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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Prophet Turns Eight

On Tuesday of this past week, The Prophet turned eight. My how the years have flown by. He's turning into a wonderful, caring young man. At his eight year doctor checkup, he measuered in the 72nd percentile for weight & 83rd for height. If he continues to grow at this pace, he'll be over six feet tall.

For his birthday breakfast, he chose Monkey Bread (see photo above - I guess the name of the bread is fitting!). YUM!! It doesn't last long in this house! Then, when Casinodad got home from work, we ordered pizza for dinner & let The Prophet opened his gifts from us. He was very excited to receive a set of Star Wars action figures & a Bionicle set.

We were going to have a party for him this evening, but all four of the munchkins have been sick this week w/ sinus infections - yes, I did say all four of them! (This is the second round of antibiotics for The Prophet & The Archangel. They just can't seem to fight it.) I decided to go ahead & make his cake for us to have after dinner this evening. His theme of choice this year was the new Clone Trooper movie. I found plates & goodie bags w/ the clones on them & I "created" my own clone cake. It's definitely not perfect, but I have to say I don't think I did too bad! What do you think?


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Twenty Things I'm Thankful For - Part Four (No. 16-20)

16) Even though the munchkins were sick & we couldn't go to my parents' for dinner, we had a nice meal here at home - Thanks Mom! We had turkey roast, yams, baked apples, rolls, dressing, cranberry jelly, & a cherry pie for dessert. Not everyone ate everything, but no one went away from the table hungry.

17) A beautiful Mass this morning - I went to a different church w/ my mom this morning & really enjoyed the service.

18) Healthy lungs - All the munchkins have great sets of lungs. How do I know this? Well, through the constant bickering & yelling at each other.

19) Our house - Even though I dream of someday living further out in the country on a bit of land (in a house, of course), I am thankful for the roof we have over our heads.

20) God - Without God, nothing I have would be possible. He's the reason I am here on Earth, married to a wonderful man, & raising four beautiful munchkins. I can't thank Him enough for all He's blessed me with. He sent His Son to die for my sins. Thank you, God, for my life. May I always remember what You have done for me & put You first in my life.

This concludes my Thanksgiving list. It is in no way conclusive. Each day I am more thankful for the things I have in my life & for my life in general. Thank you all for being a part of my life, too! May God bless each of you this Thanksgiving Day & always.
Peace & blessings,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twenty Things I'm Thankful For - Part Three (No. 11-15)

11) Doctor's offices that can get all four munchkins in on the afternoon of the day before Thanksgiving.

12) Health Insurance - I'm not quite so thankful about co-pays in the doctor's office for all four munchkins & four pharmacy co-pays, but I am thankful for insurance - it could have cost a lot more, esp. since the antibiotic would have been $83 per child!

13) Coffee - I'm only doing 1/2 regular & 1/2 decaf right now because the full caffeine bothers The Saint. I love the flavored creamers & flavored coffees. Sometimes, if I'm out of flavored coffee or creamers, I'll just sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg into the grounds before I brew my coffee & it adds just the right amount of flavor. Bob Evans changed their brew about a year or so ago & it's really good. McDonald's has a good brew, too. This may come as a surprise to many people, but I really am not a big fan of Starbucks coffees. They're okay & I will drink them, but not my favorite.

14) Chocolate - Even the munchkins know that their mom loves, loves, loves chocolate! (Did I mention that I love chocolate?!?) Reese's PB Cups have always been a favorite of mine, as have M&M's. I'm so glad they came out w/ dark chocolate M&M's - much healthier ;)

15) Casinodad has the next two days off of work. We can spend the time together as a family & disinfect the house from all the sinus infection germs floating around!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twenty Things I'm Thankful For (Part Two - No. 6-10)

6) My Parents - While not perfect, they come pretty close. I think they've done a wonderful job of raising my sister & me, despite all the grief we managed to give them! They were always there for us - & still are! Sure they were tough & sure I did my fair share of "not-so-good" things, but I feel truly blessed to have them as my parents. Towards the end of this last pregnancy, when I was on bedrest, my parents were there to help out a bunch - staying throughout the day to feed us, taking care of the kids & the house, taking The Prophet to Tae Kwon Do, etc. I thank God for blessing me w/ them & pray that I can be the kind of parent to my munchkins as they were for us.

7) My In-Laws - I have great in-laws & feel truly blessed to have them in my life. I don't have any horror stories about them like some people do. They've done a wonderful job in raising Casinodad, shaping him into the person he is today. My MIL was especially helpful when I was on bedrest, too. She came to relieve my mother occasionally, spending time w/ the munchkins & me while Casinodad was at work.

8) Family - I've been blessed w/ a wonderful extended family - my sister, her husband & their five boys, my SIL & her husband, & my other SIL, as well as many aunts, uncles, & cousins. With the exception of a few being out of state, most of our family is near us.

9) Friends - Another wonderful blessing in my life is the countless number of friends I've made through the years. Some have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, some only for a short time. Some have come into my life & stayed, some have come & gone. All have touched my life in a special way.

10) Faith - I went through a slump period about two years ago. I doubted. I questioned. I wondered. After much prayer, talking to others, & reading, I've deepened my faith. I know I still have a long way to go, but I am truly thankful for what I do have & for the support I've received throughout my journey.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twenty Things I'm Thankful For (Part One)

In honor of Thanksgiving this week, I thought I'd list 20 things I'm thankful for in my life. These are the first five...

1) Casinodad - He's a wonderful, thoughtful, caring, faithful, inspirational, loving father & husband. (These are in no particular order.) Despite all my shortcomings, he loves me for who I am & sticks by me through it all. He's been an inspiration to me in his faith in God. I'm a better person for knowing him & having him in my life.

2) The Prophet - He's grown into such a caring young man. He has these wonderful moments when he generously gives to his siblings & to the poor people, looking forward to our church's yearly donation drive. He's also quick to help his baby brother when crying, giving me a bit of a break.

3) The Archangel - He, too, is growing into a caring boy. He never runs out of loving compliments for us. He's also our sensitive child. His feelings can be hurt easily. Perhaps this is why he's quick to comfort one of his siblings when they need it - he knows what it's like. He loves his baby brother, always telling us how cute he is & how he's so happy to have a baby in the house.

4) The Princess - Ever the girly-girl, she prances around the house singing & dancing to her own music. She's very loving to her baby brother, always gushing over how cute he is. She gives her big brothers a run for their money & won't take any of their teasing & aggravating.

5) The Saint - A wonderful addition to our family, his smiles, squeals, & coos bring such joy to our lives. He gets his little arms & legs swinging, expressing his delight at our faces.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Even Child Syndrome

NOTE: not to be confused w/ "Even-Tempered Child Syndrome" (if there even is an even-tempered child anywhere!!)

This is a rambling post. Feel free to not read if you want!

I'm having trouble adjusting to a fourth child in the house. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love all four munchkins & would never change a thing. It's just an adjustment & it's taking longer than I had hoped. When I say "Even Child Syndrome" in this post's title, I'm talking about birth order. It seems, at least for me, that it's harder w/ the even numbered child.

  • Pregnancy & Munchkin #1: I had a great pregnancy w/ The Prophet. I loved every minute of it - wearing those cute maternity clothes, feeling every flutter & kick, & I was never sick w/ him. Labor & delivery were a bit difficult due to pre-eclampsia. I had to be induced two weeks early & was on Magnesium Sulfate to prevent seizures, but that was the worst of it all. Once he was born, all was well & I loved being a mom. Everything was new to me & I soaked it all up.
  • Pregnancy & Munchkin #2: Even though I never got sick w/ The Archangel either, pregnancy was a bit tougher for me. I was tired all the time & very grumpy. Poor Casinodad had his head bitten off more times than I care to admit. Birth went well - I was induced two weeks early again due to Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH). Once we brought him home, things were fine for a while, but I still couldn't shake the grumpiness. It was double everything - diapers, less sleep, laundry, etc. He was a bit more high-maintenance than The Prophet, too (& still is at times!) So, the second addition was a bit tougher, but we got through it.
  • Pregnancy & Munchkin #3: I was a bit less grumpy w/ The Princess' pregnancy. Casinodad made me promise to try & I felt that I succeeded! Again, I was induced (3 weeks early w/ her) due to PIH. No problems w/ delivery & once home, we adjusted very well. No out-of-the-ordinary problems. As she got a little older, she demonstrated her curiosity in many ways (dumping all my mom's spices on her basement floor & eating whole peppercorns, jumping off her dollhouse & needing stitches because she hit her head on her bedframe, or pouring dish soap on the carpet just to name a few). She keeps us on our toes, but having three wasn't bad at all.
  • Now: Again I was induced w/ PIH three weeks early. The Saint has done great sleeping at night. The first couple weeks, he woke up twice to feed & now he pretty much sleeps through the night. He doesn't sleep much during the day, just a few catnaps, but he usually doesn't wake up until about 10 or 11am.

So why do I feel so out of sorts? I'm getting more sleep than I did when pregnant, but I just can't seem to get going in the morning. I would love to be able to get up when Casinodad does at 6:30, before the rest of the crew, say my morning prayers, have my first cup of coffee, but I just can't. I usually roll out of bed around 8am instead to hear the sounds of the older boys arguing over the couch or whatever (& usually argue w/ each other most of the day). My house looks like it's been through several tornados & I just can't seem to motivate myself to do more than the essentials. The Saint is finally getting to the point where I can set him down for longer than a couple minutes during the day.

I know that "this too shall pass" & that God never gives anyone more than they can handle. So, I just do a lot of praying & give lots of hugs & kisses to the munchkins. After all, they're only this age once!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Consolation

Kimberly, of Catholic Family Vignettes, has an excellent post on the election outcome. I've been very depressed today & this post of hers was very uplifting. Her 3rd commenter has great insight, also.


Thank you Kimberly for your thoughts & reassurance! God bless you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Lesson

I've wanted to try a lapbook w/ The Prophet for a while now. I found information about elections & thought today would be a great day to do one. We spent about an hour & a half this morning compiling it & he really enjoyed it.

First, we started our day w/ our regulars prayers & the Pledge of Allegiance. I disected the Pledge so that the munchkins would understand what they're saying & why.

For the lapbook, I first had him color a picture of the US flag to put on the cover. On the inside, we had several different shaped pop-ups w/ information of various aspects of elections, including the following:

    - a Comparison of the two major parties

- a Vocabulary list

- Why is it Important to Vote?

- When is Election Day?

- VOTE - which answers questions pertaining to The Prophet (How old he has to be to vote, How many years until he can first vote, & What year that will be)

- Guidelines for candidates (age & US residency)

Once they were completed, I had him color them & arrange them on the file folder however he wanted them. (With my scrapbooking background, this was tough for me since he didn't put them in a layout I would do, but this is his after all!) He finished it off by adding foil star stickers & sqiggles to fill in the spaces. His finished product turned out quite well & we look forward to future lapbooks. I think after the first of the year, we'll do a state study & make one for each state.

One Word Meme

Only one-word answers, please!

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Where is dh? Work
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Voting
5. Your father? Work
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? Heaven
9. The room you’re in? Family
10. Your hobby? Reading
11. Your fear? Cancer
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Country
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Patient
15. One of your wish-list items? Peace
16. Where you grew up? Ohio
17. The last thing you did? Nachos
18. What are you wearing? Clothes
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? None
21. Your computer? PC
22. Your mood? Mixed
23. Missing Someone? DH
24. Your car? Mini-van
25. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? Over
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Lavendar
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Recently

Wall Music

The Princess is sitting at the kitchen table coloring in one of her books. Every so often, I hear a big sigh out of her. The Archangel is sitting on the couch holding The Saint & playing w/ his toy laptop. He found out yesterday that it plays music & has been enjoying the Christmas songs on it. More sighs come from the kitchen. Finally I ask what is wrong.

She says, "That music is driving me on the wall."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chicken Recipe - Follow Up

The leftovers were just as good as the first day! For dinner on Thurs., I put some of the chicken in flour tortillas, topped it w/ some cheese & heated it in the microwave. Then I added just a small dollop (I love that word!) of sour cream. Add a side of Mexican rice & dinner was delicious. I was going to try to make some rice like Casinodad's aunt does, but we still had some of hers from our recent visit.

Casinodad really liked his lunch leftovers on Wed. - when I put the chicken in with some egg noodles.

This is definitely a recipe I will be using again. It's effortless, delicious, & goes a long way! And I can't say enough about Target's Archer Farms Peach Pineapple Salsa. What a wonderful combination!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hallowe'en 2008

Well, due to our wonderful economy this year, I told the munchkins that their costumes had to come from things around the house. Until about 2pm, the day of Trick-or-Treating, I didn't know for sure what each would be.

The Saint just wore a Hallowe'en bib.
The Princess was a Ballerina. She wore her dress-up tu-tu. I put a little of my sparkling make-up on her eyes, blush on her cheeks & lipstick on her lips.
The Archangel was Clone Trooper, using The Prophet's costume from the last two years.
The Prophet went for a play on words - a "Smartie-Pants, Quarterback. " I taped a bunch of Smarties on his pants & put some quarter stickers all over his back.
Casinodad even joined in on the fun - he went as a Bandito. (His Fantasy Football team this year is Los Banditos.)
I stayed home to hand out candy & watch The Saint while they went around the neighborhood. I never know for sure how many trick-or-treaters we'll have. The first few years wehad quite a few & many of the neighbors were handing out candy. Last year was pretty sparce. This was a good year. We had just enough to give out.
Hope you had a great one!