Friday, December 14, 2007

Holy Season of Advent

This is our Advent Wreath that the kids and I finally made just a couple days ago. I chose a wreath that was in our basement which we no longer use, bought some ornaments at Target - they were perfect! Purple and pink and red...and the last box of them! - And a little container of the small gold bulbs. The candles we got from my mom and dad who got them from their parish. They were brandnew and they are obviously on the huge side since they are intended for the church's Advent wreath.

The kids got to place the ornaments while I hot glued them on. We just love the way it turned out. Way better than I expected.

We're also reading our Advent story Bartholomew's Passage

but if you don't already have this trilogy you'll pay a pretty penny per book on such sites as Amazon and Ebay! Seems last year they were switching publishing companies [?]. Anyway, it's out of print. But I believe I read or heard that they'll be back in print soon!

Every night during Advent you read a chapter. The beginning of each chapter tells you which candles to light on your wreath. And these stories are wonderful! We're in our third and final book. Then next year we'll start all over again with Jotham!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hey! Toofwess!

A couple nights ago, while playing with Charlie, Therese's other front tooth came out. It wasn't really even ready to come out. I mean, it was loose and all, but still firmly planted...or so I thought.

You can see the traces of blood upon her cheek. Yeah, it was a mighty bloody one! Like I said, it really wasn't ready to come out! She said something to the effect of hitting her mouth on Charlie's bottom!

I love the tooth-less smile! And just in time for Christmas!

Our Lady in Waiting!

Our Lady has been waiting for me to post about her Feast Day!

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Pray for Us!
Here's a little info - I know I'm preachin' to the choir here, but these facts after the story are incredible!!

After the conquest, the Spanish rule of the natives was so severe that a bloody revolt was imminent. Bishop Zummaraga prayed for Our Lady to intervene to prevent an uprising, to reconcile the Spanish and the natives and to bring peace. It is believed that he asked that he would receive roses native to his homeland of Castile Spain as a sign that his prayer would be answered.
On December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego who was a recently converted Catholic. She asked him to go to the Bishop and request him to build a church for her on the barren hill of Tepeyac that is now part of Mexico City. Our Lady wanted to show her merciful love to all of her children. The prudent Bishop asked Juan to ask the Lady for a sign. Juan did so and Our Lady promised to give him the sign.
On December 12, Our Lady again appeared to Juan on Tepeyac Hill and told him to pick the Castilian roses which miraculously appeared there and bring them to the Bishop as a sign for him to believe her request. Juan gathered the roses into his tilma and brought them to the Bishop.
Juan opened the tilma to show them and, to everyone's astonishment, the Image of Our Lady appeared on it. The Bishop then built the church as Our Lady had requested and nine million natives were converted and baptized to the one, true faith within the next nine years. Human sacrifice ended in Mexico forever. Our Lady of Guadalupe, which means Crusher of the stone serpent, brought the light of the true faith, crushed the false gods of Mexico and established an era of peace.

The Image of Our Lady is actually an Aztec Pictograph which was read and understood quickly by the Aztec Indians.

1. THE LADY STOOD IN FRONT OF THE SUN She was greater than the dreaded Huitzilopochtli, their sun-god of war.
2. HER FOOT RESTED ON THE CRESCENT MOON She had clearly crushed

Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent moon-god.
3. THE STARS STREWN ACROSS THE MANTLE She was greater than the stars of heaven which they worshipped. She was a virgin and the Queen of the heavens for Virgo rests over her womb and the northern crown upon her head. She appeared on December 12, 1531 and the stars that she wore are the constellations of the stars that appeared in the sky that day!
4. THE BLUE‑GREEN HUE OF HER MANTLE She was a Queen because she wears the color of royalty.
5. THE BLACK CROSS ON THE BROOCH AT HER NECK Her God was that of the Spanish Missionaries, Jesus Christ her son who died on the cross for all mankind.
6. THE BLACK BELT She was with child because she wore the Aztec Maternity Belt.
7. THE FOUR PETAL FLOWER OVER THE WOMB She was the Mother of God because the flower was a special symbol of life, movement and deity-the center of the universe.
8. HER HANDS ARE JOINED IN PRAYER She was not God but clearly there was one greater than Her and she pointed her finger to the cross on her brooch.
9. THE DESIGN ON HER ROSE COLORED GARMENT She is the Queen of the Earth because she is wearing a contour map of Mexico telling the Indians exactly where the apparition took place.

The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Science

1. The image to this date, cannot be explained by science.

2. The image shows no sign of deterioration after 450 years! The tilma or cloak of Saint Juan Diego on which the image of Our Lady has been imprinted, is a coarse fabric made from the threads of the maguey cactus. This fiber disintegrates within 20-60 years!

3. There is no under sketch, no sizing and no protective over-varnish on the image.

4. Microscopic examination revealed that there were no brush strokes.

5. The image seems to increase in size and change colors due to an unknown property of the surface and substance of which it is made.

6. According to Kodak of Mexico, the image is smooth and feels like a modern day photograph. (Produced 300 years before the invention of photography.)

7. The image has consistently defied exact reproduction, whether by brush or camera.

8. Several images can be seen reflected in the eyes of the Virgin. It is believed to be the images of Juan Diego, Bishop Juan de Zummaraga, Juan Gonzales, the interpreter and others.

9. The distortion and place of the images are identical to what is produced in the normal eye which is impossible to obtain on a flat surface.

10. The stars on Our Lady's Mantle coincide with the constellations in the sky on December 12, 1531. All who have scientifically examined the image of Our Lady over the centuries confess that its properties are absolutely unique and so inexplicable in human terms that the image can only be supernatural!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

T'is the Season for Meme's

Okay Esther - I guess you didn't read the answers to my last meme LOL. #1 states clearly how I am not an avid reader...but here it goes!! :O)

1. One book that changed your life: A Father Who Keeps His Promises, by Scott Hahn

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Hmmm...this could be funny...does GoodNight Moon count :O)

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: God's Own Word...The Holy Bible by God

4. One book that made you laugh: Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo

5. One book that made you cry: Mother Angelica by Raymond Arroyo

6. One book that you wish had been written: A New Two Year Old in Less than a Week!

7. One book that you wish had never been written: My Life, by Bill Clinton

8. One book you’re currently reading: Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Now tag five people: Megan, Kelly, Laura , Paula, and Therese the Aussie!

A Free Blog or Not a Free Blog ~

I'm just putting this question out here for a little feedback from all of you out in the blogosphere. Why would I want to pay for a Typepad blog - which I think is over $300/yr. - when I can have a blog - like this one - for free?
I will say that I think blogger is a bit difficult to use at times. Hard to manipulate how to arrange your post and such. Not very user-friendly.
Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Monday, December 10, 2007


While visiting Kimberlee's site, I came across this cool site! It's a cool vocabulary site and they donate 20 grains of rice for every word you get right. I donated over 600 grains in a few minutes! I was actually kind of excited :O)

Miserlygrump Selfishham

Gees. This Grinch name really makes me wriggle in my seat...a bit of self realization, maybe? Find out your Grinch Name! Thanks Mrs. Miserlytroll Fussypants!!!

Okay, we've also got the whole clan of Selfishham's...starting with Father Selfishham - then the kids... down to Baby Selfishham:

Miserlyfrown - who, when she was 3ish, stated that she "didn't like church cause Jesus He takes my money"
Meanfrown - you have *no* idea!!
Crabbygrump - *what an oxymoron*!!

So, there you have it folks...the entire Grinchy-named Selfishham Family!

Now, gitoutta here >:o/

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Meme Time~

I've been tagged by Kelly for this Meme.

Rules: Each tagged person must post 8 random facts or habits about themselves on their blog. At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!

This is going to be extremely difficult for me. I hate talking about myself because I'm so boring.

1. I don't like reading. I'm not one who always reads. Growing up, I never read unless it was required reading. In the past, say, 10yrs - I have bought many "Catholic" books. Sometimes I finish them. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I have my nose in many different books. But then there are the ones that I fly through. I DO LIKE books that hold my interest and aren't "over my head". Besides spiritual books - some fiction that I've recently - in the last 5yrs - read were some books by Nicholas Sparks. His memoirs and The Wedding are my favorites. The Notebook was good too. The only reason my sister and I started reading some of his stuff was because we saw him being interviewed on EWTN's The World Over, by Raymond Arroyo.

2. I have a terrible memory. I do not retain things that I read and it drives me crazy! I'll see a movie and forget some months/years later what it was about, or *if* I even saw it! Growing up *I* was the one that my family would come to to remember something which they were trying to remember. "Let's call Shelly. She'll know." I *used* to have a great memory. The kids sucked all my brain cells out when they were born :O) My husband...GREAT MEMORY!! I ask him all the time, "HOW DO YOU DO THAT??!! How can you remember THAT!" It's just not fair!

3. Things get on my nerves WAY TOO EASILY! It doesn't matter what it is - there are just too many to list. Just a few: mouth noises. toilet seats left up. crude manners. people who go *the* speed limit. cracking knuckles, backs, necks [not just Paul, anyone!]. when people tell me things over and over again. reading over my shoulder. lack of humility. lack of common sense. dreadlocks, esp. in the sporting arena. when people don't get a joke. a know-it-all. See! and that's just a few things! I wish I wasn't *in tune* to most of these things. Why wasn't I blessed with more creativity, patience, humility - instead of being so intuitive to these stupid things! Something more to work on.

4. My core personality is very organized and efficient. Though my household does not reflect that, in my opinion. Things are extremely unorganized and down-right messy around here most of the time...and it drives me *insane*.

5. I'm not a very affectionate person - no lovey dovey stuff here. I didn't grow up with that either. But I show my love for my family by doing things for them. I like to help them do their chores sometimes - I think that also teaches them to help each other out. I like to do unexpected things for my husband. Not that he picks up on them, but I do them to show my love. I also like to help him when he's in need - whether it's work related or fixing/doing things around the house.

6. I pick my feet. Hey, it's in my lineage!! My mom and brother do it too! In fact, I remember my brother saying that he had an added bonus this summer while driving down to Houston with the cruise control...he could pick his feet at will!! [this drives my kids CRAZY! "Eewwww...why do you do that!?" Sometimes I'll spot one of my younger kids watching me...closely - to see exactly what is it that I'm doing. It's gross, but a fact!

7. I get excited when my husband comes home. It's weird, to me. Internally, I feel excited. Like, "Yay". Maybe a part of that is when I was younger and got excited when my dad would come home. Even if I'm mad at him, I get that YAY feeling. But I really like feeling that way :O)

Gosh, just one more...

8. I am competitive. I don't like losing. Another awful flaw. Being competitve can be a good thing. Not for me. I don't "lose with grace" - as I teach my kids to. Who likes a sore loser? A poor sport? I DON'T! But I am! LOL! I blame this on my dad. We'd play a game like....checkers or something. He'd beat my pants off and yell, "Whew Hoo!! In your face!!". Yeah, I was 6. ::crackin' up::

Okay, I guess I need to find some to tag. Don't know if you've already been tagged, but here it goes: Katherine, Esther, Mom to 5 Minnies, Nicole, Busy Bee Mama, Christina, Angie, and Georgie!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Can Someone Explain this to Me?

Can you believe that the US bishops are being asked to fire the film critic, Forbes, who wrote "glowing" reviews on Brokeback Mountain and The Golden Compass?

Now here's my question. Why in the WORLD is this guy still in this position after Brokeback? Was the USCCB not horrified after that review "in their name"? I don't get it. Honestly.

Please, someone. Inform me.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Comedy Break!

This made me laugh out loud. I must give thanks here to Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii. Check out her great blog!
A young polar bear cub approached his mother one day and asked,
"Mom, am I a polar bear?"
"Of course you are," she replied with a smile.
"OK," said the cub, and padded off.
Later, he found his dad out by the iceberg.
"Dad, am I a polar bear?"
"Sure you are, son!" said his dad, wondering a bit at why his son would ask such a silly thing.
The next day, the cub asked the question again and again.
"Are you and Mom polar bears? You are? Well, then, does that make me a polar bear? Pure, 100% polar bear?"
Finally, his parents couldn't stand it any longer. "Son, you're driving us crazy with this question! You are a polar bear! Why do you keep asking?
The cub looked up and confessed,"Cause I'm FREEZING!"

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Toothless Therese!

Yesterday, the 4th, Therese lost one of her front teeth. Kayla tied a string around it and it fell out before she could even tug at it! The other front tooth is pretty loose. She may be singin' a certain Christmas song this season...and meaning it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Oh! Tannenbaum ~

Ahhh...yes! Keeping babies from the Christmas tree! I love it! :O)
On the evening of Charlie's birthday, we decorated our Christmas tree. The kids just love this tradition. Every year we get the kids new ornaments. We all have so much fun seeing all the ornaments as we pull them out of the tins [we use those big popcorn tins to store our ornaments...I think we're up to 5 popcorn containers!] - and after they're done decorating the tree, I run into our bedroom, bring out the new ones and hand them out; calling each one over by name and presenting them their ornament. They get so excited and I am equally excited...I love this little tradition.This is the girls' new ornament this year. Of course, the lighting and camera shot don't show it off very well.
Doesn't seem fair that the Birthday Boy is so sad and miserable at the close of decorating. Night night time!
UPDATE: This morning after Mass, Dani put Charlie down on the floor in the family room and I got some food for the boys. I casually asked where Charlie was...Dani said [voice getting louder as she spoke], "Um, he's playing with the tree!" she approached him - ornament in hand - he threw the glass snowman ornament [which happened to be Therese's] breaking his little leg - yes, normally snowmen don't have legs. This little guy has legs :O) I didn't hear the ornament hit the hardwood, I just heard Dani say, "No! Don't throw it!". Yes, we moved the breakable ones *just* a bit higher now, LOL!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Chawee!

...that's what John Paul calls Charlie. So cute. So right off the bat, the rest of us called him Chawee, too!

Charles Fulton D. is now one year old today! Happy Birthday Charlie! Such is the joy which a baby brings to the family! Thank you, God, for the amazing beautiful gift you have entrusted to us.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Big Boy Bed!

We did it. We made the transition that I've been dreading for a long time now. We took out Joseph's [the 2yr old] crib last week and put him in the Big Boy Bed. He's sharing a room and bunk bed with John Paul, the 4yr old. And for obvious reasons Psycho Boy has the bottom bunk. It started out fine, but he's been taking more liberties over the course of the week. Which all in all is fine - it's mostly pulling clothes out of the drawers [well, okay, maybe that isn't so fine], climbing John Paul's ladder, putting every book, stuffed animal and blanket into his bed and then just playing around. It doesn't really bother me and it definitely doesn't bother his brother - who could sleep through an earthquake. What does get my head spinning is the screaming and the boredom kicks. This child is not what you would call quiet - by any stretch of the imagination. But, what's the saying?..."this too shall pass" - these are words I live by :O)
He is our sweetie pie!

Two Words: ----->

What's in a Name?

Wait! Don't go anywhere. You're still at Our Party of Nine ... I just changed the title of our blog. I am planning on explaining it - it'll just have to be tomorrow, when I'll have more time. Why is it that I always have more time tomorrow? When really - I don't! At any rate, when I launched my blog I only did it to see if it was something I'd actually keep up with. Well, here it is 6 months later and I really do love blogging. So I thought it was time to get creative and think of a good title. It's the best I've got right now. Hope you'll appreciate the significance as I do!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Genius Gobblers

We've been wondering where the turkeys have been who periodically roam about our yard and are seen in our neighborhood. They haven't been around in a long time. Well just look at what the kids saw when Paul and I were out on Saturday:
Don't try tellin' me that turkeys are dumb. This just happens to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Divvying Up Creativeness -

How come when I do something like this......I feel like I've accomplished some great feat beyond normal motherhood...tapping into my creative side?

Then I see something like this and things I do don't look so amazing anymore. Where was I when God was divvyin' up the creativity ? I must've been in the food line :O)

The above is a toybox which we've had for a good 8 yrs or so - It was beyond worn. So I just grabbed some fabric at Hobby Lobby and did a quick recovery [pun intended :O) ]. It looks better than it did. Many thanks to Paul who took time away from his basement project to come to my aid - doing a little repair work and adding new hinges! And special thanks to Mom and Karen who helped in choosing fabric.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Potluck ~

Our homeschool group has an annual Thanksgiving Potluck dinner. It's a great event in which entire families come together and celebrate.

The photos show what a great time everyone had:
Having been on the South Beach Diet with his parents, John Paul savors every bite of his brownie!

Is that Joseph?...with a knife?! Scary!

Gee - I wonder where my kids get their photogenic-ness from! It's pretty evident by looking at Paul and I which one of us it comes from!!!

[Am I the only "Blogger" user who thinks that it's SO not user-friendly? The formats are so very difficult and almost impossible to manipulate...

How do you post pictures to the right or left and add text without messing everything up!!?? It's pretty frustrating for me! okay... mini-vent over]

At any rate,

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you froggers out there!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Week [and a half] in Review!

Alright, I'm going to give the run down of the highlights starting with last Monday...

Monday, the 5th:
Need I say more?

Joseph: "I drive!"
Honestly - this Toyota Tundra is a great truck. And honestly - Joseph really does think it's his!

Thursday -the 8th- we went to Carlton Farms with our homeschool group. Thanks to Megan - I have photos to share!

On the hayride we went out to the cows' pasture where they then came up to the trailer for a bit of breakfast! The kids [and I :O) ] had so much fun feeding the cows. That is, with the exception of 2yo Joseph. Last year when we visited - not a single cow came to us. Quite a different experience this time...thankfully. The brown cow - which is in the first 3 photos - we nicknamed Piggie!
Thursday also brought my parents home from Rome [which I did post!] and Dani's end-of-the-season softball party. The girls all signed softballs for their trophies and signed each others shirts. Now it's all about looking forward to Spring season :O)

Sunday, the 11th: After Mass Paul had to go work for a few hours until 7pm or so [urgent situation]. In the meantime, though, my sister, mom and dad came over and we got to see their photos from Assisi/Rome. Amazing, is all I can say. And I know the pictures don't do the views -which they witnessed- justice. Man, those churches! Unbelievable!

They had a fantastic time and I'm so very glad they were able to enjoy this trip together - a piece of heaven.
Monday, the 12th:

Happy Birthday Sophia!
I cannot believe my baby girl is now 6! She used to have this shirt when she was between 18 months and 2yo that read "Little Body, Big Attitude". And that is Sophia! She's not really little any more, just a bit petite. She sure has sprouted up this last year! She's a bit mothering, a bit bossy, a bit crabby at times - but she is such a wonderful little girl. She's smart as a whip and does her school work in a snap. She's shy in new environments yet goofy at home - where she's comfortable. She likes to feel secure and safe. And she's Oh-So-Loveable! She can't let Paul or I leave the house without giving us a kiss-n-hug. She is a SnuggleBug! "Fia Angel please come to me - with eyes so big - and cheeks so skwishy"!

She got to choose the Out to Eat of her choice and she chose Bugaboo! Of course!
When we sat down Sophia stated that she wanted the food that had the lemon. For a minute Paul and I had no idea what she was talking about, until it struck me that the Bugaboo kids' meals come with orange wedges! This is why they like them!Sophia enjoying her birthday surprise cake! Below is the Moose video:


Wednesday, the 14th:

Today was Parent Observation Day at ballet. Paul and I got to sit in on the ballet class and see what the girls have been learning from their teacher, Miss Dana. All the girls did very well. You can tell that some of the exercises are tedious and maybe a bit confusing, but they did wonderfully! Especially for having us parents in the room with them :O) Afterwards Miss Dana came up to Paul and I to tell us how Sophia - though a bit *off* because of the observers, today - is usually one of her better students. Which is so typical of Sophia to *want* to learn and *want* to do a good job doing/learning! That was so nice to hear :O) At any rate, Therese and Sophia [and all the girls] did such a great job!


Friday, the 16th:

Sophia's Second Birthday Party...Party at the Park! Boy, was it cold! Brrrrr...

What a goof! - such a boy shot :O)

Always ready to pose for the camera [she can feel a camera on her a mile away!]And Joseph, who usually gives a blank look to the camera...


Saturday, the 17th:

Sophia's 3rd and final birthday party! This was reserved for godparents, Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Karen! [I'll have to post photos later...i haven't dnlded them yet!]

Yeah, I really cheaped out this year! I made her cake for her Friday Friend Party but wimped out for the Family Saturday Affair. *Plus, I threw away her candles from Friday so I couldn't use them on Saturday's cake! Solution: Get the "5" from the "birthday drawer" [yes, we happen to call this particular drawer the birthday drawer] plus one of the two candles I could find. [Stay with me] So what's 5+1....of course, 6! There you have it!Remember what I said about Sophia spotting a camera from a mile away? ......well, Aunt Karen has this same ability! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS GUY IS GOING TO BE A YEAR OLD IN 2 WEEKS!!This is Therese's best friend, Stephanie, from our old neighborhood. They haven't hung out in over a year. Well, Therese did go to Steph's b-day party in September, but didn't have much time to "catch up", ya know? Her parents had a last minute invite to the Fox Theater and Kayla wasn't home at the time to babysit, so Paul just told them to bring their 2 daughters over. It was perfect since it was Sophia's third party and Therese got to finally be with her buddy! They had a BLAST!!

My kids are gonna be bummed when their b-days fall on a weekend!! LOL

So that's our week [and a half] in review! Stay tuned...