Summer Memories in Pictures

Wow! I can’t believe the summer is pretty much over. July and August seemed to just fly by so quickly! I thought I’d preserve a little of summer by putting together a few pictures of my family having some summer fun:

At the beach:

1.

My Andrew

2.

Mother-in-law

At my sister’s house:

3.

My cousin

4.

My husband

5.

Sister and Mom

6.

My niece

At the Pool:

7.

My dad

8.

My son and nieces

At the Boardwalk:

9.

My son

10.

My son

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday.)

 

Blessed Are They…

Psalm 1

When was the last time you spent time with the Lord praying the scriptures, especially as a family? Why not start today?

(Image Credit from Pinterest.)

Ten Reasons I Love My Husband

Yesterday was our eighth wedding anniversary so I can’t resist taking advantage of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday to write a little list of some of the things I love about my husband. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. He is committed to his faith. No one is perfect, and his faith may have wavered at times, but never broken!

2. He is committed to his family. Family is very important to Michael and he will do anything for us. Not just me and our son; but, also our parents, siblings, and extended family.

3. He is a good provider. Michael works hard to provide for us; and, although we may never be rich, we have all we need to live a good life.

4. He is a good father. Michael loves our son very much, and it shows in all that he does with and for Andrew.

5. He’s funny! Well, sometimes when I’m cranky or stressed, I don’t always appreciate his humor – and I HATE that he loves to tickle me – but most of the time I think he’s funny. ๐Ÿ™‚

6. He is laid back and doesn’t let small things bother him. Unlike me. I definitely worry too much and brood over minor things. He can let things roll off his back and deal with things as they come. I sure wish I was like him in this respect.

7. He is cuddly. I love snuggling up in his arms and still get tingly when he kisses me. {blush}

8. He loves my cooking. As he should! LOL! Well, I am a decent cook; but I also like to try new recipes and he is always a good sport about eating (or at least trying) anything I make.

9. He is not afraid to admit his mistakes. When he is in the wrong and knows it, he admits and says he is sorry. And, he is always willing to talk things out (albeit a little loudly!) when we disagree.

10. He is cute! Seriously, he has such a nice smile – and eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just wish I had a better, updated picture than the one below to prove it!

Ten Fun Craft Ideas from Pinterest

I was poking around Pinterest the other day and came across some fun craft ideas I’d like to try. Here are some of them:

1. Pillow Craft. Looks like a fun fall project.

Pillow Craft

pinned by Connie Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cardboard tube craft. My son would love this!

Cardboard tube

pinned by Kayla Stoops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Clothes pins craft. Aren’t these adorable?!

Clothespins craft

pinned by Julie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Picture frame. Cute idea for a gift.

Picture Frame

pinned by Amanda Jenson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Handmade cards. I love making home-made cards and do so frequently for different occasions.

Handmade cards

pinned by Tiffany Cottam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Candles. These are so pretty!

Candles

pinned by Vicki Hodgman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Button Crafts. Another craft my son would enjoy.

Button crafts

pinned by Sarah Sasac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Rolled Roses. Not sure how complicated it is to make these, but they are beautiful.

Rolled Roses

pinned by Justine Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Quilting crafts. I have been wanting to learn to quilt for a long time.

quilting craft

pinned by Cristin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Christmas Crafts. I’d like to make some homemade gifts this year, so I better start thinking of Christmas now!

Christmas craft

pinned by Paula Coreg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What craft(s) are you working on or planning to start in the near future? Do share!

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

Ten Family Fun Things to do in New Jersey

New Jersey may be known for its beaches and parks, but there are tons of things to do as a family! Yes, there’s Atlantic City, but there is also a ton of amusement parks, miniature golf, great restaurants, museums, aquariums and concerts. You can take all sorts of classes such as dance classes, pottery classes and learn about our environment.

If you are a resident of New Jersey look for something new to do, or coming to New Jersey for vacation, here are some fun things you may want to do:

1. Catch some coasters. There are several amusement parks in NJ, but Six Flags, Great Adventure is one of the best. It has not just rides, but a wild safari as well. It’s not exactly cheap mind you, but hey often have special and you can always find coupons. (Here’s a link to their verified coupon page.) Either way, it’s worth every penny!

2. Get wet. Right next door to Great Adventure is Hurricane Harbor. It has a ton of water rides to suit everyone in your family. There are other water parks around NJ, too.

3. Go to an arcade. There are a bunch of arcades available around the state; especially down the shore. If you are going to be in Central Jersey, check out Bev and Wally’s.

4. Go to the aquarium. I have never been to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ but its website makes the aquarium look fantastic. It has many exhibits and shows that are fun for all ages. And, it claims to be the “America’s most touchable aquarium.”

5. Hit the (miniature) golf course. There are plenty of places to go miniature golfing, but I am choosing SwingTime to highlight because it is open year round; and, besides golfing it has a family fun center with batting cages and arcades.

6. Become a cowboy (or cowgirl). I remember going on a trip to Wild West City on a school trip years ago. It was tons of fun! From their website: “WILD WEST CITY is a western heritage theme park that brings the old west back to life through portrayals of real-life western characters, legendary events and a frontier town re-creation. Featuring twenty-two (22) different live action shows throughout the course of the day, Wild West City offers the visitor the chance to รขโ‚ฌล“liveรขโ‚ฌย in the old west!”

7. Go to a concert. For many, summertime is also concert time! Many of the shore points offer free concerts at least once a week. Wednesdays are free concert nights at Sandy Hook. With a few clicks you should be able to find concert areas where you are.

8. Learn a little science. A trip to New Jersey wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Liberty Science Center. This place is amazing!ร‚ย  And while you are in the area, you can grab a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

9. Become a Pirate. The Jersey Shore Pirates is an interactive museum that allows your kids to participate in activities such as finding sunken treasure and firing water cannons.

10. Tour a real battleship. You can take a two-hour tour of Battleship New Jersey, one of America’s most decorated battleship. Not only is the tour interactive, but you can even schedule to stay overnight!

There’s tons more to do than what’s on this list, especially if you like to eat! There are many awesome restaurants around the lovely state of NJ, too. (But that’s for another top ten list!)

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

Who is Irresistibly Sweet? I am Apparently!

I am honored to be given the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award from My Kwee Life. It’s my first blog award, so it is a bit of a thrill for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kwee is very sweet herself, so stop by her blog and say hello.

The rules for this award is to list seven pieces of information not commonly known about oneself, and fifteen recommendations. Not sure what to write about myself, though, my life is pretty ordinary; but, here it goes:

1. I absolutely LOVE the color purple. In all its shades, from the lightest lilac to the deepest purple.

2. If I could live anywhere in the world I would move back to Ohio. Loved it there so much. Not that I’m not happy to be back in NJ near family; I am glad to be near my loved ones again.

3. I want to write a book someday. Not an eBook like the one I offer on this sight; but, a love-inspired fiction book along the lines of Nicholas Sparks or the many Amish fiction books. My book would be a Catholic themed, love inspired fiction.

4. I love to sing. I stink at it, mind you. Just ask my son and husband! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I do it anyway. In the shower, while I work or clean, along with the radio, or whenever the mood strikes me. Oh, and I have to make up my own words usually because I can never remember the lyrics!

5. My favorite food – which is totally NOT good for you – is noodles and gravy. It is just a package of wide noodles with a can beef or mushroom gravy mixed in to coat the noodles. So simple and yet so yummy! My mom used to make this for us as kids and I still make it sometimes; but not too often, because Andrew doesn’t like gravy (and of course because we shouldn’t eat gravy!).

6. I used to dress up like Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ as a child (6 or 7 years old). Embarrassing, but true. We used the play Wizard of Oz and I *had* to be Dorothy or I’d get mad! And myร‚ย  mom would braid my hair the same way as Dorothy, too.

7. I missed my vocation. (Not!) However: I did spend eight years discerning a religious vocation, when I should have become a librarian! Or own a bookstore. Or maybe I should haveร‚ย  just surrounded myself with tons of books! Have I mentioned that I’m a book worm? ๐Ÿ™‚ (To be clear, I’m kidding about missing my vocation. I’m very happy with my life as it was and as it is right now. It was just my way screwy way of saying I love books!)

Okay, here are the 15 blogs I am giving the Irresistibly Sweet Blog award to:

1. Living in the Two Hearts.

2. Carpe Diem, Gorgeous!

3. Thoughts on Grace.

4. Suffering with Joy.

5. Free Spirit Haven.

6. A Woman’s Place.

7. Whimsical Musings.

8. The Big Binder.

9. Evan’s Cove.

10. Contrariwise.

11. The Kennedy Adventures!

12. Offering Hospitality.

13. Never Fading Wood. (Lily hasn’t blogged in a while, but her blog is still sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

14. A Grain of Salt.

15. Share My Bliss.

 

Ten Classic Books I Want to Read Again

Summer is here, which often turns my mind to books. I love to read though, so really books are often on my mind, not just summer! ๐Ÿ˜› Still, I’ve been thinking about some of the fiction books I want to read this summer during my times at the beach or lazying around outside.

Besides some “mindless” fiction, I want to re-read some classic literature. These are books that I have read before either in grammar school (7th and 8th grade) or throughout high school and college. Since it’s been so long since I’ve read them, I thought it would be good to re-read some them and see how my older self, with aร‚ย  new perspective, experiences these books.

I doubt I’ll finish all of them before summer’s end. I actually have 25 classics on my list, not to mention my ever-growing non-fiction book list, plus a list of light fiction books, and then there are the books I want to read Andrew. whew! In any case, here are the 10 classic books that are on top of my reading list:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. I’ve read this book twice but one can never read Pride and Prejudice too many times, right?

2. The Divine Comedy by Dante. Okay, So i never actually read this book completely the way through; however, I have read enough of the book to consider myself as having read the book. It’s a daunting volume, but I would like to give it a go anyway.

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Oh, this is right up there with Pride and prejudice, no?!

4. 1984 by George Orwell. The first time I read this book it WAS 1984. LOL!

5. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I remember this book freaking me out as a tween. It’s been so long since reading this, I only vaguely remember what it is about, so it would be interesting if I have the same reaction.

6. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin. Can you tell I’m a fan of her books. ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I’ve seen a lot of TV and movie versions of this over the years, I’d like to re-read the book. It’s rare that a move ever comes close to being on par with its book version. The book is almost always better.

8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Need I say more? ๐Ÿ™‚

9. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I had a hard time getting through this book in high school. I don’t remember why, but I remember not being able to get into the book or enjoying very much. I’d like to read this again to see if my perception of this book has changed.

10. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. No re-reading of the classics would be complete without reading Gone with the Wind!

Your turn. What’s your favorite classic book (s)? Which classic book (s) would you like to read all over again? Or do you care for the classics at all?? Chime in.

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday – because, of course, reading always works for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Ten Great Parks to Visit in New Jersey

Let me tell ya, New Jersey isn’t called the “Garden State” for nothing! There are some beautiful parks in our small state. Whether you are a native of NJ or visiting from elsewhere, here are some parks to check out when you are looking for some outdoor fun:

1. Holmdel Park. This park is one of my absolute favorites – and a 10 minute drive from my mom’s ๐Ÿ™‚ . It has two playgrounds, two ponds,10 miles of trails, a farm, 4 tennis courts, and great hills for sledding in the winter.

2. Thompson Park. This former residence was turned into what is now a beautiful park. Most notable here, besides, the trails, picnicking, etc. is the creative arts center and the off-leash dog area.

3. Tatum Park. This 365 acre park is filled with rolling hills, open fields and woods. Tons of trails to walk. It also has two activity centers that hosts tons of sports and fitness classes, among other activities.

4. Cheesequake State Park. This lovely park has a huge lake that is used for swimming, fishing and boating. There are campgrounds you can rent and hunting is allowed. It is truly a beautiful park.

5. Allaire State Park. This lovely park has the Manasquan river coursing through it, allowing for canoeing, fishing, etc. There are campgrounds here, too and it’s very close to area attractions.

6. Delaware Water Gap.ร‚ย  It may be named after Delaware, but this beautiful park resides in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

7. Deep Cut Gardens. This park isn’t exactly for small children. From the website: “The 54 acres of gardens and greenhouses are planned as a living catalog of cultivated and native plant materials to be observed through the seasons.”

8. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. Obviously, the star of this park is the working lighthouse, which is open to the public. This is a lovely place to walk, picnic and fish.

9. Liberty State Park. Besides having the spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, there is a lot to do here. It’s also a great spot for bird watching, believe it or not. ๐Ÿ™‚

10. Dorbrook Recreational Park. The best thing about this park is the awesome sprayground for the little ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

Any New Jersey-ians out there? What other parks should we check out?

(Linked to Top Ten Tuesday.)

 

My Top 10 Fondest Memories From Childhood

In this past Sunday’s Sunday Snippets, I read one of Kathleen@ So Much to Say, So Little Time‘s posts about her experience in looking for a new car. In her post, she shared some awesome pictures of the vehicles her grandparents used to cart around 10 children before the days of SUVs.

Reading her experience and looking at those pictures brought back some wonderful memories; so for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I thought for fun I’d share a few of them with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Going to the Drive-in. This was the first memory I thought of when I read Kathleen’s post. This was back in the day when seat belts were non-existent and drive-in movie theaters were the norm. (I’m giving away my age here, aren’t I?!!) My parents would jam-pack me, my sister, my brother and a bunch of my cousins (along with beach chairs, blankets and snacks!) and head to our local drive-in. It was a steal. Once price per car for TWO movies! Truth be told, most of us wouldn’t last through the second movie; our eyes just wouldn’t stay open. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Hide-and-go-Seek in the dark. This was a double thrill because we got to stay up late AND play one of our favorite games. ๐Ÿ™‚ We usually played this game inside, but sometimes we’d play outside, too. Playing in the dark definitely made finding the “hiders” that much more difficult!

3. My First Holy Communion. After all these years, I still remember my first communion like it was yesterday. I was so excited and nervous beforehand, and so happy. After the mass, my Aunt Virginia, who was a waitress at the time, brought me to the kitchen to sow off my communion dress to her co-workers. I have a picture of my dad scooping me up in his arms and gave me a big kiss. I felt like such a princess!

4. Thriller with Aunt Flo. Some of my (ahem) younger readers may or may not be familiar with Michael Jackson or his Thriller album. Well, me and many of my cousins were big Michael Jackson fans in our pre-teen years. My Aunt Flo (may she rest in peace), had the Thriller video and would do the most hilarious imitation of the graveyard scene!

5. Hitting the boardwalk with Papa. Growing up my parents would go in on renting a bungalow for a week with some family and friends in Keansburg, NJ near the boardwalk. One year, right before I started high school, my godfather’s dad (whom everyone called “papa”) came with us and one night he took me to the boardwalk. I don’t remember going on the rides, but it was a special time of playing the games, getting something to eat and just talking with him.

6. Rockin’ the rides with Big Aunt Betty. Speaking of the boardwalk: As kids, we always thought Big Aunt Betty was old; but, looking back she must have only been in her 60s. Anyhoo, whenever she came to an amusement park with us, be it Coney Island or Great Adventure, she would go on almost every ride with us – including the roller coasters! It was so amazing to us! Then again, Big Aunt Betty was an amazing lady. ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Early mornings at Sandy Hook. You can’t be raised in NJ and not go the beach. During the summer, my dad would get us up and out by 6am on many of the weekends to get to Sandy Hook beach. It gave us the opportunity to beat the traffic, get a good spot near the water before the crowds, and enjoy a little of the cooler weather before the sun came bearing down.ร‚ย  we always had such a blast – in spite of the sun burn I’d get EVERY TIME.

8. Walking to the roller rink. (Or riding our bikes.) The roller rink has been long gone from Airport Plaza, but before we had a car, my parents would sometimes walk us the 3 miles (seemed so much longer!) to roller rink to skate. This was even before the days of [gasp!] roller blades, when we skated on 4 wheels. It was cheap fun and good exercise. The hard part was walking back after we tired ourselves out from skating!

9. Family barbeques at Veteran’s Park. Between Veteran’s Park and the swim club next door, we had hours of fun over the summer growing up. The best were the years we had family gatherings with the extended family and friends for a day of swimming, eating, and games.

10. Sledding in Holmdel Park. The hills at Holmdel Park have always been perfect for sledding – and still are! The best part of sledding of course, was the hot chocolate to warm us up afterwards!

I look back and I realize what a grace it was to have such a good childhood. My parents weren’t rich, and struggled at times, but managed to provide us with what we needed – and more. There were definitely more good times than bad. I am truly blessed.

Now it’s your turn. Come share your fondest memories with us in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

(Also linked to Works for me Wednesday, since remembering the good ole times works for me!)

Why I Love Jesus

Barbara over at Suffering With Joy tagged me in the “Why I love Jesus” meme. It is a perfect meme for Lent. Here are the ground rules:

  • Those tagged will share 5 things they รขโ‚ฌล“loveรขโ‚ฌย about Jesus
  • Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers
  • Those tagged will provide a link in the comment section here with their names (and responses) so that others can read them.

Having given the rules, I am going to break them by combining this meme with this week’s “Top Ten Tuesday” contribution and offer 10 reasons I love Jesus instead of 5:

1. He was born in a manger, in poverty, for my sake.

2. He lived 30 years in silence and obedience and humility for my sake.

3. He spent 3 years preaching and teaching and healingร‚ย  and performing miracles for my sake.

4. He endured great suffering and pain before dying a horrible death for my sake.

5. He rose again in His own power, spent 40 days more on earth and Ascended into Heaven for my sake.

6. He sent the power of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, givenร‚ย  His Body in the Eucharist and strength in the Sacrament of Confession, for my sake.

7. He has given the Scriptures, His Living Word, as spiritual nourishment and food, for my sake.

8. He is ALWAYS there for me, loving me and showing me His infinite love and mercy.

10. He has given me the example of His mother and all the saints to help me understand what it means to love Him back!

In short, I love Jesus because He is EVERYTHING to me: my Savior, my Healer, my Friend, my Guide, my Truth, my ALL. Loving Jesus absolutely works for me!ร‚ย  By the way, Jesus did all of the above not only for my sake, but for YOURS. Why do you love Jesus?

I tag:

Anne at Living in the Two Hearts

Kathleen at So Much to Say, so Little Time

Joann at Into Stillness

Jen at the Big Binder

Angela at Free Spirit Haven