Archive for 30 April 2011

The Chaplet of Our Lady of Divine Mercy

I was blessed to be able to attend a conference on Divine Mercy a few weeks ago and I wanted to tell you about all the great things I learned, but I just haven’t had the time to process it and get it all in my head.   I *DID*, however, want to share with you The Chaplet of Our Lady of Divine Mercy.   It was written in Poland and is relatively new to this country.

The Chaplet of Our Lady of Divine Mercy

Opening PrayerHail, Holy Queen

Say on the Our Father beads:

Mary, Mother of all Graces, Mother of Divine Mercy; defend us from our enemies and receive us at the hour of our death.

Say on the Hail Mary beads:

Mary, Mother of Mercy, implore for us the mercy of your Son.

Final Prayer:

You open your arms to us most merciful Mother, and stretch out your hands, full of mercies and gifts.  Your Mother’s heart is restless to endow us with everything we need.  Encouraged by your goodness, we have confidence in you.  We beg you to intercede for us Mother obtaining for us all we need.  Through your most powerful intercession, obtain from God especially the gift of chastity and innocence, and foster in our heart truly childlike love for you.  So that we may bear the image of the Sacred Heart of your Son, may the Sacred Heart defend us, guide us, and take us to eternal light.  Amen.

Make the Sign of the Cross.

Imprimatur:  Permission of the Diocese of Warsaw, Now 797/K/86Bishop Zhigniew J Kraszewski, Vicar General, 18/Feb/1986Bishop Stanislav Smolenski, Vicar General, 7/April/1990Translated from Polish by Dr. Anna Szadkowska, 20/Nov/1994

Simplify Your Home to Simply Live – Setting Yourself Up for Success

Welcome to the official first week of Simply Your Home to Simply Live!  You can also read last week’s teaser about a radical experiment in time management, if you missed it.

This month is all about processing the paper clutter in your house.   A few weeks ago, I did a review of the M.O.M. System, and today I’m going to share a little bit more detail about how I use it to corral my paper clutter.

I am a piler.  I have piles of stuff everywhere.   As a working girl with no kids, I had piles of paper all over the floors and sparkling counters.  After I had (mobile) kids, I had sparkling floors and disastrous counters.  It took me 2-1/2 years to realize that it was because my floor piles ended up on counters instead.  I have a tendency to get so mired down in how I’ve always done it that it becomes difficult to change it.

Since I own a business, have 2 websites, manage my home, am a board member in a non-profit and homeschool pre-school, my piles tend to take on a life of their own.   This was completely out of control until I got one simple tip out of my M.O.M. System — project cubbies.   Now all my projects have a home.   Me being me, I never could do something exactly as I was told, and so I took the project cubbies and turned it into this:

Previously, I had a home office in a bedroom downstairs and it became difficult if impossible for me to do any work.   My computer, files, and office supplies were downstairs.   My mail & shredder was on the landing.   My current projects were in the kitchen to work on during naptime or while the kids were amusing themselves.   To process the mail, I’d go to the landing and bring it up and sort into piles – shred, recycle, scan, DO/pay, read later, etc.   Then I’d have to take the shred pile back down to the landing, the recycle out to bins on our deck, the scan pile downstairs to the computer, the check book & envies from office to pay bills…Are you getting tired yet?

Over time, I have moved from having an office at home that made my office at work look like a cubical to having a small center that contains all my current processing needs.  I had something that would have been okay, but I’m sick of function without beauty and knew I’d never use it otherwise.   This set of drawers has my larger office supplies on top (pens, 3 hole punch and stapler) as well as my inbox.   I have a drawer for other office supplies (post its, paper clips, letter openers, etc) and one for computer supplies since my main computer is now a laptop that lives next to the couch.  I have a drawer for printer paper & another for scratch paper.   One for scanning & one for filing.   One for lesson plan stuff + 5 days of activities for homeschool preschool.   I also have a drawer for a tickler/future reference and other specialized categories per the M.O.M./GTD System.

Everything I need to process paper clutter is now 2 things:

  • Easily accessible – often with one hand since I am holding a 6 month old a lot of the time, and
  • Where I need them – together in one spot.  Imagine that!

Think about your current paper clutter and processing.

  • What is working?
  • What is NOT working?
  • Where do you do all your work?
  • What would make it better?
  • Is there something that slips by you (NSF fees, late fees, missed opportunities) that you could stop if you had something different?
  • Do you have what you need to fix it?
  • Could using a prettier or more functional something help?
  • Do you find yourself running all over to deal with one thing?
  • Do you have various stages of items needing to be corralled, but aren’t?
  • What is the minimum you need to help make things go smoothly?
  • Do I *HAVE* to do it the way I’ve *BEEN* doing it?

Think outside the box.   Will a kitchen cabinet or drawer work?   A 3-ring binder?  An old dresser?   A sideboard?  A china cabinet?  A coffee table drawer?   A bookshelf?   How do you work and how could you help it work better for you?  Don’t fight against the parts of what you are doing that work for you!   I’m so guilty of trying to compartmentalize when it’s all a part of life.

How do you set your self up for home management success in the area of paper clutter & management?


This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday @ We Are THAT Family.

Book Review – Little Way of the Cross

I was tickled to be able to get The Little Way of Lent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Therese of Lisieux for review just prior to Lent.  It’s smaller than a trade paperback, but bigger than a regular one.  It’s skinny and light enough to put in my diaper bag/purse and keep with me.   The meditations are daily and the book can be used every year — it includes meditations for all 3 cycles of Sunday readings.

Sounds awesome, right?    I couldn’t honestly tell you.   I had good intentions to use this during all of Lent, but I just couldn’t get it together.   The days I *DID* get to it, I liked it a lot.   One of the major drawbacks for me was they referenced the readings for the day, but didn’t include them.   If they had been printed in the book, I would have been more likely to get them.   You need a computer with internet or bible program, the Magnificat, or a bible for the meditations to make much sense; they don’t stand alone.

That said, I think that if you are in the habit of reading the daily readings or spending time alone with God on a regular basis, this would be great for you.   For a busy mom of littles to try and get it done stolen moments style?  Not so much.   I did like the meditations I got to and simultaneously liked that it was easy on me and disliked it, too.   I feel like the faith and it’s requirements has been very watered down BUT as a busy mom, I can do more to advance my cause by serving my littles & husband.  Since St. Therese of Lisieux is known for her little ways, I liked them in this station of life.

So in summary, if you can spend time with this and other resources, you’d get a lot out of this.  If you don’t, well, save it for another season in life.   The messages were good, but it’s not all-inclusive so just be aware of that.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Little Way of Lent . They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

What’s On Your Nightstand – April 2011

14.  The Hope Within (Heirs of Montana #4) by Tracie Peterson

This was a pretty good book.  When I picked it up, it had been a few months since I read the others and I actually got it confused with another series so it took me a few pages to remember where I was :).   I really FELT this one.   It was so very real with very tough marriage and life struggles and I completely identified.  I actually questioned whether it would be a happily ever after.

15. Tomorrow’s Garden (Texas Dreams #3) by Amanda Cabot

This was a good book, too.  I liked the characters, it didn’t feel contrived or unrealistic and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the old idea of courting.  So much nicer than serial dating.   I think that’s why I love historical romances :).  I wrote a full review last month.

I just didn’t feel like reading much during Lent.  As always, I’m striving to do better and be a better wife and mom and am in my quarterly “Should I really be spending time on this?” quest.   I’m ALMOST finished with Finding Your Purpose as a Mom: How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground by Donna Otto.  LOVING that one.   I’ll be linking up a more in depth review on May 10 with Life As Mom – Booking It 2011.

How about you?  Did you read anything good during Lent?


This post is linked to What’s On Your Nightstand? @ 5 Minutes for Books and Booking It 2011 @ Life As Mom.

#Mamavation Monday #15

This Week (4/25/2011):  160.5

Last Week (4/18/2011):  160.0

Change:    +0.5 lb (5.0 lbs total)


I’m not terribly surprised with a half-pound gain.   I was in the car for HOURS to visit my family & we sat around all day because it was ARCTIC cold out.   I did go out and play with my daughter and even ran a little (to keep warm because y’all, it was COLD).  I started doing push-ups, sit-ups and bridges while playing with girls on the floor.

I feel pretty good about my diet last week.   I ate a TON of fresh fruit and otherwise healthy foods.   I didn’t eat a ton of easter candy or even stuff myself at holiday meals.   I felt pretty much in moderation most of the time.  Yeah me!   This week, more healthy food, more moving & hopefully the weather will be good and I can walk, too!

And if you are interested, tomorrow night “The Biggest Loser: Couples” contestants will be pulling street cars down the 2,500-foot backstretch at Auto Club Speedway in California. NASCAR star, Clint Bowyer, who drives the #33 Wheaties car is joining us to chat live! He惻l be sharing how he fuels up before a race, setting and achieving goals, and giving back to his community. Give him a follow! Clint on Twitter

Party Details

What: MultiGrain Cheerios Twitter Party
Date: Tuesday, April 26th
Time: 8 – 9 PM EST/ 7 – 8 PM CST
Hashtag: #MGCheerios
Panelists: @MGCheerios, @DietsinReview, @KellyOlexa, @thefinallap


Have a great week all!