30 November 2008

Pictures from the weekend

This was taken on Thanksgiving Day as I tried to get a picture for our Christmas card. Rest assured, I did, but I thought this one was too cute not to share!

My mother-in-law came in Friday to Saturday to do some shopping. Yesterday, we made a trek to the ornament shop. Her sister, Peg, was supposed to come with us, but couldn't make it. The boys were really good in the shop with only one thing knocked over which didn't break! I buy matching ornaments for the boys every year-so they'll each have a full set when they are adults. I also picked up a couple of others as gifts. It was a great day!
Now, we await a snowstorm! We are supposed to have 10 inches by morning! I love this time of year!

Meme

Thanks +JMJ+ for including me in this meme-I was hoping to get tagged for this one!

These are the rules: Pass this on to 5 blogging friends. Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write the 5th sentence, as well as two to five sentences following that.

My book: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul.

Page 56, Sentence 5:

One cannot really understand this torture unless one has suffered it. It's quite impossible to tell what I suffered for eighteen months. Even the simplest of of my thoughts and acts become a source of worry.

I pass this on to:

Corinne at Struggling towards Heaven
Evy at Yes, They are all mine
Amy at Escape into my Thoughts
Kim at It's a Dog and Pony Show
Sydney at Diapers and Deadlines

27 November 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Besides being Thanksgiving, it is my Daddy's birthday. On the years his birthday fell on Thanksgiving, he would call himself the turkey. We lost him to cancer 2 1/2 years ago. He would have been 71. I miss him terribly, but I take comfort in the fact that he and Mom are together. I know they will be smiling down on us as we celebrate the day together as a family with most of my siblings, their spouses, nieces and nephews. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for many things-my family, my faith and my friends. I am happy to call many of you friends. May God bless each and every one of you and your families. I will include you in my prayers today as I thank God for the many blessings in my life!

24 November 2008

More Ornament Fun!

To see the ornaments from last week, click here.

This cute little Santa is from 2002. I have to say I had absolutely nothing to do with this one. It suddenly returned to me why. My Dad was doing chemo and radiation during this holiday season, and I was pregnant with Drew and very pukey. Andy did these all on his own, and did a great job! These are made from your classic homemade salt dough. Santa's head is an upside-down heart, and he is painted. That's it! I think he's cute, don't you?

This wreath was our ornament from 2003. Andy and I enjoy taking pieces and parts from things and putting it together. We go crazy with glue guns-in a couple of weeks, we'll have the burn marks to prove it! Anyway, the greens were snipped from one of those mini trees you can buy at any craft store. The red berries were clipped apart from red bead strings, and the bows are from a decorate you mini-tree kit. This one is one of Andy's favorites, but all I remember is ALL THE GLUE!
Next Monday-my favorite ornament of the set!

22 November 2008

More Michael-isms

As many of you know, this is Michael. He is so far, my youngest (God willing, he won't be the last!), and to date, my most challenging. With a birthday of September 2nd, he won't be going to K4 in September, so I get an extra year with him. He is spunky, this one!

See that hat? He wouldn't wear one last year. Even the tie on ones, he work his way out of. Yesterday it was really cold out. It was time. We had to run into Daddy's work. He told me, "I'm not wearing the hat!" After telling him we wouldn't see Daddy then, he relented. However, lest everyone thinks the hat didn't fit, he refuses to pull it down on his head and over his ears. I guess we'll call this progress.

So, in the middle of my dear, sweet Michael telling me "No!" yet again, I told him, "You're not the boss." He replied, "You're not the boss!" I said, "Hey, you don't talk to Mama like that." His response, "Hey, you don't talk to Michael like that!"

Finally, this morning, Andy and I were taking a moment and chatting. Something we never have enough time to do! Michael walked into our room and said, "Dad, stop talking to Mom. Take my hand. Come play with me!" All at the tender age of 3! It is going to be a long 2 years until he goes to school.

Small Fry is having a Contest!

It's Small Fryday's Contest! MckMama is a blogger that I have grown to know and love reading about. During the summer, she was told that her precious baby, Stellan, still in her tummy was not going to live. A few weeks and a million prayers later, Stellan was born, and he is perfectly healthy!!! You really should check out her blog!

Now, Small Fry who is a beautiful little girl is having a contest and giving away lots of goodies! You can check that out here! You'll be glad you did!

21 November 2008

20 November 2008

Unbelievable!

I just filled my tank. I was on "E"-light was on and everything. I pulled into the gas station, and to my surprise, saw $1.79/gallon! I checked out the 6 month history, and 6 months ago, we were paying over $4/gallon. I may not like the economy right now, but I sure do like what I am paying for gas! Hopefully, this will start to reflect at the grocery store!

A Retraction!

I need to print a retraction about something I wrote the other day. I had incorrectly written that the "turkeys" (K4 students) in my sons' school were going to be "shot" during their Thanksgiving play. This actually is not going to happen and never had plans to happen.

I never want to picture my sons' school in a negative light-it is an AWESOME school, and we are blessed to be a part of the community. Consider the earlier post a kind of urban legend which has been debunked, and always remember-CHECK YOUR FACTS!

19 November 2008

What Color are you?

My friend, Evy, posted this quiz. Curious, I tried it.


you are seagreen
#2E8B57

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Wordless Wednesday



Drew to Michael, softly, "Michael, don't ever do that again. It is dangerous." (Sorry they are a little out of focus, they were moving!)

18 November 2008

Untraditional Traditions, Candid Carrie style!

Candid Carrie: Untraditional Traditions, The Snowflake Cake

Candid Carrie is having a contest and all I have to do is post about an untraditional tradition. Well, I have heard there is a new one starting at my sons' school this year. It is always the custom at our school for the K5 and 1st grade classes to re-enact the first Thanksgiving and have a feast. The K5 students are the Native Americans and the 1st graders are the Pilgrims. My son, Drew, is in K5 and has been practicing his line, "I'm a little Indian boy, I will cook the meat."

Last year was the inaugural year of our K4 program. Drew was in it. This year's K4 class has been invited to the Thanksgiving festivities-as the TURKEYS! Their role in the play? They are going to be shot. Yes, that's right-shot! I am chuckling over this, but I have heard that some of the K4 parents are not happy. Well, at least we're learning how the turkeys get to the table! :)

17 November 2008

Christmas Preparations!

Andy and I have begun our annual Christmas project. In 2000, we began a tradition of making ornaments. We make a ton of them, 50-60, and we primarily give them out at Andy's office, but we also give them to family and friends. At Andy's office, they are already asking what this year's ornament will be. It is a lot of fun. On the boy's last day of school before break, I pick them up, and we go to the college and go office to office handing them out.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share what we've done leading up to this year's ornament. It is hard to believe that this is our 9th ornament, but we have a lot of fun designing them and making them. The kids like to help, too! My secret ambition is to one day have them published in an ornament making guide. Our first ornaments were OK, but as the years go on, we have come up with some really great ideas.

Today, I am sharing our ornaments from 2000 and 2001.
This reindeer was from 2000. It is the one that started it all. It is made from 2 clothespins, paint, googly eyes and a bit of ribbon.
This one was from 2001. It is very simple, and honestly, not one of my favorites, but it is a part of the collection, and as such deserves to be shown. Since 2001, we have thought and designed a lot, so as never to have a repeat of 2001!
Check back next Monday for more ornament fun!

Which Board Game are you?




You Are Checkers



You are very logical and rational. You are able to understand what is and isn't a factor.

You're able to compartmentalize and focus on the essentials.

You appreciate simplicity. You can see the layers of complexity and beauty in anything.

You are also playful and good natured. You don't take life too seriously!



The funny thing is that I usually lose at Checkers!!! Thanks to Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop for finding this one!

16 November 2008

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Today is my Mom's birthday. She would have been 69 today, but God decided to take her home in 2004. This picture is from early 2001. My Mom is holding my oldest, Peter (left), and my nephew, Tim, my sister's youngest. They were born 12 days apart, and my Mom loved holding both of them together. Mama, to me, Nonni to my boys, also called Nana, Mimma, and Grandmaw (had to add the Texas drawl to that one!)-we miss you and love you! Happy Birthday!

14 November 2008

Thanks a lot, Lisa! ;)

I was on the phone with my friend, Lisa, this morning, and she mentioned a show that she and her husband watched this week. It is new to SciFi channel-called Cha$e. It is another reality show, but it takes gaming to another level. She raved about it and even said it was family friendly.

I checked out the website, and watched the first episode with my son, Peter. It is like a real-life video game. Ten contestants-runners-have to run from the hunters. The end goal is to avoid the hunters for 60 minutes (if they tag you, you're eliminated) and make it through the exit point first. The hunters are dressed like they are from Men in Black. Runners have utilites to keep the hunters at bay. It was really on the edge of your seat fun! So, like I said in the title, thanks a lot, Lisa, another must watch show!

The monkey in the room! F X 4

This picture was taken in Peter's room in the reading corner. For students who complete their reading goal every month this year, they will receive a stuffed monkey. All the kids in the class love the one in the reading corner!

13 November 2008

Time of the year

November is a hard time of the year for me. It used to be the busiest because between my family and Andy's we have literally like 10 birthdays. Couple that with the holidays and our anniversary-it is a lot! Within the past few years, we've lost 2 very important birthdays, my Mom and Dad's.

I've been in a bad mood today. I've been trying not to focus on the fact that Sunday is Mom's birthday. She would have been 69. She was only 64 when she died. I always think of the movie Stepmom, and the line where Julia Roberts is talking about the teenage daughter being an adult and saying, "I miss my Mom." That line so resonates with me because not a day goes by that I don't think that. I miss my Mom.

This morning, Andy told me that he had been talking with a co-worker who actually used to work with my Mom. She was telling him how Mom would come in every day, sit down (always at a different cubby), pull out all of her pictures of her children and grandchildren and arrange them in her workspace so she could see everyone. I never knew she did that. She never had the opportunity to do that with my kids as by the time my oldest was born, she had had to stop working because she was losing her vision. My oldest, Peter, has vague memories of her. My other two, nothing. Drew was only a year when she died, and Michael never knew her. It makes me so sad that my boys are growing up without my Mom and Dad here.

My Mom suffered so much her last four years of life. Her vision, her COPD, and finally the cancer, and the complications of the surgery that should have saved her. She told my sister that she was going to offer up her suffering so that none of her grandchildren would lose their Catholic faith. She offered up her pain and suffering so beautifully. I love you, Mama, and oh how I miss you and Daddy!

11 November 2008

Since when do Presidents Rule?




Am I just being picky on the word choice? I thought Presidents govern, lead, serve, but rule?

Premio Dardos Award


I was very fortunate to receive this award from 4 of my favorites bloggers: Therese, Corinne, Nikki and Amy! With the exception of Corinne, who is a real life friend, the other 3 ladies are blogs that I have relatively recently begun reading. I am honored, ladies, to be in such company! Thank you!
This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.
The rules to follow are :
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Here is a list of my blogs that will receive this award:
I am stopping there because many of the blogs I would give these to have already gotten it-including the ladies who gave it to me! Please take some time to check out the blogs that gave me the award, as well as those whom I gave it to-you'll be glad you did!

10 November 2008

What a Weekend!

I had an absolutely FABULOUS weekend with my friends in Chicago! We shopped, ate great food, and just had the time to talk-something we never seem to tire of!


This is the four of us outside the theater after we saw Wicked. I have to say that this is one of the best Broadway shows I have ever seen! If you have the opportunity to see it, you really should!
This is one of the Macy's windows-I had never seen them before! They were absolutely beautiful.

The hotel was gorgeous! We had a great time chatting there after dinner Saturday night!



One last picture taken at Water Tower. This trip had been in the works since we read Wicked last summer. It was a great way for the four of us to spend some much needed time together and to celebrate Michelle's birthday. I need to say thanks to my husband, Andy, for holding down things at home for me to do this! Michelle, Lisa and Sydney, thanks for a wonderful weekend. I can't quite put into words what this weekend meant to me. You three are the best! I am so blessed to have you in my life! Can't wait for the next trip!
And here is a video of my favorite song from Wicked-Defying Gravity. This is done by the original New York cast, but I think you'll see why I love it so much!



07 November 2008

I am getting so excited!


I am working tonight, and am unable to concentrate! My friends are picking me up at 8:30 tomorrow morning for our outing. This is a picture of where we are staying. I CAN'T WAIT!

For your listening and viewing pleasure! F X 4

So, this week has been rotten with the outcome of the election and the sickness that won't seem to end (Michael's fever is back. I think he has an ear infection now. I will take him in later today).

I am, however, seeing a ray of hope! I am leaving tomorrow! OK, not permanently, but I am spending the weekend in Chicago with my friends, Syd, Lisa and Michelle. Michelle had an important birthday last month, and wanted to celebrate with us. We will be shopping, eating good food, going to Mass at the Cathedral on Saturday(I cannot say how excited I am to be going to Mass without kids pulling on me so I can, you know, pray!). We will be seeing Wicked on Sunday, and I am thrilled!

I need to get through today, though, which will include taking Michael to the doctor. My older boys are off of school today because of conferences-they are doing great, by the way! They are actually the point of this post. I have 2 videos to share.

The first is "I like to move it". This is a favorite of my hubby and the boys.



I'm not crazy about some of the lyrics, but I do enjoy seeing the boys hop around to it, and it does get us moving!

The other video is a classic. I have to explain a bit. Drew has been walking around literally for years saying, "Shake your hiney!" All on his own. Yesterday, he was talking about booty. I told him that "Shake your booty!" was the song he had been singing for years, but it actually was booty, not hiney. As I write this post, he is telling me how much he likes this song. Classic never grow old, do they?



Have a great weekend, everyone! I know I will. I am sure I will have pictures to share!

For more pictures, be sure to check out Candid Carrie!

06 November 2008

I had a thought today...

First of all, thank you for all the well wishes for Michael. His fever is gone, so he is doing better. We actually got out to Target this morning. It felt really good to get out!

So, as I was reading my new bloggy friend, Amy's post this morning, she was talking about explaining to her husband who all of these people are in the blogosphere. I often have the same conversation with Andy.

It is almost a year since I began blogging. I did it for myself. I didn't realize how many great people I would meet. Of course, I only know them through comments I've left or vice versa, and a few I actually email now on a regular basis. Suddenly, I was reminded of Pen Pals. My son, Peter has a Pen Pal in 3rd grade this year. He loves getting letters from her and writing her back. I kind of feel the same way, except, I wish you were right here. It is amazing what a big, yet small world this truly is!

Some Thoughts

I saw this article on another blog. Please take the time to check it out!

05 November 2008

I need to vent...

I am tired. No doubt about it, I am one exhausted Mama! Michael is sick, again (let's not confuse this with when he had a stomach bug a week ago). He has the virus that is going around these parts. Cough (not really croup), congestion, and a fever of 103 that only stays down if I alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3-4 hours. This is day 3. Surely we are coming to an end, right?

What is frustrating are the habits that are being formed right now. He is watching too much TV (I know, turn it off), but he has no energy for anything else. All he wants is Tom and Jerry. I hate Tom and Jerry. The other problem is that if I don't get him what he needs, I mean, wants quickly enough, he is screaming at me (like this is acceptable behavior). I am very frustrated. It is hard to reason with a 3 year old, much less one who feels awful! I am tired.

The day after...

I feel like I am walking around in a fog this morning. No, it is not the fact that Michael is sick again (as of this morning, I think he has croup). My heart is heavy as we face the dawn of an Obama presidency. Yesterday, part of me refused to believe it was possible that he could win. Deep down, I thought he would. At 10 PM, his fate was sealed.

So, today, I am fearful. I do not know what this change will bring to our world. I am fearful that troops will be pulled from Iraq too soon making us look weak, leaving us open to more terrorism. I am fearful for our economy. My husband pointed out an article that points out that FDR's policies prolonged the Depression by seven years. I am fearful that we will be headed in this direction if Obama and the Democratic led House and Senate really do put redistribution of wealth to the test. I am also fearful that FOCA will become a reality leading to abortion at any point in a pregnancy paid for by taxpayers, as well as loss of parental notification.

There is not much room for hope today. And so, I pray.

04 November 2008

Continue to pray!


Holy Mary, our Hope, Handmaid of the Lord! Pray for us!

03 November 2008

The faith of a child

My son, Peter, has a great love of Jesus and at his young age takes his faith very seriously. We have perpetual adoration at our parish (and have for 25 years). For those who might not know, this means that the Eucharist is available displayed in a monstrance for anyone to go and pray in front of any time of day or night. We feel very blessed to have Jesus available to us in that way at any time. Peter loves to stop in and say hi to Jesus after school whenever possible.

Today, I had hoped to stop in with all 3 boys after school and get in some prayers for the election. Alas, Michael had fallen asleep. He has a bad cough (may be croup coming on). I asked Peter if he wanted to go in and make a visit while I stayed in the car. He, of course, did. I reminded him to say a Hail, Mary for the election, and off he went. When he came back, I asked if he remember to say the Hail, Mary. Indeed, he had, and told me, "He told me to say 3 more." I asked, "Who told you, sweetie?" "Why, Jesus did!" I have no doubt that Jesus did tell him to say 3 more. God is so good!

Pray for the Election!

Please join me in praying for the election-

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care. Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection. Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.

Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life. Amen.

(taken from ewtn.com)

02 November 2008

Overwhelmed

So, it is Sunday, what should be a day of rest. My husband enjoyed the extra hour of sleep-I was awakened early to Drew heaving in the bathroom. He's not sick. He just didn't have his allergy meds last night. If he misses them, he ends up coughing in the morning to the point of throwing up. Just ask anyone at his school. He did it 3 times last year-during all school Mass. This time of year is kind of hit or miss with the allergies. Sometimes he needs the meds, sometimes he doesn't. Spring is much worse.

Where was I? Oh yes, overwhelmed. I am feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment. My house is a HUGE mess. I have laundry coming out my ears. It is mid afternoon, and I feel like the day has flown by. After Mass, we ended up meeting my in-laws for lunch. Then we went to the mall. Now the day is mostly gone, and I feel totally overwhelmed. I have so much to do I don't even know where to start. Maybe I should start by not procrastinating on the computer writing this post.

01 November 2008

Spam Warning!

My husband sent me an article yesterday about spammers hitting blogspot. You can check it out here. I said, "So, what does that mean for me?" He said, "Well, I thought you use blogspot. I thought you'd want to know." I said, "Well, I've never been spammed." Until today.

I logged into my email this morning to see a comment from "John." I thought it was unsual that my brother-in-law or nephews would leave a comment. Then I looked at the comment. Oh. my. goodness. It is for a little blue pill that I am sure you've heard of.

As a result, I have done the thing that has annoyed me when I saw it on other blogs-comment moderation. I am sorry for the thoughts I have had for those of you who have it enabled. I understand why you do it. I am now one of those blogs.