Children's Penance Retreat
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Remember - go to Confession at least once per year and receive Communion during Eastertide!

Activities, talks, and encouragement:

A simple children's penance service. (Opens as a Word document.)

Printable Confessional guide for children, with very simple Act of Contrition.

Very thorough Examination of Conscience talk for children , based on the Ten Commandments.

General information about Confession, including facts about absolution and how to carry out your penance.

Examination of Consciences:

Examination of Conscience for children written by a priest based on the Ten Commandments.

A short examination of conscience for children, with traditional Act of Contrition.

Children's Examination of Conscience, very simple, based on Responsibilities to God and to Others.

If you have any other resources, post in the comments!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/28/2008 12:03:00 PM | Permalink | |
It's Tough to Be Two
Miss C is giving me a run for my money. She is more accident prone than any of my other children - guess she takes after Mama!

Sunday we had a party to go to and I made a pasta salad. Husband dear wanted me to put olives in it. I opened the can of olives, then decided that they just wouldn't taste good in the recipe I was using. So, lazy cook that I am, I just put the whole can (opened) into the fridge.

Monday, Miss C decided to look for a snack. One glance at the open can of olives was all she needed - we all love them around here. She stuck her hand in to get one out and... you guessed it... sliced the dickens out of her finger. It doesn't help that in the ensuing screaming/blood flinging/olives rolling on the floor debacle I accidentally stepped on her foot.

Monday night, her finger was looking bad. I realized that the poor girl hasn't had any tetanus shots. I washed her finger out again (husband dear had to hold her down) and thought about taking her to the doctor on Tuesday. It looked a lot better in the morning, though.

Wednesday, Miss C was playing with Mr P in their room. He tried to pull her up on his bed - and suddenly Miss C is crying and screaming. She wouldn't move her arm. I called husband dear home and took her to the doctor - luckily, there is a walk-in Doctor's Care clinic here that stays open until 8 pm so I didn't have to give an arm and a leg at the ER.

The doctor diagnosed Nursemaid's Elbow and popped it back in. We got some X-rays just to make sure nothing else was wrong, but as soon as her elbow snapped back into place, little Miss C was back to her happy, giggly self.

Believe it or not, even though Miss C is our sixth child, I hadn't even heard of this. I've only had to take a kid to the ER three times (once when Mr R drank a bottle of cough syrup while I was giving a dose to his brother. That boy chugged the whole thing in less than 30 seconds! Once Mr R got Chlorox Cleanup in his eye. Once when Mr R tried to cut Mr P's finger off with a pair of scissors.)

Perhaps Miss C is my new Mr R - Heaven help me!

Mama Says:
Handy First Aid Tip: When I worked at an emergency room, we cleaned out minor wounds with baby shampoo. It gets it clean and doesn't sting! Get a little tub or basin, put some gauze pads in it, pour about a dime sized amount of baby shampoo, and fill tub with water (applesauce or pudding cups are about the right size). Wash out the wound using a new piece of gauze (no double dipping!). The first piece has the most soap, the last piece has less soap. Rinse with clean water.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/28/2008 09:23:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Tofu? Kids? Really?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tofu is good for you, full of soy protein, isoflavones, and not full of saturated fat.

Organic tofu is cheaper than natural beef or free range chicken.

Tofu is Lent approved!

Tofu is whitish gray, jiggly, and unpleasantly smooshy. It tastes pretty much like nothing. Nothing except squishiness. You can't exactly sink your teeth into it.

What's a crazy healthnut cheapskate Mama to do?

Make pasta! This recipe was so good, my meat-and-potato German husband even bragged it up to my brother-in-law.

I don't have a blender, and when I tried the recipe all I had was extra firm tofu, not silken. I used my mixer and it still turned out tasty. I used Hunt's fire roasted diced tomatoes and a roasted red pepper I had laying about (lazy little thing), and used Healthy Harvest penne to up the nutritional content.

I think you could probably just put a block of tofu and a jar of spaghetti sauce in the blender and it would still be fast, helathy and good.

I don't really approve of the whole "deceptively delicious" philosophy, so I told the kids it was tofu - but you could easily hide the health food factor. And they did all eat it up!

Tofu works for me! Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more tips and tricks!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/27/2008 09:48:00 AM | Permalink | |
Chinese Dislocation
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Anyone who has read my blog for longer than, oh, say a week knows that I have it in for China. Specifically, I feel the need to pass on any information I come across regarding the appalling treatment the Chinese citizens are given at the hands of their own government. I can't do much from my little corner of South, USA - but I can stop looking the other way and do a little to inform the public's conscience.

The recalls and dangerous food, toys, toiletries, and medicines coming out of China are a symptom of the real disease: the Chinese government sees people as a commodity. The do not believe each individual is endowed by their Creator with inherent dignity; rather, humans are are pawns to be pushed, pulled, or fooled in order to gain money and power.

As you may or may not know, the Olympics are scheduled to take place in Beijing. I have an anti-Beijing button on my left sidebar - Faithmouse is giving them away free, and will link back to you if you post it.

Steven Spielberg was a consultant on the Beijing Olympics, but recently pulled out, citing China's involvement in Darfur. China buys 70% of the Sudan's oil, and supplies the government with weapons. Since 2006, China opposed sending UN Peacekeepers to the Darfur region to support efforts to stop the genocide that has killed 2 million people - while implying that it is the US and Europe that aren't doing enough to stop it.

Earlier, it was reported that China is stealing homes and lands to make room for Olympics .
I'm not sure if "stealing" is the right word, though, since it is a Communist government and everything belongs to the State.

The argument that the Olympics should not be politicized is a red herring. There is a big difference between disagreeing with a country's politics, and injecting billions of tourism and broadcast dollars into a murderous regime.

Is murder too strong a word? The students at Tiananmen Square were murdered. Political prisoners are routinely executed and their organs sold on the black market (7000 per year). The Dying Room is a documentary that exposes the neglectful killing of orphaned babies (not including the forced abortions).

Justice and liberty are hallmarks of the American Way. Do we love sports so much that we will stand by silently, being entertained on the backs of our brothers and sisters who were tortured, starved, imprisoned and killed? Reminds me of another culture that loved to be entertained:

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/26/2008 08:41:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, February 23, 2008

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.

You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.

Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.

You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.

You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.

You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

What's Your Personality Type?

I took two different personality quizzes and this came up for both of them! I tried to look up how common my particular personality type was, and it said it was rare - but also seemed to say that all of the personality types were rare. If there are 16 different types, than each type would *average* only 6.25% anyway.

What personality type are you? Leave a note in the comments!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/23/2008 07:26:00 PM | Permalink | |
You Sure Do Have Your Hands Full
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Yeah. What she said.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/21/2008 03:13:00 PM | Permalink | |
I Guess He Didn't Get the Memo
Whoa! Talk about missing the point! Terry Eagleton, a professor at the University of Manchester, says that the crucifixion of Christ wasn't really all that bad, and that Christ got off lightly since it only took him a few hours to die. Mr. Eagleton is described as a Marxist academic (isn't that an oxymoron?)

I've also read this in a religious article, written by a major leader of the denomination, which shall remain nameless lest I be accused of hate speech. Musings on the Atonement of Christ:

The Meaning of the Atonement
With this background in mind, let us now ponder the deep meaning of the word atonement. In the English language, the components are at-one-ment, suggesting that a person is at one with another...
Well, they almost have it right. Atonement does come from English roots - at one- but it is the Satisfaction of Christ for our sins, by which God and man are brought together. Originally from the Middle English at oon, it meant "reconcile".

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
In any view, the Atonement is founded on the Divine Incarnation. By this great mystery, the Eternal Word took to Himself the nature of man and, being both God and man, became the Mediator between and men.

St. Anselm sheds some light on the Atonement, while simultaneously refuting the claims of the Word of Faith movement centuries before the Trinity Broadcast Network pushed their brand of Name-it Claim-it Success theology, a cornerstone of which is the idea of "Satan's rights" or "Satan's legal ground". (This is how Kenneth Copeland, for example, explains why Christ had to descend into Hell; he had a deal with the devil.)

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
No sin, as he views the matter, can be forgiven without satisfaction. A debt to Divine justice has been incurred; and that debt must needs be paid.
t man could not make this satisfaction for himself; the debt is something far greater than he can pay; and, moreover, all the service that he can offer to God is already due on other titles.
The suggestion that some innocent man
, or angel, might possibly pay the debt incurred by sinners is rejected, on the ground that in any case this would put the sinner under obligation to his deliverer, and he would thus become the servant of a mere creature.
The only way in which the satisfaction could be made, and men could be set free from sin
, was by the coming of a Redeemer who is both God and man. His death makes full satisfaction to the Divine Justice, for it is something greater than all the sins of all mankind.

St. Anselm's view is echoed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
#616 It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. (John 1:13) He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. (Gal 2:20, Eph 5:2, 25)

Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died." (2 Cor 5:14) No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all.

The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.

The point of the Crucifixion, and the Atonement, does not lie in the fact that a man suffered more, or less horribly than other men. The heart of the matter is that God suffered and died for us.

BTW - it did take 6 hours. Mark 15:25 records that it was the 3rd hour when they crucified Christ, and he died at the ninth hour (Mark 15:33).

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/21/2008 08:15:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Turtles, the All Purpose Pet
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

We love our turtle. We bought Mr P and Mr R turtles for Christmas 2002, but one died mysteriously last month. I think he ate a crayon.

Turtles are awesome pets.

  • They are cool. Every little boy who comes over always wants to hold them. Tip: hold them between your thumb and fingers like a sandwich, don't just lift them by their shell.
  • They are easy. After we moved, our turtles lived in a dishpan on top of the fridge for a month! They can be quite dirty, though, so an aquarium of some sort with a filter is really recommended. We have red-eared sliders - not box turtles, and they must be in water in order to swallow their food. They also need a rock or someplace to get out of the water and warm themselves. Keep the rock away from the sides!
  • They are smart - enough. We've got ours trained so he will swim to the surface and open his mouth when they see our hand come near their tank.
  • They are cheap. We paid less than $10 a piece for them, and their food is under $5 and lasts forever. No pet deposit required, either! They don't need their teeth cleaned or rounds of shots. You do need an aquarium or pond - check out thrift stores! Large plastic storage tubs (Rubbermaid) work too. It will not be filled to the top with water like a fish tank would, but should be set up with a swimming area and a sunning area.
  • They are durable. A requirement for pets of small boys! Once we left them on the floorboard of the car overnight - in Denver in December. The water had ice on the top, but the turtles soldiered on and became active once the water warmed up. Recently, they lived outside for a couple of months in another dishpan. A little dishpan is not the recommended setting, just so you know. We have a large aquarium that we set up for them, but we moved right after husband dear coughed his way to three broken ribs so it took a little while for us to set up the proper home.
  • Did I mention they were easy? You'll never need to hire a dogwalker, pet sitter, or find a kennel. Take off for the weekend and they'll be patiently waiting when you return. Turtles do not need to eat everyday, in fact obesity (yes, really) will kill your turtle!
A favorite pasttime around here is finding bugs and feeding them to the turtles. Mr P is surprisingly astute at catching flies.

Some things you should know before you get a turtle:
  • They are reptiles, and often carry salmonella. We have a bottle of Purell nearby and children should wash their hands after handling them.
  • They can be prone to soft-shell, which will kill them. Turtles need natural light (UVB) or a special reptile light. We just let ours hang out in the yard (enclosed, of course, or they'll crawl off and hide.) This delights the Miss C, by the way.
  • Feed them turtle food. Water turtles should not be fed lettuce, cabbage, or carrots. Weeds are good for them, though, as long as they haven't been sprayed with herbicides!
  • Do not put them in an aquarium with fish. They will eat them, even though pet turtles are mainly herbivores.
Keeping Pet Turtles is a good resource.

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more handy tips!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/20/2008 09:49:00 AM | Permalink | |
Cooking help
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I bought a boneless pork tenderloin this morning at Sam's Club. (Why, yes, I did take 6 children with me and we had to have two carts - one for little people and one for food. Thank goodness Mr P is a strapping young man with pushing skillz.)

I've never cooked one. This one is almost 7 pounds - I should get at least two meals plus leftovers out of it. Any ideas? I was intending to slice it for chops but it's just so purty.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/19/2008 05:33:00 PM | Permalink | |
Charleston Catholics!

The nuns need our help!

The Daughters of St. Paul, who run the bookstore on King Street, have a mold problem. They live in an historic building, and remediation and repairs has been quoted at $70,000.

From an e-mail I received:

They are having a fundraiser called "SpirituliTea".They have decided to have a "Tea Garden" for a month. They need people to volunteer for a 4 hour shift. They will provide tea and cookies for the guests and the guests will make any donation they can. It will be advertised throughout Charleston. All the volunteers need to do is serve them the tea and make sure they are comfortable. It is really not much work at all. It should be enjoyable for everyone. Below are the dates available. Each day the hours are 11-3 and they are open all days but Sunday and Good Friday. I'm sure some of your older children would be able to do this depending on their maturity.

Dates Available:
March: 17, 19, 24, 26, 31
April: 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11

E-mail me if you can help and I'll put you in touch with the coordinators. mommyjo2{at}yahoo{dot}com


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/19/2008 01:08:00 PM | Permalink | |
Food Spending Review

I have read throughout mommy blogdom of families spending $35 a week, or even $20 a week, on groceries. I though I would try my hand at it. Of course, we have nine people, not four, so $75 a week might be a better figure. I don't break down our food and diaper/laundry detergent/misc. Stuffmart purchases, and this includes birthday expenses (we have about one per month). I had been trying to stay under $200 a week, but to challenge myself I had arbitrarily set $160 a week for household expenses.

I am reevaluating our budget. We eat a lot of fruit and vegetables around here, and even though I cook a lot of things from scratch, our bill is high. We have a special diet - only very certain brands of salad dressing can come into the house, if I want boxed mac n cheese it must be organic (Kraft and knockoffs are full of Yellow #5.) Two boxes of Annie's at Big Lots is still cheaper than making it from scratch with real cheese and milk - $4 a gallon! I am working this year on eliminating partially hydrogenated and trans fats; shortening is out and butter is in. I use applesauce for most of my baking and that costs more than oil.

According to the U.S. Government, my family on the thrifty plan should spend $1,041.50 a month on food. That is more than our rent! The liberal plan? $2,012.80. I cannot even imagine spending that much. My house would not hold $500 worth of food every week. Crazy! (Check out the discussion here.)

In January, I spent $690 for everything (including two children in disposable diapers, birthday presents, and all household spending.) This month I am going to up it to $800 a month.

I think we eat fairly luxuriously! We have fresh fruit every day. We eat boxed cereal with fresh milk. I cook with olive oil and butter. I select every day which kind of meat to prepare - chicken? fish? beef? The only limitation is what *I* feel like cooking!

Someone else bakes our bread, and slices it. Someone else prepares our yogurt, and packages it. Someone else grows our vegetables and freezes it for our convenience.

I think it's a matter of perspective. Most of the world would agree we are very rich and eat like kings!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/19/2008 08:09:00 AM | Permalink | |
Beef Recall
Monday, February 18, 2008
I thought The Jungle was fictionalized history.

Major beef recall - 143 million pounds. In Sounthern California, the Westland/Hallmark plant has been prodding sick and crippled animals with forklifts to make hamburger meat. Hamburger meat that was shipped to schools,uost of which has already met a lunch lady fate.

At least someone is actually taking notice of this one.
"This begs the question: How much longer will we continue to test our luck with weak enforcement of federal food safety regulations?" - U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/18/2008 09:41:00 AM | Permalink | |
This and That
Wow! We had a fabulous weekend. We went to Bee City, with petting zoo, on Friday, and a homeschool mom that I hadn't met came as well. She lives two hours away, and was planning to get a motel with her children and spend some time in Charleston on Saturday. We invited her for dinner, and then to spend the night. Somehow we just instantly clicked! It was great to have a sleepover.

Saturday we headed to the Southeast Wildlife Expo and had a good time. They also had a petting zoo with a baby zebra (couldn't pet him).

I think I went to too many petting zoos. I dreamed we had a pet cow who was attacking our pet rabbits. I kept throwing cupfuls of food pellets at him, but he wouldn't let the poor bunny go. Then I woke up and spent some time pondering why llamas have such large lower teeth and smaller upper teeth. Yes, too many petting zoos for me!

Sunday, we went to Grandpa's house and I finally met some more of husband dear's extended family. We've been married ten years and I've only met his parents, his brother, and his sister. His uncle lives one state over and stopped in for a visit - and we found out that he has a cousin who works in our town and lives less than an hour up the road from us! I might have to plan a reunion.

Barbara over at Mommylife is running a great series on Montessori at home and toddlers. Check it out if you have a chance!

If your kids are rude, check out The Goops. It's a vintage children's book on manners, being posted online by Lisa from Are We There Yet, another Colorado homeschool mama blog. It's too cute!

I've also been reading The Full Table. Monica from Shine Again has been posting recipes.

Can you tell we've had a busy weekend?? I'm sending you everywhere else on the net for good blog posts!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/18/2008 08:59:00 AM | Permalink | |
Everyone's Worried about Water!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Teachers are going head to head in the great debate of our time:

Should plastic water bottles be banned in the classroom?

We don't allow them in our classroom. Unless we are teaching in the car. Or the kitchen. Or learning our letters in the bathtub. Or at the park.

I love the rallying cry to find "safer ways to hydrate."
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/14/2008 04:12:00 PM | Permalink | |
Love That Man
Just a very few reasons I love my Valentine:

He reads directions when necessary.

He spends his Christmas vacation fastening 4,000 bolts.

He learns geometry in one day.

He makes his children happy:

I love being married to my best friend.


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/14/2008 09:52:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Whistle While You Work Redux
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Here's an oldie but goodie from 2006 - my second ever Works for Me Wednesday tip. Since Shannon is in Africa with Compassion International, Works for Me Wednesday is being hosted by Melanie at Don't Try This At Home.

Although my favorite tip of all time comes from the Martha Stewart Show, wherein a linen expert observes that if one does not like to iron, one should purchase only clothing made of flannel and "sweat pant material", here's another practical little gem from the trenches:

Tired of shouting from your front porch like a fishmonger, screaming first and middle names as your offspring ignore your calls to dinner?

Kids claim "They didn't hear you"; or worse, try to wheedle more play time from their safe vantage point across the street, confident you can't make out the details of what they are saying?

I have the answer. I use a whistle.

Three blows, and my kids know they better come running. They can't argue with a whistle they way they can Mama's voice.

The whistle carries to all corners of the neighborhood. It is distinctive. No more claims "I didn't hear you," or "I thought it was Johnny's mom calling".

You won't have to even remember your kids names. I know I've spent many a frustrating evening screaming at "Pete" to come home, when the child in question is actually named "Mike", and is simply wearing Pete's hand-me-down clothes and has the same hair (just like their dad's). And then Mike has the nerve to say he didn't know you were calling him!

Ever try getting your child's attention at Playland? With 17 other screaming children, some of which may have the same name as your lovely offspring - and 17 parents talking on cellphones? A simple, pedestrian yell doesn't have a prayer of being heard. Blow your whistle and everyone will stop.

You can lose your voice, but my whistle hangs from a chain around my neck and I can always find it! It sure beats shouting into the wind.

Playing in the waves at the ocean, kids can't hear you over the noise? Whistle. It works for lifeguards and policeman, it will work for you!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/13/2008 08:25:00 AM | Permalink | |
Reusable Water Bottle - Cheap!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Recently, it came out that we are slowly poisoning ourselves with hormone disrupting BPAs in our water bottles. Refilling plastic water bottles is a no-no too.

With stainless steel water bottles and thermoses running $20 and up, what's a cheap Mama to do?

My experiment reusing a Snapple bottle was a failure. It's glass, and they don't really seal very tightly when you refill them. "Leaks like a Huggies" is not a good quality in a beverage container.

Finally, I found a solution!

It's stainless steel, ergonomically designed to easily fit in hand or pocket, holds 7 oz, and a twin pack is less than $10!

Then again, I couldn't really use it while driving. Or teaching my Sunday School class. Or while watching the kids play in the yard. Although, the neighbors probably wouldn't be surprised to see me guzzling down at 10 am. I know my boys have driven them to drink.

Hmmm... back to the drawing board;


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/11/2008 10:18:00 PM | Permalink | |
Free Deer Lapbook
Hands of A Child is offering their deer lapbook for grades 3-6 as a freebie this quarter. It's a downloadable ebook with printables, and their lapbooks are so lovely!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/11/2008 09:07:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, February 08, 2008
Our little school is joining with some friends to go visit the bees at Bee City. Here are some links to tie it into the curriculum:

Lapbooks and Unit Studies:
Joann's Bee Lapbook Early elementary, site has lots of links.
Honey mini unit
Busy, Busy bees (kindergarten)

Write on bee shapes - bee 1 and bee 2
Honeybee anatomy worksheet to label (upper elementary)
B tracing, crafts, and worksheets (Kindergarten)
Bee maze
Learning (You must register, but it is free. I've been a member for several years.)
Honeybee Fact file, Insect Anatomy labeling for lower elementary, bee maze (kindergarten), bee pairs (kindergarten)

What does the bee do? poem by Christina Rosetti

Aesop's Fables: The Bee-Keeper, The Bee and Jupiter (Greek gods and goddesses),

Practical Life:

First aid for stings. With pictures! (older children)

The Foxfire books have a fascinating article about bee keeping in Appalachia and features locations in Georgia and South Carolina. See if your library has them.

Beekeeping basics, at Backcountry Home Magazine. Very interesting!

Scripture and Liturgy:
Make Beeswax candles (you can find beeswax at craft stores, usually.)

Why are only beeswax candles allowed on the altar?

One of my favorite Scriptures (RSV) (on humility)
The bee is small among flying creatures, but her product is the best of sweet things. - Sirach 11:3
St. Ambrose, the patron saint of beekeepers

Art Appreciation
How to Study a Work of Art at Mater Amabilis

Flight of the Bee1 or Bee2, by Sydenham Edwards

Asian-style Bee Compostion

Play the Flight of the Bumblebee for the children. Have them move to the music or "draw" the music, making a picture as they listen.

Preschool Activities:

Separate out a pile of yellow and black legos, and make bee creations. (Fine motor skills, 3 dimensional thinking)

Make designs out of hexagon pattern blocks. Make a honeycomb. (Math, fine motor)

Make a tape or chalk hexagon on the floor and walk the line. (Phys. ed and good for balance and refining movement) Johnny Cash music is optional.

Bee songs and rhymes

Use yellow and black blocks, legos, or unifix cubes and make patterns (black, yellow, yellow). Have your child copy the pattern. Patterning is an important pre-reading skill. First have your child copy the pattern, then have them predict what will come next in the pattern.

Bee File Folder game I made:

I drew beehives, and printed off these cards.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/08/2008 09:37:00 AM | Permalink | |
Mrs. Fussypants, I Have a Bone to Pick

Dear Mrs. Fussypants,

I am trying (oh, how I am trying) to fight the frump. It's Lent now, and you now the old "anoint your head with oil" while you are fasting instructions. I'm not using oil, but I am using Garnier Fructris Shine Solution.

However, you neglected to warn me of the consequences. Yesterday I put lipstick on so I could galavant through the house with a perfect pucker. The children pestered me for hours, wanting to know who was getting married and who was coming to babysit them while I attended the wedding. Because any semi-qualified teenage girl is much preferred to their longsuffering mean old mom.

The real problem came as I interacted with my youngest. Him's just a baby and I could just eat hims up! And I did.

I had to use half a bottle of Goo Gone to get the Covergirl out of his sleeper. I also thought we were going to have to visit the doctor, but a careful look revealedthat it wasn't some weird rash, my children's heads were simply covered in Ruby Sunset carnuba wax.

How do I fight the frump and still love my children?

Frumpy Mama

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/08/2008 08:05:00 AM | Permalink | |
Bread help
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Husband dear is going to start an anti-inflammatory diet. He's been having lots of problems and I think this will really help him.

Basic foods to avoid on this diet, especially the first two weeks, are dairy products, red meat, fried foods, eggs, and white potatoes as well as white sugar and redcucing white flour

I need your help! I need a bread recipe that does not use butter, milk, or eggs. It can be whole wheat, or sourdough (he loves sourdough, but I've never made it.) He hates rye. If you have a white bread recipe, I'll try that too with whole wheat pastry flour.


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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/07/2008 09:42:00 AM | Permalink | |
Ain't That the Truth
Bipolar children see aggression when it isn't there.

One of the first things odd I noticed about Mr R was his "persecution complex". Everyone is out to get him, and he better "get them back first".

The only silver lining, as it were, is that he is like that with everyone all the time including his teachers. He tells the school that I threw him against the wall - but then immediately freaks out over his teacher "punching" him when really the teacher just inadvertantly brushed him with his arm. This is actually very scary for me, because he exaggerates everything to such a degree that I can't believe him. He sees malice in almost every action.
We've had a particularly bad week. I briefly thought about bringing him home for his education. If I could figure out a way to do that without losing my ever-loving mind I would!

I think maybe I'll change "indomitable" in the header to "beleaguered".


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/07/2008 08:50:00 AM | Permalink | |
WFMW: Shopping Edition
Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This week, Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a themed Works for Me Wednesday. What's your favorite online shop?

I browse a lot online. I love going to Amazon and Target and reading the feedback on comments, even though I will usually buy the product at a regular store.

I buy all of our vitiamins and supplements from They carry supplements and other health related items up to for half off the MSRP. For example, Coromega for Mr R costs $19.99 for a 90 day supply, vs. $39.99 off the shelf. ALso, their tea is fairly inexpensive. They have a flat shipping rate of $5.95 and I've never had a problem with them. We've used them for almost two years.

On my sidebar I have a link to Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. They are located in Colorado Springs, CO and the store is run by a faithful Catholic family. The proprieter blogs at Musings from A Catholic Bookstore.

Finally, has the cheapest computer parts. Lucky for me, my husband actually knows how to replace a motherboard, a video card, and what all that junk inside the tower does. It's a cheap way to upgrade. Kind of like cooking from scratch instead of buying Hamburger Helper off the shelf.

For more shopopng fun, go see Rocks in My Dryer!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/06/2008 08:36:00 AM | Permalink | |
CVS Warning!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
***The Warning for CVS'ers is at the bottom of the post****
I went to CVS tonight and got some fairly good deals. Here's a breakdown of what I did and how I did it for those who have asked. I didn't get very many separate items, so I hope this is clear!

I had some manufacturer coupons for Irish Spring, Purell, Softsoap, and the deodorant. I also had a coupon for $4 off a $20 purchase (this is a register rewards type thing, not on online printable. If you register with for e-mail alerts you'll get one too - I get these little coupons quite often when I shop CVS.) I also had $9.99 in ECB's from previous trips, plus $0.52 leftover on a giftcard from a return I made.

I bought:
3 pk Irish Spring Microbeads, $1.50
Softsoap Hydrating, $1.50
Dora Spinbrush $5.99
SpeedStick Ladies, $1.99
= $10.98 on Colgate products

Garnier Fructis Shine Shampoo, $3.99
Purell Hand Sanitizer, 8 oz., $3.79
Rice Krispie Treats, $1.69

Now, if you spend $10 on select Colgate products, you'll get a $5.00 ECB.
If you buy selected versions of the Garnier Fructis shampoo, you'll get $3.99 ECB back.
The Purell was advertising $2.00 ECB back.

I had a coupon for Irish Spring, .30, Softsoap, .35, and Speedstick, .75. Add in the $5 ECB I got back and the net cost of the Colgate products was $4.58. I got the Dora Spinbrush because Miss V's birthday is coming up and she LOVES Dora and has been asking me for a "robot" toothbrush since Christmas. Yes, my kids get toothbrushes for Christmas and birthdays. I'm mean like that.

The Purell was $3.79, I had a $1.00 off coupon, and got $2.00 ECB's. The net cost of the Purell was $0.79, and we use it for the turtles and to erase our schoolwork. I'm cheap so their math books are in page protectors and they do it with dry erase markers. That way I don't have to buy new books for the next kid.

The shampoo was $3.99, and I got $3.99 back. The net cost was $0 - free!

Now, all of those items rang up $18.76, and I had a soon to expire coupon for $4 off a $20 purchase. I bought an 8 pack of Rice Krispie treats, which my husband LOVES, for $1.69. Spend $1.69 to save $4, and make husband dear happy? I was all over that.

So, my total products rang up $20.45.

The order you give coupons to the cashier is very important. You don't get "change" back on the ECB's when you spend them. If your item costs $1.50, and you give them a $2 ECB, you will not get that .50 back.

So, first give any dollar off/CVS coupons. I gave the cashier my $4 off $20 purchase coupon. New total was around $16.00 (don't remember exactly how much, with tax and all.)

Next, give manufacturer's coupons. I gave the cashier $2.40 in manufacturer's coupons. New total: around $14.00

Then, give ECB's. I gave the cashier my $6.00 and my $3.99 ECB's that I already had.
New total: 4.41

Now, use gift card. I had a whopping $0.52 on my gift card.

Then, pay with your own money, if necessary. On this purchase, I paid $3.89 out of pocket.

I got a $5.00, $3.99, and $2.00 ECB's back, so I have $10.99 for next week's CVS shopping trip.

The cashier complimented me on my couponing, and mentioned it was nice to see an "honest coupon person". I asked him what he meant and he said they are going to crack down on people who come in with Internet coupons and stack them. They are closing the loophole.

Apparently CVS Corporate offices have instructed managers to train employees to ring the printed coupons ($10 off $50 purchase, for example) last. You will only be able to use it if your total is $50 (or whatever the printable coupon states) after all manufacturer's coupons, BOGO's, etc. have been totaled. It will be the last coupon applied before you actually pay real money. If you aren't actually going to have to pay $50 (or whatever amount), you will not be able to use it.
The most common printables I've seen are $3 off $15 purchase, $4 off $20 purchase, $10 off $50 purchase, and $15 off $75 purchase.

Any coupons that print with your register receipt, ECB's, and manufacturer's coupons will not be affected. If you have a printed coupon, expect to be scrutinized - you may not be able to use it.

I have to say, I'm loving CVS now!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/05/2008 07:20:00 AM | Permalink | |
The Book Meme
Monday, February 04, 2008
I got this from Birdie.

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages.)
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Well, the nearest book is actually being used as a mouse pad (but only because it kept falling on the keyboard, that's not it's permanent location!)

I turned to page 123... and there are NOT 5 sentences on the page. There are, however, 18 commas and 9 semicolons. Plus two dashes. Was it written by Henry James?
I'm just going to post the first three complete sentences, which begin at chapter XXIII.

Can you possibly guess what book this is?

"To proceed, if magicians produce phantoms and give a bad name to the souls of the dead; if they kill children to make an oracle speak; if by mountebank tricks they play off no end of miracles; if they send dreams to people; assisted by the power of the angels and demons invoked, those same beings by whose aid she-goats and tables have acquired the habit of divining; how much more, think you, would that power, acting on its own behalf and in its own business, take pains to use its full strength ot achieve what it does in the affairs of others?

Or, if angels and demons do exactly what your gods do; where, then, is the pre-eminence of divinity, which we surely should count superior to every other power?

Will it not be a worthier suppoosition that it is they who make themselves into gods when they do what wins credence for gods, than that gods should be on a level with angels and demons?"

It's Tertullian's Apology de Spectaculis. One half is Latin, the other half is English - fortunately, the odd numbered pages are the English ones. Yes, I actually had that on my desk, I didn't pull it from the shelf to make myself look smart! I've been reading it in short bursts for a really, really long time. It's not a light read. Plus I was using it while researching topics on the Watchtower website, which claims Tertullian taught that Jesus was an angel. Because that's what I do in my spare time. ("Spare Time" ha ha ha ha!)

It was right next to the teetering stack containing Alphabet Theme-A-Saurus, Magic Schoolbus Goes Batty, the Book of Mormon, If You Grew Up with Abraham Lincoln, and My Antonia. Hmm. Perhaps I should work on clearing my desk off today?

I need to tag 5 other people, so I think I'll tag some of the more masculine blogs in my feeds.

Random Brown
The Curt Jester
The Catholic Caveman
Musings from A Catholic Bookstore (his should be good!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/04/2008 08:46:00 AM | Permalink | |
Need Pics for Your Blog?
Friday, February 01, 2008
The Library of Congress is starting a Flickr page. All images are copyright free! There are over 3,000 in the collection right now, but eventually they want to get all 14 million online for our use.

Hear that? Copyright free!

These children are Titanic survivors:

Child Titanic Survivor
Here are some Polish immigrants striking the mills in New York. How old are those kids???
Polish Workers Strike, New YorkThose women out West were tough, baby!
Woman get your gun

H/T Wisebread blogger Paul Michael

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/01/2008 09:20:00 AM | Permalink | |
China Messes Up Drugs, Too
China's pharmaceutical industry isn't exactly up to Western standards. The factory that makes a leukemia drug has been shut down after contaminated medicine paralyzed hundreds of people. Shanghai Hualian's cancer drug facility is closed (pending an investigation; however, the Chinese government owns the plant and is doing the "investigating" so don't hold your breath on a a fair and unbiased report.) The license has been revoked, and two officials detained (probably for execution, then China will sell their organs. Business as usual!) (Random Rambling: It is outrageous that our country is going to send over our world class athletes to compete at the Beijing Olympics. I've got an icon on my sidebar from Faithmouse, and she's offering it to anyone who wants to post it.)

This same company also is the only plant in the world that makes the RU486 abortion pill. Of course, that "medicine" is intended to kill. The drug is already dangerous enough:

From Lifesite news

Ultimately, Danco indicated that 840,000 women in the United States have had abortions with its dangerous drug...

Those fatal infections have led to six American women losing their lives following the use of the abortion drug. Also known as mifepristone or Mifeprex, the drug has killed thirteen women worldwide and injured thousands in the U.S. alone.

Here is Danco's letter to providers, warning that 8% of women have heavy bleeding lasting 30 days or more, and of other complicatons. The Population Council has given Danco the sole license to distribute RU486 in the United States. What's the Population Council? It's a pro-abortion NGO funded by the Rockefellers and the Ford Foundation.

The RU486 pill is still being manufactured, imported by Danco Laboratories, and sold to thousands of American women.

In a related story, the man who gave his girlfriend the RU486 drug, causing their unborn baby to die, didn't show up in court. He's charged with first degree murder. Why is it murder when he gives her the pill, but not if she took it herself? How could he murder someone who is not a person? Oh, that's right. It's a baby and a person if the mother wants it to be. Otherwise, it's just tissue.

(Random Rambling: It is outrageous that our country is going to send over our world class athletes to compete at the Beijing Olympics, bolstering their economy and winking at their human rights violations. Not only do they sell human body parts on the black market, obtained from prisoners who were executed without any sort of due process or fair trial, they kill babies in the street, force women to be sterilized, muzzle the media, and don't even allow their citizens to worship God freely. I've got an icon on my sidebar from Faithmouse, and she's offering it to anyone who wants to post it.)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/01/2008 07:49:00 AM | Permalink | |