Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making an All Saints Costume from Elsa

My two older daughters participate in our parish's youth groups and this is the time of year where they have events where they can come dressed up as a saint.  Last year Madeline dressed as St. Cecelia by taking a pretty pink princess costume and adding a golden harp made from cardboard.  Ellie dressed up as St. Elizabeth of Hungary using a queen costume we had already and simply adding a basket with some plastic rolls and tissue paper flowers.

When Ellie decided that she wanted to be Elsa from Frozen for Halloween I started wondering if there was a way for me to turn this costume into a saint costume.  So after thinking about it and doing a bit of google searching, I decided that this pretty blue costume might work as an Our Lady of the Snows costume.  So with the addition of a swaddled Bitty Baby and a bridal veil that had been given to us years ago as a possible first communion veil, we have a nice costume for a Marian title that oddly enough a lot of people don't seem to know about..


Ellie likes her Our Lady of the Snows costume and I'm pretty excited that her Halloween costume will do double duty this year.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quick Takes: On My Mind


~1~

I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do.  I really wish I could blog a bit more since this space is pretty much where I record milestones the kids hit and things of that nature.  I feel like I'm totally dropping the ball with recording what has been going on with Anthony.  Can you believe he's already five months old?

~2~
We have the first quarter of the school year behind us.  This week we began the second quarter.  I'm waiting on some grades for Madeline but all of Ellie's grades have come back and she's done incredibly well with everything.  Her lowest grade for the marking period was an A- and she's very proud of herself.

~3~
About a month ago we looked into getting Katie evaluated to see if she could benefit from speech therapy since she doesn't talk a lot.  I took a week and a half for the place we called to let me know that there is about a four month wait to get an appointment.  The whole thing has me feeling frustrated.  I am noticing that she's speaking more but it seems like she has some days where she picks up a lot of words and then we hit a dry patch where she seems to prefer not using those words.  I am finding that she's talking more now than she did two months ago, but I still feel like she's behind.  The most frustrating part is knowing that she can talk but pretty much chooses not to.  

~4~

Anthony is an active little guy.  He log rolls when he wants to get to one of us or a toy.  Last Saturday he was in the family room playing on a quilt with some toys and he rolled into the kitchen where Bryan and the girls were doing something.   He will even just roll around the perimeter of a room to play with different toys.  He certainly likes to explore!

~5~
Madeline and Ellie have soccer tournaments this weekend so they'll be busying playing lots of games.  I started feeling a bit under the weather last night so I think the little ones and I will probably stay home.  I'm not sure if it's my allergies that are bothering me or if I'm coming down with a cold or something.

~6~

For the past month we've been trying to get Anthony to eat baby food and he's not the least bit interested.  The first few times we tried giving him food he ate a little bit of it.  We had one night where he ate a decent amount and then about an hour and a half later when I was nursing him he had a very scary spitting up incident where he projectile vomited for what seemed like several seconds with garden hose velocity.  He actually seemed limp towards the end of the episode.  It ranks as one of the scariest parenting moments I've had.  He seemed very shaken up about it and I certainly was, too.  Ever since then he pretty much refuses to even swallow anything I give him on a spoon.  If I put it in his mouth he pushes it out and won't open his mouth.  I'm hoping that he'll be willing to try food sometime in the near future.  I think he might associate baby food with the scary vomiting incident.  Can a five month old make a connection like that?  It's the only thing that seems to make sense.

~7~

Katie will turn three next week.  It's so hard to believe that she's already that old.  It seems like the older I get the faster time seems to fly.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Sacred Fire

As a convert to Catholicism, I have encountered more than a few devotions which I had or have a hard time wrapping my mind around.  In most cases, delving deeper into why that particular devotion is practiced or learning the origins of it has been enough to essentially pull me in.  In a few instances even after having read several books on the subject matter I'm still left feeling skeptical.  For me, the Sacred Heart has been one of those devotions that I simply didn't get, yet, at the same time I've felt more and more of a pull to learn more about it.  At times, I felt like it was something that was following me just waiting for me to finally get it.  Over the past year or so, I've gained a better understanding of the Sacred Heart, but still I felt like I needed more clarity, and that clarity, for me, has come in the form of a book called Sacred Fire Practicing Devotion to the Heart of Jesus.

Philip Michael Bulman's book essentially takes you right down to the roots of the Sacred Heart devotion and explains it so well that everything seems to fall into place and make perfect sense.  The book is arranged in two parts.  The first part: A Heart Open to All  of Humanity gives us the background story of this devotion and the stories of some of the saints who have revealed so much about the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The second part of the book did a beautiful job of explaining the elements of practicing the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

I had the hardest time putting this book down as I read it.  It's a wealth of information on the roots and history of the Sacred Heart devotion and I found the more I read, the deeper my appreciation for the devotion grew.  I've read several books on the Sacred Heart and I'd have to say that this one did the best job of getting to the heart of the devotion and explaining it in such a way that was so simply put that my previous hang ups surrounding the devotion dissipated.

The book is an enjoyable read and one I certainly recommend for someone who is interested in understanding more about the Sacred Heart devotion.  I came away from this book very happy that I had invested the time in reading it.

I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.  You can take a peek inside this book at Amazon.com.


Friday, September 12, 2014

We Have a Teenager!

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 we watch some of the documentaries that tell about that day where our world as we knew it was forever changed.  Even now, thirteen years later, that day still seems surreal.  I remember much of what I did that day quite vividly and I suspect part of that is due to the fact that it was also the day I went into labor with our first child.  In the small hours of 9/12 less than eighteen hours after the first plane hit the World Trade Center I was holding a small little baby in my arms and marveling at how amazing it was that Bryan and I actually had a tiny baby girl.  We had no idea what adventures lay ahead of us.

That little baby is no longer little.  She's grown so much and while she may drive us crazy at times, she also amuses us with her antics, her quirky outlook on life and her many quotable comments which those of you who happen to be my friend on FaceBook have no doubt seen.  From "crapple juice" (that's cran-apple to the rest of us) to "ravenous bears" striking poses in populated areas, she always keeps us laughing.

One can only imagine what the upcoming year will have in store for us.  I know she'll be confirmed sometime in the spring and she'll also graduate from 8th grade.  Before her next birthday she will officially begin high school.   I'm sure there will be plenty more Madeline quotes along the way and many more stories to be told.  It's always an adventure!

So happy birthday Madeline!  I hope your first year as a teenager is a fun one!  Try not to drive me insane....at least not deliberately.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Where are the voices?

Of all the things in recent modern history, what sticks with me, perplexes me and even haunts me frequently enough when I sleep is the Nazi Holocaust.  From about 6th or 7th grade on up I learned so much about the Holocaust in school.  I went to a college that at the time was one of only a handful in the nation offering a degree in genocide and holocaust studies.  One of the professors, who you would regularly see around campus was a concentration camp survivor.  He was a voice who was well known for making sure the atrocities committed would not be forgotten.  I honestly thought that such atrocities were something we wouldn't see repeated in my lifetime.  But, I was incorrect in my assumptions.

Even people like myself who sort of live under a rock and don't watch the news very often (I do read it online.) are aware of the crimes against humanity being committed over in Iraq and Syria courtesy of ISIS.  For the life of me, I cannot understand why this hate filled group isn't being stopped.  As a mother, I'm sickened when I read stories about children being systematically beheaded.  I try to imagine how anyone can bring themselves to slaughter innocent men, women and children, but the fact is there's no way to rationalize such a crime or the thought process behind it.  It's just flat out evil and those carrying out these acts are monsters.

Please take a moment to  watch the video below hear what Cardinal Wuerl has to say about this genocide.  He raises an important question: Where are the voices?  Watch the video and then be one of the voices.  Don't be silent, silence is as good as condoning these atrocities.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Long Day Two Hours In

Do you ever have days where so much goes wrong so quickly that instantly a day that you thought would be decent enough becomes just the opposite?  I woke up to the alarm this morning and still felt tired, but I wanted to get to Mass because it's St. Augustine's feast day and he's one of my saints, so I knew I had to go.  Not going would be like bailing on your friend's birthday party because you wanted to take a nap.  And while he's not going to give me crap for it, I will.

By all accounts, this should have been a great morning.  Anthony slept through the night, I got to bed a a reasonable time so I had plenty of sleep, even if the alarm clock and I didn't agree on the waking time, and I was right on track for getting everything done in time to get out the door for Mass with one kid, Anthony.

Best laid plans, right?  Obviously something had to go wrong.  You know why?  Because I thought to myself that I had a decent day yesterday all things considered.  I didn't whine and complain to Bryan when he was at the office for about 12 hours and gone for about 14.  I didn't lose it with any of the kids yesterday and I could have several times, but I didn't.  I get some bonus points for being more patient than usual, right God?  If not, that's cool. just make sure You remember I pretty much rocked it yesterday.

So the morning started to unravel right as I got out of the shower,  because I refuse to count getting annoyed that my book was once again missing when I sat down this morning to read it as part of the long two hour day.  Worse things could happen.  So I step out of the shower and almost instantly I hear that the baby is awake and not happy.  He's hungry and I'm rushing as fast as I can to get dried and dressed so I can go feed him.  Once he's cared for I go to wake Katie and discover that she once again has opted to use a pull up for #2 instead of the toilet.   I expressed my displeasure.  And then proceeded to do waste management which included a bath minutes before heading out the door.  Awesome way to start the day!

Ellie was dressed and ready so she was coming along with me and Anthony to Mass.  Just as I'm walking out the door, Katie who just sat down for breakfast started crying because she wanted to come, too.  So I had Madeline grab shoes for her and a granola bar and all four of the kids headed to Mass with me.

We got to Mass on time, so that felt like a success.  Katie was relatively well behaved, although she did have a few moments where she was a bit too loud for my liking.  And then, out of nowhere Anthony got me with a massive spit up that soaked my pants.  It just kept coming and coming.  I honestly don't know how this baby gains as much weight as he does with the amount of spitting up he does.  It doesn't add up.

By the time Mass was over I was exhausted and ready to call it a day.  Not exactly how I want to feel at 8:38am.  I'm hoping the rest of the day is a little less trying.  I know it's going to be a long day just because tonight's a soccer practice night which means the little ones and I will be hanging out while Bryan and the older girls are out of the house for about three hours this evening.  Feeling exhausted with 12 hours to go isn't exactly encouraging.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Theme Thursday: Google Image

Well this was an easy Theme Thursday!  This week's theme is Google Image.  Since my last name is a bit on the more common side I googled myself using my name as I have it up on my personal FaceBook account, even though I go by my married last name and not a hyphenated version of my maiden and married last names.
The first image that shows up is this one of me and Bryan which happens to be my current FaceBook profile picture:

Here's a screen shot of what came up:
First two pictures are of me, followed by my Good Friday FB status the past couple of years and a nice surprised picture of Bryan on the far right.

Go check out Clan Donaldson for more Theme Thursday fun.

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