Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Day of the Month of Mary

And here are some nice musings about the rosary one can read to close out the month Of Mary with. To read CLICK HERE & HERE.



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Jesse Tree posts....

I am currently preparing a series of posts for each day of Advent which will have the Jesse Tree reading for the day and an explanation of what the symbol is for that day.

In preparing this, I looked at the various Jesse Tree websites I had chosen for for my Advent Links page and was surprised to realize that more than one was Protestant based. Obviously there will be a some different interpretations of readings and choice of symbols. For instance we sometimes think of Mary as an Ark as she carried the Word of God Incarnate within... This is not a viewpoint that all Protestant religions would necessarily take.

Hence I have revised my favorite link and replaced it with the Domestic Church, a Catholic website. This is the site that I will be using as my guide for the Jesse Tree. I have left the Protestant sites as they have interesting symbols and more of them have nice clear ones for children to cut out and colour. I am using one of these sites to create symbols for our Advent Calendar chain.

I am really looking forward to Advent and the younger children and I have begun to colour our symbols already for this chain so that on the first Sunday of Advent we can simply assemble the chain - and this alone will take some time. It will be a wonderful start to our Advent, I think.

I am also putting together a little contest for a Christmas gift giveaway. Stay tuned for details. I am hoping for this to become a regular event, first as a monthly thing and then hopefully more frequently - if it becomes as popular as I hope it will.


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Moving Out

A few weeks ago, it was decided that it was time for Elsa to make the move - out of our room into her big sisters' bedroom. That is - the little girls as they are referred to so as to differentiate them from the older girls - who are in their teens. That Saturday morning we spent hours cleaning and rearranging the bedroom to accommodate three children and their belongings as opposed to only two. Even though it is a large bedroom - it took a little planning and a lot of work. Finally the transition was complete and Elsa was proudly installed in the little girls' room. She spent a good part of the day playing in there with her only heart club dolls with Emma.

While she was busy doing that, I was busy filling the upper drawers of her old dresser with the new baby's things. You see her old dresser is a metal sliding drawer contraption so that you can see everything in it. And it was empty... and looked rather lonely. I arranged a few things in a pretty fashion in the top sliding section and then moved onto other chores.

Shortly after Elsa popped in to visit me and stopped short. She made her way over to "her" dresser and lovingly rubbed her hand along the top rail. I heard a heavy sigh as she stared at the new baby towels, a few stuffed toys and burp clothes. "I guess," she sighed, "I guess, this is "???"'s room now."

Oh, oh! Stupidly I had not anticipated that - but with 25 years of mothering experience, I should have. I assured her that she was still welcome in my room and then helped her focus on the happy experience of moving in with the little girls. She left more cheerful than she came in but apparently it was still on her mind.

The next day being Sunday, her older sister Gabriela was helping her dress for Mass and as her dresses are in my closet, they were in my room. While Elsa sat on the end of bed, facing the offending dresser, she called Gabriela over from the closet.
"Look," she said jabbing her little finger at the dresser. There are "???"'s things. I am just so mad, I mean SAD!"

However, when Gabriela repeated the story to me, she added that Elsa did not really sound mad or sad - just matter of fact. And she has not brought it up since. I think she is dealing just fine with it and is often tucking herself into her bed with her sisters at night, and is often the first asleep.

Children really are quite resilient, especially when surrounded by the tons of love that Elsa is surrounded with.




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Novena Reminder from Father Corapi

DAY FIVE

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.


May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi


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It's 5:27 AM

I have to get up in 33 minutes - at 6 am.... but it is 5:27 and I am up. I have been awake since 4:30, up since just before five because my tummy was growling and last week I tried unsuccessfully to go back to sleep when that happened at the same time of morning.

So I figured I would get up and get dressed and throw together a pineapple bread recipe. No go - too tired. Ate a slice of bread and decided to mess around on the computer while I waited for the 25 minute swash cycle to finish.

So now I am about 5 minutes away from the wash finishing, hungry again and very, very tired and trying to decide if the heartburn is worth another slice of (homemade) bread and butter - or if I should just go back to bed (still dressed, I am not struggling out of these maternity pants and then back into them again in a 30 minute period!) and toss and turn until 6 - about 30 minutes from now....

What would you do?




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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Facts of Life...

There are advantages and disadvantages of having older siblings. One disadvantage is that one's innocence of some of the facts of life does not remain as long... For instance at the age of seven my second oldest believed me implicitly when she expressed fear of having to leave home - when I told her, truthfully, that she would be allowed to live with us forever fo ras long as her little heart desired. She had no reason to not realize that while she was welcome to stay - she would actually want to leave at some point in her future.

Emma, on the other hand, has witnessed two family members moving out and on with their lives, and saw another sibling who already lived away from home, get married. And still yet another move out of the country.

So while I still issue the same heartfelt invitation to live with us forever, whenever she expresses the thought that she NEVER wants to leave home; she is actually cognitive of the fact that children do grow up and leave home as witnessed in the following conversation.

Emma: 'Mummy I am worried!'

Mummy: 'What are you worried about?'

Emma: 'I am really going to miss you.'

Mummy: 'Miss me? Where am I going?'

Emma: 'No where. I am going to really miss you when I get married and move away and I am worried about that!'

Ahh yes, when you are amongest the younger of 12 children, you simply have to face the facts of life a little earlier than your older siblings.


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Novena Reminder from Father Corapi

DAY FOUR

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.


May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A message from Father Corapi



To see the next two parts click here.

REMINDER:

DAY THREE

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.


May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi



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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I think this video...

...is making the rounds, but posting it on one more blog can't hurt so here it is. To view it CLICK HERE. It was produced by America's Choice now and is about the choice facing us this election.



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Changes in the wind...

Elsa for three and a half years has been the youngest in the family. All summer, along with the rest of her siblings had been awaiting the arrival of her adorable niece who finally made her show - the day after her oldest aunt left to fly the great ocean to beautiful Ireland. Like all of her siblings, Elsa could not wait to journey to her older sister's house to see this newest member of the family that she had on occasion had the opportunity to both see, and feel, rumbling about in her mother's tummy.

But most of my readers already know of the momentous event, but what only a handful of you know, is that Elsa has also been awaiting the arrival of another member of the family - in this case - another sibling who is due sometime in January. That's right I will be vying with Jennie of Far Beyond Pearls as to who will deliver first as we are both due at about the same time. Myself - I have my money on Jennie delivering first.

But I digress. Getting back to the arrival of Elsa's first niece. We pulled up outside of Jenny's home and piled out, balloons and treats in hand. Elsa, carried along with the excited momentum of the day rushed inside with the rest of the family and stopped short at the sight of the tiny, helpless baby in her sister's arms.

For weeks, along with everyone else she had been patting my tummy and talking to her little sibling and smiling in anticipation of a new baby. But now she was seeing for real - just what this really meant. That huge bump that had been her sister's stomach for months now - was gone. And in its place was a real live baby, that everyone was cooing over and bidding for the chance to hold. Quietly Elsa left the throng of siblings surrounding little Lydia and came over to me and stared at my tummy.

She then stood a little separate from all the activity of the room and watched. The next time she spoke - she lisped and attempted to speak as if she too was just a tiny baby. Clearly - she felt threatened by this new realization. In a few months one of those live creatures would be in her kingdom and possibly, very possibly her reign as the baby princess of the house would be over.

I watched her, my heart aching for her. I think, based on my various experience of new babies joining our household, that the longer a child has held the post of baby of the family - the harder it is to accept the newer addition. The difference between Elsa and this baby will be the second largest gap with the largest one being exactly four years, to the day. The rest vary from 14 months to 20 months age difference. Over the next few days when Elsa pulled out her disguise of baby talk and faces, I chided her as to where was my beautiful little girl who was so cute and precious to me. Some would feel I was too tough on her but my experience has shown me honesty has always worked.

I told her honestly and lovingly that I loved her just as she was, that when she talked like a baby she sounded silly. I talked about the joy of babies and the joy of little girls. I would hug her and kiss her and tell her how much I loved her. Within a few days the 'baby' Elsa disappeared and my little girl came back and is once more just as excited now about the new arrival as the rest of her siblings are, if not more.

She is first in line to feel the bumps and kicks and groans with the rest of them when the baby stops moving about. I swear this baby has x-ray vision and knows when the kids are waiting a turn to feel it move.

There are many funny stories I am looking forward to sharing with you as Elsa continues to adapt these changes that are prevailing on the wind. Like when... but, no, I will save that one for another day.


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Novena Reminder from Father Corapi

DAY TWO

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.


May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi


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Monday, October 27, 2008

New Post...

On my Political Corner. Just check my personal links to the right and you will find My Political Corner with a new video clip of Obama posted.

PS I have been actively trying to relocate the HTML on the template that allows the read more function. Have removed some of it, but not enough to completely rid myself of this light bulb moment that I am so regretting so until I succeed in unraveling this mess please continue to IGNORE Read more!

Novena Reminder from Father Corapi

DAY ONE

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.


May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi

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A Party....

Here are some of the guests who attended out party this past weekend. We had a few faeries, a fat man who could not easily reach the sweets which he conveniently sat right next to, an Australian cowboy and a doctor. In between stuffing ourselves with sweets and visiting with adult siblings we also watched a movie. The Ghost of Black Beard. My favourite part was when the heroes were shotting the villains with their fingers with the most amusing results. I won't give all of it away though, so if you want to know what happened you will just have to rent it for yourself. Nathaniel could not decide what he wanted to dress up and eventually decided just to be a guest sans costume and enjoyed himself just as much as everyone else!

Dr. Bethany making a house call.


I hear you're havin' gator problems Matie!


A fairy, close at hand, to reach for the sweets for the fat man who could barely move!



The fairy of lavender


The fairy of roses



The treats table with its various selections. The decorated sugar and molasses cookies were on the dining room table. Despite a novice baker forgetting the eggs in the molasses cookies, they turned out quite well. So if you are ever in the mood for these cookies but are out of eggs - don't be afraid to bake some. They are just a little more crunchy, is all!




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Sunday, October 26, 2008

A cat cake....

Typically, when we celebrate during the Halloween season, we focus on All Saints Day and All Souls day. We will, of course, be still celebrating those two days this year and attending Mass on All Saints day for sure.

However - this year our two older girls, who are still at home, were attending a youth group activity that required them being a away all night. Noah was also considering attending this function but at the last minute decided to stay home. When Bethany learned of the upcoming absence of her three siblings she began planning a party - and since we were on the heels of Halloween she chose that as her theme.

She leaned towards the softer, more innocent side of the Halloween decorations and for weeks was drawing ghosts and bats while her little minions siblings colored them. On the day of the party, we were busy baking and putting last minute details on costumes and decorations with my contribution to the party being a cat cake, and I have included the directions for creating one here.

You begin by mixing your favourite cake recipe, scratch or boxed matters not. You simply need to make sure you have sufficient batter to fill two 8 or 9 inch round pans. (If using a boxed cake this requires two boxes.) Our favourite kind of cake is the white cake which requires egg whites rather than whole eggs.

I use the Wiltons Cake Release Product to grease my pans and as I rarely make round cakes I accidentally used too much so the picture below is of how much is TOO much, rather than the optimal amount. Why you ask? Well, the cake baked in this pan, crumbled like sand when I tried to move it from the cooling rack to the tray. As I have used this boxed cake multiple times and never experienced this before and the only difference was that I accidentally greased it too heavily - I think that was the culprit to my losing the whole cake!

Too much of the Wilton's Cake Release product: as it looked before I spread it evenly about the bottom and side of the pan. Next time I will apply about half this amount.



Once the cake is baked. allow it to cool. The cooler the better for cutting the required shapes. IN fact a slightly frozen cake is even better towork with and will produce less crumbs which can make icing much easier.



Using a sharp knife cut two rabbit ear shapes of both the top and bottom of one of the round cakes.



Then you cut one of these smaller shapes in half to create your cat ears.



Assemble your pieces as in this picture.



Ice the whole cake with your favourite icing. We love chocolate, but you can use (white) buttercream icing and colour it - or top it with coloured coconut.



I use a knife dipped in very hot, almost boiling water, to smooth the face of the cat. This is not necessary and is really a personal choice.


I bought large gum drops and cut two in half, using the upper half for the eyes (And ate the bottom halves!YUM!) Then I used a full one for the nose with small slices of black shoe string licorice for the whiskers and mouth. I toped the bow with fall coloured sprinkles and voila, one chocolate pussy cat ready to join the fun!



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Saturday, October 25, 2008

From Father Corapi

A Call for a Rosary Novena

Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.


May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi


Here is a lovely blog that has a wonderful post on the Rosary and would be a nice place to visit for the mysteries of the Rosary.


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Friday, October 24, 2008

A word from Edward Cardinal Egan Archbishop of New York


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Cardinal Egan asks us to reflect on this picture of a 20 week old baby and ask ourselves what is it - if not an innocent human being. We need to listen to Cardinal Egan and share this photo with as many people as possible. We also need to be asking ourselves if we can be voting for a man who would deem this 20 week old baby - after birth as only a 'previable' life and a burden to its mother and as such should be left to die... alone... unworthy of medical attention.

Here is some of the wisdom that the Cardinal shares with us:

The picture on this page is an untouched photograph of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks. Please do me the favor of looking at it carefully.

H
ave you any doubt that it is a human being?

If you do not have any such doubt, have you any doubt that it is an innocent human being?

If you have no doubt about this either, have you any doubt that the authorities in a civilized society are duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if anyone were to wish to kill it?

If your answer to this last query is negative, that is, if you have no doubt that the authorities in a civilized society would be duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if someone were to wish to kill it, I would suggest—even insist—that there is not a lot more to be said about the issue of abortion in our society. It is wrong, and it cannot—must not—be tolerated.

But you might protest that all of this is too easy. Why, you might inquire, have I not delved into the opinion of philosophers and theologians about the matter? And even worse: Why have I not raised the usual questions about what a "human being" is, what a "person" is, what it means to be "living," and such? People who write books and articles about abortion always concern themselves with these kinds of things. Even the justices of the Supreme Court who gave us "Roe v. Wade" address them. Why do I neglect philosophers and theologians? Why do I not get into defining "human being," defining "person," defining "living," and the rest? Because, I respond, I am sound of mind and endowed with a fine set of eyes, into which I do not believe it is well to cast sand. I looked at the photograph, and I have no doubt about what I saw and what are the duties of a civilized society if what I saw is in danger of being killed by someone who wishes to kill it or, if you prefer, someone who "chooses" to kill it. In brief: I looked, and I know what I saw.

To read all of Cardinal Egan's thoughts and wisdom regarding abortion and its consequences click here. Please share this document with as many people as you can.


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Advent is right around the corner....

According to my ticker just to the right - it is a mere one month and one week until the first Sunday in Advent - November thirtieth. I debated whether to wait until we were a little closer before sharing this post but decided that the earlier the better as many of us need to budget for any crafts we want to do, both in the buying of the materials and the planning of our time. So here is a post filled with links to sites about Advent, including a number with crafts and some links lead us to wonderful ideas that will help us to prepare spiritually for the Christmas season, as well as just plain have some fun with our children.

So let us begin with a link that takes us to a site with a detailed description of Advent and the various symbols associated with it.

Then we have a site with the complete advent readings.

Another interesting site is A Religious Christmas , a website with daily advent readings, an advent wreath explanation and links to prayers, readings and more links to advent and Christmas activities & meditations. It also has a Jesse Tree link along with the verses to O Come Emanuel as well as some other links. Unfortunately there was st least one outdated link on this page. Make sure you visit the Christmas Craft link - it appears to be filled with neat ideas.

A Religious Christmas also links to this site http://www.cptryon.org/prayer/adx/adwreath.html#begin and you might want to check it out as well.

Then I came across a Pre School and Kindergarten age activities page that was fun.

Want to make your own candy calendar - this mum explains how - at the bottom of her advent page.

A fun spot with some activities I am going to explore more closely is this page.

Whew! Here is a page just filled with links - possibly some of the very ones I have here. Click here to link to Catholicmom and here are some of the various ideas she has listed;
A recipe for Old Fashioned Gumdrops or how about Microwaveable Salt dough ornaments! Then there is a neat craft for making an advent wreath from your children's hand prints. Mind there are some dead links and then others that take you to a few sale sites. So far all of the sale sites I have ended up on were Catholic.

Here is one link that I landed on from her many links that lead to other neat ones Advent Bingo - this was suggested Sunday School activity but sounds like something fun one could do in the family - especially large one like ours! And one last example of one her ideas - felt ornaments - jump quickly to it by clicking on this link http://www.catholicmom.com/felt_ornaments.htm I made something similar over 26 years ago for our first Christmas tree as a couple - wish I knew where some of our albums were, I would post a picture of this tree. It was rather a beautiful tree considering our humble means - a one bedroom apartment with a couch, a chair, and a cardboard box for our coffee table where we ate our meals. We were university students the first few years of marriage with not a lot of money, but that tree is a wonderful memory for me!

Okay lets look at some other sites out there.

Here is one craft I might attempt - alone first to see if it works as well as they make it sound ""Stained Glass Windows" - Photocopy coloring pages or clip art that looks similar to a stained glass windows, preferably ones with preferably heavy black lines. Color them in heavily on one side with wax crayons. Trim off extra paper on side of design and turn over on a paper towel. Wipe baby oil (use a postal water tube - we found several at Office Max for 69 cents and up) on with sponge tip on postal water tube. Make sure the whole back of the design is coated with oil, then wipe dry. Tape on glass windows with clear tape." Here is the link where it, and other ideas as well as advent meanings of various symbols is here

Here is a somewhat secular advent calendar - in the shape of a paper chain - I call it secular as the templates they have were not much related to the religious theme of Christmas - but one could easily remedy that with their own templates here is the link. I think this would be a fun activity to do a few afternoons over the next month as the colder weather brings thoughts of Christmas cheer and advent to the forefront of our children's minds. I know mine are already dreaming about Christmas day and imagining what their little niece will look like on her first Christmas. I would perhaps use these Jesse tree templates in lieu of theirs. This would be a charming little decoration for each child to have in their room - or in the case of shared rooms - their favorite spot in their room.

Here is an About.com page dedicated to advent calendars and some are quite unique and lend themselves to be made in a permanent fashion or simply from paper and thus disposable. One of them - a felt tree with felt ornaments reminds me of one I used to make to give away and we our own that we put up every year - until my last one disappeared in one of our moves. And over the years my set of patterns for the ornaments were misplaced as well. They came all the way from our university days so it makes me sad to know they are gone. I have not had the heart to redo them - but one day - I will. Maybe even this year. Who knows! Keep checking - 'cause if I do - I just might do a giveaway! So here is the link - go check it out and see if any of these make your calendars appeal to your family!

Oh wow - here is one idea we have done in the past - also found from the above page - but here is the link directly to it, good deeds for Advent. I think we will do it again this year. It is a great way to get into the spirit of Advent.

Here is a Saint Nicolas Calendar - okay - they call it a Santa Claus calendar but we don't celebrate him in our home - it's Saint Nicolas who comes on the sixth and leave treats on the breakfast table and then it is he who returns to help me wrap presents in my "work shop" the location of which varies from year to year - but always has a locked door. He and I play Christmas music and munch on candies and treats that are slipped under the door while little ones sit with ears pressed against the door listening to he and I chat and chuckle as we work together. Then Christmas Eve he comes back with Baby Jesus and puts the gifts under the tree. Anyway - here is the link to it. If I use it - I will lengthen the beard and thin the face out a bit - to more closely resemble Saint Nick. If only I had a scanner here at home that worked - I would draw my own and put it up for you all to use.

Most of us have heard of the domestic church Fridge art site so we must include a link to them so - click here.
So far most of my links have dealt with Advent calendars and few have dealt with the Jesse tree. A convert to the Catholic faith I still no little of it and so had to do a little researching so as to bring both you and I more knowledge of them.

Here is a link with an actual picture of the Jesse Tree and this is the site that I am using as my guide for building our first Jesse Tree.

Here is an interesting pick. This is a really great site that not only explains about the Jesse tree, but also has a schedule up for the bible readings that are related to the ornaments that are put up on the tree through out Advent. (Please note that this is a Protestant site, as best as I can tell, for those who wish to keep to strictly Catholic interpretations of the Jesse Tree symbols.)

EWTN's explanation of the Jesse Tree symbols.

Stencils of the ornaments/symbols used on the tree.

There is not a lot of variation to the Jesse tree and so there is not much need to post a lot of links about it. If anyone is aware of some interesting links regarding the Jesse tree that I missed - please be sure to drop me a line through the comment section and I will be happy to add them to this post.

I am going to put a link to this post in my personal links at the top of my page and it will be called Advent Activity Links. In this way, one can simply come back now and then and easily find a few more ideas for their Advent!


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Getting snowed....

YES! I am getting a snow job and I don't mean the cold white fluffy stuff that falls from the sky. I mean a proper snow job. And the guilty parties are my own sweet children. A couple of days ago a little black and white kitten showed up on the side lawn with apparently two adult cats following it... with murder in their eyes ... if you believe the eye witness accounts.

So she was snatched up and brought inside. To warmth... food... and joyous squeals as only a tiny little wee kitten can inspire. She was immediately passed to me to cuddle and calm down. (Did I say something about a snow job?)

I took her and firmly declared 'NO more cats!' None - nada, nope - no way. Then the wee thing began to calm down and purr. Obviously an accomplice to the shenanigans of my own young ones.

Showing no sign of my own longing for the little fur ball I told the kids to dig out the cat cage and put her in it with a small towel. She was heading to the S.P.C.A. in the morning as this little mite had the cleverness to show up after they were closed for the day.

An hour later I heard much discussion about the need for a name and suddenly one of the culprits, err children, suggested that 'we let MUMMY name the kitten, after all it wasn't staying...'

Don't tell me that these children do not know the power of naming something... especially something small, cute and purring.

I named her.

Neena, a quick split decision because after all she wasn't staying, so it did not need a lot thought put into it and besides Neena just suited her somehow. ALL of the children immediately agreed that it was just simply a wonderful name. (And the snow was shoveled deeper around my ankles.)

Her sibling, who showed up last night on the doorstep cold and hungry, is now hidden in the boys room... and so far has remained unnamed - in this I stand FIRM and tomorrow he IS going to the S.P.C.A. I don't care how deep a purr he has, or how well he hunts fingers under the bedspread. Nope, not at all. Seriously! Besides he just used my leg as a launching post and left two puncture wounds in my thigh. I'm sure those wounds will help spur me on tomorrow morning.

But oh - it will be hard!

Dainty NEENA


The NAMELESS one... who leaves tomorrow!!!
(Hey that's my wall - he is suppose to be in the BOY'S ROOM)



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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baking....

I have been up since early this morning baking. Made some delicious tea buns for breakfast, have two batches of bread rising and I am about to start some of our favourite molasses cookies. I have posted the recipe before - to see it click here. However, this time I plan on drizzling then with dark chocolate after they are baked, rather than decorating them with m&ms before baking.

The reason for this is that I am baking them using a fall fashion cookie cutters - it is just way too early for Christmas shapes - which is the majority of my cookie cutters. I might be hiding in my room, now and then, listening to Christmas music but there is no way I am producing Christmas tree and bell shaped cookies in OCTOBER!

If my back holds out and I am actually able to decorate the cookies with drizzles of chocolate I will post a few pictures. And - if time allows, I hope to post some pictures of the October birthday as well as a really sweet story relating to this birthday.
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As promised...

... here are a few pictures of some the cookies!





Below is a close up of the various cookie cutter shapes that we used. A Crescent moon, an acorn, apple, cat, a maple leaf and a pumpkin. Not shown is the bat and ghost. I'm not into Halloween but the little ones who were assisting me - insisted on a few of those as well.




And they are delicious!! Try out the recipe and simply melt dark or milk chocolate chips over a double boiler, then drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies. I scooped it into one of my icing bags and picked the largest circle tip and used this to drizzle it and YES - it was very hot! But worth it!





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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October chills and colors!

What a sight to behold. My three year old with fluffy red curls flowing over the shiny green hood of her flannel lined plastic raincoat under which peeks her bright red plaid shirt that flapped over the light pink pants she was wearing. These ended just at her ankle where one saw on her dainty toes a pair of over sized blue beach shoes. She was ready for play in the chilly autumn afternoon amidst the leaves the older children were raking on the front lawn.




There will no worry of losing her amongst the piles of leaves.
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More October fun....





Some of the pictures were taken with the cell phone and others with our digital camera and all of them were taken by Hugo - while I was upstairs penning my thoughts of Elsa's fashion statement. Neither knew what the other was doing - both were inspired by Elsa's colourful outfit!





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Monday, October 20, 2008

A post advertsing another post....

Imagine my surprise and delight when I opened an email from a Jonathan Stampf, author of Hear My Voice asking me if I would be interested in advertising his book on my mum2twelve blog. I was, to say the least, tickled. I have been looking into ways as how to make money from my time spent on my blog and some form of advertisement has been one of them. However, I want to make sure that anything I advertise to my readers will be something of the highest quality and of value. I, am after all, lending the good name of my blog to a product and I do not want my readers disappointed. So – as excited as I was about this opportunity falling into my lap, I had a few questions. I shot off my first, via email, and this was – does this children’s book of Gospel readings have an imprimatur? He responded almost immediately that no he did not but would be glad to send me a “readers copy” of his book so that I could review it closely and see if it was something that appealed to me. In the meantime I had a couple of urls from his first email that would allow me a quick preview of the book.

This book has apparently been written with first communion aged children in mind and I have one just that age, with another quickly falling on the heels of him. Learning I had a blog dedicated to reviews of books and movies, he then asked if I would care to review his book on it. I agreed. After all what better way to really know if this was merchandise with which to launch my first advertisement.

So without further delay – I encourage you to scurry over to my Catholic, Classic and Current Books and Movies blog and read my review of this book Hear My Voice by Jonathan Stampf.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ever hear of the Boston Tea Party?

It is hard to imagine that there exists a single soul within the fifty States that has not. But even if you do know that this tea party was not the normal round the table affair held in ones front parlor, you might care to refresh your memory of the details and how it actually played an impetus to the Revolution. If so click here to read a most entertaining account of it.

Now why have I brought up memories of the Boston Tea Party? Well, despite the well founded fears of possible tax hikes looming in our immediate future that is not the reason - though the American public would do well to remember the main underlying reasons for their rebellion that led to the founding of this great country my real reason is a selfish one. I was simply looking for a showcase for the following article that I wrote when I was "auditioning" for a blog position. (Which sadly - I did not get.) It seemed a shame that it along with the second article that I wrote, were simply lying around in my hard drive gathering dust so - here it is:

A History of Tea
Given the ready availability of bagged tea found on the shelf of any well stocked grocery store these days it is small wonder that I did not become acquainted with the tea ball until 1998. I was then pregnant and had begun to research different herbal teas in order to relax and prepare myself for labor, and my research led me to loose teas and hence the need for the tea ball or infuser. But when one delves into the history of tea drinking they quickly learn that it is, and was, a far more common piece of paraphernalia required by any serious tea connoisseur than the plebeian tea drinker would realize. While I confess that I like the convenience of the teabag, it is true that loose tea allows us a greater variety of tastes and blends and, as such, there is an endless choice out there.

But when did tea become so popular, bagged or otherwise? China, whose national drink is that of the green tea blends, is where the earliest actual records of tea drinking are found and it is from this part of the world that this ancient art and drink originated. But who popularized it on the Continent? Contrary to most people's belief tea drinking did not start in England, but rather Portugal. With many of its citizens living in the East as traders and missionaries, tea found its way back to the homeland. It's high cost kept it an exotic drink reserved for the aristocrats and this was still its state when the British King Charles II found himself needing a very rich wife in order to clear the debts he had inherited with his crown in 1660. After much negotiating Charles II wed the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Barganza. Her extensive dowry required several ships to transport it and included in it was a single trunk of loose tea, most likely a blend of black leaves. Still it was not until many years later when Princess Catherine had established herself as a trend setter that tea became popularized as a favorite drink among the upper classes. Again, the high cost, which was maintained by heavy taxation, kept this drink from the working classes.

Gradually this extravagant and fragrant tea traversed through the classes of England and began to make a name for itself in the middle classes. But as the result of heavy taxation the price remained dear, bringing this drink to the attention of smugglers. With this came a whole new set of headaches for both the government and the population of England. While the smuggled purchases allowed tea to become affordable to the general public, the lack of quality inspection at customs led to unscrupulous actions. So as to stretch their profits, sellers began to add leaves from other plants. However, the sometimes resulting color was not dark enough to be believable so items, such as sheep's dung, were added to make it look darker and thus more like a good blend of black tea.

Ultimately, realizing that the actual costs of trying to circumvent the actions of the highly organized network of tea smugglers, the British government decided that heavy taxation of tea was not worth it and in 1784 the tax was slashed from 119 % to 12.5 %. By 1851 the annual British consumption of tea was just less than two pounds a person but by 1901 it had reached the level of consumption of an even 6 pounds a person. Today the popularity of tea, whether drunk bagged or as a loose tea blend, is growing by leaps and bounds here in the States.

Sources used:

http://www.tea.co.uk/ (UK tea council)

http://www.teainfusers.info/history/index.htm

http://ezinearticles.com/?Premium-Tea-Blends---History-And-Production&id=799887

http://www.teausa.com/general/002ga.cfm

http://www.kevinard.com/infusers.htm


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Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh my Gosh....

How did I find this video? Well - first I visited Far Beyond Pearls who sent me to Tales from the Bonny Blue House. And there I saw this video, well - really more like a sound track.

It is from Howard Stern who is talking about how shocked he is by the responses from Harlem voters when asked questions like, which policy of Obama are you more in favour of - his prolife stance or the fact he plans to keep the troops in Iraq? To hear their answers just go here.

While Howard Stern is know for his vulgarity and foul language - this clip is completely clean. I can vouch for this as I listened to it in its entirety.



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A bill came through my email today.

And you will never guess who and what it was for!

One of my sons has a collection of teeth that have fallen out and I have found since we moved to the South almost 12 years ago - that the tooth fairy just has not been as prompt as she was up North. I have tried to blame it on the laid back atmosphere of the southern culture. None the less - my son was not buying it, especially as he now had a collection of three teeth waiting to be redeemed by the M.I.A. tooth fairy.

He brought this up again recently at the lunch table and I suggested that perhaps he should invoice the tooth fairy, you know, send her a bill.

"WHAT?" he exclaimed. "Where would I send it, I have no idea where she even lives."

I just smiled and said, "well, just send it to whomever you think might be able to get it to her."

Then tonight I got this in my email: subject line read Tooth Fairy Debt/Bill

Tooth Bill


1 Tooth More than 2 month(s) old |$2.00

1 Tooth More than 1 month(s) old |$2.00

1 Tooth 3 weeks old |$1.50

Long Time of waiting ,Charges |$0.50

Total |$6.00



BILL MUST BE PAYED IN ONE
WEEK OR WE CAN ADD $0.50





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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Todays daily reading....

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
to the holy ones who are in Ephesus
and faithful in Christ Jesus:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In Christ we have redemption by his Blood,
the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
Ephesians 1:1-10



I thought of sharing today's readings after reading Father Rory's thoughts on them. I subscribe to Joynotes from Sister Patricia and that is how I access Father's 'virtual retreat' but he also has his own blog.

Here are his thoughts from today's readings:

Polished Paul

Each of Paul's epistles sparkle with a unique brilliance - the Letter to the Ephesians is particularly rich in doctrinal contemplation, and you'll certainly find it more upbeat than the tough corrective Letter to the Galatians which we just finished!

You simply cannot read this letter quickly - like a well-distilled liqueur, the words must be savored, and imbibed slowly and thoughtfully. Consider just these opening verses, in which Paul recalls that
- God "has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens"
- God chose us for holiness "before the foundation of the world"
- God adopted us as His beloved children through the incarnation of His Son
- the Blood of Christ wrought our redemption, the forgiveness of sins
- God has enlightened us with Divine Revelation
and each of these is but a poor simplified summary of Paul's more concentrated phrases!

So, as you read, be content for the moment to merely focus on any one of Paul's points that inspires you most intensely, and ask God to help you to realize the richness of the blessings we have in Christ Jesus!

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Check it out...

If you haven't seen the most recent picture of Palin yet - just click here and be whisked away to My Political Corner to catch a peek at what Sarah was doing yesterday. Read more!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This will be long...

... but please read it and share it. I have been meaning to post it for a few weeks now but today when I read the post at Beautiful Day, I have finally actually taken the time to track our copy from church down and type it out.

From the Bishops of Kansas from August 15th 2006.
(Entire letter to be found here)

Prudential Judgments on Social Policy:

In some moral matters the use of reason allows for a legitimate diversity in our prudential judgments. Catholic voters may differ, for example, on what constitutes the best immigration policy, how to provide universal health care, or affordable housing. Catholics may even have differing judgments on the state's use of the death penalty or the decision to wage a just war. The morality of such questions lies not in what is done (the moral object) but in the motive and circumstances. Therefore, because these prudential judgments do not involve a direct choice of something evil and take into consideration carious goods, it is possible for Catholic voters to arrive at different , even opposing judgments.
Not withstanding a possible diversity of prudential judgments, each of us should guide our decision making on such issues by a fundamental respect for the dignity of every human person from the moment of conception to natural death. This is a non-negotiable principle. It is the foundation for both Catholic social teaching and of a just society. (There is more written on this, again for all the details you can go to the complete article here.)

Good and Evil in the above mentioned issues can be determined by the use of right reason. While it is true that the Church's teaching on these matters is clarified and strengthened by the light of the Gospel, throughout history persons of good will have understood these truths from reason alone, independent of faith.

Their letter continues:

Judgments Concerning MORAL EVILS:

A correct conscience recognized that there are some choices that always involve doing evil and which can never be done even as a means to a good end. These choices include elective abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the destruction of embryonic human beings in stem cell research, human cloning and same-sex "marriage." Such acts are judged to be intrinsically evil, that is, evil in and of themselves, regardless of our motives or the circumstances. They constitute an attack against the innocent human life, as as marriage and family.

More details are written regarding this and it is finally summed up as follows:

Concerning choices that are intrinsically evil, Catholics may not promote or even remain indifferent to them.

A Conscientious Voter's Dilemma:

In light of the above, it is a correct judgment of conscience that we would commit moral evil if we were to vote for a candidate who takes a permissive stand on those actions that intrinsically evil when there is a morally-acceptable alternative. What are we to do, though, when there is no such alternative?

Because we have a moral obligation to vote, deciding not to vote at all is not ordinarily an acceptable solution to this dilemma. So, when there is no choice of a candidate that avoids supporting intrinsically evil actions, especially elective abortion, we should vote in such a way as to allow the least harm to innocent life and dignity. We would not be acting immorally therefore if we were to vote for a candidate who is not totally acceptable in order to defeat one who poses an even greater threat to human life and dignity.

Again - if you wish to read the whole letter in detail please click here.

If anyone has any doubts as to Obama's position on abortion please click here and here.

Please feel free to link here or better yet to the actual letter on your blog. It just doesn't get any more clear than this letter - does it?


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Pet Peeves

Anybody have a pet peeve? I don't have many, but one of the few that I do have is forwards. You know those impersonal emails that you have received about 12 repeats of. The bleeding heart missing child who is really an urban myth, cute puppy pictures and on and on and on.

I have only one favour to ask someone who is going to send me a forward that they at least have the courtesy to remove ALL ADDRESSES listed, as well as all of the headings from the repeated forwards that have been included. So many of them, in fact, that one must scroll down several inches before even coming to that all important forward that you just had to receive.

On occasion I do receive a legitimate forward that I think is worth sharing but before I hit send I, one, remove all headings and addresses and, two, include a short personal note as to why I think you, my intended victim, might want to see it. And, most importantly, I do NOT forward it to everyone in my contact list.

We often wonder why we get so much spam. Ever wonder how many strangers across the land now have your email address that you have worked to protect and only share with those you really want to hear from because someone thoughtlessly hit 'send to all' and forwarded a cute email to everyone in their address book? And then a few of them forwarded it to everyone in their address book without removing the addresses enclosed in the new header... Today alone I now have 100 new victims who have no idea who I am or what I might do with their email address and they too have mine... All but a handful of these 100 people are complete strangers that I have never met, will most likely never meet but they have my email address. All because someone thought it was important that I read this email but could not take a few seconds to remove the addresses from their forward.

And then we wonder why we have so much spam when we have been so careful with our email address - never realizing it was one of our friends who advertised it to the electronic world.

Yup, definitely one of my pet peeves. How about you?
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Too lazy...

So many great video clips - all found on Mommy life a blog by another mom of twelve. And since I am too lazy to look them up and post them separately on my blog - I will just give you the link to her site. Yup - sending you else where to liven up your day - just promise you will come back. Cause after all - I have birthday pics to pos... from another birthday celebration. After all with 14 in the family we have almost every month covered.

We have zero, to date, in January, three in Febrary the shortest month of the year but while we have three in February we only have ONE day that two fall on and the third only comes around once every four years. March brings another birthday as does April and May. We missed June entirely but we have two in July and now a grandchild in August to share our wedding anniversary month with. We managed two in Spetember, one in October and another solo in November and given December is bereft of holidays and special feast days - we had to squeeze two more birthdays in there as well.

Now, DON'T FORGET, after you visit Mommy Life - remember to come back here this week! Don't get lost in all of her great video clips.



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Monday, October 13, 2008

Why is it?

Why is it that we only tend to focus on the negative? I know there are a few rare maniacs that actually manage to view their day in a positive light and to see all the great accomplishments and positive goals that they achieved - in the positive manner that they should.

Then there are the miserly souls like me - and I say miserly in that I am so short of praise for myself that I feel quite miserly.

At the end of the day I go to bed worrying about all I did not get done. The positive affirmations I missed passing out - forgetting the ones that I did gush on kids. The praise I heaped on school work struggled over and completed, the chores well done, as well the one done without being reminded to do it.

I fret over the hot spots that are rapidly growing out of control and beginning to smoke instead of thinking about how well our new chore schedule is actually working.

I worry that we had to move back a level or two in grammar and moan to myself that I will have to attack the spelling program this summer instead of now - when I should be happy that this is, in truth, the most organized and successful semester we have had in years.

I refuse to forgive myself the slow days when my back forces me to go at a speed well under than the fast one I want to zoom along at. I criticize my weakness at having two cookies instead of celebrating the positive effects I am seeing at drinking more water in a regular basis.

It is a very good thing that it will be God who judges me on the last day and not myself, as I would never have a chance of heaven - if that were the case. Thankfully God is much more merciful than I am. (And even as I write this - I think 'Oh boy - The faults He will point out to me that I have missed!')




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Friday, October 10, 2008

FOUR FOUR FOUR

This was sent to me from Peggy of www.goodremedy.blogspot.com

My answers are in blue. You can add yours below in a comment or repeat it on your blog. If you put it on your blog, be sure to let us know so we can visit and see what you answer.

Four, Four, Four, Four...

A) Four places that I go to over and over: Church, co-op, chiropractor's, grocery stores


B) Four people who e-mail me (regularly): Michaela and my eldest daughter - not really anyone else regularly.


C) Four favorite places to eat: Panera, Cracker Barrel, ?? on the road on business trips, at home eating Hugo's delicious steaks or roasts!

D) Four places I would rather be right now: Belmont or the beach, visiting Canada
..... ummm not sure where else. But if it was summer I would say Boone or Banner Elk.

E) Four people I think will respond: No idea ! Maybe I will put it on my blog and let the readers answer.


F) Four TV shows I watch over and over: Oh dear - does listening to XM radio count? Radio talk shows or how about instant watch on Netflix? On XM I listen to Fox News. Talk shows on the radio are EWTN and Rush Limbaugh. On Netflix Hugo and I love the mystery shows like Miss Marple and Monk. I also love the old BBS renditions of the classics like Pride and Prejudice or Emma, Jane Eyre. Oh we also love The OFFICE.




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Thursday, October 09, 2008

A fun analogy about taxes



If you care to read it just click here.



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Drill Here Drill Now

I heard a new song recently released on Fox News today. Here is the first set of the lyrics:

Hello…..Is anybody out there listenin’ in Washington D.C.
This is the suffering voice of America crying out for relief
Now I don’t know what a gallon of gas costs up on Capitol Hill
But we sure know what it costs down here in Realityville

To read the rest of the lyrics - click here. This is a very catchy song and I went ahead and downloaded it for 99 cents. It was dead easy - I simply paid through our Pay Pal account. I can down load it up to five times or up to 120 days, whichever comes first. On the lyrics page I have linked to - you can listen to a snippet of it as well as read all of the lyrics. Enjoy!






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what bread recipe...

... did I use over the weekend when I made all that bread that disappeared all too quickly, a reader wants to know.

Well - here it is! And here is what I am pining for so that I can more easily make bread on a regular basis.




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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Still Hungry!

Ever tried to eat a leisurely snack whilst in competition with a ravenous 3 year old? Trust me the 3 year always wins and you are left sitting in the dust with the crumbs trying to ignore all of the back swilling that went on with your bottle of mineral water. And what the heck is a three year old doing with a taste for mineral water anyway?



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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Feast Day of our Lady of the Rosary


To read more about this feast day click here.




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Monday, October 06, 2008

Emma's birthday tea party

This was a very exclusive tea party - it was for family members only and was a lot of fun.




Waiting for the guest of honour....



She has arrived!



And she puts her party hat on and the party begins.



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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Should Abstinence-only Sex Ed be continued?

I have posted a link on My Political Corner Blog to a poll about Abstinence Only Sex Ed and whether people think it should be continued. Click here to get to my post and then to the poll. Read more!

Isaiah 5:1-7

Let me now sing of my friend,
my friend's song concerning his vineyard.
My friend had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside;
he spaded it, cleared it of stones,
and planted the choicest vines;
within it he built a watchtower,
and hewed out a wine press.
Then he looked for the crop of grapes,
but what it yielded was wild grapes.

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard:
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I had not done?
Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes,
did it bring forth wild grapes?
Now, I will let you know
what I mean to do with my vineyard:
take away its hedge, give it to grazing,
break through its wall, let it be trampled!
Yes, I will make it a ruin:
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
but overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds
not to send rain upon it.
The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah are his cherished plant;
he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
for justice, but hark, the outcry!
--------------------------------------

When we as a people, or as individuals, do not give God his due place of honour in our lives, can we blame anyone, but ourselves, for the woe that befalls us?
When we place God last, and everything else first, should we surprised at the harvest we reap?
Should we be astonished when, eventually, God turns away and lets us go in our own direction, complete with all its consequences?
I think we are duly warned in this passage just what exactly to expect.

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Oh oh

It's only 6:30 am and I have been awake since- I don't know when, but up for an hour. After tossing and turning for quite some time and thinking about the laundry in the dryer, washer and basket beside the washer, the lovely seven loaves of home made bread on the dining room table and a dish washer full of clean dishes... I gave up on sleep and got up.

I padded quietly down the stairs, managed to ignore my computer in the dining room and immediately tackled the laundry after putting water on for tea. After all, what is a slice of homemade bread slathered, errr, I mean slightly covered with butter without a good hot cuppa tea to wash it down with.

I puttered around the kitchen bagging to loaves of bread to take to church for their intended recipients and did a few more chores. Finally my tea was ready and piping hot, my bread neatly sliced and sitting on a pretty china plate beside my monitor and just as I slid into my chair - the washer and drying began to chime that they needed me.

I LOVE my new washer and dryer, but I have threatened them almost on a daily basis with instant death for their insistence that I come immediately to unload and reload or at least turn them off. If I don't answer their call immediately - they continue to chime and whine and needle at me. I knew I would not be able to enjoy my tea and bread with this constant nagging so I answered their call immediately.

Thankfully they were easy loads to deal with - several soft and fluffy blankets that I left as a very colourful tower on my laundry table.

And now - tummy full, vitamins down, three machines purring contentedly away - I am ready... for a nap! See you later with pictures of the birthday tea party celebrated for the newest 6 year old.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

This just might help me...

...curb my appetite for chocolate.




To read about contaminated chocolate from China FOUND HERE in the US - CLICK HERE

CONTAMINATION NOW FOUND IN CADBURY BARS - PRODUCED IN CHINA.


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More on the economic crisis










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Thursday, October 02, 2008

For the rest of this week all new posts are below


Gracie's final post.




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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Final Update on Baby Gracie

THE LORD JESUS CALLED OUR AMAZING GRACIE HOME THIS MORNING AT 8:08 Am. After a 7 month fight to remain with mom and dad, brother and family, Our Lord said,"Gracie you come home to me now"

Gracie battled mightily throughout the night. At 3:30 A.M the family gathered and began a wonderful time of each one holding Gracie and sharing her sweet kisses and loving her with all that we have.

Grandpa Brown decided to go last as he got to spend three precious hours holding Gracie on Monday before the surgery. Everyone had a glorious time. GrandPa Bill Lockyer had her snuggled sweetly in his arms shortly after 8:00.

Gracie had been unresponsive for the two hours previous and the Doctors and nurses had told us that she may have already passed and was being kept alive by the medicines and machines.

However the wonderful Savior knew different and Gracie opened her eyes wide, turned her head, gave two deep breaths and left with the Lord to heaven. Heaven was in the room.

Thank you all so much! We love you. Arrangements will be posted soon.

Grandpa Brown for Todd and Amanda

From Todd and Amanda:

The last few hours have been a whirlwind!! But, please do not be shocked and saddened--we are rejoicing. Gracie has been given the victory! We were fighting to keep her here and she fought with us each minute of each day without looking back....but when the Lord Jesus called her name, she obeyed and everlasting peace and comfort began for her--to never end!!






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A story teller is born...

(ACTUAL POST DATE Oct 2nd)

This morning as Elsa and I started our day - it was decorated with a little story. Told by Elsa.

"Once upon a little girl who walked and walked in lots of ponds. There was mud and she forgot her shoes and her socks. Then came three bears and then they went in the house. And when they were there the little one said (add in falsetto voice) 'Some one ate it all up.' The end. "

What a wonderful way to start the day - with a happy little story, told by a happy little girl.




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WE HAVE....

(Drum roll please.....)


.....HOT WATER.....





Now, thank heavens, I don't need to invest in one of these or look around for an avid camper to borrow one of these. After all - it has only been 35 days since we have been able to enjoy the luxury of simply turning a tap and feel the warmth of hot water running over our finger tips.

Now if you excuse me - I think I will go enjoy one of these......





(photo credit for bath http://www.thecreativecastle.com/index.php?pageid=3)




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