Small Successes

Small successes. It is so important for momsm, and women in general, to realize that life is not about the perfection at the end of the road, it is about the small success along the journey.

My small successes this week have added up to a lot being accomplished around the house.

1. We finally got the master bedroom done, including the closet. All the remains
is for me to work on the insides of the end tables and my dresser. (I plan
on working on that this weekend.)

2. I have kept up on the children and their chores. So the
basement has remained clean, all the children’s bedrooms have remained
cleaned. The bathrooms have remained presentable. It makes the house
a much nicer place to be. (Not to mention quieter, no shouting for the
children to do their work.)

3. Laundry is caught up! That is no small feat in this house. I
figured it out we do at least 34 loads of laundry a week of clothing, sheets and
towels. No wonder we feel like laundry is never ending.

4. The girls are starting to talk up a storm. A wonderful accomplishment for
being born 10 weeks early. It is amazing watching them pick up language and absorb it like a sponge.

What are your small successes this week?

Tonight I made one of my family’s favorite recipes. I have been asked to post it here. So here goes.

Zippy Beef

1 pound ground beef
1 package egg noodles
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jar chili sauce
1 can tomato soup
1 soup can water
1 can of corn (drained) or cook up a 10 oz package of frozen
8 oz of cheddar cheese grated
1 package egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

Preheat oven to 350. Spray or oil a 9 x 13 inch pan to make clean up easier.

Brown the ground beef, onion and green pepper. Now you can be like me and cheat and use a 1/4 package each of the frozen onion and green peppers. While that is browing, cook the egg noodles. Drain both the beef and the noodles.

Dump the beef back into the pot, add the drained noodles. Add the tomato soup and can of water. Then add the jar of chili sauce. (I add a little bit of the water to the jar, recap and shake it to get all the chili sauce out.) Then add the corn. Add 1/2 the cheese and mix.

Put the beef mixture into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover with a lid or foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Take the top off and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I serve it with a salad and rolls.

We double the recipe for our family.

Here is the cost break down:

2 lbs beef @ 1.79 a pound = $3.79
2 egg noodles @ 1.25 = $2.50
1/2 package onion = $ .50
1/2 package green pepper = $ .50
2 jars chili sauce @ $1.00 =$2.00
1 can tomato soup @ $.60 =$1.20
2 cans corn @ $.39 =$ .78
16 oz of cheddar cheese =$2.00

Total for the Dinner = $13.27 works out to $.55 a serving.
(24 total = 17 servings at dinner (some had seconds) and 7 for lunch left overs)

Even when you add the salad ($1.25) and 2 cans of rolls ($3.00) which has a cost of $.39 cents a serving (11 servings). Add that to the $.55 you get still $.94 a serving. So everyone ate for under a $1.00 each tonight. Beats take out any night!


I was reading my bible today and a passage jumped out at me. Sometimes getting all the housework done in the hustle and bustle of the day is hard. With 9 children running around, and with a DH thrown in every couple of days, getting a routine going and stuck to is hard. But this passage made me realize it is worthwhile and I need to make sure it is getting done. So I did my maintenance housework today since the children were home and then began checking the blogs that I read regularly. I do not believe in coincidences. Elizabeth Foss over at In the Heart of my Home had posted the passage that jumped out at me earlier. In addition she has a couple of extra prayers that really touched me too.

Here is the passage I read from the Book of Sirach:

Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the LORD;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.

A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the LORD is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the LORD’s heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife in her well-ordered home.

I hope it touches you, like it did me.

A Homemaker’s Prayer
May I have the strength and the will to do the humble tasks, that make a house a fit abode for my loved ones. Clean floors, shining china, dainty curtains, clean sheets, good food, a cheery fire-may my willing hands make these things possible.
But Father, let me remember that man does not live by bread alone, that material things but make a proper setting for life’s real treasures of mind and spirit. Give me patience and understanding and kindness and humor and love in abundance, and charity for all. May the spirit of happiness, of joys and sorrows shared, of unity, of the peace that passeth understanding linger here! Help me to keep the path to Thee open and easy to find for the little ones in my keeping. And let there be laughter here. And last, dear Lord, help me to remember the stranger without the door. May there be warmth enough on our hearth to share with him.
Is this too much for one so weak, so full of faults as I, to ask? At least it can be a goal toward which to strive, and to Thee all things are possible. Amen

-Mrs. Howard Peet

Prayer to St. Anne for Homemakers
Dear St. Anne, we know nothing about you except your name. But you gave us the Mother of God who called herself handmaid of the Lord. In your home you raised the Queen of Heaven and are rightly the model of homemakers. In your womb came to dwell the new Eve uniquely conceived without sin. Intercede for us that we too may remain free from sin. Amen.

How dare she call herself Catholic!

I am ashamed of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. She hails from Baltimore and it should be a story of local girl reaching wonderful heights. Instead the more I hear her talk, the more I wish she would not. She claims to a Catholic, and love her Catholic faith, but HOW can she when does not live up to the basic tenants of what it is to be Catholic.

As a Catholic, we believe life begins at conception. So any abortion is a murder. She is okay with abortion. We also are not to use contraceptives or permanent means of birth control, because it interferes with the life giving relationship between a husband and wife. (We won’t even get into the pre-marital issues here.)

So now the new economic stimulus package is set to include hundreds of millions of dollars for contraceptives because it makes economic sense. Here is a quote from an article by Catholic News Agency.

Speaker Pelosi made her comments in an appearance on ABC’s This Week with host George Stephanopoulos.

Stephanopoulos asked how the expansion of “family planning services” could be considered an economic stimulus. The Speaker replied:

“Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

Stephanopoulos responded, “So no apologies for that?”

“No apologies. No,” Speaker Pelosi replied. “We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.”

She has reduced human life to the economic impact a baby will have for the Government. Does anyone else see China or the former USSR here?

The leadership of the Catholic Church in America needs to take a stronger stance with politicians that claim to be Catholic, but fall short of living the Catholic faith. Refuse them the Eucharist. Excommunicate them. Sure it may not get them to change their views, but it will make it known that you must live your faith regardless of your profession and if you chose not to, then there will be consequences.

The Catholic faith isn’t easy. You can’t pick and chose those beliefs you want to follow (hence the name Cafeteria Catholic). Nancy Pelosi, follow the faith you claim or leave the Church.

School ramblings

The second marking period is over. So what does that mean? Two days of teacher work days this week, so today and tomorrow everyone is home. This on top of a 3 day weekend last weekend. Seriously, who plans these things? Obviously not a mom. Wouldn’t it have made sense to have the teacher work days last week to coincide with the MLK holiday? School started 23 weeks ago and only 12 of those weeks have have been full 5 days weeks. The rest have had at least one day off for some reason.

I think they need to let moms design the school calendar. We would have the darlings going year round with mini breaks here and there at one time. Actually that is the premise of year round school and that has been shown to improve school performance in children. I guess the “experts” don’t realize that consistent time in the seat makes it easier to learn.

Overall the children don’t enjoy having the time home, they get bored. (DS’s are still MIA for them LOL) They can only clean so much, scrubbing bathrooms with toothbrushes gets old. Limited TV privileges have been restored, but getting everyone to agree on a show makes life interesting.

Today we made a cowboy coffee cake for breakfast. Then Mandy made cupcakes for dessert. That staved off some boredom. Dinner we tried a new recipe too. Tomorrow is supposed to be a generally yucky weather (think snow, rain, sleet, freezing rain) day so I think we will do a game day. So we will all take it easy and stay warm and dry inside with the pellet stove going.

Hope the weather is a least sunny where you are!

College Bound

My oldest daughter is a senior. This time next year she will be starting her second semester of her freshman year. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that she was born.

Today we went to visit a university she is considering. She had applied to Mount Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD. This university is the 2nd oldest Catholic University in America. She had applied late last year and was accepted on the early decision. She was also offered a half tuition scholarship. Shortly after her acceptance she was invited to sit for the Founder’s Scholarship. This is a competitive full tuition scholarship. Three are awarded and we found out today that there around 150 students applying.

The students had to complete two essays that will be graded and then ranked. Finalists will have a telephone interview then and decision will be made sometime in March.

The University is about 90 minutes from home. Far enough to be “away” but close enough to be near home. After the visit today and the tour she has decided that this is THE place she wants to go.

Now we need to find a way to make it happen. But we have something in our favor. Also at Mount St. Mary’s is the National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes.

I have to say I fell in love with the Grotto when I was young. On the way home from a vacation I got very car sick. We stopped there and walked the Grotto. Ever since I have loved it and felt called to visit, but never really made it back. I am quite happy she wants to go to the University there.

We arrived to the competition quite early so we drove around the University and went to the Grotto. She also fell in love with it.

The first thing you see (and can see for miles before) is Our Lady of the Mountain. This is very tall statue and bell tower.


The Grotto has two paths. One has the Stations of the Cross and the other has all the Mysteries of the Rosary. Throughout the paths are statues of saints, Mary and Jesus. It also has a small chapel. The main focus is the reproduction of Grotto of Lourdes. The entire park is quiet and still. While we were there is began to flurry. It was quite chilly on the Mountain. I can’t wait to go back in the spring to visit when it is warmer and we can take the entire family and enjoy the place in warmer weather.

Mary in the pond
Statue of Mary in Pond

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Grotto of Lourdes

Inside the Chapel
Alter at Chapel

Stained Glass Doors of the Chapel
Stained Glass Doors at Chapel

Mosaic of the Mystery of the The Nativity
The Navity

Copy of the Pieta
The Pieta

Mosaic of the Decent of the Holy Spirit
Decent of the Holy Spirit

Anti-Proctastination Week Day 4

Thursday was a waste, nothing was accomplished other than laundry. Tomorrow is a day full of doctor’s appointments so I don’t think much will be accomplished there. So my goals will be very low. 🙂

So here is the list for tomorrow.

Friday, January 23rd

1) Clean off kitchen counter
2) Clean out refridgerator
3) Clean off dining room buffet
4) Straighten out girls dresser
5) Clean out pack and play

January 22nd

January 22nd. It is the anniversary of Roe v Wade which legalized abortion in this country. A horrible decision that has lifelong many ramifications for unborn children,and their mothers and fathers. At what point does the parents rights become more important than the baby’s rights? Is there ever a time that is right to “terminate” a pregnancy. Most important of all does a woman have the “right to choose?” What about a baby with “issues” or handicaps or genetic differences? What about a baby that learn has a fatal condition like Trisomy 18? Should they be “allowed” to be born? Is it more humane to end the pregnancy? After all you don’t really know the baby yet, why put the family through such a thing. Roe v Wade made the decision to terminate a pregnancy legal and so many innocents have been lost to this procedure.

The ability to terminate a pregnancy is now to the point that woman can terminate at any for a reason. This has given rise to the horrific procedure known as partial birth abortions. That a woman who could decide to murder her own baby when it close to being born is just unfathomable to me.

And January 22nd is an anniversary for us too. Andrew Sean Pickett Blasdell was born on this day in 2005 at 25 weeks.. At his 18 week sonogram we found Andrew was going to have birth defects. The sonogram showed a clubbed arm and 2 clubbed feet. The first thing out of the doctor’s mouth at the sonogram was do you want to terminate. Not lets find out more, just do you want to terminate. We opted for an amnio to find out what we were dealing with. Andrew was chromosomally normal. The doctor was surprised he was expecting Trisomy 18.

At the next sonogram at 23 weeks we found out Andrew might have issues with his intestines. Again we were asked are we sure we want to family through this and did we want to terminate. Again we answered no.

Two weeks later at 25 weeks Andrew was born weighing 1 pound 13 ounces. He had so many issues just from being premature. We never found out what the chromosomal misfire was, but they are thinking it was a bilaterallity misfire. The left side of his body had all the issues, fused ribs, missing rib, missing thumb, and an extra toe. His heart had an extra chamber (tri atria to be exact). He was born with a DA. Basically the fetal heart/lung circulation wasn’t shut down after birth. This throws the blood pressure off. This led to a brain hemorrhage (not uncommon in these micropreemies, but the PDA almost ensured it would happen). This caused hydrocephalus (extra fluid on the brain). During all of this we found out he also had an issue with his intestines. We weren’t sure at the time what the issue was, but he could not be fed by mouth. Now the IV feeds, called TPN, used long term cause liver damage. All this was on top of the normal lung issues these micropreemies have.

He had to be transferred to a different hospital because of his brain issues. We were finally we were able to do surgery to find out what was going on with his intestines. Turns out he had a malrotation (where the intestines are backwards) and a jeujunial atresia with an apple peel deformity. Basically his intestines had split high in the small intestine, only one major blood vessel and the intestines wrapped around it like an apple peel or Christmas tree. NOT a good thing. The surgeon repaired it and we held out hope. After another month things still were not looking good so they went back in and found out the intestines had atrophied (died). So he was left with only 4 inches of small intestine. (We need around 25 FEET to survive). This was in March. So we dealt with all of those issues and then the hydrocephalus started to get worse and they were not able to do anything about it because of the intestinal issues.

He then developed an infection that led to meningitis. Things got progressively worse as his liver started to fail from the TPN. He began having more breathing issues and he had to be put back on a ventilator. At that point I knew Andrew was telling me he was tired of fighting. So Richard and I had to make the hardest, yet most loving decision to take Andrew off of life support and see what God would allow to happen.

So on July 5th we went to the hospital for the last time. Held him and told him we love you and watched him pass into heaven. I know he is whole now and in a much better place, but I still have a piece of my heart missing here on Earth. Andrew you are loved and missed greatly.

So people ask if we had known what would happen would he have made the same decision not to terminate. And to the answer to that is yes. While his life here on Earth was short, he touched many lives and proved to be such a fighter many doctors were amazed and shocked at the times he pulled through when they thought he would not. So I am convinced his presence here had a purpose and at sometime we will know what it was.

Having his birthday on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade must have a purpose too. I just need to pray and find out what I need to do.

Andrew in March at about 6 weeks of age just after his 1st surgery


Andrew in June. 1st time Richard held him.


Andrew in late June, before the infection got worse. Best picture of him!


Loved and Missed!

Anti-Proctastination Week Day 3

Today was better than yesterday! I was able to get the downstairs done. Upstairs I wasn’t so lucky. Rooms that were supposedly “vacuum ready” were not. So that will done tomorrow. I still need to my room de-cluttered. I seem to have block against doing that. (Actually the girls still sleep in our room so I look their nap time to be able to work in it so it makes it hard.)

So here is the list for tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22nd

1) Vacuum Upstairs
2) De-Clutter Master Bedroom
3) Straighten up downstairs pantry
4) Inventory pantry
5) Clean off kitchen counter

Anti-Proctastination Week Day 2

Well I already missed getting things done. We had ice and snow yesterday which led to a 2 hour delay for the schools today. So things we in a turmoil most of the morning.

Between that and the Inauguration on TV the only thing done was the bathrooms. Better than nothing.

So I am going to roll over the things from Tuesday and 1 more thing to keep it with 5. In the past I would just add 5 more to the list leaving the list with 9 things. I would see it and feel defeated. So in order to meet my goal of progress not perfection, I am not going to do that this time.

Wednesday, January 21st

1) Vacuum the upstairs
2) De-clutter Master bedroom
3) Sort through the girls toys and get them into the correct bins
4) Vacuum downstairs
5) Dust downstairs