Friday, August 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes Feast of St. Bartholomew


--- 1 ---
 



She looks so sweet.  Yet, all week she has screamed at me as though she is the commandant of this German POW camp and I am the American GI.  I think she's going to break me.


--- 2 ---

 WARNING:  WHINING AHEAD.  SKIP TO QUICK TAKE #5 TO AVOID THE PITY PARTY.

--- 3 ---

Whoa, Nelly.  This whole "being screamed at all week and not getting any sleep" coupled with "back to school early alarm clocks and making two meals before 7am"  might be part of my problem. 

 
--- 4 ---

 Plus, some of the residents here had unwelcome visitors.  Not the kind that bring suitcases either.  The kind that require a fine toothed comb.  I am somewhat of an expert on that type of thing now.  This was our third go-round in two years.  I may grace you with an in-depth post answering everything from "How can you tell?" to "How not to melt the headbands and barrettes."  I know you're interested.  (Hint:  For the baseball season:  Each child needs his or her own batting helmet.)

I am so, so, very grateful that I made this discovery at 2 pm, and not at 11:30 pm like last time.

Thank you, Jesus.
--- 5---
NOW, FOR THE GOOD STUFF...

In other news, I was the recipient of some very direct, in my face, divine intervention on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary no less.  I had every intention of telling you all about it, but I got all teary faced that day, and then I got busy with Rid on Thursday.  So what was meant to be a post, will now become a Quick Take.

Last Christmas, I had a heart to heart with my sister, Mary about her godson, Edmund, and his difficulty reading.  As a teacher herself, she had lots of insight and encouraged me to get him tested for learning disabilities. 

We looked into testing through the state and testing privately.  We had him privately tested in the spring, and lo and behold, he's not stupid.  He's not lazy.  He has a learning disability in reading that might be overcome with help, or might end up as lifelong dyslexia.  In either case, he needs a lot of support in reading.

Early in July, his wonderful, wonderful tutor moved away.  In mid-July, my sweet sister passed away.  And I really was stressed about what to do for Edmund educationally all summer, with very little guidance.

But Jesus and Mary, my sister, and I'm sure Mary, His mother had it all under control.

First of all, our Catholic parochial school has a new principal, as of July 1st, who has an amazing background in special ed and has parented a child with learning disabilities herself.  She encouraged me to keep Edmund at this school, and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure his accommodations are met.

I have to point out that private schools are legally under no obligation to make any modifications for students with disabilities. But she is willing to make changes for my kid, that she legally doesn't have to make, because she cares about kids.  She cares about MY kid. 

Coincidence?  I don't think so.

Then, I had a very long meeting with Edmund's teacher.  Even though she, herself isn't trained to work with children who have learning disabilities, she is very willing to work with Edmund, with his long list of modifications and with any tutor that Edmund might have.   This woman is ready to give freely of her time for my child.  She wants to help him.  And she is going out of her way to do so, in an underpaid position, as a diocesan teacher, because she cares about kids.  She cares about MY kid. 

She also wept with me when I told her about Mary, and the impact Mary has had on Edmund and his education.

And she asked me to ask Mary to guide her this year as she tries to guide Edmund.

That's why I love my Catholic parish school.

Oh, and did I mention, that I saw this teacher in the front pew every night of the Sacred Heart novena back in June?

Coincidence?  Nah.

Only one problem.  I had no tutor for Edmund.  No specialist with the necessary training to meet his needs and to help re-educate him in reading using a multi-sensory curriculum.  This is the one piece of the puzzle that could really impact Edmund and turn his disability into ability.

I had made a few inquiries, sent an email, left a voicemail, and heard nothing.

But on Wednesday, which was the first day of school, I was driving home, and thinking about Mary, and asking her again to intercede for her godson that he might have a positive learning experience, if not academically, at least emotionally. 

And when I got home I got a phone call from a fabulous and energetic tutor, who is excited to work with Edmund this year, understands his disability better than I do, and wants to meet with his teacher.

chills.

Thanks, Mary.

You totally rock.

--- 6 ---

While I was "treating" Peter, he asked if I was going to give Baby J the treatment.  I said no, and explained that children under 2 shouldn't get the treatment and that even older children have had bad reactions to it.  I mentioned that I've even heard of this toxic stuff causing seizures and such.

Then, I kind of, accidentally, got some it in his eye.  

He moaned and said, "Oh, no! Now, I'm going to have a seizure in my eye!   Well, at least I won't have any lice in my eye."

He makes me laugh.  And Lord knows, I needed a laugh right about then.  

---7---


Call Me Maybe + The Dark Knight + I know this kid from Peter's school, and I can't believe he has a half a million hits already = AWESOME!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, August 17, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday


--- 1 ---
Ever heard of Pottermore?



Yes, I am pro-Harry Potter.  I see lots of Christian imagery, behavior, and beliefs  in J.K. Rowling's imaginary world of wizardry.  Heck, Hogwarts gets out for Easter and Christmas.  The public school at the end of my block doesn't celebrate those days.  I have taken this stance before.

I am also pro-Grimm's fairy tales, L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz, MGM's Wizard of Oz, Narnia, Tolkien, Star Wars, and the Muppet Babies.



Anyhoo....if you're looking to waste some quality time on the interweb, or occupy a child for a few days hours, check out J.K. Rowling's Pottermore.  I got as far as the Sorting Hat chapter, and believe it or not, I got sorted into Gryffindor.



Yes, I realize that this is a site for children and not for mothers of five.  Call me "Mrs. Weasley."  Yes, I could have fallen down the rabbit hole of lost time like I did during the Great Webkinz Obsession  of '08 and the Farmville Episode of '09.  But I didn't.  Yet.




I kind of wanted to be in Slytherin, what with our family resemblance and all.  Last night, Susan saw Baby J in the tub with her slicked-back-white-blonde hair and said that Baby J should be Draco for Halloween.

Oh, yeah.  We celebrate Halloween too. 

 We can still be friends.
--- 2 ---

Two obnoxious characters in one.


Lest you think I have no sense of discernment at all, I will share that I am opposed to Barbies, Bratz, Dragon Tales, and Sid the Science Kid.

We are racially ambiguous and have super annoying voices.


--- 3 ---
 The house is in turmoil because we are having the upstairs bathroom renovated.  Translation:  I was too lazy to cook dinner, so we are ordering take-out from P.F. Chang's.  I can never order from P.F. Chang's without first consulting this book:



According to Eat This, Not That, one should order the salmon, the Seared Ahi Tuna, Ginger Chicken and Broccoli, the Almond and Cashew Chicken, and Sichuan Style Asparagus.  One should not order the Siracha Shrimp Salad, the Kung Pao Chicken, the Spicy Green Beans, or the Lo Mein Pork.

However, according to the nutritional facts page, the Spicy Green Beans have much lower fat and calorie content than the book states.  Maybe P.F. revised his recipe and made it more healthful?


--- 4 ---

This is where I was going to upload pictures of the nasty pre-renovated bathroom.  You know it's time for a re-do when the toilet has a hairline fracture, the faucet handles spin meaninglessly in any direction, the vinyl tile has gaping holes in it, and the outlet is blackened/melted uselessness.

Ok, you win, you get a picture, but it's sideways.  Sorry.


--- 5 ---

Peter is on the golf team.  You might think this was a relatively genteel sport with low or no chance of injury.

I cannot get this picture to rotate.  Well, I can, but then it uploads sideways.

Well, my boy took a club in the face yesterday and his lip and chin are all black and blue.  Thank God it did not hit higher or it could have taken out some teeth, or broken his nose.  Thank God it did not hit lower, or it could have damaged his windpipe, broken his neck, or torn his rotator cuff, or re-broken his arm which would DEFINITELY require surgery this time around.

Yep, thank you God.  Please don't let it happen again.

--- 6 ---

I haven't read too much lately, but we have been enjoying these crafty books.

Illustration School Let's Draw Happy People

Illustration School Let's Draw Cute Animals


I actually bought two copies of this.  One for us and one as a birthday gift accompanied by some polymer clay.


Completely useless, adorable things.

--- 7 ---


 Baby J has a new word.  

"Why?"
 
I am quite certain she has no idea what it means, but it sure sounds like she does.

Enjoy this glorious weekend.  Gorgeous weather in Chicago lately.  
You should come visit and I'd share it with you.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Pathetic Post about Fitness

I've never been athletic.  Or coordinated.  Ask my college roommates.  They had some kind of bet/drinking game based on how many times I would trip or walk into doorways in our apartment.  In my defense, they purposely left shoes lying around to trip me up.

In grade school, I was the one who got straight A's, but always came in last in EVERY event on Field Day.  Oh, how I loathed Field Day.

I tried a few sports, but Missouri allergens plus undiagnosed exercise-induced asthma put an end to that nonsense.  Volleyball was a good fit for me because a:  it's indoors/air-conditioned and b:  there is no distance running, unlike soccer which brought me to tears.  But starting a new sport in eighth grade is rough and thus I only played volleyball one year.

So in high school, I walked the mile, was fairly good at sit-ups, and was in all the plays.  No sports. 
Heck, no.

In college, I walked a few miles in Irving and Las Colinas with girlfriends while listening to Squeeze and Supertramp, but nothing serious.



I've gone through periods of dedicated walking for fitness, usually only during pregnancy.  Maybe that's why all of my children are all gifted with athleticism.   Lord knows, that doesn't come from me. 

I took walking to a new level last October.  I challenged myself to walk EVERY day in October.  It helped that we had gorgeous weather that month and that my friends had bought Baby J and myself this fabulous stroller.


These are some of the things I discovered last October: 

  • Walking makes me a nicer person.  
  • Walking helps me sleep better.  
  • I have loads of friends who are more than happy to accompany me, Mickey-dog, and Baby J on a walk.
  • Walking with the Chef is a super cheap date.  And if we time it right, we can stop by his sister's house, or his mother's house and mooch a beer, or two, and maybe a ride home.
  • Walking helps me combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  • I can multi-task by doing this thing called "Prayer Walk."



This sounds lame, but I guess you could say I felt “called” to exercise in order to better serve God and my family.

This quote from Jennifer Fulwiler resonates with me.  She also wrote something about making physical fitness a priority like daily prayer is a priority, but for the life of me, I can't find that post anywhere.

Now, I've upped the ante even more and begun a class called "boot camp."  In my case, it could be "booty camp."  I can't say I love it, yet, but I'm going to give it a few months.  I'm trying to keep in mind that,

 "...when you do something because you think it is going to bring you peace and joy in and of itself, the whole thing is doomed to collapse. But if it’s done out of service to God, with the final aim of deeper union with him, your efforts will bear more fruit than you could have imagined."

In the meantime, I'll keep up with the walking and maybe even join Cari for her virtual 5K.







Monday, August 13, 2012

It's What We Always Do on Rainy Days


Jean Van Leeuwen's Tales of Oliver Pig helped me get through the early years of what Simcha is calling Babyland.  Oliver Pig has a baby sister named Amanda.  Peter has a baby sister named Susan.  Sometimes, Oliver and Amanda drive their mother to tears.  Sometimes, Peter and Susan drove me to tears.  

But every rainy day, Oliver's mother made oatmeal raisin cookies.  Every rainy day, I or one of my piglets makes any kind of cookies that does not involve raisins, and then we watch telly.  (Because rainy days are so very British.)  All day. 



Right now my piglets are the middle of a Monk marathon, but it used to be Shirley Temple marathons, or Davy Crockett marathons, or Andy Griffith marathons.



Susan has spent the last few hours running between the den and the kitchen to switch out pans of PW's Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies.  To think, she used to be the baby sister who could only say, "Gaa."



If you've never read Tales of Oliver Pig, or Tales of Amanda Pig, or Oliver the Mighty Pig, or Amanda Pig on Her Own, or any of the dozen or so other titles about these pigs, you're missing out.  And so are your children.

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes Feast of St. Lawrence



--- 1 ---

No, I haven't quit blogging.  I've just been a hot mess of grief, anxiety, and stress.  My sister passed out of this life of suffering onto bigger and brighter things on July 17th.  I refuse to make a quick take about the profundity of her life so I'm making this one about the mundanity of mine.

Six hours in the dentist chair this week and counting.  Is it a filling?  Is it a crown?  Nope, I think it's going to be...a root canal.  My advice to everyone with teeth:  Never chew ice.

--- 2 ---

I have been away from my desk/laptop/home for approximately one month.  I returned home to post-power-outage-fuse-blown-freezer-refrigerator clean out on Sunday.  It is now Friday and I have yet to visit a grocery store.  We are living on the fancy cheeses and smoked sausages I brought home, and fast food.  And the grapes I bought at Wal Mart when we got school supplies.  And the delicious lasagna that a friend dropped off.  I have the best friends.

What?  You would have gotten groceries before you bought school supplies?  We must have different values.

--- 3 ---


Though we are without food, I also found the time to get school shoes, gym shoes and golf shoes for everyone in need at this address, in addition to this:


Because sometimes all the hand soaps need an upgrade.  My mom has these cool little sleeves on her soaps.
I'm going to use up all the anti-bacterial soap that I had to buy to get the right size bottle to fit inside, and then I'm going to make my own foaming hand soap like that thing I pinned on pinterest said.




I'm 100% certain that last sentence is grammatically just fine.


--- 4 ---



I believe in miracles.

Yep.

And I like this cheesy song by Hot Chocolate.

Enjoy...you sexy thing.


--- 5 ---

Baby J is obsessed with shoes.  Shoes and balls.  Don't take her to Dick's Sporting Goods.

"Shoes!"
"Balls!"
"Shoes!"
"Shoes! Balls! Shoes!"


--- 6 ---

Edmund, Lucy, and Baby J.  Note the shoes.  Yes, Edmund is ripped.  Yes, he is only 9.
Peter's got abs too.  Three days ago, he was the exact same height as me.  That means today he is taller than me.

Lucy, Susan, my littlest sister, and a cousin:  four beach babes.

--- 7 ---

Thanks to Susan for a: remembering to bring a camera, b: taking pictures, and c: uploading them to fb so I could use them here.

 I'm sorry we started off these quick takes so cranky. 
 Have a butter day.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, August 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes Feast of St. Bartholomew


--- 1 ---
 



She looks so sweet.  Yet, all week she has screamed at me as though she is the commandant of this German POW camp and I am the American GI.  I think she's going to break me.


--- 2 ---

 WARNING:  WHINING AHEAD.  SKIP TO QUICK TAKE #5 TO AVOID THE PITY PARTY.

--- 3 ---

Whoa, Nelly.  This whole "being screamed at all week and not getting any sleep" coupled with "back to school early alarm clocks and making two meals before 7am"  might be part of my problem. 

 
--- 4 ---

 Plus, some of the residents here had unwelcome visitors.  Not the kind that bring suitcases either.  The kind that require a fine toothed comb.  I am somewhat of an expert on that type of thing now.  This was our third go-round in two years.  I may grace you with an in-depth post answering everything from "How can you tell?" to "How not to melt the headbands and barrettes."  I know you're interested.  (Hint:  For the baseball season:  Each child needs his or her own batting helmet.)

I am so, so, very grateful that I made this discovery at 2 pm, and not at 11:30 pm like last time.

Thank you, Jesus.
--- 5---
NOW, FOR THE GOOD STUFF...

In other news, I was the recipient of some very direct, in my face, divine intervention on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary no less.  I had every intention of telling you all about it, but I got all teary faced that day, and then I got busy with Rid on Thursday.  So what was meant to be a post, will now become a Quick Take.

Last Christmas, I had a heart to heart with my sister, Mary about her godson, Edmund, and his difficulty reading.  As a teacher herself, she had lots of insight and encouraged me to get him tested for learning disabilities. 

We looked into testing through the state and testing privately.  We had him privately tested in the spring, and lo and behold, he's not stupid.  He's not lazy.  He has a learning disability in reading that might be overcome with help, or might end up as lifelong dyslexia.  In either case, he needs a lot of support in reading.

Early in July, his wonderful, wonderful tutor moved away.  In mid-July, my sweet sister passed away.  And I really was stressed about what to do for Edmund educationally all summer, with very little guidance.

But Jesus and Mary, my sister, and I'm sure Mary, His mother had it all under control.

First of all, our Catholic parochial school has a new principal, as of July 1st, who has an amazing background in special ed and has parented a child with learning disabilities herself.  She encouraged me to keep Edmund at this school, and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure his accommodations are met.

I have to point out that private schools are legally under no obligation to make any modifications for students with disabilities. But she is willing to make changes for my kid, that she legally doesn't have to make, because she cares about kids.  She cares about MY kid. 

Coincidence?  I don't think so.

Then, I had a very long meeting with Edmund's teacher.  Even though she, herself isn't trained to work with children who have learning disabilities, she is very willing to work with Edmund, with his long list of modifications and with any tutor that Edmund might have.   This woman is ready to give freely of her time for my child.  She wants to help him.  And she is going out of her way to do so, in an underpaid position, as a diocesan teacher, because she cares about kids.  She cares about MY kid. 

She also wept with me when I told her about Mary, and the impact Mary has had on Edmund and his education.

And she asked me to ask Mary to guide her this year as she tries to guide Edmund.

That's why I love my Catholic parish school.

Oh, and did I mention, that I saw this teacher in the front pew every night of the Sacred Heart novena back in June?

Coincidence?  Nah.

Only one problem.  I had no tutor for Edmund.  No specialist with the necessary training to meet his needs and to help re-educate him in reading using a multi-sensory curriculum.  This is the one piece of the puzzle that could really impact Edmund and turn his disability into ability.

I had made a few inquiries, sent an email, left a voicemail, and heard nothing.

But on Wednesday, which was the first day of school, I was driving home, and thinking about Mary, and asking her again to intercede for her godson that he might have a positive learning experience, if not academically, at least emotionally. 

And when I got home I got a phone call from a fabulous and energetic tutor, who is excited to work with Edmund this year, understands his disability better than I do, and wants to meet with his teacher.

chills.

Thanks, Mary.

You totally rock.

--- 6 ---

While I was "treating" Peter, he asked if I was going to give Baby J the treatment.  I said no, and explained that children under 2 shouldn't get the treatment and that even older children have had bad reactions to it.  I mentioned that I've even heard of this toxic stuff causing seizures and such.

Then, I kind of, accidentally, got some it in his eye.  

He moaned and said, "Oh, no! Now, I'm going to have a seizure in my eye!   Well, at least I won't have any lice in my eye."

He makes me laugh.  And Lord knows, I needed a laugh right about then.  

---7---


Call Me Maybe + The Dark Knight + I know this kid from Peter's school, and I can't believe he has a half a million hits already = AWESOME!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, August 17, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday


--- 1 ---
Ever heard of Pottermore?



Yes, I am pro-Harry Potter.  I see lots of Christian imagery, behavior, and beliefs  in J.K. Rowling's imaginary world of wizardry.  Heck, Hogwarts gets out for Easter and Christmas.  The public school at the end of my block doesn't celebrate those days.  I have taken this stance before.

I am also pro-Grimm's fairy tales, L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz, MGM's Wizard of Oz, Narnia, Tolkien, Star Wars, and the Muppet Babies.



Anyhoo....if you're looking to waste some quality time on the interweb, or occupy a child for a few days hours, check out J.K. Rowling's Pottermore.  I got as far as the Sorting Hat chapter, and believe it or not, I got sorted into Gryffindor.



Yes, I realize that this is a site for children and not for mothers of five.  Call me "Mrs. Weasley."  Yes, I could have fallen down the rabbit hole of lost time like I did during the Great Webkinz Obsession  of '08 and the Farmville Episode of '09.  But I didn't.  Yet.




I kind of wanted to be in Slytherin, what with our family resemblance and all.  Last night, Susan saw Baby J in the tub with her slicked-back-white-blonde hair and said that Baby J should be Draco for Halloween.

Oh, yeah.  We celebrate Halloween too. 

 We can still be friends.
--- 2 ---

Two obnoxious characters in one.


Lest you think I have no sense of discernment at all, I will share that I am opposed to Barbies, Bratz, Dragon Tales, and Sid the Science Kid.

We are racially ambiguous and have super annoying voices.


--- 3 ---
 The house is in turmoil because we are having the upstairs bathroom renovated.  Translation:  I was too lazy to cook dinner, so we are ordering take-out from P.F. Chang's.  I can never order from P.F. Chang's without first consulting this book:



According to Eat This, Not That, one should order the salmon, the Seared Ahi Tuna, Ginger Chicken and Broccoli, the Almond and Cashew Chicken, and Sichuan Style Asparagus.  One should not order the Siracha Shrimp Salad, the Kung Pao Chicken, the Spicy Green Beans, or the Lo Mein Pork.

However, according to the nutritional facts page, the Spicy Green Beans have much lower fat and calorie content than the book states.  Maybe P.F. revised his recipe and made it more healthful?


--- 4 ---

This is where I was going to upload pictures of the nasty pre-renovated bathroom.  You know it's time for a re-do when the toilet has a hairline fracture, the faucet handles spin meaninglessly in any direction, the vinyl tile has gaping holes in it, and the outlet is blackened/melted uselessness.

Ok, you win, you get a picture, but it's sideways.  Sorry.


--- 5 ---

Peter is on the golf team.  You might think this was a relatively genteel sport with low or no chance of injury.

I cannot get this picture to rotate.  Well, I can, but then it uploads sideways.

Well, my boy took a club in the face yesterday and his lip and chin are all black and blue.  Thank God it did not hit higher or it could have taken out some teeth, or broken his nose.  Thank God it did not hit lower, or it could have damaged his windpipe, broken his neck, or torn his rotator cuff, or re-broken his arm which would DEFINITELY require surgery this time around.

Yep, thank you God.  Please don't let it happen again.

--- 6 ---

I haven't read too much lately, but we have been enjoying these crafty books.

Illustration School Let's Draw Happy People

Illustration School Let's Draw Cute Animals


I actually bought two copies of this.  One for us and one as a birthday gift accompanied by some polymer clay.


Completely useless, adorable things.

--- 7 ---


 Baby J has a new word.  

"Why?"
 
I am quite certain she has no idea what it means, but it sure sounds like she does.

Enjoy this glorious weekend.  Gorgeous weather in Chicago lately.  
You should come visit and I'd share it with you.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Pathetic Post about Fitness

I've never been athletic.  Or coordinated.  Ask my college roommates.  They had some kind of bet/drinking game based on how many times I would trip or walk into doorways in our apartment.  In my defense, they purposely left shoes lying around to trip me up.

In grade school, I was the one who got straight A's, but always came in last in EVERY event on Field Day.  Oh, how I loathed Field Day.

I tried a few sports, but Missouri allergens plus undiagnosed exercise-induced asthma put an end to that nonsense.  Volleyball was a good fit for me because a:  it's indoors/air-conditioned and b:  there is no distance running, unlike soccer which brought me to tears.  But starting a new sport in eighth grade is rough and thus I only played volleyball one year.

So in high school, I walked the mile, was fairly good at sit-ups, and was in all the plays.  No sports. 
Heck, no.

In college, I walked a few miles in Irving and Las Colinas with girlfriends while listening to Squeeze and Supertramp, but nothing serious.



I've gone through periods of dedicated walking for fitness, usually only during pregnancy.  Maybe that's why all of my children are all gifted with athleticism.   Lord knows, that doesn't come from me. 

I took walking to a new level last October.  I challenged myself to walk EVERY day in October.  It helped that we had gorgeous weather that month and that my friends had bought Baby J and myself this fabulous stroller.


These are some of the things I discovered last October: 

  • Walking makes me a nicer person.  
  • Walking helps me sleep better.  
  • I have loads of friends who are more than happy to accompany me, Mickey-dog, and Baby J on a walk.
  • Walking with the Chef is a super cheap date.  And if we time it right, we can stop by his sister's house, or his mother's house and mooch a beer, or two, and maybe a ride home.
  • Walking helps me combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  • I can multi-task by doing this thing called "Prayer Walk."



This sounds lame, but I guess you could say I felt “called” to exercise in order to better serve God and my family.

This quote from Jennifer Fulwiler resonates with me.  She also wrote something about making physical fitness a priority like daily prayer is a priority, but for the life of me, I can't find that post anywhere.

Now, I've upped the ante even more and begun a class called "boot camp."  In my case, it could be "booty camp."  I can't say I love it, yet, but I'm going to give it a few months.  I'm trying to keep in mind that,

 "...when you do something because you think it is going to bring you peace and joy in and of itself, the whole thing is doomed to collapse. But if it’s done out of service to God, with the final aim of deeper union with him, your efforts will bear more fruit than you could have imagined."

In the meantime, I'll keep up with the walking and maybe even join Cari for her virtual 5K.







Monday, August 13, 2012

It's What We Always Do on Rainy Days


Jean Van Leeuwen's Tales of Oliver Pig helped me get through the early years of what Simcha is calling Babyland.  Oliver Pig has a baby sister named Amanda.  Peter has a baby sister named Susan.  Sometimes, Oliver and Amanda drive their mother to tears.  Sometimes, Peter and Susan drove me to tears.  

But every rainy day, Oliver's mother made oatmeal raisin cookies.  Every rainy day, I or one of my piglets makes any kind of cookies that does not involve raisins, and then we watch telly.  (Because rainy days are so very British.)  All day. 



Right now my piglets are the middle of a Monk marathon, but it used to be Shirley Temple marathons, or Davy Crockett marathons, or Andy Griffith marathons.



Susan has spent the last few hours running between the den and the kitchen to switch out pans of PW's Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies.  To think, she used to be the baby sister who could only say, "Gaa."



If you've never read Tales of Oliver Pig, or Tales of Amanda Pig, or Oliver the Mighty Pig, or Amanda Pig on Her Own, or any of the dozen or so other titles about these pigs, you're missing out.  And so are your children.

Friday, August 10, 2012

7 Quick Takes Feast of St. Lawrence



--- 1 ---

No, I haven't quit blogging.  I've just been a hot mess of grief, anxiety, and stress.  My sister passed out of this life of suffering onto bigger and brighter things on July 17th.  I refuse to make a quick take about the profundity of her life so I'm making this one about the mundanity of mine.

Six hours in the dentist chair this week and counting.  Is it a filling?  Is it a crown?  Nope, I think it's going to be...a root canal.  My advice to everyone with teeth:  Never chew ice.

--- 2 ---

I have been away from my desk/laptop/home for approximately one month.  I returned home to post-power-outage-fuse-blown-freezer-refrigerator clean out on Sunday.  It is now Friday and I have yet to visit a grocery store.  We are living on the fancy cheeses and smoked sausages I brought home, and fast food.  And the grapes I bought at Wal Mart when we got school supplies.  And the delicious lasagna that a friend dropped off.  I have the best friends.

What?  You would have gotten groceries before you bought school supplies?  We must have different values.

--- 3 ---


Though we are without food, I also found the time to get school shoes, gym shoes and golf shoes for everyone in need at this address, in addition to this:


Because sometimes all the hand soaps need an upgrade.  My mom has these cool little sleeves on her soaps.
I'm going to use up all the anti-bacterial soap that I had to buy to get the right size bottle to fit inside, and then I'm going to make my own foaming hand soap like that thing I pinned on pinterest said.




I'm 100% certain that last sentence is grammatically just fine.


--- 4 ---



I believe in miracles.

Yep.

And I like this cheesy song by Hot Chocolate.

Enjoy...you sexy thing.


--- 5 ---

Baby J is obsessed with shoes.  Shoes and balls.  Don't take her to Dick's Sporting Goods.

"Shoes!"
"Balls!"
"Shoes!"
"Shoes! Balls! Shoes!"


--- 6 ---

Edmund, Lucy, and Baby J.  Note the shoes.  Yes, Edmund is ripped.  Yes, he is only 9.
Peter's got abs too.  Three days ago, he was the exact same height as me.  That means today he is taller than me.

Lucy, Susan, my littlest sister, and a cousin:  four beach babes.

--- 7 ---

Thanks to Susan for a: remembering to bring a camera, b: taking pictures, and c: uploading them to fb so I could use them here.

 I'm sorry we started off these quick takes so cranky. 
 Have a butter day.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!