Newest Little Princess

When I was little, my dad would tell me and my sisters that we were princesses. He would say, "You are princess because you are a daughter of God and He is the King."

I believed him and still do.

I told Nicholas and Christiana that Avila was becoming a princess today because she was getting Baptized. They have no idea what Baptism means - Andrew told them it's when you make Jesus your best friend...simplistic version...they may still not really get it, but someday I hope they will.

For the big day we asked our close friends Joe and Marci to be her godparents and invited a few friends and Mech to celebrate with us.

Last night at 7p.m. I called a friend to borrow a baptismal gown (rememberd and forgot for 2 weeks).

At 10 p.m. Andrew and I started cleaning our house and preparing all the wonderful food: homemade cinnamon rolls and quiche lorraine with fresh strawberry grapefruit juice....soooo good. (on a side note: Thank you Andrew for vacuuming, sweeping, and moping the floors in good humor and to country music...you make life fun when it could/should be otherwise stressful.)

And at 8 a.m. this morning I ran to the store for Maple flavoring for the icing on the cinnamon rolls.

At 10a.m. on the dot we pulled into the parking lot. We miraculously made it to Mass just in time. Again, thank you Andrew for leaving in the first reading to go all the way home to get the pacifer I forgot. (got love our 2 min. drive to church).

At 11 a.m. Avila Maria became the newest little princess in the church...then she following the ceremony preceding to sleep away her celebration until 8p.m. this evening.

Now starts our incredible task of helping her to love God and attain Heaven...and so we begin!

Nicholas passing out booklets

Please note our son's face...hmmm....I'm sensing class clown.



Family Stacation was fun, hot, and hilarious and I can't believe we pulled it off. I was apprehensive to travel with a two week old newborn, but we fared well enough.

It was a grand occasion to have ALL 11 SIBLINGS in one place at the same time. What a happy memory that week will be for me. Thank God for mom and dad having each one of us, because each sibling is a gift and offers something special to all of us.

Anna -
If ever I need a hardy belly laugh, I have only to think of you falling off the hammock while nursing and continuing to do so while laying on your back. Then there is also the moment you thought a bug landed on you only to realize Paul's flinging experiment worked and landed on your head. You always add another dimension of humor to every family situation.

(Clearly we are not expressive people)
P.S. I enjoyed having you as a nursing buddy while everyone frolicked about else where, you did not leave me alone ; )
P.S.S. And only you could know my taste perfectly to pick out my new fave top from H&M for my bday.

Tricia -
I think everyone would agree John Philip is your gift to the world. He almost isn't real. You can't but stare at him because he is just too delicious for words. His smiles at ANYONE and EVERYONE and your heart melts. No wonder God is giving you another. We need more of those in the world. ; ) I forgive you for having a perfect child that we all envy.

Angela -
The kids love thier "Mimi" - who else will buy them giant lolly pops and fireworks. Who else would spend all thier extra money buying them fun tshirts and coordinating outfits. Who else would sacrifice her time to take kids into the pool for hours, get little people juice 100 times, and work her buns off at work to be with the family? Thank you for being the "Auntie" of our family and my kids' childhood favorite.

Joe -
The King of relax and good coffee. It was so fun to see you play with all the little kids. Thank you for bravely updating Anna and I openly about the current state of your life, and....ahem..love. You willing to talk to whoever is around and attentive to listen. Thank you for getting a haircut.

Jana -
I'm in awe of your generosity to give a 2nd year as a missionary. What a big heart you have, defying the world view to live for only yourself - it is an honor to have you as a sister. You love in the details...making 18 hundred blt sandwhiches so we could all have lunch by the poolside to creating a magical movie experience for the kids with themed snacks and goodies. Thank you for sharing all your talent with us. Oh and for your style advice and for that skirt you gave me.

Madeline -
Your laugh....it's contagious. I love being around you and love hearing the humorously dramatic version of things from your perspective. It was fun to chat and listen to your life plans with Megan and Maddy. There is so much potential and promise in you and I can't wait to see what God has planned : )

Peter -
The mover and the shaker...actually pulling off diner to go and getting the family to leave on time for the baseball game is a miracle in itself. We loved the power point presentation on the Zuniga Olympics and your ideas and organization. Thank you for keeping traditions and making new ones.

Paul -
You were so kind to play baseball with Nicholas for hours, showing him all your airplanes and helicopters, getting out all your old toys and setting up games. You do such a good job at playing with all the kids. Congratulations, you are now Nicholas' favorite uncle.

Gianna -
You are always there to wake up early with the brightest smile on her face, always quiet in the background ready to get someone their bottle or cup or to take outside, You have the most humble heart of our family! I'm sooo thankful for you Gianna, I saw you so many times give of yourself so joyfully in so many ways.

P.S. Hope you are keeping your shop open - I love my new fridge magnets!

Grace -

Oh my what to say about Grace. You loved all the babies and took such good care of them. You wanted to know how each one ate - whether they drank from a bottle for from the stomach. You were such a good playmate to Nicholas and Christiana. I loved listening to your conversations. Thank you for your voice and your "Hair as long as Tangled"

Mom and Dad -
You have given us the greastest gift of all - the gift of siblings - our hearts overflow with love, because each one gives the other their special and unique gifts, memories, and talents. You have formed 11 people, a generation, who can look at you, thier parents, and understand what it means to love in all its truth.l Thank you.

Other Staycation Highlights

Fourth of July Firework Show

Watching the show curbside...

Guys vs. Girls Volleyball in the Pool
It got heated...only 20 some odd fiercely competitive people in the pool at one time.

Cardinals vs. Reds Baseball Game....family divided.

(Patiently waiting to catch a ball.)

Grandchildren Photo Shoot...with Aunt Grace. (Yes, the minuture screaming baby is Avila - there always needs to be at least one crying baby in a grandchild photo shoot - she volunteered with arms open wide)

Picnic Outing to Forest Park

Wearing Our Party Pants

We were wearing our party pants today to celebrate your one month of little life!!

Already different and unique in your own little way.....

Your funny with your prefrences:

No milk (that is, you do not like when I eat any dairy products. I wouldn't either if I had gas like you).

Only agree to lay on your stomach.

Would rather suck a small pacifer if given the option.

You despise your carseat....however, if rocked and pacifer in, we can convince you that life will go on.

With all these tiny little requests fulfilled, you are now as quiet as a lamb and as sweet as can be.

You fall asleep on your own now without a peep.

However, it takes twenty minutes to wake you up in the middle of night because you are so deep and you forget you are hungry.

Shhh...we aren't telling everyone that your hair on top fell out and that your hair line and double chin resemble that of Fred Mertz. That's our little secret - we still love you dearly. The akward phase will not last long....your eyes are deep blue and your cheeks so plump that your cuteness will soon trump out the bald spot.

The sweetest and best part about you is that at three weeks you smiled when we talked to you! Now you try very hard to talk back to us with such deep concentration. This makes my heart swell. ; )

Oh how we love our Avila.