December 2020 pt 1… It’s been a (long) while.

Hello, all! Squeaker, AKA Squirrel here.

As most of you know, we had a rough 2017 when Mom’s mom died in Sept. We had a rough 2018 because Anastasia was born in April with severe disabilities, and died in December after 8 months of being a beautiful witness to God’s graces, but also being the reason behind a lot of sleepless nights, hard work, and stress for Mom and Dad.  November of 2019 brought baby Mary Catherine Rose, whom we call Mary Kate. Mom and Dad think of 2019 as the year of recovery and of renewal.

We will throw in a few photos from 2018 and early 2019, so you can see Anastasia and get an idea of her brief life, and the aftermath of her death. Then we will send out a separate post within a few days where you will see a little more how we’ve grown and changed through 2019 and 2020, and include our recent family photos. Come along for the ride!

Since our last post was made in Mar. of 2018, and the very next month Anastasia was born, we will start with her surprising entrance into the world (yes, we had no idea she had disabilities until the moment she was born).

Here’s Mom at the hospital with her getting some kangaroo cuddle time in, followed by another hospital photo:

Kangaroo cuddle

All wrapped up, shortly before heading home!















Here she is after coming home (3 weeks in the NICU), and over the next few months. Video included below of her smiling and cooing, which she was unable to do after about 4 months, since her body was outgrowing what her brain could handle.

She gained weight quickly after coming home. She had to be on oxygen almost all the time.

On Badger’s lap



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She got to go swimming in a salt-water pool!

Family photo, Aug. ’18

Chunky monkey! Love those fat rolls!

enjoying a good book with Turtlebee!














With Sr. Monica, a “servant of Mary” who came and helped overnight several times a week.

Tiny Princess!

shortly after she died. 🙁

Little Angel in her casket.


collage of many who got to hold her.

early 2019, just about 2 years ago!

a couple months after Anastasia died, the kids had gathered to sing a happy birthday video for a friend.

Thank you to all who have prayed for us through the last few years! You will not be forgotten! Anastasia is watching over you all, and we have had Masses offered for you, and we pray for you.

We will be back soon with another post. 🙂

A Busy 2017…

Hi, everybody! Raccoon here! I turned six in September! I’m having a great school year, ahead in my subjects, and starting to read a lot better, which is making things easier for Mom when it comes to school and reading my own directions for assignments. And right now Mom is happy for a little relief, as she is expecting #8 in early May!  We are so excited (and most of us are hoping for a girl)!

We last left off with Jan. 2017 birthdays, if I remember correctly, and it’s March of 2018… so… ahem! We are overdo on this update. A lot has happened, of course, since the last update. One of the hardest things is that Mommy’s Mom, Grandma M., died in September. We all miss her terribly, and things have been hard without her. Mom took her to San Diego (and Tijuana) for cancer treatment last May (photos of that below). Unfortunately, her nausea had already begun and only got worse, likely due to tumors forming near her stomach, so she was unable to swallow the necessary pills to help heal her cancer naturally. Despite everything, she had a very holy death, and for that we are grateful. Mom says to tell you all (everyone who knew and was praying) thank you for all the prayers, and for those who had Masses said for Grandma M. or contributed in other ways – THANK YOU!!!

Last Summer we got to go to Omaha twice to visit the Zoo and the Children’s Museum. Those are always a blast. Also, we had the first full family reunion (on Mom’s side) in about 15 years. Obviously most of the 38 grandchildren on that side have been born in those 15 years, so the final headcount was right at 50 with all the aunts, uncles, Grandma and Grandpa M. and Great-Grandpa M. We got some good pictures, so we will show off some those below. We will also throw in some Summer fun photos, birthday photos and a few random things, as well as a video or two. Enjoy the ride!


One of the things we got to do was go to Legoland, at Crown Center. It was so much fun! But we had a really good deal (a misprint on a coupon allowed ALL of us kids to get in free with 2 paying adults!). There were 3 rides, an indoor playland, lots of free-play legos, a laser maze, a karaoke machine and a lot more. We really had a blast. It was a mini vacation for us. And just for fun, here’s a picture of the “twins.” We all think it’s neat to dress alike.

Here’s Easter 2017 (so I hope the next post will be out soon with Easter 2018 upon us… probably not long after baby #8 is born).


Here’s Monkey with Dad and with Mom. He’s such a fun-loving guy. And just this month he potty-trained. He’s doing pretty well, very few accidents, though the first few days were rough!

Here’s Badger! He’s 3, going on 18 (always talking about what he wants to do when he grows up). We have all decided that he is possibly the most photogenic one in the family. We have several photos of him that just turned out amazing, even without trying to “frame” them or edit.

The next couple photos are also Badger – first with Grandpa C trying to make him look like a deer, and then a very patriotic one… I have to admit, Dad did set this one up and, not surprisingly, it was a success!



He sure loves American flags!






Here’s Rooster! He got to sit in the driver’s seat of the fire truck. The second photo is from the Omaha Zoo in the rainforest. He liked that parrot in the background. Rooster turned 5 in Jan.


You’ve already seen a few photos of me, so we will skip forward to Mouse, or Squeaker, as some of you may remember her. She smiles sweetly with Grandma C, and then smiles ABOUT a sweet that she got for her feast day. She has a great smile! She is just about to turn 8. Wow!


Bumblebee, AKA Turtlebee, proudly shows off some turnips we grew last summer (I guess we should have picked them a little sooner – oops!). The second shot is at the Omaha Zoo with a little tiny frog in the background. I can’t remember what he was called, but Turtlebee thought he was cute. She turned 9 not long ago, and can’t wait to be 10.


Dolphin, formerly known as Jr, took his turn being a deer. Then at the Omaha Zoo he tried to blend in with the tigers, stripes and all. He is 10, and starting to babysit one or two younger ones for very short periods every now and then. He’s really growing up fast.

Here are a few photos of Grandma M and family from last Summer, the first few taken at our house, the last few are from Mom and Grandma M’s trip to San Diego and Tijuana. As of this posting she’s been gone for almost 7 months. Hard to believe. We miss her so much!

Grandma and Grandpa M and every one of their progeny. Great Grandpa M, who just died in December at the age of 99, was also able to come, and is seated in front. He suffered severe trauma after falling and hitting his head on the concrete driveway. He died several days later. 

In the first San Diego photo we were visiting the original Mission San Diego. Dad’s brother, who lives in San Diego and played chauffeur and part-time host to us while we were there, photo-bombed Mom and Grandma, and it turned out to be quite funny. The second photo is from the coast, an area called La Jolla. Mom says the fresh air coming in from the sea was so nice. The last photo was taken on Point Loma, and what you can’t see behind Mom and Grandma very well is Tijuana and a section of coast called Silver Strand. That carrier in the background is the USS Teddy Roosevelt, heading out to sea.

Next we will display a bunch of Summer Fun photos, some from the Omaha Zoo, some from the KC Zoo, a few from the Children’s Museum in Omaha, and some from our own backyard or local park. We are posting a couple that are actually from 2016 — we just like them so much we couldn’t resist (the one of all of us on the firetruck, the one with the big, black train, and the two following that).


Weren’t those fun!? And now for a photo with one of our new, favorite people! Miss P. She has been so good to us, helping with some school and watching us kiddos while Mom runs errands sometimes. We can’t imagine life without her now that she’s a big part of it.

Here’s one from Christmas, followed by a few of Monkey, who has an affinity for wearing Dad’s hearing-protection. He’s so funny!

Here are a few from the Johnson County Museum’s children’s area. It’s like a mini town – so much fun to go and play pretend. Turtlebee got to deliver mail, the little boys went fishing, and I was hauling produce from garden to Farmer’s Market. Mouse enjoyed playing maternity nurse at the hospital, Monkey was the dishwasher at the restaurant, and Rooster was a fireman!



And now for a couple videos…

Turtlebee built a tower at the JoCo Museum and Heritage Center and Monkey knocked it down.

Badger recites his letters at under 3 years of age (Summer of 2017).

I hope you enjoyed this lengthy blog post. We are going to try to send another out very soon with photos from our trip to Science City at Union Station and Easter photos.  Then in another month or so we can send out photos of baby #8. Yay!

God bless and thanks for stopping by!

Fall/Winter 2016-2017

Howdy, everyone!  Rooster here!  We sure have missed you all… or is it you who have missed us?

Mom says she practically forgot we even have a blog, since we have gone longer and longer between posting things.  It has been a busy year, that’s for sure!  Let’s try to catch you up on some of what’s happened.

The most drastic changes of 2016 were Mom and Dad’s weight loss.  Dad lost 65 lbs. and Mom lost about 43.  We will spare the embarrassment of before and after photos, but trust me – they look and feel so much better!  Other notables include a 36-hr. trip to Omaha to visit the zoo and the Children’s Museum, and Meg received her First Holy Communion in April and got to be a flower girl in a wedding in August.  Also, Grandma C. turned 80 last year, so we had a big bash on Dad’s side of the family and got to see some cousins we almost never see. We also visited Legoland at Crown Center in late November, which was so much fun! Mom had a coupon that made it free for all of us kiddos to go!

Here are a few fun photos from Summer 2016, followed by a family reunion photo and some Omaha trip photos.

Farmer Badger at the Johnson County Museum

Dolphin (aka Jr) and Raccoon ride Dumbo at the Leavenworth Co. Fair

Dolphin, Turtlebee, Squirrel and Raccoon get to sit in a big Army truck at the LV Co. Fair

Dolphin and Turtlebee ride the Ferris Wheel at the LV Co. Fair

Monkey, showing off his fat rolls

Raccoon, Rooster and Badger, getting along!

The family with Dad’s parents, July 2016… about 1/3 of the way into Mom and Dad’s weight loss.

Goofy photos from a quick trip to Cabela’s. Dolphin can fit a lion’s head in his hands!

Ow, I have a splitting headache!

Eeeww, this one could use a kleenex!





We’re off to Omaha! Raccoon looks like he’s feigning car sickness. 🙂 Monkey’s just outside the photo in the front bench.

Ready or not!  Omaha, here we come!

I think it’s fair to say we were having a better time than this guy.

Those of you who have visited the Henry Doorly Zoo are probably familiar with the rope bridge in the jungle.

Badger was doing his best to avoid sunburn.  Thankfully mom remembered the sunblock! The young giraffe was lucky – he had a spot in the shade.

Dad, Dolphin, Turtlebee, Squirrel, Raccoon, Rooster and Badger pose near the tiger cage.

Squirrel says, “Help! Mine is too wild!”

Rooster and Badger were lucky enough to find a mild-mannered polar bear cub.

Dolphin, Turtlebee and Raccoon riding a polar bear – so dangerous!

Monkey looks at the polar bear statue, wondering if it will move.


Badger says – and points to – “Hoo Hoo,” his word for train — one of his greatest obsessions next to basketballs, trash trucks and semi-trucks. This was taken at Kennefick Park, on a hill by I-80.

The old-fashioned firetruck out in front of the Childrens Museum. We had a lot of fun posing for this one.

Rooster in the foreground and Turtlebee in the background try to catch the dozens of balls that fall from a trap door or one of the air tubes in the ball room. This was one of the highlights of the childrens museum.


Badger remained remarkably calm when he could not figure out how to push two mowers simultaneously. Mom was having a good laugh at this and finding it difficult to hold the camera still enough to take a photo between laughs.

Monkey caught a few Zs while the rest of us were entertained by the many things to see and do.

Badger absolutely LOVED the toddler ball pit. Mom knows these pits are usually full of germs and who knows what, but it was irresistible.


These next 3 photos were taken in downtown St. Joseph, MO, on our way home from Omaha.  We stopped there for dinner at a neat place called Ground Round. The murals were on the sides of several of the buildings surrounding us. It was very neat to witness.

That was quite a trip, and we all had a blast!  We hope to go back to Omaha for another short trip this Spring, while our memberships to the Zoo and Children’s Museum are still valid!

The next several photos are somewhat random, mostly from 2016, but the last few will be 2017, including a couple from a recent ice-skating trip.

Birthday treats for the three January birthday boys!  Dolphin turned 9, Rooster turned 4 and Monkey turned 1. Yay!

Monkey is learning to walk. Soon he will be running!

Feast day treat – donuts from Judi’s Bakery!

“Hey, Hey, we’re the monkeys! And people say we monkey around…”

Trip to Legoland (late Nov. ’16) was SO much fun!

First time ice skating for these two.  Turtlebee and Squirrel came too, but it was their second time, and I got photos of them their first time.

We will leave you with some links to videos for your enjoyment.  Thanks for visiting our blog, and feel free to leave us a message!

Badger doing his baseball bat stretches (Summer ’16, before he started talking):

The older kids perform “Deep in the Heart of Texas” at a Parlor Entertainment, Oct. ’16:

Monkey is Stair-Certified (Dec. ’16):

Ok, we decided to catch you up… get ready, it’s a doozy! Spring 2016

P8_0f135473-8ad0-4463-b5c3-b732093f281f You might remember me as Squeaker… or Squirrel… or Mouse… or any number of other names my parents have called me. I have been nominated my family’s “Girl Friday” for now, so I get to update you on all the happenings since… gosh, a while.  Most importantly, I turned 6, but we’ll get to that later. 😉

Okay, other than a few photos my dad shared a few months ago, and then the photos from last Summer, it’s been almost 2 years since we last updated you.  Sorry about that.  Let me see if I can remember what’s happened in that time. I’m afraid I’m going to have to skip a lot of the birthday stuff and just stick to the main events, or this blogpost would go on for a loooong time.

Some people have said they’ve forgotten who’s who, so here’s a little “key” if you will.


In order from left to right: Junior (aka Dolphin), Turtlebee, Squeaker (aka Squirrel), Raccoon, Rooster and Badger (we finally settled on a screenname for him – he’s fun and feisty, so badger seemed to fit).  And now for the newest addition…. Monkey! We wanted to call him Chunky, for obvious reasons, but since we are sort of on an animal theme and he is often called “Chunky Monkey” anyway, we figured that would suit him.  Here he is while he was still somewhat slim, around 3 weeks old. Isn’t he cute!?


We will get back to Monkey in a bit, but let’s just go through some of the  group photos over the last couple years.


Christmas 2014, when Badger was just a few months old.

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Dad with the kiddos (2015). He must really like us. hehe


We visited the local Fire Station and they let us climb on the truck.  It was a blast!



We got to see Sir Topham Hatt and Thomas the Tank at “A Day Out With Thomas” in Baldwin, KS, May of 2015.  It was SOOOO much fun, we want to go again. 🙂

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This was at the Wyandotte County Fair in one of the art competitions, Summer 2015. We couldn’t resist!  Most of us just popped our heads into view, but Rooster thought he might climb all the way through – silly boy!


Here we are pretending to be pious… but we don’t fool Mom and Dad.  This was for All Saints Day, 2015. From oldest to youngest we were dressed as: St. Martin of Tours, St. Philomena, St. Cecilia, King St. Edward the Confessor and St. Anthony of Padua.

Finally we have come to updating you on Monkey, who, as you know, joined us in January with a bit of a rough start.  The following photos will show a progression of his week in the hospital, where he improved each day. The doctors and nurses said he would have been able to go home sooner had it not been for the IV of antibiotics he was on, as those took a week to administer.  For those of you who don’t know, he aspirated meconium either in the womb or shortly after birth. The staff at Children’s Mercy in KCMO was very kind and encouraging during the stressful and initially scary hospitalization. We found out this “aspiration pneumonia” as they called it is somewhat common. Monkey’s healthy size (9 lbs. 10 oz.) and the fact that he was able to nurse and receive some highly nutritious colostrum before being hospitalized helped him get well quickly.  Other than a couple colds he has caught since then he’s been great.

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Monkey also has something called “Fabry disease,” a genetic enzyme disorder, but thankfully it is a variety that is referred to as “late onset” – basically a milder version.  Someday, perhaps in his 30’s, he may face the option/necessity of having enzyme replacement therapy, but in the meantime we will just have annual exams starting when he’s about 3 years. The disorder showed up on the MO newborn screening that they did while he was at Children’s Mercy, and the main reason we bring it up here is to spread the news about it.  There are actually a LOT of people walking around who have Fabry and don’t know it, mostly because it is a “silent” disease, where lipids in the cells build up over time and eventually can cause permanent damage to major organs – often outward signs of the disease do not become obvious until damage is done.  Knowledge is power – we encourage you to look up Fabry disease to learn more about it.

Just for fun, we are doing a side-by-side comparison of Badger at 3 months and Monkey at 3 months.  What a difference!

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Mom is super excited to finally have a boy with some noticeable curls.  Dad’s not so crazy about them.  Monkey also has somewhat darker hair than the other boys. More like Turtlebee’s when she was a baby, except she had a lot more of it!

Well, thanks for sticking around with us.  We will leave you with this video, just because it’s fun. Badger sure is proud of himself. Ciao for now!

Been a little busy lately…

Sorry for not blogging for a few months but we have been preparing for and now welcoming a new sibling! Here are a few photos:

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We’ve got the crew busy working on a longer update and hope to get if published before this summer: we’re still proof reading the opening paragraph… ?


Stay tuned!

Quick Photo Share… 6/15

This post brought to you by:

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Yaaaawwwn… Oh, Hi!  Sorry, just woke from a nap.  I like naps.  Anyway, the froggers here– what’s that?  Oh, BLOGgers, sorry.  The Bloggers here said it’s high time we updated you on the goings-on around here.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve sure been busy.  I cut two teeth on Ash Wednesday – Mom says I’m the earliest to cut teeth (by a week) and the first to cut two on the same day!  I started sitting up on my own not long after that.  Then it was scooting and finally crawling by Easter!  Since then I’ve been pulling myself up on things and walking along while holding on.  If I’m really diligent I might be walking before my first birthday in August.

Mom says there’s a lot to catch up on, but for now we thought we’d share some photos we just had done, and hopefully she can get a more detailed post done soon, catching you up on 2015.

So enjoy the photos, and hopefully we’ll get to chat again soon!  Oh, and I just thought I’d share one last thing… I’m going to be a big brother in January!  Yay!!!

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End of Summer 2014… He’s finally here!

Hello, friends and family!  Turtlebee here.  Move over, Junior, I’M in charge for this post!  Mom says to tell you all sorry — she meant to get the “announcement” post out a LOT sooner.  Well, you know how it goes.  Anyway, first let’s wrap up the old news….

The garden kept producing produce; we started getting yummy cantaloupes and watermelons. We made Eggplant Parmesan: daddy loved it and Junior wanted to keep eating and eating it. The cucumbers were even bigger in August than July, and we still have lots of carrots and a few tomatoes.  Dad finally had enough of the non-producing pole-beans, which were doing little more than cause a mess in the garden, so he pulled them out along with the remaining corn stalks.  Now that October is almost here we are planning to “close up shop” on the garden.

Okay, now for the NEW news!  I have a new baby brother! Before he was born I thought I was finally going to have another sister. Boy, was I wrong, no pun intended. Now that he’s here I’m no longer disappointed that he wasn’t a girl.  I sure love this little guy!  When Mommy had to call the midwife (isn’t that a show in Great Britain?) my brothers and sister and I had to go visit some friends who live on a hill top, the Hilltoppers.  I was a little sad that I didn’t get to see my new brother the day he was born, but I was okay since we were distracted by all the fun at Hilltoppers’ house.

When we came home to see our new brother we were all so excited! (There is a video of that encounter, but it did not turn out very well.) We all wanted to hold him at the same time, right away!  But we were patient and took turns.  He was pretty tiny… and bald! Rooster and I had TONS of hair when we were born.  I like it when he smiles.  He has smiled several times for mom, and not just for a second or two.  He looks at her and while she talks to him he smiles for about 20 seconds sometimes. It makes me smile too! I can’t wait until he starts laughing, but mom says it might be a couple months before we get to see that. Sometimes I get to hold him, and when he isn’t fussy it’s really neat!  When he’s fussy I have to give him back to mom.

Anyway, you all probably want to see a picture of my new brother, right?  Here he is!  (The family pictures following the ones of just the baby were taken within minutes of our first seeing him!)

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The other big event lately was Turkey’s birthday.  He’s “Tree” now.  That’s one more than 2, and one less than 4.  Here are some fun pictures of his birthday. 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed the post.  Maybe by next time we will have agreed on a blog name for the new little guy!  Until then, God bless you all!



July was Super Busy!

Oh look! Daddy didn’t lock his computer before heading to work this morning!  I’ll be a good helper-boy and lock it for him.  But first……  🙂

As you might have deduced from the lack of updates on this e-communications thing, the summer has been INSANELY busy — but it’s been a lot of fun too.  June, May, and April were fun months too but July has been a blast!  As the oldest kid I started the month by calling a  meeting of my siblings to discuss our blog names. We agreed that some changes are in order and that we’re going to pick animal names.  Squeaker is now “Squirrel” since she has the attention span of that dog from the movie Up!; Cruz is now “Turkey” because he’s so goofy and makes so many faces; little boy is now “Rooster” because he’s always the first to wake in the morning — and he lets us know about it rather loudly.  Bumblebee wants to be “Turtlebee” because she likes turtles and bumblebees.  When I tried to explain to her that there’s no such thing as a “Turtlebee” and that we can’t just make up a name for things that don’t exist she said I could call her Unicorn instead.  Touche…  she shall be called Turtlebee henceforth.  As for me, “Junior” is fitting me less and less with each passing day (kinda like my shirts, but I digress).  I know I want to pick a good mountain climbing animal for my animal name but I cannot decide between “Fox,” “Coyote,” or “Deer”… what do you think?

And on the topic of names: I’m going to refer to “July” as “Super Busy” from now now, and Super Busy 2014 was super fun!  Daddy took us all No, Daddy didn't make me wear a helmet to Saint Louis for a long Fourth of July Super Busy weekend.  We stayed with our friends in Chesterfield — the Chesterfielders — which was great because they have a swingset, a big driveway, and bikes!  I love riding a bike so I took the opportunity to do a lot of that.  Turtlebee wanted to ride a bike too but she hasn’t been able to reach the peddles on her bike — and wasn’t so sure of herself and her balance — so she hadn’t ridden solo before.  Just hanging out!I told her she could ride on one of the Chesterfielders’ bikes like her scoot bike at home, which she did.  I went back to playing and then — ZIP! — someone went riding by me on a bike.  I was going to tell the Chesterfielder boys to slow down on the bike but it was Turtlebee: SHE WAS RIDING A BIKE BY HERSELF!!! I was really happy for her and she was super happy and excited too — I’ve never seen her smile that big!  Until she crashed.  She didn’t get hurt though, and she didn’t cry — and daddy was proud of her for figuring out how to ride the bike too… he just reminded her that she needs to look ahead to ensure there isn’t a solid object in her path.

The best day of the trip was the 4th of Super Busy! In the morning we went to the Saint Louis Science Center where we met up with friends of daddy and mommy.  Daddy said they are in the witness protection program because they changed their name a couple years ago but I think he was joking because mommy made a laughing face.  The Science Center was fun: we saw a robotic T-Rex, stood in a Tornado booth, read some science fiction about animals turning into other animals over millions of years, but best of all we got to see the balls rolling through a complex and suspended maze of rails!  That was so neat — I could watch that all day.  And the bridge over the freeway was neat too!  I got to watch a semi pass RIGHT UNDER me!  That was so neat I started laughing!  After that we went to the Space part of the Science Center where daddy spaced out and lost track of time on the flight simulators… I think he wants to learn to fly an airplane.

Scary dinosaur! Fake dino bones
We knew the dino wasn’t real, nor the “bones” we found amid the shreds of vulcanized rubber.

And then went outside and — you’ll never believe this! — WE GOT TO RIDE ON A SCHOOL BUS!!!  Yes, a real, yellow school bus!  This might have been the neatest part of the trip!  I’ve seen these things drive by every morning and wondered what it would be like to ride on one. But they seem to have some fundamental design issues and I’m convinced that it was designed by a government committee. Consider: school buses are meant for hauling children but there are no seat belts or air bags (not counting the driver).  We rode the bus to the Fair Saint Louis where we got something to eat, walked around for a bit, and then headed back to the Chesterfielders’ to rest up before the fireworks that night.  The fireworks were LOUD but I wasn’t scared!  I held Turkey’s hand and told him not to be scared either.  We all liked seeing the pretty colors but I think the fireworks were made in China: they kept blowing up.  My brothers and sisters all got to wear glowing bracelets.  Turtlebee was happy to have a purple glow-stick-bracelet: she kept raving about it and dancing with it!

Fireworks over Chesterfield!

Daddy and Rooster checking out the animals mowing the grass at Grant's farmThe next day we all — including the Chesterfielders — went to Grant’s Farm!  Did you know they have a tram there? Busted!  We know you were eating the pie, Rooster!Riding on that was even more fun than riding on the school bus!  Apparently the owners of Grant’s Farm can’t afford lawn mowers because they had animals everywhere to eat the grass.  I saw elk, deer, a couple buffaloes, some longhorn bovines– and I can’t remember what else.  Then we got off the tram and went to see colorful birds, a trained elephant, more birds over by the big pond, a parrot in the bird house, and ate nachos and pizza for lunch!  Also, and I’m not sure when this happened, but Rooster slipped away and found Mrs. Chesterfielder’s cherry pie-cake and sampled it. For some strange reason he acted very hyper after sampling the dessert.

That night we visited daddy’s sister and her husband and family, including my cousins who are all so tall!  Since I’m bigger now I wasn’t afraid of their dog Nikki but Turkey acted like a Chicken around the dog.  I’m sure he’ll learn doggies are nice by next Super Busy.  I like playing with “Broken Kevin” the yard flamingo.  I know he was broken because the top part of him came off.  Fortunately my uncle is a mechanical engineer so he can fix Kevin!

Remember I said Super Busy was super busy? I’ve written this much and I’m only to the sixth of the month!  What else happened? Oh: I LOST MY FIRST TOOTH!  Well, I didn’t lose it — I gave it to mommy — but it’s the first time I’ve had a dental detachment!  Sure, Turtlebee lost a tooth before I did but I have extenuating circumstances.

Also this month: we helped a lot in the garden! Well, Turtlebee and I helped; Turkey kept walking into the garden and walking on the watermelon vines, the potato plants, and other things.  The garden makes great food!  We have picked cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, tomatoes, eggplant, jalapenos, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, squash, and a few green beans.  And tomatoes.  And cucumbers.  LOTS of cucumbers and tomatoes!  Dad and mom canned their first batch of tomatoes so we’ll be able to make fresh taco soup this winter! The garden is growing so fast!  The last time I checked there were three watermelons — I can’t wait until those are ready to eat!

The melon zone Tomatoes, carrots, Squirrel, and mama!
Left: the melons section of the garden. Right: the tomatoes,
carrots, corn, potato, Squirrel and mama section of the garden.

Mega-cucumber! Edible art!
A mega-cucumber and fine art in the kitchen.

We’ve been praying a lot too: mommy’s new baby will be here in the middle of August but it wasn’t head-down or even feet-down; after some treatments mommy says the new baby is head-down!  We’re so happy to hear that because it means mommy won’t have to go to the hospital for the new baby to be born!  Daddy keeps asking us if we want this new baby to be a boy or a girl.  Turtlebee says she wants a little sister; Squirrel was trying to decide if she wanted a new brother or sister but then something distracted her.  I want a baby brother so that when I pretend I’m a priest and pretend I’m saying Mass I can have more altar boys.

Guess what else: Squirrel, Turtlebee and I completed our latest round of swim lessons!  For Squirrel it was her first time taking swim lessons and she did great!  Turtlebee and I both passed our “Advanced Tots” class and are ready for “Level 1” now!  (Okay — technically we completed the lessons on August 1 but most of our lessons were in July so it’s still valid!)

And that pretty much wraps up the news from Super Busy.  I don’t want to be too much of a spoiler but something big is about to drop and Turtlebee is already taking notes since she called dibs on writing the August update.  Until then, please pray that the baby in mommy’s tummy arrives healthy, happy, and without emergency!

Winter-Spring 2014… Birthdays, Easter, Gardening!

Let’s see if we can pick up where we left off… right after Christmas.  Being the oldest, and now 6, I, Junior, will take over the blog for this post.

I hope Spring finds you all much better than Winter found us – too many colds, a couple stomach bugs. Yuck!  It wasn’t until March to April that we were healthy for a whole month.

I will take you through some birthday photos for myself, Little Boy, Bumblebee and Squeaker, then some Easter photos and other Springtime photos.

These are from my 6th birthday and Little Boy’s 1st birthday in January.  My Godparents gave me some really neat things, as did our Lee’s Summit friends.  I got a big, farm, floor puzzle, a table-top puzzle, a John Deere dominoes game, a neat Saints book, an I Spy game, and a few more things.  Little Boy’s Godparents were unable to be there, but they gave him a gift at the big family party another time, and mom and dad gave him a flashlight toy that sings a song and has different colored lights that flash, and our friends gave him some neat clothes, though I think he liked the box and wrapping paper most… well, and the cake.


Now for Bumblebee’s 5th birthday!  She was SO excited to be 5, haha!  Actually, Mom could only locate one video of her birthday, no pictures.  If we ever figure out where the pictures are we can at least print them and put them in a photo book, but for now a funny video will have to do.

Squeaker was all too happy to celebrate her 4th birthday.  She talked about it for the whole month of March.  We DID find several pictures of hers, so here are a few of the best.  The first one is with our neighbor, Mrs. H.


Can you tell she likes “Hello Kitty”?  hehe.

Now for Easter.  We didn’t really get the family photo we were hoping to get, but we have several of the 5 of us kids, and a couple where dad made sure to get himself and mom in the reflection of the front door, so they were technically in the picture too.  So silly, Dad!  Anyway, here’s just a couple of the good ones… try not to notice the faults with my new, big-boy tie. :-/


And now for some random Spring photos, including some from our visit to the N’s house in Illinois (DOGPILE ON MR. N!), a couple of us trying to look like Mom with a baby in her belly, our new wagon, some funny faces, prepping our garden, and a few early harvest shots.  We have really had a lot of neat gardening experiences, and for our first year, I think we did great!  Thankfully our soil is super!



Little Boy made a mess of the seedling plants. Sad smile Mom was sad, but we did manage to salvage some, and despite everything we still had a lot to plant, though we had to order several organic starter plants to make up for the losses caused by LB… more than once!  IMG_0666IMG_0612

Daddy tilling for the first of about 8 times before planting! Our garden measures about 50’x12’. We hope to expand just a little for next year, and with everything we learned we’ll be adding some other things as well… like mulch! And a soaker hose! And NO pole beans! And early squash-bug management, etc.


Being goofy on the loft landing. Somehow I don’t think Daddy would be thrilled about this, but Mom thought it was cute so she pulled out the camera.


At Cabela’s in the Legends… we had a blast… and I look like I have antlers in this picture, hahaha!IMG_0692IMG_0694

This is a heavy-duty wagon, meant for holding a lot more than LB.  But he’s a good load for Cruz to pull.



I never thought Bumblebee would beat me to losing a first tooth, but she did… not long after Easter.

Another “not-long-after-Easter” event was the birth of a new cousin, almost 12 lbs at birth! Cruz was so excited to get to hold him. I think when our baby arrives Cruz will want to be the official baby-holder. Smile

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Early garden growth, some radishes (we ended up with TONS of these), and our first head of lettuce – romaine, and our first cherry tomato!  Mom was SO happy to see good results early on.


Well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures and video.  Daddy is working on the next post, which should be out very soon, as he wants to catch you all up on how our Summer went before we post about a new baby. Thanks for reading, and God bless you all! OH, and please keep praying for a healthy homebirth for our new baby, any day now. Smile

It’s been a LONG Winter!

Jr. here.  I hope you all are doing well.  We have had a lot of sickness come through over the Winter, but I’m glad to report that at present all are healthy.  The best news is that we have a new bundle of joy coming in August.  We’re very excited about that.  We hope to even out the numbers with a girl, but another boy would suit us fine, too. Smile

It’s been a long time since we’ve blogged.  We have to catch up on quite a bit.  We left off with the end of last Summer.  Since then we have built a new fence in our backyard (well, our Uncle and cousins did all the hard work), celebrated our first Christmas in our new house, tilled a garden plot in the backyard and we have all turned another year older.

Since we left off with the end of Summer in the last post, we’ll pick up with Cruz’s birthday. He turned 2 last September. He was the first in the family to celebrate a birthday in the new house.

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Here are a few pics of us playing in the backyard, which is about 20 times the size of our old backyard. We like to play a sort of train game, where we line up and hold on to a rope or string (or a gold ribbon, in this case).  I was the engine in the picture below.  Then you’ll see Squeaker on the swing and Little Boy in a walker – he didn’t get far in the grass.


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And now for some leaf-pile fun!

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That was a blast, being thrown into a soft leaf pile!  Now how about some Christmas photos!?

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It is taking Mom a while to gather all the pictures from different devices for Jan. thru Mar.  She says she will try to get that done and post again soon, hopefully with a couple videos.  At least this post will catch you all up to the end of 2013.  Hope you all are enjoying a nice Spring so far.  We are certainly glad it is here!  See you soon!