Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meal Plan Monday: Red Beans and Rice

I know, I know, it's Thursday.  But I had this idea on Tuesday and waiting almost an entire week to post it was just too difficult!  So my plan is to post our meal plan each week on Monday and give you one of our recipes for that week.

About six months ago we started to meal plan for three reasons. 1: It eliminates the frantic scramble to pull something together for dinner at the last minute.  2: It helps to save money on the grocery bill by eliminating unnecessary purchases and spreading out more expensive meals.  3. It gives me more confidence to do the cooking.  For the first 4 years of our marriage John had done nearly all of the cooking because he enjoys it and is naturally much better at it.  But with the pressures of his school schedule, that started to be increasingly more difficult.  Now I handle dinner Monday through Friday!

We don't always plan the weekend meals and we don't mind eating leftovers, so this week's meal plan is really short!

Monday: Veggie Pasta
Tuesday: Leftover veggie pasta
Wednesday: Red beans and rice
Thursday: Leftover red beans and rice
Friday: Out to eat with visiting relatives :-)

The recipe I'll share this week is for red beans & rice.  This is a simple meal to make, but not one we have very often because of the cost of the meat.  We enjoy it with andouille sausage and a ham shank from Whole Foods, but if you used only the sausage, or bought both at a cheaper place, you could bring the cost down.  We haven't be impressed with the supermarket andouille sausage (my husband is from New Orleans!).  This is a recipe from a friend of ours (also a New Orleanian!) that we tweaked.

Ingredients:
1 pound red beans, soaked overnight
1 yellow onion chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1 ham shank
1 pound andouille sausage
1-2 tsp. thyme

Directions:
1. Put everything into a crockpot.  Cover with water.  Cook on high for 5-6 hours
2. About 2 hours into the cooking process, take out the andouille sausage and slice (as thin or thick as you like)*
4.  When the meat starts to fall off the ham shank (about 5-6 hours), pull it out and shred.  Return the meat to the crockpot and stir in.  Leave the crockpot uncovered for about 15 minutes to let the sauce thicken a little.
4.  Serve over rice**.  Top with Tony's seasoning if desired.  Enjoy!!

Notes:
* If you want to be able to leave your crockpot, you can slice the sausage at the very beginning, but raw sausage is trickier to cut.  Don't wait until the end to slice because you want the flavors of the sausage to blend into everything else.
** Don't forget to cook your rice based on the time listed on the package!  We like brown rice, which can take a while to cook!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WWRW - Five Favorite Preschool Education Books

Today for What We're Reading Wednesday I thought we'd take a look at my Five Favorite Education Books!  Although I don't usually refer to myself as a homeschooling mom, I really am.  I like for us to do at least one focused educational activity per day.  To help me do that, I turn to the experts!  So here are my five favorite resources:


1. Flowering Baby 
This is the general preschool curriculum that I use with Blaise and Finn.  I like it because it is very straight forward and typically requires only materials that I have around the house.  The lessons for each day contain multiple activities covering areas such as numbers, letters, books, and crafts.  For each month there is a convenient list of books that will be used, so I can easily request them from the library the week or so before.  The books she chooses are awesome!



2. Sight and Sound Reading
This is the reading curriculum that I use for Blaise.  He loves the pictures and the stories and has been having great success with the sight words method.  I bought the digital version of the teacher's manual and then printed out the pages Blaise uses in color.  Her lesson plans are extremely detailed, which is great for me since I have no training in teaching preschoolers!  In addition to the main curriculum, I also really like her sight reading books.  They are a great way to reinforce what Blaise is learning.



3. I Spy Letters
I like this book because it has multiple uses.  Sometimes we read straight through and sometimes we pick only one page and discuss the pictures.  The pictures are mostly photographs of actual objects which makes them really interesting for the kids.  Sometimes I even catch Finn and Blaise "reading" it together and discussing!



4. Stuart J. Murphy's MathStart Series
This is a whole series of books that tell interesting stories and also have a connection to math.  Below are pictured two of our favorites.  A House for Birdie focuses on comparisons (tall/short, fat/thin, etc).  Henry the Fourth teaches the places: first, second, third, and fourth.  A great feature of these books is that they are divided into levels.  The ones I highlighted are both level 1.  The levels are clearly labeled on the front, which makes it easy to see which ones are appropriate for your kiddos when selecting at the library!
    


5. An Egg Is QuietA Seed Is SleepyA Butterfly Is Patient, and A Rock Is Lively  
These have quickly become our favorite science books.  The illustrations are beautifully done and the pages are full of great information about the topic.  I love books that my kids and I can both enjoy and these fit the bill!





Check out more great books @ Housewifespice!
Enjoy more Five Favorites @ MoxiWife
And thanks to Clan Donaldson for the idea to combine WWRW and Five Favorites!




Friday, October 25, 2013

Quick Takes #3

1.  I play fantasy football in a league with John's family members.  Last year I finished near the bottom mainly because of an unfortunate draft of Philip Rivers instead of Matt Ryan.  This year, I've been determined to redeem myself.  I started out a respectable 4 wins and 2 losses.  I occasionally benched the wrong players, but it never effected the outcome... until this week. I was playing the #3 ranked team in our league.  A win here would be huge.  But I choked.  Played all the wrong people.  My bench nearly outscored my starters :-(  

2.  Speaking of football... the kids and I were discussing middle names.  Blaise told me that his was Robert, like the football playing man.  It took me a few minutes to realize that he was referencing RGIII!  Ha!  Apparently John thought that the game would be a lot more interesting to Blaise if he referred to all the players by their first names! 


3.  Speaking of middle names... My Aunt Bev is one of the few people who refers to me by my first and middle names together.  She called me up on Saturday at around three in the afternoon and asked if she and my cousin Anna could come over for dinner and they would bring the food.  Score!  No cooking for me!  They brought Indian food, which was a new experience for the kids.  The boys loved the chicken and surprisingly, Lucy's favorite was the ochra!  And of course Aunt Bev and Anna are always a treat for everyone!


4.  Speaking of food... Monday morning Lucy would not stop fussing and I couldn't figure out what was bothering her.  Apparently she was just hungry and tired.  After stuffing herself full of black beans and rice,  here is what happened:


5.  Speaking of. sleeping... Last night I went to get into bed, pulled back the covers, and discovered that someone had left me a present!  Duplos!  Just what I want to snuggle up next to ;-)


6. Speaking of... nope... no connection here!  If you read my Call to Adoption  and "I'll take anyone"you know that John and I are desiring to adopt older children from foster care.  We are currently in the information gathering phase.  Indiana's website refers all adoption inquiries to call 1-888-25-ADOPT.  Their website does have some information, but no blueprint for what to do other than to call this number.  But no one answers!  I have called dozens of times over the last week, at all hours of the day and each time I simply get the message "the person you are trying to reach has a voice mailbox that has not been set up yet."  Although we've ultimately been able to make direct contact with the right person on our own, it's really disheartening that the main adoption line seems to be nonfunctional.  


7.  Speaking of adoption... A repeat of my request from last week:  I was looking through my blogroll and realized that I am lacking in blogs on adoption!  So if you know of any adoptive family blogs, please share in the comments!!!  (Thank you to those who have already shared!)


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vision

Growing up I had the privilege of attending a wonderful summer camp called Ligonier.  It was there that I was able to be my true self and thus where I was able to find God.  I am so thankful for those weeks each summer in the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside.  Some of the songs that we sung each evening still resonate with me today.  I want to share with you one that I have been meditating on recently:


Lord I want to know your vision,
Though I'm in a foreign land.
Grant me heartache for the hungry
And the grace to understand.
Lead me to the ones who suffer,
Those whose hearts cannot find rest.
Lord, I want to know your vision,
Put me where I can serve best.

Take my life as a sacrifice.
Let me see Your good deeds.
Humble me as I serve thee.
May the glory be Yours.

I was hoping to find a recording to share, but so far have struck out.  I'm finding only limited mention of it on the internet!  Maybe unique to Ligonier camp?  It has a beautiful melody and it plays over and over in my head.  It is my prayer as we embark on this adoption journey.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WWRW - To the End of June

I mentioned in last week's What We're Reading Wednesday that I was hoping to get a more detailed review of To the End of June up on the blog.  So what better time to do it than for this week's WWRW!

If you have been reading my blog over the past weeks, you know that John and I are actively discerning our call to adoption (read here and here if you haven't already).  This was the first book I read about the current state of the foster care system.  I hope to read more in the weeks to come and share them with you on the blog.

To the End of June: the Intimate Life of American Foster Care is mainly a look at the foster care system through the eyes of about a dozen families over the course of five years.  The author, Cris Beam, explains that she is "looking at foster families who are deeply invested in the system's successes - families who love their children and believe they can help - to more easily discover the flaws that foil anyone's best intentions." Interwoven in the stories of these kids and families is factual information about the legal aspects of foster care.

As someone who plans to foster adopt, I gleaned the most insights from the parts about why people choose to foster and/or adopt, and what makes their child placements successful.  Mary Keane is one of the success stories in the book. Here is an excerpt:
Mary Keane... runs foster parent training and recruitment classes all over New York City.  At one of the recruitment nights, she had gathered up a few older foster kids to talk about what they wanted from their parents.
 "Basically, I just want someone to understand me, and support me," one of the girls said plainly from the front of the room.  The girl had dirty blond hair with streaks of purple washed thought, and she smiled patiently at the roomful of adults, perched at the edge of their chairs.  The adults were more specific about their desires.
"I'm looking for a chorus," one older woman in the audience said eagerly. "I'm a singer in my church, and I'd love to have a houseful of children to sing with me."
A man in his forties, who was looking forward to becoming a single dad, said, "All I'm looking for is respect."
Mary told him that it was likely he wouldn't get that, at least not at first.  "They're not going to meet the parents' needs - to be appreciated or anything else.  Not until they're grown," Mary told me later.... Foster teens can be particularly rough, I thought, so I was her: Why on earth would anybody sign up for this?
"Altruism," Mary said... you become a foster parent because it's the right thing to do.  Mary has been a foster and adoptive parent for over ten year, and she's taken in more than twenty-five teenagers and young adults.  She has never sent one of them back.  She said she parented all of her kids only because she felt the pull to "make a difference in the world."
"Parents should do it because the kids need.  Otherwise they're going to be disappointed," Mary said.... foster parenting by definition means personal sacrifice.  "You do it because you want to help a kid, and because you enjoy seeing them grow.  The gratitude for what you've done might come later.  Like after five years of hell."
The stories in the book show over and over again that the foster system is broken and that children, especially teenagers with rough backgrounds, are extremely challenging.  Those who are successful, like Mary, do it because it's what the kids need.

Sadly, people like Mary are likely the exception, not the rule.  Beam tells about a single man named Bruce.  He had a big home, money, and was childless.  He thought adoption was the right route to take.  Over the course of four years, over thirty children cycled through Bruce's house and he sent them all back.  Some cried too much, some were too destructive; in all cases, Bruce felt like he recieved too little help from Children's Services.

The lack of help from Children's services is a problem.  Beam tells a story about a foster girl who is hit by a car.  No one will come to the hospital for her.  Not her foster mom, not her caseworker.  Ultimately, another foster child comes to be with her.  Another foster mom, Allyson, paints a similar picture.  "All the goods and services [like therapy and tutoring] we tracked down for our children ourselves.  Nobody held our hands through any of this stuff."

Through these and other stories, Beam paints a grim, but realistic view of foster care.  And though the book might be described as a downer, there is hope.  There is hope in people like Mary.  There is hope if you follow the advice of Kecia, "You gotta rock with a kid, all the way."

The best reason I can give you for why you should read the book is that it will make it personal. To the End of June helped to give me a direct glimpse into the lives of the 400,000 plus kids living in foster care right now in the U.S.  These are the kids that are most likely to be incarcerated, unemployed, and homeless when they grow up.  These are also the kids who are most in need of unconditional love.  Please read the book.  Maybe it will inspire you the way it has us.



Check out more great books @ Housewifespice!




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quick Takes #2

1.  The Steerlers game was on TV here Sunday afternoon, and not only did I get to see it, but they won for the first time all year!  Clearly all those loses early in the season were just because they didn't want to detract from the Pirates playoff run!  Now that the Pirates season is done, I predict the Steelers will win all the rest =)


2. Blaise has been learning to stay in bed with the help of his Sleep Buddy, a programmable nightlight that turns off when it is OK to get out of bed.  It came with a sticker chart for one month of staying in bed.  This has been great motivation for Blaise and he earned his reward this week!  He and I went to four different thrift stores before finding something that he wanted.  Initially he was convinced that he would find a big garbage truck because we had seen one months before at a thrift store.  Ultimately he fell in love with a 50 cent lobster claw. Score!


3.  I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of things to come!



4. I was much better prepared this week for our "hike" while Blaise was in speech class and the little kiddos had a great time!
   


5. I saw this quote on facebook and was troubled.


I understand where it is coming from and I do assume the best about the priest who said it.  The idea is that in the Eucharist we fully receive Christ. I get that.  It's the reason that I am still actively contemplating becoming Catholic despite some of my disagreements with the Church's teachings.  But I don't like how he pits this against the idea of a personal relationship with Christ.  You MUST have a personal relationship with Christ or the rituals and motions that you go through are meaningless.  It reminds me a little too much of the sentiment of the Godfather - having people killed while at a baptism!  Yes, the Eucharist certainly can draw you closer to Christ, but it is not a substitute for a personal, vibrant, faith-filled relationship with Him.


6.  Christmas decorations give me such a warm fuzzy feeling inside!  Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and the only one that we decorate the house for.  I just love how the decorations bring me this sense of hope.  Today I got my Crate & Barrel catalog and it made me smile =)



7.  If you read my Call to Adoption  and "I'll take anyone" posts earlier this week, you know that John and I are actively preparing our hearts to adopt older children from the foster care system.  I was looking through my blogroll and realized that I am lacking in blogs on this topic!  So if you know of any adoptive family blogs, please share in the comments!!!




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Thursday, October 17, 2013

"I'll take anyone"

"I'll take anyone.  Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be."  Those words were spoken by Davion, an orphan who lives in Florida.  His caseworker took him to church so that he could address the congregation and ask for a family.  His story has been shared all over the internet.  Here is a link to one of the news articles.  I heard about it when my sister-in-law posted it to my facebook page.  The saddest part for me was that last line: "At publication time, two couples had asked about Davion, but no one had come forward to adopt him."  In a church full of 300 people, not one could answer Davion's direct request for a family.      

Each year in the U.S. over 20,000 kids age out of the system, never having found a family to take them in.  They go out into the world unprepared and with nobody to fall back on.  Right now, Davion is one of over 100,000 kids who are eligible for adoption, who are waiting, wanting, needing families to show them unconditional love. 


We all have reasons not to adopt.  Heck, I gave mine in the first paragraph of my previous post.  Tiny house, tiny income.  Is that really a valid reason?  Yes, practically speaking, it is a valid reason.  But really, truly, I don't think so.  When I think of adoption, the Bible passage below comes to mind.  I'll close here for today,  I think this is enough to ponder for now.  



Matthew 25:31-46 (New International Version (NIV)) 
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WWRW - 4 Picture Books and a Grown-up One

The kids in this house love to read!  We live pretty close to the library and make a point of checking out a lot of books!  So I think it is only fitting that I share some of our current favorite picture books for our first installment of What We're Reading Wednesday!  I've also thrown in the latest book that I have read, which I encourage everyone to read!


1. The Lady with the Alligator Purse.  The kids love the silliness of this book!  It has a song to go with it, but they prefer that we just speak the rhymes.  It's pretty short, which is great because even my two-year-old has it memorized!














2. We Planted a Tree.  This story has great illustrations and is a lovely story about how planting a tree makes the world better.



3. Quick As a Cricket.  The boys requested this book so often from the library that Grandma finally bought it for them!  It's a fun book that compares a child to various animals and celebrates all the parts of "being me".



4. All the World.  This book is a large, hardback book with beautiful pictures.  It is a poetic assortment of words and simple phrases that tell how the world is everything and everyone in it.



5.  To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care.  This book was eye opening for me.  I have always known that the foster case system in the U.S. is lacking, but this book helped to personalize that.  In addition to factual information it is filled with personal stories of children struggling through the system. I'm hoping to share a more detailed review of the book within the next week.  I encourage everyone to read this and prayerfully consider opening your home to children in need.



Check out more great books @ Housewifespice!




Monday, October 14, 2013

Call to Adoption

From early on in our dating relationship, John and I have felt a call toward adoption - specifically adoption of older kids from U.S. foster care.  Neither of us is quite sure why we have that desire in our hearts or how it will play out in our lives, but it is there to stay.  Right now we aren't in a position to adopt given our tiny house and even tinier income, but we like to keep it always active in our minds - something that we are constantly praying about and learning more about. I figure I might as well share with the blogworld what we are discovering!  

------


I recently read two articles that captured my heart in different ways about the topic of adoption.  The first article is this one from America Magazine about the sacramentality of adoption.  Please read the whole thing - it is short and well worth your time!  Although O'Malley focuses on infant adoption, some of his broader claims are applicable to all adoption.  Here are a few quotes from the article that I wish to highlight:
"Adoption clarifies something that is true for all Christian parenthood: to have a child is always to participate in a divine gift. While the child may share your genetic material, he or she is never fully yours, never a “being” that you earned. The love that you bestow upon a child is always precarious. A parent, whether biological or adopting, bestows love upon a child not because of the promise that one day he or she will return such love in equal measure nor because the child will one day fulfill the hopes and dreams that we as parents have. Such precarious love opens us up to the extraordinary suffering we will come to know as we watch our son or daughter discover the bitterness of disappointment. Parenthood encourages the parent to love gratuitously, even in the midst of the stinginess of a world that is afraid of love like this."
 "Adoption is a sign for all Christians that a person’s fundamental identity is as one who has received love: the love of God generously and precariously poured out upon creation, the love of God manifested in Christ, who reveals to us that our humanity was made for total self-gift." 
 "A Catholic approach to adoption will cease treating adoption as the last resort for infertile couples and the abandonment of children by negligent mothers, and begin to imagine adoption as a sacramental icon manifesting to the entire world the surprising and transforming gift of divine love—a love not connected simply to biology, to the realm of expectations and roles, but a love that interrupts those limitations we put on the possibility of love."

The second article I read was this one in the New York Times written by a woman who adopted a 17-year-old when she herself was only 28.  Again, I encourage you to read the whole article (another short one).  In the article she touches on the difficulties with the current foster care system and her challenges and successes with adopting a teenager.  As Beam says, "I learned that with my teenager you just have to hold on through the curves. I didn't learn to be a great mother the way I had planned, but I did learn that no “bad” behavior by her would ever warrant the ultimate rejection. I learned there’s not one child worth discarding".  


I was intrigued by Beam's perspective, so I requested her most recent book, To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, from the library.  There is so much in that book that I want to share, but that will have to wait for another day.  Until then, please read the articles I have linked to and consider if you too have a call to adoption.





Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Top Ten - SAHM Edition

On a particularly rough day of being a stay-at-home mom, I spent nap time scouring job postings on the internet.  I found one that looked interesting and went for it.  Lo and behold, they contacted me for an interview!  So on Wednesday morning John took the kids out for doughnuts and I had a job interview over Skype.  The interview went fairly well, so I believe I'm at least in the running for the job.  Before they call me back, I want to have some peace about whether or not I actually want the job.  With this in mind, I bring you the Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Stay-at-Home-Mom!


10. Lucy loves to give me kisses and blow raspberries on my stomach!  (Although occasionally she uses more of her teeth and less of her lips... ouch!)


9.  I am teaching Blaise to read.  This is pretty exciting for both of us.  It's something that we started when he gave up his nap for good.  And although I miss my kid-free time in the afternoons, big-kid learning time is a pretty good alternative!


8.  I love watching Finn's imaginary play.  Finn is our creative introvert.  He loves to go off by himself and arrange his plastic animals in elaborate ways.  It's so much fun to see his brain at work!




7.  I am the primary person shaping my kids' characters.  I am teaching them right from wrong, how to interact with others, how to be a good friend.


6.  I love exploring nature with my kids and teaching them to enjoy the discovery process.  We look at bugs, leaves, trees, and tend to our garden.
         



5. It's so sweet when Blaise or Finn comes running to me saying, "come see" and grabs my hand to show me the latest thing he has noticed or built or needs help with.


4. I get to hang out and connect with other stay-at-home-moms who inspire me not only to be a better mother, but to be a better person.



3.  I no longer have that nagging feeling that I am being pulled in two different directions and am not able to give my all to anything.


2.  I've witnessed nearly every moment of Lucy going from newborn to toddler.
 


1.  I get to spend all my time with these three cuties :-)




See more Top Ten @ MartinMinutes!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Quick Takes #1

1. This is my first time attempting a structured blogpost!  I think these quick takes will be a good way to record some of the stories of our daily life that are just a little too long for a facebook status.

2. Yesterday while the kids were eating lunch, I snuck away to have a little alone time (a necessity as an introvert!).  After a few minutes I hear Finn screaming that there is bread up his nose.  I don't see anything, so I reassure him that he is fine and that nothing is actually up his nose.  He says OK, but then a few minutes later starts crying and poking at his nose.  Upon closer inspection, there is a huge chunk of bread way up his nostril!  Thankfully I was easily able to remove it with a pair of tweezers, but that was certainly a parenting first for me!  

3. Blaise has started speech class on Mondays at a local elementary school.  Because I care way too much about what others think, I make sure to comb my hair and put on makeup and dress nicely.  The classes are 30 minutes long, which really isn't long enough to go anywhere with the little kiddos while we wait.  This week, I noticed that there was a path leading through the woods behind the school.  Our kids love to "hike", so we went for it!  Boy did I yearn for my sneakers while we were traipsing through the mud and poison ivy! 

4. I sent John to the store for pumpkin ale, and he came home with this. At first I was a little disappointed that it wasn't pumpkin, but at least it was seasonal. Turns out, it is delicious! I highly recommend :-)

5. I'm finally getting brave enough to leave the house alone with all 3 kids! Last year I did it at most once a week. This week I did it three days in a row! Speech on Monday, playgroup and a walk on Tuesday, and library storytime Wednesday. Although my extroverted children, Blaise and Lucy, really enjoy this faster paced schedule, I think Finn and I need a couple days off!

6.  About a month ago we had Blaise's IEP meeting to discuss his speech.  One of the things the teacher strongly suggested was that he give up the pacifier.  He only used it for timeouts, nap, and nighttime, but he was addicted!!!  I decided that the easiest way would be to cut off all three kids cold turkey.  Finn and Lucy adjusted almost immediately, but Blaise took about a week.  Even after he stopped asking for it, he still had trouble calming down during timeouts without it.  Today he calmed down almost immediately in time out.  What was the magic trick?  Apparently his footy pajamas are his new security object.  He was putting them  on when I walked in!

7.  My tablet was the worst technology purchase ever.  It started acting up at about the 9-month mark.  Still under warranty, but it cost $15 to ship it for repair.  Then it stopped working again.  Another $15.  And now it is acting up again.  The best part is that it mocks me.  This is the startup screen that I see repeatedly as the computer randomly restarts over and over again:
"Persistent Perfection".  Oh, ASUS, your humor is not appreciated!



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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Catholic Mommy Bloggers

A few months ago, my blog list was starting to lack for substance, so I put out a request on facebook for suggestions.  My friends did not disappoint and returned quite a few blogs that have become part of my daily reading.  I had told myself that I would try out each blog for at least a week, just to give it a fair shot.  I initially was wary of any blog that could be classified as "Catholic mommy blogger".  Though I am married to a Catholic, attend mass each week, and am raising the kids Catholic, I am NOT Catholic.  And even if some day I was able to bear the year-long drudgery of RCIA to become Catholic, I will never be the strict, conservative Catholic that most are in the "Catholic mommy blogger" category.  Well, after the week long trial run, I was still intrigued by nearly all of the blogs suggested.  I found that the "Catholic mommy bloggers" weren't all spanking and daily mass and homophobia as I once feared.  They were mainly interesting new perspectives on raising a family that I could glean some insights from.  I still cringe now and then at ultra-conservative posts, but for the most part am thankful for the new additions to my blogroll.

One of the things I like about some of the new blogs I have found is that they use a set format for blogging.  For example, "What We're Reading Wednesday", "Theme Thursday", and "7 Quick Takes Friday".  I think using something like this might help me to blog more regularly and I do find blogging to be somewhat therapeutic when I actually get into it.  I'm hoping to have my first "Quick Takes" post up tomorrow!