Friday, November 30, 2012

7 Jesse Tree Quick Takes


Hello, my name is Sara, and I'm a Jesse Tree Junkie.  I fell in love with the Jesse Tree as a new Catholic when I got these books at a homeschooling conference, so I would know "how" to celebrate liturgical seasons.


The same year I came into the Catholic Church we moved to the Atlanta area in the fall.  We knew nobody and had no money, because we still owned a house in VA, so the kids and I had plenty of time to make our first set of Jesse Tree ornaments out of salt dough.  We painted them with food coloring, sealed them with Mod Podge.  We put up our artificial tree at the beginning of Advent and began the tradition of doing a Bible reading every night and hanging one ornament.  When we finally put the rest of the Christmas ornaments on on Christmas Eve, or a few days before, I was in love.  There was our beautiful Christmas tree, with ornaments carefully chosen during the early years of our marriage, interspersed with salvation history.  It was all there from the Creation of the Earth to the Fall, to the Sacrifice of Isaac....all the way to the Annunciation.   It made so much sense to me!

I heart the rustic look of these, but we have so few left!


We eventually sold that house and were able to purchase a smaller, 5-foot tree to use as the Jesse Tree.  We also made a new set of ornaments out of Crayola fast-drying clay last year to replace the broken, original ones.  It was very easy to work with, and we painted them with acrylic paints.  No Mod Podge this time because it makes them a bit sticky and the paper they're wrapped in every year sticks to them!

I'm sad to say that when I unwrapped these just now, for your viewing pleasure, they are all bumpy, as if we sprinkled salt on them.  Not happy, Crayola, not happy.


This year, one of my friends put together a Jesse Tree ornament swap.  Finally!  I've wanted to do one for years, you know, where you make a zillion of the same ornament and everyone else does the same and then you swap so everyone has a complete set?  They turned out so cute!


I printed out these from Michele Quigley, today.  I've hesitated over these the past couple of years because I didn't think they would come out well on the printer, but I tried one page and they look great.  


And, we have this set from Illuminated Ink which is very cute and doable.  I think we have 2, maybe three of these!  I don't know why I bought 2, but Meg won one in one of their old coloring contests.  I brought 2 of the "trees" upstairs yesterday, and I know there's a third because it makes a great place to hang my earrings and bracelets!  ;-) 


Aaaannnnd, finally, I have instructions for cross-stitching a set of ornaments   One year, when I was into stitching, I planned to make one ornament per day of Advent.  I think I finished one.  And it took more than one day, so that set doesn't technically exist.  

Please tell me there is help for someone like me!  I like to think that my excuse is that with 6 kids, I can send each of them out into the world with a set and I will have done my duty as a Mom.  What do you think?  Tell me about your Jesse Tree or which ornaments you would choose!


Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


round button chicken

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If you're visiting from Just a Catholic Dad, Welcome to my little blog!

You probably think I'm crazy, but pretty this week is the ginormous wasps' nest that my neighbor cut off his tree.   It was hanging right over the path to our back yard, and he finally cut it down now that the wasps are gone.  Where do they go?  South for the winter?

Anyway, he was going to throw it in the woods, but I thinks it's simply stunning and I asked if we could have it.  It's got to be 18" from top to bottom---slightly less now that we've crushed the bottom by setting it on the ground.

Honestly, isn't that one of the most stunning things you've ever seen?  It's a gorgeous work of one of God's amazing creatures.


I found a nice, sturdy caddy at Goodwill for our Advent books.  Or whatever books.  Right now, it's holding all of our Advent and Christmas books, but we can always use something to hold books in this house!  It perches upon the stone hearth now that it has received a couple of coats of Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Versailles (same green as the island in the background).

Cousins who are close enough to get close to each other.   I love these boys!

Picture credit

That about sums up how I've been feeling lately.  Holiday stress, humiliations, hurts, and hormones all combined to make me feel like that ^ , and to want nothing more than to curl up in a ball in my room and avoid the world----my family, my friends, my blog, my responsibilities.  Everything.  Thankfully, God is always calling us to Him, and I know that what I really feel like doing isn't an acceptable option.  I have to keep trying to overcome my feelings to do His will, which is good, because it actually helps those feelings go away sooner.  The flip side of that is that You Know Who capitalizes on that self-pity and tries to draw you down into despair.

One thing that helps is trying not to think of Self.  This prayer kept coming to mind, and I think I'm being asked to pray it more often.   Pray it.  Period.  Because, quite honestly, it's one that I have actively avoided.  ;-)

Litany of Humility
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I,
 provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Twinkie Lamentations

Photo Credit

"And the prophet said, cast ye your countenance toward the Walmart, and follow thy heart to the junk food aisle, for there the snack cakes are distributed in a manner wonderful to see. For the munchies are upon you, and the hunger is deep. Look with wonder upon the gifts you have been given. Of the puffed cheese and popped corn, you may eat, but not the HoHo. Of the jerky and Nutella and Doritos you may have your fill, but not the Twinkie. Of the potato chip, plain or barbecue, ranch or sugar coated, you may eat, but not the Donette. Of the oil based snack of dubious origin you may eat, but not the Ding Dong. Though your craving be deep, think not of the little chocolate cupcake with the white squiggle thereupon. For the punishment is upon us and Hostess is no more. And the people wept."
Lamentations 8:11-20

Did y'all see this?  I thought it was hysterical, so I had to post it.

My Disney-watching kids, Meg and Pippo, have been begging me for ages to buy "fat cakes" which are really pink snowballs---I'm not sure what their real name is---but they call them fat cakes on the Disney channel.  Good mother that I am, I bought HoHos and Ding Dongs and Snowballs for them since they have been deprived all their lives.   We They ate them for breakfast at the rest stop on our trip to Virginia.

We did not have any Twinkies since Target was sold out when I looked, and I remember them fondly, but no one enjoyed their breakfast that day.  It kind of surprised me that my sweets-loving family did not like them, but no one seems to be sorry that Hostess is out of business now.  We regret it from an economic standpoint, not a dietary one. 

Tell me, did you go out and buy Twinkies and stuff for the last time? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday after Thanksgiving Daybook


Outside my window...
It's cold.  Suddenly, the leaves are gone and the wind is brisk.  Much more brisk than last week.  It feels like winter is upon us.

I am thinking...

About Christmas.  It's time to sit down and make a plan for Advent and Christmas shopping.

I am thankful...
For the time spent with family in Virginia over Thanksgiving.  We had a great time with all the cousins and siblings.  It's wonderful to see these children who have grown up together become grown up friends.  But I'm also thankful to be back home in my own bed, my own home, and with my own routines.

Oh, and internet access is nice, too.  There was not much flowing through "the tubes" in VA, and it was strained by the smartphone and ipad users.  Most of whom are in my family.    I had thought I might do a little blogging while I was there, but it was not meant to be.

From the learning rooms...
It's going to be hard getting back into the routine.  I'll need to find a new math plan for Pip who has finished his book earlier than expected.

In the kitchen...
Back to Paleo eating and cutting waaaay back on the sugar for the non-paleo eaters.  Last night we did celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King with Pumpkin Pucks---which are basically pumpkin pies in muffin tins, sweetened with honey and syrup, and topped with unsweetened whip cream.  I thought they were delicious!  I also whipped up some paleo pancakes with the rest of the pumpkin.

I am knitting...
Yes!  I'm knitting!  I'm working on the boorrrring k2p2 hat, which I'm happy to say is growing.  I knitted a shawl-collard cowl for my sister-in-law on a whim, which I finished in a miraculous 4 days.  And last night I started an infinity cowl, like the ones I've seen at Target this season, out of the most beautiful raspberry merino.  I don't plan to keep it for myself, but it might be too pretty to part with!  Maybe there is enough yarn for 2?

I am hoping and praying...
...for our old parish and former pastor
...for healing for a very sick little girl named Erica
...for everyone with cancer

I am looking forward to...
Advent, and getting out our Jesse Tree.  I hope to get to my Jesse Tree post in the next day or so!

Around the house...
It is time to remove all the fall-ish decor, of which there is, thankfully, very little, and start decorating for Advent/Christmas.  It's really, really nice to have a whole, extra week in which to make the change!  There is way too much Christmas decor downstairs, and I'm planning to thin it out this year.  I'm sure my Katie will be happy to take some of it off my hands for her new home!

One of my favorite things...
Advent.  Because I didn't grow up with this Tradition, and I love the Church seasons that we use to prepare our hearts for Christ, and then we celebrate His birth for 12 days.  As a child, I thought it was sad that it was over and done with so quickly.  Those Christmas trees on the curb on December 26 make the holiday seem so empty and meaningless.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Every night of the week is busy.  Choir rehearsal Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!

Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Thursday, November 22, 2012


....for all this...and more: the blessings of faith, large families and small families, IRL friends and online friends, good health & healing. For life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reading the Catechism - Week 5

I almost didn't do this today because I'm 4 days behind in reading!  I don't know how that happened----oh, yes, leaving it for "later" which rarely comes.  I imagine that this may be one of the most difficult sections of the whole Catechism.  At least I hope so.  It would be a lot easier to take in those small, daily doses, instead of all at once, so I'm going to stop leaving it for later.

It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you.
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.51

St. Nicholas of Flüe; cf. Mt 5:29-30; 16:24-26.

It means trusting God in every circumstance, even in adversity. A prayer of St. Teresa of Jesus wonderfully expresses this trust:Let nothing trouble you / Let nothing frighten you
Everything passes / God never changes
Patience / Obtains all
Whoever has God / Wants for nothing
God alone is enough.52

Then we move on to the Holy Trinity:
The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople. But Pope St. Leo I, following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition, had already confessed it dogmatically in 447,76 even before Rome, in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, came to recognize and receive the Symbol of 381. The use of this formula in the Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy (between the eighth and eleventh centuries). The introduction of the filioque into the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.

At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father's character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he "who proceeds from the Father", it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son.77 The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque). It says this, "legitimately and with good reason",78 for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as "the principle without principle",79 is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds.80 This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed.

I thought this was interesting about the ancient disagreement with the Orthodox Churches., though I gather it's not a "rigid" disagreement that prevents them from being united with us.

The following section that continues the relationship of the Holy Trinity was/is completely mind boggling, but St. Gregory manages to make it slightly more comprehensible:

St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called "the Theologian", entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople:Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down... the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God... the three considered together... I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me...92


St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 40,41: PG 36,417.
Even more clarity.  Bring it down to something really simple that I can follow:

Being a work at once common and personal, the whole divine economy makes known both what is proper to the divine persons, and their one divine nature. Hence the whole Christian life is a communion with each of the divine persons, without in any way separating them. Everyone who glorifies the Father does so through the Son in the Holy Spirit; everyone who follows Christ does so because the Father draws him and the Spirit moves him.99


And wrap it up with a beautiful prayer by Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity:

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.102

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feeding College Men Quick Takes


Do you ever think that They should reschedule Christmas for earlier in the year?  Or we could just have Christmas all year long since the celebration is earlier and earlier every year.  Does the rush to put up Christmas decorations before Halloween, or start Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Thursday, indicate the level of desperation of merchants?  Methinks it does.


Speaking of little boys gigantic college students will be home on Sunday to eat us out of house and home for a nice visit!  I can't wait to see them, even if Pete says he's only coming home to see the dog.  And to get a new phone.  I have a lot of grocery shopping to do on Saturday because they'll eat a lot no matter whom they're visiting!


How do you prepare for holidays when your kids are home from college?  I start by making a list of days they'll be home (if it's just for a short time), the meals we'll eat, and the number of people who will eat them.  Then I can come up with a menu for each meal, and from there, a shopping list is easy!


It really helps if you actually check your pantry and spice rack to see if you have everything you need, or you'll be making extra trips to the store.  Ask me how I know.


And believe me, you'll want to minimize the extra trips to the store, because every time you go, someone will have something yummy to add to the list.  Or they will just want to come with you and pick out all the yummy things. 


It's good to do some extra baking before guests or college students come, and double every recipe, because then you will have just. enough. food.  


And even then, a jumbo jar of salsa and a couple of large bags of tortilla chips will come in handy!


Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


round button chicken

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
 I snapped this photo on my way home from Boy Scouts one evening.  I was stopped at the light, and it was too stunning to pass up.  I put it on my iphone background and it makes me happy whenever I turn on my phone!


These are not-great-pics of the amazing clouds we saw yesterday.  Hard to take a good pic on the cell phone when you're going down the highway at top speed the speed limit.  It was a blanket of clouds that looked a lot like long strips of white material being waved up and down by angels.  The waves were pretty amazing; I've never seen anything like it in my life.  

Why is it under {happy}, you ask?  Because anything that reminds me of the greatness of God's creation, and HIS Greatness, makes me happy.  So, yeah, the sunset could go here, too.


A couple of examples of the creativity that blossoms when Meg should be doing her schoolwork.

Adorable little playdough face.


A big jar of soon-to-be-sauerkraut which some people in the family loooooveee.  I don't know if they love it 4 qts. worth, but we'll see!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas is Coming!

drop by to see what everyone is knitting and reading!

I started a new knit; it's a wool, ribbed hat by the Yarn Harlot.  I love the hat, but it's super-tedious to k2p2 ad infinitum!  I lose patience with it and have to check Twitter every 2 minutes (if I last that long!).

I'm reading Melissa Wiley's new book, The Prairie Thief.  Yes, it's a kids' book, and I am greatly enjoying it---dying to find out if she disappeared like the Entwives, or if she will come back!  I couldn't wait to go to bed last night and read, and then I wasn't able to stay awake long enough to finish.  If you're a fan of things Scottish, you'll enjoy that aspect of this story.

Stop in next week and see how much progress I've made on me hat.   Or sooner.  ;-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reading the Catechism (Week 4)

To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might."4 Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.... To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 'Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength.'"5

One of our parish deacons begins his spontaneous prayers with this (Hear, O Israel) which is a beautiful way of reminding us that we are united with those same Israelites whom Moses led out of Egypt.  Often, we are just as faithless, too, turning to idols in our impatience to have all our desire.

"I Am who I Am" 
Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'... this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."10 

In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is — infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.11

By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your father"), as for the future ("I will be with you").12 God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.

This entire section on God's name is fascinating and mysterious.  There is so much revealed in His name that I do not comprehend.  It also reminds me of the movie "The Passion of the Christ" where Jesus dares to utter the word "Yhwh" which I find fascinating to hear spoken in the original, not in English. 

On another note, (haha) here is a letter which explains why Yhwh, or variations of it, is not allowed to be used in music.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Noisy Quick Takes


My front yard is full of debris.


My deck is like a swimming pool full of shingles.


My back yard is full of debris.


There is one example of the roof rot.  There turned out to be quite a few of those rotten pieces of decking.  Quite a bit above average, we were!


The shingles have arrived and it's not even 8 a.m.!


Putting on the sheathing.  I hope they remembered to close up that gaping hole in my attic.


Normally, there would be an "after" picture here, but we still don't know what our roof looks like!  By the time they had it substantially finished, the sun was setting behind the house and I could barely see it because of the glare.  They were still hammering and cleaning up after dark.  I guess the days are getting a bit short for long jobs that include a surprising amount of rotten decking.  We really needed this new roof!  
Dh left at dawn, so it was frost-covered and barely light enough to see.  The guys are already here  at 7:15 a.m. to finish the details and the cleanup.  

I can't wait to see what it looks like!

Thanks, Sweetie, for this beautiful gift! :-D  I will sleep soundly during the next downpour! 


Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!

Master Bedroom Mini-tour

round button chicken

If your bedroom decor is still less than satisfactory despite 26 years of marriage, don't despair!  Our bedroom has been a sadly neglected "work in progress" for many years.  The babies have been out for quite a few years, so I've been trying more, but it still seemed to be an attic of sorts---where we would pile all the stuff that needed to go to Goodwill (in a month or more, when I finished decluttering the whole house).  Little by litte, though, I've been working on making our bedroom a special place, where it is safe to awaken and not be faced by a ton of junk weighing you down before your feet (or knees) hit the floor!  And we can go to bed without a lot of stuff

Thanks to the miracle that is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I've painted the hideous, dark, heavy furniture that I got from my mom.  It lightens the room considerably and makes me so much happier to be in there!

 We're not matchy-matchy here, which is good, because that generally requires a lot more money. You can't collect things a little at a time which is what we tend to do when our priority is family, as opposed to decorating.  I suppose if I had pressed the issue, we could have gotten new bedroom furniture at some point (and probably put it on a credit card), but it just never seemed to be important compared with feeding and clothing our blessings.



Happy is definitely my giant down comforter that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago.  And then the flannel duvet from Lands End (on clearance!) is the icing on the cake.  It is so cozy and warm, which is great because our bedroom over the garage is NOT.  I really enjoy the look of the not matching pillows, duvet, and dust ruffle.  

I think I got the yellow toile for the dust ruffle at Walmart for $1 yard.  I made the box-pleat ruffle myself which was very easy.



Real is the fact that I haven't gotten around to painting dh's dresser because it doesn't seem to bother me anymore.  There's the clutter on and around it, and  my shoes that need to be put away.  On top of the trunk you can see my daughter's new bicycle.  You can't?  Oh, it's next to the Shamwow and duster waiting to be taken to the bank.

A big Thank You to Auntie Leila for encouraging women to focus on their womanly gifts and making their homes warm and welcoming!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Rant

End Rant.

What rant?  

The Election Rant I just wrote and probably won't post.  I might email it to you personally, if you ask, but I don't know if I'll post it.

I feel better since I wrote it, and I'm trying to recall my brave words of yesterday----that no matter how the election turns out, my task is still the same:

To raise my children in the faith, and do the Lord's will in everything.

He has already conquered, and though we fall away for a time, He will reign in the end.  So, for now, we just go on with life.  Personal holiness is the answer.  

I reallly wish I could remember who said that personal holiness is the answer, but it's true.  It's not just "being a good person" but truly striving for holiness and sainthood that will convert the world.  

So, let us begin the Work.  Are you in? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Historic Election Daybook


Outside my window...
It's raining really hard---but the sun is up thanks to the time change last weekend.  I'm not excited about standing in the rain to vote today.  How about you?

I am thinking...
Maybe the lines won't be too bad since the early voting lines were ridiculous every day.  Seriously ridiculous.

I am thankful...
We have a new roof scheduled for Thursday!  I am beyond excited while I'm holding my breath and biting my nails during this rain.  I am so looking forward to not having to worry about what is happening over my head during rainstorms.  We're one of the last few people in the neighborhood to get a new roof---everyone needs one in this 20 year old neighborhood---and it seems most people got one after the Good Friday hailstorm a few years ago.  No hail hit the State Farm insured homes.  Isn't that amazing what our insurance "coverage" does for us?  It actually protects us from hail!

From the learning roomskitchen table...
Keeping up.  Barely.

I am knittingcreating...
Jesse tree ornaments for a swap.  I think I have 4 days left to stitch and applique 11 ornaments, and then put ribbons on all 24.  Each one takes 20-30 minutes, so I just need to find time to sit down and do them.  Without getting distracted by Words with Friends or Twitter.  

I am going...
To Vote today.  Have you voted yet?  Will you have to stand in inclement weather to do so?

I am praying...
For all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially those who have lost loved ones, and everything else.
For my son to have a safe hike in the rain today.
For Fr. Mike, and all our priests.

I am reading...
Bill Bryson's Thunderbolt Kid....still.  I finished reading The Hobbit to Meg and Pippo last week.  That was fun.  We have to choose a new read-aloud.  Any ideas?  I read "Macbeth" last week, finished it yesterday, because Pip had to read it for school and I know how challenging Shakespeare is, so I thought it would help if I read it.  I am no Shakespearean actor, but I did my best and I think he got more out of it than he might have reading it on his own.

I am hoping...
The dog doesn't keep getting into my projects.  He has no sense of personal space!  He is welcome to what is on the floor, if anyone is crazy enough to leave their stuff there, but things on tables and in boxes or baskets are NOT. for. him!

I am looking forward to...
The election being over.  Whichever way it goes, life can get back to normal.  I'm pretty sure it will be a different "normal" whichever way it goes, because Obama will have "more flexibility" if he wins, and Romney is his polar opposite.  So things won't remain the same no matter what.

Around the house...
I made a list of items for Fall Housecleaning, so we are starting to work on that list in our 15 minute sessions every day.  In the spring, we clean during Lent.  In the fall, I consider it part of Advent, but Advent is typically much busier than Lent, so we're starting early.

My dear husband spent all day Saturday removing the old caulk from our shower, and I re-caulked it yesterday.  I definitely got the easier part of the job!  Someone told me that's supposed to be done every year.  Really?

One of my favorite things...
Fresh caulk.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Voting, choir, American Heritage Girls, Trivia night (? - It has been a few weeks), Rehearsal for the Gala Christmas Concert (yay!).  And a new roof!  (double yay!)

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...  
I still don't know why Pip took this picture when we were leaving church on Sunday.  We went to a church out in the country to visit our friend Fr. Byrd.

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