**super bowl party pictures**

Another full to the brim weekend!

I took the younger kids to a college wrestling meet on Saturday because Ethan was there…oh how wonderful it was to see my son after a month of being apart.  He looked great.

After the meet we stopped at Costco to quickly get some food trays for Sunday.  As soon as I got out of the car, my brother Isaac was saying hello from just across the lane in the parking lot.  That was fun, and we hugged.

On Sunday morning, Rich and I were able to sleep in until 7 and then relax with coffee because we elected, after his head injury, to not have Seth wrestle this weekend.

However, David and Caleb had a meet in the afternoon and they both won second place medals in their weight brackets.  The school did a great job of moving the meet along at a quick pace so everyone could get home (we live in New England, after all, and had a big Super Bowl to watch)……..

We got home just in time to do a quick run around for a last minute tidying up.  And then the Super bowl party.  We were all cheering for the Patriots so the first 3 quarters of the game were pretty disheartening.  But then!  Wow, Caleb (the biggest 11 year old fan I’ve ever met), was so happy when the Patriots finally got their groove and won the game in overtime.



We temporarily moved in the little couch behind the big one for more seating.  Rich invited his HS wrestling team and four of them are in this picture, along with Caleb who is sad because the Falcons keep scoring, Tessa (Ethan’s girlfriend and our neighbor) and my husband waving.


Michael, Zach, Caleb, and Grace sat at the kitchen island where most of the food was located.  We put the cookies in the other room on the table and the crock pot of meatballs (thank you, Louis) was on the counter near the drinks.  We bought 2 cases of seltzer and a case of Coke, guess what got drank up the fastest???  Yep, the soda.  All gone in one night.


My brother Isaac and his wife Cassandra, who brought the best chocolate chip cookies.

We had two sheet pizzas, and wings, too.  Two fruit bowls, and two veggie trays from Costco.  Lots of chips and dip.  Baked sausage and sauce.


Caleb turned to me and said, “Now they have no chance of coming back, Mom.” after the Falcons scored again.  Uncle Dave texted him telling him to keep his chin up, they could still make a come back.


While Rich and I were at the boys meet on Sunday, Grace taught Sarah how to sing from the hymn book.  She found a ready audience in her Aunt Cassandra.  Sarah’s favorite hymns to sing are “Come Thou Fount” and “Joy to the World.”

She is also learning to play the piano.


Jacob got out of work at 7 and got home by 7:30.


Me, Sarah, and Allie (who was the most vocal about her opinions on how the Patriots were playing).  I never knew she was such a fan.  🙂


This old guy was on the hunt for food bits.  I was holding up a cheese cracker for this photo.


dear friends.  Caroline brought the yummiest hot broccoli cheese dip, and a taco dip.

And fantastic cookie bars.


future crazy cat ladies of America…Grace, Allie, and Tessa’s beautiful sister Emily.





Isaac and Cassandra left at half time so I took a quick photo of my brother and my firstborn.  They look similar, yes?


Playing “open your mouth and let me see if I can throw this cracker into it.”


Well, we all know how the fourth quarter of the game played out.  Caleb, bless his heart, came out of half time with a terrible stiff neck from playing nerf football and wrestling downstairs with the guys, so he had to stay motionless on the couch as he watched the most exciting comeback in Superbowl history.  However, he was able to raise his hand in victory as the final outcome of the game was decided.


sooooooo cute


best memories; his face while watching Tom Brady after the game.

And, another photo to add to our yearly Superbowl portraits;


gosh, it was a fun night.


You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness. ~Author Unknown



a super super bowl gathering


God granted us some much needed encouragement this morning.  On Thursday, I had to pick Sarah up from school because she had a fever.  I took her to the pediatrician and the preliminary test they did showed yet another UTI.  A never-ending UTI was what alerted us to her kidney stones.  My heart sank as we went to fill a prescription for antibiotics and all weekend, even though we had fun, in the back of my mind I was starting to obsess again about UTI, kidney stones, water intake, low sodium diet, and citrus fruits.

Fast forward to just an hour ago.  The doctor’s office called with the final lab results which were NEGATIVE for a UTI.  Soooooooooo grateful!

She’s getting over the fever and a bad cough but otherwise she is fine, and by the way she doesn’t really wear glasses.  The ones in the picture are just for fun from Claires so she could be “just like Grace”.  Her dad read her a Narnia story book on Sunday morning and we spent the rest of the day getting ready for a super Super Bowl gathering of friends and relations.


Pizza ordered out (three party sized) meat, mushroom, and plain cheese
Tossed Salad brought by Isaac and Cassandra
Cocktail meatballs made and brought by Louis, one of the wrestling boys
Homemade cupcakes brought by Dom which were made by his Mom
Caroline’s Taco Dip
Caroline’s chocolate chip Blondies
Homemade chicken wings using this recipe
Barefoot Contessa’s outrageous brownies (sure to give anyone a chocolate coma)
chips and dip and salsa
crackers and cheese
fruit tray
veggie tray


They were watching a youtube video….Caleb and Grace (young love)…Dave, Caleb, and Sarah


Rich and Zak greeted one another with a handshake


Zach, Michael, Ethan, Jacob, and Dom


The basement full of kids


Portrait of all of us—25


Me and my brother Isaac


Me and my mate


Emily wasn’t in the group photo because she was at work (young love pic #2)


Ethan and Tessa (young love #3)

Ethan wasn’t mad, I think this is his “I’m tough and cool” face.


Parker the dog snuggled with the company as much as possible.





The children had a snow day on Friday and guess what?  They are home again today for another one.  The snow just started and the flakes are numerous but small.  The sky is solid white and each time I look out the window the snow is blowing in a different direction (usually straight down or to the right).  It’s a cold, dry snow and supposed to last all day.  Ethan made a fire in the fireplace, Grace and Sarah are having sister time, Caleb and Seth have been playing but just turned on a show “If you give a Mouse a Cookie”.  Jacob went and got Emily before the snow started and they just made eggs for breakfast.  Rich went to work but we’ve been texting each other.


It is thus, in little days — that our years come to us. We have but the one small fragment to fill and beautify at a time.

The year is a book, and for each day — one fair white page is opened before us.

And we are artists, whose duty it is to put something beautiful on the page.

Or we are poets, and are to write some lovely thought, some radiant sentence, on each leaf as it lies open before us.

“That we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:2

~JR Miller



old news

Super bowl sunday was an entire week ago but I must blog about it because it was such a fun day.

First of all, that morning Rich had a wrestling tournament to coach.  He had Seth, Caleb, and David with him.

Second of all, Sarah Joy woke up with the stomach bug.  Horrors.

Third of all, Isaac and Cass wanted to come to church with me which left me in a quandary because I typically don’t leave sick babies home with older siblings.

HOWEVER, she wasn’t sad or overly grumpy so Rich and I decided just this once that she would be fine if I left her home with Grace to take care of.  Mike had spent the night that night with the boys so when I left for church that morning I had Cass in the front with me, then Mike, Ethan, and Isaac in the middle, and Jacob in the back (soon to be joined by Emily, whom we picked up on the way).

We talked and laughed all the half hour way to church.  It was such a joy to me, as I spend most of my time with younger people (four year olds).

After church we went to the Chinese buffet where Isaac ate so much he got the “meat sweats”.  As I predicted, he ruined his appetite for Super Bowl food.  Anyway, it was hilarious and I took this group selfie when we loaded in the car after eating……


When we got home Cass and I started getting things ready for the party.  We made a salad and some hot artichoke cheese dip.


Zak was one of our guests for the day.  He is on the wrestling team and a friend of Ethan, Jacob…..and Parker the dog, too.  🙂


There was nonstop partying going on once everyone arrived.  Another wrestler, Dom, came, and our good friends, the K’s came, too.  Amanda and Jason came with their friend Inna, and their three kids, Abbie, Naomi, and Weston.

I was very distracted but tried taking some pictures of the evening, in the midst of socializing, keeping the kitchen going, and helping Sarah throw up.  (Sarah was quarantined in my room.)  Multitasking!!!


Isaac brought me a Christmas gift from Dave, which was in the blue container seen on the coffee table in the picture.  ^^ It was a bottle of fancy cherry balsamic vinegar.  Thank you, brother!

We piled on the couches, and the guys in the back of it were sitting at the black bookcase behind the couch, on stools.  The game was great….so exciting!


I made Jason very uncomfortable by taking his photo.


Today is actually their six month wedding anniversary!!!!!!!  Let me gush for a moment just because I’m their big sister……Isaac and Cassandra are such a great couple, I get all teary eyed thinking about them.  They are in love like lovers, best friends, AND siblings…they tease, laugh, and snuggle constantly.  Isaac won’t let Cassandra open her own car door.  I mean, they are just the most encouraging people to be around if you have doubts about true love these days.  They have it, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.



Our good friends, Caroline and Chris, are in fact Jacob, Ethan, and Grace’s “second parents”.  🙂  They live just a few miles away from us and have two teen children.  We love this family so much.


I kept trying and trying to take a good picture of Gracie and Abigail and finally settled on this one.


Weston ADORES his big cousin Jake.  He was so thrilled to sit next to him for a picture.  As you can see, he also respects him highly, too.  😉


Rich and Jason, (my husband and my sister’s husband)….these are all around GREAT men in the workplace, family, and community.  So thankful.


We had so much food it was ridiculous.  I only took one picture of it and here it is.  THE CRACK.  It’s funny because Isaac and Cassandra make this as their specialty.  It’s graham crackers with butter and chocolate and I don’t know what else….we call it crack.  It was pretty much the hit dish of the night, along with Caroline’s meatballs.


Those two lovely ladies were adorable all night long.  Love them.  They helped out so much, too, making veggies and dip and bringing lots of food, and sangria, for the party.



We kinda want to have a Super bowl party every weekend!  Love you guys!