Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Resolution: Repost:

I found this from a couple of years ago.My New Year’s Resolution

I am sure I will regret publicly telling everyone, especially my teenagers, what I am striving for this year!

As in many years past, I will resolve once again on being a better wife and mother. If you are not a wife or mother, hold on and you just might pick up on some good tips for living.

My parents were wonderful, not perfect as none of us will ever be, but wonderful just the same!!! They raised nine great children, I am sure our spouses will protest. Me being the baby, and as spoiled as can be, even to this day!!!

My dad worked hard to meet the needs of a growing family and trying to instill a love for God, Family, and Country. Sometimes taking a second job so to let my mom stay home and care for us. My mom was and is the perfect example of how to be a great wife, mother, and housekeeper. She taught me mainly by example and taught me over and over again not to “sweat the small stuff” and “If I can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all”!!! My mom made her vocation as a housewife an art. Her day centered on serving a nice dinner to her family, having the house in order when my dad got home, and looking her best.

That is definitely a lost art in today’s world. Granted families are not structured the same as they were 30 years ago, but we could still learn a thing or two from that generation. With so many demands on families we have to be creative in our approach to life.

I would like to share some ideas I have gotten from a well passed around copy of a 1950’s Home Economics book with advice to women on how to have a successful marriage. I am sure many of you have read it already, but it is worth reading again.

Before I lose half my readers, hold on and think about how to apply this to your life; either as a single person, single parent, or working family. You just might pick up on a nugget or two.

Of course that is most of our ideal. There are nights when 4pm rolls around and I still scramble to find something to feed my brood. My advice is to be simple. Planning ahead is great, but don’t stress out. Many stores now offer prepared meals to buy and although pricey they sometimes are necessary. Even if you are single, food preparation is healthier for your body.

I used to watch in amazement as my mom ditched the house coat and put on some makeup and brushed her hair. Wow! What a transformation! We laugh, but I have found that when I look nice, I feel nice. We all need a boost, especially at the end of the day. No matter what your profession, looking nice is important.

This is one of my biggest problems. In this day and age we all have so much stuff!!! A couple of years ago I utilized a system from “The Flylady”. Even thou I don’t follow everything she says, I did learn a thing or two from her website or her book. My town and other areas also have an online group called freecycle which helps get rid of unwanted stuff. Just Google your town's name and freecycle and you will find it. Just don’t get in the trap of getting more stuff you don’t need.

Don’t laugh, even if it is a reminder that dad or mom is coming home so to welcome them, there are many ways to do this no matter what your family schedule is. We all can try to make those around us feel loved, missed, or appreciated.

This sounds silly but we live in a busy world. Having some quiet time isn’t unthinkable. Even if it is just turning down or off the TV, radios, or many other noisy things in our life, every little bit helps. If I could just find the on and off button on my kids…

Tip 6: SOME DON’T’S.
Don’t greet each other with complaints or problems. We all can utilize that one no matter who we are. Let us start our new year by being positive and not criticize everyone and everything.

Don’t delete this; just think how to make those around you more comfortable. Work on attention to detail. Offer small kindnesses to those we come in contact with. It doesn’t have to be slippers and a pipe.

How about listen to THEM, we can all work on this common courtesy. Whether family, friends, or those we are in contact with we should remember to use eye contact and not to interrupt others. Especially with children, if we listen we would be surprised at the wisdom they have, not to mention how hilarious they can be!

Let us change this to make the evening as stress free as possible. HA you say! Families deal with tons of homework, sports, and other time consuming activities which are good and fun. They just take over our lives. Even single people have crazy schedules. We just need to sit back and relax a while, it is important for our well being. We need to use this time of year to reevaluate and down size our activities.

Tip 10: THE GOAL.
It says to try to make your home a place of peace and order. We all want that, and if we try to follow some of the first nine goals, I bet we will gain more each year.

If you are still with me and aren’t rolling on the ground laughing at my suggestions and try some. I just bet we would all be a little more enjoyable to be around, which makes our communities more enjoyable to live in.

Happy New Year!


No not advice for those in labor...
just a great reminder from a holy priest named Father Dan Leary.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Favorite Team:

Find His will and embrace it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve:

Lord, this is my last chance to prepare my heart for You
before we celebrate Your birthday tomorrow.
Help me keep my eyes on the true meaning of Your birth.

9 Dad run
11 Decorate the tree!!! (our family tradition)
6 DINNER (seven seafood special- an Italian tradition) and
even thou we aren't Polish we put some hay under the tablecloth
(my kids pick names late Nov and exchange gifts Christmas Eve)
8 Get Ready for bed

I was looking at past Christmas posts.
Never too late for this link.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today's Gospel

Gospel Luke 1: 46-56
Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months
and then returned to her home.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I smell a brown noser:


I woke up to a clean kitchen with breakfast waiting for me with this note...

hmmm, I smell an 11 year old who wants to get out of restriction!


Thursday, December 16, 2010


Wed Dec 15, 2010
4:45am woke up (not on purpose)
4:50am went to the gym
5-6am worked out on the elliptical
6:15-7:15 went grocery shopping (3 carts)
7:15 shut pinky in trunk...ouch!
7:25am picked up dry cleaning
7:45am got home and had all the kids empty car
8:00am clean out fire place, get kindling, and make fire (with boys help)
8:10am send out important email to a friend
8:15am got sucked in to email...
8:30am get everyone ready for mass
9:00am go to mass, need to have this time with my Lord!
9:45am eat and start cleaning the kitchen
10:00am make boys finish school
10:15am have Joseph take little boys up stairs
10:15am to 3:00pm try to clean house, do laundry, and feed kids before tonight's party
5:00pm put in pizza for dinner
5:45pm put on movie so little girls will stop asking every 5 min how long till guest come
6:00pm dump everything I couldn't clean in box put in garage
6:30pm welcome 30 guests for a Mother/Daughter Cookie Exchange
9:00pm check last minute Christmas gifts on amazon
9:30pm get ready for bed and dream of a million things for the next day
10:30pm say rosary in bed with hubby
11:00pm glad all days aren't so busy
11:05pm start thinking about my baby Robert who turns 11 on the 16th!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cheaper By the Dozen

Family Memories Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for unique, personalized Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Toy Review Tuesday:

Great gift for under $20. Get it at amazon or Target.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Movie Review Monday:

Tear jerker...for older teens

I really liked it. I bawlled like a baby...I didn't like Four Christmases, not worth the watch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Gift ideas:

OK, my Christmas suggestions for 2010:

First of all don't forget the obvious never can go wrong gifts. Sports equipment like a new basketball or soccer ball. For little girls any doll usually does the trick. For elementary kids this time of year is a great time to get a new pack of crayons and markers that actually work. Also, check out Melissa and Doug's cool art pad collection. I bought about six different ones for gifts this Christmas. I also bought my five year old Critter Clinic from Target. I love this new line of toys by

I suggest buying from amazon because there is no lines, no shipping, and no tax.

Last year I got all my kids 3 things (like baby Jesus got 3 gifts)...

They were:

1. Snuggie's:I got my oldest a real "snuggie" from Toys R Us last year...about $15-cheap material, but works. The others came from BJ's last year for $10 were made by Bershire and have a pocket. They are way warmer than the others and have a cool pocket. They all love them!!! I just saw them in Ross for around $7. They also work great for people in wheelchairs to keep them warm.

2. Water bottles: Everyone got their own color with hook tops to hook to bikes and backpacks. Some fancy and some with initials on them. There are so many to choose from, just try to find the kind with easy tops and not alot of parts.

3. Flashlights: Even dad got a deluxe one. They little girls got Tinkerbell and princess ones. They big kids got their favorite colors or ones to match their cars and the middle ones got cool ones to hook on their backpacks.

Hope you got good stuff for Christmas...want to share what you got? Love good, non cluttering ideas!!!
Playmobile: if the person (or parent) you are buying for likes little characters we love playmobile in our house...16 years of buying them...we have thousands of pieces.

For those who like cars...we love our autoblox they are more expensive but well worth it. Especially if you like simple model cars.

This sounds crazy but if you are buying for a family with boys who play with gotta get the BluTrack trust me, everyone I suggest this to, love it. It can be an inside or take outside toy. Very expensive but doesn't brake.

Shape Box: ages 2-6
I just had to throw away the one we have had for 18 years. SO we decided to get this for the little guys for Christmas.

The Anti-Coloring Book and the entire Series:
I had these when I was little. Just love them and so many possibilities.
Ages 6 and up

Keepsake album by ALEX called Me by Me a perfect gift for any 3-9 year old. They are like a heirloom box with book included.

Crayola Paint Brush Pens
Really any other brand that has the paint in the brush work great.
The ones I have can be refilled with paint.
ages: 2 and up

Scattergories Game:
We have had this for years. It comes and goes as our family favorite. It is on the top favorite again this month!!! This is fun with group of people made into teams.

Ages 5 (if on a team) and up!

MAGNA DOODLE : You just can't go wrong with one of these toys!!! Any size will do. The only suggestion I have is the simpler the better. Make sure the "pen" is connected and the less "bling" the better. All the extra stuff is just a pain. Ages: 1-8years.

Star Wars Visual Dictionary!!! This was a BIG HIT last CHRISTMAS!!! We bought about 15 this year as birthday gifts. It is everyones favorite gift. You gotta get it at amazon for around $15, I have had to bite the bullet and buy about 3 at Toys R Us for $25 ugh.


Really you can't go wrong with a baby doll. I mean any little girl would love to play with any baby.

Two years ago, my now five year old loved baby dolls, not any of the eight Bitty Babies from American girl, no she loved the dollar store ones. She got about seven one year from everyone who new us...every time they were at the dollar store they would pick up one for her. Sure they only lasted a couple of months, but we didn't care.

I will say that the American girl Bitty Baby and Twins are worth the money. We have about eight of them. Black, some white, Hispanic, and the two sets of twins. The new ones are even cuter and you can mix and match the hair color and race.

They last a long time and if necessary you can send them back to the baby hospital. They come back all clean and in a hospital gown and balloon.

The strollers and accessories are nice, but the clothes ate too expensive.


My kids used to always play with SCULPEY CLAY and we still love it.
We also have really enjoyed the Model Magic clay. No cooking necessary and if you roll it into a ball it can bounce when dry. It comes in small packs for stocking suffers too!!!

Cosmic Catch GameOur family was introduced to this at my son's 16th birthday. The teenagers were all playing it and having a blast. Great for groups.

Now it is one of our favorites. Six players. Ages 3 and up

SCULPEY CLAYMy kids have enjoyed playing with this clay for about 15 years. Sometimes we make stuff and cook it, other times we just play with it. The trick is the more you play with it the better the texture and color turns out. Also, just a little clay goes a long way. Follow directions-don't overcook.


How can any kid turn one of these down??? In the past 19 years we have had about six of these carts...I can say that the metal ones aren't as strong as the Little tykes ones, and the cheap ones are a waste of money. I would say kids ages 1-7 can still enjoy these fun toys.

Regular and junior versions are great. They say 9 and up, but if the little guys are on a team they all can play. My little guys think up the funniest ideas.
All my kids’ love this game...our favorite is when all the teenagers’ friends come over and play with us.

Apples to Apples: if you know a family that doesn't have is great, especially the Jr version.

This is just a short version of things I would suggest and buy again. Look under my Toy Review for more.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Baby girl is Five!!!

My Advent baby.

Wow, are getting so big. You are becoming my little helper. You are my cleaning lady, so glad you are in our family always making us laugh with your silly shenanigans!!! You are a good big sister to your two baby brothers and our cuddle bug to everyone else.

God has great plans for you, my dear one...

and become the amazing young lady

He has created you to be!!!



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Cards:

For those that know me...sending out Christmas photos are a must...I usually send out a photo with a piece of paper that has all of our yearly bio's in the shortest form possible.

I love getting everyone's Christmas picture and especially love the photo cards like the ones at Shutterfly.

We have a pantry full of cards we have received over the years. One of our kids and guests favorite things to do is to open up the pantry, pickup all the stuff that tumbled out, and bask at the photos.

Every year I dream of just ordering photo cards like these at shutterfly. These are some of my favorites:

Love the photo cards that you can fit so many pictures on...

Look at this classic photo, nothing beats black and white photo shots...

Do you think they could sit in for my family...look how sweet they look...

This is called, "Celebrate Family".
I just love the word CELEBRATE!!!

I love black and white backdrops

Finally....12 spots for my 12 kids!!!

Of course anything with a nativity...
the true reason for Christmas
is the all time favorite!

We have been very happy with Shutterfly in the past. Once you have an account, you can make photo calendars, photo books, and all sorts of cool gifts. We have had great success with giving calendars for gifts and I love having small photo books in my purse so I can brag about my kids.

I am grateful for Shutterfly who is giving 50 free cards to bloggers and my buddy Katie for posting about this deal!!!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Angels and Saints:

This mornings discussion about St Michael the Archangel.

Angels can be saints but saints can't be angels.

Many people say that their loved ones who have passed

are angels, this in incorrect.

If they are in heaven they are saints.

The church declares certain people saints

after much research.

See more info about Saints here.

Gotta three year old just told me St Michael is hungry

and is feeding his statue some clementine's!!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I just got this message for prayer:

Kristen, is not in labor, but she is pregnant. She's 27 weeks along and the amniotic fluid level is low and the baby is about two weeks behind in growth. She's due Feb. 16th. The organs of the baby all appear to be in place and developing correctly, but the low amniotic fluid and slow growth are a major concern. Would you please pray for her? Thank you!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Review Monday:

Check out to get their movie suggestions.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pro Christmas Stores:

Info found here:

Color Code:

GREEN: Company uses the term "Christmas" on a regular basis, we consider that company Christmas-friendly.

YELLOW: Company refers to Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.

RED: Company may use "Christmas" sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.


Companies FOR "Christmas"
updated 11-17-10
Bed Bath & Beyond
Best Buy
Big Lots
Collective Brands
Dollar Tree
Family Dollar
Dollar General
H.E.B. Stores
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot*
*See AFA's current boycott of The Home Depot
JC Penney
JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts Stores
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Pier One Imports
Rite Aid
Super D Drug Stores
Wal-Mart/Sam's Club

Companies marginalizing "Christmas"
updated 11-17-10

Bass Pro Shops
Banana Republic
Bath & Body Works
Gap Stores
Hancock Fabrics
Hy-Vee Stores
Old Navy
Limited Brands
Toys R Us
Whole Foods

Companies against "Christmas"
updated 11-17-10

Barnes & Noble
CVS Pharmacy
Dick's Sporting Goods
Office Depot
Radio Shack
Victoria's Secret

Saturday, November 20, 2010



1 12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
1 orange

Put washed, drained cranberries in a food processor with 1 orange which has been peeled and quartered with all seeds being removed.
Pulse for a few seconds, just until coarsely chopped. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl, if necessary, to chop evenly.

Add 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar and taste adjusting sweetness as desired.

Stir well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Cranberry Orange Relish may be frozen for up to 2 months.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

This is one of our favorites and on the menu this Thursday.


Apple Cranberry Slaw

I found this here:
PER SERVING (1/5th of recipe, about 1 cup): 151 calories, 3g fat, 118mg sodium, 30.5g carbs, 5.25g fiber, 21g sugars, 2.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*

One 12-oz. bag (4 cups) dry broccoli cole slaw
1 large Fuji apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup All Natural Almond Accents Honey Roasted Flavored Sliced Almonds
1/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce
2 tbsp. fat-free mayonnaise
2 tsp. honey mustard
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Dash salt, or more to taste
Dash black pepper, or more to taste

I haven't had this, it looks good, I plan on making this for Thanksgiving. Always nice to have a new recipe on the table.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

Found the recipe here and adjusted it the way that worked for me...

• Non Stick Spray
• 3 to 3-1/2 pounds chicken leg-quarters, skin & visible fat removed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup thinly sliced onions
• 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic or garlic salt
• 15 ounce can no-salt-added tomatoes
• 8 ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1 teaspoon basil
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
How to make it
• First prepare your leg-quarters. If desired you may cut the legs and thighs apart with a sharp knife or poultry shears. It takes about 4 leg-quarters to make 3 to 3-1/2-pounds of chicken.
• Spray a very large skillet with non-stick spray. Add the chicken and fry it until it begins to brown. Remove it from the pan and lay it on a plate.
• Next heat the olive oil in the same pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute until they are tender and fragrant.
• Open up the cans of tomato products. Add them to the skillet with the onions. Add the seasonings too.
• Stir it up and bring it to a boil. Add the chicken, sort of laying it on top of the vegetables.
• Cover the skillet with a good lid or a pizza pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the pan simmer for about 45 minutes. Check it every now and then and add water if you think it needs it. When it is done cooking, serve it with cooked noodles or spaghetti
• If you like, you can add a chopped green pepper, or a couple of stalks of chopped celery along with the onion. A small can of mushrooms is also appropriate here a dash of hot pepper is good too.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010





1. I love that your forever my one and only
2. I love your cute face
3. I love your fathering
4. I love your balance
5. I love being married to you
6. I love you accepting me for my crazy self
7. I love your pessimistic personality…even if it annoys me at times
8. I love that you let me homeschool our kids
9. I love that you help me with the kids
10. I love the taste of the salt on your skin after running
11. I love waking up in the morning especially when you cuddle
12. I love when you work from home
13. I love your hair especially when it is short
14. I love you when you help me during labor, even when you got to hole Kolbe
15. I love how you think I am hot when I am pregnant
16. I love that you let me stay home with the kids
17. I love that you support my faith
18. I love how I feel safe in your arms
19. I love how you let me cuddle up next to you in the winter for warmth
20. I love your sardonic smile
21. I love that you don’t mind when I go shopping at the consignment shop
22. I love when you wear your running pants
23. I love you when you hold me after a good cry
24. I love that you balance our checkbook
25. I love to watch you sleep
26. I love that you let me text you at work 20 times a day
27. I love how you hold our babies on your chest
28. I love when you read to the kids
29. I love to rub your shoulders
30. I love to hug you from behind
31. I love that you think that I am the pick of the litter
32. I love when we pray together
33. I love that we are BFF’s
34. I love your gross toes
35. I love your warmth
36. I love when you teach me to do new things on the computer
37. I love that you think that I am more beautiful at 42 then at 16 when we met
38. I love how you are a hard worker
39. I love that you are a great parent to our teenagers
40. I love TTN
41. I love HT, HS, and any H day
42. I love that you are funny
43. I love that you help me when I am lost
44. I love that you are so smart
45. I love that you like to read
46. I love that I love your more today than the day we were married


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Girl Birthday Party:

Getting ready for Happy Birthday five year old.

Going for the Nutcracker Ballet gotta have a theme.

Making this cake...we will let you know how it turns out.



Wow nine have always been everyones special buddy...

You make us laugh and keep us smiling...

You are so unique and sweet...

We know Christ has a special plan for you...

DO it and Do it well...


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catholic Dating:

Catholic Pick up lines found on FACEBOOK

My teen son thought these were funny...whatever gets you a good Catholic spouse honey...

1. Confess here often?

2. Did you feel what I felt when we reached into the holy water font at the same time?

3. You've got stunning scapular-brown eyes.

4. I bet I can guess your confirmation name.

5. Let's get out of here. I know a much cozier little Catholic bookstore downtown.

6. You don't like the culture of death either? Wow! We have so much in common!

7. What's a nice girl like you doing at a First Saturday Rosary Cenacle like this?

8. Sorry, but I couldn't help but noticing how cute you look in that ankle-length, shapeless, plaid jumper.

9. Hi there. My buddy and I were wondering if you would settle a dispute we're having. Do you think the word should be pronounced HOMEschooling, or homeSCHOOLing?

10. May I offer you a light for that votive candle?

11. You don't have an accountability partner? Me neither.

12. The Bible says "Give drink to those who are thirsty, and feed the hungry"; how about dinner?

13. You look so beautiful in that mantilla you wear to Mass

14. Want to go to Adoration with me?

15. I didn't believe in predestination till I met you.

16. Man does not live by bread alone. So how about dinner and a movie?

17. What do you think Peter meant when he said, "Greet everyone with a holy kiss" (1Pet 5:14)?

18. A little bird... the Holy Spirit actually... tells me we should get to know each other a little better.

19. Do you need help carrying your Bible? It looks heavy.

20. What are your plans for tonight? Feel like a Bible study?

There are 60 more on FACEBOOK.


Prayer REQUEST for women in Labor:

From Debbie:

I want to ask you to pray for my neighbor Margaret who is in labor right now with her daughter, Lyla Grace. She and her husband, Bret, have experienced two miscarriages in the last two years, so they are overjoyed, to say the least, to be at this point. Today also happens to be Margaret's birthday, God is so good!! Thank you for your prayers.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Toy Review Tuesday:

Please send me your favorite useful gift is time for Christmas...and the seven winter birthdays we celebrate around here.

I just had to throw away the one we have had for 18 years. SO we decided to get this for the little guys for Christmas. I usually give away the toys when we are done. Unless they are at this time I have a few things for the one year old. Does anyone have an all time favorite toy? I need some suggestions.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

It is TIME for change:

I got a new job...I get to write for a local PATCH news online. My latest was about advice for parents with little ones.

Let me know what you think...and feel free to link it if you want.

Giving advice is like running for public office: People can always dig up dirt about how you don't practice what you preach. Let me share some advice that has worked for me most of the time. I have to confess that I am far from a perfect wife and mother, so take this advice with a large grain of salt.

I am constantly asked how I accomplish anything with 12 kids. One of the main questions centers on bed time and getting a bit of time alone or as a couple. First of all, I had to come to grips with the fact that even though my kids seem needier, my first priority is my husband. I know it seems strange when the children are little and so needy, but the best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse. One thing that has helped my marriage and my parenting is to put the kids to bed early when they are young. read more here:


Monday, November 1, 2010

All Souls Day:

Soul Cakes from here:

The old English custom of "soul-caking," or "souling," originated in pre-Reformation days, when singers went about on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, November 1 and 2, to beg for cakes in remembrance of the dead. The "soulers," as the singers were called, droned out their ditties repeatedly, tonelessly, without pause or variation. Doubtless Shakespeare was familiar with the whining songs because Speed, in Two Gentlemen of Verona, observes tartly that one of the "special marks" of a man in love is "to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas."

Allhallows e'en, or eve, a night of pranks and fun in North Country homes, was celebrated with many wholesome games. Young people, for example, read future events from the way roasting chestnuts sputtered and jumped next to the red-hot coals. They bobbed for apples and flung snakelike apple parings behind themselves, to learn the initials of future mates. Our British ancestors brought these old folk practices to the New World, where generations of adolescents have observed them on the night that witches traditionally ride broomsticks and hobgoblins venture abroad.

But long before the last night of October was an acknowledged time for juvenile merrymaking, the Druids celebrated the festival of Samhain, or Summer's End, to honor the dying sun. This was the season of prayer, augury, and human sacrifice, for evil spirits walked on earth and sought dominion over souls of men. It was not until the fourth century that Allhallows, the mass for Christian saints, supplanted these pagan ceremonies for the sun god. Another six hundred years elapsed before the Druid death-feast finally became All Souls', the day of prayer for the departed.

Soul cakes and souling customs vary from county to county, but souling practices always flourished best along the Welsh border. Even there, the custom is rapidly dying out. In hamlets of Shropshire and Cheshire, in parts of the Midlands, and Lancashire one sometimes hears the soulers chanting old rhymes such as:

Soul! Soul! for an apple or two! If you have no apples, pears will do. If you have no pears, money will do. If you have no money, God bless you!
In olden times "soul papers," with solicitations of prayers for the deceased, accompanied the cakes which were given to the parish poor. Householders, as well as churches, bestowed soul cakes as a charity in behalf of the departed.
Soul cakes were of different kinds. Formerly, some cakes were flat and oval. Others were plump and bunlike. There was a spiced-sweetened variety, and the sort that resembled a small fruit cake. All were rich with milk and eggs.

Soul cakes as adapted to American tastes from early English recipes, make delicate tea-time or party buns. Instead of the saffron and allspice of the original cakes, use a few drops of yellow vegetable coloring as well as nutmeg and cinnamon.

The following recipe is an adaptation of an old Shropshire formula. The light fluffy buns, delicious for any occasion, are especially appropriate for Halloween. Serve them hot, with plenty of butter and strawberry or raspberry jam. Accompany them with mugs of cider; or with hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows, for the young; or with coffee or tea for those who are older.

Cream shortening and sugar. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water to which a teaspoon of sugar has been added. Set aside. Scald milk and add to the creamed mixture. When cooled add yeast mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Sift together flour, salt, and spices, and add gradually to other ingredients, kneading into a soft dough. Set sponge to rise in warm place in greased covered bowl. When doubled in bulk, shape into small round or oval buns. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg white. Bake in moderately hot oven (400° F.) for 15 minutes. Drop temperature to 350 ° F. and bake until delicately browned and thoroughly done.

Recipe Source: Feast-Day Cakes from Many Lands by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan:

Found super easy recipe here:

3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided (could use less)
1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). (I was amazing)
2.Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
(Did I mention that I fried them???amazing)
Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
3.In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

We all loved them...cut thin, it is amazing how far three eggplants go.



Since I mainly do this blog to write funny stories for our family memories...I just couldn't pass up posting these two stories from this weekend.

On Saturday I was at my son's soccer game. My four year old had to go potty. I looked way over to the other side of the park and saw the I really want to drag the baby and the four year old all the way over there?

So I said, "Let's just go potty here, since no one is around and I will help I pulled down her panty hose, held up her dress, held her up in "potty" position, and waited for the urine to flow...nothing happened and I heard a little gas...I squealed..."Do you have to pee or poop?" "I gotta poop." I laughed, "We can't go poop right here!" So off we went to the disgusting potty before it was too late!

We watched the rest of the game and on the way home my baby got into some of the kids candy. I looked back and he was eating a dum dum lollipop, wrapper and all.

This morning the baby woke up and I changed his poopy diaper...and saw sticking out of his hiney a piece of said, "dum dum." Man, even the baby is calling me names.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Quick and easy...Main recipe found here:
Of course for my family I doubled.

2 1/2 c. stock from turkey
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. light cream ( I used whole milk)
1 c. rice
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. turkey, cut up

1.Place turkey carcass in a soup kettle or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove carcass; cool. Set aside 3 qt. broth. Remove turkey from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside.
2.In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 1 qt. of reserved broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
3.Add cream, rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, remaining broth and reserved turkey. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.

Love tasted really 12 year old had 21 bowls in two days...not really that good.


Friday, October 29, 2010


Choc-O-Licious from HUNGRY GIRL:

3 Musketeers Mini Bar - 24 calories, 0.7g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

3 Musketeers Fun Size Bar - 63 - 70 calories, 2 - 2.25g fat (POINTS® value 1 - 2*)

100 Grand Fun Size Bar - 95 calories, 4g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Almond Joy Snack Size Bar - 80 - 85 calories, 4.5g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Butterfinger Miniature - 45 calories, 2g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Butterfinger Fun Size Bar - 85 calories, 3.5g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

SHOCKER! Butterfinger Pumpkin - 160 calories, 8g fat (POINTS® value 4*)

Hershey's Kiss, Any Flavor - 21 - 23 calories, 1 - 1.3g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Hershey's Miniature Bar, Any Flavor - 42 calories, 2.5g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Snack Size Bar - 67 calories, 4g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Kit Kat Mini - 42 calories, 2.2g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Kit Kat Snack Size Bar - 70 calories, 3.7g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Milky Way Mini - 38 calories, 1.5g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Milky Way Fun Size Snack Bar - 75 - 80 calories, 3g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Mounds Miniature - 63 calories, 3.7g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Nestle Crunch Mini/Miniature - 30 - 50 calories, 1.5 - 2.5g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Nestle Crunch Fun Size Bar - 60 - 70 calories, 3 - 3.3g fat (POINTS® value 1 - 2*)

Peeps Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkin - 110 calories, 3g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cup - 44 calories, 2.6g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Reese's Snack Size Peanut Butter Cup - 80 - 110 calories, 4.5 - 6.5g fat (POINTS® value 2 - 3*)

Snickers Miniature - 42 - 45 calories, 2g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Snickers Fun Size Bar - 80 calories, 4g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

Twix Mini Caramel Cookie Bar - 50 calories, 2.6g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

Twix Fun Size Caramel Cookie Bar - 80 calories, 4g fat (POINTS® value 2*)

York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Pattie Pumpkin - 50 calories, 1g fat (POINTS® value 1*)

For those like me who eat the entire bag...sorry don't have the calorie intake on that...


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Saints Day:

Mary dressed as St Therese finally gets the donut
with some help from the Sister from the Servants of the Lord.
Cecilia coloring with "St Mother Theresa"
Which one has the token?
All the Saints
ST Maximilian Kolbe with his "Bosco Bucks"
Little Mary being Mary
Young Dominic being St Joseph
Young Robert being Joseph with his coat of many colors

I got interviewed this week for an article on All Saints Day and Halloween.

(RNS) read the entire article here:

While ghouls, witches and wizards run door-to-door for treats this Halloween, St. Michael, St. Patricia and St. Lawrence will swap candy in their basement, sharing stories of their heroic exploits.

One child, wrapped in toilet paper, sticks out from the rest, not because she’s an Egyptian mummy but rather St. Lazarus, the dead man raised to life in the Gospel of John .

The festivities are part of an All Saints’ Day party hosted at the home of Sam , a Catholic mother of 12, who wanted a more sacred alternative to Halloween.

“It’s all about having fun in your faith. Just being a Christian and Catholic isn’t something to be embarrassed about,” she said. “We make faith come alive.”

Sam said the tradition started because the first neighborhood they lived in wasn’t the safest, but also because they wanted to highlight the religious aspects of the holiday.

Halloween, after all, was first known as All Hallows’ Eve, the night before All Saints’ Day, when Christian churches commemorate all the known and unknown saints and martyrs.

Thy will Be Done!!! +JMJ+

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Receiving Communion and Spiritual Communion

My meditation today from the Intimation of Christ.

The Sixth Chapter
An Inquiry on the Proper Thing to Do Before Communion

The Disciple

WHEN I consider Your dignity, O Lord, and my own meanness, I become very much frightened and confused. For if I do not receive, I fly from Life, and if I intrude unworthily, I incur Your displeasure. What, then, shall I do, my God, my Helper and Adviser in necessity? Teach me the right way. Place before me some short exercise suitable for Holy Communion, for it is good to know in what manner I ought to make my heart ready devoutly and fervently for You, to receive Your Sacrament for the good of my soul, or even to celebrate so great and divine a sacrifice.

When you can't get to daily mass make a spiritual communion.

Act of Spiritual Communion
by St. Alphonsus Liguori (A.D. 1696-1787)

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present
in the Blessed Sacrament.

I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
As though thou wert already there,
I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee;

permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee.

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+

Monday, October 25, 2010

Movie Review Monday: Same as last week...

I talked about this movie last week...but did you know there are eight books?

How To Train Your Dragon
We all just loved it...from the one year old (ok he didn't tell me) to the 20 year old!

Wish I knew there were a series of books...cuz I make my kids read the book before the movie.


Sex Education Resources:

Haven't really found anything that I love.

We use the Joyful Mysteries of Life for Elementary school and Middle School.
(each child is ready at a different time)
We use Real Love by Mary Beth Bonacci for High School and up.

Would love to hear of any that work for your family...


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Heathly Money Saving Tips:

Market Aisle-by-Aisle Quick Tips From HUNGRY GIRL site:

Fruit and Veggies - Buy seasonal -- there's generally a lot of whatever's in season, so stores lower the price to sell it all before it goes bad. And frozen fruit and veggies are great any time of year, because they last a LONG time without spoiling.

Meat and Seafood - Take some time to compare prices. The meat counter could have a deal that beats the price of the packaged stuff; sometimes a big pack of frozen chicken breasts is your best bet. And frozen shrimp is a big YES -- much cheaper than fresh!

Canned Foods - Staples that we swear by? Canned beans, canned crushed tomatoes , canned pineapple in juice (great as an ingredient or a straight-up snack), and light soup. Also, canned/pouched tuna in water is a must!

Breads - Make the stuff last. Keep it in the fridge or freezer to lengthen its shelf life, and don't have bread with every single meal of the day. (That gets both costly and carby.) And a pack of high-fiber tortillas is a good investment, since you can wrap things up in 'em, bake them into thin pizza crusts, or cut 'em and bake 'em into chips!

Dairy - Generic/store-brand versions of fat-free and low-fat dairy items are smart choices. But also consider how well an item multitasks. For example, sour cream is good, but you're not gonna eat it with a spoon. Choosing fat-free plain yogurt (Greek or regular) will give you more options; use it as a sour cream swap, in smoothies and parfaits, or just add a bit of sweetener and eat!

Snacks and Sweets - For some SERIOUSLY helpful tips on how to put together your very own 100-calorie snacks, click here. Ration your goodies out; it's good for your wallet AND your waist.

Thy Will Be Done!!! +JMJ+

Friday, October 22, 2010

Plenary Indulgences: Confusing Catholic teachings:

Our breakfast conversation this morning...

I found this info here:

1. What is an indulgence?

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfaction of Christ and the saints."

2. What is a plenary indulgence?

An indulgence is plenary if it removes all the temporal punishment due to sin.

3. What is a partial indulgence?

An indulgence is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

4. To whom may an indulgence be applied?

It may be applied by the faithful for themselves or for the dead.

5. What is the basis of indulgence?

Sin has a double consequence – eternal punishment (due to grave sin) and temporal punishment. The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of eternal punishment, but temporal punishment remains. Indulgence removes all (plenary) or part of (partial) temporal punishment.

more info here and here...


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Free On line Saint coloring pictures:

My friend just reminded me of these great resources...send me your favorites!!!

Waltzing Matilda blog: she is wonderful!!!

Here are links to some free Saints coloring pages (from Catholic Heritage Curriculum) with beautiful illustrations.

St. Patrick ~

St. George ~

St. Martin ~

St. Rose ~

St. Cecilia ~

St. Joan ~

St. Joan ~

St. Francis ~

St. Francis ~

Church Triumphant ~

St. Germaine ~

St. Angela ~


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dinner tonight: Pork shoulder in the crock pot...

I was waiting to see if it was worth the was!!!


3-5 lbs. pork (may use smoked pork shoulder)...I used 7lbs
1 lg. onion, sliced
2 apples, peel & cut up in pieces
2 tbsp. chutney or 1 c. dried fruit (mixed)...I didn't use these
1 c. apple cider or apple juice...used juice
1/2 c. water
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook all ingredients together in crock pot 4 or 5 hours on high temperature. Thicken gravy. Remove bay leaf. Slice meat and serve.