Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The little blessings of today

I often wonder (assuming I am around) what I will think when my kids are grown up. I wonder what kind of adults they will become. I hope some little bit of our family life and attitude is carried along to their generation. The simple things we make big deals of because, well, they are big deals. I hope they learn the lessons we are trying to teach.

1. Homemade pizza, while not as delightful to look at, is ultimately more fun and less expensive than the store/pizza shop variety. We don't do this often and I'm not sure why. The time spent with kids and dad is a wonderful moment. Mom is usually the chef with her sous chefs. This one item is all about dad. How blessed they are to share that time.

2. No matter how small you are, you are never too small to enjoy a nice picnic in the living room. I am waiting patiently for a) tiny man to be ready for all of that glorious picnic fare and b) picnic season to arrive. I think they will both happen at almost the same time.

3. For the price of a few glow sticks at the Dollar Store, you can have a whole evening of family fun. I'm not sure what it is but the sticks are magic. Dancing, singing, one even asked to watch TV. Fantastic!

4. I do hope I can teach my girls how very important it is to marry a man who is not only a good provider but also a partner. I have never been that wife who likes her husband to stay out of things and I am so blessed that he is there, every evening, to help shape these little ones. We started this journey together alone and it has been an amazing ride. God willing, we will both be there in many years to discuss how this all turned out.
Every day in our house we have so many things to be thankful for. I am amused by #3 who, almost without fail, is "thankful for lunch and dinner" during bedtime prayer. The others, however, come up with some wonderful blessings to name. For my part, I am most thankful for each day. The blessings and the crosses and the joys and the trials. What an amazing life we have been given to share.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Were I still seeing clients

I would tell them to go to Adoration with little people in the morning; go to Adoration alone in the afternoon; and run in the evening...surely then there would be much less need for sadness in the world.

Wow. Too bad I wasn't so religious back then. Someone should write this down.

Happy Monday  :0)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm the first one

It's still a mile baby.
Yes, I have started running again (no, Dave, no one is chasing me). Yes, it coincided with Lent this time. Yes, it may seem as if I am trying to drop some poundage that I have accumulated through five glorious pregnancies over the last 8+ years. You would be right about that but there is more.
The Lent aspect, while not planned, is entirely appropriate (I do love when the Holy Spirit works that out so I don't have to). I have never been someone who is overly concerned with my appearance (I know, you are shocked). I like to dress up and go out but, generally, it's just not me. When it comes to exercise, I'd much rather go to 10 AM Mass than hit the gym. Again, that's just me.

Lately, though, I have been having conversations and thinking about things. It is true that my body has been given to me by God and I should cherish it as such. I don't do drugs, abuse alcohol, etc., and so far, that has been enough for me. This Lent, however, I have been concentrating more on the fasting aspect and, to my surprise, it works for me. It is when I push myself and limit or deny myself that I feel closer to the cross. I like that.
Then there are my five little blessings. God has entrusted them to me and, for as long as He wills it, I am in charge of helping to bring them up to follow Him. I need to be present as much as possible to fulfil this duty and not be a burden to them that would keep them from following His will.
So, back to the treadmill I go. Some days, anyway. Other days, I take the kids to the gym and we run around and bounce a basketball and kick a soccer ball. That one I like better because we all get to be active at once. I am missing Spring...long family walks and lots of time outside.

For now, it's 2 miles at a time. Usually 13- or 14-minute miles but, hey, that is still two miles ;0)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our old, broken, cluttered home

and why I love it!

My middle child, upon returning home from our most recent family trip (aka, staying in a hotel with big bed, cable, and free breakfast!), remarked that he would rather live in a hotel than in our home because it is "old and broken".

My husband is very forgiving about most things but the clutter gets to him. Often.

Me, I love it. I love that we live in a 100+ year old house. It is our home. It has character. It has "good bones". It also has constant reminders of who we individuals and as a family. I like that. I enjoy looking around and finding these reminders when I move through my daily life. It's like the angels plant them there just for me. I know, though, that they are also reminders for the little people who live here. It makes me smile when I think how they are growing up. Surrounded by these reminders. Steeped in this faith.

Our "Lenten Good Deeds" jar...among the homeschooling dice, Christmas stickers and calendars
Our Epiphany blessings...I love that they are there when you look up all through the house

 Among goodies on the "collection tray" are 4 prayer stones. These just appeared there one day and the kids go to them at different moments and use them for different purposes. Always, it seems, they keep them here so that they can find them at exactly the right time.

Would I like to have a clutter-free home? Yes, of course. Do I get depressed when I look around and see that there is so much "stuff" here? Sometimes. Most days, though, I just see it as our current state. I know, as the little people turn into medium and big people, the "stuff" will change and, for the most part, migrate to bedrooms, cars, and other private places. For now, I like it all out in the open. I like the transparency that is childhood. I like, for now, having a house that is like one of those boxes in which you keep your most prized treasures.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Keep the LOVE in Lent

"I’m participating in the Keeping LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013, hosted by
Raising (& Teaching) Little Saints, Truly Rich Mom and Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families. We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of link-up entries.”
The kids weren't able to join their homeschool buddies for the Valentine's celebration because, falling on Ash Wednesday, we wanted to spend the day together as a family. Instead, we worked the Monday and Tuesday of that week, 
peeling doilies apart
gluing on scripture verses, cutting out and making these cool paper roses.
(there a lots of templates on the web - here is one Paper Rose Template )

The finished product! 

We were so pleased with the results, we got up early on Valentine's Day, went to 8 AM Mass as a family, and randomly handed out the finished valentines to the people who were in attendance.
Who knew how such a small gesture would effect so many people. There were many smiles and meaningful conversations (as meaningful as can be had with five kids under 8 years old). It was a fantastic exercise in putting others first (not worrying about "how many valentines I will receive") and showing the love of Christ to those around you.
In the car that afternoon, I asked my eldest what she thought of the exercise. "It was great mom...I think it's definitely another family tradition in the making!"

What are your family traditions with little people? What do you enjoy, as a family, that brings you closer to Christ during the Lenten season?
Wishing you a blessed, peaceful, love-filled Lent.

Check out the Lent reflections participating in the Keep LOVE in LENT Blog Link-Up 2013! We'll be sharing different ways, tips, stories and real-life experiences that will help us focus on Lenten sacrifices, prayer and good deeds, and how to carry them out with LOVE instead of a GRUMBLE.
Discover new Catholic Blogs to follow!

Building Rocks(pending)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Parlez-Vous! Passepartout

If you have not seen the Around the World in 80 Days cartoon take some time and watch. Most of the good episodes are on YouTube. We watched it in middle school and I'm quite sure "Mr. Fix" can still make us laugh.

Lately, at the end of the day, I'm feeling more and more like Phileas Fogg. Yesterday I emptied my pockets and had a roll of dental floss, a button, one mitten, and $0.16.

The motto of the wise is
be prepared for surprises 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mardi Gras!

We had our usual celebration to close out Ordinary Time and get all the sillies out before we begin Lent. I'm not sure all the sillies are gone but we did all make it through 8 AM Mass; a good start.

The revelers

My sous chefs

Our "pale lilac" pancakes (next year I must check to see how much red food coloring is left before starting to cook!)

They cleaned their plates. Are you surprised?

Let the party begin!


Monday, February 11, 2013

History in the making...

"After having repeatedly examined my conscience
before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths,
due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an
adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
I am well aware that this ministry, due to
its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only
with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.
However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid
changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the
life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and
proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are
necessary, strength which in the last few months, has
deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me."
- Pope Benedict XVI
We are praying for the Cardinals, that they may reflect God's will in their choice of a new Pontiff. We will also be praying for Pope Benedict;  for his health and well-being. Most of all, we will be watching excitedly as this continues to unfold. As I told #1 this morning, "You've just seen the election of a US President and now you will see the selection of the next Pope!". Of course, she believes the latter to be far more important. Good girl ;0)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Feast Day

to St. Apollonia, aka, "The Tooth Fairy" in our home!

St. Apollonia was a holy virgin who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians in the early 3rd century. Her martyrdom came just before the persecution of Decius (248-249).
During festivities commemorating the founding of the Roman Empire, a mob began attacking Christians.
The great Dionysius, then Bishop of Alexandria (247-265), related the sufferings of Apollonia:
Men seized her and, by repeated blows, broke all of her teeth. Then they erected a pile of sticks outside the city and threatened to burn her alive if she refused to repeat impious words after them (either a blasphemy against Christ, or an invocation of the heathen gods). When she was given a little freedom, at her own request, she sprang quickly into the fire and was burned to death.
Apollonia belongs to a class of early Christian martyrs who when confronted with the choice between renouncing their faith or suffering death, voluntarily embraced the latter.
She is popularly invoked for toothaches because of the torments she had to endure. She is represented in art with pincers holding a tooth.

St. Apollonia, Pray for Us!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Step One

take the pictures...

Oh, he not the cutest thing you've ever seen? ;0)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Random Stuff...

1. Friends

Do you have friends, or aquaintences, that you just can't "click" with no matter how hard you try? I usually find this so frustrating that I give up pretty quickly. Lately, though, I find myself intrigued by the whole process. Is the akward stage the deepening of a relationship toward true friend? Can you be a true friend with someone about whom you are unsure what is true and what is appearance? I don't know. I guess I'll see how this all plays out.

2. Babies

Are the greatest things, ever. Yes, we're back to the "do we/don't we" time of life. I can't say I've ever felt more comfortable leaving the whole thing up to God. If He wants it, He knows how to make it happen ;0) If He doesn't, I think I'm ok. I'm doing all I can to not put a judgement on the whole thing (I've been known to become obsessive in the past). I'm trying reallllyyyy hard to just go with it and enjoy what I've got. More blessings than I could ever, ever imagine (or deserve).

3. Avacados

The second greatest things ever! Mr. G and I share a scrambled egg with avacado almost every morning (the others refer to this as "Green Eggs without Ham". Cute. I recently read about some healthy person trying to save everyone from the nasty/evil calorie-laden Valentine's Day treat - GASP - chocolate pudding. Her recipe for "chocolate pudding" calls for honey, cocoa powder, and avacado. I love my avacado but, truly, they are no chocolate pudding.

4. Lent

Did you know we are one week away from Ash Wednesday? I have decided to give up alcohol for the 40 days (along with doing three liquid-only day-long fasts for 40 days for Life). Yikes! I am having flashbacks of driving across the county line back to Barbourville KY with my trunk bursting with booze. Wow. Knowing you can't have (or will soon lose) alcohol can make one into a temporary alcoholic. Our last hurrah...."Valentines" date night Friday at Mitchell's. Basil and Grapefruit with a side of oysters, please.

***Disclaimer*** Spellcheck is not working so ignore all the typos you may find. Thank you.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Philly fun...

We headed to Philadelphia for a quick weekend to attend a funeral. The kids loved their "lap of luxury" hotel stays (as always - cable and free breakfast!) and we made a side trip to The Crayola Experience, a really cool place - filled with all things art.

Fun in the big bed (poor G...he was trapped by the sillies)

My pipsqueaks ;0)

The dry erase car...very cool


the drying machine

drawing on the walls of a fish tank

making a puzzle

painting with light

the sidewalk chalk room (she just wanted to dance)

homeward bound. whew.