Thursday, November 27, 2008

ThanksGiving With the Cookes

Here is a photographic tour of our Thanksgiving here in Allegany County, with Laura, Andrew, Lucy and Phoebe.
We arrived in Frostburg last night after a LONG drive in lots of traffic. It was all good though. We got here safe and sound and the boys started in playing with Lucy as soon as they walked in the door. They LOVE their nieces.
We got going early the morning so that we could get to Mass. It was such a nice Mass and Lucy was such a good girl!
The boys were dying to get out in the snow so they put on their snow clothes and went out to have a snowball fight. Andrew put on his snowpants and he and Tim took them all up to the park to play in the snow. They ended up building a HUGE snowman and Andrew took some great pictures.
Laura and I stayed here and worked on dinner. Lucy went down for a nap, and she wasn't really ready to wake up when she got up, so she took a nap in the sling while Laura cooked.
Then while when Andrew got back she slept some more...
The turkey was roasting away in the roaster, and we made the Mashed potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Green bean casserole, Rolls, Jello, and more...Lucy was a great help...she loved the appetizers!

we put dinner on the table and it was a lovely spread, especially with the Franciscanware that Grandma Maggie used to use.

Andrew had a hand in carving the turkey, but we took the knives away from him....
The meal was a success and even the boys liked some of it. They did eat most of it though.

Lucy knew where HER dinner was!
After dinner the kids all piled onto the couch to enjoy some downtime. Lucy was so happy with her uncles...
Stay tuned for the next chapter....
Cookie Bake '08

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Great Bedroom shift of '08

Well we did it, we did lots!
This was the weekend that we decided to move Paul upstairs with Brendan and to move John across the hall into the smaller room.
Tim also did a masterful job building a box into the woodbox next to the fireplace in the basement.Here Brendan and Lilly are having a chat.
Lilly found that a wonderful diversion and we have dubbed it "the baby box". It is really storage box for toys and such, but when the little ones are here it will make a great place to play. She really is smiling, this is her "cheese!"

The work upstairs started last week with the sorting, donation and moving of lots of the boys stuff. They gave away some of the things that they never use, we moved everything they are keeping into the big room, and I got the small room ready for new paint.
I spent all of yesterday painting and then Tim put up the trim. It looks so nice! We are going to get a couple of new doors and then those rooms are done for the foreseeable future.John is just giving me an "Aw Mom!"

The bedroom that Paul was in, across from ours, is going to be a room for grandkids and guests.
It is so nice to have a space that is totally toddler friendly. No Legos, magnets, teeny tiny pieces of anything. I feel much better now. If I can just keep them downstairs...
Bosco slept through the whole thing.
Paul is quite at home with Brendan. It was time for him to be upstairs with the guys.
They have a LOT of room. That room is huge!
Now if I can just get them all to keep them clean.....

Feast of Christ the King

May Christ reign in our hearts today and always....

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Bless├Ęd One.

The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.

The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.

To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.

Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blessings Everywhere!

I want to share the pictures I got over the last few days, while Laura and Lucy were visiting.
They came down on Wednesday and stayed until this morning.
We had a wonderful visit and got in some Christmas sewing as well! I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of what we sewed, but that might spoil someone's surprise!
Nina stopped by and we had Lilly part of the time, so the girls got some "cousin time" in as well.
John's team lost their game today, but just barely! The team they played is the only one that beat them in the regular season, and they only beat them by one point!
On Friday and Saturday our parish put on the "Christmas Express", our annual bazaar.
I worked in the "Mary Room" and helped the kids make rosaries. It was so neat to help them create their very own rosary and then show them how to say the prayers.
I met some of the nicest people.
One family was there on Friday night with their little boy. He was so cute. He was making a rosary for his mom, who was expecting his little brother. She said she had been having a few contractions. The next afternoon in walked the little boy with his grandma and grandpa. He was just beaming! His mom had gone in to the hospital and had his little brother that very night! He came back and made a rosary for the little guy!
Then there was the little girl who came in and was working very hard on her own rosary. She kept putting olive green beads on, in between the colored ones. She said they were for her dad, who is in the army and overseas for the next year. I saw some pretty moist brown eyes, but we talked about how she could pray those beads for him all year. I sure hope her prayers bring him back soon and safely. I am going to add a few of my own.

Laura and Lucy came by and Lucy got to string a few beads as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Go Hurricanes!!

It's Soccer tournament time in Harford County.
Yesterday Paul and Brendan had their games and John had a practice.

Paul's team has had a learning year and so the game didn't go all that great.
Paul is really not an avid soccer player and he really wasn't into the tournament. I think that Paul provided a good service to his team this season in that he was at every practice and at almost every game. He was insurance against forfeit for lack of players, and that is OK for the first year. He is fast and he is going to be a very good player someday. He really has no interest in competition at this point, but he got lots of exercise and fresh air and I am pleased.

Brendan had an excellent team this year and he played very well. He learned so much and he DOES have the competitive spirit. I think he'd like to be playing hockey, but soccer is a game that is really good for him right now (although the boys have developed an interesting game with Brendan's hockey gear, a baseball and a couple of brooms, you'd have to see it.).
His team played their hearts out yesterday. They were really good, but the other team had an extra team's worth of kids to put in and there was an awful lot of illegal play going on that the refs were unwilling to call on. I was really proud of our guys. They are all young gentlemen and their sportsmanship on the field was very impressive. The parents were all very polite too, and I was just so proud to be a part of our team. That's what we are trying to teach these kids. When the going is tough, you do your best and you can be proud no matter what the outcome. They were the winners, the real winners.
Brendan was having a terrible time with pain in his heels though, so he was pretty uncomfortable. That is where his growing pains are showing up right now. He has flat feet and it can flare up and be really uncomfortable.

John's game today was just awesome!
His team really played Soccer. They were fast and moved the ball and kept the other team on the defensive for most of the game. John played well and he was able to make a couple of good passes. The team that they played won their first Tournament game yesterday 7-0. They are really good, but the Hurricanes beat them 2-1. It was so neat. John felt really good. I let him pick out what he wanted for dinner (Chicken wings and baked potatoes. He didn't pick the broccoli but you can't have everything).
Next Saturday they will play the next round so hang on for another update.

The other news of the weekend is that I am finally making progress on moving the boys around and getting Paul and Brendan into the big room upstairs so that we can have the bedroom on this floor for guests and grandbabies.
I am trying to do this in an organized manner (it's what I do, so I'd better!) so I started by sorting, and tossing and donating a TON of stuff. John's room first, yesterday. We pulled piles of unused toys out and tossed lots of papers and just things he has collected that he doesn't want anymore.
He is moving on from toys to models and Science stuff. He is keeping the K*Nex and Legos for the moment because they are pretty ageless. We cleaned the whole room and I ended up with four empty tubs!
Then today it was on to Brendan's room. I have to move most of his stuff into John's room and they will share while I paint. Then John will have his own space again.
I am thinking about moving B and P's clothes down into the laundry area and doing a "family closet" for them. That is a clothing management method that works really well because the clothes are put on and removed in an area that is close to the laundry. I think I will try it, mainly so that I have done it and will know how it works for clients later on. The two boys would then not have to have their clothes stored in the bedroom, which has a tiny closet that barely works for one person, let alone two. I know we don't want to go the dresser route. Dressers are just too hard for kids to keep organized. Ideally I hope to have shelves built into the unused side of the crawl space someday. That was what I had as a kid and it was so nice. Shelves are just so much better for kids.
So I am embarking on my winter projects. It is going to keep us busy, but it is always nice to get things done.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A word from our Papa...

I have just finished reading the message of Congratulations that our Holy Father sent to Barak Obama yesterday.
As in all things, when I feel uncertain or worried about events or situations in life, I look to the Holy Father for his direction and try to follow him as closely as I can. He is our Shepherd, given that position by Christ himself. I trust him and I have faith in his wisdom.

Here is what he said:

he papal message opened by referring to the "historic occasion" of the election, marking the first time a black man has been elected president of the United States.

The pope congratulated Obama, his wife and family, Father Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said.

"He assured him of his prayers that God would help him with his high responsibilities for his country and for the international community," Father Lombardi said.

The pope also prayed that "the blessing of God would sustain him and the American people so that with all people of good will they could build a world of peace, solidarity and justice,"

I have to follow the example of our Pope, as a Catholic and as a Christian.
I pray for wisdom, courage and discernment for our incoming President.
I pray that he will be aware of God's guidance as he makes decisions, and I pray that all those under his leadership will be afforded the rights that this country was founded on: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

"Nothing can come but that which God wills. And I make myself very sure that whatever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be best." ~ St Thomas More

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Such Good Friends

This weekend we had a really wonderful opportunity to get together with the Zumbrum Family, our dear friends that recently moved out of the area.
Paula was so generous in offering her home to entertain so many friends. There were seven families there, but when you consider that the average for each of these is six kids, that's quite a crowd!

There were a couple of new faces in the group.Here is Jeanne, and little Daniel, and Paula, holding the Baldwin's newest treasure, Vincent.

Connor Baldwin chimed in with the rest of the crowd. Mary Catherine waited her turn.

This is the "Adult" table. It was so nice to visit with our friends, Lisa Tellup, John and Susan Andrews, Kenny and Leocea McClanahan.

Some beautiful young ladies, Kathleen Zumbrum, Lisa Zumbrum, Maria Hoppel, Daniel Hoppel, Jennifer Zumbrum, and Anne Zumbrum. Such grace in these sweet faces!

The boys were outside and managed to avoid the camera. They had a blast playing in the yard and then after dark, they all went out and played flashlight tag!

I just had such a nice time, so did Lilly, who went along with us. She played with the little ones and all the "small fry" toys.

The Zumbrum family seems to be doing very well. They are setling into the new house and we hope to go up to Pennsylvania see them soon!