Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook (September)

I am participating in a Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my is going to go up to 94 today in Maryland according to this mornings weather report on WMAL.  It is currently pleasant in the morning as we just returned from walking our dog, Bella.  She attracted a couple of our neighbors' dogs.  It's so funny how she gets so excited when she first sees them at times...and...suddenly...a couple minutes later...she doesn't even know the other dogs are there.  Why is her "doggy world" like this?

I am Thinking...I am very concerned about my 24 year old son.  His heart is breaking as he just helped his girlfriend move three hours away to attend grad school.  His girlfriend is studying to be a physical therapist and they just tacked on three more years of study for this degree.  I do not see the need for this.  I think people (likely liberals) are specifically making it harder for young people to start families together.
Son and Girlfriend
I am Thankful...for the interview I had with a local Catholic school to possibly be a substitute teacher in the future.  In the meantime, I might be able to help with after school care.

In the Kitchen...We barbecued chicken last night and had mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.  I also made some yummy Buffalo Chicken Bites for our next tailgate at University of Maryland football games.

Dinner last night

Yummy Tailgate Food
I am shorts, grey tee, and black flip flops.

I am Reading...My son's book on Thomas Becket with him.

I am Creating...Two crafts for two different journal classes I am teaching.

I am Looking Forward to...going to the Penn State game with Maryland in Pennsylvania with my hubby, other son, girlfriend, and her parents.  It will be the first time we meet her parents.  She is a beautiful girl my son met on  I've heard about 1/3 of couples are meeting online these days.
Son and Girlfriend
I am Hearing...the quiet in the house while my son is doing his religion. He studies three separate religion books, including the Catechism and Bible History.

Around the House...I just watched the ending of the "Lord of the Rings" with my 5th grader last night.  It was so good that I could hardly take my eyes off of what was going to happen next!

I am Praying...for my children and our country/military...always...always...always!

One of My Favorite Things...was seeing my 5th grader double up on some of his work this year so that he does not fall behind.

A Few Plans for Next Week...attend Back-To-School night at my daughter's Catholic school in Virginia.  I always look forward to meeting her teachers.

Here is a recent pic to share:
Family at the Beach 2016 Summer

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - August

I am participating in a Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my was very warm and sunny here in Maryland today.  My son and I have been taking our dog, Bella, on many walks lately.  My son usually rides his new bike while I walk the dog.  We'll try to continue to do this during the homeschool year on nice days!

I am Thinking...I am glad I ordered my hubby the book I'm reading (see below) so that we can read it together (I'll re-read it) and discuss it.  It is a great book and I think it will help our relationship grow stronger.  He needs his own copy because I've written all over the margins in mine.

I am Thankful...for the two vacation trips we've been able to take.  My hubby and I visited California for our cousin's daughter's wedding.  We had a wonderful time.  Here are some pics:
Our cousin's daughter is the bride

My hubby and I and his two sisters.

Laguna Beach in California
Berlin Wall at Reagan Library

I'm holding Reagan's hand!

We also took our usually family vacation to Ocean City, Maryland.  Here are some pics:

Mom and three youngest

Whole family together


In the Kitchen...We barbecued pork chops and corn on the cob and made fresh green beans last night.  We are eating leftovers tonight as there are only three of us here.  One of my daughters returned to college this morning and hubby is helping her bring items to her apartment on campus.

I am exercise shorts and colorful tee (again).

I am Reading...How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving (still)

I am Creating...A place for organized recipes.

I am Looking Forward to...going to our new coop meeting for moms.  We will be doing two coops this year.  One is every other week and the other is every week.  I only am a lead teacher in the coop every other week and have all my lessons planned out.  In the second coop, I am just an assistant and helper.  Therefore, it will be manageable.  My son is willing to take on a couple classes in both history and science rather than just one for each.  He will have to work harder but he should be able to.

I am Hearing...the phone ringing and it is my doctor calling.  I made an appointment with her.  I've been able to manage my illness a little better recently.

Around the House...I straightened the lower "junk" cabinet in the kitchen the other day.  I bought some items to hold the dog food rather than keeping it in the giant bag.  It is much easier to manage.  I also organized my recipes in a book.  Now I have to type and print them all out neatly and put them into some kind of binder.  Here is a pic:

I am Praying...for my children and a dear friend who had a double mastectomy and her family.  I was so glad I got to see her the other day!

One of My Favorite Things...was being on vacation with the family all together.  Next year we have to put up a bigger shady area on the beach as our family is growing with girlfriends and such.

A Few Plans for Next Week...we are going to our first coop and I am all prepared.  It will be a good time.

Here is a recent pic to share:  This is hubby and I on beach in Ocean City -

Mom and Dad

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Crabby Leaders Who Want to Control You

I am suddenly faced with a very strange situation this summer regarding the employment of four of my children as lifeguards at a local pool with an arrogant manager. My two oldest sons worked at the pool years ago in their first high school job. This manager unjustly fired both of them at the end of the summer for being arrogant.  There were no facts or proof...just her and her crabby sister's opinion.  I can still see the numbness on the faces of my two beautiful young sons after she fired them.  My heart was broken and there seemed to be nothing I could do.

It took time for my heart to mend even though the memory of the hurt will probably be with me the rest of my life.  I never knew this manager.  I just knew of her.  I knew basically two things: 1) she arrogantly fired my two sons, and 2) she always sits in the front at Mass on Sundays.  These two facts don't seem to fit together...if you know what I mean.

Anyway, fast forward to the present during this summer and now my two daughters are working at the same pool with one of the same crabby managers. After my daughter told her that she disagreed with her treatment of yelling at another employee who had to take an important family phone call, she began trying to communicate to me more.  One day, she actually followed me around the pool with a big smile on her face.  It was a bit uncomfortable.  Therefore, I tried to tell her to lighten up in a friendly tone and said, "keep those employees smiling!"  That was my mistake.  As I continued to walk out the entrance, she called my name: "Mrs. Miller?" As I turned she asked me (the mother of the two sons she fired and never spoke to in her life): "Is there a problem?" I'm going to bring up my disapproval of the past and jeopardize my two daughters current employment or approve of her past negligent behavior when it was wrong.  After a long pause, she continued her probing questions to the woman she hurt in the past and doesn't even know: "It's like you think I never make employees smile.?."  I finally said, "No, that is not the case."  I don't even know her well enough to claim this is how she is all the time even though some other parents have similar complaints.

To continue, I found the strength the other day to be cheerful upon greeting her when I had to put my daughter's lunch in the refrigerator. She returned my greeting in a friendly way.  Afterwards, that was the first time my daughter was able to leave work early to shower and change before she had to return to coach the swim team.  It is almost like the way I treat her determines how she will treat my daughters. This is such a strange feeling to me and appears to be how arrogant leaders control others.  It is a pervasive evil tactic in our society. Hopefully, this is not the only factor that determines how she treats my two daughters.

With all this happening, I often think of Ted Cruz and how Donald Trump trashed his wife and family, set him up to dramatize his speech at the convention, and gladly ruined his career by saying he wouldn't accept his endorsement if he gave him one. You just don't trash fellow patriots and good people this way.  It's just like the crabby manager at the pool who tried to ruin my two sons lives.  I would never agree with her heartless actions.  Just like Ted can never agree with Trumps false heartless accusations about his own family.  Trump doesn't care at all about how he heartlessly slandered Ted's family.  Even after Ivanka said that she doesn't vote by party but what is important to their family.  It appears that Ted's family doesn't count.

Donald Trump has the power and position to apologize to Ted for slandering his family to release him from the agony of feeling he has to choose between his family and his country.  Republicans are proving they are cry babies just like democrats when they don't get what they want when they want it.  Just like liberals, they will exclude Ted from political affairs now.  Liberals try to exclude anyone who doesn't think exactly like they do...especially if your a republican (IRS scandal). It appears the country wants a leader that can be a jerk if he wants to be.  I perfectly understand Ted's hesitation in endorsing Trump. Rather than apologize to Ted like a compassionate leader to bring him into the fold, Trump's choice is to squash him like a bug ruining his reputation, This is exactly what liberals do and has been what Ted has been trying to warn us about all along. Yes, I will be voting for Trump just because he is much better than Hillary regarding our safety and respect for our military and law enforcement. At the same time, I will be praying for Ted Cruz and his family and watching the pep rally along with them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - July

I am participating in a Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my was hot, bright, and sunny in Maryland today. Yesterday it was very hot at our last swim meat of the year.  It is nice that swim team is finally over as it gets too hectic towards the end of the season.  Nevertheless, my daughters still need to coach until divisionals and teach swim lessons.  Therefore, I'm still swamped with carpooling duties early in the morning.

I am Thinking...I am glad that I made a doctor appointment the other day because I haven't been feeling very good lately.  I get tired very easily and seem to be struggling with occasional allergies or sinus problems.

I am Thankful...for the programs in the Church for our youth.  My sons have been on numerous mission trips both inside and out of the country.  The Catholic Student Center at the University of Maryland has two wonderful priests there that have continued the work of strengthening our children in the faith.  One was able to come to the house for dinner this month.  What a refreshing friendly change from our stuffy pastor!

In the Kitchen...We barbecued burgers and pork chops on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday was the swim meat so everyone kind of ate left overs.  Tonight my daughter made a yummy chicken and pasta dish for us.

I am exercise shorts and colorful tee

I am Reading...How to be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving

I am Creating...Cookie recipes.  I wanted to give some to my neighbors but there are no nice cookie containers. I just used sandwich bags and attached a nice note.  My son and I will have to bring them to the neighbors together.

I am Looking Forward to...going to California for our nieces's wedding.

I am Hearing...the kids watching t.v. downstairs.  They were outside but apparently the mosquitoes are starting to attack.

Around the House...I straightened the girls room a little the other day as they are so busy with work, swim team, swim lessons, and coaching that there is little time for cleaning.  I also straightened my own closet out.

I am Praying...for my son Colin and his girlfriend Jordan.  They just met on Catholic Match.  She is a very sweet girl. Also, for Ted Cruz and his family.

One of My Favorite Things...helping Jordan cook for Colin at our house the other day and celebrating the 4th of July with some good friends. Here are some pics:

A Few Plans for Next Week...we are going to the Shrine of St. Anthony's and will complete a report on it for one of my son's 4th quarter homeschool assignments.

Here is a recent pic to share:  Crab Feast at the pool.  That's my hubby in the background.  He's a big flirt (in a good way) just like my dad was.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - June

I am participating in a Simple Woman's Daybook today - June 23, 2016:

Outside my is a bit overcast in Maryland today.  The sun keeps trying to peep out of the clouds occasionally.  After some early morning showers, my daughters went out into the court to see my son riding his new bike as he improved tremendously in just a couple hours.  Then more neighborhood kids came out.  It is wonderful to see the kids playing with each other in the neighborhood.  I am so thankful for our new neighbors.

I am thinking...that June has been a great start to summer this year.  We are finishing up the fourth quarter for homeschooling.  My son only has English, spelling, and handwriting to complete.  Seton homeschool has been a blessing for us.

We had a great time at my son's girlfriend's graduation party at her parents house.  She has a wonderful family.  Her parents are so kind just like she is.  My son's girlfriend will be going to Drexel near Philadelphia next year.  He just took her up there to find an apartment.  We are praying that their love for each other continues to grow strong even with this distance apart.

We were able to attend our parish picnic together.  After the bible study my husband and I were in, we've been meeting more parishioners.  It is nice to share time with other Christians.  My daughter's spiritual adviser, Father Mike, also visited us one evening for dinner.  We had a great time and I couldn't ask for a friendlier help for my daughter.  Fr. Mike is much more friendlier than our parish priest.

Swim Team is off to a great start.  My oldest daughter is an assistant coach while my younger daughter is a coach in training.  My younger daughter is also providing swim lessons for children.  Their summer jobs are lifeguards at our local pool.  My son and daughter are both on the swim team.  They are up early in the mornings for practice and busy at work so they are not sitting around the house all day on the computer.  Practice was cancelled today due to the weather.  We participated in the swim team's pasta dinner, pancake breakfast and picture day, and our first A and B meets.  The swim team is tons of fun for us.  Here are some pictures so far this year:

Swim Team Pasta Dinner: My daughter is standing up as assistant coach and the coach is sitting down talking.

Pasta Dinner-Swim Team: Good friends on swim team
Pasta Dinner-Swim Team: Good friends on team
Two assistant coaches

My daughter coaching
Mom and son
I am thankful...that my husband, youngest son, and I were
able to kick off the summer by going to Ocean City, Maryland on Memorial Day weekend.  The four oldest children are all very independent and busy with jobs and/or their college educations.  Therefore, we just brought our youngest son with us on this trip.  We had a very peaceful time together.  Here is a picture of where we took long morning walks together by the bay.

Memorial Day Weekend
In the kitchen...We had taco's last night for my youngest son's birthday.  It really was a fun filled day because my older son's girlfriend came over to help celebrate. They took my youngest son to the movies and made delicious taco's for everyone.  I made a spice cake and the kids frosted it with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.  My two daughters got off work early as they are lifeguards and there were thunderstorms all afternoon.  There was a break in the storms and we all ran outside to see the double rainbow.  All the neighborhood kids were running in the puddles together getting soak and wet.  It was like we had our own instant neighborhood water park.  My husband bought a bike for my son's birthday.  Now he could ride his bike with his neighborhood buddy around the court.  Here is a picture of his new bike:

It is so heartwarming for parents to see how well their children get along and interact with each other.  All the kids (adults now) made my son's (10 years old) birthday special.

I am wearing... red, white, and blue.  I think I'm ready for the 4th of July.

 I am reading...Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin - The Extraordinary Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.

I am creating...I am making a craft for my journal writing class.
I am looking forward to...I planned a movie date today for all the neighborhood kids.  We're going to watch Zootopia and have popcorn.  I'm making fruit salad for a healthy snack too.  I hope they have fun and I hope some of their parents and grandparents stop by while the kids are all entertained with the movie downstairs.  The parents can all visit with each other upstairs...if the parents come.  If they don't come because they are busy...that's o.k. too.

I am hearing...the kids are playing outside in the hose with water balloons and squirt guns now.  We had "movie day" and played "Stay Out of the Thorns."  The girls loved the game.

Around the house...I have been trying to organize more.  I've been going through my mail quicker too.  I bought this unit at Home Goods the other day and it is perfect to store some of the clutter we've had laying around the house.

I also bought this full length mirror for $10.00 at a yard sale.  We had no long mirrors.  I put it here and moved the coffee table in front of the couch.  I cleaned out all the clutter in the drawer of the coffee table.  Now it is organized with things we need rather than junk.

It's been a slow process but with college kids coming home for the summer, I've been trying to help them organize all of their things.  We just don't have the room in our house.  It's absolutely awful to have all the items from their dorm rooms piled up around the place.

I am praying...for my oldest son.  He just came back from a mission trip to Denver to help the homeless.  He loved it.  Presently he is going to University of Maryland and will soon have a PhD. in engineering.  He told us that he may do something totally different than engineering.  He has to think about it though.  We think he may be moving out to the west coast in the future because he has told us that he likes it there better.  He's been taking many trips out west with his research.  He has a heart of gold and loves to reach out to disadvantaged people to help them.  Help me lift him up in prayer so that the spirit with lead him in a good direction.

He was able to visit us yesterday and I was having some symptoms from my PTSD.  He always seems to be able to help me through any fears I am encountering at the time.  I am so grateful for him.

One of my favorite things...was celebrating Father's Day with the whole family.  It is not too often we can all be together at the same time.  We've been eating out on the back deck often and we did so on Father's Day too.  We had ribs and beer.  Here are some pictures of some of our fun together.

Father's Day Drinks

Father and two oldest sons

Mom and two oldest sons

Mom and two oldest studs

Dad with the three youngest kiddos

A few plans for the rest of the to continue to go on walks with hubby on nice days and eat out on the back deck as often as possible before all the mosquitoes come.  I'll also start creating my craft for class.

Here is a recent picture of  my youngest at his cub scout "Rain Gutter Riga-ta":

Monday, May 9, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - May

I am participating in a Simple Woman's Daybook today - May 9, 2016:

Outside my is overcast and mild in Maryland.  At least it is not raining now.

I am thinking...that it is good that I planned my journal writing class out for next year's coop already.  We will be covering many virtues, such as:

Good decisions
Inviting others
Expressing sorrow
Encouraging others
Admitting mistakes
Gratitude (thankfulness)
Acknowledging Christ
Team work
Not attempting too much at one time (Avoid Vice called greed or selfishness)
Manners at table
Good friends
Diligent (steady, earnest, energetic application and effort)
Strength in weakness
Hard worker
Good listener
Commitment to serve others
Contentment with what one has (near Thanksgiving)
God’s love lasts forever (John 8:12 “Light of the world”) – near Christmas
Spreading the good news - (near Christmas)

I'm almost totally done planning.  I just have a few more things to do.  Then we will be able to enjoy the year a bit more, including the other coop we are in which will teach history, science, music/art, and writing.

I am thankful...that we had our last coop of the year and the dance and movement class went very well.  All the kindergarteners loved it.  On the last day I used the parachute and we pretended to wash everyone in the 'washing machine.'  The kids loved it.

In the kitchen...We are having pizza tonight because my hubby has a scout meeting.

I am wearing...a blue warm up suit.

I am creating...I traveled to my mother's house in West Virginia to show her how to make a scrapbooking album of some very old pictures.  We went out to lunch at Maria's Garden.  It is such a nice place as it has many beautiful statues that honor Mary.  If your ever in West Virginia, look them up...or better yet...stay there because they are a bed and breakfast.
I am looking forward to...Swim Team starting up this year.  Both of my daughters will be lifeguards and my oldest daughter is an assistant coach for the team.

I am hearing... it is pretty quite right now.  Our dog is playing with a squeaky toy.

Around the house...I have been trying to declutter a bit and organize.  I can do this work best when I can open the windows and get some fresh air cirulating in the house.  When it rains, I am not as motivated for this.

I am praying...for my good friend today as she is having a bilateral mastectomy.  On Saturday, my parish was supposed to dedicate Mass to her but they never said her name at the Mass.  The staff at my parish, along with most of the priests, have always had problems.  They have always been lacking in customer service.

One of my favorite things...was Mother's Day because it seems to have been raining for two weeks straight or so here in Maryland.  On Mother's Day it was beautiful and hubby and I were able to go on our walk together.  I read Mother Angelica's book in the back yard for a couple hours and we ate dinner on the back deck (there are no mosquitoes yet).  We had dessert for a celebration and I received some beautiful cards from the family.  It was extra special when we said the family rosary together.  Three out of the five kiddos were able to be home.

A few plans for the rest of the to try and finish or add more to "sharing my story" section in our bible group.  I have the first half of my life done.  Now I need to complete the second half of my life.

Here is a recent picture of  me on a walk on Mother's Day:

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend Happenings

This month of April in Maryland is so nice when the temperature is in the low 70's because we can spend a lot of time out on our back deck without mosquitoes, knats, and heat.  We thouroughly enjoyed the outdoors this past weekend.

To begin, this is a picture of my daughter getting ready to attend her junior prom on Friday night.  She said, "we danced all night."  Therefore, I know it was a good time.  She double dated with her good friend.  When I picked her up Saturday morning, I drove with the windows down and listened to oldies.  It is about an hours drive as her friend lives in Virginia.  This is what life is like when one lives in the Maryland, WDC, Virginia corridor.  The kids private high schools have students attending from both states and often have to receive rides from parents to and from activities.

Furthermore, my hubby bought a new deck chair and pillows for the chairs we currently have on the deck.  We ate our dinner both nights out on the back deck.  Saturday we had Salmon and Sunday we had sishkabobs.  Our neighbor's cat wanted some of our Salmon.  It was quite comical.  On Sunday, we said family prayers on the deck after dinner.  Hubby and I were also able to take our traditional walks on the bike path in town.  This is great exercise for us with my occasional arthritis and after my hubby's heart surgery.

On Sunday it was so heartwarming to hear our son playing with the neighbors children all day long.  It is such a joy to hear the laughter of children in the neighborhood.  My hubby and son also cleaned up all the debris in the yard (sticks and stuff). It is nice to see how helpful my youngest child is when we need help with something.

I was able to register and submit the downpayment for my son to attend a new homeschool coop next year that meets weekly.  They provide history, science, art/choir, and IEW.  It will be good for us.  I also plan to continue to attend our current coop which is further away and meets bi-weekly.  I will not have to plan and teach in the new coop. I can plan my materials over the summer to teach in the old coop.  I will have to assist and help out where I can in both coops.  I think we can swing both coops because the one we're in now does not include core subjects but usually fun type classes.  I can do all my planning over the summer and it only meets twice a month.  I've begun planning my crafts for the class I'm teaching this weekend.

I also began reading The Authority of Women in the Catholic Church by Monica Migliorino Miller (out on the back deck in my new chair). I'm really enjoying this book.  I was able to call grandma to see how she is doing too.  It was good to talk to her.  We attended the 11:00 am Mass and there were baptisms for about 5 or 6 infants.  It was nice to see. We completed the final edits on my son's book report about Thomas Aquinas, and I was able to take a long bath, shave, and apply lotion to my dry skin.  It was a good weekend with beautiful weather that we took advantage of spending much time outdoors.