Sunday, February 27, 2011

Along the Alphabet Path - "F" Week

I'm sooo overdue on this post, but here goes...

F is for St. Francis, Fuchsia Fairy, Farm Animals, Flowers, and Fish!

Books we Read

The Girls Book of Fairies
The Book of Fairies - Michael Hague
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Flower Garden
The Boy Who Grew Flowers
Fairies in Art and Poetry from the Metropolitan Art Museum


Fish Puzzle
Farm Animals
Fish and Fruit Stickers
F Letter Formation

Snacks and Food

Fish and Flan!

It was a "F"un week!

(Next up will be the updates from G week...stay tuned.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quickly, quickly...

Yarning along with Ginny at Small Things!

Monica's scarf

Maria's Argyle-Lace Pattern Dishcloth

Mine - crocheting a shawl for the girls and knitting
a shawl for myself
Maria didn't have her book ready for the picture, but she's reading C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle from the Chronicles of Narnia Series.  Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So You Wanna Be a What?

Deacon myths...

  • A deacon is a part-time job.
  • The best time to be a deacon is in the golden years.
  • He's the deacon and it's his "thing" (spoken by a deacon's wife).
  • He's the social justice guy on the parish council.
  • A deacon is not as important as a priest.
The past three weeks have been incredibly insightful into the vocation of a deacon.  New life was breathed into the diaconate after the Second Vatican Council.  The Holy Spirit inspired the Church to make distinctions between the transitional and permanent diaconate.  Consequently, many very good diaconate formation programs have risen up in the Church.  One such program is at the St. Paul School of Divinity in conjunction with the Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute.  Here in the Twin Cities, the call for deacons happened to come out right around the Feast of the Epiphany, and Daddy let me know he was interested in "checking it out" shortly after that.  I think it all became a little more clear for me when he made the commitment to attend the "come & see" meetings at the seminary.  I didn't attend the first one, but I was there last week and tonight.  I was floored both times by the following:
  • During ordination the bishop lays hands on the candidate and after several questions regarding duty and fidelity, the candidate leaves the lay state and becomes joined to the Church forever.
  • The deacon wears a sash as a symbol of being an ambassador of the Church in the world and a servant at the table of the Lord.
  • Their primary works are charity and service as an icon of Christ-servant.
  • The wife of a deacon has veto power over the bishop.  Whoa!
  • The family of the deacon becomes the responsibility of the Church in the case his wife precedes him in death.  How this plays out is not really well defined, but in the case of an emergency the deacon and his children would be taken care of.
  • A deacon is a deacon to his parish, to his wife, and to his children.  This presupposes he has a wife and children.  He's also a father at all of those times, too, so there is no hat-wearing.
  • This is a vocation (a calling) like any other vocation.  God calls, you answer.
Famous Deacons
  • the child Jesus at 12 years of age in the Temple doing the work of his Father,
  • St. Lawrence
It doesn't get heftier than that!  Please keep us all in prayer as we all continue to discern.

Post-Holiday Dump

We were seriously dumped on over the last two days.  Snow totals averaged between 6-20 inches!  I can't believe it.  I just had the van unearthed washed last Wednesday evening taking advantage of the balmy weather.  However, here we are sledding, shoveling, and freezing again!

Yarn Frenzy

I've been enjoying knitting and and crocheting lately.  I just couldn't stop at knitting.  I had to learn to crochet as well.  Knitting, I have found, is great for making garments or small objects (animals), but to embellish them requires crochet.  So, I've been viewing YouTube tutorials in order to learn.  Here's what my set-up usually looks like:

and here are a few finished products...a pair of leg warmers for Jane!

Here's a close-up of the crocheted flowers.  I crocheted a five petal and a six petal and attached them with a button.  Cute!

Meanwhile, Monica is working on a scarf for a friend, and Maria has begun a second dishcloth with an argyle-lace pattern.  

Musical Rooms

We would definitely take the prize for most number of furniture moves in one lifetime!  Again, we moved the older girls to a room of their own downstairs.  Now they have space for some of their hobbies, a private bathroom, and a bigger closet.  They're still getting used to it.

This left space to move Molly and Lucas into their own room (the readers) and Gabe and Jane into a room of their own as well (the earlier bedtime preschoolers).  Nick is still in his own room (the nursery) where we'll also have a guest bed.  Phew!  Daddy is progressing on his re-grouting project in the shower upstairs.  I like his work!

Tonight is the third talk in the Diaconate Come & See series.  We'll be hearing about married life and the diaconate vocation and how they fit together.  I'm excited to hear how it all works.  Our parish deacon is thrilled to have us at the talks.  I'm so proud of Daddy for taking the initiative and bringing me along.  It's been quite insightful to say the least.

Saving Big Money at....Menards?

Here's my beef with Menards....I can't stand their jingle.  I don't even want to link an audio-file for fear I might lose the one-two commenters I get on this blog!  I also don't like how they don't stick to one thing. They compete with Home Depot as a home and garden store, but they also sell things like food, cards, artwork, toys, and cleaning products.  Usually when I accompany Daddy to Menards I stay in the car and nap or listen to the radio.  I refuse to go in.  Yesterday, however, Daddy had a few items to "search" for, and I didn't want to freeze in the car.  I think I lost faith in humanity when I saw this on one of the shelves...

I kid you not!  Who would buy one of these for their.....where would you put something like this?  Tell me, people!  However, my faith was restored when I turned a corner into another aisle and saw a whole load of scrap-booking items on an end-cap.  On display were a Cricut Expression machine for a steal and several Cricut cartridges.  I couldn't find a price on them until I looked up at one of those gaudy sale signs that I thought the retail industry had done away with in the zenith of scanners and barcodes.

But what to my wondering eyes did appear, but an incredibly low price that made me draw near!  The Cricut cartridges were slashed from $45.00 to an unbelievable $9.98!!!  Of course, I bought two after checking if the packages were intact, even slightly damaged, and then ran quickly to give them to Daddy to put in his 5 gallon bucket (that was one of his purchases).  Now, I LOVE Menards!  Well, I don't really, but I will probably get out of the car and venture in the next time we run errands together in case they have another overload of Cricut products they just have to move.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Along the Alphabet Path - "E" Week

Somehow, I got very behind with my posts about our journey along the Alphabet Path.:(  I've been swamped with school, knitting, keeping up with the day-to-day, and meetings.  Here's a quick listing of what's been going down around these parts:
  • We attended a parent meeting for a new charter school that will be opening up this fall.  (We discerned we won't be a part of that endeavor!)
  • Lucas started piano lessons this Sunday so I had to attend a parent meeting and have a follow up meeting next Sunday.
  • Daddy began his first Come & See in a series of four meetings for discernment to our Archdiocesan Diaconate program.
  • We decided to move the older girls downstairs to the guest bedroom.  This way they'll have their own bathroom, a good-sized closet, some extra privacy, and the ability to stay up later to get work done without disturbing the younger sleepers who will remain upstairs.
  • The last bullet means several switcheroos of items in various closets!
  • Nicholas has been weaned.  All I can say is one ouch led to several other ouches so now I'm ouch-free!
Now getting back to the Alphabet Path...

E is for Eyebright Fairy and Elizabeth Ann Seton

Books We Read

Big Machines at Work:  Earthmovers
Eyewitness Book:  Earth
Eyewitness Book:  Explorer
Eight Animals on the Town
The Enormous Potato
The Little Engine that Could
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Edward the Confessor

Letter E Formation
Egg Stickers
Egg Stamping

We also made Elephant Ears for a special snack and ate lots and lots of EGGS!

We had a great E week!  And don't you just love the collages?  I do!  I finally figured out how to make them using Flickr and Picnik.:)  Go check it out!  

Next up... Letter F Week along the Alphabet Path!

My Funny Valentine

I love these cute little hand-drawn hearts that I get from my funny Valentine every year.  He's the best!  He surprised me with a sweet little gift of perfume I recently discovered.  He also agreed that I should get a Cricut personal cutter for school use.  Later on today we will be delivering a baby meal.  The kids will be giving these little cards I made with the cutter to the children of that family.  We're putting together a red dinner for them:  pepperoni heart-shaped pizza, red wine, a red velvet cake, and a six pack of Nordeast beer which has a tinge of red to it!  After we drop off the dinner, we'll head to the Mall of America for a Josh Wilson concert.  The kids have really been into KTIS which is always encouraging and uplifting!
Also, I thought I should show you all a bit of my knitting.  I'm working on a pair of leg warmers for Jane.  Since her legs are so short, I figured this would be a project I could finish while it's STILL winter!  I'm almost finished with the first one.  But look what's underneath all that loot.  Yes, that's a beautifully crocheted tablecloth handmade by one of my aunts when I was very young.  She made it for me to put on my table when I had my own home.  See what I have to live up to!  I hope to crochet as beautifully as she did.  The bar is set pretty high!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Flan Update: Disaster & Success

I was so excited to come home and check the flan in the refrigerator this afternoon, but I didn't stabilize the pan I had stored them in.  As I opened the refrigerator, I had an unexpected surprise and....

I'm just thankful my mother-in-law was here helping with the little kids.  Her presence helped me keep from crying AND swearing over those little disasters.  Heck, I even grabbed the camera so I could show the girls later!

But, there was success after all of that...

Daddy said he felt like he was eating at a 5 star restaurant!  SCORE!!

Yum, Yum, Yum, Delicioso

Maria came up with the blog title!  She said it would be appropriate for our photo tutorial for making:

Individual Carmelized Flans

I've been looking for an excuse to use these cute little custard cups I found at Marshall's.  I love, love, love the color.  The green is so bright and makes me happy!

First we had to carmelize the sugar...very carefully!

Next we filled the custard cups with the carmel....very quickly!  We didn't work fast enough to get the bottoms coated.  Oh, well!

We had to let the carmel set for 10 minutes so we made the custard while we waited.  I doubled the recipe so I used:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3 c. milk
  • 2 t. vanilla
Mix until well blended but not foamy.

Then we filled the custard cups a little over 2/3 full.  I could hear the carmel cracking a bit under the cold of the custard.  Is that ok...I don't know!

Next I sprinkled the tops with cinnamon for a truly Mexican flare!

Maria really liked this part.  We filled the baking dish with boiling water 1 inch from the bottom of the pan.

We baked the flans in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.


They've been cooling on that rack since 10:30AM.  I'm going to serve them for dessert tonight.  It's making the kids crazy...terrible mother!  I'll probably go pop them in the refrigerator so they set.  Enjoy!

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