Friday, May 29, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday! (Vol.4)

I feel way behind on the blogging, so I figured I would do it this way, this week!
Thanks for hosting, Jen!

Vincent's new trick
FYI, walking off the table just means you have to rub off the bump and get back on!

Michael's Growing
He's gone from a vacuum stalker to a soccer, football and golf fanatic.

We love you Michael!
Thanks for letting me coach the first half of your rainy practice today!
Maybe next time I fill in for Dad, I will be able to move faster.
Happy Birthday!

*see footnote for another story

Ok, so I'm going to quickly advertise the best birthday treats ever!
We bought them from our local SAMS club. I usually make my own treats for taking to school, but since we camped this past weekend, and Michael's birthday fell on Tuesday after a long weekend, I decided to take the easy road and try something new. I'm hooked!

Maybe it's because I know this babe is going to be here in a blink of an eye with the speed that summer seems to go, but one day this week I wondered. 'Why are we being blessed to bring another little one into this world - I can't handle what I have now!'
(I occasionally seem to get this way in the third trimester.)

Yes, I was overwhelmed one day this week. Kids were fighting all morning. The table used to be a safe place to put things, until Vincent learned how to climb onto it and spill everything in sight - cereal bowls with milk, drinks, syrup plates. He had his own food fight going on each time we prepared to eat or finished eating. Then you add a few other stressors into the mix: emotional pregnant woman, getting caught up from camping, poor spousal communication, last week of school, graduation, golf, soccer, did I mention emotional pregnant woman?

A little later in the day I came to my senses a bit with prayer. 'Ok, God, if you want me to feel overwhelmed, so be it. I give it back to you. You deal with it. I'm done!' A little later, I picked up the book St. Rita of Cascia and I will share this paraphrase with you, "By submission of our will, God graces us with suffering; allowing us to be an example of humility and patience." At this point, I was still pained with certain circumstances, but at peace with the day; ready to clean the messes and deal with life's events with a more joyful heart.
Thanks be to God for these opportunities of growth!

The next day, I got to practice more humility.
You got to love it when your dog escapes out the front door, thanks to kids opening it, and the neighbor guy comes over to inform us the dog is loose and asks the kids for their mother. Mother is sitting in the bathroom (near the front door) doing you know what, and realizes there is not enough toilet paper.
"Daniel, get the leash. We'll be right out!"
A friend on the phone even got a laugh from this conversation-I was caught!

Back to books, thanks to the camping trip this past weekend, I was able to complete Left to Tell. All I can say is, "You must read!" It's an easy read - and that is coming from a slow, poor reader. Look at #9 on the camping trip page for a brief synopsis.

Kathryn is officially a high schooler!
Only 4 short years of internal formation left. I'm excited for her and these years of upcoming growth. Since I was looking at Jen's sight earlier, I am going to steal a thought:

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "Man, what a ride!"

Even as you begin your high school years, I challenge you to take good chances, stand up for what you believe in, and work hard at everything that comes your way!

We are officially on summer break!
We're on sum-mer bre-ak!
So what does that exactly mean?

(except when the babe is actively entering this world)

From Father at Mass to the school kids,
"Remember, we never take a break from being Christian.
Continue to be a witness to the faith:
In your families, with your friends and to everyone you meet!"

Have a blessed summer!

*For Michael's birthday, we met him for lunch and recess. Daniel hung close for a few minutes, then played tag with Gina and some big girls, and Vincent was carried away by other big girls. John ran out to play football with the big boys. He told me he was connected to Michael and was going to be on his team. For the first play he was involved in, the big boys passed it to John. His teammates cheered him on to run all the way for a touchdown. The other team faked (very well) falling down and missing John so he could make it all the way. John scored! He tripped and fell, (doesn't take much) got up and fixed his sandal, came running out of the endzone with his arms raised and shouted "Hey guys, I got a touchdown. Oh yeah, you couldn't even get me! I was super faster than you!" And yes, the emotional pregnant woman had a joyful tear come to her eye as she witnessed the goodness of these boys being spread.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Camping highlights

Yes, this post is a few days behind. I'm finding I need to put blogging on the reward side of things. Practicing what I preach, "Take care of your responsibilities, then you can have computer time." This is really hard! I'm mostly caught up! I also tell them, "A mother's work is never done." This way, I get some time. ;)

Vincent helping Dad set up the camper.

When the chairs aren't out, build some with Legos!

The kids caught fish and frogs! Lots of them. To restock our pond. One time, Gabrielle came back from the watering hole early with the bucket. Luke came back a little later stating, "I need to change my shirt! Gabrielle left with the bucket and look at all the frogs I caught! Only one jumped out of my sleeve, but I got it back!" Yes, picture this, shirt tucked in, frogs between his bare belly and his shirt, one hopping out of his short sleeve; Luke containing the others as he re-caught the escaper, and hiked to our site with a wet shirt full of leaping bullfrogs!

Gina and Vincent "sharing"

Gina: "I Gina Princess! Dad, you the King!" I wish I could have captured the melting of Daddy's heart when she said this. His smile and hug to his little princess said volumes!

The Ritual "Tea Party"

Come and Get It!

The boys were playing soccer with our neighboring camping boys. One of the neighbors should have earned a few red cards. I think my boys had enough. Their cousin was being taunted by this boy, and John ran over to tell them to leave him alone and not mess with him. Then Daniel ran over. He placed his hands on his hips, gave a stern look and made himself look strong. I was a bit worried about a physical fight, but wanted to see how they would handle the situation on their own, so I kept my distance. We adults could see an exchange of words, catching a few words here and there. Michael walked over for reinforcement. Luke thought they had it under control so waited for them to disperse. They worked it out! Maybe the neighbor boy realized he was outnumbered, but I was happy to see my boys stick up for their cousin.

Dad, Grammie, and the kids went on a couple bike rides, leaving 'big mama' at the campsite. I managed to hold back the urge to go into town and pick up my house and relaxed with the book Left to Tell. Immaculee Ilibagiza shares the reality of humanity: our struggle to live in love; and our union with God as the means to accomplish such a feat.

After reading this book, I am reminded that we only receive love by fervently praying to the One who gives love. By uniting with the One who is love and forgiveness, we are able to hand ourselves over to His will in each situation. We begin to recognize that He IS always with us; giving us the love, strength, peace and wisdom to share with those around us. Someone recently reminded me, "Love transforms the most horrible into the most beautiful. Just look at the crucifixion, the killing of God."
All for a greater good!

Some of the crew saying goodbye
Elizabeth, Daniel, Michael, Andrew, Gabrielle, John

"Love until it hurts, and your will find that there is no hurt, but only more love."
-Mother Teresa

*Last 6 photos courtesy of Grammie. Thank you!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Deep thoughts

By Daniel:

"Everyone in our family has a "p" in their name!"

He continues to name us all off...
"Mom, Dad, Daniel, (notice he is not going to forget himself) Gabrielle, Luke, Kathryn, Michael, John, Vincent, Gina, the baby. Huh, did you know we have almost 11 people in our family?!"

With a look of shock, "That's a lot!"

Back to the serious look, "But not if God gives us 10 more kids, then it would be 20. That's maybe enough. But I don't think we should have a thousand, that would be way too many. We would get way squashed in our house and no way would we fit in one room."

Friday, May 15, 2009

St. Isidore the Farmer

I think of this saint often, especially when I realize I have so much to do, that there is no way it will all get done. I used to fall into the mindset on a busy day that, if I skip daily Mass, or don't stop to pray for a moment, I will have extra time to catch up around here; only to be let down. We must remember God takes care of those who put him first! St. Isidore understood this and has taught me a great lesson - when our priorities are straight, everything else falls into place. St Isidore was a hard worker, and excellent example of sanctifying our daily duties! He plowed, and planted and prayed and he called on Mary, the saints and angels to help him turn his ordinary day into a joyful one. He truly lived his faith in his work, and God did not let him down; He sent Isidore extra help. All I can say is, I want to be like that! (I'll take all the extra help I can get ;) )

St. Isidore, help me to always put prayer first and carry it through my day of monotonous work, so that I too may be joyful in my duties. Teach me to unite my prayer to hard work and care for the poor placed in my life, so that they will no longer be inferior, but I.

Jesus, Himself, also gives us this example in the Washing of the Feet of His disciples. He made himself a lowly servant, taking care of the needs of others, through dirt, ugliness and pain. We are not our own, but we come from the Father to do His will - most especially when we don't want to.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


We made it through another Spring Carnival last night!
Most of the activities were moved inside due to rain. It makes for quite a crowded, stuffy evening, but that doesn't seem to phase anyone except us spoiled adults! Or maybe just me, my large belly, and trying to find little people amongst the giant school aged children.

Despite that, it was FUN. Even for us spoiled adults. It was relaxing to a certain degree, thanks to a dear husband's presence with our youngsters!

To recap:
Kathryn 'finally' got her turn in the dunk tank! She has been waiting for this day for a few years. Sadly, her shift was at the beginning of the day, and yes, we were late. I missed throwing the ball at the target to share my love and soak her graduating self. That would have been so rewarding (for me). And for her - however she said she was ready to laugh if I missed. Come on, Kathryn, you should know by now, when it comes to throwing a ball at a target, your mother will NOT miss! Especially when it involves getting my beloved daughter wet - which is what you wanted to achieve in the first place! Do you feel the love?

I only saw Gabrielle when we started and finished. Luke came home with a stash of 2 Liter soda's, with his only disappointment being that Code Red Mountain Dew was not available. (Like he needs that stuff!) He and Michael closed off the Bingo tables, and I think I saw them a couple times throughout the evening. Daniel's favorite game was fishing and trying to ring a 2Liter Soda, and John's was also getting the soda. (He did get one!) and golfing. Gina kept going back to the fishing hole, and Vincent liked it as well - except for when he had to hand over the fishing pole. My husband was surprised/scared to notice all the people who took notice of his little Gina. He commented to me, "Everyone knows her!" People of all sizes say hi to her - my reply, 'What do you expect when the princess enters the room?' ;)

At the end of the evening, our 'little' family gathered around the soccer net for a meeting place. Our kids, plus some stragglers, ran off some more excited energy trying to score goals on each other as we waited for our tribe to unite. Vincent amused himself with spurts of chasing a football and falling in the mud, to kicking a soccer ball, and then splashing in the puddles.

It was a joy filled evening -

Even when it ended with my own puddle splashing. I must say, I would rather splash in the puddles outside than on my bathroom floor! But the puddle on the bathroom floor made me laugh. Gina's response, "I missed." I think she got that from the boys...

Friday, May 8, 2009

FLU-For Love Unveiled

FLU - For Love Unveiled!

I was pretty achy on Monday- I chalked it up to Communion preparation and celebration.
So please let me back track quick:

1st Communion: It was glorious!
The kids' faces beamed with beauty!
Even Michael's!

Gina was attentive as ever. I bet you would never guess what she noticed: "Mom, all those girls are princesses! Where's my princess dress? They are beautiful!" and later, "Mom, that princess girl has sparkle earrings. I love um!" She continued to notice all the ladies around us wearing earrings. She's been on an earring fetish lately. I don't know about a 2 year old trying to convince her parents to let her wear earrings. She will have to wait, but some days I get really close to giving in! (She is our princess among the 5 boys-we all have a soft spot for her, but the older girls had to wait until the winter before they received our Lord to have their ears pierced.)

Also heard among the nephews watching attentively, "Why did all those boys and girls get married?" You know, they are not too far off with their observation! Through the consummation of the Eucharist, they all became united to our Lord! No wonder their faces all shine with glory!

I love the sacrament of Holy Communion. Something changes: bread and wine into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ; and then upon reception, humanity into the likeness of Christ. I am so grateful for this gift! Christ Himself sustains us and transforms us if we let Him.

Ok, back to Monday. By evening I was dragging, and was in bed by 9 (at least 2 hours earlier than usual). I slept a little, and ached a lot. I began to think that this might be a bug and not just pain from over doing it (like that ever happens ;) ). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, I had a fever. (Hubby said I was hot Mon. night, but I was too stubborn to admit that I was sick and take my temp.) My weak body hung out on the couch for a few days, directing traffic in between short naps. Thursday night I turned the corner. After we all got dishes cleaned up, Daniel went to sit on the couch that I had been occupying all week, but immediately got up and said, "Sorry Mom, I will get up so you can lay down here, because I know you're still sick." How sweet is that. My husband and the kids all came through with help; a couple of them needed more encouragement than others, but they did it! I'm proud of them! They made dinner, (Thank God for party leftovers!) got little kids to bed, and helped immensely. The FLU made me rest, but it was a joyous rest amidst the frustration of not being able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted it done. This FLU made me put aside my selfish ways and hold my tongue as I painfully watched things get done in a manner different than I would do. (The couple times I tried to get up, I found myself landed back on the couch in a matter of 5 minutes.) Love was Uncovered! I got to witness love, and genuine help was unveiled before my eyes!

Today I can say I'm better. My hubby and kids are relieved: That means I'm back to work! My time on the couch, though at times was frustrating, was well spent. God knew I needed to relax, in mind and spirit. I was happy to relax, and still do my part-surrendering my will for the good of others.

I remember the quote by Blessed Mother Teresa, "We are at Jesus' disposal. If He wants you to be sick in bed, if He wants you to proclaim His work on the street, if He wants you to clean the toilets all day, that's all right, everything is all right. We must say, 'I belong to You. You can do whatever you like.' And this is our strength and this is the joy of the Lord."

I'm still working on the "You can do whatever you like with me." I say it, but don't always mean it. It is getting better, though. And with cooperation, there is always Peace!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Job Search: Carpenter; Barber


Must be able to use tools.
Must be precise!
Capable of removing/adjusting material to make a new look.
On the job training.
Commensurate with experience.
Bonus: bearing the name: JOSEPH!

Sign him up!
He has experience; yet, may benefit from on the job training!
Will you hire him?

Happy St. Joseph the Worker Day!

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. -Colossians 3:17

FYI: precise, taken from the Latin word, praecis-, meaning 'cut short')