Sunday, September 28, 2008

A.J. in Soccer

A.J. is loving soccer this year. He is quite good at it, too, for a five year old. It's fun watching him play. His team this year is called the Green Light Sabers. Can his uniform get any brighter? I'm thinking of getting all the kids jerseys like this one so that I can find them easily in a crowd!

He picked lucky number SEVEN as his jersey number!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Would you want to know?

Rich and I just finished watching "The Bucket List" -- have you seen it? It was good. So these two men both are dying of cancer and develope a friendship, then they make up a list of things to do before they "kick the bucket" and they set out doing them.

Anyway, one point made in the movie is that only about 4% of people would want to know the day they will die, while 96% would choose to not know. If you only had 6 months to live, would you want to know? If you were going to die in a week, would you want to know? If you were going to die two years from today, would you want to know?

I think I would want to know. I would want to make my own "bucket list" and really LIVE and cherish every moment, not get stressed out over things like smeared jelly on the carpet, or nag the kids to clean their closets. I would want to take the time to make personal letters and videos for my kids to have. I would want to take more trips, have them skip days of school to do more family outings, things like that. I would want to be able to tell everyone how much they mean to me. I would hate to just suddenly be taken away from everyone I love, leaving things unfinished or unsaid. I don't know...I guess I'm in the small 4% of people who would like to know.

What would YOU want? To know or not to know?

Random Pics

Andrew smiling his sweet smile.
Aria on the changing table
Alex holding his littlest sister.

Oh...this morning was a mess. I gave Andrew his oatmeal and then went upstairs to change Aria. When I came down, this is what I found. Do you realize oatmeal hardens to cement if you don't get to it right away? Well, I couldn't clean him up right away because Aria was very fussy and I had to hold her. Both Avery and Alex said "No Way" when I asked them to try to clean him up. So there he sat, for about 30 all that yuck. I don't think he minded too much. But then it was SO hard getting all the oatmeal out of his hair. What a mess! It wasn't one of my better mornings....but....just check out that smile. Could you have stayed angry with that face smiling at you?

Aria's Baptism

On September 14 Aria was baptised into our Catholic faith. She wore the same baptismal gown that I wore when I was her age, and my sister wore, and all my children and my sister's children have worn it. It just keeps getting passed down from child to child.

Rich and I listen as it is explained to us our responsiblities in bringing Aria up in the church.
Aria slept most of the time during her baptismal ceremony...

....and she didn't even cry during the actual baptism. A little water on the head doesn't bother her :)
All the kids with their new little sister on her special day!
Aria with Mommy back at home after her baptism. We had family over for the celebration -- there was a lot of food and of course a pretty cake for Aria! (which I ate two pieces of...I love cake!)

Wash'n Mom's Car

Avery loves to wash cars. I don't know why, but she does. Especially my car. I think she has her eye on it -- making her plans on when she gets her license one day!
Check out our cubby system in the garage -- once upon a time they used to be neat and organized. Now everyone just throws their stuff in there. It's a mess. Oh well.
Aislynn and Andrew... with A.J, Alex and Avery in the background.

Big Brother's Love

Whenever Aria cries, Alex is right there for her. He picks her up and carries her around the house. She often falls asleep in his arms. How is that for an eight year old big brother??

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Homeschooling Days

Homeschooling is a lot of fun. People think it's a lot of work -- well, it can be I guess...but mostly it's a lot of fun. I really like having the kids at home with me. Sometimes they drive me nuts, but for the most part I really like that they are with me all day instead of in school. There will come a day in the not-so-distant future where they will be in school most of their days and then in activities in the afternoon, and I will barely see them. So I'm going to cherish these homeschooling days right now and enjoy them for what they are -- not perfectly scheduled days, not chaos-free days, but days at home spent with me and their siblings.

Here is Alex. He is working with third grade material this year. He writes everyday in his "journal" and he loves to read. He is really good at math. He needs to work on his writing -- he often forgets to use capital letters and the correct punctuation at the end of sentences.

And here is Avery. This year she is working from the second grade books. We are concentrating on getting her to read fluently right now. She reads Dr. Suess books everyday to reinforce her basic words. She loves reading them outloud to herself or to Aria (sometimes I put Aria next to Avery on the couch as she's reading. It gives Avery an audience which boosts her reading confidence, and it gives Aria something to focus on and listen to while I try to fold some laundry or clean up the kitchen)

Monday, September 22, 2008


5:30am is a crazy time to be in water doing laps. But yet, that's what I did today. For one full hour. During the workout I kept thinking I could be in my bed all warm and cozy... and then I did one more lap. And another. And another. Before I knew it, the hour was up and I had done 1700 yards. I got out, went home, showered and started my day with the kids. And now it's 9:46am and I feel great, and I've gotton a lot done around here already now that I've had a jump start on the day. Avery and Alex's school day is almost done -- just need to do spelling and that's it for today. They have both done their piano practice for the day, too. When I'm up and motivated, the whole house seems to be. I guess these morning workouts aren't all that bad, afterall :)

Friday, September 12, 2008


Well, I've joined a swimming program. I'm going into my third week with it. It's called the "Masters" and it's a swim team for adults. Can you believe I'm doing this??! Like my plate isn't full enough with a new baby. But whatever. There's no better time than the present, you know? Life doesn't get less busy. This much I know.

Anyway, right now we are only practicing with workouts, but I guess in the spring they will start competing, too. For those of you who don't know, I used to swim on my high school swim team for all 3 years of high school. But since then, I haven't done any laps or anything at all in the pool except just getting wet on a hot day. I'm WAY out of shape for this. No endurance at all. I'm a fast sprinter, but after 100 yards I poop out. But, I'm haning in there.

The workouts are an hour long five days a week -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Monday and Wednesday's are at 5:30am Tuesday and Thursday's are at 6:30pm and Saturday's is at 7:00am. On my first day, the coach/instructor had me do the advance workout, since she knew I swam before (uh, yea...21 years and nine kids ago....) so that first day I did 3000 yards (one lap of the pool is 25 yards) Let me just tell you that I could barely get out of the pool that day, my muscles were so sore. I went home, soaked for an hour in Arbonne's Sea Source Detox Soak (which pulls the lactic acid from your GREAT) The next morning I woke up and was not sore at all -- amazing. And so the next workout and the ones following I scaled it back a bit to just 1500 yards. MUCH better. Still hard to do, but much better for me at this stage.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Starting High School

Here is Audriana on her first day of high school. I can't believe it -- I remember her first day of Kindergarten, when I watched her walk away in the line of kids and she was all happy to be going to school. She is still like this. She loves school and getting up early everyday to go. She's always been like this. She is the only one who I put into preschool at age 3 instead of 4...because she kept begging to go. She hasn't changed at all in that regard. She looked so pretty on her first day of high school -- I love these pictures.

What do you think about her hair? All summer long she asked if she could get her hair highlighted...and I was like, NO WAY -- don't mess with your natural color. But then I remembered how I was at age 15. I actually put a bunch of "Sun-In" in my hair to lighten it and rubbed lemon juice in it. For some reason I thought I'd look good as a blonde. WRONG. It actually turned my hair a yellowish-orange and was awful. But at the time, I thought I looked cool. So...after months of thinking about it, I decided to let Audriana have a say-so in what her hair looks like. I took her to a nice salon down the street and it took 2 hours for this cut and highlight. I think it looks really nice, and she loves it!!

Palm Springs Vacation

We took a 3 day family vacation to Palm Springs. Because it was so hot, I stayed in the room with Aria most of the time during the day. It might sound funny, but I loved that! She slept most of the time, and I had a lot of peace and quiet because Rich had the other 7 kids at the pool the entire time! I had a lot of time to just read and rest and work on the kids' school curriculum and lesson plans for the new school year.

I love this group shot of the kids. We take one like this every year. We've been going to this hotel for about 8 years now...there's always a new child in this group shot!! Bummer that Tony is missing from the photo this seems incomplete without him. He didn't go with us on this trip.

Cousins, cousins...everywhere!!!

We had a few visitors during the last week in August. My sister Theresa from Maryland came out with her two children, Andrew and Noel. When Theresa went on a three day cruise, the kids stayed with us. Then that same weekend Rich's sister Kathy came into town from Las Vegas to introduce us to our newest neice, Hailey...and with her came 4 of her other children. So at one point we had about...oh let's see....our 9 kids plus Andrew and Noel...then Kathy's that is 16 kids. We had 16 kids in the house!! It would have been 17 if Kathy's oldest was visiting, too. But he's 19 and had better things to do. Ha! Actually, I think he had to work. Anyway, it was a full house, that's for sure.

Cousin Gabriel with his new baby sister, Hailey

Afton holding Aria, Gabriel holding Hailey, and A.J. in the middle.

Here's all the Rich and his sister Kathy.

Andrew and Noel

Afton and Noel.

The boys...cousin Andrew with Alex, A.J. and Andrew (who we called "The Bud" during the time Andrew and Noel were with us. It got too confusing having two Andrew's in the house!!)

Afton gets a feel for what it would be like with twins!! Here she is holding Aria and Hailey...who someday soon will be playing together. They are just 16 days apart.

One Day Get-Away

Here are some pictures of our day in Palm Springs visiting our good friends The Eisenhuts. We only stayed a few hours, but the kids had a lot of fun!!

I love this group shot!!!

This is Alex next to Katelyn. They have been best buddies since they were born. Their personalities are so alike. They get along great, just like a brother and sister (which means that sometimes they fight!)