Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ego Booster #89

From the eight year old:

"Mom, I think you can have four more children before you are 40. Then I'll tell you when you are done."


The very next day:

"How old is (friend of mine who is 41 and having baby #5)? She hardly looks her age. You look like you shouldn't even have kids."

I mistakenly took this for a compliment and felt pretty good, until she clarified.

"I mean, she looks really good and you look older."

Oh, ok then.

"What?! I look older than I am?"

She starts to feel the pressure and covers with "maybe it's because I haven't seen you with a baby for a while so it seems weird. Like you're older than you are because I'm the age I am."


I felt like I should promptly run upstairs and load on the anti-aging cream.

So much for thinking this 32 year old body wasn't doing too bad. Oh well. I'll either use this moment to make me push harder in my exercising/self-care or to realize I shouldn't trust everything my eight year old tells me regarding my age.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Prayerful & Peaceful

Have you ever heard the music of John Michael Talbot? You know the stuff. Calming and peaceful. Reflective.

A parish near us recently hosted a three evening parish mission/reflection done by him. I had the opportunity to attend two nights with Gianna and one of those nights our whole family attended.

While I had to take a crying Gianna out of the church both evenings, I was still able to enter in to the peace and prayerfulness of the message to benefit. But really, who am I kidding? His voice could pretty much soothe me to sleep and peacefulness any time of day!

I remember my dad owning cassettes of JMT's many years ago and the serenity that flowed from his music was always something I appreciated. I could have listened to him in person for hours if he kept on playing his acoustic guitar and singing. Unfortunately, he didn't sing for hours and it wasn't a concert as much as it was a teaching. I was ok with that though.

The first evening he shared his story and background singing (did you know that he's recorded over 50 albums?)with the likes of Janis Joplin in his early years. He also shared of his conversion to Catholicism and entering the Christian music scene.

The second evening he focused on the Hail Mary Prayer and the Jesus Prayer. These were his focus because his soon to be released album was written with both of these as the theme. He reminded us that Pope John Paul II has said that the Church must breathe from both lungs--the eastern and western. The western tradition began the incorporation of the Marian prayer, the Hail Mary, and the eastern tradition brought about the Jesus Prayer.

John Michael Talbot taught us the Jesus Prayer and the symbolism in it. The Jesus Prayer can also be prayed on the rosary beads as a reflective prayer as well. These are the words:

'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.'

Having sat through his explanation and teaching how to prayerfully relax and meditate on these words as they are slowly prayed, it became easier to see what a beautiful prayer it is.

I've been recalling it numerous times as a quick prayer offering during the day.

Although I would've loved to hear more of his singing, John Michael Talbot offered a short and sweet mini-retreat of sorts that my family all enjoyed.

You can downloaded his newest release, "Worship And Bow Down", through iTunes now or wait for its release June 21st. Go check out all of his music and books on his website.

Psst...stay tuned here in the coming weeks. I've got a giveaway coming and maybe you can score yourself some of his music!

Friday, May 27, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words-capturing a moment from the week.

Hosted by SouleMama.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Ending

Because my husband is an amazing and generous man, he went and picked this up for me our family yesterday:


After my freak out and doing some computer shopping over the weekend, I gave Reed permission to pick out a computer that was best for us (and to find a great deal). He did the research and shopping online and then found a few to compare and we chose from those three.

I'm so grateful that he did all the work and so excited to have a new laptop! Now we'll just need to get the files transferred.

I better stop playing around and get hopping. We've got our Little Flowers end of the year luncheon that we're hosting at our house today. It should be lots of fun!

Afterward, I can get back to playing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teachable Moment #247

Jonah had an item on his birthday list he just HAD to have. He'd seen numerous commercials for the Gaz Zuds bubble gun and thought that it looked and sounded like so much fun.

It boasts of its foaming action and the bubbles come pouring out of the bubble gun leading to endless entertainment.

We were skeptical, but he insisted and we bought it for his birthday. He was perhaps a little less thrilled with it as he unwrapped it, but still seemed eager to try it out. The following day we took it outside to give it a try. It seemed a bit disappointing to me and as I looked at my boy's face it indicated that he felt the same way.

His head hung low as he said 'That's not very exciting at all. It's nothing like the commercial.'

I took hold of the moment and reminded him how things aren't always as they seem, especially on t.v. Commercials are made to promote a product and make it look like we can't live without it, but the reality is never quite as the commercial makes it out to be. I quoted St. Augustine, 'our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord'. Nothing on earth will fulfill us as much as we believe it will because we are seeking God and a peace only He can give us.

He agreed that sometimes things/toys aren't as exciting as he thought or he's only happy with that toy for a short time.

In that moment we were both reminded that things are just things and they all come and go, until the next thing we think we need to make us happy and fulfilled. In the end, what we already have is certainly more than we really need.

P.S.--I'd like to also add that Colored Bubbles are not as fun as they are made out to be either. We found them messy and leave a colored mark wherever they land. Clothes must be washed immediately (and not sprayed with stain remover) and your porch, shoes, etc. for instance do not come clean until washed or rained upon. FYI.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pushing My Button

I started up my laptop on Saturday morning as usual and a tiny box in the corner alerting me to the fact that the USB was not supported. Ok, whatever. That shouldn't effect me.

Well, until I try to use the mouse. Ok, so the mouse is a cheapo one we've had four years. It must be broken. Oh well, we'll go get a wireless one next week.

And then there were those photos that needed uploading from the camera. Hmm...my Windows Gallery is popping up but it's not recognizing my camera. Weird. Oh, I wonder if either of these things have anything to do with the USB message that came up.

Of course they do, silly.

It's not a matter of life or death, because my computer is still working after all. *sigh* I can still check email, look on the Internet and blog for heaven's sake. BUT, I can't upload those photos.

There's no rush, but to me that's most important right now. Inside I begin a slow meltdown that leads to a slight freak out. Things like malfunctioning computers tend to do that to me.

I freak out because a) is this problem fixable on my laptop? b) how much will it cost us? c) my laptop is four years old and as much as I'd love an upgrade, I don't want to spend the money right now d) I don't have the time to go computer shopping e) I don't have the time to transfer all of my things on to a disc and then on to a new computer f) with a new computer I'll have to learn how to use everything again and there's that whole learning curve thing that I'd have to deal with.

On the bright side, I'd get a new laptop! AND, it would have Windows 7 vs. the Windows Vista we currently have that my hubby absolutely despises (secretly, I do too!).

Now that I've been honest, wouldn't you like to share something that makes you freak out? I'd love to hear about your small or big freak outs in comments. I promise not to judge. After all, according to Jamie's kiddos "All moms freak out sometime".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Who's Been Drinking The Water?

I daresay there's something in the water around Blogville. In the last several weeks I cannot even mention all of the lovely ladies that have announced pregnancies.

Actually, I know it's not the water. It has a lot more to do with the blessed women and their husbands that are open to the precious and beautiful gift of life. It's so amazing to read another pregnancy announcement when some other glowing mama is blogging it!

Currently on my fridge is my prayer list of moms and babies both of bloggers and IRL friends. The total is currently at sixteen! One of them just recently had her baby and the due dates will continue to roll on through the beginning of next year. Wow!

With this realization it starts to get me thinking and perhaps a bit eager to drink of the water again. Yes, you just read that correctly. Now that you've just re-checked my blog sidebar and reminded yourself that I just had a baby in February, you can *gasp*. Keep in mind that I'm not saying TODAY that I want to drink fully of the water here, but it gets a girl thinking. And my husband *sighing*.

Then I remind myself that I was just part of this current wave of babies coming soon. I was at the beginning of the wave and we're just riding out the rest of it. I can wait my turn, but you never know what God may have in store for us. Not being completely sure of what happened that labeled us as a case of secondary infertility, the reality is not forgotten that we could possibly face that again. It is just that thought that again brings the baby bug, despite my just having a three month old. You must also remember that Gianna is near the perfect baby. When she makes things so easy, it's simple to want to add another little darling to our household.

I'm finding it easier to think of a bigger household when I've surrounded myself with like-minded women who celebrate the gift of their fertility and welcome fully each new child she is given. What a blessing! It's easy to picture life with more children when I read of all of you grace-filled moms who keep it together (albeit, as you share honestly, sometimes just barely) with your four or more children. I've learned so much from you all and only wish that we were all friends IRL. Because, after all, not everyone is so kind or so open to the blessing of children.

I cannot imagine reading most of your blogs without the stories and antics that involve and revolve around your children. Sorry to say it, but you probably wouldn't be nearly as entertaining to read without them. Don't you agree?

For now I think I'll wait this one out and I'll catch the next wave (hopefully) of pregnancies. In the meantime, I'll keep on praying for all you pregnant ladies, your babies, healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From My Little Guest Blogger

Hello Readers!

My Mommy seems to think that I'm old enough to do a little guest blogging here in Blogville, so she asked me to come up with a creative post. Well, since I am three months old today, I figure you wouldn't all mind reading about me. Who doesn't enjoy reading a baby update?

Remember me? I was that cute little girl coming home from the hospital.

I'm not so small any more. I'm growing like crazy and getting bigger. My mom is especially fond of my cute cheeks!

I think I'm a pretty darn good baby. I know I'm a really special little girl because I have so many people who love me. My mom thinks God sent them a really easy baby and of course, I agree.

I'm pretty sure that I am one of the most loved babies ever, especially if the number of daily kisses I receive is any indication. I'm smothered with love at any given moment throughout the day. Boy, do I love it!

I enjoy sleeping and try my best to be accommodating to the household so I only wake up once during the night and have even tried sleeping all night long a couple times too. During the day I take a nap in the morning so mom can get through school work with Lily and Jonah. After being up for a while, I'm usually ready for another nap in the afternoon again. Of course, I may take a catnap here and there as well.

Although I do my best to be a perfect little angel, by evening time it's just been a long day and I've had enough. I'm not a big fan of the late evenings and tend to fuss/cry and have been known to scream at times as well. I do try and keep it to a minimum and generally that makes me ready to go to bed sometime around 8:30pm. That works out well though since that's when my brother and sister go to bed and the fun is all over with for the day any way.

Speaking of Lily and Jonah, we have a lot of fun together. Just last week they let me play 'restaurant' with them and I even helped them 'cook'. I really enjoy it when they include me in things and I try my best to smile and be polite and carry on a babbling conversation with them. Jonah really likes me, but sometimes forgets I'm around. I'm pretty intrigued by him though and watch him as much as possible. He's quite an interesting character. I think he's really gonna love it when I can run around with him. Lily is my little mommy. If my big mommy can't get to me fast enough or I barely let out a noise, Lily is almost always right there to rescue me. She holds me and talks to me a lot. She's pretty fascinating too and I like to smile at my big sister. Did I mention that she smothers me with kisses and love? I think she may be one of my biggest fans.

I like to spend my days in any number of locations and am usually quite content wherever I am. I started using my play mat now and think it's a fun game to swat at those funny animals hanging over my head. I do my best to grab on to things too when I am playing. One of my favorite things to grab is my big sister's hair. There's nothing like a fist full of hair. I'm starting to recognize that some of these cute toys mommy gives me will help pass the time when someone can't be giving me all of their attention. I can grab on to some of them and reach for them too, but I can't quite grasp them completely on my own yet.

Napping is most often done in my bouncer or baby papasan chair during the day. I am a fan of my pacifier and if I'm tired and you give it to me along with either my burp cloth or soft lovey, I am content and fall asleep. I've got to have that fabric up close by my face. I guess my brother and sister were the same way. It doesn't take much to make me happy!

I can't believe that I've been out in the world already three months! I'm looking forward to all of the new adventures I'll be taking this summer with my family and all of the exploring I'll get to do of the outdoors. I can't imagine what the next three months will bring. What exciting days ahead!

I look forward to catching up with you all again sometime soon. I'm sure my mom will keep you posted on any new developments and she'll surely be posting many pictures of me.

Until next time,



Monday, May 9, 2011

What I've Learned Already Today

We were without electricity this morning for maybe five hours.

It quickly revealed how dependant our household is on electricity AND water. That, and that my kids would in no way be able to function without either.

Admittedly, I think my day just starts off better with electricity flowing through my household. Monday just starts off better with it too.

I need my shower and my coffee ASAP each day.

I'm reminded how grateful I am for the luxury of running water to wash the mountain of clothes that fill my laundry room on Monday, to wash the dishes that didn't get washed last night, brush my teeth, flush the toilet, shower and to fill the coffee pot.

It made me think that perhaps I should write a thank you note to the power company thanking them for the daily gift they give me with electricity.

But I think I already do that by sending them a check each month.

The first things I did when power was restored: brewed a cup of coffee and took a shower.

NOW, I can begin my day!

How's your day going so far?

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mantle Of Motherhood

Mantle: a cloak-like garment worn mainly by women as fashionable outerwear.

Recently, in the confessional, the priest got me thinking by something he said. While I admit that we're suppose to be inspired in the confessional, sometimes it's a little less thought provoking. Don't you agree?

In this instance, the priest caught me off-guard with his follow-up question, "Isn't the mantle of motherhood a wonderful gift?". Of course, I answered with a "yes", even as shocked as I was to hear that terminology. I guess I had never thought of it that way. He then followed with reminders of the importance of mothers and our roles as educators and role models. He shared that when he used to teach at a vocational school that it was one of his favorite times as a teacher because he had the chance to teach students hands on. He taught by example, by showing them and less by standing at the front of the classroom. He considered this a treasured gift.

I've been thinking about this daily. How well do I wear my mantle of motherhood? Will I let the frustrations and struggles of my day wrinkle my mantle?

It's not easy every day to serve my family perfectly and embrace my vocation as a mom. Don't get me wrong, I love this job. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But admittedly, it's tiring, many times thankless and often overwhelming if I let it be. Sometimes in the hub bub of the day, I fail in some areas of example and teaching. Good intentions can easily fall to the wayside when the day begins weary and tired. How precious is this gift that I've been given to teach and lead my children! And yet, how easily my human weakness can get in the way of fostering and accepting the responsibility that comes with wearing my motherly mantle.

I'm glad that this priest was divinely inspired in that moment to share with me his words. While it's given me a lot to think about as far as areas that I could do better, it's also reminded me of ways that I do wear my mantle well. Just as fabrics come in all different colors and patterns, so too each of us women and mother's come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, temperaments and personalities. Yes, this mantle is fashionable and I may wear it very differently than many of you. But then, I also wear it well because I am the only mother that Lily, Jonah and Gianna have been given.

It may not always appear that I've got this mantle fixed perfectly on my head, it may be a bit tattered and worn, lacking beauty and a bit imperfect, but it is an honor to wear the one that was made just for me.

After all, with such wonderful role models of motherhood I find in both my Mom here on earth and the Blessed Mother Mary, I can't help but proudly follow their lead and wear this mantle well.

Happy Mother's Day weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Thrill Of The Hunt

So, we're either really big nerds or cheap. Well, it doesn't matter to me. You can call us both, I don't mind.

We headed out last week on one of the nicer days we've been given so far this spring. Have I mentioned that it's been cold, windy or rainy most every day for weeks? We're taking advantage of any days that the sun even peeks out and the wind isn't blowing us away!

Any way, Reed took the afternoon off last Friday for a little family field trip. Well, it wasn't really a field trip but we called it that any way. Remember last fall when I mentioned our new family activity we tried, geocaching? Well, we're at it again! Except now we are better equipped since Reed used his birthday money and Amazon gift card to buy the Magellan Explorist GC.

We used my in-laws Nuvi GPS last time, which worked but we agreed that our own GPS specifically for geocaching may be a little more accurate. We found out that this Magellan is VERY useful when geocaching and the accuracy is pretty much spot-on or within a couple feet, rather than somewhere within 20 feet accuracy with the Nuvi.

Yes, the little Explorist is a bit of an investment. However, if you are intending to make geocaching a family hobby then it's worth it and really that is about the only cost in geocaching.

Once again, the kids loved hunting and exploring to find the hidden item.

It's even better now that they can take turns holding the GPS that has an arrow that lights up different colors if you are going in the correct or incorrect direction, along with counting down the feet to your destination.

Look high, look low, you never know where someone else hid the cache.

As I predicted, it's baby friendly too!

I was quite excited when we checked out the geocaching website and found that within an hour drive of our home there were well over HUNDREDS of hidden caches waiting for us to find! The kids are even looking forward to putting out a few of our own for others to find as well.

It may be a little nerdy to find this much excitement in geocaching, but we are all over it. If we can get outdoors, enjoy nature and some family time, it's right up our alley.

Go check out geocaching.com and see how many caches are hidden in your area!

Special Day For My Beautiful Girl

Sunday was a special day in so many ways. As if it being Divine Mercy Sunday and the beatification of Pope John Paul II wasn't reason enough to celebrate, Lily received her First Holy Communion as well.

Up until the last minute I was fretting about whether I had done all I could to make the day special enough, perfect enough, for Lily to remember in years to come. Although the day started out cold, windy and gloomy accompanied by snowflakes on the first day of May, the day was beautiful and perfect in so many ways. Besides having family members join us at Mass in the morning, we hosted brunch afterward at our home with family and friends who knew the importance of the day in Lily's sacramental life. And at the end of the day, Lily was exhausted and said it had been a very good day.

Of course, I just HAVE to share some photos of my girl....

Waiting in the church basement, before Mass with her fellow First Communicants from the parish.

During Mass, with her First Communion candle during the renewal of Baptismal vows

Lily and the other girl in her class read the prayer petitions. She did an excellent job and wasn't even nervous!

The Easter flowers at church were the perfect backdrop for First Communion photos.

Of course, sometimes brothers are having a rough morning...and this happened to be one of those mornings for Jonah. Thankfully, we did capture this shot with Lily and he was smiling. It was the only one though. Oh well.

Lily and 'her girls', Gianna and Great-Niece #2 and #4. Even the crowd of onlookers were oohing and aahing over this darling group as they posed.

Although our church doesn't have the greatest stained glass windows, I did spot this one and thought it appropriate for the day.

And, of course, after brunch there was cake!

Congratulations Lily on your First Holy Communion! May it always be a day to remember and celebrate.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Never Know What I'll Find...

...when I upload photos from my camera to the computer. I can usually tell which child took the photos by their content. These are courtesy of Jonah:

I enjoy the perspective and unique angles my little photographers shoot from!

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