Friday, January 31, 2014

Five on Friday

Lots of random stuff floating around in my brain these days. Here are five of them...


Home school. I figured my time in bed and hobbling on crutches would be the death knell for our at home schooling experiment. Happily, this has not been the case. Having set up a "desk" in the room next to mine, I have been able to sit with each student and have more one-on-one time than ever before. This is a huge blessing to me...I have been able to work in-depth and see where the trouble spots are. Since much of my time homeschooling has been overshadowed by the constant worry of "are they really learning anything?"  these weeks have let me see for myself that, yes, they actually are and doing well!


I said "desk" in #1 because it's not a desk, it's a sewing machine. Granted, it's OK for the time being but it's not really the appropriate space to spend many days of study. It's great to be in bed with a laptop because, let's face it, Craig's List is a treasure trove of cool stuff. My latest find:
Two of these sweet things and we can have group lessons! I'm so excited. We had some like this as kids (just to "play" school, we weren't home schooled) and I loved them. I know the kids will be thrilled.


Crutches are really annoying as a mode of transport but they do have many great uses. A. Arm extensions. I can sit in bed and close two of the four doors in my room just by using my crutch. B. Baby toys -granted there should be mobile adult supervision but  Mr. G has a great time just holding one and bouncing the short end off the floor. Whatever works these days. C. Behavior-correction-instruments. I only once swatted #2 child in the backside with my crutch and, magically, instant behavior modification device for all the little people (and, see "A", you can reach the bad actor from far away). 

I've been reading like a madwoman for the last several weeks. This is one I requested from the library and I will definitely purchase it for our home collection. What an AWESOME book! She covers 16 chapters, each with a different topic (marital discord, physical ailments, old age, family, etc.), by highlighting a Saint that struggled in the same area. Complete with questions to consider and a prayer for the area of concern. I highly recommend this for your bookshelf to pull down when needed. It will help recenter your thoughts to God and our Heavenly brothers and sisters so that you don't struggle alone!

From the "Life Choices" chapter:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
- C. S. Lewis (not a Saint, just a really smart guy!)


  OK, I'm beating this one to death and writing the review one blog post at a time but it has really got me thinking. 

It occurs to me, while reading this book, that most of my friends are introverts. As I've said before, there is value in both introversion and extroversion but, to me, the former is my home. I think, reflecting more on my close interactions with people, I actively choose introverts because it seems more natural and much less frustrating (I'm sure extroverts feel the same when dealing with me!)...If you go here you can take a quiz to find out on which side of the aisle you fall. Even the questions are informative to me. 

"I often prefer to express myself in writing." I've already commented on my dislike for the phone. I will always chose the written word, probably because...

"I tend to think before I speak." I need ample time to formulate responses...that's hard to do with anything less than writing although, with one-on-one conversation, it is possible to "work through" things while discussing them.

"I feel energized when focusing deeply on a subject or activity that really interests me ". I was discussing (via email) a certain religious question with a friend the other day. It was so challenging and intriguing to me. I'm often boggled by "small talk" but I love diving into deep things with someone who enjoys the same type of discussion.

"I seem to care about wealth, fame, and status less than my peers." I don't like the wording of this at all (it makes extroverts seem shallow) but I do understand it and I do know that some of my very closest friends feel the same. It's always an odd thing for me, talking about "what I got for Christmas" or "have you seen the latest boots/purse/etc." or "I just reached 10,000 hits on my blog". Just recently I've been replacing some of the blogs I follow. If the person has a picture of the Pope on their home page or a title that involves religion but, reading the previous 10 posts, I find nothing God-related, it has to go. The same with blogs that are followed by lots of people and/or display advertising. There are exceptions but mostly I find that those people write to their audience, what they know will sell, not what they've spent time struggling over; not what might alienate readers. I'm sure that the blog writers are well-meaning but I'm in a place where I have to use my time wisely. Other than keeping up with far-away friends, blogs are a way to give me things to ponder, usually things that relate to my faith. I want challenges; things to consider in regard to how I live my life. It's nice to hear about people's kids and their issues and I would never take away from their right to vent about day-to-day life (since I do this as well) but it's not something I choose to spend my time on right now. It's weird because I am sure, if I were chatting with that person one-on-one it would be fine. I guess I just use blogs for a different purpose. 
Ultimately, there are people in my life who are extroverts. I know they will never be my closest friends but that's OK. It helps to have balance in certain situations. I have children who are clearly extroverted and I will be interested to see how that plays out being raised by two introverts. Life is fun, non?

Sorry to go on and on. I told you I love that book!

Congratulations on making it to another weekend! We are so blessed, even in our trials :0) Speaking of which, I am officially half-way through with the crutches! Happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Changing gears

The combination of deep theological pondering and my recent penchant for reality shows have left me a bit crabby and disillusioned with society as a whole.

Thankfully, we happen to have the greatest mother's helper ever who has a knack for knowing when I am sliding quickly downhill. So, not only is she tending to the little 5 for two weeks, she also feels responsible for my mental health and well-being. Today when I woke up, this was beside me...

Now this is a woman who has known me well over the last 5 years. I am so very blessed!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What kind of Catholic are you?...Part 1

OK, I have been sitting in bed for the most part over these past 14 days. You must know that's never happened before but I figured, when it did, some deep thinking would occur if only because I finally have time to do so. (That's what introverts do...they think deeply and process...sometimes for a really looonnnnggg time). More on that later with the book review. For now, I'm thinking about some things I've been reading and listening to lately regarding the Catholic faith.

To clarify, I mean Catholics that are in full communion with the Pope. I didn't realize this was something that needed to be addressed. However, when looking for something else, I happened upon the website for St. Miriam, "a parish community located in Blue Bell, PA, right outside greater Philadelphia. Our church is part of more than 2,000 years of history of the greater Catholic Church universal. We welcome your questions and your seeking truthful answers."

Something sounds odd, don't you think? So, I dug a little deeper. They offer Mass twice on Sunday, Rosary every Thursday evening followed by a Communion Service, Baptism, Reconciliation, Stations of the Cross, etc.. They are led by a Pastor, Monsignor Jim St. George, an Associate Pastor, Fr. Joseph J. Klemas, and a Deacon, Deacon Patricia Heffner (sound of needle scratching a record, nails on a chalkboard or similar...)

Wait now, what...Patricia. Forgot the spellcheck, right? 

No, actually, they didn't. The Associate Pastor is married and the Pastor has been with his partner for 16 years. Yes, he's gay.

I admit that I am an idiot about a lot but I had NO idea there was such a thing as the The Old Catholic Church. Looking further, there are also Independent and Reformed Catholic churches, all of whom have the sacraments and all of whom claim Apostolic succession and all of whom "do not come under the authority of the Pope or the Roman Catholic Church".

If you're interested in the history and practices, click on the links above. (Just don't be confused because the Old Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church both have The Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht. Same title, different guy.)

I feel a bit better, after banging my head against the wall for many months during each election cycle when I see these types of statistics. Maybe they need to have more than just "White" or "Hispanic" Catholic. Perhaps there needs to be "Old" and "Independent" and "Reformed" Catholic as well. (I have a feeling, somewhere, a lot of Orthodox Jews are feeling my pain).

2012 presidential election exit polls and analysis

Now I can't help but wonder if people even know. Do they realize that the priest who married them isn't just really hip because he brings his partner along? Do they realize that "Catholic" doesn't always mean in communion with the Pope? Do they even have any idea what the Roman Catholic Church teaches on outdoor weddings, divorce and mortal sin? Do they care?

I try to have hope then I read things like this....from the Wedding Wire website reviews for Rev. James St. George:

"Father Jim was an amazing addition to our wedding day! Being raised catholic, I was worried that doing an outdoor wedding would be a great feat. Then I found Father Jim."

"Rev. James St. George was amazing as our officiant. I am very religious and Catholic, but not a church goer."

"Father Jim was the perfect officiant for us. Since I was raised Catholic my mother had always wanted me to get married by a priest. On the other hand, I had always wanted to get married outside so I did not think I was going to be able to make both of us happy. After doing some research, I found an officiant that would give both of us what we wanted (A catholic priest and an outdoor ceremony): Father Jim."

"Father Jim was amazing. My husband has always been a little leery of "religion" but had agreed to allow me to find a Catholic Priest for our service because it was something I had always dreamed of."

There are more but you get the idea.

This isn't a rant so I hope it hasn't come off as one. It's more of a thinking out loud so join with me in that and tell me what you think. Do you care? Does it matter?

***Disclaimer*** For those who don't know; perhaps this will give you an idea about why I am concerned...

Many years ago I was the bride in one of these weddings. I was the "Catholic" who wanted an outdoor wedding and needed a "priest" and a "rabbi" to accommodate both our faiths. I found one (he really was a Roman Catholic priest, of course now he is in jail...tragic. truly.), got my dispensations and went on to live my "deeply spiritual" married life. No surprise the marriage ended and, Thanks to God for never giving up on me, I found my way back to the Church. Even now when I think of what could have happened, I am terrified. I know of people who found their way back within such a marriage but there was none of that happening (my husband was more than "leery" of the Catholic faith). I am heartbroken that some or many of these couples, like me, somehow think they are taking the time and effort to insure they are in a valid marriage while still having the marriage of their dreams. My hope (I am hopeful, really) is that most just don't realize and only a few just don't care or are jumping through the hoops that someone else has placed before them (like the couple at our Baptism class who answered "why do you want your child baptized" with "because his mother said so". ) If, knowing now that I am divorced, annulled and remarried, you think that I myself am not a "real Catholic" so be it...that's a discussion for another time.

Have a blessed day. Stay warm. Pray for all those who are without heat or warm housing right now and do anything within your power to help.

Monday, January 27, 2014

More on this later...

for now, ponder...

"If we live the faith in our daily life, then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian."  Pope Francis, via Twitter Jan. 21, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday already?

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit! 

Actually I do know what day it is this week because I was outside to go to the doctor yesterday (it was FREEZING and I'm happy to be back in my nest). Otherwise, things are pretty much the same all-day, every-day around here. Here is the bed-ridden edition ;0)


Fashion first! Yesterday the doc said everything is healing well with my ankle and gave me a shiny new cast. Of course, I could have picked any color and I really wanted purple. Upon further discussion, however, I found out that purple is really dark and wouldn't be the best to use as a little people canvas. Ultimately I chose orange. Looks kind of like a traffic cone in real life...for Valentine's Day I'm switching to pink!


Prayer. If there is one thing I have in this bed it is an abundance of time. I have been trying my best to fit in a rosary or two (it seems like my friends need more prayers these days anyway) and I've just started to say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. (I know, I'm a little late to the repetitive prayer party, sorry).  I like this one, however. It seems to be a direct-and-to-the-point prayer. Who doesn't want to ask for mercy for the whole world?


Part of the prayer has been religious reading and while I'm still getting sucked back into blogs too often (grrr...) I can at least say I'm up-to-date on my Saint of the Day. This New Year's I resolved to read about one Saint per day and I have been enjoying it a great deal so far. My fall back is 

which is an excellent book with daily suggestions for actions that relate to the particular Saint's virtue. I also subscribe, via email, to Saint of the Day which is equally good and often has even more background on the Saint of the Day in my book. This has been useful for me but also in discussions with the kids while they are passing through my room during the day.
While I would love to be content (or should just be discontented and offer it up) reading and listening to religious things all day, sometimes I need something mindless to pass the time. I had been watching Kitchen Nightmares but I ran out of the free ones so I switched to Bridezillas on Netflix. This used to be a show DH and I would watch on occasion because it was a good exercise in how having a huge disposable income can make one act badly if used for the wrong purpose ( used to be about rich brides in NY). Sometime between then and now (it's probably been 8 years) this show has turned into a train wreck. The people and the LANGUAGE are horrendous. Wow. It's hard to imagine that people can be proud to watch themselves on a show like that and yet there seems to be an unlimited supply of volunteers. I should know better than to watch reality TV but psychological types die hard. My training (or my personality, or both) makes me want to know why people act the way they do. Lately it just makes me kind of depressed to think that this is a large part of the people roaming our country. 

I'm also reading non-religious material to pass the hours. Some of it is goofy murder mystery stuff but recently I requested this from the library Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain

I've only gotten into the first part and I'm working on a post all about this book but so far,'s really eye-opening. I have known all my life that I'm an introvert (it doesn't mean "shy/misanthrope" btw) but this is so well-done as far as pointing out the value society places on extroverts, sometimes to the detriment of society itself. Of course, all things in moderation - neither personality type is better and both are needed...still, watching the proliferation of reality TV shows, I can't help but think she may have a point (more on this later).

I've been learning a few things during this time of confinement. Ultimately, I have had to humble myself and ask for help. It's not a good place for me, depending on others. As the youngest of five, I'm not sure if I spent so much of my early life being taken care of that I now relish making my own decisions or what it is exactly but asking for help is hard for me. So, even though it has been bumpy at times, I have been blessed by the result. I have realized that there are indeed many, many good people around who are more than willing to help out and that for that I am grateful.

I just got off the phone with a good friend. If you know me you must know that I will forever choose text/email over the phone. I just don't enjoy it. This has caused me some grief in life when I interact with people who either love the phone or who need to use it because they have to talk while they are going from point a. to point b.. Our talk today lasted well over an hour and it reminds me that, perhaps I can actually enjoy a phone conversation if the topic is meaningful. In my state, from this bed, I was able to work through things that she was processing and, I think, ultimately it was a help. It was so good for me to use that hour to turn outward and help someone else. I am blessed.

Have a good weekend, stay warm! Head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Let us pray

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments, we might not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


So, today is the day...the 41st annual March for Life in Washington D.C. I'm kind of worn out from sitting in bed for a week so I don't have enough strength to rehash why we should end abortion in America. If you don't know by now, I'm not sure I can ever convince you otherwise. But, as St. Augustine of Hippo said, "right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it." Abortion is murder; murder is wrong. Done.

So, I will pray and fast today for a change of heart in our nation. I will pray that there is an awakening to the value of life - all life. I will pray that clergy will preach from the pulpit and individuals will take every opportunity to defend life in conversation and in action. I will pray. Perhaps if we all do this small thing, God will see our intent and the time will come.

While I pray, I will be thanking God for each of my blessings. All with their own joys and trials. Each one eagerly longed for and anxiously awaited. Each one cherished as God's miracle. These are my babies but they could be anyone's baby. “ the origin of every human being there is not something haphazard or chance, but a loving plan of God” - Pope Benedict XVI, 9 July 2006. May we one day all come to see that truth. We are blessed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Home school...old style

The nun sent me this today...perfect giggle for a winter's day :0)

Most of our generation were HOME SCHOOLED in many ways.

1.. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My father taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My father taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.."

14.. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it from your father when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My father taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand.

25. My father taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

9 Days for Life

Sorry I've been so self-consumed that I missed a huge opportunity to remind you to join with the USCCB to pray a Novena for Life. It's OK for you to join now. We must do whatever we can to help eradicate the culture of death that is so rampant in our society.

Go here 9 Days for Life and get started. Then, on Wednesday, if you're not traveling to the March for Life, please fast, abstain and pray! God bless you in your efforts and God bless the pilgrims on their most important journey.
"We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed 'the throwaway culture',"
"Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as 'unnecessary'. For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
- Pope Francis

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Comic relief

OK, my pity party is over (for now at least). I appreciate all the prayers coming my way. That has been a huge part of bringing me out of my funk. My kids, as always, make up the difference.

Yesterday, this was delivered to me...
I mean, how can you not giggle? I felt badly when she said "do you know why it's called 'Casting's'?" and I couldn't come up with a thing...duh. Other than that, I think it's about the sweetest thing ever (except for the fact that there is nary a stitch of alcohol in the house so I'm confused by the "bar" reference and, to my knowledge, we've never offered draughts. LOL)

Today I received the "frequent visitor brochure" that explained the program and how I could use coupons for free hugs and favorite cello tunes to earn rewards from room service. The other little people come in about once a day with cards to cheer me. If I have to be here, I'm glad it's with this bunch of sweet little people. I am so very blessed.

Friday, January 17, 2014

courage and perseverence

Though the path is plain and smooth for men of good will, he who walks it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty, if he does not have good feet: that is, courage and a persevering spirit.
St. John of the Cross
I'm glad I happened upon this quote yesterday. It's definitely appropriate for my current state-of-affairs. I'm working on the "good feet" but it's kind of slow-going and I'm constantly fighting the despair of feeling that I will never quite reach the end of my current trial.
I think it started in the hospital. I was in the prep room waiting for DH to come hang out with me. I realized I would be alone this time and it overwhelmed me. The last 5 times I have gone into surgery, I always had my smiling beloved, decked head-to-toe in white scrubs and shower cap, holding my hand and telling me what's happening. On top of that comfort, the ordeal always ended with us greeting the newest member of my family.
Not now, though. Now it's just me, without glasses (which, in itself, can engender a panic attack) slowly passing out in a room full of strangers. Afterward, I wake up and realize I have this terrible addition to my leg and I will have to learn to walk with crutches and not leave my second floor for many weeks and be reduced to a mere observer in the life of our home. I can hear my little ones, I can know what they need, but that's not my job right now. It's a terribly impotent feeling. Frustrating and sad.
I suppose this is where the "courage and perseverance" part comes in. It's all well and good to say "fiat" and think you're done, which is usually the case in my life. I have been very blessed that, even things that look trying to the outside world, haven't been so much for me to bear, knowing that God is carrying my burden as I walk along with Him. I always have Our Mother to help me when times get too overwhelming in my motherhood role. She always seems to be there when I need a stable calm.

This, for whatever reason, is different. Perhaps it's because I'm getting older and this is a glimpse of where we will all likely end up one day. Everyone except DH who, when his time comes, plans to go out quickly with a massive coronary. It's not as bad as it sounds...he just really believes in doing things expediently.

Maybe it's also because, having been blessed with a 24/7 existence with my kids via staying at home and home schooling, it's a lonely feeling not being "in the mix" all the time. Don't get me wrong, it's been a delight to sleep in, have my "helpers" bring me meals and ice and make me a room service bell but it's different to be away from them for so long. Especially my littlest muffin. Babyhood is so fleeting. It is a cross to bear to be gone from their lives for the better part of a month.

So, that's it, I guess. This is my cross. The isolation and lack of control are things for me to offer up for those who need some extra grace. My pastor said it's time for me to be Mary instead of Martha. So true, that. I am also called to use this time away to pray and think and learn and rest and do all that I can to be ready to once again take up my role in our family. I hope that I can use my time well to be still and listen. Know that I will be praying for you :0)

I am blessed.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Only an act of true love

 can shatter a frozen heart...

Today, as a "big kid special time" (yes, when you are one of many, sometimes you share special times) we headed out for the 11 AM showing of Frozen. I have been planning to take them to the movies (since the last time I was there was to see The Aviator in 2005 - yikes) and see how they would fare. Turns out, quite well. This may be a new trend!

Since I know nothing about what movies are playing these days (and because I usually disagree with the MPAA ratings), I first consulted the Catholic News Service for their review. To my happy surprise, they rated it A-I, general patronage. This was a bit confusing since the film is actually rated PG but I suppose that is for the ugly/grouchy/mean ice monster in the middle. I'm sure we'll have some nightmares tonight but the rest of the movie was worth a bit of suspense.

It turns out that it's also "loosely" (I would agree) based on the story  The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, which we just happened to take out of the library last week! (it was on the Seton "classics for 3rd grade" list). How providential :0) We sat in the car (we were early for the movie) and read the book before heading in.

The movie steers away from the religious language of the book but still leans hard on the notion that love, true love, will cause us to act in a way that ignores our own interest in favor of another's well-being. That, of course, is an excellent theme to discuss with little siblings...also an excellent message for a mother to ponder. The only drawback, of course, is Disney's formula for killing off the parents in the first three minutes. I wish I could understand why they think that's necessary. It was one of the most troubling things for Blondie. Thankfully there is also the goofy snowman, Olaf, who will probably be the most memorable part of the show.
All in all, a good way to spend a Tuesday morning when all of our other obligations were unexpectedly cancelled. It was good for me to get the older ones out together to discuss things as well as just listen to them talk for a while.

I am blessed :0)


Monday, January 13, 2014

Rocks are cool...

After family adoration this morning, we headed over to the art/natural history museum. The fact that they are together and right next door to the main city library is just another reason I love this town. We were meeting friends who were delayed taking care of their pregnant mama who is not having a terribly pleasant first trimester (so, all of you who have been there - offer up one of your annoyances today for the grace she needs to get through this difficult time!).

We were headed to the Hall of Architecture which, tragically, was closed(!) for removal of the Christmas trees (duh me...who knew they would wait until the Christmas season was over?). So, as a backup plan, we headed to the minerals/crystals/gemstones exhibit since that's what #1 has been studying in science lately. Who knew how cool this stuff could be?

First came the Geology Hall and the Stratavator

"travel" down 16,000 feet below the earth's surface in this little capsule to see different layers of rock (coal, limestone, etc.) We only made it half way down before the little people got too nervous ;0)

No worries since they have this cool map of PA outside with all the local geological information.
On to the mineral/rock/crystal hall. Some very cool examples with the countries listed.

Good review of 2nd grade science ;0)

These crystal formations were so cool!

Can't wait until DH gets home to see if he can recreate them with our fort set.


By far, however, the coolest thing I have ever seen rock-wise, was the Fluorescence and Phosphorescence Room where they use ultraviolet radiation at different levels to cause minerals to glow different colors. Even Blondie was impressed.
Marveling at the wonders of creation is an excellent way to spend a Monday morning. We are so blessed to have all of these wonderful resources in our neighborhood. We even caught up with our friends and ran around outside to enjoy the beautiful day for a while.

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

One Last Hurrah!

My very wise sister-in-law, instead of more toys this Christmas, chose to buy us tickets to see a show. We have been warming up the last few days by watching the first season on Amazon Prime (highly suggested - some of that is hysterical!)

Today we all headed down to the Consol Energy Center in the wet but WARM (like 50+ degrees!) weather and had a really good time. Lots of friends from one of our favorite shows singing some excellent parodies of songs from the '70s and '80s.

Everyone got to spend a set amount of money. They all came in under their goal. Blondie got some spiffy binoculars ;0)

"It's raining cookies"


What a great way to spend the day as a family before mom is out of commission for a month. Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers. We are blessed!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday

For a while now, I have been struggling with the fact that I have five piles of little people laundry

and only four corners in my clothes basket...hmmm, another problem for another time.
Why has this "five" just occurred to me?
Wise beyond her years, thoughtful, helpful, quick to emotional outbursts (appropriate or otherwise), excellent eldest sibling, pure of heart

God was quite thoughtful giving us this one first. 'Cause, you know, they're not all like that.

Ball of energy, grown-up-thoughts-in-little-boy-package, funny, goofy, baby-whisperer, budding mathematician, ever-changing
After he was born and before the colic set in I remember saying "he is my heart" perhaps that's why our rows cause me so much grief. I am continually praying for guidance with this guy. There are many days I don't like him so much but there are no days when my love for him is less than immense.
Loyal, Italian, hot-headed, deep-thinking, loving, middle-child

I'm fairly sure, he being male and me female, we will have our share of go-arounds that I am experiencing with #2. For now, it's a delightful time with this dude. He makes me laugh out loud often and I can count on his temper outbursts to be short-lived and always followed by a rainbow.
Feisty, Blondie, fiery, strong-willed, loving, caring, amazing generator of spontaneous prayer
This was the morning of sub-zero temps outside. She wore her slippers to keep her feet warm but wouldn't get dressed because she was too hot. I'm not sure if that was the case or it was because I told her to bundle up or she would be cold. At 3, she already has very much her own mind. Her heart is still pure and it's a pleasure (when she's not flipping out 3-year-old-style) to listen to her thoughts.
Smiley, stubborn, curious, loving, hungry, superb napper!
If it has to end, I'm so happy that God chose this guy. When he is good, he is a delight and even when he's difficult, he's a love. Snuggle-muffin.
We are so very blessed :0)