Thursday, June 30, 2011


 Benny(4) and Charlie (2) fight about 98% of the time..that might be a slight's probably more like 98.4%. Someone asked if it was because they are following the example of their older siblings.  I told them that the older kids really don't fight very much. Yes, they have disagreements and squabbles but nothing like B and C. Then they said maybe it was Don and I. I had to laugh as I explained that we don't throw shoes at each other or tackle one another or pull hair or bite. My hope is that it's a phase and that it will pass...not soon enough! I do however see pauses in the one afternoon when they were playing Mass:

Me: What are you boys doing?
Benny: Playing Mass.
Me: Oh, so who is Charlie being?
Benny: The priest.
Charlie: Yeah, I pweest.
Me: Who are you, then, Benny?
Benny: I am God.
Me: I see, so as God, what do you do during the Mass?
Benny: I give my body to the priest.
Charlie: Nods in agreement.

Usually at least 3 times during the family rosary, Charlie asks to pray the Hail Mary. He has a scratchy, sweet, little voice and I don't think there is anything more angelic than a 2 year old praying.

Then there was the time I explained to Benny the best way to fight the devil and he remembered it and told my Mom a few days later. The kids call her Manga:

Benny: Hey Manga, do you know the best way to fight the devil?
Manga: No. How?
Benny: When he tells you to be bad, don't be bad. Be a good human.

Charlie is always on the lookout for unattended injuries. He mimics me sweetly as he kisses the affliction and says, "I kiss your boo-boo, do you feel better now?" Kisses really do make everything better!

One last pause happened today...105 degrees and all. I filled up a little baby splash pool and gave them each a cup and an empty milk jug. For 45 minutes they took turns filling it up for me and I sprinkled them with a waterfall and the process began again...I think there is something to Montessori methods.

And so, I'm going to try and document these rare and brief pauses because they are a light.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Catholic Art Saturday/Virgin of the Annunciation

Painted by Fra Angelico (1395-1455)
One of my favorite Renaissance artists, Angelico was beatified by Pope John Paul II who declared him patron of painters. Blessed Angelico said, "He who does Christ's work must stay with Christ always".   He led the devout and ascetic life of a Dominican friar, and never rose above that rank; he followed the dictates of the order in caring for the poor; he was always good-humored. All of his many paintings were of divine subjects, and it seems that he never altered or retouched them, perhaps from a religious conviction that, because his paintings were divinely inspired, they should retain their original form.
It is averred that he never handled a brush without fervent prayer and he wept when he painted a Crucifixion.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Priests

The Priests are a classical musical group made up of three Catholic priests all from Northern Ireland. Fr Eugene and his brother Fr Martin O'Hagan are originally from the village of Claudy, County Londonderry with the family now residing in Derry whilst Fr David Delargy is from Ballymena, County Antrim.
The trio have been singing together since they boarded as students at St MacNissi's College, Garron Tower, County Antrim. After signing a record deal with SonyBMG in April 2008 the priests, all from the Diocese of Down and Connor, recorded their debut album in Northern Ireland and Rome, with the unusual honour of having been allowed to record in St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican.
Our family has been enjoying their beautiful voices.

Standing on the Edge

Riding Bikes

Tonight, we passed 2 little girls playing in their front yard. The older girl yelled to her sister, "Hey!! Come here it's a bike parade, let's watch!"

Tire slime doesn't work as well as fix a flat.

I love it when dogs try to race us and then they come to a crashing halt at the end of their  fence.

It's best if everyone goes potty before the bike ride.

Dear Motorists, thank you for your courtesy while my family toodles around town on their bicycles. Sometimes, we have to wait for a crosswalk signal before we cross the street. That's okay, we don't mind waiting. Please don't honk and motion for us to cross, just to be kind, because actually that is dangerous because the oncoming cars don't share the same kind intentions. Also, my children find this honking confusing. Thank you.

It's hard to see with sunglasses after dusk....although it still keeps most of the bugs out of your eyes.

Riding your bike is like wearing a fan, it's one of the few forms of exercise that isn't hot, maybe not as refreshing as swimming, but it's cool.

Sorry Charlie, we can't take a poop break. You'll have to hold it in until we get home.

Purposely trying to ride over tree branches and large rocks is dumb.

Sometimes it seems to take as much time getting ready for the bike ride as it does taking it.

To remedy the destination debate, all bike rides from henceforth will be surprises. Who doesn't love surprises??

Lastly, Riding your bike helps you contemplate the beauty of God's earth, which pretty much balances out everything else.

Monday, June 20, 2011

WAIT!!! NO Color Wonder Clearance???

Okay, a friend of mine just called me and told me that she went to Michaels and the cashier told her they weren't on clearance anymore....WHAT??!!?? I feel so bad about posting it when clearly the computer/cashier was incorrect. Here is a link to a coupon for 40% off any regular priced item.
I went to Michaels to buy a birthday gift with my 40% off coupon and purchased a Color Wonder set and attempted to use my coupon, but the cashier informed me I couldn't use the coupon because the Color Wonder collection was clearanced out. It is all 50% off. So for a regular size kit, it's @$5 (like the pic above). It's the perfect time to stock up for those car trips and birthdays. They are not marked either and there is no sign indicating the clearance.  I went to the New Market Square location.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Aldi Yums!

Dried fruit medley with apricots, raisins, pineapple, and banana chips. My kids love this mix! And it's only $1.39!!
Fruit!! Last week they had their grapes on sale for .88 cents a pound and strawberries for .99 cents!! Also, you can almost always buy a 3lb bag of apples for less than $3.
Also for snacking, we love Aldi's thin wheat crackers, pretzels, popcorn, and cheese crackers.
I can NOT tell the difference between Aldi's chocolate sandwich cookies and Oreos.

Our family loves pizza and Aldi's Mama Cozzi's rising crust pizzas are a big hit.

Did you know Aldi carries generic versions of Twix, Kit-Kat, and Snickers??
Jive bars are the Aldi brand of Twix and Don likes them much better than Twix and at .29 cents a package versus .99 cents at Dillons, you can't beat the price! Unfortunately the Aldi versions of Kit-Kats and Snickers are only available in snack size bags which are not much cheaper than buying the 8 packs and most stores for @ $1.

Did you know that Aldi's milk doesn't have growth hormones??

I personally think Aldi's brownie mix is the best one on the market.
Every time I check out at Aldi, I'm always surprised by how much less it is than when I shop at Dillons.

Checkbook Tutorial

Don't miss this special tribute to my mentor, Dave Ramsey.
Learn the foolproof, 100% GUARANTEED method of balancing your checkbook.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Toy Organization

I found this very cool blog post by Jennifer at Wildflowers and Marbles. It's all about toys, including toys her family loves along with links, toy storage, organization, and rotation. I always dream of having a well organized home and this post really gives me hope of achieving that! Enjoy!!

Catholic Art Saturday/ The Angelus

The Angelus by Jean Millet
Painted in 1859 in Paris France. Today the original hangs in the Louvre.
I have always loved this simple masterpiece, and last year our parish hung a bell to celebrate our centennial. It rings at the times to pray the Angelus.

The Angelus Prayer

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:  And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary . . .
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Totus Tuus 2011

Totus Tuus Team, Father Jerome, Rohr kids
This is the last day of Totus Tuus and according to the kids, the BEST day!! They have a water fight and a couple of the team members get "sundaed" by the kids. We were blessed to have the young men from the team stay at our house this week. Totus Tuus is always one of the highlights of the summer for our family. Happy Summer!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Glasses Tutorial

Having correct vision is essential to functioning on a daily basis. I hope this tutorial will help you on your daily journey. Peace, my friends, peace.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Catholic Art Saturday/Loretto Staircase

Loretto Chapel Staircase
Santa Fe, New Mexico
When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.
The Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers.The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.
The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.
Over the years many have flocked to the Loretto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the television movie titled "The Staircase."
Here's the website:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wahoo! Bishop Conley!

It seems Bisop Conley of Denver Colorado has concerns over the Girl Scouts as well.
 Below is the article.

DENVER, Colorado, June 1, 2011 ( - A Denver Catholic bishop is warning parents that membership in the Girl Scouts could carry the danger of making their daughters more receptive to the pro-abortion agenda.
In a Wednesday column for the Denver Catholic Register, Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley observes that in the last year a growing number of parents and youth ministers have shared concerns with him over the Girl Scouts alignment with groups advocating abortion.
He urges parents to browse for themselves the websites of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) to see the organization’s approach to “sexuality, ‘choice’, and reproductive issues,” saying this exercise “may be a sobering experience.”
The Girl Scouts have faced strong criticism especially in the last year after the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) revealed that they participated in a United Nations workshop distributing the Planned Parenthood sex education pamphlet “Happy, Healthy, and Hot.”
The pamphlet instructs young girls not to think of sex as “just about vaginal or anal intercourse.” “There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!” it states.
Just last month, two teenage girls went public with their decision to leave the Girl Scouts after eight years because of the organization’s ties to Planned Parenthood.
In his column, Bishop Conley quotes a youth minister who warned that girls who have been influenced by Girl Scouts USA will be “more receptive” to the pro-abortion and pro-contraception agenda.
“It’s hard to imagine that a girl who remains involved with Girl Scouts into young adulthood won’t eventually learn of the connections her organization has with ‘pro-choice’, pro-contraception and ‘reproductive freedom’ groups,” the youth minister wrote. “If she was introduced to GSUSA through her parents and her local parish, then that will inevitably create contradictions between her Catholic faith and her Scouting experience.”
The bishop notes that Scouting’s structures allow local troops to have a certain amount of autonomy, but nevertheless he says the activities and orientations of the international and national Scout bodies have “an important trickle-down effect.” “This is exactly why ‘pro-choice’ organizations have worked to develop connections with the Scouting movement,” he writes.
“Parents, as the primary educators of their children, have every right to insist that their beliefs, especially their moral and religious beliefs, be respected—not undermined—by the organizations to which they entrust their children,” he says. “Parents need to remain alert to the content of their daughters’ activities. And Catholics involved in the Girl Scouting movement should make it clear to leadership that Scouting is only a means to an end—the proper formation of young character.”
“It’s not an end in itself; and should Scouting ever fail in that proper formation, other groups can be found or formed to take its place,” he concludes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It's finally happened. We have a teenager. I hear it all the time..."Look out, here comes the attitude!" I've seen this "attitude" a few times. He's tried to make his appearance and he's tried to claim his stake on a few of my children. I won't allow it. I won't have sullen faces, rolling eyes, stomping rebellious feet, smart mouths, slamming doors, and or any form of disrespectful behavior! This is war. I am fighting for their souls. Body language is a HUGE part of how we communicate as people. This is an area that we as parents have to nip in the bud before it blossoms into stink weeds. Just because hormones are changing and growing doesn't mean poor behavior and disrespectful attitudes should be tolerated. We have to NOT tolerate it and we must prevent it from manifesting into a habit. As "they" say, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." We aren't helpless victims to our children. Laziness is all around us and we must resist the temptation to ignore it, or say to ourselves, "This is just a stage, it will pass." Yes, it will pass into disrespect not only for parental authority but for all authority...even the authority of God. I can't claim to love my children if I don't help them establish healthy habits and avoid sinful habits.
"Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. " Proverbs 19:18

Monday, June 6, 2011

8th Grade Promotion

Our homeschool group, Holy Family Home Educators, has a graduation Mass/ceremony every year for Seniors and 8th graders. Usually the Mass is said by our Bishop, Michael Jackels. Unfortunately, Bishop Jackel's father was in an accident outside of Sacramento and died in the night. Please keep his father, Kenneth and mother, Ramona, and the rest of the Jackels family in your prayers. We were blessed to have Father John Lanzrath with us.

Here's the cake I made..I was feeling a little down about the unperfectness of it. Don lovingly put his arm around me and said, "Just think, Honey, you could open up a cake shop and your slogan could be, "Debi's Cakes..they taste better than they look."

Noah's godparents, Shirley and Doug.

Our family

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shoe Tutorial

I love tutorials, you can learn how to do anything from installing a hot water heater to learning gymnastics. I was reading an article on how to have a successful blog and the one thing that stuck out to me was, to be yourself and to share things you are good at. Admittedly, I am not an expert. But there are few things I can do.....and with this tutorial, you can too.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Honey Do

Don took a week of vacation to complete a pretty hefty honey-do list. He finished 7 more cabinets in the kitchen.

The back deck was partially missing so he finished it...for now...we hope to put up trim along the bottom and add some built-in benches and railing...someday. Oh and stain it...sigh

The garage has been complete chaos since the spring...bikes were basically just thrown in a heap in the middle of the garage. Don built a bike rack so each child has a place to put them away. He also moved another truckload of sand along with 4 wonderful friends to continue filling in the pool....that seems like a never ending project! He also helped at our parish work day. I don't know what we would do without him!!