Friday, April 29, 2011

There are still good companies out there!

A couple of years ago we bought a Bunn Coffee Maker and we LOVE it.  Unfortunately, a couple of months ago it started dripping water from the machine while brewing.  We lived with it for a while until it began pouring hot water out the back during the brew cycle.  I searched online and found a few custom fixes, but I wasn't sure if I should try them since it says it has a "limited" 3 year warranty. 

So, I went to their website and emailed them about the problem and I got a response...From someone in the United States!! In Illinois to be exact.  They said sorry that it was leaking and sent us a replacement unit since it wasn't yet 3 years old.  Wow!  Some companies do still have good customer service, by people in the US...and guess where the unit is made.  In the US...that's right!  Not China!  They didn't question me, or put me through a litany of tests and checks...they just said sorry, and replaced it. 

So, don't lose faith that some companies are not selling out, and yes you can pay a premium as their products aren't exactly cheap, but I'd rather have quality US-made products any day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New names

Man, did I make the kids' day or what when I told them that they got to pick their own name...   To protect their "true identity", they have helped us in creating their names for our family blog.  Introducing....
Fone - our 9 year old son
Mario - our 8 year old son
Melody - our 6 year old daughter
Ariel - our 5 year old daughter
Max - our 3 year old son
Pookey - our 1 year old son

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A look back at Lent 2011

Our Lenten journey began on my brother-in-law's birthday this year and ended on my birthday!  At the beginning of Lent, we were already in the trenches of a kitchen renovation cooking only with a crockpot, microwave, and griddler.  The best part (note sarcasm) was washing dishes in the bathtub!  So, there was much penance and sacrifice in that.  All in all, it went very smooth but we were a little spoiled to have our kitchen back in over a month which landed us a couple weeks into Lent. 

For our family, Lent and Advent are such beautiful times to renew spiritually and draw us closer to the Mysteries of God, but also an amazing time to bond as a family.  This year for Lent, our family used the following activities....
  • Crown of Thorns - that sits on our kitchen table to provide a visual reminder for us of Jesus' suffering and how we can make up for our sins and wrong by acts of love and sacrifice - thus removing thorns. 

  • Jesus Tree - This  kit serves as our Bible Study (note I said "kit" - you have to put it together 1st!).  Every day we read a Bible Story and the kids would have to choose which felt symbol corresponds with that story.  Then, of course we would put it on the tree and sing a song.  At the beginning of Lent, it was bare, but as you can see from the picture below, by the end of Lent the banner is colorful and beautiful.... which represents the growth of faith and knowledge we went through as a family. 

  • Stations of the Cross  - We have a child-friendly but very lovely stations set that we set up all around the house.  A couple times each week, for our evening prayers, we turn out the lights and march around with flashlights in hand and pray the stations.  As we move along to each station, we sing, "Were you there when they crucified My Lord?"

  • Countdown calendar, specific Lenten sacrifices, and Rice Bowl - We used this printable Lent calendar and the kids really enjoyed the countdown, especially as the time drew nearer to Easter.  We also made a large cross and put it on the deck door.  Each person traced their hand and wrote in their Lenten sacrifices.  We did this to show our committment and then to be a reminder throughout Lent.  And, of course, we would add to our Rice Bowl to "feed lunch to the poor people" -Young One 5. 

  • Holy Thursday Mass, Good Friday service and dinner- Holy Thursday Mass is always something to look forward to, since that's when we as Catholics look back to the Institution of the Eucharist and the humble love that Jesus has for his apostles in the washing of the feet.  Three of us had the opportunity to have our feet washed and two more were able to decorate the altar.  And, of course the best part is the Holy Eucharist!  We always play Good Friday low key and were able to attend our church's Good Friday service and the Veneration of the Cross. Then back home for a Good Friday dinner and hot cross buns!   

And we're off... hold on tight as we begin this new venture into the blog world.  We have some exciting plans and things to share, but most of all we want a way to keep track of all the memories we have in raising our Young ones.  Thanks for joining in!! 
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