Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Anyways, it was a great evening. Our last guests left in time for our kids to get showered and mellowed a little before bed. It's back to school for our bunch tomorrow. Wednesdays here means the kids attend mass before school. We're so fortunate to live in a community where our public school has made it possible for release time so that all students may attend mass together once a week. Tomorrow my 2nd grade class is preparing for the liturgy...doing the readings, bringing up offertory, carrying a banner in the procession, etc. Sam and I are quite excited (and I'm a bit nervous) to see how it all goes. The kids have worked so hard planning and practicing. It should be quite a special morning. I better go, need to double check to be sure I've got things in order.
Blessed night to all!
Just wanted to include our menu for the evening (cause people ask now and then what a meal is like for the 12 of us, so it's fun to think about feeding 2 dozen.)
2 lg. jars store-bought sauce
5 dozen breadsticks (fresh baked~Alice helped me knead the dough!)
lg. bowl grapes
few carrots, celery and peppers with dip (I think the kids just used the veggies to get the dip to their mouths)
and a dozen or so pieces of cake, cut in 1/2's to make it go further (assorted flavors, leftover and shared by a neighbor from a luncheon yesterday)
Incredibly simple, wonderfully delicious...tastes even better when eaten in great company!
Homemade Buttery Decorator Icing
1/2 cup butter (don't substitute!) softened
1/4 cup shortening (I prefer butter-flavored crisco sticks)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 Tbsp. milk
In large bowl, beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Add 2 Tbsp milk, beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add enough additional milk for desired spreading consistency.
Yield: 3cups. Note: Icing stays soft for awhile, so I usually place on plates in the fridge to help icing harden, then store cookies between layers of wax paper in airtight container.
Tip: Can be made 2 weeks in advance (if you can keep your kids/husband out of it that long!) and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temp and beat before using.
On this note, it moved me to tears when Emma sat on the edge of my bed early this morning to tell me about the "best dream ever." She whispered "Mom I just dreamt you had another baby. It was a little girl this time, and she was perfect!"
How sweet is that.
She must have enjoyed our night out at the park last night...all 10 kids, myself and 3 school friends we invited along. Quite a van-load to haul around...filled with laughter, and singing and goofing around. Reminds us there's always room for one more.
Monday, March 30, 2009
...you should see the other guy! Okay, not really. My little prize-fighter took a nose-dive into the edge of our kitchen window bench last evening. Ouch. Lucy handled it like a champ, though. I thought she might be needing stitches the way her brow was split open, but turns out a little "butterfly-ing" with bandaids through the night, and it's healing up just fine.
She saw herself in the mirror for the first time today, and just kept doing double-takes, and grabbing her forehead in disbelief. Too cute.
Anyways, it was a difficult mass, and we struggle with how exactly to handle this. We don't want to be disruptive, but our kids do need a chance to learn proper church behavior. We don't have a "quiet room" in our church, so if things get too out of hand we have the option of taking them out into the vestibule/entry for a few moments, but I kind of think once they know that's an option, they tend to misbehave just to get a change of scenery. Anyone have any thoughts on this? We started taking most of the kids after age 2, and for the most part, it seems like it's worked well. Just a couple of the boys now want to make it a little crazy. Charlie is still active in the pew, but at least not noisy or disruptive to those around us. And despite the disapproving glances from in front, there were a couple families behind us that commented how well-behaved our kids were in church again (talk about mixed messages?!)
(sigh.) I just keep thinking, next week's another chance for things to go smoother, right?! Feel free to share comments on this.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Fifth Sunday of Lent:
So give for alms those things which are within [you]. Luke 11:41
When people speak of giving alms, they usually think of giving money to
poor people. In this passage from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is saying that
when we give to others what is within ourselves, we are also giving alms.
Such "inner things" include our talents, laughter, concern, assistance and
friendship. Everyone, from children to adults, can give alms because they
can give from what they have.
God of generosity, help us to give alms in the ways that we can--sometimes
with money, and always with the gift of ourselves.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I'm recognizing that I've been on the receiving end of more than my share of random acts of kindness lately, and I'm humbled that friends, acquaintences and even strangers would be thinking of us and reflecting Christ's light. I am grateful! And I plan to pay it forward, each opportunity I get. That's the point, right?! Even the smallest of gestures can lift spirits and hearts. God Bless you all! I encourage you to take a moment today to recognize the kindness of others and thank God for those He's placed in your life, and then think of someone who might be in need of your kindness today...perhaps even just a smile. I think you (and they) will be glad you did.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Anyways, the kids are happy to see the UPS man coming too. Big box = Big fun!
"Saint Francis reminds us to do more than look at the cross. We see the external cause of pain. We need to look for the interior love that accepted the pain and gave it meaning."
—Daily Reflections for Lent 2008 (borrowed from americancatholic.org)
As we recall the angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary, may we also recognize Mary's response...her "fiat" or "Yes!" to the Lord. Her willingness to serve brought Christ to the world, and changed the course of things for all eternity.
May we also respond with a resounding "yes" to always do God's holy will.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee...
(thanks to this blog for the great image of Mary's Fiat.)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
"Nope, mine sounds like a cow! MOOOOO!" was his reply.
You know, I can only speak for myself, but I love this movie in that it brings Jesus' suffering to life. I grew up with a crucifix present throughout our home, our church, and even wear one around my neck most days. We pray the stations, and even hear The Passion read in church, and yet somehow, it seems that while I as a Catholic, embrace the cross, and His sacrifice, I've become almost numb to the real suffering it holds. I manage to forget somehow that our God-made-man, endured not a little, rather incredible suffering for me. For all of us.
John and I remained silent as the credits rolled, and longer. I remember the same "audible" silence as we left the theatre 5 years ago. There are no words necessary. Certainly Christ's ability to love and forgive in spite of the intense suffering and humilitation He endured serves as an example and reminder of our need to do the same in this life.
I think if you've not seen it, or if it's been awhile, it would be a benefit to you this Lent. How 'bout you? What are your thoughts on the movie? And at what age, would you consider it appropriate for your kids? (I'm certain mine are not ready.)
Monday, March 23, 2009
As for shopping, I was disappointed to find that it's impossible to find a dress in the mall with sleeves. Everything was tank-style, or worse yet, halter/strappy. I'm certain it's a conspiracy for stores to be able to sell the matching sweaters they had hanging next to each dress. (Which we did, for a couple of the girls.) They have you over a barrel. But like I said, Easter's the one time that everyone ('cept John and I, of course...we've been wearing the same stuff for ten years, I think) gets something new. We even slipped into the boys section at one store and picked out new shirts/polos for all the boys. Too cute.
I'm glad we don't shop like that all the time. It's actually a bit stressful to keep track of who's getting what, and who still needs pantyhose to match, etc. But it was a completely enjoyable, different kind of day for the girls in this house...and hopefully they'll have some memories of it a few years down the road when we may try it again.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Without thinking, Charlie proceeded to blow, as he thought he was being told...without a tissue of course, and all over his face, and my sleeve. (Umm. Charlie, I wasn't talking to you..."Frank, blow.") yuck.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The best state for you is not the one you think perfect, but the one in which God has placed you."
~from The Imitation of Mary by Alexander De Rouville
Holy Mother, what a perfect example God's given us in you. Help me to find delight in thinking of God, seeking him in everything, doing all for Him. Amen.
Truth is, all of us are struggling to keep something together, I think. Sometimes it's easier to manage than others. Or maybe we just get good at letting go of our former expectations. I will have time to keep a clean house someday, I hope. What's important I think, is to be there for each other, to support each other. As moms we're doing exactly what God wants us to be doing, trying our best to bring our kids up to know and love Him...bringing these little souls closer to Heaven.
Give yourself a hug moms! Or better yet, call your friend, sister, mom and tell her how awesome you think she is! (cause she is!) We've been there, done that, knitted the t-shirt, and the odds are good, we'll do it again sometime, and need that hug right back.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This day I call to me:
—from A Retreat With St. Patrick
Monday, March 16, 2009
Anyhow, after coffee, and a slow clearing of countertops...all the green beads, trinkets, candies and remnants of the weekend left behind to clutter...we're able to get on with the day. The weather turned out to be gorgeous here. It called for the kids and I to have our first picnic of the new year. We packed up our PB&J's and headed to Four Seasons park, where all the kids had fun on the playground equipment. It's really gonna take me some time to get used to my baby being one of the big kids. Lucy was up and down the slide, playing with the boys and their trucks in the mulch. She didn't need her mama one bit, except to rescue her from the mud she wandered into, and to peel the mulch from her sticky peanut butter hands.
I brought the kids to mom's for awhile while I headed to a parent meeting at school. Seems as though it's time already to get John and Mary registered for kindergarden in the fall. Oh my. It was nice chatting with the other parents a bit, including My Little Saint's mom. Before I know it, my baby birds will all have flown the coop. Mary & John's start into school in the fall, dips into the bottom half of my 10. My babies are leaving... You would think I'd be too busy to feel this sentimental about it, but they're all so close in age, that I realize when one goes, another is not far behind. Before I know it, we'll be registering for college. Yikes. Slow down, Jamie. It is Monday afterall...back to the here and now. I believe I hear a cup of coffee and some laundry calling my name. Good evening all!
I think I mentioned last week that our next project for Lent is rosary-making. The girls in this house (and even the boys at times,) love to string beads. I thought it would be a great idea then to get the kids started on stringing rosaries. The couple that are finished so far, I think are just beautiful, and there are a few more in the works that I think will be just as nice. A friend picked us up some beads at Walmart, and I was able to get the crucifixes and center pieces through a catalog order. A friend of mine suggested using dental floss to string them with, it's super easy for the kids to handle, and knots well. I think it's working great. I have enough supplies to do 10 or 12 I think. Although, I think we'll be making more in the future. But we have no plans for whom to share these with just yet. Anyone planning a mission trip, or having need of these rosaries, we'd love to donate them. Just let me know. It would give the project even more special meaning to know they're going to someone who would need/use/appreciate them! Just drop me a comment.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Emma's got a bowling birthday party to attend around noon. Our afternoon is free, then we're planning to get to confession and 5:00 mass, at which Alice and Emma will be singing in the children's choir. Saturday evening we have a ticket for a family St. Patrick's Day dance sponsored by our local Knights of Columbus. That should be good fun for everyone (that is if everyone's healthy enough to attend.) Sunday morning Alice, Emma and I are heading to St. Henry for a 5k run/walk. (I intend to run, but with lack of training, I'm guessing there'll be more walking then planned.) John and the rest of the kids will join us later for their St. Patty's day parade. It's a fun little parade with lots of treats and green trinkets given out, so the kids are really looking forward to that. Sometime in between, the girls have plans to do some beading. We started the next of our Lenten projects tonight which is hand-beading rosaries to share. Emma got one finished tonight and it's beautiful. Grace and Mary have each started on one as well, and are anxious to complete theirs. I'll have to post about that project as we get further along with it, and decide exactly where they'll be going, etc.
Overall, we shouldn't be lacking for things to do this weekend. I'm guessing there won't be much posting time, so I'll catch up when I can. In the mean time, thanks for your support and prayers, and have a blessed weekend!
He continued "No, mom! I don't want to be the priest. I want to be the pirate, and I'll hold your anniversary MASK!"
(sigh.) Okay, 3 might be a bit young for vocational discernment. We're not even on the same page. One can never say conversation is dull here, though.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Our entire team took a hit this week. That's right, all twelve of us. Remember last time we were ill, I mentioned something about wishing it would hit us all at once, so we could be done...well I'm watching what I'm wishing for! 90 Tylenol tablets, 1 bottle of liquid Tylenol and 1 bottle of Children's motrin later, and we're on the mend!! Fevers are lower and less often, and last night nearly everyone slept through the night without waking in chills or sweats. I've kept lists for temps and dosages that make my head spin, but so necessary. Lots of snuggling and more snuggling going on here. I did manage to get out to Aldi's and Sam's club this morning for much needed groceries and supplies. Kids are moving away from the couch to play...it's already a better day! Thanks for the prayers!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I'm not fasting today, but offering much up as sacrifice and penance. Clinging to the cross, and holding on for dear life.
John, a.k.a. "Captain Underpants," seems more than a little tickled with his new all-white underwear. He's officially moved on from Big Bird and Rugrats to tidy-whities just like Dad and Sam.
With pajama shirt as his cape, he couldn't wait to put them on right over his flannel pants this morning, awake now for all of 15 seconds.
(what a fun way to start the morning!)
Monday, March 9, 2009
As if. Where exactly would I put them once seperated?! (Not thinking clearly there.) I should have followed up with the "Never mind...you're gonna be sleeping in the same bed till you move out." But I just rolled my eyes and moved on. They're giggling quietly now.
Anyhow, that was the case for me today. I've been sharing frustrations, and mostly small successes with Amy about our struggles with losing weight. I've been working at it for nearly a year now after my doctor kindly suggested (without saying exactly) that if I'd like to live to see my kids grow old, I'd better take control of my weight. Enough said. I've not dieted, but I've made small lifestyle/eating changes (i.e. portion control) that has equaled a 34# loss so far. The next big stepping stone for me is exercise. I'm signed up for a 5k this weekend which I was planning to run, but without practice, it appears as though I'll be walking most of it.
As I pondered Amy's latest entries, I realized that I'd kinda hit a road block, and have started reverting to old ways. I want to be my best, healthiest self, but it's so easy just to go with what feels good, even when we know it's not what's best.
This afternoon as I opened "My Daily Bread" for some prayers and daily reflection, the words jumped right off the page to me. Certainly, I was to be reading this at this exact moment. The Holy Spirit is working on me, and I do know that God wants me to be my best, healthiest self as well.
" ...I need not be surprised at my changing feelings and moods. They are not the
higher self within me. God will honor me only for what I am trying to be. I
would improve much if I begged His help more frequently by prayer and the
sacraments. Too often I fail to put up a fight against my unreasonable feelings
and blind desires. At other times I try to fight them alone. Only with God's
help can I make any permanent progress. With the knowledge He gives me through
His holy church and with the strength He offers me in His sacraments, I can live
a Holy life in spite of the restless lower self within me.
Dear Lord, my smallness and weakness are perfectly known to you. Have pity
on me. Pull me out of the mud of self, so that I may not be stuck in it forever.
Consider the labors and trials of my daily life. Please stand by me in my
efforts. Strengthen me in my resolutions. I have often failed because I depended
on myself alone. Now, however, I shall seek advice and direction as often as I
need it. Only in this way can I hope to make progress in true and solid virtue.
Make me wise and honest in my daily efforts, so that I may no longer waste
valuable time. I hope to become at last the kind of person You want me to be.
Without you I can do nothing. Lord, help me. Amen. "
The issues I have with food, and my struggles over the years with weight loss (and trust me they started well before having these beautiful babies) are just one of my many human weaknesses, the "restless, lower self within me." I'm grateful for His support as I continue in the right direction towards the me He wants me to be!
cool wash clothes (check)
cough medicine (check)
Seems as though the flu bug is visiting. We're trying desperately not to make it feel welcome! Sam started with a cough Sunday morning, but I chalked it up to being out all day in the cool air on Saturday. No such luck. By last evening he was wracked with body aches, fever/chills and a nasty cough that kept him (and me) awake most of the night. He's home from school and on the couch today. I'm back to using Lysol on everything, hoping to keep this one at bay. Pray for us.
We had no plans for the weekend with the exeption of Sunday mass. So we took full advantage of our wonderfully warm weather. We took a long walk Saturday morning...that is John and I walked pulling 3 in the wagon and 7 more sped ahead on scooters. What a funny sight. I baked a small turkey Saturday afternoon while the little ones napped, but didn't feel like messing with all the sides, so we had a picnic supper in the backyard of cold turkey sandwiches, grapes, and chips. By late afternoon most of the neighbor kids had drifted into our yard to play, so we had a couple extra for our picnic supper, but it all worked out fine. Later in the evening as dark crept in the older kids stayed out playing "ghost in the graveyard" and "kick the can" with the neighbors. What a sweet taste of summer. Are we there yet?!
Anyhow, with the time change it was a struggle getting out of bed and ready in time for 10:00 mass, but we made it. All but Lucy who still goes to my parents. Frank and Rose have been coming to mass now that John's with us too. They sure are making a great transition I think. They behave pretty well. Even Alice commented that "Mom, 2 seems to be the right age for starting the little kids at church. Why didn't we start taking Charlie then, so he'd behave better." We did. He just hasn't caught on yet.
Anyhow, mom and dad had a wonderful brunch ready after mass for us...all our Sunday morning favorites, eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit, and of course donuts. Yumm.
Dad's starting on a woodworking project for us. We've decided to get rid of the chairs around our kitchen table and go with wood benches instead. Nobody seems to know how to keep chairs straight, with feet under the table which causes more arguments than we need. We're hoping it will give us more room in the kitchen as well. Anyways, after pricing them online, we're thrilled that Dad's willing to undertake this project for us.
We finished out the weekend with a 4H meeting Sunday evening. John and most of his siblings were members of the Minster Livestock group for years, and now our girls have expressed an interest, so we're going to see how it goes. My one condition is that they can't take animals to the fair. We have no room in our home for pets, and fortunately free-range chickens, goats and other larger animals are not allowed in town. Emma's decided on a bird project...one that involves building a feeder, and identifying birds. Alice is interested in cooking or arts and crafts. After attending the meeting last night, I'm certain it will be a very enjoyable, rewarding experience for them. This morning it's raining and cold again. The kids are happily playing with the dollhouse which was on hiatus in the attic for 6 months...for this very reason...it is new and exciting all over again, with enough accessories to keep everyone (boys and girls) happy for hours. Me, I'm drinking coffee, lots of it, trying to get motivated for another day in winter paradise.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thank you God for this beautiful spring-like weather, and the gift of children to enjoy it.
I think it's safe to say everyones heads hit the pillows hard last night. We were teased with a bit of spring weather yesterday, so we took full advantage of it. After school and homework, we headed outdoors. It took only seconds for all the neighbor kids to converge in our driveway, which is how I love it. There were enough kids to have games going in every corner of the yard...from jumping rope, basketball, scootering, kids playing in the fort. I love it!
After supper, we all walked to the school park for the last 45 minutes before dark crept in. The kids all played so well. There were no other kids there for the older ones to pair up with, so it was nice to see my older ones helping the little ones try the monkey bars, or climb up high to the "swirly slide." This was Lucy's first real park adventure, as last year she spent most of her summer in a stroller or carrier, oblivious. She LOVED the slide! It made me a little sad to realize that there would be no baby in my arms, or stroller to push around all summer. My kids are growing up, and wanting to do things independently. It's bittersweet. I long for the tiny baby stage, and yet it's liberating to be able to just grab a wagon for the toddlers and take off. And now I'm hands free to join in on the fun. (I loved the slide too.)
Anyhow, after showers the girls voted for a pedicure night. Alice got a foot bath for Christmas and some peidicure supplies for all the girls. I had an older foot bath as well, so we filled them both, and took turns treating each other to a little pampering. Sam was off to his Catholic Boys club meeting, so even the young boys enjoyed the attention, and soaking in a warm foot bath. After everyone was duly pampered and relaxed, we settled in with some library books, and rounded out the night with the Stations of the Cross, with the help of some simple homemade Station booklets Sam and I made in religion class. (I'll try to get the link for the printable accordion-fold booklets...very cute and simple)
It was a truly enjoyable evening. I'm looking forward to warmer weather coming and making itself at home for awhile.
(I wish I could say my night ended at 9 too, but that's when I pour another cup of coffee, and am just getting warmed up. I managed time for my prayers and Lenten reflections, a little computer time, chatted briefly with mom on the phone, scrubbed the kitchen floor, ran the dishwasher, folded 4 loads of laundry, picked up a few toys in the basement...and shoes someone would be looking for desperately come morning, and finally fell into bed around 12:30 with my rosary. John woke me when he got home at 1:30 and I was still gripping the second decade tightly. Didn't quite get through it, but hoping the Blessed Mother understands...)
Thursday, March 5, 2009
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
"That laundry is not very clean", she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap" ..
Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her how?"
The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look.
May God always grant that you and I see clearly...
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
We decorated flower pots (at home here, we used styrofoam cups) with colorful spring flower designs and the saying "Jesus gives us new life." The kids then filled them with potting soil and grass seed. We're watering them, keeping them in the sunlit window sill, and waiting patiently for the first sign of new growth. Just as we are growing closer to Jesus, nourished by His Holy Word, so do the seeds grow (we hope) carefully tended and nurtured. Our intention (here at home) is to add a few homemade treats to the grass-filled pots and and share them at Easter time. Although the kids have not been able to decide just who to share them with yet. For some reason, I'm thinking we'll be making more pots to accomodate everyone on their list. I hope I have enough windowsill space. Did I mention everyone LOVED this project with lots of dirt to run their fingers through!! (and to sweep up afterwards.)
(note: in class, the kids pasted a photo of themselves onto a cutout flower form, attached to a popsicle stick. They look just adorable "blooming" from the grassy pots!)
A prayer: "Lord, faith in your Word is the way to wisdom, and to ponder your divine plan is to grow in the truth. Open my eyes to your deeds, and my ears to the sound of your call, that I may understand your will for my life and live according to it".
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: ‘Our Father....’" (Matthew 6:8-9)
Reflection.. . .
AND GOD SAID "NO."
I asked God to take away my pride,
And God said "No."
He said it was not for Him to take away,But for me to give up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole,
and God said, "No."
He said her spirit is eternal,While her body is only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience,
And God said, "No."He said patience is a by-product of tribulation.It isn't granted - it is earned.I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said "No."
He said He gives blessings, Happiness is up to me.
I asked God to spare me pain,
And God said "No."
He said, "Suffering draws you apart fromWorldly cares and brings you close to Me."
I asked God to make my spirit grow,
And God said "No."
He said I must grow on my own,But he will prune me to make it fruitful.
I asked God if He loved me,
And God said "Yes."
He gave me His only Son, who died for me,And I will be in heaven somedayBecause I believe.
I asked God to help me love othersAs much as He loves me,
And God said,"Ah, finally you have the idea."
~by Claudia Minden Welsz
The good news is (I must keep telling myself) there's lots more time to keep picking myself up and trying again. Surely there will be more hurdles and roadblocks along this journey, but through perserverance and much prayer, I hope to maintain focus and draw nearer to Him and His will for me.
In the meantime, instead of a snack (which is what I usually choose when I'm feeling bummed) I opted for a snuggle. Charlie asked me to squeeze in between him and Frank tonight, so I did just that. I laid with them for a good half an hour before I couldn't resist the call of the kitchen needing cleaned up for the night, oh and laundry, bathroom, etc. I'm grateful for the little moments with the kids, when all is right with the world...ending the day on a good note.
Monday, March 2, 2009
As far as I'm concerned, attaining a perfect pie crust is indeed a lenten penance. I've had several thanksgivings past, where prayer was the only thing that kept me from tossing entire pies out into the back yard.
John loves homemade pie though, and so I made the crust tonight, and will fill it and bake it tomorrow for lunch. I've got apple pie filling thawing, from the bushels of apples I prepared ahead last fall. Last time I baked one I added blueberries to the mix too which is probably what I'll do tomorrow. It's a nice twist.
No, we didn't give up sweets in this house...perhaps we should have.
Saturday evening John and I got together with a group of friends we just don't keep in touch with like we should. A group of his high school classmates and their spouses gathered for a wine party at the home of one of the couples. We had many laughs about how far we've come from beer parties with chips and salsa. Karla had a beautiful spread of appetizers from bruschetta to chocolate dipped strawberries. We all brought a bottle of wine and even took part in a wine-guessing game. It was all so "grown up." It turned out to be quite a late night for us "old farts" though...I think we hit the bed around 2. Wow. Morning came around quicker than usual. I'm so glad we could catch up with good friends though, and look forward to trying to get together more often, especially now that John has his weekends off.
Anyhow we made it off to a later mass than usual, had donuts and coffee at mom and dad's afterwards, and later John brought the 3 oldest girls to the roller skating rink. I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall. Sounds like they had a blast. It was our kids' first visit there, and sounds like there will be many more trips in the future. I stayed home with the nappers, and did some baking. I tried a new recipe for a no-knead wheat bread. It came out a little more dense than I prefer, but the taste is delicious. It won't go to waste, I'm sure.
Anyhow, the highlight of the weekend was the realization that we have Saturday mornings again. At our house that means that the alarm clock is replaced by the sensation of cold little feet snuggling in between us in our bed. We just let them pile in until there's no more room. I think there were 8 in the bed this weekend...not everyone made it under the covers, but several brought in snuggle blankets and curled up at our feet like kittens. It truly is a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. Apart from summers, we haven't had this since before John started his weekend shift more than four years ago. One more reason to love his new schedule.
I'm feeling very blessed today, and so continue on with this Lenten journey, attempting to stay focused, to recognize His great love for me, and to reciprocate in some small way that love in return. Lord, make me worthy...