"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)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Successes - Volume 4

Saturday already??? Here we go again ...

*** changed a very stinky diaper

*** fed The Baby breakfast (note: The Baby definitely has her own opinions -- she most definitely did not want (read: threw on the floor) the Cheerios or the bagel offered her because she saw the boxes of doughnuts on the table left from yesterday's birthday breakfast!)

*** completed one Defender brief while drinking morning coffee and eating a jelly doughnut

*** had morning prayer time with a second cup of coffee

*** read the evidence and argument in preparation for writing a second defender brief

*** made our bed (yes, the third Saturday in a row!)

*** got The Baby dressed

*** took a shower

*** ate lunch and fed The Baby

*** loaded and started the dishwasher

*** completed second Defender brief of the day

7:00 UPDATE:

*** read evidence for and wrote third Defender brief of the day

*** made a menu for the week and a grocery list

*** read evidence for and wrote fourth Defender brief of the day (yes, my children were largely neglected today, but they were relatively happy -- The Boy was busy playing with 20 new Matchbox cars that he received as a belated Christmas present yesterday and The Girls were busy with the two newest additions to our family -- Carmella Rose and Rebecca -- Happy Birthday, Girls!)

10:00 UPDATE:

*** ate pizza and salad with the fam

*** watched the Olympics

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday - "Amen!"

"Okay ... how do I make these things work again?"

"Wait! Slow down!"

"Here we go! Control. Control."

"Got it! Amen."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Successes - Volume 3

Here we go again ... another Saturday. One of these days I'll figure out how to do Mr. Linky ...

*** grabbed some coffee and attempted some prayer time before the kiddos, plus a niece, woke up

*** loaded the dishwasher

*** put a load of red and pink clothes in the dryer and put a load of fleece and jammies in the washing machine

*** supervised breakfast, had a bowl of cereal, and supervised clean-up

*** took a coffee/cocoa break with my sister, who came to pick up my niece, who had spent the night with us

1:00 UPDATE:

*** finished one defender brief

*** read evidence for second defender brief while entertaining The Baby with Mr. Potato Head and supervising The Girls Saturday chores (sinks and toilets cleaned, kitchen and dining room floors washed)

*** got The Baby dressed (she took an early nap and was still in her jammies)

*** made bed

*** took red and pink clothes out of dryer and put fleece and jammies in dryer

*** sorted dirty laundry and put green and blue clothes in washer

*** unloaded and reloaded dishwasher

*** made lunch: rice and frozen egg rolls (Saturday is all about easy!)

5:00 UPDATE:

*** ate lunch

*** put clean laundry away

*** took jammies and fleece out of dryer, put green and blue clothes in dryer, put hubby's dress shirts in the washer

*** supervised lunch clean-up

*** took a shower

*** grabbed an afternoon cup of coffee

*** helped The Girls get ready for an American Girls Mystery Party at some friends' house

*** took The Girls to their party

*** heated up my now cold cup of coffee

*** completed second defender brief

10:30 UPDATE:

*** read most of the evidence for a third defender brief

*** made dinner for The Boy and The Baby and supervised the eating and cleaning up process

*** picked up the house

*** enjoyed an evening out for dinner with my DH and my parents (thanks again, Dad and Mom, for the wonderful dinner!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lunch Conversation

The Boy: I wish I could hear God's voice.

Me: That's why we're working on being quieter around here during Lent -- so we can hear God better. It's hard to hear Him when everything is so loud around us.

The Boy: Oh. Shhhh ... I hear God's voice.

Me: What's He telling you?

The Boy: Listen to your mom.

Me: That must be God.

The Boy: And don't go to hell.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Party

We just finished our Mardi Gras celebrations and are heading to bed.

The kids and I decorated the dining room with streamers and balloons, and each one of them made a carnival mask for our party.

Father B stopped by and shared some very. good. wine with us. The kids each chose a favorite appetizer food for "dinner" -- we had little hot dogs, chicken wings, and nachos. I added some spinach dip and Hawaiian bread and some cut up peppers to the mix to try and balance things out a little.

While The Younger Girl made dessert (warm chocolate chips cookies and vanilla ice cream) ...

... The Older Girl and The Boy watched some of the Olympics (and played with legos) ...

luge sled


... and my DH cleaned the stove top for me!!! (Thanks, sweetie!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Daybook - aka The Week in Review

For Today... Monday, February 15, 2010 ... already!?!

Outside my window... a rabbit has apparently made our backyard his home. The Kids are annoyed by all the little black treats he leaves in the pretty white snow where they like to play.

I am hearing... my DH working at his computer in the dining room -- it's nice to have him home in the evenings once in a while, even if just to work side by side.

I am thinking... about how much fun The Baby had playing on her bedroom floor with the Mr. Potato Head pieces today, while I sat nearby reading some work stuff.

I am praying... for Liz -- please say a prayer for her and her beautiful family if you have a minute.

I am thankful for... an evening out with my DH to celebrate Valentine's Day. We had a gift card to Outback (thanks Dad and Mom!) and then went to a local coffee shop for dessert. Steak and chocolate -- it doesn't get much better than that!

From the school room... Friday night we watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics at my parents' house. I made coloring books for the kids with pictures of the Olympic rings and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic symbol and each of the winter sports. And we enjoyed Olympic brownies.

From the kitchen... look what my DH made for breakfast yesterday: banana-flax seed pancakes with strawberry syrup!

I am creating ... our Lent calendar (but I'm quickly running out of time!).

I am going...
to finish this post and take a glass of wine and some work to my nice warm bed -- I've been freezing all day!

I am reading... The Professor's House, Shiloh, and The Examen Prayer (still).

I am hoping... to plan a birthday party for The Oldest Girl sometime before this weekend -- her birthday is the 26th.

Around the house... I have some ideas for Lent; we'll see what happens Wednesday.

Noticing that ... everyone around here is a little (or a lot) burnt out.

One of my favorite things... ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Dance as usual. The Boy had a Blue Knights meeting today. The Girls have a Little Flowers tea party tomorrow. Tomorrow night we'll celebrate Mardi Gras as a family. Ash Wednesday Mass. Friday I have spiritual direction and hopefully we'll make it to the parish soup supper and Stations of the Cross. Saturday the girls have been invited to an American Girls Mystery party.

Some picture-thoughts: Almost time to pack this away.

For more daybooks, visit here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Successes - Volume 2

I am a little frustrated by the lack of time I have had to post lately -- I have so many fun things to share and so many other things to write about (I have the titles saved to remind me later) -- but we are definitely in survival mode around here -- one step at a time, moving closer to our goal of a finished dissertation. My DH is giving it his all. And I'm giving all I can give to everything else. And trying to be cheerful about it, too.

Last night, we went over to my parents' for a taco party and to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics. We didn't get to bed until after midnight, so my Saturday started out a little slow. But here's the beginning of my list of successes.

*** grabbed some coffee and a brownie

*** fed The Baby breakfast, with help of DH

*** made our bed (on a Saturday!)

*** gave The Kids their Saturday chore lists

*** loaded the dishwasher

*** made and ate a fried egg and cheese sandwich (for the benefit of my DH, who is making sure I eat on Saturdays -- I have a tendency to neglect this in favor of getting more done)

*** completed one defender brief (For those of you who don't know, I serve as the Defender of the Bond for the Court of Second Instance for our Archdiocese. I do a lot of my work on Saturdays -- I have to catch-up on what I didn't have time to get to during the week. My work involves reading the evidence and decision of a First Instance Court for a marriage nullity case (popularly, but incorrectly, known as an annulment) and then writing a brief outlining everything that favors the validity of the marriage -- I defend the bond of marriage.)

5:00 UPDATE:

*** took a shower

*** folded a load of laundry, put a load in the dryer, and started a load of towels

*** supervised the lunch routine

*** ate a tortilla with melted cheese and salsa

*** unloaded the dishwasher

*** folded another load of laundry, put the towels in the dryer, and started a load of sheets

*** completed another defender brief

8:00 UPDATE:

*** picked up the house

*** ordered a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza from Papa Murphy's for dinner

*** set the table for our Lord's Day dinner

*** enjoyed prayer, pizza, and salad with my family

*** took sheets out of the dryer and put new Valentine's t-shirts from Gramma in the washing machine for tomorrow

*** cleaned up from dinner and loaded the dishwasher

*** dealt with very fragile kids before bed (The Girls told me they stayed up until 1:00 am reading Harry Potter last night!), prayed with them, and put them to bed. early.

*** put Valentine's shirts in the dryer and put rags in the washing machine

*** filled a bucket with bleach (said bucket holds poopy underwear ... don't get me started)

*** poured a glass of wine

10:30 UPDATE:

*** drank glass of wine

*** tried to work on third defender brief, but was very distracted by Apolo Anton Ohno and JR Celski and Hannah Kearney and Shannon Bahrke (DH brought 13" emergency TV up from basement -- shhhh! -- Go Team USA!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jack Gregory

Here's my newest nephew! I haven't talked to my brother yet, but from what I hear Momma and Babe are doing well.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Daybook - February 8, 2010

For Today... Monday, February 8, 2010

Outside my window... it's been snowing. all. day.

I am hearing... the dishwasher -- man, that thing's loud!

I am thinking... about what to do for Lent. I've been VERY pregnant during four Lents and I have never come up with a plan for the family that I feel good about. Suggestions?

I am praying... for a young mother I met in January who was diagnosed with breast cancer this past week and is having a double mastectomy soon.

I am thankful for... the safe arrival of my newest nephew. Jack Gregory was born earlier this evening. Stay tuned for pictures ... when I get some.

From the school room... business as usual. We'll be working on a special birthday project tomorrow -- can't say more, but will post pictures when we're done. Wednesday we'll break out all the arts and crafts supplies and make valentines.

From the kitchen... barbecue pork sandwiches, french fries, and broccoli for dinner tonight. Tomorrow night we're celebrating my DH's birthday, which is Wednesday, with one of his favorites -- Country Captain Chicken -- served over rice with green beans and banana cream pie for dessert.

I am creating ... plans for Valentine's Day ... shhh!

Pondering these words ... of Maureen Conroy, RSM, as quoted by Rev. Timothy Gallgher, OMV, in The Examen Prayer:
Growth in relationship with God occurs through mutual self-revelation.
I am going...
to drink my wine, finish working, and go to bed when I'm done with this post.

I am reading... The Professor's House, Shiloh, and The Examen Prayer.

I am hoping... The Baby's sore gums will not keep her (and me and DH) up tonight.

Around the house... I started cleaning up in the basement after last week's "rain," but there's still quite a bit to do.

Noticing that ... my Christmas chocolates are almost gone.

One of my favorite things... getting lots and lots of snow at once.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Little Flowers and dance classes as usual. Friday night we're headed to my parents for a taco party and to watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. This is one time I wish our television was out.

Some picture-thoughts: Thank you Aunt Annette and Uncle Norb for hosting us for a turkey dinner and fun yesterday! The food was delicious, the company most enjoyable, and the kids had a blast ...

... sledding ...

... sitting on the tractor ...

... swinging ...

... climbing trees and goofing around ...

... building a fort ...

... and seeing Uncle Norb's plane. They look forward to a ride when it's not snowing so much!

For more daybooks, visit here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Successes - Volume 1

I tend to get bogged down with my to-do list on Saturdays. With working full-time and home-schooling, everything else tends to have to wait until Saturday. My list is usually a week's worth of stuff that I'm trying to cram into one day. I don't eat properly. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I yell at the kids to stay out of my way. I'm a machine. This week I'm trying something new ... instead of a to-do list, I'm starting with a clean slate and seeing how many successes I can add. Check back often for an update ...

*** finished working on the marriage case I started yesterday afternoon

*** had a cup of coffee and a brownie

*** made a menu for the week

*** made a grocery list and a Sam's Club list

*** sent a couple e-mails

*** got The Baby dressed and ready for the day

*** helped The Girls finish a reading project

*** did a little birthday shopping on amazon

*** helped The Boy with his virtues project for Blue Knights

*** took a shower

*** made some Pizza Rolls to eat while I created this post

And it's only 10:30! Stay tuned ...

Won't you join me in celebrating your Saturday successes?

12:30 UPDATE:

*** picked up kitchen

*** packed away winter dishes (a little prematurely, but I started cleaning up in the basement after our rain shower and this bin was next in line)

*** typed up and printed Lord's Day prayers for this evening

*** supervised lunch for the kiddos


*** brought The Boy to Blue Knights

*** went to Sam's Club

*** picked The Boy up

*** unloaded Sam's Club purchases

*** made a loaf of garlic herb bread for dinner (actually, I just put the ingredients in the bread machine and I'm letting it do the real work)

10:00 UPDATE

*** went to the grocery store

*** unpacked groceries

*** made bolognese sauce for dinner

*** put away all the groceries and Sam's Club purchases

*** made salad for dinner (with The Older Girl's help)

*** picked up the main rooms of the house

*** set the table

*** hosted a wonderful evening with Fr. Humberto and Br. Adam and Br. Alvaro

*** loaded the dishwasher

Friday, February 5, 2010

Quick Takes - Volume 9


--- 1 ---

I had intended to celebrate Candlemas on Tuesday by making this cute dessert, but ... I never made it to the grocery store. So the kids had to settle for decorated oatmeal (which they loved, because they never knew about my original plan ... I have learned a few things about sharing plans with children).

--- 2 ---

Wednesday morning the kids and I headed to the Tribunal offices to celebrate Fr. B's successful defense of his dissertation. Afterward, we headed to the seminary, where Father celebrated Mass for us. When we finished, The Boy said, "He didn't bless our throats" -- it was the Feast of St. Blaise, who we had read about that morning. After a search for candles, all was well.

--- 3 ---

The Boy is finally getting excited about reading. Last night marks the first time he asked me to read with him before bed and suggested we take turns -- "You read one page, Mom, and then I'll read the next one." Yeah! Thank God for small successes.

--- 4 ---

It is definitely not supposed to rain in one's basement. While cleaning up from dinner last evening, I thought the kitchen sink drain was still running slow (despite my pouring half a bottle of Drain-o down it the night before). I went downstairs to get the other half of the bottle and heard it raining. Yes, water was dripping profusely from a beam in the middle of the basement, onto the Christmas decorations that I hadn't had a chance to pack away yet. At the same time, The Boy yelled from upstairs -- "Mooooooooooom, there's water all over the kitchen floor!" This all happened about ten minutes prior to the time when my DH was to start teaching his first graduate course. Apparently, the drain clogged, the water backed up into the dishwasher, and overflowed onto the floor. I'm still not sure how it ended up dripping through to the basement, because where it was dripping was not directly underneath the dishwasher. Anyway ... the plumber was here for three hours this morning. The drain is cleared, the basement is a disaster area, I have washed two loads of sopping wet towels, and the house smells like ... well, you can imagine. It's always something, isn't it?

--- 5 ---

Fr. B joined us for dinner tonight. We had clam chowder. He brought bread and brownies from Breadsmith. Yummy! Thanks, Fr. B!

--- 6 ---

Tomorrow night, our pastor is joining us for dinner. Hmmm ... I think I'll make bolognese, a Mediterranean salad, and homemade herb bread.

--- 7 ---

Sunday after Mass we're heading to my sister-in-law's for dinner. The kids love playing in her huge yard. And I will enjoy the company, and the fact I won't have to cook.

For more quick takes, visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Daybook - February 1, 2010

For Today... Monday, February 1, 2010

Outside my window... winter is back. We had our January thaw, and now it's fifteen degrees again with a light snow falling, the kind that leaves everything glittering.

I am hearing... the space heater purring under my desk, keeping my footsies toasty, and the dishwasher running in the kitchen. All the kiddos are in bed and my DH is at an evening of recollection.

I am thinking... about pillows. I have been feeling out of whack in the morning lately and am thinking our ancient pillows are to blame. But how does one go about choosing a good pillow? There are so many to decide from. I've even been to hotels with "pillow menus." What do you recommend?

I am praying... for my DH. Lord, grant him perseverance and peace in his writing and teaching commitments this semester.

I am thankful for... this post and the support of other Catholic blogging moms.

From the school room... Shiloh, Dr. Seuss, subject and verb agreement, stories of Aaron and Balaam, Candlemas coloring, addition and subtraction with exchanges, first declension Latin endings, map drawing, the earth's rotation, Raphael, and mummies. Whew!

From the kitchen... chicken divan leftovers from my mom -- thanks, Mom!

I am wearing... jeans, a green long sleeve tee, black socks with froggies on them, and my slippers.

I am creating ... a plan to let go of all expectations and just survive, cheerfully (read, "without yelling at my children too much"), until the dissertation is completed.

Pondering these words ... from St. Francis de Sales (thank you, Jessica, for bringing them back to my attention):
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.
I am going... to get my haircut tomorrow night! This is very exciting Mommy alone time -- my sister-in-law is my stylist, and my best friend and I are going together.

I am reading... The Professor's House, another Willa Cather novel.

I am hoping... my nephew can wait until after February 9 to make his entrance into the world, so my sister-in-law can attend a memorial service for her grandfather.

Around the house... I unclogged a bathroom sink over the weekend. And I can't stand the kitchen flooring in this rental house -- no matter how often you wash it, it ALWAYS looks dirty and disgusting.

Noticing that ... our season of birthdays is about to begin: DH on the 10th, Oldest Girl on the 26th, Baby on the 28th, Younger Girl on March 11, and Boy on April 1. We can never give up sweets for Lent around here, because most of the birthdays are celebrated during this time!

One of my favorite things... snuggling with my DH after not seeing each other all day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Little Flowers and haircut tomorrow, dance on Wednesday and Thursday, Blue Knights on Saturday.

Some picture-thoughts: I finally learned about King Boreas and Vulcanus Rex and the St. Paul Winter Carnival legend. We took the kids to the History Center yesterday for the last day of the carnival. They made crowns and scepters and we attended a puppet show that explained the above legend.

For more daybooks, visit here.