Unless otherwise specified, all writing here on my blog is my own original work. If you refer to something I've written here, please be sure to give me proper credit.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's Better than a MIL who is a Teacher?

How about a MIL who retired from teaching this past Spring & has lots of books, reference materials, etc. to donate to her DIL who is homeschooling!?! Yes, my MIL taught third grade & just retired. I helped her clean out her classroom at the end of the school year & in the process brought home several boxes of picture & chapter books for our home library. These are lots of great books: Tomie dePaola, E.B. White, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, & Dr. Seuss just to name a few. For Kindergarten last year, I read the first 25 Magic Treehouse books to The Prophet & he loved them. Those were also in the boxes from MIL, as well as a couple of the next books.

This past Sunday, she came over to watch the Munchkins while Casinodad & I went out for our annual anniversary dinner w/ my parents, my sister & her DH. When she arrived, she had six Xerox sized boxes (mostly full) of more books from her basement. Most of these books were nonfiction science & history that will be great supplements to our studies. I felt like a little child at Christmas when I started looking through them. Right now I have the boxes stacked in the dining room until I can sort them out & figure out where to keep them.

Peace, munchesmom

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tips of the Trade

I am an avid fan of organizing & cleaning - tips that is! I love to find new ideas & occasionally one or two of those ideas will even be implemented around the house! Here are a couple I've found that really did work:

1) Inside of your microwave dirty? Just place a medium sized mixing bowl of water w/ a cut-up lemon inside & set the microwave for about 3 minutes (enough to boil the water). When done, take a cloth & the inside wipes clean very easily. (FYI: If you don't have a lemon, a few teaspoons of lemon juice concentrate will also work.)

2) Are your glass shower doors filled w/ soap scum? Daily, we use a squeegie (like the kind used to clean the car windshield at the gas stations). Scum still builds up. Take a used dryer sheet & scrub clean. (Works best when the down are still a bit wet.) The dryer sheet not only cleans off the scum, it builds a layer to help keep scum from building up.

3) Hat-Tip to my mom on this one: When wearing slides (the shoes, not the playground equipment!) sometimes your heel can slip. Spray a bit of hairspray on the heel of the slide & it will help keep your foot from slipping.

Happy Cleaning!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


As I was lying in bed this morning, wide awake from the storm that hit around 3am, I was reminded of my childhood fear of storms. My fear did not stem from the bright flashes or the loud cracks of thunder that followed. No, my fear came from The Flintstones & other cartoons! I specifically remember an episode where Fred was running & the lightning kept striking his derriere. In my child's mind, I thought that was the lightning's target. So, I tried to keep my bottom from it. I would walk around the house w/ my back against the walls, I would only sit in furniture that was facing the windows, & I would sleep flat on my back.


Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm Still Here

Just wanted to write a quick note to let you know that I am still here! It's been a crazy, busy week w/ my working, The Prophet's last two T-Ball games, & waiting to hear back from roofers to check on a leak in our upstairs bathroom. (We still have dial-up, so I didn't want to tie up the phone line.)

Prophet Speak: The other day we were talking about angels & he asked if I knew any bad ones. I said that other than the Devil, I didn't know any. He innocently asked, "Mommy, do you think the Devil will ever decide to be good again?" Now, wouldn't that be the ultimate repentance?


Friday, July 6, 2007

You Never Know What They'll Say!

On the way to my sister's yesterday afternoon, The Archangel mentioned that I hadn't yelled at them today. I told the boys that I was proud of their behavior throughout the day, but I couldn't help but wonder if someone had gotten in & taken over their bodies.

The Prophet's response, "I think it was God who got in me!"

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Prodigal Son Part 3 - The Father

“There is no doubt—in the parable or the painting—about the father’s heart. His heart goes out to both of his sons; he loves them both; he hopes to see them together as brothers around the same table; he wants them to experience that, different as they are, they belong to the same household and are children of the same father.” (pg. 105)

Isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father? God loves all of us equally. He knew all about us before we were even born, because He chose each of us. He wants us to love one another, no matter how different we are. We belong to the same Heavenly household; we are brothers & sisters – children of God. Nouwen sums up the entire painting in one sentence: “It is the human expression of divine compassion.” (pg. 92)

For the past year or so, I have been going through a period of spiritual growth. I’m a “Cradle Catholic” & have gone to church all my life. I went through CCD & did everything that was expected of me. Even in college, when many young adults sort of take a break from their faith, I never stopped going. Sure I might have missed a few Masses here & there. Then I got married & had children. I began to realize that children’s questions would be along soon & I wasn’t sure how I would reply, so I started to research. In trying to learn more about my Catholic faith, I realized how much I really do not know.

I had lunch w/ a friend a couple months ago, someone neutral to my situation who could be a sounding board for me. In those three hours, she helped me to understand several things – the first of which was that I wasn’t so much in a slump like I thought, but a growth period. Everyone goes through them at least once in their life and each ones helps you to grow stronger.

Another subject we touched upon was “Making the Choice.” Many of the books I’ve read were written by those who had converted to the Catholic faith. They had made a choice to become Catholic, whereas I had grown up in the church. All my life I’d done what was expected of me & just went with the flow. Now, it is my turn to make the choice. I am amazed at how just three short hours could change my thought process & help me to feel better about myself. While I still have a long way to go in understanding my faith, I don’t feel like a failure.

On pg. 106, Nouwen describes his struggle in life to find God through prayer, readings, & helping others.

“Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me. The question is not ‘How am I to find God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be found by him?’ The question is not ‘How am I to know God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be known by God?’ And, finally, the question is not ‘How am I to love God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be loved by God?’ God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”

I, too, have struggled to sense God in my life & am finding that I need to be more open to the little things – that near miss on the freeway, the way the sunset looks, that beautiful double rainbow, the laughter of my children. All are present in my life by the hand of God.

Reading this book has also been a great help in my spiritual growth. Another dear friend had loaned me a grocery bag full of books she thought might help & this was one of them. So, MJ, thanks from the bottom of my heart!

God bless,

Happy Belated 4th of July!

What a busy week it's been! Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! Because of my working & The Princess being scared of the firework noise, we didn't go to any displays this year. Actually, we haven't gone in years. I think the last time was before The Prophet was born. We can see several of the local fireworks from our bedroom windows.

I had my first day of working at Target on Mon. evening & it went very well. I spent the first hour or so running through a training manual on the register, took a break then shadowed another team member at her register. After watching about four transactions I took over for her. She was there to help out if needed. When she left at 9pm, they put me on my own register. It was quite easy & I picked up on everything quickly. Last night I was on sales floor training -- straightening merchandise, moving things that were out of place, etc. Friday night I'll be training in the fitting room & as operator, which will be my official position.

It feels different, being back in the working world after staying home for four years. It's nice to be able to help out w/ some of the bills & to be around other adults. But, it's also very tiring.

We've been eating outside a lot lately. The weather had been great until yesterday's storms, so we had picnics in the backyard. Casinodad (DH as he will be referred to from now on) grilled out some hot dogs & angus burgers for us. Because of the storms yesterday, he grilled inside using the George Foreman grill he'd gotten me for Christmas. Those angus burgers (Kroger's Private Selection brand) were delicious.