Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Quick Pics



…here are a few quick pics from tonight, taken on Marcus' phone:

More pictures of Halloween, and of the past few days, tomorrow when I download from my camera!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Saints of the Day: Religious Ed teachers!

Still no baby yet!  I thought for sure it would be last night, as I had a lot of contractions and the baby felt really low.  But since we're planning a home birth, there was no need for me to get up and "get ready to go" so I just stayed in bed, and I think that might've made the contractions diminish.  It's all OK, I don't mind holding on a few more days at least!  And with a possible Nov. 1st due date (ultrasound's date) maybe I'm not really overdue after all.

Mom and dad have been FANTASTIC here and we are having a lot of fun getting projects done and hanging out.  They have taken over the kitchen for breakfast and lunch, allowing me to sleep in (ahhh, heaven!) and move slowly.  God has a plan for the timing of this baby, and so far I love it!!!

Grandma took the kids to RE for me last night (and also ran errands!).  Here's a little tribute to our RE teachers:

A big shout-out to these saints on earth--our St. Matthew Religious Ed teachers!!

Since we cover religion in our homeschool, you might think there isn't a need to attend the group classes at St. Matts on Wednesday nights.  After all, these classes are geared towards public-schooled kids who get no religious studies at school…and most of whom probably don't get much at home, either.

BUT my kids get SO MUCH out of these classes, that we make it a priority every year!  They love the social aspect--feeling part of a community is important.  It's fun for them, too, to sit in a real classroom with a group of other kids (such a novelty).  :o)  But most of all, the RE at St. Matthew touches their hearts in a way that my catechism studies just don't quite cover.

HATS OFF to this year's great batch of teachers:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My little felon, er, "artist"

No baby yet.  Four days overdue, but we've been using the "early" due date so I'm not feeling anxious.  Just had an appointment with my AWESOME midwife and she said all the right things.  That we have a plan, that they do start monitoring at 1.5 weeks overdue, that the baby doesn't seem THAT big.  :o)  So all is well, and I've just been enjoying my "extra" time to do projects and enjoy my parents being here.

So…here's what's been happening around our house:

James' latest artistic obsession is counterfeiting:

which one is the REAL $100 bill?

 a lot of detail goes into his work

This $50 bill is my favorite.
You can tell he's very proud of his work.

DISCLAIMER: He only does this as part of his artistic expression; he does NOT intend to, or believe that he can, use these pieces as real money.  He just thinks that this topic is very interesting and he is exploring techniques that real currency designers employ.  The greatest artists learned by first copying and then creating, so we are encouraging any copy work that helps him with his skills.  :o)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October's "No Travel" rule

When we found out I was due with baby #6 on October 24th, I imposed a "no travel" rule for Marcus for the month of October.  Smart, since 4 of 5 babies came before their due dates.  Well, Marcus for the most part kept his promise…and had the meetings come to him here in Portland.  :oP  He was gone for 3 days while I was in my 39th week of pregnancy (sounds more dramatic than just "38 weeks pregnant").  He did come home at 9:30pm each night to sleep, just in case labor started overnight which is normal for me.  So I do grant him that.  :o)  Then he left at 6am each morning when the coast was clear.

I coped by cutting out all activities (dance class and lessons) and having Mrs. N come one extra morning.  It turned out great!  It was fantastic to relax and just let things go, but also still have time (because of Mrs. N) to get things done.  The best part??  My good friend Deidre brought us a FEAST of a meal to make it so I didn't have to cook dinner for 2 of the 3 nights!!!

DD brought pot pie, salad, and New Seasons cookies!!!

I had originally given her the recipe years ago…here it is,
in case you'd like to try it (well, not you Mary and Erica).
(we use pie crust, not puff pastry)
Seddy gobbled it up both nights (we all did!!)
 I am so incredibly grateful and humbled at this act of friendship.  Deidre really understood how hard it would be on me to hold down the fort for 3 days without the help of hubs.  (Because you know, Marcus normally helps A LOT which makes it extra-hard when he's gone.  He's the main dinner-maker and totally helps with dishes and housecleaning.)   So in sum….THANK  YOU, DD!!!

Another good aspect of Marcus' trip:  he brought us leftover VooDoo Doughnuts on Wednesday night to enjoy on Thursday:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!!

On Sunday October 12th I turned 38 years old!!

The day before, Marcus and grammae threw me a party.  Marcus and I were both so grateful that grammae offered not only to host dessert (which we were planning to do), but also make a delicious dinner too!!!  She knew that we weren't really up to cleaning/cooking/hosting for 19, considering that it could've been a party of 20 at any time….  ;o)

It was a lovely evening with delicious soup and salad (my dinner of choice) and Marcus' famous Bourbon Blonde Brownies for dessert.  Oh, and presents!

Sophs made me the sweetest card, and even wore my new
FAVORITE t-shirt of hers…it has a hedgehog on it!!
It was a Very Hot Cocoa birthday.  :o)  I got cocoa, a Starbux
gift card, and an isi whipper for my hot cocoa addiction.
Also a very special piece of bronze artwork from Fr. Juan that
is currently on display in the school room (out of the reach
of sticky little fingers).
Uncle Shane likes to grab our cameras when we're not looking.
Then on Sunday, my actual birthday, I had a very lovely day starting with Mass and then continuing with the whole day at home.  It was great!  Marcus decorated for my special day, and he left (with the youngest kids!) to get Panda Express for my yummy dinner.  It was a feast.  Then…more Bourbon Blonde Brownies for dessert!

Bunny did a beautiful job wrapping my present
(a new bread machine, woo hoo!).
Thank you to all my friends and family who made my 38th birthday very special!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Recipe: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

One of my many hobbies is clipping recipes out of newspapers and magazines.  SOMETIMES I actually TRY one of these recipes!  Here is a new one from Woman's Day or Family Circle, I don't remember which one.

My kids (and hubs) love snicker doodle cookies, so when I saw this recipe I knew it had potential.  The procedure was super-easy, especially if you use a food processor for the cookie crust.  I usually don't make cheesecakes…I like them OK, but they're not my favorite…but I am glad I tried this one because I think it might be a new family favorite!  This was a real winner!

the ingredients all lined up--all basic stuff I would normally
have in my pantry/fridge except the shortbread cookies
for the cookie crust (cookies don't last long in my pantry)
I liked this recipe b/c it wasn't fancy--it didn't require a
water bath or anything like that.
And here's the recipe for your enjoyment!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

early October fun

St. Francis Day blessing of animals, with friend
Colleen and her hamster, Chloe
washing off pumpkins/gourds for the roadside stand
half-off snacks and cookies at New Seasons!!  Score!!
cheese!!!  with Mrs. N.
"before," as in before Gemma got her tooth
pulled (remember the injury at the campout
in August?  Well, the wait-and-see approach
showed us that there was a root injury, and it
got infected, so the tooth had to go)
she was a very good patient
another artist in the family
Sedric likes drawing trains and hex bugs.

Friday, October 17, 2014

new friends :o)

**If you're popping by for a visit via Jessica's Shower of Roses blog, welcome!  You'll find that my blog is a personal scrapbook of our goings-on here as a family of 7 (almost 8!) in the Pacific Northwest.  My posts are designed mostly for sharing photos with family, and for keeping a journal of our lives that we can look back on.  Thanks for visiting! **

I was so happy to host my "new" friend Jessica and her girls for the Conference weekend!

Jessica's blog is just the ~awesomest~ spot for Catholic moms to get inspired to bring faith into the home.  I had been following her Shower of Roses blog for years, and when I realized that she sometimes visits Portland, I offered up our lodging for whenever she may need it.  Believe me, I know how hard it can be to travel and find affordable lodging for a large family!  (Jessica and her husband Sean have 7 kids.)

Jessica had a multi-state tour planned with her 3 girls (ambitious!) that involved seeing family and friends, and it just so happened that her trip would take her through Portland the weekend of the Catholic Women Rejoice! conference.  When she asked if my offer of lodging still stood, I said YES!  I was so happy to finally meet her in person.

They came in on Friday night and had dinner with our crazy family, and then early the next morning we drove in for the conference.  I dropped Jessica and the girls off at another friend's house (Ursula and Dave), so the girls could play with their children for the day and Ursula and Jessica could catch up on their drive to the conference.  We met up at the conference and then also went to dinner before driving home around 8/9pm.

I was so happy when, on Sunday, we all went to St. Matthew for Mass then home for brunch and play!  It was nice to chat while the kids played together.  Jessica and I have a lot in common, and also she has amazing stories about her fun and very interesting life…I could've listened for hours.  :o)  They left for home in the early afternoon and I'm sure they were glad to FINALLY be home after almost 2 weeks.  (!)  We had a great time with our new friends and hope they can visit again soon…maybe next time, the whole family will come!

checking on Lammykins and the other sheep

UPDATE!  Check out Jessica's blog post about the conference HERE…. (I'm so jealous of her photography skills!  LOVE the pics, especially the one with Fr. Juan!)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Catholic Women Rejoice!

Late September brought the annual Catholic Women Rejoice! conference.  Now, I normally wouldn't go through the trouble of going to a conference, no matter how much I would want to.  There's so much to do around the house, and this year I'm so pregnant, etc.  But my good friends Sterling and Lisa were once again heading up this big endeavor, so I wanted to join in on the fun!!!

I woke up early on Saturday and picked up two more good friends Stacy and Deidre, and we carpooled into Vancouver.  We helped with registration before hearing opening remarks and then going to Mass:

The priest who said Mass was AWESOME!!
;o)  Everyone loved his homily…all 5 bullet
points of it….
The wonder duo Sterling and Lisa
Nationally-recognized Catholic speakers Danielle Bean,
Teresa Tomeo, and Lisa Hendey (with Sterling)
Mrs. N came for the day as well!
A great dinner afterwards with the speakers…a special
exclusive treat us VIPs.   ;o)
This was an amazing day for me since like I said above, this is not something I would normally do for myself.  Also, I have only small windows of opportunity when I am not nursing (last year I only attended for 3 hours, mostly to help with registration, because I was nursing Seds).  The speakers were inspiring (homilist included) and it was so much fun to hang out with my close friends and see fellow Holy Rosary and St. Matthew ladies as well.  And I even made a new friend!!  (more about that in my next post….)