Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baby Picture Sundays - I scream, You scream!

This is Luca just a few days old. I was looking for a really cute ice cream face picture, but I had no luck! I thought this was still cute though.

This was a big lesson for me on organization, and why it's important. (For my blog, of course!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Me" Time?

My blog friend Octamom, I call her my online big sister, has been taking questions and answering them a la "Octamom 101" in her insightful and irreverent style. She has 8 children, from 2-year-old twins to an 18-year-old young woman. She also homeschools and is an all-around awesome woman of God. I encourage you all to check her out. Anyway, my question for her was:

How often do you take "me time" and how do you manage it? I know your oldest are babysitting age now, but "back in the day" were you able to take the time for yourself? Sometimes it seems that my only time is when I go to the grocery store alone.

Her answer started with:
Oh, Girl.

I feel ya.

Ironically, I'm the first one to tell my friends how much they need to have alone time, how important it is to take a deep breath, take a few moments, recharge the batteries.

Ironic because I'm not very good at doing that very thing.

Yeah, go read the rest... I'll wait for you.

So, her answer gave me the guts to be real with all of you about my "me time." *giggle*

I confess that I often let my 3 youngest kids watch copious amounts of preschool t.v. or videos in the morning. Just so I can drink a cup of coffee, which Sabina will try to put her finger in or drink herself. I also try to check email and read my blog buddies latest posts (I really don't have that many) before they bombard me with requests for snacks, drinks, lunch, and "mom can you put Indy away?"

I confess to occassionally sneaking away to the bedroom to read, only to be found out by Nick who thought I was in the bathroom.

I confess to enjoying the drive home after dropping the oldest kids at school. When I drive them, Nick stays home with the youngest, because we only have a 5 passenger car right now. There are no fights to break up, no little voices saying "mom" 10 times, and no crying! I crank up the radio and worship the Lord, singing along to a Christian song I've heard 100 times, but only now getting the depth of Love expressed. I pray! I think about stuff I have to do and stuff I want to do. It's lovely.

I confess to staying up way too late (and paying for it the next morning) in order to feel like ME and not just MomME.

I am blessed by Nick that he recognizes my need and occassionally kicks me out of the house. Then I'll go get coffee, or something, possibly window shop a little, and usually end up going to the grocery store before heading home. It's true!
He also has been working on his schedule so that I can go to the Orlando House of Prayer alone to pray, sing, read scripture, meditate on the love of God. I've gotten to do it 3 times already! It's awesome!

I also confess to finding that folding copious amounts of laundry late at night is somehow totally zen.

I wish I could go on bike rides. I would like to join a book club. I even actually loved working at Barnes and Noble part time a few years ago, and would like to do it again. I plan on scheduling more time for myself soon. But until then, I treasure these small moments to spend by myself, tucked in quiet, soothed by God's goodness.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Baby's growin' up to be a Cowgirl...

Cecelia is now 8-years-old. She aspires to be a cowgirl when she grows up, and a singer, writer, princess, mom, etc.... But, I digress. We threw a little Cowgirl Birthday Hoedown. (Did I spell that right?)

We attempted a game where we were sharp-shootin' pop cans with water guns. We weren't very successful. I guess we needed some of those semi-automatic water guns. Are those still legal?

We also played a relay race game where the teams rode their (broom) horses across the house herding their (balloon) cows into the (couch) corral. It was pretty fun - notice I didn't put up the picture my loving husband took of me (from behind) riding the range. Luca's way cuter!

Here are Cecelia and Carlo attempting to lasso a "buckin' bronco." They weren't very successful with that one either, but it was lots of giggles trying anyway.

Another cute home-made cake. Cecelia helped put the M&Ms on the boot for decoration. This was an easy one. I didn't stress out too much; I didn't even have to yell at anyone.
Cecelia making a wish. She didn't tell anyone what it was, but I'm suspecting something about a horse, maybe a pony.
Cecelia and Luca pigging out. Other "cowboy snacks" were chips and picante sauce, beef jerky, gummy rootbeer, trail mix and real rootbeer and sarsparilla in bottles.

Rocky crowding in for the present action. ;) Cecelia wearing the necklace I made and her "sheriff" badge.

All in all, it was a fun party. I'm glad too, because it seems like every year Cecelia gets kinda gyped on the birthday front. I was starting to think it was cursed. But, not this year! Friends came over, food was munched, and presents were opened. Praise God, I survived another one! Thank you Lord, I've got over 2 months till the next one.

Verse for the day:
Deuteronomy 12:7
"There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Picture Sundays - Summertime!

I'm not sure if this counts exactly, because I believe it was September when this was taken. But, it was a great family day at Honeymoon Beach in Florida on the bay, and it still felt very much like summer. This is me (after swimming) with Sabina at 11 months. She love, love, loves the beach. She was so happy to be able to walk into the water!

Verse of the Day:
Psalm 65:34, 35
"Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them,
for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah."

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Man

I thought it was the right time to introduce my husband of over 13 years - Nick.
He is, after all, the one who got me in this mess.

He is currently the Prayer Room and Worship Director at the Orlando House of Prayer.
That's a pretty fancy title for a guy who loves God, worships and sings while leading a team on the piano, and got roped in to this administrative position as OHOP grows. God can be such a taskmaster sometimes. But, I am so proud of Nick; he has answered the call and stepped up in an amazing way. He's doing an incredible job. He's grown so much since I met him at age 18. Back then, he was the "music star" on campus. The type of guy who would have gone all the way on American Idol - if it had been around at the time.

When we got married at age 19, it was because we didn't want to live apart from each other at all. We were so madly, deeply in love that we didn't see the point of waiting just because we were young. We had no idea what we were getting into.

Thankfully, 7 kids later, we are still madly, deeply. I really put it down to "growing up" together, and above all to the love of God. Our relationship with God has seen us through the rough times in our relationship with each other. It also helps to be married to a man who can write heart-stoppingly beautiful love songs.

I am so blessed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The New Baby

Just when I was really reveling in the fact that Sabina is my last baby (and growing up so fast), we got a new one. A few weeks ago we rescued a puppy. He was 10 weeks old at the time; sweet, fluffy and quiet. That didn't last. Although I did not have to endure the hardship of pregnancy or the ordeal of labor and delivery, there are many similarities here. Indy - the name we agreed on - cries when left alone or if he's in trouble, steals toys from the other kids and tries to break them, gets up during the night, and is also growing so fast. The nice thing is, Daddy gets up and takes him out. I get to stay in bed unless there's a mess to deal with. The kids were so excited at first. They love dogs and have been asking for one for ages. I wanted all the kids to be potty trained before we got a dog. I lost on that one. Sabina hasn't started yet. But, she is the only child in the house who's not afraid of Indy. He's a rambunctious puppy mix of black lab and border collie - sometimes called a borador. He's still fluffy and occasionally sweet. He likes to run and "herd" the kids, if they freak out, he tries harder. I'm trying to teach them to stand their ground and tell him NO if he snips at them. So far, only Sabina (at 19 months) is reliable on the "No, Indy." They are buddies. She plays in the water bowl, and he picks up the food she drops.
It's a symbiotic relationship.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm Diving In!

After months of planning to start a blog, and much anxiety about the "look" and "tone," I've decided to just go for it. One of my friends who blogs with her husband suggested putting pictures up and building around them. Since I have adorable, amazing children, I thought that was a pretty good idea.

This is Sabina - aka #7 - she is cute, funny, astounding and definitely God's child.
Right here she's trying to show me something and wondering why I have the camera pointed at her again. At 1 1/2, she has more wisdom than I do, but I do wish she had more hair. The best thing is she loves to dance at church. She's been dancing since before she could crawl!

This is Rocky (Ryan) - #2 , I'm not sure why these are out of order, but oh, well. He is 9 1/2, very active, a little crazy and creative. As you can see, he was recently awarded the Kiwanis Terrific Kid in his class. No small feat for one more inclined to talk in class, question authority, and rush through homework. ;)

Luca is #6, all boy, crazy about dinosaurs, cars, and slides. He just turned 3 last month and is still very much a momma's boy. But, I am under the suspicion that all Italian boys are, no matter how watered down that blood gets.

Here is Carlo - #5, he's 4 1/2 and despite being on the small side, he has a lot of personality. He loves to draw and color, play with blocks, and can be kinda sneaky.

This is Keliah, she's #4 (what I thought would be my last.) She's 6 and loves kindergarten. Well, actually, now she's ready to pass kindergarten and move on to 1st grade already! An artist, dancer, and singer, she blows me away with her star quality. Anybody know Miley's agent?

Cecelia is #3, the long anticipated girl (for me.) She's almost 8, also loves to dance and sing. She wants to be a writer; she's been quite prolific at school this year! Recently she's begun to make up songs for God (like her daddy.) Right here, she's showing off the Russian Tea cookies she made with Dad.

Antonio is the oldest - numero uno - #1; he's pretty big stuff. At 11, he's still a kid but realizing for the first time that childhood is coming to an end before he's ready. He loves God, is working his way through the Bible for the first time, and loves the drums. I would say he's been playing since he was 1 1/2, but he hasn't had enough lessons to really "play" yet. In this picture, he's dressed up for a recent speech competition. Isn't he cute? I mean handsome. :D

Well, there ya go. My 7 kiddos, ages 11 and under. Life is busy, sometimes chaotic, definitely noisy. But, it's also filled with so much love and sweetness that my heart aches with thankfulness.

Verse of the day:
Psalm 92:4 "For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands."