Sunday, October 19, 2014

.Happy 10th Birthday Greta

The 5th highest currently active USCF rated female chess player in the entire state of Indiana turned 10 years old today!!

She wanted a pink chess set with pink and purple pieces for her birthday!

And, a pink cake. The pink frosting is dyed pink with organic, locally-grown red beets.I just so happen to be VERY well acquainted with the growers of said red beets.  I know it looks white in the picture, but it really was actually very pink. 

And those are the all-natural "hard shell chocolate candy things." No artificial colors in this house.   

Happy Birthday Greta...I can't believe you are already double digits! 

Greta is a super hard-working, creative, responsible, imaginative and fun person to be around. 

She loves to play chess and make videos of herself doing puppet shows and stories on the computer.  When it comes to reading, she prefers stories about either UFO's or Princesses (or both) and enjoys making up her own songs and singing as she works.

Happy Birthday Greta!  We love you!

post signature

Friday, October 17, 2014

What I'm Googling

What did we do before Google?  What? I ask you, what?  How could we look up helpful household tips and answers to existential problems without Dr. Google?  How did we self-diagnose ourselves with all manners of terrible diseases? Before the Internet people must have been extremely anxiety-free because they couldn't determine for themselves at 2 AM that that some random symptom meant that they had THE MOST- HORRIBLE DISEASE EVER. 

I can't imagine life without my own personal Mr. Know-It-All, so  for today's 7 quick takes, I thought I'd share with you some of my recent Google searches. 

1. My Epson printer is stuck on paper jam.

What I discovered:  You can try to dislodge it and push heavy card stock through it, but ultimately you need a new printer because some sort of sensor is likely broken and that's what you get for buying a cheap printer. 

2. What about when God doesn't provide.

What I Discovered: 1) The issue of unanswered prayers is probably the most common reason why Christians lose their faith. 2). This blog post, which I thought was excellent.   The author is not Catholic, but is a Christian and it is a great read. In fact, with the exception of the sister to cry on, I could have written it myself. 3.) God does always provide, but not always the way we want it. Which is a HARD lesson to learn.

3.  How to get charcoal out of carpet.

What I discovered:  Scrub it out with dish soap and water.  It sorta works. You probably don't want to know why there was charcoal on the carpet, but it has something to do with an exploding one of these. 

4.  Starting a solo law practice right out of law school

What I discovered: That I should punch the next person who suggests this for my husband.  No seriously..there are encouraging articles saying it can be done and articles strongly advising against it. Nonetheless, I don't think it is for us, and I really, really wish people would STOP suggesting it. It's annoying and presumptuous.  Plus, just about every article agrees that you shouldn't try to go solo just because you can't find a job.  You should only do that if that is your dream. 

5. How to unshrink a sweater.

What I learned:  Soak it in hair conditioner and then stretch it out.  It takes A LOT of stretching and strength, but it does work...sort of. A better lesson would be don't shrink your sweaters.  

Bonus helpful tip I discovered: stuff the arms with newspapers or clothes or something to help them stretch more! 

6. My toshiba laptop won't turn on.

What I discovered.  Unplug it, remove the battery, hold the power button down for 30 seconds, and then reinstall the battery and plug it back in.  It works!!

7. How to make homemade vitamin gummies. 

I'm planning to make my own homemade Vitamin C gummis to help us through cold/flu season..using this site.  Vitamin C really is helpful, IF you take large doses of it frequently throughout the day. Getting kids to take large enough doses of it to really make a difference is not so easy. I'm hoping the gummies do the trick. 

As you can tell by this list, I have a lot of technology and household problems.  And fortunately for you, I spared you all my medical freak out google searches in which I convince myself that every backache or headache is really a brain or spinal tumor. Consider yourself spared from that horror.

What kinds of things do you Google?  Please tell me I'm not the only household and technology deficient person who has to look these things up.  Have you ever Googled existential questions? Or career advice?
post signature

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why I Hate The Term "Survival Mode"

This term seems to get thrown around a lot these days.

We're in Survival Mode.

It's usually used to justify doing something that the person would not otherwise out 5 times a week, let their kids watch unlimited TV, not clean their house, eat boatloads of chocolate, etc, etc, etc.

Jennifer Fulwiler wrote an entire post on it...21 Tips for Survival Mode. 

Actually, some of her tips are pretty great....but I take issue with the words "survival mode". 

Blame it on my mom. She told me something the other day, that I hate to admit, but I think she may actually be right.  Maybe.

She said.

When I was younger, I used to think that life was mostly good times, with occasional periods of stress and hardship.  Now that I'm older I've come to realize that life is mostly trial and hardship with occasional periods where God gives us a break and things are easy and good. 

I think she's right.  And you know what that means? It means that we are basically ALWAYS in survival mode.  There will ALWAYS be something ...or at least almost always. Something difficult, something stressful, something hard, something we need to survive. 

Which is why I think we need to do away with the term survival mode. It implies that life's hardships are temporary and short...and we just need to survive until things get easier.  And most hardships are temporary and short...until the next hardship comes along..and then the next one and the next one. 

 We need to learn how to THRIVE in whatever our life's situation is.

Yes, of course we make allowances and change our "standards" when life is especially rough, like letting our kids watch more TV when we have the flu, however, I think we each need to really examine ourselves and make sure those relaxed standards are really and truly ONLY when we need them.  

Because life will ALWAYS be rough. 

I'm one of those people who doesn't mollycoddle my kids when sick. Yes, occasionally they spend the day on the couch, but those days are rare.  I once read a study that showed how people who lie in bed when sick (with a cold) FEEL sicker than people who get up and get dressed and still do stuff around the house. Likewise I try not to mollycoddle myself when things are hard.

Because acting as though life is hard and difficult and rough tends to make life harder and more difficult and rougher.

However, working hard to THRIVE in times of stress or difficulty makes things less difficult. At least it does for me. 

You know what term I do love!  My new normal. 

My normal now doesn't look like the same as my normal 5 years ago....and I'm sure it looks different than my normal 5 years from now will look. But, the important thing is, that it's all normal. That I'm finding my normal for my life situation as it is NOW. That I'm trying in my own way, to have a normal life, to thrive, to have fun, to enjoy things and to not dwell on the difficulty or the negative or the scary.   Yes, I do fail at this occasionally, frequently. I have my woe-is-me temper tantrums all too often. but I try to keep them fairly short-lived.

The WORST thing we can do is get stuck in the mindset that we will start thriving/living when x happens...when the baby starts sleeping through the night or we have more money or our kids are older or our husband doesn't work so much or we aren't dealing with a sick family member or sickness ourselves or whatever is troubling us. 

No, no, no, I say.  We can THRIVE NOW, in whatever our situation is. We have to....because that is what people do. 

I think that in times past, people understood in a way we don't now, that life IS hard.  It just IS.  We don't really understand that anymore...because for the most part, we are no longer worried about merely surviving.  We have abundant food and medical carem and don't have to worry about freezing to death.

But life is STILL hard and we can't just sit around and wait for it to get easy.

So, let's stop talking about survival mode. We always have to survivie someething. Let's instead think about how we can THRIVE in whatever situation life throws us.

post signature

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Liebster, Bloghop and What I Wore Sunday

Christine (who I have actually MET) was kind enough to tag me for a Liebster I decided to give a go at answering her questions. 

1. What's one thing you do really well?

Does complaining count?  Because I'm really good at that.  

Also, I'm really good with my babies..I love breastfeeding and I never get impatient when they wake up all the time or when they cry or when they want to be held all the time.  I never feel touched out and don't mind taking them with me everywhere and nursing 10,000 hours a day. I love all that. It all goes to heck once my kids turn one though..... I am NOT good at toddlers...just babies. 
2. What's your favorite blog post you've written (include link)?

3. What is one blog post or article by another writer that has stuck with you for a long time (include link)?

Worth Your Weight by Katie...who I once met in person because we ended up sitting at the same table at a mutual friend's wedding.  

4. Are you a "cat person" or a "dog person"?

Well, I own a cat right now, but I prefer dogs. I'd rather have a dog, but we aren't in a position to own a dog right now.  And, we've had the cat for a long time, so we've kept him...but I actually probably like dogs better.  I love taking dogs on walks.  I think it would be great fun to be professional dog walker. 

5. How well do you get along with your siblings?

Let's go down the list:

Older brother: I get along, but we still fight like cats and dogs occasionally.

First younger sister:  We get along  But she's a nun, so she can't fight.

Younger brother:  We get along well. I've always gotten along with him best out of any of my siblings.

Youngest Sister:  We get 

6.  Do you subscribe to any publications?

No. Nothing that we pay for anyway.

7. If your house was on fire, and you had time to grab ONE object to save (assume all other people and pets are already out safely), what would it be?

Definitely my laptop.  I'm not attached to anything else really and it's what I use the most and what I would miss the most.

8. Are there any kids' toys that you suspect you might enjoy playing with as much as/more than the kids?

These Reptangles.

9. What kind of candy will you be handing out for Halloween?

We live on a very busy, rural highway so I'm 99.9999% sure we won't get anyone coming to our house on Halloween.  If they do, they'll just have to play a trick, because I'm not planning on buying any candy that most likely won't get handed out to anyone.

10. Have you ever seen or experienced something you suspect was supernatural?  

No, I can't really say that I have.

And, I'm supposed to come up with more questions and tag other people. but I'm lazy, so I'm not going to do that.  But if anyone wants to answer these questions themselves in the comments or in their own blog, I'd LOVE to read your answers!!

And, Erica tagged me in her BlogHop.  What fun!!  So there are her questions about writing. 

What Am I Writing?

I mostly write about parenting, food, clothes (not that I know anything about fashion), body image, natural health, homeschooling and a bit about my life.

How Does My work Differ from Those in My Genre?

Unlike a lot of other mommy bloggers. I don't write a lot of "here are a million pictures of our soccer game, pumpkin patch, playground trip, vacation type posts."  Not there is anything wrong with those, but it's not my thing.  I try to write things with a bit more content, just because those are the posts I like to read.  And, I don't do you will NEVER see a craft post from me. Never, Ever, Ever.  

Why Do I Write What I Write?

I write about what I like to read about and I write about things that interest me.                                                                                                       
How Does My Writing Process Work? 

I don't really have a process...I write, then I edit, then I look for pictures...then I publish.  Sometimes I get lazy and skip the pictures.

I'm supposed to tag other people for this...but I don't know who has been tagged and who hasn' I'll just tag the following.

Christine at Splendor in the Home.
Catherine at Catholic Mom Apologia
Holly at Seven Million Wonders
Theresa at Ordinary Lovely
.                                                                                                                                                                --------------

And the best for last..  What I Wore Sunday!  Because I LOVE seeing what other people wore I love to link up with FLAP myself.    Fashion-wise, I am SO HAPPY that it's fall and starting to get cooler.  I just feel like I have a lot more options and it's easier to look more "pulled" together in the fall/winter/spring when I can wear layers and boots and all that stuff. 

One of these days I'll write a fashion post and all the things I've learned since posting What I Wore Sunday.  Actually, I say that a lot.  I need to go back and find all those promises so I can write those posts!!

post signature

Friday, October 10, 2014

Somtimes You Get the Rain Cloud and Sometimes the Rainbow (7QTF)

.1. On Monday, Ben got sworn in for the Indiana State Bar.  We all went to the ceremony and had the pleasure of hearing various talks and roll calling and oath-taking and it was all very formal and court-like with lots of motions and may it please the court and things like that.  Just like on TV. 

2.  Elsa, who just turned two, was a perfect angel at the ceremony. It was pretty amazing.  She's also been really good at Mass lately, so hopefully her wild days are in past.

3. Except for when we went out to eat afterwards with my parents, and she spilled something on her dress and then proceeded to remove it in the middle of the restaurant. No modestly there yet!

4. On the drive home we saw a perfect Rainbow.  I guess that made up for the fact that we had to walk several blocks in the rain through Indy to get from where we parked to the Convention Center.  So we got both the rain clouds and the rainbows.  We actually also saw a perfect rainbow on the way up, but I didn't get a shot of that one. So two rainbows in one day!

5. Most of you probably know that I tend to be fairly crunchy.  And I used to be all into natural cleaning stuff.  But, the last two years, I've been spiraling down into the harsh chemicals.  It started when we lived in Virginia and pretty much got mold EVERYWHERE in the bathroom.  The ONLY effective way to get rid of it was to spray that Tilex Mold Killer on it and that that took care of it for a good two months at a time. 

Then here, in Indiana, we deal with hard water so it stains EVERYTHING brown (including my teeth according to the dentist). The only way to get rid of it is to use that super harsh, lime/calcium/rust remover stuff.  It's poison but it works, and nothing else does. I'm not about to use that on my teeth though...they can just stay yellow. 

And let's not mention the carpet.  Keeping the carpet clean is SUPER hard with kids that go in and outside all day.  Yes, they do take their shoes off in the house, but of course that only helps if they actually put shoes ON to go outside.  Walking inside with with the same bare feet you used to walk outside doesn't exactly keep the carpet clean.  And, then there are the food spills and the potty-training toddler.  Nasty carpet cleaner it is. 

Anyone know natural alternative that WORK without lots of WORK on my part?

6. I am a homeschooling idiot because it took me 7 years of homeschooling to finally try Saxon Math and I LOVE it.  It seems to be the perfect Math for us.  So, now I can regret all those years we've struggled through Math U See or Math Mammoth because I was too stupid to try only THE MOST POPULAR HOMESCHOOING MATH PROGRAM ever.  Doh'

7. Ben had a job interview on Wednesday.  He really wants that job, so please pray for him. He was one of 5 candidates they interviewed and they said that they always hire lawyers right out of law school, so that is  a good sign. We'll see what happens.

Have a great weekend and see Jen for more Quick Takes.  

post signature

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Food Modesty

I'm currently tying this while trying to eat yogurt with half my mouth completely numb after some long overdue dental work (at least the dentist said it was long overdue).  It's a fun experience I tell you. 

Meanwhile, I'm also guest-posting over on Joanna's wonderful blog, Wrapped in Engaged Bliss.   Joanna is a crunchy, Catholic, animal-lover like myself.  She writes about modesty, saints and NFP among other fun things.  Check her out!

And, check out my post on Food Modesty!

post signature

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ho Hum...7 Quick Takes

1.  Oddly enough, I am not scared of Ebola virus.  Even though lots of other people are...including my husband who once passed out while watching a movie on Ebola.  You know what medical things I am scared of? Cancer and Lyme Disease. Clearly I'd rather bleed out my eyeballs than have a long-suffering illness. 

2.  Elsa has her 2-year check-up yesterday. She is healthy...and about 50% percentile for height and 25% for weight. I would have thought she was fatter than that...but apparently not. When we did the language/development screening thing, she passed everything, so seems to be doing okay.

3.  Speaking of pediatricians, does anyone else find it EXTREMELY AWKWARD when the doctor has you hold your toddler on your lap facing out and then the doctor scoots their chair up really close with their legs spread and your legs are kinda in between their legs. 

Like this.  I recreated the scene with Dr. Greta.  Yes, Dr. Greta is eating a muffin while conducting an exam.  Medical professionalism at its best.

AWKWARD, AWKWARD, AWKWARD. I've had 2 different doctors do this and the whole time I'm just worried I'm going to accidentally knee them in the groin.  Yikes!!

4. Is it all right to talk about something that REALLY annoys me. I hate it when friends of my friends, friend me on Facebook, I accept and then later find out that they use Facebook to CONSTANTLY promote their business/MLM thing.  I don't mind when actual friends promote their business/MLM, on Facebook but I DO mind when people I don't really know try to friend me so that just have one more person to hawk their thing too.  

5. The worst part about job searching is the CONSTANT highs and lots...and moving up and down between hope and despair.  That's not an exaggeration.  It feels like a constant roller coaster with numerous difficult decisions to be made. I hate it!

6. Speaking of job searching, maybe I'll write a whole post on this soon, but when my kids are ready for college, I'm going to REALLY push them to find something with good career options with flexibility for working part-time in different areas. Ben and I both feel that our colleges failed us MISERABLY at career counseling. No one really explained how certain major/career choices increases your job opportunities and others limited them.   If I had it to go back and do it over again, I would have majored in some sorta of health field (like Nursing) and continued working even after having kids on a very-part time basis (like once a week).  I realize I could still do that now, but going back to school is infinitely more complicated at this point.   And, Ben wishes that someone had mentioned law school to him 10 years ago, so he could have considered the possibility back when we were young and the economy was a lot better.

7. We finally gout our gas turned on this Wed.  I had been delaying doing it because the only thing we need gas for is heat and we just moved here end of June, so the world outside provided all the heat we needed.  But, my mother was after and after me to get our heat turned on.  So, I finally  did it and sure enough, last night it got down to like 40 degrees and they are only calling for a high of 46 today.  Even with our heat set at 62 degrees, it still turned on.  Moral of the story...always listen to your mother.

No, I'm off to take a walk on a chilly morning.  Linking up with Jen for Quick Takes on a Saturday.
post signature


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...