Saturday, November 17, 2012


Often, I find myself remembering that scene from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer...the scene when Hermey (the dentist elf) is explaining to Rudolph how he was "In-de-end-ent."  And I can't say it without emphasizing each syllable, just like those two did.

Something about 2 year olds learning new tricks, and insisting they do things all by themselves.


Anne had one of those moments today.  It cracked me up.

For anyone with older girls who insist on wearing these crazy stretchy headbands to slick back their loose hair/bangs all the time, and are constantly adjusting them as they slide out of'll know why this is so darned funny.

I swear, she wouldn't let me help...and just kept putting them on, taking them off, over and over!

 And finally, happy with her results...this is how she insisted we head out to the grocery store.
Yes.  Lovely.   And independent!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I thought it was just really cool to spend time learning the art of home canning from my mother in law almost 16 years ago.  She was such a patient teacher, and only laughed at me a few times when my ignorance proved too much for her to contain.  Seriously.  I grew up on instant mashed potatoes and hamburger helper, on a good day.  Putting fresh fruit into a jar and hermetically sealing it to last through the winter was a foreign concept to say the least.

Clearly though, in hindsight it's easy to realize it was providential and truly one of God's gifts that she would share these things with me. 

I wouldn't have believed a soul who would have predicted I'd be staying at home raising 11 kids, and most definitely couldn't have imagined the grocery bill to feed them.


Over the past week I've been consumed with thoughts of her, as I put up 7 quarts of applesauce and another 12 quarts of apple pie filling; thanks to the last apples of the season from our cousin's trees.  Waste not, want not.

 I so wish she were here to chat about life's crazy moments, and yet I'm sure she's enjoying the view from heaven (and gasping a little when I don't wipe the rim of that jar clean before placing the wax lid!)  {smile}  Just kidding Alice.  Clean as a whistle.  And sealed nicely.

God is good.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Body of Christ

Often times, coming up with a lesson plan for my 7th grade religion class is a bit tricky.  I have a text and teachers guide, and suggested activities.  Still pulling the information together, and helping the kids to see the lesson through their own eyes...recognizing how it relates to their own lives, bringing the lesson to life can be challenging.

Today's lesson plan was all about "being the body of Christ."

Along with a prayer by St. Theresa of Avila, few paragraphs from their text, a creative team activity,  a really cool song by Casting Crowns, and some prayers to the Holy Spirit...I was still feeling like something was missing.

As I stood at the kitchen cupboard, books open, leafing through for just one more thought/idea to pull it all together, my phone rings...God is so AWESOME!  And the people who he works through...well they're AWESOME too!

You see, my van wouldn't start last night after the junior high bible study.  So I left it parked there in the church parking lot overnight, and called for a tow this morning to our local repair shop.  A lovely soul who saw our "big red bus" roll past her window on the back of a flatbed trailer found in her heart to pick up the phone and call.

Without hesitation.  Seriously...the van couldn't have even made it the 5 minute drive to the repair shop yet when she'd called.

There she was on the other end of the line asking "What can I do for you today?!"  Concerned that I didn't have a way to get kiddos to preschool/kindergarden, or that I might have other errands to run, she dialed me up and offered herself (and her wheels) to help out.  Just like that.

Thank you, my friend for being the perfect example of how each one of us is called to be "The Body of Christ" in our world.  God Bless!! 

Praises to the Holy Spirit for bringing this lesson to life for me, and for allowing me to share the experience with my class. 

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.”  
                                ~St. Teresa of Avila 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Apparently I need a longer arm to get us all in the picture.  Sorry Anne.
Yes.  We did vote.  Well, only I voted but with the help of my little pollsters. 

We all got stickers though. 

On the way to the polls, I chatted briefly with the 2, 4, and 6 year olds about what it means to vote.  About how we get to help choose our new president.  I mentioned the two presidential candidates...of course the kids were familiar with both names.  "Rock" Obama is the man responsible for stealing all the good food from the cafeteria (according to Frank.)  And Mitt is the "nice guy" according to Rose.  Their opinions may have been swayed slightly by the older "school kids" in our house.  Ha!
Lucy added without hesitation..."I'm going with God on this one, Mom." 

AMEN.  (me too.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On the feast of All Saints.

I started the morning at a much quicker pace than usual today.  Typically I hang out in my flannels, present for the kids as they pass through the kitchen.  They make their own breakfast, clean up a fuzz, go about their morning hoopla.  I'm there to give gentle reminders and help with shoe-tying, hair beautifying, and of course morning prayer.  All the while, sipping my coffee and enjoying the whirlwind that surrounds me.
Today though...thing were different.  I woke the four youngest earlier than they prefer.  I helped them dress and get ready for church.  We dropped the older kids off at school, then off to Mass we went.  The fact that their eyes were only half-open, and they'd not had breakfast yet seemed to help them stay fairly settled in the pew.  Even Anne had nothing to say today.   That is until we returned from Communion.   As soon as we were back in the pew and kneeling, she began screaming and pointing back to the Eucharistic Minister.   Making it very clear that she did not get her share.  I hushed her and rocked her and tried to explain "someday, when you're a big girl." 
And I realized in that little instant again, what a privelige it is to be part of this special Communion...a sacred meal that defies the boundaries of time/space.  A sharing in the Bread of Life with all our family here on Earth and in Heaven. 
Breakfast with the Saints, shall we say.

It made me smile that she wanted to be a part of it, even if only for a snack...and in that moment I felt so incredibly blessed to have been called to be part of it.  Grateful that she helped me to remember the beautiful gift of sharing in the breaking of the Bread.