"God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us." (St. John Paul the Great)

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Daybook - November 23, 2009

For Today... Monday, November 23, 2009

Outside my window... it is dark and hazy, high forties. There is rain in the forecast and then rain turning to snow. I'd like some pretty white snow (as soon as we are safely home from our Thanksgiving travels).

I am thinking... about what the future holds. Where will we be next year at this time? I like to worry (not really, but I do it so much you'd think it was true). My husband sent me this last week:
In all your affairs lean solely on God’s Providence, by means of which alone your plans can succeed. Meanwhile, on your part work on in quiet cooperation with Him, and then rest satisfied that if you have trusted entirely to Him you will always obtain such a measure of success as is most profitable for you, whether it seems so or not to your individual judgment. (St. Francis de Sales)
I am thankful for... hot tea before bed -- hot liquids are supposed to go a long way in sickness prevention; they kill the germs residing in your throat before they have a chance to take hold.

From the school room... Pippi Longstocking, prepositional phrases, tall tales, Genesis stories, calendars, Jon van Eyck, and ancient Egypt.

From the kitchen... pork chops with apples, acorn squash (with lots of brown sugar and butter), and green beans.

I am wearing... grey warm-up pants and a hot pink long-sleeved tee.

I am creating ... my Jesse tree ornaments -- slowly, slowly -- eleven done.

I am going... to Columbus, Ohio for the Mid-America Oireachtas this weekend.

I am reading... catalogs and website reviews -- I am ordering 90%-100% of my Christmas presents on-line this year. I do. not. like. going to the mall in December.

I am hoping... that Younger Girl and Baby don't pass their drippy noses to the rest of us, especially Older Girl who is competing this weekend.

I am hearing... the refrigerator humming and my fingers on the keyboard.

Around the house... Why can't my desk stay cleaned off for more than an hour!?!

One of my favorite things... Stir-Crazy popcorn with lots of butter and salt.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tuesday is The Girls last Little Flowers meeting of the year. Wednesday The Girls have dance class. Thursday we are leaving for Columbus. We will stop in Milwaukee and celebrate Thanksgiving with friends. Saturday we will get together with our friend Bishop Campbell. Sunday Emily competes. Monday we drive home.

Here is a picture-thought I am sharing:

This cracked me up -- the rest area/welcome center upon entering Iowa -- a barn!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

My Daybook - November 16, 2009

For Today... Monday, November 16, 2009

Outside my window... it is dark. I haven't been outside all day, but the National Weather Service is telling me it's fair and forty degrees right now. November has been beautiful here in Minnesota, especially when compared to the cold and snow we had in October.

I am thinking... I can't believe I haven't posted anything on this blog for two weeks! It has been even crazier around here than usual. It was really just a week of craziness, but then a week to recover from it all!

I am thankful for... a completed menu for the week (haven't had one for the last two weeks) and a fridge full of groceries (haven't had that for two weeks either)!

From the school room... a new quarter has begun. The Girls are enjoying Pippi Longstocking. The Boy is really into writing things himself -- not just numbers and letters, but addition problems and words he's sounded out himself!

From the kitchen... we had leftovers tonight, but not just any leftovers -- Friday night we had our friend Bishop-elect Sirba and another priest friend over for dinner. I enjoy cooking multiple-course Italian meals and drawing the meal out Italian-style over the course of an evening. We had spinach and gruyere stuffed mushrooms and "cheese bubblies" (swiss cheese, green onion, mayo, and garlic salt on garlic rounds, broiled) for appetizers. The first plate was tortellini in brodo, followed by a second plate of saltimbocca, roasted rosemary potatoes, and green beans with onion and tomato. We went to an apple orchard on Monday, so I made homemade apple dumplings with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. Yummy!

I am wearing... jeans, a pink long-sleeve shirt, and slipper crocs.

I am creating ... my Jesse tree ornaments.

I am going... to purchase a new Advent wreath this year -- I'm tired of hunting for unscented purple and pink pillar candles every year and tapers burn too fast and are too dangerous at the dining room table. I am also going to find some new prayers for our evening candle lighting -- any suggestions?

I am reading... The Examen Prayer, by Father Timothy Gallagher. I highly recommend it.

I am hoping... to be in bed and nearly asleep by 9:30 tonight, so I can get up on time tomorrow. The days go so much better when I'm up on time and have some quiet prayer before the kiddos wake up.

I am hearing... my hubby upstairs tucking the kids into bed. I also hear The Baby fussing a little -- teeth, round two -- her poor upper gums are all puffy and red!

Although she's smiling in the above-picture, the below shows how she's been feeling most of the day.

Around the house... the refrigerator and the kitchen garbage need a good scrubbing! The microwave did too, but thanks to my mother-in-law, who cleaned it for me last time she babysat, it makes me smile every time I heat up my coffee.

One of my favorite things... these jammies.

A few plans for the rest of the week: The Older Girl danced tonight, and she's dancing tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday, too -- Oireachtas is coming up over Thanksgiving weekend. Friday I'm hoping to put my parents' Christmas lights on their house (they're in Hawaii ... sigh). Friday night we're having dinner with friends. Sunday we're celebrating Thanksgiving with my husband's family, as we will be leaving for Columbus, Ohio on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a picture-thought I am sharing:

Me and My Siblings --
I don't think we've had a picture of just the four of us
since the youngest graduated from high school in 2003!

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Monday, November 2, 2009

My Daybook - All Souls Day 2009

For Today... Monday, November 2, 2009, All Souls Day

Outside my window... it is dark and chilly. I am really looking forward to the biannual adjustment to the time change -- such a joy with children, especially babies!

I am thinking... about the connection between joy and gratitude and trying to be more grateful for the everyday blessings in my life. There are so many. Our God is so good!

I am thankful for... the pre-weekend getaway with my husband. I am grateful for our marriage and the blessing of our love and the growth we have experienced in our first ten years together. I am grateful for my in-laws, who stayed at our house and watched the three older kids. My DH planned the nicest surprise (and, for once, I didn't figure it out!). We went to Red Wing to celebrate, and stayed one night at the historic Saint James Hotel (and another at an AmericInn). Our package at the Saint James included dinner, drinks, breakfast, and a bottle of champagne. The room was lovely and had a huge jacuzzi tub.

at dinner

The Baby on the windowsill at the bar

and enjoying the fire

The weather didn't cooperate with our hiking and picnicking plans, but we enjoyed walking through some antique shops and pottery places. We ate some wonderful meals (that neither of us had to cook!) and did a little Christmas shopping for the kids (without having planned on it -- it's always nice to find a good gift when you're not looking for it). We lounged around the hotel rooms and reveled in being a little lazy for a change. It was nice just to really enjoy one another's company.

I am also grateful for the evening we spent with my uncle and aunt, who live in Red Wing. We don't get to spend much time with them and really enjoyed the warmth of their home and the good food (and the fact that we could put The Baby to bed, which we couldn't do at a restaurant). Thanks again, Jim and Diane!

From the school room... It's the final week of the quarter. We'll be finishing up some projects and taking exams.

From the kitchen... soft tacos for dinner. And I still have those darn pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator.

I am wearing... my jammies still -- flannel polka dotted pants and a T-shirt -- and my robe and slippers -- it's still early.

I am creating ... a home. We finally decided to hang a few things on the walls of this rental house to make it feel more homey. Yesterday, in honor of All Saints Day, we hung our saints (from St. Andrew's Abbey) in the stairwell.

We also hung our crucifix -- a dear friend of the family, who recently passed away, carved it for me when I was in college and I brought it to Rome and had it blessed by John Paul the Great of happy memory.

And, finally, we hung this picture in the dining room. It was a Christmas gift from my Gramma -- she has one, as do my mom and some aunts.

I am going... to unpack from the weekend of fun -- after returning from our getaway Saturday morning, we spent the evening at my dad and mom's at their annual Halloween party. They set a new record for the number of trick-or-treaters that visited their house -- 950!

Laura Ingalls the Older

Laura Ingalls the Younger

My Cowboy

My Posse with Three of My Cousins

Baby Pumpkin By Day (Can you see my two new toothers?)

Baby Elephant By Night

Sunday we attended an All Saints Day Party at our parish and then watched the Vikings win (again!) at my in-laws.

Saint Joseph the Worker, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, and Saint Christina

I am reading... Pippi Longstocking still, and looking through catalogs for Christmas ideas. I am hoping to start family geocaching and am looking for a good GPS for this purpose -- any suggestions?

I am hoping... that November doesn't fly by as quickly as it looks like it will. Every weekend is booked already with a wedding, company for dinner, an early Thanksgiving, and a trip to Columbus!

I am hearing... nothing but my fingers on the keyboard -- everyone is still asleep.

Around the house... it's time to put the Halloween decorations away, but I will leave the pumpkins and leaves and other fall-ish things for a few more weeks.

One of my favorite things... being spoiled. Thanks, Mom (and Dad), for the great birthday gift!

(the first five Harry Potter movies, Bath and Body works shower gel, anti-bacterial soap, and body cream in Coconut Lime Verbena and Cucumber Melon, eight single serving bottles of red wine, three items from my kitchen gadget wish list: an egg slicer (slices three different ways), a garlic press (six cloves at a time), and a pastry blender, plus a very nice card in this beautifully decorated basket)

A few plans for the rest of the week: In addition to the regular schedule of dance and music lessons, Little Flowers club and errands, my brother and his wife will be coming into town from San Diego on Thursday. My parents and all four siblings and families are gathering at my sister's for dinner Thursday night. Friday we will all drive down to the Quad Cities for a family wedding. Sunday there is a party at my parents after we return. Monday we'll have a nice dinner out. They'll fly back to California on Tuesday. It should be a whirlwind of a week.

I think I've shared enough picture-thoughts this week, but this one's for you Father B.!

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