Sunday, November 30, 2008

Santa

Well, this is my only decoration that I have out for Christmas. The only reason he is out is because I brought him home from the Dollar Tree and sat him on the shelf back in October. He may be the only decorations we have this year....

The boys and I go back to school tomorrow. We all need the structure and will be glad to go back. I think the boys are really looking forward to going back. They both asked me yesterday and today when it would be school day.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Advent

Advent is upon us. We start observing Advent tonight at the Vigil Mass. Tomorrow morning is the first official day of Advent. I love advent as it prepares us for the coming of Christ. I need to get busy if I am going to have the advent stocking ready to use tomorrow. That was on my list of things to do this season. I can't believe Christmas is almost here. I am so not ready. We have all the gifts bought. I'm just not ready.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to each one of you!

Dennis and the boys gave me the best Thanksgiving present of all - they cleaned the house while I cooked in the kitchen! How sweet was that!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Warm Sweater Wednesdays


Today is the day to turn your thermostat down at least 2 degrees! Put on a sweater and help save the environment! If you turn down the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees at night, you’ll save 5 to 10 percent of your heating bill. It's a good thing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Clemson fans!

The Clemson vs. Carolina game is this weekend. My boys are all prepared with their Tiger Paws painted on their faces! A big thanks to Deniska's teacher who sent me this picture!! I suspect she was the one who painted the tiger paws - she LOVES Clemson. Needless to say, with all the money I have paid Clemson over the years, we are Clemson fans too!! Go Tigers!!

Day: Saturday
Date: Nov. 29, 2008
Location: Clemson, SC
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Monday, November 24, 2008

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another Weekend

This little fellow lives at the Dakota Dinosaur Museum in North Dakota. I love this little fellow because it reminds me to keep my feet on the ground and not to sweat the small stuff. It's OK if the bed doesn't get made because 2 little boys climbed in bed with Mama to watch cartoons. It's OK if the kitchen counters get cluttered with pots and pans as I cook for my family all day. It's OK if the laundry doesn't get folded. It's OK to just enjoy our family and let the other things go by.


I spent this morning making Chex mix. I wanted to make some thank you gifts for Thanksgiving and I thought this would be an easy gift to make. I wanted to give my custodians a bag for some extra work they did this past week to help me. I also wanted to send the boys' teachers a bag for being such good teachers. I think this would be a nice little remembrance and a way to thank you! The boys are excited in that they only have 2 days of school this week. (I'm excited too!)



The boys spent this afternoon gathering pine cones for me. They had a great time doing this. Next week we will start making ornaments and decorations for the holidays.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another tag - this time from Sharon!

Sharon has tagged me! I am getting tagged left and right! How fun!!!

The rules:
Find the 6th folder in your photos folder and then the 6th photo in it.
* Pray that you remember the details *
Post it on your blog
Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.


This picture was made of Nikolai swimming at my friend's house. Isn't he funny?!

OK, I will tag:
Dawn
Heidi
Maisie
Tracy
Nancy

I've been tagged by Maisie!!!

Maisie has tagged me!

I have to tell you 6 things about myself and then tag 6 more people.

1. I am strong in my faith and an activist at heart and will be taking part in more causes. Several are dear to my heart: pro-life, children's causes, and being Eco-friendly.
2. I have been on a cupcake making frenzy lately. My friend, Maisie, calls them Fairy Cakes (I just love that name!)
3. I live in a small house in the country and absolutely LOVE it! I always thought I would like a bigger house but now my little cottage is just right. No way that we can get lost from each other here!
4. I have 5 cats - all who stay in the house when it is cold outside. The oldest is 13 and the youngest is less than a year.
5. I lost my mother almost a year ago. I miss her.
6. We are debt free except for the house. I am a devoted Dave Ramsey fan. I find living debt free goes nicely with going green!

Now, I will tag:
Nancy
Sharon
Dianne
Linda
Robin
Tammy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warm sweater Wednesdays


I have a group of cyber-friends in which we all decided to do Warm Sweater Wednesdays. We will be cutting our thermostats down and wearing a sweater. There are several reasons for this. Once, is that it should save on our heating bill. Who couldn't benefit from that right now? The second reason is, according to my friend Heidi, who lives in Holland, that the Dutch government has told everyone that if they set the thermostat one to two degrees (C that is) lower, that it reduces the CO2 emissions very significantly. Both are good reasons to don a sweater (or two!) These sweaters are from The Daily Apple. Aren't they beautiful?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lunch


"Mom, guess what? When I went to lunch today, I did not have a sandwich!"


"What did you eat?"


"Everything else. Why did you not give me a sandwich?"


"I did. It was in your lunchbox last night. What did you do with it?"


"Maybe someone stole it out of my lunchbox. I bet that's what they did."


"I don't think anyone stole it from your lunchbox. Did you take it out this morning?"


"I dunno. Did you take it out?"


"No. I didn't."


"Maybe Papa took it out."


"Why would Papa take it out?"


"I dunno. I know I put it back into my lunchbox this morning."


We found the missing sandwich on the counter where Deniska had taken it out this morning. Poor little thing just had an apple, gummy bears, chips, cheese stick, and juice for lunch!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday, Monday

I spent Saturday washing clothes! I lost count of the number of loads I did on Saturday and Sunday. What is it with little boys that laundry ALWAYS has to be done? My MIL, Joyce, raised 4 children (3 boys and 1 girl)! I can't image the amount of laundry she did when they were little. Seems I spend more time with my washing machine and dryer than I do with any other appliance - well, except the stove.

Sure enough, after having all the laundry done in the house on Sunday afternoon, this morning there was another load to do. That's not counting the pair of pants I saw in the floor in the boys' room. All of this being said, I am so thankful that I have a washing machine and a dryer. When we were in Russia, I washed clothes in the sink or tub and hung them to dry on the radiators. Come to think of it, maybe doing laundry is not that big of a deal anymore!



Mondays are always a time to reflect for me. I reflect on the weekend and what was or was not accomplished. I reflect on the upcoming week and what will be on my plate. This week promises to be a less hectic week for right now. Last week I was gone every evening for some reason - mostly after school meetings. Those 12 hour days make for a longgggg day. I leave in the dark and arrive home in the dark.

This week promises to be a better week in that respect. I actually left work on time today and arrive home by 4:oo PM! That's a record for me. Dinner is cooked and we are just waiting for Dennis to come home to eat. The boys have all their homework done, their lunch is packed for tomorrow, and they are happily playing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Protest for boys



The boys participated in their first peaceful protest this afternoon. We were praying the rosary outside of our church to show support for Father Newman. We do not feel that the boys were too young to understand what was going on. It is our intention for them to be aware of the teachings of Christ. The church was packed tonight for Mass with many parishioners standing in the back all showing their support. How blessed we are to have Father Newman!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally, a Religious Leader with Guts


This is about my priest, Father Newman, an awesome man of God! I have never been more proud of being a member of this parish than I am right now. Lead on Father! Lead on!! The complete story can be found here:


Finally, a Religious Leader with Guts by Mike Gallagher

I want you to meet a priest from Greenville, South Carolina named Rev. Jay Scott Newman.
He is the pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Greenville.

And he has become my personal hero.

In a nutshell, Fr. Newman told his parishioners that if they voted for Barack Obama, they embraced “intrinsic evil” since Obama's opponent was a “plausible pro-life alternative.” And as a result, those Obama voters need to seek forgiveness from God before they receive Holy Communion again.

Does this guy have guts, or what?

Finally, a religious leader comes along and deals with the 800-pound elephant in the room: how do supposedly religious people reject the sanctity of life and support someone who voted against a “Born Alive Infant Protection” law which would protect babies accidentally born alive after a botched abortion?

Frankly, if that's not evil, I'm not sure what is.

And it takes a priest in Greenville, South Carolina to rise up against all the moral relativism we face in the world and speak the truth.

In a letter posted on the church website, Rev. Newman said that Catholics who voted for a pro-abortion candidate should seek penance for their sin before receiving the Holy Sacrament of Communion, “lest they eat and drink their own condemnation.”

Of course, he's not just making this up. He cites the Bible as the basis for his message, quoting from I Corinthians that forbids partaking of the body of Christ “without recognizing the body of the Lord.”

I'm pleased to report that the response from his congregation has been overwhelmingly positive. According to the priest, church members have approved of his message by a margin of 9 to 1, which leaves me to wonder why those in the minority would see fit to question their pastor.
When discussing this gutsy priest on my radio show this week, a few liberals called in and complained about him “mixing politics with religion.”

It seems to me that life and death issues aren't very political in nature. At least they shouldn't be.

And the fact that the left has managed to turn the issue of abortion into “politics” is simply a deceitful way to try and make the taking of an unborn baby's life something as mundane and ordinary as taxes or fixing potholes.

The Catholic Church has certainly had its hands full in dealing with controversies and ugliness. There is no question that many wish the church would have better handled the terrible scandal of sexually abusive priests over the years.

As a result of that scandal, many Christian- and Catholic-bashers saw fit to condemn the entire Roman Catholic Church with hateful and vicious attacks, despite the fact that millions of loyal, faithful Catholic churchgoers were as appalled by the abusers as anyone else.

But one thing that can be said with clarity and consistency: the Catholic Church has been a beacon in leading the fight against the destruction of the unborn.

Say what you will, but few religious faiths and organizations have had the rock-solid conviction to fight for unborn babies like the Catholic Church has had.

And judging by the actions of this one priest in South Carolina, they're just getting started.
I pray that more priests, ministers, and rabbis follow suit.

How can a spiritual leader stand at the pulpit every week and ignore the slaughter of millions of innocents?

Why would a pastor be inclined to defend an individual, politician or otherwise, who could support partial-birth abortion or the destruction of the life of an unborn baby at any stage?
May a hero like Rev. Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina serve as a wake-up call to sleepy, lazy church leaders who don't want to address this issue, one of the most important issues of our lifetime.

If our church leaders don't fight for the unborn, who will?

Prayer for President-elect, Barack Obama

God our Father, all earthly powers must serve you. Help our President-elect, Barack Obama, to fulfill his responsibilities worthily and well. By honoring and striving to please you at all times, may he secure peace and freedom for the people entrusted to him. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. ~Roman Missal

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gas prices

I took this picture at the gas station today because gas is FINALLY below $2.00 a gallon! Just look at the smile on Dennis' face! He was a happy camper!! (Isn't he cute?!) Of course, I was too because that means I can run all over the county without feeling too guilt about the rising gas prices!

We are not using our natural gas to heat with this winter. It is cheaper for us to use electric space heaters. It helps that we do not get really cold weather too. I have the thermostat set at 58 or some such cold temp. I think the Farmer's Almanac is calling for us to have a warm winter. I would like to have 1 small snow.















The boys had their hair cut today. My hair stylist is so good with them. He cuts it in a nice little boy cut and then gels it for the day. They think they are so cool!!! To celebrate Veteran's Day, they insisted that we do out to eat since we lived in a free country. How do you reason with that? So, we went to Applebee's - mainly because kids eat for $1.50 on Tuesday. They had a good time and received lots of compliments on their new haircuts!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Giveaway

Check out this beautiful quilt. Abbie is giving away one just like it. Read the story behind the quilt. The custom part is if you win, you can pick your favorite color.

The Tooth Fairy


Deniska lost a tooth on Friday morning. He put the tooth under his pillow but unknown to me, he also put a letter to the tooth fairy! When the Tooth Fairy came, she left money but did not answer his letter. Oh dear! This is his letter - corrections are in red:


"Dear tof frey (Tooth Fairy), I am in 2 grade. Did you now (know) that? No Yes

I love you. I love a lot. Do wyepepn (some people) get 5 or 10$? Yes No

Wote es yor fert colow? (What is your favorite color?)

Wat bo you lok lake? (What do you look like?)"


He then drew a picture of the tooth fairy and him. Apparently, the tooth fairy drives a hummer!!


How sweet it this? I have dated it and save it in my Treasure box! Some day, he will enjoy looking at it. I also saved a copy of my reply. It follows as below:


Dear Deniska,
Thank you for your letter. I am sorry that I did not see it when I left your money and took your tooth! I thought the tooth was the only thing under your pillow. Next time I will look closer.

I do love you very much! I think your teeth are so pretty. Do you brush them every day? I want you to take really good care of your teeth. Remember to floss too!

I knew you were in the 2nd grade because I have known you all of your life! You are such a smart boy and I am proud of you!! Always take your time and try your best in school. I know you want to be a dentist when you grow up!

I don’t give people $5 or $10 for a tooth! A $1 is what I give. Maybe I was out sick one night and my substitute might have left more on accident. Don’t worry; I will make a note in my book about that!

My favorite color is orange - just like yours!! I also love all the other colors!

You asked what I looked like? When you close your eyes and think of me, you will see me!
Thank you for a sweet letter!

I love you,
The Tooth Fairy

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Honestly!!


Dennis called tonight and told me what a good time everyone was having! He said at Fort Sumter the rangers had to tell Deniska and Nikolai to quit climbing on the wall!! I told him that he HAD to keep his eye on those boys! Geez!!!

The boys are gone!

Yes, all my boys are gone! Daddy and 2 sons are gone on a weekend adventure to the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC. They just left a few minutes ago and I already miss them! This is were they will be spending the weekend!


This afternoon they are touring Fort Sumter. I would love to be with them!!


I know they will have a good time. I wrote Dennis' cell phone number on a piece of paper for each of the boys to keep in case they get separated from their daddy. (Daddy just doesn't supervise as well as mama!) Anyway, they know if they get lost, they are to find another daddy with boys or a mama with children to help them find their daddy. I told the boys to keep a close eye on daddy to make sure he doesn't get lost. And, if daddy misbehaved to call me and I would "straighten" him out! So much fun for them!! I am excited for them!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Kill

The Most Dangerous Bill in Congress

The Freedom of Choice Act


The Freedom of Choice Act is:

*“a bill in the United States Congress which, if enacted, would abolish all restrictions and limitations on the right of women in the United States to have an abortion, whether at the State or Federal level” - according to Wikipedia

*a way to make sure that minors can get abortions without having to notify their parents - according to the National Organization of Women (the 5th Q&A), which supports FOCA


*a way to force taxpayer-funding of abortion, according to the Family Research Council (the second to last paragraph) here is a link to the actual text of the Freedom of Choice Act

Once the Freedom of Choice Act is passed and signed into law, no Catholic doctor will be allowed to refuse abortion services on account of conscience. No hospital, Catholic or otherwise, will be permitted to opt out of the genocide. And taxpayers will be required to pay for the abortions of all women who can't afford them. These are sad realities, but they are indeed included in this Act. (AmericanThinker)


Last year, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, president elect Barack Obama, made a promise: "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," he said.

If FOCA is passed, it will increase abortions by 125,000 more per year in the United States.

I wonder if he has ever heard of "Thou shalt not kill?"


















For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

OUT with Walgreens, IN with CVS!!


I used to love Walgreens! I went to bed dreaming of the next visit. I could hardly wait to get my gift card loaded for all the items that I bought. It was a love affair made in coupon heaven. Walgreens used to meet my needs! Walgreens used to welcome me with open arms. Lately, he has been cold to my advances. He won't let me use the coupons anymore. He complains when I have more than one coupon for an item. The managers are poorly trained, the cashiers are not trained at all. I mean I can't get mad at the cashiers for following the policy set my their manager. Today was the last straw. I walked into Walgreens not feeling the love! I referred to my list and gathered up the few items I needed. They had Ricola cough drops for .99 with THEIR coupon. I had a $1.00 coupon from the manufacturer. Not only would it not accept THEIR coupon, it wouldn't take but 1 of my coupons. Their coupon said there was a limit of 3. The poor cashier pointed to a piece a paper that was highlighted and weakly explained that they could only accept 1 coupon per item. I was very nice, as I believe in breaking up on good grounds. I politely told her (and the 10 people waiting in line) that it was "OK" because CVS was on my way home and I would stop there. She replied that Walgreens would hate to lose me as a customer over a coupon. I just looked at her sadly and said, "It's been fun, but you are no longer meeting my needs. I'm not feeling the love!"
I took my purchases to the car and the more I thought about it, the more irritated I became. So, I went back into the store. (I like to have the last word and thought I would give them one more chance!) The cashier looked at me and said, "You want a refund, don't you?" Yes, I did. I then was directed to the manager who said that was their store policy BECAUSE some people came in with coupons and used them. OH the dagger that was plunged into my heart and I knew it was over. How sad.
But, there's always CVS!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dynamic Duo

Dennis just sent this picture to me from one of his co-workers. She had made this picture at the office Halloween party on October 31. His office really got into the Halloween mood and everyone dressed up as their favorite character - even my husband! He went as a Judge.

Deniska was sick today. He threw up at the dinner table. Fortunately, no one was hit and we had not started eating yet. I had a meeting after school and during the meeting he complained of a really bad headache and tummy ache. He turned white as a sheet and became really clammy. Once he threw up and took a bath, he said he felt fine. I wonder if it was something he ate (like the ton of Halloween candy) or just a virus? I'm glad we are out of school tomorrow for him to rest.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

pg 56


CHALLENGE

Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your blog along with these instructions.
Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Saw this over at Every Little Thing and I just had to give it a go. I reached for a book on the table beside me:
"I hope these quarters will suffice!" Chappy had cried. "I've never had any complaints! But, if you do, you must speak up and your needs will be attended to!"

~from Twanged by Carol Higgins Clark

I haven't even started to read this book. I brought it home several days ago to read. I thought this quote was interesting for several reasons. I love my little house. My "quarters" are just fine by me although I have been thinking of new flooring! It also reminded me of asking for our needs to be met spiritually. I suppose I thought of that since it was Sunday and we had been to church this morning. All of our needs are attended to, we just have to ask!
If you decided to do this challenge, let me know what you find.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sleeping bag covers


Next weekend, Dennis and the boys are going with our church's cub scout group for a camp out on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC. The cub scouts had extra slots left over. We had to buy the boys new sleeping bags and they both wanted a cover for them. (The sleeping bags were cheap at Wal-Mart - they were on sale!) So, they dug through my fat quarters stash and came up with the material they wanted me to use. Actually, they both picked out pink flowers the first go around. I felt that the other boys might tease them so we picked out different material. The material we ended up with was after many, many discussions. But, they are happy and I guess that is all that matters. I'm in a sewing mood now. I need to check my Christmas list and see what I can sew up tonight!

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.