Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who Won?

The Table Setting Olympics?

I did.

My kids can now set the table in 40 seconds flat.

Klenda's Color Pick

Girls' room! The blue and white are nice and we'll be adding yellow stripes and a yellow and white stenciled border.

Taking out the house bed gave us room for this pavilion in one corner. It has blue bean bags (swiped from the library) at the bottom.

I think the girls are pretty happy with it, although Leena reminds me that she wants to do more painting when we add the finishing touches.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lent at Halftime

We're half way already? Time to take stock! Original ideas here.

The Lenten Ark is going very well. I really like it and will do it again other years. Each day you open a window and there is an animal. The booklet has a Biblical quote about that animal and relates it to a story in Salvation History. It then draws a practical connection to everyday life. Very nice, and short enough that we can do it and still do prayer time with out feeling pressed.

The Walk with Jesus poster is great! They kids love being able to see how far along we are and where we are going. I have whichever kid opened the window on the Ark color in a footstep with whatever color they like which has given a rainbow effect.

The Vine and branches is going OK. We love it, but it slips off the radar when we get too busy.

Pretzels instead of cookies. Excellent!

Flat bread instead of yeast bread. Tough. It takes much longer to make flat bread because I have to cook each "slice" individually, so I'm not making it as often as I should. It's also hard to find stuff for breakfast with toast out of the rotation.

Gospel desserts. We love it!!!

Jar for Chinese orphans. Filling up nicely. One child put all their birthday money in with not a second thought. When I asked, they insisted it was what they wanted to do.

Surprise unscheduled Spring cleaning frenzy. Feels good to have it done. Cleaning house physically and giving away extra stuff is very Lenten in a positive way.

Me eating less and praying more. Feels good! Not managing it perfectly, but I am happy when I do!

Sunday Gospel Dessert: Weeks 3 and 4

Updated: Picture!

Week 3's Gospel was Jesus chasing the money changers out of the Temple. This always reminds me of my favorite anonymous quotes, "When you ask,'What would Jesus do?' remember that a valid answer is to freak out and turn over tables."

Our dessert was cup cakes sliced to look like coins layered with sliced strawberries and topped with whipped cream (get it, WHIPPED cream?). The Emperor gets all the credit for that one!

Week 4 was a toughie. John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world that He sent His only son...") doesn't really scream "dessert" to me. Fortunately, the Gospel starts a few lines earlier with , "Just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up."

Did he say a bronze serpent in the dessert? We can do THAT! We just made it out of brownies. OK, Angel was over and she made it out of brownies while we were putting together the house bed (see post below).

Busy Busy Busy

Sorry for the lack of posts! We were crazy busy getting ready for Leena's First Communion, and now we are crazy busy getting ready for house guests.

And then Klenda decided she wanted to be an interior designer. Ummm. Sure. OK. Why not?

We went to the library and got books and videos about interior design, and we decided to practice on her room. We measured the room and the windows and all the furniture, then we drew up a scale floor plan on graph paper. We photocopied it, then cut out scale representations of furniture. Then we went to Home Depot and took one of every paint folder (not the individual color chips, just the folders). We talked about color theory, complementary and contrasting colors, and the effects of colors on the room.

We also discussed working for a client. In this case, Leena (who shares the room) is her client. They ended up deciding to paint the room blue with yellow stripes and a white and yellow stenciled border. They also decided to rearrange the room quite a bit.

So far we've purged the junk, rearranged the furniture and painted the blue. We are hoping to put in the stripes and border next week.

We took a large loft bed with a play house out of the girls' room and left it (temporarily) in the library. The plan was to put it in the boys' room when we redid their room. Eventually.

Ever have a project that lead to another project that lead to another project?

In this case, Choclo and Oob found the mountain of large, treacherously shifting plastic parts quite irresistible... so we needed to get it back up quickly.... which meant we needed to purge /paint/rearrange the boys' room quickly...

So, how would the boys like their room?

They wanted it to look like the inside of a space ship. They wanted the walls to be silver. Not gray, silver. They were even willing to chip in $10 each to cover the extra cost of the paint ($42 a gallon!!!!).

I must say, I've done a lot of painting (walls, not pictures) and I have never worked with anything as difficult as that silver paint! It took 4 coats to cover the green and blue stripes (the previous theme). Doh! Should have primed! And every stroke shows. And I have the oldest three kids painting.

But it's done! And it looks fantastic! The cool space sheets (black with stars, galaxies and planets) are being recycled as curtains. Also, we are planning to add (chalkboard paint) portholes and a wall of controls. Klenda says, "Talk about out of this world!"

Do I have pictures? Of course! They are on the camera. Which is around here somewhere. With the Gospel dessert pictures. But that's another post!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy First Communion, Leena!

Here she is with the mementos she picked out to remember this day with Jesus: a statue of an angel with the Eucharist and a T-shirt with an image of the Eucharist and the words, "I am with you always."

Here she is looking at the Mass book her Godmother gave her.

She was very excited!

Here she is praying with her Godmother before we left for Mass.

She asked to say the Rosary on the way there, so we said the 5th Luminous Mystery, the Institution of the Eucharist.

Here she is praying before the tabernacle after the big moment. She said, "I am so happy! I got to receive Jesus in Holy Communion!"

Here she is after Mass with her Aunt, Godmother, Angel, and Mxyl, Klenda, and Zorg.

The last thing we did to prepare her was to pray together and ask her older brothers and sister to talk about their First Communions and give her advice. It was really beautiful. My favorite advice was, "Remember to talk to Jesus, but also remember to listen to Him."

Last, but not least, here she is with Father!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sunday Gospel Dessert: Week 2

This week's Gospel was the Transfiguration (Jesus goes up on a mountain to pray with a few disciples, and allows them to see His Glory).

If you look at the copper jello mold at right, you can see that this was intended to be a much more mountainous dessert. As was, it was a lot of fun and, by far, the wiggliest jello I've ever made! I added a "cloud" of cool whip since there is a cloud in the Gospel which overshadows them.

It was also suggested to me that I should have used lime jello to show that it was a sub"lime" experience. Everyone's a critic!

Happy Birthday, Leena!

Happy birthday, Leena Beana!

Sunshine Girl!

Queen of the Squirrels!

Can you really be 7???

You're silly and smart and fun and loving.
You bring us such joy, just by being you.
Sweet, inimitable you!

Here's to many more years of happy squirrels and squirrelly happiness!!

And a big Happy Birthday to the other birthday girl, too! That's our dear friend, Miss Tracy, doing her part. (They both got wishes!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How You Know

You've been married a long time:

You ask your husband,"Where is the...?" (trail off vaguely searching for a noun)

He answers, "It's in the...." (equally distracted pause)

And you say,"Thanks."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

PJ Mania

Here's what I did with most of my snow day (thanks for the kid coverage, Honey!).

Yes, Mxyl is wearing a different set of PJs. The first pair turned out to have itchy fabric. He couldn't find any flannel he liked, so he came up with the idea of using red and yellow flannel to make Iron Man PJs.

I cut 8 sets of PJs from 1 pattern: if that's not some kind of record, it ought to be!

I need to hem Oob and Choclo's sleeves. They were hard to measure, so I guessed long!

One last Oob shot:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day!!!!

I didn't get pictures, but we had a great time! We got 8 inches, the most snow we've had in years, and only the second snow this season!

We always seem to get the wintry mix, and that's no fun. It's hard to make a freezing rain fort, no one wants to make a slush angel, and sleet balls would hurt!

Eight inches of fluffy snow, on the other hand... Just delightful!

We will have a fire tonight and eat snow ice cream. You take some cream and add sugar and flavorings (we like vanilla with a touch of almond), then you pour it over a bowl of fresh snow and stir. Yum! Yum! Even easier (but pricier), use sweetened condensed milk.

Highly recommended by Oob!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday Gospel Dessert :Week 1

The Gospel was the temptation in the desert. We have here 2 cakes: an angel food cake with some brown sugar "sand" and a fancy devil's food cake with sprinkles.

Yum, yum, doesn't that devil's food cake look good? It always does, doesn't it?

I served that one first and got a big reaction.

Maybe it was that I used vinegar instead of water. Or maybe it was the handful of salt I sprinkled over it.

That's the thing, isn't it? The devil is always offering something that looks better than the way of the angels... and it always leaves a nasty taste in your mouth!