Thursday, August 27, 2015

Small Success Thursday - Find the Positives!

Happy Thursday all!

What a great day. My husband's flight was delayed and he didn't get home till about midnight. But he is home, and that is always a good thing.

Please go read the beginning post at Small Success Thursday. Really, I could not have said it better. Having a good attitude is NOT always easy. In fact, I don't always have one. But I was so lucky to be influenced by my Grandma Helen and so many of her generation, who's motto was "do everything with Joy".  I have been called naive or a Pollyanna. To me, it's a compliment.  Why not be optimistic? Why not be happy? Positive?

I don't know anyone, at 51, who hasn't been through something tragic... some more than others. Myself, I could sit in a corner rocking back and forth/crying for all I've been through, but I am blessed to know GOD and to know how He wants me to behave.  Like I tell my son, "Jesus hung on the cross for hours, and you're complaining, WHY?"  OK OK - we all complain, but you know what I mean!

Anyway - go read, find something positive to hold onto. It could be something as small as:

  • Not burning a meal.
  • Praying the rosary one time more this week.
  • Watching your child open the door for someone.
  • Your children not arguing for an hour.
  • Reading and snuggling with said children.
  • An hour alone with your spouse.

Those are successes! Write them down. Find something positive. Share it with all of us busy mamas who are holding on to all of our positives.

And now, my small successes.



Success #1 - I'm Famous. This is so childish, I'm sure, but my little blog was mentioned on Elizabeth Reardon's Podcast yesterday on RealLifeRadio! I feel like a SuperStar!


Remember that movie? HAHA  You do know I'm far from famous... but I thought it was pretty cool. Now if I could just figure out how to get people to comment on my blog.

Success#2 - I'm Mother of the Year. Yep! Last week, my child was stuffy. In my defense the weather went from 106 - mid-70's and I thought it was that weather dip and allergies. It turns out, he had a raging sinus infection and fluid on his ears. Sigh. No real fever though. And, in typical fashion he was able to do things like play the x-box and hang with friends. Sigh again. However, since we leave Saturday for the NorthWest and are flying, I should take him to the doctor. I'm thankful for that logic. He is currently sleeping and I am hopeful he won't be dizzy/nauseated still when he wakes up.  Pray for him!

Success#3 - I'm Organized and Packing Light. Yep. It's a Christmas Miracle. When I was younger, I was the "you never know if you'll need this" packer. And now, I'm into more of a capsule wardrobe packing style.  My dad/family/friends and even my husband would tell you it was awful to have to carry everything I wanted to bring.  Including travel, we will be gone nine days. The good thing is, the first two overnights, we are with Marque in the hotel. Then Christopher and I will drive to my friend Becky's and stay near her in a hotel for two nights. We go back to Marque for a night, then go and stay with my friend Domenica for three nights. Sunday we come home. So I am only taking clothing for five days. I will wash certain things at the hotel and re-wear outfits. Everything is in the same color group and either matches or coordinates. How's that for logic?  I will come back and insert exactly what I packed. I'm still deciding. Hey - it's a hard choice. LOL

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

Hugs & Blessings,
Em


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Finding Patience - An Author Interview!

Hi all, 

Welcome to my blog. It's a hot Wednesday here in Texas. Most kiddos are back to school this week. We just finished 5th Grade, so we won't be back to school till after Labor Day (homeschool rocks).

It's a great day to read a book and talk about one of my new favorites, and I am 
thrilled to be a part of the Blog Tour that started on Virginia’s blog yesterday. After reading the below review, if you have questions for Ginny, please ask in the comments. She will respond.

And if that is not fun enough, who doesn’t love a giveaway.

Giveaway: Virginia is giving away five autographed books to five winners at the end of the giveaway, randomly drawn by Rafflecopter. Each entrant has up to 12 opportunities to create entries to win one book. Here is the HTML code:


And now, on with my first ever Author Interview.

Meet Virginia Lieto.

I’ve been following Virginia “Ginny” Lieto’s blog for a while because it really lends to the virtuous life I try to live.  AND she interacts with her readers, which I find endearing. I was overjoyed to learn she was writing a book for children, on virtues.  When she asked me if I wanted to interview her for the blog tour for her book, I was like, “is she talking to me?” I was always the child with my hand up, and yet shocked to be called on. You know that feeling, right?

At the bottom of this post will be all kinds of ways to find her and connect with her online. I highly recommend it. 

After we said our hellos and chatted for a moment, I asked Ginny to tell us something about herself and her background, and am amazed that she left her career to evangelize for God. That’s what it boils down to.

Here is an excerpt from her Bio:

         In 2011, Virginia decided to leave a 36-year career to give the remainder of her life to God. Her faith, as a Christian, is a central part and driving force in her life. To further equip herself with the knowledge necessary to effectively evangelize on the Catholic faith, Virginia obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Pastoral Theology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in 2014. Upon graduation, Virginia became an adjunct professor at her alma mater. In addition to teaching, Virginia is engaged in public speaking, as well as blogging about the Catholic faith. Virginia is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as the Catholic Writer’s Guild.

Here is the book cover. Don't you just love the artwork? Wait till you see the entire book. Great job Carole Hahn Panzner.


What made you decide to write a children’s book?

         After studying Theology, I wanted to find a way to help people connect the dots about what we believe, why we believe it and how we can incorporate it all into our lives. Writing for the scholarly wasn't for me. While still in school, I was asked to take pictures of Flat Stanley for my nieces/nephews’ school projects. I added stories to the pictures so the children would know a little about the adventures Flat Stanley was on and the places he visited.  It was through the compliments I received from family and the children’s teachers that I realized I might have a gift for writing to children. I believe the Holy Spirit used Flat Stanley to show me my path.

What is your book about? What do you hope children will learn?

         The theme is learning the virtue of patience. We must be patient while waiting for answers to prayers. It is hard for kids of all ages and parents as well, to wait as God works behind the scenes. Yet, through prayer, we can grow in the grace of patience.

What makes this book different than other children’s books on virtues?

         There are other great books on virtues out there, but they mostly use inanimate objects – vegetables and other things. And while they are great and the stories are cute, we need to use human beings as examples. With my book a child is given a human example for developing good character through God.

What did you learn about yourself when writing this book?

         I learned that I did not have enough patience. There are so many pieces to writing a book, publishing and illustrating, for example.  I believe that Carol, my illustrator, was divinely sent to me. I was at the Charlotte Eucharistic Congress, and she walked up to a booth I was at, and announced that she was an illustrator. But a series of life events, in Carol’s life, delayed the illustrations a whole year from the agreed upon date. I learned that the Lord pushed my book release out a year because there were so many things that needed to fall into place to make the release a success. In hindsight, I can see that now. For example, had I released the book a year earlier, I wouldn't have had the time to build such great relationships with all of the bloggers participating on this tour, and there wouldn't have been a tour to celebrate the launch of this book. I wouldn't have anywhere near the size following that I have now, and I wouldn't have had the time to learn what I needed to know about the publishing business. The Holy Spirit was at work behind the scene the entire time helping me build relationships, build a following, and learn the business. He timed the release of this book for the start of the school year. That is a God-incidence!

Will this be the first in a series of books?

         Yes. I am currently working on the second book, that will address bullying and the virtue of acceptance. I'll have more boys in this next story as well. No timeline set, as the story is still mulling around in my head.

Where can you find me online? (click on links) 
Where can you purchase the book? (click on links)  
If I may share, I read the book to my eleven year old son, and he wanted more. He literally said, "oh no, I didn't want it to stop!" He thought it was a great book. This is a huge endorsement!

Thank you all for hanging out and reading this post. Make sure you check out Alison Gingras's Review of this amazing book, on her blog Reconciled to You, tomorrow August 27th. You should also look around while you are there. She's a radio host, and you should listen to her (if I do say so myself) @A Seeking Heart.

Have a great rest of your day!

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Emily


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Moments - A Quick Post

Em's Daybook
Vol. 19

Happy Tuesday
Such a busy week already...

Before I do anything else, please check out my friend Virginia Lieto's Blog and enter to win her book that is being launched. THEN, come back here tomorrow to read the interview I did, and check out all the other bloggers on the blog tour.

One more thing... hee hee, try not to freak out, but it's exactly four months to Christmas.  You're welcome for that.

Davis Academy Update

Will you celebrate with me?  It's been a hard year for us.  We had a lack of concentration/organization thing going. Too much listening to others and too much busy work.  But I'm happy to report that we are done with 5th Grade. Straight A's so far. 4th Quarter on the way there. And we are taking 4-6 weeks off. OFF I TELL YOU (sorry Cam, I had to capitalize that)!

TODAY I'm:

Thankful For...

New Air Conditioner
Isn't it pretty? Ok, maybe pretty is a stretch, but it's wonderful to have an air conditioner that actually cools the house. Would you be shocked if I told you that for the first time in 8 years our master bedroom/bathroom/closet are sufficiently cooled. We could not understand why it never was. Ahem...

In addition, I'm thankful for
  • Summer Break
  • Upcoming Trip to Washington State
  • Friends who watch our animals and our home while we are gone
  • That my child's cold is getting better
  • The cooler Summer we've had (sure it's been hot, but this is nothing compared to normal).
  • My Faith most of all.

Thinking About...

All the things I have to plan for. School. Activities. Various trips....

In September, we are going out of town for a week. Plus, school starts back up.
In October, we are going Camping one weekend. We are going to the beach for the week.
In November, we are going to OK one weekend and then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Working in My Home... 

     Kitchen - oh dear, my kitchen is super quiet this week. Nothing exciting to report. Marque comes home tomorrow and leaves Saturday. Without him, Christopher and I are "basic" eaters.  Things like chicken or fish with rice/pasta and veggies. No brainer meals.

    Decluttering - You will be happy to note (ok, maybe it's just me who is happy) that I have cleaned out yet another closet for Goodwill (I am not sure goodwill will get the things, but that is the word that all-encompasses giving them away).  Catholic Charities came in to get our old mattress and our couch that we had in the other living room. It was so wonderful when the young man picking up said, we are taking this straight to the apartment of a refugee family.

   Cleaning - I have a cleaning schedule I loosely follow.  Ok OK - I actually mostly follow it. But I hesitate to say so because I have several mommy friends who hate housework and post pictures or sayings about how clean houses are lame and mean you hate your children or something. You know? lol I feel kind of guilty.  But in reality, I know that if I don't teach my son to clean up after himself, his wife will not be happy with me; if I do not teach him that doing chores is part of responsibility and it's what we all do in a family, he won't be able to pass that down to his children.  So, while I recognize that cleaning is not the most fun thing I do, here are some recommendations:

  1. Turn on music and dance/sing while you clean.
  2. Pray while you clean. Thank God that you get to stay home and keep a clean home.
  3. Think about how appreciative your husband will be when he comes home to a clean home.
  4. And realize that those who don't  understand you whether your house is spotless or a mess - well, they just need prayer and perhaps distance.

And take a gander at these. I hope they make you laugh:



Reading...


Praying For...

  • All Clergy
  • The Catholic Church
  • ProLife Cause
  • My prayer life. 
  • For Rain
  • PEACE
  • the homeless and downtrodden.
  • YOU!
I know my post was short and sweet. 
Blessings,
Em



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Moments - A Blog Switch...

Happy Tuesday All.

Because I only have 755,000 things to do and I needed one more.
Because I love the game of hide & seek.
Because....

I could go on and on.  Anyhooo... I hope you found me. I've moved my blog HERE to blogger.   TADA!

I am just going to toss random thoughts. Ready...

  • Life is total chaos right now. I think I should stop saying that... it has become the norm. 
  • I've gotten a lot done. In between Marque going back and forth to wherever he is off too, I am trying to keep my sanity (um, if you find it, send it home).
  • I'm trying to make this as fun of a summer as I can for my child. Bless him.  No siblings his age. Bored is bad.  Thank God for a few good friends.  
  • We have still not done the last book report. Hoping for tomorrow.  Did I tell you I've gotten so much done? I really have. Calls, errands, etc... Sigh. He has straight A's. For real!
  • Amidst all the chaos, I've decided to become a StampinUp Demonstrator. Mostly hobby, I'm assuming. We'll see. 
  • Remember when we said we were going to pay off debt? I am happy to announce we are really getting closer to our goal. We paid off all but one credit card. We are keeping one, and it has a  zero balance. We have built our savings up (thank you Dave Ramsay). Christopher has savings. Now, if we can keep up the good work and get my student loan paid down and find me a PT work-from-home job.... and a car... and.... LOL Truly, we are very excited about all this.
  • I hope to be saying positives about weight loss some day soon. Sigh. One thing at a time!

Praying...

For our country.
For our Pope and all Clergy.
For me to be more centered in Prayer (I hope that is not selfish).
For the lost souls walking on earth.
For all who have endured natural disaster.
For those who don't have food and shelter.
For those who don't know how blessed they are.
That it really will rain tomorrow.

Captured...

On the way home from baseball practice, Christopher took this with my iPhone. Pardon our dirty windows.


This Week...

  • Marque is in DC again. He's so handsome in his new suit. He sent me pictures this morning. How cute is that?
  • We are going to Hawaiian Falls.
  • We met friends for Pizza and to say goodbye (for now) to friends who are moving towards the panhandle of Texas.
  • We started baseball practice. And can I tell you something? My child said he has not liked a coach/practice this much since Coach Rich a few years ago. Sigh. That was great to hear. 
  • We have Arm-Health Clinic twice/week.
  • Our Air conditioner is being replaced on Friday. Can we get an AMEN for that?
  • I'll keep you posted on the book report.
  • There is nothing of note to report in the kitchen because it's all Lean Cuisine and easy stuff. Though... I do need to make sure I use all the veggies we bought.
  • I'm planning for our trips.

Honestly, other than laundry, decluttering, making appointments for this and that... and a zillion other things, there is NOTHING going on here.

OH - and after Labor Day- I'm starting a DayBook Link-Up. I miss my Catholic Link-Up buddies and I'm going to start it back up. By then, I hope to have figured out how to do it.

You all have a great rest of your week.
Love & Hugs,

Em

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Moments - Thinking Out Loud

Em's Daybook
Vol. 17

Happy Tuesday All!

What a crazy few weeks.  The hubs is traveling weekly.... home a couple of days, gone the rest. In and out. Sigh.  I'm super jealous currently because he's in a part of our country that it is far cooler.

I know my life is random and boring, but I thought I'd attempt a daybook. I miss linking up with friends, like Marcia does. Sigh. Maybe one of us should figure out how to do a link-up.  Anywhooo....

TODAY I'M:

Thankful For...

  • Our Faith
  • Creative Outlet - Em's Craft Closet
  • A Few Good Friends
  • Air Conditioning
  • The thoughts of Fall
  • Improved Health

It goes without saying but I'm thankful for my husband and son too.

Thinking About...

  • My mind is a jumble of thoughts.
  • Tired of the news and the push for gender neutrality in all things. I'm waiting for someone to state they are a rock so I can throw them somewhere. LOL Over it!
  • Mixed emotions about having a middle schooler this year.
  • Whether the things we are doing (having the house painted, fixing small things, etc.) will help us sell our home when we list. We have finally determined the part of FW we want to live in (thank you God) and will be making over our home to list in early Spring. Pray for us.
  • My family and the whacky ways they do things. Trying not to take their constantly leaving me out, personally. If you aren't right there with them, they just don't move past thinking about you. They don't mean harm. It's just odd.
  • Making to-do lists.
  • Organizing my blogs better.
    • I mean, they say if you organize in advance you do more - GO FIGURE! haha

It has been a difficult few weeks. One thing after the next. We all have those seasons. But I find, if I post about them while going through them, I come off as whining. I mean - the things we've had to fix here in our home (normal things for our age house, but all at once is quite an expense)... the seizures our dog has... the cat who eats random things and vomits during the night (typically on my path to the bathroom), or the fact that I was so tired because I had strep that I didn't realize I'd stepped in it till I got back into bed and then had to wash all the linens. Sigh... I mean - do you want to know about those things? I want to give hope to other moms who homeschool Aspergers children, who maybe only have one child and don't fit into a homeschooling mold.... I want to get people excited about faith and share my journey. So I'm going to step back and plan it out. I hope the results are good.

Doing In My Home...

Things around here are fairly mundane. Summer is hot in Texas.

  • We try to go to Hawaiian Falls a couple times/week. We wish we had a wave pool in the backyard.
  • We are making our way through rooms and tossing.We have taken a few loads to Good Will. Which reminds me, I need to call Catholic Charities and see how donating to them works.
  • I finally made a list of calls, emails, etc. I needed to make and accomplished most of it yesterday.
  • We love our new bed. Yep, after the Sleep Number debacle, we are thrilled with the firm/plush mattress we got. Christopher's comes Thursday (um, don't tell anyone, but his mattress is ten years old. I know - but it's always had a mattress cover and a waterproof one for the first four years or so.)
  • Picked new paint colors. Yep Yep Yep. Sherwin-Williams 6246 North Star and 6249 Storm Cloud. Storm Cloud is the darker color and will go around our fireplace surround (where we currently have a brick red).
  • Making a Mary Garden. We have our statue. We just need to take time to make the garden. Now that we have our new fence, are going to do some landscaping in the backyard. Give it a little personality. I will take before/after.
  • Getting FOR REAL organized. Seriously - I paid the mortgage twice this month. Thankfully we can cover it. But still. I have to make time for concentration. Sigh.
Doing In Our School...

  • Today we will work on the last book report. I am going to send the packet without it tomorrow and email it in. 5th grade is effectively done - can I get a HALLELUJAH!
  • Creating a planner for Christopher. I am going to create a calendar-type planner that has everything on it. Chores, classes/sports, and a place for him to write. AND weekly lesson plans. He's in middle school and I've decided more accountability is in order. Wish me luck.
Praying For...

  • Our World
  • People's hearts & souls
  • Children who suffer
  • Pro-life Movement and the Unborn
  • Traditional Marriage
  • Anyone who suffers natural disaster
  • That we can take back logic in America
  • Health, Finances and Peace in my family
  • Daughter of a new friend who had open heart surgery yesterday. She's 13 and woke up hooked to machines/lines and is scared. May our Mother wrap her in Peace.
I am always happy to pray for you if you want to share your intentions. Please do.

Capturing...

Random photos from my iPhone.




Selfie with Christopher. My favorite salad at Bossess Pizza (let them eat the carbs). Two days ago, as I got into my car - YES it was that hot. A visitor who played hide and seek with me. Monday morning laundry. Gum. (I took that because it occurred to me that we've become so lazy as a society we can't unwrap our own gum. Then I thought - maybe folks who's hands don't work well...)  Christopher at the water park. Ideas for Christmas for youngest grandson. Christopher and I after reading our latest Saint Book.

Not linking up with anyone today. It's just ME!

I hope and pray your day/week is blessed.

Hugs & prayers.

Em