Thursday, March 29, 2012


Little Anne had a rough patch these last few days. Low grade fever, restless nights, a bit of a cough...fussy, clingy, needing mom-time. I'm so grateful to be the one she needs...I really am. It's tough and frustrating, depending on more coffee and more prayers to get through a day, but it's incredibly humbling to be THE ONE, the only one who can soothe whimpers and dry teary eyes and snuggle just right.

Until big sister Alice comes home, and suddenly...there's one more who can fill that bill. And it's an incredible relief to share that burden/blessing, and a little bittersweet too. Suddenly there's another little mama in the house. Big sister...better snuggler...momentary respite for mom. Just enough time to put supper on for the table for the other babes, and Daddy who works hard to provide.

Ahhh. God is good. I am constantly in awe, just amazed at how quickly time flies, and how they grow up in just the blink of an eye.

God bless Alice, my oldest and Anne my wee littlest (11 years between them)...and the special bond they share.

Monday, March 26, 2012

reflection and reconciliation

I don't always get it. Seriously. I just don't.
Sometimes (often times) I read a scripture passage, or nice reflection and when I'm thru, all I've got is "blah blah blah...blah blah...somethin' somethin'...blah blah blah."

That was the case this morning, when I flipped to the next card in my daily reflections. I read it, and seriously thought..."pass." Can I draw the next card? It just didn't click. No "aha, yes. Exactly" feelings today. Not gonna blog about that.

And then I went to confession tonight. The 6 oldest kids and myself...only slight moaning and wailing when I asked them to sit at the kitchen table for a few minutes and think about what's keeping them from Jesus. "What have you done that NEEDS forgiving?"
"Quick! You have just 2 minutes, we're running late!" ( pressure.)


As we sat in church listening to the Gospel, and Fr. Rick's homily reflection, and sang together such beautiful songs as "Hosea (Come Back to Me)" and "Turn to the Living God," the verse I'd read earlier today suddenly seemed clear...made perfect sense.

"His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
~Lamentations 3:22-23

Great is His mercy and kindness to me, a sinner. I am humbled by his love and faithfulness. Reconciliation offers me the gift of newness. The opportunity to cleanse my soul...recognizing all along that the price of my sins has already been paid by His death on the cross. His salvation.
Thank you God! All praise and glory to you.

Friday, March 23, 2012

pray & listen.

"My sheep hear my voice...I give them eternal life, and they will never parish."
~John 10:27-28

I was talking with my second grade class the other day as we were preparing for our special liturgy. Each of the kids had special jobs...readings, general intercessions, responsorial psalms, bringing up offertory, etc. There are 17 kids in my class, and making sure each person had a part was critical, and challenging to say the least. I had planned to have 2 of the kids carry in a banner during the procession, but ran short on time and ideas for what it should say and how we would make it. Anyways...long story short...I was telling the kids how I prayed about it, and "God told me to use a poster we'd created earlier in the year instead." (very cool puzzle-piece poster that shows how we're all connected/one in the Eucharist).
One little girl seemed amazed and spoke out, "God talked to you?! He never talks to me!"
It was a great little opportunity to share how God talks with each of us, we just have to practice listening.
That's how conversation works...we talk, and then we take a break to listen. All the kids promised to try it sometime. (lol.)

Anyhow. Today's reflection verse made me think of that conversation again. Sometimes I need to practice better listening too. Cause God is reminding me that I (and you, all of us) can hear his voice. He wants good things for us, and can help us to make right decisions in our life...decisions and choices that will lead us toward that promise of eternal life. We just have to breathe, take a break from doing all the talking, and listen.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

lamb days.

This March has "lamb days" unlike any other March I can remember...gorgeous 70 and 80 degrees weather this past week. Crazy! Kids are eating popsicles, playing outside in the water, picnicing in the backyard...we're lovin' this March Madness!

Look carefully...Frank didn't want to be in this next picture...but he's there. (Like a "Where's Waldo" puzzle, see if you can find him)

more reflecting

Today's reminder (from my daily reflection cards)...

"You shall be my people, and I will be your God."
~Jeremiah 30:22

I needed this reminder today. Boy, did I ever.
I mean, as good's easy to know that obviously, we don't worship any other gods, right?! I'm sure there's only one. And I know he's kind and merciful and steadfast...and all that good stuff. Got it.
Buuuuuut... (there's always a but,) how is it that I should worry and be anxious about so many things of this world then? Why am I so wrapped up in things and stuff and perceptions? What am I giving most of my attention to these days?
I am are his. We are his people. His peeps. Chosen, created, recipients of his mercy and love.
He is my God...your God. No other thing, or person, or activity, or superhero of our time, or any time for that matter can fill the God-shaped hole in each of our hearts. No other thing. Nothing. (Forget the things Jamie.)
I hear Him whispering, "Turn your focus Jamie, to Me. I'm where it's at. The rest...well it's not really yours to worry about, is it. Fah-get about it!"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


The generous spirits over at Holy Rosary left me with a lovely deck of "reflection" cards...have them in my window sill, and I change them out daily.
Thought I'd share with you as well. (Who am I to be hog-ish?)

Be still, and know that I am God.
~psalm 46:10

I'm reading this as..."just cool it Jamie! Stop talking/asking questions/blabbing...and just listen. And trust. God's got my back."

How's it striking you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

last of the season.

I joked with the kids Saturday evening that I hoped they were enjoying the warm evening, and campfire in the backyard, and running-in-the-dark would be there "last of the season."

"Huh?" They all looked at me like I was nuttier than usual. Baffled.

"True." I said. "Last campfire of the winter season." They all sighed in relief and kept on running and carrying on.

Seriously! Can you believe it's still winter?! At least through today. And they're calling for temperatures in the 80's here for the first day of spring. Seriously?!

Oh, what an amazing treat in the middle of blooming, trees budding, playing and picnicing outdoors...wearing shorts. Just wonderful!

We really did make the most of the weekend warm weather...
On Friday evening, I had the opportunity to speak to a women's group over at Holy Rosary in St. Marys...lovely group of women...all of them! We shared an evening retreat and reflection. Very good for the soul. While I was out, John and the kids visited the Tastee...for the season's first ice cream cones and slushies. Everyone happy.
Saturday was a day spent working outdoors doing odd jobs around the yard/house, and kids playing. We capped off the day with a campfire in the back yard...of course we had 'smores! And the kids played tag, and German Spotlight, and all sorts of running/hiding/noisey games in the dark. FUN!
Sunday Mass, a nice lunch and then the kids and I took off for the St. Patty's parade in St. Henry. We brought home green beads, and tons of candy, and t-shirts, and cups...and kazoos! Yes, kazoos...lots of them!
What could be better?! (Funny you should ask...)
Our renovation of the apartment is complete! WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!
Contractors are gone. Painting, and trimwork, and carpeting are complete. The rooms are furnished...all except for blinds and curtains...which should be in place by the end of the week.

Ahhhh....we are all indeed feeling very blessed to have this new, incredible family so that we can all be together, without being on top of each other. Truly amazing. Truly we are blessed.

Pictures to come in the next post...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

bating the trap

The kids were on a mission to capture some leprechauns last night. With a box, and sticks, and all sorts of sparkly things to intrigue the sneaky petes. It was fun to watch them work together to build such an elaborate trap. Where do they think of this stuff?!

Actually, I think their teachers may have put them up to it...talking about all the pranks Leprechauns like to play. So our kids were out to capture a few before they pranked us!

Turns out the last laugh was still on they seemed to party in the box all night long...leaving behind sparkly green beads, and party hats, and tiaras, and "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" pins. And they did manage a few pranks even...turning kitchen chairs upside down, and leaving the family room in disarray. Drats! They got away.

(and fortunately for me, no one was any the wiser that these are the exact same party things those darn leprechauns left behind last year. Hee. Hee.)

St. Patrick pray for us!

Monday, March 12, 2012

life is just a bowl of onions.

I wasn't going to share, for fear of sounding like a nutcake...but my secret is out. Several people have asked why I have onions sitting around the house I'll explain.

(and I'm knocking on 3 kinds of wood as I type...tricky, I know.)

We've had a pretty healthy winter here. (gulp.) Yes, I just typed that. (more knocking.)

We had our usual hit of stomach virus, followed by a devastating round of high fevers and coughs...nearly a whole month of illness back in November though. And in a depserate willingness to try anything from getting sick again, I took mom's advice...and filled our house with white onions. And we haven't been sick since. Seriously. Last week, a few of the kids had runny noses...but that's it.

I don't know if it's just good luck, or the fact that we had everything early, and our immunity is stronger...I don't know. There's been a TON of illness this season, and we've so far managed to avoid it. (still knocking.)

Mom read in an e-mail from her cousin (who's used this method for years, and swears by it) that if you keep whole white onions in your rooms, they help to absorb/or somehow rid your home of germs. ?? I don't know, really?? Well, after our month of yuckiness in November, she promptly brought over a bag of onions, and dispersed them throughout the in each of the bedrooms, and one in the kitchen...placed in a bowl on a shelf...out in the open, but out of plain sight. And voila. I noticed in January some of them were starting to get soft spots, so I replaced all of them with fresh. For the cost of a bag of seems worth a try.
Mom placed onions throughout her house as well, and it's the first winter she and dad have made it through without illness in awhile as well...although, we're usually the ones to pass it to them, so I don't know?

Anyhow. Have any of you ever heard of such nonsense? Or do you have some other nutty remedy you've been holding out on us? I've never googled it to see if there's any medical truth to it...but so far (still knocking) it's working for us, and I'll certainly give it a try again next fall (especially near Thankgiving, which seems to be when we're most vulnerable!)

Let me hear back from you on this...

Edited to add: my brother/sister-in-law just e-mailed me to "debunk" this myth. Snopes says it's just not true. Well darnit, anyhow. And I thought it was workin' for us;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

to recap

All little girls have freshly painted nails...fingers and toes. And thanks to the amazing weather, and some serious outdoor play, are already in need of new mani's and pedi's tomorrow.

I managed to get all 9 beds completely stripped and washed, and hung out on the lines. The breeze (gusts rather) dried them in no time flat. Gave the old clothes lines here a real breaking in...that is to say we broke 2 lines thanks to the heavy damp comforters hanging on for dear life.

I am seriously considering sewing name labels on my sheets for another day like today...nearly had to chase them into the neighbors yard a handful of times.

Oh, they smell so wonderful and fresh as all the kids trekked up to bed tonight. Nothing better than a whole room filled with the smell of fresh-air/clean sheets...makes the fact that I'm a day behind on my usual laundry a little less frustrating...and certainly worth it.

With school out today, we had friends coming and going. Bike rides, walks to the park, scootering and roller-blading galore. A handful of the kids and friends tried their hands at making home-made slushies (like making homemade icecream with ice and rock-salt.) It worked pretty slick, and they had fun tossing the ziploc bag concoctions back and forth in the yard to keep them shaking/freezing.

Workers were here installing flooring in our new bathroom which means, we are nearing the end of this reno project. Tomorrow we expect cabinets/sink to be set, doors and trim to go up, and by next week, we should be complete. DONE. I can't believe it!

I was ready to fall into my fresh sheets early tonight, till young John reminded me it's his turn for school snacks tomorrow. Darnit, I need to check the calendar more frequently. So here I sit, typing as I wait for the next sheet of cookies to come out of the oven. I look across the kitchen island at dear husband, keeping me company as he attempts to read the day's paper (head bobbing, and eyes closed).

Ahhh. Life is wonderfully full, and good, and exhausting for us all here.

Prayers to the angels...that they just may have to help me finish my prayers, afraid I'll be fast asleep before I'm thru...

g'night all.

waiver day.

I have no clue what exactly "waiver day" is. Our school seems to be the only one around with a day off. Like all good things though, I won't question...I'll just enjoy.

My kitchen smells like oatmeal and brown sugar, mixed with nail polish and remover. There's some serious make-over business happening. (I should get in line.)

Boys are busy with cardboard boxes in the family room thanks to a delivery of light fixtures.

First set of sheets on the line, and they haven't blown across the neighborhood...yet.

It looks to be shaping into a beautiful day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

movin' on.

Sometimes I don't even realize how all-full-of-myself I get.
God knows. And he lets me off fairly easy.

Recently I was struggling with a matter of forgiveness. I prayed about it for many months, talked with my husband about how to handle things...did all the right stuff to try to forgive someone their business. I wanted to be able to love this person in spite of/in light of their wrong forgive them, and still remain friends. Even though their wrong choices had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with me. I just knew the wrongness was there in the past, and I wanted to be "bigger" than all that. More "Christ-like."

This is where God laughed, (and proceeded to thump me over my thick skull with the flashlight I was holding up for everyone to believe it was really a Christ-light.)

You see God sat me down, and said this...

Thus says the LORD:
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!

You see, what our merciful Lord helped me to realize, was that I just needed to get over myself. That in fact, His love won. His forgiveness was given. He showed me that while I was so busy focusing on things of the past, I failed to recognize how incredibly hard this person had worked to move beyond it. She had made right with Him, and came out beautifully and rightfully cleansed in His love. And while I was thinking I needed to extend my forgive...I totally missed the fact that she was there, hand extended pulling me out of my "hole" of sinful pride. God placed her in my life because I needed her help, not necessarily the other way around. Get over yourself already Jamie Catherine. Learn from the love and strength and courage of others...and know that we are all sinful. Find peace in the knowledge that through his suffering and death, I am forgiven too.
We are indeed in this together...we are the body of Christ. We are His hands, pulling each other out, raising each other up.
Thank you Lord for your gift of forgiveness, and for allowing me to see through your eyes...that we are all beautifully, perfectly made in your likeness.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

silly me

"...I've been so lonely on my saddle since my horse died."
~something silly and random my goofy hubby used to sing...just for a laugh.

I'm feeling quite silly about things here on the blog. It seemed, well lonely...I was missing your feedback, and thinking that you all gave up on me....even after I posted about needing you all!
(poooor me.....)

And then I forgot to remember, that a few weeks back I turned on something called "comment moderation" to help cut out the spam and advertisements in the comment box. And in my forgetfulness and anti-spam angst, I didn't realize that you were there, leaving messages, and I didn't know I was supposed to check for them moderate all those comments. ALL 43 of them waiting for me patiently in blog-space somewhere. Just waiting on me...and whistling...and waiting.
And today, my mom tried to leave a comment and called me up and said..."Jamie, somethin's not right with your better check it out!" And so I did (cause I'm obedient that way.) And there you were...hands all reached out, commenting your little hearts out.
And I was oblivious.

And now I read all 43 of them, and I'm so not alone...just feeling silly for feeling that way.

Love you all!
And thank you for your patience with me as I continue to muddle through this computery stuff.

I turned comment moderation off. It's easier and more enjoyable to delete spam, than to feel like you're not out there.

Comment away...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Warmer weather means our kids spend as much time outside as possible...dragging every toy and plaything out of the garage with them. Seriously...EV.RY.THING! They'll dump out buckets and bins, tie jump-ropes to anything that sits still long enough, and arrange all sorts of garagey items out on the patio and picnic table playing all sorts of heaven-knows-what. I love it...LOVE that they're using their noggins for a little imaginative play.

I had to laugh outloud though when I peared out the kitchen window to check up on them, and found this...our blessed Mother was apparently in on their shananigans.

HA! (Yes, that's a spiderman rod-n-reel she's toting.)

Only during Lent...
Our Lady of the Fish-Fry, pray for us.