Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The extended family - the ties that bind

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I was one lucky little girl. I got to grow up knowing all but two of the people in this picture.  My great grandpa Dan died about 20 years before I was born and his son Clifton passed away before I had a chance to meet him as well.  But all the rest of them, including my wonderful great grandma, have been part of my life, to some extent, from the day I was born until now.

This was possible because this family had a deep love for each other, and even after they grew up and started their own families, they made sure that they kept in touch, and passed on their stories, but most importantly, they made us kids come to the reunion -and hear the stories, and eat the great food, and just hang around with them for a few hours every year.  And that's all it took to get those folks in that picture- my great aunts and uncles, right into my heart.

Long time readers will remember me talking about Aunt Opal.  She's standing up on the end in the pretty plaid dress.

september 2010 281
  I've written about Aunt Dorothy too. Rosie's middle name is Dorothy.

But I remember bits about all of them.  Uncle Sam, the great fisherman who's fish stories (and the blarney that went with them) were epic!  And Uncle Ernie who taught me to play crochet and let me win! Uncle Elmer who was so smart, and Aunt Mary who wasn't afraid to tackle anything.  I have so many fond memories of them all.

Today we lost Aunt Grace.  She was 96 years old.  Born on the 4th of July and died on tax day!  I think there's a correlation in there somewhere.  I never heard her yell, or scold or raise her voice.  She was always sweet and gentle.  My sister and I always commented on her lax homemaking skills, but today in memory of Aunt Grace, I left that table messy all day and still let my sister in to chit chat - because, dang it, I didn't feel like clearing it off!! I'm sure I've got some weird things that are going to make people grimace, laugh and then remember kindly (I hope).  This blog might be THAT thing!  Who knows??

My mom had a special relationship with Aunt Grace.  They talked often and shared each other's problems.  When I was pregnant with Rosie, Mama even encouraged me to name her Mary Grace.  They visited all the time.

The four sisters, Mary, Opal, Grace and Dorothy always seemed so close to me.  From my perspective as a youngster watching them, it seemed like they were always at each other's homes, helping each other out.  They were all proud of each other too.  They laughed together.

So I'm feeling a little sad today.  Another piece of my childhood is gone, another family member a memory.  But a good memory. and the love I had for her and for all of them is still there and it always will be.

A few days before she died, Aunt Grace saw her brother Clifton and her mother, standing in the room near her. That made her happy and even peaceful.  That gives me so much joy to think of the reunion that is happening in heaven today, Grace with all of her brothers and sisters, and her parents and grandparents, old friends and her miscarried baby - all together for their own very special family reunion, the Holy Week edition.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

In the midst of Holy Week.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday  - another Lent almost gone.

It seems like every year, while I haven't done everything I had hoped to for Lent, I think our home successfully had a Lenten feel to it, and the three younger children were taking their Lenten Sacrifice to heart.

Although we still had discussions like this:

"I feel like something sweet. Why don't we go make brownies!?"

"We can't. It's Lent."

somewhere they figured out that higher holy days (St. Joseph's Feast Day, St. Patrick's Day,  and the Feast of the Annunciation) could get them a little more leeway.

It seemed that giving up meat on Friday was a lot more tricky this year.  When you are already on a very restricted diet for a medical condition, restricting it even more is tough!  And it wasn't as if I could use my fall back positions of pancakes, mac and cheese or even Campbell's tomato soup- because all of those things contain wheat.  So that was very different this year.

I have much to be grateful for, that's true.  Yet knowing about Aunt Grace's decline reminds me of losing my own mother only five years ago, and that my own life is more than half way gone. Am I making the most of the time that is left?  I think I worry about that the most.

The biggest revelation to me this Lent is that I have kept Jesus at arms length  - Jesus as someone to honor, worship, and respect, but from afar - not really "know."  I have a tendency to be very deferential of people in authority anyway, and to keep a obeisant  distance, but this Lent has taught me that I need to really dive into the gospel this year and actually take to heart the words of Jesus Christ and to not to think of it as being impious to strive for a closer relationship and deeper understanding.

I remember the words from the stations of the cross by  St. Alphonsus Liguori,:

I embrace all the sufferings You have destined for me until death.

Having seen the suffering my mother went through as she died from ovarian cancer, I'm not sure I can totally embrace those words yet - but my experiences this year have taught me that I can do things I didn't think I could before, so maybe I'm making steps in the right direction.

But there are some more things that I would like to accomplish before and during Holy Week.

  • Get Morning Prayers and the Office of Readings done in the morning before any one else is up. 
  • Try to get to one or two daily masses. If not, for sure go to Holy Thursday and Good Friday services. 
  • Read some of the book, Pray the Gospels, by Father Lovasick. 
  • Get out to the cemetery and do the Stations of the Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. 
  • While there, decorate Raphael's and mom's graves for Easter.
  • Do a family rosary - with the teens too if I can catch them!
  • Read something inspirational from the Lenten Links I saved. 
  • Make sure to read some of Father Lovasik's children's books with Rosie.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Simple Woman

Outside my window...
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My little country baby enjoying the spring day!

I am thinking...
about my Aunt Grace, who is basically dying this weekend.  She is 96 years old.  She is sleeping a lot and she is talking about seeing her dead brother and her mother who have both been dead for many, many years. She was born on the 4th of July, so I'm thinking she will probably die on Easter Day - and I think that's kind of fitting in a lot of ways.

I will always remember Aunt Grace as being kind and soft spoken. She never said anything harsh or mean that I can remember and she was also always smiling.

As long as I can remember, Aunt Grace was always a bit of a messy housekeeper.  Her house always looked a little lived in.  I definitely take after her in that regard although I do try to fight against my nature- most of the time.  But Aunt Grace never let a dirty sink or untidy table ruin her day or keep her from visiting folks - even her unkempt little niece who would run into her house for a glass of water or just to say hi! I think that's an important lesson to keep from Aunt Grace as well.

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I am thankful...
all of the great aunts and uncles that I had in this life and I look forward to seeing them all again in the next.

In the kitchen...
Turkey casserole with butternut squash!

I am wearing...
My sports skirt and a short-sleeved T-shirt!

I am creating...
a clean house for Easter and a tasty Easter menu

I am going...

  • to take Izzy to her foot appointment tomorrow to see how she is progressing after her surgery. 
  • re-write my part for Easter Song so that I can actually read it for Easter Sunday. 
  • Walk or workout every day this week. 
  • Get the house cleaned up
  • Make it to last chance confession!

I am reading...
various things on my Kindle.

I am hoping...
To keep up on the kitchen work and get some things sold on eBay.

I am looking forward to...
spring break!

From the Learning Rooms:
We are on spring break!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

A favorite quote for today...

  • Experience is a different teacher; giving you the test first and the lesson later.
Amish proverb!

A few of my favorite people...

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

7-Quick takes

  Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1.  Next week we dive into the ultimate of penance for the church musician- also know as holy week.  For not only have we been doing marathon practices in preparation for Easter Sunday, but we will also tackle the special liturgies for Palm Sunday, and the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil and then Easter morning itself.  It is a marathon.

My children I think have it harder than I do because they will be singing for the vigil and then have to make it back to church for Easter morning at 8:30 or some such time.

On the other hand, Mr. Pete and I have to play for the 11 a.m. mass and then beat it home to serve the huge Easter feast.

Easter Monday is looking all the more inviting!!

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2.  Rosie had her first track meet ever last Sunday.  I sat in the stands from 1 p.m. until almost 4 in the afternoon - my entire afternoon blown.  It reminded me a lot of swim meets only colder and without the great concession stand.

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Rosie has a little friend she has been running with whom she calls, "My Olivia."  They have played together and competed against each other since last cross country season.  Last fall Rosie would beat Olivia one week, and Olivia would beat Rosie the next.

They continued this pattern at the meet - Olivia beat Rosie in the 1600, Rosie beat her in the 200.  It's a friendly rivalry and I think they push each other well.
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3.  Track practices are taking their toll - on me.  I have to take Rosie way out into the country for her practices, about 20 minutes away.  For Noah I have to negotiate the traffic and construction around the high school to drop him off.  That's a little nerve wracking.

A typical day might look like this:

  • drive both girls to art class, 
  • drop Noah off at track, 
  • pick up the girls, 
  • take them to track practice 
  • pick up Noah and 
  • then pick up the girls.  

One day this week I will be dropping off Noah, going home, dropping of Rosie, and then driving back 20 minutes to get Noah.  Again a lot of choreography with routes and times, and a lot of gasoline!

4.  Last month we had one of our quarterly homeschooling meetings and not even 10% of the membership showed up.  So I put out a question to the group via our Yahoo group and basically also heard back from about 10% of the membership (although a different bunch of ladies, so I guess it was nice to hear from other voices)   But the gist of their message was, "We love the meetings, they are very helpful, we want you to keep them, but we're too busy to come!"

That reminded me a lot of when kids leave the house for college or the work force - "I like my room, it gives me comfort to think of it being there, but I'll rarely be sleeping in it!!"

I had been thinking of making the meetings monthly next year, but I think quarterly is enough at this point!

5.  As I was moving stuff around on my new computer, I came across some comments I had saved from another blog last summer.  These comments were made by an anonymous person, on another (now defunct) blog that seemed to get a lot of joy over criticizing me.  I think I kept these because they were particularly hurtful.

Low lights included:

  •  predictions that my oldest son wouldn't pass the National paramedic exam (He did pass it just fine and is now employed.)
  • That another son had  "no future."
  • That all of my kids, despite aptitude or interest need to go to college, primarily just to get away from me. 
Blogging when you're the mom of adult children is a lot different than blogging with little kids and minor children. So unless something really wonderful happens for them, or to them, I won't be sharing it here. Which is unfortunate, because I always liked to keep my blogging "real."  But it's not going to be fodder for bashing  my family by cowardly anonymous posters on other blogs.  

6.  We are taking spring break next week!  And maybe the week after too!  at least partially.  And during Holy Week we will be doing our spring cleaning  of the main living areas in preparation of hosting Easter Dinner at my house!

Instead of trying to organize things with my sister's family and all of the significant others of my sons, we just decided to have the food out at 1 p.m. and anyone who wants to show up at any time in the afternoon is welcome - sort of more like an open house kind of deal.  That way, all of the girlfriends get to have Easter morning with their families, and we get what's left of the afternoon and evening.  In the mean time, I get to visit with my sister and brother-in-law as well as my nieces and nephew whom I rarely get to see! I think it's a great solution!  We'll see.

7.  Before our little homeschool broke for spring break, we finally finished The Jungle, Rosie graduated to the next Pathway Reader, and Izzy and I finished a chapter of geography - I think we're making good progress this year!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

7 Important lessons from the movie, God's Not Dead

God's Not Dead is an uplifting and enjoyable Christian-based movie appropriate for students from elementary school through college and their parents. We went with two of my teenage children and my 8-year-old daughter and we all enjoyed the movie and have had many discussions about it since.

We enjoyed it as a family, but I would also recommend this movie for church youth groups and homeschooling groups. I hope to buy the DVD when it comes out to donate it to our parish.

The premise of the movie involves a freshman philosophy student's challenge to defend the existence of God to his adversarial and intimidating philosophy teacher and his classmates. The stories of other characters (a preacher, a selfish business man, a young woman caring for her mother with dementia, a successful blogger who faces a devastating diagnosis, and a Muslim convert to Christianity) are woven into the plot line until they are all connected with each other by the end of the movie.

There are seven great takeaways from the movie that I think are good to reiterate to younger viewers, and are important for us older folks to keep in mind too.

Spoiler alert!  Go see the movie first and then see if you agree with my list!

1.  At the beginning of the film, Professor Radisson presents a list of great thinkers, scientists, philosophers and writers who were all atheists.  He intimidates his young Christian student by asking him how he can take a stand on the other side against all of these great atheist  geniuses.
hercules god is dead
There are two logical fallacies here: The appeal to authority, and appeal to popularity.  Something isn't right or wrong simply because an authoritative source says it is.  Likewise, truth isn't true because many people believe that it is.  This is one of the first ways to discount that type of a presentation.

2.  But if we're going to go list for list, there are plenty of great thinkers, scientists and authors who were/are theists as well.

 Augustine, Aquinas, Mendel, Galileo, G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, John Paul II to name a few.

3.  One of the ongoing bits throughout the movie is the plight of two preachers who are just trying to get to Disneyland.   Every time they get into a car to drive away, the vehicle fails to start!  When they finally do get a working car, they drive only a short way before they find themselves witnessing to a dying man during the powerful conclusion of the film.

This is a good reminder that sometimes our own plans don't work out quite the way we wanted them to because God has another plan in store for us.

4.  One of the preachers who works as a pastor in the city, envies his fellow preacher who is working in the missionary field.  He longs for an opportunity to "make a difference" for God by working in the missionary field too.  Yet throughout the film he has several opportunities to make a difference in the lives of many of the people in his community including the young philosophy student!

We all have opportunities to serve God right where we are - if only we open our eyes to the possibilities!

5.  The business man in the film, played by Dean Cain, goes to visit his elderly mother who is suffering with severe dementia. He asks her why she should be in such a condition when she was such a good person all of her life.  In one of the most profound and touching moments in the film, his mother unexpectedly speaks out almost as an oracle and with great wisdom.

It's hard on the face of it to see much value to the old woman's life as she barely recognizes her own children.  Yet we see  joy on her face from the little things (her favorite chicken dinner!) and the kind words and touches from her daughter. Older people still deserve respect, and if we are patient and willing to spend the time, the words and experiences they choose to share with us are invaluable.
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6.  So what did the oracle say? "Sometimes Satan allows a person a life without trouble so that they won't turn to God." She reminded her son that a life of comfort and plenty can be it's own kind of prison.  We don't strive to better ourselves when we have everything we want and need.  Comfort and satisfaction can be enslaving if it keeps us from venturing away from it.

7.  At the very end of the movie, most of our main characters are at a Newsboys concert.  As the concert is winding down, the audience is encouraged to text the message, "God's Not Dead: to everyone of their cell phone contacts - spreading this news to millions of people around the world.  The business man gets this text, as does Professor Radisson at a very key moment!  Coincidence?  Don't think so. These messages touched the people who got them just when they or the people around them needed the reminder. There are no coincidences with God.

See this and all of the other links at the Catholic Carnival

Saturday, April 05, 2014

7-Quick Takes

  Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1.  With the demise of Windows XP support in a couple of days, I finally got my new computer with Windows 7 out of the box and got it all hooked up.  I'm at the point in my life that changing computers isn't as much fun as it used to be - so many files and pictures that have to be loaded from the old computer to the new computer - as well as new drivers and my favorite version of Word.  Plus, I really liked XP and would have kept using it if it wasn't quickly going to be obsolete.

I will say though that Mozy is doing a great job of downloading all my files to the new computer - even better than they did five years ago when they simply dumped a big link to my files entitled C. This time, everything is downloading pretty much in the fields I had them in, very neatly.  I am also enjoying Windows 7 so far.

2.  Track meets started this week for Noah, and tomorrow for Rosie. If you've never had the pleasure, let me describe track meets to you this way - they're a lot like swim meets - hours of  waiting around for a few brief moments of fast paced action when your athlete competes - only instead of sweating buckets in a hot pool, you're freezing in the grandstands or sitting in the car trying to keep warm.

3.   My sister moved away this week.  Not far.  She and her husband had to move into a small apartment since their home sold and their new house won't be ready until the end of summer.  I loved her old house.  It was perfect for entertaining and sis did have the family over for big holidays and other events.  We had a lot of memories in that home.  It's sort of the end of my little family nuclear family of Mom, sis and me.  We were sort of like three pearls on a string, just miles from each other in West Akron and I really found some comfort in that.

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But I'm looking forward to seeing her new house when it's done this summer and I think it will be good for her and her hubby to live in the country side and have safer roads to ride their bikes on.

4.  My little granddaughter, Miss C, has figured out how to be entertaining on purpose.  She has a "fake" little laugh, that sounds a little like a hacking cough.  She figured out that if she does that, everyone looks at her, and then she pops a big smile on her face.  It's as if she's trying to say, "Look family, I'm funny too!"

We have her three afternoons a week and I think she is getting use to us more and more and we are getting use to her as well.  We are also learning to navigate our homeschool schedule around her.
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5.  The Jungle - we are down to the last there chapters - where Upton Sinclair goes off onto his homage to Socialism. This is one of those books I tell the kids, you have to be aware of  and know what it was about, but once you read it, you'll never have to read it again, and you'll be glad of that!

6. I continue in my quest for healthy foods to keep my ulcerative colitis away and still taste great for my family.  This was my latest find!

I just got it Thursday and I have been pouring over the pages!!  The SCD diet is very limiting but this book makes the possible combinations of the allowable foods to seem almost endless!! I'll have lots of reports on this in upcoming weeks- orange fish for Friday I think!

7.  My little singing group at church has been trying to learn The  Easter Song for Easter Sunday.  Having never heard a version of this before, I have to say I wasn't very impressed with the music and even found it

  • too 1970 ish
  • kind of mundane. 
But I finally got around to googling it and found this wonderful version of it by the composer. 

and this one by a huge choir.   Now I'm kind of looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Simple Woman

Outside my window...

Winter is never going to end. Ever.

I am thinking...
My week is very discombobulated - and so is my blogging.  Concert, two birthdays, a girl still recovering from foot surgery, paying bills and start of soccer and track- I'm a bit overwhelmed!

I am thankful...
for the quietness of Lent, when I can get it!

In the kitchen...
Made a delicious breakfast casserole for dinner tonight from one of my Paleo cookbooks.  It has a sweet potato crust, sausage, and eggs with coconut milk- very delicious - and no leftovers!

I am wearing...
My medium sized yoga pants thank you very much!  (Squeee!!!) a black T-shirt and a black cafe wrap.

I am creating...
one more concert on Sunday and then there will be a little break.

I am going...
to work out tomorrow no matter what!   Need to keep my typing up too.

I am reading...
various things on my Kindle.

From the Learning Rooms:

Since Izzy was supine with her foot elevated, she has been reading along with books on CD. She finished Tom Sawyer last week and is doing Huck Finn this week.  I also give her a little bit of Algebra.  I don't know if she will go to choir this week or not.  We'll see.

I am hoping...
To keep up on the kitchen work!  Without Izzy, it really piles up!

I am looking forward to...
spring break!

From the Learning Rooms:
Getting Izzy back up to speed.  She did manage to read Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on her two weeks of recovery, so that's pretty good!
  • Spelling program per Dr. Holinga for all three kids. We were pilot families for her program last year and it is finally going to be available to the public as Spellingyousee.com

American History
Lectures in American History from the Great Courses and Kahn Academy!

  • Apologia Science -  Physical Science Izzy. Creation science Botany for Rosie

  • Noah and Izzy doing Geometry with Mr. D.  Rosie doing Saxon math with me. 
65% through  The Jungle 

  • Latin for Homeschoolers for Noah
  • English from the Roots Up for Izzy.
  • Pathway readers for Rosie and the Wand for Language arts.
 Busy Times

I am going...
  • To work on soccer schedules.
  • List my last piece of property to sell.
  • Set up the new computer I bought because my old beloved computer runs Windows XP and to upgrade to Windows 7 was going to cost around $300 anyway!
I am pondering...

It takes me a little time to think things through sometimes. At our last homeschool meeting, 60% of the moms had kids in regular school along with homeschooling.  This doesn't surprise me but I wonder how one is able to break the mold and decide to homeschool and at the same time keep institutional schooling as a viable option.  I want to understand the thought process.  I do think that in a Catholic Homeschool Group, moms are more influenced by following the faith and doing curriculum from Seton and Mother of Divine Grace.  But my influences were more eclectic and so I see homeschooling as more of a philosophy and way of life than they do.  Anyway, it's interesting to ponder.

A favorite quote for today...

Open mindedness goes two ways.  We just celebrated Easter. 2000 years or so 12 simple men, left their lives as they knew it to go spread the news about this man Jesus who was humiliated and executed as a common criminal.  These men could not be stopped and without a lot of education, without weapons, without anything other than renewed enthusiasm they faced ridicule and even death to travel miles from home to tell everyone about this man.  All but one of them was savagely killed for doing so.  The one that survived was tortured several times, even as an elderly man, but would not recant, and would not back down. And more amazingly they all got people to believe in what they were saying -and many of these people faced cruel and tortuous deaths but would not turn away.  Were they all insane? part of a cult? or... maybe, just maybe this Jesus Christ was who he said he was and these very early Christians knew it because of the way the apostles lived their lives and told their stories. Perhaps you can open your mind to the possibility of that?
ME!  in 2011

One of my favorite things...
Mr. Pete cuddling little Miss C!
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A peek into my day...
Mr. Pete and Rosie going to the father/daughter dance

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Monday, March 24, 2014

7-Quick Takes

  Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1.  I can say with confidence that my 14-year-old-daughter Izzy, will be able to run a kitchen very smoothly, all by herself, in her own home.  I know this because without her being able to walk, I have had to do all of the cooking and cleaning by myself - like I used to do before I had a teenage daughter... and I realize how many of those jobs I have handed over to her now!  And how much I missed her help over the past two weeks!  Tomorrow her bandaging comes off and she will be able to put some weight on her foot.  I don't want to push her at all - we want this foot to heal fully, but I am now very aware of  how much I rely in Izzy and I am very grateful for her!!

2.  Noah and Rosie are both running track this spring, so I am shuttling everyone back and forth to their practices.  The first meet is next week but as I look at the calendar I see all kinds of conflicts coming up- conflicts with choir, conflicts, with piano lessons and the math tutor, conflicts with soccer, conflicts with Holy Thursday...and on the outside I'm okay with it.  Because I realize that I will only have conflicts like this for a few more years and then it'll be over and I'll miss it.

3.  Last Tuesday we were also babysitting my granddaughter.  She's a beautiful baby and very friendly and personable, but she also has a stubborn streak.  She won't drink formula from a bottle from us at all, although she can be persuaded to take breast milk in the bottle if we can persuade her to try it.  She also is bored to death with being in the house.  So last Tuesday she was fussing and crying and wouldn't let us pacify her, so I wrapped her up in her coat and car seat and took her with me to track practice. She LOVED IT. She liked looking at all of the kids in the gym doing their drills and she really liked it when the basketball kids showed up and started bouncing their balls.  She was content for the entire practice!  I think I might be onto something with her.

Photo: Pretty little girl

4.  Remember that day it was 70 degrees out and then plunged into the 20s?  I do.  Because it made my front steps crack!   I have so many memories on those steps!!  But here's what they look like now.  Contractor is coming on Monday to give me an estimate.

5.  Mr. Pete turned 56 on Saturday.  He spend the day getting the tags updated on the cars, (because that's how the State of Ohio wants you to spend your birthday every year, waiting in line to get e-checked).   Then he went out to lunch with me, and then came home and worked on getting the rear wheels fixed on Gabe's car.  He worked, and worked on that car and even went over to his shop to get his torch to get some stubborn screws off.  After three or so hours he finally got one side done - side two to be continued.  Then he cleaned up and took his 8-year-old daughter to her first dance!  Not bad for an "old" man huh?

Photo: Happy birthday Mr. PETE

6.  If your idea of a good time is wearing a suit and tie, fitting into a big hall with over 300 other dads and daughters, listening to music from Frozen, while snacking on all kinds of delicious carbs, then you would have enjoyed the Father/Daughter Dance. Rosie said it was awesome and that she had a great time and can't wait to do it again!

Mr. Pete said he was glad she had a good time!

6.  Then to top off his birthday weekend, Mr. Pete sang in a concert.  I'll have his solo edited out later, but if you're interested, here's the entire program!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Domestic Church - links of the Day!

Spring might actually get here - weather wise I mean!

I have always wanted to try my hand at growing my own herbs.  Blissfully Domestic has a post on the five easiest herbs to grow!  Seems like a great place to start.

Blissfully Domestic also has some ideas for a Frozen party (the movie, not the weather.) Rosie LOVES that movie, so I see a potential theme for her birthday party (even though her birthday is in June!)

Disney Frozen Birthday Party Table Display

The Organizing Junkie shares one of her favorite organizing magazines - and it looks intriguing.
magazine picture 1

Storybook Woods has a beautiful old fashioned kitchen.  She shows it off a little in this pretty post.  She also has a unique way of using an old silver urn.  I have several old silver pieces and this inspires me to do something with them.

Shabby Vintage Chic has some cute old fashioned kitchen themes as well. I really want to do something with my kitchen.  It's been gray since Calvin was born, and now that my kids are older, it definitely needs a rehab.

Mint green doesn't seem too bad!

Likemotherlikedaughter shares ideas about the Stations of the Cross and children.
An excerpt:
Help them see the numbers, the descriptions, and the images. But don’t worry about more than that. Fourteen things is a lot to assimilate all at once. Just get the idea across that they are there.Later, maybe in the car going home, you can tell them that Jesus, from the time he was condemned until he was put in the tomb, went along a certain path in Jerusalem. People go there to that place just to follow his footsteps and to think about how it was for him — and that he did it all for us. Some day maybe we will go there, but for now, we can go in our imagination…At the Stations of the Cross service, I hope it will be led by the priest and that people will actually follow him around the church to stop at each station.Now, here’s the important part. You need to go there so that you can pray the Stations as your devotion. Not to “teach” the kids. They are coming along because they go places with you.Will they be squirmy? Probably.Will they slide under the pew and hit their heads on the rack that holds the missalettes and hymnals? Yes.Will they have no clue as to what’s going on? Pretty much.
Shower of Roses shares these beautiful pillow cases.

And lastly Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight shares her organization skills in a very practical and inspiring way!
I use the little yellow sticky note to keep track of repetitive but necessary daily tasks - the cats, EB's meds, LB meals, the mail, the daily paper, the dishwasher, trash. Turning the note on its side, I made a column for each day, Monday - Sunday. I just check things off as we do them. The meds get 2 checks (a.m. and p.m.), LB's meals get 3 (breakfast, lunch, dinner). It sounds very simple and it is - but it's been working well for me lately, so I'm sticking with it! (For now.)
I know to some it may seem silly to actually write down and check off little chores like that - things I do every single day, you'd think they'd be ingrained in my brain, right? Well, my friends, my brain is not the place it used to be, lol ... there's a lot up there fighting for space and attention, and it's pretty tired most of the time, so I find it quite helpful to have a visual reminder of those tasks that really need to get done. And making those little checks feels good, too! I won't deny it. ;)
- See more at: http://dawnathome.typepad.com/by_sun_and_candlelight/2014/03/how-do-you-manage-dailyweekly-tasks.html#sthash.2WWGN46T.dpuf

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