Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chunky Cool Crayons

Ok, we tried this nifty crafty that Melissa had on her site. This was SOOOOO easy and the kids had a lot of fun making the different combinations. We didn't necessarily aim for fall colors, but they are so neat. I can't wait to play with them. Go check it out and try it out - it really works!

P.S. Make sure they cool plenty of time and then they really do just pop out!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Chocolate milkshake

lots of chocolate ice cream
a little milk

results....happy family

Left to their own devices

Andrew was still asleep, but Nicole, Jacob and I came downstairs after naps/rests. I had thought I would put the rest of the Nutcracker ballet on for them to watch, but I got busy taking a few free moments to finish up a blog entry. I heard no screaming and arguing. Only Jacob reading to Nicole and the two of them laughing heartily at the books they had chosen. I love that they CHOOSE to read!

How DOES she do that?????

Danielle Bean has this uncanny knack for writing THE perfect blog entries and they seem to come just when I need to hear them. Take a moment and read up!

Today Andrew sick and Nicole has been cranky (probably still a little tired from all her San Antonio touring). Although we have fared rather well and I have remained calm and collected, it is still a more difficult day. I have felt frustrated with situations, sad at Andrew's poor condition and, of course, a little sorry for little old me. Selfish, but true. Then I am plagued with the thoughts of the future. Not the FUTURE future, as in years ahead, but the next couple of days future. How long will his illness last? Is he REALLY done throwing up? Who else will get it? Where? How? When? Who? WHY ME??? Silly, yes. Real life, yes.

Then I read Danielle's post and I am reminded that this day (or even a week, if it turns out so) of sickness and crankiness and wiping noses and cleaning up, is but a hiccup for God and only a small portion of this grand life he gave me to lead. It is hard to see, but this season of life will be over before I know it. No matter how many grand plans I make, God is in charge and all of His perfect plan serves to mold me and shape me. Start shaping. I am ready.

San Antonio, etc.

Well, I had fully intended to sit down last night for a good ole blogging session, but that did not happen. Andrew threw up on the way from ballet yesterday evening and again at dinner. I had been suspecting since lunch that he might be coming down with something, but really thought it was looking like cold symptoms. So imagine my surprise at his messy outburst! We got him to bed with little trouble and he slept all night, although I felt like my sleep was not as good - you know, that feeling all night long as if you are waiting for a time bomb to explode. Anyway, this morning the cold symptoms were evident. Nurse said some combo of the stomach and cold going around. Yippee. As the day has progressed, it seems to me the tummy troubles may be over - knock on wood - though we are still being cautious. Say a little prayer for him and the rest of the family. I dread a rampant run of this thing through the house. Thy will be done, Lord, and give me the strength to meet any challenges as they come.

Anyway, I am convinced that Andrew picked up this bug somewhere along the way on our San Antonio trip. I mean, how often does a 16 month old come into contact with 6 different highchairs in a 48 hour period? Despite these nasty germs, our trip was so enjoyable. Last summer we bought two new appliances from Sears and in the deal, we got 2 nights free stay at a Fairfield Inn and Suites. We decided to use them in San Antonio and invited Brian's parents to go along. I spent a lot of time in San Antonio growing up, but had not been there with the kids yet. There is still so much more we could go back and do! We left Friday lunchtime and arrived around 5pm. We took the trolley down to the Riverwalk and ate some dinner at a yummy Mexican food restaurant. The kids especially loved the trolley. The next day we spent touring the Alamo, taking a riverboat ride and going to El Mercado. It was a full day, but lots of fun. The children came home with all sorts of treasures! We were going to attend Sunday Mass at San Fernando Cathedral near the Riverwalk, but then we noticed there was a lovely old Catholic Church right across the street from our hotel. What luck! It was a wonderful Mass. After that we went back, packed up and headed for the zoo. It was cool, overcast and breezy - the perfect day for the zoo! After the zoo we headed home. Nicole said she wanted to stay and we could all agree to a certain degree. We had had so much fun.

Recently we have really enjoyed traveling with the kids. While I can see the value in a husband and wife night away, I don't find myself pining for one. It is such a joy to share these wonderful places with our children - to watch them learn and explore the sights and laugh themselves silly on the trolley! They truly enjoy themselves. I told Brian there are so many places in our beautiful country I want to see. And, you know, I don't want to wait until Brian is retired and the children are grown to start traveling. I want to see these things now, WITH my children in tow and the van packed with every possible thing we own. So much to enjoy, so little time!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

San Antonio Photos

I do intend to create a blog entry some time soon. I will post these photos in the meantime, though, because I really do need to go rest before everyone else is up and about again.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Beautiful Ballerina

Nicole has been taking beginning ballet for about one month now and is loving it. She has been looking forward to it for some time now! They have already covered so much material and I am so impressed with the place we have chosen, Bay Area Christian Performing Arts Center (BACPAC). Its Christian focus is so lovely and permeates everything they do.

Yesterday was parent observation day (we don't usually see the class) and so we really enjoyed watching all the ballerinas, but especially Nicole. It was the first day her teacher brought a large bag of fluffy pink tutus. We weren't sure what they were at first, but then, holding the bag, she announced, "OK, who would like to wear a tutu today?" Nicole was the first little girl to stand up and clearly say, "I do!" What a little three year old girl's dream come true! And how precious!

Here are some photos we took. Nicole is the one with the pink ribbon pony tail and the blue band-aid on her elbow. :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just horsing around

Well, Jacob has been waiting patiently (well, sort of) for this day for many weeks now and it finally arrived. Today he began horseback riding lessons at a local equestrian center. I think it was all he had hoped for and maybe more. He learned how to brush his horse, clean out its hooves and saddle it up. Then it was time to ride "Macho Man." He seemed a natural out there in the arena - following directions as he steered Macho left and right around the arena and in circles. He even got to gallop once - by mistake. He told Macho to trot once and apparently Macho is said to forget that word and sometimes gallops. It was a very enjoyable experience for everyone. Nicole enjoyed watching and Andrew was mesmerized by his first look at a real horse. We'll be there again next Monday, ready to ride!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Food consumption worries

Whether baby is a boy or a girl, we will surely be blessed. But I'm beginning to think that if Baby #4 is a boy we might be in for a little trouble. I say this as I look back on yesterday's food consumption by Jacob (mostly) and Andrew (he's gaining momentum).

Since we weren't able to go to breakfast last Saturday for my birthday, Brian treated us all to a yummy IHOP breakfast yesterday morning. We made our choices and once they arrived, the feast began. Nicole ate small portions of her selection - pigs in pancake blankets with hashbrowns. She was more into drinking oceans of OJ. But Jacob????? Oh, no. He ate all of his very large pancake and the bowl of cinnamon apples and whipped cream that should have been on top. He ate his piece of bacon, sausage link and all his eggs (he commented that these were the best he thought he'd ever had). He drank all his milk. Then he offered to eat Nicole's sausage link since it was too spicy for her. He was very full and very pleased. He ate with such gusto. Andrew ate a whole yogurt, almost a whole banana and a good amount of pancakes and syrup. Whew!

Lunch was a little smaller portion wise since we had finished breakfast late, but by dinner time the boys were up to speed again. Andrew loves pizza. He ate 2 slices and a whole plum. And ice cream for dessert. (Yes, it's all health food) Jacob ate 5 slices of pizza, no fruit, gallons of water and managed to squeeze in a little ice cream as well.

Now, I know they don't eat like this every meal every day, but the possibilities are scary. Jacob easily finishes off adult size cheeseburgers when we eat out and has been known to eat 2 Whataburger cheeseburgers when out with grandparents (those softies) :)))

I wonder. I wonder about our grocery bill. I wonder if we'll need a bigger refrigerator (we're already buying a freezer). I wonder if we will ever go out to eat again in the future. I wonder how big Jacob will be. At his 5 year old check-up his pediatrician forecasted he would be about 6'2" and 210 pounds - oh boy!!!! Now, Andrew is a bit shorter in stature and not quite as high on the weight charts, but he has a stockiness about him that makes me wonder too. Little, but powerful!

But I will have to put these wonders on hold. Wednesday morning is our ultrasound at 18 weeks, but we will not find out what we are having. We never have and we really like it that way. It has been a lot of fun! So for the time being I will feed my children with love and start putting money away in a grocery savings plan.

What an amazing photo!

With credits to my mother-in-law!!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world!

Here is a nice description of the Feast.

This one too.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just a few more, if I may

I know. I know. More adorable photos of the kids. Some may have had enough, but oh, they are so much fun!

The Spaghetti Thief

What did you say?

The Ham

The Princess

Miscellaneous Birthday Photos

that silly old blogger wouldn't let me publish earlier.

Peachy Spiders

Recipe #2

This is the recipe that Nicole had chosen to make from that children's cookbook. We made them late this afternoon to go with our dinner tonight. They were fun, although a little less interactive for the kids. They could do everything but the carrot curls for legs - even I was having a hard time with those. I made three with curled legs. I got tired and everyone had left the workstation to join their dad upstairs. So Brian and I had salads with straight spider legs. I am sure if you brainstorm you could come up with other ideas for the legs, if not other parts as well.

Peachy Spider Salad

1 can peach halves
1 jar maraschino cherries with stems

Lay lettuce leaves on plates
Place one peach half on each
Pull some cherry stems off and stick into peaches
Cut maraschino cherries into halves and make slices for the mouths
Add raisins for eyes
Then use a vegetable peel to make carrot curls - way fun

Another Birthday, Another Year

Well, my birthday has come and gone (it was actually Saturday). As I was finally getting around to taking down the decorations my dear Brian so lovingly hung, I was thinking about my birthday. It was a wonderful birthday - no doubt. But in a funny way, the day of my actual birthday was far different than I had planned.

I actually was blessed to celebrate the majority of the weekend. Friday night we went to Brian's parents for my favorite Harrington meal, New Mexico enchiladas! I ate way too much and had a really fun time. Sunday, my parents took us all to my favorite Mexican food restaurant for dinner and again we had so much fun - even WITH the loud birthday demonstration by the waiters. (At least I didn't have to wear a sombrero and stand on the table.) But Saturday was hardly what I'd planned. I had planned an early breakfast out followed by our back to homeschool Mass at church. Then later that afternoon the whole family was to go with our best friends to the beach. I was so looking forward to MY plan. Well, the day began rainy. Because the shuttle launch had been scrubbed on Friday morning, Brian had to work again on Saturday morning (it turned out to be a beautiful launch). He had to get up at 2am to go to work and of course that left ME alone with the kids for a way too normal toast and jelly breakfast. I began to feel sorry for ME. Then we went to Mass in the rain. Mass was not quite picture perfect if you know what I mean and this probably had to do with the fact that I was already feeling sorry for ME. We made it home just in time to watch the launch and then I spent the next several hours waiting for Brian to come home and worrying about MY day. It was still raining and things weren't looking great. When Brian returned home I was weepy and sad (remember I AM pregnant!) He put so much love into the rest of MY day and things did turn out nicely.

We ended up going out to lunch (Mexican) and had a really great time. Then we drove by the most magnificent bakery in the world and picked up a special cake Brian had ordered. Then we went on home to have some fun opening presents. The beach did not work out, but we had our best friends over anyway. That always makes for fun. The guys picked up Subway (way too much Mexican to eat anything else) and we shared the cake! It turned out really great!

What I guess disappoints me the most is not how my day turned out differently than I had planned, but how I spent a lot of time worrying about ME. How selfish. I know it was MY birthday, but how selfish of me. I think I gave new meaning to the song lyric, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!" I am not good at dealing with changes of plans and so see my difficulties. I don't want to do this next year. I want to be more outward focused, more Christlike. I want to be more flexible. I know the Lord always has something to teach me. I just didn't expect it to be on my birthday.

Thank you Lord for showing me that my birthday could be wonderful even if it wasn't "as planned." Help me to be less selfish and more flexible.

Next year I plan to make no plans. :))))

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

For Adults Only!

1. Finely shredded cheddar cheese.

2. Rice.

Care to add any??

What's in your freezer?

Aside from approximately 9 different containers of Blue Bell ice cream, today our freezer contained "Frozen Chocolate Bananas."

For my birthday, my mom gave me a lovely Italian cookbook and passed on to the kids a cookbook for children that used to be mine. Jacob and Nicole were so thrilled to receive it. They argued over who got to look at it as we left the restaurant parking lot. Yesterday I let them each choose a recipe they liked to make. Last night at the store I got the necessary ingredients. We will make Nicole's recipe tomorrow. Today we made yummy frozen choclate bananas - Jacob's choice. We had them for dessert tonight and they really did turn out yummy.

Here is the recipe as we made it:

2 bananas
1/2 bag milk chocolate chips
chopped peanuts (we used honey roasted)

Peel bananas and cut in half.
Put bananas on sticks or skewers.
Melt chocolate chips.
Roll bananas in chocolate. You may have to use a knife to help spread it.
Then roll bananas in peanuts.
Place on a wax paper lined pan.

I had to put them in the microwave about 15 seconds before we ate them.

Hope you enjoy! It was fun because the kids could do most of it on their own.

P.S. b-a-n-a-n-a is a difficult word to type over and over again.

Do you think they'll excommunicate me??

Anyone who knows us, even moderately well, knows who the following member of our family is.

Monkey. Not Bob the monkey. Not Mr. Monkey. Not even George the Monkey. JUST Monkey. Nicole and Monkey have rarely been separated over the last 2 years. He was purchased at that dreadful Rain Forest Cafe in Galveston where we realized that she was frightened by thunderstorms. To remove her from a terribly unpleasant situation, I took her to the massive gift shop and bought her this Monkey as a consolation prize. And thus a thick friendship was born. Monkey goes everywhere and does everything. I love that she loves Monkey.

Well, today we were talking about St. Michael, Satan, Heaven, Hell, etc. The children grasp the whole concept really well and seem to accept it and understand it all with that lovely childlike simplicity. Nicole is always happy when she talks about Heaven because she knows she will get to see Mary, St. Bernadette, St. Joan of Arc, etc. She grins from ear to ear every time she speaks of the possibility. Today as we talked about it again, her eyes began to tear up noticeably. I asked her what was wrong, thinking the discussion was maybe scaring her, although there was nothing said we hadn't spoken of many times before. She got more and more tears and finally said, "Mommy, I don't think I want to go to Heaven. I have to have Monkey." I think at this point I was teary too. Without even thinking (must have been the Holy Spirit), I said, "Oh, Nicole, you will take Monkey with you." Her smile immediately returned and she giggled with delight. I reassured her of the fact that Monkey would be more than welcome. Jacob asked me how I knew she could take Monkey. I simply said, "Mary told me so." I know she did.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Let us remember this day!

Let us remember the people who lost their lives and who gave their lives so willingly.

Let us remember the sorrow we felt that day and not become complacent.

Let us remember that life is fleeting and to live each moment well.

Let us remember God today. May we never forget that no matter what he is in control. He loves and protects us. May we take refuge in Him.

Let us remember to offer prayers this day and never forget!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Mary!

May we celebrate our beautiful mother today. Do something special. Say an extra Rosary. Present her with some flowers. Something to let her know you are thankful she was born.

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May you all be blessed by this day!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One more thought on submission

Please, oh, please, if I may bend your ear one more time on this one. :))

This morning I was reading the daily Mass readings (see neat link in sidebar) and my daily reflection book, and of course the reading seemed oddly connected. It is the Gospel story of Jesus' call to Peter. Jesus gets in Peter's boat to teach the crowds from there. Peter and his companions had been out fishing all night and had caught nothing. Jesus then tells Peter to go back out on the lake and cast his nets into the deep. Peter is doubtful, but then says he will do it.

"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets."

He was successful.

What's the point here? Well, much like what I wrote about yesterday, Peter could have thought of lots of reasons why he should not go back out with his nets. He was an experienced fisherman, he'd been out there all night without a catch, and he was probably pretty exhausted. Yet he obeys this man he hardly knows. And his obedience brought a successful catch. I can think of lots of reasons why a particular thing my husband would choose to do is not a great idea, but maybe my obedience and submission would bring about more success than if I put up a fight. My reflection book said it simply. "Obedience brings strength." Why? I believe that obedience to God and to the helpmate He gave me are part of His plan for me. Therefore, through following this plan, success will always follow. Maybe it won't always be easy or fun, but it will bring success in the eyes of God.

Well, just a little more food for thought as we begin this day. Enjoy!

Bathing Beauties

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More on submission


I really loved that post on Elizabeth's blog today. It really made me think about how I react to Brian and how many of these reactions are far from submission. I have had a whole day to ponder - uh oh! I said I would have more to say and so now I shall say it.

I believe submission to anyone or anything is a bitter pill to swallow in our society today. My guess is that submission has never been an easy virtue to master, but our "me" culture doesn't seem to help! Our world makes it seem the norm to refuse to submit to anything - whether to legitimate laws, company management, or Church authority. It's my way or the highway, buddy! So why on earth would submitting to my husband look like a worthwhile, appealing thing to pursue?

Why is submission so hard for me personally and for many in our culture? Because it requires relinquishing my control over people and circumstances, even the future. We might tend to label certain people we know as "control freaks," but aren't we really a freakishly controlling society in general. See, it's not just me! :))) We must control our finances to the penny. We need to control our daily schedules and that of those we are responsible for. We need to have control over our future, or "destiny," down to the minute. We go out of our way to control our fertility. We even sometimes find the desire to control God (ha, yeah, right). If I must control so much (and I know I have strong tendencies toward the "control freak" side), then I must control my husband, too. If I cannot let go of my need to control (oh, so difficult), then how can I let go and turn control over to my husband? I ask because I'd like to know how. I think it is a difficult task!

Elizabeth said the following in her post:

"'Yes, but...' I hear you thinking. But my husband isn't perfect as Christ was. I can't submit to a man who isn't perfect. I might be smarter than he is. I might be better educated than he is. I might be more thoughtful than he is. I might be more religious than he is. How can I submit to him?

The Blessed Mother was conceived without sin. She lived a sinless life. The only other person on earth who lived such a life was Christ himself. And they both lived under the guardianship of Joseph. God didn't make a mistake there. He could have saved Joseph from sin before he was born, just the way that He saved Mary. But he didn't. He put a flawed man in charge. And then, it took a sinless woman to have the humility to truly submit to him."

WOW! What a thought. How long could we meditate on all that? (I plan to for days) Mary was a sinless woman. And in her sinlessness she submitted to Joseph - sinful like us. So how can I possibly not submit to my sinful husband (sorry, Brian) when I too am sinful (yep, you found out)????? I just have to work at it! God put a flawed man in charge of this flawed woman, but his plan is perfect - that we know! Wait! It gets better......

Elizabeth goes on to suggest how we might live out submission in our marriages:

"How do we submit? We ask ourselves, 'What would Mary do?' I promise you she wouldn't pout, she wouldn't connive, she wouldn't demand her own way. She would draw heavily upon the sacraments to live a life of gentleness and grace and perpetual blessing to her family. Always. Not just when Joseph was behaving like the model husband. Not just when he was as holy as she was. She was a blessing when he brought a bad day at work home to the dinner table. She was a blessing when he was demanding. She was a blessing when he was hungry and irritable and when he forgot to take out the trash. We are helpers fit for our husbands when we are inspirations to them. We are imitators of the new Eve, the Blessed Mother, when our homes radiate the peacefulness and the faith of the little cottage in Nazareth.

Put yourself in that little cottage. I cannot imagine Mary grumbling or complaining as she went about her daily round. I can't hear her muttering about the menial labor of yet another workshirt to wash. I can't see her arguing at Joseph's decision-making ability. 'But Joe, I'm nine months pregnant! Get real. You want me to travel to Bethlehem on a DONKEY?! And you want me to trust you--a mere mortal of a man--to get me and this baby there safely? You're nuts. That's not prudent. And I know prudence because I know virtue better than you do.'"

So what does all this mean for me personally? So much of the same. It is all too often that I pour out my fault (it's the same one repeatedly) to my friend. I sigh in disgust at how I just got huffy or even angry at my dear, hardworking husband because he's not coming home as early as I WOULD HAVE LIKED. Oh, yes. That's me. I argue over decision making and even if I don't argue, I may only semi-submit. That means I go along with Brian's decision, but make it quite apparent that I am not thrilled about it. Submitting means changing these and other habits and allowing Brian to be the husband he is called to be. And it means to do it with grace and peace. It also means I must have courage. Courage to be different that the mainstream. Courage to believe in my husband and all of what God promises. Courage to let go of my control and let God work his wonders in my marriage and family. I liked the quote Elizabeth took from Fr. Lovasik which said in part that if husband and wife had the relationship of love and submission that Christ and His Church have, then that marriage would be perfect love and peace. What a concept! I like it!

I remember a Bible Study that I completed years ago by a lovely Christian lady, Elizabeth George. In it there was a chapter called "A Heart That Submits." She said some really wonderful things. She said that the main reason we don't submit is out of fear. Essentially we are "afraid of what will happen if our husband does things his way instead of our way." Oh, how true. She offered a few things to help us submit and then told a cute story about a woman whose husband loved to go to a noisy discount store. While there were many things this lady would have preferred to do and while she could have protested, she didn't. The book said she never challenged her husband's leadership. She just smiled, said "Sure," and got everyone ready for the outing. And she really did say the word "Sure." I remember our group of ladies laughing week after week at how we needed to say "Sure." It was a funny way to help us remember to be submissive. So when in doubt, smile and say, "Sure, dear." Try it! I think I am going to try it again.

One more thought I had about this entry today: Mary is awesome! I hope that any non-Catholics out there can see why we Catholics love her so. She is the perfect model. She has so much to show me about how to be a woman, a wife, a mother and a perfect Christian! Daily I pray for Mary to guide me through my choices in my day. I want to be like her. Then I will know how to love Jesus perfectly as she did.

Well, I think that's all I have to say. Enough already, huh? Really. I was just so moved by this post and felt the need to renew my commitment to submit to Brian daily. It is a choice. It is a hard choice. It is a hard, but worthwhile choice. And it is my calling.

Dirty Word - Submission

I really have a lot to say about this topic, especially after reading this lovely mother's post. So much of what she said rang true. I kept nodding my head and saying, "Yes, yes." I couldn't agree with her more and, while I am sure nothing needs to be added to her beautiful thoughts, I know I will have something to say later.

I do HIGHLY recommend reading her post and letting it soak. Some may disagree with what she has to say, but, even so, there is much food for thought. Give it a read. Let me know what you think, if you care to.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Satisfaction in a day well done

Yesterday was a wonderful day - a success in so many ways. I wrote all this last night (7:50pm) but never got around to posting:

"Why is it that some days go so smoothly and others don't? Why is it that some days maintaining my composure is easy breezy? Why is it that some days are so productive?

I could think of a lot of reasons. But I know first and foremost, it is God providing every bit of grace necessary and that I am actually corresponding with this grace. I think it has to do with starting my day off early - an early morning of prayer and quiet. I believe it can be attributed to the fact that productivity breeds productivity. I also think it has a little to do with the fact that I am fresh from watching a Supernanny episode last night. :)"

It is a new morning now (Wednesday early) and I am hoping for a repeat day. I am thinking about those words I wrote. Does it mean that we never have bad days if we do all these things? No, it does not. I believe the same grace is always there, but then again maybe not. Maybe some days there are stores of graces in waiting that we just never even ask for. But then there are those days we do ask and receive and still things go poorly. Then I must think that it is purely because we are flawed, sinful human beings who fail to correspond to that grace. We make a wrong choice, even a small one, on this journey and it puts a little off course. And then, like I said "productivity breeds productivity," I think poor choices can breed more poor choices. I know I can watch myself and see that happen often. Then my control, my attitude, my behavior and my composure seem to disappear like water down a drain.

I pray that today is similar to yesterday! It was all Him. He hears my crys and then he waits for me to respond. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I want to respond today. I want Him to work through me again today. I'll let you know how it goes. And, of course, another Supernanny episode last night might just help. :)

The Fruits of Our Late Night Labors

In preparation for Labor Day, my best friend and I had a quilting night last Wednesday. We began at 9pm after all our kids were settled in their own beds in their own homes. We quilted to the wee hour of midnight with great fun and excitement. We were both REALLY close to finishing our quilt tops! I finished mine somehwere between 11pm and 11:30pm. My dear friend, I think, had ideas of packing hers up and heading home. Not so fast! I said, "You are WAY too close to stop now. Keep going - I'll help." And so we pinned and sewed and unpinned and pressed some more. And then the moment arrived! We hugged each other in excitement as we revelled in our quilt tops - DONE!!!! What a fun night. Next, another night for the layering and pinning (yuck-o).

P.S. My friend's is the one on the top - lovely! And mine is the one on the bottom. What fun!

As we begin a new week

Well, it is another one of those early mornings that I so dearly treasure. Who'd a thunk that waking up at 5:40 would be such a blessing??? Of course, I'm sure that the blessing would not be quite the same if I did not dedicate the majority of time to prayer.

We are ready to begin another week at home, schooling and just living the life God intends us to live. We did some school yesterday since we don't usually have big plans for Labor Day. Besides Jacob doesn't really know the difference and he woke up saying, "Yeah, we get to start school again today!" There are far biger holidays and feast days I'd rather take time off for.

Today Danielle Bean has a comment post on gratitude. What a wonderful way to start our day. I think instead of offering a comment there on her blog, I will offer up my thankfulness here.

*I am thankful for Brian's job: that it provides well for us, allows him time with us and that he loves what he does.

* I am thankful for my three, almost four beautiful, precious children. I cannot imagine my life without them.

*I am thankful for this early morning quiet time and for the Holy Spirit who gives me the "spirit" to actually get up.

*I am thankful for this opportunity to teach my children at home - what a wonderful thing!

*I am thankful for all for family loving me and putting up with me.

*I am thankful for my friends (3 in particular, you know who you are!) and the love, fun and support they provide.

*I am thankful for this computer and for blogs and email. What a wonderful way to connect and stay connected. What a joy to be in touch with other moms who encourage and uplift and make you laugh.

Oh, the list could go on and on. But I will stop there so I can go get ready for the day and be prepared to greet some little smiling (I hope) faces as they wake.

Other notable reading for the day:

Elizabeth Foss' entry entitles "Who is at home?"

Another Loveliness Fair at Castle of the Immaculate