Thursday, January 30, 2014

Web Log Interrupted

We have used this beautiful brass censer filled with real Frankincense and Myrrh incense to bless our home with the Blessings of the Three Kings every Epiphany since Peter and Jude were toddlers. The dried pine branch is from our Christmas tree, and the children each take a sprig and dip it in Holy water as we travel throughout our home, bringing the sweet, silky smoke and the little Holy droplets to each room. 

This is one of the Family Es' too few ceremonies we cling to heavily; God's grace is palpable through these simple acts and the years gone by are less of a muddle of memory, as each is attached to the particular feel of a setting: what house were we in? who was a baby? who got to put the chalk inscription above the door that year (well, it's always Jude because some things must stay the same).  

This year Epiphany Sunday was the first full day we lived under our new roof, what a providential way to welcome God into our new home! Well one thing happened, and then another, and most of all exhaustion happened until the day had come and gone with no blessing. No matter. Next day will be better. But Obi was travelling. No matter we'll wait.

Well, we're still waiting. It's been a rough go of it, whodda thunk? 

So many changes in our family in this past year. So much growing our family has done. But I feel like with all this changing and growing I haven't exactly stepped up my game. I feel like the little one with a blanky I won't let go of and a thumb in my mouth, toddling along and stopping every once in awhile to ask aloud to no one in particular, "Where am I going again?"

That little one doesn't make a very good mama, even I can see that. I need to concentrate on this crazy home and these crazy people here which means laying aside for awhile all the distractions I love so much (which means I just may never beat all the free levels of Candy Crush or see the second season of Sherlock). I need to be quiet for awhile and remember who I am and where I'm going.

Allora, Dear Web Log, I need to put you aside for awhile, too. 

Promise you won't forget me? 

I'll be right back!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Catching People Unawares



"I love you!"

"Love you too, Goodbye."

That was me catching Joseph unaware (as per Theme Thursday with Clan Donaldson) this morning as he walked off to school. My little darling.  

As some of you fine perusers of the Web Log may recall I was homeschooling Joseph this last semester. We had a brilliant time. We had a horrible time. All at the same time. 

For this moment, he is better in a place that gives him lots of projects, lots of approval, lot of structure, mainly. And that, unfortunately, was not at home with me. My little darling, gift of a Loving God. Maybe I'll tell a little more of his story another day, because all stories are fascinating, no matter how small.

And guess what? 

It's time to vote for the "Best of" awards with Bonnie at A Knotted Life. And someone, somewhere out there, has nominated The Rebekah Es as Coolest Blogger! How cool is that! Channeling my inner Benedict Cumberbatch  I have deduced that whomever nominated me has only ever read one blog in their lifetime, so, thanks Aunt Esther, it's an honor!  

But honestly, these awards are a great way to discover so many great Catholic Blogs, so check them all out, and I am so proud to be listed among them. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sick Day - Sick Month

Phineas and Ferb is great medicine.

I don't want to blame anyone...but facts are facts. A few days before Christmas I got a text from my lovely and talented sis-in-law Missy who lives in the great winter wonderland of Michigan, asking if we tended to stay well during the winter months, or fall prey to repeated sicknesses like the rest of the country. I think I responded smugly that, "Yeah, we are all just soaking in sun drenched happiness here with nary a runny nose or even a cold sore in sight. Sorry for your bad weather up there!" 

And just like that, KABOOM!  Or should I say KACOUGH! We have not had a single day of complete health for the Family Es since that text was sent. Since before Christmas. 

With eight of us, and from what I can figure, three different sicknesses, someone has been sick every single day for a month now. I kept AnneMarie home yesterday and today with her third run of fever. The doctor and his boat payment love us. And the pharmacy, and Kleenex Co. 

On the bright side, Isaac is loving it. AnneMarie totally excels at creative use of the beanbag. 

And a major benefit of the move is that we rediscovered one of our most prized possessions: our Popeye Snuggie. Really. Absolutely perfect for two small children aloft a double stacked beanbag sculpture while watching Phineas and Ferb.

That Momo look of perfect concentration shared by
Obi and Joseph. Why can't I get that look?

Meanwhile, Momo sensed a "stay at home free card" yesterday when AnneMarie's fever spiked and woke up yesterday morning with a "sore throat." Hmmm...  So she spent her day doing this. What? I don't actually know what she was doing, other than experimenting with stripes and polka dots, she made an amazing cardboard castle than never really worked out to her satisfaction!!!

Fortunately for Momo, AnneMarie also excels in the art of Blanket Fort. That's not a mess, that's a masterpiece.

Happy girl, too bad about the, uh, sore throat thing. 

This morning Naomi was banished from the realm of stay-at-home fun as no physical evidence of her ailment could be detected, leaving Isaac and AnneMarie up to their own devices. 

When Isaac was asked what he would like to do today he responded with a shrug, "I don't know, shoot zombies."

This post sponsored by the "Don't Potty Train your Toddler"
Movement and by Luvs, size 5

Sounds good.  Maybe I'll even get him dressed after they are all dead, or wait, they are already dead. Wounded? I don't know zombie-duplo rules. 

And as the pictures attest, yes, we are still moving in. What does that even mean? We live here. From what I can tell we will be moving in for the rest of our lives, just moving in and shooting zombies and fighting sicknesses. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

As Seen On Estero Island

All week I have been going back to the Beach House to pack odds and ends and clean this and that. So strange to walk into that empty clean house that was our home and see how easily the familiar and ordinary transforms into a place only of memories, suspended in the past. 

Have I shown you much of the island itself, Dear Web Log? I don't think so, not much of it. The new house is only about 8 miles away, yet a vast 8 miles, distanced by an estuary that defines that little strip of land off Southwest Florida as an island, specifically, Estero Island, a little bit of Paradise, really.  

Here are some shots that were part of the everyday lives of the Family Es, appropriately, as seen from my car window, kid-taken, mother-approved. Enjoy!

Coming over the bridge in the morning, the little tourist town opens up. At the bottom of this bridge is the main tourist hangout, with shops, restaurants, and of course, the public beach and docks.

Public beach, deserted in the mornings.

This guy. Every single day he sets up his little artist camp here, beret and all. Wish we could get a better shot, but we would be far, far too embarrassed!  It was hard enough to snap a pic from the safety of the minivan!  He is a caricaturist, and his sign reads that he sketches children for free. I think I am afraid to see what cartoon versions of my kids would look like, the real things are goofy enough.

Obligatory Yo! Taco shot. The sometime employer of the Teens of Es.

Once you pass the main strip, it's beach cottages, beach cottages, beach cottages. I love this little one above. So quaint. This is one of the last of its kind, and is just next door to this: 

These huge homes will soon be all that is left on the island. Progress and whatnot. 

We will visit the beach often enough, especially since the girls are still in school there, but check out these funny little things on our street, after we close the door the final time on the Beach House, we probably won't venture down again. These are typical of Estero Island in general, but all unique, and these are what make our street our street:

There are a bunch of carvings like this in people's yards, this weathered fisherman is one of my favorite.

Oh! And this guy. Me and him, memories, memories.

And of course all kinds of incredible plant life. I love this little tree, holding on for dear life, gripping its roots like talons into this barren rock, begging for just enough nutrients for survival, and somehow getting them.

I wish I could get a better shot of this. Every time I turned onto our street, I saw this ficus and this palm, at war or in love? I don't know. Is the ficus trying to pull up the palm and yank it away, hurling it into the sky, or has it wrapped and twined itself around the unfeeling palm in an attempt to win it over, or just show it some attention for once!!! 

Maybe I get a little dramatic about the trees.

Behind this plant conundrum is a tall, tall evergreen, I always forget what they are called, some kind of pine. But they are tall and thin and their tippy-tops are just perfect for osprey nests. Do you see him up there? We have so loved watching him and his wife hunt the fish and the snakes, bringing them back for their noisy, greedy children.

And that is all we had time to take, all the shots we could get. I am already thinking of so many monuments I wish we had captured. 

But do you want to see what it looks like driving back over the bridge as the sun rises? Quite spectacular. The geography is such that the sun sets straight into the Gulf with spectacular pinkness every evening, but it rises over the estuary, where the anchored sailboats melt in its orange freshness.

The girls both know kids who live permanently in sailboats parked just here. What a life. 

Goodbye, Estero Island, goodbye.

*OH! Public Service Announcement to all moms with boys!  Please check out Kathy's (9 Peas Mom) brilliant and surprising insight into raising boys, in this post here!*

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Seven Quick Phone Takes

Joining Jen from my phone for some quick takes while waiting in the school parking lot for the girls to come out, while Isaac naps sweatily. 


The move went this weekend. That's all I would like to say, no adverbs necessary. We still have a few miscellaneous piles at the Beach House (read: a bunch of junk we don't actually care about but for some reason still feel obliged to possess) that are lingering in  joyful anticipation of someday joining the junk we actually care about. 

Oh geez, now I feel sorry for that left behind junk. Sit tight middle school yearbooks and 1950's waffle iron, I'm coming to get you!!!

Obi with the last UHaul load.
Perhaps not his best look.


The kids were helpful with the move as per usual. Obi and I probably yelled at them encouragingly a little too much, woe is them. But not one of the six of them even mentioned that we not only spoiled their summer vacation with a move, but also their winter break. 

Oh geez, now I'm feeling sorry for my kids! This is a horrible quick takes!

Jude at his most helpful moment.


We traded the Gulf of Mexico for a pool and the greatest disappointment so far is that we were working too hard and then it was too cold (I'm talking high 60's people!) to swim yet. Woe, woe is my children!

Woe is Isaac.


The new house backs up to some tennis courts and the greatest treat is that every day we find new (free!!!) balls in our yard. Isaac gets so excited and I'm telling you, it's like an Easter egg hunt every day around here!


And did you see that this yard has the most ginormous leaves known to mankind! They have already had a thrill playing slave and fanning  each other with them. What, that's normal.


On the trouble in paradise front, our bathroom is stinking to high heaven from what I thought was a stray poopie diaper hidden behind the moving boxes. Wrong. All boxes cleared, stench stronger than ever, dead animal in the attic. That just happens to be in the only, tiny, inaccessible portion if the attic. Looks like we are going to have to cut out the drywall in the ceiling to get to the rotting corpse and replace everything therein it touched. 

Which sounds like good weekend plans, I dare you to come up with better!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One of a Series of Last Hoorahs: PHFR, TT

I have been away from the computer for so long I'm not sure I still know how to type, or upload thousands of photos, or bore the internet with my ramblings, but I'll do my best, like I always do!  

We have been mentally preparing for our move that happens, oh, tomorrow???!!!???, visiting with Obi's parents, and all being sick as dogs (which I have never noticed to be particularly sick).  And still trying to get in some beach time, so of course, here we go: Like Mother Like Daughter's Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real [which I just discovered was cancelled this week, but I'm doing anyway because I'm a rogue];  and Cari's Theme Thursday: Ridiculous!


Pretty, right?


Happiness is reading a new comic in the sun...

 Building sand castles...

Or just being a good mood.


They spent the longest time building intricate drip castles with Grandma Judy just to watch the tide come in and collapse them from beneath. Soothing and beautiful. And funny.


Are we really moving tomorrow and leaving this behind? Is this real?

And Theme Thursday: Ridiculous

Joseph is never not ridiculous.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Joyous Christmas Mess- Theme Thursday

The thrill of anticipation...

...And the mess...

Blessed mess. It's Theme Thursday: Mess! Cari is a riot.  

A Merry, merry Christmas from our family to yours!