Ten Cents Worth September 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 1:15 pm

1. The most important words in the English language are please, thanks, and sorry. If you can learn to use them regularly, your life will go more smoothly, you’ll have less need to make excuses, and people will like you better. Use them, and mean them.

2. Christians: when sharing your faith, ask yourself what your goal is. Do you want to win an argument, or do you want to help someone to know God? Putting the other person in his place will rarely soften his heart.

3. People you like will sometimes be wrong, and people you dislike will sometimes be right. Listen, and think, before forming your opinion.

4. Don’t assume that people are stupid if they don’t believe what you believe or know what you know. It’s usually better to overestimate them than to underestimate them.

5. Keep a toolbox with basic tools. Every home should have at least two screwdrivers (flat head and phillips), a hammer, needle nose pliers, a box of nails, and a box of screws. If you are moving into your first apartment, buy these tools before you buy a television set.

6. Education is worthwhile for its own sake. Many people will tell you it isn’t worth it unless it will get you a career, but they’re wrong. Whether you go to college or not, spend your whole life learning.

7. Intelligence is not the same thing as superiority. You are not better than those who are less knowledgeable or less intelligent than yourself. You are not inferior to those who are more knowledgeable or more intelligent. You have value because you are a human being. So do all other humans, from the rocket scientist to the disabled baby.

8. Have patience. This life is short, and what is to come is eternal.

9. Avoid credit. It isn’t worth the stress or the self-deceit.

10. Give kindness. It doesn’t cost you anything to say a kind word or help someone out, but it can turn around the whole day for the other person.

Go ahead and post your own Ten Cents Worth, either here or on your own blog. If you post on your blog, please post the url to your post here in the comments.


Book Facts Meme November 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 6:24 pm

The woman known to My Charming and Patient Husband and myself as Aunt Betsy, and to most of the Blogosphere as Ms. Kitty tagged us both with this one. As usual, nobody but nobody is faster to jump on a book subject than Joel … I think he may be considering legally adding “Bookworm” as a second middle name.

So here’s the lagging wife with hers, under the directions to list seven random or weird book facts about myself.

  • I prefer biographies to most other kinds of writing. That doesn’t mean I don’t like others, but I just have a rather morbid fascination with bios. I used to think it was because I felt guilty reading fiction, but I’m beginning to realize that it just seems so much more interesting knowing that what I’m reading is true… or at least perceived as true by the author. Autobiographies are especially fun, because you can psychoanalyze the author as you read, and nobody really cares if you’re accurate about it or not.
  • Most books that I’ve actually finished started out on the back of the toilet. Once I’m about halfway through, I take it out of the bathroom to rush through the rest.
  • I’ve read Jane Eyre nine times. The first time, when I was in fifth grade, I got into the habit of lying at the foot of my bed after lights out so I could read by the light from the hallway. When I reached the end, I cried — not because it was sad, but because it was finished.
  • I share a birthday with Charles Dickens and Laura Ingalls Wilder, a fact that has always pleased me, since they are two of my favorites. (I also share with Saint Thomas More, but I haven’t read any of his writing yet.)
  • I collect composition books. I really can’t say exactly why, but I just love them. When I buy or open a new one, it feels like pure possibility. I love the ones with unique covers, and I enjoy decorating the regular marbled ones.
  • I love used books, because knowing that a book has been previously enjoyed seems like an “added value.”
  • My favorite Bible translation is RSV, partly because it is beautiful, and partly because it is recognized by both Catholics and Protestants. I also rarely admit to liking the NAB, which Joel refers to as “Nice And Bland.” But it’s easy to read and find things in, and sometimes easy is good.

And the final instruction is 7 tags:
Christine at Ramblings of a Catholic Soccer Mom
Laura at Catholic Teacher Musings
Cassie at A Blessed Life
Deanna at Deanna’s Corner
Barb at SFO Mom
Sharon at The Bird’s Nest
Stacey at Housewife in Flip Flops


Arte y Pico August 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:19 pm

I don’t see it, I’ll start by saying that; but it’s awfully flattering. Sharon at The Bird’s Nest awarded me with the Arte y Pico award. Flattering, especially, because I am so inspired by her posts so frequently. (She probably doesn’t realize this, because more often than not I have my hands full of baby when I hit the blogosphere, so I don’t comment much.) All I can say is thank you!

Here’s how it works:
1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.
2. Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it
3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4. The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the “Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. Please post these rules.

Now the fun part… passing the award on:
Jeff at The Curt Jester
Christine at Ramblings of a Catholic Soccer Mom
Waiter at Waiter rant
Jennifer at Conversion Diary (formerly Et Tu?)
Julie at Happy Catholic


Simple Woman Daybook August 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 4:30 pm
For August 15, 2008

I’ve seen these several places, and decided to look into it. Here‘s where it began, and I rather like the idea. Please feel free, readers, to join in.

Outside My Window…
A riot of pumpkin plants. I didn’t actually plant them, but they grew from compost; now we have most of our front lawn covered with pumpkin plant and pumpkins. The biggest is the size of a small watermelon already. I can’t wait to see what our front yard will look like by October!

I am thinking…
about family members not here. I miss our oldest, and I am praying that she has a lot of joy and hope in her life.

I am thankful for…
That my mom and sister were able to come for Peter’s baptism this weekend. Even if it was only, really, for a day. One day is better than no days.

From the kitchen…
Today my Charming and Patient Husband is cooking… taco salad. My latest kitchen feat was chicken and dumplings. I just learned to make them this month, and they’ve been a big hit.

I am wearing…
blue athletic/stretch shorts and a short sleeved shirt with a busy brown and green flower design. No shoes, hair tied back. Still too hot.

I am creating…
Laundry soap. Ok, not the most creative thing in the world, but it makes me feel empowered to be able to make something practical and useful for myself at a savings. Plus, it has little pink flecks and smells like lemons.

I am going…
to the fair tomorrow. It’s the last day, and we weren’t able to go last year. There is something about a small town county fair that makes you feel so connected to the community. And every year I swear to myself that next year I’ll make Grandpa’s Boterkoek for the ethnic foods category.

I am reading…
From Housewife to Heretic by Sonia Johnson. It’s about a Mormon woman who was excommunicated for feminist activities in the 70’s. She’s a very good writer, and although I disagree with much of what she says, the presents herself so well that I am coming at least to understand better the “other side” of views that I disagree with.

I am hoping…
to get the house clean. Maybe it’s more of a wish than a hope. Maybe it’s science fiction. I’m not sure. But I would love, love, love, not to have to worry about what Peter might pick up and put in his mouth.

I am hearing…
My first semi-silence for most of the day. The kids moved my daughter’s stereo into the family room to listen to MP3s through real speakers. Loudly. Mostly it’s video game remixes, from Mario and Zelda games, at the moment. But I’m in my room and can’t hear much beyond muted voices through the wall, and the computer fan.

Around the house…
there’s a sense of lethargy that seems to accompany hot summer days. Our air conditioning has its limits, and with this many people in one house it does get rather humid. So the activity gradually slows down, until morning brings cool breezes through windows.

One of my favorite things…
Raindrops on roses, … oops. I mean, quality musicals. I do love The Sound of Music. Also, Brigadoon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I’m sure I’m leaving out a few.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
I haven’t done much planning for next week, but with the summer running out I really think we should try to make it to the pool at least one more time. Or maybe I could get the nerve to go there alone and swim some laps. I’m sure the week will include trying to tackle the mountain of laundry waiting to be put away, and I should get in some lesson planning, with school coming back so soon.


10 Things that Keep Me Going June 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 11:28 am

10. Guilt. I’m the master of it, and there’s nobody I give it to more than myself. I must go on, because I feel guilty about all the things undone.

9. Sheer stubbornness. I do not give up easily.

8. Coffee. There’s something reassuring about old routines, and I’ve always kind of associated coffee with security, since childhood when my parents would have their morning coffee in peace, with good conversation.

7. Daydreams. Someday, I would like to be, to do, to have, to make…

6. A good night’s sleep. Once in a blue moon, at least.

5. Hope. No matter how bad things get sometimes, I always have hope — sometimes a desperate hope — that things can improve.

4. My children. I guess everyone needs to be needed, and these little needers are also some exceptional people.

3. My love for my husband. I want to be there for him for the next 40-80 years.

2. My husband’s love. Knowing that there’s someone who cares that I’m here makes a huge difference.

1. God’s love. It really is the one thing that would keep me going if everything else disappeared overnight. When I feel all alone, I know I am not. When I have nobody to talk to, He listens. Just knowing that I am not alone makes all the difference. The one biggest sorrow for me is knowing that there are people out there who fight Him with such a vengeance that they seek to convince others that He is not there, does not love them, or is some impersonal force. So many people seek to educate people out of their faith, or away from any possibility of finding faith. But faith is more than only my salvation in a theological sense; it is my salvation in every other sense, too. It saves me emotionally, psychologically, even physically. It gives me a reason to grow, a reason to be kind, a reason to learn and to seek joy and to love. To those who do not have or feel they need a personal relationship with God, all I can say is this: please, in the name of mercy, do not think you do a favor by “educating” people away from having one of their own. The need to see others share your doubts is not a generous, tolerant, or enlightened thing; it is harmful, and ultimately selfish.

Consider this a new meme: you’re tagged.


Today, 8 is the magic number. December 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 6:30 pm

I found a self-tagging meme at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii, and decided to tag myself.

The Meme is 8 Random Facts Meme, and here’s the obligatory quote about it.

.. Here’s what you do:
~ Each person starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves and post these guidelines.
~ At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names.
~ Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!

1. I always figured I’d have four kids. I never dreamed of 8.

2. When I was young, I wanted to be an interpreter for the United Nations. Then I discovered debate, my major changed, and all bets were off.

3. I received a nomination to the Air Force Academy, but ended up not going because I couldn’t do a pull-up.

4. I like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches… and did even before I was pregnant.

5. When the house is empty, I like to pray out loud.

6. I have a really hard time keeping my language clean. I want to, but old habits really do die hard.

7. I have a history of practical jokes. Not harmful ones, though.

8. I have an unhealthy preference for most things pink.


The Man Meme October 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:44 pm

Hijacked from Christine at Domestic Vocation.

1. Who is your man? Joel

2. How long have you been together? We’ve been married almost 5 years (December 30)

3. How long did you date? 1 year 9 1/2 months

4. How old is your man? 39

5. Who eats more? Usually me, the knocked up one.

6. Who said “I love you” first? I did. We’d been chatting for about 9 months and he made a game of trying to figure out where I lived based on my verbal clues. (The man loves a challenge.) I realized I had fallen in love, and spent two weeks praying about whether to tell him, and the day my two week vigil was up, he figured out my address. I sent him an e-card that said “You’ve found the way to my heart.” And in white text, with a white background, I wrote “I love you.” He was supposed to figure out the secret message, but I ended up having to tell him to press control-A.

7. Who is taller? Joel by 11 inches.

8. Who sings better? I have a better singing voice, but he remembers the actual lyrics.

9. Who is smarter? He is. Even my family reluctantly suspects it.

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine. There’s a reason I call him my Charming and Patient Husband.

11. Who does the laundry? Usually me, but not exclusively by any means.

12. Who takes out the trash? The kids, if I have anything to say about it.

13. Who sleeps on the right hand side of the bed? Him.

14. Who pays the bills? Me, with the money he earns. (I kept Christine’s words here.)

15. Who is better with the computer? He’s better with hardware, I’m better with software.

16. Who mows the lawn? The kids. All I have to do is consider mowing the lawn, and I’m pregnant.

17. Who cooks dinner? Him. He’s a darned good cook.

18. Who drives when you are together? Men have that mysterious form of carsickness that shows up any time someone else is behind the wheel, ya know?

19. Who pays when you go out? Usually him, but does it really matter? It’s coming from the same source either way.

20. Who is most stubborn? Him.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? We both do, in different ways.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? His, because mine live too far away.

23. Who kissed who first? The first time we met was after we’d been “seeing” each other for five months online. I picked him up at the airport, and he walked straight into my arms and kissed me. The he backed away and said “I hope to God you’re Christina.”

24. Who asked who out? I guess me. When we met, it was for my niece’s wedding that I’d asked him to.

25. Who Proposed? Oh, he did. He took me to the nicest Mexican restaurant in town, together with all the kids. He had my oldest in his truck, and I drove the rest in my Geo. (We couldn’t all fit in one vehicle, even then.) On the way, he asked my son’s permission to marry me. While we were waiting for our dinner, he took out a newspaper printout that had a picture of him on one knee with the words “Christina, will you marry me?” And he took out a ring and put it on my pinkie, the only finger it fit on!

26. Who is more sensitive? Me. And he’s awfully sensitive to my sensitivity.

27. Who has more friends? Him. I’m not good at making friends.

28. Who has more siblings? Me. I have four sisters, and he has one.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? I think Christine was referring to this same movie scene: in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, the mother explains that the husband is the head of the family, and the wife is the neck that tells him which way to turn. But it never really seems to come down to authority, because we both trust each other’s judgment so much.

And I can’t word the tag better than Christine did: If the spirit moves you, go on and leave a link to your meme answers in the com boxes!


Nice Matters September 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 1:20 pm

Sharon at The Bird’s Nest nominated me for the Nice Matters Award. (Thank you, Sharon. This is the first time I’ve gotten anything like that, and you made my day.) I’m sorry for taking so long to respond; I was afraid that all the people I’d think of would already have gotten nominated, so I procrastinated about posting. Silly me, I finally realized I could just Google people to see if they’d already been recognized.

Here is the description she posted:

Here is what the Nice Matters Award is all about: “This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass on to seven others whom you feel are deserving of this award.”

I have to say it’s hard to narrow it down to seven people who have had a positive effect, not only on me but on many others. This past year has been such a challenging one, and the warmth I’ve seen in the Blogosphere has really helped me through some hard times. But here, if I must choose seven, is a short list. Know that a number of people I wanted to include already had posted, and I heartily endorse them!

1. Rob at Kyrie Eleison.
His posts inspire me to remember to see the good in the world and the people around me.

2. Julie at Happy Catholic.
She always reminds us all to pray. She is also very good at making people feel that they really matter.

3. Christine, at Ramblings of a Catholic Soccer Mom, and more specifically at Domestic Vocation.
I first started reading her at her Soccer Mom blog. It was one of my first regular reads, and I’ve always enjoyed it. But I can’t even express how much Domestic Vocation has helped me in times of trouble. God finds ways of using Christine’s posts to answer my prayers when I’m in need of guidance. And let’s face it, we all need reminders sometimes of the roles in our lives that are not merely choices but vocations.

4. Rebecca at Just a Little Bit of Something Extra.
She writes about Down Syndrome and a very beautiful little girl. If everyone could see this lovely child and this lovely blog, the world would be embracing children like this instead of fearing the diagnosis.

5. Ms. Kitty at Ms. Kitty’s Saloon and Road Show.
Ms. Kitty continually amazes me; we come from such different perspectives on so many things, yet her insights always inspire me to think more deeply, and she is ever urging all of her readers, myself included, to look within ourselves to see if we are being as kind as we are able. Plus, I happen to know personally, that she’s as genuinely nice in real life as she comes across in her blog. In fact, more so.

6. Stacey at Housewife in Flip Flops (Because “thong” is too controversial a word.)
She very consistently makes me smile. She not infrequently makes me laugh. Out loud. And I tell you, laughing is nice. Very nice.

7. Angelmeg at Transcendental Musings.
She has a way of wrapping faith and her personal humanness together into one package that uplifts others, I suspect, more than she realizes. It is, in my opinion, the most effective kind of testimony, because it is real life, not a formula.

Thank you all, and those who were already nominated by others, for your inspiration.


Book Meme August 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 6:53 pm

Joel tagged whoever, so I took it.

What are you reading right now?
Don’t Know Much about History, Schindler’s List, The Well-Trained Mind. Just finished Madeleine Takes Command today.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
My Charming and Patient Husband would like me to read Peter Beagle’s A Fine and Private Place.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?
Definitely Sunset, and maybe American Baby and Reader’s Digest.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
Does Moby Dick count, if I merely fooled my teacher into thinking I read it? Heinlein’s Job was pretty abysmal, though I wasn’t actually forced. And any required book written by the instructor has, throughout my education, been guaranteed to stink like a skunk with brie breath.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
Mere Christianity, by C. S. Lewis, hands down.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?
Not quite yet, but mostly because I’ve discovered online ordering.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?
The Anne of Green Gables series. Those who love ’em really love ’em; but everyone else kind of blinks like “ok, it’s not a bad book, but what’s all the excitement about?”

Do you read books while you eat? Occasionally; but at dinner I hope we’re having a family meal, and at lunch I kind of prefer a half hour sitcom.
While you bathe? on the rare occasions when I get a chance to take a bath, yes.
While you watch movies or TV? nah
While you listen to music? It depends on the type of music. Some music is foreground, some is background. Really, the question should be whether I listen to music while I read.
While you’re on the computer? If I’m doing research or something. I’ve been known to look things up in the Catechism or the Code of Canon Law while interacting online.
While you’re having sex? Ew.
While you’re driving? No.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
Yeah. Those same reading habits won me a few fights against bullies, too, though. I don’t care if you’re a boy and she’s a girl; if she has a 20 lb book bag, your chances of winning are significantly reduced.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.

I’m not going to tag anyone either. If you take it up on your own, let me know inthe comments.


Things or people that don’t bother me July 5, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 5:48 pm

I picked this one up at Housewife in Flip Flops. Everyone can list what bothers them; here’s what I can shrug over.

1. Buying clothes at thrift stores. Honestly, I’d feel guilty paying full price very often.

2. Dinner for breakfast. We run out of cereal all the time, but that’s ok; isn’t there some horseradishy stroganoff left from last night?

3. Drinking water.

4. Children singing, even off key.

5. My charming and patient husband‘s bawdy and bizarre sense of humor.

6. Being pregnant.

7. Going to meetings.

8. Having my door opened by my husband. In fact, I enjoy it.

9. Stacey said “Creation vs. Evolution. Seriously, so over it.” All I can do is quote and agree.

10. Catholic jokes, unless they’re mean spirited.

I’ve given up on tagging… just drop a note in the comment field if you tag yourself.