September 29, 2015


I have no real reason for posting this picture other than I came across it the other day in a "drafts" post.  It was too adorable to not share.

Wrong season, I know! 

Look at Elizabeth's crazy hair.  The stuffed animals.  Everyone gathered to watch the train go around the tree.  Baby Nicholas enthralled.  The ornaments.  Oh, hilariousness!! The ornaments all bunched at the top of the tree.

I love it.

I miss every single day that has passed with these kids.  Is that weird?  To miss all the days?  I wish I could watch every single one on video.  Except that I would miss the current days.  And that would be sad.

So here's to enjoying the current and delighting in the past when you stumble across it!!

September 18, 2015

Rabbit rabbit.

Nathan for awhile has wanted to start a rabbitry.  Or at least, try his hand at it.  So when a graduating Senior from our 4H club asked if we wanted his 3 Mini Rex, we said sure!  

Then, when I call him to make arrangements to pick up the rabbits...he informs us that the two does are expecting.  Like in the next two weeks.  As in, you need to come get them.  Now. 

Oh boy.  Instant rabbitry.

Of course, my children all negotiate for who gets which of the three rabbits.  Elizabeth chose the gray doe (that means girl) who she named Elsa.  Elsa had her litter first.  We were so excited!  Look at those little squishy baby bunnies!
Patrick chose the black doe who he didn't name but I call her Midnight.  That's what happens when you deliberate too long.  Your mom does it for you.  Anyway, his doe had her kits one week later.  So teeny tiny!

One of Elsa's litter at about a week old.  Getting fur, eyes still closed.  So sweet and snuggly.  Happy to curl into a warm hand and sleep!  It is hard to tell in this photo but this one is brown and the one we will probably keep.

This is a gray one.  And actually the first to find a new home.  (Elizabeth's fingers are covered in paint.  Typical!)

Elsa had her litter in a cage in the basement.  Though I would not recommend keeping bunnies in your basement (or worse yet, in a dog crate.  Ewww.), it really was so much fun to have these guys to snuggle and play with every day.  I would often wonder where everyone was.  This is where.  With the babies.

This one is about 3 weeks old here, same gray one from above.  I could barely get her picture because she wanted to snuggle into my hand!  Ken had to help me out for a quick pic.  This was by far the cutest stage.  All the teeny, tiny, hopping, fuzzy bunnies.  Cuteness overload!  
Then life got busy and here this one is at 6 weeks.  This is from Elsa's litter.
This bunch of black and gray is Midnight's litter.  Now that they're all grown, we just have to find them homes!

Image of St. Melangell
Did you know there is a patron saint of rabbits?  St. Melangell!  St. Melangell, pray for us!  St. Francis, pray for us.

September 16, 2015

Back to School.

Back to school 2015 (from last week)! Left to right: Patrick-7th, Nicholas-1st, Carrie-snack demander, Elizabeth-3rd, Peter- Pre-K, Jacob-5th, Nathan-9th.  

Yes, I have a high schooler this year, eek! 

These little rolo pencils are still looked forward to every year.  Thanks to Jessica at Shower of Roses for the idea all those years ago!

From our trip to the Basilica.

St. John the Baptist de la Salle, pray for us.  Let us live Jesus in our hearts!

St. Catherine, pray for us.
St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
St. Gregory, pray for us.

May the Lord bless your school year!

September 14, 2015


We took our annual trip to the beach just before Labor Day.  Despite many waverings (Florida? Outer Banks? Stingrays? Sharks?), the Outer Banks won out.  There did happen to be many lamentations beforehand that they "WILL NOT be getting into the water..." due to the outbreak of shark attacks in the area this year.  Of course, everyone went into the water.

 On the trip to the Outer Banks, we spent the night in Norfolk so that we could make a visit to the USS Wisconsin.  I told the kids that this was the "first day of school."  Lol.  It was entertaining and educational, we really enjoyed it.

The last time we were there was in 2006.  Look at these two! Cuties! This time, the ship is owned by the City of Norfolk and you can go down in the cabins and look around.  That was neat.

Then we made it to the beach.  (Well, you know, after driving a few more hours, going to Mass, checking in at the house, etc, etc.)
 Caroline commenced with the relaxation.  Cheetos are her middle name.  Well, it should be.
 Of course, yes, there was body boarding.  No one got eaten by a shark.

 Spent an afternoon on the sound and though I would like to say that I always traveled in style like this.  Not so.  Fun while it lasted.
 A Caroline photo by Dad.  We can't get enough of her.
 Nicholas cracks me up!  The Caroline photo bomb in the back makes it double.  Lots of critters to be found on the sound.  (Hey, that rhymes...  I'm a poet...)
 The treasures abound on the wild and free-looking sound.  We did catch two giant blue crabs, lots of little crabs and shrimp and fish.  Exciting!  This spot is on the back side of Jockey's Ridge State Park.

 After a few hours on the sound, we headed out for some dinner and then a trip to the sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge.  Attempted photo session.  This was about all I got.

The sunset came through for me though.  Gorgeous and worth the wait.

 This is the moon over the ocean from our house balcony.  Over exposed, it looks like the sun.  I love seeing the detail of the grasses and the reflection on the water though.
 We took a Wild Horse Tour for the first time this year.  See^^ wild horse.  It was a lot of fun!  You drive a Jeep behind a tour guide and you can take up to 5 people in your car.
 That's our tour guide up ahead.  He had a lot of stories to tell.
 That's me driving!  Ha!  But.  Because I was driving, I don't have much in the way of photos though Nathan might have a few more I should ask him to share.  We drove all the way through Carova to the Virginia State line.  I really loved that.  It's all tall pines and smells heavenly yet you are driving on sand.

 This is what you get when Nicholas and Elizabeth are in charge of the camera.  Hilarious.

We went back to the dunes another night.  Doesn't that little girl look sweet?  Well, thankfully, photos don't have sound.  This was one moment when she was calm.  She pretty much screamed 80% of the time we were there this night.  She was just all off.  I do want to gobble her little tan fingers and toes through the screen though.  :)
 Nathan was able to fly his kite, and that is a success.  We all enjoy watching it go.
 The only photo I was able to get of these crazies.  Hot and breezy and barely able to stand still for the millisecond it took.
 One with Dad.  Love.
 Bookends.  Oh my, they're all growing up.

Last minute, we decided to swing through Washington DC on the way home.  We'd never been as a family (and well, I'd never been at all!).  This was sort of a reconnaissance tour, we'd like to plan a longer trip back in the spring.
 In front of the White House.  We attempted to get someone to take our photo together but he didn't speak English and apparently, didn't understand the camera either! oops!
 We attempted a drive by the monuments at night.  Unfortunately, half of us were asleep in the car.  At least a few made it to the Lincoln Memorial.

 Carrie did not like "that big man."  Peter doesn't look too thrilled either but really it was just because he had to stop running crazy in the dark.  And, it was crowded.

 We spent Sunday morning at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  There were mixed reviews on the "Bring It" Jesus.  The entire Basilica is beautiful, of course.
 Family photo with the organ behind us.
 Elizabeth and Nicholas met the Pope.  BUT SERIOUSLY... He's going to be there next week.  How awesome would it be to be there then?  Ah-maz-ing.
 Elizabeth with St. Kateri, one of her favorites.
 Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
 Now, back to real life!  Until next time....

September 7, 2015


We have another teen in the house!  Patrick turned 13 and of course that meant epic partying.   Friend party, extended family party, and a simple party with "just us."  It was a whirlwind but worth it.

Strategizing before the next round of battle.
Setting off model rockets.

I think I've said it before, we don't really have "friend" parties until the 13th.  My children are blessed with cousins who they consider to be their best friends and some of those cousins come to their birthday with their Aunts/Uncles who are their Godparents.  We love those times with cousins and they are special.  So the 13th rite of passage is a big "friend" party.  Patrick chose an airsoft war and this group of guys is great.  Everyone gets along and plays fair.  As a party favor, we made little model rockets and shot them off (unfortunately, not everyone got theirs back!).

I love this photo of Patrick from his extended family party.  He looks so grown up in this photo.  His Nana gave him "socks" for his birthday.  That tickled his funny bone.  Of course, there was a lovely gift card tucked inside.  

 From us, Patrick received Mario Kart for the Wii U.  If you know Patrick, you know he loved this even though it wasn't one of his "ideas".
 P is for Patrick.  And, hey, leftover cupcakes make a great quick cup-cake.
 Gotta love little brothers and their faces.

Happy 13th, Patrick!  We love you so much and hope you have a blessed year!