Friday, April 28, 2006

diaper "cake"

I'm throwing a baby shower for my friend D next weekend. I made this diaper "cake "as one of the decorations. I'm really happy with how it turned out! There are 56 disposable diapers, wrapped with a receiving blanket on the first layer, 2 preemie prefold cloth diapers on the second layer and a baby washcloth on the top layer. There is a baby bath towel as the base. Tucked into & around the cake are travel size baby items, nail clippers, 2 more baby washcloths, a rattle, a frame, booties, our favorite lullaby CD (On A Starry Night), and more. Isn't it cute? I hope she likes it!

play dough

Clearly I'm feeling crafty this week : ) First it was cornstarch sidewalk paint, today it was kool-aid play dough.

My boys love to play with clay, etc., but I can't stand the smell of commercial play-doh, and I really dislike the mess when it seems to explode into a million pieces.

They wanted to play with play-doh today, so I whipped a batch of this. They are happy ;) and the only thing I should have done is remembered to wear gloves since my hands are now red from the cherry kool-aid. LOL!

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 small packet unsweetened drink mix (Kool-aid or generic)
3 Tbsp. oil
1 cup boiling water

Combine dry ingredients. Add oil. Add boiling water. Stir well. Knead ingredients until soft dough forms. Store dough in air tight container or zip-lock bag. This dough is non-edible (harmless, but tastes awful); however, it smells great.

In the past, I've also made the dough with vanilla extract, almond extract, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup cocoa, peppermint extract, lavendar oil . . . the list goes on & on.

I plan on making some for my friend's baby shower next weekend. One of the games I have planned is making a baby from a hunk of play dough . . . . and this will be much nicer than buying a few cans of the smelly kind.

St. Gianna's feast day

Today is the feast day of St. Gianna Beretta Molla. She was a wife, doctor and mother who refused medical treatment for cancer during a pregnancy in her late 30's. She died a week after the birth of her 4th child. She's a patron saint of the unborn and mothers. She was an amazing wife, mother and Catholic.

Pope John Paul II canonized her on May 16, 2004.

Some reflections of hers:

"If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin."

"When one does one's own duty, one must not be concerned, because God's help will not be lacking".

"The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day."

"Look at the mothers who truly love their children: how many sacrifices they make for them. They are ready for everything, even to give their own blood so that their babies grow up good, healthy and strong."

Prayer of St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Jesus, I promise You to submit myself to all that You permit to befall me,
make me only know Your will.
My most sweet Jesus, infinitely merciful God, most tender Father of souls,
and in a particular way of the most weak, most miserable, most infirm
which You carry with special tenderness between Your divine arms,
I come to You to ask You, through the love and merits of Your Sacred Heart,
the grace to comprehend and to do always Your holy will,
the grace to confide in You,
the grace to rest securely through time and eternity in Your loving divine arms.

Friday's feast 91

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how polite are you?
I'd have to say a 7 or 8. I have probably slipped a bit since having kids . . . although we try to teach them good manners, etc. We always write thank you notes, say please/thank you, hold doors, etc., but I know I don't always live up to my expectations.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
My youngest, coming into the office, tapping me and saying "I need a tickle!" and then running while laughing hysterically to my bed (our tickle spot). Happened last night ;)


Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. I remember loving the comics, and sharing them with my younger brother. Sweet memories.

Main Course

Tell about the funniest teacher you ever had.
I can't think of one. Not many teachers made any sort of lasting impression on me. That may have come from moving so much (12 schools in 13 years of lower education - and rarely changing at the beginning of the school year). Even when considering college, there are none that stand out as funny.

Complete this sentence: I strongly believe that ______________________.
every life should be cherished.

Thanks to Friday's Feast!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

corn starch fun

I have always tried to make sure my boys have lots of chances to express themselves artistically. They have free access to markers, crayons, paper, scissors, clay, etc. They don't have quite free access to paint, but when they request it, I usually get it down and let them go at it. They liberally chalk designs on our patio and their playfort. When I saw this recipe for sidewalk paint recently, I knew we had to try it!

After a long, long visit to W*l-M*rt today to get a flat repaired (3 HOURS!!! Ugh!!! For a $6.50 repair) we came home and I mixed up some sidewalk paint. Half of a box of corn starch is gone, and our patio is a virtual rainbow of designs. They loved the feel of the paint on their hands and feet and used brushes liberally as well.

For your own fun:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
food coloring

Mix together and paint! That's it! Half a box of cornstarch made probably 15 batches? I split each batch in 2 and let each boy color as they wanted in small plastic applesauce cups. The paint rinses off easily with water.

Wonderful way to spend the afternoon!

If you double the amount of cornstarch, it makes a wonderful goop to play with. If you add only a couple more tablespoons to the 1/4 cup, it makes a great finger paint. So much versatility for a $1.32 box of cornstarch!

Monday, April 24, 2006

county fair

We went to the county fair yesterday and had a wonderful time. It was not crowded at all, and the weather was perfect.

N's favorite part of the fair was riding a pony. He sat on the pony like an old pro! There were 5 ponies going around the ring, and he ended up on the biggest one, which thrilled him.

C's favorite part was the climbing wall. N wasn't interested in trying, but C climbed about 1/2 way up the wall. Since it was a slow day, he had the chance to try quite a few times which was great for him.

My favorite part was looking at all the different exhibits that had been submitted, and thinking about next year when we could submit some of our own! I really enjoyed the student artwork, and the photography exhibits. I also looked in wonder at the food exhibits and thought how I should definitely submit something for next year!

B said his favorite part was just hanging out with his family all day in the beautiful sunshine.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday's feast 90

List 3 things you keep putting off.
Cleaning off my desk, laundry, some paperwork that's been hanging over my head for a couple years now (ouch!)

What do you feel is your greatest responsibility?
Raising my children to be full of curiousity, enthusiasm, joy and a love for others and God.

If you could have starred in any movie, which one would you have wanted to be in and why?
The Princess Bride, because just about any of the characters in that movie would have been a blast to play.

Main Course
What is an expectation you had as a child about being an adult and, now that you are grown up, you realize you were wrong?
I never dreamt I would be a stay-at-home mom, especially not long-term!

When was the last time you had your car serviced?
Oil changed in September . . . I bet I'm due for another oil change, aren't I?

Thanks to Friday's Feast!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

colored eggs

My boys love to eat hardboiled eggs. They're kinda like Jack Sprat & his wife in that C only eats the whites, and N only eats the yolks . . . which works out great between the 2 of them. Sometimes they'll eat the whole egg themselves, but usually they pass the offending part on to their brother.

However, N is completely horrified that I am serving them the colored eggs they dyed Saturday. I've tried to explain that it's either eat them or throw them away -- but he's still appalled.

They are having milk, cinammon sugar toast, mandarin oranges, bacon and hard-boiled eggs for dinner tonight. I peeled the eggs before they came in and told him he was eating eggs that I had dyed when he asked. He headed to the refrigerator to check the eggs and seems relieved that *his* eggs are untouched. To be honest, I just grabbed 2 random eggs. I'll deal with the fall-out when I start peeling his.

what color flower are you?

You Are a Purple Flower

A purple flower tends to represent success, grace, and elegance.
At times, you are faithful like a violet.
And other times, you represent luxury, like a wisteria.
And more than you wish, you find yourself heartbroken like a lilac.

Monday, April 17, 2006

some favorite links

Thought I'd share some fun links today.

Both boys absolutely love the replay feature at this site:

ArtPad Painter

The Easter bunny left these in the boys' Easter baskets. I think they're pretty cool! Fast shipping, too!

Bumby Name Labels

I listen to this on my computer now - still need to figure out why I can't get it on my MP3 player - but I enjoy listening!

Pray As You Go

Ok, I confess. My boys don't know how to tie shoelaces. I always buy shoes with velcro or slip-ons. I know they could learn; I just haven't taken the time to teach them yet. This site has 16 different ways to tie shoelaces! Maybe I'll get motivated.

Shoelace Knots

This is a time-waster. The boys have fun with it, too, though.

Falling Sand Game

This treat combined 2 of my brother's favorite things -- twinkies & sushi. I made these for the brunch the day after the wedding. He laughed when he saw them, and even gamely tried one. (they tasted weird!) But they were fun!! I hope my dad took a picture, because I didn't :(

Hostess Sushi

gobbledy gook

Um, I couldn't think of a title for this post . . . because it won't really have much of a theme . . . hence "gobbledy gook".

Saturday we dyed eggs. We did it outside under the gazebo and the boys had a lot of fun. Last year, I dyed them after they were in bed, so they were excited to be part of it this year.

Easter was lovely. The boys did a fantastic job of hunting out the 50 eggs hidden in the backyard. If C found 2 close to each other, he offered one to N, which I found adorable. I was also amazed that when they emptied their eggs, the goodies were evenly split. I was afraid one would end up with multiples, but that didn't happen. (The eggs were filled with pop-up figurines, bouncy balls, coins, jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and stickers.)

Then, they came inside and hunted for their baskets! As they were emptying the baskets, I realized that there were 2 bags in my closet with more things that were intended for their baskets! (mini kites and playmobil people) Whoops!! I guess I have small treats to dole out this summer, or I can put them away for Christmas stockings. They had plenty of stuff as it was -- their baskets were full of: superhero capes, tapes of Peter Rabbit & friends stories, bug/snake/frog magnets, anteater & orangutan figurines, egg shaped chalk, pop up figurines, stuffed bunny, Thomas train in egg, new toothbrush, chocolate bunnies, and a handful of chocolate eggs & jellybeans in the basket.

The boys were good about choosing shirts without characters for church. I didn't buy special Easter outfits this year. They're both growing so fast, and I just couldn't see spending the money on something they'd only wear once. They have some nice clothes that were appropriate, but just not fancy.

In the afternoon, we went geocaching for the first time! The boys kept calling it "treasure hunting" and had a blast! We found 2 out of 3 caches that we searched for. I think this is something we'll keep doing. It's a perfect activity for us! Doesn't cost a thing, engages the brains, and gets some exercise to boot!

For dinner, we went out with my sister to Pasta Pomodoro. When my mom talked to me, she said "Himmm, I can't wait to hear how that is. Do you think they'll have a special menu?" And I replied "I hope not! I just want my squash ravioli!" My sister said when she talked to her, my mom mentioned how weird it was that we were going there. Whatever! I didn't have to cook or clean up and the boys ate free. Sounds like a fabulous deal to me! For some reason, it really bothered my mom that I didn't cook a big meal for all of us.

But, they DID have my squash ravioli, and the roasted brussel sprouts, so I was happy. The boys ate their usual spaghetti with cheese and meatballs on the side. B had ribeye, and my sis had lasagna. And I didn't have one solitary dish to clean! Wooo Hoooo!

This week? Typical week.

Today, I need to take care of some paperwork and fill out the invitations to my friend D's baby shower. I need to make a few phonecalls. I need to do laundry (as always!) I need to buy some garbage bags, dog food and pull-ups. I need to take the cans & paper for recycling.

Tomorrow we have the boys' preschool class, Wednesday I'm tutoring the little girl across the street, Thursday is open at the moment and Friday the mom's group at my church is supposed to meet.

I need to put some serious thought and possible effort into the mom's group. Our numbers have been dwindling and I have to decide whether or not to keep it going. If I decide to continue next year, I need to find a way to attract more moms. I don't think I want to let it disappear, so I need to find ways to boost membership and develop a plan. We don't meet during the summer, but will start up again in August.

Friday, April 14, 2006

pray for our troops on Good Friday

Today is a special day of prayer for our troops. Please pray for them! My brother leaves on Wednesday for training to prepare him to go to the Middle East with the Army. Please pray for his spiritual and physical well-being, as well as all those that are in the business of protecting others. Pray too, for his new wife, that she may be loyal and loving to him throughout his 18 month tour of duty.

Have a blessed Good Friday.

friday's feast 89

What movie soundtracks do you own?
I probably own a bunch. I'm disappointed in the last few years that many soundtracks became "inspired by" the movie, rather than actual music FROM the movie. A few that I know I own are "Havana Nights", "Singles", "Grosse Point blank", and "Shall We Dance". Our CD's fill a large cabinet at the moment, and aren't in any order, so I don't know for sure. I hadn't bought any music for a long time, but started again recently. The last soundtrack I bought was from the "Curious George" movie.

How much cash do you usually carry with you?
It all depends. Sometimes I carry as little as pocket change. It depends on where we are in the pay cycle, and what is going on. I tend to use my debit card mostly.

Are you more comfortable around men or women? Why?
I'm uncomfortable around people I don't know well -- it doesn't matter if they're men or women. In college & when I worked out of the house, I had an equal number of guy & girl friends. Today, I have more female friends, but that's a large consequence of being a stay-at-home mom.

Main Course
What is the most mischievous thing you remember doing as a child?
I can't really think of anything. I was a pretty good kid, and really didn't get into trouble or mischief. I do remember one time a couple of high school boys came to the door to tell my dad I had been playing on his motorcycle in the garages. I was probably around 5 at the time. I don't really remember playing on the motorcyle - but I do remember these boys coming to the apartment to tell my dad and how upset/worried/mad my dad was.


Who is the funniest member of your family?
Hands down, my husband. He can get a group laughing in no time.

Thanks to Friday's Feast!

Monday, April 10, 2006

bday meme

Go to Wikipedia. Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal. (seen various blogs last week)

1871 - Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika saying "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

1940 - Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood "subversives".

1951 - Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.

1483 - Martin Luther, German protestant reformer (d. 1546)

1697 - William Hogarth, English artist (d. 1764) (chosen because it's a family name - my paternal grandfather's stepfather was a Hogarth)

1549 - Pope Paul III (b. 1468)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday's feast 88

Name a trait you share with your parents or your children.

List 3 qualities of a good leader, in your opinion.
Compassion, decisiveness, intelligence

Who is your favorite television chef?
Alton Brown, followed by Paula Deen

Main Course
Share a story about a gift you received from someone you love.
My maternal grandmother gave me her diamond engagement ring. She had replaced it with a larger ring years before, but this was the one my grandfather chose for her out of love. She gave it to me in the wake of hearing that my younger cousin was engaged. I wasn’t upset, but I think she expected me to be, and wanted me to have her diamond in case I never got one of my own. It is something that is beyond precious to me because it represents the love and devotion my grandfather had for my grandmother -- and also her love & devotion to me since she gave it to me.

How do you react under pressure?
I don’t mind doing things under pressure. The type of pressure makes a difference though – did I put it on myself, or is the source out of my control? I usually deal better when I haven’t created the pressure, but need to react to it.

thanks to Friday's Feast

Thursday, April 06, 2006

couple prayer

When we used to host "evenings for engaged" at our home, we always shared this poem/prayer with the couples during the session about communication. We encouraged them to turn towards each other, hold hands, and listen carefully. We rarely finished with dry eyes in the room.

I sent a copy of it to my brother and his intended in their wedding card this week. I hope they read it, and thought about what it said. I thought it'd be nice to share it here, too.

A Couple’s Prayer

by Marianne Williamson

Dear God,

Please make our relationship a great and holy adventure.

May our joining be a sacred space.

May the two of us find rest here, a haven for our souls.

Remove from us any temptation to judge one another or to direct one another.

We surrender to You our conflicts and our burdens.

We know You are our Answer and our Rock.

Help us to not forget.

Bring us together in heart and mind as well as body.

Remove from us the temptation to criticize or be cruel.

May we not be tempted by fantasies and projections.

But guide us in the ways of holiness.

Save us from darkness.

May this relationship be a burst of light.

May it be a fount of love and wisdom for us, for our family, for our community, for our world.

May this bond be a channel for Your love and healing, a vehicle of Your grace and power.

As lessons come and challenges grow, let us not be tempted to forsake the other.

Let us always remember that in each other we have the most beautiful woman, the most beautiful man,

The strongest one,

The sacred one in whose arms we are repaired.

May we remain young in this relationship.

May we grow wise in this relationship.

Bring us what You desire for us,

And show us how You would have us be.

Thank You, dear God,

You who are the cement between us.

Thank you for this love.


Holy Week Meme

Lent is almost over and this Sunday is Palm Sunday already! I thought it would be fun to share what we do special to commemorate the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord. (seen at Happy Catholic & SFO Mom)

1. What do you do with your new blessed palm from Palm Sunday?

I don't know what happened to last years! This year, we'll make crosses from them and tuck them by our beds. I better tell B since we won't be attending mass together this Sunday.

2. What do you do with your old one from last year?
see above - I don't remember. I'll do better this year!

3. What do you do during Holy Week in preparation for Good Friday?
We'll hopefully attend Good Friday mass as a family. Don't really have many other plans for the week.

4. How do you commemorate Christ's Passion on Good Friday?
See above. We'll fast on Good Friday as well.

5. When do you color Easter eggs?

We may do this on Friday, or perhaps Saturday. The boys love hard-boiled eggs, so I may do 2 dozen this year.

6. When do you buy Easter candy?
I've been buying bits & pieces for a few weeks now. We don't do a lot of candy, but instead put toys and small items in the baskets with just a bit of candy. I don't like waxy, cheap chocolate, so I spend the extra money to get fewer pieces of quality chocolate for their baskets.

7. What is the first thing you plan to do Easter morning?
Roll out of bed and watch the boys hunt easter eggs in the backyard. This year, we left the bag of plastic eggs from last year on the patio for the Easter Bunny to pick up on Ash Wednesday to prepare for Easter. It was a fun way to start Lent for the kids.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

what European city do I belong in?

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.
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