Monday, December 31, 2007

New Underwear for the New Year

Please, go HERE and watch every video available (relax, you can even watch with the kids in the room!). But, may just pee your pants laughing!

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Christmas 2007 *updated with video

Christmas eve we went to my sister's house and all of my sibs were there with their spouses and kiddos. Here is the best picture of all of the cousins together (minus the cousin hiding in mah belleh):

I really tried to get the evil red-eye out of their eyes, but my editing couldn't do it. It was mostly from the 6 other people's camera flashes. We were all taking pictures at once in the hopes that someone might possibly get one picture worth keeping! It was going really well until we realized that we were missing NIKLAUS! He slipped in at the last minute and we got some more pictures. At least nobody was crying.

The Greek style food was a hit (with the grownups anyway):

We got to opening presents and had some fun for quite a while playing with the new stuff. My two sons bought their shared godfather (Peter, my bro) a plastic pellet handgun (we spied it in Walmart and the boys bought it themselves). He couldn't wait to try it so he set up the target in the basement right there at the party. Us girls looked on in horror as my two brothers started threatening to shoot each other and wrestling to get the gun away from each other.
I couldn't believe they would do that with the kids just playing all over the place, but they were their kids too, so I guess they were "play fighting" safely (really, they weren't drunk or anything). It was so funny to see those big boys wrestling all over the couch and the kids trying to join in to "help" their dads!

Analise got a beautiful, fairy, butterfly Barbie from her godfather, Rudy. She had been pining for a 2007 Holiday Barbie but she was so much happier that she got this one. It's wings fold and then pop open. It's quite a stunning display.

Color Wonder markers are a beautiful thing too! Here are Anika and Roman sharing Roman's new set:

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It's almost like the media is doing it's darnedest the very DAY after Christmas to find the most depressing, horrible stories it can find. I guess I can't fault the media totally:

Check this out if you have the flu and are going to puke anyway.

We're all doomed.

Okay, I'll post a cheery, Christmas post next. I promise.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas is For Weazy...I mean...Children

Nobody in this house has gotten into the Christmas spirit more than my 7 year old. She has been on her VERY best behavior for about 3 weeks now. She colors about 10 different pictures and does at least 3 projects per day. She pushed so hard for a Christmas tree that I thought she might have a heart attack if I didn't get one soon enough (I figured out that she might think that if we don't have a tree, Santa won't come!). I just got the approval today on my Christmas decorating attempts. It went something like this:

Analise: Mom, I think it's good now. I've got a little bit in my room...I put some decorations in the living room...we've got the tree and the stockings up now. Yup, it's okay now!

Mind you, she's the one who instigated/created MOST of the decorations around here. I kept trying to pull the "but it's not CHRISTMAS yet, it's still ADVENT...we need to learn to WAIT!" deal, but no go.

I love the tree we ended up getting (just this week!). It was perfect for the tiny dining room (yay, sweeping up needles instead of vacuuming them is so much easier!) and it smelled up the whole house so nicely. We couldn't find our star (another panic attack from Weazy) but Mom brought over an angel so we're good now (Santa can come...whew!).

Today, my in-laws came over (I figured it might be kind of nice for them to have Christmas day off to relax before my MIL has to go back to work the next day) today for Christmas. Niklaus shared my pistachios (I didn't even know he liked those things until today) and bonded with my father-in-law while shelling them with him.

We all got what I consider the BEST PRESENTS EVER from them. Woohoo! I can't wait to make use of them (Mari's was attached to a little, stuffed penguin that she loved, so I had to post that picture even though it's a little blurry) My sis-in-law also sent one of those (she never forgets us, she's so sweet), a funny, musical/mechanical cat that sings "Santa Baby" (the girls love that song and you should have seen them light up and look at each other when it started singing!), and also a nice box of pears from Harry & David. YUM! My MIL told me that we're supposed to wait 4 days to eat them but I couldn't resist and just had one. It was perfect...juicy and sweet and still just a tiny bit crisp. Aaaaahhhhhh.

It was a very nice day considering the raging snowstorm outside our windows. We all got very tired after eating that turkey and yummy deserts so Grandma and Grandpa went home shortly after we ate. Grandpa feels much better and seems to pretty much be back to his old self. My MIL impressed the kids with her string of Christmas light-y necklace that she gave it to Trina. I'll have to get a pic of that thing, it's awesome!

Last minute trees are some of the best. The kids did all the decorating (they are getting to be pros!). I got a clear, plastic "table cloth" (walmart craft section) and covered a nice table cloth. In between we put all of the Christmas card pictures we got from everyone so we can "have dinner" with them. It was a fun way to display them and it keeps me and the kids motivated to clean off the table right away after we mess it up with crafts/food!

Weazy is all ready for Santa.
All we need now are the cookies!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stripey Jammies ROCK

He has style. He has confidence. He has a number of adoring fans. He's Niklaus, the famous drummer. Now, CLAP!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We're Creepy and We're Kooky

I just saw this at The Keeper Of the Monkey House's blog (private). I love it when people don't take themselves too seriously!
I looked all over to find out who these guys are. Does anyone know?
They are a HOOT!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear?

This article moved me very much. I never knew the history of that song until now.

H/T The Curt Jester

Weekend Activities

Trina had a nice party out in the garage for a couple of her friends (and occasionally her brothers and sisters). They had fun snacks:

They played "Apples to Apples", they goofed around, made hot cocoa, and did some "Carol-oke" ( Weazy calls it. Trina has a karaoke machine and we bought a Christmas Karaoke CD). Trina's best friend, Kara came over earlier this week and I snapped this shot of her bonding with Niklaus. Niklaus calls Kara "my friend". Last year, she was included on his list of friends that he wanted to invite to his birthday party and this year was no different. It helps that Kara has 4 younger brothers and understands them pretty well!

Saturday night, Butch and I actually went on a DATE! We went with Trine (sis) and Matt (bro-in-law) to a Greek restaurant that Butch had done some work on the week before. It was kind of neat to try something different. The feta stuffed, char-broiled peppers were YUM! The meat and sea-food were so-so, the deserts were a little too still frozen, and the green beans (on the side) were yucky, canned and seemed so gross for a nice restaurant. The pita bread and yogurt/spiced dip was good, though. I loved the Greek red wine I tried. We probably won't go there again, but we decided that we should make an effort to try some new place every other month...and we got some good ideas of what we should make for our "big, fat, Greek Christmas" theme on Christmas eve this year. I tried to get a bunch of good pictures of us (to prove to ourselves that we were actually "out"!) but none of the couples ones turned out so I'll post this funny one of Trine and I toasting.

We look funny because we were trying for a "we are very used to fine dining and cosmopolitan living" pose hahahaha! We were sitting next to a cool picture of an old, Greek, street scene. The restaurant itself is pretty classy and nicely decorated but it was rather loud. I was expecting something cheesy with icky carpet and some cliche' Greek mandolin music in the background but there wasn't any of that.
I think it was the too rich food or maybe the yogurt dip, but I didn't feel very well when we got home and I think I may have gotten a touch of food poisoning. It may have been that the baby didn't like Greek food? Although, we all ate the same things and Trine did say that Matt felt a little sick too, so it may have just affected us for some reason. I guess that's the risk you take when you go out somewhere to eat! It was worth it! We had a nice time and the kids babysat themselves and didn't have any major blowups or fights (that I know of). They got Niklaus and Mariela to sleep just fine and had some of Trina's friends over to goof around with.

We were going to go get a tree tonight (Sunday) after Mass, but we decided that will be Monday's project (and decorating) instead. Sometime this week we plan to hit the MOA to see the decorations and to get some last minute presents. We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Worst Vestment Contest

This is super funny! Go there to vote for your "favorite". My kids really loved "toxic waste" but my pick was the "hippy(16)" submitted by Thorny.


Today was the day!

I think it's been 6 months since I last baked something in my oven.
Here is the old panel that beeped and cursed me out every day for the past six months:

When I called the company the first time, they told me that I must have "cleaned it wrong" and moisture got behind the panel. You can see from those pictures that there is no moisture damage but the little connectors are kind of "burnt out". In my not-very-trained-for-electronics opinion, this was just a manufacturing defect (otherwise, why would it break after only a few years?).

Here is the new, still working after 10, whole minutes panel that will probably (knowing my luck with appliances) poop out in about 3 years or less:

But, for TODAY, I'm jumping up and down, giving my appliance repair guy (Clayton's Appliance Repair Monticello: 763-295-5122* Zimmerman: 763-856-3936) high fives, and thanking GOD for an appliance that does what it's supposed to do. I have much happiness in my heart on this fine, Tuesday afternoon (300 smackaroonies later! At Christmas time that is a stretch, but it's my present to ME because what the heck can you bake at this time of year without an oven??? I looked up the part online and really, THAT took up most of the moolah. Clayton was a very ethical repairman and had a very fair price for his service. I highly recommend him!)

Here is how I'm re-breaking in my "new" oven:

I just got a call from my mother-in-law that my father-in-law felt cold and had low blood pressure after his daily walk this morning and never felt quite right after that. He told my mom-in-law that yes, they should go to the hospital (which is scary to my MIL because he would normally NOT prefer to go to the hospital). He's in intensive care right now for observation. He has a huge history of heart problems (bi-pass surgery, pacemaker) and is quite fragile health-wise (but very hearty, spirit wise!). Please say a prayer for him? I think I'll send some TURKEY DINNER (WOOOOHOOOOO!) with Butch when he goes to visit him tonight!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

First Friday

There's not much left of this First Friday, but say a prayer for the unborn, the suffering, the needy, the babies who might not make it into this world , alive.

Please pray now:

*Prayer for Advent

God of Life,
We rejoice in the promise of your coming.

You have sent your Son, born in Bethlehem.
He is the Prince of Peace, and
The one in whose name all oppression shall cease.

May we welcome his coming each day
And prepare for his coming at the end of time.
May we build a culture that welcomes him
By welcoming every child, born and unborn.

We pray through the same Christ our Lord. Amen

*From the Priests for Life website

Random Facts. Nothing to See Here. Keep Clicking Away. Move Along. Do Not Read (Unless You Are Extremely Bored)

Well, I got zapped by Ironic Catholic in the comments section of my previous post.

Okay, I'll bite:

Rules: Each tagged person must post 8 random facts or habits about themselves on their blog. At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!

1. I bite my nails (still). In my defense, I do it when I'm reading and don't really realize I'm doing it. I read a LOT.

2. I have reddish-brown hair and I really used to love the color until I went and made a HUGE mistake by trying to cover the gray at my temples and now my hair is a stupid reddish-blackish-brownish-yuckish color. "16 washes" my sweet patooty!

3. My oven still doesn't work (but I did get a call from the repairman's wife who told me that the reason the part took so long to order was that they actually had to MANUFACTURE it. It should be fixed by next week. It hasn't worked since about June or July.

4. I hate it when anyone is in the kitchen while I'm cooking. I'd love to be one of those mamas who lets their children learn all kinds of wonderful lessons in the process of cooking dinner or baking bread from scratch. I'm not. I don't have the luxury of any space in my kitchen...and they are MESSY!

5. I don't have a special devotion to Mary. I know this is a biggie, but I just don't believe any of the apparitions really happened. Yes, even the "approved" ones. Please don't hate me. I don't think that people who DO have a devotion to Mary are in any way lesser because of it, I just don't have any belief in it. Do I believe that Mary could come to a someone/group of someones and give special messages? YES! (They are nice stories. My children know them all.) I believe it COULD happen, I just don't happen to believe it did. I honor all of the Marian feast days, name my children after Mary, love her deeply for saying "Yes", honor her as the Queen of Heaven, teach my children the Rosary and pray it with them, teach them all about her, etc...maybe I wish she would come to "visit" me. Maybe then I'd go for the apparitions and stuff? Man, it feels like I'm "coming out" or something. I have a funny feeling this one won't rest for a while!

6. I can install light fixtures.

7. I often forget that I need to be the "tooth fairy" and made up a story that "you must have been awake! The TF doesn't come when you are awake and in your room!" then sneak it in when they are eating breakfast.

8. I want to go see "The Golden Compass" (but I probably won't). Not because it looks like a good movie, but because so many people told me not to go (about 30 emails from different people! By the way, does any Catholic/Christian on the flamin' PLANET NOT KNOW that it's an anti-religion movie based on anti-religion books by NOW?!). It's the rebel in me, I'm sure.

December 8th is my brother, Rudy's birthday. Happy Birthday Rudy (even though I don't think he even knows I have this blog or would ever read it). 8 for the feast day, 8 things about me, 8 friends to bug with a meme on a weekend: Diana, K, Kelly, Antonia, Thorny , Megan, Trine, Anna

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

Double Yay!

No matter what the outcome, God saw fit to bless these two wonderful ladies with one more soul. THAT is cause for celebration! Go give congrats!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Magical Age

We sure had a busy day today! Niklaus' birthday was on Friday so we celebrated it today at 4pm. The reason we chose the later time was because I wanted to go to the 1pm Mass at St. Walburga's.

The Mass was lovely and will only get better as time goes on, I'm sure. We saw a number of familiar faces, which was nice.

I can't help but wonder if the reason the Mass developed into the new order of Mass is because of all of the stuff we CAN'T hear? I haven't grown up with the older form and only have attended a handful of those Masses so I wish I knew the reasoning behind all of the inaudible prayer? I know it's easy enough to KNOW what the priest is saying/praying, but it's hard to capture my children's attention when it seems like there's "nothing" going on up there at the altar. We will sit closer next time, but in the meanwhile, it's got me thinking that there should be some kind of "happy medium" for Mass. Some kind of meld of what's good about the older order and the new? I explained (on the way to Mass) some of the reasons why it is different than what they're used to, and some of the reasons why it has changed but my love for this form doesn't quite translate the way I want it too. I very much dislike not knowing what the proper thing to say or do is. Apparently, many people don't know (as evidenced by how many-even the older folks-were looking around, sheepishly for group-guidance on sitting, standing, and kneeling!) or remember "what to DO" at the older form of Mass. I should be encouraged by the fact that my children chose this Mass over the 6pm Mass at our parish. They were both so disgusted by the music last week, that I doubt very much they were able to pray during Mass or concentrate on the miracle of the Eucharist at all! I haven't asked them yet, but I think they would like to go to St. Walburga's again!

After Mass, we went on an emergency trip to Target to purchase party supplies! We weren't able to go out yesterday because of the snowstorm. I don't trust that rear-wheel-drive van in those slippery conditions. We had to hustle to get home in time to set up the party (while Niklaus and Mari took a much needed nap at home with Daddy).

We got ready for the party just in time for guests (my siblings and their families, Mom and Dad, and the three neighbor kids). There were 15 grand kids, 3 extra kids, and 10 adults and it was very nice. Even with all those people in the house, it was very peaceful and sweet. I still wish I had one, big room to fit everyone in!

Here is a video of Niklaus opening presents and a mini-tour of the house with all of the people in it (small main floor!). I have NO room for a Christmas tree and Dad gave me heck tonight for not having one, "No tree for the kids???". I told him that it is Advent, NOT Christmas yet (but really, I'm still trying to figure out just where I'll put the thing!). It may have to be a last minute, front porch kind of deal. Santa will be okay with that, right?

Here is a video of Matty almost smashing the cake completely into his shirt (while the candle was LIT!). He claims it was an accident, but I think it was a secret plot to hog all the frosting for himself. The cake was deeeelicious (even if it was a little smudged)!

My little boy is four now! Four is my favorite age. It's been my favorite ever since my little sister, Anna was four. I distinctly remember thinking that four was my favorite "kid age" back then. I babysat a LOT back then and all of my favorite kids were four. I think it's because it's the age where they can communicate well, but they are still struggling with meaning, which makes everything they say hilariously funny. They are still very sweet and babyish, but are big enough to do most things for themselves. By the time they turn five, they are just a little wiser in the ways of manipulating the grown-ups. But for one, blessed year, they are still four: un-jaded, innocent, silly, laugh-out-loud goofy, crazy kids.

Happy birthday to my big, four-year-old, boy!

He asked me tonight if we could go again to "scrape around in the dark". I sat there COMPLETELY bewildered. I finally figured out that he wanted to go outside to shovel snow like he and I had done last night in the middle of the storm (just to get the bulk of it out of the way of the porch steps). He had so much fun in the snow with me, he wanted to do it again tonight!

(See? Four is AWESOME!)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

For my Local, Minnesota Folks!

If you know me in person, or know where I live, this will pertain to you.

A Tridentine Mass will be at 1pm tomorrow afternoon. Ray from the Stella Borealis Blog was nice enough to post about it when I emailed him the info. It might be a nice time for Mass (the snow will be cleared out, hopefully!). Hope to see you there!

The details here.