"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sidewalk Talk

Our neighborhood seems like a really quiet place (at least before we moved in). In an effort to get to know our neighbors a little better, we wrote a little note in front of our house.

I was pretty amazed at the response. We had messages all up and down our block.

 I think it perked up our quiet street quite a bit.

Some people were really artists

We're working on decorating our front porch too. Little by little, we are feeling more at home.

I am thinking of keeping the Christmas lights up all year round. What do you all think?

Catherine and the dogs have decorated the yard with lots of fashionable holes. 

 With all their help, I am sure our house will be fabulous in no time. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

All in the Family

I have always been big on names. Each of the kids have six names each, including a saint and an angel name. Some of the kids have unusual names, like little Catherine (I still refuse to be called big Catherine). Her middle name is Scheherazade. If you haven't heard the symphony that she is named after, I suggest you go listen to it. It is one of my favorites.

So, I guess it is no surprise that little Catherine is following in my footsteps when naming her Barbies. The poor dolls already have several strikes against them. First of all, Catherine and Victoria refuse to allow them the dignity of wearing clothes. Well, sure, occasionally a boy Barbie will be allowed to don the Elsa dress, but mostly they are nudist. 

 And they all have serious injuries, thanks to a sweet, destructive pup who is visiting with us. His name is Malachi, which means angel. Don't let that cute face fool you. He is no angel. He refuses his nutritious kibble, but he will devour a bar of soap eagerly. But, I digress. His favorite pastime is finding the poor Barbie family and tearing their limbs off.

 Catherine is very fond of them. 
She even has very special names for each of them. 


Stumpy and James

Ghost Guy (only his head survived)

And I love finding them in random places, like on my mantel. I'm not sure how they get up so high, when the little ones can't reach up there. Maybe the Barbies are trying to help me decorate. Or maybe, they are really trying to escape.

I see a trend emerging here. Very soon Francesca and Victoria will soon be ripping the heads off their dolls. But I guess when life hands you destroyed Barbies, you gotta  make the best of it and have ghost family.

Such a sweet sight when I go to tuck her in......just a girl and her heads. 

Sweet dreams! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

We're back.........

Hi Everyone! It's great to be back here, writing to you all again, after an almost two year hiatus. As I sit here in my pink panther hat (even though the weather is 78 degrees) , I realize that I sure do have some updates to give you.

 I got a divorce about a year and a half ago, and then the girls and I moved to Florida, which we love. At first we were only renting a tiny house, with only two bedrooms (which really made me realize how few material things we actually need, since not much would fit in there ). We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place!

Now, we have a fabulous house of our very own. The house was built in 1922 and has lots of charm, but it was quite a disaster when we moved in a few months ago. We still have a ways to go with fixing it up. Our yard is one big sand pit, which really cuts down on mowing the grass. 

Elliot moved here too, so it's great to all be together (most of the time anyway). We are really glad to be done with moving for a while. Victoria calls it "the happy house." We love having a front porch too. 

We have been fostering a few four legged friends again. Our foster puppies may come and go, but they always leave reminders forever. Like chewing the couch to pieces. That's ok though, I am going with a minimalist decorating style anyway. And it has really taught the kids to pick up their toys. Most of their Barbies are sporting teeth marks.

Elliot is 20 now and is working at a pizza place and hopefully going to college soon. I am so glad to have all my kids together. He is enjoying all my boxed culinary delights.

Isabella has gotten so grown up! She just turned 14. She is a great cook (wayyyyyy better than me) and she is very dedicated to her karate. She and Anastasia are trying to start a babysitting business called "Two Sisters Babysitting". Two for the price of one! Spread the word! They certainly have the job experience from helping out with the little ones. 

 Anastasia is 11 and always keeps us laughing. She is quite the entrepreneur and her latest venture is figuring out how to save enough money to buy an iphone 5s. She loves karate and is quite the artist.

Little Catherine, is well, little Catherine. She is 7 now and is so smart; she reads everything. She has her own sense of style and is thrilled to be able to wear her bathing suit year round. She is quite determined and very, very strong willed. Between her and Victoria, I have to be quite creative to figure out how to keep a step ahead of her. She is growing her bangs out. She just started karate and I expect she will be quite good at it. 

Francesca is almost 6! I can't believe it. We still have some issues with toilet training, but she tries. She loves to help me. Her language is really improving too. I think she has short term memory issues and definitely attention problems. She is great in social situations. We discovered that she really has a way with animals.

Victoria is 5 and continues to amaze me. The child who the doctors said would never speak, talks non-stop. She seems to have a photographic memory. She can spell her first name and her last name, and she can count to 100 by 10's. She had a deck of bird flash cards and she can name 50 birds! However, she struggles with social situations. She is more like a three year old socially, which makes sense, since her first two years consisted of total neglect in the orphanage. She gets very frustrated if she can't get what she wants. She kind of has the philosophy that is she sees it, it is hers. One lady even gave Victoria the earrings she had on because Victoria wanted them. She has been known to tell people they are fat, or that their necks are "mushy". Now that she's learned that isn't nice, she will loudly tell them their necks are "not mushy". 

 As for me, I am feeling really happy and grateful. I have grown a lot in the past year and a half. I've really come to realize that I am stronger than I thought I was. And that my family is really the best.

So, that's pretty much it......I would love to hear from all of you and I promise to write more soon. I have lots more to say! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Family and Fairies

I am so glad that summer is here! It's my favorite time of the year. We all love being outside as much as we can, even our cats, Squirrel and "small headed" Garfield.

My mom's garden is really in full bloom.

We all need to relax as well as Squirrel can! 

I think little Catherine wants to be planted outside.

Grandpa came for a surprise visit. We were all so glad to see him! 

You can see where Elliot gets his blue eyes from! 

Anastasia has been very conscientious in watering her garden. 

Grandma and the girls have been designing their own fairy gardens. 

Victoria loves to balance on the garden path. 

Isabella and her fairy horses. 

I just had to put this picture in, because little Catherine actually matches! 

Francesca loves being outside too! 

This is Victoria's angry stomp. She gets quite mad if she can't have what she wants. She is really starting to learn that she has to talk and ask for what she wants. Tonight at dinner, she told me "No noodles mama, milk please!" Pretty darn impressive! 

Thanks for visiting Dad! 

Hope everyone is enjoying your summer! I would love ideas about how to keep five kids occupied during the really hot months.