An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Football

This year our entire family decided to meet in Hilton Head Island, SC for Thanksgiving where perhaps the highlight of the week was a huge game of football.

The kind of family football that includes children, adults, in-laws, out-laws, a sister who just announced her pregnancy, and all ages between three and sixty-five.

The kind of football where everyone was just plain goofy.

The kind of football where a four-year-old got the ball, and an uncle on the opposing team carried him(the boy AND the ball) to the end zone for a touchdown.

The kind of football in which teams kept getting confusing. Are you on my team?

The kind of football where a cute three year old niece in ponytails kept distracting everyone with her cuteness.

The kind of football where an interception was cause for riotous laughter.

The kind of football in which no one kept score.

And the kind of football that earned me the name Fumble-ina.

Uhm, whatever could they mean by that?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Contradiction in Terms

Seen, on the backroads of South Carolina as we were heading to Hilton Head Island for a Thanksgiving family reunion, this sign in front of a small church:

St. Mary's Baptist Church

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Illustration on Freedom

A couple of weeks ago we attended an Open House at the Catholic High School my son will be attending next fall. At one point my son, perhaps in awe of all the high school students, made a comment along the lines that he can't wait until he gets older so he can be free to do what he wants.

Hmmmm. He was expressing a very common attitude in young teens who tend to think of freedom as not having a parent, or a teacher, or anyone for that matter, telling them what to do. To them, freedom is doing "what I want".

It was just a passing comment, but I didn't want him to think freedom was simply having a selection of choices; instead, he needed to know that true freedom is found in the right choice you ultimately make. It's a hard concept to understand.

To illustrate my point I reminded him of something that happened not so long ago:

One evening last fall our middle son, Jonathan, was excited about an upcoming football game and he wanted the entire family to come see him play. It had been a very busy week and Nicholas did not want to go. I could see that this was hurting his little brother's feelings, so I had a quiet talk with Nicholas.

I explained to him how much it meant for Jonathan to have his older brother come cheer him on, but since it had been a stressful week, we were going to leave the decision up to him. He could freely choose to come to the game, or he could stay home.

Now, neither decision was wrong, but one was definitely more right.

When it was time to leave, Nicholas came downstairs, high-fived his brother, and climbed into the van. We all went to the game and had a lovely evening.

As I told this story, Nicholas smiled...he remembered. But I wasn't done, yet.

I explained how that night he had been given the freedom to choose, but with his decision he experienced the true freedom that is God's gift to us. It's not the freedom found in the opportunity to choose, but rather the freedom that comes with choosing the right thing.

And the beauty of this freedom is that it manifests itself on so many levels.

That night Jonathan was free from having his feelings hurt.
My husband and I were free from any feelings of disappointment in our son.
Nicholas was free from any guilt he may have felt had he chosen not to go.

All these graces because he made a decision that was the right thing to do.

Of course, life is complicated. Decisions aren't always easy, or clear. But when we turn to God and pray for discernment, He shows us the way.

Only then can we be free.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Wii want for Christmas

Dear Mom and Dad,

Jonathan and I would like to say that Wii can't wait until Christmas. Wii are so excited that wii will be getting presents. Wii hope to get some very special ones. Wii are going to be happy with whatever wii get, though. So, wii wish you a Merry Christmas!

Wii love you,


Dear Nicholas and Jonathan,

Wii are also excited about Christmas. Wii must remember, though, the true meaning of the season.

Wii love you, too!
Mom and Dad

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Bones About It

Once upon a time there was a turkey who lost all of its bones. So, he was stuffed with duck who just happened to have swallowed a chicken. They were all stuffed with a delicious stuffing, then seamed together and cooked at 350 degrees for 4 hours until juicy and succulent.

Turducken=chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey

Anyone ever had one?

Interesting side note: If you say turducken several times in a row, you start sounding like him...

Swedish Chef, the Muppets

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Moanday on a Thursday

Yesterday Laura was thinking about dedicating a day of the week to gratitude. She was going to call it

...until she discovered that someone had already coined that phrase. So she started thinking up other weekday topics and happened to mention Moanday. I commented that I needed a Moanday and look...she gave me one!!

Now comes the moaning part:

We have a computer virus.
I forgot about early dismissal; my boys were sent to after school care.
My boys were not happy with me.
Our computer only works for two minutes; then the popups come.
Our little one has a cold.
My oldest has a cold.
I had to take three 8th graders to soup kitchen...with the little one.
I now have 11 article assignments; I can't access my files.
My back I getting the cold?
I'm getting the cold.
Asked Laura to re-send the Moanday button because my computer ate it.
Just realized I have neck wrinkles.
Our microwave has been burning the popcorn lately.

There. I feel better already. Now I'm ready for Gratituesday...first just let me go pop some popcorn.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Space Alien...that's me!

Have you ever said something you thought was funny that no one else found amusing? It's a weird you're a space alien,or something.

That happened to me today. Since we are still having major computer problems we decided to call (cue drum roll) The Computer Doctor.

He was somber, abrupt, and mentally rolled his eyes (really, I could see him)every time he asked me a question about our computer and I would have to say, "Uh, hold on a sec while I call my husband." He probably thought I was totally ignorant about computers...which I am, but that's besides the point.

Finally, I smiled and said, "You're name is Dave? I have a brother named Dave and he's a doctor, too...only he works on humans."

The Computer Doctor just looked at me. That's it...just a look.

It was weird, I tell you.

See the antennae sprouting out the top of my head?

(postscript: Now here, in this very spot, I was going to place a cute alien cartoon, but my husband threatened to throw the computer away if I downloaded anything unofficial. Someone is grumpy around here...especially since The Computer Doctor couldn't fix the problem.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Computer Virus from ****

We were invaded by a MAJOR computer virus over the weekend which took us-er, I mean took my husband-8 hours to fix.

So anyway, I am just now catching up with everything and look what I got from two of my favorite people, Laura and Lisa:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! And, in the spirit of giving, I would like to pass this on to nikki because they are about to adopt a beautiful baby girl from China, Kathryn because she is the ultimate Mom, and e because she left a really funny comment in my last post (yes, I am shameful that way).

I am also making up an award for my husband for tracking down and getting rid of that nasty, destructive, all-invasive computer virus.

Joey, this one's for you...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sometimes You Just Need to Give Up and Go Home

We woke up to a beautiful, sunny and breezy fall morning...just perfect for a family walk. While my husband and I walked, our little one rode his bike and our two oldest boys ran, passing a football back and forth. Nothing like family togetherness...

No tackling on the cement.

Timothy, no crashing your bike into your brothers.

Watch out for that pile of doggy poop.

Nicholas, don't call your brother an idiot.

Timothy, idiot is a bad, bad word and we do not say it.

Jonathan, quit teasing your brother.

No tackling!

Okay, give us the football.

Boys, we said stop that.

Then, this from the boys:

Why are we going home so soon? We're having fun.

And THAT was a definite matter of opinion.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What Not to Wear on Election Day

All yesterday we talked about the election: tomorrow we're voting; no preschool because of the voting; who we are voting for.

Voting, voting, voting...we must have said the word 500 times.

So, this morning our little one walks downstairs dressed in his bathing suit...
ready to go boating.

Sunday, November 2, 2008