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Showing posts from 2009

A great children's Christmas CD

I love, love, love, the Classical Kids Collection of CDs. We only own one, Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery, but have gotten others from the library and my boys have enjoyed them all. The stories are interesting and they even weave in factual information about the composer. I use these to supplement my art/music curriculum.

Well, this past week, I went to the library and got a Classical Kids Christmas, and it does not disappoint. It is beautifully done, has some of my most favorite classical music and Christmas music, and, most importantly, my boys love it! They have listened to it every day since we picked it up from the library.

This is one CD that I think I will buy!

Advent Happenings

I am very behind in posting this. Advent has been flying by. This year I tried my best to be crafty, but it has totally backfired. I had planned on making Jesse Tree Ornaments using felt, to be placed on our Christmas tree, but it did not work out at all! Next yearI think I will go back to the Jesse Tree idea I used last year.

Other than that, our Advent activities have been very simple. We have continued to pray a decade of the rosary every morning. And after the rosary, the boys each get to choose one book from our book basket. The book basket is stocked with recommended on the Serendipity blog. At night, we light the Advent wreath and pray from The Season of Light by Jay Cormier.

Now that have entered the O Antiphons, I have attempted the felt ornaments again. We will finish these for the O Antiphons and then I think I should retire my hot glue gun permanently! We are also doing some of the O Antiphon activities mentioned on Waltzing Matilda. The boys are anxiously waiting to decora…

My First Half Marathon

Oh, I like typing that title! I had to look it up, but it was at the end of September that I decided to run in a half marathon before the end of 2009. And, after the Metric marathon that I registered for was cancelled, due to weather, I was not sure if I would achieve this goal or not.

The week before the race flew by. I was not sure how to approach running and exercisingthat week. I had tapered the week before and needed to taper again in case I ran in the half marathon, but I did not want to lose another whole week of training. So, I took it easy, but not as easy as the week before. I watched the weather for Fredericksburg, VA closely. Early in the week, theforecast said snow on Saturday and rain on Sunday. Uh,oh . . . I thought . . . another repeat of the weekend before. By mid week, the forecast changed to no snow, just rain on Sunday. I could handle rain. Thursday and Friday, it did not look hopeful. The rain had changed to freezing rain! I was sure that the race would b…

My Birthday Weekend

This past Saturday, was my birthday. I had such a great weekend. Saturday morning, J had CCD, so my hubby took K with him to drop off J. When they all arrived home, they brought home a dozen roses, a birthday balloon (which the boys had picked out!), Chick-fil-a breakfast (I love their Chicken biscuit sandwich) and Dunkin Donuts coffee (my favorite coffee). I only drink decaf coffee now and really wanted to have regular coffee on my birthday, so this was a treat! The roses were beautiful and I was so happy to get them especially since my birthday is on the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. After we had finished eating, we packed up and headed out to Fredericksburg, VA. I was planning on running a half marathon the next day there, and we decided to make it a weekend away for the whole family. After we got there, we checked into the hotel, relaxed a bit and then headed to the vigil mass. For dinner, we went to Smokey Bones . . . this was the boy's choice. I was interested…

Small Successes

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. We have 40+ year old metal kitchen cabinets. Greasy little hand smudges show up on them perfectly! So, this week I gave them an incredible scrub down. I even took the handles off and scrubbed those down too!

2. I took the boys down to the National Archives and the Museum of American History on Tuesday. My husband's office was closed that day because it was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, but he still had a meeting downtown. So, while he was at his meeting, we enjoyed the museums. J loves American History and was so excited to see the real Declaration of Independence!

3. I finally ordered our Christmas cards!

What are your small successes? Share them at Faith and Family,Live!

Plan B

About two months ago, I wrote this post, where I proclaimed to the few people that read my blog that I was going to run a metric marathon (16.2 miles). Well, that race was this weekend.

Going into last week, I was hopeful, but nervous. I had a great 10 mile long run on Saturday, with the best time I have ever had in my training runs. I was feeling good. The thought of running the 16 miles in just a few shorts days made me gulp a few times, but overall I was optimistic. I had trained hard. Logged a lot of miles. I would be fine.

As last week progressed, I began to watch the weather reports. Snow on Saturday. Not a big deal. The race was on Sunday and Sunday was supposed to be clear and sunny. The snow from Saturday would be long gone before the race would begin (or so I thought). As we got closer to the weekend, the amount of snow expected for Saturday increased. OK, I was a little worried, but did not think it would affect the race.

Saturday came. It started raining around 8:…

You know you have boys when . . .

Your Advent wreath, meant for prayer, turns into camouflage for green army men getting ready to attack an unsuspecting group of red army men!

A Great Made in the USA Blog

Since I have not had much time to blog lately, the first posts to "not be written" are my made in the USA posts. I have lists of products I have used that I want to write reviews on, and those will eventually come, but at a much slower pace than I originally wanted. I really do not know how moms with review and giveaway blogs do it!

In the meantime, I want to point you all to a great Made in the USA blog, called Made in the USA. There are tons of links on the sidebar to made in the USA products and there are regular made in the USA giveaways. Go check it out!

Chocolate Pudding Fudge Cake

This is the cake I made for my husband's birthday. I have made it before and just loved it. The original recipe came from All and the photo came from there as well. I changed the recipe slightly from the original. I do NOT add chocolate chips to the cake batter. The cake is very rich, and I think would be too rich if I added another 2 cups of chocolate chips. Also, I have halved the original recipe for the chocolate sauce for the same reason I do not add the chocolate chips to the batter. I am not a huge fan of using boxed cake mixes, so I am going to try making this cake with a recipe I have for a dry cake mix. Check out the original recipe; there are a lot of good suggestions in the comments on changing the cake a bit . . . I think I may try the Kahlua one next!

Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake
1 Pkg (18.25 oz) devil's food cake mix
1 pkg (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 C sour cream
1 C milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C water
4 eggs

Chocolate sauce
3 TBS butter

Simple Woman's Daybook- Advent Evening Edition

Outside my window...
Warmer than expected and rainy . . . I wish it were not rainy.

I am thinking...
That I am beginning to like daybooking at night!

I am thankful for...
The season of Advent. I love Advent and preparing for Christ's birth.

I am wearing...
Dark gray yoga pants, a dark gray shirt and a light blue and gray fleece vest.

I praying...
For a special intention for friends of ours.

I am going...
To shout down the computer and enjoy some time with my hubby after I am done with this post.

I am reading...

Grace Cafe by Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle

I am hoping...

For a prayerful Advent.

From the learning rooms...

School is going well. J seems to be getting into a good groove. We are in Ancient Babylonia right now. We also have our book basket stocked with some amazing Advent books, thanks to our local library and the woman at Serendipity.

From the kitchen...
Yummy chicken fajitas!

Around the house...
The boys are in bed. Hubby is talking with the boys. The rest is quiet.

One of my favorite th…

Cold Turkey 10K Report

This weekend I ran in a local race, called the Cold Turkey 10K. I signed up for this race shortly after my last 10K. After my last experience, I knew I had a lot to learn about running in a race. I wanted to run in another 10K before the 26.2K so I could work on my pacing and overall running.

Earlier in the week, I woke up with a bad pain in my leg. I have had problems with my left leg, on and off, for a few weeks now, and Wednesday my calf tightened up horribly. I tried to run, thinking that would help, but I had to stop after two miles. For the rest of the day, I was hobbling around. By Friday, it was better, but not 100%, so I was already mentally planning on skipping the race. Saturday, I felt pretty good, but did not think it would be wise for me to run in the 10K. I did not want to injure my leg any further. So Saturday night, I laid out all of my clothes and got ready as if I would run the race. The race was only 20 min away, and I had paid the $20, so I figured at leas…

You Rock, Mom!

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I finally went for my yearly physical (that I have not had in two years) this past Monday. I got my results today and my cholesterol is 44 points LOWER than it was the last time I had it checked! I guess all that exercising and eating right has paid off!

2. The boys and I have prayed a decade of the rosary for priests every morning before starting school. We used to start every school day with prayer, but we had to stop because J would be resistant about going back into the kitchen to do his school work, so we had stopped our prayer time and went right from breakfast to school. This week the boys prayed so well and there was no complaining about school . . . we will continue to roll with it as long as it works.

3. I finally made the homemade vanilla extract mentioned at Faith and Family, Live! I bought the vanilla beans a while ago, but we do not frequent liquor stores, nor did I want to take all 3 kids into the liquor store when I bought a …

Simple Woman's Daybook - The Evening Edition

Outside my window...
It was a beautiful day today! It was warm and sunny. Now, all is dark.

I am thinking...
About the metric marathon coming up in a few weeks. I am NERVOUS!!

I am thankful for...
That my hubby finally got a day off. It was so nice to have him home today.
I am also thankful for our pastor. He gave a great homily yesterday. I am thankful he stands up for the Truth and preaches it too!

I am wearing...
Workout clothes . . . just got back from a run/walk with the boys.

I praying...
For God's will to be done in our lives.

I am going...
To go to bed soon after I am done with this.

I am reading...
Nothing right now . . . I had been reading books about training for a marathon and half-marathon, but just took all those back to the library. Now I am in need of a good novel.

I am hoping...
To get back into my normal schedule again. Last week I got into a bad habit of getting up later than I usually do. That meant that I did not workout until after dinner and my prayer time did not ha…

Oh, the Places Baby A Will Go . . .

I really cannot leave him alone for a minute. He was so quiet I was wondering where he was. I walk past the bathroom, and this is what I saw . .

He make break his leg trying to get out of the sink, but at least he will have clean teeth!

Then, the next day, I go into the kitchen, and, you guessed it . . .

He is crawling on the kitchen table!

Daily Mass Anyone?

I, in what seems like another life, used to LOVE to go to daily mass. My day did not seem complete unless I went.

And then I had kids.

When J was a baby, we lived within a 5 minute walk of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There were several masses there a day, so I was able to work around J's nap schedule and we would head to daily Mass most days. But, as the years passed and the number of children increased, I went to daily mass less and less. Eating, naps, and children unable to sit still made it harder and harder to go. I had made attempts to return especially, during Lent. I would take the boys twice a week to daily mass. That usually lasted until the third week of Lent. I remember last Lent struggling with the boys during mass and, after mass, I looked at a friend of mine and I said, "I now remember why we do not do this much." It was NOT a prayerful experience. I know that when I show up to mass, the Grace is there, but if I…

Sous Chef

It seems as if I have acquired a sous chef in my kitchen. Baby A loves pots and pans. It usually starts even before he eats breakfast. He will crawl right over to the cupboard where the pots and pans are kept, open it, point and make his cute little yell until I pull ALL of the pots and pans out for him. Then he will "ask" for a spatula or large spoon. This keeps him busy for hours (yes, hours!). If he happens to get a piece of food while he is on the floor, he will put it in a pan and pretend to "cook" it like a pancake, flipping it frequently.

The pots and pans stay strewn about the kitchen until his nap time and then come out again after A wakes up. The other day I got so tired of them being out, that, while all of the boys were playing outside, I put the pots and pans away. Well, that little chef, must have heard the clanging of pots, because he came crawling in from the deck and "yelled" until all the pots were in their correct place, all ove…

Little by little

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I finally made doctor's appointments for my husband and I. We have been looking for a new primary care physician and have not had physicals for a while. Today, I called our new doctor and made appointments!

2. I have played tackle games with the boys most days this week. Even Baby A joins in! They LOVE to tackle. No tea parties going on here!

3. I registered for the Columbia Metric Marathon (26.2K/16.2 miles). It is December 6th . . . there is no getting out of it now!

What are your successes? Share them at Faith and Family Live!

Run for Vocations

Warning, really long post!

Yesterday, I ran in the Marine Corps 10K as a part of the Run for Vocations team for the Archdiocese of Washington. This was my first real race in, well, it was my first real race. I was nervous to run in it. I am not sure why. I had been running well over 6 miles for a while, but to actually run 6.2 miles in a race was a little different. A few days before, I realized that this was a RACE. You know, where you actually try to run faster than you normally do. Where you "leave it all out on the course." For some reason, I had deluded myself that a nice easy pace would be fine, that I would be fine with my finish if I ran how I normally do. Then it hit me, "Katie, you are running a race." I started worrying about times. How fast could I really run? Could I finish in my goal time?The nerves set in.

The day before the race, we went, as a family, to the Marine Corps Marathon Expo. I just wanted to see what it was like. The, we headed to…

It all adds up . . .

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I got a few of the things done that I mentioned in this post. All of the fall clothes has been neatly put away. I bought, and hung curtains in two rooms; the boy's room and my and my hubby's bedroom. The new curtains are heavier and darker. The boys are now sleeping up to a hour longer than before. They are no longer rising with the sun. Mission accomplished! And, I got to check another one off that list. I bought a camera. It is finally here and I will be able to actually post photos soon!

2. I took the boys to Historic St Mary's City last Friday. It was cold and rainy and we almost did not go. But, we did. I was prepared with coats, hooded sweatshirts, and changes of clothes for all (but myself!). We had a great time. And, because the weather was so yucky, less than half of the people that signed up for the home school day actually came. So, we were able to see and experience most things without a crowd. Our old …



26.2 K

26.2 miles

A metric marathon. A MARATHON. In a post I wrote, what seems like ages ago, I shared that one of my dreams was to run a marathon. At the time I wrote that I had no intentions of actually running a marathon anytime in the near future. But here I am, training for a metric marathon (16.2 miles) and praying about running a MARATHON in March.

After I got home from the gym this morning, I was talking to my husband and trying to figure out when to get my long run in this weekend. He looked at me.

"When did this start? The running thing? When did it start exactly?"

Now, my husband could probably guess around when, but I knew the exact moment.

Our August vacation in Cape Cod. I was a few months into my Transformation Challenge. I was working out regularly. I did high intensity cardio on the treadmill, and ran outside a few times, but never ran more than three miles. And the times I did run outside, they were pretty pathetic. Each run I did do, I battle…

Simple Woman's Daybook - The Evening Edition

Outside my window...
The sun has set, all is dark. Cool air has set in. I love Fall!

I am thinking...Gosh, it has been a loooong time since I have "daybooked".

I am thankful for...
A fun day with my family.

I am wearing...
A black tank top with a cream cardigan and jeans.

I am creating...
Well, there are lots of things I WANT to create, but have not started yet. I need to get the rocking chair cushions re-covered. I have the fabric cut and pinned . . . just need to sit down in front of the sewing machine for a half and hour and they will be done. After that is done, I really want to knit a blanket.

I am going...
To finish cleaning the kitchen, read a little and go to bed after I am done writing!

I am reading...
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

I am hoping...
That we do not get a frost too soon. I still have watermelon on the vine that are not quite done yet!

On my mind...
Running . . . more on that subject if I ever get to the post I have planned.

From the learning rooms...
Busy week this…

So few of these days

I have not had much time for blogging lately. And I am OK with that. I am not ready to stop blogging completely. So, for now, I will write when I can. Since the start of school, we have been busy and I do not find that I have much time to sit at the computer and write anymore. School activities take priority. I have so many things I want to write. So many made in the USA products I want to tell you about. So many drafts of posts in my post box with titles, but no text . . . just waiting for a few spare moments.

Home projects loom too and are taking time. Our dryer broke, so we bought a new one that is too much for our 40 year old fuse box to handle and the fuse shuts off every few minutes while the dryer is on. (Anyone know a good electrician?) Our kitchen floor looks like it has seen MANY battles (OK, it has!), and needs to be replaced. Our camera decided to take its last photo and will not even turn on any more. So I have been in search of a good, quality camera that w…

Small But Significant

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. After months, well, after almost 18 months, I finally went to a physical therapist this week. Since my last c-section, I have had breathing trouble and pain near the incision. After talking to my BIL, who is a doctor, he told me it was probably due to my c-section. He recommended a specific type of physical therapist. I met with her on Monday. She said that my breathing trouble and pain is probably caused by scar tissue. I have another appoint next week.

2. I started collecting donations for the Run for Vocations that is in a few weeks. Anyone want to make a donation? Please email me!

3. The Indian fascination that I mentioned in last week's Small Successescontinues in our house. Ever since we visited Jamestown Settlement, J has been asking me, on a frequent basis, to help him make an Indian Village and Fort. So, this week J and I went to the craft store and bought the necessary materials. We have most of the Indian Village fini…

Way to Go, Mom!

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I ran in my first 5K this weekend. And, much to my surprise, I won my age category! I am NOT a fast runner, and I was not the only woman running, so this was a surprise!

2. I have been on a strange cleaning kick this week. I have washed curtains, de-cluttered and organized a linen closet and washed down the kitchen ceiling fan.

3. My boys have been transformed into little Indians. Since our trip to Jamestown Settlement, J has been wanting an Indian "outfit". Well, after a few cuts of fabric, he and K have makeshift Indian "shirts". A neighbor gave us an old tepee frame, so I dug it out and put a sheet over it, so they have a tepee. For the last several days, they have been running around, pretending to be Indians. They have been shooting at anything that moves and making enough noise to be heard for blocks. I wonder what the neighbors are thinking!

What are your small successes? Share them at Faith and Family, Live!

A Saint in the Making

Today the boys and I were in the car. We were driving along and K, my three year old, proclaims "I saw Jesus in his car!" I laughed a little and told K it was probably not Jesus. J then says, "Well, K, Jesus often appeared to the saints while they were alive. It could have been Jesus." St. K? We will see . .

The Beauty of Homeschooling

I thought it would be good to follow up my last post, which expressed my frustrations of teaching my son to read, with a positive one about homeschooling.

I am hoping that all homeschooling moms wonder what they are doing and question the decision to homeschool . . . I do. I worry about that too, because I only started homeschooling last year and my son is only a first grader!

In the first few weeks of this year, I have had a "crisis of faith" so to speak concerninghomeshooling. I am a scheduler and one of the reasons I chose the curriculum I did becauseeverything is laid out . . . you can choose a four or five day school week and it tells you what to do each day all the way from week one to week thirty-six. But, if we do not stay on track, I find myself getting stressed. I think about the fact that we are behind and I wonder how we will catch up.

Last week a providential meeting occurred that helped to change my attitude a bit. I took the boys on a field trip to the Science M…

Why does the English language have to be so confusing?

We are done with school today and the boys are watching Word World. They love it. Today, World World is all about the sound that two o's make together as in school or roof. (Duck, Monkey and Dog are building a roof so they do not get wet in the rain). Anyways, they just finished singing a catchy song to teach the "oo" sound.

My first thought was, yeah that is great, until my son has to read LOOK or BOOK. Since J is in first grade, we are tackling more and more words, word sounds and vowel combinations. We have left cat, hat, set, and met behind and are coming to the complexity of the English language. I find it so hard to teach. We were reading The Cat in the Hat last week and J came across the word LOOK (which he pronounced as LUKE). I told him that sometimes "oo" does not make the same sound as it does as in school or roof. Sometimes there are irregular words in the English language (He still has a hard time remembering that WAS is WAS and not WAZ). …

Coming to Terms

It usually only happens about once a year. For about a week, once a year, I once again try to come to terms that with the fact I will never have a baby the "normal way". I have had three c-sections, and now, I really have no choice in the matter. If I have any more children, I will have another c-section. And, over six years after I had my first c-section, I still mourn the loss of not being able to have a child naturally.

It usually only happens when I hear of someone who just had a baby who had a natural delivery without any complications or when I have a friend who had to have a c-section. This past week, my friend Sam had to have a c-section. After a few emails abut her being in labor and having some complications, I was up most of that night praying for her. "Lord, please help there to be no serious complications. Lord, please do let this end in a c-section if necessary." But it did. So, c-sections have been in the forefront of my mind since Monday. …