Friday, February 27

It Was Need-to-Know, Sweetie!

Big Girl and Little Girl bought Indiana Jones Lego for their Wii, and Big Girl was telling me about the animals that they've ridden: a llama, an elephant, a horse, a camel...

I interrupted to say, "Hmm...let me see...I've ridden a horse, an elephant, and a camel..."

"WHAT!?" yelled Big Girl.  "How could you not tell me that?!?"

Tuesday, February 24

Shrove Tuesday

Or Fat Tuesday...same dif.

I decided to make pancakes for dinner tonight.  Way back in the day when Lent was hard, people ate no meat, eggs, sugar, or dairy during Lent and they fasted for the whole time.  Now, people get mad when they can't have corned beef and cabbage on March 17th when it falls on a Friday, and they complain about having one meager meal and possible "keep from passing out" morsels.  Or even "two small meals that don't add up to a full meal."  

So, anyway, people used to not have any eggs or dairy, so they'd eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and have a great feast with all the things they'd miss throughout Lent!

So we'll have pancakes and sausage for dinner tonight.  Yummy!  (Or, as I said to Big Girl's friend at the parish Spaghetti Dinner, "I've got two words for this: Yuh.  Me.")

Friday, February 20

Mythology and Lousy Produce

After making a full sandwich, a bowl of yogurt, and a big glass of milk for each girl for lunch, only to be told by both that they are hungry:

me: Gosh, you guys are a couple of bottomless pits!

Little Girl:  I'm Tartarus!


During Bible study, when asked why God might have looked upon Abel's gift with favor, but not Cain's.  Big Girl mentioned that the way it's phrased doesn't sound like Cain gave his best to God, but Abel did.

Big Girl: It was like he said, "Here, God.  You can have the tomatoes that are kind of squishy."

Seven Quickies

Thanks as always to Jen for hosting!

  1. While I was cruising down I-81 earlier in the week, a big rock came off a dump truck in front of me and chipped my windshield.  I nearly cursed (then remembered the small person in the back seat), then remembered that I've got a rider for windshield coverage.  Travel Man called them, and they arranged for someone to come to the house and fix it.  For free.  I forget how much that rider was, but I sure am glad I have it!
  2. My dishwasher broke a while back, but Travel Man couldn't fix it.  I suppose I could call someone, but we've started washing by hand and I find that I don't mind that too much.  I don't want a new dishwasher because the guy that lived here before did all of his own renovations and one thing he did when adding the dishwasher was to make the wired-in feature a plug.  So he spliced the wires and put them into a plug format and plugged the sucker in.  Consequently, we fear that a new dishwasher would involve some electrical work, too, and we've decided to put that off until we're ready to completely overhaul the entire kitchen, which will involve electrical, plumbing, and possibly even gas work (oh, how I'd love to cook with gas again!).  Instead, our quick fix involves getting rid of the dishwasher, replacing the counters, and adding some counters where the dishwasher is now.  This will also help me out with storage, which I lack.  And the condition for doing this was the tax refund, if we got one.  Well, we'll get one, and it'll easily cover it.  Happy me!  I'll take pictures and share when we do it, which should be March.
  3. The girls are chatting with my mother on the iMac, using iChat and the built-in webcam.  They're having a grand time, and are about to see my sister and her youngest daughter in a moment (I just heard Mom open the door for Sis).  It's better than the phone, and it's completely free.  Well, free once you have bought the computer and pay for internet, but you know what I mean.
  4. What did we do before the internet?  My girls can log onto the internet with me and gather all kinds of information and pictures of things that we used to look up in encyclopedias when I was a school girl.  And it's up-to-date!  No need for the addendum or annual book for the encyclopedia any more.  I have given them a lesson on how to use one, though, in the event they're still around when they get older and go away to school.  But it's interesting how very different their lives are because of technology that we didn't even dream of as children.  
  5. Windshield Man noticed that I had our old Dell in the garage (sans hard drive) while he was fixing my glass.  Offered to purchase it, even without the drive, because he likes to fix them up and mess with them.  I asked what a fair price would be (figuring that I'd maybe get $10-15 for it in a garage sale), and he offered $20.  Sold!  Hooray!  
  6. Lent is just around the corner - next week, in fact!  I was going to give up my dishwasher for Lent this year, but God helped me become detached from that a bit early, so now I have to be more creative.  I'm contemplating a few things based on what my spiritual needs are.  I think I'll be doing something to bring more silence into my life.  
  7. Our parish has started a Bible study.  We're using Jeff Cavin's "Great Adventure" study, and we'll be watching the third DVD on Saturday.  It's been phenominal!!  What a blessing it will be for our parish - I see it as a real boost for people's faith and their love for the Church, as well.  Our girls are actually participating, as well, as a part of their religious education.  Excellent stuff.

Tuesday, February 17

I Know This Feeling Intimately

No matter what efforts I make, I cannot die to myself without His grace. I am like a frog that, no matter how high it leaps, always finishes back up in the mud. O Lord, draw me after You; for unless You do, I cannot move even one step away from myself.

GIving an Effective Speech

Big Girl is going to be working on how to give a speech in English this week and next.  I'm going to show her this video to show her what can be done.  After all, Big Girl is nearly ten and a half, and this girl is twelve.

Monday, February 16

Tony Parker Should Have Been in the Castle

While watching our recorded Slam Dunk and Skills Challege shows from the All Star Weekend, I saw one of the funniest commercials I've seen in a long time.

When it started, I thought, "Oh, my gosh!  They're doing a spoof of Monty Python and the Holy Grail!"  And then the Holy Grail music came in.  I nearly died laughing!

This is a combination of all of the shorter commercials, which can also be seen here.

Sunday, February 15

Dunking and Sportsmanship

We're big Orlando Magic fans around here, and just LOVED Dwight Howard's slam dunk win last year during the All Star Break.

And when asked what makes him most proud of his son - Slam Dunk Champ, top player in the NBA, Olympic Gold Medal Winner - Dwight's dad said he was most proud of his Christian faith.  How can you dislike a guy with a family like that?  This year's Slam Dunk contest was fun to watch, even if Little Girl was disappointed at the lack of birthday cupcakes.  And Dwight Howard, though he lost the contest, was still BMOC as far as I was concerned because of his sportsmanship and his assistance to Nate Robinson.  Robinson won, by the way, and Howard (despite what the announcers said) did not look all that disappointed.  It's all fun, and Howard just was all class here.

Of course, this dunk was just so jaw-dropping, we weren't sure it could be beat.  Naturally, when you are under 6 feet tall and jump over someone who is nearly 7 feet tall, you deserve to win.  (But since my girls loved it so, I wanted to include this, Howard's new Superman dunk.)

Okay, one more. A little risque, perhaps, but kind of funny.

Friday, February 13


Thanks to Jen for hosting, as always!  

I can't believe it's Friday again already.  And mid-February, too!  Yikes!  I suppose it's finally time for me to download TurboTax and get that done.  For once it's not a matter of whether or not I can pay my bills, so I'm a little more relaxed, though I'm still not looking forward to it.


Speaking of mid-February, tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  Travel Man is almost always on the road this day of the year, and I joked that tomorrow he'll be home and there's nothing his job can do about it.  Maybe even next year, though I'm sure they'll have him traveling on Sunday for some trip.  Not that I mind much, you know.  My husband loves me all the time, and makes sure I know it, so I don't need anything special for February 14 every year as proof.  I did, however, ask that he please watch a romantic comedy with me.  (I'm rooting for Return to Me, which I haven't seen in years.)  And I'll be making turkey chimichangas for him for dinner, since he loves Mexican.  


He went to the office after working at home most of the day today, too.  (The work-at-home was nice because he hadn't seen the girls since Monday's lunch.)  He didn't actually have a meeting, but they were making Valentine's Day cards in his department, so he's there making cards for his girls.  I'll be doing the same here with Big Girl and Little Girl.


Keeping on with the theme of love, I wanted to point out a post that I wrote around Father's Day a while back on my other blog.  I discuss honoring our husbands, the fathers of our children, and though this was specifically about Father's Day, the things I mention in it are just as appropriate for Valentine's Day (which I do mention a little, too).  Warning: I was on a tear here.  But I wanted to say something about my husband - to honor him - today.  He's amazing, and I admire him so very much.  I can't say enough nice things about him, really.  


Working has been kicking my butt lately.  My plate is full-to-overflowing, which is causing me to just shut down sometimes and avoid all responsibility.  (Mature, I know.)  But while my job is part time for me, there is an expectation that I dedicate a lot of time keeping up with everything on the Apple site, including third-party products.  I do try, but lately I feel like my time is so incredibly full.  Maybe I need some time off to just sit and do nothing - take a vacation and not run around during it, perhaps - but I am feeling increasingly burned-out.  And I hate that feeling.  When I work, even though I'd rather be "just the housewife/homeschool mom," I want very much to do a good job.  So I can't just slack off.  But I am starting to wonder if staying on until our emergency fund is fully funded is going to work for us as a family.  We'll be revisiting this when we pay off our last debt (aside from the house).  That ought to happen this year, God willing.

The Porkulus Bill is contributing to my bad mood, too.  I thank God we got on the Total Money Makeover plan when we did, or we'd be in big trouble today.  As it stands, if things don't get too bad, we'll be in good shape by year's end.  But in the meantime, I sit and watch as Congress spends my money and tells me that good citizens are seen and not heard, that I am all alone in not liking the pork, that we must do something - anything! - or complete disaster will befall us.  And our president, who ran with this whole "hope" idea, is now sounding like a caricature of Jimmy Carter, what with all the depression and imploding economy talk.  The Anchoress is an even-keeled place to find commentary on the subject, but even her site, usually very uplifting, is just getting me down about the whole thing.  But I'm afraid not to watch.  It's like the ultimate train wreck.


In spite of this, I'm looking forward to Lent.  I'll be working on my spiritual life, trying to draw near to God by learning to live In Immitation of Mary, trying to die to the world for love of Him Who died on the Cross for love of me.  I feel like it's a tough, uphill battle, and I feel a great spiritual struggle inside of myself.  If you could, whisper my name to the Almighty when you speak to Him.  We all could use prayers sometimes, you know?

[image credits: taxes, Valentine, call center women, Porkulus, Blessed Virgin Mary]

Thursday, February 12

Exactly Me


See my Personality Profile

It is almost creepy how accurate this was.  I took a 100-question personality quiz to get the results.  Only thing that is WAY off is the major in chemistry.  But maybe that would have been a better choice for me.  Who knows?  I'm just not much of a Science Girl.

It's Lincoln's 200th Birthday Today

But Google is celebrating Darwin's 200th instead.


Not that the picture isn't pretty, but I kind of think it's strange that they'd ignore Lincoln.  I'll bet they combine him with Washington, ala "Presidents' Day" next week instead.  I still think that both men deserve their own days.

I Saw These Cameras!

The one high shot of the March (as it turns between the Capitol and the Supreme Court) - we saw that camera and wondered who it was.  I knew it wasn't the mainstream media!

Time to budget for a movie, I think.

Thine Eyes: March for Life 2009

Wednesday, February 11

What Is Love? (A Valentine's Day Meditation)

Found via First Things:

...These days, I epitomize the “in sickness” part of the wedding vows that Deb and I took back in 1981. Since we learned last April that I have prostate cancer, I’ve had my prostate removed, found out that the cancer was shockingly aggressive, undergone a 33-session course of radiation and am finishing up hormone therapy.

Right now, I’m not quite what you’d call “a catch.” I wear man-pads for intermittent incontinence, I’m a bazaar of scars, and haven’t had a full erection in seven months. Most nights, I’m in bed by 10. The Lupron hormone shots, which suppress the testosterone that can fuel prostate cancer, have sent my sex drive lower than the stock market, shrunken my testicles, and given me hot flashes so fierce that I sweat outdoors when it’s 20 degrees and snowing.  ...

Read the whole thing here. And ponder what love really is, and how you can find the Culture of Life with death staring you in the face.

Pop Quiz: Do You Have What It Takes to Work for the Electric Company?

It's 5:30 on a Wednesday evening.  You work for the power company and need to make a repair that will involve shutting off the power in at least one home.  Since it's dinner time, and there might be people who are cooking or even wrapping up work at home, what do you do?

(A) Knock on the door(s) of the home(s) that might be affected to give warning that you're about to cut power.

(B) Cut the power without any warning, leaving people without the means to cook or open their garage doors so they can go out to eat.

Well?  Which do you pick?  

If you picked (A), then you qualify to work for AEP.

Sunset on I-81

I took these while my husband drove down I-81 towards Washington, DC, on our March for Life trip.   (That we were moving at a clip of close to 70 is the reason for the fuzziness of the pictures.)

Nothing Says "I Love You" Like...

...telling someone that you want to have sex with them but no children, or (even better!), "Here, honey, get that abortion I know you've always dreamed of."

Of course, almost immediately we have someone who is saying that birth control and abortion are okay because of the economy.  Where has that come up before?  Oh, yeah.  And here, too, but at least that was satirical.

These are dark times, living here in the Culture of Death.  But we should fear no evil, for this, too, shall pass away.  

Friday, February 6

Seven Quickies

Thanks to Jen for hosting (as usual)!


It's a hectic week, again.  I used to think that once I did A, B, C then life would calm down a bit.  Or "Once we get through these couple of weeks, we'll be okay."  I've come to realize that life is just hectic.  I wonder often how much more hectic life is with more than two children.  


Little Girl has another First Communion workshop this weekend.  Children in our diocese who are attending Catholic school (and homeschoolers count) do not need to register for Sunday  School/CCD, but do need to attend these sessions for Sacraments.  First Confession entailed three two-hour sessions for the kids, then three one-hour sessions for parents (while the kids were in Sunday School).  Yes, six hours of prep for every child.  First Communion has another round of sessions like the First Confession ones, and then a four hour family "retreat" in addition to that.  I know that a lot of kids need that additional focus on the Sacraments, but I do find myself feeling a little frustrated.  It's a big commitment - not that the Lord isn't worth it, but to be very blunt, Little Girl learns absolutely nothing new during these sessions.  Maybe it's because we're using Seton for religious education, but we really do cover the material well at home.  REALLY well.  

Maybe I shouldn't be grumpy about it, but I just get that way sometimes.  We are talking about a ten hour set of workshops for the kids for First Communion (in addition to Sunday school for most of them).  Like I said, maybe I shouldn't be grumpy, but I just feel like it could be more challenging or something.  Or maybe it's just because I cover so much material at home; maybe most kids do need that much additional time to learn what they need to know.


We did get a date, though, for First Communion, and Little Girl got her dearest wish.  She'll have her dance recital on May 30 and her First Holy Communion on May 31.  All of her grandparents (God willing) will be able to see both.  And for her, that's a huge treat!  Never before have they been able to come and witness her recitals.  It's just too far and too expensive to make that trip for the dance stuff.  But this year, she'll have a full house and lots of family who will see her hoof it on stage.


When I think about that First Holy Communion, I cry.  I'm so happy for her!


I had a huge up-and-down at work recently.  My January numbers were so bad that they were threatening me with losing my "elite" status.  (Yes, I worked my butt off to get into the top quartile of reps!)  January was just abysmal.  February, though, looks better.  My numbers are back where they once were, and if that keeps up (God willing!), I'll keep my elite status.  This means more money for me, better schedules for me, and a faster pay-down on that nasty debt.  


My dentist is not happy with me.  I don't floss enough, and he's worried enough to require I go in every four months instead of every six.  This means that I am going to have to pay for my stubbornness because my insurance will not cover this third appointment per year.  Luckily, Travel Man is not angry, just exasperated, and he'll be helping me remember to floss regularly. 

See, I hate flossing.  My teeth are so close together that even the hygenist comments on it every time I go to the dentist.  And since I had two bouts of hyperemesis, my teeth have not been as good as they were when I was a child.  (I didn't even get a cavity until well after my girls were born.)  I just dread the denist trips because of the whole tartar thing and the flossing lecture.  But I suppose it'll be better than getting dentures, eh?


Let's end on a happy note, eh?  My girls are going to have a sleepover next week.  A friend of ours is having a baby, and she'll be induced on Tuesday morning.  So Monday night, we'll have two extra little girls here.  Everyone is very excited, and they'll have a great time (I'm sure) sleeping "under the stars" in their bedroom.  They'll camp out in sleeping bags and I'll be sure the glow-in-the-dark stars are all charged up for the best effect.  It's going to be nice.  And Travel Man will miss it (poor him!) because of a business trip.  So it's just going to be all girls here Monday and Tuesday.  Heck, Wednesday and Thursday, too, since it'll just be the three of us when the girlfriends go home.  

If you play along, don't forget to leave a link at Jen's blog!

Wednesday, February 4

Disappointed in Obama - Post 2

Earlier this year I posted about groups that were disappointed in President Obama before he took the Oath of Office.

Now that he is in fact our President, and I pray every day that he will govern with the best interests of all citizens in mind, there are a few more groups that aren't so pleased with what they thought an Obama presidency would be:
  1. Muslims - remember how many people were upset that a Muslim was elected?
  2. Women - only 5 out of 20 Cabinet positions went to women.
  3. Women's Health Groupsthat Obama publicly pushed for family planning provisions (abortion is part of the plan) to be cut from the stimulus package.
  4. The Vaticandecision to end a ban on federal funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on them.
  5. Organized Labor -Obama passed over labor activist Mary Beth Maxwell and instead chose Rep. Hilda Solis of California as Secretary of Labor

Prayers for the Dubruiel Family

I feel terrible for Amy Welborn.  I don't know what I'd do without Travel Man, and my heartfelt prayers go out to her and to her family, and especially for the repose of Michael's soul.  

May the Mother of God be with you and keep you protected under her mantle.

Watch Out! She's Got a Knife!

What a great contest to enter!  Hat tip to Julie!

Win $1000 worth of Chef's Knives!

Monday, February 2

Snow Day?

We're predicted to have up to an inch of snow tonight and tomorrow.  That means one of two things: we will have no snow, or we'll get a foot.  

Judging by our luck with snow so far this winter, we'll freeze our kanoogees off and get absolutely no snow at all.

Don't Drive Angry!

This is one of my favorite moments in Groundhog Day (quite the under-rated movie, if you ask me).  The best line is delivered at the end of this scene (at 5:03).  The first time we watched this movie, we had to stop the videotape so I could calm down from laughing so hard.  It was probably a good five minutes before I stopped.

(Yes, I know it's Candlemas, too.  Give me a break.  I have fun that isn't Catholic related sometimes.)

Lewd and Lascivious Behavior

Can someone tell me why I can't watch the Super Bowl with my kids without changing the channel at every third commercial?  For example, at just after 7 EST (4 in the afternoon for West Coasters!), we had the girls cover their eyes QUICK when a Fast and Furious commercial came on.  Thank God we did: there was a very brief, but still there, lesbian kiss in the commercial.  A Doritos commercial showed a woman in black lace lingerie with garters and stockings (and quite suddenly).  An NBC spot for Chuck that aired several times from 6:30 on (and probably earlier, but we weren't watching much before kickoff) had a busty blonde crawling up a bed in lingerie.  Go Daddy ... well, we just know to turn that off as soon as we see anything with that name.  A commercial for flowers that started out funny wound up working in "No one wants to see you naked" and another reference from a co-worker that he would ... as he is told to shut up. 

And if this is a sampling of the commercials that were let through, just how bad was that PETA ad to be pulled?

And this isn't even getting into the violence in so many ads!

It isn't like this is a surprise, though.  We've found that we need remote in hand at all times when we try to watch sports with our girls.  We keep EWTN on the recall to get away quickly from the immodest, amoral, sexually-charged commercials that are now typical during sporting events.  But we are dismayed at how bad this has become.  It used to be that dads could watch the game with their kids and bond.  Now it's an exercise in quick reflexes as you try to shield your children from the Culture of Death.  

(There were exceptions.  Budweiser's Clydesdale ads, the Coke ad below where Troy Polamalu takes Mean Joe Green's place ["Is he coming?"], and the e*trade ads were all good, clean fun.  But overall, commercial breaks have become a nerve-wracking experience for concerned parents.)

Who are your heros?


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