To Make A Mom Proud

By | Posted February 24, 2014

Posted in Catholic, Goose | 1 Comment »

DSC_2674For about two years straight Goose has been asking when he can be an altar server.  Last Sunday he made his debut.


Being a little nervous, he asked his big brother if he would serve as well.  Squirt is 18 now, technically he should be an acolyte, but serve he did to give his little brother some confidence.


Goose was great.  I am so proud that he wants to serve during mass.  I have to say at his age, I had no interest in being an altar server, though my church didn’t have girls.  Squirt was the same way, the second he received his First Communion he started serving, he was even an altar server during his siblings’ Baptisms.

Watching Goose serve reminds me of when Squirt used to serve at this age, and this married guy used to say how awesome it was that he was serving Jesus.  And it was awesome, but it was so creepy the way he said it.  He would kind of badger Squirt about being a priest, and all I could think was let the poor kid graduate elementary school before he commits to being a priest.  I can’t quite describe it, but it got on my nerves and turns out on Squirt’s as well because he mentioned it to me the other day.

Anyway…super proud of my boy.  I can’t wait to see him in action during Holy Week.  Wish I had better pictures from that day, but technically, I’m not supposed to be taking pictures during mass.


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Daybook~ Winter days

By | Posted February 4, 2014

Posted in Daybook | No Comments »


For today:: February 4, 2014

Outside my window:: It’s gray, rainy and cold.  It’s kind of nice to be snuggled up with Sunshine inside the house.

I am praying for:: a friend who lost her son, my aunt, the souls of two men, patience and simplicity.


I am reading:: Reconstructing Amelia.

I am watching:: a ton of movies, reviews to come soon, but let’s just say I have my personal picks for Best Movie, Actor and Actress.  I assume there isn’t a chance that Cate Blanchett loses, but you never know.  It’s interesting, though, to listen to my different friends’ opinions on movies.  We’re alike in so many ways, then I get a text from a friend telling me they are bored in a movie I felt was robbed.  All the women I know were bored in Gravity, while the men loved it.  Ready for docs and foreign films.


Loving the moments:: when it’s just me and Sunshine.  She amazes me on a hourly basis with what she says.  We have been working on a lot of puzzles.  She loves them, and that makes me smile.  I could literally sit and listen to my old mix tapes working on puzzles all day long.  Of course, I don’t have time for that anymore so I’ll take doing small puzzles with her.



Super frustrated:: that my laptop isn’t charging properly and I need to get it fixed.

Happy and content:: that Lance is home after two weeks away.  I have to say the weeks weren’t as bad as I thought they might be.  We were busy, but kids were in bed on time with stories every night, I was able to check Goose’s math homework, we managed to get a project turned in despite it printing the wrong way and I made hot dinners every single night.  We even had an ice day at home, a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts to see The Little Dancer by Degas…all in all a great time.  That said, I am so glad my husband doesn’t travel for his job but a few times a year.  I like having him around.


Living the liturgy:: It’s a great week in the church~ Candlemas, St. Brigid, St. Blaise, just this week!  We managed to celebrate St. Blaise yesterday on his actual feast day.  The other two we’re weaving into the week.  Sunshine ran and got her St. Blaise peg doll and made him smile for the camera!  She also colored a picture for him and made cut outs for him.  It was pretty freaking cute.  Sunshine and I made it mass for the blessing of the throat, but nobody else did so after dinner Lance blessed the boys and then we had treats.



Towards fitness and health:: UGH.  Those ten pounds I kept saying I gained over the last couple of months, well, I wasn’t exaggerating.  I finally got on the scale.  YUCK.  Here’s the problem, while I could possibly workout a bit harder, I have to admit it’s all in the food intake.  Which stinks, because I really like food.  Clearly.  I am contemplating running a half marathon.  I easily ran 6 miles the other day, that’s halfway there, right?  We’ll see, I’m not sure it makes sense to actually start running in your almost mid-40’s.

On the menu:: Salmon and snow peas, soup and Irish soda bread with salad, rice and sausage, fish tacos and spaghetti supper at church on Friday.  Not too bad of a plan.  No baked goodies.  For a long, long time.


One of my favorite things:: is it appropriate to say vodka?  The spicy vodka from Dolce Vita?  No, okay, how about trying new places?  We went to Caracol for Lance’s birthday.  It was pretty freaking great.  I can’t wait to go again, except there are so many other places we need to try.

Around the house:: I’ve decided I want/need to repaint the hallway and kitchen.  After seven years and five kids, it looks bad.  Meanwhile, Sanx wants a new room that includes a brother or sister sleeping in said room.  Poor guy, he hates being alone in his room.  So last night, we moved his mattress to the floor of the other room.  He loved it.  I have to admit it looks really trashy though.

A few plans for the week:: lunch with the boys, Bible storytime, First Friday mass, Rhett Miller concert and basketball games….Oh and study, Goose has a test in science on Friday, SS on Monday, Math on Tuesday as well as his current AR project due Tuesday.  Should be a fun weekend.

A look inside my day::


This dog…is an outdoor dog, and I’ll admit, I’ve been trying to find her a new home for years.  Since the weather has been so cold, clearly she’s been inside and the kids love it.  And now she expects to come in all. the. time.

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Icy Conditions

By | Posted January 28, 2014

Posted in children, Family Life, parenting | No Comments »

Today may have been near perfect.  No school due to the threat of ice.  The second time in less than a week.  Thank you, God, for this amazing day home with my kids.

Some parents were grumbling~ a day home with the kids, what are we going to do all day?  I will say it again, I will never, ever understand that kind of thinking.  Ever.  And believe me, I am no saint.  I yell and fuss and get annoyed with the kids.  A lot.  But I love being with them.  And so days like today, I consider a gift.

I waited all afternoon yesterday to get the word that school would be cancelled, and then even longer to hear word from HCC.  By midnight I knew I had the kids all to myself.  Lance is in NYC, so it was just me inside with five children.

And what a great day we had.  Sunshine ended the day telling me she needed to go to bed because she was so tired.  This was at the end of 45 minutes of reading books from the winter basket.  Great books, I might add.

Our day was filled with snuggles in bed this morning, cartoons, legos for all,  fresh baked cookies, hot chocolate, coloring, puzzles for the 3 year old and the 5 year old and the 9 year old.  In the late afternoon, Squirt asked to go hang with friends, I said no.  I don’t think he was that upset.  He played games with BH instead.  We ended with a simple dinner where everyone laughed and enjoyed their food.  Finally, we enjoyed our books and everyone got a round of snuggles from me.

I know this day was amazing because I have been trying to make a snowflake craft with the kids for three weeks now, and today I knew we would get to it.  It would fit right into having a day off due to wintery conditions, I even had options for Sunshine to make.  We never got to that craft.  And I didn’t stress about it one bit.  It was okay; the day was full and intentional for all of us.

It’s how I wish all our days were.  Picture from today?  I almost got the camera out, then decided to just live instead.

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David Villegas

By | Posted January 20, 2014

Posted in Family Life | 8 Comments »

My Uncle David passed away  Saturday, November 30, 2013 in the early morning.

My Uncle David was without a doubt my favorite uncle, no offense to my second favorite uncle.  My dad commented at the hospital that all the nieces loved him.  And it’s true, we did.  But so did the nephews.  And so did my children.


And so a few words to try and honor my uncle.

He was first and foremost a husband.  A great husband, someone who honored his wife and stood with her always.  Lance and I had spoken of this many times over the years.  It was obvious, they had each other’s back.  And at the hospital my dad made it clear, that he had my aunt’s back because his brother always had her back.  They were a team.

A team that endured the loss of a daughter 15 years ago, almost to the day, and yet stood together.  It was probably the hardest thing they ever dealt with, but they were together, a team that showed us you can make it through unbearable grief.  It wasn’t easy for them, and the pain never left, but they were together.

And so he was a father, a father who adored his only daughter.  A dad who would do anything to make her happy.

He was a great brother, maybe closest to my father, someone who would call just to say two words and hang up, several times throughout the day.  Someone who would tease my dad about the Cowboys.  He was also extremely close to my brother.  My aunt commented that with Hector, David could just be.  They were true friends.

But to me he was just an uncle, an uncle who opened his home to not only me, but my friends during college.  His house held many BBQ’s over the years and many card games.  It was always a place for fun.

I remember playing cards and going nil or blind nil, watching all of my uncles just have fun being together.  I have a really amazing extended family, they are far from perfect, but when they are on, they are on.  I’ve yet to meet a family as fun as mine and my uncle was a huge part of it.


My uncle was the first person I wanted Lance to meet once I knew he was “the one”.  I warned Lance that he would tease him to no end and immediately he did.  He and my aunt were the Padrinos of the lasso at my wedding.  I swore I wouldn’t get married until they would join in my celebration, and I didn’t.

I think the main thing I want to remember is how my kids knew my uncle.  They visited him, and knew who he was.  They prayed nonstop for him once they learned he was sick.  And today, Sunshine prays for his soul.  It’s not me, it’s all her.  They sensed the importance of him.

When we traveled to Austin we always had breakfast with them.  And each time, I always took a picture of the kids with him and my aunt.  I’m sad that the last time we were together I didn’t get a picture of the kids with my aunt and uncle.  I have to be okay with that, the memory is in my heart.

I loved my uncle for many reasons, we gossiped about stuff, he gave me my Snoopy phone, let me and my friends come over during college, walked with me and my dad during Halloween on 6th street wearing a huge sombrero, loved the Longhorns, and was a killer BBQ’er.  He would ask my kids questions, tease Squirt about girls and telling him to always remember “Uncle David is always right”.  (Random, but Squirt signed every card to them with that quote.)

Uncle David went to TX/OU with my dad, brother and another uncle.  While I was slightly jealous that I decided not to attend that game, I love thinking of them all together for that last game.

My dad came home and told me that my uncle was sick.  He even requested that I send him a text to check on him and encourage him to get to a doctor.  Uncle David did go, but the diagnosis was hard.  He was willing to fight though.

His fight was short, and while I miss him terribly, I am grateful for minimal suffering.  Yet at the same time, I can’t believe I won’t get a call from him this year on my birthday.

Birthdays were huge for him.  And he was not unlike me.  He was very aware of who called him on his birthday.  Even this year on November 7th, he joked that he was crossing my name off the list since I had called early.  He still could joke a little.  Even on that last Friday, hours before his passing, he communicated well when he was awake.  I asked him if he wanted me to bring the kids into the ICU and his eyes got huge and he shook his head NO.  I am sure he was thinking those kids are going to kill me not this cancer.

Bless you, Uncle David.  You have a crew of kids over here praying for you, especially one sweet, little girl who also remembers to pray for Aunt Diana.  We love you and miss you so very much.  I’m proud to call you my uncle, I wish you were still here, but I am happy knowing you are watching over all of us.   We’ll be gossiping soon enough.  I love you, Uncle David.


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School Projects

By | Posted January 20, 2014

Posted in school | 6 Comments »

Seriously, I can’t take them.  And having a certain fourth grader who NEVER, EVER starts a project early is going to drive me insane.  Last weekend, he didn’t finish his project until late Sunday night.  It was a project over a book he had read.  Oh, you know, a book read, the day after Christmas.  Yup, he had several weeks to finish.  Just didn’t do a thing.  So finally, I took control and said this is your project, come up with your list.  Ran to the store to buy supplies, printed pictures for him and sat with him while he typed his information.  He turned in his project on time.

Only to receive another damn project due tomorrow.  So despite my threats of any privileges being gone if it wasn’t done by Saturday, he did not do one single thing.  So today, he worked all day- from 8 am to 8 pm on what was really an easy project.  Why?  Because clearly, he doesn’t give a shit and knows mom will help him out in the end.  In fact, I did help him.  All day long.  I sat next to him at the computer because when I left him alone last night to work, he did not write one single sentence.  Not one.  Today, I sat next to him all day with a sick sibling in my lap and let him read his information again.  Then sat with him while he wrote, line by line.  I think that’s called enabling.  Sure, I’ll fussed and bitched the entire time, but in the end, there in his folder is his project.  Done, ready to be graded.

But this is it.  No more.  I’ve read several articles about letting your kids fail~Love and Logic and natural consequences, they need to fail early on before it really matters.  It starts this week.  You don’t do your project, have fun at a new middle school making new friends.  Have fun, kid.  Because, guess what?  I am done.  Too bad that you are not a self starter and can’t finish your work.  This work is not hard, except maybe math and science, and dad always helps with that.  This work just requires you to actually get off your butt and do it.

So my new mantra is to let them fail.  You have no idea how hard this is for me, control freak that I am.  The experts say it’s important to let your kid fail, and clearly this specific child is going to learn this lesson.  Or maybe he will actually do his work.  You should have heard his brothers today.  They were absolutely furious that yet another weekend was screwed for them because of his laziness.  Here’s hoping that they learn this lesson by example.

Oh and yes, we already have the date for his next two projects…one over a book he has, yes, already read, and another a sign language project.  Not too hard.

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On the man in the red suit

By | Posted January 20, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sure, I know it’s past the Christmas season, but I started this post way back when I thought I might find the time to finish a post.

So just a word or two on Santa and that effing elf.

First, yes, I believed in Santa, and so do my kids.  That said, almost every single gift comes from me.  Okay, me and Lance.  But really it’s me, the kids know who does the shopping and not because I let it slip.  They just know those things.  Santa brings two gifts per child, sometimes one big gift.  That’s it.  Some fat man in a red suit is not stealing my thunder after all my hard work picking out presents.

I’m fine with the whole Santa thing, I mean it doesn’t bother me to lie to my kids about him.  That said, I don’t think it takes away from the magic of Christmas not to do Santa.  I say “do” because there is definitely a group out there that definitely doesn’t talk about Santa at all.  The ones I know are uber Catholics.  It’s the whole Saint Nicholas thing…he was in fact real so why focus on some legend when you can talk about the real saint?  I get that and actually kind of like that.  I would love to have stockings on St. Nicholas day, but Lance likes Santa.  Because I could care less about him, he is always worried I’ll give him away.  I won’t, but let me say, when Goose told me he didn’t believe this year, I was happy!  And you know what?  Christmas for him was still special and magical.  Even without Santa.

I will say, I never use Santa as a threat for gifts.  I don’t like that.  We never earn gifts, especially during Christmas, I mean, come on, isn’t Christmas about the birth of the Savior?!!  So for me, the threat of telling Santa if you’re bad just kind of drives me crazy.  Probably not kind of.

So Santa is fine as long as not a “be good” mechanism.  The elf?  Get the fuck out of here.  I won’t even pretend and if you are around me, I won’t pretend for your kids so don’t bring him up around me.  I mean, all but three of my friends have an elf, and the others don’t let me around their kids during December, so clearly, I’m in the minority on this damn thing.  I guess it’s the entire stress of Christmas for me, but I don’t want one more thing.  I love traditions and maybe that elf is a great tradition for others, but honestly, we’ve got some pretty good traditions going in our family, something that is important to both me and Lance, so I don’t need an elf.  Ever.  And again, I think my kids are okay.  But to those who do, great for you and your creativity on moving him to new spots each day.  Creativity is not my strong suit at all, so maybe that’s why I don’t do it.

Then there is the Catholic take…”no, we will not move an elf daily, that’s not what Christmas is about…we will move our wise men every day until epiphany.”  Just as bad as far as I’m concerned.  I mean, really, any house that refuses to use an elf on religious reasons clearly knows about the reason for the season.  Do we have to move wise men????

So there it is…my take on Santa!

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Five For Friday

By | Posted January 17, 2014

Posted in Five For Friday | 2 Comments »

The Oscar nominations came out yesterday.  Guess what I’ll be doing the next six weeks nonstop?  Anyone care to help babysit during the day?  Just one sweet little girl.

I’ve seen exactly one movie in the last several months; American Hustle which I liked, but didn’t love.  Amy Adams, I loved and not because of her low cut dresses.  Dying to see Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club and Bruce Dern in Nebraska.  Now that they are officially nominated as are the movies, I have no excuse.

I always do this, wait until the last minute to see movies.  To think, my first date with Lance was two movies, (both Oscar contenders!).  The plan is to power watch, then get together with some friends to watch the Oscars.  No Chicago party since Paul is still in school.

So football season is over for those of us in Houston.  Except my husband is obsessed with the draft, in a good way, I suppose.  So he goes to the Senior Bowl.  For four full days as opposed to his past two day trips.  He returns home to take me to dinner and pack again for the Super Bowl.  I can’t remember my excuse for not going with him to NYC.  Oh yes, it’s my fear of flying.  I won’t fly alone so I couldn’t meet him up there for a few days.  I mean wtf.  Now all I can think of is all the places I want to see again in NYC.  I haven’t been in ten years.  Ten years!!  Waiting for Godot is onstage, am dying to go to museums with him.   But nope, I’ll be home checking homework and drinking.  Drinking to start promptly at 8:35.  Nightly.

You might say I overindulged during the holidays.  Big time.  Like I carefully edited the pictures I posted so that I would never have to see exactly how much weight I gained in a three week time span.  So I have set goals for myself, one which includes not eating any cookies for two weeks.  I have made it four days!!!  This is huge for someone who was eating 12 cookies a day during Advent.  And that is not an exaggeration.

I’ve been trying to workout harder, though really, I workout pretty freaking hard.  And then Sunshine got sick.  I feel horrible for her.  And for my workout.  Here’s hoping next week is better.  Not sure how long I can sit in my house without eating.

Baby Hulk goes to confession for the first time this weekend.  He found out his favorite priest wasn’t going to be there, so now he wants to go to another church to see a different priest.  Not sure how to handle that one.  I mean, he should go where he feels comfortable, but for the first time, does he need to go where we’ve been prepping.  Regardless of where we go, he’s been wondering what he’s going to confess.  Tonight he took care of things by lying not once, but twice to me and Lance.

Goose finished his most recent project this past weekend, meaning of course, the weekend sucked.  He turned it in on Tuesday, only to receive the rubric for another project due next Tuesday.  WTF?  I am over school projects.  Over them.  We planned on hitting the library today, but with my car out of sorts and Sunshine down, we couldn’t go.  The goal is to finish by Saturday afternoon before Lance leaves town.  Because really, why should I be miserable by myself on this project.  Then he has three days to finish a book before he starts on his next project due in early February.  And to think, both BH and Snax will have these as well in a few years.

I ordered a new planner.  The Erin Condren life planner.  As in I spent 59 bucks on a planner.  It hasn’t arrived, which is killing me.  When it comes to schedules, I need to write it out, just like my lists.  I love crossing things off.  Deleting something off my list just doesn’t give me the same satisfaction.  Anyway, there are a million detailed reviews of this planner out there.  I’m not sure how people find the time to write such detailed reviews, but they have.  None of them really sold me on getting the planner.  In fact, I’m not sure I’m going to like it.  It’s spiral as opposed to a binder, and I’m a fan of a binder planner.  I had my most recent binder planner for 7 years.  I hate change.  Hate it.  So from the start, this planner has a huge negative.  But I took the leap and ordered it anyway.  Now I’m like a junkie waiting on this damn thing.  I am lost without it.

Hey, I blogged three times this week.  Not bad for me!

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Christmas Favorites

By | Posted January 16, 2014

Posted in Christmas, pictures | No Comments »

I am a sucker for buying the children books.  I painstakingly research exactly which books the kids will like.  I always buy a Caldecott, something nature related, (I’ve moved most religious to St. Nicholas day) and then books I just know they will love.

This year, I got Snax a Bible.  He asked for one last Easter, but instead I got him a Bible themed coloring book.  He was not amused.  He wanted his own Bible.  This Christmas I took care of that.  I placed it in his stocking, and despite not being able to open gifts until after mass, he took it out and came running to me.


 Sometimes, you get things right.

Baby Hulk looking at his books.  He was pretty pleased with his books.  He was especially happy with his Caldecott book, which honestly is my favorite Caldecott this holiday.

My kids are hardly perfect during mass.  But on Christmas Day, they were.  And it started with this: walking into the church and immediately kneeling down to pray at the creche.  I never tire of running in behind them to find this scene.


 I purchased this spiral wreath two years ago.  The first year I tried to use it, the kids messed with it.  Last year, I’m embarrassed to admit, I totally forgot about it.  This year, I got it out, took out the candles and overall managed to light candles each evening of Advent.  This is the wreath on Christmas Eve.  I love how it looks.


 Our family minus one.  I hate that one is missing, but this picture is really freaking good so I can’t hide it.


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Christmas 2013

By | Posted January 15, 2014

Posted in Christmas, pictures | No Comments »


I tried to condense our Christmas pictures as best as I could.  I have some definite favorites, which will go in another post just so they aren’t lost with all the others.


I’m not sure if other moms feel this way, but Christmas can be really freaking stressful for me.  I’m in charge of all of the gifts.  All of them.  From the three year old to the grandparents.  Not complaining, well maybe just a bit, but that’s the way it is.  So if people like their gifts, go me.  But when a certain someone doesn’t have a toy under the tree, that’s on me too.  And yes, I had one kid without a toy under the tree.  Despite going over my check list what seems like a million times, I never purchased one “want” for one of the kids.  So much for the Advent/Christmas planner I made.


Advent and Christmas weren’t quite what I envisioned.  We didn’t read books every single night, we didn’t do all the activities I wanted to complete, I didn’t get the perfect gifts, and so on.  Thanksgiving was late, we started our Advent with a funeral and then school took control of our lives.



And yet while not perfect, Christmas was good.  After the intensity of November, I will take good.  Advent seemed rushed at times, but I can’t forget the look on the kids’ faces as I pulled out our books.  Their eyes lit up as they remembered each title in our library.  And while we didn’t read a huge stack of books every single night, we read.  A lot.  They loved their St. Nicholas books, and I will never forget Sunshine’s face on Christmas morning when she received Little Drummer Boy.  My heart swelled because she immediately saw it and started singing the song, she remembered from last year!!!


I took the kids out of school to see The Best Christmas Pageant; great decision.  We donated gifts with my father.  His generosity is amazing.  And Sunshine loved helping this year.  And despite school obligations kicking my ass, the kids had a great time.



We continued with our tradition at Trulucks, sent the kids to bed, stayed up way too late building a pop a shot for the boys, then slept for four hours before the kids woke us up.



We started our day as usual…placing Jesus in the nativity scenes throughout the house.  We went to mass and back home to open gifts.  Spending Christmas morning together with Lance and the kids is my favorite part of the day.  And while the kids were eying their gifts, there wasn’t any fuss about going to mass before we opened gifts.



The rest of our family came over later and my day ended on a high note with Paul and Brian coming over.




Not perfect, but all good.



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Five For Friday

By | Posted January 11, 2014

Posted in Five For Friday | 2 Comments »

Except it’s already Saturday…

When the new year started, I assumed this was it, I would be serious about blogging.  And then silence.  I only had one week left before the boys went back to school, and really, I needed that time with them.  So that was my excuse.

I managed to write the new year’s post.  It was important to me.  To offer some words, to acknowledge my friend’s loss and pain.  I can’t imagine it, but there it is, full on pain.  Pain I can only remember from 15 years ago.

So before I begin, I ask prayers for my friend and her grandchildren.

They need them.  Today, tomorrow and forever.  I am not sure the pain ever goes away.

I have a ton of posts pending…

Apparently, I never wrote about my mom’s birthday…I suck.  I will leave it at this:  I have the best mom.  Period.  Not because she watches my children at a moment’s notice, but because she was an amazing mother.  She stayed home with us and did a great job and I am forever grateful to her.  When I get frustrated and yell at the kids, friends will ask, did your mom yell.  Sure she did.  But I can honestly say her temper was way more in check than mine.  Some people are better parents than their own.  I am not.  So thanks, mom.  I love you for so many reasons, you are truly the best.  I am beyond blessed to have had you for a mom, and my kids are blessed to have you as a Mimi.

Back in December, Goose participated in his school’s spelling bee.  Why is this noteworthy?  Well, go ahead and check out the demographics for Rogers.  Then come back and congratulate him on making it to the top ten!  Oh and my poor child had a 101 fever.  Yes, I sent him to school that day and had him participate.  That was a Tuesday, he missed the rest of that week due to a constant fever.  Super effing proud of him.  After he was disqualified, he sat next to me and spelled every word correctly.  Exactly like Paul did when he was dq’d many years ago.  I kept Paul and Lance up to date during the bee.  Not sure they liked the constant text updates.

Snax came home with some artwork that I hung up.  Upon examination, I realized that he had spelled our last name incorrectly.  Upon further examination, I discovered it wasn’t a one time mistake.  I am unclear how this happened.

We all know I had a little girl after four boys, such a sweet and caring little girl…and she is the one who draws on the walls and just this week stuck a bead up her nose.  She came to me asking to get the bead out.  It must be a mom thing, because I knew exactly what she meant.  THANK YOU, GOD, that this didn’t require me going to the doctor to get it removed.  I do think she has learned her lesson because she keeps telling us, “I’m not going to put a bead in my nose, that would be trashy.”  Telling her something is trashy is the best thing we can say to get her to stop a certain behavior.

Christmas was wonderful, stressful and at times, I wondered if all parents secretly hated it.  It’s a lot of pressure planning gifts for this family, staying inside a budget, seeing everybody while still keeping our immediate family traditions, planning feast days, staying happy and more.  A pleasant surprise to me this year was that our Christmas card was the least stressful part of the holiday this year.  After a failed attempt to go to Austin one Saturday morning, I came home and ordered the kids to go outside.  Ten minutes later, we had our picture.  I even had several choices.

I mailed 55 cards.  In return, I got 28.  Something isn’t working.  I’ll excuse my 90 plus year old grandmother for not sending me a card, though my cousin’s Meme sends me one and she is pretty advanced in age as well.  And I’ll excuse a few more people.  The rest….Lance says to cut them off the list.  It sounds harsh, right?  My mom would say “do you send cards to get them in return?”  Um, yes, most definitely.  As Lance says, anyone who wants to see the kids, can look at the blog.  I tried defending some friends who never send cards, his response was that those people wouldn’t mind being cut from the list because cards clearly aren’t most important to them anyway.  So this year, the list gets smaller.

I have tons of Christmas pictures I need to post.  Fingers crossed that my pictures actually load without timing out and making me want to throw my computer.

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