figure it all out.....although he said in the car on the way home that we should have bought the DVD, so I'm thinking that means he liked him ;)
I had tears in my eyes when he did his "Jumping up and Down" number. Nostalgia.

Friday, November 7, 2008

If there was ever any doubt God really loved me........

Proof abounds!

( A new Sonic is opening 1 mile from our house......previously we had to travel 12 hours south to get a yummy cherry limeade!!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween 2008

Noah was a character from an old music video we always get a chuckle out of...KLF's "Justified and Ancient" ( yeah- I know it was supposed to be red, but we had a bunch of gold, shiny material hanging around :)

Ella was "Pebbles" from the Flintstones ( that's a bone in her hair :) My friend Theo made this costume. The other boys are self explanatory :) I didn't get a picture of George, but I think he just threw a bandana around his head...
Dylan dressed up as "Jim" from the office for a youth group party he attended. ( no picture, either :(

As Halloween eve approached, I wasn't sure it would be much of a celebration around the Vrazo house. :) Jed and Manny had been sitting on the fence about going out to trick or treat for weeks and were still there. We had been out running errands in the morning/afternoon and Ella didn't get a good nap and was very deranged by dinner time. After a tasty dinner of corn dogs and carrot sticks ( I know, I should be nominated for Mother of the Year! ;) everyone perked up and were ready to don costumes and collect candy.
It was a beautiful night, and lots of kids were out ( it sounded like a block party from our backyard!) so it turned out being a fun evening.

Daybook November 3, 2008

For Today....well, it's election day and Naomi's 14th birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NAOMI! I should also add that our birthday girl's soccer team ( Summit) won second place in the National Homeschool Soccer tournament this weekend in Ft Wayne, Indiana. Way 2 go, girls!

Outside my Window… dark, but it is supposed to go to 70 today! Huzzah!

I am thinking…..about the election, what else? :) and Christmas, which will be here so very soon.

I am thankful for….. my dear sil Neana, who is a great help to me.

From the kitchen….I think we are going to grill hamburgers tonight since the weather is so compatible. Pita pizzas for lunch? Jed wants french toast for breakfast.

I am creating…..well, I did end up creating a robe for Noah last week ( for his Halloween costume). Wasn't sure I could get to it, but I ended up waking up extra early a couple days and was able to have a few good hours of uninterrupted sewing time. :)

This week we created a little memory book for Nan's 90th birthday.

I am wearing ......grey sweatpants and hoodie. "Proud Soccer Mom" t-shirt :) Haven't dressed for the day

I am reading.... The Last Empress

I am hoping…..we can go to George George park today for a walk and picnic

I am hearing....Jed and Manny trying to figure out how many days until Christmas

Around the house…most of the first floor got a good fall cleaning, especially the kitchen which Nita helped me do. I think I severely underestimated the amount of time it would take to get that done....and still the cabinets and pantry need organizing :) The upstairs....not so much, but we'll keep plugging away. The backyard needs a sprucing, too....but since the weather promises to be nice most of the week, I'll have no excuse not to get to it.

One of my favorite things: A clean house.

A few plans for the rest of the week…..last night we went to a special election mass and adoration at Grotto. Tonight I think Naomi and I will go out to dinner for her birthday. The littles and I have tickets to go see "The Donut Man" on Saturday. There may also be a burial service for Dad Vrazo on Saturday, too.

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