Monday, September 29, 2008

Rosary Bowl Northwest!

I'm really working on trying to convince my family that we need to go to this! Pray for me!

Ask Sister Mary Martha

Do you have any questions? I know I have LOTS of questions, all the time. I recently found this very cute blog written by a nun, Sister Mary Martha. She is a cross between Mother Angelica and Dear Abby. She is so funny! I hope you enjoy her blog as much as I have!
Her tagline: "Life is tough. Nuns are tougher." Need I say more?

Mindless Monday Question

Why do the dogs always run in front of the vacuum, and act like I'm the one coming after them?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Monthly Medjugorje Message to Marija

Latest Monthly Medjugorje Message, September 25, 2008

“Dear children! May your life, anew, be a decision for peace. Be joyful carriers of peace and do not forget that you live in a time of grace, in which God gives you great graces through my presence. Do not close yourselves, little children, but make good use of this time and seek the gift of peace and love for your life so that you may become witnesses to others. I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call. ”

Monthly Medjugorje Message

Latest Special Medjugorje Message, September 2, 2008 - Our Lady's apparitions to Mirjana

“Dear children, Today, with my motherly heart, I call you gathered around me to love your neighbor. My children, stop. Look in the eyes of your brother and see Jesus, my Son. If you see joy, rejoice with him. If there is pain in the eyes of your brother, with your tenderness and goodness, cast it away, because without love you are lost. Only love is effective; it works miracles. Love will give you unity in my Son and the victory of my heart. Therefore, my children, love. ”
Our Lady blessed all those who were present and all of the religious articles. Once again she called us to pray for our shepherds

Picture Day Perils

For some reason, whenever it is time for pictures, whether at school or a studio, bad things happen. I don't know why but it seems to be Murphy's Law for me that I almost expect that something will happen as soon as I make an appointment.

Case in point: I don't have any formal pictures of my little princess from age four to five, because things like this happened:

That was when she was doing ballerina twirls in the kitchen and was just the right height to cause this injury when she smacked her sweet face right on the corner of my granite countertop.

Countertop, 1 Princess 0

This was right after her birthday and I had planned on bringing her in for pictures, but now I had to wait for this to heal. It took a while.

I made a new appointment, in hindsight I think that is what the problem is. Making plans. I should just randomly get up one morning and run them all to the photo place and thus outsmart those little gremlins that mess up our plans.

Anyway, I was all set to bring her in and then another mishap. The boys were running in the back door right as Princess was coming out. The door knob just happens to be about eyebrow height, and in one quick swing of the door, she had another huge laceration. This one happened when dad was at work, and I always get freaked out by the sight of my children's blood (no one else's seems to bother me, though)

It was the same eyebrow, same place as before.

We drove to the hospital (conveniently he works there) and instead of putting her through the torture of stitches again, he was able to glue her skin together and put a steri strip over it. She ended up getting the Diego Rescue Center for that injury (the boys did feel very badly!)

Door 1, Princess 0

I kind of just gave up the picture thing for a while, and planned on getting one of the whole family at Christmas, except that didn't happen. We were finally injury free but then had a *dickens* of a time trying to get an appointment (pun intended!) I guess the photo places get pretty busy that time of year.

So, you can imagine how excited I was for picture day. This is her first school picture and I wanted it to be perfect. As they will, though things started conspiring again.

First, she lost her cute little Gymboree dress, you know the denim one with the Bavarian style embroidery? It looks adorable on her and that's what I had planned for her to wear. Except she wore it on Thursday night and misplaced it. I couldn't find it ANY.where. The only other dress that was picture worthy was a size 3T. Just slightly small, since she wears a 5T most of the time. It fit everywhere except the skirt, which was a bit short. It did hang past her fingertips, just *barely* I told her it would be ok as long as she didn't bend over all day!

Then I decided to style her hair, something she doesn't normally let me do. Usually she wears her hair in pony tails or just down, whenever we use bows or barrettes they come out and get lost. I stopped buying those cute matching Gymboree bows a long time ago. I had visions of all these cute styles I could try when I had a girl, and well, that doesn't happen. Luckily, she looks adorable even without the accessories.

My curling iron decided to break right when I was doing the last cute little ringlet. At least it didn't break after only the half way point. I could have sent that picture in to Ellen's bad hair day photo contest. I fluffed and sprayed and she looked like an angel.

Before we left the house, I took some 'practice' pictures, just for fun. Good thing I did, because when we stepped outside, it was foggy, and the curl completely went flat. She has my hair, unfortunately-- baby fine and no body. She does have a little natural curl but not much.

I won't know if her pictures turned out for about a month, and with a face as cute as hers, I'm sure that her school picture is just perfect but in the meantime, here are the practice pictures we took before going to school yesterday:

She has the model head tilt! What a little diva :-) If you look closely, you can see the nice scar above her eyebrow. I guess with two brothers, if that's all that happens, she's doing ok.

The smile is a little forced but isn't she just precious?

This is a cute one too. I don't think she can take a bad picture.

Gotta love Picture day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Green with Envy


Here is our submission to the Before and After, two-month-later-Palooza that Boo Mama is hosting today. I hope you enjoy your stay at the former Pink Victorian which is now the Green Gables. (and no, I'm not changing my blog name!)


Pretty in Pink

Painted Lady

Painting this house was a huge project. The paint was peeling and there was bare wood exposed, so we knew that it needed to be painted. The question was, should we keep it the color it was, or change it? And if so, to what? The process started in early spring as we began collecting bids from a number of painting contractors. We quickly found that having a 'unique' house had its downfalls. The first being that all the bids were astronomically high. Most said we needed scaffolding 3/4 of the way around (all except the front side).

We finally found a reputable contractor who had experience painting historical buildings and was willing to paint it without scaffolding, and his bid was the lowest of all the others. We were sold! Then it was on to choosing paint colors, which was another story in itself.

We knew we wanted a monochromatic theme, as it was already in a monochromatic pink palette. As we soon realized, we were going to need some help. We called on a color specialist who guided us through the process of selecting the color we like and one that complements the house.

The following pictures served as inspiration as we explored what green can look like on a Victorian style house:

This one is beautiful with the pretty white trim against the green. We liked it, but we did want a little more colors than just two. It was a start.

I love this one, it has some browns in it and looks great for a city setting, but we weren't sure if it would be right for our neighborhood. Still, it was another idea.

Wow! Now I want a horse and carriage too!

After a lot of hemming and hawing and hand wringing and playing on the Sherwin-Williams try-a-color web feature, and with lots of help and encouragement from our color lady, we finally decided on these Sherwin-Williams colors: Connected Gray for the eaves and door trim; Svelte Sage for the body; Ancient Marble for the second floor body color; and Panda White for the window trim.

I have to say, that even though we had spent hours and days and weeks and months thinking about color and looking at colors, when the day finally arrived it was slightly scary. When they were taping off all the windows I felt more than a little anxious. I couldn't believe it was happening so fast. Then the painters started spraying on the main color and when I could finally come outside to take a peek it looked amazing! Each day it looked better and better.

After about a month, it was all finished.

We are so happy with the result, and get lots of compliments on the new color.

So without further adieu, (drum roll please)


Prettier in Green

(This is a shot before the porch was painted)

click for larger view

Ta Da! I hope you liked our Makeover! Thanks for stopping by! Thanks Boo Mama for hosting this, it is so much fun visiting everyone's projects. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there's a closet that needs some work......

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You Don't Jump to Conclusions, You Draw Them

Yesterday, my ten year old casually asks me what the word "conclusion" meant. I was in another room and not looking at what he was working on, so I told him the definition of conclusion would be the end of something.

It turns out he was doing a math problem. This is the question:

"If Jose worked 5 hours and made $31.25, and Annie worked 6 hours and made $37.50, and Tina worked 9 hours and made $56.25, what conclusion can you draw from that information?"

Here is his answer:
They would be TIRED, of course!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Funny Fall Fotos


Farmer impression

Field of Corn

Mindless Monday Question Time

Here's me on Monday morning:

Today's Question:

Why can I never find the one thing I'm looking for?

It doesn't matter what it is, I can't find it! I go on a hunt for an important paper-- say, a receipt that is vital for reimbursement, only it is nowhere. I can find plenty of other things while I'm looking for that one thing, but not that one thing. My dad always says it will be in the last place I look. Now that's a lot of help!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Company's Coming!

If you're like me, then you probably use your formal dining room as a space to dump all the extra stuff. My dining room table almost always has an array of things on it, such as: stacks of paperwork needing to be filed; magazines; craft projects in varying stages of completion; toys; clothes needing to be mended; books from the library that need to be returned and other such things that should have somewhere to go other than my table.

But today everything needs to be relocated because we have company coming for dinner tonight. This is where my creative housekeeping comes in handy. I scoop up this potpourri of things that all somehow ended up sharing the same space and toss them all in my craft room in the basement and shut the door. That's handy, isn't it?

Now that the table is cleared off, time for me to think about the food preparation. Our guests are bringing the main course so that leaves me in charge of the appetizers, salad and dessert. (I always remember the word "dessert" has two "s's" because you want a second helping! Did you learn it that way, too?)

At the supermarket, I saw a tray of cheeses cut in cubes for $11.98. Not bad if you really don't have the time, but I do, so I bought three different varieties in the 2lb. size for about the same amount, and we'll have lots of cheese left over. I am going to make a cheese tray with crackers and those cute little mini bread thingies. Oh Martha Stewart I am not! But I try.

The salad will be a simple greens with cucumber and tomatoes (on the side, just in case!)

The dessert was easy. The frozen case at the bakery had a caramel turtle pie ice cream cake.

I was thinking: If it weren't for sporadic company, my dining room might look like one of those rooms you see on Clean Sweep. Not only do we get enjoy a nice meal with friends, but they keep me from the humiliation of clutter gone bad!

Oh, and you were wondering about the picture at the top of this post? I was looking on my hard drive for a before/after of our dining room. We painted it recently but since I couldn't find that picture, I thought this one of my Princess and her bunny was cute. It really has nothing to do with this post!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'll be a Millionaire as soon as the mail comes!

Catchy title, isn't it ;-)

Now that I'm a stay at home mom with all the kids in school, I get to have the TV tuned on the shows I want to watch during the day. This is what happened today.

So, I'm doing the dishes and watching this infomercial about how to make millions off the internet! It's so easy! Just send $39.95 to this guy who is probably a carnival worker and I can learn the secrets of making money so fast I won't know how to spend it! It worked for Billy Joe Bob who claimed he was taking a cruise while his website brought home the bacon. He made $432,000 in one week! Just three clicks, as easy as sending an email and my web business will be raking in the dough. With a forklift, apparently. Sound too good to be true? I thought so too. But those testimonials, they are so riveting, and almost believable. I was truly on the edge of my seat. In the end, I didn't order because I would rather just have a blog that's more altruistic but poor (just kidding!) But I totally believed everything they said (not!)

But then, when I thought it couldn't get any better, I watched another infomercial (Lucy, turn off the TV!) This was a P90X, which promises that in 90 days I will have seriously ripped abs without surgery! Of course, it only comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, but I bet all those people who bought a system overlooked that little fact. I was tempted but I resisted. If I had washboard abs and the perfect Hollywood body they promised, I would be the envy of all the soccer moms and be shunned from the inner circle of the coach purse acrylic nail tips club. I can't risk that.

Didn't P.T. Barnum say, "There's a sucker born every minute."

I will addend that with "and they're all watching infomercials believing every word you say."

I'm checking out that Arizona ocean front property time share development thing tomorrow. They say if I get in on the ground floor, that I could be the next Donald Trump. wow!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows

The Seven Sorrows (or Dolors) are events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary which are a popular devotion and are frequently depicted in art.

1. The Prophecy of Simeon over the Infant Jesus.(Luke 2:34)
2. The Flight into Egypt of the Holy Family. (Matthew 2:13)
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days. (Luke 2:43)
4. The Meeting of Jesus and Mary along the Way of the Cross. (Luke 23:26)
5. The Crucifixion where Mary stands at the foot of the cross. (John 19:25)
6. The Descent from the Cross where Mary receives the dead body of Jesus in her arms. (Matthew 27:57)
7. The Burial of Jesus. (John 19:40)

Servite Chaplet is form of the rosary dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. It is also known as the Seven Dolors Rosary or the Seven Swords Rosary referring to the prophesy of Simeon, "Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." - (Lk.2:34-35)

It is much like a regular rosary but has seven sets of seven beads (weeks) Hail Marys instead of five sets of ten beads (decades). In praying the Dolours Rosary or Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows, one meditates on the seven sorrows in place of the Rosary meditations.

It is also common to pray seven Hail Mary's for each. The prayer "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary pray for us" is used as well. Pope Benedict XIII, September 26th, 1724, and Pope Clement XII, December 12th, 1734, granted indulgences to those Christians who would be truly repentant, seek reconciliation within the Church, and pray this Chaplet on certain days. Devotion to Mary's Sorrows, was once said in an apparition of Christ, can be used as a last resort for salvation.

Each of the Seven Sorrows is announced followed by the Our Father and seven Hail Mary's. Three Hail Marys are added in remembrance of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son.

V. Pray for us, O most sorrowful Virgin. R. The we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Concluding Prayer
Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and for the hour of our death, the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose holy soul was pierced at the time of Thy passion by a sword of grief. Grant us this favor, O Saviour of the world, Who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.

The Seven Sorrows Rosary on You Tube.

Mindless Monday Question

How do they fit 10 grams of fat into 15 Pringle's chips? And who is that guy with the mustache?

(The Pringle's website has lots of fun Flash animation and some games, go have a look! Play Snack attack, it's fun!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day of New Beginnings 9/11

On this day seven years ago, my oldest child started his first day of kindergarten. It was a milestone for him, and for me too. It started out as any other day, except I insisted taking lots of pictures of him in his uniform before we headed off to his school. It was a short day for the kindergartners, so when I picked him up a few hours later at 10:30, all of the parents were still blissfully unaware of the tragedy unfolding in our nation that day. I am sure that if someone had known, it wouldn't have been kept quiet. It was when I got home, turned the key in the lock and walked in the door when a neighbor shouted at me to turn on the TV. I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams what I saw next. How did we get from a happy, tranquil, first-day-of-kindergarten blue-sky day, to seeing horrifying images on television of burning buildings, with the moment of impact of the second plane replaying over and over while listening to the shocked news anchors trying to make sense of it for us. It was beyond surreal.

The very first thing I did was call my dad, which was my way of checking to see if all was right in my world. I needed to hear his voice and hear some reassurance that everything was going to be o.k. After we spoke, I fell to my knees and prayed a rosary for the people on the planes and in the buildings. I knew that the world as we knew it was never going to be the same. I remember later that day, going to the ACME supermarket and encountering other people looking as shell shocked as I felt. It was difficult to imagine life ever returning to normal. I remember going to my church and praying, it seemed so many people found comfort in churches across the country.

It was a day of new beginnings, but not in the way I would have liked to remember. I would like to remember 9/11/2001 only as the day my oldest son started kindergarten, a day that commemorated this big moment for him. My baby growing up. However, this special day of ours will always be intertwined with the day that will be known in history as the day of infamy for all Americans. I wish it wasn't so. Life seemed so simple and innocent, and all that changed in an instant. I wondered what kind of world my kids would be growing up in.

Since that day, so much has changed in our lives. My husband graduated from his post-secondary program and began a new career in anesthesia. We had a baby daughter. We have moved twice. My oldest son started seventh grade this year. This year, the seventh anniversary year of 9/11, my daughter started kindergarten. I couldn't help but think back to that day not that long ago, when my son was starting his first day and all that would transpire. I know for me, and for many, life eventually got back to a new normal. But it will never be the same.

I wish I had the foresight to photograph all the flags from those early days post 9/11. At the time, we lived in Philadelphia. There wasn't a residence or place of business anywhere in the city it seemed that didn't have a flag displayed. I could kick myself for not taking a picture, for not video taping all the displays of patriotism, but all I have are the snapshots in my memory. It was an incredible sight to see all those flags waving proudly, a nation standing together in a time of turmoil.

Today we again stand and recall those events, never to be forgotten by anyone who was there to witness it.

Remembering all those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The 11th Commandment: Be Not Forgetful

I'm finding that since I turned 40 (not so long ago), that I have been forgetting things more frequently. People joke about early onset dementia but it's really not that funny when you have to call your cell phone at least five times a day to find it, and that's on a good day......

Lord help me if I ever change the ring tone to vibrate.

I have to beep my car to find it. I'm sure after the first statement that doesn't even surprise you. It's great when I bring the Tahoe because it has that handy feature. I push a button on the remote and I hear three little beeps. I just start walking in that direction until I find the car.

However its not so great when I drive the minivan which doesn't have that feature. Oh don't mind me, I'm just walking around the parking lot to get a little exercise. The mall can really be a dangerous black hole for my car. I've been convinced in the past that my car was stolen and then reparked. Those crazy car thieves. Sorry for wasting your time, Officer.

Then there's the keys. Always. losing. my. keys. You would think that I would devise a system or something like always hanging them on a hook or always putting them in the same pocket but no, that would be way too convenient. Instead, I usually drop them in my purse where they inevitably wind up at the bottom which results in me having to dump the entire contents out to find them. It's even more fun when I have to remember what I was wearing the last time I drove the car and then check the pockets of all the pants and coats.

If I head out to the store without a list, I can be sure to forget something I went specifically to get. So I will go down every aisle and look at everything to jog my memory. Usually I still get home without that one something.

Many times I will go to a certain store because I have a coupon. I love saving money, who doesn't? I wouldn't shop in this store normally except for this here coupon. Now where is it again? I'm sure I put it in my purse. It was right here a minute ago. Darn. By the time I find it, it has expired.

I walk into a room for something and then stand there, forgetting what it was I was after. I go back downstairs and then I remember. I meant to go back down the stairs, I'm just getting a little exercise.

I really love it when I put the video rentals in the car so that I will take them back to the store. Except I keep driving past the store and forget to stop and return them.

I forget people's names, even when I was just introduced five minutes ago. It is really embarrassing to try to introduce your old friend to a new friend especially if you forget BOTH their names.

If I could see inside my head, I'm afraid of what I might find. It might look a little like my desk, with papers everywhere and stuff sticking out of the drawers. I'm sure that if I could just rearrange a few things maybe I'd have more room for the important stuff.

But I can tell you the telephone number of the house I lived in when I was in kindergarten. I can remember the words to just about every 80's song. I can even tell you how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

Just don't ask me what that string is on my finger for.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Once every Twelve and a Half Years

Today, for the very first time since my oldest was born, I sat down and watched AN ENTIRE MOVIE from beginning to end, with no interruptions! All the kids are in school, and I had a movie from last week on my TiVO still in the que and I thought to myself, you know what? The laundry isn't going anywhere (except maybe a sock or two) and I can't remember a time that I got to sit down in a quiet house to enjoy something that I like. Usually, if the tv is on, it will be on something like "Max and Ruby", "Wow Wow Wubbzy" or if the boys are watching, then it's probably "Spiderman". If I am trying to watch one of my programs when they are home, this is what happens: I sit down, turn on the tv, and try to start watching (I gave up trying to watch a whole movie, but sometimes I try to at least watch a half hour episode) Seriously, I must have paused a thirty minute show about 60 times. That's twice per minute. So you can see why I'm so excited that I got to see an entire movie with no interruption! It's a big deal around here. Oh, what was the movie you want to know? "Walk the Line". I know, I'm a little behind the times, but it was such a great movie! I loved every uninterrupted minute of it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mindless Monday Question

How come I put two socks in the washing machine, and only one comes back? Where does the other sock go?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Doctor Doctor Give me the News

This same time last Saturday, this is what we were doing. Looks like fun, doesn't it?

Originally we had considered purchasing a home steam cleaner, but we didn't want to have to spend the money and then have to store a rather large thing that we only use once in a while. We do have a Little Green and I love that for small cleaning jobs, and for the car. Anyone with kids should have one of those in their home!

To find out which steamer to rent, I got online and googled until I found reviews for the Rug Doctor. Just about everyone loved the Rug doctor so much, and I was convinced we would as well. At the Rug Doctor Rental website, I had all my questions answered and decided on which model I wanted to rent. I chose the smaller one and even though I had to fill it more often, I thought it was very easy to manuever and use by myself.

We went to our nearest rental store and spent about $50.00 on the rental and solutions. Not bad, considering that having someone come in to do it would run about twice that or three times that. I do believe we would still have to move the furniture ourselves.

It turns out that moving the furniture was more time consuming and back-breaking than the actual cleaning. The Rug Doctor works so well that you need only take one pass in most cases. It didn't take much time to do. The only thing I didn't like was having to walk backwards but I just kept reminding myself of how much money I was saving and how great the carpets were going to look when I was finished. And they did. We were so pleased with the result!

We thought that we would have to leave our furniture all stacked up in the hallway and kitchen overnight, but the rugs were dry in three hours. It was amazing!

I don't get any kickbacks from this company or anything, just a happy customer willing to share a great product.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Time flies when you're playing with Templates

What a stupid post title, but it is so true! I was playing around with the settings on my blog this morning and I looked at the clock just now and it's already lunchtime! What do you think of my blog header picture? Those are actually my roses! I think they look so pretty. I better go change out of my pajamas now.

Fun Children's Rooms

In the fall, I always feel like turning my attention to the inside of the house. We have been working on outside projects with landscaping and painting the exterior all summer, and I need a change of pace. I decided to start gathering ideas for the kid's rooms so we can finish them by this spring.

I went to the library last week and checked out some great books for ideas.

This is what I want to do in my older son's room-- doesn't this look cool? This is from the book, "Kids Rooms, Pottery Barn Kids":

Not only does it look great but it's educational as well!

For my Princess, I would love to incorporate some of these ideas:

I love doing fun things in my kids' rooms, since I didn't have a cool bedroom as a kid. I shared a very small room with my sister. We had a trundle bed to save on space. The walls had gold and avocado flower wallpaper which I hated so I tried to cover it with pictures of horses and posters of Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy, Robby Benson and Matt Dillon from Tiger Beat magazine (does that age me or what?)

Here is a great idea that I can't wait to try:

Here's furniture that you can actually write on! So cool! I have wanted to try the chalkboard paint for a long time.

If you need inspiration and great ideas, go to your public library and look for this and other home decorating books. I used to buy these but they do go out of style eventually. It's easier to just make a copy of what you like and keep it in an idea binder.