Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You Know You're NOT a Serious Blogger When....

You can't keep up during the chaotic turns and dips of life. As long as everything is going along FAIRLY normal and routinely, you can post tidbits and stories and pics. But throw a little life crisis or a major move in there and poof....gone. lol. Seriously, some of my fav bloggers just blog their way through pregnancies and births and illness and husbands overseas.... Oh day I shall return. For now I will just let my eyes glaze over as I watch my 1000th episode of House Hunters on cable tv :) Aaahhhh it's soooo relaxing ...hear that? Ding dong LOL....... News and event posts coming soon though :) Nite!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


At the thrift shop, on a Saturday morn:

"Have you heard about that new popular book...50 shades of something?"


"'s not you'd recommend."


"It's like porn."

"Ooh I need that."

!!  Lol gah!  Two older ladies.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

No time for Quick takes but...

WOW...did not know I never posted this, darn it!  Well, here is a draft from last week :)

I give u two funs from this otherwise busy and stressful week :)

I thought it was so cute, when after Mariam found my mother's old glasses from when she was a child (they were in their original case in the draw of my grandmother's sewig machine that I inherited :)  circa late 1930s/early '40s) she put them on.  Gonna have to show Grandmama :)

laughing at herself LOL:

And, as I posted on Facebook, it is a wonderful, relaxing feeling when your daughters brush your hair :) and "play" with it.  Jillian is getting good at braids, and was braiding one side while Mariam brushed the other.  Then the first pic is Mariam taking a pic and the second is Jillian's pic :)  I must say, I love my braid and need to get her to braid it like that every day LOL I just usually do me ol' quick-in-a-bun with a scrunchy to get out the door and stay cool LOL  Yes, I know it's nearly as if I had short hair.  BUT....there's an obvious dfference to me, and I do not look good w/ short hair.  So, as long as I am poor and only doing once a year or twice a year hair cuts, this is my style :P  Deal with it LOL As dear Mama-in-law once said, "we're just low maintenence kinda girls" LOL

So, the thing that is keeping me so busy and stressed is, as I've mentioned, us moving quickly out of our rental and in with the In-Law's to help take care of them.  We were so pleasantly shocked this morning when he was released from the hospital.  He will have home health care and rehab but his new "normal" is a much weaker man.  And he and MIL need alot of help.  Hopefully we will be able to meet all their extra needs.  Pray for us! 

Update and All Aboard!

I have no time for blogging right now.  Life has been going FULL STEAM AHEAD with no stops. I get up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and cook breakfast, do any dishes or cleaning I need to, make sure Pawpaw does his blood sugar and takes his pills, run any errands, throw in a load of laundry, get lunch going/prepared, then am still working on getting our clothes and things organized and put away so that we have our own space in our rooms of the house, then start preparing supper, then do dishes and clean kitchen, and fall into bed by midnightish. Nephews have been around since school is still out for summer, so all the food prep/cleaning is doubled.  And I haven't put together a chore chart to get the kids helping yet, other than Micah taking out trash.  So SUPER BUSY.  This is all since Tuesday, since until then we were still cleaning and packing at the old house.  I have been so exhausted but proud of myself (and thankful for the grace) for adjusting to our new normal.  Had some commitments at church and our first Frontier Girl's meeting (woohoo) and got all of our address change and moving errands done. I had felt like I was losing weight, but may be reverting back to old stress-handling ways...need to reassess our eating/exercise habits and (Virtual 5K? huh? what's that? :P sigh...) ....well frankly my next goals are working on the home school plan and our new schedule, which includes chore charts, exercise goals, and eating.  So...I gots a lots to do LOL

For now, Father-in-law is doing great...home health care and PT comes nearly every day.  He gets outside in the sun a few times a day for some fresh air w/ his new wheely-walker LOL  His little buddy has to join him:

When he gets ready to walk somewhere, he calls out "All Aboard!" and wherever she is, whatever she is doing, she comes running and hops on the seat on his walker, usually on her knees, sometimes w/ her goggles on LOL....and she does her arm, and yells "Choo choo!"  It is so cute, I really need to get video.  Then she says "you're my best pawpaw in the world!  you're my best friend!" :)  

Anyhoo... hope to post that home school plan and chore chart plan soon... off to a canoe trip tomorrow, or at least transporting kids and teens to it.... Be Blessed! :) (I love when I hear a cashier or some stranger in a store say that to that only in the South?  I wonder...)

Monday, July 23, 2012

The BEST thing I've read on Aurora

She does it again at A Holy Experience ....tears fall as I finish reading her lovely words.  Again.  I am going to go hug my daughters now....and my son tomorrow when he returns from camp.

Rosie Perez and the Golden Girls

Even without cable tv, and just a digital antennae for a few local channels (which having no cable has been wonderful...we get a lot more done!) you can just turn it on at any given time and surf the channels and find really outrageous stuff on these days.  As I sat down for my turkey on whole wheat and grapes/watermelon lunch, I had a few minutes to do just that.  I landed on Anderson Cooper's (the now "out-of-the-closet" famous former-CNN anchor...although being Gloria Vanderbilt's son, I guess...I'm not so surprised by his "news"...but anyhoo...) talk show.  He's been a good journalist, but not "all that" to me like to the rest of the world.  But I knew his "talk show" would have controversial stuff on it.  Well, first he had the self-named "Golden Girls" on....3 grandmas from the Bronx who basically sit and gossip.  I'm not sure if they had their own blog or show or anything, but they sit over coffee and peruse the Internet for trash talk.  Kardashians being the latest biggest smut.  But one of several things that irked me, was that they for instance took the article/picture (I mostly like Mayim Bialik's take on it, so there it is) of Alicia Silverstone feeding her baby pre-chewed food and trash talked it... "Ridiculous!  In this day and age?  Gross! Why doesn't she breastfeed?"  Of course if it'd been a pic of her breastfeeding, they probably would have say "why does she have to do that in public?" I know it's not for everyone, but I know a lot of moms who will say, put a certain food in their mouth to bite off a smaller piece for the baby or mash it a little with their teeth, so the baby won't choke but yet can share in the meal before them.  I know it's not exactly what she is doing, but.....WHAT is the BIG deal?

But these older ladies were applauded in their gossiping, back-biting ways of tearing down mothers and others.

Then, a surprise guest star came on to give one of them a Happy Birthday cupcake and hug.  It was Rosie Perez, who said "You know (paraphrasing) I think it's great that they show that this is the way REAL women talk, and that when you get older, you just don't care anymore" (meaning you say what you feel and don't care who hears it or what others think)  Gee, when is it that this became a gold-standard VALUE in our society?  Just don't care.  Tell it like it is. OMG did you see what SHE did?  Sigh.  I guess all the tabloid years have desensitized us.  The paparazzi.  We love to tear down others and trash them.  It makes us feel better about ourselves.  It's "fun."

Of course, they still had SOME traditional values, being grandmas and all, I guess.  They didn't approve of the mother who was on next who still worked in the porn industry and had for years.  Sigh.  Lovely.

Note to self:  Do not turn on tv.  The end.

Back to packing.....

An Update to "What I haven't been able to express"

Caught a few articles posted on FB that I wanted to post in the context of a follow-up to this post :

IN addition to this post of Alan Keyes' words in a debate with Obama several years ago, someone posted this great post by the infamous "Bad Catholic" on patheos.  What I love about this article is a.) he can express things I can't LOL and b.) he is "smart enough" to argue from a Philosophical point of reference and "higher thinking" ....rather than as he puts it, " entirely flushed of all meaning and significance. We are hollow men, stuffed man, and our words hold all the weight of whispers and straw."

So...check them out, and follow the links Bad Catholic adds too for even more explanation.  He is right on too w/ his little comment on "God's plan" and how Christians have the same divorce rates as anyone else.  It is so depressing, as I mentioned in a previous post.  Dropping like flies...heard of another one tonight. sigh.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday Vol. 6

1. A friendly visitor.  There was some discussion about rare tropical poisonous frogs, but we are pretty sure our little buddy was just a plain ol' green tree frog :p  Made for some up close "scientific observation and nature study" though :)  (Is he poisonous? Will he bite? Why does his neck do that? How does he "talk"? How does he stick on there? Look at his eye balls.  Is that his butt? Will he give you warts?  Will he only give you warts if you kiss him?....) LOLOL

2.  More adventures at the water park :) And below...a side by side of Mariam then (6 months) and now (4 years) there. :)  My how the wee babe has changed  :)  And we had a nice economical lunch of PB&J's and jars of ice water LOL  Hoard...I mean RECYCLING has to pay off at some point :)

3.  Sent my two guys off this week for middle school camp.  I just can't think about my baby boy shooting down those rapids or ziplining down the ropes course or I'll be back here again. LOL  But the motley crew did get a blessing and prayer from Fr. G before they left (and I made an observation of Fr's new shoes LOL a pair of these ...getting his exercise on I guess :) So...I know they are in good Hands.  But...they did arrive to the weather below...and since I didn't get the flashlights packed, Doug was walking down a muddy path in the dark and rain to his cabin.  Oops. (ducking)....

UPDATE:  Got a report in that they had a blast on the first rapids today (the "easy" one, yikes) and only had 4 fall out of the raft (shudder)....but Jesus SAVED them LOL  A guy who looks like Jesus...or really looks like Jim Kaviezel LOL  Same difference. :P  BUT the thrill was Micah diving off this big rock 10+ feet high into the river at this special diving point.  He is so much braver than I.  And he did it TWICE.  Into FRIGID ice-cold water LOL  Fun Fun.  They also enjoyed a nice Mass at the near-by parish. Uber-cool!

4.  And again, prayers for dear FIL.  He's about the same...he feels better because the catheter has his kidneys more stable, but we're not sure what the next step is or the prognosis.  He is a beloved father and grandfather (and many other roles.)  He's birthday is coming up next week...he'll be 79.  This was him in 2 pictures about 10 years apart, doing his favoritest thing in the whole world...holding his grandbabies.  They literally say he is perked up after we take the kids up for a visit to the hospital.  They keep him going, keep him fighting. 

5.  Speaking of hospital visits...they relate to my "training" LOL

6.  Now for some political media matters: a friend tuned me into this post about expressing our beliefs even when it's hard to do in this society, especially about such touchy subjects.  I mostly agree (and can relate), although I understand Leah's concerns.... But I actually believe what I reiterated here or what is expressed in the links therein.  I "don't hate gay people either"...I love "my neighbor" as myself, etc etc. 

7. Oh, and related to number moving out and moving IN w/ the in-laws.... has me MAJORLY DECLUTTERING as I pack up boxes that will mostly go in storage.  We will mainly have the essentials and a few things we like/need (few toys, home schooling stuff, drawers for clothes, etc)..... but yeh...I am desperately  trying to prevent getting on the show Hoarders....well, aren't we all?  But I's in the "genes" on BOTH our sides, so we gotta be vigilant.  I am in a MOOD to "GET RID OF IT."  I'm surprising myself.  I mean sure I've created a new rubbermaid box for myself called "quilt and sewing scraps" from a few special kids' clothing items...but that's about the MOST extra of anything I am SAVING. If we don't use it or need it...bye bye!  Again, Flylady would be proud of me LOL  I've come a long way baby!  But seriously, ...there are few things we NEED to save for posterity sake, in reality. If you don't use it, lose it!  LOL  Enough cliche's for one night?  Well...I'm calling it a night then, and getting this posted in still only ONE day late, rather than two. LOL  (btw, this one is gonna THRILL hubs. LOL)

For more quick takes, see Conversian Diary.

Virtual 5K Update 3

Well, my next phase of training has come in an unexpected way.  We had been to visit Pawpaw in the hospital several times...this time and before.  She was a little nervous, due to her own ER visit one Christmas night, when she had to get staples in her head.  LOL  But she did fine and semi-enjoyed the ride up and down in the elevator.  But suddenly, a few nights ago, after a long napless day, she just lost it.  A fear as bad as her fear of tornadoes took over.  I thought she was gonna puke again, like she did the last bad Tornado warning we had. Sigh. :(  Poor little girl.  And I couldn't battle that.  It wasn't worth it.  We took the 7 flights of stairs.  Yes, there was huffing and puffing.  But I needed a good kick in the pants.  THIS time last year, dang it, I could have flown up them.  I was working w/ my personal trainer friend doing sets of up to 15, alternating stairs and strength training/abs/upper/lower body etc.  I'd lost 40lbs and was getting there. But...a few things happened that were stressful, and boom...I fell off the wagon.  And I'm still beating myself up over it.  But...everday he is there, we are going to climb those stairs...and then, I'll go to the ones at the church gym...I'm going to get there again....and beyond.  I know I can... "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

P.S.  If you didn't know, "she" is Mariam LOL

P.S.S. Did I mention it was SEVEN (7, siete, sept, septem) stories worth of stairs?! In a breaking it down like my previous workouts of up, down, up, down...just up, up, up (etc for 7, or 14 if you want to count both sets for each floor) w/out stopping.  Down is easier, just that my by then my knees are like, whoa there girl, let's take it slow.... my muscles are so sore from swim/aqua size to cardio stairs LOL...I really wanted to cry tonight...I shouldn't get so winded...sigh.  Oh and Mariam doesn't get winded at all.  BUT...she acts like it after looking at me, as if she is somehow "learning" that that is what you are supposed to do LOL  I go up behind her and down in front of her, ...stairs have always scared me.  I love heights, not scared of them at all. But the stairs to get there...I fear falling down them...and more so, my kids falling down them.  "Hold on to the rail" I repeat over and over.  Maybe it would somehow prevent a complete fall all the way down....but I digress....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Recipe

I made it up w/ ingredients I had.

So, I have made good sour cream enchiladas before, both beef and chicken.  Do you know the ones....that use condensed cream soups in them?  They are good, though I wish to steer away from them and make my own "cream of" soups in the future.  But, I did not have any on hand tonight...and had extra chicken I wanted to do something special with.  So looking online but not really finding anything..., then looking in my bare cupboards, I found a can of enchilada sauce and a can of chicken and rice soup  and a small can of diced green chili's.  I cooked my chicken and chopped it up.  Found a brand new unopened, still-sealed, didn't know I had and not-to-out-of-date sour cream in the fridge...score!  So in one bowl, I mixed about a cup of sour cream, the green chili's, a dash of garlic salt, the chicken, and some shredded cheese (I prefer finely shredded, and it was about a cup).  Then in another bowl, I combined the sauce and the soup and just a few green chili's from the can.  I filled my flour tortillas w/ the cream mixture and rolled them up and lined them into one of my square corningwares.  I rolled until I used up all the creamy mixture.  Then I poured my sauce/soup mix over all of them, and topped w/ a layer of shredded cheese (I had cheddar...a mexican blend would be good) and voila.  Baked in about 350 oven for....20 minutes?  Maybe 30.  Until cheese is well melted and edges begin to brown.  (Actually what happened was I needed to leave the house for a bit, so I turned the oven off and let it keep cooking somehow was perfect :P) ....It was yummy.   Somehow the rice soup mixed w/ the enchilada sauce reminded me of "mexican rice" though more saucy.  Now, of course you might prefer more hit added somehow...perhaps a chopped jalepeno, or a dash of hot sauce or even picante sauce.  And i think olives would have been good on top.  It was realllly good though.  The insides were warm and creamy, then the mixed w/ the sauce and cheese....mmmm.  If I do say so myself. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Virtual 5K Update 2

I know it's early but....Smurf Dancing.  That's all I got to say. LOL

So, besides more swimming and wave pool (woot!) ....the kids and I have been rockin' out with the Smurfs.  No, really.  This IS exercise.  LOL

Since we couldn't buy the fancy equipment that goes with most of the Dancy Party (whatever they are called) games.... and since we were using the Buy 2, Get 1 deal at Gamestop and needed to pick out one of the used games for Mariam....we chose the Smurfs Dance Party game for our Wii.  And the whole fam loves it LOL  We compete.  I did beat Micah 3 songs in a row.  But that is all. LOL  If you really keep up, it's a workout...just like any of the other games, if maybe a TAD easier.   It's no zumba, has some zumba-inspired moves.  It's enough for us, for now anyway.  And it's fun!  So score!

Next on the agenda is still to get ourselves somehow out of the A/C (and pool) into the 100 degree weather TO the actual park to WALK.  Maybe take Belle along on the leash.  No, maybe just the neighborhood.... not sure yet.  Wish me luck.... (does it count as exercise/burning calories if you have sweated all day from the sheer HEAT outside?? and an A/C at the house that is not working up to par?? wahhh!  nothing like Cari is going through, even way up NORTH LOL But still...)

For more updates, go here.

Realization No. 3

Same song, third verse. LOL  But it's true..."ya' ain't as young as you used to be."  Maybe it's because I've actually been working my BUTT off and exercising but...I suddenly can't stay up as late as I had been...and I'm needing a nap on top of it.  I come here, to my dear friend laptop LOL and have so many many words in my head...but, it all fizzles out as my eyelids get droopier and droopier.  Argh!  But I have sooo much to do and say!  I have curriculums (curricula?)  to research, and blogs to read. WAHHHH!  Sigh...and NO. TIME. DURING. THE. DAY.  That is a huge part of my "not having enough time" to read everything I want to.  Or say every thing I want to.  NaNoWriMo?  Are you kidding me Sue??  How????  When??? LOL  I don't have time to write this short blog post, much less a novel!? LOL

I saw this phenomenon happen with my oldest brother and sister-in-law.  I grew up pretty much in awe of them.  He was (is) a great hubby and spiritual leader of his family.  She was (is) an awesome mom of 8 home schooled kids.  Who were all amazing kids...typical smart and well-mannered home school kids, but not typical "weird or quirky" :)  Anyway, I thought it was fun how they used to drink so much coffee and stay up late talking for hours.  As I developed those skills through out college and early marriage....I did not see this "aging" thing sneaking up so quickly. LOL  I see now, as when we visited them on our "vacation" unexpectedly, a normal bedtime for them these days is 9pm!  Wahhhh?  LOL  They are "only" 50-ish ...c'mon!  But....if I continue my early to rise phenom. of late, I shall quickly become "THEM"...eeeeeek!  "Early to bed, early to rise"...wait, where have I....oh, my grandparents, ages ago, used to say that....(cue the twilight zone music)  ...what. is. happening. here????  Of course, then too...if I DO go to bed "early", one of two things happens:  either I lay there awake and CAN'T go to sleep even though I'm so tired and my mind just goes into overload thinking and worrying....OR...I fall right to sleep and then awaken later in the night, wide awake and unable to go back to sleep.  Argh.  It's not bad enough to seek help yet.  I could probably try some vitamins (need to) or some melatonin first. Heck, I have taken some tylenol PM's a few times.  But (Thyroid issues needing to be checked, lack of hormones, overweight...all aside...) Middle age is approaching much too quickly.  Make it stop...I don't want to get off the train, I just want it to slowwwww downnnnn. LOL  Anyhoo.....yawnnn....eyes are drooping again.....good..zzzzzzzzzzzzz...........(didn't get this posted last night LOL  so good morning instead, or good night if you are Sue :P )

Seven Things Extroverts Should Know About Introverts (and Vice Versa) | Psychology Today

Seven Things Extroverts Should Know About Introverts (and Vice Versa) | Psychology Today:

'via Blog this'

SUPER LIKE!!!!  Very informative....very true.  LOL

Wordless wednesday (and sort of a Make it Count Tuesday)

I can't help myself:  this is Mariam, making chocolate chip mini-muffins.  Love it! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What I haven't been able to express...

She Doesn’t Hate Gay People |

Read this...and more from the links posted in it.

I think I've mentioned what I feel is MORE and WORSE persecution of Christians, and Catholics especially, to come.  At least in our country.  (In some countries, you could be sentenced to death just for being gay, or defending the homosexual lifestyle.  So opposite problem, still a problem. That is NOT us, here and today though.) Yes, the cuts and jabs about the scandals and altar boys and long out-dated jokes about nuns w/ rulers, etc etc, will continue.  But not that.  Yes, the war against LIFE and our battle to defend it will continue.  But not that.  More so, our FREEDOMS of BELIEFS and RELIGIOUS CONVICTIONS will be taken away.  Such as with the Health Mandate (if things are not stopped in their tracks soon with elections and votes and such...) But also, on an even grander scale, undercurrent of HATE for us...over a MISUNDERSTANDING of us and what we do believe, especially about homosexuality.  But even if it is not a misunderstanding, it will be turned into one.  The positive and the UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, will be ignored.  The negatives (as it will be and is viewed) will be OVERBLOWN.  Despite our continued repeating of the FACT that WE LOVE EVERYONE, and "love thy neighbor as self" and "treat others as you want to be treated" and unconditional love....the fact that we still hold on to age-old Moral and Natural law and beliefs that homosexual same-sex attraction must not be ACTED UPON, and thus is not compatible for SACRAMENTAL MARRIAGE, ....we will be called haters.  We will be convicted for hate-crimes for saying what I just said. (I hear tell it's already being done in and research it for yourself.)  DESPITE those of us truly practicing our FAITH in our HEARTS and TRULY non-judgementally LOVING the PERSON (love the sinner, hate the sin), while calling a spade a spade, a sin a sin.....we will be despised.  Burned at the stake.  Demanded to be silent.

And, I know if some of my online liberal friends were reading this right now, they would not understand.  They would shake their heads and think I was living some kind of "dark ages" dream, in a "dark ages" religion.  They might even "unfriend" me, in more than just a FB way.  That makes me sad, but I have to not "be afraid" to speak what I truly believe.  As I've said, I have lived that my entire life. In fear.  Being the fly on the wall.  But I wish that we could DISCUSS such issues openly and honestly, without anger and fear-mongering and hateful speech, such as is so rampant on any given COMMENTS section online where any kind of issue such as this is being discussed.  I have actually even lost FB "friends" over the abortion issue.  A heated discussion, and bam.  Their gone.

But again, I feel it is much better worded in the post above.  I can talk all day long about better and safer birth, other faith issues, homeschooling things, kid-things, motherhood and domestic issues, and more...but when it comes to a really controversial issue like this one, my words seem to get discombobulated.  I trip over words, hoping not to offend.  But, sometimes, simply our beliefs will offend, without one word being said.  We just have to do our best.

The 1 Thing You Really have to Know About Your Family » A Holy Experience

The 1 Thing You Really have to Know About Your Family » A Holy Experience:

'via Blog this'

I can't express to you how much this post just touched me.  Tears.  So honest...brutally honest.  Punch in the gut.  I want to learn how to live...uncomfortably....for Jesus.  For our Family.

Ponder in my heart (and a prayer request)

Someone...a friend...just gave me the BEST. ADVICE. EVER.  That, like Mary "pondered in her heart"....maybe this was a time for me to do that.  It actually applies to several different things in life....advice I needed for sure.  Sometimes, you have the urge to "just tell someone"...but that is not always prudent, or necessary.  Sometimes the best thing is to just wait.  So, as I do that....I do want to come to you and ask for prayer.

Last night my dear Daddy-in-law was taken to the emergency room.  Backtracking, he had awoken early Friday morning with what seemed to be a bad stomach bug.  By Saturday afternoon, when we saw him, he was very weak and we urged him to go ahead and be seen by a doctor, because perhaps he needed fluids for dehydration.  His blood sugar was 200.  Backtracking some more, my FIL has had 2 open heart surgeries in the past 12 years.   He had rheumatic fever as a child, that weakened his heart.  He also has a pacemaker that runs full-time.  But for the most part, he has done well considering.  It's only been the last few years he has continued to decline in his activities, but even more recently, he can hardly walk from house to car without getting very winded.  He has congestive heart failure and COPD.   He had recently gone to oxygen at night, a CPAP, and about 3 breathing treatments a day.  He will be 79 the end of the month. He's a good man.  He has taught me the real life virtue of literally "giving the shirt off your back" to others.  Almost to a fault, he would give and give to others, but especially to his children and grands, until he had nothing else to give.  And it doesn't matter how bad he feels, he demands to see his "youngin's" ....especially the littlest of the bunch, which is currently Mariam :)  As he told the nurse today, "that's his little princess."  :)

Well, anyway, lately we'd notice more of a "decline."  In his health, and in dear Momma-in-law's.  She has suffered through a bad case of Shingles the past 4 weeks, and just did not seem "herself."  In fact she was forgetting appointments and other things. Could she be in the early stages of dementia?  Her mother had it for several years.  We don't know.  But we suddenly saw a need.

Two of our grown nephews have been living with them, but one moved out because he has joined the Army and the other is just busy.  It's a large house.  They rebuilt it to be so, after a fire completely destroyed their old home 10 years ago.  They are such survivors.  Taking it all in stride and faith upon the Lord.

Anyway, with all of the above in mind, we've decided to move back in with them, to help them out.  We'll have plenty of space to ourselves, with some things in storage.  We are planning out a weekly schedule, and I hope to get up and cook some breakfast each morning, do the cleaning and chores, grocery buying, etc and we'll share the bills, hopefully help them to their appointments and with their meds.  It's a new season of life.  It may not last, since D's brother will be home from Afghanistan after the end of the year, and may be able to take over some of this stuff.  But for now....  Yes, it will mean a little "inconvenience"...being 30 minutes from the parish, instead of 3 minutes (sob) ...but, it will all balance out and be worth it.  God's will, in God's time....

So back to FIL, in the hospital....they still are not sure what is going on.  His cardiac enzymes were up, indicating a heart attack over the weekend.  But his liver enzymes were up too and other things.  No fluid around his heart, oddly enough,...that is usually the main issue he has had in the past.  His blood pressure was unstable for a while, but seems to be under control now.  His blood sugar was 48 when he went in, but is back up to normal now.  He is keeping food down, and normalizing in other areas.  So....hopefully, he is on the mend, and has many more years ahead.  We just ask your continued prayers for his health and quality of life, and for MIL's, and again, our "new season of life" that is upon us.  More exciting things on the horizon...but for now, I will ponder....and pack...we have to move by the end of the month somehow, between Doug being out of town 2 weekends in a row, and everything else going on.....

Micah as a baby, riding w/ "Pawpaw" :)  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Virtual 5K update 1

Well, as I've mentioned, we have been swimming, and not just floating, soaking, and playing.  We have been going to the wave pool, staying for hours, and all taking turns or even racing, doing laps. (I even snuck in 45 minutes by myself...yes kid-free, one night. Shhhh!) My muscles are STILL sore. LOL  This is my very very very favoritest bestest exercise and activity. 

 Love. It. 

 I really must join the aquasize classes at the rec. center. (oh but forgot to mention, I DO water aerobics in the wave pool too LOL  Don't care how I look...I do big sweeping treading water, I twist and "jump" and really stretch too) But it is on the agenda weekly, at least 3 times each week for the next 4-5 weeks, until it goes to weekends only (booo, hisss) and we will try to fit it in as much as we can.)  I wish I were a mermaid.  I AM a mermaid in my dreams :P LOL (especially since Jillian has been interested in them a lot lately, and they are always on Netflix in the background LOL)  But anyhoo, so after our "vacation", I was having some swelling in my feet and ankles (multiple 10 hr drives will do that) and just plain bloating and blah-ness. (Why of course, these words are grammatically correct, why do you ask?)  Then, on top of that, I've been trying not to skip breakfast and at the least have cereal, but just generally eating lighter and less, watching carbs.


However, though I have not weighed in, my clothes are a little less snug and I'm feeling better.  I also bought a brand new, unopened yoga dvd at the thrift store for like a $1.  Woot!  (no, no woo-woo, just the exercises)  I'm fearful of core-exercises right now, due to my possible third-time hernia sigh.  But cardio and stretching and a little strength-training is a-okay.  

Now, to find time to go to the park and just walk (or eventually jog) w/ the kids or ride our bikes, while so much else is going on and we attempt to move. (more on that soon) Fun Fun.

For more info and updates on the Virtual 5K, go here and my original post here.

Mother's book shows faith's reaction to grief :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Mother's book shows faith's reaction to grief :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Oh wow.  This book looks bittersweetly good.  I first thought I recognized her name, but I'm not sure.  But her story is epic.  What suffering.  But I identify with her, in that through our suffering, we were drawn closer to the Cross, to Christ, and to Our Mother Mary.  Hope to get it and read it.

7 Quick Takes Friday vol. 5

I am READY this week:) 

1. First and Foremost, Hubby earned some brownie points this week :)  Squeeee!  And they're even lovelier now, after a few days in water, as they've opened up more :) :) :)

2. More swimming this week :)  4 hours in one day will exhaust EVERY ONE in this family, especially this little girl :)  She fell out  very shortly after these pics... She passed a milestone or two that night though.  She got over her fear of putting her head under the water and learned to hold her breath properly.  And she learned how to jump and float with each wave, and most especially, she went down the Elephant slide in the kiddie pool LOL  Which the really funny thing is she went down the big grown up mat slides before she would the kiddie one LOL  But once she got it down, she went down it again and again and ....  But if we can keep this up at LEAST 3 to 4 times each week for the next 5 weeks (that's as long as it's open weekly, then will go to weekends until Labor Day) we can get some good training in for our Virtual 5K.  The two older kids are swimming a LOT when we go, they are getting so good!  And we take turns during the "no-waves" time to swim some laps.  Heck, just keeping up w/ Mariam in the waves is a workout!  She likes to have us lift her up and "throw her" (not really lol) ...I was using her for my "strength training" LOL

2. cont'd....chicken! (and I can barely keep my eyes open to eat it LOL)

3.  After swimming....Yummo!

3.  cont'd And Hubby cooked us something very tasty and healthy (no carbs) too!  woot woot!  More brownie points LOL  He's on a roll....

4.  But, I publicly hang my head in shame to share this very interesting new menu item at Burger King.  They had a new Summer Southern-type menu (Memphis BBQ etc), and by golly, I HAD to try this...  I had seen chocolate covered bacon on the FoodNetwork, and seriously thought about making it and selling it down here somehow LOL  I mean, c'mon... it's bacon.  It's the South.  Ya' can't go wrong.  I think chocolate is the only thing that would make this better. (Well, maybe that and home made ice cream instead of just soft-serve :P )  It had caramel though, which was yummy too.  

5.  Mariam asked me to take her pic while we were playing Littlest Pet Shop LOL  Her leaning into the pic, I can hear in my head the sound effect of a cartoon character easing up into the frame....wnnnh.  We made some videos again, but they don't compare to our Angry Birds' videos.  I need to figure out how to post videos on here, or at least youtube.. Of course, just about every video starts with Mariam impatiently nagging me to "video it!" (waiting for me to switch my camera to video and start recording) and then they end with her saying something not in our "play" like maybe including the word "butt" in it or "stupid" sigh.  We're working on her acquired vocabulary, believe me!  Oh well LOL We do have fun together though :P

6.  I had a lovely girls' night out this week at a friend's house for my first ever Stampin' Up party.  If you don't know what it is, check the link's basically a crafter's dream LOL  You can make your own cards for any occasion, or gift tags, or labels for home made items (any etsy sellers out there? mmhmm) or...the sky's the limit.  Then, they also have scrapbooking items and more.  I'd heard about them, and I think they are the company, but I bought a religious stamping set used off the cathswap homeschool list once too, but it's still packed away in a box somewhere LOL  Which,...brings me to my issue.  I love this stuff.  I do...I love sitting for hours doing crafting of any sort.  But...not when I have noisy demanding little ones around.  Not when I have a million other things going on at once.  Not when I am persistently chronically disorganized.  Sigh.  It's really the same w/ my desire to knit/sew/embroider/quilt/scrapbook/can and preserve/cook from scratch/etc etc etc  But when I can go away from my home and dear little ones, and just have quiet "me" time I guess you'd say, it's perfect.  With a few friends, even better!  So, my friend plans to make it a regular thing and let me come over and "play" with her stampin' collection.  Yeah me! :)  And maybe, just maybe, I will get my own collection going and start making beautiful hand-made creations like this one above :)  Who'd like to get this card in the mail?  Or rather, who wouldn't?? :)  And it was so easy, if only a little time-consuming...  

And 7.  The thing that mostly kept me busy this week.  And that had me out til after 1 AM tonight.  And has my feet, my back, my everything hurting or aching or puffy.  But was so. worth. it.   The 2nd annual Seminarian dinner put on by our wonderful Knights of Columbus group.  And since I am our parish kitchen and Hall coordinator, I like to make sure everything is in order, help them as much as I can, and stay in my "comfort zone" which is the kitchen :)  Coffee, tea, food and dish duty, plus anything else like linens and flowers or ANYthing they need me to.  Love it... Hospitality is my thing, as I've mentioned before.  And though I might like to talk to a few people, schmooze w/ the priests, seminarians and Archbishop a little....frankly, I am more comfortable NOT having to make idle chit-chat (which Hubster is good at!) and avoid awkward pauses :)  I am an introvert afterall.  People wear me out.  I love them, don't get me wrong.  One of my love languages is service. :)  So...I do what I do.   Anyhoo, this was the parish Hall when ready to serve over 200 guests....   
And this was it with said over-200 guests, while our wonderful Bishop was speaking :)  I sat down in one of the few free seats for just a moment to rest my aching piggies. :)  But just let me say, it was SO wonderful what he had to say, and then listening to each of the 15 young seminarians introduce themselves and tell their story of discernment.  Yes, we had 15 this year, more than last...and each were given a donation of $500 thanks to the generous parishioners who bought tickets to the dinner.  It was so wonderful, I can't explain meet our future priests (this is only half of our diocese's Seminarians, but many of the "older" ones were off at assignments etc) and...for our wonderful teens, who helped bus tables, to hear their stories.  "I never thought I'd become a priest...I said 'no way, not me'" etc etc  They were just "normal" "average" guys...who answered a calling, a tugging in their hearts, a Voice that rang clearly...they said "yes!"  Chills.  Praying for several of specific teens who could be discerning calls too.  Lord, let it be done, according to Your Will!

And...lest we forget....we Catholics know how to party! :P  LOL  We had this, and Lager, and red and white wine selections...yes,  a good time was had by all, safely and  prudently :)  (Well, we won't talk about Mr. Magoo, bless him...and that's all I have to say about that. :D.................  But you really should talk to your own KOC group and do something like's a wonderful parish event!  Have a great weekend y'all!

To see more (and more exciting) Quick Takes, go to Conversion Diary

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

News of the Day on Anglican Ordinariate

I've mentioned it...our friend (see #5) who was the first Anglican priest from the first "graduating" class I guess you'd say to come through the Anglican Ordinariate process.  I have a bigger post coming on the AO in the future...but in good time.  Since it is of great interest to me, I'll try to post news on it periodically.  And this is a very neat story involving the AO.  Enjoy!

Ouchie Quote of the Day

I saw this on someone's Quick Takes this week:

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
Chief Justice John Roberts
Supreme Court of the United States

Wow. OUCH.  Though I'm still mad at him. 

Blogs of Interest vol. 1

I think I am going to start a new series of posts sharing blogs I've happened upon that I love.  Because I am so bad about keeping up with my fav blogs, and have like a gazillion bookmarked already.  At least for posterity sake, I will have them listed somewhere else :P  And maybe you can glean from this as well :)  Please share your favorite blogs too.

To start us off, I just happened upon this one, minutes ago, thus inspiring this blog series :)  As I mentioned last week, I stitched my first ever knit stitches with my sis-in-law...did about 10 rows of knit and pearl stitches on a new prayer shawl (she has made several with a prayer group, it's such a lovely thing that I shall add it to my Favorite Things post soon, ...mine was given to me by some lovely ladies I knew when Noah died.)  with some lovely pink and white yarn.  Anyhoo, I see knitting in my future, as I always have, but much clearly now :)  I highly highly doubt I shall ever be so good, but here is the blog I am posting "of interest":  By Gum. By Golly. 

 ...Isn't it loverly?  I love all things vintage too!  I love this trend going on right now of the retro "pin-up" type girls, w/ rolled curled coifed hair and scarves and porcelain faces with ruby red lips.  AND modest clothing items such longer A-lined skirts and "trouser" shorts and such.  But this blog combines all of that with knitting.  How genius. just so happens that she is hosting a cool giveaway right now, so check it out!

Next up will be some uber cool mom blogs...stay tuned. :)


I haven't posted anything political here really, mostly out of a lack of time and presence of mind to write about it.   But also probably both out of some lack of motivation/depression about it all, and out of fear of judgment from others.  That last one has been a lifelong threat.  I'll have to write a post on my "Be Not Afraid" talk to explain.  :)  But anyhoo, I mainly tonight just wanted to post a prayer for Religious Freedom that all of us Catholics, but any Christian, should be praying right NOW.  Because we are being asked to choose between our deeply held and ancient religious convictions...or following the "law of the land" in our country.  My heart does a flip saying that, reading over those words.  This can't be true.  I mean, this is no Ray Boltz' video, right??   But yes, it's happening...and beyond this one issue in our country, there is SO MUCH persecution going on all over the world, of Christians.  "Tolerance" is preached at us and pushed on us as the gold standard of morality, when no such thing is granted to us.   Everyone just sits idly by.  

I could go on and on, but no time at the moment.  Here is the prayer...please pray it:

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sue does it again :)

Sue Elvis Writes: The Value of Not Suffering

Oh Sue, you have done it again...expressed my thoughts WAY better than I could ever.  Being a convert, the concept of suffering and offering up was new for me.  But has been a lovely enlightenment and process. of those types of bittersweet beauty.  Of course, I/we have suffered too.  The loss of Noah being foremost, and our loss of having more naturally, and my health stuff.  But then, out of suffering came much joy, namely Mariam.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

That's what I Said! vol. 3 Red Flags: How to Know When You're Dating a Loser (9780452281172): Gary S. Aumiller, Daniel Goldfarb: Books:

'via Blog this', many actually, if you care to type in "red flags" in the search at amazon...beat me to it. LOL 

 I have thought for years, maybe I could write a book helping women catch and respond to "red flags" during their dating years.  My credentials?  Simply recognizing them in friends' relationships when they did not (to myself, not feeling comfortable sharing with that bad? sigh) and later down the road, after divorce or conflict, hearing them say "Well, I saw a few red flags, but..."  and a myriad of excuses they told themselves, like "I thought he would change" or "I thought *I* could change him" or "I just thought he was having a bad day."  And so many more.  (Yes, this happens to guys w/ their girl mates too...but my perspective is obviously geared toward my chicas :P)  Plus...I think I picked a pretty good winner myself :)  Okay, I'm not writing this to brag though....honestly I'm not.  Heck, I'm not saying that I am perfect, or my "winner" is (well, he is...hi, honey, love you!) but.... I just have wondered why so many women, ...women especially that I care very much about, and consider very intelligent...can not see what seem to be glaring red flags?  Or...why they choose to ignore them?  Obviously, the answer can vary...and can be deep-seated (did ya' think that should be "deep-seeded"?  find out why not here :) and personal. 

 But I've wondered if having a book out there would affect change, and help some women.  Well...then I think: if they are choosing to ignore it, they aren't going to go looking for a book about it, now are they?  No, but maybe if it were on the Barnes and Noble bookshelves in glaring and bold red letters, they would LOL :P

I actually had a few short-lived experiences in my "dating career", too, where I chose to ignore,...simply so that I could say I WAS in a relationship...and not be lonely.  But I KNEW what I was doing...and  though I feel very ashamed for "using" several guys...some "nice" guys even...for my own selfish gain, the truth is...I knew very quickly when there was a red flag, and that the relationship was going no where (meaning marriage) and that I would end it, eventually.  Sad to say.  And again, I'm not boasting... I could have easily said to myself (and I did try to say this with at least one relationship before I met Doug) "Well, I'm never going to find my PERFECT guy, I'm just going to have to settle."  And I would have been stuck in an unhappy marriage, trying to "make the best of it." 

 There, but by the grace of God, go I.

  And I possibly would have experienced divorce down the road, because (especially in the Protestant mindset I was accustomed to) having "awoken" to the fact that it had "not been God's will in the first place", and having convinced myself it was okay to "break up" and "move on," it would have been easy.  Afterall, there IS no (sense of) SACRAMENT and covenant (with God) in most marriages.  And even when there is, people will use the excuse that they did not understand it as so or simply make sinful mistakes. 

 It's a sad state of affairs.  Like 50% divorce rates??  Our own little southern county has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.  And I've seen friends and family dropping like flies in the divorce zapper.  Not funny, absolutely depressing.  (And too, of course, I had NO sense of vocation either, or that there were legitimate other choices, like even besides single-hood, actual Vocations to celibacy and religious life.  Wow!  I used to worry about that for my children, after first converting, but now I PRAY hard for their vocations, and pray that God will use them for ministry and religious life!  But I digress... :)

So, my newest and best solution to the whole thing?

  Well, besides adhering to CHURCH teaching and just honoring your Sacramental commitment no matter what??  Is teaching Humanae Vitae and  Theology of the Body to everyone.  I'm not sure how to do that....secretly hide it in something secular and distribute to all the schools?  LOL  No... though, I do have a theory that truly Classical education, including a deeper understanding of the study of Philosophy and more specifically, Natural and Moral Law, is what is needed to help convert the world to Catholicism.  I mean, for Protestants, who already believe in God/Trinity/Resurrection/'s a mere study of accurate History and early Church Fathers.  But, beyond that, regarding our biggest moral issues of the day, I think it's Philosophy.  Understanding our Hedonistic ways, then why there is a need for Order out of Chaos, and finally the need for Moral Truth proceeding out of Natural Law and ending with the only ONE TRUE answer:  there is a God, and He did all that stuff in the Bible, plus established His Church on earth called the Catholic Church. :)  

Yes, that's a not-so-good synopsis from my 2 a.m. brain, but do you get my drift?  It's what happened to this well-known blogger.  And I see it needed so much for my New Age/Wiccan/Pagan professing friends too (mostly women btw.) this not only Hedonistic, but extremely "Tolerant", anything-goes society.  Hmm. That's not the exact words I am looking for, but anyhoo... someone probably already said all of this way better than I, too.  If I find it, I will post it.

So to recap... I guess the world doesn't need another self-help, "red-flag reader" (especially from me lol) ...but rather, it needs conversion. 

 O Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!

Realization vol. 2

Um...I've always had 20/20 vision (from my Dad, unlike my Mom w/ lots of eye issues,) but I knew that EVENTUALLY like say, in my late 40s or 50s, I might need reading glasses or something for a little "help."  But 37???  Okay, maybe I'm not ready for that much help yet.....but I just discovered a few nights ago that....I ...gulp...getting some near-sightedness...or wait is it far-sightedness, I get them mixed up.  Um,'s a kind of far-sightedness.  Interesting wiki-reading here.   I apparently have "elder-eyes" now, and it generally starts after age 40...I just love being ahead of my time, don't I?  Ugh.  So anyway,  I had a bottle of something, reading the back of it...smallish print...and thought I'd test my eye sight a little.  I moved it closer and closer to my eyes.  Well, first, backing up...I have been experiencing what I guess is "eye strain" some, from all of my "screen time" I'm sure.  And the past several years, I've been developing some "night vision", especially if it's raining and nighttime and I'm driving.  But, nothing big.  Still, I had friends recently talking about their new "mid-life" bi-focals and eyes changing.  So...I knew that my Dad had pretty good vision, but got reading glasses later on.  I thought I'd just test things out.  Well, as I moved the small print on the back of the bottle CLOSER to me, my eyes went out of focus.  I thought, eh...maybe they are just crossing, and I tried to blink/strain to keep them from doing it.  Didn't help.  Blurred words.  SO ...I put on the pair of reading glasses that I'd acquired and used in the teen's mystery dinner theater (I must tell you about that some time, it was so great!) when I "played" a minor role as a tour guide... Miss Hortence ...McBride ? (blanking on her last name)...the scullery maid.  ANYHOO.... they were the 3.00+ kind (!?) and voila...I could see the words clearly, slightly magnified.  EEEEK!  I kept testing it over and over.  Okay, granted...most of the time ...well let's see..... RARELY do I HAVE to read something small print and THAT CLOSE to my eyes.  I mean,  we're talking 6 or so inches maybe?  I don't know, maybe more...especially with smaller print than I was looking at.  I will test it more, but it still ....didn't feel good.  LOL  I mean, I wore those reading glasses to help make me look OLDER...geesh!  Yk, the old "school marm" thing, with them on your nose....see for yourself, below. (and try not to laugh too hard out loud :P)  Sigh.  (more Vanity! ) I suppose it's "que sera sera" eh?  :P  But I shouldn't complain...I certainly don't have the eye issues hubs and son do...or I'm not completely "there"  yet, anyway. :P

h3 vol. 5

So, as I've been saying, we had the trip to see family for our "vacation" (see me doing the quotations with my fingers every time??) and yes, it's a long trip and there are always issues, but this was one of our best visits for many reasons.  We just relaxed and had no pressure on us, we just were ourselves, and Mariam was great.  We got to see everyone pretty much, and I even started to learn how to knit.  My sister-in-law who was teaching me is going to set up Skype so we can skype with my parents, but I think I'll try to get my knitting stash going and see if she can work on lessons with me and Jillian that way some times LOL  Anyway, here's hoping our Christmas bi-annual trip goes as well... :)  Yk I'll be letting you know. :P  

Notice I didn't add any Fourth festivities to my 7 Quick Takes like most others?  Because it was pretty event-less.  You can imagine how tired we were from all of our travels.  And it was a little rainy, and did I mention we were tired.   Doug did grill a mess of meat and we hung out with family, and oh yeh, remember the kids were popping firecrackers while I fretted. :P  But it was nice just to relax and lay around and be with the other side of the family some.  I didn't get any of my cutesy red, white and blue type dessert recipes made though.  Bummer.  Well, there's always...another year. :P  Gee, the more I blog the more boring we sound. LOL  We do enjoy ourselves though, together. LOL

It was back to the pool on our last day of said "vacation" today :)  No pics, maybe tomorrow I will catch some of our sunburns...eesh.  We always think we have enough sunscreen on, and miss spots.  We always forget to re-apply.  But...regardless, we had a lot of fun...again...together.  Just our little fam.  And we have a LOT of fun planned with church activities coming up beginning this stay tuned.  As always, from my heart to yours....

7 Quick Takes Friday vol. 4

I personally feel like my 7 Quick Takes are a little more interesting this week.  I know I sure am T-I-R-E-D from all of this past week's adventure!  So, as you may or may not remember, it was "vacation" time... i.e., bi-annual trip to see family, yadayada...

1. Driving from Alabama to Louisiana on a 10 hour (one way) trip and back TWICE in a week's time was not planned, and not for "fun" reasons, but there were blessings from it all.  Like getting extra time with family we didn't even previously have time to see, and then precious-to-me time alone to talk Doug's ear off (with no kids, it was very reminiscent of the early years, though we talked a lot more about finances and, well, kids than theology :P)   This is a pic of going through Mississippi, which I guess I've concurred through the years, is my fav leg of the trip.  Even though Mississippi was always Louisiana and Alabama's saving grace from being last on all the worst lists LOL, there has always been something about it when we traveled through to me.  Darker green and closer tree lines as seen here, plus these rocky walls and hills along the Interstate that made you feel as if you were maybe near mountains (though nothing could be farther from it LOL)  And then, of course the Mississippi Bridge, which I will have to tell you about my long-time childhood nightmare related to it some time.....

1. cont'd, ...  Um,...about that Miss. bridge.  I EVEN set my alarm on my phone (too early) so that I would remember to take a good pic of it, argh!  You'd think 4 times over it, I'd get ONE.  Sigh..  This one was a last ditch attempt backwards... Well, anyhoo, you can google images of it ....there are more than just the one over I-20 of course, going on up through out the states.  Lots of history there.  But I found an interesting book and unit study here  that sounds good.  Might add that into our American History studies this year.  It certainly taints the "feel" for Miss. I had growing up (with little knowledge of the history and racial issues)....but, there's always hope.  Doug and I have actually talked a lot about race issues lately.  As kids in the 70s and 80s, we just did not fully realize how CLOSE we were to the horrible American racial past.  Even when we were finally told in history class, it seemed ages ago and time to "move on."  Well, now being older, and knowing how quickly time flies, yet how connected we are to recent past!  No wonder people are still bitter.  Such shameful inhumane things done in such "modern" and "civil" a society.  It's hard to fathom.  And teaching about slavery and the Civil War to my children has been SO. HARD.  It's been a loss of innocence for them.  They were growing up so protected from that, it was unimaginable that just in their grandparents' time was separation and second-class human treatment.  DISGRACEFUL.  SAD. EVIL.  And yet, while they thankfully look at their bi-racial, different skin-toned cousin with NO DIFFERENCE what-so-ever.....we know full well in this world we live in, in this region especially, and even among family members.....racism lives on.  I am sure that my children are not done "learning" about such evils.  But I keep praying that their generation will eradicate all of it.  But....I digress....again....

2.  So the main reason for the visit in the first place?  Family.  Actually, some years it's been more annual than bi-annual, due to lack of funds or busy schedules, but here's my parents.  (Not knowing they are on the 'net won't hurt them right?)  Mom looked really good for all the horrible pain she's suffered and 2 major major surgeries in less than 6 months, at age 77.  And here's the "gift" Mariam gave them:
2. cont'd....:)  She's finally started adding eyes and limbs and smiles and hair to her figures she draws,...and I think  her artistic expression must surely be influenced by the likes of Yo Gabba Gabba or something LOL  What do you think? :P  But I have been really proud of our little girl the past few months.  This was her best behaved visit and trip, and then this morning in Mass, a special Mass we happened upon in a neighboring city, as to not be in our home parish on "vacation" (as to not be bombarded due to our jobs there LOL)...where the ARCHBISHOP happened to be installing a new priest to that parish... she was SO GOOD in that tiny little parish during his sermon and really the entire Mass, for her.  We didn't have to go out once with her.  But I digress.... :)  But I just talked to my mom tonight and she remarked how much they enjoyed her, how sweet she was, how loving.  It's true...she was very careful and loving with Grandmama, helping her to bed at bedtime LOL  That girl has passion, no matter what she's doing, no matter which emotion...just catch her when it's loving instead of angry :D  

3. So, our Mass away from home last week was at a parish that was not our home-parish when we lived there, but one we did visit often (other side of town) because a) we loved it and b) it was the latest "last chance" Mass in town LOL  Sad but true.  Anyway, we had not seen it since they did a massive remodel of the Church.  One word:  A-MAZING!  No two: BEAUTIFUL.  No, three: ETHEREAL!  I can't help but say I do wish our parish now had taken more of this kind of direction.  I love love love our parish now, and the new Sanctuary, etc, but...still....Anyhoo, you can see more of how it looked previously and the remodel here
4. After Mass, we drove down to the little beautiful chapel where we were married.  Yes, this amazing  little structure with quite an interesting history was the beautiful setting for our wedding.  We have an equally amazing drawing that an old school friend did of it and gave us, that I'll post some time.  You can also see the lovely altar in the background of our wedding photo here.  I also have more pics from it I intend to post in the future, of the church...something "different" and unique.  But for now,... the kids loved seeing it....

4. cont'd 

5. Next, after being in more 100+ degree 99% humidity weather, we just "had" to stop by the  nearest Circle K and get a Big Gulp and Icee...who knew they had Dr. Pepper flavor now....ahhhh.  (This was before I committed to the Virtual 5K right?  Of course last night's movie popcorn wasn't....sigh....)  
6. As I said, our trip took some surprising turns.  Well, ONE in particular LOL  Our van suddenly died as we were going 70 mph down the Interstate with 18 wheelers all around.  Thankfully we were able to safely coast to the very close next exit and check things out.  Long story short, a mechanic said the Engine was shot and we couldn't drive it home.  We stayed w/ my brother and his family overnight and drove a nice rental home.  NICE to us.  LUXURY to our kids LOL  They longed to "keep" the rental, which was a 2012 Dodge Caravan.  Here are the happy campers on our way back home.  Who knows, maybe one day we CAN get that van...say, in 10 years LOL 

6. cont'd....And then, Doug and I took a return (10 hr one way) trip to pick up the van with FIL's truck.  This was our view on the way back.  Funny story:  (and he told this publicly himself, so I'm okay here lol)  I was on the phone and suddenly Doug started laughing SO HARD.  I had NO IDEA what he was laughing at, but it was SO FUNNY watching him laugh that hard, that I had to join in.  Then, when he finally was able to tell me what it was, we laughed so hard we couldn't breathe.  He was driving along and suddenly thought, hey why is that van all up on my rear-end...oh...wait...LOL  Sleep deprived, let me tell ya!  Did I mention I killed Doug's phone?  I had been charging them in the van, mine and his.  I laid them on top of that there tool box in the pic, while we were hooking up the van, and when he went to drive it around the block to test the hook-up on the car dolley, I totally forgot....he drove around a curve, and swish!  His smashed to bits on the ground, couldn't even find the battery.   Mine just lay there :P  Who knows. LOL Thankfully insurance has a new one coming in already tomorrow...woot woot! 

7. Ah, l'amore!  Our puppy Belle (lovingly cared for by a family friend) missed us as much as we missed her, in case you can't tell. :P

So, that was my not-so quick takes from this past week, a wee bit late, and no fancy smartphone picture apps applied...but maybe next week :P  Am I getting any better at this???  Well, for more Quick Takes, go to Conversion Diary .  Thanks Y'all! :)