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