Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sleepless nights

Oh sleepless night! I did not sleep very well at all last night. I kept waking up every 2 or 3 hours all night long. The good side is that this morning at 4:00 AM, I was starting a load of laundry! Nothing like getting a good start on the day's chores. I got the laundry done, tonight's meal started, planned the day, etc....

I hope I sleep tonight....

Menu for this week

Monday – baked chicken with dressing, English peas, brownies

Tuesday – chili beans, cornbread

Wednesday – ham, rolls, macaroni & cheese, mixed vegetables

Thursday – crock-pot cubed steak with gravy, rice, green beans

Friday – popcorn shrimp, hush puppies, corn, turnip greens

Saturday – turkey breast, sweet potatoes, broccoli & cheese

Sunday - leftovers

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today is my birthday. I am very happy to say that it has been a wonderful day starting with sunshine and no rain (for the first time in over 2 weeks!) My family has spoiled me. Dennis and the boys bought me these dishes.
They are made by Corelle, which is exactly what I wanted. I only requested the plates since I have plenty of bowls and small plates; we don't use cups. I was so excited!! I had requested plain white but my husband liked these better. So do I! He has such good taste. I got lots of hugs and kisses from the boys. They picked me out a card that plays a rap song when you open it. I love it!
My brother called me to wish me happy birthday. This was really sweet, especially since I was 4 days late calling him on his birthday!

My mother-in-law, Joyce, sent me Surreal Garden ea de toilet spray from Avon and a beautiful necklace.

I also have gotten LOTS of emails wishing me happy birthday. It's been a great day and I look forward to a wonderful year.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hillary Clinton leaves flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe, asks ‘Who painted it?’

This story is from Catholic News Agency.

Hillary Clinton leaves flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe, asks ‘Who painted it?’

Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 27, 2009 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.

Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy.

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.

After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Decorating for Spring, Easter, what?

I am in a quandary. I have no Spring or Easter decorations! I don't think I have ever even thought of decorating for Easter or spring. I guess the Easter decorations have always been confined to the yearly Easter basket on Easter morning and put up that afternoon. What to do, what to do....

I just can't see rushing out for decorations. I look at all these beautiful blogs with pretty spring or Easter decorations. I look around my house and I see nothing that would be suitable. I certainly do not want to rush out and buy ceramic bunnies and cute chickens (oh wait a minute...I do have a ceramic chicken somewhere here. I'll look for that later.) I can't see filling up containers with jelly beans since I am married to someone who loves jelly beans. He would eat the decorations. Baskets of eggs would be nice, but since I don't really have any place to set things around like that, I don't think that would work. Plus, the cats will play with the eggs.

Lest you think I am complaining, I am not. I will start thinking about this year for next year. Maybe I will buy a cute ceramic bunny after Easter this year or pick one up in a thrift store.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Warm Sweater Wednesday

Aren't these just so cute? We never had spiffy looking rain boots like this when I was growing up. All we had was the yellow rain boots that fit over your regular shoes. Remember those? I just love these. You can find them at Target (not that we have one close by!) Now, what does this have to do with Warm Sweater Wednesday? Well, let me tell you. Today is a cold, rainy, dreary day. It was 50 something in the house when I came home today. I did not turn my thermostat down; I turned the heat on and set it on 69. That's pretty high for me. I will turn it down to 63 when we go to bed. We just need to get the chill out of the house. Oh bright sunny days, where are you???

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Plumber to the rescue

I think the hardest thing about service people is finding the ones who show up, do a quality job, and not overcharge you. When you find someone like this, they need to go into your cell phone directory on speed dial! I have found such a person in the form of a plumber. Everyone needs a good plumber. Mine is Marty - Marty the Plumber!! During the last cold snap we had, I noticed that an outside spigot at my mom's house was leaking. I thought it had froze during the weather. What I found out today was that it had just rusted through. He replaced the pipe, replaced the spigot, fixed everything back, and left me a happy camper. We now have water again at that house. It's a good thing, especially since we will be staying there for several weeks in the near future.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not feeling very springy

Wish I could say that I felt as springy as these cute little daffodils look. Deniska took this photo back in February when they were blooming. I thought he did a good job taking the picture, just to be 8 years old. I don't have much energy today. I did manage to straighten the bedroom before I gave out of energy. Now, I need to think about what I am going to feed these children today and what to fix for dinner tonight.
Home Depot was supposed to show up this morning to measure for our shutters. That was an hour ago. I guess we will wait on those for awhile. I don't want to call them anyway today. Maybe I will send Dennis an email and let him handle that for me.
The kids are being cranky (surely it couldn't be me!) I sent them outside to play. It's a beautiful day. They need to run that excess energy off. They are so routine scheduled that having a day off from school throws them for a loop. But, I love them and am thankful for them; I love to hear them play outside. They have such excellent imaginations.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 4 of the flu

Yuck, yuck, yuck! I hate being sick. Coughing seems to be my favorite activity right now. Thank goodness for high powered cough medicine. The congestion in my head is better but everything has moved into my chest. I don't like that. My ears and throat still hurt but not at badly. Fortunately, I have tomorrow off from work as a school holiday. I will have to see if I feel like working on Tuesday or not. Hope you are feeling well as you read this!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flu? No way!!

I went to see the doctor this morning and he claimed that I have the flu! I said, "No, I don't!" If I deny it, I will get well quicker - right? The biggest problem I have right now is that I can't open the child-proof cough medicine that he ordered for me at the pharmacy. I will have to wait until my children get home and let them open it for me!! I hope I feel better soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Why a shamrock?
Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps:
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.
Today, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day at our home and at school. The boys wore new green shirts to school (I didn't want them to get pinched!)

Tonight for dinner, I cooked corned beef, cabbage, carrots & onions. I served this with Key Lime cake for dessert. (The Key Lime cake was made by Sara Lee.) It was a pretty meal with all the combinations of color. (Especially since I am still using my Christmas china!) Deniska declared the corned beef to be the "best cow" he had ever tasted. (They are learning what meat comes from what animal. Every night we have to discussed what animal we are eating. It's enough to make you want to become vegetarian or vegan!) This was the first time that I had ever cooked corned beef. It was pretty good; but, I can wait a year until we have it again!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We have a Terrific Kid!!

Deniska was nominated to be a Terrific Kid for the month of February by his school. The Kiwanis Club sponsors this honor. Dennis and I are very proud of him!

Being young leaders through practicing good character and good citizenship.

"Terrific Kids is a student recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem, and perseverance. Students work with their classroom teacher and establish goals to improve behavior, peer relationships, attendance, or schoolwork. Students then work toward achieving the goal during a specific time period. The teachers and principal determine the best schedule for recognition. Some schools recognize Terrific Kids during each grading period; others recognize students more often."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday movies

Dennis and the boys went to see Race to Witch Mountain this afternoon. Dennis said that Disney did not put a lot of money in the special effects. He said it was no Stars Wars! The boys loved it! They were so excited when they came home and told me all about the movie. I would have liked to have gone too but I think that it's good that the boys have some alone time with their daddy!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Conversations from the back seat

Mom: Nikolai, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Nikolai: A psychic!

Mom: (puzzled for we have never talked about psychics before) Why a psychic, Nikolai?

Nikolai: They do really cool stuff.

Mom: And where have you heard about a psychic before?

Nikolai: (exasperated) M-o-m, Batman has a psychic!

Mom: (with clarity) Oh, you mean a SIDE-KICK!

Nikolai: Yes, Mom, that's what I have been saying!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Letter from my Pastor - Father Newman

Dear Friends in Christ,

You’d be surprised to learn how many requests we receive each month from people who want to get married at St. Mary’s or who want to have their baby baptized at St. Mary’s or who have been invited by a friend or relative to serve as a sponsor for a Baptism or Confirmation somewhere else. But you’d be even more surprised to learn that the majority of these requests come from people who do not belong to our parish family in any meaningful or measurable way and who are not regularly practicing the Christian faith by (at a bare minimum) participating in Sunday Mass. The number of such requests is truly stupefying, and it is but one indicator of something I have explained many times from the pulpit: the majority of baptized Catholics in the United States live their lives as though they are not Catholics, but when asked they still identify themselves as Catholics. And when it suits them (but only when it suits them), they want to exercise “the privileges of membership” in the world’s largest organization: the Catholic Church.
But, friends, the Church is not an organization; she is an organism. She is the Bride of Christ, the spotless bride for whom the Savior gave His life. And our Baptism is not a permanent membership card that confers privileges; it is an indelible mark that brings obligations. Baptism brings the Cross into our lives, both the burden and the victory of the Cross. I ask you who are reading this column to understand and be ready to explain all of this, because those confused souls who call our parish office looking for a spiritual commodity will not read these words. They will almost never join us in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. They will not hear the Gospel proclaimed and explained. They are not atheists, and yet they live their lives as though God does not exist, though if asked they would deny this. These are the 35 million “baptized pagans” who constitute the largest religious body in the United States: lapsed Catholics. But while I cannot reach them, you can. You live and work side by side with them, and you may be the only evangelist they ever hear.
Of course, I cannot grant permission for a non-practicing Catholic to serve as a sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation, and I cannot allow a nonpracticing Catholic to be married or baptize a baby at St. Mary’s. In fact, though they do not know it, those non-practicing Catholics who ask for such sacraments without a willingness to receive the Gospel are asking for a terrible burden to be laid upon them, and this we cannot do. But despite our best effort to turn these disappointments into an invitation to return to the practice of the Faith, the discipline of the sacraments is usually greeted with indignant anger by the one who lives without the burden or the victory of the Cross. When you meet someone in this condition, remember that you have a precious opportunity to teach by precept and example what it means to say, “I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Father Newman

Tuesday Tidings - Blessed Assurance

This is one of my favorite hymns. I know praise music is all the rage now. However, I love the words to the old hymns. (In all honestly, I much prefer Georgian Chant but we will save that for another Tuesday!) This hymn, Blessed Assurance, was written by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915. This marvelous woman, who lived for 95 years and was blind from infancy, wrote over 7,000 hymns.

The scripture reference for this song is found in Hebrews 10: 22 "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.


This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above echoes
of mercy, whispers of love.


3. Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love. (Refrain)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March Prayers

Each month, Pope Benedict XVI announces his special prayer intentions--particular things that he wishes all Catholics to pray for that month. (When, for instance, we pray the rosary and say the prayers at the end for the intentions of the Holy Father, these are the intentions for which we're praying.)

Pope Benedict offers two intentions every month, one general, and one for a particular Catholic missionary activity. His general prayer intention for March 2009 is "That the role of women may be more appreciated and used to good advantage in every country in the world." The Holy Father has long expressed concern that, in the name of "equality of the sexes," woman have been degraded and have been discouraged to practice the vocation of motherhood. His own writings place the Blessed Virgin as the chief example for the Christian woman, and it is likely no coincidence that this prayer intention comes in the month when we celebrate the Annunciation.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Barrel of Fun

This is my boys new toy - a blue barrel! Just goes to show boys will be boys and expensive toys are not necessary for happy boys!!

Well, the few flakes you saw in yesterday's pictures was all the snow we got. It turned to rain and was all gone by 7:00 PM. I was so disappointed for the boys' sake. Although, they did not seem to be disappointed. I suppose when you grow up with 6 ft of snow in Russia, a few inches just doesn't do it for you anymore! Oh well, I enjoyed watching it fall for a few minutes. Maybe next time it will stick around a little longer.

Monday, March 2, 2009

No School Today

School was called off today due to snow although we have no snow. It snowed for about 30 minutes and that was it. It was a beautiful snow while it was falling. However, just a few miles away, they had LOTS of snow - no fair!!! I suspect we will go back to school tomorrow and everything will return to normal.

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.