New addition for a New School Year

We welcome little Zelie Therese on October 16th. She was 8lbs 6ozs and 19 3/4 inches. She certainly made a place in the family with her robust cries. Max seems to be mesmerized with her presence and signs baby when she cries and greets her every day with a kiss. He likes to see that she has toes just like him, she has ears, just like him, and his favorite, she has a nose, just like him!

Opie and Max here at our back to school picture time. Opie desperately needs a new blog name. I am thinking of changing it now that he’s a Freshman in Highschool. He has continued to thrive with the Maryland Conservatory of Music and has worked diligently on Beethoven, Bach, and Chopin all summer. He has also decided to join the Ice Hockey team and has been practicing his skills weekly. Max is adorable and I love to see him communicate with us. He signs about 40 words and is in love with the ABCs and Numbers! At any given moment, he busts out singing his version of the ABCs and chanting two, nine, zero, two…etc…
MM entered the third grade this year. She’s been enjoying soccer and just can’t wait for each Saturday game to come along. She is a ball of energy every day!
Bluebelle entered the fifth grade and has been enjoying all of her subjects. She is the first one awake and half the time tells me she’s half way finished with school before I’ve even had coffee.

Moonbeam is now in the 7th grade. She worked with the Home School group over the summer taking several parts in the Romeo and Juliet play they filmed. We look forward to the viewing of the movie in the Winter once it is edited. She also decided one day to climb up a tree 7 feet and then fall down… sort of like Pooh Bear, hitting every branch on her way down and breaking her collarbone. She has been healing for weeks now and is ready for a thumbs up from her Doctor next week.
Cookie, who also needs a new blog name, is now a Senior! She’s added many new things to her school year. She has taken on her first job and is saving money towards college. We’ve been very proud of her ambition to not spend any of it. She is also dual enrolled with the local community college picking up a few credits towards college while completing her High School credits.

To add to the fun, some of the kids went to the pumpkin patch yesterday. Our house is full of pumpkins.



Giving Thanks

We traveled to Atlanta and were able to see all of our family on both sides. There were 16 people for Thanksgiving at John’s parents house. The picture above is our family, John’s brother, Jared and his family, John’s brother and sister, and parents. It was taken with Jared’s new smartphone that takes panoramic shots. We were all impressed that everyone had their eyes open! The cousins had a great time playing and eating and eating and playing. On the way into Atlanta, we stopped by my sister’s new place to see her family and my parents who have been staying with her helping them move into the new place. While we were there, they handed our son an envelope revealing their news of a new baby boy cousin! Yay! Congratulations of the news of another sweet baby boy! Cute, my sister and I are due a week apart! We are waiting for our Level 2 Ultrasound on the Feast of St Nicholas, so now is a good time for me to begin the novena since we are anxious to see this little person! We’ve made it to 17 weeks now, and we are very thankful to hear a strong heartbeat continue each week we go in for a check. I am so thankful that John is home this year and not in Afghanistan. We are looking forward to this Advent season together.
Here is our family picture while we were at my sister’s house. My parents are in the picture along with Courtney’s “growing” family and her husband’s brother down in front. Our daughter Cookie is holding Christian, because if not, he’d be crawling away!

Happy 4th of July, 2012!

We started our day melting at the River beach while some of the kids fished with Dad. They love the boat! I am so happy to hear each time they catch a fish! When I asked Bluebelle how it felt catching a fish, she says, “Well, at first I caught a tree, then I caught a fish.”

With the convenience of the iPhone, I was able to keep up with the stats for who was ahead in the fish count.
First text: Bluebelle:1, Opie:0

Second text ( one minute later): Tied 1-1

Third Text: Bluebelle 1, Opie 4

They are getting the hang of this, even down to hooking the worm!

We left the beach around noon instead of continuing to cook, to get out of the heat and grab some ICEEs!

MM was sad to think about her big sister, Cookie, who would not be getting an ICEE. ( Cookie is attending a church youth camp right now) Afterwards we headed home to cut some lemon drop honeydew and get ready for the 4th!
The night before, the girls and I made the annual Flag cake and had it chilling waiting for three of their cousins to come into town. In 2010, we were in Atlanta with Nana and Guka at a Braves game! I really can’t remember if we made the flag cake or not.. surely we did! In 2009, we were together in Texas awaiting Matthew’s arrival. This year, everyone was thrilled to see each other. The kids had the 4th of July decorations on the table several days ahead just giddy with anticipation for their arrival. Even though we were in a burn ban county, we still managed to hear a few going off in the neighborhood. The kids got a kick out of the colorful explosions in the sky before heading off to sleep for the night.

Happy 4th of July!

A new place

We are quickly settling into our new place. We’ve been able to get so many boxes out of the house which is always a good feeling. Nana and Guka have been here with us getting SO many things crossed off the honey-do list. Thank you for all the prayers for us during this move!

Decorations were hung

( in about 30 minutes) with the three little girls, and even Cookie, completely thrilled with opening and hanging absolutely everything I have collected over the past 25+ years…. You’d never know this was our house a week ago.

Others.. ahem.. say the 10 yo boy.. was more engaged in watching Going My Way by the fire.
I baked last night and plan to finish this morning to pass out goodies to neighbors. I also have finished M&M’s Christmas dress, with the exception of those darn button holes. I say that because my button hole foot is no more and I need to ask my sweet friend to help me before Christmas comes. I’ll post a picture of the dress when I have the buttons sewn on later today.
Here is the picture we took for our Christmas card. When I ordered the cards online, they were with a pretty Kelly green background. When I picked them up, with no time left to redo, they were in an olive tone. The Photo center lady said “sometimes we do that to go with the picture.” Well, its the photo I was sending, not the perfect card, so I took them home and we stuffed the envelopes.
Merry Christmas!

Beginning of Advent

We lit our first advent candle ( from Saintly Soaps) tonight with the anticipation of what the next few weeks will lead up to. The birth of Jesus! I’ve managed to fit in a little smocking time and here is where I am on the Christmas Bishop I am making M&M.

The sleeves are finished. I am going to try to get this neck pattern finished in the next two weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

Yesterday, we attended the ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery for the placing of the wreaths. Gold Star Families placed their wreaths on their loved ones place killed in the last two Iraqi Wars, followed by those with family members there. Then the volunteers placed wreaths on the remaining headstones. It was very touching to see so many American flags flying in the cold wind and over 1000 people gathered on a day where there were so many other activities and shopping going on. Here is Cookie and Opie placing a wreath on our children’s headstones.

We didn’t know about this a year ago, but what a nice way to begin Advent.

Happy 15 years…

Today is our 15th Anniversary! We have been so blessed over the years. I have always loved my wedding band. To this day I still look at it and remember the night he asked me to be his wife… I love you John!

Fat days leading up to Lent

Well.. Fat Tuesday really got us thinking we were in Fat mode a whole week ahead of Fat Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
Last week we started off with Fat Tuesday a week ahead M&M’s birthday Feb 9th and her yummy Italian Cream Cake, Fat Wednesday Leftover Italian cream Cake followed by a feast day, Fat Thursday Feb 11th with Rice Krispie Grotto treats, followed into the Valentine’s weekend mode…
of Fat Friday Homemade Chocolate Souffles served with sifted Powdered Sugar.
We celebrated dad’s birthday early on Saturday night since his birthday falls on Ash Wednesday. We enjoyed
Fat Saturday Homemade Coca-Cola Cake,
Then there was Valentine’s Day … I just had to try my hand at making homemade Sea Salt Truffles Fat Sunday

Now just because this is adorable, I am adding a picture showing a few of our children snuggled next to their big brother near the fire reading the story St Valentine.
And because more happens in our house than just food and Saints and crafts.. here is a clone who made her way into my home on Valentine’s day…

Now that it is Monday, we knew dad would be off work in honor of President’s Day.. so our plans are to smoke ribs all day and enjoy them tonight Fat Mondayand then end with a bang on Fat Tuesday with Margarita’s and grilled Salmon Tacos!! And while we’re at it, I’ll just have to make something sweet to finish it off.

memories of an Uncle

after hanging up the phone yesterday in a brief conversation with my dad, I began, as usual, to make dinner. In the kitchen, my mind went to my late Uncle, who passed away this past week due to cancer. I knew him mostly as a child. Once I became grown and married, I mostly had communication with him at Christmastime. As I let myself go back and recall memories of my “Ankle Buzz” from many many summers and Christmases I spent in Louisiana at my Grandmother‘s home, I reminded myself that my memories would be completely different than memories, say, as my dad would have of his older brother. I also wondered if my dad even knew I had these memories. They are quite random as memories of a childhood can be.
To recall a few …
.. I recall a certain Christmas gift I received at my dear Grandmother’s house. It was a drawing pad that was black and when you pressed on it, the rainbow colors appeared. “Ankle Buzz” as he loved to say to me, loved how this made an instant rainbow and smiled.. just like dad.
…on a family trip.. for us that meant ten hours from wherever we lived… we stayed at his house.. a few streets away from my grandmother’s house…. and I remember he wasn’t there… but he left Captain Crunch cereal in the house knowing I was going to be there. I’d never had Captain Crunch, but to this day think its fabulous. I remember swimming in his new pool.. it was a vinyl one and when you stepped on the edge of the slope it went straight to the deep end.
…he loved to fly… he even got his license to fly and flew my mom, my little sister, and me either to or from Louisiana to Oklahoma. He got the biggest kick out of me freaking out in the co-pilots seat when we took our first turn…to the right… ( I was on the right…). no one told me a small plane would turn literally to the side and you’d see the ground out of your window… he just smiled…. just like dad…
…he played “hangman” with me on my Grandmother’s chalkboard hanging in the garage. Sometimes the game would go on for days.. right beside the “reminder’ notes for the store..he’d jot down “buy more beer” He didn’t live there, but lived close enough to come over to his parents house a lot while I was there.
…he loved nice things… I remember going to a mall with my Grandmother to “go shoppin” but first, we had to get “Ankle” Buzz’s Rolex fixed. The jewelry store there was right across from the toy store and was filled with clocks and jewelry.
…when John and I got engaged at age 22, Buzz gave us the plane tickets to fly to our Honeymoon. … months later at the wedding reception while John and I were thanking people for coming to our wedding, Buzz slipped two $100 bills in John’s pocket…. we felt so rich at that moment! I don’t know if John and I had ever held $200 at one time.
….Buzz always seemed to marvel at how he still had a head full of hair.. my dad full of brains…
…Buzz loved all things that could “go”… he had his plane, he had a sail boat at one time, and he had a fast classic car. I even recall an old black and white photo of a young “Buzz” pulling a wagon with a little blonde boy in the wagon… my dad.
I love you, Dad, and I know you loved your brother. Uncle Buzz was a happy man from the eyes of a child. I will always remember my Ankle Buzz with his happy eyes.. just like yours.

This last picture is one I took just a year ago at my grandmother’s funeral. I didn’t catch it in time to get a second picture. But usually when you saw my Uncle smile, his eyes looked shut in a lot of pictures…. just like dad…
About two weeks before my Uncle passed away, my sister and I both mailed Buzz a card along with a Holy card of the Divine Mercy Image. We both reminded Buzz and his wife of the love Jesus has for them. I am sure if Buzz got our cards, he saw those words under the image, “Jesus, I trust in You”

Its getting colder…

As this cold weather came across Texas, even the slightest drop into the 40s, and we are freezing…. We are so used to triple digits… I took the children to the park Monday and decided to try different settings with my camera.. before going to play…
The following day while Mass was being said, Sept 8, we met one of our Parish priests out at the Cemetery where Matthew is buried. On this day our other three were moved from their resting place to join their brother. We were there the entire time. It was a beautiful morning though. The air was crisp, but foggy. The Cemetery was beautiful in my opinion. It was just foggy enough that it looked peaceful. Every white marble headstone was given an evergreen wreath with a bright red bow. Matthew’s headstone was perfect. A little dirty after replacing it, but they were coming back to clean it later. All three, Luke, Mark, and Karoline’s, burial boxes were now in the same place as Matthew. We are happy knowing they all four rest with Him above. If you notice from the link, today is our own St Luke’s Feast day. St Luke, pray for us.

Our trip to Georgia

We figured out while driving to Georgia, why it looked different than before…. all of the Fall leaves were still on the trees. The Interstate was lined with every fall color imaginable. This is where I get “God’s Canvas” The world is God’s canvas. To me it looks like God took a paint brush and dipped it into the paint to get the brilliant colors that make up the leaves of fall, the sky and the clouds and everything around us. Usually when we drive to Georgia, it is over Christmas; by then, all of the fall leaves are gone. All we notice while driving are the bare trees next to the tall pine trees. ~~~~~~~

We stopped in Shreveport to visit with my Grandparents. The children love to go to their home and explore the music boxes, the wood carvings, and the other handmade creations in their home. My Grandfather, Dida, gave Opie a old pellet gun, one that he had been saving to give him for years. Opie was thrilled!

I didn’t have my camera for the wedding or reception, so I’ll wait to share pictures from that, but I do have a few from the days before.

John picked all of us up at my sister’s house to drive her and all of the flowers for the wedding party to the church. Here she is “squeezing” into the front of our Suburban in her beautiful ( full) dress.
Over the weekend, with the cousins in town, Nana and Guka raked leaves and let the kids all take turns jumping (and being dumped) into the piles.. I was trying the different settings on my camera, My favorite shots were the ones I did using the Sports setting. Then I spied a leftover spiderweb from the night in the iron fencing and used my up close setting.

We stopped by the EWTN station in Irondale Alabama. We were able to go in and pray in the sanctuary and visit the grounds. The station tour was going to start a little to late into the day for us this trip, so we’ll try to stay on our next pass through. The children overheard the lady in the Gift Shop say that Brother Leo sometimes does the tour, but since we were not staying, she offered to call over to the Friary and see if he was around. He invited us over, even though he wasn’t in his habit ( he was doing yard work). He was so friendly and was exactly like he is on the EWTN children’s hour. He brought out a few tricks to make analogies with the kids. He did the Curiosity box… asked Opie if he wanted to drop a coin in the slot.. and if he was curious to see what would happen….and POW.. it exploded ! His analogy was that sometimes our curiosity about somethings, like books and movies, can get us into trouble..
While we were gone, the shootings at Ft Hood called for our dear friend and priest, Fr Kevin to come to Ft Hood on TDY and offer ministry to the soldiers directly effected. The soldiers he worked with over last two weeks were those in line at the building that day. He was still in town when we returned and is staying with us. We love all of his visits here.
A few cute shots…

A couple of things

that we’ve been up to..

Cookie celebrated the Feast of St Therese with a tea party and finger foods using her Tea and Cake with the Saints book. We used my great grandmother’s Rose China for the occasion.DSC_0283

Soccer Soccer Soccer.. for our Opie who hasn’t played since he was 4. He is on a team that has had years of returning soccer players… this year the team is full of new soccer players.. The team is having to learn positions and skills from scratch with a coach who has had years of winning streaksDSC_0300

We are really hoping for cooler “Fall” weather.. ( I think today it is going to be in the 90s….) So we made Fall leaf mosaics using dried beans, kernels, and noodles. Somehow looking at them make the house feel cooler…DSC_0313DSC_0310DSC_0315

Update 29 July 2009

This is Sue again with a baby Matthew update.

This was a very good morning for Emily and John as they got to hold Matthew for about 15 minutes each and they got to spend some (mostly) undisturbed time with him.

Em sounded a bit better rested to day. The doctor in charge of Em’s care told her today that they will not discharge her as long as they have a bed for her so that she can stay with Matthew.

Matthew has not urinated very much since his birth and this is not a good thing. (Please pray for pee! ) Emily indicated that it signifies that his kidneys are not functioning. He is swelling more and more. The doctors advised them that Matthew is in a coma-like state. The prognosis still is not good. Keep praying!

And now, for something we’ve all been waiting for….


It is my pleasure to introduce you to Matthew Karol Snow, 9th child of John and Emily Snow:







Welcome to God’s family, Matthew Karol!!!