Thursday, February 28, 2008

It begins...

Jonathan began learning about coins and their value in school this week. Last night I found this note on my refrigerator.
I'm afraid to think what the demands will be once he starts to learn about dollars. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New favorite book

We have a new favorite book Dr. Suess book in our house. It is Horton Hears a Who. Somehow I missed this one in my childhood, or at least I don't remember it. But, it really is a sweet book and has a surprisingly pro-life message, though I don't know if that is what Dr. Suess was intending.

Horton Hears a Who is a story about Horton the elephant who discovers a tiny people called Whos that are too small to be seen and live on a speck of dust. Horton can hear their little voices, but none of the other animals can and they ridicule Horton for believing in their existence and try to destroy the speck of dust and all of the Whos. Horton tries over and over again to prove to the other animals that the Whos truly do exist and tells them repeatedly that, "A person's a person, no matter how small." You'll have to read the book to see if Horton can save the day!

But, I love Horton's mantra, "A person's a person, no matter how small." How I wish our world could learn the truth of that message!

The other day I saw a trailer on TV for a new movie of Horton Hears a Who. It has some big name stars and I hope the movie makers are true to the message of the book. We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A bouquet of tulips

Friday was a beautiful sunny day. The kind of day where if a mommy didn't take her kiddos outside, she should be arrested. So, I plopped Gustin in the stroller and Elizabeth hopped on her tricycle and off we went around the block. As we were walking along, I noticed something that made me stop short. There in one of my neighbor's flower beds were some absolutely breathtaking tulips. I don't know what it is about tulips. They are just so beautiful and perfect. And, while they are gorgeous in flower arrangements and whatnot, they seem so much more spectacular when you come across them unexpectedly in a very mundane location. They didn't seem to belong on our suburban street in the flower bed of a very average house with a few weeds happily growing nearby. They seemed to be a gift of beauty sent directly from God because only He could create such perfection and stir such joy in my heart.

On another note, at times I've been feeling a little overwhelmed and down lately. Presidential election years are not my favorite. I detest all the ads and debates and mudslinging and promises that are impossible to keep and media attention on candidates that don't stand for one single thing that I believe in. I'm worried about who will be elected to lead our country in a few short months and the consequences that will follow over the next four years. There just seems to be so much evil and turmoil and misguided people in the world today. How will the faithful few possibly turn it all around?

And, then the Lord gives my spirits a boost with a small blessing such as those beautiful tulips. He's reminding me that He is always here, He will never abandon us. He may not be obvious. He won't be in the blaring TV ads or the multitude of political flyers in the mailbox or on the evening news. He isn't using fame or millions of dollars or celebrities to deliver his message. Instead He relies on the simple beauties of life to remind us that He is always here, He loves us, He will help us overcome any trial and survive any dark times.

So, today I will try to be a bouquet of tulips in someone else's life. Today I will focus on being a mirror of God's love, shining like into the darkness. Maybe today I can help change the world.

OK, this will not do...

blog readability test

Surely my writing ability is not this pathetic. Let's see if I can improve this situation.


blog readability test

Ugh. That didn't really help that much. I'll just keep to myself how much time I wasted trying to come up with those words and how to spell them. Maybe I should just see this as a lesson in humility!

h/t: Christine

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring has sprung!

I know it seems early, it does to me too, even for Texas. When I started noticing a few trees blooming a week or two ago I was in denial. Surely those trees were confused and they didn't really mean to be blooming. I mean, a tree across the street from our house just had its leaves turn yellow and fall about a month ago. Nature doesn't seem to know what season it is. But, the more I look, the more nature keeps telling me that spring is indeed here.

Bushes are blooming everywhere as are the red buds, magnolias (the ones with the lavender blooms, they're really pretty) and my azaleas.
The trees are also starting to leaf out and I'm sure our car will soon be covered in dusty, yellow pine pollen.

We're still enjoying the produce of our "winter" garden (I use that word in the loosest sense of the term). My fingers are itching to get our "real" garden put in, but its really too early for that. Eric bought a couple of tomato plants last weekend. We planted them in containers so we can bring them in if it gets cold. They even already have blooms on them!
We've got a rainy day ahead of us here today. I guess in this part of the world it's February showers bring spring flowers. But, that doesn't have quite the right ring to it, does it?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

President's Day Zoo Trip

Jonathan had President's Day off from school this week and, for some reason, so did Eric. He's never had that holiday off before, but I'll take it! So, we decided to take a trip into the city to the zoo. The weather was beautiful with bright, sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s. We had a great time and I'm so glad we took advantage of the opportunity. Here's some pictures from our day.

Here are the "big kids" all ready to go.
They really enjoyed the sea lion show and here the kids and Daddy are watching them swim and jump up in the air. Notice Eric is wearing his straw cowboy hat. Even in Texas, he stuck out like a sore thumb with it on. But, at least he was easy to find in the crowds. It was like a big white beacon on top of his head.
Even Gustin enjoyed the zoo. Here he is mesmerized at a giant fish tank.
Elizabeth's favorite animals were the baby giraffes. Even the babies were taller than me!
The baby elephant was also a big hit. He was so cute playing with this big red ball.
I don't know if you can tell, but the orangutan just sat there looking at the crowd with a big grin on his face. I had the feeling that he was laughing at all of us.
I'm so glad that our household is finally all healthy so that we could enjoy a day like this. I've been saying prayers of thanksgiving constantly over the last week. I hope I never forget how blessed we are and that I never again take good health for granted.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

As if I didn't know already

Jonathan: Mommy, this house is a mess. Everything is messy. You need to organize. I know how to organize. We need to make a list of all the things that need to be organized. I'm good at organizing. I can see one, two, three . . . eight things that need to go on the list. Here, Mommy, I'll help you make a list. I know how to organize. You need to do something about all this mess. I'm good at organizing, I'll show you how to do it.

Unfortunately he seems to be all talk and little action. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Book meme

I was tagged by Christine at Good Company to do a book meme.

Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people. (Why is it always 5?)

Here it goes from Christopher West's Theology of the Body for Beginners...

In the new evangelization, we need to be able to walk into fraternity parties where people are getting drunk and seeking illicit sex and say, "Do you know what you really want here? You want the Eucharist and marriage, and the Catholic Church has them in their fullness."

Once again I'm inserting a bit of humor. But again, I'm also serious. Behind every sin, behind every disordered "acting out," there's a genuine human desire that's meant to be fulfilled through Christ and his Church.

Christopher West really is the best at explaining JPII's Theology of the Body in language that we all can understand.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

He's nine months old!

My baby is nine months old today! He's all healthy now and as busy as can be.
Sometimes he seems so grown up to me, almost like a little boy.
And, at other times he still seems so little.
One thing is for sure, it's getting hard to keep up with him! He's pulling up and starting to cruise along everything.
He's even big enough to steal toys instead of just being the one from whom toys are stolen.
And, he's highly adept at finding remotes, cordless phones, and cell phones to chew on. What is it with babies and remote controls?
Happy nine months, baby boy! You are such a joy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My husband is the best!

Yesterday morning after we all woke up, Eric told me to get the kids dressed because he had a surprise planned for us. I've finally learned to not pepper him with questions when he makes statements like that, so I busied myself getting us all dressed. He then took us to McDonald's for breakfast (something we never do, so it was a big deal for the kids) and after that we started driving toward the city. On the way he handed me a letter that he had written that morning while I was getting some "beauty rest." It was a beautiful letter reminiscing over the almost eight years of our marriage (our anniversary is next month). Here's part of the letter that explained what we were on our way to do:

For each year of our marriage, you get one chair. For the beautiful family that you nurture, you get one table.

I believe that we have been blessed in many ways; health, hope, joy in living our vocations. I also believe that we will continue to be blessed in the love and time we share around your new table.

So, yesterday I got to shop for the first piece of furniture that we have ever bought! A brand new kitchen table! I'm so so so excited! Our house is mainly outfitted with hand-me-downs, left over cheap college furniture, flea market finds, a couple of cheap pieces from IKEA, and even some old office furniture that the company Eric works for auctioned off. The only thing that we have that is new is a couch that Eric's parents bought for us for a wedding present.

We went to 5 or 6 different stores, dragging the kids along with us. They were real troopers and only complained about every other minute. :) We didn't buy anything yet. I am a very slow and careful shopper (Eric knows this about me which is why he's having me start shopping a whole month before our anniversary). We also only want to get something that is very good quality, a piece that will be in our home for the rest of our lives. My favorite so far is this table and chairs from Pottery Barn and it is definitely not cheap! I'm usually very tight with money but Eric said that I'm not supposed to worry about the price. He actually said, "It's my job to make the money and it's your job to get what you like." Can you believe that? How many husbands have actually said that to their wives?!?

So, I'll be spending the rest of the afternoon doing some online comparison shopping. Hopefully I'll be posting a picture of our brand new kitchen table very soon!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Can any of you homeschoolers recommend a good pre-K workbook? Elizabeth found some old ones of Jonathan's and she is very excited about tracing letters, matching pictures, etc. even though most of the pages are done already. I got the ones I have from the bookstore because it was the most convenient, but this time I'd like to find some better resources.

So, any recommendations?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

On the mend

I'm over my case of the flu now and Gustin is improving. He's definitely been having a harder time than I have, but hopefully in the next day or two he will be back to 100%.

But, at least we are feeling well enough to enjoy Superbowl Sunday. We're planning on grilling some hamburgers and making guacamole and hopefully it will be a good game.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone! Our prayers today have been those of thanksgiving for the return of good health to our household and for the same to happen for friends that are also dealing with illness. God bless you!