Make-A-List Monday – Things I Never Knew I'd Have to Say to My Kids

October 3rd, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Make-A-List Monday | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on Make-A-List Monday – Things I Never Knew I'd Have to Say to My Kids)

Before I became a parent, I “knew” my kids would always be well-behaved, never fight with each other, and not ask the same questions over and over. And over.

Here’s a list of things I never knew I’d have to tell my kids:

"That wall is not for climbing, Peach."

  1. “Because I said so.” Answering the incessant “why?” from both my big kids.
  2. “We don’t touch our poop, do we?” Changing a two-year-old’s diaper.
  3. “No wrestling at the library.” Peach just really likes to wrestle.
  4. “TT, get your fingers out of your mouth, get your fingers out of your mouth. Don’t bite your fingernails. Also, don’t pick your nose ’cause it’s really, really acky and I just don’t like it.” I made up a song to help him remember.
  5. “You’re four now. I’m not helping you put on your shoes.” And no more sippy cup either. He’s four, people.
  6. “Stop eating things off the floor!” Vanilla is really advanced when it comes to fine motor skills.
  7. “Our kids look homeless today. Sorry.” To my honey, after letting the kids play outside with juice-stained jammies on.
  8. “No more Family Guy!” Had to nip that in the bud once TT started repeating things.
  9. “If you potty on the potty chair, you can have some soda.” Yes I believe in bribery for potty training. It works. Don’t judge me…
  10. “You have to wear pants when you play outside. It’s the rule.” That is the rule. No pants, no going outside.
What are some things you never knew you’d say to your kids?

Word of God Speak – The Cornerstone

October 2nd, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (Comments Off on Word of God Speak – The Cornerstone)

Today’s gospel is Matthew 21:33-43. At the end of this parable, Jesus says, “Have you never read in the scriptures: `The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis - August 2011

So what is the “head of the corner,” aka the cornerstone? I looked it up.

Dictionary.com described “cornerstone” as

  1. stone  uniting two masonry walls at an intersection.
  2. stone  representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usually carved with the date and laid with appropriate ceremonies.
  3. something that is essential, indispensable, or basic: The cornerstone of democratic government is a free press.
  4. the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed: The cornerstone of his argument was that all people are created equal.

Each of these definitions applies to Jesus as the cornerstone of the Church – the body of Christ, not a building.

The first definition makes me think of Jesus as uniting the Jews and Gentiles of His time. At that time, Jewish people would have nothing to do with Gentiles and regarded them as unclean. It is true that the Hebrew people had the original covenant as God’s Chosen People. Jesus showed them that although they were His chosen people, God loves everyone and calls us all to be holy and have faith in Him. Each group is a wall, and Jesus is the one thing to build on, the one thing which we can all agree.

The second definition reminds me that our entire faith, the way we live our lives, the way our Church is in the world is all in relationship to the fact that Jesus came to earth to be our Savior. Without Him, we wouldn’t have a place to start.

The third definition tells us that Jesus is essential, indispensable, and basic. The words “essential” and “indispensable” actually mean “absolutely necessary.” Jesus is absolutely necessary to our individual spiritual lives and to our collective lives in the Church. Jesus is our moral and ethical guide. The word “basic” means “forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental.” As Christians, Jesus should be our starting point for every decision we ever make.

The fourth definition also applies to both our individual spiritual lives as well as to building the Church. He is our rock and our foundation. He is strong even when we aren’t. When there is any question of morals or faith, we can turn to Christ. Prayer becomes our lifeline, and He is always faithful to His promises.

Is Jesus the true cornerstone of your life?

Funny Friday – I Love Onesies! (Saturday Edition)

October 1st, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – I Love Onesies! (Saturday Edition))

Just in the last few months, I bought a few things off the website Etsy – defined by wikipedia as:

Etsy is a social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. These items cover a wide range including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, edibles, bath & beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks and toys.

Anyway, just last night, I discovered a treasure trove of baby onesies and t-shirts with awesome quotes on them. Check this out:

Sold on Etsy by VicariousClothing

And my favorite:

Sold on Etsy by VicariousClothing

My two-year-old is known to randomly yell that phrase. Get it? 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

The Horror of our Generation

September 29th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith | Kids - (Comments Off on The Horror of our Generation)

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a mandate that nearly all private business who offer health insurance to their employees will have to include coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including those that cause early abortions.

As a Christian, there is no way I personally can approve of this by sitting back and doing nothing. Yesterday, I visited the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website and wrote an email to the Department of Health and Human Services recommending that they do not enact this mandate. It violates my freedom of religion by forcing me to pay for a practice my church and I personally condemn.

Pro-choicers claim that it’s the woman’s right to do what she wants with her body. I totally agree with them on that. A woman can either choose to be abstinent if she doesn’t want to get pregnant, nearly unheard of in this era of sexual debauchery. However, once she’s pregnant, it’s not just her body. Every human being’s life begins at conception. Modern medical science has proven that a baby has 46 of its own unique chromosomes at conception. There is another human being growing and living, and its heart is beating.

As Dr. Suess says in Horton Hears a Who, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

I also can’t imagine the longterm effects an abortion has on the mother-physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I am currently attending a weekly bible study on the book of Exodus. Click here to read a summary on the story of Exodus. A few weeks ago, we discussed that there are three times in human history when major infanticide* has occurred.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

  1. In the book of Exodus, when Pharaoh orders the death of all male Hebrew babies.
  2. In the Gospel stories, when Herod orders the death of all males under the age of two shortly after the birth of Christ.
  3. Now.
It is an absolute horror that the practice of abortion is so accepted in our society.
We have been accepting the normalcy of abortion for far too long, nearly 40 years in the United States.
And now, if this law passes, we will be forced to spend our money on the murder of our children. We need to cherish the lives of our children, not destroy them.
So what can we do? Several things –
1. Visit the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website and write to HHS opposing their recent preventive services mandate. Here is what the default email says, it is clear and succinct.

“Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs and surgeries to prevent it are not basic health care that the government should require all Americans to purchase. Please remove sterilization and prescription contraceptives from the list of ‘preventive services’ the federal government is mandating in private health plans. It is especially important to exclude any drug that may cause an early abortion, and to fully respect religious freedom as other federal laws do. The narrow religious exemption in HHS’s new rule protects almost no one. I urge you to allow all organizations and individuals to offer, sponsor and obtain health coverage that does not violate their moral and religious convictions.”

We only have until September 30th (TOMORROW!) to write to HHS, so get a move on! Do it now, it only takes a minute or two.

2. Write to Congress supporting the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR-1179).

3. Spread the word. Get everyone you know to bombard the HHS and Congress with emails opposing the preventive services mandate. As Christians, we are called to show love for others at all times. If someone disagrees with you, act graciously and show them love.

4. Attend pro-life events. The National Life Chain event will take place this Sunday, October 2, 2011, at 2:00PM CST. Locally, pro-life supporters will be standing at the corner of 48th and Broadway holding signs** and praying in silence from 2:30-3:30PM. LifeChain.net describes the Life Chain event like this:

LIFE CHAIN is a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life individuals standing for 90 minutes praying for our nation and for an end to abortion.  It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

5. Pray. Pray for an end to abortion. Pray for the children lost. Pray for all pregnant women. Pray for the parents and doctors of aborted children that their hearts will be changed. God still works miracles. He listens to our prayers. If you don’t do anything else, please just pray.

*Infanticide is defined as the practice in some societies of killing unwanted children soon after birth 

**The approved Life Chain signs wills say 

  • ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN
  • JESUS FORGIVES AND HEALS
  • ADOPTION: THE LOVING OPTION
  • LORD, FORGIVE US AND OUR NATION
  • ABORTION HURTS WOMEN
  • PRAY TO END ABORTION
  • LIFE—THE FIRST INALIENABLE RIGHT

Funny Friday – Double Feature

September 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – Double Feature)

This week’s Funny Friday is a double feature. Lucky you!

1.) Whenever I get down about the maniacs messing up the house after I just cleaned it, I visit this website:

Sh*t My Kids Ruined

It just makes me feel like a better parent. Plus, it’s always good for a laugh and a “I’m so glad that’s not my house!”

2.) It’s about time to show my family of origin in our 80’s glory. The greatest things about this pic:

My Totally Righteous Family, 80's Style

  • Dad’s sweet ‘stache and dark glasses
  • Little Sister’s navy blue tennis shoes
  • Brother’s matching striped shorts and shirt
  • Older Sister’s neck cord for her glasses
  • My Osh Kosh overalls with no shirt underneath
  • The only thing that’s missing is our beautiful mom, who was behind the camera!
Hope these gave you a laugh. Have a great weekend everyone!

Who We Are in Christ – Catholic

September 20th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (Comments Off on Who We Are in Christ – Catholic)

This is an awesome video that I wanted to share. It focuses on being Catholic as who we are not as something we do. It is part my identity.

I was raised Catholic, so some may say that I just don’t know any different. While that may partly be true, I have done Bible studies with people of Protestant denominations and have taken several classes on world religions. These learning activities have reinforced my belief that the traditions of the Catholic Church are just as important to my faith as the Bible, the word of God.

Catholic or not, let me know what you think of the video.

Funny Friday – Drive-thru Folk Song

September 16th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Funny Friday | Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Funny Friday – Drive-thru Folk Song)

Remember a few years ago when people were doing rap songs at drive through windows? Well these two creative men decided to come up with a folk song to sing their order. Check it out!

It made me giggle.

Word of God Speak – On Forgiveness

September 11th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Faith - (Comments Off on Word of God Speak – On Forgiveness)

There are days when God’s word speaks so directly to me that it would be a sin not to acknowledge it. Today is definitely one of those days.

It’s no coincidence that today, the ten year anniversary of the most appalling act of terror our country has experienced, the Mass readings and Gospel are on forgiveness.

The first reading is Sirach 27:30-28:7

Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.

The bold section is the part I wanted to highlight. 9/11 was the greatest tragedy this generation of Americans has seen; there is no doubt about that. Of course, many were and are still angry at the terrorists, letting their fury consume them. The initial reaction from our entire country was that we needed to start kicking @$$ and punish those who had shaken us to our core. Our government has taken the necessary actions in trying to protect us from another attack, and those who lost their lives are honored today and every day.

However, it is clear from this passage, that God is calling each one of us to forgive in our own hearts. Forgive those who hate us. It seems contrary to instinct – our minds say, But this is righteous anger! How can we just let this go? 

I still believe we should never forget what happened, and we should honor all those who died as heroes for our country. I just don’t think we need to carry around any hate for others in our hearts, even for those who have committed heinous acts. I hate what the terrorists did. I hate that they killed, maimed, and destroyed our sense of security. I hate their actions, but I forgive them in my heart because that’s what God tells us we need to do.

So – Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the LORD? No. Although my sins may not be as treacherous or as apparent as the sins of the terrorists, if I am to receive God’s forgiveness, I need to forgive others.

Just remember, our God is just, and we don’t need to keep anger or hate in our hearts for the terrorists. God will take care of them. The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail.

The Gospel is Matthew 18:21-35. Part of that reading says:

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?” 
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.”

We are all called to be more like Christ, toward holiness. If we truly want to be like Him, we need to forgive. Today, I am starting by forgiving the terrorists. Each day, I want to examine my own heart and figure out if I am carrying any resentment toward anyone in my own personal life and really start forgiving and letting things go.

On the anniversary of such tragic events, will you take time to start to forgive those who have hurt you?

The Neglected Blog

September 1st, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Neglected Blog)

I haven’t updated this blog for about two weeks, and I apologize to all my rabid readers (crickets, crickets).

Girls Weekend

Vanilla shopping with us in the Crocs store

Anyway, I have fairly good reasons  for being distracted. My sisters, my mom, Vanilla and I went to the Ozarks last weekend for a surprise shopping trip for my little sister BB’s birthday. She was totally surprised. We did all the fun girl stuff – went out to eat, to the movies, shopped, painted toenails, and drank a little wine. My sisters both live out of town, so it was great to be able to spend some sister time together. I always forget how comfortable it is to hang out with people I’ve known literally my entire life. We had a blast, and I miss them like crazy already!

Home Improvement Projects

So while we were all having a girls weekend, Ty was at home with TT and Peach. I kept wondering what they were going to do to entertain themselves all weekend without me there. Little did I know, my honey had a big plan in mind. With lots of help from his mom and siblings (thank you all!), he drywalled our entire hallway as a surprise for me!

When we moved into our house, everything was wood paneled and had drop ceilings, except the bathroom. I called it our “That 70’s Show House” because it really did match some of the sets. As of last weekend. we now have all three bedrooms and the hallway drywalled, so all we have left is the kitchen/dining area and the living room. We are hoping to have our house ready to sell within the next couple years.

Ty also just put a new roof on our house. We had an insurance claim from the crazy wind storm in June, and we had been planning on replacing the roof anyway, so it worked out really well. We had his brothers, his mom, his cousin, and my parents over to help with the shingles and the clean-up on Monday. We ordered pizza and everybody stayed to eat, so it sort of felt like a party. Thank you all again!

Catholic Mothers Online

I’ve also had a few other projects of my own. I recently submitted my first article to Catholic Mothers Online, where I was accepted as a contributing writer this summer. The due date for this article is September 1st, so it will published in the next few weeks, and of course I’ll put a link on here.

Christ on the Quad

Another big project that I’ve been contributing to is the Christ on the Quad podcast and website. I designed the logo for Christ on the Quad and the header for CatholicCollegeStudent.com. This website is going to be an excellent resource for college students, their parents, and those involved in the Focus ministry at college campuses. Check the website frequently as there will be many updates in the coming weeks.

God, My Hubby and Kids

God is my first priority. I’ve been spending a lot of time in prayer lately, and I feel like there are so many people who are hurting right now to pray for. I’ll also be starting Bible study next week, and I’m so looking forward to it!

TT's flippin' sweet hair

My husband and my kids are a very close second in my list of priorities. I had a meeting last night for TT’s preschool. He’s really excited to get back to school with his little friends, and I am ready to be back in a regular routine. He also has quite a head of hair growing this summer. He hates getting it cut, and I’m starting to like the look of it long.

The girls are growing fast – Vanilla has been crawling and pulling to standing for about two months, and I think she’ll be walking in the next few months. Peach is still obsessed with Lightning McQueen, and she copies nearly everything her brother does. The two big kids’ favorite activities this summer have been swimming, finger painting, and playing in shaving cream.

My honey has been busy this summer with all our projects, so he took a vacation this week. We’ve been able to do some  fun things with the kids – swimming, going out to eat, and just playing in the yard. We’re also thinking of going to the zoo and Build-A-Bear tomorrow.

That’s the update on what’s been going on around here. I’m hoping to update this a little more often now that we’ll be in a routine with preschool and Bible study starting next week.

Until next time, you stay classy, San Diego.

Make-A-List Monday – Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels? I Disagree

August 15th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Make-A-List Monday - (Comments Off on Make-A-List Monday – Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels? I Disagree)

Supermodel Kate Moss lives by the motto, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” I’m not a model, and I do care about being healthy, but I disagree with Miss Moss.

Let me first tell you that I love food. As a kid, I was a very picky eater and ended up eating cereal for supper many, many times. Now that I’m an adult and a mother, I am much better about trying new things and eating a wide variety of foods that would have disgusted me as a child.

There really are a few certain foods that are just worth the calories because they taste so good.

Margaritas... yum.

  • Movie theatre buttery popcorn
  • Cake on your kid’s birthday
  • Caramello bars
  • Apple pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup
  • Funnel cake
  • Onion rings with horseradish sauce
  • Deep fried anything
  • Deer steak on the grill
  • Vidalia onions and potatoes in foil with butter and seasoning cooked on the grill
  • Cheese lover’s pizza
  • Margaritas with salt
  • Aunt Wendy’s lemon shake-ups with raspberry vodka
  • Strawberries
  • Ice pops (you know, the ones that come in liquid form in the plastic wrappers)
What are your favorite treats? Do you think certain foods are worth the calories?