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"An error in the beginning is an error indeed." - St. Thomas Aquinas
"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine." - St. Thomas Aquinas


Project Ultrasound


***10 Week Challenge Update: Week 1 9/12-9/16 10.75

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's New Years Eve & The Baby's coming!

Prayers for my brother and sister-in-law as they are well on their way to becoming parents for the first time! G. went into labor this morning around 4 am. She's getting there slowly. I know first babies can take a bit of assistance in coming, so to all my prayer warriors out there, storm heaven for a quick labor and a healthy delivery for both mom and baby!

Please keep my parents in prayer as well, as they are traveling from PA to be with them and the weather is not all that great. It's snowing at brother's right now. They have a bit of a drive (4-5 hours).

Oh! What a good day it is! What a wonderful day it will be!

I'll keep you updated on when the little one gets here. Blessings!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Year in Review..courtesy of Dave Barry

I always look forward to this article by Dave Barry. Here's a snippet..
BAD NEWS: The economy remained critically weak, with rising unemployment, a severely depressed real-estate market, the near-collapse of the domestic automobile industry and the steep decline of the dollar.

GOOD NEWS: Windows 7 sucked less than Vista.

BAD NEWS: The downward spiral of the newspaper industry continued, resulting in the firings of thousands of experienced reporters and an apparently permanent deterioration in the quality of American journalism.

GOOD NEWS: A lot more people were tweeting.

BAD NEWS: Ominous problems loomed abroad as -- among other difficulties -- the Afghanistan war went sour, and Iran threatened to plunge the Middle East and beyond into nuclear war.

GOOD NEWS: They finally got Roman Polanski.

In short, it was a year that we will be happy to put behind us. But before we do, let's swallow our anti-nausea medication and take one last look back, starting with. . . .
continue reading here ...

Christmas is in Full Swing!

We are getting the Wii. Okay, I broke down. I couldn't hold out against the five..they combined forces against me and I was easily crushed. I'm kind of excited actually! (I called first dibs on making a mii!)

I just finished grading some papers from before Christmas break. Glad to see all are doing well. I think it's just absolutely amazing the things these kids are learning and doing. They are teaching me everyday! This is our last week off and then it's back to the books.

It's cold here..in the 20's this morning. I know not as cold as other locales, but definitely not as warm as some.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ave Maria

Would that I could sing each bead on the Rosary this way, I'd sing it all day long!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Feast of The Holy Family!

We had a visiting priest today! He was a Marine Chaplain. He gave us homework. Find out why the three kings are misdirected in how they are depicted. They come bearing gifts. They seem to be giving those gifts. Why are they misdirected. The kids were trying to figure it out. They figured out that the kings, not Kings at all, but Magi (teachers of wisdom), should be prostrate, according to Matthew 2:11. Perhaps instead of focusing on the gifts they have brought to The King, they are realizing The King is the gift to them.

They are going to get their answer to our Deacons to see if they are close. Father gave a great homily. Taking the Christ Child from the manger scene to the left of the altar and placing Him in the center of the altar, with the shepherd nearby. I can't put it the way he did, I wish I had written it down, but he explained some how each Feast is part of the whole picture. The shepherds come to the Good Shepherd, the three days journey to find the 12 year old Christ, the three days in the tomb before the resurrection. It was very exciting the way he opened the scriptures to us.
We hope to learn more from him.

It's been a good to have hubby home..he goes back to work this week. We've played tons of scrabble (I lost a game, but tied one as well) the boys are learning that their is a reason for vocabulary lessons! :)

We watched Gone With The Wind, I'm rereading the book and rediscovering why I love it all over again. The girls love My Fair Lady and have watched it three times now! I even sat down to watch Star Trek with the boys. They have been begging me and I finally relented. Glad it's done.

School will be back in session before we know it. 2010 looms before us. We will have a 16 year old. Wow. I remember those days. Scary!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Babe is Coming!

My sister in law is due on January 1st! So we have two babes to look forward to arriving! Of course, the first is the most important! Just think about..this time (now I know we don't know exactly when..but just go with it) this time 2000 years ago! Mary and Joseph were on their way to Bethlehem. On a donkey in the dessert. Nine months pregnant. I remember being 9 months pregnant in Virginia in the summer. I thought it was hot then. Uh...as the kids say..NOT!.

Rejoice! The babe is on his way!

Mr. Big Boy related to me yesterday, that he was struggling a bit with the notion that Christmas is Christ centered, yet he was really looking forward to the "receiving" part of it. He felt a little guilty, and not sure how to handle the whole Christ vs. materialism thing. If you've got a bit of advice for him, please feel free to leave it here..I know he reads my blog.

Anyhow, we've been on a musical kick..we've watched the following movies this week:

My Fair Lady..Love it! After Scarlett O'Hara, Eliza Doolittle is my favorite character. Gooooooonnnnn! Love those dresses!

West Side Story..great remake of Romeo & Juliet. The kids have not read or seen Romeo & Juliet yet, so they found it quite tragic and sad.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory..the Gene Wilder one. I love it. Pure imagination.

Today we will watch South Pacific. I'll be thinking of Sarah-Kala!
Then we have Carousel and State Fair. A veritable Rodgers & Hammerstein Day!

We'll go to Mass tomorrow I think. The kids want to go to Midnight Mass..we'll see.

Played Scrabble with the boys and whooped all 3. Twice. Got a bingo on the second game with "toasters". Sorry fella's. I'll take ya on anyday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Sort of...

Mr. Middle Man and Mr. Big Boy have their say with Santa..




Pioneer Woman's Recipe for Cinnamon Rolls..made 8 pans..slathered on some orange icing and they were too fantastic for words..(UPDATE: I did not eat all 8 pans! We shared 6 with the neighbors..and..ahem..ate the rest..what?!?!? It's Christmas!)



Feliz Navidad..Starring: Mr. Big Boy, Pannini and somewhere out there..Mr. Pinch.

From 2009-12-23

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Decorating Fun!

I've been feelin' a bit crafty lately..Thanks to Sarah for the idea to make this star..found the tutorial here: Craft Ideas




The two sides of my entryway.




My Tennis Match Experience

The other day I was thinking about the last few months and about how God prepares me during this time of Advent. Thinking of all the little things He has tossed my way this last few months I had an image of a tennis match. I know, it sounds crazy, but here goes..

Here's what I saw..God on one side, me on the other. A nice, friendly game, right God! :) I'm not much of an athlete, let alone a tennis player, and I think a backhand is something I got for talking back to Dad...

Anyhow, the ball starts heading my way..we go back and forth a bit..God is not a power server. He's content to lob it on over to my side. So I get a little more confident..a little more cocky with each successful return. Score: Love - Love

This is too easy. This lobbing back and forth..I want more than this! I wanna put some spin on the ball! I start to listen to the murmur of the crowd..they are watching..this match between me and God. Me? and God? And hey, I'm in this? I haven't lost yet..I did pay a lot of money for this fancy skirt and bouncy shoes...and what the heck..I'll just take a peek at the crowd..see if they are watching me or Him...

Wha??? Hey?!?!? I missed one. He's not lobbing anymore. They are coming faster. I can't keep up. I look at the score board. I look at the crowd..their faces are knowing. I'm sweating. God is standing there waiting for me to hit the ball back to Him..but now, when I serve, it's heading to the side court. I'M NOT PLAYING HIM! No Way! I'll lose for sure! Wait! I want to play God! The other player smiles. That's why you are playing me, He says.

I look back towards God..Then I realize that when I was paying attention to what God was lobbing at me, when I kept my "eye on the ball" that he was sending over we had a good game. The score was tied..Love-Love..huh?

Love-Love..He lobbed it over, I returned it..Love - Love. It was good. Not that it was easy..God is no push over, there were some corner shots, but with my eye on the ball and my head in the game, I could make a successful return.

This Advent season has taught me to keep my eye on the ball, so to speak. Stay focused on God. I don't know if makes any sense, just some random thoughts about Advent. I liked the score, Love-Love.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hangin' Around


German Hazelnut Cookies ( I used nutella instead of semi-sweet chocolate)

The girls just hangin' out in front of the fire.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

Went for a walk with the dog this morning. Everything was covered in frost. The grass was all crackly when you stepped on it. As I was about to round the corner I was hit with the smell of dryer in the morning! I love that smell. Someone was up early getting some laundering done. It made me happy. The fresh scent of drying laundry provided a warmth in the morning chill. Weird, but true.

Last night the family headed to an assisted living center to sing carols for the residents. We aided the Cub and Boy Scouts as they made their way around the 15 floors(yep, we took the stairs..still feelin' that one) and did a little medley in the lounge.

On the way there, as we practiced in the car, Mr. Big Boy spontaneously broke out in his rendition of O Holy Night. Although we had a good laugh over the high notes, he did a great job and we encouraged him to sing solo at the center. Yeah. Right.

Well, lo and behold, on the day I don't have my camera or video recorder, he gets up and does a dern solo!!! Again, we all had a good laugh at the high note, including him, but everyone loved it and you wouldn't find a prouder mom in all of these dern southern states! Move over Josh Groban!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Charlie Brown Christmas

We watched this wonderful little show last night as a family. I laughed like I had never seen it before. How fitting it is in this day and age. All the talk of commercialism..oh and get this! They mention Christ The Lord! In a rare moment of cynisism, I said to hubster, "I wonder how long it will be before they stop showing Charlie Brown on TV because he talks about the "true" meaning of Christmas."

Then, after the kiddos went to bed, I saw this:



I laughed for almost an hour. I couldn't stop..some weird laughing jag that happens to me sometimes.

The kids helped me get the house ready and cleaned up yesterday. Our First official day of Christmas break. They did a wonderful job with the decorations. I gave them free reign with setting up the nativities. Here are some pics of the trees and the nativity they set up. Pannini came up with the idea for "snow" on the tree.




The Nativity Tree

The present tree

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exam Time

We went to a local Penance service last night, it was beautiful. Wonderful (and so very grateful) to see so many priests who came to hear our confessions. The church was packed. Another wonderful thing to see. We were there for two hours and it felt so good to stand in line, knowing the graces of the Sacrament that would come. I felt like the lady waiting in line for "Obama" money..

"Ma'am, what are you here for?"
"Some grace!"
"Whose gonna give it to you?"
"God!"
"Where'd He get it?"
"I don't know! His Stash!"

Father Corapi has a very good examination of conscience..

“Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…..For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God….His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1776).

Most Catholics understand that it is necessary to make a good examination of conscience before they receive the sacrament of Penance. If you don’t examine your conscience properly you obviously can’t make a good confession. Today in the world of noise, both interior as well as exterior, this needs to be stressed very emphatically. Often the voice of conscience, which is very akin to the very voice of God, comes as a still tiny whisper, not a loud and obvious sound. In order to hear such a whisper we need to preserve a certain holy silence at times.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us in paragraph 1779, “It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of conscience. This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection, self-examination, or introspection: Return to your conscience, question it….Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness. (St. Augustine).”

I am convinced that the world of constant noise is a major contributing factor to the tidal wave of sin we have experienced in recent generations. If the voice of conscience is drowned out by a million loud and distracting sounds and concerns, then sin is facilitated. This noise is not merely external sounds: radio, television, I Pods, talk, talk, talk, etc., but also the interior “noise” that most contemporary people suffer from. “Be still and know that I am God,” is something we would do well to remember. More..


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advent Prep

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on Temptation.





Friday, December 11, 2009

Miskellaneous!

Yes, I know I spelled it wrong. :)

The play went very well last night! The kids were great. I was such a proud mama! Their timing was on and the funny parts were even funnier than during practice!

Mr. Pinch did some folk dances with her Folk Culture class. It's always fun to see 8 year old boys and girls have to dance together! They all did a great job!

Today is the last full day, bowling and hubbys party at work. Then I have to head to work. Next week begins vacation and finally some time to let Advent sink in around here. I'm looking forward to that.

How's your Advent going? Or not going?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Cast

More pics from homeschool co-op..


The entire cast of Big Bad (front l-r: Twoah, Oh-Nay, Sister Wolf, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, Junior Bear. Middle l-r: Big Bad Wolf, Little Miss Muffit, Papa Bear, Court reporter, Granny. Back l-r: Fairy Godmother, Bill Woodcutter, Pig Three, Evil Stepmother, Boy Who Cried Wolf, Mama Wolf, Sydney Grimm, Mama Bear, Bailiff, Judge Wiseoldman, Shepherdess)



The "legal" crew (Mr. Middleman is Judge Wiseoldman)



Grimm (Mr. Big Boy is Sydney Grimm, reporter for EFN (Enchanted Fairytale News)



The Big Bad Wolf family (Pannini is Momma Wolf)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Week Ahead - Homeschool Production of Big Bad


A courtroom has never been more lively and fun than in The Big Bad Musical! This smart and wickedly funny musical is great for actors and audiences of any age. The jury—your audience—must decide the outcome of the biggest trial ever in the fairy-tale world! The notorious Big Bad Wolf is being slapped with a class-action lawsuit by storybooks of quirky characters who want to get even: Little Red Riding Hood, her Grandmother, the Three Little Pigs and the Shepherd in charge of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. With Sydney Grimm as the commentator on live Court TV, the two greatest legal minds in the Enchanted Forest—the Evil Stepmother and the Fairy Godmother—clash in a trial that will be remembered forever after. As our wronged fairy tale characters testify, the wolf seems deserving of all that’s coming. Yet, even though the infamous Evil Stepmother resents doing pro-bono work on such an obviously futile defense, Mr. Wolf makes a good case for himself. Was he born a criminal, or made one?

This is what we will be doing all week. The show is on Thursday. Mr. Big Boy is Sydney Grimm, Mr. Middleman plays The Judge and Pannini is Mother Wolf. Mr. Pinch will be doing a pre-lude with the other Elementary students of folk culture. They will do some dances from different countries, that they have learned over the fall session.

It's going to be a long week of prep and rehearsal. The kids are looking forward to it and so am I. It's a very funny play and the students are doing a great job. Now I just have to decide if the wolf is guilty or not!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Week in Review

Mr. Big Boy's new T-shirt

Mr. Middle Man models our new Oreck


The calm before the storm


A treat for good grades!



On the Hayride at the Christmas Festival

"Snow" in the South!!


Mr. Pinch & Pannini havin' tons o' fun in the "snow"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On Vacuuming

Thanks for all the comments on MAC's. My hubby is against it. But I keep all these comments in mind as we ponder our next computer purchase.

Today, we needed something else. One year ago I purchased a brand new vacuum. A Eureka Altima. Bagless. Cute little dusting wand attachment and everything. 12 Amps! It shouted.

Little did I know, those 12 amps would blow dust around my house like a mini tornado in Kansas. This has been the worst vacuum I have ever owned. It's wreaked havoc on my hubby's allergies and just done absolutely nothing, if not even harmed, my carpets. I was regretting ever throwing out the ancient Kirby Heritage II we had. It was by far the best vacuum we had ever used. But because it needed more than just a recondition we had to let her go.

It's time to get out the Christmas decorations. This means time for me to do some good fall cleaning. I do that twice a year. I was sitting at my table looking at that Eureka and feeling depressed. I hated wasting my money, didn't want to waste anymore but I needed something that was gonna keep these dern carpets o'mine clean.

After talking it over with friends and family, it came down to Dyson vs. Oreck. (The new Kirby's were outta my budget.) Off we go to the Oreck store. Lo' and behold, they had a Dyson DC14 in the store that we could use as a comparison. First look at the yellow beast and I saw a filter similar to the one on my Eureka. Not to mention when you hit the button to open the cup, it's spring loaded. The vacuum debris shoots out everywhere. The Oreck is not cheap. The salesman was trying to sell us the big daddy edition for $600. I was leaning towards the one speed medium daddy edition at $400. She wouldn't even do a demo on it for us. So we headed off to Target to "compare" prices. Well, shine my shoes! Oreck has made a series of vacuums just for Target! They are the same vacuums as the XL Classic and Silver at $100 cheaper. They have the same service and warranty plus free handheld and free bags, but come in black instead of baby blue. (Oreck doesn't give you any bags, you have to buy the pack of 8 for $40)

We headed back to the Oreck store to find out what the deal was. (By the way, the Oreck store is two stores down from Target.) Our saleslady was not happy. Yes, it's the same vacuum. She could give us the same price as Target but she just can't understand why Oreck would do that to her. Sell her vacuum at Target!

Long story short, hubby decided he liked the black better than the blue and off we went to Target. I vacuumed the downstairs last night. Beautiful. No dust shooting everywhere! The suction is great, even on the hardwood! It didn't shoot anything back out at me! It's light and easy to carry. Plus I saved $100! It's not the top o' the line Oreck, but it's still got a 3 year warranty and one free service.

My Eureka beast is out on the curb crusted in ice from the frost last night. I have no hard feelings. It's where it belongs. In the trash.

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