Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Musings ~ October 31st

Outside My Window the sun is shining. After a sciff of snow this morning, it actually looks inviting.

I am Listening to the kids playing Gospel Champions on the laptop.

I am Wearing sweatpants and t-shirt. I worked out this morning. Mia and I got a kids aerobic video from the library for homeschool phys. ed.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZm5CqftzrA&w=420&h=315]

I am so Grateful for coffee. Can I be grateful for coffee? I mentioned that I am thankful for it in last weeks post. Grateful, you ask. Well, it reminds me of the few minutes of quiet solitude that my husband I and enjoy together everyday when he gets home from work. Without the coffee, could we really expect the kids to let us just sit down together for a few minutes without bothering us? Coffee gets cold and you must enjoy it hot. Those few quiet moments of coffee in one hand and hubby's hand in the other are something to be truly grateful for.

I'm Pondering how many more snowless days there will be until next spring. Normally we have a foot or so by now. I don't want to rush it or anything, I was just pondering.

I am Thinking that I should get ready for cold and flu season. I need to stock the tea cupboard and make sure I have common remedies on hand.

I am Creating Christmas gifts. We are trying to do a homemade Christmas, so I have my work cut out for me. So far I have finished a cable-knit hat, a pair of doll pants, started two other knit hats and crocheted half of a ball. I have so many ideas, but need to actually channel the energies into production mode instead of using all of my energy for brainstorming.

I am learning that I need to get more exercise. I am a young thirty-something, but feel and exercise like an old lady.

To live the liturgy watch saints movies, play some All Saints games, pray the St. Gertrude Prayer for souls and start planning November Feast days.

Towards a Real Education read, play, create in whatever order feels natural.

Towards Rhythm and Beauty make breakfasts the night before! I haven't for a few days now and that always equals less cuddle time in the morning.

I am Hoping and Praying to get pregnant again. I would love to have a few more kids before I turn 40.

Around the House finish sorting through the kids clothes. I am almost done. I already donated a bunch, took some to the consignment store and organized most of what was left. I found an ikea bag's worth of too small baby and kids' clothes in the cellar after I purged it on Friday.

From the Kitchen a coffee with whipped cream for hubby and me when he gets home. Other than that, lots of warm meals (see Friday's post).

On my iPod: music from L'Angelus. I love their style, lyrics, everything.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg0IFP6ORkY&w=420&h=315]

One of My Favorite Things whipped cream. Yumm. I will eat this on or in almost anything.

On the Calendar for the Week nothing so far. My little guy, Owen is sick with a stomach bug, so we will be taking it easy.

Worth a Thousand Words
Upon seeing this picture on Pinterest, my six year old runs to his older sibblings saying, "There are nuns muscling on mom's computer!"
God Bless and thank you for stopping by.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Yay It's Friday!

I can't believe it is Friday. I never really get excited for Fridays because my dearest hubby always has to work on Saturday, sometimes Sunday and usually every holiday Monday. That has changed! Thanks be to God!

My husband started his new job this week. He was offered a job with the local public school board to work as a full-time painter a few months ago. But since this is a government job, there was a police check, union stuff and red tape to work through. We thought that he was never going to get the phone call that he can start. It was a real test of patience. He was previously employed by a company that made him work weekends, even Sundays and stat holidays. Needless to say, that we haven't had a weekend together in... I can't remember how long. The last eight or so months he began working two shifts a day a couple of days a week. He left the house before we woke up and didn't come home until 10:30pm. It was hard and I cried and pouted a lot. I don't think I need to mention how happy we are that he is working 40 hours a week, no work on WEEKENDS, no work on SUNDAYS, no work on HOLIDAYS! He earns a little more, so his paycheck will be about the same as before with all of the crazy hours. It is so nice having a relaxed man come home at night. No office politics (yes, even painters have office politics), no phonecalls, no worrying where or if he is working tomorrow. A huge load has been lifted off his shoulders. My husband is my hero. He perservered through the toughest of situations on many occassions during our 12 year marriage. It amazes me the amount of sacrifices he makes in order that I can be a stay-at-home mom and a homeschool mom. Praise God, Alleluia!

So, I feel that I have to step it up at home and be the best mom and wife there is. So now for two weeks running, I have been menu planning. It has been tough at times, but prayer and helping hands have been my saving grace. I have mentioned in previous posts that we are gluten intolerant, meaning we don't tolerate any grains. I am going to share with you are menu plan for this coming week:

Monday:
B - pumpkin bread & smoothies
L - cucumber-tomato-basil salad with oven roasted potatoes
D - roast beef and vegetable soup

Tuesday:
B - Irish soda bread & smoothies
L - roasted apple,parsnips & sweet potatoes with salad
D - primal chicken wings, roasted potatoes, spinach salad

Wednesday:
B - pumpkin bread & smoothies
L - tuscan bean salad, gluten-free bread, hard-boiled eggs
D - pork loin & turkey sausage casserole

Thursday:
B - gluten-free bran muffins & smoothies
L - two-potato salad, veggies & dip
D - pumpkin-sweet potato soup

Friday:
B - banana bread & smoothies
L - leftovers, eggs and salad
D - fish with tomato-basil sauce & baked potatoes

Saturday:
B - gluten-free bran muffins & smoothies
L - daddy's chili
D - daddy's chili

Sunday:
B - almond apple pancakes & fruit salad
L - klassische frikadellen, rosemary potatoes & salad
D - roast chicken, mashed potatoes, asparagus & salad

It looks like a lot and sometimes it is. Breakfast is made the night before, except Sunday's breakfast. I am looking for quick and simple recipes all of the time and also for ways of making my meal prep quicker and easier. I have a binder with my favourite recipes all organized by type of food, so meal planning is quick and easy. I also have a helper during meal prep, so it isn't so bad. So I am signing off and wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Enjoy all of your All Saint's parties and be safe.

God Bless and thanks for stopping by.

{this moment} - A Quiet & Busy Toddler

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Hosted by SouleMama
God Bless.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

St. Gerard's Prayer List

If you are Catholic, then you have probably heard of St. Gerard. You have likely also heard that he is patron of expectant mothers. But there is a chance, that you have stumbled upon this blog and you are neither Catholic or have you ever heard of St. Gerard.

Saint Gerard was born in Italy in 1726. He joined the Redemptorists as a lay brother when he was 23. He has very pious and possessed an extrodinary wisdom, which allowed him to councel communtities of reliious women. Gerard also looked out for the poor. Being poor himself, he had a particular understanding of their needs. He often gave away all of his earnings and I read somewhere that he used his earning to buy beautiful flowers to set before the tabernacle. He told Jesus, "I haven't taken care of you, now you must take care of us." (the quote isn't exact, but you get the point). He was a selfless man.

Saint Gerard also had mystic abilities. He was also know to have have the gift of prophecy, healing, bilocations, the reading of consciences and he even predicted the exact day and hour of his death. During his life, he performed many miracles. One of his miracles involved helping a woman during childbirth. That is how he became invoked as the patron of mothers. I also read somewhere that a handkerchief of his was given to a woman in labour and that her birth went very well. After this, the handkerchief was passed from expectant mother to expectant mother until it was in threads.

It was after my second miscarriage that I was introduced to Saint Gerard. I wore a Saint Gerard medal through my entire last pregancy. The baby held the medal in his hand immediately after his birth.
I received my medal, a handkercheif and prayers from St. Lucy's Parish in New Jersey. If you are in need of special protection from Saint Gerard, contact the rectory at the parish.

If you want to learn more about Saint Gerard, I found this little booklet from The Little Flowers Press an inspirational read.


I just want to finish this post saying that I appologize for not having posted this earlier this month. Saint Gerard's feast day is October 16th. Another thing that I want to mention is that I moderate a Saint Gerard's prayer list on the Catholic Charlotte Mason yahoo group. Your name can be added to this list by emailing me directly at tina_saschaplus3 at hotmail dot de or by leaving me a comment. You can follow my sidebar link to join the group. The Saint Gerard's Prayer List is posted on Sundays and is updated after each and every email that I receive. Before you leave, please pray the St. Gerard Prayer for motherhood for all mothers who are expecting, trying to conceive, having suffered from miscarriage or praying for aid in being open to life.

Prayer for Motherhood
O glorious Saint Gerard, powerful intercessor before God, and wonder worker of our day, I call upon you and seek your help. You who always fulfilled God's will on earth, help me to do God's holy will. Intercede with the Giver of life, from whom all parenthood proceeds, that I may conceive and raise children who will please God in this life, and be heirs to the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

God Bless and thank you for stopping by.

Thriftstore Find

If have read my blog before, you know that I am a sucker for thrift stores and love vintage items. Well, we were dropping of a box of gently used items at Goodwill on Saturday, when I asked hubby if we could just take a look. Taking a look is usually harmless unless they have some cute vintage item (usually sheets) for a great price. I couldn't resist buying this cute bedspread for my daughter's room. It completely covers her trunde under her bed,is in impecable condition and only cost $4.99.
God Bless.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daybook ~ October 24th

Outside My Window it is dark and a bit gloomy. The sun hasn't risen yet, but I have hope. I love to look outside before the sun rises and see if I can find a red spot in the sky. My mother-in-law (who is German) always claimed that if the sky was red, you could be sure that Christkind backt plaetzchen (the Christ child is baking cookies). What a sweet thought, isn't it.

I am Listening to the furnace running. It is really cold outside is -5C (23F).

I am Wearing pj's. The baby is sleeping in my room and digging for clothes would mean that quietness will end for a while.

I am so Grateful for this sing-along / dance video. It is my saving grace when I need to make dinner. My 20 month old will do almost all of the actions and tries to sing along. It is so cute to watch him while I am prepping dinner.

I'm Pondering "There is no limit to what we can accomplish when we don't care who gets the credit." ~ Ernest Ohlhoff

This was the first line of the 40 Days for Life reflection for today. I need to take this quote and print it on my heart.

I am Thinking about the visit from our homeschool facilitator today.

I am Creating pants for the boys. I bought material on sale last Thursday, to sew pants for the two big boys using this pattern. I plan on reinforcing the knees and still have a bit of figuring to do.

I am learning to love myself and that burnout is not something you get over after a few good nights of sleep.

To live the liturgy I am praying every morning and evening. This is a big deal for me. It isn't always easy to make the effort to pray and take time to reflect. Having littles makes it easy to make excuses.

Towards a Real Education pick up The Iroquois Trail again. I haven't been doing many read-alouds and I want to make a better effort this week to do that with the older children.

Towards Rhythm and Beauty do some nature walks this week and collect findings for the nature table.

I am Hoping and Praying to heal from my recent miscarriages. Before my most recent period came, I had another positive pregnancy tests. Two miscarriages in two months is a heavy cross, but it is my cross.

Around the House my dear husband has lumber for some small diy projects.

From the Kitchen a whole week of yummy goodness. I broke down and made a menu plan. I am always reluctant to do this because we end up eating so much more than usual and the food budget increases.

On my iPod: Songs for Sapplings for learning Bible verses and memorization.

One of My Favorite Things is having a coffee with my husband.

On the Calendar for the Week nothing, but that could change.

Worth a Thousand Words
Yes, my daughter thinks her baby brother is a life sized doll. No, not really, but stuff like this happens when I am trying to make dinner. The little guy screamed when we tried to bring him back to reality for dinner. He loves that felted dolly hat.

Thank you for stopping by and God bless this monday morning.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

St. Jude Novena

Today marks the beginning of the novena to Saint Jude. I didn't know this until I read this post on Jamie's blog Lord, Make Me A Saint. You can join in if you follow this link.

I never really knew anything about Saint Jude until my husband found a picture of him at the thrift store. I wasn't exactly sure who he was until we brought him home and looked in some saints books to find his picture. shame on me I had a hunch that it was Saint Jude and that made searching easy.

Anyway, I was glad to know that he was the patron of hopeless causes. Don't we all have hopeless causes? Isn't it great to have a patron dedicated to helping us with our hopeless causes? I feel like a hopeless cause most of the time, so it was likely divine intervention that made me read Jamie's blog today. (Jamie, I read your blog almost every day ♥)

I know that I carried on and got a little off topic, so scroll back to the top and follow the link and join me in praying the Saint Jude Novena.

Wordless Wednesday - Our New Prayer Corner






Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Girly Curtains - DIY

A few weeks ago, while thrifting, we found a really pretty queen sized vintage sheet. I really wanted to turn them into curtains, but I wasn't exactly sure how. Today, while "pinning", I found a pin that sparked my interest. The tutorial was easy enough to follow.

If you want to make these curtains, you need:

a queen sized vintage sheet
lots of thread
sewing machine
cutting mat and rotary cutter

For a nice ruffle, common knowledge is to use material double the width of your finished size. In the original pattern, two pieces were sewn together to get the fullness. So here's my logic: one width of a sheet is double half of a sheet. (I was going to use half of the width for each panel) So before I cut the sheet in half, I cut my ruffle material. To make these somewhat like mine you need to cut:

2 strips 6inches x the full width of the sheet (top ruffle)
2 strips 8inches x the full width of the sheet (bottom ruffle)
2 strips 3inches x full width of the sheet (tabs)

Here are my cut pieces:

When you have your strips cut, you need to do a few things. Now you cut the sheet in half down the middle and hem the raw edges. Next, you need to make a hem on each of the ruffle pieces. I folded the edge over 1/4inch twice to make my hem, ironed it and sewed it in place.

Then, I ironed the 3 inch wide strips, right sides together, in half lengthwise and sewed them with a 1/4 inch seam. At this point you have two really long inside out strips. The original tutorial suggest cutting tabs out of your material that are 3 inches x 7 inches. You save yourself the time and trouble of cutting out individual tabs by making these long strips that just need to be cut in 7 inch lengths. Are you still with me? These 7 inch strips now need to be turned and ironed. I asked my daughter to do this so I could get on with the gathering.

Next, I used a basting stich to sew along the tops of each of the ruffle pieces. I gathered them and pinned according to the original directions. My tabs ended up being a little closer together than in the original. All in all, I am happy with the result. My daughter loves them and that is what counts. It was dark by the time I took the picture, so I can't wait to see them in the sunlight. Bit by bit, my daughter's room will be finished. We are hoping to redo it in a vintage look. Hubby is going to do some shelving above her daybed when he gets time. He will also repaint it and Mia and I plan on making some pillows, and other girly diy crafts to decorate it.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cloth Diapering - Soakers and Longies

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we cloth diaper. I haven't added any new diaper pants to the collection for a long time. Most of them are showing signs of extreme usage and I needed to do something in order for us to continue using cloth diapers. Without a soaker or plastic cover, our cloth diapers are useless. A new plastic cover runs between $13-$15 Canadian around here. A wool soaker is upwards of $30. I prefer the wool soakers to the plastic covers because of their breathability, ease of use, and comfort. I have a few fleece covers, too that I like. Paddy likes the one with flowers, but it is very girly.

I knew that I had to make a few. I am working on a crochet cover from this pattern, but that could take a few more days to finish. I found a few sewing pattern that I liked, so I whipped up a soaker and a longie last night when the kiddos were in bed.

These are longies from this pattern.

I machine felted two sweaters yesterday. One of the sweaters was an old sweater from hubby and the other was a lambswool sweater from the thrift store. The one from the thrift store had a few tiny holes in it, so I got it for an extra discount. Let me tell you that this was dumb, really dumb. I thought the holes would disappear would felt together. Instead, the whole grew bigger and multiplied. Needless to say, I couldn't make longies out of it and I was lucky to find enough pieces to make a little size xl soaker.


I made the soaker using the instructions from here and the pattern from here. I also sewed in an extra wetzone layer made of two layers of the ugly holy wool sweater.I used the waistband for the longies, so I doubled took the measurents for the leg bands and waist and doubled them in the width and sewed the raw edges along the openings. One other difference that I made in sewing was that I sewed the sides up first and then attached the waistband. I sewed the short ends of the waistband together to make a tube, folded it in half along the complet length and with the right side facing the right side of the soaker, sewed it in the round. I think they both turned out great. My little guy loves them both and sported them for me, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of him in the soaker.

I hope to make some more longies for the winter as jammy pants. Paddy sleeps in our room in the basement and it gets cool down there. He is a typical toddler, who kicks off his blankets at night. Somewhere packed in a box is a sleepsack in his size, but until that is dug out wool longies will have to do.

Thanks for stopping by and God bless.

Thriftstore Finds

Living Simple doesn't always mean living without. We love thrift stores and are amazed at what we always find there. We find a lot of books and recently bought the Lord of the Rings triology, some Boxcar Children, Little House books amoung others. We are also amazed at the number of Catholic finds we have thrifted.

Painting of The Road to Emmaus
Statue of Our Lady
Crucifix from Lourdes
Rosa Mystica picture

These are just a few of the things that we have thrifted over the past few years. Some of the other thrifted Catholic items didn't photograph very well. You can have beautiful things, even on a shoestring budget. These things are a constant reminder of who I live for and why I am here. You don't NEED religious art or statues, but having them around reminds me constantly that God is everywhere. It also helps me pray even when I don't have time. I look at a statue or holy picture and offer up what I am doing or I remember that I must make a better effort to get down on my knees.

One thing that amazes my husband and I, is the amount of holy articles that are given to thrift stores. Everytime we go to the thrift store there is either a picture, statue, crucifix or plaque that has landed on their shelves. Do you thrift holy art and statues? I would love to hear about what you have found.

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.

DIY Dresser Redo

I love DIY projects. I love using my hands and mind to create beautiful things for my family. A few weeks ago, that is exactly what promted me to take on this DIY project.

My daughter's room is tiny and awkward, but cute. When we bought this house, we sacrificed space. This house was well within our means, but at about 960 square feet on the main floor of our bungalow, creativity and no wasted space is a must. We have a finished basement, so don't feel sorry for us. Anyways, back to my daughter's room. She had a dresser, but it didn't really fit (it fit, but you couldn't open the door all the way). I have been thinking about a solution for a while, but hadn't found the perfect dresser yet. So when I found a dresser on a local online classified site, I jumped on it. It was ugly, actually I think it was worse that ugly, but I envisioned it finished (or I wouldn't have bought it). It was listed for $5. When I called the owner (who was luckily an immigrant... maybe I should reword uhhh, having difficulty with the English language), I asked a few questions about the quality and mentioned that the hardware was missing, he offered the dresser to me for free. Free is good. It was missing all the hardware, but one knob and, so I didn't feel that I took advantage of him? I was doing him a favour by taking it off of his hands, wasn't I? Anyway, we went and picked it up. I was in pretty good shape and the weather was great, so my painter husband went right at it.
I really want to do the DIY, you know the sanding, painted etc., but my husband voluteered. He cleaned it up using Methyl-Hydrate (I was going to wash it with cleaning stuff and a Mr. Clean Eraser) because it was pretty sticky and dirty. My man has all the tools and supplies, so he wiped (I wiped ith cleaning solution, too - it made me feel useful), sanded and primed. He let me roll the primer on. After it was primed it looked like this:
It looked much better. We let it dry overnight (we brought it inside to dry). After work, hubby gave it a coat of paint. I have no clue what he used, leftovers from other projects. After two coats of paint, some and some cute hardware, it looks like this:
I made my daughter a little dresser mat using the idea from this pattern. I just used things that I already had on hand.


So the whole project, made with leftovers cost us nothing but the hardware, which was a real splurge of $30. If we had driven a little further (10km) to a different hardware store, we could have got the hardware for under $20. Now my daughter's bedroom door opens all the way and we now have a dresser. We inherited her old one because we sold ours (which were too big for this house) before we moved in here.



Thanksgiving

In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday in October. This year, that happened to be on October 10. Unfortunately, my dearest husband had to work that Monday morning. So it was up to the kids and I to prepare the feast and decorate the kitchen. That was quite the morning.

I usually do Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday, the day before the actual Thanksgiving holiday. My hubby had to work on Sunday, too. Needless to say, he wasn't happy and our Thanksgiving weekend was spent remembering why we need to be thankful for my husband's job amoung other things.

I have mentioned before that we try to live simply and make do where we can, and Thanksgiving decor was no exception to this. We looked around the house and scrounged up enough things to make a pretty centrepiece for our table. Actally, my 11 year old big guy did the arrangements.

On Pinterest, we found some cute placemats and printables. We printed the ones that we wanted and used these for our decor as well. The kids filled in and coloured the placemats, which I then laminated.
Our dinnerware is simple and cheap. We bought these on the first day we immigrated to Canada. I hope to thrift some nicer dinnerware someday, but until then, this is what I've got. I know it doesn't match, oh well.

I was so busy making the meal that I didn't even get around to taking picture of the good food. We had a turkey, of course. I made home-made grain free bread on Sunday to make our crockpot-stuffing. Noah (11) made the home-made cranberry sauce and helped cut up potatoes for the mash. We had two types of mash, regular mashed potatoes and I tried out a recipe for sweet potato mash which was divine. We also had peas and carrots. Hubby came home before I got the gravy made, so we did without, which surprisingly nobody missed. Dessert was a yummy grain-free brownie. I know it wasn't a pumpkin pie, but I was really pressed for time (we had Thanksgiving dinner at noon when hubby came home). I didn't plan ahead very well, but it all worked out. It usually does.

We spent the afternoon (after the dishes), playing, lounging, drinking eggnog (hubby insisted) and eventually we went for a walk and took the kids to the playground. It was a beautiful day for a playground visit.
I am so thankful for my husband and children. They are the only family that I have in this city. Both families live so far away, so you really learn to be thankful for what is right in front of you. I am nothing without them and thank God each day that He has placed each one of them in my life.

Thank you for stopping by. God Bless.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Living Simply - Warm Fruit Salad

Warm Fruit Salad

1-2 Tbsp. butter
2-3 cups fruit, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
dash of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the butter in a square 8x8 baking dish. Meanwhile chop up some fruit. I used two bananas, canned pineapple, and frozen blueberries. I wanted something quick and simple using items I had on hand. Use whatever you have on hand. Throw your fruit in the baking dish with the melted butter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon. Bake for about 20 minutes, serve and enjoy.

We put a dollup of yogurt on top, but whipped cream would be a delicious addition. All of my measurements are approximate. I don't measure if I don't have to. I made this as a quick dessert and will definitely make this again. I admit that the bananas get a little mushy and it isn't a gourmet looking dish, but is rather a comforting mass of mushy goodness. My kiddos were pleased.

Happy Feast of Saint Therese!
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