Six Things That Make Me Happy

Rosemary tagged me for this easy meme.

1. Emails from my husband. I’d rather sit in his lap and have him tell me about his adventures, but I’ll take what I can get.

2. Little elves who make my bed for me.

3. Finally being able to wear the clothes I wore when I conceived the nearly 14 month old babe. Well, I wasn’t actually wearing them when I literally conceived her, but you know what I mean.

4. Washing machines. I spent one summer washing all my clothes by hand (out of necessity, not choice). Washing machines forevermore make me very happy.

5. When I ask the kids for their prayer intentions and Petey says, “For the Pope and his intentions.” He has no idea what he’s saying, but it’s absolutely adorable.

6. A clean and tidy house. Does anything compare?

7 Things

Kristina wants to know 7 things about me…things not generally known.

That’s tough. I’ll blab about everything. I’ve been blabbing here for quite some time too. But I’ll try.

1. My middle name is Anna-Marie. Not Anne-Marie. Not Anna-Maria. And not Anna Marie. DO NOT forget that hyphen.

2. I do not prefer apricots or peaches. Not to eat. Not as a lotion scent or a body fragrance.

3. I have hitchhiker’s thumbs.

4. I drink my coffee with quite a bit of milk, but no sugar.

5. My favorite “for-pay” job I ever had was as a cook for migrant farm workers one summer. It was a cherry farm. I didn’t make much money, but I got to cook lunch and dinner for 20 or 30 men.

6. I have a fear of drowning. I have an even bigger fear of my children drowning.

7. I do not like biology.

I must go to bed, so I won’t do any tagging. Play along if you have the time!

Blogger’s Quiz

SFO Mom tagged me for this. Like her, I suspect that the brains behind this is Father Tim who is trying to trick bloggers into admitting their traditional leanings so he can ban them.

Here’s a fun quiz made up especially for bloggers. The rules are easy. Just post the quiz on your blog and answer the questions, then pass it on to five other bloggers, and link to them in your post. Be sure to link back to the one who sent it to you.

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo? I think I only learned what Novus Ordo meant about two years ago. I did just learn the Sanctus because I’m using Prima Latina for my 4th grader. That took us 5 weeks. So, at that rate, I’ll be ready to attend a Latin Mass in about ten years.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there? N/A

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be? A Hundred Percenter

4. Are you a comment junkie? If I weren’t to some extent, then I wouldn’t have them turned on at all.

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on? I try to remember to.

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog? No.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on? Barb’s response pretty much sums me up, too: I read a lot of blogs in Bloglines, and doing that partly keeps me “honest” in terms of blogroll. I can’t see their blogroll and be all obsessive over whether I’m on it. I’m terrible about updating my own, as well.

8. Which blog is the first one you check? Usually Danielle Bean or Eric Scheske.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person? Yes! Barb, Denise, Cris, The Kitchen Madonna, and Sarah.

10. What are you reading? Chosen and Cherished by Kimberly Hahn for a Bible study I’m attending. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor to the kids.

Bonus Question! Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II? No.

If it has, who do you think Father Tim really is? Only banned sites can guess?

I pass this quiz on to: Everyone I named in question #9 not already tagged, plus Kat and Barbara.

8 Things About Me Meme

I was tagged by Rosemary to list 8 things about me. I suppose I ought to avoid the obvious ones (I’m Catholic, I homeschool, I’m a military dependant)?

1. I have a difficult time answering the question, “Where are you from originally?” I was born in Cleveland, but didn’t stay there long. I attended four different elementary schools in two different states, but I wasn’t a military brat or the child of a corporate jet-setter. We just moved.

2. I suppress, sometimes not very well, an aggressive, argumentative, sarcastic, cynical, my-way-or-the-highway, stubborn, and highly-opinionated personality.

3. Although the color red complements my complexion, it does not complement my personality. It accents all the personality traits listed in #2, so I avoid it. I’m sure pink would look nice on me, but I just can’t bring myself to wear that color either. I will wear lavender or sage, but I mainly prefer navy and tan and various shades of blue.

4. In an effort to combat those personality traits listed in #2, I have developed a neutral facial expression and tone of voice and have programmed non-committal “mmmm”s and “uh-huh”s and nods of the head into my automated response system. Likely, this has kept me out of prison for assault and battery against a myriad of obnoxious people who hold ridiculous, small-minded, ignorant or offensive opinions. Unfortunately, many people confuse this neutrality with tolerance of their ideas, and I just seem to get more of it.

5. I don’t work as hard as I ought to on #2 or #4 with regard to my husband. He bears the brunt of my aggressive, obnoxious, and argumentative personality. Fortunately, he’s a real man, and he can handle me.

6. I look forward to a day when Bill and I (and no children under the age of burdensome) can travel spontaneously and for extended periods of time throughout this country and others to really get a feel for an area.

7. I have no desire to ever work for pay again. I have even less of a desire to get sucked up into a mammoth charitable organization with the same headaches of a real job (bosses, deadlines, meetings, office politics), but no benefit of a cushy paycheck to make it all worthwhile.

8. If I ever use my engineering degree again, I hope it will be for a worthy cause, like building the infrastructure in a Third World country. I can definitely see myself living in South America designing water treatment facilities. Except for the bugs and other creepy-crawlies…I have a serious stumbling block with that part of the plan.

I know lots of people have already done this one, so I tag anybody who feels left out. Leave a note in the comment box if you want to play.

Reading material meme

Lorri of The Mac and Cheese Chronicles wants to know what I’m reading. I won’t count any book I haven’t actually opened in more than two weeks which makes this list very short:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families: so far, very interesting. At the end of every chapter there are discussion questions for older family members, and family activities to include younger children. It is basically about forming a family vision about where you want to go (in life) and how you want to get there (together).

That’s it on books. I’m also trying to read the latest issues of The National Catholic Register, Faith and Family, and Heart and Mind magazine.

But mostly, I’ve been online flipping between Emmanuel Books, Mother of Divine Grace, Amazon (for reviews and superior descriptions – I’ll support Emmanuel Books, even though it’ll cost me more) and the IHM Conference pages. I plan to go to the conference on Friday, June 8th (anybody want to meet me there?) and want to have my book list ready.

The Saints Meme

Tagged by SFO Mom.

List four favorite saints, two favorite blessed, and a person who you think should be a saint.


St. John Neumann: I feel that through his intercession, a miracle of healing occurred with my son Fritz.

St. Apollonia: patron of tooth problems, I also feel that her prayers aided in Fritz’s healing and his on-going dental issues.

St. Therese of Lisieux: her “little way” is hard and steep, but I feel it most closely matches the challenges faced by stay-at-home moms.

St. George: since we recently celebrated his feast day, he’s on my mind right now.


Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: of course. How can I not be inspired by a saint I grew up admiring?

Blessed Charles de Foucauld: I saw someone else had listed him, too. His apparent lack of success in converting Muslims and his death at their hands despite their friendship inspires me to have faith that whatever work I do will eventually bear fruit even if I do not see the results myself.

A person I think should be a saint:

Pope John Paul II.

Room with a View

Nutmeg tagged me to show off what I see when I blog. Here you go:

That’s Pete having a temper tantrum. And that’s frequently what I see when I sit down to the computer or have the audacity to want to take a few pictures.

This window is just to the left of my desk. I can blog while watching the kids play in our muddy backyard. I can look out and see birds munching on seeds in the feeder Fritz made and I nailed to the top of the fence. I can look over and see two dummy rounds for a tank. Yes, those are really big, but pretend, bullets for a tank. They’re for practice. The real ones cost a lot of money, so they give army guys fake ones that look and weigh just like the real ones, so they can practice throwing them into the gun. And I’ve got two of them in my den. Aren’t I lucky?
(Oh, do you notice the uneven curtain? That’s artistry. {ahem} It’s one of those scarf curtains that I could never get even and I had to tie up because the kids kept pulling on it. And so it stays.)

Last Sunday, Bill was at the Daytona 500. He had a seat in the pit. He got a lug nut as a souvenir – ooooh! He could have gotten a whole tire! He wisely declined. Here is another trophy he brought home years ago:

This is the spent casing from a real bullet that went through the gun of a real tank. His plan had been to polish it up and turn it into an umbrella stand. We are not umbrella people. Bill thinks it is unmanly to carry an umbrella (unless you are carrying it for someone else like your wife…then it’s chivalrous), and I prefer a hat myself since I generally have my arms full of kids. And if we did go out and buy an umbrella, it would likely be the collapsible kind that wouldn’t fit in this case. Maybe in 30 years, we can use it for our canes, but for now, it holds my broom. Had he brought home a tire from a NASCAR race, I would have planted flowers in it.

And here is my desk:

This secretary belonged to my husband’s grandfather. That spot in the middle is my inbin that I happened to clean up last week. It has a limited height capacity, which indicates to me when it is time to move my piles. This desk is my #1 Hot Spot (for you Flybabies). If my desk is clean, the rest of my house is usually pretty good too. Or I may have a clean home, but my computer is buried. The desk is my Final Dumping Ground. Even the kids dump stuff there, and that simply must stop.

Typical: the page-a-day calendar to the left is on January 19th. I feel a month behind too.

St. Valentine’s Day meme

Sarah tagged me for this. I’ll do the best I can.

What are your favorite top ten romantic movies?

I’m recently coming to the conclusion that 99% of the time, I watch a movie and immediately put it out of my mind. This is the only way to explain how I can scan my rental history at Netflix and only vaguely recall half the movies listed there. And romance movies are not a genre I typically aim to watch. There is only so much suffering to which I want to subject my husband. So, here’s what I came up with:

1. 50 First Dates

2. It Happened One Night

3. Groundhog Day

4. Moonstruck

5. The Notebook

6. The Sound of Music

7. The Princess Bride

8. The Age of Innocence

OK, that’s the best I can do. They are in no particular order, but those last three are movies I would actually watch over and over again. #6 and #7 I have actually watched over and over again, because I own them (a rarity for me). #8 I saw only once in the theater, but I absolutely LOVED it. I read and loved the book first (see below), and thought Scorsese did an excellent job making it a movie.

What are your top five favorite romantic books (fiction or non-fiction)?

Again, I’m pretty good at forgetting books I read. Unlike movies, I will re-read books and it’s more fun if you forget the ending, don’t you think? Also, again, romance is not my favorite genre, so the pickings are slim.

1. All of Jane Austin’s books. I have a three-volume collection of her six novels. I loved them all. But I will confuse one from another, so I won’t even try to distinguish which I liked best. In my free time, I will re-read them, and I’ll let you know my favorite then.

2. Much Ado About Nothing. OK, this is a Shakespearean play, but I’m including it here, since there isn’t a category for this form of literature. Shakespeare’s comedies were all great romances, and I prefer them to the tragedies like Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Even in my most angst-ridden teen days, I just didn’t get the whole suicide thing.

3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

I’m sure if I spent another hour here at the computer, I could come up with more. But this will have to do.

If money were no object, where (on earth) would you like to spend your Valentine’s Day and how would you spend it? In other words, what is your idea of a perfect Valentine’s Day date?

I’d say Rothenburg ob der Tauber which is a small medieval village in Germany…but not in February. I’d rather be someplace warm. Maybe Cozumel? I’ve never been to Mexico, but I’d like to check it out.

Christmas meme

Tagged by Catholic Mom. I feel so loved.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Eggnog. My hips are proof. I’m not a big fan of bourbon, but Bill’s goal is to get me to enjoy his homemade grog. Bill, when you read this, we’re almost out of Maker’s Mark – buy more.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa fills the stockings. Sometimes some of the contents are wrapped, but not usually. The presents under the tree are wrapped and are from mom and dad and grandparents and other relatives.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored, mostly.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? We did once. It’s poisonous though – gotta watch with little ones.

5. When do you put your decorations up? It’s a gradual process throughout Advent. Advent decorations are up, of course (Jesse Tree, wreath, calendars).

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I just enjoy indulging in all the food that I limit throughout the normal year.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Waking up sometime in the wee hours of the morning and sneaking down to see if Santa had come. I would curl up in a chair and enjoy the lights and the beauty of the tree and the sense of awe and wonder and love. My sister, Barb, tells me she did the same thing, but I never saw anyone else. I did this until I was the one leaving the presents under the tree…and even now, I do it, but before I go to bed.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My brother told me the “truth” when I was about 7 or 8.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Nope. Christmas Eve is all about the Nativity. We celebrate the incomparable gift of a Savior’s birth.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lots of colored lights woven inside the tree. Hundreds of ornaments hidden inside and all around. Every Christmas morning, two silver spider ornaments appear, based on a German Christmas legend we read to the kids. And we hang a glass pickle and reward the pickle finder with a prize – usually a book or movie everyone can enjoy.

11. Snow? Love it or Dread it? Love it.

12. Can you ice skate? On my list of things to learn someday.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I really like the St. Nicholas statue Bill gave me last year. But, hands down, the best gift I ever got was Christmas 1999 when Bill bought me The One Year Guide to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Sounds boring, but it changed my life.

14. What’s the most exciting thing about the Holidays for you? All the secretive preparations – wrapping presents, hiding boxes, evasive answers and whispering.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Cookies, especially Russian Tea Cakes and ones with molasses or ginger.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Having the kids look for the first star on Christmas Eve so we can begin our feast.

17. What tops your tree? An angel.

18. Which do you prefer – giving or receiving? Who would answer “receiving” to this question?

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? All of them. Well, most of them.

20. Candy canes? Hung magically on the tree after the kids go to bed. I don’t usually eat them myself.

Tag: Amy, Angoraknitter, and Nutmeg

The Birthday Meme

I was tagged by SFO Mom. As an aside, I despise Wikipedia, but I’ll play anyway.

Here’s how you play:

1) Go to Wikipedia
2) In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.
3) List three events that happened on your birthday
4) List two important birthdays and one death
5) One holiday or observance (if any)

My birthday is April 7th.

3 events:

1805 – First public performance of Beethoven’s Third Symphony (Eroica).
1906 – Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Naples.
1933 – Prohibition was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight (or 4% by volume), eight months before the ratification of XXI amendment.

2 important birthdays:

1506 – Saint Francis Xavier, Spanish founder of the Society of Jesus (d. 1552)
1954 – Jackie Chan, Hong Kong actor

1 death:

30- Jesus according to the Bible (Do you see why I hate Wikipedia? I mean, reallywhat Bible says that Jesus died on April 7th, 30? Are there dates in your Bible? What calendar are they using?)


World Health Day – April 7th of every year is designated as World Health Day and celebrated by the 191 member countries of the World Health Organization to emphasize significant issues in public health of worldwide concern. Observed annually since 1948.

You’re it!