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- A new day, a new week and a new month – it feels like a fresh start.
- Gorgeous spring weather.
- Precious time spent with the ones I love the most.
- Road trips.
- A loving hubby that will take care of our boys so Bella and I can have a mother-daughter weekend away.
- Many special intentions from family and friends.
- Those fighting addiction, depression and mental illness.
- Those suffering from from violence, whether within their home or their world surroundings.
- For peace in the heart of all men/women.
- All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
- The souls in purgatory, especially family, friends and those most forgotten.
Mother and daughter time. This afternoon I leave for a weekend road trip with Bella. Last year in spring we attended my sister’s baby shower in SoCal and we had so much fun we decided to make a mother-daughter weekend an annual thing. So we’ll take off after school tomorrow and head to Disneyland for a day before heading to see my family. (You can follow along on instagram.)
I am blessed that Bella still wants to spend time with me (you know how dicey the teen years can be 😉 ) and I’m looking forward to some familia time as well. Please say a prayer that we have a safe trip and for Brian and the boys while they enjoy a boys weekend together at home. 🙂
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Around the House…
The decluttering and spring cleaning I wanted to get done has been going sooo slow. It seems like every time I had a moment to work on it I had to set it aside for a family issue or work thing that came up. I have been weeding through closets and have a lot of bags of things to donate but it is slow going. Sigh. However, I suppose a little bit at a time is better than nothing!
Family Chit Chat…
Here are some of the things we did this month…we remembered my FIL/ Opa on the 1 year anniversary of his death, we put together our deck garden, Matthew celebrated his 6th birthday, we made the most of Holy Week, we celebrated a lovely Easter, I went on a much needed date with Brian, we played baseball in the driveway and I baked with my aspiring pint-sized chef. 🙂
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In the Kitchen…
Photo credit: 100 Days of Real Food
Now that the weather is warmer and we spend more time outdoors, I am craving summer time meals. For a side dish, I have never made homemade baked beans so I want to try these Slow Cooker Baked Beans from 100 Days of Real Food. Yum!
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I finally posted about the nine books I read from January to March. You can read about them here.
Now sitting on my night stand are these…
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The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
The Zookeeper’s Wife – This book has been on my reading list for awhile but I broke my rule and watched the movie first. I love books and movies that take place in WWII, especially ones that portray the strength of the human spirit. I enjoyed The Zookeeper’s Wife, despite the grim subject matter. The stark contrast of the tranquil beauty of the zoo and the animals at the beginning compared to tragedies after the invasion was heart wrenching. There are some difficult scenes to watch (not so much graphically but emotionally) but in the end a beautiful story emerged from the horrors of war. Rated 4 out of 5 stars. (Parental Note: This movie is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking. My note: There are obviously war related scenes including a brief but heartless execution (not graphic), attempted rape, off screen rape of a young girl, no language that I can recall, foreplay between a married couple and a brief view of bare breasts while a husband and wife are talking in bed.)
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Kong: Skull Island – I’d consider this one a popcorn flick – a fun diversion but nothing substantial. The retro 70’s vibe and soundtrack was fun and watching
Loki Tom Hiddleston is always a treat but a little forgettable. Rated 3 out of 5 stars. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for brief strong language.)
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The Promise – This movie may not have done well at the box office, but I really enjoyed it. Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, it portrayed the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks. It was a part of history I was only vaguely familiar with and this movie was eye opening. The suffering of the Armenian people was heart-rending. There were scenes that were difficult to watch and I was sobbing during one that was particularly difficult. It was similar to watching a movie about the Jews and the Nazis and wondering how anyone could survive such atrocities and heart ache. It is amazing how strong the human spirit can be, especially when relying on God. The movie touched my heart and I’m glad I watched it. (Parental note: Rated PG-13 for thematic material including war atrocities, violence and disturbing images, and for some sexuality. / My note: Definitely has war atrocities and disturbing images. Two characters have sex but it is not graphic.)
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Boss Baby – Two of my boys wanted to watch this one so we went over the weekend. There were some funny moments but definitely not for those who want to stay away from rude or potty humor. The “I want to be an only child” and “this baby is ruining my life” attitude was annoying but eventually the joys of having a sibling was acknowledged. Thankfully, my boys commented that they’d hate not having brothers to play with so that made me happy. 😉
Most of the usual shows we watch will be winding down for the season. We’re almost done with Ironfist but don’t like it as much as we did Daredevil and Luke Cage.
I’ve been enjoying season 2 of Homefires. I just wish there was a season 3!
There has been a lot of talk about 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. If you are unfamiliar, it is the story of a girl who commits suicide and leaves 13 cassette tapes of the reasons why she chose to kill herself. It would take a separate post to really analyze it and show the pros and (many more) cons. Since this is only a paragraph (or two) I’ll just say this – The purpose of the book/series was to show how our actions can affect another person but many have complained that the show instead glamorizes suicide. I don’t know if I agree that it glamorizes it but I understand that Hannah can almost seem like a hero to have taught all her “oppressors” a lesson. On the plus side, it shows how our words and actions (or inaction) can affect another person. (Although, some of the 13 reasons may have seemed like “minor” reasons compared to something like rape or inadvertently causing someone’s death but again, that’s a whole other post.)
Unfortunately, the show itself, while addictive, is not appropriate for teens, at least not the teens in my life. If a teen is already living the kind of life portrayed, then they should watch it was a parent of trusted adult. There seems to be little hope and possible triggers for anyone suffering from depression on mental illness. Besides that, there is language throughout with f-bombs all over the place. (I have a hard time watching movies with a lot of bad language since I used to talk that way and it is hard to not slip back into that bad habit.) There is teenage drinking, drugs and sex. There are two rapes that are not super graphic but show more than you want to see. Hannah’s suicide is also shown and that was way more graphic (and difficult to watch) than I expected.
All in all, there is a big difference between a 40 year old and a 14 year old watching this. The show completely sucked me in but afterwards I was emotionally drained. It was a sober lesson, especially as a parent. Many students in Bella’s school have been talking about the show and Bella wanted to watch it. I told her what it was about and what it contained. I didn’t want her to put those kind of images into her head. However, if she still really wanted to see it, I would let her but only if we watched it together and I fast forwarded the inappropriate scenes. Thankfully, after we discussed it she said it was not the kind of show she’d want to see. Regardless, we will continue to discuss the themes of the show, especially as she gets further along in high school.
If you want more info, Sr. Helen Burns has many helpful links about 13 Reasons Why on her blog Hell Burns.
Another good article is from Lifeteen – Before You Watch 13 Reasons Why.
Listening to …
Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
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Blogging has been light these days.
From the Archives
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5 Favorite Natural Health & Beauty Products (May 2015)
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The new 2017-2018 Blessed Is She Liturgical Academic Planner (Aug 2017 – July 2018) is now available for pre-order! I can’t wait! 🙂
Around the blogosphere…
Here are some posts I’ve been reading…
- When Rescuing is Wrong by Parenting with Peer Review
- I Don’t Want to Be the Mom Who Yells All the Time by Carrots for Michaelmas
- Being Affirmed as Mothers by Whole Parenting Family
- If You Can’t Buy Everything Organic (updated for 2017) by 100 Days of Real Food
- Creating A Cleaning Schedule With Free Printables by I Heart Organizing
- My first year with the bullet journal by Modern Mrs. Darcy
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I’ve been participating in the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge and these are my photos from April.
Week 11: Split Tone
On my morning walk.
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Week 12: Orange
There is a blaze of color in our garden and this coral orange is one of my favorites.
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Week 13: Golden Hour
The setting sun.
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Week 14: Panning
This was tough because I didn’t know what it meant! This is the best I could do at first try. (The slower shutter speed blurs the background as the subject in motion is clear.) #learningasigo_
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Week 15: Hard
The cross is hard both physically and emotionally/ spiritually as you carry your own.
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Week 16: Leading Lines
Leading lines. Taken at my favorite mission.
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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any recommendations? Do share.
I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.
Have a great week!
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