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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Small Successes

Sherry at her blog, Chocolate for Your Brain, hosts Small Successes each Thursday. Check it out to see others' successes & share your own. Recognizing the small things we accomplish each week helps us realize that even when it doesn't seem like it, we are getting things done!

1) The munchkins & I got our flu shots on Monday. (Casinodad got his during his physical on Friday.) The Archangel was so cute...He told the nurse that is was over so quick, he "didn't even have time to say ouch!" HeeHee

2) Knowing our current insurance ends w/ Casinodad's job on Friday, I got myself to the doctor. (I'm one of those who only go if I'm REALLY not feeling well.) Over the weekend I had one of those behind the eye splitting headaches that radiated all the way to my ear & jaw. I thought it was an ear infection, but it's actually my sinuses, too. I'm glad I went & I'm glad I was still able to get my flu shot.

3) I'm hugging & kissing my munchkins even more! They always have received a lot of love & affection from us, but ever since I read Messenger (about Mattie Stepanek & how short, yet meaningful his life was), I've decided I'm not taking my children for granted.

Sherry has added a new feature to this weekly meme & I think it is a GREAT idea. We are to add a goal for the upcoming week. So...

This week, I'll...catch up on lesson plans for the munchkins. We've been doing well keeping up w/ schoolwork each day, but I feel like I'm just flying by the seat of my pants. I need to get some organization going weekly rather than nightly.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

My dear blogging friend, 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 my physical therapy is over. While my back is not completely healed, I was given some core muscle exercises to continue on my own. My therapist also showed my a couple of alignment exercises that I can do a couple times a week if needed. Between the exercises & my being more conscious of how I hold my posture, I think I can now manage better.

2) I'm thankful for classic movies. Over the last week, I have watched The Song of Bernadette & Monsieur Vincent. They just don't make movies like they used to. I would pick a B&W film over a current theatrical release any day! The Princess even asked to watch The Song of Bernadette a second time & wants to be St. Bernadette for Halloween.

3) I'm thankful for the fresh fall weather we've been having lately. I love the cool crisp mornings & the nice breezes blowing through the open windows.

4) I'm thankful for Casinodad's new job. I know I said this last week, but I really am thankful. He's been so unhappy over the last year or so due to the direction his company was heading. It is so nice to see him come home in a good mood, knowing that this is his last week. He will miss some of the people, but definitely not the job itself.

5) I'm thankful for Aldi stores. I love that we can purchase a cart overfull of groceries for under $100.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feast of St. Vincent de Paul (2nd post for today)

Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. He was born into a poor family in the late 1500s. While a young priest, he was captured by pirates & sold into slavery. After two years, he converted his last master & was set free.

Throughout the rest of his life, he became a trusted advisor to French royalty & was dedicated to helping the poor. He helped them find jobs, food, & clothing. He founded the Daughters of Charity, who helped gather money & nurse the sick. He also helped in building homes for those who were sick, aged, & abandoned.

This past Sunday, I stayed home from church because I had a splitting headache & The Saint was also not feeling great. While home, I decided to watch Monsieur Vincent, a 1947 movie about St. Vincent de Paul's work w/ the poor & the struggles he faced in trying to bring the poor & royalty together.

During one scene, he was conferring w/ a group of society's ladies who felt he was causing more trouble. In their minds, he caused more poor people to come to Paris & in turn, caused more crime & problems. He had found a baby outside a church, left to die, & none of the women were willing to take the child in because he had been born in sin.

Monsieur Vincent replied, "When God wants someone to die to pay for sin, He sends His Son."

Despite their shame, they continued to refuse helping him & were very judgmental towards the poor. They tried to encourage him to stop all his work w/ the poor because it was causing problems in their society & going against the judges of the day. I LOVE his response to them:

"When I appear in front of my only Judge, do you think I'll tell Him, 'I witnessed crimes but didn't want to interfere and get in trouble with the local institutions and the judges who allow those crimes."

Now, I don't know for sure if St. Vincent de Paul actually said the above mentioned quotes, but they are still powerful to me.

To the day he died, at the age of 84, he continued to work for the poor & felt that he'd never done enough in his life. As one can see to this day, his work continues through The St. Vincent de Paul Society. Just two weekends ago, our parish had a truck in the parking lot for parishioners to leave their donations of clothing, household items, toiletries, & more.

There will always be poor among us. It is our Christian duty to help those less fortunate than ourselves, no matter what our status may be in life. If everyone did just a little bit, think of how big that assistance would be.

St. Vincent, patron of all charitable associations and father of those who are in misery, come to our assistance. Obtain from Our Lord help for the poor, relief for the infirm, consolation for the afflicted, protection for the abandoned, a spirit of generosity for the rich, grace of conversion for sinners, zeal for priests, peace for the Church, tranquility and order for all nations, and salvation for them all. May we be united in the life to come, by your intercession, and experience joy, gladness, and everlasting happiness. Amen.

"Tuesday's Ten" - 10 Good Cartoons

This week I'm actually providing two lists...TV cartoons & cartoon movies.

10 Good Cartoons I Like

1) Backyardigans
2) Veggie Tales
3) Baby Looney Tunes
4) Muppet Babies
5) Sid, the Science Kid
6) Curious George
7) Berenstein Bears
8) Scooby Doo (the earlier episodes)
9) Looney Tunes (NOT the new ones on Cartoon Network)
10) Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman

10 Good Cartoon Movies I Like

1) Cars
2) Monsters, Inc.
3) Happy Feet
4) Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
5) Finding Nemo
6) Sleeping Beauty (Disney)
7) Wall-E
8) The Last Unicorn
9) Riki Tiki Tavi
10) Charlotte's Web (the first movie that ever made me cry)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy hosts this meme each week. Read other Daybooks HERE.

Outside my window...It's a gray, dreary day. Rain has been steadily falling all morning.

I am thinking...of all the pain & suffering in this world & how I can try to do my part to help, little by little.

I am thankful...that Casinodad has gotten a new job & this is his last week at the bank.

From the learning rooms...Today we are watching Liberty's Kids. I thought that would be a good rainy day activity.

From the kitchen...I'm thinking baked potatoes for dinner tonight. Everyone can choose their own toppings.

I am wearing...denim skirt, a black knit top, & barefeet.

I am creating...lesson plans

I am going...to the doctor this afternoon. My splitting headache from this weekend has spread to my ear, so I'm thinking it's an ear infection.

I am reading...All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (read-aloud for the kids) & Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord.

I am hoping...the increase in The Archangel's medicine dosage will help w/ his emotional outbursts.

I am hearing...Liberty's Kids on the TV, the squeak of my chair, & the hum of the fridge.

Around the house...cluttered! I wasn't feeling well yesterday, so not much got done other than the dishes & a bit of a clutter drill by the munchkins.

One of my favorite things...books! I love to get lost in a good book.

A few plans for the rest of the week...school, doctor's appt. for me this afternoon, Mom Therapy on Friday

Here is picture (or two) for thought I am sharing...The Prophet recently bought this box of (mostly) Legos at Goodwill for $1.29. It had to be worth at least $50.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

My dear blogging friend, 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.

For this week, I am thankful for the following:

1) Laughter...Thanks to Carol Burnett & Tim Hawkins, I have been laughing quite a bit this week.

2) Munchkins who play well together...The past couple of days, they have been spending a lot of time playing w/out fighting. This is a BIG thanks to God for me!

3) New jobs...Last week I mentioned being thankful for some good news. This week I can announce it...Casinodad was offered a new job & will start on Oct. 7. This is a GREAT opportunity for him & all of us!

4) Longevity...Today, Casinodad's aunt celebrates her 92nd birthday. We are going to visit her & Casinodad's father tomorrow.

5) Inspiration through life's hardships...I am currently reading Jeni Stepanek's book, Messenger, about her son Mattie. He was born w/ Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy & not expected to survive, yet lived to the age of 13. Through it all, he toured the country to speak out for peace (esp. after 9/11), published books of his own poetry, & met his heroes. I'm only halfway through the book, but I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Tuesday's Ten" - Ten Great Movies I've Seen

10 Great Movies I've Seen
(This is definitely not an all inclusive list, as there are many movies that I've loved over the years.)

1) Somewhere in Time (1980) - Christopher Reeve is playwright Richard Collier who goes back in time to meet actress Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). Also stars Christopher Plummer.

2) Letters to God (2010) - An 8 yr. old boy w/ cancer writes a letter to God each day as his form of prayer. Throughout his battle, he touches the hearts of all he encounters.

3) Bride and Prejudice (2004) - This is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice that comes from Bollywood in India. See my review HERE.

4) Benny and Joon (1993) - A mentally ill young lady (Mary Stuart Masterson) lives w/ her overprotective, older brother (Aidan Quinn). They end up w/ a house guest (Johnny Depp) who sees himself as Buster Keaton.

5) Untamed Heart (1993) - Marisa Tomei is a waitress & Christian Slater is a shy busboy w/ a bad heart. A touching love story.

6) Fireproof (2008) - Kirk Cameron is a firefighter who is having trouble in his marriage. His father suggests The Love Dare, a 40 day experiment to help save his marriage.

7) Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) - The first Cary Grant movie I ever saw. He learns that his two aunts are homicidal maniacs & his uncle thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt.

8) Harvey (1950) - James Stewart's character has a 6 ft. tall imaginary friend...a white rabbit named Harvey.

9) The Princess Bride (1987) - A fairy tale of "tru wuv" & adventure. "As you wish!"

10) Return to Me (2000) - A man (David Duchovny) unknowingly falls in love w/ the woman (Minnie Driver) who received his deceased wife's heart. A touching love story that also includes a group of Irish/Italian old men who sit around playing cards & listening to Dean Martin.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy hosts this meme each week. Read other Daybooks HERE.

Outside my window...It's cloudy & looks like we're in for a day of rain.

I am thinking...of a lot of stuff & need to clean out/organize those filing cabinets in my mind!

I am thankful...for naps. I took a much needed one after lunch yesterday afternoon

From the learning rooms...We're starting to get back on track. We've withdrawn The Archangel from the online school & am piecing together a good set of lessons for him.

From the kitchen...banana bread - I love when Giant Eagle has bags of ripened bananas for 99 cents.

I am wearing...denim capris, a black knit top, & barefeet.

I am creating...(hopefully) a balanced day for our school/household tasks

I am going...to start school as soon as I post this!

I am reading...The Life of Our Lord for Children by Marigold Hunt (read-aloud for the kids) & Messenger by Jeni Stepanek, her story about her son Mattie & his courageous battle w/ Dysautonomic Mitochondrial Myopathy

I am hoping...that school will continue to get better for us this week. Each week it's been a little better.

I am hearing...The Princess "teaching" The Saint his ABCs & the hum of the dishwasher.

Around the house...a bit cluttered, but not too bad - typical for our family as we transition into another school year.

One of my favorite things...hugs from The Prophet. He's grown so much & there is so much of him to hug now!

A few plans for the rest of the week...school, a trip up north to visit Casinodad's dad & aunt for her 92nd birthday, Small Church Community gathering, Mom Therapy

Here is picture (or two) for thought I am sharing...a school lesson provided by the city - watching city employees working together to resurface our street