Sunday, February 26


As you know, my sister Kelley and I share a birthday!  We did a family lakehouse weekend to celebrate our special day!  We started the weekend with a "Jiffy Pop" popcorn popping contest on the stove between my mom and Jeremy

Naturally followed by a movie with the cousins

 That was Friday night!

On Saturday, we had an entire girl's shopping day with our mom
 Even though she looked very striking....Kelley did not buy the hat

 Saturday night brought an exciting birthday dinner at Babe's House of Chicken.  It was special and yummy!
 All the kids in front of Babe's Chicken
  And then, ended dinner with a dance to the song YMCA with all of the waiters!
Sunday morning (our actual birthday)started with Mass at St. Francis Cabrini (no pictures of that event) and lunch
It was a GREAT birthday weekend!


Wednesday, February 22


"From dust we were created, to dust we (our physical bodies) will return"

What a special day today was in our beautiful Catholic Faith (and other Christian faiths that observe Ash Wednesday).  I just love celebrating the Liturgical Seasons with my family.  Our family is called to be a domestic church (for our form them in their Faith in Christ so that they can too, grow up and "feed His sheep" someday)

Today was the beginning of Lent. A beautiful season of renewal and purification of our souls!  It is a prayerful preparation for the Triduum (Holy Thursday/Last Supper, Good Friday/Crucifixion through Easter Sunday/Resurrection)  It is kind of a "New Years" feeling.....a new beginning for us.  We REALLY focus on being better and making changes in our lives to better ourselves for Christ!  To begin our season at our house, we started a tradition some years ago (I am sure that we stole the idea from another family) that in focusing on the Perfect Sacrifice that our Dear Lord Jesus made to save us......we try to be more like Him....dying to ourselves for others.  In addition to giving up something for Lent, we "bake" our very own crown of thorns.....not to eat, but to use as a tangible reminder of our journey towards pureness of heart.

We pull out thorns (toothpicks) from our crowns, as we show love for others over the weeks of Lent.  Wouldn't it be great to remove all of the thorns from Jesus' crown for Him!??!  Here is how we make them and what they look like
We use the canned Pillsbury dough, each child rolling out 2 "snakes" (look at the irony that they are rolling out snakes to make the crown of thorns.....just noticed that)!
Madison carefully kneading her dough
Nicholas starting to roll out his snakes
Savannah Carefully rolling out her snakes of dough
Rolling out the snakes longer and longer
Criss cross the snakes and begin to twist them around each other
Take your twisted dough snakes and make a crown shape
Now that you have your crown, you are ready to start adding the toothpick thorns
Add as many thorns as you would like.  Savannah and Nicholas just added a lot of thorns with no special number in mind.....Madison (my thoughtful perfectionist) decided to put in 40 thorns representing the 40 days in Lent
Then we baked them in the oven a little longer than the package directions (liked the darker color better)
As they show Christ's love to others, dying to themselves, they remove a thorn.  They can "see" how their love for others makes a real difference.
May you and your family experience a truly life changing Lenten season
God Bless you

Friday, February 17


My friend Lori and I had a girly day today that ended up lasting longer than expected!  We ended up picking up her kids from school together and then going by my house to pick up mine (who were with Daddy) to play at the park.  They were so excited to see each other!  They just could not stop laughing!  It was getting LOUD in the car but then in really thinking about it, Lori and I just started laughing too.  There was so much innocent joy in the back seat!  I love the sound of happy kids!  There is so much stress these days that the sound of laughter is not always present.  I had to snap a low quality iphone pic to capture that memory.

Wednesday, February 15


We didn't leave the house at all today!!  It was rainy and cold and so we cuddled up under a blanket while I read to the children (in homeschool) and just tried to stay warm and dry today.  I love days like today. 
 What a nice crisp and rainy winter day in February


Last night I had a dream that I was telling Savannah to do something and she just looked at me and said..."Wait, Mom, I am forty years old now.....I think that I need to leave"  All of a sudden, she looked older and she left.  I was so sad.  When I awoke in the morning, I was still so upset by my dream.  It seemed so real.  I walked out into the hallway as the kids were walking down the stairs after just waking up.  Nicholas and Savannah were carrying their favorite baby blankets....their "guggles" and their special soft  friends (Savannah's is a little stuffed beanie baby pig and Nick's is a brown stuffed dog)

I know that the time is flying by.....I was elated to see them still little and still ALL mine.  Thank you Lord for these little reminders of how fast the time is actually traveling.  I will cherish every second.

I just hugged them both and felt an overwhelming joy in my heart.
Here is the traditional "fake sleeping pic"
We had a fire going in the fireplace and never set foot outside the entire day.  I just loved it!!  We even ordered in Chinese food for dinner.  Our kids LOVE Asian food!  We all do....that night, we ordered Sesame Chicken, Shrimp Fried Rice, and Egg Drop Soup.  Wow it makes me hungry just blogging about it!!

Dear Father....
Thank you for today.....thank you for more time to love them and to form them guiding them towards You!  Thank you for letting me be the one to do all of that.  Thank you for motherhood and thank you for my life. I pray that I live it well

Monday, February 13


Each year we started a tradition with our great friends, the Majerus family, to celebrate Fat Tuesday (the celebration before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday) together at our favorite Cajun Seafood Restaurant.....Pappaduex
This year Fat Tuesday fell on a day when Angela and I had too much going on, so we would not be able to go for our annual feast!  Oh no!!  Well, we decided to celebrate it the Saturday night before the official Fat Tuesday.  

What would naturally follow a huge Cajun feast with great friends????  A double sleepover with their kids!  Both of their sweet daughters, Abby and Natalie stayed over night with Madison and Savannah.  It was a really fun evening......BUT with a sleepover comes a sleepover breakfast!

I don't have any pics of the kids dancing while doing karaoke or their entertaining magic show that they worked for hours on.....I don't even have any pics of the kids at all.....but I do however, have pictures of what we all had for breakfast that next morning
 An array of beautiful and colorful Donuts
 Some tantalizing sausage rolls (Savannah's favorite)
And MY yummy breakfast!  A white Chocolate Mocha, non-fat with whip, please.....
After a LATE sleepover night.....this makes me so happy!


We took the kids to Colorado for a long weekend.  We arrived at the airport and enjoyed some Starbucks treats!
 Nicholas and his banana "bernina" bread
 Madi and her Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino
 Savannah and her tall hot chocolate with no whip
 There is my hubby with his Coffee of the day.....he doesn't even know I am watching him
 Now he does
 The kids after we made it to breckenridge
 Jeremy parents met us in breckenridge for the was really fun!
 At dinner Nicholas and Savannah ordered root beers that looked like "Daddy's beer"  they thought that that was really funny!
 Here is Savannah with hers
 Madison opted for the fancy hot chocolate.....she loves hot chocolate (2nd only to her Starbucks Double Chocolate Chip frappuccino)
 Here we are after dinner outside of the was REALLY cold!


 They wanted to try snowboarding for the first time!  Jeremy grew up skiing and it was important to him for our kids to have the opportunity to try it out.  Our children are big into their "Rip Sticks", which are similar skateboards BUT ONLY HAVE 2 WHEELS!  Madi, Savannah, and Nick somehow ride these tricky things REALLY WELL!  So.....snowboarding was the natural choice when they were asked which winter sport they wanted to try out.
Gearing up for their first snowboarding lesson
 Here are the kids with their snowboard instructor, Nick.  We scheduled 2 days of private lessons for all three of them together so that they could really learn the basics by a professional teacher.  He was a super nice guy
 Off they went for the day!



 Saturday night we took a gondula up to the very top of Keystone Mountain (about 20 minutes away from Breckenridge) to visit one of the family's favorite restaurants "Der Fondue Chessel" Jeremy remembers coming to this restaurant many times growing up.

When Jeremy and I were dating, his family invited me to come skiing with them and we went to this restaurant in 1994....17 years ago!!  I still could remember how amazing it was!
 Savannah and Grammy in the chilly gondula riding up the mountain
 Me and Madison snuggling together.  The resort would give you blankets to cover up with on the way to the restaurant (look at the cute hat that Grammy and Oompa surprised me with for my birthday)  Thank you so much!!  I love it!!
 Jeremy, Grammy, and Little Savannah
 We made a stop half way up the mountain to see a HUGE snow castle! (this pics is going on the Christmas card next year!!)
 Stopped for a photo op
 I have the BEST inlaws.....seriously.....I don't even think that they look at my blog so I am not saying that for affect!  I really do!
 Here is the HUGE life-sized snow castle!  What a dream playground!
 Here are the kids going inside
 There was even a slide inside!

 Another room in the castle had an ice sculpture.  It was truly a magical place, but I will tell you that it was SO COLD up there......only about 12 degrees.  That paired with the lack of oxygen way up 11,000 feet left me thinking that I might die!!
 As the sun went down, the kids couldn't get enough of this awesome snow castle!
 Then we had to take pictures of them pretending to fall off of the mountain.....they got quite a kick out of this
 Savannah "falling" off the mountain
 Madison "falling" off the mountain

We finally make it to the restaurant!
 We finally made it to the top of the mountain and inside of this warm and cozy restaurant
We totally had to defrost!
There was a HUGE fireplace with this old ski lift chair sitting next to it.  We just had to pose for some pictures
Now it is our turn to pose on the lift chair! Look at this really pretty winter headband that I am wearing!!! I got it from Lori for Christmas.  I got to wear it that is so pretty and hid my hat hair!
 Look at Nick's face.....makes me laugh!
 Here we all are together
 The restaurant is spectacular!  It has all of the Bavarian flags hanging proudly from the beautiful log ceiling
 An enormous roaring fireplace that we got to sit RIGHT next to......We were so cold!
 We ate tons of yummy food
My favorite part was the Swiss cheese fondue
 We listened to the Polka Band
We laughed!
 We shared stories
We danced the "Chicken Dance"
 We watched others dance "The Chicken Dance" as we clapped!
 Then we ate some more
 And some more.....
 And some more......
And Still some more......and then they brought out dessert!!!!



After a beautiful Sunday morning starting the day with Mass and the sweetest little church, we returned for our second day of snowboarding.  We were able to get some pics of the kids coming down the mountain

 Look at those 3 cool snowboarders!!
 Nicholas again, showing off how he can cut
 Madison coming down the mountain
There is Savannah again, showing us how she can turn like the professionals
 The kids picked it up so fast.  They were little professionals by the end of the weekend!
 And they looked SO CUTE in their snowboarding gear!
 Their instructor, Nick was so great!! They just loved him!  He really enjoyed them as well.  Here is Nick handing out their report cards.....they were so proud!
 Madi, Savannah, and Nicholas with "Nick" on the last day!  We'll miss you!

 On our last day we came back to the condo and rested a bit
 Played games
And as we ate dinner a snowstorm hit Breckenridge!  It just kept snowing!!
And kept on snowing as we slept that night!!
We woke up to a foot of new powder that next morning!  It looked like a wonderland.  Jesus was surly having fun when He created snow!  It just makes the landscape so clean and pure!
 Here are the kids playing "Go Fish" at the airport, waiting for our flight home.  It's always nice to travel but I am always thankful to return home.

What a great weekend!