Sunday, October 21, 2012

Confessions about Confession

At the table tonight the subject of confession came up. Princess started by saying she wondered why I go so much. Well, the obvious answer is, I'm a sinner. But I explained that even if I am not in serious sin, with venial sin, when you get a smudge on your hand, you want to wipe it off. And that when your goal is to grow in holiness and become like Christ, naturally you want to frequent the sacraments to receive sacramental grace since we can do nothing on our own. Then the Little Guy (who is becoming more and more of an "expert" since he started school) piped in with an authoritative voice that we go to confession to get rid of weird dreams. I said I wasn't sure but mainly it was to cleanse ourselves of the bad things we had done. He said enthusiastically, "like disobeying your mom and dad!" I said, secretly rejoicing that he may have actually picked up on a thing or two I have said to him, "Yes! exactly!" and then he says, "Yea! like I disobey you all the time!" with a huge smile on his face.

"Well, at least he's honest." concludes the Queen.

Confessions about Confession







Saturday, September 15, 2012

Trips!

It's catch-up time with blogging! We have had 2 trips in the past month, that I have gotten ready for, and reaped the benefits from. The first was a weekend trip for my husband and son, their first ever Canoe/Camping Boy Scouts trip. This of course, left the rest of the crew with me. Things get a teensy bit lax when it is just mom in charge. Here is a little highlight of our time at home....


Meanwhile my husband and oldest son were out in the wild with lots of hairy men. (Did I say hairy?) Well, my first conversation with my husband about it went a little like this.

"What are you sleeping on?"
"They said just bring a sheet."
"A sheet?!! seriously? just a sheet on the ground?!"
"Yes, it's summer, it will be hot."
"What about noisemakers?"
"Sweetie, if we bring noisemakers we will be laughed at."
"How are you going to sleep?!"
"What about bathing?"
"I don't know about bathing."
"....I think I am better off not knowing anymore about this trip."

Amazingly, they survived, and came back having had a blast. And I was thanking God I was not a scout and never had been.

The second trip is one for the books. Because of my health problems, I don't sleep at night much, and ordinary stressful situations are much more wearing for me. My husband, seeing my need for rest, and wanting to visit his parents and grandfather who has cancer, decided to take ALL 5 KIDS with him to Florida for a week, leaving me at home. First time in a million years, I have been completely alone. I made a list about a mile long of all the things I have wanted to do but never get time to do, and I got about a third of it done. Thanks to my mean friend Kim, who came over and helped me declutter many closets in the house, by FORCING me to throw away things like my 12 yr. old son's playmat, or my 10 yr. old daughter's monogrammed baby towel, alot of organization occured. The rest of the time I listened to 80's and 70's music, danced, sang and slept in often. Oh yea, and I prayed, in complete and glorious silence, whenever I wanted to. And I skyped my family, alot. Because, I was lonely as heck. So they came back. But not before they had a blast.

Trips!
Princess, kickin' it off in style at Magic Kingdom.

Trips!
 The Classic Castle Pic

I'm thinking he's having a horrible time. I mean, it may look like he's having a blast, but deep down he misses his mommy, and he's homesick.

Trips!
Ham-it-up boy with reluctant, embarrassed sister

Just one more serving of Ham for you...

Not sure where he gets it from. (My husband is actually a very attractive man. Just FYI)

Someone turned 12 while they were gone. Don't feel bad for me, I was on skype for the party. 

And I would show you pictures of all my immaculate closets, and me dancing to 70's music, but my husband had the camera, and the closets are all probably back to being a mess by now anyway. As is my immaculately cleaned house the day before they returned. BORING. Dirt and noise is the new fabulous. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homeschooling with the Little Guy

Up until this year, the Little Guy has been going to Preschool locally. I decided to try homeschooling him this year so that he and I could work together more ( I am a glutton for punishment) and so that he could be more a part of our family life with the rest of his siblings.

Yesterday I was teaching him some of our traditional prayers, and at one point we talked about how Mary is the mother of God. But he had a hard time connecting that Jesus was God AND her son. At least it seemed he did. Then today I was teaching him the before meal blessing which goes like this "Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen." He kept saying "which we are about to eat" which was cute, but when I was trying to explain what "thy bounty" meant, that God owns everything, and gives us what we need he said very thoughtfully, "I think he gives us food from his pouch." "From his pouch?!" I said."Yea,....or maybe he gets some from Mary's pouch." By that statement he showed that he understood the following things:

Mary is the mother of God
God has a stash
God shares his stash with his mother

Why do I worry?!

My other favorite part about school with him today is I kept promising the reward of reading a book called "Dangerous Animals" if he paid attention during letters and numbers time. When we finally got to it (an Usborne Young Reader) he was mesmerized. After every description I read to him though of predator/prey scenarios, he would add "and there was blood all over his mouth."

As we finished our nighttime prayers and he was all snuggled up next to me, I whispered "I had fun doing school with you today." and he replied, "I had fun going to Disney with Dad." Don't ya just love him?

Homeschooling with the Little Guy




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Friday, August 24, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday #Somethineruther


1.
I have discovered Pinterest. I know, I know, I am so happenin'. I have decided though, that it is a love/hate relationship. I absolutely LOVE the artsy-ness of it. It is totally my style as far as social nextworks go (twitter, not so much) but I HATE how easily you can get sucked in, and how you can't find stuff you just saw very easily but failed to pin it, and now you think "alas, it is LOST!!" Wanna check out my boards? dont' ya don't ya? I have 4 so far. Kickin' it.  
Follow Me on Pinterest
2.
I have started to require The Little Guy to clean up toys in order to get on any electronics. First benefit: often times he is not motivated enough and ends up just playing with toys (which is what I would rather him do anyway) Second: I get to take hilarious pictures like this one:
Well, you have to give him credit, he DID get all the toys in the toychest. 
3.
Sometimes I am in such a flutter of busy-ness I just zip from one place to another in the house trying to get stuff done. Sometimes, however, I have to stop and admire my children's creativity:

Check out Barbie's clothesline IN THE KITCHEN! Our dolls are "green" like that.
4.
So my mom bought Angel Boy some new rainboots, since that's pretty much all we wear in this house any more. You think I am kidding. 

The Little Guy was feeling a little left out, even though his rainboots are in fine condition. He started   pointing out some holes on his tennis shoes and insisted he must get some new shoes soon. Thanks to my awesome SIL, I had a vast supply of boys clothes and shoes upstairs in bags, that he had never seen. I went upstairs and found some crocs in his size. I told him they were crocs, which were good for crocodile hunting. He has since been asking me when we will go to a swamp to try them out. 
5.
In an attempt at super-homeschoolism, I decided to make some gluten-free homemade playdough for my 5 yr. old as he will be starting kindergarten this year. It was disastrous. I decided to go with a generic recipe and choose my own flours. In the bowl, it looked totally normal. In his hands and on the table? It changed into a fine, crumbly like, powder. So as if playdough was not already a blast to clean-up, this one was a topper folks. And so as to take on oodles of penance cuz I am super holy like that, I let ALL my children play with it. right at the dinner hour. with dishes in the sink. Ugh,  I would wish to forget that night but I needed a quicktake. 
This is actually my 2nd batch, which was not as crumbly, but slimy, a nice touch.
6.
Somebody is super excited about his first canoe/camping trip.
I can canoe, can-u?
7.
Whenever I blog and look through i-photos, I always find some surprise pics taken by the kids with the i-pad. Some of my favs:

And that's all for now! For some more meaningful and intelligent quicktakes go visit 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What We've Been Doing This Summer...

1. Insane levels of heat,
2. two then one lingering student finishing the 2012 schoolyear,
3. my health worsening some

have all contributed to our being indoors, homebound, most of the summer, with the exception of some playdates at friends' houses. I always think they are going to die from boredom, however, things were far from boring around here.

All you really need to cure boredom is:
a. a sibling or two                                                     
b. an imagination
c. a prop of some sort

As you are about to see, I give you "Indoor Summer Activities 2012"

Wipes Throwing after the arrival of package via Amazon:


Setting up a card table in the Hearth Room and playing "Restaurant"
Eating lunch at that card table making it more exciting than the old breakfast table you normally eat at. Unless you are 11, then just making faces at the camera is exciting.

Using a jumprope to play "conjoined twins" with your sibling

Getting pulled around the house by that sibling...

Taking a dip in the "Choco-River" with your favorite siblings

Camping out "under the stars" under...the card table.

Getting the heck out of dodge because this camping thing is not what it's cracked up to be.

Having a slumber party in the middle of the day.

Totally NOT digging the slumber party. "Are you for real, peeps?! It's not my naptime yet!!"

And last but most definitely not least, sliding, with a repurposed, you guessed it, card table.

I promise we do pick up toys on occassion. And now that my husband will probably not leave me alone with the kids again anytime soon, at least you got an entertaining blog out of it.  


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I Wish I Knew When I Was a Newlywed (Link-up)

Katie@NFP and Me is hosting a link-up with tips for newlyweds, here is my contribution. My husband and I have been married 14 yrs. thus far. 5 kids.

1. If your wedding was not the exact picture you had dreamed up and planned for months and months, you will get over it. In fact, you won't care 15 yrs. from now. AND it is no indication of the type of marriage you will have. It will be much worse. Just kidding. :)

2. The greatest piece of advice given to me while I was engaged was from a female professor at Franciscan University in her 60's. She said "Beat each other to the cross. Be the first to humble yourself. The first to say your sorry." She then admitted her husband almost always beat her, dang it. That is me now, 14 yrs. later.

3. The longer you "know" each other, in the biblical sense, the better it gets, so if your first night is not the night of your dreams, it is no indication of the rest of your married love-life. at all.

4. Please, please, please, don't try to change your spouse. Change yourself. and pray like heck for them.   This will bring the greatest change.

5.Just because you are now "a grown up" doesn't mean you don't need help. Swallow your pride and take all the help that is offered. If you do, you MIGHT not end up in the looney bin by the end of it all.

6. It doesn't matter what other people think of you. Be the parent and/or spouse you feel God is calling you to be.

7. Just read #6 one more time.

8. When you have your first big fight, don't panic and think you made a big mistake, you will have many more :). You will also have many more make-up times, warm fuzzies (yes, I still look at my husband's eyes and melt) belly-laughs together, and moments of total gratefulness for this person before you.

9. Treat your spouse as the person you know they are capable of being, the person you want them to be, not as the person you see with a critical eye. One day you will wake up, and they will be that person. Believe in your spouse!

10. Submitting is not going to kill you, or your personality. It will give you peace and your marriage peace. "Daddy's in charge, ask daddy." Best. Sentence. Ever.


Well, I guess I could go on and on but 10 seems like a good round number. For more newlywed tips check out Katie's Link-up. 

What I Wish I Knew When I Was a Newlywed (Link-up)
On Our 10th anniversary, a cruise. The only time since my honeymoon that I painted my fingernails and toenails and blew-dried my hair every day. (Is blew-dried a word?)

   

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dyslexia, Another Curveball in Homeschooling

When you start homeschooling, you have pictures in your mind of how it's supposed to be. We all do it. With just about anything worth while. We imagine the perfect marriage when we're engaged, perfect parenting experience when we're pregnant, perfect houses when we are in an appartment, and perfect jobs when we are creating a resumé and going to interviews. Most of this speculating is due to lack of experience and knowledge, or the knowledge we have will not apply to our own situation.

So, pretty much every curveball I have been thrown as a parent thus far, took me by surprise. Can you imagine? I was not prepared for any of them. Not in the handbook. When my first child took to school and reading like a duck in a pond (except for his challenge with ADD) I was a little surprised when my next student, the Queen, struggled quite a bit. She could not memorize simple things like, numbers, and number facts. I would use the same flashcards I had used with my son, but she would be in tears after 20 minutes, as she could never remember the number names. She was learning to read, but struggled with it. It was not until I saw a card she made for her daddy on Father's Day, wherein the entire sentence she wrote "Happy Father's Day Daddy" word for word, was backwards, that I thought we might need to look into the possibility of Dyslexia.

I started asking around and found an awesome mom in our homeschool support group who had several children who were dyslexic. She pointed me to a curriculum called Barton Reading and Spelling which was created by a woman named Susan Barton. Susan had her own career but was distraught over her nephew's struggle to survive in school. He was failing everything and no one seemed to be able to help him. She dropped everything, started doing her own research, and tutored her nephew up to grade level reading, and had so much success she now helps students with Dyslexia full-time. I went to their website and watched all of her free videos, several hours worth, about Dyslexia. I was amazed at how much my daughter seemed to follow all of the precursors and signs. There was the most obvious one, which was that it runs in the family, her grandfather is dyslexic. She skipped crawling almost entirely and was a late walker (developemental delays, or "skipping" steps, was named as a possible precursor somewhere, but I can't find it on their site now). She had speech problems even from the beginning, little expressions which we just dismissed as her cute idiosyncrasies, and some stuttering. She never could get her"lefts" and her "rights", and never did get the "rhyming" thing.

The homeschooling mom I mentioned, Maria, offered to have us come over, and try her curriculum out, and eventually ended up tutoring my daughter in her home on a weekly basis. For a while, it seemed like she would never get it. The writing/spelling aspect of it was particularly difficult for her. But one day, Maria came out of the bedroom and said, "I don't know what happened, but something has clicked with her, we've made a breakthrough." She (Maria) and I both looked at each other, and there were tears in our eyes. She of all people, knew what it was to worry about and struggle with teaching a child who was dyslexic. I am so grateful for her help in jumpstarting us, and so grateful for the Barton program.

My daughter has grown leaps and bounds, educationally, since then. She still forgets to use her spelling rules and checks sometimes. She still hates to write, but can do it pretty well. Our Seton program has allowed us to adjust her work so that she can learn at her own pace and ability, and while school is still difficult for her at times, she is doing very well.

Dyslexics are known for their strengths as well, and my girl is no exception. She is very intuitive, beyond her age. She is disciplined. She is creative, artistic, and imaginative. But one of the greatest thing she has learned, I think, is compassion for her siblings when they struggle with school.


The biggest lesson I have learned through all of it (and will continue to) is that God really does care about our needs, and hears prayers. I spent much time in prayer, in tears, asking God to help me, help her. And in his time, he did.
Dyslexia, Another Curveball in Homeschooling





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Saturday, July 14, 2012

You Are What You Eat

I've decided to do a series of blogs on the special needs of our children, in hopes it might help someone out. Here is our story about ADD and food sensitivities.
You Are What You Eat
About 7 years ago (Sheesh, has it been THAT long?!) I was homeschooling my precious number one son. And he was beginning to drive me absolutely bonkers. He very easily caught on to many things and was a cinch to teach to read, but could not focus, to save his life. I was used to scenarios like: asking him to go upstairs and get dressed, waiting 30 minutes, calling up after him, only to have him still not dressed coming down the stairs sincerely asking "What was it you wanted again Mom?" On things like Handwriting and Math, he would sit there for hours, sometimes tracing over the same letter or number, repeatedly. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!" I would ask, exasperated. I had no way of knowing he was struggling with ADD symptoms.

I did know, something wasn't right, and I asked for advice from my homeschool support group, and got it. There were alot of "Oh he's just being a boy!" and "you are probably doing too much." (which was partially true) but I knew there was something more to it. Then one mom responded to me, and got my attention. She said she could totally relate, but that she had been using a nutritional program for her son, that had totally changed their life. It was called Feingold. I went to their website and began consuming all the information they had available. I ordered my books, joined the online support group (which is a MUST if you do it) and began purging our pantry of preservative packed goodies, and most prepackaged food. There's alot more to it than that, you have to consider everything that makes contact with the senses, food, cleaners, soaps, fragrances, even markers. It is definitely an overhaul. With their guidelines and support however, it was doable.

I was told it would take a while for it to take effect, sometimes even a couple of months. I remember vividly the morning I saw a difference. I sent him upstairs to brush his teeth. 5 minutes later he was running back down the stairs. I looked incredulously at him. "What are you doing?" "I brushed my teeth." He said very matter-of-factly. He left the room. I turned towards the counter to brace myself, stood there dumbfounded, and even teared up a little. I couldn't believe it. I continued to see improvement in his ability to concentrate, all day school days until 5:00 p.m. began to shrink back to half days (sounds more normal for Kindergarten right?).

The other side of this is my 5 yr. old son whom we now know, has SPD.  At first, we didn't put all the kids on this diet, just my oldest. But somehow I knew, it was necessary. I had read in Feingold materials that the sensitivity in one child was most likely to show up in others as it was genetic. My now 5 yr. old, "The Little Guy" is difficult to deal with sometimes. Because of his issues, he is very physical with things and people. This is nothing, however, compared to how he acted before we put him on Feingold. As much as I love him, he was just mean and unpleasant, most of the time. He would grunt at everyone, pout about everything, and didn't seem to be happy. One day, he was eating a cookie. It had red sprinkles all over it and they were getting on his face. (I now know, red sprinkles=red dye=red 40=big trouble) I noticed he had red splotches on his face where the red sprinkles were. I pointed this out to my husband and he replied, "You want everyone to go on it, don't you." So we decided to make it a family affair.

Another aspect of Feingold, besides the artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives, is something called salicylates. There are actually naturally occuring salicylates in some fruits, vegetables, spices, and nuts. You have to determine which ones your child is sensitive to. I have discovered that some of my children can handle more salycilates than others. The 2 boys mentioned above are pretty sensitive. My two girls, not as much but sensitivity is still there.

It is not a complete answer to your problems. There were some on the Feingold Message Board that chose to follow the program AND use ADD meds. After reading about side effects of ADD medications though, I just felt it wasn't for us. This was another option for me.

My oldest can still be spacey, but not NEARLY as bad as it was before. My 5 year old can still be very difficult, but I think it is easy for us to forget how different he was before Feingold. One of the first things my mom noticed about him after we started the diet was "It's like he has a different personality, he smiles alot now."

We don't follow it as closely as we did in the beginning, you can start to take risks here and there after you see what your child can handle. But it has taught me as a mother, that it does indeed matter what your child puts in his mouth.   

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sometimes It's Impossible to Be Serious Around Here!

So my husband was working late tonight. When he is gone I have a tendency to try to make up for it in the authority department, but sometimes I feel a deep sense of insecurity as I see I am losing control, and I say things that sound pefectly sane in my head, but somehow as they come out of my mouth, it all goes awry.

I am tired, I am done for the day but the day is not done, it is time to start our routine family rosary after dinner. I am ready with my rosary but the picture surrounding me is far from a picture of solemn meditation. As the noise begins to grow, I shout in order to be heard, "ALRIGHT!! It's time for people to start thinking about prayer and stop throwing babies everywhere!!" A silent moment, followed by a burst of laughter from the crowd. First my son, the Encyclopedia, who doubles as a major ham, imitates me, which induces, much more laughter.
Then, it's hopeless. But I try to begin anyway. Problem is, none of us can stop chuckling, including myself, now that we have this hilarious image painted by me, in all of our heads. Finally after we are halfway into the second decade, I regain some composure and after calling upon the respect of Our Lady (who can laugh after this?!) press on.

I would imagine though, that Our Lord and Our Lady might have chuckled too, at the whole scene, shaking their heads looking at each other and saying, "Bless her heart, she tries, she really tries."  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What Makes Us Crazy

You would think that parenting is somewhat predictable right? and should make some sense. to the inexperienced parent, maybe, or to the non-parent. Because for those of us who have been doing it for a little while, we know that nothing about parenting makes sense.

As I was getting dressed this morning, I was interrrupted by the Little Guy who bursts through the door with "Mom! Everyone is laughing at me for not being nice, FOR NO REASON!" Too many decisions for me to make. Whom do I correct? The people who are laughing at him? the one who is not being nice? or the ones who are laughing at him, for no reason? I start practicing what I am going to say in my head and it all sounds ridiculous, "Who was laughing at him for no reason?! At least laugh at him with a purpose!! But if you are laughing at him for not being nice, that is NOT nice. So don't do it!! and YOU stop being not nice and you won't be laughed at!!" slams the door, in my mind. Sigh.

I think about Bill Cosby when he explains why his wife looks crazy all the time and how his children have driven them crazy. Watch this:

So when you meet a parent and they can't remember their name, leave their wallet in your driveway, or can't seem to carry on an intelligent conversation with you, please, please, have a heart.















Sunday, June 24, 2012

When the 3 and 5 yr. Old Have Crayons...

What do you do when your 3 yr. old and 5 yr. old draw a racetrack through your house on the floor, the day before your daughters' birthday party?

I take pictures. 


And video....

Okaaay, I did google "how to get crayon out of carpet", and the vinegar worked just fine. But wouldn't you have documented this artistry first?


I Love Cranky Old Priests!

Our pastor is away at school for a month, and often when he leaves, the former, now retired pastor of our parish will fill in for him. He is actually one of the reasons why my husband and I first came to the parish.

There is an epidemic amongst our parishes. It's called "niceness". I am not talking about Christian charity, because true Christian charity, sometimes requires speaking the truth. I'm talking about the attitude that if I speak the truth, people might get their feelings hurt or get offended, and they might leave. So everything I am going to talk about is going to be nice. Nice and sweet. Well, this retired priest, does NOT feel that way.

He is very thin and sort of small in appearance, old (or older), a little cranky, and he doesn't put up with anything. When he was pastor, and people's cell phones went off during mass and they let them keep ringing, he would turn bright red and tell them he was waiting. (I loved him for this.) When he gets up to preach he often rambles on through the readings and sometimes is hard to hear, but when he feels passionate about something, all of the sudden he turns bright red (notice a pattern?) and speaks with forceful clarity as he shifts from one foot to the other.

Today he was talking about John the Baptist as it was his feast day and the scripture readings were focused on him. I couldn't hear him very well or understand him, until...."John the Baptist was a martyr because he stood up for what is right. He spoke out against Herod because what he was doing was wrong. We may be put in a position where we have to do the same thing. There are some people in our government who want to say when life begins. Life begins at conception. Only GOD can give life and only GOD can take it away. There are some people who claim to be Catholics who are saying this. THEY ARE NOT CATHOLIC. I hope that when the time comes for us to stand up for what is right and possibly against our government THAT WE WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO SO!" At this point he slammed the lectionary closed and left the ambo. My husband and I exchanged a smile, sometimes frankness can be soooo refreshing.



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Friday, June 22, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday


1.
It never fails, my nerves can be frazzled from a long day, the kids are worn out from all their fighting ;), and maybe my chore list on a "day before a party" day which has been known to include things like "vacuum the lampshades" ok, not really, but we are sitting at the table to dinner and daddy walks in. He sits down and challenges the Little Guy to a yelling contest. He is a brave soul. This is the closest rendition I could find since I didn't capture it on camera.
We were all deaf afterwards, and I think the neighbors may have come out of their houses, and a window may have cracked, but we were also all laughing hysterically. I love my husband.

2.
Every night after the rosary, the kids are asked what they are thankful for. They have gotten into the habit, however, of saying the same thing every night for the last....several years. So tonight after my oldest rattles off his usual, "nice mom and dad, nice dinner, cute baby brother, nice sisters..." His daddy interrupts with "Alright something you are thankful for TODAY, and we all know your mom and dad are NOT nice."

3. 
I sent the kids outside with spray bottles full of water the other day, (idea courtesy of Angie@For the Love!) and the Little Guy came inside and said "Mom, tomorrow when I get the spray bottle, I am going to spray water all over the heck of (The Queen's) big belly button, and that's a big job mom." I can not even begin to make this stuff up.

4.
The girls are having their first "joint" party this weekend. Even though we hang around alot of reasonable, large catholic families who realize that every kid doesn't need to have a party on every birthday, my husband, who is Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the vacation planner, and the party planner all in one, has ALWAYS insisted that they do. Until this year. This year HE actually suggested the idea of....(gasp) a joint party. After thinking about it for a while and realizing it might be fun to plan together, they were fine with it.  Really, if my poor kids did not have their daddy they would probably be fasting on bread and water, wearing hairshirts, and practicing the vow of silence, always, cuz I'm a mean, ole, catholic grouch that way. ;)

5. 
The girls picked out their party stuff together yesterday, and my husband and I were stunned. Are you ready for this? Don't be scandalized. We were. 

Where are the fairies?! Ponies?! Princesses?!! (Sniff, Sniff) Our babies are growing up.  

6.
The Little Guy has been observing his older siblings going out to get presents for each others' birthdays. This morning, as usual, Princess was instructing him all about, how things are, and how they should be. He absorbed some of it, but didn't quite get the part about giving someone a present that THEY like, not you, and about keeping it a surprise. He kept picking up toys on the floor saying, "What about THIS?" handing it to his sister. Finally, he began "wrapping" toys up, and running to put them in my bedroom, where we keep all presents to be opened in the future. Here's his little pile of "presents" for Princess. He started out with tissue paper and a brown bag, then resorted to a play doctor bag, and then, oh heck, just threw it in a towel.

P.D.C. Pretty. Darn. Cute.

7.
"I think that when the girls open up the dollies, the girly stuff that I wrapped, they will love it mom, because when I make stuff in my heart it will make people super happy, right mom?."

P.D.S. Pretty. Darn. Sweet. 


For more of 7 Quick Takes, go to Conversion Diary.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Consumed in a Fire

"My heart goes out to My people.." (Mt 15:31) 

Today is the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A "feast day" is what it sounds like, basically a party in the Church to celebrate certain aspects of our Faith. Do we put up streamers and balloons? No, well, some families do maybe, but we might go to mass, talk about what it means, maybe make a cake if you eat sweets, and spend some time praying and thinking about it. 

The idea of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is nothing new really. Jesus was human, and therefore had a human heart, but he was also divine, and his divinity transformed his humanity, they consumed each other. In a manner of speaking. So why should we be surprised to see his human heart consumed with flames of Divine Love for all humanity?

Consumed in a Fire

"Behold this Heart which has loved everyone so much that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love." Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary, June of 1675. 

Our Lord first introduced the idea of devotion to his Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary.  These are the promises he made for those that would remain devoted to the Sacred Heart and share it with others:

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their houses.
  3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
  4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all at death.
  5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
  9. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
  10. 10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. 11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
  12. I promise in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
As an adolescent there was a book that greatly influenced my spiritual life called "Way of Divine Love". Although the visionary (person who receives visions) nun in it is not a proclaimed saint, her relationship with the Lord and his words to her enthralled me.

Jesus To Sr. Josefa Menendez:

“My Heart is not only an abyss of love, It is also an abyss of mercy; and knowing as I do that even My closest friends are not exempt from human frailties, I will take each of their actions, however insignificant, to be clothed through Me with immense value for the help of those in need and for the salvation of sinners. All cannot preach nor evangelize distant uncivilized peoples, but all, yes, all, can make My Heart known and loved . . . All can mutually help one another to increase the number of the saved by preventing the loss of many souls . . . and that, through My love and mercy. I will tell My chosen souls that My love for them goes further still; not only shall I make use of their daily life and of their least actions, but I will make use of their very wretchedness . . . their frailties . . . even of their falls for the salvation of souls. Love transforms and divinizes everything and mercy pardons all.” (December 5, 1922).

Today is also the birthday of my precious Queen. Nothing is an accident, and it was out of the abyss of the mercy of His Sacred Heart, that he gave her to me!!



"Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light" (Mt 11:28-29). 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Angel Boy's Birthday Bash

I am a little late in posting this. I have been putting it off. I guess because I wanted the perfect party pics for you. And I thought somehow if I let the ones we took sit a while, they would morph into something else? You know pictures where birthday boy is oozing with cuteness? Well let's face it, he is pretty much oozing with cuteness 95% of the time, but where he poses for every picture looking directly at the camera? Yea well, this is real life, people. And birthday parties are total chaos, let's be honest. You are lucky to sing happy birthday and get a candle in the cupcake before it is all over. So as long as we understand each other, we can begin.

Angel Boy has a pretty big advantage in this family in that he has 4 older siblings to anticipate his birthday for him, before he even understands what a "birthday" really is. So all he has to do, is sit back and enjoy the show. The decorations went up the morning before his birthday.
Angel Boy, not having a clue what's going on, joins in on making them.


This would be the entrance....to my husband's and my retreat. Which my husband now calls "The Elmo Room" since the decorations have not been removed in a week.
Close up.
Mickey on one end...

Blue on the other.
Angel Boy's Birthday Bash
Surrounded by his favorite characters as he dines.

From left to right: side table drawer, the thinking chair, Scout the Puppy,  Cookie Monster, which by the way did you know they changed his name to "Veggie Monster"?!! What is the world coming to?!
The one and only....Dora. 


Spontaneous Birthday....chant. Chant along, it won't be hard to follow, I promise...

Party Day! Big Brother meticulously planned out and hung the decorations.

The Queen? The behind the scenes dirty work. That's why she's the Queen y'all.


Princess occupies the birthday boy.


Ok, here come some of my favorites. Are you ready?

The "Blow out your dang candle!" Headlock Pics
Poor Baby.
It's like he's in a time warp here. 

Ooh pretty fire, Mama!

 

I'm eating here!!

Somebody help the poor boy! I don't think he has enough help...

Who needs helium when you understand static electricity?
What you can do with static electricity, "The Day After Party".

So as you can see birthdays around here, last for days, and days, and days.

I am sitting here still looking at streamers and balloons. 
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