Monday, March 25, 2013

Everyday Happenings

**Moms (and Pops) and Tots had their annual Easter Party and Egg Hunt.  In years past, more often than not, the weather does not cooperate and we have to hold the hunt indoors.  I don't think the little ones mind at all.

There was a craft, a story, food, and friends.

**It is no secret that I want to learn to take better pictures.  I know I could make my fancy camera sing if I would just buckle down and read the instruction manual or take a class.  The manual is so boring and I haven't had the chance to take a class.  I did get this from the library and hopefully we'll start seeing improvement soon.

 Of course, I actually have to pick it up to learn from it, but I'm too busy reading....

**A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  So far I like it.  It is book 3 on my list of 12 books in 12 months you see on my sidebar.  That was the goal I set at the beginning of the year.

I've also been reading aloud to all the kids at bedtime.  I've been borrowing from our parish library and so far we've read about St. Theresa of Lisieux and St. Catherine Laboure.  Right now we are reading about St. Thomas More.  The books are geared toward children.  I'm amazed that this has become something they ask for every night and they sit quietly most of the time.  Even Matthew, who at the start of this would say, "Ugh-not again!", now gets his pillow and stuffed animals and cuddles in with the rest of us.

It was Billy and Mary's turn to be on either side of me while I read. They say it's the best spot, but in reality they just like to pounce on me when I've read something incorrectly.  Meanie-heads.

**Found this on my pillow a few weeks back and had to take a picture of it.

click on picture to see it bigger

They make me laugh.

**I may or may not post the rest of the week.  A lot of my blogging friends are taking Holy Week off to be, umm - holy.   I may follow suit.

If you don't hear from me, Have a Happy Easter!! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saying Goodbye To The Colonel

Today I traveled to my hometown.  I went to my former parish church to the funeral mass of a dear friend of my family. 

As a child growing up, I thought Mr. Dart was just some old guy.  He was a grade school classmate of my own mother, and now was the father to a classmate of mine. He and his wife and their 10 children sat in a pew close to us nearly every Sunday.  Sometimes we'd get "stuck" talking to him in the back of the church after mass. On occasion, he'd stop by the house to drop something off and stay for a couple of hours.  He sure could nurse a beer!

So much is lost on the young.

It was only as I grew older did I realize the value of a person like him:  A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, a husband, a father of 10!, a devoted volunteer for the St. Vincent dePaul Society, an accomplished woodworker, and a great story teller. 

I know those little tidbits about him but I really didn't know him.  I knew him more as my parent's friend and my own friends' parent.  But I didn't really have to know him to know he was worth admiring.  He was kind to me.  He smiled a lot, told a lot of jokes, yet always seemed calm and peaceful at the same time.  It was as if he knew this big secret-the secret to a happy life-and if you listened closely enough, you might be able to figure it out.

Sitting there in the pew with my Dad this morning was nothing short of emotional.  I had taken Tommy, Ann, and Matthew with me.  I explained to them that this church held many of our family's grand moments.

St. Laurence was my Mom's lifelong parish.  It was also my mother in law's parish before she was married.  Both mine and Bill's parents were married there.  I received all of my sacraments there, including my marriage with Bill.  It holds fond memories like these, and also the sadness of funerals of family and friends over the years, including my dear Mom's funeral 13 years ago.
That church is home to me.  As I sat there today listening, the priest remarked on how Mr. Dart never doubted his faith.  Maybe that was the big secret he knew all of these years.  It had to be. A never changing, trusting faith that brings you Home.

I found it quite fitting that he went to his final resting place on the Feast of St. Joseph, father and carpenter.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ann's Birthday

On Saturday Ann turned 8 years old!!

The day started with our traditional birthday doughnuts after breakfast.

Later in the day we had to shop for a new dishwasher.  It took forever and the kids were great, so we treated them to these.

Shamrock Shake
Ann wanted a lollipop drawn on the top of her cake.  Mary Kate, my cake decorator, decided to give Ann a few more options.

Ann's choice is circled
Then Mary went to work.

The finished product :

Ann's reaction:

We watched Wreck-It Ralph and had fun foods for dinner.

Ann requested a cake with a vanilla top and chocolate bottom.  Since I use a box mix, I had to figure out what to do with the other half of the batter....hence, the two cakes.

Happy Birthday Ann!!

We love you so much.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Everyday Happenings

**Our living room, also known as the piano room, is only supposed to be used for those playing the piano or reading.  Aside from those two activities, it is off limits.  However, the girls decided to open up a boutique in there the other day.

**Moving along slowly with the powder room renovation.  Bill rented a wet saw and went to town.  I'm just glad he still has all of his fingers.

Did you catch the sneak peak of the wall color?

**Another child who misuses the living room.

Pine cones used as "trees" for his Legos.
**We are now a 6 gallon a week family.

Holy Cow!  (Pun intended)

**Look who is now taking piano lessons.

This little lady is also having a birthday this Saturday.  We plan on watching Wreck-It Ralph while having a pierogie and chicken tender picnic in the family room as per her request. 

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

5 Things About Me

I am lucky to have different groups of friends.  There are lifelong friends, old work friends, mom's groups friends, church friends, etc .  However, there is one particular group of women I call friends even though we have never met.  They are my "blog friends." 

If I weren't a blogger and heard that term "blog friends", I wouldn't understand and I would probably think it was creepy.  But I am a blogger and I get many sweet comments and emails from these women and they make me smile on a daily basis.

Imagine my surprise in the last couple of weeks when I was given an award by one, and tagged to play a game by the other.

My one friend Nancy, from the Breadbox Letters, gave me a Liebster Award. Here is a description of this award.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers.  From what I understand, liebster is German for: "sweetest," "kindest," "nicest," "dearest," "beloved," "valued," "endearing," and "welcoming."

*Blush*  Thank you, Nancy!

My other friend Billie Jo, from Afternoon Coffee and Evening Tea, tagged me today to play a game.

With both of these, the idea of sharing random thoughts about myself was part of the fun and games. I am totally scaling back on all the "rules" but was able to come up with 5 pieces of information that are totally useless to you, but I will share anyway.

Here I go:

1.) I have nice feet.  I love my feet because I have high arches, which makes them pretty.  I would show you a picture of them, but I fear you may not agree.

2.)My favorite snacks are Cheez-Its and Pringles.  However, if I'm feeling particularly energetic, I will make myself a plate of Ritz crackers with cream cheese and an olive on top.  

3.) I must wear shoes while blow-drying my hair. 

4.) One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say, "I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less."  The first way is wrong if your point is to get across to people you don't care at all.  If you "could" care less, you obviously care somewhat Right?

5.) In 8th grade our class had a field trip to Great Adventure.  While waiting in line forever at the Old Fashion Car ride, I fainted.  The first aid people came to my rescue, strapped me onto a gurney, loaded me onto a golf cart- with siren, and took me to the First Aid Center.  It was majorly embarrassing. (my good friend Rose rode with me and I will be forever grateful to her.)

Now, if I were playing the right way, I would "tag" others to play, but my mind is so tired after writing those riveting facts, that I'm going to call it quits.

I hope you all had a nice weekend.



Friday, March 8, 2013


I read a headline this morning on the computer that said, "Top 10 Ugliest Celebrities."

I didn't click on it because I was so disgusted.  I imagined it would show celebs without make-up,  or on vacation wearing bathing suits, or a picture that caught someone in the middle of a sneeze. 

Obviously, there is a two-fold issue I have with this.

The first was - Who in the world authorized that article?  What were they thinking?  Have they no conscience?  Being someone who is constantly worried about whether I hurt someones feelings or not, I can't get over what some people have no problem writing or talking about, and how spreading that filth for the whole world to see doesn't concern them.

I thought about all the good in the world and the feel-good articles and stories that get a small section in the corner of a newspaper or computer screen...if any space at all.  If we were seeing this stuff all the time instead of junk, it would make such a positive impact, especially on our youth.

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.
--Earl Nightingale

When I am If I am ever First Lady of the United States, this is what my platform will be about.  Unlike Michele Obama's platform which deals with physical health, my platform will promote emotional health....How special all life is, how unique we are, and the good we are capable of matter what we look like.   What do you think?  I just made that up.  Can you tell?

My second issue with this is - those of us who read and fall prey to this stuff.  In the instance like the Top Ten article I mentioned above, we're either sucked into watching it like a train wreck and feeling sorry for them; or worse -- wondering what the world thinks of us and how we look.  I wonder what my daughters would think if they constantly read articles like this one.  Would they want to wear make-up, go on a diet, or quite possibly, be afraid to go out in public?

With all of that being said, there are some things in the news that just beg for attention.  I came across this soon after the first article.  This might possibly be the best example of what I tried to say above.

Bieber.  Are you for real?

Someone tell him that he doesn't need to pull these ridiculous antics.  With all of his fans, money, and material things, something still seems missing. Am I right, Biebs? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Mr. Plumber

Dear Mr. Plumber,

Thank you very much for coming to our house today.  I know how busy you must be.  You see, when the floor near our dishwasher became warped, and our sink wouldn't drain properly, I knew I needed your help.

The $59 I spent to have you drive over here and ring my doorbell was money well spent.  I mean, when I think of the gas prices these days, it was well worth it. After that, I was only too happy to hear what you had to say and pay you 39 more dollars for your expert diagnosis.

I was amazed that you determined the problem in 30 seconds flat. You didn't even have to take one pipe apart.  How talented you are!  You sure are an expert in your field.

I was disappointed that I wasn't able to give you more of my money after you told me you couldn't fix dishwashers.  What a shame.  I was hoping to help you put your kids through college.

Best Regards,