Showing posts from November, 2011

Lucy's First Tree

Christmas tree decorating is all about seeing the ornaments the kids have made over the years. Like many families the canvas handprints, felt stocking photo frames and Kindergarten projects are the most treasured adornments on our tree. I have a box in the basement that reads "Very Fragile! Ornaments to use when youngest is 6!" Not sure when that box will be dusted off:) The kids know that our hope is to present each of them with a box of Christmas Ornaments for a wedding gift (Or other life commitment!) that have been made and collected over the years. This year we painted ornaments and I made Lucy's first Christmas spangle. A tiny pink baby carriage. L's first Christmas! Our tree of handmade ornaments

Cooked Birds and Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing everyone a wonderful day full of good eats, laughter and family. Markie is not so sure about the whole Turkey thing. "Are you sure we need to say thank you and eat a dead cooked bird at the same time?" We will see how that goes over. Lots of love from our house to yours!

Date Night

The W Hotel is certainly glam and Manny's has beef. We went to a dinner in honor of my Dad and we had a babysitter on a school night, unheard of! I recently read a wonderful book by Melissa Faye Greene , No Biking In The House Without a Helmet.  Greene has a story of getting ready for a holiday party that touched home. The rituals children get to share when mom and dad get ready to go out. For the Greene's Dad had cuff links, for us Dad has to trip over 101 Polly Pockets in order to dig out a dress shirt from the little girl's closet. His pants that had been spot cleaned with a baby wipe and were hanging in the shower were soaked inevitably by some basketball player decided to shower. My steam system now requires a toss in the dryer where John left a piece of bread in his sweatshirt. The pants in question are now out of the question and another trip past the world of Polly is required. For the Greene's mom has her mothers pearls, for us mom debates if she can actu

Duggars did not consult us on number 20

I am surprised, although I shouldn't be, that the Duggars having number 20 has set up camp in conversations I have had in the past week. My take on the Duggars is that they could benefit from a NFP class, or ecological breast feeding  but that they are a self sustaining brood who have some great ideas. Awesome recipe for Tater Tot Casserole. That said we are not hoping to make it past nine, I think we both were excited and surprised along the way to put it mildly, but adore our big brood. Interestingly, having a large family has pushed us into a minority position. Comments, being ridiculed, being yelled at in front of the children "Stop over populating the earth!" It has made us a stronger family and honestly more tolerant of difference. Usually the comments now are kind and I am so grateful about that. We receive much praise and admiration for our large family. Yes each of those kind comments after church does in fact make our day:) And now that the kids are starting t


Sheff using a child for resistance training, an entry into the world of sports. Sports. I have entered the world of youth sports head on, rather like being catapulted into it. I really have no knowledge of sports. I love dancing, walking, even running. Understanding the rules of sports is where I am hopeless. I refer to a goal in basketball and a touchdown in soccer. I encourage the boys to pass down court when we are on a field and to shoot when they have a football. Hopefully they love me and my snacks enough to forgive such transgressions. Sheff loves sports. I was not aware of just how much until we had kids. He really, really enjoys throwing and catching things. We have 4 playing basketball this season, with Sheff coaching or assistant coaching 3 of the players, and will have 6 playing next basketball season. Football was blissfully light with only 3 in gear. Baseball is our highest level of participation. So far Daisy dances, I am better at this lingo. I should probably get a

Adoption, biology & respect

2004 Being an adoptive parent as well as a biological parent is an interesting balance. I'd say the best gift adoption has given me is the commitment to see each of our children as unique individuals. For example, one of my adoptive children is flat out awesome at Math. I take no credit for that so I really shouldn't take credit for one of my bio kids abilities artistically. Being open and excited about each child apart from my own or Sheff's abilities allows them to create themselves with out judgment. We have very high expectations for each of our children, morally, academically and athletically. Our expectations are not based on any preconceived notion of ability or genetics. We spent a lot of time traveling when I was growing up and I would buy parenting magazines from around the world. Italy, France, Spain, Cambodia and Mexico all have different top 10 names, different baby foods. It created a global sense of family in me and a desire for adoption. As a mother n

I love Mondays

A few years before I took on Mondays with zeal In fourth grade we had a camping trip, all you Waldorf kids remember these, they were fun and a bit haphazard:) I remember we had these Garfield Dixie cups and there was a cartoon about Monday. It was along the lines of terrible, horrible, nothing good occurs on a Monday. In my tiny feisty Deirdre self I remember thinking "Well then! I am going to make Monday my very favorite day!" And ever since I have been a practiced fan of the start of a new week. At my wedding one of my closest friends gave a speech that spoke to the fact I am never very complacent when something is amiss. If I am late taking a route to work I will google the heck out that route and find a better way, if I gain weight I will read books on healthy eating from around the globe to get motivated, if my brain felt dull I would rent foreign language tapes to at least be able to have a taxi cab conversation. I can say "How many kids do you have and what

Cozy Moments

M 2, N 3, D 1 :) Sweet Jammies Today was a good day. There are so many connections out there, people who know the kids or Sheff, or I have met once here and there. I am amazed by how much goodness is out there, the kind words in passing the hugs. This world is a good place, even on the hard days. It really is. Babies born, connections made, deals wrangled, diapers washed, scrapes kissed and prayers answered. There are hard days too, of course those I attest to openly and honestly but I am filled with gratitude for how far and few between they fall. Here are some photos that make me feel cozy, family highlight moments. Would love to hear other's family highlights sometime, even if it is in passing:) Little J, 2 years old with his uncle Group naps are the best, Daisy was Lucy's age now:)

Hard Days Night

It is difficult to recover from a night where I feel like I just couldn't stay on top of everyone's needs. I remember being criticized for having a big family early on, being told I would never be able to keep up with all the homework and activities. I agree with the naysayer! Its true some nights just don't work. Sheff is coaching two teams this season and we are adjusting. He took the wrong vehicle and I couldn't get one to cub scouts. It stunk. Another has a math concept he just can't get. Two hours later I am seeing clocks in every portion of my brain. I managed to make a family favorite Tater Tot casserole and Pumpkin pie. I wish I could bake math problems and teach someone to fly to activities. Sigh. Usually I seem to hold things together. A bit of a vent. I have a prayer journal I picked up before we were married that has notes through the years. I would flip open the journal, read the prayer and jot down what was going on. Now looking back over the last 11

Markie Quotes

Markie Quotes "Mom I am turning into a Lion. I knew it would happen. See? I have blond hair on my ears. I know it is small but it will get bigger and then I think I might get my claws." I was at school to volunteer and saw a green thing streak down the Hallway "Hey mom! I am the Hulk!" "Oh my! Are you supposed to be green?" I see the principle come out of the office to walk him to the bathroom to clean up. I duck sheepishly into another room, Mark winks at me as he walks by. The principle is very patiently explaining that painting oneself green is not, in fact, part of the uniform policy. The kids get number at school if they have not been listening. He came home last week with a number. I asked what he did. "I was kissing apples" He responded. I look confused so he helps me out, "They were not REAL apples". Huh. Getting into the bath "I love hot baths because I am hot stuff." He then does a little dance and pret

Overstuffed Chicken feeds the Great Pumpkin

Lucy is overstuffed, her nose that is not by the copious amounts of brightly packaged candy that she had fun kicking last night. The kids made a good haul. They had fun with costumes, oodles of coloring pages and finding Library books that were scary enough to warrant digging out an old nightlight. So on to All Saints Day today, Lucy has her first fever, it stinks and Mom is sleep deprived. Still the GREAT PUMPKIN still made it to our abode and ate all the candy. Well almost al the candy. The Great Pumpkin ate a whole stock pot of candy and the children each received a gift. We love this tradition. Hope everyone created some new memories & had a yummy treat to boot. Wish tidings of sleep for this mama pumpkin:) Mickey's note to the Great Pumpkin and all the gifts left. The kids all ate their fill before leaving candy for the Great Pumpkin to come eat. We save a bit for treats and baking the other 75% is donated to food shelf. Our Bumble Bee Princess