Monday, November 12, 2012

The Unseen Devastation

It is not just about losing power. Many of these people who lost so much are continuing to lose. NJ is my home state and most of you know I am a Jersey Girl. This weekend we went to NJ for a wedding in Hoboken. We got to experience some of the effects. The Nuptial Mass was in a beautiful old church, St. Ann's. ( St. Ann's parish is over 100 years old and the church building about 90. The electricity was back but the basement filled with water during the storm so the boilers have been destroyed. This beautiful old church was very cold inside not able to be heated. Rich was unable to attend the Mass because there was no parking because they are filling lots with the cars that have been destroyed. Some streets are nearly impassable. These are old cities that have never seen such devastation.

Although power is slowly coming back to many in NJ and NY the heat is not. Then there are those who have lost their homes. We hear about Seaside and other "famous" shore points but what about Sayreville, Hazlet, Union Beach and my parents hometown of Laurence Harbor. These areas are decimated and the home to so many working class people. I have received requests from for friends who are in great need because there homes are being demolished because they have been condemned. A high school friend is currently trying to save what he can before they plow over his home tomorrow.

Sandy Aftermath in Sayreville, Laurence Harbor and Sea Bright  11-10-2012

Now the unseen, many people have no job to go to anymore, or are unable to get to their jobs because their cars have been destroyed. Then there are the business owners. You want to be able to pay your people who could not get in but you don't know how you will keep your business afloat. The economic implications are devastating and will effect us all. If you lost a week or two worth of income would you be able to pay all your bills. Worse than that you are still on the hook for a mortgage and you don't have a home.

But you go to NJ and NY and they are not sitting around waiting to be helped or for the government to do it all. These are hard working people who will help their neighbors and themselves. Don't stand in their way they are going to rebuild but it will take some time. So keep them in your prayers.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sewing Project Complete

My lovely little 3 year old does not like wearing her seat belt. She hates the shoulder belt. I am always looking back to see that she has put the shoulder portion behind her. So I have decided to make her a seat belt pillow. Of course this is not an original thought I found several versions on-line and decided to craft one form the different styles I saw. I used a comfy flannel fabric.
A nice pink and a cute coordinating butterfly print.

 Once I dug out the sewing basket I cut the fabric into two strips about 6 X 26 inches, one in each fabric.

I then dug into the ribbon, yes I have plenty of ribbon in this house, I am still making my own bows when I can get the girls to wear them. I cut 6 pieces about 9 inches each I am going to use these to tie the pillow to the seat belt.

OK important to remember because this picture is deceptive. You want to put the right sides together and tuck the ribbon inside so when you flip it you have the length of ribbon on the outside of the pillow. Once you pin it you sew around three sides flip it and then fill with pillow stuffing. I used an entire 8 ounce bag. Then close the open end and sew it up to close the entire pillow.

Finished Pillow
This is our finished pillow waiting for its new owner. We will get to break it in on our trip to NJ tomorrow. Hopefully she will enjoy her pillow and this will make our 20 hours to Grandmas for Thanksgiving easier on her. If all goes well this weekend I think I may be making several over the next week for all the kids. I think I may even be making one for Mommy and Daddy when they are not driving.

Stay tuned for an update to see how it went.

Tightening the Purse Strrings

I know this is something that should be done all the time but now it is more important than ever. So this week I decided on Wednesday that I would go shopping at the Salvation Army, remember the day it is important for the story. I have gone there before but not very often. I chose Wednesday because 6 of the 8 kids would be at co-op and I would only have my 2 little girls with me. I needed jeans for my 8 year old son who only owns jeans that have no knees. Being third in line after a brother who is touch on his jeans is not easy. So of we went to the "Boutique" as my Grandma would call it.

I dropped all the others off, then headed over. Then I went to pull in the parking lot. Oh my goodness! There were no spaces in the front lot and then it occurred to me Wednesday is 25% off everything day, a good thing but it makes it a little more crowded. I then  went to the back parking lot and was able to get one of the few available spaces. Wow people really like the 25% off. I then went in side and after making my way with my double stroller to the kids area realized, wow there are a lot of children here. Revelation #2 there was no elementary school in the county that day, ugh. So if you know me I do anything to avoid crowds so this is tough for me.

I spent the next hour looking at clothing for the kids. Unfortunately not one pair of boys jeans left for my 8 year old but the girls made out great. I scored several Gymboree and other name brand sweaters and shirts. For my Maggie I was able to get two pairs of pants, one Lands End and the other what I am told is a high end name brand "77." Both in amazing shape. There were several sleepers for the baby.I was also able to buy dress shoes for the boys for $6 and I picked up a sweater and light jacket for myself. In all I bought 15 pieces of clothing for $29.

 Maggie is here in her new outfit, layered shirts and the Lands End pants the entire outfit under $5.

The two goals of the trip were not met so my son gets new jeans from the store and the baby an outfit for the wedding we are attending this weekend. I figure if I shop there occasionally it will help the family bottom line. I also need to add the House of Mercy to our list of places to check out but this week I ran out of time while doing my errands.

Today I am off to the grocery store and as some of you know when I am in the groove I can really get into the coupon game. I have not been in full coupon mode in a while but am working my way back to that. Today I will buy a turkey at Giant so I can get my Shell gas points, they will match the lowest advertised price on anything, they are giving 30 cents a gallon off of gas for the purchase of a turkey. That will be close to $8 in savings at the pump.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Rollercoaster

I sit here tonight riding the roller coaster of election night. The kids have their maps courtesy of Ed Helper and their crayons. Hopefully we will make the right states red.

We have been praying hard in the recent weeks and today we took part in our parishes perpetual Rosary and my oldest and DH just left to complete the day of prayer at the church before locking up the building for the night.

No matter the results of this evening this whole election process has been a great education for the kids. We have discussed the electoral college and popular vote quite a bit.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow

On the eve of the election I sit here on a cold night drinking a yummy cup of hot apple cider. My little girls surround me one snoring and the other two little girls sleeping quietly. I cast my ballot last week so that the kids and I would not have to wait on line together. The only thing left to do is PRAY. So as I write this I ask you to pray vote and pray.
Me and my little future voter
Tonight the kids and I also started the "Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary" hopefully we will be able to do it everyday for the next 33 days. We will also be leading the Rosary tomorrow at 12:45 at Holy Trinity for our perpetual prayer during the election. Please consider coming out and joining us. there are still slots available if you have time to lead, it is just a 15 minute commitment.

Maggie as Mary at All Saints Procession
Maryann as our precious little nun

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Well here they are our little Halloween kiddos. We deviated from our original plan and instead of going back to the old neighborhood we stayed in our own area. The new house is not in a Trick or Treat friendly zone so we went to our friends house. We had a little pizza and punch before we headed out.


Once everyone was dressed and ready to go we had to do the obligatory group photo with all the kids.

We then headed out for the candy, the kids were off and running and of course having a great time.

 And lets not forget our littlest one, our little ladybug.

We hope you all had a great Halloween and we look forward to tomorrow and All Saints day. We have been researching and changing saints on a daily basis.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Been a while

Well I am back since our move and crazy summer. For those who don't know our crazy summer started on Mother's Day. We had been searching for a home for about two years mostly on-line and some driving around. I thought I had finally found one worthy of a good look so after Mass we loaded up and took a look. That started the whole thing right there.

Remember at that point I was 7 months pregnant. Once we took a look at the outside we called the realtor and came back that afternoon to look again and decided we had finally found what we had been looking for. A little more inside space and lots more outside space.

After a little back and forth negotiation we signed a contract and were buying a new home. That means we needed to start packing our home of eleven years. Two days after starting this process we had a bump in the road.

What we thought was a stomach bug turned out to be a burst appendix on our #2 son. It was a crazy day going from checking in at the doctor to ending with surgery by an awesome surgeon who was taken aback by the explosion he had to clean up in Mark's abdomen. Mark and I then spent a week in the hospital while he received heavy dose antibiotics. He was a champ, by the end he did not want to leave, who would food delivered and TV and video games all day. But don't worry he was able to go back 5 days after leaving the hospital we got to go back and spend 5 days with another less invasive procedure followed by lots more antibiotics. Remember I am suppose to be packing at this point and yes I was still pregnant. The staff at Prince William Hospital was awesome.

Once we got Mark back on the road to recovery that put one of my big boys out of box moving condition. We started packing and packing and trying to de-clutter. Thank you so much to all our awesome box donors and our friends who helped move boxes.

Apparently I did not have to worry about the June 22nd deadline for moving since lenders are moving at a record slow pace. We finally closed on our new home on July 23rd. Less than one month before our little girls due date and the same week Rich's company began changing ownership. The company was bought so hopefully a little more job stability.

So if you are following our summer that is 4 of the top 5 most stressful events you can have and yes we decided to pack all of them into one summer.

After moving of course Rich had to do a little cross country travel while it was 100 degrees here. The AC decided to die while he was out of town. Luckily the Home Warranty took care of the repair and the system seems to be working well and the heat is now working.

Then we moved into baby time. We needed to find all the newborn baby stuff that was packed away get it cleaned and set-up before her arrival. Thank you to Reesa Barklage for my wonderful evening with the ladies and for the awesome M shirts. Hopefully soon we will have a picture of everyone with them on.

Maryann Elizabeth was born on August 15 and that was the joy of our summer. She is an awesome little girl and her siblings and parents think she is "so cute" you should hear the 2 year old sister say it.

So now that we have survived our summer we are back at school and scouts is in full swing. We are also living in a sea of boxes, I think we will be unpacking for the next six months. I have decided after a year hiatus that I will start Blogging again if anything to try and get more pictures of the kids and what we are doing out there for our family and friends. I am not big on long phone chats these days.

Today we are post "Sandy" and survived. Our awesome new home weathered it great. We lost a lot of tree limbs but no trees and only lost power for 18 hours. The kids thought it was one of the best family nights we have had. We had a great monopoly game and two desserts. They then got the treat of sleeping in our big tent in the basement.

Well I hope whoever decides to read or follow this new Blog will enjoy seeing what we are up to here.

I hope you are all safe tonight and have survived the latest storm of the century.

BTW this will probably be the most you will ever see me write.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I've moved here

I am shutting down an old Google account and moving here. Unfortunately have tried to figure out how to move the Blog but to no avail so I am starting anew.

I am going to try and make a better effort at posting what is going on around here and the progress of baby M8. This will hopefully keep everyone in the loop and also help me remember things better.