Thursday, December 20, 2007

Goodbye For Now

We are leaving tomorrow afternoon, and I still have LOTS to do. So, I am saying goodbye a little early. I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to check in while we are gone, so have a blessed Christmas! We are planning on being back on the evening of the 1st (weather permitting of course).

Before I forget, here are the recipes I promised you. The gingersnaps were also Danielle's recipe, and again they turned out great. The biscotti is still cooling, but I did sneak a taste of one, and it was pretty yummy. I will say this though, they are very crumbly and the dough spreads while it's baking. Also, I cooked it on wax paper like it tells you to, and my oven and of course my house filled with smoke. Now my house smells like burning wax. Not sure what happened there, I've cooked on this particular paper before. Hmmm... By the way this is NOT Danielle's recipe, I found it on All Recipes. I took out the nuts, doubled the cinnamon, added 1 cup of white chocolate chips, and am going to dip half in melted semi-sweet chocolate. If you make this, I suggest you read the comments about it, there are very useful tips.

Have a great Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hodgepodge

Yesterday I made the Russian tea cakes. Yum!! Another of Danielle's recipes has proven to be oh...so...GOOD! So here is the recipe. No hints for you on this one. It's self-explanatory, and SO easy. (An extra bonus, right?)

As the title of this post states, this is a hodgepodge of things I've been wanting to write about. First, about a week ago, I was doing some clothes shopping, and after going to Savers, decided that I still needed some things that are better bought new, if you know what I mean. So I went to Target, and thought I would be able to also get some other things that have been cluttering up my to-do list. Christmas cards were at the top of this list. I was in a rush when I finally got to that end of the store (Fritter had had ENOUGH of shopping), so I asked a lady where I could find their Christmas cards. She pointed me in the direction.

There were no Christmas cards at Target. Oh sure, they had Santa cards, they had Reindeer doing things they shouldn't be, and they had one set of cards that had a cartoony angel blowing a trumpet, but NO CHRISTMAS CARDS!!! Grrr! I know most stores really don't have an agenda, they just really don't want to offend people, and they want to make money. Is it offensive to have a package (even if it's just one) of Christmas cards? I mean real ones. Again, Grrrr!!!

The other thing I wanted to post about was this. While watching news this morning, there was a commercial for Oreck vacuums. They are having a sale, I guess, and to advertise, they had Santa stand next to the Oreck guy. All fine. But at the end of the commercial Santa says, "Ho, ho, ho, Happy Holidays!" What?! Since when does Old Saint Nick wish people Happy Holidays? This is Santa we're talking about right? You know, the guy that delivers presents to all the good boys and girls on CHRISTMAS EVE?! Grrr again.

That's all for now, I have lots to do. We are leaving for Wyoming Friday afternoon, and there is still some baking left and much cleaning to do. I also still have to pick up DH's gift and another for Fritter and my two nephews that will be joining us for Christmas Day. Other than that, all shopping is done. Thank you EBATES!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You Have To Try These!

Starting yesterday, I am baking a batch of cookies everyday to take with us to Wyoming. I was a little bit nervous about it though, because my father-in-law is the real cookie baker in the family. Unfortunately, since he was diagnosed with bladder cancer this summer (and of course after two surgeries and two rounds of chemo so far) he is not up to it this year. Because my mother-in-law has quite a bit to do, between taking care of Dad, and preparing for their guests, I volunteered to make some snacks so they don't have to.

My plan is to make chocolate chip cookies, Russian tea cakes, chocolate biscotti, and gingersnaps. Yesterday I made the chocolate chip cookies. I used Danielle's recipe, Best Ever (Really!) Chocolate Chip Cookies. She is not joking. These really are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made. They don't go flat on you. They are chewy and yummy.

Before I made them, I looked over the ingredient list. The recipe calls for shortening, which (I know, I know) I have never used before, and didn't own. I considered substituting butter and reducing the salt like I've read you can do. But another cookie recipe also calls for shortening, so I decided to suck it up and buy some. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE THE SHORTENING! I'm pretty sure that that is what made these cookies not go flat on me. I could be wrong, but I wouldn't take the chance unless you really know what you're doing, and even then...

S0, if you are in the mood to bake during this preparation time for Christmas, put on some fun music (or in my case a fun podcast) and make these cookies. Your family will thank you!

PS- If the other cookies turn out good, I will post a link to those recipes as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Club 17

Kelsey kindly reminds us to do our monthly breast examination. Because this is such a busy time of year, this kind of thing can easily get overlooked. But it is important. As a bonus, if you visit Kelsey and leave a comment in this post that you have done your exam, you get a chance to win a prize! I won last month, so maybe you will win this month. Go on! Get checking!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What an Arizona baby wears...

when it's 70 degrees outside.


Another 40 Reasons

Sarah found another one! This one is great, so go over and visit Untangling Tales and read her 40 Reasons. I've also updated my side bar to add this one!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Busy Day

Today is the feast day of St. Lucy! In RCIA, we all picked a patron saint, and I picked her. I was initially drawn to her because her feast day is celebrated on...my birthday! Yep, that's right, it's my birthday. Last night, DH gave me his present. An iPod Nano!!! I have wanted one of these for so long, and after work last evening, he braved the crazy mall and picked one up for me. While he was at work, and Fritter was taking a nap, I did not do housework. Nope. I sat in front of my computer and played with my iPod. Another confession, I didn't know what a podcast was until today, but I plan on checking some out. Any recommendations?




Tonight, we went to Olive Garden for dinner (YUM!). We don't get out often, so this was a special treat. Then, our complex was having a Christmas party tonight, so after dinner, we showed up long enough to set Fritter on Santa's lap. He didn't cry like I thought he would, but given a little more time, he would have.


After all that, we came home, and I finished frosting my cake. I made a carrot cake. I planned on following this recipe, but the one I had in a cookbook only took 3 cups of grated carrots instead of 4. I didn't think it was going to be a big deal until I began shredding the carrots. 3 cups is a lot! But I think it turned out good, at least it smells like it. We haven't had any yet, we will soon.


PS-- I am falling behind on my feast day reports, but if I have a chance tomorrow, I will update them. Until then, learn more about St. Lucy here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Conversion

Growing up an only child was difficult in some ways. My mother and I traveled along with my sudo step-father (they were never married) with a seismograph company until I was about 12. God was never really mentioned in our house. However, for the short bursts of times we would live in my step-fathers hometown, his sister would take me to her baptist church along with her husband and two daughters. I loved it. Her husband, Bill, was a guitar player for the church, and on various Sunday's, he would play the song "Lily of the Valley". It was my favorite song, and I would request it when I had a chance.

During the bulk of the Sunday service, I was sent in back along with all the other children to Sunday school, where we would learn bible stories and songs. Afterwards, we would rejoin the group in the main church, for what I called "the boring part", the sermon. Then we would stand and sing, and that was that. During one of these bursts of time, my "aunt" Marlene decided that I needed to be baptised. I didn't know this until later, but my mother was completely against the idea, and wanted me to be old enough to decide for myself (I was 7). So Marlene took matters into her own hands. She arranged for me to be baptised, and afterwards I went home and gushed to my mother all about it. I'm not sure if words were ever exchanged about it, and I'm not sure I want to know.

Eventually, we moved back to my home town in Wyoming when I was about 10. By then, we had lived away from Marlene and Bill for so long, that I hadn't gone to church in quite awhile. A summer or two after our move home, I was sent to live with my father for a summer. My real father was never really in my life much. I'm assuming a lot of that had to do with us moving so much. So I didn't really know him or his new wife and step-children. His new wife was a Pentecostal. Having never been exposed to the liveliness of this branch of Christianity, I was pretty scared off. I viewed them as strange (as I had never experienced anything like this in my secular world), and eventually, this idea of all Christians, and anyone with faith, being strange stuck. My mother's own opinions didn't help, as I'm sure the reader can imagine.

By the time I was a teenager, I was so against the idea of being a Christian, that I actually went the other way. I went through a phase where I was doing many things that I shouldn't have been doing. I had lost all trust in anyone, mostly because I was let down so much, and I figured that if I took matters into my own hands, I wouldn't need to rely on anyone. I still struggle with this need to control everything around me. I still have a hard time trusting anyone, even God at times, but through His grace and the sacraments, I hope to work through this.

Now, throughout this whole time, I look back and can see the hand of God at work. During my stint as a baptist, the pastor had mentioned that you should always pray at bedtime, and that made up prayers were better than ready-made. He then told us how to pray in our own words, using the format of the Lord's Prayer. So every night, without fail, I would pray. I started with the classic "Now I Lay Me", and then would go into my own prayer. I always started,

"Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this day you have given us,
Thank you for all the food you have given us,
Thank you for everything you have given us.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please forgive me for all the sins I have done."

Hear I would just begin talking to God like I would talk to the very best of friends. I would tell Him all my problems, and all the solutions I would like to see (even if they were selfish ones). But mostly, I would just talk to Him. Then I would end my prayer (if I hadn't fallen asleep yet).

"In the name of Jesus Christ my Saviour, Amen."

Now, during this time, my cousin and best friend, Ashleigh, was busy doing her own thing. She was going through her church's classes, to become a confirmed Lutheran. I teased her a lot about it, but she kept going. Unfortunately for her, she didn't feel she could openly talk to me about her faith, but she still kept going and was later confirmed.

This example, through God's grace, became a turning point for me. I considered joining the adult class and going through the motions of becoming a Lutheran myself. I started going to church with her on Sunday, but I think I was more interested in belonging to something than learning about her faith. I never did join the class.

Fast forward to my very early 20s. I was going to the local community college, with the hopes to transfer to a university somewhere very far away. I was working part-time at a credit union, and paying my own way through school. I had moved (or been kicked) out of my mothers home, and lived in my own place. During my last semester, I begun hanging out with the head teller, Cindy, who was Catholic. I had always been interested in the Catholic church, but didn't think they were Christian (I'm not sure how I got this notion). It was so mysterious, and at one point, I even asked Cindy if it was true if you had to splash yourself with holy water before you walked into the church.

Also at this time, I begun dating my future husband who was also Catholic. He went back home for Christmastime, and I was invited to attend my very first Catholic mass with Cindy, Midnight Mass. What a beautiful time to experience this! I was awed. The mass was so alive, so real! I was hooked, and had to learn more about this very interesting thing I had witnessed. I began pestering Cindy and my future husband, and they very patiently tried to answer my questions.

By the time I graduated the community college, I had decided to go to our local university. It wasn't as far away as I originally hoped, but it was far enough to start me truly on my own in the world. I was also resolved to become Catholic, and entered the RCIA program. I entered into the fullness of the faith on Easter 2005, was married in the Catholic Church in August 2005, and had my first beautiful baby in November 2006.

Throughout my life, I can see God's hand guiding me. He put very special people in my life for a reason, and instead of throwing me face first into what He wanted me to do, He held my hand, and patiently guided me, even when I wanted nothing to do with Him. I am eternally grateful to God for this, and I know He will continue to guide me through and overcome all my struggles (or at least help me carry my cross).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Light Blogging

Sorry for the light blogging. I am still recovering from my teeth, including taking care of everything that didn't get done while I was down. Also, Fritter is sick again :( so I've been taking care of him. We are also starting to get ready for our trip home for Christmas. Don't worry, I have a very large post mulling around in my head.

Have a blessed Tuesday!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wisdom Taken Away

Sorry that I did not post anything about the Immaculate Conception feast that we celebrated yesterday. It is a very important feast, and it's not that I was ignoring it. I wasn't. Friday afternoon, I had all four wisdom teeth yanked out. Yeeouch!! They put me to sleep for the process, so I did not have to hear them crack my teeth, or whatever it is they do. Unfortunately, I was on one particular pain-killer that made me extremely out-of-it, if you know what I mean, so we did not make it to a mass to celebrate this feast. By the time I was actually awake enough (about 10 am) we could not find anymore masses still celebrating. So we went to an evening mass last night as some sort of effort, but no, we did not receive communion, because, technically, we missed a holy day of obligation. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm feeling better today, and have not taken any pain killers, yet, so maybe the worst is over. I still can't eat much though, and the chocolate ice cream (isn't my husband a doll?) is already gone. I'm making stew for dinner tonight, and I may be able to eat a soft carrot or potato, but I doubt I will eat any meat. Oh well, easy way to lose those five pounds of baby weight that is still hanging on, right? ;-)

I hope that you were able to find posts out there on what some other women were doing for the feast day yesterday, but if not, check out my sidebar. There are quite a few holy women over there that did some good stuff for this day. Have a good Sunday!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

100th Post


This is my 100th post. Celebrate with me, won't you?!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Don't Laugh...

I don't really want to do anything today. I want to sit on my duff in front of the TV and alternate between reading and cross-stitching (yes, I can read and watch TV at the same time, I'm talented like that). So I told myself get up, make your bed (I know, I know, it's 2:30 already!) and pick up the living room, it won't take that long. And then I walk into this...





On yonder recliner we have a pile of shirts that I promised DH I would iron for him. Also on said recliner is a pile which includes a very cute shirt I received in the mail today from Kelsey (thank you!). The couch contains my open purse, along with my X-rays that must be taken to my oral surgeon tomorrow (ug). There is also a pile of books, and (gasp!) my home management journal! The floor is scattered with random toys and books from a munchkin that will remain anonymous ;). And to show you what a little helper he is...



Here is the anonymous little helper with...what's that? Oh...right...a pair of mom's socks (they're clean) and an empty box of nerds that his poppa bear must have left laying around ;). Really, it won't take that long. Ready, set, go!

Great Book for Advent

My MIL has recently begun sending all of her children books to fit the season. Last Lent we received The Day Christ Died, and this Advent we received The Day Christ was Born. These books are accounts of these different times in Christ's life. They go through each hour, and you also receive a little bit of background. I haven't started The Day Christ Was Born yet, but I have read The Day Christ Died, and it is fantastic. The author, Jim Bishop, does a great job of bringing the events to you and explaining some of the Jewish customs, so we can better understand them. From the back cover:

Experience with a new vividness the awe and wonder of the events leading up to the birth of Christ: the journey to Bethlehem; the first Christmas night; the visits of the shepherds and Magi; the flight into Egypt and the quiet, joyous return. With a master journalist's skill Jim Bishop offers a gripping, biblically accurate, ever-unfolding narrative that is brimming with rich, dramatic detail. As was Bishop's previous book on Good Friday, The Day Christ Died, this book is a reverential reconstruction of the people, places, institutions, and events associated with a day in Jesus's life on earth.

Jim Bishop also writes an introduction to the book called For the Record.

Nothing is known of the birth of Christ beyond the New Testament. It is a great and joyful story, the happiest event since the dawn of history. It needs no gilding. Still, there is a natural curiosity in the heart of the journalist to know more. He would like to fill in the blank spaces of any great event.

This one happened two thousand years ago. The town and the terrain of Bethlehem have not changed. The road down the Jordan Valley from Nazareth is a little smoother now, but it twists beside the same bank of the same river. The walls of Jerusalem have been moved in a little, especially on the south side, but the view of the Mount of Olives is the same, and Gethsemani still reposes at the base of the mountain.

The marriage customs of the Jews of two thousand years ago are recorded. The manner of courtship, to which Joseph and Mary surely subscribed, is also known. The cave where animals were sheltered beneath the inn at Bethlehem is still there. The facts about the Magi, as a class of philosophic astrologers, are available to those who seek them. In addition, there are ageless works written by scholars about the birth of Jesus.

I have availed myself of these things. The result is within these pages. Although the facts are as I present them, the book must be called a recreation because it contains dialogue and minor scenes which are not to be found within the historical framework of the New Testament. These are my imaginings.

If you are not already reading something to prepare yourself for Christ's birth, I highly recommend this book. If you read it, let me know what you think!

Updated Blog Roll

I have finally updated the Blogs I Read links on my sidebar. I find new blogs often and forget to update my links. But I've done it, so go check out some new blogs today!

St. Nicholas

( c. 350)

One of the more well-known saints, although not much is really known about his life, except the legends that surround him. It is known that he was born in Asia Minor of wealthy parents, and was named bishop of Myra. He was imprisoned for his faith, and was present at the Council of Nicaea, and he died at Myra.

Some of the legends that surround him include one story of three young girls whose family was poverty stricken. Their father could not afford dowries for them, and had decided to sell them as prostitutes. Nicholas threw bags of gold into their home through the window on three different occasions, and the girls were thus saved and were married. Another version of this story is that the three bags of gold and the three girls became the heads of three murdered children who were restored to life by Saint Nicholas. Yet another story tells of him saving doomed mariners off the coast of Lycia. The name St. Nicholas was morphed into Sint Klaes and then Santa Claus by the Dutch, however the figure of Santa Claus is based on the Germanic god Thor, who was associated with winter and the Yule log, and rode on a chariot drawn by goats named Cracker and Gnasher.

Photo Credit: Catholic Culture
All information from the Pocket Dictionary of Saints

For ideas on how to celebrate this feast day, visit Catholic Culture.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Youth Stands Alone

I'm feeling a little discouraged today. I have been reading Life Giving Love by Kimberly Hahn (a great book, and a must read for every Catholic woman). It was recommended to my by a lady in my church group. I had mentioned that I had recently had a miscarriage, and she lent it to me. There is a whole chapter dedicated to miscarriage, and through reading this, my heart healed a little.

That's not what I'm feeling discouraged about though. In one chapter, Kimberly talks about Ministry to Moms. How it is important that we support each other in our roles as wife and mothers. How younger women who are not yet in the family way should offer help to the women who are, and how older women should help train the younger women.

This is not entirely what I'm feeling discouraged about, although it is what got me thinking about it. What I'm discouraged about is how lonely things look when there are not a lot of people my own age that are in the same state of life I'm at. For example, in my church group, I am the youngest woman out of a group of about 25 others. The next youngest is 4 years my senior (which really isn't that bad) but she does not even have kids yet (and she meets at a different group across town). In my group, the next youngest besides me is 10 years my senior and already has three kids (her oldest is 6 and youngest is 2 1/2).

This may seem like I'm being picky, but I assure you, I am not. The woman who has three children is a sweet lady, and we have plans to take our kiddos to a children's museum sometime soon.

Here's the scenario. DH, Fritter, and I were at a dinner party one evening, hosted by a wonderful couple with four children. Their oldest is 17 and youngest is 6, and I think they are maybe 25 years older than us. There were a few other families there as well, but it was pretty obvious that we are young, and Fritter was the only baby, the next oldest being the 6 year old. One lady said to me, "I hope you don't take offense to this, but you look really young". I never know how to respond to this, but I get it a lot. I just said, "Umm...Thanks?" Just like that, in the form of a question and everything. Then she said, "But you're a mother!" That I am.

Now, I know that she meant no harm, and there wasn't any done. But after reading what I read last night, I realized that no matter where I go, it seems I stand alone. Is there really no one my age having babies? Not so long ago, someone my own age may have already had three babies. I know I'm young, but I am still (almost) 26, so it's not like I'm a teenager. It shouldn't be shocking to see a young couple starting out their family, but in today's world, even amongst other Catholics, it is.

I'm not really trying to make any point, just that it can be lonely when you stand alone a lot of the time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

St. Francis Xavier

(1506-52)

One of my favorite saints. Xavier was one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows. He met St. Ignatius Loyola at the University of Paris, and was won over after some initial opposition to his ideas. He was sent to the East Indies as one of the first Jesuit missionaries. He spent five months in Goa preaching, administering to the sick and imprisoned. One of the things he did there was to denounce the practice of concubinage, which was popular among western travelers. After many travels, and ministering to many people, he was finally on voyage to China where he longed to go. Before he reached his destination, he died alone except for a Chinese youth named Antony, on the island of Shangchwan. This island is within sight of the coast of China. He is considered the greatest, besides St. Paul, of all Christian missionaries. He worked extremely hard and converted hundreds of thousands of people. He was called "the Apostle of the Indies" and "the Apostle of Japan" before he was canonized.

A great book about this saint is Set All Afire by De Wohl. I own this book and have read it many times. The above information does not do justice to this great saint. His feast day is December 3.


Monday, December 3, 2007

First Sunday of Advent

This is a day late, but that's OK, because now I can tell you how our First Sunday of Advent went. We went to mass at the parish I think we are FINALLY going to register at (it's been a long road finding a parish, more on that later). It was a nice mass, and a packed house. Unfortunately, we ended up sitting in front of a group that complained the whole time about anything and everything. Like at the end of mass, Father was telling us all that December 8th is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, which is a holy day of obligation. He felt the need (it's unfortunate that he had to, but I guess people try to get out of mass as much as possible, sad) to mention that just going to mass on the 9th (which is a Sunday) does not fulfill their obligation, and that they had to go both Saturday and Sunday. Someone from the group behind us complained, "The only reason we have to go both days is so that Pope Benedict can get two collections". Ummm...what? I'm not even going to grace that with a comment, but I'm sure you feel the same way I do.

Anyway, besides that it was a good mass. Afterwards, we let Fritter practice walking around on uneven ground outside. There is a small grassy hill by a tree outside of the parish, and that is where we went. It was very cute seeing him try to walk up the hill. He would make it a couple of steps forward, and then gravity would take his steps backwards, and then he would plop on his bottom, only to try again. He even got a couple of people who were outside talking to cheer for him when he went forward. Very fun.

After mass, we drove to a neighborhood that I had spied on my way to my class last Wednesday. It is a very cute neighborhood, with grass all over and three (yes three!) parks in the area. And there are kids everywhere! It has become my dream neighborhood, and when we begin looking for a house, I think we will start there.

Once at home, we put together our Advent wreath. Last years wreath was very disposable, mostly because we were in a very small apartment, and could not keep anything besides necessities around. This year, we took a little more time with it, and I think it turned out well.


Speaking of Advent wreaths, Karen Edmisten's recent post has some great links to advent prayers. Check it out, won't you?

On another note, Fritter seems to have another ear infection, so we're going to the doctor's office today for that. He seems to have allergies (although I didn't really know it was allergy season, but maybe it is in Arizona) and I think the stuffiness in his nose is what has caused it. He had a low grade fever last night, but so far today doesn't seem to have one. We'll see what the doctor says. For a little guy who has rarely been sick, and who didn't have even one ear infection in his first year, this seems to be happening a lot. I suppose part of it is that he's not receiving any more immunities from me, so his little system is now having to fight on it's own. *Sigh*. But, I get my wisdom teeth out on Friday, so that's good. I guess ;-).

Well, I'm rambling, and if you've made it this far in my post, thanks for sticking around. Have a blessed Monday.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Emmanuel Award


I definitely did not expect it, although I do appreciate it. Lisa at Unexpected Journey passed the Emmanuel Award on to me. Thank you Lisa!

This award was created by Marie and Ginny from View From the Pews. In a consumer society it is a blessing to read blogs where the writer's main focus is God. Where they express their love for their faith so visibly and joyfully.In a cynical world it is refreshing to see so many blogs which are generous, giving, who care about others and demonstrate what being a Christian is about, loving God and loving our neighbor.Through their faith, lives and spirituality, they bring God to us, they in essence make God visible, 'God with us.'

There are so many women that deserve this award. I pass this on to:

Denise Hunnell at Catholic Matriarch in my Domestic Church
Michelle at Rosetta Stone
Donna-Marie at Daily Donna-Marie

Friday, November 30, 2007

St. Andrew, Apostle

In my husbands family, St. Andrew holds a special place in their hearts, and therefore, mine too. I think it was about 9 years ago, maybe 10. My sister-in-law was eight months pregnant with her second child. Today is the anniversary of the day her son, Andrew, was stillborn. As you can imagine, this was especially hard for her, and out of respect for her, I'll leave it at that, except to tell you that she has been blessed by four more children after Andrew, and one miscarriage.

(1st century). Andrew was initially a disciple of John the Baptist's, and he first met Jesus at his baptism. He was called to be the first disciple of Christ's, and later brought Peter to Jesus (Peter was his brother). They followed Jesus off and on for awhile, but while fishing, Jesus called them to become "fishers of men". After the death of Jesus, he preached in Scythia and Greece, and some traditions have him preaching in Byzantium. One very old tradition says he was crucified at Patras, Acaia, on a X shaped cross. He is patron saint of Russia (one tradition tells of him preaching there, although it is not certain), and of Scotland (another tradition says some of his relics were brought there in the fourth century).

Photo Credit: Catholic Culture
All information taken from John J. Delaney's Pocket Dictionary of Saints

Of Rain

It is a drizzly, wet Friday here in Arizona! I love it, I love having my windows open and hearing the sound of rain coming through them. I love sitting on my couch and smelling the wonderful, clean smell of rain. It is a little strange though, to have the windows open, and smelling and hearing rain when I have a Christmas tree up in our front window. Strange, but nice.

Prayerfully Expecting

Go on over to Donna-Marie's place and enter her contest for your chance to win a copy of Prayerfully Expecting.

Snuggle time

Fritter is a full-fledged walker now. I've tried to catch him on the camera though, but he sees the camera, and since he's still much faster at crawling, he plops down and crawls after me to reach it. But I know that he walks, so I guess that's what counts.

He has been doing very well with the whole weaning thing. No night waking (yea!), but during the day he has become very clingy. I suppose that's normal, but for him it's strange...nice, but strange. You see, he has never really been a very snuggly child. Even slowing him down enough to nurse was sometimes difficult. We've never been able to have him in our bed (except when he was maybe a week old and still a sleepy newborn), and hugs were virtually non-existent.

Of course, I believe that he still needed hugs and kisses and snuggles even when he didn't want them ;-). But since he has weaned, he can't get enough of me. Where he used to sit at my feet and play independently, he is now crawling up my leg, wanting to be held. It's fine with me. It's a nice change. I will gladly stop whatever I'm doing for some snuggling with my little man. It's fun when he reaches up to me like he's saying, "Mommy hold me, I need you". I need you too, baby.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Journal Pages

Well, I have figured out how to post my documents online so that I can make them available to you. The only one I haven't been able to post is my Daily to-do, which is also a calendar. Google documents won't let me upload it because it is too big. I will figure out a way though! ;) So far here is what I have.

Master To Do
Tasks
Menus
Recipes
Morning Routine
Evening Routine

This is all a work in progress, but I'm sure you get the idea. Feel free to use whatever you want. I recommend at least the recipes. I've compiled them for my menu. Some of them are family recipes, and if I do any improvisations, I added that too. Others are recipes I have just picked up from around, but while some are a little more involved, there are many that are very, very easy and quick.

*Note: If you decide to use any of this stuff, I suggest loading it on Excel (Word for Recipes) and doing a little bit of formatting to make it pretty. When I uploaded these pages, it cut out all my pretty formatting and clip-art :-( but they are still usable, and you may be able to alter them to better fit your needs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Serenity

This is what I woke up to yesterday morning. I happened to look outside as I was doing my Morning Meditation. Isn't it pretty? I think it has an advertisement on it for Wendy's. :)


My Shiny Sink

I don't have any before pictures to show you, but I am very proud of it.

Thanks Flylady!

Home Management Journal Act II

My Home Management Journal is now up and running. Kind of. It still needs a lot of work, and the sections are still not complete. The details of this great tool are below, and once I figure out how to post links to my own documents, I will add those.

My first divider is Planning. In this section I have a 2008 calendar, a master To-Do list, and a Task sheet which are all inside page protectors. The task sheet list all the household cleaning tasks, and divides them up by Daily, Monthly, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Bi-Monthly, Tri-Monthly, and Bi-Annual. After these, I have my Daily To-Do. It is set up similar to the one at Motivated Mom's, but I left all areas blank (except for the daily tasks part), and I plan to write in what I am going to do at the beginning of each week. This way I can tailor it to fit my ever changing needs. So far, I only have through the end of the year printed, but all of next year is ready to go. I will try to post this for you later. I plan to include my morning and evening routines in this section, but I'm not there yet.

Next comes Food. So far I have four weekly menus that I plan on cycling through at least until I'm ready for a new menu. This is inside a page protector. I plan on adding all the recipes in order for the menu, but again, I'm not there yet.

The Finance section is next. This section only includes our Check Register (I don't use the little ones that come with the checks, I buy an actual accounting columnar pad). I plan on adding to this, including a 6 month budget, savings goal and plans, and a debt reduction plan.

Soon I will have up Health, Faith, Contacts, and Travel sections. When I do I will post about them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home Management Binder Act I

Well, I got quite a bit done on my to-do list, but definitely not all of it. For one thing, I didn't really realize how much time it would take me to make a home management binder. I'm started though, and now that I understand what needs to go into it, I don't expect it to happen overnight. I have made up four weeks of menus, but I'm thinking I want to add a fifth. After having chicken Alfredo last week, DH reminded me that we also had it the week before. Oops! So I think this will help me not repeat meals so close to each other. Also, it will make my Mondays easier.

I know many people spread out their meal planning and grocery shopping throughout the week. Actually, I think a lot of people shop on Thursday for the coming week. For us, it seems to work better if I do everything on a Monday. I am forced to get out of the house this way (I am a total home-body). Also, I can really only think one week at a time. Anyway, so having my meals already planned out for me will shorten the process considerably.

Yesterday, I read through a few articles I found on Menus 4 Moms (if you haven't checked out this site yet, I highly recommend it. She feeds dinners to a family of six on around $65/week! And the recipes are very good, and usually easy!). So that got me started, but after Lisa's comment yesterday, I checked out FlyLady. Wow! Another highly recommended site. And the best part? They are both free!

I am going to assemble my binder today, and finish my calendar I am making on Excel. I know that you can usually buy these for pretty cheap, but I decided to make my own so that they are more personalized. I have another very long list of things to do today, including a doctor's appointment at 2:30, so I'd better get started!

Monday, November 26, 2007

To Do...

I have a ton of stuff to do today, so for your pleasure (hee) and for my information, I am posting my list here. It also makes me accountable for the stuff I don't get done.

Make home management binder
Make Christmas card list
Plan meals
Make grocery list
Grocery shop
Laundry
Transfer sweaters to our closet
Dishes
Clean fridge
Vacuum
Clean toilets
Sweep and mop floors (kitchen, laundry, and entryway)
Clean glass (livingroom)
Make dentist appointment
Make doctor appointment
Fill plants with soil
Make bed
Update MS Money files
Clean bathroom counters

Hmmm...that's a long list, I'd better get busy!

Weaned

It seems as though my sweet-itty-bitty-baby is no longer an itty-bitty-baby although he is still sweet. I have been trying to wean him from nursing, and I really thought it would take longer than it has. Last week he was only nursing once in the mornings. And this morning...nothing. We'll see how the day goes, but I think this may be it.

"Wow! That was quick," you say? I know, I think so too, but we needed to kind of hurry it along a little bit (although I didn't think it would hurry this much). I really, really want to have another baby, God willing. And, before that should happen (my plans, right?) I have quite a few medical things that need taken care of that cannot be taken care of while nursing or pregnant. Like having all four wisdom teeth removed. Or getting the cyst on my wrist taken care of. Oh, I know some doctors say that these things are OK during pregnancy or while nursing, as long as care is taken, but I don't want to take any chances with my children's health. And after having my first miscarriage, I don't want to take any chances with my child's life. I'm sure you know what I mean.

The thing is though, I think all this weaning has been wrecking havoc with my hormones. (Uh, you think?) With the Thanksgiving holiday, came a long weekend for my dear husband. One he really deserved. And it went well, really well. Until Saturday night. On our way home from our parishes Christ the King celebration, I got grumpy. Really grumpy, for no real reason. Well, to be fair, in my mind at the time there were plenty of reasons to be grumpy. Like DH being fairly quite all day, and when I asked him what was going on he just told me he was just feeling "calm". But, I just knew there had to be something up, and danggit why wasn't he telling me what was wrong?! Yep, I can be like that.

The evening ended in a humph, and I went to bed feeling rather angry and sorry for myself. Yesterday morning, DH was already up, and must have heard Fritter talking to himself in his room. Instead of waking me up nice and sweet like you see in the movies (I can really be petty), he just said, "I'm going to go get Fritter". Some of the frustration of the night before must have still been hanging on to me, because I ended up spending some of my morning pouting in bed. (I told you, I can be such a child). And, after another round of really bad grumpiness (OK, meanness) in the car, we ended our evening watching a great movie that I will review later when we finish it.

Looking back at the past weekend in all its ugliness, I can see how I allowed myself to become a slave to my hormones and emotions. There are so many changes that we go through as women, from menstrual, pregnancy, postpartum, nursing, weaning, and finally menopause that we have to learn how to control ourselves, especially at these times. Just knowing about it doesn't entirely help, we have to have something concrete to do when we feel ourselves sliding. I'm not really sure what will work for me, yet, but I definitely don't want to put my family through another weekend like this.

So what do you do to control your emotions when you are feeling hormonal?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christ The King

We are having our Christ the King celebration this evening at our parish. We are starting with mass, and then afterwards there are going to be some talks and testimonials, and then a pot-luck. I am bringing a pan of baked Ziti, because it is oh-so-good.

And warm. Today has been surprisingly chilly for this part of the country. I am actually throwing on a cozy sweater for our celebration tonight. We went to a couple of yard sales today, and not realizing it could even get chilly here, none of us wore a jacket. Fritter had on a long sleeve shirt, but I feel even that was too little. Needless to say, we only got out twice to look at stuff. I just didn't feel right taking him out. Giving myself some credit though, it was probably in the mid 60s. I still have a Wyoming mind, with newly acquired Arizona skin, if you know what I mean. :)


On another note, with the business of this last week, I have missed out on the feast days of a number of saints, including St. Cecilia whom I really love. Instead of making another long post however, here are links to some good information about them.






And you can read information here about things your family can do for Christ the King. The feast day is on Sunday. Don't forget that you can get a plenary indulgence!

A Multi-Cultural Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. How about you?

I used Michelle's idea and made a spinach dip with sliced pumpernickel, and then just bought a meat and cheese tray. The dip was great, and really, who can resist pepperoni and Colby cheese on a cracker?

The couple whose house we were invited to are from Honduras, but have lived in the U.S. for a while, and our area for about three years. Her mother and step-father were also there (the mother was the one doing the cooking, yum!). Another couple from Mexico (this is their first year here) and an American couple were there and then our little family. What an interesting group of people! What a great Thanksgiving!

There happened to be quite a few kids there for Fritter to play with, including an adorable 2 1/2 year old who loved to hug and kiss Fritter. The dinner was mostly traditional fare, with a little kick. The stuffing was made with hot Italian sausage (yum), the gravy had sliced mushrooms in it (yum, and I don't normally like mushrooms), and instead of pumpkin pie there was pumpkin flan (yum). I have to say, though, pumpkin pie is one of the things I look forward to most, but we just bought a store one and made it at home for ourselves.

I was also really surprised at how well Fritter did. He is a stickler for his routine, and if he is thrown out of it, he tends to get pretty fussy. We tend to plan around his nap times, but I'm sure you know that that is not always possible. We were supposed to be there at around 2, and dinner was at 3:30. Fritter's nap is usually around 2 until 4. So I was a little nervous about how fussy he would be, but he did fine. We brought his porta-crib, and set it up in their bedroom, and at about 4 I laid him down for a little while, because he was really tired. I didn't really expect him to go to sleep, but he did for about an hour. Maybe it was the turkey, or maybe he is just growing up a little bit. Whatever it was, that little bit of time for me to just sit around and talk with adults was really nice.

Anyway, it was a good Thanksgiving, even though we were away from our families.

On another note, yesterday, we put up our Christmas tree. We bought a fake one for several reasons. First, although we have been married for just over two years, we have never had a tree and I insisted this year. Last year, we still lived in student housing on campus, and putting something else in a 400 sq. ft. apartment was not wise, especially something flammable. Second, we will be going home for a week and a half for Christmas, and don't want to worry about a dying tree in our apartment. This way, we can still leave it up until Epiphany.

We also moved our desk into our bedroom. Originally it was in our dining area, by our table, and we had to squeeze to get in. The problem with apartments is that there is not a whole lot of ways to put furniture. Also, keeping Fritter out from under the desk was becoming a hassle. With all the wires and things it was a bit of a nightmare. So now it is in our bedroom and we can close the door to keep him out of the desk. The only problem is that when you are in here, you tend to feel a little secluded from the rest of the family. This could be a good thing though, because in the family areas, the focus will be more on the family and not on the rest of the world.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Four Missed Saints

This may end up being a long post, but I decided to include the four saints whose feast days I missed in one post. Here goes...


St. Albert the Great

(c. 1206-80) Born to an aristocratic family, he decided to become a Dominican after studying at the University of Padua, despite family opposition. After teaching in numerous places, he returned to Cologne with a reputation for great learning and intellect. He received his doctorate at the University of Paris in 1245, and was then named regent of the studia generalia at Cologne. One of his students who later became one of his close friends was Thomas Aquinas. He later served as theologian to the Pope before resigning to devote himself to study. He was appointed Bishop of Regensburg against his wishes, and after two years resigned. He worked for the reunion of the Greek Church with Rome, and also attempted to reconcile Aristotelianism to Christianity. He was "one of the first and among the greatest of natural scientists". He had great knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and geography. One of his treatises proved the earth to be round. He was also a student of Arabic learning and culture, and because of his brilliance, he was called "the Universal Doctor" by his contemporaries. Some of his works include Summa theologiae, De unitate intellectus contra Averrem, De vegetabilibus, and Summa de creaturis.


St. Margaret of Scotland
(1045-93) She was the daughter of the exiled Prince Edward d'Outremer and a German princess. Because of her father's exile, she was raised at Stephen's court. At the age of twelve she was brought to the court of King Edward the Confessor, but was soon forced to flee England with her family after the Battle of Hastings. Her and her family were given refuge by King Malcolm III of Scotland, whom she would later marry. She was very prayerful, and had great concern for the poor and needy. She also supported synods to right abuses within the church such as simony and usury, regulated degrees of relationship in marriage, and set regulations for Lenten fast and Easter Communion. She also supported arts and education, and worked alongside Malcolm to found Holy Trinity Church at Dunfermline. She is the patroness of Scotland.



St. Gertrude
(c. 1256-1302) She was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Helfta in Saxony when she was five where she became a pupil and friend of St. Mechtile. She later became a nun and at twenty-six she had her first of many visions of Christ. She recorded her experiences and Mechtilde's experiences which later appeared in her Book of Extraordinary Grace (Revelation of St. Gertrude). She also helped write a book of prayers and helped spread the devotion of the Sacred Heart.






St. Elizabeth of Hungary
(1207-31) At the age of four she was brought to the court of Landgrave Herman I of Thuringia. She was married to his son Ludwig when he became Landgrave and she bore four children. They were seen as the ideal couple. She had great charity and eventually had two hospitals built at the foot of her castle. When Ludwig died of the plague during a crusade, she was heartbroken. She was accused of mismanaging the estate because of her great charity, and forced out by her brother-in-law. She became a Franciscan tertiary and devoted herself to caring for the poor and sick. She led a life of exceptional poverty and humility until she was allowed back to the castle, because her son was recognized as the successor to the title of landgrave. She died at the age of twenty-four, and miracles were soon reported at her tomb.



Photo Credits: Catholic Culture
All information from John J. Delaney's Pocket Dictionary of Saints

Thanksgiving Appetizer

For Thanksgiving, we had originally planned to cook a meal for the three of us, and stay home. We are going home for Christmas, and traveling for Thanksgiving just seemed like too much right now. But, last week we were invited to some very sweet people's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm excited about it. They have three children, the youngest is Fritter's age. We don't get out much, not knowing many people, so this should be a treat. They have also invited a few other families as well.

We were asked to bring some sort of an appetizer, as all the traditional things like mashed potatoes are being provided. Now, I like to cook, and bringing things to a person's house that they will like is easy when it's something like a dessert. But alas, I have to figure out an appetizer. And yes, I have waited until the last minute to do so. But now, I have no more time to waste and my mind is drawing a blank. So I'm asking for your help. If you were me, what would you bring?

Presentation of the Virgin Mary

So I know that I've missed a few saints. I want to learn about them as well, but I figured I should post on this great Feast first.

Catholic Culture sites Protoevangel of St. James for some of this information. When an angel revealed her pregnancy to her, St. Anne is said to have vowed her future child, Mary, to the Lord. After her birth, Mary was brought to the sacred precincts. Only the best of Israel's daughters were admitted here. At 3 she was transferred to the temple, where she was "reared like a dove and received her nourishment from the hands of an angel".

While Catholic Culture lists many things we could do today to celebrate this feast, I think I am going to learn more about Mary in the Byzantine Liturgy.

Photo Credit: Catholic Culture

More to come today on the saints I have missed, and if time allows, a big post I have been thinking on for a while.

Go visit...

Diane's place and read her beautiful post. Sometimes we all need reminders like this, and not just during this hectic time of the year. This is something we should keep in mind all year long.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh! That smells clean!

There are not many things nicer than freshly scrubbed floors. Not just mopped. Nope. Scrubbed. I mean down on your hands and knees, with a bucket of Pine Sol and hot water, scrubbing floors. It's a lot of work, especially when you don't just stop at the kitchen. Oh no! You must go on to do the entryway, both bathrooms, and the laundry room.

And when you are done, you will look around and marvel at how clean your floors are. And how good your house smells. You will open your windows, to air out the place. And then, you will be so motivated, you will go on to dust your living room, and vacuum yours and the baby's room. Afterwards, you will be tired, but you will tell yourself that you must fold the laundry, and put it away before you rest. Because you are motivated, and you don't want to waste it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Missed Feast Days

So you may have noticed that I have not posted on the Feast Days of St. Albert the Great (15th), St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude (16th), or St. Elizabeth of Hungary (17th). Very, very busy days around here, but I will catch us up. Soon. I hope.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Needles and Tests

So today was Fritter's Well-Baby check-up. His ears are all better (thanks be to God). He did not get any vaccines today (I'll post about this another day when I have more time), but he did have to get blood drawn. *Sniff* The NP who was seeing him today, decided that he looked a little orangey and asked me if he has been eating a bunch of sweet potatoes or carrots. He eats them, but not everyday, and definitely not by the bucketful. So she wanted to check his bilirubin levels and carotene levels. I know that he is probably fine, it's not like he's jaundice orange or anything, I think he just has the same coloring as his dad. Just like some people (myself included) have more green (or olive) skin tones, DH and Fritter both have more orangey undertones.

But, of course I took him to do the tests, because if it IS something, it needs to be taken care of. Here I am, walking into the lab, expecting them to do a heel-poke like they did when he was a newborn. They called our names, and we went back to this little room, with a chair that looks like a prison electric chair. We had to sit in the chair, I had to put his little feet between my legs, and then hold one arm under my arms like I'm giving him a big bear hug. Then two nurses held his other arm and put a TOURNIQUET on his little tiny arm, found his vein, and drew his blood! I expected him to scream. He didn't. Worse, he cried in this little cry that is reserved for when he is scared. Afterwards, he was fine, actually he got over it rather quickly. It was much worse for me than for him. *Sigh*


Anyway, we are supposed to get the results back tomorrow, but I'm fairly confident he's fine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

*Yawn*

I am SO tired! After DH leaves for work, if I don't get right down to the business of the day, (meaning that I don't sit on the couch and say prayers and drink coffee, it MUST be done somewhere uncomfortable) I will fall asleep, and won't wake back up sometimes until 8:30! Then, like today, I laid down after putting Fritter down for his nap, and I could have...actually I did...sleep longer than him! I woke up to him quietly playing in his crib.

It's not just today, it's been like this for about a week or so. Now, barely having time for this post, I must run around and get the house picked up really quick before DH gets home. No, I did not do it this morning. I had training for the class I am facilitating. *Yawn*. OK, no laying down *Yawn* must *Yawn* get *Yawn* to work....*Yawn*

Duckie Cake

Lisa mentioned the cake that I made for Fritter's birthday, so in case your interested, this is how I did it.

I used this double layer chocolate cake recipe. Then I used cream cheese frosting, the kind in the can, because it is SO good. Following Danielle's instructions, I googled duckie, and found this image. Originally, I was going to do the whole picture, but then I thought for my first try I'd better go simple. I wasn't able to find any paste food coloring, so I just used the liquid drops I had to make yellow and orange frosting.

Side note: at first I made the duckie's head about half that size. He looked like one of those shrunken head things. No link, but you know what I mean.

And I thought I couldn't get anymore humble...

and then I read the comments from my last post. I am truly shocked that a few of the women's blogs I read also hang around here. So I guess I was feeling a little sorry for myself, but it worked out good. It really did bring me back to earth and remember why I blog.

I have also learned quite a bit. First, as Michelle reminded me, this is a new blog, it is going to take some time. And, this will show you how new I am to the blog world, I just learned about Google Reader, Bloglines, and Feed Burner. Yep, I did. I'm still figuring out Feed Burner, so we'll see how that goes. But now I get the chance to play with more stuff!

So thank you, to all of you who felt it in their heart to give a nod in my direction. I really do appreciate it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Because that's why I'm here.

So, at first I was a little perturbed. And then I was hurt. Now, I realize that it is good for my humility, and reminds me of the whole reason I started blogging in the first place.

What is going on, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. First of all, I feel Margaret's pain when she talks about not getting any comments on her blog. I don't either. But that's OK, because this is a new blog, and I don't have many readers yet. Really good discussions require a few people. So, I'm OK with that.

But for the past couple of days, when I check Google Analytics, it has been saying that I have not had one, no not one, visitor for THREE days!! Yesterday, I was a little hurt, and wondered if I may have offended someone by something I wrote. But then I thought, what could have possibly offended someone? Then I thought, maybe my readers were bored by me posting Feast Days and Saints.

Today, after yet again checking and realizing that there is still not a reader (things were going so good too) I got humble. I remembered that this blog was started for me. For me to sort out my thoughts, for me to learn. Learn about the saints, about me and ways to counteract my sometimes selfish thoughts. If no one wants to read about these things, that's OK. And if someone does want to read about these things, that's OK too. It's probably good that I got this reminder so early in the game. For a prideful person, humility it's a hard won virtue. So thank you for reminding and teaching me. Because that's why I'm here.

Fritter's Birthday Pictures

Because I know you all wanted to see them. Sorry it's taken me so long to post them. The whole family has been sick, with Fritter having a double ear infection on top of a very nasty cold bug.
Fritter with a very large gift that came in the mail from some good friends back home. "Can I open it now?"

And the box afterwards. See the still wrapped gift laying off to the side? He wanted to play with the box and packing paper much more than he wanted to tear off any wrapping paper. (He's afraid of ripping noises.)

Fritter's Birthday cake, that I am very, very proud of. Hey, I've never decorated a cake before!
His first taste of chocolate cake. Poor guy was so sick, I doubt he could even taste it.

But he gave it a good try. Notice the plate was missing. You can guess where that ended up. ;-)

Veteran's Day...

...a little late, but don't worry, I didn't forget to honor my own cute veteran and dear husband yesterday. I just forgot to post something here. Thank you to all of the men and women who have worked to protect our country, past and present. Without you, we may not have the right to freely practice our faith, or do any of the things we are entitled to as human beings. God bless you and your families.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

(1850-1917) She was the youngest of thirteen children, and when she was orphaned, she decided to follow religious life. She was first invited to take over an orphanage that was being poorly managed, but when it was closed, she was invited by the bishop of Todi, Italy to found an institution. She moved into an abandoned Franciscan friary with seven others and founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, which was dedicated to educating girls. Later, Frances went to New York to work with Italian immigrants. After much travel, her congregation spread all over the U.S., Italy, South and Central America, and England. Final approval was given in 1907 by Rome. She became an American citizen in 1909, and by her death in 1917, there were more than 50 hospitals, schools, orphanages, and others in existence. She was the first American to be canonized, and is the patroness of immigrants.
Photo Credit: Catholic Culture All information from Pocket Dictionary of Saints

Great Post

by Jennie C. It's about her wonderfully full hands. Enjoy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Little Rosary


As I said before, I have a problem with patience. I offered my mass up for it yesterday, as I shamelessly begged for graces ;-) . This morning, during my morning prayer, another opportunity arose for me to practice, and ask, for patience. I won't go into details, as it really is petty. Very, very petty.


But, thanks be to God, I remembered that I needed to pray for patience when the occasion presented itself. I also remembered my mother-in-law telling me once that a priest told her that he prays a "little rosary" when he needed a boost. This little rosary consists of one Our Father, three Hail Mary's, and a Glory Be. So I decided to give it a try. By the first Hail Mary, I had realized that my annoyance really was petty, and by voicing it I would just be trying to start an argument, or at the very least make someone feel really bad. By the second Hail Mary, I didn't want to voice it anymore. And by the third Hail Mary, I actually felt better and more peaceful than I did before this particular annoyance. After I said the Glory Be, I was able to get on with things and truly I was not annoyed anymore.


My new resolve is to say my little Rosary whenever I feel that sting of patience being lost. I am going to refuse to even speak until after the Glory Be, even if that means I have to leave the room for a few seconds.


I told you before that my spiritual director had asked me what virtue I wanted to work on. At our meeting last month, he gave me ideas to help me in this task. Saying a daily rosary was one of them, proclaiming my faith openly (by wearing a crucifix or by some other way) was another, and joyfully serving people and my family especially was the third. It's almost time for my next meeting with him (tomorrow) and I think I have finally reached my starting point.


So what do you do to keep those little things from ruining your day?

St. Josaphat


Wow! What a saint! Learning about the lives of saints is so interesting. They really help us put our own troubles in perspective.
(c. 1580-1623) St. Josaphat was the first eastern saint to be formally canonized. He was ordained a priest of the Byzantine rite and became an advocate for the union of the Ukrainian Church with Rome. He became bishop of Vitebsk, Russia. The diocese was a mess. Clergy were marrying, there was widespread opposition to Rome, ect. He put reforms into effect which were unpopular among certain groups. The archbishop of Polotsk claimed the Josaphat was a Latin priest and said Roman Catholicism was not for the Ruthenians. Riots broke out and people began to choose sides.
Josaphat was wrongly accused of causing trouble, and so he went to meet the
Photo Credit: Catholic Culture
opposition despite threats against him. One priest named Elias, who had harassed Josaphat numerous times was jailed. Protesters demanded Elias' release, and even though Josaphat complied, he was beaten and shot to death, and his body was thrown in the river.
All information from Pocket Dictionary of Saints

Sunday, November 11, 2007

On Patience

I am not a patient person. Actually, when my spiritual director asked me to go home and think of a virtue I wanted to work on, it only took a minute of thought before I knew I needed to work on patience. It's strange actually. I can be very patient when I'm dealing with a large issue, like when you can tell someone really didn't want to tell you something, but they needed to, so they did. You know the what happens. A person comes to you, and you can tell they are very nervous to tell you whatever it is. Yeah, I can be very patient then.

But on everyday little things, I have no patience. Like watching someone on the computer. They are clicking along just fine to get to a particular thing you want to show them, but you know there is a faster way, and...well...they just aren't doing it the way you would do it. Or when...well, anytime someone is not doing something exactly the way you would do it. Even if the way they are doing it is right too. But it's not your way. Hmmm...I wonder if this is the way God thinks about us sometimes. Just a thought.

My dear husband was out working on his truck yesterday. (Don't worry these two things will make sense in a minute). It's a hobby of his. The truck is a '73 Ford we call Oscar, because he's green and kind of grouchy. Where was I? Oh yes...he was working on his truck, trying to get some hose off or something. This particular hose was not coming off easily like he expected, and he could feel himself starting to get frustrated. So he told himself if he hurried the job along, he would have no fun doing it, and it may not turn out as good as it could have. And then he prayed for patience.

When he came in, he told me this story (as he washed his hands and dried them on a towel I wouldn't have used). He said that after he prayed for patience, he calmed down and then the hose came off pretty quickly and he was able to get the job done in a reasonable time, with little stress.

At first, I only gave this story a small thought. Like, "My husband is really a very good man". But this morning, as I was cleaning the counters and DH was off to mass, (Fritter is still sick, so we're going in shifts today) I was saying a little prayer for God to help me be patient today (yesterday was really a bad day). This story came into my head and I realized that it's not just recognizing the opportunities to be patient when they arise. I'm very good at that, it's putting patience into action that's hard. It's also about asking God for help at the moment you need it.

I have always known that we alone can do nothing, but that IN CHRIST we can do anything. We pray for patience, God gives us opportunities to be patient, and then we pray for help to be patient. Why didn't I put these concepts together? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it was Wormwood messing with me again. Scary thought.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pope Leo The Great

Today we celebrate the feast day of Pope Leo the Great, who is considered a doctor of the church. After being succeeding Sixtus III as Pope, he gave a series of ninety-six sermons on faith and charity, and denouncing things such as Manichaeanism. When Italy was invaded by Attila the Hun, Leo met him face-to-face and dissuaded him from attacking. Later, while he was not able to keep the Vandal Genseric from attacking Rome, he was able to persuade him to not burn the city. He worked to rebuild the city and churches and ministered to the people. He also sent missionaries to Africa to minister to the captives of Genseric.





Photo Credit: Catholic Culture

Leo advanced the influence of the papacy to unprecedented heights with his authoritative approach to events, buttressed by his firm belief that the Holy See was the supreme authority in human affairs because of divine and scriptural mandate. In a time of great disorder, he forged an energetic central authority that stood for stability, authority, action, and wisdom; his pontificate was to affect the concept of the papacy for centuries to come.

All information from John J. Delaney's Pocket Dictionary of Saints.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hmmm...

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.
Well, it is isn't it?

Pictures will be...

forthcoming. Probably tomorrow. Here's why:

Yesterday, Fritter woke up from his morning nap at noon. When I went in to get him, he felt very warm, so I took his temperature. Under arm it was 99! (You add a degree when it's underarm, so his body temperature was 100. I will speak in terms of underarm temperature.) I gave him some baby Tylenol, but at 1pm his temperature was 100. I continued to monitor him, and gave him Tylenol every 4 hours. I tried a cool bath, a cool compress, turned the air conditioner up, everything. Nothing seemed to work, and by 2pm he was at 101. Also, he refused to eat or drink anything, except to nurse. Did I mention he was stuffy?

I called the doctor, and after much hassle, (because no one lets you just talk to a doctor anymore, you have to leave a message for a nurse to call you back) I was told to just keep an eye on him. But, by 9pm his temperature had gone up to 102. My son is rarely sick, and this was his first time ever having a temperature this high. Suffice it to say I was very, very nervous. I called the doctor again, and this time the nurse called me right back. She told me to try some Motrin, and if that still didn't work, I would need to take him in tonight. So my dear husband went to the store and after giving Fritter a dose, we put him to bed. He really had a rough time sleeping, but when I checked on him at midnight, his fever had finally broke, and his temperature was normal. Thanks be to God!

So, back to Fritter's birthday celebration. There wasn't much of one. I made a very cute cake (at least I think so) and "he" opened some of his gifts. He tried to eat some of the cake, and did a very good job of making a mess (I think that's the point). He also had his first taste of ice cream, but it wasn't a very fun birthday for him. He seems to be feeling better today though, so I think we will try again this evening.

Dedication of the St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome

This basilica was dedicated by Pope St. Silvester in 324. It is the Pope's church and is considered, "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world." This feast is a sign of love and union with the See of Peter. Information taken from Catholic Culture. To learn more about this feast or the Basilica go here.

For more pictures visit Architecture for Kids, a Catholic site.



Photo Credit: Catholic Culture

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy Birthday...

Dear Fritter, Happy Birthday to you!!!

Yes, today is Fritter's First Birthday! I cannot believe it. How can my little, sleepy baby be the same person as my big, smiling little man? The year has gone so fast, and had so many changes. From both DH and I graduating college, to moving to Arizona, to becoming pregnant again, to having a miscarriage, and now to my little boy turning 1.

I plan on making a ducky themed party for him today, because he knows what that is. He says, "Dee-dee". We are going to a party store after his morning nap to pick out a couple of mylar balloons, and some other little decorations. It will just be us three celebrating his birthday with him today, as we don't yet have any close friends, but that doesn't make it any less special. There will still be birthday cake, and ice cream, and presents, and decorations.

I will update you tomorrow on how things went, and of course there will be pictures. God bless, and have a great day!

Monday, November 5, 2007

I don't have a whole lot to say...

except that I am sick. After pushing myself to the limit for the past couple of days, I've had it. Or, at least my immune system has. Yesterday, I was exhausted all day, and in between naps caught here and there, I mildly wondered why. DUH! I've been staying up late to finish Anne of the Island, and getting up very early (4 am today) to make sure DH gets a good breakfast and some company before he goes off to the daily grind.

I awoke this morning with a sore throat, and again have been exhausted all day. DH is out of town on business until tomorrow morning, and I finished my book yesterday. No excuses. I am going to bed early. I even put Fritter to bed early, and so far all seems good. Now for some yummy tea with honey in it, and then I am curling up on the couch to work a little on my cross-stitching, and wait for my Hubby to call. And then it's off to bed with me.

Have a blessed evening!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Little Boy Needs Prayers

Today I was supposed to go to a class so I can be officially volunteering for a class I am teaching at our parish. It is the Call to Protect for Ministries. I have been trying to make it to this class for a month now, but our schedules have been so crazy that I haven't had the chance. Well, I signed up last week for it for today thinking I should have no problem. First, DH had a class he had to go to this morning, and I didn't realize that until a couple of days ago. Still, his class met from 7-8:30 and mine met from 9:30-12:30, so counting driving time I should have been able to make it.

On my way to the class this morning, traffic started getting a little bit backed up, but I could tell that I was towards the beginning of whatever it was the started the back-up, so I figured I would be out of it soon. As I drove past what looked to be a wreck, I saw a small figure laying in the middle of the road. I realized it was a little boy about 12 years old! Because the police were not yet there, I pulled over, and as I walked to the scene, I called 911. One man had gotten there right before me, and thankfully seemed to know what he was doing. He checked the little boys pulse and his breathing, and was talking to him, but the little boy was completely unconscious, and was not talking back. His pulse and breathing were both strong though, Thanks be to God!

The ambulance and police pulled up right about that time and carted him away to the hospital. But no one knew where the little boy's parents were. Apparently, he had been crossing the very busy road with some of his friends when he was hit by a car. Now, this particular roads speed limit happens to be 45, with most drivers going quite a bit faster. They (the boys) had crossed the road when the light was red to them when he was hit. His friends ran away, hopefully to go get his parents, but I don't know that for sure.

Needless to say, I did not make it to class and will just have to find another maybe next weekend. Please keep this little boy in your prayers, and also his parents and the girl who was driving the car (who happened to be a teenager).

Sorry this is written so straight forward and factual. I am still sorting it out in my head and the facts are the only things that seem real right now.

Coffee Braid

I did end up making this bread on All Saints Day. It was a hit! It turned out very well, and even looks pretty. I have never made bread before, so I am a little proud. OK, a lot proud ;-)

Isn't it pretty? I did not have course sugar on hand, or sliced almonds, so I substituted powdered sugar and walnuts. I think either way it would be very good. DH has even talked me into making it when we go to his parents' house for Christmas. We'll see what happens to it at high altitude.

St. Martin De Porres


In my effort to learn more about the saints, I am going to post a small amount of information on each one during their feast day. OK, maybe not all of them, just the feast days that are on my wonderful calendar. Does your parish offer these?


So, today is the feast day of St. Martin De Porres. Information is from the Pocket Dictionary of Saints.


Photo Credit: Catholic Online
(1579-1639). Born at Lima, Peru, on November 9, he was the illegitimate son of John de Porres, a Spanish knight, and Anna, a freed Panamanian. He was apprenticed to a barber-surgeon when he was twelve and in 1594 became a Dominican lay brother at Rosary Convent in Lima. He served in various offices in the convent--barber, infirmarian, wardrobe keeper--and was active in caring for the sick throughout the city. He founded an orphanage and foundling hospital, was put in charge of the convent's food distribution to the poor, and ministered to African slaves brought to Peru. A close friend of St. Rose of Lima, his prodigious efforts to help the poor and his holiness and penances caused him to be venerated by all. He is reputed to have been gifted with supernatural gifts, among them bilocation and aerial flights. He died at Rosary Convent on November 3, and was canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. He is the patron of interracial justice. --John J. Delaney