Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot????

I have received a lovely photo Christmas card from a family.

I have no idea who this family is.  They do not look familiar.  Their names don't ring a bell.  

The card is addressed specifically to me, not my whole family.  And I don't know these people.

Now it occurred to me that it could be a blogging friend.  But the address includes my married name (Bogdan) as well as my maiden name. Most of you don't know my maiden name.

Could it be someone from my high school or college?  The woman has a rather unusual first name and I don't remember ever knowing someone by that name.


OK.  If it's one of you out there and I should indeed know you, please accept my apologies and 'fess up.  I don't want to be rude.


Any ideas??

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

The past two weeks:  No Change

Overall:  Down 9 pounds

By some miracle I actually have not yet gained any weight over the holidays.  And this after spending several days eating mostly cookies.  I kid you not.  I've been terrible, eating pretty much whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Still, with no change I must have some stop mechanism in place that has held me back, although I've been aware of no self-denial.  None.

Maybe the scale is broken?  Could it be?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

They're looking so much alike...

Everybody has always said how much my children look like each other.  I've never really seen it.  They all look so different to me.  But lately my two youngest daughters got their hair cut just like my oldest.  They're also getting very close to each other in height.

Don't get me wrong.  I still see BIG differences in their appearances-- more differences than similarities.  But when I see one of them out of the corner of my eye (not straight on), or when their backs are turned.... I can for a second think it's a different daughter.  It's so funny.

Straight on they look a lot different.  And in this picture you can't see the similarity in hairstyles.  There is an 11 year age difference between the oldest and the youngest.

Still, these girls are really starting to look like sisters.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cousins...You gotta love 'em.

Christmas is usually celebrated at our house.  My sister comes with her family from St. Louis.  My brother comes with his from Lansing (about an hour and 15 minutes away).  And family friend Lisa came this year from Chicago.  It's great fun to have cousins, aunts and uncles together.

We all love each other.  I think this time spent together is priceless.  The kids experience unconditional love.  Family bonds are strengthened.  And everybody just has a lot of FUN!!!  The kids look forward to it every year.

Cousins don't care if you're athletic or well esteemed by your classmates at school.  They don't care what kind of grades you get or if you're talented.  They just want to hang out with you.

This year we played a lot of games. I particularly enjoy family activities adults and children can play together.  Tumbling Towers below is one of them.  We also played Scrabble, PDQ, Blokus, and others.  

Since some people stayed at a nearby hotel there was also a hot tub to relax in,

a pool to swim in.... or wrestle in.....

And time to just hang out with those special friends who also just happen to be cousins!

God is good.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday to Mary!!!

Christmas Eve.  Everything done.  Presents under the tree.  Mom duly exhausted.  All ready to go.

We had a wonderful Christmas with my sister and brother, their families, and dear family friend Lisa.

And the very next day..... Sweet Mary turned 14.  We put up the pastel balloons and streamers.  Wrapped her presents in BIRTHDAY paper (no red or green)  (Sometime I'll post about the Christmas I spent in labor all day, refusing to go to the hospital and leave my other children opening their presents.  Finally went to the hospital fully dilated and managed to bring Mary into the world on the 26TH so she could have a birthday of her own.)

Happy Birthday Mary!!!!!!  

What a blessing to have you in our family.  Sweet, responsible, adorable, hard-working, precious Mary Sunshine (as I sometimes call her).

May the Lord bless you with every good thing and keep you in His grace all the days of your life.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Some scenes from my home.

Our Advent calendar is on the left.  I love it.
It has a pocket with a Nativity figure for each day.  
Baby Jesus is put in the manger on the 24th.

I love this little Nativity scene with a light that shines on Baby Jesus.

Decorating the tree...

Snow Angels!!
I have not had much time to post OR read.  

I wish all my blogging friends a blessed and peaceful Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Bitter Cold!!!!

It's soooo cold. It's 2 degrees out and that's WITHOUT the wind chill!!!  This morning the wind chill was 20 below!  I have no idea what it is now.  It's just sooo cold.  And we in Michigan are really used to cold weather, but this is frigid.

Still, it's very beautiful with Christmas lights and all.  We will most definitely have a white Christmas...

And....would you believe it?  Here is the little snapdragon that won't give up.  It's half buried in snow and perhaps it is dead, but it's still green!!!

Could it be that its challenging location between the rock and the foundation of the porch is now an advantage?  Maybe it is receiving a little protection from the elements.   It's dead flowers have not even fallen off.  It's wilted, but not that much.

It is one inspiring little flower.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday was a SNOW day!!!!

I've been so busy with Christmas preparations I haven't had time to post much.

Friday was a snow day!!!!  Woohoooo.  It was too bad the kids had to miss their Christmas parties and concerts but at least Jim had a whole day to catch up on AP History.

We must have had a foot of snow!!  It was a mess.

Took a long time to clear the driveway and sidewalks.

It's been just black and white outside for several days now.  I love a good snowfall.


(I guess we're getting more snow tonight.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do I love my Starbucks mug????

Do I love my Starbucks insulated travel mug?!?  Yes!!

Well, most of the time.  the rest of the time I am simultaneously amazed AND frustrated at how WELL it works.

It keeps the coffee/tea TOO HOT!!!

I'm not kidding.  It stays exactly as hot as when you first poured it for a 
REALLY, REALLY long time.  The problem is, for me, this is really too hot to comfortably drink.  I keep burning myself!

However, if what you want to do is take a cup of something hot with you to Mass, but you don't want to drink it until after Mass so as to receive Communion....then it works perfectly.   After about an hour or two the hot beverage is about perfect to drink.  I'm not kidding.  It's that good. And in that situation, I just love it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

OK.  It's 8:15 at night and I just realized it's Wednesday.  I bet you were all thinking boy she must have really pigged out this week and isn't going to tell us.

Accountability Numbers

This week:  No Change

Overall: Down 9 pounds

It probably would have been better if I hadn't eaten about 8 Oreos last night.

Some people really should not have cookies in the house.  I'm one of those people

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Meeting old Friends!

I have had TWO occasions lately to reunite with good friend and reader of this blog Mary O.

Mary moved recently to the Holy Land.  Well, not the literal Holy Land.  She didn't move to Israel.  She moved to the approximate vicinity of Notre Dame, Indiana.  Why am I referring to Notre Dame as the Holy Land?  Well, that's the topic of another post.

Anyway, Mary was recently back visiting and managed, to our delight, to squeeze in a Starbucks with good friend Jill and me.

Here is Mary arriving at the Starbucks...

And Mary with Jill and me...

It was such fun.  We miss Mary terribly.

BUT... this past weekend I was able to see her again as she generously agreed to come by my son's caroling party at his home in South Bend.  (Even though Mary had just arrived home from a very busy weekend.) We were able to visit with her whole family.  What a treat!!

How very precious is time spent with old friends!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Family Christmas Traditions

I am participating in Family Moment Monday hosted by Motherhood for Dummies.

We have a few, very simple family Christmas traditions.  First, there are the traditional ornaments.  I like to buy Christmas ornaments for my children that signify something special that they like or do.  These ornaments are set aside when we decorate the tree and only that person is to put them up.  It's fun to see them over the years and the kids seem to enjoy them.  Someday they will probably have them on their own tree, I hope.

We keep an empty manger in the middle of our Advent wreath.  Whenever someone does a good deed or makes a sacrifice for someone else they put a straw in the manger.  The goal is to have the manger nice and full by Christmas to keep the Baby Jesus warm.

On Christmas morning we drape streamers across the top of the stairs to remind the kids that they can't go down yet.  Our rule is that you can't go downstairs until you hear the song "Joy to the World."  My husband and I go down first to set things up.  We bring to the top of the stairs all the little Baby Jesus figures for each of the Nativity scenes, the manger in the Advent wreath, the Advent calendar, etc.  Everyone gets to place a Baby Jesus in a manger.

We light all the candles on the Advent Wreath.  We start the music and take pictures as all the kids come down the stairs with big smiles on their faces, each holding a Baby Jesus.

Then as we listen to the remainder of the song, reminding us of the real meaning of Christmas, we stand around the Advent wreath.  When the music stops we all sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and the kids blow out the Advent candles.

THEN, it's pandemonium.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Blogging Friend and New Book Alert!

I have a new blogging friend, Nancy Carabio Belanger, the author of the new children's book Olivia and the Little Way.

I must confess that I have not yet read this book but I heard Nancy interviewed about it on Ave Maria Radio and any book about St. Therese HAS to be good. Agreed?

This is a fictional account of a fifth grader who learns the "little way" of Therese as she adjusts to life in a new school. I plan to buy two copies for Christmas presents and I urge all of you to check out this book too. I think some of the children in my life might really gain from learning about the "little way" and my patron Therese from this book.

Nancy has a post a post linked
here that answers questions about how she came to write the book.

And check out
Nancy's blog for lots of great information and inspiration from Therese!

St. Therese, pray for us!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week's Numbers:  Down 1/2 pound

Overall Loss/Gain:  Down 9 pounds

Not much of a loss.  I have to say I was not very attentive this week to what I was eating.  In fact, I intentionally overate several times.   Eating for fun.  That's what I really have to be on guard against.

I like Suzanne's advice which says so much.  "Eat like a lady."  Yeah.  I think that says it all.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rain, rain, GO AWAY

Yuk!  I hate this weather.  It's very rainy, very dark, very GREY, and pretty cold.

It's winter rain-- my least favorite weather.  ( except for dangerous weather, you know)

I'd take a good snowstorm or thunderstorm any day over this mamby-pamby weather, not really cold, not cold enough for snow but cold enough to make you feel chilled!

It's grey!  SO GREY!!! Not a break in the foggy looking, thick grey sky.

It's 37 degrees.

Then tonight it's supposed to freeze.  Driving could get really dicey

BUT!! The little snapdragon that wouldn't die is still making me smile.  Here it is.  We've had weeks of freezing cold weather and it's still green.  OK.  It's pretty wilted, but it's still green.  The little miracle flower.  I think it's still alive, believe it or not.

You can even see a bit of its last little pink flower.  Blessed be God.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception!!

"For the first time after thousands of years God, in His wisdom and power and love, created again a human being in that state in which He had created our first parents.  Immaculate Virgin, you are that human being.  Because of sanctifying grace infused into your soul, you were from the first moment of your existence most intimately united with God and endowed with the most precious gifts of heaven. You possessed a perfect faith, a firm hope, a burning love, a deep humility, a purity greater than that of the angels."

 from Mary My Hope by Father Lawrence G. Lovasik

Happy Feast Day, Oh Blessed Mother

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Take on Congress and the Big Three

"Congress will insist that any legislation include rigorous and ongoing oversight to guarantee that taxpayers are protected and that resources are directed to ensure the long term viability and competitiveness of the American auto industry."

So says Nancy Pelosi.

Since when has Congress become the experts on how the auto companies can be competitive?

What a nightmare.  The Congress is going to tell the Big 3 how to make cars?  Well, yes.  They'll tell them how to make cars-- green cars, low mileage cars, and whatever other cars they think would be neat.

Do you know why the auto companies have been building lots of trucks and SUVs?  Because those are the products that bring them the most profit!!!  And that's what people were buying!!! In accusing the automakers of not having responded to consumer demands, of not being more environmentally conscious, etc. Congress is being unfair.  They do not seem to realize that the purpose of making cars is to make money!!!

The problems of the auto industry are complex.  I don't think Congress, in their arrogance, gets it.  

So.  That's my rant on Congress telling the auto makers how to run their businesses.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Six Things that Make Me Happy!!!

Jean at Catholic Fire has tagged me for the Six Things that Make me Happy Meme.

According to the rules, I have to post six things that make me really happy ... and pass it on to give six more people a reason to be thankful!

So six things that make me happy....

1. The Eucharist, the Mass, saying the rosary with my family, knowing that Jesus is always with me.

2. Spending time with my husband and my family, especially when we are all together.

3. Blogging!!!

4. Reading!

5. Listening to talk radio and watching television news programs-- learning!

6. Climbing into my bed at night, relaxing and having one last conversation of the day with my Lord.

I love a lot of blogs.  There are some I know have already been tagged on this.  I tag the following:

Barb at SFO Mom

Michelle from Rosetta Stone

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This week:  Up 1.5 pounds

Overall:  Down 8.5 pounds

The lesson for me this week is one I know full well.
I cannot lose weight by eating whatever I want, whenever I want.
Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Spoiling or Loving

Today my daughter got new braces on her bottom teeth.  She had already had the top ones.

I have three other children who have had braces.  I know they hurt, sometimes a LOT, when they first get them on.  And I know it's not just teenage whining because my good friend Pat had braces as an adult and she told me that they do indeed hurt A LOT when you first get them on.

So.  With each of my other children, on that first day of braces, I brought them a milkshake to school at lunchtime in case their lunch was too hard to eat.

One of my sons was in so much pain he couldn't even drink the milkshake.  Touching the straw to his teeth hurt too much.

The first time I did this a close friend of mine said I should not do that.  She said I should let them tough it out.  I considered that she might be right.  We don't want our children to think that life does not include suffering.  We also don't want them to think that when things are tough that mom will always come to the rescue.  We don't want them to remain dependent.  We don't want to spoil them.

On the other hand, I considered that it might also just show them how much I love them, that I care enough to take the time to help, when I can.  I thought it might show them an example of love, that we make sacrifices for the poor (as in poor teen with hurting teeth:-), that we give of our time to help others.

I asked if she thought she would have trouble eating lunch.  She said she didn't know.  I asked if she wanted me to bring her a milkshake.  She got that sweet smile of satisfaction on her face and honestly said, "I don't know if I'll have trouble with lunch.  But I would love a milkshake."

My heart said do it.  So I did.  She loved it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

When to allow heels....

I bought my daughter her first little pair of heels.

I think it's a tough call to know when is the right time to allow these kind of grown up things.
She's thirteen.  I don't let her wear makeup except a little colored lip gloss.  She looks so lovely anyway, she really doesn't need it.

Her school doesn't have dances but she has asked to go to other middle school dances and I have said no.  Dances even on the high school level are often not the healthiest social environments.  I just didn't see how allowing her to go to middle school dances would be in her best interest.

So.  She wanted a little heel.  A lot of her classmates wear them.  And she hasn't been badgering me about it.

This is what we found.

I think they're cute.  And since it's a wedge it will be a little easier to walk on than other styles.

She loves them.

Even in jeans they're pretty cute.  Her class will be going to see "A Christmas Carol" this month.  It's a dressy occasion and she can wear these with her red dress.

She's happy.  I'm happy.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Prayers for the Faithful Departed

Owen has started a site called A Month for the Souls in Purgatory 2008. He and his family will be praying for all the souls in purgatory who are listed in the comment section of his post. Here are Owen's instructions.

"WELCOME! Add your loved one...

Beginning November 25th my family and I are praying through the Month for the Souls in Purgatory from November 25th to December 25th 2008.  This is my third year practicing this devotion while three of my family members joined me during 2007 and again this year.

We would be most pleased and grateful to add any of your deceased Christian loved ones to our list of souls being prayed for.  Our family is offering Masses during these thirty days leading up to Christmas Day, known as the day when our Holy Mother, through her faithful prayers, sees many souls released from Purgatory to enter the gates of heaven.."

I've added my loved ones for whom I would like prayer. Perhaps you will want to do the same. Lord have mercy on all our faithful departed....

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!! (A day late)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

OK.  So I'm a day late.  But yesterday was WAY too busy to get a post written.  And any day is appropriate for giving thanks, right?

This what our table looked like before it was buried in food. :-)  I used my mother's china, which I love.  And a combination of my mother's and grandmother's crystal.  We had water glasses and wine glasses with sparkling fruit juices, which my kids love.  No alcohol.  I was so pleased that Mary (13 yo) wanted to use the crystal.  I thought the fact that it has to be hand washed would be a disincentive, but she likes nice things and appreciates family history, as do I.

     The table is too long for a table cloth, although I should make one sometime.  I know it would be easy.  But the length keeps changing depending on the number of guests.  It's an Amish table.  It has 11 leaves, each about a foot in length.  We don't have room to extend it all the way, but we have had about 18 people at it at one time.  Love this table.  They're available at, a business owned by a good Catholic family who are friends of ours.

So.... Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

The Eucharist! And all the graces and blessings I have received from my faith!

My family, my husband and every one of my six children!

My friends, both in the flesh and my e-friends!

My country and all the blessings of being an American-- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and all the countless ways the Lord has blessed this land.

The rosary and all the ways my family has been blessed through saying it together.

Blogging!  And all the ways my life has been enriched through it.

That my family has never been without food, shelter, and all of our basic needs.

For Catholic education and the fact that my children have been able to attend Catholic schools.

For this laptop I'm typing on and all the fun I have had with it.

For the good health of my family.

That my adult children are all still living their faith!

For my pastor Father Ed Fride and all the ways our family has been blessed by his shepherding!

For the incredible beauty of creation which is mine to enjoy every day!

For my life!!!  That the Lord created me and all those I love and that right now I have another day to live as His servant.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week:  Down 1 pound

Overall:  Down 10 pounds

I was absolutely astonished at the numbers this week.  I have NOT been good.  I had all but written the post in my head about how I was not going to report numbers this week because it was too painful.  I had expected to have gained a couple pounds.  But I lost one!!!  (Maybe it will catch up to me tomorrow-- especially given that it will be Thanksgiving!!)

The cookies pictured below were part of the problem.  I love those things!!! And my son came home with this plate of them from someone.  I knew it was trouble as soon as he put it on the counter.  I think I ate five of them!

Then I realized I had to put a little more distance between me and them.  So here they are under Ziplock and key.  Teehee.  It does actually help me to have to take even a nanosecond more time to get to them.  Just sitting there peeking out from under the foil was just not good enough.  Now when I also put them out of sight in the cupboard you'll know I'm actually serious about not eating any more :-)

Anyway, I'm grateful that the scale actually showed one pound loss today.   (Maybe the scale isn't working?!?!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the Christmas Countdown....

She really wanted it.  She saw it in an advertising flier.  My youngest thought this was just the neatest Christmas decoration you could possibly have.  

I could imagine the delight on the face of my nephews as they saw this "countdown."  I knew my godson would be quite obsessed with it and would run back and forth to update us on "the countdown."

I also knew it was a completely frivolous expense, devoid of the real meaning of Christmas.

But my youngest liked it so much.  And she has had some challenges this year.....

I told her it was an unnecessary expense.  It wasn't cheap.  I told her it was my decision and that she should not continue to ask me for it.  She said, "OK," with a sad look.  Then I said.....

"Now put it in the cart!"  The look on her face was priceless.

So now I have this thing and it is indeed counting down.  Turns out only my youngest likes it. The other kids think it's tacky and can't believe I would put this in our front yard.

I guess it is tacky.  But then aren't most Christmas decorations tacky?  I mean even the outdoor Nativity Scenes (of which we have one) are not exactly works of art, are they?  Isn't decorating for Christmas supposed to be a little tinsely?  Isn't putting multi-colored lights all over your house a little tacky?

Will it drive my neighbors nuts?  (It might drive me nuts with the constant reminder that the clock is ticking!!)

What do you think?  Too tacky?  (You can be honest.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Moment Monday-- good intentions

I am participating in Family Moment Monday hosted by Motherhood for Dummies.

Do you remember holding that baby for the very first time and thinking how you never wanted so badly to do this job perfectly and also realizing that you were completely inadequate?   Parenting is co complex and even getting advice from experienced parents has to be seen through the lens of your own family and your own unique children.  It's really tough. 

Only God the Father himself can do the job perfectly and his first two children messed up!

That free will thing is scary.  Scary for my own life and scary for the people I love.

I'm not hinting that my kids have messed up.  Actually, my kids are doing great and I couldn't be more pleased and actually shocked that even with a mother like me, they're (so far) all turning out just fine.

It must be the prayer.  

Oh Lord, please bless my children and all the children of people who read this blog and all the children who are loved by people who read this blog.  In spite of all the weaknesses, sins, and just plain stupid decisions that I and all parents make, please raise these children to be your good and faithful servants.

My pastor gave me some very comforting advice (in Confession) yesterday.  He said that the old saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions is actually not true.  He said the opposite is actually true.  The road to HEAVEN is paved with good intentions.  God looks at our intentions.

Isn't that comforting?  We don't need to be perfect parents.  We just need to try.  God is merciful.

God bless.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Man, today was a busy day.

Took the girls to school.  Then rushed to get ready to go to Mass at Jim's high school where the juniors' rings would be blessed.

Then left to go directly to the inauguration of the new president of Eastern Michigan University during which my son played a Chopin etude as a "Celebration of Student Excellence."  He did an awesome job and we were so proud of him.  Hope to link to some videos of it soon.  I tried to take my own video but halfway through his introduction by the new president my memory card filled up!  Oh well.  There were a lot of other video cameras going.

Then we went to a luncheon reception.

Then home to prepare dinner for John's piano professor who came over tonight.

It was one busy, full day.  I plan to sleep well and write more tomorrow.

Night all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week:  No Change

Overall:  9 pounds

There was a Sanders Bumpy Tea Cake in the house this week.  What can I say?

I went back to Weight Watchers yesterday.  I think I need more support to really get down another 5-10 pounds.  Plus with the holidays coming....definitely need more support.

And WW is so good.  I will eat better if I'm attentive to the WW guidelines on fats, fiber, etc. It really is a healthier way to eat.  So healthy, in fact, that I have rarely ever followed all the rules. 

But, I'm going to give it another try.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cool Blog Award!

Jean from Catholic Fire has kindly given me this Butterfly Award.  I am so honored.  Thank you, Jean!!

I must say first off that if Jean had not been the one to award this to me, her blog would definitely be on my list of cool blogs.  It is a very informative blog, full of great Catholic and prolife info as well as political commentary from a Catholic perspective.  I highly recommend you check it out.

The rules for this award are:

1.  Pick ten people and pass this award to them.
2. Then contact them and let them know that you have chosen them and their blog for the award.
3.  Also link back to the person who gave you the award.

I must tell you that many of the other blogs Jean chose would also have been choices of mine.So I must first list the following three blogs which have already received this award from Jean, but would definitely be on my list of ten.

Deb from UKOK's Place

Barb from SFO Mom

And then I also give the following blogs the Butterfly Award:
   (My apologies if you have already received it.  I haven't been able to blog much lately:-)

Alexis at Love Life

Mary Poppins Not at Crazy Acres

 Kitchen Madonna (inactive at the moment but back soon, we hope)

Sarah at Ora et Labora

Even under the snow!!!

I realize some of you are probably getting tired of hearing about resilient flowers.  These are right along my front walk so I see them all the time.  I can't help but be amazed that they are not only still alive but still blooming.

And these are even blooming UNDER THE SNOW!!!  It's 32 degrees out and they are still blooming!!!  Glory to God!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Survivors

We are expected to get three inches of snow this weekend.  Right now it's just a grey, chilly rain.

We've already had a few frosts.

And look what's still blooming in my garden!!!!!  These flowers all reseeded themselves from last year so I guess they've already demonstrated their hardiness.  Still, I'm impressed.  They're blooming, for heaven's sakes!  And it's mid November in Michigan!!

This flower I posted about once before because, incredibly, it sprouted from between a rock and the foundation of our porch.  And now, in this cold weather, it's STILL blooming and even has a number of buds.  This is my super-flower.

It is literally between concrete and a rock.  There can't be more than a half inch or so of soil in there.  Still, it blooms. 

Perhaps the life lesson is:  Those determined to survive, will.

Blessed be God!!

Scenes from yesterday's birthday...

Do you remember when you were younger how the older people would talk of how fast time flies and you would think,"Yeah.  Well, that's because a lot of years HAVE gone by.  Look how old you are!"

Well, I guess I've arrived.

How could she possibly be twenty-three??!!?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Anne!!!

Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter Anne!!!

I am tempted to use a pet name for her but I will not.

Anne is a wonderful daughter.  We are so proud of her.  She's an accomplished RN.  She loves the Lord and lives her Catholic faith.  She is a great role model for her younger sisters and she is so sweet to them.  She also has great taste and we all ask her opinion on clothes.

Anne is very compassionate and she has a tender heart-- great qualities for a nurse!!  She is sensitive and gentle.

What a blessing she is to our family.  I am so honored to be her mother.  God is good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weight Loss Wednesday

Accountability Numbers

This Week:  Down 1 pound

Overall:   Down 9 pounds

All the good Halloween candy is gone.  Thank heavens.  While I know it is good that I am back to losing I am still not where I was a month ago, which was down ten pounds.  I really need to find the time  get back to Weight Watchers.  Posting my numbers every week is a big help but I think I may need a little more, especially with the holidays coming up.

Still, I'm smiling to be down a pound.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Halloween Pictures... a little late

I know, I know.  Halloween was two weeks ago.  But I couldn't resist sharing these pictures.

With all the tension of the election, I just couldn't write about anything else for a few days there.

We always have fun on Halloween.  We live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids and the whole evening is filled with strong community feelings as we meet people we know, and the elderly are so happy to see kids come to their doors.

Anne and Zach came over to help.  We had one original jack-0-lantern design and one painstakingly done black cat from a pattern.
Liz was Minnie Mouse and Mary was a Cheezit box.  Mary and her dad always come up with an original costume like this--- but always with the same box.  First she was a Maytag dryer, then a Tic Tac box, then a juice box, and finally this Cheezit box.
Complete with nutrition facts on the side and advertising slogan on the back.  It was too cute.  (And as you know, I LOVE Cheezits!!)

An adult passed us while we were trick-or-treating and exclaimed, "Wow!  Cheezits!"  I hollered back, "Get your own box!" and we all laughed.

Hope you all had fun too!!