Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real: Random Picture Edition

My children are used to having a snow covered backyard for months at a time. However, since the Thanksgiving snow, which melted mid-December, there hasn't been any snow that amounted to much. Instead, our yard was hidden under inches of very slick ice!  This did not make for happy campers. This week, though, we have had three snows-- nothing major, but all together they have blanketed the yard with a little over a foot of snow. My children are much happier now and the snow really is pretty!
(Especially from inside the house;)

Buddy has been so happy to be playing basketball, again. 

He was thrilled to receive the "Christ-likeness" star after his game. It was his first white star and he is very proud of it. He said, " You know Mommy, this is the hardest star to get because it is the most important!"

We have been house hunting and primarily looking at foreclosures so that we can buy low and keep our monthly expenses down. The children and I had done a drive-by of a few homes on Friday and took notes on what our first impressions were. 

We were scheduled to visit a few on Saturday, which got pushed to Sunday because of snow. None of us thought about the snow and the fact that the house was empty, until we arrived dressed in our Sunday best, dress shoes and all, and saw the driveway. We had no shovel, only a few plastic containers that I had been meaning to return to our aunt.  So, Hubby and Buddy used two of them and scooped out a path up the drive and to the door. It was quite a feat with 9" of snow and two little containers but they did a great job!

This Little Man is a real character. He has been trying to dress himself, apparently he likes the toga look--he wouldn't let anyone fix the shirt.

He discovered the fun of shining a flashlight around a dark room (It really was pretty dim in the room.) and was so proud of himself.

All that running around and trying to be a big kid makes a little guy REAL tired!

Linking up with Auntie Leila. Hope you had a wonderful week!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Remembering Home

With cleaning out my childhood home and house hunting, the concept of home has been on my mind a lot. Where is home? What makes it home? What happens when home is no longer your own?

We have been evaluating foreclosures and pursuing real estate listing--often getting side tracked with the absurd, such as the home that is listed so cheaply that it obviously is barely standing but has "tons of potential for those with vision" and the $8 million estate with 15 bedrooms and it's own lake.  So far, nothing has felt right and the homes we have seriously considered have all fallen through for various reasons.

Searching for home has reminded me that this isn't my home. My husband has a saying, "Not our kingdom, not our home."  It can be frustrating but it is true.  While we debate floor plans, lot location, number of rooms and affordability; we must remember that our ever lasting mansion is already under construction.

I know that I, for one, am not always the best contractor for that mansion. Like our searches on Zillow, I get sidetracked looking at what I don't have and getting puffed up about what I do. I get agitated by the interruptions to my all important search and make myself and my goals the center of the known universe.

This year, I am trying very hard to see where I am forcing Christ out of my life and serving only myself. I am trying to be more deliberate about every word that I speak, and what choose to do and fail to do. I am trying hard to be a better contractor, building up the walls of holiness and laying floors of truth and beauty, instead of tearing down what others have created.  My search for home will not be complete in this life, it will only be fulfilled in the next--however, I can only stroll those golden streets if I have first labored for the sake of the Kingdom while still a world away.

Please join me tomorrow for Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real and Friday for Giveing Up to the LORD for Lent. God bless.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real:The Pro-Life Edition

Today is a bitter-sweet day each year. Twenty-one year's ago, my husband took me on our first date for a lovely dinner and a movie. Forty-two years ago, my beloved country passed the most heartbreaking of laws allowing our most innocent to be killed. Life has never been the same on both counts, although as my husband and I have grown in our reverence of human life, our desire for children, and our love for all of God's creatures, our country has gone the opposite way and we are all suffering because of it.

I know I have mentioned this book before, but I would like to once again draw your attention to this beautiful book. 

Also a companion story that is truly spectacular. If you want your children to value life fill their hearts and minds with all that is true and beautiful.

My children were happy to get this video from Holy Heroes and I was happy that it touched them so deeply. 

It's Funny how as a nation we say we want want equality and opportunity and freedom but our actions say exactly the opposite. This film from Father Barron is a must see for everyone!

Hear who Jane Roe really is and why she is fighting AGAINST the law that bears her name.

That's it folks. God bless you all!
Linking up with Auntie Leila again this Thursday.

Monday, January 19, 2015

When Life is Dry and Noisy

Life has not been too hectic to write just too dry and noisy. I have sat down to write but have nothing to say--no interesting craft inspiration, no insightful posts to share, no desire to delve and research. Yet, my life is so full and my heart so at peace. I am incredibly thankful for the provision of my God and the prayers of so many of you.

In truth, I have found myself yearning for Lent, for the stillness and deprivation that open the heart and soul.  Longing for more discipline and sacrifice. My heart is truly yearning for more God, yet I feel unable to get there as my soul continues to recover and mourn.

So, I invite you to begin preparations for a fruitful Lent and joyous Easter. In the coming weeks I will share opportunities for a deeper understanding of the faith, a richer prayer life, and our family traditions for Lent that will guide us through a desert of richness not despair.  I hope you will come along and come visit again, soon.  God bless!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pretty- Happy- Funny- Real: The Little Man Edition

I have really been struggling with getting a post up, so I decided to jump on board when Auntie Leila posted her first {p, h, f, r} of the year.

The children are all growing so rapidly, but I notice it most with Little Man. He is decidedly not a baby and changing so much right before my eyes.


These two snuck outside for just a short play (It was SO cold!) Look at those pretty eyes and rosy cheeks.

Buddy is happy with his new bow but still making little bows out of every stick he finds.  He was even happier when Little Man took an interest in his newest creation and said clear as a bell, "Bow, bow!" 

He is in the midst of a language explosion. One of his other new words is "Big," his name for his big brother.


That funny little face is growing and changing. He has learned how to make silly faces and imitate his siblings. Little Man is very, very busy, so it is difficult to get photos that aren't just blurs. However, when he decides he wants his picture taken, it's all cheese.

At 17 months old, Little Man already knows how to turn sticks into weapons and initiate a duel. His fencing skills are quite impressive, I must say.  Buddy doesn't cut him any slack and he can hold his own. So, to be clear, this little guy REAL-ly did find these sticks in his brother's collection, bring one to his brother, and initiate the fight. I don't know if that is REAL-ly amazing or REAL-ly scary.

How is your week going?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Seven Quick Takes: Plans for the New Year

It's a new year, but I feel really thrown off since I had such a rough end to 2014. It's like my brain isn't caught up. My dear friend just sent me a beautiful Catholic planner and I keep flipping through it but not writing anything down. That is so not me! I start planning next year's curriculum the day we start school in the fall. I start planning next year's Christmas gifts by the Thanksgiving of the year before.

I needed to get out of my funk, Dwija's Seven Quick Takes gave me some comic relief and inspiration. So here are seven things I plan to do in the new year in no particular order.

Do a craft tutorial with Buddy.
He keeps coming up with interesting, very Buddy-like crafts and asks me to make a tutorial about them. So far nothing has really been tutorial material, but I am going to make it happen somehow so stay tuned.

Visit Pittsburgh!
My mother's family hails from Pittsburgh and I have a collection of cousins that I'm aching to see. The last time I was out there, I was five months pregnant with Buddy. Life got complicated between my mother's illness and father's death so I just haven't made it back. But, it's time and I am planning a great adventure for my children and me.

Find Another Bedroom
Space is at a premium and Little Man is still in the pack and play. We need another bedroom stat so the boys can move in together and Cowgirl can get some much needed privacy. Best case scenario is a new house, worst case scenario is hubby and I move to the couch and hand our room over to the princess. Either way, it is happening this year. 

Go on an Overnight Trip with Cowgirl

This may not happen this year, but I am starting to plan. She is growing so quickly and we need some female bonding time.

Fun Day with Buddy
He has been begging me to have a mommy/son sleepover at home followed by a fun day together. He says it can be so much fun I can "drop the day off." (Translation: Take the day off from mom work.)

Get some Serious Time with Hubby
Since Little Man was born, we have had exactly five hours alone. I love my baby and all but it is time for a bonafided date that lasts longer than two hours including driving to and from the restaurant in a snowstorm.

Rediscover What I Like to Do
I love being a wife and mommy. Most of the time I would rather be home with my family. However, for the last six and a half years, I have divided all of my time between my husband, children, and mother. Spare time was spent working, cleaning, and planning curriculum. I need to figure out what I would even want to do with spare time that isn't housework, homework, or taking care of someone. Not that that means alone, necessarily. I've just been so focused on everyone else, I need some time to reaquaint myself with me!

There you have it, 2015 in a nutshell! Do you have any great plans to share? Click over to Kelly's blog for more quick takes.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pretty- Happy- Funny- Real: Christmas Morning Edition

I have been wanting to write a blog post for a couple of weeks but just haven't managed to do so. I wanted to write, just didn't know what to say or where to begin.  When I saw Jessica's Christmas Pictures p-h-f-r post, I decided it was a good place to start.  I don't have many pictures from Christmas, it was a difficult one spent round the clock at my mother's bedside. However, my siblings and I went home for a few hours Christmas morning to be with our children. Though it was a very challenging and sad Christmas, there was still an abundance of joy. Please, continue to pray for my family as we navigate our grief and settle my mother's affairs. Your prayers have been such a blessing and my best Christmas gift.


Isn't she getting grown-up looking?

For Christmas, Cowgirl crafted gifts for everyone out of what she could find around the house. A quiver for Buddy, a knit hat for Little Man, a dressy scarf for my husband...however, she ran out of time for the ambitious project she had planned for me. So, Cowgirl asked my husband to stop by my favorite dried fruit shop and pick me up some treats. She chocolate dipped some of the fruit, then arranged it so prettily on a tray. 


Buddy had a very happy Christmas, not only did he get a bow and arrows, which he has wanted for a couple of years, but he also got a box of snack packs from his brother. Buddy says it was his best Christmas ever,. The camo vest and hat from the dollar store put it over the top.


This Little Man is very funny, so is his new cheeseball  picture taking face. Where did he learn this?

Little Man enjoyed his gifts of a play guitar and soccer ball, however, it took a lot of coaxing for him to open them. Once he found corn chips in his stocking, he just wanted to eat the chips.


My children, especially Buddy, really wanted a pet. I kept finding little notes from Buddy professing his love for me and asking for various animals. Since we have a small home, and a few people with pet allergies, I at first completely dismissed the idea. But his persistence and love letters wore me down--those dimples didn't hurt his case either.  My husband and I looked at many different options and decided on a couple angora rabbits like my sister and I raised as kids. They are super cuddly and loveable, and their wool can become a little hobby/business for the kids. Since we couldn't wrap up a bunny hutch and it is best to get rabbits in the spring so they can a acclimate to the weather, we wrapped up books about caring for rabbits. The bunnies will come once the warm weather arrives.

It was difficult to leave my babies again and head back to my mom, but I was glad we all got a happy Christmas morning. My mother passed away the next morning, it was a heart rending holiday.