Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I just had to post on 12.12.12. Just cuz. But I also find it interesting that the number 12 is symbolic in more ways than one...including the inexhaustable Christmas carol, "Twelve Days of Christmas". So here are some myths/legends/symbols surrounding the number "12":

~  Twelve is the number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit. In the ancient civilizations, like Oriental and Judaic, it corresponds to the plenitude, the completion and the integrality of a thing. R. Allendy tells that it expresses the idea that the Universe forms a whole, associated with the idea of differentiation - 10 + 2.

~  Represent the manifestation of the Trinity to the four corners of the horizon - 3 x 4.

~  Symbolize the command and the good, and governs the space and the time, that is to say the operation of the Cosmos, from where its designation of cosmic number.

~  Number attributed to the government of the world or the cosmos.

~  It is the creative capacity, and in some religions, it expresses also the Divine Mother.

Twelve Days of Christmas
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
~ The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

~ Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
~ Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love. 
~ The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
~ The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament. 
~ The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. 
~ Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit -- Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
~ The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
~ Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
~ The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments. 
~ The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
~ The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

There are also several (to say the least) spiritual meanings to the number 12. just happens to be the number of our favorite athlete.....

Aaron Rodgers ain't bad either.  Heh Heh.

Happy 12/12/12! The last of the triplet dates for another century....

Oh and last, but certainly not least, TWELVE MORE DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS!!  

Thursday, December 6, 2012


In, "limbo" is defined, in the third and fourth definitions, as:
3. An intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place.
4. A place or state of imprisonment or confinement.

Those are both pretty darn accurate descriptions of where I am right now. Only one potential buyer has come to see our home (only just this past weekend! After being on the market for 3 months!), Jim is home one weekend a month -- except for the bonus week Hurricane Sandy gave us -- and neither one of us have any idea how long our family is going to be apart...but we know it will be a very long time. We will be here at least until June since we may as well keep the kidlings in school until the end of their school year. After that, if we haven't sold our home, who the heck knows. Most likely we will lose quite a bit of money in the process of desperately trying to sell our home so we can afford to finally buy one in Illinois.

It seems so strange to live in a home that feels so perfect for our family, in a location we love so much, with a garden so perfect for my farm boy, with so many friends we love and cherish, and know that we have to leave it all within the next year. It feels like when you try to slooooowwwwly take a bandaid off of a bad wound, rather than ripping it off and getting it over with -- it may be more painful, but at least the pain isn't agonizingly long and like the dang bandaid will never come off....while at the same time thinking maybe the longer it takes to get it off, the better it will feel????

Yep. That's about right.

So, as that bandaid has slooooowly been ripping off, here is a glimpse into the past 3 months without a husband living at home (since I know you are just dying to know....):

We had a very brief snowstorm early in November...and haven't had one since.

Our first -- and only? -- snowman of the winter!

My snow-loving pup.

I have been canning jams and tomatoes like crazy...knowing they will be the last from our NH garden. I made peach jam from the very first peaches from our orchard...for the first and last time..... *sigh*
raspberry and peach jam
This is but a sampling of the variety of veggies I cut up, pureed, froze, cooked, canned, etc...etc...., but barely a handful in number compared to the bushels and bushels and bushels and bushels and bushels of veggies Mr. Incredible grew and picked...and left for me to prepare for the winter.....

I have also been doing quite a bit of baking to keep me sane...and well-padded for the winter.....
Three different caramels (apple cider, salted chocolate and regular) I made and mailed to some friends who have had an even tougher few months than I.
The best pumpkin muffins in the entire world. I make them every fall...and as long as I have any frozen, pureed pumpkin I prepped from the garden. They are just as good with canned, store bought pumpkin though.

And while I work in the kitchen, my boys make messes everywhere they go. The messes never -- EVER -- end.
Yep. An entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet. Twice. In one day. The second time the consequences were a bit more harsh...therefore it hasn't happened since. But I ain't holding my breath that it won't happen again!

Because it is December, it is time for constant, all day, every day Christmas music (Hallelujah! Oh how I love me some Christmas music!!!!) and the magic of Christmas with four little ones. I barely decorated this year since my storage space is jam-packed with stuff I had started to box up for the move...that I thought would come sooner...and I couldn't get motivated enough to dig through the boxes to get out all the decorations...and then have my house look "cluttered" if a potential buyer were to actually come look at our house...... BUT, my children would not be able to live without their Christmas village our dear and generous friends gave us -- and add to every year. All four of them spend hours in this little spot. Unfortunately the boys have terrorized the village to the point where it looks a bit like Hurricane Sandy came through...they simply can not resist touching and destroying exploring. Besides, it's Christmas, and everything Christmas is meant to be thoroughly enjoyed.

 At about 4pm every, single day, this is how I feel:
I simply want to drop down and rest and let the world pass me by.

But I don't...because, every, single day there is still homeworking, dinner prepping, feeding, cleaning, screaming, whining, reprimanding, crying, consoling, playing, cleaning, bathing, dressing, reading (x3...once to each age group), singing, rocking, praying, good nighting, kissing, hugging, one-on-one-ing, cleaning, and, finally, snuggling into my sweet, sweet bed......with my laptop so I can catch up on emails, reading, tivo'ing and, finally tonight, update my blog.

Sometimes, just sometimes, my little man (or little lady...who is learning to read so fast!) fills in for my big man and reads to my boys to lighten my evening load.

But I sure miss my big man. It's so dang lonely being a single mom. Kudos to all who do it, have done it and continue to do it without an end in sight. At least I know my Mr. Incredible is waiting for me in Chicago. Some day his wife and children will join him and we will be whole again. Some day.

In the mean time, I will try to appreciate all the moments of Christmas joy that I can with four lil ones. However, lately, I have been especially enjoying the Christmas moments when the children are nestled all snug in their beds.....
Out of the blue last night they decided they both wanted the same crib. So I let them both have it. And they slept just fine. Thank heavens.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

freedom isn't free

Each flag has a name tag in honor of a man or woman who gave their lives serving our nation in Iraq or Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. Created by a local Scout troop and various volunteers from our area.

Happy Veterans Day!

After the past week of reeling from the election results (everything I felt is perfectly stated here by someone I have never met and I know very little about other than what is on her blog), it is my hope that we do not lose what our countless men and women have fought for since our country was founded. The first and foremost being "freedom".

Freedom of speech. All speech. Not just that which is "politically correct". Not just what the media chooses to frame for us -- often out of context and often not the whole truth.

Freedom of religion. All religions. All beliefs -- not just those that change with popular culture. (I include this not just because I happen to be religious, but because freedom of religion was one of the main reasons people first immigrated to this country...and, in many cases, continues to be a reason immigrants want to come. And, as we all know, immigrants are the heart and soul of our country! As long as they are legal and not a drag on our system....)

Freedom to be successful and make all the money we want so that we can, through our success, help others to be successful by teaching them, helping them and guiding them. The wealthy "1%" are the people who keep our education costs down by paying full tuitions, who donate to museums, who create jobs, who start businesses, who help FUND businesses so that they can grow, who pay MOST of the taxes that pay for the growing number of entitlements....

Freedom to be any color, any race, any nationality, any sexual orientation, any religion and be and do great things -- no matter WHAT our background, not BECAUSE of our background. This is, in a nutshell, what makes our country "exceptional".

Thank you veterans for your service and dedication to the importance of these freedoms, and so many more, which we Americans hold to be true and good. Freedoms inspired by our Founding Fathers and written into our country's "Charters of Freedom" (Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights). My greatest hope is that your service and dedication won't be for naught. We, the ones who are not fighting on the battlefields but in the daily battles of political correctness and media-driven morals and values, must honor our veterans by not giving up or giving in, but fighting harder to preserve the things we know are right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

Zombie Boy and Baby Doll
Zombie Boy, Old Pup and Baby Doll
Scary Zombie Boy and Cute Baby Doll
Perplexed Packer Fan, Helpful Baby Doll, Angry Packer Fan, and Clueless Zombie
Hence the reason my 2 year old tantrum boys had such simple costumes....
Hold on to that smile Baby Doll...hold on to that tantrum Lil Packer
Yep. Still Angry.
Most Patient Siblings Ever
Finally calming the first trick-or-treaters arrive
Best Big Bro Zombie and a Dazed Baby Doll
Big Packer Fan with his Lil Pack Fans
Proud Papa Packer Fan

Hurricane Sandy gave our family a wonderful gift amidst all her destruction. Jim's Monday morning flight was cancelled and all the flights are booked all week, so he isn't leaving until next Monday. A bonus week with Mr. Incredible!! Yippee!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a fall day

This past Sunday was a gorgeous fall day. (Aren't those colors spectacular??!!) I had planned on spending it crossing off items from my daily "to do list". I have discovered that keeping a daily list is the only way I can get myself to get anything done these days. I have also learned that it is very difficult to motivate to do much when you are living in limbo; and by "limbo" I mean -- not knowing if and when we are going to sell our house, when we are going to move, missing my hubby and knowing he and my children are missing out on valuable time together...yada yada.....

Anyway...back to the gorgeous fall day..... I have seen pictures on Facebook and heard many families rave about going on hikes in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. I have been DYING to go with my kidlings on such a trip, but have felt that they are still a bit young for me to take them on my own...since my farm boy is usually, well, working on the farm on the weekends and now that he is working in Chicago, I really am alone...all the time...with four children under the age of 8....and, as fun as that sounds, it has been a bit intimidating to venture out into the wild with the four of them.

But I finally did it.

Oh boy, did I ever.

Apparently I haven't learned the valuable life lesson of starting slow and easy and THEN taking on the bigger stuff. Oh no. Oh no I haven't. I thought I was taking it slow by going somewhere within 15 minutes of my home. It's a place I had heard many people tell me about and have never been. It is called "Winnekeni Castle" and is a beautiful trail to a castle and around a pond and basin. Before I go on, I want to emphasize that I had never been there before. I also want to point out that hiking, walking and/or climbing mountains is just a bit addictive for me -- once I get started, it is very, very hard for me to turn around and go back...I NEED to keep going until I have reached a peak or gone a full circle without repeating any trails....

So now, having said that, here is a pictorial review of our walk in the woods on a gorgeous fall day:

 We started on our little walk and it seemed easy enough. With four little ones. And a dog. All by myself.

On such an absolutely gorgeous fall day.

Up we walked to the castle...which I never took a picture of because there was a Halloween party going on and it was covered with tacky Halloween decorations...sad, but true.

One of us wasn't very happy for most of the trip.
whoah is me!!!!

I decided to take a different trail back from the castle...who wants to take the same trail back when there's another one that looked so appealing?? This trail brought us to another trail near the water...and what wee ones can resist walking by the water?
And what Golden Retriever can resist getting in that water? (I stupidly allowed Niels to take the leash for a bit...and she took her chance and ran for it!)
My pup stayed in the water a it delayed our walk quite a bit...but these guys were amused.

Since we had been walking for quite some time, and they were all starting to complain about the length of the walk, we took a little rest here to play.
Anna Clara was especially tired apparently....
One of the few times Anders was smiling during the walk.
JoiVie was tuckered out as well. (I can't believe she is 13 years old....)
Anna Clara is constantly entertaining herself in one way or another....
There were so many pictures I wanted to take, but I so rarely had my hands free since I was usually either holding a hand...or two...or, by the end, carrying a crying child...or two.... I fully realized the extent of my walking/hiking/exploring addiction when, two hours after starting the hike, I had two crying toddlers, one whining girl and a wet, stinky, tired old dog -- and, I can't leave him out, a constantly helpful and easygoing 8 year old boy -- and I STILL wanted to take another trail around the basin for the final stretch...which turned out to be way longer than I expected -- and way more difficult as I tried to carry two very heavy, crying boys.

But, I have to admit, regardless of the crying and whining around me, I couldn't help but thoroughly soak in the stunning beauty, appreciate the little hands in mine, the fresh air, and, best of all, a day off from my "to do list" to simply enjoy my five (dog included of course!) favorite little joys in the entire world. And what a beautiful world it is....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

summer 2012 fun

I know...summer ended a while ago...and so did all the fun.... I've been a busy gal. But I'll get to that later. For now, let's focus on the fun.

First, we went to Wisconsin for a family reunion at Pinecrest Historical Village where Jim's mom's family donated the "Sorenson House" (where Soren Sorenson lived, who is my Soren's namesake).
Jim's mom would be so proud of this family of hers...we sure miss her!

 We also went to visit Jim's Uncle's dairy farm.

 4th of July with the cousins.

 Some exploring during our 22 hour drive home from Wisconsin to New Hampshire. These two toddlers were NOT this happy in the car...not even close.....
THE BEST big brother.

 One of my fave pics of Anders.

Then we went to my parents' home in Hilton Head, SC.
One of my fave pics of Niels.

 Then we went to Nags Head, NC -- the fave family place for summer fun and relaxation.

The cousins eating one of many meals together.

I awoke with my boys - and the sun - every morning and went to the beach so that my two 2 year olds wouldn't awaken the entire house of about 20 people (depending on what day it was since there were lots of comings and goings of family members). There are some benefits to little ones waking you up early on vacation...especially when the house you are staying in is right on the beach. Lucky me!

Sometimes we took a walk to the pier to play amongst the pillars.
 Who knew you could have this much fun under a pier?

 These two cousins were rarely not playing in the waves.

They caught some crabs with Big Pa.

Daddy joined us for the last week before driving home. Another very long drive with two very cranky 2 year olds. Not a good summer to have so many loooooong road trips....

 I had a birthday.

 A 3rd grader and 1st grader started their school year.

And now for the end of my summer fun...and why I've been so busy and preoccupied of late....
While I was in Nags Head at the end of August, Jim accepted a job at Hospira in Lake Forest, IL. Yes, it is stupendous that he found a job within 3 months of being laid off. No, there is absolutely nothing stupendous about the fact that we have to move. I am sad...for so many reasons. I will miss all the incredible friends I have met here. I will miss living on the East Coast - and specifically my beloved New England. I will miss being within a 4 hour drive of NYC...where I can see my parents every once in a while in their beautiful apartment in that incredible city. And I will miss this home -- a place that seemed to be made for my family...inside and out.
I don't like that sign. My heart sinks every time I see it.