Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

David and Lia kept their costumes for trick or treating. Emily made this Fairy of the Forest costume out of stuff we had in the costume box. They had a great time tonight and loved having some candy before bed... and then getting crazy before bed... and are certainly looking forward to having candy for dessert all this week.

All Saints Party

We spent the early part of Saturday carving pumpkins and doing some Halloween crafts. Thank you Steven and Stacey for the fun Halloween stickers! I need to get a picture of Lia's Spooky Halloween Cats she made. We had fun putting the pumpkin ribbon on their tails.

We arrived a little late to the farm this year for a multitude of reasons... one involving a broken toilet... so we missed the Saint Parade but we had plenty of time to play the games. Each family is asked to host a game with a theme that ties in with the Saints and then we all share a potluck meal. This year Chris and I hosted bocci ball. Wanda came up with the name, St. Charles Borremeo Bocci Ball and it was really fun. I think Tim and Wanda have the perfect lawn for playing bocci ball and many of the kids really enjoyed it.

Daddy's little angel wanted to be held quite a bit. Daddy didn't mind.

Here is David knocking down the Wall of Jericho. He had a lot of fun playing the games this year.

And Emily having a ball on the tire swing. Farm living must be great for letting the kids run. There is a lot of land to explore and lots of animals. What's not to like? Emily found some friends and we really didn't see much of her till it was time to go. I'm glad she had fun.

And David served himself a plate of pasta with grapes and apples. Then he had blackberry pie and then he had pumpkin pie. It think he had a cookie too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Service Project - St. Dominic Center

Yesterday, we visited the retired Sisters (or Nuns) at St. Dominic Center with our homeschooling group. St. Dominic Center is a huge, and beautiful campus for retired Priests and Sisters. These men and women spend the greater part of their lives serving God, by serving others, and it is comforting to know they are so well taken care of in their retirement. It is obvious our Diocese cares very much about their care. We arrived at 10am and found about ten Sisters waiting for us in their meeting room. Our children introduced themselves at the microphone and told the Sisters a little history about the Saint they were dressed as, and/or why that Saint was important to them. It was very sweet and the Sisters eyes seemed to light as each child spoke. Then the children handed out prayer cards and sugar-free candy (as requested). I don't think we were there for more than 30 minutes but I am pretty sure the children brightened their day. According to our contact, Sister Eleanor, there are 16 Sisters living at the facility right now. We missed a few because they were at doctors appointments but we hope to see them again when we visit at Christmas and Valentines Day.

Here is our awesome group of Saints! Lia is standing just behind Emily and you can't see her. When Emily realized we were going to introduce ourselves and tell about our Saint, she was a little distressed because she had lost her voice! This morning her throat hurt and she couldn't speak but she was a huge trooper and made the trip anyway. She had been using a pencil and a clipboard to communicate with me all morning so before it was her turn she composed a short essay of what she would like for me to read. This was very impressive because she generally complains about having to write in general and she wasn't feeling well on top of that. I was proud to read her introduction for her and I'm glad she toughed it out for us.

I introduced Lia, dressed as an angel, to the sisters. She was very shy!

Daivd, was very brave and introduced himself!

Here are two more warrior Saints. Another St. George and St. Martin (I think). David did battle with these two out in the Labrynth garden. These boys were quite skilled with their swords and shields... and my son definetly held his own as well! And yes... this is how boys get so banged up, I am learning!
Patrick and Mary Margaret handing out prayer cards. I spoke with this sister personally. She had such a twinkle in her eye. It was easy to like her. She obviously loved children very much.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Emily's 1st Communion Candle

This is a sacramental preparation year for Emily. She attends weekly faith formation classes at church and monthly sacramental prep classes. Since this is all mandatory, I decided to co-teach her faith formation classes on Monday nights with my friend Bertha. We have a class of 16 kids who are all very sweet and eager to learn for the most part. Chris takes Emily to her monthly sacramental prep classes and we are all learning more about our faith with her. One of her assignments was to decorate a candle, a task she really enjoyed and you can see from the picture how proud she is of her candle. The first big event will be her first reconcilliation, or first confession with a priest in December and then her first communion will be in the spring. She is taking it all very seriously and we are very proud of her.

David's First Trip to the Emergency Room

So this was minor... but a trip to the emergency room counts and this happened to be David's first. Last Sunday while David was in his little faith formation class, he managed to trip and fall into a book case. The cut and the bleeding was bad enough for the director to come and get us out of church - right as the gospel was being read! David handled it like a champ but did seem a bit wierded out at being the center of attention with a bunch of grown-ups staring at him. Chris and I checked him out and we decided the cut was deep enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room for possible stitches. It wasn't bleeding heavily, but it would ooze blood every ten minutes or so and just looked generally nasty. Poor kid.

Luckily the Emergency Care place wasn't too busy. They had a nice waiting area and I stayed with David while Chris took the other kids out to eat. And his silly Mommy documented it all for posterity... but before you laugh at me, I was really glad I took the pictures because I was able to compare the before to the after in the end.

So here we are in the waiting room for about half an hour. David really likes to take pictures with Mom. It always makes him laugh because I usually cut off someone's head in my first few attempts.

And we were lucky because they used glue to seal his boo-boo together. The doctor was very kind and she said it probably wouldn't prevent it from scarring a little... but it would certainly help in the healing process and minimize the potential scar. David thought it was cool that the glue was purple. All in all, we were in and out in 2 hours and a $75 copay. Not too bad. I guess this is pretty common stuff for boys... but I am hoping we don't make a habit of it!

Happy 7th Birthday Joseph

Our friend Joseph had a very creative birthday party where his guests got to put together real wooden birdhouses. It was an honest to goodness woodshop party that would have made any carpenter proud. (St. Joseph included!)

And look at this cake his Mama made! Everything you see here is edible. Joseph's siblings told me they made an edible putty to form all the tools and even found a pen that wrote in edible ink to make the markings on the tape measure... which if you look closely, is pulled out to 7 inches to honor her 7 year old boy. Impressive!

The bird house assembly line.

David even got to pound a few nails. He liked that a lot.

And Lia played in the park. She liked that too.

Happy Birthday to David, captured on video

The Nelli Family has a tradition of singing as loudly and as obnoxiously as possible. I think Emily has caught on to this tradition fairly well. The birthday boy sure looked proud!

Happy 5th Birthday David!

By tradition, we have celebrated every one of David's birthdays at a local park that has live music on Sunday nights. We were treated to a beautiful evening with family and friends. Nana and Grandpa, David's Godparents, and some great friends were able to join us.

Here we are about to sing Happy Birthday! David wanted the big number 5 candle smack down in the middle of the duck. Some fun star candles were added all around the cake too.

Here is David opening presents from Grace and Jake.

Mommy got him duck pajamas!

And Daddy got him a kid-sized football. Here is David hiking the ball to Jacob. These two spent the rest of the night catching passes thrown by the Dads, running, and even tackling! Happy Birthday big boy. It was a fun night.

Getting Ready for David's 5th Birthday!

Emily had grand plans to make David's birthday cake a surprise, but... our plans to get up super early in the morning (on Saturday) fell through when she turned her alarm clock and went back to sleep. :-) So David's cake project became a family affair! Emily got it all started and did a great job using the hand mixer, and almost made it the entire 2 minutes. But as you know, holding a hand mixer for a long time makes your arms sore! And if Peg is reading, Emily LOVES her birthday apron. It is just so darn cute! I almost cringed when she got chocolate cake mix on it but luckily, it washes beautifully! Of course, a real pastry chef would never have a pristine apron, you know.
;-)It didn't take long for the other kids to figure out what we were doing. They all wanted to help. And Peg, Emily always insists on using the frosting knives you gave her last year. "They really do work better than a regular butter knife." David's got the frosting and Lia is waiting patiently for a spoon or something she can lick frosting off of.

And the finished product! David has been so crazy about his "Big Duck" this year that I wanted to make him a ducky cake. I think it came out really cute! And if Melissa is reading, your ladybug cake was my inspiration! Thank you. The "star tip" frosting technique is brilliant.

It was hard to keep the kids away from the cake. They wanted to keep looking at it... and touching it! But luckily, it did make it to David's party the next day. More pics to come.

Halloween Preview

This year we chose to dress up as Saints again. Since I was on the ball, we had our costume discussions back in September and ordered what we needed from a costume shop I found on the web. Emily decided to dress up as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, an American Indian who lived in the 1600's. We read all about her in Kateri Tekakwitha, Mowhwak Maiden by Evelyn Brown, a beautiful book that is part of the Vision Series of books about the Saints. Lia fell in love with an angel costume and I'm so glad I indulged her. She LOVES this costume and asks to put it on constantly! David had no intrest in being any other Saint than Saint George. He didn't want to wear brown robes with a bird on his shoulder like Saint Francis, nor did he want to carry a carpenter's saw like Saint Joseph... He was perfectly happy to be his beloved Saint George again this year and didn't even want to upgrade his cardboard shield we made. This makes me happy because we worked so hard on it and it still looks awesome! We kept all his costume parts so he was very excited to "slay" his dragon again and proudly carry the dragon remains around his waist. Boys. :-)
The kids are posing outside church on our way to Emily's Halloween party for choir. Our choir director generously invited all the choir kids and thier siblings to dress up and attend. Mine were bouncing off the walls they were so excited!

And this is the day the costumes arrived on our doorstep. Emily and Lia were very excited to try them on. Lia fell in love with her angel costume and didn't want to take it off. So sweet.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dancing with the Pirates!

Emory's got the cutest little move half way through the video...

Renaissance Festival

Our friends Lowell and Cynthia came to visit so we could all go to the Renaissance festival together. Emily was very excited to pose with her new wreath of flowers for me!

Here is David at the castle gates!

And the majority of our kids.

Lowell and Cynthia made a wise investment to rent a wagon for the day. Look at this scary guy...

Are these really sharp?

And the dragon!

Big Heads! You can see it all here.

Lia's favorite ride is always the carousel. She was very excited to pick out this frog. (As you can see by the big smile.)

David got a small wooden sword as a souvenier. Mom is happy that it isn't sharp.

Dancing with the pirates. Arrr! And yes, they are singing, "Yo-ho-ho and a Botlle of Rum!"

Emily and Emory.
And here is a cute one of me and my boy.

Big day!

More Animal Critters

David, Lia and I are still plugging our way through the alphabet critter book. They had a lot of fun with 'P' for Pig. As a boy, David generally steers clear of anything pink. Since the pig in the book was pink, he asked if pigs could be other colors because he didn't want a "girlie" pig. I suggested he could make a brown pig since pigs like to roll in the mud but he came up with the better idea to sling mud on his pink pig. The 'P-I-G' at the bottom is his own handwriting and he named his Mr. Pig, "So Muddy Pig"

While I worked with David, Lia created a masterpiece of her own. She named hers, "So Pink Pig" because she thinks pink is wonderful.

Family Time

Happy Birthday Faith Abigail!

We also helped our friend Faith Abigail celebrate her 3rd bithday. She just finished unwrapping the best birthday gift ever.... a kid sized shopping cart! Her grandparents hit the jack pot with this gift. All the kids were very proud to pose with her for this awesome birthday party picture. Thank you Melissa for sending it to me!

And yes, this was another BEAUTIFUL day!

Happy Birthday Grace and Jacob!

We helped our friends Grace and Jacob celebrate their 5th birthday on October 3. The party was lakeside at a local park and the day couldn't have been more perfect. For some reason, I only got a picture of Jake by the cake...
I'm guessing twin sister Grace must be right outside the border of my picture... Good thing I wasn't the official photographer. ;-)
Here is our crew checking out the fish in the lake.I asked Lia to hug her friend Clare... and she did!

And a pumpkin pinata for the kiddos. Fun party!