Sunday, September 28, 2008

So Many People to See

Isabella and her friend, Ryan, at the park.

Isabella having a lovely visit with Fran and Grace.

Isabella and Nana at Northern Manor.

Isabella getting lots of love from Aunt Lindsay and Nana.

Monthly Message Given on September 25, 2008

"Dear children! May your life, anew, be a decision for peace. Be joyful carriers of peace and do not forget that you live in a time of grace, in which God gives you great graces through my presence. Do not close yourselves, little children, but make good use of this time and seek the gift of peace and love for your life so that you may become witnesses to others. I bless you with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

True Devotion to Mary

deep humility,

lively faith,

blind obedience,

unceasing prayer,

constant self-denial,

surpassing purity,

ardent love,

heroic patience,

angelic kindness,

and heavenly wisdom

(Ten principal virtues of Mary as listed by St. Louis de Montfort in his book "True devotion to Mary.")

Monday, September 22, 2008

Homemaking 101

I must have missed this class in High School! LOL. But I am advancing to the head of the class now. As my FIL would say, I have been doing a lot of "figuring" lately and am now beginning to see the fruits of all this thinking. I've created a general weekly agenda, a weekly menu, and a cleaning routine (still polishing this one - no pun intended) to get things done around here. It feels so much better to have direction. From talking to my other mommy friends, there are so many of us - Thinking Perfectionists - out there. We spend so much time "thinking" that we get exhausted before we even do any thing. And because we are perfectionists, we only want to do things perfectly, anything less is never good enough. We become immobilized. So, then we end up procrastinating because what's the point of doing a task if we can't get it done perfectly? So, we end up thinking some more and we end up exhausted from all our thinking without much to show for it. Whew! And what is the reason that we can't do a task perfectly - oh, I don't know - could it be a little one that needs our love and attention - probably!

There are so many books and ideas out there to get you organized - I know b/c I've read so many of them and learned a great deal. So, I've taken the elements that will work for me and made my own organizational routine. For example, I was doing FLY Lady for a few months, but then fell off that wagon. I don't have it in me to do a little cleaning every day. I work better with blocks of time. And truthfully, besides the daily tidying up, I don't want to be cleaning every day. I'd rather be enjoying my family. The best thing, though, that I learned from FLY Lady is that you don't have to do a cleaning taks perfectly to still bless your home. What a freeing thought! So, tonight was the first night that I implemented the new Sully-White cleaning ritual. My dear husband agreed to take Isabella for 1.5 hours while I got down to business. OK - so it ended up taking me a total of 2 hours (cleaning 2 bathrooms, vaccuming all 3 floors of whole house including stairwells, cleaning kitchen, washing floors, and general tidying). If you were paying close attention, I did not get to dusting in the 2 hours. So for next Monday, the goal is to complete the same tasks and get to the dusting in the 2 hour time limit. I hope to get faster as I get used to the new routine. For now, I am enjoying my ultra clean home because come the morning, it won't be perfect forever.
Once I figure out how to post my templates, I will do that in case they might work for you!

Dinner is Served

Mmmmm. Green beans and potatoes are in season here in NJ and we are definitely taking advantage. Since the start of the summer we have only been eating local produce from Godlewsky Farms, Donaldson Farms, and Best Fruit Farm. It certainly makes for more running around but it is so worth it. Godlewsky is mostly organic produce while the other 2 farms are not. However, eating local is more of a priority to us than eating organic. We know where our food is coming from and we are supporting local farmers. What will we do when the colder weather arrives? Not sure yet. I'd love to hear suggestions on this. I've heard mixed reviews on the Food Coops out there (i.e. Suburban Organics, Purple Dragon). Until then, we'll be eating green beans and potatoes very often. My hubby doesn't seem to mind b/c these are his favorite side dishes!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Got Mail?

Isabella's latest favorite activity is opening and closing the mailbox. If there is mail (incoming or outgoing) she is even more delighted. Of course, the only person that has the patience to entertain Isabella in this fashion is her Grandpa (Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa)! They are best of pals.


Isabella got to visit "NaNaNaNa" today. Nana is at a Physical Rehab Center after taking a bad fall a few weeks ago. Hopefully Nana will be back home in another couple of weeks. Nana is in good spirits and got to enjoy some time outside. Nana is not use to being in the same place for long periods of time. She is usually always on the "go" - running from Club, to Atlantic City, to the diner (the place where "everybody knows her name") and many other outings. Thank you for praying for her speedy recovery so she can come home SOON!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Daddy's Girl

I just had to post this picture of my wonderful husband with his adoring little girl. He is quite the proud papa, don't you think?!

Yard Sailing

We have been keeping our eyes out for cool toys for Isabella as the Summer was and the Fall continues to be great seasons for weekend yard sales. Mommy found some good buys (check out Isabella with her $2 walk along toy). However, Daddy proved to find the "best buy" on his way to work on Saturday morning (check out Isabella's $2 "Country Kitchen"). Our friend Jen found her girls a similar kitchen a few months ago at a rummage sale so she planted the idea in our head and we have been on the lookout ever since. Isabella is in the stage where she loves to open and close cabinets so the kitchen set is perfect. Soon Isabella will be able to stock her own fridge and load her own dishwasher - "just like Mommy"!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Nana had a terrible fall the day after our Labor Day picnic and is currently in the hospital. Please join us in praying for her health and well-being. We hope that she will be home soon so that Isabella can visit her and chant "na-na-na-na-na" which Nana loves to hear.

Labor Day BBQ

Our good friends, Grace and Fran had their annual Labor Day BBQ which we all enjoyed so much. They always prepare delicious food and the company is always superb! This year was no different. The weather was picture perfect too so we all sat around their deck for the whole afternoon, not wanting the day to end. Labor Day is the last hooray of the summer, especially since Fran and Dave start their school year a few days later. Isabella even got an additional birthday celebration at the BBQ since we were in Medjugorje on her actual birthday. She didn't seem to mind one bit and wasn't shy about eating the strawberried off of everyone's piece of cake! Fran is Isabella's godmother and is always looking out for her.

Bethany Beach, Delaware

We had an amazing week away in Bethany Beach, DE. My family has been going there for the past 15 years and this year was extra-special because of Isabella. All of us soaked up the sun, some of us worked out like crazy (Dad, Dave, and Mom), some of us were preoccupied with Isabella and text messages (Aunt Lindsay) and still others were seen eating ice-cream late into the evening (no names please). By the end of the week, Isabella loved feeling the sand and standing at the shoreline. Grandpa made sure that she got to use her Boogie Board in the pool and he also made sure that she got her first taste of ice-cream on the Bethany Boardwalk. We were also able to meet up with our nieces on Dave's side of the family. Jennifer and Jessica are a ton of fun to hang out with and we wish that we got to see them more often! Pictures to follow.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Adriatic Sea

Upon heading back to the airport in Split, Croatia from Medjugorje, our group stopped to visit the Adriatic Sea. The cold water was a refreshing break from the heat of the sun. We wished that we could go for a swim, but we had a plane to catch! The Adriatic Sea - what a beautiful testament to God's design!

Happy Birthday, Bella!

While we were in Medjugorje, Isabella celebrated her 1st birthday. Our wonderful hosts threw Isabella a very special celebration with lots of love and lots of homemade cake. Delicious! Thank you!


We recently returned from our pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia-Herzogovina, where the Blessed Mother has been appearing since 1981. In her messages to the world, Mary, the Queen of Peace, is asking for the following from all of us:
*monthly confession
*fasting on Wednesdays and Friday
*daily Rosary
*daily reading of the Bible
Our experience in Medjugorje was one of incredible peace for our family. It is our hope that this sense of peace will stay with us as we return to the routines of our daily life. To find out more about Medjugorje and to read the Blessed Mother's monthly messages, visit the website of Steve and Ana Shawl at

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