Answer Me This #2

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Happy Easter!

Answer Me This

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

I wore a pink blouse and black slacks, LegoFan wore his new green shirt and tie, and Diva wore a beautiful long, pastel dress with pretty pink flowers on it. She also added some pearl-colored sandals with chunky crystals on them – her new faves!

2. Easter Bunny: Thumbs up or thumbs down?

We never really focused on the bunny and always kept that casual. The kids figured that one out long before they began to question Santa. And we never had any photos taken at the mall. The costumes are never good and they really creep me out! But they still like egg hunts and a few surprises Easter morning; and so I oblige, with pleasure.

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else’s house?

I’d prefer to celebrate at my own house – if I had one.

First, I enjoy entertaining. I enjoy having people over and creating a warm, family environment. But a very close second has to do with all LegoFan’s allergies and anxieties. It’s just better for me to have control over the food and lack of furry animals. It’s better for him if he’s in a setting where he’s familiar and comfortable.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?

Is this a trick question? I think it’s impossible to come up with just one. I’ve always loved Brach’s Jelly Beans – not the Jelly Bird Eggs, not the Spiced Jelly Beans – just the plain ole, regular, original, Jelly Beans. But I really, really, don’t like the black ones and the red ones. Can we get bags made without those two flavors, please?

And then there’s the chocolate… M&Ms, Mounds Bars, York Peppermint Patties… I’m getting hungry!

Lastly, I love the eggs: mint, raspberry, marshmallow, and nougat. Love. Love. Love!

5. Do you like video games?

No. I don’t understand them. I can’t seem to play them. Much to LegoFan’s utter disappointment. He loves them: Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, anything LEGO. I just don’t see the fascination. But he’s good at them. So we have the Wii U in the house, the kids play the games, and I try to understand.

6. Do you speak another language?

I took three years of French in high school. I learned a little Italian when I went to Rome for World Youth Day 2000. And I tried to teach my kids a little Latin. So I guess the actual answer to this question is no. I can say and read a few words in several languages, but I cannot speak any of them other than English. And sometimes I question that ability!

Now join us over at Catholic All Year and play along!

Faith in Practice

I was blessed with the opportunity to model faith for my children today; and to teach them how to put their faith into practice as well.

We had to go to LegoFan’s Anxiety Disorder Group this afternoon. I had very little money in my account and needed gasoline in order to make it to the group. I left a little early and put $5 in the tank, and this should have brought up my available mileage up to about 35 miles. Knowing I didn’t have much more money and that it was only about 10 miles to the doctor’s, I set out.

However, I didn’t notice that my available miles never changed. When I got back in the car to return home, my available miles read 8. I’ll be honest that my initial reaction was one of a little panic because I thought I somehow didn’t get the gasoline I paid for. But I took some deep breaths – learned that from Anxiety Disorder Group – and started to pray. There were more miles between me and home than there were in my tank, with no gas stations in between.

LegoFan started to get very worried and was counting down the miles for me from the backseat – isn’t he helpful? Diva began to ask what would happen if we ran out of gas? Did I mention that it was cold and raining? I calmly told them how we would handle it if the car ran out of gas, and then I suggested that everyone pray.

I told them that Jesus could get us home. That we needed to have faith. I began to remember how long the oil lasted for the Israelites. I began to repeat to myself that I had faith and that I knew that Jesus would bring us home.

At each major milestone, we gave thanks. We made it around the Beltway – Praise God! We made it to the next stop light – Praise God! We made it to the final stop light before home, at which intersection there was a gas station – Praise God! The light was red, so I pulled out my phone and checked the balance on my account. I had $6.99 left. I was able to pull into the gas station and put $6 in the tank. We had made it.

But when I pulled out of the gas station, the available miles still read zero. I began to play with the buttons and eventually the available miles came around again, and it was 68 miles, more miles than should have been added when I put the $6 in the tank…

God is good – All the time! All the time – God is good!

Today was a great lesson in faith; and in modeling that faith for my children. Not only do I thank God for making it to the gas station, but I thank God for the opportunity (and ability!) to show my children where to turn in such situations. Thank you, Jesus!

Jesus

Answer Me This #1

Starting to get a hang of this link-up thing! I’ll get to more of my own posts soon, I promise!

This is week one of Kendra’s Answer Me This Link-Up – Yay!

Answer Me This

 

In this Link-Up, Kendra asks a few questions, and we answer them – simple as that! So, here goes:

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?

I am a night owl, so getting up for an early Mass is just not in the cards at this house! Our current Mass time is 11 am, and I think that’s perfect for us.

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

The logical answer would be cold, because you can always put something else on. You can’t always take something else off… However, I hate being cold. Really, really, hate being cold. So I guess I’m going to have to defy logic and say I’d rather be too hot.

3. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

I have one of each biologically, and I am the oldest. My sister followed me, and my brother brings up the rear. We are very different, but I love them both dearly. I also have two brothers and one sister by marriage. And I’m still the oldest. The next in order of age would be my step-brother; however, he dies a few years back. My other brother and sister are twins, and they were born the year I graduated from high school. Ok, now I feel old! Next!

4. If you were faced with a bogart, what would it turn into?

Ya know, I’m really not sure on this one. I think it could take one of several forms. A big hairy spider might be one… Or maybe Big Brother?

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Definitely a thumbs down for me. I don’t see how Barbie gives our girls any sense of what it means to be a woman. I do see how unrealistic she is; and how her image gives our girls unrealistic expectations. Diva and I both love the American Girl dolls. Even better are the Saint Dolls from Behold Publications (Ecce Homo Press), I think. She has the St. Therese doll.

St. Therese Doll

 

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you tell them?

I would say that love is a verb. It is an action, not a feeling. This is something I wish I had known several years ago; it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

We need to make the decision to love people every day, in both word and deed.

So that wraps it up for Week One of Answer Me This. Head on over to Catholic All Year to read answers from Kendra and her readers!

7 Quick Takes #2

— 1 —

Confession. Reconciliation. Penance. Good things happen there. Especially when you ask God to help you make a good, honest confession. Something enters your mind that you hadn’t considered mentioning. Apparently God had something to tell me.

God nudged me this afternoon; and, believe it or not, this post is part of it.

Crucifix

— 2 —

Psalm 41: 10-14 ~ (10) Even the friend who had my trust, who shared my table, has scorned me. (11) But you, Lord, have mercy and raise me up that I may repay them as they deserve. (12) By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy no longer jeers at me. (13) For my integrity you have supported me and let me stand in your presence forever. (14) Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, from all eternity and forever. Amen. Amen.

Someone whom I trusted hurt me. A lot. This someone still jeers at me. A lot.

When I first read this, I looked at verse 11 and thought it sounded a lot like revenge. However, perhaps it means something a little different. Perhaps it is more about my attitude and outlook. When the Lord has mercy on me and raises me up, that in itself is the repayment this person deserves, in that I am not controlled by that person’s hurts and jeers.

I think there is a secular saying about this: Living well is the best revenge. I don’t wish revenge on this person; however, I do wish to live well. And it is by God’s grace and mercy, as well as my integrity, that I shall.

Decoupage Cross

— 3 —

Legofan saw his pediatrician this week, who was pleased with how well he is doing. He warned me to expect growth of approximately four inches over the next year. Ummm… can we do that all in the summer time so that the length of his pants doesn’t matter??? He’s already coming close to looking me in the eye. How bad does a 40-something year old woman look in these?

High Heel Boot from JustFab.com

— 4 —

One of the things I’ve been doing for LegoFan is giving him Plexus Slim and ProBio5

I actually signed up with the company so I could get the products at wholesale. The ProBio5 is a probiotic, which many doctors suggest for kids on the spectrum. The Slim was actually designed for diabetics, but has improved the lives of many by helping them get off various medications.*

*(Standard disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot diagnose, prescribe, or treat anything. If you are interested in these products, not only will I make a commission, but I would suggest you talk to your doctor before using them. I am only sharing our experiences with them.)

LegoFan has shown some incredible improvements after using these two. In general, he has become more compliant and less argumentative. He has allowed himself to step out of his comfort zone and actually talk to people. And his art has improved! He used to rush through art and barely follow the directions. Now he takes his time and actually puts details into his creations. I love these positive changes we are seeing!

Bowling

— 5 —

Diva has been amazing me with her creativity and sewing ability. She watched a video about how to sew one of the Mario characters out of felt. This video came with a template and she set out to make it. Ever since then, she has been designing her own patterns! She has made Captain Toad, Waccas (your guess is as good as mine!), Benny the 80s Spacesuit Guy and a Micromanager from the LEGO Movie, and the Unknown (don’t ask me which one) from Pokemon. Most recently, she has designed a princess doll, but she’s not finished with this yet, so I don’t have any pictures. This girl is amazing!

LEGO Movie Benny
Sew - Captain Toad
Sew - Micromanager
Sew - Waccas

— 6 —

For me, I am loving that spring is finally here! Despite allergies, I am enjoying having the door open in the house, and the windows down as we drive. Flowers and trees are starting to bloom, and even parts of the city are starting to look pretty.

Flower Up Close

Rose

— 7 —

April is the month for Autism. Given that LegoFan is on the spectrum, and I run four different businesses, I decided to team up with some other vendors to do a fundraiser for an amazing group called Pathfinders for Autism.

LegoFan has benefited directly from their services, and we just love the ladies associated with Pathfinders! To that end, I am donating a percentage of my profits from all of my businesses to Pathfinders this month! So, if you are in the market for…

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose

Hair Jewelry from Lilla Rose

Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl

Personalized Jewelry from Origami Owl

Health & Wellness products from Plexus

Health & Wellness products from Plexus

Essential Oils from Young Living

Essential Oils from Young Living

… please click on the photos and they will take you to my sites. You can order directly from there, and then come back and post your order number in the comments (I can delete order numbers so they don’t stay on the blog). That way I can track things and make my donations accordingly.

* Just in case I wasn’t clear, the links will take you to my websites, where I will make a commission off each sale. In this case, your purchases will not only help me keep my kids home, but they will also help a worthwhile organization, Pathfinders for Autism. Thank you for helping us!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Get-To-Know Me Post

Kendra from Catholic All Year “tagged” her readers to answer several questions, so here goes…

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

I live in Maryland. I guess you could say I live here because of my parents. We were living in Connecticut, when my father retired from the Navy. He got another job that ended up transferring us to Maryland in 1982. I’ve been here ever since. I would actually like to move out of Maryland, but I am legally bound to stay for a while. As much as I would like to move, I do love all the history that is here; especially the Catholic history. We are also relatively close to both the mountains and the ocean; and we have some incredible farm lands. Despite its problems, Maryland is a beautiful state.

Fall GlorySunset on the Water

2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?

I am currently watching the NCAA March Madness Tournament – my brackets are busted, but I’d be happy with either UCONN or Florida winning. The kids and I have started watching the Dr. Who tv series and are through the first three seasons. As for reading, we are reading through the book of Leviticus as well as Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

I am a cradle Catholic. However, I don’t think I really had an appreciation for the faith until I started to teach my children. And this deepened even further when I went through my divorce.

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

In college, I was known as “the girl who went to church,” which was great, but I would party every weekend and wasn’t really living it. However, when I started teaching my children, we listened to Jeff Cavins’ Bible Timeline Adventure – I learned so much about the Catholic faith that I had either forgotten or never knew. It was at that time I decided to make a more conscious effort to raise my children to live out their faith, not just go to church.

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Let’s see: a pair of tennis shoes, a pair of flat suede boots, and a pair of heeled boots that are falling apart. And there’s my Christmas Shoes.  Remember this song?

This has always been Diva’s favorite Christmas song. So a couple years ago, she went out and bought me a pair of glittery gold, sequined shoes so she could be like the boy in the song. The shoes didn’t fit and we went back to get a larger size. But they didn’t have a larger one. So we looked around together. She saw these rain/snow boots and had me try them on. We actually tried on two different pairs, but we got the pair that she (and I) liked the best…

Christmas Boots

I guess that means I have four pairs of shoes/boots.

6. Are you a good dancer?

Wow, I’m not sure about this one. If I was still in my 20s I’d answer a firm “Yes!” However, I haven’t danced for about 14 years. I’ve taken Swing dance lessons and I’d like to learn other kinds of dancing; but right now I have no dance partner. Alas, the answer to this question will have to wait.

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

Well, since I am a single mom, I have no choice. I’m the one and only driver in this family. If I was married, I would prefer that he do the driving and I do the passengering.

8. What’s your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Christmas is my favorite! First, we keep Christ in Christmas. We love the music and the lights of the season. We love the giving. We love trees, train gardens, and Christmas villages.

We have participated in Holy Heroes Advent Adventure, done Jesse Trees, baked cookies for everyone we can think of, bought presents for under the Giving Tree, and more. It’s such a wondrous and wonderful time of year.

Jesse Tree

9. Which is correct? Left or right?

Toilet-Paper-Over-Under

The left. Definitely. I will change it if you put it the other way…

10. Do you have any scars?

I assume we are talking about visible scars here… And I have a few. I have one really big one from my two c-sections and subsequent hysterectomy. I have another one on the bottom of my foot from when I was a kid and went fishing. Barefoot. I slipped on a rock and sliced my foot. Then there was the time I fell off my bike and had the kickstand go into my calf. Sorry, no photos, next question…

11. What’s the most famous thing you’ve ever done?

Since Kendra broke the rules altered the number of things, I’m going to go rogue and list two here. First, when I was in high school, our marching unit was selected as Maryland’s sole representative to the Inaugural Parade of Ronald Reagan in 1985. It was too cold that year and the parade was cancelled. President Reagan arranged for all the parade participants to come to the arena in Landover, MD; and we all got to hear him speak. My one regret is that I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have.

GHS Silks

And my other claim to fame is being an extra on the show Homicide: Life on the Street. This show was filmed in Baltimore and I was blessed to be an extra on one episode where a priest or two were murdered. I got to be a mourner at the funeral. In fact, I had to tell the person in charge that a Catholic would genuflect before entering the pew. He told me I should add that then, but it ended up on the cutting room floor. I was in Season 6, and I think the episode was called Something Sacred.

Thanks, Kendra, for including all of us in your award! It was fun!