1st Communion – Our Lady of Mercy May, 2014


This is our beautiful Gabriella on her 1st Communion this past Saturday. I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful little girl’s life. How lucky am I. I thank God for keeping me close, first with my children and now with my granddaughter. Time goes by turn around, turn around and their grown. Turn around, turn around and their gone. I love you Gabriella…

Sunday Morning’s

Miss Elsa feeds Bella
Love Sunday Mornings.  I can sleep in w/o any guilt.  It’s Sunday morning.  Of course that is possible as long as my dogs co-operate.  This morning they did not.  Well one of them didn’t, Miss Bella.  She started whimpering about 7am and that is way to early for me on Sunday morning especially when bedtime on Saturday night wasn’t til after 1am.  Nothing exotic on Saturday night, just watching, “Chopped” on the Food Channel.  So I just tried to ignore her and get her to go lay down in her sleepy time chair but she wasn’t having any of it.  Of course the husband was having no trouble sleeping even with her whimpering. I finally got up and let her out, but that was it.  No we aren’t going to eat and go out again, just hurry up and go so I can get back to my dreams !!  Well I did go back to sleep, but only for a bit.  She wanted to get up and eat and start her day so no sleeping in today.  

Getting up is not so bad, I get to have coffee and I make the best, to die for coffee.  There is nothing like that first cup of coffee.  Mine is the best.  I always add a little pumpkin spice w/a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream.  I know I’m tempted sometime to add just Bailey’s but that would be way to early and it would ruin my first cup of coffee for the day.  I always brew Costa Rica blend that I get from Gloria Jeans.  I’ve tried other’s but that’s my favorite.

After getting the coffee started I get the dogs set.  Actually, I have to chase Mr. Jinx around the house to get him to go downstairs in the basement so the dogs can come out.  He just has the best time running away from me.  First he’ll go behind the couch, then under the dining room table.  Finally he will jump up on the refrigerator to the top of the cabinet.  Then I have to risk life and limb with the spatula, poking at him to get down.  If that doesn’t work, I go get the catnip and that will usually get him down.  So now once he’s down,I put him in the basement and I bring out the dogs to be fed and taken out.  

Miss Bella is easy.  She goes out back does her business and comes back in and eats.  Done.  Miss Elsa is my little old lady.  She is a little more challenging. If it’s winter, she doesn’t want to go out at all.  It’s cold and she doesn’t like the cold at all.  Sometimes when it’s real cold, she will just go and get back in as fast as she can.  But usually it is, “I’m not going out in that freezing cold world.”  So I put a sweater on her (she has a fur coat, for God’s sake) and boots.  Then she doesn’t like the boots, so she pulls them off.  Finally I get her to do her business, and on the rare occasion she does both and I am just thrilled.

Now it’s time to feed her.  I give her the dry food w/some bits i.e. treats.  The food already has kibbles in it, but she needs treats in it too.  Then I top it with a cookie, i’m not kidding.  This is what she has for breakfast.  She’ll eat that, but just the treats and the cookie.  Sometimes, this also is a rare occasion, she’ll eat all her food.  If she doesn’t eat it all, Miss Bella will come over and finish it.  Actually she takes out the black kibbles and puts them to the side for Miss Bella and eats the rest.  If she leaves any food at all, Miss Bella will finish it.

Now I get to sit down and enjoy my Sunday paper.  I check the weather first.  Really that’s all I read in the paper.  I like to read the sports too, who knew.   Especially now with the Blackhawk’s in the playoffs.  Then me and my Gabriella, (granddaughter) we like to divide up the special sections of advertising.  It’s kind of like when you were a kid and the Sears Christmas Catalog came.  You could look at all the stuff you wanted.  She calls Sunday, Special Paper Day.  

It doesnt last too long.  The house wakes up.  Lizzie starts the dryer, I don’t know why.  Then to the kitchen to start her day.  Glass of oj and Gabriella starts with the electronics.  Michael wakes up and ask me why I let him sleep so long.  My quiet little piece of the morning is gone.  It doesn’t last very long but my house is a happy home with a lot of life in it.  I wouldn’t change a thing about it.  

Good Morning World

1497545_10202029894733126_8476627267307652594_n10153005_10202029894773127_1878987349293834710_n10006185_10201993896393190_7321446074037786063_n“Stick to the fight when your hardest hit, it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit !!!”  This keeps playing over in my head.  It’s a good line.  My daughter, Elizabeth’s face appears in my my mind when I think of that line.  She has a gorgeous smile.  A smile that screams sunshine.  Her smile says to me, just because I’m smiing, doesn’t mean my life has been easy.  It doesn’t mean that something is not bothering me.  I just chose to move on, and not dwell on the negatives in my life.  Every new moment gives me a chance to renew, anew.  I choose to be that 🙂 (written from somewhere, idk where but it’s a nice sentiment) and I chose to use it.  

I see her and I am privlegded  to say I got to help her build her life.  She makes me proud.  She is a strong, really smart young woman, mother, daughter, sister and she is my friend.  As a mom I know all the different hats we wear, juggling many balls in the air.   I have seen all that it has taken my girl to reach this success.  She just doesn’t quit and as long as you don’t quit you are still in the game.  It’s called, “Character”.  Some people have it, some people don’t.  She does and I am so happy to see that smiling face, in her nursing scrubs.  

She’s a great nurse and an even better mom.  Her little Gabriella is just the most beautiful little girl.  She keeps me young and anything that can do that is a plus in my life.  I love my girls, they are a gift.  ImageImage  

Connor Frain

He is our youngest.  What a great guy he is too !!!  He makes me laugh.  He got me so into hockey.  I mean crazy, rabid Blackhawk’s fan.  On game day, any game day I wear just one of many of the shirts/sweaters whatever that has the Indianhead on it.  And if I get into my pj’s during one of the two intermissions during the game, I put on my Blackhawk pj’s.  Really I am so into hockey.  I really miss not being able to watch the games with him.  But no matter, I still watch.  I think I have only missed one game this year.  We went and saw the Annaheim Ducks this past year.  It was so much fun.   Looking forward to the playoffs.  I hope my heart can take it.

He has been a wonderful son to raise.  Healthy, good looking, and even though he was suppose to be the sister for Elizabeth I am so glad he was Connor.  I love that name and he is so Connor, i.e. Connie is what a lot of people call him.  He is a great dancer/performer.  He has been on that stage since he was 4 years old.  So professional.  When he was doing a show, (I think he was in 2nd grade, it was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) he had balllet shoes on for dancing.  One of the dancers smashed his foot with her character heels, but even though his foot was badly injured and bleeding he kept on dancing.  A real professional even way back then.  

It has been an honor to watch him grow into the professional ballet dancer that he has become.  Such hard work.  High school was work.  He got up every morning at 6 am to catch a train at 7am to catch the bus in Chicago at 8 am to get to school The Chicago Academy of the Arts.  From there he would do classes from 9 am/1pm then dance til 5pm.  That was an early day when he would catch the 5:30 pm train to get home by 6:30 pm eat, do homework and then bed.  When it wasn’t the early day, he would be dancing somewhere i.e. Joffrey or getting ready for a show and sometimes (a lot of times) he wasn’t home until 10 pm.  Five days a week and a lot of weekends he had shows.

As a mom, it was hard to watch because I had to let go.  It really just takes on a life of its own and you have to let it go. Let him go.  But I was back stage for a lot of it, and I know.  I saw and some of it was not so great.  But he loves it.  He has to love it because it is just to hard to do without the passion he feels.  I love watching him perform.  So next time you go to a show, I hope you know how hard those performer’s have worked to entertain you.  They love performing, they love the stage, they love you the audience.  It’s now about the money or the fame, because it’s just to hard to do for that.  It’s about the passion they have for their art.  For the love of doing it.  MomImageImage

Some good things to do for Saturday

Well you can plan Sunday’s dinner.  I have an idea that you guys can do.  I think you can leave out the green pepper & cherry tomatoes if you must, (you could add them just for flavor) and just not eat them or you can add a can of tomato sauce (15oz.) in place of the veggies.  So on your grocery list it looks like you will need the chicken, I use purdue, the chicken broth I use College Inn, but any kind will due.  Generic is fine.  Rotini pasta is the curly Q pasta/Barilla.  The cherry tomatoes and green peppers are in the produce section.  You will probably have to get some kraft parmesan cheese in the green shaker can.  It should be in the spaghetti sauce aisle. And there you have your grocery list and dinner for Sunday.  Maybe even some leftovers for Monday.  Get a loaf of crusty french bread to go with it.  

Saturday is also a good day to do some housecleaning.  Laundry/Change Bedding/and Bathroom.  Also start thinking about the week ahead and do some planning.  So try it and let me know how it comes out.  Thanks, Mom

One-Pan Chicken,Tomato and Pepper Pasta
10 min
total: 35 min
what you need
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 Tbsp. oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
4 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 small green pepper, cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
make it

COOK and stir chicken in hot oil in large skillet on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned.

ADD 3 cups water, chicken broth and lemon peel; mix well. Stir in pasta; cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.

STIR in tomatoes and pepper strips; cook an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender. Add cheese; toss lightly.


Time and how did I get so old so fast…

It really is like they say, as you get older time goes faster.  You know how much faster the toilet paper rolls when it gets to the end, right.  I don’t care.  I love being older.  I love all my wrinkles, I have worked very hard to get them and they are who I am.  They define me.  I love the knowledge that I have gained only by being older.  It’s like you can’t teach what I know, you can only learn it from Father Time.  Lessons from life.  Some have been valuable lessons, others not so much.  But I am better for having learned them.  My faith has grown deeper with everyday of my life.  There is something larger than me and this world.  I only know it is a superior being, really the only name I can give it is God.  A plan for how everything is to work.  I am not going to get into the philosophy of it all, because it really is too large for my brain to think about.  I just love getting up everyday and being a part of the plan.  Because I am, no matter how small a role I play in the larger scheme of things.  

We all are really part of the plan.  I like to think that I am making the world a better place just because I am here.  I am grateful for my children and my husband.  They bring so much beauty into the world.  My Husband is a really talented artist.  He just paints one picture after another.  Each one more beautiful than the last one.  He never took any art classes, he just does it from instinct.  He is really smart too!!!  I think it is because of all of the books he has read.  A very active mind.  He sees so much that he just puts in out in art form.  

Then you have my boys who are amazing artist’s in their own right.  They are ballet dancer’s.  They dance  out in Richmond, VA.  They have worked very long and very hard to get where they are at today.  They started dancing and being onstage at very young ages.  Matthew was in 6th grade and Connor was in 2nd grade.  They have been doing this for a very long time.  They are very disciplined young men.  They love what they do.  I wish I could see them dance more, but they are very far away.  I am just happy that technology has come this far and I can see a lot online.  

My daughter is a nurse.  A really good nurse too!!!  My mom was a nurse, my sister is a nurse and a lot of my friends are nurses. I have been around nursing all my life.  I could not do that.  It takes someone very special to care for the sick.  I am way to sensitive for that.  It has been hard enough just being a mom.  

Being a mom is not an easy job.  It definitely is not for the faint of heart.  It requires a lot of commitment and love.  It is very hard work.  But I have loved being a mom.  There really is no better job than this.  I have learned so much about unconditional love and how to live life, from this job.  When I think about what will I leave here when I go to heaven, I hope I have written my book.  Or that I will have all of my newspapers archived.  That my 10 year journal’s will be completed (a lot of 10 year journals) and my weather journals will tell some kind of story.  But if I don’t have any of that done, I will have left the world with my kids and that is a pretty great thing.  That is how I changed this big old world, how I left my mark.  My kids, and my Gabriella.  The world is a better place because I was here and because they were here.  I love you family…Image  





This was my Christmas present from husband/artist. I just love it !!! It is hanging in the hallway right outside of my kitchen. Everytime I walk out of the kitchen I see it and smile. He is so talented. I love you Michael Frain ❤

Grandpapa & Gabriella

Grandpapa & Gabriella

I love my Grandpapa !!!

Who am I and why am I here ??

Well I am a 50 something wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend.  My name is Patti, and I am a homemaker by profession.  I have 3 sons, 1 daughter and 1 granddaughter.  I am married to my best friend for 35 years this year.  I spend my days creating an environment that helps my people be the best they can be.  I have 2 dogs, Bella and Miss Elsa and we have a Mr. Jinx (a tuxedo cat) who lives in the basement.  Someone dropped him off in a bag on a below zero morning in January.  I think I finally figured out who would do that, but I’ll save that for another day.  I really don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out because it was so obvious. But like I said, I’ll save that for another day.  

I am here on this blog today, because I want to learn how to blog.  I have a lot of interesting stories and I want to tell them.  This is 2014 and this is what you do.  I want to learn this technology.  My family is a bunch of artist.  I want to share their talent with you.  My Husband is an amazing artist, who knew.  It’s not his day job but it should be.  My 2 sons are professional ballet dancer’s in Richmond and they are amazing to watch.  My daughter is a nurse.  My oldest, well he’s really talented and a genius (scary smart).  That’s another story too.  So I hope you will follow along.  I started following a blog, and it was really good.  It was very inspiring and I learned a lot.  I love to write, it is an outlet for me.  It helps to process so much of my life.  You can’t keep it unless you give it away.  Image

Merry Christmas

So this was Christmas morning in our new home. It is our 1st Christmas here. The gangs all here execpt Matthew. He’s still sleeping. Actually there is no food made yet, otherwise he’d be here. It was a good Christmas, alot of food and surrounded by the people I love. I got some really cool presents. The best present was being told I was an awesome mom. I love my family. Being surrounded by them I feel loved and nothing else really matters. Christmas is hope. I think it’s good to be so close to a “New Year” because a new year is really good too !! That is what I really love. A new year, leave last year behind and move forward. It’s all good