A gate guarded the gifts while they were displayed for a short time before we opened them:
Claire learned very quickly how to open presents…
…and was on to the next one.
The whole family caught the stomach bug right before Christmas. Landon was the last, and he was still recovering until the day after Christmas.
Note that our family is growing-a little brother coming in May. I cannot wait to hold a little newborn again. Luckily, I’m so busy with school it seems like this pregnancy is passing by more quickly than any of the others. I think it will be spring before I know it.
I’ve let milkweed grow in my garden for four years, and this is the first year I have anything to show for it. This week I found not one, but three monarch eggs attached under the leaves, so I brought them inside. Many of the younger boys have not seen or don’t remember the butterfly life cycle, so I’m excited that they can watch the little miracle this summer. Dominic and the other boys could not believe how small the caterpillar was when it hatched.
(Mom says to tell you that this is bedhead.)
3 Days With Claire
Claire has been adjusting to life on the outside fairly well, and she doesn’t cry as much as some of the other boys did. I am able to soothe her quite easily by walking and rocking her, whereas newborn Dominic never let me calm him down once he was crying! She also is sleeping a lot, even when she is not being held. (Well, at least during the day. Night is another story.)
The family also has been adjusting nicely, and Landon, Maria, John, and I take turns staying up late and getting up early to hold her and let Mom sleep. I have had a few issues with pronouns, however. After five baby brothers in a row, it was becoming natural that all babies were referred to as ‘he’, so saying ‘she’ has been difficult. Mom has also caught herself a few times addressing Claire as a ‘sweet little baby bo-er -um-girl’.
Claire definitely likes being swaddled, so most of the time she’s wrapped up in her blanket like a burrito.
I love Baby Burritos, especially when they’re wrapped in a flower tortilla! (haha)
Mom calls the bewildered newborn expression the ‘Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore look’. I think that’s a perfect description for the thoughts that must be going on in this little head.
I’ve always known my little brother Dominic was the most adorable baby ever, and now the fact has been verified by the largest newspaper in the city. Not every baby has his picture in the paper for Ash Wednesday two years in a row!
I was standing in the back of the church before mass, holding Dominic in my arms. We had to be there a half hour before mass began since Johnathan and Landon were altar servers. So, Mom sent me to the back to entertain the baby till mass began. While I was back there, I became aware of a woman pointing a very large camera in my direction and clicking away. I shot her a sideways glance, then I took a few steps forward, bouncing Dominic up and down in my arms. The camera followed me. I took a few steps forward. The camera moved with me. Shortly, the photographer approached me and asked for both of our names.
Here’s the picture that appeared in the paper this morning, taken just after Dominic and I received our ashes:
Now for the funny part: the caption under the picture reads: “Sarah carries son Dominic, 22 months, back to their seat Wednesday during the Lent Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral.”
The same newspaper published this picture last year:
Watching the Perseids
Well, the skies were perfect last night, and John, Maria, and I watched the meteors for more than an hour and a half. We were very comfortable, laying with pillows and blankets on the fort of our swing set. (We were thankful Dad never did put a tarp on the top.) It was the first year I’ve ever been comfortable watching the Perseids. Usually I can only bear to be outside for fifteen minutes before being driven inside by blood-sucking insects, but the drought this year has reduced the mosquito population to zero.
Despite the fact we were on the outskirts of a city, there were close to thirty shooting stars total, including one of the longest and brightest meteors I have ever seen! We also saw two bats fly directly overhead. The first hovered over Maria and John just moments after I had gone inside for a moment, and it scared them so much they grabbed the blankets and ran inside!
Here is the total number of meteors each of us saw last night:
Landon (only watched for fifteen minutes): 3
Mom (only watched for fifteen minutes): 3
I’m very happy we were able to get a good show, since the next few nights look like they might be cloudy.
Wedding Family Tree
For Mom and Dad’s eighteenth wedding anniversary last week, Landon, Maria, and I put together this family tree as a present. Maria cut the ribbon, Landon did the calligraphy, (Boy, did Landon improve his calligraphy skills. He ended up rewriting the first names at the end, he was so much better) and I drove to Hobby Lobby for the materials (oh, how I lu-uuuve my drivers license).
A big thank you to my Grandparents who went through thick photo albums to find all of the photographs!
Ash Wednesday Article
Here is the link to the local news article with Mom and Dominic’s picture: Sign of the Cross Marks Lent.
In the News!
A Walk in the Woods
Last weekend, Dad decided we should take advantage of the beautiful weather (which will end to quickly) and take a motorcycle ride to a hilly forested area with the rest of the family following behind in the van. It was lovely, with the trees beginning to turn colors, and the whole family enjoyed it immensely. I shot these pictures:
It’s snowing. Again. Winter was fun at first, especially with the ice skates I got for Christmas, but now it is beginning to drag. I have found, however, that a nice, hot cup of tea really helps to warm up the whole day. Apparently the rest of the family thinks so, too, because no sooner than had I made a cup a few days ago than everyone decided they needed to have some as well. Even Daniel was in on it, saying ‘tea’ in sign language over and over again until we got him his very own cup.
Sunday was both the end of daylight savings time and Mom’s birthday. We went out to Johnny Carinos, my favorite restaurant, where Mom got free tiramisu. The next day she opened a present that Landon, Maria, had I ordered her a birthday present and came a day late.
We’ve been eying this statue of Our Lady for a long time, plotting to get it for her sometime. Once Mom was paging through the Leaflet Missal Catholic catalog, and she remarked that she had always liked that statue. Landon and Maria were with me, and they both winked and nudged me with their elbows at the same time. Thankfully, Mom didn’t see it.
St. Lawrence’s Tears
Thursday night, Landon and I stepped outside, hoping to see a meteorite. Faint flashes of lightening from a far off storm played on the eastern horizon. It was after 12:00 on the peak night of the Perseids, one of the best meteor showers of the year, also known as St. Lawrence’s tears as it falls on or around the feast of St. Lawrence on August 10. After only a few minutes, we had seen one really good one. Mom and Maria joined us, and we stood out for almost forty minutes, and we saw over a dozen nice bright shooting stars, which is really good for being in the city with street lights all around.
Finally, it was nearing time to go in, and we all tried to tear ourselves away from the sky. There was a terrible feeling that just as you turned your back, another fascinating pinhead of light would dance across the dark night, and we would miss that triumphant feeling of having witnessed it. We did eventually make it inside, but I just couldn’t take it any longer and I stepped outside until I saw just one more. Then I went to bed, knowing that outside my window the light show was still playing.
We were at the store just in front of the main doors where there was a stand of flip flops. Maria had been itching all week to get some, and now she had just made her selection. Mom and I had also chosen a pair each, since they were only 2.50. As we proceeded through the store, we came upon another stand of flip flops, all different styles from the first and under five dollars each. We began to look through them eagerly, deciding which ones we would buy.
“Sarah, here’s some more over here,” Mom said, standing by an entire wall of flip flops.
“Ooh,” I said, as I turned around and saw wall of shoes behind me. I walked around the shelf, and found another, and another, and yet another wall of flip-flops. I was amazed at the vast selection, and I realized that this was why I never see the same pair twice on the feet of other girls. I raised my eyes and saw a large, brightly colored sign above my head that said: ‘FLIP OUT!’. That pretty much sums it up.
We ended up with several different varieties, all really cute with little ornaments on them: