Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Favorite Gifts 2011- Dragon Slayers

Dominic received a copy of "Dragon Slayers" by Sir Wyvern Pugilist for Christmas from John and I. He has not stopped reading it since he opened it. For most of the day today, I watched him curled up on the edge of the couch, covered in a blanket reading this book and periodically saying, "Mom, I just love this book. How did you know I would love this book!"

He related to me the connection between what the author writes about and the spiritual life. He writes to young boys about recognizing bad dragons. We were driving in the car today and Dominic was telling me about what the bad dragons do.

The book parallels a young boy's life and good virtues to what they will be tempted with like greed, laziness, hastiness in one's work, cheating, and dishonesty. The book teaches them to combat these "dragons" with virtues, prayer, and the help of certain saints and how the saints themselves overcame dragons in their lives. They will read about Ignatius of Loyola, Titus Brandsma, Therese of Lisieux, and many more.

This book is a new release so couldn't be found on Amazon.
I purchased it through a fabulous Catholic bookstore here in Nebraska.

To order through this bookstore call Gloria Deo 1-888-420-1830.
The cost is $23.99. One of my favorite characteristics of the book is the faux leather cover. It is fun to hold in your hands.

To look through the book go to this SITE.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas! The BEST picture we took of our family after mass.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wooden Painted Saints

Several months ago, my friends and I participated in a wooden saint exchange. We each were assigned two saints to paint. I believe there were roughly 12 or so women who participated. You were responsible for painting 12 of each saint assigned so at the exchange you received 24 saints.
Our kids play with these almost everyday from the oldest child to the youngest child.

Mary, Our Queen

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

My friend, Annie, suggested we do another swap for Christmas. I decided on St. Maria Goretti and St. John Vianney this time. It helped to do a rough sketch of my painting plan.

You can order the plain wooden saint pegs through craftparts.com.

I learned several helpful tips from the first painting experience. First, buy good brushes especially if you want to do detail work. Second, have a good plan. Third, use acrylic paints, paint pens, BUT DO NOT USE SHARPIES. When you seal them at the end with a clear polyurethane spray or Mod Podge, the sharpies will run and ruin any detail work. Fourth, give yourself enough time.

We found a great site on Etsy that provided inspiration. On the left hand side of this page under "Shop Info", search "Sales" for a complete listing.

The shop is:
St. Luke's Brush Shop

We exchange our newly painted saints tomorrow at Bible Study. I will post a picture of our final products. I think it would be great next Christmas to do the Nativity.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making my Nest Part 1

Nesting. I feel it kicking in. Although, it has to be somewhat disordered. I start hyper-organizing, purging, throwing, giving, cleaning, and disinfecting our home in preparation for the new baby to come. With Lillie, I even scrubbed the walls of each room. My friends and I joke that we act like we will NEVER be able to clean EVER again so we have to do it NOW. My friend told me that she even unscrewed the fronts to her washer and dryer and vacuumed out the dust.

Our game closet looked like this most days. I have a great distaste for board game boxes, but never knew what to do about it. The boxes are always broken, smashed, and the pieces are everywhere. No matter how well I cleaned and organized the closet, it would all just get dumped out especially by the shorter people in the house.

My friend told me about these tubs at Wal-mart with locking lids. PERFECT! I printed off labels so each box could easily be identified.

After initially driving out to Wal-mart and buying 25,000 tubs, I knew I had to start pacing myself because I was putting everything in our house in a tub with a nice little label on it.

It does indeed feel great to have the home in order.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ballet-Is it Genetic or is it this time of year that just brings out your leotard?

Snow brings out their best dance moves.

I don't know about you, but I can't stop wearing my leotard around the house (it is the only comfortable thing I have left being 5 months pregnant). I almost posted a pic. Just be glad it wouldn't upload. Man, what is that really saying to me?...Trouble upLOADing. I am NOT a load. I am NOT a load. I promise it was long-sleeved. Ever the modest one I am.

Exactly at this time last year, I posted this about the older girls and their excessive dancing and their love of all things ballet.


A couple days ago, I found the little two wearing leotards and believing with all their 1 and 2 year old brains that they looked just like Barbie and the Dancing Princesses.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrating St. Lucy

This feast is a special day for our family in many ways.

It is the Anniversary of my father's death.

It is John's patron saint for his profession. St. Lucy is the patron of eye doctors.

We have a favorite cousin named Lucy so we celebrated in her honor.

We made St. Lucia's Braided Bread. In all my years of bread making yesterday was the first time I had dead bread. I killed the yeast. We had to celebrate today instead.

We sang the "Santa Lucia."

The silver star shines on the sea,
the waves are gentle,
the wind is favourable.
Come to my swift little boat!
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

O dear Naples, o blessed land,
where creation was pleased to smile!
Come to my swift little boat!
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Thanks to Jessica at Shower of Roses, we listened to the audio book of
Lucia, Saint of Light

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Celebrating St. Juan Diego

Yesterday, we celebrated St. Juan Diego.

We started the morning off playing in the snow. (No relation to Juan) They played outside all morning. They would come in to change their wet gloves and then head back out. I remember my mom always on the prowl for good snow clothes. I've gotten pretty good at making their little bodies anti-snow tight.

Rose really wanted me to come out and play, but I stayed in with the Californians. It was also a
nice ice snow so I didn't want to risk falling being pregnant.

While I was putting her snow clothes on she said, "I wish we were Sea Horses sometimes."
To which I reply, "Why is that?"
To which she matter-of-factly said, "The father is the one who has the babies." I have no idea where that came from.

Due to her complete excitement about our new baby, she must have really wanted me to come out.

By the end of the their outside adventures, they were going down the slide and swinging on the swings.

While we were preparing dinner, the kids watched "Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe."

It really is so much fun celebrating the feasts especially with food. The whole dinner conversation revolves around that certain saint, nationality, flag of the country, language spoken, and foods that certain culture eats.

TOSTADAS!!!!!! These are good every time.
We use Tostada chips, refried beans, Tyson's Santa Fe flavored pre-cooked chicken, colby and monterey jack cheese, pepper-jack is groovy also, olives, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, and salsa. So good!

Pre-Heat oven to Broil
Pre-heat beans
Dice chicken and vegetables
Shred cheeses
Cover each tostada with beans, chicken, and cheese
Cook in oven until all is melted
Add your choice of toppings

Zellie and I headed to La Mexicana Market and Meat. 100 % Mexican. She thought St. Juan would be there. Nope, but I told her he looked like the man that helped us. Good enough.
She picked out BOING! for the choice drink of the evening for her and her siblings.
Strawberry or Fraise flavored.

Everyone wanted to know who this man was. We told them it was Juan's uncle.

John claimed that he wanted to save the drinks for the children so he would sacrifice and have the following. St. John...pray for us.

Zellie picked out the following for dessert from La Mexicana Market and Meat.
Sprinkled Flavored Cardboard! So good.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mr. Church Pants

I have been writing our blog for over two years now. I have mentioned John's sweetness, gentleness, spiritualness, wonderfulness, etc., etc. many times, BUT I have failed miserably to mention his best quality. Funniness.

He is hysterical. Not to be confused with the ole' "No one makes me laugh harder than my husband" comment. NO! He is legitimately hysterical. Not just to me. Oh No! My college roommates, his siblings, strangers, family members, my sisters, his identical twin sister, my brothers often remark to me about his humor. His stories are legendary. His mother tells me he was a cartoon to raise. In fact so much, that I have assumed everyone knows that I am married to Mr. Funny. If you meet him, you will find this soft spoken, mild mannered, well-behaved professional or father. If you get to know him, you will realize I have greatly underestimated his behaviors.

My mom even will say to me "Have you thanked God for John's sense of humor?" She is highly spiritual and EVEN counts that up there on the things I need to thank God for. True dat!

Example #1: He calls often throughout the day and we always begin each morning conversation as follows:

me: "Hi!"
him: "Hi! How's your day going?
me: "Good"
him: "Who moved it (referring to the morning offering) and how many times?"
Why do married couples discuss these things?
me: I tell him the quota of diapers changed. We remark together about the diaperlings amazing abilities everyday and then usually sing a short version of "They like to move it. Move it." (Madagascar)

Example #2:
He sees the world in a funny way. Like, he will keep track on a piece of paper in his coat pocket the first names of the old ladies he sees that day and calls to tell me the names. He also will call to tell me if he sees any elderly people riding together in a car in groups or especially if he sees a singular elderly person riding alone in the back seat. You have to agree that people riding in backseats are generally funny especially if they are alone, but being over 75 years of age takes it to a whole new level.

Example #3: (His best and most famous globally.)
If you have heard the term "Church Pants" floating around this decade or so, He is the originator.

This is how the story went. After leaving the Newman Center one night after mass and adoration, I had noticed he was what one would assume "deep in prayer." Later, I find out the real story.

John: "Lindsay, I just don't get it?"

me: "Get what?"

John: "Don't people feel that?" "Do you think they know it and just don't know what to do about it?"

me: (My mind is thinking something spiritual. Something he realized why praying.) "Umm, yeah, I know??? Exactly what were you thinking about it? (Puzzled Steve Martin giving the Blender look like he did in Father of the Bride.)

John: "Church Pants"

me: "What?" (I was quite aware that the person in front of us had the condition during mass, but didn't think extensively like Juan did about the whole thing.)

John: "I just don't get it. I would move, do a little jiggle, something, but he just stood there.
I get nothing out of mass when "it" is in view."

me: (dying)

John: "You know, come to think about it I think it happens after the homily. Everyone has been sitting relaxed listening to Father preach and then you have to stand up. You are still meditating about what he said so maybe you aren't aware of what party just happened on your back porch." (Please view lower portion of photo below if you are still confused.)

From that point on, people everywhere have accused John of ruining mass for them because of the syndrome occurring to them or someone within sight.

Example of Church pants although this would be Grocery store pants.
Homily Theory blown.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrating Our Lady

We celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception today. I always have grand plans of celebrating every saint and their feast in some form or another, but don't always get to it, but for some reason we always celebrate this feast.

We started the morning with white doughnuts for breakfast in honor of Our Lady's purity. For lunch, we had a white lunch. John went to early mass because he had to work late today, so I took the kids to noon mass at St. Mary's. We were there early enough to sit in the front pew and to be surprised that Bishop Bruskewitz was celebrating mass along with 6 other priests. The mass was beautiful.

For Dinner, we had a real feast. I made Fettucini Alfredo, blue jello, blueberry muffins, garlic bread, and white grape juice all in honor of Our Lady. Children are so content in this way. They watched me prepare everything for two hours and were so excited about the meal. It really motivated me once again to try and celebrate the feasts each day. I have heard of so many fun ways to incorporate the saint's lives into our lives. This will definitely be one of my goals for the coming year.

I really like this alfredo sauce recipe.

Here is the recipe:

Alfredo sauce:

8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. milk
1 c. cream
1-2 c. parmesan cheese
1 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes if you like spicy

Soften the cream cheese and cut into cubes. Make sure you melt this completely until it is smooth. Add milk and cream. Cut butter into cubes also and add while stirring. Add spices.
You must whisk it continually or it will become clumpy. Pour over Fettucini noodles or I also like to do half Fettucini and half angel hair pasta.

We often will grill a salmon filet seasoned with Greek seasoning and serve this over the sauce and noodles. So crazy good. Add grape tomatoes on top of the salmon.

Tonight, I just bought chicken nuggets for the kids.

This afternoon, they watched the movie Bernadette: The Princess of Lourdes. It was in Lourdes that Our Lady said to St. Bernadette the words "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Today is also each of our children's feast day as each one of them has some form of Mary's name in their name.

Dominic Savio Joseph Mary
Lillie Maria Goretti
Rose Marie Therese
Zellie Marie Guerin
Vianney Jean Marie
Clairvaux Marie Frances

It was a wonderful day.

The internet provides an abundance of resources for celebrating various feast days. My favorite sites are:
Catholic Cuisine and Shower of Roses.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Human Anatomy

We just finished up studying part of the human body and each child was able to make their own body, organs, and muscles. They really enjoyed it and learned so much. Sometimes I can't remember if I ever went to school or not. I spend most of the time teaching them thinking to myself "I didn't know that!"

Lillie's hair must have been blowin' in the wind.

Rose's organs colored perfectly.
Zellie dressed herself this morning. Once again, Zellie continues to make our day when we have to remind ourselves that she is four, but knows all her internal organs. Gerbil voice.
As always, somebody thinks they too participated in schooling events. To appease the little raccoon, I took her picture. She walked away saying what she always says after somebody takes her picture "Prepre" which translated into English means pretty. She cracks me up. I always mutter under my breath when she insists upon such activities "dork." She had no idea what she was doing, but if your siblings stand by a wall and take a picture so do you.