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Showing posts from February, 2011

Bartering Goods and Services

Ever done work for someone who pays you with pumpkin pies and homemade whipped cream?  I tell you, it's tough to not accept these types of payments with a smile and a grateful nod of understanding.

We've been there.  How many times, we were unable to properly re-imburse someone for their kindness, their work, their labor of love.  How often in our early years, that I said a 'thank you' with a batch of cookies, brownies or a homemade lasagna.

HH did some work for an acquaintance, and having the distinct feeling that the family was struggling, he refused to charge for the work done.  Though, having the impeccable manners that they had, they showed up at our door, with a fresh from the oven pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream to top it off.

Indeed, they could not have paid what HH would have charged.  His gifts are truly God-given talents, and his time and energy away from the family, frankly, well, is expensive.  And surely, he doesn't charge as much as the profes…

Birds of the Sky....They Trust

Today's Gospel has always been a challenge for me. 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,

what you will eat or drink,

or about your body, what you will wear.

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?


Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,

yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are not you more important than they?


...


So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’

or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’

All these things the pagans seek.

Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,

and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.

Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

A mother's work is never done.  Planning is always in front of her, tomorrow, next week, next month and so on.  She's consumed with the duties of her vocation, and to live like the birds, ahhh, what's that l…

Courage

Years ago, I heard such an interesting take on the Blessed Mother and her role in her Son's salvific mission.  The priest explained that Our Lady was a mother, just like us, and that she probably had concerns and worries just like we do.
He even illustrated the point, using the preaching on the Mount, and that Our Lady was probably nervous, even worried about all the details that a typical mother would.  Would He say this or that.....Would the people receive the message....Did anyone need something to eat or drink.   You can just imagine about a million thoughts that went through her head.
As a mother, we are concerned with so many of the details, and watching our children present themselves for others, well, it can make us crazy. 
Take yesterday's example:  Three of my children were in an all school Spelling Bee, having proven themselves worthy in successfully winning top three, in their respective grade levels.  All the children wanted to do their best, and each one studied, a…

Small Successes SALES

Gotta celebrate those little victories.  Sometimes, it keeps the sanity in check.
1.)  Love winter sales!  Found $90 winter coat (for Babe) with light jacket insert, for $15.00.  Can't.  Go. Wrong.

2.)  Found too cute Spring dresses for Entertainer and Serious, marked down, only need a good iron.

3.)  Found Carefree some new slippers, just like Dad, moccasins!

In Progress:

4.)  Looking for good deal on new backpacks.  Kiddos never make it to the end of the year with cheapos.

What I Call My Junk Food...Now

We, Moms, must have little ways of escape.  For some, the stress of a full day with little children brings us to the brink, and we must, I repeat, must have small coping strategies.  Perhaps it's taking a deep breath in another room, or saying a quick prayer in the middle of a rising temper.

Perhaps it's a treat of ice cream at night after the kiddos are in bed.  Maybe it's a girls night out every now and again, a bubble bath, a good book, a shopping spree, a Starbucks or....insert your own right here.

It could be so many little things, and trust me after 10 years, I've tried them all.  And they can work to some degree.  I used to indulge in junk food....give me that Jr. Whopper with cheese and bacon and the world was made right again.  Give me that Butter Pecan icecream or Snicker's Blizzard and all was well in my mind. I'd sit with a bag of Doritos and let me tell you, I wasn't done until the last cheese had been licked off my fingers.  But in the constan…

A Quiet House...

Sometimes, only sometimes, does a quiet house mean trouble is brewing. 

Sometimes, only sometimes, a quiet house means kiddos are brainstorming, imagining and creating.

A quiet Saturday can bring so much:  a time to work, a time to play, a time to reflect, a time to create. 

  

Little Guys and Big Things

Sometimes, Veggie Tales stick with you. Even when an 8 year old seems too old for Veggie Tale stories, and reluctantly watches a few, the messages do stick. 

Over the weekend, my Knight was to serve Mass.  For the past few Sundays he has been serving, and we keep reminding him of the various ways to show reverence while doing his duties.....a bow to the tabernacle, folding of the hands and so forth.

Sunday, I happened to be watching Knight lather his gel in his hair to ready for Mass, and I once again, reminded him to keep his reverent ways about him while serving.  He made a distinct face at me, and said, "Ugh, Mom, those other server boys are bigger than me.  I don't want to do something they aren't doing."

"I understand, but you could set the example, because you know, what you are doing is the right thing."

He shook his head, looked at himself in the mirror, and seeing his own image reflected, said again, "I'm the youngest one there, Mom."…

No 'I' in Team

Again, blogging has taken a back seat to other necessary commitments in the house.  I guess that's why I like it.  I get the break I need, and then can come back to it, when I have the time or the inspiration.  However, I do recognize that perhaps my regular readers are wondering what has happened to the Sahmatwork.

No, no one is sick.  Praise God.
Am still on top of the laundry.  Yep, that's a miracle.
Kids are involved in several Science and Art projects, and somehow we have stayed on top of them too.
I've got the baking bug, and I've got to step up the exercise routine to burn off the baked goods I have been producing as of late.

HH and I have been working more closely on a few projects, and over the years, working together on things has given us mixed results.  Opposites really do attract.  And sometimes, strong willed opposites make for interesting dynamics when a project needs to be done together.  We have major differences in our styles of accomplishing a task.�…

Duking It Out

Superbowl 45 is tonight!  And after some great football food, (meaty nachos with guacamole and a Sol!) we clicked the DVR to start the game.   Our oldest two stayed up just for a little while to see them do a little battle, however, I was particularly struck, and still am, actually, at the fight in these men.  Sometimes, when we have watched football together, I was disappointed to see one team simply not wanting it bad enough, or so it seemed by their lack of aggression, their lack of energy and so forth. 
Tonight, both teams are eager, willing and going for it.  Now our team didn't make the Superbowl, we came close, but alas, the Chicago Bears didn't pull it off.  While, any true Bears fan would never root for the Pack, I can appreciate the fight in them.  Though, tonight, I root all the way for the Steelers. 
Ya, know, I don't want to make this too much of a stretch, however, it DID remind me of something.....perhaps my Sol has me digging deeper than ordinarily. 
I appr…

Small Successes Thursday - All Blizzard

Yes, all those little triumphs do add up....and they make for one GREAT success!
1.)  Drove all morning to find Science experiment supplies for daughter's Science Fair, just before snow storm of the decade.  Finally had success, however unnecessary as the next three days:  School was closed.
2.)  Remained peaceful during 12 hours loss of electricity and cold home due to the Great Blizzard.
3.)  Played puzzles, read books and spent some lazy afternoons with my kiddos.  In Progress:
4.)  Getting back to my exercise routine in the mornings, which I NEED, after eating said breads, opps, said laziness!  Snow days cramp my schedule!
Have some to share?  Go here!

The Blizzard

The Great Blizzard of 2011

What a fantastic show of nature's power and might!

We did lose power for about 12 hours overnight during the blizzard.  We lit a fire in the fireplace, and as all the children were snug in their bed, we laughed at the absurdity that is electricity.  How we so depend on it! With the fire at my back I looked at the rest of the house, dark and dropping degree points every few minutes.  It was getting chilly quick with no blowing heat raging through the home. 

It was like a scene out of a movie, only one little area of light piercing the void that is darkness.  Periodically we'd see lightening and hear thunder during the blizzard, and it was surreal.  The whole sky would light up, and for a brief fraction of a second you'd see the force and strength of the wind and snow.  Snow was blowing sideways and drifting at unbelievable rates of speed.  It was a sight for the eyes and ears!  Wind howled through the tiniest of cracks and crevices in our home...…

The Perfect Storm

A perfect storm takes many forms.  It can be the dynamics in the home, where peace eludes us until finally an explosion occurs.  It can be actual weather, as cold fronts meet warm fronts, or levels of moisture finally meet creating massive collisions of wind, rain, ice or snow.  The Perfect Storm was actually a movie a while back featuring Mark Wahlburg and George Clooney, that details a fisherman's boat filled with fishermen heading towards a massive hurricane on the seas.

For a mother, A Perfect Storm has many meanings.  Yesterday, I found myself smack in the middle of such a debacle and I was ready to throw in the towel. 

Silently a storm was brewing.  Subtle, inconsequential fronts were moving, and I admit, I didn't see it coming.  It's Catholic Schools week, and with the many activities planned, I thought we were prepared.  However, it's not unheard of to have a child or a couple of children neglect to mention that something major was due the very next day, which…