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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mommy Rhapsody on YouTube (2nd post today)

Nicole at Mothering with Mary posted this on her blog & I thought it was too fun not to share.

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 made pancakes for the munchkins this morning...and they didn't even ask! Not only did I make pancakes, I made chocolate chip pancakes w/ almond extract instead of vanilla. It's the little things that make a BIG difference in taste!

2) I allowed The Archangel to have a pet...a caterpillar that he found outside yesterday. (I'm not much of a dog person, Casinodad is allergic to cats, & we really don't have a decent spot for fish right now, so we've not gone the pet route w/ the munchkins.) It's a light brown one that he's keeping in a container w/ leaves & a twigs. He's named him Fuzzy & is taking very good care of him. The Archangel was so worried about Fuzzy when we went to the library. He kept saying, "I hope Fuzzy is okay. I can't wait to get home & check on Fuzzy." When he first started getting Fuzzy's "house" together, the munchkins were talking about how they'll care for him. The Archangel said that Fuzzy was his alone, but would welcome any help. The Princess said that she would babysit.

3) I've been making an attempt to get up earlier this week, read the day's readings, & shower before the munchkins are up. I'd gotten out of the habit, preferring to sleep in because I don't sleep well anyway, but felt that I really NEED that time to myself in the morning. I WISH I could get up even earlier, but I don't see that happening...YET!

Has it been a successful week for you? Stop by Faith & Family Live to share the joys of your accomplishments...no matter how big or small.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings - Vacation Edition (2nd Post Today)

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 our great three day vacation to Hocking Hills last week while Casinodad had the week off of work. See my Wordless Wednesday post from today for a few photos & hopefully I'll get another post up soon.

2) I'm thankful for all the joy & thanks we received from the munchkins for taking them to Hocking Hills. They had so much fun & surprisingly, there weren't many arguments!

3) I'm thankful that even though temps were in the upper 80s & low 90s, it didn't seem too hot for our excursions...wading in Lake Logan, sluicing at the gem mine, & trekking through Ash Cave.

4) I'm thankful that we were able to find a cabin that is well taken care of & VERY affordable. It was only $99 per night & we got $15 off of that each night for taking our own linens. This is our cabin...Noah's Ark Cabin. How cute is that?

5) I'm thankful there was a clean hot tub at our cabin. We didn't feel comfortable leaving the munchkins inside alone at night, so we took turns. Ahh! Very soothing! (The cabin we stayed in last year also had a hot tub, but we were unable to use it. We turned it on to let the munchkins sit on the edge & dip their feet in, but as soon as it started bubbling, it kicked up all kinds of sediment from the bottom...EEEEWWWW!)

Wordless Wednesday - Ash Cave

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recipe for Michaelmas

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, & Raphael. A few years ago, I came across this recipe on the All Recipes website to make for the feast day & it was a hit w/ my family. I thought I'd share it w/ you, but before I do, I wanted to share why we're making this particular cake. The following is taken from Catholic Culture's web page about the Feast of the Archangels:

Folklore in the British Isles suggests that Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, and stamped and spat on them, so that they would be unfit for eating. A Traditional Irish proverb says: On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries. If you have access to blackberries, make this the last picking and eating. Perhaps make a blackberry pie?

Or in our case... Blackberry Wine Cake!

1 (18.25 oz.) pkg white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) pkg blackberry gelatin ***
4 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. blackberry wine (I used the Manischewitz Kosher Blackberry...delicious!)
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease & flour a 9 or 10 inch tube pan. (I just used a regular rectangular Pyrex cake pan.) Put chopped pecans in bottom of pan.

Combine the cake mix, blackberry gelatin, eggs, oil, & 1 c. of blackberry wine. Beat for 2 minutes, then pour batter over top of pecans.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until cake tests done. Pour 1/2 of blackberry wine glaze (see recipe below) over top of cake while still warm. Let set for 10 minutes then remove cake from pan. Allow cake to coof fully before pouring remaining glaze on top.

Blackberry Wine Glaze: Mix together the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 c. blackberry wine, & softened butter or margarine. Beat until smooth.

* Obviously the alcohol is cooked out of the wine used in the cake mix, but not in the glaze. So, use your judgment in giving this cake to your kids or leaving the glaze off of the recipe.

*** NOTE: The first time I made this, I couldn't find blackberry gelatin so I used black cherry. This time, all I found was Jell-O Blackberry Fusion (blackberry & raspberry).

Monday, September 27, 2010

IMPORTANT NOTICE for Members of "Catholic Mothers Online"

If you are a member of Catholic Mothers Online, please CLICK HERE for important changes to the button you have on your blog. All of the information is there in Angie's post. Basically, you'll probably just have to get a new code for your button...very simple to update!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Movie Review - The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

We just finished a GREAT Christian movie that is VERY family friendly...The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry. Set in the summer of 1970, the movie is about a 12 yr. old boy who befriends a 75 yr. old man (played by Gavin Macleod) from his church & his neighborhood. Mr. Sperry helps draw Dustin & his friends closer to Jesus through weekly Bible lessons in his home. He uses all of their life experiences in the lessons, including bullies, girls, & a grumpy old neighborhood man (played by Robert Guillaume).

The movie is rated PG for mild thematic elements (the part about the bullies, I believe). The Archangel had no interest in watching a movie this afternoon, but The Prophet & The Princess both loved it. The Prophet even told me that it makes him want to read his Bible more often :-) I highly recommend this as a great movie to watch w/ the family. It brought me to tears in some parts...and Casinodad, too - but don't tell him I said that ;)

Here's a trailer that I found on YouTube:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings (2nd Post Today)

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 am thankful for the bountiful apples from my parents' trees & for my parents' generosity in giving us a BUNCH of them. So far, I've made several batches of Crockpot Applesauce that is easy & DELICIOUS!

2) I am thankful for my dear college friend who sent me the Crockpot Applesauce recipe at the PERFECT time & for Judy who sent me an Apple Butter recipe that I plan on using very soon.

3) I am thankful that Casinodad's car ONLY needed a new battery & it was not the alternator or something horribly expensive. It wouldn't start for me on Friday afternoon & when we tried to jump it, it wouldn't start. AAA came out, tested the battery, & jumped it enough to get to the battery store.

4) I am thankful that The Princess has emerged from the shyness shell she's been in the past few years...just in time to start Kindergarten PSR & to join the Little Flowers program. She LOVES both. Almost every day she asks how many days until Sunday for PSR or for the next Little Flowers meeting.

5) I am thankful Casinodad has this whole week off of work. Originally he was only taking off Wed.-Fri., but then found that he had extra vacation time & took off Mon. & Tues. too. So, we're having a fall break from school this week while we spend quality family time together.

Wordless Wednesday - The Next Great Novelist

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How We Save Money Part Two...Including Recipes

In my last post, I detailed many of the ways our family saves money. Since then, I've thought of a few other things we do.

  • We take advantage of our GREAT library system...not just for books, but also movies & CDs. We rarely pay for movie rentals at Blockbuster or other video stores & we rarely buy books, movies, or CDs. Any that we do purchase generally come from our birthday or Christmas gift money, so we're not tapping into our family accounts. This has been tough for me as I LOVE my books!
  • I don't color my hair & at this point I really don't need to. Gray hairs didn't start to appear until after I turned 30. Only w/in the past few months have the grays started to become more visible, but still not enough to justify coloring my hair. If I follow the tradition on my mom's side of the family, I will have a nice head of white hair when I'm older...which looked great on my grandmother & her sisters. My mom's is starting to "head" (yes, pun intended!) that way also & looks great on her.
  • When we use our printer, I print on the lowest setting unless it's an important document. This saves a lot of ink.
  • We have not paid for haircuts for the six of us in almost three years! You can see my post from 2009 HERE about this. That post also explained why I rarely use shampoo anymore (which is another great savings for us).
Now for the recipes. I can't take credit for these recipes as I've collected them through various blogs, magazines, websites, etc. over the past few years.

1/2 bar Fels Naptha soap (grated)
8 c. water
Bring to a light boil for 5 minutes.

24 c. cold water
1/2 c. Borax
1/2 c. washing soda
Favorite essential oil - use your judgment on strength of scent
(I use sweet orange.)

Use 1/2 - 3/4 c. for full load of laundry. It becomes a thick gel as it sits, so I shake the bottle before each use. Store in air-tight container(s). It only takes about 20 minutes to make up a batch. The longest is grating the Fels Naptha.

1) Most of the ingredients can be found in the laundry section of a grocery store, although ours has the Fels Naptha in the body soap aisle (not sure why!)

2) Arm & Hammer Washing Soda is different than baking soda.

3) I store mine in old (washed out) laundry detergent bottles & make 1/2 the recipe at a time. It fills about 3-50 oz. bottles & last about 2 months for our family of 6. Family usage will vary depending on the size of the family, amount of clothes that get dirtied, & any other factors.

4) The Fel Naptha has a very pleasant scent, but you can add any favorite essentials oils if desired. I started adding a sweet orange essential oil to ours.

5) I've been making detergent for about a year & have yet to buy more boxes of the washing soda & Borax. I still have over 1/2 left in each box. One box was $2.99 & the other was $3.99. (I can't remember which was which.) The Fels Naptha is about $1.50 & I've only had to buy three bars so far.

I don't have exact figures, but I have saved our family quite a lot in the last year. The cheapest I bought detergent was $2.99 for a 50 oz. bottle at Aldi & think they are now around $3.50.


2 c. boiling water
2 T. baby bath
2 T. baby lotion
1/2 roll paper towels
(I've tried MANY brands over the years & my current favorite is Aldi's Boulder Ultra. They are the generic for Bounty, but in my opinion they're better.)

Boil water. Add baby bath & lotion, stirring until dissolved. This is where I separate the paper towels into individual sheets then cut them in half. (Choose a size paper towels can be used also to save this step.) Pour water over paper towels & store in airtight container.


1/2 t. liquid dish soap
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. bleach or Borax
2 c. water

Combine ingredients in spray bottle. I add about 20 drops of Lemongrass essential oil. Use in kitchen, bathroom, etc. (A University of AZ study claims that this recipe will kill 99.9% of germs & bacteria.)


(I LOVE this cleaner! This recipe is actually for auto windshield washer fluid, but I think it works GREAT on our house windows & dries w/ NO streaks.)
9 c. water
1 c. isopropyl alcohol
1 T. liquid dish soap

Mix & store in plastic jug or spray bottle. Again, you can add an essential oil...I used Sweet Orange.

NOTE: Most people love white vinegar for windows, but in my opinion, this recipe works much better.


All you need is isopropyl alcohol. Put it in a small spray bottle & use about 5-6 sprays under each arm in place of regular deodorant. If you want to soften the alcohol smell a bit, you can add essential oils. I use a combination of Lavender & Tea Tree oil (less of the Tea Tree oil because it is very strong & woodsy smelling).

NOTE: This is not a perfect deodorant & I found that sometimes I do need to reapply later in the day. I think this is better for cooler months, so in the summer I used regular deodorant.

There are many other homemade recipes I have that I haven't tried yet, but hope to in the near future. The one cleaning agent I absolutely WILL NOT use is ammonia. The fumes from it are so toxic & I can't stand to be near it for even a few seconds. I know bleach is not the safest to be around either, but I'm very careful w/ it, especially around the munchkins.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, if you have any great homemade recipes or money saving tips, please leave me a comment.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How Our Family Saves Money

A couple of weeks ago, my dear online blogging buddy Judy ran a series of posts on trenches & ruts on one of her many WONDERFUL blogs, Benmakesten. They are written from a homeschooling family's viewpoint, but can be applied to anyone! The first one, Trenches vs Ruts, focuses on recognizing the difference between the two & knowing that, as homeschooling families, we should stay in the trenches but out of the ruts. In the second one, Recognizing and Getting Out of a Rut, she lists 11 reasons/ways we can fall into those ruts & 7 things to remember in forming a strategy to get out of them.

The next two articles, Numbers 1-6 of "RUT" Inducers & #7-11 on "Ruts" break down those 11 reasons/ways with Judy's AWESOME personal comments. She has some excellent advice & suggestions in these posts & I plan on printing them off so that I can refer to them often.

In the third post, she mentions money woes as one of the ruts & some small steps that have worked for their family. This got me to thinking about things that our own family has done & I thought I'd share them w/ you. I know there are many, many resources out there, especially during these tough economic times. You've probably heard some these, but there may be some things you haven't heard before. Plus, what may work for our family may not work for yours.

I'll start with laundry:

  • I've not bought laundry detergent in over a year. I found a recipe that I really like & have been using it ever since. (In an effort to save some space in this post, I'll put any recipes I mention in my next post.)
  • I wash towels & sheets in hot water, but everything else gets washed in cold.
  • This is a new tip I just learned last week - When washing towels, run them through the spin cycle a second time. This helps cut down on drying time in the dryer, which takes more energy than the washer.
  • The previous suggestion can be avoided if you hang your laundry to dry. I'm working on getting an outdoor line for hanging clothes, but haven't done so yet.
  • We do air dry about 1/2 of our clothes in the basement, especially items that have a tendency to shrink (jeans, dress pants, blouses, etc.) We either hang them on hangers or drape them across some folding chairs.
  • Because of the above tip, when I have two loads of clothes that I'm washing, I will wait to run the dryer until the second load is done washing. Then I'm only running the dryer once.


  • I make many of our household cleaners (all-purpose spray, window cleaner, baby wipes)
  • I make my own deodorant.
  • We don't run the dry cycle on the dishwasher. Once the dishes are washed, we open up the dishwasher so the dishes can air-dry.

Other Household

  • Unplug appliances when not in use (coffee pot, toaster, etc.) This tip is new for me, so I'm still working on remembering to do this.
  • I made a four week rotating meal plan which we are usually pretty good about sticking to. Having a plan helps keep us from eating a lot.
  • Using that plan, I try to shop only once a week & buy generic as much as possible. Most of the generics I buy are as good as or better than the brand names.
  • I don't normally use coupons unless it's something we use or need. Many people fall into the trap of thinking they're saving money w/ coupons, but end up buying extra stuff just because they have a coupon. Now, I'm not saying coupons are wrong...they just don't benefit our family often, esp. since I mostly buy generic.
  • I don't make a full pot of coffee in the morning. I'm the only one to drink it (unless you count those stolen sips from the munchkins...LOL!), so I don't need to make that much. If there is a significant amount leftover, I will add the creamer & put it in the fridge for iced coffee either later in the day or the next day.
  • Gardening - this is a work in progress for us. Last summer we did well, but this year was WAY TOO HOT & I just didn't tend to it like I should have.
  • We do not have cable or satellite TV. There are so many stations that we wouldn't watch anyway, so why pay for 200+ channels if we'd only watch a dozen or so? If they ever offer a pick & choose service, we may think about it, but there's so much trash on TV nowadays, it's not worth it right now.
  • When the munchkins need new clothes, I go through their old ones & take them to a children's consignment store. Unfortunately, during these tough economic times, many people are doing this & the stores are not buying as much as they used to. Also, whenever I do need to go shopping at other stores for their clothes, I head straight to clearance racks first. I've gotten some great deals in the past.
  • We homeschool, so we save money on back-to-school clothes & supplies, fundraisers, teacher gifts, & any other things schools tend to nickel & dime you for these days.
  • I recently got a raise at work. Now it's only $10 extra a month, but it goes directly to savings each time I get paid. In the meantime, we are living off what we made before the raise.
  • I hung a "No Solicitor" sign on our front door. First off, we don't get bothered by those constant solicitors wanting us to buy this security system or that lawn care package. Secondly, it alleviates that "guilt buying" when kids come to the door selling their various fundraisers.

I'm sure there are other ideas that are alluding me at the moment, but this is a bulk of our money saving stuff. If you have any other great tips, please share in the comments section. And, as promised, the recipes for the homemade items will be in my next post...hopefully within the next couple of days.

Thursday, September 16, 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."

1) Every day this week, we've taken a 1/2 hour walk around our neighborhood...well, I walked, but the older munchkins rode their bikes & The Saint rode his stroller. The weather has been great. My mom even joined us this morning & she's planning to join us more often (either walking our neighborhood or meeting at a park).

2) There was a bunch of detergent residue in the dishwasher so I ran a quick wash w/ about a cup of vinegar. While that was running & I had the vinegar out, I decided to mix some vinegar w/ water & run it through the coffee pot. It's amazing what a little vinegar can do (although I have to admit that I DO NOT like it for cleaning windows, but that's another post I'm working on for the near future...cleaning supplies & how we save money!)

3) I cleaned out our bedroom storage closet. We have two closets in our bedroom. The storage one is where The Saint originally slept for the first year of his life (it IS large enough for the crib & a small bookshelf we used for clothes). Since we moved him into his sister's room, the closet became a place to dump anything we didn't know what to do w/ at the time. It's still got a lot of junk in it, but at least it's organized.

Hey...it's your turn now! Check out Faith & Family Live for more successes & to share your own!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

WOW! Is it Wednesday already?!?! Where is the time going?

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) Thank you God for my wonderful family...immediate & extended! Sure we have many ups & downs like everyone else, but we are happy, healthy, & blessed!

2) Thank you God for all my dear friends, both in real life & here in the blogging/online world! Friends are so important & have so many...each inspiring to me in a different way.

3) Thank you God for this world you've entrusted with us! There is so much beauty surrounding us each & every day.

4) Thank you God for the jobs Casinodad & I have to help support our family! It never seems enough, but when I look at the bigger picture, I know that we are happy & the sacrifices we make are worth it.

5) Thank you God for the opportunity to homeschool! It's stressful at times, but when I hear so many stories of violence, bullying, peer pressure, behavioral problems, etc. in the public & even private/Catholic schools these days, I'm thankful my munchkins are able to learn at home in a safe environment. Plus, we can go at their pace not the average pace of a classroom full of 25-30 students. I could go on & on about the benefits, but I won't at this time!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book & CD Giveaway Notice

Mary at Passionate Perseverance is hosting a book & CD giveaway. She recently reviewed Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to See on her blog. This is the book Mary has chosen for her giveaway. Also included is the CD Beauty Will Rise, by Mary Beth's husband, Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman.

Mary will draw a winner on Wed. Sept. 15, so hop over to her blog to read her great review & for your chance to enter: Mary's Giveaway.

P.S - While you're there, check out some of Mary's AWESOME recipes!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Top Ten Things I Did That Scared the Heck Out of Me

Sherry, from Chocolate for Your Brain, tagged me in this meme last week. I'm finally getting around to my list.

So here goes, in no particular order...The Top Ten Things I Did That Scared the Heck Out of Me (or at Least They Should Have!)

1) I was almost arrested in a small market while studying in Hungary. My friend & I had stopped in to pick up a few items. After paying for our purchases, one of the employees came up to us, ushered us to the side, & interrogated us in Hungarian. We kept saying "Nem ertem" (I don't understand) & we really didn't. Eventually, after being taken to the back room, we figured out that they thought we'd stolen a deodorant, which we hadn't. We emptied our pockets & showed our packages. Finally, after they realized we hadn't taken anything, they let us leave...via the back door! Both of us kept having images of being held in a Hungarian prison for life!

2) My friend & I arrived by train in Paris about 9pm only to realize that we had no Francs (this was before the Euro) & couldn't get money from the ATM because our credit card cash advances were maxed out. We finally got a taxi that would accept American currency, but who knows whether we got gipped or not!

3) That same night in Paris, we arrived at our hostel to find they didn't have our reservation & they were full. Apparently they felt sympathetic towards us two American college students & gave us an attic room w/ two other girls...an uninsulated, cold (this was December) attic used for storage of mattresses & bed frames.

4) On the day we were to leave Paris, we decided to call a taxi instead of trying to get ourselves to the airport, so we called about 2 1/2 hours before our flight was to leave. Well, it took him almost an hour to pick us up & apparently we were in rush hour. He was a very aggressive driver, smoking & yelling out the window at other drivers. I don't think I've ever prayed so many Our Fathers & Hail Mary's as I did on that trip to the airport. We finally arrived w/ 15 minutes to spare. I didn't relax until the plane was in the air.

(BTW - The rest of our stay in Paris was fine...it was just the arrival & departures that were scary & difficult!)

5) We changed parish churches last summer after being at the same one all my life. This was a tough move, but has been a good one for our family.

6) I take all four munchkins on most of the grocery shopping trips. (Need I say more on this one?)

7) When I was in middle school, my sister & I stayed at our neighbors' house while our parents were gone for the weekend. I went home on that Sunday & the door to the house was partially open. I walked in anyway, thinking I must have left it open. I knew something was wrong, though, when I noticed the TV on the couch & the patio door open. Apparently, I had scared the burglar off when I opened the door.

8) When Casinodad & I bought our house...First-time home ownership was a very scary step for us.

9) When I was about 37 1/2 weeks along w/ The Prophet, I went for my weekly appt. & my protein levels & blood pressure were up. I had to wait two days (it was Thanksgiving time) for the results of the all day protein test & finally heard back about 6pm that I had pre-eclampsia & to go to the hospital for an induction. When they told me they were putting me on Magnesium Sulfate to prevent seizures, I really got scared.

10) I gave three recitals in college...two flute & one vocal. As much as I love music, performing in front of friends, family, & professors was quite nerve-wracking.

Now for those I'm tagging:
Angela at Pretty in Orange (perhaps this may help w/ your writer's block?)
CrazyGirl at Celestial Academy
Judy at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings
Mary at Passionate Perseverance
Mary at 3 Turkeys

If I didn't tag you, but you'd like to take part, feel free to & be sure to leave me a note so I can check yours out!

Thursday, September 9, 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."

1) I went through all the munchkins' games. I made a note on top of each box that was missing pieces so that we could keep an eye out for them as the basement gets cleaned up over the next few days.

2) I took all the munchkins shoe shopping & did not lose my mind (or temper!) Someone else posted something similar on their Small Successes last week, so it must be catching!!!

3) I cleaned the top of the refrigerator.

Have you had any successes this week that you'd like to share? Stop by Faith & Family Live today to add yours & check out others' successes.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings (2nd Post Today)

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 extra hours of work Casinodad & I were able to pick up on Monday. I will be paid double time for my four hours & he will receive an extra five hours of work at regular pay.

2) I know this was on last week's list, but again I'm thankful for the past few days weather which enabled us to open up the house & this time, even sleep w/ the windows open. Usually it's way too hot upstairs for sleeping, but these few days were perfect...almost too cool. (Did I just say that?!?!?)

3) I'm thankful for shoe sales! In the past few days, we've gotten new sneakers for all four munchkins & new dress shoes for The Princess & The Prophet...all total under $100. The Saint still needs some dress shoes, but he's been a bit picky lately & wouldn't let me try any more on his little tootsies!

4) I'm thankful for snuggly toddlers! I rested this afternoon & The Saint came upstairs to rest w/ me. He snuggled w/ me, patted my cheek, smothered me w/ little kisses...he was too sweet!

5) I'm thankful for a night out w/ my dear friend, Angela (of Pretty in Orange). We went out for an early dinner Friday night & walked around several shops...including Trader Joes, Crate & Barrel, and The Container Store (& I held such restraint, not buying a single thing!)

Wordless Wednesday - The Princess on Two Wheels

Thursday, September 2, 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."

1) We spent Sunday afternoon weeding around the house. This was a HUGE task! Weeds on either side of the house & in our garden were at least 2 1/2 feet high...yes, quite neglected this summer. But it's been soooooooo hot, I just couldn't stand to be outside.

2) Implemented a new discipline technique for the munchkins. See THIS post from yesterday, detailing what we're doing. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

3) We started our official schooling for the new year.

So, that's been my week! How're things going for you? Check out Faith & Family Live to see more successes & share your own. What a great support group there!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And Now for the "More on That Later..."

In my Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings list below, I mentioned that the hymn "Whatsoever You Do" ties in w/ a new discipline technique Casinodad & I want to implement. We've been having a LOT of problems lately w/ the munchkins disrespecting their siblings & us. There has been much fighting, back talking, nitpicking, etc. Casinodad & I have tried many things to put an end to their behavior, but haven't had much luck. There are some issues beyond our control, but we want to try maintaining any control that we can.

I had an idea recently that might help them see how their behavior effects not only our family, but also Jesus. My dad gave me a copy of a pencil drawing he had of Jesus. Within Jesus hair & beard are penciled drawings of His life here on Earth. Our plan is to post the following on our kitchen cork board: a large construction paper heart over a picture of our family, over another construction paper heart, over the photo of Jesus. The munchkins will not know what is underneath the top heart.

Each time they do something mean or disrespectful to someone else in the family, they will stick a push-pin through the pages. After several days, we will remove the first heart so they can see how their actions hurt the family, then continue the push-pins. After a couple more days, the rest of the pages will be removed to show how their actions hurt Jesus also.

My original idea was to just use the photo of Jesus. When I broached the idea to my dad, he thought it was really good & suggested using a family photo also. We can talk & talk until we're blue in the face, trying to get them to understand how they hurt others through their behavior, but I really think a visual will make a more lasting impression.

To be continued w/ the results...

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 a relaxing, fun overnight trip w/ Casinodad last week. We headed out to Wheeling Island Hotel & Casino in WV. He had gotten a GREAT rate courtesy of a coupon he'd received ($49 + tax for the night...at least 1/3 of the regular rate). We gambled a bit, but nothing excessive, then just relaxed.

2) I'm thankful the munchkins did well for my MIL while we were away. This was the first time she'd stayed overnight w/ them.

3) I'm thankful for the few days of nice weather we had last week that allowed us to open up the house. Now if only they'd return!!!!

4) I'm thankful for all the love, support, & caring I receive from Casinodad on a daily basis. God has truly blessed me w/ a WONDERFUL husband...although at times, I wonder what I've done to deserve him.

5) I'm thankful that the munchkins have been so receptive to our first "official" week of school which started on Monday. Last week was just the wading pool, while this week we dove right in! I decided to tie some of their music studies in w/ religion & teach them church hymns this year. We'll focus on one every two weeks & we started with "Whatsoever You Do." They really liked it & caught on quickly! (This song also ties in w/ a discipline technique Casinodad & I are going to implement this week. More on that later....)