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Showing posts from May, 2010

Teamwork

I am not a sports fan. I watch and enjoy football at the request of HH and out of love for him. I have learned the rules, and over time, have grown to appreciate the game. Now, hockey on the other hand....hum, whole new set of rules.

The Chicago Blackhawks are playing for the Stanley Cup, they are in their second game, and they are playing as I type. They have won game one, and hope to also win game two tonight. While I'm not the best at following hockey, what I have gotten out of watching these games, besides the amount of aggressive testosterone, is the idea of teamwork. These guys work together.

It's not one man, one guy who wins for the team, they all must give their own personal best in order to make a significant difference. It's impressive to watch team members lean on each other, yes physically, but also in game play, emotionally, mentally.

One of the announcers made a casual statement that got me to thinking. He said, the goalie was relaxed and confident, th…

Memorial Day

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. We have, in the past, set flowers or a flag next to a loved one who served our country at our neighboring cemetery. I was always amazed at how many people we saw doing just that same thing, honoring our men and women who fought for our great nation. We always said a few prayers, laid our flag or flowers down and felt a sense of gratitude for not only these men and women, but what they fought for. They fought for us to be free. They fought for every American who enjoys our freedoms.
When we leave the cemetery I always feel like I should hang my head....after all, we are passing grave stone after grave stone: all men and women who are no longer here. But on Memorial Day, I don't hang my head, I stand a bit more straight. Does that make sense?

I feel a sense of pride in our country, a sense of privilege to live in this great nation, because it's made up of those individuals, who lived and died for it. It says a lot about the character of …

Spring Cleaning Small Successes Thursday

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that. To participate go here!
1.)  Scrubbed the deck chairs free from green, moldy, moss accumulation, while little ones played with the water hose.

2.)  Vacuumed out mini-van and threw out a multitude of Cheerios, church bulletins and sucker wrappers....while little ones rode bikes in the garage.

3.)  Swept and used hubbie's blower to clean out garage of winter's worth of leaves, dirt and dust.....while little ones used mini brooms to do their part.

4.)  Planted a few more pink flowers for Blessed Mother's flower garden, with Babe and Entertainer singing to her while we dug.

Wow, I'm shocked.  We had a productive week!

This is a Good Life

Have you ever had a moment, to look around you and mentally and physically smile, with the thought of "This is a Good Life!"? Have you ever taken a moment, to look around while things are at peace?
I had a surreal moment last night, with this exact....well what I can only call a gift of gratitude for "This Good Life." After the three little ones were in bed, Carefree and Thinker were still up, one reading, the other finishing up her Math assignment.

I had started seedlings in the house of basil and green beans and to my surprise most of them took right off, and now needed to be replanted in larger pots. I took my potting soil, my seedlings and my trusty Ipod with ear phones out to the deck. I asked HH to go over Math with Thinker, as my Math skills are at that 3rd grade level, and frankly, Thinker has surpassed me. I'm not proud to admit that, but it's true. I took several Math courses more than once in order to pass, yikes. I thank God for a husband …

Showing Love with Carrot Cake

A friend of mine shared a dilemma she and her husband were battling recently, which in turn caused more than a few friendly debates in our own home. The details have been changed, but the core issue remains the same...here's how it all played out:

Just prior to Wife's birthday, Husband asked what she would like for dinner as well as desert for her birthday celebration. Wife requested her favorite: a specific brand of ice cream found at the local grocery store. It was Lent, and for her sacrifice she reluctantly gave up her ice cream of choice for the Lenten season. She began to look forward to her birthday with new excitement knowing that her long-awaited ice cream would be her treat on her Feast Day.

Her birthday arrived, and Husband came home early from work to prepare for the birthday celebrations to come that evening. He invited her to run a few errands out of the house, so he could finish up a few things, and let it all be a good surprise.

She returned home to find that h…

Pentecost and The Promptings of The Spirit

Today we were reminded of the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles in the Upper Room.....we probably all know the story well, and so I am sure repeating it here isn't necessary.

What came to mind today, as I reflected on the bits of the account, was just how interesting it was that the Apostles began to speak in different tongues or languages as it were. Haven't we all found ourselves finding truth in the most unlikely of places, and from people you'd least expect. Someone says something at the exact moment that we needed either a challenge, clarification or simply understanding or love. The Holy Spirit, I think, works in this way.....we tend to hear things at the moment we are meant to for reasons only He knows for sure. Perhaps we need to learn a lesson, make a friend, see something in a new way, or countless other reasons.

I find myself in those moments often, whether it was something my own child said, or something that another school mom casually mentioned, or a…

Consistancy and Catholic Education

I thought this article was pretty interesting:  "When a Student Has Two Mommies".  I had heard bits of this story from the news, and being a parent of Catholic school children, I found myself in a conundrum. I consider the job of education to be primarily my husband's and my responsibility, as JPII had taught in Familiaris Consortio.  We have decided to add academic and spiritual education that a Catholic school brings. I wouldn't even see it as a partnership. I would say the school works for me. I allow them to educate my child in academics as well as Catholicism.  Therefore, when I might see something that seems to violate my values or the values I am teaching my kids, I talk with the teachers, principal, or pull my child from that particular thing.  That's my right.  I am the parent.  Thankfully, we live in a country that has choices. Some choose public. Some choose private. Some choose home schooling. This is the parent's choice. And that parent's cho…

Small Successes Thursday

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.  To participate go here!

1.)  Created interesting artwork with Entertainer as we tested every marker in the house, throwing out ones that had dried out.

2.)  Videotaped Mr. Carefree starring in mini-school singing play with squirming toddler on lap....not sure how that home video will look...

3.)  Went out for Girls Movie Night for much needed time with the girls, and break from 'end of school' stress.  Saw "Letters to Juliet"...cute, dragged a bit, but certainly worthy of 'Chick Flick Title'.

The Rumor Weed

Over the weekend we planted our vegetable garden and gave the children a nice sized plot for a flower garden. It was an all day project. We had neglected our lawn, front and back, for a while now, and it took most of the day to simply prepare the yard for planting.

It has been fun to watch the kids get old enough to work at some of these projects around the house. Mr. Carefree, typical boy who loves a challenging project, was given the task of uprooting some very large and out of control weeds. Those roots were deep! He sat so determined to conquer and I truly admired his grit and persistence, as he dug and dug, pulled with all his might, and kept telling the girls, "I'll get it. I've almost got it!"

The look on his face when I joined him in finally pulling that huge root out, was absolutely priceless. He conquered, he won over this beast of a challenge, and his face was not just happy, he was satisfied with himself, that his perseverance won out after all. We examin…

Mind of The Good Man Part Eight

This is the last and final posting on The Mind of The Good Man Series.  We end with Part Eight:  Intimacy.

Don’t mistake me here, intimacy comes in all forms. From simple hand-holding, to a kiss, to cuddling and so forth…..intimacy is huge in the Mind of the Good Man. Most women already know this. What is missing sometimes from our understanding, is that for men, intimacy is a basic need, like food, water and oxygen. For our Good Man, intimacy with his wife sends a message that the world is ok, life is good, all is well. And it’s needed for him, just as much as conversation is needed for women. Without it, he’s handicapped. No joke. No matter what situation, without intimacy, he finds himself limited, as if we cut off an oxygen supply and he’s only functioning at 80%. Now let weeks and weeks pass by with no intimacy, and he’s down functioning at a measly 50%. Let months go by and you get the drift. He slowly slips into another world. And let me be the first to tell you, any man funct…

Very Small Successes Thursday

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that. To participate go here!  (Sorry this 'here' link won't work, as F & F hasn't posted for today....yet.  However, it's been a tough week and I needed this small successes today, just to believe I have done something productive!)

1.)  Wiped off 3 inches of collected dust and grime off top of fridge, all the while thinking, 'do other moms do this'?

2.)  Didn't pull my hair out when hearing "Mommy...can I have...." for the hundredth time.

3.) Had re-connecter conversation with HH after weeks of being ships passing in the day & night.

Have any small successes you'd like to share?  I'd send you over to Faith and Family, but it's not up yet.  Post your successes here!

"Diary of Wimpy Kid" Part II - Let's Clear the Confusion

I have received some criticism in regards to a previous post on the Diary of the Wimpy Kid book series. Due to this, I began to doubt my first impression of this book series…perhaps I had jumped to conclusions, perhaps I didn’t read enough of the book to make an accurate assessment, perhaps I didn’t take the necessary steps to research other reviews on the book. Even though my HH had reviewed the book that day it came to our house, and agreed with my passionate opinion of it, I now see, that I need, myself, to be better armed having done my own research.

So I did my homework. I looked up many reviews on the Wimpy Kid Series, and found many parents who reviewed the book series to find them perfectly acceptable reading based on two consistent themes:
First, parents who noticed their child not fond of reading, became extremely interested in reading after beginning this Wimpy Kid series, and parents were overjoyed at this success. It was more important to them that the child was reading a…

My Grandmother, My Thinker, and Me

When I was born, my grandmother, as it was her tradition, sewed a quilt for me, beautifully pink and decorated with hand sewn embroidered animals to delight me as I’d drift off to sleep. Every since I can remember, I had fallen asleep with this quilt, and all its snuggling began to show it’s age. I didn’t care, it reminded me of her, her warmth, her gentleness, her understanding eyes, and bright smile.


At some point, reaching high school age, I put this quilt into storage. Clearly feeling my age, I said goodbye to another childhood item, and kept it safe for about ten years. Then I had my first child. I dug out this old quilt, quite tattered at this point, and gave it to my first born, a daughter, as God would have it, and perfectly suited for my grandmother’s quilt.
Thinker slept with it nightly, and it gradually began to lose its cotton filling, the animals were losing their thread, and ultimately, it was beginning to be too fragile for nighttime sleeping. My daughter had loved the b…

Mind of The Good Man Part Seven

We are nearing the end!  We have been looking into the Mind of the Good Man.  If you've missed anything, catch up with Acceptance: Part One. This is an absolute must.  We have to accept him.
Time: Two.  Finding a few minutes of the day might be work, but it's worth it!  Good Job and Thank You: Three, which are key qualities every man wants in his wife, namely praise and gratitude. Men Feel: Four, Yes, they do, they just might not show it as much as we do. Communication: Fivewhich is no surprise, but with understanding, communication isn't a puzzle to figure out. Respect: Six All men want to be the King of their Castle.....and that doesn't threaten us, or our position, it's just simply giving him what every person deserves, a little respect.
Part Seven is Guy Time

Just like our Girls’ Night Out, men also need ‘Guy Time’. Perhaps he has a hobby or a group of friends that he likes to hang out with. Allow that time. Men find great camaraderie with other men, they suppor…

Parenting and Social Networking

Mr. Anthony Orsini, Principal of Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey wrote this email to all parents of children attending his school.  Amen, brother, he's right on, folks, right on.

Dear BF Community:

When I arrived in Ridgewood, Facebook did not exist, YouTube did not exist, and MySpace was barely in existence. Formspring (one of the newest Internet scourges, a site meant simply to post cruel things about people anonymously) wasn’t even in someone’s mind.


In 2010, social networking sites have now become commonplace, and technology use by students is beyond prevalent.

It is time for every single member of the BF community to take a stand!

There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!

Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None.

5 of the last 8 parents who we have informed that their child was posting inappropriate th…

Random Friday Moment

Entertainer squinting, looking up at the light states:
"Mom, the lights are going on and off when I open and close my eyes.  Did you know that?"

Small Successes Thursday

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that. To participate go here!


1.) Mr. Carefree and the family celebrated his First Holy Communion.  He was dignified, poised and prepared. LOVE Catholic Schools and our Pastor for such excellent preparation.

2.) HH had 35th birthday with his favorites, Chicken Enchiladas and Cherry Cheesecake.  Bought him a new grill for the big day, left the old one for the trashman, however, passerbyers took it instead.  One man's trash is another man's treasure.

3.)  Threw out SIX broken big toys!  Love the extra room.

Pending Success:
4.)  Will sweep and mop today, as the calendar has finally slowed, and crusty food crumbs have accumulated beyond comprehension.

Mind of The Good Man Part Six

For the past few weeks we have been looking into the Mind of the Good Man. Catch up with Part One, Part Two, Three, Four and Part Five.  We continue now, with Part Six:R - E - S - P - E - C - T.....Find Out What It Means To Him! (Yes, singing Aretha right now)!




Respect
Every man wants to feel like the King of his castle. Disrespect is very damaging to the Mind of the Good Man, especially in front of others, and others means: your children, your parents, his parents, your siblings, his siblings…EVERYONE. If there are things that you need to discuss, you disagree with etc, then do it in private. Never subject your Good Man to your disapproval in front of others. Not only does it put those other people in conflict, and in an uncomfortable situation, it portrays your Good Man, as something worthy of disrespect. If tables were turned, how would you feel? He simply wants to be your hero and be treated as such in public.

Job Six: In front of others, especially your children, show him the love…

"You Are Captivating" A Review

I just finished reading "You Are Captivating  Celebrating a Mother's Heart" by Stasi Eldredge.  Let me sum up:

Short and sweet, perfect for the busy mother.
Easy reading, yet profound reflection into the realities, good and bad, of motherhood.
Few scripture lines to illustrate a point, however, the language of this booklet doesn't require a college education.  She uses simple language, down to earth and certainly relatable.

Somehow Stasi Eldredge sums up quite beautifully what we all think....she asks the questions that we ask, from the depths of our hearts, that we long to have the answers for:  Am I doing the best I can as mother? 

She answers them simply, gently and lovingly, with an acknowledgement of humility, as a creature of God. 

She captures beautifully the differences between men and women, and what we often wonder:  Am I captivating?  For men and boys:  Am I strong enough?

It's only 55 pages, each chapter is short but packed with great insight.  I re…

Proud Mama

Mr. Carefree received his First Communion today. His laid back nature often takes these special occasions in stride, without fanfare and all the excitement that goes into it all. He's easy going, happy-go lucky, perfectly content to see things pass him by without jumping up and down in and out of his seat.
For weeks, I've built up this day. We've talked about the importance of this day in many different ways, and I suppose I expected some grand display of excitement from the boy, which just wasn't in his personality to give.
And then today came. We got all ready this morning, and off to church we went. He smiled off and on and I watched him soak it all in. After the homily, he whispered in my ear, "Mom, I feel the butterflies."
Just before we stood to walk together up into the communion line, he turned to me and said with a huge smile, "It's almost time!" His excitement was truly evident at that moment.
All I could muster, through my welling up ey…