Me (sort of)

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My Inner European is…

Your Inner European is Spanish!

Energetic and lively.
You bring the party with you!

Well, that’s actually my outer European, too! How ’bout that! I don’t know about the energetic & lively part, but I have 7 kids, so I often do bring the party with me.

Food Meme

Mimi over at Bigger than a Breadbox had this meme up, so I consider myself tagged.

You take the letters of your name and write a little food-related factoid for each.

K – Kielbasa. Yummy. a friend brought over a casserole with penne pasta and kielbasa – delicious!

I – Italian Wedding Soup. This is such a good “comfort food!” It’s a meatball soup with spinach I think – it’s been a while since I made it; time to find the recipe again, methinks.

T – Tea. This is the perfect time of year for it. A friend of mine sells very good teas, and I had a tea party where she demonstrated how to brew different kinds for the best flavor (white, green, black, oolong and red). I ordered a bunch of them for myself and for Christmas gifts.

T – Tortillas. Corn for enchiladas, flour for fajitas or burritos. Fry some up and eat them topped with fried eggs and salsa. Mmmmm… that sounds good right now.

Y – Yogurt. Plain with honey; Raspberry in the blender with bananas and frozen berries; Strawberry with Cool Whip, poured into a Graham cracker crust and frozen – Yogurt is a great treat!

Note to self: Never do food memes when you’re hungry.

Lent is over, time for a meme

It’s been a long time since I posted anything, and as I live my life and care for my children, I find that there is really very little time for me to blog much. I intended for this site to be a weekly spiritual exercise, but sitting at the computer offers too many distractions from what I really ought to be doing during the day (home school, kid care, meals, dishes, laundry, etc). And at night when the kids are in bed and Ian comes home I don’t want to be at the computer!

Anyway, I have a few minutes today to fill out this meme. I don’t play tag, so if you feel like answering this yourself, just leave me a comment so I can know more about you.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:20am (I think)

2. Diamonds or pearls? Pearls mostly, but some day I’d like to wear diamonds with a dark blue velvet dress!

3. What was the last film you saw at the theater? Night at the Museum (at Christmastime).

4. What is your favorite TV show? I really have no idea what’s on – we don’t have TV. We did borrow the 1st season of 24 a while back and that was fun. I also liked Stargate.

5. What did you have for breakfast? Oatmeal with bits of dried apricot in it.

6. What is your middle name? Maria

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I like all kinds of food. I have a craving right now for Chinese (specifically egg rolls and lemon chicken) . And pickles. And pistachio ice cream. I’m pregnant.

8. What foods do you dislike? I really dislike liver, but not in all its forms. I like pate and liverworst on crackers or in a sandwich.

9. What are your favorite chips? Pringles in the potato variety, and I like white corn chips (no particular brand, as long as they’re crispy & not thick) in the corn category, with salsa and guacamole.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Hmmm. Hard to say. I like Enya, the soundtracks to the Lord of the Rings movies, and Haydn.

11. What kind of car do you drive? Chevy Venture 2003 minivan – this is for sale, if anyone is interested and lives in the Colorado Springs area or can get here to pick it up. We’re about to outgrow it (as I said, I am pregnant, and as soon as baby #7 is born we will need a new van, but we need to sell this one first).

12. Favorite sandwich? BLT. With avocado. I’m hungry.

13. What are characteristics you can’t stand? insincerity, lying

14. What are your favorite clothes? ballet-neck linen dress with soft floral print and princess seams, and heels.

15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? Italy

16. One random fact about myself: I like to sew (and wear) costumes from various time periods.

17. Where would you want to retire? Colorado. I love it here!

18. Favorite time of day? nap time! And when Ian gets home!

19. Where were you born? California

20. What is your favorite sport to watch? Hockey, but i don’t watch sports much.

21. Coke or Pepsi? neither – I don’t like soda much. I’d rather have root beer if there’s ice cream in it 😉

22. Beavers or ducks? What a weird question. To eat? Ducks. To watch build dams? Beavers.

23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Neither. I like 9 AM to about 1 PM for being awake.

24. Pedicure or manicure? manicure I think, but I have never had a pedicure (first one is scheduled for Monday)

25. What did you want to be when you were little? a veterinarian.

26. What is your best childhood memory? Playing in the back yard with my siblings, building villages for the Star Wars figures in the sand box. And swimming at night in our swimming pool with our cousins, and making “night rainbows” with a hose and a bright light.

27. Ever been to Africa? No

28. Ever been toilet papering? No

29. Been in a car accident? Yes.

30. Favorite day of the week? Monday. No kidding!

31. Favorite restaurant? 3 Margaritas is up there. The Briarhurst Manor is WAY up there.

32. Favorite flower? rose

33. Favorite ice-cream? Coffee

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy’s or Chick Fil A

35. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? None.

36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Pikes Peak Library District

37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I don’t have a credit card, but I would spend money, if I had it, at Bombay Company, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma, and a good nursery.

38. Last person you went to dinner with? Ian – 10th anniversary dinner!

39. What are you listening to right now? Kids playing in the living room.

40. What is your favorite color? red

41. How many tattoos do you have? None

42. How many people are you sending this to? zero

43. What time did you finish this blog entry? Well, at this question, it is 10:53am.

44. Favorite magazine: Faith & Family and Romantic Homes, when they don’t go overboard on the Shabby Chic look.

45. Coffee or tea? I like both, but rarely have either.

46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? neither. I don’t go outside much. I guess I tan when I do gardening in the summer.

47. Do you color your hair? No

48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? 1996 Voyager minivan (actually my husband bought it)

49. What is your most dreaded household chore? Ironing.

h/t: St. Francis Academy

Housekeeping Meme

Tagged by Michelle at the Family-Centered Life!

Aprons – Y/N?

Yes! I just bought a new one because my old one was tearing at the pockets. It is my uniform for daily tasks from homeschooling to cooking to cleaning. I have used its pockets to carry produce from the garden or seeds and tools TO the garden.

Baking – Favorite thing to bake:

Blackberry Wine Cake

Clothesline – Y/N?

Yes, in summer.

Donuts – Have you ever made them?

No, but I have been tempted. Actually, I think I attempted them once, before I was married.

Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day:


Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?

Yes, in the mudroom.

Garbage Disposal – Y/N?

No. Compost.

Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?

My Mother-In-Law. No kidding – she’s good at it and I admire her orderliness!

Ironing – Love it or hate it?

Ask my poor husband. Better yet, don’t.

Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?

Well, I don’t have enough drawers to designate one for “junk” but I have a “storage room” (which is also a play room for the older kids, a guest room, a Christmas present wrapping room, etc. heehee. It used to be a sewing room and my dh’s office when he worked from home.)

Kitchen: Design & Decorating?

big & open with a large island in the middle. Not much in the way of decorating, unless you count “clutter, early 2000s.” I actually think my kitchen is too big for me – I am a small person and find it tiring to work in there, even though I like to cook. I would design a smaller, more efficient space. Good for parties, though.

Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking?

Cooking, and putting fresh linens on the beds.

Mop – Y/N?

Yes but not often enough.

Nylons – Wash by hand or in the washing machine?

washing machine.

Oven – Do you use the window, or open the door to check?

Window, unless I need to check the temp. Time to clean the window by the way. Yuck.

Pizza – What do you put on yours?

Oooo… Feta, fresh tomato slices, a bit of olive oil, fresh mushrooms…maybe asparagus if it weren’t so expensive!

Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?

What’s that? Can I get it online? Actually, pray a rosary, spiritual reading or nap.

Recipe card box – Y/N?

No. If it isn’t in my head, online or in a book I won’t find it again.

Style of house

2000 manufactured ranch-style

Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N?

Yes. Tablecloth or place mats for every meal. Usually paper napkins, but I am trying to build a collection of cloth for every day use so I can just throw them in the wash.

Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland?

Neither. Not much under there except some empty jars for disposing of used oil, but it could use a scrub-down around the trash can.

Vacuum – How many times per week?

I’ll let you know when we get the vacuum fixed.

Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do a week?

average: one or two a day except Sundays.

X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?

No. I have tried this, but I keep misplacing it. I haven’t found my “system” yet. I do put important things on the calendar, which I look at several times a day. I get daily reminders from in my email, too.

Yard – Who does what?

dh mows and waters grass and trees, and helps me prepare the soil for seeds, and I water and tend the flower and vegetable gardens in summer.

Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?

Clear the dinner table, put food away. If dh doesn’t have time, sometimes I will wash dishes and clean the sink, check on kids in bed and turn out lights.

Christmas Meme

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? I like both at this time of year – but hot cocoa is more of a “winter” treat, and eggnog is only available from Thanksgiving through Christmas, so I usually serve that as a special treat during this time. One year some friends surprised me with coffee with eggnog instead of cream for my birthday (which is this month). YUM.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Saint Nicholas comes on Dec. 6th (the night before, actually). On Christmas day, the stockings are from St. Nick, the presents are from whichever extended family we’re with. If we’re with my folks, there is usually a gift from Baby Jesus in there too. All gifts are wrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I use purple and pink lights around the interior of the tree (which we plug in during Advent – and the kids put Advent ornaments that they make out of paper), and St. Nicholas or Baby Jesus put white or colored lights on the exterior (which we turn on during the Christmas season).

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. We do a lot of kissing without it.

5. When do you put your decorations up? We put up our Nativity scene for Advent, and get a tree early so we can use it as our Advent tree too.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? That’s a tough one. I love turkey and all the trimmings, but I also love the traditional Christmas tamales my In-Laws make in October and save in the freezer until Dec. 25. If I could only choose one dish, I might go with mashed potatoes with lots of butter and good gravy. Or leftover turkey sandwiches with cranberry-orange sauce. Or refried beans. Or…

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: Visiting my cousins in Mexico City and Santa Claus REALLY coming to Nona’s house and giving me a Raggedy Ann doll bigger than myself! I was amazed that Santa knew Spanish! Actually, I don’t know if it amazed me more that he knew Spanish or that he didn’t seem to know English.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don’t remember. I think I just eased into the knowledge that St. Nicholas has many helpers and I eventually became one of his helpers for my younger siblings.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When we stay home for Christmas Day, we open one gift after Midnight Mass (usually something useful for our trip tp see family, like new pajamas). When we visit my family, we open everything in the morning. When we visit my husband’s family, we open presents after the reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve (Santa actually can be heard on the roof and seen running by the window) and then go to Mass in the morning. Presents from immediate family are exchanged on Epiphany.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? First, the kids help put on the purple & pink Advent lights. When they are in bed, St. Nicholas and Baby Jesus put white or colored lights on over those, but we only turn on the Advent lights until after Midnight Mass. During Advent, the kids make paper ornaments to put on the tree. When we leave for Midnight Mass, the angels must come and change all the paper ornaments for the colorful family ornaments we have collected through the years. Each of my 6 children receives a new ornament each year, and these are added also. So when we get back from Mass, the colored lights and ornaments are a beautiful surprise.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Love it, as long as we don’t have to go anywhere.

12. Can you ice skate? Not really. I haven’t tried since my body became a mother’s body. Not sure how it would go.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? An engagement ring from my sweet husband!

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? To prepare my heart for Christ’s coming, as well as making great memories for my family that are rich with eternal truths.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? home made pumpkin pie with real whipped cream, rum balls that my Mom makes, and my Mother-In-Law’s bizcochitos.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching the wonder in the children’s eyes as they listen to “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and hear Santa on the roof, and visiting with family.

17. What tops your tree? We have a beautiful glass tree-topper brought from Russia by my brother-in-Law.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving. I love thinking of what the person might like. I usually follow their wish list if I have one, but if I see the perfect gift or can make something they’d like, I do that instead, especially if money is tight.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Lo, How a Rose; What Child is This?; Hark the Herald Angels Sing; I really love most of them…

20. Candy canes: One per child on St. Nicholas Day. We sometimes use the tiny ones to decorate gifts for others.

21. Favorite Christmas movie? A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life

22. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies and milk or eggnog if we have it.