Friday, December 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Merry Christmas Ed.

1. Merry Christmas!! We have had a very blessed Christmas thus far filled with good food, family, and gifts. I love this time of year. It's only missing one thing: SNOW!! I've spoken about my love for snow before and how it drives all the snow-haters crazy. I'm happy to have some kindred souls around me though in my husband, dog, and SIL Robyn. I can't ever remember a time when we will be ringing in the New Year and still haven't had any significant snow. Worse yet, it has been raining. Cold. icky. rain. I don't want to complain, if this is the worst of my problems, then life sure is good, and life sure is good.

2. Dominic met his 2nd (I believe) cousin on Christmas Eve. We had a great time with my husband's family as always and he got along with his cousin, Jake, wonderfully. That is until he threw a very hard big plastic toy at his head. I was mortified. His mom was so sweet and acted like it wasn't a big deal as she comforted her almost 1 yr old. Jake was a champ, and such a sweetie trying to play with my crazy, rowdy little guy.

 3. We always dress up for Church around here (I wouldn't wear jeans to my wedding after all), but especially so on Christmas. Here is my handsome boys in their Christmas best.
 Funny thing is, last year after Christmas I bought Dominic a cute outfit with Christmas tie on super clearance...and of course, the tie was no where to be found.

4. Even though last year was Doc's first Christmas, this year was the first Christmas he cared to open presents and such. It was so much fun! He caught on quickly. Next thing we know, he was opening everyone else's presents for them.

 5. I had fun decorating for Christmas this year. I am trying to find my own vintage Christmas style. I feel I have ideas and direction now so next year will be even better! Here are our last minute centerpieces made by my wonderful husband from a pine bush in our back yard and some holly from his parent's house down the road. Simple, but I really like it!

 And thanks to some thrift shopping and my creative SIL (well the idea was actually from a blogger she stalks ((well she doesn't really stalk her, she just loves all her ideas))) I now have a miniature pine tree forest. I love it! I think Robyn and I might be taking turns housing this collection. I'm excited for it to grow over the years.

6. Everyone was so generous for Christmas this year (well every year!) Dominic got some great gifts including a Brio train set, drums, some much needed clothing, and the cutest hat in the world (of which I will post pictures when I can convince him to wear it!) I also received some great things. It's funny my husband apologized after I opened one of my gifts from him, a canning kit, for it being a "working" gift. But I LOVE IT! I am a practical gift kinda girl. I mean, I like games and such, but I really like stuff that I will really use often, or that will help me grow. I've been wanting to learn how to can but wouldn't have started the initial investment myself. Thanks sweetie!

 7. Isn't it funny how when I was little, I would sneak candy so my parents wouldn't see me, lest I get in trouble. Now I sneak candy so my son won't see me, lest I have to share with him.

Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year!! Check out Jen for more Quick Takes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Santa Thing

When I was a teenager, I babysat my two cousins a lot. They did not believe in Santa. Why? Because my aunt did not want to lie to her children. I thought it was the stupidest thing ever. I thought she was ruining their childhood and robbing them of belief and magic. It is funny now that I am in the position of having people say the same about me.

First off, none of this is a judgement on what other parents have decided to do. I think holy people of good faith can disagree on this subject; this is just what Geoff and I know to be best for our family.

St. Nicholas was awesome. He was a tremendous miracle worker whom God used to multiply food and even raise 3 children from the dead. He was a very generous Bishop who did much to take care of the poor. This is a Saint that certainly deserves our veneration. His Feast is Dec 6th and will be observed in our house. Christmas however, is (should be) all about Jesus. I think no one would argue that this holy and sacred day has instead become has all about "Santa Claus" and materialism (another blog in itself).

Going to Mass on Christmas is not enough to thank God for the amazing gift of our newborn Savior. The whole day, our whole lives should be lived as a thank you. Christmas is about giving the gifts of ourselves in return to the God who created us, and gave His life for us. It shouldn't be taken so lightly.

Here is where my problem with the whole Santa thing really comes in though. As Christian parents, nothing is more important than getting our children to Heaven and instilling in them the love of God. From a young age we tell them that God exists, that He made them and loves them. They can't see Him (with the exception of people like St. Gerard), or really KNOW He is there, but they believe because the people they know and love more than anything, their parents, tell them it is so. God gives us gifts like virtues and graces, to help us through life's trials. As they get older, society, pagans, and heretics are constantly on the attack, saying God doesn't exist and that one is wasting his or her life living for God. Not to mention the evil one and his minions are constantnly prowling looking for an opportunity to devour the soul. It is going to take a strong faith to withstand that.

On the flip side, we tell our kids Santa is real. He has cool powers and bring them wonderful gifts like trains and dolls, just the thing they really really wanted. He brings them such joy and all the world is his advocate. No one hates Santa, and goes around telling kids he doesn't exist. He is in songs, movies, and commercials that are everywhere for a good two months of the year and is just so jolly and loveable. He gives them gratification now, not the promise of future joy and eternal happiness (which seems so far away).

Now when our children find out the truth about Santa, which is obviously inevitable, I think it stands to reason that most will begin to question deep down, what else their parents have been lying about. It seems to me that the first seeds of doubt about the existance of God will be born in them. I mean, if Santa isn't real, and all of the world is behind him, what then does that say about the God that so many hate?

Now don't get me wrong, it is part of our faith journey (ownership) to question, but not at such a young age. When it really comes down to it, there is a battle going on between life and death for our souls, and the souls of our precious children. I don't want to give the devil any one-ups. I know our children won't be missing out on anything by not believing in Santa Clause, afterall God IS wonder and awe; but instead they have all of Heaven to gain.

Again, this is just what Geoffrey and I know, after prayerful discernment, is the right thing to do in our family. I'm praying our extended families honor that decision. Also I don't think less of people who choose differently; I think kids can be raised to believe in Santa and turn out perfectly holy adults. I believe however that there are enough battles for their soul, why fight a possible big one at a young age when it is completely avoidable? Sorry Santa Clause, you aren't real and my kids will know the TRUTH.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ball Awesomeness

Be warned, these are the tastiest, yummiest things ever. Seriously. Overwhelming deliciousity. If you make them, you will eat half of them, or more. Just to give you an idea of how good they are, I made them for a cookie exchange with my husband's extended family two years ago. Last year, when I made a different cookie, there was nearly a huge revolt and a call for my burning at the stake. They had mercy on me though and trust me this year, I will be bringing these once again.

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Don't worry, I made sure to eat this one after I touched it.


Mix together:
2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cup rice krispies
1lb (3cup) powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Make balls and dip in melted:
 2 (maybe 3) package milk chocolate chips

Put on cookie sheets in fridge to harden. Enjoy.

Makes about 70 balls.

Okay so just to give a few pointers since I've been making these since I was a little child. They are kind of labor intensive. Once you get the powdered sugar in, it is almost impossible to stir. I wash my hands really good and end up using my hands to mix in the rice krispies. I gave a friend the recipe and she used a mixer. She said it turned out good, but I am too afriad to ruin a good thing so I stick with what I know.

Depending on the peanut butter you use, you may have to add more powdered sugar. You will know when you try to make a ball. If it is too sticky, add more. I've always had to add more except this year I used my new favorite peanut butter, Skippy Natural with honey. The recipe worked perfectly. If the balls are too crumbly, add more peanut butter.

The original recipe my mom used called for a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips and a bar of milk chocolate. They are still really good like this, but I prefer just to go all out and use all milk chocolate. Yep that's how I roll. And it seems that no matter how much chocolate I melt, I have to melt more so make sure you have extra on hand.

If you have left over melted chocolate, you can always use it creatively doing something else. That is how a family favorite-chocolate covered BACON!! was born in our house. Also awesomeness.

The double batch I made (140ish balls).
You're very welcome.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm Still Alive

Wow it's been a while since I've blogged. I don't have writer's block, to the contrary I have a million and one things to write about. I even have many almost finished posts. I guess I've just been living life. Not that blogging gets in the way of that but I've been busy. And believe me, life is great.

What exactly have I been up to? Having fun with and treaching Dominic. Playing games with the hubs. Cooking. Making my own cleaning products. Being creative. Having fun with the youth group. Praying. Adoration. Rosaries. Maybe sometime soon I will be able to tell you more indepth about some of these things, but for now there is a lot of living to do.

I'm still here and hopefully will blog again soon, maybe tomorrow or maybe in a few days.

For now all I have to say is, God is good. Have a blessed Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Busy Bags FTW!

In my last post I talked about a Busy Bag swap I recently participated in. I just have to say, best. idea. ever. I never heard of this until a friend invited me but it is pure genius. Here is the low down.

I participated in the 1-2 yr old swap which had 11 people participating. I had to put together an "activity" that a 1-2 yr old might like to do. It had to be clean, easy, cheap, safe and contained in a ziploc bag. I made 11 of this activity, brought it to my friend's house, and we all swapped. So now I have 11 different neat things for Dominic to do! And because I think it is so awesome, and because I love you all, here are the 11 bags I received:

#1. Sparkle Bottles-The first activity consists of three bottles filled with *1-hair gel and glitter *2-water(I think) and glitter, letters, confetti, and other awesome stuff and *3 tissue paper. These are fun to shake and look at.

Dominic has mostly played with them like this:

#2. I Spy Bottle: An old water bottle filled with rice (you can also use sand), and other random items like a paper clip, dime, eraser, etc. Also included was a card with a picture of all the items included. Shake to find item. Fun. Though so far, Dominic has just tried to feverishly open it to dump everything out so it is a good thing it is glued shut. In a few months, he is going to love this.

#3. Cups and balls. This is proably Dominic's favorite thus far. Simple, but the possibilities are endless. 


Of course he is drumming away.

#4. Clothespin Bucket. I spent hours on teh interwebs (Pinterest especially) searching for an idea of what to make. After lots of pins and millions of great ideas, I put all the to waster and just made up my own thing. I chose this because Dominic loves taking stuff out and putting them in again so really I made it for him and hoped others would like it too. Also I had tons of old yogurt/cottage cheese containers sitting around which I wanted to use. I cut three holes in the top just the size of the clothesepins for them to be put back in. This was a really simple thing to do, but then just because I like to be difficult, I decided the containers were ugly so I covered them with scrapbooking paper I had laying around. Woops. Completely unnecessary and took way too long and I highly anticipate all the paper being torn off. Nonetheless, Doc likes this one too.

#5. Sensory Board: This is essentially a book of giant notecards with different textures and fabrics glued to the notecard (there is also a bell and some pom poms). Dominic might be either A. too old for this or B. too destructive. I'm going with b. Certianly saving this for the next baby.

 #6. Animal/Letter Book. Picture and name of an animal on one side, corresponding letter on back side, laminate, attach together.

 #7. Button Snake. This is so cute! You sew a button on one end, put a bunch of pieces of felt on the ribbon with a slit in the middle so they slide on the ribbon. Then sew the ribbon to a piece of felt on the other end.

#8. Pom Pom Push It. Dominic has played with this one a lot too, and it is so simple. I love it. Take a container and make a few holes in the lid. Make sure the holes are smaller than the pom poms so they are a challenge to put through.

The apples are not part of the activity, he is multitasking. :)

#9. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. We haven't gotten to try this yet, but I am so excited to! It was laminate and had the words and pictures: car, fire hydrant, leaves, house, mail truck, school bus, sidewalk, squirel, stop light, stop sign, tree. It also included a crayon so you can check off things when you see them. I might make more of these more catered to our neighbordhood but also can see that this would be good for a car ride (and for years to come).

Sorry about the poor picture.
#10. Bag of Foam Shapes. This is too very simple but great. I like asking him to find the "blue one" or "green one", and the same with shapes. 

#11. Egg Carton. Another favorite in our house. Cut a egg carton in half. Put pom pom inside plastic eggs. Paint corresponding color in each space. Color, motor skills, in and out, this has it all. 

Sometimes we have more than one activity out, and the other day Dominic combined two:

Those five of you who read my blog frequently or know me in person, know that my Dominic sits still for almost nothing. I have found very creative ways to keep him busy with stuff around the house but this just makes it so much easier.

So make them on your own, or organize a busy bag swap among friends (it's much easier to make multiple of just one activity). I'm so grateful to have been part of this and cant wait for the next one! There are TONS of Busy Bag ideas on teh interwebs for the 1-2 or 3-5 age groups. Hopefully this post gives you some good ideas.

And btw if you aren't a recovering gamer like I am, FTW means "For the WIN". This is certainly WIN.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Random Thoughts

*Last night we made homemade pizza. It was super easy since I cheated and used the bread machine to make the crust. I don't mind thin crust but I love me a nice thick one so I made enough for two pan pizzas. Only 55 mins in the bread machine and the dough was ready! Dominic helped me then roll it out (I threw one of them around a little, how could I not!) Dominic was also a big help spreading the sauce and sprinkling the cheese on them. Everything was going perfectly until Doc took a nice big hunk of the yummy fresh mozarella and threw it on the ground proclaiming "GET IT!" to our hovering dog. Yep we've created a monster. The pizza however was DELICIOUS.

*We don't feed Payton at the table, but we do give him our scraps afterwards, so Doc whenever he is done with something will throw it on the ground and yell "Get it!" to Payton. Oh boy.

*Speaking of which, what do people with kids who don't have dogs do? Seriously. Do you people clean up after yourselves??? I shudder at the thought.

*The other day it snowed. I know people hate me for this but, I love it. Even though it was just a dusting, it was the funnest thing ever because it was Dominic's first time really seeing snow (he didn't really pay much attention last year.) He was so excited. We went to bring Payton outside and then it really started coming down and Doc and Payton were both running around going crazy. Pure joy.

I didn't teach him to stick out his tongue to catch the snow, that part my friends is pure, raw, instinct.

*I went to "tupperware" party this morning (I use quotes cause it was really laid back, food, fun, fellowship); it was wonderful! I spent the day with some amazing like-minded Catholic women. It is so nice to have faithful ladies to talk with. Food for the mommy soul.

*At this party we exchanged Busy Bags. Best. Idea. Ever. There were eleven of us who participated so we each came up with an ziploc bag contained activity (for 1-2 yr olds) and made eleven of them. Then we swapped! So I have 11 easy and fun activities to keep my very active won't sit still for nothing boy. We've already broken out a few of them! My next post with be a little more in depth about this and I'll share all the wonderful activities people made.

*Have a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All Saints Day and Eve

We have had a fun last couple days. Despite being a little under the weather with colds. On Saturday, we went to the next town over for Pumpkin Fest. It was cold and rainy, but awesome. Dominic absolutely loved his first parade. He enjoyed waving and saying hi to every single person on the floats that went by and simply loved all the marching bands, fire trucks, ect. I have to say the whole things was quite nostalgic for Geoffrey and I.

We were both in the DHS marching band and marched in the Pumpkin Parade ourselves all those years back. I'm not one to spend too much time thinking about my High School days as I believe the best days are right now and yet to come, but Geoffrey and I did have some fun times in marching band, it is how we met afterall.
Our family enjoying the parade. Photo credit:

And then of course, All Hallows Eve. We took Dominic trick-or-treating for the first time (just to the houses of family members) and it was such blast. Geoffrey said at one point "this is why I had a kid, so I have an excuse to dress up and trick-or-treat again." He cracks me up. Yes we were that crazy family that all dressed up in a matching theme. Love!

If you aren't as much of a Batman fan as we are, Geoffrey was the Joker, Doc was Batman, and I was Harley Quinn (joker's henchman and girlfriend from the game Arkham Asylum). Dominic's Aunt Chrissie knit the super cute Batman hat. It was a little big, which is even better because we will be getting a lot of use out of it as the best winter hat ever for years to come!

The of course the great Feast of All Saints and All Souls. We had some great prayer time as a family, asking for the intercession of our own little Saint, Ellen, and calling on all our patrons. On All Souls we prayed for all of our relatives still in Purgatory, and said special prayers for those we know who passed this year (Nikki and Justin in particular).

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine unto them.
May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

I hope you've had a great week also!

Friday, October 28, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Blessings, Batman, and Bacon

I have some more interesting and challenging posts coming up like my last one. Hopefully I can get them done and widdle down the mountain of "drafts" in my blogger. Anyone else have a bajillion partially written posts?

Now for a few follow up takes on that last post. Firstly, my mom says she is pretty sure I didn't go up for a blessing during Communion time. Though the practice emerged during my grade school years, it wasn't something she agreed with and we remained in the pews. Way to go mom!

Maggie of From The Heart asked a wonderful question about lay people giving blessings. Priests, by virtue of their ordination can do many things lay people cannot. One of those things intended for consecrated hands, is doing blessings of sacramentals, places, and people. When a priest gives a blessing, it is not actually the priest giving the blessing but Christ through Him. This is why it is customary (though few do) to kneel when a priest gives a blessing. In the Mass, the priest is the ordinary minister and is acting in persona Christe and a lay person cannot fulfill this role. This includes giving the blessing which is part of the rite at the end of Mass, not during Communion.

Now her question actually pertained to this beautiful practice. Before bed she gives her son, Joe a blessing. Actually the Church says that in the domestic church (the family) that the father who is the head but also the mother can give a blessing to their children. Something like "May Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless you, my child(ren), for time and eternity, and may this blessing remain forever with you. Amen" To my knowledge, this is the only instance a lay person can do a blessing.

We are so excited All Hallows Eve this year! It is Dominic's first trick-or-treating experience and I can't wait. I am excited for dressing up and all that stuff, but mostly because Geoffrey and I will be doing most of the candy eating. WIN. To feel like we deserve it, and not like we are taking candy from a toddler, we are dressing up as well.

Dominic is going to be Batman, our favorite earthly thing second only to bacon. Though he has no idea who Batman is, it is our job as parents to impose the things we like onto him. I don't ask much, but he must like Batman, and bacon. Actually it wouldn't be terrible if he didn't like bacon, more for me. Just saying.

I am giving a talk at Mass this weekend about our youth apostolate. Please if you have a second, throw a prayer up for me as I am really struggling with what to say.

Thanks and have a great weekend! Oh and check out Jen for more quick takes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Blessings During Communion

I just read this post by Bonnie and thought it a great opportunity to share something I've been thinking about over the past few years, and that is the whole idea of crossing our arms in the communion line to receive a blessing if unable to receive the Blessed Sacrament. First of all, I'd like to say this is in no way an attack on this blogger who is an amazing mom and Catholic (and whose blog I love to read) nor on anyone who does this practice. Her blog post was merely the catalyst for the follwing post by yours truly. And just because we do something and consider it a standard practice, doesn't mean we shouldn't question it. Afterall nowhere in the liturgical guides does it say this should be done and it is NOT part of the rite.

Let me start with this grave abuse: extraordinary ministers cannot and should not be giving blessings. Ever. They are not priests. It happens all the time and is terribly wrong. If it happens in your Parish, it needs to be addressed and corrected. Now that I got that off my chest, I can continue.

I know I learned to cross my arms to get a blessing before I could receive the Eucharist in Catholic school. Priests even teach it, and now my generation is teaching our children that it is proper practice. But I've been praying a lot about this now that I have my own little one and am having serious doubts it is a good thing. I could be wrong, but let me entertain the thought for a second. A blessing from a priest is never a bad thing of course, but the priest gives the final blessing at the end of Mass, therefore it is unneccessary and maybe even liturgically inappropriate to receive one in the Communion line. Furthermore, receiving a blessing is not equal to receiving the Eucharist, we all know this, but to a child or adult who is just learning, I think it might be confusing. I think this practice is something that started because we didn't want our children and non catholics (at weddings and funerals) to feel left out; but does that really foster a belief in the true presence? By just getting the blessing are we ignoring that Jesus is in fact TRULY and FULLY present in the Eucharist? Certainly that is no one's intention but the question we need to ask ourselves is not what is most inclusive, but what is most reverent to the God of the universe, our Lord and Savior. Please don't think I am questioning the reverence of numerous children and adults who receive a blessing each week or day in the Communion line. Like I said, so many priests and teachers have taught us that it is okay. But is it best? Remember Mass is not about us, but about proper and due worship of God.

So what do I propose? Well I think with our little Dominic, we are going to teach him to kneel next to Geoffrey or me and while we receive, and to make a gesture of love and adoration (prostrate, bow his head, blow a kiss, etc.) This way it keeps the focus on the true presence of Jesus and not what we get out of it. Certainly we do get something out of receiving the Eucharist in good faith, but that should not be why we receive Him.

As parents we know how important it is to foster a deep desire for the Eucharist in the hearts of our children. May St Gemma, St Dominic Savio, and St Therese pray for us!

Well I suppose that is all I have to say about this for now. Thank you for reading my thoughts. Before you might get upset, please pray about this for a moment. If you think I am still dumb, forget all about it; but if you feel I might be onto something, ask your priest what he honestly thinks about this practice, and as always through prayerful discernment decide what is best for you and your family. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes: (!!!)

When Dominic woke up from his nap this afternoon, I heard the sweet sound of the marching band! I promptly grabbed Doc, threw a coat on (because let's face it, the days of no coat wearing just might be over for the year), put a leash on Payton, and ran outside. I put Doc in his stroller and hurried 2 blocks over to the high school new middle school. Just when I got there, I saw them all walking in. Doh!!

If you are wondering why I was so excited about the marching band, you must stay tuned for an upcoming post (upcoming sometime meaning in the next year) about how my wonderful husband and I met. Let just say *spoilers* that we met at marching band camp; but don't worry the post is about so much more!

What a cutie! Even though it is getting colder, he still wants to be outside all day. It is a good thing I invested in some tights a couple weeks ago, I have a feeling I will be needing them this fall/winter.

Have you ever noticed (those of you who frequent my little blog) that I am a bit obsessed with parentheses? I use them all.the.time. I just looked up the rules about my favorite little puctuation marks!! Except maybe exclamation points. I way over use them too (like all the time!) What can I say, I am often excited and want you to know it! I also have a lot to clarify. I know I don't aways use them the correct way, but I won't tell my husband (who has an English degree) if you don't. And if you, dear husband are reading this, well, sorry honey!!

Speaking of that wonderful husband of mine, look at this cute picture in which Geoff and "mini-Geoff" are making the same face. lol
I think when I took this picture I told Geoff "don't worry I won't put it on Facebook or anything". Is my blog anything? Woops. Sorry again honey! It was too sweet not to share.
A few more pics from our week:

Today I decided to take a trek back to my childhood (because let's face it, why wouldn't we want to relive the awesome fashion trends of the early '90's) and brought back the side piggytale. What do you think? Cute or weird? Honest opinions now, I don't want to look like a goofy child (says the girl who wore pig tales until college  last week.) Now I can't tell if I am using parentheses just to prove that I over use them or if I am using them as I would naturally. Blarg!

This week was a bit crazy. I was under a weird form of spiritual attack in which I couldn't fall asleep. I was so tired and would lay awake hour, after hour, after hour. After about 3 nights in a row it caught up with me and I was EXHAUSTED. Last night after bedtime prayers, my man sprinkled holy water all over our bedroom. I had a great night of sleep so this might need to be a regular part of our bedtime routine. Perhaps I should start bringing in gallons to be blessed. Here's hoping to a good night tonight! (Which I best get on with!) Night!

For more quick takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our honeymoon

It. Was. Perfect.

We spent our wedding night in our new house (rental), our first together. We were married on a Friday so the next day we had a cookout and close friends and family came over to watch us open presents. Then on Sunday, after Mass, we hit the road for a drive from north central Illinois to northern LP Michigan. We went to Mackinaw Island. Well actually we stayed in Mackinaw city because, well, we are cheap. I don't remember why we decided to go there even, but it was a great decision. We stayed in a nice suite right on the beach. It was beautiful! We had very rigid plans on our honeymoon and it went something like this. Sleep. Be intimate. Eat. Relax! Repeat. We basically just took it easy which was so nice because we worked hard the week of our wedding. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Did I mention our room had a giant jacuzzi?! It was 5 days of fun and relaxation with my new husband and best friend. We went swimming, ate out, went for walks, hiked, enjoyed nature, prayed, napped, and explored Mackinaw Island during Lilac Fest. I loved the old Catholic mission Church on the Island. And of course, because we are such big fans of the American Revolution, Fort Mackinac was awesome; we spent most of our day on the Island there.

The whole Island was like stepping back to a simpler time, and the scenery was breathtaking. One of my favorite parts of the trip though, was actually the time we spent in the car. We drove through Indiana and up Michigan on the way there, and just for fun, we drove a different route home. We took the ferry to the Upper Peninsula and drove down Wisconsin. It was beautiful and we had a great time (8 hours?) chatting, discussing our wedding day, and being silly.

I actually can't find like any pictures from our trip, but we did take lots of video. I have this awesome video I want to share. This was the first day of our honeymoon (other than the day driving before). I love it because it is just us enjoying each other and our surroundings. But mostly I like it because of what happens at 3:49. It's kind of long and maybe boring to those of you who aren't Geoff and Dacia, so if you don't want to watch the whole thing, just start at like 3:45, and listen.

Did you here something? That was my new husband's sacramental wedding ring falling into Lake Michigan! This was our fourth day of marriage, and the second time it was almost lost. The first time was on our wedding night in our bathroom sink. It was a little too big. Woops! Thankfully it didn't get washed away and we found it and promptly broke out into laughter over the hilariosity of it all.

Looking back, I was reflecting on what our Honeymoon meant to our marriage. The Honeymoon now-a-days (yep I'm 28 and just said now-a-days) is often just an expensive vacation. For us, it was so much more. We both lived with our parent's until our wedding night, and though we had our own jobs and were pretty self-sufficient in ways, we largely relied on our parents. This was our first trip on our own, our first hotel room, just the two of us. We made all the decisions together-where to eat, what roads to take, how late to sleep, how far to hike- as husband and wife. It allowed us, though we had been dating for 10 years, to get away from our usual town and surroundings, and to get to know each other in a brand new way. We were the same Geoff and Dacia, but somehow, we were very different. Joined as a covenant by and with our Heavenly Father, two become one flesh. It was a simple and humble honeymoon, a perfect start to our marriage.

Finally, I would be remiss not to say that this trip was funded completely by our friends and family via the dollar dance at our wedding. Not kidding, they were SO generous it paid for the whole thing. Thanks everyone!

I shared this as part of a linky-link. For other great honeymoon stories, check out one of my favorite blogs- Betty Beguiles.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guardian Angel

Yesterday was the feast of the Guardian Angel.
Words cannot describe how loving God is to gives us our Heavenly Guardians.
They keep a constant vigil at our side, from conception until death.
Then if we go to Heaven, we get to meet our sweet Angel
and praise God with them for all eternity.
My Angel has done so much to protect and guide me.
I could never say thank you enough.
Stories for another day.
In the mean time, hear is an old Catholic prayer/hymn
that I put a new melody to.
Guardian Angel From Heaven So Bright
Watching beside me to lead me aright
Fold thy wings round me O guard me with love
Softly sing songs to me Of heav'n above


Beautiful angel My guardian so mild
Tenderly guide me For I am thy Child

Oh may I never forget thou art near
Keeping me ever in love and in fear
Waking and sleeping In labor and rest
In thy sweet keeping my life shall be blest

So long thy power hath blest me
Sure it still will lead me on
'Or more and fen, 'or craig and torrent till the night is gone
And in the morning those angels smile
which I have loved long since and lost awhile

Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Food and Fall

As always, check Jen out!
In Rockford, IL which is about 45 mins from my home, there is a horrific abortion mill. It isn't just a women's clinic or a place where babies are killed, it is truly a den of evil. For years now us pro-lifers in the area have been praying and fasting for it's closing. Priests in the area have also been saying prayers of exorcism over the place. The owner is a man filled with hate and anger for God and His people. My parish in Lent did a 40 Days for Life for the closing of this clinic and many wonderful people are always there praying. Well tonight, there is some great news. The state has shut down this clinic due to many health violations. Hopefully it is permanent, but only time will tell. I wanted to share this news with all of you because so often we don't see the fruits of our prayers. Praise God!

In lighter news, I finally used my bread machine for the first time! We got it as a wedding gift and I always wanted to use it, but I had to run it empty first and just never did that. Well my wonderful husband cleaned and ran it empty for me last week (while I napped with babykins!!) I just cut up our first loaf of whole wheat bread and it smelt and tasted AMAZING.

I'm never buying bread in the store again! It always bothers me when I look at the list of ingredients and it contains a bunch of stuff I've never heard of before. This way I know exactly what I am eating and giving to my husband and child. Plus I save money and it is much tastier! Bi-Winning.

I'm one step closer to never buying any foods in the store that I could easily make myself. I partly blame my farm upbringing and partly blame Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship. Love, Love, Love her site. If you haven't checked it out, do it! There is so much to read so you may want to pencil a few weeks in you calendar to absorb everything.

I also made cinnamon pumkin pancakes for dinner tonight. Yum Yum! I love this time of year. Though I have to say I am mourning the end of my garden. But I think I'm ready to embrace Fall.

Yesterday my family made homemade apple cider with homegrown apples and the ole cider press.
It is so tasty, and always brings back great childhood memories. Thanks to my grandpa and siblings for picking up all the apples!

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I'm in the midst of some intense spiritual warfare. I'm doing my best to keep the evil one at bay and am clining tight to sweet Jesus.  I've been going to adoration at least once a week and even made it to daily Mass today, where Dominic did great! I didn't have to take him out once and it was awesome. The battle rages on and St Michael, and my guardian angel are staying close.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Today it rained all. day. long. I actually kinda like cold rainy days. Dominic and I curled up all warm and attempted to watch a movie. I found Land Before Time V on Netflix (lolz), and since Doc LOOOOVES Dinosaurs I thought it might be a hit. Why I chose #5, I don't know. He liked it, for about 15 minutes or so and then he continued the song he'd been singing all morning long: "Go Wa, Wa". The poor kid wanted to go outside SO badly. I felt bad. I tried to teach him about the rain which was fun, but he didn't understand why he couldn't spend his usual hour or two outside. So here is what our day looked like being stuck inside.

Things Dominic used as a phone: a ball, a dish brush, garlic press, flashlight, MP3 player, and his hand. And I'm sure there where more things that I didn't catch.
He asked to go outside by saying "go wa wa", almost constantly.
Times Doc went bathroom in the potty: 5. Yay Doc!!
He got the hiccups from laughing so hard 4 times.
We played airplane, Doc flew in the air on my feet.
And then he threw up all over my face. and hair.
This has never happened before, I guess I just got a little to rough?
But I kid you not, Doc took one look at me after I was covered in his puke and CRACKED UP.
And he continued laughing as he watched me try and clean myself off.
What a stinker.
We took a glorious 2.5 hr nap.
Dominic helped me wash the dishes.
He ended up doing naked dishes because he just kept spilling water on himself.
We each had 3 wardrobe changes.
Dominic went down his impromtu indoor slide (which is a leaf to our dining room table) to satisfy his thirst for WEEEE.
We ate lots of yummy food-avacado, cheese, bananas, celery & peanut butter, Oberwiese chocolate milk (which is like a mik shake yum yum), and homemade chicken noodle soup.
We did 2 loads of laundry.
Said lots of prayers.
All in all, not bad for a cold rainy day.

Life is good with a little stinker to play with.
I hope you had a wonderful day too.

Playing Rockband with Uncle Corey (yesterday).

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Onomatopoeia

Thanks Jen! for hosting Quick Takes.

Okay so the Suds Fairy didn't come and clean up my dishwasher disaster so I had to take matters into my own hands. The trusty interwebs told me pour 1/2 cup olive oil on the bottom and run the wash cyle. It worked wonderfully! So thankful it wasn't too much of a headache. I went out and bought some dishwasher detergent today and before using it brought it to Geoff and made him confirm that it was in fact dishwasher detergent and not soap; not a mistake I want to make twice.

The same day of the dishwasher disaster I had a visit from a friend from Switzerland! Helen was a foreign exchange student in High School and for a whole year we were great friends. Thanks to Facebook we got back in touch and I was so excited that she was coming to town for a week. It was so nice to catch up with and old friend. Dominic was in rare form and was obsessed with entertaining her and trying to make her laugh. She humored him a lot and we had a great time.

Dominic LOVES talking on the phone and has for quite some time now. Since we don't often let him play with our phones however, he uses anything and everything he can as a phone, sometimes even his hand. Example, last Sunday while I was getting ready for Mass:

Dominic has always been a talker, but it is so fun hearing him say actual words. I love it!! Everyday he says something new. Yesterday during lunch he said "soup", which is no suprise since we looove soup and eat it often. He also loves saying bug, truck, down, juice, and of course Onomatopoeia.

Okay so he may not SAY onomatopoeia but boy does he have the exclamations down. I'll never tire of hearing him say "WHOOAA!" and pointing to the sky when he hears an airplane. Another favorite is "WEEEEEE" which he exclaims whilst swinging, and even seeing a swing. In fact he calls swings and slides "weee".

 Since we have Netflix for TV, Dominic doesn't watch a whole lot of it. He'd would much rather be outside, and would be all day if I let him. Going for walks:
Playing with sticks

Going down the Weeee

Unfortunately I gots important stuff to do inside, like make sudsy messes in the kitchen, so we do have to be inside part of the day. Often when I am cleaning and stuff he helps out. Like when I am washing dishes he rinses the dishes and puts them in the drain board, and then back in the water, and sometimes on the floor. He also helps me put stuff away and cook. When he does get to watch a TV show though, there is only one he loves and asks for by name. Yo Gabba Gabba. I hated this show at first but I have to say it has grown on me. There is a lot of singing and some of the music is tolerable at best, while some of it I really enjoy. Here is my favorite song from guest band The Roots.
Whoa! That wasn't such a quick take. So I will shut it and leave you with a few more cute pics. :)