*In a Nut Shell

The little things

You guys!

Faith’s and Felicity’s friend, Genevieve, was motivated to fundraise when she heard Lowell talking about ways to raise enough funds to get a Diabetic Alert Dog. 

She got with our girls and they got approval from our parish priest to do a bake sale after Masses yesterday.

They’d been secretly plotting a “project” over the week and got to working on it on Saturday. I knew they were doing something good, but had no idea it was me.

When I came out of Mass yesterday, Felicity handed me a little flyer and said, “We are raising money for someone we love.” The flyer had a picture of a service dog with a note about hosting a bake sale to raise funds for a dog for our family.

The whole parish got involved, and everybody wants to help us out.

The Knights of Columbus said they’re willing to do some things to raise money for us, there are more families who want to participate in another bake sale, and everybody is eager to do all they can for us.

Again, I am overwhelmed to tears by all this generosity and love! And, how sweet are the girls for coming up with that plan all on their own??

God bless you all. And, thank you. Be assured of my continued prayers for everyone who has helped us in anyway during this time. 

*In a Nut Shell

Where is these children’s mother anyway?

Behold the story that unfolded in my scrolling my camera roll this afternoon

The captor was Phillip. Evidence: right foot.
Watch Anastasia’s face…

again..that face! “Uuuh?!”

I just giggled as I watched the facial expressions of Anastasia as her older siblings were not doing what they should have been doing:

Sitting well behaved on the couch while watching Karolina’s favorite show in the world, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Maybe Daniel has a song to sing about coping with this emotional feeling in my life?

*In a Nut Shell

Advent & St. Nicholas 2016

Happy feast day, friends!

Dec 3, 2016

My kids left letters to St. Nick that were replaced with goodies in their boots last night.

I think they think Santa won the Mega Millions this summer. Or maybe they’re just getting older so want older people things?

Phillip asked for an iPad. George asked for a remote control helicopter. And Felicity asked for a digital camera. Faith wants a deluxe art set, which isn’t too bad, but still! The boys each had a practical wish: Phillip asked for a diffuser and George asked for a sample bottle of lavender essential oil.

As I mentioned on instagram earlier, I did not take any pictures of my kids’ loaded boots last night. 

What I didn’t mention was that it was a deliberate, conscious decision.

I don’t share alot on my social media outlet, but I have decided that some things still are and should be precious to just our family. 

True: who cares about boots full of booty? 

But, as much as I enjoy seeing others pics and warm messages about their family’s traditions, I can’t help but feel the competition in it. 


This Advent has been a time of being a smart mom. Pulling myself further away from my dumbphone, see what I did there?, to be more present in the here and now. 

Sure, a picture of a precious moment to share with Lowell or my BFF, grandparents, aunts, or respective godparents would be missed, but I am not capable of simply touching “Send” and calling it good 100% of the time.

Not that I am even 100% perfect when it comes to capturing moments in the moment in the first place! 

I like being detached from my phone and am a better mom for it. And making it even easier is my speaker is shot so I miss texts and phone calls all the time unless I already have phone in hand for whatever the reason.

Annoying to Lowell who likes to make sure we are alive while he’s gone; great for my Mission of Motherhood.

Aside from less technology, as I tap away on the blog, we are taking it easy as we step through Advent into Christmas this year by waiting until Gaudete weekend to deck the halls. We did pull out the Advent wreath and our Elf on the Shelf, Louis, arrived a day late to do his behavior monitoring so he can report to St Nicholas who then reports to Baby Jesus to let Him know who is deserving of His generosity as He shares His birthday gifts each year. 

Louis is mischievous too. last night, he robbed some treats from the kids’ boots and hunkered in a tissue box with it. 

St Nick ran out of candy canes and chocolate coins by the time he got to our house…
*In a Nut Shell

Post Thanksgiving Smiles

On Karolina’s birthday last month, Phillip had his very first, very loose tooth.

We were at Wally World picking up some pizzas after we picked up Faith from school. We had our friends, Genevieve and Daniel, with us as we waited as patiently as possible for our 4 veggie pizzas to be ready. Eight kids + dinner time + Friday night = we buy ice cream too and Mom calls wine-one-one.

Phillip debated the whole day about pulling this tooth out himself or having me do it. I just encouraged him to keep wiggling it and the answer would come to him.

And it did.

At Wal-Mart.

Amidst our group of 9 and the 2 ladies behind the counter and the 4 other folks waiting to be helped, it happened.

Phillip: Mom! An idea box just dropped on my head and brought me the idea to twist my tooth out. And I did!! See!!!!

Me: an idea box dropped on your head?!

I congratulated him on a job well done, chuckled with the adults about said Idea Boxes(!!!!!).

Since then, Phillip has had ideas dropped on him many times, each one much more creative than the last.

He has actually lost 2 teeth now. Have I mentioned Anastasia is afraid of big kids?? LOL

I am $49 away from being done with Christmas shopping! My goal is to be done before Advent begins each year, so even though I didn’t finish yet, I would say I sure done good. And, my proudest part of this accomplishment this year was that atleast a third of it I paid for with the funds I earned using my favorite apps. Thank you, free money!

Speaking of advent, it’s here. Happy and blessed Advent to you!

We try to stay low key, make small sacrifices and not get too Christmas-y too soon. I mean as much as I love Christmas and everything that comes with it, I just do not love it 10 seconds after Thanksgiving.

Anyway, one thing that’s tradition for us no matter what is our Elf on the Shelf, Louis, returns to us on the the first Sunday of Advent. 

And you know the great thing about kids: they forget nothing. Especially related to Christmas. So! First Sunday if Advent rolled in and Louis was nowhere to be found.

I died. 

All day.

My kids searched high and low, inbetween, underneath, and behind everything they could think of. Karolina and Phillip called out for him, “Loooooouiiiissssss” for an hour total as they wandered in and out of our entire house and every inch of outside.

Did I mention I died? I felt SO bad everytime they came and asked me for ideas of somewhere new to search. By dinner time, the conversation shifted from his hiding really well to maybe Louis didn’t come at all!

By the time it was time to tuck them into bed, it was decided that Louis thought we moved again (because we move alot!) so was searching for us OR he was simply stuck in a tree because it was pretty windy over the weekend.

Needless to say, Louis came back last night! He hid well enough to be believed he may have been there the whole time, and close enough to an entrance that he may have slipped in a day late.

Louis hiding in the curtain folds practically hidden behind bookcase

I wish I was recording when they found him this morning! They practically tripped over each other in glee, whooping and hollering!!

It may be pretty silly, but I love the joy and excitement that this corny little Elf brings to our home.

So that’s what I have for this post Thanksgiving! Drop a line in the comment box and share whats new with you!