Wordless Wednesday: My Little Dragon Slayer

My Little Dragon Slayer (Linked here.)

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

SWDB
(You can read other Daybook journal entries here.)

FOR TODAY…June 29, 2010

Outside my window…we are having a thunderstorm. I love to listen to the rain falling and thunderstorms.

I am thankful for…the mercy of God which is always there for us, forgiving us all our sins and foibles. We have only to ask for it!

From the kitchen…I’m trying out a new recipe for Asian-style chicken for supper tonight.

I am wearing…a dark gray, ankle-length skirt, light purple shirt and gray snood.

I am creating…a knitted scarf for a friend of mine. It is a very simple garter stitch pattern but it is taking longer than I expected to finish. I need to crack down and force myself to find the time to get it done! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am readingThe Trial of Faith of St. Therese of Lisieux. (For the second time.) This is a powerful book. Read it a long time ago, and have been wanting to read it again.

I am hoping…my dear husband will find a job soon. He has been unemployed quite a while now and it’s not only hard financially but hard on his self-confidence and spirit as well.

I am hearing…the sounds of laughter as my son plays in his room.

Around the house…I still have pictures that have been waiting to be hung since our move here to GA – three months ago. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ One of these days!

One of my favorite things…is the color purple. I love all shades of purple from light lavender to dark purple, and everything in between!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Home-school (we home-school all year round), time at the pool, kids club this afternoon for son, and client work for me.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…(My “men”)

My men

10 Ways to Make Time for Prayer

clockAs Christian women, we know the importance of making time for prayer. We want to foster our relationship with Jesus and spending time with Him is the only real way to do that. As busy moms, we also know that finding time for prayer can be a challenge. We make excuses. We get caught up in all the details of homeschooling, running our homes and (sometimes) playing chauffeur for our children.

If you want to make prayer a priority but can’t seem to find the time, the trick might be to sneak it in! Here are some tips that have helped me fit prayer into my day:

1. Get up early. Yeah, that can be hard, I know; especially if your young ones are early birds. Until recently, my son would be up between 5:30-6:00am and getting up at 5:00am was HARD. Still, if you can get up even 20 minutes before your children and spend just 15 minutes or so with the Lord in prayer or reading the Bible, you will be amazed at how it can set your day right. You’ll be more focused and prepared for the day and have that extra boost to keep the Lord in your heart during the day.*

2. Make a prayer appointment. We make hair appointments, doctor appointments and all kinds of appointments so why not make a prayer appointment? When you are calendaring your other appointments, blot out a time for prayer each day or at least once a week. If you can leave your child/children with grandparents or mother’s helper for a while even better. Take that time for adoration before our Lord in the Eucharist if your church offers it. **

3. Pray as a family. Praying with your children is an awesome way to not only find time for yourself to pray, but also instill a habit of prayer in your children. It doesn’t have to be long. You can do five minutes of morning devotions before starting school or pray a decade of the rosary after dinner. Let each child take turns leading the prayers each day so that they feel involved.

4. Hide some aspirations around the house. Okay, this might sound silly, but it does help! Write little aspirations (such as “Jesus I trust in You.” or “Sweet Jesus, be my salvation.”) or scripture verses down on sticky notes and post them on the inside of your kitchen cabinets or doors, mirrors or any where around the house where you will see them frequently.

5. Pray while you work. Throw on a rosary DVD while you clean the house or tackle a household project. Or, put on some worship music so you can sing out your prayer to the Lord. (A fun homeschooling project would be to have each kid write his or her own “prayer song” to sing during devotional time.)

6. Exercise. Again, put on some worship music and dance before the Lord! You’ll get in a good workout and pray at the same time. Going for a run or bike ride? Don’t be so quick to put on those headphones. Use that time to pray and chat with our Lord, Our Lady and/or the saints. Lifting weights? Say an aspiration with each repetition.

7. Pray in the car. Going on a long trip? Listen to the Bible on tape for a while. Throw on a DVD of the Divine Mercy Chaplet or worship music while on your way to or from the store, appointments or activities. Dropping the littles off somewhere? Spend a couple of minutes in the car before driving off to your next destination. Picking them up? Get there a few minutes early and sit in silence before the Lord before it’s time to get them.

8. Turn off the TV. Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to plop down in front of the television after a busy day. You want to get off your feet and relax. Why not put off turning the TV on for 30 minutes and work on a bible study or read the Catechism or pray the rosary first? You may change your mind about turning the TV on at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

9. Pray in bed. If he’s willing, take a few minutes to pray with your husband before drifting off to sleep. Having trouble getting to sleep? The cadence of the rosary or divine mercy chaplet is very soothing and easily can put your body and spirit to rest.

10. Join (or form) a mom’s prayer group. Getting together with other moms to pray for and support each other in your journey with the Lord can be an awesome blessing. If there isn’t a group already formed, get a few of your mom friends and see if they are interested. Each mom can take turns hosting or meet at a local park (weather permitting). The kids can play while the moms can pray!

BONUS! 11. Head for the restroom. Hey, sometimes you’ve got to get creative! ๐Ÿ™‚ If all else fails and you’ve been too busy to even think, head for the restroom for a minute or two (even if you don’t have to “go”). Use that time to re-group and re-center In the Lord.

Obviously you can’t (nor should you, necessarily) do all these all day everyday. What’s important is to take time to strengthen your relationship with the Lord so take it slow and experiment with the different suggestions until you find the ones that work for you.

Do you have any creative ways for incorporating prayer into your every day? Do share! I’d love to find new suggestions for growing in my relationship with the Lord.

*If you areย  having difficulty getting up in the morning, you may have to re-think your evenings! Are you going to bed too late? Can you re-arrange things so you can get to bed earlier? Of course, if You are a night person, praying at night instead of the morning will work for you instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

**Another idea would be to do a “kid’s swap” with another mom. You take her kids for an hour or two one day a week and she takes your kids on another day of the week. This is a great way to give both moms a break. (Just try not to cheat and run errands or do other things when you could be praying!)

(This post is linked to WFMW and Top 10 Tuesday.)

(Photo Credit: Dennis Hill and Friends)

Menu Madness: June 27-July 3, 2010

Another week of menus. You’ll find real quick that I’m not so great at coming up with a lot of different, creative menus. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Usually my menus consist of the usual favorites with one or two new ones thrown in. ๐Ÿ™‚ Without further ado:

Breakfasts:

Sunday: Waffles with blueberries, sausage
Monday: Apple and cinnamon oatmeal
Tuesday: Boiled eggs, toast, grapefruit juice
Wednesday: Cereal with banana
Thursday: Granola bars, orange juice
Friday: Raspberry smoothies, bagel
Saturday: Homemade pop tarts, fruit

Lunches:

Sunday: N/A*
Monday: Fruit and cheese platter with crackers
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Tuna salad sandwiches, carrot sticks
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Peanut Butter play dough with raisins, celery sticks, and m&ms
Saturday: N/A*

Suppers:

Sunday: Eggplant Parmesan, salad, Italian bread, chocolate pudding pie (celebrating Father’s day since DH worked last weekend.)
Monday: Beef tacos (lettuce, tomato, and avocado included), ice pops
Tuesday: Asian-style chicken (made with fresh veggies and brown rice instead)
Wednesday: Peas and macaroni, homemade fruit cocktail (with drained maraschino cherries added)
Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with roasted potatoes and roasted veggies, jello
Friday: English muffin pizzas, popcorn (Family game night!)
Saturday: Eating out. ๐Ÿ™‚

*As I’ve said before, we don’t eat lunch on the weekends because we usually have late breakfasts on those days.

What’s on your menu this week? Let us know in the comments!

Our Greatest Weapon: The Rosary

I found this awesome YouTube video over @ A Woman’s Place blog and must share it. It is an absolutely beautiful expose on the beauty and importance of the rosary.

Homemade Window Cleaner

works for me wednesday at we are that family

A long time ago, I found the following homemade Windexยฎ recipe on a blog that is now defunct. It works very well andย  more frugal than paying full price for the original! Not only that, it also makes the house smell so good with the essential oil added. ๐Ÿ™‚

Homemade Window Cleaner

1 Spray Bottle
Rubbing Alcohol
Water
Essential oil, such as Eucalyptus or Rosemary oil

Fill the spray bottle half full with water and half full of the rubbing alcohol. Add 10-12 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Mix gently.ย  Now you can clean your mirrors and windows per usual!

And that’s it for this week’s Works for me Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A Prayer for Fathers

“St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty.
You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands.
Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes.
They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness.
But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother.
Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over him faithfully as you have done.”

– Pope John XXIII

(This and other Catholic prayers can be found at catholic.org)

Menu Madness: June 20-26, 2010

Another week, another menu. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s what I’m planning for the coming week:

Breakfasts:

Sunday: Breakfast casserole
Monday: Oatmeal with raisins
Tuesday: Blueberry pancakes
Wednesday: Cereal with milk and banana
Thursday: Oatmeal with cranberries
Friday: Fruit and yogurt platter
Saturday: Waffles and strawberries

Lunches:

Sunday: N/A
Monday: Ham and cheese sandwiches, green pepper sticks
Tuesday: Chicken salad, fruit cups
Wednesday: Tuna salad, carrot sticks
Thursday: Egg salad sandwiches, broccoli florets
Friday: Broiled tomatoes, avocado salad, crackers
Saturday: N/A

Suppers:

Sunday: Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, brownies*
Monday: Gazpacho (I am doubling the recipe found in “Going Solo in the Kitchen“), crackers
Tuesday: Hamburgers with lettuce and tomatoes, homemade baked french fries, raspberry jello
Wednesday: Angel hair pasta with homemade marinara sauce, garlic bread
Thursday: Turkey pot pie, apple sauce
Friday: Homemade cheese pizza, popcorn (family movie night!)
Saturday: Leftovers

*Michael starts his new job today (thank you Lord!) and has to work this weekend, so we will be celebrating Father’s Day next weekend.

Special Family Time

This weekend we went to visit my husband’s Auntie Ceil who is ill. It was quite a trip being six hours away, but so worth it! My in-laws (father-in-law is Auntie Ceil’s brother) drove down from NJ with my husband’s grandmother who is visitingย  from Italy and Auntie Ceil’s other brother and his wife in their motor home; we drove up from GA.

We had such a wonderful, grace-filled time! Auntie Ceil may be frail, but she is as sharp as can be! Her faith is as strong as can be as well and I am so inspired by her.

Of course, my son was in his glory in getting the undivided attention of all the adults in the house. He even got to stay up until 10pm which is way, way past his bedtime. ๐Ÿ™‚

We talked, shared stories and celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. My husband and in-laws took Andrew to the club-house pool while the others rested or cooked; and I got to read an actual grown up book for a while!

On the way home yesterday, I was so filled with the goodness of the Lord for the gift of family. Living so far from all of our family (mine and my husband’s) is hard sometimes, and having time with them like like we did this weekend makes me realize just how precious they are to me.

I was also convicted. It is so easy to get caught up with daily life that I often don’t take the time I could to stay in touch with my family and friends. I should, and that needs to change. I’m not someone who likes to talk on the phone, but that’s no excuse. The deepened relationships that result from the time invested is so worth it!

Menu Madness: June 13-19, 2010

Well, the menu never got done last week. I was in the process of putting it together when I found out about my cousin; so, although I wrote up an outline, I never got the menu posted.ย  (She’s doing okay, btw.)

We are going to be spending some time with family over the coming weekend, so I won’t be planning for those days.

Without further ado, here’s my weekly menu for next week:

Breakfasts:

Sunday: N/A
Monday: N/A
Tuesday: Cereal, with milk and banana
Wednesday: Waffles with strawberries
Thursday: Fruit and yogurt platter
Friday: oatmeal with raisins
Saturday: Blueberry pancakes

Lunch:

Sunday: N/A
Monday: N/A
Tuesday: Ham and cheese sandwiches, grapes
Wednesday: Peanut Putter play dough (for Andrew; PB&J sandwich for me), apples
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tuna fish with carrot sticks
Saturday: Usually have late breakfast on Saturdays and forgo lunch

Suppers:

Sunday: N/A
Monday: Steak Fajitas (found skirt steak on sale!) with peppers and onions, rice
Tuesday: Chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, asparagus
Wednesday: Tuna pie, salad
Thursday: Meat loaf, noodles and gravy, green beans
Friday: Pizza and popcorn (It’s family movie night!)
Saturday: Grilled hamburgers (with lettuce and tomato), homemade potato fries

What will you be serving your family this week?