Friday, November 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday: All Saint's Day Edition

We had quite the day today.  I'm exhausted.  It started out with a wonderful twist.  Shortly after Paul left for school and I got the kids into their costumes my cell phone rang.  I picked it up and it was one of Mae's therapists asking if I'd gotten the message that the paper work had cleared and they were ready to start therapy today (and were outside)!  Five minutes later one of Mae's ABA therapists and her intern were working with Mae in our dining room (just around the corner from where Sadie was doing her school).

Mae had so much fun.  She said so many words and kept on saying words after therapy was over.  Sadie even got in on helping at the end when they had her do a few activities to show Mae (and Mae then did things she'd previously been refusing to do!).

Then it was time for Mass.  The kids (okay, Sadie and Mae) were pretty excited to get to wear their little habits outside.  Then we got outside and it felt like everything was conspiring against us being on time.  A tree went down across the road that Paul takes to get home (and his class getting out only left 15 minutes to get to Mass anyways, including driving from his school to the house) and so he had to back track and go another way, and we started to walk and met him along the way to the church after he called us and told us about the detour.

Apparently last night's storm wasn't small since a tree also fell on one of our neighbors' house.

So we were late... but we made it... and here are a few of the pictures I snapped of our little Saint Therese, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Scholastica:

I love these little individual listening devices that our parish has.  And I've found that if I hand one to Sadie she holds it to her ear and listens and holds perfectly still for an entire Mass.

She's pretty good without one, but I'm amazed at her focus when she has it up to her ear.  It definitely makes being present at Mass from behind the glass doors in the narthex easier.

I wouldn't be posting this photo if it weren't for the awesome story that goes along with it.

You see, today I came across a clearance 70% off Halloween costume in my size.  It was for $13 and I thought, hey, why not.  I knew I'd be changing the neckline a bit to bring it up higher, but that would only take a few minutes.  And I had a feeling that the girls would love it if I joined in with their dress up games once in a while.

I had no idea how right that thought was.

I told Sadie about the dress and she begged me to try it on.  I did.  Mae's face lit up.  She was so excited.  She started dancing around the room singing.  I'm not sure I've ever heard her sing.

And then she grabbed my hands and stared into my eyes, repeatedly, a huge smile on her face.  We spent a lot of time holding hands and dancing around the living room together.

I couldn't believe it.  This child who wouldn't look when her name was said, who wouldn't look for loud noises and who had mastered the art of looking just past everyone was voluntarily gazing into my eyes while I played with her.

Then I thought I'd try something new.  I asked her to clap.  They've been trying to get her to clap throughout her tests without luck.  But when "Princess Mommy" asked her to clap, she clapped.  It was amazing.

I have a feeling I'm going to be wearing this dress more than I thought if it makes her this incredibly happy (and Patrick and Sadie were both exceptionally giggly too!)!

So apparently I've been sucked into bad amateur photo editing tonight.  And that brings us to Quick Take #5:

Tomorrow Paul takes the MPRE... I cannot wait for this thing to be over.  Between his third year of law school, working just slightly under the 20 hours a week allowed by the bar, and studying for this test he has been working around the clock to get everything done.  It would be nice to have this test behind us.

If you have a second a prayer that he does his best would be greatly appreciated!

I made this treat this week for the girls... and it's lovely.  And easy to make.  Here's how I did it.  I mixed about a cup of softened coconut oil (but not liquid) with 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  I added honey (I've done it with maple syrup too) to one of the batches.  And a pinch of sea salt.  And about a half cup of the every-major-allergen free chocolate chips that I occasionally get as a very, very special treat.  I mixed the ingredients together and spread it (the thinner the better I've found) on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for a couple hours and when it's frozen I break it into pieces.  It is a huge hit with everyone in the house!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. You have listening devices at your church?? That is SO COOL. Seriously, I'm jealous! (As another mom who spends a considerable amount of time in the narthex with my 7-month old). :)

    Love the princess costume!

    1. I seriously love those things! I only found out about them a few weeks ago and already they are making life so much more pleasant.

  2. Where are you finding sugar-free chocolate chips? I can't find them anywhere!!!

    1. It's a total cheat... they aren't GAPS legal. We get the enjoy life ones. They don't have most of the bad stuff... but they do have cane syrup...

  3. Ugh. MPRE. My husband is convinced you have to be quasi unethical to pass on the first shot. I did and he didn't so...he kind of holds it over my head.

    1. I might have to tease Paul about it if he passes then! :)

      I kept telling him not to over think it! After talking with a friend after she took it a couple years ago that was my main concern for him.

  4. #6: The MPRE - my brother (J.D. Ave Maria 2008) said it's not hard at all. He said it's normal ethics and morality and if you have a good moral background and life you do very well. I'm sure he'll do fine.
    # 4: I love your costume, and $13! Wow! That is a BARGAIN. Now what you need is one of those conical hats with the flowing veil out of it (I found out it is called a "hennin") something like this little girl is wearing:

    I love that your girls found your dressing as a princess too so delightful. Mae's actions seem to have been her trying to tell you how delighted she was by it. That MUST be what she wanted you to know. How hard it must be for her too that she wants you to know what she's thinking, and she can't say. And I just know it won't be long before she will be able to say it in words. But it sounds like you all had such a wonderful day.
    God bless. Bonnie

    1. Your brother must have been in one of the last Michigan classes then (I think? I can't quite remember when they made the move!). I think if they'd stayed in Michigan we likely would still be there... The Florida heat just wasn't for us!

      I could totally see that dress with a hennin (I didn't know it was called that either... and I know we have one around her somewhere because Sadie got one at Disney world a couple years back, although I'm fairly certain it has giant ears on it!). I also kept picturing the little headcovering thing Maid Marion wears in Disney's Robin Hood.

      And I can't wait to hear what she has to say! After listening to all her new words at therapy I'm sure it's coming soon!

  5. Beautiful dress! I can see why the girls love it.

    And, everyone I've talked to says the MPRE is super almost everyone passes it. I think Ben studied for it for like 2 days and passed. Now the bar exam...that is totally different. We were praying for the bar exam for over a year before he took it.

    1. The bar and a job are my prayer of the year (and the upcoming year!). Sometimes I just wish I could peer into the future and see that there's a job down the line!

      And it's such awesome news that Ben passed the bar! You guys must be so excited!

  6. That bark recipe looks delicious. How much honey or maple syrup did you add?

    1. I would estimate right around a quarter of a cup.


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