Monday, December 31, 2007

Danielle Bean on Christmas

And here are some beautiful thoughts from Danielle Bean on the things that don't go right and...well, you can see for yourself what she has to say about it here.

Lving in Faith and Hope

I love allegory. Here's a story about getting a new computer, only it's not really about a computer, and it's so fitting for the New Year. I hope you will take the time to click through and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Click here to read it.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

For the Love of Literature - Book Review on Amazon

"In her friendly, warm style, Maureen Wittmann shares her depth of experience in 'teaching core subjects with literature'..."

Read the rest of my review at Amazon by clicking here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Christmas Picture

I would have liked to show you a picture of all the kids, but alas, the group pictures did not come out well. I think I need to learn more about my digital camera.

All the "kids" have gone home...except for the ones who live here. Thank goodness they do. I'm not even going to think about "empty nest" days yet! It's hard enough having some of them leave to go home.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We did!

A warm thank you to my neighbor Debbie for taking this great picture.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Perhaps I Could Do Public Speaking, After All

Public speaking has long been one of my fears. But if every crowd looked as benevolent...but I'm getting ahead of my story.

After Midnight Mass, we joined the throng in the vestibule, the children and I talking among ourselves, waiting for my husband to come down from the choir loft, along with what seemed like 100 people, talking quietly or waiting for someone.

And then my sensitivity to the incense we had just left and a draft from the door opening hit me together, and I began to sneeze. After the seventh sneeze I looked up. The stillness was like that of the church, as every smiling face was turned toward me. Time stood still.

I thought of "thank you", as I'm sure people probably had said "God bless you" while I sneezed. I thought of "excuse me", but somehow it seemed it would fall short of what needed to be said. Life seemed to be in suspension, and the spell needed to be broken. So I released them by saying with a confident smile, "I'm done!"

It occurred to me that perhaps I could do public speaking, after all.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

May you and all your loved ones have a very blessed, joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus! May your heart be filled with peace.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What Personality Type Are You?

You Are An ESFJ

The Caregiver

You are sympathetic and caring, putting friends and family first.

A creature of habit, you prefer routines and have trouble with change.

You love being in groups - whether you're helping people or working on a project.

You are good at listening, laughing, and bringing out the best in people.

In love, you value harmony and mutual understanding.

You will apologize or give someone the benefit of the doubt, if it means getting over a fight sooner.

At work, you are good at building relationships and connecting with people.

You would make a great nurse, social worker, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Organized, dependable, co-operative

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Opinionated, critical, and know-it-all

From my previous studies of the sixteen personality types, this turned out to be a surprisingly accurate test. The only one I wasn't sure I agreed with was the "S" (sensor), as I thought I was an "N" (intuitive). I'm not sure how this quiz tests for this aspect. (I even tried taking it a second time to see if I could change the results on that. But I came out the same both times.)

If you take this quiz, I would love to see your results. Please leave us a link in the combox.

And may you have a peaceful preparation for the Birth of Jesus, as we draw nearer to the celebration of His birth!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Interesting Radio Call-In

This 12 yr. old boy has an interesting Christmas perspective on a loss in his life. You can hear his call here.

Hat tip to Margaret in Minnesota.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blogging Blessings

Deb of UKOK's Place has come up with a wonderful way to express appreciation for other bloggers.

I have been blessed by Jean and now it's my turn to bless three bloggers.

The idea… it’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for one blog friend. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the blogging blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a blogging blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. To read more about the blogging blessings go here.

Thank you, Jean, for passing this blessing on to me. You bless me every day with your interesting blog and your warm friendship.

I bless Mary Poppins Not at Crazy Acres, Nancy at Flying Stars, and Maureen Wittmann. Each of these women shares unselfishly from her heart and inspires me.

Here is my prayer for Mary Poppins Not, Nancy, and Maureen.

May the blessing of almighty God, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, come down upon you and remain with you forever (and may Our Blessed Mother Mary protect you with her mantle of peace, joy, and love.) Amen.
Now, it's your turn to:

a) bless 3 blog buddies each.

b) Include the ‘God Bless you’ image in their post.

c) Explain briefly why you selected the people you are blessing.

d) pray/include in the post the prayer for the recipients of the blessing.

e)Then type in the com box of Deb's Bloggin Blessin' that a blessing has been sent to the three you have chosen to bless so we can keep track of how many blessings are being given. (You can find your way easily to Deb's post on this by clicking the link in the sidebar, entitled "Have you received a Bloggin' Blesssing?".)

Thanks for playing!

A Touching Christmas Story

Click here and scroll down to read John McCain's touching "My Christmas Story", from his experiences as a POW in Vietnam.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Humorous Video about Homeschooling

Here's a humorous video about homeschooling, set to the tune of the Adams Family.

I don't know who the people are who composed it or starred in it, but I enjoyed it and I hope you do too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Goals vs. Resolutions

Last year I thought I was really clever. For those of you who don't see me in person (most of you reading my blog), I weigh a little too much and I carry it mostly as a middle-age stomach pack. So last year - as the new year approached - I made this clever resolution that I would get to where I could tie my shoes without pain.

A few months later I realized that I was indeed tying my shoes without pain now, but I hadn't lost a pound. I had learned a better way, had without a conscious effort learned how to bend sideways to do this task.

When I got the news last January that our second son was losing his vision, I did two things: ate more and blogged more (lucky you, not so lucky me). I can still tie my shoes without pain.

So I enjoyed this article about setting goals rather then resolutions. The writer says that when we set a resolution, we set ourselves up for failure. What we really want is to make a change and if we set a goal, we can remain flexible about how to achieve it. Food for thought (the best kind of food).

Hat tip to Sister Pat at Joy Notes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What Christmas Ornament Are You?

You Are a Snowman

Friendly and fun, you enjoy bringing holiday cheer to everyone you know!

Pretty neat, except I wonder... If I'd been able to answer the question the way I wanted to answer it, about what you would want to do when it snows (I'd want to go out and shovel it) how the results would have come out.

Hat tip to Alicia.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What is Your Favorite Herb or Spice?

This isn't one of those cute little quiz things. Just a question.

Last night I was giving my daughter a beef stew recipe over the phone - a recipe I've had for many years - and I saw that I had written in the margin "add 1/4 teaspon thyme". I have a meatless split pea soup recipe that I made up myself which includes thyme. And whenever I make an omelet (a couple times a week), I put thyme inside. I knew I loved a touch of thyme but it wasn't until I was dictating this recipe last night that I realized how long this has been true.

What is your favorite herb or spice and how do you use it? I'd love to hear from you about this in the comments box.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Seven Things People Might Not Know About Me

A warm thank you to my blogging friend, Air Force wife and Catholic mother, Stina for tagging me for this meme.

*Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
*Share 7 facts about yourself that you think most people don't know.
*Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
*Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I got my first job in sixth grade, working in the school cafeteria, selling little milk cartons (3 cents) and prewashing silverware for the dishwasher. After I'd begun, a student told me it was supposed to be for poor kids. Oh well, they'd asked for people to sign up, I volunteered, and they had taken me, no questions asked.

My Mom said - since she didn't need to spend money making me lunches - she would pay me half of what it would cost her to buy me lunches at school. So I got spending money, cafeteria lunches every day, and free ice cream bars; and I learned the joy of earning!

2. During that same sixth grade year, I played flute in the band, was active in Girl Scouts, and was also a crossing guard. I was the only crossing guard who was a girl and I was called a "patrol boy" (in those days a woman might be a "chairman", too). I loved my activities but my grades suffered from the overload.

3. In tenth grade I tried to start a tutoring service to coordinate student volunteers with students who were struggling in some subject area. It never got off the ground but it was fun to try.

4. I sold Avon products door-to-door in my senior year, while working at J. C. Penney and being editor of the high school newspaper.

5. I love seeing and hearing the majesty of the ocean, which makes me think of the greatness of God. I like smelling salt air, but I don't like the feel of sand under my feet...or in my shoes, my hair, my sleeping bag, or my sandwich. (We had a weekend cabin at the beach when I was a child, if you wonder how I experienced all those things).

6. In the early days of our beach cabin, we got our water from an outdoor hand pump and used an outhouse. I like to think it helped build character.

7. For a couple years in high school, my girlfriend and I rode ponies daily (hers and a neighbors), but I never truly got comfortable with animals. My life-long love is with wheels. I've ridden tricycles, bicycles, mini-motorcyles, go-carts and in my early twenties my Honda 90 motorcycle; and since then I've pulled a trailer. I don't like parking, backing up, or driving in tight construction areas. Give me wide open spaces and let me drive.

I tag anyone who would like to join!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Check out the Blogroll

You may want to check out the Catholic Mothers Online Blogroll in the sidebar. Yep, I finally got the new code onto my blog. A big thank you to Angie for this service.

Also, please be aware of the links in my sidebar under the heading, Sites You Might Enjoy. Each of the four choices takes you to a list of websites or blogs. Please check it out some time.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gray is Beautiful!

Earlier today I read that "as the baby boomers age, gray is "in." "! I've been looking fondly in the mirror all day. My hair is "in". I'm stylish. How about that! (Of course, I've been ignoring that "a" word. After all I'm still only fifty-something years young. But, nevertheless, gray is beautiful!).

This tidbit was part of a news feature entitled, Trim Expenses While You Trim the Tree by Sue Stevens.

You might find a helpful tip or two. But I can't promise you will get the satisfaction that I got from this article.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Boring Compass

Pete Vere gives a review of the Golden Compass movie, saying it's boring. You can read his review at Catholic Fire blog here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Advent Prayers

I'm running just a little behind on this, but I'd like to share with you some short prayers to go with the Advent Wreath, just in case you don't have them yet and would like some. You can find them here.

And here are prayers to ask God's blessing on a nativity set and prayers to ask God's blessing on the Christmas tree! You can find these here.

May you have a blessed, peaceful, happy, hope-filled Advent!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Another Candidate

In my post about the Republican candidates, I failed to mention Fred Thompson. One of my sons brought him up to me after reading my post. I'm sorry to say that I was apparently in the kitchen when he was speaking. However, everything I've read about him sounds very good.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Republican Presidential Debate

I don't talk politics...normally. I'm not a historian or a political science major. Some accuse me of being a one-issue voter and in some ways, I am, and without apology...but on the other hand, I also like to vote for someone who has a prayer of a chance of winning.

Last Thursday, I watched the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate, an opportunity for us to hear the men who are running in the primaries speak for themselves.

I came to this viewing, thinking I would like Ron Paul; however, with all due respect, I have a problem seeing someone as President who keeps continually pointing his index finger and gesturing with his arm, like he's trying to interrupt, while someone else has the floor.

As for Rudy Giuliani telling us over and over again about his accomplishments, ya' know, I do appreciate his accomplishments (I really do!), but something about the way it was done turned me off.

I had remained open to the possibility of electing a Mormon, but when I heard and saw Mitt Romney, I was not impressed by what seemed to me like an arrogant manner, and I especially didn't like his unwillingness to answer a question about the use of water-boarding (a form of torture).

The best-looking, in my mind, and one of the most pleasant, was the governor from
Arkansas, Mike Huckabee. (If you think I'm shallow, hey, we have to have a majority of voters vote for someone, in order for that person to become president.)

But I'll tell you what. I grew up during the Vietnam War. We have a different war, but we have a war. We need someone who has the maturity, the experience, and the wisdom to bring our country through this difficult time. My hat is in the ring with John McCain, the man who spoke up against waterboarding, when he was asked; the man who lived through five years as a captive in Vietnam; the man who sounded to me the most confident and impressive.