Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

 A recent Pinterest pin was a quick fix for a little after supper treat.

With the help of my resident junior pastry chef, we whipped these up in a jiffy.

All you need is a tube of crescents, marshmallows 
and chocolate chips.

Roll 'em up

Put them on a cookie sheet and bake according to package directions on the rolls.

Gooey goodness, how can you go wrong?

It will leave you wanting S'more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

That's Sheenazing!

 Have you seen the nominations for the Sheenazing Blogger Awards yet?

Hop on over to Bonnie's to join in and cast your votes!

Thank you to the reader(s), whomever you are, that nominated me for Best Looking Blog and Most Inspiring. You are too kind and I am above honored.

This is not a plug for votes, since I am in the company of some very noteworthy and amazing bloggers.

There is a whole treasure trove of awesome blogs listed and some of my best Bestie's are on there too. 

Maybe you made the list....go see!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Motherhood Monday


Highlighted from A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms  (page 15, St. Gerard Majella):

'The gift of motherhood is an endless joy marked by moments of great grace and great sorrows.'

This caught my eye as I was sharing with a friend. I am hoping that this week brings great moments of joy that have sprinkles of grace. While caught in the middle of the winter lull and the homeschool mom burn out months, sprinkles are a wonderful addition to any week. Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bonding Over Bread

What does a parent do when you have a sweet pea as cute as mine?

What do you do when said sweetness has hit toddlerhood full throttle?

Almost overnight, Gianna turned into chatty toddler girl with a fun personality. But then the next night she found a little thing called stubboness/strong-willed/spirited child and thought she'd throw that in for good measure.

While standing in amazement at the will power of a 26 lb little girl, I try to recall what the last round of toddlers were like in our house. It must be age, because I can't seem to remember it hardly at all.

That's probably a good thing.

We'll keep figuring this out as we go, acting as if we are first time parents again.

It was on a recent Sunday while I watched father and daughter interact while making bread that I caught glimpses of loveliness. Ganders of love.

It's these times when we build their trust, share our love and listen to their thoughts and words. Even if they are real words mixed in with several toddler rambling words.

These moments when all they need is a little direction, a guiding hand and a little restraint, are important.

These moments will create memories.

These are the times as parents we nurture the mind and heart. They learn to appreciate their individual time with mommy or daddy and we do as well. 

The parent and child connection is built, cultivated and grows in these little acts of daily life.

While I watch as an outsider, my heart still connects to the toddler and to the father. Another memory captured and tucked away in my heart. 

These heartstrings stay intact as both of us will tug and pull through the years. When behavior demands discipline, attitude requires an adjustment and disrespect calls for honor.

It's easy to see through the tantrums now and hope for a better tomorrow because this simply is a phase. It's difficult to contemplate a day when we may not agree or so easily forgive. 

I blink and time passes. I sleep and years are gone.





Hopefully years down the road she'll still remember the day when they bonded over bread.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

(Kind Of) Wordless Wednesday: New Girls

As I indicated on Saturday, the little girls got their second time ever haircuts trims.

They are like new little ladies with their new 'dos. 

Who took my babies and turned them into grown up little people?!

Getting them to sit still long enough to take a front shot with their cute hair was near impossible. Well, at least for the toddler it was.

Alas, this is what you get:

And now let's all take a moment of silence for the baby days that just flew out the window.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Modern Day


The toddler runs willingly to the bathroom to sit on the toilet.

"Be sure and turn on the water in the sink a little bit. That seems to help", I shout to my husband from the living room.

My son looks at me and then follows with,

"Where did you hear that? Pinterest?"

I laugh and then reply, "No, I made that up myself or heard it back when you big kids were little. It helps little kids sometimes to go potty and relax."

"Oh. It sounded like something from Pinterest."

Gee, how did we mom know anything before the Internet or Pinterest? 

I believe a little sprinkle of Pinterest is the perfect addition to my week and a little bit of time to get my creative juices flowing.

And of course, to see what kind of insanely awesome projects some of you are attempting. You go, girls!

I guess I haven't even scratched the surface or dared wonder if Pinterest covers potty training. 

I better go check.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scenes From A Saturday: Sledding

Saturday mornings are usually bath time for the little girls and I decided to throw in a little hair trim for both of them too. 

As you see, Margaret was thrilled.

But, why must you cut my lovely locks?

Because, they are stringy and you need a little winter pick-me-up.

With the prospect of 50 mph winds that were to blow in for the afternoon, we headed outside this morning while it was in the mid-30's.

Some of us dawdle more than walk, but that's how this girl rolls. And dawdles.

We hit the sledding hill that grandpa worked on with the big kids the other week. The kids have been having a blast on it. I didn't take photos showing the length of this hill, but it goes down the hill/path they made and onto the snow covered icy lake below. It's more of a tapered hill and not straight down, just in case you are worried about the risk factor.

The big kids take turns with Gianna.

And enjoy the competition to see who gets further on to the ice.

Winter landscape offers photographic fun.

Sweet cheeks that belong to child #4 who almost always waits patiently in her cozy sled while the others play.

Another turn down the chute with Lily.

Gianna thinks it's a hoot.

But not so much when she tips out of the sled, which happened with daddy just after I took this photo.

A good time was had by all.

We finished up just as the wind started to roar.

Now it's blustery/blizzard-like and snow is swirling around the house. I'd say 50 mph winds are not impossible as the temperature has dropped in the lower teens.

So much for more sledding. 

At least not for the rest of this weekend or probably next week as we sit in a deep freeze.

I hope you're warm and toasty and enjoying lots of family time during your weekend.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Budget Geek

Back in the day, when I was single, I remember when I was thrilled to have $100 in my checking account. I thought I was sitting pretty. I also had money in savings, but not a lot. When a paycheck came in it was like I was rich and flush with cash.

How silly, single lady.

Thankfully, I was blessed to marry a man who is a budget hound planner and insisted that creating a monthly budget was do-able. I hadn't a clue where to begin or how to follow every.single.dollar. I spent. 

Over eleven years later, we still follow a monthly budget and I take care of a large portion of it. Budgeting has become our way of life and I know/record most every dollar coming in and going out of our house.

I recently ran into an acquaintance and mentioned the economy and how it's hard to keep a budget. She chuckled and said, 'oh, we haven't budgeted since sometime back when we just had one child.' I thought about that later and even contemplated how easy it would be just to buy things and not jot down every dollar. I'm not talking frittering away money, just not worrying about it as much. A conversation with hubby about it made me rethink the idea.

Living with a family on one income can be tough and I think budgeting has kept things in focus over the years to keep tabs on our money.

Does it mean that we NEVER overspend or put less than the desired amount in our savings account? Not at all. Things happen. Life happens. But when those things do happen, our budget sheet reflects that and we see the depletion or loss.

While we've always stuck to pencil and paper, we've thought about making changes and going electronic. We just never have moved forward.

Well, well, my friends, I've got to say that I just found a budgeting app that even makes budgeting seem fun.

A quick search online for best budgeting apps, a hop on my tablet to the Andriod app store and presto:

MoneyWise is very user friendly and fits our personal budgeting needs perfectly. We gave Mint a try, but found that we couldn't personalize it as much as we wanted. We weren't able to itemize and write specific budget categories the same way we had for years on the old paper. 

I started exploring MoneyWise free version and then we took the leap up to the Pro version ($7) of the app to be able to add more functionality that fit for us.

Thus far, giddy with geekiness. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Let Us Not Become Complacent

Does the new year get you all giddy?

Oh good, me neither.

Well, at least not for growing another year older.

It does, however, bring a freshness and ideas on how to get things right. Even new goals to be met or a further reach for chipping away at that human imperfection and frailty to attain a better chance at holiness.

After reading and re-reading Colleen's post (and the comments are good as well), I thanked her for the smack on the behind to kick start my new year.

Family prayer has had its ups and downs here, especially in the last year when life had more demands than the 24 hours one day has to offer.

Sometimes we just plain get stuck and complacent with every day life.

The post tugged at me, reprimanded me and called me to something more. Should it not be that I was challenged by it, especially while in the midst of the Year of Faith? Of course. It only tugged a little more because these things had already been laid upon my heart.

It was the reminder and affirmation to demand nothing more than prayer, more family prayer, to grow in our home.

As if I needed another sign, later that day I encountered this as I walked into the living room:

Blessed Mother Mary sent my Gianna as a little reminder of the beauty and importance of the rosary.

Even if Gianna was surely just trying to be a little Fashionista by raiding the rosary dish.

It sparked a conversation or two with my husband as we lead our family and move forward in the new year. This was good as it helped us become re-united in conviction and commitment for our family.

Only a few days later, at our Little Flowers meeting, us mom's were talking about Mary and the rosary. One of them shared how were should actually be praying all fifteen (or twenty) decades of the rosary EACH.DAY.

Yup. That's what she said.

She further explained that when we pray one rosary it's like locking a door to evil, but there are still some doors unlocked. When we are praying all of the decades we bolt closed all of the doors and we are kept safe inside.


Well, baby steps and we're gonna do it. We're gonna pray and keep our family protected because we really all need it. We're already doing our best to aim for that daily rosary and when the evening gets away from us (or we have evening activities or it's bath/shower night), we at least pray the Divine Mercy chaplet.

It's a good thing to go through a growth spurt. Even a spiritual growth spurt.

We're optimistic that this year will be a beautiful year to grow further in our faith, in our prayer lives and closer to Christ.

What better time than during the Year of Faith.

How about you? 

Any new resolve for prayer or spiritual growth that you've been inspired to do this year?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Party Pleasing Spread

Scrounging around the last week for a quick appetizer recipe, I discovered I really don't DO appetizers.

I did a speedy online search and found a goody over at Kraft Recipes. 

This is what I brought to the neighborhood (aka Family) New Year's Eve Party:

I felt I must share the recipe in the event any of you are ever in a bind.


I've put my changes in parenthesis.

Barbecue Bacon Party Spread

2 packages cram cheese, softened

cup  Barbecue Sauce (Hunt's Honey Hickory Barbecue Sauce)

pkg.  (2.52 oz.) Fully Cooked Bacon, chopped (precooked, crumbled bacon)

small  tomato, chopped ( I omitted and added 1/2 cup chopped red pepper instead)

1/2 cup  chopped green pepper

green onions, sliced (I don't like onions, so I omitted)

cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

SPREAD cream cheese onto platter.

DRIZZLE with barbecue sauce.

TOP with remaining ingredients. 

SERVE with your favorite crackers.

See? Easy, easy Parcheesi!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, New Word

 Maybe you recall my post last year declaring my word for the year?

I'll remind you, just in case. My word was TRANQUILITY.

There I was on the brink of a new year with the impending birth of my little Irish twin, filled with anxiety. How would I manage? How would things get done? Would I survive?

Tranquility didn't come easy and the challenge to strive for it became nearly impossible some days. It did, however, prove to be the word I needed as a reminder in 2012. God did bless us and every day supplied the steady drip of grace I required to thrive.

My plaque reminder sat on the windowsill above the kitchen sink the entire year. Some days, the word was lost and forgotten. Other days, at the forefront of my mind and in my heart. You see, there were plenty of times my mind or my spirit were agitated. Many others, both of them were quite agitated. I did learn a lot though this year and grew in humility as my human perfection was tested.

As the year came to a close, new words for the new year floated in and out. Being a perfectionist, I was eager to lay my eyes upon the right word, the perfect word. As tranquility strengthened me last year and helped me grow, I prayed that a new word would be one to reflect and draw upon.

There are so many words that can help us, aren't there? So many virtues on which to grow, so many inspirations on which to draw upon.

I had my 'final three' list of choices and then asked my husband if any of them jumped out at him for areas that could be a focus for me this year. He came up with similar answers that I had and they left me feeling a bit unsure. They just didn't 'grab' me like tranquility had.

I read all of your nice words that many of you had chosen for 2013 and felt inspired, so I kept praying that something would jump out at me.

I read Cari's word and then turned for heavenly guidance once again to lead me in a new direction.

I later opened up my Google reader and as I scanned the post list a word jumped off the screen.


 the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development 
 of someone or something

As I stared at the word it became evident that this word actually encompassed the other words I had pondered in the days prior. 

You see, some things were put on the back burner during the past year as my needs at home required me to be present here more. There were some friendships and relationships that didn't get tended to quite as often. Some of my spiritual needs weren't always met or cultivated, my domestic heart was lacking many days as we strove just to survive and sometimes kindness, cheerfulness, patience and the like were lost between the cracks.

I want to spend this year nurturing the things that were left behind in 2012.

Nurture my family.

Nurture me and my motherhood.

Nurture relationships/friendships.

Nurture my prayer life and spiritual needs.

Nurture hobbies.

Nurture my domestic church, my home.

I'd say 2013 will be filled with many opportunities to foster and nurture so many areas of my life.

It will surely lead to hardships, milestones and adventures that will help me to nurture more fruitfully.

No doubt it should be an interesting year of catching up.

I look forward to it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

12 For 2012: A Photo Recap

Hopping on the bandwagon over at Dwija's because she is one fabulous hostess with the most-est. 

Here are some photo highlights from 2012. There were so many to choose from, but in the end I chose what captured US from the year. It was a year of survival and just figuring out how to roll with this house of blessings. The greatest part is that we did it! And I am proud that we accomplished such great things, thanks to prayer and a whole lot of grace.

Remember my word for 2012?


Oh yes, I got plenty opportunity to work on that one. 

Looking toward the year ahead and all it will bring, while reflecting greatly on all the ways 2012 blessed us.

Stay tuned for my word for 2013 that I'll post soon.

I know you're on the edge of your seat, aren't you?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordly Wednesday: All Tuckered Out

Anyone else dealing with the holiday hangover?

We'll get there, eventually. Last day of vacation today and we whip back into routine tomorrow again.

I've got posts in my head, even if they are just quickies. I'll be back to post soon. Maybe after a nap.

Happy New Year!
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