Monday, May 31, 2010

For Our Fallen American Heroes

Please remember today is more than just a holiday from work. Stop and say a prayer for the men and women who have given their lives so that we might enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen

This is a terrific article from the Patriot Post.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010


Remember when I asked if this was a bad idea?

Well, it really was a bad idea.

I suppose I should be glad it wasn't one of the sliding glass doors. Sigh.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Be Beautiful on the Inside and Out

We own a wonderful examination of conscience book for the whole family that we purchased nearly 15 years ago. It's divided into sections for wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, and children, so it gets used by nearly all of us. While preparing for confession a couple weeks ago, another family member was utilizing the book, so I thought I would look on-line and see what I could find. I googled "examination of conscience for wives and mothers", and came across a blog entry I thought might work. Upon clicking the link, I was a bit taken aback by some of what this blogger felt constituted sin. Several of her questions had to do with beauty practices. For example, she asked "Do you dye your hair?" She then went on to ask if you dyed your hair because you don't like the hair God gave you. Another question asked, "Do you use anti-aging products?" Once again she asks if this is because you don't like the way God created you.

So, I get where she was going with this. We are a culture obsessed with youth and beauty and we are inundated by ideas of perfection from every source imaginable. Outward, superficial appearance is everything. What is inside does not matter in the least. This is the message we are so often left with. Absolutely, there is serious sin in vanity, but does coloring our hair, or using a cream really constitute vanity?

When I was a little girl my mother used to quote a scripture that spoke about the importance of being beautiful on the inside: "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7. One evening she found me weeping. An adult had called me beautiful earlier in the day, and I was so worried that if I was beautiful on the outside, I couldn't possibly be beautiful on the inside.

I think as Christian women, it is important for us to not go to the extreme in either direction. We are capable of using our God given intelligence and our well formed consciences to determine if we've strayed into vanity (spending an inordinate amount of time and resources improving our looks or even venturing into dangerous practices to look better or more youthful), or if we've drifted the other direction into spiritual pride (neglecting our appearance to appear more pious and holy).

My husband appreciates my femininity, and my outward appearance is certainly an extension of that. Personally, wearing a little makeup and a pair of earrings makes me feel physically better, more energized, like I'm ready to tackle the day. Silly, I know, to think a little mascara might make me a better wife and mother, but I really do believe it does.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small Successes: School's Out for Summer!

Small Successes for May 27, 2010:

1) Two of the five are completely finished for the school year, today. The other three have just a couple of odds n' ends to tie up in the next few days. Another school year down, and I've already planned the greater part of next school year.

2) We are in the bedroom this week, if you fly with the Flylady. I've had a pile of outgrown clothing growing in one corner of my room. I went through the entire pile and sorted out clothes for charity, clothes to pass on to a friend, and clothes to pass down to the next sibling. Now I just need to get the six bags of sorted clothing out the door of my house.

3) My calf injury was feeling quite a bit better this week, so I ventured out for a short run on Saturday. 1 1/2 miles in, my calf began to feel sore, so I slowed to a brisk walk and finished the four miles at that pace. Evidently, I need to rest my strain a little longer, but I feel pretty good when I walk, so I did just that most every day this week.

Have any small successes to share with the blogging world? Come share your link at Faith and Family Live.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Roasted Potato Salad

You may have noticed the theme here lately, when it comes to recipes. I've discovered Pancetta and I love it.

Roasted Potato Salad with Pancetta and Shallots

10-12 new potatoes (Trader Joes had bags of varietal new potatoes, including blue potatoes. Mmmmm! But really any variety will work wonderfully)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
4 ounces diced Pancetta (4 ounces bacon will work as a substitute)
one medium shallot; minced
2 cloves of garlic minced

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Quarter potatoes and place in a large sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Parboil potatoes until just tender (about 5 minutes once the water boils). Drain in a large colander and cool until no longer steaming. Toss with two tablespoons of olive oil and place on a roasting pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking time.

In a medium skillet, cook pancetta over medium heat until colored and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Drain all but 2 tsp of the bacon fat. Return to medium high heat and add shallots and garlic. Saute until golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk together mustard, vinegar, oil, and herbs. Add bacon, shallots, and garlic, whisking to combine.

Toss potatoes with vinaigrette. Best served warm.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Backstage and On Stage

I worked backstage for one of the performances this weekend. It's a flurry of excitement and activity with very excited little girls who tend to grow louder with every passing moment, and frantic older girls having multiple costume changes. As I was helping with crowd control and costume changes, I managed to snap a couple photos of the two younger girls before they headed out on stage. I had to wait until the end of the performance to get a photo of Oleander, as she is one of the older girls and didn't have time to pose for her mother as she rushed to get on stage.

Special K in her tamborine dance costume.

Skoshi A is just a clown. A silly, silly clown.

Special K with her BFF, Mystical Rose.

All three girls at the end of the night.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Thankfully, There are "Do-Overs" at Dress Rehearsals!

My three ballerinas had their big ballet recital this weekend. I was able to take video at the dress rehearsal and thus captured Special K's big "oops". You can see in the video the moment she realized she had forgotten a huge chunk of choreography. As she was the designated "leader" she took it upon herself to stop the performance. Her reaction is priceless!

My poor little ballerina did break down once she realized everyone was laughing at her, but 30 seconds later she was back on stage and gave a near perfect do-over. She's a performer, that one.

I thought it best that there not be a repeat "oops" at the actual recital so I asked for a copy of the choreography and had Special K practice at home, to help her gain more confidence. After going over it a dozen times, she was more than confident, and it really showed in the final product. Like her father said, while watching her perform, "She was really born to do this."

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Friday, May 21, 2010

If You Build It, They Will Come

When we were kids, our parents had a house built on a couple acres of land. Our home was situated several hundred yards back from the main road on our wooded property. Our dad, being the cool guy he was, built a baseball diamond, complete with backstop in front of the house. As an adult, I recall it must have been quite an eyesore from the street, and really not very aesthetically pleasing landscaping. Still, I don't think our mom ever complained about out baseball diamond. It provided many summers of entertainment for us and the neighborhood kids (the few there were). Boy, our dad was cool.

Our family lives in the sprawling suburbs. Our home owners association would likely have a fit if we even attempted to put a baseball diamond in our front yard. Yet, the kids want to play baseball. They play behind our house, with their batters box facing the house. Yes they are hitting fly balls at the house with its three 6ft sliding glass doors. Anyone else think this is a REALLY, REALLY bad idea?

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Small Successes: Hooray for Washing Machines!

Small Successes for May 20, 2010:

1) The washer is fixed! Hooray! It took just 24 hours and 12 loads to catch up on the laundry. I was even good about folding and putting it all away.

2) I made our bed every day this week. A nicely made bed just brings a smile to my face.

3) We were in the bathroom this week, if you fly with the FlyLady. The mirror is polished, the sinks are wiped down, the toilet is sparkling, and the towels and bath mats are freshly washed.

Bonus: My calf strain is feeling much better. I'm no longer limping, and I've been able to go for brisk walks this week. I'll continue to nurse this injury and will hopefully start running a couple miles next week. Now I know to take it easy and not push what I thought was just a tight calf.

Share your Small Successes at Faith and Family Live.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Movie Review: The 13th Day

. . . Jesus spoke and said, "I praise thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and prudent, and didst reveal them to little ones."

--Matthew 11:25

On May 13, 1917, three peasant children began having visions of a beautiful woman dressed in white, shining brighter than the sun. During this first visit, the Lady asked the children if they were willing to offer themselves to God and to bear much suffering for the reparation of sins and the conversion of sinners. The children agreed.

In subsequent visits, always on the 13th of the month, the Lady divulged three secrets (one of which predicted a 2nd World War if the world failed to turn from sin), revealed a vision of hell, established the First Saturday devotion, encouraged prayer of the Rosary for the end of the 1st World War, and identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary. Most remarkably, during the last visit, 70,000 people witnessed an incredible miracle in which the sun appeared to spin and zig-zag in the sky. This Miracle of the Sun was reported even in secular newspapers.

The children suffered much humiliation and ridicule, even by their own family members. They became oddities and were harassed endlessly. Their families also suffered, as the growing crowds of pilgrims trampled down their fields and left their land in waste. Yet, the children never wavered in their devotion to the Lady. Today, 75 years later, the Shrine to Our Lady of Fatima is one of the largest in the world, with more than 4 million pilgrims visiting the site of the visions every year.

The 13th Day, based on the memoirs of Sister Maria Lucia, is a wonderful family film directed by brothers, Ian and Dominic Higgins. The acting is first rate, the three children are absolutely beautiful and wonderfully cast, and having been shot on location, the setting is lovely and pastoral. Unfortunately, the visual effects, while interesting, were a bit heavy handed and at times detracted from the message of the film. The Higgins brothers seem to have been to the Baz Luhrmann school of cinematography (don't get me wrong, I love me some Baz, but only in small doses) The best use of artistry was the filming in black and white and the conscious use of color solely in scenes of the supernatural, both heavenly and netherworldly.

Visual criticism aside, I really loved this movie and I highly recommend it. Due to some frightening imagery (visions of Hell, a demonic image, a frightening scene in a prison, and the assassination of the Pope), I would hesitate to allow young children watch this film, but it would be appropriate for children 10 years and up.

Read more information on Our Lady of Fatima here.

Learn more about the film here.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Cake

I've had a request to put all my recipes into a one place, so I've been updating the format of my sidebar to include pages with my own creations. You'll see this new element just under my profile pic. I'll post recipes here and also on the appropriate page so they are easier to find later on. I'm not particularly tech savvy so I'm not sure I'm formatting my idea correctly, but it works for now, and I am content. And now for some serious. . . .

. . . . Deliciousness!

Chocolate Hazelnut Coffee Cake

1 cup butter; softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt (sour cream may be substituted, I use goat milk yogurt for our little guy)
1 Tbsp espresso powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts; toasted and cooled
1 1/2 cup high quality dark chocolate (I use ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips); chopped fine
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a bundt pan by spraying thoroughly with cooking spray.

In a standing mixer beat butter until fluffy, gradually add sugar and continue beating until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. In a small bowl stir espresso powder into the yogurt and set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add 1/3 of yogurt mixture to butter, sugar, and eggs and mix until just combined, add 1/3 of flour mixture and mix again until just combined. Repeat and alternate with remaining yogurt and flour. In a separate bowl, toss together the hazelnuts, chocolate, and brown sugar.

In prepared pan, spoon 1/2 of batter and smooth evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 hazelnut-chocolate mixture over the batter in the pan. Spoon remaining batter into the pan and smooth gently. Top with remaining hazelnut-chocolate mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

These Sisters Really Know How to Party

We are so blessed to have this wonderful order of nuns in our neighborhood. The Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara are filled with such joy and love for God. They also know how to throw a great party. The afternoon began with games for the children, singing, and then a beautiful outdoor Mass celebrated by one of their brother priests from the IVE. Family Day with the nuns concluded with a barbecue and more singing by the sisters. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening!

This sister ran an obstacle course. Lil' Wingnut gave it a whirl and earned one Bosco Buck.

Sister really enjoyed watching the kids try out her complicated course. Skoshi A completed 4 circuits in 2 minutes. Not too shabby!

Sister Alma taught Mystical Rose and Special K a confidence game. Hmmmm.

Mother Sacred Heart (center left) grew up in our parish. She is in charge of the Novitiate House of Formation that is about 3 miles from our house. Our girls enjoy spending their Saturday mornings at the Oratory held at the Community of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha.

The Sisters love to sing and they provided ample entertainment for the children before Mass. Sister Mater Vitae (far left with glasses and white veil) is from my home town. It's a small world!

For more photos of Family Fun Day check out Moments of Grace!
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Of French Cuisine and Iron Man

Last Saturday, Wingnut gave me an early Mother's Day gift, dinner at a fine French restaurant in Annapolis, Les Folies Brasserie, and a movie. Before I offer my take on Iron Man 2, I have to dish about the lovely meal we had beforehand.

This was my first foray into French cuisine, and I am now a huge fan (butter)! We started our meal with a lovely Saumon Fume a l’Huile d’olive et Citron, or Salmon with Tapenade. It was very good, but really could have been found in any decent restaurant. For entrees, Wingnut chose Le Steak Frites et Mesclin Salad, or Butterflied steak with butter, shalots and french fries and a mescaline salad and I chose Escalope de Veau a la Creme, or Veal steak with a cream mushroom sauce (are you salivating yet?). Oh. My. Goodness. This was heavenly food. Wingnut's steak was perfect (butter), but the French fries really stole the show (I know! French fries!). They were the best I've ever had, incredibly hot, crisp and not greasy in the least. The veal was amazing, incredibly tender and the sauce was so flavorful (butter). Of course, what is a gourmet meal without dessert? We topped our feast off with a Grand Marnier Souffle. Divine, absolutely, divine!

Wingnut, being the world traveler that he is, has eaten nearly every variety and quality of cuisine. He ranked this restaurant in his top five, although he still believes his favorite is a little cafe in Wilmington, DE called Cafe Gelato. For me, this was the tops, unless I'm in the mood for Spanish cuisine, then I go for Jalapenos in Annapolis.

Wingnut and I thoroughly enjoyed the original Iron Man. We were a little skeptical about seeing the sequel. Sequels rarely satisfy, no? (Forgive me if I don't summarize the story, I'm sure you can read better summaries elsewhere on the web.) Being a sequel, we set the bar low for Iron Man 2, and to be honest, we really were not disappointed. It was a very entertaining and enjoyable flick. Robert Downey, Jr. has undeniable wonderful comedic timing, along with a dry delivery, and while the plot could have been streamlined a bit, the script was fairly good. I'm sure the complicated storyline meant to leave room for further sequels and if the dollars raked in by the first weekend are any indication, there will be more to come from Iron Man. As with the original, there is moderate adult content in the movie, and I would recommend viewing for much older teens and adults only.

Hmmm, my food review is much more detailed than my movie review. I guess that indicates what really floats my boat ;-)

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Small Successes: The Lame Version

As in, I am lame, not my successes. I've managed to strain my right calf and so I'm limping around the house very slowly and not getting much done in the way of housework. Still, I managed a few Small Successes this week.

1) Took the family to confession on Saturday. Big sigh of relief, you know what I mean?

2) We're in the kitchen this week, if you fly with the FlyLady. I cleaned the microwave, the stovetop, and the window sill over the sink.

3) Our washer is still not repaired. Hopefully that will happen later this morning, so instead of staying on top of the laundry this week, I spent more time with my little ones. I read to them and sat with them while they played outside. Lil' Wingnut has some new games to play with me, including "Pirate Ship" (he's the pirate and one of his sisters is the damsel in distress), and "Stage Coach" ( he's Wild Bill Hickock and I'm Annie Oakley and we're driving the stage coach from town to town, fighting off attacks from unfriendly Indians). I love his imagination.

What are your Small Successes this week? Leave your link at Faith and Family Live.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I made this several weeks ago and had promised my Facebook friends I'd post my recipe here. A little bit of life happened and I just now realized I had not posted this yet. This is a family favorite and is low calorie, low fat, high in fiber, and delicious.

White Chicken Chili

3 split skin on bone in chicken breasts
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion; quartered
3 cloves garlic; peeled and smashed
4 stems cilantro; rinsed
8 cups chicken broth
6 cups water
1 Tbsp oil
2 pablano peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
1 serrano pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
3 14 oz cans of white beans; drained
juice from one lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts, skin side down and cook until skin is browned and crisp; about 6 to 10 minutes. Turn breasts over, add onion quarters, smashed garlic, cilantro stems, broth and water. Bring to a boil, skimming scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat. Using tongs, remove chicken breasts to a plate and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Strain broth through a large strainer, reserve broth, and discard vegetable solids. Pull skin off breasts and discard. With your fingers pull chicken from bones and shred into bite size pieces. Cover and refrigerate until ready to put soup together.

In a food processor, mince peppers, garlic, and onion. In cleaned large dutch oven heat oil over medium high heat. Add pepper mixture and salt and saute until onions are translucent and peppers begin to brown slightly. Add oregano and cumin and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reserved broth and drained white beans. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat, simmering for about 30 minutes. Add reserved chicken and heat through. Just before serving add lime and chopped cilantro. Serve with garnishes such as; minced red onion, shredded cheese, diced avocado, minced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weapons Ban

Wingnut and I are firm believers that boys should be allowed to be boys. We've never banned guns or swords or rough play, but we've tried to set reasonable boundaries. Lil' Wingnut is all boy all the time and we are constantly cracking up at his male bravado around other boys. Whenever there is a get together with other boys present, these unsuspecting males become immediate combatants to Lil' Wingnut. This is usually fine, until Lil' Wingnut gets too aggressive and begins to actually hit other people (usually his sisters).

Frustrated with Lil' Wingnut's violent ways, Wingnut decided to ground the lil' guy from weapons: no guns, no swords, no lightsabers. This ban was pretty difficult for our boy, as everything becomes a weapon. Everyday there are new battles to fight and more bad guys to vanquish. How can he do that without any weapons?

While at a family party recently, Lil' Wingnut came up and asked to use the bathroom. He was hiding something behind his back. As I walked him past his father and we entered the house he revealed his hidden object, a stick.

"This is my pistol. I'm hiding it from Dad, " he confessed to me. Little does the dope know, Mama tells Daddy everything. As we finished up in the house and headed back outside, Lil' Wingnut once again hid the stick behind his back.

As he passed his father, I called out, "Hey, Daddy, why don't you ask Lil' Wingnut what he's hiding behind his back!" As he showed it to his dad, he once again confessed it was a gun. Wingnut smiled knowingly and told him it was now his power drill. Lil' Wingnut looked at his dad like he had said something completely insane.

In the end, we had to ban Lil' Wingnut from carrying sticks at all, as they invariably became guns. We thought we had him, until I saw him chasing boys around the yard, shooting them with his finger pistols.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Honoring Mary

First communicants in our parish not only get to wear their fine attire for their First Holy Communion, but also on Mother's Day, much to the delight of the little girls and the chagrin of the little boys. It has been a long standing tradition to have a May procession on Mother's Day, out to the parish's historic grotto, in order to crown the statue devoted Our Lady of Rock Springs . It was a privilege for our family to have our son act as cross bearer for the procession, and Special K was given the singular honor of crowning the Marian statue. She was thrilled beyond words.
Waiting to crown Mary

Father Royals needed to lift Special K into the grotto so that she would be able to reach the statue.

Father Royals lifts Special K out of the grotto and places her gently on the ground.

Stat Boy served as cross bearer for the procession.

Grinning from ear to ear, what little girl wouldn't after getting to dress up in such finery two Sundays in a row?

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Greatest Gift

*Original Artwork by Oleander*

A most blessed and happy Mother's Day to all mothers today. I especially want to thank my mom for the wonderful gift of life she gave to me, for the beautiful and happy childhood she worked so hard to provide me, for the morals and values she instilled in me, and most especially for the gift of my brother and sister. Thanks mom for giving me life, but I thank you even more for giving me siblings. Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, May 7, 2010

You've Got a Friend

Rebecca, aka the Mom, wrote a beautiful two part post about how she was a friend when a friend was most needed. I highly recommend reading it here and here. Go ahead, go read it. It won't take long and I'll still be here when you get back.

Isn't she a wonderful writer?

It's funny she wrote this story when she did, because one of my friends has been on my heart and mind recently. The way we became friends is a sweet story, too. I'm not as wonderful a storyteller as the Mom, but it's a story worth telling.

Tonya and I were acquaintances who saw each other weekly while our children took gymnastics classes. During that one hour a week we talked easily, as many acquaintances do. We seemed to have much in common; several children, husbands in the military, homeschooling, crazy families. I enjoyed chatting with Tonya on those occasions, but it wasn't much deeper of a friendship than just that, chatting about things we had in common. I'm a fairly reserved person, actually quite shy, and I do not make close friends very easily.

About 6 months into our familiarity, it became quite apparent to all that Wingnut and I were expecting our 6th child. Tonya congratulated us and looked forward to meeting our newest little one. Sadly, we lost little Josef at 18 weeks. It was devastating, difficult, and a bit embarrassing having to tell family and friends of our loss. Wingnut was left to tell Tonya and our other gymnastic companions when he next took the children to the gym. I was still home recovering and grieving.

The next week I was back out and performing my usual tasks, including chauffeuring children to classes. As I entered the gym, Tonya approached me, gave me a hug and handed a package to me. She let me know she knew what it meant to lose a baby, as she'd had two miscarriages herself, and she knew I might not be ready to talk about it, but she was there when I needed to. I was touched by her kindness. I couldn't open the package there. I took it home. Inside was a Willowtree sculpture, The Angel of Remembrance. It was a simple and sweet gesture. I cried and cried.

Tonya has become the kind of friend that although she is protestant and I'm Catholic, we can discuss religion and not get all worked up and offended by each other's idea of Faith. She is the kind of friend that is one of the very first I will tell about a pregnancy. I know she'll congratulate us with her whole heart and then laugh with me as I tell her I've been asking God for more patience and a new baby is how he answers that prayer.

Tonya may think we became friends over coffee (she invited herself over for a cup), but whenever I see that statue, I think of our little guy in heaven, and of the wonderful friend who reached out to comfort a near stranger. Over time, Tonya became a good friend, one I will always treasure, one who was there when I needed her, and I hope I was there when she needed me.

Nearly four years ago, Tonya gave me another statue, this one of a mother and child, to commemorate the birth of Lil' Wingnut. I cried and cried. She's a good one, this friend of mine.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Small Successes: It All Adds Up

Small Successes for May 6, 2010.

This week is all about what I didn't do--LOL!

1) We had such a crazy busy weekend, we didn't do school on Monday so we could relax and recuperate.

2) Monday we had at least 8 loads of laundry to do. 6 loads in, our washer began banging and chugging horribly. The front outer tub had separated from the inner tub. No laundry can be done until it is repaired. The repair guy is coming today to "look" at the washer. There is no guarantee we will have a fixed washer by the end of the day, especially if he needs to order parts. The good news is our washer is still under warranty. So, although I was not able to stay on top of the laundry this week, I did not panic. No really, I haven't panicked. Seriously, I'm not panicking.

3) I made more food than we needed for Special K's First Holy Communion festivities. We had lots of left overs. I have not needed to cook this week :-)

What did or didn't you do this week that you might count as a Small Success? Go share your link at Faith and Family Live.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rockin' Coleslaw

For Special K's party on Sunday, we made pulled pork, BBQ beans from scratch, homemade BBQ sauce, veggies and homemade ranch dip, and homemade salsa. As a garnish for the pulled pork I threw together a little coleslaw on the fly. As so many of our guests wanted to know what was in it, I thought I'd post the recipe here. (plus, I really don't want to forget how I made it!)

Spicy Slaw

1/2 head of cabbage shredded
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 jalapenos, finely diced (I did not seed or de-rib the jalapenos so it had a little extra kick)
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine oil, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Add the shredded cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but not longer than 48 hours. Serve as a side, or as a garnish for pulled BBQ sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs or sausages.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ's side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever

Yesterday was one of the happiest days of my life as a mother. Special K could not have been better prepared nor more disposed to receive Christ for the very first time. A year ago, I could not imagine how we were going to get her to this day, let alone have a party to celebrate with her. How much she has changed in just one year. I am sure much of it is due to discovering her sensitivities to chemicals in food, but a larger part has to do with the Grace she has received from her own prayers and preparations, and from the sacrament of reconciliation. She took her First Holy Communion very seriously. She begged to go to confession as close to her special day as possible and learned her catechism like her life depended upon it.

It was a doubly proud day for us, as our oldest son served as acolyte on the High Mass team for his sister's First Holy Communion. Last evening he related to us, what we could not see from our vantage point in the church. He described his sister's beaming face and a smile so broad that it could not be ignored. Another altar boy asked our son if he had noticed the little girl with the huge grin during the Mass. Our son confessed she was his sister, to which his team mate replied, "That's Ok. My sister is in 8th grade and was confirmed on Thursday night. She had that same smile on her face."

How pleased God must be in the beautiful and innocent faith of children.

Special K with her best friend, Mystical Rose. We are so thankful for Rose's friendship. She could not have been more excited for her friend to finally receive the Eucharist.
Msgr. Parry baptized Special K eight years ago. Not only is he a wonderful priest, he has a special place in his heart for children, and is very involved in their faith formation in our parish.

Special K with the Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara. The sisters may never realize what a wonderful impact their beautiful example of religious life has had on our little princess. We are so grateful for the role they have played in teaching and preparing Special K for this day.
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Birthday Girl

God our Father,
the birth of your Son Jesus Christ
brought great joy to Mary and Joseph.
We give thanks to you for Special K, whose birthday we celebrate
May she ever grow in your faith, hope, and love.
We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Happy 8th birthday to our beautiful, vivacious, loving little girl!

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