Sunday, November 7, 2010

Voyage of Discovery

Lovey and I were married on
October 12, 1996
Columbus Day

We chose the date for several reasons...

not the least of which is
low humidity in New Jersey in Oct.

and as I have always said...
Marriage IS a Voyage of Discovery!

We were married in the morning
with an early afternon reception.

We had a 4 day Honeymoon in Ocean City Maryland
Amazingly, the church we attended that weekend was having
their annual 40 Hours Devotion.
We went.
My husband was not yet Catholic : )

Every year Lovey brings me one red rose
for each year that we have been Married...
This year, there were 14!

Beautiful, aren't they?
All flowers are offered to the Blessed Mother
in this house...

Some things that I have learned on this Voyage...

I am capable of loving my husband even more today
the day that I married him!

We can look forward to the next 14 years with
fascination and excitement!

I am amazed at the faith life and desire for sanctity
that my husband has.

He is one of the most loving people I know...
and I don't tell him that often enough.

He is an AWSOME DAD!

I wish we were young enough...
to have a dozen children together!

I know I will think of 20 more things after I post this,
but, I had better go...
Lovey will be home from his Holy Hour with Snorkie soon
and Chewba is calling...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Florida Vacation Photos!

It has been so long since
I have written anything meaningful...
and I still don't have time...
I thought I had better
put some of these vacation photos
 on the blog...
Before Christmas arrives!
(we left home on Sept 15th and arrived home on Sept 27th)

These are totally mixed up
and I'm not taking the time to try
to arrange them chronologically... : p
(This is one thing that drives me crazy about blogger)

This is one of the "Jesus" players at the Holy Land Experience...
Notice Snorkie is very happy!


Also at the Holy Land...
Of course, my kids were playing "Narnia"
with "Aslan"

Here we are at the Magic Kingdom...
Notice Snorkie is NOT thrilled to meet Mickey & Minnie!

Here is Lumpy with his sweet Uncle ...
He liked the crutches.
Uncle Silly-Man is my "Biggest" brother who lives in Florida...
He and His wife came to the Townhouse we were renting
for dinner...

And Birthday Cake!
His Birthday was the month before...

We stopped in St. Augustine
on the way to Kissimmee from Jacksonville Beach...
We did the Trolley Tour and stopped at the little shrine to
Our Lady of La Leche...I thought it was appropriate
since Lumpy nursed any time he had a chance!
(the ENTIRE vacation)

This is the little church we attended
in Orlando on Sunday morning.
Sacred Heart Parish...
Traditional Latin Lovely

This is the site in St.Augustine where the
first Mass was celebrated in the "New World" !
(it was the first thing that they did)

With Lovey's Aunt & Uncle in Jacksonville Beach...
On their Balcony right on the ocean.
Snorkie got a stuffed snake at the gift shop
at th Jacksonville zoo...
Tilly got an Ostrich...adorable!

The Jacksonville Zoo!
I LOVE those critters!
Mine & the others...

The kids sitting on Minnie Mouse's couch...

PapPap's 80th Birthday celebration at Red Lobster...
(Lovey's Dad and Step Mom live in Bradenton and
came to stay with us for three days while we were down there)
...turns out the waitress was from Doylestown, Pa...
about 20 minutes from my house...Small World.

Snorkie is totally into Red Lobster now...
He doesn't realize that you can get
Mozzarella Sticks just about anywhere...LOL.

Sea World...the Manta roller coaster...
my first roller coaster ride in 13 years...WOW that was fun!
(Scooter and I rode it together...twice)
We had some drizzle and rain this day but not enough
to dampen our spirits!

Scooter rode the Journey to Atlantis ride TWICE...
once all by herself...
it was the last run of the day and our last ride of the Vacation.

After Sea World, we went to Downtown Disney for dinner.
This was a Dinosaur themed restaurant with a
meteor shower every 20 minutes and moving
lifesized dinos!  WOW!
(Ha! Hadn't noticed that Scooter looks so thrilled...LOL
Tilly is happy with her tall bone shaped slurpee).

Back at the Jacsonville Manta Rays to pet!

Stopped in Washington, DC on the way home...
This is Amelia Earhart's airplane...
at the Air & Space Museum!

This is a cool experimental room in the
Museum of American History.
It just re-opened...they did a great job renovating.
If you are close is well worth the visit
if only to see the original
"Star Spangled Banner".

The Family Photo on the Mall
(with the Capitol in the background)
This was our only really rainy day of the
whole 12 day adventure!
We got home around 9 that night...whew!

Now my yearly Marathon starts...
Halloween / Holy-Ween costumes...
November Birthdays Tilly (10) and Lumpy (1)!
(yikes, that was fast)
Thankgiving trip to my sisters in Illinois
(we celebrate 5 birthdays ((three of hers, two of mine)),
Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Christmas at home
Followed by February birthdays...
Snorkie (6) and Scooter (12).

I get to breathe again around Ash Wednesday.
I LOVE Lent : )

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Late Summer Craziness

Chewba as:  SUPER BABY

Late Summer is often a lovely time, but this week has been yucky.
60's overnight and overcast or rainy days make lousy weather
for getting in a few more pool adventures.
I still have to make my own swim Skort...
Chewba loves the water and wants me to take
him in whenever I can...

I desperately need to order books...
actually, now would be good : )

Chewba is almost exactly 9 months old RIGHT NOW
(it's 9:55am and he was born 10:12 am)
He needs me soon...
He has been eating everything he is given lately...
doesn't like baby food, just the real stuff.
Oh, and nursing...though those teeth are becoming
rather....painful : (
(for me)

We started back to school last week.
I like to do 2 or 3 weeks of half days before the
Our Co-Op starts to meet next Thursday!
Looking forward to regular time with all of our friends.
We have TONS of new families joining us this year.

We will be heading South in Sept. for our first trip to Florida
since Scooter was a baby...yikes, 11 years!

Trying to get Chewba to spend some time in his own bed at night...
not easy...
it would be easier to just leave him in my bed...
It is nice to be able to cuddle with the Hubby
once in a while, though...
Without a baby between us!

Another playdate today...three this week...eek!
Trying to catch up for an August that slipped by me...

Pax Christi!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Morningstar Camp & the Benedictine Abbey & Modest Swimwear!

This post is a mess
and I don't have the energy to figure out how to fix it...
it IS similar to a 7 quick takes, but I don't have
the umph to link up there, either...

The last few weeks have been pretty interesting...
Scooter planned all year to go
to Morningstar Camp in New Hampshire
with her best friend...The camp is run by
the Sisters Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary...
in FULL Habit. 
They are amazing.
She developed a cough in the week before camp started...
it wasn't too bad...
until I dropped her off on Sunday : (
Thankfully we were staying at
a Benedictine Abbey in Still River, Mass-
just two hour south of camp...
Tuesday night I had to drive up and pick her up.
She loved the camp and wants to go back next year.

Not sure Mom has the energy for a repeat...

"Chewba Grabowski" in the Kelty backpack ....
He loves ridin' high!

Tilly and Snorkie at the Lake in Harvard, Massachusetts.
Lovey weather ALL week...only needed the AC two days.
Spent Tuesday afternoon at the lake.

I made it to evening prayer several times
and morning Mass Mon, Wed, and Fri...
Chewba is a high energy guy...
it is like wrestling a baby crocodile during Mass-
trying to keep him quiet!
Compline was easier because he would nurse
and the Monks chanted the prayers so I didn't need
to worry about following along...
The Monks were SO gracious...
I'll be going back again, I'm sure.

Louisa May Alcott's house in Concord, Mass.
The fee was WAY too high to tour the inside
with four small children and two adults,
it would have cost $35.00....eeek.
It sure was pretty on the outside : )

Minute Man Statue at the Old North Bridge...
The "shot heard 'round the world"
was fired here...
Good thing we are all studying American History this year...
we actually got a field trip done in July!

I could not have gone a week away from my husband
without my friend "J".
Chewba just loves her and she made it possible
for me to actually EAT a meal once in a while.
This is Chewby visiting with a gal named "L" who lives
at the Abbey.  They had SOOOOOO much fun
making faces at each other!
I have to send a copy of this photo to her!
As soon as we got home Chewba started crawling "for real"
He had been scootching around and cruising a little,
but now he is officially ON THE GO!

And away he goes...

Both Scooter and Tilly needed new swim dresses...
I got these put together the week before we left.

They are comfy, cute and easy to swim in...
the dresses each have a full swimsuit sewn inside
so that they wont fly up over their heads in the water.
The leggings stay down because they are cut very slim.
If I wasn't nursing, I'd make one like this for myself!
Actually, I AM going to make a swim skort for myself
out of the blue floral fabric : )

The first night that we arrived at the Abbey
we made it to evening prayer before dinner
in the guest dining room.
It had been threatening rain for hours...
as the kids and I headed back to our rooms,
this sight greeted  us...
It was so big, I couldn't get the whole rainbow in one photo!

Blessings, all!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seven Quick Takes Friday

I have been meaning to link up to
 Seven Quick Takes Friday 
for quite a while...
We'll see how it goes!

We handed in our Homeschooling portfolios on June 29th...
you'd think I would have gotten them picked up by now : (
Too many activities going on...
Play Dates for instance...

Went to see Despicable Me with the kids and a friend
on Wednesday...I really enjoyed it..
I loved the accents and critical Mamma's change of heart...
It looked very PIXAR-ish to me...
Very sweet story in a "fractured fairytale" way.
The Minions are hysterical! He He He...

We have to start baby-proofing again...
Lumpy is ready to go...
This week he pulled himself up at the ottoman
and took a "cruising" step...
He also crawled a bit and
can scootch himself around pretty well.
Add the LONG ARM of the BABY and we are in TROUBLE

The biggest trouble is the fact that my house is covered with these

and these...
Also those adorable little erasers in many shapes..
not to mention marbles and action figures...ugh!
All choking hazzards to a baby who
puts EVERYTHING in his mouth!

I missed doing anything for the
Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel...
I should get to the local
Carmelite Monastery for Mass,
but probably won't...
I have lost my momentum lately in my prayer life...
By the Grace of God I can get back
on track SOON...

Scooter and her best friend are going to
a camp in New Hampshire the last week in July...
so much to do to prepare...
It is called Morning Star Camp &
 is run by the Sisters Slaves of the immaculate Heart of Mary...
They have Latin Mass every morning and must wear
modest clothing and swimwear!
(I have one more swim dress
to make for Scooter before she leaves)
While there, her best friend's mom & I
plus the rest of my little ones
will be staying @ two hours south at the
St Benedict Abbey in Still River, Mass...
I have been wanting a retreat forever...
just not sure how the little ones will do...
Pray for us Please!

Lumpy O'Toole has acquired another nick name...
He makes these hilarious noises that sound just like
Chewbacca from Star Wars...
Plus he grabs anything he can from your hands,
so his Father has dubbed him:
Chewba Grabowski

He just Devours books!

Sometimes he DOES go to sleep...just not very often...
Chewba really liked his babysitter at VBS this year!
Can you believe he will be EIGHT months old next week???

Pax Christi to you all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I've Got to STOP watching Ace of Cakes

The Last Day of Vacation Bible School....
The Theme was Son Quest Rainforest...

Our DRE retired several days before, but
graciously stayed with us 'till the last day.

She and her husband
(one of our Deacons)
were in charge of RCIA
when my husband came into the Church.

I wanted to do something special for her...

The kids and I had a great time...
Snorkie made the lizzard and aligator...
Tilly made the Jaguar and Ant Eater...

Scooter made the flowers
and painted them with food dye details
She also made the Toucans and one Parrot...

This thing weighed a TON.
Luckily I have a lazy susan just the right size.
It was Brownie on the bottom,
yellow cake in the middle
and carrot cake on top....whew!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Love Making Cakes

I just realized that I never posted any photos
of this year's Birthday Cakes!
Tilly's Birthday is November 30th...
Since Lumpy was due on the 26th,
we decided to do her party at the Beginning of the Month.
Her American Girl Doll (Mia) is an ice skater...
So we did a skating party.
That way I didn't need to do much.
This was my first attempt at "sugar glass"
I over cooked it so it was yellow,
but I thought it was cute and it tasted like caramel.
The lower "boards" were white "chocolate" candy.
The ice was Fondant and the decorations were
drawn on with food dye markers!
The cake was brownies.
One of her "Pollys" stood in for her and "Mia" .
All of her guests brought their dolls, too.
Snorkie is Star Wars obsessed.
I bought the pan that you use to make a perfectly round ball
this is the Death Star with Luke and Vader circling...
they are made from candy melts.
The cake is covered with fondant and the decor
was done with the food dye markers.
We put it on the bottom of a cake server turned upside-down.
This was yummy
and my first attempt at home made Fondant!
Very easy and much better than the commercial stuff.

Scooter is still trying to talk us into getting a dog.

She loves Schnoodles...

This is the one she got.

I used the "Teddy Bear" cake pan and

altered it as needed.

Eyes, ears, nose, paws, etc. were fondant

painted with black food coloring.

I used a combination of chocolate and vanilla icing.

This is our most recent cake

It was for my best friend's little boy.

The kids got to help by making most of the animals

Snorkie did aligator heads, snakes and birds.

Scooter made the elephant and giraffe.

Tilly made the whole lion family (we didn't eat them)

We used green candy melts for grass and tree leaves

and sugar cones for the tree trunks. Lots of fun.

I'm loving the fondant!

Blessings All!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blessed Easter

(our Traditional after Mass family photo)

Lent is Over

Easter is HERE!

All 50 days of Easter!

How Wonderful is that?

We didn't even put out Easter decorations -

until Easter Sunday this year!

I like to leave them out...

We had a lovely gathering with my Mom & Dad

DH's Mom,

my Brother, Sister-in-Law, and niece...

lovely weather

Joyous Occasion!

He Is Risen!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010



I am tired today...

and yesterday...

and last week....

Baby Boy is sleeping pretty well,

He still nurses in the night but we snuggle together well

and usually sleep 'till 7 am or so.

I should really be getting to bed by 9:30 and up by 6...
But then I would never have any time with my
darling longsuffering Husband...

AND I need to get back to exercising...

I feel yucky...10# heavier than I was

when I came home from the hospital. BLECH

I keep thinking I will be able to get back
to more frequent blog posts...

maybe even have something good to say,

instead of just posting photos...


Lumpy just does NOT LIKE to be separated from me

for more than 15 minutes : (

I wear him in the sling a lot...

He is pushing towards 15 #, though...

OH, my aching back!

I am behind on so many things and

want to do so many others that are just

out of the question...

Snorkie is playing T-Ball this year and

Scooter has started Softball

(an amazing slugger, she is)...

We are trying to schedule the Summer and

Fall vacation plans are being made...

(Gotta love Homeschooling for allowing September trips!)

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching

& PA is a pain for documentation : (

I am looking forward to Holy Week & Easter.

My parents will be visiting and then soon moving...

to Nebraska.

I will miss having them closer by,
but they are very excited.

I am praying that all goes well with their move.

Blessedly, I have THREE wonderful spiritual

"retreat" days planned...All in April...

One is a LONG day WITH my

Darling Husband

(and baby, of course) to make lunch, check on a semi-sick 5 year old,

change over the laundry, get baby back from big sister,

though he is happy enough right now : )

and figure out the rest of my afternoon...

Hmmm, Maybe a Nap.....


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Days, Birthday Fun & Lumpy photo

This was after the LAST storm (Friday and Saturday of last week)
Light flaky snow blew everywhere...
This is Last Night's 15 MORE inches
Scooter and Tilly out at 7:30 PM building a snowman!

Front entryway

Last Saturday's snow (12")

Friday was Snorkie's "friend" Birthday party
My little Jedi Boy was very excited
He is "totally into"
Star Wars: the Clone Wars...
He likes it when Anakin was still a good guy...
Thsi Sunday is the "Family party for Snorkie and Scooter
5 Years old and 11 years old
did that time go fast!

Brownie cupcakes with earth sand icing
(crushed Graham Crackers stuck to chocolate icing)
with pressed fondant "Anakins" on top...
I never got around to adding color to them : (
Scooter asked for a dog cake and Snorkie is getting a
"Death Star" cake for the Family Party...
A few weeks ago we had a Homeschooler's field trip!
Snorkie and one of his best friends at the
Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ...
Waiting to leave to get on the light rail river line train
What fun!
They have Hippopatamii at this Aquarium!

Too cute for words photo of Lumpy O'Toole...
Can you believe that he is
Two and a Half months old already?
He is playing with "play gym" type toys and smiling
like crazy...he even chuckled at me the other day!
23" and over 12 pounds!