Saturday, December 9, 2017

More Notre Dame

A few shots of our trip--traveling with 6 kids, our wonderful hosts, and Sunday on campus:

Did you know a single person cannot buy 8
airline tickets at once...?????
Marcus (who is unfortunately our resident travel expert given the amount of miles he logs for work) arranged all our transportation.  Since we needed 8 plane tickets, and the airlines only allow purchases of 7 or less, we needed to split up the purchase which was a little worrisome...what if one of the two transactions had problems?  etc.  But it all worked out ok.  

Chicago O'Hare
Flying with 6 kids...but no BABY...was so easy!!!  Each person had a backpack and a pull-behind, even Celeste.  With inflight entertainment (movies) and lots of special snacks, everyone was happy.  Marcus knew how to navigate O'Hare and get us to the car rental, and we had an amazing Ford Transit van (15-passenger, but with the back bench removed for luggage).  Easy peasy!!!

Bob and Linda's home in South Bend
We stayed with Bob and Linda, family friends (Marcus' mom went to nursing school in South Bend with Linda).  They are SOOOOO generous!  I think I gained 5 pounds in this one weekend.  :o)

We all slept in their spacious basement
We arrived Friday night, then of course spent Saturday on campus.  On Sunday we went back to campus for Mass at the Basilica and for a trip to the bookstore.

world-famous organ

Walking on South Quad (Rockne Building in back center)

Main Building

This ended our time at Notre Dame, but our midwest adventures were only beginning....

Friday, December 1, 2017

Go Irish! --game day--

This fall all 8 of us took a trip to the Midwest, including a trip to Notre Dame!

Two years ago most of us visited ND for a game, leaving behind Sedric (then 3) and Gemma (then 5).  It was such a great trip that we knew we would repeat it soon.  Notre Dame brings back such good memories, and since Marcus and I met there more than 20 years ago, the University holds a special place in our family.  :o)

This was the weekend of ND vs. Georgia, which was a night game.  We decided not to even attempt to get tickets (there is a lottery system) because we would rather just watch the game in our hosts' cozy home.  It was more than enough for us to spend the day walking around campus--it was a perfect day!!

Here are some pictures from game day: 

outside the football stadium
praying at the grotto (modeled after Lourdes)
in front of the grotto
tossing the football on North Quad
Main Building (Golden Dome)

in front of "Stonehenge", gold dome in background
nap time (tired Baby)
concert on the step
Celeste tried to touch the Irish Guard
with a little stick.  :o)
Hesburgh Library ("Touchdown Jesus")
playing around on a practice field near Stepan Center
(new marching band practice field)
walk around one of the lakes
(There are 2 lakes, but when the missionaries arrived in the winter,
they thought it was one big lake, so they named the university
"Notre Dame du Lac," which only refers to one lake. :o) :o)
North Dining Hall
one of 2 dining halls on campus
(the kids thought it looked like Hogwart's)
yay football!

Wow, this truly was a magical day.  The weather was fantastic and the kids had a lot of stamina to make it through.  I felt like we crossed all the important sites off our list: Basilica, Main Building, dorms, dining hall, quads, bookstore, stadium, etc.  We are already planning our next trip!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Mary Celeste is THREE!!

"Baby" just turned THREE!
A few weeks ago we had a birthday party
at grammae and papa's house.
Such pretty girls!
My kids with the R cousins
It was my celebration, too, but "41" isn't as
exciting as "3".... :oP
Present time!

A new dress for Christmas 
On her "real" birthday we went to her favorite
"restaurant" New Seasons for her favorite
meal--mac & cheese and doughnuts.  :o)
We brought her presents along.  Here she is, opening the
present from grandma and grandpa.
Hatchimals!  The kids love these!

Happy birthday, sweet girl!  You are the SUNSHINE
in our lives!!  :o)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Operation Christmas Child

This is our second year participating in "Operation Christmas Child!"

Last week we shopped as a family at our local discount store, Ross, and found all sorts of goodies to fill our boxes.  We also took a trip to Dollar Tree to add some toothbrushes and small toys.  

It was a lot of fun to go through Ross and go on a shopping spree!! The kids were all very thoughtful in their purchases.  The older kids really wanted to include flashlights, since the recipients may not have electricity in their homes.  They also wanted to include candy as a treat, and most of the kids packed art supplies.  We'll be able to track these boxes in the holiday season to see where they end up.  Last time, it was the Philippines!

Here we are packaging up the goodies.

Sedric chose Play-Doh and lots of candy.  :o)

On Saturday, I took Sedric and Celeste to our local church--also the church where Sedric goes to preschool--and we dropped off the shoeboxes in time for collection later this week.

The church also happened to have a rummage sale that day, so we walked away with a bag full of goodies.  Celeste chose a Weeble-Wobble and it's been her constant companion these past few days.  :o)  Sedric chose a little ornament (which he gave to cousin Sophie) and a piece of bead trimming.  So funny!

It was a THUMBS-UP experience for sure!!  :o) :o)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Happy Halloween

I played the part of Lazy Mom this year, and waited until the DAY-OF to pull out the costume bins and let the kids have at it.  :o)  Luckily, they were all cool with it.  They had a fantastic time trying on the different costumes we've collected over the years, and running around the house as dogs/witches/pumpkins/princesses (and any combination of the aforementioned personalities).

swimming in a sea of costumes
Sedric the Witch ;o)
Gemma's pick

For the 3rd? year in a row we went to my friend Lisa's house (Mrs. N's daughter) and had dinner before trick-or-treating in their neighborhood.  We were joined by some cousins as well!

most of the kids

Bunny made this AMAZING Mandalorian
costume, with help from her sibs
Don't you love my GORGEOUS new
Halloween dress?
pounds and pounds of candy
inspecting the candy haul
It was a fun and fabulous night, and we enjoyed All Saint's Day by feasting on the candy haul before the Halloween Candy Fairy took it all away in exchange for presents.  ;o)