April 29, 2014

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Holy Week!  Josh's parents drove out to visit and celebrate this special time with us.  And.....It's official....Josh was confirmed at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, with his dad as his sponsor and Saint John Paul II as his Confirmation Saint.  It was wonderful, and it is amazing to have him fully initiated into the Faith.

Easter Traditions:

Ben trying to eat a carmel egg, Josh smoking our Easter dinner, and five headless rabbits
Monkey Sean getting the highest egg, Ben was a professional egg hunter, and Sam was content with his first find and the coin that was inside
Happy and Holy Easter Season to you all!

February 22, 2014

A Fresh Start....both blog and soul

Well, all but one of us is a year older since I last blogged- someone should really coin the phrase, "time flies"- and while I think I am down to my sister as my only surviving reader, I still plan to catch up on all of our boring goings on from the past few months for my memories' sake, because God knows that if I don't get things written down, I will surely forget these golden years and all of the kids' silly antics that pretty much only a mom cares about.  So, wish me luck in this venture, because I have to tie the children up, give them chocolate and turn on Curious George in order to sit down, and hopefully make a semi-coherrant post!

I think a great way to begin again, is with a post telling of Henry's recent First Reconciliation which took place on the evening of January 30, 2014 (the anniversary of his Baptism is Jan 29th).  Josh and I really wanted to make this day special and memorable for him, so we hired a babysitter for the rest of the boys and took Henry to dinner at the restaurant of his choice, Red Robin, before heading to the Church.  He relished the one-on-one attention and seemed a bit nervous, but mostly spoke of his excitement for his up coming confession.  We gifted him with a new Bible, and he immediately opened it up and began reading until our food came.  Henry loves to read the Bible!  Back when we lived in the hotel on base, he spent his whole quiet time reading an adult, small print Bible that he had found in the nightstand drawer, and would relay the stories to me.  I think he made it threw the first few books which is impressive considering he was only 5.

At the Church, the parents waited in the pews as the children processed in, all perfectly reverent.  Father read a reading from the Gospel, and talked to the children for a few minutes.  Then, one by one, the children walked up onto the side alters where the priest was waiting to hear their First Confession.  After their confession, the children knelt on kneelers in the center of the altar to do their penance and then one parent helped their child light a candle.  The whole experience was beautiful, and all of the kids did perfectly.  I remember crying before my first confession, but these children didn't seem at all nervous or scared, and all of us parents were so proud.  So, I brought the camera along to get a photo of Henry and our Priest afterward.  Josh talked me into allowing him to take pictures during Henry's confession.  I was worried about invading his privacy and a bunch of other stuff, but in the end, I am so glad we captured that moment in photos (and all of the other parents were taking pictures as well).  Henry sat up straight on the edge of his chair and talked with his hands, and was masking a smile the whole way off of the altar.  Absolutely precious and of course, brought me to tears.  And now, I shamelessly share the photos with you...
"Bless me Father, for I have sinned, this is my first confession..."
Henry receiving absolution for the first time

Afterwards, at the reception for the children, Henry kept saying in reference to his confession, "That was SO AWESOME" and how he wanted to go to confession daily!  It really made me happy that he was so well prepared, felt comfortable, and absolutely loved the sacrament!  So, after the children finished their confessions, and loaded up on sugar, there was much running and screaming going on.  After we told a very sweaty Henry it was time to go, he informed us that he had been chasing the girls, and we literally saw his eyes open to the world of chasing girls!  For the 30 minute drive home, we got an earful about how "chasing girls is so much fun"!

The next day he said, "Mom, Father said that the goal after confession was to feel so much better, and that is exactly what happened to me" then he proceeded to update me hourly on the fact that he hadn't sinned since his confession.   He is a keeper....

P.S. I will be back posting some of the catch-up posts

August 13, 2013

The birthdays that we are still celebrating...

Many of Sean and William's friends were away for vacation during their birthdays so we combined their party with another boy's from our cup-de-sac and had a neighborhood summer party to celebrate all three birthdays.  As far as simplicity of planning and executing, this was the easiest party ever, and as far as everyone having a great time, probably the best party!  One afternoon, we all pitched in and rented a giant blow-up water slide and provided snacks and cupcakes.  We were nervous about the weather with rain and thunderstorms the morning of the party, but it all cleared up just in time for the party and the lingering clouds kept the parents comfortably cool.  The slide was a lot steeper and much faster than we had thought it would be, so it was a little more traumatic than fun for the little ones, but the big kids (including some of the dads) had a blast.  And, there were only a few injuries, nothing major, and only one bloody incident:)

Two of the three birthday boys
Oh, and we had three different pinatas- tons of candy!

Then, after everyone had gone home, gotten dry, and had dinner, we all joined up again after dark to have a giant campfire with three fire pits.  We did s'mores and the adults had some drinks and talked by the fire while the kids explored the outdoors with head lamps and flashlights.  When all of the sugar was burned off, the moms headed inside, while the dads camped outside in tents with the kids.  I am typing this over six months after the fact, and we (adults and kids) still talk about what a great day that was.  

August 10, 2013

Super Six!.,, b

We celebrated Sean's birthday with a free tickets (thanks to the Read to Succeed Program) to New Jersey's six flags adventure park.  The park is only 20 minutes down the road, but it was our first visit.  It was a great day of family fun and the boys especially loved getting SOAKED in the torrential down pour that began as we were leaving the park!  After a quick dinner of Sean's choice, we rushed him and Henry to soccer practice.   Josh and I had the selfishly brilliant idea that we would hire a baby sitter to put the boys to bed and return to Six Flags to ride the big rides.  In doing this, we had to postpone Sean's cake, but he gave the okay for it, so we kissed the birthday boy goodnight and left.  It was a very fun date, especially for Roller-Coaster-Lovin-Josh.  It had a been a very long time since I had ridden rides of that caliber, and I am almost certain it was the last.

The next night we cashed in on our promise and finished our birthday celebrations!
A little about Sean....
He can be summed up by simply saying, "he is a good person."  He really is.  He is easy to please, and he is almost always the first to volunteer to assist with anything.  I think for a six year old, he is extremely dependable and very often responsible beyond his years.  If in a pinch, I need someone to monitor the twins while I have to run upstairs or outside, he is the guy I turn to.  I return to find him patiently orchestrating them in some sort of activity, usually sport related.  While playing, Sean is almost always the brother to compromise his wants for the sake of another brother.  In this rowdy bunch, he could be easily overlooked, but taking even just 10 minutes to throw the football with him or shoot hoops with him absolutely makes his day.  I often tell Josh that he is a coaches dream....he will observe (usually from TV) some sort of sport technique or skill and then he will practice it over and over until he feels he has accomplished it.

July 31, 2013

He is FOUR!

Okay, I wrote this waaaay back in July, but never posted it, and so I am just going to back post it so it fits in where it is supposed to, time wise....

William is 4!

 He was extremely excited for his birthday, and he lived it up! We decorated the down stairs with banners and balloons, and he soaked up every moment of his special day. For presents, he only requested a fishing pole and a watch, and we could not get him to suggest anything else, which is just precious....simple and sweet and the boy knows what he wants! It was easy to fulfill his requests, and he was very satisfied.
 Through the military, we got free tickets to Sesame Place, and even though our kids don't care for Sesame Street, it is the perfect amusement park for younger children.  We all had a blast.
Ben thought he was pretty cool stuff riding the carousel
Henry is taking his task of driving very seriously
The Birthday Boy on a giant jumping pillow.  There was a time in the not so far past that he would not have done this, he has come so far!
Daddy and William on the swings.  He did his "scared cat" look for the first few circles, but then he was able to enjoy the ride.
The day after his birthday, he woke up and said, "Mom, do you remember that I am 4?" and then he requested that I remove all birthday decorations. I didn't realize that he was serious about the decorations, but he was adamant that they come down, so they did.

July 18, 2013

Hide and Seek- Twin style

The twins turned 17 months old yesterday, and they seem to be reaching new milestones and doing new things every day.  Like I said before, they usually play very nicely together and it makes my heart melt how they love each other.  Well, last night before bed, they started playing this little game together...