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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quiet Time and Schedules




I talked about GRACE the last time. Little did I know that I was going to need
a huge dose of it.

(1)
The kids got the "Tummy Bug". 3 days of diarrhea plus vomiting but no fever.
That was the tricky part, bringing them to the doctor was useless as there was
no fever to treat. Then we found out that it was something that you just flush
out of your system. Hydrate hydrate hydrate.

Poor kids for being sick! Poor mom and dad for the clean up that had to be done!

Claiming claiming claiming that we have nothing but healthy days ahead of us.


I have recently been trying to cultivate healthy rhythms and routines. One area
that I've been trying to work on is my own Quiet Time. As a full time mom to
two kids below five, I can tell you that it a simple-but-not-easy thing to do.

(2) Diving Office
I know some bloggers who love praying with the Divine Office and decided
to give it a try. Hmmm, not for me at this point in time. Blocking off time for 
any one task isn't just doable now. I'm looking for something that will work
well on just a few chunks of time throughout the day.   

(3) Daily Examen
The Catholic Church has so many beautiful traditions. It's nice to know that
fellow Christians have discovered that they can practice these traditions too. 
Thank you to Katherine for inspiring me to give the Daily Examen a try.

There are many ways of going about this prayer method used by St. Ignatius.
I will try to keep things simple by "praying backward through the day" and
possibly using this guide.

Click HERE if you're feeling adventurous and would like to explore more
about the The Examen.

(4) Do You REALLY Need Quiet Time?
I don't think I have the words for this yet. So here's a good read as to WHY 
you and I need Quiet Time.

(5) Thank you Lord for the reminder:
"You're more than your hands do.
You're more than your hands have.
You're more than how other hands measure you.
You are what is written on God's Hands:
Safe. Held. His. Beloved."


Another area that I've been working on is our Family Daily Schedule.

(6) The Daily Schedule of Mother Teresa
This other post by Jennifer really made me pause and think more about 
what's been keeping me busy. And how our schedules have been as a
whole.

----------------------------
Daily Schedule for the Missionaries of Charity
4:30 – 5:00: Rise and get cleaned up
5:00 – 6:30: Prayers and Mass
6:30 – 8:00: Breakfast and cleanup
8:00 – 12:30: Work for the poor
12:30 – 2:30: Lunch and rest
2:30 – 3:00: Spiritual reading and meditation
3:00 – 3:15: Tea break
3:15 – 4:30: Adoration Prayer
4:30 – 7:30: Work for the poor
7:30 – 9:00: Dinner and clean up
9:00 – 9:45: Night prayers
9:45: Bedtime
- The primary work of the Order, serving the poor, only takes place between   
8:00 – 12:30 and 4:30 – 7:30.
- There’s buffer! Notice that time for meal cleanup and getting dressed is built   
in to the schedule.
- They say that their lives are centered on God, and this schedule reflects it.   
There is time dedicated to prayer each day.
- They have a set (and early) bedtime, making time for sleep even if they feel   
like more work could be done.
- Look at how focused this schedule is! They only attempt to do two things:   
pray and work for the poor.

Just reading through the schedule made me ache for that kind of peaceful 
rhythm in my life."

----------------------------
Who would have known that such a simple schedule could produce such great
works of charity? I feel challenged to simplify and find something that will produce
better fruits for our family.


Some good eats...

(7) Chicken Piccata
We've had Giada's Chicken Piccata twice this week. We rarely have the
same dinner twice in a week so that says a lot. Proportions for our piccata 
sauce were just estimates and it was served on the side. I highly recommend
serving the sauce on the side if you have little ones. Without the sauce, it's 
just fried chicken.


Joining the fun at:



Friday, March 14, 2014

Grace



(1) Starting over. Again.

I had gone through a period of blah. Then it was a period of busy. Vacations are a tricky
thing. Loved loved loved the time spent with family and friends.  Then there was the tons
of errands to attend to as well. Arrived back home tired. Then sick. The antibiotics were a
great help. Glad to have that behind me.

(2) Grace for 2014

"Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us..." 
- Catechism of the Catholic Church 1996

I look forward to celebrating the rest of the year with more of His GRACE:
- that I may have a greater appreciation of His blessings
- that I may have more patience and strength for the challenges ahead
- that He may use me to bless others

(3) Inspiration for the journey

The God of all grace, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
- 1 Peter 5:10

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency 
in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 
- 2 Corinthians 9:8

(4) Of hopes, dreams and aspirations

I've been doing a lot of thinking and reviewing and praying lately.
It's about time I came up with My Life List 2.0.
Or something to that effect.

(5) More inspiration

Can't stop reading Notes on Lent. Yep, I've read it a few times. I feel blessed with
the new insights gained each time I read it. I'm sure there are a few nuggets there
still waiting to be discovered. 

"Have you ever met someone like that? Someone truly united, truly remaining in God? 
It's an amazing thing to behold. She walks in grace. She blesses with her smile, 
with her gestures, with her words. She lives the life for which she is created because 
she is the genuine image of God He intended her to be." - Elizabeth Foss

(6) Lent with Little Ones

We've started praying the Stations of the Cross as a family. I didn't realize that
it would be a bit of a challenge explaining it all to a 4 year old. I just remind
myself, this race is not a sprint but a marathon. We'll get there.

(7) 13th of March 2014 

It's Pope Francis' first year. Here's something beautiful to look back on:




Joining the fun at:



Photo Credit to Emily Ley

Monday, October 14, 2013

Read Books


I'm dedicating the next few days to activities that you can 
enjoy together with your littles.

Let's begin with: Read Books.

I can imagine you rolling your eyes now. Reading books 
with children sounds simple enough. If this were really so
then we would be raising a generation of readers. Sadly,
the opposite is true. 

No need for statistics. All we need to do is look around. 
Techie toys are everywhere. Rarely will you find a child 
reading a book. And if you find one, you will have 
to ask too, is s/he reading because s/he wants to or 
because s/he has to? I'm sure many educators will agree 
as well.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
- Emilie Buchwald

I believe that reading books with one's children is a precious 
gift. When I read books with Tot M and Baby Pea I am not 
just reading with them. In reality, I am spending time that is
FOCUSED on them. Little ones just love and need that.


3 Tips for Reading Books with Your Child:

1. Read books that the children enjoy
Certain books seem to appeal to young children. Goodnight 
Moon, Guess How Much I Love You and Dr. Seuss books
are consistent favorites. These books are part of our little
library. 

Nowadays, we gravitate towards books that involve cars and cooking. I'm sure our book choices will evolve as Tot M 
and Baby Pea develop their interests. 

2. Choose books that are age appropriate and level 
appropriate
I usually scan through the books we borrow. This ensures
that the books we have at home are appropriate for them. 
The kids sometimes go through the books by themselves
when I'm doing chores. In general, I avoid books that have 
heavy themes. There's plenty of time for that when they're
older.

Every so often, I borrow books that I know will challenge 
Tot M's reading skills. It's a way for us to learn new words 
and concepts. 

3. Have fun together
Other moms have said it and I have witnessed it myself --
just read with your kids. Enjoy and have fun. Before you 
know it, you will have a budding reader right in front of you.

Happy Reading!

============================================


Confession time. Yes, there was a noticeable gap in my posts
for 31 Days. I hope to catch up in the next few days. Let's see 
how that goes. Such is life with littles. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grocery List (FREE Printable)



Our family fridge + freezer can only hold a week's worth 
of food. It's a year old pre-loved unit previously owned 
by friends. Back then, I couldn't get why they needed to 
upgrade to something bigger. Ahh, the things you learn 
when you actually use something. Let's just say  we can't 
have too much of anything.  Extras just take  up valuable 
shelf space.

If I could only share one home/budget organizing tool 
with you,  it would definitely be our Grocery List. It's
been a lifesaver to us. No second guessing what needs
to be bought. 

The Grocery List I'm sharing has a "classic" design.
It's a no frills black and white item. H can easily use
it as there's no eye candy involved.

The Grocery List is editable. If you can, arrange it
according to the layout of your supermarket. Remove
items that you don't buy. Add items that you can't do
without.

The Grocery List can help you stay on budget. I do
a quick estimate of our total bill before we go shopping.
If I think we've gone over the budget, I put a question
mark or cross out back-ups. We use a calculator or 
mentally compute while shopping. If there's a special,
we can add or remove something to accommodate it.
So far so good, we usually stay within budget +/- $10
when we use the Grocery List.

Click here to download your copy of the Grocery List.

I hope this Grocery List will be as useful to you as it
has been for our family. I'd love to hear how it works
out for you.

* Oops, just caught myself there. This really is a 
Grocery List  LOL :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Embrace the New You



It takes time to sink in. A year or so into married life and
I still felt like I was single. I was not the party type. And
it wasn't a case of denial. Life just felt the same.

I didn't feel like I was a mom until Tot M turned one??? 
Then there was the "I'm a mom?!?" feeling when I had 
Baby Pea. Yes, it took some TIME for things to sink in.

I love having a family. The wife and 
mom thing has been 
my new career of sorts. I was a bit of a workaholic in my 
former life. I had no plans of "lowering my standards". 
But for the longest time, we could get away with doing 
things on the fly. H and I could just grab a quick bite. 
We could just rush off to the mall. We could just take 
an impromptu day trip. Life now is more scheduled and
planned.

Breastfeeding. Baby bag fixing. Weaning.
Baby food prepping. Potty training. 
Eating. Bathing.
And the list goes on.
The little things that eat up so much time and energy.
At some point, I had to stop trying to be super mom.
Instead, I decided to be the best mom that I could be.


Giggles. Laughter. Gummy smiles. Cheeky grins.
Tinkering hands and wiggly toes. Hugs and kisses.
Funny moments. Sweet memories.
I love yous.
And the list goes on.
The little things that let you KNOW that it's all worth it.

Work at work mom, work at home mom, stay at home 
mom. A mom is a mom 24/7. There's no turning back.

Enjoy the journey. Embrace the new you.


Image courtesy of Angela

Sunday, September 29, 2013

31 Days for Moms with Littles


Little one, baby, bubba, tot, toddler, love.

Life can be crazy fun in our home. We currently have a 3.5 y.o.
and a 9 month old baby in residence. 

After dozens of interviews and hours of research, I've confirmed
what I've been suspecting all along: life is a lot more 
interesting when you're a family with littles.

I love being with my family. Sadly, all the stuff that needs doing
takes up too much of my time. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc...
The list goes on and on. There are days when it seems like the 
to-dos just never end.





This year, I will be joining The Nester in the 31 Days Project

Join me as I blog about 31 Days for Moms with Littles
May you discover less stuff, more life solutions to your daily
mom challenges.

Mia
p.s. You are abundantly blessed! 



31 Days for Moms with Littles
Click on the day to read more...

Day 1 - Embrace the New You
Day 2 - Grocery List (FREE Printable)
Day 3 -
Day 4 -
Day 5 -
Day 6 -
Day 7- 
Day 8 -
Day 9 -
Day 10 - 
Day 11 -
Day 12 -
Day 13 -
Day 14 - Read Books

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ready to Read at 3 y.o.


Hurray Hurray, it's been just a few months since he turned 3 y.o. and Tot M can
already read by himself.

I was suspecting it for the past few weeks. But of course I wanted to be sure ~
naughty mama! We borrowed Bears On Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain
from the local library. I asked Tot M to try reading the book by himself. He
was happy to oblige. Can you see me grinning from ear to ear!?!

I've talked a bit about what we've been doing here. In a nutshell, our reading
program has consisted mostly of reading together for 30 minutes daily and
Tot M watching mostly learning videos. Yes, you don't need to be a homeschooler
to do that.

Of course, we still read together. There are so many more words, books,
and ideas to discover. Here we come world!