November 25, 2015

Twins in heaven.

Last Tuesday, I went in for a routine ultrasound.  I didn't have a good feeling going into the appointment as I had suddenly stopped feeling nauseous the week before.

My feelings were justified when I saw two sweet babies and no heartbeats.  One measuring 9w1d and one measuring 7w5d.

I'll be honest, I left the appointment in disbelief and praying for a miracle.  The ultrasound tech was so flustered herself, I had a lot of unanswered questions and doubts.  I went home and broke the news to the kids and began asking people to pray that the ultrasound (abdominal) was wrong.  I said , who needs a push for canonization?? Fulton Sheen and Mother Theresa (who I've mentioned is very special to me)!  Of course, those two will be canonized in their own time but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

With the miscarriage of Frances earlier this year, I was prepared for it.  Being surprised by twins (I had no idea) and finding out there were no heartbeats all at once was doubly devastating.  Oh how I would have loved two babies! I had already been dreaming of kissing sweet baby cheeks.

A follow up ultrasound on Friday confirmed that there were no heartbeats. By this time, I was thankful for the closure.  The babies were born on Monday the 23rd.  

As a cute antidote.... Peter has called this baby" Speedmotor from the very beginning.  Speedmotor sometimes called dad before he left for work and even sometimes sent "presents".  So we are very affectionately naming one of the babies Benedict Fulton Speedmotor and one Catherine Theresa.
Catherine Theresa

Benedict Fulton

My Lord, the baby is dead!
 Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?
 “Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.
 You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”
 I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.                                                                                         
     --  Mother M. Angelica

(found on EWTN here).

November 20, 2015

Smoky Mountains.

The fourth weekend of October, we went camping with some friends to the Smoky Mountains.  The week before was tumultuous.  Our friends had a death in the family, Ken was out of town (actually, out of the country), Nick had just dislocated his wrist the week before, there were many other small setbacks that made us think--are we crazy to consider still going???   

I'm glad we did.  The weather was beautiful (the forecast predicted a wash-out) except for the last day.

Nicholas loves to make the pancakes at home AND while camping.
This girl just likes being wild and free!

We made a big mistake the first day.  We got into the campsite somewhere around 1 in the morning Saturday morning (after a later than intended start Friday afternoon, plus a delay for a popped tire for our friends).  By the time we'd all set up and finally climbed into bed it was sometime after 3am.  Of course, everyone still woke up at 7 am with the sun just like normal.

So, Saturday afternoon, we decided to go for a hike.  A 4.2 mile hike.  A 4.2 mile hike with tired kids and a very rocky, rooty trail.  (Honestly, the trail was awful it was so rocky and rooty).  About 3/4 of a mile in, Carrie was in full on meltdown mode yet wouldn't ride in the backpack.  Then Nick fell, tripping over a root.  And hurt his GOOD wrist.  I think he really just freaked himself out.  He refused to go any further.

So after trudging on for another 1/4 mi, Ken decided to turn back and take those two the the car while the rest of us carried on.

You can't beat climbing through a tree.
Closely Control Children.  That sign cracks me up!  Though I'm not sure this waterfall was worth the hike, haha!  The end of the trail had a really steep section going up, and then extremely steep going down.  Poor Peter, his little legs were so tired I had to hold his hands with a death grip to keep him from tripping every step.  But he made it!  And the way back, Nathan and Patrick took turns carrying him piggy-back until we got to spot he could walk on his own again.

After Mass on Sunday, we did a motor trail and then picked a hiking trail off of that.  Perfect for little people who needed a quick nap!
Speaking of naps, Carrie isn't in this picture because she was having one in the car.
The views were beautiful!  Perfect fall colors through the mountains.  The phone camera doesn't do it justice!
When we got to the hiking trail at the top of the mountain, Nick got a little worried again.  And Carrie was a little crabby again in spite of her nap.  So, I took those two and we explored down the other side of the mountain while the rest hiked.  We ended up stopping at the Ephraim Bales Cabin.

 My little piggy in the hogpen.

It was the perfect little diversion for the three of us.  A cabin and outbuildings to explore.  Access the the creek to make dams in and throw rocks.
Monday it rained all day.  We ended up spending the day wandering through shops in downtown Gatlinburg.  Other than having to put the camper away in the rain, it was perfect!  I'm looking forward to the next trip to the Smokies!

November 19, 2015


Happy 15th birthday to my oldest son!

Now stop growing up.

All this talk of temporary drivers licenses and jobs and just, just BEING in High School.  Staaahhhp!

I don't really wish you to still be little.  (seriously, you were a handful. always running so fast.  AWAY from me.)  I just don't wish for time to move so quickly.

You are a delight to us, son.  You live life to the fullest.  We are thankful for you!

May this 15th year be blessed and may you grow ever deeper in your love for the Lord!

November 11, 2015


We pretty much flopped on our All Saints enthusiasm this year.  Only Elizabeth dressed up for our co-op's All Saints Day party.  She was St. Gianna Molla.

Somehow, I managed to buy the girls' Halloween costumes early.  Mostly because Carrie really believes she is part Elsa (and part puppy) and we happened to be at Sam's Club and see an Elsa costume that was very necessary for her survival.  Of course, Elizabeth's favorite Frozen character is Anna so...easy.  The boys fended for themselves as usual except for last minute drama over not being able to find one of our Bengals jerseys which resulted in a quick stop to Walmart.

 The requisite some-of-us-be-crazy photo.  Left to right:  Bengals fan, Anna, Elsa, Jedi, Safari guy, Bengals fan.
 Followed by the we-are-trying-hard-to-look-normal-photo.
 My favorite photo.  A princess and her Dad.

Some examples of the candy haul.  I'd say they have more than enough!

Then, there's Carrie.  She thoroughly enjoyed trick or treating.  Opened five packages of candy, declared them all "bleck" and asked for a banana.  A non-sugar-hyped two year old? Yes, please!

We were blessed with perfect weather this year and cousins to share the fun.  Nathan was a soccer tournament so we missed having him with us.  Great memories!