Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Christmas in May

There is nothing like finding a bargain that you can't pass up.

The other day I was walking through a specialty store here in town and noticed they were having their semi-annual sale. Anytime this store has this sale, I can expect to fill up my Christmas closet with all kinds of gems that would make wonderful holiday gifts for adult family members. My only disadvantage was that little Gus was with me and he has the male mind when it comes to shopping: Mom, why are we here and when will we be leaving. I explained to Gus that I just wanted to have a short look around and that we would not be too long. Gus moaned and groaned a bit, but finally entertained himself with some of the items around him. Plus I bribed him with candy (shameful, I know. But you've gotta do what you've gotta do!)

Not long after that, I found them. Simple. Elegant. Colorful. And the right price: $1.99 a piece.

Dinner Plates.

I have been looking for dinner plates for my kitchen for about three years. The ones I currently have have massive chips on them. The corresponding bowls have been long lost....probably used for boy science experiments or bug collecting. Same with my salad plates...I have no idea where those went. So, long story short, I needed some new dinner plates and found them on a whim. I was so excited to see stacks of these plates in various sizes and colors but hesitated in purchasing them since there is always something more important I should be spending my money on. I justified my decision by telling myself that I could return them later if they did not work. Yeah, well, they worked all right. I bought 14 plates: 7 cobalt blue, 7 mustard yellow = 14 dinner plates for the Clemens family. I also bought cereal bowls, mugs, and salad plates. They are sooo pretty. Makes me want to cook more! (really!)

One of the benefits of buying new things for the kitchen is that you must clean out the old cabinets in order to make room for the new things. I organized my dish cabinet, which in turn made me clean out my pots and pans cabinet, which dominoed into creating new storage space for my long-lost tupperware containers ( which are now being put to good use ) and finally helped me to throw out mounds of un-used Gladware tops. ( I had NO idea how many un-matched Gladware/plastic container tops I had.) I was able to organize all my Corningware with their original glass tops and put them in accessible spots in my kitchen. Last but not least, I laid my old dishes to rest in three very sturdy bags that went to a friend who said she would put them to good use. I also gave away old plastic novelty children's dishes along with mugs and mis-matched glassware. I tell you all...when you re-organize like I did, it's like you have a WHOLE kitchen of new dishes. Try it! It works!

When my husband returned from Idaho, I was a bit concerned with what his reaction to my little dish spree would be. At first he was like, "HOW MUCH?" But then I SHOWED him how nice and organized everything was and then he was mildly happy. "Well, I guess we did need them", he said. Merry Christmas to me!

Monday, May 29, 2006

We DO thank you....

Today...when you are roasting your hotdogs and hamburgers, remember those who only have military rations to eat. When you are spending time with the ones you hold most dear; remember those who only have a gun and tank to keep them company. When you are spending time in the comforting cool of the neighborhood pool, remember those in the blistering sun of the desert. When you hug your spouse or child at the end of a glorious Memorial Day; remember those families whose mom or dad cannot be with them at night. And when you say your prayers tonight; pray for the many men and women who fight for that freedom. Hats off to all our military personnel overseas, past and present, and the families who suffer without them.

A great article sent by a friend:

Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Can you hear me now?

It has been four days since my husband left to "commune" with nature with his brothers in Idaho and I'm really starting to miss him. At first when he leaves on any trip, I just hunker down and focus on what needs to get done with the kids while he is gone. I don't have much of a chance to think about missing him since I need to worry more about the kids and their needs. I purposely distract myself with the day to day routine so that I won't miss him. But tonight, in the quiet of my kids are sleeping in their I look across the den at the chair he is usually in... I am forced to face the fact that he is not here with me and won't be here for another week or so. (sigh) The T.V. is on for background noise and is keeping me company; but does not match his presence. Most evenings after the kids have gone to bed, Chris and I sit in the den together. We each get out our laptops and work. It's our time together. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don't. Either way, we are with each other and I've taken it for granted that it is a comfort to me. So tonight, I have to face the inevitable realization that I really hate it when he's gone. Really hate it.

When you are out in the mountains of Idaho, there are no cell towers, which means no cell phone service and no land line service either. Chris's younger brother brought a satellite phone with him for emergencies and for the brothers to use to check in with their families. Chris warned me that these kinds of phones are not very reliable and that it's hard to get a good connection. He called tonight to check in on us. The connection was so bad, that we could only talk for about 30 seconds. He called a second and third time and we quickly continued our conversation where we left off, knowing that at any moment we would lose the connection. After he lost me for a third time he called back and said, "Before I lose you again, I want to you know that I love you and miss you...all of you." Not 10 seconds later, he was gone again. But that was all I needed to hear; nothing else needed to be said; nothing was more important to me than those words. My husband of 13 years KNOWS the importance of those words and he makes sure that he tells me. It keeps me going until he comes back home and sits across from me in the den....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The last days...of innocence

After tomorrow, it will be the first time I will have a child out of pre-school in years. Gus is headed for Kindergarten in the Fall, Jack in 1st, Nick in 5th and Rebecca in 9th. May I always remember the innocence of the pre-school years and thank God for the privilege of being able to stay home with my children those tender days.

This is a picture of Gus playing with the bubbles on one of his last days of preschool camp.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Youth Convention Woes

As I mentioned earlier, I attended the Diocesan Youth Convention last weekend where around 700 teens gathered from various Deaneries to celebrate their Catholic Identity. The weekend includes various activities and speakers that teens can choose from, and culminates with a dance and free-expressions lounge where youth can participate in karaoke, recite poetry etc. All in all, I would describe it as a community building event more than a "retreat" experience. That being said, please don't take what I have the wrong way, but I did have some MAJOR issues with some of the speakers that presented talks during the breakout sessions.

One of the breakout sessions was presented by a priest (a Franciscan). The title of the presentation was called," How to stay married forever " and was to last for one hour. I was interested in what this priest had to say, and so did the majority of the kids from my youth group, so we all decided to attend. I held much hope that this talk would address the most common mistakes people make when choosing a spouse or maybe address important qualities to look for in a spouse...the issue of sexuality in marriage, how to avoid temptations when know...the stuff that youth are really wondering about and wrestling with.

We all sat together at a round table. While we waited for the speaker to arrive, the girls at my table were talking about the future and their desire to marry, and so did the guys. I could tell that they had come for answers. Good answers to give them hope for the future and hope in marriage. Before long, the ballroom FILLED with young teens interested in how to stay married forever. I was floored at the interest level. I mean, these kids had 7 or 8 speaker options, but this talk title had hit some kind of nerve with them and before long, over 200 kids waited for the speaker to begin. I thought to myself: Wow! What an opportunity of a life-time! A captive audience of INTERESTED teen-agers wanted to know more about marriage and life-long love! What a sight!

But the opportunity was totally lost.

Unfortunately the priest whittled away the first 30 minutes of his talk by talking about the beauty of pasta and bread...his favorite foods and tempted us by saying over and over..."I'm gonna' tell you how to stay married in just a minute..but first....blah, blah, blah," Finally, when he eventually gets to the crux of the talk, he starts talking in some sort of nebulous language that only theologians and religious theorists could decipher....not teens: "When someone walks down the isle with their fiance, they must come to the alter "full"...maybe even "spilling over" with what makes them complete. (Huh?) One should never expect another person to "fill" them. They need to come to the alter filled. (filled with what? pasta? themselves? God's love? Could we be more explicit here for the youth, please?) The teenagers at my table turned to me, their expressions looking confused and dazed. One whispered, "What is he talking about Georgie?" I just shook my head slowly and shrugged my shoulders.

At this point, I was chomping at the bit knowing that this priest had only 20 minutes left to impart some kind of wisdom to the was not happening. The opportunity was almost gone. He continued with this ambiguous language of what matters in a marriage. Finally the agony ended and he opened the ballroom up for questions. The youth just sat there. Stunnned into silence. Not sure what to ask or how to begin...maybe they were stoned with boredom or zapped with the realization that they were doomed to make the same mistakes as their parents. After a couple of seconds of silence, I raised my hand. "Father, could you please address the obsession our society has with sex and how an unrealistic view of sexuality can hurt a marriage? " The ballroom perked up. He answered with more ambiguous phrases . After he finished, I whispered in one of the teens ears to ask the priest what qualities to look for in a spouse. She raised her hand eagerly and asked my question. He answered, "Well, I think I answered that need to find someone who is "full"..someone who is compatible with your fullness." My table looked at me puzzled.

Here's the scary thing. This priest did this same talk last year and was asked back this year? To present this talk at three different times! Go figure.

That's not all! The keynote speaker was a female D.J. who did a good job helping the youth look for positive messages in secular music. She had their attention mostly because she played clips of popular music where the kids could sing along during the presentation. She had some good things to say, but continually referred to "marriage" as being a "lifelong meaningful relationship" and never referred to someone having a spouse....only a "partner". Now, is it me, or is it too much to ask that the leaders of our church, the keynote speakers, etc refer to things like sacramental marriage? and husbands? and wives? and spouses? I could understand this better if it were some sort of secular conference, but this was a Catholic Youth Conference where the kids were hungering for answers to life questions. References to the sacraments are integral to being a Catholic...where have we gone that we bow to modern terminology in our churches and ignore traditions we hold sacred? things we hold as essential tenants of our faith? How confusing is that to teenagers? It subtly sends a message to the youth of our religion that marriage doesn't matter..only "meaningful relationships". What does that mean anyway?

It's this kind of stuff that makes me want to run, not walk, over to some of the Protestant Youth Conferences and steal a few of their youth speakers. They don't sugar coat issues and their youth respond favorably. Why not? If our youth speakers make little or no references to sacramental marriage or chastity or even the Bible..with passion.... why not ask a Protestant leader who will address a least a few of these issues? Am I over-reacting here?

Triple Dog Dare You

There's nothing like a slippery water slide on a hot spring day UNLESS your kids decide that the 16 ft water slide is insufficient and you need to make it longer by attaching another 20ft slide to that one. And if that is not enough for your kids, you can make it even BETTER by laying a 6 ft tarp at the end (to save your back from getting scratched by the grass when you complete your "sweet" moves down the slide). Three slip and slides plus one pretty steep front yard makes for an afternoon of neighborhood excitement...never to matched!

Oh, yeah!! We triple dog dare you to go down THAT slide!

Er... can I change my mind?


Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I just returned from Youth Convention where one of my "darling" high schoolers realized that I am pregnant.

Youth: Georgie! I did not know you were preganant!

Me: Really? I thought most of you guys knew.

Youth: Naw, I didn't know. I just thought you were getting really fat!!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Youth Convention

I'm off to Greenville for the Diocesan Youth Convention where over 800 teen-agers will be gathering to praise God and enjoy a number of fabulous Catholic youth speakers. I'll be back on Sunday and tell you how it goes. Prayers for these youth and their chaperones, that they be inspired by the holy spirit and re-dedicated to their faith.

Oh, and hey, I get to drive a rental car to the Convention Center... It's so nice and clean and new...and ....oh, makes me want a new car!!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


In the comments box of my last post, I mentioned an update bout the bully I confronted in the bagel store. For those of you who did not read it, I'll relay the story here.

This morning, I walked into the bagel store again for my "regular" order. I was alittle nervous wondering if the crazed bully might be there, but he wasn't. Relieved, I walked up to the counter and asked, " Did that crazy guy come back today?" The employee nodded his head and said, "yeah, he showed up this morning and apologized to everyone." I was taken aback. He apologized! Unreal! I sputtered out "He did? Wh...Wh... Well isn't that wonderful!" I turned around and headed toward my car....on cloud nine!

Never, ever, in a million years would I have thought that a man like that would apologize. Never. I had given up on the man. I was sure that he was a lost soul. Not a good bone in his body. But I was wrong. I learned that I am much more condemning of people than my God is. Where I give up on someone, God continues to work His magic. It was a good reminder that we all are "works in progress" and can see God even in the corner bagel store. Amen!

BTW: My bagel tasted extra yummy today!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bagels and Bullies

Many mornings, after I drop the kids off to their respective schools, I sneak over to the local bagel store and grab a hot bagel and a glass of iced tea. It is my favorite treat of the day and gets my morning off to a good start.

I've been going to this bagel stop for at least 5 years off and on, but my visits have become more frequent this year since all four have school every morning. The employees at the shop are familiar faces. They exchange pleasantness with the patrons as they prepare their bagels. When they see me, they don't even ask what I would like. They know. They simply grab an everything bagel, toast it, put a moderate amount of butter on it and pass it to the cashier who looks at me and says, " Ice Tea?". I say "yes" with lots of ice...and whallah! It's mine! My bagel and tea....sweet harmony.

But today was not so harmonious in the bagel store. In fact, it was quite disturbing.

As I walked into the store this morning, I stood in line behind a decent looking man about my age. He was wearing khaki shorts and a tan shirt. Very normal looking. He was waiting for his order to be finished. All of a sudden he yelled at the female manager of the store who was working behind the counter and said, " Don't be a smart-a**!" At first I thought he was joking around with her, but he then said, "Yesterday you were a smart a**, and I don't appreciate it. Do you understand me?"

He was obviously NOT joking with her at that point. I saw her face turn 4 shades of red. She turned and spoke quietly to a co-worker, and then turned and calmly asked to help the next customer. I could tell she was shaken up by his tone and embarrassed at his comments. Even so, she continued to work as he waited for his order...all the while glaring at her. She asked for the next customer in line and so I approached the counter, smiled at her and asked for my everything bagel. (She didn't remember my regular order, understandably.) I moved down the line to pay for my order and then he started in on her again. Loudly. " I want SALMON on it this time and don't mess it up! Do you understand? Did you HEAR me?" She just kept working. There was so much anger in his tone and attitude. Everyone in the store was silent...customers as well as employees. No one was saying anything...NOT ONE of the men in line with me said ONE WORD to this man. As I checked out I asked the cashier what the deal was with the guy, and he just mumbled, "Who knows."

My heart started thumping faster as I contemplated speaking to this jerk, wondering why any human being would ever treat someone else in such a disrespectful manner and WHY no one else was saying anything. I mean, after all, it was JUST a BAGEL. Not worth the bullying he was giving this woman. I gathered my things and had decided to forget all about it, but my feet decided to do the opposite. Before I knew it, I was at the side of this man. I touched him gently on the arm while he was waiting for his order, leaned into him so that I did not make a scene and whispered, " Why are you bullying that woman? Why are you doing this?" He turned and looked at my me and at my baby belly, his face softened and said, "Well, SHE was RUDE to me YESTERDAY!" His volume was up and by now everyone knew what I was doing. I leaned in closer to his face, stared into his eyes and said even more quietly, " But it's only a BA-GEL. It's not worth all this energy. " Well...he was not too happy with that little comment and barked, "Why do you think this is any of YOUR business anyway?" I said sternly,(as if I were speaking to one of my children) but still quietly, "You made it everyone's business in this shop when you started yelling expletives at her for everyone to hear." With that he turned and walked away from me and yelled, "*uck off." I responded, "Bully" and walked away to my car.

Nice. Great way to start off the day.

OK, now many of you are thinking that I'm crazy for even approaching this man. Even my husband was mortified to hear of what I did. "Georgie! He could have had a knife or a gun. What were you thinking?" Yeah, OK, point made, but there were at least 20 people in the store...I did not get the vibe that he was on drugs or "dangerous" man. I knew he was just being a jerk and could not stand one more minute of his abuse. I mean, at what point, as Christians do we act when we see an act of injustice? At what point do we walk away and do nothing? All I know, is that if I were paid minimum wage, had to get up at 4am to make bagels for strangers only to be hassled by a jerky patron...I'd have wanted someone to stick up for me. Honestly 9 times out of 10, I admit I walk away...but I could not this time. It was just too harsh, too blatant, too inhumane.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

DaVinci Stuff

There has been much hulabaloo about the impending release of the Da Vinci Code movie. I recently read a poll that indicated that one out of four christians now view the theories presented in the Code book as truth. (ug.)I'll never forget when a parishoner/youth volunteer came up to me and stated, "Can you believe what the church has hidden from us all these years?" I wanted to shake the woman and say..."What?? You actually believe this stuff?" I, for one, have NO intention of veiwing the movie...the book was mediocre enough for me. Instead, I plan to take my kids to see the release of the movie: Over the Hedge

One good way to educate ouselves and others who tend to believe this fiction is to visit the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which holds a wealth of information about Jesus and the Church. This site answers many of the questions raised by the book. Be sure to check it out before the release!!!

Yet another good resource for insights on how churches are using the Da Vinci Code as a tool to talk about the realities of the Church can be found here

Baseball, Boys and Burger King

There is nothing more enjoyable than an afternoon of baseball with all three boys and then ending with a big 'ol Whopper from Burger King!

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Happy Mother...

and her beautiful children.

Thanks kids (and Chris) for a wonderful day of rest, home-made pizza, chocolate, Josh Grobin and massages. I am loved in so many ways.

Friday, May 12, 2006

What are they thinking?

A friend of mine called tonight to firm up plans for Mother's Day dinner. Her family and mine are gathering on Sunday; the guys are going to be making dinner for the moms while the girls will be going out for manicures or a ceramics session (we have not decided which activity yet).

My girlfriend,s son has kindly offered to help watch the boys on Mothers Day. He is a well-rounded young man, a senior at the local high school, a track star, Sunday school teacher, youth leader at the parish, and has just been accepted to the Air Force Academy with special honors. All in all he is a special guy with a good head on his shoulders and a bright future ahead of him. He's the kind of boy that my boys stand in awe of....he owns REAL swords...has big muscles...and likes to play rough and tumble games with them. To my boys' chagrin...he ALSO has a girlfriend.

Tomorrow is prom for this young man and his many friends. Excitement is in the air and the youth are preparing dresses, shoes, hair and transportation. They are also planning pre-prom dinners, post prom parties, and co-ed sleepovers (pause and re-read that last item) Yes, you read that correctly: CO-ED SLEEPOVERS! All of the friends of this young man will be spending the night in backyard tents at the home of another friend. My girlfriend called me tonight for moral support after she announced to her son that he could NOT sleep over with his girlfriend at this friends house after prom. She proceeded to tell me that ALL of the parents are allowing their kids to sleepover....some of which are already engaging in sexual relations. "I am the mean mom, as usual." my friend lamented to me.

" Well, you know, they are all good kids." the host mother told my friend. " I'd rather have them here, safe at my house, than somewhere else where they may not be safe." My friend responded, " Well, we do not approve of co-ed sleepovers and would rather our son be in his own bed, in his own home. If he is too tired to drive, we will be happy to pick him up when things start to wind down."

OK. NOW. Are we the only ones who think that it is absolutely CRA-ZY to allow co-ed sleepovers on prom night? Have these parents forgotten how the hormones rage at that age? Have they completely lost any moral compass that gives them the sense to parent these....(sorry if this seems naive) children???? I for one have NOT forgotten how hard it is to be a teenager and boy do I remember the temptations! I had a boyfriend in high school, and if it weren't for my parents strict rules and high expectations, I could have EASILY gotten into trouble. Prom night was NO exception...I had to be in at post party...sleep-overs were unheard of. "Good kids" get tempted, they struggle and fight to do the right thing. But everyone has a limit and sponsoring a co-ed sleepover crosses that limit for most kids.

Today these kinds of post prom sleepovers are the norm. You are not a cool mom unless you allow your children to experience such an event. I backed my girlfriend 100% in her decision to not allow her son to sleepover. But the sad part is that I'm the only one she could call...the only one she knew that would understand her plight. What has happened in my town that a mom has to go searching for someone that holds her same morals on this behavior. And we wonder why abortion is prevalent, teenage pregnancy is prevalent, so many are filling their bodies with birth control hormones, girls are objectifying themselves, boys are objectifying girls, gang rapes, date rapes and on and on.........wanting your kids to be somewhere "safe" on prom night is a relative term when you think of the dangers that are lurking in your own backyard!

Wake up! Parents!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How to weigh yourself correctly

A friend sent this to me today. It gave me a good laugh since my waistline is getting bigger, the scale numbers are getting bigger, and my clothes are getting a good workout!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kissy, Kissy

Most nights when it's time to get ready for bed, I usually get moans and groans from the boys about how they are not ready for bed. They usually resort to various time consuming activities to weaken my resolve like asking for "one more book" or " a drink of water" or " I just need to get one thing from the toy room!" (They sleep with numerous hard, plastic knights, dragons, and weapons) When I mention that it is time for a bath, Jack and Gus will simutaneously say things like, "But we just had one YES-TUR-DAY!" or "NO,MOOOOM. Please....I don't need a bath, only Nick does 'cause he's bigger". I usually stand strong when attacked with a bombardment of these requests and insist that my commands be met; but last night I cracked. I gave in. I couldn't help it. It was so sweet.

After the kids were in bed (or so we thought) Chris and I were sitting in the living room talking when we heard that familiar sound of footsteps coming down the steps. Who was it this time? Is it Jack wanting another story? Gus wanting a drink of water? Nick needing some sort of medicine to cure a phantom ache? A few seconds later, Gus's head peeked from around the corner. He looked at me a smiled shyly and said,

"Mom. Can I kiss the baby goodnight?"

I was totally unprepared for that kind of request, so I said yes.

Gus (who saw his window of opportunity) bounded from around the corner, came over to me and wrapped his arms around my growing belly. "Goodnight baby" he said and kissed my tummy gently. Afterwards, he gave me a smile and a kiss and snuck back upstairs to the bed.

So much for standing strong. I guess I'll get two visits tonight.

Pure Fashion: It's back in style

Here is a great excerpt from the article bootylicious backlash written by Anne Marie Owens. A prime example of what small religious groups like the Catholic Challenge Girls Club can influence if they work hard enough.

Coleen Kelly Mast of Catholic Answers, says Pure Fashion can impress upon young girls how important it is to consider how they present themselves to others. "You are a walking advertisement," she says. "The type of clothing you wear will either advertise your body — or your values and beliefs as a person."
"Teenage girls often don’t realize what men and boys think and feel when they see girls dressed immodestly. Clothes that are tight, short, skimpy or transparent can be a real temptation for others to lust."

"Teaching modesty should be a normal part of the discipline of children on the road to self-mastery," she says. "It can remind them of their inner dignity as a child of God. Each time a child shops for or gets a new outfit, the question of modesty should be addressed. Children can begin to think about the statements they are making with their clothes."


While the boys were out at Nick's baseball game, I made a really wonderful dinner with leftover turkey from last week. It was really good, easy to make, and a hit with the kids (which is always a plus!) I added this side dish which my kids did NOT eat, but our friend Mike (who was visiting from Catholic University Seminary) LOVED it! I also served bread, salad, and for cream! Give these recipes a try!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The older they get, the smarter they get

Sorry for the lack of postings, but this weekend was a massively busy one with Rebecca's 8th Grade Dance, Birthday Parties, Sleepovers, 8th Grade Parties, work stuff, and end of year youth ministry cookouts! I'll post on a couple of these events since they are worth documenting, but for now, I'd like to post on my daughter's 8th grade dance which was held on Friday.

This night was extra special in that she is quite obviously growing up before our eyes..out of childhood into womanhood. Those who know my daughter knows that she is a simple kind of kid. No frills. Very practical. She is not one to run to the beauty salon for a make-over, but instead asked me to do her hair and make-up. She was happy to wear the red dress from my parents's 50th wedding anniversary instead of buying a new one; (I offered to get her a new one) and she decided that her old silver shoes would work fine. The only thing "new" that she wore were some earrings and a bra. No, she didn't arrive at the dance in a limo or Cadillac as seems to be the custom these days with some parents. She just arrived in a van owned by a friend. Nothing special.

But as I watched my daughter in all her practicality walk into the dance...and as I saw the other kids arrive in their brand new dresses and shoes and limos I saw something VERY special. A beautiful girl that stood out from the rest; tall and slender, a blend of myself of old, my mom, and my sisters. I saw a girl who knows who she is and what she wants. Rebecca does not care to put on airs like the rest of us; she does not try to be someone she isn't; she is beautiful as she is and she teaches me more about honesty and truth than most adults. She reminds me through her simplicity that our natural selves are more beautiful and beautifully made--created by God--- than anything we could ever put on, or buy, or alter ourselves with. So, after I left the dance, I did what every parent does when they realize that their children are growing up with their own minds and personalities: I cried.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Prayers Please

Prayers for a kindergartener at Jack's school who tragically lost his daddy in a car accident shortly after morning drop-off. The mother is left with her 5 year old son and her 2 year old daughter. May the angels lead him into paradise and comfort those family members who are feeling this immense loss.

Dinner Bell

I'm thinking that I am completely over the "night sickness" that plagued me the first four months of my pregnancy. In fact, I've been "taking back" some of my normal responsibilities from Chris who (by the way) has done a great job in my absence. I confess that during the first 3 months of my pregnancy, making dinner was a stomach turning sacrifice when I actually rose from my horizontal position long enough to put something together. The sights and smells of raw meat, beans or cheese kept me from making anything more exotic than peanut butter sandwiches with a side of pretzels AND if you you were LUCKY....some sliced apples. Many nights we simply ordered pizza or ate soup. Other nights, Chris would attempt frying some chicken (ewh) or warming leftover pizza.

Oh, but'm feeling much, much, better and so I want a little credit for making a great dinner tonight consisting of
this and this with some crusty Italian bread on the side, a fresh fruit salad, and cookies for dessert. Everyone loved it; but no one more than my sweet husband who exclaimed, " Oh, it's like I have a wife again!"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Spring Planting

The signs of Spring are everywhere!

I invited Jack and Gus to join me in planting some Geraniums, Pansies and Basil. Jack was interested, but Gus turned me down and chose to play inside. After some digging, watering, and re-arranging of the front porch, Jack excitedly exclaimed, " Mom, this is almost as fun as playing VIDEO games!" Realizing what he just said, Jack ran back inside the house to report this epiphany to Gus.

Jack: (Yelling up the stairs) Gus, planting flowers is ALMOST as fun as playing video games!

Gus: (Yelling from upstairs) What? Almost as fun?

Jack: Yes! Come! Come out and see!

Gus ran out the front door to the front yard and eagerly starting planting and watering with us. He loved it.

Gus: Mom, aren't the flowers just beautiful?

Me: Yes, Gus. They are VERY beautiful.....mostly because you and Jack helped me plant them.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mary's Month

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!