7 Random Things that Make Me Happy


Gianna made her first project with her sewing machine!


I purchased Photoshop Elements (along with some other cool camera accessories) with an Amazon gift card I received for Christmas.  (Thanks, Nessa!) I’ve spent the last 3 days immersed in tutorials.  Today I turned this photo:

into this photo!
Can you tell a difference?  I can!  And I love love luuuuurv it!


Kevin is still on vacation!  (T-Minus 52 hours until returning to work.) I love that he gets a break at Christmas, and a longer one in the summer.  I honestly don’t understand why everyone isn’t in the education field, although I am certainly glad for those of you who take a different career path.  All hail the laborers!


My SEESTER is coming to VISIT!!!!  For two whole months!

Hello, someone adult-ish to chat with during the day!  Hola, tutor and assistant child-wrangler!  Bonjour, laundry helper and substitute dish washer!  Anyong haseyo, sweet, sweet family!!!


My BROTHER is coming to visit!  AGAIN!

P.S. He doesn’t have tickets yet, but now that it’s on the blog, it’s official.  No backing out now.  Heh heh.  I’m tricky.

P.P.S. We’re hoping he brings his better/prettier/wittier half with him.  Hint, hint. (Vanessa is co-authoring and says, “No Joseph, we’re not talking about your skinny jeans. Bring Kristina!”)

P.P.P.S. Joseph, does this make up for not getting in the 2012 in 12 Photos?


I have been struggling with my gentle parenting techniques for quite some time, but today I got a really inspiring email from a friend whom I admire so much.  I’m hoping it helps me get back on track with empathy and the techniques I know to be good for our family.  Thank you, Judy!


Jennifer Fulwiler, who usually hosts these 7 Quick Takes is in the hospital with bilateral pulmonary embolisms.  She is also pregnant with her 6th child.  Right now everything looks to be improving, but would you please add her to your prayer list?

Why does this make me happy?  Of course I’m not happy that she’s sick!  I wish her well and have been praying really hard for her recovery.  I just really love how the Catholic mommy blogosphere has wrapped her in their loving and prayerful embrace.  Online communities can still be actual communities, people!

Head on over to Hallie at Moxie Wife for this week’s Quick Takes.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Precious kids,you guys are truly blessed!

  2. Check out Pioneer Woman’s free photoshop actions. You will love them.

    • I just checked them out but I think they’re beyond my skill set right now. Going to work a little harder on the basics before I try that out. Thanks for the tip, though.

  3. wahoo! my name made it on no. 6 🙂 so glad to be in same parenting path. thanks for the push for me to think about those parenting things.

  4. Your photos looks great! Did Gianna make a pillow? That’s awesome that she is learning to sew now. I wish someone had told me at that age. It would have saved me a lot of strife and thread. LOL. Have fun with your siblings! 🙂

    • Jiza, yes it was a pillow. It helps that the machine she got from Santa is really easy to use and powered on 4 AA batteries! She can set the whole thing up herself! My mom attempted to teach me when I was a kid but I was too stubborn to learn the basics. I just wanted to jump to making that crazy 80’s jumper! This, I wasted a lot of thread and time, and got too frustrated to stick with it,