Monday, Monday

Monday morning chores.

No dust can settle on this girl!

Wake up. Get dressed in work uniform. Eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Put lunch in backpack.

Ready to go

Empty and load dishwasher.


Gather laundry from hampers in the bedrooms. Take to laundry room and start a load. Whites first.

Take the city-issued garbage and recycling bins to the curb.

Practice piano – 10 minutes.

While watching for your ride, practice Italian lessons with Duolingo on the iPad.


When van comes, head out the door. Greetings to work friends! Off to work.


And it’s only 7:45 a.m.!

My 21st Birthday Celebration

Monica's phone
I got a cell phone. I have wanted a cell phone for a long time. It is pink. I am so happy!
It is a big responsibility but I am ready for it!

Here are the rules my parents made for me.

Monica’s Cell Phone Rules

• I will always keep track of where my phone is, and take good care of it.
• When the phone rings, I will answer “Hello, this is Monica.”
• I will always use good manners on the phone. I will use words like please, thank you, excuse me, and you’re welcome.
• No calls or messages before 8 a.m.
• I will not call someone when they are at work.
• If I call someone and they do not answer, I will leave a message and tell them my name in the message. I will not call them again until they call me.
• If I write a message to someone, I will write a whole sentence and use my best spelling.
• I will not write another message to someone until they answer me.
• If I want to take someone’s picture, I will ask “May I take a picture of you?
• No phone during meals.
• No phone if someone is talking to me.
• No phone during family movies or family games.
• I will make sure my phone is turned off when I am in church, in restaurants, or quiet places.
• I will keep my phone in my bag when I am at work.
• I will leave the phone on the island in the kitchen by 9 p.m.
• No calls or messages after 9 p.m.

2006 – Monica Age 14 – Bike Riding

An excerpt from the Christmas Letter 2006

Monica can ride a bike! Tim nearly wore out two pairs of shoes with all the running he did with her, but they did it. You should see the concentration, then the smile, when she sets out. Seventh grade is ups and downs, we’re still trying to figure out middle school academics, and how to improve her speech clarity, but these are our worries, she is happy.

Thanksgiving morning we opened an envelope from our children. Inside was a 25th Anniversary card with a note that they had reserved a cabin for us for the next two nights in Hocking Hills, where we had honeymooned. Did we ever think it would come to this? Remember those years of babies up in the night? Changing diapers? Taking wiggle worms out during Mass? Nodding off while reading spelling words? Oops, I’m still doing that. Well, for those of you still in the throes of these escapades, take heart. Our children planned an incredible celebration for us. The only possible negative was that we really enjoy being with the kids and it was hard to leave them! When we returned, there was a party going on – for us! Tim’s parents had held down the fort in our absence, but they said the kids didn’t need help with the party. They pulled it off themselves. We were so amazed.

2003 – Monica Age 11 – Classroom ambassador

An excerpt from the Christmas Letter 2003

Monica is being pressed in school. We are delighted. She has teachers that have high expectations of her! Her diction slowly improves; her reading and writing progress more rapidly. But best of all, she is warmly and sincerely liked by all of her teachers and fellow students. She is an ambassador with a thumbs-up and a ‘Good job!’ and a pat on the back available to anyone whose slightest good action catches her attention. Greg is also a serious student and is doing well at piano. John got a guitar for his birthday and also plays an imaginary violin. He breaks into song all of the time!