My Inner Artist

By | Posted November 10, 2012

Posted in friends, Random | 4 Comments »

After a failed attempt with family painting on Mother’s Day and my subsequent boycott of PP, I didn’t think I’d ever paint…

Then I saw a painting for El Dia De Los Muertos at a different company.  I forgave that the class was scheduled after said celebration, figuring I’ll have a great addition to the altar for next year.

Jill joined me, and we created this:

I was slightly worried about my skills as a painter, but I think it turned out pretty decent.  Good enough that I’ll try it again and suggested to Lance that this is the perfect activity for the next family get together.  It’s easy, you can chat and still spend time together while making a memory.

Bonus was meeting up with a blog/Twitter friend.  Random how that happens, isn’t it?

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On the feast of…

By | Posted November 4, 2012

Posted in Liturgical Year, saints | 3 Comments »

I love feast days and two of the best are All Saints and All Souls.  I love the saints and studying them.  They’re a great example for my kids because most of them certainly weren’t perfect their entire lives.  But once they converted, they had a zeal I hope my kids imitate.

We have our favorites in this family and enjoy learning about new ones.  I like finding new ways to teach about the saints and recently, I purchased some adorable saint peg dolls for Sunshine.  I imagine we’ll add more in our future.  Then there are the books…one more I just found today and on the wish list.

It’s easy to relate to the saints because most of them were like me at one time or another.  Now I’m not going to chronicle my sins, but it’s nice to know that these people I’m petitioning for prayers once led a life less than saintly.  It gives me hope.  And some days…when you yell at your kids for no real reason, argue for no reason and are just plain foul, well, it’s nice to know there is hope.

Hope, this is why I believe.

Hope that I get it right.  Hope that my kids have faith and live according to that faith.  Hope for a better world.  Hope for less cynicism in all areas.  And hope to see those that have gone before us.

And so we remember with love and in hope that we see them again:

Grandma (Bisa) and Grandpa Perez
Lipa Villegas
Grandpa Villegas
Marlise Renee Villegas
Richard Villegas
Grandma Maxine
Grandpa Zierlein
Grandma May
Grandpa Stephens
Ed Werlund
Lee McMaster

and many more…they are our history, our family, a part of us.  We miss each one of you.  We pray for your souls and beg prayers of you for us.

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Another Winner

By | Posted October 31, 2012

Posted in Baby Hulk, holidays, pictures | 2 Comments »

You know, I really am enjoying Lance and Charlie together. We all had our doubts, but they are good.  The show does interfere with life as I knew it.  And today was another example…only one Zierlein child was able to dress up properly.

This year it was Baby Hulk, or Big Hulk as he wants to be called now because he isn’t a baby.  Just a quick note to the moms that read the Today article and were horrified with Lance’s (and my) decision to dress up our kids the way we do.  I maybe get that, but there is no pressure.  Snax had no interest in being Tyrion Lannister despite being perfect.  I did however make him go as Darth Vadar.  No way I buy that many Star Wars t-shirts for him only to have him decide Darth Vadar is a bad guy.  When Goose found out Lance just couldn’t pull off Larry David, he was upset.  I think he really liked the attention he got last year.

Ron Swanson from Parks And Rec

Baby Hulk had to join us after we started and was so freaking excited.  Really proud and when someone recognized him, he was all smiles.  Jessica went with us which was really nice because we just don’t see enough of her.  Sunshine had her moments, but overall is not ready for tricks or treats.

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Happy, Happy

By | Posted October 30, 2012

Posted in Baby Hulk, pictures, school, Snax | 2 Comments »

I took the kids to Baby Hulk’s field trip today.  Everyone, particularly Snax had a great time.  In fact, he thinks he is part of BH’s K class.  The teacher was really cool about the kids being there and helped out with Snax when I was dealing with Sunshine, or Dark Cloud as she was today.

See, I can say something positive.  Nobody thought I could, but I can when there is a reason to do so.

There was another mom taking pictures of the kids as they rounded the curve.  Snax stopped for her too.

I find my daughter throwing fits like this more often than I’d like.

A great day with some of my favorite people.

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Daybook~ A Real Week of Fall

By | Posted October 29, 2012

Posted in Daybook, pictures | 8 Comments »

For Today…October 29, 2012

Outside my window…the sun is shining, it’s cold outside.  Okay, chilly is a more accurate word.  Whatever you say, it’s nice.

I am wearing…black yoga pants and a blue shirt.  Might want to think about changing out of my workout clothes soon.

I am listening…to Lola bark.  And that’s fine with me.   She is a lot of things, but overall a sweet dog.  And Baby Hulk wasn’t scared of her when he came home last night.

I am praying for…a special intention, patience, my kids in school, the grace to know whether some decisions are right and what to do about those that are wrong.

Moments of grace…a calm little boy in the face of an emergency.  This sweet boy who is not always the calmest child of mine, held it together so well, honestly, there was no reason to worry.  Pure grace.

From the kitchen…pumpkin bread, lots of pumpkin bread.  Margaritas, lots of those too.

To be fit and happy…like I said, I like boot camp, not liking the results.  After a month, no results.  I take that back, I am stronger, yes in my arms and shoulders, but not thinner, clothes are still tight and that’s how I gage if something is worthwhile.  Maybe it’s time for more cardio again.  Or maybe I just need to stop drinking and eating sweets.

Reading all the time…this is my current favorite picture of the kids.  I fully admit that I  recreate shots.  Not this one.  And nothing makes me prouder (at the moment) than to catch them reading like this.  Someone asked how I made this happen, I don’t know.  Most people I know read to their kids.  Certainly, my kids like a lot of other things besides reading, but they do enjoy it quite a bit.

Living the liturgical year…It’s the feast of All Saints and All Souls this week.  So excited.  I think I’ll bring out Sunshine’s new peg dolls for the display and then pack them up for her birthday.  My amazing friend made cookies for el Dia de los Muertos and mailed them to us.  Seven huge skull cookies.  I saved them for the feast.  I can’t wait to try them.

How cool…is it that my kids have been all over the Internet because of their Halloween costumes.  Aaron Paul tweeted the picture, Bryan Cranston mentioned it on television.  I mean, so freaking cool. even did a piece on them.  No mention of the cool wife that allows her husband to dress up her kids.  Guess I didn’t make the speech this time.

I am reading…Education in the Heart of My Home (not like it matters) and the perks of being a wallflower.  Finished two other books since I last wrote a daybook, pretty happy about reading again.  I might just be ready for a book club!

A few plans for the week…Halloween, All Saints Day, el Dia de los Muertos, two major tests for the 3rd grader, (yes, I realize how dumb that sounds), a visit with my in-laws and hopefully time to workout.

Bitch of the week…tomorrow is Baby Hulk’s field trip to Dewberry Farm.  I’m not a chaperone because I was planning to bring the littles along.  Today one of the mom’s from the other class said that their teacher notified them that siblings weren’t welcome.  Just another example of how ridiculous they are.  I’m not a chaperone, so why can’t I go with my littles as well.  And can I say that our teacher hasn’t said a thing to us about tomorrow.  And our room mom…I’ve never met someone less interested in communicating with a class.

In case you were wondering…it was more stressful to take four kids to putt putt than deal with a dog bite and have to hit the ER.  More “fun” pictures to share later.

A picture to share…

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My New Home?

By | Posted October 28, 2012

Posted in parenting, Random | 4 Comments »

I have eight friends I can think of without trying that have four kids, (and over half aren’t Catholic), so five kids doesn’t seem like much to me.

People make comments all the time..but it’s not a big deal.  I like order, and generally, we have it.  At the very least, I can keep a really clean house which gives me the illusion of order.

I had convinced myself that things are relatively easy.  Sure we’ve had some issues transitioning back to school this year, and I’m not talking about me…overall, easy, easy.  Give me another kid.  In fact, let me have another boy.

Then came the ER.

Two visits: less than one month.

First, Squirt dislocated his knee cap in wrestling.  The screams coming through the phone were horrible to hear.  Thankfully, he was walking the following day.  He milked it for all it was worth, even getting a coach to give him crutches when the hospital refused.  He seems fine, and we’re praying his MRI shows that he can get back to wrestling.

Saturday, Baby Hulk was bit by a dog.  On his face.  Yes, his beautiful face.  (The first thing everyone said was “not Baby Hulk, he’s so handsome!”  And then rushed to say how adorable everyone else is, but well, you know…Baby Hulk has old school good looks.  It’s true.

And he still does.

For a slightly hyper sensitive kid, he handled the bite really well.  Sure he cried for about five minutes, but stopped before we were even at the hospital.  And sat there texting his father while waiting for stitches.  Because of course, this happened when Lance was out of town.  BH doesn’t get to play with my phone so he was pretty happy and even tried to use his trip to the ER today in an effort to mess with it again.

I’m not the calmest person by nature, but I have to say I’m great in an emergency.  And really, I knew he would be fine.  Things happen.

That said, I’m not sure I’m ready for more trips to the ER.  And this is where having several kids might not be such a positive thing.  I should start taking bets on just how many times Snax will end up there.

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Read To Me

By | Posted October 23, 2012

Posted in Snax | 4 Comments »

This stack only took an entire hour.  And he still wants more.

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The Saint That Found Us

By | Posted October 21, 2012

Posted in saints | No Comments »

Today we have a new saint!!!

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized, and  I couldn’t be happier.

She is an American and the first Native American to be canonized.

When Squirt as 7, we used to read this little book about saints each day.  He would practice writing, (in what I would now consider narration but didn’t know that’s what I was doing at the time), and tell me about the saint.  We loved her.  I can’t explain why, we just did.  He still has that little notebook of narrations.

When I was pregnant with Goose and Snax, I prayed that I would deliver on her feast day.  I considered Kateri as a name for Sunshine.

When I had Super Saints, we studied Blessed Kateri.  Of the many crafts we did over that year, Goose kept his cross.  There’s just something about her that draws us to her.

And recently, when I ordered Sunshine those sweet little peg dolls…I ordered Kateri.  In fact, when I placed the order, she was still Blessed Kateri.  I informed the artist of her impending canonization just in case he put names on the peg dolls.   My package arrived this week with Saint Kateri in it.

It turns out that my uncle is working in New York for the year and is close to her shrine.  What are the odds?  I’ve asked him to visit for us and take lots of pictures, which I’m sure he will.  But maybe, just maybe we’ll get to visit as well.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us!  And Congratulations on your sainthood!!!

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Five For Friday ~ The Family Edition

By | Posted October 19, 2012

Posted in Five For Friday | 3 Comments »

:: What is it about 3rd grade?  For a child that has never had a problem with school, 3rd grade seems to be kicking some ass.  And by kicking ass, I mean we’re not making easy A’s.  We have 100’s and then we have a 50 coming home.  My favorite, the 56 in science lab because he was farting around instead of working.  I mean, wth???

And not to put our business out there…but how is it that Lamar High School doesn’t give lower than a 50 in high school even when there is literally no work to grade, but Goose gets what he earns.  So that 42 on a ridiculous worksheet?  No corrections allowed, no grade adjustments, no nothing.  It brought him down to an 89 in language arts.  He’s never had anything below a 97 in language arts.

This morning, I tell him he must get a 100 to bump that grade back up to an A.  He can do it, it’s a spelling test, Mr. Spelling Bee has never made anything below a 100 except for that one time in first grade when his teacher took off 2 points the first month of school for the wrong heading.  So a 100 was in the basket.  Except he made a 95.  Why?  Because he decided to write in cursive instead of print.  His teacher couldn’t read his writing.  And to be honest, he could have failed the test because his cursive is extremely questionable.  And I know, I know, it’s 3rd grade.  But let’s be real, when he brings home a low grade it’s because he isn’t paying attention not because it’s difficult, and that is what makes me so frustrated.  Sometimes math is difficult, but he has a 95.  So again, wth???

:: I’ve been going to boot camp for a few weeks.  It’s great.  I’m working out in a much different way.  Generally, I like it except for the whole people cheering you on bit.  In fact, I hate that part and would much rather everyone just not worry about me.  It doesn’t help me or inspire me one bit.  Despite that, I’ve been excited about it and the other day thought I might have lost a bit of weight.  Nope.   Then someone from boot camp said something about my legs.  It took all my might not to be a witch and say my legs were never the problem.

:: Sunshine has learned to climb~ the other day I was putting away clothes and heard something.  It was just her on the top freaking bunk.  So scary.  And just now, I caught Goose teaching her to climb the playhouse in the backyard.  You have to love those big brothers.  I’ll have to remember this when people tell me how helpful older siblings are.  Sunshine loves the outside, and I do too, but I wasn’t ready to be outside with her the entire time.  Now I have no choice.  She climbs.  And she’s fast.

She also made a little girl cry today.  Not her finest hour.

:: Baby Hulk has been in school for 9 weeks.  He has not come home with one piece of paper I have kept.  Now I know I’m all about throwing things away, but I’m the person who framed Goose’s stick figure drawing of the family.  The mom who has all of the lunch notes she has written to her sons, (because now Squirt will bring them home too) and wouldn’t it be really shitty to just throw these notes away?!  Seriously, what do I do with them???  And seriously, how is there not one. single. thing. to save from Kindergarten.  Oh, I know, because it is useless.

:: And lastly: My dear husband, he is heading to college station this weekend for the LSU game.  He’s going with an Aggie.  Some of our closest friends are Aggies.  I have a separated at birth sister who is an Aggie.  So I have a love for them despite their choice of school.  That said, if my husband wears an Aggie shirt to the game, even a white one, I can guarantee there will be no more Zierleins coming from this marriage. Not even the slightest hint, not a twinkle in his eye…nothing.

Have a good weekend.  I’d like to say it can’t get worse than last weekend.  But I know I just jinxed myself.

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By | Posted October 15, 2012

Posted in Random | 2 Comments »

I did it.

In the ultimate act of letting go, I popped my fitball and threw it in the trash.  Despite the fact that it’s so easy to use~ you can work your abs and watch television.  Despite having a friend that teaches fitball who would willingly give me her routine, I had to finally concede that I will never, ever use it.


We’ve had this ball for at least four years.  First, it was in the corner of the room.  It made it’s way to the closet over the last two years.  The boys bring it out to play with fairly regularly.

The past week I’ve had to move it several times to find something in the closet and enough was enough.

I found a pair of scissors and stabbed it.  It felt great to stab it a few times.  Have I mentioned I’m uptight lately?!

Getting rid of this ball helped me realize how much I have slacked in getting serious about getting rid of the crap.  Making hard choices about what we need and don’t need in our lives.  I see areas where I have done well, but many where I’ve failed.  (No new clothes for Sunshine since last spring, meaning no fall clothes!  WIN)  (New saint dolls Sunshine had to have for her birthday. Fail…)  Books that I feel are worthy for the home library, even though I can check them out from the library, WIN and FAIL (?!).  It’s always a challenge to take a hard look at yourself and your habits.

It’s hard to live with less, especially in this country.  Yet it’s important to remain detached.

I’m in a bit of a funk with this new schedule of Lance’s.  In theory, we should have the same amount of time together.  In reality it is much different.  I need to figure out a new routine that works for me and the kids.  And then we’ll purge again.  A sort of fall cleaning to get ready for Advent.  See?  I’m giving myself until Thanksgiving to purge.

I have promised myself I won’t buy any new Halloween decorations, but instead use natural items.  (A bag of gourds from the grocery does not count as a new purchase.)

And Christmas decorations?  Another fail already, I purchased the Snoopy ornaments for our main tree in September.  BUT…I am going to try and make a nativity decoration this year so there’s that.  Of course, with my recent attempt at making a fall banner a huge fail, we’ll see how that goes.  I might be calling on some of my more crafty friends for help.  Before Christmas shopping, I’ll reread Simplicity Parenting.  Such a great book that brings all of this into focus for me.

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