July 7, 2013

Therese Turns Seven (in Flaming Red Hair)

Therese reached seven years of age on Valentine's Day.

To celebrate the milestone, she sported a wild red wig on her head—an "Ariel" wig—and enjoyed gifts that were princess and fairy-themed through and through. Her fantastically bright cake even matched the fairy-fantasy theme, and Therese reports it was her "best birthday yet"!

Happy birthday, Sweet Therese Genevieve!

July 6, 2013

A Series of February Shots

Just a series of random February shots...

This is the photo that the big girls have as Joe's avatar on their cell phone.
Joe calls them, and this is the image that pops up.
Dad is watching...   ;) 
A girl and her puppy.
Adele loves the cold, snowy weather! 
Just a random school day shot... At least Andrew (and maybe William?) appears to be working on academics...  ;)
The strange things the big girls do to the little ones... This "dress" is a sweater of Anna's. The head wrap is a scarf of Anna's. The ammo-strap-looking things across her chest are belts...
Really, they are strange kids. 
Big girls getting ready for the Father-Daughter Dance.

July 4, 2013


Look at how Kathleen has grown up. So beautiful!


And when Anna Marie arrived home from March for Life, we had this massive surprise awaiting her—a brand new St. Bernard puppy!

Joe is "blindfolding" Anna Marie, as we walk her down to Adele's pen. Everyone is so excited to see Anna's reaction. She has always wanted a dog.
The reaction: priceless.
We were in the background telling Anna Marie to wait a few minutes until some of the kids went back inside before opening the pen. Adele had only been with us a few days and was very boisterous around all the new faces. We wanted Anna to have some one-on-one time with her, as Adele got to know Anna.
And here she is, with another proud owner, Mr. William.
Adele is 15 months old.

July 3, 2013

Standing for Life

Anna Marie spent several very cold days this January in Washington, D.C., standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Participating with 650,000 others in the March for Life 2013 was an unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience. We watched the whole event live on the internet while Anna Marie was marching.

Bless you, Anna Marie, for standing up for the babies and the elderly who do not have a voice. We love you, and we are proud of you!

Anna Marie in orange.

Anna Marie in orange, front row.

Anna Marie and Ben

Anna Marie and Ben

Touring after the March for Life

The Diocese of Madison youth delegation

June 9, 2013

New Year's 2013

Our mellow at-home New Year's Eve this year...

We played with blocks...

 We constructed castles...

 We danced to 80's tunes...

And danced some more...

We played drums with blocks...

We played a mean air guitar when we thought no one was looking...

We enjoyed quiet family time together...

Meanwhile, three states away, my mom was busy rocking out at a late-night New Year's party with my brother (gold tie) and pals.

May 11, 2013

Remembering Gramps

Our kids never met my grandfather, "Gramps." He died when I was only seventeen. He was one of my favorite people in the whole world, quiet and patient and so loving to all of his crazy grandchildren.

One night, shortly before Christmas, we received a surprise package in the mail from my dad. Enclosed was Gramps' World War II hat. We had such fun remembering Gramps and talking about him—and sporting that great piece of family history. A treasure.

How I wish Joe and the kids could have met Gramps. They would have loved him.

Andrew in Gramps' hat.
William in Gramps' hat.
Lucia in Gramps' hat. 

May 4, 2013

Blizzard 2012

This was the winter when our van and our generous neighbor's pick-up-with-plow got stuck in our driveway overnight.

Scenes from the next morning as we extract the vehicles...

Christmas Photo Snappin'

A whole series of Christmas photos, in that annual attempt to get the perfect Christmas card snapshots.

April 20, 2013

William's 12th Birthday

Happy twelfth birthday to Joe's Saturday morning helper and my consistent helper in all things botanical. (William weeds a mean garden. If you know the weeds at our house, you'll appreciate this.) 

William is just one year away from teen-hood and already becoming such a little man. We love you, William, and we are so proud of all your accomplishments!

Reaction upon opening the uber-cool airplane model from Aunt Cathie and Uncle Jeff.
Big gift: A longboard
Delicious "dirt cake" made by Kathleen and complete with worms and dump trucks.