About Us

My name is Heather and I have been the help meet to my wonderful husband, Len, for 22 years. Our children are Hope (19), Lenny (15), Lily (11), Wren (Born to heaven, 10/02), Mary (Born to heaven, 9/03), Lucy (Born to heaven, Early '04), and Peter (6). Six doggies round out our happy brood.

ClustrMap

Good-bye

For those of you who have been kind enough to keep me on your blog reader, please feel free to delete my feed.  I have decided that this is not my calling.  However for the time being, Doodle Acres will remain online.  Feel free to contact me privately through the “Contact Me” link on the blog.  God Bless You!!!

Ten Goals for Week of October 17, 2011

HT:  Crystal’s weekly goals

I found it very helpful to have written out my goals this week.  It enabled me to regain my focus even while on vacation.

Ten Goals for Week of October 10, 2011

Family/Mothering Goals:

  1. Write letter to Hope
  2. Write letter to Lenny
  3. Write Letter to Lily
  4. Write letter to Peter

Personal Goals

  1. Finish reading Eat to Live – NOT QUITE DONE, BUT CLOSE
  2. Start reading Four Teresas
  3. Stick to 90% rule for eating – 80% MIGHT BE MORE ACCURATE BUT GREAT CONSIDERING I AM ON VACATION
  4. Exercise daily – 30 minutes – 5 DAYS

Home Management Goals

  1. Work out schedule for general routine

Business Goals

  1. Write an email draft for Lenny’s dog sitting business

Ten Goals for Week of October 17, 2011

Family/Mothering Goals

* Continue the strong start to our school year by getting in a good week of home-schooling

* Take Lily for a mother-daughter shopping and lunch date

* Attend daily mass with children at least three times this week

Marriage Goals

* Make a couples cooking date similar to the cooking class we took together

Personal Goals

* Finish reading Eat to Live

* Continue reading Four Teresas

* Stick to 90% rule for eating

* Exercise daily (for at least 5 days) – 30 minutes minimum

Home Management Goals

* Work out schedule for general routine

Business Goals

* Edit and distribute the email for Lenny’s dog sitting business

This is SO worth the two minutes…

HT: Anna

A Good Article About Eating Out on a Budget

I just read a good article about eating out on a budget over at Money Saving Mom.  Hope you enjoy it!

Thoughts for Thursday

As seen on Building Cathedrals:

What am I cooking? Len and I had a WONDERFUL dinner at our favorite restaurant.  We will be taking a cooking class there together this weekend and are super excited about that…

What are my weekend plans? My hubby and I continue to enjoy our romantic getaway in Vermont… :)

What are my prayer intentions for the day? A boy from our church who has cancer…

What can my children do instead of watching TV? That question would be better answered by my valiant parents who are on childcare duty for us right now…

What have I done for my marriage this week? This week in VT has been all about our marriage – biking and hiking together in the exquisite fall foliage, leisurely conversations, romantic gestures, breaking out of the usual routine, and crossing a thing or two off our bucket list…

What am I reading? Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Heat Rises by Richard Castle…

What’s Challenging Me Lately? Finding balance with the main areas of my life – homemaking, homeschooling, cooking, fitness.  It is a constant juggling act to do all those things well at one time.  I can do one area exceptionally to the detriment of the others.  I can do two satisfactorily while the others suffer.  I can try to do them all and have limited success.  So after 22 years as a wife and 19 years as a mother, I still continue to search for balance…

Something that made me think? The changing of the season which is so vivid here in the foliage of Vermont has made me think about the brevity of life.  I am not feeling morose, just introspective…

Ten Goals for Week of October 10, 2011

Inspired by Crystal’s weekly goals, I have decided to write my own.

Ten Goals for Week of October 10, 2011

Family/Mothering Goals:

  1. Write letter to Hope
  2. Write letter to Lenny
  3. Write Letter to Lily
  4. Write letter to Peter

Personal Goals

  1. Finish reading Eat to Live
  2. Start reading Four Teresas
  3. Stick to 90% rule for eating
  4. Exercise daily – 30 minutes

Home Management Goals

  1. Work out schedule for general routine

Business Goals

  1. Write an email draft for Lenny’s dog sitting business

A Chip That I Can Eat Without (Much) Guilt

Just thought I’d share with you about a chip that I have “discovered”.  They are Lentil Chips and boy, am I enjoying them!!!  In fact I just ordered a case from Amazon.com.  I have only tried the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper flavor.  They have a nice kick.  My favorite part is that there are about 22 chips to a 110 calorie serving.  Here’s a link.

P.S. I am not being compensated for this endorsement.

The Story of a DIVA, Otherwise Known as my First Half-Marathon

Well today I ran my first half marathon.  Believe it or not, it was the Run Like A Diva Half-Marathon.  For those of you who know me in real life, you know that I am not really the Diva type.  However, I will admit to enjoying watching the ladies running in their tutus and fancy clothes.  It helped to pass the time after my iPod died.  But back to the beginning…

5:30 am:  I got up, got dressed and attempted to slowly raise the dead, otherwise known as my family.  Ate some oatmeal and toast with PB.  Then I fed the grumbling dead with the bagels I had picked up the day before.  Aren’t I a good mother and wife?

6:15 am:  Hit the road.  All went smoothly until we got within 1/4 mile of Eisenhower Park.  Can you say “traffic jam”?  Parking was a challenge, but my hubby was up to said challenge.

7:15 am:  We walked and walked and walked to the starting line in the cold morning air with some of my under-dressed children complaining about their level of coldness.  Said children had been warned to dress warmly.  Can you say “I told you so”?  Just kidding.

8:00 am:  Race begins as over 3600 people (mostly women) start out on their adventure.

Mile 3:  iPod dies… This was when the race became spiritual for me.  I told the Blessed Mother that I was now completely relying on her to see me through.  Toby Keith, Josh Turner, RelientK, and the rest of my iTune buddies had let me down.  It was all up to her now.

Mile 5:  Legs start to get sore.

Mile 7:  Legs start to get a bit numb, which is perhaps better than sore, right?

Mile 7.5:  Start praying the rosary using my earphones to block out all the race chatter and noise.  It was good that it was Sunday.  The glorious mysteries are good for running outdoors.  After all, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption, and the Coronation of Mary all invoke visions of the outdoors and particularly of the sky.  So running outdoors under the big beautiful (if a bit cloudy) sky was perfect.

Mile 10:  Tell myself that I only have 3.1 miles left, which is the equivalent of a 5K.  Then I remind myself that this battle is all in my mind (Thanks Teresa Hansen).  My body knows what to do.  My body can run a 5K in its sleep.  So the mind decides to stay strong and persevere.

Mile 12:  Reach the “Boa and Tiara Station” which I had planned on skipping, but as they were handing them out on the run, I decided to take them for my daughter Lily.  First I tried on the tiara.  Well we Millers/Giambalvos have big heads due to our large brains (so a doctor told me), and this ‘made for a 6 year old’ tiara was not going to fit snugly on my crown while running.  So I carried it.  At first I wrapped the pink feather boa around my throat as I saw the other participants doing.  Well that didn’t last very long.  Can you say “uncomfortable”?  So I tied it around my waist.  In the pictures my husband took, it looks like a pink tail!!!

Mile 12.75:  Decided not to sprint (which is my custom) for the finish line due to the lack of feeling in my legs.

Finish Line:  Thank the Blessed Mother for her strength… had a drink of champagne provided by the race… received my finisher’s medal and red rose (as well as assorted snacks)… skipped the long line to have my picture taken in full Diva garb… staggered over to my family and believe me “staggered” isn’t much of an exaggeration… made the long trek back to the car… and thanked God for a wonderful family to support me and for a comfy seat to ride home on.

All in all it was a satisfying experience.  Will I do it again?  Right now, less than 12 hours after finishing the race, I can’t answer that.  Perhaps it will depend how my legs feel tomorrow.  But it is certainly an accomplishment that I will treasure forever.  At 43 years old, I never thought that this was something that was within my reach.  Two and a half years ago when I weighed about 100 lbs. more than I do now, I never even dreamed of this.  But God is indeed good.  Nothing is impossible with His help!!!

Thoughts for Thursday

Inspired by Building Cathedrals (Right Said Red)

What am I cooking?

Not much… I am in Vermont with my dear husband on a second honeymoon of sorts.  He has done most of the cooking.  I am one blessed woman!

What am I reading?

Catching up on my blog reading and The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare…

What are my weekend plans?

I am running my first half-marathon on Sunday.  Pray for me!!!

What are my prayer intentions for the day?

For my friend Ellen with breast cancer and a good friend who is dealing with an eventful pregnancy…

What can my children do instead of watching TV?

Right now they are being entertained by my parents who love to play games with them, especially card games…

What is one product that is making my life a little easier?

My computer… but it also complicates it… and I’d call that a paradox…

What am I grateful for?

My husband who has willingly taken care of all the odds and ends that my parents needed fixed here at their home in VT – some screens replaced on the porch, insulation in the basement fixed, garage door seal replaced, screen on a window replaced, outdoor sign repaired, etc.  He’s finishing up as we speak.  He’s a real gem…

What have I done for my marriage this week?

Time alone… it’s a rare treat, and we are taking full advantage of it…

What’s challenging me lately?

Balance…

Something that made me think?

I have been thinking about how our lives are going to be changing soon.  Our oldest child (Hope) will be finishing college (Bachelor’s in Business Administration) just before Thanksgiving.  Life is going to change for her and for us.  It is bittersweet.  She’s a fantastic young lady, and we couldn’t be more proud.  But the times they are a changin’ (cue the music)…

Romeo & Juliet

Hope (Lady Capulet) mourns over Juliet’s death

Hope (right, Lady Capulet) comforts her daughter, Juliet

Lord (Lenny) and Lady Montague are distraught over Romeo's banishment

Peter was thrilled to serve appetizers to the audience during the ball scene

A Capulet servant (Lily, right) gets help from Romeo in reading the guest list for the ball

Lily (a Capulet servant) tries to read a list

A fight scene between the Capulets and the Montagues

Lenny takes a break before the second performance

Making peace

The whole gang on the beautiful set