Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to tell a ten year old

There are many questions on a 10 year old girls brain and so many are easy to skate past. I know you think this about puberty but that would be easier than this one. Last year a very close friend of our family ended her own life. We had taken family vacations together and she had a true connection to my children. When she died we were able to skate by with the story that it was an accident at home. Throughout the year it comes up and we slide past it but since we recently took our trip to Disney where she would have joined us and now the anniversary of her death is coming up in 6 weeks the questions are more frequent. My daughter is already drawing pictures to bring to her grave and deciding which prayers we will say. Betty was a planner so she would be proud of my daughter and she might also be touched that yesterday she told her friends that her friend who died was she was only 22.

So I digress back to the question part. So the dilemma is how do I answer the questions. I put this out there in the stratosphere. At what age or maturity level would you tell a little girl her hero died at her own had and that she suffered from depression. These are things way too complex for my daughter now but when would you do it. For now we will continue with the accident in the home story and as far as expounding on it for out local friends she is going to be told she fell and hit her head in the basement. Otherwise the questions will eat at her.

We do rest in the faith that our dear friend has most likely reached heaven by now since we have a loving God who new how she suffered here on earth. We also have been told by a wonderful 3 year old that she talks to Mrs. Childers who is in heaven with her mommy and daddy.

Eternal rest grant unto Betty, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.
May her soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I figured I would write on my Blog while I sit on hold with the insurance company. I am sure I will have enough time to write a novel with how they get back to you. I have already done my first bout with hold and now have been transferred to another department and am once again in the cue.

So you ask why am I on hold. Here is the story. Last May/June my son had two stays in the hospital for his fight with infection after his appendix burst. They finally waited until late September to get the bulk of the bills to us. After sorting through them I have been paying them slowly. I set up payment arrangements and the hospital still sent us into collections because they were suppose to combine all the many bills into one and oops forgot one. I then spent 6 weeks trying to have this taken care of and nothing was done until I called the public affairs line of the hospital and threatened to call local news agencies. Amazing how that day they finally returned my call.

Now I sit on hold because my Healthcare account which is my husbands hard earned money put away pretax for these expenses is not working and still has our money in the account. As I am going through my third hold now I have hopes that some day I will be able to get back to my real job of caring for my children instead of wading through medical bill. I am so looking forward to Obama Care making this easier for me in the future (note the dripping sarcasm here).

well finally resolved and yes I have hopes it will only take one or two more calls to get money we are actually entitled to to pay our bills to the correct place.

Thank you government bureaucracy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Florida 2012 - Post 3

Off to Orlando. Even though we are in the same state it is still a 6 hour drive from Mom and Dads to Orlando. We attempted a visit on our way with Linda McGuire but unfortunately due to traffic and scheduling conflicts we had a very brief bathroom break at her home before we hit Alligator Alley. The kids were able to see the industry of Florida as we went through the fields of sugar followed by the fields of oranges.


We arrived in Orlando and were excited to see across from our resort there was a new Catholic Parish so we had a very short trip on Sunday morning for Mass. We attended a small Catholic Parish, St. Faustina's who is saving money to build so they are in temporary quarters in a strip mall. Matthew was able to serve Mass and we even met a family from the area who had 7 children. Always great to meet other families and the parish was so welcoming to our large family.

On Sunday we took it easy and hung out at the resort. The older kids entered into a Wii competition at the club house and we were able to swim in the heated pool. We were joined on Sunday by two friends who were brave enough to vacation with out family.
Ready to hit the Animal Kingdom

On Monday we headed to Animal Kingdom and hit the Safari ride right away.

We had a great day at the park and celebrated our friends birthday.

It's Tough to be a Bug!
Thank you to Traith who came and stayed with the kids so we could have a nice dinner out that evening to top off the birthday.

The next day we went t the Magic Kingdom and had a wonderful surprise to see the new section of the park open. This was an early soft opening before the big Grand Opening in two weeks, yeah for good timing.

We had our character breakfast back at out favorite spot this trip at the Polynesian. The kids get to go on parade with the characters and mommy does not have to deal with a buffet, we love the family style service. I recommend this wonderful breakfast to anyone heading to Disney.

 We took Wednesday off from the parks and took time to play a little mini golf and hit the pool again.

Thursday was Epcot. We started early and had a great day. Talked to Crush at the Living Seas and the kids loved the flume ride at Norway. Of course Soarin' was a highlight, we even got Maureen, my little fraidy cat, on that one.

Friday was a shopping day for mommy and the four little ones and daddy and the four big ones hit Disney Quest. For those who don;t know it is an arcade on steroids. The kids had a blast. The little guys and I went to the Lego store, and did a little work for Santa.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Third Birthday!

Well yesterday M7 turned three. We usually do very small scale on the birthdays around here however this one we went all out. M7 was so excited to turn three we had to do it up in three year old style. She started her day with a Minnie Mouse Balloon as big as she is, a special card from Grandma and a special pancake made by her oldest brother.

Then we were off to pick up her very special cup cakes made by Kelley Devlin of CakeDivas. Adorable Minnie Mouse cupcakes.

Now back home to have lunch and get the house ready for a couple of friends to join us for dinner and treats. We let the Birthday girl pick two families to invite because you know in our world that means about 20 kids, plus of course Laura and Jack and Mrs. Leary.

The kids had an awesome time playing inside and outside and apparently scarring or being scared by the local inhabitants of the yard. The first story came back as a bear and throughout the night changed and it was eventually decided they wither saw a fox or a skunk. I get a kick out of the reports and drama. Loving that we have the yard to play in like this.

The birthday girl loved blowing out her candle, and yes that is a candle from the advent wreath I seem to have misplaced the birthday candles.
She them took her time enjoying her cake before announcing she was ready for gifts. She loved every thing she received and had so much fun opening and then for the next few hours changing between the outfits he received until she finally decided to bed down on my floor with her new bedding wearing her new dress.

This morning she woke up and wanted to dive right back into everything insisting on eating cereal and a sandwich so she could use all the pieces of her new princess dishes.

Ohh, to be three.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Florida 2012 - Post 2

We arrived in Key Colony Beach at noon on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for lunch at city hall with Grandma and Pop Pop and all their friends.

A couple of the kids went to the beach with Grandma and within minutes fully clothed were in the ocean. Remember no matter what the temperature some kids will end up in the water when they see it.

We celebrated M7's belated birthday and had yummy brownies.

Some of us woke early on Thanksgiving to go to morning Mass and they even allowed the boys to serve the Mass. Matthew and Michael love guest serving.

We spent Thanksgiving at Grandma and Pop Pop's with all the fix-ins and then went swimming at the hotel afterward.

We had more fun in the Keys some even were able to go on a boat ride. Saturday before we left for the next part of our vacation we celebrated an early Christmas.

 Then we were off to Orlando.

To see more of Pop Pop and his boat check out this link:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Florida 2012 - Post 1

Well a bit late but here it is anyway. Our trip to Florida 2012.  This year I thought I would document my new packing process. We have done away with bags/suitcases for the kids in lieu of bins. We use the bins we already have to organize the boys room so there is no extra expense. Bonus I get to reorganize the boys when we return. I photographed the process for all my friends who want to know how I pack for 8 children on a two week trip. Remember we always have access to washer and dryer when we travel.

Picture one and two of my bed with clothes for 8 kids. We also need to pack for multiple climates since the temperature can range from the 30's to the 80's while we are there. In the past we have experienced both and did again this time.

Now it is time to put them in the bins. The bins are great for many reasons one of which is they are clear and the other is the van has so many placing we can stow them. The baby and the oldest get larger bins so they can get the socks and other mutually shared items between the kids.

After two weeks these containers came back and it was great since we kept up with the laundry the bins just went to their rooms and some of them even put their clothes away. I think this will be our new way to travel.

The canvas bag was travel clothes for the little ones in the car, extra changes of things that will be needed during the non-stop drive to the Keys. Happy to report we made it the fastest we ever have in 18 hours with no traffic. We were able to make the town pre -Thanksgiving luncheon so Grandma and Pop Pop could introduce us to all of their friends at town hall in Key Colony Beach.

Next post will be our visit in the keys.

Slowly getting back to the real world

We are slowly getting back into a schedule.  M1 and M3 are in the school room doing work, M4 is doing math on the computer, M2 is doing work and standing watch as our laundry dries at a friends house (dryer is out), M6 is showing me all her letters on the dry erase. Now where is that M5 he needs to get hos reading done. M7 is wandering about and M8 is sleeping.

As we begin 2013 we are of course looking at ways to improve our daily schedule and keep a somewhat orderly house in this crazy world. We have started the year with clean bedrooms, clean living areas and a clean playroom. Now to keep us that way will be the trick.

We have a daily goal of de-clutter something. Hopefully we will meet it.

Well anyway this was a quickie.