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Showing posts from 2010

Bring it On 2011!

Doesn't it seem like just yesterday we were celebrating the New Year 2010?  And now?  2011 is on it's way, and it just doesn't seem real.  What is real, I'll tell you, is the amazing bargains we found today while out shopping with my two youngest girls. 

We really only went to Target, but boy the deals were everywhere.  Brand new shoes for $4.00.  Christmas anything was reduced 75% off.  Many winter clothes on clearance racks for 30% or 50% off.  I was shocked.

We went from aisle to aisle, finding new little treasures at the fraction of the cost, and I truly felt, that I spent according to what I felt it was worth.  What a joyous feeling!  I actually left the store feeling like we found great deals, instead of miserable, having bought more than I wanted at twice the price I wanted it at.

But I digress, back to New Years.

As usual, HH and I have planned our annual feast of a New Years Eve dinner, this year, seafood is back, lobster, salmon and shrimp. Yippie!  We say g…

Seizing Your Moments

  I’m a planner.I like to be prepared, having thought out all the possible rebuttals, or distractions.This is especially true when teaching my children a very important formative lesson.I like to think it out, double check my theology, checking my online sources for help and then come up with some great way to present, explain and sum up the whole formative teaching.   Unfortunately, as mothers, we know, life is not like this.We run out of time.One child or another will always need us when we planned to do our research, a baby will be crying when dinner is underway, or a number of things stand as an obstruction.Let’s be real, many times, the clock is simply not our friend. Our family attended the Christmas Eve Mass at our parish.Four of our five kids were singing in various choirs, and this Mass was the designated Mass for them to attend.It’s a beautiful Mass, as is all Masses at our parish.On our very short drive to church, I happen to overhear a brief conversation between my tw…

4th Week of Advent Love

So we lit the last candle of the wreath, and this week we are consumed with Love: that realization that God loves us more than we can even imagine.  It's tough to contemplate the wideness and greatness of His love.

This week I saw elements of sincere Love and it helped me to better see, that I have just barely glimpsed His Love.

My Carefree Knight had a situation at school, minor, yet I felt important to resolve.  I was informed that he had misbehaved in class, and had to be told repeatedly to stop his actions....which he finally did stop, begrudgingly.

Once I had heard what had happened we started a conversation about what respect means....what does it mean to respect your teachers.  Why are they there?  They are there to teach you, and if you don't allow them to do that, or disobey them, you are disrespecting them.  He agreed that he should watch his behavior a little closer, and to make sure his teacher knew that he would be making this change, I encouraged Knight to write…

And The Winner Is......

So the Giveaway is complete!  Over the weekendyou had an opportunity to win a children's book, "Little Star", just by leaving a comment.  Well, four people commented, three here on the blog and one on my Facebook site for Sahmatwork.

Just so everyone knows how fair we really are in our house, I photo-documented the process this afternoon.  Here you are......

Announcing the winner:

Congratulations Lynne!  Please contact me with your mailing address so you receive this children's book by Christmas!

Book Review and Giveaway!

I've never done a giveaway, but in an attempt to get into the Christmas spirit, I've got one for you!

At the request of the author, Anthony DeStefano, this is a review of "Little Star", and for this review, he sent me a copy of this delightful children's book.

As mothers we work to incorporate the true meaning of Christmas into all our holiday planning, so our children once again, live the birth of our Lord, not just wait for Santa and Frosty.

This children's book can assist in that exact preparation for Christmas!  Written by DeStefano and illustrated by Mark Elliott, they capture an innocence and real truth about the Lord's birth.   Our hero, Little Star, is the smallest of the stars in the heavens and as he hears of the coming birth of a king he also hears of a reward that shall be given to the star that shines the brightest.

Little Star, being the smallest, is often overlooked, ignored and avoided.  And then, on the coldest night of the year, he watch…

3rd Week of Advent - JOY

Ah, the pink candle is finally lit.  In our Advent journey, it seems it will never end, or at times, that it is going by too quickly.  This week is dedicated to JOY.  What joy there is, in the waiting! 

Our Serious had her birthday yesterday, and as requested, unicorns had a serious presence.  There was a moment during dinner that was just too priceless to not mention.  She had requested nuts as a side for her birthday dinner, and having some pecans, walnuts and almonds on hand, I simply put out a bowl of these mixed nuts. 

During dinner, I noticed Serious not eating the nuts on her plate.  I asked her, "Why aren't you eating the nuts?  You did ask for nuts with dinner, right?"

She leaned in to whisper, "Mom, I don't really like these kind."

I leaned in too now, and asked her, "What kind do you like?"
She said, "Cashews."
"Oh, no, honey, I'm sorry, I thought you just wanted any nuts, I didn't know you wanted cashews, I wou…

Could It Be?

Could it be that I am overly zealous when it comes to cake decorating?
Could it be that I'm a gluten for punishment?
I prefer, I'm a sucker for a six year old's innocent wish for a Ballerina Birthday cake. 
Entertainer:  WE LOVE YOU!  Happy 6th Birthday!

Small Successes Thursday

Time for those Small Successes, they do add up to one big triumph.! 
1.)  Nursed sick 5 year old back to health.  She says, "Sorry, Mom, please wash my school shoes and socks, I threw up on them."
2.)  Nursed myself back to health, and still made yummy lasagna with summer's canned tomatoes.
3.)  Potty training in full gear:  three full days without diapers!  Smarties and M&M's are working.
In Progress: 4.)  A Homemade in progress.  Sewing machine needs a break.
Have some to share?  Go here!

Random Mass Moment

Just after the Words of Consecration, Entertainer, suddenly grabs my arm, and with a confused look on her face shouts in her whispered voice: 

Entertainer:  I don't get it! 

Mom:  What, honey?

Entertainer:  How could He speak?  I don't get it!

Mom:  Huh?

Entertainer:  Jesus, I mean.  He gave his body to His friends, right?

Mom:  Yes....and?

Entertainer:  Well, (she motions at her neck), if Jesus took a big piece of his body for His friends, how could He speak to them, and tell them to eat it?  Wouldn't He be dead?

Mom:  Oh, no.  Jesus used the bread on the table and turned it into His body for His friends.

Shocked, wide eyed Entertainer:  He can DO that?

Mom:  Honey, Jesus is God.  God can do anything He wants, anything, right?

Entertainer:  Oh, right.  I guess He COULD do that.

2nd Week of Advent - Peace

How hard is it to find Peace in this busy Advent Season?

Over the weekend, I went out to brave the cold, the snow and yes, the other busy holiday shoppers.  See we have two birthdays in December, St. Nick's as well as Christmas.  It's a busy month, and an expensive one.  For the most part, store clerks were happy and helpful, the customers were polite and easy going.  And I know why.  It's only Dec 6th.

As Christmas gets closer, I know things will change.  They always do.  I'd like to hope that there won't be angry shoppers, impatient drivers, or cranky sales people, but I am usually a Christmas Procrastinator.  I leave things to the end, and cram it all in the week before.   And that's exactly when I have seen all the Christmas crankiness.  There's pressure, I get it, for everyone to get a million things done, parties attended, presents wrapped and so on. 

For me, this year, I said 'good-bye' to that exact pressure.  Determined to keep a bit of in…

Decorating Gone Wrong

Recently, HH and I attended a dinner/dance fundraising event, and while most items were of little interest to us, one in particular caught my eye.  It was a two hour interior decorator consultation.  We made a modest bid simply wanting to donate to such a worthy cause, and because, well, frankly, I have no skill at interior design.
I admit that.  I don't have that gift.  And it is a gift to be able to situate furniture, decorate with taste and class with some semblance of practicality and functionality that our home must have for a family of seven.  Lo and behold our modest bit was the top bid and we were informed we had won our prize.  How exciting.  And I was excited, thrilled to say the least that someone who does this type of thing for a living, would come to my home, and help me in my lack-luster decorating.
I connected with our decorator, and set the date....for today.  It has taken me all day to digest what had happened in my home for those two brief hours, and to make peace…

Random Bedtime Moment

Serious:  Mom, which kid, you know, is your favorite one?

Mom:  My favorite one? Oh, geez, each one of you kids is special to me.  You are all my favorites.

Serious:  But you have a favorite color, right?

Mom:  Yes, I do.

Serious:  You have a favorite animal, right?

Mom:  Yes, I do.

Serious:  Which kid is your favorite?  (She leans in to whisper)  I won't tell the others, I pinkie promise.

Mom laughing:  Honey, I love you all in very special and different ways.  Moms don't have favorites, they love them all!

Serious:  Humph.  Ok, well, which one of us was the cutest when we were born?

Mom:  All new babies are super cute.

Serious:  Humph......Hum...Well.....Who had the longest hair when we were born?

Mom:  You all had the same length of hair. 

Serious:  Well, you are my favorite Mom.

Mom:  Oh, I see.  Today, you are my favorite six year old.

And Advent Begins with Hope

So we saw the close of yet another liturgical year with Christ the King and welcomed the start of a new one with the First Sunday of Advent.  Thinker demonstrated her excitement with the dramatic flip of the Church missal back to the beginning. 

It's been a busy time for the family as of late, but I have at the very least begun to mentally prepare for all the hubbub of the upcoming, wrapping, brainstorming, baking and more shopping.  Past years have been so busy with the outside activities of the season, that at times, the true spirit of Advent gets lost. 

It's so easy to lose that special spirit, when there is so much to be done.  We are meant to be waiting....and hoping.  And that's tough for a busy Mom.  This last Sunday's homily brought to mind that special time of anticipation that I often lose each year due to the many tasks that are awaiting me.

Mentally, I do think, I'm trying to freeze time a bit.  Stop some random activity to truly emb…

Happy Thanksgiving

O Lord that lends me life,

Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.

~William Shakespeare

A Positive of Large Families

Let's face it, having more than two or three kids requires unique sacrifice.  And that sacrifice can come in a variety of ways.....financially, mentally, physically, socially, and probably a few other 'lly' words that we don't necessarily need to remind ourselves of to get the point. 

There are many things that get more difficult with more children.  I won't sugar coat it.  I won't pretend life gets easier with every new addition to the family.  Trust me.  I've got five.  Anyone with a larger family will tell you the same.  Life gets a little harder, and it's a unique and special calling from God to be blessed with many children.  He can count on you, and does for each of these little souls.  It's a gift, no doubt, but one with consequences.  Life changes. The laundry alone can be overwhelming.

Now, having said all that....I'll tell you there are so many more blessings of a large family that outweigh any negatives I could possibly post here.  A…

Random Moment

Serious:  Mom, would you have married Daddy if he was a cheater?

Mom:  Would I have married Daddy if he was a cheater?, I guess I wouldn't have married him then.

Serious:  Really?  Oh.  OK.

Mom:  Why do you ask?

Serious:  Well, I DID want to marry this boy in my class.  And he wants to marry me, but, Mom, he's a cheater.  He doesn't play fair.

Mom:  Oh, I see.  Well, what do you think about that?

Serious:  Well, I don't want to marry a cheater.  I don't want someone who cheats with me.

Mom:  Honey, remember you can't get married when you are six.  You know that right? 

Serious:  Yes.  I know.  But when I am older, I don't want to marry someone who isn't fair.

Mom:  I agree.  Good decision.  Daddy never cheats.  He always plays fair.

Serious:  Yep, I want to marry someone like Daddy.

Small Successes Friday?

Alas, here I am again, late with Small Successes.  I suppose I am just meant to recap the week on Friday.  Small Successes is just a way to recap little ways where we found success in the week.  All those little successes add up to one big triumph.  It helps to see what has been accomplished in the week.

1.)  Attended school parent meeting, was actually sociable this time.

2.)  Kept up exercise and diet plan this week.  Weight has stabilized.  Strength training has begun.

3.)  After seeing empty fridge and pantry, came up with creative lunch snack.....What?  Marshmallows isn't one of the four food groups?

In Progress:

4.)  Will attend all school Mass today, and clean house.
5.)  Focusing on patience, compassion and generosity with my time.

Have some to share?  Go Here!

Peace Thieves

Ok, so I recently did a rant onModern Day Vampires....and now I've got a new one:  Modern Day "Thieves".  I am not referring to the A-typical definition of a thief....someone who might take a material, personal possession without permission.

What I refer to, is that person(s) who manages to take a little bit of our peace away from us.  It's like a tiny sliver of your soul stolen away by some inconsideration, some neglect, or some active abuse of power.

I certainly can admit, that keeping peace in my own soul, is more my own responsibility rather than everyone else's, but there are those, who no matter what peace you bring to a situation, revel in chaos, disorder and division and try to steal that snipped of peace away, regardless of the joy and calm that once resided there.

These individuals love chaos.  They love conflict.  They rejoice at your discomfort, that squint your eyes made, that shift in your seat, your stuttering words spit out with no coherency.  The…

A Knight's Code

An induction ceremony was conducted on Friday, and our Carefree is now a Knight.  I thought I'd post this Code of Conduct, as I was thoroughly impressed that the expectations of an altar server are so noble.

Knights of the Altar:  Code of Conduct
1.  A Knight honors and loves his Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
2.  A Knight skillfully wields the weapons of the spiritual life:  Sacred Scripture, the liturgy, the sacraments, prayer, and spiritual direction.
3.  A Knight gains strength through his daily prayers.
4.  A Knight responds with loyal and heroic obedience to his parents, parish priest and teachers.
5.  A Knight bravely defends his brothers and sisters, especially the needy.
6.  A Knight bravely controls his impulses, showing mettle in his personality.
7.  A Knight fights to fulfill all his obligations perfectly.
8.  A Knight conquers new friends for his Lord Jesus Christ.
9.  A Knight defends the truth and his neighbor's honor.
10.  A Knight is noble and pure in his …

Small Successes Thursday

Celebrate small successes as they all add up to one big triumph!
1.)  Went to the Circus.  It truly is the Greatest Show on Earth.
2.)  Made homemade pumpkin pie from real pie pumpkins.  First time ever!  Delicious!
3.)  Met with Financial Advisers.  Plan in place for:  continued 401K contributions, sudden death and long-term disability insurance.  Next:  Will.  It feels good to be prepared for life's unexpected twists and turns.
In Progress:
4.)  Laundry, laundry, laundry.  Does it ever end?
Have some to share?  Go Here!

Creativity at it's Best

Serious brought me her latest creation in preparation for the Advent Season....something she fashioned out of a Kleenex box, toilet paper rolls, construction paper, some Kings and of course tape.

She described each detail, the halo on Jesus' head, the star in the sky, Joseph with his staff, as well as the kings set off into the distance as they were making their way.

She then turned my attention to Our Lady.  She said, "Mom, do you see the little tears I made for her?"

I answered, "Yes, why is she crying?"

Serious, as always, had thought through her creative process, and answered me, "Well, you know, she's happy, but sad.  Only a little sad, Mom, so I only gave her one tear for each eye.  She kinda knows what might happen one day, right?  She kinda knows in her heart, so she's happy-sad."

I hugged her and agreed.  "Yes, honey.  You might be right on that.  Thanks for reminding me."

The Greatest Show on Earth

Remember our last adventure at the circus?  Well, this time around was quite a different experience, one which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  I tried multiple times to get a nice clear picture, but I tell you, with all the sights and sounds and fast paced nature of the show, a good shot was nearly least with our limited camera capabilities.

I sat by Serious this time again, and I always delight watching her and her expressions as she watches the fantastic displays before her.  It's almost just as fascinating as the show least for me it is.

Regularly throughout the show she'd turn to me and ask, "Is that real or fake?"  The tricks and treats of the show even had me answering a few times, "I'm not sure!"  Either way, it didn't really matter, the skill with which these performers produced these amazing demonstrations, of skill, strength or shear bravery, was something to behold. 

Today, before we left for school, Thinke…

Livin' Off The Land

Every now and again, I feel a certain kinship to the folk from "Little House on the Prairie".  Over the years I've experimented in all sorts of ways with gardening, canning, cooking, baking, sewing and all those other many little duties of a Stay At Home Mom. 

Yesterday and today, I had yet another first.  Having made pumpkin pies for years, I was excited to once again be coming to the pie season as Thanksgiving creeps up on us.  I would always use pumpkin from the can....always.  It makes good pie.  We all enjoy it.

However, having bought pie pumpkins this year, I decided to cook them up, puree them like baby food, and make my very first "made from scratch" pumpkin pie.  As I dug out the pulp and seeds, (saving the seeds for roasting), steamed the chunks of pumpkin, removed the skin, then pureed the pumpkin into a creamy yellow mix, I felt a sincere, "waste not, want not," attitude come over me.  Only the stringy pulp and skin was thrown out. 

I ma…

Small Successes Friday?

Yes, I know it's not Thursday.  I am late.  Yesterday was a crazy day and today I've got a little one, Entertainer home sick from school, and so any plans I had made today are cancelled anyhoo.  Let's just add one more kink into the works....So here we go, celebrate those small successes because they all add up to one great triumph!

1.) Madefinal payment on van.  That's no small success, but definitely worth mentioning!

2.) I reluctantly went and voted, after which felt proud to have done my civic duty.

3.)  Carved pumpkins, cooked yummy pumpkin seeds, made sour cream coffee cake.

4.)  Dressed kiddos up for All Saints:  St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. George, St. Queen Elisabeth of Hungary, and St. Therese.  Even Babe had his wings for St. Michael the ArchAngel.  Pray for us!

Have any to share?  Go here!

Debt and SAHM Contributions

Ugh.  Debt.  Who likes to talk about this stuff?  Certainly not me, and considering the majority of Americans are sitting in some kind of debt, (not to mention our government swimming in it) I guess, we have to talk about it.

Ordinarily I'd wait for Small Success Thursdays to mention a success of ours, yet, I thought, nope, this is just too big of a success to wait on.  A few days ago, we made our last van payment.  One more debt out the door.  It was a glorious feeling, and I kind of felt like we should have celebrated in some small way, however, I suppose that great feeling was reward enough, as we mark another day down in the family history book.  One more debt bites the dust....and it was a big one.

Doing our due diligence to save our pennies, we had accumulated enough to make this last payment and be finished with it.  The key now, push the money we were using for van payments, to now make payments on our credit card.

It feels never-ending.  If it isn't one thing to pay …

Civic Duty

Election Day:  The opportunity to once again let our voices be heard by those who mean to lead us.

I know, I know, sometimes, it feels like, it's only one vote, my vote.  Will it make a difference? 

Today, I planned to go vote with Babe while the kiddos were at school, and we just didn't get to it.  I managed to finish laundry and make a delicious coffee cake for HH, and I just didn't have the energy to load up and drive over.

Then HH came home.  Honestly, I can say, that I really do value him, even when he is kicking me out the door before the polls close.  I actually asked him, "What was the point, as the country seems so unhappy, that my one vote will probably not make the difference."

His answer was enough to brave the cold, dark roads to our local polling place and fill in those dark circles.  He said, "That's not the point.  It's our duty."

I thought about that word on my drive to vote, "DUTY."  What does that mean anyway.  Is i…

Pumpkin Fun