Thursday, November 29, 2007

A thought from Princess

God just never lets us do a rewind. How come God never just rewinds things?

My first thought was Thank God. There are so many things in my life that I wouldn't want to redo backwards or forwards again. After some probing she revealed that she just wants to be the baby again. She admits that life might not be a good without Bagel and Cowboy but,
the new baby always gets to leave with mom and the rest of us have to stay home.

Well maybe mom needs to make a better effort to include the kiddos in our trips out of the house.

Visitors from the North!

We are busy getting all the decorations up. We will have Nanie, Gramps, Aunt Erica and Cousin Allie coming to visit this weekend. As we scurry around to prepare for their Christmas time visit the temperature continues to rise. It was very good to have a few cold days so we could feel like winter was here. Now I can see that it was just God teasing me again.

So I need to send a warning to our northern visitors. The high temp for the next few days will be 80. It gets cool when the sound goes down but not cold.

I am glad we got so many of our decorations out when it was still cold. I find it hard to enjoy setting up a tree when I am hot. I guess that is just life in Houston.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The ‘GWIRL’ is moving on!

It is hard to believe that we are approaching our fifth anniversary of living in Houston. When we first moved down here Pickle made one friend right away. All of the local K-Marts were closing and they were having huge sales. We took all seven children with us and went to one of these K-Marts together. Pickle had a whole in his head at the time. He had fallen down and cracked it wide open. We had gotten a staple put in and were just waiting for it to heal.

Considering we had just moved in and that everything in the store was now 75% off, you can just imagine how much we wanted to buy. If I recall we had 3 carts full of goodies including all kinds of things like, new dishes and clothes. I think we bought a few things from every department that day. Each buy was a steal in our book. As we rounded the back half of the store, Pickle fell and bonked his stapled head.

He was fine except for the blood dripping from his head. I remember leaving dad with the other six children, one of which was a 4 month old crying Princess. He had the carts divided Pookers had a cart, Goobers had a cart and he had a cart. He had Princess and Moogie to watch over. Goobers had Sugar to help push the very heavy cart and Pookers had the help of Bear. I knew we had reached the end of our money and our nerves. Three over filled baskets, one bleeding child, one hungry and crying newborn was our limit for this evening. Dad and the gang were to head to the crowded check out while Pickle and I headed to the bath room to find something to clean up his bloody hair.

The bathroom was the dirtiest place I had ever seen. They were days from their final sale and had been out of toilet paper and paper towels for a while it appeared. I rinsed my hands, took off my sweatshirt, tied it around his head and met the gang and the 3 heaping carts at the checkout. The carts were fuller, and Dad pointed out they found a few more bargains on their trip to the check out. I could barely hear him over the cries of embarrassment from Pickle (He did look ridiculous with a bloody turtleneck on and his mothers sweatshirt tied around his head), the crying baby, hungry children and rude strangers that were trying to “shop” out our baskets. Dad helped push the carts until we were next in line. He left Pookers to help me and the rest went with him to find the car.

Pookers’ job was to guard the carts as I unloaded the others and then to guard them after they had been repacked by the rude, soon to be out of work, we don’t really care how you feel baggers. It wasn’t pretty. The bargains were awesome but I am glad sales like that don’t come around too often.

While unloading I came across a few items that I did not remembering seeing go into the cart. All three items were from the lawn and garden department. I must have still been picking out dishes when the family visited that section. I saw fire ant yard treatment (at that moment I had no idea what a fire ant was), Miracle-Grow, and a ceramic squirrel. He was a cute squirrel but I thought it was odd that my husband had added it to the cart. We probably paid all of $1 for the little guy so I wasn’t too upset. I did wonder where dad planned to put it.
When we got home I set off to put the younger kiddos in bed and to nurse the baby. Dad, Pookers and Goobers started the chore of unloading and finding spots for all of our new treasures. After getting everyone settled in bed, feeding the baby, and putting her to bed I set out to clean Pickle’s injury one more time. I helped him to change his clothes and while taking his shirt to the laundry room to work on those blood stains I saw the fire ant product, the Miracle-Grow and Squirrel.

“J what is the extra stuff doing on the table? What are fire ants? And why the squirrel?” I asked.
My dear husband just laughed as he responded, “I was going to ask you the same questions. I don’t remember us getting those things, do you?”
“I thought you had to have gotten them when I saw them in the cart, you didn’t.”
“No, that store was crazy maybe someone else just threw them in by mistake.”
“No worries, it didn’t cost us much! I love the Miracle-Grow, what are fire ants?”
“I hear they are bad down here, they bite and it burns, but how bad could it be they are still little ants. Can you take the stuff back?”
“No the store is closing, no returns, remember!”

As it turned out we were very thankful to have the fire ant stuff, those little bites really hurt. It is much better to get rid of the ants before they attack. Pickle walked into the kitchen to say, “Oh there is my stuff. I glad you got it.”

Normally we find sneaking items into the basket to be a very grave offence. Pickle was only two years old and he sure looked cute when he said,
“There is my new friend, he is a ‘gwirl’, ya-know?”
From that moment on the ‘gwirl’ has had a place of honor just inside our front door. That is until yesterday when the ‘gwirl’ was playing with the children and was dropped on the concrete floor. Our dear ‘gwirl’ broke a leg and we have decided to put him out of his misery. We can not bring ourselves to actually throw him away so we moved him outside to sit with Holy Mary.

The ‘GWIRL’ is moving on!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank you God for a wonderful weekend with wonderful people.

I know it is early but we just couldn't wait. The tree went up last night. I enjoy sitting and watching my children work. They work well together. Each child does have their own strengths. I love that they know that about each other and work with it. We got so wrapped up in our tree decorations that it was a very late night. We slept in and headed to Mass Sunday evening.

After Mass the couple behind us introduced themselves. They had 8 grown children themselves. Watching us during Mass took tme back to when their chiildren were young. I was so sad to hear that they have 25 grandchildren but no one of them live close. They spent Thanksgiving with only one of the children and her family.

Pooker has this year and next before she goes off to college. I am so sad that things will change forever then. I realize that our family will grow and spread out. We will have different lives. We need to try to concentrate on enjoying them now. I have been so blessed with wonderful people in my life. That is one of the things that I am most thankful for.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Day and what it looked like.

Thanksgiving for Faith, Friends and Family

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly thank you for all the blessings that are in my life. These are just a few that my family and I are most thankful for:

That baby that we didn’t even know about a year ago. Cowboy is a wonderful addition to our family. Cowboy is the one that we did not ask for. Cowboy caught us completely off guard. Yet, he is the one that has added so much to the joy and love that exist within this family.

Cowboy reminds me to be thankful for all the surprises that next year might hold.

The smell of the pies baking in the other room and all the delicious foods that we eat all year round. I am very thankful to all the talented chefs in my home. I love that they make life taste good and that they are not afraid to try new things.

Thank you for our health. We see how fragile it can be and are so thankful for the peace with in our family life. We are thankful for the answered prayers for Moogie and for those around us. We are thankful to those in the medical professions that give so much of themselves to make our lives better.

Thank you for the continued life of Sean Glanvill and RoseMary Theresa. Each day their families have with them is a blessing. Thank you for allowing us to know about them and to offer prayers for them. It is wonderful to be allowed to taste the communion of heaven in the moments of unity with beautiful strangers.

This year we have made so many new friends and deepened so many other friendships. I am so thankful for all of those relationships. We are blessed to live in a wonderful neighborhood. I am so thankful for all the fun activities that other create by their volunteering. We love the swim team and are thankful that it existed this year.

We are thankful for the opportunity to play sports within the homeschool movement. The competitive volleyball was again an added bonus to our lives. We are so thankful that it was here and again to all those people that volunteer to run it.

We are thankful for all the freedoms we have, our bountiful lives in this great nation, and for the comforts that we take for granted.

We are very grateful for our parish and the many youth activities that we are a part of. Our children have grown in their faith and friendships this past year and we are most grateful. We are so thankful for the good and holy priests that have been assigned to our parish, and for all good and holy men that give of themselves so that we can have Christ truly present in the Eucharist each day at Mass.

I am very thankful for my dear husband, he love me, cares for me and accepts me for who I am. We are both extremely thankful for each of our children. We are thankful to DJ even though he was only in our lives for a short time so many years ago. We are thankful for Pooker, she is a beautiful teenager that is full of life and love for all. We are thankful for Goobers, she is peaceful, happy and enjoys working to reach her goals. We are thankful for Bear and his crazy since of humor, he makes us laugh and appreciate humor in every part of our lives. We are thankful for Sugar, she loves without end. We are always thankful for Moogie and her health, we also love her passion. We are thankful for Pickle and his gentlemanly nature. We are thankful for Princess and the elegance and beauty she brings to our lives. We are thankful for Bagel and the smiles that surface when she is around. As we have stated before we are thankful for the surprise of Cowboy. We are also thankful for all the love that a new life can bring into a family.

We are thankful for our Faith, our Friends and our Family. We are most thankful that in so many ways those three parts of our lives are one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cowboy ate Bananas and Squash

I know that this is big news for the world. Cowboy is growing up. He is no longer a newborn by any stretch of the means. He is still a baby, a very active one. He laughs, grabs at his siblings, tries to talk, sleeps at longer intervals, and demands more food. We often refer to him as our little Chunkie Monkie. (another nick name is Poochie, for blog purposes we will stick with Cowboy.)

The kiddos fed him his cereal mixed with squash yesterday. Then he got bananas. I must say that he loved the bananas but there were not many left for him. The older kiddos were so excited to have the taste of baby food bananas back in the house. St. Nick is considering just filling shoes with baby food bananas. He knows it would be a hit. Every sibling walked past the Cowboy and took "just one bite" of his bananas.

It is not a leap at all to say that he loved his food!

Pickle's Birthday

The big boy is now 7 years old thank you very much. His siblings waited until he fell asleep last night to decorate the kitchen and breakfast room. Pickle was all smiles when we woke up and saw all the work they had done.

There were balloons and streamers everywhere. They had covered the tables with wrapping paper. The birthday child must suspect the decorations are coming and yet it is always a surprise.

I cannot explain why but the kiddos decided to pretend to be ninja warriors this morning. They took the streamers and tied them around their heads. That was the only preparation, no actual ninja training. Pickle loved that everyone played with him in his dream world for part of the day.

Even Cowboy had to join the group. I can't even imagine what he thinks of this crazy family that he is a part of. I am glad he doesn't know any different.

We have a very cool tradition in our house for birthdays. When we sit down for the meal picked by the birthday boy/girl, we take turns at the table. Everyone tells the family three things that they admire most about the birthday person. This is one of my favorite things in the entire world.

It was very cool to find out that Bagel loves to play with Pickle, Princess says that he takes care of her, Moogie loves his creative side, Bear likes that he can turn anything into a toy, Sugar likes that he can turn even a piece of grass into a a character, Goobers likes that every time he plays he adds a sound track of car crashes,
Pooker likes that his sense of humor has developed so much this past year, dad loves his inquisitive nature and mom loves his snuggles and his smile. Cowboy can't yet speak but he does smile when he sees his big brother. Pickle is a great person. The world is a much better place with him in it.

The cake fairy brought a cake by. She really is good. As I have stated before I do not bake cakes (ones that look good anyway). We used buy a cake at the store until a friend heard this. She grew up in a family of bakers and was upset that my children did not have homemade cakes on their special birthdays. Now on any family birthday, she stops by with a cake made with love just for them.
Thanks Mrs. T it was another good one.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Meet me at the drive in!

We had a blast. Now that the weather was more tolerable we decided to make a memory and take the clan to the drive in theater for a double feature. This was an adventure to say the least.

A 15 packer is a great car for transportation but not so good for viewing a movie. No problem we all preferred the fresh air anyway. That was until it started to drizzle, then pour. It has not rained heavy in our area for a few weeks,so we thought we were safe. We thought wrong. We made in through the first movie and 3/4 of the way through the second one. We tried to sit in the car and watch the movie even with the raining pouring down around us. Dad got soaked and eventually we gave up and headed home. As we were leaving the parking lot the electricity went out, I guess we left just in time. I wonder what ever happens to those silly bees?

The kiddos will not forget the evening though. We had hot dogs, candy, and soda, all while we played catch with the football, played on the play ground, collected rocks and made a few memories.

Pickle proclaimed on our drive there that he would not tolerate kissing of any kind from anyone. I am sure glad we got that out the way.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pie Practice

I have a home full of chefs. I like to bake but do not have any knowledge in it. I lack the time to practice as well.

The kiddos tease me that the best cake I ever made was one that we prepared for my sister's dog. KeeKee had gone out of the country and left Lolli-Pop with us. Her home was without children and we were up to five at the time. The dog was well cared for and well loved. KeeKee was worried that the dog's birthday would go unnoticed in our house while she was gone. To tease their aunt my children decorated the dinning room, got out the candles and asked me to bake a cake. This was the only time that the cake did not crumble out of the pan, the icing went on smooth and the decorations were perfect. From that point on I get teased that I loved Lolli-Pop more than my own children. That crazy dog had a great birthday party and thoroughly enjoyed her cake.
Where would all these future chefs come from you wonder? Well their dad of course.

He loves to cook, fry, bake, BBQ, and create. He says that he dreams of attending a culinary school at some point in time. My dear husband has shared his love of cooking and(more importantly)his talent with each of the kiddos. (The word is still out on Cowboy.)
Thanksgiving is a day that they love. Each child takes a different part of the meal and tries to add to it to make it their own. Last year as they cleaned up we heard arguments about who was going to cook, what each person would bring and who would host each holiday. I only hope that their spouses to be will agree to these elaborate plans that they have made.

I must say that if one great thing about having a close family and a big family. I will never have to cook! They might hurt me if I try.

The kiddos wanted to show some of the test pies that were made this past week. I think they were just looking for an excuse for a pie. The pies were yummy, so I was all for it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who has the most fun at kid parties?

Mostly the adults!

We were so blessed this past weekend to have all been invited to a birthday party for a 6-year-old friend. We all looked forward to the party all week. We had not seen these friends all summer. These friends have a huge back yard and the weather was perfect.

All the Lords and Ladies met, made their crests, took out the dragon, enjoyed the kingly feast, and partied like it was the middle ages. When most of the guest went home we stayed behind, helped to clean up and then spent the evening with two delightful families. The children played with the costums, while the moms and dad got to catch up.

I know that your life is very busy but the next time a 6-year-old is kind enough to invite you to their party, please go. You will be treated like the Lord or Lady that you truly are. Get your hands dirty and do the crafts, help serve the food, and always take lots of pictures. This young man may not remember all the fun he had at his birthday party but the adults will. I am so glad to have had the night with friends! (I will pray that you will also be lucky enough to have some children share their banana candies from their goody bag!)