Friday, May 29, 2009

Hi Lo: May 29th


1) We were finally able to meet our newest nephew this week! He was born last October, but since his family lives in Louisiana we haven't had the chance to meet until now. What a cutie he is! And we've been glad to have them visiting all week.

2) Since we finished school last week, we are officially on summer vacation. I have a bit more 'free' time and I've been enjoying getting outside a little more and tending to my flowers in the yard.

3) We have had glorious weather this last week. Not too hot and little breezes, rather than the blustery winds that we've been plagued with all spring. All of this leads to more time outside and a mama getting some color on her skin that's washing away that winter-white!

4) Last weekend was a productive one and we finally finished a project that should've had done years ago. We have a small, steep hill that leads down to our garden and we've worn a pretty good path through the weeds and dirt over these last seven years. We've wanted to make actual steps down to the garden, but couldn't ever agree on what materials to use and how to complete the project. Reed and I worked on it together last Saturday and accomplished it. And it only cost about $80. Not bad, considering how much of a thorn in my side it's been until now!

5) I celebrated with dear blogville mama's this week as they brought little ones into the world: Lerin welcomed Lucia Catherine and Margaret welcomed Anthony Joseph Mary. Congrats again Ladies!

6) I think I've successfully finished choosing our curriculum for school in the fall and I've even got some of it ordered already! I'm efficient, if anything.


1) No baby this week for my IRL friend, Michelle. I've watched and waited with her as she awaits her little baby's arrival. She's always had her children early, so with this one getting close to the due date she is becoming very anxious. I try to encourage her as much as possible, but being that I've gone overdue with both of mine (11 days and 3 days) I can't help but feel like she's got PLENTY of time yet!

2) Due to #6 in my HI'S, I won't be attending our Catholic Homeschool conference this weekend. It's a couple hour drive to get there and since I could click and take sneak peaks online, Reed and I decided it wasn't really essential to attend this year. Don't get me wrong, we like the speakers and the encouragement we receive there, but we just didn't feel we NEEDED it as much this year. I will miss it though.

3) I'm still waiting on a phone call from my new physician to find out what her course of treatment will be after my consult appointment last week. She had a list of several potential issues and needed to discuss treatment options with her colleagues. I'm interested to hear what the course of treatment will be. I'm ready to try whatever she suggests and see if we can't change this infertility diagnosis around.

What were your HI's and LO's this week?

Go check out what Colleen's were this week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bunkbeds & Babies

A recent breakfast conversation turned to the topic of babies and siblings. My children quickly began conversing and adding their input on how many more siblings should be welcomed into our home. Reed and I tried to remind them that it really was about how many God chose to send us and not as much on their own personal requested amount.

Quickly, it became about dividing up bedrooms and who would be situated where and how we really only could have one more sister and one more brother so that each of our children now would have a sibling of the same gender. It was interesting to listen how they devised their plan and figured it all out. Jonah and a sibling would stay in their current room, there would be a baby in the 'baby's room' (yes, we still call the one bedroom upstairs by that name since it still holds a crib-in-waiting) and Lily would move to the basement to the bedroom that remains unfinished.

I reminded them that sharing rooms was a possibility and that each room could definitely hold more than one child due to their size. This would allow for more room for more little ones if that was God's plan. Lily then reminded me that 20 children would definitely be WAY too many for our home and wondered if 10 might be pushing it as well. I then reminded her that I may not be able to realistically still birth that many more children in my fertile years.

It was most amazing though when I brought up bedroom arrangements and the possibility of bunkbeds in one larger bedroom in particular. Eyes aglow, they then devised a new plan in which each of them would conveniently be able to sleep on the top bunk of separate bunkbeds and their like gendered siblings could sleep on the bottoms. Suddenly our home had more than enough room for many siblings!

It's funny how even children can limit their prayers by what they think they can handle and what they want, instead of being completely open to what God wants to give them!

How often do we limit God in our prayer requests? Only asking for the bare minimum, instead of expecting great and wondrous miracles? I'm not saying that we should be asking constantly for millionaire status or materialistic means, but sometimes it wouldn't hurt to expect great things from a good and faithful God. I still pray daily for a miracle and that I be healed of anything that is keeping me from becoming pregnant: mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically. It does not mean that I sit back and remain inactive and expect a complete miracle without meeting God half way at least. It just means that I prayerfully let Him do the steering in the right direction and I follow His lead.

And who knows, before I know it I just may have a home filled with babies and bunkbeds!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today marks the end of the school year in our home. Lily has successfully finished her Kindergarten studies and Jonah has successfully finished all that I had intended for him as a 3 year old and will be ready for Preschool in the Fall. Lily's more than ready for First grade in the Fall. YIKES.

Where has the year gone? At times during the winter it seemed to drag on and yet, through most of it we continued on and I was able to witness much growth educationally from Lily. Glancing back at a few of her first attempts at spelling and writing last fall, she has definitely grown in her writing skills and staying on the lines of her handwriting paper!

It's been a successful year and a year of change for all of us as we embarked on this new homeschooling journey, but well worth every day of it!

Now I eagerly look forward to the Catholic homeschool conference next weekend where I'll peruse the vendors to my hearts content and pick out what I think will work for my children in the Fall. How exciting! So much to see and decide on!

Of course, we'll still have plenty of lessons for the summer and lots of crafts as well. I am also considering Boot Camp for both of the kids. Mommy Boot Camp that is. I think we need some work in virtue and character around here. I think we've slipped a bit in that department. There's always plenty to be taught and learned.

A parent's work is never done. But that's okay, I don't mind. I've got a lot to learn yet too!

End of the year picnic:


Teacher & Students:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We are finally in a decent weather pattern here in Minnesota. For this, I am particularly grateful. This fine weather has allowed me to get outside and get my hands dirty. Oh how I love that! I am so glad to be back outside and tending to my perennial gardens and filling my flower pots for another season. Yes, I'm downright giddy. Really, need I remind you how much I despise winter?!

Recently, as I was browsing online for area arboretums and gardens, I found a very useful website. Ahem, if you are, of course, from Minnesota or plan to visit here. Check out this great site where you can click on the area of the state you are interested in and they give you links to that area's arboretums/public flower gardens. They provide you with the address, admission cost (if there is one), directions, peak season and website to connect you with each one. So helpful! I can't wait to visit some of these gardens that I didn't know existed. Did I mention that most of them are FREE?

As I was stumbling along, I found that one of the gardens I was looking for is actually a Children's Garden. I can't wait to visit this one and it's probably within an hour away, so a relatively short drive. I was delighted though as I perused their site and found a section just for kids and one for educators too.

The Kids section includes games/activities, experiments, lessons, a scavenger hunt and printables too! The Educator section even has lesson plans for you to use! All of these can even be used by those of you who may not live in our wonderful state or if you are unable to travel to this garden.

I'm already imagining how fun it will be to incorporate some of these activities from the website in our summer learning at our house. Not to mention, the beautiful gardens we may have the opportunity to visit this growing season.

Oh, the places we'll go this summer!

And yes, I'll probably post pictures here afterward. You know me too well.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In Memory of Our Child

Today marks the 5th anniversary of my miscarriage of our little one. At barely 9 weeks, we didn't know the gender of our sweet baby. Our closest inclination at that early date had been that it was a little girl and we gave her the only name that we had begun to identify with: Natalie Noel. She would have been due a week before Christmas and as we found out, the name Natalie means Christmas Child. It only seemed fitting that our unborn Christmas Child be given this name.

As the years have passed, May 14th is a little easier, as is December 18 which was the due date for our child. The memory of that day though is etched in my mind as much as the feelings of loss ever are. The loss is always a difficult one for me to grieve because had we not lost Natalie, we wouldn't have Jonah. He was conceived just two months after our miscarriage. I couldn't ever trade one child for another, but it reminds me inevitably that one child cannot replace another. Each human being is wonderfully made and a unique design. How awesome is God's plan for creation!

Natalie is still remembered as a part of our family. Sometimes in daily conversation with our kids, each Christmas as we hang her ornament on the tree, each summer as I tend the flower garden in her honor and each day as I pass her Certificate of Life hanging in our family room.

Today marks a day of loss for our family, but also as a gain to the precious little soul that surely awaits us beyond the gates in Heaven. As her mother, I know that she is watching over me and knows how my mother's heart still aches to see her and to hold her. I so often picture her in Mary's sweet embrace with all of the other little children that so many of our family and friends have lost in death and miscarriage. We have quite the group up there in Heaven waiting for us!

I hope to be with my little one one day and find out if she was indeed a Natalie or perhaps a little Nathan instead. But for today, we will find a way to honor her by doing something special for 'Natalie's Day'.

Natalie's Garden:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Anointed (and hopefully fruitful again)

My womb that is.

I finally did it. I finally got the much coveted 'Womb Blessing' Jamie has mentioned to me several times. If you are not familiar with it, read more here from Jamie and be inspired. And again, Miss Jamie, thanks for the nudge!

If you are like us and struggling to conceive or plagued with an infertility diagnosis, you may seriously want to consider receiving this blessing. Or perhaps, do as Jamie did to me and merely suggest it as a powerful tool of intercession.

This afternoon and evening my family was blessed to have two of our favorite priests over for a visit. It was much overdue and we were really excited for it. You must know that these two particular priests we are already much indebted to, since it was through them that Reed and I were introduced and met. And, well, you can figure out the rest.

Any way, we had so much fun visiting, conversing, eating and laughing with these two dear friends today. It really did my heart good to be in their presence laughing together again. It has been much too long. Our visits are always bittersweet since they remind me fondly of the days when I used to work at their parishes in youth ministry. Oh the good laughs we had! Every time we get together again it is a reminder of God's providence and His plan as I clearly see how everything comes together for good and comes 'full circle'.

Finally, after a spring evening walk with them and our little family, the one priest had to be leaving. Darn it! Missed opportunity. But alas, God's generosity and grace would not be outdone before this evening was through. I finally sputtered out the words and carefully opened my heart and was vulnerable and shared the truth as I know it. Conception has not happened for three years. Unexplained Infertility diagnosis. They can't figure out what the problem is. I'd like to ask you for a Womb Blessing.

There it was. I had said it. And really, it didn't hurt to admit that as much as I thought it might. (Have I mentioned how alone and sad this road can be?) And then I looked him in the eyes and saw eyes of compassion and I saw Christ as our dear friend gratefully accepted our request, went to his vehicle to get his holy oil and called my children to my side in prayer. Sweet rejoicing in my heart and tears stinging my eyes. I sat there as words of comfort and blessing and anointing freely flowed ever so gracefully from his mouth. And then, we prayed with dear hubby and blessed and anointed him as well. He gave our family a blessing together and prayed that our home would be filled with more children that we would faithfully raise and teach. He promised that his Mass he offers tomorrow will be for our intention and that his rosary on his drive home would be as well.

Dear friends, tonight I am at peace and filled with renewed hope. It's not that I think this blessing is a 'magic' prayer, but I am a faithful woman who believes in miracles and so desperately hopes for one.

Sweet honey to fill my soul, indeed.

May I be filled with fruitfulness once again one day very soon.

St. Gerard, pray for us!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mommy ~ Mom ~ Mama ~ Mother

I'm not sure where tomorrow will lead me and my little family as we celebrate Mother's Day. In case it is away from here, I had to post a day early to wish all of you dear ladies who visit me here, a very Happy Mother's Day!

As I await my Mother's day breakfast in bed (a sweet yearly gift from dear hubby and the kids), I will be thinking of each and every one of you dear ladies that are walking alongside me in 'bloggy world' and blessing my journey as a faith-filled Catholic wife and mom. I am blessed indeed by each of you and your wit and wisdom, insight and lessons. Prayers of thanks will again be offered for you and I wish abundant blessings sent your way!

Happy Mother's Day!

My heavenly Model of Motherhood: My Blessed Mother!

My earthly Model of Motherhood: My dear Mom!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Sunday In Minnesota

Beautiful weather. An afternoon with grandpa and grandma. A gorgeous walk in the great outdoors. Family time. Ice cream treats.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Morning Brunch

Morning arrived very early in our household this morning. The good part about that is I'm almost all ready for Mass this early and now I have a chance to do a quick recipe post.

My parents are coming over to spend the day with us and I'm making breakfast/brunch for all of us. I found this easy and quick recipe in Fix-It & Forget-It: 5 Ingredient Favorites and thought it would be perfect. It's cooking in the slow cooker as I type, but it's looking pretty tasty! The next time you need a quick morning recipe, prepare this in your slow cooker the night before and turn it on in the morning. Presto!

Breakfast Sausage Casserole:

1 lb. bulk pork sausage or ham
6 eggs
2 cups milk
8 slices bread, cubed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a non-stick skillet, brown and drain sausage.

2. Mix together eggs and milk in a large bowl.

3. Stir in bread cubes, cheese, and sausage.

4. Place in greased slow cooker.

5. Refrigerate overnight.

6. Cook on Low 4 hours.

See, doesn't that sound easy for your morning??

Enjoy! Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

If You Are Like Me.... would LOVE to have this in your home.

Inspired by Tracy and this post filled with photos of all of her glorious organizing lately, I knew I had to get my hands on a label maker.

Those of you who know me IRL or via this blog, you perhaps have concluded that yes, I am a planner and an organizer (and admittedly, perhaps to a fault). How it is that one who organizes as much as myself has not gotten my hands on to as precious of an item as this, is really beyond me!

After spending a short time in my basement storage room this morning, I've done quite a bit of labeling on my storage bins in there. Oh sure, they were all labeled before with masking tape and hand written labels, but now they are beautifully labeled thanks to my new 'toy'. (Oh, if hubby only knew that was how I spent part of my morning..)

When I mentioned the idea of this purchase last week to hubby, he said he'd thought of getting one before but just never had. Ok, that was all I needed. He was in support of my spending the money on such an item. Hey, at that point I even mentioned that maybe that would be a nice Mother's Day gift that I'd really appreciate. Hubby chuckled. I don't think a label maker was exactly on his list of 'best gifts to give the best mommy in the world'. With that, I decided that my next trip to Walmart would entail hunting one of these down. The other day, I found a number of label makers that fit the bill, but my bill also included a minimal price tag. Organizing or not, we are in tough economic times people. To my delight, I found a version of the model pictured above for *drum roll* JUST UNDER $20!! Perfect. It came with one label refill in the package and I also picked up another for under $7. Not bad I'd say.

And really, this is just more evidence that it doesn't take much to please this mommy. I know, I REALLY need to get out more!!

Next on the list: labeling shelves and cabinets in the garage that are filled with hubby's tools.

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