Category Archives: friends

Girlfriends In God

“Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value.”
Proverbs 31:10

Who can find a woman of worth? Let me tell you, holy women are alive and well in the Diocese of Green Bay.  I was honored to spend the morning with 100+ of these holy women this past weekend at Girlfriends in God – A Women’s Day of Reflection.

It was my privilege to serve on the core team for the first of what may just be an annual event here in my home diocese.

We were blessed to start our morning with mass offered by a young and prophetic priest. He took the time to tailor his homily to women and the theme of our event. Listening to the symphony of women lift their voices heavenward in our beautiful cathedral was stirring. It was as if I could feel our collective, feminine heart unfolding for the blessings of the day. Continue reading

Daybook – Week of March 1, 2010

Daybook – Week of March, 1 2010

Outside My Window …
Spring is teasing me and I love it. There was so much sunshine today and it was glorious. I tend to entertain dreams every February of a move to a state that doesn’t have winter 6 months of the year, but I know I’ll be here forever. I’m a Wisconsin gal, snow and all.

I am listening to…
Anna fussing in the crib and the middle-aged-never been married- children scare me- I can’t understand why your baby cries so much so I yell at her through the floor- guy upstairs is making noise. I don’t mind so much, but it is midnight and I hope he knows if he wakes her up, he pays as much as we do…..

To Live the Liturgy…
We all missed mass this weekend due to what we are calling the “death flu.” It was by far the worse flu we have ever had and we all had it at the same time. Needless to say, our bodies and souls are hungry for the parish mission this week and I think by tomorrow we will be well enough to go. I’m hoping to get to a healing mass or at least have Joseph prayed for. It always give me comfort.

To be Fit and Happy….
I’m not feeling to fit or too happy this week and I know it is because the flu knocked us out, the house is now a mess and I haven’t worked out in a week. I’m hoping to get back to the gym and in the pool in the morning. I’m also thinking about signing up for water aerobics.

I am thankful for …
The end of the flu! I can’t believe it was so bad and now I must tackle the very unpleasant laundry pile it left behind.

From the kitchen …
Our SAMS CLUB membership ran out and we decided not to renew so we stocked up on lots of goodies for the freezer. Tonight we defrosted a few pounds of lean ground turkey. We made turkey burgers and browned the rest of it up for a supper time skillet for tomorrow’s dinner. It feels so nice to have a fridge full of meals and to not be stressed about what to make for the next few nights.

**For our turkey burgers we got these new “buns” called “sandwich thins”. Not only are they 100 percent whole wheat and only 100 calories, but they are delicious and I had to pass along the great find! **

I am wearing …
Sweats. I haven’t gotten ‘dressed” in 3 days and am really looking forward to leaving the house tomorrow and wearing real clothes!

I am creating …
I’m pretty bummed out in the creative front today. There were a few calls out I had been working on submissions for and done some great research and writing on, but I wasn’t able to submit this weekend as planned due to how sick we all were. To say I’m bummed is an understatement. But, such is life. I did sell another essay and just sent my hubby out to mail the publishing agreement this evening! I’m also working on a very interesting story about a truly inspirational man. So, there is some good news to report on the creative front.

Towards a real education …
I’m feeling a shift in stages for all four of us over here and have been doing some reading and research on the next step in our educational needs. For Tessa this will involve letters and a move into longer and more complex books. The rest of us I’m still working on.

Bringing beauty to my home …
I’m not going to lie, it’s bad news bears over here. This place is a mess. I’m not talking about things needing to be tidied up a bit, I’m talking about an overhaul. But, it can’t stay this way for two long, Joseph’s family is coming in about 10 days and it’s a good thing, I need the motivation.

I am reading …
I just finished Susan Wigg’s Just Breathe. It was ok enough, a perfect chic lit entertainment book. I like to have a ‘beach book” and an educational, spiritual or more challenging book going at the same time. I’m ready for 2 new ones so suggestions are welcome!

I am hoping and praying….
Well, here it is – the reason I have neglected this blog for 2 weeks. Last week we took the gals to Children’s Hospital (where I’m sure we caught this flu) for genetic tests. Joseph had genetic tests a few weeks back and it was discovered that he does not have Marfans as we previously thought. Rather, he has Loeys Dietz syndrome. We were (and still are) very disappointed. It’s similar in that they are both connective tissue disorders, but Loeys Dietz seems to be more aggressive and over all, not so great. The good news is that we have a diagnosis and can now test the girls and know once and for all what we are dealing with and how to monitor and treat it. However, actually knowing if one or both of our children have it changes things for us (and for them) in a big way. We should find out within the next week.

I’m also praying for some close family friends who are ready and waiting to welcome their fourth child any moment now. They’ve been planning on “any moment now” for about 3 weeks, so I’m really praying the waiting is over as I type this! This weekend, before the flu hit, we were treated to a fish fry evening by these friends. It was so fun to see them one last time before they welcome their baby!


Around the house …
I’m thinking of some fun ways to spruce up my writing place and hoping to blog about it – stay tuned!

One of my favorite things …
The gals seem to have created their own language. Ok, I know that can’t really be possible, but they are able to communicate with each other in a way Joseph and I cannot understand. Anna speaks in gibberish with the same inflection and using the same syllables and Tessa answers her. It’s very cute to see their love for each other develop. It’s also been making me sad for the absence of our third child, Emanuel Elizabeth.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
We’ll play catch up for a few days. The main goal of the week is to restore order around here! ***

Picture Thoughts
Although it’s been a stressful week, we were blessed by good friends this week! On our way home from the genetic testing this week we were able to stop by our closest family friend/God family’s home. My friend Krissy had prepared a tea party for the little ones complete with rice crispy treats in the shape of scones! The adults were also able to have some snacks and share some time together.

Family Olympics Project

My husband and I are both big fans of the Olympics. He’s got a competitive spirit and I love all the human interest stories they tell about the athletes. I love to sit, night after night, and cry about the hardships people have overcome to appear in the Olympics. It’s so cool to witness someones “big moment” in life, where their hard work and sacrifice pay off and they have a moment of pride. So, although I am proud to be an American, I usually end up cheering for the athlete with the best sob story. I’m a sucker for sob stories.

The winter Olympics hold a special place in my heart because the last time they were held, Joseph and I had just started dating and we were able to watch them together. Our first valentine’s day was spend in front of the TV, cheering on team USA and splitting a pizza. We’re low maintenance like that.

This year we were invited to watch the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with some family friends. We said we’d bring dessert. So, we decided to bring the winter Olympics to the Rutchik home and make a family project out of it!

First we made a cake.

Then we made another cake. I’m a firm believer in layered cakes and never split a cake mix to make them. 2 layers, 2 cakes.

Then Joseph sorted a large family size bag of M&M’s into separate cups. I’m so blessed to have an amazing hubby who never has to be talked into family projects such as this. He jumps right in without being asked, and I love him so for it!

While we let the cakes cool, we took some time to practice colors with Tessa. A little tip for parents of 2 year olds having trouble with colors; being able to eat an M&M after correctly identifying its color was a brilliant idea! Little miss Tessa now knows her colors, and has eaten a lot of chocolate this weekend!

Here are our cups of M&M’s!

Miss Anna Clare wasn’t too into the family project. She expressed her displeasure with busy arms unable to hold her with screams and pleas for “UP!”
We bribed her with M&M’s and she was back on board for a family project!

I then made my famous homemade peanut butter frosting and Tessa enjoyed squeezing the red food coloring in and watching it change colors. Being able to actually SEE that something she was doing was having such an effect while cooking was a joy to her.

As the cakes continued to cool, Tessa and I filled a brown ice cream cone with broken pieces of licorice to create the Olympic torch. We then filled the cup with red and orange M&M’s to hold our “flames” in place. Because as everyone knows, if the flames go out, it’s bad news!
Joseph punched a hole in the bottom of the cone with a toothpick to insert into the cake and hold our torch in place.

We created the famous Olympic rings with M&M’s, sprinkled some white sugar on to to look like snow and finished the cake off with a blue and read border of M&M’s to show our support for team USA!

Here Tessa and I pose with the finished product. The look on her face is her reaction to being caught eating the frosting red handed. She’s not doing a great job of hiding the fact that her month is full of frosting, is she?
Over all, I really enjoyed this family project and the cake turned out just how I was hoping. I know we aren’t Ace of Cakes over here, but I so enjoy making cakes and decorating them for special events. I often dream about really getting into it, but fondant and fancy cake tools cost a lot, and it just isn’t something I’m willing to invest money in. So, I do the best I can with what I can buy at the supermarket.
We had a wonderful time at the Opening Ceremonies party. In my excitement over the Winter Olympics I forgot that it was – well – WINTER. When we got in the car and turned the heat on our cake melted and started bleeding the red frosting from its middle. I was proud of myself for letting it go and not letting it ruin my night! By the time we reached our destination it was a bit of a mess – but is tasted GREAT!
Happy Olympics! if you’re looking for Joseph and I this Valentine’s Day – we’ll be watching team USA and sharing a pizza (and maybe a piece of cake)!

Happy Birthday Krissy!!

I’ve been MIA from the world of Blog. Humph. Usually, when I drop of the face of the earth, it’s a bad, bad thing. It means I’m holed up in an introverted ball avoiding the outside world. This time, it just means I’m a busy mommy who’s taken on lots of different tasks to financially contribute to our home.

But, when I do go MIA and really am in a ball on my couch – I know who will be the first one to notice (and call and bug me over and over, and over again until I come out to play) and reach out. She’s the bestest friend I’ve ever had, and today is her birthday!

She has been through all of life’s ups and downs with me since I was about 14, she introduced me to my husband and has been a great friend in faith. This past year, she sure pulled her weight in our friendship! To name the BIG ones:

She babysat for miss Tessa countless times exactly one year ago while I was on bed rest awaiting the arrival of Anna. I wasn’t mobile and had to go to the doctor 2 or 3 times a week. She took Tessa every time and went as far as writing my doctor appointments into her calendar, so I didn’t even have to ask her to babysit!

She listened through ENDLESS conversations over a potential Rutchik move and supported our decision to move away from her and her family. That’s a real friend!

While we were living practically next door to each other, I borrowed many more things from her fridge than she ever did from mine.

She watched our children while Joseph and I sat in her living room and driveway and cried after receiving the news of his health – and then sent her husband for pizzas.

She brought me 5 Cokes the day Joseph had his heart surgery (I’m not sure if she knew she had given me that many Cokes, or if she really thought I drank that much:)

She bundled up an infant and came rushing to the hospital late one night because I was alone and scared – and needed her.

She’s an extrovert who pulls people to her with her wonderful energy and kind heart. She also doesn’t mind when I make all my friends from the pool of people she’s introduced me too!

She’s the sister I never had and calls me family, even though she’s been blessed with 2 sisters of her own.

She’s the Godmother of my first born – with whom she shares her birthday week.

She understands when life and kids are too much and I can’t call on her actual birth day – and will accept this blog post in place of a call (ok, I haven’t talked to her about that one, but I’m sure she will! )

It was one of those years when I did most of the leaning. But, I know I don’t have to feel badly about that, she knows my shoulders are ready for her, should she ever need them.

I pray you are blessed with a best friend as good as mine, though I highly doubt anyone could top her! If you want to be touched by this AMAZING, beautiful and faithful women, head on over to and tell her I sent you! It would feel nice to be the one introducing her to someone!

Happy Birthday Krissy! I LOVE you!