Saturday, May 31, 2014

Working Hard, Weeds, Stumbling {7 Quick Takes}

1. I have been trying to write my Quick Takes all day, but I am distracted. I had a Quick Takes post this week to go along with my word for the year, fearless. That post will have to wait until next week. Right now all I have time to post is a bunch of pictures and a couple of links.

2. Earlier this week I wrote about the changes that I have made to the blog. Since then I added social media buttons. They are free and there is a little video that you can watch that explains how to add them. Nice!

3. A couple days ago, Chris and Ralph built a new roof for the swing set. Ralph was very excited to help his dad.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cleaning Up The Place

If you are a regular reader (hello family!) you may have noticed that I made some changes here over the last week or so. 

The biggest change that I have made is that I have truncated, or shortened, my posts. You now have to click the link,"Click here to read the rest>>." I decided to do this for a couple reasons. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Catholic Writer's Award

Laura, blogger at String of Pearls and author of Finding Grace, nominated me for a Catholic Writer's Award. I am honored, truly, I am. I am grateful that I met Laura through blogging. She writes about family life with five grown sons and her sweet husband. I read her book, Finding Grace, last year and enjoyed it very much. Laura's intended audience for Finding Grace are teenagers, but women and men of all ages can appreciate the story of young love, deep faith, and strong family values woven through the book. Thank you, Laura, for the nomination and the kind words you wrote about me. 

The Catholic Writer's Award was created by Melanie Jean Juneau. You can read the original post about the award here

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mountains, Christmas Morning, and Persuasion {AMT}

1. Beach or Mountains? Where would you rather be?
I do not know that I can choose between the two. I love both of them. I guess if I had to pick one over the other for the rest of my life I would choose the mountains, although I would miss the beach. 

trip to the mountains May 2011 and trip to the beach August 2011

Friday, May 23, 2014

Evolution of a Blogger {7 Quick Takes}

When I first started my blog, it was to create a space where family and friends could catch up with my family, and I also thought it would be nice to feel I was a part of a large Catholic homeschool community because our local community is small. Plus, I loved to journal and used to love to scrapbook, so I thought that having a blog was a great way to combine the two things. When I started blogging, my self-esteem was low, and I held myself back from creating a community that I craved. My word for 2014 is fearless, and I have applied it to my everyday life as well as how I blog. Recently, I made a list of the things I would do differently as a first-time blogger.

1. Worry Less: I have been a worrier ever since I was a little girl. I worried about a lot of things, but mainly I worried about how people would treat me. I am a sensitive person, and I cringe at the thought of an unkind word spoken to or about me. I also worried about accidentally offending other people. It has taken 38 years of living life to realize that what other people say to me or about me has little to do with me. As long as I am kind, friendly, and honest, then I am the best person that I know how to be. If someone is offended by my opinion, there is nothing that I can do about it. Not everyone has to like and/or agree with me. It is fine to disagree, but respect for every person's God-given worth is important. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Becoming A Fascinating Woman: Health And Happiness

In Helen Andelin's book, Fascinating Womanhood, she lists radiant health as one of the qualities of the ideal woman and suggests that it is a crucial quality to possess. She describes radiant health as,
...sparkling eyes, lustrous hair, a clear voice, buoyancy of manner, and the animation which good health brings to the face, and the vivacity it communicates to the thoughts.
Her guidelines for achieving are common sense. She suggests eating well, getting enough sleep, regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, getting fresh air, relaxing (mentally and physically), positive mental attitude, maintaining a healthy weight, and seeking proper treatment for internal disorders and ailments that can not be corrected by diet alone. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Answer Me This, a Graduation, and an Update

While Kendra and her family are in France, Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas is hosting Answer Me This. Thanks, Haley! 

1. What's the scariest thing that's ever been in your yard?

A big dog. I wish we had a fence. We like dogs and we would like to adopt one, but we want a fence first so our dog can stay with us, and other people's dogs can stay with them. 

2. Beards. Thumbs up or thumbs down? 

I am not into beards, but I love sideburns. Longish, bushy sideburns. Mutton chops are great! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Summer Reading List {7 Quick Takes}

I love books. I love reading them, and if they are good I enjoy reading them again. Finding new books to read is therapeutic to me. If my spirits are low, I love searching for a new book to read, making it mine, and then escaping into it. After all, books are inexpensive, but the pleasure a good book brings is priceless. Though I can be a little too zealous in my pursuit to acquire new books, so I have decided to read books that I already own. My books shelves and Kindle have quite a few books that I have yet to read. After checking what I have, I think I have gathered a great pile of books to keep me happily reading all summer long. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In My Thoughts and on My Heart {Five Favorites}

I have spent a large portion of my time with my mother and my aunts and uncle at my grandmother's bedside. On Friday, they moved her from the hospital to the local hospice center. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been praying for my grandmother and my family. I know that they are being answered. Yesterday, Father came to give my grandmother the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. My mother, my aunts, my uncle, and myself all stood around my grandmother as Father prayed. For most of us, it brought peace to our hearts. I will be with her again today. I appreciate your continued prayers.

I am supposed to be resting at home right now, but I can not fall asleep so I decided to update the blog. Here are five of my current favorite things. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Becoming A Fascinating Woman: Childlike Response

Last week I wrote an overview of childlike anger. Childlike anger is how a woman speaks and acts towards her husband when she is feeling hurt. A wife's anger is usually because her husband has been neglectful, rude in speech, or overly critical. A man's words and actions can make a woman feel hurt or angry, even when he feels no anger towards his wife. 

Though, there will be times when her husband is feeling anger towards her. This situation is different from the first and needs a different response. The two situations should not be confused. A woman's response towards her angry husband is what Helen Andelin refers to as the childlike response. She gives several suggestions of how to respond appropriately to a man when he is angry or irritable towards his wife. 

This chapter of the book uses a long example from the book The Little Minister, written by J.M. Barrie. I have not read it. I think the example did not clearly define Helen Andelin's suggestions. 

Below is my take away from the chapter on childlike response.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dinner, Prayers, and Concerts {AMT and WIWS}

I hope you are are enjoying the day with your mother and the women that have been like a mother to you and with the children that made you a mother. 
I am praying for all mothers today, especially the daughters who have lost their mothers and for the mothers who have lost a child/children. 

1. What's for dinner? 

Take out Chinese! Yum! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

All About My Hair {Five Favorites}

In the last year my hair went from curly to straight, back to curly, and  from long to short.

My hair is natural curly and the color natural medium golden brown. The longer it gets the lighter it gets. Here I  am sporting my natural color with my natural curls, February 2011.

A few months after this picture I dyed my hair dark brown with a semi-permanent dye. I continued to dye it for the next couple of years. My final dye was in December 2013. 

I grew my hair out,  only getting it trimmed a couple of times. During this time, I used the Curly Girl method.  The curly girl way is sulfate and silicone free. All ingredients labels are strictly read to make sure they are free of the bad stuff.  Also, "plopping" is the preferred method of drying, and extending washing out as long as possible so the natural oils can build up in the hair. My hair is very dry, so I wash it every four to six days. After following the curly girl program for couple years my hair was very healthy and split end free. 

Then I decided to change up my routine  in the fall of 2013.  I started to straighten it. It was fun at first. I enjoyed the new look, and straight hair was much easier to maintain on the days that I did not wash it. The convenience of being able to pull a brush through it daily was wonderful. That is until the ends frizzed up and split.  And the entire straightening process became more of a chore than the curly girl method. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Becoming A Fascinating Woman: Childlike Anger

A continuation of my book study of Fascinating Womanhood, written by Helen Andelin. The first posts are here and here. This post is a summary of my understanding of what Helen Andelin describes as childlike anger. More information about childlike anger is in the book, and I encourage you to read it if you find this post or any of the others in this series interesting.

Description of Childlike Anger

Helen Andelin's description of childlike anger: 

"Childlike anger is the cute, pert, saucy anger of a little child."

When to use Childlike Anger

There will be times when you should express your anger to your husband. Certain situations may cause you to feel neglected, imposed on, or insulted. When you feel like he has treated you unfairly, you should let him know. Your goal is to diffuse the tension and bring about a quick reconciliation. You want to make your relationship with your husband better, not worse. Use childlike anger to bring about laughter and restore communication.

You should use childlike anger when your husband has been unfair to you. You should not express anger towards your husband when he has made a mistake at his job or has forgotten to fulfill one of his household responsibilities. He is human and will fail sometimes at his duties, but you should not point that out to him, those are times when he needs your understanding and support (just as you would want his).

Childlike anger should be expressed immediately or not at all. Bringing up past hurts is unfair and does little to help your relationship. Pray about it and move on.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Coffee, Germany, Tears,and Heels {AMT & WIWS}

1. Are you becoming your mother?

No. My mother did not raise me. I wrote about our relationship here. My grandmother raised me, but it was not a happy situation. I wrote about my grandmother on Friday. 

2. Coffee or tea?


I love a fresh, hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I like my coffee strong. Sometimes I drink it black and sometimes I add a splash of half and half.  

I like tea in the evenings. I enjoy a cup of Bigelow Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea before bed most nights. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

What I Learned From My Grandmother {7 Quick Takes}

I grew up in my grandparents' home. My relationship with my grandmother was hard at best. As a child, I knew that she did not care much for me because she told me so regularly. As an adult, I now know that my grandmother suffered from depression. At times it was mild, at other times is was severe, but I believe that she always suffered from it. After I grew up and left my grandparents' home, I forgave my grandmother for the unkindness she showed me, and we built a friendly relationship. She seemed to enjoy visiting with me and my children often, and many times we went out for breakfast. Our relationship wasn't what some people experience with their grandmothers, but I am thankful for what ours developed into. 

Yesterday morning, my grandmother was taken to the hospital. She has been refusing food and water for several weeks, and her blood pressure dropped very low. I visited her this morning, and she does not look well. It was very hard to see her like that. She has not improved in the last 24 hours, is still refusing food and water, and is unable to speak. I held her hand and stayed with her for a while. I prayed for her. And I thought about the positive things that I have learned from my grandmother

Mom-mom Millie and Ralph, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2014

K5 Learning {a review}

Are you interested in a program that will help raise your child's grades in math and reading? An online program that your child can use independently after school? Or maybe you are a  homeschool parent with a young student that begs for computer time, but you want it to be educational and supplement what your child is  currently learning? K5 Learning may be the perfect program for you and your child.

    K5 Learning is an online program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. It was founded by parents who wanted a quality educational enhancement program for their children to use at home. It is designed to improve reading and math skills. K5 Learning is meant to be used independently by the child. Each lesson is animated with fun graphics. It is perfect for after school and summer supplementation and as enrichment for a homeschool curriculum.
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