Monday, December 27, 2010

The Tourist

My husband and I celebrated our 14th Anniversary on December 20th and went out for dinner and a movie. Key words here are "and a movie". We usually do just dinner. Because with 5 kiddos, well, it just costs too much to do both. (you know, counting the babysitter) Hey, it was our anniversary though, so we went for both!! We really didn't know what was good out there, so we went for this one. This was a great one! It had mystery, suspense, comedy, romance and a twist of course (don't they all have a twist?). This one is in the theatre now, but I will definitely watch it again when it comes to video! Oh, Angelina Jolie is just beautiful in this. (well, ok, she's always beautiful) I said to Tom, "I wish I could stand like her." She walks like a model, and I caught myself thinking and wishing I had somewhere where I could walk like that, and look like that. Oh, well...I'm sure she only walks like that in the movies right? Tom didn't get it, he was like "you wish you could stand like her?"

Our computer is down and waiting for someone to finish fixing it. The hard drive is intact and all my pictures are safe, thank goodness! Until it's fixed though, no pictures or normal blogging. It's too hard on this laptop of my hubby!

We all had a wonderful Christmas, the best ever, I think. I hope you all did too.
Today we will try to clean up some of the boxes and new gifts that seem to be everywhere! Our mornings seem so different now that we are not doing all our Advent stuff.
I'm happy to not have anywhere to go today (except Cub Scouts tonight and Tae Kwon Do)
So, we will play, play, play!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Miss Me?

Bueller? Bueller?

I missed you.
Our computer got a virus.
What a mess.
My husband has a laptop.
It's very hard to get used to.
It's very touchy.
I'm on a break for now.
Which is kind of nice this time of year.
I wanted to take a break, so God gave me a break.
He knew I couldn't do it on my own.
to be present in the moment with my kiddos.

If I don't come back for a while,
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not Wordless Wednesday

It's not "Wordless Wednesday" if you've already posted a post with words, right?
Sleeping babe for Christine
Don't worry, after the pictures were taken, we put pillows under her and she then, fell on them and stayed sleeping on the floor for another 15 minutes!!
Tired baby!

Birthday Wishes!

Head on over to Suzie's and wish her a happy 4oth today!!!

The first time I meet Suzie, was at a birthday party with about 50 girls (literally) and she was doing the dishes. My first impression was she's one of those "perfect" mamas and that I'd have nothing in common with her! (I think she will admit she's very organized!)

Was I wrong! And I mean that with all sincerity and love. The next time I saw her, she traveled with my friend Sarah from Fargo, 2 1/2 hours to my home, Sarah had to work here in town that day, so she left Suzie with me and my kiddos. We were planning on driving to the Catholic Homeschooler's Conference in the Twin Cities, later in the day and bunking together for the weekend. She was so down to earth and I just felt "at home" with her. I was happy that my good friend had found such a good friend in her new town.

The drive home from the conference was just too short, we had so much more to talk about!
I'm so glad these blogs keep us in touch.
I'm so glad she's my friend's friend and now I can say she is my friend too.

Suzie is an amazing cook, loving mother, and true country girl at heart. She's a very interesting and beautiful woman and I hope only the best for her, especially on this day, her 4oth year!
Happy Birthday Suzie!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reality: St Lucy Day-- for Us

Ballerina Rosie was so excited to surprise everyone with this breakfast wearing this outfit for the feast of St Lucy yesterday.
Notice we (I) forgot to add candles to the pastry, which would have not been possible had it not been for Lacy at Catholic Icing. (the Semi semi semi of homemade is from the can)
Ballerina Rosie worked so hard at making her paper "crown with candles".
wearing a red fleece scarf for the sash. This mama got up really early,
and this mama
and this mama.
I could show more, but you get the idea.
In order to do what we did, we ate at like 10:30am!!
I think to be a part of "blogworld" you need to have lots of confidence.
Confidence that what you are doing is enough.
Confidence to know what you can do and what you can't do.
(like try anything that involves yeast in the morning...or anytime for that matter)
A friend of mine told me she can't read blogs because of how it makes her feel as a mother.
She said it makes her feel inadequate.
I truly hope I don't make anyone feel that way.
My house is always a mess.
I think a restaurant's floor is cleaner than mine.
(Ok, maybe it's not that bad)
My kiddos fight and argue.
In fact, my kiddos were making fun of our "surprise St Lucy girl"
wearing her scarf and pretending to be the Saint.
Oh, they got talked to about respect and being nice.
Believe me, if I show something on my blog, it's because it's something easy to do.
I can't sew.
I can't knit.
But I am what my children need.
God entrusted them to me fully aware of what I can do.
He knows my gifts and He knows what I can give my children.
I've learned to read amazing blogs and say "Wow, she's amazing...I wonder what I'm amazing at?" Or "Can I try that?" "Can I make a Jamie version of that?"
I think in "blogworld" we are all trying to encourage each other, share ideas and help each other in our vocation as wives and mothers (and husbands and fathers for you male readers)
We are helping each other in this journey toward God.
(at least the blogs I read)
So, reality is, our St Lucy Day was not that spectacular, but my children will hopefully remember it and when they grow up they will know about the special feast days the Church celebrates and why we celebrate them. They will have good memories of wearing paper candles and scarves around their waists.
hopefully they will love their faith and hold on to it.


We watched Shrek Forever After this past weekend and loved it!
If you are a Shrek fan, you'll love this one too.
I admit, I didn't care for the 2 last Shrek movies.
I'd rank this movie with the first Shrek.
My kiddos thought it was better than the first one.
In Shrek Forever After, there's a kind of Rumplestiskin twist with his trickery of contracts.
They have witches in this one that melt with water, like The Wizard of Oz.
Funny stuff.
With a high of 10 degrees today, we might have to watch it one more time before returning it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pretty Over the Kitchen Sink Party

Ginny posted her kitchen sink yesterday
(she decorates the way I wish I could, like I start thinking, maybe I should have white dishes...maybe that will make me cool like her)
Before I started blogging like 3 years ago,
there was this Kitchen Sink thing that went around,
where everyone I read posted a picture of their kitchen sink.
I so wanted to be a blogger back then,
just to post a fun picture of my kitchen sink with my baby!
(who was a chubby Michelin babycakes back then)
Well, you've probably seen enough of Sweetie Pie in the sink,
so here's how I made my kitchen sink look pretty.
Yes, I cleaned it before the picture.
Actually, I had nothing special out for decorations.
I hate clutter.
(I'm not saying I don't have clutter, just that I hate it)
SO, the thought of taking out Christmas stuff and putting it all around is just too much clutter for me.
I decorate the stairs,
the tree and the fireplace.
Then, of course there's the Advent wreath that sits out
and all the Advent stuff we do every day.
(books, candy-a-day, calendars--and we have 4 of everything, some things 5)
Oh and Christmas cards on the counter waiting for me to fill out.
But, for this picture,
this simple picture,
I thought, maybe I could make it not seem so cluttered with something simple.
I think I did that.
It took 5 minutes
(I moved the dirty dishes way over to the left)
and I'm glad I did. (not move the dishes, but the simple sink)
My sink is refreshed!
It's ready to wash dishes for the season!
Or, uh, I'm ready to wash dishes for the season!
Will you join in?
How have you made your sink area pretty?
Will you make your sink area pretty?
Link up with Leila where it all started!

Friday, December 10, 2010


This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday.
Light your pink candles!
Anticipate the Joy that Jesus will soon be here!

And don't forget to wear PINK!!!!
(no problem in this house, we have lots of pink!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book Review--Red in the Flower Bed

Red in the Flower Bed
I was asked to give a book review a while ago, I picked Dec 9th, is it already Dec 9th?
That sounded so far away back then.
Well, Red in the Flower Bed, by Andrea Nepa, is a sweet and loving look at how through the journey of a seed, there is purpose for everything, as the seed finds his home in a new flower garden. The beautiful art pulls you into the story.
Red in the Flower Bed is a wonderful, simple way to explain adoption to children.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Christ Child

I've been reading a few different blogs lately. You see, I've been up with sick kiddos coughing and myself coughing. On the nights that I've been coughing, I've gone to the computer and blog hopped.

I started here. I am amazed at all this woman has done for the orphans close to her heart. My heart aches for her and for all the orphans she speaks of.

I then went here. Oh, my goodness has their lives changed over the past few years. It is so wonderful seeing all the good these people are doing. Caring, loving, compassionate people. Called to care for Gods children. They adopted a special needs girl with a heart defect and brought her home, took her in as their own and loved her, and she ended up dying, but knowing she was loved. Isn't that what Blessed Mother Theresa would want us to do? Love until it hurts? They loved and gave this little girl their hearts. Their reward will be great in Heaven.

Her blog led me to this site.
I'd like to see you try to look at those beautiful faces here and not cry. (scroll down the page to see the faces)

I've been contemplating what God wants me to do. I've been contemplating why would God allow this to happen? I've been contemplating why so many people call themselves "Pro-life", including myself, yet really do nothing with the lives that live. There are millions of children all around the world that have been given life. Their mother kept them, she did not abort them. Although, we do not know their individual stories, they are all orphaned and they are all left in orphanages, not loved the way God wants them loved. I know God loves them and believes them to be special, He wants them in Heaven with Him someday. That's why they were created, to be with Him someday.

I really believe they are there for us. For other people to be tested in a way by God. What will we do? Did we feed the hungry? Did we clothe the naked? Did we Love all of Gods children?

The way I understand it, the "imperfect" children (the ones with Downs Syndrome or any birth defects) are placed in orphanages until they are 5 years old when, they are then institutionalized, basically thrown away, locked into a crib for the rest of their lives.

Excuse me while I go puke.

I am sick to my stomach.

I feel so helpless.

Why were we given so much?

What does God want us to do about it?
We live in a world where people have 2 homes and 2 cars, we eat in excess, we never do without. At least that is the way the world seems.

I am sick about the whole adoptive system. There are people who want to adopt, but the costs are outrageous. Why is this? Why make it so hard to adopt? The waiting children in our own country are free.

I have no answers.

I just wanted to get it out there.
I want people to know, as we go about our busy days planning our next holiday party and finish up our Christmas to-do lists, there are children out there, real children who don't even really know what Christmas is.

Can you say some prayers for them?

I think my feeling that aching feeling in my heart and sick feeling in my stomach shows we are all ONE BODY. ONE BODY IN CHRIST. We are all connected by God. When one hurts, we all hurt.

Christmas is Christ coming to us as a child. Maybe it is as these precious children.
The Christ Child, come as orphan children.

from Advent and Christmas with Fulton J. Sheen

The Coronation of Childhood
There is no escape from the tremendous fact of Christmas day, that when God revealed himself to this poor world of ours, men cried in astonishment: "Why, it is a child?" And so it is that the closer we get to God the more we become children, and the closer God gets to us the more he becomes a child. No one in the world ever suspected that the Ancient of Days who presided at creation would take his throne in that creation as a babe in a crib, just as no one ever thought he would tell the old men of forty, like Nicodemus, that they must be born again.

According to all worldly standards, it is the aged who are learned. And yet when Wisdom came to earth he was a child and when Wise Men came to Wisdom they were told to be like children. Christmas, then, is the coronation of childhood, the glorification of the young whose hearts are simple, the proclamation to aging hearts that the world need not despair and die, because the Fountain of Youth has come into it to...turn time backward, make old things young again.
-In The Fullness of Time

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

This was going to be my "Wordless Wednesday" picture....but I can't possibly be wordless today!
"I am the Immaculate Conception"

I love that.

This is one of my favorite Feast days.

Well, any Feast day with our Lady is a favorite!

When I was a kid, I thought it was the Immaculate Conception of Jesus.

It is not. It is the day to celebrate Mary's Immaculate Conception.

To celebrate that God chose her from the very beginning.

God knew she would say yes.

We will eat blueberry muffins, go to Mass tonight, color these beautiful coloring sheets
but we probably won't get time to bake sugar cookies or anything else extra, you see, it's our busy music day! (band and piano)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Feast of St Nicholas!

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas! I also want to wish my friend Lori, a very happy birthday!
(not sure if she even reads, but just in case!)
The kiddos loved the cake last night!
My husband owns a half-way home for men in recovery, so they always get our sweet leftovers, I'm sure they were happy this morning!
St Nicholas visited our home last night!
(the bench must be put in front of the fireplace because of a certain 1 year old who loves to open the doors constantly)

Reading and watching to do today (after school and outside)
Check out our breakfast bread we made this morning!
Here or here.
I have school to teach, laundry to do, baby to bathe, supper to plan, Christmas cards to order, and a million piles to get to today!
In other words,
It's Monday.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

For the Feast of St Nicholas

Our St Nicholas cake!
Head on over to Catholic Cuisine for the recipe!
Happy Feast day, don't forget to put out your shoes!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random Thoughts (just a little peek at some of mine)

I'll start with Advent.
I love Advent.
It's a time to go back to God, to prepare our souls.
To wait patiently and joyfully.
Key words for a mama with a restless heart, yearning for peace, yearning for God.
The above book, I really like. It's short and sweet, perfect for busy mamas.
How could anyone go wrong with St Padre Pio?
The same with this book. I couldn't decide which to get, so, I got both.
The two men are two of my favorites.
Isn't Fulton J Sheen beatified yet?
We got this book last year, but only read one chapter and then fell behind. It starts the first Sunday of Advent and you read a chapter every day til Christmas.
This year, we are reading it every chance we get and are actually ahead. Actually, we've been reading this instead of starting school early and are starting our day quite late after all our Advent activities.
I highly recommend this book. The kiddos love it. I love it.
Each chapter leaves you with a cliffhanger and makes you want to keep reading.
I'll quote the back of the book here:
"Ten year old Jotham's adventure takes him across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters friendly wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to his family--and to the Savior born in Bethlehem."
We are using Paper Dali
to color and cut out and put on our
Jesse Tree!
We are planning on doing the "Jesse Tea" with friends of ours closer to Christmas and I am so excited!
We took out our Easy Bake oven this week and it was all new for Babycakes!!
Thanks to Aunty Heidi who gave it to Ballerina Rosie when she was 3.
The next birthday or Christmas she also gave us a box filled with Easy Bake cake and cookie mixes! (they are expensive)
The little girls had a blast this week baking their hearts out!

  • I've been thinking about white bread. Yes, I said white bread. Someone I know said to me over a year ago, that she thought we "were white bread people". What does that mean? It's still bothering me. We actually happen to be wheat bread people. Just because I'm a little overweight doesn't mean we don't eat healthy, because we do. Sometimes I do buy that Kids Choice bread, but very rarely, in fact I don't remember that last time I bought it.
  • Speaking of being overweight....I have stayed the same for 4 weeks now, actually, I gained one pound back about 4 weeks ago and so the amount lost is 10 pounds, but I don't feel like changing the little sidebar thingy thing, because I know I'll lose that one pound....
  • Progessterone. Yes, I'm thinking about progesterone. The ladies in my book club said that once a woman is over 40 and she gets pregnant, she should take progesterone to make sure that baby lives. I've never heard of this. It scares the crap out of me. I'm 41 and hope for more babies. I hope I catch it in time if I do get pregnant and can get this stuff.
  • Orphanages. I'm thinking constantly about orphanages in other countries. I've been thinking about this woman and we will hopefully be giving our Christmas donation to the orphanage that is close to her heart. The things she's seen just break your heart and here we are eating to our hearts content and buying whatever we need and want. We are so very blessed.

There's more on my mind, but that's enough for now!

Blessings and happy weekend everyone!

**Sorry, I got my hormones mixed up!! (I fixed it) I was trying not to say "testosterone" and that's what I wrote. Sorry to confuse anyone.

Dry Air

Last year we had one humidifier and it broke this year when one of the kiddos dropped it.
We went out and bought 3, one for each bedroom.
Now we are sleeping much better, with no sores in our noses, no waking up all stuffed up, no rough hands and no bloody noses.
That's what dry air brings.
Filling humidifiers every night takes a little time as does cleaning them every Saturday but it's so much better.
What do you do? I never hear anyone talking about their humidifiers. I just wonder what people do?
Is it just our home that's so dry in the winter?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have not always had curly hair.
Here I am in 5th grade (age 10)
Here's 9th grade, (age 14) in the time of perms. I remember my brother sitting in curlers getting his perms (every 3 months). Oh, how I used to laugh at him.
That was the big thing in the 80's. Big, curly hair.
I'd get a perm and then curl it with a curling iron, see the ringlets?
My last perm was right before I got married, 14 years ago.
Well, then, I started having kiddos. Along came the curls.
It's funny reading your comments, because the straight haired people, wish they had curls and the curly hair people wish they had straight hair.
Over a year ago, I decided to embrace my curls and let them be what they are.
I quit straightening them.
I quit complaining about them.
See, my curls are not beautiful, thick curls. They are wavy and get kind of frizzy and fly away.
I do not have thick hair.
I have fine hair and a lot of fine hair.
(does that make sense?)
My husband loves my hair when I straighten it.
He's never said he doesn't like my curls, but he's never said he likes them either.
He has said he loves my hair when I straighten it.
I decided to try straightening my hair Saturday just for fun.
My kiddos were like "Wow, mom, what did you do to your hair?"
My girls were staring at me.
They liked it.
I liked it.
My husband liked it.
to be honest, it's work.
It takes time to straighten, like 15 extra minutes.
Then, if it's raining or humid out, I have to worry about the straightness going out and getting frizzy, like yesterday, I straightened it and it was misting outside, when we came in, it was curly again.
So, I usually just shower and put on a little mascara and liner and I'm off.
Make up, a whole 'nother story.
When I wear make up, people can't tell, but when I don't wear it, I can tell.
Isn't it all about how we feel about ourselves?
I kind of let my hair go.
I don't take the time when maybe I should, for my husband sometimes.
That's what it made me realize.
I need to take that time for him, because I love him.

I was asked what products I use.
Really? I feel like a celebrity or something.
Really, I'm not all that.
My hair is not even nice enough for anyone to ask what products I use.
If you are still reading, and still wondering, I use a hair creme after every shower, put it on and leave it on.
It calms the frizz somewhat.
I usually buy Suave, but lately the stores have been out, so I buy whatever I can find under $5
I don't go to salons or buy expensive salon shampoo or conditioner. I go to Sam's Club.
I buy big.
When I straighten, I usually straighten on a non-shower day, it straightens better when it's a day old and after straightening, I use a little wax on just fingered through my hair to calm the fly aways.
That's it folks.
No gels, no special shampoos or anything, just what's cheap and easy.
If I have bangs, it is because I was at a weak moment and having a bad hair day and got carried away, because when I have bangs, I hate them and can't wait for them to grow out.
When they are grown out, I also hate them.
I am a constant work in progress.
Trying to embrace what God has given me.
Bangs or no bangs
Curls or straight.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Much Needed Grace on Mondays

I really think there should be a Confession time for homeschooling mothers on Mondays.
(especially after a long holiday weekend)

Lord, please help me to be patient, loving and kind.
Help me to realize it's just a day.
Tomorrow we will do better.
Tomorrow, I will do better.
Help me to realize that kids are noisy, especially 5 kids.
Help me to be OK with that noise level, especially on Mondays.
Help me to understand that not only can the children not focus or concentrate on Mondays, but I can't either.
And that's OK.
If the only thought I process completely today is "Lord, help me!"
It's enough.

Lord, help me!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Still trying to get that Christmas card picture...
(red eyes and blurry faces in this one)
Hubby does not like the yellow background and dark curtain.

I actually like this one, but hubby won't do it!

We had Tom's brother and his family over
Our little cousin never left Mary Hannah's side, she followed her everywhere, it was sooooo
cute. Mary Hannah is great with babies and children.

When I have company over, I always realize how unfancy I am. No fancy dishes, no fancy serving bowls or trays. No fancy water glasses.
Oh, well, that's not what it's all about, is it?
It's about food, family and being thankful.
The kiddos went sledding after dinner.
That sounds so funny on Thanksgiving. We have not had snow on Thanksgiving in years.
It was a very cold, windy day.
The kids had fun and came back in with rosy cheeks.
I was almost done with the dishes by this point...
So, it was time for pie!
I love kids eating pie.
They love pie.
We had pumpkin, pumpkin cheesecake, and French Silk.
And of course there was entertainment!
My 2 oldest wanted to give a show several times, but every time they tried to play the littles would come and try to play too.
My girls gave a play, but I was busy getting dinner on. So no pictures. They said I didn't need to be there. (My girls don't like to show off or anything)
All I heard was Babycakes acting like a turkey.
Nothing unusual.
Time to take down the turkey stuff and get ready for Advent!
I know I stocked up on Advent candles last year...but where did I put them?
Off to Confession today, but nothing else.
It's great to have a Saturday with nothing on the schedule.
No shopping, no nothing.
Just family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving!

As flowers carry dewdrops, trembling on the edges of the petals, and ready to fall at the first waft of the wind or brush of bird, so the heart should carry its beaded words of thanksgiving. At the first breath of heavenly flavor, let down the shower perfumed with the heart's gratitude.
-Henry Ward Beecher
I am so very thankful for my rich, Catholic faith.
For my wonderful husband
For these 5 beautiful, healthy, active children
For my newly painted stairway....
Bathroom...(not finished with pictures yet) I love babies in tubs and sinks, so I need to gather pictures of the kiddos and frame them and put those up in here, along with some fish...
Living room before
Living room after. (It looks more yellow here, but it's actually more a gold-ish color)

Thankful for babies in the sink...did I tell you I like babies in the sink?
(well, I don't leave them there! I just like to give them baths there!)
For Christ the King
Feast day celebrated Sunday....
With store bought cupcakes and added crowned M&M's!
I'm thankful for Advent....which is just around the corner.
I've been saving these tin cans to wrap and put something inside for each day until Christmas.
Just not sure yet what.
Happy Blessed Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Book Review--Little Star

I was asked by Anthony DeStafano, the author of Little Star, to read a review copy and see if my readers might like this cute Nativity story about the star of Bethlehem.
I love Christmas books.
Little Star does not disappoint and I think it will become one of our favorites.
I love stories that have signs or symbols that turn out to be all for our Lord's birth.
Little Star is just that, a star bursting with love for our Lord.
"He was only aware of the child in the cold stable."
I love that line from the book.
Words we can ponder in our own lives, to focus only on Jesus.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Don't go to any store, but let's say don't go into Bed, Bath & Beyond on a busy Friday evening, with your 4 and 6 year old if you might, possibly have those uncontrollable, silent, but deadly kind of farts. Even if you think you have the perfect scapegoat, the baby, with you. It won't work.
There is no fooling these bright, rather loud, nose plugging, kiddos. You will hear your 4 year old say, very honestly and loudly, "No Mom, the poop smell is coming from your butt." (who could blame her, really, her head happens to be in that vicinity) Her older sister will then say, quite loudly, "Yeah, Mom, you farted, it's not Bridget's poopie diaper" You will hear yourself saying, trying not to laugh, in your meanest whisper "You guys be quiet! Don't say anything more about it and mommy will buy you a treat at the end!"

Remind me to never have homemade chicken barley soup for lunch ever again.

Friday, November 19, 2010


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