Saturday, May 31, 2008


...our oldest son will receive his First Holy Communion. Please remember him in your prayers!

He has been preparing for this day for a long time, and is so very excited!

It may be awhile before I am able to share some photos, so here are a few video stills of Captain and Rascal serving The Holy Mass & Benediction!

(Thanks to our good friend for the photos!)

Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from Christ's side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds hide me. Suffer me not to be separated from Thee. From the malicious enemy defend me. In the hour of my death call me. And bid me come unto Thee, that I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't forget to tune in... EWTN to watch the Fraternity of Saint Peter Priestly Ordinations, May 30th, at 11Am Eastern/8AM Pacific.

His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, will confer the Priestly ordinations. His Excellency, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz will be sitting in choir.

Please keep the following ordinandi in your prayers as they ascend to the altar of Our Lord:

~ Rev. Mr. Dennis Gordon, FSSP

~ Rev. Mr. Jared McCambridge, FSSP

~ Rev. Mr. Jonathan Romanoski, FSSP

~ Rev. Mr. Justin Nolan, FSSP

Prayer for Priests
by John Joseph, Cardinal Carberry

O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father [N].

Give him a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.

In his loneliness, comfort him. In his sorrows, strengthen him. In his frustrations, point out to him that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls, he is needed for the work of redemption.

O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your son who is close to you because of his priestly ordination, and because of the power which he has received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs him so much.

Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength, and especially help him to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Amen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This is so cool!

"FSSP transform a modernistic free-standing altar into a very beautiful High Altar. The church that this took place in is in France and is now operated by the Fraternity of St. Peter. The complete time for this "Altar-ation" was just about 15 minutes!"

Monday, May 26, 2008

NFP vs. Contraception VII

Yeah!! They have done it again! Here is another "short commercial comparing NFP and Contraception directed, written, acted, and edited by Catholic seminarians."

I posted a few of my favorites from this series last year, but you can view them all here!

P.S. Gotta love Bloggers new schedule post feature! ;)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"My Trip Journal"

I had so much fun putting together Trip Journal's for the children!

If you have any summer trips coming up, this is a fun and easy way give them something to do during the drive, as well as provide a nice keepsake of the trip!

I started with downloading and printing out the Trip Journal template from Simply Charlotte Mason. A big THANK YOU to Elizabeth for sending me over there the other day. I had been planning on making a notebook for the trip, but finding this trip journal really simplified the process for me!

The Trip Journal includes the following sections:
  • The Route We Took: For this section, I printed out various State Coloring Pages online for each state that we will be visiting. I also included a few pages from this great coloring book.

  • Neighbors We Saw: In this section I included an Outline Map of the United States. As the children see license plates, or meet people, from various states they can color in the correct state on the map! This will be great reinforcement, since we have been studying States & Capitals this year.

  • My Trip Journal: I printed out Geography Notebooking Pages from here and here, and then added them to the journal.

  • My Trip Budget: I only included this section in Captain's journal. Rather than give Captain a reward with his accumulated "Reward Certificates", his tutor cashed them in for a bit of spending money! He is SO excited! He will report back to her after the trip on how it was spent. :)

  • The Trip in Pictures: Here I inserted a number of blank pages to add pictures to when we get back, in addition to little mementos from the trip!
To finish it off I printed a cover page in Word titled "My Trip Journal" on card stock, and let the kids color/decorate it however they wanted. I then took the books to Staples to be spiral bound. "That was easy!" An easy way to lose two hours of precious packing time as I waited for them to unjam the pages from their machine!! (I nearly died when I walked back in and saw one employee yanking on the machine, and the other yanking on all my hard work! Captain's Trip Journal!) In the end they turned out nice though, the binding looks great, and the kids can't wait to get started on them...

"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!"- Dr. Suess

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend
and Corpus Christi Sunday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

13 things I am looking forward to this month!

13 Things that I am looking forward to this month!
(It's going to be hard to limit it to thirteen!)
  1. I am looking forward to my brother in laws ordination to the priesthood. If you'd like, you can watch it on EWTN May 30th at 11:00 AM Eastern/8:00 AM Pacific! I'm so excited!!

  2. I am looking forward to receiving those wonderful First Blessings, which contain plenary indulgences, from the newly ordained priests!

  3. I am looking forward to the newly ordained Father's First Mass...(this is going to be confusing, THREE Father [last name]'s in the Family!!!!)

  4. I am looking forward to Captain's First Holy Communion! We begin a novena in preparation TODAY!!!

  5. I am looking forward to visiting with the Carmelite Nuns! I love them so much, they are all so sweet! (OK... Here's a quick story about the nuns. During our first visit with them, May 23rd 2004, on the occasion of Fathers First Mass, Twinkle Toes was only 10 months old, and Mother Superior let me send her back through the turn (a device in cloistered monasteries and convents that shields the visitor from the monk or nun, but permits one to pass notes or small objects in and out). It was so cute! Normally, you or I would not be aloud inside the walls of a cloistered convent, under the penalty of excommunication, without the permission of the bishop, but an infant cannot commit mortal sin, and is therefore excluded from this! They passed her around for about 20-30 minutes on the other side of the grill, where I could see her, and then I went back to the turn to get her back. I knocked to let them know I was waiting, and then I just heard giggling. A couple minutes later, it started to turn and sitting inside was TT's shoes! They had kept my baby, and sent me back her shoes. Eventually they sent her back to me! Anyhow, that was her first visit to the Carmel... I wonder if someday she will feel called back?)

  6. I am looking forward to taking the kids to the Zoo!

  7. I am looking forward to seeing all my in-laws, and my kids being able to play with their cousins... ALL my kids cousins live out of state!

  8. I am looking forward to Snuggles being able to meet his Grandparents!

  9. I am looking forward to seeing the boys faces light up when they get to see the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex at a Natural History Museum!

  10. I am looking forward to spending time at my hubby's childhood home and parish.

  11. I am looking forward to visiting my Grandparents, my children's GREAT-Grandparents!

  12. I am looking forward to eating out, and not having to do many dishes!

  13. And last of all, I am looking forward to taking lots of pictures to share with you all next month!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here

In the meantime, I am going to be busy, so my blogging is going to be non-existent lighten up for awhile.

Speaking of lightening up, the song used in this video is from one of my favorite singers, Marie Bellet. I can so relate with her music! I posted an actual music video of hers awhile back in this post...

"Well I don't know who started this, and I don't even care... But the pressures getting to me and I got to get some air..." Just listen to the song!

Seeing this video made me disappointed that we will be missing our local Family Camp with the Fathers of Mercy. They are such wonderful priests! Ah! So much to do, and just not enough time ~ hopefully next year...

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my hubby's oldest brother's 4th Anniversary of his ordination to the holy priesthood! He was ordained on the Feast of his favorite saint no less, Saint Rita of Cascia.

Happy Anniversary

To celebrate the feast of St. Rita, the children and I will be reading a brief story about her from the Picture Book of Saints, while we enjoy a tea in her honor.

I hope you all have a blessed day!

Most gracious Heavenly Father, We thank you for our faithful priests and bishops, whose spiritual fatherhood and example of fidelity, self-sacrifice, and devotion is so vital to the faith of your people.

May our spiritual fathers be guided by the examples of Saints Peter and Paul, all the Apostles and their saintly successors. Give them valiant faith in the face of confusion and conflict, hope in time of trouble and sorrow, and steadfast love for you, for their families, and for all your people throughout the world. May the light of your Truth shine through their lives and their good works.

Assist all spiritual fathers, that through your Grace they may steadily grow in holiness and in knowledge and understanding of your Truth. May they generously impart this knowledge to those who rely on them. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Rita of Cascia ~ Pray for us!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Deo Grátias!

Thanks be to God!

Today my hubby had his follow up appointment, and, for now, everything is fine!!! I was so happy to hear that the biopsy came back benign! There is one spot that the doctor wants to watch, so he will need to go back, next year, for yet another colonoscopy. At least they will be keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't turn into anything serious.

Thank you all for your prayers!

O Lord my Savior and my Master, I, Thine unprofitable servant, with fear and trembling give thanks unto Thy loving goodness for all Thy benefits which Thou hast poured so abundantly upon me, Thy servant. I fall down in adoration before Thee and offer Thee, O god, my praises; with fervor I cry to Thee: O God,deliver me henceforth from all adversities and mercifully fulfill in me such of my desires as may be expedient for me. Hear me, I entreat Thee, and have mercy, for Thou art the Hope of all the ends of the earth, and unto Thee, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

WoW ~ Week 12

I have actually been looking forward to today since Saturday!!! My new diet is amazing -- other than the fact that it totally stinks to cut out sugar!

This week, I am down another 2.5 pounds, my energy is up (thank goodness 'cause I have a ton to do!), and the cold I caught from the kids didn't turn into bronchitis for once! If I can keep this up, I could hit my goal in less than 2 months. However, I am not really sure how the next three weeks will go since I will be traveling. I have yet to figure out what I can order at any of the fast food places... I mean really, what can you get when chicken and lettuce are not an option? "UM... let's see, I'd like a hamburger, minus the ketchup, mustard, onion, lettuce and bun. Thanks! Oh, and can you add a tomato to that?" ;) I guess I better plan on bringing a cooler.

I have found a new treat though!!! On Monday, when I was in town, I went into the health food store to pick up some more dates... I had really been wanting something sweet. I nearly died when the girl inside the door was offering samples of ice cream! Noooooo!!! I love ICE CREAM!!! How was I going to turn it down? I said, "Oh, no thanks, I can't have dairy...." She said, "It is dairy free! It is made with coconut milk!" REALLY!!! I then asked, "Does it have sugar in it?" (As I picked up the container to look at the ingredients!) Nope!!! NO SUGAR!!! It was sweetened with Agave Syrup, which I can have. The very last ingredient was vanilla, darn... Oh well! The two biggies were out of the way, I was going to try some! It was heavenly, and so deliciously creamy! It is, of course, high in fat and calories... But, supposedly coconut fat is a "good for you" fat, and at this point, I DON'T CARE, this stuff is good for my morale!!! I bought 3 pints -- 2 of which are already gone... and I STILL LOST WEIGHT! I can do this!

This weeks summary:
  • Week twelve progress: -2.5 pound
  • Total lost in WoW: -8 pounds
Goals for this week:
  • Make a list of foods that will be easy to eat while traveling.
  • Find a way to make Coconut Bliss at home without the vanilla! (It only has like 5 ingredients, so it shouldn't be too hard!)

To see everyone else's results this week, head over to Regina's!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"School Time" Toys

In the comment section of my post On Setting Goals, I was asked:
What are those "toys" that you take out only during school time? I struggle with getting my younger kids- 5, 4, 2,and 1 to leave me alone to work one on one with my first grader.
I think every mother of little ones must struggle with this! Right?? However, I notice that when I am organized it isn't quite as big of a challenge. I think making a point to start the school day with the little ones will definitely help.

This coming year I plan on spending 15 minutes working on some sort of memorization work: memorizing a poem or working on art appreciation, and then getting them started on a workbook, coloring, or "learning" toy/game.

We have a large variety of these "school time" toys that I have been collecting over the past years. My children look forward to playing with these toys, and I rotate them, so that they will hold their attention long enough for me to accomplish some school work with my older children.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Coloring Books (I have a basket full for the children to choose from at anytime.)
  • Various Memory or Matching Games
  • Stickers!!! My girls love stickers!

I also have a collection of videos that the little ones are allowed to watch during school time. Our favorite series is definitely Signing Time. We have most of the original series, and we recently added 1-3 of Season Two to our collection. I am hoping to add 4-7 for this coming school year.

These toys are by no means necessary, but I do find them very helpful!

Mitten Srings for God: Chapter Nine

I especially enjoyed this chapter of
Mitten Strings For God:

Wants and Needs

Am I the only one that gets claustrophobic when shopping? All the STUFF is so overwhelming! This has started happening to me lately. I use to love to shop. Now, not so much. We truly do live in a very materialistic society. The more I try and distant myself from it, the more obvious it becomes. I am not saying that I am completely detached from "things". I do enjoy my toys. But, do I need them? No. Not at all.

Today, before I went shopping, in an attempt to simplify my list, I reviewed it and wrote wants on one side, and needs on the other. I realized, just how little I actually **needed** (the only thing was a pair of Sandals for Twinkle Toes, seeing as how she outgrew last years sandals). Everything else on the list was merely wants.

How about you? Can you list, oh, how about 5 things that you want (that's the easy part!), and then list 5 things that you really need? I'd love to hear your list!!!

As for my five, let's see...

I want:
  • to remodel our kitchen. (this will become a need eventually -- until then, I can wait.)
  • to visit Rome and Ireland.
  • to hire help with the housework.
  • S.U.G.A.R!!! (I am having withdrawals.)
  • a laptop, so I can stay connected while we travel!
Ah yes, they are all wants, and definitely not needed... well, maybe the sugar! ;)

I need:
  • to spend more time in prayer.
  • more one-on-one time with my children.
  • to exercise.
  • to spend more quality time with my hubby.
  • to make a schedule! (Seeing as all the above needs revolve around time!)
My favorite quote from this chapter was:

"When we pause long enough to give thanks for the abundance of daily life, when we feel good about what we have right now, we teach our children a valuable lesson: We help them accept that they can't have everything they want, and we reassure them that they do have everything they need. This is a concept that I need to reinforce over and over again, both in my thinking and in day-to-day life with my children. We are living in a consumer society that revolves around instant gratification. We shop for recreation and spend and buy things we don't really need. But unless we want our children to perpetuate this kind of materialism, we must show them another way. And we must give them faith that their real needs -- for love, attention, acceptance -- will be met."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mitten Strings for God: Catching Up!

I don't know if any of you have noticed, but I have totally been slacking on keeping up with the Mitten Strings for God Book Study.

I hope to join back in, hopefully sooner rather than later, but for now, I thought I would just share with you my favorite quotes from the last few chapters, and send you over to Dawn's blog to read her inspiring reflections... just click on each link!

Mitten Strings for God: Chapter Six ~ TV

"Once we see our homes as sanctuaries from a hectic world, then television begins to feel more and more like an unsavory intruder, robbing our rooms of life and meaning, stealing our time, and preying on our soul. When it comes to TV, less really is more."

Mitten Strings for God: Chapter Seven ~ Play

"So much of the structure that we impose on our children's lives is really intended to make our own lives easier. We don't want to give up our freedom, and so we fail to grant our children theirs. As every mother knows, it's easier to sign up for sports camp than to carve out a week to allow your children to follow their own inclinations at home. But children need time that is utterly their own - time to take up residence in their own lives, time to dream through an afternoon, time to play with the kids next door, time to wake up to their own pleasures. Above all, they need some time when we adults aren't calling the shots."

Mitten Strings for God: Chapter Eight ~ Secret Places

"Children need their privacy just as we adults do. In the secret places of childhood, the soul drinks deeply, is refreshed, and flourishes."

Ah, I feel so much better now! :) I hope you had a lovely day!

The Simple Woman's Daybook~May 19th


Outside my Window... it's a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day! It's only suppose to hit 92 degrees today! 102 was way too hot last week...

I am thinking...about how great it will be to see all my in-laws next week, and how nice it will be for Snuggles to meet his Grandparents!

I am thankful for...that great stimulus check that just arrived! How cool is that!?!

From the kitchen...Kasha, topped with rice milk and real maple syrup, and juicy watermelon. I love watermelon! (I'm still working on figuring out how to adjust to my new diet...)

I am activity/coloring book for each of our kids to do on our upcoming trip, with information on the various states (all 11 of them!) that we will be traveling to/or through.

I am be getting my teeth cleaned this afternoon, and then run a few errands, to make the most of the trip to town. Do you think they will mind that I have to bring all 5 kids with me?? This will be interesting.

I am wearing...outfit number 1 (I took Outfit 3 and the skirt from Outfit 4 back.), barefoot for now, with some silver bangle bracelets and silver hoop earrings.

I am reading...Karol from Poland, John Paul II, Pascual and the Kitchen Angels, and lots of First Communion books to the kids.

I am hoping...for a productive week. It is proving to be very challenging packing for 5 children!

I am hearing...the sounds of crayons bouncing on the table, and children talking as they color a picture of Pope John Paul II. (His birthday was yesterday!)

Around the house...three loads of laundry to wash and hang dry, winter clothing, coats and snow boots to pack away and size 12-18 clothes to pull out for Snuggles.

One of my favorite playing peek-a-boo with Snuggles. He has such a cute laugh!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...schedule swimming lessons for this summer, help Captain work on his First Communion Notebook, meet with Mrs. K Tue, Wed & Thurs so she can work with Captian,
work on catching up my Aunt's bookkeeping (I'm SO behind!), load our audio books and music onto my iPod, and practice taking pictures with my new camera!

Here is a picture thought (or 2) I am sharing for you...

These were both taken from my kitchen door. I have been playing with my new lens, and need to get use to it... The are slightly blurry, and the color could be better...

To see more Daybook entry's, click here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

First Holy Communions

Yesterday was the day for First Holy Communions at our local parish! The Mass was just beautiful, and the First Holy Communicants were all glowing! I'm so glad that we were able to attend.

I just loved how Father gave the children their First Holy Communion by intinction. I had not seen this done before, and I thought it was so neat and special! (Plus, it follows the long standing tradition of receiving on the tongue!)

During Mass, I was holding my baby, and since I have not gotten use to my new camera, I only took one picture as the children were processing out of the church.

Here you can see Sugar, and another little boy from our homeschool group:

Kayla Hadley, who so many of you have been praying for, also received her First Holy Communion! Regina took this picture of Kayla & Sugar:

Don't they look beautiful?!?

After Mass, the parish hosted a reception. I just love this photo of Sugar's sister Boo holding Twinkle Toes.

Captain is even more excited as we finish preparing for his own First Holy Communion on the 30th.

Congratulations to all of the new First Communicants! May Our Lord give you all the graces necessary for the sanctification and salvation of your souls!

Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from Christ's side, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy wounds hide me. Suffer me not to be separated from Thee. From the malicious enemy defend me. In the hour of my death call me. And bid me come unto Thee. That I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels, forever and ever. Amen.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Since you asked...

... and since I would really love some suggestions on what to eat!!!

Lots of you have asked me to elaborate on the Food Sensitivity Test I had done recently. Since it happens to be Food Allergy Awareness Week, what better time than now?

I first found out about the test from some close friends of ours, who are also Rascal's Godparents. They had both taken the test, changed their diet accordingly, lost lots of weight, and started having so much more energy!

I started reading more about Food Sensitivities and found that:
Reactions to foods are not always immediate. They can occur many hours later as bloating and swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, abdomen, chin and around the eyes. Much of the weight gained is fluid retention caused by inflammation and the release of certain hormones. In addition, there is fermentation of foods, particularly carbohydrates, in the intestines which can result in a swollen distended belly and gas production. Food allergies as well as food sensitivities can cause weight gain. Yes, it's possible to have no other symptoms. You can't count on seeing runny noses or sneezes with some food sensitivities. Instead, a person's body perceives the food as a poison and limits digestion of nutrients, thus causing the body to store fat.

Symptoms of food sensitivity can include headache, indigestion or heartburn, fatigue, depression, joint pain or arthritis, canker sores, chronic respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, sinus congestion or bronchitis and chronic bowel problems such as diarrhea or constipation.
Hum... I could relate to almost all of those symptoms... The test sounded like just what I have been needing.

I had been trying hard, and eating well (for the most part) and was feeling lousy and tired almost all the time. I know that I am sensitive to some foods due to my angioedema, but I was wondering just what exactly my body doesn't like. My hubby agreed, and we made the appointment.

Since that's what he does, Rascal's Godfather actually drew my blood! For those of you that know me, I have a horrible fear of needles. I would much rather deliver a baby completely naturally than have my blood drawn or be given an IV. Although, I must say, Ed knows what he is doing!!!! It didn't even hurt! Thank you Ed!

Looking at the list of sensitivities I have, it's no wonder I hadn't been feeling well! I had been eating mostly foods that my body doesn't like. Are you curious to see my results?? I sure was!

Here's my list:

Severe Intolerance:
  • COW'S MILK (Including all dairy products made with Cow's Milk)
Moderate Intolerance:


As well as Candida Albicans so avoid:
  • CANE SUGAR (sniffle...sniffle... Do you have ANY idea how much stuff has Cane Sugar in it?? I had no idea till I went shopping last weekend.)
(So -- what has my diet shake been made of recently?? Let's see: Cow's Milk/Yogurt/or Orange Juice, Vanilla Protein Powder, Banana, Blueberries, and I usually throw in a few Almonds... Isn't that GREAT?!?)

Mild Intolerance:

  • Gluten and Gliadin so avoid: OAT and RYE
  • Casein so avoid: GOAT'S MILK and SHEEP'S MILK

What a list!! I didn't know WHAT I was going to eat... I had been having Smoothies for Breakfast and Salad with Chicken for lunch! So I hit the store last weekend with my Green list:








Herbs and Spices:

Nuts Oils and Misc:

Isn't it a cool test! Now what you are suppose to do is avoid all the items in the Red, Orange and Yellow Categories. "RED indicates a severe intolerance and these items should be avoided for a minimum of 6 months YELLOW indicates a mild intolerance and these foods should be avoided if possible ORANGE indicates a moderate intolerance and these items should be avoided for a minimum of 3-6 months GREEN indicates acceptable foods / no reaction."

Since last Friday I have actually been able to stick to it! It has not been easy, but it is getting easier as I wean my body from its sugar dependence, and since I am feeling so much better -- and losing weight!!

Here is a picture of the groceries I came home with on Saturday:

It is so hard to find things made without Sugar, Onion, and Vanilla!! I do have one cheat, and that would be that Silk Hazelnut Coffee Creamer--it has some Cane Sugar in it... If I can't get my mochas, I need to be able to replace it with something!!

Have any of you tried Corn Thins before?? They are delicious! I also am so thankful for the Coconut Date Rolls, they aren't exactly chocolate, but they are perfect for when I really need something sweet... And I am out of them right now!!! (Yep! I ate that whole little box of calorie packed dates and still lost weight!)

Anyways, if any of you have any great recipes, snack suggestions, or food I can get "on the go," made with the items on my green list, I would love, Love, LOVE to hear them!!