Saturday, October 23, 2021

7 Quick Takes: Much Ado about Nothing (or Everything)

I always look forward to the 7QT posts Colleen Martin shares here each week.  This funny, bright, devoutly Catholic, happily married mother of seven has long been one of my favorite bloggers, and I'm thrilled that she has kept her Martin Family Moments up and running, even after most of the gals I used to follow have jumped ship and headed over to the Insta-world.  I have felt like giving up myself numerous times over the past five years or so, but I keep trying to plug away at it.  I've noticed that even if she doesn't get any other posts up during the week, Colleen is usually here on Fridays for 7QT.  I am going to use her example as inspiration and try to do the same.  I used to blog every morning, for goodness sake; I can certainly blog once a week.  Because, you know--

1. Blogging is Still a Thing

It is!  And speaking of Martin Family Moments, if you aren't reading it you're really missing out.  If you stop by this endearing blog site, you will undoubtedly be entertained and inspired.  You will see adorable children, ranging in age from toddler to teen.  You will be amused by clever memes (you might even LOL on occasion!).  You will also get some great ideas for new recipes to feed your family.  This recent post is a perfect example of why I always make a point to read Colleen's blog.  Check it out! 

2. Further Proof That Blogging Matters

If you're here at This Ain't the Lyceum, you probably know how awesome blogger/writer/speaker Kelly Mantoan is, because she's the host of this link-up after all.  But when I read an old blog post of hers, "I Am Not Exceptional, and So Can You" (following a link that Colleen had shared in that post of hers that I just told you about), I was blown away by her writing.  What a beautiful treatise on finding joy while parenting her kids, two of whom have special needs, reminding readers that God can choose any one of us--whether we seem like "saints" or not--and give us crosses to carry and challenges to overcome that we might never have thought we could handle.  Kelly has a down-to-earth way of putting things and writes with wisdom, honesty, heart, humility, and humor.  She says, "Raising a special needs child requires the same skills as raising non-disabled children: patience, hard work, sacrifice and love.  If you say you couldn't do what I do, then I have to question if you can properly raise any child, pet or possibly houseplant." So true!  I just love the way she puts things.  (You can read that post here.) 

3. I Have Lots to Blog About, But Less Time to Do It!

I used to have just five boys to blog about (there they are with me in this photo on my computer's screen saver), but they grew up and got married, so now I have five daughters, too, ten children in all. And those ten have so far produced 17 precious grandchildren, with two more on the way.  With SO MANY people in my life to love (and bake birthday cakes for, and babysit for, and snuggle...), I could seriously write a novella every day...if only I had the time.  

4. I'm Going to Need a Bigger Wall...

When our grandchildren reach the age of one, they are immortalized on our living room wall with a photo canvas.  Our daughter-in-law Preciosa started us down this road Christmas 2012, when she gave us a 16 x 20" canvas print of our twin granddaughters (now 10), who were our only grandchildren at the time.  Preciosa wasn't even engaged to our middle son yet (that would happen within a few months, and the wedding just under a year later), and she already knew exactly the kind of gift we would love.

When our next grandchild, the twins' sister (now 8), was born, we decided that since the twins were just about a year old in their canvas, we would have one made of her at that age, too.  Our gallery of canvas portraits just keeps growing and growing as each new grandchild celebrates his or her first birthday.  When the next set of multiples, the triplets (now 4) came along, we put them on a 16 x 20" canvas together, like the twins, but all the singletons have 12 x 12" squares to themselves.  (I hope the multiples don't feel cheated!)

It has gotten to the point where I'm going to need a bigger wall.  Or I'm at least going to have to rehang all the canvases higher up, both in order to make room for more faces and to keep curious little people from standing on the couch and playing with them.  (Not that that would ever happen.)

4. So Many Birthdays, So Much Cake!

With a family as big as ours, there are certainly a lot of birthdays to celebrate.  And that means there is a lot of cake to eat.  (Not a bad problem to have..."Or maybe it is," says my waistline.)

5. Speaking of Birthdays—

Hey, that last take was actually quick, which is out of character for me.  Did you notice?  Anyway...

Yesterday was our oldest son's 38th birthday.  (That's him in the grey and blue striped polo in the picture up above.) Happy Birthday to the boy who made me a mom and changed my life forever for the better; I love you to the moon and back!!  

Our firstborn is the father of five with one on the way, and he has recently taken a job with a new airline.  His schedule, commute, and quality of life will be so much better with this new company, as far as time with his own family goes...but the hard part for this spoiled mom/grandmother who has had all of her grandkids living nearby for more than four years now is that his sweet family will be moving, from 17 minutes away from us in VA all the way out to the Midwest.   More about that in a later post...[sniff!].  I’d rather not talk about it now!

I've been busy lately, so I missed blogging about our oldest boy's wife's birthday last month, and our oldest grandson G-man's a few weeks ago.  It's hard to keep up, I tell you!

My favorite 7-year-old boy.

Next week, we have three grandchildren celebrating birthdays three days in a row (they're turning one, two, and three).  Fortunately, the two moms of those little ones decided to join forces and have one big party today, which will simplify the Pearl family's calendar of events considerably!

6. I Might Have a Mini-me...

With all those grandchildren, I guess the odds were there might be one who resembled his or her Grammy a little.  Our #4 son and his wife have 4-year-old triplets and an almost 2-year-old daughter (one of the three whose birthday we’ll be celebrating today) who looks so much like her daddy did at that age.  They think this youngest little gal of theirs looks like me.  What do you think, is this my Mini-me? 

7. If You’re Looking for Me, I’m Probably Baking, Sewing, or Painting

It’s a good bet that if I have free time, I’ll be doing one of those things!  As a matter of fact, I have to sign off now, so I can decorate a sheet cake with a T-Rex for two little grandsons and finish sewing a dress for one one granddaughter’s birthday and a poodle skirt for another granddaughter’s upcoming Fifties-themed dress-up day in kindergarten.

Before I finished and published this post,
I finished the skirt!  

No painting today.   But I recently finished a fun trompe l'oeil painting project on my walls that I'll share here soon.  

That’s it for me, but now if I were you I’d head on over to Kelly’s, where many delightful die-hard bloggers continue to gather.


  1. I always love reading your posts! But you make ma a little tired!! LOL You have a busy life!!!

  2. I love this! And am sorry one of your tribe and his tribe is moving. You've been mom and grandma from afar before, you can do it again. ❤

    1. I know, we'll just have to travel more, like we used to do back when we lived in NH and we weren't close to anyone. And we'll do lots of FaceTime sessions, I'm sure.

  3. I love this. What a beautiful family. The birthday celebrations (and all other get togethers) must be epic and memorable. My folks have 5 kids. They have a very similar wall. Well, they actually now have SEVERAL very similar walls. They have 22 grandchildren ages about 26-10. Sorry that someone is 'breaking up the band' so to speak by heading to the Midwest - that's where we are, in Chicago. Winters can be rough, but otherwise a great place to live. I also love Colleen's blog. Her little guys are so very cute and their adventures as a family are sure relatable.

    1. Our oldest son went to Notre Dame and grew up in NH, and his wife is from WI. (Also, we actually lived in a Chicago suburb for a year-and-a-half when he was a little boy.) We moved to VA 4-and-a-half ago and so did he and his family, but they're going to do fine with the cold winters after spending most of their lives up north. It's me who's not going to do so well! Sniff! I've been spoiled, having 4 of our 5 sons and every single grandkid nearby all this time. I am going to miss them terribly! But it's a really good move for them, and we are supportive of it. Just sad!

      Your parents--22 grandchildren! What a blessing!