Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Out Like A Lion..

Winter reared its ugly head here today and it's determined to go out like a lion. Late-winter snow filled my yard with about 7 inches of snow again. It's hard to believe that I was raking yesterday! This is Minnesota though and we always expect at least one late snow after the dear birds who foolishly returned here from down south too early, are startled back into winter. Poor robins.

One nice thing about this snow is that it is the nice, sticky, heavy stuff. Not great for shoveling, but excellent for snowmen and snow forts. Guess how we spent a portion of our day today? Due to the road conditions, daddy even came home early and we frolicked in the white stuff as a family!

What an ideal, precious, family afternoon. Only one thing could have made that family fun even better...a camera! There were so many great photos I could have gotten today.

So, guess how I spent my afternoon? Online shopping and researching cameras!

Oh well. Tomorrow is the beginning of April and I pray that winter will finally be done and my grass will be green again soon!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Is It Good Bye, Old Friend?

I am possibly nearing the end of my long time relationship with my devoted Canon Power Shot digital camera. It's led a good life, but I fear it may be in its last days.

It's been a faithful little guy (or gal), but the last few months it's had times when the viewing screen has been less than full power and 'jumpy'. I either recharge the batteries or keep switching it off and on until the screen is once again clear. Yesterday though, the screen was hardly viewable and I took the pictures any way. (I thought I was dealing with the same problem as my sister in law who has the same camera and her screen went to pot awhile ago, but she can still take pictures with it) Not so. I took the pictures and then when I downloaded them found that they still appeared blurry, faded and in no way revealed at all the subject of which I had taken the photo.

As I type, I am recharging the batteries and hoping it is just some fluke bug in the camera that will suddenly straighten up with the charged batteries. I know, probably a bit hopeful. We'll see.

This camera has been a faithful friend for three years and although I secretly wouldn't mind a new one, it's the process of doing the shopping and research that gets overwhelming. Of course, the cost is a factor as well, but I also know I CANNOT live without a digital camera. I use it A LOT, not only for my photos, but my videos too!

I'm just wondering, what kind of camera do you use? Any recommendations for an easy to use, inexpensive digital camera? I'd love to hear from you, leave me a comment.

In the meantime, I'll be hoping that mine somehow revives and stays strong for a little bit longer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Photo Fun

Do you Picnik? I do now! I just read about this site from Melissa at Bountiful Blessings yesterday when she posted this cute edited photo. Give it a try! It's FREE, FUN and EASY! (As if I really needed another reason to play around and edit my cute photos!)

I worked on a couple of photos real quick yesterday and thought I'd share them with you for something fun on Friday.

Miss Lily and the latest addition to our extended family, our great-niece, Maria.

Winter temps. have returned here, so I needed a little reminder of the glorious days ahead!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Although it is officially Spring and my yard is almost COMPLETELY bare and without snow, we have a chance of 'the white stuff' tonight and tomorrow. Small chance and minimal accumulation, but it's MN and anything can happen!

I've got Spring Fever and I can't wait to get outside to dig in my flower garden and get to the local greenhouses. It will be almost two more months before I can even think about planting anything around here, but I've got the itch and can't wait!

I found this fun quiz this afternoon and gave it a try. It's rather accurate too!

Happy Spring!

You Are Blooming Flowers

You are an optimistic person by nature. In even the darkest times, you are hopeful about the future.

You feel truly blessed in life and can sometimes be overwhelmed with emotions.

You have an artist's eye. You are always looking for beauty in the mundane.

You have a good sense of aesthetics, especially when it comes to shapes and color.

HT to Melissa for this one!

A Thankful Little Boy

While I was in the shower the other day, little boy decided to come and sit in the bathroom "to keep me company". Funny little guy.

It was there that he apparently was doing some thinking and became a little thankful...and suddenly mastered math.

Jonah: Mommy, I really like the way the builders made our house.

Mommy: Oh really? I'm glad you like it.

Jonah: They really did a good job. It's beautiful. I like this bathroom.

Mommy: You like the bathroom?

Jonah: Yup. And my bedroom and your room and the office and the kitchen and the laundry room and the living room. I like all the rooms. We have a big house!

Mommy: You're right. We sure do. God blessed us a lot in order to build this big house for our family to live in. Now we just have to keep praying for God to bless us again with more children to fill this big house. Do you think we should have more children in our house?

Jonah: Yes. Maybe some.

Mommy: Like how many? Would you like more brothers or sisters?

Jonah: One brother and one sister.

Mommy: Just one more of each, huh?

Jonah: Yup. Because then there will be 2 kids and 2 more kids and that will be 4!

Oh really? And all this from my 'spirited child'! That's a lot all in one sitting. Verbalizing being thankful, discussing family size, correct math....all without one bit of shouting!

Trust me, when this momentous little chat had been finished I made a little mommy note of it. I don't always get spontaneous little conversations like this with my spirited little guy.

I was also pretty proud to hear him being thankful for our house that we are blessed to live in. I decided not to remind him that "the builders" of this house were mommy and daddy and family members that pitched in. One day he'll appreciate that fact as much as I secretly do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Week Of Babies

Last week was a bit of a tough week. It was definitely the week of pregnancy announcements. I know that I am surrounded by family and friends who are in their 'fertile years', however, last week held some type of record in my book. From Friday to Friday, I found out about FIVE pregnancies!! Not kidding. Ok, so one of them was my dentist, but still it counts. The other four were two friends and two family members. Am I the only person who thinks this is not normal? Oh, and all of this in the midst of my own cycle again starting and realizing that another month has passed without conceiving(Excuse me for the TMI!). Rough week, indeed.

It was interesting that two of the pregnancies, the family members, I found out via Facebook. The first, my cousin's wife, is past her first trimester and they had just told family and then she shared it with the rest of us via Facebook. The second, a cousin, also posted some odd status on her Facebook account and from that I concluded that she was expecting and according to my calculations she's maybe 5 weeks along. And then, I found out that she had only found out the day before and then posted it FOR ALL TO SEE on Facebook the following day. I found that a bit, well, peculiar. Not exactly how I plan on making my announcement again one day. If I do announce via a social network, it will probably be after my first trimester and when I've personally told close family members. Ok, and I'll probably figure out a cute way to post it here too!!

Any way, this baby frenzy leaves a woman like me a bit traumatized and speechless. Trust me, lots of praying done on my end last week. I leaned hard on the Blessed Mother last week and my husband too. It's a week like that one, that can get a girl down. After each announcement from another blessed woman declaring her pregnancy, I rallied and I prayed. No tears were shed, but sadness and loneliness filled my heart. I will admit to you, there were many times that words of anger filled my mind and flowed from my mouth.

Please understand that these are not words of bitterness any longer as they may have been in the first year or two of this infertility journey, they were mostly words that cried out longing for when it would be my turn again. Not that these other women don't deserve it or that I am not happy for them, but I have patiently waited. I am saddened when 'my turn' again gets passed by and another month again passes. And then I hear of these other couples who 'are trying to have a baby' and within a few short months they share the news of a pregnancy.

I write this not for sympathy, but more for understanding. It's been awhile since I've posted on my infertility and there's been a post brewing in my heart, but I haven't figured out in my head just yet how it will be written. Last week's announcements left my heart a bit raw and I wanted to share it with you. This shall pass, I know it will. God will continue to lead and direct my path, wherever it may take me in the way of bringing more children into our home. Some days are a bit harder than others when pregnant bellies swarm in and surround me. Faithfulness to Christ and to the Church's teachings are tough to follow when my heart is aching and yearning for another child, but we will continue to be faithful and I know in the end that we will be richly rewarded. This week will be a better one and who knows what will come from this cycle. I continue to live in the present and embrace the grace that God gives me each and every day to fulfill my vocation as wife and mother faithfully.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Honor of the Husband and Father In Our Home

Today is the feast of St. Joseph. What would the Holy Family be without him? Wouldn't we all miss him if he weren't in the picture? What a wonderful role model he is for all husbands and fathers!

This is another day that I like to try and do something special to honor my husband, Reed. I also try and get the kids involved and have them create something to thank daddy for all that he does for our little household.

If I even began trying to put into words how much I appreciate and love that man, it would be a daunting task. It can only be summed up in these words: He is what I dreamed of, hoped for, asked for and prayed for in a husband and in a father. I am truly blessed. I am truly fortunate to have had my life blessed twice with wonderful role-models who honor St. Joseph, my own father and my husband. It doesn't get much better than that!

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Warm Weather!!

We had a gorgeous weekend and this week the temperature should be at least 40 degrees and yesterday it was even in the 50's! This was a MN heatwave and I enjoyed it. Of course, being a native Minnesotan I also know that we will still have one or more late winter/early spring snows yet, but I also know that you've just got to get out there and enjoy it while it lasts.

I am thrilled when spring arrives and snow starts to melt...until my kids go out in it to play. It's still not quite warm enough to have a light jacket on, so the winter ones still have to be worn. On the other hand, it's nice enough that they don't have to wear snow boots any more and can pull out the mud boots. Of course this is only another mom dilemma and headache because ultimately the mud boots get worn in the snow or the snow boots get worn in the mud. Neither is made for the other, in case you weren't aware of that fact.

Oh well, we head outside any way and enjoy it. We never know what tomorrow or next week will bring! Remember this from last week?

Sometime the temptation is just too much for a little boy to handle:

Our first outdoor picnic of the season:

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Domestic Church: Room By Room

Will you forgive me? Perhaps I bit off a bit more than I can chew??!! Actually, it's more like real life happened and I over-committed.

A few weeks ago, I committed to do a thorough book review of the above. I am still faithfully reading the book, however, I think I will have to end my weekly review. I hope that I have given you enough reason in the past weeks to convince you to buy the book or perhaps introduce it to your Ladies Book Club.

I am still thoroughly enjoying the book, it's just that taking the time to write the weekly reviews was getting more of a 'chore' and 'duty' than I expected. I still encourage you to embark on the journey of learning more about your Domestic Church and faithfully keeping yours happy and holy.

If you are just stopping by, here's where you can find the past reviews: Week I, Week II, Week III.

I hope I have not disappointed you, but I better stick to my real-time mommy posts for awhile! Have you read the book? Let me know what you think of it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Do You Have Prayers to Spare??

A good IRL friend and blogging mommy could use your prayers. Jamie is a mom with four children and another on the way. She broke her ankle on Friday and even had to have surgery. She should be home from the hospital tomorrow. Baby is doing fine, but Jamie will have a long road to recovery.

Please pray for her and her family as they make this long transition over the coming weeks. Thanks!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

St. Patrick & St. Joseph Feast Days

Next week, we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick on Tuesday and St. Joseph on Thursday. Although I don't think we have a speck of Irish in us, we'll celebrate with them any way and honor St. Patrick. I don't have much planned, but I am preparing things this weekend so that I am all ready.

For St. Patrick, I think we'll be doing this coloring page and we'll do Jamie's shamrocks as well for our painting project. As we're talking about the Trinity with our shamrock project, I may even have a reproducible with the Trinity on it that the kids can paste on their shamrocks. I'm not sure yet what will be on our menu that day, but I think all things green in color will be what we're aiming for in our house! I'm hoping maybe we'll even bake some shamrock cookies too.

As always, Jessica over at Shower of Roses has some more great ideas to celebrate St. Patrick's day, so check those out too!

For St. Joseph's Feast day, we'll keep it relatively simple, but we'll be doing a coloring page from here that I think we may even add a frame or something to and give to daddy as a gift.

I am trying to make it a tradition in our home that we somehow honor my husband on St. Joseph's feast, since he is the patron of husbands and fathers. Last year we made a special dinner and the kids made a card for daddy. I think I'll have the kids come up with something special they can make for him again and a special dinner will once again take place.

I also found this 3D St. Joseph Altar that you can make at home, along with this Virtual St. Joseph Altar where you can make a prayer offering and add your intentions to their prayer list.

Blessings in your preparations!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quick Take Friday

1. This week I tuned in for the Dancing With The Stars season premiere. I was torn if I really wanted to watch, since there wasn't really anyone on there I knew or really wanted to see. However, I was also lured there by the fact that two new additions would be announced during the show, due to Jewel and Nancy O'Dell being out of the picture due to injuries. It's a lot of fun to watch the first episode of the season because, well, let's face it, some of the 'Stars' really don't have a dancing bone in their body! I enjoy watching the grace and beauty of the dance, but admittedly, I could do without some of those really scant outfits! I was rather disappointed in a few things and bothered while I watched (with my 6 year old daughter). For one thing, the man who is paired with Lacey, Steve-O, apparently was on a popular TV show titled Jackass. That's fine to be mentioned once, but did they really need to use that word to describe him and use plays on that word in every sentence? Another thing, I was disappointed to see Holly Madison, former girlfriend to Hugh Hefner and Playboy bunny as one of the new additions. I totally don't agree with that lifestyle for a TON of reasons, therefore it will be rather difficult to just watch her on the show strictly for 'entertainment value' and not judge her and her lifestyle. Will I continue to watch? Perhaps, but maybe not completely committed every week. I do look forward to watching Julianne Hough with her real-life boyfriend, country singer Chuck Wicks though.

2. We took our overnight family 'winter getaway' on Sunday. We only took a 20 mile drive to a local hotel attraction which includes an indoor water park. It helps when a place like that offers a spring break rate that includes the room and 4 water park passes for one low rate! As expected, we had a great time as a family and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. Like last year, we spent hours at the water park both on Sunday afternoon and for a little bit before check-out on Monday morning. We also ordered pizza for dinner and ate it on our beds (the kids always get a kick out of that for some reason!!). It was a short getaway, but worth the family time.

3. Have you checked out your local library's Books on CD/Tape selection lately? We've just recently began diving into ours and the kids love them! It's a lot of fun for them to hear simple stories in a new voice and Jonah really likes the ones that have a page turn chime. For some reason, this section of our local library just never caught my eye or seemed to draw me in, until recently. There's a pretty large selection of simple, short books as well as chapter books that Lily can enjoy too. As if we weren't already in love with the library, now we just have one more reason to look forward to our library trips!

4. Speaking of reading, Miss Lily has been progressing throughout the school year in her reading and is so much fun to listen to! The words that she just automatically reads for the first time without hesitation are most often tough words to even sound out. She just keeps at it and keeps moving on to a different level. Just yesterday, after Lily read our family Lenten meditation from this book , my husband marveled at her reading proficiency. Which is a good reminder, because sometimes we easily forget that she is only 6 and in Kindergarten! I think I'll be doing a lot of looking at our Catholic Homeschool conference in May to decide what program to continue with her in the fall in order to continue to nurture her reading skills.

5. I've been doing some research on our state's department of natural resources website this last week. There's a lot of stuff out there! I'm in search of some fun nature programs for our local Catholic homeschool group or even for my family to go enjoy. The closest State Park for us that has a variety of programs available is probably a good 45 mins. away, but looking at some of the stuff they're offering the drive should be worth it. Do you know what your State Parks have to offer you and your family? I found a few fun programs in April and May like bird watching, woodland flower walk, a pond view walk, dragonflies and more! Now we'll just have to narrow it down to a few and get them on the calendar.

6. Well, hopefully spring is around the corner and that has got a lot of blogging mom's talking about spring cleaning. I found that a number of them do it during the season of lent as they prepare for Easter, along with the spring season. What a great idea! I'm a bit behind since I haven't started yet, but I'm working on my cleaning list and hope to get started next week. I did it a couple years ago where I made the list and did a lot of cleaning and purging as well. I cleaned everything, right down to the woodwork and walls. Not that some things were as dirty as others, but it was nice to have the WHOLE HOUSE clean! I'll let you know how it goes. You can check out Elizabeth's list here or Emma's list here to get ideas how to start your list.

7. Spirited child, anyone? I'd heard this term in the past, but it wasn't until recently that I've contemplated that perhaps I have one living in my home. These children may sometimes also be referred to as strong-willed, determined and intense. Their characteristics commonly are MORE than normal children, more intense, persistent, sensitive, perceptive, etc. I'm not sure yet if my child completely carries all of these traits, however, he does have some of them and he is at times MORE. I just picked up this book from the library to hopefully help me in deciding. If this is him, I'm hoping that the book helps give me some good tools to guide him and live with him, minus a lot of our current battles.

Jen has more Quick Takes for you today here!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Persistent Prayer

As we've been trying to conceive another child for over 2 1/2 years and dealing with the diagnosis of 'unexplained infertility' for over a year, we've been rather silent about the matter with our children, especially our 6 year old daughter. She is wise beyond her years, that one. Instead, we have always taken the approach that so far it hasn't been the right time yet to add to our family and that God isn't ready just yet to bring another baby in our home. When she started mentioning it probably over 1 1/2 years ago, we told her that she could pray along with us for our family to be blessed with more children and brothers and sisters for her and her brother. Her prayer then gradually became a daily addition to our mealtime prayers and she's hardly missed a day all this time!

Her prayer originally went like this: "Please give me one more sister and two more brothers". I always asked why she wanted more brothers and she always replied that she only needed one sister!

In the past couple months though, the prayer has taken a different tone and goes like this: " Pray for mommy to have four more sisters and four more brothers". When the prayer took this sudden change, I asked her why the number had increased and she replied, "because I have four girl names I really like and four boy names". I then asked what those names were, "for the girls it's Susan, Lucy, Grace & Julia. For the boys it's Caspian, Edmund, Peter & Rilian". Does anyone see the theme here? Have you seen the Chronicles of Narnia movies? Even the older version we found that includes Prince Rilian? These names and the prayer additions came right around the time that she was introduced to the Narnia movies. And so, the desire for more siblings was born!

I had to laugh a couple weeks ago when I had a realization during her prayer and heard it in a totally different way. Look at the words. No wonder it isn't working! She's praying for ME to have more brothers and sisters. That means for MY parents to have more children! This was even more funny the other week when she prayed her prayer and my parents were seated at the table. They made the same realization and looked at each other across the table and kind of chuckled. They admitted later that I won't be getting any more siblings. They are in their mid-late 50's!

I think Lily was even second-guessing her prayers one day, since she came to me and asked how many children four more brothers, four more sisters and she and her brother totaled. When I told her 10, she had a look of astonishment, but then admitted that it was a lot, but still not too many.

I have been inspired by my litle girl's child-like faith, especially at times when my hopeful heart is weighted down by my diagnosis and lack of answers. Like her, we keep on praying. Like me, she keeps on hoping. But some days, even the two of us can't help but be disappointed. The other day as I told her excitedly about two friends I had just found out were pregnant and having babies, I think I saw her heart break a little. I think mine did too. Together, we await the arrival of other mommy's babies and celebrate with them, but I know we both are waiting for when it will be our turn. She doesn't have to say it any more, I can see it.

Persistent, Consistent prayer and Child-Like Faith will help us through this.

Spring Fever = Sewing Project

I'll admit it, I am SICK OF WINTER! I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of the winter season. I do like the change of seasons and the newness they all bring, but winter for me could be maybe a month in length and I'd be fine. Once March comes, it definitely needs to be done and most often here, it still has a few more bursts of snow and cold left to give us. I usually find some little project to help me through it though, sometimes painting and sometimes a little sewing.

I took on a sewing project last week and finally sat down to complete it yesterday. Don't get me wrong, not that I'm a seasoned seamstress to any degree, but I do enjoy the simple projects that I can accomplish with ease. Although I went to the fabric store last week while I wasn't feeling the best, I was somehow invigorated by all of the colors and patterns. As always, my quick stop for a little bit of fabric easily lasted an hour! The choices, the colors, the patterns!! Each with it's own options to create something wonderful.

Being that I was encountering the 'winter blahs', I ended up choosing vibrant patterns and colors that were a far cry from my original intentions upon setting out for the store. In the end, I chose shades of blue/aqua/turquoise to make a valance, pillow and seat cushions for my loft/sitting area upstairs.

I love the finished product and it's nice to see the beautiful color liven up that space. I always enjoy a finished project and the contentment it gives me.

Only now, I'm thinking I need to paint that wall the tan/brown color of it's opposite wall to really make it all come together...maybe I'm not finished after all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Have you read these with your children?

I just finished listening to the audio book, Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick. How cute! Have you read this one?

Recently, we had found Lost in the Woods by the same authors and I'm actually awaiting it's arrival from Amazon since I purchased it last week. Now, after reading today's book, I may just have to order this one too for our home library.

The photography in these books is absolutely gorgeous and I certainly appreciate it's beauty. What treasures they will be on our bookshelf! I understand why they call these books 'A Photographic Fantasy.'

Check if your local library holds either of these titles and especially check out Stranger in the Woods if you are still in the midst of winter like we are. They are a special treat for you and your little ones to enjoy.

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Fever

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Yesterday, the calm before the storm:

Today, just minutes ago:

And here's what my dear boy is wearing today:

That's right...SHORTS!! I just bought these yesterday and we were trying them on this morning to be sure they'd fit for this summer and he insisted on wearing them for awhile today. And I let him. Oh well, if it's going to snow outside we might as well pretend that it's gorgeous inside! (By the way, these cute shorts are only $4 on sale this week at Target!!)

Enjoy the weather wherever you are today! If the sun is out and it's over 40 degrees, bask in it twice as long for me today!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Domestic Church: Room by Room (Vol. III)

Here's my weekly installment for my continuing review of the above book. Please pardon me today, since I am still working through a cold and I am not at 'full throttle' just yet. I do not wish to easily dismiss this week's chapter since it continues to delve deeply into our Domestic Church, but my post may not be as lengthy today. If you would like to follow the reviews from the beginning of the book, start with this post.

This week's focus:

The Nursery: The Blessings of Little Souls

This chapter discusses the gifts of the souls of our children, conception and contraception and the role mother's have been given in their special communion with the mystery of life.

How beautiful and precious is life! How wonderful the gift of children in our marriages and in our domestic church! Unfortunately, how often that is not seen by our society, our government, our friends or even our family. Sadly, we live in a world where life is not necessarily valued everywhere as precious and unrepeatable. In a society of convenience, too often children are viewed as an inconvenience to be avoided at all cost. The Church does not share those views and therefore teaches that each and every marriage act remain open to the transmission of life. Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator.

While we live in a world with 'contraceptive mentality' filled with negative values, we must have continued determination to act with responsible parenthood and with a respect for the conjugal act in marriage. It is a precious and valued gift we have as spouses and often it is one that is attacked and undermined in our marriages.

Motherhood plays a role in the special communion it has with the mystery of life, especially in the beginning as it forms in the woman's womb.

Whether it occurs biologically or through adoption, a mother's contribution in the early stages of her child's life is "decisive in laying the foundation for a new human personality".

A mother's love increases as her child grows within her and as God gifts her with motherly graces, causing her heart to expand to love other human beings in a deeper way as well.

True, children are wonderful blessings to our Church and our little domestic ones as well, but tough days in mommyland can make it difficult to find the motherly grace I need and rely on. Anyone else with me? Many times I have to remind myself that this is my vocation and I must embrace it with joy and love and bring that to my home. And then there's this reminder from the Catholic Catechism: "Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of the parents"(CCC, 2227) I've found this to be true on a DAILY basis! Thankfully, God arranged it perfectly when he came up with this one: Mothers are given the task and responsibility of raising their little souls to heaven and while doing so, the children will, by God's grace, also be helping to sanctify their parents' lives. We all need our domestic church and its members for us to work toward Heaven! No one is insignificant or 'useless' in our homes, none without value, each unrepeatable.

**The author cites that if you would like to read more essential teachings of the Church regarding husband and wife's cooperation with God in transmitting human life, you can find it in Familiaris Consortio available at Catholic bookstores or on the Vatican website.

Blessings on you as you embrace the gift of the little souls in your household and continue to be open to life!

Next Week: The Living Room!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quick Take Friday

I'm sorry, but today I do not have my usual '7 Quick Takes' for you. Not that I couldn't come up with 7 things to share, but I've spent most of the week revisited by cold-like symptoms. I'm feeling better this morning, but I'm still reviving my feeble mommy brain into working at full capacity. Today my goal will be to fulfill my regular mommy duties and perhaps pick up where I left off on a little sewing project (I promise pictures when it's finished). I'll be back next Friday with some great Quick Takes and other posts in between I'm sure! Blessings until then.

If you'd like to read some Quick Takes today, visit Jen here. She just had a baby girl this week and has a lot to share!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Ok, I guess I can't remain completely 'wordless' today. Here's the recipe Jamie! It's the one I received from MIL's recipe box. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:

1 3/4 cup Crisco
2 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Honey (or 1 1/2 cups Sugar)
4 Eggs
4 teaspoons Vanilla

Stir in:
5 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Finally, add 1 1/2-2 cups Chocolate Chips.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ready For A New Day

A sore throat. A restless night, half of which was spent on the couch. Returned 'cold' symptoms. Mommy duties to keep on track today. A major meltdown from a 3 year old boy at nap time.

It's been THAT kind of day.

On the brighter side, I've had my Berry Crumble candle burning all day and filling my home with sweetness (and lifting my feelings of sickness). This morning I let the kids take everything and anything from the kitchen and living room and into the guest room to play in their own 'house'. I was pretty sure the battle would begin when I wanted it all cleaned up again. Much to my surprise, after only being asked once to start cleaning it all up, Miss Lily began the daunting task and successfully cleaned it all up. INCLUDING other cleaning up in her room and other toys that were scattered about! Bless her! And currently I have a little boy picking up his Lincoln Logs in order to be able to put a bean in the jar. The 'Sacrifice & Good Deeds' Lenten bean jar that is.

Maybe things weren't really so bad today.

And I still have hubby's arrival home shortly to look forward to and The Biggest Loser tonight!

Tomorrow is a new day Friends. Thankfully.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Domestic Church: Room By Room (Volume II)

The following is my continuing review of the above book that I am doing in weekly increments on Mondays. To follow along, you may want to begin with the First Chapter review here.

This week's focus:

The Garage: A Husband In The Picture

What better time to reflect upon your marriage and your relationship with your husband, then during Lent? I think this chapter comes at a good time, especially as my husband and I work harder toward accomplishing more prayer time as a couple. This chapter really focuses a lot on the husband and wife relationship and that we have been growing together each day and that we actually become a reflection of "God's love for humanity and the love of Christ the Lord for the Church his bride" (Familiaris Consortio, 17).

At times, this is difficult, is it not? Goodness, we are different beings! How intricate and beautiful both male and female are, but we come together as one in Christ therefore it should all be easy and glorious every day, right? It just does not always happen that way. Although we are united as one, we are sure to be very different from one another. A man's brain at rest is most ready to achieve instant activity or to physically respond to stimulus. A woman's basal resting state is more attuned to differences in expression and communication. This makes sense in a way that the male is the father and husband who falls into the 'protector' role and ready to serve and physically take care of his family. A mother becomes the 'nurturer' and provides the care of the home and family. It's amazing how us mothers become the 'dispensers' in our families in order to care for them: of the band aids, kisses, hugs, crayons, snacks, meals, laundry, etc. It is how we nurture them. Might I take a moment to remind you of last weeks lesson on how we need to pray that we respond with Mary-like 'sensitive-attentiveness' to the care and needs of others? (I'm still working on that one!) We need to learn how to communicate lovingly and acknowledge our differences and the fact that man and woman have their own specific gifts to bring to their marriage and family that will help alleviate some of the anxiety and confusion.

It is not always easy to live daily life with our spouse. We all know that. They are wonderful blessings, but the differences we have can sometimes be huge obstacles in our growth together as a couple. As the book indicates, we need to grow in mutual self-giving. The sacrament of their marriage unites the couple in love, responsibility, sacrifice, and service to one another. Our love needs to be one that is authentic, devoted, strong, and sacrificial. That sacrificial one can be a tough one sometimes, can't it? I can be authentic in my love and dedicated to our marriage, but sometimes when sacrifice is involved it's easy to pull out the mental tally card and start keeping track of all the things that I have to sacrifice in order to have a successful marriage. How great is my sacrifice then? How devoted is my love to my husband? Those are definitely things to ponder. It is with great sacrifice and love that Christ gave of Himself and yet how often do I balk at the sacrifices laid before me? Too often the 'easy road' looks so much more delightful! Beautifully though, through our self-giving, our marriage blossoms and grows in holiness and maturity.

Along with sacrifice, prayer is absolutely vital to our marriage. As mothers whose time is demanded by many and spread thin, do we still find time for prayer with our husbands? Too often it is set aside because we are just too busy. Prayer helps to strengthen the marriage bond and draw them closer to God. Prayer together needs to be set as a priority and is needed on a regular basis. Even if it starts as a single prayer together before bedtime. In time once a habit is formed, hopefully you will be able to extend your time of prayer together. As a Catholic married couple, we receive many graces through the sacrament. Through our prayers we are united and strengthened in our sacred marital bond. The grace we receive helps us be strengthened in our unity and be enabled to help our spouse to attain holiness. In living out our state of life faithfully, we are given graces to become holy! This is God's plan for us and our marriages. What a gift He has bestowed on us!

That's a lot to think about this week! It will be the perfect time for my husband and I to continue working on our prayer time together and establishing a better routine.

Blessings upon you and your husband as you work on deepening and strengthening your marriage and as you focus on your domestic church's garage!

Next Week: The Nursery!!

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