Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cecilia's Confirmation + John Paul's New Skills

Cecilia's Confirmation

Cecilia was confirmed on March 19th, 2011 at 3:00pm. It was actually a pretty nice day. Cecilia's Godparents, Aunt Lorrie and Uncle Fred Pierce, were able to come for the confirmation and party as well as most of the Anthony Family. Cecilia picked Beth (Anthony) as her sponsor and she chose St. Therese of the Little Flower for her confirmation name. It was the first time I had seen our new bishop and he gave a great homily - although it was funny, he used the word "right" at least 50 times. Every other word it seemed was "right". :)
Saving Seats for Mass:

Max, John Paul, and Cecilia's bff Cara

Cecilia Processing In (We were sitting in really bad seats which explains my poor image quality.)

After the Mass Photos:

Mom, Dad, and Cecilia

Aunt Lorrie and Uncle Fred, Cara, Cecilia, John Paul, Max, me, Mom and Dad.

Cecilia and Cara

Cecilia with her godparents and sponsor.

Beth and Cecilia

Cecilia and I

Cecilia, Beth and Bishop McFadden

The Party:

The Whole Clan

Cecilia's Cake which my Dad made

Cecilia and her cake

Congratulations Cecilia!

John Paul's New Book: The Battle of the Red Cross

John Paul just started writing a new book yesterday. Actually it's quite impressive for a 10 year old (far better than any of the stories I wrote at 10). John Paul has written 3 chapters plus a prologue in his book (but they are really short chapters, so it's not that much to read). Here is what he has written so far:

The Battle of the Red Cross

By John Paul Anthony




“I have bad news sir, the -”

“the enemy is no concern of mine.”

“Of course sir, but the enemy is searching for the Red Cross.”

“That’s impossible!” And in one fluid motion he cut off the messenger’s head.

Chapter 1: A Betrayal

Tristan woke up to hear the sound of metal hitting against metal. He jumped out of bed, grabbed his sword and ran out of his tent. He saw his friend Aiden practicing sword fighting. He sighed and started to head back to his tent.

When he heard, “Well, it’s about time you woke up.”

Tristan saw his friend walking towards him. Aiden was considered the most handsome teenager by all the girls in the Kingdom. He was always better at sword fighting and horseback riding than everyone else. Aiden ran up and said, “Get dressed, you’re going to hunt some minotaurs, OK?”

“Can’t we just rest for a day?” Tristan asked.

“Come on, you do know that this is our last day of hunting before we have to go home.”

“Yeah, but –“

“Come on!”

Tristan sighed, “Fine.”

“Good, let’s go.”

An hour later Tristan and Aiden were riding away from their camp. Soon they had spotted a group of Minotaurs and started to ride towards them. They leaped off their horses and drew their swords. They charged up to the Minotaurs and just as they were about to strike, Aiden instead turned menacingly to Tristan.

“What are you doing?” Tristan yelled as a Minotaur caught him off guard and punched him into the air.

He felt himself go airborne as he heard Aiden yell, “Isn’t it obvious, I’ve joined the enemy.” Just then Tristan hit the ground and everything went black.

When he opened his eyes, he was surrounded by Cyclopes guards and was tied up. The guards parted as Aiden walked towards him.

“I’m going to offer you a choice, because we once were friends.”

“Were?” Tristan asked in an angry voice. Ignoring him, Aiden said,

“Join the enemy, or die.”

“You can kill me then, I’ll not betray my people.” The Cyclopes guards advanced, but Aiden help up his hand to stop them.

“I’ll kill him myself.”

Just as Aiden was drawing his sword, there was a roar and two Cyclopes guards collapsed down motionless. The other guards and Aiden looked at the sky as 30 of Tristan’s honor guard, the finest dragon riders in the Kingdom, swept down, breathing fire and roasting the Cyclopes. As Tristan was scooped up he saw Aiden slip through a trap door, two burly Cyclopes right behind him.

Chapter Two: The kingdom of Thorodan

Tristan and the dragon riders landed in front of a vast city surrounded by white marble walls. Tristan recognized the city at once for it was his home, the Kingdom of Thorodan. The last time he had seen it was a month ago before Aiden and him self had left for their hunting trip. But somehow it looked different. The number of infantry on the walls was doubled; there were several new archery towers, and two brand new barracks.

As Tristan and the riders walked through the streets the few people they passed bowed quickly before running off. As they were entering the keep Tristan pulled one of the guards to the side and asked,

“What’s going on?”

“Sir, we are preparing for war. No one is out because enemy dragons have been flying over dropping flaming logs. No one has left the city for weeks. Two days after you left a family went out to pick strawberries and they were all shot with arrows from the Tenebrae Woods. Your father has given us all strict orders to not tell anyone anymore. Even you.”

“Thank you.” The guard bowed as one of the dragon riders nudged Tristan into the keep. Tristan and the riders wandered through the corridors for about ten minutes until they got to two tall golden doors. Two guards opened the doors and they walked in to a vast throne room. In the center of the throne room was large dais on which sat a golden throne. In the throne was Tristan’s father, the King of Thorodan.

“Son” said the king.

They both embraced. An hour later they were sitting around a council table. The king stood up.

“I have grievous news” said the king “the enemy has made an alliance with the knights of the Red Tower.”

“How is that possible?” said a knight. “The knights of the Red Tower have been are allies for more the 100 years. Why would they just leave us?”

“The knights of the Red Tower have a strong army but they will corrupt very easily.” said the king, “I am sure that the enemy, in their search for the Red Cross, have dug up many treasures and probably bribed the knights of the Red Tower.”

“What is the Red Cross” asked a knight.

“The Red Cross is the most powerful weapon ever made” said the king. “It can transform in to any weapon you want. And it can grant you any wish.”

“I would like to say something,” Tristan said, “Aiden has betrayed us.”

“Aiden would not betray us,” said a knight

“Yes he would, listen to the story.” After Tristan told them the story there was silence.

A half an hour later, Tristan was lying down in his bed. But he had no idea how he was going to be able to sleep knowing that Aiden had betrayed the kingdom of Thorodan. A little while later Tristan’s eyes were starting to get heavy and he fell asleep.

Chapter Three: Look to the Skies!

Tristan woke up to hear shouting outside. Jumping out of bed, he grabbed his sword, raced down the corridors and out the open gates, his heart pounding violently. He glanced around. Soldiers were pouring out of the barracks. Archers were lining up on the rooftops. Villagers were running desperately for the castle, the safest place for them.

“What’s going on?” he asked a passing knight.

“A scout said that dragons are coming. Thousands of them,” the knight answered. “Each one is holding two Cyclopes, who are holding huge axes which are on fire!”

Just then a commander dashed by, yelling, “Get to the towers, now!”

“I don’t see any-” Tristan stopped short. Up ahead, like a cloud, were thousands of dark dots, blocking out the sun. Tristan watched as they came closer and closer, until Tristan could make out winged shapes heading towards the city. Soon they would be upon the kingdom. Tristan watched them as they were three hundred yards, two hundred yards, one hundred yards. Suddenly knights were being scooped up around him. There was intense heat everywhere. He could see dark shapes moving through the smoke. Huge shapes. Cyclopes! Tristan started to run back to the castle, when suddenly a Cyclops jumped right in front of him. It swung its axe at Tristan. Tristan sidestepped it easily, and stabbed the huge Cyclops right in his giant eye. The Cyclops howled in pain as it collapsed upon the ground, and didn’t move again. Four more started to sprint towards him. As fast as lightning, arrows pierced their eyes. Tristan glanced behind him in surprise, and saw twenty archers shooting volley after volley of arrows at the Cyclopes. Suddenly he heard a roar, as a dragon, flames shooting from his nostrils, came tumbling out of the sky towards him, two arrows in his jaws. Tristan dove out of the way as fast as he could. It crashed right where he had just been standing, cracking the stone streets. Suddenly he was picked up by a gigantic clawed, scaly claw. He watched, terrified, as the dragon lifted him closer and closer to his mouth. Suddenly, an idea entered his head. Just as the dragon was about to bite him in half, Tristan pulled out his dagger, and stabbed the creature’s jaw. He was dropped onto the road. As he rolled away, he saw the dragon’s head hit the pavement where he had just been lying. Breathing heavily, he stumbled to his feet, and looked around. All around him was the carnage of the battle. The rubble of ruined buildings. The broken bodies of soldiers littered the streets. The smoke of dozens of fires filled the air, making it hard to breath. Tristan ran in the direction of the castle, where he saw the villagers walking out. Some were sobbing while others patted their backs. A couple of kids looked sick at the sight of all the dead. Tristan noticed a woman and her baby lying dead near the castle gates. Another woman was weeping over the body of her husband, one of the archers. Tristan felt a pang of sorrow as he realized that the dead body was the knight he had spoken with earlier that morning. He noticed that some teenage boys were heading off to help repair the buildings, and move the dead. Tristan couldn’t bear to look at the dead bodies anymore, he ran off towards the castle gates, where he stopped to be sick into the moat. When he finished, he wiped his mouth and sat, pondering about what he witnessed on that terrible day. The destruction, the sorrow, the horror, and the pain of it all were just too over-whelming. Suddenly he heard,

“Son.” Tristan turned and saw his father heading toward him. “We need to speak in the library now.”

They walked through the corridors until they reached the marvelous library.

“Son, listen,” his father said softly. Suddenly there was a large crash at the side of the library. A huge bookcase crashed to the ground. Standing where it used to be, stood the biggest dragon Tristan had ever seen. And riding on his back was the last person Tristan wanted to see right then. Aidan!

“Hello Tristan. Having a little father-son talk. Well I’m afraid it’s over.” said that all too familiar voice. The dragon stretched out its clawed and scaly feet, and everything went black.


Maybe we're just biased, but we were all really impressed by his creative writing skills. John Paul dictated everything that he's written so far to either my mom or I (and that's only because he takes an incredibly long time to type). We wrote exactly what he said.

John Paul In the Kitchen

John Paul has always enjoyed cooking and so a few nights ago my mom let him help her make chicken nuggets and tater tots.

Well that's all for now. :)


Monday, March 28, 2011

An Excerpt from "Get Rich Quick"

I have to share John Paul's most recent scheme of making money: write and publish a book titled "Get Rich Quick".

And so without further ado, the first four chapters (don't worry, they're short) of "Get Rich Quick":



By John Paul Anthony


How often do you get money, if you loose a tooth right .Well if you follow this books instructions you will GET RICH QUICK!

GET RICH QUICK is a book on how to save, use, and get money. First we will learn how to save your money. Then we will learn how to use your money. Then finely we will learn how to get money. Any questions please call 846-5420.Thank you.

Chapter One

Tips on saving money

I. Don’t bring your money to the store.

II. Buy cheap.

III. Never bring your money to school.

IV. Keep your money in a safe spot.

V. Never bring it out if family is near

Chapter Two

Tips on how to use your money

I. Don’t buy food.

II. Only use your money when necessary.

III. Buy with prudence.

IV. Don’t gamble.

V. Don’t buy silly bands.

Chapter three

Ideas on how to get money

I. Have a lemonade stand.

II. Have a bake sale.

III. Have a yard sale.

IV. rent your stuff.

V. Get a job.

VI. Have a car wash.

VII. Ask your parents for an allowance.

VIII. Loose a tooth.

Chapter four

When you do this you will learn there are some expenses. But these expenses are affordable, but you will have to be willing to spend a little money. Now if you do not save your money you will not be able to pay the expenses.

Don't you just love it? John Paul has inherited his father's sense of humor.

Also, just thought I would throw in a couple of pictures that John Paul and Max have wanted me to share with you guys. They were extremely happy with themselves for thoroughly cleaning their room and in the process they found all of their stuffed animals. So they made a wall of stuffed animals and begged me to take a picture. Then they each wanted to take a picture.

This one John Paul took:

That is a lot of stuffed animals

Chicken Little:


And lastly, we went to the National Baltimore Aquarium last week and I got some pretty cool pictures with my camera. I don't have time right now (at 12:18 AM) to post a lot but here is one cool picture of a jelly fish that I got:

I also need to post pictures from Cecilia's Confirmation which happened last weekend. :)


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rainy Days

There is a certain peace that settles over the house on rainy days, especially when you're curled up with a hot cup of tea and a good book. Or when you're behind a camera that actually takes decent indoor pictures, you don't mind being stuck inside all day.

Did I mention that our family is giving up all TV and computer for Lent. Since Wednesday was the first day of Lent, the first day of no TV or computer, it was the hardest. Hard for the kids because they really wanted to watch Netflix, and hard for my mom and I because, as sad as it is, the TV had became the simple, free, easy, babysitter. Just use the magic words, "Here, I'll turn something on. What do you want to watch?", and you were guaranteed at least 20 squabble-free minutes. And so, it was a little hard that Ash Wednesday was rainy and cold with everyone stuck inside.

Now I just have a bunch of pictures from this week:

Phase Ten

Our Little Prisoner
We have a baby gate blocking the stairs in both directions on the main floor. Joey always heads to the gate if people are downstairs and bangs and whimpers. He definitely knows he isn't allowed downstairs and that makes him want it even more!

Joey had is first (at least I think it was his first) hair cut the other day. His hair was getting pretty long. While looking at the pictures I took after his hair cut, we realized that Joey looks a lot like Benny. :)

Before his hair cut:

After his haircut:

Do you see Benny is Joey? And isn't he just the cutest thing ever!!

A VERY Girly Sleepover
I had to babysit for my cousins all weekend while my Aunt was on a silent retreat and my Uncle worked. My Uncle Brian leaves the house at 5:00AM each morning for work, so I had to spend Thursday and Friday night. Our one cousin, Emily, is the same age as Rose, they are two weeks apart (funny story: my Aunt Jackie wasn't due with Emily until July 2nd and my mom was due with Rose on June 5th, there was a baby shower for my Aunt on June 5th and during that baby shower her water broke. So Emily stole Rose's birthday. :) Rose wasn't born until June 13) Anyway, those two are very close and love to play with each other. They took forever to fall asleep and then - no joke - they woke up at 5:30am and stayed up. Emily and Rose ate breakfast with Emily's brothers at 6:30am and so around 9:30am, Rose comes up to me and says "Mary Kate, I'm hungry, can we have lunch?" I had to laugh, our family is NOT a morning family. Rose is usually eating breakfast at 9:30, not asking for lunch!

Playing Inside
The rain meant playing inside and my new camera meant I could get pictures!

Pillow fight:

Joey is laughing in this picture, just to clarify:

Mother/Daughter Tea
St. John's Parish in Westminster MD has an annual Mother/Daughter Tea for mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and friends. Since my dad always has to work on Sunday my mom couldn't go. Instead Aunt Beth took Cecilia and I to it. It was a lot of fun with delicious desserts! We listened to Mary Lou Rosien talk about handling stress with our Catholic Faith (you can find her book here, she was really funny and had some great tips), we made a lavender craft with a St. medal, and even won earrings in the door prizes.

Look at that cookie:

The lavender bucket at our table:


Pictures With T2i



I hope Lent is going well for you all so far.