Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We Have A Winner!

Using and their number generator, the winner of a set of my homemade table runners is:



Please email me (see sidebar) with your mailing address and your choice of one of the fabrics from the second photo (or if you'd like me to consider a different fabric that may suite you better).

Thank you to all of you who entered my birthday giveaway!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If Your Boy Is Obsessed With A Certain Tank Engine this one: may be interested to know that there's a new movie coming to theatres. Thomas' latest adventure is 'Splish, Splash, Splosh' and arrives November 7th in select theatres.

Click here for the current list of theatres.

Thankfully, I've got one about an hour away that's offering it. We'll see if we'll make it in line will all of the other Thomas-crazed-engineer-boys come November!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Apple Week

Last week was declared 'Apple Week' and we filled our days with baking, crafts and stories. It was a last minute, impromptu decision to create Apple Week, but with a little help from the library, some copies I had previously made from an old Mailbox Yearbook and plans that came together for having company at our house, all came together quite well.

Some of the books in our library basket:

How Do Apples Grow?
Apple Farmer Annie
Amazing Apples
Golden Delicious: A Cinderella apple story
Dappled Apples
Up, Up, Up! It's apple picking time

Our Crafts:

Apple Art

Apple Pals

A-peel-ing Apples

We made the Creamy Dutch Apple Dessert again and also Apple Stuffed French Toast for breakfast one morning.

It was a pretty simple themed week that I could have gone in numerous directions with, but since it was planned quickly I think it actually turned out pretty darn good. We all had a great time and lots of fun with it too!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Birthday = Giveaway

It's my birthday and I'm 31! And while I wrote this last year, behind that reminiscence was a whole boatload of fear as I turned 30. Something about that number really bothered me and I suddenly felt 'old' and unhappy that life wasn't exactly what I had pictured for myself at that age. But really, it was all about my home not being filled with more children as I had envisioned at age 3-0.

I quickly got over that and moved on. This 30-thing wasn't really all that bad. I have learned to embrace my thirties and to set forward on my journey. Wherever that may take me and my family. God has been good. My life has been richly blessed.

October is a great month for a birthday. I've always thought that. Through the years I've been happy where my birthday falls. Another month and it will be Thanksgiving and in another two months, Christmas. It's a good run. This year I've found out that I also celebrate with some pretty wonderful ladies, Margaret and Tracy. And my IRL friend, Michelle too! That's some good company to be in!

In order to celebrate with me, I figure I'll give you something too! What a deal, huh? So, I'm going to start by throwing out a disclaimer here. The gift is homemade, however, please understand that by no means am I a professional/flawless seamstress of any kind! That being said, here's what I'm giving away:

A set of 4 of my (reversible) seasonal table runners!

Each table runner features a different holiday on each side:

Valentine's Day
St. Patrick's Day

Here are the fabrics I will be using:

The final side is your choice of one of these:

Realizing that not everyone has the same taste in style or similar decor in their home, if you win I may be persuaded *wink* to accommodate you for the last side in a different fabric.

I will sew them up promptly and send them out to the winner. If this giveaway intrigues you, please leave a comment on this post and I'll enter your name. You may enter until Wednesday at noon and I'll announce the winner later that day. Send your friends on over who may be interested and want the chance to become a winner!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hi Lo: October 23rd


1. I survived my visit to the dentist this week. I was not as eagerly anticipating it as my kids were a couple of weeks ago. Something about having someone poke in my mouth for an hour that bothers me. But, I made it through and survived.

2. We had fairly nice weather last weekend which enabled us to finish up some outdoor fall projects and winterizing. Glad that's finished!

3. I worked on some Christmas shopping and got a few things crossed off the list, both online and in-store. That's a good feeling. I'm aiming to be out of the stores by Dec. 1st so that our family can celebrate the season of Advent a bit better this year.

4. One of my favorite people came to visit.

5. I received my latest book to review for Catholic Company. You'll have to wait and see what it is, but so far it looks pretty good!


1. I need to schedule a return visit to the dentist. A tooth that the dentist has been keeping an eye on is starting to lead to a cavity and needs to get filled. Dentist says that where it is would be typical of people who've had braces (I'd had them 3 times when I was younger!!) and it has probably gradually been working on it. Nonetheless, *blah*.

Not a bad week, huh? How was your week? What were your Highs and Lows?

Have a great weekend! I'm celebrating this weekend and I'll be posting a birthday giveaway either Sunday or Monday. Be sure to watch for it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

He's So Much F-U-N!

We had a guest last night. Well, actually we had two supper guests and one of them stayed overnight. Both of them priests. And we had a BLAST! It worked quite well as we continue in our efforts to do special things for our priests during The Year of The Priest.

My spirits are lifted, my heart is filled. You know how a good friend can do that? And then for that friend to be a mutual one to both you, your husband and your children, well, it tends to leave your heart content and at peace.

I've spoke of him several times here and shown photos, because he is just THAT SPECIAL to our family. He is the Vocations Director for our diocese and there is no mistake why he is in that position. He has a gift and he uses it.

Yesterday, he was speaking to the youth of our parishes here about vocations, so we invited him over for a meal along with our own parish priest. Good conversation and great food (if I do say so) are always a great combination. Afterwards, our guests left so that they could go celebrate Mass with more youth and parishioners. Of course, there again, a wonderful addition to our evening. Then it was back to our house for more good/late evening conversation. This morning, we were fortunate to be blessed with his sunshiny face once again.

To say that the kids were excited to have him visit would be an understatement! They know that Fr. G prays with them, pays attention to them, talks to them, plays with them, is crazy with them. What more could they ask for? It didn't take long for the kids to start running around playing hide and seek and other games with their friend. They were especially excited to postpone school a little bit so that they could eat breakfast with him and play some more!

As always, a good time was had by all of us! I am rejuvenated physically, mentally and spiritually, just by a simple visit. *sigh*

Here's a few photos:

Checking out our schoolroom



Can't you see why we enjoy him so much?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

That's What She Said

I'll be the first to admit that my relationship with Lily is going through some growing pains and it's happening more often now that she's seven. The temper flares a little quicker and some times I wonder where her cute little girly-girl days have gone. I know that there are stages that we all go through in life and times of change, I just hadn't been prepared. She still does have some pretty cute things to say and still seems to enjoy when I make the time to hear them. She knows how to make me giggle and how to touch my heart in an instant.

Sometimes, she can be my ego-booster:

"Mom, you look REALLY skinny today. Like thinner than yesterday."

Sometimes, she comes across as Miss Fashionista:

"I don't like that shirt. It looks HORRIBLE on you. That's really NOT your color."

Sometimes, wit comes flying out her mouth:

While working on some math problems,
"I can't get this! It's like my brain just fell out of its compartment!"

Sometimes, she surprises me by sharing what she's thinking about:

"I thought you said adoption costed like $100 and you couldn't afford it. Well, that's fine if you decide to adopt, but if you do I GET TO PICK OUT THE BABY!!"

And sometimes, she overhears my conversations and hears my fears and responds:

"That's okay if we can't go anywhere. We can just stay home all winter. That's okay with me. I'm fine with that."

Monday, October 19, 2009

New In Town

Over the weekend I watched the movie, New In Town, from Netflix. I'll admit, I am not a big movie watcher. I just have always felt that I've got better things to do and would rather not waste time watching a movie. That's just me. And, if I do sit down for a movie I want to really be into it and enjoy it. I'm glad I didn't wait for Reed to watch this movie with me. I don't think he'd like it.

I struggled with the plot. In that, there really wasn't one and it took half way through the movie to really feel like it was progressing somewhere.

The movie jacket says this:
'The weather isn't the only drastic change for high-paid consultant Lucy Hill when she's sent from her home base in South Beach, Florida, to a small Minnesota town to improve the productivity of a local manufacturing plant. The town's residents also take some getting used to, especially the ruggedly handsome union boss who's doing his darnedest to make sure that Lucy doesn't cut any jobs'

Literally, that is the entire plot line. Yes, it becomes a story of love and friendship and a change of heart too, but not really enough content for me to feel like I'd really need to watch this movie again. Maybe it's just me.

Uf-dah. It was also filled with A LOT of Midwest/Minnesotan stereotypes, with the main focus on our Minnesotan 'accent'. I'll admit that it did have a few really good one-liners that gave me a chuckle and were cute. But really, Hollywood, we don't REALLY talk like that. Right? (Or do we??)

While the Minnesotan humor was cute, it was repetitive after a few times. Sorry to say, this movie just wasn't for me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hi Lo: October 16th


1. Reed's family holds an annual family hayride in October and we had that last weekend. Not everyone can attend, but those of us who do usually have a pretty good time. We finish the evening with a potluck too. Good conversation and fun. A niece of ours was home from college for the weekend, so I was able to chat with her. That's always a hoot. She makes me laugh all the time. Thanks Hannah!

2. Due to Columbus Day, Reed was home from work on Monday. I scheduled meeting a new friend for coffee that morning. Good conversation, good coffee and good break for mommy.

3. I got back on the exercise wagon that I fell off of some time ago. It helped me remember how good I do feel when I make the time for it. I need to also remember that although I don't need to do it for weight loss, I need to do it for continued health. Hopefully I can get back into a good routine of it again.

4. We started our Little Flowers group this week! Inspired by Jessica all last year when she shared about their group, I decided to offer it for our homeschool group. I couldn't have been nearly as efficient without Jessica's help. Thanks Jessica! I'm leading the group and we only have 6 members this year, but I think all of us had a good time. I was so busy I only got a photo or two, maybe I can capture a few more next meeting.


1. We're receiving SNOW here off and on this week. *yuck* It's always WAY TOO EARLY for it, especially when it arrives before my birthday later this month. I'm still hoping for one more warm up yet. I'm probably crazy for being so naive.

2. Under that snow are still a ton of leaves that need to be dealt with and my perennials still aren't covered. I'm hoping that the possible forecast of a warm up for the weekend happens and I can at least take care of those two projects. (If not, I'll be the crazy lady out in the yard shoveling snow away in order to get to the leaves and plants so that I can cross those jobs off my fall to-do list!)

3. Due to the colder weather, I decided it was time to put the flannel sheets on our bed. And that's all I have to say about that.

How was your week? What were your Highs and Lows? Colleen shares hers every week too! Read them here.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Creamy Dutch Apple Dessert

I needed a quick dessert to make over the weekend and I was in the mood for something that I could use one of my jars of homemade apple pie filling. It needed to be quick and easy (as usual!). This one received rave reviews and Reed even mentioned that he liked it BETTER THAN apple pie!! I think I found a keeper!!

I found the following recipe on

Creamy Dutch Apple Dessert

1/3 c. butter, melted
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. reconstituted lemon juice
1 can apple pie filling (I used a qt. of my homemade filling)

Optional (I chose not to add these):
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Pat into bottom of 1 1/2 qt. shallow baking dish.

Mix together sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and lemon juice, spread evenly over crumbs. Spoon pie filling evenly over creamy layer. Bake 25 mins. or until set (it took closer to 45 mins. in my oven). Cool slightly. In small dish, mix together nuts and cinnamon, sprinkle over pie filling. May be served warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tasted very good when warm and topped with vanilla ice cream!

**You can also substitute blueberry, cherry or peach pie filling**


Morning brought this to our house:

So we read this book:

And I think we'll be baking this afternoon. At least the snow is pretty, right? Well, sort of.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Splash Of Color

Over the weekend I finally finished my current painting project. While it wasn't ever left half-way finished or looking terrible during the process, it's nice to have it done.

I started it back in August when I felt like I was ready for a change of color, something warmer. I wanted to paint the kitchen, but with the way that our floor plan is all laid out there isn't an easy break or place to begin and end. So, the project turned into painting down the hallway toward the laundry room and then all of the dining room as well. The border in the dining room needed to stay. I like it and it's only about a year and a half old. I'd also already accented with decor that focused around that and wasn't about to unleash an all-out budget crisis for this change, so stuck with JUST painting.

Do you know the difference a color can make? I did or at least thought I did. I've come to appreciate it so much more though! It sure made my home feel warmer and more inviting. I'm happy with the result, especially since the kitchen area is pretty much my 'office'(I've got my laptop on the counter day and night) and I spend lots of time taking care of my domestic church here. This is also the center of the house and the focal point as you enter the front door.

What do you think?



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes

Friday, the autumn colors at their 'peak':

And yes, those photos were taken while driving on the freeway. Ahem, don't try that at home.(In my defense, I made sure I wasn't in heavy traffic or any cars near me at the time. And I slowed down too. Just had to mention it.)

Saturday morning, after the temps. dipped into the 20's and the leaves all came fluttering down:

All of this is a reminder to us Minnesotans that we enjoy every day and the weather we receive, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, October 12, 2009

We Finally Meet!

In the world of blogging you meet many new friends. Some you connect with more than others, hanging on their every post and identifying with them on a daily basis as if they are real people. Okay, well, they ARE real people. Many times though those real people are hidden on the other side of the computer and a real life meeting isn't ever possible due to location and mileage. And sometimes, just maybe, you are blessed enough to meet these wonderful Catholic mom's. Like perhaps at a tea or you split the difference in miles and meet half way. See? Modern communication and technology IS a good thing!

That's just what the kids and I did on Friday. I finally met Mommy Monkey in person! You remember her, back this past spring when she just happened upon my life's journey and our paths crossed?

Well, we've kept in touch over the months and she has been an enormous source of encouragement and support through many of my ups and downs with infertility. To say that I was ecstatic to finally meet would be an understatement. And yes, she is just as beautiful and friendly in person!

My kids had a great time playing with her little Scooks and Bugs. So much fun for them too! That Scooks is a hoot. What a little darling. She made me chuckle.

(Bugs is a mover at 14 months, so we couldn't catch him in a photo. He's a Little Cutie though too!)

What fun and easy conversation. It was like I was just catching up with an old friend. I can't wait to do it again, dear friend. Thanks MM!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Because They Just HAD To...

...Get out into the first snowfall of the season. In FULL winter gear!

This is Minnesota My Friends. Expect the unexpected.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hi Lo: October 9th


1. My grandpa turned 90 last weekend and a whole bunch of family helped him celebrate. We were able to join them and I had the chance to visit with some family members I haven't seen in awhile. So much fun! Papa looked like he had a lot of fun and still looked like a chipper spring chicken for sure.

2. Lily & Jonah had a check up at the dentist this week. NO cavities! Hooray! Both kids have strong, healthy teeth and the dentist was impressed.

3. The fall colors have emerged around here and I have been taking notice. We took a walk in them the other day, but I've had the chance to do some driving this week that has allowed me to see so many more. My eyes are simply delighted. Words cannot explain how abundant and vibrant they are. I'm hoping to take some more photos over the weekend to share with you.

4. After seeing several commercials lately for Nutella, I decided that we needed to add it to our pantry. It just sounded so darn good and I couldn't figure out why I hadn't ever tasted it before. While on a Target run, I found it for under $3. Not bad. I agree with the commercials, because seriously it IS as good as they claim. I just shouldn't have turned around the container to read the calories.

5. Today is my parents' 33rd wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom!! Love you!


1. While the tree colors are striking, we've had some icky weather that proceeded them. It's been cold, windy and rainy here. A true Minnesota autumn. Not that bad and easy to accept when you focus on the tree colors and not the inevitable white flakes that will begin to fall in their own good time.

2. With the rain comes the mud. With mud comes kids in mud. A combination I absolutely despise. I refuse to wash their jackets one more time this week!

What were your Highs and Lows this week? Hopefully you are enjoying your autumn, wherever you are. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Simple Logic

While pulling out couch cushions to create 'his house'.

Boy: Hey! Look what I found! A Lucky Charm (the cereal)!

Mama: Oh wow. Where did you find that?

Boy: It was on the floor.

Mama: You should toss that. It's yucky now.

Boy walks to end of couch and tosses Lucky Charm under couch.

Mama: Why did you throw it under there and not in the garbage?

Boy: Because I had to put it some place where it would always be safe.

Well then, that makes perfect sense. I wonder what else he's stashed under there for safe keeping? I think I'll save that for another day to find out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pope Benedict And Divine Mercy

Book Review:

Pope Benedict's Divine Mercy Mandate

This book writes about the countless ways that Pope Benedict is carrying on the legacy of Pope John Paul II's message of Divine Mercy. Pope Benedict is continuing the conversation that our beloved JPII began in spreading the news of mercy and more importantly, the devotion of Divine Mercy as revealed to St. Faustina.

It's a reminder that we are not merely called to proclaim it, but to live lives of mercy each day. It is through prayer and the Sacraments that we are each graced to serve others and live lives of mercy toward those around us. Each chapter is summed up with end of chapter reminders on how to "fulfill the mandate" laid before you. They are great synopsis that tie together Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II's messages.

Throughout the book as you come to better understand God's great mercy, you begin to carry on John Paul II's legacy and make it your own. In responding, we are especially called to proclaim John Paul's great testament of mercy: "How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!"

Our faith becomes "more profound". Our hope becomes "more alive". Our love becomes "more ardent". Through this spiritual action- in faith, hope, and love- we place ourselves "securely in God's hands". We trust in Him. It is our response to His mercy.

Through this book you will be encouraged to become a herald of love and Divine Mercy in the world.

To find more items to encourage you on your spiritual journey, click on over to Catholic Company!
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