Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Birthday!!!!!!

It was a beautiful day! Paulina Noelle was born about 2:25pm with a ton of goldish, fuzzy hair on top of her cute, perfect head. She was exactly 7 lbs 15 oz. (I won the final guess at 7,13 closest without going over hahaha) and I'm not sure how long she was but she is keeeee-yooooot as a bug's ear. Thank you if you prayed because it was probably the smoothest, most perfect delivery EVER IN THE HISTORY OF REALLY GOOD EPIDURALS!!!!! I think she got a teeny bit nauseous for about a half a second. She pushed about 4 wimpy times and out popped Paulina. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating here people. If every woman had a delivery like that one, we'd all have 10+ kids and the world really WOULD be overpopulated as some in the media would like us to believe. If every woman had a delivery like that, we'd have to re-write the book of Genesis and re-think the whole theology behind the sin of Eve if you know what I mean. DANG! Who looks that good 20 minutes after having a baby? Huh? Huh? I'm not EVEN going to show you the picture that shows her in the middle of a "push". It's sick how cute she looks in that one. I'm going to start a new club. It's the IAABFSPWWCSTPBBNGAOOFOTROHBPLGLOAISWTROYP club. It stands for I am a big, fat, slobby pregnant woman who can't stand those pretty "basket ball", never- get- an- ounce- of- fat- on- the- rest- of- her- body pregnant ladies go live on an island somewhere with the rest of you people club. WHO'S WITH ME???? (I might have to work on the acronym, though. It's not as catchy as I had originally thought.).

I think this picture is so cute. It looked to me like they were thinking something like, "HEEEEEYYYYY, I know YOU!"

I think this calls for a caption contest!

Here's my lame entry:
When Trine's babies are born, they are so smart that they start singing their ABC's in the delivery room. Here she is showing Paulina how to start with the proper pitch...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

God's Sign is the Baby

We will be expecting the 16th grandbaby of my parents tomorrow (hopefully!) sometime so pray for my sister and niece/nephew to come through the delivery safely! I hope for her sake it is relatively pain-free (hey, a girl can dream!) and without complications. Please, please, praypraypray! Also, if you have time, her 4 year old Gabby is sick with the croupy cough thingy and pray that they will all be healthy for the new baby to come home?
Here is an amazingly beautiful excerpt from the Holy Father's Christmas homily that I find appropriate for our week. He almost sounds as if he's had a baby himself or as if he COULD! What I mean to say is that it is easy to see his profound love for Christ in the words he chooses. It sounds so tender and sweet...check it out!:

God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes
himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendour. He comes as a baby – defenceless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practise with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him. The Fathers of the Church, in their Greek translation of the Old Testament, found a passage from the prophet Isaiah that Paul also quotes in order to show how God’s new ways had already been foretold in the Old Testament. There we read: "God made his Word short, he abbreviated it" (Is 10:23; Rom 9:28). The Fathers interpreted this in two ways. The Son himself is the Word, the Logos; the eternal Word became small – small enough to fit into a manger. He became a child, so that the Word could be grasped by us. In this way God teaches us to love the little ones. In this way he teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches us respect for children. The child of Bethlehem directs our gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and hunger; towards children who are unloved. In all of these it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is the God who has become small who appeals to us. Let us pray this night that the brightness of God’s love may enfold all these children. Let us ask God to help us do our part so that the dignity of children may be respected. May they all experience the light of love, which mankind needs so much more than the material necessities of life.

Guardian Angels,
Pray for us.
St. Gerard,
Pray for us.
Mary, Queen of Heaven,
Pray for us.
All you bloggers out there (especially you saintly mothers!)
Pray for HER!

Thank you!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas in the Attic

Butch thought that the garage needed to be insulated since it was already sheet rocked...and since it was insulated, put in a heater, and we might as well throw some plywood up there for storage...and since it looked so cool we might as well make it be a fort instead of storage! The kids keep very busy in there in the not-too-cold, not-too-hot days. I would have loved a spot like this when I was little. I hope they have fond memories of it when they grow up or we leave this house for a better one out in the country closer to my sister and their cousins. Kids need a fort. I built one for my brothers out in the woods when I was about 13 but I had been a veteran fort builder by that time for many years. I think I must have built about 2 tree forts, 3 ground forts and LOTS of blanket forts before that time. I'm so happy that my kids have their own space to fight over, plan things, play quietly, pretend they're grown, watch movies with their friends, learn how to clean and keep things organized (small space!), and generally go to a place where grownups are not allowed unless they are adding improvements. We are thinking of cutting a hole in the girls room and building a secret door that enters the fort, but that will be a summer project. Can you imagine how COOOOOOL that would be?.
Since I discovered how easy it is to embed video, you might as well check this one out of the fort decorated for Christmas. The kids did it all by themselves and it was all their idea...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What Happens When Bocker Misses His Nap

This video is an example of what Niklaus does when he is so tired he can't even think straight. Notice as you're watching it how his eyes are almost shut and he's wandering around aimlessly and biting his nails. He sounds like he's drunk. Also, don't call 911, Mari's not lacking oxygen...She only picked up the ring-pop sucker off the floor and I didn't have the heart to take it away from her. She was enjoying it soooo much (it's the one Bocker mentions at the end of the video...he didn't like it as much as Mari, let's just say)!
I had the camera in my hand trying to get a funny picture of Mari's blue lips and tongue when Niklaus came in the room making that hilarious "whoowhoo" sound talking about a siren that he heard in the distance. Also, it is the first time I've ever heard him make use of the word "ridiculous". It's especially funny because he can't say his "L"s. Check it out.

A couple other things of note:
There is a good view at the beginning of Mari's now famous "spike" on top of her head. No matter how much spit we apply, that thing will not go down. She's got this double swirl on top of her head and that's where her hairs meet. Not a good formation for a girl. She's going to have issues with that in the future, I'm sure. Okay, one other thing is the red all over Niklaus' hands and arms. We were painting earlier and that's the only color he painted with. I know because it's the color of my dining room table now... and floor.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Nativity Story

Okay, I haven't actually seen that movie yet and can't review it with any authority so for those of you who LOVE birth stories, go here for one of the best I've ever read...and really witnessed!

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Favorite Books

I have been posting a lot, and reading a lot, and THINKING a lot about books lately!
Anyway, some of my favorite books are Usborne books. I discovered them when I was first considering homeschooling Katrina about 8 years ago or so. A good friend of mine started selling them (they are available in book stores and libraries, too but I liked buying them from a friend) and I decided to become a consultant (mostly to buy them for myself and family) and I'm not planning on making selling books a profitable thing or anything but I am having ONE party tonight and will order for whomever wants these great books any time from now on!
Here is a copy of the reminder email I sent to the people on my invitation list and the reason I'm posting it on my blog is if anyone "out there" is interested, or any of my friends or relatives who read my blog are interested, they can follow the link to my site and click on the "Laura's Kickoff Party" link or call me to order (saves on shipping). I can't wait to try out the "Your Baby Can Read" program. If nothing else, it would be funny at family get-togethers to show off the tricks they might learn!

Hey Ladies! I just wanted to remind you that my party is tonight (wine, women, and song...well...maybe not "song", but I'll sing if you get enough wine in me!) and even if you can't attend, you can go to my website and order by Thursday (or call me with your order to save shipping) so you can get your books before Christmas. A lot of people forget about books for Christmas presents, but they can make a very lasting and wonderful impression on the children and adults on your list. I hardly ever throw away books unless they are falling apart or get wet! I still cringe when I think about how I threw out or gave away my favorites from when I was little or in school and how I could use them now for the kids! I'm trying to build up my library again but I'm very picky now on the books I choose as I don't like clutter. Dusty books are clutter! That's why I choose Usborne books a lot, because they get read and referenced often and don't get time to get dusty (yay for no extra cleaning!).
Alright, have I convinced you (winking and pointing my "shooter" fingers at you like a cheesy salesman)? If I have, come to my house tonight at 7 and bring a pal, or call or order from my website by Sunday, December 17th (or anytime you want when you are looking for good books from now on!).
Okeydokey, hope to see you soon!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Deer Santa

Niklaus and I broke away to Coborn's to get something for supper the other night and happened upon their annual Christmas dealio where they hire a really cool band to play Christmas music (I swear the lead singer was channeling Burl Ives, he sounded EXACTLY LIKE HIM!), have samples around every corner, and even have people with trays handing out holiday-style appetizers. I actually was there to get a few (ahem, it was St. Nicholas eve) things that I had forgotten (nothing like waiting until the last, possible second) the one hundred and forty-two other times I had been to the store in the last couple of weeks (how I got that stuff under his coat in the cart and into the bag at the checkout without him seeing was practically genius, if you ask me) and it was just so great that he was there with me because he's holed up at home all day while we are doing school and I love it when he can get some special attention. We were by the freezer/meat section when I saw the man in red...

Me: NIKLAUS! (in stage whisper) It's SANTA! Look behind you!
Niklaus: Whoa!
Santa: Hi! Want a candy cane?
Niklaus: Thanks (dead serious)
Santa: Here, take two...they're small!
Niklaus: Thanks
Me: (as we're walking away) Hey Niklaus! That was sooo cool, that was Santa Klaus!
Niklaus: Yeah, but where's his deers?

Three year-olds are AWESOME!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Worst Book Ever

I was just tagged by the Smart Girl and I had to think really hard about this one because I've read SO MANY FLIPPIN BOOKS! I can't ever NOT finish a book because I'm an optimist and if it starts out bad, I always have hope that maybe, just MAYBE it will get better before the last sentence. Most of them do but some don't. I honestly don't remember the last time I didn't finish a book but I do remember throwing one of the "Left Behind" books across the room unfinished after it became evil in my hands and I never ever read another one of those terrible things again I tell you! I did just read "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". We read it in high school but I didn't understand some of the themes back then because I SURELY wouldn't have re-read it if I had! It was pretty much a crappy, depressing book that makes you think that life is not worth living in any way and that families with lots of children are depraved and that the only way to salvation is to be a communist. Now, you might not think that if you read it and you might just be mildly bored by it and think, "what the heck was laura TALKING about?" but trust me, it was between the lines and I oughta sue my old English teacher for trying to indoctrinate me at such a tender age...oh that's right, that is the public school teacher's turn me into a mindless/liberal/bitter/hater with a penchant for Marxism and no sense of historical accuracy. Moving on...anything by Nicholas Sparks bites big time. BORING and stupid waste of time to read that nonsense. Ugh, the movie was unbearable...what was that thing called, oh yeah "The Notebook". Double Yuck.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Three Years Ago Today...

...I was thinking that I was soooo smart. We had gone to my brother's house for a 500 party the night before my due date and I thought I had at least a week left of the pregnancy. My partner was my bro in law, Mathew, and he kept giving me sneaky glances and giggling to himself because he insisted that I was in labor. HA! What a dummy. Didn't he know that I was a WOMAN who CERTAINLY knew better than him when I was going to have this baby thank you very much? Hmph. Okay, so fast forward to the 40 minute drive home...past the hospital where my baby would be born...the following week...boy oh boy, my stomach REALLY hurts...Butch is passed out in the seat next to me buuuuut, maybe I should just stop into the hospital just to get checked? NAW, I'll just go home and go to the bathroom, then I'll feel better, but OH, that is crampy!
We got home around 2 in the morning and Butch dragged his butt up to bed but I "slept" on the couch because I was so uncomfortable. I tried and tried but couldn't sleep because, darnit, I'd had coke and caffeine affects me so much. Well, to get to the point, by about 5 in the morning, my denial had broken and I called my sister to tell her she'd better think about meeting me at the hospital in an hour or so. BUT MATT answered the phone (darnit).
Matt: Heeeeeeellloooo? (in a cutesy, smug voice)
Me: Uh, Hi! Is Trine there? (trying to sound very not in labor and 5 in the morning...on a weekend day after getting home at 2 in the morning...on my DUE DATE)
Matt: WHY?????HMMMM????
Me: Just let me talk to her, sassy pants.
Matt: Okay, fine, she's right here hehehehehehe
Me: (Grumblemumble)
Trine: HELLOOOOOO? (excited and freaked out)
Me: Um, yeah, I'm actually in labor so you'd better meet me at the hosp. I gotta go wake up Butch and pack a bag, I guess.
Trine: (shuffleshufflemumblemumbletellingmattthathewasright) Matt says "I Knew It"
Me: Yeah, okay, fine, he's a genius. What is it with him and knowing things about women in labor?????? He's a freak of nature.

Seriously, that dude grew up on a dairy farm and my theory is that he got some sort of gestational zen from the cows, anyway...

What Matt DIDN'T know was that I was about to have the WORST birth experience of my life (so far, anyway) and that that baby was 10 pounds 6 ounces of sheer, horrible PAIN! Even the epidural couldn't block the pain of all of that chunky baby-ness and I could have shot the idiot doctor who delivered him.

Now for the good news: Niklaus is the funniest 3 year old kid I know. He keeps us in stitches and giggles and comes up with the funniest phrases and thoughts. He is sweet and always says, "Yes" instead of "Yeah" which is so cute. He looks most like his daddy than any other child in this family, except he has light brown eyes and strawberry blond hair. His eyelashes are longer than a boy's should be but that makes it so much harder to get mad at him or put him in a time-out. He loves his brothers and sisters and has taken to calling Matty, "My Buddy". When Daddy comes home at night, he goes on this marathon talking spree that's like a run-on paragraph that only Butch and I can make sense of. Someday maybe he'll be a story teller or a writer.

I kind of wanted his birthday to be on the feast of St. Nicholas (even had the day set to be induced by the doctor!) but WHEW am I glad he was born when he was. Right on time and the date was 11-30-03 at 11:30 in the morning which is kind of a cool set of numbers, don't you think?

I know this picture has Mari in it, but she and Niklaus look so much alike and it was such a pretty picture. She and Niklaus are the closest in age and hopefully will be very close as they grow together. Even though he's rough on her, she just loves him to pieces.

Just What I Think

I have this same conversation with my sister and I always try to explain that it doesn't "bug" me or surprise me when this subject is brought up in casual conversation, but it really just kind of rubs me the wrong way. I think Pansy explains my point nicely.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Seriously, they must have dumbed this one down just for me because I didn't pay ANY attention in high school! I was too busy reading novels and trying to catch me a boyfriend. I guess teaching the kids at home has given me a second chance at an education for myself. Yay! Another good reason to home school!

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Few Of My Favorite Things...

Okay, most years I don't get all excited about Christmas because I mostly get worked up about all of the work it becomes. Extra shopping, groceries, laundry, organizing, decorating, making sure to follow traditions that the kids holler for, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, wet out door clothing...the list goes on and on. Also, there's the whole "end of the holiday season let-down" that really gets to me as a mom who homeschools and is home EVERY DAY with her children in the sometimes too cold to go outside weather. But for some reason, I have a lot of peace this year and I am looking forward to the holidays. Tomorrow night, Butch and I are going on an actual DATE to see one of his co-workers play in a band at a bar and I'm really looking forward to it. After that, we have Thanksgiving this week here for his parents then later in the afternoon at my parents. Then it's shopshopshop with the kids for their presents for each other (so cute that they love to do that, we never did that for our siblings!) and for their godparents and friends. We are going to take a family picture at Thanksgiving, finally! Hopefully we can get a good one that we can blow up and hang in our house and give out as Christmas cards (yay, snapfish!). Oh, before I forget this little factoid. Last week we had our first "sticky" snowfall and the kids scrounged up their snow gear and headed outside to build a snowman.

Just to give some perspective on the Minnesota weather weirdness: That picture was taken on Monday the 13th of November. The previous WEDNESDAY we were wearing T-shirts and shorts. I'm NOT kidding. We spent the whole day outside like it was July or something and not even a week later my kids were making FREAKIN SNOWBALLS IN THE FRONT YARD. What am I DOING IN THIS MESSED UP STATE??? Okay, whew, got that one off my chest. Anyway, I wanted to mention a few of my favorite things (thus the title) so here goes:
1. My children
2. Snapfish (okay I realize I already mentioned those things but I like complete lists)
3. Sunbutter (Matty's allergic to peanuts and although he doesn't like anything that even remotely resembles or smells like the stuff that could KILL him, I love this stuff because it's sooo yummy and won't cause him harm just being in my house. The Natural kind is my favorite but the Creamy kind is on my grocery store shelf next to the peanut butter and it stays mixed and is a bit more like peanut butter.
4. This stuff is sooooo good smelling and it makes my skin look so pretty (I don't usually wear perfume so it has to smell good to get me to wear something scented like this, also if you look at the picture of Butch and I at that wedding a couple of blog posts ago, you can see how it makes my arms all shiny and pretty so I'll probably be wearing it to all of the holiday events this year!) But be aware that people who can't wear shimmer-type lotions could break out...that's not so pretty.
5. Tights in the winter with skirts.
6. Blankets in the living room and snuggling up to watch a movie when it's cold.
7. Kids who say "yay!" when it's time to go to the dentist (they actually did that this morning, I gotta get those guys out more)
8. Sisters who I can call to be background noise so I can do my housework. I swear I can't do my dishes unless I'm talking to her!
9. Books about triumph over hardship. I'm reading He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. and it's taking me a long time to read because I'm forcing myself to read one chapter at a time to let his message soak in. Our parish priest is having the parish council read it and I happened to be at the meeting when he handed them out. I was practically salivating over the book and I guess Father saw the drool and asked if I wanted one to read as well. NICE! Free books rock. I'm also reading Charlotte's Web, the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and re-reading the Little House series (Little House in the Big Woods right now) to the kids at the same time. It seems a little frantic, but I love all these books and the kids are really reading a lot on their own too! Katrina is reading the Trixie Belden mysteries and Matty is re-reading his Bionicle books and anything else that is boy-ish enough for him. Analise is reading (well, I'M reading it to her but she can actually read some of the words herself now) Junie B. Jones and Niklaus is making me read his Little Critters, Berenstain Bears, and Clifford books over and over. PRAISE THE LORD for a love of books! Oh, I forgot, I'm also reading The Man Who Was Thursday. That one is taking a long time for a different reason. Read the first chapter and you'll see why. It blows my mind but it's GOOOOOOD. I love stuff that challenges like that, I guess that's why I hate romance novels. Blechhhhhh. One year I got into them and after about 6 or 7 of them they all sounded alike. Ever 5 years or so I read them just to "cleanse my brain palate" and get back on the good stuff. OK, I'm done now. I'm rambling over at my other blog too, in case you're interested...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Holy Moly, I Godda Eeacksent Doncha Knowwww

(h/t: Esther)

Boy oh boy, I always thought I had transcended the whole MN accent thing...guess I was wrong 'cause this puppy NAILED it (except their analysis of the movie "Fargo" is a joke, those people were doing a horrible caricature that anyone from MN was insulted by or at least thought it was stupid sounding...although I can think of a few people who they were not that far off from...hmmm):

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mari's Gots the Skeeeeills

Go here for a quick video of Mariela. The other day I set her down in the living room with all the other kids to watch a show and after about two minutes I couldn't hear her so I asked, "Where's Mari?" and the kids quickly searched for her but started laughing when they found that she had climbed the stairs almost up to the top floor! I know I should have been freaked out that she could have fallen, but after so many years and many "trips" by children down the stairs, I've come to the conclusion that they have some pretty darn active guardian angels and I don't worry so much about that anymore!

P.S. I HATE my voice on the video, I sound like an old lady. In MY head, I sound like Alison Krause, especially in the shower, just so ya know.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Day of The DEAD... an apt name for us today. Yes, all here at the N...... household are saddened to announce the demise of Bionicle Boy the Fish. I smelled something wicked-rank emanating from somewhere in the kitchen and I was halfway through cleaning all of my dirty pots and pans that I have been saving up for a special occasion, when I glanced over at the fishbowl on the counter. Matty had asked me two days ago to clean it out because, "It's not MY fault that it's so dirty! Bocker put a whole ton of fish food in there and YOU LET HIM!". Ahem. That part might be true. I was looking at my email and right next to me Bocker was sneakily digging through Matty's desk drawers. I saw him with the fish food but I told him ONLY ONE and I guess he thought he knew more about fish nutrition than me.

Mama: (while the kids were working on the art project of the day...making dough figurines of Halloween stuff that they can paint later and I won't feel bad about throwing away because they are made of flour and salt instead of expensive play-doh.): Ahhhhh, kids, I have some good news and some bad news.

Kids: Give us the bad news first.

Mama: Matty's fish is officially dead (I had to specify the officiality because of mistaken states of deadness in the past)...but the good news is we don't have to clean out the fish bowl anymore!

Matty was NOT amused.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

That Smart Girl...

...has a new, inspired post that I really enjoyed. I like things that make me think. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

5 Little Known Things

I was tagged by my pal Amy Caroline to post 5 little known things about me so...

1. I was a cheerleader in high school for wrestling. I HATED CHEERLEADING and I think that cheerleading is stupid and a waste of time. The ONLY reason I signed up for the thing was because the position of stat taker and video cam operator was already taken and I wanted to ride the bus to the wrestling matches and go to the wrestling parties. I even got certified as a referee so I could keep score at freestyle tournaments and go to more wrestling events. It's a little known fact that if you are a teenage girl and you go to national tournaments for freestyle wrestling, there is a good chance that you will be the ONLY girl at the tournament in a huge civic center full of REALLY HUNKY GUYS and therefore have absolutely NO competition and ALL the attention of all the guys. Especially if your parents are too busy watching your brothers wrestle and don't pay any attention to you flirting like crazy in the bleachers. IT....WAS.....AWESOME!

2. One of my favorite things to do as a child-teenager was pick rocks in the fields for my uncles in the summer. We also LOVED to kick corn down in the fall and sell sweet corn in the summer. We had a lot of cousins so we didn't get the privilege very often, but once in a while we got to go on the tractor with Grandpa and I will never forget that honor! He smelled like sweet pipe tobacco and Mentholatum.

3. When I was sixteen, I was HUGE into heavy metal and I knew all the words to "Fade to Black" by Metallica. I also read every thing I could about Led Zeppelin but I was totally a poser because I went to a Poison concert and bought a t-shirt that I wore all the time until it wore out.

4. I wanted to be a nun and work for the poor in Guatemala. I had pretty much made that decision after I graduated...buuuuuut, I met Butch on June 15th the summer after I graduated and, well, my plans changed a bit. I did go to Guatemala once, though. It wasn't for anything as noble as helping the poor. I went to my friend's wedding there in an old monastery that had been converted into a lovely hotel, saw my first volcano, went swimming in the ocean for the first time, and sang a song in front of a lot of people I didn't know who didn't speak English. I also felt REALLY tall the whole time we were there and I'm only 5' 4". We brought Analise because she was only 10 months old and was still nursing and she was the hit of the whole city. Nearly everyone who saw her wanted to touch her or hold her and it made me so proud. The moms and dads would coo at her and the little kids would reach out to touch her and call her "linda". It was so sweet. I don't think she made a peep the entire time we were there.

5. I used to bite my toenails when I was sitting in front of the TV. I can still do that...but I don't.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Hunky Hubbs, Movies, and Nuns

We went to a wedding last weekend and it was one of the few times we have actually gone out in a loooooong time. Anna had come home for the weekend and watched the rug rats and Trina watched Nellie and Pete's kiddos. We had a nice time but one thing I'd like to observe is that we didn't have communion at church. I assumed that the bride wasn't Catholic but it made the service seem...weird. I know that it is still valid but it was so SHORT. I mean, what's a Catholic wedding if it doesn't last at LEAST one and a half hours???? Then the bride and groom walked out of church only to walk back in and go up to the altar again and begin dismissing/greeting (a la the ushers) people pew by pew. Hmmm. It was a cold day and this was actually a good way to NOT end up freezing our butts off in the entryway but it was a bit awkward. Anyhoo, here is a picture of Butch and I at our table at the reception and I thought he looked cute with his new glasses:
I don't have very many pictures of Butch and I because I am usually the one with the camera but seeing this picture makes me think that maybe we need to make more time together and go out on more dates. It sure is hard to find the time when we have all these kids to be concerned with! We are falling in to a bad habit of just staying home and thinking we'll have time to watch a movie when the kids go to bed and then we just fall asleep after about 10 minutes. Okay, I fell asleep when we tried to watch X-men III the other night. It was a good movie but I was just SO DARN TIRED!!!! I never used to fall asleep for movies, even if they were super boring. I must be getting old. Dangit. Only old people say "dangit". Oh well, we watched the Larry The Cable Guy movie last night and it was truly horrible, but I think that Larry guy is a darn good actor. Hey, don't laugh...he really is! Okay, I didn't mean to make this post into a movie review but I'm trying to type to stay awake for adoration at midnight so bear with me. Niklaus has now watched Over the Hedge so many times that he's quoting movie lines and he still asks to watch it again and again. He went over to Auntie Nellie's today with Matthew while us girls went to our first Little Flowers meeting (for Analise) and they watched it over there, too! At the meeting, we had some visiting sisters from the Dominican order who were teachers at a Catholic school in Stillwater and they had a little slide show and presentation for the girls. It was so nice to hear them talk about their vocation. I wish we had sisters like them more visible in our town. I thought it was particularly funny how they referred to each other as "Sister" most times instead of their names and even though they didn't look at the sister they were referring to, they somehow knew which one they were talking about. That is a funny habit (pardon the pun!) of sisters who live in community or work closely together. They were lovely, very young women and it was an honor to have them visit. They also gave a little, impromptu performance of a song/prayer in Latin that was riveting and very impressive (they claimed not to be "singers" but they did a beautiful job, any kind of Latin chant sounds pretty to me even if sung by unpracticed voices) to the girls. I have been thinking lately about how God works in my life and how I am recognizing so many "God moments". For instance, today I visited the Angry Twins blog that I haven't been to in a long time. He had a post about the "Singing Nun" from the sixties and how she came to a bizzare end having left the convent and getting into some pretty sinful, nasty stuff until she and her lesbian lover committed suicide...THEN I got to see an example of Dominican sisters that was beautiful, faithful and reverent. I think God must have been counter-acting the negative thing that I had read earlier by giving me a sign of hope. Now, I'm a naturally optimistic person and I don't normally need these signs, but it's nice when I get them! Pray for those sisters and all of our young people discerning vocations!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mari is Eating "Solid" Food

Go HERE for the cutest video of Mari!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Amazing Feets

This is my inspirational, motivational picture inspired by last Sunday's Gospel and the contest being held by The Lapped Catholic and my little girl's cute feet.

Bring Back The Mullet!

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

John Stamos

When I was in JR high my friend Denise and I had these secret notebooks in which we put pictures we had cut out of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat magazines. We wrote "Babe Book" on the outside and we fantasized about how those dudes were our boyfriends and could see us through the magazine pictures. The PERFECT boyfriends. John Stamos was well represented in MY book, I tell you what! It doesn't surprise me that the quiz chose him for me. We were actually together for a while before he started dating that Becky chick and I got interested in Kirk Cameron anyway.

Thank you to Amy, she always finds the funniest quizzes!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fall Harvest Orchard

This is the best apple orchard I've ever been to! We've already been there several times and the children love it every time. We had my brother Nick's two girls (Ani,Lexi) with us and Mom, Dad, My brother Pete's wife, Nellie (Pete even came after work!), Trine and the kids were there too. Basically, all of my parent's grandchildren were there except baby Johnny and his two big sisters Amber and Amanda.

All of us aunties had cameras and took a LOT of pictures so it was hard to narrow it down to just these few!

I haven't blogged forever because we've been so busy with school. It's hard this year to get the kids to buckle down. I had my 15 year high school reunion which was a lot of fun and the first time Butch and I have gone out in a LONG time. Butch has been really busy with work and out of town a lot. Matty is going to start karate...we'll see how that goes. The girls want to try it too but it gets pretty spendy and we are still trying to finish the basement. Oh yeah, I painted my kitchen finally! I'll have to blog some pics of that. I love painting and would do it for a living if I had the time to paint. It's nice to get that big of a bang for little buck, if you know what I mean!

We thought the kids looked so cute watching these beautifully colored Asian pheasants:

Here is Lexi with a goat, she's so pretty (Lexi, I mean, but the goat was cute, too!):

Analise with the wiggly twinkies:

Mommies with their babies (both have babies on the INSIDE, too!)

Doubledouble strollers:

Niklaus in the infamous corn pit. The sign next to the pit reads, "Any corn you find in your underpants should go home with you!":

Uncle Pete playing tetherball with the kids:

My pretty Trina...twenty-five + something pounds lighter! She worked so hard, she deserves some bigtime KUDOS (as long as they are low-carb...heeheehee):

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Twelve Years Ago Today...

...I was sitting in my puny hospital room reflecting on what had happened the day before and wondering why the heck no body (including that silly birthing class instructor) had told me that I would feel like you could bend me in half and break me because I had gotten so used to the feeling of something really bulky in my middle up until the day before. I was also wondering how come no body told me about having to wear a diaper stuffed with ice, take something called a "sitzbath" (what th'????), and how all of the sudden after years of being a woman I would have these weird "hips" that stuck out where I had none before. Another think that struck me as odd was how come after ten calendar months of agony and bloating and not feeling very well (nope, never was one to say, "I just Looooove being pregnant!") our baby would come out and look JUST LIKE MY HUSBAND AND NOTHING LIKE ME. Not fair. Just not fair, I say.

I had a LOT of things to think about that day.

I have had a lot of things to think about every day since.

Ever since that day I have been a member of the "club". The "Igavebirthandbecameamom" club.

Wow. Mom used to say (about giving birth, which was easy for her for some strange reason) "Hey, you can do ANYTHING for a couple of hours once every couple of years!".

After I had Katrina, I immediately got on the phone (hadn't even gotten up to shower and was euphoric but when I finally stood up an hour later, I promptly fainted for the first time in my life, that was WEIRD!) and called my cousin, Kelly and told her I would never do THAT again, ever...EVER I TELL YOU! Of course, when I met Butch that first night on our blind date, we both agreed that we would NEVER be married and NEVER have children! Yeah. MMMhmmmm.

Okay, and now to honoring the big birthday gal herself!

Katrina is the coolest girl I ever knew. If I was in her class, I know we would be friends if she would deign to actually talk to a nerd like me. She actually has real coolness inherent where I have to work at it all of the time. She has talent as an artist that I could NEVER have and is a good and true friend. She is loyal to her family and friends and tries to be a good sister to her siblings. That girl is going places in life. I can't wait to see where! She really is everything I wish I could have been at her age. Innocent, smart, pretty, STRAIGHT HAIRED, funny, talented, morally convicted, stubborn as hell, tough, kind hearted and a really reliable daughter to boot! If I need her, she is there. But, the most important thing about her is that she is a child of God and I KNOW the saints smile down on her and can't wait to welcome her into the arms of Jesus some day. They will have to wait because Katrina Mariah is destined for some great purpose here on Earth! I don't know what it will be but I KNOW that it will be something unforgettable and will benefit mankind.

No pressure! Heehee!

Well, she already did ONE REALLY GREAT THING!!!!
She made me a mom for the FIRST TIME!!!!!

And I couldn't be happier that I got her. She was such a sweet baby and she hasn't changed a BIT...except that she's a little bit taller and has hair now (taller than ME!).

Check out these cute birthday photos from Saturday:

I know, I know...SUPER PRE-TEENISH!

But here is how I really see them:

Happy Birthday (plus one day) Katrina!

Daddy and I love you so much!

I want to include the comment from Auntie Nina (fertlmertl):

"...and I was there for the whole thing....drove 85 mph for 5.5 hours, stopping only to pick up random balloons, stuffed toys, gifts and other things to welcome the my FIRST niece into the world. I didn't want her coming here w/o a big fanfare. It was quite the spectacle and I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Hearing her name (my name) for the first time was about one of the most special things for me ever. Slightly sorry I haven't reciprocated on that front but not enough to name this one after you either--some sister!!

For the record, after that show, I didn't think you'd have any more after her even more than you didn't think you would...who knew?

Trina's smile is killer in these pics. I love it!

The One And Only Namesake."

She really did that! I will never forget the scene of her coming down the hospital corridor with about a dozen gift bags/balloons/stuffed animals etc. for her new baby niece/nephew. I couldn't imagine that moment without her there and I was thrilled to see that she had made it in plenty of time. She almost fainted when Katrina (the younger) was born because it was so overwhelming to drive all that way and have so much emotion about her first niece! From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew Auntie Nina HAD to be there for the delivery and she hasn't missed any of my children being born. I couldn't have named my first born anything but Katrina. It was the name I wished I had had my whole life! She always got a smile or an "oooh" when her name was mentioned because it was so feminine and pretty sounding. Laura is okay, but it's no Katrina! Now that dumb old hurricane had to go and ruin it for all of the Katrinas out there! Whatever. Stupid hurricane. I still love it and it has the best connotations for me. My sister and my daughter...two of the most important gals in my life.

It's Midnight and I'm Feeling Punchy Sooooo...

so here is my post for today:
(from this site)

My pirate name is:
Captain Mary Rackham

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

I got this from Christine's blog and thought it was a HOOT...I mean, arrrgggg, it be funny!

Monday, September 18, 2006

In The Arms of Jesus

Go to Michelle Malkin for this story:

Sister Leonella: Murdered by jihadists

There's a new Associated Press report on the murder of Sister Leonella that confirms the bloody obvious:

An elderly nun who was gunned down at the hospital where she worked in Somalia's capital was "specifically targeted before being executed by gunmen lying in wait," a hospital official said Monday.
Willy Huber, regional director of the Austrian-funded hospital where 65-year-old Sister Leonella had worked for four years, said the killing was not random. "She had no chance," said Huber, who heads the S.O.S. Kinderdorf organization in East Africa. "It was like an execution."

It was an execution:

...Sister Leonella was shot in the back four times by pistol-wielding attackers as she left the Austrian-run S.O.S. hospital. Her bodyguard also was slain. The two had been walking the 10 meters (30 feet) from the Mogadishu hospital to the sister's home, where three other nuns were waiting to have lunch with her. "The gunmen specifically targeted her," Huber said. "They were waiting for her. As she crossed the road they opened fire. We had no warning of this." He spoke after accompanying the Italian nun's body to Nairobi, Kenya, late Sunday. He said she will be buried in the capital later this week. Three other nuns who also worked at the hospital were pulled out of the Somali capital, and no decision has been made on their return. Sister Leonella, whose birth name was Rosa Sgorbati, had lived and worked in Kenya and Somalia for 38 years, her family said.
Her last words:
Sister Leonella, 65, muttered the words 'I forgive, I forgive' in Italian after being targeted by gunmen in an apparent execution-style killing, father Maloba Wesonga told The Associated Press at the nun's memorial mass in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Monday.
Those are the words and deeds of a true martyr. God bless her.


Prayer answered, thank you! Beyond all expectation!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Spiritual Emergency!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PRAY for my special intention.
Calling all souls!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Living Saints

I found out about this "hero meme" here via The Curt Jester (one of my many heroes, himself!)

Here are the rules:
1. Honor a living hero
2. Preference given to Firefighters, Police Officers, Paramedics, EMT's, Dispatchers
3. Not everyone is acquainted with someone fitting into these categories. If this is the case, then honor someone else, a hero in your life who is willing to "give all" in some way. It can be a priest, a pastor, a teacher, a relative, a friend...etc.

Since I don't personally know a whole lot of the people listed under number 2, I will talk a little about some people I do know. They are friends of mine that I grew up with and they are the first people I thought of when I read the word "hero".

They are two sisters that I have come to love and admire so much for their loyalty, bravery, faith, and humility among many other positive attributes. I graduated with the younger sister and the older sister was only a year older than us. When we were little, I was invited to sleep over at their house and I remember it being a family of a happy bunch of kids. I remember their dad coming to our class and always having a smile on his face and a funny practical joke to share with us. The older sister got his sense of humor and always has a (clean) joke to tell and a funny smirk on her face that makes you wonder what kind of trouble she'd get into if she used her powers for evil instead of infinite good! She was the one who invited me into the homeschool group I belong to now and introduced me to a WORLD of wonderful families with which to associate. She has six living children and is pregnant with their seventh and even though she gets very ill in early pregnancy she finds the time to speak to groups about pro-life and family causes. She is a person I consider to be beautiful in every way and I am so lucky and proud to be considered her friend. The younger sister is just as sweet and has five living children, like me! We have been classmates pretty much forever (I even think we went to kindegarten together) and I remember her as the friendliest, most non-controversial person in the whole grade. She has such a pure heart. She is the one to call in our town if you want to find out about pro-life causes, or locally held benefits for the unborn, or crisis pregnancies. On top of all of this, she has a business that she runs with a partner from her home (some of the proceeds going to pro-life causes). Sheesh, I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day just to feed and care for my own children, do the dishes and a little bit of laundry...But these ladies do all of that and so much more. They are living heroes and living SAINTS in my humble opinion. I'd like to honor them the best and most public way I know how so here's to you, girls! (I don't think they read my blog, so say a prayer for them if you get a chance and maybe they'll feel the love and blessings in whatever they are doing in the next couple of days, kind of like a spiritual bouquet?)

Michelle and Angela
My dear, sweet friends
God bless you and your beloved families
And be with you in all your work!
(If you two don't get to Heaven
I ain't got a chance!)
By the way, here are some of the things that these gals support and work for so if you could, check them out!
I couldn't find a website for Abba, but here is a news article about the center.
Here is Angela's business!
A Community Caring For Life is another group in the area but there's no website. I think it got started by the archdiocese and is used in local parishes to support the unborn.
Maybe someone pops into your mind when you think of the word "hero"? Write about it and then let me know in the comment box if you did!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Minnesota...It's A Love/Hate Thing

Minnesota is known for it's bizarre weather and it's "nice" people. I have a theory about that. We are so perplexed by the weather and having to keep two wardrobes on hand at all times for days when we need sweatshirts and tank tops all in the same day, that we have a certain camaraderie with our fellow Minnesotans and we commiserate with each other. That's just ONE of the theories I have, anyway. Last Thursday we had some pretty crazy storms scattered over the state. Le Sueur county got hit pretty hard and I think there was one death down there. We had quite a hail show! Here's Matty with his hard-won collection of hail balls. He was dodging them big suckers and collecting them all the while I sat there thinking I must be a pretty tough mom to let him endanger his skull in this way so I told him to at least cover his head. Another funny thing about Minnesota is that when there's damage from one of these crazy storms, people get together to help each other, but we also like to compare damage and kind of "brag" that ours is muuuuch much worse, or that the hail that fell around OUR house was WAY bigger. The people in the next town over insisted that the hail was "golf ball size" when, clearly from the picture, it was merely "ping-pong ball size"...Well, see, it had melted by the time I thought to grab the camera but you should have SEEN it. It was HUGE! Actually, south of the metro, we saw pictures on the news of baseball size hail! Butch was on his way home when these hail balls were hitting him. Amazingly, my windshield ('burban parked in the driveway) didn't get smashed and neither did his work truck!
While it was kind of fun for us, this same cell of storms was devastating for people in the southern, rural areas so visit the link above and contribute if you can!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I AM Skinny...

...well, what I mean by that is, while I HAVE lost weight, I am realizing all too quickly that I have lots and lots of SKIN! By doctor's orders, Katrina (daughter) and I have been following the basic principles of the South Beach Diet since Friday, July 14th. The first two weeks were challenging, but I'm finding the rest of it to be pretty easy to follow. The trick is, to not cheat and to actually FOLLOW the guidelines and not backslide. Just like anything in life, I guess. I have gained and lost so many times (well, at least 5!) so I know I can do it. I promised on this post that I would post a "before" picture and here I am at that concert with Hal, my sister Anna, and my extra chins:

When I look at this picture, I remember that it was the very first, full day of the diet and that the guy standing next to us offered us popcorn and I had to say "no". I also remember how when I was dancing with Anna, I tried to keep my back to the stage so nobody would see my extra jiggling. Now, I know I'm being hard on myself, and I could blame the extra pounds on my having had my fifth baby just 4 months before. I could also blame genetics, the cereal industry, the blogging community (heehee, you guys make it so fun to stay up late and I HAVE to eat extra cereal to stay awake, you know?), or the fact that I have children who don't allow me to exercise. Okay, now about this post title. I have so much gol-danged skin that even if I DO lose ten more pounds, I will still be about 2 sizes bigger than I would if I DIDN'T have all that skin. But, you know what? I don't care. I don't care that I look like a "before" picture from one of those plastic surgery shows. I think of every saggy part and every stretch mark as a badge of womanhood. Besides, I can always just shift it over or tuck it in or hide it behind some clothes. I will never belong to the Catholic Jumper Society or the Catholic Burka Association, but I can dress in a way that shows how hard I've worked on making my body healthy without letting it all hang out, can't I? I also blame part of why I gain so much during pregnancy on my husband and my BDD (body dismorphic disorder). Hubbs says that I look sexy no matter what my current weight is. I know that BDD is usually what you think of as a disorder of the severely anorexic who look in the mirror at an emaciated stick person and see a big, fat lady. I have RBDD (reverse body dismorphic disorder...yeah, I just made that up) where I look in the mirror and think, "hmmmm, not bad, I'll just suck in my gut and lift my head a little" I see myself 40 pounds lighter than I am at all times. THIS time, however, I couldn't avoid the reality that none of my clothes fit and every time I tried on a shirt that SHOULD have fit me, Chris Farley's voice from Tommy Boy singing, "fat guy in a little coat" kept coming into my head....I decided that I can't blame anyone but me and I'd better do something about it. Yes, Kelly, I am still breastfeeding, which for me actually holds on to the fat a little longer so it's extra hard to burn. I work out on the elliptical machine in the garage for 20 minutes or so when Mari takes a nap in the morning. I do push ups and sit ups and try to stretch, but by that time someone is usually hollering about something someone else did that bothered them and I'm lucky to get a shower before Mari wakes up! I have about 10 more pounds to lose before I'm at my goal (where my clothes fit the way I like them to). I lost a lot of water weight in those first two weeks which made me feel so much less bloated and made me feel more motivated to keep going. I didn't even look at the book after week three because I get what works: lots of salad, cheese, (nuts, whole grains in moderation),lean meats, non-sugary vegetables, olive oil. I try to focus on what I can have vs. what I CAN'T. I definitely recommend the SBD book for the reasons WHY all those bad carbs and extra fats affect your body.
Okay, now here is how I looked after church tonight (mind you, I have a tomato stain on the front of my shirt and I'm all frazzled from just nursing and making dinner):

I am down about 3 sizes in clothes and I am finding that most of my clothes are ill-fitting for my body (the skort I'm wearing here is about a size too big but it's all I could find). The shirt is about 5 years old and hasn't fit me for a LONG time (now it's out of style, but it FITS! HA!).
Okay, so now I won't talk about it anymore. I will pray for those of you struggling with post-baby weight and health problems while you pray for Katrina and I in our quest to be healthier.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Know Why Eve Tasted Of The Fruit!

Sometimes when people talk about what Heaven will be like they use the Bible as reference. Sometimes they use their own, subjective view of what they WISH or HOPE it to be. I've even heard of some faiths that believe there is no Heaven or hell or anything like that, and we turn to dust, and that's it. Period (those guys must be AWFUL lonely and miserable, don't you think?). Anyway, I believe that Heaven will be like Mass but in a perfected way. Let me explain. I believe Jesus will be with us and we will celebrate Him along with all the choirs of angels and all of the faithful who served Him while they were in their corporeal bodies. I believe It will be lovely with the cherubim, and seraphim, and every body will be a reflection of what is truly GOOD and truly perfected in Him. And there will be tomatoes.

Lots and lots of tomatoes.
Fresh from the heavenly garden, red, ripe, unbruised tomatoes.
I will eat them with EVERYTHING.
Because surely there is food in Heaven, it's just so darn GOOD here on Earth.
And God IS good.
And tomatoes are good.
Soooooo good!
Salted, sugared, diced in dishes, seeded and sliced, eaten like apples with the juice running down my chin and I don't even take the time to wipe it away because I LIKE it there.
There are very few things I'm obsessed with in this world. One is being the best person I can be to reflect God's goodness to others (falling very short of that one regularly, I'm sure). Another is cereal...all kinds. But the most overwhelming obsession for me is those red, bursting beauties that only come for a few months in the summer.


P.S. I really ate the whole tomato you see in this picture, and it was GOOOOOOOD!
Also, it was about my fifth one for the day. I'm trying to cut down but it's hard when you've got a genetic disorder that predisposes you to overindulge on all the good things. Know any good vegetable psychologists?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nine Years Ago, Today...

My doctor was to deliver my first son, Matthew via c-section. He was breach, even a few days before and we had tried ECV to get him turned around but my doctor said he was just too big (words every soon to be mother LOVES to hear) and that there was too much water in there and he kept bouncing back to his comfy, head up position. I went to the hospital at 6am and got viciously poked by the nurse in 3 different places for the IV and was sitting there crying when the doctor came in and said, "Ohhhh, I wish they hadn't done that, what if the baby has turned?". He gave me an ultra sound then and there and what do you think he saw?????? Yup, he had turned. I sat and cried and panicked for a while and whined, "What would YOU do???" to the doctor and he said (much to my relief), "Well, we have the bed reserved, why don't we just induce him?" So, after trying my first epidural (which didn't work), and leaking a river of amniotic fluid all over the place, my 9lb 6oz baby boy was born (about ten hours later)with a shock of black hair like his uncle Pete was born with (the rest of us were baldies).

The first thing I remember thinking when he was born and they put him on my belly was, "He smells funny." The second thing was that he was HUGE. I never thought I could have room to love another baby as much as I had my first, but of course I did so much. Even after he turned out to be colicky and fussy for the better part of the first year and would nurse EVERY hour and a half which explains his blubbery,25lb frame at 6 months.

My dad came into the hospital for the first time to visit us a day later and he was walking by the nursery where they were giving Matty his first bath. He thought to himself , after hearing his blood-curdling shrieks, "Whew, I feel sorry for THAT kid's mom!".

At first, I was disappointed that Katrina wouldn't have a sister to be close to like I had. I soon got over that when I realized how great it was that she would bond with HER brother in ways that I never could with my three brothers.

Fast forward 9 years and we have learned a few things about Matty, here are the top ten (but, by no means ALL there is to this fascinating child!):

10. He can't STAND to watch "kissing parts" in movies. If Butch and I REALLY want to gross him out, we just have to make slobbery kissing noises in the kitchen and he will not come within 50ft of us! He will only accept bedtime kisses and hugs from me if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt with 3 affidavits that I do NOT in fact have on, nor have I been wearing MAKEUP OF ANY KIND within the last 24 hour period.

9. He is a loyal friend and would never hurt his friends or be selfish with his possessions.

8. He is kind to younger boys and gives them his time and attention.

7. He is generous and gives away his toys even his favorite material possession, Bionicles.

6. He is some kind of Bionicle genius and can build just about a billion different kinds of Bioncle guys.

5. He beats me at chess so often that when I actually DO win I gloat and dance and realize how lame it is that I am "BOOYEAH!"-ing a 9 year old boy.

4. He can do ANYTHING with a roll of duct tape and has about 100 "experiments" around the house at any given time. His dream is to make a go-cart out of a vacuum cleaner.

3. He "gets" jokes and sarcasm and giggles hysterically even if it takes him a while to get it.

2. He loves his brother and sisters and mom and dad and isn't ashamed to admit it (yet).

1. Everyone who meets him says he's the nicest, most generous and polite boy they've ever met and I've met more than one person who's said that they will name their first boy after Matthew because of this fact and the hopes that their boy would turn out to be like our Matthew.

Happy Birthday to you
You live in this zoo
You look like your daddy...

Aaaaaannnddddd you
smell like him, too.

I love you, Matthew William.

Love and smoochymoochpinchysqueezylipstickjuicy kisses,
Your crazy mama

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Uncle Mat(t)... my favorite brother-in-law (okay, so he's my ONLY one-so far, but he is my favoritest brother-in-law that I know). We had a great time at his birthday party/toddler-two-steppin'-living-room-dance party. One observation that I made on this VERY notable day is that the most important men in my life (hubbs, Matt, Dad, brothers) are always acting like they're about 30 years older than they are. Why is that? I mean, us gals spend most of our lives trying to shave 5-10 years off of our age. It makes us really act/look younger because we exercise, try to eat right and at least wash our face once a day (exfoliation is key, right?), so I guess I'll never understand what makes these men want to be older than they are. I should maybe be grateful for the fact that they huff and puff when they walk more than 100 feet and grunt when they reach down to take off their work boots because that must mean they are not (ewww) some kind of prissy, metrosexual dudes, but I mean...come ON, at least brush your teeth once a month and praise the LORD that you still have your youth (for a couple of years anyway)! Hmmmm, perhaps I'll just believe that the reason Butch tries to look as old and crotchety as he possibly can is because he's really doing me a favor...he's making me be the ARM CANDY TROPHY WIFE that you and I know I've always aspired to be.
I've got it alllll figured out.
See, they're doing it because they LOVE us.

Old farts.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Famous Book Meme

1. ONE BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE: The Art of Natural Family Planning. It gave me a whole new view of NFP. When I read it, I finally signed up for a class to actually learn the correct method. It's worked ever since! Also, it gave me the strength to teach it to other people and change their lives and hearts as well.

2. ONE BOOK THAT YOU'VE READ MORE THAN ONCE: Searching For Shona. It's an oldie but I read it over and over when I was a pre-teen and I found it on Amazon for Trina. She liked it too.

3. ONE BOOK YOU'D WANT ON A DESERT ISLAND: The Gather hymnal...eeeeheeheeheeeeeee! Probably a big one, 'cause who knows how long I'd be there...sooooo maybe a collection like the collected works of of one the Church doctors or something really meaty like that.

4. ONE BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH: ANY Ann Coulter book, I seriously laugh out loud and people look at me funny.

5. ONE BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY: I can't decide which is the worst tear-jerker...The Hiding Place, Our Only May Amelia (pre-teen novel that I read to Trina and blubbered through the whole time), or I Love You Forever. NO parent can read that one to their kids without tearing up at least a teeny bit.

6. ONE BOOK THAT YOU WISH HAD BEEN WRITTEN: The Foolproof Guide to Making Your Children Act Like They Are Really Well Behaved All of the Time: Church, The Store, and Other Public Places. By Perfecta Parentine

7. ONE BOOK THAT YOU WISH HAD NEVER BEEN WRITTEN: The Left Behind series. I actually got physically ill while reading the third in the series and threw it across the room vowing to never touch one of those horrible books again.

8. ONE BOOK YOU'RE CURRENTLY READING: The Church of Apostles and Martyrs Volume I by Henri Daniel-Rops (sounds like a snoozer, but it actually keeps me awake in adoration!)

9. ONE BOOK YOU'VE BEEN MEANING TO READ: Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter

10. TAG FIVE PEOPLE: Trine, Janene,
Anna, Sue, The Crazy Catholic Laura from Kansas (don't know her blog address).

Monday, July 31, 2006

Thirteen Years Ago, Today...

I married the most perfect man...For me, anyway. I can't think of any thing I would rather do than spend the rest of my life with him. My only regret in regards to our marriage would be that we don't spend enough time with just the two of us. That's a pretty good one, if you ask me! We can't go anywhere special or do anything for our anniversary because of a stupid financial mistake that I made (he makes the dough, I decide how it's spent!) and I feel really terrible about it, so this is my way of making it up to him. I am declaring, publicly my undying love for my husband who is the best man in the world I could ever be married to. He is a devoted husband who knows me so well and loves me anyway. He makes me feel like a beauty queen even when I KNOW I'm a big, fat, zitty, messy-haired slob, and always makes me feel wanted and loved. He gives me the opportunity to be the mom I want to be to his children. He is amazingly open to life and sacrificial despite all of the worldly things I know he desires, and could have if we didn't have "so many" children. He works harder and gets up earlier than I could EVER and doesn't complain about or make me feel guilty about having to do so to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. He is a natural father and disciplinarian to the children and I never even had to teach him those skills! He could give "The Nanny" lessons! He loves us all fiercely and caringly and with a love that we never have to question or doubt.

Ten Things I Love About Butch:
1. He gets super excited about thunderstorms and bad weather.
2. He likes to play games and doesn't let anyone win, even if they are under the age of 4.
3. He's not afraid to show his sensitive side but manages to stay ultra manly.
4. He can fix or build anything and loves to help others with their projects...If he has the right tools.
5. He wrestles with the kids and lets them beat on him and hang on him until his face turns purple.
6. He loves my family/friends as much as I do and treats all of the kids' friends like they are his own children.
7. If my family/friend ticks me off, he's always on MY side, no matter what the issue, even if I'm the one being a butt-head.
8. He wears the same style jeans he's worn since I met him. Levi's 560's still work for him!
9. He has beautiful eyes.
10. He does the best "white-man's overbite" dance I've ever seen anybody do!

My brother in law called me tonight and told me there's a special place in Heaven reserved for me for putting up with "that guy" for all of these years (he's known him much longer than me!) I don't know about that, but I do think that there is a special place here on Earth that I know quite well and have dwelt these 13 years with much comfort and peace...My hubbs' heart.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This Dude Can SING!

Anna won tickets on bob106 and couldn't find a cute boy to go to the concert with so I got to go! I've always liked Hal and haven't heard much from him in the last few years. He played at a pretty large bar and there were about 200 people there so it was a pretty intimate setting. We had a great time people watching and the whole time he played (he went onstage at 11pm) Anna and I were on the dance floor taking pictures left and right. We even got a little video of him singing our favorite songs (Anna's is "I miss my Mary" and mine is "I know where love lives"). He's got a great voice even after all these years and he's super hip. He had a tribute to Christopher Walken's SNL character "the continental". I don't remember the title of the song, but it was slapyourknee funny! He prefaced the song by saying, "This is by far the sickest song I've ever written", which I thought was weird (in a good way). He is an amazingly talented song writer and we had a great time. I would definitely recommend for anybody to see him if they get a chance. I think he would appeal to people who weren't especially fond of country music, as well as those who are. He's not a big, commercial star anymore so I think that his touring and "I don't care what you think" attitude has much improved his songwriting (if that's possible). It was odd to be within reach of so much talent. He caught my eye a few times and I'm sure everyone there felt the same as me...that he was singing right to them, personally. It takes a lot of confidence to do that and I admire him for it. If I had HALF of that kind of talent, I wouldn't have to be so worried about paying my bills on time! We stayed for about fifteen minutes after he got off stage and got a picture of the two of us with him but I'm hoping to use it as a "before" picture after I lose one of my chins in a couple of weeks (starting the south beach diet) if you know what I mean. We had a great time and it was a nice break for me from the house and all of it's occupants. It's not that I don't love them, but the weather has been so cotton-pickin' H O T that I'm starting to feel a bit closed in. I wish we could have a swimming pool that is a little bit higher than 6 inches and can fit more than 1 adult or 3 children.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mariela is Four Months Old

Mariela learned how to affect change in objects directly within her reach.

Here, you see her touching the object.

In this photo, observe Mariela has made contact and said object is swinging much to her delight.

Here, she is reflecting on how this new skill may be parlayed into many years of grabbing objects and swinging them, throwing them, and generally making a huge mess so as to participate in the sibling ritual of destroying the house for Mama.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Star Tribune and My Dad

I don't like to do too much political stuff on this blog, so I'm going to start a different blog that's more opinion about politics and religion, etc.. Check the sidebar for the link soon, but I just had to post this...

My dad has been trying to get letters published for AGES to the opinion editors at the "Strib" for years. FINALLY they printed one of his letters in today's paper! He has said for years that they are "just a bunch of communists over at that paper" and I tend to agree to a point. They have put a few conservative writers here and there (what's that saying about a stopped clock?) and they have had a few, nice articles that weren't TOTALLY biased in the last couple of years, but for the most part they could be categorized as typical MSM. Yesterday my dad called all irate about the day's letters from readers. There were more than a few about this story about some boys killing a puppy and how they didn't get a harsh enough punishment. My dad was practically crying when he dictated his letter to me so I could e-mail it. I edited it a bit to get his feelings more accurately represented as he was pretty sad/raging about the whole situation. Here is how I wrote it:

"Two American soldiers were captured, tortured, and brutalized in an unimaginable way, then beheaded. They were left in the open and used as "bait" by placing a minefield in and around their broken bodies. No reader editorials responded to this terrible incident. But, some damn dog was killed by some children in North Branch and your bleeding heart, leftist readers inundated the editorial page with their pitiful letters of outrage about this slightly disturbing but ultimately small event. Where are your priorities, people? Why is your outrage so misplaced? What happened to our society where a sob story about a dog garners more pity than a story of man's inhumanity to and torture of another man?

John (last name)
(city name, MN)"

They e-mailed back this morning and wrote that they needed a phone number and address to consider printing it, but Dad called this morning to tell me that it was published! They changed the wording slightly, though. I think it changes the feel of the letter and I don't like how they edited it, but here it is:

"Tucker and Menchaca: Outrage is misplaced
Published: June 23, 2006

June 23 letters in a batch

Netlets for Thursday, June 22
Two American soldiers were captured, tortured and brutalized in an unimaginable way, then beheaded. They were left in the open and used as "bait" by placing mines in and around their broken bodies.
Apparently fewer readers responded to this terrible incident than they did to a dog being killed by some children in North Branch. These bleeding-heart, leftist readers inundated the editorial page with pitiful letters of outrage about this slightly disturbing but ultimately small event.

Where are your priorities, people? What has happened to our society when a sob story about a dog garners more pity than a story of the torture of our soldiers?"

I thought it was amazing that they printed it, until I looked at it from their point of view and realized that they probably LOVED the fact that my dad was insulting other people (their readers) and they probably didn't "get" that he was really insulting the paper itself. I should have made that point a bit clearer as NOW it looks like the paper wants it's readers to react to Dad's letter and think bad things about him.

Oh well, at least his point was made and I think it was one worth making.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

memememememe...alllllll about memememe

This one I got from Christine via one of my favorite sister's blog (not the related kind of sister, the other kind!) and I thought it would be a fun one...


ACCENT-Whaddya mean, "accent", I'm an Ameerahcahn from Minniesohhhhdahh, we don't have accents, dontcha knohhhh.

(don't know why there isn't any "b"...Looked it up and found out it was 'bra size', hehe)

CHORE I HATE- cleaning out the sink trap (shudder) EWWWWWWWWW, I'll take dirty diapers over that ANY day!

DOG OR CAT?-Neither Here is a perfect illustration of why.

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS- My stove (I know, I know, LAME!)

FAVORITE COLOGNE-Stetson cologne, Stetson fits, 'cause there's a little bit of Stetson in ev-ry man (whispers) or woman...(haven't found anything good since the eighties)

GOLD OR SILVER-silver...unless you're talkin' about teeth, of course

HOMETOWN-better not say, might give up my incognito blogger identity but it's a town named after a REALLY cool archangel (hinthint)

INSOMNIA-every night, how the heck do you think I have time for this blogging business?

JOB TITLE-I don't work, remember, I'm a stay-at-home, bonbon eatin', manicure and pedicure gettin', mall shoppin', arm candy, trophy wife of my husband, duh.

KIDS-no, I don't have any goats but I have 5 children

LIVING ARRANGEMENT-shackin' up wit the hubsand and the critters in a two story with a front porch.

MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT-my never ceasing, all encompassing, ever impermeating humility. Aslo my perfect spelling abilitties.

HOSPITAL STAYS-multiple surgeries for ear problems, one time for a breast surgery (tmi, sorry), and of course the 5 kiddos

PHOBIAS- running out of cereal


RELIGION-W.I.N.C (also Roman Catholic)

SIBLINGS-2 sis,3bro

TIME I WAKE UP-whenever Niklaus comes in to bonk Mariela on the head while I'm trying to nurse her and catch 2.3 extra seconds of sleep

UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL-I can turn my eyelids inside out, pump my shoulders like a creepy body builder, spin my fingers in opposite directions, and LOTS of other useful things like that...actually I can 'speak' and understand American Sign Language, if the signer is really slow and patient!

VEGETABLE I REFUSE TO EAT-squash still makes me gag

WORST HABIT-biting my nails when I read...which is a LOT of the time

X-RAYS-lots and lots, that's probably why I glow and my kids are so weird

YUMMY STUFF I COOK-homemade soups

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Busy Summer Days

We have been so busy this summer with trying to be busy. Do you know what I mean? For instance, when we have nothing scheduled like Dr. appts, etc. I feel like we scurry around all day looking for things to fill the time and pretty soon the day is done. I LOVE this way of life! I'm so happy to not have baseball or camp or anything else that we HAVE to do and we can do whatever we WANT to do instead...well, the free stuff, anyway! My favorite thing of all, so far this summer, has been just staying home and waiting for people to come over to visit us! I got to plant my flowers over Memorial weekend and the house always looks so pretty when it's decorated for summer.
Also, we got to meet our neighbors Laura and Eric who have a little boy named Brendan. They have lived here longer than us but we hadn't met them formally yet because they had twins (due the same time as Trine was with her twins) but they were born the previous October and were very preemie (One of their boys died shortly after birth and he is not forgotten!) and couldn't risk public exposure. He is a beautiful little boy who reached for me when he met me for the first time! He just didn't get that shyness and his mom says he does that for everyone. He is truly a miracle child! If you refer to my previous post you will read how we are expecting another convict for the baby jail next year so I put this next picture to show what we basically do all day as many days as we can and what we will hopefully be doing all next summer, too!
Butch's mom and dad stopped by and we celebrated his dad's birthday. I love seeing Sue's eyes in my children's eyes and Harold's dimples in my children's cheeks. Harold was sporting his "Red Green" 'spenders for the occasion.

Mariela looks like she's got fireworks coming out of her head in the picture of her and Sue!
Speaking of fireworks, the kids were worried that the rain would spoil the friendly city days fireworks on Friday but it only drizzled a little and they were able to watch from the neighbor's deck. We went to some of the citywide garage sales and found a remote control car for Matty and a bunch of other useful things. Matty let Niklaus try it out.

Our neighbor across the street is soon having their first baby so the "baby" stuck in storage for a number of years is now out the door!
Butch and our new friend, Eric(dad of baby Brendan)helped Mike get the car out of the garage to display it in the drive to sell. I thought this was a cute picture of them, kind of a "slice of life" picture of what it's like in our neighborhood. I love our neighbors and we always help each other out.
We had my friend Megan and her hubs and the most beautiful toddler in the world over on Memorial Day but my pictures didn't turn out and I don't know how to post video on blogger. Maddy and Niklaus were laughing hysterically at Weazy and it was cute to see them giggling like that.
On the nice, warm days we've been having, we pull out the good ol' slip 'n' slide and whoever is near is welcome to give it a go!

Mariela is growing...not out, but certainly UP! She's the pipsqueekiest child I've had, by far! She smiles a lot but can't purposefully reach out for things, although she did manage to hook Weazy's hair. She didn't mind, she loves her baby sister as do the other siblings. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have big sis Katrina to hold Mari when I need to get something done!

She's also the only child in my little family with BLUE eyes!

We got a new mattress for Trina so I was hoping to put a free sign on the old one but the kids liked jumping and playing on it so much that I think I'll keep it around for a while (I keep it hidden on the porch so's we don'ts look TOO WT!).

That's it for now.

It took me so long to put together this post, you could almost say it was quite a "feet" (sorry about the bad pun)...