Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Memories

On Christmas Eve, we went to an early (4:00) Mass. We arrived a little bit late, but lucky for us, they were just opening an upstairs room so we were able to get seats and also had a wonderful view. Christmas masses are so crowded that our church opens up the hall. So for a few Mass times, Mass goes on in the church as well as the hall.

Upon arriving home, we made some gingerbread cookies for Santa. We watched a little of White Christmas and did the last minute wrapping. The kids were so excited that it wasn't so hard to get them to sleep. We reminded them that Santa doesn't come unless every one's asleep!

Christmas morning, we were awakened bright and early by the little ones. They were ready to see what Santa brought them. Before we started opening gifts, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Here are a few things the kids got. Please don't look too closely at the iron and ironing board in the background - Hee Hee!

Emily and her My Little Pony Fashion Boutique

Ryan and some cars from Cars (the movie)

Kathryn and her "professional" Bingo kit

I didn't have my picture taken ( I didn't look too great), but I got some warm PJ's, two Christmas CD's (Josh Groban & Martina McBride), and a book (Clarence Thomas's new one).

After opening presents at home, we got ready to go to my mom's house for our get together with extended family. It was a full house with my brother and his wife, my sister, her husband, their kids and grandkids, spouses, etc, etc, and of course, the matriarch of the family, my mother. It was a crazy house, but we had lots of fun and food! Every year, my mother serves tamales, a traditional Mexican dish. We so look forward to eating this each year and she did not disappoint us! They were so good, I can taste them right now as I'm typing this. I say this every year, but I really do need her to teach me how to make them. I can always find them in the stores, but it's just not the same as eating homemade ones! My mother is getting along in years and no one else in the family knows how to make them. She adds her special touch!

Next up was to visit Steve's mom. Due to illness and advancing years, she's living in a private residential guest home. She enjoyed opening her gifts and visiting with all of us. She especially enjoys seeing the kids.

After all that, we were pooped and made it back home. But then there was more work to do! Time to untie all those twisters that come with children's toys! I don't know how many we untied but it was a lot! We played with moonsand and played a game of Mousetrap. By then, I needed to relax and it was time for bed.

So, that was it! It was an enjoyable day. I'm trying to remind the kids that even though Christmas Day is over, the Christmas season continues for a little while longer. We need to continue to ponder the wonderful gift that God bestowed on us in sending us His son.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Where Has The Week Gone???

Gosh, I didn't think it had been that long since I last posted! I've been caught in the hustle and bustle that I didn't intend to be in, but it seems to happen every year.

The kids started their vacation on Wednesday and Steve started his on Thursday. We've been plotting how to get shopping done while the other watches the kids. So far, we've been pretty successful. The only thing left is to get a few gift cards and do a little more wrapping. I'm hoping it will get done today so that the few remaining days can be spent a little more relaxed and reflective. Edited to Add: I did not get everything done, so I will be out Sunday after church. :(

Tonight we went out to see some beautifully decorated homes out by the waterfront. There was a lot of walking but the homes were just beautiful so it was worth it. Lots of lights, Christmas music playing and boats sailing through the canals. I wish I could have taken some pictures, but since it was night, the pictures wouldn't have come out. Most of the homes have huge windows out front with a wide open view of the inside living areas. They could be right out of magazines - just beautifully decorated.

Tomorrow after all the shopping is done, I hope to be able to relax a little and watch my favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas. I watch it every year and love all the music.

Right now, I'm off to watch an episode of Lost that I rented from Netflix. I'm hooked on that show! I need to catch up with Season 3 before the new season starts. With the writers strike I don't know when that will be so I think I have some time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Program

Ryan's Christmas program at school went well. Everyone in his class played angels and they sang a few original Christmas songs as well as Silent Night. If I must say so myself, he looked so handsome up there and he had the biggest smile on his face the whole time. I think he loves performing. I didn't get to take many pictures because we were so far back from the stage and it was a little dark at times during the performances.

This is how far we were. Actually, if I zoom into this picture, I can find Ryan. He's about the sixth child from the right, next to the girl with the dress with the dark sleeves. Can you find him? You can just make out a speck of dark hair! Sorry, I don't know how to make the picture zoom in when you click on it.

Emily was very well behaved. She made it until about three minutes until the end of the program. Then she'd had enough and wanted to wander away. I think she did quite well.

Here she is being occupied with my pocket calendar.

I've been kind of tired lately. I'm still coughing at night and Ryan has had a cough as well. If it's not me coughing, it's his coughing waking me up. His is getting better, but I'm still at it. Hopefully, it will be on it's way out soon.

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, or just doing this and that. I actually wasted a little time when I went for my hair appointment and realized as I was sitting in the waiting area that my appointment was the following week! That was a little embarrassing, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's done that!

During the next few days, I hope to shop a little bit more for some of the things left for the kids before they start their Christmas vacation on Wednesday. Steve also starts a much needed vacation on Thursday, then we can do some fun things with the kids. I pray no one else gets sick!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I'm feeling much better now. Thanks for the well wishes. I'm still not sure whether I had a cold or flu. Sunday, I had the chills, slight fever, muscle aches, etc. But by Monday, everything was gone except for a little bit of the sniffles and a little bit of tiredness. Now I have a hacking cough. Thank God it wasn't worse than it was. I was praying that I wouldn't be too sick because we all know that mothers can't afford to get sick! Especially at this time of year when so much needs to get done. I am trying to take it easy as much as I can though so I don't get too exhausted.

We got our Christmas tree this weekend. I think we got it Saturday, but we decorated on Sunday, when I wasn't at my best. I think I put up two ornaments. Everyone else put the rest on. The little ones get so excited to see all the different ornaments and put them on the tree. If I would have been in my right mind, I would have thought to take some pictures, but I didn't. I'll try to get some pictures of the tree and post some.

Tomorrow, Ryan will be participating in the school Christmas program. It's just the Kindergarten through 3rd graders who will be performing. His class will be singing Silent Night. I can't wait to see him up there. I hope to get a good enough seat to take some pictures, but it's hard to get a good seat because we would have to get there early and that's always risky with my little Emily. Getting there too early means she won't last for the whole program. I'd be lucky if she lasted to the start of the program! Maybe I should give her more credit than that, right!?!? Well, however it goes, I'll bring my camera.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Weekend Tidbits

This will be short as I think I'm suffering from a cold, the flu, something. Yesterday, I felt a sore throat coming on, but it never got too bad. Then today, I still had a little sore throat but I almost felt like I had muscle aches, a little bit of chills, and slight temperature. For awhile, I felt bad, but not so bad like you get when you get the flu. So I don't know what I've got. Is there such a thing as touch of the flu?

I did a little bit of on-line shopping however, but I only placed items in the shopping cart before I got tired. I'm hoping to go back tomorrow and finalize my purchases. I don't like shopping lists in the back of my mind while I'm laying down not feeling too well. But I realize this shall pass eventually. I just hope the kids don't catch anything. It seems like there is always someone sick at Christmas time.

I'm trying to get the kids clothes ready for tomorrow and get their lunches together so I don't have to do any of that in the morning. I don't know how I'll be feeling then. Hopefully I'll feel good enough to go about my usual business and take the kids to school.

I missed Mass today, as I just wasn't feeling well. So, I'm off to ponder the readings that I missed.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


It's set to start raining here tonight. We hardly ever get a good rain so this is welcome. I did plan on doing some Christmas shopping this weekend, but I'll have to see if the weather cooperates. I will be doing most of the shopping on-line.

I've been taking part in the Making the Your Home a Haven challenge this week, but it's been harder than I anticipated! Emily's been sticking to me like glue lately and I haven't been able devote as much consistent time to the housecleaning. She's been wanting to go to the park all week so I had to take her! I knew rain was in the forecast so we had to take advantage of the wonderful weather! That can mess up a schedule. But I was glad to do it. I don't want her to remember that I was always doing housework and didn't have time to take her to the park or play with her.

Do you have any favorite Christmas movies? I've always liked White Christmas. I love the old movies, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol. I even like to watch the ones from when I was a kid, like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas. We have some of these on DVD so I'll have to watch them. All of these bring back so many warm Christmas memories. I hope somehow my kids can have such memories.

That brings me to one thing I want to improve on in the New Year. I really want to try to incorporate the Liturgical year in our family life. I've never done much of that, but now Kathryn and Ryan are going to a Catholic school. So far, the school has been doing a good job teaching them about the faith. I see so many opportunities to expand on what they've been taught, and I do, but perhaps I can incorporate some purposeful activities. Anyway, we're still in Advent so I'll think about all that later.

Enough of my ramblings. That's just what I'm thinking about right now!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Therese tagged me for the 8 random things about me meme. I did this back in May and you can find the list here. Since it's now December, and maybe I have a few more readers(???), I'll add 5 more things instead of 8 because it can be a little tricky for me to think of some new stuff.

1) I don't like to shop, especially for clothes. I'm a hard to fit person so it can be difficult. The few exceptions for when I love to shop is to shop for craft supplies or books.

2) I'm not a jewelry person. I don't wear it except for my wedding rings and sometimes earrings.

3) I'm naturally a shy person and I would just as soon blend in with the walls.

4) I can't go to sleep at night without opening a book - even if my eyes are already half shut!

5) I'm a Proverbs 31 woman wannabe. I'm far from it, but I like to have it as a goal.

So I tag whoever wants to join in. Just leave a comment and I'll go find out a little something about YOU!

Making Your Home a Haven - Day 3

I wasn't able to join in yesterday's challenge, but I will try again today. Obviously it can be a little difficult to do what you intend when you have a little one at home and some unexpected things occur.


Refresh my spirit.
Morning routine
To do list
1) 15 minutes decluttering master bedroom
2) Organize DVD's that are all over the house. Place them back where they go.
3) Order some Christmas gifts on-line
Dinner prep in AM
Spend 15 minutes cleaning laundry room.
Catch up on laundry.

So, that's the plan.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

It's been a long time since I posted for Menu Plan Monday. I haven't been diligent in this planning department. So, I decided I needed to get on the bandwagon again. My family benefits from this tremendously.

I tried to go with tried and true recipes that my family likes. No new ones this time.

Monday - Tacos, Spanish rice and beans

Tuesday - Lasagna, carrots & celery sticks with Ranch, Garlic cheese biscuits

Wednesday - Burritos, salad

Thursday - Lime & Ginger drumsticks, rice, green beans & corn

Friday - Pizza, salad

Saturday - Chicken Enchiladas, rice & beans

Sunday - Undecided, maybe some kind of soup

For more great menu ideas, visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Making Your Home a Haven Challenge

Yeesh!! My house is a mess right now. So it's the perfect time to join in Crystal's Making Your Home a Haven Challenge. She has listed some areas to concentrate on and will focus on something different each day. You can find out more information about it here at her site, Biblical Womanhood.

First, we need to refresh our spirits in the morning. I will do my Daily Offering and the Scripture readings for the day.

Next is establishing your morning routine. My five things are:

1. Make the bed.

2. Swish and swipe the bathrooms.

3. Shine the kitchen sink, which means do the dishes that were sitting there since last night. YUCK!

4. Load of laundry.

5. Review menu for the day.

Next is the assignment for the day. I'm supposed to survey what the entryway looks like and take some time to spruce it up.

So, here I go. Time to get started!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Happy Advent!

Today, on this First Sunday of Advent, my parish priest exhorted us to convert our hearts to Jesus. Now is the time! He had us all repeat today's second reading out loud. From Romans13:11-14

Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

So today, I recommit and convert my heart to Jesus!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Emmanuel Award

Wow, I was given another award! Michelle, from Dei Gratia, By the Grace of God! awarded me the Emmanuel Award! Thank you so much, Michelle!

This award was created by Marie and Ginny from View From the Pews. In a consumer society it is a blessing to read blogs where the writer's main focus is God. Where they express their love for their faith so visibly and joyfully.In a cynical world it is refreshing to see so many blogs which are generous, giving, who care about others and demonstrate what being a Christian is about, loving God and loving our neighbor.
Through their faith, lives and spirituality, they bring God to us, they in essence make God visible, 'God with us.'

I pass this award on to:

Mrs L, At the Wellsprings of Traditional Life
Maryellen, Grandma's Musings
Therese, Aussie Coffee Shop
Cmerie, Catholic Wife and Mother

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spirit of Christmas Award

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I won an award! My first one! Maryellen at Grandma's Musings awarded this to me. Thank you so much, Maryellen. I am honored!

This award is for those who talk about and show the spirit of Christmas in their blogs. What is the Spirit of Christmas you ask?Quite simply it is those that have a generous and giving nature. Those who care about others. Those who have a kind word to say or a broad shoulder to lean on in the times that others need that. Those who display the "Spirit of Christmas".

Find out more about the award here.

I am so inspired and encouraged by so may bloggers that I can't single some out. Each of your stories and what each of you has to say encourages and inspires me. Each of you displays the Spirit of Christmas to me!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My Patron for 2008

St. Gerard Majella

St. Gerard Majella is the patron saint of motherhood! I look forward to reading more about him as he intercedes for me in my motherhood journey and my journey towards a deeper relationship with Jesus!

Go see Angela Messenger if you would like a patron saint for the coming year! Thank you, Angela!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Weekend

Thanksgiving Day went very nicely. We had Thanksgiving lunch with my brother and SIL. It went pretty smoothly considering I was worried that my kids would act up in a major way. I prepared them ahead of time and they ended up being good most of the time. We all got to chit chat for awhile after the meal so that was nice. Then the kids got a little antsy and we called it a day before things could get out of hand. My brother and SIL don't have kids so I try not to overwhelm them with the noise level that my kids can generate. But kids are kids and I don't fault them for that.

Once we got home, we let loose and relaxed. We watched some more of Charlie Brown. Steve watched some games on TV and then we drove to watch the fireworks at Disney*land.

Friday, I did not shop. I don't even have my shopping list ready. I hope to be able to do most of the shopping on-line anyway. I spent most of the day doing laundry, reading and knitting. Then we went to the park with the kids and let them play ball, run around, and play on the play apparatus.

Today, Steve is trying to get the Christmas lights up. We won't light them yet as it's too early and can be a little expensive. He just wants them up since today is a warm day and usually it's freezing when he gets around to doing it. My car is getting a tune-up so I'm waiting for the call to pick it up. Then it's off to do some errands.

And that's an almost blow by blow account of my holiday weekend so far!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The kids are off today in preparation for Thanksgiving Day. So we are pretty much just having a leisurly day. I rented A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving so we've been repeatedly watching it. I love the Charlie Brown holiday shows.

My brother and sister-in-law invited us for Thanksgiving so that's where we'll be headed. We're all looking forward to it. I just love the traditional meal with turkey and all the trimmings. The smell of the turkey roasting in the oven is so heartwarming as well as the taste of the traditional pumpkin pie! YUM!

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things.

For the health of my family.

For a roof over our heads.

For plenty of food.

That my husband still loves me in spite of the grief I sometimes cause.

That my mother is still alive and kicking and traveling and helps me tremendously when she can, even though she is advancing in years and doesn't feel well sometimes.

For the love and mercy the Lord shows me everday!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and blogging friends. Thanks for sharing parts of your lives and your inspiration.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Fall sports season is over finally. Ryan had his last baseball game today along with the usual end of season Pizza party. He has a lot of fun playing and it's great to see him improve, little by little. He will start again next spring. Kathryn ended her soccer season last weekend and her team barely missed going to the playoffs. She has improved so much since she started playing ( 2 seasons ago) that her coach nominated her to tryout for the All-Stars! But, after talking it over with her, we made the decision to not tryout this time. It would entail a huge time commitment with many long practices per week. Right now, she's still getting used to the homework routine at her new school and it's a lot of work. I would hate for her schoolwork to suffer. She's doing so well. Hopefully, she can play good enough next season that her coach would nominate her again. We'll see what happens.

Last week we had Parent/Teacher conferences at school. Both kids are doing excellent work and their teachers are very pleased with them. Needless to say, we are proud of how both of them are doing in school.

Tomorrow is dentist day for me :( I had my cleaning last week and the dentist found some more work that he could do. Not quite cavities but what could be the start of them. He's very much into preventive work. I guess that's why I'm there a lot!

That's what's going on in my household at this moment. I wish that I could say that I'll be posting my menu tomorrow. I haven't done that in awhile, but I don't think I'll get to do that this week, again. Maybe I can do a shortened version, keeping in mind Thanksgiving and all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Day with Emily

Steve had Monday off, so we wanted to have a little fun. Kathryn and Ryan had to go to school, so it was just us with Emily for the day. It was such a treat to have some fun with her and let all the attention fall on her.

We started with an appointment to get her hair cut. It had gotten a little wild and just plain getting all in her face (no, she does not like for me to put barrettes in her hair). She was an excellent customer and when she came out, I could see her cute face again!

After having lunch, we decided to go for a little walk by the lake.

There were the usual ducks and birds. I'm embarrassed to say that I know nothing about birds or ducks other than the usual ones I see all the time. Some of these were a little different. Maybe these are a little more common to others, but not to me.

These particular birds I see a lot in the lakes and ponds, but I honestly don't know anything about them or what they're called. I guess I better look them up. I should be able to tell my kids what they are.

Notice the interesting feet.

These ducks were a little different looking to me.

We had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful day. It's not often that we get to just be together and do things spur of the moment. And it was so peaceful!! No arguing or bickering! Since Emily had us all to herself, there was no occasion for a tantrum, YEAHH!

One last stop before picking up the other at school - the park!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Next Thing

I've been trying to spend more time in prayer lately. And I've noticed that I am more at peace and less anxious. That's good news as all this household needs is a wife and mom who's at her wits end, running around with her head chopped off, and yelling! What a sorry sight!

In Holly Pierlot's book, A Mother's Rule of Life, she talks about incorporating prayer, devotions at intervals throughout the day. That way, your whole day has been centered around your relationship with God. So, I think that if I can try to do that, my life will be a lot more focused. I can meet the needs of my family better. Isn't that what my vocation is all about?

Are you interested in getting a personal patron saint for 2008? Angela Messenger has kindly taken on the endeavor to do just that for anyone who asks. This is the first time I've heard of something like this and I think it's a great idea. Thanks to Therese (Aussie Coffee Shop) for the heads up.

I know it's early, but we are getting ready for a 3 day weekend. Kathryn & Ryan have Friday off from school and DH Steve has Friday and Monday off. Aside from the usual soccer and baseball games, we should have a free weekend to have fun. Kathryn & Ryan each won an award from their teachers for good behavior in class. As a result, they get a free meal at a local restaurant. I can go for that.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Ordinary Time

The past week or so has been a trying time. I go through these periods once in awhile where I get overwhelmed with trying to be a good parent. The kids have all pushed my buttons and I've been frustrated big time. I begin to feel that my kids behavior will never improve and they are the only ones who can be this bad. Then that leads to me feeling like I'm such a failure as a parent. The most important job that I've been blessed to have and I'm not getting it right, I'm failing. So, I've been in a funk. I know God is there through it all, giving me the graces I need, but I can't seem to reach it and take hold of it. Perhaps He's trying to take me to a new level in my relationship with Him. Perhaps He's telling me to make Him my number one priority again. It's time to refocus and pray, pray, and pray some more.

This video reflects well my feelings. I've always enjoyed listening to Marie Bellet's songs as they reflect so well my thoughts on the vocation of motherhood.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Wow, I guess it's been a long while since I've posted. I think I got a little distracted by life. Of course by now, most people know that those Santa Ana Winds that I wrote about previously brought many fires here to Southern California. We were not in any danger of them, but were close enough to have to deal with the smoke and terrible air quality. That is small compared to the losses that others suffered. Hopefully when/if they come again, there won't be any fires. The Santa Ana winds usually come in the Fall, so there's a good possibility that we'll experience them again before the end of the year.

On to other news:

Kid's sports has picked up again. There has been a two week lull due to the air quality. There have been no practices or games. So Ryan had his practice on Tuesday and Kathryn starts hers today.

Halloween has come and gone. Kathryn dressed as a Holly*wood starlet and Ryan was Buzz Light*year for the second year in a row. Emily was too scared to go out. She doesn't like to see the other trick or treaters in their scary costumes. I don't blame her. Some of them are just too bloody, evil, and ghoulish looking. Too bad it's gotten that way, with lots of big kids scaring the littles. Anyway, they both had a great time and of course, are left with loads of candy.

Next on the list, planning Thanksgiving & Christmas! Just around the corner.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More Wind!

It was windy all through the night, but not enough to scare me and keep me up. I have surveyed the damage and here is what needs to be done:

  • Pick up aluminum cans that are strewn around in the backyard. Don't ask what they are doing there. The story goes way back.

  • Tie up some rose trees back to their stakes. They have broken the ties that were holding them on and now they are swaying so bad I'm afraid they might snap.

  • Monitor the trash can sitting at the curb. Today is trash day and our can is loaded. If the top flips off with the wind, some of the trash bags could fall out. That would not be nice.

I also need to do plenty of work inside the house, too.

  • I was working on laundry when the power went out last night. So I need to finish that and put them away. Clothes are in all places.

  • Clean the kitchen. It's a mess. Dirty floor and dirty dishes.

  • Clean up the clutter everywhere.

  • Start with getting the disaster preparedness kit going.

So I'll be busy today!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


The San*ta Ana winds have arrived. Every year around this time, we get these strong dry winds along with high temperatures. They are really strong, blowing shingles off the roof, tree branches strewn along the street, and this year, a power outage. I was right in the middle of washing clothes when it happened. I had to take out the wet, sopping clothes, throw them in a garbage bag and head out to my mother's house to finish the wash. If it wasn't that I had the kids uniforms in this load, I would have just left them in the washing machine until the power came on. And I had no idea when that would be. Thankfully, when I came back home, the power had been restored! It's also a good thing Steve and I both had pulled our cars out of the garage before losing power. It's very difficult to get that electric garage door to open manually!

These winds have also brought lots of fires in the hills and canyons. Coming home on the freeway tonight, I could see the fire going on in the hills about 10 miles from here.

With all these fires going on, the winds, and the power outages that threaten us, it has reminded me to put together an emergency preparedness kit. I'm going to put that at the top of my to-do list!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fun Time

I know a new weekend is fast approaching but I wanted to share a few photos of the past weekend. The weather was a little rainy so Kathryn's soccer game got cancelled. We decided it would be the perfect day to go to Disney*land, since we still had our tickets from when we went on vacation last month. (We didn't go then because the weather was over 100 degrees.) I thought since it was a rainy weekend not many people would be there. Well, I was wrong. Tons of people were there. Maybe because they have a Halloween theme going on right now?

Here are the kids in front of the masked Mick* ey Mouse at the front entrance. He is made up of small pumpkins and some purple flowers I don't know the name of.

Ryan got to ring the bell of the fire engine!

I had to show these. These are little chili plants. The man sitting next to me while I was resting started to eat some of these. He said they weren't that hot. I don't know about that.

And finally, some cute candy corn decorations.

It ended up being a fun day. The rain stopped and the temperature was just right. We got to go on a few rides. Many times Emily was a little scared to go on some so either me or Steve stayed with her while the others went on. We survived bickering and Emily made it without a meltdown. A few times I thought one was coming on but I was able to somehow bribe distract her enough to avert it. Whew!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII

I found this in Magnificat (again)! I'll tell you, that publication has great food for thought, including the daily readings from the Church.

1. Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5. Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and it my feelings are hurt, I will make sure no one notices.

8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What's Happening!

Here is what's been happening:

I finally finished Emily's second mitten. I won't bother to show it as it looks exactly like the other one I made, except this one looks a little more sloppy. I couldn't quite get the thumb to attach to the rest of the glove quite well. There's a little hole. Well, it shouldn't bother Emily too much. I'm working on her scarf now. This is a little swatch of the stitch pattern I will be using. The yarn looks a little bright here, but it's an off white.

When I am finished with that, I will work on a matching set for Kathryn and Ryan. Here is the yarn I will be using for that.

Ryan actually wanted a lighter blue. He said this one was too dark. He said he wants a sky blue color. I wanted it to be a little more conservative and adaptable with other clothes, but he wants the other color. I think I'll browse the Internet and show him what the light blue would look like. But I'll knit in whatever color he wants.

Kathryn has been busy learning to play the recorder for school. She loves it. We hear it all evening long! I think by now, I'm an expert at Hot Cross Buns. I hum it in my sleep! But I won't complain. I'm happy she's enjoying learning about music. And it beats (no pun intended) listening to the drums! LOL!

Emily is enjoying the My Little Pony DVD. She just loves those characters. She plays with the ponies a lot. Playing house with them and having the cutest conversations. Very cute!

Right now, this is what I'm reading. It's on my Fall Reading list.

It's a parallel story about the architect in charge of designing and building the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. At the same time some murders were taking place the same area at the same time preparations were going on. It's pretty interesting but a little long.

Today I decided to do some cleaning under my bed. Oh my goodness! I found a treasure chest under there. This is a whole box of what I found. I don't know how these things end up here but here they are. Some things get accidentally get kicked under there when the kids are playing with all their silly cute toys that have a gazillion pieces. Other things, I don't know. I think it's time to tell the kids, "No more playing in Mom and Dad's room"!!

And, that's what I've been doing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter!

Today is the day you've been waiting for! You are now in the double digits!

You've forever changed my perspective on life. I had no clue what I was in for when you came.

You are my sunshine!

Have a great celebration day!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Prayers for Ashley

Please go here for Ashley's story. She is a 2 year old triple organ transplant who is fighting for her life. She is a sweet little girl who needs prayers. She is in the hospital right now and faces serious surgery. Prayers are appreciated for her. Thanks!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Recap

This weekend was spent, as is custom, going to the kids sporting events. Kathryn had her soccer game on Saturday. Her team won, yea! She didn't score any goals but she made some good passes that helped in the goal scoring. She has improved quite a bit since last season.

This afternoon was spent at Ryan's baseball game. His division (5 & 6 year old) doesn't keep score, so there is no winner or loser. Everyone just has fun while learning the skills. Some of those boys are so little, their uniforms barely fit and you can't even see their little faces under the huge helmets!

Emily & I made a trip to the library to pick up some new books. Right now she is into duck books and horse books. I was tempted, but I resisted getting some books. I have been reading from my list for the challenge and I'm trying to meet that goal before adding more. I just know I'll be adding later, that's just the way I am. But for now, I'm sticking with my published list.

This coming week will be spent doing my usual routine - taking kids to school, picking them up, practices and keeping home. In other words, doing what I love to do most!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fall Into Reading 2007

OK, I've decided to take the plunge and join in on the Fall Into Reading 2007 challenge over at Callapidder Days. I will use this challenge to deplete my collection of to-be-read books sitting in my bookcase plus some books that are on loan.


Wish You Well by David Baldacci
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Down by Neta Jackson
By a Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman
The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers
Secret of the Hall by Veronica Heley
The Lady of the Hall by Veronica Heley


The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
A Beautiful Offering by Angela Thomas
Deep Conversion Deep Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay
The Secret Diary of Elizabeth Leseur

This will be quite a challenge since this is a busy period for me, but I'm going to go for it. If you are interested in joining, head on over to Callapidder Days! Take a look at other participants lists and be inspired!

Morning Offering

This is the prayer I say first thing every morning. If I'm groggy because I didn't get enough sleep (which seems to be happening more often), I at least make this offering so that whatever happens, good or bad, it is offered to the Lord. He can use it all as He wills. He can shape the good and the bad to mold my life as He wills. I may not like it when the troubles are near, but I try to trust that He is working in me.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for sin, for the intentions of all my friends and associates, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Knitting Update

I thought I'd share some of the progress I'm making on my knitting.

I finished a hat and one mitten

for Emily!

I started a project for Emily since she is the smallest, I thought it would go quicker. And it did!
Everything is very quick to work up. I took a little longer as I needed a little help from my knitting instructor and I had other things going on in my life that took from my knitting time. I should be able to finish the other mitten soon!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Our Lady of Sorrows

Beneath the cross the Mother kept
Bleak vigil under darkened skies.
Upon the cross her Son hung nailed,
Stabbed through by crowds of hostile eyes.

"And your own soul a sword shall pierce,"
The old man in the Temple said,
The Spirit's sword, the word of God-
God's word be done, was all she said.

Upon the cross the Savior died;
Beneath, the Mother bowed her head;
Above, the storm broke harsh and wild-
God's word be done, was all she said.

A soldier came and thrust him through;
The blood and water proved him dead.
They laid his body in her arms-
God's word be done, was all she said.

At vigil's end, the Crucified
Arose from death her glorious Lord.
O Father, Son, and Spirit, God,
We praise and magnify your Word.
-Old Hymn

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Birthday Boy

Ryan turned 6 this past week. He was excited to have his cake and presents. He was able to have Grandma here to help him celebrate. After going out to dinner at his favorite place, we came home for some of his cupcake cake. After all the busyness of vacation and the start of school, I completely forgot that I had bought a tablecloth, cups, plates, and napkins (Spon*gebob Square*pants, of course). I guess I can save them for next year?

Happy Birthday, Ryan! You've touched our lives with your adventure, silliness, and most of all, your tender heart! You're a wonderful gift from God and you will be a great man someday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Well, I am back from my relaxing (NOT!) vacation! When we made these plans, little did we know that this would be the hottest string of days in I don't know how long. We spent most of the time in the swimming pool, cooling off in the room, or trying to find something to eat! We didn't go to Disneyland as it was just too hot! I think it was over 100 degrees each of the days we were there.

Three year old Emily was not on her best behavior during our vacation. She threw a scene every time it was time to get out of the pool. She wanted to stay in much longer, or she wanted to be out of her wet bathing suit shortly after. I tried everything I could to quiet her down and cheer her with something else, but to no avail. She would whine and cry until we got to the room and could change her. I tried to avoid eye contact with others that we would pass by!LOL! Needless to say, I questioned my abilities as a mother often. I think overall we did have fun. We got to swim, eat out, and relax a little. I tend to relate it as being pregnant When you're going through the aches, pains, and discomfort of pregnancy, you don't like it, but when you remember it later, you kind of forget the discomforting stuff and look back on it fondly. So, I do thank God that we got to spend this little vacation time together!

On the night of our return, we had a power failure! Luckily it was at bedtime, so we all just went to sleep. I was hoping it would be back on in the morning but it wasn't. The electric company said it wouldn't be on till that night or the next morning. That wasn't good because we needed to get the cars out of the garage. With no power, we couldn't get the the electric door to open. There is an emergency switch that lets you open the door manually, but you really need to have the strength of Hercules. It was just too heavy! So I gathered the kids and we rode the bus to school! It took us awhile, but we all made it. Meanwhile, back at home, I had to try to salvage what I could from the refrigerator and freezer. Most things were saved, but there were some meats and milk that had to be tossed. Oh yea, and in the midst of all that, Ryan turned 6! I'll have to post something about that later.

I think this post is too long now, so I'll end it. I'll be visiting everyone soon! Here is one picture taken on vacation. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures. Kathryn took some but they came out blurry.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brief Time Off

This has been a busy, hectic week. School started along with all the emotions involved. But I think we're all getting the hang of things. Nerves are subsiding and a routine is getting established. Ryan loves school but isn't quite thrilled that he has to get up early and go everyday instead of three times a week like before. Kathryn was fighting nerves but is quickly adapting and doing well. She's been making friends and doing her best to keep up with the work. She's had a big adjustment. The school she went to last year had about 40 students, K-8. Now her school has over 500, K-8!

I've been busy trying to locate some colored pencils for Kathryn's class and was not having any luck. These particular ones had to be watercolored pencils. I'd never heard of them and couldn't find them anywhere. Finally I decided to go to the local craft store and there they were. I'm glad that's taken care of.

Now I have to pack and get ready for a little weekend getaway. We are going to Dis*neyland and stay at a local hotel. It may sound silly being that we live less than 15 miles from there, but we love staying at a hotel, going swimming, and spending a day at Dis*neyland. If it gets too hot, or the little ones get cranky, we head back to the hotel for some resting and then head back out for more rides and food!

I haven't had much of a chance to do much commenting on your blogs. I haven't even had much time to visit. When I get back, I'll do my catching up and visiting. Have a blessed weekend!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend Happenings

This weekend was mostly spent picking up and doing last minute things for the start of the new school year tomorrow. Last minute markers and folders that were hard to find items were now found. Ryan is now excited about starting "real" school and isn't worried about a thing. Kathryn is also excited but nervous about going to a new school. She wonders about finding things and whether she'll make new friends. I reassured her about everything.

Now, I'll stop my worrying. My worries are more the logistical aspect of things. Will I wake up in time to get everyone up? Will traffic be OK? Will we get there in time? I don't want any tardies on the first day! As you can see, I have a thing about time. I don't like to be late for anything.

One thing I did this weekend that was not school related was I went to my knitting class. I learned a new stitch that had me stumped when I tried to figure it out at home. I finished my first project - Emily's hat. I also finished one mitten. I need to knit the left mitten now. I hope to get a picture of them on here soon. I had such great satisfaction to see that the hat didn't come out too dorky looking. I even put a pom pom on it. Emily loves the hat and her one mitten!

Now, it's time to relax before heading off to bed. My books from came the other day so I'll read a little from my Home Comforts book and a little from Elizabeth Leseur. Then it's the start of a new week and new adventures!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Some of My Favourite Things

Suzy at her beautiful blog, Sailing By Starlight, shared some of her favourite things. So, I thought I would share some of mine!

  • Soft yarn between my fingers.

  • The smell of cookies baking in the oven.

  • Reading until my eyes are heavy.

  • Birds chirping at dawn's breaking.

  • Waves crashing on the shore.

  • Hearing my kids giggle uncontrollably.

  • Emily touching my cheek while saying, "Sweet Mommy."

  • The satisfaction felt at the end of a day of hard work.

  • Hearing my kids say they liked my food.

Monday, August 20, 2007

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

This is from a sermon by St. Bernard of Clairvaux taken from the church bulletin:

Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because
of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no
cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in the
practice. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love
is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some
sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves,
all he desires is to be loved in return. The sole purpose of his love is
to be loved, the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love
of him.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bad Habit

I've been really trying to curb this habit and was doing pretty good, but today I couldn't resist it. I was browsing through ( big mistake) looking at the description of some books that were on my wish list and before I knew it, I was finalizing my order for three items! I don't usually do this, but it was all a blur. I usually write down the names of the books I'd like and check to see if they are available at my library or the other branches.

In case anyone is curious as to what made me give in, here is what I bought:

I've heard good reviews about this book, Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson. Keeping house does not come naturally to me. It was not taught to me growing up, so a lot of what I've learned comes from books such as this, observing others, and reading homemaking blogs. Someday I'll do a post about my homemaking adventures.

Previously, I posted a meditation written by Elizabeth Leseur that really spoke to me. I wanted to read more about her and more of her writings, so I had to get this one, The Secret Diary of Elizabeth Leseur

Now, this one is not a book, but I couldn't resist getting it- Champions of Faith. It's an evangelistic tool/documentary about Catholic professional baseball players and the importance of the Catholic faith in their lives. We are a baseball loving family and I'd really love to see the witness of these players and how they love their faith.

So, there you have it. Now, I will have to do some clean up on my sidebar. Lately, the reading has been pushed to the side as I've been devoting more time to my knitting. I'm sure I'll go back to the reading when my shipment comes in!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I think I'm jinxed. For the past two weeks I've been trying to get my cans and plastic bottles recycled. I go to the places that will give me money for doing this so we can have some chump change, plus I'm doing my part for the environment.

My first choice location is attended by a real person who pours out your recycled items, weighs them, then gives you a redemption slip to take into the grocery store for your money. The other location does not have a human attendant and is a self-serve machine. You put your recycled items on a conveyor belt then it spits out your receipt. You take it into the store for your money.

Now, I have five garbage bags (those big,green 35 gallon bags) filled to the max with plastic bottles and cans. So, beginning last week, I take them to my first choice location. The place is closed. Oh, well, next time I'm driving this way, I'll drop them off. I don't want to go to the other place because I don't want to spend all day putting them one by one on the conveyor belt.
The next time I'm driving by location #1, it's open so with the kids in the car, I pull into the parking lot. While I'm trying to find a parking space, I turn to see that there is line of people waiting for their turn! I can't go because I got the three kids, Emily, the youngest is already cranky that she wants to go home. They won't last waiting in line, in the heat. Oh well, next time!

The next time comes a couple of days later. I'm by myself this time. I can wait in line if I have to. I drive into the parking lot, thinking of how much money I can get, what can we do with it, etc, etc. Oh, man! The place is closed again! OK, I'm getting a little perturbed now. I pull up real close to see the hours. It's in tiny print. Closed Sunday and Monday. I didn't think they would be closed either of those days. Anyway, I've been driving all this time with all these bags of cans and plastic bottles and it's time to get rid of them!

Now, a couple days later. Ryan and I are doing errands. Let's see if we can finally redeem these items! First choice location has a line about 10 deep. Everyone has just about as many bags as I do. Before I stand in that line, I decide to go to the other place. With Ryan with me, maybe we can handle putting the items one by one on the conveyor belt. I drive over there, good, there's an available machine. Ryan and I lug out two of the bags. We start putting in the bottles. So far so good. Then all of a sudden the machine stops and an alarm goes off, ringing and ringing. It spits out a receipt for what we had already put in (.20 ) then says call such and such number for help. Forget it! I'm out of there!

Today is another day. Steve is going in to work a little late. I do my morning routine. Dare I think that I can take the cans this morning? I broach the subject with Steve. Can you watch the kids while I take them? He says OK as long as I can get back in maybe half and hour. He has to get to work. Yippee! I don't think there would be a line this early in the morning. Well, you guessed it, there was a line. A shorter one than before, but at least 6 deep, with lots of cans and bottles. I wouldn't make it back within half an hour. So another attempt thwarted!

Maybe I'm not meant to do this! Maybe dear hubby is supposed to do this! Yeah, that must be it. Oh, Steeeve!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Winding Down the Summer

It's hard to believe that in two weeks, Kathryn & Ryan will be starting school. This summer has gone by so fast. Most of the school supplies have been purchased. I just need to find appropriate shoes to go with their school uniform. I remember how I used to love to go shopping for school supplies. I was always eager to start school. I liked the structure and routine. I liked having the social life with my friends.

Kathryn & Ryan are excited to start school although they are a little apprehensive. Kathryn will be starting the 4th grade and Ryan will be starting Kindergarten. Ryan's hoping he'll know what to do. He asked me, "What if I don't know how to do what the teacher says?" I reassured him that the teacher is there to teach and show him how to know and do what's expected for his age. She is there to help him learn.

This is a new school for the both of them and they don't know what to expect. I am confident they'll adjust fine and do well.

So these last two weeks of summer vacation will be spent having fun and taking each day as it comes. Perhaps going swimming in my brother's pool, going to the park, visiting Steve at work, or just hanging out at home. We'll see what the day brings!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Finding Shells

Today we took a tiny side trip to the beach. We didn't go in the water, but went to look for some seashells. The beaches here don't have big shells so we just found little pieces. The kids loved it anyway. The ocean was blue and beautiful.

Here are the kids showing off their little finds.

Then we took a little walk on this pier!

It was a good day!