Monday, April 28, 2008

A Welcome (Para)Site

Yes, it is true! Di Silvestri baby seven is officially under development and looking just perfect for 10 weeks along.

We are delighted to receive this gift and hope you will join us in praying for his/her safe arrival sometime around Thanksgiving.

Naturally, we are referring to the baby as 'Lucky'. Now, don't worry, all you literal folks out there--we aren't actually going to NAME the baby Lucky. It's just too much corny fun for this family to pass up. And you know what I say...if you don't have a solid sense of humor, you DEFINITELY should not have seven kids.

Happily, our humor is in excellent shape, so bring it on! Welcome, Lucky!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My New Definition of "Helpful"

Yesterday Lindsey came home from school and told me she needed to bring in a small bone or shell today for a "fossil" project.

This is the kind of thing that floors me. Things like this, mentioned casually at 4pm on an afternoon when I have no plans to drag six children to the craft store, make me dream of homeschooling them all.

However, Joey came to my rescue in a most wonderful and surprising way. "I know where to get a bone, mom!" he bubbled. "Can Sam and I ride our bikes into the desert together? We'll be right back!"

Off they went, giggling with adventure, into the desert and were back in 15 minutes with two owl pellets, carefully sealed in a ziplock bag. There were dozens of bones from some small mammal neatly bound together in whatever comes out of an owl's digestive system. Words cannot describe their pride. Or my delight that I did not have to go to the store!

Now, don't get me wrong. Dissecting dried owl vomit to retrieve bones for a project is only slightly more appealing than going to the craft store with six kids at 4pm. But the thrill of having my 9 year old save the day and in such a Tom Sawyerish way brought me nothing but joy.

Now, THAT's helpful!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


In retrospect, the cornbread we used quite effectively to keep Isabella quiet during our after-mass brunch today may not have been the best choice.

For the busboy, anyway.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pop Flies and Poppies

We had a perfectly wonderful family day today.

After mass, we went to the Jethawks game (the Jethawks are our local Class A Baseball team, affiliated with the Boston Red Sox). Our team lost badly, but that didn't dampen our moods at all--after all, the season is just beginning and they have plenty of time to get better!

The Jethawks games are ideal entertainment for families. We went today because Sam's Cub Scout Pack presented the flag before the game, so we were there with a number of families from our parish school that we really enjoy hanging out with. Throughout the season, there will be half a dozen more reasons for us to go--the scout sleepover-on-the-field nights, Braceball Day sponsored by Lindsey's orthodontist (and fellow Sacred Heart parent), Quartz Hill Little League day, etc.

The Jethawks have a kid's club that is truly an amazing deal: for $15 each child gets an unlimited season pass to the games, a t-shirt and the ability to participate in special activities with Kaboom (the mascot bird) at nearly every game. They get to run across the field at the 7th inning stretch, and they can run the bases at the end of the game. In addition, there is a fun zone filled with inflatable jumpers and slides that the kids can have unlimited access to during the game for $2. I love the down home atmosphere coupled with really good baseball for the whole family to enjoy. Adult tickets are just $5, so the entire experience really can't be beat. We feel very fortunate to have this franchise literally down the street from our house.

After the game, we took a drive out to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. For anyone who thinks the desert is an ugly place, take a look at this:

Even with the poor quality (it was taken with my cell phone) you can get an idea of the miles and miles of bright orange rolling hills that are about 10 miles outside of town. You can see this blur of color from the freeway but it doesn't do justice to the closeup view. There are miles of hiking trails running through the reserve and a visitor's center (which we skipped, but looked nice). There were people everywhere, enjoying this incredible display of nature. WOW!

I love the weekends! Coming up next weekend: Lindsey's First Holy Communion. Stay tuned for the full report!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Well, Which Is It?

Normally, I am not one to comment on politics.

I'm not really even going to do that now. You will notice that I do not state my specific personal opinions on the matters which follow (although, for the record, I tend to be fairly but not consistently isolationist where international policy is concerned).

However, I simply can't help myself from ranting just a tiny bit on the inconsistency of international policy that some of the liberal talk show hosts are espousing (I listen to both liberal and conservative talk radio and love alternately getting irritated with both sides).

One the one hand, the liberal hosts hate the war in Iraq. They love to go on and on about how incredibly stupid it was for us to go there in the first place and that everything ever pertaining to our involvement in the war was a giant mistake. To listen to them describe it, we should have kept our noses completely out of what Sadaam Hussein was doing, as it was none of our business to get involved in.

Recently, on the other hand, I have heard from them more and more calls for our country to boycott the Olympic Games in Beijing based, primarily, on China's political entanglement with Tibet. China's human rights violations, in their opinion, should keep us from participating in the activities coming up this summer.

I understand, of course, that boycotting the Olympics is a completely different thing than declaring war and taking out a dictator. I also understand that the road to our involvement in Iraq was quite complicated. However, isn't this point of view a slippery slope of inconsistency?

Do we or do we not take action where human rights violations are taking place? Are we the world's policeman with all the horrors and honors and responsibilities that go along with that, or aren't we? Which is it, people?

If we really believe that China's actions are so abhorrent that we cannot associate with them athletically, how far is that from the view that we should take military action to stop them? How far is that from the very first reasons we got involved with Iraq to begin with?

Don't worry folks, I don't expect any actual answers to this mud. I just thought that today I'd deliver some political food for thought, as a little break from all the cute photos of my kids and stuff... :-)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pure Joy

For me, total happiness is looking out into the backyard and seeing my family busy and happy on a Sunday afternoon. Gobs of children running around and laughing, my husband carrying tools from here to there, even the dog joyfully galloping amidst all the activity beats any other view I can imagine having from my kitchen sink.

Here is just a sampling of what I saw today:

1. Jay working on building my raised garden beds, carefully and patiently letting Tony help with even some of the funnest and loudest tools.

2. Lindsey, Sam, Julia and Joey playing tug-o-war with an old jump rope until they collapsed in a giggling mass on the lawn.

3. Sam leading "Simon Says" with Julia and Lindsey as willing participants in his completely ridiculous requests.

4. Joey and Sam wrestling like brothers should within the relatively safe confines of the trampoline net.

5. All the children taking turns being the sled dog for another child who rolled along behind, barking orders to go faster and faster.

6. Julia, going around and around the natural race track made by the swimming pool, honing her new two wheel bike skills.

7. An enthusiastic game of kickball.

8. All the kids trying their hand at the new multi-purpose ramp Jay threw together with the scraps from his project.

Nothing in the world could be more beautiful to me. I happily worked at my sink, with Isabella babbling along beside me, and could see every member of my immediate family. Everyone healthy, safe, happy, together. These snapshots are mine to view but for a brief moment in time...but the images will be forever in my mind.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Almost, But Not Quite

Julia (as she watches a pickup truck packed with children pass by) : Wow! Do they have more kids than US?

Me: No, honey, that's a baseball team.