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Archive for March, 2008

Often heard at the learning table:

Remember kids…pause at the commas and stop at the periods…

or you can watch these men TRY to do it…

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Preparing for the sacraments is such a special time for our family. We have been helping our dear daughter prepare for her First Holy Communion for months. The big day was yesterday and was hectic, but over in a flash. Like all perfect family moments this event was no exception to the tearful joy I felt being there and witnessing our beautiful little girl receive Jesus for the very first time.

Real life is often full of misadventures. I can say that from years of experience. I think I am an expert at it at this point. It doesn’t make the moment any less perfect though!

We were just barely there for the beginning of Mass…kind of like we sprinted in from the parking lot and walked as composed as possible down the isle…LOL

I almost forgot to take the chicken out of the oven before we left…LOL…when I opened the oven I was covered in this lovely Hawaiian chicken smell and lots of steam…and I needed to COOL off not get hotter. It is a good thing I heard one of the twins scream “chicken!” as we were bolting from the door…it was definitely too much chicken to ruin…LOL!

Our daughter was just beautiful. She wore a dress I made with my mother-in-law for one of the twins. On Saturday I realized the veils that I THOUGHT were ok were damaged and I had to look around franticly at the last minute only to find a damaged one in a store that had it marked down to 15 bucks instead of 80?! It just needed the veil to be re-attached..something I can do!

She looooved the BE-AU-TI-FUL rosary I requested Jennifer to make for her…(Thanks so much, Jennifer!!)

…and we gave her a wrist corsage with white roses and a light blue bow to honor the Blessed Mother. …aaanand there is someone in NJ who thinks I am a complete nut. I had to pick up said corsage and it was getting late. I quickly dialed what I THOUGHT was my sister-in-law’s cell phone. When I heard the hello on the other end, I THOUGHT it was my brother and I THOUGHT he was doing his usual crack about you have the wrong number. You see, they had to pass the florist on the way to the church and I wanted to know if they had enough time to stop. It was like this…

out of breath…”Hi it’s me..are you still home”

“Of course we are still at home!’

I said “well, it is getting late…are you going to the church at all, are you going to make it?”

He said” oh you have the wrong number”

I said, “very funny Joe, are you going to make it on time or not?”

He said ” you have the wrong number”

I said, “Joe! Cut it out! I am getting nervous!”

He said “really lady, you got the wrong number”

THEN and only THEN did I turn all kinds of red and realize my mistake. Later I told my brother to quit teasing me so much and told him the story. He said “I couldn’t have done it better myself!” sigh!

I was a bit upset before we went because I had no time to get a disposable camera and our regular camera is broken. God fixed that though. I didn’t tell anyone about this concern, but a complete stranger took pictures for us. She was there visiting with a friend and thought that this lovely family should have pictures of this beautiful moment and decided to help us. Her friend nudged her and told her that Fr. David doesn’t like pictures to be taken in church. She said…”oh well, what do you think will happen to me seeing that I am just a visitor…” What a character!

Our sweet girl with her big blue eyes, dressed in her special FHC raiment received Our Lord in a church still FULL of many many Easter flowers on Mercy Sunday and the Holy Mass itself ended with Adoration. THIS is the kind of beauty that you cannot explain…it is the kind of beauty you treasure in your heart.

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Not willing to give up the natural dye route for Easter eggs this year, I followed Martha Stewart’s advice on creating natural dyes. I have tried various recipes before and suffice to say the kids weren’t too keen on me trying again. But! THIS year I had a wonderful selection of pastel-ly eggs! We had blue, purple, orange, pink, green, and yellow…all FIVE dozen of ’em. Unfortunately they are all gone now…but a much loved addition to our Easter Sunday morning breakfast of Babka, kielbasa, horseradish, Easter eggs, hot cross buns and OJ!

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Many years ago, I prayed for my dh to find a good Catholic friend.  I wanted him to meet someone that could help him along in his faith…someone who understood where he was coming from…someone who would understand the sense of priority he has in his life due to his calling as a Catholic husband and father.

Little did I know then that God would use what we had on hand already.  God recycles ;o)

My dh had a best friend named Dan since he was 5yo in kindergarten.  They grew up around the block from each other.  He was a Brethren (similar to Lutheran) but he respected the Catholic Church and Jeff’s faith.  I often teased him that he was more Catholic than many people I knew.

Years later, this best friend of my husbands began to court my sister.  It was fun to watch them fall in love and a privilege to be in their wedding.   Now my children who always called him “Uncle Dan” could now do it officially.

Danny agreed that he would support my sister in her faith but had no intentions to convert…until…his little 2 year old daughter asked him a question that changed his life.  They were attending a Mass together and it was time for Communion.  She looked at her father and asked “Aren’t you going to receive Jesus too, Daddy?”  He knew then and there that God was calling him through his daughter’s voice.  He said it was similar to the story he had heard about St. Faustina when Jesus was calling her to be a nun.  He knew that God wanted to know how long He was supposed to wait for him.  Dan was floored.

He began to attend RCIA with many many questions.  After a long time waiting, discerning and a few funny stories later, God doesn’t have to wait much longer.  Now, after a year and a half he is entering the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass.  And on top of that, he is entertaining a vocation to the Deaconate.

Just try and tell me that this is not a direct answer to my many many prayers starting years ago for my husband.   He is my dh’s best friend and brother and more loyal to that relationship than anyone I have ever known.   He is praying the rosary and  doing the home enthronement prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Danny, you are definitely “IN”.

How sweet of God to answer my prayers on my birthday March 22nd….which just happens to be the Easter Vigil this year.

~~Don’t cha love it?! ;o)

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I am s l o w l y edging my way through the first trimester…it being lent and cold and winter…doesn’t help much!

I am gagging and green but have found a few things that I actually like to swallow…

I am going to make my own Kombucha …eventually. I can’t wait to try!

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Homeschooling has its privileges. One of the perks of doing what we do is loving and living our faith in a very personal and rewarding way…living God-centered lives. Being the primary educator of my children, I take my job very seriously. Being the parent of two 14 year-olds has taught me so much of my faith and I am proud to say I love witnessing how my dds live theirs.

The real drawback of doing what we do happens when we have to interact on the parish level. Here I have two very serious young women who are excited and feel privileged to finally be of the age to receive Confirmation. They have studied long and hard…learning not only their catechism but also apologetics, church history and the lives of countless saints and blesseds. In many ways we feel our journey is just beginning…and rightly so. There are so many riches of the Catholic church that are just begging to be learned and learned at this new level of understanding. They are excited that the Holy Spirit will be welcomed into their hearts in a very special way at the end of April. And they know that He will make this new level of understanding of the faith even richer.

We were required to attend the parish retreat. It ran from 2-5:30…(which as it turned out, was an hour later than that before we actually departed which made for a very long afternoon). Because it was “required” I told the DRE that I was attending too. There were approximately 50 confirmandi there. There are those who don’t know their faith, don’t attend Mass, and don’t really want to be there. There are of course exceptions to this but those non-practicing confirmandi do seem to attract the most attention. So much is geared toward them. Then there are the homeschoolers. You know who they are. They are the ones answering the questions. One young man summed it up…”you MUST be homeschoolers…because homeschoolers really seem to know so much about the faith and I don’t even know where they are learning it from!” Oh, we aren’t perfect. There are some things we didn’t get a chance to cover or we can’t remember. But! Our hearts are in the right place.

There was a young college seminarian running the retreat. He spoke of the fact that there is pain in life. He talked about the fact that he was taking drugs, was running in the wrong crowd, was drinking and was with many women. He talked about how he was able to come out of this pain and had a new relationship with Jesus after he went to Confession. He then split the confirmandi into groups and they were encouraged to share the great pains in their lives that keep them away from loving and knowing Jesus. The content was a bit explicit, but it was something that I knew we could look past. Truth be told, I really wish it weren’t part of todays content. I could see that kind of thing being discussed amongst older teens as I knew that some of the kids were not ready for this kind of fare.

So here sat the homeschoolers. They were being coaxed into sharing their stories of pain and they just kept shrugging their shoulders and looking at each other. The truth finally came out that they had NO pain to share. They were happy. The seminarian then said…”So, you are telling me you are just full of God’s love right now?” and of course he got a few more shrugs…. and my dd looks down at her finger and made mention that if she cut her finger they could talk about that kind of pain…other than that…there was nothing to share. The team leader came over and wanted to know how they were doing and the answer was “these kids have no pain! They are just glowing with the happiness of God!”… hmmm

So instead of talking about our deep seeded “pain” that we were not sharing, I ended up engaging the young seminarian in conversations about vocations, their seminary and the chapel that was being renovated. I felt encouraged to learn that this chapel was being renovated by the same person that did Mother Angelica’s temple in Alabama…nice!

By the end of this retreat the confirmandi were told to write their pain on a piece of paper and then were told that it wasn’t a piece of paper…it was REAL. I found out that my dds and their young homeschooling friend had blank papers. They were later led outside to burn these papers and my dds and their friends burned blank papers. The DRE came up to me and asked me how I liked the retreat. I just shrugged my shoulders in a non committal way and I said, “Do you see those 3 young girls up there? They have nothing to write on their papers. ” I was then told that the children of large families are sheltered and they need to know how the world works…like just look at the Amish! So that is why they needed this. OH boy…So I told her that they were most definitely NOT “too sheltered” (The basic premise of the young seminarian running the retreat was that you have to make a choice of pain or Jesus in your life and you have to let go of the pain and realize God’s love) they interact with many people but they ALREADY freely choose to have Jesus be an intimate part of their lives.

I understand that the DRE sees all kinds of unfortunate things…but having this misguided fear of the unworldliness of homeschoolers and her having to do something about it is something based in ignorance. Sometimes I really feel like we don’t belong in situations like this one except maybe to be a good witness or educate others. We are waaay past where they are but don’t lord it over anyone. My friend Bridget summed it up so well when we were talking about such things on Magnum Opus…

“I know they need our prayers and good example, but it’s always the special Masses, sacraments and holidays, that are painful. The ones we long for the most spiritual peace and fulfillment. It’s another one of the crosses of our times I guess.”


					

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“Mom? Why do you always tell me to put my best foot forward?”

“I mean…how am I supposed to know which is my best foot?”

ds aged 9

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