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!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


This was offered as today's reflection in Magnificat, which I use to follow the Church's liturgical readings and prayer. It is only a portion of it. I used it as my prayer. It is from the writings of Elizabeth Leseur. She was an elite French woman, married to an atheist antagonistic towards her faith. After she died, he found her diary in which she recorded her relationship with God. He eventually converted and became a priest.

My God, I belong and always wish to belong to you, in suffering or in
pain, in spiritual dryness or in joy, in illness or in health, in life or in
death. I want only one thing: that your will be done in me and by me. More and more I seek, and desire to seek, only one end: to promote your greater glory through the accomplishment of your desires for me.

I offer myself to you in wholehearted interior sacrifice and ask you
to dispose of me for your service as the most common, most useless instrument, in favor of those you love. Make me either passive or active, practicing in turn and as the hour required the contemplation I love best and other good works according to your will.

Let me always be strict with myself, more gentle, loving, and helpful to others, to make you loved through me, always hiding my efforts, prayers, and mortifications. Make me very humble and draw my heart to yours, my beloved Savior and God.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Where Have All the Butterflies Gone?

In today's Orange County Register, there was an article about the declining butterfly population in the county. How sad! They attribute it to the drought we've been having. The plants and flowers that feed these butterflies are not surviving the drought. I also think it has to do with all the development that this county has had. Lots of land that was once agriculture or rolling hills has been developed into the newer cities that make up Orange County.

What a loss if our butterflies disappear! They are a nice reflection of God's beauty on earth. They are a delight to the heart if you stop and observe a butterfly fluttering about a flower. Today, I don't see too many butterflies. Mostly just the white ones ( I don't know the name of those). I ought to do some research and find out what kind of plants and flowers attract the butterflies and plant those in the yard.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bringing Out the Ole Knitting Needles

The knitting/crochet bug has hit me once again. It's funny how I'm all into knitting or crocheting, I do that for awhile, then the reading bug hits me. I read a lot of books for a period of time and the knitting needle/crochet hook/yarn gets put away. I guess I go in cycles. The bad part is, once reading hits me again, I tend to forget how to do some stitches and then have to review them when I start doing that again.

Last Saturday, Kathryn and I took a knitting class together. She has never knitted a stitch in her life, and I needed to get reacquainted. Here are our sample swatches we made:

Kathryn's swatch looks pretty good considering it was her first time. She picked up instructions quickly. The hot pink color is very bright in real life! She would like to be able to knit a purse. I'll do all I can to encourage her.

This is my sample swatch. When I started knitting and purling, it started coming back again. Kind of like bike riding. When I knitted in the past, I just did the basics. My goal now is to be able to knit with different color yarns, knit with circular needles and double pointed needles, and most importantly, to be able to correct my mistakes. I've never been able to do that. If I dropped a stitch or something, I had to give it back to the teacher to fix. I need to be able to fix it myself or I won't be able to get far. I hope to start making some caps, scarves and mittens for the winter.