Monthly Archives: April 2012

Date night at the shooting range

Last night my good friend held a fund raiser for her cause, as she is supporting the fight against Lymphoma.  In about a week, she will be running a half marathon in Long Branch, NJ, coinciding with her fund raising efforts.  One of the ways she chose to raise funds was through the range her husband and his partners own.  When my friend chose to have the fund raiser, I thought it might be a good date night for hubby and me while helping my friend along.

is a new, State of the art firearms training facility catering to civilian, law enforcement and military personnel located in Randolph, NJ. It is RTSP’s mission to train people to safely own and enjoy firearms for hunting, sporting and defensive purposes.  Through training and education, firearm skills promotes discipline, responsibility and the ability to defend oneself and family.

I have to admit, at first I was reluctant to try and I let my husband go first.  I felt so awkward putting my hands on the gun and it took a bunch of tries to get comfortable wrapping my hands around it properly.  Putting the bullets in the magazine was a little bit of a struggle, but by the end of the rounds, it came a lot more natural to fill the magazine,load it, pull the slide, wrap my hands around it and be ready to go!

On my 2nd turn of 5 bullets, I took 3 shots, practically in the same spot.  “We have a shooter!!” exclaimed my gun safety officer.  I have to admit, I did feel a sense of pride, being able to shoot the gun with some rookie success.  I definitely want to go again very soon.


Loudly yours,


Adventure of Essex County Kids

I grew up in Essex County, NJ with my Sisters and a whole host of cousins.  Both my parents came from families of 7, my Mom’s side, blended, Dad’s side, not.  My Mom’s immediate family all lived in Ecuador, but she had a first cousin who she lived with when she first came to the US. We spent almost every weekend with her cousin and her family. We all called my Mom’s cousin, “Aunt” since we had no other “Aunt” on my Mom’s side.  Her daughter was like a Sister to me and my Sisters.  My cousin and I spent every other weekend being “best cousins”  since my cousin was very diplomatic and split herself between my younger Sister and me.  (she never missed a week!) We would all play together, but she would just favor me one week and my Sister the next.  It was an understood thing and we just went with it. 🙂

One of the things we used to do as kids was trample around in the woods behind my Cousin’s house, (it was more like a mansion)  It was the house my “Uncle” grew up in, complete with secret back stairs for the days of servants and a servant’s quarters near the kitchen.  It had 2 fireplaces, a library, baby grand piano, a beautiful staircase, gorgeous velvet chairs, a sun room, basement, attic, complete with amazing train sets, 6 bedrooms, claw bathtubs, 5 bathrooms, a porch, 2 car garage, large driveway around the whole house, dog pen, swimming pool, a perfect sledding hill and those woods.  My cousin called it the “Glen” or the “Brook”  When the weather was nice and the water was not up too high, we would venture out for hours.  Sometimes just the cousins, sometimes the neighborhood kids would tag along.  My cousin’s house had back stairs by the old pool that would lead into the “Glen” and that was our entry point.  It was so beautiful and so peaceful. Of course we would be screaming and carrying on, hiking, turning over rocks, daring each other to climb trees that fell across the water, digging for salamanders, hunting for animals, and just having a great adventure.

How I miss those days of reckless abandon.  It was so much fun.  That is probably why, still to this day,  I truly love taking long walks in the woods.  It brings me back to the days I knew well and loved.

Loudly yours.


My only photo of the glen. This was taken with a 110 camera in its original state.

Five Question Friday 4/27/12

1. Do you make your kids finish all the food on their plates?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes not. It all depends on what it is.  I personally am hesitant to make them finish, since I believe that it fostered a need for me to finish everything on my plate when I don’t need to if I am full. 

2. Do you give an allowance?

No.  I want to.  It’s just not something I do just yet. I think I am going to start in the Summer.  I know they should have some money, but I am lost with how much each of them should get, and whether or not it should be work based or not and it hurts my head thinking about it, so I just don’t.

3. Do you actually park your car in the garage?

No, since I do not have one, but I wish I did.

4. What is one food you will NEVER cook?


5. Do you have anything exciting planned for the summer?

Our annual trip to Ortley Beach, some day trips, nothing truly exciting….don’t remind me.

I wish I could tell you that my husband will wisk me away to the Carribean or take me on a Medditeranian Cruise…but alas….it is not so.  Just the Jersey Shore…..blah.

I know there are some people that cannot even afford a vacation and I should be appreciative, but going on vacation with 7 kids….is NOT. A. VACATION. Let’s just get

that clear.  Even when last year, I had hired help to watch the kids, it was still work.  Whatever.  It is not going to last forever, it is giving my kids great memories with

their cousins, it makes for some great stories and great pictures, so it is what it is. BUT…would I love to get away?  Oh yes……far, far away.  Even for a little while….or

maybe a couple of weeks even.  A girl can dream, you know…

Thank you for the questions @fivecrookedhalos!

Loudly yours,


Confirmation Day…

This past Friday was the Confirmation of my 3rd Son, Nathan.  There were almost 100 young teens confirmed at our Church that evening. 

It was a beautiful Mass and a joy to see all the Sponsors and their Candidates come to receive the Holy Spirit in their lives.


We even had a special visitor come and join us all the way from Alabama!  Uncle David O’Brien, Nathan’s God Father was there on his Special day.  We were overjoyed to see him. 

Nathan, Bishop Seratelli, Me and Dan

  Towards the end of the Mass, during the meditation, the Adult Choir and I got to sing Leonard Cohen’s adaptation by Kelly Mooney.  It was beautiful.



Loudly yours,


Opening Day

Last week, my youngest two children and I, attended opening day for the Town Little League.  According to our local online newspaper, Patch, there were over 1,000 kids there!  There was food being sold by a local restaurant, snacks at the snack bar, Sparky, the Little League Mascot and people, everywhere.  I am lucky to live in the same town as my Parents and my Sister, so I had family there, too.

It started with the line up of the players, the presentation of the teams, some formalities, the Star Spangled Banner and the like.  It was a fun time for all!

Loudly yours,



Five Question Friday

1. Groceries are high right now what is easiest way you have found to cut back?

That is a tough question…we usually only spend $300 on a family of 8. It is tough to cut back much more than that.

2. What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list”?

Visit Galapagos, Sing on Broadway, visit Italy and Europe

3. Would you rather give up AC or heat?

A/C. I hate being cold.

4. What’s your favorite cocktail??

Sangria, hands down. Fruity, juicy, yummy! Making some for our party tomorrow to celebrate my 3rd Son’s Confirmation!

5. What was your first job & how old were you?

My first volunteer job was a Candy Striper and I was 15. My first real job was behind the counter at
Meyers Bakery (where I feel in love with the owner’s Son and got fired) He was so cute!!

Questions for Friday, April 13th: (Special thanks to Tyler (@TylerH2102) from Just Another Day in OUR Paradise, Amy (@amy_mcmommy) from Mac or Cheesy, Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Anna (@annacdaisy) from Single Mommy Chronicles, and Erin (@emenchho1) from The Life and Times of E1 for their question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to mycommunity or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)

Our 3rd Trip to Great Wolf Lodge

This is our 3rd year at the Great Wolf Lodge.  We love it there for many reasons.  One is that we feel safe, we mostly all have fun, and it is sand, bug and sunblock free.





My kids LOVE the beach.  Not just a little, but a whole bunch.  They love it so much that they talk about it all year long.  When they are not at the beach, they are usually talking about it. One of my pet peeves of going to the beach is sand sticking to me, the time it takes to put AND keep the sunblock on and all the planning it takes to get to the beach with the kids.  GWL allows me to have the fun without all the fuss.







This past year, they added a mini bowling alley.  It was a lot of fun.  It did carry a $5 fee per bowler, but it was worth the price.  I wish I had taken pictures there, but my phone died.  That will have to wait for next year.  (I also realized that I missed taking pictures of my 5th child, so I will include one from our other Spring Break location, Jockey Hollow….just to be fair.)


Loudly yours,



 ps- Note to self….bring garbage bags to scoop up all the little stuff laying around

AND remember to go at 9 am to get a row of chairs!!!



Primero is the Spanish word for “First”.  Today is the birthday of my Fist-Born Son, Gavin Michael Bozza.  Born in the evening at Morristown Memorial Hospital at 10:52 by my favorite OBGYN, ever. Dr. Judy Banks.

I was so tired of being pregnant, but scared to death of what childbirth was going to be.  I had been in labor for most of the morning after I saw Dr. Banks and she told me to head to the hospital as today was going to be the big day.

So, what did I do? Went home, shaved my legs as best as I could, had my Mom french braid my hair, so it wouldn’t be in the way, and rocked in the rocking chair until Daniel got home.

By the time we got to the hospital, Dr. Judy was perplexed when it took so long for me to show up!  She thought I was going to go straight to the hospital!

I had no intention of going without the Father of the baby!!  Well, after all was resolved, we got ready to have the baby.

About 4 hours, and an hour of pushing, out popped Gavin.  Looked just like his Daddy!  We were so happy he arrived.  We did not know what we were having, but my Mom (who could not wait) found out what he was before he was born…of course my family had a blast teasing me before he came!!

We had a lot of visitors, first of which was my Sister Joanne, who I tried to kick out of the room since I did not know if she was allowed…poor thing.

My parents came and my other Sister, Sallie, whose Birthday it was, too!  For her birthday, I made her the God Mother and gave her her first nephew, ever.  She was in the middle of her 17th birthday party and had to leave it early to come to the hospital.  We were all so excited!

One of the things I missed most was chocolate and I was so glad to have some, since I got nauseous when I ate it.

My good friend, Danielle, made me a whole plate full of brownies, which I devoured (not all of them, of course) and had to pay for it later when poor little Gavin got it all in his breast milk.. Did not sleep a wink that night.  I felt so bad for my roommate, that I dragged the bassinet into the bathroom to try to cover up the noise! Ugh! I was so young back then!  I should have sent him back to the nursery, but I wanted my baby with me so badly, I would not even consider it.  In hindsight, some sleep would have been beneficial.  Ah…20/20 hindsight.

As he grew up, he proved to be quite the intelligent little chap.  He spoke at 10 months old, read at 3, memorized EVERYTHING…especially Disney movies.  We knew he had a special talent and we were right.  My favorite story was the time when he was 3, just a little thing, and we approached the Children’s Librarian and I told her that Gavin could read.  She looked at me with disdain and I said, “Go ahead, pick any book!”  She promptly marched over to the book shelf, picked a book up and handed it to Gavin.  Well, he picked up the book and without hesitation, read the whole thing out loud!  She was so astonished, she took Gavin by the hand and marched him around, showing any co-workers she could find.  That was a proud moment for me as a Mom.  Today, I am a proud Mom of a Missionary, whose Son, uses his talent for the Glory of God, spreading the love of Jesus anywhere they let him.

I can’t believe 21 years has passed so quickly!  Happy Birthday, to my First Born, Gavin Michael Bozza! Love, Mom.

Loudly yours,