Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A B See - X is for...

Xanadu.  You have to admit that X is a really hard letter to come up with photo for, so this is the best I can do.  Xanadu means an idyllic, beautiful place.  My first thought was to find a photo of somewhere idyllic and beautiful and just call it Xanadu...instead I did this.

If you have a better idea for an X photo, then click on the image below and put your own up there :)

Monday, January 30, 2012


We were reintroduced to this game on New Year's Eve.  I say reintroduced because we used to own a set but we couldn't figure out how to play it!  We tried following the directions a couple of times and whatever we were not doing right made the game incredibly boring, so there it sat on the shelf until I finally gave it away.

Well, once we learned how to play it the right way we just had to go out and purchase it again!  This time, however, we got the double set with 288 tiles so that we can all play.

Depending on how many are playing, each player picks a certain number of tiles and then you all set about building your own crossword puzzle. 


 You can move things around whenever you like; you can even destroy your puzzle and start over again!  When you run out of your tiles, you yell "peel" and everyone has to pick one more tile.  This continues until all of the tiles are gone.  The first one to use all of their tiles (and not misspell anything) wins.



It may not sound like much fun but once you begin playing you won't want to stop!  Even the kids who weren't good spellers and didn't like it at first have come around and are enjoying it as much as the rest of us.  We make sure we have a dictionary handy, too.  It helps if you need to find word ideas or to check the spelling of your opponents words!


If you're looking for an educational, fiercely competitive game, I highly recommend Bananagrams!

Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes January 27, 2012

--- 1 ---

 As much as I dislike looking at this red blob of stuff moving around in a clear tube, I found myself mesmerized by it while we were praying our rosary the other night.  It was a great thing to focus on while trying to meditate on the mysteries...and believe me, I need all the help I can get.

--- 2 ---

I can't believe that I am already contemplating things to do during and give up for Lent.  There's that kind of love/hate relationship I have with Lent.  While I can't say I look forward to extra sacrifices, it does give that extra motivation I need to stick with something.  So far we're considering taking on something in the dietary realm which would be quite a challenge for most of us.  It's something called "clean eating".  Even the sound of it makes my skin crawl.

--- 3 ---

On the same note - I also found the thought of fresh strawberry paczki's smothered in whip cream running through my mind the other day.
Only 25 more days until I can get one!

--- 4 ---

In case you didn't get a chance to see the trailer for our upcoming production of "The Seven Last Words of Christ", you can go here to take a look at it.  Even if you don't live in our area, the pictures are mesmerizing, so it is worth six minutes of your day!  We'd love to spread the word, too, so feel free to share it with others who you think would appreciate good, Catholic theater.

--- 5 ---

One of my favorite movies and one of my new favorite songs.  We've been playing this over and over again...it, too, is very captivating!


--- 6 ---

Doesn't this picture remind you of something out of the 40s (or some earlier time era)?  This is a photo from our Father Daughter Ball a few weeks ago.  I'm finally getting all of the pictures processed and this one just keeps jumping out at me.  Ah, the beauty of innocence.

--- 7 ---

I'm contemplating running a series during Lent here on my blog that would be connected with my book "A Plan for Joy in the Home".  I haven't developed it fully yet, but I'd like to take a day a week discussing each of the chapters.  This way, if you have the book, you can work along with me and emerge at Easter time a much more organized person.  Sound good?  I know...that love/hate thing again.  You'd love to be more organized and have a plan for your day, but you hate the thought of working to get that way.  Well, maybe the "pressure" of Lent and some guidance are what you need.  If you'd like to participate, you can go here to get the book in time to begin.  Remember...only 26 more days till Ash Wednesday!

Have a great weekend.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Seven Last Words of Christ - a Trailer...

We just got the finished trailer today and I couldn't wait to show it to y'all.  I know that most of you don't live in the Chicagoland area, but this video is still worth a watch.  The images give you a great sense of the profoundness of this production.

My family is privileged to be a part of this performance.  This year we will have my husband and four of our girls performing and our oldest daughter and oldest son singing in the choir.  It is such an incredible way to meditate on the Passion of Christ that I wish all of you could see it.  For now, however, you'll just have to be content with watching this video:)

If perchance you do live in the area, drop me a comment...I'd be happy to tell you when the three performances will be and get you tickets, too.

If you like what you see and you'd like to help support these performances you can make a donation here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two Powerful Days

I have to say that I rather enjoyed the split between the actual Roe v Wade day on the 22nd and the day that everything took place on the 23rd.  Since Ms 16 yo's birthday is the 22nd, we usually spend our time split between celebrating and praying.  Many times we're having dinner, shoving cake in, ripping through cards and gifts and then running out the door to a prayer service.

This year, however, was so nice and peaceful.  We had the opportunity to focus on her birthday on Sunday and then on Monday were really able to devote time to praying for LIFE.

Two of our daughters were in Washington over the weekend, so we attempted to watch EWTN's coverage of the March on the computer.  Unfortunately the picture quality was poor and our feed was slow.  There would be about 5 seconds of talking for every 10 seconds of silence.  Very frustrating when you are trying to concentrate on all of the great speakers they had.  Needless to say we didn't see anyone...or at least we couldn't determine if the blobs we were looking at were anyone recognizable.

Then on Monday evening we went to our parish for a very beautiful holy hour.  The lights were dimmed, candles and incense were burning, Our Lord was on the altar and we prayed the Evening Prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours.  It was very moving.  After that they showed the film "Blood Money".  I had not seen it before and I must say that it is a very powerful movie.  I am glad that the little kids bailed out early and went to play in the narthex.  While there wasn't anything visually graphic, the discussions were very forthright and incredibly disturbing.  I can't imagine how anyone who would see this movie could still support abortion afterwards.

So now I await the coming home of my pilgrims and I have a feeling that we've all just been reinvigorated in our desire to fight for LIFE!  I pray that the entire country has, too.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pray for the Culture of Life to Prevail

May God have mercy on our country.  As our Pastor warned us during Sunday Mass, God cannot and will not put up with the culture of death that is permeating our country for much longer.  Pray to end abortion and euthanasia, and then find a way to actively fight for this end.


Friday, January 20, 2012

7 Quick Takes January 20, 2012

--- 1 ---

Do your children love these little cuties as much as mine do?  I seriously cannot keep enough of them in the house.  Well, at least they are devouring something healthy! (Keep reading, I promise it gets meatier :)

--- 2 ---

This past weekend we went to the annual Mass for Life that our diocese holds.  As an added bonus, we got to meet our new Bishop.  There is a procession at the beginning of Mass with candles from each of the years since Roe v Wade became law.  The littler kids get to carry in roses instead of lit candles!  At the end of Mass there is a blessing of all the people going to the March.  Afterwards you can go and get a candle (or four :) and a rose. 

--- 3 ---

This year two of our girls are going to the March with two different groups.  It is the first time for Ms 17 yo and the second time for Ms 19 yo.  Sadly, this is something we have always wanted to do but have never done as a family.  Some day...

--- 4 ---

It is also a bittersweet moment because, while we are happy to send our girls off to take part in such an important event, we are sad to see them go because Ms 15 yo turns into Ms 16 yo this weekend, and thus they will not be here to help us celebrate.  Ms 15 yo was my sign that the pro-life movement was something we were going to be involved with for the rest of our lives.  She was born on the 22nd and was my first baby after my "reversion" back to the faith.  I was searching for direction in my new-found faith and her choice of a birth day gave me what I was looking for! 

--- 5 ---

I am so excited to have found a new facebook group called "The Catholic Bloggers Network".  It is a closed group, so you can search it out and ask to join if you're interested.  There are a lot of cool things going on over there.  I am looking forward to diving in and getting involved.

--- 6 ---

Catholic Bloggers Network

I'm very excited about this!  I was able to link up my "A Plan for Joy in the Home" website to this online Shoppe to spread the word about my workbook!  There are other great Catholic shops listed, too, so make sure you check it out.

--- 7 ---

I pray for the safety for all of those marching in the March for Life on Monday.  Wouldn't it be nice, too, if the media recognized "all" of them this year, and not just the couple hundred who usually show up?  Have a blessed weekend.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A B See - W is for...

weights.  Something I've been getting reacquainted with (of course, not quite this heavy yet) as I plow my way through a Supreme 90 Day workout.  I do believe it will take me multiple 90 day sessions to get this ole body into the kind of shape it should be in.

Join in the photo meme fun by clicking on the image below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Strike Against SOPA & PIPA

Just wanted you to know that today will be the largest internet protest in history. Thousands of sites across the internet, including some of the biggest in the world, will be blacking out and directing people to contact Congress to kill the web censorship bill, SOPA and PIPA.  According to Fight for the Future:

"In just 7 days, the Senate will vote on forever altering the free and open internet by instituting a new regime of extra-judicial, corporate-led website takedowns. This is a fundamental fight about who has power in society -- the people with the means to communicate freely or the governments and corporations that feel threatened."
For more info you can go here and here.  Contact your Senator today to put an end to this bill.  If it passes, the internet will never be the same.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mexican Cultural Day

A good friend of mine started a club about 10 years ago, called the St. Faustina Club, for girls ages 10 thru high school.  Each year she picks a different country and the girls learn about the history, culture, food, music and any saints from that country.  Sometime during the year, all the families involved gather to have a cultural day, complete with skits, activities and lots of good food.

This year the country the girls are studying is Mexico.  We gathered a few weekends ago for our cultural day and were treated to some great activities and performances.

The day began with a Mexican dance done by the girls in the club who have a Mexican heritage.  The costumes were beautiful and their dancing was pretty good, too.



Next the girls all did the Mexican Hat Dance.  They then brought a bunch of these little hats out onto the gym floor and invited us all to participate.

The Mexican Hat Dance is very good exercise, as the song goes on for ever!
We then participated in Las Posadas - the story of how Joseph and Mary went from inn to inn looking for a place to stay.  


They were turned down at three houses (one of which is pictured here)

And are finally given a place to stay!

And what Mexican Fiesta doesn't have a pinata?  We were convinced that this particular one was made of concrete.  One of the boys finally beat it enough to break the string, but a dad still had to tear it open!

This is such a great club.  The girls learn so much and my friend who leads it does a wonderful job every year.  She keeps going with it, even though her own daughters are in college, and we are grateful that she does!

Friday, January 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes January 13, 2012

--- 1 ---

Well it finally snowed here today.  The kids' prayers have been answered.

Quite a dramatic difference from yesterday, isn't it?
--- 2 ---

While all the kids prayed for snow, only some of them got to enjoy it today.


Some of them were not feeling well and ended up having to endure the torment of their brother and sister throwing snowballs at the window while trying to get some rest.  At other times they just looked on mournfully...


--- 3 ---

I guess the good news in all of this is that it is going to stay cold for a few days so the snow is in no imminent danger of melting away, which will hopefully allow those who are still coughing a chance to get out and play in it.  I'm convinced that there is no such thing anymore as "normal" weather for an area.  53 and sunny yesterday, 20 and snowy today.  Tomorrow is predicted to be -10 wind chills.  I guess winter had to arrive sooner or later.

--- 4 ---

As much as it feels like an anvil hanging over me all year long, we are again doing our "Dessert of the Month" for the grandparents again.  This time, though, I'm trying something different.  Each child got assigned two months of the year.  I wrote their name on the calendar and it is then their responsibility to pick out and make (with help, if necessary) the dessert for that month.  Here is our first one:

It looks delicious, doesn't it?  We usually split the dessert with the four of them; they each get a quarter and we get the other half.  Can't wait to sink my teeth into it!

--- 5 ---

So now that school is underway again for everyone, how is your day going?  Are you feeling stressed already or do you feel like you have a good handle on your day?  If you're feeling stressed, I recommend you hop on over to "A Plan for Joy in the Home" and get some help :)

--- 6 ---

This weekend is our annual Daddy/Daughter Ball.  The girls are all very excited and have been working this week on getting their dresses in order.  This is such a fun evening for the girls and their dad.  I get the privilege of seeing it all because I get to take the pictures.  It really is such a beautiful event.

--- 7 ---

You may remember that last week I had a free giveaway.  I got the stats back earlier this week and over 60 people visited my page on one day to check it out, however only 4 people entered.  As I see it, either something is wrong with the comment function on my blog or people aren't interested in unit studies.  If you'd care to leave a comment to help me figure out which it is, that would be great...although if it is a comment function problem, then I guess you wouldn't be able to leave one, would you?  In which case, how would I discern whether or not people really wanted to help me but just couldn't or no one really cares??  Oh the things that clutter my mind....

Have a great weekend!  


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mr 6 Year Old - The Painter

I believe it began over the weekend when we watched "Ms. Potter", a wonderful movie about Beatrix Potter.  The movie showed a lot about her drawing and painting, so it was after that that we noticed the two youngest pulling out the paper and paints.

Tuesday night I was having some ladies over when Mr 6 yo came up with a small easel we have and put his painting on it.  On the easel was a small piece of paper with a "10" on it.  "What's this?" I asked.  He told me he was putting his painting up for sale for $.10 in case one of the ladies wanted to buy it.

Well, seeing as how his grandmother was one of the ladies, she, as any grandmother would do,  bought his painting...and gave him a $.05 tip!  Ah, what a little bit of "incentive" will do for someone.

After school work was done today he got out his painting supplies and set himself up outside.  


We were a bit curious why he was outside (beside the fact that it was January 11th and 50 degrees) but the best we can figure was that he was going back to the movie that showed Ms. Potter drawing by the lakeside.  It was so cute to watch him out there going to town on his painting.  His lips were moving, but the door was shut so we don't know if he was singing or just talking to himself.  Either way he finished up and came in with a painting of a barn. 

We were supposed to have more people over tonight so he wanted to be ready for another possible sale.  

Unfortunately, our weekly formation group got cancelled for tonight, so he'll have to wait until next week.  If you're interested in purchasing his artwork, just drop me a comment, I'm sure he'd be thrilled (and encouraged :)!

Who knows, with a bit of persistence, he might just be another Beatrix Potter.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A B See - V is for ...

Violin!  I'm almost to the end of the alphabet. Yippee!! If you'd like to join the meme, click on the image below.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thanks for the Award!

I'd like to thank Theresa over at Carmelitemom for passing this award on to me. A Liebster Award is an award specifically dedicated to bring notice to up and coming bloggers. Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, beloved or favorite.

I definitely have to say that I love to read Theresa's blog as she is very spiritual and often speaks to my heart through her thoughtful posts.  Thank you so much, Theresa!

I really don't read that many blogs, but the few I do read I read for a reason...because I can connect with the people who write them. These I would also consider "Liebster" worthy:

Minnesota Mom...I love Margaret's sense of humor and her honesty.  I look forward to all her new posts.

Totus Tuus Family...Allison does an incredible job posting all kinds of great things about homeschooling and Catholicism.  I know she's already up and coming as she participated in a Vatican Catholic bloggers meeting.

Lord Make Me a Saint...Jamie is a very down-to-earth, say-it-like-it-is blogger.  I love reading about her family.

Check out these great blogs and, thanks again, Theresa!