pics from the past, and a huge happy birthday!


Mariel Joy, my 4th child, now all grown up and still so lovely...happy birthday!

Mariel is the second from the left, behind Suzanne in the blue this nice pic with all eleven daughters.
(How can I ever complain about anything, right?  Blessed, extremely blessed...)

The past...

Once upon a time, I only had ten children.  Emily was holding little Margaret, then Abigail, then Benjamin holding Kathryn with Molly Rose behind, then Mariel, Joseph Aaron, with Samuel in the back...

Aaron was a kindergartener in this picture, with his antlers on...(outside the black circle is cousin Thomas, cousin Michaela, and my sister-in-law Mary (she had ten children!).  I was holding Kathryn, and Margaret, Sam, and Molly were with me.  The back story here:  Emily, Abigail, Benjamin, Mariel, Joseph, and kindergarten Aaron were at school all day, I was home with Molly, Samuel, Margaret, and go to that party, I had to get the four little ones dressed and buckled into the Big Van.  It's rather noticeable that I was a bit fatter back then, ugh.  

I was fifteen when my sister got married...the feathered hair!
I think I was 14 in this pic, with the little girl we babysat for.

Three years ago:  Suzanne, friend Irene, Sonja K., Camille, me, Charlotte Claire, Evelyn took the picture...we had driven down to Florida to visit Grandma.
Margaret's wedding, ten of my eleven girls (Molly had to leave for work).  
Mariel, Sonja K., Abigail, Suzanne, Margaret, Kathryn, Emily, Evelyn, with Miss Camille and Miss Charlotte Claire in the front.  

Ah, what I day I had today...Grandchildren were here, and a grand-puppy, if there's such a thing.  Molly has a four month old chocolate Lab, with one speed, and it ain't slow.  There were games of hide-and-seek, setting up train tracks, coloring, and snacks.  I got a few hugs in, and read one story.  

It's quiet in here now, Camille is practicing the violin, and it sounds heavenly.  

I had the muffin ingredients all measured and ready to put together so Anya and Elise could help.   I got the idea and the recipe from Billie Jo at Afternoon Coffee and Tea, only I substituted blueberries for the raspberries and chocolate chips.  We got these into the oven right as Lydia came in the door with Molly and the pup.  

Tonight is activity club, which I do love.  I'm bringing play dough, coloring stuff, and "little things", which are the Calico Critters/Little Woodzeez.  

There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the news.  Some people don't read/watch/listen at all, because it stresses them.  I just can't do that, I have to know.  But there's a fine line between being informed, and being consumed.  I don't want to be stressed by things I cannot control, either.  

Here is something interesting:  I made taco soup last night.  It was really good.  Some frozen chicken breast, I usually put it in a marinade when I freeze it, like lemon or lime juice/salt and pepper/olive oil...I put it in the crock pot, like five breast pieces.  When it started to cook, I cut it up with kitchen scissors.  I added chicken stock, then later I thinly sliced carrots and celery and chopped some red peppers.  I browned them up in a frying pan in butter, with some frozen corn.  All into the crock pot with a can of diced tomatoes, and a packet of taco seasoning.  It was really good, a few hours later.  Paul put Mexican shredded cheese on his, the girls at theirs with crescent rolls.  It would be good with tortilla strips.  It was such a tasty meal with such minimal effort.

Ah well...there are things to clean up and straighten, and what is dinner tonight?  I remember through the years, being so busy, and thinking, I have to make dinner AGAIN tonight?  I just made it last night!!!

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