I love this group that I found, once again through Sarah Mae at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee! Sarah Mae is so inspiring in so many ways and this 5:16 group is a real challenge for me - I was relieved that she made sure to let us all know that we didn't actually have to be up then, just that we needed to to cut out some time to just spend with God at the beginning of our day. I have know several women throughout the years that are able to get up before everyone else in their household and dedicate some time to reading and prayer - I am NOT a morning person, as I have stated multiple times - so I prefer to do this after everyone is out of the house and I have a better chance of not being interrupted. On tuesday mornings I am often either at my rosary group or at a moms' group at church, so I always get a little extra on those days, but I know that my day is better if I give some time to God before I really get to my running around! Sometimes I say my rosary in the shower or the car to squeeze in a little extra time during the day, but I know I am at my best when I am alone and even better when I make it to the perpetual adoration chapel at church! As lent begins to wind to a close over the next week or so, I am more and more grateful for my faith and the strength that it gives me through Him!!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Myspace Monday Comments
OK, so I think that I will start a new tradition on this blog with my "monday minis" - I'd love to have some cute little graphic that I can use each time - but since I don't know how to do that, I will wait for someone to offer to make one for me!! (hint, hint!!)
- it snowed yesterday - seriously, it snowed lots and lots! the ground was too warm for it to accumulate, but it snowed for a couple hours - on March 30th, go figure!
- Little S made the most fabulous gameboard and game pieces for her project on black holes for school - we are so proud of her!! she did some great stuff with glitter spray paint and paint pens, glow in the dark glue and glow in the dark modeling clay!!
- I had a lot of fun in my PRE class yesterday - we reach the account of the Passion of Christ in the book of John and it led to a lot of good discussion! I really enjoy this 5th grade class!
- I think I gave myself a minor case of shin splints on the treadmill saturday - got a little enthusiastic - I think it may have been the music and a few extra aggressions I was getting out of my system! had to take yesterday off
- I think I am actually starting to enjoy working out - it's all because of Lori! love ya lady!!
- Only 4 more days till our DC trip!! we are all sooo excited! gotta get some new tennis shoes since my current ones are totally worn out and I will kill my feet with all that walking if I don't
- with all our late fees, I think it would be cheaper for us to buy books than go to the library - we really suck at getting things back on time - which is why we now have a pass at Blockbuster - so no more late fees with them at least!!
- my weeping cherry tree is starting to blossom!!!
- the rabbits are eating all my tulips - I wish my old neighbor Carrie was still here with her biodegradable pellet gun - not that it even scared them away, they acted like they didn't even feel it!!
- I am going to reorganize my office today! wish me luck!!!
- I am involved in a perpetual game of phone tag with my sister! Every once in a while we connect, but lately our relationship involves leaving messages for each other answering questions that the other person left for you and responding in kind with more questions of your own!!
- I am determined to be totally caught up on laundry - spring and winter clothes, sheets and towels before we leave for spring break!! That's good for today! I'm off to reorganize the office!! Have a great monday!!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Can I get an "Amen" from the crowd? I am not the only one whose clothes shrink during the winter, am I? Certainly others have the same issue, right? Especially those darn bathing suits!! Well, my dear friend Lori and I have begun preparing ourselves for the inevitable warm weather for which we will begin shedding layers and exposing our alabaster skin to daylight! In an effort to reduce the surface area and therefore the amount of glare that others in the vicinity are exposed to, we have started a morning exercise/therapy session. We gather 3 mornings a week and essentially she tortures my sad little out of shape body, leaving my muscles whimpering but my adrenaline flowing! This is the way exercise should be - you hardly notice the torture because you are enjoying the company so much! Nothing like friend therapy (it's not just cheap, it's free) and taking out your aggressions on some hand-weights! We've known each other for several years, but you get to know a person at a whole different level when you are sweating, groaning and heavy breathing together - mind out of the gutter, we're exercising!!
Anyway, I am grateful to have a friend who will guide me through this new "hobby" of mine - one who will laugh with me, cry with me, push me, challenge me, call me out when I need it!! Lucky me!
Monday, March 23, 2009
It's true!! I love The Tudors! It all began when I read one of Phillipa Gregory's books - I started with "The Other Boleyn Girl" right about the time of the first season of The Tudors. It was the beginning of the end for me! I am totally hooked! I truly, honestly enjoy the story line - I swear! Ok, so Jonathan Rhys Meyers is easy on the eyes.
Ok, his eyes are easy to look at - those piercing baby blues!!
And his body doesn't suck either!
Seriously, who would watch a show about Henry VIII if he looked like the real guy?
Honestly, THIS guy was a lady's man? Was it all about the money and the power? I know that looks aren't everything - they really aren't much of anything in fact, just our outer shell. It's what's inside that really matters. And there certainly was plenty inside the real Henry! He was a big boy - and a stinky one at that - he had a severe leg injury that that never healed - it was putrid, rotten and stunk like only rotting flesh can. Gross! And he was STILL a lady's man - unbelievable! Thank goodness MY Henry isn't the awful guy his inspiration was! ;)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I look forward to this time of year for many reasons, but I have to confess, this is one of my major weaknesses!
I love love love love love Reese's peanut butter eggs! Yes, the pb cups are quite good, they can get me through the rest of the year, but there is something about the peanut butter to chocolate ratio in the eggs that exceed all their other products by a landslide!! I can't, nor do I want to, eat just one!
or for that matter, two! I do have to muster up some serious will power to not down an entire bag of them! If I didn't have to look half decent for my sister's wedding, I'd be on at least my second bag this far into the season, but I am exercising some restraint!
I you haven't tried them, I strongly recommend a trip to the store! You won't be sorry! Your waistline might not thank you, but your taste buds will, I promise!!!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I love these writers workshops that "Mama's Losin' It" does! Always a wide variety of topics to choose from - some more challenging than others, some that I would never touch - at least not out here in bloggyland! This week I chose one that I think could get interesting and as I start, I have no idea where it will take me!!
List 10 things you can do in 3 minutes.... I assume that she meant 3 minutes each and not 3 minutes total for all 10 things! At least that's the spin I'm taking - hope that's ok Kat!!!
1. prep the coffee pot and get it brewing at the beginning of the morning
2. "quietly" remind everybody that they are going to miss the bus - 100 times!
3. check my email
4. say a decade of the rosary - on a good day - otherwise, maybe 5 minutes!
5. check my voicemail
6. put on my makeup
7. look at my daily calendar and get overwhelmed
8. look at my to do list and acknowledge that I will never get to it all in one day
9. leave my sister a voice mail at home, on her cell and at work and never actually talk to her!
10. pull clothes out of the dryer (not yet folded), put the stuff from the washer into the dryer and start it, load the washer and start it!!
perhaps it would be easier to say what I CAN'T do in 3 minutes!!
1. drink my first cup of coffee
2. decide what to cook for dinner
3. have a conversation with any of my girls
4. have a conversation with my sister
5. write a blog entry
6. drive Little S to school every day since she won't ride the bus!
7. take a shower
8. decide what to wear for the day
9. fold the laundry fresh out of the dryer
10. decide on a movie at Blockbuster
Ok, that's good!!
Friday, March 20, 2009
I just have to say that my blog is all messed up! Things keep posting a day or two earlier than they are supposed to. Every once in a while I sit down and write a couple entries at a time and this week everything is haywire!! Is anyone else having that problem????
I've decided this is how I'm weighing myself from now on! I think this lady has the right idea! Why is it that our society is so focused on weight? Now I don't mean serious weight issues that affect your health - that answer is obvious, I mean size 2 vs 10? Why is thin so in? There are cultures that admire the curves of a woman - they see it as a sign that they are healthy and able to bear children! I spent my youth being quite underweight - yes, it's true, underweight! Now, 3 kids later, married to a man who not only likes to cook, but is good at it! Those size 4s left my closet an incredibly long time ago and the next time they show up in my washing machine, they will belong to one of my daughters! What does a real woman look like? What should she look like? I'm not talking about a single 20 something who has nothing but time on her hands to workout and cook "perfect" meals, I mean those of us middle age (yes, I said it) ladies who have some life under our belts (literally!). The reality is that our youth is hard on our older bodies - the wear and tear and abuse we put them through in our 20s is showing up, and it's not always pretty! Remember sunbathing with baby oil (heaven forbid!!), the freshman 15 that consisted of beer and pizza, bras that were about looking pretty rather than giving "the twins" the support they deserved.... the list could go on forever!! I am starting over - starting fresh - the new me - curves and all! Sure I'm going to make some changes - necessary and overdue - but I'm not going to shoot for that 20 or even 30 year old body that I used to have - I'm shooting for that 40 something woman with a life body! Anyone care to join me?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Today is the Feast of St. Joseph, husband to our Blessed Mother Mary, and one of my favorite saints! Reflecting of St. Joseph's life can really bring me to a place of wonder. Can you imagine having your betrothed come to you and say that she was pregnant (not yours, that you know for certain) and that the Holy Spirit came to her and told her that she was carrying the Son of God? That has to be a tough one to understand and accept even for the most devout among us. Joseph wasn't perfect, it took him a little while and even a little heavenly visit to get him all the way to acceptance, but certainly he got there much faster than most of us would, and then he was totally on board! Just imagine the awesome responsibility of raising the son of God - you don't want to screw that one up now do you? His life is one of hard work, devotion to his wife and son and a strong faith that led him through some seriously tough times. He really relied on God to lead him and then he stepped up and led his family. No wonder he is the patron saint of fathers among other thing!
St. Joseph's day is celebrated around the world, but it is especially beloved by the Italians and since I married into an Italian family, I'm trying to learn more about the feast day traditions! I know that one big thing is St. Joseph cakes, which in our area are impossible to find, so there is always the internet to hunt out cook recipes! One on my favorite blogs is Catholic Cuisine www.catholiccuisine.blogspot.com . She always has an abundance of recipes and celebration ideas for every imaginable catholic holiday, so check her out!!
If you are interested in learning more about this amazing man check out this link... http://www.ewtn.com/saintsholy/saints/J/stjoseph.asp and a novena to St. Joesph is at http://www.ewtn.com/Devotions/novena/joseph.htm .
I hope you have a fabulous feast of St. Joseph!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It's that time of the year again!! Time for green beer - often in excess, black and blue bruises left behind after those little pinches inflicted on those who forgot to wear green, and the one day out of the year that everyone and their brother claims to have direct family ties to that tiny little island across the pond!
I can remember as a child spending hours in the backyard or a field searching for that illusive four leaf clover - almost as hard to find as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Or perhaps catching that little guy on the Lucky Charms box!!
How many of you know what the 3 leaves of the clover really stand for? The Holy Trinity of course! I wonder what the 4th leaf stand for then....
Dear St.Patrick, the guy that this whole day is named after... how many of you knew that he was actually Italian? It's true! He moved to Ireland and fell hopelessly in love with the land and it's people! He is a super cool saint - you should google him!
Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!!!
Monday, March 16, 2009
What are you passionate about? You hear that question often throughout your life from a variety of people and certainly your answers change from time to time, dependent upon your age, your stage in life and your current circumstance. What are YOU passionate about? Can you come up with 5 things? 10? Rise to the challenge, be honest, search deep inside...
1. I am passionate about my children. The 3 couldn't be more different, but daily I am amazed how much I adore them and how badly I want them to have the most wonderful lives, without pain and disappointment - not realistic, but a mother can dream can't she?
2. I am passionate about my marriage. Hubby and I started out as good friends in college - even double dated (weird huh?), it wasn't until a couple years later that we got back in touch and I had made the decision to stop dating the wrong kind of guy for myself and then, boom, there he was! God just waited until I was ready to put us together! Life isn't always easy, but it has been an adventure and I am so glad to be sharing it with him!
3. I am passionate about my faith. I was raised Presbyterian - going to church and sunday school, but religion wasn't a part of our daily life. It wasn't until after we were married and expecting Big S that I decided to become catholic - I haven't regretted that decision for a second! I was drawn to Catholicism because of the sense of community and the comfort I found in all the rituals. I had no idea how true I would find those perceptions to be or how much they would come to mean to me! I have really grown the most in my faith in the last 5 years and it is an important part of my daily life and has changed the way I look at everything.
4. I am passionate about photography. I have always loved taking pictures and I remember getting my first camera around 4th grade - one of those great 110s! I took lots of pictures during our school trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown! Over the last several decades I have developed my skills - lots of practice with 3 gorgeous little girls running around all the time! I turned pro a little over a year ago which has forced me to work on other aspects that I may have pursued otherwise and I am really enjoying it!!
5. I am passionate about beautiful sunny spring days. There is nothing like those first few days of spring - you can't help but smile! I love to roll down the windows, blast some great music and soak it all in! I hate the cold and gray days so when spring truly arrives, I feel alive again! I love to get out in the yard and do some planting and see the first buds on the trees and flowers trying to peek out of the ground after a long winter nap!
6. I am passionate about my friends. I would put my sister at the top of that list (she probably should get her own #, but I'm going to keep her here for the moment). There are only a handful of people in this world that I consider true lifelong friends, but those people mean more to me than I can express (and they know who they are!). There are lots more people who I consider friends, but on a less deep level, but they are still important and I wouldn't want to discount those relationship or their importance, but it isn't the same as those few that know the core of you and vice versa. Those are the ones who pick you up when you need and know you down a tad if you need that too!!
7. I am passionate about being involved. Many may saw that I am over-involved, and although that may be true, I love it! I love getting in and working on things and seeing them through to fruition! I love being involved mostly at church and the girls' school - I believe that the more you give, the more you get and it certainly has been true for me in many situations!
I could probably come up with many more, but I think that's a good start! What are you passionate about? Write about it on your blog and link it back to me so I can read it!!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
It's true! It's that time of year again!
The door to door sales actually occur in the freezing days of late January, the cookies that were pre-ordered have been or are being delivered, so now it's time for cookie booths!
Now march in Indy is a crap shoot - and I I wouldn't say we got the crap, but it wasn't glorious either! Walmart made us set-up our booth outside and although it was hovering around 50, it was overcast and a little windy, so it felt much colder than it should have. After about 30 minutes, I called hubby to bring me a warmer coat and a lap blanket (now don't feel sorry for the kids, they were dressed well and they were busy moving around trying to persuade people to shell out $3.50 box a box of love!). Anyway, next year I will suggest different outfits, like these below!!
I think the girls would look darling and probably sell a ton for cookies just because people would feel sorry for them, don't you?
On the other hand, I'm more like this poor girl.....
don't get me wrong, I LOVE eating them, I just hate all the door to door stuff - both the orders and the delivering! The booths aren't so bad - when they're done, they're done! I'll be glad when the girls get the rest of their orders delivered - why can't people know to be home when we are trying to deliver their cookies?
Yea, I don't know the answer either, but some of these kids do!! Big S participated in her elementary school math bowl team again this year (as 4th graders, they train with the rest of the team, but the night of the competition they keep score, so last year she was a score keeper, but this year, she was a competitor!!). The actual competition that we attended was between all of the elementary schools in our town - there were about 10 schools competing. The teams are presented with a variety of challenging math problems and they work on them against the clock, to get the right answer, then at the end of each round (there are 4) they tally the scores and rotate the kids around (only 4 of the 16 are at the table at a time). There are tie breaker questions in case of a tie (last year it came to a tie and we ended up in 2nd place). This year our school came in 3rd place that night, but then the scores around the state and we ended up 5th in the state of Indiana!! Not too shabby for a bunch of 10 and 11 year old kids! We were so proud of them! The kids train for 1 1/2 hours every day after school for about a month before the competition. Lots of hard work goes into and once again it paid off!! You kids rock!!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I found this writing prompt over at "What is it now" (link above in my title). I thought this was a neat idea!
I am thinking... I need to get off the computer and get a few things done before I head out for the day, I always forget how windy it is here in the spring, that I actually knew that St.Patrick was Italian and not Irish!!
From the learning rooms... Big S's MATH bowl team took 3rd place in the city wide competition!! way to go kids!!!
I am thankful for.... my husband, my girls, my sister, good friends
From the kitchen... perhaps chili for dinner - it's cold and windy again today and chili season won't last much longer, I want to make some raisin bran muffins this afternoon (hopefully!)
I am wearing... jeans and a long sleeve shirt - soon to add a sweater or sweatshirt before I head out for the day
I am reading... several books at once as usual! On the bedside table is "Nicholae" from the "Left Behind" series, "7 Steps to Financial Freedom" by Phil Lenahan for the small group at church, a book of readings for Lent based on Pope John Paul II, another Philippa Gregory book - love all her stuff!!!
I am hoping... that I get everything on my to do list done this week, that the weather warms up again soon, that the kids don't come home with too much homework today so we can finish delivering the cookies, that hubby's workload lightens up soon
I am creating... again, multiple projects.. almost done with my nephew's scarf (which he'll be wearing next year because it took me so darn long to get it finished), patches that need to be sewn on 3 girl scout vest, several other things to make aprons and throw pillows that I really want to get to
I am hearing... dogs sighing in their sleep beside me on the couch, Hoda and KathyLee on the tv in the background, the wind blowing around outside
Around the house... a million projects that need to be finished, girl scout cookies that need to be delivered, signs everywhere that this home is filled with love
One of my favorite things... chocolate, which had to give up again today - uugh!
A few plans for the rest of the week... grocery store, eye doctor appt for Little S, 3 meetings on my calendar, vet appt for both dogs (fun fun!!), lunch with Jenni from Totus Tuus School, girl scout meetings, girl scout cookie booths, mass and PRE, hubby traveling again
Here is a picture I am sharing with you....
this is a barn not far from our house on one of the few remaining agricultural plots that remain in our immediate area. Were it not for the economic slump, it would probably already be knocked down to make room for another subdivision full of cookie cutter homes. I love this old barn, it's faded red paint, it's sagging roof and walls, how it has become part of the land around it. I have driven by it for the last six years and often said that I needed to stop and take pictures of it, so one day last week, I grabbed my camera and did exactly that! I probably took 20+ pictures from both sides, from close up and farther away - now I can enjoy it even after they eventually tear it down!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
So, how is it going? I must say that over the years, I have tried a variety of things for my Lenten sacrifice. Yes, one year I even gave up chocolate - WHAT was I thinking? That's like giving up oxygen! 40 days without chocolate? Surely God doesn't really want me to make those kind of sacrifices, does he? For the second year, our family has chosen to do TOM and GUS jars (did I mention this in my Ash Wednesday post? if so, I apologize). Take On More and Give Up Something, thus TOM and GUS! Each jar has 40 slips of paper with a variety of appropriate options in them and we draw a new one out of each jar at night for the next day, for example, yesterday we gave up tv and we are to read a story (not a passage, a story that the kids can follow) out of the Bible. Other TOM things have included "tell each person in the family one reason why you love them", "do an extra chore", "do a decade of the rosary", "call your Godmother/Godfather"... you get the idea!
The GUS jar includes things like: "bedtime music" (my kids all fall asleep to music or a book on cd, so it's a true sacrifice), "pleasure reading" (the kids freaked out with this one, they all love to read, but they also all have free reading time at school and were afraid of getting in trouble - there is now a caveat the these things don't interfere with school or work!!), "computer" (again, hubby can use his computer at work and I can do my photography stuff, but no fun time on the computer!). Anyway, you can imagine that none of us are excited about the GUS jar, but it's part of it, and it's just one day at a time - even though most things are in the jar more than once, we do have a rule that we don't do anything two days in a row - gotta mix things up!!
Anyway, the whole point of this tangent was that one day last week we had to give up chocolate (just for ONE day) and everyone but hubby was in a tizzy!! Men just don't get it! Chocolate is a food group for us women - all females of all ages actually! Little G is as bad as me when it comes to chocolate - maybe even worse! It is not beyond her to ask for chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, or a candy bar - she can't help herself really! Anyway, that morning she is beside herself! Big S, being the smarty pants in the house, wants to know if "chocolate flavored" counts! I admire her tenacity and creativity! Way to think outside the box honey! Hubby immediately says "of course chocolate flavored stuff is ok!" She of course didn't take his word for it - he's a man and she innately knows he doesn't have the same relationship with chocolate! So, she calls upstairs to me and says "mom, if this has cocoa in it can I have it?" to which I reply that chocolate is made from cocoa and so, no. Hubby later explained to me that he thought chocolate meant just chocolate candy bars, silly man! I had to explain that a woman's need for chocolate can me met in many other ways than just a chocolate bar - ice cream, milk, cookies to name a few. He got it intellectually, but he didn't REALLY get it - he probably won't poor thing. Perhaps men are lucky that they aren't under the thumb of chocolate. That of course means that they don't derive the same joy from it that we do, so I guess I'll take the agony in order to be able to experience the joy - isn't it often that way in life??
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Spring cleaning time? I'm so glad I live in the Midwest when I hear those word!! Although we had a little taste of spring, and the crocus and daffodils are starting to peek out of the ground, It will be in the low 40s for the second half of this week, so I don't have to spring clean yet!! Isn't there some rule where you have to have at least a week of over 50 before we have to roll up our sleeves and begin the ritual that we all dread, but we are so glad we did when it's over? There is nothing like opening up all the windows and having a nice spring breeze (or in our case, gale force winds and the occasional tornado) blowing through the house! Something about those first few sunny, cloud-free days of spring that force a smile on your face and a spring in your step! I don't mind spring cleaning all that much because it's so nice to air out winter from the house, pull back the curtains and brighten up the windows so that the sun we haven't seen in months can shine through!! I absolutely love working out in the yard - I am always sore and dirty and blissfully exhausted! Won't be long before I can get out there and clean out the remaining dead stuff from last year to make room for this year's growth! Time to hose down everything on the screened-in porch so we can sit out there with a glass of wine and listen to the sounds of children playing everywhere - including ours!! Spring is indeed a wonderful thing and my favorite time of the year (although I do prefer the summer temperatures and lack of school), but I don't mind waiting another month to break out the heavy duty cleaning supplies!! All in good time!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
It's true!! I'm going to be a SIL!! My darling little sister got engaged last night to a wonderful man and we are all very excited!! Little sister deserves a great man and a great life, things haven't always been easy - not that they are for any of us, but I'm a protective big sister and I want the best for her - even though I'm still not over the whole "The Rose" thing!! That one exclusion made, they are great together and I wish them a lifetime of happiness together!! My darling nephew was in on the whole thing and he was so incredibly excited - there's nothing cuter!! He will have 3 new brothers along with his soon to be step-dad - they are all older than him, so I'm certain there are some good blogging stories to come with 4 boys in the family! Anyway, on to what everyone really cares about..... the ring! I haven't seen it since they live half the country away, so I am going to do some speculation of my own!
It could look like this, but I don't think so...
Perhaps he went with the classic cut like this...
Perhaps he tried something a little different like this... tho purple isn't her color...
There is this more classic, yet modern design that he may have gone for....
and who doesn't like the ever popular cutsey cut.....
Dubai is the new "greatest place on earth" they know how to do it up right there, but this may have been a little out of his price-range and a little too big for her finger....
I'm guessing that it is more along these lines.....
Any guesses? I am hoping to see a picture of the real deal soon, in the mean time, I have a lot of work to do as Matron of Honor - I'd like to change the name, Matron sound so... matronly! I'm thinking of something grander like "supreme assistant to the bride" or perhaps "favorite bridesmaid". I'm still working on the new title - I'll let you know when find the right one! The best part is that I am in charge - OK, little sister is in charge, but I'm second in command!! I have 2 bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid (Big S) and 2 flower girls (Little S and Little G) to boss around!! We all know how much I love to be in charge! I've already got a list of things that I can make them do! Fun, fun, fun!!
The big day is July 31st so I, I mean Little Sister, has a lot to do!! Let the countdown begin.....
Congrats to the happy couple!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
It's true you know, no where in the 10 Commandments is blogging mentioned. Certainly the content of you blog should be guided by those commandments, but blogging itself? I'm thinking it's totally kosher with the Guy upstairs for us to share our lives together out here in bloggyland!! I'd love it if God had a blog - I mean a REAL blog, where He sits down once a day and voices his frustrations, shares his joys and reaches out to the rest of us connected to our laptops!! I shall make an effort to hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil and yes, even blog no evil, but I will blog!! There's always the chance that someone out there actually wants to read what I have to say! You never know, it could happen!!