Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Quick Takes–Zumba?

zumba1.  So I finally went to zumba.  Everyone raves about the newest exercise sensation/fad, zumba.  I have to say I didn’t think I would like it, and I don’t. Here are a few quick takes about my zumba experience.

2.  I felt like a fool doing all those ridiculous dance moves and, in my humble opinion, everyone else looked foolish as well; including those who were doing the moves well.  What zumba lacks, that a good dance class provides, is proper and personal dance instruction and repetitive practice.  There is no mastery of the skills. You are simply thrust into the movement whether you are capable or not.

3.  Don’t accuse me of feeling like a fool just because I am a beginner.  By the end I was following along just fine and sweating like the rest of them.  I learn quickly, but it did not grow on me.

4. Seriously, this is your workout?  I mean, I got my heart rate up and was sweating, but the yoga class I took a few days earlier was more physically challenging than zumba.  And there is the whole looking like a fool problem.  I know I am insulting ALL of my friends right now.  It’s just not my thang.  I have become a huge fan of “step/strength.”  I get my heart rate up, there are lots of physically challenging moves, and there was lots of work on toning muscles. 

5.  There were about five guys in this class of 80 students. I call them “The High Five Crew”  after every song they went around high fiving everyone and chest bumping.  Ah yes, what would zumba be without “The High Five Crew.”  I needed the comic relief.

6. I felt like the moves I could do the best and liked the best were the really dynamic movements.  I also liked doing the bolly movements.  Which brings me back to “step,” which employs lots of dynamic movement.  I really did not like the more dancey movements, again because there was severe lack of instruction, and I did not really feel like I was getting exercise.

7.  All this being said, I may go a couple more times, because the fitness studio classes are closed for a week while they resurface the floor.  Zumba is in the gym because there are about 80 regular attendees.  I really like going to the group fitness classes because it provides me accountability.   When the going gets tough, I don’t stop because I am in front of everyone.  Fitness in the modern age is so ironic.  Our bodies labor so little we seek to labor our bodies in order to keep them in top working order.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bird Man

My friend sent me a link to this blog and voila – wings for Alex.  These wings provide perfect dress up fun. 

I could only vaguely remember the blog when I rushed off to the hobby store for fabric.  It’s been about a month since I last saw it.  However, this is simply how I operate.  I skim a recipe and then months later I happen to have some of the ingredients in the house and I slap something together that resembles the recipe I read.  It always turns out tasty ;-)   

I don’t have access to a sewing machine right now, so I bought fabric glue and some pretty (and cheap) fabric.  I free-hand drew a semi-circle on the fabric.  I made progressively smaller semi-circles on other colors.  Then I drew the “feather” shapes on the semi-circles and cut them out.  I positioned the feathers and glued them down.  Then I sewed on hand and shoulder straps.

Tomorrow I will post Kristiana’s wings.





Saturday, May 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes: Y Not

1.  Our first week in Washington was busy! We had to settle in unpack and wash laundry.  The dogs got to know each other (in unmentionable ways :-/. We visited a couple of favorite restaurants (we started a top ten list).  We went to the library. We got a YMCA membership!

2.  I have been trying to go every day.  The Y nearby is really swanky.  I love it.  I took the kids swimming and went to a couple classes.  I was told the season 6 Biggest Loser winner is a member at this Y.  Hopefully, I will get back into shape.

3.  I saw a little tutu set at the store, lost my head and bought it.  When Kristiana saw it, she grabbed it and would not let it go. At the check out, I told her that she fooled me into buying her the dress.  She said, “No, you fooled you.”

“Ain’t it the truth, daughter.”


4.  Alex didn’t like Kristiana getting all the attention as the pretty princess.  So he came to me and said, “I’m the prince.”  Then he sweetly hugged Kristiana and I was already taking pictures, so I was able to capture it. :-) Adorable.  Kids, don’t ever forget to love each other.

Prince and Princess Clayton

5.  Annie is trying to crawl.  She can do it.  It’s just slow moving.  She is also always surrounded by people and toys and she lets everyone know she would prefer to be picked up.  She also likes to pull up on whatever she can.  She would much rather get up and walk away.  In due time, my little one.

Annie Crawl

6. LEGOS Fun! Are you jealous that I have spent whole mornings playing with legos this week?




7. This was a very uninteresting quick takes.  But we have a fun summer planned. We are going to see the Spokane sites, catch up with friends (BTW, if you are in Spokane and want to catch up, please don’t wait until the last week we are here to try to visit), barbeque with family, make s’mores.  It should be fun.  Next up, hopefully working on my very own Icon to be hung at our church here.  This summer is going to be busy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day - Rewind

I was a little pre-occupied organizing our cross-country car trip around Mother’s Day, so I did not get to say anything about Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day is a very important day.  You would not be who you are today without your mother—the person who nurtured you.  And your mother sacrificed a lot for you, so that you might grow to adulthood. 

It is too bad that I had to become a mother to realize how important this day is.  I know it was good to be nice to your mom on Mother’s Day and you should probably make her a nice handmade card or craft.  But, it’s really a shame that I didn’t make it a special day for my mom growing up.  That being said, I know what it’s like to be a kid on Mother’s Day and a mom on Mother’s Day, therefore, I know that getting to spend time hugging and loving your kids on Mother’s Day is the Mother’s Day gift.  I know that if I want Mother’s Day to be more special than that I just need to go ahead and make it the special day I want it to be. :-)

Every year my husband asks what I want for Mother’s Day and I say, “I want you to get up with the kids and make me a cup of coffee.”  The coffee is because I know that peace for sleep will not last long and I will need the coffee about a half hour after my husband goes to care for the kids.  So far, my request for a few more moments of rest and coffee have not been fulfilled.  Each year there has been some reason that it has not happened.  This year my husband went to help the Knights of Columbus with their Mother’s Day breakfast at the crack of dawn.  However, he did make coffee before he left and that was wonderful.

I woke up had coffee, dressed the kids for church, loaded them up, took them to Liturgy, my husband joined us, and then we had breakfast made by the Knights of Columbus.  It was great!

After the Sunday festivities, I called my mom to wish her a good day.  She informed me that my sister beat me to the well wishes.  “Sure, it’s easy for her to be first.  She doesn’t have three kids to dress for church at seven in the morning.” Wink, wink.  I sent my mom a cook book for the second year in a row. Cooking is my mom’s great gift.  So it is now a tradition that I will send her a new cook book each Mother’s Day.

A couple days before Mother’s Day my mom’s group had a Mother’s Day morning mass with the kids, followed by lunch.  It was great to go to mass and everyone's kids were being noisy and no one was staring.  The priest asked the kids to come to the altar and offer a prayer for the mothers and then they sang, “Happy Mother’s Day to You.”  It was precious.  I will treasure this moment.

Happy Mother’s Day to you. It is a special day just because you are a mother and not because someone else made it special for you.

Happy Mother's Day PrayerMother's Day Prayer 2

RC Kids 2

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pilgrimage 2011

For the second year we have journeyed from our home in Texas to our homeland of Washington where Claytonopolis began.  It was an interesting trip and also much better than I had expected with three young children and a puppy. 

We kicked off the trip with a speeding ticket while still in Texas.  It was silly ticket.  We did not realize the speed limit had changed because we were looking for the exit to our interchange. Oi vey.

We drove eleven hours the first day, which was the longest leg of our trip.  We ended the day in New Mexico.  We had reserved a room at a hotel there, but the “new” clerk gave it away.  He recommended that we go to the hotel across the way.  After Andrew chatted with the clerk there he talked her down on the price and this hotel offered a FULL breakfast.

The next day we only had a 5h30 drive to Cheyenne to visit with my parents.  As we crossed the border into Colorado from New Mexico we saw a big grizzly bear walking toward the road.  I was the first to see it.  It didn’t really register to me what I was seeing at first.  Then as soon as I realized I had to tell everyone all I could say was, “Bear, bear, bear.”  Alex saw the bear too and seemed unimpressed.  So I stopped and explained, “That this was very special thing we just saw.  It is very rare to see a grizzly bear.  Mommy and Daddy are adults and we have never seen anything like this in our lives.”

“Yeah, okay. It was great to see a bear.”

…We had a nice home cooked meal and a visit with my parents in Cheyenne. Then we moved on to Bozeman.  We had a swim at the hotel.  Then it was another short six hour drive to Spokane.  We were all very excited to arrive in Spokane.  It seems as though we are home again.  We went to our Spokane church and reconnected with church folks. 

On our way we read from Alexander Schmemman’s For the Life of the World.  It has brought to my attention things I did not know about the Liturgy.  It helped me to feel the living breath within the Liturgy once again. It was very good for our souls to read this.  But, it was too heavy to read at length on the road.  So we read Mother Teresa’s Come Be My Light as well.  We have not finished either.  But, this aspect of our trip made it more like our pilgrimage.  Our trip ended on the eve of the Sabbath and we were able to attend the Liturgy we read so much about.  It was very moving. 

Hopefully we will have some fun summer adventures to share.




Annie Bozeman 2011



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Veni, Vidi, Vici–Catholic Moms Retreat

purple prayIt is finished.  For months we planned a retreat for our Catholic Moms Group, and I am truly grateful.  It went well.  We had speakers, small groups, personal time, prayer, reconciliation, Mass and good food.  We could not have asked for more.

I had a great group of volunteers/leaders who helped plan and execute the retreat and gave of their many talents.  I was so amazed at the Lord’s work here.  As I shared with the mom’s at the retreat, I had no confidence in my own abilities and talents to bring forth a retreat.  I feared having to find speakers for the retreat, because approaching strangers is not my forte.  I do not really know of anyone in our area who would be interested in speaking at a retreat.  God had other plans.  As I prayed at the beginning of the journey, “Let us be pencils in the hand of God, ” and I believe this came to fruition.

There were a few personal prayers I lifted up to the Lord prior to the retreat.  One was that the retreat would go smoothly without a hitch; it did.  I also prayed that the ladies would be touched by the Holy Spirit.  This I will never really know how it was answered.  Lastly, I prayed that things would go smoothly for my husband as he took care of the children for the day.  It was his first day taking care of all three by himself.  I think he was really nervous about taking care of a nursing baby.  But everything went well. I came home to happy children and a tidy house.  All my prayers were answered.

I would like to summarize a little bit about what I learned.  The whole retreat was a Marian themed retreat.  Our goal was to look at various ways we live out our faith and how Mary could be our guide.

First Theme: Charity – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” Song of Songs 6:3 Here I learned that God calls us from all eternity as he had called Mary for all eternity to be the Mother of God the Son.  From the call, Mary submitted herself to God’s plan as we must submit to God’s plan for us.  The way we can do this is to give our hearts daily to the Lord.  Give ourselves completely in service to the Lord, in service to our families, in service to our communities.  Mary’s example showed us that only in the greatest purity comes the greatest humility and the greatest charity.

Second Theme: Forgiveness and Reconciliation – “Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you” Colossians 3:13.  Forgiveness is a process in which you seek to root out pain and harms in your heart either by seeking forgiveness or forgiving.  Our hearts are like wine skins, they can only hold so much before they tear. It is when we lay our burdens down and renew our hearts, that the channel of grace can flow easily into our hearts.  Edith Stein said, “Some things that are inflicted on others are so horrendous that they are only forgiven when the victim prays for the victimizer.”

Third Theme: Sacrifice and Suffering – “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11  Have courage and hope that God makes all things work for good.  Mary faced the greatest sacrifice and sufferings of all humanity and submitted herself to it with faith that what God desired of her would be good.  She willingly carried Christ even though a being a pregnant, unwed woman could have led to her death.  But she trusted God and Joseph took care of her.  Simeon, the priest, told her her heart would be pierced by her child. When Jesus was sentenced to death she stayed with him the whole way and stood at the foot of His cross.  She did not turn away from her suffering but embraced it, because there are good fruits in our suffering.

On a side note this speaker shared that she always does the “one” thing her husband asked her to do first.  Then no matter what else happens in her day it is done.  She knows that if he asks her to do something then it is on his mind and burdening him.  This way she can take this burden off of him immediately.  I thought this was great advice, because I never do the one thing my husband asked me to do first.  I do a bajillion other things in my day and a lot them benefit my husband, but what does it all matter if at the end of the day he has that one burden still on his mind.

Fourth Theme: Prayer – “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done unto me according to your word.” Luke 1:38  Pray, but pray for God’s will.  Be open to what God has planned.  It is difficult for the seeds of sadness to take root in a grateful heart.  The joys and sufferings of motherhood send us into the arms of the Lord to pray.  We need to “Pray when it rocks and pray when it’s rocky.”  And I’ll add pray just same when life is still.  Every prayer allows grace into our hearts.

This is all I remember from the talks.  I was a little groggy from allergies and medicine during the retreat.  Actually, I still am.  My ears are stuffed up, my nose is running and my lungs are weezing.  I am grateful for these times in which I am given perspective.  I am having a lot of sympathy for those with asthma and allergies right now.

It seems that all the speakers suffered some tragedies, like Blessed Theotokos, in order to bring us messages of God’s saving grace.  Even if no one else was touched at the retreat, I was.  This retreat has bore good fruit.

I also received a love letter from my husband as a part of the retreat.  I haven’t receive a letter like this from Andrew in a long time.  As I told Andrew when I returned home, “It was better than receiving a pair of diamond earrings.”

(The picture above is the rosary we gave to all the participants.  It was handmade by a relative of one of the ladies.  We all prayed the rosary together.  I am not sure this retreat can be topped. But I will be praying, for bigger and better retreats in the future.)