Friday, September 28, 2012

Combustible Quick Takes


This is what my son wants for his birthday.  A Combustible Lemon......alrighty then.


Isn't it great when you're trying to plan your busy day, and get to All the Places on time, when you suddenly discover that a major time window has been opened up because you don't have your homeschool co-op in the afternoon?

That hasn't happened to you?  Well, that's my day today and it makes me so happy!


Finally....after talking about it for months....I spent 30 seconds setting the alarm on my phone to ring for the Angelus at noon!  


I am looking forward to the Year of Faith since I've signed up with Flocknote to receive sections of the  Catechism of the Catholic Church in my inbox every day.  If I read them, ;-), I'll have read the entire Catechsim by the end of the year!  I know some dedicated people who can manage to read the Catechism from cover to cover, but I'm not one of them, so easily overwhelmed am I by the size.  But an email, I can handle that!


My goal this weekend is to spend a lot of time reading a book that a agreed to review.  Not that I'm not enjoying it, but I find that I have a dozen or so books at my bedside which I really like, but have never managed to finish.  Honestly, these days I think I'm a bit ADD where books are concerned!


Stitching away on a new dress from the Alabama Chanin line.  Since I'm using a more intricate decorative stitch, it's going to be a while before I wear it!


In the interest of full disclosure, I'd put my own Amazon Affiliate links in my posts if my account with them wasn't all messed up, so instead, I'm using links from SQPN.  You're supporting them if you click through to Amazon on one of my links and buy something!  :-)


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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Annie Sloan Rampage

I found a local antique mall that sells this Annie Sloan chalk paint that I've heard so much about---it's very popular on the decorator blogs.  Its major selling point is that it covers practically anything with no sanding or priming beforehand.  I've had a few projects that I wanted to do, and a little cash burning a hole in my pocket, so I decided to dive in.

The first thing I did was to paint the kitchen island.  I was just tired of all the white and wanted to update it a little.  Our cabinets are basically laminated particle board, and the laminate starts to peel off the drawers and doors after 20 years.  Ugh.  So, we peeled it off in about 5 minutes, and painted the whole thing Versailles green.  Now we have that "coordinating" not matching look going on in the kitchen!

The other project(s) is my bedroom furniture which belonged to my parents when they first got married.  Mom got it in the divorce, and I got it when I got married.  My mom and dad furnished their whole house with this traditional Ethan Allen line, which I've always disliked, though I have been grateful that I didn't have to spend thousands of dollars on furniture that no one sees but us.  (And now the Internets!)  

Mom painted the china cabinet ("hutch" in my native parlance) white almost immediately after the divorce.  It made my dad and my brother furious because "you don't paint good wood"!  But you do if you can't stand it!  I can't stand it either.

That's not to say that I didn't feel incredibly guilty when I first started painting, because the inside is really beautiful, but the finish, which is pretty scratched and marred after all these years, is a really thick paste that essentially prevents you from seeing the grain of the wood.  I would have been happy refinishing it, but I don't have the energy or knowhow for that.    In any case, someone else can refinish it in another 20 years----or when I give it to a child who gets married.  ;-)

I like it sooooo much better now!  It's slightly distressed, and painted Old White.  We polished the brass hardware, but I may still look for something to replace it with.   

We don't want to be all matchy-matchy anymore, so I'm painting dh's stuff Greek Blue.

Distressing this stuff is so easy, because you don't even need to use sandpaper---you just use a damp rag, and there is no dust!

The color on the previous picture is different from the ones below, and I don't think either one is the same as the sample on the Annie Sloan site!  

This bad boy is all that remains to be done---that, and getting rid of the clutter.  Tell me that your master bedroom gets a little cluttered because no one goes in there during the day!  I'm never in my room after getting dressed in the morning, so the buildup doesn't bother me as much as it would if spent my entire days in my bed.

 But now, I love the new look when I am in my room!  Just please, please, don't tell my dad or my brother that I painted them!

Have you painted anything that you shouldn't have?  Or that you hated and now you love it?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebratory Daybook


Outside my window...
The sun is coming up in a perfectly clear sky on a very cool morning.  It might be just about time to put the down comforter/flannel duvet on the bed since the temp in the bedroom has dropped below where we set our thermostat!

I am thankful...
I'm so thankful for the afternoon in Athens yesterday with the whole family.  We went there to celebrate last week's birthdays, and had lunch/dinner (at 4 p.m.) at the sketchiest looking college restaurant where they served pretty amazing Cuban food!  We sat outside---well, I guess you have to sit outside there---and stuffed ourselves with Cuban sandwiches, taquitos, burritos, fried yucca, and more.

It was wonderful, as usual, to be all together, if a little awkward because cramped, college apartments occupied by 4 young men don't generally lend themselves to family get-togethers!

From the learning rooms...
School is going well with 2 students.  I really like the fact that we're doing Mother of Divine Grace primarily this year.  I enjoy the program, but I keep thinking about how hard it was to do it when I had 4+ kids at home!  If someone has figured out how to get it all done with lots of kids, I'd be interested to hear how you do it!

In the kitchen...
Too much food and cake this weekend, so I'm off duty this week.  Fix yourself some eggs.

(kidding.  totally.  except about the too much food and cake.)

I am knitting...
Still not knitting, but getting the itch to do something simple.  However, I have enough projects to do at home and books to read that I don't think I should start anything right away.  I did pick up the crochet hook and a giant spool(?) of cotton that my mom+ bequeathed me, and I'm making some cute, nubby washcloths in the car.

I am praying...
The Novena to St. Therese.  I have several big requests for her this year.  I don't expect all of them to be answered in the 9 days, but I know she'll be working on them!

Maria sent me her paper rosary which I begged her for.  For years without count (okay, maybe 20ish), I tried to keep track of a rosary prayed on the fly as I washed dishes and did laundry, but I couldn't do it. I know it didn't matter (still doesn't) that those prayers didn't form a perfect rosary, that they were still useful, but it would have made me feel better to know that I had prayed a full rosary during those days when I felt I didn't have time to sit down and pray it all at once.  So now I can keep track during the days, and probably still find that I don't pray a whole rosary (unless I'm in the car), but I'll know how far off the mark I am!

I am reading...
That deserves a whole post of its own.

Around the house...
I need to finish painting the furniture in my bedroom.  All that's left is dh's chest of drawers.  And then clean it all up and make it beautiful!

One of my favorite things...
My kids.  They make me laugh, and I love hanging around with them.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Painting, cleaning, reading.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

He didn't care for cameras or tail-pulling. (Some other kid did that.  Not mine.)
Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Friday, September 21, 2012

7 Quick Takes


Birthday #2 of the week goes to my oldest son, Brendan, who turns 21 today.  He's a senior in college and getting ready to make his mark on the world.  With pants on, I hope. 


Ha!  So glad I was clueless about iOS6 coming out and haven't upgraded, especially since none of the news I heard on Twitter was good.  Last night my husband was showing me the tumblr on Apple Maps, and we were cracking up.  Sometimes it's good to live under a rock.


I just decided this morning, while walking my feisty dog, that he looks like an Ewok.  Right?


The other day as I was walking him "up the bluffs" which is a private, steep drive for 3 sorta secluded houses, I looked up to see a coyote cross the road in front of me!  He wasn't more than 10 feet away, just quickly and quietly crossing the road.  That's just a little too bold for me even if he was hoping I wouldn't notice him.  I don't think The Ewok saw him; he certainly didn't react at all.  


Here are a couple of pictures from last winter of a long row of Crepe Myrtles that I loved.  They were stunning in bloom, but I was equally entranced by the beauty of their twisted, smooth-barked branches (because they've never been mercilessly hacked off by landscapers) as I sat at the red light for many, many minutes at a time, usually on my way home from the chiropractor.  I was completely crushed to drive past them this morning to find out that they've been entirely decimated by whatever construction project is underway.  It's probably about widening the congested intersection, since they were on the median, but whatever it is, I'm sad.  I assume they're doing everything they can to protect the enormous, gorgeous Live Oak on the adjacent corner, and I'll focus on that---until it, too, succumbs to the ravages of progress.


Evidently there is a new PBS series on Sundays at 9 p.m., right after we finish watching Once Upon a Time on ABC.  It's called "Call the Midwife."  It's sounds like something my home-birthing self might enjoy, and it might be something to entertain us while we wait desperately for "Downton Abbey" to return!


Ever since it appeared on Netflix instant watch, the kids and I have been watching the 1st season of Once Upon a Time over again.  We can't wait for the new season to start in 9 more days!!!

What are you watching on TV these days?  Waiting for any new seasons to start?


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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Happy birthday to my precious, oldest child!
I honestly don't know how we got from this bundle of cuteness.... this grown-up young lady who had the audacity to move out of the family home into her own apartment where she has to deal with old wiring, leaky bathroom pipes, and mushrooms growing in unacceptable places!

 She's doing a great job and making us proud...but, boy, do I miss that smile around the house!

Hug your babies and enjoy the messes and the noise because they really do grow up before you have time to catch your breath!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Random Daybook


Outside my window...
What little rain we got last night, in spite of tornado watches, is drying up, but it's still cloudy and foreboding.

I am thinking...
I spend a lot of time thinking about where we're going with American Heritage Girls and what I need to do next!

I am thankful...
For all the online community that I'm building.  I'm enjoying getting to know others through this New Media, and I'm inspired every day by something they say or write.  There's a lot of great stuff out there!

From the learning rooms...
Children are working quietly as I type.  They're in their pajamas, reading, reading, reading.  There is a ton of reading in the curriculum this year.

In the kitchen...
TMax and I are doing the 21-Day Primal Challenge---though I must admit I caved in to ice cream on Sunday and a gluten-free treat----and we're having some yummy paleo/primal meals.  Tonight will be pork fried rice made with cauliflower "rice" and last night's leftover pork.  For me, it's really been all about keeping all grains out, and I feel much better for it.

I am wearing...
A belted tunic with black, lace-trimmed leggings.  I love this more since I belted it because I think it was making me look a bit larger than I am!

I am knitting...

I am going...
Only to the grocery store today and school pickup.  I love these days of being at home!

I am reading...
Calico Bush by Rachel Field.  It's a kids' book, but I found it at the library sale and grabbed it because I love pioneer stories.  I like the little bit of Catholicism brought to the story by Maggie as she is Catholic, but has to be told to keep her popishness to herself!
In 1743, thirteen-year-old Marguerite Ledoux travels to Maine as the indentured servant of a family that regards her as little better than the Indians that threaten them, but her strength, quick thinking and courage surprise them all.

I am looking forward to...
Celebrating 2 big birthdays with the whole family next Sunday!

Around the house...
After my little burst of cleaning last week, I've been a bit stagnant in that area.  Keeping the status quo is good, though.  It's not getting cleaner, but it's not getting messier!

One of my favorite things...
Reading; children reading; lots of books being read.

Okay, and another one:  cold showers.  I started taking them to wake up my metabolism, and I just love the feeling afterward.  Notsomuch during, but definitely afterward!  My skin tingles for hours and I feel alive.  My trick, to make it less of a shock to my system, is to start with the water barely tepid, instead of stepping into an ice-cold shower or turning it on while standing under it, and then turning it all the way to cold pretty quickly.  I don't know if my metabolism is waking up, or if I will continue liking them when the weather is cold, but for now....yep.  Weird, right?

A few plans for the rest of the week...
It's a pretty easy week, so maybe I'll get around to a little more furniture painting.  But we'll have to see how the back pain goes---I'm still having serious muscle spasms from the silly trampolines.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
One of the Stations of the Cross that the American Heritage Girls cleaned on Saturday.  It was a labor of love to scrub the pollen and mildew off of them!
Before cleaning
Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Church

We formally changed our parish this summer, and it has been a difficult transition in some ways.  That's not to say that the transition is complete, by any means, but it's getting better.  You might say that I "grew up" in our old parish as a Catholic since we moved just a few months after I entered the Catholic Church in Virginia.  The new church was always prettier than our old church, but the old parish was Home.  The Getting Better has been helped along immensely by the renovations that were just unveiled this weekend.

We switched parishes in the middle of St. Benedict's 25th anniversary renovations, during which Mass was celebrated in the Parish Life Center.  It was crowded, uncomfortable, and you couldn't kneel during the Eucharistic Liturgy.  We are relative strangers there, even though the kids have friends there (but they must go at a different time), many of our neighbors attend there (but they must go at a different time), and we've been going there for years for our homeschool activities.  But at Mass, no friends greet us; no one looks at us as upstanding members of the parish; no one knows us.  We are strangers, and I've been really missing our old friends, singing in the choir, my choir buddies.

What I was mainly missing at the Old Parish was Jesus.  I felt that the emphasis was more and more on self than Jesus and His Real Presence in the Eucharist.  Being forced to introduce ourselves just before Mass began changed the atmosphere from one of prayer to one of camaraderie.  The homilies were focused on the pastor for the most part.  The music was focused on us, notsomuch on worship of God.  In short, it was all about us and our fellowship (which is important, or I wouldn't be missing it!), instead of worshiping the Creator of the Universe who deigns to come down to us as a tiny piece of bread.

 I was thrilled to walk into Mass this morning to see the changes to the church, which center around, appropriately, making it an even more fitting place for the Creator.  The marble altar is new, as is the housing around the tabernacle, which used to be in a niche off to the side of the sanctuary.

Gorgeous mosaic above the tabernacle!

They painted the ceiling over the sanctuary with the clouds, which looks much better in person than in the picture.  The crucifix is new and huge.  Interestingly, the corpus (body) is the same as the one at the old parish.  A sign for me that this might be my new home?

The blue band says "Ego sum lux mundi qui sequitur me non ambulabit in tenebris".  It was always there, just with a pale green background. 

New carpeting, new tile down the center aisle.  See where the celebrant's chairs have moved to?  They've completely switched places with Jesus---I love it!  And they have those lovely choir stalls on either side for servers or additional priests.

This beautiful statue of Mary is not new, just the navy paint behind her and her "nameplate".

The stations all have new frames and background paint.
The choir had new choir robes and sounded amazing in the church with the organ, even though I counted only 14 members.  The acoustics in this church are incredible, but I think they improved them, too.

In all, it was a wonderful Mass.  I'm just so happy that everything seemed to be geared toward worship of God rather than ourselves.  Father even said at the beginning of his homily that the church is beautiful but we need to make our souls beautiful, too.  Another confirmation that they are focused on Christ is that when Meg went up to receive Communion, right in front of me, she didn't put the host in her mouth fast enough to suit the good Deacon, and he chased her down the aisle to be sure she had consumed it.  Good for him!  I don't think I ever saw that at my old parish---but that's not to say it never happened or that they aren't as protective of Christ in the Eucharist---but I was happy to see the Deacon in action and we told him so after Mass, thanking him for taking his duty seriously.

Slowly, but surely, I think we'll make the transition so that this parish becomes home, but it's not about us being important in the Church.  It never was.  It's about Christ being important in the Church/church.

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Aching Quick Takes


I've finally figured out how to get my coffee intravenously.  Well, not exactly intravenously, but FAST---I just put it in a whey protein shake and it goes down really quickly.  Yes, you lose a lot (if not all) of that tarry goodness, but it works better.  'Cuz, I could just sip on a cup of reheated and reheated coffee all day long!


So, one week after the SkyZone adventure, I'm off for my 2nd chiropractic appointment.  I'm still having serious muscle spasms in the middle of my back, but it's really fine because I had a good time.  And anyway, it's not just my age, since Pip is having his 2nd appointment, too, and he's only 13.  The doctor was tsk, tsking the whole time he was checking him!


Last night's American Heritage Girl's meeting was awesome.  So many beautiful, little faces!  I was even pretty relaxed, and I feel like I'm getting the hang of running this ship after 4 years.


I got so much clutter out of my life this week---or off the main floor of my house, anyway.  I wish I had pictures of the To Be Donated piles in nearly every room, or the sewing machine and it's attendant pile of scraps and non-scraps on the dining room table, and books on any flat surface, and just general detritus.  Every.where.  A couple of days this week, I just started spending a few minutes in each room cleaning while Meg and Pip did their independent homework.  It worked great, and the house looks much better.  

It's pretty amazing how you can get overwhelmed and just not start.  I didn't intend to get so much done.  I just started, planning to do one room, and it just spreads.  Like a disease.  Only in a good way.


My room is still somewhat of a mess, but I still have lots to do in there.  I'm painting my bedroom furniture, which I showed you a Before of the other day.  I'm also decluttering drawers as I go.  However, I haven't been able to do any painting all week (see #4), but I'm hoping to start on the next piece this weekend.  Heck, I'm really hoping to start it today.  We shall see.


So, 3 hours later, I've been to the chiro, finished teaching supervising school AND painted hubby's nightstand AND cleaned all the bronze hardware on that and my dresser.  It can dry while we're at co-op and then I'll put it back in the room.


It may look like I'm SuperMom, but I'm not.  One of my AHG moms was asking the other day how I ever got it all done when my kids were little, which I'd been wondering myself just recently.  The answer:  I didn't.  If the house was clean, we were behind on schoolwork.  If I was taking care of a baby, the house was a mess.  If I was taking care of schoolwork, the house was a mess.  Babies weren't usually neglected because People Before Things, you know, and there were lots of siblings to hold them and play with them.  Basically, when you have lots of young children, you take care of them first, and then you pretty much just rotate through the rest of the stuff.  It's a balancing act.


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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Meditation on the Resurrection

When I meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, I often use images from The Passion of the Christ to help me stay focused.  There's not a lot to choose from when it comes to the Resurrection, but it is one of my favorites from the movie.  I see Jesus's beautiful face, as he sits up in the tomb, with Peace written on his features.  His wounds from the horrific tortures He endured and the crucifixion, with the exception of the nail holes in His hands, have healed.  He breathes a sigh of relief and resignation as He rises to begin the next and final phase of His earthly mission.

Yesterday, when I prayed these mysteries, I was struck anew by that sigh that He gives.  It suddenly occurred to me that maybe it wasn't in preparation for the work ahead, but a sigh of relief that His physical suffering was over.  He had "run the race and kept the faith" just as we must.  That thought, of torture and death, brought my thoughts to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East these days.  The deaths at the American Embassy in Libya.

The world is a crazy, sometimes very scary, place these days.  I wondered why so many people react with such violence and hatred to those who disagree with them, when I realized it's the devil.  Does the venom you see in the news, on Twitter, on Facebook, ever remind you of the curses spouted by Linda Blair in The Exorcist?  So many have forgotten God, either mindlessly letting Him slip from their hearts, or actively pushing Him away from a desire for a different idol, or no idol at all save Self.

It was quite a digression from the subject of the mystery, the resurrection of Christ, but with tears streaming, I heaped more prayer intentions on Mary's comforting shoulders, and forged on with my prayers, because that is just about all I have to offer the world at large.  In my little bubble here, my task is to raise faithful, Catholic, children in a world that needs faith desperately, and to serve in the other ways that God calls me.  And pray, ceaselessly, for all those on the front lines, so to speak, for those whose very lives (and, sometimes, souls)  are in danger.  That same image, which reminds me of the torture He endured and that others still endure, gives me great hope that on the other side of the suffering is great joy and peace.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why My Kids Don't Drive at 16

My high-schooler, who is a junior, told me a story last week that appalled me, and confirmed why I am an over-protective parent.  A sophomore girl at his Catholic school went to a party with kids from the  public school which is just about a mile from their school.  Naturally,  (why, naturally?) there was drinking going on and everyone was drunk.  This young lady from the Catholic school passed out, and instead of taking care of her, the other revelers proceeded to vomit on her, urinate on her, and beat her!  I don't know how badly she was injured, nor have I found any information on the incident in the papers, but my son said she wasn't at school for several days afterward.

Evidently, it started a huge FB war between the schools to the extent that the principals had to get involved.  Extra police presence was required at the next football game to ward off the possibility of fights.

Where on earth were the parents?  Where were the parents who owned the house?  Where were the parents of the kids who attended the party?  Who drove them there?

My kids don't get their driver's license at 16 for several reasons, including the cutthroat traffic in this major metropolitan area.  I'm sure they'd like to have a license and a car and the ability to go to lots of parties in 10th grade, but I don't think it's wise or necessary.  They go to a few parties where we either know the parents and their attitude, or we're fairly certain that they'll be supervised.  At least, if they know we're driving and we'll be picking them up at 11 p.m., they're much less likely to drink if we made a bad call!

I'm sure one of my older three could read this post and say, "Oh, wow, mom, if you only knew about the time...."  It's possible that they didn't always behave the way I would like them to, or that there were other teens definitely not behaving, but I've certainly tried to make sure I know where they are, who they're with, who is supervising, and when they'll be back.  And we almost never allow them in the car with other teen drivers.

Maybe the teen driving is not the biggest issue here---maybe it's the lack of parental oversight, but I think they go together.   If a teen's "mobility" is restricted by the fact that I have to approve of where they are going and then drive them there, I am pretty sure there is much less chance of something happening as it did to that young girl.

What do you think?  How do you oversee your child's social life?  When do your teens start driving?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Prayer for Our Country by George Washington

Because I saw this somewhere else on the 'net today, and because it's the perfect prayer for a country that needs a leader with these ideals:

Almighty God,
We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field.
And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-George Washington

H/T:  320 Sycamore

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grace-filled Daybook


Outside my window...
It's cool, I hear from my husband.  It'll probably be another gorgeous, perfect day like yesterday.

I am thinking...
About the graces received in the Sacrament of Confession on Saturday.  The kids were teasing me about being very naughty because I was in there for a long time, but I explained that it wasn't because my list of sins was that long, but because Father Joseph had a lot of great things to say about how I should live my life!   They also wanted to know why I was crying---we've been to Confession many, many times before, so surely it's not the first time they've seen me come out in tears?---I tried to explain that they are healing tears, and tears of gratitude that I can confess my sins and be given this gift of forgiveness and healing.  Grace.  And another opportunity  to glorify God with my life.

 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 16:19

I am thankful...
That I could walk on Saturday.  ;-)  On Friday, I took the kids to SkyZone which is a giant room full of connected trampolines, and, in a moment of sheer insanity, decided to join in the fun for an hour.  I don't think I've ever been on a trampoline in my life, but it was fun!  I can see why the kids spend so much time at the neighbor's house!  And it's a workout, too.  Who knew that it would be so tiring?  So I paced myself and stopped for good when I got sharp pains in my back with each bounce, and limped off in defeat.  (I wasn't really defeated.  I'm pretty sure it was just spasms from never-before-used muscles, and I had had a lot of fun in that hour!)

From the learning rooms kitchen table...
School is going pretty well.  Meg is doing a ton of reading this year which is great to see because she has not been a huge fan of reading during her lifetime.  Oh, and she's retaining information, so that's a plus, too!

In the kitchen...
Lots of paleo cooking yesterday---cleaning out the fridge of all the  veggies on the verge of going bad and making lots of flattened chicken breasts that "taste just like chicken nuggets!"  That's what we all strive for, right?  For our cooking to taste like McDonalds.

I am wearing...
Denim capris and a white scoopneck---I was gonna call it a "tee" but I remembered that I despise wearing actual tshirts----so, in the interest of full disclosure, it's a cotton scoopneck.  ;-)

I am knitting...
Eh.  A tote bag out of scrap yarn which I seem to work on only on Friday nights at trivia.

I am going...
To the chiropractor (see "I am Thankful") for myself and my Pipster.  He's been complaining for a while about his neck, and it started hurting more after SkyZone.  We'll see what the chiro has to say about that place!  He already disapproves of my roller coaster riding.  Middle-aged (ouch, did I really just admit that?) ladies aren't supposed to have any fun, evidently.

I am reading...
Killing Lincoln.  Still.  It's really good, and 5 days overdue at the library, but I don't have much time to read these days.  And no, I can't renew it because it's a 2-week, no renewal, book.  All I can do is keep it and pay the fine---so I am!

I am hoping...
To finish Killing Lincoln today or tomorrow!  :-)

I am looking forward to...
Our first American Heritage Girls meeting of the year this week.  The troop is growing, which is great, but I'll be happy when we're settled into a routine and the big onslaught of paperwork is over with!

I am hearing on my ipod...
Looking forward to listening to the crazies on Catholic Weekend sometime soon.  I couldn't hang out in the chat room yesterday because of the cooking and celebrating the Blessed Mother's birthday at the park with our homeschool group.  It was a lovely day.

Around the house...
Oh my!  It is so cluttered around here.  Too many things going on and not enough being finished and put away.  I think that's what I'll have to do----the cleaning and decluttering that I didn't have time for on our Crazy Busy Saturday.  And then there will still be more to do!

One of my favorite things...
Sleeping.  All.  Night.  Long.  Need I say more?  Yes:  It would be nice to do that again.  Soon.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
AHG, cleaning, painting (Stay tuned!),  decluttering.  LIFE.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Before.  And ignore the clutter---it doesn't always look like that!

Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother!

One of my home schooling friends sent this out, and it's too beautiful not to share.  I was expecting the Gregorian chant that I'd heard before, but not this.  Karol Wojtyla, Blessed John Paul II, had a beautiful voice, but I think the love of Mary that you can clearly hear is even more amazing.

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Pray for us sinners who have recourse to thee.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Crepuscular Quick Takes


Beep!  Beep!  Beep!  We interrupt this sleep cycle for an important broadcast.  This is to inform you that for no good reason at all, you won't be able to go back to sleep for 3 hours.  Thank you.  This has been a Public Service Announcement.   Beep!  Beep!  Beep!



Meg loves these rays of sun between the clouds---she says it's a soul going up to heaven.  Did you know that they are called Crepuscular Rays?


This is just a little video of Meg practicing her poem, George Washington by Stephen Vincent Benet.  I love how she can't be still while she does it, but has to be dramatic.


Here she is in a quieter moment, though her bright clothes are making a lot of noise with hot pink pants and fluorescent yellow shirt!  She's following along in her script while the other homeschoolers rehearse their fall play.


We go play trivia at Starbucks almost every week, and all kinds of silliness occurs during the breaks between questions.  You can tell how badly we are doing by the zaniness of the kids!  When we're doing well, there is, usually, quiet intensity while we all try to figure out the answers.  If the adults are clueless, then you can expect the kids to be pretty silly while they entertain themselves.


We are the proud parents of a Life Scout.  He's just one giant step away from being an Eagle Scout!


I found someone local, at a huge antique mall (I could stay there for hours!), who sells Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  So I have purchased several colors, and am in the midst of painting practically anything that stands still (and is boring or depressing).  Like my kitchen island.  It's really hard to get a good picture of it with an accurate color.  I don't think it looks as yellow as the swatch on the website, but the color is Versaille.  You can see however, that it's not white anymore!

It was kind of fun, kind of scary to do.  Now that the wax has dried, I'm happy with it, though I think I'll buff it a bit to shine it up.  There are more details to come on Annie Sloan adventures!


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

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kids' Triathlon

Pip participated in a kids' triathlon a couple of weeks ago.  It was pretty much on the spur of the moment---he had a week to prepare---but he gamely spent that week running, biking and swimming, doing some variety of workout every day.  He was pretty confident that he could handle the distances easily:  

Swim 8 laps
Bike 6 miles
Run 1 mile

It's not even 8 a.m and he's already weary of waiting.
We had to be there at 6:30 a.m!

 We learned a LOT from this tri, which is touted as one of the 10 largest in the country, although I was also told that it was the largest.  There were almost 900 kids (you can see how late we registered!)

That's his microchip on his ankle, which starts as soon as he hits the water.
 We had to go Saturday to pick up his race packet.  That's a good time to drop off your bike in Transition---and all the rest of your gear that's needed in Transition!  If you still need to get into Transition before the race on Sunday, you have to be finished by 7:30 when they close it.

They had places for kids to make signs.
 There wasn't much else to do but wait, wait, wait, wait, wait until his group was finally called around 10:30 a.m!  Experienced families knew to bring their own little canopy tent with chairs and a cooler full of goodies.    We did bring a few things, but our chairs ended up being in the wrong location to be useful, and I guess we would have moved them if we had known how long the wait would be.  

The Big Tent is finally clearing out because only the kids with the blue caps are left!

In the Cool Zone after the race!  I'm terrible about getting photos of moving objects!  We were able to watch him swim; saw him take off running with his bike out of Transition; we saw him at the end of the biking portion, and then he passed us twice on the run, and finished strong.

It was a very exciting event---once you got to the event itself!  I don't know how many more of these we will do, because its a huge family commitment, but he had been wanting to try one when we heard about this one that was very close to us.  Maybe it was the size of this particular Tri, but it was way more complicated than the 5k/10k runs that we're familiar with!

Have you or your kids ever done a triathlon?  Tell me about it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Overdue Projects

2 projects that I finally tackled on Saturday were covering Katie's ottoman that goes with The Chair, and  making a new valence for my kitchen window.

The ottoman turned out to be very simple and quick with my handy staple gun.  Meg had the idea of how to do the corners which was perfect, and I'm thrillllled with it.  And the fact that it was so easy.  Katie's not sure she wants it, so we may be stuck with it  get to keep it.  

Good thing it's cute.

Since I'm slooowly switching up the colors around the house, to cheery blues and greens, Sweet Katie brought home a vintage, (read:  don't get this thing near an open flame!) pinch-pleat curtain panel for me to re-purpose.  It wasn't quite wide enough, so I had to turn it sideways.  I cut off the pleated top, turned it, and sewed a rod pocket across the top.  After stitching up that cut edge, of course.

Love the colors!

 See that little painting peeking out from the top?  I guess I'm going to have to move that one.

 I had some jersey strips in my scrap pile that were the perfect length and color for tying it up.  Moving the tension rod all the way up to the top of the cabinets, instead of just above the window, was the last little detail that made it perfect!

The little painting is now hanging under the cabinet.  Can you guess what it's hanging on?  

It's hanging on the unneeded phone jack since we just got rid of our landline last week!  I think that worked out perfectly.


What kinds of things have you done around the house that were unexpectedly easy (unlike The Chair!) and you absolutely LOVE?


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