Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

My boys are slightly (read: totally) obsessed with anything pirate right now, so when I received an email from Charles over at Costume Discounters I was totally excited to see that they had plenty of pirate costumes in stock. Judah's birthday is next month and the offer to choose a costume to review couldn't have come at a better time.

Up until now our costumes have consisted mostly of hand-me-down's and 75% off clearance racks at Target. Yeah, yeah...big spenders over here. Those costumes have lasted a decent amount of time, and are ok, but the material is thin and cheap and they aren't very good for outdoors. Yes...I let the kids wear their costumes outdoors. You don't think Darth Vader and Optimus Prime can be restricted to the confines of our house do you? I assure you...they cannot. If the costumes get snagged or pulled on they tend to come apart pretty easily. I'm just glad my kids are more gentle on their costumes than they are on their regular clothes!

Judah and I sat at the computer forever (these decisions are important when it comes to what one will be wearing at one's own sixth birthday...right?!) and he finally settled on the Swashbuckler Pirate Costume from the boy's costume section. I expected that, as with Target and Wal-Mart, it would arrive in a flimsy plastic bag, if anything at all. I was shocked when it showed up in a garment bag. Seriously? I don't think I've ever purchased anything that required a garment bag...except my wedding dress. (side note: I need to go shopping more.) I pulled the costume out and it was so velvety soft I literally rubbed it on my cheek. Yeah...that sounds weird. I also sniff the clean laundry when I fold it. I guess the sensory stuff is important to me? There is nothing scratchy on this costume! Not only that, the stitching is strong and the fabric is thick. Even though Judah will be wearing this for his spring birthday, he'll also be wearing it the rest of the year for play. This thing will still be around when Simeon is his age!

The only disappointment was the little boot covers. The strap snapped when Judah put them on the first time. It's not a big deal, as the covers stay on without it (and I suppose I could break out the ol' sewing kit to do a stitch or two...heh heh.) but Judah was sad it broke right off the bat.

I am more than happy with this costume. I don't like spending a lot of money on things like costumes because a) my kids ruin them and b) shouldn't I know how to make this kind of stuff? Isn't that what homeschooling stay-at-home mom's do? Please say no.

When Mike came home from work and Judah modeled the costume for him he suggested we start buying our costumes from Costume Discounters. The prices are very reasonable and honestly, the quality can't be matched by the discount department stores.

So he's not wearing the rest of the costume, but he was wearing the hat. Please notice the very piraty "ARRGH" expression.
I'm sure it's obvious that I did this review in exchange for a free costume. I like me some freebies. However, in all honesty, I'm glad we tried it out. We would truly purchase from this company when we have a costume need. I like having stuff around that can handle the wear and tear that four children can dish out and this costume is made to last.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

As any good American with Irish heritage will be doing today, I will be eating corned beef and cabbage for dinner and, of course, wearing green. I seriously look forward to corned beef all year long.

In the name of homeschooling (and knowledge) I decided I should look into who St. Patrick even was and why he is celebrated. The story, for those who don't know, is pretty awesome. Basically he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland, finally escaped, but went back years later as a missionary to the same place he had been enslaved. I found a great little history HERE if you are interested in the version with actual facts.

While reading his story I was overcome with emotion when I read the words to St. Patrick's Prayer, which
is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. I'm embarrassed I've never read it before and that, at 31, I'm finally beginning to learn a little bit of history of the Church. I'm just thankful I'm finally taking an interest now, and am even more thankful I came upon this.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,

The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,

In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,

Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck], ( kids loved that part.)
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I think, today, I will celebrate those who have gone before me in the faith - those who are strong enough in their faith to do what is unthinkable and terrifying to most everyone else. I will celebrate those who, even today, put their lives on the line for their faith and for Christ. And considering my son wants to be a missionary someday (..."Mom, when I grow up I want to be someone who goes around town talking about Jesus"...) I will start spending some time praying for those who are out there right now...will you join me?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When your dad is a cop ...

It's been a bit since I've posted, and it's been even longer since I posted anything about being married to a police officer.

But, this afternoon, while wasting time on Facebook (and after having spent the majority of my day reading The Help...) I came across this article, posted by a good cop friend of ours. I just really loved it and wanted to share it with the rest of you.

It's titled When your dad is a cop every police death is personal ...
Although it is written from a son's perspective, I feel like it may as well be titled When your husband is a cop every police death is personal. Because really, it is. Every single time I feel like it could have been my husband and I feel at the same time thankful and guilty that it wasn't.

Good job Travis Mayfield on your well written article.