Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fire Starter

Lucas made the following comment at dinner this evening:

"Mommy, my bottom hurts. I think you need to put gasoline on it."

I think he meant "vaseline!"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Project

So the new project is to build an ice rink in the backyard. It's actually a small patch of ice that we've undertaken to make for the kids so I can survive the winter mentally intact. They are getting restless so this will be their new homeschooling project for the next week or so. Daddy downloaded instructions and set out to construct a rinkrake for smoothing the area and making the ice.

I'll try to post pics tomorrow.:)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On the 2nd Day of Christmas...

my true love gave to me: a second day of falling snow! Merry Christmas to you all!! Yesterday was pretty peaceful here. Snow fell steadily all day long and we just stayed in and watched it from inside.:) We had our second day of snow today. It warmed up a bit around noon and now the roads are a bit slushy. It looks like it's clouding up again and maybe dropping in temp. so we'll probably get more and a bit of ice, too.

It's been pretty calm aside from the entertaining. We had friends and their families over on both Saturday night and Christmas eve for dinner both times. We have other friends coming over possibly this Friday night for pizza and a movie. Then, we'll ring in the New Year at the house of some other friends. We haven't done much entertaining this year but, boy, when it rains, it pours!

The influx of gifts has been somewhat organized and found homes for. We're still keeping up our daily reading of the Gospel and have now undertaken the task of explaining the 12 Days of Christmas. So I am feeling a little bit less secular in terms of really living the spirit of Christmas. The load of gifts yesterday had me a little doubtful. I'm grateful, though, for how calm the kids are with new toys and games!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Oh, What Fun It Is...

to have a bunch of kids decorate your Christmas cookies!

Here they are concentrating on holding those tiny sprinkles in their hands and delicately placing them individually on each cookie. Oh, the little tricks that keep them occupied...I'm a wicked mother!!

'Tis the Season to Blog Away!

Here are a few pics of the winter fun some of the kids had outside this morning. It started snowing at 4AM so we woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland. I'm pretty sure we had about 2 inches of wet, sticky snow on the driveway so Daddy and some of the kids got out to shovel it off.

I was cozy inside wrestling with gingerbread dough to finish off our last batch of cookies.:)

Our little artist

I had to take a pic of one of Maria's latest creations. This one is called "Dark Forest." We put it up on the wall to take a pic before I wrapped it. This will be a surprise Christmas gift that she decided upon. I think it looks great in the frame!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Baker's Nightmare

I thought I had found the ultimate cookie gun for making German spritz cookies at Christmastime. This is the only time I ever pull mine out and I love to work with it. I first used a cookie gun or press, as they are also called, in my Home Ec. class back in TX. I liked making the dough, loading it in the barrel and then cranking out the cookies with a crank at the top. Since then I've gone through a number of cookie guns. Most of the ones I've bought have been made of plastic and would always crack in the oddest of places depending on my dough.

I finally found a stainless steel gun made by Wilton about 9 years ago. I liked it so much I bought one for my brother who also likes to bake. He barely uses his, but I use mine a lot! That's until this Christmas. I thought it was flawless. I thought it would last forever, but I was wrong. Plastic wins out again!

The disk that pushes the dough down the barrel is made of plastic so the metal rod that pushes the disk down punched right through the plastic and now my gun is no more! I checked Wilton's site and they don't make this product anymore!

My only other option is the Italian made Marcato cookie gun that also has a plastic "piston" that pushes the dough down. I don't know if I want to spend $40 on a cookie gun that I know will probably have the same result. Even if Martha Stewart recommends it, I'm not falling for the hype.:(

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coming to a Mailbox Near You

Well, our Christmas Cards finally arrived yesterday. The pic on our home page is actually the front cover. I totally cheated this year and had them all done online and ordered. Please know that with every address I wrote, envelope licked, and sticker and stamp stuck by the girls; a little prayer went your way.:)

So, Christmas cards...check!

I also had a little chat with Daddy. He's always filling me in on bank account numbers and other financial information in the possible case that something should happen to him. He just likes to make sure I know where everything is. I fear that if something happens to me, not another Christmas card will ever go out! So we decided an inservice is necessary so he can be brought up to speed. At least then I'll know I can go in peace.:)

What's Really Being Processed in Those Little Brains

On Sunday during our lunch, we lit the three candles of our Advent wreath and sang, "O Come, O Come Emannuel" like we have the other two Sundays of Advent. But an unusual question came up after the first line was sung:

Molly: Who's Captain Israel?

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's the little things

This morning Lucas bounded into our room announcing that he had fully dressed himself. When Molly came into our room, he proudly gave her the news to which she responded,

"Lucas, I'm so proud of you!"

Daddy and I couldn't keep from laughing at how enthusiastic she was to congratulate her brother.:)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


A friend of mine brought over a 1/2 gallon of Raw Milk for us to try. So far so good. I can't taste the difference. However, Daddy, says he can taste the farm and the cow...very earthy. I'm glad he has a flair for the eclectic. The kids were half and half on it. The older girls weren't too interested, and the little ones couldn't taste the difference.

The goal here is to have the un-pasteurization so we get all the enzymes and proteins necessary to digest the milk sugar, lactose. Since three of us have milk sensitivities, this is an attempt.

We'll just see how it goes and then figure out how to afford this added expense. It's not cheap for sure!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Go Team!

Two weekends ago, I heard a talk at a spiritual retreat I went to out in Wisconsin. The woman giving the talk was speaking about our personal plans in striving to fulfill our vocations as wives and mothers and giving our families the best encouragement we can. She asked us all, "But who's cheering us on?" Her point is that we forget that we also need a cheerleader that encourages us to encourage the others in our families. She pulled out this little ceramic cheerleader that she received when she graduated from high school. She recently found it in a box in storage and thought she should put it up somewhere in her kitchen. She assured us that the little cheerleader sits nicely up above the cupboards hidden where only she knows it's there. But it reminds her that someone, namely God, is on her side cheering on her efforts as wife and mother.

I resigned myself to find a cheerleader to put in my kitchen. I excitedly came home to tell Daddy about my idea and thought ebay would be my chore for the next week trying to find exactly the right one. He gently reminded me that I already have 3 cheerleaders in my kitchen. I told him I wasn't talking about Monica, Maria & Molly. But he said, "No. Look up here on the fridge. The girls' cheerleaders are right here!" I looked up and saw that, yes, I do have 3 wooden cheerleaders on my fridge.

Monica received these at a birthday party back in October. She made hers at the party and brought the other 2 home for Maria and Molly.

What happened to the cheerleaders? Monica's lost her head after Lucas and Molly played with it, Molly's was subjected to a 4 year old with markers, and Maria's is still intact.

I told Daddy they're not as peppy as the gal's who gave the talk. However, I think it fits just perfectly. I have 3 little cheerleaders who remind me of my life: not perfect, somewhat dysfunctional, occasionally somber, and yet ready to cheer the team on.

I think I've found my cheering section! God works through every imperfection...what a relief!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, that's right. I celebrated my 34th birthday today. According to Molly I turned 44. I'm glad she's not responsible for keeping track of my years.

It was a calm day aside from losing my keys for 30 minutes and missing an appointment. That was a little odd and brief moment of calamity!

All kidding aside, I am very grateful this year...I have 7 good reasons to be!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Elfin' Magic

Thanks to Auntie Nora for sending us the link to "Elf Ourselves!" And "Yes!" we do have a lot of time on our hands. Sad we could only get 4 of our little elves in on the fun. It was so worth the time it took to upload the photos.

Here's the link:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We Missed Our Anniversary!

I just looked back at when we started our blog...November 21, 2006! I forgot to do a celebratory entry this year to mark our 1 year anniversary of "Thriving With Five." Sigh!

Well, at least Daddy & I didn't forget our wedding anniversary. We celebrated 9 years of wedded, kid-infested bliss last Wednesday, November 28th. We had a nice dinner out and Daddy surprised me with a dozen roses and a card. Typical of us, we chose a steak house close to Costco so we could capitalize on our childcare for the evening! So my loot for the evening not only included the roses and card, but a giant-sized salmon fillet, and a few other mega-sized, big-box items.:)

Hidden Talents

It's been snowing all day. We should have received 4-5 inches by 9PM. I think we hit that by 5PM this afternoon! It's been a nice 20 degrees, though....not as cold as it has been, but we literally were living in a snowglobe today!

I was firm with Monica about helping me shovel the driveway this afternoon and I'm glad I did. She's a shoveling fiend! She's actually a shovel runner. She shovels like Daddy...gets a running start and runs with her shovel across the driveway and then lifts and throws the snow over to the lawn. Awesome! If we had contests, all bets would be on her! Even the poor little neighbor kid was getting beaten down by his chore of shoveling their driveway, but our Scandinavian/Mexican princess had the snow flying...braids and all!

I should have snapped a pic of her, but I was trying to keep up. I was feeling bad that I wasn't helping out as much as I'd like to have. Well, not feeling that bad! You know, a few more years of growth for these 6 kids and I'll be sitting around eating bon bons all winter!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Two Successes

Well, I was able to get away this weekend for a retreat in Wisconsin. From Thursday to Sunday afternoon, I was immersed in prayer, silence, no dishes, and no whiny kids. I really missed them all, especially Daddy. It was nice to get away and renew my spirit and my calling as a wife and mother. I try to do this once a year, but last year I wasn't ready to wean Gabe or struggle with him at a retreat!

Which leads me to my next success...Gabe has been weaned!! I figure I would probably end up nursing him to my due date or we would have to undergo something drastic. He's the first baby I could actually have somewhat of a conversation explaining to him we would not be nursing any longer which definately tells me I think I nursed him a little too long. It was a great time, though. Lots of bonding, cuddling, and boy it was nice to have a little warm heater on some of the last few cold days.
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