Small Success Thursday…. A hint of Sanity

 “Don’t spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: Lift up your spirit, and love God.”                — Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Happy Thursday.

I hope you all are having a great day. I am. Well – it’s still morning and I have a boat load of things to do…. so, I’m supposing it will be a great day!

My husband is coming home today from one of his two-week stints on a base somewhere. He’s been sending pictures of BEAUTIFUL scenery, reindeer walking across the road, mountainous beauty… Amazing!

And me, I’m at home – making lists of things to do, homeschooling, co-oping, janitor-ing, mom-ing, etc… You get the point – you live the glamorous life too, don’tcha?

So without further ado…

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1) Sanity. Even after getting sick with a stomach issue for a few days, I’ve managed to keep our homeschool on track AND maintain a semblance of sanity. TADA!

2) I’ve started crafting again, and it feels GOOD! Check out my craft blog Ems Craft Closet.  I am not good at carving out ME time. But I’m working on it. Pray for me. I love making cards and such. I’m excited to be back in the game. I will even be a guest DT member in March for From the Heart Stamps. I used to be on their DT. Love Faith and the girls. They boost my confidence.

3) Maintained reasonable calm when the doorbell shorted. Who knew they could short? After the UPS guy rang the doorbell and it shorted out and was making a TERRIBLE noise (oh, if you are in the military or retired military, you know that EVERYTHING goes wrong while the spouse is away) – I stopped it. Um  – it wasn’t pretty, but I finally got my husband on the phone, climbed the ladder, removed the casing of the chime thing (technical, I know) and unscrewed screws with wires attached AND then clipped the wires on the front of the house and removed the entire bell. You’re welcome!  Wait – a funny story — Tuesday morning when the water delivery guy came, I was opening the blinds and in deep thought about the day, lists, etc… Well, the water guy pounded on the door and I screamed the scared scream. POOR Christopher came running. Sigh.

Today, I’m going to fold the last of the laundry, clean the house, homeschool my child, pack for a trip, deliver a box and cards I made to a friend (for our homeschool Mass that our Bishop is presiding over… which was MY idea, but I’m going to miss. Sigh). I think that is all.

I linked up with the gals @ Catholicmom.com for Small Success Thursday. As always, my goal is to do this weekly. Sometimes life is overwhelming… but there are many successes in our weeks. We just have to look for them.

Blessings All!

Have  great week.

Emily

Book Review Wednesday – The Story of Saint John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope

“Let all creation help you to praise God. Give yourself the rest you need. When you are walking alone, listen to the sermon preached to you by the flowers, the trees, the shrubs, the sky, the sun and the whole world. Notice how they preach to you a sermon full of love, of praise of God, and how they invite you to proclaim the greatness of the one who has given them being.” — St. Paul of the Cross

Happy Wednesday Ya’ll!

Don’t you just love the quote above? In everything SEE/FEEL/BREATH IN God. Well that is my take on it. My life is far from perfect. None of ours are perfect. HOWEVER – we have faith.  How blessed we are! In our sad or frustrating or even downright maddening moments – we have Our Father and all the Saints to turn to. Sigh.

And now that I’ve reminded you how blessed we all are, I wanted to tell you about the book I just read. I won it over at Catholicmom.com in one of their book giveaways (weekly). YAY ME.

BOOK REVIEW:

Anyway – Cathy from Pauline Media, who I just think is swell, sent me the book and a note, and so – I am reviewing it. Here we go…

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Written for the age group 6-9 years, The Story of Saint John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope is AWESOME!  No seriously, I know we dislike the overuse of the word awesome, but it’s truly an enchanting story. One I think would be beneficial for all age groups. I first read it without my son (who just turned 11 last Friday) because I wanted to read it, look at the artwork, and think about it, before I had to answer 75 questions. If you have a question-asker, you know what I am talking about. Endearing and cumbersome at the same time.

The story takes you through the childhood of young Karol, who his friends and family called Lolek, and spans his life through the death of his mother, brother and father, through both Hitler and Russia ruling Poland, to his acceptance of his nomination to be Pope.

What strikes me is the great lesson that life is about choices. If we make the choice to draw closer to the Lord (the one we love the most), all things are possible.  This regular guy, who lived through tragedy and calm (like we all do) became Pope. The story here to young people everywhere is that any one of them, no matter the beginning of their lives, they can do great things – and for the males, they could even become Pope.

What a beautiful lady our Blessed Saint John Paul II’s mother was, to ensure he put his focus on Our Lord. As she lady dying, here is an excerpt from the conversation:

“Mama, I promise I’ll do great things.”

“I’m sure you will,” she said softly. “But there is something even more important, Lolek, who do you love most?”

“I love you and Papa and Edmund and –“

“Yes, but WHO do you love the most?”

Lolek grew quiet. He didn’t know how to answer.

“Love is the greatest gift we receive, and the greatest we can give. Someday you’ll have an answer to my question. And when you know who you love the most, you’ll also know what to do.”

As I read it with my son, I could tell he was thinking, “what is she talking about?”   But we read the rest of the book and he got it. Another excerpt explains it best:

For the rest of his life, Pope John Paul II never forgot he loved God most of all. He shared that love with the whole world. And everywhere he went, crowds came out to greet him, shouting, “John Paul Two, we love you!”

This is a great book about a beautiful man who touched the lives on my generation so much. I have always admired him.

My personal opinion, every Catholic family needs this book in their library.  We are to always have great books to read around us so that when we feel like reading we aren’t reading the wrong things. This, my friends is THE RIGHT thing to read.

Also – I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how exquisite the illustration work. Please go check out the Author, Fabiola Garza’s, blog - she’s quite an enchanting sounding young lady… and she illustrated the book too. It’s almost unfair how talented she is. <3

I hope and pray you like this review.  Look for a review, next Wednesday, on the American Catholic Almanac.

Blessings all!

Em

Meandering Thoughts…

Em’s DayBook  ~  Vol. 31

OCTOBER 27, 2014
“When you have free moments, go faithfully to prayer.                                            The good God is waiting for you there.” — St. Julie Billiart

Happy Monday Evening All.

What a Day!  It was a long day in school. Monday usually is. My child and I, neither one, can concentrate. Then, add my husband’s lists of to-dos for me (while he is gone) are fun. HA Can someone explain to him that the wife gives out the “honey-dos”. lol

It was a good day though. Rough patches, thankfully, don’t define my day. You? If they did, I’d have to sit in the corner rocking back and forth. Sigh! NO WAY! I started my day with God and HE is stronger than that. Thank you Lord!

It’s very warm here for “fall”. I purposely did not capitalize it because I don’t think it exists here in Texas. Our Fall weather hits in December, when everyone else enters Winter. Sigh. BOOO. All I have to be honest, I can’t decide what I want to call my DayBook. Sigh. As anyone else, I try to think of something different. Meandering is about Estuaries (they meander and flow to the ocean), but Transcripts… right this moment, I have no idea where that came from.

Linking Up With 

Elizabeth for Marriage Monday!  Thank you Elizabeth for offering a good link up. I need to look into a few more.

About a link-up that I would host. I am going to wait till after the Holidays. I will consider it then. It is a lot of work and I’ve been given a TON of advice. AND I have to figure out the technical end of it. So there’s that! Stay tuned after the first of the year. Oh – and don’t hold your breath, just in case.

Thankful For

  • upcoming trip to Houston to see family.
  • Friends & Family.
  • My husband coming home soon.
  • The Right To Homeschool. And for Seton!
  • That people are being cured of Ebola. Thank you God. I never doubted you!
  • And for much more…

Thinking About

So many things. Life. Weight loss. Health in general. Finances.  The Holidays.  Ebola. Politics/Voting. Crafts. Bishop’s Mass that was my idea and I’m missing. School. Family. Crafting.  I have lists of things to do and not enough time. You know – same old, same old.

Oh and I’m thinking of the name of the daybook. Meandering Transcripts is OUT. Meandering  – yes. That is related to Estuary (river or tributary flowing to the sea)… but I’m not sure why I chose transcripts. I’m sure it was an attempt to find a name no one had. Sigh. I hope the change doesn’t throw you off.

 Wifing

Are ya’ll tired of me talking about Elizabeth yet? Well – she’s super cool. AND she sells Lilla Rose AND Plexus Stuff. AND she is super nice and blogs so wonderfully. God love her.  Today’s post is called How Do You Treat Your Husband?   It’s not JUST about husbands… but more about purposing to treat your spouse and family better than you treat others.

She said,

“Yesterday our pastor shared a message on how we should treat one another as Christians.  After compiling all of the scriptures that contained the phrase “one another,” this was the list he gave us:

  • Prefer one another
  • Receive one another
  • Admonish one another
  • Encourage one another
  • Greet one another
  • Serve one another
  • Forebear (or put up with) with one another
  • Be kind to one another
  • Forgive one another
  • Comfort one another
  • Edify one another
  • Exhort one another
  • Consider one another
  • Don’t judge (or look down on) one another
  • Love one another

As I was thinking about his message, I thought about how we should not only be treating other people this way, but this describes how we should be treating our people.  You know, our own husband and our own children and our own extended family members.

Learning to live the Christian life starts in our own homes and moves out into our neighborhoods, and radiates into our communities, and eventually reaches into the darkest corners of the world.
Some Christians are near-sighted — selfishly focusing on themselves and their own families and ignoring the needs of the world around them.  However, other Christians are far-sighted — focusing on the needs in their communities or on the other side of the world and looking over the glaring needs right in their own homes.
We need to ask God for “corrective lenses” so we can have 20-20 vision to see the needs for love and acceptance and hope and comfort and sustenance that are both far away and right under noses.  Then we need to allow the love of Christ to fill us and overflow out of our hearts into the lives all around us, causing us to bless and encourage others.”

How awesome is that? We are all striving to be the best person we can. The best wife, mom, friend, teacher, human…. and we are flawed. But I think if we can strike the balance – achieve the 20-20 Vision, it’s the best scenario. I feel we have that in our home. We’ve had many seasons. This is a season of balance and priority!

I read this yesterday, I think that selfishness and ego (pride) often cause us to err in our behaviors. I run from selfish and ugly people these days. No time for it. I am really learning to extend myself where I can be of help and to those who really appreciate it. I hope you enjoy this passage:

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But I digress, go check out Elizabeth’s post and link up. She’s awesome!

In My Kitchen

As I write, I am baking zucchini – cinnamon chip bread to take to my family in Houston. It’s sooo good. I’ve talked about it before. My sous chef basically makes it now. I just observe and interject.  Marque is traveling, as you all know, but Christopher and I, we love cooking together. This evening, we made sautéed squash/onion and garlic AND chicken patties (ground chicken). He made an Barbecue-Ranch dipping sauce. Very nice, I must say. HA

We have had steak salad,  baked chicken, Sautéed cod with rice and green beans (in the pic below). Yes, he loves COD! Thank GOD!

cod feast

The sauce on the cod is a lemon/herb olive oil dressing from a restaurant in San Antonio that our friends D&D brought up when they came by this weekend.

So – I subscribed to the $5 Dinner plans for a month. They were ok. But most of what they offered just didn’t work for us.  If Marque was home more they might. We are low-carbing. But they are the greatest people. Please check Erin out. She and her partner Jim ROCK!

Reading

Praying For

  • Our World.
  • My child.
  • Health & Finances of our family.
  • For Stick-to-it-ive-ness!
  • Christian Women – that they may learn to comfort and not judge.
  • For all my friends who are sick or suffering illness of any kind.
  • For you!

Captured

sleeping beauty

Our precious cat Fred. He loves to curl up by my feet. <3

Anyway – you all have a great day.

Love & Hugs.

Em

Meandering Transcripts – Em’s DayBook

Em’s DayBook – Vol. 30

“O my God, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve to be served, to give without counting the cost, to fight without fear of being wounded, to work without seeking rest, and to spend myself without expecting any reward, but the knowledge that I am doing your holy will. Amen.”— St. Ignatius of Loyola

Happy Monday!

I hope and pray you all are well. Marque left yesterday for two more weeks and we have friends visiting. But today’s a school day, so I’ll make this quick!

Linking Up With 

Elizabeth for Marriage Monday!  I am thinking about starting a couple link ups or series. I’m thinking on it. I was going into Blog-pression about all the link ups stopping… sigh. I know it’s a hard thing to commit to. <3 We shall see. I am on the hunt for link-ups to motivate me to blog.

Thankful For

  • Cooler days. High 70’s and low 80’s is cool right? lol
  • The weeding out of false friends.
  • That my husband has a good job.
  • My Child, who is so wonderful!
  • My Faith, Mother Mary and all the Saints. So blessed.
  • Being creative.

Thinking About

Today, I found myself wishing I was a housewife in the 60’s or something. I miss entertaining and dinner parties – you know the old-fashioned kind, that don’t involve people hanging in the garage or on a driveway. Sigh. Real plates and people dressed nicely. Sigh.

When I was little, there were always people over, playing cards and chatting. We always had other people’s children in our rooms on palettes. It was a charmed life in so many ways.

We had a little get-together for my child’s birthday (which is later this week) because his daddy will miss his birthday.  Just a couple friends of his and their families. Wonderful! I miss entertaining. Sigh

Wifing

I was seriously mourning the loss of the Marriage Monday Link up. I thought, when she ended her Godly Wife series, that she was done with Marriage Monday. But I’m happy to report she isn’t. YAY.

Today’s post is so great. And it’s on many of our minds lately, isn’t it? FOOTBALL, and what to do during football season. Sigh. lol  Check out her post called Marriage on the 50 Yard Line!

For those of you who don’t like football, try watching it with your husband. It’s good to support him by watching it – even if it is part of a game. I don’t mind football, but I’m not an all day, sit in front of the TV gal. But – I do sit for a while and then continue with homing and crafting.  Read her post. It’s great. I challenge you to accept her challenge!

In My Kitchen

I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. We have tried SO MANY new recipes.  Christopher is making scrambled eggs these days. Here are a few new things we have done.

Trisha Yearwood’s Skillet Apple Pie. I did not put quite as much sugar AND next time, I’d probably make my own filling from scratch. But this is soooo good. He made it for a dinner party when we had friends from Israel visiting.

Skillet Apple Pie

Cauliflower patties (and one rendition with squash and cauliflower).

Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower patties pan

cauliflower patties

Both Pumpernickel and Sourdough bread (using mixes from the Prepared Pantry).

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This is the pumpernickel with eggs Christopher made in it.

 

sourdough

 

This is the sourdough. Nice huh? Mixes are easier… and help build confidence.

The other big thing is we are really cutting back on carbs. Marque is off carbs. Christopher and I have really cut back. Of course, the first week he lost six and we lost three each. But – still it’s a loss. YAY! My point, you will be seeing a lot of low-carb recipes.

AND I love Jessica’s cook book.

Praying For

  • Our World.
  • My child.
  • Health & Finances of our family.
  • For Stick-to-it-ive-ness!
  • Christian Women – that they may learn to comfort and not judge.
  • For all my friends who are sick or suffering illness of any kind.
  • For you!

Captured

This is a picture from Christopher’s party. Great group of kiddos.

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I will rejoin the weekly wrap-up crowd for school. But let’s just say we are having a much better, more relaxed year this year.

Oh and one more. Our visitors. Christopher made her breakfast this morning:

christopher and Katelyn

Anyway – you all have a great day.

Love & Hugs.

Em

Book Review – Praying For Your Husband From Head to Toe

Happy Thursday All,

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve blogged. I’ve just been super busy with life. It’s not my season to blog daily, but I do want to blog more. It’s seems odd, to sit down on this Thursday afternoon, to blog a book review. BUT – I am… because I want to check it off my list.

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Today, I am blogging about Praying For Your Husband From Head to Toe by Sharon Jaynes. The above picture, I took from Ms. Jaynes’ site: Sharon Jaynes

I actually got this book to review some time ago and got overcome by events. It’s not a Catholic Author (which I find myself leaning towards), but it’s a REALLY GOOD BOOK… one I am grateful to have read.

Let’s face it, we are ALL busy women. We run children here and there, tend our homes and care for friends. Some of us homeschool. Some of us volunteer too. Our tasks are endless. We meant to purposefully pray for our spouses, but that fell to the bottom of the rung, along with many other prayers.  YES – I pray for my husband many times a day, but never like this. It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen.   It would be a GREAT Bible Study with a good, Christ-filled group of women.

When you first glance through the book and start this 30-Day process, you might feel silly.  Honestly, I did. It took me more than a few days to catch on to the brilliance of having scripted, organized prayers with Scriptures that back them up. HELLO! What a great weapon of prayer.

Ms. Jaynes give us a plan/diagram/map (insert your favorite) to pray for the WHOLE of your HUSBAND. 16 Physical Landmarks, she calls them.

  1. His Mind – what he thinks about
  2. His Eyes – what he looks at
  3. His Ears – what he listens to
  4. His Mouth – the words he speaks
  5. His Neck – the decisions that turn his head….

and so on (Hey, I don’t want to give them all away).

Each day, for each Landmark, there is a scripture and a prayer passage. it’s wonderful. I’m going to share a couple that touched me, from various days:

His Knees

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

Lord, I entreat You to make my husband a man of prayer. Just as Jesus rose early in the morning to spend time alone with You, put a desire in my husband to take time during his busy day to get alone with You. I ask that prayer will not be something he feels he HAS to do but something he feels he GETS to do. Oh Lord, make my husband a man of prayer.

His Ring Finger

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Philippians 2:1-2

Dear Lord, I pray mud husband and I will be unified in Christ and like-minded in love. Bless us with a deep-seated friendship as well as a deep-spirited love.  Help us be one physically and spiritually, united by our common purpose of glorifying You in our marriage and in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

In the book there are something like 478 more of those fantastic Bible Verse/prayer combos.

This book will change your heart; it will change the way you pray; it will strengthen your marriage.  I mean it. I learned more about how a man thinks than I ever really knew.  The Devil wants marriage to fail. The Devil wants strong Christian men to fail. The Devil wants families to fail.

Get this book. Let’s stop that evil dude DEAD in his tracks.

I highly recommend it.

Blessings All,

Emily

Back-to-School Blog Tour – Guest Blog Post by Britt Leigh

OCTOBER 1, 2014

“[Jesus's] body was for Him not a limitation, but an instrument, so that He was both in it and in all things, and outside all things, resting in the Father above. At one and the same time – this is the wonder – as man He was a human life, and as Word He was sustaining the life of the universe, and as Son He was in constant union with the Father.” — St. Athanasius of Alexandria

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Good morning all! Happy Wednesday. Today, I am honored, once again, to be hosting an author in the Back-to-School Book Tour.  Thanks for joining me.

If you are a parent of a teen girl (or one that will be a teen), this book belongs in your repertoire.  Ms. Leigh has written a very important book about called Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean. I do not have a girl, but I am teaching my son to respect his body and those he’s around. As a Catholic who believes in staying chaste until married, I, like many parents, hope and pray my child takes this part of our faith seriously.  This book is funny, it opens up conversations and it is faith-based. Fantastic!

COMMENT TO WIN!!! I’m happy to report that if you leave a comment, on this post, you will be eligible to win a copy of the book. Leave me your email in the comment so I can contact you. THANKS! Winner will be announced on Saturday, October 4th!

Now without further ado, here is Ms. Leigh’s post:

Greetings! I’d like to extend a special thank you to Emily for hosting me today on her blog. I wrote my novel for teens, Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean, as a way to show teen girls how making choices that follow the rules leads to a greater, more authentic love. Though the title and structure of the book are just my character’s attempt at being clever, the real Ten Commandments really do lead to authentic love. Recently, I came across Pope Francis’ message for an initiative called “Ten Squares for Ten Commandments.” Several quotes on this project, which deals with seeing and living the commandments as gifts of God, speak to the virtues I hope to impart to young people:

  • “Following the Ten Commandments means being faithful to ourselves and to our most authentic nature, and walking towards the genuine freedom that Christ taught us in the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-12, 17; Lk 6:20-23).”

Many teens in society today talk about being “true to themselves” and “finding their own truth.” But more often than not, those phrases are excuses to justify behavior or choices not in accord with God’s plan for our lives and happiness. Rather, by following “the rules,” we are true to our real selves, the embodied soul created by God—full of dignity. That is our authentic nature. Another approach is to help teens understand the real meaning of freedom.

  • “True freedom is not that of following our own selfishness, our blind passions; rather it is that of loving, of choosing what is good in every situation.”

The word “freedom” does not mean permission to do whatever we want, but the state in which we can experience full joy and not permit ourselves to be enslaved by the unhappiness or pain of sin.

  • “The Ten Commandments are not a hymn to the ‘no’; they are to the ‘yes’. A ‘yes’ to God, a ‘yes’ to Love, and since I say ‘yes’ to Love, I say ‘no’ to non-Love, but the ‘no’ is a consequence of that ‘yes’ which comes from God and makes us love.”

Sometimes teens do not realize that rules give them a choice—to love or not to love. If we help them understand what real love is and where it comes from, they will be better equipped to choose the more loving action and reject the unloving one.

  • “Here lies the heart of the Ten Commandments: the Love that comes from God and gives life meaning, love that makes us live, not as slaves but as true sons and daughters. This is love that gives life to all relationships: with God, with ourselves — we often forget this — and with others.”

The world seemingly has lost the real meaning of love—it defines love as feelings, not choices. And worse, love doesn’t have to produce anything but those feelings. But the Catholic faith offers such a wonderful definition: love is fruitful—it produces life, not just in the form of children as in married love, but also our own lives in Christ and shared lives with others. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is not to limit (as in our fun), but to expand (our love). Let’s help young people follow the law of love.

 cropped-564400_717628214930208_1288690114_n2Britt’s Bio ~ Britt Leigh is the author of the teen novel Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean and the foreword for Teens Share the Mission. Both books are published by Pauline Books & Media. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting into College, and kidsfaithgarden.com. She holds a Certificate of Catechesis from the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (Boston) and a certificate in chastity/abstinence training through the Center for Relationship Education. She blogs at brittleighbooks.com and for young women at proverbialgirlfriend.wordpress.com.

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Many blessings to you and yours today. Thanks for stopping by. AND don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win! Winner will be announced on Saturday, October 4th!

Emily

Meandering Transcripts… Em’s DayBook

Em’s DayBook – Vol. 29

Just as a father or mother answers a child when it tries to learn something from them, so also the Holy Spirit fosters human knowledge in any of the arts when the person seeks to learn it through inclination, desire, and diligence.        – St. Hildegard

Happy Monday Night Tuesday Morning All!

I hope and pray your Mondays were GREATERIFIC! Mine was. Well, I mean if you think getting electric charges zapped into your lower back and legs AND needles inserted into your legs – then yes, super Great! HA! I can’t wait till Friday when they do my neck and arms.

Truth be told, the doctor was awesome. I’m in good hands. And the Xanax took off the edge. Kudos to my son who did several subjects of school today while I was technically passed out on the couch. Ahhhh… life is good.

But – Monday is over.  Aren’t you glad about that? WOOHOO! So it’s Tuesday now… and I’m finishing my post.

Linking Up With 

  • Elizabeth @ Marriage Monday
  • Lisa @ Try A New Recipe Tuesday (it’s not up yet, but it will be, I hope).

I loved the Currently posts. But Jenna is stepping away and her first partners in it have all stepped away. So I’m stepping away from it as well. I wish there was a Catholic link-up for DayBooks. Hmmmm… maybe I will start one.  Yes, Christians and Catholics all love one God and we are sisters in Christ. But I also think it’s ok to stick together with our Faith-Sisters too. Anywhooo… just a thought.

Thankful For

  • Thoughts of Fall.
  • My husband being home.
  • My Child who is having a good week.
  • My Faith, Mother Mary and all the Saints. So blessed.
  • Being creative.

Thinking About

A few things… 1) I would have finished yesterday, but ya’ll – drugs slay me! For all the damage in my spine and joints, they wanted me, for a long time, to take high-powered drugs. But I use ice/heat and take Tylenol/Aleve. HA – that’s my strong drugs. So when I have to take a muscle relaxer (2mg knocks me out) or Xanax so I can not be too panicked to get work done… it kills my day.  I am blessed though, because there are so many addicts/alcoholics on both sides of my bloodline and I can’t tolerate either well. You see, it comes back to GOD. And boy He is so GOOD! Thank you Father.

2) How good it feels not to have Christopher in sports and other activities this Fall.  We needed a break.  I recently re-read Ginny’s Gems. In this book, she says something like “while your children are young, concentrate on them.” Of course, your marriage too. I worry about not doing enough. I worry about not going here and there and everywhere and being everything to everyone. What will “THEY” think? You know, the infamous THEY! They’ll  be upset if I don’t ___. Or They’ll judge me as ___. Here’s what I say – It is none of my business what others think of me. I simply don’t care. WHAT? Emily doesn’t care? Ok – you caught me, but I’m TRYING not to care. Why should I?  People judge all the time. People speculate. And folks – what I know is I do what I can. My goal – SANITY! And at the end of the day, I’m good. I’m sane. I’m loved. Sigh – what more can I ask for?

Wifing

(Marriage Monday)- Elizabeth has a great new blog post called the Virtous Wife.

Ahhh the Virtuous Wife. You know, the one that God says is more valuable than Rubies. The one that we should all model ourselves after? That one.

When we come to the end of our lives, the degrees we earned won’t matter; the rank we achieved in our careers won’t matter; the size of our houses or newness of our cars won’t matter; the fancy vacations will be long forgotten.  This is what will really matter:

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman who feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her own works praise her in the gates.”  ~ Proverbs 31:28-31

If you are like me, when you were little, you wanted to be a wife and a mother. I think most women do. I also wanted to be a nurse (except I hate needles and blood), an attorney (except I didn’t have the stomach for it)… so I became an Event Planner and then an Executive Admin (great organizational/time-management skills). When I had Christopher, I knew I could do it all. But God had other plans. Not only did he bring me into the home to live out my vocation, he gave me a child with Aspergers and led me to homeschool him. WHAT???

At first I was against it. Then I came to peace with it. Um – God is more powerful than me. There was a brief blip in our marriage where I was ready to leave and went back to work to save up money. Marque had just come back from Iraq for the 2nd time and it was like hell on earth around here. In the end, Marque and I worked things out… once again, God is more powerful.

When I went back to work, our house fell apart. Yes, we had a maid. But our child was at day/care or school 10+ hours/day. My husband had to pick up and take him a lot. Sometimes he was in bed before I got home. It was hard on us all.

More than anything, we learned to accept our roles in our marriage, the way GOD wanted them to be. If you read the information in the square below, you will see what our job is as women. Men have lots of the same rules, but theirs apply to MEN/Head of Household.

 

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Do I always get it right? I’d be lying if I said yes. But I try and I am good at lots of those things.

I am very sad that this series has come to an end. <3 I hope and pray Elizabeth has other series in store for us.

In My Kitchen

So I took the plunge and joined the $5 Dinner Sight. I’ll probably do it a couple months. I’m creating a binder of meal plans and budget meals. What I love is that Erin gives you the shopping lists. For 20 meals, less than $150 at Costco if you follow her plan.

Jessica’s Cookbook Good Cheap Eats is on the way too.  I’m making progress in turning our food budget back into something way more manageable.

This week our menu looks like this: Meatloaf, Chinese Food, Steaks (Marque has business associates here from Israel and we are cooking a steak dinner (rare in the middle of the week), leftovers, fish tacos and I’m not sure what else.

Try A New Recipe Tuesday  

Chicken Taco Bowl close

We tried Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowl by BudgetBytes.com – REALLY GOOD! I feel bad because I totally forgot to take pics. What we did was cooked it overnight so it could sit the next day in the spices, etc. We tweaked it a little for our family. VERY GOOD. The picture above is from their site.

Praying For

  • Our World.
  • My child.
  • Health & Finances of our family.
  • For Stick-to-it-ive-ness!
  • Christian Women – that they may learn to comfort and not judge.
  • For all my friends who are sick or suffering illness of any kind.
  • For you!

Captured

Jenna

Jenna watches Christopher mow the lawn. She keeps an eye on him always. <3

And don’t forget to check back tomorrow – Another Blog Tour Post. YAY

Love, Hugs & Blessings.

Em

Davis Academy – Weekly Wrap Up… 4th Grade is Officially Over

“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”  — St. Therese of Lisieux – The Little Flower

Happy Friday All.

Man what a week it’s been.  First of all, The Principal, Marque, was here all week. Yep, we will have him home for two whole weeks. Sigh.

  • Monday – we did about half a day of school. Then we went to my doctor’s appt. The actual time with the doctor took about ten minutes, but we were there three hours. SIGH!
  • Tuesday – we had a bad day.  And my student has little to no computer/electronics time until he puts as much effort into school as he does into schedules and such for his games.
  • Wednesday we had a much better day and got a lot of school done.
  • Thursday – we had co-op. Co-Op. This year, Christopher is taking two classes, Catholic Texans: Our Family Album. They are reading and working, and at the end, will have a lap book. Fun huh? AND he is taking my Stories of Saints class. It’s a reading comprehension class and we are doing small crafts. This week, we studied St. Bernadette who Our Lady of Lourdes visited. We are really enjoying Co-Op this year. After Co-Op, we went to lunch with friends and talked for hours. It was much needed mommy time.
  • Today – Marque is home. And I had another doctor’s appointment. Then we ran an errand, took a nap. And did a whole lot of nothing else. Which was nice, because Marque travels a lot.

So the big news is we got Christopher’s 4th Quarter Grades from 4th Grade this past week. Yep – Straight A’s!  Wait what? We’re a few weeks into 5th grade right? Yes… yes we are.  But I sent in the packet late.  It’s the beauty of homeschool.

So technically we are somewhere between week two and three… <3

In Religion we are studying the Apostles Creed and reading Bible stories. Starting with the Creation, Cain & Abel and some basics. It’s always good to review. In History, we are studying the Articles of Confederation and reviewing beginning American History. In English, it’s all about commas and punctuation reviews. This is not Christopher’s favorite thing. But he is really a natural at it. He understands this:

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In Science we are studying the Ocean Currents and types of animals that live in the Ocean.  I forgot to buy the lab and it’s on the way!  Reading is pretty intense. But he is doing well with it. Nothing exciting to report. The rest of the classes, Phonics, Vocabulary, Spelling, Art, Music, PE, etc… are just like they sound, nothing exciting to report. Math is just review.

This is what my student MOSTLY did this week.

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Sat in the backseat, looking CUTE!

Marque is home and will be leaving again next week. Sigh.

Sorry if my wrap up is boring.

I am linking up with

Weekly-Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap Up

my weekinreview

My Week In Review

Have a great week ALL!

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Em

Back-To-School Blog Tour – Guest Post by Author Marilee Haynes

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014

“We should take as a maxim never to be surprised at current difficulties, no more than at a passing breeze, because with a little patience we shall see them disappear. Time changes everything.”
— St. Vincent de Paul

blog tour main 800pxGood Morning. Happy Wednesday.

Welcome to my blog! Remember Sunday when I said I’d be hosting Marilee Haynes on the Back-to-School Book Tour? Well – today’s the day.I am honored that Cathy @ Pauline Books & Media asked me to Host.  I’m so excited.

Before I get to her post, I wanted to make sure you know that Ms. Cathy @ Pauline Books & Media has offered a set of Marilee’s books a.k.a Genius and Genius Under Construction to one lucky commenter on my blog. So – you will want to leave a comment. Now…. WordPress does not offer a Rafflecopter function. So – we are doing the giveaway the old-fashioned way. I will print out your names and my beautiful child will pick a piece of paper. I will post the winner on my blog, Saturday the 27th, and email you. So – please make sure you provide your email. And Check Back!

Just so you know, I reviewed both of those books on my blog. The links above are to my reviews (and yes, they will link you to the books as well). We LOVE them.  Just so happens my child is similar to the main character. Sigh.

So without further ado, here is Marilee’s post:

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WHY CATHOLIC FICTION?

I have been asked why I write Catholic fiction for kids. I could probably make up some really deep and possibly even impressive responses to that question. Instead, I opt for the unvarnished truth.

I didn’t actually set out to write Catholic fiction. Which, considering I created a main character who is from a practicing Catholic family and who attends a Catholic middle school and who turns to St. Jude for help when his life seems like its own version of a lost cause, could mean I’m less than perceptive. I choose to think it means that my faith is such an integral part of who I am that I couldn’t help but create a character whose life mirrored my own upbringing. Other than the whole “he’s a thirteen-year-old boy and I never was” thing. But still. I am Catholic. I have always been Catholic. And I remain fully and deeply Catholic. So how could someone I created out of some of the deepest parts of myself be anything but?

Another question I am regularly asked is what I am trying to teach kids about our faith. Again, I find myself wishing for a better answer than the truth. But, here goes.

I’m not actually trying to teach kids anything. Kids are smart. They are actually just as smart as grown-ups, and sometimes even smarter. And kids can smell a lesson in a book from a mile away. I do not write with lessons in mind. Themes, yes, but never lessons. Rather, I write with four pillars in mind. The same four pillars I use in parenting.

  • Love
  • Faith
  • Fun
  • Learning

When I inject all four of these into my stories, they work. When I leave even one out, they stop working. Love of family and friends. Faith. Faith as an integral part of who we are. Faith that is not unintentional, but rather so ingrained as to be involuntary. Fun. Always and ever fun and full of joy and laughter. And learning. I love watching my characters learn almost as much as I love learning along with them.

So the answer to what I’m trying to teach kids through my books of Catholic fiction for children is – more than anything – to have pride in their faith. To recognize in the pages of a book a character much like themselves. Someone for whom prayer is a natural and important part of his own life as well as his family life.

I am Catholic and I am a writer, therefore I am a Catholic writer. And I am ever so proud to be one.

Marilee HaynesMarilee’s Bio ~ A full-time stay-at-home mom to three children, award-winning author Marilee Haynes writes middle-grade fiction in stolen quiet moments (in other words, when everyone else is asleep). Marilee’s middle grade novel a.k.a. Genius was the recipient of the 2014 Catholic Arts and Letters Award (CALA) for children’s fiction and the 2nd place award for teen fiction from the Catholic Press Association. It was also awarded the Seal of Approval by the Catholic Writers’ Guild. Her second book, Genius under Construction, is its sequel. Both books are published by and available from Pauline Books & Media www.pauline.org/marileehaynes

Find out more about Marilee and her books at www.marileehaynes.com. Follow her on twitter at @mgwritermhaynes.

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Don’t forget to leave a message and hopefully win a set of Marilee’s books a.k.a Genius and Genius Under Construction.

Good luck & God Bless,

Emily

Meandering Transcripts – It’s FALL! – Em’s DayBook

Em’s DayBook – Vol. 28

In times of intense loss and grief, we take our place with Mary as she embraces all our grief in her own as she is silently holding in her arms the stark presence of our suffering God in the lifeless body of her Son.  -from Startled By God

Happy Tuesday!

I’m going to start doing my daybook on Sundays. I tell you – Monday is just not always a great day to blog. TRUTH!

Happy Saint Day to Padre Pio! He’s AMAZING! Truly. Read about Saint Padre Pio. And here is a little “fun fact” image I found on Catholic Online:

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Let me tell you about MY yesterday. Well, I had a doctor’s appt I thought would take an hour. Well, we left an hour before it started. Let’s just say, the appt. took three hours. We hardly got school done. Sigh. I had a panic attack on the way to the doctor’s office because that is what I do. Then, last night, I stabbed my middle finger to the bone, with a big, long knife. Sigh.  Let’s just say, I went to bed early! Yep! I didn’t even enter the card challenges I wanted too. Sigh. I know, rough life.

Anywhooooooo….

Linking Up With 

 Currently – Jenna is trying out themes for Currently. And this week’s is Fall.

Thankful For

  • Thoughts of Fall.
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte.
  • My husband being home.
  • My Faith, Mother Mary and all the Saints. So blessed.

Thinking About

How I’d love to live in a place with four seasons where FALL is real. I miss wearing turtlenecks and cooler weather clothes. Sigh. I just do. I can’t help it. I miss the colors of the trees and crisp mornings. It’s rare here in Texas. Not complaining, just stating facts.

Also – how difficult homeschooling an Aspergers child is and how happy I have prayerful friends. Today was a bad day, I’m not gonna lie. But tomorrow will be better. AND for that, I’m so thankful.

Wifing

(Marriage Monday)- Elizabeth has a great new blog post called the Hospitable Wife. Of course, at first glance I was like “heck yeah I’m hospitable. I’m a regular June Cleaver!” Stop laughing.   She defines Hospitality as this:

I absolutely love this definition of hospitality ~ cheerfully sharing food, shelter and spiritual refreshment with whomever God brings into my life.  

Marque and I love to entertain. But it seems to be a lost art. It makes me miss the North East. We had the best dinner parties both with business friends and small groups from Church.  We do love to have people over, but with Marque’s current travel schedule, we just keep to ourselves what little time he’s  home.

We are kind of in a season where we are weary of new people. We can’t seem to find our niche here in the Fort Worth Area. But I am confident in stating that I am a good and hospitable wife. I even host people I don’t care for if my husband asks me to. I hope that the Lord will bring many more people into our lives, even if it is only for an evening.

Dinner Party tips – 

  • Clean the house well.
  • Light candles
  • Make food most people like (and that preferably doesn’t stink).
  • Don’t serve so many appetizers no one wants dinner.
  • Always have veggies and fruit available.
  • Unless the dinner party is formal. Don’t use your china, but use nice dishes.
  • Stock the bar/have a variety of non-alchoholic drinks as well.
  • Fresh flowers are always a nice thing to have on tables.
  • If you are hosting families with littles, hire the teens to watch them upstairs so everyone can relax (you know what I mean).

Overnight Guests -

  • Make sure you know what they like to eat/drink and have it on hand.
  • Fresh flowers are a lovely touch (don’t have to be expensive).
  • Fresh linens
  • Places for children & animals to sleep
  • Plan fun outings.

And always find out what food allergies your guests may have. One last thing, if you are having young moms over with children. Clean your home and maybe declutter a little, but don’t clean it too much that it looks like a museum. Your guests won’t be able to relax. This advice was given to me years ago in a women’s Bible study. Someone said, “I’m not sure I want to come to your home, it’s so clean and nice!” AACK. I thought that was what a good hostess did. But – if you think about it, people want to know that their children can play and not be in fear of making a mess. I’m much more relaxed now.

In My Kitchen

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Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon Chips. Recipe by The Prepared Pantry

In Honor of Fall, Squash is king! Christopher and I made the above bread! Fantastic.  The recipe is no longer on their site. BUT – if you want it, leave me a message and I will send to you.

Try A New Recipe Tuesday - Spinach Zucchini Meatballs

zucchini meatballs

Progression of Zucchini Meatballs. From a spinach meatballs recipe. 

Let me tell you… When I found this recipe, I really thought these Spinach Meatballs sounded good! But I didn’t have spinach. I hate when that happens.  Here’s the thing, one of my favorite foodie bloggers - Jessica – taught me to be more creative. And so I am. I’m also practical and on a budget. And we have squash, not spinach…. therefore, Christopher and I made Zucchini meatballs. Unlike in the recipe, we didn’t want meatball subs. So – we made the meatballs a main course.  We may or may not have accidentally eaten one each before dinner. You can’t prove it (well, yes, you can – it’s the 2nd to last picture – HA).

Praying For

  • Our World.
  • My child. It’s been a challenging few days. Sigh.
  • Health & Finances of our family.
  • For Stick-to-it-ive-ness!
  • Christian Women – that they may learn to comfort and not judge.
  • For all my friends who are sick or suffering illness of any kind.
  • For you!

Captured

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Hey, it made me laugh! I hope it does you too.

Love, Hugs & Blessings.

Em