Thursday, March 28, 2013

Theme Thursday {p,h,f,r}: Lenten Moon

Double linking with Cari and her motley crew of photographing ruffians for Theme Thursday :Celebration and "capturing the context of contentment" with Like Mother, Like Daughter for pretty, happy, funny, real.   

Celebration and {pretty, happy}

Last night was the Full Lenten Moon, more commonly known as the Worm Moon because of the trails left by the earth worms who are just be beginning to emerge from the thawing earth. More importantly, it is the last full moon of winter, and therefore, great cause for celebration! (This year the full moon took place after the vernal equinox of March 21, but it doesn't always, and therefore is counted as the last moon of the winter.) 

Growing up, my dad instilled a great love of nighttime heavenly bodies in us, simply by always being aware of them, their names, their movement, and most importantly, taking the time to point them out and unabashedly admire them. A great gift. 


Photo details: This marks the first time I have ever staged a photo for Theme Thursday, mostly because I was fresh out of ideas  for "celebration" during Holy Week. But a couple nights ago we saw the moon looking so beautiful, up before the sun set, on our evening walk, and decided that would make a glorious picture: the stillness of the moon, the movement of dance. But the thing is, I had no idea how hard taking a photo of the moon is, and, also didn't realize that the moon rises at later intervals every night. So by the time the full moon rose last night in our part of the world, the sun had already been set for over half an hour. 

How did I take the pic? Obi, Obi, Obi, and all his patience. He helped me set it up on a tri-pod, then shined a light on the girls so that they would show up in the photo as more than just grainy silhouettes. 

As for editing, I did click the one click editing option on Picasa, which brightened the colors, and then added the vignette feature for the shadowy border. But that was all, the moon was just that large, and just that orangey-pink.


You should have seen the backstage chaos behind this photo shoot.  It was cold for March in Florida last night, I'm talking 55, seriously. We all (eight of us) marched across the street for this viewing, all freezing. The girls were in their ballet dresses and huddled under blankets until the moment I screamed "Spin!" and they were literally crying the whole three minutes it took us to get the picture just right. Martyrs for their art. Meanwhile, Isaac sat huddled on the ground crying that his bwankey was bwoke, with no one caring. Ansty-fingered Joseph was dying a slow, loud death that he could neither mess with the camera nor be photographed swallowing the moon. And my big patient teenagers kept telling me it was "Good enough, Mom, what is this?" stomping their very loud feet to keep warm and hurry me along because they had Important Plans they were waiting to be delivered to. 

And I? I ignored it all the way only a seasoned mom can do, and took my picture, carried two of the kidsicles in, drove the big boys to their play date, and sat down on the couch to watch Jesus of Nazareth  while all the little kids fell asleep around me. And Obi worked in the other room (almost perfect, but not quite.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Update

...Because we don't have a facebook, or a twitter, or an instagram, but somehow we still have loved ones. 

Special Time

Outfit details
Hair: Jim Henson
Color scheme: Punky Brewster

Somehow certain members of the Family Es have gotten it into their heads that no childhood is complete without "special times" with Mom or Dad or both. Time for just that child to spend moments unhindered by rowdy, pushy, demanding siblings, where the focus is on the dear one alone and the parent child relationship will blossom without the extra constraints that caring for many at a time require. 

I call this bologna, because all the child really wants is do some fun thing we can't afford to have everybody do, bathing in the temporary bliss of only childom. 

So Momo wanted to go to a movie, and this is how she talked us into it. Obi and I took her alone. She has been to a sum total of two movies in her entire five yearhood, so this was indeed a rare opportunity. 

I will say as yuppie as the concept seems, it was truly, truly a treat to be with our little sprite, chatting in the back seat without having to simultaneously smack Jude, saying yes to a bag of candy because we wouldn't be buying six of them, or three and forcing them to "just share you ungrateful whiners!", and watching her dance to the credits without a whole herd of siblings dying a slow death of social mortification. 

Special time for the win!

Out on a Limb

After almost three years here, our little magnolia in the back is officially climbable.

But why Isaac?!?

Garage Hopping

Yes, his widdle head did just get bonked. But no biggie, just a barbell.

And these workouts are precisely why we can't park in the garage. Fair trade for flat baby abs. 

Getting cheeky

Beevis and Butthead

Peter tries something new for once.

Jude spent long weekend hours developing a brilliant scheme that involves completely one upping his teachers beyond their ability to reprimand. 

Will they ask him to pull his pants up, or will they ask him to pull his pants down? Win-win for the genius child.

Party Pooper

And Obi did a whole lot of martyr architecting. Don't tell God. He did it for his family. 

And why doesn't it feel like Monday!

Because it's spring break, yo!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

So Confused...

Follow my blog with bloglovin

(fixed the link, Bobbi!)
I have no clue, but...

* Update * Okay, they make you do that silly thing above when you are claiming your blog on the blog reader service bloglovin. 

There has been this huge hullabaloo in blogdom about google reader shutting down, and it looks like the cool kids are all switching over to bloglovin instead.

But this is all new to me, because guess what? I never used a blog reader before! I always just went to the blog page to see if my favorite peeps had posted. Which made for very sporadic reading. So I guess google shutting down its reader is the best thing that ever happened to me!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Breakers

Spring Break has officially arrah-hived! and the post man's gift to us was this tempting brown package the little kids and I just couldn't resist while the school homeys were taking their end of quarter tests in the concrete jails school.

Boring, just new swim practice suits for the boys who have been going about with shaved ham thin lycra tights while we all averted our eyes and prayed the swim coach was blind. 

But since they were NEW, Isaac just couldn't resist giving one a test drive.

Yes, dear ones, this is actually Peter's swim suit. He chose it. He looked at all the clearance suits, and this one called to him in a silken, forked tongue; whispering in those awkward ears of his that this suit would bring him glory and notoriety. 

This sink suit features red hibiscus flowers, eight balls, winning poker hands, dice, a modest cut, and...

the word "lucky."

Let's recall this is for Peter, weighing in at 130 lbs more than Isaac. No, an update will not feature Peter donning this stunner, but thanks for asking.

When asked about how he made his choice, he said, "I wanted a suit that everybody was going to look at when I was up on the block, and point to me and say, 'Hey, there goes the Lucky Racer!'"

No to the photo, but I will update the web log on what people do point at him and say. 

May your spring break be as lucky as ours is sure to prove!

*Update: Peter wore this to practice tonight and his coach remarked, "That's an interesting choice for you. It's good to have a little flare."

Flare, that's a nice way of putting it.

peter, zamphir enthusiast and sporter of fancy swimwear 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Photography Theme Thursday: Mud

Here I am again, riding on the coattails of the ever inspiring Cari at Clan Donaldson for her fabulous photography journey that is Theme Thursday. This week: MUD (or dirt mixed with water) 

Dear my web log, this series of photos marks a small triumph in my development as a human person, a beloved child of a Divine Creator. Because I conjecture that for the first time my photos are, dare I say it? getting better!

I know they are nothing special, and I surely won't be entering any of the above in the local amateur photographers contest with grand prize $10 gift certificate good at Focus Frenzy on the third Wednesday of the month between 12:30 and 1:15, not to be combined with other offers, but still, they are an improvement! And I say so. 

This is just such an accomplishment for me because my whole adult life I have spent snapping away at my silly children's smiles, and looking at the pictures and just saying, "Yeah, I can't take pictures." 

But then it occurred to me as this grew to be an attribute of my character, (Hello, I'm Rebekah, nice to meet you, please know that if I took a picture of you it would look no better than your last mug shot but without a pleasant backdrop) that I could actually improve on this. And doggone it, I hereby declare I have!  

So good to me is..

Photo 1:

the sparse bits of bright green baby magnolias mixed with the dying cones, brown mulch, and Naomi's precious dirty flesh in the first photo;

Photo 2:

the movement of the mud and the fuzzy toes in the second;

Photo 3:

Momo's little blond wisp in the last (see it?).

Okay, enough bragging, which to be fair is not something I usually do, and I don't expect any one else to notice anything better here, but seriously, I am my target audience.

I am off to clean up the vomit that is yell-rumored to be all over the upstairs commode and take care of my count 'em FIVE sick kids, and one unoccupied toddler. Thank you for the distraction!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Five Favorites

Joining the marvelous Moxie Wife for her new weekly link up to dish about material goodness. So many peachy things in this world, I just couldn't resist! Actually, I am just up at the crack of dawn with a nervous tummy over Momo's epic dentist appointment, now just hours away, and I need something to occupy my mind, and the laundry just isn't doing it.


These new designer t-shirts from my favorite Etsy shop, MoodyMe have been calling my name. Handmade and hand dyed by the lovely  shop owner herself, each is an original. I have a couple items from this shop and they are both my most treasured things, (my scrap hat is featured here) each little pieces of art. 

I have been loving these different bloggers, notably Laura, who have been talking about mom style and establishing a uniform for those of us sloppy stay-at-homers. One thing that has struck me especially is the idea of being really conscious about what you buy and what you keep as part of your wardrobe. I tend to go with "what is on clearance" when looking for something, but I think I would make my life simpler and more beautiful if I bought quality, flattering things I love instead.


These Merrell Barefoot Delight Gloves have the same Vibram footbed as my regular Barefoot shoes. So that basically means I could take a jog in these things, and yes, thank you very much, I have. They are not only totally cute and go with just about anything, they are an absolute delight to the feet of this barefoot girl. I do not like wearing shoes. I DO like wearing these. And the best part? Never even heard of them until I found them on the last chance clearance at Dillards. At a price I could actually afford. No, no, no, no matter how wonderfully amazing these things are, I couldn't bring myself to pay full price, which is enough to put one of my lazy kids through an entire soccer season. Thumbs up for the product, thumbs down for the retail price.


A paint job! We moved into this big box of a house almost three years ago, with the white yuck flat builders paint on the walls. We (okay, Obi) have painted almost every room but our own. We honestly don't care that much at the end of the day WHAT the walls look like, but with all the fingerprints and smudges of gogurt blessing the place, it was beginning to go from looking like a neglected college-kid crash pad to a full on Packingtown flophouse. And as much as Obi and I might resemble Jurgis and Ona, it wasn't romantic at all.

But as we might might might might be hocking this place to the highest bidder, it took the staggering fear that we would have to show it to people in order for them to be interested to get us motivated. All it took was a coat of paint. Interactive cream by name.


My amazing sister and her even more amazing (sorry Annie) family are doing a Friday family prayer show featuring brief reflections, family hilarity, and two (or sometimes more) of the daughters leading the audience in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. So beautiful and inspiring this family is, my kids have really enjoyed not only watching their cousins on the small screen, but actually praying along. The light-hearted and happy nature of the very short program creates an atmosphere of the true joy that a prayer life, and a family prayer life should be. Tune in, streaming live Fridays at 3, and then archived here.

I beg of you to click on this video and fast forward to 9:41 to see the most hilarious toddler divaness ever recorded in Catholic family history. Disappoint you not, it will.


This stuff. I know Christmas and all its joyousness is long gone, and well, that is why it was on clearance, Jeeves! And I could afford it, and mocha and peppermint flavor are not actually sweets, so it totally is not Lenten cheating. Totally not.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Song

Not being the brightest pencil in the little pond (is that how the expression goes? I don't get it), I only have the capacity to listen to one song at a time. My children daily validating my suspicion that I am tone deaf, I take music for what it gives me.  I have no favorite artists, or groups or long playlists. I leave that to the experts (lesson learned: Peter and Jude are not experts, and any "artist" who uses the prefix "lil" is probably not Mom music). 

But I almost always have a song that I am clinging to in the moment, whose every intonation I memorize through brute force, tone deaf brain be damned. I would love to have a genre of music that just did it for me, that happy place where me and music-kind meet up and accept each other with unconditional enjoyment. The kind of relationship where I say, "You are a country song? I love you; let us commence our merriment." And it could be folk or punk or classical or whatevs. 

That is not meant to be. Instead, the closest I can come to having a music type is sad and sweet. I don't think I have ever loved a song that fell short of either of  those obligations. One track sad, sweet mind. 

So what am I getting at? Nothing, I just like this song and wanted to tell you that I'm not a Pink fan, but still have my car radio set to perma-scan looking for it every time I go somewhere, and have it annoying the heck out of my children while I play it on my lap top in the kitchen. That's all. And it's sad and it's sweet.

So much to love. Nate Reuss' voice. The fact that it was written about an argument over butter. Really, anyone who has ever been in a relationship with another creature can relate to the sentiment so well projected here. I can totally imagine my cat responding to my agonized groaning with, "I'm sorry I don't understand; where all of this is coming from; I thought that we were fine..." only Nate Reuss has such better delivery than my cat. 

But most of all the hope that underlies it all. We fight, we stop understanding one another, we make mistakes and we change. But "we're not broken we're bent; and we can learn to love again."

That, my web log, is my One Song for now. What's yours?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekenders: Our Life in Just Under a Thousand Pictures

...which according to Urban Dictionary (without whom my cool factor would would go from its pleasant home at zero to the negative scale) has multiple definitions, none of which fit the meaning of this post. But we do tend to do most of our living on the weekend. Carry on.


Joseph's wrestling season has come to an end. Big wahoo on that! He finished with more wins than losses, which is great for a sixth grader, as they are wrestling kids who are up to 15 years old in their weight class. A kid who is 15 and Joseph's weight, not a pretty match. 

But it sure was fun to see this kid with two bullies of big brothers take someone down.


Anyone who has known me for more than 13 minutes has seen me make this face. No, I am not making the "not impressed" face. I chew my cheek when I am nervous. I am often nervous. (Note to self: you do NOT look like Shakira with that hair. Get it cut, ya filthy hippie.)


Isaac, who brings the Annoying with him wherever he goes, has spent every Friday night for the past two months burning off the Skittles calories by scaling the bleachers:

you aren't cute. 

our champion

The Burning of the Christmas Tree

We have done this every year for the past five years. We usually burn the whole thing at once, but as we have had closer and closer brushes with burning our whole house down, we opted for chopping it up. It is a good thing not to be homeless.

Isaac ingeniously observed: "Chwismwas bwoke."

Peter and Jude: Overachievers

While We Cleaned the Garage

...well, some of us did. Consequently, I drove the Dreamsicle for the first time solo this weekend. Crashed it. True story.

And Celebrated, Paddy Style

The soda bread wasn't homemade, but the beer was. Priorities.

And that's a wrap. Good morning, Monday.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Theme Thursday: Green, Featuring Guess What? Pictures of My Kids!

This is why I love the whole Theme Thursday thing with Clan Donaldson. We have this great golf course across the street that the kids (and I) love to sneak onto after the flags are lifted for the day. We have done this no less than a hundred times since we've been here. It's beautiful, quiet, there is always a sun set, and you really don't even get dirty, or worse, itchy, which is what usually happens when you play on any lawn in this not-conducive-to-real-grass state. 

But I have never gone out there and taken pictures! For three years!

So when I have to take a picture of something green, there it is, an actual golf course green! Nearly three years of awesome picture taking opportunities, and this is our first out there. Further proof of my absolute NEED for deadlines and motivation.  

Have no idea why the colors in the top photo turned out so...drastic. I did mess with the highlights, lowlights, etc. on Picasa, but the original looked pretty close to that. 

I love...the cat's cradle of the first pic, Isaac's all out bodily glee in the second, Momo's mane in the third.

I'm off to read everything I can about all things Fancisco, and brush up on my St. Francis history while I'm at it.  

I leave you with the cautionary tale my sister Annie made for all of us who have a hard time getting our articles straight. Be extra careful when around those from Latin America, like say, Pope Francis:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Francisco Fever: You Had Me at Buonasera

Sprinted home from Momo pick up with Nike-like speed when I got a Nolan text that read "white smoke!" (Thighs are still thanking me.)

Parked in front of NBC (because it's the closest channel to PBS, which was inexplicably still playing Wordworld while actual history was unfolding.

Beamed when I read a text from my friend Regina that said her kindergartner just asked if God was better than the Pope, looking with her child-eyes at the feverish excitement in the Piazza.  

Still want to know what the crowd was chanting while they waited for the doors to open, and our new Papa to step out. Because I'm pretty sure Jude was wrong when he guessed it was "We want Pope! We want Pope!"

Prayed for the man I knew was standing behind that door, preparing to change the course of the world's history by his mere entrance onto the balcony. No doubt more overwrought with emotion than I was, although that was hard to believe.

Took one last glance at the article my dad sent with a list of "runners and riders." (It was useless.)

Held my breath during the awkward and short announcement, that left all the commentators somewhat befuddled, as the name was not familiar.

Allayed confusion among my brilliant progeny who couldn't understand why they kept showing a curious man with our beloved JPII (I swear someone asked, "Is Pope John Paul going to be the pope again?")

The name Francisco echoed back and forth in my little brain with an unexpected sweetness, humbleness and wholeness.

Tears came to my eyes when my sister Annie called while we waited for our first vision of the man in white, to remind me that St. Francis' Christ given task was "Rebuild my church."

Completely charmed when this smiling priest, confident but modest and unassuming, greeted with generous authority the booming crowd, and first of all, the Romans.

Brushed off Jude who joked it was anticlimactic because he thought the new guy could at least do a back flip onto the Piazza.

Breathed in the feeling of worldwide solidarity as I and my teenage sons, quiet for once, received the first blessing of Francis I.

Gave him my heart when he said, " I leave you now...Tomorrow I go to pray to the Madonna, that she may protect Rome."

Swooned with the rest of the world as details of this unexpected (by the public) election began to trickle in to an unprepared media: uses public transportation, lives in a small apartment heated with a stove, has a great love for the poor.

Keep re-reading this prophetic article by Jesuit Father John O'Brien.

Already started memorizing with the kids the Prayer of St. Francis:

With jubilation read my Vatican reporter friend, Mary Nolan's, assessment: "They didn't choose a curia man or even a seasoned international, but a pastor. A simple pastor. He is also a beautiful and I think poignant blend of orthodox theology and concern for social justice. Ha! We CAN have them both.. and we should."

 Viva Il Papa!

Momo: Wisher of Wishes

Can I please cut the pineapple up?

Can I please, please, cut the pineapple up?

Why can't I cut the pineapple up? 

You cut off the sides, and I just cut it into little pieces for me and Isaac to eat? That's all you have to do!

Can I please...It's always been my WISH to cut up a pineapple!

It's also always been my wish to be a princess, but that never came true! Cutting up the pineapple is my WISH!

Actually, I'm just going to eat it like a cookie, that's really my wish.

More Momo here and here and here. I need to figure out how to save these in their own tab.