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Showing posts from February, 2013

Papa Ben

I just finished watching Pope Benedict leave Rome as Pope for the very last time.  Am I the only one who cried?  I swear my kids think I am a bit too emotional about the whole thing . . . . I could not even see pictures of him yesterday without crying.

I have thought a lot about the time I met him, 5 years ago, in the last few weeks.  He was coming to the Archdiocese of Washington.  My husband worked for the archdiocese at the time and so I knew that we would be able to get tickets to the mass without much trouble.  But there was ONE problem . . . I would be 4 days away from my due date with A!  Now, I have not gone into labor naturally with ANY of my boys, but I figured that, with my luck, I would be at the mass and go into labor.  So, I knew the mass was out.  And I was very disappointed.

Luckily, there were a few people at the Archdiocese that understood our plight, and were able to get me a special ticket to the Shrine (my husband was invited because we worked for the archdiocese…

When homeschooling is hard

It must be that time of year when families begin to discern if they should homeschool or not because I have gotten, "Katie, I would love to ask you some questions about homeschooling."  a lot lately.

And, truthfully, I try to avoid the conversation.  I usually laugh and say, "I am probably not the person you should ask."  And I try to direct them to a more veteran homeschool who can give them some great information. 

I do this because I am afraid that if I really share what I think about homeschooling and my experiences, that these families will not want to homeschool. Because if a homeschooler would have shared a typical day like mine with me when I was asking that question, I think I would have thought, "I am NOT signing up for THAT!" and forgotten all about the idea of homeshooling. 

But, instead, I heard /hear . . .

- Oh, we are done by noon. 
- My (insert an insanely young age) son/daughter just finished the Chronicles of Narnia.
- We do unschooli…

Day at the Derby

Yesterday we spent the day at the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.  This was our third derby and the first in which K was participating as a scout too.  When I say we spent the day there, I am mostly serious.  Our Pack is huge so the derby lasted about about 3 1/2 hours.


All three of the boys made a car. J is a Webelo, K a Tiger, and there is an open category for siblings.
Up first was K. His car looked like a Tiger for "Tiger Scout."  That was totally on purpose, since we are not a super derby involved, tool laden, spend months on the cars type of family.  Translation: our cars are not fast.  So we go for the other "awards" given to cars.  I persuaded K to go for the "Scout Spirit" award.
Each car runs in four heats with the other cars made by scouts at the same scout rank.  K's car did well.  He finished 1st once, second twice, and third once.

J's group was one of the biggest groups and one of the last to go.  I really prepped him with the, "It d…

7 Quick Takes - We're coming out of the fog edition!

Thanks, Jen for hosting!
1. Back to Life! The illness that overtook us on Ash Wednesday seems to finally be coming to an end. Finally.  I got hit with it Monday and slept almost all day Tuesday, thanks to my loving husband.  The house is still full of coughs and sniffles, we have not been to most of our normal activities yet, and the boys are still sleeping over 12 hours a night, but I am looking forward to life getting back to normal.

2. Runs come and runs go And because of the sickness, and me torquing my back last week Thursday during a speed workout on the treadmill, I have not run or exercised in over a week.  Thankfully, I got to see my chiropractor on Wednesday, I love that lady, and my back is better.  I think there may just be a run in my weekend plans!

3. Things I say in our homeschool that would NEVER be said at a normal school. In light of the fact that a student got suspended for making a "finger" gun at another student at school, I do not think my boys would make…

Keeping Love in Lent: Praise Him- part 1

"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich MomandArma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”

As I sit down to write this post, we are on day #5 of the plague that has infected our house.  It started on Ash Wednesday and has yet to relent.  Today is Sunday.  I went to mass early this morning and my husband is at mass now. I just finished getting my two youngest out of the tub, and my oldest is taking a shower.  I am hoping that somehow the water will miraculously wash away this illness.  But I am not holding my breath.

This Lent has not started the way I wanted it to.  Not by a long shot. When I signed up for this Link…

The Drop Box

The Drop Box is a documentary. And although I have only seen the trailer below, it hits me right in my heart.  It is about orphans, and one man in Korea doing what he can to give them life. 


PLEASE, take a minute to watch the trailer, you will not regret it!
From its website:
The FilmSynopsis
In December 2009, a Korean pastor named Lee Jong-rak built a wooden "drop box" on the outer wall of his home. But the box wasn't intended for clothing, food, or school supplies, it was meant to collect unwanted babies.

When "the drop box" "or "baby box" was constructed a few years ago, it flew completely under the radar of Korean government officials. However, as more and more children arrive in this box every week, the nation is starting to take notice.

Lee knows that his little wooden box isn't the best solution, but his plight points to a much larger issue of abandonment, both in Korea, and across the globe.

As a simple man, with little education…

Fundraiser to support!

Gayly over at Quilt-n-mama is hosting a fundraiser to help Anna's family raise the funds to cover a special surgery she needs in ITALY to restore her hearing.  Anna is a precious girl, adopted from China. 

They are selling these cute shirts in short sleeve, long sleeve and children's sizes to raise the funds . . .


The front says,
"Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He did for me. For I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke." Psalm 66:16-17
To order one and help Anna, go here!

A view of our living room

Three down . . 





 . . . my hubby and I are the only ones still standing!

Seven Quick Takes

1. Valentine's Day drop out Wednesday night, with two kids incapacitated on couches, I told my husband, "let's not do anything for Valentine's day."  And I held up my end of the bargain, except for a loving note.  Last year I made heart shaped pancakes with strawberry sauce, a heart shaped pizza and strawberries in the shape of hearts.  Small gifts were given.  Love notes and heart shape crafts were the theme of the day.  This year?  I had two kids passed out in our living room most of the day, barely eating anything.  We had no flour, no eggs in the house and, with the kids sick, no way to get to the store to get anything to make anything meaningful for the day.  I just pretended that Valentine's day was not really happening and yesterday was just a normal, average, ordinary day.

2. The Government knows best?
Have any of you seen this article?  Let me just share a small portion of it:

When it comes to education, Germany, Sweden and much of Eastern Europe and …

A perfectly imperfect start to Lent

I have plans for Lent, you know.  The ways I want it to look.  The things I feel God is calling me to, things to draw me closer to Him.  To order my days.

Two days into Lent and my days have been far from what I pictured. 

Yesterday, I dragged lovingly got my kids out of bed to get ready for mass.  I had to call my oldest down repeatedly.  He finally came down stairs, layed on the couch and said, "I'm sick."

The "Mother of the Year" in me  determined he must be faking . . . he just did not want to get up and get ready for mass.  So I still got them all ready for mass and we headed out the door.  By the end of mass, my oldest looked horrible.  We went straight to the car, talking to no one, and headed home.  He proceeded to lay on the couch all day.  No school. No Lenten prayers.  Just lazily allowing the boys to watch Magic School Bus most of the day.

 J threw up around 4 PM and minutes later, my 6 yr old started throwing up too.  Cleaning up vomit was NOT in…

Fat Tuesday - German Style

One of the things that I love about my family growing up is that we always had reminders of our heritage.  Mostly though foods.  My mom is 100% German and my dad is 100% Polish (pretty much).  Growing up we were surrounded by ethnic foods.  And the Lenten season was not exempt from these food traditions.

So, today, I was determined to remind myself, and my boys,  of the hertiage from which we have come.  And I decided to do that through fattening yummy Faschnacht Kueckles (think: super yummy, rich doughnuts).  Faschnacht is German for "fast night" and Kueckle means "doughnut."

I pulled out the recipe, penned in my own mother's hand.  I was reminded of the years of watching my Grandmother and Mom making these in their own kitchens. 




The smells of the sweet dough reminded me of my own childhood as my 4-year old pulled up a chair to help mix the dough.   I hope the smells remind him of sweet memories too.

I let the dough rise, then formed the circles to let the …

My "crush" revealed (and the giveaway winner too!)

First, let me say, that I had lots of fun with that post.  I was going to give some clues, but I knew that would make it way too easy.  And I loved reading the guesses!  I was surprised by some; I had no idea that Ryan Gosling and Chris O'Donnell were Catholic!?!?  Mel Gibson . . . um . . . a little crazy for my tastes.  Eduardo Verastegui?  He is Catholic and he is handsome, but I do not know enough else about him personally to have a "crush" on him.

So, my crush:

- Is usually the "good guy" in the movies he is in.  Seriously, if you have seen many of his movies, he plays quality characters with a great deal of depth.

- Once he played the best "guy" to walk this earth.

- He has four brothers and sisters

- He grew up in the state of Washington

- He is married.  And, when researching more about him for this post, I found out one more thing that makes me like him even more . . . . he and his wife adopted a boy and girl from China!!


He is . . .

Jim Cavieze…

Giveaway items preview!

Here is a sneak peek at the giveaway items . . .





Intrigued yet??  Entered yet?  I will leave it open until I draw the winner! Go here to enter!

7 Quick Takes- The Love Edition

Since I still have nothing of any depth that I want to share today; that retreat is still affecting me deeply and I just want to ponder it all to myself, therefore I felt a just plain fun post was in order.  And because we are now in the month of LOVE, I decided to share about things, products, stores I love.  No depth allowed here!

1. Aldi Love Do you have Aldi grocery stores near you??  I have been in love with the store since my Steubenville days.  It is cheap, totally no frills and great.  I know people are scared off by the items in stacked in boxes, carts that  you need to insert $.25 to get and the lack of grocery bags and name brand items, but the prices are beautifully low.  And now, they are even carrying ORGANIC items!! Yahoo.  Our grocery bill has gone down even more now that I do not spend lots of money at my favorite organic grocery store right next to Aldis.

2. Chocolate love
I love chocolate.  Good DARK chocolate.  My favorite: 60%-70% cocoa. Throw in almonds or hazelnu…