Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Bond Starts Early

I posted one of these photos on my instagram last week, and I thought it deserved a post as well. These two are fairly inseparable.  Jeremy is great with all of the kids, but I think Sophie thinks she has him all to herself, as she proudly proclaims she's "Dada's dirl!"

I love it.  Of course, I love when she wants to hang out with me, too.  But, there is just something special about seeing your spouse and the mutual love between him and the kids.  I could say so much more, but I'll leave it with this...I couldn't do this life without him...nor do I want to.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Our Gardening Adventure

We have had a garden before, yet never a hugely successful one.  Admittedly, I may be the worst person in the world with plants of any kind.  Oh well.  I keep trying.  My cousin built raised beds last year, and I was so impressed by her garden that we decided to do the same this year.  It started a few months back.  We previously had this little area simply laid with the black stuff and a watering system.  

Carter wanted to take a picture of me...

We all worked on it, but Jeremy did so much of it, and it wasn't easy.

He made sure each box would be level and framed them up.

Then, once he finished with the six boxes, I talked him into a longer one for our corn and beans.

Finally, it was time to plant.

Oops, captured a bonk on the head!

We planted some asparagus that a friend gave us right next to the boxes.

We have a box of potatoes, one of squash varieties, one with cucumbers, one with onions, shallots and carrots, two with tomatoes and a long one with corn and beans!  On the ground, we plan to cover most everything back up with the black stuff, but we've left a space for our pumpkins and cantaloupe! 

And, we're praying they all work!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

21/52: A Preview

I'm getting this one up just in time.  Here's a preview of what's to come in the next few weeks...

Carter // 5 - taste-testing our new ice cream from the Coolhaus cookbook.
Peter // 4 - oh the generosity of friends...Peter has a new bunny.

John Paul // 3 - picking out a knife for his pocket-knife collection.
 Sophie // 1 - looking for sprouts in our garden that's now complete.
 Genevieve // 6 months - just waiting for summer and some teeth, I think.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Genevieve: 6 months

We'll be lucky if I get a 52 post up this week.  Until then, here's the little peanut at 6 months...

I know, I know, a thousand photos that look the same, but I can never decide.  Here is what she's up to:

Weighing 15.5 pounds.
Measuring 26 inches which puts her in the 50th percentile in both categories and ranks her as our most petite - with a 9 month old sized head though.
Sleeping about 12 hours at night.
Wearing  a size 1 diaper and 6 month clothes.
Eating every kind of baby food.
Smiling all day long.
Rolling over but not sitting up.
Making it with with no teeth yet (I was so wrong about my prediction that the two bottom ones would pop through weeks ago.
And, I think she'll have green eyes...a first for us!

And, that's about it.  We love, love, love her!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Fish Per Cast

There's a huge pond over at Papa and Elley's house, and since it's gotten so warm, all the kids want to do is fish.  Especially Peter.  So, they bought a few little kid fishing poles and a couple cans of corn, and away they went.
The last time we fished there, I bet Peter caught 25!  Basically he caught a fish with every cast.  And, he also learned to get the fish off the hook by himself.  His momma did too, ha!  I've never been one for fish or fishing.

He begged to take some home.  So, we brought three to put in our stock tank.  Two are still alive.
Carter was convinced that he needed a big hook, but it didn't really work like he had hoped.  It doesn't seem to work when the fish are only about six inches long.  Instead it got caught on Elley's shirt.
Sophie was a little apprehensive at first...

...but then this happened.  

And, I don't know where John Paul was in most of these pictures.  Probably getting his Mickey Mouse fishing pole untangled for the fifth time. 

I have a feeling I know how I'll be spending my summer days at my parents' house.  It keeps them happy, and really, it's pretty cute to watch...until a hook catches a finger.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mid-Week Likes & Links

Have you seen this movie - it's a bit older - but it's so sweet, and the kids love it!

I think I've mentioned this company before, but their chocolates are second to none!  I worked with a few of the family members in DC - but this is a chocolate shop that has been in their family for generations, and their chocolate is delicious!

Wouldn't this be a fun summer book for the kids?

I need a new candle - what's your favorite?

Isn't this the perfect little mom bag?

I think I might have to do something similar to this cake for Sophie's birthday coming up!

A couple of my family members told me about this CC cream, and it's a new favorite!

That's all I've got - hit me with your favorites!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Will Your Son Be Called to the Priesthood?

We have the world's greatest sonographer!  She used to work with my mother-in-law, and now she works for our OB.  Well, she's taken a peek at all of our babies before we saw them outside the womb, and we love her!  She's the kindest soul, and over the last six years, we've gotten to know her better - always hearing stories of her family and bringing the kids with us to appointments to meet her.  Well, we always knew she had a son who was in the seminary, studying to be a priest.  However, we had never met him.  Imagine my surprise when we went to Mass at a nearby parish one Holy Day to see a very young seminarian giving the homily in place of the monsignor typically doing so.  He looked oddly familiar, but I knew I didn't know him.  After Mass, I asked his name, and we both smiled then, knowing I knew him and he knew us.  It was Shane, our sonographer's son.
We made it a point to go to Mass there a bit more often, and Jeremy and some of the kiddos became regular attendees when Genevieve had to stay home for a few weeks.  So, before he finished up his internship (if that's what you call it) in this parish, we wanted to have him out for dinner and an evening.  As always, our plans never quite worked out as early as we would have liked, but we did get him out here before he left, and what a blessing it was!

Before he could even get his feet on the ground when getting out of his car, the kids had bombarded him, giving hugs and asking him what made him want to be a priest.  They all fought over who could sit by him at dinner and who could ask him the next question (admittedly I was fighting to talk to him, too).  And, in the midst of all the craziness that comes with four little ones shouting to be heard, sitting within an inch of his chair, me wondering exactly what his parents did to encourage his discernment, and a baby needing to be fed, he remained at such peace and calmly attended to each of us.
The kids adored him.  Honestly, we all did!  And, the rest of the evening, I was simply kicking myself wishing we would have had him out sooner and more often.

Why?  Because it never hurts to spend time with such holy people...with such good people.  Shane, in the little time I've gotten to know him, is heroic.  Not in the sense that he is doing anything out of the ordinary in his answer to the calling to become a priest...but in the sense that he is becoming a priest in a time in which we desparately need him to - in which we need godly men to say yes.  I sat in awe of his apparent faith, his peace in his calling and his love that radiated from every ounce of his being. 

And as I sat there, I prayed that my boys would see in him an example of faithfulness and heroism. In asking him what his parents did to provide a home in which he felt comfortable answering this call, he said they always prayed with him, that their marriage and faith was the ultimate example, and that every night his sweet mom would pray that each of her children, along with her and her spouse would continue God's mission in whatever capacity He asked.

I can imagine that with whatever pride that comes in knowing your son (or daughter) has chosen to serve God via the religious life, there also comes worry...maybe imagining that life as a sometimes lonely one, and an often difficult one.  One in which a parent probably has to let go a bit more than they would if their children chose a different path.  I know none of this, but I imagine I might feel somewhat this way if any of mine chose the religious life.  But, I also believe it would be such a beautiful thing to witness, even if bittersweet in this world.

I asked because I want to provide an atmosphere in my home to encourage my children to ask God if he wants them at His service in religious life...if he wants their vocation to be marriage...basically to ask Him what He wants of them and then to accept it with an open heart.  

Shane and his sweet momma have been an example of heroic love for us, and I pray we raise little ones who will be equally heroic in continuing His mission regardless of their vocations.