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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day Nine - Five Things I Want to See Change

WOW! Where do I begin on this one & can I REALLY narrow it down to ONLY five things? Well, I'll give it a shot. (Some of these are just an extension of my view of paradise as listed a few days ago.)

1) An end to abortion - I've heard people say over the years that, while they think abortion is wrong, they don't feel it is their right to take away a woman's choice to have one. But, what about the child? Where is his/her choice?

What can we do? Above all else, PRAY. We have a little rubber-like baby who we have spiritually adopted. This is to signify a baby in danger of abortion. We don't know who he is, but we have named him Cameron. Each night we pray for him, his mother, & those encouraging the abortion. The munchkins take turns holding him during the prayer & when we are finished, each of us will kiss his little head & place him back on the shelf between our statues of Jesus & Mary.

2) Peace & kindness toward others - How many times have you let your lack of sleep or bad mood affect the way you treat those around you? You yell at the your husband or the kids, mutter under breath when that driver cuts you off, etc. Yeah, we've all done it!

What can we do? Follow the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others, As You Would Have Them Do Unto You! Smile at others. Just the other day, when going through the self check-out lane at a local store, the employee watching over the lanes looked grumpy & like she didn't want to be there. As we walked by, I smiled & told her to have a nice day. Immediately she smiled in return. It's amazing what just one little smile can do for someone!

3) Respect for all - There is so much disrespect in the world today. So many people are wrapped up in their own lives that they don't take the time to look outside of themselves. And just look at the way many children & teens talk to their parents & elders. It's shocking! I was listening to a re-play of Mother Angelica Live the other day & she referred to people following the earthly trinity of "Me, Myself, & I" instead of the Heavenly Trinity of "God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit."

What can we do? It begins in the home. We teach our own children to be respectful at all times. I'm finding this to be a tough thing to do, but the alternative is learning outside the home & the examples out there are not great at all. Beyond teaching though, they won't learn it unless we demonstrate it ourselves. They learn more by our actions than our words.

4) Our political system - This one is quite obvious, so no further comment needed!

What can we do? Above all else, pray...not just for our leaders, but for us as voters. Pray for God's guidance before each election. Really do our homework so we know what we are voting for.

5) For people to use their money wisely (at home & in their jobs) - Our local school superintendent, who refused a pay raise last year, has been offered an 8% raise this year. From what I understand, she has declined any raises since she's been in the position. Because of that, her pay will gradually increase so that by 2014, she'll be making almost a quarter of a million dollars...WHAT?!?! Also, I just read in yesterday's paper that Chelsea Clinton's wedding this weekend will be between $3-5 million, about $6,000 per guest & $15, 000 in amenities (fancy transportable latrines w/ porcelain flush toilets, hot water, & music), & $150 per custom invitation...WHAT?!?! Can you tell this bothers me?

What can we do? Again, this is something that starts in the home. We teach our children money management skills. We don't give them Every. Little. Thing. their hearts desire or that their friends have. We show them how to save. We let them see us donating to church, charities, those in need.

I know there is a LOT of good in the world today, too, but the question was what five things I'd want to see change. These are some big topics & I know there are many people who may disagree w/ me, but this is how I feel. God Bless!

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day Eight - Someone I Think Would Make a Good President (2nd post today)

It goes w/out saying that anyone would be better than who we have now. I love Angela's suggestions on Pretty in Orange. I am choosing my oldest munchkin, The Prophet. In March of 2008, he dictated his list of things he'd do if he were President of the US. Below is what I posted here on my blog.

March 28, 2008 - If I Were President by The Prophet

With last week being our state's elections, The Prophet started asking questions. After talking awhile, he started telling me what he'd do if he were president. Being a homeschooling mom, I decided to make it into a lesson to put into his first grade portfolio. Here is his list of what he would do if he were president (all in his own words):

1) Make special fighting droids with special shields (Droid Akars)
2) Make stronger suits for the good army
3) Make big walkers (AT-AP Walkers)
4) Make the clone ship & walkers from Episode III (Are you noticing the Star Wars theme so far? I did ask him to think of other things too!)
5) I would give the people who robbed a few more chances.
6) I would make smoking illegal.
7) I would make the UN stronger.
8) I would stay up all night planning more presidential stuff.
9) I would make fire ships (for wildfires) & fire walkers with sprays on them. Battle fire boats, too.
10) Hurricanes - get people out of where the hurricanes are coming (use AT-AT walkers with fast legs)
11) Tornados - same thing
12) I would make builder soldiers to protect the poor people & build houses. They would make free jobs for the Moms & Dads. The bosses would be nice because the people would be poor.
13) Make schools safer - keep police guards, check everyone's pockets, police near stop signs so people don't ignore them
14) Make the world clean - every time you go for a walk, you take a bag & gloves to pick up trash
15) Try as hard as I can to find a cure for cancer
16) Floods - roads closed down, water sucked up by suckwalkers who then take it to poor people who don't have enough water

Once we got past all the Star Wars ideas, I think he came up with some pretty good things to accomplish. Perhaps I should send his list to The White House...

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours

Meal Planning for Our Household

In yesterday's Small Successes comments, ViolinMama asked about my 4-week meal plan, so I thought I'd share it w/ you. (BTW - She is going to be homeschooling this fall & has started a second blog to highlight their adventures. Check it out - A Rosey Outlook Adventure: Homeschooling)

The first thing I did was make a list of the main dishes most of us like. I do have one extremely picky eater, but I've decided that if he doesn't like what we're having, he can make himself a PB&J sandwich or have a bowl of cereal. Next, I took a blank calendar page & started plugging in the food, making sure that there were not two chickens in a row or two pastas in a row.

So, the following is what is on our schedule for one month of main dishes.

Week One
Sunday - Quiche
Monday - Quesidillas
Tuesday - Kielbasa
Wednesday - Meatloaf
Thursday - Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Friday - Subs
Saturday - Pizza

Week Two
Sunday - Stir Fry
Monday - Chicken Nuggets or Patties
Tuesday - Pasta
Wednesday - Turkey Noodle Casserole
Thursday - Spaghetti w/ Beans & Broccoli (no sauce)
Friday - Chicken Wraps
Saturday - Pizza

Week Three
Sunday - Roast
Monday - Tostadas or Tacos
Tuesday - Baked Chicken
Wednesday - Ham Steak
Thursday - Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Friday - Subs
Saturday - Pizza

Week Four
Sunday - Stir Fry
Monday - Taco Pie
Tuesday - Pasta
Wednesday - Burgers
Thursday - Pork Schnitzel
Friday - Ham w/ Beans & Rice
Saturday - Pizza

One of the first things you probably noticed is that pizza is listed for every Saturday. This is for Casinodad's benefit! I work all day Saturday, so having either a frozen pizza or a roll of pizza dough in the fridge makes things easier for him.

Also, there are a couple meals that occur every other week. The Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole is a favorite around here, so I made sure to put it on twice. Other things can be varied: Pasta might be spaghetti, rigatoni, or lasagna. The stir fry may be w/ chicken, pork, or steak & the veggies will be different each time. Quiche could be spinach or bacon or both. Subs one week might include turkey, salami, & cheese while the next time might be ham & cheese. So, even though the meals are planned for each week, there is a lot of flexibility.

I make my shopping list once a week, depending on what we already have on hand & what we'll need for the next week's meals. I also make sure to have a variety of veggies & fruits for side dishes, plenty of lunch & breakfast items (mac & cheese, hot dogs, PB&J, cheese tortillas, cereals, bagels, eggs, bacon, etc.)

This plan may not be perfect 100% healthy, but over the past few weeks, I've found that it works for us. As we move into fall & winter, I'll probably tweak a few things here & there to include soups, chili, & other comfort foods.

If any of the above meals sounds good to you, let me know & I'd be more than happy to pass on the recipe.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day Seven - Favorite Cover of a Song (2nd post today)

When I first saw this topic for Day Seven, I had absolutely NO IDEA what it meant. Did it mean album cover? Nope! After reading Angela's choices, I realized that it is a song sung by someone other than the original artist.

I actually have several I'd like to share w/ you today...in no particular order.

First is Bette Midler's version of Baby Mine. As you know, it is originally from Disney's Dumbo, but she sang it in the movie Beaches. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a YouTube video that I liked to post for this one. (BTW - Many of the other songs she sang in Beaches were great, too!)

The second is Kenny Loggins version of America's The Last Unicorn (from the movie of the same name). This was one of my favorite movies growing up & when I heard Kenny sing it on his Return to Pooh Corner lullaby CD, I fell in love w/ it all over again. The whole CD, if you haven't heard it, is full of covers that he would sing to his son at night.

The next one I thought was just awesome when I saw it on Glee this past season. Matthew Morrissey & Neil Patrick Harris singing Aerosmith's Dream On. This is one version that I definitely think is way better than the original. (Of course, I'm not an Aerosmith fan anyway!) Their characters were using the same song to audition for the lead in Les Miserables. Because they were arguing & interrupting other auditions, the director told them to just sing it together.

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Small Successes


Danielle Bean says, "It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."

1) I set up our new printer & it actually works!!! YAY!!!!!!! (Our old one wouldn't play w/ our new computer, so we've been w/out for the past couple months.)

2) I got the house in order for The Saint's birthday party on Friday an hour BEFORE guests arrived. This is a BIG accomplishment for me...usually I'm scrambling to put away those last minute things. BONUS: I mowed the lawn that morning, too!

3) I've stuck to our four week meal plan. What made it easy was to plan the shopping list weekly instead of longer. Keeping it simple makes it less overwhelming.

How are things going for you? If you'd like to share, go to Faith & Family Live to join in.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Premio Dardos" Award (3rd post today)

"Premio Dardos" is an Italian phrase that means "Prize Darts." This wonderful award was given to me by Judy at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings. This award is given to bloggers in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values they share in the form of creative and original writing.

I am happy to share this award w/ 15 bloggers & ask that they, in turn, pass it on to 15 more. Thank you all for your inspiration & dedication in sharing your thoughts w/ others!

1) Young Mom

2) Violin Mama

3) Kimberly at Catholic Family Vignettes

4) Crazy Girl at Celestial Academy

5) Colleen at Thoughts on Grace

6) Farmer's City Wife

7) Mary at Passionate Perseverance

8) Nicole at Mothering with Mary

9) Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures

10) Kathy at Faith on a High Wire

11) Kristen at St. Monica's Bridge

12) Kelly at Gratiae ut Deus

13) Angela at Pretty in Orange

14) Lucy & her daughters at Mystical Rose Design

15) SAHMinIL

Day Six - The Earliest Thing I Can Remember (2nd post today)

I'm lucky if I can remember what happened an hour ago, so how am I supposed to find an early memory...LOL!

Actually I do have one. When I was about three or four years old, one of my favorite TV shows was Emergency. I don't remember any of the episodes or characters other than Roy & Johnny. My mom says that I used to sit on the couch w/ my red fireman's hat to watch them race off to the rescue in their squad.

I remember one day, my mom was cooking dinner & she had the baby gate up to keep my sister & me out of the way. Back in those days (the mid 70's) the baby gates had large openings. I knelt down on the floor & tried to stick my head into the diamond-shaped holes. My mom turned from her cooking & told me I'd better not do that because my head would get stuck & the emergency squad would have to come rescue me. I got excited because I was SO SURE it would be Roy & Johnny coming to help me! (Unfortunately, my head did not get stuck.)

SIDE NOTE: I was pleasantly surprised last year when the BIG switch to digital TV occurred & I found RTN (Retro Television Network). They play a lot of those old TV shows from the 60's, 70's, & 80's...Adam-12, The Incredible Hulk, The Hardy Boys, AND Emergency! I was even more pleasantly surprised when the munchkins sat down to watch Emergency w/ me & DID NOT find it boring.

(Trivia Time: Did you know that the man who played Dr. Kelly Brackett was in the movie Maverick? He was the poker player who lost to Jodie Foster's character, Annabelle Branson.)

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

Judy over at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings, hosts this meme every Wednesday. Simply list five things (or a prayer or any thoughts) for which you are truly thankful this week. Voicing my thanks helps put my life in perspective & realize that, no matter how bad things might be, there is still MUCH good surrounding me.

1) I'm thankful & honored that my best friend's daughter has asked me to be her Confirmation sponsor. Several years ago, I probably would have declined because I was not very strong in my faith. Thankfully, I've grown so much in the last few years that I had no hesitation when she asked me. Perhaps God was leading me to this moment!

2) I'm thankful for the 30 Day Meme I've been doing lately. Some of the posts are fun, but some are quite reflective. I'm really enjoying it. Let me know if you give it a go. I'd love to read your daily thoughts!

3) I'm thankful that The Princess' hair is finally growing out. (Remember THIS POST?) We can now put it into two little pigtails...that look absolutely adorable on her!

4) I'm thankful for a GREAT visit to northern Ohio to visit Casinodad's family. His aunt / godmother has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer & was given only 5-6 months. We were able to spend some time w/ her on Sunday. She looks great & has such a positive outlook. I am simply amazed at the peace she has.

5) I'm thankful that The Saint's injury toward the end of his birthday party on Friday was not as serious as we thought it might have been. While standing at the back patio door taking pictures of The Princess & my best friend's daughter twirling flags, The Saint fell out the door. He landed on the concrete patio head first, receiving a big bump on his forehead. Of course it had to be right about his bedtime, so I sat in the back of the van w/ him to keep him awake. Thankfully, my sister had given him a bag of lollipops for his birthday, so I kept popping one of them in his mouth when it looked like he might doze off. Also, the new children's urgent care is only 10 minutes away!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day Five - A Thank You Letter to Someone Who Has Changed Your Life

(I'm cheating just a bit & writing this thank-you letter to all four of the munchkins.)

Dear Prophet, Archangel, Princess, & Saint,

The four of you have brought so much into my life & changed me in ways that I could never have imagined before children.

You've helped me to slow down & look at the world around me through your eyes. For example, Prophet, when you were four years old, we passed a house that had a willow tree in its yard. You said, "Mommy, that tree looks like spaghetti!" Ever since then, I've taken the time to look at different trees myself & appreciate their majestic beauty. Daddy & I decided that each of you will choose your own tree for our future house in the country someday.

You've taught me what is truly worth worrying about. That broken nail or missed TV episode aren't such a big deal when your second child (Archangel) has jaundice & needs to be on a photo-therapy blanket for the first week of his life & a nurse has to come every day to take blood from his tiny heel, when he later needs hernia surgery at the age of two, or breaks his arm the day before I leave for a weekend trip w/ friends.

You've shown me how free it feels to sing & dance throughout the day. Music has always been a part of my life, & even though it's always playing somewhere in the house, some of the music w/in me has been put on hold while I've been raising all of you. Princess, you have reawakened my internal music. You have such a beautiful voice & I just love to hear you sing songs about God & someday becoming a saint in Heaven.

You've become great students & teachers in the school of life, showing that you're never too young or old to learn something new. Each day is a new adventure. Saint, watching you learn & seeing how much you really do understand at the age of two is astounding! Each day you're adding more to your vocabulary. You're very creative & can make almost anything into either a telephone or a gun (yep, you're all boy!)

You've helped me realize that I CAN make it through the day despite a sleepless night!

You've shown me what unconditional love & forgiveness are. Even when you've been fighting & arguing most of the day, when one of you gets hurt, the others are quick to sympathize & bring along some comfort (a stuffed animal, a hug, etc.) Or when someone in the neighborhood is picking on one of you, the rest of you are there to support your sibling. And no matter how strict I may be or how many times I may get angry & yell at you, you're always open to hugs & kisses.

Most of all, you've taught me what real prayer is. Prayers of thanksgiving for the beautiful children God has blessed & entrusted us with. Prayers of contrition...realizing that I'm not the perfect mother & never will be. I have, do, & will continue to make mistakes, but I apologize, you forgive, & we move on. Prayers of petition to keep our family safe & healthy, to help us through those sleepless nights, to help me be a better mother, & most of all, to help me help you get to Heaven.

Each one of you brings something special to our family. I love each of you so much & pray that we continue to grow together in our faith & family.

Much love & many blessings,

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Day Four - What do I Think Paradise is Like? (2nd post today)

As a SAHM of four munchkins, my first thought of paradise is one hour of peace & quiet, where I am not exhausted. A place where there is no talking back, toys get picked up upon request, the house is always clean, & kids will eat whatever they are served...with NO complaints! Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE my children & would give my life for them. However, there are those days...

But, in all seriousness & after deep reflection, I think the following list sums up my real view of Paradise:

* We would all live in peace. All wars would cease & there would be no division between nations (including w/in the nations themselves.)
* People would care for one another w/out wondering how it would benefit them.
* ALL life would be respected from conception to natural death.
* There would be no more pain & suffering.
* We would walk w/ Jesus among all the angels & saints.

Isn't this what Jesus has promised us, so long as we follow Him? The road to Paradise is long & has many bumps & curves, but if we keep our eyes on the end & ask Jesus for help, we WILL reach the ultimate Paradise...Heaven.

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Day Three - Five Songs I'd Take on a Deserted Island

I really had to brainstorm to come up w/ the five songs I would want with me on a deserted island. This question is just NOT FAIR for one w/ a B.A. in Music Education!!! I ALWAYS carry music around in my head, so would I really only have five songs w/ me? I don't think so. But, since I can only choose five, these are the ones I'd want. I chose a variety, plus I had to make sure they were songs I wouldn't get tired of.

1) On Eagle's Wings by Michael Joncas & sung by Michael Crawford (This would be my inspirational song.)

2) Vivaldi's Four Seasons (If that actually counts as four songs, I'd narrow it to my favorite movement & choose Spring.)

3) I've Finally Found Someone by Barbra Streisand & Bryan Adams (This is our song, so I'd HAVE to choose it. It fit Casinodad & me perfectly when we first started dating.)

4) Joseph's Song by Michael Card (I just LOVE this song & can't wait until our local Christian station plays it at Christmas time.)

5) The Song of the Cebu by Larry the Cucumber (This would be my FUN song. Gotta love those Veggie Tales!)

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

30 Day Meme Extension

Don't worry...I haven't forgotten. I'm going to extend my 30 Day Reflection Meme a couple of days. This is a busy weekend for us...The Saint's birthday party Friday night, working all day on Saturday, & a visit w/ Casinodad's family on Sunday. So, I will be posting Days 3 & 4 on Monday.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day Two - Something that Inspires You

There are SO MANY things that inspire me...how can I narrow this down? I can hear a piece of music that really inspires me to dance, sing, or just reflect on my life. I can read a book that inspires me to be a better wife, mom, teacher, or person overall. That sunset that paints the sky w/ an array of beauty or the fresh, crisp scent of spring air inspires me to thank God for the nature He has given us. That homily at Mass that inspires me to be a better Christian to my fellow brothers & sisters in Christ. Once I learned to stop comparing myself to them, I have found MANY great women in this blogging community who inspire me.

If I have to choose only one thing that inspires me, though, I'm going to go w/ my family. Casinodad, my dear, sweet husband, has been a great source of Catholic inspiration to me. He would probably tell you that I've been more his inspiration, but maybe it works both ways! We are both "Cradle Catholics," but I think a lot has been missed in the early years of our faith formation. In the past few years, we have both grown so much in our faith together. We still have a long journey ahead of us, but thankfully we think the same on most issues & are learning together.

The munchkins are also a source of inspiration for me. They see the little things that most adults miss in their busy, hectic worlds. I've learned to slow down & open my eyes to the beauty of the world around me, seeing things through their eyes. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. Even Jesus said that we must become like the little ones. What a tough, yet GREAT lesson to learn.

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As I mentioned in the last installment of "Kids Say the Darndest Things," The Princess will sometimes have bad dreams & be in that not-quite-awake stage. A few months ago, I decided that, in addition to our family nighttime prayers, I would say a special one for her once she's in her bed. We list cheerful things & may vary it a bit, but this is the gist of it:

"Dear Heavenly Father, Please watch over (The Princess) as she sleeps tonight. Give her sweet dreams of rainbows & sunshine, lollipops & roses, lilacs & lavender, princesses & castles, fairies & unicorns, Mary & all the angels & Saints in Heaven, & all about God! Amen."

The Saint, now that he is sleeping w/ her in her bed, will pipe in at various words...usually the ones he thinks are fun to say. So, with a big smile on his face, he'll say, "ca-als" (castles), "cor" (unicorns), "May-ee" (Mary), & "Dod" (God).

Day One - Guilty Pleasure (2nd post for today)

I KNOW I have more than one, so this was very tough to narrow down.

Nutella, that rich, creamy cocoa hazelnut spread (which tastes great on a spoon all by itself!)
I first discovered it in Hungary when I was studying there for a semester in college. It became quite the comfort to us when we got homesick. We'd smear it on a slice of bread, bought fresh that day at the local bakery, then pour a glass of apricot brandy to go w/ it. I really missed Nutella when I got home. I was so excited the first time I saw it in a local grocery store. And, they've recently doubled the size of the jar. Mmmmmmmm!

Want to join in this 30 Day Meme? You can get the complete list of daily topics HERE. Be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours.

Small Successes

Oops! For some reason this posted Wed. instead of Thurs.


Danielle Bean says, "It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."

1) I went through all of our crayons, markers, & colored pencils to get ready for school this year. I tossed all those that didn't work or were too broken to use. I even have some crayons from when I was a child, some 30 years ago. They were a much better quality back then, weren't they?

2) I condensed our family medical files from 5 hanging file folders to 2. Do we really need 10 info sheets on the vaccinations the kids & all those multiple copies of privacy policies? I think not!

3) I said yes to each of the munchkins at various times this week even when I didn't really want to, whether it was for painting, baking a dessert for the family, or sleeping in the basement (although that one didn't last the night!)

What's gone well for you? Share & check out others at Faith and Family Live.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

30 Day "All About You" Meme (2nd post today)

My dear college friend, Angela (formerly known as Lawgirl), posted this on her blog & I thought it looked like a fun 30-day meme to do. Answer one question each day for the next 30 days. Mine will start tomorrow. I may have to modify a question or two, but I'll let you know on that day if I did. Let me know if you decide to try it too. I'd love to learn more about YOU!

BTW - She recently combined all her blogs into one & it is simply adorable. The colors are so fun & cheerful and she has something for everyone on there. She has a section for health & fitness, reviews, decorating, & just plain old everyday musings. It's called "Pretty in Orange." (Can you guess what her favorite color is?!?)

Day 01- Guilty pleasure.
Day 02- Something that inspires you.
Day 03- The five songs you would have with you on a desert island and why.
Day 04- What you imagine paradise to be like.
Day 05- A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 06- Earliest thing you can remember.
Day 07- Favorite cover of your favorite song.
Day 08- Someone you think would make a good president.
Day 09- Five things you want to see change.
Day 10- A dream you had this past week described in detail.
Day 11- Favorite picture ever taken of yourself.
Day 12- Your favorite musical artist’s life story.
Day 13- A memory that never fails to make you laugh.
Day 14- Best mashup you’ve ever heard.
Day 15- A moment, phrase, or song that has changed your life the most.
Day 16- Something that you want to do within the next five years.
Day 17- What you want to be remembered for.
Day 18- A picture that makes you feel.
Day 19- A passage from a book that has touched you.
Day 20- A band that you immediately liked and the song that made you like them.
Day 21- Your favorite medium of art.
Day 22- Someone you would give your life up for without question.
Day 23- Most awkward first impression you feel you’ve ever given.
Day 24- Something you did as a child that other people remember you for.
Day 25- Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail.
Day 26- Your definition of love.
Day 27- Your definition of the meaning of life.
Day 28- A moment you remember being completely happy in and a description of why you believe you were. What is your definition of happiness?
Day 29- What you live for.
Day 30- Ways you believe you have grown over the past thirty days.

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

Judy over at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings, hosts this meme every Wednesday. Simply list five things (or a prayer or any thoughts) for which you are truly thankful this week. Voicing my thanks helps put my life in perspective & realize that, no matter how bad things might be, there is still MUCH good surrounding me.

1) I'm thankful for the time spent w/ The Saint in the evenings, putting him to bed. He is now out of the Pack & Play, sleeping in The Princess' bed for now w/ her & doing quite well (& he's sleeping most of the night now...a BIG accomplishment!) I will sit in the rocker, praying the Rosary, while he goes back & forth between the bed & me.

2) I'm thankful for the kindness of the greeter at Walmart last evening. While he was getting the sticker printed for my return, he asked about my day & also gave me a great thought that someone passed on to him..."Every day is a good one, some are just better than others!" What a positive thought!

3) I'm thankful The Princess has been so helpful around the house lately. Each day she practically begs to wash dishes for me & for a five year old, she does a great job! (It probably doesn't hurt that we keep a credited account for her...she's saving up for a couple of the miniature American Girl dolls.)

4) I'm thankful for The Archangel's thirst for knowledge. At the library yesterday, he went straight to the science section & picked out books on all but 2 planets & a big pictorial book on weather. As he was reading a couple of the planet books, he was so excited to share some of the things he learned w/ me.

5) I'm thankful for The Prophet's growth & some of the great conversations we have together.

6) And a bonus for this week...I'm so thankful that on this day, two years ago, I gave birth to a wonderful blessing. The Saint has brought so much love & joy into our lives, drawing our family even closer together.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Review - How Do You Tuck in a Superhero

Rachel Balducci is a mother of five boys & one baby girl. She is a regular writer on Faith & Family Live, as well as her own blog, Testosterhome. (Isn't that a GREAT name for a blog?!?)

In How Do You Tuck in a Superhero, she describes the adventures & antics associated with raising boys. Wow! I thought my boys were adventuresome at times! They say that laughter is the best medicine. Well, when you have boys, a sense of humor is a MUST, as she proved in her book. I found myself laughing out loud throughout much of the book.

On page 75, she has a list of rules she can't believe she had to make for her family. Page 114 has a list of things that no longer sound crazy (to her) -- "You can try to invent a jet pack, but I will not buy the fuel for it."

The book is laid out with quick, easy to read passages, but I dare you to read just a bit at a time! I couldn't put it down...except when I had to find out what my own boys were up to!!

I love this quote of hers from page 109 (about 1/2 way through the book):

"We women with boys (and it's a heck of a lot of us, really), we need to encourage each other. Yes, it's tough. Yes, boys can be wild. But, it's worth it. You're doing great. You're going to make it.

"You are raising tomorrow's men. Make warriors, not wimps."
If you have boys in your life, whether sons, grandsons, nephews, etc., check out this book. You'll either empathetically nod you head & say you've been there or you'll thank God for the peace you have in your life compared to Rachel.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Movie Reviews - Dear Frankie and Bride & Prejudice

When I watch a DVD, I always like to watch the previews. One reason is that many times I get an idea of how good the movie I'm going to watch will be. Sometimes, the weirder the previews the weirder the movie! Another is to get ideas for other movies I'd like to see.

So, a couple weeks ago, I got the movie Dear Frankie from the library. It had been recommended in a Catholic magazine I'd recently read. It is the story of a nine year old boy & his mother. She has hidden the truth of why his father is not in his life by telling him that his father is in the service. The boy, Frankie, writes letters to his father & sends them to a PO box. His mother, in turn, picks up the letters & replies as if she were his father. This all works well until one day a school mate informs him that his father's ship will be in their town port. So, the mother finds & pays a man to pretend to be the boy's father. The man is played by Gerard Butler, who played the Phantom in the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera musical. The movie itself was just okay for me & I am VERY surprised it was recommended in a Catholic magazine, due to some of the content & talk.

At the beginning of Dear Frankie, there was a preview for Bride & Prejudice, a Bollywood film. (If you're not familiar w/ Bollywood, it is the India version of Hollywood.) This is a modernized telling of Jane Austin's Pride & Prejudice and it is also a musical. I LOVED this movie, so much in fact that I watched it a second time w/ Casinodad! It stars Aishwarya Rai, who is one of the most popular actresses in India & very beautiful! Naveen Andrews (Sayid from LOST) is also in it, playing the best friend to Will Darcy. His role is VERY different from his character on LOST...can you see Sayid singing & dancing?!? Click HERE to see the Wedding Song - Balle Balle, in which he dances like the Indian version of MC Hammer.

Bride & Prejudice is a very clean movie, not even any kissing. Aishwarya Rai has never done a kissing scene in any of her movies & has no plans to. The only exception was one provocative dance by Ashanti. She's onstage at a beach night club surrounded by a dozen or so bare-chested males in jeans & barefeet. I think they could have left that part out.

Overall, this was such a FUN movie...one that I intend to own, as well as the soundtrack. I loved the music & dancing, as well as the story itself. It's a great romantic comedy that even Casinodad liked.

Let me know your thoughts if you've seen either of these movies!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

NOTE: Just to let my readers know...after today, I'm going to take a couple weeks off for a computer break. I need to replenish my spiritual well & reconnect w/ my family. Please keep us in our prayers & I'll "see" you when I return!

Every once in a while, The Princess will get up in the middle of the night, not quite awake. She'll pace around her room, whimpering & crying. Since The Saint sleeps in her room, I usually rush in there & take her to my room until she's calmed down. I know she's calm when I ask who she is & who I am. If she answers correctly, I lead her back to bed & she's good for the rest of the night.

The other night, she had one of these little episodes. When I asked who she was, she answered correctly. However, when I asked who I was, she said (w/out pause), "Spiderman!" I'm guessing she had a dream about Spiderman since the munchkins had watched one of the movies earlier in the day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Small Successes


Danielle Bean says, "It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."

WOW! It's July 1st already! Where has this year gone?

1) I finally got our garden started.

2) Using cherries from our tree, I've made two cobblers that turned out really good.

3) I made a tough decision...I'm taking a "computer break." My spiritual well is starting to run dry & I've been neglecting some of my family duties, so I NEED to take a break. Other than checking my email, I will be stepping away from blogs, Facebook, etc. for the next two weeks.

How's your week been? Check out Faith & Family Live to share your success stories & see how others have fared. See you in a couple weeks!