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From here on out I will be blogging at:  Joyful Chaos Farm!!  See ya there!

Piano Recital!

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Abby,  Mary and their friend Ginny participated in the OMTA Music Festival last weekend.  All three girls did a wonderful job.  They have an awesome piano teacher.  Abby has been taking lessons for nine years,  Mary for four years.    Ginny has been playing for two years now.  It was my privilege to  take all three girls to the festival.

Before the recital:  L to R:  Ginny, Mary, Abby












Celebrating after the Recital.   (Can you tell the nerves have calmed?!)

Clementine Candle

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Supplies:  One clementine,  paring knife, olive oil, lighter/matches

Remove the *cutie* sticker and adhere to the real cutie!

Use your paring knife to carefully score the peel around the middle.  (It’s really not as difficult as my expression would indicate!)

Next remove the peel in two pieces,  the upper half and lower half.  (Again, this is easier than I make it look!)

You now have a shell of a clementine.  The little piece of pith in the bottom half will be your wick.  The more of this piece you are able to keep in tact, the longer your ‘candle’ will burn.

Pass the innards around the table and call it a snack!

Cut a hole in the top half of the clementine shell.   You can do a neat design such as a star, heart, or flower.  We chose a heart! ♥

Fill the bottom half with olive oil.   Don’t cover the wick with oil,  just fill it nearly to the tip.

Next,  light the wick.  It is best to use a lighter because it will take a few minutes to dry the wick enough for it to light.

Put the top on your ‘candle’ and enjoy!


Another “Then and Now”

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Pouty Face Then:






Pouty Face Now:

Joyful Mama’s Daybook

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Today,  February 1,  Greta’s Second Birthday!

Outside My WindowSnow,  lots of snow!  Looks like we got about three sparkly inches last night.  They are calling for six to ten more inches this afternoon with blizzard conditions overnight!  There is a cold, quiet hush outside right now.  Soon it will irrupt with the noise rosy cheeked children in snowboots,  making snow angels,  snow men,  and a rousing snowball fight,  I’m sure!

I am thinking… About how fast these past two years have flown by.  Greta is two years old today.  I remember so vividly the day that she was born.   I am not thinking that time goes by too fast,  rather,  I move through things too fast.  I need to slow down.  Life is not an emergency,  no need to hurry.

I am thankful… I am thankful for telecommuting!  Tony can work from home a few times a week.    It is so nice to have him here throughout the day.  Even if he is behind his laptop most of the day,  he  is here.   He can hold a baby while he works,   have lunch with us,  coffee breaks with me,  and easily be home in time for dinner! 😉

From the kitchen… We are stocked full and ready for the storm!  I normally grocery shop early in the week any way.  I sent the menfolk out last night to fight the crowds and forage for food instead.  Since we are celebrating a sweet toddler girl birthday today,  we will be having chocolate chip pancakes and sausage for breakfast,  peanut butter and jelly for lunch,  and spaghetti for dinner.   Cake and punch are on the menu for dessert.    I am certain that snacks today will consist of steamy hot chocolate,  popcorn,  and snow ice cream.  (I noticed one of the children set a bowl out on the front step to catch snow!)  For mama,  I’m thinking some piping hot Constant Comment tea sounds wonderful!

I am wearing…Pink jammie bottoms,  a brown maternity t-shirt (nope, I’m not pregnant again!)  and silly snowman socks.

I am creating… I crocheted the most adorable fuzzy hat for Celia last week.  I started a woolie soaker,  but I had to shelf that for a bit while I work to tame the laundry monster.

I am reading… Large Family Logistics.  I am borrowing this from Bridget,  who gave a good review on her blog.    Though I have followed Kim Brennemen’s blog for quite some time,  it is nice to have all of her great advise and tips together in one spot.    Bridget is inspiring me to pull our family out of ‘postpartum survival mode’  back into ‘routine maintenance mode’    She has been doing a series of blog posts on how she’s managing this,  and it is encouraging me.  I’m almost encouraged enough to blog about it myself!

I am hearing… The hum of the furnace and the clickety-clack of the keyboard.  Obviously I am the only one up!

One of my favorite things…Laying a toddler down for a nap,  watching her snuggle in the blanket on a 15 degree, snowy day,  wearing a sundress and purple snow boots!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… I am fairly certain that our routine plans for the week will be canceled due to the winter storm.  The children are supposed to go to St. Augustine’s tomorrow,   Philosopher’s Club, mass,  music lessons, etc…  I think,  instead,  we will hunker down at home and enjoy the snow.

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Greta At two weeks old and at two years old!  Happy Birthday Sweet Boo!

Infant Wardobe Confusion

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Sammy (7) was watching me dress little Cecilia.  Always eager to help,  he offered to fetch me a clean tutu.  I was quite confused – Cecilia does not (yet) have a tutu…upon further questioning,  I realized he meant a onsie!

Onsie… TuTu…


Joyfully Chaotic Daybook

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Outside My WindowBrrrrrr….COLD!!   A few of the kids just left for a run – I think they may just be a bit crazy – afflicted with cabin fever I’m sure.

I am thinking… So many things swimming around my head….My friend Liz and her new baby William.  House stuff. (surprise surprise)  Extended family issues,  redecorating,  on and on….

I am thankful… For good health.     Everyone around us seems to have some kind of respiratory or stomach issue.  (Bridget?  Are you all okay??)  We have had nothing (yet!) but a runny nose here and there.   Deo Gratias!  (I don’t believe in jinxing….I say with my fingers crossed!)

From the kitchen… At this moment,  Abby is making muffins from our leftover oatmeal.   They are eating them faster than she can make them!  After lunch I plan to make this weeks bread.  For dinner,  we will have Hoppin’ John.  Interesting tidbit,  each year on New Years,  we have sauerkraut.  German tradition says this will make for a financially good year.    This year at the market,  I noticed not only sauerkraut on sale,  but black-eyed peas.   Not thinking anything of it I picked up a few cans.  I came home and hit  – come to find out eating black-eyed peas on New Years is also a tradition!  Explains the sale!

I am wearing…A khaki linen skirt, and a  navy blue sweater layered over a pink tee.

I am creating… I am crocheting a baby hat for Miss Celia.  She had a fancy feather hat that caused a stir among all the ladies at church.    Unfortunately babies grow so fast…it no longer fits her.    I packed it away yesterday,  in hopes that a younger sister may sport it some day.

I am reading… The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary This is the core of my prayer life right now.

I am hearing…The regular lunchtime banter.

One of my favorite things…Snuggling with the baby in the middle of the night.   When there is just enough light for me to see the outline of her chubby little body. I love listening to her breathe while she gulps down my milk.  I love pulling the blankets up over her shoulders and nuzzling her into my chest and hearing her sigh as she falls back to sleep.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Drum lessons, house cleaning, grocery shopping,  Goretti Girls with Abby,    piano lessons,  mass,  reading lessons, and whatever else God may have planned for us!

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

My little bed bug!















Family Picture 2011

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Coming Next Week…

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I spent some time the other night going through old blog post.   Laughing at the good times and crying at how fast time flies.   Aunt Jenny has asked me to blog again,  she misses us.   We miss her.   This is a great way for her to keep up with her mess of nieces and nephews.  This is a great way for me to remember the joy in this chaos.     For some reason I’ve had a very severe case of  ‘writers block’  starting when I was pregnant with Mary Rose.  I am hoping that getting back to this blog will get my creative juices flowing again,  and encourage me to see all of the beauty and joy that surrounds me.    This is my plan.   (Jen,  hold me to it!)


Monday:   A Joyfully Chaotic Daybook

Thursday:  Thoughts From Joyful Mama – this will be a weekly post from whatever may happen to be floating round my head…

Friday:  {this moment} Inspired by SouleMama

And maybe more!  Stay tuned!


{this moment}

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, visit SouleMama,  leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.