Road trip

With Thomas in town over the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to road trip it up to Government Camp in search of snow. Charlie (our pup) has never seen snow! So it was fun. Not a lot of snow, but enough to make us all feel festive. 

   
   
  
Saturday we decorated the big tree at University of Portland. We’ve decorated the tree for the past 6-7 years. My husband works there. It’s the kick off to our advent season and we have a great time celebrating and decorating. 

   
  
 We had a great Thanksgiving with family this year. Everyone was here! Jeromy’s 3 siblings, their spouses and all the kids. My sister in law hosted and it was so nice and relaxing. I felt so grateful and thankful to be there with everyone. 

   
     
Now it’s the first Sunday of Advent. A time to prepare, pray and ready our hearts. My absolute favorite time of the year!

  
“Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of freight in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when ear signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. 

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man”The gospel of the Lord. Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

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I have a confession

I was listening to a wonderful Podcast about money from Sterling Jaquith the other day and suddenly felt inspired myself. 

  
I have a love of books and Amazon prime. It’s just a click of the mouse. So easy. I don’t have to leave my house. The books are delivered free of charge and I only have to wait a day or two. Instant!!

It’s too easy. Too convenient. It’s also a detriment to our discretionary funds. Eek. But true. I think to myself that $20 here and there is no big deal. I’ll just take it from the grocery budget. Or whatever. So I do. My book buying habit has never put us in financial jeopardy. But, I do see if I set that same amount aside, we’d have a very nice account for Christmas. Or vacation. 

  
The truth is, I have enough books to read to last me a good year. At least. 

So that’s what my goal is. No buying books for myself until Christmas 2017. I’ll make a wish list and share with my husband or mom in case they want to gift me a book for my birthday. It will be a way for me to save money and delay that instant gratification that seems to become so habit forming. 

  
So, thank you Sterling for that podcast. It really spoke to me! I love being inspired like that to make positive changes. Better yet, it’s a lesson to my children as well. If Mom can do it, so can they!

  

Let’s Get Personal: Making Your Catholic Home “Your” Catholic Home

The Catholic Table

And we continue…

Right out of the gate, I admit it feels hollow writing about decorating and home maintenance as hundreds of families mourn their dead in Paris. The world burns, and I’m writing about knickknacks.

And yet, I can’t do anything right now about the destruction in Paris or the rest of the world. I can give generously to good causes and good candidates. I can do my best to help the poor and the struggling close to me. I can pray. But really, my actions are limited. So, today, I’m doing laundry, cooking dinner, making plans for my annual Christmas tree decorating party… and writing about it all on the Internet.

This is how I operate. For me, when the world spins out of control, bringing order and beauty into my home helps me keep my sanity. Cleaning my cupboards or organizing my linen closet is like therapy…

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Paris

It’s hard to imagine another horrific tragedy has occurred. The feeling of helplessness, loss and fear overcome me as I watch the news each day. I feel so small. How can I help? What can I do? Who can I comfort? 

As I sit in Adoration yesterday it comes to me. Pray. Pray. Pray. That’s what I can do. I can comfort my loved ones and myself with prayer. Small? Yes. However, prayer covers a multitude of fears and anxiety. Stress, loss, sorrow and helplessness. 

Yesterday at Youth Group I had the children paint Saint Peg Dolls. Specifically, we painted St. Genevieve who is the Patron Saint of Paris. We talked a little while painting about our fears and I expressed upon the children to keep Paris and the people in their prayers this week. 

   
   

Housekeeping 101: Catholic Style

The Catholic Table

This is what I’m doing.

This is me doing it….starting with point number one: The Catholic Home is well-maintained. Hold fire until the end please.

When I was a little girl, my mom worked part-time in a local bookstore. She wasn’t gone much—maybe two nights a week and Saturdays. But oh, my sisters and I hated when she left.

“Don’t go, Mom,” we’d all cry in unison. “Dad’s going to make us cleeeeeeeeen.”

It didn’t work. She left, and before the car pulled out of the driveway, Dad was tossing cans of Pledge into my eight-year-old hands.

Life with my father—a former Navy man—was a life filled with cleaning. There are pictures of my sister Annmarie and I, ages 4 and 7, standing on chairs at the sink washing the dishes. We also scrubbed bathrooms, mopped floors, and dusted furniture well before we reached double digits.

It’s not like we…

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Home & Heart

 My husband and I last Sunday before Mass. He’s a Director at a Catholic University and a doctoral student at night. When he’s home and able to attend Mass with us, I’m so happy!   
Miss Anna wore those fun earrings from Forever 21 to Mass. On the way there (we walk to church on Sunday’s) her little sister informed her they were too grown up for her to be wearing. So sweet. I let her. It was cute. I haven’t even worn them yet!    
I finished reading Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett. So good!! Just started this by Joyce Carol Oats. 

 

Sweet Abigail in a bubble bath. Doesn’t happen much anymore as she’s now 10. I enjoy sitting in there and listening to her talk about random things. 
   
Sweet Charlie boy got a new sweater. Hearts and reindeer. 

 

Anna sled if she could play in my makeup. So I said OK. Learning to say yes to her requests more often. 13 is such an emotional age for girls. 
   
Make this Pork Marsala!! You won’t regret it’s. Delicious. Even my picky eater ate all of it!

 

This was before covering the pork and cooking for a hour or so. Out the Dijon in at the very end. 
   
This is the finished recipe of the Meat and Potato casserole. I served this to daycare for lunch, then my honey ate the leftovers. Very tasty!

 

I always use ground turkey. We don’t eat much red meat. When we do its for beef tips and gravy or a marinated flank. Everything else is chicken, turkey or fish. 
   
    
    
    
 

White bean soup. Very good! Two of the kids ate it, but didn’t like it much. The rest of us enjoyed it. Good on a cold fall day. 

   
I just started this book in preparation for Marian consecration. I’m really looking forward to this retreat. Even better for me that it’s a do it yourself!

 
Anna scored a 3 pointer in her basketball game today! Nothing but net! Swoosh!! 

   
It was science night at scouts tonight for Nick. Very fun!!

 
Sweet Nick helping Abbey with math. I’m no help. These kids are taught a completely different way then how I learned. Thankful he’s willing to help when both Abbey and I are stuck! 

  
So thankful for each day and for His mercies!