Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random Christmas Decorations

We keep decorations fairly low key around here. Even more so the past few years because I just don't have it in me to do much else. But here's what we have hanging around the house this year.
 This is probably the best Christmas gift we received the first year we were married. A nativity scene made by my Grandmother. For the past few years I couldn't find a place to set it up but a few of the kids got it down this year and found a safe place to set it up away from prying hands.  I used to always have a child friendly set out each year as well but parts have gone missing to those and this is one set I just don't want to get broken.
 The kids decided the stockings needed to be hung up this year. Admittedly, I am not happy about this one because she who is responsible for filling the stockings was planning on not filling them this year because, well, there are budgetary issues and I'm tired of the junk that usually fills them and then gets tossed a few days later. Seriously, why do we do that? Buy cheap stuff only to have it end up in the garbage a few days later? Sigh. But the kids wanted them up so they are up.  Maybe they won't eat all the fruit today and I can stash an orange in them or something.
Our friendly kitchen snowman. A new addition this year but something I saw on-line and decided it was just too cute and easy not to attempt.
This is an awesome Christmas poster I ordered from Illuminated Ink. I seriously love that store. The kids are enjoying coloring this door sized poster in a bit at a time.  The first day it went up, there was a small cry fest as someone else colored Mary in before Ellie got a chance to and she was a wee bit miffed.
 The lights on our pre-lit tree died while in storage so while digging for new ones to put on the tree, they found some actual working outdoor lights and hung them up outside.
Right now the kids are downstairs making a few ornaments for when we decorate the tree tonight.
 Ok, just some of the kids. Today we are having an all day movie fest so some kids are vegging in front of the tv. And, yes, I am totally ok with that.
 These ornaments came from two no glue needed kits I found at Target a few days ago. Already on clearance and perfect for keeping the younger ones busy.

 These five were in a Christmas play at church. Ok, the guy running it desperately asked me to let the kids participate. I said we just couldn't afford the tickets when you did the math (yes, they charged for it as a breakfast fund raiser type thing, don't ask). So he said I'll give you a really great family deal because we really needs kids to participate, and, well, you have a lot of kids. They made up  half the cast. Seriously.
 Ellie made it through rehearsals and then decided she'd had enough and just was not up to playing the sheep part during the play even if she did get to do it with Robert.
 And, of course, St. Nicholas came to visit. I have so many kids that their shoes don't all fit in one picture. And, yes, the kids dug out shoes for Seamus for some reason. Just please ignore the mess by the pellet stove because, well, I was not in the mood to clean it all out before taking the pictures.
Here's hoping your Advent has been a fruitful one.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gabe's First Communion

Our parish gave the opportunity to have First Communion in December this year as well as May and I jumped at the chance. Something told me it would be a much smaller, more intimate experience this way. After doing everything from just 1 kid alone due to schedule issues to small groups of kids to medium groups to one year with every kid in a large parish (total chaos), I knew that for our family the smaller celebrations are much better.

Gabe was joined by 3 other kids, including one of his close friends. Our new priest did a great job of relating to the kids (seriously, he's awesome at explaining things to the kids) and we took the opportunity to get a few new pictures of the whole gang.

Congratulations Gabe.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Advent Candles

The favorite Advent activity has finally been completed. Just a few days late but that seems to be the way things work around here lately. The candles have been made.
I love this kit by Illuminated Ink. It comes with easy to follow instructions, prayer sheets, and everything you need to make 4 beeswax candles.  They can be a little hard to make if you are working in a cold room but thankfully things have stayed a warmer so far this year so the dining room had not yet reached it's normal frozen winter state.

We had some candles left from last year so we only made one new set this year.
They look great and we will hopefully remember to light them every day this year. Yup, some years work out better than others on that score.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Been Busy

I've been gone for the past few weeks just busy keeping up with life. Halloween came and went with Seamus spending time in the hospital. So while the two of us were hanging out doing not much of anything, the kids dressed up at home and watched movies at home with Dad.
On Veteran's Day, we attended a flag pole dedication ceremony for a Boy Scout Eagle project.

Robert started karate lessons recently. He's in the Pee Wee level classes so he only attends class once a week and they focus mostly games and such. He's loving it.
Seamus is growing a bit and is loved by everyone. Poor kid really does not like formula at all but with all the medical intervention my milk supply has plummeted. It's quite annoying honestly since he loves breastmilk but I can't keep up with his needs. Hoping to find a way to improve this situation soon. Seamus not only does not care for the formula too much, it is making him miserable. Quite annoying all around.

Fall Pictures

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Meal Plan

M: eggs (b), chili (d)
T: muffins (b), maple Dijon chicken (d)
W: cereal (b), pulled pork (d)
T: oatmeal (b), alphabet soup (d)
F: eggs (b), south of the border skillet (d)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Seamus Pics

Just a few pictures. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Honey Butter Ambrosia

I saw this recipe for honey butter ambrosia several weeks ago and have been waiting for the chance to make it. In the end, Alan made it for us since Seamus is against Mom putting him down ever. This butter spread is super yummy. A bit on the sweet side and even with refrigeration, it stays soft, almost liquidy.  We'll have to make something to serve it with this weekend.
The recipe only calls for a cup of heavy cream so we had extra left. I realized the younger kids have not had the chance to make butter so we poured some of the leftover cream into a canning jar and set them to work. Yes, it is much quicker to make butter in a mixer but not anywhere near as much fun. Just don't use multiple glass jars and have the kids roll them to each other. They just might collide in the middle of the room and break.


I do normally enjoy taking the kids to a farm or pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins directly out of the field. But things being what they are, that just was not happening this year. Instead I scoured the grocery ads for the cheapest price on pumpkins because, well, one pumpkin is no big deal. Nine pumpkins sometimes gets expensive and the darn animals ate all of the pumpkins we planted this year (yes, the garden will be properly fenced next year). So $22 later and we arrived home with 9 jumbo sized pumpkins.

The kids all got busy emptying the innards and carving up their gourds. Seeds were cleaned and roasted, a huge mess was made of the dining room, and the kids had fun.

And you see these teens? You know the ones society tells you will want nothing to do with their family? Yup, those teens. Well, ignore the idiots in society and keep them involved.  Because they do want to be involved. And the little ones want them involved and just love working with them. Because you will treasure these memories a wee bit more than the ones when they were little because they will actually share them with you.  And because they are part of your family, too. Even if they are taller than you are and occasionally grumpy and sometimes a mess. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that because they are teens, they won't want to be involved and in accepting that skewed view of things, push them away from you and out of your lives. Take the time to enjoy their last few years at home with the family because they will be grown and making memories of their own all too soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Anonymous Commenters

So yesterday I got one of my favorite types of comments regarding my little corner of the blog world: the anonymous commenter who throws insults your way.  I also truly love getting the anonymous comments from folks who do not share my religious beliefs and therefore think they need to tell me how wrong I am and that we are going to hell.  I just have to wonder how bored a person must be themselves if they take the time to browse a blog, blow up pictures, and then take even more time to say how boring it all was and throw insults at the writer. I can only think they must be terribly lonely and in need of prayer.

Meal Plan

S: breakfast at church (B), teriyaki chicken (D)
M: cereal (B), beef stew, rolls (D)
T: eggs (B), mac and cheddar with broccoli (D)
W: oatmeal (B), enchiladas, Spanish rice (D)
T: muffins (B), chili, corn bread (D)
F: eggs (B), potato soup (D)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Meal Plan

S: cereal (B), buffalo chicken sandwiches (D)
M: muffins, sliced apples (B), Turkey pot pie (D)
T: eggs (B), honey glazed chicken (D)
W: pancake sausage muffins (B), pulled pork sandwiches (D)
T: breakfast casserole (B), meat and cheese burritos (D)
F: yogurt and granola (B), broccoli cheese soup, rolls (D)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Latest Additions

We have added a few new members to our crew. A sheep, a dairy goat, and one more chicken. We are still debating adding a new barn cat since our last one decided to find a new home after not being fed for a while. Hopefully we can find another one for free and before the cold weather sets in.
We just might get crazy and try breeding these guys.