Monday, February 14, 2011

So Sweet! Valentine Birthday

I made this for a friend whose birthday is today!  I used the Storybook cartridge.  The phrase "Birthday Girl" is on page 72.  I used Bazil cardstock in pink and shadowed the letters in white.  Then I added some bling with glitter, sticker glitter hearts and one gem for the "I".  I glued the phrase onto a doily and attached it to the card.  I thought it made the card look very fancy!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cricut Valentine's Project-- Love Banner

I made this for a friend to hang on her mantle for Valentine's day.  I used the Birthday Bash cartridge for the banner, and the Storybook cart for the letters.  It went together very easily and turned out very nice for my first banner!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Musings

This year we will have a number of 11's in the date.  1/1/11; 1/11/11; 11/1/11; 11/11/11.  Try this out and amaze your friends.  Take the age you will be this year and add that number to the last two digits of the year you were born.  The number will be 111!  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Shopping for a First Communion Dress

This is something I've looked forward to ever since our little Princess was born!  I can't believe we are beginning the process of catechesis for her First Communion Day which will be coming up this May.  

More importantly than the dress is the reason for this occasion, which is the children receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the very first time.  I think it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose focus on the reason.  That being said, I admit that I am loving getting the chance to pick out a First Communion dress for her.  I want it to be something really special for a REALLY special day.  It is almost like picking out a wedding dress. 

Besides our local Catholic book store, which I will most definitely check out-- I really love supporting that business because it is so nice to have a Catholic store nearby-- I have found some online sources to be very helpful in comparing what the dress looks like. Nordstroms carries some nice dresses. I have picked two that I really like:
This one:
And this one:

We have plenty of time before making any choices, but this is such an exciting milestone for any Catholic as the next step in the faith journey and the second step to full initiation with the Church.

On Wednesday we have a meeting which will discuss all the details as far as what is required. The children need to attend classes specifically for learning all about the Eucharist and the importance of the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I like how our children come fully into the Faith in stages, just how they grow into full understanding in stages.

The usual way a child is initiated into the Catholic Church is through Baptism, preferably shortly after birth but it can be anytime before age 7; the next step is receiving First Holy Communion at around second grade or age 8; and finally Confirmation which is conferred during the teens.  The age of Confirmation varies depending on the rules of the Diocese in which they belong.  For example, in our Diocese, Confirmation takes place in the Junior or Senior year of High School after two years of preparation.

So, it seems, my little princess is growing up.  She will be able to receive Communion with us at Mass starting after her First Communion in May.  I remember when she was a toddler, one time my husband was carrying her in his arms up to Communion.  She was perplexed at why she didn't receive the Host when my husband did and I think maybe felt a little left out.  She held her hands out but instead of receiving a Host, she was given the usual blessing, as would anyone Catholic or non-Catholic who isn't able to receive.  The next Sunday, I think she must have thought to try a new tactic.  When she got to the front of the line, she looked up sweetly, held out her hands and asked, "Please?"  Which was very cute but still she received a blessing.  Soon, very soon, she will receive Jesus in the Eucharist and all the graces that come along with that.  We are very excited!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kicking off another Catholic Schools Week!

Catholic schools week is always celebrated the last week of January.  This year's theme is A+ for America.   Our school is commemorating this week by having lots of fun and enriching activities for the kids.  Today, the kids will receive a free dress pass for wearing their school uniform to Mass.  Most of the kids love free dress days as they are few and far between! 

Catholic school for us means quite a commitment and financial sacrifice as it does for most of the other families who choose this as a way to educate their children.  It means paying a steep tuition and other fees.  It means commuting each day to and from.  It means investing our time with share hours that each family is required to meet.  We have done a mix of public school and private school and their are pros and cons to each.  By sending our children to a primary Catholic school, we believe that they are getting a good foundation both spiritually and academically.  Going to our parish school also connects us more closely to the faith community in which we belong.  

One of the best things about Catholic school is the structure and discipline it provides but you won't see any nuns with rulers at our school.  The teachers our children have had through the years have all been dedicated professionals who see their teaching as not just a job but a calling.  They realize that they are helping to shape minds and souls, that teaching the whole child means addressing their spiritual needs as well as their academic needs.  It is the reason we have chosen this road, because we know that both are important.  Our children will always have a firm foundation because of their years spent at a Catholic school!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Auction Project 2011

This is my third year working on our class auction project. The first two years we made a firepit which was purchased at and personalized by the students. I'm sure I posted the pictures here on my blog at the time. It was a big hit, both years. This year we wanted to try something different. We are going to create a window seat chest that will have on the top, embedded in epoxy, digital word "clouds" created by the students. These word clouds will describe all their favorite things, hence, our calling this project "My Favorite Things". My husband is getting ready to purchase the supplies, as he is making the wooden portion of the project. My assistant and I will be figuring out the sizing and placement of the word art for the top. We have a budget of about $350.00, so if we go over it is out of our pockets.

I will keep you updated on this project and post last year's auction entries in a separate post. I know that I like to go to websites for ideas, so hopefully you will get some ideas from mine as well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time flies when you're Having Fun

I wish I could say I have a good excuse for being away for so long! I don't. I know that I really hate when I find a blog that hasn't been updated in forever, so I don't blame you if you haven't stuck around. I have been thinking about a direction for my blog and so far I haven't decided what I want to write about now. I stopped writing last summer due to a death in the family and I just felt like other things were more important. Weeks turned into months, and then gradually, so much time had passed that I actually forgot about this little piece of cyber real estate. If you have checked in from time to time to see what I was up to, God bless you. Especially you, Tammy. I love your blog! And you too Moody! I still read your blog all the time too!

So, have a little patience (ha!) and we will try to get this thing up and running again. I think it's about time, don't you?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lessons from the Garden

May 17th:

July 7th:

Gardening has been teaching me valuable lessons.

The first thing I've learned is PATIENCE. The first photo was taken around the time I planted them, the second photo taken just this morning. While there has been quite a spectacular change in size, there is just the tiniest evidence that one day we will be enjoying the fruits of the harvest. This relates to my spiritual life in many ways. It really is no wonder that many of the parables of Jesus referred to gardening.

Patience. It is a virtue, and nothing teaches patience more than waiting for 60-72 days for vegetables and fruit to grow and ripen. Each day when I go out to water, I check to see the progress of growth and each day I notice a small difference. Looking at the photos I can see a huge difference, it is a perspective that I think about with my spiritual life. Day by day I am growing in small ways and over time, I can look back and see how far I have come. Some days it seems that I have stopped growing or even gone backwards only to find that I have made progress, even if it is slow.

Another thing I've learned is how much we take for granted. In our society, we are in such a hurry to go places, if we get hungry we can always pull in to the nearest fast food place and order a hamburger. We can always stop at WalMart and get x,y,z that we need. But this process has caused me to wonder how society was when they didn't have McDonald's or WalMart. There was a time when people grew their own food and lived on only what they could produce. I would be in serious trouble if I had to rely on my little garden patch for sustenance. Growing my own vegetables gives me such an appreciation for the food that we are blessed to have on our table each day. It gives me an awareness of slowing down and enjoying life, at the pace of nature rather than the pace of society.

Because when you care for a plant every day and it takes two months for it to give you food, you really appreciate that. You see the process that goes into what it takes for a tomato to go from a small plant to yielding fruit, which is quite different than going to the store and buying it from the shelf. Many times those tomatoes have sat on my counter and ended up rotting. It is because I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now. You can bet that these are not going to waste!

There is so much that can be learned from gardening. Patience. Thankfulness. An awareness of the amazing way that our world is created, seeing nature up close and being a part of it. It is a rewarding and very insightful venture.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Don't Touch that Novena!

I asked my son, soon to be in sixth grade at our Catholic parish school, if he knew what a Novena was. Sometimes I just randomly ask my kids questions to see if they know the answer and sometimes I do it strictly for amusement because if they don't know the answer, they are sure to make something up. This child is my most creative one and he has a very unique way of looking at the world. His answer? "A Novena is something that burns easily." Little did I know that he was on the right track. I just needed to fill in the blanks.

The word Novena is a derivative of the number nine, a novena is a prayer lasting for nine days. This is a model of the first Christians, who after the Ascension of Our Lord, gathered in prayer in the upper room for nine days and on the tenth day, the Holy Spirit descended. A great wind filled the room and tongues of fire rested on their heads. This happened on the ancient Jewish festival called the "feast of weeks" or Pentecost. This event also marks the very first Novena!

Ok, so now I'm seeing a connection between fire and prayer. My son is brilliant!

Novenas can be divided into categories. There are novenas to Our Lord, our Lady, the saints and angels. It is also customary for the titular saint of the parish to be honored with nine nights of prayer.

Novenas can also be perpetual. Instead of nine consecutive nights, they can be prayed every week. The Miraculous Medal Novena is often prayed in Catholic parishes every Monday.

It is customary for Filipino churches to have a Perpetual Novena for Our Lady of Perpetual Help, whose feast day is June 27th, which also happens to be my wedding anniversary!

Novenas are a wonderful way to enrich your prayer life. I don't know if they can burn easily but I do know that anything is possible!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It is Love at First Sight

I've noticed that there is such a difference between the way a little girl sees the world (or the United States, in this case) versus the way a boy sees it.

Case in point:

My boys would find the states that most resemble guns and start to shoot each other. Just in case you were wondering, Florida, Idaho and Oklahoma make great guns. They would pick up these pieces and make shooting noises using a complex combination of spit and percussion from their mouths. I don't know but I think that boys are genetically wired to be able to produce that noise.

In contrast, my sweet little girl sits down at the table. She starts to look at the puzzle and first notices all the pretty colors. Then, she dumps the pieces out and painstakingly puts them all back in the right spots. She even knows what some of the states are, which I think is very impressive for a six year old. Well, considering that her 11 year old brother just got done learning his states and capitals makes me think that she might have been listening just a little bit through the study sessions.

Anyway. On to the story. While putting together the puzzle, she happens to discover that Nebraska and Utah are in love. Did you know that? See here, they are kissing:She had a very detailed fairy tale story to tell of the happenstance way that these two states ended up meeting and falling in love. She told me how Colorado and Wyoming stood in the way of Nebraska and Utah ever getting to meet. But by fate, one day they were the last two to be placed in the puzzle and that is how they met and fell in love. Well, actually, she says, Nebraska loved Utah but Utah did not love Nebraska back. Somehow, though, because every story she tells has a happy ending, Nebraska finally won over that stubborn Utah and they lived happily ever after.

Meanwhile, Florida and Oklahoma are in a duel to the death.

Boys and girls and their unique perspectives. Men really are from Mars, aren't they?

Bouncy House

The kids were begging Busy Woodshop Hubby to get out the bouncy house and set it up the other day. We saw it a few years ago at our local warehouse store and decided we needed it. It has provided LOTS and LOTS of fun over the past five years, I can honestly say we have gotten our money's worth. We get it out for birthdays, when friends come over, or just for the heck of it. Even the adults like it. Here is our most recent bouncy fun day:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Bees

The bees are buzzing around here. Literally! The other morning I was getting ready in my bathroom and I heard a buzzing sound in my room. On further inspection, I noticed a little honey bee frantically beating him(her?)self up on my window trying to get out. I figured that when I went back downstairs I would get a paper cup and capture it to let it outside, when I was finished in the bathroom. Well, by the time I came out there were 7 bees in three of the windows, making a very loud combined humming sound. It was a little scary to say the least. I wondered how they all got in (the windows were open but the screens are on) and to have that many at once I wondered if I might have a problem. I went around capturing them all to let them out since I knew that hubby would get out the spray and zap them if I didn't help them outside.

They were all let out safe and sound, but I never did find out how they got inside in the first place. We checked the attic and it was alright and there have been no more bees in the house since then. Maybe they were on a mission to free that first one since it took me so long to get it!

I was outside checking around and didn't find any evidence of a beehive nearby. I guess for now the problem is solved.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sister Chemistry

Oh the funniest thing happened last night. My sister just recently signed on to one of those dating match sites, and gave me a call to go over all her "potential" matches based on her personality profile and the type of person she is looking for. You know, basically the perfect man. I think she might have to settle for something slightly less but I'll be positive for her sake that there might be one more out there. However, I do believe that there is someone for everyone so let's hope that he is also registered at (and perfect for my sister!)

So anyway, she wanted me to look at her profile and help her jazz it up a bit, and while I was in there to take a look at her potential guys to help her figure out which ones to write to.

Well, we quickly discovered that we could both be signed on to her account at the same time (we live in different states). What fun! We started going down the list. "G" seemed nice and had quite a bit in common with her as far as his interests. She's been emailing with him to find out more information. I really like "G". Then another "G" also has shown some interest in her and she thinks he might also be a good possibility to meet in real life. He could be a good second choice. Can I tell you she's loving shopping for a date this way? I found my husband the old fashioned way but I guess you can find romance through the internet. It seems easy enough, and could save a lot of time by separating them out before she even has to meet them. Because after all at some point she will have to step out from behind the computer and actually meet one of these guys.

I gave her my opinions on all the guys based on what they had written about themselves and what they were looking for, what I know about her and also just what my instincts told me. My sister has no common sense when it comes to men, and she will be the first to admit that. That's why our little devious plan just might work!

Right away I told her to ditch "M" because he wants someone 'above and beyond' which indicated to me that he might just be a bit too picky. Besides he looked too pretty. He probably has some issues. Just sayin.

Then there was "R" who is an engineer and I'm betting really smart. He seems nice enough but can he loosen the tie a little? Unless he has a huge sense of humor, he wouldn't be too happy with my sister because she's pretty off the wall. Think Ellen Degeneres crossed with Roseanne Barr and a little Carol Burnette and that's my sister. She can't be around someone who's too uptight. But maybe "R" has a wild side. You never know.

There were a couple others and they all seemed nice and most of them weren't too bad looking. So we even have a plan C,D and E if we need it.

She and I were both laughing at the idea that I was helping her compose the letters to these gentlemen and also rewriting her profile and just thinking that we were totally getting away with something.

I was laughing that she totally trusted me with her log in information and thought just how tempting it could be for me to go in and change some of her answers. She is very trusting, isn't she? I wouldn't though. Probably.

So far so good on the chemistry homefront. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's About Time!

That's what I'm telling myself today. It's about time for a new post. I find myself making the rounds of my favorite blogs, checking once, twice sometimes three times a day (yeah, I know I could just put them in my reader. I like to check myself, though!) And sometimes, I am rewarded with new content even two, three times a day. Some bloggers are great like that. I guess I'm not one of those. If I even have a 'readership' who checks my content I can be assured that I am checked on weekly these days. Not daily, or hourly like those crazy great bloggers out there that we are all wanting to know every detail of their lives. Oh, you know who they are. Don't you?

Well, anyway if you don't, I'm not telling. Anytime soon anyway. I have to have some reason for you to come back, after all. It obviously isn't for my timely updates.