Friday, March 31, 2006


Miss Anna Banana's blog.....

To enjoy a sweet and innocent blog

Click here!
Read more!

Spring has sprung...

Robin Redbreast has arrived... and I think he is building a nest (again) with Mrs. Robin outside my bedroom window. Oh Goodie! They were my neighbours last year and, at first, I was so in enthralled with the idea of a nest right outside my window! Just think - all those little baby birds chirping after they hatched.

Chirping in the early morning with the sunrise...

Chirping in the evening as mama and papa bird settled them down to sleep.

But then there was the chirping for early morning snack and then the later, but still early morning, snack. Chirping for the mid morning snack. Chirping to greet mama when she arrived with the pre-lunch snack. And, of course, they had to greet papa when he arrived to allow mama time away for her lunch and we had to chirp when mama came back from lunch with a post lunch snack for the little, wittle cute baby birds.

Then there was chirping for all of the afternoon snacks. Chirping, chirping, chirping. It was not too long before I was tempted to climb out on the roof and teach those ever loving, chirping baby birds how to fly!

What I will need to remember, this spring and early summer, is what a GIFT this chirping will be - but just not in the same vein as I thought it was going to be when they took up residence last year. Besides - this year, I will not be recouping from a c-section with a newborn tucked in my arm... while listening to the red, red robins chirp, chirp, chirping! Read more!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


This morning I woke up stressed, tired and irritated. I pulled myself out of bed at Emma's request for her morning baba. I stared at Elsa's cheerful grin and wondered why I do not wake with the same energy that little ones waken with, even if I went to bed BEFORE they did. Limping on a sore foot that has been hurting for months I crept down the stairs to the kitchen and was cheered a little by the clean sink. I made a mental note to make sure I thanked Anna for a job well down.

As I filled the baba with water under Emma's close scrutiny and added just the right amount of decafinated coffee before topping it off with her Vanilla Soymilk I glanced around the kitchen and dining area. What I saw made my heart heavy and was a far cry from what I would call clean, tidy and organized. This was despite great progress made with the coupon race on the wall. I decided we needed to call a family meeting and discuss the situation before I lost my cool.

An hour later we were, from Noah up, seated at the dining room table, steaming mugs of tea at our elbows, pens in hand and oodles of paper spread across the table. Lively discussions filled the air and I got up to refill my mug. As I crossed the room some little thing irritated me. It really irritated me. I struggled to repress this nasty emotion and a small bolt of lightening hit me. This small annoyance, was actually a gift. A gift for me - that I could give to Jesus. Such a simple concept that is so easily forgotten. I immeadiatly offered it up to Him. In doing so I immeadiatly felt lightened. A burden, even if rather tiny, had been lifted from my heart.

I determined right then and there that for the rest of the day I would take every little problem, annoyance, or itrritation that crossed my path and thank Jesus for it and then give it to Him.
If I can actually do this, I believe my day will be filled with joy. It will be better than a birthday as it will be filled with small gifts all day. Read more!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Quietly please...

The van had been cleaned up and made ready for a quick run to Ohio. It had been decided who would travel with Daddy on this trip. As it was just guys and no older girls going, the idea of allowing Emma to travel on this trip was shelved due to the difficulties taking her to the bathroom presented.

Emma, while not pleased with this idea, was explaining to anyone who would listen; "I tan't doe 'cause Daddy is a guy. He can't doe to the ladies woom wit me. Daddy is not a Lady, so I tan't doe wit him."

As the hour of departure approached Hugo advised Nathaniel that it was time to gather his things and get in the van. "But please, do it quietly!" he asked as he was trying to avoid a scene with Emma when she was faced with the reality that she actually was staying home.
"Okay!" Nathaniel agreed cheerfully. He gathered his shoes and coat and then whispered very quietly to Emma.

"It's time for me to go on the trip!"

At least he was quiet! Read more!

Monday, March 27, 2006


I found the HTML for the google adsense ads that just were not working. Finding the HTML allowed me to finally remove those bewitching little links. I even managed to close my account.

And then all became clear.

On the same day I got two emails. One congratulating me on 'finally being approved and I would now find my adsense ads up and running'. Right behind it came the email telling me that they had, at my request, closed my account and should I wish to use google/adsense again to please begin the application process again...

No thanks... those little links sitting there at the top of my page were just screaming at me - click me, click me, click me... They were too tempting. Much like how the beautiful bright shiny red handle in the wall, was too temping for my 4 year old; so many years ago when his oldest sister was dancing in the Cinderella Ballet, in the cold winter nights of December... and everyone had to evacuate the dressings rooms in whatever apparel (or lack of) that they were in. One of my daughter's more cherished memories - I'm sure! Thankfully Teddy looked more like three than four, and I said nothing to dispell this mistaken notion.

So - enough of these little tempting links winking at me. Instead I am going to try Crisp Ads - they seem to be more open about what they are advertising. No little links that you have to click on, to see what is behind them. AND- I was approved the same day I applied! Now I just have to figure out how to place them on my blog. Read more!

A Blogger Moment or Two...

I was once more baking and surrounded by flour, bowls, and children. Chairs were dragged across the floor and fingers were eagerly helping. In an attempt to squeeze in at the counter, Emma dragged Elsa's rocking chair over and quickly stepped up onto it.

"Uh uh!" I admonished her. "Please don't stand on the rocking chair, Emma."

"Otay" she replied. "I won't"

Well, that was easy, I congratulated myself. No dramatics, no whyyyys? Then I noticed what she had done.

With her nose just barely grazing the counter top, she had quickly gone from standing to kneeling - on the rocking chair...

A different blogger moment, same child...

"Emma, do you want your sandwhich cut in an X?


Smiling I asked; "And what do you say, Emma?"

"Yet, Mummy."

A little louder, but still smiling, I asked again;

"What do you say Emma?"

A little louder herself, Emma responded "YET."

"What do you say?"

A little frustrated now Emma repeated; "YET!"

"Yes, what, Emma?"

"Yet, an X, Mummy!" Read more!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Mini Poll Results...

Because I was so brain dead last weekend - I ended up leaving the poll up for two weeks. Even though readers contnued to vote there is little change in the results other than, with a few extra votes, 'other' nudged it's mates out of third place.

We had fun coming up with this mini poll last night. I think since people actually kept voting over a two week period - I will keep this poll up for two weeks and see how it goes. Can you tell what one of our subject matters for theology class last week was? Read more!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Race Continues...

Closing in on the finish line is Anna with three racers, Noah, Gabriela and Bethany in hot pursuit. When interviewed about her progress Gabriela commented; "I would do better if I remembered to count my coupons at the end of the day!"

Racer Benjamin, aka Bear Man, is hoping there will be a large crowd coming in second in hopes that he will be able to join the winner at the local gas station to pick out snacks for the movie night that the racer to first cross the finish line gets to plan.

The race organizer is pleased with the fact that for a solid week now the bedrooms have been clean and beds made. "It seems" she is rumoured to have said, "that it has caught on in general, that this is an easy coupon."

When asked if she would replace this option for earning a coupon with something more difficult in future races she declined to comment, stating only; "I want to leave all options open."

Watch for upcoming progress reports on the race. May the best cleaner win! Read more!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A most beautiful prayer...

This prayer was sent to me as an email that is meant to be forwarded to 12 others in five minutes. However, I do not particpate in these forwards as I do not like to impose this on others. I did share this prayer though, with several people, as it is so beautiful and I also shared what my intention for this prayer was - the quick recovery of my friend's child who is seriously ill in the hospital. I suspect since this is a prayer from St Therese, it may already be a favourite with many of you. Still I decided to share it here - it is so beautiful and we can never have enough of these gentle prayers and thoughts...

St.Theresa's Prayer:

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you....

May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

God Bless you all my dear readers. Please share this prayer with all you wish, in the time frame that suits you - with no pressure what so ever.
Read more!

Please pray...

...for a young boy who is in the hospital and quite ill. The hospital he is in is quite a distance from his family posing another challenge on top of what is already a great challenge - splitting yourself between a child in the hospital and the ones at home.

Please pray for him, for his parents, and his siblings who have to grapple with a sick brother and parents who are not nearby because he is ill. Please pray for his health providers that Jesus will guide them as they care for him. Read more!


Today I am tired... but I will try to act as though I am not.

Today I am worried... but I will try to put my worries in Christ's capable hands.

Today I am sad... but I will put on a happy face because I know if I try hard enough my smile will triumph.

Today I will focus on my blessings, which are many despite my trials which, in comparision to my blessings, are few.

Today I will act grateful until I feel grateful.

Today will be difficult but I will face it one minute at a time with Jesus and Mary at my side.

Today their ears will be busy because I will plying them for assistance all day. Read more!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Some one suggested...

...that I consider writing a book of recipes for large families. I am going to take this under serious consideration and so... I am making a plea - anyone who has recipes that they would like to donate to this great idea please email them to mum2twelve (change at to the symbol) or, if you prefer, just post them in the comment section of this post.

These recipes do not need to be for servings of twelve and up - I will play around with them and increase the serving sizes. Our culinary life over the next months will be - interesting, to say the least!

ignore Read more!

St Joseph's Table...

This year our parish will be celebrating St Joseph's day with a St Joseph's Table; you can read what that is here. We are really hoping we can attend, but that depends very much on our vehicle situation. If not, we will just have to be creative and have our own little feast right here.
Today is our eighth day of our novena to St Joseph. Please join us if you have time. There is a link in the post below if you care to participate.

Today I was reading Sister's Joy Notes and I came to Father Rory's daily Retreat and went to his actual blogspot and saw on the side of his page, 'Pray For Priests' and it struck me that today being the feast Day of St Joseph that as Foster father of Jesus - he must then also be Foster father of all priests as they are Christ's representatives here on earth. So what a perfect day for us all to recall the priests in our lives, as well as all members of the priesthood. Read more!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Easter came in first at a landslide at 64 %,
Christmas came in at a distant second at 27%.
Alla Saints Day, Feast of Corpus Christi and Other tied for third at 3% each.

A reader very kindly posted what their "other" choice was and why.

"The favorite feast day in our family (though it is SO hard to choose) is Saint Anthony of Padua, June 13. Not only is he a holy, all around wonderful saint, he was the patron of our courtship, he is the patron of our marriage, and we were married on his feast day."

Thank you for sharing Janet. St Anthony is a great favourite in our family too! I choose his name for my confirmation name, even though I am a girl.

My brain is tired and so... I have not come up with another poll yet. The children and I will put on our thinking caps and hopefully have one up before the end of the day. In the meantime, I pray everyone has a restful and peaceful Sunday.

Thank you also for everyone's prayers and assistance the past two weeks. We have been able to pay one of the three months rent we are past due and are now praying for discernment regarding our future. Today is day seven of our novena to Saint Joseph. If anyone would care to join us on the last days of our novena we are using this one. We are asking for the graces, guidance and resources to create a stable income for our family that will allow us to meet our basic family needs while being able to maintain balance and order in our life and make good use of our graces and gifts to grow in holiness for the glory of God. We have also asked for the graces to enjoy our blessings as well as what we already have around us.

GOD Bless you all! Read more!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Goggle Ads

In yet another measure to help add to the family income, stained as it is, I have added Google ads. My understanding is that clicks on the ads generate money ... for me. But I had to agree to not click my own ads. Now I am a curious person! Very curious but to date - I have not clicked, but it is a little like that red box that says PULL in case of fire. A terrible temptation. So if anyone has clicked, please feel free to share what you found being advertised. And, please, leave comments if it is anything inappropriate for a Catholic family centered blog such as mine! Read more!

Two favorite people in my life are...

Mr. Duncan Heinz and Mrs Betty Crocker. Of late I have been trying to save money while eating in a healthier manner. So I have baking cookies from scratch and throwing in a little wheat germ when the kids are not looking, and making whole wheat bread in the bread makers. (Yes, that is plural and is not a type O.) Homemade soups have been garnished with fresh biscuits from the oven.

But sometimes I get a little tired of having to bake to satisfy a chocolate urge for snack and sometimes I am just plain tired. Like today. I have a sinus infection and neuralgia in the left side of my face. Add that to the current level stress and I really am not in the baking mood. Emma, 3, is picking up on the stress and, of course, cannot identify what is wrong, let alone verbalize it. Today she crawled up on my lap and cradled my face in her hands.
"Mummy, I'm hungy. Make me tum cookies pease!?"
I knew she was not just cookie hungry, but she was mummy hungry. I looked at her. I had not the energy to make cookies - not even for the Pope were he to drop in. Suddenly I remembered the boxed cake mixes in the pantry. There had been a two for one sale at Foodlion last week. And I had brilliantly not been able to pass up such a bargin despite my current 'gotta eat healthy' kick.

I cuddled Emma and said - "How about some muffins, chocolate muffins?"

"Oh NO! Mummy I need cookies . Pease make me tum cookies. Pease?"

"Oh, but Emma," I bribed, "If we make muffins, you can help me make them!"

I think the most tiring part of the baking the past two months has been all of the help I have been forced to accept. But a boxed cake mix! SO simple.

We went to the pantry, dug out two cake mixes, hauled a chair to the counter and we were off to the races. She stired and I measured , she dumped ingredients and I sprayed cake pans. In less than ten minutes we have four cake pans in the oven and baking. Two hearts and two circles.

Now as the children are finishing off the fresh vegetable soup, the table is adorned with two very festive looking cakes. Thank you Mr. Heinz and Mrs. Crocker! Thanks to your boxed mixes - my daughter and I enjoyed such a lovely quiet time together this afternoon and now our family will enjoy a yummy, scrummy dessert together. Read more!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Prayer please...

AGAIN... the transmission on our family van died. Possibly God pulled the plug to keep my husband home after a very difficult day. Maybe God knew Hugo would have an accident if he tried to drive to PA tonight after several hours of back breaking work. Maybe He knew Hugo's would further injure his back if he went to PA to pick up that merchandise with only the van floor to sleep on.

And maybe tomorrow the transmission will work again.

And then again - maybe not. Still, prayers are sincerely requested as I think I may be losing my mind! Fifteen days into Lent and counting.... :-)
Read more!

The boy knows the meaning of a kiss!

At the end of a romantic movie the hero always gets the girl and they kiss. Fade to black. But what does it mean if they kiss in the middle of say - science fiction? Like Voyageur, as in when Seven of Nine finds herself on Matrix Zero and falling in love and so she kisses her Romeo. Waiting for the traditional; "Ewwww! Yucky ! Gross!" from the peanut gallery, we were surprised instead by Nathaniel's response.

"Oh - Are dey getting married?"

Once again my five year old showed us the wisdom that can be found out of the mouths of babes. Kissing is sacred, not to be wasted on just anybody, and if you have reached that stage in your relationship - obviously you are serious and so.... getting married. Such sweet innocence and such purity of mind. Obviously one does not wait until they are engaged before kissing someone they love - but still, I think Nathaniel has the right idea. Now hopefully - he will still be on this same track when he is seventeen and allowed to date. Read more!

A little too real for comfort...

Given our current difficulties, a few friends came by to help out with the business. The wind was blowing leaves, debris and paper to and fro in the yard as my sons and their father worked with our neighbours, going through tri-walls and sorting items as to what was saleable and what should be desposed of. Often we were sending Noah and Teddy scurrying through the fields to catch long ribbons of computer paper that had escaped and was whipping across the fields until it would wrap itself around a tree or stump.

Gradually the sun warmed the air despite the heavy winds and the work became a little more bearable and our neighbour's wife joined the men outside. I slipped out to say hi and offer her and everyone else a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Hot chocolate was the favoured response and I returned to the house to put the water on to boil and double check the bathroom in case anyone needed it. Elsa, of late, has discovered that mysterious fountain of water that is at just the right level for her to drop toys in and then dig about trying to retrieve them. This has a habit of leaving the bathroom somewhat unusable. Thankfully the floor was dry for a change and the toilet paper still where it was suppose to be, instead of sitting in the flush soaking up the water.

While I was preparing the hot chocolate, unbeknownst to me a drama was unfolding outside. A gentlemen, tall and thin, drove up and parked his black truck in the drive and walked somberly into the back. With purpose in his stride he walked straight towards our 19 year old son and our neighbour. His demeanor caught my husband's attention causing him to stop what he was doing and watch.

The gentleman announced; "If Ah had ma gun with me , Ah would shoot you right now."
Our neighbour's mouth dropped and my husband sensing trouble quietly moved towards the man. My son fastened his eyes on him, watching his every move, ready to strike with whatever he had in hand if need be. The stranger swung his arm behind his back and chuckled saying;
"In fact, Ah do have mah gun and Ah think Ah will shoot you."

Sensing my husband's 6 foot presence now behind him, his chuckle became a little nervous and he quickly swung his hand out and made a gun shape with his fist! "POW," he said and started to laugh.

Only then did our neighbour relax and start to laugh with him, finally realizing that this was an old aquaintence he had not seen in ages.

His adrenalin still pumping, my son came in and told me the details of this crazy joke. Miguel and I chuckled over it, but I wonder if the stranger realizes how close he had come to being taken down by my 6 ' 4 " 240 lb son and my 6 ' husband. The hot chocolate ready, I called everyone in, while out of the corner of my eye I watched the stranger make his good byes and leave. I was relieved to see him go even though it had been a seemingly harmless prank. In this crazy neighbourhood, you just never know when someone might actually have a gun in the back of their pants and I am not 100 percent convinced that he didn't have a gun, given he has spent a "stretch" as seems the majority in this area have done at one time or another. Read more!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


... a time of pennance, repentence and self examiniation. Also known as a time of torture! I have had people talk about how they dread Lent as it is usually a very difficult time. This year just before Lent, as many of you know, we had a local group of guys accidently remove an item and sell it to the metal yard for scrap when this item was actually worth at least 2000 dollars for us. My thought was at the time, well - this is only a short patch. We seem to have them every three or four months. I will just hold on for this roller coaster ride and soon it will smooth out - it always does.

In sharing this piece of bad news with a friend one of her comments was; "Well - I always find Lent very hard for some reason. "
I was horror struck. Lent is FOURTY days long and I quickly rejected the thought that this string of bad luck could last 40 days until my husband reminded me that the past two Lents have been just like how this one started.
I have learned to stop asking - "SO just how BAD can it get. What else can go wrong?" as I have found that is ONE question God consistently answers for us.
But even though I have not asked that question more has indeed gone wrong. I will spare you the details but suffice to say - all that has passed in the last 24 hours has been emotionally painful, humiliating and exhausting.

Next year I think I will try to find a way to hide in a dark cave...maybe somewhere in the wilderness with a dozen loaves of bread and several jars of honey and wait out Lent there. I open to suggestions to any favorite caves you may know of. In the meantime.. prayers continue to be gratefully accepted. Read more!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I know the answer... it is a rhetorical question.

What does one do when in so much pain, especially emotional pain?

Pray, of course.

But when you first feel the injury - sometimes the prayer is so difficult, no? Read more!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

30 day Novena to Saint Joseph

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.

Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the loveliness and power of that Sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the Adorable Infant.

I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His Holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt. I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey. I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country. I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows.

I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days. I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus. I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary. I ask it by the joy which filled your soul when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.

O good father! I beg you , by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask. (Here name your petitions or think of them.)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.

This 30 day novena was found here.

(You might want to check out the original post of this novena as it has a beautiful picture of St. Joseph. It was a difficult decision to decide whether to use it or not, but I wanted one of him with the Child Jesus.)

And here is another beautiful novena, this time a nine day one. Click here.

There are so many wonderful novenas to St. Joseph, it is hard to choose! But I believe that since it is the month of his feast day, I will do the nine day one I have created a link to. Our family especially needs the prayers of St. Joseph right now as we continue to struggle simply to make a living for the wonderful blessings God has entrusted us with. Read more!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I got this from Danielle...

… who got it from ramblinggopsoccermom who says she got it from Stacy…

What did I get? This idea!

Lets all get together and send a note of appreciation to our crisis pregnancy centers and prolife organizations. Know a priest who has taken an unpopular stand in a local parish and tried to teach us about the teachings of the church on contraception or pro life issues – drop him a note! Lets all do something. We can’t let the Pro abortionists be the only pro active people! Click here to find a pregnancy center near you!

HERE is where I will send my first thank you note! Read more!

Mini Poll Results...

And heeere are the results from last week's poll - "What are you doing for Lent?"
Increasing Prayer time came in first at 45 %,
What I am doing is not listed came in at a close second at 23%.
Giving Up Chocolate came in third at 7 %.

With this weeks poll, I am hoping that if people choose 'other', that they will be willing to post here what their favourite feast Day is. Please do not feel you have to, but I would love to know especially as it might be a Feast day I am unfamiliar with. Perhaps some of us would also like to post why they voted for the one they chose. Read more!

Lost and Found

We are currently trying to find God Parents that we have lost contact with in Canada and just found one God Mother, Kathy Clark, and have discovered that she has written a children's novel, A Whisper In My Heart.

Check out this book - I know Kathy's life story and I am sure that this book is going to tug at the heartstrings and be very enlightening at the same. I hope to read it myself very soon, and will post a review here as soon as we have finished reading it.

Here is the synopsis of the book followed by a short excerpt;

Ten-year-old Klari/Claire is about to meet her parents for the first time in seven years. Why did her parents abandon her seven long years ago? And more importantly, why do they want her back?

Klari/Claire is trapped in a world where no one understands her language, where the other children make fun of her and where everything is new and frightening. As she tries to gain acceptance, Klari/Claire learns something about herself, and this knowledge enables her to conquer her fears and uncertainty.

"My parents might force me to live with them, but I will not let them really know me. I will make sure that the separation they started seven years ago will remain forever. No one will ever know what I think and feel. I will be strong. I will not give in."

Why Kathy wrote this book;

"When my daughter was ten years old, she and I were on a walk together and she asked me what school had been like for me when I was her age.

As I explained what my school experience had been like back in 1963, I realized how different it was from her own. I had just arrived from another country, did not speak the language, and had a very hard time making friends. School was a big struggle for me. As I related my experiences to my daughter, I began to think that this could become a story worth sharing with other Canadian children.

In Canada, we have the privilege of sharing the beauty and wealth of our country with people from all around the world. However, we often do not appreciate the difficulties that immigrants encounter when they first arrive here. I wanted to write a book in which some of these seemingly insignificant difficulties are recognized. I wanted to encourage Canadian children to welcome people from other countries, and make them feel accepted instead of alienated. I hope my story will help children consider how their actions affect immigrant children who are striving to fit in and be accepted by them."

I can't wait to receive my copy of this book! Read more!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Whoo Hoo!

We have had ten sales from my mum2twelve's country cupboard. Thank you everyone who is supporting my little store. Look for more selections for photos and cartoons to come soon.

I also wish to publicly say thank you to everyone who has been supporting us through donations and prayers. You all have been so kind. We are very close to having one month's rent collected.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Read more!

AND theyrrrre off!

...with Anna in the lead by one marker! My surprise project for the kids was finally completed this week although I do need to make and laminate some more coupons.

Over the weekend I made a race track. With my being so involved in the business, the children really needed some self motivation to keep to their tasks and school work. So I came up with a game that seems to be helping. Each child has their own laminated race car which has their picture on it attached to a race track with velcor markers on it. To move forward one marker you must earn 10 coupons. Anna, is currently in the lead, having moved just moved one marker forward last night.

To place bets on who you think will win, simply call 1 800 GO KIDS! Your choices are;
Anna, 12, tentatively holding first place
Gabriela 15, currently in second place - about to tie with Anna.
Next we have Teddy, 9, blazing a trail hot with seven coupons. Hot on his heels is Bethany, 8, with five.
Noah, 10, who has been focused on his guinea pig who was ill and passed away yesterday morning only has three, but I suspect he will be coming along strong shortly.
Emma 3, and Nathaniel 4, each hold the last place firmly with one coupon each.

May the best cleaner win! Updates and photos to follow later to help readers keep up with their favorite. Read more!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Highlights from our trip to Ohio...

While we were traveling home I thought of several amusing incidents that I could use for this post, and now that I am sitting here there is only one that comes to mind and truly it was for me the complete highlight. We left the Raleigh area at about 8:30 am sans breakfast as I had not had time to get groceries over the weekend. We left the older crew some hard cash and a list of menu ideas. They were about to embark on Survival 101 as we rolled onto the highway towards Ohio. At about 9:30 am we pulled up to a Pilot which had a MacDonalds, or as Tanny Paul calls them – Happy Donalds. Much to Tanny’s dismay we learned that ‘No – they do NOT serve happy meals at that time of the day.’ So hash browns all around it was. And, of course, even though I only ordered twelve hash browns I got the standard double take as they repeated; “Twelve?”

We settled ourselves back into the van, re-did all the straps, buckles and seat belts we had fastened only a short 60 minutes earlier and we were off. I think we managed to get another 2 hours in before we had to have a pottie break and we started watching exit signs for Pilots. As you can tell, these are our favorite roadside stops.

We had to make several more pit stops to give Elsa a “carseat break” as she was born hating the car seat. In this way we were able to more or less maintain everyone’s sanity. Of course, in the long run this slows the whole trip down and even though mapquest had assured us that the trip was a mere 8.36 hours…. It actually took us closer to twelve. Then only ten – twelve miles from the hotel Elsa hit melt down point and her screams of rage filled the van. Bethany’s eyes filled with tears as her little sister stretched her arms to her, begging to be taken from this horrible form of restraint and torture. I peered though the rain and growing darkness watching for road signs and counting them down.

“Hup – exit 97, almost there!” I cried, trying to keep everyone’s spirits up. At long last and two more left handed turns and we were there. Hugo pulled into an empty spot and I jumped out and rushed inside to register while Hugo rescued the sobbing princess. We hauled kids, back packs, pillows, medicine bag, cooler, babas and sippy cups inside and collapsed on the couch. Within seconds the kids had found Disney channel and Hugo and I just stared at the blank screen on our TV. Elsa scrambled back and forth in ecstasy to be free to move about and roam without constraint.

“Well – the pool closes at ten, Hugo.” I piped up. His head swiveled and his eyes, owl shaped, stared at me horrified.

“The pool, you were serious about the pool?”

“Umm, yeah. I packed everyone’s suit.”

Ignoring the look of desperation on his face, I calmly explained how we would supervise five non-swimmers in the pool.

“Look, I’ll take Emma to the pool – she hates it so she probably won’t stay in it long at all. She probably won’t even go in BUT she HAS to go, you know? So I’ll take her and while I am gone, you can, ummm, put Elsa’s little swimmer on.”

I flipped one out and passed it to him. He nodded, as I jumped up and grabbed Emma. In two shakes she and I were out the door as I called back to him; “Don’t forget to change Elsa into her swimmer!”

As I suspected Emma promptly sat on one of the beach chairs lined up along the side of the small pool and said. “I’ll tit here Mummy.”

“Don’t you want to go in the pool, Emma?” I wheedled.

Uh uh, she shook her head.

“Well then, lets go back to the room.” I reasoned.

“No – I want to tay here, at the pool.” she replied as she settled her 2.5 ft frame onto the 5 foot long chair.

"Well – if we are staying at the pool – we are going IN the pool!" I said, as I scooped her up.

Less than a minute later we were wet enough for me to feel we had justified the traipse down the hallway to the pool and I toweled her off and we returned to the room.

Elsa was ready and waiting in her lovely hot pink swimmer that was adorned with a lovely little belly button in her chubby little belly! I carried her to the pool and she was breathless with delight as we slowly walked down the steps into the hugest bath tub her little eyes have ever feasted on. I let her toes dangle into the cool water and there was a sharp intake of breath and then she leaned forward in my arms to touch the water with her finger tips. We played in the water for several minutes until the hot tub beside it became unoccupied. As I walked back up the steps out of the pool, Elsa squirmed in my arms and shook her head back and forth in protest.

‘Hey – don’t worry,’ I crooned to her. ‘We’ll be back in the water in a minute.’ Carefully I introduced her to the warm water in the tub and she quickly relaxed and started chasing the bubbles that danced across the water top. She grunted and stretched and splashed and played. Sometimes she leaned into me and just sat quietly watching the bubbles, her eyes never leaving them. I kissed the top of her little red head, and smelled her luscious baby smell. And I thanked Jesus for this gift of life that he has blessed me with, not just once but TWELVE times.

Finally the timer I had set for the bubbles, reached it’s end and the bubbles died away and with Elsa relaxed in my arms, I carried her out of the hot tub, just the two of us all warm and cuddled together. I stripped her little swimmer off and wrapped her naked, warm body up in a fluffy towel and carried her back to our room where her daddy took her from me. As I gathered her jammies and fresh didies up to dress her for bed I was able to admire her rosy pink cheeks and damp soft curls from her Daddy’s arms. Once ready for bed she nestled in my arms, had a wee snack and fell asleep. That half hour, alone with Elsa, was my highlight of our trip.

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I have sweated, and prayed and debated over this thought for the past day. As I mentioned yesterday we lost a couple of thousand dollars of equipment that my husband had just purchased to sell online. (Some gentlemen, who remove metal from our property, mistakenly took it to sell to the metal yard. By the time we realized they had removed the wrong items, they had already sold it for pennies on the pound…)

We are currently three months behind in our rent. Our land lord is patient, but he has written and asked that we do something soon to avoid eviction. This loss of the merchandise is a terrible blow. I think if I were to detail everything that has gone wrong in just 24 hours; you would think I was making it up. I have placed, again, a cheque under our statue of the Infant of Prague in hopes that Baby Jesus will come through for us. Since then, I have been coming back to the thought of a donation button and almost immediately pushing it away.

Finally, I decided to give it a try. For three weeks, about half of Lent, I am going to have a Pay Pal donation button on my blog so that if anyone would like to help us out of this predicament they may. I will be honest. I am a bit embarrassed to do this as I feel as though I am imposing on those who read my blog. It is harder to receive than to give. And very hard to ask. I am especially worried I will insult my readers by putting a donation button on my page. But then I said to myself. Nobody has to give. Not one person. But, if I do not ask, no one who might like to help - can.

Please, if I have insulted you by doing this, accept my heartfelt apologies. My husband is a very hard worker, and works around the clock doing what he can to keep this business going. I am only trying to open a door through which the Lord can help us, if it be His will. Regardless of the outcome, I will remove the button three weeks from now. Thank you for understanding my trying this, and all of the prayers and notes of encouragement that you have sent our way have been very appreciated.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We are home... and sound. What a trip. We took the five youngest and while I would parade them through the restrooms, we would draw amused glances and often drew the comment; "My, you have your hands full!" I would just smile and agree; "Yes I do!" and I would think about the calories I was burning off with Elsa grasped under one arm and my free hand tightly clasping Emma the energizer bunny who was constantly hopping and straining against my iron grip.
"But I wanna buy DAT for Lala! Oh! I dust need to buy a dolly mummy Puhleeeease!" Nathaniel, while more quiet, needed an eyeball continuously attached to him as at any moment a car model might draw his attention and he would be gone in a flash to "Heck dem out."

This trip has caused me to come to the conclusion that the reason I lost weight so readily after each birth until I reached my thirties is not because that due to middle age my metabolism has changed; but because I had so many extra hands to help by then. Someone else was able to dash after an escapee and someone else could hold a baby as I helped a little one off the toilet. I did not have to haul the baby back to the van where my husband was filling the gas tank and checking the oil, and then have to traipse back so I could then use the pottie.

Yes - this trip has caused me to be very grateful of the help I have through my older children but it has also inspired me to begin to add this help up in the terms of calories lost or gained! My older children just might find me taking little ones to the pottie a little more often in hopes that the energy spent in doing this will equal pounds lost!

Highlights of the trip to follow tomorrow hopefully, as right now I need to go start burning some calories - catching up with laundry, and other duties left undone while I was gone. Read more!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Hi ho Hi ho...'s on the road we go! Tomorrow early in the AM we hit the road for Ohio with only the four youngest in tow. The oldest five (of the nine still living at home, that is) are remaining behind to do school and help with the packing/shipping. Please feel free to email or fax hot meals to them - I am sure they will be quite grateful!

My husband and I are picking up merchandise for the equipment for the business, and any prayers for our safety on the road, and esp for safety for the children staying home will be greatly appreciated. Prayers for my sinus infection welcomed as well! ;-)

I hope to be able to post tomorrow night from Ohio, but we will be back by Tuesday evening if I am unable to. Anybody in Columbus, Ohio with whom we can drop in on, and share a cuppa Tim Hortens with?

God Bless!!! Read more!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Under Construction

Today I will be taking valuable time from the business to work on a project for the kids. They are all very curious as to what I am doing. Mums the word, but I am creating a racetrack of sorts on a poster... Details to follow!

Wish me luck and the kids .... patience!

And heeere are the results from last weeks poll! (almost forgot to post them!)

Our Father came in first at 62 %,
Guardian Angel came in at a close second at 29%.
St Michael came in third at 9%.
The other prayers came in as follows:
Angelus 7%
Memorare 3%
Morning Offering 3%

Besure to check out the new poll and, if you are doing more than one of these activities for Lent, vote again another day. Phooey.. I forgot to add other. Well, back to the drawing board! Read more!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why is it...

...when you give up something for Lent... something like chocolate, you think nonstop about it? You think all day about it. You think about it every time your tummy growls, you think about it even when your tummy is not growling. You find yourself wanting it more than you normally do. You find yourself dreaming about hot chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate chip cookies, brownies until you remember that you actually gave up something else this year. And then you don't think about it again. Not once, all day. Why is that? Read more!
Now the million dollar question is;
Was he wearing these glasses to spy for aliens in his sketti,
to keep the sketti sauce out of his eyes?
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Forgiveness... a virtue. And one Emma obviously needs a little instruction in. This morning, as I was making my bed and moving about rather gingerly as sudden movements caused my sinuses to send send stabbing pains through my upper jaw and cheek bones, Emma asked;

"Mummy, tan I watch a mooie? Peeeeease?"

I looked sternly at her and pointed the mountains of videos strewn about the floor, decorating about three feet of space in a semi circle around the small tv in the corner of my room. I had been stubbing my toes on them as I tread cautiously about the bed.

"What about THOSE, Emma Louise?" I demanded.

To which she replied in a most adorable and sweet voice, as she sank to her kness on my bed;
"Oh Mummy! Tan you EVER fortive me?" She clasped her hands and stared at me.

Smothering a smile, I said;
"Well, maybe if you pick up all of those movies."

Her eyes opened wide and she asked;

"Oh, but whyeeee?"

Clearly while the child does not need acting lessons, she could use some instruction on what it means to ask for forgiveness. And no, she did not get to watch any movies until the videos were cleaned up. Read more!

We pray for the repose of two young souls...

...and for their mummy and daddy who are mourning the loss of twin boys born at 24 weeks gestation jsut 2 days ago on February 27th. Their mummy shared with my daughter that she and her husband were able to cuddle both for an hour before they passed away.

What more can I say - except please pray for this young family from Australia. May GOD be with them. Mother Mary, place your mantle of love and protection over them in this time of need and healing. Read more!


1 "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
16 "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Mathew 6:1-6, 16-18

The Rules of Fasting:

Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.

Fasting as explained by the U.S. bishops means partaking of only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening—depending on when a person chooses to eat the main or full meal.

Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat. For further explanation click here.

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