Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It's December 29th. It's winter! It's warm.

I look out the window into the yard and see 6 boys (3 of them mine) playing with waterguns.

They walk in the house totally soaked.

Summer fun?

New Year, New Title

Since we've had Henry, I've been mulling over changing the name of the blog. "Four Crying Out Loud" is catchy and fun, but we don't have four kids anymore and quite frankly it does not make sense either. So I needed to think up a new name for the blog...one that included the number five. It was harder than I thought, so for the last two years I just kept things as they were.

During the Christmas break, I started playing around with my options for my blog. I redesigned a new blog with a new name using the Apple I-Life program, but sadly after hours of work, decided to scrap it and keep what I have with blogger. (What can I say, blogger has me hooked!) What I did keep was the new name of the blog: High Five!

High Five! captures the positive nature of what our family epitomizes. There are many highs within a family of five and those highs are mostly what I like to relay within this blog. (My husband thought it sounded like we were on drugs or something. What a goof!) But no, we are not on drugs, we are high fivin' it over here in N.C. striving to put Jesus in center of our lives, with Mary as our Mother and Joseph as our guide.

So here's to a new year and a new title! Feel free to share your thoughts on the name, or just feel free to stop by and say Hi!

The Great Outdoors!

Getting my kids to “unplug” from various electronic devices such as the Wii, computer and T.V. can be a challenge especially during the Christmas vacation when time is free and new gifts scream to be used. We have had plenty of time to enjoy the gifts “Santa” has brought, but we have been lacking in good, old fashioned family time so I thought it was time to get outside as a family and enjoy the relatively warm temperatures and sunshine. So I announced the idea to the family....and my idea was met with moans and groans! All but King Henry protested. He’s always ready to venture out into the big, great world with his family!

Nevertheless, everyone put on their hiking boots, sweatshirts and got in the car for mom’s adventure. Truth be told, I had no idea where I would take the lot of them (there are so many kids, you know?)..there was the local park, the nearby school track, the playground near the church. No, none of those places sounded too exciting, so I decided to take them to one of the numerous trails that surround the town. Funny how you can live in a town for almost 10 years and never get time to explore some of the more beautiful areas that the town has to offer. “NOOOOOOOO hiking!! Please take us home, mom!!!!”, they pleaded. But I insisted that life is much more interesting than a video screen.

We parked the car and started on our somewhat muddy trek through the forest. In no time, Jack and Gus got into the spirit of the event and quickly found: STICKS! They “wapped” the the ground, poked puddles of muck, and sword-fought! Eventually, our trail led us to a surprise playground in Wilson Park. The kids ran to the park and instantly found trees to climb, new friends to talk to, and super-high slides to come down! Henry was a sight to behold, bold and brave he climbed the newly found structure with his sister, and barreled down the slide! After a half hour of playtime, we left the park and explored more of the nature trail. We soon found part of Bolin Creek where the kids enjoyed exploring caves, small waterfalls and a (gasp!) railroad and railroad bride! My boys could have stayed all afternoon, but alas the adventure needed to end.

Now here is the clincher folks, they did not want to LEAVE! Get this: “We are having too much fun!” they protested when my husband announced our departure! “But there is a CAVE and a waterfall!” they insisted! We will have to explore this part of the Creek another time.

It is so great when the family can spend time together in a quality setting, created especially for us. But you know what is even better? When mom is right! Life is so much better than T.V.!

Get out, and explore with your family!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

That's one way to look at it!

At a recent trip to the grocery, I pulled my cart up to the wine aisle and looked for a bottle to share with some friends that were coming by for the holiday. Gus stood next to me, looked at the rows and rows of wine bottles and said, "whoa, that's a whole 'lotta Jesus!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The weary world rejoices...oh, night divine!

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family on this most holy of nights. How blessed are we to have the savior of the world love us so much that he came to the earth, to show us how to live His example of love. This is the gift that we embrace as Catholics. This is the gift we recieve....Thank you God!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mexico City

Our Lady of Guadalupe-Patroness of the Americas

According to traditional Catholic accounts of the Guadalupan apparitions, during a walk from his village to the city on the early morning of December 9, 1531,[3] Juan Diego saw a vision of the Virgin - a young girl of fifteen to sixteen, surrounded by light- at the Hill of Tepeyac. Speaking in Nahuatl, the Lady asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor. When Juan Diego spoke to the Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, the bishop asked him for a miraculous sign to prove his claim. The Virgin asked Juan Diego to gather some flowers at the top of Tepeyac Hill, even though it was winter when no flowers bloomed. He found there Castilian roses (which were of the Bishop's native home, but not indigenous of Tepeyac), gathered them, and the Virgin herself re-arranged them in his tilma. When Juan Diego presented the roses to Zumárraga, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe miraculously appeared imprinted on the cloth of Diego's tilma.


Advent Thoughts

"It's sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
It's not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
It's not getting Christmas cards out on time,
It's sending any card, anytime, at the right time;
It's not having the biggest and best Christmas light display,
It's displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart;
It's not Santa coming down the chimney,
It's Jesus coming down from heaven,
and giving us the gift of eternal life."


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas card attempts.

Family Christmas cards. Don't you just love taking those blissful family pictures? You know what I mean... all the kids smiling sweetly, well behaved, looking straight into the camera, encouraging more poses and smiles. For me,I can honestly say that taking the Christmas picture of the kids ranks right up there with trying on swimsuits and cleaning the toilets. It's not that I MIND taking the pics, I just have trouble with all the whining I hear when I announce that everyone needs to gather outside for the picture! Not to mention the struggles I have: "Nick, look at me, no, wait, you are in front of your brother, stop hitting his face please, ok, now everyone, say cheese! Wait stop, Henry, get your head out of Jack's armpit! Gus, stop looking for ants, Becca, please help Henry look at the camera, Whoa, don't drop the baby! OK Smile, just hold that pose....awwww.no.no. Jack, zip up your pants!!"

Just know that when you get the Clemens family photo this year, appreciate the effort, pain, and misery put out by those involved. Hold the picture in your hand and enthusiastically smile at how all the kids looked nicely at the camera. Appreciate the fact that 5 kids looked the same direction at the same time. Be amazed that they are dressed and neat and lovely. And marvel, just marvel at how fast they are growing, and how beautiful they are, how happy they are, and how the picture makes a grown mom and dad cry with pride and joy.

And remember how good God is for the miracle of life and the beauty of family.

Here are a couple of out-takes for you to enjoy. (Rebecca had NO desire to be in these two)Later I'll post the "family approved-official Clemens family picture.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception-a holy day of obligation for all Catholics. Not sure what this event is all about? Educate yourself here Here!