Whew...one busy week!

What a week!  All week long, I've had so much to write about and no time to write it!  I guess the best way to get it all recorded is to just do it all at once:
Julia left on Monday.  Tim left on Monday.  Totus Tuus started on Monday and so did swimming lessons...and don't forget about baseball!  Busy with a capital "B"!  I tend to get a little overwhelmed and stressed when my schedule gets really crazy.  It's not necessarily the go-go-go of it, rather the not knowing exactly what to expect.  You know, when I'M not in control! 

Each day the four oldest kids had Totus Tuus beginning at 9 am.  They each needed a sack lunch and pants to change into for mass.  Managable.  Monday thru Thursday, Benjamin and Joseph had swimming lessons beginning at 10:15, ending at 11:30--2 sessions--meaning we were at the pool from 10-11:45.  On Monday, we picked up the piano tuner in Lincoln shortly after dropping off at Totus Tuus, brought him home with us (he's blind, so driving wasn't advisable) and took him home just before picking kids up at 3:00.  We did the same thing on Friday morning, only we took him home at noon in Tim's truck that stalled everytime the idle slowed.  (The Suburban's window wouldn't roll up as of Friday morning, so it was being repaired before more rain came.)
Basically we were at home from 12-2:30.  During that time we tried to cram in lunch, a nap and a little bit of cleaning. 
Upon returning home each afternoon, it was necessary that someone got ready for baseball...there were games on Monday, two on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week.  Fortuneately the two on Tuesday were both home games, so I got to see about 30 minutes of each one.  We returned home again each night in time for a quick bite to eat, baths and bedtime.  Tim came home late Wednesday night because our family attended his uncle's funeral on Thursday. 

Wednesday and Friday mornings we added piano lessons in the hour before Totus Tuus, so we had to be in Lincoln by 7:45 those mornings.  Friday afternoon, the little kids and I went to a friends house to play, and Friday night Tim and I played Tripoly with friends. 
Today is Saturday.  My birthday.  Tim is at a retreat all day.  I ran this morning, was treated to breakfast by Kristi, returned home to my wonderful children, who by the way, cleaned the entire house last night for my birthday present.  :)  Baseball at noon, and the rest of the day...undecided! 
The summary at the end of the week:  I survived.  My kids survived (barely...they're lucky that they didn't get duct taped to the chairs a couple of times!)

Needless to say, the house became a disaster area.  Laundry piled everywhere, breakfast still on the table at dinner time...everywhere you looked, there was overwhelming evidence that our home had been merely a pit stop during the week.  Yuck! 

HOWEVER, in learning early in the week about my most dearest friend's mother having a heart attack and currently fighting for her life, I've been happy to offer up all of my hectic and sometimes stressful moments for Gerri.  She is very loved by her family, and also by us.


Joe with his lego masterpiece.  The boys will sit for hours in their "secret place" that they've created behind the couch.  It is their lego room.
Benjamin's ship, complete with missle launcher, sword space, wings, landing space, etc, etc. 

Full functioning keyboard and totally in tune!!  And it only took 13 years! 

Totus Tuus picnic on Wednesday evening (overlapping another ball game which we made it to also).  I love how families just spread out, plop down and "take care of business".  The grass was wet from yet another rain shower, so the concrete made due.  It makes me happy to watch all the mamas fill two plates while they carry a baby on their hip.  It's truly an art!  I love this parish family.  What a great even Totus Tuus...translated, Totally Yours...somewhat of a vacation bible school...is for our children.  They learned and studied the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary and  "Prayer--Defense against the Devil". 
Is there anything that beats a potluck??

What will we do when baseball is over???  Baseball is summer just like watermelon and fireflies!

The sky looks like this often lately.  It really is a beautiful sight, even though it is often scary.

Pie Crust 101
I've always been intimidated to make  a homemade piecrust until being taught by the professional.  We spent an afternoon making pie and cheesecake.  I forgot just how much I enjoy making cheesecakes.  Add "making cheesecakes" to my list! 
Calling Mom just to double check the recipe.  What a wonderful thing to be needed for.  I call my mom all the time for things like this.  I hope my children call me too!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie...just one more reason to love fresh home-grown strawberries.

Wonder what OUR finished result looked like?  Hold please...it's still in the oven, but I'm hopeful it will look like this:

We hung out at the Casady home for a while so the pie could cool...ok, it was really just because we wanted to and we could.  What a great way to wrap up a great visit with friends.  There was great joy by two mamas to watch their children eat and play together. 

Every Friday night should involve playing cards with friends.  Are we really getting to that place in our life where we can enjoy this again?  No wonder my parents played cards with friends often.  What fun!!
Not the greatest poker hand, but it had potential in Tripoly. 
I think we were the big winners for the night!  We must have taken everyone for at LEAST $.50!!  Did I mention that while we were out, Jakob babysat AND cleaned the entire house?  Whose child is that anyway??
What's better than starting the morning with a run??

Breakfast and coffee afterward.  Thanks Kristi!

Baseball viewing from the concession stand...ever try to make a hotdog with a baby on the hip and one on the leg while another is filling the drink order and yet another one learning to make change?  Oh, yes, and one more was the amateur announcer for today's game.  I said baseball is a family affair!