Friday, March 29, 2013

Resolution #13 Laundry Room Clean Out

Yes, folks, it is that time of year.   Let me tell you a bit about my laundry room.  It is located just steps from the kitchen, between the kitchen and the garage.  However, you do not need to go through it to get from one to the other.  I have shelves all over for extra food items (think Sams Club Pantry), paper products and our spectacular number of swim towels.  Some are attached to the wall up high (needing help for retrieving many things) while others are those plastic cubby like shelves that I can move around.  I have a number of hooks for drying wet suits and hanging sweatshirts in a convenient spot by the garage.  Since the washer is receiving a check-up today and I've spent most of this week finishing other tasks, I thought that this is a great resolution for this week!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Resolution #12

Send a card.  To someone.  For no reason or for a reason.  Perhaps you've heard that they are having a tough time.  Or better, a blessed time.  Maybe, you've lost touch.  Or you're the kind of friends that never lose touch because of simple gestures such as these.  Makes me think of the Hallmark commercials of the 80's and the song "reach out and touch, somebody's hand, make this world a better place if you can".  I love this resolution.

Sent a very belated condolences card to an old, old friend.  Sent one for a recent death, too.  Sent some Easter cards just updating my brothers on our busy life.  Sent one to the best friend of my childhood since I will be in her state next month.  Once I got started, I just couldn't stop.  I've got a stack that I'm carrying around now to send out whenever I get the chance to jot a few words, like while at baseball practice.  I, alone, may save the postal service.

Resolution #11

Did I mention I now work?  I imagine so, a few times even.  What I have found is that there are times in my day I am wound tighter than tight.  At some point I remembered a skill I worked on last year, but I have dropped... 10 deep cleansing breaths.  So, I am in better shape than when I started... I no longer cough when taking the breaths.  However, because I have a hard time staying IN THE MOMENT, I usually have moved on about breath five or six.  A work in progress!  BUT the best part is that it truly works.  I need to find a moment to just do it rather than do it in the moment.  Be prepared instead of reacting.  Hmmm that could be its own resolution.  maybe.

Just to chat...

I am trying to remember the resolutions that I've been working on this winter.  They were written on a paper that I cannot find.  Some of them I can look around the room and see the results.  Others, not so much, which explains why today I went in and changed numbers around.  See, I remember when I made the resolution to pray, the week of Lent.  So when I compared my resolutions to the calendar, I noticed I needed to make a change.

Resolution # 6 - clean out that drawer.  Since then I've cleaned out at least 2 more drawers.  BONUS!
Resolution #7 - formal prayer, for others.  Yes.  At least once a day, if not twice a day, I am saying a rosary or a decade of the rosary for others who need prayers.  This is kinda a personal issue, so the only other thing I'm going to say is great peace.  It gives me great peace.
Resolution #8 - Appointments made for most of us.  Some have to wait until after Spring Break, others were fit in over the time off.  Hero Daddy is still balking.
Resolution #9 - Yes.  And no.  Some done, more to go.  Partially because I am still cleaning out file boxes stored in various places around the house.
Resolution #10 - Oh did I wig out the first time something got spilled on my beautiful cabinets!  Might manage to keep them looking nice now because I am so proud of my work!

In cleaning out a drawer, I discovered that I had purchased a maintenance plan for the washer I bought nearly two years ago.  Today, they are coming out to do a check-up!  Putting my money to good use!  Amazing the things you discover!  Happy Good Friday!

Resolution #7

I made some decisions concerning our Lenten Journey and thought that perhaps it would be this week's resolution, but instead I made it just about ME.  Pray every day.  I don't always remember to take time for formal prayer every day.  I always seem to accomplish that "Dear Lord, Help Me!" prayer and the "Jesus, thank you so much" prayer.  But it seems to be all about me and I feel prayer should be more than that.  These are my resolutions and this means something to me... something more than just memorizing something else or cleaning something else.  This is my resolution... formal prayer for others every day.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resolution #10

Though it has been many years, I can still remember the shock I felt when someone told me they had had professionals in to clean the outside of their kitchen cabinets.  Really?  I mean, REALLY!  I guess, if you have the money and it isn't a task you can bear, than go for it.  But, when I created my list of things to accomplish in 2013, cleaning the outside of the kitchen cabinets was on it, so it was a job I tackled.  Now, maybe you love cleaning and stay on top of it in which case, we need to spend more time together so that you can rub off on me.  Cleaning the outside of the kitchen cabinets is NOT a regular job around here unless of course it is an obvious thing.  I must say, as I smelled the clean smell and say the shine, I felt like I should do it more often than every few years.  Just saying!

Tackle that cleaning job that needs to be done more often!  Told you I'd been busy!

Resolution #9

Tackle a paperwork job!  See, part of my issue with getting the mail is SO MUCH IS JUNK!  I'm working on it.  And last year I set up this fabulous system for shredding.  I put the shredder in a box, and then I put the papers that need to be shredded into the box.  Then the box begins to overflow.  Then I move the box, add a bag, do anything but actually shred.  So, I set aside a week last month to begin shredding.  I shredded while I waited for  my coffee or while my email loaded.  I shredded each morning until the darn thing overheated.  I tried to remember to have Teen Boy shred when he got home, but most days he ignored me, and so therefore though it mostly got done,  it didn't completely get done.  But we're finishing it this week over Spring Break.

Maybe you have a stack of very important papers to file or to deliver to a safe deposit box or to mail.  Maybe you just have a huge stack of magazines that need to be read or recycled.  Tackle some paperwork job and you'll feel accomplished.  Even though we haven't finished, now that the papers are no longer in multiple boxes, I feel better!

Resolution #8

Be healthy.  Maybe you've been putting off that mammogram.  I must say DON'T!  My friend's breast cancer was a stage 0 because they found it when she went for her BASELINE mammo.  Seriously.  Maybe you've got a funny spot.  Or worse, your kiddo does and your hairdresser found it 2 months ago when trimming their hair and have now found it again and reminded you again.  Maybe you have a pathological fear of the Dentist.  I promise you, dental care providers are truly loving people that just want to help keep you healthy!  I digress...

Make that appointment you've been procrastinating about making.  Maybe you can even convince your spouse that you'll go with him if it is HIS appointment that needs to be made.  Putting your head in the sand never solved anything.  Appointments for myself, LRHB and maybe Hero Daddy are the tip of the ice berg.

Resolution #6

Remember about this time last year (or rather last winter) when I was taking back control of my home one room at a time?  I have to tel you again, sometime in the hosting of guests and the stockpiling of stuff, I lost the control again.  However, that's not where I'm headed today.  In my final moment to be FINISHED with my bathroom (old medicines - gone, old jewelry - gone), I swiped EVERYTHING left on the counter, all that stuff that didn't have a place, yet, into the top drawer.  I dumped the drawer and cleaned it out.  More icky jewelry.  What do you do with those buttons that remind you of something great?  I'm sure there is something on Pintrest, but I don't do Pintrest.  Half used samples... really?  What was I thinking?

Anyway, you have a drawer like that... I know it.  You dread looking in it for anything cause you'll just be reminded of what a disaster it is.  Join me.  Clean it out!  I must say, I put those buttons back in a box and back in that drawer, for another day, however, I love that I can open it now with PRIDE!

More on our Lenten Journey

We may not make it.  Lord, forgive us.  But I want to share another activity we'll be doing as part of our Lenten Journey because you might want to do it to and I want you to have that chance.  Resurrection Cookies went around our playgroup when the big boys were playgroup babies.  To have two adults is ideal as one can be reading the bible verse while the other is overseeing the baking.  I still remember the look of awe on the big boys faces when we shared that first cookie on an Easter morning so very long ago.  I cannot wait to see it on the LRHB's face.  Blessings!

Resurrection Cookies
These cookies are really delicious and making them together as a family is a great way to experience the Easter message.
Read the whole recipe before beginning … try to do together Saturday night before Easter Sunday.
Ingredients: You Need:
1-cup whole pecans mixing bowl cookie sheet
3 egg whites wood spoon tape
1 cup sugar Bible
1 tsp. Vinegar zipper baggie
1 pinch of salt waxed paper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3
Let child smell vinegar. Put 1 tsp. into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30
Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11
Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1-cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 11-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3
Fold in broken nuts. Drop by tsp. onto waxed paper-covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matt. 27:65-66
Put cookie sheet in the oven. Close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66
Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22
On Resurrection Morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie! Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Resurrection Day, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9

ps.  many kid's do not like nuts in their cookies.  I remember leaving the nuts out of most and just putting them in a few.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Resolution Recap

Yes, I know I've only made 5 resolutions (that you know about) so far, but I still want to recap for you.  First, my list of things I want to accomplish this year contained nothing fun, so I went back an amended it to include fun things not just chores.  Next, I am really trying to keep my calendar in one place so that I don't forget about anything (like breakfast with a friend... still feeling sorry for that).  Third, I had completely forgotten about sticking to one plate at dinnertime.  But, recalling the last couple nights dinners, I have been sticking with one plate.  Perhaps, I've made that a habit.  Too bad I've added a bedtime snack that isn't awful, however, it isn't necessary.  I've found that I stick resolution 4 during the week, but on weekends, I forget about it.  By the evening I am dragging and dehydrated.  Target area to work on!  Finally, I find that cleaning out my wallet is a work in progress.  However, I've been using my gift cards instead of having them sit in a drawer!  So that's where I stand for the first five weeks.  I do find it interesting that the List of Things to Accomplish is 2013 is an evolving piece and has been a great place to seek resolutions.  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book 16/17

I Left My Heart by Debbie Macomber is a perfect Spring Break read.  Entertaining, satisfying, quick.  I swear I've read these two tales before, but I searched through my book list spreadsheet (yes, I have one of those) and couldn't find them so maybe it was before I started tracking and blogging.  Also, I could read them with the Day 3 migraine that has moved in.  Not accomplishing quite as much as I wanted this break.  Sigh.  

Our Lenten Journey

As I look back over Lent, I had such HIGH HOPES for learning and teaching and being a devout person.  I printed off a bunch of stuff to teach LRHB all about choosing a new Pope.  Then they chose him in like a New York minute so that we didn't get to do that.  I did hours of research on Saints and Feast Days.  In reality, those hours would have been better spent teaching what little I did know or learning together.  I registered for Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure for LRHB.  Didn't do any of those.  So, near as I can figure it, with five days to go to Easter, we've done very little to prepare ourselves.  In fact, our annual bean jar didn't come out until last weekend.  LRHB is lamenting that he's not going to get many jelly beans INSTEAD of lamenting that he hasn't prepared or been preparing for Lent.  However, MY GOD doesn't want me to beat myself up, he wants me to move forward and prepare.  So I am going to recount what we've done and what we're doing this week.

  1. Researched Saints and Feast Days.  Now I did learn about Saints and Feast Days.  Perhaps, I will share and perhaps not.  But the couple of hours I spent reading should count, right?
  2. Read the Rhyme Time Bible about Exodus and the story of Moses.
  3. LRHB joined me for the above.
  4. Watched Prince of Egypt and discussed further the story of Moses.
  5. LRHB joined me for the above
  6. Read the "real" Bible about Exodus and the story of Moses which was much more detailed.
  7. LRHB joined me for the above.
  8. Teen Boy (under duress) joined me for the above.
  9. Teen Boy went to Mass.  Perhaps I shouldn't count this, but it was such a blessing to me as he'd not gone in a long while.  In fact, he was sick at Christmas and didn't go then.
  10. Discussed the Papal election process and read to the LRHB For the Children, Words of Love and Inspiration from His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
So ten steps down and 30 to go. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book 15

I ventured back into the non-fiction side and I've partly read a couple books that had to go back to the library, but this one I read quite quickly.  It was an easy read and compelling... I wanted to see where this was going!  365 Thank Yous:  The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik was truly inspiring even to a gal like me that sees the glass as almost full, not half empty.  This guy was in a bad place and he was miserable.  But getting lost during a New Year's Day hike inspired him to make a small change which had the proverbial snowball effect!  I think I found this book because the author quoted on the front of the book is Jeffery Zaslow of The Last Lecture which I read on New Year's Day.  So, if you are looking to improve your vision of the world, or just to see how someone else did, try this book!  

Book Club - March

We read the classic My Dog Skip by Willie Morris.  I love that this was a non-fiction read for the kids.  It took them back to a time when kids ran through their small town community with their friends, growing up together and having adventures without worrying about "predators".  Yes, Mr. Morris addressed issues of the time like WW 2 and equality among different races, however, he touched on it as if it were truly through the eyes of a young boy, not an old man recalling his life.  Oh, did I hear about it though, for choosing this book.  The vocabulary was QUITE IMPRESSIVE and daunting for a few of us!  So be warned, if you decide to tackle this book, you can 1) keep a dictionary by your side OR 2) skip the big words and insert your own word OR 3) some of both.  I would skip a few, change a few or use the big words and just show my boy how to learn the meaning of the word from its use in the text.

I will say this, I had a hard time getting the movie for our read.  The library had one copy.  I got it and promptly had to return it.  Whoever took it after me, kept it and payed fines because I was number one on the waiting list for two weeks!  So the day of book club, I was a bit in a panic.  The other copy still hadn't been returned.  None of the box stores near me had it, but Barnes & Noble did, so I was off to buy it when I passed a Blockbuster Store.  WOW!  I didn't even know they were still in business!  Would they have it?  I looked and looked and looked.  On my way out empty-handed, I mentioned the title I was looking for.  SOMEHOW I HAD OVERLOOKED IT!  So I now have a new Blockbuster Video account.  And since it is Spring Break, I think we'll be renting some videos.

The other thing was that no one finished the book (partially due to the vocab, partially due to inability to find the book) except me.  So when I mentioned something about how it ended, the moms, wine glasses in hand, were quite alarmed at how their girls would handle it.  Sorry.  I mean, it is a book written in the 90's about a dog that lived in the 40's - it wasn't hard to predict the ending.  And in the movie, as in the book, it was handled delicately and gently and appropriately.  So don't let that be a deterrent from reading the book.  We needed an upbeat read next, so Harriet the Spy it is!

Book Club.... February

I love our book club.   Moms sharing life's joys and struggles while our kiddos watch a movie about a book we've read (or almost finished reading).  This was my promise to my LRHB... a book club where I read aloud to him each month and then I invited his friends over to watch the corresponding movie.  It's been awesome.  The group is growing; unfortunately for my boy, it's growing with girls.  Last month our read was Matilda.  Many of the kids had seen the movie, but not read the book and they were pleasantly surprised how much the book was like the movie.  And I think having a picture of Trunchbull in their mind, at least for my boy, helped make the book a bit less scary.  Next up, My Dog Skip.

So one more thing I haven't had time for...

So in the time I've been awol, I've gotten a new boss... a new religious boss so to speak.  We have a new Pope.  I was a bit bummed when I heard about his age.  In the words of the LRHB, he only had 4 more years of eligibility.  However, I was inspired when I saw him.  He looks SO MUCH younger.  And then I read this which made me smile:

God has a plan.  Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding

Monday, March 18, 2013

A slacker... not really but sorta

I have been busy doing resolutions and getting things done.  I promise.  And when Spring Break starts on Thursday, I will share with you the many different things going on with me.

But today, I wanted to tell you that I have joined a program through my work entitled Spring Into Motion.  Joining this program will serve several purposes.  First, I will be daily recording my exercise, so therefore, I'll be showing up HERE daily.  Next, when I complete this program, I will have enough points in my Healthy Rewards account to get a gift card!  Finally, since I've been a big couch potato, I am really excited to get moving again!  So I am inviting you to join me on my adventure.  Basically I have committed to 6 weeks of walking a minimum of 30 minutes.  More details to come!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I have been OVERWHELMED with sadness.  So overwhelmed, I am thinking I need to go to the doctor to discuss it.  So overwhelmed, that I'm not getting done what I need to.  So overwhelmed that I am crying.  Daily.  Multiple times for multiple reasons.  Because I love my mom so much.  But I love her so much that when I try to write about it, I end up in pieces.  Because I love the people at my job so much that when they are hurting, so am I.  And when I cannot reach inside the cute little selves of "my kids" and reach them, I feel like a failure.  And when those people at my job build me up, I cry from the love I feel.

I am tired of the sadness.  What to do?  Well, try to fix it.  What will make this go away?  Maybe nothing.  Maybe something.  I need to try try try.  Okay.  I miss my people, so I need to read my blogs; they're my friends and I need to connect with them because when I fall behind, I feel sad.  Okay.  I need to write.  I think I really need to write for MYSELF to complete MYSELF.  That is a revelation cause I never ever viewed myself as a writer or as having a desire to be a writer.  I'm not sure why that is because it isn't such a leap... I'm an amazing story teller.  Okay.  I need to create time for my faith, instead of sleep.  I need to work out, cause the endorphins will give me POWER, HAPPY POWER!  Okay.  I need to bring my home into focus.  Not so much the Feng Shui thing but to get my home into an order that gives me peace.  Steps.  Resolutions.  I've come full circle.

I'm inspired now; just need some tunes and my people around me to help and not complain.  Well, at least now that thought has me laughing!  Thank you.  Just being here helps.