Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Days Like Today...

make me long for summer.  Our weather has gone from mid 50s and cloudy/rainy to 85 degrees today with ample sunshine and a nice breeze.  You can tell we've been cooped up too long without nice weather because we all were fighting over who would cut the grass first today.  We live on five acres and cut about three of it, so there is definitely enough to go around.

I admit, I LOVE cutting the grass.  Of course we have a riding lawnmower so that does make a huge difference.  I get my ipod out (which hasn't seen the light of day since last summer, sad to say), crank up the tunes, roll up my sleeves and put on my capris so as to get the best sun exposure possible, and let it rip.  Doesn't get much better than that.

The kids burst forth from the house in eager anticipation of summer, too.  Bathing suits on, garden hose in hand, they ran around squirting each other while enjoying the sun and warm weather.  

I know we'll settle down soon, especially since the rest of the week from Thursday on is supposed to be back in the low 60s and rainy, but it sure was nice to have this wonderful weather today.  

Tomorrow its down into the cold, dark basement to purge it of its wintery mess for our weekend event; just in case the weather doesn't cooperate and we need a place to stash people!  Tomorrow is also the drop-off day for my friend's semi-annual Free 4 All event.  I plan on sending a lot of those lonely toys that have been hiding out in the basement over there so they can find a new home where someone will love them. 

Besides, we have a new "toy" to play with - a pet turtle Mr 12 yo found yesterday.  Hey, did I mention that this Thursday's theme is going to be "play"?  While I'm disappointed it isn't "clean shoe closets", I think I'll be able to utilize this new turtle in a "play" picture somehow.  Thankfully, I always have a backup plan!

God Bless!

Monday, April 29, 2013

On Preparing for a Party

How do you prepare to host a big party?  I begin by making lists - and lists for my lists now that I have Evernote!  After making my "To Do" list for the week, I break down the things that need to be done by the days in which I have left to do them.  If I'm still a week out, I put the least important things first.

For example, this past weekend we did some pretty important things like clean winter out of our garage.  Gone are the dead leaves and snow sleds. The floor is swept clean and things are put back where they belong because the garage is going to be an important space for our event.

I also deemed it necessary to have the inside of the car cleaned.  Not because we will be using it for seating during dinner, but because I thought it might be nice to drive to my son's First Holy Communion in a clean and pleasant smelling car - not one that smells of a winter's worth of crumbs.

After we finished outside, my next important task was to clean out the hall closet that holds all of our shoes and coats; because really, who doesn't do that before they have people over?  It makes sense, doesn't it?  In order to clean up the shoe/coat area in the mud room, I had to have room in the closet to put it all in, thus the reason for that important task.  

Next it was time to attack the dust behind the washer and dryer.  No, really, this was an important task because I had the vacuum cleaner out and the hose attachment on it and it was in the back hall area where the washer and dryer are and, since all of these things rarely align, I determined that it was meant to happen.  So now, if a guest accidentally drops something behind my washer or dryer, I won't be embarrassed and they will be amazed at my incredible housekeeping abilities.

As we get closer to our big event, the tasks will be a bit more relevant and stressful.  Things like finding the right clothing to wear, making that run to Sam's club to get those big boxes of plastic silverware (you know the ones where you run out of forks WAY before you run out of knives and spoons) and then the BIG clean of the rest of the house and food preparation will happen.

Through it all I will continue to add to and subtract from my oh-so-important lists.  I really couldn't do something like this without them.  They keep me  focused and allow me to think about other things - like wondering what this week's Theme Thursday theme will be.  Maybe, if I'm lucky, it will have something to do with a clean shoe closet!

God Bless!

Friday, April 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes April 26 2013

--- 1 ---

Shameless self promotion QT #1:  I finally updated the homeschooling conference list on my website, so if you are looking for a conference in your area, be sure to check it out here.  Also, be sure to check out the helpful ideas on how to make your conference trip a success.  You can check that page out here.
--- 2 ---

Shameless self promotion QT #2:  Did you know that Mother's Day is right around the corner?  I know in certain parts of the country it just doesn't feel like it because the temperature is telling you it should be Christmas, but it really is only a few weeks away.  And what, pray tell, are you getting that special mom in your life?  No ideas?  How 'bout some great smelling, wonderful for your skin, all natural soap?  Sounds good, doesn't it?  You can check it out here!

--- 3 ---

Now that we have that out of the way, we can move on to other things.  Like cooking and baking with boys.  Well, maybe not all boys, but my boy - Mr 12 yo - Mr Meticulous - Mr It Must Be Perfect.  We spent Thursday afternoon in the kitchen doing some baking for the grandparents and he picked a pineapple upside down cake.  Turned out excellent, but it took FOREVER to make.  After the first one, even he must have realized how long it took because he looked at me and said, "We have to do this again???"  Needles to say, I took over the next one.

--- 4 ---

See, this is what I mean by meticulous.  Doesn't he look intense?  It's because he was making sure that every speck of batter was off of the beater and in the pan.  

Or maybe not quite every speck, because I do believe a bit of it made it into his mouth.

It was at this point that he asked me why I was taking pictures of him.  Good thing he doesn't read my blog :)
--- 5 ---

I've mentioned before about our crazy driving schedule.  Here's an example from Thursday:

Daughter 1 takes van to work and back
Mom takes small car to Mass and back
Mom takes small car with daughter 3 to dance/theater classes and comes home
Mom picks up daughter 2 and takes her to work and comes home
Daughter 1 takes small car to big city (not THE big city, but another one closer to us) to drop something off and comes home.
Daughter 1 takes small car again to big city for the evening
Mom takes van to pick up daughter 2 from work and comes home
Daughter 1 gets daughter 3 from her ride to the big city and they both come home.

No wonder I'm losing my mind.  I'm confused just typing that up.  Every morning I stare at my calendar and run through the scenario just to make sure I have all my bases covered and no one gets left behind somewhere!  And then, the icing on this cake is that gas prices are currently at $4.15 in our area!!!

--- 6 ---

This weekend our church is having a ground blessing ceremony for the pro-life shrine they are going to build in honor of St. Gianna Molla.  Very exciting indeed!  We'll have the blessing, a luncheon (of course!) and a short film on St. Gianna's life.  And to top it off...it might even be warm out !!!!!!

--- 7 ---

I'm so glad that Jen is hosting again and that her baby and her family are finally all together.  Praise God!  Have a great weekend and go on over to check out more Quick Takes.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

God Bless!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Theme Thursday - Sky

A nice sky picture can be pretty hard to come by.  Just the other day I was out practicing my shooting in manual mode and was taking pictures of the newly forming tree buds, not just for shooting practice, but to help me remember that spring really is coming.  I was pleased at how nicely the blue color showed up in my pictures.  (Can I just say that I'm loving manual mode now that I understand it!!  This picture had very little editing.)

Then I remembered back to last year when the sky was exhibiting some pretty cool colors around sunset.  I don't think this was manual mode, but the colors were so pretty by themselves that it really didn't take much work on my part.

Astute and long-time readers of this blog will remember that I had this as my header picture for quite some time because that was back when Blogger went all weird on me and I couldn't change the picture.  Well, at least it was pleasant to look at :)

And finally I decided to put up one of my few nighttime attempts at a sky picture.  The moon was so bright and there was that cool halo effect around it.  Not the clearest picture, but it'll do.

To see more great sky pictures, hop on over to Cari at Clan Donaldson!

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Virtue of Eutrapelia

As I mentioned the other day, we heard a wonderful talk about the virtue of eutrapelia, which refers to "pleasantness in conversation" and was considered a virtue by Aristotle.  It governs our moments of leisure and falls in between "buffoonery" on one extreme and bitterness and harshness on the other extreme.  

Essentially, someone who exemplifies this virtue knows precisely how to act in every situation.  In other words, the person knows when to be serious and when to be lighthearted.  He also knows that leisure time is important and knows how to enjoy himself appropriately.

There is a story about St. John the Evangelist told by St. Thomas Aquinas.  Apparently a serious minded Christian was scandalized because he saw St. John playing a game with his disciples.  "The saint was roundly rebuked for activities so unworthy of an apostle. Instead of arguing the point (people as serious as this will argue forever), St. John picked up a bow, handed it to his reformer and asked him to shoot an arrow at a target. The man did. St. John asked him to shoot again and again. Finally he asked what would happen if arrows were shot indefinitely from that bow. His critic, in some irritation at so obvious a question, answered that of course it would break. St. John said that exactly the same thing would happen to a man; unless he gives his soul a rest, he too will break."

Having a good time is so necessary to our well-being.  As Father said, "Having a sense of humor is a sign of good mental health".  Let's face it, there is so much out there that falls into the "serious and overwhelming" category that we all need a break.  In order to carry on as Christians we need to exude joy and fight the fight with happiness.  If we never enjoy ourselves, it will be impossible for us to have that joy and happiness to give to others.  Father also said, "A soul can only remain in a tense state for so long."  Boy did that resonate with me!  I can just feel when my "soul" is about ready to snap from tension and stress.  At that time, a bit of good, clean fun is in order; something to refresh the soul, but not be hurtful, spiteful, crude or boorish.

Father tied in the restful Sunday to all of this, too, which was a good reminder.  Give time to the Lord, he told us, but then spend the day with family doing things that you don't do the rest of the week.  In his opinion, Sunday is not a day to sit on the couch watching TV because you think you can't do anything else.  Get out and enjoy your family, friends, neighbors, the fresh air.  Hike, bike, garden, soak up the sun, watch it rain from your garage (who else had a grandpa who used to do that??).  Garden, organize your closet, do things around your house that you would find relaxing and not consider drudgery.  That's what it means to take advantage of the leisure that the Lord is calling us to when He gave us this wonderful day of rest.

If you feel your soul about to burst from the stress of life, take some time to have fun.  Have fun with others, or do something fun yourself.  Laughing is good - make sure you do a lot of it!  Now go out and find that eutrapelia!

God Bless!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Moments of Gratitude:

* A sunny day...finally
* Very little water in our basement this past week
* A good job for Ms 19 yo
* Time to chat with friends
* A great talk at our monthly night of recollection on the virtue of "eutrapelia" (sounds like a future blog post, doesn't it??)
* Some good desserts this past week 
* Playing basketball with Mr 12 yo

In the Kitchen:

This week we have on deck American Spaghetti (which is something my great grandmother used to make during the depression.  Basically it is pasta, diced tomatoes, bacon and onions with pepper and sugar to taste.  We like to sprinkle Parmesan cheese on it, too), chili, turkey soup and this wonderful chicken/wild rice/lots of good vegies and Feta cheese dish that we make. 

The Week Ahead:

Remember that tea room I was going to go to last week?  Well, we didn't get to go because that was the day the heavens opened and now the tea room is quite possibly still under water because the town it is in is underwater.  We'll see what happens.  Also in this week's lineup is a lot of driving, packing up our soap order for the latest fundraiser, getting shoes for Mr 8 yo for his Communion, finalizing (hopefully) the plans on where our big party is going to be and many other miscellaneous items that need to get done!


For those in Boston, Texas and now those in China who died or were injured in an earthquake.  For many other people who are experiencing extreme difficulties in their lives.  Really, all this heavy stuff makes praying for good weather for our party seem so petty, but yeah, I'm praying for that too.


Fr. John's talk on "eutrapelia" (how's that for a teaser!)


Proof that Spring will come, irregardless of the crazy temperatures.  God is good!

God Bless!

Friday, April 19, 2013

7 Quick Takes April 19 2013

--- 1 ---
The weather around the country has been quite interesting lately.  While parts of it have been getting hit by major snow storms, we just had a Noah type experience.  A lot of rain has come down in a vast area in a short amount of time.  Crazy!!  The creek down the road from us overflowed its banks and destroyed a few houses that were in its path.  It is amazing the power that water can wield.
--- 2 ---

For all you visual people out there, here is the visual QT to go with the #1 written QT.

--- 3 ---
Continuing on with today's QT theme, when you see a sign blocking a major road that says "Road Closed Ahead" and another next to it that says "Water on Pavement", what do you do?  Most people, it seems, just don't believe that it is true, because all day long they've been driving down the road and up to the point where the water is at and then just sitting there staring at it.  They then have a choice: to turn around or drive through.  There have been people who have chosen to try driving through.  There's even a car buried in the ditch to prove it.  Come on people, what do you think the sign is for????

--- 4 ---

Anyhow.  With the weather being so goofy lately, and the fact that it is mid-April and there are no leaves on the trees yet and the temperatures have been quite frigid, I'm panicking about our large party that we will be having in a few weeks.  It's the beginning of May, I thought.  We can have it outside, I thought.  Guess what?  I'm thinking differently now, which means we're in a panic about where to have a large party on short notice without paying a ton of money.  Prayers appreciated :)
--- 5 ---

--- 6 ---

We've hit that stage in our lives where we have more drivers than cars and more people that need to be somewhere than cars to get them there.  Keeping track of it all is requiring its own calendar!  Someone in this house has to buy another car, and soon!

--- 7 ---

 Some of us have a busy weekend, some of us have a quiet weekend.  Mr 8 yo has his First Communion retreat and the girls will be helping to teach them songs to sing.  Not fluffy ones like in the past, but meaty ones like "O Sacrament Most Holy" and another one that I can't remember right now.  I'm so excited about that!! Hope you have a great weekend.

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Camp Patton this week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Theme Thursday - Boys

I'm joining up with Cari over at Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday.  This week's theme is boys.  Cari had made the suggestion of taking older photos and giving them a new edit.  Sounds fun to me so here goes:

Here is the SOOC shot of my two boys almost exactly a year ago.  They were wrestling and here were posing as, well, I don't know...mean looking wrestling dudes I guess.

My original edit was this. 

I can't remember what I used it for, but it gave them a meaner, more menacing look, so I liked it.

This time I decided to go black and white and see what it did for them.

I don't know.  I think I might still like the original edit better.  I like the tighter crop of this one, though.  What do you think?

Check out the other entries over at Clan Donaldson!

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Ways of the Lord are Awesome...

even when it involves a dead deer in your yard.

About a week ago we noticed a deer that had gotten hit by a car in our neighbor's ditch.  Nothing new...we had one in our ditch a few weeks before that, which provided a unique learning experience because when the deer got hit, somehow the innards landed apart from the body and were laying in our ditch under some water for quite some time.  I tried to get the kids to take them out and lay out the intestines to see how long they were but no one was game.  

Anyhow, I digress.  Last Saturday we noticed this in our backyard:

This is a quite a ways away from where we originally saw the dead deer, so we assumed that coyotes had dragged it up into our yard to have their feast.  They did a pretty good job of cleaning it up because this is what we found in the morning.  By then the turkey vultures had taken over and were doing the final cleaning.

By Monday the only thing left was this:

which my son promptly brought up to the house to study.

When you think about it, God is so awesome in the way He designed creation to deal with things that die.  This was a full sized deer, reduced down to nothing but the spinal column in a few short days.  Can you imagine the "litter" we would have if God had not created a system to deal with wild animals when they die?  It really is amazing, isn't it? 

I love the learning experiences that creation affords us.  I love children who are intrigued enough to learn from them.  I love a God who is so awesome as to create such a unique system.  Don't you?

God Bless!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

O Jesus We Adore Thee...

In light of the events in Boston yesterday, and in continuation with my posts on prayer, I thought a post about Adoration might be in order.

Isn't this a beautiful picture?  Right now it is the current image on my desktop and if you like it, you can download it here.  Anyhow, my family and I have been participating in weekly Adoration for about 12 years now.  At first, when the kids were all little, my husband and I would switch off every week.  Now that the kids are old enough, we pack up the van every Monday night and head off to our local Poor Clare Monastery to spend an hour with Our Lord.

Adoration, in case this is new to you as it was to me at one time, is the adoring of Our Lord in the Eucharist, Who is encased in a monstrance on the altar.  The proper form for entering into a chapel where Adoration is taking place is, first and foremost, silence, and then genuflecting with both knees on the ground while making the sign of the cross.  Many people, while entering and exiting the chapel, prefer not to turn their back on Jesus while He is exposed in the monstrance.

On a spiritual level, Adoration is like a drug.  What I mean is, once you get used to going, you find that you need to KEEP going.  The Lord draws you in and captures your heart and you want to and need to keep returning to Him.  It is a wonderful, peaceful way to pour out your cares, concerns and thanksgivings to the Lord.

Over the years people have told me that they are afraid to go because they don't know what to do once they get there.  Other than the silence and genuflecting that I described above, there is not set "formula" for spending an hour, or even a few minutes, with the Lord.  You can pray on your knees, lay prostrate, sit or stand.  The only stipulation would be that you not interfere with others that may be there with you.  You can read a book, read the Bible, write, pray the rosary or chaplet or any other prayers you like to pray.  You can just sit quietly and let the Lord speak to your heart.  I've also been told that some people "rest quietly in the Lord" while dozing in His presence (just try not to snore, or drop you book loudly on the floor!).

If you don't have a church or chapel near you that offers Adoration on a regular basis, hopefully you're close to a church that offers it once in awhile.  If you don't even have that, then just pop into a church for a visit with Jesus in the tabernacle.  Even a few minutes every week will bring graces into your soul.

The world is so troubling and the stress in our lives seems to be increasing at a rapid pace.  Adoration is just what you need to soothe your soul and calm your nerves.  Many weeks I just don't want to drag myself out, especially when it is cold or raining, but I always feel better when I get back home.  If you haven't already, I hope you will make weekly Adoration a part of your schedule.  God cannot be outdone in generosity, so what you receive back from that time will be immense.

God Bless!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Joining in with the women over at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* Sunshine and rain - a good mix of weather.
* The new Performing Arts Center we've joined - four of the kids are involved and they had a great time with their theater and dance classes.  It's good to see them so excited about it.
* A potential new job for Ms 19 yo. 
* Carpooling
* A fun Dove chocolate party that we had here.  Good food and good friends.
* Lower gas prices :)

In the Kitchen:

This week we have chicken tacos, bean quesadillas on Friday (they're meatless, they're quick and taste good and you can eat them in the car, which is where we'll be eating dinner this coming Friday), turkey acapulco (not a favorite, but it's quick and easy and very healthy), ham casserole (gotta use up that leftover Easter ham that we froze!) and chili spaghetti (which is really good and something we haven't had in awhile).

The Week Ahead:

Ms 17 yo and I go in for eye checkups this week.  I  know I need new glasses, so we'll see how much that will cost.  More theater and dancing and the last week for me of P90X.  Yippee!!!  To celebrate, I might get to go to this cute little tea room my girls have been to and have a yummy lunch with a friend, because everyone should celebrate the end of a 12 week intense fitness program with food!!


For clarity in thinking.  My brain has been so foggy and hard to work with lately and I really need it to be done with that.  We're also starting early to pray for good weather for our big party in May.  If the weather isn't good, I'm not quite sure what we are going to do.  My nervousness about this comes from the fact that our weather has been so wacked out lately that in the span of one week we can have highs in the 70s and snow flurries a few days later.  I'm also praying for the many things that have been making my heart so heavy lately.


Still pondering school for next year.  I haven't made much headway with this because of my foggy brain and heavy heart (see above).


Nothing.  See above.


Ms 9 yo was so proud to have her cousin and BFF as her first piano student :)

God Bless!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Theme Thursday - Grow

Grow.  This one threw me for a loop at first because it hasn't been warm enough around here for much to grow lately.  I had to step out of my box and think of what else might fit the bill.  Well, my bank account certainly hasn't grown lately.  My hair has, but really, who wants to see a picture of that?  Fingernails?  No.  My to-do list?  No.  

Then it dawned on me.  My son; my youngest son; my baby.  He has grown in many ways recently.  Here are a few shots to prove it.

He recently had a birthday, so he's grown in height, in age and hopefully in wisdom :)


 Along with his age and height, his appetite has grown.

And, while not directly part of him, as of this past birthday, his LEGO collection has grown, which means, of course, that the likely hood of stepping on a Lego in our house has now grown, too.

For more "Grow" pictures, check out Clan Donaldson!

God Bless!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

List Maker, List Maker, Make me a PRETTY List!

So yesterday I talked about lists and how they are so very helpful to me; how they free up my brain for more important thoughts; how they make life so much easier; how they are so much more fun if they LOOK pretty.

Okay, so I know that a pretty list doesn't get things done any faster than a plain, old, boring list written on the back of an old envelope.  However, I sometimes get caught up on having a list that looks ascetically pleasing to me in order for it to be functional.

I've tried printing out my lists on pretty stationary (really a waste of that stationary, let me tell you), making fun templates on my computer and filling them in that way, making neat and utilitarian lists and putting them on a brightly colored clip board to brighten up the room.  I know, I'm pathetic.  It is very difficult for me to take that old envelop and jot stuff down and use it as my working document.

Recently, a very non-technical friend of mine got herself an ipad.  I've really had no interest in getting one until she showed me her little app that looks like a yellow legal pad.  She showed me how she can make list after list and they don't get lost, and they don't get coffee spilled on them, and they don't clutter up her desk, and they don't stack up on her screen like those sticky notes do.  Suddenly, I needed an ipad.  I mean, I was willing to go out and spend money that I didn't have on one just so I could have a yellow legal pad on a screen.

"Calm down," I told myself.  "Don't act rashly."  I took a few deep breaths and after a few days regained my composure.  "Surely," I thought, there must be something I can find to use on my new laptop.  I did some searching and came up with Evernote.  It isn't pretty like my friend's ipad app, but hey, it's free and I didn't have to buy an expensive device to use it.  I do like that I can make up a whole bunch of lists and they all stay neat and tidy, so to that end it has been beneficial.  If you know of a program that can make pretty lists on my laptop, I'd be very interested in hearing about that!

Until then, I'll just go about my business using Evernote and printing them out when necessary.  If you're not already, I hope you become a list maker, too, and if you have a nice looking template that you think I might like, don't hesitate to feed my addiction and send over a link!

God Bless!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

List Maker, List Maker, Make me a List!

I love lists.  Way back when I was a wee lass in college and I used to freak out at all the things I had to do, I'd call my mom, rant and rave about how chaotic my life was and she would always say the same thing, "Have you written everything down that you have to do?"  My response was always the same, too, "No, but that's a good idea.  I think I'll go do that now."  And it worked.  Every.time.

Fortunately I've learned to do that on my own now when life gets overwhelming.  I still call my mom, however, to rant and rave; just for old times sake.  

Here's how it usually plays out.  This past weekend I could feel the tension in my brain mounting as I was frantically making a mental list and trying to keep track of all of the things that needed to get done on Saturday in time for a party we were having.

The list in my head seemed insurmountable to the point that when one of the kids would ask me if they could do something, like play Wii or read a book, I promptly told them that there is no way that there would be any time for that kind of stuff because we had WAY TOO MUCH TO DO!  They'd be lucky if they had time to breathe.

Then I decided to sit down and put it all into a list so that no one forgot anything and everything got taken care of.  With the help of some of the kids, we got all the chores down for everyone, I printed the list out and I'm not kidding you...we were all done by noon.  It never ceases to amaze me how fast things get done when you have a written (or typed) list in front of you and you can cross things off as you get them done.  In my mind, the tasks were never ending.  On paper, they took a mere three hours.  

So, do you make lists?  Do you NEED to make lists, but don't?  Have you found that they help you the way I've seen them help me?  I hope so.  If you haven't done it in awhile, dump the contents of your brain onto a piece of paper and get on to thinking about something else!  It is a very freeing experience.  Unless you're like me, however, and you get hung up on what your list looks like.  More on that tomorrow.

God Bless!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Linking up with the women at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* Divine Mercy (does anything else really need to be said??)
* Family and birthdays and laughing till tears roll.
* An excellent homily this Sunday
* Sunshine and warmer weather
* Beating my son at "P-I-G"

In the Kitchen:

Okay, I am officially tired (for the time being, mind you) of eating treats.  We've had more cake and candy and pop this past week with all of our entertaining and celebrating that I'm full.  I am looking forward to some clean eating and hopefully losing these couple of pounds I gained during our Easter Octave time.  This week in the kitchen will hopefully see some better eating on my part.  Except that I just remembered what the kids picked to cook for dinner this week and now I'm not so sure.  Hmmm.  We have hot sandwiches, beer braised beef, breaded pork chops and turkey tetrazzini.  I guess I'll just have to do a good job at the rest of the meals.

The Week Ahead:

Oh, and I forgot about the Dove chocolate party I'm supposed to be having this week.  Ugh.  So much for that clean eating.  

This week we also start a new round of activities with the kids joining in on the new "Little Flowers Performing Arts Center".  They'll be taking dance, theatre and music.  Should be a great experience for them and we're carpooling so it will be a great experience for me too because I won't have to make all 12 - 35 minute trips myself :)


For our crazy world and for the wisdom to discern God's will and the grace to do it at all times.   Praying especially for the Syrian family with the daughter who has cancer.  They were able to get the necessary testing done in Lebanon (Praise God!!) and now they need to start treatment but they need all the money up front.  Please pray that they either get the money or that someone can hook them up with an organization that will help them out.


How to make it through the next two months of schooling until we are finished.  Now is the time when I should plan lots of fun learning and field trips.  One year I will do it right. Maybe.


Nothing.  I've been too busy this week during our time off to read!


A tale of two desserts.  The first is my daughter's rendition of Bilbo's house, complete with the necessary Lego characters.

The second is an example of my creative abilities in full swing :) We had made this recipe before, which tastes good, but I had forgotten how much the glaze resembles snot until I made it again.  Besides that, and the fact that it stuck to the pan, it really did taste good.

God Bless!

Friday, April 5, 2013

7 Quick Takes April 5 2013

--- 1 ---

I can't believe that our spring break is already over.  The week went by so fast that my head is still spinning.  I feel like all I did was "do the necessary" and never got to the "let's have some fun" stage. Of course, most of us have had this pesky head cold all week, so that took some of the spunk out of all of us.  Oh well, summer break is almost here :)
--- 2 ---

For whatever reason we seem to have had a lull in the hospitality department around here but we've broken through that in the past few weeks.  We had a lovely surprise visit from a friend from Minnesota and her new boyfriend, we hosted a birthday party as well as Easter dinner at our house, had our friends from St. Louis for the day and had our choir director over for dinner in exchange for some piano repairs.  This weekend boasts one more birthday party and a friend from Michigan and then I think we're done for about a month.  Entertaining leaves the extrovert in me feeling satisfied...exhausted but satisfied.  
--- 3 ---
Speaking of our friends from St. Louis, isn't this the cutest little face you've ever seen.  

I love when babies smile in their sleep.  He's also at the beginning of that cooing stage where they work so hard and get out the tiniest little coo.  LOVE that stage.
--- 4 ---

Some of the girls in our house have been praying this prayer to St. Cajetan, the patron saint of the unemployed and job-seekers.  Seems that people have amazing success through the intercession of St. Cajetan.  Here is the prayer they've been praying, and it seems to be working so far, at least for one of them.  The others are persevering (although, in reality, it's only been just short of a week that they've all been praying :)  Just wanted to pass this along in case others are in need of an intercessor in this area (in addition to St. Joseph, of course).
--- 5 ---

We had our monthly hour outside of Planned Parenthood this week and I have to say it was quite exciting to be greeted by this scene as we walked up:  A car was driving out of the parking lot with a young couple in it.  The woman had her window open and was pumping her fist and yelling excitedly, "I didn't do it, I didn't do it!" out the window.  Come to find out that just an hour earlier the lovely lady who organizes our day at PP had had a chance to sidewalk counsel this lady but then had to leave so she said she had been praying that the woman would change her mind.  Praise God she did!  What a blessing to witness that.
--- 6 ---
The girls have this write-on board in their room and a few weeks ago we found this on it:

It seems that Mr 7 yo was trying to convey to them that when they yell at him it makes him cry and he wants them to stop.  LOVE this beyond words.


--- 7 ---

I can't believe that Mr 7 yo is turning 8 this weekend.  My baby is growing up.  In fact, he's particularly excited for his birthday this year because he can legally get rid of his booster seat in the car; he reminds us of this every time we get in the car.  Just because I'm a fun mom, I told him on April Fool's day that I had read that Illinois had just extended the booster seat law till 10 years old.  There was silence for a long time.  Finally I couldn't take it anymore and relieved him of his heart ache! 

Don't forget this Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday!  Make sure you get your plenary indulgence :)  

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Theme Thursday: Funny

I'm joining in with Clan Donaldson for the first time today on her Theme Thursday.  This week the theme is funny.  I was going through some older photos, and even though we just left Lent, I thought I'd return there for pictures from our "Seven Last Words of Christ" performances that fit this theme:

The first is one of our Apostles of old and his son. His son is very excited about this, too!

Next we find "Jesus" and his daughter.  I wonder how she feels about this?

And finally, did you know that Pontius Pilate had an ipod?

Hop on over and see some more Funny photos!

God Bless!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Linking up with the women over at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* Saying Alleluia again!!!  And oh how I love this time of year with the Regina Caeli.
* Participating in a beautiful Triduum and Easter
* Being present to see our friends' son baptized, confirmed and receive the Eucharist at their Byzantine parish on Holy Saturday.
* Not having school this week!!!!!!!!!!
* Family, plain and simple.  Yes it can be complicated sometimes, but we are incredibly blessed to have the families that we have.
* Sunshine for a few days now.
* Our pastor giving out a free copy of "The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic" to each family in our parish!  This is a great book and I hope a lot of people actually read it.

In the Kitchen:

Some wonderful leftovers from Easter...polish sausage, Easter bread, hard boiled eggs, potato salad, jello...yum!!!  In between all that we're still trying to eat relatively decent because we've all got only 2 more weeks of our 90 days of P90X!  

The Week Ahead:

More than I would like to have to do because it is our Spring break and we should be out enjoying life instead of the to-do list that is developing.  Oh well, that's life.  We do have our monthly hour of prayer at PP this week as well as a friend coming to stay at the end of the week.  Other than that, it is job hunting for some of the older girls :)


For good jobs for my children as well as for many other intentions.  We've been praying for a family stuck in Syria who now has a daughter with cancer.  Please join me in praying that they will be able to all leave the country, find safety and get treatment for their daughter.


The rest of our school year, what we spend our free time on and life in general...nothing too heavy!


I still have a few pages left to go in "The Four Signs..." book so I need to finish those.  Then, while cleaning at my parents, one of the girls found my copy of "When the Well Runs Dry" by Thomas Green.  I almost bought another copy but thankfully found this one first, so that will be up next.


Our friends' sweet baby!!!

God Bless!