01 September 2010

Musings, Thoughts and Possible Changes

So some of you know I have been a tad overwhelmed and stressed lately. part of it is work, part of it is the return to school, and part of it is that I am prone to anxiety. I tried taking a blogging break, and it helped. I have also been praying about my priorities and trying to sort out what I should do.

This morning, the thought occurred that maybe I should give up blogging. I've been in a rut for a while. I am also a bit I don't know...I can't think of the word for what I am trying to say. I have had some discussions about blogging of late. I have never had aspirations of being one of the big bloggers. Quite honestly, I am not that talented nor do I have the background to market myself in that way. I think that I am a bit jaded though about some of the big bloggers. Some of them have gotten their status because of a tragedy in their lives. If it happened that way, I am sorry for that. Others have done it by latching on to a group of big bloggers. That's OK, too. I think it is just there are so many "experts" out there who aren't experts at all. Some people just hitch a ride hoping they can take part in bloggy fame.

Then there are the conventions. Quite honestly, I could never afford to go to one if I wanted, but I also think that these conventions prey on the average blogger making them believe that if they follow x,y,z then they too can be a big blogger and make money and do great things. For most of us, that will never be the reality. Again, it is not why I started blogging, nor why I currently want to blog or not blog. I hope I don't offend anyone who might have gone to one of these things, just my opinion.

Anyway, so where does that leave me? Like I said, I have been doing a lot of thought and praying and the truth is that I don't know. I had a revelation today that I am a bit worried that I might be putting too much out there in regards to my children. This blog started as a way for me to muse when I was home alone without another adult to talk to. I don't know. I think I may be worrying about Internet safety and such things.

Then I think about the friends I have made. If I stop blogging, will the friendships go away? Some of them might, and that makes me very sad. Then again, I have connected with some of you on facebook, and if I invest time in those friendships, then I don't need to worry.

Tonight, I had the idea of locking down this blog (for my family's safety), but then start another one where I blog more about my musings and less about my family. The question is would you follow me?

27 August 2010

Friday Flashback-Portraits!

Friday Flashback

Here is one of my sons at the same age
as Alex is now.

Any guesses which one?

What are you flashing back to? Please grab the button from the bottom of my blog for your post and then link up your post. Make sure you link back to me. Failure to do so will result in your link being deleted. Happy Weekend, Everyone!

26 August 2010

Recipe Swap Thursday

Veggie Dip

1 16 oz. sour cream

1 packet dry veggie soup mix

1 4 oz. container crumbled feta

Mix ingredients and refrigerate until ingredients meld. Serve with veggies, crackers, or bread. Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite munchies! I love feta in just about anything!

Now it is your turn! Grab the button from the bottom of my blog for your post. Then come back to link your recipe up with this post! (Please link your recipe post, not your entire blog!)

25 August 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Better Late than Never!

We took the kids for pictures today.
There will be many more to follow, but I wanted share
the beginning:

And THE END (at least for Alex!).

23 August 2010

Back in Business!

Recipe Swap Thursday

Friday Flashback

I am planning on being back to business this week for both Recipe Swap Thursday and Friday Flashback! The code for the buttons are at the bottom of my blog. Who's joining me?

A Scattered Life

I've been doing a lot of reading over the past month. I think summer allowed me to take a breath and find some time for one of the things I love to do. I am going to be doing some reviews of some of the books I have read this summer.

The first one I want to showcase is A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion. I first met Karen about 14 years ago. Our husbands work together. From time to time, Andy would come home with a copy of an article Karen had published. When I began blogging, I started following Karen's blog. Karen has this great wit about her. I have also been able to follow her road to publishing there.

Last year, she self-published on Kindle. At some point in the process, A Scattered Life was picked up for a movie option. Then, this year, it was published as a paperback (through Amazon Encore) on August 10. In fact, now all of her books are about to be published as paperbacks. Check out her blog for her path to being published (and she has giveaways from time to time too)! Now onto the book:

I have to say that I LOVED this book! Karen has a great writing style, and is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! A Scattered Life is a great story about unlikely friendship. It is a beautiful story, one with a few twists and turns that will leave you laughing one minute and crying the next. I was not able to put this book down! I hope they do make a movie of this book-I would love to see it come to life!

You can check out the trailer for the book here. Well done, Karen!

18 August 2010

Winding Down

Can you feel it? I certainly can...summer is starting to wind down. I'm kind of sad about it, and this is a first for me! I think I conquered summer this year! In the past, since I've had kids in school, I have always hit the point of, "When do you all go back to school?" Not this summer though. I am not sure what it is.

In the past, I have resolved to have a schedule and stick to it. In the past, I have failed at this. So, when summer loomed its head this year, I decided to not write up a schedule. We kind of had a routine anyway because of the baby's nap schedule. That was enough for me.

What I do know is that this summer has been different. Busy, but good busy. We did a lot. No vacations this year because we have a family wedding this fall. But we have been busy. We had lots of family in to visit. Nieces and nephews home from college. My brother and his family came to visit, and my sister-in-law and her kids came a different week and stayed with us. Local cousins came over to play and swim. We had a lot of family time. I love this! We also went to Six Flags, State Fair and our parish festival (a carnival in and of itself). There was only one ER visit-for me (I didn't write about it because it was silly really-I dropped a heavy case on my foot and thought it was broken. Thankfully, it wasn't.). We went to our State Capital for fireworks on the 4th. It was a great summer! Andy and I keep saying that to each other, "This has been a great summer!"

Monday, we had one last cousin sleepover. When they went home on Tuesday, I told the boys it was blackout time (no video games for the rest of summer). We are starting back to school mode complete with back to school bedtimes. They start school in a week and a half. Soccer starts next week. I have never felt this way. Normally, I am ready for them to go back. This time, I want summer to go on. Maybe it is because Michael is starting this fall, maybe it is because Peter is moving to the upper grades. Whatever it is, I know that this summer is one that I will look back on and smile! And I need to file this post away for next summer so I can remember to celebrate this time because it all is going too fast!

16 August 2010

I think I am back!

Thanks for putting up with my mini-break. I just was feeling totally overwhelmed and I needed some time to sort out life. Still doing it, but I am feeling in a better position...at least right now...

I started a new project at work. I have written before about my online teaching gig. It is a remediation program for reading and math, grades 3-9. The majority of our students are at-risk youth, and I have to say that I have seen a lot of growth in some of these kids. So, a couple of weeks ago, I was asked to help out (one of only 5 teachers from a pool of hundreds) on a new project to add additional districts.

It is 20 hours a week, and the bulk of it is during the day. I have been working during Alex's naptime, and Peter has been watching his little brothers while I do this. It has been totally overwhelming! I have been feeling so far behind on everything! That was the start of my blogging break last week. I told Andy this morning that I don't know how to keep up on everything. We also moved kids around bedrooms this weekend. It's just been very busy.

Fortunately, this project only lasts until October. I have also put in for a different position where I am working. Please say a prayer if you have a chance. i should hear about next steps this week.

12 August 2010

Still Breaking

I came across something I wrote in 2008, and did not feel ready to share. I realized that this very much still applies to the person I wrote this for. I am also coming to another realization-I need to get back to some real writing. I remember feeling very good after I had written this and gotten it off my chest. So, without further ado,

To a Friend

Friendship-something each and every one of us has at least encountered at some point. Friendship-something I am not sure I could have lived without during some of the best and worst times in my life. Friendship-something I see fractured between us right now. I don’t know if it can be fixed. I don’t know if I want it fixed. We’ve always been very different, perhaps too different. Maybe I am just too tired of having to be different from you. I won’t let go of my beliefs, and you of yours. I feel like there is this wide chasm between us, and I don’t want to jump. You’ve known me longer and better than almost anyone one else-with the exception of my husband and family, but I am tired, tired of the differences, tired of having to explain why I believe what I do, and hear from you why it’s not valid.

I have new friends. Well, they are not entirely new, but newer than you. They don’t make me feel like I need to apologize for who I am. They accept me. After years of feeling like I had to steel myself against criticism, I no longer have to. They love me-unconditionally.

So, what should I do when I feel like a relationship is fractured, broken, beyond repair? Part of me wants to scream,”NO! Don’t let go!” but part of me understands the reality. It is time to move on. And I am OK with that. Are you?

10 August 2010


Taking a little blogging break. I've been feeling really overwhelmed of late, and I need some time to sort this out. Hoping you will wait for me! :)

06 August 2010

Guess Who Needed Glasses?

Because the two older boys needed glasses at 4 and 3 respectively, we make it a habit to take the youngest in right before they go to school. Today was Michael's day. Yes, he needed glasses. He takes after his Mama. He has not one, but 2 lazy eyes! So, he has glasses. Michael will go back in 6 weeks. If there is not measurable improvement, he may need patches. I would like to ask for prayers that the glasses will do the trick. Thanks!

Friday Flashback

Friday Flashback

This is a picture of Andy, Drew and I from my parents' 45th Wedding Anniversary (Peter was off with his cousins). It was such a beautiful, happy day. We celebrated about 2 weeks early because my Mom was scheduled to go in for surgery. This was March. We knew both of my parents had cancer. Mom died August 11, and Dad 19 months after her. This was the last time we would all be together as a family. My heart is a little heavy this week with the anniversary of her death coming up, but I am trying to focus on the positive. THIS was a beautiful day, and I am so glad we were all there for it!

05 August 2010

Recipe Swap Thursday!

Recipe Swap Thursday

Cold Veggie Pizza

2 tubes crescent rolls

1- 16 ounce carton sour cream
1- 8 ounce cream cheese
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dip

assorted veggies, chopped into bite size pieces

Roll out crescent rolls on a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, carefully joining all seams. Bake off dough according to package directions. Blend sour cream, cream cheese and ranch packet. Spread on cooled crust. Top with chopped veggies. This can be varied depending on preference/seasonal veggies. Ours usually includes broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes (halved), mushrooms and red pepper. Cut into squares and serve.

Now it's your turn! Post your recipe and then come back and link up here (please link to your post, not to your blog). Can't wait to see what everyone is sharing!

04 August 2010

Recipe Swap Reminder

Recipe Swap Thursday

I am sharing an APPETIZER tomorrow!
What about you?

02 August 2010

Favorite Catholic Prayers

Lovely Gardenia has tagged me in a meme about my favorite prayer.

The rules are as follows:

"Name your three most favorite Catholic devotional prayers, and explain why they're your favorites. Then tag five bloggers - give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme. The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I'm more interested in people's favorite devotional prayers."

Here are mine:

1. Hail, Holy Queen!
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

2. Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

3. St. Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Now, who do I tag?

1. Therese at Aussie Coffee Shop
2. Sarah at Prayer for the Journey
3. Jamie at Lord, Make me a Saint
4. Sarah at With a Hopeful Heart
5. Christine at, well, Christine
6. Anne at Imprisoned in my Bones

30 July 2010

Friday Flashback!

Friday Flashback

September, 2007.

Peter was entering second grade and Drew K4.

Michael was just 2 years old.

We start school in a month and all 3 of my boys will go off to school.

It all goes VERY fast!

What are you flashing back to today? Grab the code from the bottom of my blog and come back to link up!

29 July 2010

Recipe Swap Thursday Freestyle!

Recipe Swap Thursday

Rosemary Pork Roast

1 pork loin roast

2 T olive oil

2 T fresh rosemary chopped

2 cloves garlic minced


black pepper

Combine olive oil, rosemary, garlic salt and pepper. Rub over roast and place in roasting pan. Cook in 325 degree oven until internal temp reaches 160. Slice and serve with sides of choice.

Now it's your turn!

Have a favorite recipe to share?

Leave the link to your recipe post below:

28 July 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Recipe Swap Reminder

Recipe Swap Thursday

Tomorrow is Recipe Swap Thursday around here!

Come on over and share a favorite recipe!!!

(freestyle this week-no set theme!)

26 July 2010

This weekend

Our parish festival was this weekend.
This was Michael at about 7 PM last night.
We still had fireworks at 9:30,
so this little nap helped.
Utter exhaustion!

23 July 2010

Friday Flashback

Seven years ago (on the 27th), my Drew was baptized. Hard to believe it was seven years ago!

What are you flashing back to?

Grab my button at the bottom of my blog, then come back and link up!

22 July 2010

Recipe Swap Thursday Summer Fruit

Recipe Swap Thursday

Welcome to Recipe Swap Thursday!

Today's theme is:

Summer Fruit!

Berry Smoothie

1 C milk

1 C Strawberries, frozen

1 C Raspberries, frozen

1 C Vanilla yogurt

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Now it's your turn! Share your favorite summer fruit recipe on your blog and come back to link up here!

21 July 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

My sweet baby girl has started taking steps on her own!
I am so NOT ready for this!
She is growing way too fast!

20 July 2010

Recipe Swap Reminder

Recipe Swap Thursday

This week's theme is:


Come back Thursday with your favorite summer fruit recipe and link on up!

19 July 2010

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is quite a hot commodity in our house, as I am sure it is in yours. Yesterday, I realized that we were down to our last roll. Yes, that's right, the.last.roll. I was in dire need of a grocery trip, but I figured I could wait until after Alex finished her afternoon nap. We did a Sam's run, and they are remodeling the store. I could not find the toilet paper. On the way home, I called Andy and asked him to pick some up on the way home.

Here is the way things went in the last hour before Andy got home. Michael went to the bathroom upstairs and screamed down the he needed t.p. I told him to use the downstairs bathroom. Did he? No...he took the t.p. on up without my knowledge. Then I had to use the bathroom. I sit down to no t.p. I yell up, and Drew brings down the last of it. Maybe a third of a roll. A few minutes later, Drew informs me that he needs to use the bathroom. A little while later, he yells out that he needs more t.p. Seriously, we were out. No t.p., no tissue, nothing...I gave him a couple of napkins...then Daddy came home!

Festa Italiana 2010

The city I live in has many ethnic festivals each summer. My favorite, of course, and really the only one I have ever gone to is Festa Italiana. I have great memories of going every year on Sunday to attend the Mass an procession. It's usually like a mini-family reunion. We haven't gone since my parents were alive. In a way, it was too painful to go without them there. This year, we decided to start the tradition again.

This was taken after the Mass. They were all so hot! It was 95-Festa Sunday always seems to be the hottest Sunday of summer!

Alex in her red and white-all dressed up for the occasion!

This is Fr. Tom (a Polish priest at Festa!). I have known him since I was 3. He married Andy and I as well as officiated at the weddings of 3 of my 4 siblings. My Drew is Andrew Thomas, the Thomas being for Father Tom. You can't see Drew here but he is sporting a HUGE smile at seeing the man he is named after!

The procession through Festa is traditional as you would see on the streets of Italy.
Our Lady of Fatima!

St. Therese!

Madonna del Lume!
This one has special significance for me as it is a replica of the painting from my family's
church in Porticello, Sicily.

Blessed Mother, pray for us!

Posted by Picasa

16 July 2010

Friday Flashback-Friendship!

Friday Flashback

In 2008, I was able to get away for a weekend with these lovely ladies! One of them had a milestone birthday, so we went to Chicago to shop and see Wicked. Lisa, Sydney, and Michelle-I love you all. Thanks for always being there!

What are you flashing back to? Grab the code for my button at the bottom of my blog and link on up!

15 July 2010


Every once in a while, my mother-in-law sweetly stocks my freezer. It is very generous of her, and obviously helps our grocery budget.

She did this last month, and I went this morning to pick something to cook. There was one package labeled "arm roast", arm roast?

I had seen this when she came back from her butcher but had not thought about it. I have come to find out that it is a chuck roast, similar to what you would use for pot roast, but seriously, do we have to call it arm roast? I love a variety of meat and cook with many different ones, but when cuts are labeled with body parts-I kind of get grossed out. Remember this discussion on pork butt? We will just be calling it beef roast around here, thank you very much!

Recipe Swap Thursday-Summer Entrees!

Recipe Swap Thursday

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

2-4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts

Fat-Free Wishbone Italian dressing

Romaine lettuce

Roma tomatoes


Caesar dressing of choice

Grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Marinate chicken breasts in Italian dressing for anywhere from 4 hours to overnight. Grill to cook, and slice. Combine other ingredients and top with chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite go-to summer recipes-especially when I don't feel like cooking! So easy and so yummy!

Now it's your turn! What is your go-to summer recipe? Grab the code from the bottom of my blog, post your recipe and then come back here to share!

14 July 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday-10 months old!

My brother and his family came to visit from Texas last week, and on their last night here we went to a baseball game. Baby girl was wiped out!

13 July 2010

Long Days of Summer

Anyone feel like we have hit the hard part of summer? Don't get me wrong, this has by far been the best summer we have had since the kids started school. We are much more organized and in a routine, but I am sensing a bit of boredom around here.

I am getting a lot of "Mom, what can I do now?" I am really proud of the boys for doing so well with their chore charts and reading minutes. Peter has even taken to doing extra things that he knows needs to be done. I am so proud of him.

On the other hand, perhaps I am the one getting bored. Without my usual school routine, I am in a rut. I am not doing my usual couponing and grocery shopping like normal. My blog posts are not flowing as I would like them. I feel like I need a project, have a thousand things to choose from, yet get nothing accomplished beyond the normal cleaning and laundry.

I think the slower pace on the blogs this summer has me down too. Fewer comments, fewer participants on Recipe Swap and Friday Flashback is making me feel lonely and sad in the blogosphere. Anyone else feeling this way? What are you doing to pick up this time of year?

Recipe Swap Reminder

Recipe Swap Thursday

The theme for Thursday's Swap:

Summer Entrees!

I'm in a cooking rut this time of summer, how about you?
Come on back and share a favorite summertime recipe
and I'll share one of mine!

12 July 2010


So I thought I'd throw out a topic that came up with my nieces last week. This particular group ranged in age from 15 to 20. We talked about how certain words were not pleasant to say or hear.

There is a story behind mine. About 10 years ago, my Dad had cataract surgery. The nurse was telling my Mom and I about the drops my Dad needed and the frequency to keep his eye "MOIST" (yep, that's my word!). I shuddered, looked at my Mom and said how I loathed that word. She repeated it about 10 times just to annoy me!

So, that's my word (as well as about 3 of my nieces' word as well, and they admitted to it before I said it was mine!). So, what's your word (and let's keep it clean!)

09 July 2010

Field Trip Friday-Summer Reading

Over on BlogTrotting, we are sharing our summer reading lists. I decided to share mine. I am not making much progress thus far, but am hoping to find more reading time.

1. A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion. This book is being published by AmazonEncore next month (already on kindle if you have one). It has also been picked up for a movie option. I know Karen in real life, and she is an amazing author! To read more of her story, you can check it out here.

2. Dragon House by John Shors. I started this book last night as I have book club on Monday. So far so good!

3. Fatherless by Brian Gail. I actually started this a while ago. It is a great book about the spiritual battles raging in the Catholic Church.

I could include a dozen more, but if I can finish these by the end of summer, then I will be a happy camper!

Friday Flashback-Family Edition!

Friday Flashback

The date-July 4, 2008. Most of my family attended a Brewers game. It was a lot of fun. This picture was taken right before my nieces and I realized we were on the Jumbotron! I was SO embarassed! I wanted to flashback to this beacuse my brother and his family came in from Texas this week. We had a ton of fun and we went to another Brewer game-all 30 of us which is most of us. I may post pictures from this years game next week!

Now it's your turn! Please grab my button from the bottom and play along! What are you flashing back to?

08 July 2010

Friday Flashback Contest Winner!

Friday Flashback

Sorry it has taken me a bit to post the contest winner, but we have had family visiting from Texas! For the record, the pictures were Alex, Peter, Drew, Michael. Now on to the important part-the winner is:


Recipe Swap Thursday-Vegetarian Edition!

Recipe Swap Thursday

Welcome to Recipe Swap Thursday where I post a recipe, and ask you to do the same! This week's theme is vegetarian, and I have one of my all-time favorite recipes going up today! It's yummy, and super easy!

Pasta with Broccoli

1 pound spaghetti

1 16 ounce package broccoli florets (I use the frozen as a time saver, but you can also do fresh)

Parmesan cheese

Boil water and add salt once it boils. Drop in the pasta and the broccoli. Cook until al dente. Drain off most, but not all of the water (the pasta will absorb it). Plate pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan to your liking (I do a lot of parm on this dish). Enjoy!


This dish can be used as a side or a main meal. Growing up, we had it as a main meal. It was and still is one of my favorites! I always asked for it on my birthday!

Now it's your turn, what vegetarian favorite are you sharing? Leave the link to your post in the linky below!

06 July 2010

Happy 7th Birthday, Drew!

Drew, you are such a joy to us! Your smile brightens each and every day! We love you!


Welcome to everyone coming over from BlogTrotting! I am always happy to share some of the highlights of the great state of Wisconsin! I have lived here my whole life (except for 4 years of college), and love what we have to offer!

In August, we have the Wisconsin State Fair! If you head over, you have to indulge in a cream puff! Lots of yummy goodness! Our State Fair even has a drive thru for picking up these gems. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant last year so we skipped the fair and my hubby brought these home instead! YUM!

In the center of the state, we have the Wisconsin Dells, home to many indoor and outdoor waterparks. We love going up every summer!

We also like to indulge in something called frozen custard around here. It is so much better than ice cream! If we check out Kopp's, the flavor of the day is Red Raspberry...MMMMM!

These are just a few of the things you'll find in Wisconsin.

A little bit more about me-I am a Mom to 4 (3 boys and a girl, ages 10 and younger). I also work from home, teaching online in the evenings after my hubby comes home. Around this blog, I like to write about my family, my faith and cooking. I host a Recipe Swap on Thursdays, and Friday Flashbacks on, well, Fridays. I would love to have you come back for both! The buttons and code for both are at the bottom of my blog! And if you check out last Friday's Friday Flashback, you will find a giveaway, which runs through 11:59 CST tonight!

Thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment so I can come visit you!

05 July 2010

Recipe Swap Reminder

Recipe Swap Thursday

For this week's Recipe Swap, we are going:


Check back on Thursday to see what's cooking!

04 July 2010

Happy 4th!

We are absolutely wiped out!
More about our weekend to come,
but in the meantime,
it's not too late

01 July 2010

Friday Flashback-Pasta Edition

Friday Flashback




So, we know that these are my 4 babes-some saucier than others! My question to you is who is who? The winner of this contest will get a special Italian prize pack!

Here is how you earn entries:

1. Leave a comment listing who you think each picture is (Peter, Drew, Michael and Alex)-only correct answers count.

2. An extra entry for writing your own Friday Flashback post and placing the link to the post in my linky. Remember that you can flashback to ANYTHING you want to!

3. An extra entry for following me or if you are already a follower (leave a comment).

4. An extra entry for blogging about this contest on your blog (leave a comment).

Contest ends at 11:59 PM Tuesday, July 6! Good luck!