Thursday, November 30, 2006
Danielle has asked for some recipes for an advent baking carnival. This recipe is a great tradition for us and one that was started, like so many of our traditions have been, by the iniative of one my oldest children, in this case - my oldest daughter, Amanda.
We were living on Patterson Lake in Canada and she decided it would be fun to bake some cookies to leave for St. Nickolas, in honour of his feast day on the sixth of December. All children were banished from the kitchen, and when she was done a most festive picture was unveiled. Yet, I was dubious as she had decorated molasses cookies that have a hint of ginger to them with chocolate candies that in Canada are what we call Smarties, but resemble what here in the States are called M&Ms.
I was made to wait until the next morning when I was presented with one of the largest and most colourful cookies with a hot cup of coffee and I was immeadiatly addicted. I humbly apologized to my daughter for have doubted her culinary abilities, and then consumed another two or three.
Saint Nickolas day for us as well as Christmas morning, just isn't complete without these delicious cookies.
Preheat oven to 350 F
1/2 c White Sugar
1/2 c molasses
1/2 c shortening
1/3 c HOT water
2 tsp baking Soda
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 - 2 cups M&M
Cream the first four ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the HOT water to these creamed ingredients. They will appear to have curdled but don't worry all is right!
Then mix all the dry ingredients in a seperate bowl. Slowly blend this flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
You may need to add more than 2 1/2 cups depending on the humidity. You want a soft dough that you can easily roll out on a floured board or counter.
Roll about 1/3 inch thick and then cut with you favourtie cookie cutters and decorate with the M&M's
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
ENJOY!!! Read more!
I have discovered a sure fire way of putting Elsa to sleep whilst burning oodles of calories and working towards my goal of being down a couple of sizes in time for the wedding! It all started the other day when Elsa was desperate for me to hold her and kept skirting past my knees while I pedaled away a couple of miles and watched a DVD on the laptop. Determined not to stop peddling as internal computer that was being generated by my spent energy would cease operating and I would have start all over again, I bent over and scooped her up. She settled into my shoulder and was asleep in less than a minute. I held her the rest of my tour de France as I figured her sleeping weight in my arms had to help burn off those nasty little calories. The next day, she was ready for our bike ride and off we took. This time though she decided she wanted a little snack as we sped up and down the imaginary hills on my screen, so she scrunched over sideways and nursed while I pedaled. Again, she was out like a light in a minute, much to my relief as balancing her while she nursed, even if on a stationary bike, is a challenge. Again today, she nursed herself to sleep whilst I biked a solid 2.7 miles. Olympics 2008, here we come. Assuming there is a category for Stationary Gymnastics, that is!Read more!
The look of delight on his face, as his tongue stuck out to the left while he concentrated was immeasurable. He practiced changing the ribbon from red to blue. He learned how to make capitals. He struggled not to hit the keys too quickly and so cause them to catch togethere.
He grinned when he sat back to survey the results of his hard work. Lots and lots of even black and red letters all in a row. He accidently knocked the ribbon out of alignment and delicatly worked with it, trying to get it back in place. He took breaks to watch the large trucks, and the men who are operating them, as they dismantle huge pieces of machinary and then carefully washed his hands before coming back to the challenges this 'new' piece of equipment posed to him.
So today old technology was new for a while, at least to one little boy. Read more!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1. Through my prayer life. 15%
2. Attending Adoration. 15%
3. Frequent reception of Christ through attending Mass. 2%
4. A quiet afternoon ride through the country side. 2%
5. Contemplating my childrens' faces while they sleep. 4%
6. Sharing a hot mug of coffee/tea/etc with my spouse. 0%
7. A combination of above. 46%
8. What I do is not listed. If so please share how YOU seek peace with us! 16% Read more!
And of course, the diaper changes, hot chocolate breaks as well as school lessons have a way of interfering with one's concentration!
Hope you enjoy this newest review !
A word to the wise, last year we had a lovely line of Christmas movies set up in Netflix, but come Christmas time none of the ones on our Netflix list were available any more. I can not think of any other options to suggest other than getting some early and watching them to see if they are something you wish to have in your own private library. Our mix of movies as well as our reviews are going to include some that are not Christmas themed so as to help a little with this problem.
Look for reviews to come for:
Eloise at Christmas Time, as well as the Twelve Dogs of Christmas and a book review to boot! They just might not be posted as quickly as I originally anticipated.
If you have heard of a movie or book that you are unsure of and want to know if we have read it or if it is on our list of future reviews - drop us a note through email mum2twelve ( at) gmail.com or through the comments. You can leave a comment on this blog, or on our review blog. Read more!
I answered to heavy breathing on the other side and a whispered " Say hello, Emma!" in the back ground.
Emma acquiesced and I heard her sweet voice greet me joyfully.
HI Mummy! and as I responded her voice ran over mine.
"I'm going to the park with Jenny, Jonafin and John, can I go to the park with them? Yeah I'm going...
A voice interrupted her in the back ground and there was a whispered conference.
"Oh Jon has to work today Mummy, so I is just going with Jenny and Jonafin Mummy."
Realizing permission had been requested and assumed in one breath I moved onto the nextx topic on my mind.
"I mis... ah I LOVE you Emma!" (Not wanting to cause homesickness to set in I thought better of the original statement on the tip of my tongue!)
"Yeah, I has watched Shicken Run Mummy, okay we are going now, Bye Mummy!"
Simultaneously 'CLICK' "Okay see you at lun... time. Uh, bye."
Well - I felt better, I think.
(Post Script, it was nice to learn that Emma not only wears out her 45 yr old mother daily, but she is also capable of really keeping her brother and sister on their toes!) Read more!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
A fellow homeschool mom's (Clara E.) baby
(Garrett) was sent to Houston for testing. He stopped
eating and is only nursing as well as having
difficulty going to the bathroom or not going at all.
Last week he was brought to OLOL because for several
nights he was screaming and in pain--this had been
going on for some time. He did have some kind of GI
virus and was dehydrated. The doctor admitted him
for dehydration and the insurance wouldn't pay for any
tests for the other problems. So, they gave him a
feeding tube and sent him home.
Doctor friends from their church suggested their
daughter in Houston who is a pediatrician. At Texas
Children's Hospital, they were very careful about what
they admitted him for. Now they can run the needed
tests to rule out things and make a hopefully make a
Garrett is comfortable as long as he does not take
solids--this has stumped the doctors. The doctors
are supposed to come together with the results they
have so far and try to figure this out---there is a
team of doctors on this case.
Please keep the family in your prayers. It has been
really heavy on my heart and I just want to uplift
them and the doctors with as many prayers as possible.
Thank you in advance for your prayers! Those of us who are parents know there is nothing worse than watching your child suffer.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
The family sympathized deeply with her loss but not one person seemed to know what had happened to it. It was even suggested that perhaps her own guardian angel, tired of watching it daily, might have had a hand in it's disappearance. Given the hostility that had lately begun to be expressed each time this flock of birds flew across the TV screen, and the new found gusto with which chicken pies were being consumed in our home, it is possible that her angel just might have been protecting his charge by causing the video to simple vanish.
It was not under the couch, behind the video case, nor had it slipped upstairs to a book shelf. It was gone. After a few weeks, Emma moved on to another favorite but whether it was because she was wiser and feared its disappearance, or it simply could not completely replace the soft spot in her heart for 'Shicken Run', she did not ask to watch it multiple times - daily.
And then yesterday while at her sister's house for Thanksgiving dinner what to her wondering eyes should appear but a copy of SHICKEN RUN!
Emma gasped and grabbed the clamshell cover, opened it and within it, her eyes lovingly embraced the actual video. She pulled it out and scurried over to Jenny and begged that she be allowed to watch it. Now we were 16 people crowded into a small, nay tiny 2 bedroom house with the living room a mere 15 by 15 feet by a generous guess as to size. A light tremor was felt through the floor when the family, as a collective, shivered at the prospect of watching Emma's beloved film of squawking chickens.
Jenny’s eyes locked with mine across the room and she saw weakness in mine but I strengthened my resolve and suggested:
“After we eat Emma, we can watch it after we eat dinner.“
“Oh, but I am not hungry.”
Seeing that I was wavering, Jenny surveyed the room and thinking quickly she then suggested to Emma, “I know, how about you stay all night with me and then we can watch it together.”
Emma was torn, she had been pining to sleep over at her big sisters but to have to wait even another minute before watching her beloved Rocky and Ginger was almost too much to bear. I leaped on the band wagon and encouraged her to stay all night, whilst wondering how I would cope with leaving my darling Emma Wee wee behind when we returned home for the night. But Thanksgiving must, after all, be spared at all cost!
A few minutes later I saw Emma and Jennifer in conference with said movie in hand and Emma left her side and came to me asking with great animation and concern written across her face; “When are we leaving Mummy? When are we going home?”
“Well, I don’t know.” I replied somewhat perplexed. “We haven’t eaten yet and I thought YOU were staying all night with Jenny.
“Oh yes, I am and we are going to watch Shicken Run, so when are we leaving?”
“Oh I see, you mean when is the family leaving?”
She nodded solemnly.
“Ummmm, after we eat. I guess when it’s dark.”
Her eyes darted to a window as if gauging how much sunlight was left in the day.
Okay she sighed and traipsed back to Jenny. “They is leaving at night time Jenny, when it is dark outside”
“Okay,” Jenny smiled, ‘we can watch it then, Emma. When it is dark outside.”
The crescendo of noise grew in proportion with the delicious aromas issuing forth from the tiny kitchen and I mused over how Emma’s “own special Momma” had been so easily replaced by - a movie, of chickens no less. And Emma continued to watch the window and to measure how much lower the sun was in the sky. At moments she could not bear it and would ask an adult, a different one each time. “Can we watch Shicken Run now?” Somehow though there was a unity of thought and each person relied, ‘after Dark Emma, after dark.’ Finally fearing she would ultimately lose the video by dragging it through the house as well as outside when watching her brothers rake leaves I encouraged her to relinquish it to me and together we placed it in a pantry cupboard when she could see but not reach it.
Finally a trip to the local park was suggested and full ninety minutes of sunlight was worn away in great fun and energy (Look for pictures soon!) on swings , slides and foot races around the perimeter of the play ground.
It was not long after their return to the house that the turkey was pronounced ready for carving and we all gathered around for Grace and the feast began. Emma did not even notice the sun set but suddenly she realized that it was DARK outside. Her goal even closer in hand she willingly helped dump plastic plates and cutlery in the garbage bag. Finally, finally it was time to say good bye and I wondered; would she really be able to stay and watch the van drive off. She had never slept anywhere but in her own home and still often awoke in my bed cuddled up to ‘her special momma’.
Her eyes looked a little worried but stood her ground and waved good bye as we drove away. Tens minutes of driving and I could not stand it any longer and I called to see if she was bearing up to being left behind.
She was too busy to come to the phone - Ginger was leading the flock to another escape and Emma was cuddled with her big brother enjoying every minutes.
“Okay, I sighed” That is good.” and I hung up.
This morning the phone rang, early. Too early for me. It was my daughter Jenny.
“What’s up?” I mumbled.
“Not much, just wondering when you are coming up to go look at the (wedding) dress with me.” We discussed the details and finally I just had to ask what Emma was doing.
“Watching Chicken Run.”
Now my dilemma is; Should Saint Nicolas bring a new copy of Shicken Run or should we just let sleeping dogs lie? Read more!
I hope that you all had a wonderful Holiday with your family and friends. We had a wonderful time. Originally we were to eat here at our house but last minute change in plans took us to our soon to be married daughter's house. We had a great time.
Now without further adue, here is Father Corapi's message of Thanksgiving.
As we in the United States approach another celebration of our holiday of Thanksgiving, we would do well to recall indeed what we have to be thankful for--everything.
All that we have is a gift from God. All of us, at one time or another in one way or another, have failed to live a true spirit of Thanksgiving, as well as express it with words. Whenever we feel deprived, depressed, or otherwise unhappy, a simple prayer of thanksgiving will go a long way toward healing those feelings. The fact of the matter is that we are truly blessed in so many ways. Despite all of the ups and downs locally and nationally, we still live in the best country in the world. If you don't think so, evaluate how many people are trying to get out of this country, and how many are trying to get in.
Thank God for the United States that we are privileged to live in. Thank God for the blessing of our family and each and every unique member of it--even the ones who drive you crazy. After all, they are contributing to your sanctification. They sure make us exercise virtue, don't they?
Thank God for the gifts of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and every other physical sense we have been given. Thank God for physical strength, agility, speed, and other such physical blessings. Oh, you don't have those anymore? Thanks be to God for the lack of such things. More to offer to God. After all, St. Paul says "It is when I am weak that I am strong."
Thank God for the ability to empathize with the pain and suffering of others. Thank God for the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. Thank God for the gift of our religion, for the intellect and the will to try to know, love, and serve this good God with our whole heart, mind, and strength.
In the end, as an old friend of mine used to say, "Thank God for God!"
We have a lot to be thankful for. This Thanksgiving, we would all do well to pray in that spirit of thanksgiving and to live that thanksgiving to God each and every day from now on.
Happy and blessed Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.
With God's Blessing,
Fr. John Corapi
To my readers in Canada, Australia and England, I believe that what Father says here about how wonderful the country is that we live in - can be applied to your countries as well. I hope ALL of you had a blessed holiday. Read more!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Me: "Some MacDonalds have really nice salty fries, like this place."
Me: "You would think that they would be more consistant and be salty in all of their locations."
Miguel: "Well, it is not like the managers can stand around watching each cook as they salt the fries."
Me: "I know, but you would think there would be a standard they would all follow though, and teach the employees that you complete so many shakes of salt over the fries."
Miguel: "Yeah, but it's not like MAcDonalds is known for their salty fries..."
Me: "Well, they were when I was kid, they always advertised their salty fries."
Miguel: "Well, that was a really loooong time ago."
Me: Jaw drops!
Miguel: Face reddens. "Ah I mean..." laughs awkwardly then says "Hey, I just botched a joke, I was really just trying to make fun of Bush."
At which point I blinked for a second, and then collapsed in a fit of laughter almost falling off my stool. Read more!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
With Elsa on my lap and Emma and Nathaniel each guarding one side of me we hit play on the clicker (remote) and sat back to enjoy the movie. Before long something really silly happened in the movie causing Emma to giggle and look at me saying:
"That isn't the silliest thing I didn't ever see!"
"Is it?" I asked her seriously.
"Yeah!" she said and glued her eyes back on the screen.
I was left thinking over "That isn't the silliest thing I didn't ever see"
Hmmmm, translation anyone? Read more!
We hope to have a mix of religous, classic as well as just pure funny family entertainment included in our reviews. Please peek into Catholic, Classic and Current Book and Movie Reviews often, and see if we have reviewed something you might like to watch. Read more!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Employee: It will take a moment for that to go through, sir.
Hugo: I need to know how to make hearts signs right away!
Hugo: Ooops that was meant for someone else.
Employee: Not a problem, is there any thing else I can help you with?
Hugo: No thank you.
Tears of laughter ran down my face when he im'd me what he had done. Read more!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
if only I had the gift to see it as so.
God, give me the graces to
see my life with your eyes
Let me focus on the beauty
innocence of my children’s faith
Help me to see the wealth
bestowed on us
in ways we cannot see.
But most especially Dear God,
help us to feel
your loving presence.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
A very dear friend by the name of Kelly is being induced, for medical reasons, tomorrow. Kelly and Billy have been like an adopted big brother and sister to my second oldest - Jenny. I cannot thank them enough for the love and care they have extended to my daughter over the past four or five years. The least I can do at this wondrous time of preparing to give birth, or as it is said in Spanish bring their child to the light, is to ask you all to pray for Kelly, Billy and their son who is waiting to come to the light tomorrow.
It is a simple pray, possibly I have posted it before. I simply ask the Blessed Mother to place her mantle of protection over us as we drive, and through her intercession to protect us from dangerous, careless or drinking drivers as well as to help us to be careful, observant drivers while also protecting us from mechanical failure of any sort - from bumper to bumper.
Recently we made one of our 24 hour swirl trips to Ohio with the typical stop at Tim Hortens. Money being a bit tight we only purchased one can of coffee, decaf for me, and I am saving it for Thanksgiving. The anticipation of the heavenly smell of freshly brewed Tim Hortens sustains me even as I type.
But I digress, not having a cup of tea or coffee at my elbow I am not as focussed as usual.
We had made good time through the night and had stopped to rest in L'otel Van, as my husband refered to it. At about 6 we received our wake up call compliments of L'otel Van's curly red headed concierge so we deflated the mattress and tucked a few sleepy heads back into their car seats or seat belts.
We pulled back onto the highway and once more I prayed to Mary asking of her intercession and to place her mantle of protection on us. Before long we could see the tall outlines of Columbus looming ahead of us. Benjamin asked if the Christmas lights or the manger scene would be up yet. I didn't think so but we were delighted as we passed the block long manger scene and I lamented that I had forgotten the camera.
We sped along and soon left downtown behind and began to pass into the more domestic section of Columbus with houses gathered close to the roadside. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied an adult out on their front lawn with a small white dog at their feet and this drew my attention to another pet further from the owner. A handsome, full grown German Shepherd. I admired his form as we drew closer but suddenly in an effort to tease his owner the dog made a dash in the direction of the van. My sudden gasp caused my husband who was intent on the traffic and watching for the intersection he needed to glance at me. In horror we watched the owner wave his arms frantically and the dog, oblivious to death looming ahead, continued his joke. His eyes on his owner as he continued his mad dash away, he was heading straight for our front tires. In the desperate hope of not hitting him my husband slamed on the brakes and seeing room in the next lane tried to steer away. Death was certain for this foolish dog and I braced for the impact, already hearing the inevitable thud in my mind. There was not even time to pray.
Suddenly, the German Shepherd slammed into a wall of air. His head still turned to watch his owner, he came to a sudden halt with his hind quarters jamming up into his ribs. He was inches from the curb and our van slipped by, not touching him. I began to breath again while Hugo and I glanced at each other. It had all happened so fast the younger children in the back had not even noticed.
'So' I thought, 'that must be what Angels at work look like.' Read more!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I would like to offer up this article for you to peruse at your leisure. Not sure how long this URL will be active so I would not delay too long. I realize that the author of this article is not the most popular with some people, but please do not allow this to stop you. Please be warned some of this article might be very disturbing. It is not gory or anything like that, it's just seeing in black in white, where we have already advanced to in this area is rahter disturbing.
It is also serves as a reminder as to how much we really must PRAY!!
To quote them directly; "This collection includes the "heavy hitters" of Church tradition and history including Thomas a Kempis, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Frances de Sales, St. Augustine, St. Therese of Lisieux, and many others."
You can get a "Sneak Preview" of the Essential Classics of Catholic Spirituality by clicking the link below and you can even get a Free bonus eBook they put together called Classic Quotes of Catholic Spirituality. It's full of powerful quotes by some of the authors mentioned above and is a great prelude to their Advent preparation for Christmas. I belive it can be downloaded immeadiatly."
The last I heard was that this seems to be a very popular venture and they have had to increase the bandwidth to be able to serve everyone who is jumping at the chance to support their attempt to create oodles of funds for the prolife groupss.
Please do not miss out on the chance to enjoy the classics they are offering as well as a chance to make a difference in the prolife movement. This is a wonderful way to donate to the cause. You get access online to some absolutly wonderful books and money is generated that will help safe a life.
I am so sorry I did not get this posted earlier but we have been on the road this week. I did send out this link to many of my friends but in order that more can see it I have posted it as well.
Please do check it out and be sure to share the link. I will post it as the straight URL so that it is easy for people to just cut and paste it if you want to share it with other friends you know might want to support this drive for funds for the prolife movements!
God Bless and please help make this successful I am impatient to know how much they generate through this effort. They do have a charity link where you can see to whom they have donated and how much!
I can state without hestitation
That Mass is supposed to be
A time of quiet and meditation
On our Faith and its mysteries
But there is no reflection and quiet
When accompanied by my family
At worst, it is more like a riot
Mass does not seem planned for me
The choir has rehearesed for hours
Music to inspire lofty thoughts
But alas they do not have the power
To stop the squabbling of my tots
No lofty thoughts can be inspired
While I'm busy as a referee
Instead, I think of how I'm tired
Of "Mommy, she stuck her tongue out at me"
The priest, a very learned man
Has prepared an erudite homily
I always listen when I can
But someone says, "I have to pee"
It's beyond my powers of concentration
To follow the reading and the prayers
I feel a builiding sense of frustration
That somehow this really isn't fair
I'm doing my best to do my duty
To raise a Christian family
But in the Mass, with all its beauty
Where is some support for me?
I have given up on concentration
"Children won't you please sit still"
By the time we reach the Consecration
"OK kids, its time to kneel"
I get in the Communion line
In a rather frazzled state
When the thought enters my mind
That I don't need to concentrate
Without my help, without my power
God is the One who transforms the bread
Even if I sit there an hour
Wihout hearing a word that has been said
Christ Himself enters my soul
And I am transformed by hope
The Love of God makes me whole
Gives me strength to help me cope
The Mass is for me, after all
Not just prepared for others
Though I misss out on the preaching and singing and all
Communion is for mothers.
(Author Jayne K.)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The Christmas Season is almost upon us and it is not easy coming up with lists and lists of potential movies (cough cough) as well as locating them so we can watch them as well as share where you can find them. But some one must do this task. We have accomplished a most interesting list of movies and we are planning on mixing the interest levels up, so that we have a nice combination posted in quick order. Our hope is that during a one week period, one could have a choice of a children's christmas movie, a grown up movie and/or a family movie to chose from.
For the month of November we will be focusing on movies, but normally we will have a mix of movies and books.
But while you wait with bated breath for this momentous moment when we will begin to post these fabulous reviews.... heeeeeres where you can find some wonderful thoughts, inpirational quotes and some plain old funny facts. They have been pulled togethere by my daughter Anna on her blog Beans are Gross and other Interesting Thoughts. Read more!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
But who was that little thing in pink at the breakfast table this morning that carefully pulled out a chair and clamboured onto it and then settled herself on her elbows and slowly surveyed the table. Seeing some cookies, she pointed to and received one. Then daintily grasping it between her index finger and thumb, this little creature leaned forward and dipped it into my tea and smiling her most winning smile at me she consumed this delicacy, and then as quickly as she arrived - dissapeared. The red curls slipped down out of sight and the chair grumbled across the floor as she pushed away from it.
Surely this was not my baby? This could not have been my tiny, helpless newborn whom I feel as though I only just brought home from the hospital a short time ago. Could that really have been her? Can it really be? Read more!
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I will be posting largely with pictures the next few days or posting some reruns from the very early days. I have a slight injury to my right wrist and hand that is making typing rather, let’s say, uncomfortable. I will be back, in fit form, as soon as possible though.Read more!
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
At this hour of Divine Mercy please help Dorothy to feel your loving precense. Wrap your arms around her, and hold her close to your Sacred Heart. Ease her pain and give her the graces she needs to carry her cross. Today is the feast days of all souls in heaven, I ask them to join us in our supplications to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Dorothy. I pray that she feels the fruits of this prayer very soon.
Eternal Father, We offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord, Jesus Christ,
In attonement for the sins of the whole world.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.