Monday, August 25, 2008


Hmmm.......I posted this yesterday..........apparently it did not, here we go.....

You can find The Simple Woman here

My Hearts' Haven Daybook, August 24, 2008

............Sunday afternoon:

Outside My Window.....warm, high 80*s.......mild breeze through my apple trees

I am thinking...........omigoodness!..........I just fell asleep on the couch.........for almost THREE hours! I guess I must have need a nap. No wonder the kids are starting dinner. They must have been afraid they would not get any if they did not take the initiative. :)

Marty and the kids have kept me up too late the last two nights..........and my body never sleeps in. This morning, the moment I had awakened.........I got asked to come in to work today, for a few hours. I needed rest. I was even wearing half my scrubs still......and I fell asleep on the couch, in the middle of the noise........and it had no effect on me. :)

The perk for working today was I got to hold a homeschooling friend's new baby.....and baby-sit the sweet babe while her mother showered and walked.

I am thankful friend Anne.......she knows why.........see this post, please.

From the kitchen.......I am making pork chops, the kids are steaming green beans and carrots from our garden and preparing some mashed potatoes. Funny thing is, after this decision, Matthew found the same meal on the cover of the Everyday Food Magazine. So, we are trying the new recipe for the pork. The pork chops are broiled for about six minutes and then painted with a dijon mustard/brown sugar mixture........and broiled some more. Sounds yummy.

Update on our meal: Delicious. Simple, but ohsoyummy. Anne made very yummy vegan mashed potatoes.....and we meat-eaters topped them with butter. :) Great seasonings. She has a knack.

I am wearing........oh, camping clothes again.........I like to wear them on weekends.....because where I live IS camping, even if we have all of the amenities in the house. Oh, and because I have hardly any clothes to wear due to inability to find at stores or thrift shops what I need........I save the "good stuff" for when I have to leave the house during the day. Like Mondays............

I am creating........hmmm........dinner? How about a clean garage for my husband? He LOVES a clean garage.

I am make a big shopping list for my husband, who needs to drive down to the city south of us for a business reason on Monday. We REALLY need a toaster. :) Ours died completely (it had been sorta workin') three weeks ago.........and we totally forgot to replace it on the way home from camping last week.

I am reading.........The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis, just finished Random Harvest by James Hilton........the latest Via magazine from to see how many of the "must-see animals" I have been able to see in my life time! The once-a-week local newspaper. Just started the Advanced Life Support Provider I and my colleagues are being forced to take this class in September. ugh. Please pray I understand! I mean, WE understand.............we all feel kind of lost. :(

For Malachy's first chapter books, I have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia aloud at some bedtimes, to him and Garrett. We started last fall. Only two more to go after the Horse and His Boy.

I am hoping.......I can somehow get all of this year's homeschool stuff figured out and to have a VERY REAL productive year, academically. I am also hoping for one of my kids to take the final leap to great reading fluency and for the youngest to just start reading WELL. In this family of consistently late, and sometimes, very delayed readers, I am hoping ONE, will not be like that. I think Malachy is my man. :)

I am hearing......Gollum. My 11 yo boy took a chunk of his flesh out last evening, just above the knee......and just after the medical clinic closed. I talked to one of my doctor friends and we decided to take care of it at home. He cannot walk very well and is resting and watching The Two Towers. (Update: my salve is AMAZING! He is healing so very well! Now, if he can just start walking without pain again...............he has his first soccer practice Tuesday)

Around the much to do. Especially to get the homeschooling really off the ground this week. I saved these two days to get things done.....only to be needed by my husband for an unexpected chore on Saturday........and Sunday by work. Oh, vocation: in the service of others. :) I will keep trying.

One of my favorite watching my kids on stage. They just amaze me. I could NOT do what they do.......except in the privacy of my own home. :)

Saturday night, Matthew recited poetry for the local Arts Council yearly gala. They were the sponsors of his Poetry Out Loud contest that he won county-wide, back in March. He was wonderful.......especially since he had been originally told he needed to recite only one poem. And as the other poet did not show, he was requested to recite another.......and he did, totally unprepared, and a poem he has never recited publically. As it is a comedic poem, it went over well. The title of the poem is THE GLOVE AND THE LIONS by LEIGH HUNT I will try to post the poem in a day or two.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Start teaching my three week childbirth class on Tuesday.......scrapbook on Monday with Louise.......the kids need to prepare for auditions for a play at our local charter oldest is the assistant director and must be starting any moment for the little boys (just got an email from Garrett's coach......he starts Tuesday.....of course while I am at childbirth class............and hopefully he can walk/run and has not broken anything! Oh, and a phone call from Malachy's coach......he also starts Tuesday.......guess who will be driving! Not me!) ...........I asked if there is a special stamp that goes on our paperwork every time that says: call these folks after practice has started. Sometimes it feels that way...........we always see other baseball or soccer teams starting up before we even get a phone call. Malachy's first game is September 6th.......not much time for practicing! I am back-up nurse on Thursday......on Friday...........who knows........and I am hoping for a free Saturday......this time! No college classes next Monday......yay! But we still have piano.

Special prayer requests on my mind this week: For one of my friends who had a relative help them buy a house, only to be told they only have one year to find a new place to live......for Gloria, Jennifer and Maria, expectant. Also for my other sister who has severe respiratory issues...........and my mom, whose birthday was this last Monday. For a friend's young son just put into a special treatment center, to help him "save his life"

Oh, no.......this just in! Please pray for a local friend and her family. I just found out (though my source is only 8 years old) that her oldest boy (17 or 18), a frequent teammate of Matthew's through the years, has broken his neck in a football game this last weekend. I am SO sad for this family. I have known her for about 17 years, and they have had to endure so much tragedy in their family. PLEASE pray for complete healing.......the only details I have thus far are not real good.

Brief update: I heard through the grapevine last night (Monday) that he had surgery and the surgey went well. I also heard there was no severing of the spinal cord. All hearsay, though.....

I am currently the opening page and the next two pages done on my second "Our Story......continues....." scrapbook.......last week at Louise's house....looking to do more Monday night! Update: got four pages done last night......and four ready to go.

Here is picture thought I am sharing........from our one row of flowers in the garden. This is after the flowers closed after the sun when down. Thus, we must have here a heliotropic flower. I was so excited to see a new flower yesterday!

Simply lovely.

Love and prayers,


Sunday, August 24, 2008

How Can I ever Say Thank You?

I got home from our camping trip last Saturday.........and collected the three days of mail from the mailbox. There was a little package in there.

Hmmm.........I wondered what I was getting from Roman Catholic Sacramentals.......I did not remember ordering anything. I thought maybe I had signed up for something free a long time ago and maybe it was suddenly showing up.

When I got to the house, I opened the package. Inside was a small vial of oil. I saw on the PayPal receipt it was Holy Oil from the Holy House of Loreto.

Hmmmm....I do not ever use, it cannot have anything to do with something I did.

My immediate thought was: someone from the 4 Real message boards must have sent this to me for the healing of my current breathing problems. It brought tears to my eyes.......these ladies are so special. Then, while I was thinking WHO could have been the heart immediately went to aussieannie as the choice.......

Then, I studied the Paypal receipt..........there was an email there.............I was about to go to the boards to check her email, to see if it matched the one on the receipt......but, before I got to that page, I received notice of a private message for me.

I was right! It was a private message from aussieannie......and it was she who sent the gift.

I am so in awe of Anne's generosity. I always knew she was special....but this goes beyond the simple definition of special. I cannot even find the words to say thank you to her........I have waited a whole week.......trying to think how best to thank Anne........and I cannot get beyond this.

I guess the best I can do is to keep her intentions close to my heart and God's mind, while I pray this summer Rosary Novena.

I would like you to take a moment and visit the beautiful blog kept by Anne: Under Her Starry Mantle. With a title like this, you just know she loves our Blessed Mother.

And, on Tuesdays, Anne has a special devotion to Saint Anne on her blog. Saint Anne is a particular friend of mine.............Marty and I begged her for a baby after two-plus years of marriage and promised we would name our baby after her if it were a girl.......well, most of you know it must have worked!

The Holy Oil comes from the House of Loreto, the stone house in which Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived while in Nazareth. "According to tradition, in 1291, when the Crusaders were finally expelled from Palasinte, Our Lady's stone house was transported 'by angels' first to Illyria (in Croatia), then to the territory of Loreto on December 10, 1294, where it remains to this day.".........from the insert with the oil.

The oil I have received, comes from the leftover oil that burns in the Holy House, and is used as a sacramental. I am using it to invoke Our Lady of Loreto's intercession for healing, especially during this Rosary Novena I am praying. I have been blessing my chest with it whenever I have more moderate symptoms. This was daily at first......and now sometimes every two days. I always have a relief of symptoms when I have used the oil. Thanks be to God. He is so generous in providing us with sacramentals.

More info about the House of Loreto is here.

Anne, thank you so very much.
You are SO sensitive to others' needs.........and I am so humbled to be one of those you were "thinking of"

Thank you so much.......SO MUCH. Someday God will share with you the magnatude of my gratitude.......I SO wish I could give you a hug, in real life. In the meantime, consider yourself hugged.

I was going to beg God to let me know what to do, the next step, and then the Holy Oil shows up in my mail box. I am thinking this is my direction, for now. Thank you.
Blessings to you and yours.........wishing we did not live so far away from each other.....

God will reward you for your generosity, much better than I can!

With love and friendship, across the ocean,

And, in the sweet heart of Mary,


Thursday, August 21, 2008

About Sacrifice......

I found a new blog to visit, At The WellSprings of Traditional Life.

The journaler, Mrs. L, has written a post about sacrifice that I enjoyed very much........thought someone here might like it, too.

I got there through Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschool blog.......a blog I visit once in awhile.

Mrs. L also has a weekly quote.........I like that is interesting because I had just set aside some quotes of Saint John Eudes to share........maybe I will look for weekly quotes, too.

I will share this tonight, and maybe the quotes tomorrow........if I have time!

Goodnight and God bless!


P.S. Please pray our local crisis pregnancy center brings in lots of $$$ at their 20th birthday celebration/findraiser......and that there is a good turnout. Anne and I are going to stop in for a visit there, and maybe help out, if they need it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Haven Heartbeats: Just a Day in the Life at Our Hearts' Haven

All day long yesterday, I was cataloging the productiveness of my day. I could not believe I was accomplishing what I was.......and yet, I know for a fact, my day was bit disordered, and I felt a little like a butterfly, flitting from one thing to another. Using words from Willa’s blog post: I know I did not truly redeem my hours, the one’s entrusted me by God, to fulfill His will for me. Today was different than my usual flitting days, as I actually finished much that I started. Maybe I was energized by being able to launder seven loads of laundry in less than 24 hours the other day. :) Maybe the energy has carried over. Especially since I scrapbooked at Louise’s house last night, forgetting I have a kid to get to the local college at 8 am every morning, and started out the day early, but tired. Let’s see what I did here….

~Cleaned the mirror and toilet first thing in the morning…..returning, spontaneously, to an old habit of keeping the bathroom clean by doing just one bit each morning......I hope I keep it up........makes things easier and I am tired of looking at the daily to-do list on the bathroom wall, and ignoring it......for at least a year. :)

~Drove child to school, 25 minute roundtrip

~Morning drinks to hubby

~Gather trash with kids

~Eat quick breakfast

~Read emails

~Help teach Garrett how to clean the kitchen…..he just took over the breakfast meal chore on Monday due to his sister becoming a high schooler

~Morning prayers with kids

~Read story of saint of the day: Saint John Eudes. We did not do this hardly at all last year. I pulled out our favorite book. The little kids need to hear what their older siblings heard forever

~Prayed the Rosary traveling in the car to and fro

~Went over Matthew’s Latin curriculum with him, as well as his government

~Quick phone call to my friend Willa, to see if she would be able to discuss a few of the Summa questions with Matthew via phone, since we are short on “educated” folks around here :)………she cheerfully agreed

~Introduced the Latin curriculum to Sarah and Maddelyn and we accomplished the first lesson…..I was going to have them be more independent, but I think it will be best if I go along with them

~Answered lots of questions of Garrett and Malachy, all day long, of course :)

~Organized a science notebook for Sarah and wrote out the syllabus for the first chapter, and then spent time introducing it to her

~Lost my temper with one of the kids :(

~Made many chess moves for the board Malachy has had set up for days: I do not really know how to play chess anymore….but I think I am being forced to learn again. I was just making any move, to keep him happy.....but at some point......I seemed to need to know what I was doing. I resisted, because I do not like to do much that requires much logical thinking. :) It hurts too much. was apparent I needed to apply just a little attention. So, I got my handy, dandy Usborne Chess book out….it helped a lot……sometimes when I made a move, Malachy would say: oh, he can’t move that way…he is not allowed that direction. So cute. I know how Willa feels playing games with her 5 year old right now :)

~Made a quick lunch for Malachy and I

~Chatted with my dad on the phone for a few minutes

~Ate my lunch in the car as I drove Matthew to his American Literature class at the college

~Apologized to child I lost temper with…..

~Did spelling assessment with Sarah & Maddelyn

~Reviewed phonograms with the same

~Quizzed Garrett with the phonograms

~Helped Maddelyn to some up with supporting sentences for a topic sentence

~Began organizing for this year’s work with the Spell to Write and Read program…….I just LOVE this program

~I made a list of plans and schedules I need to make up on the computer......maybe on Saturday?

~Was blessed to have Patty call and offer to bring two kids from college to my house, since she was going that way anyway (okay, this was not something I actually did, but I wanted to give some credit and gratitude to Patty)

~Cut watermelon for an afternoon snack for half the kids

~Chopped about ten different kinds of vegetables for double stir-fry (enough for two meals)

~Cooked rice

~Called an old friend from college

~Talked to my dear friend Gloria, on phone....…who must be feeling the effects of our prayers :)

~Stir-fried three batches of veggies

~Tried to call Maria couple of times

~Worked on cleaning the garage, putting away groceries as well

~Gathered outside trash

~Spent time getting the outside pantry back in shape

~Threw the balls for the dogs, several times

~Chatted with my husband by phone

~Helped Anne with some online purchases for a class

~Cleaned my room for about 15 minutes......needs LOTS more time than that!

~Read about 35 pages in my book: Random Harvest by James Hilton……definitely did not go the way I expected

~Read a chapter of The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis to the little boys

~Read through and deleted a bunch of emails

~Read Willa, Clare and Lissa’s blogs……added a comment here and there

~Watched one hour of a movie Anne found at the library yesterday, with three older kids: Bee Season with Richard Gere: oddly filmed, we are still trying to figure the storyline out....will finish it tomorrow

~Typed up this list........while watching (listening to?) the movie

~Looked around the house at what I should have been cleaning up, but wrote this instead. :)

~Got ready for bed, read for a few seconds…..drifted off to sleep

I guess this is a typical day at Our Hearts’ Haven........maybe no..........maybe I do not usually get as much done :) We KNOW I left something directing the day.........because I am so forgetful

Hmmm…..looks like I need to add in some exercise for mom.

So, I need to get the little boys going with their schooling…most of it is being done with me, so I have been getting the olders ready with their independent studies.

Now, off to go live this next day, this next opportunity.......already messed up because I am here :)

God bless,


Sunday, August 17, 2008


You can find The Simple Woman here

My Monday musings will almost always be from the Sunday before.........

or it will never get done. :)

My Hearts' Haven Daybook

August 17, 2008

Outside My Window..........I see a cooler looking sky than I expected to see today. We even had a few sprinkles when I was out hanging up a few clean swimsuits at 7:30 am this morning. The expected high is 91* may well get there, but at least the sun is not glaring like it has been. I also see the trees moving with a lovely breeze................and can feel it coming in through my bedroom windows, which I have not had to close yet. yay.

I am thinking.........about how I dread TOMORROW. I am pretending it is not going to happen. but it will anyway. Tomorrow our summer basically ends...............that is, our free time is OVER. Anne starts the fall semester at the JC tomorrow. Matthew, Sarah and Maddelyn start beginning voice class at the JC tomorrow. Piano lessons start tomorrow...........and unfortunately voice is in the middle of piano lessons.........both of which are in different I have to run to one town, then to the next.........and back again. And, this all gets more complicated first week of September, when we add play rehearsals........which were supposed to be in the same town as piano......but are now switched to the other I go back yet again. And then, it will get even worse in October, when the JC play rehearsals start for the two oldest that begin at the exact same hour the other rehearsals end. ugh. Oh, and I forgot, Maddelyn needs violin lessons somewhere in there. This is my Monday........every single week for the semester. Do you see why I dread tomorrow??? I am so not ready for it. I think I better make up a master plan for the day. Oops.........and Matthew will have math tutor, too. Enough already.

I am thankful for........the time when I was 8 months pregnant with my second child and my first was newly two, and my husband said: I'll go do the shopping for you so you do not have to go out so pregnant and trying to manage a two year old, too.

Then, when the wee critter was born, my husband said: I will go do the shopping for you, so you do not have to manage a newborn and a toddler. And, with that, he promptly took over the family shopping.

That baby is a few months shy of 18 years. I am SO grateful to have had that chore lifted off of my shoulders all of these years. Yesterday on the way home from our Crater Lake camping trip, we dropped him off at the local airport to pick up a friend's car, and he did the family shopping for us on his way home. Today, my family with the good appetite devoured 4 pounds of fresh strawberries in about an hour. Yikes.....but, you have got to eat them fast.....they start to go bad after a couple of days.

And the last decade, the shopping is not just stopping by the local grocery.......but a 2-3 hour round trip for just the driving, depending on if he goes south or north to do the shopping...........and a huge ordeal. He needs to stop by Costco, WinCo, for chicken feed supplies, Wal Mart or Office Depot, if needed ......and anything else we can think of....... He does this every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how low our supplies get. Which is unusual except for the fresh produce. We have a very well stocked pantry......he likes to keep it that way......always staying ahead. And, he is SO generous with the fresh produce........this is what our family eats the most. He usually tries to double up other needs for the trip, like building supplies or things need for his job.

From the kitchen..........on the menu for lunch today: whatever you want. For dinner: We have pulled from the freezer some of our Lebanese food from our annual Lebanese Feast, which took place in May this last spring. Jiddee (Arabic for grandfather) made the kibbee (baked ground lamb stuffed with ground hamburger, pine nuts and bulgar wheat) and we all made several hundred stuffed grape leaf rolls. There is only one more batch of each left in the freezer. :( We will round it out with a Lebanese salad and some kind of squash dish.........since our garden is prolifically producing different kinds of squash, including the coosa (Lebanese squash).

I am wearing........should I admit I am still in my summer nightgown? I think I can........seems most posters are either still in jammies or shorts. I guess most of us write in the morning. Mostly I am still in my nightie because I need to take a bath before my big day begins tomorrow......and who wants to dirty extra clothing.

I am creating........hmmmm......not sure if I can think of anything.....oh, I know! I am going through the dirty laundry so fast, I am creating a mountain of clean clothes for the kids to fold.......excuse me while I go tell them they need to get folding while they watch a movie.

I am the other room to tell the kids to fold the clean clothes......and then I am going to go get that other load off of the clothesline.....and the one out of the dryer to add to their pile. :)

I am reading.........Random Harvest by James Hilton and looking through Lasting Moments magazine, the scrapbooking magazine put out by Creative Memories.......and through Willa's blogs:

Schola et Studium

Every Waking Hour

I am hoping........tomorrow is not as bad as it seems like it should be......and that my breathing issues will soon be cured. Please, God.

I am hearing......the train going slowly by......screech........chunk........bang.........more screech.....sounds like home........the sprinklers in the garden........the fan from the bathroom........quiet chatter of the kids..........the hum of the sewing machine...........Anne is sewing eight tablecloths as a volunteer effort for a fundraiser evening at the local crisis pregnancy center later this week............the kids are listening to the music of the Jekyll and Hyde musical. It is good music. Anne and Matthew and I saw the movie of the play starring that "hunk" from Baywatch. What's his name????? Hmmm.......David Hasselhoff, Yeah, that's him. He acted this part splendidly. It is one of the best filmed plays I have ever seen. Very well acted, very well sung and very well filmed.

Around the house.......lots of things on a to-do list........oh, what happened to the summer??? Oh, where to start????

One of my favorite visiting National Parks. Hope to share more about our visit to Crater Lake National Park this week. Can't promise anything! I'm still me. :) No way around it.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week........ Well, let's see.........piano lessons, classes at the JC, math start this week.......translated: I become one serious chauffeur. Hope to scrapbook in the evening on Tuesday at Louise's lovely home. I am scheduled to work on Thursday. In addition to the tablecloths above.............we have promised 40 cupcakes for the Crisis Pregnancy Center Fundraiser evening........which takes place on Friday evening.........and I believe Anne and I are going, for at least part of it. And Saturday? Well, I just checked the calendar and it is empty.....oh, shoot! I forgot.........that evening Matthew needs to go recite a poem at the local county arts council.....since he was the county winner for Poetry Out Loud last March. It is their big fundraising gala. But, that's least it is in the evening, and we will not stay the whole time. I need to email his committment. So, I guess the whole DAY will be free...........I will probably work on homeschool stuff.

Special prayer requests on my mind this week..........Those two expectant moms I keep mentioning (Jennifer and Gloria) and I want to add my friend Maria who is expecting her 8th baby in October. All three of them think they are going to go early........and I do, too. Esp the first two as they have higher risks...........and babies just like to get out of those high risk environments as soon as they safely can (and sometimes sooner!). Cool the way the body works.

Also pray for my oldest as she has a chronic disease that seems to be harder to deal with in the summer.......and as she starts her last year here at the local JC and tries to figure out where to go to school to finish her degrees. She has some, where does God want her to go?

For our new school year.............I wanted to be more ready than this. :/ I repeat: Where the heck did the summer go????

Also, a special private intention is on my mind.

Please pray I can persevere with the Rosary Novena I started last Thursday. If you read my blog......your intentions are covered as well.

I am currently scrapbooking.........not anything done in this last week, except the reading of the magazine above. I am going to put an order in soon to Creative Memories. Look here to see the paper set I am going to use for the first page of Our Star-Spangled Adventure 2007 scrapbook, which I am almost ready to start........just need some of the new pages CM just updated. I LOVE these new papers! Don't you? they are made just in time for me!

NOW SHOWING........."Love Letters".......rated PG-13 for a reason.........came recommended. I don't, even with the good acting and filming. The kids are watching "The Thin Man" in preparation for a whodunit musical they are auditioning for next week. And somewhere on the list is "Sunset Blvd"........a couple of us saw it last year. The next set of kids wants to see it see what the musical is based on.

Here is picture thought I am sharing........

One of the flowers from our garden, planted along the edge.

I may have a hard time getting back here to journal anymore this looks too, now you know what to expect. :) And, you are not surprised.

Blessings this week,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Follwing up on Hearts' Haven Cats.......

You may remember I wrote a post titled:

For My Friend Aidan: The Cats of Our Hearts' Haven way back in June.

Well, I MEANT to send the reply that Aidan and his mom put together for was SO thoughtful. And I was so pleased. I was also very surprised how many photos Willa had of my cats. :) Click HERE to see what they had to say!

Willa wrote this in a private email.........with her permission:

Sigh -- we really do miss you -- seems like our Bryan clock is set for March, July and October -- and we are missing some of the clock-strikes : (

I thought it was so clever. And true.

The nice thing is............a bunch of things fell through and changed and made it so we were able to strike the July dong........just differently then we ever thought we would. Such a blessing.

Thanks Aidan and Willa.



PS.....In case anyone was wondering...........our kitties are called Jane and Lizzie.....and they LOVE Malachy to hold them............which he does as much as possible!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


You can find The Simple Woman here

For yesterday.........

My Hearts' Haven Daybook, August 10, 2008

Outside My is still a bit smokey.....see my Summer of Smoke least we can see the mountains today. Yesterday started out lovely and by late afternoon the mountains had been 8pm it was a very creepy place.......dark, and yet it was not night. Ugh.

I am thinking..........I wish I could breathe more easily. I need to remember to email the homeopathic physician today!

I am thankful husband of 23 years today.......and my great kids that have come from this love.

Oh, and Anne overheard Marty talking to my friend Su last week while she was scrapbooking..........and he told her how much he loves Christmas because he gets a new scrapbooking album from me and a scrapbook calendar from my kids. I am glad he appreciates it.........esp when I need him to pay for the supplies. :)

From the kitchen.......shall I be too embarrassed to say??? As we have been company away from home, or had company at home for 14 days straight.......we are exhausted. We are tired of chopping and baking...........there is a Costco Lasagna in the oven for my meat-eaters.........the vegans will be fending for themselves tonight. Will probably add steamed verggies fresh from the garden.

I am wearing........oh, no......not again!.........another camping dress :) I got out of the shower and put my swimsuit cover dress on because it is light, airy and flowing.............and it is just what I needed today.

I am creating.......this, I guess. I NEED to be creating a meal plan for our camping trip this week. So not in the mood. (update.........I am starting to be inspired, finally)

I am try to go accomplish something.....anything.......maybe clean-up the garage a bit to please my hubby who got stuck at work today :( It is just a grocery-run that needs putting in its place. And, then, maybe a school check-list for my almost 7yo. I think he will like that. I will revamp someone's past list. I am also going to call my youngest sister. Update: garage is done and I cleaned the car out............ready for camping packing.......and I started collecting some of the camping supplies.

I am reading.........same as last week, plus a bit of the first issue of mater et magistra that showed up here last week.

I am hoping..........I can get the school stuff in order for starting ALL of the kids by next Monday. Four out of six are accounted for.............I saved the two easiest for last.........and will need to go over everything with the other kids give them a reminder. THIS is SO much better than last year's start.

I am hearing......Josh Groban singing Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. I LOVE his voice..........I LOVE that song........and Malachy imitating 2yo Charlotte saying: "Say you berr not, you berr not."

Around the house.......LOTS of laundry to be folded..............scrapbook stuff to be put away..........mostly quiet with three of the kids off helping a friend to paint for $$.

One of my favorite a Rosary novena. I just love the grace. Praying to start one on the 14th, so it can end in time for the Feast of the Holy Rosary.

Please leave any special intentions in my comment section, and I will add it to my Rosary novena. I would love to pray for you!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Prepare to go camping near Crater Lake National Park, go camping near Crater Lake National Park and clean-up from camping near Crater Lake National Park. :) Enough said.

Special prayer requests on my mind this week: Continued prayers for two of my favorite people who are expecting baqbies the same week of September. My kids are SO excited.........two cousins in one week! (one is blood and the other via friendship) The only thing better is a new sibling of their own ;) This they will tell you.............(no, I am not pregnant) ......and my private intentions.

I am currently scrapbooking........I am just SO excited.........I never got to do anything on my wedding album till this morning.......and I got the WHOLE thing finished only took two and a half long years.......but it is DONE!............AND, all the photos are in place in the other album.......journaling and extras to follow. I will plug away at that over the next few months in order to hand it finished to Marty for Christmas. Now, ready to start the next album, which includes my college graduation and the birth of my first niece and my firstborn.

At this point, officially, slightly less than 21 years behind! yes! I think I now have six albums done:
~Christmas photos and newsletters
~Our Hearts' Haven (building the house and developing this property)
~Marty's family and pre-marriage life
~My family and pre-marriage life
~what I call "Our Story"......Volume one is completed for viewing

YES! Only a million to go!!! I keep taking photos! :)

Malachy finally started his own album: he did great and has four pages done. He has been paying attention to the details of my scrapbooking and his siblings, too, and has style already. And, show him how to use the tools once...........he gets it. Very cute. He is scrapbooking our trip from last fall: Disneyland, Getty Museum, ocean visit, Aunts and Uncles..............

NOTE: I stand corrected from a past blog post: My friend Patty, who so graciously tutors my boy in math (not remedial......just to keep him moving forward.......which HAS been difficult this summer. All too soon school will officially start.....then he will be on task......anyway.........), has let me know that my grandma is not the only one who reads my blog regularly. Thanks, Patty. :)

Here is picture thought I am sharing........

I LOVE this photo..............straight out of my raspberry patch, last June, just as they were ripening.

God bless your week.

Keep our travels in your prayers, please.


PS: School starts next, do not get too used to all of this is short-lived. :)

It's Our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

August 10, 1985
St. Mary's in the Mountains
Virginia City, Nevada
Father Bengal officiating-
please pray for the repose of his soul

Is that altar something?!

We offered our marriage to Our lady........too bad someone cut her out of the photo!

Mr. & Mrs.

My mom made the beautiful cake.
They slammed us with bird hurt! :)
Please pray for us, as an anniversary gift.
Thank you!

Haven Heartbeats

Work stuff: I wonder if I am allergic to WORK.............I almost always, and have for years......get PWTS:

Post-Working Tramatic Syndrome

It almost always includes a headache......mild to migraine.......often includes nausea, and usually major tiredness, with or without the other symptoms.

This is why I rarely work two days in a row (much less in a month :) )

I have always wondered if it was the lights or chemicals.........I am pretty sure it is related to blood sugar issues as my meal times change, or even disappear, when I am at work. Or, could it be my brain is being forced to work? Who knows.............but it IS consistent. It sucks. These are twelve hour shifts........but we can count on being away from home no less than 13-15 hours each time. ugh.

Yesterday my legs and feet were trobbing after work...............they ached for a massage. :)

Phone calls: I REALLY needed to call some has been months.......or even longer since I talked to a few of these people. Since I had to chop so many vegetables for dinner tonight..........I decided to make a few calls. I tried my father-in-law.......guess he is out of town, in New Hampshire, for his annual August trip to see son #2, 9 of 10 grandchildren........and 6 great-grandkids. So I ended up talking to Aunt Dana, wife of son #4. It was so cute when Malachy yelled at the phone spontaneously: "Hi, Aunt Dana! Hi, godmother!" He was embarrassed by his cuteness. :)

I talked to my friend Jeanne in Sacramento area..........we were sad to miss a real life visit together last we made up for it with a chat. She is a dear. Keep her in prayer, please.

My cousin Julie...........we have not chatted, I THINK, since we met at Disneyland last year........but we MAY have talked around Christmas.......not sure. It was fun catching up.........she is finally in nursing school. I do not envy her, being so "old" and going through nursing school. :) She is my closest age cousin: only 16 months younger. Now my dad can be reassured that I DO sometimes listen to him (and call my cousin).

A new friend: A Catholic homeschooling mom recently joined our online camping group......she only lives 2.4 hours away...........she has big and little children. My older kids are impressed that that her two oldest are Thomas Aquinas College students (one just graduated). So am I. Very cool. She lives on our way to visit Reno, so we expect to get to meet them in person one, they may have soccer games out our way this fall.

Gloria: Anne and I were doing dinner-prep, for John's meal (her husband), and I said: Why does cooking for John always have to be such huge amount of work??? :)(Since most of the year Gloria and John visit about once a month, Gloria and I do this together, I already knew. :) )

Anne responded: Imagine what Gloria does, and with all those babies underfoot!

So, we called her to tell her we understand how hard she works, and to tell her we would pray for her always, to keep up the pace. :)

We also told her we are praying for her pregnancy and her risk factors. Please join us!

Hmmm.........was that ALL of the phone calls?

Tubing on the river: John took three of my kids tubing of them took the last rapids without a tube..........a few scratches and bruises, but otherwise okay. They said it was pretty cold.

Now Showing: We saw a delightfully engaging old movie classic today! Random Harvest starring Greer Garson (one of my favorite actresses and the reason I had ordered it from Netflix) and Ronald Colman. It is based off a novel of the same name, by James Hilton. I knew I recognized the name! He wrote Lost Horizons. I read that once in high school and again last year. He also wrote Goodbye, Mr. Chips. I ordered both from the library............and will then watch the "Chips" movie with Greer Garson in it. There are three other re-makes after that, too. There was a newcomer in the film named Susan Peters. We looked her up on Google to see what else she did because we enjoyed her acting..........and found she had a tragically short life. It was depressing. :( My friend Clare just HAS to see this movie.........she will love the story AND the costumes. :)

We also saw The Errand Boy with Jerry Lewis. He was also the director and producer. Hardly funny at all, though comedy was the point........must have been just below Malachy's level (almost 7 years old) because he only laughed some of the time. :) WAY too predictable!

Going off to bed..............

God bless!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Haven Heartbeats

Well, my day most certainly did NOT go the way I thought it would!

I started this post last night, and planned to post it this morning before my Grandma got to the PC to check. Alas, my phone rang at 6:15am (ugh) with someone begging me to come to work today. It was a good day to go, I guess.....I only had lots of things I wanted to do......not anything I had to do. So, I went.

On the way there, I begged God not to let any deliveries happen on my shift (I am an OB nurse, for those that are unaware).......I told Him I was not in the mood. :) WHILE I was driving there.......the patient went from 6 cm to delivery in the fifteen minutes I was driving. :) God was so good to me. :) Even so, it was a crazy kind of day. In the end........I still got out of the hospital an hour and half early. yes.

But now........I was too tired to do anything I had written, at almost midnight, on my to-do list for today. I could not even veg in front of this screen........there was a teenager in my way. :)

Speaking of teenagers, there were two extra ones here tonight:

John G and son Walter (14.5yrs) and nephew Ian (15 years?) and friend are here for a couple of days at the end of their week of camping. My boys were supposed to join them.......but we went to the Sierras instead. Good move. :) Their last day of fun is tubing tomorrow on the river.............I believe my boys are planning to join them. One is thinking of backing out since it will not be too hot. Our high tomorrow looks like only 79*.....though it is usually warmer on the river.

So, here is the post that was supposed to run this morning.........before I was interrupted this morning in my sleep.....ugh........


From our garden: Last night we ate steamed coosa with dinner. Coosa is the Arabic word for squash.......our squash just happens to be Lebanese. My father-in-law is Lebanese, first husband, children, one quarter. The beans and peas are ready............I planted two different kinds of each. We also ate buttercrunch lettuce on our sandwiches today. Malachy ate three large carrots straight out of the garden this evening........he did wash them! Our garden is about a month behind normal in growth and produce.............could it be because we planted it about a month later than usual???

Scrapbooking: My friend Su Z got about 31 pages done while she was here.....including the finishing of her European Trip album......well, except for that journaling part. I am just about finished with the first of many chronological albums from the time Marty and I met in 1982. I hope to finish it tonight or ends in the middle of I will only be 21 years behind! Of course.........I still need to do most of the journaling in that album. For the rest of the weekend I will try to cram time in to finish my wedding scrapbook........our 23rd anniversary is on Sunday.....and it is a surprise for Marty..........ONLY three years in the making..........He gets it whether I finish the last bit or not!

Kid focus: Sarah was so sweet.........On Tuesday morning, she got up and started preparing a birthday cake for our newly 13 year old visitor............she knew exactly what she wanted for the baseball All-Star Pitcher........who just may go somewhere someday with that arm of his............a cake made in the shape and design of a baseball. His mom told him that if he agreed to STAY 12 years old...........she would let him have his birthday presents. He agreed. The poor mother..........this is her baby. :)

Update of the Gun Fun around here: Matthew tried to convince me that these airguns were safe enough to shoot people: "Come on, Mama, shoot me and see." So I did. He is right. They are not very unsafe. So, the boys played with the guns.........wore eye protection...........and Maddelyn found if you shoot at close can get a tiny little welt. So, they have to avoid shooting at close range.......except for that little tiny welt on Garrett's face. The boys even made a mini-movie with the tractor lawn mower and the airguns. A few have broken already.......argh.

I am happy a two-day class I was required to take next week has been post-poned till September.....yay...........I only just got the book on Tuesday........and have yet to start studying. Less pressure for the moment.

We are trying to decide where to go camping next week with Marty for a few days..............looks like somewhere close to Crater Lake it will be.

An update to this post:

Well, as you can guess..........NO scrapbooking got done today.......and I am too tired, I will focus on the wedding one the midst of working on that to-do list.

Tonight the girls made homemade pesto from our garden basil. It was very tasty.......John RAVED about it........said "This is the best pesto I have ever eaten." GREAT compliment from John.

Walter and Ian have been very anxious to use their airguns all week........John told them they had to wait till they got he dropped them off here before heading to their home spot. I think they enjoyed themselves, warring all the afternoon away.

Matthew and Garrett got our new out building painted today........a shelter for the dogs. I will try to photo it soon to share. Malachy and the dogs also got painted, somehow :)

It is a bit chillier out tonight......I actually have had to close a few windows.

And, now.......good night....I think I am a bit tired....... :)

Yaaaaaawwnn.....just a bit!

With love,


Monday, August 4, 2008


Find The Simple Woman here

I hesitated to start doing this.....I always hesitate to do what everyone else is doing :) ....but I enjoy the simplicity of the the fact that it is a record of a historical moment......that would be MY a bit of journaling that I do not usually get done, would get done. I may not do it every Monday.......and may sometimes be late. No surprise there! :)

Another reason I have hesitated to start this was because I sometimes do not always keep things simple....I like to write with lots of details............and be chatty......and then, I found Elizabeth's blog post the other day, and found she knows just what I am talking about. So, I will go for it.......and it will be my style in the it usually is...... :)

My Hearts' Haven Daybook, August 4, 2008

Outside My garden has grown a lot in a week. I am happy to see the basil doing better than when I left. The tomato leaves look a bit unhappy. There were some snow peas to munch on and a few cherry tomatoes..............and we see baby squash, peppers and eggplant. The flowers Garrett planted on the edge just for fun are a pretty sight for the eyes. We picked a huge turnip, a small beet and a small rutabaga. We are so excited about this because we have never grown these plants before. We will be eating them with tomorrow's meal......baked root vegetables with Lebanese salad and barbequed tri-tip. Mmmmmm.

I am excited I am that I am only 21 1/2 years behind on my scrapbooking now after last week's run of scrapbooking. I am doing more this week with my friend Su Z who is on her way here now.

I am thankful for...our "soulmates" for friends.......Willa and family.........and the most wonderful visit to their home we just had! And also for my grandmother.........I LOVE to know she reads my blog. She is the only one who reads it regularly.

From the kitchen...we are having spinach fettacini alfredo topped with baked chicken and steamed broccoli and red bell pepper. It is SO pretty: two different greens, a red and the white...........lovely contrast. I am baking Italian crust bread..........experimenting with some chopped sundried tomato and minced garlic mixed in.......and a green salad with lettuce from our garden and toppings with homemade balsamic dressing from my oldest daughter's expertise. Oh, and olive oil and garlic for the bread dipping. I think that is it. Can you tell we are having company? This is my new company meal this summer. Not sure if I have time to whip up a dessert.............I may save that for tomorrow night. I am pretty sure one of the boys visiting has a birthday tomorrow.

I do not usually make such a nice meal. :) My poor kids.

I am camping clothes: an old very flowery and flowing skirt with an old shirt that has a splatter of paint on it somewhere.

I am creating........a letter of reference for a dear friend's daughter, who would like to go to Thomas Aquinas College in Fall of 2009. I am also creating a Literature Evening with Howard Pyle for our next literature evening.

I am try not to stay up too late tonight!

I am reading.........Charlotte Mason's Formation of Character and The Four Loves by CS Lewis. Willa and I are reading the CM book at the same time. She keeps ahead of me as she started first. :) Still trying to figure out what to read list is overwhelming me. There are A LOT of books still left for me to discover!

I am hoping...well.....I have some private prayers big on my mind right now...........but I am also hoping my company can find a way to stay through Friday and not have to leave on Thursday! :)

I am six children, aged 6yrs to 19yrs, belting out along with the music from The Scarlet Pimpernel........they do this regularly, all day long..........if they can......... from different musicals. This is why I have to have a rule during school hours: ONLY Classical music before lunch. :) (The funny thing: I worte this on Monday morning.........and then later about 7:30pm when I came back to finish writing this.........they were doing it yet AGAIN! :) )

Around the house.......we have the leftovers of stuff and sleeping bags and piles of dirty laundry that I am slowly whittling down (already have one on the ready to go....and one in the wash!) from our trip to visit our friends in the High Sierras of California. We returned late last night, just after 10pm...........and are quite pooped out!

One of my favorite looking through my most recent pages of my scrapbooking endeavors.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: We have company arriving in just four hours........we will hang and play with them till Thursday.......this includes scrapbooking moms, swordfighting boys..........and girls who love to be togther doing girly stuff. The boys have new airguns and will be begging to use those. I hope to hold my ground and say NO. I am SO naive, that when they were buying "air" guns, I thought that meant they shot "air".........I was very surprised to learn they needed to purchase beebees (how does one spell that word???). I am NOT so happy about this. They will need their father's intervention to convince me they can have what they want. :)

(Update: my husband has helped me to see this is possibly okay...........and Matthew let me shoot the pistol.........I am a GOOD shot! :) I hit my target twice, with my first time ever shooting ANY gun in my life. It was kind of fun.........shhhh.........don't tell the boys!)

Here is picture thought I am sharing........

It is hard to tell in this photo........but that turnip is about 5-6 inches in diameter! fresh from our garden!!

I want to add two more comments to the Simple Woman's Daybook for my blog:

Special prayer requests on my mind this week: For my friend Gloria and my sister Jennifer who are due the same week with their 6th and 4th babies..........and it is only about 7 weeks to go. And of course my private intentions: I have three special ones........just waiting patiently for God to come around to my way of thinking :) Oh, and for our coming homeschool year! We DEFINITELY could use some prayers!!

And, I cannot for the life of me remember what the other comment was.........par for course!

God bless you for reading this far!


PS: I wrote this on Monday......but ran out of time to post it!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Well....I was actually going to post something today.....but I found I would rather spend time with my friend....or scrapbooking....or, this is all there is!

Tomorrow we hit the road for home.......and the Z family arrives to visit us on Monday.

It is late now...I need to hit the pillow......and there are a lot of children exhausted from an evening of swing dancing. :)

Returning soon....please pray for our safe travels.