Saturday, July 30, 2016

I'm still here!

No really, I am! I did so well keeping up with the things first quarter and then... is it too cliche to blame life? Four kids? Work deadlines? All of the above?

Regardless, here's a quick recap of the last four months!

John Paul turned two... and there will be another post with some pictures of that as soon as I find those pictures. Which isn't as easy a task as it would usually be, because...

Last month I bought a new laptop! My old HP laptop (you know, 3 1/2 years old--ancient) was functionally a small desktop, because the battery hasn't held a charge for the last two years. And Windows 10 scares me. And it was starting to occasionally get pretty hot with the fan getting really loud, which my last two laptops both did before they started overheating and shutting themselves off randomly. So I went over to the dark side converted and bought a MacBook Air and I am absolutely in love with it (but of course in a properly-ordered-attachments-we-love-people-and-use-things kind of way). My boss says that going from PC to Mac is like converting from Protestantism to Catholicism, so I guess I scored some extra points there. Never hurts to agree with the boss on those important issues, right? ;)

But anyway, my pictures are all still on my old laptop. I've been trying to move them to cloud storage and my HP has been pouting about being replaced (and thus totally justifying my decision) and making it an incredibly slow and frustrating process. So instead of any relevant pictures you get some gems from our recent visit to the Good Life.

these boys sure love trains

M showing off his notes at the zoo--he kept a list of all the animals he liked

Liam (finally) finished potty training. John Paul is starting to act interested and I'm torn between not wanting to miss the window that's right for him and far preferring the changing of diapers to the training of the toilet use.

reading to L & JP and cousin James--the boys bonded over trucks and trains during our time together

We had when felt like three months of back-to-back colds. Nothing very serious--just enough to disrupt everyone's sleep. Liam had croup twice. John Paul had several nights of not being able to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time because he was stuffed up. Colette was fussy and wanted to nurse all night every night. Etc. As if we weren't already exhausted, right?

sleepy girl
So it was all we could do to keep up with work and the basics. But everyone stayed fed, there was usually enough clean underwear to go around, and we made it. I had a couple writing deadlines this spring for projects that we exciting and challenging (I'll share more when they're published :)). I finished up my first year teaching the Catechism (first two sections of it) and my third year teaching Psalms/Wisdom Literature/John/Revelation. It was a really special year, because I got to finish out the four year program with the class I taught my (and their) first year.

M & L looking for fireflies (also affectionately known as "butt-lighters" in the Rappana household) before bedtime

places to go, things to do (trouble to find)

This summer (and fall, most likely) I have back-to-back writing projects--mostly Bible studies and sacrament prep materials--which is exciting but a little exhausting. You can check out the studies I've contributed to on the Augustine Institute's (I don't get an ongoing commission or royalties or anything--I'm just seriously excited about these resources!).

I'm also doing some extra teaching (second half of the Catechism) and information sessions for next year's classes this summer. Again, the extra work is super helpful (and summer is the time to do it--Alex gets to be the stay-at-home dad while I go off to teach a couple days a month), but I'm feeling a little stressed about it. There's just a lot going on, and all I want to do is go back to bed.

my loves
We ordered and moved (okay, Alex and the boys moved... okay, Alex moved) 7 tons of rock and dirt to do some landscaping in our backyard.

We (okay, Alex--but I helped a little) finished a million little and not-so-little projects around the house.

So yeah, I supposed you could say we've been keeping ourselves a bit busy this summer :)

all the cousins

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Michael's Birthday

My sweet, smart, handsome firstborn turned five in January--can you believe it? Facebook keeps prompting me to view my memories for each day and showing me pictures of little baby Michael the adorable never-sleeper. His baby pictures all look like Colette and his toddler pictures all look like John Paul, and now he and Liam look so much alike sometimes. It's crazy.

Michael loves reading. That may be the understatement of the year, but I don't quite know how to put into words his passion for books. He was wildly delighted to receive some more of his beloved Magic Tree House books for his birthday. And spent all of his Christmas and birthday money to buy more. Thanks to another birthday present he has also branched out in the Hardy Boys. (Any recommendations for chapter books appropriate for a 5 year old but still pleasantly challenging for this crazy precocious reader are most appreciated!)

Michael told me he wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday again this year. I said that was fine, but did he want to consider any other options? He asked for all his options and I listed off as many fun desserts and I could think of. He kept asking for more options, and when I finally ran out of ideas he told me that the only thing that sounded good was an ice cream cake--so ice cream cake we had.

This boy. He loves reading his books. He loves writing to-do lists and recipes and stories in notebooks. He loves trains just as much as ever. He adores his baby sister (and for a 5 year old he's pretty dang patient and gentle with his brothers too).

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I don't know what it is about hoods, but the boys love them.

And Colette fits right in with the rest of the crew.

Michael has called her Colette Cynthia pretty consistently ever since we told the boys they were getting a little sister and what her name would be. Recently Liam has started calling her by her full name as well. For the first almost three months John Paul just called her "Baby," and it's only within the last month or so that he's started calling her "Kett." I didn't think anything could get more adorable than that, but about a week ago he started calling her by her full name as well--it comes out as "Kynthia" and I kind of hope he calls her that forever. It's the sweetest.

Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Wore Sunday

So Rosie's reasons for linking up with her for What I Wore Sunday were very convincing. I barely remembered (in the middle of Mass), and 3 out of 4 kids agreed to pose with me for a quick shot before we all rushed around to get brunch ready before guests arrived.

I also realized partway through the first reading that I had managed to put my sweater on inside-out. Whoops. But we were surrounded by other families with young children, so I figured if anybody else noticed then they would probably be fairly understanding. I decided not to fix it for the picture--keeping things real here, folks.

And no--John Paul did not get to wear his baseball cap to Mass. He just grabbed it as soon as we got home.

Check out the link-up for people who actually wear their clothes correctly!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Boy Talk

M: When I grow up, I'm going to have two jobs! I'm going to be an engineer and a fire fighter.
Ash: That sounds like a great idea, Michael.
L: And I'm goina be a engimeer and a train!

M: And when I grow up I'm going to live in a house close to the tracks. But far away from you.
Ash: Oh no! That would make me sad if you lived far away from me.
M: But I'll be a grown up!
Ash: But even when you're a grown up I will miss you if you are far way.
M: It's okay, because when I die I'll come to see you in heaven.

Alex: I'm going to have to call shenanigans here pretty soon.
M: Why? Is it a boy or a girl? Who is She-nan?

(looking at pictures in a book)
M: That's an ambulance!
L: That's not a ambiance!
M: It is an ambulance!
L: It is not a ambiance!
M: Oh, right. That's a tank.

M: Knock knock.
Ash: Who's there?
M: Interrupting banana.
Ash: Interrupting banan...

L: (watching me dip bread in batter) Oh no! Mama's fingers are all French toasted!

L: (wearing his new blue cape and his engineer hat) I'm a super conductor!

Alex: Liam, are you sad?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: Are you happy?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: Are you mad?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: Are you...?
L: No, I'm not.
Alex: We need to work on your philosophical s.... (was going to say "stuff")
L: Do they taste good?

Ash: (commenting on our pork chops and sweet potato hash dinner) I think it's practically paleo.
M: What's paleo?
Alex: Paleo means really old.
M: But we always throw away paleo food!

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