Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January Organization Tip


I am watching Food Network and mapping out the next two weeks worth of dinner menus and shopping lists. Yes! I'm that woman. It makes life that much easier to know that dinner has been scheduled and the grocery list ready for Saturday.

I place my weekly menu on this custom made Kitchen menu!  I love the pop of color in the kitchen.

I use colorful index cards that show the dinner on the front with the details (where to find the recipe or the recipe itself) on the back.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Catholic Schools Week


This Sunday marks the start of Catholic Schools Week in our Diocese.  I'm excited as my children will be enrolled in school - Ladybug in Kindergarten while Fricker will be enrolled in the last year of Pre K.   Six months ago, I blogged about the issues surrounding supporting Catholic education in our area.

Either you are in a great area with a great school, you send your children to private school, you homeschool, or you supplement the education your child receives.  Sadly, this is a reality of Virginia life - don't let the idea of the Commonwealth fool you - either you can afford to live with the great school district or you can't.

For us, while our housing prices have gone up (thank goodness we bought when we did and we are biding our time to sell), the schools are still mediocre.  I don't want to chance it what my children and who they are around.  Additionally, and more important, we have doubled down on Catholic schools so that our children will receive first communion and confirmation by the time they hit high school.

While last year we received word that our school was closing, in dealing with that painful blow to our hearts, we have found other Catholic educational communities that are just as welcoming (and some that aren't).

Here is the first step of a long journey.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

My kids have skills...

Never underestimate your children's abilities on the following:

Embarrass you in Trader Joes in front of childless young urban professionals.

Get sick at inappropriate moments.

Wake your ass up from dead sleep at 7 am.

Inquire why you're are mad because of the previous capability.

Ask why they can't have lollipops at 8 am.

My kids can do all of these things. I should work on their resumes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Selma...

Last week, I was privileged to see the movie “Selma”.  It was great case study in the Civil Rights Movement especially during a time of civil unrest that we are witnessing play out on the streets of major cities.

The movie centers around Martin Luther King and his associates at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  The movie hits on the high points of the Selma Campaign with the major players of the movement including Diane Nash, John Lewis, James Bevel, Ralph Abernathy, and Andrew Young.  Recognize these names?  You should because John Lewis is a Congressman and Andrew Young was an ambassador and mayor of Atlanta.  

The Civil Rights Movement just wasn't about MLK and LBJ - oh trust and believe that the movies plays up that showdown.  Granted, according to Politico, LBJ was a more willing participant.  I want to believe that he in fact was an active participant.  Considering that LBJ, a Southern Democrat from Texas (think Today’s Tea Party in fact stick with that), actually took meetings with MLK despite having him trailed by the FBI (another subject).  

It took a two pronged approach that required showing the people the depravity of disenfranchisement.  Much like today, we watch young people of every color march for rights of those stopped by the police and to say that color that labels them as perpetrators, miscreants, or my new favorite cringe word "THUG".  Additionally, we are all responsible for our fellow man.  We must bear witness to their treatment and care because one day it could be and just might be us.

“…because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice..” - Martin Luther King

It was an amazing film that shows us the reality of the movement, then and now.  It shows what we take for granted.  Case in point, when I turned 18, I just up and went to the county registrar's office and registered to vote.  I didn't take my momma so that she could vouch for me or take pictures as I did my civic duty.  I didn't take my dad with his wallet so I could pay a poll tax.  I didn't have to study my American History and Civics because I am a natural born citizen.  I just up and went because that is my god given right as an American.  Period.  End of Story.  The movie shows us the plight of Annie Lee Cooper, a nurse, who is introduced to the audience as she is being denied for the umpteenth time at the voter registration's office.  Her failing mistake?  Not knowing the names of all 67 county judges in Alabama (I voted in every election when I lived back home and I still can't name the county judge).  From 1965 to 2000, how things have changed.  

What I want to leave you with is that on this MLK Day remember the man, in fact remember all the men, women, and children who have gone before us in the struggle for universal suffrage.  From being treated equally in education, in jobs, in voting, in all things.  

We are great people. We are descendants of great people who gave civilization to the world from the banks of the Nile. We gave the world science, math, astrology, astronomy. - Amelia Boynton Robinson (Quote)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Book Challenge

Every year, I challenge myself to read.  Read articles and books that exist outside my normal life - from crazy adventures involving FBI Agents and International Cartels, to historical fiction, to Tudor Historical fiction (its a thing), to biographies.  

This year, 2015, I will be reading 50 books.  I came to the number based upon previous year's performances:

2014 - 40 book challenge…46 books read
2013 - 30 book challenge - 33 books read
2012 - 25 book challenge - 24 books read
2011 - unknown book challenge - 33 books read

Here we go...

So far I have the following books completed and now and ready to add to the "Been there, read that" box:

On the queue and ready to be devoured are

Suite Francaise
Silver Bay
One Plus One
A Dance with Dragons
A Feast for Crows
The Joy of the Gospel

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Three Kings and Epiphany!

Hey!  I hope your holidays were amazing.  I can say that mine were restful.  We had a great holiday starting with taking my kids to see Mr.  Obama's trees except Mr. Obama wasn't so kind about that - actually it was the Secret Service (including nearly threatening a three year old - don't worry he bites and I'm not going to stop if he does it).  We could only see the trees from afar as Mr. Obama was departing for Hawaii at that same time and apparently you can't have visitors to the trees and a Marine One take off.

That pissed off the Fricker.

Onward to District Taco which opened a new location near our house.  That fact alone made the rejection of not seeing trees totally worth it.  Back at work - it was practically a lonely village (thank God).  In any case, this past year gave me more unnecessary issues that the average person should have to encounter - it has taught me to just roll with it more than anything and be glad that I am an amazing team player and I have options (I'm more than sure that will be a good thing in the future).

So more on our tales!  Christmas brought us to a friend's house where we enjoyed dinner and all went to a Vigil Mass.  The kids enjoyed seeing Baby Jesus at Midnight.  The next day, we got up late and opened our gifts then feasted on lamb (its a thing here).

Boxing Day in the UK - I have no idea what that is about but at least I know when it is - we were at the National Zoo for Zoo Lights.


The kids LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.  Compared to last year, we had a blast!   From the family tubing - The Fricker was a BOSS on it - to the train, we loved ZooLights.  Another weekend a few days of work and then New Years - which are a big deal to us as we are still in the Christmas season here in Coach Land.  

We brought the kids the NYE Mass or the Mass for Mary, Mother of God (Its for the Catholics in the Crowd, got hit my base) where my children were definitely in want for not sitting still.  A goal for the new year, sitting still in Mass - my children go to the babysitter - but Ladybug is getting older so she has to begin sitting in church with us.

We rested for a few days where I managed some serious tasks (more posts later promise) and then the Visitation of the Three Kings or Epiphany!  We went to a study session with the kids where they learned songs (funny how they didn't sign during the session but decided to sing every moment afterward) and colored pictures and learned about the three kings.  Saturday, we got to see the kings and their attendants and ask questions.  Needless to say that the Fricker managed to insert "dragon" into the conversation.  Good job little dude.

The kids presented the Kings with their letters/lists (we do letters as we really don't need anything) and we wrote them on these:

2014 was fun as a family, we were together and growing.  We had ups and downs but overall we did it together.  We had fun but now it is time to say "okay 2015, we are officially ready for you.  Let's go."

Are you ready?

Let's go!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Best of 2014...

Happy Holidays!

Whatever you celebrate know that you have our best wishes in the last days of 2014 and into the new days of 2015.   May you find Peace and Happiness in all that you do.  Now, I must take a real break.  While I'm gone (and planning new posts and other fun stuff), I leave you with some fun stuff from this year.
  1. Professional Advice 
  2. Natural Hair
  3. Parenting
  4. 6th Anniversary Reflections
  5. New York, New York
  6. The Team of Destiny
In any case, Have fun with those around you be it coworkers, friends, church acquaintances, and family.  

See you in 2015.  Virtual Hugs!