Thursday, April 21, 2016

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
~Every Thursday, at Like Mother, Like Daughter~

Disclaimer, this was actually a few Easters ago.  My phone will not backup and allow me to share my most recent photos and I this photo come up in my Timehop last week. I love how my Mom decorates, she has a gift for it.  

See what I mean, just a warm cozy home.  Her Nun figurines are my MOST favorite, but really she can take anything and make it a thing of beauty.  

This makes me SO VERY happy!  Yesterday was our 25th wedding anniversary.  This is us, a day after our wedding.  We are driving down to Orlando, FL.  Pete was in the Navy and about to begin Nuclear Power School.  We had NO idea what we were getting into, but we've done it together each step of the way.  I love him more each year and look forward to the next 25.


Many years ago, while with our Supper Club (so fun, I miss it). We got onto a subject of lookalikes.  I said Pete looked like Charlie Sheen.  Do you want to know the response? My friends laughed at me!  Laughed at me and NEVER let me live it down.  They would NOT listen to the fact that I was comparing them from our teenage years - oh no, it was going to follow me forever that I had said this.  Poor Pete.  So yesterday when I decided to share this photo of us I also downloaded this photo of Charlie Sheen.  I sent both via text to my very dear friend who had the most fun teasing me about this (her husband looks like Vince Gil, I mean really truly looks like Vince Gil so I get it - she had me), and got a little sassy with the whole 'SEEEEEE".  You'll be happy to know she sent back 'Mia Culpa" and could not believe the resemblance.  If only we'd had this technology back then, I could have proved my point immediately 'humph'.  
While on the subject of lookalikes:
Our son Elijah is clearly Pete's real lookalike.  A comparison Pete prefers very much!

Benjamin had his First Confession.  Pete and I are so, how can I say this - it is like an exhale.  Ben has wanted to receive his First Communion for 2 years now, but we knew he wasn't ready.  He just didn't like being left out of it in Mass.  We tried different approaches to helping him understand, but he was just not able to grasp what was needed for us to feel good about his going through the process.  On Easter, there was a breakthrough, an unexpected but very real breakthrough.  He seemed to finally understand all at once, and it made my heart swell to see within him a desire to know God, talk with God and the whole idea of Heaven seemed to click.  So we decided to move forward with his First Confession.  He became very anxious about the whole thing, and we in no way wanted to pressure him.  Pete and I decided we should let our Priest know that Ben was coming and that we had no idea what to expect.  He may not go through with it, he may do great, he may fall apart.  We really couldn't guess.  
Our Priest was absolutely wonderful with Ben, and Ben did go through with his First Confession.  It doesn't get anymore real than that, seeing your children take part in the Sacraments is so edifying, but when you have a child who struggles, who has Special Needs (Autism) then these moments are even more rare and endearing.  We are so proud of him and so thankful for all those who prayed for him and helped him.  Especially our priest, Fr. Jeremy and Ben's teacher Ms. McDow.  

Please join in for this weeks {PHFR} over at LMLD.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I'm clearly out of the habit of blogging.

I plan to remedy this soon.

I have some recipes to share, photos to share, and need to recarve out time for blogging.

I'm sorry for dangling carrots - I hate that, and I do NOT plan to continue!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Updates Continued~

Simon Peter is doing great.  He is a sophomore this year and ready for a Summer break.  Simon participated in Varsity Cross Country  as well as Varsity Track this year and improved all his times from last year.  He also works at Braums, and has more homework than he has ever had which has been an adjustment for him.  Pete and I are really proud of all he is accomplishing.  Simon is VERY quick witted and funny, I mean really seriously funny...he could do stand up comedy about life in a large family easily.  We have this running joke about his being the 'back up to the back up favorite'. It is a banter that has developed over years and it really means 'I love you and there are no favorites' but one day we were in the store and he wanted me to buy something and I told him no.  So he says "Was that a yes in disguise" and I cracked up and shook my head at him so he keeps going "If I was Isaac would you say yes" and I agreed with him "Oh you know I would buy it for Isaac" and Simon is all "Oh, I see how you are playing favorites, always playing favorites" and he mocks this hurt tone and expression (which apparently if you don't know us might seem real, not a put on).  So there was another shopper who had been in the isle that I had not seen, my back was to her and I reply to Simon "well your just the back up favorite, actually the back up to the back up and my funds are will have to buy it yourself if you want it" and he starts giving me this wide eyed look that was a disconnect from our usual cajoling.  He walks closer to me and says very quietly "the lady behind you thinks you are evil, she doesn't know we are joking".  We have laughed and laughed about this, poor woman probably really does think I'm awful.  Simon and I just left the isle after that, and I didn't buy what he wanted - which he continues to bring up to this day "I saved you from a CPS call Mom, I clued you in, and yet NOOOO you still wouldn't get it for me".   

Tobias is a freshman this year and is doing really well, he also participated in Cross Country and Track with his older brothers.  He works at Braums too, and has kept up his classes and really had an all around great beginning for high school.  Tobi is really reaping the benefits of being #6 since he has a brother who is a senior and drives, Tobi doesn't have to take the bus and our High School students have always been bus riders except for 1 year when I carpooled them back and forth, but after sitting in 3 schools carpool lines every day for a year I decided 'no more'!  Tobias and Elijah share a great gift for Art..  Tobias has a strong leaning towards comic strip style art, largely influenced by his complete love of all of Ben Hatke's work.  Tobias was in 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof' with his Dad, Faith and Linus and he hopes to audition for another play that will be a Summer Production.  He is the baby of the six pack, and has not been a fan of being lumped with the younger kids for so long.  This year he finally broke away from that and has joined the ranks of his older brothers, it has been a good year for him.  By the way, that funny Simon story above....Tobi is who came up with that, he is also very funny but he has a very dry sense of humor, you have to listen for it and when you catch on to what he is saying you appreciate what is going on up in that brain of his.  Tobias will go to driving school this Summer and is hoping his luck continues in getting to do things before his older brothers like getting a license before he is 18, but I doubt insurance prices change so he is likely to be student driving a long time just like the others. be continued tomorrow.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Where to begin.  I guess I'll go in order and share a little about what is happening in the world of each of my 9Peas.  Pete and I are both doing good and enjoying the less stressful pace now that I'm no longer working, he will be traveling more often so he can feel more at ease about homelife while he is away.  I'm getting the house cleaned up, and loving the after school hours that I was missing.  Benjamin, who had the hardest time with my working (and one of my teens did too, never doubt that just because they are almost grown that they don't need you) is showing signs of less anxiety.  I have the deepest respect for working Mom's.  I don't want to give the impression that by my coming home I don't.  I am fortunate that I can come home, and there are 9, which really does require a lot of 'being available'.  I've made some truly good friendships and those working Mother's inspire me to be a better Mother, they are amazing.  
Okay, onto the updates:

This was Noah's April Fools joke this year, he is doing really well.  He is almost finished with his Internship at Florida Studio Theatre and will be home in June.  I have a feeling he won't be home long, he is applying to Fellowship programs to get his Masters as well as job applications and even some internship opportunities that would enrich his resume.  I cannot wait to have him home for a while though.

Jonah is no longer deployed to the Middle East.  We got a good long visit over Christmas and New Years. He is now stationed at his new base, which I'm unsure of the rules on sharing about where that is but trust me when I say I feel much better as a Marine mom than I did at his last duty station.  We get to visit with him often now and enjoy hearing about all he is up to etc... He recently had a 41 mile hike, afterwards I got a phone call about some basic medical needs regarding blisters and slight dehydration etc..  I love that he calls me for little things like that, I know he could figure it out on his own because believe me if you were on Survivor you'd want Jonah on your team (Noah you want on your team when playing Trivial Pursuit, we always call him for lifelines while playing) but he lets me take part in helping, which means a lot to me.

This is an older photo of Isaac, but I love it so I'm sharing it instead of a recent photo.  Isaac has taken to the scruffy college student look lately as he has a very heavy course load and is experimenting with exactly how long he can go before I say something, and I'm always extra delicate like "So we are going for the Drug Dealer look today", and since he loves my quippy jabs he eggs them on in his own "I'm my own man" quiet way, that is part of what adds to his charm (no sarcasm there, Isaac has a calm presence that makes it easy to enjoy his sense of humor).  Isaac has been accepted to UNT for the next phase of his College life and we are really excited for him.  He will be close enough for easy visits and far enough away to feel some much deserved and needed independence.  While he originally began school with intentions of becoming a Math teacher, his working at a local bank has made him turn more towards finance.  I know whatever he chooses, he will do well.

  Out of the whole bunch Elijah is the only one who is truly shy so he shocked us this past fall when he announced he wanted to audition for "Bridge To Terabithia".  He got the Dad role and really did an amazing job.  Senior year has not been easy, he took on lots of college level classes as well as a rigorous Art program and has been pacing himself well the whole way (and getting such great grades). He also took part in Cross Country again with Simon and Tobias.   He is almost to the finish of Senior Year and is really starting to become disillusioned with Senior Fever.  Elijah still works at our local Ice Cream Shop and plans to attend our Junior College like Isaac and Noah did before transferring to a University.  Elijah is the first of his brother's to be able to drive his Senior year, a sure sign Pete and I are softening.  We hold firm to the 'no license before 18 rule) he is 18 now, and driving to school each day taking his other high school brothers who are VERY happy to skip riding the bus, so happy in fact that they contribute to gas money.  Way to work that Eli, we are always impressed with you and your reasonable way of helping others understand 'what is fair'. be continued.
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