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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Broccoli Pasta Salad

I make this and the kids just love it!

Broccoli Macaroni Salad

A generous amount of cooked macaroni, 3 or 4 cups should be good.
1 or 2 heads broccoli, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 of large red onion, chopped fine (I’ve never had this on hand but I’m sure it would be go too)
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use the bottled bacon bits)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 – ¼ cup red wine vinegar

Mix the macaroni, broccoli, red onion, cheese and bacon together in a large bowl. Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar and pour over broccoli salad. Stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. I say this serves between 8 and 10, but if you hear someone squeal with delight upon seeing it, it’ll probably be less.

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Since everything is so behind, and I never seem to get the chance to write out much these days, I think I may just post little spirit inspirations, passages, quotes etc that speak to me the day they happen. Hopefully look for a few recent ones to crop up sometime soon 🙂

I’ve been behind on a lot of things, including posts at SUM so on Monday I found out they were doing a community fast this week, and I jumped in as soon as I could. As much as I long to do a proper food fast, I am still nursing, so with a new start the second day I signed off from the internet, with the exception of a few last things that had to be taken care of over that line of communication. It was a bit of a struggle as it should be but I know the self discipline was good for me, and I would look to do it again sometime. The only problem is when I sign off like that, I feel a more pressing need when I break the fast to catch up some of what I missed. Sigh, progress not perfection.

Fri Jan 4
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Ice crystal spikes in sun on the window
Frost thick like glass
Love’s patience – Jesus carrying the cross
My shadow with a book in my hand

Sat Jan 5
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My oldest snuggled between Mummy and Daddy
3 Tiggers bouncing on the bed
“I’m looking at you through the glass, can you put the song on?” – Tyler with the glass dh had lastnight
Winter sun, round glow through clouds and fluffy snowflakes
An icicle dangling from a single thread
A constant stream of falling snow, God’s grace falling endless from heaven
The sun orb glowing, alive, light, life to the world

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A call to a new habit, memorizing God’s word
Discovering a treasure of the word on you tube – visual accounts of the Gospels
Finally sharing with my best friend about what God did in my heart over Rise Up
A challenge my friend felt compelled to give me (15 minute walk in the woods with God, holding hands)
A walk through the snowy woods with my Love
Holding hands with the lover of my soul
Coming home from a date with God, giggly, foolish, happy

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his chubby little legs in just a navy onsie and socks
nativity triangle
New understanding about how to walk WITH God. (heart lifting)
Thank You for the grace to say nothing, rather than start yet further arguments
finding my missing pink paper in the kids room

Sun Jan 6
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The church decorated for Christmas with gold beads strung and tiny white lights
The way the baby jumped suddenly when I said his full name because I discovered he’d taken one of my Christmas cards from the table
A beautiful keepsake Christmas book from one of my son’s godmother
My oldest proudly writing his name in a card with his brand new pencils and minimal help
Dinosaurs in the snow village

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Him opening that special book every chance he got, turning the pages to hear the words over and over
Two little boys kneeling at their bed
Colored glow of Christmas bulbs under the snow
Singing of God’s kingdom at the end of the day (go tell it)

Mon Jan 7
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Successful Name writing lesson – letter y
Sharing my favorite childhood book with my kids for the first time
A call to greater self-denial and holiness (fasting)
A friend to help keep me accountable
My oldest freely choosing to join me in kneeling and praying the litany of praise
3 boys playing with trains
Sparkling droplets and ice blue shadow as the winter sun shines through
Stacking cup monster

Tues Jan 8
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Little Baby standing up on the footstool
Letter e
A surprise – a special unopened envelope from California
Commiting the first 2 verses of the scripture project to memory
All three of us singing, Go Tell it on the Mountain 🙂
Wisdom from the Christmas eve book – 3 worldly philosophies vs the attitude of Love
A beautiful prayertime at the end of the day

Wed Jan 9
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Communion, when I didn’t think I’d be able to receive
The promise of participating in the next cco faith study in the spring
A fun alternative playdate when playgroup was cancelled
The gift we were to each other
Pot luck lunch
Flying down the hills over the snow with the kids
Baby waving his arms when the sled stopped after his first trip down the hill
Play and chat time with another neighbor and her little one
Wisdom from a meditation in the Word Among Us (jan 7)
Trains chugging through bethlehem
Little one climbing all the way up into his high chair, right out of the blue
Throwing together a complete dinner for the family in about 15 minutes

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Thurs Jan 10
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A word of Hope in a dream
Grace to remember I’m to choose how to respond and not just react
Patience to persevere everyone through the rosary – w Jesus by my side
a cozy time spent in God’s word
Jesus, arms peeling off the cross – hands reaching out toward us
one last surprise Christmas gift for each one of us
time spent putting together a puzzle with my older children
Dh lovingly going back to the store for the third time to bring home just the right item for the meal I had planned
A sea scape come to life on my dining room table
Another kid/award–worthy movie themed meal complete with blue ocean water/punch, multicolored fishies and star fish on colorful coral beds.
A Disney chick flick and the way it brought me closer to hubby; my own tall, dark and handsome

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Woah, Friday Already?!?! Guess we’ll have to settle for the quick version again 😉 I’ve got more things I want to write about, I’m thinking there will be some sort of bigger post coming in the future, covering many of the things I haven’t been able to lately…

Fri Nov 2
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the stillness
the soft sound of gentle rain falling all around
the sound of a rake pulling leaves
baking unconventional cookies 🙂
flour galaxies
perfect swirl slices
a tray full of sweet
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Sat Nov 3
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My children’s genuine awe and wonder at the cookies I made
Cleaning the house with praise music blasting the speakers
Having my house cleaner than it’s been in months!
A friend helping me clean and prep for the party
Seeing my vision for the theme come to be a reality on my table
The house crawling with 5 babies!!! / 5 babies in my living room 🙂
A pom pom caterpillar
Gifts we will actually use: several books and a puzzle that will all be GREAT for schooltime!
2 lighting matching lightning mcqueen hooides; the only clothes my kids have actually been excited to open!
My perfect little caterpillar and his cake

Love – my best friend not only bought me a whole bunch of bulbs to make my yard pretty for spring, but she planted them all for me too 🙂
After hosting a kids birthday party, still having my house cleaner than it’s been in months!
Praying POWERFULLY
An interruption to my prayertime; an opportunity to strengthen my will to show grace and love instead of frustration – and so stay in union with You
Deep joy at the realization that tomorrow is Sunday, Your day, and I get to receive You!
Crawling on the floor with the baby to the sound of his giggles

Kool aid kisses
My true love’s arms
The Deepest well of joy
Love – going deeper – my love today went deeper, for ALL my family, for each of my children and also for my husband, thanks and joy is waking me up to their unique beauty as God made them etc, and I’m falling deeper in love with all of them.

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Sun Nov 4
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A Morning game of peek a boo
A beautiful blessed baptism
Sleeping children young and old in arms in the line for communion
The littlest child of 6, purposefully kneeling just like daddy
Community – the more people you know in church, the less you are able to talk to anyone! – still more of a blessing than a burden

heavy clouds glowing light from behind
a tiny blue peephole of blue through the clouds
a row of perfect white bushes like cauliflower heads
a row of trees and orange leaves against teal blue siding

a well trodden path
plants, all yellow
green fans
gardens in fall
a sea of red and white leaves
perfect red berries like Christmas light baubles
a quilt of leaves, every color
an old vine grown into a twisted half-heart hoop
a new perspective of the cross – Jesus literally laying down his life as a bridge for us

a cozy concrete garden porch with a big star
an outdoor gathering of people united
baby bundled in a hoodie, fuzzy hat and blanket
a parking meter turned flag pole and how it entertained my kids for ages
a friendly game of keep away
my children laughing and playing with others, oblivious to any differences
kids running circles around a mechanizied wheel chair –laughter and fun for all involved
a leaf hooked in the fence
scattered leaf drifts and bare patches
yellow leaves scattered on faded teal blue wood steps
mossy green telephone pole
dents and notches all over
a yellow house and a yellow tree
patterns and lines on the street
hyacinth globes overhead

strings of headlights on the highway
lights at twilight overlooking our town
the porch light
the view as I walk in the door – sponges baby pulled out of he cupboard and hubby making dinner in the kitchen
confiscated toys reflected in a pan of cooking oil
sweet potato pancakes

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Mon Nov 5
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Your grace – that you found me and saved me from that raging river of sin and darkness
This headache, you chose to give it to me, a gift for my salvation – purification now, an earthly purgatory.

Tues Nov 6
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Warmth of sun on a chilly morning
Surprise hugs from my 3 yr old
Successful first instalment of the kids ‘writing’ book – my oldest drew the line through the maze with ease and was really interested in working in it.
Baby cruising along the floor pushing 1 dinky car in each hand
Challenging myself doing a jewelry photo shoot for a friend and neighbour

Wed Nov 7
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Frost everywhere
A Paintbrush all frost white on the railing
Friendly honk and wave with our friends at the bus stop
2 ft of perfection – the cutest little girl, right up to the tip of her hair clip pony tail
a dinosaur block tower
Leaf surprise in my camera case
French toast and strawberries
Making play doh breakfast with my boys
Paying homage to our delicious lunch with the play-doh

Thurs Nov 8
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A new friend in a lady at church – I really value her friendship.
God having equipped me to support her in leading this study, because really, we both need each other.
Wet pavement reflecting colored lights at night
The grace of going to the market first thing and not last – it was closed by the time I drove by on the way home.
The stars, crystal clear in the night sky

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I thought I’d do something a little different this week. It’s a combination of having a cold, not having a lot of different things to write about, having posted hardly any gifts since December and not having a lot of mental energy to produce a neat finished post (when there are still 3 or 4 weekly posts in the works). So, I have decided to post a selection of this week’s gifts, (which do help encapsualte some of what we’ve been up to anyway.)

1. Friday

PICTURE
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The little one, stretching and squealing with delight while banging on the door.
Confidently teaching my kids about the trinity and the Holy Spirit – and them actually learning something!
Fallen leaves caught by the railing.
Baby perched in daddy’s lap, being entertained with a monkey.

2. Saturday
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Feeling the sun come out as I lifted praise to the Lord.
The backseat loaded with 2 babies.
The blessing of sharing a deep wound in my heart, my best friend’s validation and understanding, and her words of wisdom.
My best friend and I sitting in my car together, nursing our babies

Morning glory burst open – splendor on a wall.
Fluffy feather tufts dancing in the wind.
A garden porch in autumn.
The childlike wonder at discovering ever more unseen paths.
My little one exploring the garden for himself.

Spending the afternoon with my best friend and her baby.
The gift of TIME with her.
HS, to guide our conversation and Grace to let go of control and accept the many situations that came.
Sharing our dreams and our lives all the way home.

3. Sunday
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Personal conviction. My friend’s words still echoed next morning, ‘You have to understand you are going to lose friends over your faith. So, you have to decide for yourself, that what you have is worth that.’ This is the path I’ve chosen, I choose. (faith, Jesus, obedience, lay down my life, God’s heart ) It’s time for me to take it more seriously, to grab it by the horns so to speak – It’s time for me to OWN this decision! (thank you hon!)

Branches bare, stretched to the heavens.
That moment when I ‘couldn’t help but open my hands to the heavens’.

My children literally running circles around me before communion.
A perfect fall brunch: fish cakes with quince and ginger chutney.
Grace to establish, bit by bit, life-giving habits.
Fall decor – our lent crosses against a background of vibrant leaves.
My kids going to work on a Sunday.
Rest, family and Extreme Mountain Biking; Hanging out with DH on the couch to watch the Red Bull Rampage.

4. Monday
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A sunny perfect thanksgiving with fall colors all around.
Daddy and his boys watching 4 yr old shredder – a video of a little boy and his dad downhill riding.
Holy gratitude in the hearts of my friends.

5. Tuesday
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This cold, You birthing grace, grace that is very much needed for this journey, graces won and stored up for my loved ones.
My oldest looking very holy in a blankie head scarf.
Worship in the midst of the family living room.

6. Wednesday
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Grace in a morsel of bread; the Lord’s gift of Himself right when I need it (my help comes from the Lord).
Clicking rosary beads in the adoration chapel.
Waves of Your presence washing over me, here before the blessed sacrament.

7. Thursday
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Bare branches against pale grey blue winter sky.
Waking to the glory above me; watching God paint clouds and color across the sky.
The light of God spreading to the whole sky.
Falling often committing little sins; I’m too busy fighting them to get caught up in the big ones.
Gaps in the clouds, windows into the heavens: The clouds seek to obscure your glory, but its still there.

Morning rosary cuddles.
A clean house, and the help to make time and have the motivation to do it.
Leading discovery and all the people that came out for the first night.
Witnessing people begin to discover how much God loves them.
Marveling at how God is using me! As an Aaron to a Moses! Me, who could never speak to groups or crowds, until CC and the Holy Spirit stepped in.
A surprising name-dropping of the Almighty in conversation by DH.

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It seems I don’t have much to write about this week, at least not enough unique subjects to fill 7 takes so I will have to resort to internet links.

1. I knew this week would probably be hard, after the spiritual growth and closeness of the retreat weekend I knew the enemy would be unhappy and would probably go after me. The biggest thing is I have spent the entire week feeling tired, probably due to staying up later on the weekend, and when I’m tired EVERYTHING is so much harder. I am really trying to surrender my will to God in all things, to let Him capture it and own it… and I’m sure that is the other side of this, God is allowing it as a test to make sure my commitment etc, my desire is genuine, aka, even when I don’t feel I’m getting much in return.

2. The house is still a struggle – another month has passed and the kids’ room is STILL the only room that stays tidy and organized. I think if I worked at it I could get the bathroom and probably the kitchen into that shape as well, and that would be really great. Seeing the long weekend coming up, I am hoping to seriously tackle some more of this house because there are spots that are still driving me crazy.

3. Faith Notes – The retreat was GREAT. Usually, when I go to a retreat I have drifted some with daily life and it is a chance for me to reconnect with God and what I know is really important. But this time the truth is I was already close to the Lord when I went, which gave me the opportunity to really nurture and grow closer to Him throughout the weekend and I experienced a beautiful intimacy with God. That said, Fr Clair is a wise and wonderful speaker and there are many fascinating things that stuck out from the talks, as well as other moments of new understanding and growth. As a rather seasoned retreat participant, I always have something new to learn 🙂 .

One of the big things that stood out to me from the talks was the notion that ALL sin boils down to a failure to love. It has changed how I approach decisions about what the ‘next right thing’ is, and has helped clarify a few grey area situations. When we fail to love we turn away from God in favor of our own interests and breaks the beautiful bond of intimacy that comes from bringing our wills in line with His. So, as part of my prayer to offer each task, I have added in a prayer for help to persevere in love so as to stay in union with the God.

The time at the retreat, coupled with how I’ve been experiencing God’s presence lately also helped solidfy my belief in all that is unseen around us, and that when doubts press in, I can and will CHOOSE to believe in that which right now seems hidden from me.

And the testimony went great. I have never been one for public speaking but I knew God was calling me to share my story and that as long as I spoke it from the heart, I would be able to get through it. Before I got to the retreat I had come to understand that it was entirely about God and not my own glory, and had let the desire for that go. I wanted only for people’s hearts to be touched, for God. I said a quick prayer before I went up and the Holy Spirit calmed my nerves and helped me to find my place quickly each time I lost it, before I had the chance to stumble.

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– Daily mass on wednesdays even when surrounded by 3 little children continues to nourish my soul. I was filled with such joy and awe this week at God for leading me to make this change and adopt this discipline:
* The simple joy of being here to receive You in the middle of the week.

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-I was reading more from A Mom’s Rule of Life about how order in your home and life can dispose you to contemplation and I long for that, but I realized this week that my mind is still far to preoccupied. I know that the decluttering is still unfinished in most of the rooms and the clutter is one of the things I feel preoccupied about. The other are my projects on the computer that are still unfinished: how far back I am in my photos, and in finishing up blog posts. The solution with the decluttering may be to catch up, but I feel I will probably have to lower my standards a little for what I need done, if I am to ever catch up (and stay caught up) I have built time for this into the schedule but since I still don’t have all the time slots established yet, it is still a challenge. I have to train myself to really look at it, especially just the next section so that I’m not forgetting any minor details.

4. I have a confession to make: The baby has actually been back in disposable diapers for the past couple weeks. I started to always be shrot on liners by doubling them for overnights and then I got sick and it was just easier to use disposables since I had to buy them – at least until I can get a few more ordered. After finally getting caught up on laundry I did finally get back to using the cloth yesterday, even though I am still waiting to be able to put in a new order (and then wait 2-3 weeks for delivery I expect).

5. This week I finally got the chance to go through the cars photos with the kids. I’ve taken pictures of most of their little CARS cars at one point or another, so I thought it would be neat to make a photo album with the pictures for them to look through. I decided I’d have them help me choose which pictures to include, and even help take a few more that we didn’t have yet. They did show more interest in photos of their beloved toys, but they still had a finite attention span for the process.

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6. Something interesting I noticed recently, nowadays I seem to only use my camera if I’m recording one of those gift moments – I guess everything else except school lesson demos I tend not to bother with ; either that or I just see more gifts now. Either way it is definitely affecting my photography.

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The Moment, opening my eyes at the end of my prayer during adoration, to find a yellow handy manny screwdriver being thrust in my face (held by my son)

7. Number seven: because I have nothing else, and my readers might just be interested in being just 10 minutes away from eating warm cookies made from scratch, I present to you: 10 Minute Cookies-Honey Snaps

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1. The routine has continued to be largely a success- when I stick to it. If I get drawn into the computer when I’m checking something quick, or if I’m tired and the house is a mess, these things can get me off track, but we’ve usually done alright to get caught up again.

My mom also gave me an excellent book for my birthday. She had it set aside for herself but decided I could probably benefit from it more than she could, so she passed it on to me. It’s a book about organization, but it’s not just schedules, it aims to help you organize your entire life, especially around what is truly important. It is such a treasure, and what a Godsend! It covers WAY more than just organization, and addresses just about everything I’ve been struggling with or working on for the past 6 months or more!
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It is helping me to see everything in a new light – and to prioritize rightly – I made it easier to discern whether I really need time alone for x or whether I just want it – but am being called to do something else that would use my time better.

2. I have to remember to KNEEL for my times of THANKS!!! I don’t even know Why I stopped doing that. When I kneel I make the moment a hard stop, and it becomes a ceremony, a celebration of thanks.

Humility – Jesus = the way to God — why is He the only way? BECAUSE God is pure and holy, He is the purest love. And most all of us can admit that we are not.


God’s mercies are new every morning — not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you. It right there in there in the sky every morning: Every sunrise proves the burn of His passionate heart.

The car can fail today and the kids and the dog and the fire detector and the dishwasher and the doctor and the whole free democratic world and it’s entire economic system but the mercies of God cannot and will not fail and His faithfulness is not merely great– it is unwavering.

Nothing is too much to handle when I think about the so much from His hand.

And the way out of the pressing “too-much” — is to whisper thank you for the providential “so-much”.

Levi breathes. He breathes pneumonia hard. And this world is hard as nails and Christ knew it and that’s why He came.
http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/09/when-its-all-pressing-too-much-youd-like-answers/

3. I did it! I took all 3 kids to mass on Wednesday, by myself. And actually, it wasn’t quite as bad as I’d thought. Phew!

Here’s what it looked like…

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4. I had my first really frustrating time with trying to teach my kids this week. It was only the second day we worked on writing skills, and I was trying to help my oldest draw squares. Somehow I ended up wrestling with him for 2 hours. He’d do a pretty good one so I’d ask him to do jsut one more, to show me that he was really getting the concept, and he always stalled and complained at having to do jsut one more that by the time he went and tried again he’d forgotten and I had to teach him all over again. This went on for a while. I didn’t want to force him, but I didn’t want to let him off the hook either, so I jsut kept asking him again and again. He knew he was being really stubborn and difficult, and I couldn’t let that slide. So in the end, the time hopefully strengthened his will to obey; it certainly strengthened my patience!

5. Since DH transfered downtown he has been telling me of all the neat things he sees from his 6th floor waterfront office and snapping pictures of ships and such with his iPhone. Last week we finally got to have a quick tour of Daddy’s work – just before his team all got moved down to the ground floor in the middle of the building.

This is what they had to give up:
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The kids and I sure enjoyed ourselves.

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6. On Saturday we went to get professional pictures taken. One of DH’s coworkers had had us in for a session free of charge and I really liked some of the poses and things, but was really not happy with the end result, so I was still looking to get a proper family photo to put up over the couch etc (except that above the couch is a window). As someone so in love with photography, it kind of bothers me that we don’t have very many nice photos up, especially when I go to non-photography enthusiasts homes and see the put-together professional photos of their whole family. A month or so back someone came to our door offering a discount on a photo-shoot and an 11×14 photo and I snapped it up. Then I had to figure out what clothes I wanted us to wear, but in the end I settled on bright colors, a different one for each of us. I love fun colors and bright photos.

I don’t think I will be disappointed this time. This guy is a professional with a fabulous studio and fabulous portfolio. I get to see the raw takes on Saturday. He is letting me look at all of them, rather than narrowing them down by making his own decision as to what I would like. I really appreciate this, and respect him for operating this way; since they are to be my photos, I would like to be the one to choose the best.

I also stumbled on an article to make your own macro lens for your iPhone. I think it’s pretty neat. Check out these macros, they’re way better than my camera lens could take!
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7. We finally had another movie night. DH and I saw this one way back in theatres, before I think any of the kids were even though of. The kids had picked it out at the library, and both DH and I were interested in watching it again, so I googled around a bit and put together a simple dinner to go along with it. (simple in theory, DH had to step in to help because things weren’t going well in the kitchen!)
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1. My birthday was on the weekend. Turning 26, was not quite as controversial a birthday for me as 25 (I started to feel old last year, 1/4 of a century is a LONG time and of course, 25 is practically 30 and then you’re over the hill :P)
I will be giving the day it’s own post at some point (that’s the plan anyway) but it was one of the best birthdays ever. I left it up to God and the day before DH asked if he could play in his work softball tournament next day, and when none of his friends were free it was decided that I could play too. So we did. And it was a ton of fun, a time of community etc with DHs old coworkers and I even scored a run (finally!) Running that hard did however leave me feeling pretty sore the next day, and almost a week later I still haven’t got all the kinks worked out.

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After that I had not 1 but 2 home-cooked birthday dinners. My mom was out of town until evening so even Sunday brunch was out for her, but my borther offered to cook for me there instead. I requested the awesome chili and creme fresh they sreved at their wedding. Then on Wednesday evening my mom cooked a 4 course meal for me: leek and potato soup, spaghetti with two homemade sauces, her famous caesar salad and the piece de resistance: strawberry mousse 🙂 Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I wish I had a better photo.
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2. The routine has gone alright the week, especially given the fact that I’ve been sore all week since playing softball. The house became more of a mess over the weekend – I guess with my birthday I gave myself a bit of a pass on the housework that day, and then again because I was so sore on Sunday. All the stuff I was on top of, well, I wasn’t anymore. As a result there really wasn’t much chance to do further delcuttering, as I spent most of the week just playing catch up and trying not to get behind in anything else. I did get the play food/real life play things (doll clothes, cash register etc) all gathered up into a storage tote this week to join the trains though 🙂

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Because the social aspect of school is so important for DH and because it seems to be the only way to see another family, we are going to start going to the library on Moday mornings. I actually wrote that Monday’s school acitivty cna be social time, for kids AND mommy! I actually think it will work out really nicely and could even facilitate going to daily mass one day a week – gulp.

Yet God also led me to an even better opportunity to address DH’s concerns than the library. As I was finishing off my routine for DH to print, I was still working to incorporate exercise, especially getting out the door for a walk. I remembered how the mom of 6 says they’re all done schooling by 3pm and the kids are out the door to play and the thought magically popped into my head: Why not walk to the playground each day to meet the school bus and let my boys play with the other kids after they get off the bus? It would let my son ‘see 5 other kids at the same time.’ I was fairly sure that at least on nice days this would be a practical option as enough kids would stay behind to play and enjoy the sunshine so we tried it on wednesday and there were about 6 other boys little enough to be around my son’s age (He’s 4 and they were 5-7) that stayed to play for about half an hour.
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3. I awarded the first CAR! ! My middle kid earned his 10th star on sunday night and got his first car. My oldest has *ahem* 2 stars so far.
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Also, one night my oldest told Daddy that mummy knew all the lorax songs, so Daddy said ‘she can teach them to you’. My son replied, “Mummy’s always teaching us stuff’ 🙂

4. Faith notes

Rosary dilemma – I’ve decided to go back to the 1 person a day roation I used to have for offering things up. I’ve also found a block of time when I can get away from at least the two biggest kids and pray the rosary, alone, in my room. It’s only after we’ve read their rosary book, eaten breakfast and gotten dressed and tideid their room that I will put the tv on. And when I first do they are the most engaged in it. So 10 minutes is spent getting kids dressed and their room done and that leaves 20 minutes of free time where I can actually disappear! The first morning I just knelt on the bed and didn’t try to do ANYTHING else and it was so much more effective. I spent time feeling so close to God and Mary and I even smelled roses, while the kids sat on the couch (as opposed to getting into trouble!)

– I came across this really neat commentary on Jesus’ Baptism. It was posted as a comment on Spiritually Unequal Marriage, in response to this post: Where Did it Go?

“This brings me to something I listened to on a TV program concerning Jesus’ becoming the High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Food for thought…It comes from first John the Baptist’s ministry and then to the actual baptism of Jesus. First they asked the question as to why John was not sent to the Temple to preach repentence and baptism. They said that it was because the priesthood was contaminated with sin and therefore God sent John out in the wilderness to separate himself from them and to preach Christ’s coming as prophecy predicted. Now here is the awesome part (I hope I can convey it correctly). When Jesus went to the Jordan it wasn’t to be purified from sin as we know but it was so that God Himself would anoint him as the High Priest for the people according to the Old Testament Ordination of Aaron concerning annointing the High priest (see Numbers 8). They studied the traditions of how High priests passed down the office of High priests to their sons. There was a ceremonial washing of water, then the High priest anointed his son with oil. when this was done they would say “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” thus passing on the role to the son.”

-I read this habit-making post this week and these words really stood out: “do things at the same time every day and find your self a different person”. All I could think was, “Oh My Goodness YES!!!!!!!!!!!!” It is amazing the difference implementing a simple routine is making in my life!

-But I need this: How to Cultivate the Habit of Focus . . . . . in an Age of Distraction

5. We had good school time every day this week and finally got to try out everything I’ve been trying to incorportate. Since I didn’t feel up to hauling out the bikes I decided we could just play some running games in the back yard as our ‘gym time’. Trouble is, even red light green light is almost beyond them and other than tag I couldn’t think of anything besides our jail game to get them running around. So I’m asking my readers, what are some good gym games we can play to get the kids moving? My kids are 4 and almost 3.

6. I have been working to reincorporate cheese back into my diet. I kept forgetting to have it daily but whenever it would cross my path I decided to stop hesistating and go for it, a little at a time. I’ve also bene trying ot have a single english muffin spread with cream cheese in the mronings. Well, it must be working, because on Monday night CCO ordered pizza for dinner and I had two pieces. 2 pieces of take-out cheese-covered pizza, of the knid that made me feel just awful the next day – and I hardly felt a thing! Also, while baby was squirmy with gas and kept me up for an hour in the middle of the night, he DIDN’t scream the whole time, so that is also progreess 😛 Operation Cheese-Re-integration is a success!

7. Last year my 2 year old had a Wiggle themed birthday part which he loved, so when I heard the wiggles were coming I thought I’d like to take him this year. Turns out it’s their last tour together as we know them, as three of the 4 will be moving on to other things and will be replaced. Yikes! Clearly this is the time to go!

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I bought 3 tickets, one for me and one for both of the bigger boys, as my oldest also expressed interest in seeing them. I made them a chain to count down the days… I think I might be as excited as they are!
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