Thursday, June 28, 2012

{P,H,F,R} 6/28

round button chicken

Our pretty 10 year old with the wind blowing through her hair

Happy baby boy splashing in the Great Salt Lake

Funny baby swallows looking down at me from their nest.

Real sharp focused foot of a silly little boy who would not cooperate for a photo.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Milestone Birthday

Today our Lil' Wingnut turns a whopping six years old.  To him, this is a huge milestone.  According to our lil' guy, "Now you have to respect me!"

This child of ours has kept us on our toes and kept us laughing.  He's one smart cookie and unfortunately he knows it.  So out of deference to him and his lil' ego, it is time once again to give his nickname an upgrade.  No longer shall he be known as Lil' Wingnut.  We are wishing Wingnut Jr. a very happy and blessed 6th birthday today.  We love you lil' man!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

30 Day Photo Challenge: Series 1

In an attempt to keep expanding my photography skills and techniques I'm doing a photograph a day project for 30 days.  

 Day 1--Self Portrait
I actually like this photo and have used it for my various profile pics :)

Day 2--What I wore
I love these shoes.  I wear them everyday and almost everywhere.

Day 3--Clouds
There were very few clouds to shoot so this is kind of a "meh" photo.

Day 4--Something Green
Love, love, love limes!

Day 5--High Angle
This isn't considered a particularly "high" vantage point, but I was shooting the lil' guy from above and I love the expression on his lil' face.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Roasted Shrimp with Onion, Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Lime

Oleander described a dish the mother of one of the Sister's had made involving shrimp, tomatoes, onions, and lime.  I did a quick internet search and the base recipe I found was for Roasted Scallops Gallacian Style from the Spiced Life.  Here is my take on the original recipe.  It was a huge hit and I will definitely make this dish again.  As an added plus, this entire dinner is incredibly low calorie and low fat--especially if you forgo the tortilla chips ;)

Roasted Shrimp with Mexican Flavors

2 1/2 pounds 41-50 count frozen, peeled, and deveined shrimp; defrosted
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 small roma tomatoes; diced
1/2 medium onion; diced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 lime cut into thin slices
1 TBSP Olive oil
Mrs. Dash Chili and Lime seasoning (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place shrimp in a colander and toss with 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Let set for 20 minutes and then rinse and drain.  Toss tomatoes, onions, shrimp, and cilantro together with the oil and spices in a 9 x 12 casserole dish.  Lay sliced lime over the top and place dish into the oven.  Cook for 10 minutes and stir.  Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the shrimp translucent or cooked through.  Serve with fresh guacamole (Oleander made absolutely delicious guacamole using only fresh avocados, the juice of one lime, and salt to taste), tortilla chips, and Mango-Pineapple Salsa.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Holy Flaming Dirtbikes, Batboy!

*Update* One never knows who might end up reading your blog. In this case, the mom of the little boy written abput here ended up reading my blog and eventually this post. Reading it again, I can imagine how mortifying this was for her, and how brave it was to tell me she had read it. As a result, I am changing some of the details of this story to protect her amd her family's anonymity. Lesson learned here, we cannot fathom the things other families may be going through and I personally need to be more charitable in my assessment of other people and their parenting. There, but for the Grace of God, go I!

I've posted before, our new neighborhood is full of large families and I have a hard time keeping track of our kids.  We established a rule especially for Lil' Wingnut, who found this new freedom a little too liberating. They now need to tell me whose home they are playing at and if they change locations they have to come home and tell me.  Lil' Wingnut is allowed to play at the homes of about 5 different families, but I try to insist that they keep their play to outside, as TV and video gaming are all too available in other homes and too much of a temptation for Lil' Wingnut.

One of our neighbors has a sweet little boy, the youngest of several siblings. His parents, seemingly do not monitor too closely this boy's viewing and gaming opportunities and so it has been a rule that Lil' Wingnut is only allowed to play outside with this particular little boy and is not allowed inside said boy's house without asking us first.

One afternoon I had the opportunity to nap along with Lil' Lamb and so I did not have personal positive control over the children's movements.  After sleeping for two hours I awoke to a very quiet house.  I asked the JayP where everyone was, and he listed the whereabouts of each sibling ending with Lil' Wingnut being over at this particular neighbor's home.  Apparently he had told one of his older siblings where he was going and they gave their unauthorized consent. I sent a sister after the boy and he came dragging his tail behind him.

"What were you doing at "this boy's" house?" I asked.

"I was just talking to him."

"Ok, what was he doing?"

"Watching TV."

"I thought I told you that you could only play outside with him."

"I tried to get him to come out, but he didn't want to.  He wanted to watch his show."

"What show was he watching?"

Then the real evasion game began.  Our lil' guy could not recall what his friend was watching as he paid absolutely no attention to the TV as he was too busy talking to his friend,  although he could not recall a single aspect of this intense two hour conversation.  I knew the boy was lying and I was getting angrier by the minute and beginning to make threats.  When the threat to call Dad was made the kid began to sing like a canary.

"It was a really bad show!" He began to cry.

"How was it bad?  Did they use bad language?"

"No.  They spoke English!"  he wailed, "It was about a guy that rode around on a dirt bike.  It was really bad!  The dirt bike caught on fire!"

Since the boy could not recall the title of the show I did a quick internet search for "dirt bike show" and began running down the list to see if I could jog his memory and get to the bottom of it all.

"Was it American Chopper?"


"American Thunder?"


"Biker Build-off? Feasting on Asphalt? Legends of Motorsport? Sons of Anarchy? Dirtbike Rider?"

"No. No. No. No. Wait!  I think I remember.  It was Ghost Rider!"

To confirm, I showed him the movie poster.  Indeed, our sweet lil' guy had just watched the entire PG-13, violent and profanity laced Nicholas Cage film.

To say the least, the rule is now he must come to me and only to me before he's allowed to even play with This friend at all.  Unfortunate, but very necessary! Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, June 21, 2012

{P, H, F, R} Boys and Cherry Pie, Too

round button chicken


As long as he's still 5, I can say he's pretty, right? I love his eyes and their constant mischievious twinkle. 


Wingnut love, love, loves pie.  For Father's Day he was one happy dad because of the delicious cherry pie we made for him.


Lil' Lamb has enjoyed playing in his little pool.  He has a new game. He "pretends"to fall over backward out of his pool. 

He really gets into it, making a huge deal with his facial expressions, 

throwing in some sound effects, 

and then collapsing to the ground in a little heap.


My little guys have got the sibling rivalry bug right now.

Especially Lil' Lamb, he pushes

and slaps, 

and shoves his big brother, 

who then takes on a very menacing stance over his baby brother.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Most Blessed Birthday, My Son

Happy 17th birthday to our eldest son, the JayP.  May God bless, protect, and guide you all your days.

In like manner, ye young men, be subject to the ancients. And do you all insinuate humility one to another, for God resisteth the proud, but to the humble he giveth grace.Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation:  Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you.  Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.  Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.  To him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5: 5-11
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Together Again

Our little Aspirant is home for the next two weeks. We are a whole family again :)

She wasn't very cooperative about having her picture taken, still the typical teen in some aspects. Sigh.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

One Final Sacred Heart Post

As part of our celebration of the Sacred Heart, we made Sacred Heart T-Shirts.  We used two different techniques.  Sand paper transfers and tye dye.  I made the boys shirts and let the girls make their own.

I really liked the sand paper transfers.  Using fine grade sand paper and crayola crayons draw and fill in art work of your choice.  Place the sandpaper, artwork down, onto a cotton t-shirt and iron over the top with a hot iron.  

Hold in place for several seconds and then lift off the sand paper.  Place a couple paper towels over ironed on design and run the iron over a couple of times to set the design.

Lil' Lamb's finished t.

I used fabric markers to write "O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us."

The girls tye dyed heart designs after watching this video on how to fold the material to achieve the heart shape.

They then used fabric markers and sharpies to draw thorns, flames, and a cross to finish the Sacred Heart design.

Skoshi A's finished shirt

Special K drew The Immaculate Heart on the back of her t.

Two things I would do differently: 

 Use 100% cotton shirts.  The colors do not take as brightly on a 50/50 blend shirt.

Don't waste $ on fabric markers.  Sharpies worked much better.  They are easier to control and glide more smoothly without any accidental drips left behind.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

May our hearts be enflamed by love for the Most Sacred Heart!

Prayers of reparation and devotion for today's Solemnity:

Our family prays the following prayer at night following the rosary, renewing our pledge to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Dear Sacred Heart of Jesus, we renew our pledge of love and loyalty to
You. Keep us always close to Your loving Heart, and to the most pure
Heart of Your Mother. May we love one another more and more each day,
forgiving each other’s faults as You forgive us our sins. Teach us to see
You in the members of our family and those we meet outside our home,
loving them as You love them, especially the poor and the oppressed, that
we may be instrumental in bringing about justice and peace.

Please help us to carry our cross daily out of love for You, and to strengthen
this love by frequent Mass and Communion.

Thank You, dear Jesus, King and Friend of our family, for all the blessings
of this day. Protect us and all families during this night. Help us so to live
that we may all get to Heaven.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,                      Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Protector of the Christian,       Pray for us!
Our Guardian Angels and Patron Saints,     Pray for us!

Last year, our parish priest introduced us to this beautiful, traditional prayer of reparation.  It seems more relevant with each passing year.

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

{P,H,F,R} 6/14

round button chicken

{Pretty &Happy}

More of the flowers planted by our home's previous owners are blooming each week.  These are just lovely and the colors 

{Happy & Funny}

Lil' Lamb loves to play ball of any kind.  He especially loves hitting the ball with a baseball bat, or having someone lift him up to dunk a basketball.

{Funny & Real}

We've got some unbelievably nasty looking weeds on our land.  This one has been particularly resistant to the weed killer we've been using.  It's almost as big as Lil' Wingnut.  I keep Lil' Lamb as far from it as I can, because I am sure it will eat him!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Enthrone Your Home

On Friday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.  Early on in our new found faith Wingnut and I developed a special devotion to the Sacred Heart and many years ago our parish priest celebrated a beautiful and particular blessing in our home enthroning our family in the Sacred Heart.  Little did we know this is a dying practice today and not many of our friends have even heard of Home Enthronement.  Thankfully, there is an Enthronement website which not only explains Home Enthronement, but also supplies prayers and materials for doing so.

From their website:

The Enthronement is more than a blessing of the Sacred Heart picture for the home. It is the dedication of a person and family to the Divine Heart of Jesus, for us to live in union with Him by love, grace and obedience to His Commandments. The Enthronement brings countless graces and blessings, as enumerated in the Twelve Great Promises He made to St. Margaret Mary.

What does it mean?
The word enthronement means to put upon a throne. In effect when we enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus as King and head of our home, we are turning our life and hearts over to Him to bless, guide, and protect us always.

Through the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary we are asking Mary as our spiritual Mother to extend her mantle of love, comfort and protection over to us and to lead us into a deeper relationship with her son Jesus.

Why is it so important?
It is a way for our families to obtain special graces and blessings. Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary, “I will bless the homes in which an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored”. To invite Jesus and Mary into our homes takes on even greater meaning in these troubled times and can be a source of great comfort through our faith and prayers.

History of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has existed throughout much of the history of the Church. However, in France in June 1675, Jesus instructed St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that He wished devotion to His Sacred Heart to be made known to the world. Through the efforts of St. Margaret Mary and St. Claude La Colombiere, and with the grace of God, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus did spread throughout the world. Jesus conveyed to St. Margaret Mary, Twelve Great Promises for those devoted to His Sacred Heart.

The modern day version of the devotion, whereby the Sacred Heart of Jesus is enthroned into homes, was started by Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey of the Sacred Heart Fathers in Chile in the early 1900’s. Pope Pius X directed Father Mateo to make it his life’s work to bring the “entire world, home by home, family by family to the Sacred Heart.”

With the feast upon us, wouldn't it be lovely to Enthrone your family and your home? To find out more visit

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012


5 of 7 of our babies were bald, bald, bald until they were about two and a half years old.  Oleander was born with a full head of light brown hair and from the time she was very little she was good about wearing hair clips and bows.  I even designed and made cute little hair bows for her that we called "Ollie's Bow-bows".  Funny, she's the one that will have hers cut to the nape and covered with a habit in the years to come; God Willing!

Lil' Lamb is my other babe blessed/cursed with hair at a youngish age.  I tried clipping his hair in the bathtub a few months back and completely butchered it.  He looked ridiculous and so I just let his hair grow.  He was beginning to look very raggedy and he'd taken to rubbing his food all over his head, making him look even more raggedy.  It was time to take him to a barber.  Wingnut found a nice little old fashioned type of barbershop in town and sat Lil' Lamb on his lap.  Lil' Lamb was curious, if not a bit apprehensive to begin.  For several moments the barber clipped away at his baby fine hair with the electric clippers. Suddenly, the lil' guy had enough and the struggle ensued.  He squirmed and wailed throughout the rest of the hair cut.  Thankfully, our barber was a real pro and he was able to continue clipping the struggling boy. He finished mercifully quick and made a fine job of it.  Our lil' guy no longer looks scruffy and unkempt.  He also no longer looks like a baby.  I wasn't ready for him to become a toddler so soon.  Boo-hoo!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Homeschool

We normally do not do any formal homeschooling during the summer, except some math drills to keep our math skills up.  Special K has about 10 more lessons in her Saxon 54 book and we are completing those over the course of the summer alongside Minute Math Drills at each child's grade level.

We've also engaged the kids in a little civics and citizenship.  We'll be talking a lot about the upcoming elections, religious freedom, what it means to be truly pro-life, etc.  As far as economic policy is concerned, the best lesson plan I've found is this hilarious comedy spoof by christian comedian Tim Hawkins.  You may remember him from the hilarious Addams Family/Homeschool Family video that has made the rounds on the internet several times over.  Enjoy this hilarious take on what the government can do for you, and you might even learn some awesome dance moves along the way.  Happy Monday! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, June 8, 2012

An Answer

Mother Ephesus called yesterday to let me know Oleander has tested positive for Lyme's disease.  Poor girl.  We could have been treating this months ago, except Lyme spirochete are tricky little buggers and this disease just manifests itself differently in each victim.  The flu-like symptoms, enlarged spleen (seen on ultrasound), and the constant stomach issues should have set bells off for someone, but they just didn't put the pieces together without the culprit tick bite or bulls-eye rash.  Apparently presenting with the disease with the tick and or rash only happens in about 30% of Lyme's cases.

The game plan for now is a 30 day course of antibiotics and hopefully our dear girl will be on the road to recovery.  Unfortunately, she's been suffering with this for 4 months or more which can make recovery a bit more tentative.  Keep her in your prayers!  We greatly appreciate it! Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, June 7, 2012

{P, F, H, R} 6/7

round button chicken

I love irises.  These were planted by the previous owners and three large groups have been blooming this week.


The JayP and Karate Kid planted 25 asparagus crowns last month.  So far, seven have sprung.  I love asparagus and we should be enjoying the fruits of these plants for many years to come.

Our lil' one has discovered the joy of bubbles.  Unfortunately, he has also become very insistent on doing things for himself.

Which means he's not too successful in the blowing of the bubbles.  Still, he's so cute trying!

Our lovely Husqvarna tractor and accessories has taken up the space of one car in our garage.  We've hired a contractor from our parish to build a shed for our garden toy.  I'm beginning to think the Husqvarna is a money pit.  I'm thinking 7 asparagus plants do not make up for the $ we've put into the tractor so far.  It will pay for itself down the road, right?  At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

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