Thursday, July 30, 2020

Mary's First Communion!

And our 22nd First Communion!

It was previously scheduled 
for the end of April,
but because of Covid 
it had to be rescheduled.

Now look at that banner of hers!
Yes, I'm a proud Momma!

Our last First Communion in May 2019
was with Grace, Jake, Luke, and Joe.
They had "nice" banners
but it seems that the
younger Mom's
had found Pinterest...

before I did.

This is nothing to do with
our kiddos artistic skill,
and everything to do
a slightly outta touch Mom!

So this time we went ALL OUT!
We made up for the 
21 "kinda good" banners, 
with this Pinterest original!

It was a fun family project!

Her day finally came on 
Saturday, July 25th, 2020!

I love that all of her 
older sisters
 helped her get ready!
I should have gotten a pic of 
7 girls crammed into a small bathroom!
With curling irons, 
lip gloss and blush!

Mary has been with us for 15 months
and it feels like forever-
 in a really good way!
She is 100% part of our family!
A blessing everyday!

We arrived at the church...
not early
just in time!

That's kind of the way 
we do things 
whether we mean to 
or not! 
It just happens that way...

Just thankful we weren't late!

Mary and her very proud parents!


Which means in Latin, 
A Gathering in HIS HOLY NAME!

This is the old church, 
that was built in 1912!
The newer building is connected.

Because of current restrictions
our whole family could 
not attend the service.

It was only Mary, Mom, Dad, Grace 
and Ava that could be there.

It was a beautiful service,
a wonderful sermon
and a very meaningful day
for our girl!

Thank you Father Steve and Father Colin!
You are both such a blessing to us!

And it just so happened that this girl,
one of the hairstylist
and make up artists,
forgot to take off her p.j. bottoms!

The five of us went out to brunch 
after the ceremony
and had a wonderful time!

What a blessed day!
Now our dear daughter, 
the last one of 22 kiddos,
 can receive the body and blood of Christ,
our beautiful savior!
And she understands the transubstantiation!

from Whom ALL

PS- sorry for some of the 
irregularities in this post.
Blogger has changed their format
and it's gonna take awhile 
for me to figure it out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Q and A time!

It's been a long long time since 
I've done a Q and A post!

So here goes,
ask away!
I'll do my best
 to answer your questions!

Keep it appropriate and kind, please!
Thank you!

Terre asked-

hi jean, i have a question. how do you keep all the clothes straight with so many kids the same size? do you use a family closet and they all share ? laundry must be amazing at your house. your kids always look so nice, just wondering how you do it.


Since our kids are older now, it's easier to keep the clothes straight!
They know what's theirs and what's not.
(I don't, but they do! AND it matters to them!)

Around the ages of 11-12, they stopped sharing their clothes.
When they were younger we would have the closet shelves labeled-
Size 8 leggings, size 10 jeans, size 8 long sleeve shirts, etc.
It worked out great and they shared everything!

However, with age and maturity, 
this has changed.
They absolutely do NOT 
want to share clothes, now.
They will borrow some things 
to another sister 
such as shirts and sweaters, 
but that's it.  

As kids grow out of clothes 
we hand them down!
They LOVE hand me downs!

Laundry is NEVER done at our house!
It's ongoing!
We are in the thought process 
of improving this situation!

Some of the older girls enjoy 
doing the laundry while others 
are good at folding. 

We tap into their strengths 
and all work together 
to keep it going!

Our three younger boys 
(Jake 13, Joe 12 and Luke 11) 
still share clothes.

And our two youngest girls 
(Grace 12  and Mary 12)
 share "some" clothes. 

Almost everyone has their own dresser 
and their own shelves in the closet.
They have their own spot for hanging clothes...
unfortunately, some of that space 
happens to be in our closets...

Because we are in MN and 
have very different seasons,
we have to store the off season clothes 
in storage.
It's not my favorite spring and fall task 
but we all work together and 
go through a plethora of clothes!

These kids are absolutely amazing!
We feel so blessed
to be there parents!
Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Fourth of July 2020

We are sooooo thankful the pool opened this summer!
If you are looking for us...
this is where we will be!
This is where we spend every summer!
(missing Anna in the photo)

And it's where we spent our 4th of July 
this year
(and every year)!
Some traditions are worth keeping!

Being able to be at the pool 
involves a bit more
We have to make reservations.
We have to request the reservations
right on time or we will miss out.
And they are only for a 2.5 hour time slots.
But, no complaints,
we will take what we can get!

These two girlies are 12 now!
They are growing up too fast,
slow down girls!

The club always does events on the 4th!
First up was limbo!
Jenny is very good at it!

Same with Sam
but he can only go so low!

Melissa rocked it!

Anna has always done well at limbo!
She is very flexible!

However... she is now 
the tallest girl at 5-3.5 
and still growing!
So limbo is getting harder for her!
She was out on this turn.

Ava did well!
She's 5-3 and stayed low!

Back to Jenny!
Wow, that's good!

But this girl, took the grand prize!
Mia got first place!
She rocked at limbo!

And Joe had no fear!

Mia (right) first place!
Melissa (center) second place!
Joey (left) third place!
Way to go kids!

Next up, 
the hula hoop contest!

We have many kiddos 
that are good at this!

So they made it harder and
they had to put their hands in the air!

Then lift one foot!

First place goes to Anna!
Congrats honey!

Next up where the splash contests
with different age brackets!

 Next up where the splash contests
with different age brackets!

Melissa killed it,
but she didn't win.
We thought about appealing the decision
but decided not too...
(Just kidding)!

Ava was awesome!

Jake did great!

Most of the kids gave it a try
and had fun doing it!
Dad participated in the contest
but sorry...
no photo!

Usually we would have dinner at the pool
but not this year.
So we headed home to continue the celebration!

Next was BINGO
in the basement!
Candy bar prizes for everyone!

It was so much fun!
The kids loved it!
Everyone got a chance to win!

The kids are so kind to each other
and would help those that needed it!

But, at the same time 
they are almost all teens/tweens.
so they were competitive!

Abby was the overall #1 winner
in Bingo and choose gum
for her prize!

This is the biggest loser form of bingo...
the one left standing that 
has not had a number called!
It's fun and no one feels bad because 
they actually win!

Cook out dinner on the fourth!

Delicious, FUN and easy!
What more could parents want?!

Everybody pitches in
when it's time to clean up!

And last but not least
(not fireworks, just sparklers!)
So, it was NOT us 
that frightened 
your poor doggy!

We love being with our kiddos!
They are such a blessing to us!

Mia is in the background
taking a selfie!

 Ellie is having fun!

So thankful that Mary
has joined us!
It's been 14 months now, 
that she has been home!
Melissa and Mary are from 
the same orphanage
and knew each other long ago!

Luke, Madeline and Ava!

Happy Independence Day,

Happy 4th to you and your family!