Mother’s Day / A Social ShareIt

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 One night a week or two ago (have I told you how bad I am with time frames, yet?, lol) . . . Michael and I were having a casual conversation. So very casual in fact, that we were both in the bathroom, getting ready for bed, come to think of it.  Anyway, I don’t remember (either) exactly what the conversation was originally about, but it was on the topic of Mother’s Day being around the bend.  And the course of that conversation led me to state how “Mother’s Day was a way bigger deal to me, than my birthday”.

 For some reason, that statement seemed to get Michael’s attention in such a way, that it got my attention, because it got his, so much.  It was the surprise in his voice, and the tone of his sudden and very real curiosity, of how he said, “It does? WHY?!”.
Like he really didn’t get how Mother’s Day could trump my birthday. Which, to me, was just silly to wonder. I couldn’t believe I had to explain that.
But it was such an easy explanation.  And so the answer flowed like honey, from my heart and soul:

mothers-day

And then, after I said it so matter of factly, and maybe because it was late and I was tired, all of the power behind the sincerity of those words, that came so easily from the most sacred part of my heart, hit me.  So I actually had to go into the other room for a minute, to just have a a little quiet cry with myself. 
It was not a sad cry.  It was a cry that just came from that overwhelming sense of love in the sincerity of the words I had just spoken, and knowing how truly blessed I am, with my children.
Truly. 

I know we all are.  All of us who are mothers, however we came to be one, and to whatever children God placed in our care. 
We are all blessed to have this role, whether we know it or not. I know many really do.
I know I really do. 

Someday, maybe I will share with you all the story of my children, and how God really did grant me their earthly lives, in a very special understanding between me and Him. Especially with the triplets; and the part their big sister played in their lives before we were even expecting them.  It’s a quite deep and emotional story; so much so that it would take a lot for me to tell it all. And I know it would be a long post, and an emotional event to type.  It’s another reason I’ve yet to tell it. But I can tell you this; Despite the hopeless odds and statistics, in one situation after another from the moment we learned of their conception, through the weeks following their birth, our trio are still here on earth because God heard my daily, sometimes hour-long prayers, from the 6+ month bed-rest I was prescribed to. He is the Ultimate Physician. Scientific odds and statistics are completely irrelevant, where His hand is involved. These children I have, are all here on His Creation of this earth, because it was HIS will for them to be.
And for as long as He intends them to be, He has named me; their mother.

Blessed, am I.

He gave them to me to care for, and raise, according to His will. As He did any mother who has been given a child or children, in any way they’ve been given to them. There are days I feel so very unworthy of His trust. But there are never days I don’t know what a gift it is. And so I count these 4 blessings daily, and do the best I can, with all of the love and gratitude I have, to fulfill my promises and His trust in me.  I know there are days He is more pleased with me, than others. I know there are days much easier, for me, than others.
But if I pay attention, there are also days I feel Him right beside me; and the power of my role spills from a place beyond my comprehension.
We parents, we are not alone in this sometimes daunting, but always rewarding, task. Our Heavenly Father; the Father of us all, is with us every step of the way.

The journey that led to the day I held my first child in my arms, and the next chapters that led to our trio coming into this world, has shown me a conviction, of which no one can convince me otherwise: 

Motherhood, is meant to be a vocation.

And it is surely mine.

Blessed, am I.
Blessed are you, mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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On Facebook, you can share this creation, if you feel the same about “Motherhood”, or any other ShareIts we have so far, from our Facebook Page’s ‘Social ShareIt’ Album.
On Pinterest, you can repin from our ‘House Of Joyful Noise Social ShareIts’ Board, or you’re welcome to just pin it right from this post.

Let us know what you think of this new ‘Social ShareIt’ below, and thanks so much for swinging by!

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Christmas Eve / Morning – 2012

With Christmas 2012 behind us, we ultimately decided to blog a little bit of it, before we move on to wrapping up our year of projects for you, revealing a new one, and jumping into the new year with both feet, and some bigger projects than ever, that you are welcome to follow along with us. I cannot wait to get to all of that, and hopefully you all might have some great ideas and help for us along the way. It’s going to be too much fun!

But first, our little Christmas. We try to keep the entire season quite simple and stress-free.  (Not always an easy thing to do – right?). We celebrate Advent, we decorate, make some handmade gifts and shop a little, bake, drive around neighborhoods at night with cocoa to see people’s Christmas lights, and stuff like that.  We also try to not get too distracted from remembering that Jesus’ birth, and what the course of His earthly life would mean for us all, is the whole purpose of our own celebrations, personally. Some years Christmas Eve and Day is more simple than others, with a little more or less gifts or family/friends around. 

This year we went to Christmas Eve Mass, and had a quiet evening at home, with a little festive food spread.  While we had bought the kids a few gifts, Michael and I decided not to put them out the night before.  First because, one, two, or all of them tend to get up during the night to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, and I really didn’t want them to see anything.  Secondly, I was kind of curious what their reaction would be. There have been Christmas’ where the only gifts they received were from extended family and friends. But this year, since this year has progressively gone quite well, and we could afford more, I actually asked them all what they might want for Christmas. That’s something I’ve never actually done. Their requests were easy enough: certain books (Olivia and the Trio), a new basketball (Shane), a Pillow Pet (JackMichael), socks, (socks?), and Patriots or Tim Tebow calendar (Alexis).  So we got them those things, and a few more surprises.  But when they got up in the morning, there was nothing more under the tree than there had been all week: packages that had arrived for them from other family, and a large gift bag each from a sweet family friend. Still, they were bouncing around the house all happy-chatty and excited because well . . . it was Christmas Day.  And they love Christmas.

(After Mass on Christmas Eve.)

But Michael and I were pretty excited, to give them their gifts! So after breakfast and an hour or so of chilling in our pajamas, we asked the kids to go upstairs for a few minutes, until we called them.  After the 4 “Why?” ‘s, and our refusal to answer, they went up, and we got everything around the tree.  Despite the fact that there is a lot more to our simple Christmas than presents, that happens to be all I took photos of this year! lol.  Since I do intend to get back to some major scrapbooking some day, and I take photos of the kids through their childhood for their/our own memories, I always ponder if I should bother blogging these kinds of things. But our oldest (Alexis) and husband say yes – it’s our family blog in the end, and they want these memories a part of it too. Not just all of our projects and things we do. So I put together a small collection of some of my favorite photos of them opening their gifts. Note: I am TERRIBLE with on camera flash. Ugh-hate using it.  But the important thing for our family history is having these (any) family photos someday – perfect or not, they will be treasured more and more as time goes on. So I am embracing candid casual photography, to most enjoy these times with my family. There is a little description with each photo. But I’ll also say that aside from what they are sitting in, and a small gift each from us, they also got a few small things together, and one bigger item (which has not yet arrived), and will be part of another post (a major room revamp), coming soon.

If you look through the slideshow, you can use the arrows to go to the next one. Anytime you want to get out of the slideshow mode, simply click ON the photo, and it will close out.

However you and your family does Christmas, we hope it was beautiful, meaningful, peaceful, and you were surrounded by love and happiness.

Braces Off & Earrings In.

 So sure, these things happen every single day.  No big deal really.  Except we all know they are kind of a big deal within a family.  These 2 happenings in our family, were in the same day!  In fact, within the same hour. While our oldest girl was getting her braces off at the orthodontic’s office, her little sister was getting her ears pierced just across the way.  Both were somewhat of a long time coming, and so they were exciting. And anyway, we tend to  celebrate every-little-thing in life, because well, we enjoy joy.

Of course, I took a photo of Alexis before we left for her appointment . . . . . . .

And after (on the next day…)…
Truth be told, when we got the news, I was more excited than she was about getting her braces off.  She’s not much about appearances, under any circumstances. She’s just a different kind of girl sometimes, and you know, it’s another reason why we love her so much. Her reply about getting her braces off was this;  “I’ll just be happy to *finally* be able brush my teeth correctly again!”   

She’s a very happy brusher now.

And here’s our beautiful, sweet little ‘O’ . . . . . .

. . . . . . but with earrings now.

She wanted them pierced when she was 9 years old. Her Daddy said, “Maybe when you’re 10.”  Boy did that year fly by for Daddy. ; )  Her birthday was at the end of August, but I’m kind of a freak about these things I guess, and I really (really) did not want to take her to any mall-type place. I spent months trying to get it done by a true piercer specialist. I just couldn’t get my hands on the one thing I needed. I won’t bother repeating myself about the details of that, but if you’re on Facebook and interested, you should be able to read more about that here.

Anyway, she really reminds me of her paternal grandmother in these photos.
‘O’ has a 7 week countdown to when she can take these little CZ posts out, and wear the teeny-tiny dangle earrings she bought with her own money at the waterfront festival this year.

So for all of you who were asking for photos, there you go! All 4 of them are growing so fast. These ages, milestones and stages seem to be behind us before we even see them coming!  Maybe because we are so distracted by living and celebrating the present.  Even the little things. That’s got to be a good thing. It sure feels good.

Part II: A Day of Celebration Fun! – Our Triplets 10th Birthday

 I told you Part II was coming!  And you may be excited, or perhaps disgruntled to know, that as it turns out . . . . . .there is a Part III too.  Well, it was a big day, and I took a lot of photos of so many special moments. (If you missed it, you can find Part I here.) But listen, here’s the truth of it all:  You know I (we) love to share with you our crafting ideas, house projects, decor, recipes, and all of that. But our kids . . . . . . They are our greatest creation of all! Well, God’s creation, of course, of ours. They are the reason we celebrate, every day. And they really love to see and read the posts on our blog! Especially the ones about them. So you do what you have to do, and we’ll do the same.  Alrighty? : )

So, after their big water balloon fight at the park, we came straight to the beach for just a couple of hours, before dinner and their birthday surprise.  Of course they had already been in the sun for some time, so birthdays or not, it was time for sunscreen! Confession time:  Over the past 15 years of raising my 4 kids, I have realized there are only 2 ‘mom jobs’ I have really hated:  1) When they were very little, putting on and tying all of their shoes! Uuu-Gh. 2) And the other is putting sunscreen on them.  (OH!  And the wiping in the bathroom while potty training too! But gosh, that one’s a given. Isn’t it?)  Sometimes, Michael and I can still hear in our heads, the little voices yelling from the bathroom, “I’M DONE!!”

What you should know about me is, when I really hate doing something, I’m going to find a way out of it! So all of the shoes and boots thing got to a point with the triplets where I just announced one day “OK! That’s it. Today, we are going to spend the whole day just learning how to put on and tie your very own shoes, all by yourself! Isn’t that exciting, Guys? I don’t really care if you are only 9 months old.”  (Kidding.) 

For the sunscreen applying, here’s my trick.  First I just spray them, and then I line them up like a train . . . . . .

Am I a mean Mama, or what? Turns out, they don’t like putting sunscreen on any more than I do! Imagine that. They just had no idea the fun they were missing out on. For the rest of their bodies, I spray it where it needs to go, and the rub it in themselves. But for their backs, they need each other.  What do you think of that?

Personally, I think I’m a genius.

Something had to be done. We practically live on the beach. 

The ocean is like our backyard.

They are all serious water babies.  Probably most of all Olivia, who is difficult to get out of the water. She even asks to take a shower at really odd times; and I know she just wants/needs to get into the water.

Probably least of all, is Shane. The boy cannot take the cold water! Look at him!  Its like . . . . . . excruciating for him! They were trying to all put their feet up together and next to each other, but he just couldn’t stand it any longer, and bailed.

But Olivia and JackMichael managed.  And that got me pondering one of those little weird life questions . . . . . .

How can the bottom of 2 little people’s feet, be such different colors?  They are siblings. ‘Super-twins’, even.  I do know that JM’s feet sweat and stink more.  Maybe that is some kind of clue to this mystery. But I’m not sure what to do with it, to figure this out.

Oh; this one.  I’ve got to catch you all up on her. She’s got a lot of exciting things happening in her life. Especially for a just-turned-15 year old.  And I’ll tell you what else:  I think I’ve been warned 1,000 times over in life, about what a nightmare being a parent of a teen is. I’m here to say, if this is as bad as it gets with any of our kids, we’ll be getting off easy! I’m thanking God she’s our ‘trail-blazer’. (That’s what I call her. ; )  That’s my little hot reminder to her, that she is setting an example, every day! Hoping the littles are taking notes!

Not to say she is perfect, by any means . . . . . .

( Taunting her sister with seaweed. )

Remember doing this as a kid? There’s a sure way to get sand in your shorts.

Sometimes, I love to just watch them.

Olivia senses the Mamapaparrazzi is watching. 

I’ve got to tell you:  My most favorite photo of the day, I can’t even show you! It’s almost killing me, too. But my boy asked me not to please blog it or put on Facebook.  (Actually, he said, “You better not!”) And, I would never go ahead and do it anyway. I try very hard not to embarrass my kids, or ever disrespect their privacy, online.  When I think of it, I’m pretty happy my mother wasn’t blogging and all over the internet while she was raising . . . you know . . . . Cain. (Or is it…me, who was raising cane? Well, whatever.) But back to the photo of my boy – I’ll just tell you that it involved losing his bathing suit shorts a bit, on his backside.  Oh my goodness. It’s just the sweetest shot. When they were little toddlers, and losing their diaper a bit, I thought it was so cute! I would have thought that my gushing over it would go away as they got older but….nope!  Still wicked cute. (Ask me again when they are teens. I promise you; There will be no “lookin’ like a fool with their pants on the ground”. ; )  Not cute, and not happening, when they are older.

Anyway. This day was going by too fast. It was time to get home and take showers, before heading to dinner and their big surprise. That’s coming up in Part III. But as of this posting, those photos aren’t even processed yet.  And, I plan to share a project idea we did, before that.  So, take a little breather. ; )
I know most of you have your own joys and blessings, in the way of children, as well. And for those we know, we love to watch your children grow up, in various ways as we can too.  It’s nice to share the special (or difficult) moments of this parenting gig, with each other. Kids. They don’t always make life easy. But gosh, they sure do make life worth it!  God is so good, and we are so thankful to Him, for blessing us as He has. 

Thanks for stopping by. And please say hi. Hope you didn’t get any sand in your shorts while you were here. : )

A Day of Celebration Fun! – Our Triplets 10th Birthday: Part I

 

 We have yet another furniture refinish coming up, as well as more fun & easy crafty ideas to share with you all! However, for the sake of those who also like to follow our family’s more personal antics, for this post and a Part II coming up, we are giving a peek via (many) photos into the day of our triplet’s 10th birthday.  It was a day jam packed with fun for sure, from morning until bedtime!  As the Mama of these 3 babes, I just wanted to really enjoy watching them have fun all day, and casually get a lot of photos of them being 10!  Here just some of them from the first part of their day. We hope you enjoy them, if only to realize what a crazy family we are. : )

 

Michael, their Daddy, needed to run out in the morning for a bit.  He was sure he would not be home when they got up in the morning, so he left them a note.  (He’s a clever one, with a pen, too.)  This got the morning giggles on a roll, and the day’s chaos into 2nd gear, anyway.

 

He was home before we knew it, and the birthday trio were able to have their traditional birthday number pancakes.

Speaking of 10, I think that’s about how many they each usually eat.  I don’t know where it goes.

We decided a great water balloon fight was in order!  So we filled 180 balloons, tied them off, and collected them all in a big plastic bin.

As excited as they all were, we suddenly had a whole knew idea for the water balloons:

We wondered which would be more fun:  Having the water balloon fight that we planned?…..

or……..

Putting our hedgehog, Pixel, in the bin their on top of all of the water balloons, and watch her freak out as every move she made popped another balloon, with her razor sharp quills!  We got laughing pretty hysterically, just imagining the sight of witnessing that. But, we decided that was probably too mean to do to our beloved little pet, and stuck with our original idea.

Our yard is simply not the best area for a balloon fight of this manner, in terms of open wide space. So we hit the great grassy green park, just down the street.  Had the whole place to ourselves too!

LET THE WATER BALLOON FIGHT BEGIN!

Alexis hit her target, alright!

But pay-back, was IMMEDIATE!

Run, O!!

JackMichael tried to re-arm himself quickly, without getting hit. But he wasn’t quite fast enough.

This last photo cracks me up, when I look at Shane, on the far right. He often gets laughing so hysterically, he becomes unable to fully function.  I am just like he is. I’ve almost drowned more than once, laughing too hard out in deep water. I just sink! Seeing my kids laugh makes my heart so happy. (As long as their not in deep water, of course.)

There was a lot more fun on the agenda this day, including the trio’s big surprise!  We hope you enjoyed this post, and look forward to coming back again for Part II!

Have you or your kids had a good water balloon fight this summer?  What are your favorite childhood memory activities? Share with us your stories. We’d love to read about them!