Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Flying Lessons.










After flying practice, they worked on a little telekinesis...




Sunday, January 11, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Our Family Wall.

We keep framed (semi)current portraits of our 10 children on one wall in the living room.  Until recently, the frames were a mismatched hodge podge of whatever frames I had available. I've been saying for years that I'd like to replace them all at once with 10 matching frames, plus another frame for an 8x10 of the whole family.

This year, somebody finally listened. :)

Jeremy, Sarah's beau, presented us with an even dozen of matching picture frames for Christmas!  (I suspect the mismatched frames offended his perfectionist engineering sensibilities even more than they bothered me).

The week of Christmas was exhausting, and every day in the first week of January I wanted to tackle the frame replacement project, but I was too busy.  Then I decided that today, Saturday, January 10, it was going to happen.

I set them up in three rows:  the three youngest girls centered in the top row, all four boys centered in the middle row, and the three oldest girls centered in the bottom row.  It SEEMS as though all I have to do is lay out the top three pictures, measure the distance from Regina's picture-hanger to Noelle's, then make a level line and hang all three pictures a few inches from the ceiling.  Then do the same for the four boys and hang them, staggered below and between the top row's pictures.  Finally hang the remaining three bottom pictures directly below the top three.  It works on paper.

The first problem is that the wood stove was blazing, and there was all heat and no oxygen to breathe up by the ceiling.   The second problem is that the ceiling is uneven - DRAMATICALLY uneven.  Then there's those pieces of molding that cut the wall into uneven sections.  No matter how perfectly I measured, the optical illusions of unevenness created by the ceiling and the wall made it look crooked.

As an added bonus, I dropped every tool I touched every time I touched it, and Philip was on the loose so he kept going after all the framed pictures and every tool I set down.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I also have a cold and my stuffy head and runny nose just exacerbated the misery.

In the end, I ended up just eyeballing the whole thing and moving nail after nail after nail until they satisfied my aesthetic sensibilities.

It only took an hour-and-a-half, but it was the longest hour-and-a-half of my life.


There you go, Jeremy and Sarah.  I don't know whether to thank you or curse the days you were born!


Just kidding. It looks great.  I love you both.

But if either of you comes here and points out something that's a little bit off, I'm probably going to snap.

Busy Boy.

Philip has been driving us bonkers this week.  

If he's not climbing up on a table or a toilet or the piano, 
he's dragging a chair somewhere to reach something.

Here's what an average 5 minutes with Philip goes like:  He toddles into the kitchen and dumps out a box of cereal.  While somebody cleans it up, he goes over to the table and finds a drinking glass, then promptly dumps it all over himself and the floor.  Then while we're wiping that up, he goes into the living room and finds somebody's glasses or cell phone and hightails away with his booty.  We wrest his prize from his grip and put it somewhere safe, but by then he's found somebody's carelessly placed cup of coffee, and has taken a long draught, and also probably spilled it.  While we're putting the cup in the kitchen or wiping the spill, he goes into the bathroom to find some trouble there - the kitty litterbox, a toilet brush, etc.  Remove him from the bathroom and he heads for the cat food dish.  Then he pulls a log out of the wood ring.  Take that from him and he goes and empties a basket of toys.  While we're picking up the toys, he goes over and shakes the gate until it opens, and scurries up the stairs to repeat the process on the second floor.  He can smell an open gate or an open door.  Any unguarded chair allows him to get at an unsuspecting computer.  If somebody leaves the piano bench pulled out even a few inches, to him it's an opportunity.  My sewing table is an irresistible prize.

There couldn't possibly be enough naptimes in a day with him.  I am exhausted.


About to be mauled for my cup of coffee.




Victorious!  There were only a few drops left anyway.



But he got every last one of them.

New hiding place.


I wasn't exaggerating about the piano.



It's only a matter of time.

It's like a huge game to him, and he's winning.

But he's SO darn cute about it.




Ha!  I beat you to the table again, Mom!


Pausing to plan his next attack.

In this pose he reminds me so much of my maternal grandfather.


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All for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with Saint Joseph