7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. My lunch today is warm mini pita bread rounds (from Trader Joe's) and roasted garlic hummus (also from Trader Joe's). Mmmmmmmm.

2. Collin and I are big garlic fans. Once, when we were in Winnipeg, Manitoba, we ate at a restaurant called Gilroy's. It's named after Gilroy, CA where something like 90% of the country's garlic is produced. I don't know if the restaurant still exists (it was November 2004 when we ate there), but it was incredible. Everything on the menu, from wine to dessert, incorporated garlic somehow. Our appetizer was whole roasted garlic cloves in olive oil. We spread it on French bread and it was marvelous.

I had a craving for that appetizer last week, probably because I had a bad cold (and garlic can help relieve cold symptoms), so I decided to try and replicate it. I've always been hesitant about roasting garlic; it seemed to me that it was a complicated process. However, I found it to be quite simple and easy. I used the instructions (with video!) at WikiHow and found it to be a much simpler process than I'd envisioned. The roasting garlic made the house smell wonderful. As a bonus, we finally were able to use the garlic press we received as a wedding gift (nine years ago!) but have never used. My only regret is that I never tried doing it sooner.

I plan to roast some more garlic this weekend, and I think I'll also try my hand at making homemade French bread (in my breadmaker) instead of store-bought.

3. 40 Days for Life has started up again. The nearest prayer location to my house is 40 minutes away but I think that's still closer than last year's location. I'll try to make it out there to pray a few times. I'm thinking about getting up an hour earlier and going to pray one morning a week, since it's sort of on my way to work (it's a bit of a detour, but not too bad). That way I wouldn't have to bring the kids with me (it's not that I don't want to expose them to pro-life work, more that I'm worried about their safety after what happened to Jim Pouillon). However, that would mean getting up around 4am (if not earlier), and it's hard enough getting up at 5am the way it is. I'll have to think about it more.

4. Richard Dawkins frustrates me. I read an article he wrote about the Pope, and I couldn't believe how rife it was with ignorance. (I hope it's ignorance and not deliberate lying, at any rate.) I understand that he is an atheist and does not believe in God or in Christianity, or in Catholicism for that matter. That's fine; he's entitled to his own beliefs and opinions. All I ask is that if he's going to attack Catholic beliefs, he should attack what Catholicism actually teaches instead of what he thinks it teaches. All that article did was build up a straw man and knock it back down. How does that educate anyone? It just promotes ignorance, and I thought that he, as an atheist, decried ignorance. Shouldn't he make the effort to learn not only what the Church teaches but why it teaches what it does so he could better repudiate it?

5. I love my Latin class (Learning Latin Through the Rosary) so far. The professor is captivating and dynamic and makes the material quite interesting. We've already learned the Sign of the Cross and the Hail Mary, and have started the Glory Be. One of the best parts about the class is that it's held the same day that the church has 5:00pm Confession and 5:30pm daily Mass, so I can attend both of those as well. It's a nice little oasis of peace for me in the midst of a busy week.

6. Elanor has a school project due on the 30th that involves making a family tree. I think we'll make a Christmas tree. We can cut it out of cardboard and use wrapping paper to decorate it, and use paper ornaments for everyone's name. I think I'm more excited about this project than she is. :P

7. I'm happy to say that work has finally calmed down somewhat; at the very least, I feel like my head is above water for the first time since July. I don't need to do overtime this weekend (yay!) for a change. Maybe I can actually get some housework done.

Happy Friday!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. September is halfway through already. How did that happen?

2. I'm proud that I already have the kids' Halloween costumes planned. Elanor wants to be Princess Tiana (from "The Princess and the Frog"), so we decided to continue the theme and have William be a frog. Violet will be a firefly. They're going to be so adorable!

3. Violet has officially started solids! So far she's had oatmeal, pears, and bananas (she loved all three). I think we'll try some sweet potatoes this weekend. I captured her first taste of oatmeal on video; you can see it at YouTube. She's pretty much able to sit up by herself, too -- and she's trying so hard to crawl. Where did my tiny baby go?

4. Speaking of babies, my good friend Abbi and her husband Mike are expecting their first child to be born in late February! Abbi was the maid of honor at my wedding. I'm so excited for them -- becoming a parent is such an awesome experience.

5. I'm taking a Wednesday night class via the Institute of Catholic Theology called "Learning Latin through the Rosary." It's a lot of fun! The professor is fantastic; he's a former seventh-grade Latin teacher and he commented how he was looking forward to teaching people who are past puberty. :P I've always wanted to learn Latin, and learning the basics in a Catholic context is even better. Plus it's some nice "me" time once a week, something I've been sorely needing.

6. Elanor is going to a birthday party for one of her kindergarten classmates this weekend. When we went to Target to buy his birthday gift, I asked her what she wanted to buy him. Her reply, immediately, was "A sword!" So we bought him a Nerf sword and a pirate shield. His party is pirate-themed so I hope he likes it!

7. Speaking of pirates... Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, me hearties! September 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Avast! Belay!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks to Jen for hosting.

1. Pursuant to my last Quick Takes post (in July! eep!) we did indeed get a new car -- a silver 2011 Nissan Versa! We got a bare-bones model with manual transmission and no stereo. Luckily, we had a relatively new car stereo (bought a few years ago for one of our older cars) just sitting in our garage, so we've had that installed and it looks great. It even has an auxiliary port so I can plug in my iPhone! Our new car gets 34 miles to the gallon, which is already saving us a bundle in gas expenses.

2. Elanor is doing well in kindergarten. She had a bit of a rocky start adjusting to the new schedule, and for some reason she balked at walking home from school with our daycare lady's son. This of course caused MK (daycare lady) to tell us the situation wouldn't work out, with her watching Elanor for free every day. *sigh* So, we've signed her up for before- and after-school care. It's expensive, but not as expensive as daycare. She starts next week.

3. Her schoolwork seems to be going well and she likes her teacher very much. I'd like to work with Elanor at home in terms of reading and writing -- anyone know of a good website with worksheets and such (preferably Catholic-leaning ones) that I can print out?

4. Collin and I celebrated our 9th anniversary by going out for a family meal at the Cheesecake Factory. YUM! I had a peach bellini, which was fantastic, and the lemon-herb roasted chicken. I also threw my diet out the window temporarily and had a piece of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake. It was all delectable. I think we'll go back on my birthday!

5. We discovered there's a Famous Dave's BBQ next to the Cheesecake Factory, so we'll have go there at some point as well. Famous Dave's was one of our favorite places to eat when we lived in Minneapolis.

6. Collin bought Elanor a Pillow Pet (the unicorn) as a reward for doing better in school, and she loves it. In addition to sleeping with it she carries it around the house constantly. We bought one for our niece for her birthday as well, since she was begging her parents for one the last time she was at our place. (We got her a unicorn, too.) Now William is asking for one. It's a popular toy!

7. We don't have any big plans for Labor Day weekend; my niece's 6th birthday party is on Sunday so we're going to that, but otherwise, we're staying at home. It'll be nice to sleep in on Monday!

Nine years ago today...

September 1, 2001

What an amazing nine years it's been.

We moved three times (twice to a different state). We had five pregnancies, three incredible kids, and two babies we lost before birth. We jointly discovered the Catholic Church and converted, a move that wildly changed our lives for the better. We bought our first house and a new car. One of us finished college, and one of us just went back to school yesterday (he's doing an online program via the University of Phoenix). We visited Las Vegas twice and Disneyland once. We made it through some really rough times, and have had some really good times.

Here's to the next nine years.

I love you, honey.

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