Sunday, July 31, 2011


Yep.  It's a clean laundry room.  The piles of laundry are washed, dried, and put away.  A small victory, but one none the less.  The last time this happened was. . .ummmm. . .well I don't really remember.  It will also be a short-lived accomplishment, as tomorrow the piles will begin once again.  I'll relish in this serene moment for the time being.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Chef in the Making

Sweet Potato shares my love of cooking and baking.  He offers to cook for our family on a daily basis.  He enjoys reading cookbooks and gets excited when he finds a new recipe that would surly please our troops.  I'm not sure if his enthusiasm is so great for our waistlines!  Monkey Toes taught him how to make omelets last week, so last night for our Brupper he treated us with bacon and cheese omelets, toast and orange juice.  The only thing I helped him with was turning the eggs over on a few of them.  Whether he makes this his career one day or not, I hope his love of creating and cooking continues a lifetime.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mary's Garden

For the last couple of years, I have wanted to create a Mary's Garden.  We have an area under our front window that I have not known what to do with for nine years.  A few months ago, we obtained a statue (Our Lady of Guadalupe).  The problem is that I know nothing about gardening - flowers, vegetables, herbs, what have you.  So I've been a bit hesitant to do much.  My friend Linda borrowed me a book about planting a Mary's Garden.  So with book in hand and about $40 in my pocket, I decided to just go for it.  This was my project yesterday.

I wish I would have taken a "before" photo.  The area was completely covered in weeds - some taller than my kids.  But with the help of Sweet Potato and Honey Bunches, we cleared the area, laid the black paper and covered it in red mulch.  I was able to purchase two flowering shrubs and one perennial.  The other pots of flowers we already had, including one called Job's Tears.  Our hope is that we can harvest the seeds from this plant in the fall to make Rosaries.  There are two more perennials I would like to plant.  I was told by our local nursery that they will go on sale in another week.  Those will be all I add to the garden this year.  Next season, I plan to add herbs.

According to the book Mary's Flowers:  Gardens, Legends, & Meditations,
"Early Christians kept memories of Mary alive through legends.  They saw her attributes in flowers and herbs that grew around them and named them after her.  Likening Mary to the "garden enclosed" of the Song of Solomon, they envisioned her in a garden, sometimes called a Paradise Garden, and dedicated gardens to her.  These special gardens were filled with the flowers and herbs that reminded them of her."

Last night after the kids went to bed, I sat on my steps and just gazed upon my garden.  It felt really good to work hard (and sweat alot I did!) and to get my hands really dirty.  I felt peaceful and relaxed.  Without sounding overly prideful, I am proud of my efforts and those of my kids.  They have already asked if we can pray our Rosary in front of the garden tonight.  I think that would be a lovely gesture and one that would make our Blessed Mother smile.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Parental Duties

As I'm steeling away a few quiet moments this morning, I am looking through slits.  We are on day number 10 of a diarrhea outbreak in our household.  I was up twice last night, both at midnight and at 3am having to clean up a child and change bedding.  Did I mention that Monkey Toes is out of town on business?  I don't want to say that it always happens that way, but it frequently does.  I have been a hand washing mad woman.  My first question to the kids is, "did you remember to wash your hands?"  I'm a bit slow-moving this morning, but the sun is shining and I have a special project planned today for the kiddos and I.

Today is also the feast day of St. Joachim (Patron Saint of Fathers) and St. Anne (Patron Saint of Mothers) - the Blessed Virgin's Parents.  How appropriate, seeing as I have struggled the past 10 days with my parental duties.  So I ask for prayers from St. Joachim and St. Anne, that I may have a light and happy heart as I take care of my family and complete(??) my chores today.  May all I do today, glorify God.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ho Hum Part II

Sitting out on the deck this morning with the little girls:

Me:  What is your favorite color?
Sweet Pea:  Pink
Pumpkin:  Wed (red)

Me:  What is your favorite number?
Sweet Pea:  Two
Pumpkin:  Wed

Me:  What is your favorite shape?
Sweet Pea:  Blue
Pumpkin:  Wed

Ho Hum

Yesterdays dialogue with Honey Bunches.

Honey:  Mom.  Did you know that in Mario Bros. . .       (sorry but I kind of tune out when he starts to talk about video games.  1) I don't play them and 2) He could talk all day about them).
Me:  Honey, I do not understand all of your video game talk.
Honey:  Well, I do not understand why you do not understand.

During the Sound of Music
Me:  Are you enjoying the movie Honey?
Honey:  Kind of.  Don't ya think the actors got tired of acting in a 3 hour movie 'cause I'm tired just watchin it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Hills are Alive!

Last night my mom, Sweet Potato and I attended our Community Theater's production of the Sound of Music.  It was very well done.  One of Gummi Bear's classmates played the role of Gretl.  She was really fun to watch and did a great job.  The Sound of Music is my mom's favorite musical.  Growing up, we would watch it on t.v. every year at Thanksgiving (I think that's when it was broadcasted).  It was one of our family traditions.  So naturally, it has become one of my favorites as well.  Sweet Potato loved the production.  He sat attentively through the whole show.  At intermission, the woman he was sitting next to struck up a conversation with him.  "Are you enjoying the show?" she asked him.  "Yeah.  It's really good" he replied.  Then she said, "I hope to see you on stage next year at this same time."  Sweet Potato just smiled. 

I discovered on our return trip home that I have never showed the film to my kids.  I have failed them!!  So today, we were on a mission to find the DVD.  Our local entertainment center did not have it, so we drove 15 miles to rent a copy.  When I have something in mind I try to see my mission through.  So tonight we will pop some popcorn and snuggle in for the 3 hour movie of the Sound of Music.  I can hardly wait!

As we were loading up the van for our mission, Sweet Potato tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "Do you think I could try out next year for the musical?"  My eyes swelled up immediately.  I would love for him to try his hand at the stage.  I actually think he would do well, whether it's in the spotlight or behind the scenes.  I have no idea what production is in the making for next summer, but I will keep my eyes and ears open for auditions. 

One regret that I have from my younger years is that I wasn't more involved in the fine arts.  I did participate in Speech for one season, but then I chose basketball overall.  I never had the courage to participate in theater, although I wish I would have tried.  I may not have been on-stage, but I think I would have enjoyed the behind-the-scenes support.  Monkey Toes played in the Orchestra for a number of productions and Silly (his sister) acted in a number of them as well.  By the way, she has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard.  If it were up to me, I probably would have "starred" her in all the productions!  Anyway.  If Sweet Potato is serious about wanting to get involved in the fine arts, I will support him all the way.  In the meantime, we will happily be singing Doe a Deer and Favorite Things.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Soap Box

Yesterday I had to run a few errands, one of which included visiting a Government office.  Now I am not trying to start a political debate on who should blame who, but I became a little frustrated with the lack of what I would call common sense.  I sat down at a desk, across from a worker who has a very close relationship with her computer.  I was asked a series of questions, with barely any eye contact.  Then I was told that "the computer isn't registering some of your answers."  At one point she told me, "the computer doesn't like that response."  Huh?  This went on far longer than I had hoped for or planned.  I got to a point where I wanted to yell across her desk, "Please look at Me.  Talk to Me.  Shut your computer down and use your common sense!"  Instead, I settled back into my chair and studied her personal pictures on the wall, making her life story up in my head.

When my uncle was dying, Medicare pulled their funding from him in his final days because he refused OT and PT.  Really?  Was it that important that he put a shirt on each day?  Is there something wrong with just wanting to be comfortable in your pajama shirt?  Was it necessary that he do his arm workout?  I don't even begin to pretend to understand some of these programs.  I'm sure there is a reason for why they have the rules they do,  but does anyone else feel like the humanity of these programs have been replaced with guidelines of The System?  It feels like these programs have been so far removed from their original intent of simply wanting to help those in need.  How many hoops does a person need to jump through before they actually receive help?  I know this is probably a great area of debate, but to me it isn't about political association.  It has more to do with seeing the dignity -and honoring it - within people.  Sitting across from the government worker yesterday, she wasn't seeing me, she was just seeing a number.  How truly sad.  I guess when we remove the humanity - the dignity - it leaves little wonder as to why our society is in the state it is.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Weather Survival

Our current heat wave continues with the heat index being around 115 degrees.  Inside activities have become a necessity.  Over the last few days, the kids and I have enjoyed creative play - some of it quite messy.  We've made "goop" out of cornstarch, water and food coloring.  This was a huge hit.

I told the kids I would clean up while they washed themselves up and found myself playing with the "goop."  It was actually relaxing.  Although messy, it was easy to clean up.

Playdough has also been a popular activitiy.  The young kids didn't care much for the "goop", but they did spend at least 45 minutes with the playdough.

Snack time has also been an opportunity to get creative.  We made kabobs using strawberries, marshmallows, apples and bananas.  I thought maybe this would be too difficult for Pumpkin, but as you can see, she did just fine.

My favorite snack thus far has been our homemade ice-cream.  We took 2 resealable bags (one larger than the other).  We filled the smaller bag with 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 Tbls sugar, 1 Tbls cocoa powder and a few mini chocolate chips.  We put ice and rock salt in the larger bag, along with the smaller bag.  The kids rolled the bags on the table for about 12 -15 minutes.  We then snipped the corner of the smaller bag and squeezed out their ice-cream.  It was fun and refreshing.

As challenging as it is to keep my kids busy indoors, it has also been fun for me to just play with them.  I am hoping for a little cooler weather soon, but don't get me wrong - I'm certainly not ready for winter!  I heard someone say they might actually be looking forward to the snow flying.  Well now that's just crazy talk.  I'll take the sunshine and the warmer weather and enjoy this time with my family.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

House of Gross

Let the title of this entry serve as your warning.  I share these things because it helps me to find humor in my day.  I have two choices - I can either laugh or cry.  Believe me, some days it is a difficult decision to make.

Last night as Monkey Toes and I were getting ready for bed, we found ourselves in the bathroom at the same time.  I was washing my face as he was brushing his teeth.  To much of my dismay, I discovered that we have been using the same (as in sharing) toothbrush since our last dentist appointments.  I have no idea how this has gone on for this long without being discovered by one of us, but there it is.  Today, I have a brand new toothbrush.

This morning I awoke to a really awful smell.  As I wandered out of my bedroom, I discovered Gummi Bear on the sofa.  She said, "Mom.  It smells really bad in my bedroom."  As I entered her room, I discovered Cucumber curled up in a ball.  As I approached her bed, I found out she had been sick sometime during the night and must have been either too tired to tell us, or too sick.  It was really icky and it was everywhere.  So I spent the first part of my morning trying to clean the bedroom and eliminate the smell.  Grandma came over to be with her as I took the other kids to swimming lessons.

On the way home from swimming, Honey Bunches asked, "Where's Cucumber?"  Apparently the heat must have affected my brain because I gasped and pulled the van over in complete horror.  I turned around and quickly counted heads.  Gummi said, "Mom, remember she's at home sick."  Deep breath please.  Seriously, my heart was pounding in fear.

Cucumber is still recovering.  She feels good for a little while and then she feels like she needs to lie down.  She did eat lunch with us, but was grossed out by Pumpkin.

Pumpkin decided to just eat ketchup for lunch.  I had made tator tots, but Pumpkin only wanted the ketchup.  That counts as a vegetable right?  So today is mostly about getting Cucumber feeling better and surviving the heat.  Oh yeah - and laughter.  After all, it is the best medicine (or so they say)!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Circle of Life

There are some mornings I wish I had my own t.v. and coffee maker in my bedroom.  That way I could wake up, watch the morning news and drink a cup of coffee uninterrupted.  It seems that no matter what hour I decide to wake, any noise I make is detected by at least one of my little love bugs and they bolt from their room to see what fun they must be missing.  Oh well, reheated coffee in the microwave will have to do.

Yesterday, Peanut Butter was baptized.  It was a beautiful celebration.  As much as I love seeing babies being baptized, there was something really special - very moving - about a 5 year old walking into the Baptismal Pool having his sins washed away and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Deacon then anointed him with the Oil of Catechumen and the Chrism Oil.  Peanut Butter asked afterwards, "what's that smell?"  I told him it's the Holy Spirit.  We spent the day celebrating with family and eating lots of good food.

Friday we buried my Uncle Vern and Sunday we Baptized Peanut Butter.  The Circle of Life was experienced in full force this past weekend.  There was a true beauty in the way the celebrations complimented one another.  In both, we celebrated new life in Christ.  In both, they were robed in Christ.  In both, they turned away from this world and accepted the Light of Christ.  Both celebrations included Holy Water, the white garment and the Paschal Candle.  Is it any wonder why I love my faith so much?

Two of my favorite quotes from the weekend were these:  First, Cucumber and I were in the bathroom doing our hair when she asked (honestly - this is word for word and she's only 4 years old), "Explain to me mom why Sweet Pea has a bigger toothbrush than me?"    Secondly, at the Baptism, the Deacon was asking each of the parents what they were asking of the Church for their child (the answer is Baptism).  Monkey Toes leaned forward and whispered to Peanut Butter's parents, "ask for cash."

Monkey Toes and I are Peanut Butter's Godparents.  This is the only picture on my camera of the Baptism, which is actually before the ceremony.  Isn't he sweet? 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Uncle Vernon

Sunday, July 10, 2011, my Uncle Vernon passed away.  He was 73 years old and my moms only sibling.  The last time I saw him "healthy" was May 1st - Sweet Potatoes First Communion.  On May 2nd, Uncle Vern drove himself to the hospital with a sharp pain in his side.  He was diagnosed with liver cancer.  On July 22nd, he had surgery where it was discovered that it was advanced.  The family was told he had maybe 6 months to live.  Uncle Vernon fought a courageous battle for 6 weeks. 

Growing up, our two families gathered for almost all holidays and other special occasions.  It's kind of funny, but whenever they would arrive at our home, whoever saw them pull up would call out, "Vernon's are here," instead of calling them by their family name.  Uncle Vern and my dad disagreed politically, which made for some pretty lively family get-togethers.  Unlce Vern came for a surprise visit to my parent's home, the day before my dad passed away.  They were talking about horseradish pickles that my dad loved.  Uncle Vern went and picked some up and delivered them before heading back home.  The next morning, after receiving the news that my dad had passed, Uncle Vern drove to my mom's and supported us in so many ways.

On Saturday, July 9th, we were called with the news that Uncle Vernon wasn't doing so well.  My mom, sisters and I went to see him.  As we entered his room, I went to his bedside.  He was sleeping and I bent down to give him a kiss.  He opened his eyes, looked at me and asked, "did I pass (away)?"  I said, "no Uncle Vernon.  You're still here with us."  We stayed with him until midnight and then headed home.  He passed at 6 a.m.

His funeral was small and intimate - mostly family.  I love all of the symbolism of a Catholic funeral Mass.  It began with Uncle Vern's kids covering the casket with the pall - a symbol of the white Baptismal garment given to Uncle Vernon at his own Baptism.  I love the incense - a symbol of God's presence (Biblically, whenever incense was used, God was present) and a symbol of our prayers rising up to the Heavens.  I love the Final Commendation which is a sending or farewell song that is sung.  The one used at Uncle Vernon's funeral was this:
"Quietly, peacefully may He rest in you.  Quietly, peacefully bring Him home to you.  Go in peace as the saints lead you on your way.  May the angels take you home to God's dwelling place.  God has come to carry you to your dwelling place.  Do not fear, Christ bids you come; meet God face to face.  Quietly, peacefully may He rest in you.  Quietly, peacefully bring him home to you."
As much as our hearts ache and our tears flow, there is also a sense of peace that only comes (I believe) through faith.  I find solace in hoping that he is reunited with his wife, his mother, and my dad.  It is comforting to to know that he is no longer suffering.  I am grateful that we have another "saint" who will pray for our family.  "Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.  And my your perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace.  Amen." 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peer Pressure

Before having kids (but knowing that I wanted a family of my own someday) I imagined what life would be like as a parent.  I dreamt of a simplified life, where all of us counted our treasures in terms of blessings and not by "stuff."  I imagined a harmonious home where we watched little t.v. and had no video games.  A place where board games and books were the activities of choice.  I had myself convinced that this was the life I would create for my children.  Then, a little thing called parental peer pressure crept into our lives.

I first heard of this term from Dr. Ray Guarendi.  I attended a talk given by him when he was in our area. A  parent asked a question about parental peer pressure.  To be honest, I thought it was ridiculous.  Why and how would adults be pressured from their peers in the area of raising children?  Then, I experienced it once my kids began school.  At first it started with my boys coming home and saying things like, "I'm the only one in my class who doesn't have ___________" (i.e. a transformer, a Leapster, a DSI, cable t.v., etc).  Although only some of the kids had these things (not all of them) it was still difficult to see my boys feel like they were somehow left out.  I felt sad that my kids were experiencing peer pressure at their young age.  In conversations I had with some of the parents, they so easily justified their kids having these things that I started to think that maybe it wouldn't be so bad if my kids had these things too.  Now, I don't believe that having toys and video games is bad, but the desire to have more tends to be the problem.  The more we give in to our kids wants, the more they want.  Today the want is a DSI, but it only leads to another want (likely more expensive) tomorrow.

I rant like this because we recently have had a number of conversations with the kids about not being able to afford all they want to do.   They have friends who are involved in multiple summer sports and activities.  Understandably, my kids want to do all of these things as well.  Realistically, Monkey Toes and I simply do not have the resources to allow them to do all they want to do.  It's difficult to have to say no to something like baseball or piano lessons (two things I had the opportunity to do while growing up).  It is difficult to enforce a certain standard when it tends to be counter-cultural.  I know, deep down inside, that my kids are going to grow up being o.k. and certainly not deprived.  However, I still have a little envy of those families who can offer their kids so many different opportunities.  So for now, the lesson I am trying to instill is this;  approach each day with a grateful and thankful heart and always remember the most important things in life we already have - our faith, our family and lots of love.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


In the morning I load up on caffeine.  I load and unload the dishwasher.  I do many loads of laundry during the week.  I upload pictures and download files.  I often say to the kids, "time to load up the van!", and when we reach our destination I yell, "let's unload!" I have often been told that I have a boat-load of children.  I feel I have hit the mother-load with the blessings in my life.  And at the end of the day, I look forward to taking a load off.  Good night!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pumpkin is 2

Two years ago today, Monkey and I welcomed Pumpkin Pie into our family.  The past couple of years has flown by, as time usually does.  It has truly been a joyous ride!

I found out I was pregnant for the sixth time because, once again, I was having a test done for something else.  I was sitting with my doctor and she was asking me some preliminary questions.  One of them was, "Are you pregnant?"  I said, "I don't think so, but I guess anything is possible."  We continued with the questionnaire and at the end she explained that completing this certain test could terminate a pregnancy.  Dr. K, knowing me as well as she does, advised that I take a pregnancy test just to error on the side of caution.  A short time later, she came back into the office, sat down, and said, "congratulations.  You are pregnant."  I truly was a bit stunned.  Monkey Toes and I have always been open to the gift of life, so expecting another child should not have been a huge surprise, except that Sweet Pea was only a few months old at the time.  I think out of nervousness and shock, I began to giggle and cry (I promise they were tears of joy!).  I left the clinic and drove straight to Monkey Toes' work.  I sat down at his desk with him and said, "Well, it's not exactly the news I was expecting.  We're pregnant."  His first response was, "Who's the father?"  Now, before you shriek in horror at his comment, you simply have to understand his sense of humor.  It's just that this information wasn't even in our radar.  He did laugh, gave me a hug and kiss and said, "I really am excited."

I went into labor the night of July 7th.  My contractions were getting stronger, but they still were 8 minutes apart.  After a few hours of this, Monkey announced that it was time to go.  I didn't want to, but I know he was getting a little nervous and seeing as we had been down this road a few times before, we just weren't sure how fast things would progress.  The next morning, Pumpkin greeted us with a healthy scream, but was quickly comforted in my arms.  Monkey brought all the kids to the hospital to meet her.  Sweet Pea was a little unsure about this new person, but she gave her a kiss with a bit of cajoling from us.

Pumpkin is a lively and loud two year old.  Because she is the youngest, she wants to make her voice heard!  One of the many things I love about her is how she swings her left arm when she is trying to get somewhere quickly.  It's almost as if it helps propel her forward.  She has a bright smile, a growing vocabulary, a stubborn streak from time to time, and enjoys taunting her siblings.  When she stands up on the changing table after a diaper change, she always wraps her arms around my neck.  When I go to pick her up in the morning from her crib, she has a smile on her face and says, "la love lue (I love you)".  She is a bundle of energy.  I love you Pumpkin.  You bring true joy to our family and each of our lives!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July

Sweet Potato on the zip line
Our holiday weekend was fun and busy and very memorable.  Monkey Toes worked a short day on Friday and had Monday off, so we really wanted to take advantage of family time together.  Our first event was a trip to Bakers Park Reserve on Saturday.  We packed a picnic lunch, played on the playground and of
course, went swimming.  The older kids loved the lake, but the younger two were quite cautious.  Eventually Sweet Pea made it into the water, far enough to sit, but Pumpkin wouldn't leave the steps.  We only spent about 3 hours total at the park, but it felt like we had been there longer.  Everyone, except for Cucumber was ready to leave.  She cried and cried and cried.  About 5 miles down the road she fell asleep, as did all the kids in my van.

Gummi on the zip line

When we arrived home, everyone was still really tired.  Everyone took a bath or shower and then Gummi and I headed to Mass.  Afterwards, Monkey Toes suggested ravioli for supper.  It was frozen, so we knew it would take some time before we could eat.  But we prepared it anyway and popped in a movie for everyone to watch.  When the timer rang, the kids scurried to the table - all very hungry.  We served everyone up, said our meal prayer and dug in, only to find out that the middle of the ravioli was still frozen.  So to many disgruntled children, we popped it back into the oven.  Like any good parent, I served the dessert first, second course was garlic bread, and finally, the ravioli.
Monkey Toes & Pumpkin
Sunday night was fireworks at Monkey Toes brother's house.  They were set off at the end of the drive-way and the  kids had front row seats.

Monday was a parade in a neighboring community.  Peanut Butter kept confusing the parade with a circus.  He asked me, "Will we see elephants?"  "No honey.  There won't be any elephants."  "How about monkeys?"  "Sorry, no monkeys.  But I bet we'll see horses!"  "That's it?"  I hope he wasn't too disappointed.

We got home in time to eat lunch - cold cereal.  We were all too tired to do much else.  I did bake a red, white & blue cake and upon Honey Bunches request, we all sang The Star Spangled Banner and Happy
                                                 Birthday to America.  All in all it was a great weekend, simply made joyful by all being together!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lemonade and Face Paint

I was groggy this morning as I exited my bedroom.  The first comment came from Sweet Potato who said, "Remember Mom, you said we could make homemade lemonade this morning."  Yes, I did tell him that last night, mostly as a diversion from having to do it.  So at 7:30 AM, my four oldest kids and I were making fresh-squeezed lemonade.

 Each took a turn with the juicer and all was going well.  Then Sweet Pea woke up and came into the kitchen whimpering.  I asked, "what's wrong honey?"  She then threw up in the middle of the kitchen.  The other kids scattered - so quickly, as a matter of fact, that you would have thought someone was offering free ice-cream in the other room.  So our lemonade making was put on hold while the floor and Sweet Pea were cleaned up.

A little while later, the boys left with their Grandpa to go fishing for the next couple of days.  It's just the girls and I (and Monkey Toes) until Friday.  It's amazing how the dynamics change in our household when our numbers decrease.  The girls are very content playing with one another.  The t.v. goes off and their imaginations take flight.  Gummi Bear and Cucumber asked if they could paint my face (pretend).  They had paintbrushes and multi-colored pieces of paper, which served as their paint.  I offered to find a recipe to make our own face paint and of course they became very excited.  We found the following recipe:

1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp water
1/2 tsp cold cream
2 drops food coloring

We used a muffin tin to mix and keep our paint.  I let each of the girls paint at least one other cheek, mine included.  We turned on some Go Fish in the background and had a fabulous time.  Even Pumpkin got to participate.  We will definitely be doing this activity again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Yesterday we took the kids to a lake for the afternoon.  As we were preparing to leave, I put my swimsuit on and looked absolutely dreadful.  It is different shades of pink with a tie on the side and spaghetti straps.  It is really, REALLY horrible.  So I wound up calling my sister and borrowing a suit from her to get me through the day.  As I was combing through the ads for the upcoming week, one of the stores had a 60% off swimwear sale.  So today I ventured out in pursuit of the "perfect" suit.

Let me begin by explaining that I have not purchased a swimsuit since 1995.  Honestly.  I was a senior in college and I was going on a spring break trip to Cancun with my friends.  My mom brought me to JCPenney's and bought me a black, one piece with gold appliques.  I thought it was stylish, but when I look back at pictures I wonder what I was ever thinking.  It reminded me of sailing away on a yacht with the Howells (Gilligan's Island).  I've since used my sisters hand-me-downs.

This afternoon I arrived at the store and walked straight to the swimwear section.  There was only one rack of suits left to select from, and the variety was slim.  I found a swim skirt that I liked and then chose a tank to try.  I spent about an hour analyzing, debating, talking myself out of and talking myself into a suit.  Do I love it?  No.  Do I hate it?  No.  I will admit that I am comfortable in it and it covers up many of my child-bearing forever keepsakes.  However I look at it, it is a huge improvement from what I currently possess.

Friday, July 1, 2011


One of the reasons I love going to Eucharistic Adoration is for the opportunity to empty myself in order to be filled with Christ.  Today, my mind was so filled with noise that I struggled to hear Jesus and tune everything else out.  As I knelt to pray, the last song I heard on the radio was playing in my head (Jamie Grace, Hold Me).  Then a whole list of what I needed to do and should do started to fill my thoughts.  I was really frustrated.  The more I attempted to focus on the presence of Christ, the more distracted I became.  So I sat with the Scripture readings for today.  It actually is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Sacred is synonym to Divine and Heart is synonym to Love).  The readings were all about God's Divine Love.  It was, however, the Gospel reading that pierced through the noise and resonated in my heart.
 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
                                                                                                                    Matthew 11:28-30
What I needed most today was rest;  not necessarily sleep, but simply a break from the incredible noise in my life.  I find it so easy to busy myself with mundane tasks, always thinking about my next move.  Today, however, I heard Christ telling me to take a step back and to simply be in His presence.  Give my worries, my troubles to Him and He will clear out the noise.  Once again, I came away from Adoration with exactly what I needed, without knowing what it was going in to it.  As we approach this Fourth of July weekend, my heart has moved from wanting to accomplish my check list, to enjoying this gift of time with my family.  The only noise I want is that of my family, living life and glorifying God for His gift of Divine Love and Grace.  This I offer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


I think I can safely say that summer has arrived.  This current heat wave we are experiencing is making outdoor activities a bit of a challenge.  The kids want to go out, but soon find themselves coming indoors to cool off.  Even running through the sprinkler seems to be short lived.

We have the honor of watching Peanut Butter for the next couple of days.  He is fitting in well with my children.  The ages of my kids are 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2.  Peanut Butter is 5, so he fits in perfectly with the equation.  So far our day has consisted of playing in the backyard, watching Joseph, King of Dreams, eating, praying the Rosary, and singing karaoke.  It's only 1:00.  Everyone is now down for a nap - yes, EVERYONE.  I'll be on my way to Adoration shortly, while my mom comes to sit.  I can only imagine what our afternoon will consist of! I have no doubt it will be busy.