Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Open Letter to My Brother and His Fiance Four Days Before Their Wedding.

Dear Little Bro and (almost) Sister In Law,

You're getting MARRIED!  Married!  

You guys are going to take wedding vows...
for richer, for poorer...in sickness and in health. 
Every marriage is different. You probably know that with Ben and I, we've mostly been blessed with mostly health (so far), and lots of poorness.

I hope you guys get all the health and all the richness (and you share some with us).  But, if you don't...I know you can count on your shared Catholic faith to see you through.

I wrote a post awhile back, called 7 Ways to Happily Every After.   Maybe you read it.  Maybe you didn't.

So, I'll just take this chance to give you some big sisterly advice....because that is what big sisters are for.

Grace and Forgiveness

The two words you need to remember at all times.  Always extend grace and forgiveness to the other person.  Grace and forgiveness are what keeps a marriage going.  Grace when your spouse doesn't live up to your expectations....and forgiveness when they hurt you.  And, keep in mind, you will do as just as much of the not living up to expectations and hurting the other person, as they will do to you.

As long as you extend grace and forgiveness...there will be a better day.

As good ole' G.K. said:

Marriage is certainly an adventure and there are some distinctly duel-like properties to it.   It's the most wonderful duel there is, however and I'm so excited for both of you.  En garde!

We love you and can't wait to see you soon!  Just as long as you don't serve this wedding cake that is.

Picture from CakeWrecks.com
Picture from CakeWrecks.  This is a cake wreck if I ever saw one!
Although there is something to be said for a purple and green peeps head bride and groom.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Answer Me This: Embarassing Outfits are the Worst.

1. Beach or Mountains? Where would you rather be?

Probably the mountains....although most of my life, I have lived near the beach.  The beach is great....except for all that sand, and sun and yucky seaweed, and jellyfish, and sharp rocks.  No, actually, I love the beach.   When we lived in RI, we'd go about once a week, all summer long and by the end, I was pretty much, all beached out. `  I find the beach hard to tolerate in the morning...if it's really hot, I have a tendency to get sun migraines.  I prefer to go later in the afternoon, when the sun isn't as strong. 

Then of course, when we lived in FL, we went to the Naples beaches...which are all kinds of awesome.  White sand..blue water and no seaweed.  Loved it!

However, I really love the mountains.  When we lived in Kentucky, we used to go hiking quite a bit and I loved it.  I never got all-mountained out.  

2. Which is more fun: Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning?
Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation and preparation. 
3. What’s the most embarrassing childhood outfit you remember wearing?
I can't remember a specific outfit, but I can remember lots of outfit malfunctions.  Like that time I was in  Jr. high and wore white pants on one of *those days* that all females know they should never wear white wants. 

And, of course there have been times where I felt way underdressed or overdressed for an occasion...that is always embarrassing.

And, I hated those spirit days in school...where you had to wear your Halloween costume, or clashing clothes or whatever.  I always found those to be super embarrassing. 

And, I used to be in chorus (heaven knows why, because I am a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad singer) but on performance days we had to wear a white shirt and black skirt.  I hated those days.  I didn't mind performing (I was just one of many in the chorus) but I hated having to wear a certain outfit.  I found it embarrassing.  I hated wearing anything that made me stand out or felt "different' or anything like that. 

I feel embarrassed in my clothes a lot...like I get someplace and realize that my skirt is ripped or  I have a stain on my shirt, or something is actually sheerer than I thought.

Sometimes I think it would be easier if everyone just walked around naked**...cause that wouldn't be embarrassing at all. LOL  Think how much better we would feel about our own bodies, if we could actually see everyone else's sagging bellies, and stretch marks and fat rolls.  Sometimes I think we tend to imagine that everyone else has an 8-pack, flat stomach underneath their clothes.. or maybe that's just me.  Anyway...moving on.   
4. Your house is quiet, you don’t have to do work (housework included). What do you do?
Blog or watch something on Netflix. 

5. What movie do you want to watch when you’re feeling under the weather?

I don't have the attention span to watch a full length movie....even when sick.  If I'm super sick I will sometimes go to bed and watch whatever series I happen to be going through (very, very slowly) on Netflix. 
6. Did you have an American Girl doll when you were little? If so, which one?

No, I think I'm too old for American Girl dolls.  I looked it up..the first American Girl doll was launched in 1986.  I would have been 8 or 9 years old.  But, my family never gets anything when it's first launched...we are always YEARS behind the trend. When I was 8 or 9...Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage...so I had one of those. By the time American Girl caught on and was popular, I was too old.   I think my littlest sister had an Addy doll however.  I think.

And, Heidi and Greta have American Girl dolls.  They love them.  Here they are, having a Pow Wow....with a few non-American Girl dolls thrown in for good measure.

And, that's all...so go see Kendra for more Answer Me This.

**I don't actually think we should all be nudists.  I realize there are good modesty reasons to wear clothes.  Plus, we'd all freeze in the winter. 
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Kids Staying Home Alone...7 Points to Consider

This year we entered a glorious new season in our parenting.   

The age when my oldest is able to stay home alone for short periods and even babysit *some* of her younger siblings on occasion. 

It's wonderful and beautiful to be able to run to the grocery store or a quick errand without having to drag EVERYONE with me. 

I lot of people wonder when their child is old enough to stay home alone. I know I did.

Here are 7 guidelines/points to consider when deciding this important question. 

1. The Age of the Child...Most people say that maturity is more important than age...and it is. But, age is still important.   Some people may disagree and I know there are lots of people out there who remember being a latchkey kid in the 3rd grade, but I think a child should minimally be double-digits before you consider leaving them home alone.  To watch younger siblings, I think a child should be a bit older than ten...the exact age depends on the child and the children being watched.

2. The Maturity and Obedience of the Child. Is the child generally a rule follower?  Do they respect the rules? Are they impulsive?  Are they destructive?  Are they a risk-taker? Are they level-headed in an emergency?

When people worry about leaving kids home alone, the tend to worry about big risks.  What if there is a fire?  What if a bugler tries to break in?  What if someone gets sick?

But, those things really aren't all that likely to happen.  What is likely to happen is that kids get in trouble by seeing things on TV or the Internet that they shouldn't. So, before leaving a child home alone, you really need to feel confident that they will indeed follow the rules.   And, be very specific about what they can and can't do.  Can they play outside?  Cook? Use the computer? What can they do on the computer?  

3.Time of day? Most kids feel more comfortable staying home alone during the day than at night.    Heck..I feel more comfortable being alone during the day, than at night.   Also consider if they will be home alone during a meal time and be required to make their own meal?  Can they do this? 

4. How far away are the parents?  How long will they be gone?  With the invention of cell phones, most of us can be reached really easily.   It's still important to consider how far away you are going and how long you will be gone...taking into account unforeseen circumstances like traffic. Is there someone near by they can call for help?  This one is tricky...because a lot of us are really isolated and don't even really know our neighbors.   Thankfully with the invention of cell phones, constant contact, even when away, is much easier. 

5.  If watching younger siblings, consider the age of the sibling.  Personally...I wouldn't leave anyone under the age of 3 with anyone under the age of oh...16.  I reserve the right to change my mind on that, however.  Babies and toddlers need a special level of care and are prone to getting into more dangerous and destructive situations than older kids. My 6-year old isn't going to throw stuff in the toilet, try to drink dish detergent, need a diaper change or fall off a chair and bump his head.  My 1-year old is likely to do all those things..oftentimes within the span of only 15 minutes. So, I generally wouldn't leave a baby or toddler with anyone other than another adult or an older teenager. 

6.  If watching younger siblings....the temperament and maturity of the younger siblings. Older children who are especially impulsive, risk-takers or disobedient should probably only be left with people who can handle them...which may not be an older sibling, even if that older sibling can handle other, more obedient, quieter siblings.  You know your kids best, so if you know if one child is likely to give their older sibling a hard time....don't leave them. 

7. Your Neighborhood.  Most parents have rules about not answering the door.   Consider if it is likely or not for someone to come to the door.  Consider how safe your neighborhood is.  Do you have the kind of neighborhood where you regularly have solicitors?  Or is the UPS man the only one who who ever pays you a visit? Not that a neighborhood with people regularly coming by is bad, but it is something to consider. 

How old where your kids when you started leaving them home alone?  Is that a different age than when you, yourself did it?  What are your thoughts on it?  I'd love to hear them!

(Linking with Jen for 7QTF)
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Judgement is Bad, Unless You Are Judging About Being Judgemental

There are a lot of blog posts and articles out there, railing against judgemental moms. 

I used to belong to a message board where someone had the following signature line.

Judgement is Not Always Wrong.

And, you know what, I agree.   I think judgement has it's place.  We've gotten to a place where people are so hypersensitive about judgment that the only thing you are allowed to judge is being judgemental.

Not judging PEOPLE mind you...judging PEOPLE is always bad, because we can never know what's in another person's heart.

But, judging actions, or things?   I think there are a lot of useful and helpful reasons why we SHOULD judge actions or things. 

Judging actions or things helps give us a framework for what is good and useful, versus what is harmful. 

For example. 

Soda = bad.  We all know that.  If there anyone who actually thinks that soda is a good, wholesome, nutritious beverage?  I think not. 

Does that mean that people who drink soda are bad.  NO!  Of course not.   But, judging that soda is bad, gives me impetus to not drink it very often.  Soda is yummy.  Soda tastes good.   Soda can give you a temporary burst of energy.  So, without my mindset of knowing that soda is generally not healthy, I would have no reason to stay away from it *most* of the time.   I do drink it very occasionally at parties or whatnot, but without my personal judgement that it is bad, I would probably drink it a lot more often. 

Let's take a more controversial parenting example.

Too much passive screen time = bad.  Does that mean that parents that give their kids passive screen time are bad parents? NO!!  My kids have screen time.   They use the computer, they use the computer quite a bit. 

Yet, having the idea that too much passive screen time is bad, gives me the motivation to moderate their screen time more.  Without the idea that too much is harmful, I would have no motivation to stop them from watching movies all day.  After all, it'd be a heck of a lot easier to just let them watch as many movies and sit in front of the computer as much as they want to, than to moderate it.  I have to be able to judge that too much of something is bad, to be able to teach them how to use the computer or other devices in a healthy manner.   Same thing with myself.  If I want to limit something or stay away from something, I first have to judge that it is harmful or bad, at least to me, if not to anyone else.   

And, obviously there are legitimate reasons to use screens and computers.  They can be great educational devices.  Heck, they can even be great babysitting devices, and sometimes you just need that little bit of time.  However, judging that too much screen time is bad, is what prevents me from overusing screens as a babysitting device. 

Even soda is useful at times.  If I am coming down with a sun/dehydration induced migraine, caffeinated soda with lots of salt and sugar can sometimes cure or stop the migraine.  It's the combination of caffeine, salt and sugar that seems to do the trick (so decaffeinated or diet sodas don't work).  The fact that soda is useful in certain unique situations doesn't negate the fact that the rest of the time, it is not the best thing to drink. 

Everyone does bad things, everyone messes up, everyone makes mistakes, everyone chooses the "less than perfect" route at times, everyone takes shortcuts.   Maybe not everyone drinks soda, but everyone has some sort of junk food indulgence.  Maybe not everyone gives their kids too much screen time, but everyone has some way they screw up parenting.  Maybe they yell too much, or are too harsh, or too lenient or don't discipline enough or punish too much, or, or, or.  They only way we can keep ourselves from falling too far into our sins and mistakes is to judge that they are wrong and try to do better.  Judging that something is bad or wrong is the first step towards improving or changing or at least moderating that behavior. 

Not Everyone Comes to the Same Judgements.  My kids run around barefoot...a lot.  I know other moms probably judge me for that.   Some people judge that barefoot kids are bad.  And that is their choice. That is not my judgement, so I have no problems with my toddler taking off her shoes and running around barefoot certain places.  I'm not worried about "nasty floors" or "germs" or anything like that.  I'm just not worried about those things.   I believe that a little bit of dirt helps build a strong immune system...and my kids do have good immune systems.

But you know what, if other people judge that dirt is bad and kids running around barefoot is bad, that's their prerogative.  And, that's fine.

Different people have different worldviews.  Some people think that DIRT IS BAD AND MUST BE ALWAYS avoided.  So, they are going to view things with that framework in mind.

And, maybe the mom judging the iPhone mom works away from her kids all day and struggles to get as much time with her kids as possible, so *for her* using the iPhone at the park is "bad", because she has to use it for work all day.  That is her worldview, her framework in which she views things, so for her iPhone at the park is bad.  Doesn't mean it's bad for everyone, just means that she is looking at things through her own framework.

Same thing with the mom judging the iPad potty.  Maybe *for her*, as a mom of a toddler without special needs, for a toddler that has no special potty issues, that using the iPad potty *would* be bad, *for her* because she would use it out of laziness.  Maybe she just didn't think of or know of any other situations or special cases.   So, she judged it as bad, because she knows her own weakness and failures and tendency to overuse screen time.   Maybe it was careless or thoughtless of her...not thinking about other special situations?  But, aren't we all guilty of that at some time??

Which leads me to my next point.

Judgement Can't Actually Hurt You.    Really...it can't.  If people judge me because my kids run around barefoot or my 20-month old toddler nurses in church or sometimes we go out and I don't notice that my kids have their clothes on backwards, or I ignore my kids at the park to read a book (and if I had a smartphone I would totally be on it) so what?   If I'm confident that what I'm doing is fine, then I shouldn't worry about what other people think.  Really, the most freeing thing you can ever do is stop worrying about what other people think.  And, if I'm too bothered by their judgement, well maybe there is something to it.  Maybe there is, maybe there isn't.   But, I know * for myself* that when I get most defensive about something, it is when I think deep, deep down inside that maybe, just maybe...they may be right.  But, if I think their judgement has no basis, then I can dismiss it out of hand and not even worry about it.

As a society, I think we need to stop being so hypersensitive about seeing judgement everywhere.  Maybe the people we think are judging us, actually aren't.  Or maybe, they are?  Who cares?  We need judgement as society to frame what is right and what is wrong.  I think that we can all judge that murder and rape and child abuse are bad.   Catholics judge that contraception and abortion are wrong (again..just the action..not the people).   The tricky thing is when we get into concepts that aren't so clear-cut.....things like child raising methods.  That is where the sparks fly. Everyone is always saying that moms should stop judging each other.  And they should.  But, maybe moms should also stop judging moms who they think are judging them.

And, maybe I should stop judging people who judge people for being judgemental.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Questions and Answers about Beards, Scary Things and Hair.

I'm linking up today to answer some questions. 

1. What's the scariest thing that's ever been in your yard?

Ticks. I hate ticks.  I abhor ticks.  Actually, I don't mind them necessarily....bugs don't bother me. I just hate that they carry disease.  Terrible, horrible diseases that are hard to treat and can cause chronic issues.   I'd rather deal with snakes or bears or scorpions or bees or wasps or anything other than ticks. 

2. Beards. Thumbs up or thumbs down.

Thumbs up, way, way up.  I love beards. I pretty much think that almost all men look better with a beard.   My husband usually has a beard...he basically goes through a cycle of letting his beard grow and then when it gets too bushy, instead of trimming it, he just shaves it off completely  and them immediately lets it grow back. So most of the time he has it and I love it, even though it is starting to turn white...I still love it. 

3. If stuff breaks, can you fix it?

Probably  not. I can do really minor, minor stuff (like sew on a button) but that's about the extent of it. 

4. What was your first car?

The first car I drove and that I learned to drive on was a tiny  Chevette, my parents had in high school.  Then I had a series of old, junky cars throughout college...I can't even remember them all.  My first car that I actually owned, myself...title in my name... was a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier that I got when I graduated from college.  We still have that car...Ben drives it to work everyday. We're pretty happy that at 15 years old, it still runs fairly well. Of course the air conditioner doesn't work and the trunk is broken..but at least the important stuff, like the brakes, still work. 

5. How often do you eat out?

Hmm...not very often. I would say it averages out to maaaybe once a month...maybe...probably a bit less actually. Sometimes I go to mom's night out with our homeschool group....and that is always at a restaurant. But, I don't go every month.  We almost never go on dates...can't really afford it, nor can we afford a babysitter. And, we very, very, very rarely eat out as a family...just a few times a year maybe. Sometimes I look at all the restaurants and fast food chains and coffee shops and wonder how they stay in business.  Then I remember that some people actually do go to them. 

6. Why is your hair like that?

Umm...because thanks to my genetic ancestry I have brown, sometimes wavy,sometimes curly, sometimes straight hair and I pretty much just leave it the way it grows out of my head.  I don't dye it...never have. I tend to think most people look best with their natural color and anyway..chemicals.  Over the years, it's been varying lengths...anywhere from chin-length to longer..although I like it longer. I've always wanted a cute bob with pin straight hair but my hair is too wavy/curly to pull it off and I'm too lazy to blow-dry, straighten, flat-iron, etc. 

  Every time I cut it off to chin-length, I pretty much hate it and just let it grow out again.  I've also played with bangs a bit, but generally don't like them on me.  Other people can pull them off, but I really can't. 

And that is the perfect segue into What I Wore Sunday, where you can see both my wet hair and today's outfit. 

Go see FLAP for more Sunday Outfits and Haley for More Questions and Answers. 

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Friday, May 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes about Migraines, Varicose Veins, Homeschooling and Williamsburg (Fun, huh!)


This has been a rather busy week...which explains the lack of blog posts.  Not that anyone noticed, I'm sure...but in case you were wondering why I haven't posted since Sunday, it's because we've been really busy. 

On Monday, we took a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg.  It was hot.  Fun, but hot. Did I mention that it was really hot?   That is why we left Florida.  I don't handle heat well.  Plus, I get migraines from too much sun...which is not fun.  It's not even so much the headache so much, but I tend to get really nauseous and even throw up.  It also gave me all sorta of sympathy for people who deal with weeks or months of morning sickness (don't hate me, but I never had it)...I can barely deal with feeling like that for a few hours....never mind weeks on end. 


Pictures, pictures....in case you wanted to see any pictures of our field trip. I didn't take that many...it was too hot. 

Verdict about Colonial Williamsburg.  Don't go with kids that are too old for a stroller but too young to walk a lot and be interested in history.  They will just be bored and complain a lot. Heidi and Greta liked it...but they are old enough to understand and be interested in the history aspect.   John hated it.  Elsa didn't really care, but she got to ride around in the stroller. 


In my crowning moment of sewing glory, I managed to turn a pair of pants I didn't like, into a pair of shorts I did like.  It took a lot of cutting and cutting and cutting..but I'm fairly pleased with the final result. Okay..so maybe one leg is just a bit shorter than the other. No one will notice, right? Right? Right?  Clearly, sewing is not my forte. 


On the recommendation of Rosie's blog   (lest her blog post title start any rumors..unlike Rosie..I'm not pregnant) I remembered I had Magnesium oil stuck in the cabinet and decided to start using it again.   I sprayed it on my legs in one particular spot where I had bad varicose veins and lo and behold....after just a few days, the varicose veins are considerable smaller.  Magnesium Oil for the win!


So, I actually wrote another blog post  this week that I never published.  It had to do with that whole homeschool prom modesty fiasco.  I decided my post wasn't very helpful or charitable and was making some negative assumptions about someone I don't even know..so it's staying in the drafts file for now.  Anyone else ever do that?


So, anyone know of any good mystery/detective series we can watch on Netflix.  We finished Psych and are looking for something new. 


I have a homeschooler confession to make.  Last week I made my kids do school on a Saturday!  Saturday!!  We're trying to make up for lost days and since we'll be moving (again!..3rd long distance move within the span of about 13 months) we'll be taking even more time off.   No school this Saturday as it's a chess tournament day...but who knows about next Saturday??  Crazy...I know.  Any other homeshoolers crazy enough to do that? We do school all summer, but we just get so busy, that sometimes not a lot gets done.

And..that's it.  Go see Jen for more Quick Takes

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day - Questions and Answers

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers....whether you are a mother by birth, adoption, foster parenting, spiritual motherhood or just hoping, waiting and praying to be a mother.    

My mother is a very unique person.  She is probably the most busy, type-A, unselfish, generous person I know.  She is always doing something.....and usually someone to help someone else.   She never takes time for herself. If she comes over my house for a visit, she'll clean the bathroom, cook meals, organize the kitchen cabinets and  help Greta with her spelling.  I love it!  

She has a whole bunch of published books that you should read.

She always stands up for what is right and doesn't care what other people think.  I remember one memorable incident when I was in high school where she made the local news because she was protesting the placement of "racy" magazines at the checkout line at one particular grocery store. My parents boycotted that store for like 20 years. 

She always takes the time to talk to someone who needs help and to help those in need.  She is always super hospitable in a very humble way, always willing to host a meeting or feed someone dinner, even though our house was  very simple and humble.  She never worried if the furniture didn't match or the everything wasn't "perfect", she had people over anyway. 

And, she was/is a really good mother.   She stayed home with us.  She nursed all her kids past 2 years of age and made us eat our vegetables..way before it was the cool.    She never let us cry in the night as babies (and even not as babies, I remember one night, she slept on the floor in my room when I was in 8th grade, because I was FREAKED OUT after a CCD class about the occult.  I guess they were trying to warn kids about the dangers of it, but it freaked me out totally.  I was so freaked out, she actually stayed in my room that night, on the floor.  THAT is love and sacrifice).  She was gentle in her discipline and extended us a lot of grace.  She gave us freedom to be ourselves and encouraged us in our interests. 

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  I love you!

Now, for some questions from Kendra. 

1. What's for dinner?

Bacon-wrapped chicken.  Some sort of potatoes and roasted kale and zucchini.  Plus, cheesecake and ice cream.   Yum!!

2. What's the last thing you borrowed from someone?

Something Other Than God over Kindle from Catherine!  Thanks Catherine..I'm so enjoying reading it!!

3. What is your favorite prayer?

4. What is the oldest thing in your house?

My wedding dress, which both my mom AND my grandmother wore.  Which means it's from the 1940's!  I don't think we have anything older than that here. 

5. What's the best concert you ever attended?

I don't think I've ever actually attended any concerts.  Sad..I know.  I'm not really into the concert scene. I might have gone to something at a church once, but I really don't remember. 

6. Do you have a nickname?

Not really.  When I was in college, a bunch of my friends from the Newman Center called me "Meals" which I kinda liked.  And, this one guy I knew in 4-H used to call me "Am-el-lee-ah"...a weird pronunciation of "Amelia" but he was the only one who did that.   

I never had any wide-spread nicknames and heaven help the person who tries to call me "Amy" or "Molly" or anything like that.  No, thank you!

And here's what I wore today. Notice the chocolate and wine....just what I wanted., thanks to my wonderful husband. 
I thought this was funny.  Although I only drink very rarely...but I didn't drink at all before I had kids. LOL
That is actually the 2nd bottle of wine.  The first one, was emptied of its contents in about 3 seconds (sadly, not because we drank it, but because it got dropped and broke...at least it broke outside and not inside). 

And that shirt is actually black an white striped...not blue.  I have no idea why it looks so blue in the picture, but whatever. 

Go visit FLAP for more Mother's Day Outfits. 

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Friday, May 9, 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday....I'm trying to be more Catholic-y


Greta's to-do list.

Cause ya know, she wouldn't want to forget to play dollhouse...or chess.  


Just thought I would share some of my recent pictures from our first beach trip of the summer.  

P.S If you are wondering where Heidi is in this pictures...she wasn't there. I took the younger kids to the beach while she was at her Edge group. 

Since we're moving to IN, this summer, I was lamenting on Facebook that this might be my last year living near the ocean.  I've spent 27 of my 36 years living within 25 minutes of the ocean.  Everyone was quick to jump in assure me that IN borders Lake Michigan and that Lake Michigan is juuuuust like the ocean...you have even get jellyfish.  We shall see.  Nonetheless, we aren't planning to move to the Lake Michigan side, but the other side..about 100 miles away from that Great Lake.  So, probably no more 20 minute car rides to the ocean.  Oh well.  I think we'll enjoy the lower cost of living more than we'll miss proximity to the ocean. 


But, Ben still needs a job.  Praying..praying..praying (and searching-him) and (panicking-me). 


Okay...I"m sure everyone else already knows about about this..but I just discovered it, so humor me.  Sometimes when I am praying I like to pull up this Perpetual Adoration Webcam from St. Martin de Tours Church in Louisville, KY.  Other churches have them as well, but I like that one, because Heidi was baptized at that church.  Anyway, I think it's pretty cool to be able to "go to Adoration online"  Granted, it's not as good at the real deal, but going to real Adoration is not very possible for me, so I figure this is better than nothing and it helps me focus my prayer just a bit more. 


This is my favorite song to listen to during those times.


I also really like this song.

Is it dating myself too much to admit that I really liked Rich Mullins?  (Obviously not, because I told you how old I am in a previous take). 

Since this blog is called One Catholic Mama  I've been trying to put more "Catholic-y" things on it.

Did you know that according to Wikipedia, Rich Mullins was heavily influenced by St. Francis of Assisi.  and that he frequently attended daily Mass, although he never converted to Catholicism.   Perhaps he would have if his life wasn't cut tragically short in a fiery car crash.

 And, if Wikipedia says it, it must be true. 

And..thanks to Catherine, who is letting me borrow, Something Other Than God on Kindle, I get to read Jen's (the host of our 7 Quick Takes) new famous book!  Yay!  #SOTG

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What Moms Really Want for Mother's Day

Well, I can't speak for all moms, but here are 5 things that *I* want for Mother's Day.


For someone to come clean my house......and for it to stay clean for longer than 5.25 minutes. 

A maid would be even better.


No screeching, no crying, no whining.  

Actually how about the chance NOT to be a mom.  Just for a few hours...just a few..blissful, quiet hours without any kids around...then they can come back. 

Chocolate...and Wine.

I like chocolate truffles...and I like fruity wines.


For someone else to cook a nice meal AND clean up after it. 

This looks yummy!  Mmm...meat!

The cleaning up part is vital.  My kids are great at cooking, but not so great at cleaning up afterwards.  Even when they clean up, it's not as clean as I would get it.  And, believe you me, I have LOW standards when it comes to cleaning. 


Appreciation and Admiration

To know that someone appreciates all she does.  To know that someone loves her for who she is.  To know that someone thinks she is beautiful, no matter how many extra pounds or wrinkles or gray hairs. 
To know that someone appreciates all the dinners cooked, and floors swept and hugs given and stories read and lessons taught and miles driven. 
And to extend grace when she fails...when she yells or burns dinner or loses patience.

And, to be totally fair to my family, I do get lots of appreciation and admiration from my husband and children on a regular basis. And, they give me way more grace than I deserve.   I also occasionally get chocolate...and even less occasionally..wine.   The rest of the things....I am still waiting on.

What do YOU want for Mother's Day?

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Monday, May 5, 2014

All the Blog Posts I Didn't Write.

You guys.  You ever have a day or a week or a month where you just constantly feel snarky and on edge and like everyone else is wrong, wrong wrong and you must set them right, right, right?

Please tell me it's not just me. 


Anyway, I kept thinking of all the blog posts I wanted to write...but none of them were all that charitable or helpful or good. 

So, I abstained. 

It's a good thing I didn't have a blog 8 years ago.  I've gotten a lot better at avoiding online conflict.  I still have a few slip-ups, but I've improved quite a bit.  Many years ago, a wise friend once said something along the lines of we're more likely to get into online debates/conflicts when we have another stressor in our life.  We tend to use the online conflict as a way to deflect our other stress. 

So true.  So, very, very true.   And, we'd had a lot of stress recently. Nothing major...just your everyday, typical my husband won't have a job after school ends in June, and we're planning ANOTHER out-of-state move this summer so we can be near family, and he's taking ANOTHER bar exam this summer, so he can work in that state, and oh Lord, please, please, please let him find a job in the city/state we want to move stress.  Nothing major right.  I mean, at least we're all healthy, right?

Which is what one of my blog posts that I'm not writing was going to be about..health.  As though I actually know anything about health.  As though our general good health and lack of any chronic disease/conditions is attributable to anything more than good luck and good genes. And, as though my ramblings thoughts on health is actually going to change any one's mind. 

Oh...and let's not mention the other blog post I was going to write.  The everyone should parent exactly like I do, because my way is right and everything else is wrong.  Ha...that would have been a funny one, I'm sure.   Good thing I didn't write that one!  And, I don't actually think that my way is the only right way, I was just in a snarky, grouchy mood.  I still am.  These periods of transition are so hard.   

I'm still feeling guilt over a comment I left on someone else's blog last week.  It wasn't a mean comment or anything, but it was offering advice, when they probably just wanted support.  Sigh. 

I'm trying to think of more edifying things to write about now. 




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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Questions and Clothes: I Am Not My Mother

1. Are you becoming your mother?

In some ways yes, in some ways no.  Actually, I'm probably quite a bit like how my mother was when she was my age, but not so much like how she is now, if that makes sense. And, when Ben reads this, I'm sure he is desperately hoping that I do not become more like my mother as I age. <smile>
This is my mother at my wedding. reception...doing what she does best...being in charge.  One notable way I am not like my mother.  I'm more than happy to let someone else be in charge. 

2. Coffee or tea?

I like both, but I drink tea more often. Coffee is more of a treat food for me. I especially love herbal teas. 

3. What foreign country would you like to visit?

Probably Italy or Ireland. Although I've never been to any foreign country, so I'd settle for Canada. Actually I've never been further west than Kansas City, Missouri, so I'd even settle for visiting Texas...that seems pretty foreign to me. 

4. Do you cry easily?

No, I am a rather stoic person.  And, I hate crying. 

5. How often do you wear heels?

Stilettos? Almost never.  A slight heel or a wedge heel...I'd say once or twice a week. 

6. Do you play an instrument?

No, I did take piano lessons when I was a kid, but I was never very good at it and didn't keep it up.

7. What Did You Wear Today. 

My question..not Kendra's.  But, I know you want to know.

The shirt was thrifted. The skirt and shoes were given to me.  And, you can't really tell from the pictures, but those are heels, so I guess I wore heels today.   Please ignore the wrinkled skirt..I'm allergic to ironing (One way, I am very much like my mother.  We don't iron.)

Have Wonderful Sunday. 

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