Friday, February 27, 2009

Leading the Way

Today I introduced my 2nd grade class to the Way of the Cross. A few of them had prayed it before, or at least heard of it. Thanks to this site I found some nice printable coloring pages for each of the stations. The kids each colored one, and then we posted them in the classroom. I have a nice "Way of the Cross for Children" booklet that was given to me, and so we were able to pray the stations and reflect on each. I was pleasantly surprised at how most of these young ones reacted to the prayers. It was beautiful. The Holy Spirit was certainly working on them.
I used this idea at home with my own kids last year, and plan to do so again. I lined one wall in the kitchen with the coloring pages they completed, and talked with the kids about them. This year I hope to do the same, as well as incorporate the prayers and reflections. If you don't have a Stations for children to follow, I found a nice one here. I'm not sure most of my young ones are ready to sit quietly and reflect in church on Sunday afternoons. Getting them through Mass can be struggle enough at times, so to be able to introduce them at home is nice.

prayer for Lenten perserverence

"Lord, I know how much you love me.
It’s hard for me to feel it sometimes, but I know your love is always with me.
Help me to use your love as a way to persevere in my Lenten intentions.
I am weak, but I know with your help, I can use these small sacrifices in my life
to draw closer to you."
~borrowed from the web (

Thursday, February 26, 2009

serving others, one slice at a time

I'm always looking for ways to help my kids understand a bit more about their faith, serving others, growing in Christ. I'm guessing others are too. My intention in sharing this is truly to give ideas. I'm not wanting to suggest we've got it all figured out, or that our ideas are any better, etc. Please know I'm just wanting to share.

Anyhow, all that out of the way...
To incorporate the idea of almsgiving on the kids level, we came up with "Poor-man's Pizza." The idea started with a letter we recieved last week from a charity we'd donated to in the past called "Food for the Poor." A missionary priest from South America came to our parish and shared details of the living conditions in one particular area, and the kids and I all left mass that day changed by what he shared. Anyhow, John and I agreed we felt compelled to donate (even if only a little) again somehow. We quickly realized that we don't necessarily have a stash of money to pull from, so we'd have to cut out one of our luxuries in order to make it fit in the budget. The first thing that came to mind, was our nearly weekly pizza night. Seems as though lately we've been ordering in pizza almost weekly, and this would certainly be something we could do without. To get the kids involved, and to let them know how our sacrifice of something so small could help others, we came up with the chart. Alice and Emma designed it so that there are 6 slices, one for each of the weeks of Lent. For each week we skip pizza night, we'll add a paper pepperoni to a slice, and stash the money saved into an envelope to be mailed out during Holy Week. We also clipped pictures of a severely impoverished, starving family (that came from the letter we recieved) along with a picture of the Holy Mother (which also came with the letter, and was too pretty not to include.) The poster hangs in our kitchen, in plain sight as a reminder of how our simple sacrifices can add up. Emma said it best as I was trying to sell the idea to Grace (who loves Pizza Hut pizza) "Think of it this way Grace, we give up pizza for a few weeks so that little starving children might not die." Wow. Even I wouldn't have put it that bluntly, but it was effective, and Grace got it.

Thank you Lord, for one more opportunity to serve, and for leading me in teaching our children to serve others with a charitable heart.
(by the way, the title "Poor-man's Pizza" came from a term we use around the house often. We serve up "Poor-man's waffles"--just toast with syrup--when we're out of waffles, or "Poor-man's steak"--just thick bologna on the grill--which the kids prefer, I think. Anyhow, the name for the pizza project came easy...something we've said before.)

Alice's joke of the day (2)

What's the difference between Roast Beef and Pea Soup?

A. You can roast beef, but you can't pea soup!

more 9 year-old hysterical laughing...

hungry for a fast?

My simple mind had never thought of "fasting" as being from anything other than food. That is until I read the previously posted Lenten Prayer

So this morning, as I read my daily relflections and prayers, I've decided to focus on a "fast" each day, not always from food, but from something that's keeping me from Christ. Today I've chosen to "fast from unkind words." Not just the words themselves, but the tone in which they're delivered. I find myself being short-tempered with the kids more often than I'd like and my mood last evening (I'm blaming it on hunger) awakened me to that. These are the people I love most in the world. Let me only speak with a loving heart today (and always).

Continued prayers for not just a penitential, but transformative Lenten journey.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alice's joke of the day

What was Tigger doing when he stared down into the toilet?

A. Looking for Pooh.

(Laughing hysterically at herself for that one.)

for the love of God.

For the first time in my life today I fasted. Really fasted. Don't get me wrong. I've managed to fulfill my Lenten obligations for fasting and abstaining in years past for the most part. Today, however was the first time I've ever done so simply for the love of our God, and for a desire to want to be closer to Him. What an amazing change in how the day went when I considered doing it to please Him only, rather than considering it a bonus way to shed a few pounds during the lenten season.

I must admit, I felt drained for a good part of the afternoon. And when I was most tempted to grab a snack, I chose instead to feast on His word. The house was quiet for a short time this afternoon as the older kids were at school, younger ones napped, and John headed out to work. It gave me about 45 minutes to search for some good Lenten reflections online. Just as I began googling, the doorbell rang. Someone had stopped to deliver a book of daily prayers and reflections. I'd just been gifted with a treasure called "My Daily Bread" Wow. I read just the first chapter and know I'm going to love it. It's just what I'd been hoping to find online. Thank you to my mystery friend for sharing His word with me just when I was most hungry for it! The lesson or theme in the first chapter was a reminder to stay focused on Him and our ultimate goal of Heaven. I concluded my quiet time with a rosary. What a wonderful way to get centered in our Lord just before the kids get home.

I'll admit, by evening I was quite a grump to be around. The kids will not argue that, I'm sure. We did manage to find some peaceful time together making a Lenten Prayer Tree though. We cut out paper ornaments in various Lent/Easter themed shapes...lambs, crosses, hearts, crown of thorns, grapes, fish, etc. The kids gave suggestions for various prayer intentions, people or things they want to pray for, and wrote them on the ornaments, which were then tied to a small tree in our living room. (I have a small "christmas" tree out year round that I decorate for all the seasons, but the idea I'd read suggested clipping a branch from a tree in your yard). Our plan is use the tree to help us keep these prayer intentions as we say our bedtime prayers each night. Later during Holy Week, we can add our usual Easter ornaments and colorful flowers, etc.

Overall, I'd say we're off to a beautiful start this lent. As with any journey, we're bound to forget something, have to stop for assistance somewhere along the way, and certainly realize we're packing more baggage than we should ever need. I can only pray that as necessary, I'll stop for His directions. Peaceful journey to you all!

to begin...

A Lenten Prayer
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ in them.
Fast from wanting more; feast on being thankful.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on enjoyment.
Fast from negatives; feast on postitives.
Fast from stress; feast on prayer.
Fast from anger; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from fear; feast on truth
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from gossip; feast on silence.
Fast from fighting; feast on peace.
~Adapted from a Lenten prayer by William Arthur Ward in Take Out, Family Faith on the Go.

I'm headed off to 8am mass this morning. Emma's 3rd grade religion class has her special liturgy today. She's excited to be participating by reading the petitions. A wonderful way to begin this spiritual journey called Lent.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Preparing for Lent

My second graders (religion class) and I were discussing Lent today. More to the point we were sharing ways to grow closer to Jesus through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Most of the students seemed to have a plan of action...less fighting with siblings, no sweets, one was giving up a particular Nintendo DS game, etc. I was impressed that they'd given it thought, and were excited to "dive right in" to this holy season. I wish I were feeling as prepared. I've thought about it a great deal, and yet can't put my finger on exactly what my plans are. Maybe I'm thinking about it too much...
I read in my "little black book" (a lenten book of reflections distributed by our parish)today:

"We all have a file of resolutions in the back of our mind. These are the ones we usually pull out at a time like this. Maybe we'd do better to put those aside for a moment and find out what God has in mind. It may be something we've never thought of, something that surprises us."

I had initially thought of taking time away from the blog, but dear husband John suggests instead that I should share my lenten journey with you readers. Hope you don't mind if I pass along prayers, reflections, and activities we come across. Afterall, it is my intention to share the blessings we've received, that we may all grow closer to our Saviour. May you all have a blessed Holy Season of Lent.

Monday, February 23, 2009


We finally got around to seeing this last night. If you haven't yet, you must! I'll admit, it started a little cheesey, I thought. But (sorry to admit it John) both of us finished the movie in tears. I think the message transcends marriage even, and in essence leads us all to a stronger relationship with our Loving God. Very Powerful! Put it on your Lenten "to-do" list. I think you'll be glad you did.

Friday, February 20, 2009

it all started with a meat and cheese tray...

Alice and Emma love to put together a meat and cheese tray. On occassion, when I seriously don't feel like cooking, I pull out some cold meat, cheese and crackers, and let them get creative. Tonight that's what we did. The conversation that stemmed from carefully placing coldcuts was priceless. Emma started with a lead in, "Mom, I'm gonna have a wedding you'll never forget!" I smiled, and added "No matter what kind of wedding you have, I'm sure I'll always remember it."
She went on to tell me how all adults were going to celebrate by jumping in inflatable-jumpy toys, and kids would get to splash in a kiddie pool. We laughed, and Alice soon commented that Emma was so good at arranging meat, that maybe Emma could cater her wedding dinner. I laughed, and suggested there was a good chance that Emma may be busy playing "Maid of honor" that day. They both agreed. Soon everyone was talking marriage. Rose wanted to be in someone's wedding, hollaring "Me! Me!" John expressed an interest in marrying his twin Mary. We straightened that out by suggesting maybe instead they could have a double wedding, and get married (to someone else) on the same day. They thought that was a good idea. Soon Charlie was getting upset. "Who can I marry?!" I was quick to throw in, "Just become a priest and you can marry them all!" He liked that idea. A lot! It didn't take long before he wanted to dress the part, and insisted I find/make him a "puh-reestes" suit. After our fine dinner (which included the all too wonderful Ramen noodles as well...we went all out!) I scavenged through my craft supplies and linen closet. This is the best we could come up with spur of the moment. An old bed sheet and some crayola markers (no-sew style.) Frank decided he wanted to be one too. Let the weddings and baptisms begin!

future Fathers? Charlie and Frank

Thursday, February 19, 2009

while I'm on the subject of clotheslines...

I mentioned in an earlier post today that I'm looking forward to using the clothesline once again with the warmer weather. It made me remember that my mom's been suggesting for some time that I post an old e-mail I'd sent out several years (and several children) ago. I originally wrote and sent the story to just a few family members and friends and it came full circle to me a year or so ago when someone I'd just met in a prayer group pulled out a copy of the mail and asked if I was the "clothesline lady." Yep, I guess I am.
Who am I to deny my mom. So, here's my story, written sometime in spring 2004...sorry if you've read it before.

Counting my blessings at the Clothesline
“Happy Monday Everyone! (I know, grumble, grumble…back to the grindstone for those of you who do the 9-5 routine!) It was the same attitude for me today too, as I started my laundry that’s been building up all week. I finally had to give in and run a few loads before the kids started borrowing socks and underwear from my drawer! It was during my second trip out to the line this morning that I had to giggle when I saw my first load of darks hanging out…about 20 pairs of pint-sized denims all lined up in a row.
Wonder what people driving by thought…are we raising an army of
midgets here or what?! I had to giggle out loud as I took stock of that
long row of little legs. So funny to me, I even had to take a picture.
It was there and then on this partly sunny, but awfully chilly 50-
something degree morning, that God took a minute to remind me of all
the little blessings he’s given us! All this laundry I curse about each
week…piling up, waiting for the Era-elf to take over some night…was
such a visible reminder of these 6 beautiful children we’ve been given
and the means to provide for them. Not to mention the holey knees as
evidence of their good health and endless energy! Suddenly the
laundry didn’t seem such a burden today…although I’m sure by the time
it’s folded and put away, I will have lost sight of some of this peace and
joy. But for a moment, I’m grateful for this next heavy basket of damp
capris and onesies…knowing that it is in my daily service as a mom that
I am honoring God and following my true vocation! How richly I’ve
been blessed!!!
May you all find a moment of clarity and thank God for your blessings
as you continue your daily grind!
Have a great day all!” ~Jamie

thank you.

Thanks to all who voted....nearly 100 of you! It was pretty clear by your responses that you get what you get, when it comes to ordering.

If you want jelly (John!) you must ask for it, or better yet...grab the bread and get to it! (Love ya hubby!)

at last count...

11 of us have been hit. (Alice's guardian angel is working overtime, or something.) But (knocking on wood) we're feeling better fast. So hopefully we'll be done with this in another day or two.
I'm beginning to love the smell of Lysol. When I can't smell it anymore, it's time to clean and spray again. I used the peroxide advice to clean toothbrushes...they look sparkly fresh. Our washer/dryer are working overtime as I am now washing sheets again from the healthy ones just to be sure there's no more virus lurking in beds. It's never-ending, but so grateful that it's minor, and that it will pass.
My goal for tonight is to get the kitchen cleaned & sparkling & disinfected top to bottom, and scrub walls, handrails, and other neglected area as I've been concentrating mainly on bathrooms and bedrooms.

Too bad it's not spring yet, I could be hanging all this clean laundry on the lines to air dry.

...(clothesline fresh sheets and towels) One more thing to look forward to for spring.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I surrender...

John and I were discussing at noon time today, that next time ('cause there's always a next time...) we're just going to allow the sick kids to kiss, hug, share drinks, bathe in each others germs, whatever it takes to "hurry along" the unavoidable. Today there were four more of us with the stomach virus (myself included.) That's 8 of our 12 that have been "taken prisoner" by this ugly bug. The good thing is that it seems to be running it's course pretty quickly for most. If I had known 2 weeks ago we could have been done in 2 days instead of 2 weeks...I'd have let them all be "kissin' cousins."

Hind sight is twenty-twenty they say. So for now, I'm hanging my white flag of surrender and letting this thing run its course...hopefully as quickly as possible. I'm so tired of serving toast and applesauce with every meal... pray for us. (and thanks for all the tips and advice.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

fighting cabin fever (among other ailments)

I find it difficult coming up with ways for the kids to burn off that extra energy they have from being indoors all day. So when mum2twelve suggested this game, I thought we'd give it a try. We had a ball!!!!
Rather than using scrap paper, we gathered up all of our mittens and gloves and called our game "trashing the mittens." The rules were pretty much the same, although sometimes we skipped the trash can, and just tossed the gloves/mittens to the other side of the taped line. It was fun to see the little ones get active, and even funnier that I made the older kids stay seated on their butt to make things a little more fair. They could only scoot in order to gather up more "ammo."
It was fun, safe, energy burning play. Even old mom got in a couple rounds..."winner take on mom" or the best "all kids against mom." Shoot, I almost had 'em.

The kids (all but Lucy) lined up waiting for the timer to start...we lined the gloves up on the center line first.
and mid-game, as glove/mittens flew and laughter ensued.

germ warfare

Well, it seems as though the little ones are on the mend. They don't have much of an appetite yet, but they're at least keeping things down. (Thank you Lord!) We actually had a pretty pleasant day. (Oh, except for John who also has been hit...but he thank goodness can manage himself, and said he was feeling better as he left for work this afternoon.) I don't think we're out of the woods yet though, cause Grace has been pretty quiet this evening, and mentioned a belly ache a couple times. I sent her to bed with a bucket just in case. (Recycled ice cream pails seem to be our "vomit catcher" of choice.)
We're in full "viral mode" here at our house. I find myself disinfecting the bathroom countertop, sink, toilet, doorknobs etc everytime I enter. How did anyone ever get by before "Lysol disinfecting wipes?" We've temporarily done away with the communal drinking cup at the kitchen sink, replaced now with a row of disposable cups penned with each childs name. Handwashing is strictly enforced. I've been replacing the hand towel in the bathroom with a clean one several times a day. I even pulled a sippy cup out of Frank's mouth today because it "wasn't his." He looked at me in disbelief. Since when don't we share everything?! (Since mom's on a mission to get rid of the germs.)
It seems crazy, but I really don't want to see this make it's way through the entire ranks as it usually does, so I'm going a bit overboard, and hoping for the best. I'm having flashbacks of last winter when I was journaling fevers, tylenol/motrin dosing and other health information on at least 7 at one time. All that "keeping track" (not to mention sleepless nights and clean-up duties) can have your head spinning.
What, if anything, do you do at your house to keep the viral spread to a minimum?
I'd love to hear your tricks...

because he insisted I blog about it!!!

Hubby and I are having a fun time with a recent "misunderstanding." I've added a little poll to the left side. Feel free to respond.
He's even got the kids "clarifying" everything now...afraid mom won't get it right.

Monday, February 16, 2009

by His grace

It was a time-clock-punchin' day again. I do love my job very much, but it seems the last few times I've been scheduled, there's some sort of catastrophe brewing. Today was no different as I was leaving 2 little sickies home with John, on top of the usual chaos. A stomach virus hit our house over the weekend. It seems to be running it's course among cousins and other family members, so it finally came to stay with us. Frank started, and Rose soon followed suit. At no age is it a treat to be sick and vomiting...but at two, yuck. They know they don't feel well, but aren't quite quick enough to make it to a target on time. This means more laundry, more carpet cleaning, more mattress and bed cleaning, more baths...and on and on. Last night we moved Rosie's toddler bed down into our room so we could hear her better, so that helped. But there were probably half a dozen times when we had both two-year olds vomiting at the same's like they could hear each other through the walls and a chain reaction would occur. Poor Charlie was caught in the crossfire at one point and came out of his bed crying "Why did Frank have to puke on me!?" "Frank, why did you?!" (One of the few negatives of sharing a bed with a sibling, I guess.)
Anyhow, on my silent drive in to work this morning, I was reflecting on the word "grace." It's a topic we've talked about very briefly in my 2nd grade religion class recently, and like many of our subjects, leads me to further reflection on my own, later. The word grace simply means "God's life in us" and I've always thought it to mean an undeserved, freely given gift. I suspected I guess, that it was something to help us through various moments. Something to carry us through hard times, or moments when we need His guidance or assistance. Today though, I thought perhaps grace isn't just something to carry us through difficult times. Perhaps grace Is the difficulty, the suffering. Jesus' life on earth, especially in His last days, was one full of unfathomable pain and suffering and perhaps through grace, He allows us to embrace that and draw nearer to Him through our own difficulties, however great or small. Maybe I need to embrace the suffering, difficulty, hardship, frustration, whatever it is, as the gift; God's life (even His cross) in us. As I hold that bucket and watch my 2 year old wretch uncontollably, frustrated that they've already missed, and splattered the carpet or bed linens one more time; the next time I find myself folding 3 extra loads of bed linens and bath towels as the virus continues to pass through; or even the next time I cook a beautiful meal only to be told "Yuck, I'm not eating it!" I hope to recognize God's grace; His life in me, drawing me nearer to Him on the cross, and allowing Him to flow through me...that I might be more compassionate, more charitable, more forgiving, more kind and loving, more at peace.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

St. Valentine's Day

How Sweet!
While making Valentine's treats for the girls school parties yesterday, I found myself reminiscing about the day John and I met. Valentine's Day, '93. We had our first date a week later, and were engaged within 5 months.
Thank you God, for my love, sweet love.
Too Cute!
I was talking with the older kids last night about fun things to do today, not just to celebrate Valentines, but to make the day home with Dad special. I mentioned the weather may not cooperate with outdoor things, so maybe a picnic lunch on a blanket in the living room, some fun games, or making Valentines to share with the neighbors...something. Sam was quick to chime in, "oh yah, or we could just lay around in our underwear all day watching tv." (Umm. not what I was thinking Sam. I hope this is not a sign of future valentines to come...your wife could be a little bit upset.)
...and little John, Charlie and Frank snuggled into our bed this morning and woke us. My husband leaned over to give me a morning kiss, and I wished him "Happy Valentines." I joked with the little boys..."Everyone grab their girlfriend and give them a valentine's kiss." Charlie was quick (in an uninterested tone.) "Frank gets to be my girlfriend."
Laughing ensued.
Happy Valentines Day everyone! Have a blessed one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

the mystery footwear

Just couldn't help myself. With all the "hype" about the shoes, I thought I'd let the kids model them. It started as a little contest to see who could "work them" the best. The winner would be "featured" on mom's blog. They were too cute though, so here they are. All the contest winners sporting moms fun new shoes with matching clutch. (Did I mention they were favorite color?!)
Charlie...who added "work gloves" to "man" it up a bit. (also note, he's wearing socks which I'm told is a faux pas!)
John...too much man for the shoes, and definitely no purse!
Grace, accessorizing the enemble with a baton.
Emma....I wish the shoes made me look that skinny!! look FINE girlfriend!
Beautiful Mary. I think these shoes will look great with jeans, no?!
Rose has the hair all fluffed for an evening out. (Love the polka dots!)
Even Lucy thinks the purse it "to die for!"
Frankie! Nice toes! (and mittens!)
Sam..."Are you nuts Mom?! I'm not touchin' those 'girly' things!"
...and there they $3.99 peep toe shoes...with the $1.99 matching clutch. That's my bargain-basement clearance sale of the century.

My sister-in-law was kind enough to share a family picture she'd taken at the wedding.(Thanks Therese and Rod!)
We don't clean up too bad...

can't see the shoes, but check out those legs! ha, ha!!

and so the kids think I'm a "geeeeenius!"

The kids love egg sandwiches here.

It's a simple enough meal, but trying to fry or microwave that many, usually means someones waiting a long time...and usually the first one is ready for seconds before the last one is served. Last night I tried something new (to me) and it worked like a charm. I scrambled a dozen eggs with a little milk, and poured the egg mix evenly into 20 well sprayed muffin pans. Popped them into the oven and baked them for 25 minutes. At the end I threw on a 1/4 slice of American cheese. At the same time I baked 2 tubes of pop-out refrigerated biscuits (20 total.) The eggs popped out of the muffin pans beautifully, and were served on the split biscuits. All were ready at the same time. They were perfect bite-size sandwiches for little hands...most of the older kids had two. Everyone's happy, and all is right with the world.
Next time I want to experiment with adding veggies or meat like onions, sausage, ham bits, to make little omelet sandwiches. Yumm.

On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Happy 5th Birthday Mary & John!

At my routine 20 week ultrasound, I found that there were two of you, not one. What a complete surprise to learn that we would be having a second set of twins!! (and relief, to know I had an excuse to be that big again!) We called everyone we could think of on our way home from the hospital that day. 6 children in 4 years...What joyful, crazy, exciting news.
The pregnancy wasn't without it's share of worries though, as we also learned that John was developing with some kidney problems. Prayers to the Blessed Mother, and to all the saints for their intercession proved fruitful. John was born with only one kidney...a perfectly formed, wonderful kidney that has more than compensated for it's missing counterpart. And Mary came into this world strong and beautiful, my worries with you will surely come later (in the teens?)

God is good, and we are eternally grateful.

Our Lady of Lourdes, continue to pray for us.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Red Envelope campaign

I read this letter over at Faith & Family Live's blog. It later arrived in my inbox from several friends. Just read, and if compelled, send Mr. Obama a quiet message. I think it's a cool idea. Gonna go look for a red envelope now...

Dear Friends and Intercessors:
This afternoon I was praying about a number of things, and my mind began to wander. I was deeply distressed at the symbolic actions that President Obama took as he began his presidency. Namely, that he signed executive orders releasing funds to pay for abortions, permission to fund human stem cell research, and federal funding for contraception. I have been involved in the pro-life movement for nearly 20 years, and it pained my heart to see a man and a political party committed to the shedding of innocent blood.
This man, and this party lead our country, but they do not represent me or the 54% of Americans who believe that abortion is wrong and should no longer be legal.
As I was praying, I believe that God gave me an interesting idea. Out in the garage I have a box of red envelopes. Like the powerful image of the red LIFE tape, an empty red envelope will send a message to Barack Obama that there is moral outrage in this country over this issue. It will be quiet, but clear.
Here is what I would like you to do:

Get a red envelope. On the front, address it to:
President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C.

On the back, write the following message:
This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was ended before it was able to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.

Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this email to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.

no use crying...

...over not one, but 4 spilled milk cups. (and that was just lunch.)

St. Paul, pray for us.

(when I googled "patron saint for milk spills" it mentioned that when he was executed, milk spilled out of him rather than blood. It was as close as I could get, and any intercession is appreciated!)

...and did I mention there was dancing.

Emma and cousin Jacob

Grace and cousin Phil

Frank and Charlie doing the new dance move "moppin' the floor with your back" while cousin Tom watches

Sam making room in his dance card for little Rose

Rose and cousin Beth (and that's more "floor moppin' moves" in the back

Grace with cousin Ben

reflections on the day

It was an absolutely beautiful wedding. From the mass and vows, to the reception, the decorations, the dresses, the food, and fun times with family and friends. But most beautiful to be witness to the love shared by two as they partake in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. I'll admit, I was choked up most of the mass. I can't help but remember our own marriage, and reflect on all God's goodness and blessings. Certainly we couldn't have anticipated what was to come when we said "I do," any more than Tricia and Eric can imagine what life has in store for them. It's the ultimate leap of faith, trusting in His providence and goodness. It's just a beautiful thing

A prayer of blessing:
We thank you, O God, for the Love You have implanted in their hearts. May it always inspire them to be kind in their words, considerate of feeling, and concerned for each other's needs and wishes. Help them to be understanding and forgiving of human weaknesses and failings. Increase their faith and trust in You and may Your Prudence guide their life and love. Bless their Marriage O God, with Peace and Happiness, and make their love fruitful for Your glory and their Joy both here and in eternity.

hello again

Sorry for my absence. Busy, busy, busy weekend with a wedding rehearsal dinner Friday, wedding Saturday, and more visiting with family on Sunday. Just catching up on laundry tonight. Will post more tomorrow. Peace to you all.
(oh, and thanks for the advice...went without the several compliments, and a few more comments regarding the initial post, mostly to the effect that I'd have been a nutcase to wear them with the cute shoes.)

Friday, February 6, 2009

my little fluff-ball

...why this Dad should not be fixing little girls' hair...

Sorry Rose, Mom will fix it...

diapers to your door

Because I'm wondering where this little treasure's been hiding for the last 9 years of my life, I'm going to share this with you moms (or grandmas) of little ones in diapers. They have nearly every brand under the sun, as well as wipes, etc. I found they have larger cases than what Walmart carries (which is great when you have 3 in the same size diapers). It's free shipping on orders over $49, and they have a coupon for $10 off your first order of $49. I did the math and it's just a couple pennies more per diaper than Walmart prices, but for the convenience (now that I'll likely have fewer trips there) it seems worth it. I'm going to be giving this a try. Thank you Karla, for sharing this with me!!

W.W.S.P.D this post is probably not of any interest to you. It's "chick" stuff.

I'm in a bit of a quandry about wedding attire for the weekend. I found the cutest pair of "peep-toe" shoes (and I won't even tell you what a bargain they were!) to go with the outfit I'm wearing. My dilemna is weather or not to wear pantyhose. I can't imagine a pantyhose seam sticking out of these too-cute shoes, and yet...I'm old-school. Is it "legal" for a grown woman to dress-up without them? Yikes. I found myself wondering tonight..."What would Sarah Palin do?" She looked hot in everything, right?! I've been lotioning up, big time, just in case I work up the courage to go sans stockings. Even trying a bit of sunless tanner. Perhaps I'll turn orange, and the decision will be easy. We'll see what the day brings. Feel free to advise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sorry Mom.

Okay, so I got this cute little haircut today. (or at least I think so.) I've been way overdue, and with a wedding to attend this weekend, it was mandatory. Anyways, I took three of the girls with me. Afterwards, when I asked what they thought...Grace answered "You look like Grandma, but without the wrinkles." Good thing she has one hip grandma! I'll take it as a compliment.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

not sure we can afford this routine...

Last evening, it was discovered that we were nearly out of diapers. We had enough to last through midday today, which would normally not be a problem, except that I had to work this morning. (Wouldn't have time to run before work.)
Now that John is on 2nd shift, I'm not afforded the luxury of running out to grab some alone through the evening, or even making my usual trip when the kids get to bed. Nope, last night it was all or none. I loaded up all 10 to hit the nearest Dollar General. I had just 3 or 4 things on my list...diapers, tissues, dishsoap, and deoderant I think. Shoulda been in and out in less than 5 minutes. Oh no! Not anymore.
Alice grabbed a cart and took Frank, Emma had a cart with Rose, and I had Lucy and Charlie in my cart. The rest were on their own to run like wild monkeys through the store. Okay, they actually behaved quite well...and I promised if they behaved well, they could pick out their valentines cards.
That promise was my biggest mistake. The arguments began..."If they get Valentines, can the rest of us get something little." Oi. Mind you, it's rare, VERY RARE, that the kids ever get to pick out toys or treats at the store. We just always stick to the list. But I had the army with me, and feared anarchy, so I caved. Everyone got to pick one small thing (less than a dollar). There were a couple that just couldn't patience was wearing thin, but I stood strong. I smiled at everyone who glanced across shelves, pointed, giggled, waiting for me to lose it. I never lost it. Selections were finalized and after what seemed like an eternity, we made it to the register. The older kids helped the younger ones out to the van to buckle, while I paid. Yikes...$30 of essentials, and $10 of junk...I'm not sure we can afford for John to stay on this shift. Ha! In hindsight, it might have just been cheaper, and less exhausting, to pay a neighbor girl a couple bucks to come over for 15 minutes.
Oh well. That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. I know we can get out and accomplish just about anything we need to. Little tasks like these are character & confidence building...although, I'm going to go hide a stash of diapers somewhere now, in case this happens again anytime soon.

around the dinner table

The 3 oldest began singing selections they're practicing for the spring school musical. Something about squirrels, and rain...I couldn't get a clear answer as to what it was really about...too much singing and giggling.
Anyhow, I asked what they were going to need to be dressing as this year. Alice and Emma thought they might need to look like squirrels. Without missing a beat, Charlie chimes in, " and I think Sam should be the nut!"

(I literally choked with laughter on my spaghetti. Where does he come up with this stuff?!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

St. Blaise, pray for us.

Feast Day, Feb 3rd.

We all stood in line after mass on Sunday as our priest and deacon offered the following blessing. As I laid in bed last night listening to the multitude of hacks and coughs coming from every corner of the house, I continued (and do still) to ask for his intercession for healing.

“Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Blessing of St. Blaise).

Monday, February 2, 2009

day one on alien planet...

The kids came home from school today, asking as expected..."Where's Dad?" I reminded them his schedule had changed, and immediately called to order a meeting. Over teddy grahams and fruit snacks, we hashed out how things might change...good and bad.
The older kids seemed willing to help out a little more in exchange for a few more minutes of computer time or other liberties (yet to be determined.) We made a schedule, that will surely change a zillion times, but I feel better going in with a few ground no computer or electronic games before supper. After school time is for snack, homework, then helping with the little ones while I get supper on. After supper will be their free time. Except Friday evenings, which will now be our cleaning night. (So we can have "good times" with Dad on Saturdays.)
Tonight the older kids did a wonderful job entertaining Lucy while I made supper (without me nagging, even) and so after supper, we spent an hour or so at our public library. It's a favorite hangout for all ages. We followed up with some ice cream for a late dessert (low-fat for me!) and a silly sing-along movie before bed. The older kids would never admit to liking it...but they know all the songs by heart, and it's fun to watch them all enjoy it. Charlie even helped me with a Rosary as the others settled off to bed. It really was a good start to this new chapter. I'm grateful for God's grace to carry us through. Thanks for the prayers.
So now, I have a couple hours to fold up some laundry, get the dishwasher unloaded, and "settle" until John gets home. I'm not one for tv...don't even know for sure what I'd want to watch to get hooked on. Perhaps a little reading instead. A friend dropped by a book today that I'm anxious to check out. I can't even tell you the title, something from Focus on the Family about spending quality evenings with the kids...funny, it's as if she knew...that 'ol Holy Spirit is always working!

Peace and good night to all!

rolling with the changes...

After 5 days home, I think the kids were ready to be back in school today. Some anxious to get back to big projects, others just excited for gym class, and conversations with friends about the super bowl.
It was a little bittersweet sending them off this morning, as today begins quite a change for our family here. With layoffs and cutbacks where John works, his weekend shift was done away with, so he's moving to supervision on evening shift. The hardest part about that is him not being able to see the school kids through the week. It will be a HUGE adjustment for us all, to say the least, but we can only be grateful. We have neighbors and friends and coworkers who don't have jobs at all anymore. I feel blessed that John had an option at all.
Although, with the bad comes good, and that means John's home on the weekends for the first time in 4 1/2 years. We went to church together yesterday, and it was wonderful! I can't describe the comfort and strength I felt just having him there with us. All was right. Even Charlie behaved a little better (though not a lot!) but a little.
Posting may be a little more infrequent, as we adjust to new schedules and demands...or maybe not. Things may just roll along smoothly. If you think of us, say a little prayer as I tackle evening shift with the kids on my own.