Love Overflowing

Sharing a birthday

Zachary was born on his cousin Cameron’s first birthday. We decided that we would hold a joint party in Centralia this year. We thought it would be easier and that it would eliminate the issue of travel and weather for my family to travel to our house. What we didn’t plan on was sickness. Emily missed three days of school due to bronchitis and a bad ear infection. Zachary still had an ear infection and started to develop bronchitis as well. Luckily, he wasn’t contagious since he had been on antibiotics and wasn’t running a fever. Poor Emily was devastated when she was told that she couldn’t go because she woke up with a fever. She really wanted to go play with her cousins. I did promise cake though so that helped ease the sting of staying home.

Zachary and I made the drive to Centralia by ourselves. It was our first solo road trip and I must say that he did very well in the car entertaining himself. He didn’t have his sister to play with or a dvd to watch. I was hoping that he would take a nap but should have known better. He did good with his books and trucks. He was ready to get out of the car when we arrived though.

Poor Chloe was outnumbered during the party. You see, there are 7 grandkids. 5 are boys and 2 are girls. We were missing Emily and Timothy. Chloe was still outnumbered 4 to 1. She held her own though like only a 4-year-old can. The kids played, the adults chatted and then we had cake and opened presents. It was a pretty short and to the point party. Zachary was starting to cough and run a low-grade fever so I decided to high tail it out of there so no one else could get sick and blame me.

It was a good party though. We had a good visit and both boys were spoiled, as usual. I am happy to announce that, from what I am aware of, only one person got sick- Timothy and he wasn’t at the party so it wasn’t from us.

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Random pictures from New Year’s

We had amazing weather over Christmas and New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve, we headed down to Frontier Park to take a walk. We headed down the Katy and made sure we saw the choo choo trains. After dinner, Grandma and Papa came over to play with the kids for a bit while Stephen and I got an hour or two of adult time. We decided to head to Cold Stone for our annual New Year’s Eve ice cream and did a little shopping. The kids partied and played with the grandparents and were in bed by 8:30. Can’t beat that!

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Christmas Day

Christmas Day was a little different in several ways this year. First off, both kids slept past 7am! It was very nice to sleep past 6am on a weekday. We actually had to wake Emily up so that we would have some time to open some presents and eat breakfast before we headed off to Mass.

I *checked* to make sure that Santa was gone before the kids came out of their rooms. Once I announced “All Clear!” Emily came running. It was so awesome to see the look of excitement and joy when she saw the new bike that Santa left her! It was priceless. Zachary was pretty impressed with his own awesome trike. Now he wouldn’t have to cruise around the basement on Emily’s old princess trike. He could learn how to ride on his own, manly bike. We then did a quick dash of opening presents so that we could fill our bellies with yumminess before we had to rush and get dressed.

Dressed in our Christmas best, we headed out to celebrate the reason for the day: Jesus’ birth. It was the first time since Easter that Zachary didn’t sit in the cry room and he did remarkably well for a little boy who was excited about new toys. After we arrived home, we actually got to go outside and enjoy the gifts that Santa left. It’s amazing to think that it was warmer on Christmas Day than it was on Thanksgiving Day. When Santa decided to bring the kids bikes, he didn’t think that they would be able to actually get to ride them so it was a real treat!

After lunch was nap and rest time. Normally our Christmas Day consisted of opening presents quickly, going to church, coming home to play for an hour and then heading over to Grandma and Papa’s for the rest of the day. Not this year. A little break to tradition since the kids are getting older. We got to enjoy some time at home and enjoy some of our presents before we headed over for dinner. I know the kids really appreciated getting to play with some of their toys. And they got naps to prepare them for a little later night. Really made the rest of the day tolerable.

Dinner and more presents at Gaga and Papa’s! We had a really good visit with everyone and the kids were spoiled rotten, as usual. We all were really. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and celebrate the birth of Jesus together. Merry Christmas!

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My beautiful family

Dear God,

Thanks for this beautiful life and forgive me if I don’t love it enough. You have blessed me with a wonderful family and I am immensely grateful. It’s more than I could have hoped for. Thank you.

Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what.

 

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is pretty low-key around here for the most part. We opted to pick up a few last-minute essentials and then spend time together around the house as a family. We debated about going to the Santa send-off parade but decided that it was more important for Zachary to get a nap. It was a lazy afternoon spent together. After dinner, we got to open our annual Christmas Eve gifts from Grandma and Papa. Surprise! Pajamas for everyone! You would have thought they hit the jackpot with their squeals when opening their pjs. Emily got a Rapunzel (her favorite princess) nightgown and Zachary got some Cars pjs. Before bed, we read “The Night Before Christmas” and the Christmas story from the bible. We then had to make sure that we had carrots, cookies, a gift, a note and a can of Mt. Dew (Emily’s request) set out for Santa. The note was super cute. Emily told me what to write:

Dear Santa,

Zachary really likes you. He says “ho, ho, ho” all the time. We both love you very much.

Love,
Emily

Apparently, she was concerned about Zachary having been good enough for presents so she was making one last push for him. The kids also hung their stocking with care. Then it was time for the kids to snuggle down into their beds. And the real magic was about to begin….. Mommy and Daddy’s work time.

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Christmas with the cousins

Once we had Emily, we decided that we wouldn’t travel for Christmas. We wanted her to be able to wake up in her own bed and discover what Santa left her. We also decided that we weren’t going to try to split the day between both sides of the family and travel a lot on Christmas Day. We would rather have our day a little more relaxed and really reflect on what the day is about.

We still celebrate with my family, but on a different day. It’s worked out well, in my opinion. Especially as the cousins get older and want to stay home and play with their new toys. I am glad that we still get together to celebrate, even if it is a few weeks early. I love, love seeing all the kids together. So many, so close in age. 7 children, ranging from 5 to 1 1/2. It’s awesome!

This year was no exception on the fun and excitement. We even had some excitement in the basement with the hot water heater but that is a whole other story. We ate; we laughed; we opened presents. It was a zoo. I loved every minute of it!

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Random silly pictures

There are many times that I don’t have my camera handy but my phone is nearby. Here are a few silly shots that I have gotten recently.

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Thanksgiving 2011

This year we spent Thanksgiving with my family. It’s been a few years since we spent the holiday with them so it was definitely past due. We arrived a little early so we could help my sister finish up the yummy preparations. The kids were able to get a head start on destroying everything playing together. I love when the cousins get together. The laughter and giggles definitely outweigh the referring. It’s amazing how much they fight and knit pick already. Guess you would expect no less since there are 7 children age 5 and under. It’s always a mad house! And this Thanksgiving was no exception.

The food was delicious and the company even better. We had such a wonderful time. The kids played so hard that they were asleep even before we hit the interstate. I really do love my family- crazy as each and every one of us are.

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“Leaf” it to the kids

Always a good time playing in the leaves! The kids always love having fun in the leaves. Always takes twice as long to get the leaves in the bag but well worth it!

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Take a (short) hike

A few weekends ago we had beautiful weather. We decided to take a drive after Zachary woke up from his nap and enjoy the rest of fall. We ended up at Klondike Park near Augusta. One word- beautiful! There are tons of trails to explore and a scenic overview to walk up to. We didn’t have time to hike through the woods, as the rain clouds were moving in but we did have enough time to hike/walk up to the scenic view. It was a pretty steep walk up but Zachary trudged along pretty well for being a little guy. It was a slow go with him but totally worth the view. We decided that we needed to come back in the spring. Both kids will be a bit older and we will be able to explore a little better.

Of course, I had to snap a few pictures.

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