Archive for December, 2006

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Montessori at the Chinese Buffet?  Yep!

We had loads of fun keeping the almost 2, 3.5 and the 6yo busy in the Chinese Buffet Restaurant yesterday.

Almost 2 dd played with various geometric shapes on her plate as she was not interested in eating or staying in her chair.  The various geometric shapes found at this bar suited themselves perfectly for building scenes on her plate.  My favorite was the cheese stuffed triangle and the rectangular shapes of chicken and the circles of scallop.

She was also interested in transfer exercises from my plate to hers and back again.  The transfer exercises were more complicated for the older kids.  They used more sophisticated equipment…like chopsticks!

Another fun activity was spearing grapes and other fresh fruits on chopsticks for eating.  This alone kept them busy for about 20 minutes!  We added and subtracted groups of fruits just for fun and tried to copy patterns in the "What comes next?" game.  We also sorted them by size and color. 

Pushing pieces of straw in and out of an empty lidded cup was a big hit for the 2yo too!.

So we hit on some fine motor exercises, math, geometry, and patterning exercises…not bad for a dinner outing with no prep  work involved on my part other than washing of hands and the saying of Grace!!…and I didn’t even have to do the dishes!

HT: To Rebecca for the cool graphic!!! 

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Life on the Funny Farm….

If my life weren’t’ so darned funny it could be called
a tragedy…hahaha


Guess what?  After 8 months?  of being van-less…my
dh was tapped on the shoulder on his break yesterday
and a man told him of a van that just came into the
local dealership…it is an 1999 Chevy Express 15
passenger van with 69,000 miles.  We do need some
financing and were qualified for it, but I HATE any
more debt.  So I prayed the Chaplet of Mercy and asked
we not be qualified if that were not His Will…we
were of course…later I was handed a Pope John Paul
II medal with Our Lady of Mercy on the back for the Marian year of 87-88.  Is this a go-for-it sign…?  I
like this medal thingy!

The oil guy just tuned up the furnace…AFTER he
walked out the door I looked down on the sheet of
paper, which of course I signed without looking and it
said "Furnace not recommended for service contract due
to low efficiency…"  gulp!  Ahh…the house of
dis-repute still haunts me…speaking of my life of
high adventure and amusement…

The hand-washing the dishes thingy is a never ending
source of amusement for me.  I never saw so many
people make it seem like they were so very unavailable
to do that job.  How come if I ask.."Oh, who will help
me eat this chocolate?!", I get a whole parcel of
children (some of them not even my own) surrounding me
…salivating, ready willing and able to help.  What
generous souls!! 
Then I ask, "Who will do ten, count
’em ten dishes… the low bargain price of a hot meal
and a bed??", my house turns into a Ghost town
complete with swinging doors, shutters, and a lonely
wind??  some things just have no answers, I guess!
Oh, don’t get me wrong, they eventually do something,
but ten almost-clean-to-begin-with saucers don’t cut
the mustard.

I am GLAD God is overseeing my life.  It is too much
for me to manage…ha ha…I mean me not being
omniscient or anything…LOL  could you imagine??!

Time to go clean again.  I can’t get this pony song
out of my head.  My dear, dear brother and his wife
got my almost 2yo dd a rocking stuffed horse for
Christmas. (I wonder how I am going to get peanut
butter out of this toy.)   I am going to call him and
leave it’s delightfully catchy tune on his answering
machine….over…and over…and over…and over….
"I’m a little pony, clippety-clop, clippety-clop. Such
a pretty pony, clippety-clop, clippety-clop… it goes
on from there, but you get the general gist… 
It is engraved in my mind and will NOT leave…much to
the chagrin of my dh…LOL!

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Just Call Me Silly!

HT: to Dawn!

How would the English say this one without gettng tongue-tied??

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Grace Lady Donna Marie the Loquacious
of Melbury Bumpton

Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

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Catholic Devotion Meme

Tagged by Nissa!
1. Favorite devotion or prayer to Jesus?

The Divine Mercy Chaplet…I have soft spot for the Infant of Prague too!

2. Favorite Marian devotion or prayer?

The Daily Rosary

3. Do you wear a scapular or medal?

I wear a scapular with a few medals on it and a Miraculous Medal.

4. Do you have holy water in your home?

Yes although all of the Holy Water fonts died untimely deaths at the hands of anonymous little people…

5. Do you ‘offer up’ your sufferings?

Yes, most definitely!!

6. Do you observe First Fridays and First Saturdays?

I used to…it is very hard for us to do right now.  I think I made all of them…I am unsure of the First Friday ones…yikes

7. Do you go to Eucharistic Adoration?

Yes, but not enough…I do most things like this on my own.  I would love to go by myself without a little namless toddler trying to get away!

8. Are you a Saturday evening Mass person or Sunday morning Mass person?

We are part of the "12 O’clock we are just glad we made it in one piece" crowd…LOL  We love noon mass…it is usually followed by adoration on feasts and such.

9. Do you say prayers at mealtime?


10. Favorite Saint(s)?

John Paul II, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton( My confirmation patron), St. John Bosco, St. Therese, St. Padre Pio and of course the Blessed Mother (my patron) and Good St. Joseph!  and St. Anthony too!

11. Can you recite the Apostles Creed by heart?


12. Do you usually say short prayers (aspirations) during the course of the day?


13. Bonus Question: When you pass by a automobile accident or other serious mishap, do you say a quick prayer for the folks involved?

My grandfather got us all in the habit of praying a Hail Mary for every siren and accident.

Cay had Helen’s bonus question: If you could visit any of Our Lady’s apparition sites, which one would you choose?

ONLY one?  no fair!  If I had $$ to spend on a foreign vacation, I would go to visit any and all apparition sites, miracles of the Eucharist and other shrines…Most people would go for the vacation hot spots…I have a different idea of what a vacation hot spot is for me ;o)
I would say Medjugorje   and Lourdes are my favorites!

Oh, Margaret!!  You have been tagged!

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Merry Christmas!

A blessed and very Merry Christmas to you all!  I haven’t had time to blog…but being so overtired from Christmas day…(I have vague, very vague memories of participating in that day)….well, we all seem to have a bad cold.  aachoo…pass the soup!!  (see Real Life Chicken Soup and that  pretty much  covers it ;o)
Don’t forget to celebrate allll of the Days of Christmas!  I don’t want it to be said that we Catholics don’t know how to party!!   

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...My six year old dishwasher as it goes up in smoke.

What is it with me and appliances this month…did the warranty just expire on them??!…is that it?? Murphy’s Law strikes again!

I felt oddly amused when it happened.  I thought ,"Ah!  I will get those kids to realize the value of taking care of appliances and the value of good honest diligent work!"

Yikes…my electronic servants are leaving me at an alarming rate!  Don’t I admire them enough?  Do I not give them the best natural soaps and tend to their needs diligently? 

It is not MY fault that the toddler, as of late, prefers to use the door of the dishwasher as a springboard for launching herself to the counter to sneak cookie dough!  That teeny weeny crack really didn’t allow too much water into that electronic door panel.  At least dh was home and knows his way around a breaker panel and how to use it…(IE ..shut off the breaker to prevent more smoke from perfuming my kitchen)…sigh!

Day 3…we are still doing great….no real build up at the sink…but me thinks the novelty of it all is wearing off….

Tune into next weeks episode of "Oh, how the children survive without electronic help"…when we hear: "Mooo-ooom!  Bbbuuut!  ‘I’ did it last weeeek…..!!" LOL

Did I mention how therapeutic blogging is?? 

Yep, there is no appliance that is safe in the clutches of a toddler!  I think an honest appliance company that actually wants to put out a product that will withstand years of faithful service ought to hire us to be their product testers.  I have said that about toy manufacturers for YEARS!!

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Rebecca at the 4Real board passed the link on to this wonderful new site…A Number of Things by Alice Cantrell the Author of Sewing With St. Anne.  Check it out!

Speaking of needlecraft…..
I am trying to teach myself to knit and remember crochetting enough to teach my dc this art.  Klutz book in hand, I am giving it a go!  Someone has to!  I don’t want it to die out in my generation!  I remember my grandmother, mother, and my aunts keeping themselves busy for hours with these crafts.  They never wanted idle hands and would laugh and talk with you as their needles would click away at lightning speed.

I have such fond memories of my maternal grandmother making many items for people many of which she didn’t even know…I can still see her lining up all her finished creations on the loveseat in the living room…. a gift for a friends granddaugher’s neighbor… or a Christmas stocking for a new grandchild….or an afghan for an elderly friend.  My favorites were all the newborn hats, sweaters and booties in many pastel colors and lovely varried patterns.

My dear grandmother has taught me so much, even now as I am an adult…even though she has been gone for fourteen long years now.  I constantly learn from her example of simplicity in living from the memories… reapplying them to my ever changing life as a wife and mother.  It is amazing to me how I now realize as an adult how powerful a witness of love the little things are to others.

Following her example, I want to get better at my craft so that I can give things away as gifts when I hear of a neighbor’s daughter that has just had a baby or so on.  I want to be generous many times over, but my pocketbook isn’t as deep as the one I would like to have.  I want to perfect my skills so that I can do more than that pocketbook can! 

I think it is important to pass these things on to our children…can you immagine if we were too busy to do that?  It does calm the mind and heart when the fingers have something to do.   It is taking rest, exercising creativity, and accomplishing something at the same time.  It is being generous and  creates a heart that thinks of others.  That is the kind of heart I would like to have.  That is the kind of heart that I would like my dc to have.  Coincidentally Mary G. posted a beautiful article at 4Real about crafters 

"Arts and crafts made by one’s own hands, reflecting the ingenuity and creation of one’s own mind, can bring beauty into the world and make God’s presence more visible. For all creative effort is from God, and God is Beauty itself."

I am  starting to teach my twins(12) and my 6yo dd to crochet.  They are very eager to learn.  I think I am going to start with a granny square pattern and let them make oodles of those.  If only we could come up with a way of keeping the toddler from running away with the yarn or my ds from making contraptions with the yarn or my other ds from sword fighting with the needles…..any suggestions for keeping your works-in-progress together??

I have been planning for my return into the world of crafting for three months now.  Now it is time to make the dream real…AKA  get my rear in gear and get going ;o)  LOL!

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