Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankful for Holiday Weekends!

We did plenty of this: (the eating, I mean)

and enjoyed becoming re-acquainted with the Canadian branch of the family.
It was fun to be together with all SEVEN of them again!

The eating just never stopped.

(Thank goodness!)

The games were fiercely competitive.

(In a relaxing sort of way)

On Holiday weekend mornings, Mr. W. cooks breakfast.

His Speciality?

Pancakes with add-ins.

Anything is fair game.

Below you'll find strawberry, chocolate chip and m&m.

Kids love this man on Holiday weekends.

Can you blame them?

I love him, too.

I especially love having the morning off.


There was PLENTY of play time.

One little cousin (in purple and black) just couldn't keep her hands (and lips) off Mr. M.!

He kept coming up to me to wipe his mouth on my shirt.

I didn't get it until I saw the farewell smooch.

It was lengthy.

Then I understood.



THIS crazy mama stayed at my house and cleaned until she could clean no longer!

(Then she fled)

Seriously--if you want a fridge to look like it stepped off the showroom floor, invite this lady to sleep over.

And mention that you'd like some help with your counter clutter. She's magical.

I'm having her over again. Soon.

If your Holiday weekend was half as calorie-filled, fun and full of laughter, it must have been fabulous.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wishes: SENT.

So let Christmas begin!

... and just a reminder to all you shoppers:


Go to THIS link to see a clip about this important topic {grin}.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

We're together. And laughing.

And THAT is what I am thankful for today.
I love my HUGE, hilarious family!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No more READING!

At night, that is.

This is what happens to pretty little 7-year-old girls

(when they read and read and read at night, instead of going to sleep!)

Trust me, blog-readers.

There is nothing I would like better

than to read and read and read into the wee hours of the morning.

Reading is my love. (One of them)


My tired eyes can no longer endure.

I am jealous that the eyes of the 7-year-old CAN endure.


She can NOT go to school with this look:

the bloodshot eyes.

the disheveled hair.

We women need our beauty sleep.
So I have told her.
When I turn the light off, the light is off.
Then I go back to check, and she is curled up sneakily, under the light, reading.
Who can blame her? The world of reading is like no other.
So are you okay with this look?
Because I've been reading lately.
And night time is reading time.


Monday, November 24, 2008


I love listening to the prayers of my children.
Last night, Miss A. was grateful for her cute cats, good food, clothes to wear, a warm house, her comfy bed and parents who are willing to snuggle with her. I tried not to giggle during her prayer, because the list honestly went on and on and on... My thought was, why don't MY lists of what I'm grateful for go on and on? My prayers need to be longer. I'm slightly older than her, after all, and have a bit more praying experience.
Mr. M. was praying that 'the last leaf would drop off the tree SOON!' so that winter would be here. And, he was praying to be able to play and have fun in the snow! The enthusiasm and excitement in his voice while he was praying was very funny. So, I'm sorry to all of you who would rather put off the snow thing as long as possible... beacause there is a very faithful child over here, praying for it to come EVERY chance he gets.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the week of fun is done.

Okay, so the topper is this: I got to spend the ENTIRE day Friday IN BED.
Which, if you must know, is really a blurry fantasy of mine... blankets, books, snacks... a day in bed would be bliss. However, I did not so much enjoy my entire day in the bed
(when I wasn't making trips to the bathroom).
AND, Mr. W. took the red-eye home Thursday night, and walked in JUST in time to be buddies with little Mr. M. for the day. In this case, timing WAS everything.
So I'm hoping for some time Saturday to re-connect with my hubby.
Because nobody wants to be near the mom/wife who is down with what my loving brother kindly referred to as the revenge of the lobster and coconut. It could have been worse.
And here's to a new day.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

week-o-fun continues

First there was the coconut.

Then the lobster.

Now meet teenager with helium.

Do YOU have any fun up your sleeve that we ought to know about?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

While the big cat's away...

Mr. W. is on the west coast this week.
So you remember my coconut story?
Well, we were in the grocery store today. Again.
And here's how the conversation went:
M: Mom, can I look at the lobsters?
Me: Sure.
M: Can we get one?
Me: Do you like lobster?
M: No way.
Me: Then why do you want to get one?
M: Because YOU like lobster.
Me: Yes. I do.
M: Then let's get one!
M: You wanna share some with Dad?
Me: No way.
M: Why?
Me: Because he's gone, and I just can't have lobster hanging around the house that long.
M: Then you can buy another one when he gets back!
Me: Deal.
So that's what we did. I'm liking this 'think first and then speak' thing.
This is what I did for lunch today.
M wouldn't hold the lobster until I had removed those big claws. Even though I stressed that the lobster was VERY dead.
Lobster lunch. For one. It was perfect.

the abc's of brushing (OR never look a gift horse in the mouth)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Omega-3 fatty little secret

Last night for FHE treat, we made homemade chocolate chip cookies.
With m&m's.
They were warm, gooey, crunchy and VERY delicious.
They didn't make it past the evening.
My little secret?
I added 1/4 cup whole ground flaxseed meal to the cookie dough.
Rich in fiber, lignans and omega-3 fats.
Studies show flaxseed meal
may be one of the most powerful natural cholesterol controllers yet discovered.
I didn't go into that with my kids.
Matter of fact, they don't even know.
They also don't know that I regularly add this stuff to their pancakes, muffins, rolls and breads. Don't be afraid.
It's good (for you)!

Monday, November 17, 2008

invest in your future

While zipping through the grocery store recently, Mr. M found a coconut and wanted to buy it. My first response was "no." (Why does the parent in me even do that, anyway?) He continued to plead for the coconut, (and I thought: why did I say no so quickly?... it's just a coconut) then I broke a basic rule of parenting and gave in. I only wanted to exit the store quickly and quietly. You know--no scene. Plus, I happen to think coconuts are cool. Ironically, it was the best 99 cent investment I've made in a long time. The joy and anticipation of drilling the hole... everyone wanting to try the 'milk' and then hours of being entertained. Two of the girls set to extracting the 'meat' from the coconut and talked endlessly about the many ways they might enjoy eating it... toasted, drizzled with chocolate, with caramel, etc. and the boys entertained themselves with the shells. We had the modeling of the coconut bra, the galloping horses (think Monty Python) and the hairy eyeball (the hole was drilled into the bottom of the shell). When you're looking ahead to an eventless evening, may I suggest that you gallop over to your local grocery store and pick up a coconut?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

soccer: done.

Tonight was the soccer banquet. It's now the end of these.
After watching R. grow and develop in this sport, it was a culminating and gratifying moment to witness. Tonight, he was awarded several things, and I couldn't have been more pleased for him. He was one of four on his team to make the Midland-Wachusett All-stars. He also earned an award called the Myles J. McCarron award, given each year in memory of an LHS soccer player who died in a tragic accident his junior year. The coach chooses the recipient, and the award reads (in part):

"Friend and Teammate
Star Athlete
A Memorial Tribute
Your gentle personality will shine and live forever in our hearts and memories"
It was an honor for him to receive.
I was touched.

a crown worth seeking

"...Let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads in every place; and in fine, become as little children, without malice, guile or hypocrisy. And now,...after your tribulations, if you do these things, and exercise fervent prayer and faith in the sight of God always, He shall give unto you knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost."

I had to fill in last minute and teach a lesson in RS today... this paragraph hit home. No malice. No hypocrisy. Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths. One word at a time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SLEEP. agreed.

I instructed my children to sleep in today.
Soccer season is over.
No stake meetings, no SATs.
My exact words were:
"If you sleep past 9, you get homemade french toast for breakfast!
If you're up before that, you're on your own."
I felt confident that the majority of the rest of us were looking forward to a lengthy morning in bed, and some nice warm french toast as a reward.
Mr. W., poor morning person that he is, had to work. So he was out the door by 5:30.
I, have no problem rolling over and going back to sleep.
BUT, when the 4-year-old is awakened by the 5:30 feet,
my dreams of a sleep-in started to fade.
After years of experience, I know that when a 4-year-old is awake, he is awake.
No coaxing his body back to sleep.
It only took a few minutes of him in my bed,
and I devised a plan.
"Hey," I said.
"How about I take you downstairs so you can be with the PBS kids while I go back to bed?
But the tricky part is, you have to BE.REALLY.QUIET. tiptoe! and whisper! because everyone else is asleep."
He bought it.
I didn't get to sleep until 9, but I did get an extra hour and a half. And when I came back downstairs to check on Mr. M, I found him sitting in the bean bag about 12 inches from the tv with an open box of bran flakes in his lap. Nobody else. Sweet! I was happy with our agreement, and the fact that I was actually able to go back to sleep. I was SO happy, in fact, that I offered him some nice french toast.
"Nope." he said.
"I'm having these."
I guess he was on his own.
An agreement is an agreement, after all.
The rest straggled down after 9, and breakfast was the reward.

Friday, November 14, 2008

P.S. He loves me

Got an email from Mr. W. this afternoon.
We often communicate this way.
He called me 'Mrs. Hot Hair.'
And THAT, blog readers, is my favorite compliment of the day.
Put me in my happy place.
Love that guy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

today's happy thoughts

MOM! I grew! I'm taller than this box!
(that randomly showed up in the driveway today--4 year olds don't understand the concept of the baseline)
Home improvement project: just pop a hole through that wall, please.
Mr. M. keeping our friendly contractor company.

Coming: counter top and the flow of heat from our cozy wood stove into the rest of the house.
A friendly visit by our neighborhood deer this morning at breakfast time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My amazing Super (something) world!

My project for today involved washing dishes, washing underwear, sorting socks, making a bed (notice the lack of plural in that last task) and also the cleaning of several toilets;
single handedly wielding the toilet brush while vanquishing germs down the flusher.
As a sideliner, I made rolls to go with the fabulous chowder I whipped up in 10 minutes, thanks to THIS Fantastic Food lady. Then it was off to taxi children. If I had a cape, it would probably be lost amidst the clutter that is my world. But imagine the cape, fluttering in the wind, whilst I flit from amazing task to amazing task. Faster than a washer in spin cycle. Taller than my stack of folded towels. Able to leap the clutter I cleaned off my desk last night in a single bound. It's a bird, it's a plane, no... it's Super task lady gal. But don't be fooled. The results are not completely super. Just adequate. The jobs got done. The toilet Gods are appeased. The kids are fed. And I'm okay with adequate. Ta-dah!
P.S. Go over to THIS BLOG and check out today's message. It's substantial.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

an escape

to Maine
to celebrate 19 years of marriage
and plenty of birthdays between us...
enquiring minds want to know, so here are some details.
In a nutshell, we had a great time.this is our hotel, right on the coast in Ogunquit.
It was also right on the 'Marginal Way'
which is a lovely walk along the rocky coastline for about a mile or soand we truly did have a room with a view...this is us 20 years ago in 1988.
(...haven't changed a bit!)
While in Maine, we found some fun shops.
This one was a converted church. Stained glass windows and all.
This one was just fun.

and this one was just for adventure...we found a couple of graveyards to peruse.
this one was in Kennebunk.
And for November, the walk on the beach was really pleasant.

Our hotel was called the Beachmere Inn. Fabulous.
Happy Anniversary, Mr. W.
And thanks for a great escape.

November 11, 1989

In remembrance

Nana's Memorial Service
Monday, November 10, 2008
Walpole, MA a famous artist in the making
and his portrayal on display to honor a special Lady
a moment to bond

love unfeigned

wanting to be close

paying respects

Saying good-bye


Time for reflection

A tender teaching moment

X O X O Nana.

Monday, November 10, 2008

There's no place like home.

In a 1991 article, Gordon B. Hinckley talks specifically to mothers.
He says "You are the keepers of the hearth. You are the managers of the home."
I say, I wish everyone had a hearth in which to light a fire on a cold night.
And, I'm so glad to be home.

I think Mr. M. couldn't agree more.

It's good to be in November!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

bags packed

... and we're ready to go!

So I'm signing off for a few days,

and will be back to posting next week.

TO the ocean,

to the coast.

There will be plenty of lobster to eat,

and at least one morning to sleep in.

time to reconnect

and read

and talk

and sleep.

Ogunquit, Maine!

Here we come.

Weekend away.

for TWO, thank you.

Happy birthday to us.

Happy ANNIVERSARY to us!

and I'll tell you something about it when we get back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy day!

Birthday Wishes to Us!Happy birthday Amy, my twin
And Happy Birthday to our triplet-in-law Kelly.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

On your mark...

It's happened!
I was innocently driving to Worcester, and started to flip through the radio stations looking for something to listen to during my trip. We laughed about this last year. We've already talked about it this year. The anticipation of the radio station brave enough to start playing all Christmas music all the time from now until Christmas. Today is November 6th. I happened upon it at 11:06 am eastern time. 101.5 FM is calling themselves "Christmas 101." I think they're out of Providence. I heard "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," followed by "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and then "Frosty the Snowman." I sang along, and laughed that we haven't even really made preparations for our Thanksgiving Dinner, and here I am singing along with Christmas music. Silly. BUT, it made me happy. Really, it did. I was smiling and in a good mood when I reached my destination. I think the people there noticed. I didn't think about it until I was driving back, and decided to switch the station. I mean, it was fun to sing along, but I'm not quite ready to dive in head-first and listen to all Christmas all the time from now until then. I was nicer, though. The check-out lady at the grocery store was not. She didn't seem to appreciate my holiday mood. That's okay. I can appreciate a good case of the crankies, too. So, whether you like it or not, we've arrived. Happy ThanksChristmas to you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

summoned: part II

The afternoons around here get a little crazy.
Three shifts of kids coming home from school,
homework to do, places to be, activities to remember...
and for those of us not napping, it can get to be cranky time.
Today went pretty smoothly;
I was feeling on top of my game--
no sickness in sight,
weather is pleasant,
potentially cranky kids are occupied with fresh air and swingset,
stew was made and biscuits were in the works.
I excused myself from the mayhem to use the bathroom upstairs.
(Pardon me for talking bathroom, but I just couldn't pass up this opportunity to share)
The phone rings, and S. picks up.
Apparently the person on the other end is summoning ME.
S. knows that when someone is in the private zone, you politely and discreetly sidestep the inquiries as to the whereabouts of the person in the zone, and take a message.
The caller, however, was NOT going to be put off for later.
She is a frequent caller (ought to have accrued plenty of free merchandise for the number of times we hear from her).
She knows the pattern of my life.
She KNEW I had to be on the premises.
Poor, polite S. was suffering, and I could sense it.
She was standing outside the bathroom door uncomfortably trying to persuade this caller that a message really was her best option at this point. Bless her. I could tell she was using her best phone manners. And she was NOT wanting to disclose my whereabouts. But Miss Caller knew if she pressed long and hard enough, she would finally get what she wanted. (WHY, OH WHY are people LIKE this?!) I gave up and told Sarah to come in and hand me the phone. She had that tortured look on her face like 'but MOM... you're in HERE!' I motioned for the phone and she gave it over and left.
Here's what happened.
I said 'Hello, G. I'm on the toilet. The one in our bathroom. S. has been politely trying to take a message, because in our house, when you're in this room, you're not available to talk on the phone. So now that we're all in here together, how can I help you?'
She said her face was hot and red.
And that she was SO embarassed.
I would hope so.


Do you know where my backpack is?
Can you help me comb the tangles from the back of my hair?
I need a new toothbrush.
A. just threw up!
Where's my lunch?
Have you seen my homework?
The washer is thumping!
I'm hungry.
Has anyone seen my bag?
Can you come downstairs with me?
He's annoying me!
I forgot my homework.
What can I eat?
Will you play a game with me?

The summons are endless.
I'm okay with that.
job security.
after lunch today, the summons came from
the outside.
and sugar baby.
(my five pound walking buddy)
Two laps around the circle;
just me, sugar baby, and my thoughts.
It was a beautiful 20 minutes.

On the way in I stopped to get the mail.
Guess what?
I've been summoned.
kind of funny.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

99 pieces of bedding in the washer...

(sung to that childhood favorite of 99 bottles of pop on the wall)
99 pieces of bedding;
you wash one sheet
and another kid
(enter your favorite term for 'throws up')...
another set of bedding to wash.
Fun times at our house.
the plus side: It was sunny and dry
and I hung LOTS-O-LAUNDRY on the line.
the down side: wonder who'll be next?
the other plus side: not much in the way of meal prep today
the down side: we're out of saltines and apple juice,
and the only bananas left are green.
the plus side: Mr. W. escapes this germ warfare
the down side: one less adult to steer sleepy bodies towards the bathroom in the middle of the night
HUGE plus: Mr. M. has had this 'bug' the longest, and has not missed
(the toilet or bowl) once.
AND he cheerfully and proudly announces the throwing-up tally to his brothers and sisters, like it's a really great accomplishment.
Tomorrow is a new day.

Don't forget to VOTE!

And if you need more motivation, see past post on Women Voters.
Whatever you do, do NOT forfeit your right to have a say.
You DO make a difference.
and if you can, vote an extra day in the week.
and an extra hour in the day.
and an extra saturday on the weekend.
and an extra scoop of ice cream on the kidde size.
(and just so there's no misperception out there, Tuesday is also laundry day.)