Friday, December 21, 2012

a little christmas surprise

our lovely tree went almost a whole week with no decorations.
there was never a good night for us all do decorate it, and with chris working so much-
it didn't seem like there would ever be a good time for him.
so, on a saturday afternoon i decided we would try tackling the 11 foot tree ourselves.
i told the kids we were going to surprise daddy and put the lights on the tree.
we got out the big ladder and an hour later, after all four kids helping, we had it lit!
i suggested we write daddy a note and john yelled out that he would write it.
i clipped it to the tree, and we left it to surprise our man who has been working so hard.
it was no easy task, lighting that tall tree-
and without all my helpers there's no way i could have gotten it done.
and we were able to squeeze in putting all the ornaments on together - including dad
in the short time he was home the next day...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

oh christmas tree

we bought our christmas tree a few weeks ago.
it is the first time we have bought a fresh one in probably 6 years.
we have room for a pretty tall tree in our new living room.
it was such a fun outing, we went to a local nursery - whitfill, it's been around forever.
to our wonderful surprise they had cookies and hot chocolate - the kids were in heaven!
they also had goats and peacocks that they loved looking at.
and to top it off, santa was there walking around.
perfect, since we hadn't seen him yet this year!
he told the kids some magical stories that brought tears to my eyes as i took pictures.
he was so engaging with them and really talked to each of them about what
they wanted for christmas and the spirit of the season.
seriously, the best santa i have ever been around.
here is the beauty we picked out once we had it set up at home.
it smelled sooo good, instantly put me in a good mood.
and i had a smile plastered on my face for hours because it just made me so happy.
'tis the season...

Friday, December 14, 2012

happy 12/12/12

so, i am late on this - but oh well, that's the way this blog is going lately.
the kids have been talking about 12/12/12 for months now.
actually christopher was the one who started saying we needed to celebrate it.
of course, the others then got into it too.
so, on 12/12/12 we went out to eat after the boys' basketball games to celebrate.
chris could not join us because he has been completely swamped at work.
he has been working crazy hours- we appreciate all he does to provide for us.
of course miss him -unfortunately we are learning december is a very busy time for him.
the boys both had games at the same school at the same time which was great.
it has been such a busy year with both of them playing school sports,
and games almost every day, usually at different schools.
i love basketball - it is my favorite sport to watch.
and i just love that i am able to be there at their games to cheer them on.
it's so nice to see all of their friends mom's at the games too (and some dad's),
really being present for their children.
uncle tim was able to see both boys play since he is on christmas break now.
then, he shot around with the boys for awhile.
i really wish i could keep up with this blog more than i have been able to this year.
it's amazing how much your kids need you as they get older,
and how busy a mom's day is.
the days of diapers, naps and nursing are so busy and exhausting in their own way.
and they need you so much during that precious, critical time.

as they grow, they still need you so much -
and it is still busy and exhausting but in a completely different way.
i am so blessed that i am able to be there for them-
it is also a choice to be a full time mom,
one that i believe is the most important decision a mother can make.
i feel blessed that just about all of their friends' parents also have made it a priority for the mother to be there full-time for their kids too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

thanksgiving 2012

we hosted thanksgiving this year.
i think it's the third year in a row we have done it, and we have really enjoyed it each time.
it was the first one in our new nice to have a little more room for everyone.
i just love how special it feels to get all of our pretty linens and fine china out for the table.
the kids always help set the table, i think it's important they are involved and a part of it.
and they really seem to enjoy doing it, seems to really get them into the spirit of the day.
ella has made the place cards for every one these last few years.
i had grand ideas for a place setting craft we could do together -
but it was too complicated and time consuming.
so, i suggested she draw turkeys on each card- i had seen how well she could draw them.
they turned out adorable...
then, she decided to hand write each guest a personal thanksgiving card.
she thanked each one of them for being such a wonderful grandparent or uncle.
it was so sweet, and completely her own idea.
i realize the silverware settings aren't totally correct,
i didn't supervise the kids too much while they were setting the table - just let them do it!
next year i'll have to teach them the right order in which to place the silverware and napkin.
here are some of the uncles (there are not aunts on this side!) reading their cards.
uncle pat...
and uncle bobby...
we have read the same thanksgiving prayer for years.
my mom cut it out of the newspaper years ago and it has become tradition to read it.
so, nani brought it and the kids took turns reading it...
and i even made a pumpkin roll this year.
i haven't made one in a few years so i was thrilled i found the time to do it this year.
we were able to get a nice group picture out back.
did it right before we ate, before everyone was stuffed and ready to relax.
that's the key, doing it before the meal!
it was a wonderful thanksgiving and so special for us to host in our new house.
we are so thankful for so many things and count our blessings each day.
thank you to everyone for bringing items for the meal,
it makes it so manageable when everyone chips in and so enjoyable for all!
we hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

wildcat weekend

for years we have talked about taking the kids to tucson and to a u of a game.
we finally made it happen this year thanks to chris-he planned it all, & we had a great time.
we went to the homecoming game on saturday and had a full day on campus.
it was fun showing the kids around- the library, student union, bookstore, game center.
we had a so much fun at the game, it was perfectly chilly - just right for a football game.
tio tim and santa went with us - wish i would've gotten a picture at the game.
they hung out with us most the weekend, it was great to spend some extra time with them.
and on sunday we took out cousin katie, who is a freshman...
we all went to brunch and then she showed us around her dorm.
it was so fun to have the kids see first hand a bit of college life - they loved it!
we also drove by our first apartment, went to mass at the school where chris was the p.e.
teacher and coach, and showed them the building i worked at (college of pharmacy).

the kids are still thanking us for taking them, it was sure a nice little getaway.
we are so glad we finally took them and we hope to make it an annual trip now-
i think we may have some future wildcats on our hands!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

all saints day

every year the 5th grade students of the school pick a saint to dress as for all saints day.
they prepare for this day for quite some time- they also do a written report on the saint,
and a class presentation.
then, at the all saints mass they each give a speech on their saint at the end of the mass.
it is always so touching to hear these kids talk about the saint they are representing.
they do such an amazing job, a true testament to the time they have put into it.
and what a great reminder it is for us to hear about how the saints lived their lives.
especially in the voices of these kids it is really amazing to hear their stories.
the 5th graders then wear their costumes all day on all saints day to remember the saints.
and to remind us of how we should try to live our lives.
here are both 5th grade classes after the mass:
the kids get to pick the saint, andrew picked st. andrew...
this is such a special day in the life of the education of the kids at ssj.
we are so proud of our little st. andrew and all the hard work he put into preparing for it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

halloween 2012

three of the kids painted pumpkins after school.
christopher had a flag football tournament game far far away and was gone until about 7.
we started this painting tradition last year.
unfortunately i didn't have time to sit and paint with the kids this year.
and i even bought my own pumpkin this year and had a design in mind...
maybe i'll still get around to it one of these days.
we were barely able to squeeze it into the kids schedule this year.
and we missed the oldest not being with us,
maybe i'll make him sit with me and we'll paint ours together sometime!
 the kids went as the 'avengers' this year.
 so sad i didn't get any pictures of christopher and ben since they met up with us later.
ella went as 'wonder woman' even though she isn't technically an avenger,
we figured it still went with the superhero theme.
we've had the costume for years and it finally fit this year!

it was a totally different halloween for us this year for the following reasons:
1. we are in our new neighborhood
2. we were not all together since christopher was out at his tournament game.
3. the kids were all split up because they were dying to go with their friends.

andrew's friend ryan (above) came over and the two of them were ready to go.
meanwhile, we were still finishing dinner and putting ella's costume together.
so, they took off first (with ryan's parents following behind)
then this crew came to the door -
3rd grade friends (and siblings) from ella's class and she was dying to go with them.
so she, john and i headed out with them while chris & nani handed out candy & waited for lc.
we met up with some more friends from school out in the neighborhood.
you can't tell by the picture, but it was crazy with kids - i've never seen anything like it!
 and we eventually ran into the 5th grade boy group...
we ended up at mark and lori's massive halloween party.
the kids had fun hang'n out inside for awhile, trading candy.
 here they are in the middle of one of their candy trades...
 and our dear friends from our old neighborhood came over to hang out for awhile too.
it was a fun filled halloween -
a big thanks to nani and bobby for coming over and holding down the fort for us while we
hit the neighborhood with the kiddos!