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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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small Successes


So, what have I done this week?

1) The Archangel asked if I'd make pancakes this morning for my birthday & I said yes. I even made them healthy w/ pumpkin puree & applesauce. Mmmmmm! (Yes, today is my birthday. I came downstairs & the munchkins were cleaning up. What a great present to start off my day!)

2) Numerous times I've stopped whatever I was doing to listen to a munchkin &/or give hugs & kisses. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in my "projects" that I don't stop & take time for the munchkins.

3) Casinodad was down after some changes at work were announced the other day. Instead of getting upset myself (like I usually do), I kept cool & was the loving, supportive wife I should be. I let him vent & comforted him. I even bought him a cute card yesterday (something I used to do a lot, but haven't done in a while).

So what have you done this week. Share w/ Danielle Bean & the other wonderful ladies at http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lenten Ideas

Ash Wednesday is almost upon us - are you ready? I've been thinking a lot lately about what I would like to do during this very special liturgical season. My energy levels have been very low, so a lot of what I plan in my head does not get implimented into our daily lives. (BTW - My doctor's office did call the other day w/ my Vitamin D test results. Yes, it is low so he wants me to take some extra Vit. D supplements for a month & see if it helps.)

Back to Lenten ideas: Every year, we participate in Operation Rice Bowl through our church. We set the bowl on the table or island & throw in any extra change. The munchkins really look forward to doing this. As soon as we bring the bowl home from church & put it together, they run to get their banks. 75% of the donations go to help Catholic Relief Services in their worldwide efforts & 25% goes to our local diocese.

For the past two years, I've taken The Prophet to our church's Stations of the Cross. He looks forward to this each year. Afterwards, we stop at Wendy's for fries & a frosty to spend some time together. I've not taken The Archangel & The Princess because I knew they wouldn't sit still long enough. Last year was extra special for The Prophet. My dad, the deacon at our church, didn't have any servers show up so he asked The Prophet (a first-grader) to assist. (In our parish, servers have to be in fifth grade.) He carried the crucifix to each station as it was prayed. It brought tears to my eyes to see him participating in such a mature manner. He's hoping Grandpa will ask him to help out again this year!

Last year, I found a recipe for Resurrection Rolls. Basically, it's taking a large marshmellow, wrapping it up in a crescent roll & baking it. The marshmallow disappears into the roll as it is baked, signifying the empty tomb of Jesus. They taste really good too!

One of the mothers in my homeschool group asked for some ideas & some of the other mothers gave some great suggestions. Some I'd like to do are:

1) Place a grapevine wreath in the center of the table w/ toothpicks sticking out of it to signify the crown of thorns. On Easter Sunday, replace the toothpicks w/ flowers.

2) Give each person a twisted pretzel at dinner each night. It shows the form of arms crossed in prayer to remind us that Lent is a time of prayer. More details can be found at www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities.

3) I also signed us up for Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure. They email activities to do throughout Lent w/ you children.

As to what I'm giving up for Lent this year, I've been reflecting on the things that take me away from my family & the computer is the first one that comes to mind. I spend far too much time reading blogs. Even though the ones I read have been a great inspiration to me, I'm going to give them up for Lent, including my own. I will still post my Small Successes each week because they really help me to focus on the things I'm doing good in my life (& I really need that reassurance.) Basically, I'm going to avoid the computer except for those few things I need to do - checking my email (but only a couple times a day as opposed to anytime I sit at the computer), preparing our church bulletin, & ebay stuff.

I'm also going to try to get up earlier & be better at starting my day w/ prayer & reflection. This has been a big struggle for me since The Saint has been waking up more often to nurse throughout the night. Growth spurt or teething? I'm not sure, but regardless, I've been losing a lot of sleep.

Well, the munchkins are getting restless - a sure sign that I've been on here too long already this morning! Have a very blessed Lenten season! My prayers are w/ you all, that God may grant your every need.

Peace & blessings,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Small Successes


Here's what I've been successful about this past week:

1) Along w/ another lady from my church, we coordinated a donation drive for a center run by a Franciscan Sister about an hour away from us. About 6 1/2 years ago, this Sister came to our church & gave a talk about the center & the poor people she serves. It really hit me hard & I talked to a dear lady from my church about it. Since then, we have organized a drive through our church in January. Parishioners donate clothing, food, household items, toys, & books. Last year, we asked for new shoes. That went over so well, that this year, we decided to ask for new socks & underwear. Due to inclement weather in January, we went on Valentine's Day this year. This was our biggest year - we had about 18 vehicles fully loaded to caravan to the center. The Prophet told me on the way down that Valentine's Day was the perfect day to go - "a gift of love for the poor people of xxx County." Here is a picture of the sorting area at the center after we delivered our stuff. This is just over half of what we took there.

2) For the past month or so, I've had a large storage tub in the basement full of clean laundry. I finally took it upstairs & put all the clothes away. Hmmm...I knew The Saint had more sleep sacks!

3) I went for my physical on Monday. They called yesterday w/ the blood work results & everything was right as it should be (except Vitamin D levels - that test takes a little longer, so I don't have those results yet). I was expecting my triglycerides to be high. I was on medication for them before this last pregnancy, but obviously had to stop. Thankfully, they've stayed down! Even w/ insurance, the medication wasn't exactly cheap.

So, what are your Small Successes for the past week. Hop over to http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/ to share yours & check out more!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bob Ross Would Be Proud!

Do you remember the painter Bob Ross? Remember how each picture he painted, no matter how nice it already looked had to have a "happy little tree" added right in front? Well, The Princess & The Archangel must be channeling him somehow...

The Archangel's is on the left & The Princess's is on the right. Hers doesn't look quite as happy as his, but hey - she's just learning, right?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Should We Change His Name to Caesar?

Turkish Delight!

I forgot to add Turkish Delight to the previous post. A couple weeks ago, I finished reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to The Prophet. He loved it. He asked what Turkish Delight was & I had no idea. I did a search online & now we know! There were several recipes. I chose the one that looked the easiest to make. It calls for lemon, orange, or raspberry extract, but I didn't have either one. I thought of using almond, but didn't have enough, so we used vanilla. Also, we didn't have any nuts on hand (other than the munchkins, but I didn't think they'd taste too good in it!), so I didn't put any in. It turned out really well & tasted great!

I found this recipe at www.recipezaar.com/recipe/print?id=60694.

Recent School Projects

I thought I'd share some of the projects we've done in the past month or so. First up - Inaguaration 2009 Notebooks. They filled in the blanks for various parts of the inagauration process & history. We also watched part of the inagauration on TV. The boys really loved doing these. In fact, The Archangel couldn't wait until Daddy got home to show him.

Next up - The Prophet's English Castle. In The Story of the World Vol. 2, we read about castles & the various parts w/in the walls. His assignment, in lieu of a written narration, was to create a Lego castle & make sure it had the following: the Keep, the kitchen tower, the laundry area, the prison tower, & the garterobe. He also added a watch tower & a catapult on his own.

In continuing our English history, we also talked about how the English language came about. To show how many languages came together to form English, we took several different colors of PlayDoh & smushed them together into one color.

Those are just some of the many things we/ve done this school year. The Prophet is more hands-on, so things like this are good for him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Small Success for the Week


It's time for another set of my Small Successes. Here they are for this week:

1) For two days in a row (Monday & Tuesday), I was up , showered dressed & had all munchkins fed by 8am!

2) I finished the last two of my bulletin reflections for March. I'll post them once March comes along.

3) Yesterday, my MIL took the two older boys for the day. I spent some time w/ just The Princess & The Saint running errands & going for ice cream. We picked out a dress pattern that I'm going to attempt to make for her. (Now, keep in mind, I've not made anything since 7th grad Home Ec. & that was an apron!) The ice cream was a surprise to her & she talked about it all evening. Even though it wasn't one-on-one time like I had w/ The Archangel last week, it was quality time well-spent. Both munchkins were very good!

Check out www.faithandfamilylive.com for other great Small Successes! Many Blessings!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This is How I Feel About Taxes!

Casinodad decided to let me sleep in last Saturday. While I was sleeping & the munchkins were occupied w/ their Legos & stuff, CD decided to do our taxes. This is what I found when I came downstairs.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Okay - I just couldn't wait until after dinner. I had to sneak a taste & they are delicious!

1 c. butter, melted
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 c. & 4 T. peanut butter, divided
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

In a medium bow., mix together butter, graham crackers, sugar & 1 c. peanut butter. Press evenly into bottom of 9x13 in. pan.

Microwave chocolate chips w/ 4 T. peanut butter on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue microwaving & stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Spread over prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares. Store bars in airtight container in refrigerator.


Small Successes


Once again, I'm joining Danielle Bean & the many wonderful ladies at Faith & Family Live in celebration of our Small Successes throughout the past week. Here are mine:

1) Went to Walmart w/ all four munchkins today & found the perfect material for a baby wrap I want to make. I got 7 yards at $1 per yard & the pattern is nice & simple - navy, green & cream stripes.

2) Before I made lunch, I made tonight's dessert - peanut butter chocolate bars. I'll post the recipe soon if they're any good!

3) I spent a few hours of Mommy / Archangel time on Monday & had a great time (see previous post!)

Check out www.faithandfamilylive.com for more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Please Hold...

Casionodad took a personal day on Mon. It was nice to have him home. I decided to do a little running around to catch up on some things that usually take longer w/ all four munchkins in tow.

I took The Archangel w/ me. I thought it would be nice to spend some time alone w/ him & take him to lunch. I told him we'd go to a restaurant of his choice as long as it wasn't too expensive. He was to check out places we passed to see what sounded good to him. We passed a Popeye's Chicken & he asked what it was. I told him it was similar to KFC & that he would probably like it if he wanted to choose it. He still wasn't totally sure what he wanted, so he said, "I'll hold on to that." We passed a few more restaurants that sounded good to him, so he said he'd hold onto those too. I guess that was his way of saying that he'd keep that in mind!

We finally ended up going to Skyline. He was so cute. He kept telling me how much he liked spending time w/ me & how good his hot chocolate was & how good his hot dog was & just kept going on & on. All in all, we had a pleasant time together. He helped me shop & carry the bags. It never ceases to amaze me how different the munchkins are when they have Mommy or Daddy all to themselves. I definitely need to do this more often!