Friday, April 30, 2010

Mamma M's 5 Question Friday: April 30, 2010

If you could, would you go back to high school?

Nope. And I swear it's not because I was knocked up! I actually loved high school. I had great friends, great teachers, great activities... my high school life was really the setting for a great pre-teen chapter book... up until the part where I got off track.

I would never choose to go back to high school because I'm so much happier and fulfilled and confident now that I've grown up a bit... now that I've gotten over that invincibility complex that plagues the teenage population.. now that I'm living for other people. I really think that happiness is found in bringing happiness to other people, and I hadn't yet learned that in high school- at least not until Big Sister made her big debut.

2. If a genie appeared and granted you two wishes, what would they be? (And, no saying "more wishes".)

Right now, at this moment?
1- to find the magic answer to disciplining Little Mister... or the consistency/patience/backbone... whatever it is that I'm missing!

2- For our house to be finished- inside/basement/outside/yard and all... and maybe a blacktop driveway to finish it off!

3. What kids show do you secretly like?

Shows... there aren't really any I actually like, but I love Meet the Robinsons. It's the best kids' movie!

4. What is your beverage of choice?

McDonald's Diet Dr. Pepper or Sonic's Strawberry Watermelon Diet Coke (a pregnancy craving that stuck!)

5. What is something that you would change about yourself (or are working to change in yourself)?

I'd be one of those parents who is disciplined enough to keep a consistent schedule... and I'd be more adventurous in the bedroom.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

500 Miles of Happiness

Life is feeling pretty good right now.

Preparations for this morning's play date meant that my house was sparkling this morning, and the cancellation of said date meant that it stayed clean all day!
Since I was caught up on housework for once and had no plans, I spent a large part of the day just playing with the kids. We played old school Nintendo (Mario Brothers I), played with My Little Ponies and pirates, and took a trip to the local trout park to feed fish and play on the playground. I even took the opportunity to climb and swing on the jungle gym with them. The camera was neglected so we could just live the afternoon instead of trying to capture it.

Tomorrow I will pack up the kids and head to St. Louis to spend Big Sister's 2 days off school. I'm not sure what we'll busy ourselves with, but it'll be two days away from home and life!

This weekend, I'll be making two cakes: A very simple dinosaur cake and a Somewhere Over the Rainbow cake. I'm SO excited about the second one! If all goes as planned (never a guarantee in the cake world), I'll be posting pictures of the edible ruby slippers next week.

I'm not sure why I'm not bothered by the leak that continues in our replacement engine in spite of the trip to the shop on Monday... or the ever growing grass that begs for our lawn mower to return from the shop... or the five pounds that I let myself acquire over the last month (two are have already disappeared)...

I suppose life just isn't meant to be wasted being upset for too long. When life delivers a real disaster to endure, it's so much easier to shrug off leaks and money shortages and burnt dinners. You finally get that happiness is a choice, not bred by pleasant circumstances. Or you don't... and you're stuck seething, filled with self pity. I've been talking with Big Sister about this very topic a lot lately. She's at the height of that phase where finding the wrong vegetables on her plate makes her world fall apart. I think I hear, "This is the worst day of my life!" at least three times a week. I feel sorry for the kid, stuck in all that pouting. I am ever repeating to her that happiness is her choice... but at nine, I think she's a few years (or decades) away from wanting to hear me.

I just hope that I'm living as an example. I sure feel happy in my life, but sometimes I wonder if I'm acting happy enough. I'm trying to make a point of smiling more, being silly more, just visibly enjoying life more often. The other night, in response to some backseat bickering, Hubby and I spent the ride home from Mass belting I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers a cappella. The kids thought we were insane as this is not a typical scene in our minivan, but it was great to be acting goofy with each other in front of them.

Princess Cake

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook: April 27th

For Today... April 27, 2010

Outside my window... There's so much GREEN outside! We've been waiting for three weeks the 80's riding mower my parents gave us to be serviced. Any day now would be great... our lawn is begging to be mowed again!

From the kitchen... A huge batch of stuffed peppers. I made fifteen today and have enough stuffing left for 15 more. They freeze like a dream and make the perfect lunch for Hubby! I made a version of this recipe last night- not too bad!

I am wearing... jeans and a pink, long sleeved tee. And bare feet.

From the Learning Rooms... We're going back to relearn how to write lowercase a's this week. Little Mister has gotten quite lazy about them lately! I'm also hoping to make some more progress on spelling and word families.

I am creating... patches for Big Sister's jeans. She has three pair that she's worn through, and she asked for some crazy patchwork to cover the holes in her knees.

I am praying... for the next few days to be exciting and motivating for my husband... and for sanity through the weekend. It's just me and the kids while Daddy's away at his military drill!

Around the house... Laundry is caught up, but the family room is atrocious! There are blankets, toys, games, and pillows strewn all over. The room has turned into a group effort!

One of my favorite things... Yard Sale-ing! Ashley and I packed the kids into the van and headed out Friday and Saturday mornings last weekend! I forgot how much I liked digging through other people's discarded belongings!

A few plans for the rest of the week... two cakes and the last night of teaching religion classes. Big Sister is off school Thursday and Friday, so we're hoping to make a trip to the Magic House later this week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

A blast from the past for you. I found this picture of Hubby and I in a pile of my baby sisters prints. It's from the weekend I accepted his proposal.

Slip of the Tongue

Little Mister is a pretty smart cookie, but he's like all kids- sometimes he gets his words a little mixed up. He used to say bana instead of banana... you know, like all little ones. I know that I'll cary one such slip of the tongue as a cherished memory, and I'll be a little sad when he finally gets it right. See, Little Mister can't quite grasp the concept of the 'w' in wife. Instead, he says life. The replacement of one tiny letter makes me smile and reflect on marriage every time the word comes into his 4-year-old conversations.

After Aunt Amanda accepted her boyfriend's marriage proposal, Little Mister said with great excitement, "Mamma, now Dan will finally have a life!"

Hilarious, yes, but other times, like today, he talks about his daddy. He says something like, "Mamma, I'm so glad that you married Daddy and became Daddy's life." Yes, son. Me too. I'm eternally grateful to have a husband who really does make me his LIFE.

And sometimes he's just cute. Sometimes he'll talk about growing up and getting married. And when he does, I always point out that God might want him to be a priest or single when he grows up. And inevitably, he says, "But Mom, I want to have a life!" And then we get to talk about the incredible life of a priest and the unique abilities possessed by those called to the single life.

Whenever we talk about wives, no matter how hard I'm laughing, I'm compelled to say a quick, silent prayer that he lives as if the two words truly have the same meaning. I pray that, should he be called to marriage, he makes his wife his life... a life centered around and enveloped by God's love.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook: April 12th

For Today... April 12, 2010

Outside my window... Blue skies, and the buds of leaves. The tree limbs are so thick, that I imagine by next week, the sky view from this window will be all but blocked by leaves!

From the kitchen... we had a yummy italian concoction I threw together last night. chunks of Red onions, zucchini, red pepper, chicken and garlic sautéed in olive oil and Italian seasoning and tossed with spaghetti noodles... delicious!

I am wearing... green pj pants and a t shirt. My allergies are killing my motivation this morning!

From the Learning Rooms... basic reading, math, and writing this week!

I am creating... vacation plans! We announced the plans to the kids last night. They're all excited about heading to the Rockies!

I am praying... for a fruitful week and inspiration to add love and comfort to our home. I could really use some productivity and motivation!

Around the house... Laundry is hanging on the line with the bumblebees nosing around! I'm starting to get good at ignoring them. A kitchen floor begs to be mopped, and I really need to figure out what's keeping my vacuum cleaner from it's suction potential!

One of my favorite things... Yard Sale-ing! Ashley and I packed the kids into the van and headed out Friday and Saturday mornings last weekend! I forgot how much I liked digging through other people's discarded belongings!

A few plans for the rest of the week... a huge photo session this afternoon, a soccer game for big sister tonight, maybe a play date later this week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Little Miss and her cousin (my cousin's daughter) yesterday

Saturday, April 10, 2010


When Big Sister was nine months old, we tagged along with my parents and sisters to visit my big brother in Colorado. We toured the US Mint, visited Boulder, and poked our way around Denver for a few days.

When Big Sister was 5 and Little Mister was just a few months old, my mother and I loaded them up and took off across the state of Kansas to visit my brother again. This time our trip was crammed to the max with a train ride on the Georgetown Loop, a stop at Red Rocks, hiking and camping in the stunning Colorado Flattops (three hours drive into the stix followed by a hike into the middle of the Rockies' wilderness... no campsite for these explorers!), a visit to Dinosaur National Monument across the border in Utah, the butterfly house and train yard. It was a busy trip, but SO much fun!

And now... we're going back! It's official. In June, Hubby and I will pack the kids into the minivan and head off for the Centennial State. It will be the first visit for Little Miss and my husband. What's more, it will be our first vacation with our family alone.

We'll spend a few days exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, stop by Boulder (which offers one of my two favorite downtown shopping areas in the country), and head to Denver for the remainder of our trip to revisit Red Rocks, The Mint, and gear ourselves up for whatever may be up my big brother's sleeve!

We're not headed to the coast, so I'm still a tiny bit jealous of all you who will be laying on a beach with a book and the scents and sounds of the ocean... makes me more relaxed just thinking about it!

But there is something indescribably majestic about the Colorado Rockies. Just being there makes me feel small, but not in a feeble sort of way. There, I am keenly aware of God's care... so very humbled to be living my life... and simply safe in His arms. I am so sincerely thankful that I get to share this glimpse at God's exquisite creation with my family.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


A child emptying an entire bag of cat food onto the floor sounds just like the sound of a child digging a hand into a box of cereal.

My advice: Do not assume your child is getting a snack.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What I've Learned in My Two Weeks of Line Drying Clothes

When making the decision to line dry laundry, one should consider the following:

1. That fitted tank top that always shrunk down to the perfect fit in the dryer can be donated as its days of cute fittedness have passed.

2. There is a circumstance in this world where jeans do, in fact, need to be ironed.

3. Purchase an iron and ironing board as the clothes line does not come with a wrinkle free setting.

4. Towels will certainly resemble a combination of cardboard and sandpaper and will now make the perfect exfoliator.

5. Items that could in any way resemble the color of a flower will certainly be investigated by a bumble bee or two. Blue, pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, and white items resemble flowers. Consider purchasing a black wardrobe, or steak out your getaway path before hanging items of these colors.

6. Collecting clothing from the line after dark may be hazardous. Tread carefully.

7. That sun-dried scent may not be all it's talked up to be. Although it may not smell awful, prepare yourself for confusion and disappointment after taking a whiff of freshly dried clothing.

8. Smile, cross your fingers, and pray that a lower electric bill comes to make all the insanity worthwhile!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook: April 5th

For Today... April 6, 2010

Outside my window... What a gloriously beautiful Easter Sunday we had here! A few wispy clouds, bright, warm sunshine, and a breeze made for a fantastic day with family!

From the kitchen... Leftover corn chowder for lunch today, and for dinner, $1.99 Family Night Happy Meals from McDonalds!

I am wearing... blue yoga pants, white tank, bare feet.

From the Learning Rooms... I've promised Little Mister that we'll learn about tornados this week in preschool. I believe that the old soda bottle tornado project is in order!

I am creating... too many things at once! I'm behind on edits for 2 photography sessions, have one to photograph Wednesday (a first birthday session!), and have a cake in the works for this weekend!

I am praying... humble thanks for keeping my husband and youngest child safe Sunday when they were T-boned by a sixteen-year-old driver. I cannot imagine what I would've done had I been driving to an accident that had left my baby or my husband permanently injured or dead... Seeing our van crunched in the ditch and knowing that the emergency lights were for my daughter was bad enough, and I already knew that she and Hubby were safe and healthy.

I'm pondering these words... Women’s sexuality requires “priming,” while guys are just about always “ready to roll.” A lot of that priming has to happen in her head: thinking affectionately about sensual things, bathing, primping and flirting - the kinds of things wives tend to leave at the altar or in the birthing room. ~Dr. Laura

Around the house... Lots of light fixtures are sitting on boxes awaiting installation, and I'm hoping that the rain doesn't prevent us from mowing the grass Thursday evening!

One of my favorite things... Watching my children get along. It's a sad fact that this doesn't happen often enough, but when the three of them are truly playing happily together, it's the best sound in the world!

A few plans for the rest of the week... a soccer game for big sister tonight, an endless string of phone calls to insurance companies, finalizing taxes! Last year we mailed them on April 15th, so we're improving slightly this year by mailing them in by the 7th!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

One of myself for a change! My cousin snapped a couple of Hubby and I at our family shindig over the weekend! And look- no double chin, tummy or anything!

Sunday, April 4, 2010