Well, Hello There…

Allow me to (re)introduce myself…

Since my last post:

Sarah helped Dominic by pulling his first loose tooth!
Wow! Can’t believe losing teeth has
already started for him
My “oldometer” ticked up for another year
(how awesome is this card?)
We test-drove, took home for a day, committed to buying
and then backed out of buying a new car
(maybe I’ll post on that someday)



Sarah’s 8th grade volleyball team took first in division,
and 2nd in City Tournament. What a great year.
Great girls and coaches!

I found a box that had these pajamas in them and they fit Vincent now!
Holy moly, he is getting big (and even more cute, if that’s possible)
Took the boys clothes-shopping and found these cool
Lego Star Wars pajamas for Dominic. Perfect.

Wow, it has been awhile, right? I admit that the longer I go without writing anything substantial, the less I care to do so. We’ve changed our course in the past couple of months. That’s a good thing, but it also means that a new form of “busy” has materialized.
First of all, Craig is still working nights. And that is fine honestly. He had been working nights for the past 10 years at the casino. It’s just that the hours are a bit longer, so he’s going in more like late afternoon/early evening and working through the night. The good part: He is home in time to help get the kids all ready and off to school before he goes to sleep and he’s up in time to get them from school before heading off to his next day of work. The not-as-good-but-bearable part: This means my day really begins when I get off work. More on that later.

Secondly, the job is such an improvement over the casino. He’s working at the Ford plant on the assembly line. The benefits are excellent and he gets paid overtime when he works it. Novel concept. 🙂 I think he seems to enjoy the work he does, too. Craig’s always liked cars (Vincent’s obsession with them gives me some idea of what Craig may have been like as a child) and this gives him an opportunity to be up close and personal with at least one make and model. 🙂

So while all of this has occurred, we have had to make some changes to the way things run around the house. Craig used to do all the grocery shopping, for example, on Friday mornings. Well, that isn’t possible every week anymore, so I have had to re-learn how to grocery shop and fit it into an already jam-packed weekend. The first two times I kept going over budget. It was really ticking me off. But the third time I did it, I made my list and I pulled out my phone and added things up as I went and … Woo-Hoo! … I was under budget and I got everything on the list! Also, Craig used to get some of the laundry done on Thursdays/Fridays and that’s not happening anymore either. This past weekend was the craziest as every person in our family had to get their laundry done on Sunday. I am planning to get on that earlier in the weekend coming up so we don’t have that happen again!

And then…there are the activities for the kids. Right now, Sarah has club volleyball, Dani has swim club and Helen has basketball. I’m thanking God for inspiring me NOT to put Dominic and/or Vincent in anything right now because I could not get them there. Mondays are the craziest since Helen and Dani both have practice at 6:30 and then Sarah has practice at 8 all the way across town. I think I’m getting a system down and this coming Monday, I think I’ll be able to do it with one less trip across town (I’ve been heading over there twice — once for drop-off and once for pick-up) since I will just have us all hang out across town while practice is going on. Dani has practice MOnday through Thursday. Sarah has practices Monday and Wednesday. Helen’s practices are Monday and Saturday. So there’s a lot of driving around for me during the week. I have no doubt that it is all worth it, but it’s been an adjustment for me because I had grown to love having my evenings free to do as I wished.

I had already started going to CrossFit in the early mornings (5:15 — bright and EARLY) so that hasn’t changed. Craig’s able to make it to the 6:15 a couple of times a week, too. The kids are pretty good at getting up and around most mornings — now that the girls are pretty self-sufficient in that arena. So, the exercise is still happening.

As you can imagine, the schedule in the evenings makes it difficult to do dinner. We do a lot of breakfast for dinner so far. I hope we can get some good crockpot things going now that the cold weather is here. But we seldom eat together. Dani is usually grabbing something early so she’s ready to swim. There are snacks, with no real dinner-time routine. It kind of drives me bonkers and makes me think I suck at this whole Mom thing, but I don’t know what else to do at this point since the evenings are just too crazy for anything else.

Through all of it, though, I was able to spend the weekend two weekends ago (the one before Veteran’s Day) doing a huge clean and purge of the house. So now at least, I like being in the house for the time I am there. Our garage is clean and uncluttered and so is our basement. I know where everything is in the storage room, too. And I have been on the kids to keep it straightened up, too (you would not believe the places I found the many puzzle pieces and telepods the boys had scattered all over — well, maybe you would). The side benefit of being so busy? There really is only so much time the kids are in the house to mess it up. 🙂

We’ll see if I can get the 7 drafted posts in any shape to be published in the near future. #dontholdyourbreath

That’s just a little bit of word-spew from me to let you know that while I may feel like I am drowning, I’m still alive and well. And happy, for the most part.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer Me This – 2

I started writing some other post and then I completely remembered I was gonna do Answer me This again this week! 🙂


1. Do you hate happy clappy church music?

I don’t hate it. But I don’t like it within the liturgy. I love attending Gospel music performances or participating in happy clappy music outside of the Mass. But it just annoys me when it’s used during the Mass. Was that the question? Oops.

2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping?

Hmm, tough one. I think I’ve grown into putting priority on sleeping. But for much of my life, eating has definitely been the higher priority. As you can see in my Weight Watchers Wednesdays posts…I have worked hard to put eating into its proper place.

3. What type of milk do you drink in your house?

Whatever is cheapest this week. I don’t drink much milk. But anyway, usually, I see 2% milk in the fridge. But lately, I keep seeing Whole Milk in the refrigerator. I can only surmise it must be the better deal lately. But…I don’t do the grocery shopping and I leave that to Craig (yes, it’s okay, be jealous).

4. What is a book that changed your perspective on something?

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. It was part of an Honors Economics Seminar my freshman year of college. I think that time of life is big for figuring out your perspective on things you probably hadn’t thought about before. I hadn’t thought much about why I was a Democrat and FOR a lot of things that I am not FOR anymore (since reading that book). But, now I’m unaffiliated with a political party and I have different reasons for being FOR things than I did when I was 19. Growing in my Catholic faith has changed the way I look at a lot of things. So has the fact that I’ve struggled financially and sometimes it’s been stressful to put food on the table and clothes on the kids. I’ve been thinking about reading The Wealth of Nations again so that I can see what 40-year-old me thinks of it. 

5. Who is your favorite saint?

Saint Pope John Paul II — now that he has been canonized. I am also fond of St. Gregory the Great. And Mother Teresa. And I’m very fond of our Blessed Mother.

6. Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert, with some introvert tendencies. I’m not one of those extroverts who is overly excited and energized by a crowd of people or the life of the party or anything. But, I am an extrovert. And my introvert tendencies are things like, avoiding answering the phone (I hate talking on the phone except to a few select people), taking my “me” time by myself and loving that, and being rather bookish (I love to read — I would do that all the time if I could).


Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year today!

I leave you with a couple of pics of my boys. I got a day out with them yesterday and had a blast.

After shopping, I took them to Jason’s Deli for lunch
(Momma’s gotta get her salad!)
Oh and Dominic is cracking me up with the straw hanging
out of his mouth.
Dominic was playing and telling me how “fast”
his new shoes made him run

picture of said new shoes…
He was very happy to have new shoes. 🙂

What Happened During Lent

It is Holy Week. I am contemplating a more substantial post, but I thought it might be good to give a run-down of what’s been going on around our house. Kind of a little get-back-into-the-groove thing…

I did have a few of these…

It did not kill me to deactivate Facebook (though I often joked, via text, with friends that it was indeed “killing me.”)

I did color my hair – a strawberry blonde hue. I’ll be going back in a few weeks and I think I’ll have her take it a little darker because after about 3 weeks, it was difficult to see much difference anymore.

I read four books – all fiction, none religious.

I put on my size 6 work pants for the first time since 2008 (the dry cleaner receipt taped to the plastic overlay was from February 2008).



Crazy

Craig and I competed in our first Crossfit Games Open and it was fun. I did pretty well for someone who couldn’t do all the “skills” required. I ended up #222 out of 355 Masters Women 40-44 in my region (North Central). And the final workout was a real bugger, but I completed it, Rx and everything.

I also achieved a “skill” at Crossfit. I can touch my toes to the bar! When I think about how almost a year ago, I could hardly raise my knees up even half the way to my knees, I’m just so excited that I get my toes up to the bar now. Of course, I have to do some kipping swings to achieve this, but that’s one of the steps on the way to just lifting a person’s toes from a standstill and touching the bar. Still – toes-to-bar is still toes-to-bar!

I mostly stayed on track with Weight Watchers, although, I’m going to take a “no-weigh-pass” day this week because I had a terrible weekend, food-wise. And I know it was terrible and I know what the scale will look like and I just don’t want to see it. But I will still attend my meeting.
Sarah earned the “A” Honor roll for the second straight quarter. Yes. I’m proud. Oh, and she won 5th place in a local essay contest and her essay was sent to State competition. Then she found out she got 4th place at State and the essay is now being judged in a National competition. I have been so happy for her as she’s blossomed this year with her writing. And, she grew some more, got stronger some more and now has a pretty decent serve going in volleyball. I really love to watch her play.

Dani earned her first individual ribbon at a swim meet. It was 6th place and it was for 50 Backstroke. I love to watch her swim.


She also read all kinds of great books and surpassed her Accelerated Reading goal (again) for the quarter. She also continues to practice her guitar (we had to give up lessons for awhile) on her own and try to get better.

Helen routinely scored 29’s and 30’s on her Math “Mad Minutes.” This was something she needed to master as the math starts getting a little harder when Multiplication/Division starts. She also routinely scored high on spelling tests. Unfortunately, I don’t think she likes reading nearly as much as her older sisters and it’s a struggle for her to be motivated in that regard. I will have to knuckle down with her this summer, I think.

Dominic attended “Kindergarten Roundup” and I got him registered for Kindergarten next year. It is crazy how it feels that four of my five children will be in “real” school next year. There were three weekends in a row that Dominic attended birthday parties for children in his class. ‘Tis the season, I suppose. He also discovered the movie, “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl.” And he has a (girl) friend in preschool with him that likes to play “Shark Boy and Lava Girl” with him. This tickles me because my Sarah – when she was in preschool – had a little (boy)friend who would play “Shark Boy and Lava Girl” with her. They are 7 ½ years apart (exactly) and they enjoy the same movie and pretend play and each found a friend who did, too. I think that is kind of cool.

Vincent potty trained. And it took all of, like, 2 weeks (maybe)!  I knew he was ready. He just had to decide to do it. And I found the right motivation, finally. I’ll save that for a write-up on the blog soon. JHe also started sitting…for an hour at a time sometimes!!…and playing with Helen’s dollhouse. When I get a chance to stand outside the room and listen, I get quite an insight into how he views the goings-on at our house. Very cute.

Vincent playing with the dollhouse

In light of the potty-training success…my boys’ now have a “big boy” room which means there is no baby paraphernilia in there anymore.

Bye-bye changing table — hello book shelves and big boy toys!

The weather finally made a serious attempt at improvement. Although, the temps dipped today and made me weary. But we had a string of several days in a row with 60’s, 70’s, sunshine, etc. We’re getting there!!
 

Vincent is cool

Now Holy Week is upon us. I am going to attempt to make it to services at Church Thursday and Friday. I am not sure if I’m brave enough to attempt the Vigil Mass with the kids by myself. I have a feeling I have at least one more year before I’ll try that, maybe two. Vincent is not reliable on the behavior. Although, Palm Sunday Mass was the first time in about a month we’d had to take him to the back. We’ll get there eventually.

I have to admit, it wasn’t a huge void in my life to eliminate blogging for a few weeks. I thought I’d be going crazy, but I didn’t. I want to update the pictures in my header and stuff, but I didn’t even work on that. I took some notes a few times when I thought, “That might be a good thing to write about sometime…” I did check in on a couple of blogs, just to see what they were writing about on particular days. Some I missed more than others. But I guess that’s just the way of it, isn’t it? There are some friends we hold closer than others. So, probably there are some blogs we make sure we check in on during these times.

God bless your Holy Week!

Photo Found Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media and Blogging Fast for Lent 2014

I have never fully committed to a Social Media fast for Lent before. And certainly I have never fasted from posting on my blog for the entirety of Lent. Oh and choosing not to read blogs during Lent? Unheard of!! This year, however, it seemed an appropriate way to go.

Last year, Lent began so pitifully. And then, my whole life turned upside down.

I want Lent to be meaningful this year. I want to grow spiritually. There are some books I have at home that I bought with every intention of reading them, only to see them collecting dust on the bookshelf.

I also want to see what my life is like without being “tuned in” all the time to Facebook. I have an iPhone and I won’t lie — many times I can’t imagine my life without the opportunity to share every cute little thing my kids say, or share all their accomplishments because I am so very proud. I share stuff here, I share it on Instagram and Facebook. I’m not as big into Twitter, but I’ll turn that one off, too.

Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.

I’ll see you on the other side. Have a blessed and fruitful Lenten season.

Photo Found Here

Son of God GiveAway Results!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this Son of God Giveaway, sponsored by Grace Hill Media. I hope it was fun and I appreciate those of you who tweeted the blog or pinned it. And of course, I always love to get comments, so thank you also for commenting.

The movie comes out today, so go see it. 🙂

I’m not real high-tech over here, so I wrote each of the commenter’s names from the post on slips of paper and put them in a container and had my wonderful husband pull a name out.

The winner is Maryann! Congratulations!

Here is a picture of what you’ll be getting:

CD and Novel plus a 1000 piece puzzle

Maryann, I will be contacting you via e-mail to obtain an address where Grace Hill Media can send the this.

Thanks again to everyone for participating!
 


**Updated** Someone Thinks I’m Sheenazing! (Vote for me?!)

The beautiful Bonnie at A Knotted Life began the Sheenazing Awards last year. I think it was lots of fun and I enjoyed seeing all the blogs (new and old to me) nominated.

This year, someone nominated Endless Strength! I don’t know what category the nomination falls under yet, but will when Bonnie posts the nominations and opens the voting. So, I’ll be sure to come back and update this post. And, I found out the nomination a in the category of “Blogger with the Best Memes”. Well, I think I am gonna have to extend credit to my friend Jessica because she dreamt up “Monday Mumbles” and I just latched on.

But either way, I am really excited to be included, so thank you!!

I’m a little (okay…a lot) excited at this first-time honor of being nominated for some internet blog-award thing! It’s very cool and thank you to the person (or people? be still my heart!!) who nominated this ol’ blog. It definitely has done my heart some good. 🙂

But…I know I don’t have a ton of readers and such, but I am going to go ahead and ask you, dear readers, to vote for me! 🙂 We’ve been through a lot this year. I know I’ve written more about my grief than anything else. And lately I’ve fallen into some weekly link-ups as my main source of writing. Hey, what can I say? Life in a dual-income household with five kids is pretty busy!

No matter what you do, you should definitely view the blogs nominated for the Sheenazing Awards because you may just find your next favorite blog. And for sure, follow Bonnie. She’s got an incredible story and she’s just an all around swell gal.

Okay, I’ll shut up now. 🙂

Promise.

But…VOTE FOR ME!

Okay.

I’m done.

Really.

Vote? (for me?)

Ok. bye.
 


Seven Images That Tell You About My Blog


Jennifer at Conversion Diary wrote a post showing the 10 images that would tell all anyone needed to know about her blog. 

Then Bonnie at A Knotted Life did one.

So, of course, I decided to try it, too. My first thought was to go through my labels and see what I write about the most and see what fell out, but then I thought I should go through my blog images to see what comes up there. Well, I kind of did both and here is what I came up with.

If you happened upon the following images, you would know pretty much what my blog consists of.




I write about my faith                          The Joyful and The Sorrowful








Okay, this next image hasn’t been part of my blog before, but I googled images for WOTHM and this was something that came up. And I liked it and thought it was funny.



And…how could I forget…
 
That’s really about it. That was a fun exercise. Comment if you play along, I’d love to come take a look!