Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Special Day

Our little Thomas made his first Holy Communion today! We had been preparing him all year ( actually Fred did his catechesis). We had asked Fr. Peter Ryan to give him his first communion and only this week did we actually work out the date.

It was a great blessing to have Thomas receive at the Grotto, one of our favorite places in the world. Thomas was so joyful and sweet. It always humbles me to see the innocence of children. May God bless and Keep you Thomas, today and always!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I had a wonderful day. (It's my birthday) I tend to be kinda shy about my birthday. I am not keen on being the center of attention- so I avoid it. Kind of hard to believe from a gal who writes publicly just about every day of her life huh? I guess we're all a bunch of contradictions when it comes right down to it. 

So Fred made me pancakes for breakfast with the wonderful new blackberry syrup we made a few nights ago. We  did a little shopping later in the day and then went out for an early dinner at an awesome Japanese restaurant. I managed to sneak in phone calls with many of my siblings and a few even sent cards ( my memory is not nearly as good as theirs!) When we arrived back home the kids made a birthday party complete with balloons, cake, presents, and cards. They also cleaned the house top to bottom which was perhaps the nicest gift of all for a busy Mom. 

Then the older boys headed out to ballroom for the evening and took Matty along this time. He was so excited to be included! God has been so good to me and on my birthday this year I am especially grateful for my family. 

I know this is going to sound strange but I am happy to be a little older. Every day of my life is a gift, and standing in the different places of time allows me  a beautiful glimpse of the view. It seems a shame to waste any of those moments lamenting what I might have seen from a different spot, when a spectacular landscape stands directly in front of me. At 41 years old, I have an incredible husband whom I am really in love with, 10 interesting children who I'm thoroughly enjoying getting to know, a beautiful and almost completely redone home, a dozen years of homeschooling experience, good health, extended family that loves me and cares about me, friends who keep me smiling,a blog I enjoy writing, and of course a well worn faith that has seen me through many trials and tribulations as well as blessings galore. 41 is a good view. Its pretty. 

Friday, July 29, 2011


I found a really cool demographic yesterday. At least I was flabberghasted to learn how unique my family actually is based on it. I mean I kinda already knew ( and maybe you guessed it too???) That we weren't quite like everyone else based simply on our ginormous size. But Wow, do these numbers show just how unlike every other family we actually are. A family like mine, for instance, is a throw back to the 1900's. 

In any case go ahead and play with it yourself and see how common, or uncommon your little tribe is these days. I found it pretty enjoyable. The link is right here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Last night Fred and I stayed up until midnight making Blackberry Jam and syrup. Our neighbor Ed is a really, really terrific man. He is one of the most incredible gardeners I have ever met.He keeps bees, and chickens as well. He raised 8 kids of his own and started gardening when they were little. Now he has a killer garden and lots of surplus.

I'm not sure how it happened, but someone must have told him we had a whole mess of kids a while back. Ed ( and Betty his wife) decided they wanted to check out a family bigger than their own. I don't think he has ever stopped by empty handed since then. Ed brings us bushels of veggies and fruit all summer long. He is one of the only people who I would let into my house even if I was having a bad day since I know he knows all about that. (In fact last winter after being stuck at home too much he came by while I was hollering at the kids and it cracked him up entirely too much."its not funny Ed- I'm losing it". I said curtly and he laughed some more.)

The only thing hard about this is that Ed's garden doesn't check my schedule before its ready. If the blackberries need to be made into jam it better happen lickety split or it won't happen at all. So thats how I ended up making blackberry jam with Fred at midnight last night.

Before Ed left me with a few gallons of blackberries ( that I had to keep Sophielocks from snatching too many of I might add) He mentioned he knew how to make blackberry syrup. I asked him how and he went into a brief explanation. I asked him if he'd give me the recipe and he answered "I just did." so I hoped I remembered what he had said correctly and said goodbye sweetly.

Well, my memory is pretty wonderful 'cause that Blackberry syrup is about the best stuff on the planet. It did take a little work to get the juice with no seeds ( lots of cloth and straining) but WOW it is simply wonderful. I only wished I had a hot stack of flapjacks when we finished at midnight. Definitely will have to try it out this weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


John Paul turned 14 today. He had 3 of his friends ( plus a mess of brothers) over for a pool party. They all seemed to have a lot of fun. I don't think I have seen such a perfect day as this in a long time! The temperature was perfect, the air, the sunshine, the sky. After his friends left he headed out to meet a bunch of other kids for a game of football at the park. Tonight we opened presents and had cake one more time. It was a long, full day.

Happy Happy Birthday John-Paul!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Tommy made his first confession tonight. He was so happy! I thought he'd be nervous but he wasn't. It was a special moment to see him growing. Michael came along for the ride since the two are like Frick and Frack. Afterwards when we got back in the car Michael hugged him really hard and asked if his soul was glowing or was it his brain?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Second Permit

My second eldest son got his permit today. I took him out for his first lesson tonight. He was a natural. Congratulations Pete! ( and be careful!) xoxo, Mom

(Pssst- just think you are one step closer to this...!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Short Post

Gotta run tonight....
Spending time with my teenagers while Fred is at the races.
We already had dinner together and some good conversation.
The older boys got ice cream and a movie and put the little ones to bed for me- now  we're about to sit down and watch it!
Have a good Sunday...!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family Spirit

So tonight was the boys end of season Track party. It was also a pool party hosted at a members house. Fred and I get kind of shy about showing up places with ten kids generally speaking. 'Cause lets face it, we are pretty much an exception to the rule now-a-days. Most families show up with 2 kids and a dog and we look more like the clown car at the circus as the children seem to endlessly pour out of our vehicle.

That is not always a comfortable feeling. People make far too many comments that are unsupportive. We have grown closer to each other and God in that process. Tonight as it got near to departure time, we seemed more hesitant than usual. Maybe it was just because it was too hot outside for too many days, but neither of us really wanted anyone to make comments about our 'family size' and we were walking directly into a scenario likely to make that happen.But then we looked at the kids and we think of how important sports are for them, and team play, and social skills and we buckled up.
Matt and Joe with their team Dog Tag Medals

When we got there, we were politely welcomed and joined in the small talk despite having the three little girls hanging from us both as we chatted. After some food and fun it was time for awards. The boys Coach is just a fantastic man who really knows how to pull a team together. He has so much energy! So on he went naming each child and gathering applause for them one by one. Then he went on to the special awards for the kids who have improved the most, or persevered, or was outstanding in a particular way (JP got the wackiest kid award!). At the end he told everyone he had designed a new award this year that didn't fit the other categories. He spoke of Team Spirit and cooperation, respect, and encouragement. Then he held up a plaque for The LeGare Family and said he was so impressed with our hard work, and watching our kids support for each other and work for the team. Matthew happily received the award in our name!

I'd like to say it was one of the most touching moments of my life but that would be a lie. In fact I didn't even hear about it until about 5 minutes after it had been given out. You see Sarah went missing while she was chasing the family's cat. Fred and I, along with Coach John's wife Jen, who happens to be the  youngest of a family of 8, were busy searching the house while everyone was gathered in the living room for the ceremony. She turned up in the bathroom-  having put on her clothes, and her underwear over her bathing suit and had to strip down layer after layer to use the facilities. (If only Coach John and the other had seen me wrestling with Sarah and the toilet seat for five minutes as I disentangled her clothes from the mechanisms-  maybe we wouldn't have gotten the award if they had seen that- so alls well that ends well!)

We eventually heard it from Matthew and all the other parents who came up to us afterwards one by one and said they too had noticed how nice our kids were, and polite, and kind, that they all felt we were an amazing family and BTW how did we do it???I swear I thought they had mixed us up with someone else.

But it did touch me very much tonight as we drove off, to know others had noticed, and noticed enough to say so out loud. It doesn't make all the difficult days of having a large family magically disappear, but it does make it a little easier to know we're doing a few things right. At least from a birds eye view.

Go Team LeGare!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The Mouse ran up the clock.

The clock struck one

The Mouse ran down

Hickory Dickory Dock

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Place Values

Do you remember these charts from grade school?


Could you have told me what the number above was just by looking at it? I sure as heck couldn't have. I homeschool my kids, and beats me if I have ever had them go up to the trillionth spot when doing place values! That number has always been left as a 'hypothetical' in our house.

It has 12 zeroes after it. Type it out, right now, just for fun.Really. Go ahead-I double dog dare you!

Here are some other fun facts about the number 14,000,000,000,000.00 (14 trillion)

  • 1 Million x 1 Million = 1 Trillion

I love this next one:

  • If I gave you 5 million dollars every day of the year( thats 5,000,000.00) including Sundays, do you know how long it would take to reach one trillion?

  547 years.

(If you want to know how long it would take to get to 14  trillion that would be 7658 years!)

OK here's another one-

  •  if we gave one trillion dollars in bailouts from the government to all the states  in our great nation, each state would get 20 billion dollars.

Here are some more visuals to help you get a handle on this all.

Here is a stack of hundred dollar bills1/2 inch think. It equals 10,000.00 Can you imagine how much fun you might have with that?

Now here is a picture of a million dollars. Kind of small actually isn't it? Remember these are still 100 dollar bills.

Next a picture of one hundred million dollars, a bit more impressive, right?

Now we're starting to get somewhere with a billion dollars:

OK- here goes-finally- this is now one trillion dollars! Try to find the guy in the red shirt!Better take out your magnifying glass. Those are double stacked pallets of 100 dollar bills.Try doing that times 14!

One last image for a neat comparison for my football loving friends Christine and Ken, (and NO that is not a playskool football field!) This is a size comparison of 100 dollar bills equaling one trillion dollars compared to a football field.
That makes the problem a little bit clearer doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So my sis called me on Saturday to suggest it might be nice to visit my brother Greg who was in Southampton at my Mom's beach house for the weekend. Most of you probably know Greg has cancer...ugh. He has been battling it for about 3 years now. So we packed up rather quickly and headed out of town. Greg was genuinely happy to see all the kids (who isn't better for seeing a whole gaggle of happy little faces?)

So I was suddenly thrust into a whole lot of family. My own family is so big I sometimes forget how huge my extended  origins are also. Goodness there are lots of people I am related to out there! My Mom hugged me so hard I can still feel it. She just came to life when the kids came in.

And of course my own children get very happy to see cousins and make the very most out of every minute they can. For a short visit there certainly was a lot accomplished.

We went to the bay, and the ocean ( Fred told me a few years ago that there is almost nothing in the world he enjoys more then swimming in the surf. It surprised me since the ocean is so powerful it scares me most of the time and so,  I cannot imagine wanting to rush into that.In any case, once he told me that, I have made a concerted effort to join him when he goes to the ocean since it means so much to him)...

We played shuffleboard....

And saw more cousins....

And we went to the bird sanctuary as well. Not one of the children missed an opportunity to catch a bird for a second as it landed on their hands to feed.

 I am very happy we listened to the suggestion. (Thanks Jacq for the call!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The last few days are a big blur.
We unexpectedly went to New York. It was wonderful to see family and for that I am so grateful! There are a few things I am not so grateful for, like finding out Sarah gets car sick! Y-U-C-K! I feel like I am about 2 days behind on all my friendships, so if you're one of 'those people' in my life right now- now you know why.

I have a whole lot of photos to sort through but for tonight, let me just give you a random few...