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.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED: Please don't let that deter you from commenting, though. I LOVE to read your thoughts! I only ask that you keep it clean & respectful.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sounds & Sights of Summer

Ahhh...the sounds of Summer vacation! You know the ones - children squealing w/ delight as they chase each other around the yard, balls bouncing in driveways throughout the neighborhood, doors slamming as said children run in & out & in & out &..., the music box jingle of the ice cream truck.

And what about the sights of summer - barefeet running across freshly mowed grass, blankets spread on the grass as children enjoy an outdoor treat, bikes & toys littering the driveways & yards.

In our neighborhood, our munchkins squeal at yet another sight. Heard from The Archangel early this evening, "Look, it's the pizza man!" He thought he was coming around just like the ice cream truck does. Not a bad idea to Casinodad, our resident pizza addict!

Magnificat Magazine Review for The Catholic Company

I had the opportunity to review May's issue of Magnificat Magazine for The Catholic Company. What a great resource for a busy mom like me! All you need for your daily prayers & readings is included in this little book. There are three sections of prayers for each day of the month: Prayer for the Morning, Mass, & Prayer for the Evening. The Mass section follows the liturgical year & includes that day's readings as well as a meditation on those readings. There are also optional prayers for the Mass if the day is a Saint's feast day.

One of my favorite sections of Magnificat Magazine falls at the end of each weekday. It is Saints of Today & Yesterday. On this page is a brief biography (usually of a lesser known saint) and concludes w/ a quote of another more well-known saint. There are some wonderful stories of saints there!

The only thing I don't like as well is the price: $44.95 for a 1 year subscription (14 issues). It is well-worth the price, but in these current economic times, it's a bit tough for our family. I guarantee, though, that once we can afford it, it will become a regular in our household.

To order your subscription of Magnificat Magazine, read other reviews, or check out other products offered by The Catholic Company, check out their site: http://www.catholiccompany.com/

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Small Successes

Recognizing those little successes can really make a big difference. That's why I participate in Faith & Family Live's Small Successes each Thursday. Here are my successes from the past week:
1) Finally organized the shelf at the bottom of the stairs. There were coloring books, crayons, markers, etc. all over the place & all jumbled about. Looks much better...for now, at least!
2) We met up w/ another homeschooling family at the park yesterday. We mothers sat, talked, & nursed our babies while the other kids played on the playground. This was the third time we've gotten together w/ our new friends & we had a wonderful time! The kids get along so well & we mothers never seem to run out of things to talk about.
3) I said, "Yes!" to The Princess several times this week when she wanted to help me out - even though it would slow down my progress. After all, how will she develop a love of cleaning & cooking if I never let her do anything!
What are your successes? Share & see others at www.faithandfamilylive.com.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - The Archangel Then & Now

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Princess Speaks Again (Part 2)

When I went up to put the munchkins to bed this evening, I walked into The Princess' room & noticed that her curtains had been pulled down. They're just up on a tension rod, so occasionally they end up on the floor. I asked why they were down tonight. She said she didn't do it. "It must have been the wind." My response, "How can the wind blow down the curtains when the window is closed?" Casinodad, heard from down the hall, "Something more for you to put on your blog!"

The Princess Speaks Again!

After a long, fun day spent mostly outside, we all just finished our rounds of showers & are preparing for bed. The Princess & I took a shower together. I never knew there were such pretty pink feet beneath all that black dirt!!! Thankfully I had some Avon foot scrub (Tropical Coconut scented) to use on her feet. It still didn't get everything off, but they are definitely much better.

As we were getting dried off, I commented that I had a headache. Sincerely she said, "I'm sorry." I asked why she was sorry & she said, "I gave it to you." I told her that it wasn't her fault, it was just a heat headache. Again, she said she was sorry she gave it to me.

Then, I went to clean out her ears. How hers get so dirty, I'll never know! It takes two Q-Tips for her - one for each ear. I sat her on the edge of the sink & told her I was going to clean them out. She said innocently, "With a toothpick?"

(And just to be clear - No, I have never & would never use a toothpick to clean out my child's ears!!!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What conversation could be so important that you have to talk on your cell phone...

...while using a public restroom? I was at the library this afternoon & the munchkins had to use the restroom. Two of the three stalls were occupied when we went in & one of the ladies was talking. I assumed she was talking to the other lady, until I realized the other lady was not saying anything during the pauses in conversation. When she came out of the stall, she had her phone anchored between her shoulder & chin, chatting away the whole time!

This is not the first time I've experienced this. I can't count the number of times I went into the restroom when I worked at Target & heard cell phone conversations in the stall next to me. These conversations are just regular chit-chat & didn't sound like anything that needed immediate attention. I know this because they talk loud enough for everyone to hear what they're saying - and you know how public restrooms echo!

If you really have to go that bad, can't you just tell the person on the other end of the line that you'll call them back? Just wondering...

Small Successes


Oops! I can't believe I forgot to participate in "Small Successes" last week! We were busy, plus Casinodad had last Thursday off (when he has to work on a Saturday, he gets the Thursday before off). So here goes for the past two weeks...

1) I mowed the lawn for Casinodad. He wasn't going to do it until Thursday, but it was looking pretty overgrown on Monday. The Saint was taking a longer nap, school was done, & it was a beautiful day. I probably looked silly at first - I hadn't mowed the lawn in almost two years due to The Saint's pregnancy. At first, I couldn't find the spark plug attachment then I couldn't find the button to prime it. But, alas, I found all & the mowing got done!

2) Last Friday was a beautiful day! After school was done, I packed the munchkins into the car, stopped at Taco Bell, & we headed to a local park. We had a great time! After eating, I let them play on the playground. The Saint tried the baby swings for the first time & loved them. Then we took a nature walk around the lake & saw frogs, dragonflies, fish, & a turtle.

3) The munchkins & I, along w/ my Small Church Community, took a trip to a center run by a Franciscan sister. It's only about an hour away, but they are so poor in that area. She takes in donations & distributes them to the local people. We try to go down there at least twice a year, then in Dec. we send financial support down to her for Christmas meals & gifts for kids. (This is the same place I've mentioned in past posts that our church donates to in January.)

Check out www.faithandfamilylive.com to view other Small Successes. What a wonderful way to share & show support of others!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Outdoor Schooling!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Holy Communion

The Prophet made his First Holy Communion on Sat., May 9. He's been so excited about it & was definitely ready (as mentioned several posts ago). On the way to church that evening, he said that he had butterflies in his stomach & that he was a bit nervous. Once there, he did very well - much better than some of the boys as they walked down the aisle. While some of the others sauntered along as if in a parade, The Prophet held his hands as he was supposed to & walked very reverantly. He knew what this was all about & it showed!

Afterwards, we had a dinner celebration at our house with family & friends. He received some very nice gifts - a handmade rosary, a prayer book, Joseph & Chico, The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat by Jeanne Perego, a First Communion ornament, money, & some Legos. We bought him his very own adult-style Bible.

Yesterday, we stopped at a local Christian bookstore so he could use some of his gift money to buy a Bible cover. He wanted one with a pocket in front like mine & Casinodad's have. He chose a camouflage cover w/ a pocket in front & a fish symbol engraved on the zipper. The pocket is the perfect size to fit his prayer book & several other small booklets he received in his PSR class. He is so happy w/ his choice & spent last night's reading time before bed reading it & the prayer book. When he came downstairs to say goodnight, he asked if he could keep his Bible w/ ours down here. He then said that the Bible was his most favorite gift from his First Communion (besides the Body & Blood of Jesus, of course!) This morning, I came down to find him on the couch w/ his Bible in his lap, reading it & his prayer book.

When did my little man grow up? Congratulations Prophet! We're so proud of you & love you very much!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The ABCs of Gratefulness

Christy, over at Family at Work, posted this on her blog: http://workingfam.blogspot.com/2009/05/abcs-of-gratefulness.html & I thought it was really neat. Using each letter of the alphabet, list things you're grateful for. I'm sure I'll think of more later on, but here's what I have to be thankful for so far:

Affection, the Archangel, apple bread

Babies, boys, Bible, books, barefeet

Christ, Casinodad, children, coffee, chocolate

Dark chocolate, donuts

Education, enchiladas

Fruit, flute, baby feet, family, friends

God, girls, good deals

Hugs, Heaven, holding hands

I love you’s, ice cream

Jesus, java, journals, Jell-o, journeys

Kisses, keepsakes, kindness

Lounging, Lost, lilacs, lavender

Mary, mothers, music, movies, margaritas

Nuts, Nativity, nursing, novels

Ocean, organization, optimism

Peace, the Princess, the Prophet, pizza, prayer, piano, plum wine

Quiet, quaintness, questions, quiche, quotes

Reading, rocking, rose

Saints, the Saint, sunshine, Salzburg

Tickling, tacos, time w/ family

Underwires, unity, upwind (I have 3 boys & a husband - need I say more?)

Vacation, violets

Wet baby kisses, waffles


Yuletide, younglings, yogurt

Zoos, zippers
Let me know if you decide to give this a try. I'd love to see what you're thankful for. Christy has hers set up w/ Mr. Linky, so you can add to her post if you want!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers' Day!

I just wanted to wish all mothers a very Happy Mothers' Day today! Hope you're having a great day - whether you're spending it w/ family or enjoying a bit of time by yourself.

Casinodad treated me to breakfast in bed this morning. He made scrambled eggs (w/ chopped green pepper, Mexican Blend shredded cheese, & chopped up kielbasa), toast, coffee, & one Ferrer0 Roche candy. I spent a bit of time in bed reading when I was done eating. Then, I spent about 1/2 hour w/ each of the older three munchkins, individually. With The Prophet & The Archangel, I played several rounds of card games (War, Go Fish, & SNAP!), read each of them a book, then listened while they read to me. With The Princess, I read her a couple of books & played dolls.

After lunch, Casinodad took the older three to Target. I fed The Saint, put him down for a nap, & read for a while. So far, it's been a nice, relaxing day.

Peace & blessings on this Mothers' Day to all my dear readers! God bless you!

Background Music

I'm sitting here at the computer, nursing The Saint, perusing various blogs, & half-listening to The Princess in the next room. She likes to sing & makes up her own songs in her beautiful little voice, providing her own percussion (tapping the desk). I didn't catch all the words to her song, but the following was all I needed to hear:

"And God created us!"

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Think He's Ready

Last night, Casinodad went out w/ a co-worker to dinner & to see the new Star Trek movie. While he was gone, I let the munchkins stay up a little later & watch a Scooby-Doo movie. I put them to bed about 9:15. The Archangel & The Princess fell asleep right away. About 9:35, while I was watching TV & nursing The Saint, the Prophet came down, unable to fall asleep. He occasionally has trouble sleeping - nothing serious, just a typical 8 yr. old w/ a lot of thoughts running through his head. Sometimes we let him stay down w/ us for a while, so I did that last night.

I turned off the TV & asked if he wanted me to read his new book, Joseph & Chico. So, as I continued to feed The Saint, I read a part of the book. (It's really cute so far!)

Afterwards, we had a nice talk. I had decided to talk to him about something I'd read in both Rediscovering Catholicism & Raising Better Families (both by Matthew Kelly). A recurring theme in his books is to ask yourself it what you do/say/think/etc. is helping you become a best-version-of-yourself. So, The Prophet & I talked about thinking before acting. I used various examples of his siblings accidently hurting him & whether he should retaliate or not. We also applied this to food (esp. Mommy & her chocolate - which, I think does help my sanity & stress levels!!) I started to mention another example when he said that he knew of something that would help make us the best-version-of-ourselves - The Body & Blood of Jesus.

Yep, I'd say he's ready for his First Holy Communion on Saturday!
P.S. - After some more interesting discussions, I took him & The Saint up to bed. I came back down & was writing out the above so that I would remember it this morning. I heard a couple of thumps upstairs & went up to investigate. When I got into the boys' room, The Prophet was sitting on The Archangel's bed tucking his covers between the bed & wall. The Archangel had fallen out of bed & The Prophet thought tucking the covers in would help so he wouldn't do it again.
There are times when these munchkins drive be so crazy & I question whether we're good parents (like our shopping trip to Aldi today). Then, there are these moments of tenderness & compassion that bring tears to my eyes. Somehow, something is going right!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Small Successes


No matter how small, each success is important. Here are my Small Successes this week:

1) I've finally gotten back to my weekly laundry schedule & been able to stay on track this week.
Monday: Sheets
Tuesday: Towels
Wednesday: Munchkins'
Thursday: Lights
Friday: Darks
The Saint's get done as needed & we use the weekend to catch-up on anything that didn't get done during the week. If needed, I may do extra loads throughout the week - like towels.
2) I changed our kitchen window coverings. We've been w/out one of the two French door coverings for a couple years. They were velcro panels but for some reason, the velcro on one didn't hold. I happened to find the sunflower valances I made when we moved in 8 years ago & put them back up. What a difference it makes to the kitchen. It looks more homey now!
3) I fixed a leak under the kitchen sink! All I had to do was tighten the pipes underneath, but I went ahead & took them out completely & washed them. Talk about disgusting :() Then, because I had everything out from underneath the sink, I cleaned the bottom of the cabinet, put down some Contact paper & rearranged the stuff stored there.
Head over to http://www.faithandfamilylive.com/ to see more successes & share yours. What a wonderful group of women!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Candid Shots of the Munchkins

"Wait till the girls see me in this set of wheels!"

"Wow! Great book; great weather - what more could a girl ask for? Okay, maybe some chocolate too!"

"Look into my eyes...you will give me another cookie!"

"Shhh! I need my beauty rest!"

Friday, May 1, 2009

I've Been Tagged - You're Next!

1. Mention the person who nominated you: That would be my dear college friend, Lawgirl.

2. List six unimportant things that make you happy:

  • My first cup of coffee in the morning - for some reason, those that follow just don't taste the same!
  • Curling up w/ a good book & reading for several hours in silence
  • Cookies fresh from the oven
  • Being tagged for a meme!
  • Sleeping in freshly washed sheets
  • Getting a real snail-mail letter

3. Tag six blogs, state the rules and notify them with a small comment on their blog: Not knowing for sure how many read my blog, I will just tag anyone who would like to participate. Just leave me a comment on your blog so I can check yours out!