Friday, March 30, 2012

Meatless Meal for Friday

I am going to appologize for not having a picture of this recipe. So imagine a bowl with piping hot soup. It is deep orange in colour and looks scrumptious (Noah's favourite food word).

Almost Paleo Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:
  • 2 good sized butternut squash
  • 1 very large sweet potato or yam
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water
  • coconut milk (optional)
  1. Peel and discard seeds from the squash and cut into cubes. Peel and cut the sweet potato into cubes. Peel and coarsely chop the carrots.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil in a large pot on medium high until melted. Add veggies to the pot and let them sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the dried spices and stir a few more minutes.
  4. Cover just barely with water, add maple syrup and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
  6. Using a stick blender blend until smooth.
  7. At this point, you can add some coconut milk and stir and heat again if needed. Do not let this come to a boil.
Guten Appetit. Enjoy with your favourite crusty rolls or bread. FYI, we do everything up until #5, turn off and do the paper route. When we come back I blend it and we eat it all up. I think is serves 6-8 servings, depending on serving size. I have never added the coconut milk to this particular soup, but have added it to other soups in the past. If you can have cream, use cream.

This recipe is my personal concoction. Please don't claim it as your own. Please do try it out and let me know what you think.

We serve this soup with our favourite bread recipe. I promised another blogger this recipe, so I hope she is reading this today.

Sunflower Seed Bread (adapted from Elena's Pantry Gluten Free Bread Recipe)

Ingredients:
  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add honey and vinegar and whisk again.
  2. Add dry ingredients, except sunflower seeds. Mix really well.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp. of the sunflower seeds (save 1 Tbsp. for topping). Stir well.
  4. Pour the batter into a bread form and sprinkle with the remaining sunflower seeds.
  5. Bake in a 350F oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool a little before slicing.
  7. Enjoy.
This bread also tastes great without the sunflower seeds. We changed some of Elana's original ingredients for one's that we have readily available and that are a little less expensive. I can't get agave here without taking out a mortgage for it and tapioca starch is only $0.68 for 400g (just under a lb.) Arrowroot starch cost about $4.00 for the same amount. Also, we add more honey and vinegar than Elena. Noah didn't read the recipe right, but it turns out that we like his bread better with 1 Tbsp of each as opposed to 1 tsp. of each.

We use this dough for pizza dough. We just omit the sunflower seeds and add a Tbsp of Italian seasoning and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder to the batter. I pour half of the batter into each of two Tupperware Flan Forms. I know they are expensive, but I used to sell Tupperware and earned mine. I love these for grain free baking because they don't stick.

Another variation of this bread that goes really well with the soup is:

  • omit sunflower seeds and add a handful of chopped pecans and 1 tsp of onion powder. Follow the rest of the recipe. This goes really well with soup or used as a stuffing.

God Bless friends,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stash Bash - March 29th

Today's stash bash could have been posted a long time ago. It was a Christmas gift for Owen. He had been bugging me for a quilt of his own for a long, long time. I just hadn't gotten to it, you see. Everyone else but Owen and mom and dad have quilts. So before Christmas, I decided to whip up a quick quilt. I didn't have money for new material so I broke into my stash, my linen closet and button collection searching for all kinds of useable material for this quilt. The only thing I went out to buy was the batting and I got that on sale.
Owen wanted this picture posted. He wants you to know that he found the first ladybug of the year.



For this quilt, I used the following:
  •  Windham quilt material from the explorations line bought at Fabricland
  • quilting fabric I bought from Fabricland
  • two pillow cases that we no longer use
  • muslin that was dyed at the Waldorf kindergarten my kiddos attended in Germany
  • various pieces of broadcloth leftover from other projects
  • red sheet that I had bought to make a cape out of (for the binding)
  • double sized sheet I don't have a bed for (backing)
  • buttons purchased at Wal-mart years ago to use for crafting
  • thread out of my stash
I machine pieced the squares together. I did not quilt this quilt at all really. It is a button-tied quilt. I got the idea out of a book from the library. I unfortunately can't remember the name of the book. I made a matching pillowcase using the instructions from this website. If you sew and especially if you sew pillowcases, this is the tutorial to follow. The pillowcase uses some of the same fabrics and the red trim is from that old red sheet.



For this week's Stash Bash, visit Tricia at Crunchy Catholic Momma.

God Bless my dear friends,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Now I Get It

I hate crafting with kids. I hate the mess, the clean up, the junky looking results and did I mention the mess. Oh ya and how the toddler either rips apart the house or dumps out stuff while we craft. So, I came across this post today and I get it. I have been doing it all wrong.

On a side note, while I hate crafting, I teach my kids to sew, cook and garden. That's something, isn't it?

God Bless,

Making Do - Baby Edition

Yesterday, I blogged about some of our financial struggles as well as some of our latest blessings. We strive to live simply and I would like to share with you just how we plan to fit a new baby into our tiny home.

We gave up our master bedroom for the boys months ago. Eventually, we thought there would be three of them in one room, when in effect, it will be four.

Before


After

We moved down to the dungeon basement. There was a tiny bedroom, not being used, so we claimed it for our own. We had a legal window installed, for safety reasons obviously. With half of the family sleeping downstairs, we needed an exit in the case of an emergency. Now our master bedroom looks like this:


It is cosy. Our closet has no doors, but we have a built in bookcase. Some science projects are taking place on the window sill. We aren't in there much, so we figured that we didn't need much room or mind giving up space. But, where do we put the toddler? He is too small to leave upstairs, so far away from us. So we made him a space all on his own. Now we added a space for baby and love how it turned out. What do you think? The space was dead space anyway and we didn't know how to use it. Now it looks like this:
The nursery, right outside our bedroom door.

View from the main rec room. The doorway in the back is our bedroom.

Our library and movie theatre.

I am amazed at what a great choice in paint colour (thanks honey), a few pictures, furniture arrangement and love can do to a space. We hung a set of curtains with tie-backs as a room divider. The only purchase that we made for this space was the toddler bed / crib on kijiji. We found a matching one to the crib we already had for $100. The price was a little higher than I had hoped, but it was the only purchase we made for the entire space. All of the other stuff in the pictures were from other places in the house. The change table / dresser has been painted in numerous colours since we bought in in 2002.

This room reminds me of days gone by. It doesn't look old fashioned at all, I know. But most of us remember growing up in small houses with lots of children. My grandma raised 11 kids in a four bedroom house that had been previously converted from a Presbyterian church. I grew up in a three bedroom farmhouse as one of six kids. We only had one bathroom growing up as kids. I survived unscathed. We all did. I have nothing against big houses, I just don't live in one.

Our small house is still a lot bigger than our low income housing apartment in Germany. The first apartment I lived in Germany was tiny. North Americans have more space, it is a fact. We have more space now than most Germans families and we are so grateful. It helps us stay simple. I have four huge black bags and two diaper boxes of stuff waiting for Goodwill. I am always amazed on how we can still have so much stuff.

Part 2 of this post, I wanted to focus on baby gear. Although, our baby isn't due for another 4-5 months, the nesting has begun. I have a garden to work in this summer, so I want to be outside and not indoors. So while I wait for spring in the great white north to arrive, I am desperately trying to declutter. I am also taking inventory. I mentioned before that some things only survive so many babies, but we don't have money for new stuff right now. Since I am going through clothes and closets and looking to downsize, I figured now was as good a time as any to go through the baby stuff.

I cracked open two boxes of baby stuff yesterday. One box was full of newborn clothes, burp clothes, receiving blankets, breast pump and other mama-baby stuff for the first few weeks. The other box contained baby clothes up to about 1 1/2 years. Although, I wash clothes before I pack them away, I noticed quite a few yellow spots on the clothes. I couldn't waste perfectly good clothes because of old stains, could I? There were ones that each of my babies wore (except maybe Mia). So I promptly googled several combinations of storage + baby clothes + yellow stains + removal and found something I thought might work.

1/2 cup in a basin with cool water.
Dip the baby article in this above mixture a few times until it is wet. WARNING: Wear rubber gloves! I did not for the first 10 or so items and my fingers have funny red marks, hurt, burn when in water and bleed a little. So please, don't try this without rubber gloves.
Squirt a bit on the yellow stain and rub until the stain is gone.
I squirted a bit of the blue Dawn on the spot and rubbed the spot until it disappeared. Some spots didn't disappear, so I let them soak and rubbed again. I had a small wash basin, so I just did whatever I could fit in it, transferred everthing then to my top-loader and started another load. I did all of my whites first. There were a lot more than I expected. I continued with all of the load and then I filled the machine with water, let it agitate for a while and let it soak, again. I repeated this a few times without actually running a cycle. I wouldn't recommend doing this though. I had quite a few bubbles come up the drain when I ran the machine on normal. I anticipated this and didn't walk away. My machine is in the utility room with a concrete floor. I just wiped up the bubbles and rinsed a second time.

Next, I ran the machine with homemade detergent (not much) and added a 1/2 cup peroxide and 1/2 cup washing soda. This was a version of homemade oxyclean that I had also found on the internet. I put vinegar in the softener disperser and ran a normal cycle. I did one extra rinse again and hung everything in the sun to hopefully get all of the shadows out. There were a few stubborn stains.

Voila! My baby stuff is white or off-white again. There are no stains left and are ready for use. Thanks to Jillee at "One Good Thing" for all of her laundry tips. I should also thank my two year old for keeping me company while mommy played in water. He sang with me his versions of his favourite songs. Did you know that Old MacDonald had a frog?

I think this whole living on a budget can be quite addictive. I love seeing the goodness in the hopeless. I have learned new things about myself and my family. I am loving being a wife and mommy, even if it is dirty at times.


God Bless my friends,

 

Starting Good Friday....

Divine Mercy Novena

Divine Mercy Novena 2012

Starting on Good Friday, I am joining more than 10,000 Catholics to pray a Divine Mercy Novena!

I’m actually trying to help this online prayer community (PrayMoreNovenas.com) to get 20,000 people praying this novena for God’s Mercy. We all need Mercy, right?

You can sign up for handy email reminders to get the the novena prayers here: http://www.praymorenovenas.com/divine-mercy-novena

After you sign up, maybe you can help spread the word as well. God’s Mercy is abundant and overflowing, let’s share it!


Originally Posted Here: Pray More Novenas Spread the Word

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trying Not To...

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Blessed Pope John Paul II

despair. It is hard sometimes. I looked up a quote to start off my blog post today and the one I found from Blessed John Paul the Great seemed most fitting.

We had a rollercoaster of a weekend. My dearest had a four day weekend. I have mentioned how much I love his new job before. I was excited for a nice long weekend so much so, that it didn't matter that crappy weather was all that was being forecasted for the entire weekend. We had our share of snow, rain and grey weather.

Friday morning, we went to Mass at our old parish, went to confession and then hurried to make it to my sonogram appointment on time. We made it, praise the Lord. The funny thing about the medical building was, I had the directions, navigated my dearest the whole way and found out upon arrival that the name of the building had changed. My husband laughed when he saw the final destination. He disclosed that he had spent 6 months coming to this building every day under it's old name. This was a previous job site. Driving into the park garage, he explained to the kids what he had all painted, including the park garage.

Advanced Medical Imaging Cetre 2000 Veteran's Place, Calgary, Alberta

Isn't a beautiful and grand looking building. I have veered a little off topic. We knew that we wouldn't come out of this building in the same light that we had entered it. We knew this day would change our lives forever.

It was quite surprising, but everyone was allowed to come in for the sonogram. EVERYONE!!! There were six of us. A dear friend, who was going to babysit for us, unfortunately got sick and couldn't watch the kids. The kids were all fidgety, they turned off their ears, didn't listen and poor Sascha had to take a few of them out of the room and missed most of the appointment. Needless to say, my daughter found out the gender of the baby before daddy did. She cried, again. She is going to be desparately outnumbered.


Isn't he beautiful?

Our weekend got off to a great start. We grocery shopped, ate lovely meals and did some organizing here and there. We went to the thrift store and picked up a few little outfits for our little boy. After three boys, a lot of our baby boy clothes are worn out, stained and some are falling apart (onsies & sleepers in particular). We even found Noah a nice dress shirt from an expensive name brand for five bucks. Life is good.

It was so good that daddy sprung for a bit of fabric from the fabric store. He bought her some material for an Easter dress. It is beautiful, but I wouldn't have paid that much for it. Daddy's little girl will look beautiful on Easter morning. God Himself, I believe would have bought her the material, too. Don't all daddy's want their daughters to look special? I will use this pattern


We had fun, spending small amounts of money and were excited about the weeks and months to come. We did some reorganizing of the nursery, put up some pictures that we already owned, filled holes from old pictures, touched up paint and started clearing out things to donate and sell. Little did we know that the rest of the weekend would be less than stressful.
 
 
Sunday morning, everyone dressed up more than usual and piled into our van. Daddy started the van and that's when our life changed again. It started funny. Do you know that sound? It is an eerie sound. Our old lady, was dying. She is 14 years old and has suffered some incontinence for a while, but the garage assured us that it was nothing of too much concern. Then and there, my dearest urged everyone out of the van and quickly out of the cold and snowy outdoors. We weren't going to Mass. My husband was afraid that we wouldn't make it there or home again. Sundays without Mass are always odd. I hate being sick on a Sunday for that very reason.
Monday morning, hubby carefully drove the old lady to the local garage for an assessment. He felt the worst case senario was a $500-$600 repair. In the meantime, we cleaned out the kids' closets and somehow found two garbage bags worth of donations and 1 garbage bag worth of trash. They have tiny closets, so this was rather shocking. Anyway, during lunch we received the dreaded call.
 
 
Diagnosis....
 
 
Van has numerous leaks.. three most noticeable leaks are coming from the trasmission pan.. other leaks noted.. and he goes on saying that the front brakes are noisey and very rusty.. should be repaced. Outer tie rod ends are falling out loose and should be replaced and both idler arms have excessive movement... all shocks are extremely weak and soft rears are leaking and van is very bouncy... front sway bar bushings are worn... left rear park break cable has been pinched between fuel tank strap and the tank.. cable in ineffect so tight that park brake is applied... would need to remove tank strap and reposition calbe and see if cable still functions.. could not get the rear drums off to check rear brakes as brakes are very tight.. you cannot spin the wheels on the hoist brakes are dragging on the back... could require rear brakes.. suspension items are more of a concern than oil leaks.. also could use some new wiper blades.. belts showing some wear.. exhaust is rusty, tires are worn likely due to worn front end parts..
Then came two pages of the costs listed for all of the repairs resulting in a whopping $3,237.13!
Wow, we thought. That was a lot more than we bargained for. We took the van to the garage on a fairly regular basis and had no idea. That is almost double what we paid for the van in the first place. She was an old lady, afterall. The nice man told us this van was extremely dangerous to drive and that he recommended strongly that we find something newer.
 
 
So, we faced racking up some more debt. Oh how I dread the word, DEBT. We had a few really old appliances replaced and put it on the line of credit. Not my idea, but I agreed, so I can't point fingers. It seemed harmless at the time. It wasn't a huge amount of money and our line of credit has a great interest rate, so we used it. Then, in the middle of a cold snap our windows wouldn't close properly, we had frost inside and during the thaw we had mold and there was water leaking through the hardware. The drywall under some of the windows was getting soggy and we decided that at least the worst windows would need to be replaced. I was quite upset about the windows because we had an inspection before buying the house and the inspector said that the windows are good for a few more years. Tax money was arriving soon, so we shopped around for windows and hoped that the tax money would help pay for them. We hoped that the debt load wouldn't be too high.  We approached this company and didn't look back. I love the new windows, but cringe at the debt.
 
 
The tax money came and a load of it paid off the some of the debt, but now we are faced with our worst fear. We knew that our van was an old lady, but the last garage gave us a feeling of security that all was well with her. We thought that once we had the debt load paid off, it would be time for a new to us van. We were so wrong. Now we stand here faced with the reality that a new van is needed. We can't afford car payments, hubby needs a car to get to work and it has to be asap. We are grateful to have such a great credit history and have access to a line of credit. Most immigrants don't have this option and would have to pay interest rates that are abominable through a dealership. Thanks be to God that not all of our past decisions have been bad. Debt is debt and we should not despair. Despair would be letting the devil have the upper hand. I cringe at the numbers, but know that nothing else can be done.
 
 
We live simply or at least I think we do. My husband keeps telling me that we need to keep living and that life does not stop because we have debt. Why do I feel so guilty? What if I had known this would have happened? Would I have made different decisions? What would I have done differently? I have my rosary and prayer as my only weapons. Surely they will help. We are so dependant on the Lord. We have a few collections that we are willing to sell. I knew that they might come in handy some day. I will spend some time in discernment and prayer. For peace of mind, I need to hack away at this debt, shake off the bonds of stuff and sacrifice.
 
 
Paycheck to paycheck living is the only way we have lived. In times of excess, we have invested in good pieces and they have proven to come in handy during our famines. Money is not a god and does not govern us. Money is a tool that I haven't mastered the art of attaining. That is ok, because this world is not our final destination. Lack of money is a tool, too. It humbles us, and makes us look at what is truly important.
 
 
Tonight after work, my husband will be bringing our new-to-us van home. With it, he is bringing home a greater dependancy on God. I want to thank you for reading this long post. I hope by sharing our story that others will see that no matter what, do not despair. God opens windows. He might even help me open an Etsy shop. Any ideas about what I should sell?
 
 
God is good. I have so much to be thankful for. I can't let a hunk of debt take away all of the love, laughs and cuddles. Thanks Blessed John Paul the Great for reminding me that "we are the Easter people", even during Lent.
 
 
God Bless my friends,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gluten Sensitivity in Children

I receive regular emails from Gluten Free Society. Today, I was sent an email on the impact of gluten on gluten sensitive children. All four of my children have had varying and sometimes very different reactions to gluten.

I wish I had seen these videos almost 12 years ago when my first baby had extreme colic and gas problems and reactions to every formula we tried. I had trouble breastfeeding him and living in a foreign country, I had no idea who to ask for help. This resulted in battles with my young baby to keep any food down. On a holiday, in Austria, both my oldest (then seven months) and I got so sick, we ended up in the hospital. Years later, we know that gluten was most likely the culprit.

It wasn't until baby number 4 came along, that we found Dr. Osborne and Gluten Free Society. Without this website, my little guy might not be here today. I was on the "typical" gluten free diet. It wasn't until we eliminated all gluten containing grains, (in addition to wheat, barley & rye, we eliminated oats, corn and rice) that Patrick's acid reflux, failure to thrive and extreme weight loss was curbed and he got better within weeks of me changing my diet.

Dr. Osborne has a website that is excellent in helping you understand what true gluten sensitivity is and what your diet should look like. I am going to list some of the most common symptoms that appear in children with gluten sensitivity as they appear on Dr. Osborne's website and in his videos. There are more listed in the video.
  • growing pains
  • colic
  • reflux
  • epilepsy
  • stomach pain
  • chronic ear infections
  • hyperfollicular keratosis (skin bumps on the back of the arms)
  • failure to thrive (FTT)
  • growth stunting
  • short stature
  • constipation
  • autism
  • diarrhea
  • juvenile diabetes
  • ADD/ADHD symptoms
  • spontaneous nose bleeding
  • severe allergies (hyper allergic syndrome)
I urge everyone with children to watch the following videos.
"Dr. Peter Osborne of the Gluten Free Society Discusses the impact of gluten on children in this Glutenology special video..."
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu9ZHb7oUqQ?rel=0]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUp7e9xSzJw?rel=0]

God Bless,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fish on Fridays

We love fish, especially salmon. I promised at the beginning of Lent that I would share some of our meatless meals and I haven't been very consistent. Today, I want to share with you my favourite fish dish, BAKED SALMON. I found this recipe years ago, when Food.com was called recipezaar.com

Ok, so this dish is simple, easy to prepare, but full of taste. I almost never have any leftovers because it is so good. Take my word for it and try it. We use frozen salmon because I almost never shop for fresh fish (shame on me). I pour the sauce on the frozen fish and bake it until it is done. We ate this last Friday with a hearty salad and berry smoothies. Guten Appetit.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stash Bash - Felties Breakfast

This edition of Stash Bash is actually some stash that I bashed a while back. My daughter and I made some breakfast felties for Patrick's 2nd birthday gift. We never have much money to buy new things and well to be honest, this year is no different. A few days before his birthday we raided the felt drawer in the stash closet and made him a breakfast made of felties. Breakfast is Patrick's favourite meal of the day. So without further ado....


To join in on this week's Stash Bash, go to Crunchy Catholic Momma's website.

God Bless,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Freely Educate

I received a yahoo group email today that really caught my eye. One of the messages was from Sue Patrick's Workbox group. I often read these emails, but don't follow links because they seem to either be to twaddly or secular. Now, while I don't have the opinion that I am better than these things, I am pretty picky about what material I feed my children. So when I received this email with a link and coupon code for a free membership to MightyBookJr.com, I surprisingly followed the link.

The website MightyBookJr.com offers "interactive books that inspire early childhood literacy." With over 850 interactive books in English & Spanish for preschoolers, kindergarteners, or elementary ages, you're sure to find one for your homeschool or family to enjoy. I haven't looked through everything, but I felt that the link to FreelyEducate and MightyBookJr.com was worth your while. Follow the link to FreelyEducate and follow the instructions on how to get your MightyBookJr.com membership for FREE. This has $99.00 value.

While on the FreelyEducate website, I scrolled down and noticed a link to another website that I think it worth looking into. We love books. We comsume books in the old fashioned way, the more modern way via ereaders and occassionally through audio sources. We especially love the old fashioned radio stories, classics read alouds and even the ones that you get from time to time in the the thriftstore on record. Follow this link to get a link to Storynory, a Free Audio story website. My 11 year old just finished reading the paperback version of "The Wizard of Oz" and was pleasantly surprised to see that they have an audio version of it.

I am in no way receiving any priveledges by endorsing these websites. I just wanted to share them out of Christian love for my readers. Please leave a comment and see what you think.
God Bless,

Wordless Wednesday


God Bless,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Please Pray

As Catholic and a homeschooler, I urge everyone to pray. The government of Alberta is about to pass a Bill that would greatly affect us and many Catholic homeschooling families. The new Education Act or Bill 2 as it is being referred to, is trying to impose relativism on us. I am not the political type of gal, but the government is going too far. If this new Bill is passed, we would not be allowed to use the Bible or Catechism in our homeschool classroom. If we do teach for example, homosexuality is disordered and a sin, we could be fined, thrown in jail etc.

I don't want to harbour fear in anyone, but we cannot stand by and let this happen. Secular culture has taken the upperhand and Christians are becoming the minority. Our beliefs are seen as close-minded or invoke a sense of suppression in the minds of atheists, secularists and homosexuals in particular. Their agendas are being pushed on us and we need to fight back. Please be a prayer warrior and pray with me that this Bill does not pass as it is.

For more information on Bill 2, follow these links.

http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/hundreds+gather+at+legislature+to+protest+new+education+act/6442603590/story.html
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=13483
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/exclusive-homeschooling-families-cant-teach-homosexuality-a-sin-in-class-sa
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2012/201202270.asp
http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/bills/bill/legislature_27/session_5/20120207_bill-002.pdf
http://marypoppinswannabe.blogspot.ca/2012/03/alberta-education-bill-2-section-16.html

Our Lady Documentary on Vision TV

I was approached via email late last week to share with my readers that a documentary on Our Lady is having it's World Premiere on Wednesday, March 21st on Vision TV.  The Media Advisory is attached to this post. I am going to PVR this documentary for sure. I am curious to see how Our Lady will be documented upon. I am cautious about endorsing this documentary because I do not know if it would approved by the Catholic Church. The events surrounding the apparitions in Medjugorje are still being reviewed by the Vatican from what I have read and researched.

Nonetheless, I have always had the opinion that you have to listen to the "other side" in order to understand where people are coming from. Yes, I am one of those people who watched The DaVinci Code.  It is not my position to say that everyone should watch movies they don't agree with. I do from time to time in order to better take a Catholic stance and know what I am talking about. On the other hand, I haven't read any Harry Potter books because I don't wish to have them enter my home. But that is way off topic. I encourage everyone to be informed and if you wish, watch the following trailer, follow the links and learn more about the documentary on Our Lady. I am definitely going to pray about this and ask Our Lady's special protection while watching this.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJjxjJWjWQY?rel=0]

If you live in Calgary, it is on Wedenestday, March 21st at 8pm, on channel 156 if you have Telus, channel 122 if have Shaw.

Facebook Event - Our Lady Documentary

MEDIA ADVISORY

- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -


VIRGIN MARY DOCUMENTARY WORLD PREMIERE ON TV

Halifax, Nova Scotia.  March 8, 2012.  Blessed Mother. Star of the Sea. Queen of Heaven. Madonna. Our Lady. She goes by many names and is celebrated by both Christians and Muslims around the world. She is one of the most celebrated women in history, even though little is actually known about her. She gave birth to the one of the most famous historical figures of all time, but she is only mentioned in the bible seven times. Each year millions of people around the world do pilgrimages to shrines dedicated to her and many claim to experience miracles.

Our Lady is a one hour documentary that chronicles the life and significance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her apparitions and appearances on earth. Since 1981, Mary has been appearing in one of the most visited religious sites on the planet: Medjugorje, Bosnia. The film follows a pilgrimage led by New Brunswick native Marie Desjardins as she and a dozen others journey to Medjugorje for the 30th anniversary of these spiritual events.

Our Lady is created, written, and directed by Michael MacDonald and produced by Edward Peill of Halifax-based Tell Tale Productions Inc.

"Medjugorje is potentially the most important event in modern history. It is a call to action for all to put their own interests aside to serve their fellow human beings." says MacDonald. "As the Blessed Virgin said to the visionaries, God is real. He asks us to live like eternal beings - to remember that our pains and sufferings are only temporary. We must prepare ourselves daily by learning to love, and to accept love."

The film features world-renowned Marian experts Judith Dupre, Lesley Hazelton, and Charlene Spretnak as they reveal the role that Mary has played over the past 2000 years and the devotion she has fostered in so many followers around the world.

A new iPhone app called iMary will also be released in conjunction with the premiere of the Our Lady documentary. The iMary mobile app is the ultimate smartphone accessory for anyone interested in the Virgin Mary. The app features a complete and detailed database of all the Marian shrines across Canada with a geo-locator function indicating the distance from the user's location. It also contains a comprehensive list of devotions, a Marian calendar, and a rosary. The iMary app is available on iTunes with a portion of the proceeds from each sale being donated to charity.

Our Lady will have its world broadcast premiere on VisionTV on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT (Check local listings). VisionTV is Canada's only English language cable and satellite television analog specialty channel that airs multi-faith, multicultural and family-oriented entertainment programming.

Our Lady was produced in association with VisionTV, ZoomerMedia Limited, and CTS TV with funding from the Canada Media Fund, and Provincial and Federal tax credits.

- 30 -

For Media Inquiries please contact:
Jessica Murray - Tell Tale Productions Inc. Marketing Manager
Tel: (902) 482-4650 Email: jessica@telltale.tv
www.telltale.tv


Top to Bottom, Left to Right (Part 1)

Have you ever heard that you should always clean from 'top to bottom, left to right'? I learned this way back when I was in university, trying to make enough money to survive. I cleaned homes for Molly Maid. I made better money working as a maid than I did in retail and that is why I did it. I was pretty good at it, but I was slow. I am a bit of a perfectionist and clean people's houses as if they were mine. Needless to say, I was told over and over to clean faster and remember... top to bottom, left to right. It is the most effective way of cleaning any space. You avoid backtracking or missing anything.

Yesterday morning, while the kiddos sat at the table doing their school work, I cleaned out my kitchen cupboards. I started at the top, worked my way down and to the right and repeated. My goal was to declutter and remove anything that I don't use or need. I ended up with two boxes of stuff that can be donated or sold (Tupperware).
The thing about love about spring cleaning is that you feel so much better once it is finished. Unfortunately, I still have the cupboards above and below the microwave to tackle, the bench that the kids sit on and the shelves that my hubby built me over the table.
This picture is of when my dearest first build everything. I already see things that we are going to part with. A Bodum (coffee-press) anyone? The bench is filled with more bowls, Tupperware, a tub of baking cookie cutters and a basket of onions. The bench is lovely, but with the table in front of it, I have a really hard time getting anything out of it. Especially now that I am preggers. Thank God for little kiddos who love crawling under the table!

I used to be able to get a lot more done in a day. This is one of the smallest kitchens I have ever had and yet it is taking me so much longer to clean, organize and declutter. Is it because space is so limited? Maybe it is because I was overseeing our kids schoolwork and kept stopping and starting? Whatever it is, there will be a part 2 to Top to Bottom, Left to Right.
 God Bless and happy spring cleaning and freeing ourselves from the bonds of stuff.

Friday, March 16, 2012

{this moment}

. . . . . . . .

{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.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

. . . . . . . .


Join Soule Mama for this weeks {this moment}.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

High Hopes for my Toddler

Yes, my title for this post is "High Hopes for my Toddler." This child has always loved praying. We like to believe that he was born praying. He held my scapular and St. Gerard medal tightly only moments after he was born. At an early age, he grasped the concept of praying with the family. He clasped his chubby little hands together, held his head low and closed his little eyes. He always says "Amen" with emphasis and enthusiasm. I really hope and pray that this particular child grows up to be a priest.

He loves to sing his prayers. Singing is easier than saying when you are little. Songs articulate and are slower than the spoken word. He melted my tiny heart this morning. He was singing the Hail Mary while playing with the Ostheimer priest and farmer's wife. He thinks she is Mary. He just broke into song. Unfortunately, I couldn't capture this candid moment on camera, but I wanted to share with you his singing of the Hail Mary anyway. I helped him a little to encourage him to sing it for the camera.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyJ67GSK6Z0?rel=0]

FYI: At the end of the video he says "tschüss" which is the German colloquial version of "good-bye".

Please pray for vocations and keep my three boys in your prayers. I pray that they never stray far from our Lord. I look back to my adolescent and young adulthood and cringe. I don't wish this for any of my children. I hope they always stay this close to Our Blessed Mother and Jesus. God Bless you and your family.

A Second Income

About a week ago, my son was determined to buy a Siberian Husky. He read book after book about them. The Siberian Husky would be the perfect pet for our family, according to Noah.

I wasn't convinced because we have had our share of family pets and as of now we don't have any pets. Either someone reacted allergically (cats), they were more than enough work (puppy, rabbit) or were plain messy or destroyed our house (puppy, rabbit, bird, cat). So, we found all of these pets a lovely home and were happier. I know lots of people who have pets and hats off to them, I just can't handle the mess and the extra stress. Our puppy needed to go to the dog park daily for an hour or two so she wouldn't destroy the house. She peed everywhere when we were doing school and she wasn't the main attraction. The rescue cat we had farted diarrhea everywhere. They said she was healthy, I beg to differ. The rabbit was a lot of work, smelled and wasn't very friendly. The birds were taken in because they were more or less thrown on us. They weren't too bad, but they pooped on the walls and feathered a lot. Maybe I am a little OCD and like things clean and tidy, but maybe we just aren't the family pet type of people. We do have fish, but that is hubby's job to care for them.

So when Noah came begging for a Siberian husky, we told him that we can't afford one (which is true! Do you know how much they cost?). He offered to make the money to pay for one. He wanted me to contact the local flyer distributors in order to rack up some cash to afford the dog. But there are also the initial vet bills for vaccines, fixing, check-ups etc. They are quite pricy in this city. He was determined.

It is not that I am trying to discourage him from making money for a dog, but I don't think he can own a dog while he is living under this roof. Our house is small, the yard is small and allergies might be an issue. They were with the cat. I am also expecting and not in the mood for the stress that another puppy would bring. Food costs for a husky would be also about $50 a month. We can't afford the upkeep. He is still determined to not give up his dream, even if he has to wait until he moves out.

Regardless of whether or not we are ever going to get a dog, we called the flyer people and received a call from the local coordinator yesterday. We agreed that we would deliver the papers (dad, Noah & Mia) on three routes. Perhaps this is a little ambitious, but the extra income would help pay into an education fund. The first load of flyers were dropped off yesterday and by golly, it wasn't what we were expecting. The local newspaper send out a free edition on Thursdays, along with all (I mean literally all) of the local flyers. The flyers needed to be stuffed into the papers to be delivered. We are going to have to drive and the kids will be doing a lot of running. (There are only 45 papers in the laundry basket alone).


We are happy that they can start saving money at a young age. Some of their earnings are hopefully going to be put in an Education Savings Plan. The Canadian government contributes to your account as well. We really can't afford to open a savings plan for the children. Living on one income with all of our food issues, limits our cash flow for extras like a education savings plan. If they can help contribute the plan, they will learn valuable life lessons and have opportunities that Sascha and I never had.

I hope you are having a great week. God Bless.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yarn Along - March 14th Edition

This is my first time joining in on the yarn along. I have had good intentions in the past to join in, but life always happened or the items I was working on were gifts. Anyhow, I am posting today. I have two projects on the go:


The first is a wooly cover for my cloth diapers. It is in size newborn. I haven't finished the leg cuffs on purpose. Next Friday, I have my ultrasound and if I find out if the baby is a girl, I will finish the cuffs in fuschia. You can find the pattern here. I am using Wool of the Andes worsted yarn.

I am also working on a cardigan for my two year old. I am using a pattern called Super-Natural Stripes that I found on Ravelry. Again, I am using Wool of the Andes worsted yarn. I am making mistakes, but hopefully no one will notice. I tend to knit and get distracted quite often. After taking off the arm stitches, I am supposed to have 118 sts. I only have 111sts. Oh well, nobody will notice I hope. I love the earth tones, but I feel that the cardigan looks a little like my kid is a child of a vegan or vegetarian, crunchy woman. I couldn't be a vegan, but I am a bit cruchy. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing agains vegans or vegetarians. I just see people walking into the health food store wearing a semblance of this cardi every time I go in.


I am reading a whole bunch of gardening books, but the one book that I can't seem to set down is Organized Simplicity. I like the way the author describes a "simple life" or "living simply". I love that she encourages the reader to define their definition of "living simply." I have been trying to define what "living simply" means for our family. That is a whole other post. I am thoroughly enjoying it and hope to implement some of the ideas as they apply to our family.

So that has been my maiden "Yarn Along" post. Please follow the following link and join Ginny and the others in the "Yarn Along".

God Bless,
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