August 17, 2011

Summer is over - school has started

My baby is all grown up. Our Princess started kindergarten today. I can’t believe how big she is. It was indeed harder for us to leave her than for her to go to school.

Princess is enrolled in a lovely conservative Catholic school. We are so excited that she is in a truly Catholic academic environment that weaves Catholic beliefs throughout the curriculum and school day. We are thankful that God has led us to this school and that her Godfather has offered to pay tuition. I do not have to worry that her teacher will teach her something different than what we teach her at home. And it brings tears (of joy!) to my eyes that to Princess school means not only learning traditional academic and enrichment topics but also going to Mass, playing on a playground next to a statue of Mary, dressing up as a saint on All Saints Day, bringing baked goods on St. Lucy Day, and being able to pray whenever she wants. How great is that?

July 19, 2011

Move beyond worry

I admit it. I am a worrier. I like to analyze and plan, and I suppose worry grabs hold of me when I can't plan. And worry begets worry. Stress leads to worry which brings on more stress. I know all of this (because, after all I have done the analysis), but I sometimes feel powerless to stop it.

In addition to continued parental illnesses and two rounds of antibiotics for strep with Princess (who seems prone to pneumonia - scary!), I developed my own health scares. You know, the kind that start out as minor, like a cold, and develop into "what if it's lung cancer?". Thankfully, the killer diseases were all in my mind, but still a significant cause of worry that spiraled out of control.

Next came the very real death of the mother of one my oldest and dearest friends. Fortunately, I can work remotely and was able to be there for my friend as she faced her mother's death and funeral. Side note: if anyone ever thinks that there is even a remote chance of me dying, CALL A PRIEST!

And let's not forget my dear husband's very real struggle with food and weight. I worry about him (somewhat justified since his brother had a heart attack at 39). (Bad) Food can be a tough addiction to fight. And I pray for his faith: may he grow stronger.

I'm trying - really I am - to not worry and to deal with stress better. I need to trust in God and have faith that I am where I need to be. But my goodness it's hard sometimes! I need to remember:

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

And seriously, April was the last time that I posted something? So sorry about that!

April 8, 2011

7 Quick Takes (vol 2)

Happy Friday to all!

1. Two Saturdays ago, Princess and I spent mommy and me time shopping for stickers that Lacy found at Dollar Tree. Granted, we had to go to three different Dollar Trees (Dallas, Plano, and Frisco) to find them. We got Stations of the Cross, Mysteries of the Rosary, crosses and crucifixes, names of God, and Christmas/Nativity. They also have Jesus and Mary stickers too, but we already had those. The sets come four sheets to a package. What a deal!

2. We promptly added Mysteries of the Rosary stickers to Princess’ Rosary scrapbook, a rather long (months!) craft project to create something for her to look at while praying and learning the rosary. It’s turning into my craft project. Cute idea: take one 8x8 memory book that conveniently comes with 10 pages (20 sides), and create a scrapbook page for each mystery. I’ll probably add the prayers to the inside covers.

3. During our trek across the DFW Metroplex, we also stopped into the new-ish Catholic bookstore in Plano: Two Hearts (I can’t find a link). It’s located relatively close to my office, except that I work mostly at home these days. Anyway, in the back of the store, they have a nativity set up including dress up clothing for the kids. I loved seeing Princess dressed up as Mary holding the baby Jesus doll.

4. We’re in the process of hand painting eggs. I’ve gone through the tedious process of blowing out the eggs (two!), and Princess and I each painted one. We’ve tried and tried, but none of us can tell which side is the top or bottom! Must be the free range eggs I used.

5. I have discovered that I can read Kindle books on my iPod. Yes, you have to turn a lot of “pages”, but it’s still cool. It’s a free app – first one that pops up in the Apps store if you search on “Kindle”. Not that I buy a lot of (or any) Kindle books from Amazon. However, I did discover that sometimes books come up priced at $0. That’s right: free! I keep an eye on Kindle Review for free books.

(Of course, I guess I can just sort on Kindle books by price (low) on Amazon...)

6. Today is April 15 – tax day! However, due to some sort of D.C. holiday tomorrow, which has to be celebrated today (i.e. not on the weekend), we all get the option of waiting until Monday to turn in our taxes. This is good since I can’t get my accountant on the phone.

7. Princess is excited to wear red to Mass this Sunday for Palm Sunday. Red is her favorite color!

On that exciting note, have a great weekend!

April 1, 2011

7 Quick Takes (vol. 1)

NOTE: if you found me via Jen's blog on April 15, I linked to the wrong post! I should have linked to 7 Quick Takes (vol. 2). So sorry!

1. No April Fool’s joke: This is my first time to join “7 Quick Takes Friday”.

2. After that exciting bit of information, uh, hmm, so…let’s see. I got nothing. No, wait. I can do this!

My husband and I got iPod Touches for our belated Christmas/partly birthday/sort of Valentine’s presents to each other. I love it! We didn’t want iPhones because we didn’t want to be tied to the monthly fees. Trying to cut back, you know.

3. We visited my family in Houston a few weeks ago. My mother is home from the hospital but still in a hospital bed. Back to her old self – both good and bad! She was in the hospital over Christmas because of a fall and the resulting broken femur. Her surgery went well, but the recovery was and continues to be difficult. We thought we were losing her (kidney failure from the surgery) but were blessed with a Christmas day miracle. Thank you Lord. However, Mom still has Corticobasal Degeneration. I ask for continued prayers for her and my dad.

4. Moving onto happier thoughts, Princess and I planted our herbs and flowers yesterday evening. Last Saturday, with temperatures in the low 80s, I promised Princess a trip to the nursery the next day, which unfortunately dawned wet, windy and in the 40s. Some cruel joke since I had put away the winter coats the day before. Bravely we all went to the nursery Sunday afternoon, picked out some plants, brought them home, and left them on our balcony. “Too cold for planting,” I said. Finally, it was warm enough yesterday. In other words, the temperature reached the 70s because everyone knows that anything less is considered cold. Insert image of husband rolling eyes.

5. Princess spent the time digging in a pot of dirt.

6. Princess, aka Little One, turned five this month. She is expecting a birthday party with friends (we did one with family). I have no ideas. I wanted to keep the cost down by having it at our house, which is really a condo. No, there is no space outside to do anything. And no, I don’t have seating for ~10 kids. I’m at a loss. I thought about doing one of those stuff your own animal parties (I found one for cheaper than most). I guess they could sit on the floor…

7. Finally, I also celebrated my birthday this month. It was rather non-eventful since we were having cake for Princess with my family that day. Hint: lots of people wore green on my birthday.

For more Quick Takes, check out Jen Fulwiler's Conversion Diary. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my wonderful, sweet little girl, who turned five yesterday. You are a gift from God that your father and I treasure every day. May you always be blessed.

Over the weekend, my Princess and I took a walk. I asked where she wanted to walk. Her reply: "Let's go say hi to Jesus." Melted my heart. Our parish is three blocks from our home (makes one wonder how we are ever late for Mass), and along the way we stopped to pick flowers. What a lovely walk!

March 1, 2011

I had no idea

I had no idea that peanut butter removes that sticky gunk off of glass jars. Maybe I’m the last to know. If not, then try it!

I’ve been recycling glass jars by slowly replacing the smaller plastic food containers we’ve been using. But, despite having my husband really go at that sticky residue, we just couldn’t get it all off. Enter the internet where I found various suggestions including peanut butter. I thought “Why not?” and gave it a try. Worked brilliantly! Smooth some on the jar, use a rag or one of those scrubber sponges to go over the area, and rinse. Who knew? (Apparently a lot of people – just not me.)

And since I am full of great tips, I used baking soda, water and lots of scrubbing and rinsing to deep clean our slate bathroom floors. I didn’t really verify this one, so do so before you try. Worked great on ours.

Happy March!

February 22, 2011

I fell for it

As a family, we give our time and resources in three ways. The first, and primary, is through our parish and other catholic charities. Next, we donate new and gently used goods, usually to our parish and city St. Vincent de Paul groups. And a bit farther down on the list, are other charities that we or our friends and colleagues support, either with time or money (although far less time these days). Oh, and a fourth: we support the Girl Scouts by purchasing Thin Mints.

Last night, a woman came to our door selling magazines. I never buy, but she had a good I’m-pulling-myself-out-of-poverty-and-domestic-violence story. Sigh. I’m really trying to put my money where my mouth is. We signed up for (ok, I bought) one magazine subscription. I looked up the company afterwards and found many negative reviews from people who didn’t get magazines in a timely manner – or at all. Why, oh why, did I do that?!?!

The point of this post is not how much we do (or not do) or how I feel taken advantage of (well, kind of), but what happened next. My wonderful husband talked me out of a freak out. He told me that, despite what may be the end result, I was helping someone. And that I need to remember this. Then, as we were saying family prayers later, he prayed that the person that came to our door was a good person.

What a wonderful husband! This is the point of this post. Have a wonderful day!