Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Quick Takes June 28, 2013

Our summer is in full swing now!  Two weeks of intensive - done.  Summer performance - done.  Photo editing - done.  Now on to the activities that will keep us busy all through July and into August - vacation, retreat, another retreat, more photo shoots, more photo editing, another kids' camp.  Can't wait for school to start so we can slow down.  Wait, did I really just say that?

We've been having a lot of nasty storms in our area lately.  On our way to a party this weekend we were running just south of one and I happened to have my camera so I tried a few shots while we were driving (let me clarify - my husband was driving, I was not!).  Here's one I particularly liked.

 On the way home the clouds had parted and we were able to see the Super Moon.  "Well, why not, "  I thought.  I got out the camera again and tried to capture it.  I guess it really doesn't look that "super", but I like the colors!


Our little mini gardens are going to town and one thing that is really thriving is the fresh basil.  

I wasn't ever really a fan of it before, but then I tried some leaves on a turkey sandwich and let me tell you, it is de-lish! I love being able to go out my door, pick a few leaves and plop them on a wrap with some meat and hummus and I'm in heaven.

The anniversary gifts keep coming in and this past weekend we received a really awesome one from friends of ours whose daughter was just in Rome.  

I was so excited by this!  Hopefully soon we'll get it hung up above our family altar.

We've had another influx of new Lego kits recently.  These kits just keep getting better and better!  

I do appreciate that the boys actually play with all of them, not just put them together and let them sit there.  They've even gotten to the point where they do a lot more of their own modifications and such.  It's cool to see their creativity.

Little by little, as time and brain power allow, I'm trying to piece our curriculum for next year together.  You would think with only four kids to homeschool next year that it wouldn't be that difficult, but for some reason this time it is.  I'm seriously looking at the "Trail Guide to Learning", but haven't made any purchases yet.  Anyone ever use it before?

Have a great weekend everyone!
God Bless! 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Theme Thursday - Black and White

Wow, I feel like I've been missing in action for awhile here, but never fear, I'm back in time for Theme Thursday!!!  

While I don't shoot in black and white (just rediscovered that my camera has that setting!) I LOVE to edit my photos in black and white.  Here is a very recent one.  We spent the weekend with four of my children doing a performance on Sunday as the culmination of their two week long summer intensive for the Little Flowers Performing Arts Center.

Ms 17 yo was in a series of dances depicting the Prodigal Son.  Here she is in the middle as the father (mother in this case) with her two sons (daughters).  We both love the pose so I tried it out in b&w.

And then, just because I love b&w, here is one of my all time favorite edits.

So there you have it.  For more black and white fun, check out Clan Donaldson!

God Bless!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Moments of Grace

I haven't done one of these in awhile, and I wasn't quite up for a full 7 Quick Takes, so here goes.

This past week brought home a good lesson for me.  I've been praying and praying and praying about a certain situation for what seems like a very long time and yet, nothing changes.  Things don't necessarily get worse, but they really haven't gotten any better.  Situations like this do a number on my faith.  I won't go into details, but let's just say it isn't pretty sometimes.

Once in awhile, however, I throw out an off-the-cuff prayer that gets answered quickly and to a tee.  Hmm.  This is when everything gets put into perspective for me.

See, that situation that I pray ceaselessly for and yet never changes is right where I need to be right now.  Am I happy about it?  No. Do I need to be reminded that it is God's will for me and I need to accept it and when His timing is right, things will change?  Yes.

And that is what this quick and profound answer to my off-the-cuff prayer has done; reminded me that God will answer prayers when the time is right - when HIS time is right (which it always is) and not when I THINK He should answer them.  It also reminded me that He is always listening, even when I think He isn't.  Amen.

Have a great weekend!

God Bless!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Theme Thursday - Water

Water, water, water.  Oh the many pictures that I have that involve water, which made picking some very difficult.  We love water - swimming in it, boating on it, splashing it, watching it flow past our house when it rains too much, seeing it flow out of the bottom of the walls in the basement...okay, so I got carried away with that last one.

Needles to say, I have a lot of pictures of water, but in reality, as soon as I saw the theme I knew which pictures I wanted to use.  I took these last year when we went as a family to a park during our vacation.  I love playing around with my camera and trying different things, so here's some of what I took that day.

Hop on over to Clan Donaldson to see other fun water pictures!

God Bless!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mary - Hope for Good Weather

The forecast for this past Saturday was bleak - rain and thunderstorms by mid afternoon, continuing on into the evening with greater likelihood and greater severity.  Of course it was party day and we had to have this event outside.  Should we put up the big tents?  The ones that can't be taken down at a moments notice?  Should we put up the quick tents that were somewhat smaller in area but a lot easier to drop quickly in case of sudden wind?

As I sat there that morning pondering all of this, I had the sudden inspiration to do what my grandmother used to my statue of Mary in the window and pray for her intercession for good weather.  She was up against tough odds, I mean it was the Weather Channel forecast after all, but my grandma's previous track record with this method gave me hope.

Ms 14 yo noticed I had done this and then proceeded to take all of our Mary statues and place them in various windows throughout the house.  By the time the party rolled around, the sun was shining and the forecast was calling for no rain until later in the evening.  Mary, our Hope for good weather, had come through again.

Our Blessed Mother always intercedes for us when we ask her to.  She even takes good care of the little details, too.  The party broke up about 8:00, which is very unusual for one of our bigger parties.  We were all kind of perplexed by that, but began the clean up process and weren't surprised when the first raindrops started falling as the tents were coming down.  By the time everything was cleaned up and the last people had left, a whopper of a thunderstorm rolled through.  There was a couple of cracks of lightning that were right above our house; the cracks were so loud we all jumped.  Had people not left early, it would not have been a pretty sight.  Thank you, Blessed Mother, for your tender, loving care and for bringing good weather when we ask.

God Bless!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Saga of the Strawberry Rhubarb Square

We had our graduation/confirmation/birthday party this past weekend and my husband's aunt brought a wonderful tray full of strawberry rhubarb squares covered in powdered sugar.  I couldn't wait for dessert, they looked so heavenly.  I was tempted to sneak one ahead of time, but resisted the temptation.  Little did I know I would regret that decision later.

When dessert time came, I was busy cutting cake and dishing ice cream so I had my sister-in-law set one aside for me.  She relayed that she had set it on a plate in my refrigerator in the kitchen (as opposed to the one in the garage!).

Well, time got away from me and I opted for the chocolate cake and ice cream in front of me, figuring I would save the tasty treat for later.

Sunday we got home from Mass and I was ravenous.  I looked into the fridge, but couldn't find my dessert.  I started digging, taking things out in a frantic search for the strawberry rhubarb piece of heaven that I had been craving.  It was not to be found.  "Who," I pondered aloud, "would go into the refrigerator in my kitchen and eat my strawberry rhubarb square?  The one covered in powdered sugar?"  Apparently I was carrying on a bit much about it, but I couldn't help myself.

Suddenly, Mr 8 yo was calling my name softly, peeking around the corner and motioning for me to come to him.  "I think I know who ate your dessert," he whispered.  "Who?" I asked.  "ME," he  said, and then promptly burst into a tearful apology about how he didn't know it was mine.  Well, how can a mom stay upset about that?

A few minutes later, however, he leaned over and very earnestly said, "You know, that was the THIRD one I had eaten.  They were SO GOOD."  

Now that was just too much for this mama to bear.  My baby, rubbing salt in my wound.  I still haven't gotten over it!

God Bless!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

7 Quick Takes June 14 2013

--- 1 ---

Happy Flag Day everyone!  These are going to be incredibly quick takes, I think, as this has been a very busy week.
 --- 2 ---

Well, we are finishing up (or have finished depending on when you are reading) our first INTENSIVE week for the Performing Arts Center the kids are in.  They'll be having a recital next weekend, so they've been getting their parts and learning their lines and/or dances.  So far we have a David (of Goliath fame) possibly a Miriam (of Moses fame, but she hasn't found out for sure yet), a Beast (as in Beauty and the) and a Mrs Pots (of the same).  Should be a ton of fun...and worth all of the driving we've been doing!
--- 3 ---

In between driving, I had time to get a haircut and took the plunge and got it cut shorter than I have had it in a long time.  Unfortunately I don't have time for pictures.  At this length, the kids keep mentioning I look like my mom.  I don't want to look like my mom...I mean I lover her to death, and she's a lovely woman, but I'm 20 some years younger than she is, so I think you know what I mean.  Oh well, I like the cut anyhow.
--- 4 ---

My dh and I were sitting out on the patio the other night watching the clouds move in when the tornado sirens went off.  We both looked at each other, looked around and wondered what the heck they meant as it wasn't even raining or anything.  He went out to the road to look around, I went in to check the radar, Ms 21 yo told us dinner was ready so instead of going to the basement we sat down to eat.  Well, we heard a rumor later that there was a tornado about 10 miles west of us.  Maybe they do know what they're doing.  And we're doomed if one ever gets closer to us.
--- 5 ---

So the rain and the wind did finally show up and the usual river formed in the yard.  The drain is collapsed so it means that the water hangs around for a lot longer and makes the grass smell like a swamp.  Great for when you're having a party in a few days.  Praying it doesn't rain anymore until after that.
--- 6 ---

Party is our middle name around here and we're raring to go once again.  This time around we'll be celebrating the two graduations, one confirmation and one birthday.  We like to pack a lot into our celebrations.  Hopefully it does stay nice outside because we did get water in our basement the other night and it's still drying out and we probably won't have time to put it all back together. 

--- 7 ---

By Sunday we'll all be toast but we'll pull it together to celebrate one more time for that wonderful man in our lives...DAD.  We'll have seen the grandpas already, so it should be somewhat of a quiet day.  Hope you have a wonderful Father's Day and summery weekend, too.

God Bless! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Theme Thursday - Dads

Jumping in a bit late with the Theme Thursday, but here goes.

I was going to just use this picture of my dh and the kids playing in the water last summer (doesn't every good dad try to get his kids to fall in??)

but then I figured I should cover all my bases and put in a picture of my dad, too (he's the one on the left :) ).

Two of the best men in the whole world.  Definitely the two best men in my whole world.  I am truly blessed to have them both!

Join in over at the Clan for more DAD photo fun.

God Bless!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Time to Work and A Time to Vent

Why is it that, when I finally have an afternoon where 1. I can stay home and 2. most of the kids are out and the two that are here are occupied with "Captain America", I get distracted by things and don't get done what I have been waiting to do on an afternoon like this??

One of my summer goals was to spend one entire afternoon a week working on my website.  I need to rebuild a lot of pages because the format needs to be changed, and there's stuff I want to add and update.  I figured I'd pack up my laptop and head to the library once a week, no questions asked.  Well, given our schedule over the next two months, I'm not sure that is actually going to happen. 

I was, however, presented with the opportunity described above this afternoon so I got comfy at my desk, turned the fan on to cool me off and then smelled the toxic smell that can only mean one thing - my neighbor decided it was time to burn his garbage again.

Now I know it shouldn't, but this just sends me into a rage because it just isn't right.  We rarely use our air conditioning, so all during the spring/summer/fall months when the windows are open, we have to survive the onslaught of that horrid smell when he decides to burn.  It is so bad that we must shut all the windows, no matter how warm it is, until he is done.

Today I called the county to find out what could be done. They told me it is not enforceable through the Sheriff's office but through the Health Department.  They told me to call the Health Dept and someone could go over there and explain to him what he is allowed to burn and what he isn't.  They could write him a fine if they needed to.

I don't know about that, it just doesn't seem very effective.  Instead, I just did what I always do and stood in my yard and yelled at his billowing smoke in the hope that someone is around to hear me.  Well, then, I also came to vent on my blog, which doesn't seem to help the smoke, but does help me, so thanks.

Now that that is over with, maybe I can still salvage some website time.

God Bless! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Catholic Women's Almanac

Moments of Gratitude:

* Those adjustments at the Chiropractor!  Boy do I thank God for that particular gift He gave to man :)
* A wonderful group of women that I spoke to on Saturday morning.  They were so kind and generous!  We had a wonderful morning.
* The beautiful weather we had on Sunday.  It wasn't always sunny, but it was warmer than it has been.
* My helpers on Saturday who helped me finally plant my Mother's Day flowers.

The Week Ahead:

This week begins our two week summer intensive with the performing arts center my kids are involved with.  It will involve a lot of time and a lot of driving, but I keep telling myself it only is two weeks.  I can do this!  In between that is the usual errands and such.  I guess this is how we usually spend our summers, going from one event to another!

In the Kitchen:

Easy-peasy things because of our schedule.  I think meatloaf, pizza and some beef in the crockpot recipe are on deck, along with a few things I can't remember at the moment.


I have a bunch of people I know who are in need of physical healing and I'd like to ask you to add a prayer for them, too:
Len - for his knee to heal completely from surgery
Josh - A teen who had his 5th open heart surgery - that he will be healed
Laura - For her sprained back to finally get better so she can return to her motherly duties
Kim - A friend who had a heart attack last week
Nanci - Who is still trying to recuperate from surgery two weeks ago but keeps having complications.

So many things to pray for. So many people in need.  Lord, hear our prayers!


How not to get frustrated that summer seems as if it will be over before it even gets going.  Run, run, run.  Why?


I took my camera out Sunday to take a picture of some of the pretty roses the girls got this past week at graduation and then I just kept going from there.

God Bless!

Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Quick Takes June 7 2013

--- 1 ---

First off, Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart!  I hurt my back over a week ago and then it was feeling pretty good.  I made it through the Corpus Christi procession on Sunday and through my son's Confirmation on Monday.  Tuesday was crazy day and I started out feeling fine.  We were running behind and I was going through a room when I spotted something (I really don't remember what - probably something as mundane as a piece of paper or whatnot) on the floor when I bent over to pick it up.  That's right, I was in such a hurry that I just bent over at the waist.  No squatting down to pick it up this time.  That's when it hit me again.  Now I think I'm worse than I was last week.
--- 2 ---

I'm sure some of you can relate to this next one, but did you know that there is really no good way to work on a laptop while lying flat on your back?  I've tried it on my knees - doesn't work.  I've put it next to me - hurt my neck.  I've laid it on my stomach but that makes it too close to use the keyboard easily.  There has to be a way, there just has to be.
--- 3 ---

So since there isn't a way that I've figured out just yet, I just lie there and think because reading isn't even really that easy while lying on your back when you have bifocals.  You know, you have to tilt you head up enough and hold the book in just the right place in order to read the words.  Gets tiring after awhile.  Besides that, I'm lying down, which makes me tired to begin with.  Since I can't read 0and I can't do work, I lie there thinking about all the things I need to do and I make lists.  However, I only make mental lists because I never remember to bring paper with me.  Once I get up, however, I forget what I thought of putting on my list by the time I get to my laptop.  I know, I could have much worse problems and I am incredibly thankful that I don't!
--- 4 ---

Enough about my back.  Next week starts the first week of summer intensive (I hate that word - it sounds so....intense, which it will be) for the Performing Arts Center that my kids are involved in.  We're still trying to work out the carpooling details so that no one person is driving up and down the highway 8 times a day.  And then to top it off, gas prices took a huge jump around here this week.  Can anyone tell me why our prices right now are $4.30  and then some a gallon and the national average is $3.60???   I know, I'm complaining a lot today, aren't I? 

--- 5 ---

Okay, two more takes to get it right and end on a positive note.  Hmmm, well, those friends of mine who were trying to raise money so that they could record a CD of sacred music?  Well, they did it.  They raised enough money and last week they went to record the songs.  I'll let you know when the CD is ready.  From the sneak peak I heard, it should be incredible.
--- 6 ---

I'm giving a talk on Saturday to a group of "younger" homeschooling moms at a brunch they are having.  My talk is on prayer so I would appreciate any that you could throw my way.  I've done some public speaking, but it is always a bit intimidating; especially now that I have been billed as the "veteran".  That makes it sound like I know something :)
--- 7 ---

Other than that we have a busy day on Saturday - I think the car has been booked to go to about five different places.  Sunday, thankfully, looks to be a quiet day.  Maybe I can finally get those flowers the kids got me for Mother's Day into the planters.  Have a great weekend! Oh, and I have to throw a picture in here or else I don't have anything to choose from for my widget thingy in the linkup so here goes:

God Bless! 

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Theme Thursday - Girls

I tossed around some ideas of taking pictures of all my girls and since I have 5 of them I figured I'd have enough material to work with.  However, the morning got away from me and then 2 of the girls left...well anyhow, I began working on editing some photos from graduation the other night and came across this series of photos of two of my daughters.  

Ms 17 yo (the blonde) graduated from high school and Ms 14 yo from eighth grade.  I did some photo shoots of some of the grads and had a few extra minutes so I dragged them over to take some together.  

To say these two don't always get along is an understatement, but they sure had fun doing this and I'm glad I'll have these photos to treasure this special day.

So, without further ado...two of "My Girls"

Go over to Clan Donaldson to join in the fun!

God Bless!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Confirmation and Graduation Edition :)

God Bless!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Joining in over at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* Being able to walk with the 2 mile Corpus Christi procession with our parish because my back felt good enough!
* Friends who are willing to help each other out at the drop of a hat.
* Ice packs and chiropractors
* A quiet week last week
* Visiting with friends 
* Rain to end the drought in our area (at least for now)
* Losing weight :)

In the Kitchen:

Well the first two nights of the week we won't be eating in our kitchen but in our car.  Therefore, we'll be preparing some easy-to-eat-on-the-run meals like chicken salad and lunchmeat wraps.  The rest of the week should be better.  I think there's whole baked chickens and a beef in the crock pot on the list. 

The Week Ahead:

We have a busy first half of the week.  Mr 12 yo will be Confirmed, Ms 17 yo will graduate from high school and Ms 14 yo will graduate from 8th grade.  We'll have our monthly hour at Planned Parenthood during the week, too.  After that it's hello summer.  Now if the weather would just cooperate.


* That all of our events will go well this week.
* For several people we know that need to recover from surgeries and injuries.
* For a talk on prayer that I have to give this coming weekend - that I can put it together and that it goes well!!
* For the safety of all who pray outside of abortion facilities.


What to say to women with young families about praying :) and what I really want our school year next year to look like.  This one still has me stumped.  Guess I'll just pray about it!


Some sights from our parish's Corpus Christi procession.

 Have a great week!

God Bless!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi

God Bless!