"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)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Seven Quick Takes - Volume 15

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-- 1 --

The Quick Takes

I had to go back quite a ways to see what volume of Quick Takes this was -- I haven't done one in quite a while, July to be specific. I thought I would use the opportunity to catch you up on some things that have happened around here while I was on my (unintentional) blogging break.

-- 2 --

The Job

I'm in the process of transitioning from a full-time salaried worker to working on a contract basis. This will be the first time in twelve years that I will be free -- free from having to work a certain number of hours or having to do a certain amount of work each week.

I am very much looking forward to it and to the changes that it will (hopefully) enable our family to make.

As an aside, I don't recommend working full-time and homeschooling.

-- 3 --

The Arm

August 27
The Boy falls off his scooter going down the hill in front of our house.
Mom does all the "checks" and determines his arm is not broken.

September 2
Mom finally brings The Boy to the doctor,
where it is determined his arm is, in fact, broken.
(Doctor consoles Mom saying it is a minor break
and he couldn't tell until it was x-rayed either.)
Arm is splinted.


September 6
The first of many trips to The Bone and Joint Center --
Specialist #1 agrees a splint is sufficient.

September 27
Specialist #1 determines split can come off, except for gym class and rough play.

October 7
The Boy slips WALKING (really!) down the cursed hill in front of our house.
Mom KNOWS the arm is broken without any "checks."
Doctor confirms and splints.

October 11
Specialist #2 determines The Boy needs surgery.
Apparently, this is not a minor break this time --
Mom can see that clearly from the x-ray.

October 12
The Boy undergoes a forearm reduction.
Anesthesia and The Boy do not get along for most of the day.

October 18 - November 16
Many more visits to The Bone and Joint Center for x-rays --
The Boy accumulates an expensive impressive sticker collection.

November 16
The cast comes off.
The Boy gets an expensive custom-fit camouflage splint.


November 16 - December 15
The Boy goes to occupational therapy.

Today - January 27 (exactly five months after first fall)
We visit The Bone and Joint Center for the last time
(at least for this injury).

-- 4 --

The Piano

We acquired a piano in October, only having to pay for moving and tuning costs. Miss Sunshine is going to begin taking lessons, as soon as I have a minute to figure out the who and when.


-- 5 --

The Baby's Latest Trick

I love this -- every time I put her in her Vikings outfit, she puts her arms in the air and yells, "Touch-up!" ...


... and then she lowers them and yells, "Touch-down!"


-- 6 --

The Cookies

Yesterday, as I was busy working, working, working on the aforementioned goal (see #1), the cookie jar was magically filled with homemade oatmeal raisin cookies (my favorite), without any intervention on my part, thanks to Miss Rose. (I love big kids!)


-- 7 --

The Date Night

It's Friday. I get to spend the evening with the man I love. Need I say more?

Have a great weekend.
And go check out more Quick Takes at Jen's.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Perform faithfully what God requires of you each moment,
and leave the thought of everything else to Him.
I assure you that to live in this way will bring you great peace.
(St. Jane Frances de Chantal)

I long to give you everything, O God,
and yet I am weak and fickle like a child.
Hold me and remind me, moment by moment,
that You are with me and that I can do all things through You.
(Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss, Small Steps for Catholic Moms)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things - Winter Edition

Cold outside. Warm and cozy inside.

These are a few of my favorite (winter) things ...

blizzards
(Yes, I love them -- when I've had time to stock the kitchen,
and we're all home, safe and sound,
and it snows, and snows, and snows, and we can't go anywhere.)

(And, yes, I feel gypped this winter.)

having a fireplace
(Even if it is gas, and I'd prefer a real one, it is nice and cozy.)
(And we probably have more fires than we would if it were a real one.)

lights
(Once the Christmas tree is gone, I still like some lights on the mantle.)

(And I enjoy my wedding gift replica of the Saint Paul Cathedral, where we were married.)

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scented candles
(They make the house smell yummy.)

slow cooker
(It makes the house smell yummy.)

baking
(Hey ... I must like a yummy-smelling house.)

coffee with friends
(I couldn't find a coffee shop picture,
but, hey, it looks like I was blogging when I took this,
so that means I was kind of with friends, right?)

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Vanicream
(a dry skin must have)
(And I just noticed they now have it with SPF, so I'll use it all summer, too!)

bright colored, fuzzy socks
(especially new ones that are still really, really soft)

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Cuddl Duds
(I have boring black ones and white ones ... no leopard print here.)

an electric blanket
(on a timer, so the bed is warm when we get in it at night)
(which is what I'm going to go do right now)

So, what are some of your favorite winter things?

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Works For Me: Personal Prayer

One of the things I like most about reading blogs (especially mom blogs) (most especially Catholic homeschooling mom blogs) is the opportunity to see what works in other people’s homes, with other people’s kids, in other people's lives. Blogs have become a source of inspiration and hope, a go-to for problem-solving and encouragement. I like to share what works for me, and I love to hear about what works for you, because I'm always trying to make things around my home, with my kids, in my life a little better. Let's share the wealth.

Today's topic? Personal prayer.
What works for you?
Leave a comment or link up.


As a mom (and I’m sure you other moms can empathize with me), I am pressed to find quiet time for personal prayer. I must have prayer time in the morning, before the kids are awake, or it doesn’t happen. I can’t wait until they’re in bed for the night because I’m just too tired. Even in the morning sometimes I struggle with staying awake, but in the morning prayer time can be accompanied by a cup of coffee, and it most always is. But even in the absence of physical noise, my heart is a cacophony of fears and worries, and my mind is screaming with the day's to-do list, and I often struggle with how to give my Lord my full attention. I find that a longer period of prayer is helpful, forty minutes or so, just because it takes me a while to actually quiet my heart enough to listen a bit. I’ve also appreciated the ancient practice of lectio divina, praying with Scripture -- often I use the Gospel passage for the day. And journaling, especially, prevents my mind from wandering too much and helps me keep my focus.

So, how about you?

When do you pray?

Where?

How?

And what do you find most difficult about personal prayer?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas 2011

It seems that every year there is one Christmas gift I am particularly proud of. There was the year I found wooden ornaments for the girls and had a picture of their favorite horses from horse camp burned on them. And there was the year I made a scrapbook for my sister of the trip the two of us took to Europe when she was graduating from high school. This year it was my hubby's gift.

First, a little history: My grandmother made Christmas stockings for each of her eight grandchildren. I've had mine ever since I can remember.


I've carried on the tradition by making a stocking for each of my own children (although they usually have to wait until their second or third Christmas before I get it done).


Filling the stockings is Santa's job, so we have to have the biggest stockings available ... 28" diagonally. After The Baby was born, I couldn't find any that size anymore. So I waited, hoping the company that made the other three would start making the Jumbo size again. This past October, I decided to try my luck on eBay. Not only did I find a Jumbo stocking for The Baby, I found a kit to make the exact stocking my grandmother made me thirty-some years ago!

I was able to sneak in time when my husband wasn't at home to work on the stocking, and I was able to finish it in time for Christmas. I was even able to get my mom to write his name on it for me to embroider, so the handwriting would match the handwriting on mine. Christmas morning I sneaked into the living room while my hubby was making the coffee and placed his filled stocking in between the kids' stockings on the couch. And you know what he noticed first? The Brachs Stars peeking out of the top ... he wondered why someone else was getting his favorite candy. It was priceless.


Now to get to work on The Baby's stocking before next year, which will be her fourth Christmas already!


What was your favorite Christmas 2011 surprise, either given or received?

By the way ... I've missed you.