It Begins

Lord Help Me...


The Sisterhood

There are only a few in this whole big wide world that make my soul swell and soar. After Andrew, it would be my sisters and my bossom friend Anna, and her sisters.

My parents say when we all come home the amount of screaming and laughing climbs to obnoxious degrees ;)

The Reunion:

Each sister if gifted with different talents and interest. I could say I'm close with every one of my sisters and love them all, and deeply appreciate the treasures they give to me through their lives.

Tricia: I love that I have a sister to share in the intimate bond of motherhood, as it came to her quickly with 3 under 3. Tricia gives me the gift of being a visible model of courage, strength, and a steadfast heart in accepting all that God asks of her. I gawk at her car and home as they are perfectly organized. Her hidden talents: mad good sewing skills.

Angela: Our sister relationship has grown so much closer now that we are older. 

Angela brings life, loud and loving, wherever she goes. 

I admire the great leaps and bounds she will go to for those she family members or even complete strangers. 

She will travel cross country to experience adventure and ends up in crazy places. I love living through her vicariously. 

Of the many talents Angela was given, she has a special gift of sensitivity. She is able to perceive the unspoken needs of others and her giant heart always responds with serving. 

Jana: Jane and I are of the same mold. Our hearts gravitate to the same things, like cooking and coffee and crafts and card making. 

I love when she's home, because no one else loves to discuss family meal menus and recipes like we do.

Jana's heart beats with an extra beat, she is a GIVER, two full years of mission work is a small proof of her nature. 

Anna: Being closest in age, we shared a bedroom, birthdays, and our childhood side by side. Little things like staying up giggling in bed to big life moments of First Communion, Confirmation, going to camp far away from home in Rhode Island , Going to Rome, Italy in high school...Anna and I did it all together. 

Anna's blog IS Anna: colorful, clever, and a good eye for all things girls love. She so beautifully and creatively uses her talents to provide for her family and witness to her faith. 

Anna has been making me laugh hard since I was two. Very few would know she can imitate and impersonate people like none other. 

Madeline was missing...But the fact she wasn't there speaks miles. Incredibly responsible, she stayed to sing in Notre Dame's choir for graduation. We really missed her....and her contagious laugh.

It is hard for us to be all together now that we are all over the US so a sister weekend in Nashville was a good solution. 

There was lots of good catch up time!

A stowaway...we pinched and squeezed all weekend long. He was too good to be true.

You know you are back home south when they serve fried catfish and biscuits and sweet tea! Happiness. 


All of my sisters share a crazy love for dancing...it runs deep,  there's always a rhythm and beat inside that is waiting to be let out.  

When we are all together, I'm home, thank God for siblings, I have 7 other sister soul mates. 


A Tantrum Story

It was the first t-ball game of the season. The stands were full of happy proud parents and grandparents. Their children played happily on the playground while their boys took the field. 

I sat in the front row, behind home plate. They giggled and played happily for the first 3 minutes. 

I thought this will be the summer I can actually watch the games. Avila is not the wandering one year old from last summer. 

I brought a sucker "just-in-case" Avila needs a distraction, but didn't think the hour long game would require one, after all she's almost two now.  

Why do I set myself up for inevitable disillusionment and failure? 

I gave Avila a sucker half way through, since she wanted to follow Christiana to the playground, but needed to stay with me. 

Then Christiana came back and wanted a treat, so I gave her a laffy taffy. 

Then Avila wanted Christiana's laffy taffy.

I didn't give it to her.

How dare I.  

It grew and escalated into piercing high pitch. 
Face turned purple. 
Squatty body went into full body convulsion and shaking. 
It was all out, throw to the ground, blood curdling screaming hysterical fit...for a full 5 minutes. 

And I was so fittingly behind home plate in between two full stands of people.

I had a half a thought to hold her by the feet and dunk her head first into the nearby trashcan to shake her from the fit, but resisted the idea. 

I had lots of other ideas come to mind too. 

But there was nothing that would have stopped this one. 

Thank you Avila for so wonderfully delivering me with yet another great parenting moment of humility. Especially the throw your blue sucker into my face move and the lashing of your sticky hands into my hair as you arched all the way back onto your head. An amazing performance for center stage. 

Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing. Children are a blessing. 

Memorial Day


End of the Year Teacher Gifts

I usually like to give all our grade school teachers and secretaries a gift if I can for working so hard for our school all year. 

At a Catholic school, they take smaller salaries and are often asked to take on more than usually and make many sacrifices for their students. 

I love gift giving and had fun something different together for an end of the year gift. 

Made 2 batches of Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa and filled 12 small jars. 

End of Year Teacher Gift
Salsa, Lime Beer Salt, Some Chips. 

Recommended to serve with something cold ;)

The Graduation

I remember laughing at the thought of Kindergarten 

graduation when I first heard about it. Go figure I would be 

in tears watching Nicholas last night. 

I looked into the crowd and all the parents were beaming and so proud of each of their own children. To Andrew and I's bemusement, Nicholas took on the role of class clown while performing on stage, not the serious child he his at home. He was in tears the night before when we asked him to sing us one of his songs. 

To be able to watch them grow and learn is such a gift I get to experience. The years do go by fast; I was just posting about his First Day and now he will be in First Grade. 

Godmother Aunt Hilary drove all the way from Kansas City to attend and brought him some loved baseball gear. We love her!!

After the ceremony we took the kids to Dairy Queen for ice cream which is a big treat in this household. 

It is surreal. His teacher made a slide show from highlights of the year with this poem at the end that I thought carries so much wisdom. 

If I had my child to raise over again.

I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.

I'd do less correcting, and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less, and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I'd run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging, and less tugging.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I'd teach less about the love of power,

And more about the power of love.
Poem by Diana Loomans called If I had my child to raise over again.

By God's grace my I live that to my best ability, for that is my vocation. So happy to be your mom, so proud of my little boy, may God grant me many more years to have the privilege to raise you to God and watch you grow. 


Our Summer Pastime

The Garden. 

We tilled and planted over the weekend. 

Christiana especially loves to garden. She was the only one helping Dad the whole day and watered every living thing in yard. She is most excited about planting watermelon :) 


Paleo Club Roll Ups

These have quickly become our lunchtime favorite! 

Paleo Club Roll Ups 

Black Forest Thinly Sliced Ham,  Turkey Breasts, Turkey Bacon,  Avocado Slices, Cherry Tomatoes halved,  Mustard,  Ground Black Pepper

So. Darn. Good.

His and Hers Grad Gifts

Since Andrew is a teacher, we are often invited to dozens of high school seniors' graduation parties.

It can really add up if we did a $20 dollar gift or cash for each one. Cards alone are about $4 each! (I decided to make my own cards this year and save $50)

And instead of a small $10 bill and boring cash...we did something they could use. 

His and Hers Laundry To Go Bags: Pretty and Practical 

Gift Includes: 
- Laundry Tote  (something similar via Sears)
- Detergent Gels (off brand and at $1 store)
- Tide/Bleach pens 
- Fabreeze Spray
Cellophane Bags and Ribbon (recycled from previous gifts)
Cost: About: $12

For those students we are not as close to - we did up the bags without the totes and just did detergent, Tide pens, Dryer Sheets, and a Lint Brush.
Total Cost w/o Totes: $8


Spring Fling

We took a family adventure out to a friend's farm on Sunday. 

Nicholas and Christiana were in Heaven...they gathered eggs, picked strawberries, watched baby lambs frolic, and threw rocks in mud holes. 

There is something to be said about wide open earth, watching things grow, and simplicity of life that opens the soul. Andrew and I felt so refreshed and happy watching joy burst out of the kids as they experienced the farm. 

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and were sent home with a dozen eggs, watermelon, honey dew melon, peppers, zucchini, and tomato plants for our garden. 

 Happy Spring Sunday.


This Little Light of Mine...

Kindergarten Spring Music Program 2013. 

Paleo Diaries: Blunders and Bests

Blunder Numero Uno:

Thought I was getting "raw" honey..... but I got what appears to be a bees wax candle. It's hard as a rock and not sure how I can use it. I am pretty sure I got the wrong thing.

update: I stand corrected. My paleo expert friend just informed me I have to submerge in hot water and then dip the top "comb" part into the liquid honey and will stay in liquid form for ever and ever. 

Who knew? Not me. I wonder how many other people send their raw honey back? 

Blunder Numero Dos: 

Coconut Milk - A big fat case of it - UNsweetened. I've been drinking rice milk and almond milk for years...but I can't hardly get a cup of this down. Darn. I wonder if the sweetened version will fare better.

STILL LOOKING for a coffee creamer.  Almond Milk seems to overtake the flavor of the coffee, which I drink ceremoniously every morning with great delight and not for the caffeine.

Fasting from it's daily pleasure this month. 

Really Good Finds: 

I am a dip and chip person. So not have something I can crunch and dip into salsa, avacodo or egg salad is a texture conundrum... 

This is the best almond butter I've tried. Closest thing to peanut butter so far! Sweet and smooth...very impressed.  

Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce Replacement and a great bbq sauce...no sugars! 

All of these were ordered through Amazon so I get them in two days...sigh of relief in the cooking department.