Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Texture Tuesdays, Volume 5

Wow...can't believe it's Tuesday...I'm all turned around this week!

Thanks to Kim for hosting...

edited with vintage processing and Kim's kk_3003 texture

Had to post something from summer.  This is from our new favorite beach spot, Weko Beach. The highs here are in the teens this week and the 'perma-cloud' has set in.  This picture makes me happy :)

Christmas 2013

Our Christmas traditions include spending Christmas Eve at my sister's house with my side of the family where we eat an amazing variety and amount of food, drink lots of yummy drinks and sing Christmas carols by Mitch Miller.  The red folders were typed and put together by my grandpa many years ago.  Oh, and usually shots of Pucker are served before each song :)  We normally go to 5:00 Mass on Christmas Eve but this year Eric was scheduled to usher at the 10:00 (new time) and Josh was an altar server so we missed out on the singing this year.  (these pictures are from last Christmas)

This year:

As it is for most parents, it is a late night but thankfully our kids sleep in compared to a lot of other kids on Christmas morning.  We usually make monkey bread, but didn't this year for some reason.  We had a nice breakfast all the same and then opened our gifts.  

After we've put things together and played for a little while, we all get ready and head to my mother-in-law's house for the rest of the day. 

We have a nice dinner, open gifts and then play games and eat for the rest of the evening!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes, Volume 2

Not only is this my second attempt at 7 Quick Takes, this is my 100th post!!  Kind of exciting, I guess.  I started this blog in January of 2013 and it has taken me almost a year to write 100 posts?! Hopefully I can keep up with these other ladies who have more children than I do and apparently accomplish a lot more than I do!

Most thoughtful Christmas present ever (from a husband).  I returned home yesterday morning from taking two kids to high school expecting to find the house in its normal morning state:  TV on, every light in the house on, finding evidence of the dog getting into the kitchen or bathroom trash, etc., etc.  When I walked in, the house was dark - and I panicked for just a second.  Then I saw an envelope on the table right in front of me with my initial on it.  Eric had the whole day planned.  The girls were at my parent's house.  He had rearranged the carpool so that I didn't have to pick up the older kids, we finished all Christmas shopping/errand running, we had lunch at my favorite place, Chipotle.  He and our oldest took care of dinner for the kids, he made reservations at Bonefish and he had purchased tickets back in August to see Straight No Chaser!!  

We love that group and they were awesome!  They have a great story and you should totally look them up.  Not only was it obviously a really fun day, but I was so touched by the effort it took to pull this off  :)

--- 3---
Jen asked what everyone's favorite Christmas song is.  Without a doubt mine is O Holy Night - especially when sung by Josh Groban.  The lyrics are beautiful.

How does a teenager get stuck in a seat belt?  We have the weirdest stories...I drove four teenage girls to Chicago last week to see a Christmas concert featuring Selena Gomez.  After a crazy trip there involving a messed up GPS unit, we finally made it and they had a great time.  Ok, time for the trip home.  Everyone in the car fell asleep while the GPS lady is still talking to me and I don't know how to turn her off.  We make it back without incident and have dropped off 2 girls, one more to go, and our oldest announces from the back of the van that she is stuck in her seat belt.  This is at 12:30 a.m. so I'm tired and maybe a little bit crabby at this point.  I flatly tell her that this is ridiculous and that she just needs to get out of it.  She and her friend are laughing and insist that they have already tried that and that she is indeed, stuck.  So I pull over and crawl to the back to find the seat belt so twisted around her that we cannot get her out of it!  I know it sounds unbelievable - trust me....  So the only option left was to cut it and her friend happened to have a pair of scissors in her backpack.  I have nothing else to say about that...

Things to do over Christmas break:
 *  play new games with the kids every day
 *  finish a knitting project I started 3-4 weeks ago
 *  read a biography of Abraham Lincoln (I'm pretty excited to read something by my choice and not       dictated by the needs of homeschool!)
 *  follow a self-imposed technology ban until evening - this one will be interesting
 *  watch a short list of movies, to be determined by Eric and I and probably not approved by the children :)

Hoping these will sell...

The picture of the pears and the pictures in the basket on the table to the right are for sale at a local shop called Made in Michiana.  It features creations by local artisans so, here's hoping! 

Here they are, packaged and ready to be sold!

Can't think of another one, so, Merry Christmas!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Texture Tuesdays, Volume 4

edited with a texture called Sunday morning (I don't remember where I got it from)

I took the younger girls with me to Sarah's orthodontist appointment hoping to get some shopping done afterwards but the appointment was unexpectedly long, and we did get some of the shopping done but then it started snowing pretty hard so we just came home.  

It sounded like much more fun to be at home linking up with Kim.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A 75th Birthday!

We all celebrated my dad's 75th birthday last Monday evening.  What a great day to have a birthday on...this year the Church moved the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to Monday, but either way December 9th is St. Juan Diego's feast day.  

We saw my parents at Mass Monday morning and then went and had dinner with them at their home with almost all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  (They have 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.)

He is such a pillar of strength supported by his faith and I admire him more than he knows :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Family Pictures

I joined a local photographer's club a few months ago and we were given the opportunity to use a professional studio for our last group meeting.  It was so much fun!  I thought the kids would not be receptive to it since other people would be there, but I actually think that helped.  Everybody had great posing ideas and so the kids were cooperating way more than I thought.

Not having used studio lighting before, it took some getting used to.  Some pictures were completely blown out, others were black, and some had unrecoverable hot spots.  Sarah brought her camera too and between the two of us we took around 360 pictures and maybe got 15-20 keepers.  I guess that's the fun of digital photography :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yarn Along, Volume 2

Linking up with Ginny today...

I was attempting to make a scarf with a lace-like pattern that seemed somewhat easy, but after 10+ attempts, I just decided to do something much more basic for this beginner!  I wasn't sure about the color at first, but with a light gray coat, I think it will be nice. 

The orange cowl from the last time did not turn out as expected.  It's not as wide as I wanted and both sides roll inwards.  I'm such an amateur!!

I am reading a couple of things at this point:  An Advent reflection book by Fr. Barron and Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (both in a tablet version).  

Looking forward to checking out everyone else's projects today :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Texture Tuesday, Volume 3

Good morning!  I'm linking up with Kim for...

For some reason I knew right away what picture I wanted to use today... usually I search and search.  I'm not really sure this quote goes with this picture, but my 10 year old daughter approved so that was enough for me.

Now that I look at it a little more closely, I think the appearance of the somewhat bare branches symbolizes the simplicity of the stable, and the yellow flowers symbolize the brightness of His birth.  

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Texture Tuesday, Volume 2

Linking up with Kim for Texture Tuesday!

Like Kim's, this is one from the archives, but for some reason I have always been drawn to it.  

Edited with Kim's kk_isobel.

Since winter can be a difficult time to take photos in the Midwest, I end up getting some flowers at the grocery store once in a while to curb my craving for some snapping.  It works every time!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Chicago Parade (well almost)

Every year Chicago has a Magnificent Mile Lights Festival including a parade down Michigan Ave. and a fireworks show.  We thought this would be great fun and planned on going well ahead of time so the kids knew all about it and we knew there would really be no way to get out of it.  As the day came closer, the weather was looking a little daunting.  Temperatures in the 20's with single digit wind chills and everyone knows that in Chicago it's always colder than you think it will be.  However, Sarah discovered that two of her favorite singers would be performing as part of the outdoor concerts that afternoon so now there really was no turning back.  

We ducked in and out of some stores to warm up when needed at first, but since we had to have good spots to see said performers, we had to be there about half an hour early.  So there we all stood, in the very first row, waiting...and waiting...We were all jumping up and down, back and forth, jogging in place, whatever it took to keep some blood flowing.  

After they finally came out and sang a couple of songs, I knew Meredith was getting too cold so Josh, Meredith and I went to find some heat.  We got across Michigan and found a very crowded McDonald's to sit in.  

Pretty soon, Eric and Lyndsay came and found us and poor Lyndsay was in tears because her hands hurt so bad, but she hadn't said anything prior to that. Then Sarah was calling me crying because the singers were finally done and she even got autographs and photos with them but now they were closing Michigan for the parade and she and Grace could not cross to get to us.  Combine frostbite with panic and it's just not a good situation.  Eric took off to try and find them while the rest of us stayed in McDonald's. Thankfully, some street worker took pity on the girls and let them cross and we were all reunited.  

 It took a little bit to get people calmed down and somewhat warmed up before we even discussed how we were going to get back across the river (that's where the parking garage was where we parked) without going way out of the way and out into the cold longer than necessary.  We finally made it to the parking garage where there was a Houlihan's and we got seated right away and enjoyed a warm meal while the parade was going on outside!  We all agreed that we didn't even care to see the fireworks anymore and so we just left right after dinner.  Even though it was somewhat painful, we were glad we went anyway and will try again next year as long as the temperatures are above 30 maybe.  :)