Friday, November 30, 2007

Novena to St. Andrew

Today is the feast of St. Andrew, Apostle.

From Catholic Culture:

Today's feast traditionally marks the end of the Church year and beginning of Advent. Advent always begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, with this day being the last possible day of the old Liturgical Year. Christmas is right around the corner. An old saying reflected this:

St Andrew the King
Three weeks and three days
before Christmas begins.

St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland (home of my father's family).

Christmas Anticipatory Prayer

Christmas Anticipation Prayer

Beginning on St. Andrew the Apostle's feast day, November 30, the following beautiful prayer is traditionally recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. This is a very meditative prayer that helps us increase our awareness of the real focus of Christmas and helps us prepare ourselves spiritually for His coming.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

I have also added this prayer to my sidebar for the season of Advent.

Why am I Catholic?

As we begin a new liturgical year this weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to post this video again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the interest of full disclosure...

Kat with a K commented after this post:

I think that's a great idea! I should do that with MY clothes!

I did.

Not with all my clothes, but some. I like to wear layers and the combinations I have that only work one way, I hung together. Call me whatever you like (it's probably true), but I feel so free and organized. No more wondering where that periwinkle shirt is anymore. It's right with the periwinkle-accented flowered button-down hanging in a cute little package.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Obsessed? Perhaps.

I know I'm risking sounding like a huge control freak here, but I'm going to admit this anyway: last week I organized the little guy's closet into outfits.

(Far left are church/dressy clothes, middle is "everyday" and the right are sweatshirts that are multi-outfit appropriate.)

I was out shopping (the same time I picked up the curtains), and as often happens to me, I drew I total blank on what I needed for DS. "Make a list!" you say. Well, yes, sometimes I do, but I always forgot to write down exactly what he needs and (more importantly) in what colors. So standing in Old Navy, staring at toddler boys' sweatpants, I vowed to go home and organize his closet into outfits and his drawers into "extras" for those inevitable times that he spills water, or plays outside, or wipes sauce on himself. I did just that, and on my next trip out, I was able to pick up a few extra pants and shirts (in several different color schemes) to match everything in his "every day" rotation. Whew.

I feel so much better now and dressing him has become much easier. The bonus is that now DH can dress him without worrying about putting clothes together. I imagine this system will be even more helpful in the future should we have more children. Oh, and from now on, I'm only buying clothes in pairs. Same rule applies to hand-me-downs. If we don't have shirt or pants to match the item, it goes.

Oh, as I was editing this post, he just dripped most of his water bottle down his sweatshirt. Sigh. Good thing I know exactly what I have on hand (and clean) that he can wear next! And I took the water away!

New Curtains

Last week in my Commitment to Loveliness I mentioned choosing and buying curtains for the kitchen. Mission accomplished thanks to J.C. Penny's and a phenomenal sale!

(Note: I didn't iron until after I took these pictures. I wanted to make sure they would work before I made the effort!)

I feel so much better, especially with the curtains on the door. We felt so exposed, and now our privacy is restored!

Menu Plan Monday, November 26

Monday: Slow Cooked Chicken and Dumplings
Tuesday: Enchiladas
Wednesday: Grandma's Choice
Thursday: Turkey Soup
Friday: Vegetarian Pizza
Saturday: Eat Out
Sunday: Chili

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This keeps happening to me!

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Chili with pumpkin muffins

Monday: Baked Ziti (or whatever I have on hand) with brown sugar carrots

Tuesday: Omelets in a bag with toast and homemade applesauce

Wednesday: Leftovers or tomato soup with grilled cheese

Thursday: Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's

Friday: Garlic and Broccoli Pizza

Saturday: Eat out after Mass

Commitment to Loveliness, November 18

This week's Commitment to Loveliness:

1. Choose and purchase curtains for the kitchen door and window.
2. Continue working on decluttering project.
3. Hang artwork in playroom (we never had a chance last week).
4. Read. I'm terribly behind on my reading.
5. Spend time outside everyday, playing with the baby or walking.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Love that whole-grain crunch!

I found this on the blog of someone from my AP list.

How crunchy are you?

Do you have homebirths?
15 points for “yes” (unassisted)
10 points for “yes” (with a midwife in attendance)
5 points for alternative birthing center
2 points for “thinking about/would like homebirth
0 for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

I would consider it, but we live over 30 minutes from the nearest hospital, so it's never going to happen.

Will you circumcise future sons?
-5 points for “no”
-0 points for “yes”.

We do not circumcise.

Do you use cloth diapers?
20 point if you do Elimination Communication (no diapers)
15 points if “yes” (wash and make your own)
10 points if “yes” (wash your own)
5 points if “yes” (diaper service)
2 points if “thinking about it”
0 points if “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

I wish I made my own! Wait-- does folding prefolds count??

Do you observe your fertility signals using Natural Family
Planning/Fertility Awareness and use that for birth control/trying to conceive?

10 points for “yes” (observe and use for birth control/ttc) or you use ecological
breastfeeding/lactational amnorrhea
5 points for “yes” (observe for trying to conceive)
2 points “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

You bet!

Do you breastfeed exclusively for the first 6+ months?
10 points if “yes”
5 points for “no” (use occasional bottles of expressed breastmilk)
2 points for “no” (use occasional bottles of formula)
0 for “no” (don’t breastfeed by choice).


Do you co-sleep/family bed?
10 points for “yes” (all night every night)
5 points for “yes” (part/all of most nights)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no”.

We're down to part of the night now. The little guy sleeps in his own room full-time now, and I go in there if he needs me.

Do you use a sling/soft carrier?
5 points for “yes”
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

How could I survive without one?

Do you believe in/practice child-led weaning
(even if that means breastfeeding for several years)?

15 points for “yes” (complete child-led weaning)
10 points for “yes” (up to 3 years)
5 points for “yes” (up to 2 years)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (you’ll wean the baby at 1 year or earlier).

I'm somewhere between 10-15 here. Without another pregnancy, I think I'd let the baby nurse as long as s/he needed.

Do you tandem nurse/nurse during your pregnancy?
10 points for “yes” (nurse during pgcy and tandem nurse)
5 points for “yes” (nurse during pgcy, but wean before birth)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no”(wouldn’t consider it).

Hasn't come up yet, but I'm guessing I'll nurse during pregnancy, but try to wean before the next birth.

Do you eat organic/whole/natural foods and limit your meat?
15 points for “yes” (grow own/buy organic, shop only at health food store,
grind own wheat, vegetarian, etc.)
10 points for “yes” (grow some of own food, buy organic,
use whole wheat flour, bake own bread, eat some meat occasionally)
5 points for “yes” (try to buy natural, whole grain foods, etc.)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

10 points here. I wish we could adios meat altogether unless it was organic/free-range/grass-fed, but my DH is convinced he won't survive without it.

Do you use herbal/homeopathic remedies?
10 points if “yes” (very rarely see a regular doctor)
5 points if “yes” (but use a doctor occasionally)
2 points if “thinking about it” (see a doc for now)
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

As much as possible. Based on my recent experiences with doctors, I have half a mind to write them off completely. I guess they have their uses, though.

Do you homeschool?
10 points if “yes” (currently homeschool)
5 points for “yes” (will homeschool)
2 points for “thinking about it”
0 points for “no” (wouldn’t consider it).

We are without a doubt going to homeschool.

What's your take on childhood vaccinations?
15 points for no vaccines
10 for delayed, selective vaccination
5 points for selective, on schedule vaccination
2 points for thinking about not vaccinating
0 points for vaxing on schedule.

10 points here. We selectively/delay and avoid morally objectionable vaccines altogether (the ones made from aborted babies).

Would you/have you ever breastfeed/fed someone else's baby
or have someone else bf your child?

10 points if yes (have or someone has bf your baby)
5 points if yes (would)
2 points if maybe 0 if no (wouldn't consider it).

Maybe not BF, I would pump for someone and I would buy donor milk before I'd EVER use formula.

Do you use cloth/re-usable products for mom?
10 points if yes (make own)
5 points if yes (buy own)
2 points if thinking about it
0 points if no.

Thinking about it. It can cost a lot to switch over.

Total= 104

120 – 140 Super Nutty, Ultra-Crunchy Granola Earth Mama
90 – 119 Mmm! Love that whole-grain crunch!
60 – 89 Pretty Crispy
20 – 59 Sprinkled with Granola
5 – 19 Instant Oatmeal
0 - 4 Jell-O

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ready to Celebrate!

Birthday Breakfast

This is a delicious twist on traditional French Toast.

Julie Smith's French Toast Strata

1 lb. Loaf of French bread (We used Whole Wheat)
8 oz. (1 package) Cream cheese, cubed
8 Eggs
2 1/2 c. Milk, light cream or half and half
6 tb. Butter, melted
1/4 c. Maple syrup

Cut French bread in cubes. Place half of bread cubes in bottom of a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle cubed cream cheese on bread. Add remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, beat until well blended the eggs, milk, melted margarine or butter and maple syrup. Pour mixture over bread cubes and press down with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Remove wrap and bake at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with hot butter syrup. Serves 6 to 8.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 35 to 40 minutes

If this doesn't make you smile....

...then nothing will and it's a lost cause.

Did it work?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pass the pearls...

You Belong in 1959

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I knew it!

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

Commitment to Loveliness, November 11

Emma is hosting another Commitment to Loveliness this week! Here is my list:
  1. Work on decluttering project.

  2. Finish digitizing budget for DH...this will be such a load off our shoulders!

  3. Finish preparation for DH's birthday.

  4. Hang artwork.

  5. Cheer up.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

For Kat with a K

The view from the kitchen porch this morning.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bedroom Complete!

Other pictures from this project can be seen here and here.

We finally moved our Sidekick back into his own room a few weeks ago. So, with no further ado, here are a few pictures of the finished project! I tried to take shots that showcase the floor and not the toys and humidifier in the corner (to the right of the window)!

Without a doubt, my favorite part about the room are the Wall Words (positioned on the wall above the bed and opposite the closet). My sister bought these for him for his birthday. If you click the photo, you should be able to read them easily.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Attention Boynton Fans!

While browsing in Borders on Wednesday, Sidekick and I were delighted, nay ECSTATIC, to find the latest release from Sandra Boynton, Blue Moo. It's a collection of "jukebox hits from way back never" that will be enjoyed by all.

I'm sorry to sound like a studio announcer, but not too sorry, because we simply can't get enough of Sandra Boynton's books, especially her musical collections. This one includes "Your Personal Penguin," which is the book and song that started it all for us way back in January, though "The Uninvited Parade" might be my favorite on this CD. Moo, Baa, La La La is another one of our daily (hourly) reads, and we always listen to her other three albums too! It's hard to resist when artists such as B.B. King, Patti LuPone, and Allison Krauss are doing the singing!

You can listen to samples from this and her other musical collaborations with Michael Ford here.