Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Climber

Since Charlie was around 8 months old, he's been a climber. Step ladders, bunk bed ladders - just to name a couple. Here are the 'fruits of his labor' a few weeks ago:He even began to go over the top of it! Daddy to the rescue - Mommy's rescue, that is. Charlie could care less. Not a nervous bone in his body - although the picture does kind of reflect a bit of uncertainty.

I simply LOVE his expression in this picture!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Something else to post!!

I was totally getting sick of looking at that post but yet had zilch in mind to post about. Do you know that feeling?

So here are some pictures of Kayla's cake. I am NOT a cake maker by any stretch of the imagination. In my head I have great ideas and think, "Oh, that'll be cool and it'll turn out great!"... then I begin frosting and.... not so great. It turned out fine though. The important thing is that Kayla really loved it!

after the candles were blown out, Charlie scooped up some icing!

The holes in the '8' are actually stars. You can see the stars which were cut out around the cake.

Have a good day!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama's Economic Advisor

This is just the beginning folks!

All Grown Up!

The one who made me a mother for the first time is 18 today! 18? I was JUST 18. It doesn't seem possible that our outgoing, beautiful, witty little girl has reached this age this fast! She is an amazing young woman and an inspiration to me. God has blessed her with so many wonderful gifts... it's truly amazing what she can accomplish. In any creative venue she is truly talented. An awesome singer, pianist, artist, writer... the list goes on and on. There are so many great qualities she possesses that I wish I had. A complete work of favorite picture of these shots, above

Kayla, may God bless you today and always. I pray for you always. And I love you so much Sweet Pea!

HApPy BiRThDaY!!!

Friendly Gift

A Catholic Notebook gave me this award. Thank you kindly!

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

So I will pass this Friends Award onto these fine friends...

Sara - Regina - Jessica - Megan - Vicki - Danette - Laura - and last, but certainly not least Paula!


When a seasoned potty-goer asks for help to pull up his underwear and pants after using the facilities, and his mother tells him that he always does it and that he can do it himself, the mother in this scenerio may need to investigate further.

Seems this particular silly willy put on 4 pairs of underwear!


Regina is the only one who guessed what the questioned picture was on this post. They happen to be snow pea seeds. Aren't they just gorgeous!

The Year... 1917

The Place...Fatima, Portugal.
See for yourself!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fantastic Book!

And we're only half way done with it!

If your kids love to be read to [or even if they don't] you have got to get The Invention of Hugo Cabret! It is AWESOME [high-pitched singing voice]!!!

It has you immediately captivated. The pictures tell part of the story - sometimes there are just a few pages of pictures showing you what is going on. When I began reading it Sophia asked me as I flipped the pages one after the other, "Are there words in this book?"!!

The girls just don't want me to stop reading at night. And frankly, neither do I. But we must sleep. And we must savor it!

And on the Fourth Day...

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday struck down the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information — an inflammatory policy that has bounced in and out of law for the past quarter-century. Obama's executive order, the latest in an aggressive first week reversing contentious Bush policies, was warmly welcomed by liberal groups and denounced by abortion rights foes.

The ban has been a political football between Democratic and Republican administrations since GOP President Ronald Reagan first adopted it 1984. Democrat Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but Republican George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

A White House spokesman, Bill Burton, said Obama signed the executive order, without coverage by the media, late on Friday afternoon. The abortion measure is a highly emotional one for many people, and the quiet signing was in contrast to the televised coverage of Obama's Wednesday announcement on ethics rules and Thursday signing of orders on closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and banning torture in the questioning of terror suspects. Read more...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What am I?

Here's a hint: Paul is giving it away again!
answer: it's beer
you'll notice paul giving it away [unbeknownst to him] in the picture belowcan you figure out what this magnified image is?
and, cheaters, try to refrain from...cheating.
you know who you are.
and just so everyone knows who you are....
In the words of Bugs Bunny:
Ain't I a stinker?

Beautiful Gifts

I saw this at Christine's and just beamed with joy for this dear family. They adopted 2 boys from Liberia and just met them a few days ago.

You've just got to see the video which one of their friends put together for them. Simply a beautiful gift. Seeing the anticipation of Ginny waiting to meet her beautiful gifts!


What am I?

Answer: Plastic Gauze [ie. bandage] turn your computer screen upside down for the answer
that was a joke. you can put your monitor back down.
i'll give the answer later.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Camera Happy Daddy

The Boys...
I love how Joseph has both eyes closed...and then there's Mike Wazowski

Charlie Horse with his goose egg

Bye Bye Boob Tube

We're now counting down until we have the satellite dish shut off.

We're trying to cut corners where we can.

I'll miss it to occupy the littles while I'm trying to make dinner. We love/d the DVR for this reason. We had Tom and Jerry recorded - that was always a quick fix for me to get things done. Awful but helpful!

I suppose one of the benefits is that we can focus on family a bit more. Not that we don't anyways, but this is going to kind of force different avenues on which to entertain and be entertained!

It's all good.


I received this "Lovely Award" from Paula. THANKS PAULA!!
So I'll pass it on to three people as she did...

Christine, Sara, and Regan - they have wonderful ~and ever so lovely~ blogs!

Chicken on the Beach

South Beach diet, that is.

I wanted to post these 2 delicious chicken recipes for Phase 1. I know I've got some South Beach girls out there who would appreciate some variety with chicken.

Let me preface the posting of these recipes by stating that our kids love these too! That's always a plus in my book.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese

4 tsps olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch of spinach (1/2 lb)
4 boneless skinless chkn breasts
4 oz. low-fat goat cheese
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 tsps of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted and liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate. Wipe skillet dry with paper towels.

Beginning at the thickest part of the breast, cut a pocket into it leaving an inch border on three sides. Open each pocket, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then fill with goat cheese and spinach. Seal with 2 toothpicks and season the soutside with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until juices run clear, about 8 minutes.


This one I revised a bit for our large family. Instead of cutting a pocket into the breasts, I fileted them [cut them in half length-wise] and put the 'stuff' on top of each piece and then rolled them up - securing them with tootpicks.

Do you know what these are? I think they are pretty.

Ginger Chicken with Snow Pea Salad

1 pound snow peas, strings removed
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp canola oil, divided
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 scallions, sliced
2 tsp dark sesame oil

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and water. Boil snow peas for 2 minutes, drain, and place in ice water for 1 minute to chill. Drain and pat dry.

Combine 2 tsp of the canola oil, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, and ginger in a shallow bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Heat remaining canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden and no longer pink inside, 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice.

Combine peas, scallions, sesame oil, and remaining soy sauce in a mixing bowl; toss together. Serve pea salad with chicken.


Whatever you do, don't skimp on the sesame oil. That and the ginger make this dish! It is such a light and flavorful dish. I can't say enough great things about this one. I've also used sugar snap peas for this one.

TIP: to peel ginger scrape it with the edge of a spoon. It works wonderfully!

If you make these, I'd love to know what you thought about them!
To make it easier when I see a recipe on someones blog, I just copy and paste it in my Word.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's for Dinner...

It's pretty difficult to find Phase one meatless dishes for Fridays - so this is going on our table tonight. For Paul's sake, I hope it's edible - actually I hope it's wonderful, but edible will do ;)

See, Sara, the trick is to cut the spaghetti squash in half before cooking in the microwave! LOL!

UPDATE: It wasn't wonderful. It wasn't even really good. To me it was edible. To Paul... not so much. ::sigh:: Sorry Honey, I tried. I tried all that flavor. I vowed to never make spaghetti squash for Paul again!


Well, temperatures are climbing here in ATL. It was a mere 10 degrees when I got up this morning. By mid-morning it was 18 and now it's up to 27. I suppose one plus is that at least it's not windy - it's deceivingly beautiful and sunny. I wouldn't mind some snow when it gets down this low. At least the kids would be outside playing in it!

Interview! Meme

So there's this interview meme going around. I saw this at Paula's place and asked her to interview me. She was very kind and gentle with her questions, IMO. So thanks Paula! Good questions too ;)

Here are the instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

1. Do you consider yourself an activist? No, I'm too much of a wimp. Either that or I'm too busy. I can post anything on my blog for or against something, but

2. Why did you chose the blog name you have? (btw, thank you for not changing 15 times like r does) When I first launched the blog some of you may rmbr that I chose "Our Party of Nine" - I liked it but let's face it... that could be a matter of time before that would need to be changed. We had a Catholic family conference here 2 - 3 summers ago and Rita Munn from CHC spoke about "The Keeper of the Keys" with a basic description with which mine is based.

3. I know you love the same type of movies that I do. What is your favorite-of-all-time-movie and why? The first one that always comes to mind as a favorite is, of course, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

4. You have a great relationship with your sister (the Nun!). Have you always been close? She's not a nun yet, it'll be about 10yrs before she professes final vows, but....... no. I wouldn't say we weren't close growing up when I was at home, but there are 6.5yrs btwn us. I rmbr one time when I was in H.S. I thought, "I really should do something with Karen. Maybe we'll go to a movie." So I asked her - I think it was the happiest day of her life so far - and we went to see The Flight of the Navigator.

5. If you had an entire day to yourself, no husband or kids, how would you spend it? Gosh, just ONE day? I should probably clean, but naw. I'm not into self-maintainance-type stuff [ie. spas] - so I don't know? Maybe go shop? With money we don't have ;)

If you'd like to have 5 questions asked of you... just rmbr to leave a comment and say "Interview Me!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bobby Pin Recycler

You know when you use a bobby pin and it bends open a bit after one use - two if you're lucky? What do you do with it? You can't use it again for your hair. I used to just trash them.

Not anymore!

I figured - just the other day, mind you - why not just bend them back?

I took a pair of small pliers [I used the kind for beading/jewelry] and just applied a bit a pressure just above the bottom - where its bend is out of shape. It worked like a charm! And I was excited!

This may be common knowledge - especially among all those ballerinas - but it never crossed my mind before last week.

So. There you go.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Can You Guess?

What I got at Wal-Mart tonight?

It ain't purdy... but it's mine ;)

Thanks to inspiration from many bloggin' buds - one in particular - and YouTube, this is what happened at my fingertips.

I seem to fumble with those needle-do-hickies. And it's quite frustrating when a loop accidentally slips off! Arg!

This is my very first attempt at knitting. I also bought a crochet needle.

Knock, Knock, Knock...

... is this thing on?

Out of the Mouth...

... of Joseph [the 3yo]

I was showing Joseph a picture of the Holy Father -- whom is on the front cover of our diocesan newspaper -- and asked him, "Who is that?"

Joseph: Ummm... God?
Me: No...
Joseph: Grandpa?

Peter Schiff predicts Imminent Doom ~

All I can say is WOW [and I'm not talkin' weight loss ;)]

If you watch this video first, make sure to watch the other video in the post below - if you haven't seen either one you may want to start with "Modern Day Prophet" post.

Peter Schiff Was Right - A Modern Day Prophet?

I saw this video on Patrick Madrid's blog [on my sidebar] - where Patrick stated that this guy *is* a prophet.

So if you have an extra 10 mins. check this video out! It's really funny/not so funny how *everyone* thought this guy was CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oh! And Speaking of Pepsiiiiiii...

Seals the deal!

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus ~ R.I.P.

**Father passed away early this morning. May he rest in peace and soon see the glory of God!
This priest needs our prayers as his life here on this earth quickly comes to an end. You may be most familiar with him from watching EWTN - where he frequently reports with Raymond Arroyo at major events; such as at the Vatican or World Youth Day.

I always loved his sense of humor. He and Raymond were so fun to watch!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


why else would i get an email for Hoveround --- so i can "regain my freedom". i move around just fine thank you very much. except for when i get down on the floor with the kids ;)

for clarification purposes, the image on the post below is only a cartoon!
I like the model with the basket.

New Year. New Scale.

Regina started WoW today and I said, "WoW!!!!" today when I looked down at the dreaded scale. I shouldn't have really been that shocked, but I was. Luckily I had started Day 1 yesterday of Phase 1 and was already on the bandwagon, so to speak. So although I was disgusted and shocked I wasn't too depressed, since I had already had the gumption to follow through with my NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION. At any rate, I'd like a new scale. I think mine is broken.

Phase One of SB is tough. ALL sugar is cut out for the first phase [2 wks]. It's funny because the first time I was on this diet life-style change it wasn't too difficult - I don't know why really. But if I had to guess it was because I had read his book and was really pumped up.

The hardest part for me is cutting out alcohol. My habit is to have wine or beer while I cook [we have some awesome dinners! ::wink wink::]... and not only when I cook, but the making-dinner-drink is really part of my routine. So that's hard. Let me define "habit"... ;)

Another difficult part of the first phase is finding snacks to eat. I must admit that the first few days I AM HUNGRY! I need to have food stocked so that I don't starve myself in order to stick to it and also to have a nice variety of snacky items to satisfy that hunger.

I found these snacks while searching yesterday before heading to the grocery store.

So I bought some red and gold peppers
sugar snap peas
tomatoes and grape tomatoes
turkey pepperoni

I know, it's not too exciting, but at least I've got food to snack on during the day.

As an aside - the Kroger brand yogurt - that's pictured on that snack link - is disgusting! The other brand is pretty yummy though.

Paul is OOT until Friday - which is nice when I'm on phase one to be quite honest [sorry Honey, it just is ;)] - so for dinner I had a piece of leftover chicken. I was going to have a salad too when I had an instant thought to check online for a different kind of phase one dressing [I love EVOO and Balsamic vin, but this can get old] and I found a great Southwest Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing* - so I made the chipolte dressing, chopped up the ckn and voila! It was really good. And here is how you can make it...

Her way:
Chipotle Ranch Dressing

(Makes 2 1/2 cups. Recipe created by Kalyn. This will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)

2 cups Ranch Dressing(I use a packet where you add buttermilk and mayonnaise)
1/2 cup salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce Mild)
1/2 tsp. ground Chipotle Chile Poweder (I used Penzeys. If you don't have Chipotle Chile powder, could substitute regular chile powder and a small amount of hot sauce.)

Put salsa in food processor and puree about one minute with steel blade. (Could use a blender or immersion blender.) Add Ranch Dressing and ground Chipotle and process 30 seconds more, or until well combined.

My way:

16 oz. container of low-fat sour cream
1 packet of Hidden Valley mix for dip
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 tsp reg. chile powder
sm splash of Texas Pete hot sauce

Put it all in a bowl and stir, baby!

It was really good and a nice change. Now I'm about to make dessert! Ricotta Mocha stuff.
I know, you're drooling. Sorry, I won't tempt you like that again with all my food choices ;)

An Allrecipes and South Beach marriage - No Way!

Happy dieting, Loser!
* link to recipe

Breakfast and P.E.

Late for school? No worries!

This is something I could foresee 3yo Joseph doing in a few years. YIKES!

Thanks, Chris, for sending this link to me :o)

Speaking of Drinks...

After asking Therese to grab a diet Dr. Pepper for me from the outside fridge....

Therese: Mommy, what's the best drink to have when you're sick?

Me: Ummm. Orange juice or water.

Therese: No. Dr. Pepper!

A girl after 'r's heart! LOL

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


The chicken or the egg?

Monday, January 5, 2009