Thursday, September 30, 2010
This week my husband has worked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, all night. 12 hour shifts. Wednesday he had an 8 hour shift, again at night. Thursday he had no job to go to. Friday he has his 8 hour night shift. Then Saturdays starts four 12-hour shifts. Busy is indeed a good thing.
My children, God bless them, have been busy spreading joy and happiness through handmade cards wishing people well. Through their handy work they have managed to soothe some feathers that hubby and I did not realize we had ruffled!!
I have been busy making meals for people who needed them, this week. Therefore, our school schedule suffered a bit. But life lessons? Living the beatitudes. How can that be topped?
We were blessed with a bountiful apple season, as I posted last.
We have an income and all the goodness that comes from being able to provide for our family.
I still have two part-time jobs, but with my husband working, I have been able to cut back on hours, spend more time at home, and resume my classes. My schedule is brutal: Up between 5 and 7 a.m, whatever I can manage. School starts at 8:30 a.m. for the children. School, meals, laundry, cleaning, etc. Then I start my school work, classes from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Brutal, but I am not complaining. No idle hands. This craziness shall pass.
We are busy, we are happy. God is good.
Today I wish to pray for, and remember all those who want to be busy, employed according to their vocation, and are unable to do that work. For whatever reason, God puts us through trials and often times we do not know why that is. Sometimes God allows us to see the good which comes from our trials, other times, we just do not know. That is where the faith comes in.
For those who are unemployed, for those who cannot work at their profession, for those who are unable to fulfill their vocation in life, I pray for an ease to their suffering. I pray for God to accept their sacrifices and their offerings, showering His blessings upon their intentions.
I pray for my children and for yours. I pray for their faith to grow.
Please feel free to add your intentions in the comments section, or to send me an email at thorns dot lily at gmail dot com and I will be glad to pray for your intentions as well.
This post is linked to Fearless Friday over at Free Spirit Haven and Sweet P's.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Organic, unsprayed, untreated. Less beautiful than store bought, but just as delicious, and FRESH PICKED! In our own yard!
What a gift! Yesterday I made one of my favorites, apple crisp. I love Betty Crocker recipes, especially the older ones. This is the recipe I've always used.
4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cream or Ice cream, if desired
1.Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
2.Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
3.Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.
Makes 6 servings
Monday, September 27, 2010
This is intended to be an update to that posting. Go read here first, then continue.
Fear is debilitating. With fear you make bad decisions. With fear you forget what is really important, trust in God, the love of family, health.
Growing up, when things were tough, I remember people saying, "Well, at least we have a roof over our head." What we faced was no job, no roof. How do you get a roof over your heads when you lose the one you have to foreclosure and you have no job to provide security for a landlord? Where. Do. You. Go. ?
This is what we faced. Thankfully, just after writing that article, my husband was blessed with a job. A really, really good job, with state benefits, better than we had hoped for. It is also a secure job, one on the research and development end of the nanotechnology field, a joint venture of universities, manufacturers, and researchers. It is cutting edge in a growth industry (keep buying all those electronics, and keep demanding they make things smaller) therefore he will not have to worry about another plant closure.
I called the mortgage company moments after he accepted the job offer. The girl I talked with in the foreclosure department told me she would send a HAMP package out to us immediately. It would be sent FEDEX and we would have it within 10 business days. This was 17 days (not business days) before our auction date. We were hopeful. I contacted legal aid in our state and asked questions. Everything seemed to be going along on a positive note.
Seven days (not business days) before our auction, I called our mortgage company and asked where our package was. "Who told you we would send the package out?" Uh-oh, I gave the name. "Well, she needs to be retrained. She gave you false hope. She never should have promised you a work-out package. Once a sale date is assigned, the only thing that will stop it is full payment of the arrears." What? We are X months behind. My husband has not worked in over 13 months. We have no money! "Yes, M'am. I am very sorry she gave you false hope. She will need to be retrained. That was not fair. I apologize."
Plan A: Expensive. Going with a private firm, who makes no promises, and who will represent us and try to renegotiate for us.
Plan B: Also expensive. Bankruptcy. Will stop the sale, no promises for continuation of the stoppage. Buys time.
We went with plan B. Because of his job, we can reorganize and save the house. It is very expensive because we will be paying back what we owe, not having anything forgiven. But we were not looking for a free ride. We just wanted to stay home. We would have paid our mortgage if we could have. We are glad to pay the extra money now, and stay put.
There are so many other effects to my husband's job loss, in bad economic times. This is the most personal information I have ever given on my blog. I did so because maybe someone else will feel less alone. Also, to remind myself to "Keep the faith" because I almost lost it there for a while. And lastly, I share this story, so if you find yourself in this situation, you can be forewarned of how the mortgage companies operate. Do not take them on their word.
God did provide. Not in my timeframe but His. I told my story to a friend at work, an emigrant from the Middle East, who is a Christian. When I told him of how we received word less than 24 hours before our auction time, he said, "God wanted you to increase your faith. He must have felt you needed to." Wow, a lightbulb moment.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
This week I wanted to spotlight one of my favorite blogs to visit. Moderate Means.
She is a frugal blogger, mother of two children, a dieter, and exerciser, and a parent of a juvenile diabetic. She is also going to classes with her husband to be foster parents. She owns a business, and she is funny. Every post has a bit of humor, which always makes me smile. Drop by and visit. Tell her Lily sent you :). You will be glad you stopped by, and have another blog to add to your list of favorites!!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Praying for Sweet Mary, and my friend Jen, and all others with health concerns.
Praying for the G family as they start to settle back into a life without their baby Mary Katherine.
Praying for the jobless, and for Angie's family.
Praying for the government officials who could do so much if they put their priorities in the right place.
Thanking God for my husband's job, I do not ever think I will take employment for granted again.
Thanking God for the health of my family.
Thanking God for my home, that we could keep it.
Praising God for this beautiful day.
Praising God for my friends.
Praising God for my beautiful children who bring me joy every single day of my life.
Please join in the prayers. This post is linked to Fearless Friday and Sweet Peas
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
This is the story of Ren, an orphan boy who is missing a hand. He was raised in a Catholic orphanage and has a good moral foundation. He knows right from wrong, but has some bad habits, such as his talent for theivery, which is the result of growing up an orphan.
When he is adopted by Benjamin, who claims to be his brother, Ren is hoping for home-cooked meals and a mother's love. He instead finds a con man who gets him involved in things like grave robbing and conning people leaving churches, gathering their sympathy for the one-handed orphan boy.
The story takes an unexpected and jolting (for me, not a huge fan of the genre) twist in the second half of the book. There was a snippet of foreshadowing which had me wondering early on, but there were enough turns to throw me off the scent until I was sucker punched for my distraction!
I think gothic fans, even YA gothic fans will love this book. I enjoyed it and could not put it down despite my distaste for some of it. It is not for everyone. The descriptions of the grave robbing were rather graphic, as well as a few other passages describing someone's breath, appearances, smells, and a factory accident. What kept me reading? I thought it was really well written. I may not have enjoyed the descriptions, but Tinti brought me there. I could smell that breath, and I was in the room for the accident. Well done in that respect.
If gothic is your thing, give it a go. It is worth a read. This book (for those of you who are interested) is one chosen by my husband, because another reviewer compared the writing to Dickens! Again, not a book I would have chosen, but enjoyed it while reading. And, thusfar, there is no sequel ;0)
All I will say about this one, until it is finished, is you cannot judge a book by its cover! This is not a bodice-ripper romance as the cover seems to bring to mind. It is a newly-released book that I asked the librarian to get for me. She is anxiously waiting for me to return it so she can read it herself. And we are both self-proclaimed loathers of the bodice-ripper storyline.
This post has been linked to "It is Monday, What Are You Reading" at Book Journey.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
This week we are supposed to highlight blogs we love. Well there are just so many! I recently spotlighted Indigo Impression a sweet blogger who really ought to post more often, and MaryBennett who is a favorite for her writing and reviews. I often mention Happy Hearts at Home who is a favorite for all her useful links and information, especially about homeschooling on a budget. Other favorites, far from a complete list and in no particular order:
Moderate Means: Budget tips, frugal living, living with diabetes, etc.
Catholic Mothers Online: A blog where you can meet other Catholic Mothers who blog. I write for this blog, my first post will be appearing at the end of the month.
The House on Lavender Hill: Someone I know in real life, who has a beautiful family, can always make me laugh, and who has a lovely home which is highlighted on her blog.
Pen and Paper: A very funny Brit, who has a witty blog, and never ceases to entertain, amuse and surprise.
Living It Up in Bankrupt California:A very talented artist and blogger, married to another very talented artist, with a couple of beautiful girls!
Free Spirit Haven: A real prayer warrior who is a bargain hunter as well!
Crochet Me Crazy: Someone who is talented in all areas of her life. I really admire this blogger!
Brocante Home: A blog I have followed for years for everything housekeeping and lovely!
Friday, September 17, 2010
1. My husband started his job this week, after 14 months and 2 days of unemployment. And it is just in the nick of time. And his job is only 30 miles from home. Before his unemployment, his commute was over 90 miles each way. He needed to refill his gas tank every two days. Now he will be able to go all week on a tank of gas! And the job has state benefits. He is thrilled because he has never worked anywhere that the benefits were nearly so good.
2. Also on Monday I met with an attorney and figured out how to save our home from the foreclosure auction which was scheduled for today. It will not be easy, but it can be done. It is being done, we are able to stay in our home and I am so grateful for that blessing. I love this home, my children love it here. We live in a beautiful place with caring and wonderful neighbors. I am so glad we can stay. Did I say "Thanks be to God for my husband's job" yet? Well, thanks be to God for my husband's job!!!
3. We started home school this week. While it was not without its glitches, it went well. I am pleased.
1. Please remember all of the unemployed still out there looking for jobs, and in a special way remember our hostess' husband, who has suffered through an extended period of unemployment, only to get a job that was downsized, and he is now unemployed yet again.
2. Please remember those who are sick, suffering with long-term illness, and those who care for them.
3. Please remember Sweet Mary, the G family, my auntie, and all others who need extra prayers for illness and suffering this week.
We ask for these things in faith, through Christ our Lord.
This post is linked to Fearless Friday and Sweet P's Prayer
Please visit their postings and pray for all the intentions in the blogosphere! Also, if you have any intentions to add you can send me an email or add it into the comments below. May God bless you all, I pray for my readers and their intentions every day.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I made tilapia tonight! So what is the big deal you say? Well, since hubbins has been laid off, I have not really cooked. I was on vacation from domestic duties because I was working several part-time jobs and taking classes. Therefore, my husband took over the cooking and cleaning. I appreciated it, but I am glad to have the jobs back (I'm much fussier and more regimented). That being said, I'm still in vacation mode, lol. It has been a tough week getting back into the swing of things.
I already posted about Monday. Now, the rest of the week has been recovering from hubbins running things for the last 14 months. Plus, I've been doing a huge reorganization of our school supplies, and I debuted a new organizational system for our homeschool this year. We needed a fresh approach!
It has been tough. I have insisted that the children start maintaining their chores up to MY standards! We started with their rooms, and inspections were supposed to have started already, but I gave them an extra week to get into form. All those months of Daddy-standards are making meeting Mommy's a bit rough. But I have faith that we can overcome this, they are excited Daddy is back to work and our future is brighter.
Monday being scratched from the list, Tuesday and Wednesday we had left-overs. Today I had to cook. I made Garlic Alfredo Tilapia, served over rice, with farm-fresh-picked-by-my-children green beans. It was delicious, and even the non-fish eater (self-proclaimed) and the one who has not quite decided about fish loved it! Since it was such a hit, I thought I would share, and I'm sorry, I should have taken pictures.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Today is the day my husband starts his full-time job, after 14 weeks and 2 days of unemployment. And he found a very good job which should be secure and stable for a long time to come. Thanks be to God for that.
Today is also the day that we go to a funeral for a newborn baby, the one I have been mentioning in my Fearless Friday posts. Mary Catherine was born last week, and as the family had been told by the doctors, she could not survive. Please pray for her sweet soul and for her family. We will be heading out to Mass in a few hours.
Lastly, today is the day I will explore legal options for dealing with the ramifications of long-term unemployment in a large family. I will do this alone because my husband starts his job, and I'm more than a little nervous about my meeting today.
All sorts of emotional today.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
This week I would like to spotlight Sweet Mary, a friend, a mother, a blogger, a prim artist, and much, much more. She writes a variety of posts from book and product reviews to her personal thoughts on world events.
Drop by and tell her Lily sent you, you are sure to enjoy your visit: Mary Bennett
Friday, September 10, 2010
Please pray for a special family who has a baby due this week, and the baby, without a miracle, will not survive.
Please pray for Sweet Mary, as always.
Pray for all children who have started or are starting school soon, that their hearts and minds are turned towards their work, and their grades reflect their efforts and learning.
Oh my, the fear is intensifying around here. Please continue to pray for us. We still have no answers and our life could be very different a week from today. I'm trying to have faith and let go of the fear, if it is God's will that our life be so drastically changed, then there must be a reason for He has never let us down before. I suppose that is why fear is so very, very dangerous. Fear replaces trust. I am doing my best to trust, Lord, please give me the strength.
I beg our Blessed Mother to wrap her mantle of love and protection around our family at this time, and to intercede on our behalf with her most precious Son.
This is a very difficult time in our life, very difficult.
Thank you so very much for all of your prayers, you are always in mine. God bless. This post is linked to Angie at Free Spirit Haven, and to Sweet P's.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Needless to say, I went home and I sat down with my crochet project and the Playaway over the weekend. It did not take long for me to fall in love with playaways. They are so convenient. The book is preloaded, you can bookmark your place, and the readers were brilliant!! I especially loved that I could accomplish my to-do list, hobbies, or errands, all while knocking some titles off my reading list (which is extensive). I soon found, however, being a new media, playaways are not widely available within the library system. I started looking for alternatives, which is when I decided to go ahead and get an MP3 player. I found I could get digital titles from the library and then upload them. I also figured out I could upload audio cds to my itunes or media player and put them on my MP3 that way. Not every audio book has good narration, but many of them have amazingly talented ones! They are read by actors/actresses, and professionals who can do multiple voices, sometimes sing to you the songs in the story, and occasioanlly, there is a cast of readers which is especially fun.
I would not want to listen to all books, but I love to hear the British classics read by Brits. I enjoy hearing characters from the South read by Southerners, it adds a level of enjoyment to the story for me. So I choose my audio books based upon their story. If there are multiple narrators within the story, those are fun to listen to as well. Sometimes I will choose a more challenging piece to listen to while I am crocheting, or driving because the story comes alive. Titles I want to read but are slow going in the beginning are also good choices. You can give a book a fair shot on audio, give it a bit more time than a title you'd be tempted to walk away from. Since you are doing other things, it is not wasted time, and you give the story a little longer of a chance to develop before abandoning.
Then I decided to combine "transliteracy" into my classroom. I started using audiobooks at home for the children, for my reluctant readers. I picked up the book and the audio at the library, and had them listen and read along with chapter books they were wanting to read. Things just a bit above their reading level. It worked very well. The children loved being told to get their MP3 player and go listen to a book. They were required to read along, and suddenly reading became fun and much less stressful. These reluctant readers also took to reading aloud to siblings, a fringe benefit for mommy. The littles had more reading time than mommy could afford to spend because the olders became more involved, voluntarily. Did you catch that? Voluntarily!
Therefore, I am now a fan of audio books. Both for my own personal enjoyment, and also for use in my home school. I have enjoyed listening to old favorites on audio, they are great for re-reads. It adds another dimension to the enjoyment of a book, but mainly I am a fan of multitasking and this is the perfect way to do that!!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Below are my three tidbits of conversation to get things rolling. Answer in the comments to keep the conversation rolling, and then, link up and start a conversation on your blog. To link up, click on the button above! Have fun, the entire purpose is to get to know you better :)
1. I am currently STILL trying to organize my five students for school. We had intended to start yesterday, but that shall be pushed back to next Monday at the latest. Why am I so far behind? Well, I have 10 bookcases of materials just for school, as well as various odd piles of materials scattered in a couple of random places. After homeschooling six children for 14 years (Oldest is in college now) I have accumulated a lot of curriculum and manipulatives. Therefore, I decided this year, to PURGE AND ORGANIZE first. No matter how long it took. Then, we are implementing a new organizational system that is taking time to set up, but will be totally worth it in the end (workboxes). Did you have a big project this year?
2. I love audio books because I can pursue my other hobbies while listening. I also use them extensively in my homeschool program. Interesting audios, when used as a read-alongs, have been the turning point for some of my reluctant readers!! Do you listen to audio books?
3. Some of the hobbies I like to pursue while listening to my audio books are: Crocheting, cross stitich, sewing and all sorts of crafts. I am hoping, with my new organizational system for school, to get back to both listening to audio books and crafting again. What hobbies do you pursue?
Looking forward to your answers, and feel free to join me :)
Monday, September 6, 2010
My labors of love, my six beautiful children, my family. I hope you and your family have a wonderful day. Whether you can be together or not, whether you have to work or not, whether it rains or the sun shines, I wish you all a blessed day of memories and love.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Well this looks like fun. This week I choose to spotlight a sweet blogger who could use a little bit of encouragement to keep on posting :) Elizabeth over at Indigo Impression is a college student, dancer, and has a beautiful cat. She has a really pretty blog that I always enjoy visiting! Stop on over to Indigo Impression and let Elizabeth know that Lily sent you!
Friday, September 3, 2010
I waited for Fearless Friday to announce that my husband has accepted an offer for a FULL TIME JOB!! It is a good offer, not as much as he was making before, but it is a great offer. I could not be more pleased, and neither can he, so please join us in prayers of Thanksgiving, God is so good.
And, please pray that this job offer is in time to save our home. Yea, it has been tough. We need some heavy-duty prayers on this one. It is a biggie.
Sweet Mary had a scan to check the status of her cancer. Please pray for all good news on her results. And visit her cancer blog.
Please pray for my children as we gear up to start school this week, I do not think I am going to be ready on time due to the "home" crisis mentioned above. I will do my best, and maybe they can get started by week's end.
Please feel free to add your prayer intentions in the comments. As always, I will check the comments and pray for those intentions as well. Also in my prayers are all my readers.
Thank you for your wonderful prayerful support, prayers move mountains, and this week MY HUSBAND FOUND FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT. Thank you for all the prayers that held us up, and for all who prayed for him to find a job, God bless you, your prayers are very efficacious!
This post is linked to Fearless Friday over at Angie's blog Free Spirit Haven, and to Sweet P's.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Elmer's Virtual Bag It Forward And Adopt A Classroom
CMash Loves To Read sent me a Elmer's Virtual Bag. I think I was picked because I confessed to loving school/office supplies here. So when she sent me this Virtual Bag to help students, I was glad to help.
By posting this and linking to Elmer's, this is what will happen:
ELMER’S VIRTUAL "BAG IT FORWARD" rules:
• Copy and paste these rules into your blog post or Facebook note.
•Create a post giving a “virtual bag of school supplies” to other bloggers or write about your Back to School shopping trip at Walmart.
•Link back to the person who gave you a bag of school supplies.
•Let each person you are giving a virtual bag of school supplies know you have given them a bag.
•Leave your link in the Elmer’s Virtual Bag It Forward comment section. You can also find the official rules of this virtual #bagitforward program there.
•Elmer’s is donating $10 for each blog participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $10,000 for blog posts written by September 10,2010).
Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation
Be sure to head over and leave your link to the post on Bag it Forward post for the post to count towards Elmer's Donation .
I am passing this on and hope you will help!!!
Okay ladies read the instructions below copy and paste to your blog and/or you can find full instructions at http://bagitforward.org/donate-a-bag/
Elizabeth from Indigo Impression
Sweet Mary from MaryBennett
Dexter from Dexter's Wild Life
I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear..
I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Click on the photo for the link to the photographer's website.