We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Monday, November 30, 2009


What he said. Just sayin'.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


OK.  Admittedly this is a weird video.  Any of the videos that are actually her singing...the embeddable feature is disabled.  Go figure. 

That aside, this is a wonderful song. I often push the repeat button so it plays 400 times in a row.  My family likes it when I do that....eh, not so much.  But remember the rule?

Just sayin'.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


The boy can sing.  Just sayin'.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Song of the Day

So I am going to post a song a day...I am sure you have already guessed this, but in case you haven't....
I LOVELOVELOVE Christmas music
Really, I do.  The rule at my house, starting today,  is if I am home there better be Christmas music on.  

No exceptions.  

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do--this is one of my most favorite songs.  His voice is so smooth and it is like he is singing just to me.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Random Dozen

1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinarily adventurous?
Traditional.  Even though I am married to a scientist, I am not allowed to experiment with his holiday meal.

2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.")
I am thankful for my children and the laughter that happens whenever we are together.
3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for.
I am thankful for finding joy everyday in little things.

4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.
Last year, I made a pumpkin cheesecake from a recipe I found here.  Suffice it to say that it took a number adults to get it out of the pan--several who sport college degrees--and it, um, wasn't worth getting out of the pan.  Oh, and the best part is that it got 'stored' in the refrigerator in the garage....until Christmas.  I didn't serve it at Christmas.  Really.

5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year?
My Uncle Tom will fall asleep and snore so loud that the game on TV cannot be heard.  But he wasn't sleeping, really, he wasn't.
6. Do your pets get any left-overs?
Um.  Maybe.  

7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying?
We pray in a standing circle while joining hands. The same prayer that is said at the beginning of all of our meals....and the same prayer that our family will be praying in far away places like KC, Austin and St. Louis. 

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing?
Football.  And board games.

9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing?
Gag with me with the potato spoon.

10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving?

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying?
Cherry and pumpkin.

12. Do you feel for the turkey??
No.  This is what he was born to do.  It's fulfilling his mothers' dream for him on the day he was born.  

(This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Am Thankful....

I am thankful for children who can play Monopoly for hours and hours and hours without going to a throw down....

I am thankful for friends who are family....And still keep showing up.

I am thankful that I knew enough to say yes when he asked.

I am thankful for this life we have created...for all the times we have had and have yet to have....for the lessons we have shared and have yet to share....I am thankful.

I am thankful for gifts from the deepest depth my mother-in-laws heart.

I am thankful for the thousands of pictures of my favorite brother.  And I do mean thousands. 

I am thankful for the land of the free....

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Casting Off

This was my grown up book club read for November.  At first, I was skeptical.  My favorite 15 year old daughter had picked up the book in early October (she was desperate for something, anything to read) and read it for about 50 pages and returned it to the book stack with a very disgusted, "STUPID!"

But about 4 days before book club, I pulled it out and started reading.  Oh my goodness.  I very much enjoyed this journey. 

Set in Ireland, one of my favorite 'book' places, it's just a nice little story.  I tabbed several passages that really hit me....this is one of my most favorite:

"Love sets free and binds, all at once.  For the parent, love is binding.  
Many freedoms are given up--choices are limited.  
Out of love and respect for the child's needs, 
no parent can do just what they want to at all times.  
A parent always is bound to the child, don't you think?  
But a child must be set free to choose her life.  That is what it is to have a child.  
Sometimes parents think that they have children to 
teach the children something.  
Children are given by the Lord as lessons for the parents--the greatest lesson of love.  
And what do you suppose that lesson of love is?

To be bound but to let go."
--dickson, page 185

To be bound but to let go.  Oh. My.  Just sayin'.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Random Dozen

This looks kind of neat...so here we go....

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?
Yeah.  Right.  Walking upright is a real challenge for me.  But wouldn't it be cool to learn to surf?

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?
Research, baby, research. 

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?
Renae Tenth.  Icky.  Can you say adult movie queen?  

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?
Mmmm...hard one.  I lovelovelove food and I lovelovelove music.  I guess I choose music because I can sing in my head but I can't eat in my head.  Warm starch with melted dairy, anyone?

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?

6. Your favorite tree is?
A Christmas tree.  I love Christmas.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you?
7.9ish.  I am pretty good.  

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?
Questions?  My favorite game.  What if?  How come?  Why?  It has earned me the label of troublemaker.  Someone has to do it.  If you don't ever ask questions, how do you learn anything?

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?
I like to think of myself as a koala.  I think that kids I have taught would tell you that I am not nearly as tough as I seem on the outside.  A kindergarten hand in mine melts my heart.  A smile from a middle school girl makes me feel bubbly.  A high five from a high school boy makes me smile deep.  But I think that many adults would say that I am a cat. 

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?
Mmmm....not so much.  But I know where they are if I need them and they know where I am if they need me.  

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?
I choose the regular line.  I learn a lot about life waiting in line.  Just sayin'.

If you'd like to see other answers to these questions, visit Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Show Up, Step Up and Step Out

Oh. My. Goodness.  Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto gave the homily at last night's mass for 20,000+ youth at the closing night of NCYC.  We could view the live stream and caught most of his homily.  Coach took some notes...and suffice it to say, Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto caught our attention and we hope he caught the attention of our kids.

He provided a copy of his homily and it has been reprinted here.  Take the time to read it. 

Really.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cool Pics...

Here are a couple of pics that I borrowed from http://www.catholickey.blogspot.com/.....

This is from yesterday at the Eucharistic Parade...our son actually held his phone up and sent us  a shot of this parade...he texted his dad that there were just as many people in front of him as there were behind him!


Imagine the surprise we had when we were looking at these photos and we realized our kids were in the picture!  It's those shirts....what an awesome idea someone had when they purchased them for the kids!!  If you click on the picture, it should enlarge and you can actually see people we know--Frick is in the picture to right...not the farthest to the right but the next kid in!

How cool is that!  Just sayin'.

Friday, November 20, 2009


So my kids are in KC at the National Catholic Youth Conference with like 20,000 other kids from across the United States.  They are a part of 1,000 kids that traveled from our diocese.  We can see the live stream of the evening speakers and music. 


It is awesome.  And that is an understatement.  I can only imagine how awesome it is in person. 

Here is something I took away from tonight's speaker....

Forget About Me I Love YOU.....FAMILY. 

Just sayin'.


So I am back.  And I am still overwhelmed.  Not really sure what has gone on to overwhelm me.

See this?  This is fat.  This is bacon fat from 2 pounds of bacon.  No wonder my stomach hurt.  Not to mention why my butt is so big and getting bigger.  Can you say bring me more?

Can you say ninja moves?  Frick and Frack are gone and College Girl will be home alone with her parents for the weekend.  There will be no ninja moves from her dad or I.

I miss summer colors.

Don't you love these shoes?  You must admit that this is a pretty good shot.  Pavement, leaves...good color. 

Roses in November.  Seriously.  And this wasn't the only one.

I love Christmas.  I can hardly wait to get out our decorations out NEXT Friday.  See that Christmas tree?  I lovedlovedloved that Christmas tree.  We had this awesome color wheel that sat near it and reflected upon the tree.  I could sit for hours and hours and watch it.  Plus, was I not the cutest thing you have ever seen?  How about that bow?  Honestly, this is one of my favorite childhood pictures.  I just look so....well, happy.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I know...I am missing in action. And this is how I feel....

I am seized by opportunity.....just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

It's Veteran's Day.  

Thanks, Grandpa. 

You know what to do...just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maxine. Michael.

So why not spend your evening dancing with this guy:

Rumor on the street is that he is going to be on Dancing With the Stars TONIGHT.

I will be unavailable from 8 to 9.  Just sayin'.

Monday, November 9, 2009


So it's Monday.  The moon was gorgeous again this morning on my walk.  The wind, not so much.  Just a little sharp from the north.  But the company was good and I feel like I can make it through what is shaping up to be a very busy Monday.

Yesterday we spent about an hour taking some family pictures.  My son has an absolutely rockin' camera, so we hoisted it upon a tripod and set off for some shots around town.  It went like it always goes..only this time there wasn't any yellingcussingscreaming from anyone.  Not even me.

This is my favorite shot of the day:

You can only imagine the gagging and eye rolling that this suggestion received.  Dang kids.  And some comments that cannot be printed since the Grandmothers read on a regular basis.  Dang kids.

Here is another of my favorites...I took this one:

It's a leaf angel....the entire yard was raked free of leaves on Saturday.  Sunday about noon?  Covered in leaves...probably twice as many as were raked on Saturday.

I also loved this shot:

This boy loves photography and I love watching him enjoy life.  He didn't think his subjects were so enjoyable...they were onery stinkpots.  Darn mom and dad.

And the shoot wouldn't be complete without at least one of these shots:

Oh College Girl.  At least her eyes are open in this shot....

Have a spectacularly wonderful Monday.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Believe

I believe that things things happen for a reason. I believe that friends who become family and love you anyway are a wonderful gift. I believe a clean house is overrated.

I believe meatloaf has healing powers. Especially when that meatloaf is made with love by my children. And ketchup becomes fake blood and laughter fills the kitchen.

I believe that this rotting pumpkin will sit on my front porch until I find a shovel to pick it up and throw it away. Or it dissolves into a lump of rotting pumpkin flesh.

I believe that hard work and perseverance pay off every time.  No matter what.

I believe that these girls love this boy more than anything in the world. Why do sisters love brothers so much? I believe that when God entrusted these 3 gifts to me, He gave me the gift of a lifetime. Does life get any better than this?

I believe in goofballs.

I believe that little boys, grandpas and 4-wheelers go together.

I believe I live in the most wonderful place on Earth.

I believe that the laughter of my children can heal hearts.

I believe seeing my children do things they love is an awesome experience.

I believe that this girl is gonna make a fantastic grown-up. I believe that she will choose the right nursing home for her father and I. With the help of her brother and sister. Especially her sister.

I believe that love between a parent and a child is a love like no other.

I believe still waters run deep. I believe I am the most blessed person on earth. I believe if you are lucky enough to have this man in your life, I believe you are also very blessed.

I believe that time heals all wounds. Some wounds take more time than others....and some wounds, well there isn't ever enough time.

I believe that this woman who gave me the gift of life is the smartest person in the whole wide world.

I believe. Just sayin'.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Food on Friday

For real. No lie. I know.

I actually have something that I can share...it didn't come from a box or a restaurant.

But it didn't come from me, either.

This is a specialty of the Husband. He usually pulls it out a couple of times in the fall when a really great friend waits until we aren't home and leaves bags and bags of apples just inside our back door. This year--no apples. He is still our friend but his trees didn't produce any apples.

Last week one of the sweetest grandmas I know was subbing in my building and she mentioned that someone had dropped off pears--lots of pears-- at her house. Why, yes, I'd love some pears.

Insert Pear Crisp. And my lovely husband who made it after dinner last night. It was a treat on a Thursday evening after a long week. Thanks, honey. He also gave us this wisdom last night...."Some people add water to the bucket of life and some people pull water out."

For a 9x13 glass dish...this is what you will need:

Fruit Crisp
(as sort of found in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook)
Pears...peeled and sliced.
(How many? Um..until you have enough in your dish)
1/2 cup white sugar...shake of cinnamon and a squirt of vanilla
Cover the pears with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
Set aside.

In a bowl, mix the following ingredients:
2 cups of old fashioned oats
2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of real live butter

Get your favorite 15 year old daughter to peel pears.

Mix by hand. He just sticks his hands and goes. I would use a pastry cutter. Or a potato masher. Maybe you call it a ricer. But I wouldn't stick my hands in there. Nope. No way.

It will resemble coarse crumbs when it is ready. You know, like the coarse crumbs on my dining room floor. Also known as acorns that the dog brings in and proceeds to crunch up and drop through out the house. Bad dog.

We are missing pictures of a few steps. My bad. I got distracted talking on the phone to my mother. Use your imagination....pears on bottom, topping covering them. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes...but remember 1954 pink oven...yours might be slightly different.

You will know it is done because the edges will get all bubbly and brownish colored. Let is sit for about 15 minutes before you attempt to eat it. Really. Trust me on this one.

This was spectacularly tasty warm...but it was wonderfully delish this morning with my coffee.

Everyone should have a husband who can make treats like this...Just Sayin'.

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17