7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. These will be really quick because it's late and I need to get to bed, but tonight I've cooked supper, made Halloween cookies (from scratch!), frosted said cookies (alas, with store-bought frosting), changed diapers, cleaned out the cat's litterbox, found a costume to wear to work tomorrow (my Renaissance Festival garb), got Elanor's costume ready for tomorrow, put a load of laundry in the washer and in the dryer, and emptied/loaded the dishwasher. So I figured I might as well get my Quick Takes in while I was being so productive.

2. I prayed outside the Glendale Planned Parenthood yesterday as part of 40 Days for Life. It was rather intimidating because I was the only one there, and I didn't have a sign or anything because I hadn't realized I needed to bring my own (the last time I participated, in ND, the signs were provided). In retrospect I should have tried to find someone to come with me, but I didn't think about it until it was too late. Anyway, I stayed there for an hour and it was pretty uneventful; I don't think most people realized why I was there or what I was doing. I prayed the rosary and two Chaplets of Divine Mercy.

3. I saw a teenage girl come out of the abortion facility, obviously upset and crying. A teenage boy (I'm assuming her boyfriend) was with her, and they were hugging one another as she cried. They sat for a long time in their car before they finally drove away. Poor girl, I can guess why she's hurting. Say a prayer for her, will you?

4. I saw a Facebook post from a high school classmate earlier this evening. She posted one of those "It gets better" videos... this one by a bishop in the ELCA. Her comment was, "I'm so glad to be part of a progressive and inclusive church." That comment really hit home why I left the ELCA -- I wanted to be part of a church taught the Truth despite society's whims. After all, as Pope Benedict XVI has said, "Truth is not determined by majority vote." The ELCA, on the other hand, seems more concerned about being "progressive and inclusive" than it is about teaching the Gospel.

5. In happier news, Violet's really starting to get around! She can army crawl, and she can get up on all fours and rock. Before I know it she'll be crawling all over the place. Luckily we still have the baby gates up. I can't believe how big she's getting; where did my baby go?? Here's a cute picture I got of Collin and Violet (and our Halloween skeleton!) on Sunday, as we were leaving for church:

6. I turn 30 on Wednesday. Eeep! That's all I have to say about that.

7. Another piece of good news from this week is that my sister and her husband are expecting a baby, due in May. I'm so happy for them! Their son, Mason, was born the day after William. He's going to be a great big brother! I bet he'll love his little sibling just as much as William loves Violet. Yay for babies!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. I might as well rename my blog to "7 Quick Takes every Friday." That's all I have time to post anymore. However, I have been managing to write fairly regular blog posts for the Catholic Phoenix blog (turns out I'm more motivated to write if I know it'll actually be read), so that's progress, at least.

2. As my birthday is 11/3, Collin's is 12/24, Elanor's is 1/13, William's is 2/25, and Violet's is 3/5, we're going to do a big group present -- we're going to Disneyland in lieu of buying presents this year. Less clutter for the house is always good! We're leaving 12/18 and will get back 12/22, just in time to host Christmas at our house on 12/25. The plan is to get it cleaned and ready before we go, and then take the kids away so they have less time and opportunity to mess it up. We were thrilled to see that kids 2 and under are free, so we only had to buy passes for ourselves and Elanor (we also got the passes via Collin's Apple employee discount). To further save money, we're staying at a Super 8 about a block from the park (less than $50/night, baby! Woohoo!).

3. Collin has a terrific new work schedule starting in early November -- Fridays, Saturdays, AND Sundays off! We'll get weekends together again, and he'll have both Christmas and his birthday off. It's rare that he gets such a great schedule, so we're pretty thrilled. It couldn't have come at a better time -- we have a lot to do to get the house presentable for Christmas.

4. I love the Netflix app on my iPhone. I can watch TV episodes during my lunch break. My latest favorite is Clean House. (It's not as scary as Hoarders, but still... some of these people need to LET THINGS GO.)

5. We had a parent-teacher conference with Elanor's teacher on Tuesday. The good news is she's very artistic and draws very well for her age; academically, she's dramatically improved from the beginning of the school year. The quasi-bad news is that she's still lagging behind pretty significantly, and doesn't seem to understand a lot of the concepts taught. So, we're going to have her evaluated by the special education team. My mom's a special-ed teacher so I have some idea of what to expect by that, but it still makes me nervous.

6. We made homemade pumpkin-shaped spritz cookies over the weekend, using my Pampered Chef cookie press. Very yummy! We'll have to make some more this weekend.

7. It's Friday and my brain is fried. I can't think of anything for #7. So... here's a cute kid pic instead (Elanor, after her haircut last Saturday).

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

I'm very late with the Quick Takes today, but better late than never!

1. It's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, so I'd like to take these first few quick takes to remember the babies I've lost to miscarriage.

2. Noel was conceived in October 2006 and died sometime November 2006 (we didn't discover that s/he had passed in utero until December 2006). I had a D&C and we arranged to have his/her remains interred. S/he is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fargo, ND. After the ultrasound the diagnosed his/her death, my midwife gave me the ultrasound picture and I'm so glad she did. It helps to have that little bit of my baby as a memorial now that I'm too far away to visit his/her grave.

3. Chris (short for Christopher or Christina) was conceived in late February 2009. S/he died March 13, 2009. I miscarried naturally while in the ER so we weren't able to have a burial for him/her. All I have left of him/her is the picture of my positive pregnancy test.

4. I miss my babies every day, but I'm comforted by the fact that they are in heaven praying for me. I read this a few months ago and thought it was beautiful (unfortunately, the original article no longer exists; it appeared in The Catholic Telegraph and was authored by Fr. Rob Waller):

No words can take away the pain of miscarriage, although faith and time can lessen it. Some parents find the words of St. Bernard of Clairveuax helpful. He wrote to a couple that had a miscarriage. In response to their question, “What is going to happen to my child? The child didn’t get baptized,” St. Bernard said, “Your faith spoke for this child. Baptism for this child was only delayed by time. Your faith suffices. The waters of your womb — were they not the waters of life for this child? Look at your tears. Are they not like the waters of baptism? Do not fear this. God’s ability to love is greater than our fears. Surrender everything to God.”

5. Collin arrives home Sunday night and I'm so glad. I've missed him terribly. He seems to be having a good time in North Dakota, and I'm glad he's been able to spend some quality time with his dad, brother, and grandparents.

6. We got Elanor's school pictures back earlier this week. I was pleased with how they turned out.

Isn't she cute?

7. I was listening to "Why I'm Catholic" on Immaculate Heart Radio this morning. The guest was Dr. Ray Guarendi. It was an enjoyable show, and I was very intrigued when Dr. Guarendi, who was an engineer before he became a psychologist, discussed how the study of physics can help us understand the mystery of the Eucharist. I did a bit of Googling and found this article which expounds upon the idea. It's a good apologetic tactic to use when dialoguing with atheists!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Oh my goodness, what a day. My co-worker was on vacation so I had to supervise her projects, and today was a doozy. I've had nothing to eat but a doughnut all day, because I was too busy to take my lunch break. Collin's out picking up some Chinese takeout at the moment because I'm just too tired to cook.

2. I have to admit that I squeed like the Catholic fangirl I am when Greg Willits from The Catholics Next Door commented on my latest post over at the Catholic Phoenix blog.

3. Collin flies to North Dakota on Tuesday, and I'm apprehensive about the week of single parenting ahead of me. I'm just thankful that his vacation and my co-worker's vacation didn't coincide, otherwise I'd be an absolute basket case.

4. Baby Violet is 7 months old now! I suspect she has some teeth coming in, because she's been crankier than normal the last week or so and she's practically drowning in her own drool.

5. I'm starting to think William may be the proverbial kid who goes to college in diapers. He has absolutely no interest whatsoever in learning to use the potty. We've promised him a Pillow Pet when he learns to use the potty, but even that hasn't swayed him (even though he's glued to the television when the Pillow Pet commercial comes on).

6. Elanor is doing really well in school. She's quickly learning how to write and sound out words. We also made a family tree for a school project, and I was pleased with how it turned out:

7. Mmmm, my orange beef is here. I'm going to go relax with some good food, a good book, and probably a halfway decent beer. Have a great weekend!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Thanks to my Latin teacher, I've discovered a great new website: Catholic Phoenix. Many different writers contribute so there's always a fascinating new article to read, and you don't need to be a Catholic in Phoenix to appreciate them!

2. I've started watching season one of "Hoarders" via Netflix. It's fascinating yet horrific. The good thing is that it makes me want to clean my own house (which is not so good if I watch an episode before bed). Some of these people are so obviously mentally ill that it just hurts to watch, but there are some who honestly do appreciate the help.

3. We bought Elanor's Princess Tiana's Halloween costume last night, and she is so excited. The hard thing for her is going to be waiting for Halloween! We bought Violet's outfit too; now we just need to get William's and we'll be set.

4. Collin's had a great week. He got a 98% in his first University of Phoenix class (starting out his UP career with a 4.0 GPA!) AND he got a 3% raise at work. Woohoo!

5. Violet's just getting over her first ear infection. Last Sunday night she spiked a fever of 104.5, which was pretty scary. Amazingly enough, she didn't need antibiotics; by the time I took her to the doctor, it was getting better on its own so the doctor gave us a prescription just in case it flared up again. Luckily, it hasn't.

6. My grandmother bought her plane ticket; she's arriving for her annual visit on January 23! She's especially excited to see baby Violet again. :)

7. Collin is going to Fargo for a visit October 12-17. I wish we could all go, but it's just not possible financially. Collin's brother is helping out with his plane ticket as part of his Christmas/birthday gift, which is why he's able to go. I hope he has fun, but I'm going to miss him terribly (as will the kids).

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