Sunday, October 31, 2010

To Trick or Treat or Not To Trick or Treat

That has been the question every year since we've been having children.
Let me start with a little history.
I trick or treated as a child.
We lived on a farm and my dad would take my brother and I to
2 or 3 other farms, the last one being a farm where his high school friend lived with his
parents and Mrs Degleman would give us popcorn balls and we'd sit at her table while they
visited with my dad and eat them!
Then, as we got older we'd go by ourselves with groups of friends.
No parents.
By older, I mean like 10.
I'd never, never let my 10 year old go by himself nowadays.
Fast forward to my mid 20's.
I was working at a Montessori school as an assistant teacher.
The rule there was No Costumes, No Halloween.
The reason being that children have many fears and it can cause jealousy among them.
So, we just did "Fall" stuff.
Fall treats, Fall crafts, etc...
Fast forward a couple years later.
I have my own Catholic daycare now.
(named Come Little Children Catholic Daycare)
Anyway, I decided to do the same as where I was teaching.
It made sense.
Fast forward 3 more years.
We now have a child of our own.
I kept with the "no trick or treating" thing.
I hate that "give me, give me" attitude.
Everywhere we go, kiddos get stuff.
Free cups, free toys w/meals, free stickers and suckers at the grocery store.
Gimme Gimme
Oh, yeah, and I have this wierd fear of answering the door...
might have to be a job for the girls!
Then, neighbors of ours had some thoughts on the subject.
The husband (a good friend of ours) believes that Halloween has become the devils holiday.
It is known to be the biggest day in the Occult.
A day of anti masses, devil worship and Antichrist activity.
Even more reason to not participate, right?
Well, I've always been on the fence, but it's been, let's say,
easier to not do it.
We don't need all that candy anyway.
I think we still have Easter candy up in the cupboard.
Now we have lots of children and it gets harder every year.
We have always gone to parties and dressed up for fun.
I've always tried to put our emphasis on All Saints day instead. Halloween is, after all,
All Hallows Eve. The Eve of All Saints.
This year is different.
I have decided we can go trick or treating with friends, we can take the good out of the day and keep it good.
No scary costumes.
No loud scary music coming from our house.
The kids are very excited.
I'm excited too.
Have I given in to the world and it's ways?
I think we will be fine.
Because tomorrow this will just be a memory.
And
we will go to Mass and celebrate All Saints Day.
And
we will walk through our backyard, and through the woods and go to
the graveyard and pray on Tuesday, All Souls Day for all the Poor Souls.
Life is what we make it.
It's how we approach it.
So
We have a
Spanish Conquistador, a Native American Indian girl, a Karate girl, a Ballerina and
a wee little puppy all ready to have some
soup with friends and go trick or treating.
This morning, Babycakes (age 4) said:
"Is it Halloween today?"
I said, "Yes it is!"
She then said, "But it's not dark out!"
What do you do?
Have a blessed night!
Pictures later this week, of both Halloween and All Saints Day costumes!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shopping

Our city recently opened a Super Wal-Mart. (finally) I think we were the last city in the U.S. to get a Super one. We had a little one that was very, very over populated. We, also, within the same month opened a brand new Sam's Club (a much bigger and brighter one) in the same area. (in the outskirts of town, near 2 highways, therefore drawing from many new towns).


The problem with it is, they miscalculated the number of people or miscalculated the amount of goods to stock, because they are out of several items each time we go. I usually shop every 2 weeks, (payday) starting on Friday, with Sam's Club and then Wal-Mart for, well, you know Wal-Mart stuff and then the groceries last. So, this is actually 3 stores. It's a big job. Wal-Mart always ends up being at least 3 hours, counting drive time (we now are further away from the new store). I can do Sam's Club in an hour and a half tops (counting drive time). But there still is the planning, and the putting away, right?

I decided to try to get groceries during the week, on an evening after Tae Kwon Do and supper, so I left yesterday around 8pm. My goal was to try to miss the weekend rush, simplify my weekends, and hopefully the shelves would be stocked better. Well, I did miss the rush, the store was practically empty (compared to the zoo it usually is) but they were still out of Orville Redenbacher Popcorn, my husband's favorite (he has popcorn every night). They are always out of that. And they were out of Wild rice and my Chicken soup base I use. Oh, and their fresh fruit was out. Yes, out.

I left only with Sweetie Pie. She is an absolute angel to take to stores, she is always good and well, it's just fun to take one child.

But, it was cold last night. Freezing cold. It was around 10:25 when we got home, and I still had to unload. She had fallen asleep without nursing and all bundled up in her winter coat and hat.

It just didn't feel like the thing I want to do every 2 weeks. Especially with Winter fast approaching us in MN. (but who likes to shop in the winter in MN anytime?)

Yet the marathon shopping weekend every 2 weeks is exhausting too.

I remember shopping with my mom when I was a kid. I hated it. Totally hated it. She'd push 2 carts, (which meant we had to push one) and they would be overflowing and piled high. It was sooooo embarrassing as a kid. I don't make my kids pull an extra cart because of that. But our cart is overflowing and piled high.

I do like those new kid carts the Super Wal-Mart and Sam's Club have though, they actually fit all 4 of my girls!!

My question is What do you do? When do you shop for your family? Are you as exhausted as me when you are all done? What's the best solution? I guess we all have our routines and whatever works, well, just works. Or it doesn't work.

Movies Anyone?

First up: Robinhood!!
This was great, no, it was excellent!! I'd put it up there with Braveheart and The Gladiator.
At first I thought Cate Blanchett was too old to play the part of Marion, but it turned out great, she played a strong, yet feminine woman.
Russell Crowe, what more is there to say? He was great as usual.
I'll have to add this to my profile as one of my favorites.
(not a movie for the kiddos though)
I had never heard of this one. My husband ordered it from Netflix.
I think it is new though. It is a Christian movie but not for kids at all.
Very adult content, showing drug and alcohol use and suicidal tendencies.
This movie, I thought, showed both sides really good though. Showing the more liberal side and what people with those views thoughts would be, and showing the more conservative side and what their thoughts would be on matters of faith and even abortion.
This movie ended up covering a lot of angles, faith, suicide, how we treat others, and life issues.
I think the life saved is actually several different lives in different ways.
The movie was very well made, and didn't seem like a low-budget film, as many Christian movies tend to be, like Fireproof.
(although Fireproof was a good movie, come on folks, it was pretty low budget)
I give this one a thumbs up.
For it's message and the way it was made.

Fall Art

I have a whole bunch of Art blogs on my Google Reader and found this project last week.
Now, I'm a visual learner, so I actually just use these blogs to see the projects and then make it up, so I'm not sure what she used, but I used watercolor paints and pens for this one.
Now this project was found here
We colored the leaves with either crayon or colored pencils, then echoed them with colored pencils and outlined them in black marker.
Any art project that can get Jedi involved voluntarily is a thumbs up in our house!
They are displayed in our entry way on the closet door.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's still Thursday, isn't it?
I'm thankful for of course faith and family,
for teeth that are pushed out by the new teeth....
(that one on the right is also being pushed out and that's poison ivy on her chin)
I'm thankful for kiddos who every time I sit to nurse the baby, still run and say, "can I sit by you?"
(yes, of course you can! But you must give me kisses!)
I'm thankful for kiddos nursing and taking care of their babies. We've brought babies to Mass, to the store and outside in the freezing cold this week!


I'm thankful my cow cupcakes turned out great!!
My husband's partner's birthday was this week and he grew up on a dairy farm, he loved the surprise delivery.
I'm thankful for blooming roses in my backyard (even now)....

I'm thankful our Kids Pro-Life Club bake sale earned $600 at our little parish alone!

And I'm thankful I don't have to bake this weekend!
I'm thankful for sweet, puffy, pink, snow balls of babies in winter coats!
(Oh, baby, I'm sorry we live in MN, but someday you will love the snow, I promise!)
I'm thankful this tree (or any tree for that matter) didn't fall on our house or on anyone.
(We had 40-60 mph winds these past 2 days and 2 of my book club ladies actually saw this tree fall down across the street! So sorry those neighbors just paid to trim their trees!)



Little Sweetie Pie is walking between things now, taking up to 6 steps, but once we start cheering, she gets all excited and falls down! I'm thankful for happy babies learning to walk!! I'm happy the sun was shining today!! We had 5 days straight of rain, rain, rain!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Pregnant

Not to confuse anyone, this post has nothing to do with this post.
I may look pregnant, but I'm not.
These past 5 days have been a whirl wind of emotions for me.
We went from my period being a late, to thinking we were pregnant, to finding out we weren't
today.
We are and always will be open to life.
What that means is we use no artificial means to prevent life.
We have used Natural Family Planning within our marriage at certain times, both to achieve and to prevent pregnancies (between babies, for c-section recovery, and weight loss for healthy pregnancies)
This involves abstaining during certain fertile times, or not.
The thing with always being open, is there is always the possibility, the openness for a certain conversation every month.
So, we talk.
It opens the door to talking about God and His will for us.
It opens the door to how we feel, our hopes and desires.
All weekend, I had such mixed feelings, going on at the same time.
Always happy if there is another baby. We believe babies are always a good thing.
For me, it is mixed with:
I still have so much weight to loose.
I wanted to lose 10 more pounds at least.
Do they make maternity clothes big enough to fit me?
My baby is still a baby.
Then, I think of Mary.
I think of Mary's Yes.
"Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
Luke 1:38
I accept God's will.
I always accept God's will.
He knows better than we do.
Then, I have feelings like:
Wow! We might be having another baby!
Hmmmm, I'm 41, we could actually have 2 more babies, realistically!
I wonder if it's a boy or a girl.
I think of the age differences.
I already know the pretty close to when the maybe baby would be born.
We have this secret between my husband and myself.
We have this certain twinkle in our eyes when they meet.
We fall in love with each other again.
We fall in love with our children again.
We realize even more how precious each child is and how precious that time is that they are still young and with us.
I go buy a test.
Hubby says to wait.
I can't wait.
I take it during the night.
I check it over and over again.
Hmmm.....can't be right, can it?
Why haven't I gotten my period?
Morning comes.
So does my period.
The thing about being open to life, for me, not only are we open to God's plan in our life,
but we are open to so much more love in our life.
We already love our future babies.
I'm not sad. I'm kind of numb, and gloomy like this picture I have above.
(it's been raining for 2 days and will continue for 3 more this week)
I'm optimistic and excited for God's will for our lives.
I'm in love with my husband.
I'm so blessed.
(and I have another month to lose some more weight!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday already?

I had no time to do "Thankful Thursday" so here's the "Friday Already?" version!
I'm thankful for cheap fresh flowers at the grocery store! They always brighten up my kitchen!
Of course I'm thankful for my faith and family!
Thankful also for the beautiful weather we've been having this October, I heard a rumor that snow is forcasted for next week, but I'm not going to check the forecast.
I don't need to know that yet, it's supposed to be 67 degrees today!

Easy Fall craft for you.
I call it a "rip tree", we (I) rip the paper and they glue using q-tips dipped in glue.

Thankful for Oral How-to Articles done wonderfully on "How to Make a Ice Cream Sundae"

Babies and pumpkins, need I say more?
Family Fun Night, started by Jedi, who needed to plan and organize a family fun night for a cub scout belt loop. He planned games, pizza, root beer and ice cream! He made a poster and helped prepare it all. It was so much fun that we decided to have a Family Fun Night every week....
Tonight is Ballerina Rosie's turn, and we have cheese pizza, ice cream, games, show and tell and a musical performance, of course given by herself.
Mary Hannah is already making her poster for next week!
God bless you all, have a wonderful weekend!


videoOur budding artist, begged me to put this on my blog!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Movie Reviews

This movie was very good!! There is a graveyard scene and I cried on and off from that time on.
Of course it's predictable, but it's a "Jamie Movie" I liked it.

I liked the relationship Vanessa Redgrave's character, Claire, had with the main character, Sophie.
Together they go on a journey to find a lost love, named Lorenzo, from when Claire was 15 years old.
The Lorenzo that ends up being "the one" is actually Vanessa Redgrave's husband in real life!!
Now isn't that cool?
Can you tell I like to watch the "extras"?
It is PG, but, Sophie, the main character goes on a "pre honeymoon" trip with her boyfriend, and well, I am just not going to explain that one to my littles, even if they are 8 now.
Even if they hardly show them together.
(I kind of pick movies apart like that) SO, I would not let my kids watch it, I consider this an adult movie.



Now, this movie, is PG-13 but it is so because of "sword fighting" and I would let my 10 year old watch this one!
No sex in this one, no swearing, just sword fights.
OH, and snakes. A weird snake man.
I was not looking forward to watching this movie, but did for my husband....
I was pleasantly surprised and would actually buy this one...if it were not Disney.
(we don't buy Disney products due to their excessive giving to Planned Parenthood)

Anyway, very good movie to rent!
I give both these movies thumbs up!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Anniversary of my Baby

October 18th, the feast of St Luke.
9 years ago I lost a baby. I was 9 weeks along. We named "him" Gabriel.
I feel he was a boy...but I always think it's a boy until we find out it's a girl.
He waits for us in Heaven. He prays for us. We pray to him. We love him, and he loves us.
I'm a little sad today thinking of him, but there's always Ballerina Rosie to be so very thankful for, as she was conceived a couple weeks after this date (9 years ago).
What is so hard about miscarriages for me is, we already love that little soul. From the moment we find out, the love is overflowing in our hearts for each child.

This prayer gave and still gives me such consolation when I read it.
From my Mother's Manual:

To a Child in Heaven
My darling, you have gone to heaven to be eternally happy,
and are now in joy in the company of the holy innocents there.
It was a thing hard for me to understand when you were taken from me,
for parting with you has caused me grief that few can know.
Yet in all my grief I am happy, very happy for you,
because I know the joy that is yours. Your joy is now my joy, too,
because I can always feel that I had a part in bringing it to you.
Now that you are in heaven, I realize that you are mine in a truer sense
than you could ever be on earth. I cannot lose you now through sin.
While parting with you was hard, I would not wish you back because
I know that you are happier than I could ever make you here with me.

Help me, as you now can with your intercession,
that I may be completely faithful to all my duties here on earth
and merit to receive you again in eternal joys
where there will be no more sorrow or parting from those we love.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, lover of little children, hear my prayer!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Looking Pregnant, But NOT

I guess if Paris Hilton can take it, I can too.
Today, after dropping Ballerina Rosie off at a friend's house, I ran quick into K-Mart for a
Native American costume for her for All Saints Day. She's going to be St Kateri Tekakwitha.
I never go there. (K-Mart)
I don't think very many people go there.
I always forget about it. Poor K-Mart.
Not even sure how they are still in business.
Anyway.
I only had the one item (which is rare for me) and no kiddos with me (even rarer for me)
I went through the "fast" lane, everyone having only one item.
The older, very talkative, cashier, asked the people in front of me if they would like a "Rewards" card, explaining it's free, blah, blah, blah.
They politely say "no thanks, we don't come here very often." (see? No one shops there anymore)
Then, she gets to me.
Now, picture a happy-go-lucky Jamie Jo. I am without the kiddos, I've only got one item, I'm in a hurry and will not have to stop at any potties or stop any fights, and I've just lost 10 lbs!!!
She says to me "Would you like to sign up for a Rewards card?"
I say, politely with a smile, "no thank you."
She then says "Right, I'm sure you are just thinking you just want to get out of this store so you can hurry up and have your baby."
Taken aback a little bit, trying to absorb what she's just said to me,
I say quietly "Oh, I'm not pregnant."
I couldn't even look her in the face.
She did apologize (which is very nice of her)
I tried to recover and quickly said,
"I do have 5 kids though!" (with my smile back on)
She then says,
"Oh, well, then I'm sure you don't want any more of them!"
I say, (being offended twice now in the quick line)
"Oh, we'd love to have more!"
I walked out rather quickly with my one item purchase, got to the van,
shook my head, and started wishing I would have made the cashier feel better for insulting me, wondering if she really even felt bad for it. I quickly tell myself "jamie, she did apologize."
Then, I tear up, feeling like a big fat slob.
wondering what I actually look like to others.
Wondering if I will ever be the me that I want to be.
The me that I feel like inside.
Makes me want to go pig out on something chocolate, like brownies or cookies or something and not count any points.
Not really.
Oh, our sinful nature is so full of pride, isn't it?
I just wish women would have some common sense.
NEVER ASSUME ANY WOMAN IS PREGNANT UNLESS SHE SAYS SHE IS.
NEVER.
NEVER.
We need to lift each other up, not tear them down, even if it's by accident.
I plan to pray for this talkative, chatty cashier.
It's the only way I know how to cope.
Pray, pray, pray.
Oh, and stay away from the chocolate brownies and cookies!
I get home, cry in my husband's arms and he tells me,
"Jamie, I was just thinking today how when I look at you you are still just as beautiful as the day I met you."
I cry even more, but am feeling so very blessed now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am so very thankful to God for my faith and husband and family and
Sweet girls in bandanna scarves...
Babies who can crawl up the stairs safely now...
Baby curls and chubby hands (click on picture)...
Messed up baby books....
Step back a little further and I'm thankful for happy dress-up girls...
(after having the dress up box put away in the closet for several months!)


I'm thankful for
Sweet babes that can still fit in the sink...
Mmmmmmm....vanilla candles.....and 4 year old girls who love to turn out all the lights in the house because mama has a candle lit!
I'm thankful
Our old broken crank out window is out now....
and we have a brand new $850 window for the girls, so now they can finally open their window!
(it broke about a month ago)
For good friends.
I've been contemplating friends this week and am so very thankful for all the different friendships I have, but a couple in particular.
First, my friend Sarah.
I was trying to describe her to another friend and to call her my "friend" is just, well, not enough.
She is really more of a sister to me than a friend.
And that doesn't even seem enough, more like a twin sister.
(only she's the prettier, smarter, taller, thinner one)
We have the same belief system, we know what the other is thinking and never ever tire of talking.
I thank God for placing her in my life.
I must also mention my new friend Susie. I've gotten to know her this past year and so look forward to seeing her every time I see her. She's beautiful inside and out and every time I am with her, I'm thinking "Why would someone so cool, hang out with me?"
She has been such a source of happiness this past year to me and I am thankful for her and her family.
(of course there's Kissteen too)




video

I am also thankful finally

For smart babies who are starting to talk and sort, and big sisters who cheer her on and teach and love her so much.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday (kind of, I think, Well, Ok it's not)

I guess it's not really "Wordless Wednesday" when you've already posted 2 other posts and talked, right?
Well, just a reminder to play in the leaves before it's too late!!
I can't resist kicking leaves piled up alongside the curb, the kiddos love kicking them as much as I do!! I'll have to get some pictures of that next time!

Photography 101

Can I bore you with some photos? (It's why I take them)
OK, kidding about the 101 part, but if I were to live my life over, I would have taken

photography classes. Oh, yeah, and if I had a lot of money, because you need a lot of money to buy a nice camera. The kind of camera I'd need to take the pictures I like to take.

SO, this post is just me messing with my camera at a park with the kiddos in the Fall.

(my cheap camera in the camera-photography world sense)
The above photo is my total favorite (not sure what total favorite means, but it's it)

That's our van in the far top right. Just FYI
What? That surprises you that we drive a van?
(click on the picture for even more beauty)


My kiddos!




For Christine and remembering Fatima today.
Thinking about the Son and the sun today.










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