Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Got Snow?

This picture was taken last week! Today we are expected to get at least a total of 7 more inches! We will be sliding right after shoveling the driveway! I love big snow years!! If it's going to snow, it might as well snow a lot! It is a little hard for those little 2 year old little leggies to walk though, poor thing...me, I'm the poor thing who has to shovel paths to the swing set and around things so she can walk. And pull her in the sled wherever I have not shoveled and try to carry this 30 pound snowsuited kiddo! It's all fun though! Love the rosy cheeks when we come in!
I think we'll have soup for lunch, skip nap and go play outside!

Barbie: A Christmas Carol

We watched this movie the other night and I have to say, it's my favorite Barbie movie! It was really good. I think the Barbie people do a good job of keeping her so sweet and a good example for young girls. For my views on Barbie, click here!

New Recipes Posted!

Check out my cooking blog for some new favorite recipes!
Kitchen Blessings (click on it)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 40 Years Mom and Dad, December 28th, 2008!!

Even though they don't read this blog, I'm posting a picture for those of you who know my folks. They celebrated their 40th yesterday, on the Feast of the Holy Family. Yes, I was a honeymoon baby and yes, this means I will be turning 40 this year!! (I was actually born 3 weeks early and my mom was very embarrassed by that! She was a virgin until their wedding night) They met in May and married in December! My dad was in the Marines and my mom was talking to her girlfriend in a cafe and her girlfriend was flirting with 2 marines across the room. She motioned them to come over and my dad stood at the table and my mom looked at him like "what are you doing?" Well, she finally moved over and let him sit with them and the rest is history. I know on their first date after going to Mass, they went out and had Jello at a restaurant. Cute, huh? They met in California, where my mom is from and their honeymoon was the trip back to Minnesota!!

Great Craft/Gift Idea

I don't remember where I saw this...in some magazine, I think. The kids made these right before each special celebration and gave them away as gifts, grandparents, aunties, etc... They were so easy and fun. They are bookmarkers. Hopefully they work and people use them.

The Priests - O Holy Night

Thanks to Sarah (Journey of Truth) I found this beautiful music. Wow, very beautiful!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tour of our Christmas Home

Christine started this tour of blog homes, so Welcome to mine. Don't forget to stomp the snow off your feet, here in Minnesota, we've already gotten quite a bit of snow.
The to the right of the door welcomes you. Some neighborhood kids were selling these wreaths last year and my dh bought one.

The garland up the stairs does look much prettier at night. I like Christine's much better!

My Christmas card basket that transforms into a fruit basket after Christmas. Can you see your card? I need to hang all the pictures on a door or something so people can see them!

Here are the tins on top of the fridge, one filled with cookie cutters and the other filled with snowmen that the kids play with and are supposed to be set out somewhere, but I have no room and the kids take them all over the place! So they are taken out sometimes to play with!

This is our Christmas book pile. I started just taking out one book per day the beginning of Advent but last week just took them all out. They are always this messy and usually are on the floor and on the couch.

Our tree! Yes, it is real. We do real. But real trees are pretty spendy now, ours was like $69! A good friend told me the day they get their tree they put 2 cans of sugar pop, 7-up or Mountain Dew and put it in the base with HOT water and the tree will last longer. So far, this tree has hardly lost anything!! SO, I'd say it works!! Usually by now, we are wondering if it's going to make it to Christmas!

Our tree topper. We always had an angel but then her head popped off and I glued it for years, until 2 years ago, I finally I bought a star that lit up...well that lasted 2 years and last year it broke or quit lighting. This year I bought this...I really like it. It goes well with our Christmas reading. (The legend of the Poinsettia)

These St Nicholas people my MIL made, she also made the 2 little angels and most of the ornaments on our tree! She is very crafty. It's really a gift! The wooden horn blowing angel was a wedding
gift made by a friend.

Our Santa kneeling before baby Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas.

Our Nativity set also a wedding gift.

This is one of our Advent countdowns. We have many, even more than I am going to show!

This, my MIL made a few years ago, we have little papers in each pocket telling us something special to do on each day. I love this, it's one of my favorite things!

Another countdown, Joseph and Mary traveling down to the cave each day they move another velcro spot and at the end we will add the other pieces!

Our play nativity set. This has gone through all the kids. It's another favorite.

Another play set!

And another play set. My good friend Lisa handed this one down to my children.

You will find crafts galore in our Christmas home.

Our table centerpiece.

Our Advent wreath and more crafts!

This is our Jesse tree. The picture was taken a while ago, so there are many more crafts around it now and more symbols, but you get the idea. This is in our school room.
Presents under the tree, notice the many ornaments on one branch. The kiddos decorated the tree and like all the like ornaments together.
Well, that is it. As one daughter was explaining to her sister the other night on the way home from Grandma's Christmas, (while she was crying she didn't get very many presents-it was 10:30 pm and she had run out of gas) Christmas is not about presents, it's about Jesus and his birth.
"How many observe Christ's Birthday; How few His precepts! O, 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." -Benjamen Franklin
May we all discover the true meaning of Christmas and prepare our hearts for Him.

Mamma Mia!

"Super Trouper lights are gonna find me..." I've been singing that all morning. I watched this movie last night and it was full of ABBA songs. Which I loved. The songs made the movie. Now, my question is was the play made because of the ABBA songs, or did ABBA make the songs for the play? It was great how they all fit together. Meryl Streep was beautiful. Not a movie for kids since the daughter is trying to find her father out of 3 possible men there is talk of "dot, dot, dot..." Love the songs, have this itch in me to get an ABBA CD. Just fun to sing along.

**little disclaimer: My husband did not, would not, will never watch this, or any other movie like it with people singing and dancing around the whole time. Really, it's ok, my singing along probably would have bothered him, or anyone who would be sitting with me. How could you watch this movie at the theater? I couldn't have. Well, I could have, but I couldn't have watched it without singing along, and the other movie goers might not have liked that. Some movies are made for the DVD.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our 12 Year Anniversary!

The Hands of a Bride and Groom

Beloved Bride:
Please take your groom's hands in yours:
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that held yours today at your Wedding Mass as he promised to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands that, God willing, you will place with expectant joy beneath your heart one day until he, too, feels his child stir within your womb. These are the hands that look so large and clumsy now, yet will be so gentle when he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours to earn the money for you and your family. These are the hands that will get nicked and bruised from fixing things around the house to make you more comfortable.
These are the hands that will caress your body throughout the years, to make the passion of love come alive in you.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek, as they raise your face to look into his eyes, eyes that will be filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.
Beloved Groom:
Please take your bride's hands in yours:
These are the hands that held yours today as she gave you her pledge to love you, and accepted your ring at your Wedding Mass.
These are the hands that are smooth and young and carefree now, but will become lined and rougher in the years ahead, from thousands of dishes washed, tons of laundry cleaned, and hundreds of meals prepared.
These are the hands that, God willing, will hold you in the joy and excitement, each time she says you are to have another child, that together you have created new life. These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness, disciplining them, diapering them, baking for them, praying for them, and wringing themselves in worry when trouble comes.
Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child and will convince you that together you can create new life in other ways.
These are the hands that through the years will caress your body in the passion of love. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your face and wipe tears from your eyes, in wonder and awe that you would cry for her.
Beloved Newly Weds:
These are the hands of the Sacrament of Matrimony. These four hands are your armor and shield against the evils of the world. These four hands are part of God's Plan for renewing His Church. These hands can reach out to the lonely and discouraged, bring hope to the destitute in mind and body, heal the abused and hurting children of the world, and teach your friends of wonders of married love. These hands are the hope of a troubled humanity. For these are the hands that can change the world. God Bless you today and each day of your married life.
This is the prayer we had our special friends say at our Wedding Mass. (thank you Jim and Bonnie!) It still makes me cry when I read it. So many of those things have happened and come true. We also said our Vows on the Crucifix. (I can post it if anyone is interested) The Crucifix we used came from Medjugorje and hangs in our home today.
I met my husband almost 13 years ago (January 13th). We were set up on a blind date. My now sister in law set us up. I was working at a Montessori school and she was a teacher there and dating Tom's brother. They both wanted me to meet "Tom". I was not interested at all. She must have mentioned his name every day, until finally, New Years Eve I went on a blind date with another man and had fun and thought "what the heck, I'll go". The other man went out of town on business expecting to come back and go out again, but I went out with Tom and he's the last man I dated. Tom called and we talked a little while and found out our birthdays were only a day apart (mine is Sept 9th) and set up a date. He showed up and my first thought was "Wow, you are tall!" (a whole foot taller than me at 6'6")
I was not really wanting anything serious having gone through a divorce and waiting for my annulment to finalize, so I laid it all on him, Angels, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacraments, Medjugorje, Miracles, you name it. I thought he'd get bored and not call back, but he loved it and we talked until 3 in the morning. He ended up having a huge conversion back to the faith and we fell in love.
Met January 13
Engaged March 29
Married December 20, 1996
Our song was Always Forever by Donna Lewis. It was popular when we were dating!

Married before digital time, so sorry for the glare in the pictures. We had little money when we married and had a very small wedding. Immediate family and a few very close friends brought about 30 people there. (See, I used to be thin!)

I made the flowers and designed the dress that a seamstress sewed for $100! We married during Advent so purple was appropriate and matched the church!

My sister was my Maid of Honor and only bridesmaid. Tom had his 2 brothers as his Best Men.
Lord, please bless our marriage and pour your graces onto our Sacrament of Matrimony. Thank you for this wonderful man who I love always forever.
***Click on the photos and you can see them much more clear***

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just For Fun!!

OK, I'm not as into mailboxes in the winter time as I am in the summer. But here's mine anyway! I finally finished my Christmas cards and they are in the mailbox in this picture! I'm going to try to post a tour of my Christmas home like Christine, but tomorrow is our 12th Anniversary and we are spending the day and evening together away...overnight...away from the kids...first time ever!! SO, that along with Christmas shopping, my family's Christmas on Sunday, Christmas baking and preparing, grocery shopping...not sure when I will blog. I have so many things I'd like to blog and so little time. (which is why I'm back, I like it too much and missed you too much)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holy Heroes Advent Adventure - December 17 - O Antiphons

I never even heard of O Antiphons until last year in the blog world. They are beautiful and I think Holy Heroes give a wonderful explanation of them. I love watching these kids!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Claus!

Jolly old Saint Nicholas,
Lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say;
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now, you dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.
When the clock is striking twelve,
When I'm fast asleep,
Down the chimney broad and black,
With your pack you'll creep;
All the stockings you will find Hanging in a row;
Mine will be the shortest one,
You'll be sure to know.
Johnny wants a pair of skates;
Susy wants a dolly;
Nellie wants a story book;
She thinks dolls are folly;
As for me, my little brain
Isn't very bright;
Choose for me,
old Santa Claus,
What you think is right.
Santa Claus. Do you believe in Santa Claus? Or better yet, do your children believe in Santa Claus? This seems to be a touchy subject with some people. I love Santa Claus. St Nicholas. I love the whole idea of him and what he stands for. I love the joy. The fun. (I'm going to attempt to do paragraphs, let's see if Blogger will let me)
My best Christmas as a child was the year I "found out"! My cousin Terry told me. She was older and I guess she thought I should know. I remember going home after being at Grandma's and asking my mom. I remember the look of disappointment on my mom's face, like it happened yesterday. She sat down with me on the stairs and told me the truth. I think I was 1st or 2nd grade. SO, I was 6 or 7. I was shocked that my parents loved us that much to get us "extra" presents. I just felt SO loved. I couldn't wait to help with my brother's gifts, mom let me stay up late to set them out. This was different than the years before watching out the window for a possible sighting. Our Santa set everything out with our stocking, like my stuff would be on a chair, my brother's on the couch, unwrapped. Our Santa brought us a lot. Toys, coloring books, pajamas, clothes. We were blessed.
My brother and his wife have a different attitude towards Santa. When my brother "found out" he cried and cried, he ran upstairs and was mad at our parents. When his wife found out, she, too, was mad that her parents "lied" to her for all those years. SO they do not do Santa for their children. They don't want to lie to them.
Now why would they have such a contrasting view of Santa? What made them view it so differently than the way I understood it?
Now obviously, you've guessed it, we do Santa in our home. I love the pure, honest belief that the children have towards him. They know him as St Nicholas and call him by both names. They believe him to be in Heaven, not the North Pole, or maybe they actually believe the North Pole is part of Heaven for good old St Nick. Jedi, is 8 1/2 and has no questions. At all. He just believes. Ballerina Rosie, is the same way. They know that there is no "Mrs Claus" and he has no children. They know that is all just made up for movies and cuteness.
The other day, I said to Ballerina Rosie, that she'd better be good, or I was going to have to leave a note for Santa. Her response was "Santa lives in Heaven, he sees everything I do, he knows I'm good!" Pure trust. Pure belief.
Santa gets our children one present and stocking stuffers. I don't feel we over-do it. I hope and pray they feel the same way I did when I found out about Santa.
It's hard not to compare this belief in Santa with their pure belief in Jesus. I've heard that is a reason to not do Santa, but Santa is different. There is really a St Nicholas, and we parents just keep his spirit of giving and loving and sharing the love of Jesus alive. St Nicholas is in Heaven and is right there when we call upon him, as is Jesus.
My favorite Christmas decoration is a little 6 inch statue of St Nicholas dressed as Santa Claus kneeling down before Baby Jesus. One of my favorite Christmas books is "Country Angel Christmas" by Tomie de Paola. I think my children believe the real St Nicholas to be much like him, living in Heaven, spreading the love and joy of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, pausing to pray before Him.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun, Easy Shelf-Sicles

I saw THESE in Family Fun magazine. ( I never ordered that magazine, but I've been getting it for months now) I cannot show the whole picture because it shows my children's real names, it is prettier with the whole picture.
They were easy to make, although, mine are not as nice and perfect as the magazine shows. I bought 8 pieces of white felt, and cut away. (20 cents each) taped the ice pieces to paper and it turned out pretty good! OK, we don't wait until Christmas Eve, we decorate during Advent. I think of it as decorating our home for our Savior's birth, for a very important guest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Fun Craft!

This was found HERE but I changed it a little bit. I don't have all the supplies she has so we improvised and used what we have which is showing at the top of the picture. We traced a tree that Ballerina Rosie drew with white crayon, very heavy and thick onto white cardstock paper, we also colored snow, a moon and stars or snowflakes. Then we colored a yellow star and red ornaments. (they wanted to copy me, but could have drawn anything or used any color) Next we water painted the background blue and the tree green. When the water paint was dry, we mixed blue poster paint with water (a 50/50 mix) and painted over the background, for a darker color.
I love these new craft blogs because I had been getting tired of my same old crafts that I've done for years and years. It's so fun to do new things for each season of the year. I will be showing you some of the old ones too as we go along during Advent. I love this time of year, I love Advent. I love all the crafting, preparing, praying, baking, shopping, it's all fun. (I don't like shopping, but Christmas time is different for some reason, maybe because I get to buy fun things?)

Got Magazines?

I thought these crafts were great! They were fun to make and I had been collecting them these past months just to see how many I'd get. (I got a lot) These are cute Christmas trees.

Just fold a whole magazine and viola! You have a Christmas tree!
Go HERE for directions for your folded magazine tree!

Another magazine craft makes a beautiful flower decorative thingy. Not sure what it is, but it was fun to make and kind of pretty hanging in our school room.

I guess it's called a Recycled Paper Flower Garland. Go HERE for directions. Of course hers is much prettier!!

Great Craft Ideas!!

The Crafty Crow

I found this great website/blog and check every day! Click on The Crafty Crow icon above! We've already done quite a few of the crafts featured on her blog!

Another great craft blog I found is called
Art Projects For Kids

Check them out, you won't be disappointed!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Found Some Chocolate!!!

Is this a sign of age? I have never felt like this before, I needed chocolate. I didn't want it, I needed it!! I never even buy chocolate chips because I will eat a handful after each meal. I just don't buy chocolate at all. Unless, of course I am making something with it or giving it away. But today, for some reason I was craving it so much, it was really weird! So, I searched and searched and look what I found!! I had a chunk. It was good. I'm ok now.

Have you ever accidentally ate the unsweetened chocolate chunks? I did when I was about 7 years old. I remember sneaking up in my mom's cupboard and thinking "wow! Why does she have this?" Then, I took a bite. and I thought again "wow! Why does she have this?"
(only in the second thought, it was in disgust)

Snow Means....

Boots, hats, mittens, snowpants, coats, and scarves all over the place!!
That's ok though, having snow means there's something to do outside and it sure makes the winter go a little faster!!

Getting the Perfect Christmas Card Picture!!

Isn't this the truth? It's always so hard to get everyone looking and smiling. Oh, the bribing that goes on! It always turns out pretty good though. I saw this and had to laugh!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Take The Quiz!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Doris!


You are a Doris -- "I must help others."

Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
  • * Share fun times with me.
  • * Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
  • * Let me know that I am important and special to you.
  • * Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships
  • * Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
  • * Reassure me often that you love me.
  • * Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a Doris
  • * being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
  • * knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
  • * being generous, caring, and warm
  • * being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
  • * being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a Doris
  • * not being able to say no
  • * having low self-esteem
  • * feeling drained from overdoing for others
  • * not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
  • * criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
  • * being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
  • * working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

Dorises as Children Often
  • * are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
  • * try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
  • * are outwardly compliant
  • * are popular or try to be popular with other children
  • * act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
  • * are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)

Dorises as Parents
  • * are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
  • * are often playful with their children
  • * wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
  • * can become fiercely protective

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz


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