Just a simple journal about my life with husband, kids, grandkids, and extended family. Probably nothing special to the rest of the world, but very special to me.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Tell Umma I'm Alright"

I was talking this morning about how I felt bad about the fact that my Mom spent her last months in a nursing home.  I've been thinking about my Mom a lot lately, and I've been missing her, and I've been thinking about how maybe I could have done things differently.

While I was talking to my daughter Katie about all this Jayden said, "She's okay.  You were sitting on the computer and I was standing here and she came next to me and said, 'Tell Umma I'm alright', so you don't have to worry about her.  She's happy now."

He said he sees her a lot.  He says he sees lots of people, and he said they don't really talk to him, he just knows what they are saying.  
Lately, Jayden has been 'scared', he says he's afraid to go anywhere by himself, even into the next room without me being by his side.  I asked him why and I asked, "Are you afraid of ghosts or something?"  And he said, "Of course not.  I only see good spirits."
And then my daughter said, "Oh, you only see spirits that you know."  And Jayden said, "No, I see spirits I don't know, but they are all good, and they are all here to protect the world.  And sometimes when someone dies I see them helping those people.  They don't want the people to be scared."

I don't know if this kid has a wild imagination or what.  But sometimes he comes out with this kind of information, and he says it so 'matter-of-fact', and like it's the most natural thing in the world to him.

'Sorry I haven't been visiting much.  Kids have been sick and lots of other things going on too.  'Hope everyone is well.  Love and Prayers to all ~

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake

I love strawberry cheesecake, and a few weeks ago our niece Erin brought us this wonderful dessert that she made:

(I'm so sorry that I didn't think to take a picture BEFORE we devoured almost every one!  But you can see that these strawberries were a big hit with our family!)

(I tried to get a close-up but I couldn't really get the camera to focus, so these pictures don't do Erin's dessert justice.)

They were delicious!  And I love the idea of a bite-sized dessert!

Okay, good thing I didn't get a chance to post about this because Erin made this wonderful dessert again for us this past weekend too!  And this time she had drizzled chocolate on some of  them!  YUM!

Erin sent me the link for this recipe:
If you are interested ~ GO HERE

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More Old Photos

Here are some more photos my sister Diane posted:

(This is our oldest son Brian and our nephew Thomas (my brother Tom's oldest son), the boys were just four months apart.)

(Here is Grandma [my Dad's mother ~ after my grandfather passed away my grandmother moved from Minnesota to New York] and our oldest daughter Katie.  I think this was Easter Sunday, Katie must have been about fifteen or sixteen months old.  I don't remember her being so chubby!  She looks like a little butterball!)

(The same day, taken in front of my parents house ~ myself & Ray with Erik, Katie, and Brian.)

(This is my nephew Edward ~ my sister Marybeth's youngest ~ I remember that he had blond curls but I don't remember his hair being that long.   I'm guessing that this was a Christmas gathering because I see that our daughter Katie in the background is wearing red tights!)

(I'm holding my niece Erin here [I've posted about my niece Erin a lot].  I don't know what the occasion was, but this picture was taken at my parents house [the house that we live in now], I'm guessing it was Easter or Mother's Day.)

(This was our daughter Katie's First Birthday party, my brother Tom is in the background wearing Katie's Birthday crown!  With Katie are my nephew Thomas and my sons Brian and Erik.  We lived in a two-family house at that time, we were in the apartment upstairs, and my brother Tom and his wife Ann were in the apartment downstairs.)

(I'm not sure what this party was, I'm thinking it was either a big family reunion party, or maybe it was an Anniversary party for my Aunt Florence & Uncle Tom.  Anyway, that's me with my older brothers Tom and John.  I don't remember my brother Tommy having a moustache ever, but I guess he did.  John and I do not look very good at all in this picture!)

I look at these old pictures and I just can not believe how fast life is flying by!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

My sister Diane tagged me in a few pictures on Facebook (in an album she named 'The Good Old Days'), and it was a wonderful trip down memory lane:  (I'm sorry but I have so many of these photos out of order!)

(My older brothers Tommy and John at our old house in Bayside.  I remember that old wooden fence across the driveway, and I remember that little stroller/cart thing that my brother John is in.  I guess my Mom still had it and used it for me.)

(This was taken around my First Birthday, I'm the baldy head sitting on Dad's lap, my sister Marybeth is on Mom's lap, brothers John & Tommy kneeling.  I don't know if I actually remember that little rag doll I'm holding or if I just think I remember it from stories my Mom told me about how I would drag it around everywhere.  I do seem to remember it's yellow hair and that it had a hard face, not a soft rag doll face, it was more like plastic.
And I remember that wallpaper, and I guess my Mom liked ivy patterns because we also had ivy wallpaper in the kitchen.)

(Christmas ~ my older brothers John & Tommy, my cousin Jimmy, my older sister Marybeth, myself, and my younger sister Diane.  I don't remember the dolls that my sister Diane and I are holding, but I'm pretty sure that the doll my sister Marybeth is holding was called Cream Puff, and I remember that a few years later my little brother Joey loved it when he was a baby asking for his 'Ceempu'.)

(My oldest brother Tommy, my older sister Marybeth, my younger sister Diane, my brother John, and myself.  And the ivy wallpaper.  And look at our short bangs!)

(My brother John's First Holy Communion Day, he's standing with my Dad in front of our old house in Bayside, and my brother Tommy is looking out the door.)

(A visit from Grandma & Grandpa ~ my Dad's parents lived in Minnesota and my Mom said that twice a year they would come to us for a visit, they would fly in for Christmas, and in the summer they would drive to New York and spend a few weeks with us, I don't remember them visiting at Christmas time, I guess I was too little.  After a few years they only did the car trip once a year in the summer and that's what I remember.)

(Cousins Peggy, Mary, and MaryAnn in back row ~ brothers Tommy & John and cousin Kathy ~ my cousin Jimmy standing next to my sister Marybeth ~ Diane & myself standing in front.  I definitely remember lots of family gatherings at our house and at my Aunt Florence & Uncle Tom's house ~ they lived in the house that was semi-attached to ours.  I also remember that wallpaper, I guess my Mom finally decided to switch from the ivy theme.  And there are those short-short bangs again!)

(Tommy, John, Marybeth, myself and Diane ~ and I still have that Angel tree topper, although she's looking mighty poorly now.)

(My sister Marybeth, my sister Diane & myself, older brothers John & Tommy with younger brother Frankie in between them.)

(This was the Brickner Christmas card one year, Tom & John with Marybeth standing between them, Diane & Eileen with Frankie standing between us, and the baby of the family Joey.)

Diane also posted some more photos of Ray & myself and our kids when they were little.  I'll use them in a future blog post.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Don't Know Why This Works, I'm Just Glad It Does!

I got this tip (about warding off flies by hanging a bag of water with a penny in it) from my blogger friend Jill ~ (it's within this post HERE).

Mia had come for a play date with Jayden...

...and we went out to play on the little deck and it wasn't long before the flies came to bother the kids.  So I remembered Jill's suggestion and gave it a try.  And, guess what?  NO FLIES!

Even while feeding Eóghan outside!  Not one fly to bother us!

Just this one little bag did the trick:
(You can't see the penny in the bag in this picture, but it's in there.)

The side deck right outside our back screen room is tiny, I'm sure you'd have to use more bags to cover a larger area.

I clipped a ziploc baggie to the wind chimes and it's been there for days, through wind, rain, and shine.
Then I tried hanging a few bags from the awning on the side deck by the pool to see if I could ward off the bug problem we sometimes get back by the pool (not only flies, but bees, wasps, and hornets, and I read elsewhere that the water in the bag will keep them away too) but the bags kept falling off.  Then I remembered what another blogger wrote a few years ago about her solution to her bug problem.  She didn't have the money to buy screens for her awning so instead she got some sheer curtains and hung them from her awning, it didn't obstruct the air flow but it did deter the bugs, so I gave that a try and it's helped a lot too!  It especially helps if there is a little bit of a breeze, I don't know how this works either but I think the bugs think someone is constantly swatting at them as the curtains flow back and forth:

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Ray was on vacation this week.  Yesterday morning he had a doctor's appointment for a blood test, he took Jayden along with him and they were going to stop to get something to eat afterwards (Ray had to fast for the blood test so he wasn't able to eat breakfast before they left the house) and then they were going on to an early morning movie.

While waiting for Ray to finish with the doctor Jayden wrote him this note on his game-player:
(Translation:  I love you and thanks for taking me to the movies)

I love how he sounded out each word himself, I love that he's not afraid to try, I love that he feels grateful, and I love that he loves his 'Paw'!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Roll Out Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer!

(Raymond all decked out for the Fourth of July!)

We've been spending most of our time trying to keep cool.  If we are not in the air-conditioning, we are out back in the pool!

Ray bought a new awning for the deck on the side of the pool and that is where I spend most of my time:
He also bought fencing to keep the babies penned in and it's worked out very well!

Here's the view from my usual perch on one of the lounge chairs:

I'm not a big fan of pools, but I am in the minority as you can see:

Eóghan enjoys the pool a lot!

And Baby Ray took to it like a fish!

That's exactly how his big cousin Jayden always was too!

Mia is taking swimming lessons and she is really enjoying the pool a lot this year too!

Her baby sister Sophie wasn't too happy when she first went in the pool, but the next few times she looked forward to going in the water:

And I think if Jayden had his way ~ he'd live in the pool!
He is most definitely enjoying these lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer!  And so am I!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some June Happenings

I've been so negligent about posting so I'm playing 'catch-up' with myself.  This blog is supposed to be a sort of 'family diary' but I haven't been posting about so many things that happened in June and here we are into July already!

Okay, first there was Mia's 'graduation' from Pre-School:

Her class put on a cute little show, and then later in the evening we went to Erik & Lori's for a little celebration:
(I love how Mia poses!)

(And here's that pose again!)

Our niece Erin is one of the teachers at Mia's school, I tried to get a picture of Erin at the graduation but she was busy running around so I couldn't get her standing still!  She was much more relaxed here:

Sophie really enjoyed Mia's cake!

And before we left the guest of honor was showing off her work of art with her giant stickers on her wall, and literally jumping for joy on her bed!

We also had another graduation in the family.  Ray's nephew Jimmy (his brother Kenny's son) graduated high school and we were invited to a celebration at their house in New Jersey.  Unfortunately we have no pictures of Jimmy because I didn't take any photos and the only pictures Ray took were of me holding Susie's granddaughter Zoe...
...and pictures of Susie holding our grandson Eóghan!

It was a very nice party though, and we had lots of fun visiting with Ray's family!

And there was also a party in June to welcome Zoe!
Here's Jackie now holding her beautiful daughter!
(I am loving Jackie's new hair, both the cut and the color!  I think it suits her!)

The party was at Susie's house and the weather was beautiful so we all got to enjoy her multi-level yard.  It was lots of fun!

(Here's my sister-in-law Ann [my brother Tom's ex-wife, and my niece Erin's Mom] holding Eóghan.  It was nice to be able to visit with Ann, she's been working so much lately so she's been missing a few family get-together's lately.)

And just guess where Jayden spent the day?!
Of course it was in Sue & Doug's beautiful pool!

Ray holding the guest of honor:

Erin and Ellie

Ray's brother Kenny was there too, but we didn't get any pictures of him.  Here is his wife, Eileen and one of his daughter's Sara:

We also got to visit with some of Ray's cousins.  Here is his cousin Karen and his cousin Linda (sisters):

Here's Ray's sister-in-law Linda (Donald's wife) who did not want to be alone in the picture, so I grabbed Susie's husband Doug (the proud grandfather of Zoe) to pose with her:

Ann, Rudy, and another cousin of Ray's ~ Elizabeth:

Ray's Mom, Helena, with Eóghan and Katie:

Ray's Aunt Hedy with Helena (sisters):

And, last, but certainly NOT LEAST ~
Susie with Zoe:

Okay, now that I'm all caught up I have to make a point of posting more often!

'Hope you all are enjoying your summer!  And I hope you are getting some relief from the heat!
Love to all!