Friday, February 27, 2009

Do you know the potty dance?

If you haven't had the opportunity to do "The Potty Dance," you gotta try this one! Many of you have little kids at home that are learning how to hold it and squat. Some may need kind reminders. While Stanley finally figured it all out a few months ago, now we're working on the appropriate amount of toilet paper to use. :)
I remember being little and doing a little dance whenever I had to pee. And it went a little something like this (click it for a good laugh - us doing the dance)...


You can do the potty dance too! Check out this link and video:

Happy training!

HT: The Potty Dance as coreographed by Pull-Ups.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy February Birthdays!

A very happy birthday to anyone celebrating a February Birthday. A special shout out went to my mom earlier (who turned 55 on Feb 5th). Here's best wishes to my little bro and grandpa who also celebrate in February...

We love you Grandpa Orlin - Happy 80th!
-a real knight in shining armor.

Happy 14th Birthday Uncle Michael!
- may you always stay my little brother,
who just happens to be taller than me.

You are so special to us and enjoy spending time with you. (Go Sooners! - his Basketball team)

WE love you both so very much!

God Bless you and yours!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Yesterday I felt the first flutter of our little baby. It was my 16 week appointment, so I got to hear his/her heart beat also - which is healthy!

Obviously not my belly! But awe inspiring.

I write as I feel more fluttering, and my heart is so softened by its presence. The real present - my gift from God. It has been a few months of feeling icky, but I accepted it all because of moments like these that I look forward to.

I opted to take the quad serum test, which can give indicators if there is a possiblity of Downs, Trisomy 18, or neural tube defects. The first two would not have any bearing on the pregnancy, just help me prepare for the future. The third could change the hospital location. I asked the NP why this test is done, and why you can just opt for indicators of the third defect. Well she said kindly, but bluntly - I'm guessing you would not choose to abort if the baby had Downs Syndrome? That it would just be helpful to know. I agreed. But at the same time it strained my heart to think that some mothers have made it this far, and give way to fear of birth defects. That the "possiblity" of a defect would turn them to decide to terminate their little life. Even if it was "most likely" they'd have a disorder, I could never turn my back on my own child.

Many babies are miscarried when there is something not right with the development of a child. Sadly, sometimes it ends up in stillbirth. But that is God's natural way. If by some chance, a child with any "defect" in secular human perception were to be born and survive.... that is a miracle in God's own making. This child obviously has purpose.

>Faces of Trisomy 18 - how precious they are in His sight!

Where have humans conjured up this belief that the child would be better off dead? Since when has that ever been our choice? Do these people see the future? No. Do they have the insight of God? No. They don't even know their own purpose in life. What if their mother had decided that THEY were not worth it, not adequate, a mistake? That's simply not for us to decide.

I agree, life is tough. But it is those challenges that make us stronger, and we can grow from them, and be blessed by God when we accept those challenges head on.

God's peace surpasses all understanding.

With God, anything is possible. (and this)

Love Bears all things, Believes all things, Hopes all things, Endures all Things - 1 Corinthians 13:7

God never gives you more than you can handle. 1 Corinthians 10:13

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

God Bless you and yours!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Week Prep

This week we are preparing for Valentine's Day by getting crafty, baking with sprinkles of love, and refocusing after a long month of everyone feeling sick in one way or another. Here are some of the ideas we've found, if you're interested. Also below is some link's for Feb 11th feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Just clik on the underlined links for more info.

From Totus Tuus Homeschool: RED Presidential Prolife Letter - not just for kids!

Many great craft ideas found at the Crafty Crow:
I really like the handprint valentine and the Shrinky Dink valentines.

There are some simple craft ideas at Crafts Direct on their blog, the Savvy Scoop. I like their Flower Suckers, where you put the stick of the sucker through some paper cut outs of heart shaped petals.

My friend Jamie had a nice post about her valentine's ideas, where I liked her idea to make paper hearts and decorate them with their own "conversation heart" phrases.

You can also go to the Catholic Cuisine blog, and look under the topics of roses, Sacred Heart, and things along those lines for food ideas. I hope they will create a St. Valentine topic link this week.

And finally, so not forget that this week is also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on Feb 11th. The feast of Mary's apparitions to St. Bernadette. I borrowed the movie [The Song of Bernadette] from my mom last night to show my kiddos. It should be extra interesting to Mikayla, because she dressed up as St. Bernadette for last All Saints Day (Nov 1).

>Check out the wonderful links at Shower of Roses for this feast! She did a top notch job.

>I think we might make the paper mache grotto as suggested in the Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholics book.

>Next year I hope to have the Marian Grotto Kit with the colorful stones for them to make.
Hope that sparks some ideas like it did for me!

God Bless you and yours!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Kitchen Emergency! and more

For a little laugh, check out my Taco Noodle Casserole recipe on our family recipe blog to find out the Kitchen Emergency I encoutered today. Looks like I'm not the only one. It starts out:

"TIP OF THE DAY: When you have a lid that is hot and steamy, do not place it flat on your counter or stove top....."

God Bless you and yours!

PS: New shows I'm addicted to, and sometimes watch simutaneously...
Eleventh Hour
Biggest Loser
The Office
Ghost Whisperer
...among others

PPS - Anyone watch the itty bitty prolife spot on Private Practice last night. Where the single psychologist finds out she's pregnant (not sure who'd the daddy), you can't even tell with her perfect waistline, and sees her ultrasound for the first time. [Clip below]

If only we got it passed to be mandatory for pregnant women to hear the heartbeat and see an ultrasound before submitting themselves to an abortion. So they can realize it's not tissue, it's a baby! I wish I could link to our St. Cloud Visitor newspaper that wrote an amazing story about a lady who made posters from ultrasounds for the March for Life, and ended up saving an unborn baby - that of a woman who helped her at the printers.

The clip I mentioned... Time 5:40-7:00 is the time when this scene occurs.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Pat!

Today my mother officially becomes a Senior Citizen! It is her 55th birthday, and I couldn't be happier for her. She lives such a beautiful life, with her husband , 3 children, 1 son-in-law, and 4 grandchildren loving her dearly for all she is and does. My mom is a good example of what I strive to be (Of course I have a lot of my dad in me too!), and a good friend to me and countless others. She is very active in her family life and church life. So this is my shout out to her:

Happy Birthday Mom!

And to you, a special note from Mikayla - who's spiked a 103* temp today, coughing and hacking away, lost her voice and decided to take a nap. [Stanley's still perfecting his.]

We love you! See you soon!

God Bless you and yours!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An average homeschool day

Here are some homeschooling (or unschooling) moments we wanted to share!


Schoenstatt Girls Club: Little Flowers

All Saints Day Party

(Stanley=St. Francis of Assisi, Mikayla=St. Bernadette, and friend Margaret)


Lake Michigan, shell searching

Phy Ed:

New Years - Dance Dance Revolution

Sabrina bowling with Grandma Pat

Mikayla using sentence tiles.


Sabrina's reading corner (her own idea)

Mikayla's first Piano Solo (teacher=mommy)

Stanley likes dominoes and flash cards.

And Social Events:
HEY group .

Hopefully you have some subject photos to share?!

Bowling with our Social Co-op and the

A Warm-up in February!

There are many feet of snow on the ground from January's -45 below wind chill weather and snowstorms. But Feb 1st, last Sunday, the sunny, mild winded, 45 degrees above day mixed with my cabin fever got me all excited to go outside with the kids.

We have tried for a few months now to make a snowman, but the snow was so fluffy, it would just puff away like a cloud. So this day was special, because the warmth made the snow just the perfect amount of sticky! We built, shoveled, played, and laughed.

Mikayla rolled that snowball as long as she could. I kept telling her we needed it to be bigger for the body of the massive snowman I had in mind. Obviously she had a different point of view.

So Daddy came to her rescue and helped get that perfect ball of snow up on the base I had carved and molded out of the huge snowhill.
Grandma Pat found a snowman kit for all our accessory needs. We explained to Stanley that we can't break a branch off just any tree he wanted, and found some arms in the back pines. Later I added a KFC colonel mustache and goatee as well as ears. By the next day they had melted into elf ears and a clean shave.

Mikayla and Stanley had such a blast, Tom finally got the driveway clear of all that packed down ice and snow, Sabrina got an uninterrupted nap inside, and I....
I got a burst of energy, a fun time with my kiddos who had only seen me glued to a couch or bed for weeks, as well as a breath of fresh - crisp - Minnesota warm air. It was fabulous!
God Bless you and yours!

The Ten Commandments

I grew up in a very Catholic home, centered on faith, went to Catholic private school, etc. But for some reason, I feel like I am learning the 10 Commandments for the first time along with my 1st grader. Seton Home Study does such an excellent job of explaining how we could possibly fail at keeping these laws of God. I knew I would never "kill" someone, or commit adultery, so where does my life fit into these rules? God's insight on his commands is much deeper than our own. So here's how I've helped my daughter simplify these laws for her age.

1. There is only one God. Nothing and no one is more important than God.

2. Don't say "God or "Jesus" disrespectfully.

3. Go to church on Sunday and Holy Days, make it a family day, not distracted by work/chores.

4. Respect, love and obey your parents.

5. Don't kill or hurt yourself or others.

6. Be pure and modest.

7. Don't take what isn't yours.

8. Don't lie or keep serious secrets. Always tell the truth.

9. Be friendly and be sure to include everyone in the fun.

10. Appreciate all that you have.

We worked really hard on these, and I found some other tricks to help in memorization. Since God wrote the 10 Commandments with His own hands, let's use our hands to remember.

*1-3 is all about God, because he comes first. And 3 is like the Trinity.

*4 is about our family, because they come next.

*5 - when you hold your 5 fingers up, it's your choice to not make a fist and hurt someone.

*6 - hold up one hand of 5, then your thumb for 6. Focus on the thumbs up for being pure.

*7 - hold one palm open for 5, and your thumb and pointer for 6-7. It looks like you're holding a gun and holding out your hand to take something. This is a sign of stealing.

*8- you can take the 3 fingers on one hand of 8 and pinch your lips closed.

*9 & 10 are about our neighbors. Wiggle your fingers for all your neighbors, then spread your arms out to bring attention to all the wonderful things around you.

God Bless you and yours!

Image from here

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

St. Brigid - An example to many.

Feb 1st was the feast day of our homeschool saint
St. Brigid of Kildare (Ireland)
I chose St. Brigid for my Confirmation saint all those years ago. She caught my attention because of her love for art and her mentor was Bishop Mel - my nickname among friends at the time was "Mel." (By the way, I never like nicknames, especially that one.) Her faith life was brewed by her Christian mother, a slave to her father - a pagan king. She emerged from his grips, tended to her birthmother - freeing her from slavery, and later became a nun and abbess. She is the Saint of Ireland second to St. Patrick. I didn't know much about her back then, but her life has poured out to me over the past two years - helping me understand the relevance of her in my faith life.
When I prayed on a name for our homeschool, it was obvious to me who our Patron Saint would be. Sadly some people associate her name with wicken/druid practices probably because of her father and false legends. So I was thrilled that my blogsite of St. Brigids Academy googles above the wicken school in California with the same name. I hope that strayed visitors will stop and gain some perspective on the Christianity embraced by St. Brigid and those who love and appreciate the truth about her.
Here is a beautiful account of her life. There are many references online.
St. Brigid is was an advocate for the poor and hungry. This has become my family's main mission. I am excited to find out what other ways her Sainthood will move us to become saintly ourselves.
some of HER PRAYERS:
O God, bless my pantry! Pantry which the Lord has blessed, never be lacking in aught! Mary's Son, my Friend, come and bless my pantry, let there be abundance ever on the board!
Prayer with St. Brigids Cross: May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell. Bless every fireside, every wall and door. Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof. Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy. Bless every foot that walks its portals through. May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.
Beloved Father, just before Saint Brigid was born, her Christian mother was sold to a Druid landowner. Even though she grew up oppressed as a slave, she found great joy in loving You. As the patron saint of babies, she has a special concern for the gift of new life, so I ask her to pray for the babies in my family, both born and unborn. May they grow up with Jesus and obtain the joy of knowing Him. I place into Your loving hands, Father, all the babies who died prematurely, through abortion, miscarriage or medical conditions. Ask them, Lord, to intercede for me and my family. Saint Brigid, pray for us. Amen. (prayer from here)

PLEASE SEND YOUR CONGRATS to the newest pregnant mommy in blogspace!
> Our Catholic Family from Ohio.
Another blogger wrote a little tidbit about St. Brigid too:


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