On My Nightstand

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Well, it’s turning into a yearly thing now. But I read some wonderful books this summer and I feel like now’s a good time as ever for another edition of What’s on my Nightstand!

Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Phillipe. This book may appear minuscule but don't be fooled by appearances! Every page is steeped with direct, rich, yet easy to understand wisdom on how we as Christians must focus on sustaining our inner calm. Fr. Phillipe encourages his readers that sainthood is much more achievable than we may think.  I've only made it half way through this gem, precisely because I want to savor his advice and really read, re-read and absorb the point before moving on. Well worth having!

Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Phillipe. This book may appear minuscule but don’t be fooled by appearances! Every page is steeped with direct, rich, yet easy to understand wisdom on how we as Christians must focus on sustaining our inner calm. Fr. Phillipe encourages his readers that sainthood is much more achievable than we may think. I’ve only made it half way through this gem, precisely because I want to savor his advice and really read, re-read and absorb the point before moving on. My favorite analogy he uses is where he compares our souls to a still lake, and explains how even the tiniest ‘pebble’ or distraction or temptation can disrupt the stillness in our souls..and when that water starts rippling, what happens? It becomes harder and harder to see the beautiful reflection of the sun. So too with our inner peace, we must be vigilant to ward off and avoid any occasions for things that effect our peace, and cause us to inadequately reflect Christ’s love. Well worth having!

The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila. I absolutely love the realness of this explanation (or education) on proper meditation! I always avoided reading St. Teresa because I assumed, since she is a Doctor of the Church, I would not be able to undertand her writings. But how wrong I was! She writes simply and humbly, very understandably....so illuminating! I only read up to the 3rd mansion, as my priest friend suggested a stopping point. Apparently the theology does get pretty hefty later on in the book. But for now,  I am grateful and better for it...for reading what I have!

The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila. I absolutely love the realness of this explanation (or education) on proper meditation! I always avoided reading St. Teresa because I assumed, since she is a Doctor of the Church, I would not be able to understand her writings. But how wrong I was! She writes simply and humbly, very understandably….so illuminating! I only read up to the 3rd mansion, as my priest friend suggested a stopping point. Apparently the theology does get pretty hefty later on in the book. But for now, I am grateful and better for it…for reading what I have!

This book, Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, is absolutely phenomenal. If you add one new book to your collection this year--- make it this one! You will not regret it! My spiritual director, and dear friend has been recommending this book for about 6 years now...and finally I received a copy of it, and now I can't be without it.  Father Gabriel is the foremost scholar on Carmelite spirituality and he was commissioned to write this book as a way to train Carmelites in proper formation of their spiritual lives. The book follows the liturgical calendar, each day is a different mediation and prayer consisting of perhaps 2 pages at most. It's completely doable to add into your spiritual life, and it is one of those daily mediation books that is creepily dead on with whatever you are going through. I look forward to reading this everyday, and I know you will too! This book is a tremendous resource to anyone's spiritual journey, no matter where you are on it!

This book, Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, is absolutely phenomenal. If you add one new book to your collection this year— make it this one! You will not regret it! My spiritual director, and dear friend has been recommending this book for about 6 years now…and finally I received a copy of it, and now I can’t be without it. Father Gabriel is the foremost scholar on Carmelite spirituality and he was commissioned to write this book as a way to train Carmelites in proper formation of their spiritual lives. The book follows the liturgical calendar, each day is a different mediation and prayer consisting of perhaps 2 pages at most. It’s completely doable to add into your spiritual life, and it is one of those daily mediation books that is creepily dead on with whatever you are going through. I look forward to reading this everyday, and I know you will too! This book is a tremendous resource to anyone’s spiritual journey, no matter where you are on it!

Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler is a beautiful biographical expose of one woman's journey from atheism to Catholicism. I really enjoyed the story a lot, and it was easy to read. I was more interested in  it for the  biographical aspect, since I follow Fulwiler's blog. Naturally, I was interested in the full story of her conversion. I was amazed by the movings of the Holy Spirit in her life, and all the miraculous happenings that could only be attributed to God. I love reading God stories! A decent, breezy, summer read.

Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler is a beautiful biographical expose of one woman’s journey from atheism to Catholicism. I really enjoyed the story a lot, and it was easy to read. I was more interested in it for the biographical aspect, since I follow Fulwiler’s blog. Naturally, I was interested in the full story of her conversion. I was amazed by the movings of the Holy Spirit in her life, and all the miraculous happenings that could only be attributed to God. I love reading God stories! A decent, breezy, summer read.

The Duggars 20 and counting! What can I say? I was skeptical of the Duggar clan at first, and then my whole family started watching the show. So mostly out of curiosity, I checked the book out from the library to find more. I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Seriously! I thought this book would be a la di da type read, but I could NOT PUT THIS DOWN. I am completely blown away with the power of the Holy Spirit in their life. This book, cheesy though it may seem, really made a difference in my heart and strengthened my faith. I  LOVED this testimony of faith and trust in the Lord! Incredible.

The Duggars 20 and counting! What can I say? I was skeptical of the Duggar clan at first, and then my whole family started watching the show. So mostly out of curiosity, I checked the book out from the library to find more. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. Seriously! I thought this book would be a la di da type read, but I could NOT PUT THIS DOWN. I am completely blown away with the power of the Holy Spirit in their life. This book, cheesy though it may seem, really made a difference in my heart and strengthened my faith. I LOVED this testimony of faith and trust in the Lord! Incredible.

My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell. This testimony of Campbell's journey from the highs of working as George Bush's speechwriter, to her dealings with her father's battle with alzheimer's, to her own struggle with infertility was a heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful read. Definitely one of my favorites this summer. For each phase of her life, with each new struggle or joy, she drew near to a different saint that pertained to exactly what she was going through. The pictures she paints of these saints, completely invigorated my curiousity to learn more, to read more, to grow closer to these holy women too! I honestly never knew how encouraging to motherhood St. Teresa Benedicta was! Or how many writings she compose on the topic of motherhood. This book boosted my spirituality and gave me so much encouragement for my state in life. I HIGHLY recommend this book to all my blog readers!

My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell. This testimony of Campbell’s journey from the highs of working as George Bush’s speechwriter, to her dealings with her father’s battle with alzheimer’s, to her own struggle with infertility was a heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful read. Definitely one of my favorites this summer. For each phase of her life, with each new struggle or joy, she drew near to a different saint that pertained to exactly what she was going through. The pictures she paints of these saints, completely invigorated my curiousity to learn more, to read more, to grow closer to these holy women too! I honestly never knew how encouraging to motherhood St. Teresa Benedicta was! Or how many writings she compose on the topic of motherhood. This book boosted my spirituality and gave me so much encouragement for my state in life. I HIGHLY recommend this book to all my blog readers!

And now, for the books that are coming  up in the ranks… currently being reserved through my library system:

A Love that Multiplies : An Up Close Look at How they make it Work by Michelle Duggar. My dear friend strongly recommended this to me.  She told me it delves deeper into their marriage and prayer life, and was incredibly inspiring to her own life. I am eager to read it, Michelle Duggar call me on to greater holiness, and anyone who does that... I want to get my hands on anything they write!

A Love that Multiplies : An Up Close Look at How they make it Work by Michelle Duggar.
My dear friend strongly recommended this to me. She told me it delves deeper into their marriage and prayer life, and was incredibly inspiring to her own life. I am eager to read it, Michelle Duggar honestly calls me on to greater holiness as a Mom, and anyone who does that… I want to get my hands on whatever they write!

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. This is the book that started Fulwiler on her journey to Christianity. It's a journalist's pursuit of truth in light of all the stories and claims of the "Son of God". After Strobel conducted his investigative research, he converted to Catholicism. It definitely piqued my curiosity so I want to see what he has come up with that change his mind so convincingly.

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. This is the book that started Fulwiler on her journey to Christianity. It’s a journalist’s pursuit of truth in light of all the stories and claims of the “Son of God”. After Strobel conducted his investigative research, he converted to Catholicism. It definitely piqued my curiosity so I want to see what he has come up with that changed his mind so convincingly.

Well, that’s all I got folks! What have you all been reading? Please share any recommendation below! Happy Summer!

5 Favorites- Hotel Hints Edition!

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five favorties

Well, it’s that time of year again! Time to get out your suitcases and try to convince yourself that you love traveling. Especially with all those little kids. If you’ve somehow managed to dupe yourself into a road trip with babies— yet again, I’ve got some hints on hotels to share with you to help your plans go a little easier this time around!

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The most comfortable beds, from all these hotels we’ve patroned were the Comfort Inn & Suites. A second best was the Hampton Inn. Our favorite most kid friendly hotel we choose is the Country Inn & Suites, because the place is clean, clean, clean. And the free breakfast is better than any I’ve had a hotel provide. We find the breakfast included is a must with little kids….the longer we can avoid getting back in the car the better.

 

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When not a Country Inn & Suites, try one of the Hampton hotels , then we move down to the Comfort Inn. The Comfort Inns are generally more affordable, still provide breakfast and hands down have super comfy beds….however major drawbacks for us include the outdated features in the room like the thermostat. There was no actual gauge, just a knob for “cool” or “heat” and for anyone out there with little kids….it was a nightmare spending the entire night dashing out of bed and adjusting the temperature from one extreme to the next.Also. Always bring two kinds of pj’s in case of such scenario.

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When staying at hotels, always bring sound machines and earplugs! These have saved our lives, or at the very least our sanity. I’d say we’ve yet to stay at a hotel where no one slams their door the 900 times they go in and out of their room at 11pm at night. So yeah. White noise or no noise of any kind is extremely beneficial.

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Call ahead for an upgrade. We usually book through Priceline a Queen room, then call the day of and ask for an upgrade because we’ve got three little kids, we’re coming from so far away, blah blah blah….and we always get the upgrade at no extra cost. It’s worth it to ask, especially if junior is all out of his routine and going to be spending the night with you and your hubby. Space=peace

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And finally, the most important tip we’ve learned while traveling: ask to be placed on one of the highest floors. Why you ask? They are quieter, they are cleaner, and you don’t get any weird spiders in your wet bathroom towels that have been sitting on the floor overnight. Seriously. Ground level is the worst for strange bug invasions!

Do you have any great travel tips? Please share them in the comment box! And of course, Happy Trails to you!

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Five Favorites- Date Night Edition

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For this week’s Five Favorites link up with Hallie…. and in honor of my 9 year anniversary of Camera Guy’s and my first date.. I’m listing off my 5 favorite dates that cost little or nothing at all!
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I mean, you can snag those buy one get one coupons almost every month in the coupon circulars of your Sunday paper. So for $5, the both of us get a tasty treat and some nice one on one chat time!

I mean, you can snag those buy one get one coupons almost every month in the coupon circulars of your Sunday paper. So for $5, the both of us get a tasty treat and some nice one on one chat time!

 

 

Free date. Sorta. We like walking around Target sans screaming kids and browsing, hmmm pretty much everything. We play pretend dream house like " Wow look at that shower curtain, if we ever had a bathroom in the attic that was made of marble...yeah that would definitely look amazing" It's loads of fun.

Free date. Sorta. We like walking around Target sans screaming kids and browsing, hmmm pretty much everything. We play pretend dream house like ” Wow look at that shower curtain, if we ever had a bathroom in the attic that was made of marble…yeah that would definitely look amazing” It’s loads of fun. Also, we take this time to touch every single towel and blanket available. “Ooo feel this one! Holy smokes that soft! Nothing in here is pilled! “

 

Barnes & Noble is the ultimate freebie date night. Tons of conversation starters, and plenty, plenty to laugh about. Plus, the toy section is the best!

Barnes & Noble is the ultimate freebie date night. Tons of conversation starters, and plenty, plenty to laugh about. Plus, the toy section is the best!

 

I'm sure this is a given. $1 movie rentals BUT if you sign up for their text alerts you get freebie codes almost weekly! A Redbox and some Ben & Jerry's , at home in your p.j.'s now that's a great date!

I’m sure this is a given. $1 movie rentals BUT if you sign up for their text alerts you get freebie codes almost weekly! A Redbox and some Ben & Jerry’s , at home in your p.j.’s now that’s a great date!

 

And last but not least, because it’s Camera Guy’s favorite……..

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Faking getting engaged (again)  at a crowded restaurant. (Definitely in a town where people don’t know you) Now hold your horses, I’ve chickened out on him a few times so it’s not like this is our Friday night thing… but he’s convinced we have to try this…and snag some complimentary desserts in the process. Heh heh heh….

 

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Five Favorites- Treat Yo’Self Edition

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five favorties1.

Essential Oils Peppermint & Tea Tree hand soap. Not only does it smell incredibly, but the real reason I buy this is because I have never seen my diamond sparkle more! Seriously! So if you can wash your hands and get a ring clean at the same time, why not?

Essential Oils Peppermint & Tea Tree hand soap. Not only does it smell incredibly, but the real reason I buy this is because I have never seen my diamond sparkle more! Seriously! So if you can wash your hands and get a ring clean at the same time, why not?

Polar Fleece bed sheets. Oh. My. Word. Yes, it's really hard to get out of bed with these but lordy lordy, now I know why dogs are always napping. I thought they'd be really sweaty, but they aren't... oh and Camera Guy loves them too!

Polar Fleece bed sheets. Oh. My. Word. Yes, it’s really hard to get out of bed with these but lordy lordy, now I know why dogs are always napping. I thought they’d be really sweaty, but they aren’t… oh and Camera Guy loves them too!

2.

WoodWick candle. I am never without one of these in my bedroom ever again. Credit to my sis, once more for giving us one for Christmas. It has a wood wick, so it crackles as it burns... sounds like a fireplace and smells like wood burning too! They are the most fragrant candle I've had yet. No more ucky dorm room smells, our bedrooms smell fantastic!

WoodWick candle. I am never without one of these in my bedroom ever again. Credit to my sis, once more for giving us one for Christmas. It has a wood wick, so it crackles as it burns… sounds like a fireplace and smells like wood burning too! They are the most fragrant candle I’ve had yet. No more ucky dorm room smells, our bedrooms smell fantastic!

Microwave sea-salt caramels. Do I really need to say more?

Microwave sea-salt caramels.
Do I really need to say more?

5.

Cucumber vodka.  We don't do mixed drinks over here much, but oh my word. A splash of this, some ginger ale and lime juice....it literally tastes like you're drinking a summer breeze. Ah-maz-ing!

Cucumber vodka. We don’t do mixed drinks over here much, but oh my word. A splash of this, some ginger ale and lime juice….it literally tastes like you’re drinking a summer breeze. Ah-maz-ing!

ALSO, for a bonus! Treat yo’ self right now to winning a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide! There are three days left to enter yourself or a special mom in your life to win a signed copy! Two lucky winners will be chosen! Good Luck and Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely mamas out there! CLICK HERE

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Mother’s Day Giveaway!!

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What could be better for Mother’s day than a signed copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul- Multi-tasking Moms Survival Guide?

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Well a spa day and maybe a house maid… but still… this is a close second, right? Enter yourself (or other Mommy friends) in the contest and two lucky winners will both receive a copy of the Multi-Tasking Moms Survival Guide signed by me and my virtual high five!

Share, share, share and spread the word on your Facebook and Twitter…. most of all— GOOD LUCK!

RULES OF ENTRY

1. There are no limits of entry, each posting- as long as we are tagged in it- will result in an additional entry.

2. Contest opens 12am April 30 2014 and closes 12am May 10 2014.

ENTER NOW HERE:::
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Why We Don’t Do Disney (and other things to make you roll your eyes)

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Ok, so I have had a beef with Disney for a few years now. But in light of recent revelations that only confirmed my suspicions, I felt it was time to finally drag this old post out of my saved drafts folder and finally muster up the courage to publish it.

Before I go any farther there are some things you should know. My big kahuna of an issue is the Disney movies. My daughter owns several Disney “Barbies” (solely because they are the only modest ones out there!) We have some Disney character items lying around in our toy bin, and Disney pointless objects like stickers and coloring books. My Uncle also works for Disney. So yes, if you come over my house to inspect, I assure you, you will eventually find something linked to the “Disney” company here.

However, our kids don’t watch Disney cartoons or movies. Disclaimer, they have watched these:

1. Winnie the Pooh (1974) – The only ‘scary’ thing in this movie is the Heffalumps and Woosels… which are just elephants and weasels. No rudeness, no attitude, no defiance….just a silly nilly willy old bear.

2. Toy Story 2- That’s right, not the first one and not the last one. It’s the only one that is benign enough… with the ‘enemy’ being Newman in a Chicken suit. The first one has that creepy pyscho Sid destroying toys and blowing things  up….exactly what I don’t need my sons seeing, and the last one is freaky when the toys go to the dump and they see trash cans filled with baby doll body parts.

3. Mary Poppins. No explanation needed. Good morals and lots of music.

Now that’s said…here’s why we tell our kids “we don’t do Disney’.  Back in college, I had a hunch and once I had kids, my hunch only grew more curious. My hunch was that Disney movies undermine the authority of the parent. And if you undermine the authority of the parent, well, kids pretty much raise themselves with an innate disdain for authority and structure. Or to be more specific…. values and morals. Or to be even more specific, they subconsciously are developing a relativistic mindset. If you can plant the seed of relativistic worldview (what I feel is right is right, what I want is right, when I want it is right..) at an early age, and only foster this relativistic mindset all throughout their very impressionable adolescent years…. guess what? It’s going to be an uphill battle in the teen and young adult years trying to undo that. Especially when you have society working against you tenfold. But that’s just my hunch.

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My hopes to share some of my Disney movie memories with my kids kinda unraveled in my lap last summer as I put on “Finding Nemo” for all of us to watch as family. I thought “Finding Nemo” was cute when I watched it in college (note: after I knew better what behavior is acceptable and what is not) however, watching it with impressionable preschoolers, who you are trying to form in good manners and character- I was really upset when in the first ten minutes of the movie, Nemo’s mother dies, Nemo makes fun of his Dad’s “overprotection”, Nemo deliberately defies his father, and tells his father to “shut up!”.  My kids were wide-eyed and shocked that Nemo did those naughty things. That movie was over pretty fast in the this house. Then the wheels in my head started turning. Nemo gets his way in the end. And guess what? His Dad apologizes for being so overprotective. How’s that for irony? So the moral of the story is…….. do what you want to do, your parents are stupid and annoying, they’ll get over it and realize that they were wrong for not letting you make your own decisions. WHAT? (ahem. Relativism, anyone?)

I started going down the list of all the Disney movies I could think of and I started finding some common and disturbing themes. Guess what? The majority of Disney movies have a premise of either one or no parents. Is that a little odd to you? It is to me. It’s innately teaching kids that having both a mom and a dad isn’t vital or important and that their roles are interchangeable. It’s laying the foundation that marriage isn’t a necessary institution. I think, it’s planting seeds of how they perceive marriage. And believe me, in the climate we are living, our kids need all the reinforcement they can get on traditional marriage. How can I sit there and try to explain to my son why kids need both a Mom and a Dad, when he can say back “well…. Ariel only had a Dad…and Simba only had a Mom….they were ok…” Up. Hill. Battle. And frankly, I’m already too tired to deal with it… so it’s easier just to avoid it.

Here’s some of the movies with single/no parents present:

  • Bambi
  • Snow White
  • Cinderella
  • Little Mermaid
  • Pocahantas
  • Toy Story
  • Aladdin
  • Lion King
  • Beauty and the Beast

And that’s just to name a few. Still curious? Go to the Wikipedia page here and look for yourself... you’ll be surprised how many there are. (I am not going to launch into how over-sexualized the female characters are in the Disney movies… because we all know that and we’ve read the dozens of articles… but take this as a given: they sexualized a lot of their characters!)

Also, defiance. Defiance of parental authority is a Disney classic. Think about just recently in Brave, Frozen (oh, dear FROZEN) and Finding Nemo….nice sugar coated relativism. All those previous films listed too, go against the parent’s advice and teaching, does their own thing and gets rewarded in the end. Not exactly what I want my kids absorbing subconsciously because that ain’t how God works. Just look at salvation history. There are rules, there are instructions, God is mericful but God doesn’t succumb to our whims and change his laws because of our mistakes.

Speaking of God, you know that name isn’t allowed at Disney studios or in their movies either. Not that it should surprise you. But am I taking it too far? I used to think I might be a little off my rocker but then I discovered “Gay Days” that Disney parks put on annually.  Mind you it is NOT a private event… but open to families and millions of children!

Try explaining this to your kids

Try explaining this to your kids

I began to ask myself, if a local theater was putting on these “days” in our town would I still take my kids to the theater when they performed an original scripted play? No way, man. I wouldn’t trust them to keep the material innocent and pure enough for my kids minds… then why in the heck would I trust a multi-billion dollar company to keep their material pristine… when clearly they’ve got some kind of an agenda? (And they do, they’ve started putting it into their TV programming!)

Well, I may be wrong or over-analyzing it. Or getting too carried away. But, I only have a mere 18 years to prep my kids for the battle of the real world, and I need all the help, not hindrance I can get. Sorry Disney, but I have no spare souls over here that I’m willing to experiment with.

But what about me you naysayers might debate? Didn’t I watch all those Disney movies? Yup. Watched the Disney channel a lot too, and even then I knew it was all a mockery of adults and authority. Did I have an attitude problem? You betcha. All those kids on the Disney channel had attitude problems and idiot parents. They were child-kings. They were everything we thought we wanted to be. Their lives revolved around : them.  I guess I turned out ok, but I definitely caused some undue friction in the teen years. Which inevitably may have been there just because I was in the teen years, but I feel the Disney influence only exacerbated the situation. Also, not for nothing but have you seen the trend in the lives of these Disney channel stars? Like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Christian Aguleria, Lee Thompson Young, Linsday Lohan…. now that’s really got to make you wonder about Disney’s magical influence.

Look, my kids watch plenty of TV. Don’t you worry. We just choose things that will support our parenting philosophy, not unravel it. There is plenty of wholesome children’s television out there that features nothing sexualized, both a mom and a dad parenting (something that becoming more rare for our kids to see) and respectful children with good manners.  Hey, you are what you watch. Here’s what we opt for instead of Disney:

  • Fireman Sam
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  • SuperWhy!
  • 19 Kids and Counting
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Angelina Ballerina
  • Kipper
  • Veggie Tales
  • Lots of Old School Musicals (Singin’ in the Rain, The Sound of Music,  Dr. Dolittle, White Christmas)

 

I know I take this really seriously. ( But obviously not too seriously, since I do own Disney princess dolls, etc. see previous paragraphs). I have a big problem with Disney movies. They are consistently, delibrately anti-God, anti-authority and anti-Traditional Marriage. This is just not the entertainment I want my kids exposed to. Am I saying people are going to have perfect angel kids if they don’t watch Disney? Nope. But do I think avoiding Disney will make parenting a lot smoother of a journey? I have a hunch it might….

Lobsters! Crap. I mean Liebsters!

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So Liebster Blog Awards… more of an honor than anything. Not actually an award, but more of the thoughtful gesture to be ‘nomintated’ by a fellow blogger (thanks, Ellen @ Mcsisters!), and once you accept the nomination you answer the questions of the NSA  their choosing, tag 3-5 of your favorite bloggers and round and round she goes. :)

Here are the 5 questions Ellen chose, I will answer, then tag some of my friends and pick questions of my own!:

Where is the farthest you have ever traveled?

Well, Rome. I went for World Youth Day in 2000. It was really, really hot when we were there. Like 109. I had the best meal of my life in Assisi and the campout at Tor Vergata was the first ( and almost last time…aside from WYD 2002) that I ever slept in a sleeping bag on the ground. Ever. I wish I could have experienced more than I did. Mainly, I wish I was more mature to have been soaking up the scenery and the sights instead of swooning over getting a lucky chance to sit squished on the Metro next to my crush. Hey, I was 15.  (btw heheheh thanks Mom for sending me!) I did however get the tannest I have ever been in my life, Italy showed me how dark my skin is actually supposed to be! That was a great month… looking like a mocha latte for a few weeks.

Have you ever won anything? If so, what did you win?

The only thing I’ve ever won is random bets with my husband over things like whether or not we send our extra trash to the moon (we do not) and whether or not Mister Rogers wears those sweaters to cover up all his Navy tattoos (also false). Really intellectual  post-dinner chats we have. Oh, I guess I could count the time in high school that I “won” 1st place in the CYO talent show for signing “A Boy Like That” from West Side Story…..but I try not to ever count that as a fair win because there were only about 5 contestants, and they were all awful and uncoordinated, so for my partner and I to get up on stage, dressed for the part, signing a duet with accompaniment…we were the only ones who apparently rehearsed…. they kind of had to give us 1st place. I do so like that song though, and I got to be saucy Aunt Anita…it’s not my hope but those endless rehearsals of ” a boy like that will give you trouble…”  leave me fully prepped and kind of stoked to belt it out to my daughter should the occasion ever arise.

Who is your favorite saint and why?

Saint Philomena! Why? First of all she is the only saint canonized on her intercession alone. Which is pretty phenomenal! Also, she pursued the heck out of me. I could do an entire post just on Philomena. I probably should. The long and the short of it: She chose me for confirmation, so   I chose her.  Camera Guy visited her shrine in Italy when we were courting, and promised to honor her at our wedding if we married. I promised her I’d name my first daughter after her… we did honor her and we did name our daughter after her. And she helps me constantly and immediately on hundreds of occasions…. she is my dearest heavenly companion…. ok I have to write a post on the wonders she has worked in my life because that’s what she’s known for: powerful with God and a Wonder-Worker!

What is the most dominant color in your wardrobe?

As I considered this I got embarrassed. It’s actually black. Huh, I didn’t realize how much black I own. I think I keep opting for black because it goes with everything. Well, duh, and it especially goes with everything when everything is black. Oh geez louise this makes me sound depressed but in my defense I think it’s important to stick with earth tones and real colors that exsist in nature. No funky colors. It’s more classy and every picture I see of the celebs shows them typically in some basic color like black, white or gray. So black it is. I do have colorful pieces of jewelry and scarfs for a pop of color. Also colorful shoes. I like to think that Stacey and Clinton would approve……

What has made you crack a smile today?

Knowing that tonight is Mom’s Night Out! We’re getting tapas!

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Ok now it’s my turn to pass the Liebster Award nomination onto Susie, Kelly, and Sarah!

and this is what we really want to know:

What are you wearing at this very moment?

What the oldest thing you have in your fridge? When did it expire?

If you could meet any celebrity, who would it be and why?

Random something that makes you happy?