Archive for September, 2006

As many of you know, I have started an Usborne book business.  I need to create a unique domain name and I am stumped.  Does anyone have any creative suggestions as to what it could be?  In case you don’t know what a domain name is, it is a unique set of words that are your web address but also names your business like this one:
You at least get the idea that someone named Julie(wonder who THAT could be …a dear friend!) has some stuff for sale. (and if you go there you will see some pretty wonderful stuff, if you ask me ;o)



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Mystery Hostess show!

Would you like to be a Mystery Hostess?? 

What is a Mystery Hostess?  …What a great question!  Let me share this special information with you!!

Christmas_around_the_worldAll you have to do is go to my Usborne Books site  using this special link, and order books between now and October 10th and…if the sales generated goes over $85.00 your name will be placed in a hat and if I pick your name, YOU will win all of the free hostess books for the show.  I am still in my first 12 weeks as a consultant ~and do you know what that means??!  You win DOUBLE free books.  Let me put it to you this way, I had a show recently that had 5 people ordering from it and the free books generated amounted to a whopping $105.00 worth!!

Advent_nativityPlease use this special link and stock up on some of our wonderful titles for Christmas gifts and books to enhance your current curricula!  Usborne really knows what appeals to children at each age level.  I love how the books draw the children in and make learning fun!  I have lots of personal favorites and I can share that with you if you like!  If you don’t know what to order ~email me!  I will be glad to help you with any questions you do have! 

Please spread the word!  Lets make this party extra fun!

Happy Boookhunting!!

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Donna Marie —

A master blogger

‘How will you be defined in the dictionary?’ at QuizGalaxy.com

hmmmm…that statement is missing something….like "wannabe" or "in her dreams"…LOL
HT to Dawn

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My little sweetie is now 19months old and she loves naming body parts .  She always wants my full undivided attention.  We play this name game at least 10 times a day:
Mothers_joy_sandra_kuck"Ma!  Mamma!"
Yes, that is an eye…
"Ma! Mamma! Ma!"
Yes, that is a cheek…
taking a pudgy finger and pointing over her shoulder
"put it back?"

uum..yes, that is your put-it-back…at least someone is listening!!  LOL

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Feed My Lambs

Feedmylambs I used to pull my hair out trying to get meals together and keep track of the food and make sure things were healthy and that a variety was being served…I think I came up with a few things that work for us….

I know that when I don’t get a jump on the kids in the morning by cooking breakfast, (and I am such a night owl!) they end up tearing the kitchen apart! And they needed a good balanced meal to be useful to me and themselves or I was setting them up for failure. I also knew that there were times I DID NOT have time to cook EVERY meal…drove me nuts! I told my dh that I could be realllly good at 1 thing today and what should it be?? Laundry? School work? Cleaning? I have so many hats to wear and I knew it had to be done and could be done somehow!…If I spend like 15 minutes in the kitchen after the kids go to bed, I am AHEAD the next day, even if the baby keeps me in bed for some extra-long nursing. I always put the command in my head "Feed my lambs" (I try always to put before me that these children belong to God first and I have to be a faithful steward! I try to get that 15 minutes in no matter how tired I am at night.)

That crock pot is really like having an extra hand, but like any good servant, it waits for me to tell it what to do! LOL the same with the dishwasher, the washing machine and the dryer…all my faithful friends!! There is nothing like the feeling of having some of the next day’s work done..I feel like I am setting myself up to succeed instead of setting myself up to fail

We have been using the crock pot for breakfast. The kids’ favorite is what they call oatmeal pudding…basically it’s oatmeal but it softens a lot as it cooks (which is better for you as soaked grains do not have the phytic acid in them making it healthier for you!) You can adapt this for a variety of grains!

We add 1 part old fashioned oats to 2 parts water (somtimes I make this half milk)some butter and a small dollop of honey or pure maple syrup..we add lots of goodies depending on what we feel like…cinnamon, nutmeg, a dash of cloves, vanilla, raisins, dried fruits, chopped apples, pumpkin…whatever you feel like…(the kids love the pumpkin one the best! They call it pumpkin pie oatmeal!) Cook on low overnight…just mix it up after the kids go to bed and turn it on before you go to bed. It is done and ready for you when you wake up…stir and serve! I always wanted someone to make ME breakfast! LOl! And it smells great too!

I also chop some kind of nut and place it on the pizza stone in my oven at night, and just turn it on and toast in the morning (careful it cooks fast)…just till it’s light brown and starts to smell yummy! The kids then sprinkle on top…voila! They are satisfied till lunch!

I am also looking for and fooling around with no/lo sugar muffin recipes. Again, this can be mixed up fast after the kids are in bed! You can place it in the muffin cups and slide the tin into the fridge and first one up slides it into the oven to bake! Serve with tea and fruit and this is what I call my "working breakfast" When we have to get our school work done early, we can munch and learn at the same time!

About once a week I put a huge pot of soup on at lunch time that we take from whenever we need a snack or to supplement any meal….I assign each of the older kids to a cutting board and one to the sink to scrub and it gets done in no time! I had to work smarter…I kept trying to work harder…go figure…

Lunch is usually left overs from dinner…I make homemade pizza dough and I freeze it in rounds. Sometimes we defrost some (take it out at breakfast) and make stuffed pockets with leftovers and fried onions and bake on the pizza stone (golly, I love that stone!) I sometimes will chop the leftovers from any dinner and freeze in zip lock baggies and they are great for fried rice dishes, over pasta or we will make stuffed potatoes etc…I freeze almost all the left overs so I can control their ahem…distribution better. We are getting much better at not wasting food!

Sometimes we just eat a huge salad! We like to throw lots of different ingredients in this too!

DINNER : the stuff to use at lunch!

We cook in bulk and freeze all the time. I only put on the dinner table what I know is reasonable for my family to eat and I carve the meat or divide dishes and freeze in bags for other dinners right away. I don’t do the weekend cooking or the once a month cooking thing, but when I do cook I try to think ahead and make extra that can be used as the base for other meals…this is great for things like homemade tomato sauce! It also helps that we aren’t eating the same thing in different ways three days in a row. ( I figured this out when my dh was starting to gobble… It sure saves on the pocketbook when we have been out all day and need a quick fix meal! -Not to mention that it conrols the mess and I have to think less about meals on any day that I am busy! (Which is every day )It helps to have at least SOMETHING started! I do use large pots but TRY to clean them right away…(i.e. I use one of those two burner skillet deals on the stove to fry up sausage in half the time, and they clean up real fast afterward)…sooo less mess overall in the kitchen during the week.

My dh will often cook a whole loin (beef or pork) on the grill that has been cut into steaks. (Yep! we use the grill year round! It sure helps when your dh loves to play with fire We then freeze in bags and defrost on the stone at 350 and they taste like they just came off. This makes some of the best quick meals on the go! We gave up the microwave years ago and we get along just fine! You should see what I do to a whole chicken…haha…

Oh!   There is so much more, but I think those ideas will best be shared on another day!  God Love you!

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I have been waaay busy lately and I have been thinking of everything I wanted to post as I go along in my day, but so much is happening these days that I forget it very quickly… there is so much activity that I couldn’t possibly write it all down.  It boggles the mind!  I live amidst a 7 ring circus!! …hmm or is that a 9 ring circus….well, anyway…

I finally realized that I can make a "plan" for "school" but the best service I could render myself was to write down what we accomplished rather than what I wanted to accomplish in my plan book.  My plan book is much neater and it looks like we are making steady progress.   I use post-its for "suggestions" for the next day, including any printouts I want made in the glorious quiet time after they go to bed.  Writing it down relieves my heavy brain and helps me hold everything together and keeps the kids on task (especially the Houdini kids ;o)  ~Not to mention less interruptions and better follow-through on my part.  I use a spiral bound notebook for larger random scribbling when inspiration hits.  The only problem is, I have 4 or 5 of these in every corner of the house…

We are easing into our new schedule and I was as pleased as punch yesterday when we finally had a stellar day of school.  I would love more days like those!  We really have to fight for every good moment.  It is hard enough getting the kids into a new schedule and keeping spirits up.  They want to be barefoot and free in the sun!  They love learning for the most part, but it is so hard to compete with the memories of long free summer days.  My Chamomile tea supply is a bit low lately, however…;o)

Part of today I used for me to recoup my thoughts a bit.  I found myself outside scraping paint off of the front stairs and the area around the front door…I am using this non-toxic paint take-it-off-er from Home Depot.  I love this…slop it on, cover it with special paper and scrape it off in a few days.  Today was that scrape it off  day and I had about an hour and a half before it rained and I had an expert helper backing me up.  It was so nice to be able to be quiet and think my own thoughts.  I couldn’t pass up the offer to have this sweet mini version of me working by my side.  She loves to accomplish things.  I am in awe of her stamina.  I NEED more like her!  Covered in muck and overheated I was delighted to hear this:

~"Mommy, I am so glad I am not watching a movie right now.  I mean you can relax and all when it is on, but this is better!"
~Really?  How so?
When you work with your Mom it gives you such a good feeling.  Much better than a movie can.  Besides that it makes God happy. Do you remember the Commandments He made?   I love God more than anyone.  He is the only strong one in the whole world!  And the Blessed Mother,  She is the bestest Mother there is!  Don’t you think so, Mom?"
~stretching backward to relieve the pressure on my back…."yes honey, I really think that too…"
"I love you Mom.  Someday when we both have our children I will come over and help you paint again."

*sniff…does she HAVE-TA grow up?!  Aaah…the way children in love with God can warm the heart and make life seem so much lighter…I feel like I can take on the world!

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Triumph_of_the_holy_cross_ceiling_lady_c_2 Today is the feast of the Exultation (or Triumph) of the Holy Cross and tomorrow is the memorial  of Our Lady of Sorrows….how beautiful the two should be celebrated together on the Church calendar!

Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likenes of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

— Philippians 2:5-11

Month_9_sorrowsFlower Symbols of Mary’s Sorrows  

"One plant legend of special relevance to Christ’s Cross is that of
the herb, basil (Ocimum basilicum) which was held to be of such
close association with the Cross that St. Helena was able to find
the location of the True Cross by digging for it under a colony of
basil plants.  We know of the association through St. Helena, but
just what the legend, the "fallen petal", was is not known to us.
Possibly it was one of the plants which was reputed to have sprung
up at the foot of the Cross where Christ’s blood drops or Mary’s
tears fell, as is reported in legends of other plants.  Or it may
have been offered to Christ as a soothing herb.  Another "fallen
petal" is the use of "basilica" as the name for the cross-shaped
floor plans of church  buildings.  Also, from the practice in some
areas of strewing branches of basil before church communion rails,
it came to be known as "Holy Communion Plant"." ~from mgardens.org

Here is a representation of a Sorrowful Mary Garden

"each station is associated with a flower or
flowers whose popular Mary-connection may prompt a devotional
insight into that station’s significance in the saving paschal
mystery of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.

Extending the practice of meditating on the Stations of the Cross,
the flower symbols of the Sorrowful Mysteries, planted around the
garden cross, provide a mosaic of meanings for continuing
meditation on the passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

At Catholic Culture we read :"The Sign of the Cross we make over ourselves before prayer helps to fix our minds and hearts to God. After prayer we make it to keep close to God. During trials and temptations our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. At Baptism we are sealed with the Sign of the Cross, signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ. Let us look to the cross frequently, and realize that when we make the Sign of the Cross we give our entire self to God — mind, soul, heart, body, will, thoughts."

O cross, you are the glorious sign of victory.
Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus.

Stabat_mater_1On the menu today: Hot Cross Buns

For the Liturgical Year Notebook:
Catholic Mosaic: The Tale of Three Trees

Print out and learn these 2 songs:

Lift High the Cross
212 Stabat Maters??
Stabat Mater

google search for crosses with the dc and paste into a Word document collage

also make a notebook sorrowful Mary garden with the appropriate googled clip art flowers surrounding this picture

review the 7 Sorrows of Mary and their Scriptural references

ask the dc if they want to do any other projects based on the above links!

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