Thursday, July 30, 2009

Roll out the White Canvas

I finally found a good deal on a giant roll of white butcher or kraft paper at discountschoolsupply.com and it arrived yesterday. I rolled out a long stretch of it down our kitchen and the kids had a wonderful time coloring all over it, tracing hands and feet and just playing on it. What a fun treat to have your kitchen floor transformed in a giant white blank canvas. The recycled crayons that change color as you draw were a big hit as always. I can't recommend this enough.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Recent Funny Lines from My Toddler

Some Recent Funny Lines from My Toddler... When his one year old sister was playing in the backyard with the toy chainsaw pretending to cut down trees like she has seen her daddy and big brother do, he said "Peaches cuts trees like a man." On another day, our son was in the bathtub when I brought in his younger sister to say goodnight before I put her to bed. I told him to blow her a kiss goodnight and he did and then as he moved his hand from the side of his head out to her, he said he was "blowing her hugs too." Big brother must have had hugs on his mind because later that same night, when we were putting him to bed, he was giving his daddy Eskimo kisses which they always do. Then he said he was "giving Eskimo hugs" as he rubbed his cheek up against my husbands. The stuff they say is adorable. Since I can't videotape their entire life, I have been keeping a simple journal just to write down all the little things, funny, memorable, milestones, etc. of our lives as a family. These were some of my favorite recent entries. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post Title Correction Update

Due to my husband's insistence that the title of a recent post "Baby Mine" was incorrect grammar, I have now changed it to "Baby of Mine." He pointed it out to me a couple times and now week later, he was still thinking about it and made a comment under the post to me this morning. I was laughing so hard that this was worth the time in his head all this time since I originally posted it. I had titled it that after the lullaby "Baby Mine," but "Baby of Mine" is wonderful too. At least I know he cares about my grammatical reputation.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Prayer Can Affect Our Day

I receive these daily emails from Mary Vitamin with prayers, quotes and scripture related to Mary that are wonderful. I felt this recent one about how prayer can mold your day and from there your life was worth sharing. I have quoted a portion of it below: Prayer makes for a profitable day Quote:Father Stefano Manelli, FI "When we entrust everything to our sweet Mother, nothing but profit comes of it -- in virtue, in grace, in love."Devotion to Our Lady, (Academy of the Immaculate), 103. Meditation: Fr. Charles M. Mangan, "A deep interior life is very 'practical' because it gives the person a real clarity and calm when making decisions. Those who pray frequently and desire to love and serve God above all else are blest with the ability to understand the most important realities and to choose well with tranquility and peace."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Travel with Kids Made Easier

I just found out about this great website Momsminivans.com. It has so many resources and ideas to entertain your children and keep them busy and happy on road trips. I just wanted to share this. Here is the description of the website from their homepage.
Road Trip Fun! Car Games! Travel Games & Road TripTips for the family! Planning a road trip? Traveling with kids? Need some games to play in the car? Ideas to keep kids busy in the car? Here's a part of your travel planning that you can't leave without! MomsMinivan.com has over 101 ideas for fun things for kids to do in the car, kids travel games, printable car games and activities, and road-trip tips. They are organized by age group, so have a look around - there's something for everyone!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Baby of Mine

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart."
Jeremiah 1:5
I'm thinking a lot today about this baby growing inside me and who he or she is going to be. Will he like to read and cuddle or run around and giggle? Will he like blueberry or banana pancakes? Will he like classical or country music? Will he like to build or do puzzles, play ball or paint? Each child is so different, and it is a priceless joy just to meet them and watch them grow into the person God made them to be. I always have a different feeling about each of my pregnancies and the child inside. God has made it that way because they are each a unique miracle. On their BIRTHday, we are the ones receiving the best present of all - a precious child, a baby mine.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Caramel

July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. To celebrate this day with your family, here are a few ideas. If you have not already done so, have a priest enroll you in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or popularly known as the "Brown Scapular" and begin wearing it as a sign of your love for Our Lady. A priest enrolls people in the Brown Scapular only once. The Scapular can then be replaced afterwards by other scapulars or the scapular medal, which has on one side the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the other, the image of Mary. The medal needs to be blessed by a priest, but the cloth scapulars do not require a blessing (separate from enrollment). (from catholicculture.org) Catholic Company has brown scapulars here and scapular medals here. Watch this you tube video about devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

For food, you can keep it simple and yummy for this feast day with vanilla ice cream with warm caramel sauce.

Catholic Cuisine has a creative cake idea for celebrating.

For a lovely coloring page, go here.

I missed posting about the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel nine days ago, but here is a lovely prayer to say today in her honor.

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Thou who, with special mercy, look upon those clothed in thy beloved Habit, cast a glance of pity upon me. Fortify my weakness with thy strength; enlighten the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom; increase my faith, hope and charity. Assist me during life, console me by thy presence at my death, and present me to the August trinity as thy devoted child, that I may bless thee for all eternity in Paradise. Amen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pumpkin's Trash Truck Birthday Party

Another reason I have not been blogging much lately is that I was busy putting together Pumpkin's birthday party. He wanted a trash truck theme, but I was originally not going to do it because there are no commercial pre-packaged anything for trash truck birthday parties. But, I knew that is what he loves more than anything, so I tried my best to be creative and have fun with it. Here is the invitation, personal information blurred out.

I stressed out so much about making this cake, but it turned out wonderful (Pumpkin's real name blurred out, not an icing faux pas :). I just used box white cake mix and crushed up Oreos to make it look "dirty." It turned out so yummy. Actually I was so nervous making this cake that I said a few Hail Marys while starting to frost it. Then I thought I needed some music to help me focus, so I put on "Ave Maria." Afterwards, I was jokingly referred to the cake as my "Hail Mary Pass" cake. Actually, I discovered that "Ave Maria" is excellent concentration music.
For the party favors I made recycled crayons by breaking them up and melting them at 150 degrees in cupcake liners.
Lunch for the kids was peanut butter and junk sandwiches, trash yard chow mix, and fruit compost.
The decorations were all things green for green recycling and because his favorite trash trucks are green. I also used these great real trash truck and recycling stickers all over the place from wastestickers.com.
The party was a giant free for all for 25 kids in kiddie pools, sprinklers, outdoor toys and a water table in our backyard. One little boy said it was the best party ever, so I'll take that to mean it was a success for all. Pumpkin has since been memorized playing with all his new trash trucks.

New Catholic Vote Ad

Catholic Vote has a new ad in their Life, Imagine the Potential series of ads. Check it out above.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rosary Gratitude

This post is a long overdue public thank you for a priceless gift from a friend I have never met for a gift I will never be able to explain how special it will always be to me. First some background information. During my frightening ordeal with this pregnancy, I fervently prayed the rosary praying for the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima (as it was on this feast day that my scare and subsequent surgery happened) and also to St. Gianna for a miracle. I even had this rosary taped to my surgery gown. I kept this rosary in my hand during my entire time in the hospital, and I felt it was an incredibly special rosary to have been the instrument on which I prayed and was given such a miraculous blessing of the life and safety of this baby. However, in the confusion of being discharged from the hospital I somehow left the rosary in my bed. I was heartbroken when when we got home from the hospital and I realized I lost it. My husband called the laundry service, and they said they would try to find it but with no success. A few days later, I responded to a post on Ruth's blog (which I had been reading for months) about how beautiful the Our Lady of Fatima rosary she made was. I also told her how I believed Our Lady of Fatima had given me a miracle. Ruth wrote me back and told me she would make me an Our Lady of Fatima rosary. I was so thankful for the obvious reason of receiving a beautiful gift, but also for the fact that this rosary would be a replacement for my lost miracle rosary. Ruth did not even know about my rosary from my surgery being missing. I wrote this to her in a note of thanks trying to convey to her how special her gift was to me. This rosary is so beautiful and well made. The picture doesn't even do it justice. I still can not believe how sweet it was for a stranger to do this for me. Ruth, thank you again. You can see more of Ruth's rosaries here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ode to Charlie

I can't help but share my new love for Charlie's Soap laundry detergent. I heard about this soap when I was doing research for cloth diapers. I finally bought it a few months ago, and WOW! Although I was skeptical of a clear non-viscous liquid thoroughly cleaning dirty toddler clothes and dinner clean-up rags, I am amazed. All you use is an eighth of a cup for a large load and everything is clean and smelling fresh, but not that artificial fresh (that has become synonymous with clean) of most grocery store laundry detergents. Charlie's Soap contains no dyes, phosphates, UV brighteners or perfumes, is non-toxic and completely biodegradable and hypoallergenic. You can order online at charliesoap.com, but I bought the 1 gallon jug of the laundry liquid from Earthfare. I can't remember how much it cost at Earthfare but I remember thinking it was very cheap for doing 128 loads for 1 gallon. I can't speak for their other products, but I will never use any other laundry detergent again. I have used Seventh Generation laundry liquid and was not impressed (I don't really think any of their products are that great, especially the toilet cleaner, worthless). I have been using Mrs. Meyers laundry liquid for a while but it was sometimes not available at Target or too expensive. Also I like a very big container instead of a lot of little ones. I am so happy to have found a non-toxic, earth friendly laundry detergent that works better than thick, artificially colored and perfumed Tide or Arm & Hammer.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, on this holiday weekend we give thanks to you for the gift and blessing of the freedom we enjoy in our great nation. We praise you, Lord, for inspiring and guiding our founding fathers as they struggled to build our country and create a new way of living with the goal of freedom and justice for all.We thank you, Lord, for the courageous self-sacrifice and generous spirit of countless people who have given their life’s blood in the defense of freedom and for the pursuit of justice. Keep us faithful to the tradition and example we have inherited; may we leave for the next generation a better world, prepared for the dawning of the Kingdom of Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fourth of July Treats & Crafts

My mother-in-law makes this delicious Strawberry Pretzel "Salad" that can easily be tweaked to be festive for Independence Day by piping whipped topping on top in stripes with rows of strawberries and in dots with rows of blueberries to make the American Flag. I put "salad" in quotes because my husband's family calls this dish a salad and eats it as side dish, but I swear it should be a dessert. I don't mind it being a side dish because then I get to eat dessert still too, but I just think it's funny to call it a salad. Maybe I'll start calling brownies a cocoa bread or an ice cream sundae an icecream salad and eat those as a side dish too:)
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Crust:
2 Cups coarsely chopped pretzels
3/4 Cup melted butter
3 teaspoons sugar
Combine the above and pat on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (I use glass)
BAKE 400 deg. for 10 minutes
COOL
Layer 2(while crust cools):
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 Cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip(thawed)
Combine above and spread on COOLED CRUST
Refrigerate while making next layer
Layer 3:
Dissolve 1 large package strawberry jello in 2 Cups hot water
Add 2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen strawberries in juice
When partially congealed pour over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate until set- a few hours- great to make and set overnight.
Here are some other treats and craft ideas for July 4th. I can't take credit for these. Follow the links to the original site for directions on how to do them.
Patriotic Windsock
American Flag Hand-Stitched Card Pattern Firecracker Craft

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