Thursday, July 30, 2015

Small Success Thursday -

Happy Thursday all.

My house is calm. The boy is asleep. It's 1000 degrees outside, ok, only getting to 103 today I know - so cool in comparison to 1000, right? lol

And since it's Thursday, it's all about Small Successes. And people, they are very important. In our every day life, we have peaks and valleys and especially in those valleys, we must hold on the little things... the silver linings... the small successes.



Who's with me?!  If you are, link up at Catholicmom.com's Small Success Thursday!

Small Success #1 - I want to give praise. Our small fix on our Air Conditioner is HOLDING. The guy is still looking for a unit to meet our $7K or under goal. We may have to adjust. Regardless, we are remaining cool. And we are thankful and consider it a huge success. SO thankful to have an air-condition repair man in our neighborhood.

Small Success #2 - this week, we kept to our no spend and did not eat out anywhere. Yep. Huge success. Stuck to my meal plan. In my defense, with no air and such last week, we did order pizza one evening when cooking became unbearable. But all is well this week and we have done well.

Small Success #3 - Family Game Night. It doesn't always happen these days... the almost 12 year old is getting to the age where he would almost rather be anywhere except next to us... but last night, my hubby said, "Family Game Night" and after their discussion and compromises about which games to play (they settled on Sorry and Headbands) we had a fun time.

Small Success #4 - A real vacation. Um, yes, we are going on one later, in the Fall. We like to go off season and have not been on a true, don't answer to anyone else, vacation in years. We are going to South Padre Island and we're going to enjoy it. We love our family trips, to visit friends/family. But that is typically what we do because we are taxed for time, etc. But this year - it's just going to be us, for a week, at the beach. We will visit a turtle conservatory, a local zoo, take a horseback ride on the beach, fish, get massages and whatever else we want... just us. <3  Why is this a huge success? 1) because we are finally financially able... and 2)  My husband's work just doesn't always allow it. Not complaining, but we have canceled trips due to schedule changes. But the big boss said, GO ON VACATION! YAY...  For that matter, we also booked a weekend trip in November to go to the Chickasaw Indian Multi-Tribal Festival. Doesn't that sound fun? It does to this homeschool mama. Fall, in Oklahoma, with my guys... learning about history... and exploring. YIP to the EEE.

I read this yesterday and it's so true. So thankful for my daily emails from Franciscan Media:
One of the difficulties we may have when our lives become unmanageable is that we find dealing with other people to be difficult and we may even struggle to maintain a relationship with God. Caring people especially can find themselves carrying unnecessary crosses as they become lost in the maze of trying to meet everyone’s crazy expectations—including their own!  -from Spiritual Resilience

When we remember that GOD's is truly the only expectation we must meet, how much happier we are. I bought the book. I'll keep you posted.

Anywhooo... I hope and pray you have a great rest of your week.

Love, Hugs & Blessings.

Em

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Small Success Thursday... Searching for a Money Tree.

Happy Thursday all!

What a week or two. Oh My Goodness. We spent nearly $1K today on our air conditioner system, only to be told it really needs to be replaced. We may have a month.... we may not.

  • Replaced Fence ~ $1000
  • Fixed Car ~ $1400
  • New Mattress ~ $800
  • Air Conditioner Fixed ~ $1000
  • Air Conditioner Replaced ~ $7000 (approximate).
So we got that going for us. AND we have donned our explorer hats and are now looking for the X that marks the spot for the money tree. Sigh.

I am not complaining. I know we are move something from here to pay there. I get it. This is just a season of overwhelming costs.  And so... here are my Small Successes. I'm linking up because this week, more than in a long time, I need to look for the positive. Check out all the bloggers who linked up at Catholicmom.com's Small Success Thursday.


1. We slept downstairs for four nights, on sofa, recliner, air mattress... and we are all still talking and not too zombie-ish.

2. My child managed to go to football camp twice this week, and yesterday he dropped a 25lb weight on his foot. Good news, it's not broken, just speckled and swollen. Today, he did not go...

3. So far, we have managed to not kill one-another. I'm sure none of ya'll know what I am talking about.. so let me explain. We are not wealthy. There is not a lot extra... and we were just rejoicing that we'd gotten a good amount of savings put back. PS - when you watch it trickle away, it causes stress... that stress can cause moodiness amongst adults. Guilt from my side because I'm no longer earning... stress from his side because he's the soul provider.  And one cross statement can fan a big flame.  Never mind we have been overheated this week - because it's HOT AS hades here. Ok - not that hot, but super hot.  In the scheme of things we are maintaining sanity and I'm proud of us. (and yes, I do know that ya'll get what I mean).

Probably the best thing that happened was that Christopher and I stopped and prayed about our air conditioner. And when the guy said he got it running, we praised God. Sigh. So - we hope we will have air the next week or so. God is faithful and I know he will provide.

Sigh... this doesn't sound like a very positive post. So let me tell you what else I did... last night, I bit the bullet and slept upstairs so my husband could sleep on the couch. He wasn't going to. I tried to sleep on the air mattress, but my back cramped up. The recliner did not work either. Thanks to a well placed tower fan, I was not too uncomfortable and came back down to the couch when he left for work.

Additionally I tried a new clean eating banana bread recipe. Applesauce and Honey instead of oil/sugar. I added nuts. It got good reviews here. Sigh. I posted in the recipe group I started Emily & Friends Recipes. People just share random recipes they love there. It's fun.

Love and hugs.

Check out the other bloggers links.

Em

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Moments - It's HOT in Here...

Em's Daybook
2015 Vol. 16 

Happy Hot Tuesday!

Why hot, you ask? Well, over the weekend, we noticed our air was not cooling like it should. We knew the day was coming when we would have to replace it... but we recently paid for car repair/service to the tune of $1400, fence to the tune of $750 (including labor), a new mattress $800, and we are cash poor. You know? Sigh. It's ok. We will replenish, but it all seems to come at once, doesn't it?  There is good and bad...

  • GOOD: 1) the downstairs air is working, and we can keep it at around 76 - 78 (which is much cooler than the 100+ outside, so we are not complaining), 2) it seems that it is only the motor that needs replacing for now. We are thrilled that we don't have to shell out an additional $5K or more. But are waiting to hear the cost. Pray for us.

  • BAD: It's hot upstairs. Ok, admittedly not 100 degrees, but 84 or so. This is not hot if you are outside with a breeze, but we can not open windows too much here because of bugs... yes - they can get through screens. Sigh.  2) I'm sleeping on the couch and Christopher on an air mattress. Marque has chosen to stay upstairs (then again, he can sleep anywhere).
In the end, we know this is a #firstworldproblem, so we are not complaining too much.

TODAY I'M:

Thankful for...

  • Faith
  • Friends who uplift me
  • My husband and son
  • That our air works downstairs
  • Positive perspective
  • Water parks and pools
Thinking About...

This is going to be dark in nature. You've been warned.  So I've been thinking about preparing for the Three Days of Darkness. The thing is, we know that our world, as we know it, will end... we just do not know exactly what it will look like.   There is a group of Catholics who believe that we must prepare. My problem is that it is not sanctioned by the Holy See (in other words, they do not recognize it as valid) and is often something that Sedevacantists believe. They also believe our Pope is not valid, so I'm not sure what to think. I do have beeswax candles and we will get extra Holy Water, blessed salt, etc... because we know it can not hurt to have all that.

The three days of darkness is said to be when Christians have to stay inside, praying and will need food/water/etc... and will not be able to look outside (must cover windows). The articles I have read are very specific. And you know me, at first I was like, "oh my goodness, I must prepare for my family!" But now, I've taken a step back to make sure I'm not a ding-a-ling.

If any of you have more information about this, I'd love to hear it.

Working in My Home...

Decluttering. It's going well. We are going room to room and getting rid of a ton of stuff.

In My Kitchen. 

  • Monday - We had zucchini taco boats. We changed up the recipe a bit, but it was good!
  • Tuesday (tonight) - Leftovers
  • Wednesday - Beans & rice
  • Thursday - Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Friday - Shrimp Rolls 
  • Saturday -Burgers
  • Sunday - COD
Yesterday's recipe and this Friday's recipe are new recipes. Gotta try new.  Here's a picture of the Zucchini Boats.


Teaching My Child...

We've made HUGE progress. We're almost there. Plugging along. 5th grade is almost behind us. YAY

Wifing (Marriage)...

I have been extremely short and cranky, if I'm being honest. My poor husband. I get that way from time to time. He just lets me be. This is me, a big work-in-progress. Sigh.  Don't get me wrong, we are good to one another, but we are both natural smart alecs and both naturally sensitive... so that can make for fun! We never argue though... we ahem - DEBATE! ha

We have been talking to Christopher about the way the house runs. He sometimes questions Marque's authority because Marque travels a lot and it's just he and I here. But we let him know that Dad runs the house and he is in charge.  I am pretty independent... and I'm not inclined to say, "ask permission"... but I do yield to my husband. It is important for little boys to see they have to be the leaders of their family - spiritually, financially, as men. You know?

Marriage Monday - Please read my friend Elizabeth's Blog Posts on marriage. She does the Marriage Monday posts. Yesterdays was Model P31: Making Fine Linen and Selling. I do have skills... things I could sell. And it's way past time. I've got to formulate a plan so I can make some money and stay at home. Pray for me.

I have a confession to make... I get a lot done, I do! However, -- I'm currently struggling with Spending My Time Wisely. I'm a time-waster. I procrastinate. And I would be a better wife/mom/teacher if I didn't. There I said it. Sigh.

If It Can Go Wrong...

You know the old saying.. if it can go wrong - it will! Sigh. I think it was punishment for going against the 90-day no-spend.

1) We bought a sleep number bed. One of the air mattresses did not hold air. We got the warranty. But get this... They wanted almost $200 to come out to see what was wrong. SO I said, forget it, you can take it back. So we had to pay them to come pick it up so we could get our money back. I am writing the CEO.

2) We bought a pool. It's hot here. Our neighborhood pool is generally useless to us because of unruly teens, vulgar people, etc... And so we bought a pool.  It was only 18x9x52... but it was going to be so fun. it went up fairly easy. But our ground was not strong enough, I guess, and it quickly fell apart. Here is a compilation... Christopher and some friends got to use it once before it collapsed. Sigh.


Lesson Learned. Sigh.

Praying for...

  • Marriage as God intended (one man/one woman)
  • That all marriages be equally yoked, as that is so important in the end times. Can you imagine knowing your spouse will not join you in heaven? How does one reconcile that?
  • Military and First responders
  • Our Faith
  • My family (health, finances, souls)
  • A new Parish home.
  • All affected by natural disasters
  • YOU!
Capturing...




I am going to link up with Marriage Monday and Mom2Mom Monday Link Up as well. Go check them out. And yes, I do know it's Tuesday. What's your point. HA!

I've got to go shower and get ready to take my child bowling with friends. Have a great rest of your day/week.

Praying for you!

Hugs & Blessings,

Em

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Answer Me This - Fun Link Up!

Happy HOT Sunday. I hope and pray you are all well.

I am going to link this post up with Kendra, at Catholic All Year, for Answer Me This, Summer Edition.



1. What's currently on your To Do list?
  • Cleaning out all closets and getting rid of excess stuff.
  • Finishing 5th Grade and enjoying at least six weeks with no school.
  • Trip to the beach in the Fall (when it cools off).
  • Lesson planning for next year.
  • Read and pray more... talk less.
  • And much more.... I've checked a lot off too. GO ME!

2. Better type of superhero: magic/radioactive powers? Or trauma/gadgets/hard work?   I'm not sure how to answer this. My husband or son could tell you all about super hero, so I will give, probably what you all will thing is a LAME answer. If super hero powers are things like the Saints possess, then I want to be like them. They all had super hero powers of YES. Yes to God's will.  Yes to doing the right things. They were imperfect humans, many started their lives not so great... but ALL of them turned things around and lived the lives God meant for them to live. If honoring God is a super power, please Give me some!

3. Finding out if baby is a boy or a girl before birth: Good idea? Bad idea?  We found out, and I have no regrets. Why is it bad? Two things came into play for us... 1) being a military family, not super wealthy, and most being super organized, we felt a lot of pressure to let people know so they could plan ahead. 2) I  live in a family of monogram everything that doesn't move. So we had names picked out and ready to go, no matter what. lol  Seriously, 3)  I had several miscarriages and because we were being monitored so closely we knew very early what the sex of our baby was. I knew immediately, because I secretly wanted a girl to dress up... ha... Of course, that sounds awful to say, and more than anything I wanted a baby - healthy. But you know, I am an honest person.... and my first thought was girl. Fast forward, we could not be happier with our boy. Of course, selfishly, I wish I could have had more than one. I would have found out the sex every single time.

In the end, we don't believe in choosing the sex of a baby, but if you want to find out and you choose to do it, what would be bad about it? On the other hand, if you don't want to find out, then don't. Simple.

4. Have you ever appeared on a stadium jumbotron?  No, I don't think so.

5. Are you more book smart or more street smart?   I am assuming this is the age-old "common sense vs. intellectual" conversation.  It depends on the situation. I've always been a common sense person. I am a jack-of-all-trades, master of few... I do love to read, but I would not say I'm an intellectual. You know?  I'm confident that I could survive if lost in the woods or something.  But I can not remember every detail or date like I once could. So I'm not sure... People always told me I was smart, but I don't think the ever meant intellectual. I love to learn, but don't necessarily like school.  One more thing.. living this thing called life, I'd much rather get advice from a person than a book. Sure, there are zillions of right ways to do things... book and people... all gauges... have to be kept in perspective. Anyway... I am knowledgeable about what I like. I am not even sure ALL THAT was an answer.

6. Have you had that baby yet? (Feel free to skip this one if it's not applicable to you.)...  Currently not pregnant, but when I was... Oh My Goodness.  First of all, I was huge (no exaggeration). I looked like the Michelin Man's girlfriend (you know, if he had one). I mean, when the staff gasps on your doctor's visits, you are swollen. I was gaining 11 water lbs/week. They induced me about three weeks early. Well, they would have if I hadn't walked in, in labor. I remember in September, we had an "all hands" meeting, and this person, in front of my team said, "You're not due till November, my God, you'll need to be carried in a wheelbarrow".  NO I am not kidding. From about June on, I heard, "are you sure you aren't carrying twins?" "Man that baby must be big!" And when I was put on bedrest... people just stepped it up. HAHA

They can't help it. It's like they are invested in your babydom too. It's flattering and frustrating, but it's mostly flattering (except the ugly comments).  The patting of the belly by strangers. The "let me help yous".  All the prayers. I would have given anything to be able to carry more than one to term.. I was uncomfortable, I had an allergic reaction to medicine, I had an infection, and I pushed for almost three hours, just to have an emergency c-section. I did not meet him till seven hours later and spent almost a week in the hospital, and I'd have done it ten more times if I could have....  So as frustrating as some of it was... I really try to keep it all in perspective.

Have a great rest of your day. I hope I did this fun link-up justice.

Hugs & Blessings,

Em

Friday, July 17, 2015

Small Successes - What Day is it?

Happy Friday.

It's summer and blogging is not my priority. I have all kinds of ideas about how to step it up... but we are busy and my brain is tired. LOL

You homeschool moms understand, right?

Usually I play along with/link up with the bloggers at CatholicMom.com for Small Success Thursday. But today is Friday... and I'm still gonna link up (so there).



Small Success #1: Today was a hugs success because even though Marque had a doctor's appointment, and we have fencing coming tomorrow and a few people coming to help, etc... we kept our promise of Friday Fun and took our boy to the water park. So fun! Look how happy he is.

This is what we did today!

Wish this was in my back yard!

Small Success #2:  Artwork. Hi, my name is Emily, I'm 51, and I have very little PROPER art on the walls. I've got a lot of talents, decorating is not one of them - I must confess. And so, I'm super excited about this piece.




Here is how it happened. A friend of mine posted a planner from Catholic Sistas. In the picture of the planner, the above print was on the desk. They are hand painted by the artist and I inquired where they got it. AND I was told by them that Check out Dovetail Ink on Etsy.  Please meet Our Lady of the Lilies. Isn't she beautiful?  I ordered her in the size I wanted and as soon as she came, we ran to Hobby Lobby and bought the frame/matting/had the glass cut. I can not wait to hang her.

Small Success #3: PaperCrafting. I made a ton of cards this week with my PaperPumpkin Kit and Water Color Kits from Stampin Up! This is very exciting to me. I so miss crafting.  I've been so blessed. I met Christi Beck (StampinTx) at a homeschool outing and it took me a couple months, but I went to a class at her home. LOVED it. There will be more about it on my blog. But I've so enjoyed evenings there, chatting with the ladies and making cards.

Other successes... I've left all Yahoo groups. In fact, I'm group-less... and I could not be happier. I felt led to this, by God. I have made some friends. Some people who I thought were friends are not. I can not handle the gossip and negativity and I am much happier with my few friends and not around it continually, you know?  God showed me time and again, but I wasn't ready to leave the groups. I've no doubt I will keep the friends I've made. But the drama, I've washed my hands of. This is a huge success.

You all have the great rest of your day and weekend. We'll be working our patooties off in the Texas heat tomorrow. Try not to be jealous.

One last thing, today at the water park, Jeremiah 29:11 was on a sign (it's a Christian-owned water park).
Jeremiah 29:11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Thank you God for never failing me!

Love, Hugs & Many Blessings.

Em

Monday, July 13, 2015

Moments - Catching Up.

Happy Monday All!

Monday is no one's favorite day because we have to get up and do. But to be honest, we had to get up early every day this weekend. For me, I'm not bothered by today. A new start to a new week.

I have to admit, it's been hard to concentrate with all the bad news in the world.  So many Christian rights being infringed upon until I can't think straight. And so, rather than bringing all my angst to my blog, I've really tried to stay quiet (maybe not on FaceBook), but on the blog. I will share this with you, it's a RANT Post on FB:
RANT ALERT:

When did America forget that it's ok to have different opinions and we should be respectful. Why on earth do we all have to agree?
If you don't vaccinate your children and I do...
If you don't want to carry a gun and I do...
If you are a Democrat and I am a Republican...
If I think illegal immigrants should not be using so much of America's resources and that Donald Trump made valid points (because we all have heard that many criminals are let out of jail to come here) and you think we should all give everything we have to illegals (criminal or not)...
If you think the Confederate Flag is not a symbol of hate and I think it is...
If you are homosexual and want to get married and I don't agree with it...
If you are An Atheist and I believe in Jesus Christ...
Why can't we just be different respectfully? Why can't I still love you and you love me and we just have different opinions? Why must we all PROVE how right we are? Do we think that helps? Does it solve anything? State your opinion and move on. Don't badger someone into coming your point of view, you will just push them away.

I am a unique person who can see both sides to many topics. But what I don't see is ANYONE meeting in the middle. I don't see anyone really caring about their fellow man.

And some of my Christian friends are the worst... so busy pointing out crimes of others, they forget to look inward.

STOP THE MADNESS PEOPLE. Grow up, live your lives.. stop putting so much power in the opinions of others and do your thing.

Try less Ego, more Humility.
Try Praying more and talking less.
And if you don't pray - then don't. Your loss.
Search for peace...

Ok I'm done.
Someone please say something positive. I'm DYING here.
Sigh!

For instance... my husband and I think the Confederate flag has no place on a state house (it didn't fly there before 1961, so don't try saying it's always been their flag, do some research). HOWEVER, we don't care what people wear on a shirt, fly at their home, etc. He is so tired of the madness of people thinking they have the right to decide what other people do on their own property, that he's going to buy a confederate flag and fly it just to dare someone to say something! HAHAHA. And then he said that he was concerned people would come in and try to take Jesus out of our homes next. Sigh. And that is where I'll stop!

CATCHING UP

Christopher - Football Camp. Enjoying Hawaiian Falls. Went to a local spring-fed lake the other day with a friend. His toe is healing nicely. And I am venturing out more, even though I am not a fan of the heat.  He's enjoying summer - for sure.

Burgers Lake With Friends

He smelled so bad. That lake water is so not fresh. GROSS! lol

Marque - is traveling everywhere. I mean it ya'll. It's crazy. Phoenix, Boulder, San Antonio, San Diego so far. Coming up are Mississippi, Washington State, Washington DC, possible Guam. It's hard on him.  He has gathered a group of guys to put up our fence next weekend. That is nice.  We are also getting a quote to paint the inside of our home and do our trim/doors, etc.


Me - I had a bad few weeks a while back. I really didn't know what was going on. I had a migraine that put me in the hospital. I couldn't settle down my brain and my stomach was ALWAYS hurting. And I just thought - I've got to take something. I do take Xanax if I need it, but this was way bigger than this low-dose of Xanax could fix. Anyway - so I went to the doctor and he put me on Cymbalta. I am sure it would have worked well if I didn't feel like I had morning sickness the whole time. And so - I decided I would rather have a little anxiety.

Enter my friend Elizabeth. She takes this product called Plexus... she has been telling me about them for a year or so. And I started taking it. I've been taking the Slim drinks every morning for a couple weeks. I can report, 1) I'm not as anxious, 2) my stomach does not hurt constantly, 3) I was at the point where I was taking Zantac in the morning (reflux) and evenings, and I've only taken it once in the past two weeks, and 4)  I am sleeping a little better. I started taking a really good ProBiotic as well (also a Plexus product) this week. I'll keep you posted. A side note - yes, I want to lose a really good amount of weight, but this is really about helping my "gut" get healthy too.

Crafting - I'm Crafting More Regularly. Thanks to Christi of StampinTx, who I met at a local Homeschool FieldTrip with a super fun group. I go to her house twice a month for different events and it really helping me get back into it. There was a time when I was always crafting. I miss it. There is also a kit from StampinUp! Called Paper Pumpkin. I get it monthly. This way, I know I have 30 - 60 minutes of crafting to do.  I'm going to make Christmas Cards tonight. I can not wait.


School - did I tell ya'll we are switching back to MODG? I think I did. Anyway - we are almost done with this year and expect to get into those books and lesson plans after a few week break.   During the break, however, we will be reading a few books and memorizing math facts and a few other things we've forgotten - you know, to get us ready.  We are also taking a couple online seminars on writing (two for him and two for me).


Faith - We are excited here in Texas that the body of Saint Maria Goretti is going to be in Tyler and Houston and SugarLand. Check out the schedule and get more info - HERE!

Do a little research on the Three Days of Darkness. I am getting our home prepared. I've ordered candles, and will get more holy water, etc. I know, to some it sounds crazy. But let's face it, so did the Ark when Noah tried to get people to get on.  The Cukierski family has put together a kit and gives info on it HERE.


Anyway - I've got to go bake cookies as I said I'd bring Christmas Cookies tonight.


Hugs & blessings ya'll.


Em

Friday, July 10, 2015

7QTF - Study the Lives of Saints

Happy Friday All.

It's a beautiful day and my child is at a birthday party. He'll be back in a couple of hours. So I thought I'd take a moment to blog.

I am was going to link up today with This Ain't The Lyceum for 7QTF. But it doesn't look like there is a post today. BOO. Oh well, that's what I get for not linking up for a while.

I was telling a group of moms the other evening that I love the Saints because they teach me about our faith. As a convert, the Catholic Faith can be overwhelming. Why, you ask?  Because there are so many devotions, so many orders and splintered groups, and so many opinions about the best way to be a Catholic. And so - I concentrated on learning the Catechism (much of which I knew thankfully) and on learning about the Saints.  The Saints became my friends and my safe place to go.  I know, it sounds funny. But I've always been a fan of talking to the elderly because they know so much and I feel the same about learning about Saints. There is so much to learn from them.

Unsolicited Advice. If you don't have one in your current homeschool Co-Op, I highly recommend you insert one. Many of you many remember I taught a Saint's Class this year in one of the local Homeschool Co-Ops. I used a Catholic Heritage Curricula - Stories of the Saints (Vol 1 & 2).  The class took on a life of its own. Originally slated as a Reading Comprehension Class, we also did crafts and the children did projects. They looked forward to it as much as I did. Not because of me, mind you. But because God intends children to learn about Saints, so they have someone outside their immediate family and circles, who has already lived a live they might emanate.

Our Top 7 Favorite Saint Resources (In No particular Order):

7 - Arma De: Equipping Catholic Families. This blog is especially good for moms of many who need things for the younger kiddos that can be adapted for older kiddos, and vice versa. I've been following Monica for years and I am constantly inspired.

6 - Catholic Heritage Curricula - Stories of the Saints - Volumes 1 - 4. The great thing about these books is they have familiar and not-so-familiar Saints in them. More than just a compilation of Saint Stories, there are comprehension questions (dialogue), activity suggestions (writing/crafts, etc.), and words to learn (spelling/vocab).

5 - Compilation Books.  There are so many of these books from baby appropriate to Saints for boys or girls/dads or moms. We are so blessed.
5a - Saint's Biographies  From TAN Books to Vision Books, to Pauline Press, Ignatius and every other Catholic Publisher, you can find Saint Biographies. Most are Chapter books and they range in age-appropriateness, but oh are they good. We just read Father Damien and the Bells, and are currently reading John Bosco and Saint Dominic SavioHe is at the age where boy Saints appeal more because he can identify with them. Setonbooks.com is a great resource for Saint Biographies.

4 - Saint DVD's. You can find them for little kids. But we like the movie versions. For example Song of Bernadette, Molokai, and The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima. We got ours from Amazon, but honestly most Catholic Stores online or local to you will have choices.  CCC of America has a set for Littles (my child thought they were babyish at about eight years old).

3 - Catholic Icing. This was my first stop in a long line of Catholic Sites when I was working on putting together a Saint Valentine's party years ago. This is an activity-based website for mostly younger children (but you can always adapt things). Great Saint's Activities. I clicked on the Saint tab and posted the link, but you should look around.

2 - Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints.  I love how Erika incorporates Saints into her homeschool. Her blog is uncluttered and easy to read/follow.
2a -  Real Life At Home. I love this site. She has great Saint Printables (I'd say for ages below 10 - 11 (my opinion)). But she also has monthly Activities Printables while is how I found her. I love her blog.

1 - Saint Nook. Dominic de Souza and a group of folks got together to bring getting to know the Saints into Social Media. It's quite a concept and a fantastic site/Facebook Group. I'll admit, I'm pretty well-versed about the Saints, so my ego went "don't need them" at first. Oh yes - that silly EGO. Well, I'm here to tell you that SaintNook is a refreshing way to learn about the Saints and talk to other people who are learning about them too. Go check them out.

One last thing... You can sign up to receive Saint of the Day emails from a couple of Catholic Sources like Franciscan Media and Catholic Online.  If I am not mistaken, there is even an APP for this. LOL

I could name a zillion other sources. As you can tell, there are not just 7. But I tried. Do I get brownie points for trying? Speaking of, I have to go bake cookies for a friend's daughter who is serving in a mission.

Read to your children. Put loving, humble, courageous, selfless -- virtuous examples in front of them daily. This way, even if you are having a bad day... they will still get a good example (you're welcome - HA).

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Em

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Small Success Thursday - Making Strides...

Happy Thursday evening all.




I am linking up with the ladies at Catholicmom.com and I hope you will play along... or at least go read the posts. It's so encouraging when life gets "long" and you read the other posts and say "I did that... woohoo, a success". You do that, don't you? I mean - sometimes I don't feel successful. But the truth is, we all are. And we need to be proud of our vocations and give ourselves a big fat break!

We just finished dinner. You know, when Marque travels, I love to repurpose food. Made too much baked chicken two nights ago so that I could turn it into Chicken Alfredo penne (well, I didnt' have fettuccine).  So dinner is easy.

One thing we are all good at is TALK. We say we're going to ____ and we don't get to it. It's not that we don't have good intentions, but we get interrupted and forget OR we have something more pressing come up. OR we just flat don't want to do it... I am hoping to get better at keeping some of my goals... and that I will soon be able to chalk them up as Successes.

Through my friend Elizabeth, I finally found something that makes sense and is helping me feel better (it's only been a week, so in a few weeks I will tell you more).  It's all about lifestyle change. Not talking about it - but doing it. Oh please God let this be the help I need. I won't make it a small success, just yet. But I'm making it a small something! lol

One of the things that I have noticed is that we have become the family of not doing what we say we're going to do. So - we're making changes to fix that. Again, just because we don't mean to NOT do something, doesn't mean it doesn't BUG others or hurt us.  Along those lines...
Small Success #1 - Christopher made it to football camp daily.  The first week, he missed a day with a stomach bug. The 2nd week, he missed three days because of an upper respiratory/sinus infection. The third week, he missed a day because I was down one day and could not drive (and didn't think about calling my neighbor) who's child is in the camp.  And this week - he made it all four days. It's a big deal!

Another things we are bad at is getting our money's worth. I think it comes from being in the military.  We recently ordered a bed that was way too much, but they talked us into getting financing... and it was the most uncomfortable bed ever. It was like camping and sleeping on an air mattress (for $4K). My side would not hold air, and when I called, even though we paid for the warranty, etc. They wanted $200 for a tech to come out. I was like, "you sent us a broken bed and we have to pay for you to come look at it." It took us three weeks to call back and have them pick up the bed.  But...
Small Success #2 - We Sent The Bed Back. AND I will be writing the CEO. In their refund, they took out $200 for delivery and $200 for pick up. So we lost $400 on a crappy bed. Sigh.

We were those people, for so long, who robbed Peter to pay Paul. And you know what - it has to stop. We are fat. We are in debt. We are all the negatives. Sure there are a lot of positives, but I'm making a point. And I'm just so proud that we have some savings. It's a big deal.
Small Success #3 - Met A Savings Goal. We are finally REALLY getting our budget under control.  This week, we finally got a goal amount in savings.

Um... I can't believe I almost forgot to put this one...
Small Success #4 - 3rd Quarter is done.  The book report may not be stellar, but it is finished. One math test, one English test, one more book report people and 5th grade is behind us. I have friends saying, they can't believe I'm making him do it. It's just 5th grade. Well, it's about DOING WHAT WE SAY WE ARE GONNA DO!   We are working around fun things for the summer. But come next week, I hope to heaven's we are done. Mama needs a break.

In other news... I have not blogged in three weeks or so. I got busy, and then I was so put off by the rainbows on the Wordpress Admin/Dashboard pages, I could not even come to my blog. I actually created both blogs on blogger and am seriously considering a permanent move there. Sure, Google owns blogger and they are liberal, but they were gracious enough not to be "in your face" about the SCOTUS decision.

I will keep you posted. I'm trying not to make TOO rash of a decision. But I am posting both places just to be sure.

I hope to get back to a regular blogging routine.  We'll see.

Love & Hugs,

Em