Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Year of the Priest

Did you know that June 19th officially kicked off celebrating a Year for Priests? I am so excited! Why? Well, because we just happen to have several priest who are very dear to my family's hearts. I can't wait to find little ways to celebrate their wonderful 'yes' and their vocation to the priesthood.

Perhaps this much exuberance from a married woman toward celibate, single men sounds a bit weird. And really, it wasn't until I just typed it that even I found it sounding a bit odd. Really though, rest easy. I am happily, faithfully married. And hey, my husband was in the seminary once! Ok, now it's getting worse..there's a name for women who steal men away from seminary's (I won't share it here), isn't there? Rest assured, hubby was only in the seminary for one year and he was out of it for five years before we met.

Priests probably became close friends in my family sometime around my teen years and for a number of reasons. One reason would be that around that time, my parish was blessed to have two wonderful priests assigned to our cluster of several area Catholic churches. One of the priests was 'older' and the other 'younger'. Both were full of wit and wisdom and they spoke from the pulpit like I had never heard before in my life. They had a lot to say and I enjoyed listening every Sunday! These men quickly became guests at our family table and at our family functions.

Another reason that priests have been a prominent part of my life, would be that my brother entered the seminary and pursued it for 4 1/2 years. With all of the time my family spent visiting him a couple of hours away in the seminary, priests became very much a part of our lives.

Then of course, Reed and I are particularly indebted to two certain priests since they are the reason we are together today. It was through them that we met and well, the rest is history. To this day, those two special men remain a huge influence in our lives and in the lives of our children as well.

I must say, that I perhaps have gotten a rare glimpse into the priesthood. I have been unusually blessed by being surrounded by some of the most faithful priests there are. They have blessed our home with laughter, prayer and encouragement. There have been many times that Reed and I have counted our blessings and realized that we have wonderful friends in such men as these.

I've also seen the 'human' side of these chosen men as well. When they have been discouraged, felt unloved and misunderstood, when they have struggled with their vocation, when they have been hurt by the harsh words of a parishioner. These are the reasons that we will be celebrating the Year of the Priest in our household. We will try and honor these men who have diligently and faithfully followed their call and their vocation as a Catholic priest.

They need our support and encouragement. A kind word. A thoughtful card. Our prayers. Try to find a way to celebrate your parish priest or other local priests this year. Remind them how much they are appreciated and loved and thank them for their faithful service to the Catholic church.


Praise to you, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for in your infinite love you care for your people by the ministry of priests. May their faithful service bring lasting good to your Church and great happiness to them. Help them to do what is right, that by their teaching and living we may grow in the knowledge of your love. As our priests instruct your people, enlighten them with the wisdom of Christ the Teacher. As they preach your Word and celebrate the Sacraments, sanctify them with the holiness of Christ the High Priest. As they face weakness, suffering and discouragement, strengthen them with the grace of Christ the Life-Giver. As they work for peace, unity and healing in your Church, uphold them with the courage of Christ the Reconciler. Giver of all good gifts, make the ministry of our priests a spiritual offering pleasing to you, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Monday, June 29, 2009

65 Years

Aren't they cute?

Yesterday, a bunch of my extended family celebrated the 65th wedding anniversary of my grandparents. Yes, 65 years of wedded bliss. What a milestone! At ages 89 and 86, how much they have to celebrate. Truth be told, there were probably many tough years of hardship than there was of pure bliss. They have survived some pretty tough storms in all of those years. My grandma has had numerous surgeries and sicknesses and my grandpa has had his fair share too, most recently with his fall this past winter.

I'm sure faithfulness and perseverance haven't always been easy in their relationship as they've bore their share of troubles, but they have always remained a strong, Catholic couple. They have been a prominent couple in their local parish that everyone knows. After that many years, how couldn't they? I still remember the hundreds of well-wishers at their 60th anniversary open house at church. The line was endless and I think we experienced the multiplication of the food we were serving numerous times!

What a blessing and witness they have been to the Sacrament of Matrimony! Happy 65th Anniversary Grandpa & Grandma K. (Papa E & Gramma R)!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Choosing Beauty

Book Review:

Choosing Beauty: a 30-day Spiritual Makeover for Women

Are you ready for a makeover? One that doesn't include mascara and lipstick? Perhaps one that helps you re-focus your spiritual life? This book helps you revert to a life of virtue and grace as a Christ-centered woman. It breaks down the seven significant virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope & charity), while also pointing out their vices and what can lead us as women away from a virtue-filled life.

Each chapter gives witness as it shares a brief story of faithful female Saints who can be our models. It also provides thought-filled reflection questions which are perfect for individual, personal contemplation or would work easily in a group setting.

Easy reading that is ideal for every woman seeking a fuller life of virtue, as well as teens/young women or Ladies Book Club.

Give yourself 30 days and you won't be disappointed by this makeover!

To find more items to encourage you on your spiritual journey, click on over to Catholic Company!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


On several occasions my dad and I have discussed God's plan and His 'delays'. I think my dad mentioned these 'delays' after reading it somewhere and he chuckled at God's timing and answers to our prayers being referred to as 'delays'. It somehow makes waiting on the Lord and only experiencing a delay so much more bearable than considering that your prayer isn't being answered at all.

When I picked up my copy of One Bread, One Body yesterday and read the daily meditation, it referred to Abram and Joshua and how they had both experienced delays. It mentioned how sometimes delays are the result of God's kindness and other times it's for the benefit of others, not us.

Delays are tough. We become impatient and less than understanding to our sovereign God who has already granted us so much. How often have I seen His delays as a 'no' to my prayer, rather than a 'not yet'? Too often, I'm afraid. How restless and weary I've become with fulfilling my own desires in MY timing, rather than embracing the delay as a way to benefit someone else or to be thankful for God's kindness.

Isn't it easy though to approach the delays God sends in the same manner we greet other delays? A delayed flight, a delayed friend for a lunch date, a delay while we wait in line. We become angry and misunderstanding VERY QUICKLY. I see them all as inconveniences for me to handle in the midst of a very busy life. I just don't have time for it.

I think I need to remember to treat delays from God a bit differently than I may have in the past. They are not stumbling blocks on my journey, but rather stepping stones and times for growth spiritually. My deepest desires and prayers may well be a part of God's bigger plan, but they may need to be delayed just a bit in order to arrive just in time. His time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Perspectives

Contemplative Boy:

On Father's Day, daddy is suppose to do everything mommy tells him to do. Whatever mommy wants him to work on, he has to because mommy told him to.

Disgruntled Girl:

How come there's Mother's Day and Father's Day and never a Kid's Day? How come we NEVER get a day? What a rip-off.


Despite all of the above, we still had a good Father's Day (even daddy agrees).
After all, daddy did take us all to this movie (more on that another day):

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day Prep.

We just finished Reed's Father's Day craft gift. I saw this in a book a LONG TIME ago and intended to make it with the kids on numerous occasions. Since that didn't happen, I saved it for Father's Day instead. I think it will be perfect for him to have in his office at work. All the ladies there usually make comments and notice whenever he has new photos of the kids, so I'm sure this little pot with these cute little flowers will catch their eye.

This project was really easy and I bought all of the supplies at JoAnn Fabric. A simple pot, crafting foam sheets, pipe cleaners, a bit of ribbon and you are set. Grab a few old photos and ta-da!..Cute and Inexpensive gift!

Hi Lo: June 19th


1) I moved on to Workout 2 of The Shred, which is good for another exercise challenge. However, I'm still debating whether I was ready for the next step up.

2) This week seemed to go a bit more smoothly with my kids. After the last few weeks with lots of fighting, bickering, taunting...(well, you get the idea), this week seemed a lot better. Thank goodness for small successes!

3) I took Lily & Jonah and a friend of theirs to Story Hour at one of the local libraries. Oh.how.fun! They thoroughly enjoyed it and I thought it was excellent as well. Each week has a theme (this week was Butterflies & Gardens)and they have one hour of planned activities: crafts, snack, stories & songs. We're definitely going to be attending several of those during the course of our summer.

4) Did I mention that HI #3 was FREE!!!

5) Lots of hard labor and hours of it last Saturday left us with another completed project in our yard. All that you need to know is that several loads of large rocks were hauled and moved by husband and yours truly. Best part, completed project AND a great workout!


1) Due to HI #1, I think I pulled something in my abs/under my ribcage during my workout.(Pathetic, I know.) It's much better, but I was pretty sore for a day or so. Unfortunately, that left me without getting back to my workout for a couple of days. I'm determined though to conquer that Workout 2 and move on, so I'm gonna keep at it!

2) The weather was finally hot enough for our family to take a swim in the lake on Sunday. The unfortunate part is that we ALL acquired 'lake itch' (some people refer to it as 'chiggers' or 'jiggers' too) and it's left us itchy and with welts in spots on our arms and legs.

All in all, it wasn't a bad week. What were your HI's and LO's this week?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Go Green!

Look at what I found at TARGET this morning:

Reusable lunch bags.

It seems everyone is getting on the 'Go Green'/Reduce, Reuse, Recycle bandwagon and I do my best in whatever areas I can, although it be a rather small attempt in the grand scheme of things, I suppose.

Regardless, when I saw these cute bags I just couldn't pass them up! They will be perfect for snacks on-the-go and in our van.

Since I haven't been able to try and make Mommy Monkey's cute reusable bags just yet, I opted to give these a try for right now. They're reusable/recycled and I found them in all different sizes and for only $1.00 each. I'm not sure if TARGET's displays are all the same or run on the same schedule, but I found these right by the front door of the store in the 'Dollar Spot'.


During a recent game of Go Fish between Mommy and her Little Boy.

Boy: Do you have a whale?

Mommy: Nope. Go Fish.

Boy: Yup. I've got a goldfish.

Mommy: No. GO FISH.

Boy: Oh.(he smiles)

And then, minutes later....

Boy: You hand the cards out.

Mommy: You mean deal.

Boy: Deal.

Mommy: No, I mean I'll DEAL the cards.

Boy: Yup. Deal. You hand them out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Vacation

We're embracing a new schedule (or lack thereof) these past weeks and I'm still trying to get in a groove of less routine. It's good for all of us to take the summer 'off' from rigid routine and scheduling and to be free to do other things or just to 'be'.

I'll admit it is just a little tough for me to do. I feel like if I have no certain schedule to follow or guidelines for my day, it may not be as productive. Do you know what though? Things are still getting done around our home and projects completed. I'm able to enjoy the beauty of my gardens and flowers, while basking in the sun and watching the children flutter about the yard.

Yes, summer and a little less routine is good for all of us. It's good to have time to focus on time together, while also getting back to some certain things that may have gotten lost in the shuffle of schoolwork. This is not to say that each day is completely void of ALL lessons. There's still a lot of discipline and character training that could use some work around here.

This is our first summer where we are actively participating in "Summer Vacation" as all other school-aged children do. And I am also joining in with all of the teachers and enjoying my summer off as well.

Well, only half the time. I am mother AND teacher, so I guess I only get to take half of the time on vacation.

I think this summer is going to give us a good chance to enjoy home and the comforts of it. A chance to slow down and enjoy time as it slips on by. Sprinkle in some day trips and a couple of long weekend trips as a family, a little bit of swimming, getting together with family and friends and we'll have the ideal summer vacation.

Rest, relax and enjoy. That's the plan any way.
(With just that planned, who knows, by summer's end maybe we'll even have news to share? I sure hope so.)

Prayer For This House
Louis Untermeyer

May nothing evil cross this door,
And may ill-fortune never pry
About these windows; may the roar
And the rains go by.

Strengthened by faith, the rafters will
Withstand the battering of the storm.
This hearth, though all the world grow chill
Will keep you warm.

Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
Touching your lips with holy wine,
Till every casual corner blooms
Into a shrine.

Laughter shall drown the raucous shout
And, though the sheltering walls are thin,
May they be strong to keep hate out
And hold love in.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hi Lo: June 12th


1) Since I missed doing my Hi-Lo's last week, I didn't get to share this one. My IRL friend, Michelle (and her husband) welcomed Blaise Benedict last week. The kids and I were able to visit mama and baby in the hospital and see precious little Blaise. He's a cutie, that's for sure!

2) Over the weekend we received some much needed rain. It wasn't a lot, but enough to get our yard and gardens looking a bit better. Even as it started raining it caused Lily to remark, 'when was the last time it rained?' I can't even remember, it's been THAT long. We're thankful for whatever we get at this point and I'm hoping that we get some more before it gets too dry around here again.

3) The rain caused us to focus on a few things indoors, which was good since I've been wanting to get some more organizing/cleaning done in the corner of the garage. It's Reed's tool/work corner, but it just hasn't been living up to its full potential since it seemed that everything just ended up piled on the shelves. I will be posting photos once it is complete, but let me say that it is looking SO MUCH better!

4) I've heard a number of mommy bloggers mention their use of The Shred and until the other week I had no idea what they were talking about. That is, until Colleen mentioned it and had a picture of Jillian Michaels' Shred DVD. I thought I'd give it a try and ordered it from Netflix. One week into it and I think I like it. Of course, I'm still on Workout 1. It's short and sweet, but seems effective. No major changes that I notice just yet, but I was mostly looking for a change in my workout routine and something quick.


1) Wood ticks, Army worms, Mosquitoes...oh my! We've got them all! It's THAT time of year in MN. The unfortunate part is that the army worms joined the ticks and 'squitos this year. They aren't here every year (thankfully), but they're here now. And yuck-o. The last few days they are crawling on our garage and porch and they are moving from the trees (of which they've eaten the leaves off of) to my perennials and our raspberry plants. So far, they've stayed away from our vegetable garden. What's the point of growing your own garden and trying to keep it organic if you have to spray for army worms?! I'm hoping this all ends soon, because it really does feel like a PLAGUE when I walk out my door.

Don't believe me? They are everywhere!

Perhaps you would like to sit on my bench?

See what Colleen's Hi Lo's were this week. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


As a mom of young ones, I am always on the look-out for educational and fun websites that I can trust for my kids to use. Lily helped me recently find one.

We've used the PBS KIDS website for some time now and my children enjoy playing the games with their favorite PBS characters. The games aren't only fun and FREE, but also educational as well. However, our new discovery of PBS KIDS Island has me even more excited about the educational value of the site.

The Island has a number of games on it that focus on reading and phonics. It's useful for the preschool age child as well as the early reader and even those that are advancing quite well in reading. With each game that is played and mastered, the child has the opportunity to earn 'tickets' that let them earn 'prizes' within the Island and also unlock more games. It's a lot of fun and they are learning while they are at the Island!

Another added benefit is that there is a Progress Tracker for each child. The Parent can then monitor what they are mastering and what needs a little more help in areas of Letter Identification, Rhyming, Alliteration, Phonics and Reading/Vocabulary.

Did I mention this is all *FREE*? All it takes is a quick minute to set up your email, password and each child's name and they are off to the Island!

Of course, you'll probably want to save it for a rainy day when they can't be outdoors enjoying the summer weather!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Praising In The Storm

I was sure by now, God you would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day,
But once again, I say 'amen' and it's still raining.
And as the thunder rolls
I barely hear you whisper through the rain
'I am with you'.
And as your mercy falls, I raise my hands
and praise the God who gives
and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm and
I will lift my hands for you are Who you are,
no matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried, You hold in Your hand,
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm.

~'Praise You In this Storm' by Casting Crowns ~

That song has been replaying in my head daily for weeks. I'd even written a post in my mind about it.

But then yesterday happened and it was revealed to me why this song has become my battlecry. Why it brings tears to my eyes almost every time I listen to it. And even now as I type. Today, I am being honest and posting while I am still in the midst of it all.

I am tired. I am worn. I am emotionally exhausted. I am sad and tearful.

I know that my hopeful heart will once again rise above this and press on, but since yesterday afternoon I have barely mustered the strength to hold on to a shred of hope.

It wasn't that I was hanging all of my hope on a doctor's appointment I had yesterday. It was just that after my latest consult with my physician and her suggestions for further care/treatment, it seemed so easy and it all made sense. It looked like I would be turning a corner toward answers and treatment that would help with my infertility. And then yesterday I saw an ob/gyn (as suggested by my physician) and she found that the issue that was the concern wasn't a problem at all. She did a quick ultrasound and found everything to be 'normal' and without question. She then told me that I indeed did not have 'infertility', but instead 'sub-fertility' (and no, I still haven't looked that one up on the Internet). I am sub-fertile because I have had children before without problem and for some reason right now, I am just having a pause in my fertility. Yes, that should have made me feel better and it did for a minute. Until my head went reeling with questions wondering when my fertility would return after its 'short' vacation. This physician felt that perhaps a drug that I have not yet tried, would help in my circumstance. And it may, except that it needs to be taken day 3-7 in my cycle and yesterday was too late.

No, it wasn't the worst appointment ever, but it was disappointing. I was ready to face the procedure that seemed necessary and the drugs too as of yesterday morning and in an instant suddenly none of those were needed.

Back to a new approach. Back to another phone call with my physician. Back to waiting.

As I drove home from that appointment alone, I couldn't help but feel broken as tears filled my eyes and questions filled my head.

And I think I felt my heart break just a little more.

Then, these words from the song playing on Christian radio at that moment came blasting through: 'He's not finished with me yet'.

No, He certainly is not. This is not the journey I would've chosen. This is not the cross I would have chosen to bear. But He, in His divine plan has chosen it for me and will guide me through it. He's not finished with me yet. He's still working with me. He will not leave me or forsake me. He has never left my side. There's still work to be done.

While He and I are working all of this out, could you please send a few prayers my way? I think I'm gonna still need them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Children's Garden

A couple weeks ago I mentioned local gardens and one in particular that our family was hoping to go visit this summer. We were able to take the drive there with my parents on Memorial Weekend. Unfortunately, it was a bit early for the flowers and there weren't many in bloom and others that hadn't been planted yet. All of that overlooked, we still had a wonderful time since the weather was PERFECT that day! It was a gorgeous day to be outdoors enjoying family time and the gorgeous view.

This garden is located in rural, west-central Minnesota and is a part of the University of MN West Central Research and Outreach Center. They have quite the set-up there for the students at the University to do research in horticulture, livestock, soil science and renewable energy (hence the giant wind turbine in the picture).

Hopefully we can head back there later this summer and enjoy the beauty of their gardens in full bloom!

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