Monday, February 29, 2016

What I Wore Sunday - Ed #1

Gotta share a few things here from the get go...

#1 - Normally we don't go to Mass on Sundays so I was always hesitant on linking up in the past because I thought my picture never really counted.  But, if you speak up and ask, then you find out for yourself...   Saturday evening Mass is just Sunday's vigil.  Duh, I knew that.  Silly me!!!  So, thanks to sweet Rosie Hill for encouraging me to participate, even though most of the time what I post is what I wore on Saturday.  ;)

#2 - I am NOT a stylish momma.  I am just an ordinary, simple, same-ole-same-ole type of momma.  You will notice that my skirts (I think I only own one dress - oy!) are few and far between. Same with shirts.  So over the course of these posts, be prepared for repeats - plenty of them!!

#3 - Even though I'm not a stylish momma, I'm definitely looking forward to these posts and getting ideas!  Having seen some of the posts in the pasts, it makes me want to ask some of these moms to go shopping with me!  So I'm very much looking forward to continuing with WIWS (What I Wore Sunday).

 Outfit details

skirt:  this skirt is definitely a favorite - so excited it was warm enough to wear without tights/knee highs this week.  I bought it at our local Von Maur store, but it can also be found here.

shirt:  bought a few years ago at Kohls.  It now has a hole in it, so I won't be wearing it much longer, which is sad because I really liked it.  Anyone know where I can buy another/similar one?  

shoes:  I really really really like the look of these shoes (similar found here).  But....  Yeah, you knew that was coming.... they tend to wear into my heel.  :(  So I can only wear these for a day at a time, unless I want to blister.  Youchie.  No thanks....  I would really love a brown pair of Mary Janes that are comfy to wear without socks that do not blister the back of my heel.  Do they even exist?  

Boys?  My boys wear Old Navy khaki's.  Can't beat their prices.  Polo's/shirt normally come from Old Navy or Penney's or Target or Kohl's.  Fone's shoes are Merrell's.  They are a favorite for all our boys.  Can't remember what Mario is wearing though.  Don't think they are Merrell's....  


Linking up with Rosie this week!
Click on the image below to see what others wore this Sunday!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Catholic Weight Loss??

***This post was originally shared here.  Click on over or read here...***


Bear with me on this one as I attempt to explain a Catholic Weight Loss observance I am doing for Lent this year...

Dieting for Lent?  Hmmm, can that be done?  Can that be a sacrifice to offer up to Him and grow closer to Him in doing so?  We already fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, so why not incorporate some extra fasting by choice throughout the week....

(Quick side note:  I'm not a fan of skinny jeans, nor do I wear them, nor do I allow my girls to wear them)    But....  I do like the chocolate reference here, especially tied to the possibility of losing weight.  Yes, many people give up chocolate.  So much so that Matthew Kelly is encouraging people to try something new than the same ole same ole of giving up chocolate this year.  But if chocolate is a vice for you and a way to unite that suffering to His, then by all means, continue to give it up!!

My fasting this year has been many years coming.  For 14 years now, I've either been pregnant or nursing, so I haven't been able to do much with fasting.  (other than the giving up chocolate or coffee or Mountain Dew or sweets).  But only one full meal on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday have more or less been out for me.  Not this year though!  Not pregnant.  Not nursing - my little guy weaned himself a month ago (waaaaaah!).  But it was God's perfect timing and just in time for Lent!! 

Two Lents ago I was really inspired by one of my closest friends.  She fasted three days a week for both breakfast and lunch, but did allow herself one helping of food at dinner time (so they still ate dinner as a family - we all know how important family meal time is!!).  To get through the day, she allowed herself to eat bread when her body needed it.  As her belly grumbled and rumbled throughout the day, it was that constant reminder of that sacrifice she was making for Him and to rely on Him to get through the day.  And, get this - by the end of Lent, she had lost 10 pounds!!  (she got me there!!)  After 8 babies, I have some extra weight to lose.  You calculate those last few pounds that are so hard to shed times my 8 babies, well, yeah, you know what than comes to!  ....around 25 pounds!  Oy!!  Is losing this amount of weight my goal for Lent?  Nah, I'll be happy to lose even 10.  Even losing 5, I'd be thrilled!!

I've made it through 5 days so far - Ash Wednesday and the Friday after, and then the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the first full week of Lent.  And today I start my second week of fasting on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  I am tweaking my friend's fast a bit and not doing the bread throughout the day.  My hubby has done some fasting over the years and said the bread/water allowed sometimes makes it harder and makes you more hungry, so he suggested I go cold turkey.  Cold turkey, it is!!  Thankfully, I keep pretty busy from the time I wake up til that dinner time hits, so truly it has been doable to do this.  I am very reliant on prayer throughout the day, for sure. 

Here's a peek at my fasting days.... 

My belly rumbles and grumbles constantly at me all.  day.  long.  From the time I get up and my feet his the floor.  When I'm showering and getting ready for the day.  Feeding my 8 kids their own breakfast.   Grumble.  ++Lord, be with me+  Teaching them school.  Giving the baby snacks.  Rumble.  ++I need You++  Teaching more school.  Giving baths.  Grumble.  Rumble.  ++Help me do this!!++  Running to activities/classes.  Reading books.  Rumble.   ++All for You++  Making lunch.  Grumble.  Serving lunch.  More school.  More running to and from.  Rumble.  Grumble.  Phew - time to make dinner.  ++Thank you, almost there...++  It's getting closer!!  Rumble.  Grumble.  Family dinner time!  I get to eat with my husband and eight great kiddos!!  Yippeee!!  
++thank you, God!!++

So, there's my take on a Catholic Weight Loss program for Lent.  And because I highly doubt I'll lose the full 25 pounds that my body could lose, I may continue with a plan similar to this after Lent., if even for one day a week.  It can be such a blessing to sacrifice and fast from food like this and lift up your heart and rumbly grumbly belly to Our Lord to help you get through it. 

And before I send you all off, I couldn't help but share a little wisdom from some holy ones who have gone before us and paved the way on true beauty.  Because truly, it is not about how much we weigh, or skinny or squishy we are, etc... it's about the beauty of our soul and the JOY of our Lord living in and shining through us...

"Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul."
~Saint Augustine

 “The only ones who are truly beautiful are those who look beautiful when they come in out of the rain. That kind of beauty comes from the inside out, not from the outside in. It is the product of virtue, not rouge; it is not skin-deep, but soul-deep.”
~Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
~Mother Teresa

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dear Lands End...

Dear Lands End,

You see these beautiful girls in those beautiful dresses? These two families (yes, all those kids come from only two sets of families!) are huge Lands End supporters/customers. This was our last year's Easter picture with the Young brothers, their wives, and all the cousins. Those are Lands End dresses (recognize them now?). And, I think almost all those polos are your products as well.  Us moms buy matching dresses for our own girls and for girl cousins almost every Easter.  It's became a tradition we have just loved!

Like many others, we were very disappointed with your recent support of pro-choice/pro-abortion activist Gloria Steinem. However, both of these families have been nothing but thrilled with your products over the years - polos, dresses, tights, shoes, swimwear, snow boots, and on and on!  In our faith we are taught to forgive, and we are going to forgive your mess-up and give you another chance. Thank you for realizing your wrong and your apology.  Plus, we know that YOU, Lands End, want to make things right with your customers, the ones whom you have hurt,.... how about you feature these two families next? Two very much pro-life families who have been paying and happy customers for years. Normal people who love the product and exhibit the family values you once stood by. Can you redeem yourself and take a stand on the pro-life side now?? Please do!!

We look forward to hearing from you in featuring these two beautiful families!!!

God bless you!!

The Youngs and their crew of young'uns

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Everyday Sacrament" book study

Our gathering is scheduled for an hour and a half, but this past study we went over a tad.  So really, two hours is probably a more realistic time for gabby moms.  With book studies, it's nice to do a chapter at a time, but also to include an introduction gathering to hand out the book and to meet the moms.  So, with this particular book, 8 gatherings would be ideal.

Like I shared before, our Altar and Rosary Society sponsored us, paid for all the books and provides food/drinks for us moms during our study time.  Feel free to go to your parish priest or president of your Altar and Rosary Society and ask them to do this for moms in your parish.  What a beautiful gift they can give you, and I'm sure they will all remember the much needed support when raising kiddos, as many of them were once there themselves.

So gather up local moms in your area, parish, and/or homeschool group and take this beautiful book into your hearts and homes!!

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!!

#1 - Welcome/Opening Prayer - a prayer to the Holy Spirit is a great one...

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.  
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

#2 - Go through the questions (found here) one-by-one and let each mom have a chance to share her responses.  Our leader also goes through a couple pages at a time, and has moms share anything that stood out or maybe something they underlined or highlighted as they read it.

#3 - Closing Prayer/Send Off - Send the moms off with a reminder to read the next chapter between gatherings, hand out their questions (see step #2), and close in prayer.  We use this prayer - "A Daily Blessing for Children"...

Through the sign of the cross may
God protect our children
and deliver them from all evil.
Blessed Mother, cover them with your mantle
and protect them always.
Send legions of angels to help and guard them.
We place them in the
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
We offer them with Jesus in each Holy Mass.
May the Holy Spirit always be their guide
especially in choosing their
vocation, profession, or marriage partner.
Jesus, cover them with your precious blood and
fill them with Your Spirit of Peace.
Help them to love You,
to love themselves, and to love others.
Keep them safe from all harm,
danger, sickness, and disease and from the
snares of the world, the flesh, and the devil
now and forever.

++May God bless you as you gather, learn and grow in love with the calling of motherhood that He has chosen for you!!++

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Everyday Sacrament" book review

Our church started a book study a few weeks ago on an adorable book for moms - Everyday Sacrament.  How blessed our parish is to have the Altar and Rosary Society sponsor the study - they bought all the books and are providing food/drinks for each of our meetings.  Like I have said before, our church just has a beautiful way of meeting us all where we are (even us moms!!) and helping us feel welcomed and included in our church.

I have been in Mom's Groups before and done many book studies, but it's been a while.  Even though I'm a mom to a 14 year, I am still a mom to a 1 year old and a toddler, so I can still very much relate to even the younger moms in the book study.  These groups are always such a blessing and an opportunity to help us grow more in love with the beautiful vocation of marriage and the fruit (children!) that have been born from it.

The book is divided into seven chapters, and as you could probably guess by the title, each chapter takes one of the Sacraments and shares how we can find the Sacraments in the messiness and stickiness of everyday mothering...

Chapter 1:  Bathed in New Life - Baptism
Chapter 2:  Celebrating Grace - Confirmation
Chapter 3:  Broken for You - Eucharist
Chapter 4:  From Frustration to Forgiveness - Reconciliation
Chapter 5:  Helping to Heal - Anointing of the Sick
Chapter 6:  Everyday Vows - Marriage
Chapter 7:  Challenges of the Calling - Holy Orders

I'm hoping to share some highlights from the book as I read it.  It may be done a couple chapters at a time and a pretty short summary, but enough to tease you into getting it for yourself and the little nuggets of wisdom and encouragement from the author!  ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thirteen today!!

Thirteen years ago, we were blessed with our second son.  That makes two teens in the house now!!

Mario, we are so thankful to have you in our lives and we want to share 13 thing we love about you...

#1- you have a great sense of humor

#2- you tickle me (Pookey)

#3- you like me and love me (Rose)

#4 - how genuine and loving you are when you play with and help with your younger siblings

#5- you like the Ranger's Apprentice books like me (Melody)

#6- you are one Funny Boy and are great at making us laugh

#7- you do everything with me (Fone)

#8- you are quick to help around the house when asked

#9- how you help me make stop motion videos (Max)

#10- you hold me and snuggle me and rock me (Yoda)

#11- you like to play and wrestle with your siblings

#12- you are my best friend (Fone)

#13- you make me laugh and are really funny (Ariel)

Happy birthday, Mario!!

We love you SO much!!!

Here's a look at this past year with you...

Loving God, you created all the people of the world and you know each of us by name. We thank you for "Mario", who is celebrating his birthday today. Bless him with your love and friendship that he may grow in wisdom, knowledge, and grace. May he love his family always and be faithful to his friends. Amen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: What Happens When the Fingers Hit the Keys

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!!

(you can find these funny Catholic Valentines at A Blog for my Mom)

Happy feast of Saint Valentine's Day!!  

We did most of our celebrating last week, as our homeschooling group threw a Valentine's Day party a few days before the actual feast.  It was great fun for us all!!

Fone and Mario are now "too old" to take part in the Valentine's card trading, but they still came along to hang out with their buddies.  Melody, Ariel, Max, Pookey and Rose all were thrilled to take part in both the Valentine card trading and all the games/activities.  Here's a look at them with their decorated boxes and the Valentine's they chose...

**Rose's box and Valentines**

**Pookey's box and Valentines**

**Max's box and Valentines**

**Ariel's box and Valentines**

**Melody's box and Valentines**

Our homeschooling party was great fun and had so many games/activities for the kids to play and enjoy...
  • Read a story about the life of St Valentine
  • Pin the kiss on the frog
  • Hopscotch
  • Coloring 
  • Crafts
  • Bean bag toss
  • Throwing through the hoop game
  • Valentine card trading

This was day 2 of Skirting it up for Lent...
(so far both Ariel and Rose want to take part too and wear skirts with me)

++Saint Valentine, pray for us!++
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