Friday, November 19, 2010

Your thoughts on family time...

Last night after dinner my husband and I took turns reading to Lil' Man and then, after his bath, he ran around in his pjs with so much stinkin' energy that I just wanted to plug myself in to him and share some of that same charge!

Paul and I were discussing how nice it is to have family reading time, but Lil' Man want the same 5 books read over and over and it does become slightly monotonous for Paul and I. We were trying to think of other activities we could do together as a family, but its hard because most of the games or ideas we had were just too difficult to get a two year old to go along with. We go hiking and to the park, but evening home are going to become more frequent the bigger I get and the colder Wisconsin becomes! I was thinking about some of the Montessori learning methods, but I am not yet an aficionado on said methods.

After we watched our crazy child "dance" (aka jumping, rolling, bouncing) to a toddler cd, Paul pulled out a remote control helicopter/spaceship thing and let Lil' Man chase that around trying to knock it out of the air. It was fun and cute and I managed to get some fun video footage of my boys playing together.

Soooo, does anyone have any thoughts on evening family activities with a two year old??? I will take any ideas!

In other news, we just discovered that BOTH of our dogs (both of whom my parents have been watching since we can't have them in our apartment) are pregnant!!!! Anyone want a puppy for Christmas (maybe Epiphany)??? Just figured that it couldn't hurt to ask!

Enjoy your Friday and have a wonderful weekend! We are looking forward to our town's Christmas parade on Saturday (who ever heard of a "Christmas" parade before thanksgiving?!?!). :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's the Holiday Season!

Which means that it is time for me to get my Christmas cards printed and ready to mail out after Thanksgiving! Crazy as it seems Thanksgiving is next week and Advent will soon be upon us! I always try (and rarely succeed) to have all gifts and cards taken care of before Advent begins, so I can focus on what's truly important- preparing my heart and my family to once again to receive Christ and celebrate His sacrifice for us.

This year I am using Shutterfly to print all of my Christmas cards for the first time. I have made a lot of photobooks using Shutterfly and just love how they turned out! I love cards with family picture on them and now that we have an adorable toddler underfoot we seems to have hundreds of precious poses to choose from. The only hard part is limiting the number of pictures to just my favorite "card worthy" ones. The great thing about Shutterfly is that I really don't have to limit the number of picture I can use by many. They have great cards that can have multiple images such as this one:

Or this one:
You can check out their beautiful photo card collection here:

Last year my brother gave my husband and I a canvas print of our wedding picture. It was one of the most special gifts! Consider giving an impossible to shop for Dad a canvas portrait of his family. The ideas are endless!
My brother will be getting a family photo calendar from us this year to remind him of his family since he is living far away.

And for those bloggers out there, Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: !!!

Hope you are as inspired as I am!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I apologize that I pretty much stink at blogging these days. I have thoughts to share, creativity to express, pictures of all the fall adventures my men and I have been having. What I don't have is energy or time. And when I have one or both of those to important elements, they get used for exciting things like housework.

I was so tired today because I didn't go to sleep until 3 am (indigestion+back/muscle pain=insomnia) that I felt the way I imagine it must feel like to be "hung over" (something I have never had to actually experience- PRAISE GOD!). And then I felt guilty all day because I've needed Paul so much recently to help me with Lil' Man and to take care me that I know he is feeling torn between work and home. Sheesh.

We did have a wonderful weekend. The week will be equally wonderful, but crazy busy. Prayers are appreciated. We will be off to California Friday morning, but home by Monday night. Tomorrow is a huge Catholic Charities event that I'm excited to attend and Wednesday I am hosting a large dinner party. All good. All exciting. But pray that God gives this preggo body a little extra steam. And that Lil' Man survives Friday's journey that will include 7 hours in the car and 4 and a half on an airplane, a time change for two days and then Friday's journey in reverse on Monday. Guardian Angels be with us!

I do hope to be a better blogger soon. Don't give up on me yet, friends. May God bless everyone as the joyful and hectic holiday season quickly approaches!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mission Theme (Ennio Morricone)

Soooo, I had the Theme from the Mission as one of the many songs in my playlist at the bottom of my blog. Recently it was playing the song from James Bond or Mission Impossible instead of  The Mission Theme. SO NOT COOL! It was driving me crazy so I went in and took the song off my playlist.

I must report that you will now be hearing a mix of Christmas music in with my regular selections. I am sorry. I hope it doesn't drive anyone crazy, but I love Christmas music! I control my self by only listening to it in private during the year or only listening publicly after Halloween. I know, I know, but there are very few "Thanksgiving" songs, so what's the big deal???

Anyway, if you haven't seen The Mission or heard its soundtrack, I highly recommend them (fyi: It is not a movie for the faint of heart and be sure to watch it before having the entire family view.)!


Mommy Mocktails!!!

Know a pregnant mom who could use a pick me up? Here's an idea!

Virgin Cocktails!

Since the beginning of my pregnancy I've had a hard time keeping anything down, especially water or any other fluid. Slowly, I have gotten better, but I still am having a hard time drinking. Early on water tasted bitter and now I just don't feel like drinking it. Adding slices of lemon or lime has helped, but...and all the teas I normally enjoy I can't have and I've been craving soda more than normal.

Interesting Fact: I've read that green tea inhibits cells growth, making it great for cancer patients and, obviously, bad for growing babies! They also say that green tea blocks folic acid which is especially important to the baby's development during the first trimester.

I made a decision that if I make drinking a festive occasion, similar to how I feel about sitting down to a soothing cup of tea, it may be easier for me to drink more. I started small by picking up a bottle of cranberry juice, a bottle of lemon-lime soda (caffeine free), and a lime. Through out the day I would drink a "mocktail" of 1/4 cup soda, 3/4 cranberry and a twist of lime. It helped!

When I went to visit my pregnant friend, Diana of the Lake of Shining Waters , on my way to Tennessee, I brought along two martini glasses, cream of coconut, frozen strawberries, pineapple, cherries and assortment of other goodies for us to try inventing something tasty.

First we tried just blending pineapple and coconut for a pina colada. We thought it was good, but Diana's - husband thought it was lacking and said he'd stick to the alcohol-enhanced version. We added in some strawberries and we were quite pleased with the result!

When I got home to our farm, I went through my bookcase and found a book called Salvatore Calabrese's Virgin Cocktails. I have been enjoying all the pictures of luscious fruit and funky looking drinks. There is even a tasty looking recipe for virgin eggnog- just in time for the holidays! The book includes drinks entitled Cantaloupe Caper, Coconut Grove, Forest Fizz, Island Surfer and Lean Machine (Which this pregnant stomach can't handle the thought of! It is a combo of carrot, spinach, celery and parsley.).

Since I have begun guzzling grapefruit juice (I've always liked it, but baby seems to enjoy it too!), I am fond of the Coconut Grove. Here it is if you'd like to try it!

Salvatore Calabrese's Coconut Grove
3oz pineapple juice
1 2/3 oz coconut cream
1 2/3 fresh pink grapefruit juice
garnish- segment of grapefruit and spiral of orange

Place ingredients in blender with a scoop of crushed ice. Blend for 10 seconds and pour into a tumbler. Garnish with a thin segment of grapefruit and a spiral of orange. Serve with a straw.

If you are looking for a gift for a pregnant friend, you can consider getting a book of non-alcoholic drinks and adding them to a basket with some ingredients and a couple of cocktail glasses. Some women may have trouble with fruits and veggies during the first trimester, but many (not all!) are able to handle them better by their 4th month. This is a great way to sneak healthy things into the diet!

Feel free to share any other inspired  ideas!

God bless and don't forget to pray for the Poor Souls today and to get out and VOTE!!!
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