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Showing posts from June, 2009

Taking a Break from Blogging

I will be taking a few days off from blogging. I need to spend some time moving stuff around on my blog and cleaning it up a bit for my Made in the USA features (starting this weekend!). So, unless I have time, I will not be posting for the next few days.

But, in the mean time, I want to leave you with a link to a great and thoughtful post about Mode of Dress at Building Cathedrals. This has been on my mind a lot lately since I am reading Dressing with Dignity by Collen Hammond.

Enjoy!

Simple Woman's Daybook - June 29, 2009

From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...

The sun is shining. It is not too hot . . . I love it!

I am thinking...
About the fact that I am beginning my Made in the USA feature on my blog this weekend. I am planning it all out in my mind and on paper. And I am just offering it to God since I feel that He is the one that put it on my heart.

I am thankful for...
My boys. They are growing up so fast. I love them!

From the learning rooms...
Lots of summer reading.

From the kitchen...
I have been good at planning dinner, but never god at planning breakfast. After recognizing how just eating cereal in the AM affects my emotions, and reading this post on homeschooling boys, I have started to plan breakfasts. We are limiting cereal and increasing our protein intake in the AM.

I am wearing...
Shorts, black t-shirt and flip flops.

I am creating...
Hopefully, more order in my home!

I am going...
To pick J up from Vacation Bible School soon!

I am reading . . .
I cannot believe it, but I am back…

Shine

Today while working out I was listening to music. In order to keep up the pace on the Nordic Track, I have to listen to really up beat music (some would call it edgy or hard). I am one of those people that needs an electric treadmill that makes you go fast, but since I do not have one, I have to pump loud, fast music into my ears.

When I get to the "high point" in my workout, I start listening to a song by Daughtry called, There and Back Again.




One part of that song really stood out for me today:

Shine
Here's Your Moment to Shine

Then I started to think about the scripture:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
Matthew 5:16

So, yes, while pounding away on the Nordic Track, I started to pray, "God, what are you trying to tell me?"

SHINE

What does it mean?

It means living life to its fullest. God has placed me in certain roles, a certain community (and even blog!), for a reason. It mea…

Way to go, Mom!

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. The "Great Room Change" is pretty much complete. All rooms are in order, baby A is already sleeping more (just not at night ;-) ), and most seem to be happy with the new arrangements. I still need to move the closets, but this is about what I have done, not what I still need to do, right?

2. I got the Review and Giveaway up for the My Mass Kit. Please go and leave a comment to try to win it!

3. I have been fairly successful at having the house clean for when my hubby gets home. I like to have the house in order when he gets home from work. I heard that in a talk once and thought it was a good idea. This week, with changing the rooms and going to the pool, it has been hard, but I have done it.

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

Happy Birthday J!!

Happy Birthday my dear J! It is so hard to believe you are 6 today. It seems like just yesterday, you were this smiley little baby.




You are so much fun to be with. You are smart and so sweet. I love your shy little ways.

















You are a great big brother to both K and A.



















You are such a sweet, sincere boy. You love God and are growing in your faith everyday.

I feel so honored to be your Mom and to get to home school you and watch you grow and learn!

Happy Birthday!

Wee Believers My Mass Kit Review

This Giveaway is Temporarily CLOSED. Look for upcoming details.

I love my Catholic faith. And, as a mom of three boys, my heart's desire is to instill in my boys a love for Jesus and a love for the Catholic Church. I am continually searching for fun ways to engage the boys so that they can pick up the Faith. That was why I was so excited to learn of the Wee Believers My Mass Kit. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to review the My Mass Kit.

Wee Believers was started by Steve and Joni Abdalla who wanted to develop a line of quality toys that teach the Faith in a fun and creative way. The My Mass Kit is the first of several products that Wee Believers is launching. This is a great company and I highly recommend you watch this interview on This is the Day at Catholic TV to learn more about their mission and up coming products.

The My Mass Kit comes in a nylon carrying case that allows for easy storage and travel. The Kits consists of 12 pieces: a Chalice, Paten, Crucif…

Simple Woman's Daybook - June 22, 2009

From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...

The sun is shining. There is a light breeze. It is a perfect day!

I am thinking...
I need to buy new curtains for the boy's room . . . they are waking up with the sun! (Too early for me!)

I am thankful for...
For a nice weekend, my wonderful husband and my parents.

From the learning rooms...
J continues to work on his reading. Grandma and Grandpa gave him books for his birthday, so he has been pouring over those all morning!

From the kitchen...
Leftovers . . . .our fridge needs to get cleaned out!

I am wearing...
Still in my workout clothes!

I am creating...
A post of a review and giveaway of the Wee Believers My Mass Kit. Hopefully, I will have it up later today!

I am going...
To take a shower after I am done with this post.

I am reading . . .
I did not get very far with Twilight . . . I picked up Mansfield Park instead!

I am hoping...
To get a lot done today.

I am praying . . .
For peace and patience in my life.

I am hearing...
Mozart

Around …

Way to go, Mom!

Here are my Small Successes for the week:

1. The "Great Room Change" is underway. We are moving bedrooms. My hubby and I had the big bedroom upstairs (with baby A), the boys were in the smallest room upstairs, and the boy's toys were downstairs in one of the bedrooms. My hubby and I are now downstairs (K, this AM, looked at us and said "Why were you sleeping in the playroom?"). The boys are in transition to the big bedroom upstairs (where their toys will be as well). A will be in the "spare room" upstairs until he starts sleeping through the night. There are several reasons why we are doing this. First, A needs to be out of our room. As much as I love seeing the little boy sleep, I have realized that I really need to get a good night sleep. And, the only way I think that will happen is if Baby A is not in our room. Second, I am hoping that this will help in effectively using all the space in our house. I sometimes feel that our house is so …

Thank you Catholic Vote!

This is a new initiative started by Catholicvote.org. I love the idea!. To read more about "Closed on Sundays" go here.


Here is a copy of an email they sent to their readers:
Dear CatholicVote.org Member,Please don’t visit CatholicVote.org this Sunday. Yes, you read that correctly. This Sunday, and every Sunday in fact, you will not be able to interact on our website. That’s because starting this weekend CatholicVote.org will be closed on Sundays. You won’t be able to watch our videos, read our blog, or chat in our forums. In fact, you won’t even be able to donate to CatholicVote.org.Every Sunday our website will display this simple message: “Sorry, we’re closed on Sunday. Go to Church.Read a book.Take a walk.Call a friend.Celebrate life.See you tomorrow…”For a glimpse of our Sunday page – click here.In our hectic world, we at CatholicVote.org want to tell the world that Sunday is not simply just another day. As the Bible states: “The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest…

Wordless Wednesday - Silly A

Silly A

To see more Wordless Wednesday Posts, visit Go, Graham Go!

A Dog and His Boy

We have a dog. Cooper. If you have seen the movie, or read the book, Marley and Me, you have "met" our dog. Except Cooper is a Golden Retriever. A large Golden Retriever. He eats any toys left on the floor, but leaves scraps that fell from the dinner table. He will chew on the boys' arms to play. And he can knock K and J over in a moment. The boys love him, but do not like playing with him. Nor do they really like him around when they are playing. K's favorite saying, in reference to Copper, is "Put Cooper in his crate!"

But Copper has found a new friend in our house. Baby A. Baby A does not seem to be intimidated by Copper's size, his reputation, or even his teeth. I think Baby A really likes Cooper. A has been crawling up to Cooper to touch his feet and grab his ears whenever Cooper is laying on the floor.


Here A is poking Cooper in the eye!




Here A is sharing a toy with Cooper (and Copper did not even eat it!!).



Holding hands (Paws? Hand and P…

Simple Woman's Daybook - June 15, 2009

From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...

The sun is shining. There is a light breeze. It is not too hot. Really, a beautiful day.

I am thinking...
What home schooling curriculum should I get for next year?

I am thankful for...
My portfolio review is over . . . I feel like summer can finally begin.

From the learning rooms...
Learning? Learning occurs here? I thought the only things that happened in this house were wrestling, light saber battles and guns fights!

From the kitchen...
Barbecue Chicken Pita Pizzas and Buffalo Chicken Pita Pizzas

I am wearing...
Shorts, a tank top and denim short sleeve shirt.

I am creating...
A new cover for our rocking chair. It is worn out and in need of a new look.

I am going...
To take the kids to the pool as soon as I am done.

I am reading . . .
I have caved to pop culture . . . . I am reading Twilight!

I am hoping...
My vegetables continue to grow well.

I am praying . . .
That I listen to God a little better.

I am hearing...
The boys cleaning furiously …

Tennis Anyone?

This is a reprint of a post I wrote last summer. I had started a blog about marriage, but did not continue with it because I could not keep up with posting.

Marriage can be a cause of growth when you let it. Your spouse can help you grow in holiness and as a person, if you allow him/her to do so.

My spouse is no different. From the time I first met Pete, he has helped me to grow tremendously and I love him for it. I have become a better person because he is in my life. Sometimes I have not enjoyed his "encouragement" (OK ,there have been times I have do right hated it), but it has helped me to grow more into the woman that God is calling me to be. Who ever said growth was painless???

Last night was no different. First, I have to admit, I LOVE tennis. Ever since I was a girl, I have loved playing tennis. I wanted to play tennis in high school, but a job prevented me from doing so. I would read tennis magazines, I was "up" on the latest tennis rackets and the newest str…

A Homeschool Family

I am not feeling well today, so I do not have the energy to finish the few posts I am working on. So, to entertain you all, here is a great Tim Hawkins video. Enjoy!

Way to Go, Mom!

Well, it seems that we have successfully kept the flu bug. that is going around, at bay . . . I hope I am not stating that too soon!

Anyways, on to my real small successes . . .

1. I am committed. Last night I registered for the Marine Corps Marathon 10K. This is my first step in working myself toward a Marathon. The race is in October and I am fundraising with the Run for Vocations group that raises money for the seminarians in the Archdiocese.

2. I got our new curtain rod hung on the large living room window. Our old, cheap, flimsy one had been bent in two places by our sons hanging and grabbing onto the curtains. The whole thing looked like it was about to fall off. It needed to go.

3. I went to the parish picnic by myself with the boys. This is a big accomplishment for me because my hubby had to work. I was not worried about being able to handle the boys, in public, by myself. But, I am an introvert by nature and I really do not like to go to parties, large events by myself,…

Worldless Wednesday

For some reason, I have been thinking about our last trip to Williamsburg. This is one of my favorite photos of J. He is such a crazy, active boy who is more often goofy, than not. But he transforms when we go to Colonial Williamsburg. He loves to wear his tricorn hat, carry his gun and wear his "soldier coat." When the fife and rum band begins to play, he is all seriousness. He marches dutifully behind them until they disband. I love my little solider.

Got to Go Graham, Go! to see other posts.

Sleepy Wrap Review

Thanks to Sleepy Wrap, I am a convert . . .

A wrap convert, that is . . .



When my third son, who is now 1 year old, was just a baby, I was able to try a different wrap. I will be honest, it was intimidating. I could not get my baby situated correctly and the fabric did not give. With that experience, I figured I was not a "wrap mama".

Until now.

I recently have had the pleasure to try the brand new, Organic Sleepy Wrap. Like other wraps, it is one long piece of fabric. But there are many features that make it so unique. The first thing I noticed was the tapered ends. These made it much easier to tie. Also, the fabric is so soft and light. I have worn it on some of the hotter days thus far this summer and I have been comfortable in it the whole time.

The fabric also is stretchy. It is made of 95% cotton, 5% Spandex. This feature is so amazing because it kept my son secure in the wrap without sagging. And, once I took it off, it kept its original shape.

And, even with an …

Simple Woman's Daybook - Summer Edition

From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...

The sun is shining. It looks like it will be a hot one today!

I am thinking...
About how we will rearrange our rooms in our house. I want to maximize the space and minimize the mess the boys make.

I am thankful for...
Our parish picnic yesterday. At first I did not want to go because my hubby had to work. But, I am so glad I went. I am so thankful for our parish and the amazing families in it.


From the learning rooms...
We are still reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and J is working on his reading a math to keep his skills up. Other than that, we are not doing anything formal.

From the kitchen...
Turkey wraps with homemade tortillas!

I am wearing...
I am still in my jammies . . . but as soon as this post is done, I am getting my workout clothes on.

I am creating...
I am reviewing the My Mass Kit next week and I am thinking a lot about making play vestments for J and K. I am creating a pattern and since the fabric store is having a…

Happy Birthday K!

Today, our K turns 3.
Oh, K, you are such a blessing to us!


We love your smile, your football playing, wrestling ways.

We love that you will talk to anyone that is within ear shot.



You attack life and jump out of bed each morning with a joyful smile.



Each of the last three years with you have been so wonderful. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for your future.

Born in the USA, Baby!

If any of you actually have read my blog for a while, you may have noticed that my blog has been "transforming" over the last several weeks. Well, there is a reason . . .

Several months ago I had this idea to start a new blog. It is really an idea I have had for quite a while. And, when I get ideas that "stick" with me, it means I really should pray about it to see if I should act on it. I feel that for some reason, this is becoming an apostolate for me, so I have decided to start a new feature on this blog, instead of starting a whole new blog.

What is it?

It is called Born in the USA, Baby! (Hence, the reason for the my new button). This will be a regular feature on my blog where I host reviews and giveaways for products to enhance family life that are MADE in the USA!!

This feature will also include informative information as to why it is important to buy American made, local, and handmade goods as well. This will include supporting local farmers through farm…

Climbing the Walls

We are now in our second day of rain. After having such beautiful weather, the rain has my son J climbing the walls.


Literally.

Teach Us How to Pray

As a mom to three young boys, I am constantly looking for books or devotionals that I can use for prayer that fit my life. That is why I was so excited to be reintroduced to Magnificat, a monthly prayer "magazine" through the Catholic Company.

What I love about Magnificat is that it follows the Divine Office/ Liturgy of the Hours. It includes morning prayer and evening prayer as well as all of the readings for mass each day. When I pray these prayers, I know that I am in concert with those in the Chruch throughout the world. Magnificat also includes well written, daily meditations and daily lives of the saints.

I really enjoy using Magnificat for my prayer times. I love to have all of these in one, small, easy, to transport place. I love that I can easily carry it in my purse (or diaper bag) and use it wherever I go!

Way to Go, Mom!

Here are my small successes for the week:

1. I posted my first giveaway and wrote my first book review! I must admit, after starting the giveaway, I was not even sure if I wanted to "go down that road" with my blog. But, it has been great so far. I have been able to "meet" some amazing people in the blogosphere. God is so good! I also have Catholic review and giveaway coming up! Please watch for it!

2. And, because of my giveaway and visiting more blogs, etc, I have been intentional about spending less time on the Internet. I check everything in the AM and then shut the computer off. I do not turn it on again until after the boys are in bed. And again, only spend a limited amount of time on the computer before it goes off again. I have realized that I waste a lot of time during the day doing nothing, really nothing, on the Internet . . . there are only so many times I need to check my email!

3. I am back on track with exercising. I have worked out every day…

Book Review: Praying Scripture for a Change

The Catholic Company asked me to review the bookPraying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to the Lectio Divinia by Dr. Tim Gray. This easy to read book is less than 150 pages.

Dr. Gray first writes about the difficulties we often have in prayer and then introduces the meaning of Lectio Divinia. Lectio Divinia is a form of prayer that has its origins with the Church fathers and has four "stages" or "rungs on the ladder." This is the prayer of the saints throughout Church history. Dr. Gray moves through each part of the book beautifully, giving examples of what each stage encompasses and how to "pray" with scripture. The author also uses vivid imagery in describing the stages of the Lectio Divinia as a vineyard that is tended and, through a great deal of work, yields a fine wine. His inspiring images helped the stages of Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, and Contemplatio come alive for me.

Dr. Gray's explanations of each stage clearly showed that …

Baby A's New Diet Plan

Ever since baby A has become more mobile (he crawls constantly), we have stumbled upon a new diet plan for him that not only saves money, but saves time . . .



This is A under the kitchen table after dinner . . . eating the scraps that fell off his brothers' plates.




No food gets wasted . . .


. . . . and the floor gets clean!! ;-)


The Simple Woman's Daybook - June 1, 2009

From the Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...
The sun is shining. Not a cloud in the sky. I think it will be a beautiful day.

I am thinking...
I feel like we just "slid" into summer . . . where did the school year go? The boys are asking to go to the pool all the time . . . does it have to be swimsuit time already?

I am thankful for...

For having my husband home both days this weekend. Lately, it seems like that is a rarity. He has to work both days this coming weekend and we will miss him tons.


From the learning rooms...
We are done, we are done, we are done!! I have to organize everything for my portfolio review. I have a few homeschooling catalogues to drool over this summer!

From the kitchen...
I have not planned the menu yet, so I am not sure!

I am wearing...
I am still in my jammies . . . I feel like I could still go to sleep . . . baby A was up every two hours last night. I think he is getting more teeth.

I am creating...
A book review.

I am going...
To read to t…