Monday, February 25, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

My brain is always a bit mushy on Monday after the weekend and I'm suppose to be jumping back into lesson plans and school.
The coffee helps, but I thought I may as well also join the ladies at Suscipio for {CWA} as well.

- Healthy children, healthy family
-A small handful of friends who encourage and inspire me

Listening To::
-The two year old singing and contentedly playing by herself.

-Pope Benedict and what he must feel like in these last days as Pope. Is he by himself praying quietly? Is he hoping that we are all praying for him? I wish I could give him a big hug and tell him 'thank you'.

-Menu plans. One of my favorite things, but it takes time since I plan for a couple weeks worth of suppers.

-For Patience

Words on my Heart::
'To run the race of Catholic motherhood, we need to strengthen ourselves emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Part of this means building our stamina through fitness, exercise, good nutrition, and proper sleep.' (A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, page 41)

-The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly
-A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey

Web Favorites From Last Week::
-Crosses And Simons
- Keeping up with Blogging

-Lovely, silly girls

Catch the other latest {CWA} additions at Suscipio today.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Favorite Homeschool Tool {link up}

 I thought I'd join the lovely Dwija today for her Favorite Homeschool Tool Link Up.

When I read her post I found myself struggling with what to post as my FAVORITE tool that gets me through and declares me as

At first, I came up with this:


But then I decided that a good cup of coffee isn't absolutely necessary for homeschooling. 

Or is it?

Although my shelves are lined with numerous helps and books and my schoolroom and house are adequately filled with supplies and manipulatives stuff, I have one thing that I have used the last two years and love.

It makes me run a bit more efficiently and with a simple click I can see exactly what needs to be attacked each day by my students.

Ready for it?

I found Homeschool Tracker last school year and I find it very useful for me. As a bit of a perfectionist/OCD/planner homeschool mom this is a huge help for me in lesson planning. I use curriculum from a few different places and I used to hand write my lesson plans. It just wasn't working for me. 

With Homeschool Tracker I can adjust and change my lesson plans as needed and it keeps track of everything I need for each child. Just recently (clearly, I'm still a student and still learning too) I realized that I could print off my kids' plans for the week. I now do that and post them in the schoolroom so each student can begin their work without me there. You know, because sometimes the teacher is otherwise detained with other siblings and such.

I only use the original, FREE Basic edition that is downloaded on my laptop. They do have another version you can buy (still a great value) and now offer an online version that can be accessed from iPad, tablet, whatever and wherever. I just haven't splurged for that one yet.

There you go. My favorite homeschool helper/tool.

Do you homeschool? What is your favorite?

Don't forget to stop by the Link Up to check out the other favorites or add your own!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Let's Hear It For The Girls

After the snowstorm last weekend ruined our birthday party plans, the big party finally happened this past weekend. Hooray!

The guests were limited compared to the original invite list due to the date change. None the less, we partied in all our pink and red, snowflakes and hearts any way.

This way we were able to celebrate on Gianna's actual birthday day, so it worked out well in the end.

The 2 year old Birthday Girl:

The 1 year old Birthday Girl:

Here are the tissue paper pom poms hanging over the dining room table:

Sunday morning, the kids helped me dip marshmallow pops. Super easy, cute and pretty darn tasty too.
Big hit with the kids!

All set up and ready for company. The snacks we served were Chex mix and homemade caramel corn that the guests put in the cones I'd made.

Red velvet cupcakes using a box cake mix, but made them to taste like the bakery version. 

Strawberry revel ice cream frozen in a sheet pan and then cut out with heart shaped cookie cutter.

There was singing....

(for some reason the big birthday girl insisted on her HUGE teddy bear sitting beside her and all of her blankets near her)

One Birthday Girl ate daintily with a fork and enjoyed her cake.

The other Birthday Girl preferred her cake well smashed, but enjoyed it just as much.

Thanks to family, friends and Pinterest, we enjoyed a very fun and girly birthday bash.

It was a good day to honor two very special little girls.

A very good day indeed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Won't Be Quitting My Day Job

I enjoy taking photos and of course my kids are my favorite victims subjects.

But you just never know what you're going to get when you set out for a Saturday morning photo shoot.

Oh heck, their cute. Just not perfect and easy to tease with the camera.

Two year old photo shoot Gianna style :

She was real eager to please, can't you tell? Stinker.

I wanted to try just a couple with the necklaces, but wouldn't you know she would not let me take them off. Of course.

Click, click, point, shoot, click, click. Maybe I'll get something that will work.

One of these may do it. 

Suddenly she's almost two going on seventeen. Good grief, what is it with these photos? 

Maybe it was the clean hair, the hair clip or maybe the necklaces.

My 'blonde-ish', blue eyed girl just grew up right in front of my camera.

I almost wept.

So I moved on to trying my hand at the one year old with a pretty puffy pink dress.

You can tell she *loved* that idea.

Every photo was caught with her and the TV remote in her hand. It was the lure to get her to have her photos, but of course we couldn't pry it out of her hands after that.


I don't think I'll worry about my photography business taking off any time soon.

I better just stick to the Mommy gig instead.

*Note: I promise one day you'll stop by here and not see a gratuitous photo post of my little girls. I really do have more things going on in my brain to write about, it's just that those posts take longer to compose. And again, lest you worry I've shipped my big kids off to college, they still live here. They just get a little more tired of me taking their pictures.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Beloved Papa Ben

Have you heard the news??

I am shocked by Pope Benedict's resignation. I feel so unprepared and very concerned.

I have a special spot in my heart for this man and wonder where the future of our Church will be heading.

In light of recent events, the re-election of our President and that I'm also living in a diocese awaiting a new Bishop, I feel unsure of the unknown. 

All this on a Monday when I was already feeling a bit off kilter starting my day off. 

I have no words. Now is the time to pray for our future leader of the Church.

And pray for the sweet man with the red shoes whom I've become so fond of. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ten on Ten : February

Joining Rebekah at A Bit of Sunshine today for her Ten on Ten.

One photo an hour for ten hours on the tenth of the month.

It was a good diversion today that was quite welcomed.

Anyone notice what photos I didn't post? No pink and red or snowflakes and hearts for us today.

Little girls' birthday party was postponed until next week due to a snowstorm.

That may have been for the best any way since hubby ended up sick this morning.

Like I said, glad for the photo diversion.

There are a bunch of other great photos posted, so be sure to check out what others offered 
on the Ten on Ten.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Snowflakes And Hearts Birthday

Want a sneak peek at the birthday bash for the little girls this weekend?

Since we're in the dead middle of winter, I went with a snowflake and heart theme. 

The party guest list is simple and includes some family, Godparents and a couple of priests. We usually keep our parties simple, but add just a couple more guests for the First Birthday. 

The Invites:

I contemplated how to kindly tell people not to bring gifts because we have enough toys and the girls for the most part have enough clothing. And then in the middle of the night, I got an idea. I mentioned it to hubby and the more he thought about it, even he said it was perfect. 

Check out the bottom of the invitation.

For The Eats:

We are doing just  munchies snacks and then cake and ice cream since the party is in the early afternoon. I'm planning on having these paper cones I made for the guests to put their snacks in. I thought they were cute and a little more fun than a bowl.

Pinterest inspired.

(I used some of these printable paper cones that worked with our color theme and also bought scrapbooking paper at JoAnn's for the rest)


We made some Popsicle stick snowflakes last weekend for winter decorations. I thought these would work well for the party decor as well.

Paint the sticks white.

Use a hot glue gun to glue together.

Decorate with different colored buttons.
(I know, not the greatest photo but the only one I have downloaded right now)

We hung them up in front of some windows and the patio door.

In addition to the snowflakes that are adorning some of the windows, we'll also hang tissue paper pom-poms  to set the mood.

Again, thanks to Pinterest.

I read these directions and these, before I tackled the project.

More details to come later.

Of course, you're all invited and I'd love it if you could come on over to help us celebrate.

If not, you know I'll at least post plenty (probably enough to make you tired of seeing pink and red) of photos next week.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Almost Twins, But Not Quite

I currently have two one year olds living under my roof. 

My Irish twins are both one year old for about two weeks. 

This is how it will forever be. The little girls will always be the same age for two whole weeks. 

A year ago, that freaked me out.

This year, it's kind of funny.

Only God in his infinite wisdom (and Divine sense of humor) could have come up with something this good.

Several years ago, this would have only been a dream and never thought of as a reality.

Blessed we are, don't you think?

Blessed because we get to treasure precious birthdays two more times than we thought we would.

Blessed because we get to laugh at silly girly faces. Times two.

And watch as that baby wonders what on earth we are doing singing and putting fire in front of her.

Blessed that a big brother has another little sister to look up to him (although he doesn't think it's so great, right now at least).

Blessed for lots of birthdays and lots of cake that we'll consume times two, every February.

Who couldn't help but smile at that? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Little Lady Of The House

 Well, she's hardly so little any more. BIG Miss Margaret has decided to turn one year old tomorrow, whether I'm ready or not.

I can still remember all the details of her arrival and how EASY PEASY  memorable it was. Could that already have been one year ago?! But then I recall the chaos of the last year, the stress, the good, the bad and it definitely seems like one.whole.year.ago.

Ok, ok, I'll stop with the mommy reflections. 

How about some photos? 

Thanks to Patty and the fact that I actually remembered her posting about taking photos at home and a DIY backdrop, I gave it a whirl.

Just a few of the outtakes:

And a few of my favorites:

Next up, hopefully more photos this weekend in a different set of clothes and try to pick a favorite.

I'm also reminded that a certain almost two year old little girl needs her own photo shoot too.

Phew. I'm going to be busy.

Did I mention my baby turns ONE tomorrow?!

Just checking.
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