Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Too many rainy days leads to...

"Mom, I really hope summer comes again."

(heee heeee!)
God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday

MASTERMIND Do you remember this game?
This was one of my favorites from my childhood and you can imagine my delight to find it at some tag sale last summer.

PROS: We all love to play this game-all ages, Moms and Dads too! We can play solo-one against one; and we also play in teams. It helps with recognizing colors and memory and it is FUN!

CONS: The only downside is the small pieces for little ones to find and into the mouth they go.

Go HERE to see more:)
God bless, Mary

Short Lived Joy

My 2 year old asked me:
"Mom, can I have some green beans?"

My oh my! I could not believe my ears. "Really, honey? You'd like some green beans?"

Oh what a good mother I am! My kids are ASKING for healthy food! Yay for me.

...until his sibling corrected me "Mom, he is asking for jelly beans."

Oh well. That joy was short lived.

God bless!
Mary

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Run

Not sure why I did not ever post this-probably forgot with how our month of Sept. turned out.
Remember? Let's try to forget now! Anyway...

I aboslutely LOVE this pic-the Labor Day Race in 'our' nearest big city. The 4 runners in my family-my hubby ran the 20K-great time and beat his last years time. Nice job! My 4 'oldest' kids ran the kids' run-my 8, 7, 5 and even my 4 yr old.

My 4 year old on the right was soooo cute. Mind you, the rules were the child had to turn 4 by the race on Labor day and she did-only a few days prior! AND the 4 and 5 year old were getting over the chicken pox so they the crusted over little spots all over them. What a sight they were!

The race began and the kids all ran, tumbled over each other and then ran( heee heee)...but she did not budge. She just stood there with her Daddy next to her. Once all the kids were out of sight and around the corner, she looked up at Daddy and stated "Now, I am ready!"

A girl after my own heart-not one for competition!!! ;)...just like her Mommy. Definitely not like her Daddy with competition!

Being so unbelievaly cute and so very small!, the newspaper got a shot of her and it made the front page of the sports section! She was, officially, the 3rd from last. Once she began to run, though, she did not stop for the whole 1 mile run! We are so proud of her!

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yummy recipe for granola bars

Here is the recipe for “Wholesome Granola Bars” and I just made a batch now adding in Choc. Chips like….and I think that my kids will never go back to them w/out the choc. Chips once they have them!!! ha ha!

Here it is:
1 ½ cups granola
1 cup oatmeal
¾ cup dried cherries or craisins or raisins-whatever you want
½ cup flour
1/3 cup of flax seed
1/3 cup of wheat germ
1/3 cup nuts-almonds-any kind of nuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon-I put more in b/c my kids love cinnamon
2 egg whites
1/3 cup honey-I put more in b/c my kids love honey too!
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons vege oil

Line bottom and sides of 8x8x2 dish w/foil and spray the foil
Mix it all together and press down into dish w/foil
Bake at 350* for about 20-25 mins till light brown-may take longer.
Use foil to remove bars
Slightly Cool and eat them! yum!!!

God bless and happy baking today!
Mary

Quote of the day

"Lord Jesus Christ, pierce my soul with your love so that I may always long for you alone, who are the bread of angels and the fulfillment of the soul's deepest desires. May my heart always hunger for you, so that soul may be filled with the sweetness of your presence"
- Saint Bonaventure

Friday, October 23, 2009

Falling into fall

I love to see my kids hard at work. I
mean, real hardworking things like...raking leaves.
Somehow the mix of the smell of pumpkin muffins and the sight and sounds of crunching leaves are sweet to my heart right now.

Fall is here to stay, for a little bit.
Rejoice in God's blessing!

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Small Successes- Be Real!


Small Successes for this week:
1. I have been fairly consistent with wearing my skirts I told you about HERE. To my surprise, it seems to be going well! I have found that I can still do all I used to do and I feel much more girl-y too :).
2. Being the solo parent this week has tested me and I would like to think that I have loosened up and chilled out about a lot of small stuff. Yep, don't sweat the small stuff!
3. I had friends over, totally last minute-which means the laundry was still piles and piles high and toys strewn throughout my house. But guess what? I didn't care and she didn't either! We laughed, we bonded, we talked. It was worth all this messy house had to offer and I'd do it again in a pinch.
'Being real' is my new motto. I can keep striving for perfection daily and acknowledge my busy reality along the way. Easy as that. Real is real.
Go check out HERE for more successes from other moms

God bless!
Mary

Quote of the day

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
--Unknown

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Play Babysitter!

This morning, my 2 year old walks by and says: "Mom? See? I am the babysitter." And there he was looking so very adorable and pushing 4 dollies in the blue stroller. This little guy loves to play dollies and be the daddy with his 4 yr old sister as the mommy. Way too cute for words.

I absolutely love it!
And it will end way too soon.
I know it.

God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday (Mom's Toy Today)

Who said that "Toy Review Tuesday" had to be only kids' toys?! (Hope you don't mind, Sam!!!)
Here is my top toy lately:
I took this picture before it got so cold so now it is filled up with fall and winter coats and boots! It is absolutely perfect for us!
I got it from a lady who was selling her house/daycare and moving to NY. It was the deal of deals-she paid $320 including s/h and sold it to me for only $50! It is 5 years old and as sturdy as can be! I have been praying for us to get one-hoping to get it installed in our mud room/laundry room...but this is even better!
I kept asking God and asking Him to give us one and he sure did! Prayer is so powerful-never underestimate the power of prayer!
It is this Momma's favorite toy right now :)
Go HERE to see more toy reviews!
God bless,
Mary

Quote of the day

"Ask Jesus to make you a saint. After all, only He can do that. Go to confession regularly and to Communion as often as you can,"
- St. Dominic Savio

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Feast day of St. Isaac Jogues!

HERE is a link for some info on this great Saint, St. Isaac Jogues, a Jesuit missionary priest martyr... and the others we are celebrating today!

We had planned to visit THIS PLACE today, but it did not work out as planned. God is so good b/c we were told through our home school group that they are having a field trip to a local convent! I am so thrilled! I have wanted to bring my girls to this particular one all summer, but it did not work out till now. God's timing:) They will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Rosary recited, talks, videos and games. There will also be arts and crafts for the younger ones (which mine will love to be a part of). Thank You God for providing us this great opportunity!

We'll be reading parts from this book:


Happy Feast day of St. Isaac Jogues!

I wish I could have found some fun coloring worksheet for my children to color. If anyone knows of a link, please leave it in the comment box-thanks!

We will be try to do a bit of 'acting' with our Indian dress up clothes and I am sure that there will be some disagreement with who that ONE person will be to be St. Isaac Jogues! It could be worse things they will fight over!!!


God bless,

Mary

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Friendly Visitor!

Look what we found perching up on our window sill! Isn't he cute!?

Well, it wasn't as nice as it sounds...he did end up flying full speed into our window twice before sitting still for 20 minutes recovering from his slight concussion!!! And he sure is cute! My kids had a blast studying him so up close. Talk about a great school lesson in birds.

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snow?

What in the world?

It has been snowing for the past 3hours and it is enough for me to want to move down South tomorrow.

Do you know how annoying it is to gain about 4 loads of laundry in only 1 1/2 hours?

Coming from wet jeans and wet sweatpants? Wet socks and wet sneakers? Wet 'heavy winter' jackets and wet hoods from hoodies and wet cuffs of those hoodies?

Right now, my kids are making their first snowman of the season and sledding down our front yard hill.

October 15th.

If this is any indication of how our winter will turnout...I will pass.

I've had enough of winter and it is not even winter yet.
Good thing for good hot chocolate.

God bless,
Mary

Happy Feast day of St. Teresa of Avila



I love this saint! One of my favorites!

HERE is the coloring page for St. Teresa of Avila, which we'll be doing today :)

God bless,
Mary

What happens when I'm not looking

Here is what I saw out my front door. I ran to get my camera and STILL caught my 2 year old in action!

Do you see my older daughter trying to restore my lovely purple (oh, I love that color!) mums?

Do you see my younger daughter, just looking on?
And get this! What I heard her say what hilarious...she kept saying over and over again, with such intense feeling and sort of authority "Stop it! You are killing Mommy's plant! Stop it!"


Here is the finished product, hoping that I would still be happy with what's left of it.
For the record, no, I am not happy.

But, it sure is cute how they 'tried' to fix it, huh?!
God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

School Pics

What we are up to these days...
A good amount of this...
and even more of this...(Math-U-See is grrrrrrreat!)
LOTS of worksheets, coloring, and arts and crafts galore to liven up my kitchen walls:
A whole lotta rolling around-great energy release and favorite recess activity!:
Lots of fresh air with this little bundle of love who I am running after always... He is crawling, not yet walking, and goes everywhere! His favorite is spending time outside whenever any of his siblings go out, he crawls the the back door and sits there, yells or cries to get our attention!
Happy schooling ;)
God bless,
Mary

Alphabet song-'their'way

Overheard at school yesterday morning:

"It goes like this...ABCDEFGHIJK--ellow-menow---P"

Gotta love this!
God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday


LEGO'S!
I can't say enough great things about them!!!

All my children LOVE them. In fact, we were at a Blue Knight club meeting last week and to the side were a box of Star Wars themed Lego's. Sure enough, my boys went right over to them, by passing the table where they were to go for the club meeting! Many boys were there right besides them! We had to pull them away from them!

Recently, I bought off of craigslist this great Lego table, in the pic above. It is priceless! Worth every dime I bought it for! It was a terrific deal, costing me only $10!!! It is big and bulky but homemade and extremely sturdy and with my house of boys-I need toys to be sturdy! I think we'll be hanging onto this table and all our Lego's for a very long time.

All ages really do like Lego's. My friend told me that her brother in law plays with them and displays them.

I even find myself playing along side of my kids too :)

God bless, Mary

Ray & Kid-Bits

Do you know of Dr. Ray?

HERE is the link to the archived radio shows of his "The Doctor is In". I have found his advice out of experience (since he is the dad of 11!) a great source of help and laughter! So, I thought you would too! He is on that radio channel via the internet link every day form 1-2pm.

HERE is the link to his 1-2 minute Kid-Bits- short, sweet and to the point. Just what I can listen to, here and there, when I find those few minutes of 'Momma free time'!

God bless,
Mary

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hurry! Only 2 hours left

to enter in to win this:

A $40 gift certificate to Tastefully Simple?

Go check out HERE-only 2 hours left to enter in!!!

Here is a yummy CROCKPOT APPLE CIDER BUTTER recipe:

CROCKPOT APPLE CIDER BUTTER*
*Do the first 1/2 of the recipe the night before so you are ready to finish it up during the day*

16 c. any kind of apples- washed, cored, unpeeled, and chopped
2 c. apple cider
2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
A dash of ginger, nutmeg, mace and (if you have it)allspice to taste

*Put the apples and cider in crockpot. Cover and cook on low heat 10- 12 hours.

Then puree in a food processor or blender.
Put apple mix to the crockpot and add the sugar and spices. Cover and cook on low heat 6-10 hours.
After, carefully pour into mason jars or previously used spaghetti sauce jars and close tightly-seal them up.

FYI-Apple Cider butter can also be cooled and put into freezer containers and frozen for several months.

Makes 4 pints of yummy Apple Cider Butter!

God bless,
Mary

Saturday, October 10, 2009

To be loved and forgiven...is a wonderful thing!

My 2 year old, lately, has been well...a 2 year old.

With that age comes quite a lot. Some kids fly through this stage; others have a very hard time. I think that this stage lasts till at least 4 1/2 (but that's just what I think ;). My 2 year old is currently pretty high at the ranks of his outbursts, outrages and tantrums. I always say it's a real good thing he is so cute when he has his moments! We all are trying to use our patience but even that at many times, is lost b/c of a 2 year old! How do they do it?

They drive us totally loony and before you know it, they are the sweetest things on the face of the earth. There are not many things that are as sweet as a 2 year old apologizing, right? The sweet face, those sweet words, the little body that is yearning for the touch and words of forgiveness and reconciliation. My heart melts. Hugs abound. Forgiveness granted.

Then...
He's at it again.
And this love cycle continues.

The love that Jesus lived and died for is wrapped up in spending a good few days with a 2 year old, I believe.

Some of the joy that I see in all this is watching how my other children react to this particular 2 year old. Get this-they do the same thing. They loose their patience with him and react to him, sometimes (well, a lot of times!) with not such nice actions or words. But they are buttered up quickly by his warm attitude of his desire to be loved and forgiven.

Amazing that this relates so much to us, as adults, as children of God. So many times we get out of whack and have an adult tantrum or a flip out or some "Why me?" moments. We drift away from God, thinking that there will be some peace and happiness away from Him. Hopefully that time away is not long and we return to Him.

Thanks be to God for confession.

Thanks be to God for His forgiveness as we have that same desire to be loved and forgiven again and again.

Can you tell I've been to confession today?! ;) Have you? If not for a while, I recommend you get there:) What do you have to LOOSE? That's right, nothing. So, get in there. I promise you will not regret it.

HERE is a brief answer to: WHY GO TO CONFESSION?

God bless and have a great weekend!!!
Mary

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wanna hear something funny?

Yeah, I know you do. And you can laugh at me all you want.
Mind you, I am battling some nasty case of allergeeez (as my 2 yr old says it) and I am in a fog.
So, here it is:

Tonight I went out shopping, as per my routine when I am stressed out and overwhelmed-completely different subject... but ANYWAY... I was out tonight and went to one of my favorite places to shop as of lately, the good ol' Goodwill Store. Man, they make these stores look real GOOD!!! heee heee. Really!

So...I walked in and went right over to the area of long skirts (what I have been trying to wear more of lately-and that is, uh...another completely different subject for a completely different post on a completely different day!!!). To my shock, I found 2 jean skirts and 2 black skirts. Surprised that the size 10 looks like it will fit me-yay for me! I pick it up in my arms and glance over the size 16 which I know will fit me...yay for me, well, not really. Whatever. Anyway, before I know it, the time is 8:50 and the store closes in 10 mins. I quickly found a "Connect 4" game for only $1.99 and a game that was still in it's original wrapping for a bday party gift coming up! That was 2 great finds!

I gather my items and check out thinking to myself "Wow, that was a bit more than I hoped to spend."

As I looked at my receipt, I realized that I never did try on those skirts! Ha ha!!! I find that very funny! What a total fog I am in! But get this, once home, I tried on those 2 skirts and to my surprise and delight, they BOTH fit!!!
What a winner this night was ;)

Good night and God bless,
Mary

You won't find this in Heaven

As I am cleaning up the kitchen, my oldest is doing his spelling assignment. As always, this youngster always finds time to think (that, which, I usually cannot seem to find any time to do!! Hee hee).
Anyway, here is what he says. Out of the blue (not uncommon with him ;)), he says:

“Mom, I guess there’s no "Star Wars" in Heaven. Ya know why? There’s some bad people in these movies and there is only good in Heaven. So…I guess we gotta watch all the "Star Wars" we can, now on earth!”

Not to disappoint this sweet boy and his correct way of thinking, I will be caving in to let him watch some more Star Wars today.
Just because.
Wouldn't you???

God bless,
Mary

Small Successes- It's Thursday!


How about that? It's Thursday already! Here are my small successes:
1. I started (again!) reading "The Family Manager takes Charge" by Kathy Peel (BTW, great book chock full of practical ideas) and made a list of things that I can do on my cleaning day (Fridays usually). This is huge for me b/c now I can really have a plan instead of saying to one child "Here, take this Windex and clean the windows" or to another "Please vacuum the rug"-not that those are not helpful, but now I have a list that entails much more and I am excited to see the outcome;)
2. I worked really hard on biting my tongue and holding back my words to my loved ones, when I was tempted to lash out and defend myself or get that last word in. Now that I am writing this, I am not sure that my loved ones would agree that I tried... but I did!!! ;) I wish I could do this more often but I'm a work in progress!
3. I encouraged my hubby to go on an all day Catholic men's conference in our state last Saturday. That would mean that I would have all 6 kids to my complete parental control once again, making it 6 days without a break. But I would not want it any other way. Not only did he have an amazing time and over 1,000 men went...he came back rejuvenated and full of zeal to continue to be that strong head of our household-our provider and protector of our family!
God bless,
Mary

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family Field Day Trip

This is what we're doing today:

God bless,
Mary

Fall Joke ;)

Joke:
Knock, Knock...
who's there?
Leaf.
Leaf who?
Leaf me alone!!!

heee heee!!!
I thought this was the perfect Autumn joke!!!
God bless,
Mary

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday



Pros:
  • good for boys and girls

  • my boys love to build and play Knights and Indians with them

  • easily found at tag sales

  • I used to play with them when younger-solid toys that last a LONG time

  • Not too expensive, depending on which ones you get

Cons:
  • possible choking for little children

  • messy

  • easily lost and then thrown out

  • can be expensive, depending on which ones you get


If you want to see more toys on Toy Review Tuesday-go HERE.
God bless,
Mary

Apple Pickin'



We went apple picking last week as I mentioned in another post. Here are some pics:


We had so much fun, but the best fun was b/c our Pop Pop was there with us!!!!

God bless,
Mary

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coffee or no coffee?

Should this bother me that my darling husband has sent this link to me from work?

Hum... I wonder what he is trying to tell me....!?!?!

Guess I won't be having that 2nd (or 3rd!) 'cup of joe' this morning. And it's Monday. That slow starting Monday. Man, I could use that cup of jolt. Right. About. Now!
Argh!- my hubby has got my conscience and I just can't. But nope. Not today.

Good thing he sent it to me after I drank one cup already! Ha!

God bless,
Mary

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Random Pics

Yay! I finally figured out how to download my pictures to my computer. 920 pictures later. No kidding. It was that many and it took 45 mins to download!

Here are some random pics in random order from the latter part of this summer and into September...
My 'real superheroes!'
Our newest favorite part of school-the piano! Lessons are great this year and kid #1 and #2 are taking them. They are enjoying them and having fun too. I love to hear 'real' music, finally!!!


Those Lego/Duplo People that a dear friend of many children and much experience!!! recommended are a hit here-everyday all of my kids seem to play with them.
How about hide and seek in cupboards? Our latest fun thing is to play flashlight hide and seek. Now that it is getting darker at night, they have some extra energy to let loose of before bedtime and this is a great treat and fun too!

We try to get some school done outside with the weather some days still being quite nice and warm. We are getting some chilly weather now too, the real fall weather.
Being outside and in the fresh air is great!

I have tons more pics to share but it will have to wait. I have a bit more lesson planning to do before school in the morning-Monday morning! :)

God bless, Mary

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Feast of St. Francis! (kinda)

Happy Feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, which is really tomorrow, but since it is Our Lord's Day-Sunday-that supersedes the feast day. What I think is pretty cool is that he was born on TODAY, October 3rd, but they celebrate his feast day on Oct. 4th. So...I think we'll celebrate a little bit today in honor of St. Francis! My kids will be so happy! He is one of their favorite saints, probably a favorite among many people :)

Here is some info on St. Francis:
Feast Day: October 4
Born: 1181 or 1182 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy
Died: 3 October 1226 at Assisi, Italy
Canonized:16 July 1228 by Pope Gregory IX
Did you know that he is the Patron of:
against dying alone, against fire, animal welfare societies, animals, Assisi, Italy, birds, Catholic Action, ecologists, ecology, environment, families, Franciscan Order, lace makers, merchants, needle workers, peace, tapestry workers, zoos

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

HERE is a coloring page.
HERE is another cute one!

CatChat has a great song about St. Francis that we all sing along to. HERE is the link to listen to a sample of "Go Francis" and listen ONLINE. It's free! I think you'll really like it as we do:)

We are so pleased to see that EWTN is online-watching it for free-AND that this morning is all cartoons for kids! I must be the last one to know about this! this is awesome! My kids are hooked on watching all about the saints and our Catholic Faith :)

Happy St. Francis of Assisi!!!
Happy day!
God bless,
Mary

Week 3- Letter C

Week 3- Letter 'C' Week
Wow! I am really quite behind on posting about our Along the Alphabet Path for school for my younger kidos-even my older ones like to join in at times. (This week we finished up Letter D.) Last week, we focused on the Letter C with Along the Alphabet Path. I have found out that I cannot do everything that I want to do with the children but here is what we actually did:

Hidden Letter C worksheet

Read a few books:

Ate some "C" food:

  • Cream Cheese and bagels
  • Carrots
Formed the Letter "C" with
  • Clay
  • sand paper letters
  • tracing
  • air writing
Saint Cecilia
We have also been using this great program called STUDY DOG- which is a bit pricey but so fun and educational at the same time.

Stay tuned for Letter D-Week 4- I hope to get it posted later in the weekend :)

God bless,
Mary

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Guardian Angel feast day!!!







Guardian Angel Prayer
Angel of God, My Guardian Dear


to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side


to light and guard and rule and guide.
Amen.

Have you named your Guardian angel yet?

My oldest son is totally convinced that his is St. Michael the Archangel. He has said this since he was 3 years old. How he knows is beyond me. But I'd like to think that he appeared to him and told him himself! Isn't that a nice way of knowing? So, today, I am praying to my Guradian angel in great thanksgiving for protecting me and I am praying to my childrens' guardian angels for protecting them too. I'm also asking him to reveal his name to me...so I can call upon him by name :)

You can't deny that they are there! How many times was it a 'close call'-or you wonder why things happened that certain way. I am convinced that they are busy working to guide us the right way ALWAYS!

Another thing I like to do is call on my guardian angel to go to someone else's guardain angel prior to me meeting up with them. A little extra help doesn't hurt!

HERE is a coloring page we're painting today!

God bless and have a wonderful feast day! What a glorious week this has been full of feast days!
Thank you Guardian angels for all you do to protect us~!

God bless,
Mary

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Feast of St. Therese!

Happy Feast day of St. Theres of the Little Flower!!!
What a day to celebrate!!!

Here some coloring pages we are doing today. This one and THIS one.

She did, indeed, keep showering her roses upon me, in her little way today! What a glorious connection we have with Saints-'they are more alive than we are!'-a quote from Glory Stories. HERE is the one we'll be listening to today.

Wishes of St. Thérèse:
“Love your littleness and your poverty, it is that, as well as your blind trust in His Mercy which pleases the good God.”
“May prayer and sacrifice be your whole strength; these are invincible arms; they, far better than words, can move hearts, I know it by experience.”
Before her death St. Thérèse said: “After my death I will let fall a shower of roses”. “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.”

Have a great and a 'rose-y' feast day!

God bless,

Mary