Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Guess what I just found

I'll never get anything done.

Life can be overwhelming when you have a new baby. So much attention and care must be directed toward that little baby that all other things, such as laundry, are left to suffer. Today was one of those days: the garage needs to be cleaned out, the laundry needs to be thinned out into what stays and what goes to the thrift shop, a stop to the grocery is needed, dinner for a new mom needs to be prepared, thank you notes need to be written, beds need to be made, those little cobwebs in the corner of the room need to be wiped away, and on and on. You get the picture. So I guess I should get started...right after I rock my baby boy to sleep and then watch him as he sleeps and then play with him and make him laugh that cute little giggle, feed him, rock him back to sleep....and then...oh, shoot. I'll never get that other stuff done when all I'd rather do is be with Henry. I'll worry about the chores tomorrow. Henry needs me today.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Five Months and growing like a weed

photo credit: R. Clemens

What Gus has given up for Lent:

His favorite of the meals I prepare: Chicken Pot Pie. Here is a picture of the last pie I made for the kids. It was on Valentine's Day thus the heart on the top.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

One of the funniest things I saw in New York

A t-shirt displayed in the Union Station Deli:

What happens in New York stays in New York!

I am a very blessed woman to have a husband realize the importance of a woman needing to "get away" for a couple of days; to rejuvenate the soul; to rest; enjoy a change of venue; and to be with other women or girls (as the case may be). The value of escaping the everyday for a while cannot be calculated. Just like having alone with your husband is valuable, so is time away from him a good thing from time to time. I have to admit that lately, I was starting to melt with fatigue. I was getting tired and depressed from lack of sleep. My pep talks to myself were not working, felt like my prayers had dried up. I was talking to 5 pairs of little deaf ears over and over, dealing with the stomach flu x 6, feeling way too much cabin fever this winter, missing my very busy husband and getting way too cranky with everyone for the littlest things. So. It was clear that the timing of this trip was a gift from the Lord above. And what a gift it was!

Last year, my dear friend Mary asked Rebecca and I to accompany her and her daughter, Lizzie to NYC for Lizzie's 16th birthday. The trip was planned for this past weekend and included seeing two Broadway shows: Wicked and Les Miserables. All four of us girls are BIG music/musical fans and were chomping at the bit to see a REAL musical on Broadway so it was a great mother-daughter adventure. To add to the beauty of it all, the shows and hotel accommodations were paid for as a gift to Mary from her OT clients (Aren’t I blessed to have such a talented and generous friend? Love you Mare!) Anyway, being the country-bumpkin that I am..packed my country girl suitcases up and headed for the Big Apple for the first time in my life with my daughter at my side. Start spreading the news...I'm leavin' today!!!

Long story short. I loved every minute!! NYC is beautiful, the people are friendly and the food is grrreat! Thank you to my dear husband for allowing me the luxury. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Off the hook?

Gus: Mom, you should be able to give up cooking for Lent.

Me: oooooh, that sounds like an interesting idea. But who would cook for us?

Gus: I don't know. You just should be able to give it up.

Me: I'll work on it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In my inbox...

*The Baptist*

Each Friday night after work, Bubba would fire up his outdoor grill and
cook a venison steak. All of Bubba's neighbors were Catholic and since
it was Lent, they were forbidden to eat meat on Friday. The delicious
aroma from the grilled venison steaks was causing such a problem for the
Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest. The Priest
came to visit Bubba and suggested that he become a Catholic. After
several classes and much study, Bubba attended Mass. As the priest
sprinkled holy water over him, he said, "You were born a Baptist, and
raised a Baptist, but now you are a Catholic."

Bubba's neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and
the wonderful aroma of grilled venison again filled the neighborhood.
The Priest was called immediately by the neighbors and as he rushed
into Bubba's yard clutching a rosary, preparing to scold him, he stopped
and watched in amazement. There stood Bubba, clutching a small bottle
of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and
chanted, "You wuz born a deer, you wuz raised a deer, but now you is a

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

St. Valentine, pray for us

"Thank you God for letting this happen" said Gus after he accidentally spilled all of his Fun Dip powder all over the table.
"I'll just vacuum it up with my mouth".

Catholic Women's Book Club, Book of the Month

If you have been reading along with my Catholic Book club, you will be interested to know of the newest book selection on the list The Death of Innocents by Sr. Helen Prejean. This is a challenging look at the system of capital punishment in our society and how we, as Catholics should view this type of punishment in the light of our faith. Here is an editorial review of the book from Publishers Weekly:

"Starred Review. Activist nun Prejean, whose crusade against the death penalty became widely known after Susan Sarandon portrayed her in the Oscar-winning film adaptation of her first book, Dead Man Walking, has again crafted a passionate indictment of the American criminal justice system. This time, with gripping, heartrending detail, Prejean draws on her experience advocating for two men she believes to have been innocent, but who were condemned to death row—Dobie Gillis Williams and Joseph O'Dell. While the book's subtitle removes any element of suspense, few readers will miss it. Instead, many will be outraged at a "machinery of death" weighted against the poor and African-Americans, featuring technical obstacles placed in the way of men desperately fighting for a fair hearing of evidence never elicited at their trials (O'Dell was denied appellate review by the highest court in Virginia because his lawyers typed one wrong word on his petition's title page). Prejean's tale involves a tragic, but not atypical, confluence of aggressive prosecutors (such as those in Louisiana, who display a "Big Prick" award featuring the state bird clutching in its talons a hypodermic needle used in lethal injections in its talons) and inept, ill-trained and apathetic defense attorneys. This damning critique should make even supporters of capital punishment pause, and the author's celebrity status, coupled with a timely message, should propel this onto bestseller lists. "

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A little reminder to my hubby...

There are many perks to sharing a birthday with our favorite St. Valentine, the least of which being the fact that I get double the chocolate one would normally receive from a loved one. I admit it. I love that cheap chocolate that comes in those red cellophane hearts. I especially adore consuming the chocolates with pink filling. I'll poke each chocolate from the bottom to see if I see a small crack of pink. Nothing better. You can get a BIG red cellophane heart from the local drug store on sale, for around $4.99. Heaven on earth that comes so cheaply should never be passed by. It brings long lasting happiness. Well at least until one heads to the bathroom scale.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Yes, maam

Here is cowboy Gus. He's cute, fierce and takes a'liken to the simple things in life:

Food, Guns, and a ten gallon hat!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snow day!

Nick and his arsenal of snow.

Jack snowboarding down the front yard.

Snowdrops keep falling on my head.

Childhood honesty at its best

"It's really good for them, you know.” this woman from church told me. "My pediatrician recommended it for my son who happens to be very active and high-energy."

"Really?" I responded. "It does not make them more violent and prone to beat up others for fun?"

"No!" she strongly ensured me. "It teaches them discipline and channels their energy in a controlled fashion."

"Hmmm. Sounds like something Jack and Gus might enjoy. I think I’ll try it!"

And so begins my experience with martial arts, Clemens style! I had always hesitated signing up the boys for martial arts for various reasons the least of which included my fear that they would use their newly honed skills on unsuspecting 2 year olds enjoying a relaxing walk in the neighborhood park or worse, trying them on a teacher or adult (you never know). Even so, I quieted my inner voice screaming, "You've totally lost your mind, Georgie” and signed Jack and Gus up for their first class. We attended the first session yesterday along with 15 other children. I positioned myself on the floor against the wall to watch while the boys and girls sat politely in a horseshoe arrangement facing their female and somewhat "hippie" styled instructor. Let me rephrase...the GIRLS were sitting politely while most of the boys sat fidgeting on their hands, rocking back and forth, wiggling around, waiting for the action to BEGIN!! After introductions and ground rules, (which were taking waaaaaay too long for the boys) the instructor explained one last rule to the group. This last rule was the most important of all the rules regarding martial arts. She somberly and seriously explained to the kids, "You must never, ever use the martial arts learned in class on ANYONE unless you are in DANGER! You must not use these moves on your friends, siblings or parents because they are dangerous and could hurt people. These are self-defense techniques and must only be used if you are in a dangerous situation. " She proceeded to explain the various dangerous situations they may encounter and then asked for verbal promises from each child that they would keep their promise.

She began with the first child in the horseshoe and asked, "Do you promise to use the techniques used in class only when in danger?" The child responded, "I promise." This continued around the class until she got to the last two children, Jack and Gus. She repeated to Jack, "Do you promise...?" Jack sat there staring at his instructor, head cocked, thinking. After a few seconds, he shook his head and said, "um, I don't think so." Gus was watching his brother’s actions and concurred with his brother Jack. "Nope." Gus loudly said. Every parent in the room turned to look at me. I partly wanted to die and partly was extremely proud of the boys for being so honest. Ahh, humility, you get it whether you want it or not with kids.

The instructor slowly turned to face the horrible birth mother of these two heathens and said, "Mom, you will have to set some ground rules for your boys in order for them to participate in this class, for we cannot have them hurting others". "Of course", I responded to my hippie friend.

I'll let you know later about the "ground rules" (Clemens style)

Sweet Talker

Nick: Mom, when I get married, I'm going to have LOTS of kids in honor of you.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Surprise, surprise.

You know the Bible 93%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

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There's only one of me!

Ever wonder if you share your name with anyone else in the U.S.?

Check out this website by clicking here, and find out!